I wrote this for a friend. Once I was about 2 paragraphs in, I realized that others could benefit from this message. I hope that is true.
Hey. I know we don’t know each other that well. But I saw your posts. I am piecing together what is going on in your life through those posts. I realize that doesn’t grant me direct insight and proper interpretation of the meaning of your reality, but I am drawing some conclusions from what I see. May I share them with you? My intent is not to judge. I just wanted to share my perspective and some experiential resources. I hope you don’t mind.
First, let me start by saying that I really appreciate your views and your posts. You have this wild, funky, “I don’t give a fuck” attitude that I really admire in you. You are bold. You are daring. You are absolutely stunning. Yet I can see softness and gentleness about you that I think many others miss. I bet you are always misunderstood and that is probably because you are more than just surface layers of fuckery, but more so, you swim in depths of emotional and philosophical intelligence. You see the world through a lens not many people want to look through. The truth lens hurts a lot of people, but it doesn’t bother you. I look through the truth lens too. It reveals wounds but it reveals the true joys of life, too. Most people can’t get past the wounds. But you seem to rebound from injury as if your immune system is divine.
You were recently injured, weren’t you? More so by words than anything physical, but I bet you have recovered from a lot of physical and emotional injuries as well. Your family isn’t supporting who you are right now and that is really messing with your vibes, isn’t it? And the natural corrective action seems to be just simply cutting them out of your life. I am with you. I have gone down a similar road. When your own family cannot offer you the support and encouragement you have always given them over the years, it stings bad. I can feel that from your posts. You are hurt. And it seems like the people you thought were supposed to help you when you are hurt are just making the pain worse. And in your pain, you just want to return that pain to them, don’t you?
Do you want them to feel as excluded as you do by their lack of encouragement and support? That’s how I always felt whenever I got into with my family. If ever I was living my own life and minding my own business, someone would have to start some shit and call me out for existing. I existed with too much cleavage, too many short skirts. I existed with too many flavors of men in my bed. How dare I exist as I am as a mother. My very existence just always rubbed someone the wrong way. Any existence in lingerie? Cover up! How dare I claim a sexual existence. Apparently, I should be ashamed of myself for accepting the truth about who I am…a sexy divine goddess.
Lots of folks just don’t understand sexuality, body confidence, or a positive self-image. When someone doesn’t understand something, they judge it and want to shoo it away. That clearly indicates that the problem is theirs, yet they always find sneaky ways to project it onto you and demand that you claim ownership for the way your existence is affecting them. I don’t know about you, but I fall for it sometimes. Maybe it’s because I am hungry for some attention, and I become indifferent about what kind of attention I receive. So, I eat it up, and then it leaves me with heartburn and indigestion.
I can still see you hurting even though you are posting the way you are. I know I am being presumptuous here, but I bet you’re like me, and when you want to be over something, you act as if you are. Or maybe at the very least, you write it out some way so that you can re-read the words and use it as a mantra to help you cope and heal? I journal stuff a lot when I want to get over something and I want to heal the pain. It’s just a therapeutic way of me reaffirming what I know I need to do.
Sometimes, however, I write lies. And those lies start acting like ulcers in my gut. I say and write things I want to believe but I cannot because I know they are not the truth. That’s why they start burning me internally. Do you ever experience that? As if we get so used to eating nutritious fruits of truth that the bullshit leaves us with upset stomachs and activated ulcers. I write lies out because writing the truth would expose me. I have a whole history of experiences wherein I said some things that I didn’t mean and then I followed through with them to “walk my talk.” The truth was that I changed my mind about those initial reactive feelings, and I realized that I was simply scared about the potential loss of not only a relationship with someone else but my own identity. I feared losing my identity if I compromised what I believed to be true about myself for the sake of making someone else happier about themselves. Sometimes we let those we love to curate the persona they want of us instead of us showing them who we actually are. Does that make sense? We compartmentalize ourselves for the sake of connections we believe we need. We play parts to please others.
If my grandmother believes that I am a wholesome, clean, pure, goody-goody, God-loving, housewife and mom, and then discovers that I have an Only Fans account, it really fucks with her whole perception of me. It seems that as you are coming into your identity as you age and evolve, it is beginning to mess with family members. As if granny just found your OF page. Right? But rather, it’s just that you have developed confidence in your body and your identity and other people don’t know what to do about it. So, they are judging you rather than asking you questions and trying to understand.
Here’s what’s going on with them.
- You are exposing yourself in a way that they don’t expose themselves. It’s foreign to them. Based on generational examples, one could guess that many of these people came from an upbringing that scandalized and shamed the body, flesh, and sex. It’s a private matter. Your body isn’t for others to ogle. Blah blah blah. You’re over here breaking those rules and exposing yourself so freely that it makes them want to cover up. But see, then it’s about them, not you. They won’t tell you that, though.
- You are reflecting their own insecurities by developing security. We prefer people in our tribe to be more like us— insecure and uncomfortable with ourselves. If you are just as unsure about everything as I am, I am more willing to be your ally. But if you appear as if you understand some shit that I don’t, I am going to tell others it’s you that is the problem to deflect from my own insecurities. My enemy is anyone emotionally educated.
- People claim that they want to see change, but they are lying. There are a lot of reasons for this. I think one of those reasons is because people don’t understand that change is subtle. But subtleties are not easily noticed. When a person confronts the very fact that change has already been occurring, it makes them feel excluded. How did I miss that? When did that happen? Why didn’t anyone tell me? Maybe your family is acting like it is all of a sudden but that’s a deception that they need you to fall for. The reality is the pieces have been adding up for a while but acknowledging that means they acknowledge the role they played in your life and the insecurities you are growing out of. Most people begin judging the change in others because it makes them feel culpable and responsible for the change. Now they are just responsible for not seeing it and that pisses them off. It alters their overall perception of you, and they begin to question themselves. People hate second-guessing their judgments.
- You’re validating yourself and that is driving them crazy. So many people believe that validation is supposed to come from others, and the closer in intimacy a person is to another, the more their validation means. But if you are walking around validating your damn self, they feel as if they don’t have a meaningful role in your life. How dare you think you can be proud of yourself or in love with yourself without their praise and permission. What if you are “doing it wrong”? And also, who the hell told you that you could self-validate? That makes them feel invalidated, you see. They didn’t know they could walk around and not give a fuck about what other people think of them.
- You are revealing too many blind spots for them. When people are confronted with contrary principles and philosophies, they want to defend what they “stand for” even if that means they cut you down and push your face in the dirt. Their idealism is far more important than any intimate connection. And besides, this is your You made them draw this line or say those words because you didn’t control yourself. More so, you didn’t maintain a consistent character for them to approve of.
I don’t know if you notice or not, but the above list of reasons demonstrates pretty clearly all of this is about them and not you. This is about what they think they lack compared to what you have. (You have peace of mind, body confidence, and an understanding of human sexuality.) They feel excluded from understanding so they blame you. They feel ashamed for not recognizing that they have access to the same divine intelligence that you have about your body, so they shame you. They didn’t know they could validate themselves and their own self-image the way you have, so they do all they can to invalidate you and your body. They didn’t know they could raise themselves, so they cut you down. They didn’t know that they could feel joy and love for themselves at any size, so they ridicule your size. This is all about their insecurities and their perceptions of lack, not yours.
But I can see that you are still trying to stop the bleeding and cover up the wound. I don’t acknowledge this to shame you or make you feel bad about yourself. I just want you to know that I see you and your pain. I understand the desire to block and cut them out of your life. If all they want to do is judge and ridicule you, you are not obligated to be a target for their darts. But can I tell you something? They are only launching these attacks against you because they are scared. They are scared that a shift in their views will alter their lives too much that they won’t know what to do. That’s why people stay captive to their thoughts and ideologies. They are afraid of believing something different because it may mean everything else they believed was false or wrong.
People hate to be wrong. A lot of people would rather be in pain than be wrong. I only know because I have opted for the former over the latter many times in my life. When people confront me about my expressionism, I often question myself too. Did I go too far? Are they right? Did I cross the line? Was that inappropriate? Is Grandmama right? Am I too sexy and too revealing? Am I embarrassing my husband?
See, the most painful thing about these sorts of injuries is that, even though our actions are causing someone else to re-examine their own beliefs, we are doing the very same thing while trying to stand firm in those beliefs. The truth is none of us are actually sure about what we know all the time. We teeter-totter around ideas that have varying positions because someone we care about opts for another position that counters ours. We then question our alliances within our tribe. Do I even know you anymore? How can I when I don’t know myself?
The friction created by change opens up so many rabbit holes to explore that many would rather stay where they are and ignore the opportunity to explore. It’s safer to know who you are than to discover who you are. You are seeking and they are staying put. That makes them feel just as scared as you are about the exploration. Essentially, y’all are scared and it’s your fears that are being fed empty carbs.
I am saying I see that you are scared. I see that they are scared. I see that fear is winning, not your family members. If this is about “winning” then you will lose. Instead, I encourage you to make this about evolution and nothing more. You are evolving at this rate, and your family members are stuck in the ice age. You are not responsible for thawing them out.
I see you experiencing an erotic evolution like millions of other people. You are not alone in this. As we mature, we will discover that our tribes don’t need to be as big as we thought. Mental capacity is limited when it comes to intimate relationships. Those that we keep in closer proximity will be the ones that encourage and support our erotic evolution. That verse in the bible about “leaving and cleaving” is spot on. Our family members are usually the first ones to reject our initial erotic epiphany and will continue to discourage any further erotic development. This is simply because they rejected their own out of fear and instead chose conformity. You are not a conformist. You are a unique, free-spirited individual who chooses her own role in life.
I want to encourage you to choose that role absent of fear. It will be your qualitative relationships that support this endeavor, not the quantitative relationships. We grow out of some relationships, and familial relationships are not exempt. I know it’s painful. I know it stings. I know that people who throw the word “love” around are often the ones that cut us the deepest. And in many instances, those relationships are definitely over. But just reflect on the termination of a relationship before you flip that switch. Ask yourself if the person you want to disconnect from first has the potential for their own erotic evolution. Maybe some of their projections are really just crying for help. Maybe they are so frightened by your change but also so enlightened by it, but they don’t know how to tell you that? Maybe they need some space and time to reflect on their own blind spots and insecurities before a real authentic conversation can take place wherein you are both seeking genuine understanding from one another.
All I am saying is that, although it seems as if all the relationships are dead, there may be a rebirth from some of those relationships later. Don’t lock that door too tight. Everyone is scared and everyone is experiencing a surge of emotional pain from that fear. Once the fear subsides, you could all feel differently. Or not. What do I know? I get things wrong a lot too, by giving people too many chances.
Anyway, I just wanted you to feel heard and seen. I know you don’t need my validation or praise, but I want to give it to you because I see the struggle and pain, but I see more than that. I see a beautiful, confident young woman who is going to confront life with so much intensity that it just excites and inspires me. Thank you for sharing your pain and your struggle. It makes me feel heard and seen. It makes me feel human.