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I hide who I am out of fear.

It is my tendency to acquiesce to others. It is my prevailing pattern to bend myself to meet someone else’s needs, or to be who I believe s/he wants me to be. It is so ingrained in me that I’m not usually aware of what I’m doing when I’m doing it. It is something I generally come to realize, to recognize, to see only in hindsight.

I don’t want to do this anymore.

I want to take myself into account. I want to give myself the benefit of the doubt. I want to be me, and as me, to meet others somewhere in between ourselves.

This is hard for me to do. I’m not very skilled at it. I don’t have much practice.

I didn’t know two months ago that this would be so much a part of my process. It has sucked getting to the point of realizing what it is I have been doing to myself. Now that I know, I’m grateful that I am here. This is something I want to learn to do better.

I matter. I matter as much as anyone else. My wants and needs matter. I can ask to have them met, and if they aren’t, I can choose to walk away.

I am not stuck. I have options. I have choices that I get to make that aren’t subject to the ruling measurements of success or failure. I get to live. I get to experiment. I get to learn. I get to grow. I get to be an active participant in all of it.

I think to some degree, I have been taking myself out of my own life. I had removed myself from the equation. It seems almost implausible, but yet I’ve managed it. I think it’s how I survived till now. I’m not interested in just surviving anymore and I’m strong enough now and capable enough now that I don’t have to. I can live. I can tolerate living in a way I wasn’t able to before.

None of this is easy. But it is what I want for myself.

I hope that someday all of this work will set me free.