Do any of you feel like people keep telling you not to do stuff?
I feel like I’ve attracted those people all my life.
From my young days when my parents used to tell me not to eat anything people offer you when we go visiting or not to say anything about certain things.
Later it became more personal when people told me not to do things that were part of who I was. Such as don’t laugh like that, or don’t walk like that. Don’t wear that because it shows all your fat or your big bum or too much cleavage.
When I liked a girl I was told not to meet up with her cos she was bad for me. With friends I was told not to trust them from a really early age and now I just feel alone.
When my manager pinched my arms until they were blue to show me who is boss, I was told not to do anything about it, to walk away. I didn’t.
When I got my first job, I was told not to tell anyone I’m epileptic because people would judge me. Instead I wrote an article about it.
My first boyfriend used to tell me not to do things all the time. He’d see my tweets and say don’t tweet about that. Or don’t write about that.
It feels like my life was full of people telling me not to do things. Don’t do this, don’t say that, don’t shake your legs, don’t fidget, don’t write, don’t draw like that…
And it was usually something that benefitted them and not me.
If I said why I’d just be smacked down with something stupid. Something like it’s annoying or you’ll only get hurt or it will reflect badly on me or you’re not allowed to.
Theres also the male female power dynamic where men constantly try to control you by putting you down. Calling you weak or crazy or over sensitive or asking you if it’s that time of the month when you have an outburst. Changing the argument to what’s wrong with you rather than dealing with the issue.
I realised last night that my current boyfriend did that a lot. It was subtle and brought on by his past and his beliefs. But when he does it, I feel my mood crash without realising it. For example, we went out somewhere and I’m an Explorer who will go everywhere but he’ll be cautious and will stop me saying we’re not allowed to even if there’s no signs that we’re not.
In one of my most beautiful pieces of writing, I explained to a guy why us being in love was inconsequential to our future. I described myself as a bird. Free. Never ready to be chained down.
In the last four years I feel like I’ve become exactly that, chained. I know everyone gets told not to do things. It’s society’s way of keeping us in line. But I took it personally, ever since I was little.
It felt like all people ever told me to do was to not be me.
Being told to keep quiet in a lift instead of appreciating my story. Being told to stop being antisocial and to not spend time in my room instead of working out why I was isolating myself. Being told to not speak at assembly because my voice was squeaky instead of applauding my confidence.
I used to feel like I could escape it all.fly away. Just be me.
I used to crave that freedom. That moment when I can just breathe. But all I feel now is heavy. Heavy from debt. Heavy from past hurts. Heavy from not knowing who i am.
My wings feel torn. My heart wounded. To feel safe, I’ve searched for stability. Ground. A home in which I feel protected. But all the homes I chose were as broken as I am. To stay safe, I’ve hidden who i am.
I am an Explorer. I love adventures. I’m funny and crazy and spontaneous and I don’t care what people think of me.
Before I was too young to realise that people dump their own baggage on you. It’s never about you. It’s all them.
I wasn’t strong enough then to keep flying regardless. To maintain my confidence. To love myself despite how much people put me down or tried to control me.
There is nothing wrong with me.
I am me.
And this year I will regain my muchness. I will not let them tame me.