The summer before I got pregnant with Zilla, I was hot. I'd finally lost the weight from Nae. Took me 5 years, but hell, it was GONE! I felt good and I had confidence. I was still young and learning what it was like to be a woman, mother, and a wife. I went through a short period of being selfish. Not to the point where I'd abandon my family and take off for days, but I was learning to do things on my own. I became a Mary Kay consultant and enjoyed it. I enjoyed talking with other ladies and playing with the make up. It was a lot of fun. Then I got pregnant with Zilla and my whole life got turned upside down. In a good way. I returned to the woman I was when Nae was younger. I did nothing for myself. It was all about the family. I rarely went and did things with my friends. I turned into a homebody. I didn't mind it one bit. I was so excited to have this unexpected gift, that I wanted to cherish it.
Everything went great for the first 2 months after he was born. Then my mom had her first strokes. Our whole world crashed around our heads. Mom was in the hospital, my sister and I both had newborns, nobody knew what was going to happen. We didn't know if she was going to die or if she was going to pull through. We had no idea why she had these strokes, nor did we know what was going to happen to my parents' lives in general. My dad was on disability because he lost his eye sight due to diabetes. My mom was the only one working at the time, the only one able to drive. She spent weeks in the hospital and months in rehab. When she finally came home, she was in a wheelchair and we had a lot of things to change at their house. As the days turned into months, months into years, we grew accustomed to the changes. Then she had another stroke and was in a lot of pain. That's when we found out she had cancer and we were told she had 9 months to live. She didn't make it that long.
During the years after her strokes and death, I became this selfless person who did everything for everyone else. I threw myself into caretaker mode. I didn't really realize I was doing it until it was too late. I allowed people to take me for granted and take advantage of me. I was told many times that I let people walk all over me, but I didn't do anything about it. I didn't speak my mind when I should have. I didn't voice my feelings or concerns when I should have. I didn't argue my point, ever. I was a meek woman, it was disgusting. I started to realize what was going on in January. Husband and I got into a huge fight over me being so meek. I told him "I don't even know who I am anymore. All I am is a wife, mother, and daughter. I have no idea who Danielle is anymore". That's when I started to change, started to be a little more selfless.
Since I've been on this path of self discovery, I've gotten some complaints. I been told I've changed and I'm being selfish. "What happened to the Danielle from last year?" is what a friend told me today. "You mean that meek woman who did everything for everyone else and nothing for herself? I kicked the bitch to the curb!" This is actually who I am. This woman who is not apologizing for doing what she wants to do is who I am.
When my husband met me, I was a confident girl. That's who he fell in love with. He fell in love with the girl who would walk into a room and demanded attention. He didn't fall in love with the girl who'd never decide on a place for dinner because it might not be what everyone else wants. My husband is not the jealous type, the exact opposite, actually. He gets all cocky when other men tell him how pretty I am. He laughs when Rose and I go out and men fall over themselves to talk to us. This is who I am and who his wife is.
I know I sound conceited and I'm really trying not to be. I'm trying to explain the woman I was before and the woman I am now. I have confidence, a lot of it. I am happy with my body *most days*, I am happy with who I am. I know what to wear and how to carry myself. I don't care if I get dirty looks from whom ever because someone doesn't care for my outfit. It doesn't bother me. It gets old, but I don't let it get under my skin anymore.
I am who I am and if one of my friends doesn't like it, then they aren't my real friend. It's too bad that I am being judged for being selfish, but I am not going to say "I'm sorry" anymore. Because I am NOT sorry! I am happy. My husband is happy to have his wife back and frankly, we're the only ones who matter.