Monday, December 15, 2008

You Don't Own Me

So tonight as I lay awake not sleeping, The First Wives Club came on on USA. It is a funny, quirky and interesting movie. But the underlying message is so powerful that we need to remind ourselves of it on a regular basis.

Three women of middling years, are brought back together by the suicide of a mutual friend, once together they discover that their lives while looking good from the outside are pretty horrid in actuality. All of their problems seem to stem from bad marriages and husbands that are leaving them for younger women. Except as the movie goes on they find that yes the men are pretty rotten but their lives suck because they lost themselves.

As women, we do this. Probably from childhood. There are some, such as myself who are people pleasers, I truly want to make people happy. I tend to bend over way too far to accomplish this. When I choose to accept someone into my life I offer them pieces of me in doing this I give them power over me. The power to even control my feelings it would seem. During my childhood I was always told I was too sensitive. So I learned to contain those feelings, to hide them. To make sure no one really knew what was going on. It didnt help obviously, while I learned to smile at just about anything, to face life head on and take it as it came. What I never learned to do was accept myself.

I learned to give pieces of me away, others owned me.... My feelings were no longer mine because if shared they were mocked. So I hid and hurt for years. When I would share this with the handful of people that I trusted I would hear "Oh, you shouldn't give them so much power over you" or "you are just too sensitive". Well first off, if I could stop being the way I am of course I would not give them the power over me and secondly.... see number one. I am a sensitive woman there is no crime in that. I don't ask that you become suddenly sensitve, I ask that you just let me be. sheesh, rock hard emotions are not all that great of an accomplishment. Actually I feel it is a failing and because you lack something the only way to make yourself feel better is to mock those who feel.

It took me years and years to realize that the failing wasnt in me. That I was made the way I am and that those that had issues with my sensitivity had the problem. It took years and years for me to say hey, this is me deal or leave. I left home, where I was loved (baffeled, bemused and confused them all but they loved me) and yet even there I was told to not feel. To not care to not be so sensitive, eventually I entered into a marriage where it was worse. Here I was not loved so while I heard those same words they were abusive and controlling. I was not good enough because I was different.

Finally one day I looked up and realized.... You don't own me... not my family, whom I adore, not my husband, who I showed the door, not the world around me. I am a complex and unique individual. Yes I will always attempt to please those around me but you pushed me out and made me find my feet now you can't say how I do things. Yes I will always feel deeply, never again will I hold those back to make someone else happy. If you want to get to know me, then here I am. No fuss no frills.. but seriously You Don't Own Me.

1 comment:

  1. I understand what you're saying and agree completely. I'm a sensitive person, as is my daughter.

    But unlike my parents, I'm teaching my daughter to stay connected to her feelings and try to guide her with each incident of new pain that she experiences, mostly from other people and peers. It's not easy and at times I can see how it's affecting how she perceives herself.

    If more people were connected to their feelings, I think there would be more harmony among people.

    Have a great day!