Who Am I ?
At one time or another, everyone faces this question. Sometimes we follow it up with who do I want to be or where do I see my self in 5 years, but the starting point is always, who am I? It’s sometimes that big philosophical moment, that moment of addressing the human condition or even a self-inspection of our own souls. Yet it is the bedrock of who we are. That core of what makes who up who I am. So who am I?
Now I could list the things I am. A mum, a daughter, a partner, a call centre worker. I am depressed. Is that me?
Who I am is so much more, even if I don’t see it myself a lot of the time.
Getting To The Crux
So what’s got me thinking about all this? Well, to do that I’ve got to tell you a little story. Someone in my life who I love very much has hurt me, repeatedly in the last few months, someone who I would never have thought would. Called me unforgivable things. Rejected me and Alex when we’ve tried to reach out to them. Ignored us for weeks on end. This person has promised over and over that they’ll change, that they’re sorry and that they won’t do it again, to then repeat the whole process, again and again. It’s been agonising for both of us. Believe me, there is a lot of anger both in me and Alex about this.
Then this morning, a call came. This person needed help. Nothing huge, but they needed a lift and they called me. So what did I do?
Now you could ( quite rightly) argue that I told this person to swing their hook. They’ve hurt me and those who I love, over and over. Why should I help them?
Because at the crux of me, that is who I am. Who I am is the person that if someone calls and says they need help, I help. No matter how much they’ve hurt me. I am the person who will answer that call, go out in the dark to take a friend food when they haven’t eaten, lend money when I don’t really have it to give. Buy someone a gift they can’t afford for themselves because I know it will help lift them out of the darkness.
It’s who I am.
I know, it’s annoying as anything. Because more often than not I will end up getting hurt again. But does that mean I won’t help? No. Does it mean I have forgotten or forgiven those actions? Definitely a NO. Believe me, you have no idea of the anger I felt this morning when this call came. It would have been very easy to leave them stranded.
But as I say, that’s not who I am. It doesn’t make me better or worse than anyone else. It certainly doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven their actions. (they may have had quite an earful about it on the car ride) It’s just, this is me. It’s conflicting and annoying and it can contribute to my mental health issues in a terrible way sometimes. The impact of having people you care about you use and abuse you can be huge. I am learning to build up walls to that, but it’s slow. And it goes for everyone in my life.
Now I know that I’ve mentioned the movie ‘Moana’ before, but one of the lines from my favourite songs in the movie looks at the issue of who you are.
“Who am I? I am the girl who loves my island, and the girl who loves the sea. It calls me…………..I am everything I’ve learned and more”
For the character loving her island and the sea is conflicting and even against the wishes of her parents. They are angry and fearful that she will be hurt because of her fathers own experiences. I get that. I see why Alex is so angry with the people who hurt me, it reminds him too much of his own hurts. But does it mean I should change one of the core things of who I am? One of the things that he loves about me?
I truly hope not.
Like I said, I have not forgiven or forgotten. I am learning. But this part of me, no I won’t change it. It’s who I am.
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