This post is part of SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday, with Linda G. Hill). The word prompt is “Yes”.: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/24840312/posts/1228591316
(Basically, I’m supposed to write whatever comes into my head, using the word “yes”. Meaning, no re-writes, no editing…just let it flow, baby)
“Yes”. I grew up only saying “yes”. I never said “no”. Don’t get me wrong, I often felt like saying “no”, but it never worked out that way. Even if I didn’t actually utter the word, “yes”, I said it with my actions, or more often, lack of action. I didn’t learn how to say “no” until I was almost an adult, and even then, it was difficult.
Why “yes”? That’s a good question. It became so routine, I just figured “that’s the kind of girl I am”. I had no answer to why I never said “no”, why I never stood up for myself, why I was so submissive. “It’s just the kind of girl I am”. I hated being that girl, but was powerless to change her. I was raised in a generational household where children were seen and not heard. Talking back was not an option. We were permitted to have two emotions, “happy” and “sad, when appropriate”. My dad had no ill intention with these rules, it’s just how he was. Raising kids isn’t easy, and he certainly had no manual. Even if he did, I doubt there would have been a chapter on “how to raise your kids when your wife moves across the country”. That being said, my mom could’ve used the chapter on, “How to raise your kids when you yourself were raised by an alcoholic and a schizophrenic”. Too bad there was no manual for us kids, either. I could have used the chapter, “how to grow up normally when your mom moves across the country”, or “how to say no when a family member touches you”, or “how to say no when you’re treated like Cinderella” (meaning Cinderella at home with her stepmother, not at the ball). Hmmm….looks like if there ever is a manual to be made, they should make the kid’s version first. Parents are probably too busy and too damaged to read theirs, anyway.
I’m an adult now. I’m a parent now. I know how to say “no” now, though only recently, have I learned to say “no” when it really counts. When it’s about me and my rights and my body and my values and morals. I’m turning 45 years old this Monday, and I just now learned how to say “no” to people who crush my spirit. That’s a long time. But not as long as “never”, so I can’t complain. Learning how to say “no” has changed my life. It’s changed me. My journey this year has been the most excruciatingly painful process I’ve ever experienced, and it’s far from being over. Tears are being shed by everyone because of my decision to say “no more” and I feel bad that my choices now are affecting people I love. The thing is…I love them, but now I love me, too. If I had to do it over again, would I? “Yes”.
This post is part of SoCS: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/24840312/posts/1228591316