Wednesday, July 6, 2011

in my defense.

I learned early on to stand up for myself. That I needed to defend myself, because no one else will.

I'm not saying that in a jaded or cynical way, I'm just saying that there comes a point when your mommy and daddy can't always swoop and and save you from that girl in the locker room telling anyone who will listen that you were flirting with her boyfriend in math class or even your teammates from alluding that you don't try hard enough at practice. Besides, I never really wanted that kind of help from my parents.

And in my family, everyone is constantly messing with one another in an attempt to get a rise out of them.

In a loving way?

Maybe sometimes. But honestly, most of the time it doesn't feel that way.

I wouldn't say I was raised by wolves, but I was certainly brought up in a way that encouraged thick skin and making your point louder than the other person.

I'm an incredibly defensive person.

It takes a precious little to put me on the defensive. And when I sense the other person pushing back, it's a full-on battle. I feel powerless to stop it once it starts. Once I'm taken from my easy-going world of quick laughter to explaining loudly every rational step in my own mind that lead me to this. exact. point. I can't go back and tell myself to just let it go.

I just can't.
I have done things in my life that have certainly merited explanation and being humbled. I've made choices that my parent's support can be described as begrudgingly at best. I've fallen on my face and been forced to learn hard lessons fast. Ideologically, I've gone against my ultra-conservative, proper, keeping-up-appearances, perfectly-manicured-lawn-in the-'burbs, Catholic upbringing by getting a Women's Studies degree, organizing labor unions, smoking and trying recreational drugs,  doing extensive liberal political campaign work, and getting a tattoo. But I've never really pushed the envelope past a certain point because I have my limits and I know who I am.

And all in all, I really, really like myself.

I'm not perfect, but I'm trying. I pay my bills, I eat vegetables, I water my flowers,  I read books, I blow-dry and curl my hair every morning. I'm not the beacon of responsibility, but I make it to work on time. I honor my commitments, I finish what I start.

The conversation that I had last night with my parents about moving in together with Manfriend didn't go over well, because from the start, they made jabs that put me on the defensive and made me feel like I was openly defying their best intentions for me. As if I don't know what works for me or what will make me happy. I'm still reeling from how disrespected I felt last night having this conversation, this argument that was more of a heads-up and less what I thought of as an opportunity for discussion, but turned into a roast session of my shortcomings in their eyes for the past ten years.

Today I feel tired.

And defensive.

And I'm still moving in with Manfriend.

As if that fact wasn't terrifying enough without their support.  

Xo Sara

1 comment:

  1. Sorry for the difficulties with the parents, but congrats on moving in with Manfriend. They think they know what's best for you and think that justifies pushing their opinions for you, but like you said- you're an adult and you're doing well for yourself and are fully capable to making your own decision and looking out for yourself.