- Growing up in a Shadowby Jesse James Doty
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Growing up in a Shadow by Jesse James Doty
Story of the Month contest entry

From my earliest recollection, I was always in someone else's shadow. Whether it be my mother, my older brother, or later on my younger sister, I was always in a shadow never realizing my full potential. I am only now realizing, how much damage this has caused.

As I ponder my past, I grow weary of how difficult it was for me...and I want to run away from all the memories that even today drag me down. But face them I must. I can no longer escape my past.

A friend of mine told me to step away from the shadow and let a wave of positive energy wash over me which would allow me to seek the light. Easier said than done, I am afraid. I feel I must first recognize how the shadow has influenced me into being soft and unable to stand up for myself.

From infancy, I was influenced by what is called, Learned helplessness. I was told I wasn't able to do anything constructive and that I couldn't trust my emotions. Rather than teach me the skills necessary to survive, I was left alone and neglected. When they did talk to me, it was to tell me how to feel and how to act, assuming that I wouldn't instinctually know how like a normal child would. I virtually taught myself how to live and get by in this world. How I dealt with my past is one thing, how I deal with the present is another.

So, the present presents itself no matter how hard I try to hold it back. I have the ardent task of finding a couple of new caregivers to replace a long-standing one who has become unable to continue as my main caregiver and clearly wants to retire in the near future.

Am I afraid to step out of the shadows and ask for what I deserve? I know I need to tell myself that I have got the power...yes, I've got the power!

So where do I go from here? I must forge ahead and go with my intuition when it comes to choosing the right pair of caregivers.

I need to realize and accept that I am doing this all on my own and I will have to suffer the consequences if I steer away from my path. Self-growth and self-reliance are the keys to achieving the goals I have set out for myself.


Author Notes
To step away from the shadow is a theory I give credit to Karenina for telling me about. She encourages me to step away from the shadow and into the light.
Thanks, Karenina!


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