4 a.m. thoughts…I’m not a damsel in distress.

It is February 7th, 2018, 4:20 in the morning.  Today is my half-sister’s birthday.  I haven’t talked to her in over a year but that’s a whole different story for another day.

Once again I fell asleep last night at around 9:30 pm, which is not my usual 11 to 11:30 time.  I have been on this emotional roller coaster the last few days and mental exhaustion has gotten the better of me.  Unfortunately, though, my normal sleep pattern only encompasses about 6 hours of sleep needed, so I have been waking up at around 3 am.  Yesterday, I forced myself to go back to sleep until 6 am and was tired all day.

This morning was different, a person I have been chatting with online sent me a message, so I responded and we chatted for about an hour.  That’s when the issue I usually run into popped up.

During this conversation, he asked why I was having trouble sleeping.  So I explained all the current issues that I’m facing and working through.  He seemed like he cared and understood.  Then the inevitable “I wish I was there to help you…” came up.  So I told him, even if he was here and could help, I wouldn’t accept it and gave my reasons.  I assume he got offended because the conversation abruptly ended. He told me I should go back to sleep.

This is the reason I am alone and have been for quite a while, even during my marriage.

Contrary to what others perceive or think of me, I am not a damsel in distress.  I don’t need someone to save me.  I have been saving myself for a very long time.  I’m not perfect.  The way I handle things probably could be done differently but it was and has always been my choice to decide. It’s my responsibility to fix the issues.

I grew up this shy, awkward kid who already had several strikes against her.  One, I was a female. Second, I am a minority.  These two combined already put me at a disadvantage despite the country I grew up in.  Lastly, I grew up in a household where my mistreatment was overlooked and ignored by an important female role model, my mother.  This did not bode well for me emotionally as I got older.  The self-view did not grow into a healthy self-esteem as it relates to interpersonal relationships. It is something I still struggle with even now at the age of 46.

The culture and the decade I grew up in did not value me as a woman.  It was at the end of the 70’s into the 80’s when women were still viewed as just wives and mothers.  The value we brought to the workplace was not taken seriously and sexual harassment was still prevalent.  Then during the 90’s sexual harassment came to the forefront when Anita Hill accused the Supreme Court Nominee, Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment when she worked under him.  This changed the view on sexual harassment in the workplace, policies were scrutinized and changed.  It was the much-needed change for people everywhere, women and men both.

This was also the time period when I was a newly active duty airman in the Air Force. I was going into a career where I would be outnumbered 25 to 1.  I had a few instances of harassment from both military members and civilian workers while I was away serving my country. These individuals were dealt with swiftly under the newly minted Air Force Policies to minimize harassment.

As I grew up in this mixed up world of how women were viewed not only by men but other women as well, I became this determined, self-sufficient person who knows what her capabilities and weaknesses are.

I have never claimed to be perfect and I make tons of mistakes every day.  Despite this, even on the most depressed days, I fight to find that one positive thing to keep me moving.  It has been a constant life struggle for me both mentally and emotionally.

Yet, in spite of the struggle, I proved myself over and over again to the point where people had to take notice of me, my work and who I am.  Was I always successful? No.  Most times, others would take advantage of my work,  try to claim it as their own and that’s when I would walk away.  As I wrote before, I never was one who wanted to fit into the predetermined box society viewed my place to be.

I have always wanted to create my own box.  Determine my own fit and live by my own rules.  The only issue I face is my own mental well-being.  I suppressed the emotional damage for such a long time by hiding it under the guise of overworking, over scheduling and just not facing it.

Then one day I finally decided it was time to face it, fix it and manage the issues. This process has become this emotional spigot.  It is fully opened, still spilling forth all the hurt, pain, and mistrust. I am still unable to turn it off yet.  I don’t know when that will happen.  I have to let it keep going and slowly stop on its own until it becomes just a drop at a time.

Yet this is still only one facet of who I am.

I am this caring person who feels everything from everyone.  This empathy has been the overwhelming part of my personality and thinking.  The wanting to help everybody and knowing that it is not possible.  People seem to notice that in me. Total strangers will open up to me and tell me their life stories while standing in line at the grocery store.

I take all of this in and it becomes a part of me. It becomes a part of my view of the world.  Sometimes it is too much and I have to shut it off. I have to say no because I am limited on what I can do plus I have an even greater responsibility to my own children.

It makes me feel down when I can’t help yet I know that in order for me to become a more effective change in the world, I need to fix myself first.  I need to accomplish my own goals and find my purpose. No one can do that for me or help me get there any faster.  I have to take it one day at a time just like I always have.  Impatience is a struggle and it becomes frustrating.

So, I don’t need someone to take care of me.  I need someone who cares about me instead.  A person who supports my decisions whether they are right or if they don’t work out.  A person that doesn’t blame me for their own mistakes.  A grown-up person who can hold their own and we grow together.

I want to be there for them emotionally, spiritually, physically and show them, love.  I cannot do this unless they can do same in return.  I don’t want these one-sided relationships anymore.  So love me for who I am and not what you want me to be.  I will do the same.  Know that we can agree to disagree, still be friends, and be there for each other for as long as you want.

It’s sweet and somewhat flattering at times when someone wants to be my knight in shining armor.  Sometimes it’s too much and I tend to lose myself in it but that doesn’t last very long.

I quickly remember that I have own sword and armor.  It’s battle worn and needs some work but I still can hold my own against anything that comes my way.  I have been fighting my own dragons, winning my own battles and leading others for a long time.  So no, I am not a damsel in distress waiting to be rescued.

I am a warrior, a survivor waiting for another person who wants to walk with me.

Thank you for stopping by.

Have a great week!

May peace, love, happiness and good vibes find you this week!

Suzanne

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3 thoughts on “4 a.m. thoughts…I’m not a damsel in distress.

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