January 30, 2012
Black sheep and old habits...
So, I'm the family screw up. So to speak. I didn't end up as bad as they thought I would, but I certainly didn't follow the "plan". I wasn't a great student, hated school in fact, dated boys I shouldn't have, and wore black...all the time. I did go to college, but I didn't finish, partied far too much, almost married a fella that my dad didn't approve of, and later married a fella that they really didn't approve of. I have tattoos and piercings, and now I'm shacked up with a fella they adore. Pretty much the things I did right were: go to work, join the corps, and have a baby within wedlock.
It hit me tonight, I've been getting bitched at my whole life by one person or another. I was having a "talk" with my honey, he hates those. For good reason; I'm a talker, to the point of annoyance. I was constantly corrected growing up, my aunt often said that everything I touched, I broke. I was loud, fast moving, nervous, talky, and just a general pain. Once I married I was with a man who felt the need to try and "fix" me. At first it wasn't on purpose, but later on it became a conscious effort on his part. I had a close friend back then who also thought I needed to be fixed. In the Marine Corps I was yelled at, ordered around, and disregarded on a daily basis. This has been my "norm".
Until now. It floors me, it weirds me out and I seriously can't get my head around it. My ex stopped talking to me the last 2 or 3 years before he left. Before this, it was common for us to have chats, talks, discussions and all out fights. He knew how to shut me down, that was to shut me out. I live with a man who isn't the talkative type, and that's ok for the most part. He also doesn't believe he should ever reprimand me or fuss at me for spending money on new shoes rather than gas for my truck. He says that I'm a grown woman, I should know how to do things for myself. That simple phrase is the most mind boggling, hand wringing, gut wrenching thing I've ever heard. The initial thought is: "what's the catch??". So far (2 years in) there is none. I actually went to him tonight and asked him to do me the favour of fussing at me for something simple once in a while so I feel normal. I told him to pick something easy like, not doing the dishes or something similar.
He looked at me like I'm crazy. I probably am. For 34 years, I've been told what to do, how to do it, and when to do it by some person in my life or another. To see it in print makes it sound kind of pathetic. I know a lot of that was probably "suggestion" from parental types or those who've "been there", but I'm so well programmed at this point in life that if I'm told, I do. Even at work, I do what I'm told. I have this facade, that...."what's he gonna do? fire me?" attitude, but to be honest, they say jump, I say how high.
I've realized that this thing, this "follow this" notion I have, has caused me to stifle a lot of things about myself. I stopped doing things I enjoyed because my ex didn't like it or found it frivolous. I stifled a lot of my faith because it's not the same path most of my friends and family follow(ed). This has been an eye opening, somewhat rough discovery. I am on a path of constant self-reflection and self-truth. Apparently somewhere along the way someone let me grow up. Not so say I wasn't growing or grown, it's just that someone finally noticed. I might have a whacked-out system, but it's my system. So far it's kept me out of jail, with men who didn't/don't abuse me, with friends who love and respect me, and raising a healthy, not completely mental girl child. Maybe I don't need as much direction as I've been lead to believe. Or maybe I just need to learn to pick and choose what direction I do take and trust my gut more. Either way, another lesson learned!