Therapy today was interesting, even though it pushed quite a few buttons. Essentially, if you distill it down to its base, my personality is based on essentially being the Rebel. Too much disapproval. Too much being the pariah, the outcast from society. Too much blazing my own trail.
There are three aspects to myself that most of humanity that meets me face-to-face seems to define me as:
- The Mother/Advisor: Either one, depending on whether they respect me (putting them more as if they were a child) or as an equal, asking for a different perspective. Either way, often when someone looks at me like this, it bothers them when I decide I feel sexy. I become the Madonna of the Madonna/Whore complex that is pervasive throughout our culture. In essence, if i am a respected advisor, that somehow means that I must be sexless as well.
- The Predator: Supposedly when I feel sexy, I get the “look of a predator” in my eyes. I can’t ever seem to get a good description of what that means. I have to assume that it is somewhat similar to the idea of the “man-eater.” The problem I have with this? Out of my actual relationships, only three men I have dated have any kind of problem with me now. We may not be friends, but that is a function of being a fair distance away to be anything more than Facebook friends. I think of them fondly, and they return the favor. One of those is my ex (so it depends on the day and the mood as to whether he dislikes me or not), one basically attempted to destroy my self-worth far more obviously than my ex did, and the last one I found out was in jail for a sex crime. A man-eater on the other hand chews up men and spits them out when they are no longer useful. I don’t use or exploit men in my life. In fact, I rarely can allow myself to ask for help when I need it, before it becomes completely overwhelming and I finally admit I need help because I screwed it up trying to do it alone. It’s one of the things I’m working on in therapy.
- The Controlling Bitch: I have very strong opinions, big surprise. And I usually have sensible reasons for having those opinions. But, given logic and a different perspective, I can be persuaded to change my opinion. But just saying that you don’t agree is not persuasion. If I give you reasons for my opinion, based on my experience in life, and you want to change that opinion, you had better have a persuasive argument. But simply because I am stating that I have an opinion does not mean that I am forcing that opinion on you. Everyone has a different perspective on the world. Everyone has their own subjective reality that sometimes gets caught up in their view of the objective world. As another adult, I assume that you have reasons for your opinions, and I don’t have to agree with them to treat you with courtesy. And your differing opinion does not mean that my opinions are worthless, nor does my differing opinion make yours worthless. But too many people feel that if my opinion doesn’t match theirs, I’m trying to force my opinion on them. I’m not responsible for your shit in your own head.
While sometimes those aspects are part of me, I’ve got so much more of me that make me a fully dimensional person. I’m not just a paper cutout.
Now, when I was in my twenties, I was coming to terms with my rebel. I was learning to be able to be proud of myself, and accept that there was always going to be a certain amount of marching to a different drummer. And I was learning to be able to still be myself, and not be bothered by those on different journeys than my own.
Then I got married.
This isn’t about blaming my ex, though. I am the one who chose to be tamed, chose to abandon my rebellion and become what he needed me to be. I could tell myself that I was still “untamed” even while systematically destroying that part of myself.
THAT is what therapy made me face. I turned my she-wolf into a puppy, because that’s who I thought I needed to be. I took my panther, and declawed her. I clipped the wings of my raven.
Choosing to be tamed meant something else as well. It meant I was no longer willing to take risks. The problem is without taking risks, you can’t reach for the stars.
So, time to get back on that path.