Blurred Lines | Between Blaming Yourself and When It's Actually Your Fault
My family, we are going through some shit right now. It’s been like a snowball effect.
My Aunt diagnosed with cancer. My seven year old was attacked by a dog. My car was breaking down. My Aunt is in hospital with another issue. Then, the straw that broke the camel’s back. My sister.
My sister called me, with this weepy tone in her voice, one morning recently. Here’s a summary of what happened:
After working a 12 hour night shift saving lives, she came home to a half empty house and her husband, waiting on the couch to tell her to get out. (Ahh what a peach he is.) She gracefully packed her things, my mom helped her pack the car and they left. That was it. He changed his direct deposit, lied about being at work, packed his shit and wrecked her world for a hot second. But this isn’t about him, it’s about all of us.
So why am I telling you this? Because this is some really heavy shit right? Well, I’m getting to it.
In these last few days, we have all been there for her. Being gentle when needed and tough on making sure she doesn’t slip into a really dark dark place. So as any woman going through this, she evauates the situation saying:
”I feel like I was a good wife. I stood by through all the hard times.”
”I never got anything at the store because I wanted HIS approval. I just wanted to make him happy.”
”Did I not give enough? Love enough?”
There is much more in more detail than I want to reveal but in the overall conclusion of things, while she’s self evaluating (and she should) in a large majority, she’s blaming herself. So WOAH, let’s rewind… she wasn’t the one who lied, premeditated this evacuation plan and bombarded someone after a 12 hour shift that ‘Hi, I’d like to wreck your life today.’ So, I sat thinking, “I wonder if he’s sitting around doing these same things… asking himself if he was enough, if he made it go wrong.” but my husband, giving me an inside look at a male’s POV said, ‘Um no. Not likely.’
Do you ever see dad’s sharing inspirational quotes about feeling like a failure of a dad or husband? Are they sharing ‘self help’ articles that list how to be a better wife/girlfriend/mother or when you do feel that way, how to overcome it? I haven’t. I don’t ever see articles that say ‘Dear GIRLfriend, love me through my anxiety.’ because this is a pivotal crack and fault in most of us women, myself included. Women are usually to blame and in turn, we immediately blame ourselves. I mean why not? Everyone else is going to put us under the microscope… we might as well do it ourselves. So much so, that there are multi-million dollars in cosmetic, self help, weight loss, and therapy industries marketed directly towards women. We are always looking to be more appealing, perfect, flawless.
Someone close to me said, “I was in a meeting and said XYZ and I felt like I was being kind enough about it and trying to be pleasant. Do you think it was ok?" I responded with, “If one of the male executives came in, do you think they would be worried about being so kind and pleasant? Do you think they would be worried, or just say what needs to be said. Straight facts and the requests that are made?'“ Her answer was “No, they would have probably acted a little irritated.”
So I simply told her she needed to act like a man.
Last year, I made a huge change in my life. I started acting like a man. No, no, not in my clothes or hair, but how I carried myself. Listen, I really was sick of having to play the role. That I was sorry, that I had to speak in a sweet tone and a smile on my face. That I had to look like a ‘put together’ woman. Every day, my husband, and millions of other men wake up 15 minutes late, spend 10 minutes getting ready, and spend the whole day not worrying if they said sorry enough, did they sound pleasant enough, questioning themselves if they were being a dick or not. They are who they are. Compared to how I feel I need to constantly ‘need to be’, they are like human wrecking balls. They do what they need to do and do it.
There is a line right? It’s really blurred. Where do you stand so that you are doing what you need to do but aren’t being a selfish dick about it? Would society be able to handle women who acted as straight forward and blunt as men? I think we should give it a try.
Each individual, regardless of gender, should YES absolutely evaluate their morals, ethics, integrity, and always be considerate. But for women, specifically, watch yourself from an outer lens. Watch other women. You’ll see the fire burn out in their eyes when they are treated differently from men. I think there is so much power to be unleashed. I’m quite frankly sick of the double standard.
What I said to my sister and what I will say to all of you is this:
’It’s great to evaluate yourself because it’s not always someone else’s fault but it’s also not always your fault. You should give yourself as much grace as you are giving them.’
This is applicable to everything in life. Parenting with a partner. Friendships. Working relationships. So take time this week to evaluate, give yourself grace, and stop being so damn apologetic.
Have a suggestion on what I should speak about? Questions you’ve like perspective on? Contact me. You can remain anonymous if you’re shy! <3