Today I began to feel that I take up space. May not sound like much, but for so many years, I have felt as if I barely existed, that I did not take up space in the universe. As if I simply weren’t there. Not invisible, just inconsequential. How I felt was of little account – to me.
No whining here, this isn’t about how badly I’ve been treated. This is NOT “nobody loves me, everybody hates me, goin’ to the garden and eat some worms.” This about how I felt about me. My feelings may have counted for something to others, but never to me.
Earning my way in the world, proving my worth. You’d think I’d have gotten it by now. I suppose it has a lot to do with my co-dependency. “Always thinking of others” is no virtue in me, it’s a defense, an excuse for never thinking of me. What do I want? Whatever you’d like.
But today, I basically took the afternoon off from work. I’m in a position where I can set my own hours, so it was no big deal.. Except I never do that without feeling so guilty about it. Today, I felt good about it! Yes, I do matter, I take up space and I need some right now.
Perhaps this is why it has taken me so many decades to come out. The feelings, desires, wants, needs, existence of others has always been more important. My parents and grandparents somehow inculcated me with “stay out of the way, don’t bother anyone.” So, I have come along with the sense that to take up space is to “bother” somebody.
Now, as the saying goes, the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of changing. This is a decision for me. Though I have long known in my head that others are responsible for their own feelings, etc., I have not seemed to be able to act in a way to be responsible for my own. Often, I haven’t given “me” much consideration.
Today, I take up space and I am unashamed of it. I know that coming out will be a big bother to many. It will hurt many, and I will hurt with them. But we will all handle it, deal with it, take care of it, live through it. I know that I will.
It feels good. One day, I’d love to find someone to share this space with me. Closely.