For 26 years of my life I felt like a caterpillar trapped in a cocoon. I was trapped by my own fears, secrets, alienation, disloyalty, family turmoil and my antisocial nature.
For 26 years of my life, I was drowning in despair unable to cope with what I was and terrified others would find out. I lived in fear of rejection, failure, and a fear that I would be all alone.
So I adapted my personality to fit whomever I was around. I hated feeling like I wasn’t good enough so I gave everyone what they wanted. I transformed into whatever person they thought I was.
For my parents I was a model child. I behaved myself; brought home good grades and did everything I was told to do
For teachers, I was an excellent student. I listened intently in class; I rarely got into any trouble. I was in the Honor society, received all A’s and I graduated number 5 in my class. Every month I would get most outstanding student from multiple teachers.
For friends, I was a conformist. I was devoted and loyal friend and I pretended like I was a “yes man” saying whatever they wanted to hear all the time.
Eventually it would all fall apart. You see, you can only pretend to be something you’re not for so long. The moment my true safe came out was the moment I would lose all my friends and my sanity as well. It wasn't completely their fault. They thought they were friends with one person but I was someone else. It would leave me in a thick depression unable to be penetrated by anyone. This went on for most of my life.
Until three years ago.
Three years ago I was a lonely depressed caterpillar blinded by my own antisocial despair. I was unable to see the beauty around me. Three years ago I was a child in an adult’s body still stuck in a moment of my life where I felt the most insecure and lost.
Three years ago my mother died and something changed inside of me. It was as if a light had come on in my mind. The pain of losing my mother was great, but is at the moment I realized that I was close to losing who I was as well.
Before my mother died I used to see myself as weak and not strong enough to handle the world around me. I would hide myself at home cocooning myself. Wrapping myself in the safe walls of home.
When she died I did not cower like I thought I would. I wrote her obituary and played an active role in her funeral and realized I was strong enough to handle this. I relaxed. I knew that I could move on with my life. If not for myself, but for my children. I realized that I was not weak, I was strong. That strength caused a transformation in me. Before long I felt myself getting restless in my cocoon wanting to free myself.
After a large move to California, I felt a piece of my cocoon breaking off and fall to the ground leaving me one step closer to freeing myself. I started to open up to people. I was transforming or getting closer to transforming into that butterfly I have always wanted to be.  Though the cocoon has not been fully broken it is not wrapped as tight as it used to be. I don’t know how much longer it will take for me to free myself but I’m getting closer every day.
To transform, to change, to become new.


  1. I love the honesty in your post. I understand that feeling of being who other people want me to be just to preserve the peace. I find myself frustrated that many times around certain people I just can't be me, but instead fall back into the person others think I should be.
    I'm glad you are making that transformation and even though it's not easy, it will be worth it. You will find out that you are much stronger than you ever imagined. :)

  2. Donnee, this is a beautiful piece, telling your truth and celebrating your transformation. I know the feeling of being able to be yourself. I'm glad for you that it didn't take over 50 years, like it did for me.

    Carry on. You can do it. xoA


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