The last time I went to see my psychologist, it was concluded that I should learn to listen to my own needs and do what I want to do instead of doing what others tell me to do.
Doing that is actually rather difficult, because I always just wanted to make others feel good (so they wouldn't feel the need to harass me). I've been trying so hard to please others almost my entire life that I have sorta forgotten how to actually please myself.
"You should try and be who you want to be" – But who DO I want to be? Who AM I?
I always wanted to do what was right. Do what was better for my surroundings. I eventually learned to ignore my own needs, I learned to set aside my own comfort for the benefit of others, I learned to obey orders without hesitation.
I never learned to decide what was best for me. Nobody succeeded in teaching me that I had a right to do the things I enjoy, because long before anyone actually told me anything along those lines, I had learned that my duty was to society first and foremost and I had learned that I was insignificant as an individual.
You cannot teach a person that he's insignificant and then suddenly tell that same person that he has rights and expect the person to adapt at a moment's notice.
When you're insignificant, rights do not compute.
When I reached high school, I was unable to deal with the sudden change of surroundings, all the new people that I wasn't comfortable around. Coupled with the frustration over learning that high school pupils aren't much more mature than basic school children and STILL do not observe their duty to their classmates and teachers, I occasionally lashed out at people around me in brief fits of anger, because I felt (probably not entirely unjustified either) that people around me were immoral and egoistical.
"Why the Hell did you show up late(, you buffoon)?!" I'd snarl at some of those seemingly lazy classmates who showed up HALF AN HOUR after the lesson had started (what the Hell are those people doing on a high school if their intention isn't even to learn stuff?). Yup, I took my duty to encourage my surroundings to do "the right thing" VERY serious.
So serious in fact, that I took it personal when somebody didn't do their homework or showed up late. In my eyes, attending high school without bothering to show up on time, demonstrates a very clear lack of respect for others. And I've never been able to stand those who act selfishly.
Experiencing myself yell, snarl and occasionally go berserk at others and generally being unable to hold back with the aggressive feelings, confused me significantly. I was supposed to help others. Serve others. Why the Hell was I being bossy and demanding?
Clearly, I thought, I am only capable of causing misery. I must therefore isolate myself, learn to shut my big trap, avoid making friends and other close connections.
"For I have failed my duties and do therefore not deserve love…"
To make an already long story shorter, I tried to do exactly that with the result that I descended deeper and deeper into the worst and longest depression I can remember being through. As far as I recall, it went more or less constantly on and off for around six years.
When I left high school, I did so with no goal in life, no clear idea of where I'd go from there. Nothing really mattered to me anymore, because in my mind, I had condemned myself to death due to my "failure".
"What's the point?"
I only made choices based on what I thought people would want me to do, because I considered my own choices insignificant.
Luckily for me, among all those self-centered, arrogant, spoiled, lazy brats, I did encounter a very small number of people who genuinely cared about me – back in the day, I had NO idea why these people would be nice to a "freak" like myself, but since I was subconsciously desperate for affection, I gobbled it up ravenously and somewhere in my confused mind, I did occasionally sense something that looked like hope.
Eventually, one of these sweet, caring people I met managed to penetrate the outer shield I surrounded myself with and get to my core, thus enabling that person to teach me that I was worthy to be cared about.
Since then, I've been working to turn this wreck of a ship around and recently, I've begun to try and figure out what the Hell I really want to do with myself, what I want to be.
Yup, I definitely still want to help other people, make the miserable feel better.
But I also need to do something for myself, otherwise I can't help anyone. And that's what I'm finding hard to do, because I cannot just push aside the things I was taught as a child…