Saturday, July 18, 2015

Just Say "No"! If you want to, I mean.

Interestingly, I've never really heard saying "no" as a good thing except for when discussing drugs. One of the last children to go through the D.A.R.E. program, this was a classic war-on-drugs phrase that was ingrained into my skull while everything up there was still soft and malleable. Fortunately, I retained very little from my childhood other than an overwhelming distrust of adults and solace within the binding of a good book. Or notebook. Or blog. Well, look at that, we've come full circle already. Thanks for coming out, folks! See you next time!

Oh, you're still here? Cool. I appreciate that.

One of the things in my life that has tortured me over and over again is my inability to say "no" to people, especially people I love. A lifelong people-pleaser (is this related to the abuse? isn't everything?), I have straight up gone silent or put my senses into sleep mode in order to avoid upsetting others and betraying my true feelings. I've laid there, wondering how much longer will this take, trying to whisk my mind away to a different place like the grocery list I should make or the noose I should tie later. These things are more related than you think.

More often though, it's been less invasive things I've let people do to me for the sake of not rocking the boat. The funny thing about this though is that while maybe it doesn't seem quite as bad as raping somebody, that shit still really fucks you up. Now it's not some skeezy guy that would make society as a whole say "you should have known better" but people so close to your heart that hurting them is like stabbing yourself in the chest. Saying "no" is a whole gastrointestinal debacle.

People talk shit about the internet and how text is "ruining communication" and maybe they're right. Maybe if I had more face-to-face social interaction when I was younger I would be better at expressing how I really feel or pulling myself off of the ground so I can't be used as a doormat anymore. The short of all this though is that technology doesn't move backwards and change is inevitable - so I try to take advantage of how this different life terrain equips me.

It's a lot easier to say "no" through text than to someone's face. For me, this is a blessing. And you know what? It'll be okay. It'll be better this way, in fact.

The problem is I'm so unwilling to stomach a short period of discomfort and anger at myself usually that I'm more likely to agree to something that causes me to die a little bit inside every day, saying nothing and pretending everything is fine in order to preserve everyone's feelings but mine. This gets really confusing when you do finally drop the curtain but that's another story.

The good news? Life is always moving forward and today is always the best day to start working for your future. The only thing that's kept me going in life is the promise of a better tomorrow. Maybe my jellyfish soft infant brain did absorb one thing - the American dream. Minus all the stepping on minorities and pretending our country isn't totally bigoted and scary, there are some good points to it. Excuse me while I go out and get mine.

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Say it, don't pray it.