Fighting For Space

I’ve fought for space my whole life.  I used to be quiet.  A shock for those who know me know.  I remember teachers saying I needed to speak up, talk louder.  They would tell my parents I was happy, smiling all the time but was too shy.  I needed to be more assertive.

And alas, I became a talker.  Much like the rest of my family.  I am not sure yet if I was trying to fit in or be seen.  It could have been either.  Introverts are few in my family.  Fighting for air is not.  Yelling over each other, interrupting, even now today we’re much like this, although I am trying to listen more. It’s a work in progress.

Perhaps the more I said, the more I’d get noticed?  I don’t know exactly, but I do know my silence and quiet was seen as a problem.  And then my talking was seen as a problem.  Always too much of something…

So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me to notice patterns of fighting for space in other area’s of my life. In many of my relationships I have been fighting to be seen, to be noticed, to have a space where I fit.

As I learned more about myself, who I am, why I do what I do, I’ve learned that everyone has patterns that repeat themselves in many area’s of their lives. The journey to this place wasn’t an easy one.  Taking off the rose coloured glasses and assessing the landscape.  Who was really there for me? Who really had my back?

Many people see things worse than are; my issue is seeing them better than are.  The goal would be to see them as they are.  As I worked to see things as they really were, my patterns, my behaviours, my belief systems all worked hard to protect an image that I had created.

I have a habit of finding fault with myself, finding ways to blame myself, even for things that are clearly not mine to own.  And I’ve found myself surrounded with people who lay the blame at my feet for their short comings and I’d wear it, like it was my own.  In some way I suppose if I could absorb their pain, then they wouldn’t experience it.

I have always felt other people’s pain at a high level.  I’ve never understood it, but I have.  And it’s a part of why I withdraw and shut down.  What I felt from people a lot was pain and emotional turmoil and I’d do things to help them but they’d just find more ways to show you how you didn’t measure up.  Eventually I emotionally withdrew and had superficial relationships.

But as human beings we need connection.  At a deep level.  I had plenty of achievements, but no fulfillment.  And the search for me began.

As I healed my old wounds, I began to see more clearly.  I knew I deserved better than this but I’d also wonder what I did to deserve it?

Self blame is a hard one to crack, but as the old hurts heal, it happens naturally.  You start to realize you deserve better, to be treated better, to have healthy relationships.  I’ll never understand it, because in my darkest hours I was still there for those who needed me, the ones I called friends and family.  I understand hurt people hurt people, but if I keep enabling them, how can they grow?

Just because they’re hurting doesn’t give them the right to hurt others.  When we cushion the blow because we’re afraid of losing the relationship if we speak up, we’re doing them a disservice, we’re removing their lessons, and their opportunity for growth.

I asked myself “who cushioned my blow?” No one.  When I fell, I landed hard.  And it was that rock bottom that forced me to grow through it.  Cushioning, taking blame, not speaking to hold onto a relationship isn’t going to make it better.  I’ve learned over and over again.

I’ve been a doormat at times- not saying what needed to be said.  Letting the elephant in the room live on.  Sometimes I’ve stood up for myself out of anger and that just isolated me further.  Other times I’ve stood up for myself out of self respect, I was still made wrong.  The only difference this time was, I knew I wasn’t wrong. This time I could see their hurt and also see something else – a need to be right, an inability to own their part.

As I continue to find ways to love and respect myself, to set boundaries, I can see how few I had in the past.  Asking to be treated with respect, asking for a space in a person’s life shouldn’t be that hard.  If I have to fight for it, I don’t want it. If I have to be wrong so you can be right, I don’t want it.  If I have to dull who I am to fit your model of the world, then I don’t want it.

I want real people, raw people in this life with me.  I want people who can be with in the dark, who can hold my hand there, but also celebrate with me in the light.  As Rocky said “it aint all sunshine and rainbows“.  Life is hard at times.  Every day isn’t going to be amazing. I want to be surrounded by people who can be with me through it all and I can be with them through it all – through the dark days and the happy days and the soul wrenching days.

There is no dress rehearsal, this is life. We don’t get do overs.  We don’t get to go back and do things differently.  We can’t be there later for people when we weren’t when they needed us.  We can’t pretend that away.  We can’t take back words hurled in anger.  We can apologize and do better.  But the dynamics change forever and we have to either learn a new way or we have to let go.

I’m done relationships with people who don’t see me or want to see me.  I’m tired of fighting for space in people’s lives who will never see my value.  And mostly, I’m tired of my own fucking bullshit story of not being good enough, of always being wrong, of always being flawed that keeps me playing small in this life.

I’m here.  I’m in this.  No fake. It’s real. It’s raw and it’s unfucking censored.  I’m done fighting for space.  If I mean something to you, then you can fight for me for once.  I’m going to let those who care about me fight for a chance to be in my life.  Because I’m fucking amazing.  I’m loyal to a fault. I have high expectations and big god damn dreams.  And I won’t shrink those anymore so I can fit into someone else’s story.

If you can’t handle all of me, you can’t have any of me.

Maybe I’m too much for some.  Maybe I’m too honest, too real, too raw.  Maybe when I shine the light in my darkness they can see theirs.  Perhaps that makes them uncomfortable.  If they can’t see it, if they pretend it’s not there, they don’t have to deal with it.

But I am not here to make things comfortable.  My very existence is challenging for those who want to be comfortable.  A blind eye to some is “safer”.  I ask, safer for whom?  Certainly not those suffering at the hands of the ones our silence protects.

I AM a Wild Souled Woman.  I am not here to fit the mould.  I am here to break it.  And to do that I have to move though my own darkness, my own challenges, I have to shed the old and welcome the new and that means taking off those rose coloured glasses.  It means seeing things as they are, not worse and not better.  It means speaking up when I want to shrink.

It means putting myself out there and inviting in new relationships with people who challenge me, who lift me up, who have my back, who see my worth and want a space in my life.  It means letting go of things that no longer work and sometimes that’s people who want you to dull your sparkle, to know your place, to sit down.  It means being willing to be seen, to be misunderstood, to be judged by those who prefer comfort over growth, who prefer silence over truth, who prefer to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to that which they don’t want to see.

There’s no turning back now.  I’ve answered the call of the wild.  I’ve been shedding layer after layer of that which isn’t me to get to the real me.  I will not dull my shine so someone else can shine brighter.  I will not silence the truth to make others comfortable.

I am here.  Wild & Free. If I’m “too much” for you, you should consider asking yourself, why?

Tonya

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