We aren’t who people feel that we are

All our lives we deal with people who have a judgement about us: our parents, teachers, friends, strangers, lovers, coworkers, etc. And vice versa. This does not mean however that we are who they believe us to be. Take for example, the guy I worked with in high school who said “You intimidate men.” I could not comprehend why this was- I was just a normal girl from East Gore, NS. But I carried his sentiment with me for years… trying to mould myself to be more palatable to people – not just men but women too. I didn’t want to be too outspoken, too attention seeking, too smart, too beautiful – in short “too much” of anything that would make others feel less than. So, I often stuffed myself into a box that I did not fit. All the hidden parts of me silently dying away inside. Now, this wasn’t all the time because my true self had the knowledge of how amazing it felt to be truly me, and that feeling of freedom could not be tamed forever. But then some man (or woman) would come along and tell me I was too something or not enough something. “You are too demanding” when I would voice my wants in a relationship. “You are too emotional” when I felt like my needs weren’t being met. “You are being unrealistic” when I would state my dreams of winters in a warmer climate. “Men like ____ (a whole list of characteristics that my friend was convinced were the only way to attract a man – most of which I was not)”....

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