Who Am I? 

Struggling with identity has always been an issue for me since childhood. I never knew where I fit in because nothing ever felt right. I always felt awkward in whatever social circle I happened to be in – and I drifted between them all. Always feeling like an outsider looking in, longing to belong somewhere. 

These feelings followed me into adulthood and even into motherhood. I never felt like I could relate to the other moms in my small community and I could feel the distance between myself and them. I tried to act the part, but there was something off about me it seemed. 

After years of wearing so many masks trying to fit in somewhere, my mind broke into a thousand pieces. It felt like I crumbled from the inside out and all that was left was a shell of my physical being. Everything else that I had pretended to be was gone. 

Feeling lost, alone and afraid, I’ve been trying to build an identity for the last eleven years. It’s meant experimenting with new things and tossing out those that didn’t bring me joy and peace. It’s been a time of learning about boundaries and setting them with people and oftentimes losing them in that process. It’s about placing value in my own self-worth and expecting others to show respect for that.

I envy those that haven’t had to struggle with their identities. Those that who’ve known who they are for a long time and stood up for that person with courage and no shame. I wish I could say that I’m inspired by them right now, but I’m just feeling envy in this moment. And I’m ashamed of that. 

I don’t even know where to begin sometimes. I don’t know who I am. I like things because other people like them. I do things because other people expect me to do them. I wish I knew what it was that I wanted. I wish I knew me. 


About wendyenberg

Living the best life I can with BPD, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety and PTSD. Mental illness won't stop me from achieving my dreams - it will inspire me to keep fighting harder.
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5 Responses to Who Am I? 

  1. JL says:

    I wish the same as you do. I wish I knew who I am too. I’m 30 years old and have recently separated from my ex-husband. Now that I’m all by myself, I don’t know who I am without him as I’ve always lived for him, never for myself. I feel the anguish that you express in this post and I empathize. It’s definitely very difficult to come to terms with but a psychologist I’ve seen told me that we will always be learning about ourselves so we shouldn’t feel pressured to know exactly who we are right now.

    • wendyenberg says:

      Thanks for sharing JL. It’s so hard explaining to others about not knowing who you are isn’t it? To be honest, the only things I do know is that my favourite colour is purple and I prefer cats over dogs. It seems everything else is tied into what I think others want me to like. It’s like I don’t have confidence in saying what I like because others won’t approve.

      • JL says:

        Wow I relate to tbat so much because I’m the same exact way. I’ve begun doubting what I want because I don’t know what I my own genuine passion and what has been influenced by others. I went into computer science studies because people told me I was good at it and thought I should do that. I started drinking alcohol because my coworkers drink and I wanted to fit in. So I feel you there. Wanting to please others is definitely a major factor for me too. I hope you and I both will be able to figure stuff out for ourselves!

      • wendyenberg says:

        I’m starting to get there. With little things mostly right now but I have put in some boundaries about behaviours I won’t tolerate any longer and that’s been really hard because the people that didn’t respect my boundaries left. It’s probably better for me in the long run but it sure stings. And with my BPD, I’ve found that sometimes I’m impulsive and quick to dismiss things and people without looking at alternatives to trying to resolve a conflict. It’s like I feel compelled to be hard assed in my decision and there’s no grey area. This whole trying to figure out who I am is the hardest thing I’ve set out to do. Because at the end of the day, I’m still thinking of the fear of losing even more people for just being who I think I want to be.

      • JL says:

        I’m glad that at least you’re starting to get there! And people who don’t deserve to be in your life will leave because they don’t care or don’t understand. It’s hard but it’ll definitely be better for you not to have those kinds of people in your life. Though I’ve never officially been diagnosed with BPD (I have too many codependent symptoms because of my ADHD), I do have many BPD traits so I totally understand the fear of rejection and the fear of abandonment. I would encourage you to keep going. At the end of the day, you need to look out for yourself and be happy with your life. Everyone who deserves to have you in their lives will fall in line when you do!

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