Posted by Anonymous.
I'm not sure how to explain what is happening to me. I don't know who I am. No one else knows me either.
The most recent time I can think of when I was really being myself was probably when I was about 13 years old. Somewhere around the time I entered high school I started fearing judgment by other people so much that I stopped putting myself out there almost completely. I had a few good friends who I was very open with, but when I was around other people I always had my guard up.
Since then I have continued this relationship pattern by letting in only a few people in college and later a few people at work. When I got married and soon after became a stay-at-home mom, my world started closing in on me. We didn't live anywhere near either of our families. I was no longer forced to interact with the same people on a daily basis. I (barely) maintained a couple friendships, but was still so guarded and private that it was difficult to make friends with anyone new. We moved regularly for my husband's job and that made it even harder to make and keep friendships.
In the past few years I have become increasingly aware of how much I keep secret about myself. There is no reason for it, really. I don't feel ashamed about anything in my past. I have worked so hard at it though that I have lost touch with who I really am. I struggle to find my opinions on basic issues and I rarely spend time doing things I really enjoy (besides things I enjoy doing with the kids, which I do genuinely enjoy).
I have three kids and no idea who I am apart from their mom. I have a vague idea of who I could be, but I am afraid to become fully "myself" because I might have to admit I've made some wrong choices along the way and that I need to deal with the consequences. These consequences could also affect my kids and I do not want anything I do to have a bad impact on them.
I am tired of feeling misunderstood. I don't even feel like my husband really knows me all that well. I understand it's my own fault for not being more open, but I don't really know how to begin being more in tune with myself. I feel like a child lost in the woods.