You know, I really don’t write for an audience. I’m trying to get to know myself better…if any part of that journey is interesting to people (or helpful in any way), I’m glad, but I don’t honestly think (usually) about an audience.
I realized today that someone found my blog by searching for “how do I stand up for myself?” That makes me a little sad. It makes me wish that I could reach out to that person, to help that person. Of course, then I realize I haven’t been particularly good at that myself. I don’t know that I CAN help with that particular problem.
I like to think I am getting better about standing up for myself. I have recently laid down some boundaries (or “rules”) for my family, since they seem to have issues with trying to run my life. But it has taken time to get to the point that I could even THINK about doing this. Time – and a fair bit of it. Yes, better late than never – but that isn’t much comfort if my searcher above is a young adult. And it wasn’t any comfort to me when I was a young adult, to think that maybe “I’ll get to that point SOME day, at some point in my life.”
All I can say is this, you need to respect yourself and your sanity at some point to let people know that their behavior is…inappropriate, hurtful, a problem. You don’t have to be rude (well, not necessarily – with some people you DO have to be rude because they don’t hear anything else). Generally speaking, you can start off by just stating the facts – and NOT accusing. I finally reached the point with my family that I had to ask them to back off a little because I was having trouble dealing with the added pressure. They really didn’t realize what they were doing to me and have respected my request.
I don’t know why it took me so long, or so much pain, to make the request. No one took it poorly (well, ok, my mother was rather put out – but you know what? She got over it.). It didn’t really hurt anybody – and the relief for me was incredible. I wish that I had been stronger when I was younger. I wish that I had been able to disagree more forcefully with those around me and stood up for myself better when I was younger. I could have avoided so much pain and suffering.
Well, I guess all that I’ve gone through has made me who I am today, so I can’t regret too much. I like who I am for the most part. And it does no good to look back and say, “What if…”.