I had an email conversation the other day with another survivor and they said something that I’ve seen far too many times, in one shape or other. Namely “I am a creation of what everyone wants me to be”.
Most children in abusive situations become what they need to be in order to avoid the abuse. If they have abusive parents, everything they do, is designed to please the abusive parent, thereby avoiding a beating, hopefully.
Unfortunately, as adults, there’s one very important ability missing, namely the ability to make our own decisions. Once you’ve reached an age where being the pleasing child is not necessary, we don’t know what else to be. So instead of having an abusive parent there to demand a certain behavior, we set-up an internal “parent”, always trying to please them, and live up to a standard that is impossible.
One of the best things I ever learned in therapy was that it was OK to stop living up to that standard. That I can live my life, and be what I want to be, not what others want me to be. I hope you can allow yourself that freedom as well.