Frustration is a pretty typical emotion for me lately. I waaaaaaant to get out of this house. I love my family. I really really do. But my efforts need to be focused on me for a while. My mental health is suffering. My physical health, well, it’s never been great. But I need to figure out who I am independent of my Twin (this one’s the hardest), the overwhelming cuteness of my baby sister, the strength of my Mom, and the conflict that has arisen from my Dad. I want to go be awesome and know that I’m responsible for it. I want to know that it really is me that people trust and respect and see as valuable, not just daughter or sister of ______.
I’ve been handling these feelings with a fair amount of competence lately. But. I’ve been asked to house/dog/adolescent sit for upwards of a week for a family my family is friends with. I work (read: act) with the Dad, but haven’t had as much time as I would like to get to know the Mom and daughter. I’ve been discussing what will be involved in the sitting job (taking someone to school before going to school myself, generally taking care of the house, and feeding the dogs, etc) with the Mom the past few days and she keeps talking about how nice it is to know that there’s someone she can trust with her house and dogs and young teenage daughter. I’m rather flattered that I’m trusted so much. And I definitely respect that trust. But it threw me for a loop initially because while I certainly love all three of them to death and know that the Mom and Dad are there for me if I were to ever need them (and the daughter is pretty cool, too), I cannot fathom what I’ve done to make them trust me. Goodness, I could be a pot-smoking nut who just puts on a show (I’m not. For the record. But still.) for all they know. So, I asked my Mom. And she said it’s just because I’m her daughter.
My worth is defined by who my mother is?
Hold up a sec.
I love my Mom. I really do. If you know only one thing about me, it’s probably that I love my Mom and respect her to pieces (unfortunately she doesn’t really believe me lately, but I’m not sure what to do about that). But I have to believe that they trust me for me and not because of her. Sure, she helped make me who I am. But I guarantee there is a whole host of decisions I’ve made and values I’ve come to hold with very little help from her (fun fact, courtesy of a silly internet quiz, we’re officially on completely opposite sides of the political spectrum). There are things she’s done that I definitely don’t agree with. There are things she holds as truth which I see with skeptic’s eyes at best. I am definitely a different person. Right?
I need to start living in a space where I know it’s ME that people find trustworthy, and not my Mom. I need to know that it’s ME that’s loveable, not just my sister. I need to know that it’s ME that’s interesting, not just by Twin. I need to know that it’s ME that’s intelligent, not just my Dad. And maybe this is ridiculous or prideful or something. But clearly I have very little reason to think it’s true. To think that my worth comes from me and not the people around me. If I believe that the worth of my brother is a product of his own effort, if I believe that of most adults (even if they’ve only been “adults” for a few months), I should be able to believe it of myself.