I’m not sure when I gave up trying put other peoples needs before my own but it was definitely around the time after I finished school and I moved out of home and into a place of my own.
Before that I was quite naïve about people – to say the least – and thought that as long as I was nice to them and put their needs and wants first then this would make for noble and worthy friendships. Unfortunately if someone sees you act like a doormat then they will treat you like a doormat and no real respect is ever shared.
No, it wasn’t until I lived on my own – when I was responsible for paying my own rent, electricity bills and purchasing my own food – that I finally figured out that if I wanted to survive in this world then I would simply have to put my own needs first and to hell with those who didn’t like the idea.
So it surprises me that years on from then that I mistakenly fell into the same pattern of back then and decided to give up my right to having needs and wants.
Of course I was an emotional wreck at the time and was just plain sick of figuring out how to navigate my own life so I handed the reins over to someone who wanted the responsibility. They say to never make any kind of decision when you are angry or upset and indeed they are right. I don’t believe I would of made the same decisions I made in that time if I hadn’t been so emotionally raw and torn inside but I made them all the same and it wasn’t until later that I learnt that this person not only wanted to control the direction of my life but also wanted to share it to the point of having no boundaries between us.
It was unfamiliar territory to me – having someone want me that much and that badly – but the whole idea of being that close to someone – someone so needy – made me nervous and although it took me a little while I did finally recognise this type of behaviour as unhealthy and not at all romantic, as I had first tricked myself into believing. So I walked.
The feeling of relief was instantaneous , like a huge weight had been lifted from my chest allowing me to breath again and it wasn’t until that moment that I figured out all I had given up by putting my own needs to the side, just to fit into someone elses ideal mould. I had fallen far from the independantly strong woman I once claimed to be but it was just the grounding I needed to take control of my life and my needs again.
It was a hard, yet important lesson to learn but one that I have learnt well and I now understand not only to look after my own needs but to also respect others needs too, even if they don’t conicide with my own.
It’s the only thing I wish to take from the those two years of my life.