I have been reading a story from Humans of New York, the latest story about a woman who was expected to be a submissive wife to her mentally and physically abusive husband. She finally escaped to start a new life, and she is now telling her story. And I wonder how many other women have been through similar? Many.
And I think that is why it has taken me so long to find the love of my life, because I have never been submissive, or subservient, or controllable. I was raise by a strong feisty woman to be a strong feisty woman. But strong women like that are not appreciated and we make many enemies. I have been told by so many men that I needed to me “tamed,” so I would do what they wanted. Or they would just come in and try to tell me what to do with my life, what they wanted me to do how how they thought I should do it. I didn’t listen. It is my temperament to do exactly the opposite. It is my temperament to instead be rebellious.
As you can imagine, this hasn’t always won me the most fans. And there have been plenty who didn’t like it and offered sharp criticism. Everyone from boyfriends, to friends, to bosses even. But that’s OK. A strong women doesn’t care what others think because she won’t need anyone’s approval. I’ll let you in on a secret – no one’s opinion pays the mortgage, so I know where to tell them to stick it.
An ex I lived with tried to control me and break the strong-willed disobedience out of me for 3 years. He didn’t succeed. He did get an assortment of shoes thrown at him. Another man actually beat me to get me to “obey.” That didn’t work either and he ended up being slapped with a lifetime restraining order among other things. In an effort to break me down and control me, my last ex criticized me, called me dumb and said that my writing was stupid. He said I could never be as smart as he was as a healthcare manager. I now make more than he does with my “stupid writing” while he works at some tiny hospital in the middle of nowhere.
I have been accused of being controlling because I don’t want to be controlled. I have been accused of wanting someone take care of me, because I would not bend to their will (I take care of myself, thankyouverymuch). I have only depended on a man once, who used his money as a weapon of control. After that I vowed I would never be in that position again and would always have my own money. And I have. Again, the whole rebellious thing.
Others have said that I cannot do anything right and am crazy for trying to be a writer, saying needed to settle down and be realistic. One “friend” criticized me and called me tempestuous, adding that if I would just do as I was told my life would be much easier. One manager, after I caught him lying, mismanaging, and blaming others for his mistakes, told me that I was stupid and he was going to make me take an IQ test. I now make more than he does too (And he recently visited this blog). Why would they criticize my passion and feisty nature? Who knows. Some are jealous, some feel threatened, some are those who will try to break others down to feel better about themselves. Why doesn’t really matter, because there is no reason to stick around long enough to care. Whatever it is, it’s their problem. Again, the rebellious nature of caring more about your own self worth than putting stock in the opinions of others.
It is this same rebellious nature that has made me successful in writing. The fact that I don’t care what anyone thinks or says of me. It is this same nature that has made me succeed when everyone said I couldn’t and wouldn’t. And it is this same nature that finally led me to that man, the partner I had prayed for for so many years.
So if you are rebellious, independent, and strong, you will get a lot of hate and animosity thrown at you. And some of it will hurt, because some of it will be from people about whom you you care and thought were on your side. It’s easy to say that you should ignore them and move on, but it will sting first. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it. Because when you look back, you will see this amazing life that you have built on your terms, without compromising yourself or your values. and it’s ok if you start out small at first. If you build up your confidence little by little. Rome wasn’t build in a day, neither was the Eiffel Tower, and neither is a different life. It’s Ok to take your time. Be patient with yourself, because at least you are trying, and many don’t even do that.
And what about love? That is one of the hardest things, because most men do not appreciate a strong outspoken women and don’t know what do with them.
Indeed, it takes a strong man to know how to handle a strong woman. The man I am with now is amazing. He doesn’t try to control me, and he doesn’t allow me to control him either. And more importantly, he understands that I do not want to control anything or anyone, I simply want to work together to make a life. He gently helps me channel my energy into accomplishing our goals. He challenges me to do better every single day, not by telling me what to do, but by simply trying every day to be a better man himself. He leads by example, not by force or control. He inspired me every day, and every day I love him more because he accepts me as I am. You may think you will never find him, a man like that, but you will. He is out there, I promise. Don’t compromise or settle, no matter how lonely it gets or how discouraged you become.
So ladies, be strong, be feisty, be tempestuous. Don’t worry about the criticism you will receive, or about those whose friendships you lose. You don’t need them, you need people who are strong enough to handle your strength by being strong with you. You do not need anyone’s permission to forge your own path. It will be a lonely path at times, maybe even dark in a few spots, but you will come out just fine. Because you breathe fire. Enough to light your own path and scare away those who would do you harm.
Life is short, too short to be controlled. Don’t listen to the naysayers or care about those who no longer have your best interest in mind. Let go, carry on, and succeed brilliantly so dreams fall like rain.