As a recovering people pleaser, I have never been the person who calls for a breakup or a break or puts my needs before others because I have been worried about the other person abandoning me. I never stood up for myself in ways that satisfied my soul and really honored myself because I didn’t ever want to be the one doing the hurting, I was always willing to bear the pain and the one to deal with the one being broken up with.That was a case of sticking it out because I was a self proclaimed ride or die. Mannnnnnnnnn, there are so many ways in which I have sold out on myself and didn’t even really realize the harm that I was causing to myself and my self esteem. I stayed and overstayed in so many situations because I thought being loyal and steadfast no matter what, earned me love. In fact, what I got was pain, heartache and a loss of self confidence because I allowed some bullshit to continue and I was addicted to the pain of my reality. The reality was that I was a martyr and I was there to be patient, kind and wonderful but I wasn’t ever going to be the recipient of the love I deserved. It wasn’t necessarily because the other person was trying to be awful but it was because I accepted whatever was dished out and therefore I was powerless and defeated. Sigh.
A huge part of self care and self love is knowing when to call a time out. I have never in my life actively called a time out on a situation that I was invested in. I was always on the receiving end of a time out but I never actively did it, and I didn’t because I was too scared. I thought if I spoke up or I stepped back it would rock the boat way too much and I wasn’t really prepared to deal with the fall out of my actions. But my mistake was focusing too much on what the other person would think of the break and not focusing on myself and why I NEED the break. I am strong, powerful and I have a commanding presence BUT I am also sensitive, gentle, emotional and I am deeply affected by the things that people do and say to me. I don’t always have the words or the calmness to say what I have to say, so instead I say everything is okay. I say everything is all right. I basically keep the peace so I don’t have to deal with a tough situation. I keep things chill and easy so I don’t create too many waves. But let me tell you, the days for that shit are over!!!!!! I literally no longer have room to hold my tongue, stay silent and allow myself to be trampled by someone else’s emotions. I am learning to speak up when I feel like it’s time to speak up and I’m also learning to say when I need space and room AND I don’t know how long I’ll be, nor will I know what is on the other side of the space and peace. All I know is that I need this for myself and my own peace of mind.
My need for silence and space stems from when I was a teen. I used to take long stretches of silence to write, think, be with myself and really shut out the world so I could make things make sense in my mind. I would say though, that silence then meant being shut out and shut down without ever really discussing my issue. I believe now my silence is a lot more productive and there is room to think and to come up with what I want to say calmly and in ways that empower me. I’ve learned that when a relationship is solid and strong enough, time apart can do a lot of good. I know that I function best when I have room to chill, relax, breathe and think BUT not just about the relationship. I just like room to be with myself quietly and process everyday stuff. I like to yoga, I like to listen to music, I like to blog, I like to kick it with my girls and I just want room to be peaceful without having to be weighed down by bullshit that probably won’t even matter in three months. A large part of self care is knowing when to say when. I kinda know that for me when I am angry. I am not someone who gets angry often. Actually, I’m pretty chill and very relaxed most of the time and it takes a lot for me to feel burning anger. Burning anger for me shows up when I feel disrespected, accused of things that I know aren’t true, someone deflecting and imposing their inner turmoil on me and just unfair accusations. I feel a tightness in my throat, my cheeks and ears burn, and I feel a tightening in my chest that is uncontrollable. That to me indicates that things have gone way too far and I need a moment or many moments to gather myself. I start breaking down like that when there’s an unresolved issue and something isn’t being said. I need time to constructively calm the fuck down AND think about what I’m going to say.
A part of self care for me IS knowing when to be quiet. I need the room to do nothing, say nothing and not do anything for anyone. I can have moments of quiet and it doesn’t mean I want to leave forever. Silence helps me get better, get right with me and I hold myself at a distance because I’m not ready or I don’t have the words to speak. A piece of peace for me is solace from the world because I find comfort in being quiet. I find comfort in writing and it helps me observe and see others. It’s also gives me time to calm down and stop being enraged. I can forgive anyone for almost anything. Time pretty much makes me a lot softer. I never forget but I do forgive and that’s important to me. Peace for me means taking the time I need to reflect. I’ll be back around soon enough.