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The Role of a Lifetime by Olivia St. Louis

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I’ve felt like running away at least twice in the last five years. Running far away, to Europe or even Australia, perhaps New Zealand.

I wanted to start a new life, become a new person.

I even changed my name legally and have a variety of aliases on social media I go by. I like this, I like having multiple disguises, multiple personas I can try on.

I’ve always entertained the idea of acting, which would allow this behavior in a legal, non-mental health crisis context.

However, between stuttering, discovering I was a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and being introverted, it would be a stressful job. The filming schedules, interacting with different people, doing takes over and over, not to mention crowded press junkets and all that stuff. The nuisance of the paps and the tabloids, tearing your life to pieces, especially if you have some scandal.

The money, luxury clothes and trips would be something, though.

With the research I’ve done, one of many ‘symptoms’ of having lived with an emotionally immature and/or narcissistic mother is wanting to be ‘famous.’ Once, I posted something about the desire to be ‘famous’ in a Facebook group for adult children of narcs and many, many people responded with a resounding ‘yes!,’ that fame was on their agenda.

Like me, they didn’t know how or when they’d make it big, but they always had that desire to ‘be someone’ at the back of their mind. It wasn’t until I pointed it out that it made sense to them.

This longing is the result of not being ‘seen’ and ‘heard’ by your mother, who was likely wrapped up in her own troubles and woes of the past.

My mother was an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA) and, bless her for trying her best and providing a material life for me, she could have had a better emotional bond with me. Being a Highly Sensitive child, I was always catering to her emotional needs.

She parentified me, telling me all her childhood woes of living with an alcoholic father. I was also overly vigilant for a bad look or some subtle gesture that I’d done something wrong.

Now two decades later, in the long process of healing, I realize that was all on her. In this process, I realize I don’t know who I am, never having the opportunity to find myself as a child.

I’m working on trying to find out who this lost woman is. I’ve bought fake piercings. I have fake tattoos. I bought hair lightener. I bought a Brazilian bikini. I plan to try out the halo eyeshadow look.

It’s pathetic and sad to do this when I’m thirty and not in my twenties, but I don’t care. I’ve been playing a scripted role my whole life, it’s time to become someone real.

Olivia’s Bio:

A native of Ontario, Canada the author enjoys being a cat mom, a full time freelancer and fiction writer. She has written for plenty of blogs: The Canadian Stutter Society, The Haven, Aroga Yoga, The Hisdoryan, Women Writers Women’s Books, Visibly Affirming, Rebelle Society, Historic UK, A Tribe of Women, The Good Men Project, and Elephant Journal. She has also contributed to the No Shame Mighty newsletter and the pandemic made website View From My Window.  Visit Olivia’s website at


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