Tag Archives: diy

Lesson #7:

Cinderella was right

I am shamelessly addicted to watching criminal suspense documentaries/series on streaming services. In one of our recent conversations, my best friend and I were talking about why we love it so much and I came to the realization that I am always actively searching for what predators know about me, that I don’t even know. In a strange way, I think if I learn something then I will be less likely to become prey. Let me explain, if you’ve ever seen “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” there is a line in the movie that has stuck with me for years. Martin says to Mikael, “it’s hard to believe that the fear of offending can be stronger than the fear of pain. You know what? It is. And they always come willingly.” I have only seen the movie once (it was hard for me to watch – beware!), but I remember those words because I started to frantically search through painful memories for all the times that my fear of pain had been overridden and came to the harsh realization that this was true. How could predators know more about me, than I noticed about myself?

Women were gifted with intuition and it is something that I very strictly try to follow in my life. When I say intuition, I am referring to my ability as a woman, to be able to assess a situation without knowing all of the answers and details. Before logic is ever entered into my brain, I already have an unexplainable reasoning for why I feel a certain way. I try to foster that within my daughter in the small ways that I can. Oftentimes our fear of pain stems from not trusting the person we are around. Last year she did not feel comfortable sitting on Santa’s lap and I did not force her to take the traditional crying baby photo. We walked up as close as she felt comfortable to Santa and she watching him as he spoke with other children. She was doing her own assessment of the situation; I never want her to override her fear of pain for fear of offending someone. You will never find me forcing her to hug or touch a family member (I always offer a high five alternative) because I want her to be able to trust her gut of who she can feel comfortable around.

Then there are other people who are just simply amazing like my sister, Samantha. Samantha has this amazing gift where she can feel people’s energy (stay with me, I promise it’s not all hippy dippy). You could have a beaming smile, come skipping into the house and she is able to pick up on your energy and will know if you’re scared, overwhelmed, frustrated all without saying a word. I hope it’s a trait she trusts as she grows older.

I bring this up, because I have found that time sin my life that I have gotten into the most trouble is because I went against my fear of pain. I didn’t want to offend the guy at the club that was getting overly touchy with me even though I was afraid he was going to hurt me if I asked him to stop. When the stranger came up at the gas station to talk to me and ask for money, I gave them money so they wouldn’t be offended if I just walked away. Because of this, I have a very strict 2:00am rule. If you know me in real life you know how strict I am with this rule. My close friends will joke that I turn into a pumpkin, like Cinderella, at 2:00am and vanish.

A couple years ago I went to Nashville to work on a certification for a week. That Friday night, everyone decided they would go out to Broadway Street to celebrate. Drinks were flowing, great country music was playing and like Cinderella, I looked down at my watch and saw it was 1:50am. I just left the bar, and did not tell any of the strangers in my class where I was going and then I was leaving. I know how irresponsible that sounds, I just felt safer leaving then going back into the bar and potentially stalling my steadfast “nothing good happens after 2:00am” rule.

I say this because I care about you, and through personal experience I can tell you that setting boundaries for yourself is healthy. Especially for my women reading this, think about the times in your life where you have put yourself in a compromising situation – do you find any truth in our human reaction not wanting to offend someone overrides our animal instinct fear of pain?

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Lesson #3:

Mind reading is the work of magicians, not men.

When you get married, you lay the baggage of your childhood at your spouse’s feet. You become your most vulnerable self and you build the foundation of your marriage on that. You look to your spouse in the eye and say that even after knowing all of their trauma and regrets – I love you. I’ve heard a few friends talk about how people change after marriage, and while I do not believe that to be all together true (maybe we just pay attention more once the parties and honeymoon are done) I think there is a sense of relief that comes when you are vulnerable. My husband is not an emotional person and if you ask his friends and family they will tell you that they have never seen him cry. He always masks a smile or a joke to cover up his feelings. I don’t remember a time where he wasn’t the class clown, but the truth is I see someone completely different. I know the man that balled his eyes out when the nurse said “Congratulations Daddy” in the hospital after our daughter was born. I know the man that was so upset after seeing something horrific at work, that came home and put his head in my lap and cried. As we grow older and further along in our marriages, maybe that seems as though your spouse as changed – try to see it as you have been trusted with seeing more of the real them.

My type A self, is a planner and I struggle a lot with asking for help. I know that in my marriage, the load is meant to be shared with my husband but oftentimes I feel like if I ask for help it means that I am not capable or worthy of the responsibility. I find comfort in pain and struggle in a strange way. For instance, I feel as though if I do not make sure that the house is picked up, the floors are mopped, the dishes are done, the laundry is prepared and the linens are clean and the house is ready for the next day I am not worthy of having this family to take care of. I would rather suffer hours of sleep and stress than tell my husband, “I need help.” It is a personality trait that I consciously try to work against and struggle with. The overwhelming need to want to take care of everyone and be the one who can be relied upon is due to my own childhood trauma.

I am not going to change overnight and I know this about myself. I am open with my husband about how I am feeling and he knows me well enough when to notice when I need him to carry the load until I can catch my breath. If I am being honest, most of the time I do not need to even tell him when I am overwhelmed. I will come home and dinner will be made, the house will be picked up, my laundry will be folder on my nicely made bed and my diffuser will have my favorite scents in it for when I go to sleep. This is my love language, like we talked about for Lesson #1, and I go from feeling like I am going to burst to being overcome with love.

Tonight, when you are talking to your spouse about your day I want you to ask them, “How can I help?” When they vent about work and all of the traffic they sat in and had to get home and rush to get dinner ready, what could you have done to help? When they response, use that response and recognize that you are in a partnership and are willing to carry the load. Sometimes people like me, have a hard time asking for help on our  own, but need to be prompted. It shows that it is not that they cannot handle their responsibilities, but more so that you want to carry them together. Whether that means you order a pizza while you are working late and your wife is running behind or you put the kids to bed. The best part of a marriage is the everlasting team you create.