Monday, July 28, 2014

You deserve respect

This VW is in no rush to do or be anything but what it is: awesome.
You do not deserve to be rushed. You deserve a right to your feelings. You don't have to blindly say, "how high?" the second someone tells you to jump. This bit of wisdom coming to you from the formerly boundary-less girl otherwise known as me. 

It is still a bit uncomfortable for me to take a stand for myself even in the small areas. It still feels like sinning. I don't mind being transparent, so I'll share something that happened two months ago.

It was mid May, and I was out with K buying balloons for my niece's birthday party. So K left the shop while I was checking out with the cashier. While collecting my change, I saw K through the shop window pacing. I knew he didn't like to wait, and I knew how exasperated he gets. He gets angry at the drop of a hat, and anger unfortunately is a PTSD trigger for me.

So instead of carefully putting my change in my snap purse and my money in my wallet, I stuffed it in my bag and took the balloons and walked quickly out of the store. But as I did so, I got mad. The money could have easily slipped out of my bag while I crossed the parking lot. And I hated feeling rushed. By the time I got to the car, I was fuming inwardly.

I realized for the hundredth time that the dynamic between K and I is pretty much the same dynamic I had with my father the Patriarch. K gave me the angry treatment for taking a few too many extra minutes gathering the purchases together, just like the Patriarch would have. And yes, K does explode if I try to speak up about his anger, just like the Patriarch did. K does not allow me to show emotions other than the ones he approves. I am not allowed to show the slightest hint of healthy anger around him. I'm not allowed to cry around him. He yells at me and threatens me until I stop, even if I go to a distant room, shut the door, and try to muffle my crying in a towel. He finds me and yells. I am only allowed a few emotions. Complete submission and compliance to his wishes is one acceptable way I'm allowed to be. I'm also allowed to be happy, but if I'm not showing this on the outside, I am resented or shamed.

I have lived in fear of K for quite some time. But I recently have been reminding myself that I will not be punished by God for speaking up for myself in front of either of them. Still, my knowledge of this hasn't yet translated into courage to speak up to K on a regular basis. His angry responses still do cause me to decide to stay quiet instead of speaking up. So on this particular day, I didn't say anything.

But next time, I will. People will push you only as far as you allow. I have a feeling that my ingrained fear of the Patriarch has created a fertile ground for K to behave just as the Patriarch did with no repercussions. I wonder if I didn't have such non existent boundaries, would K have treated me more respectfully from the beginning?

So, back to the shopping excursion. When we got home, I opened up the back car door and leaned over to get the balloons. As I was gathering the balloons, K suddenly asked me to look at something on the mailbox. I looked over at what he was pointing to, and in that second, I felt something sliding through my fingers.

One of the balloon strings was sailing upwards, and I reached out to grab it, but it escaped. I was mad because I realized that I still give immediate attention to what someone else asks me to do, even if it is a detriment to my own task at hand. It's like just because a man asks me to do something, this means his needs are automatically more important at the moment than mine, no questions asked. That's not healthy.

This too is a subconscious habit ingrained in me by the Patriarch. I see that I still haven't shed it to the degree I'd like.

So here are few affirmations I am going to practice:

My needs are important. I have a right to move at my own speed. I don't need to blindly obey a man just because he's a man.

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