Achilles’ Heel


Achilles

It’s not every day that we admit to or decide to face what we fear the most. I’ve often wondered why that is. Is it out of pride? Reluctance? Anxiety? Fear of the aftermath having faced the fear? It’s a complex business which is daunting but important to do. Writing this post put me in two minds: firstly I’m about bare all with whoever is reading this post. Secondly, it’s the first time that I’m going to put what is in my head and heart into words. In addition, I’m aware that some individuals may choose to use this against me; oh well.

The story of Achilles and his downfall gave rise to the popular saying: “Achilles’ heel.” It’s a phrase that I’ve always loved thinking about because I love the story behind it. Whilst an Achilles’ heel is mainly referred to our feet, it’s a concept which can be applied to the way we view ourselves. I don’t have a six-pack or ripped abs. I’m not model thin with striking features and a neverending sum of money in the bank. I’m an ordinary every day person who, like many others, is on their journey through life. Sometimes it’s full of sunflowers and happiness. Other times it’s dark and full of thorns.

I firmly believe that struggle and having to get back up after a setback, makes us into the person we are supposed to be. If that makes sense. Everyone has their own version of an “Achilles’ heel” and it can be almost anything. For me, it’s these poisonous six words: “You are exactly like your mother.” Even seeing that written down makes me feel deeply unsettled. When it’s said to me, it’s even worse. It’s like someone peeling off a scab and poking at it for fun. After all this time, it still touches a nerve.

I have my reasons as to why those six words manage to shake my core and unsettle me – if I’m strong enough, I’ll write that chapter of my life in a future blog post. When I was younger, I’d do anything to not look, act like or sound like my mum. My younger mind’s reasoning was: “Of course, this sounds stupid and futile – I have 50% of my mother’s genes in my DNA, so on a genetic level I can’t ever fully rid myself of her. But if I can do absolutely anything to not behave like her, I’ll do it.”

That way of thinking ruled me for a very long time and it wasn’t until someone very close to me uttered those six poisonous words at the weekend. It upset me and I cried myself to sleep because I couldn’t handle being compared to the person whom I had tried so hard to not be like. It felt like I had somehow failed myself. That I had let myself down and become the very thing I never want to be. I guess that’s why I called it my Achilles’ heel. But then I started thinking about how I needed to change this way of thinking so that it wouldn’t fully derail me in the future.

Whether I like it or not, there will always be an existing element of my mother in me. It’s something that, with time, I will learn to accept and channel in a different way that’s not so toxic to my well being. I might always be referred to as my mother’s daughter. There may be certain attributes of mine, which may cause others to make a link between us. I can’t ever fully escape her. But instead of letting it dictate my emotions and rule my mind, I can begin to look at it from a different angle. One which benefits me.

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8 thoughts on “Achilles’ Heel

  1. Firstly Thanks for sharing this personal post. I would say you shouldn’t treat the fact that you are like your mother as an Achilles’ heel. The notion of an Achilles’ heel is that it is a hindrance to one self. So ask yourself, are you being hindered? Whether our parents are good or bad, we will definitely inherent some of their mannerism’s. Treat not as an Achilles’ heel but as a baseline of what not to do when you enter motherhood one day.
    Remember, remain positive, love those who genuinely love you and f*uk the rest (within moderation).

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    • I agree and see where you’re coming from, but the fact that it derails me in such a bad way makes it a hindrance to myself. So I really need to either get the last bit of this pain out of my system or build a stronger shield, generally speaking.
      And absolutely!! It’s given me a very strong basis and outline with regards to a future family unit (if that is on the cards in the future). Thanks 🙂 your comment has both made me emotional (in a good way) and uplifted me.

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  2. Good post, as usual. And one I can relate to. As usual. I get told more often than I really need to “You are exactly the same as your father.” That father that everyone is so quick to tell me I’m ‘exactly the same’ as was an alcoholic who took his own life. Thanks people, that’s who I wanna be told I’m the same as! But yea, I get your sentiments entirely. Nicely written.

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    • Thanks for reading it and commenting. I’m so sorry to hear that but I’m happy that you can share that. It’s not something that’s easy to openly talk about because it’s a type of pain which is just indescribable when someone (intentional or unintentional) feels the need to compare you to someone like that. It’s the same case with me, people are very quick to turn around and say to me: “you’re exactly the same” without realising how much it hurts. And it doesn’t just hurt for 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week or a month. It almost becomes a little scar which a scab that comes away easily.
      But one thing we can do is prove their dirty little bottoms wrong!

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  3. I have a weakness. Some tell me it’s a strength.

    I talk. Too much. Way way way too much. I talk fast. And I jump from topic to topic like I have 30 seconds to live and it’s imperative that I tell you the story of the dog I saw on my way home last week.

    Whenever ANYONE mentions it I get both angry and upset. And I clam. I refuse to talk to anyone on the basis that they don’t deserve my nattering. It just upsets me so much.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever be cured or if I’ll ever be loved for this aspect of my personality.

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    • Thanks for the comment! And no way!? I personally don’t find people who talk a lot to be a hindrance or that bad. It depends what they’re talking about and how they articulate themselves.
      I’m sorry that it upsets you so much, people don’t realise how sensitive other people are about certain things and aspects in life. I still find it a bit painful whenever someone casually mentions a divorce, a family break up or how much they love their mother. As you can imagine, Mother’s Day is particularly difficult for me to handle – but it’s something I’m working on.
      I don’t think you need to be cured – if it annoys people, then they’re not really worth having in your life. This is what makes you a unique person and if others cannot see that, sucks to be them!

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