Sometimes we KNOW the answers to the issues going on in our lives but it takes friends to help point those things out to us. Perhaps we don’t always want to face those truths because it seems like we are admitting failure or that we’ve made wrong choices. Sometimes it might mean that we really don’t know where we are or why we are there and that can be a very scary thing.
Readily I will admit that I am a handful. I’m a butch lesbian and we’re not always easy to figure out. We are walking enigmas and it isn’t because we choose to be, we just are. We are part of many different worlds and sometimes we don’t even know our feelings. We’re tough on the outside and like melted chocolate on the inside. We cry more than you do. If a butch lets you see her cry…she really trusts you, because like men…we hide our feelings. Part of us feels like we have to be tough. Our estrogen reminds us that we’re girls, sometimes when we least expect it. Most of us wear our hearts on our sleeve and get hurt very easily.
A friend pointed out to me last night that when we are brought up in a Christian society with Christian values, that we are often taught that we should be self-sacrificing – that this is a virtue all should seek to have. We carry this into our personal and private lives to the point of actually being detrimental to our own spiritual well-being. We sacrifice our own needs to please the people that we are with, thinking that this is the right way to go about making relationships “work”. We give to others when we often have needs of our own that are being neglected. Somehow we think that this is okay. We convince ourselves that this is what we must do in order to find happiness. Is it really making us happy?
Ask yourself how many times you have been in a relationship where you felt that you compromised your time, your energy and your feelings without getting much, if anything, given back to you. How easily did you slip into this habit of apologizing for your own feelings? How often have you found yourself in the role of setting aside YOUR time, YOUR wants and YOUR feelings just to be with someone who took those things from you readily without ever offering to give this back to you in return?
The funny thing about those people is that they justify it in a way that makes you actually feel guilty for having your own wants and needs. These people can manipulate you in ways that you don’t even see until DAYS later sometimes. If you are lucky, you’ll see it in days. Sometimes it takes years to realize that you’ve been in a relationship where you gave up so much of yourself just to be with that person. Some times you even question your own thoughts and belief system because they make you feel that your beliefs are somehow wrong, just because they are different from theirs. You find yourself thinking that there must be something WRONG with yourself and your views. You begin to feel as if you are always defending yourself and when you do, the other person is offended by this. It’s as if ‘how dare you have feelings that I don’t share and feel you have the right to express them and make ME feel bad’ and you begin thinking that everything about yourself is wrong somehow.
You begin to change yourself in ways to feel accepted. You convince yourself that you are making positive changes in your life and you rationalize that change is good. You forget that the reasons for the change may not actually be positive. Change is never good when you are doing it to seek acceptance from someone else. In the end you simply feel manipulated and you’ll realize that the person you were trying to ingratiate yourself to really doesn’t care as much about your feelings as you do about theirs and everything is really totally one-sided.
People say that you shouldn’t have expectations or that you shouldn’t do something for someone else and expect something in return. I say that for friendships and in family situations this might hold true, but in a relationship you should absolutely have expectations of reciprocation. If there isn’t give AND take then it simply isn’t a relationship at all…it’s just you trying to make another person happy while they continue to take whatever you are willing to give.
I have more respect for myself than this. I am 44 years old and I have FINALLY reached the point in my life where I am no longer willing to accept that I am here to please someone else all the time while they have no regard for my emotional or physical needs. If you are not here for me when I need you, if you are emotionally unavailable and indifferent to my feelings, then I just don’t need you in my life.
I’m actually quite happy being alone. Eventually, someday someone will come along that understands that I don’t want someone to change me, judge me, evaluate me, observe me, critique me, point out my flaws, analyze me, tell me what’s wrong with me, try to improve me, or expect my time without giving me theirs. I don’t need someone to tell me that they are too tired to think about planning anything with me and put all the planning on me – because it makes me feel that I’m not worth your time or your energy. I AM worth someone’s time…perhaps just not yours. I’m special and I deserve someone who treats me that way and makes me feel important in their life, rather than me always being the one making them feel important in mine. I AM more than an option!