I didn’t realise how far I’ve come in my journey of self-growth until now. I used to put up with people pushing me around and not respecting my boundaries. I can now set boundaries, and I set a hard one today. Today I wrote the following message to a person who has not been treating me right:
“Actually I don’t like hearing what you say because it’s bullshit. You tell me you “have to be a friend to have friends” and then you tell me I’m self-absorbed, don’t want to help myself/turn my life around, choosing to be miserable and not trying hard enough. How is that being a friend?
Being stagnant and not open to any other views… you do realise the same could be said of you. You seem very fixed in the story mainstream media is spinning about covid (which is full of fear mongering as well). You also seem very fixed on your opinion about me.
I didn’t realise there were strings attached to you helping me that night. I do the best I can to maintain relationships with the conditions I have. I’m sorry it’s not been good enough for you. I have also not been investing too much into our friendship as you have not been respecting me/my boundaries (insisting that I speak on the phone when I’ve told you I don’t feel comfortable with this). I’m the one in crisis yet you’re making it all about you. And now quite frankly you’ve pushed me even further away. I am no longer interested in any further contact. I wish you all the best. I’m not looking at any more messages.”
I don’t think this person was expecting me to cut ties with her. She thought that I was all alone and that she was all I had, so she could say whatever shit she liked to me and I would never leave. But I can and I will leave. It’s better to be alone than to be with someone who doesn’t respect you.
I felt so much better after I sent this text. I went for a lovely evening walk by myself, and there was a spring in my steps this time. I didn’t realise how much unhealthy relationships, and not communicating how I feel, was draining the life out of me. I have developed enough self-respect now that I will not put up with bullshit. I can see when I am being manipulated. Letting go of these relationships has allowed more space in my life for healthier relationships. I no longer feel the heavy feeling of having to answer to everybody. I feel my energy is changing and I will start to attract more people who can respect my space and boundaries. I can now be vicious when I need to be. I deserve nothing less than respect and fulfillment.
December 13, 2021 at 11:58 pm
Awww, I am so happy for you. You know I was thinking about your post on your gender identity and I have to tell you that I’ve heard this same kind of thing from women so many times before. A lot of it doesn’t have to do with gender as such but with stereotypes about how people must behave based on gender, or sexual orientation for that matter.
One of those stereotypes that women often take on board without realising it is basically what you just described here. It’s that feeling of social obligation and reciprocity, and forcing yourself to attend to the emotions of other people, especially other women.
But this stereotype isn’t something that MUST be a part of being female. It’s like me with being black… I’m aware of my African heritage and I appreciate it but I don’t walk around in a dashiki or denigrate white people just because some anti-intellectual people tell me I should.
Men tend to get challenged by other men, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. I’ve noticed that women tend to get hostile when other women challenge them, almost as if the challenge itself is an act of hostility. But sometimes challenging someone is the utmost sign of respect. After all, if she’s emotionally stable and intellectually capable, she would be able to see your point of view. If she can’t or refuses to that’s her ethical failing, not yours.
I hope you continue to feel confident for a while. Good luck.
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December 14, 2021 at 4:25 am
Thanks so much counteraplogist1! Interesting