Growing up I’ve always been told contradicting things, like how strong and independent I was and then that I had a big mouth and needed to know my place. I was deliberately not allowed to learn how to cook and clean but then I was scolded when I didn’t want to clean. Everyone always had high expectations, high standards for me and nothing less was understood.
I’ve always had to be strong, be a fighter, stand up for myself but, it’s not because I am these things. I suffer from anxiety and depression and low self esteem, I am not confident and strong by choice, it’s when push comes to shove and I have to stand up for myself because otherwise, who is going to do it? No one else has ever fought for me. I guess that’s why I am an adult still waiting for someone to fight for me.
I remember when I was in sixth grade, I was having a hard time with math. Now mind you, I was always at the top of my class and very smart but, for some reason, math in sixth grade was hard for me. I asked my teacher for help and I was told that I was not trying hard enough and that’s what my problem was, not that I didn’t understand. I was caught off guard. My teacher, the person that is supposed to guide me, teach me, basically told me I was being lazy and refused to help me. She told me to try harder and I would get it. Because of her I started to hate math and til this day it is my worst subject and I have no interest in it. It also made it hard for me to ask for help after that. If I didn’t get something, I didn’t ask, I just did my best and accepted whatever grade I got.
I am very opinionated but I do my best to be respectful of other people’s feelings. Most of the time my family is all for me speaking my peace but, I see now that it’s only if we are in agreement, if not, I am always asked, pleaded with to be the one to take a step back, to swallow my pride for the greater good. I can tell you that no one is ever asked to do that, only me. It’s always me that has to cave. I’m tired of being treated differently, of being held to different standards. I had to be the best at what I did or loud or something to stand out because otherwise, the boys in my family were the automatic favorites. I don’t know why and nothing can change it but, it’s the truth. Poppa fawned over my brother but, I got told that because of how vocal I was, how strong of a woman I was, that I was never going to get married, never going to find a man that would put up with me and after I had Jeremiah, he told me I was going to die an old maid. I guess maybe he did have a point with that but, who says that when the boys get an atta boy all of the time?
So, without going into more detail that I just cannot or I will be up all night with my thoughts, I see now why I so desperately want someone to pick me, to fight for me, to stand up for me, because no one ever does. Only me. I am the only one that advocates for me and it’s been that way for too damn long. I think we all need one person in the world that is always going to choose them – right or wrong, they are going to choose them, stand up for them, get into a fight defending their honor, whatever it is. We all need it. I need it. I wish I didn’t, I wish I was as strong and independent and as confident as I put off. I am working on it, I am and I will choose me, I am choosing me now but, it’s not the same. I will continue to fight for me, I will continue to advocate for me, to be strong for me. At this point, it’s what I am used to.
You don’t understand how dark and twisty you are until something triggers you. I am on this journey and I am paying attention to everything, analyzing everything and that’s how I realized this today. I hate how it came up but, it explains a lot about me. I now understand why I’ve felt that I had to grow up at such an early age, why I am the way I am. Now that this is out in the open, I can heal and hopefully start to move past it. I’m a fighter. I don’t ever give up.