I was 8 or 9, and the name "dog" was the word used most often to describe me by the peers I spent my days with.
We sat in the car. I verbalized my desire to be "cooler" and his reply was a sneer at my clothes and "well you need to get better clothes".
So I believed that the road to acceptance was paved by the clothes I wore.
Through other words and actions I came to believe that my body had to look a certain way in order to be accepted.
And then I had to say the right things,
do the right things.
Say yes to every request.
Keep unpopular opinions, beliefs and parts of me to myself.
So, one by one I swapped out me for some politically correct Stepford Wife. I would let a little bit of myself out to play to test the waters, and then quickly remove it and replace it with something either . . . blank . . . neutral . . . or whatever I believed would be the least offensive thing.
I spent 10 years of my marriage watching super hero movies and claiming to enjoy them.
I didn't. And I don't.
But this is a defining characteristic of my life. He also didn't hear me sing for the first 5 years of our marriage.
Ultimately, it all comes down to me rejecting myself. Because if I accepted myself, it wouldn't matter what anyone else said or implied about the way I am.
This rejection of myself has lead to me seeking out acceptance from others. But the thing is, if I don't have the acceptance already...no amount of getting it from other people will fill the well where my self acceptance goes.
So I'm asking myself a lot of questions. Like, is writing a way that I seek acceptance? Or is it truly something I'm called to do? Do I believe what I say or do I say the things that I know will be acceptable to the people I want to be accepted by? Where have I buried my identity for a more acceptable one?
I don't have definitive answers to all of those things. I'm still soul searching.
I know that I'm supposed to have all of this figured out before I write about it, I've read all the things too. But I'm not Lysa Terkheurst or any of those other women, and I'm not trying to be. I'm just a real lady dealing with real things.
Take it. or leave it. It's up to you.