Thursday, August 16, 2007

What I Really Really Want

Is to be able to say what I think and want and feel. I parse my words for my audience. Some of that is good, polite. Most is cowardice. I am afraid of inconveniencing or offending anyone so I say what I know is going to make people happy. I lie a lot. This behaviour makes me lose respect for myself, as well as getting me into stupid exhausting situations. I want to say my truth and let the chips fall where they may.

If I do say my truth relationships will change. I will stop being a dumping ground for other people's problems. I will have more free time because I will stop doing stuff I don't want to do. I may get more help as I will be asking for it! I will be better informed because I will ask questions until I fully understand something. (Like our insurances and Mark's retirement plan.) I will get better service. I will have more honest relationships. I will get to stop the tiresome task of making up excuses. I will be respected, even by me.

Okay then, how to go about this Herculean task? For starters I am going to begin saying nothing. If I don't have the gumption to say "No" I will say nothing. Or I will get up and leave if I don't like the conversation. I will practise polite "No" phrases. "No thank you." "Kind of you to think of me but no." "Thank you for calling but I am too tired, busy, stressed out, to talk." "Please shut the window, door, music, etc." "This is the wrong size, color, flavor, order. Please bring me another." "No I don't want to." "Leave me the hell alone." Just kidding.

Branded into my soul has been the family motto "Beggars Can't Be Choosers." Conversation with a blessed Ethel yesterday finally drove home in my mind the idiocy of this statement. I told her about my "poor in spirit as well as pocket" relatives and their hang dog attitude toward life. She quickly shot back, "If they were/are poor in spirit and you recognize it, why do you continue to believe their "beggar statement?" Why indeed?

I am not a beggar. Never have been. I am the "righteousness of God, in Christ." I am a chooser. And I choose this day to begin to say my truth. Pray for me as I will for thee.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

P.S. I seem to have bought us a house. We close on the 28th. God help me.


Anonymous said...

I'm reading The Dance of Intimacy (by the same author as the Dance of Anger). Basically, it boils down to this; the more your are yourself in a relationship, the better the relationship. That's really hard for a "people pleaser" like myself to do, but I'm working on it. I've spent most of my life trying to be what others wanted me to be. All I really did was lose myself. The relationships that fall to the wayside because you insist on being yourself, weren't good relationships to start with. We were raised to believe that being ourselves is being selfish, but it's not.


Lori said...

I'm usually polite except when I get angry and I become a very angry person in lots of different ways. (How do I get angry? Let me count the ways.)

I think you will be astonished at how others treat you and how you see yourself when you start saying the truth. You can say the truth in a tactful way. I like your phrase of being respected, even by you.

It's funny you wrote this; just before lunch I was rereading an IM between myself and the guy who lied to me repeatedly. I kept asking why and never really getting an answer and even being told I should have dug deeper on questioning him. Of course, that's bs on his part and his inability to be honest. But it says a lot about me and how I didn't say the truth earlier and how little respect I had for myself and my feelings of distrust, unhappiness, etc. with him. It has followed me in other relationships. So I need to be working on this too. Thank you for reminding all of us we deserve some self-respect from ourselves and others too.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it takes a major event to start telling the truth. After my divorce and at the beginning of my new relationship with my now b/f of 3 years I decided I would always tell the truth since he always did, about eveything, about everyone. My feelings, relationships, etc and if I was mad I would BE MAD. It was nervewracking but I did it. I find that now I get over issues quickly instead of mulling over them for days. I have pursued NEW friends that I completely enjoy who like me for ME. Such a weight off my shoulders. To know that no lies about anything are carried around in my soul.


Nory Roth said...

I think that we truly teach others how to treat us. If we command respect, and deserve it, we get what we deserve. However, and here is the rub, if we have a weak or incomplete sense of self, we may not even be aware of how we deserve to be treated. Hence, the people pleasing and chameleon changes to our personalities. I fall into this category all too often. I rank being "liked" right up there with breathing, and will do almost anything not to offend. It comes from that rotten place within that says "You are already taking up more space than you deserve, fatass, so just shut up and smile!" I really hate that inner critic, and would like her to go away.....

P.S. I have finally put a few posts on my blog -- stop by any time! Would welcome some feed-back.

BigAssBelle said...

oh i recognize this one. in the process of recovery, i began saying no. saying no to AA, where we're told never to say no to the fellowship, was the hardest. my NO was met with great disapproval, manipulation, shoulds, oughts, musts.

i am convinced the motivation was "we want you here because we love you and enjoy your company," but the message was "don't be you."

i have a less difficult time these days carving myself out of daily life. my biggest struggle is with my husband. i want to please because i love him. truth is, he wants me to be happy as much as i want him to be. we are at cross purposes, except that he does not do / say / force himself / act in ways that are not true to him for the benefit of another. never.

how does that happen? in part, i think it comes with the penis. i think that women are encouraged to be nurturers, peacemakers, comfort providers. i read an article recently that noted that, by some huge percentage, the greatest wish of every working woman is to have a wife.

the feminist in me resents the expectations. but the thing in me that wishes to provide comfort and ease and warmth and nurturing to others pushes aside the feminist and says "here, let me help." my difficulty is in being true to that urge to do for, help, encourage, take care of, be kind to ~ and then to be true to the urge NOT to do for, help, encourage, take care of, be kind to.

that's my difficulty. i don't know how to stop. it's as if i confine myself to the role and then can't step out of it. my husband changes roles as easily as he changes shirts. he is true to himself. i struggle with it. some days i wish i were a man.

BigAssBelle said...

oh! congrats on the house :-)