I swallowed a hard pill last weekend when my daughter and I took a self defense class.
We raise our kids to be better than we were, or at least I hope that is the goal, it is mine.
In the class we were taught to listen to our gut, our instincts.
When I look back on several occassions in my life, my gut screamed at me and I didn’t listen.
My dream would be that I would teach my daughter better.
But after the class, she pointed out I had given the okay for something that made her uncomfortable. It wasn’t a major something but it was important enough to break a trust.
I was heartbroken. Maybe that sounds like nothing to some, but it is important for her to have a voice. It is something I should have been taught.
I had been so proud to take her to a self defense class, to empower her. To realize I was not teaching her right hurt in my gut.
To see that I was carrying on the tradition of don’t make waves, be polite, devastated me.
I told her I was sorry and that I want her to not do that again. I want her to have a voice. I want her to listen to her gut.
I am very grateful the class was held because I too needed reminded.
What is the line between keeping the peace and speaking up for yourself? I am still working on that.
I am learning to get uncomfortable.
I am learning to accept sometimes you risk someone not liking you or causing rifts to protect yourself.
Some may think I am brazen enough there is no way I am a people pleaser, but I am.
How do you stand up for yourself and not cause discomfort?
But why is it okay to let someone else be more comfortable than myself?
The bitter pill I swallowed was I don’t know if I am doing it right.
I am sure every parent questions themself at one time or another.
But when you come face to face with your own weaknesses, ouch!
I am not an all or nothing person anymore. I can stop and say wait a minute. She recognized it. We discussed it. And I am aware of it.
We learned some valuable skills on Saturday and I am grateful for the class and those who brought it here.
I came to some other realizations that day too. One of them is I want to be a voice.
I want to tell young girls it doesn’t matter what you wear. I was attacked in a hoodie and sweatpants.
The teacher of the class pointed out that when a man says no, the discussion is over. When a woman says no, a man sees it as the start of a negotiation.
I have been in some bad situations. A boss wanted a hug and I didn’t know what to do so I hugged him. That didn’t go well.
In my twenties, my landlord grabbed me and I ran away screaming. So that went better.
But if my own daughter doesn’t know to raise her own voice, then I am failing.
It’s a brand new day. I pray every young girl and maybe young boy too (I don’t want to speak of something which I have zero experience), will learn to raise their voice.
It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to leave an uncomfortable situation without a “good” reason.
It is okay to get off of an elevator if you are uncomfortable without explanation or being polite. It is okay to not be polite. And it is okay to give myself that permission too.
Will it change all my habits tomorrow? Probably not but awareness is the first step.
And yes here is the vulnerability portion. I hope it helps someone.
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