What We Believe of Ourselves

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I want to follow up on yesterday’s post.  Again, I’ve been hyper-sensitive and emotional lately and not feeling really supported.  But as I thought through things, I realized that the comments made by my husband and son hurt me because I took them to heart.  And then I realized that I took them to heart because I felt a kind of truth in it.  So the full story is simple.  We were with some friends and they were completely joking about a situation we have with a neighbor.  I told them to contact the city rather than incurring any liability on themselves and one person off-handedly said, “You don’t have to be a party pooper.”  Again, that part was in jest.  Without missing a beat, my husband said, “That’s just who she is.”  I felt like he slapped me.  I’ve spent years cleaning up after him, watching him get into messes I’ve begged him to avoid, finding ways to support us through everything, bearing the sole financial responsibility.  And this is how he views me.  The truth. 

As I mentioned above, it took it to heart so much because I felt the truth of it myself.  I’ve spent a lot of years proving myself, that I could be serious.  I’m short and cute and look more like your kid sister than your boss and it’s very easy for people to mistake my role if I’m not “on” 100% of the time.  Hell, even in the middle of meetings I’ve had people space out or completely change the subject.  I’ve done complete presentations, innovative and professional and the only take away is “She’s so tiny,” only to have the idea implemented later by someone else.  My confidence is still not high—and if it is, it’s incredibly fragile.  But the point is somewhere between we behave how we feel about ourselves and people respond accordingly and sometimes you can simply be at the wrong address.  Your power, who you are is great, it’s just not for the people you’re with.

I’ve been in a cage running around simultaneously looking for an escape and trying to please people.  Burying myself under the pressure of proving my worth.  I’ve spent so much time angry because people haven’t received me as I see myself.  No matter what I do, I’m the short girl.  I can be standing in a room screaming the message and all they see is the tiny one making a fuss again.  But how people see us is something none of us will ever have any control over.  How people see us is a reflection of their experiences and their interpretation.  Logically that doesn’t bother me in the slightest.  But emotionally, mentally when you’re trying to accomplish something and it feels like everyone misses the point and they even take your ideas into something of their own, it hurts.  And when you support someone through everything and they turn around and call you a drag, that is being used at its finest.      

The good news about being this low is that the truth has been revealed and that shifts reality.  That is a place I can work from.  I can make changes from there.  I can take steps from there.  And, after 20 years of being with someone, there are always bumps in the road, but now I can make a different decision.  I am no longer interested in making myself what other people expect of me.  I may feel like a million different people depending on the moment, but I am not.  I am singular, I am me.  I have gifts that need to be shared and work that I love to do.  I have one shot, the same as anyone else, and I deserve it the same as anyone else.  I’m not here for your convenience, I’m here because I deserve to be.  The sooner I can take that on, the sooner this confusion goes away.

Things change on a dime all the time, my friends.  Often in unexpected ways.  We can’t make people see things our way and we can’t even make them see the things THEY DID in our way.  They have to have a level of self-awareness to understand how their actions impact other people and if they don’t have that, then they won’t be able to co create on the same level.  Even with decades spent together, things evolve and we have to let them be.  We have to let go of what we thought we knew, of who we thought we wanted to be, of memories made…and it hurts.  But it is all in the sake of moving forward.  And tearing the band-aid off is often the most painful part, but once that happens, the healing can move to the next level.  We don’t need the safety of the cover any longer, we are strong enough to take care of it on our own.

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