How to find your Identity?

Full disclosure I have no idea how to answer this question. But I want to share what I learned in the ongoing process of finding mine.

The most important part for a long while for me is what differentiates me from others. ‘Fair enough’ most would think. A rather straight forward approach. But here the trouble already started. There are so many things separating me from the people around me that I (and the people around me) often feel as if I’m not a part of the tribe. In order to form an identity you need to surround yourself with people who are both different from you (the kind of different that is already achieved when you do not happen to live in a colony of clones) and sufficiently similar to you.

Often as a teenager I would complain how I felt different. The scarily uniform answer was always that all people are different. (Just keep contemplating for a moment how I got the same answer from everyone involved stress how much unsame they are…) That is true but not the kind of different I’m talking about. There are many ways to take different to a next level. You know whenever you are affected even in some small aspect like nutrition. You are always aware of how diabetes or your food allergy needs to be accommodated. More pervasively you always know how people likely treat people of your respective phenotype when you are living in a country where you stand out for your looks. You always feel it intensely when you are surrounded by people of a different faith than your own. And everyone being different certainly begins to feel like a joke in bad taste when you keep getting comments raging from astounded to offended on how the way you peel bananas is off. Apparently you need to adhere to a majority even for things as mundane as skinning agricultural products.

So by now I’m beginning the mad idea of building my identity around not having a group to draw from for I certainly have no group similar enough to me to reach out to, nor an I expect this to change anytime soon. I will write later about how my own differentness affects interaction with others and the misconceptions driving people to hurt me when attempting to connect with me. I am now at a point in life where I know people are painful to me. Even with the best intentions. I desperately need people to celebrate my uniqueness with me and all I keep encountering are efforts to push this square peg in a round hole over and over and over again. I am about to give up on people at large altogether.

The second big issue I am having with Identity is in order to form one you need to have an idea of where you begin and where you end. Know what you like, what you dislike and what hurts you. I am afraid during my childhood my caretakers did a stellar job of using all means available to them to extinguish this sense of self with the idea that if I just became a round peg living in a world full of round holes would be easier. Only no one can change who I am. No amount of woodwork is ever going to transform the shape of the peg that carries my name into something mass compatible. I will either be a square peg or a broken peg. And now as I try to transform broken parts of self into something somewhat resembling the square shape I should have again it ostracises me even further from the people surrounding me. I wonder if there is a secret coven somewhere full of people who are the much needed balsam for my soul. But I have given up looking for it. All I find is new battles to keep me from being broken further.

So who am I? So far I can only give superficial answers. I’m way to intelligent to lead an unspectacular life, I am autistic and I am extremely sensitive. I have also been emotionally abused under the guise of well intentioned care that I am not able to accept well intentioned care anymore. I am deeply hurt and very lonely. And yet solitude hurts me less than company. I can name a few boulders on the way on how to find out more about me but I have no idea how to remove or circumvent them. And I can’t shake the feeling things shouldn’t be that way.


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