For so long in my life, I actively sought to make all those I knew and interacted with, feel comfortable and “Seen” around me. In other words, in deference to my own self, I allowed others to express their ideas, wants and opinions while I deliberately withheld or minimized my own wants, opinions and desires.
My coping mechanism was a manifestation of rarely (if ever) being validated, trying to fit into an externalized world in which I’ve never belonged, and due to my neediness for others to accept me as I truly am. The funny thing is, it never really worked as I had intended it to, and in fact quite the opposite.
By behaving in this way, I accumulated quite a cadre of people in my life that enjoyed the deference I paid to them and though they did not reciprocate as I had intended them to, they did become dependent on my continued elevation of who they were around me, right up until the day that I needed a hand.
My blindness had hemmed me in and when I opened my eyes, I found out that most of those who required me in so many ways before, preferred my lack of sight to seeing.
Now, as I have unearthed this enormous blind spot, I am respectful of others, but they do not receive more respect than they deserve. In other words, I give when it is warranted and I do not when it is not. I’ve found I feel much better and more confident, and those I interact with and choose to have relationships with now, show me more respect and accept me more than ever before.