Sep 20, 2008

No apologies

Musings of A Beautiful Mess
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.

15 friends have commented:

Aunt Becky on September 21, 2008 at 5:16 PM said...

Dude. Good for you! Seriously, that's great news.

I'd say I'm here from I... but you're in my Google reader already. I somehow don't believe that this would count :)

CappyPrincess on September 21, 2008 at 8:07 PM said...

It's funny how we let parts of ourselves go when we become parents... and not always for the best. I'm glad you're being a little selfish (makes me feel not quite so bad for being selfish from time to time myself!).

And you're right. So long as you are happy (and thereby your hubby), who cares what everyone else thinks?

Returning your ICLW comment (and thanks!)

Stephanie, Phil, Kayla, Logan & Alex on September 22, 2008 at 5:22 AM said...

That's awesome! It is so important to put yourself first. You're absolutely right the only thing that matters is that you're happy and your husband is happy.

(Here from ICLW.)

Kathy on August 31, 2009 at 6:55 AM said...

Happy Blogger Bingo! I am so glad that I rediscovered your blog last week during ICLW! :) Though our losses have been different, I feel a real connection with you as we both continue to grieve and to heal.

Today's Blogger Bingo category is to find a post before 2009 that I wish I had written. Since I like your writing style and am inspired by many of the posts I have read here, I chose your blog this morning to find that post. There are many that I came across along the way that moved me or that I could relate too... But this was one that I truly wish I had written.

I am a notorious people pleaser and have great difficultly saying no to others, when I should be taking care of myself and/or our family first. At times I feel that I have high confidence and others time not so much.

Anyway, I appreciate where you were coming from with this post and admire your attitude in it. Good for you! No apologies in this instance makes perfect sense to me! I hope that you are staying true to yourself and carrying on as you began with this post!

Again, grateful to have found you and your blog. You seem to be a kindred spirit. I am so sorry for the loss of your mom and am glad that I can be of some help/support on your journey since her death. (((HUGS)))

Kristin on September 8, 2009 at 12:27 PM said...

Thanks to Kathy for using this in her Blogger Bingo win. This post totally rocks and I'm so glad you made it back to being yourself!

Baby Hungry on September 8, 2009 at 12:51 PM said...

This post is so inspiring. It makes me want to do better and not be so concerned with what others are thinking all the time. I’m glad you are back!

wannabmomma on September 8, 2009 at 3:17 PM said...

You go girl! I can relate to being totally consumed by something and losing who you really are. It is so inspiring to hear you pull out of it. I hope to one day too!

Thanks for the great post. I found it from the Blogger Bingo winner's list.

Deathstar on September 8, 2009 at 3:42 PM said...

Right on! Women wear so many hats - it's no wonder we forget which one is ours! And there should be no apologies for that ever!

Trinity on September 8, 2009 at 7:36 PM said...

It's hard to take care of others when you're not taking care of yourself! It's so easy to put yourself on the back burner at times, but it is so important to be able to address your own needs and NOT feel guilty about it! Good for you for finding that peace!

Cassandra on September 9, 2009 at 2:18 PM said...

Hi from Blogger Bingo!

On a totally different note from self-discovery (which is good too), I would never have guessed in a million years that you were a Mary Kay lady. :)

Jules on September 9, 2009 at 5:56 PM said...

Hey! (like I don't know you) :P

Ditto - the not choosing a restaurant thing sounds so like what I have been known to do. I'm not quite "there" yet in terms of regaining my old self back but we're getting there. Good for you to take more time for yourself and what truly makes you "you."

Anonymous said...

Love the new attitude! What a great reminder to us to not lose ourselves. Bravo!

Billy on September 10, 2009 at 11:47 AM said...

Good for you! You shouldn't be sorry, taking care of yourself is not selfish!

Kate on September 11, 2009 at 7:14 AM said...

(here from Bingo as well)

Isn't it funny how things work out sometimes?? I came to this post strictly for Bingo, but found that it relates to me more than I can say. I've turned into a server and a pleaser - I rarely take time for myself. Thanks for the reminder that I need to get back to making myself happy too!!

Once A Mother on September 13, 2009 at 8:08 PM said...

Here from Blogger Bingo as well.

Good for you for having the guts and sense of self worth to "kick that bitch to the curb" it sounds like you have undergone a true rebirth of spirit and have gotten back to having a sense of self worth.

Congrats to you!

I agree by the way, any friend who doesn't love seeing their friend find love and respect for herself, is no friend worth keeping.

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