my awakening consciousness

my childhood survival mantra: do NOT EVER be yourself!

Filed under: daylilies — waterlily at 3:57 pm on Thursday, July 24, 2008

LIE OR DIE; this was pretty much my perception of the way life had to be all throughout my childhood as one with undiagnosed asperger’s syndrome. from at least as early as age five, if i recall correctly. the reason this came to be my mantra was that i’d been made to understand that “myself” was at best unacceptable and the rest of the time worthy only of contempt, disgust and ridicule. this sense of worthlessness and craziness was closely intertwined with the feeling i always had around all people – no matter that they smiled and said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and ate with the correct fork and made much to do about hats and hemlines and going to church and such, i always had the feeling they would just as soon tear you apart limb from limb. that just under the surface was mindless, brutal bloodthirst. not physical bloodthirst though. just nonchalantly destroying another person with words and social maneuvers to establish the pecking order. thinking it’s civilized just because there’s no actual blood. i came to believe very early on that it would be a virtual but violent hunt and kill if i let my true worthless, terrified self show, to anyone, ever. that it was a matter of life and death to learn every single behavior, mannerism, phrase and facial expression and be able to copy it flawlessly in any situation. and it would be best to make yourself believe it too, because the humans can smell fear. learn what to say, and for god’s sake, say it. otherwise the vicious pack of human animals surrounding you will devour you alive. even your own father will be tearing at that carcass. so here i am, now forty seven years old, just now realizing what’s been wrong this whole time, that i’ve been going through my entire life copying behavior and having no strength inside. you can imagine what a train wreck my life now is. the decades of substance abuse and addiction hasn’t helped. even though i’ve been clean and sober for many years, i’m better but still terrified, clueless and there is no one to help. i feel nothing but fear and anger towards other people. i don’t want to know them and absolutely don’t trust them. yet i have this powerful desire to feel connected, to belong. what should i do?