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Old 03-07-2010, 08:32 AM   #1
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Default Expectations of Women

I have been thinking about this topic alot lately as I have been dealing with some tough issues in my life. When talking to other women I have found a thread that runs through their lives that is akin to what I have been feeling.
Its never enough!

Growing up I had an emotionally abusive mother. She herself suffered physical and emotional abuse and never dealt with the issues and so as a result inadvertently passed some issues down to me. My experiences were that I wasn't INSERT AND OF THE LIST BELOW enough.
Pretty
Smart
Hardworking
Good daughter
Good mother
etc
I also had this from family, "friends", teachers, bosses and so on. I have had many challenges throughout my life from dealing with alcoholic in laws and mentally ill family members who physically assaulted us and stalked us with shot guns to families that have virtually nothing to do with my husband or I, to bosses that harrassed, to issues with kids-well you get the picture. I won't go on right now in case no one is interested in this thread and it would be really long so I will cut to the chase.
We as women tend to carry the load in our families and are expected to not only accomplish our own goals, but to live up to the expectations of others. When we come into our own as women and find our purpose in life and what WE want we face disapproval from those in our lives that cannot accept or see who we truly are. We all are at one point or another in our lives the underdog. I wonder if we as women can share our experiences with each other on how we have risen above the crap in our lives being true to ourselves and learning from the dark times. Perhaps in our experiences shared we can help give our sisters more tools to use as they face their own challenges?
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:57 AM   #2
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My mother, had a lot of issues and now will deny many of the things she did to me as a child, I was put on diets from about 10/11 and in fact was not allowed to be a jr bridesmaid because I was considered to fat, the irony is I wasnt fat at all, just bigger than my mum who still to this day fits into kids clothes, comes from her insercurities about not being my birth mother plus she had a lot of her own stuff to deal with and I dont think she will ever realise the damage she did even now if I mention having lost any weight, she will push for me to loose more superfast with the whole I can the go and buy you clothes ect routine

I have always been very lucky to have a strong core of inner confidence (cannot tell you where it comes from or why I have it I just always have), I mean I managed to get adopted as a 3year old wich isnt something that many people will take on, I actually pushed another girl off my mums lap, apparently so must have been dertermined to make her my mother

I have had SSBBW teachers who preach non conformity tell me I am not trying hard enough to fit in, been through the usual teasing and torture, spent a year when I went to boarding school in year 8 trying to be what everyone else wanted me to be and after that year vowed never to do it again, only to find in the last 10years I seem to have allowed myself to hide my inner light and become much less confident due to being in bad relationships.

How have I gotten through all this?

well firstly by realising I cannot controll other people or their opinions of me, but I can be the best person I can be and that is to make myself happy from the inside out and that caring to much about what anyone thinks of you only leads to heartache and dissappointment

after all murpheys law states "If you try to please everyone someone wont like it" and murpheys laws are rarely wrong and certainly not in this case

It took me a spiritual journey in my late teens and early 20's to realise my Mother/friends/family/teachers are only human, they do the best job they know how to do, however offensive their good intentions may turn out, they come from a place of loving us and wanting us to be healthy

I have been learning we can help others without taking onboard their baggage as well

We can free ourselves from the ties that bind it just takes patience practice, and learning to remove the negative self talk

you know the stuff "I am such a fat ...................." ect ect even non weight stuff, the more positive we are, the more positivity we attract,

It is so hard when you love and care for people to not take on their burdens, there is a very fine line, and also for me it is about creating as much of a drama free life as possible, as that is where my creativity can flow, and I am free to decide what and who I want to be


might sound a little new agey but it has all worked for me, I think it boils down to being able to love and respect yourself, the happier you are the less people will try the your to fat talks ect, because if they see your inner light shinning forth they will be happy you are happy, not always but as I said there is no pleasing some people

also I like to learn and grow as a person and learn from my mistakes, I know my mum means well so it is kinda a water off a ducks back situation when she starts on my weight,

dont know how helpful any of this is but I do hope it is at least a little

hugs
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:11 AM   #3
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hm....im only 21 but i did read a book that really helped me. Its called 'If you have to cry go outside' by Kelly Cutrone. You may know her because she has her own tv show. Shes a successful business woman in the fashion industry and shes not exactly what society would say is "pretty". So i could relate to her as being different. You either get her or you dont.
She inspired me a lot and maybe she can do the same for you?
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:56 AM   #4
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Your post is so true, Ruth. I'm thinking this could turn into a great/helpful thread with some honest, thought-provoking discussion.

When I finally decided to leave my ex-husband, the one that never took care of himself/illness properly, people acted like I was some kind of horrible bitch for getting off the ride. Never mind that he had physically assaulted me at times, was an alcoholic, irresponsible, refused to take care of himself and expected everyone around him to cater to him, a liar, etc (it could get to be a very long list so I digress ). The past 14 years taking care of that guy....who had had a much better life with me than he would have had without me (no need to argue it....I know that as truth....and he admitted it to on several occasions) meant nothing to them.
None of how he was mattered or his past actions towards me mattered either......*I* was demonized. Worst past of it all? I realized that he had been going to all of his friends and downing me when I wasn't with him for years. Talk about some serious disloyalty to the person that takes care of you...... It certainly explained why he refused to do anything with any of my friends....why he actually preferred and pushed for me to befriend his friends only.....forsaking my own.

I realized, at some point in our relationship (more towards the end actually) that I was trying to prove something. To whom and why was the hard part of that epiphany. I held many misconceptions about myself and my relationships. I thought being a good wife meant never giving up, feeling empathy for his illness (by illness I'm also including his addictions), being supportive, towing the line in lieu of his shortcomings, etc.
It hit me that I did this with just about all of my familial relationships......and had to ask myself....when is it ever going to be enough? What is it or how much do I have to do to ever feel loved and accepted how I am? What am I afraid of? That these people will suddenly slip out of my life if I stopped doing that never ending list of things for them?
What I had done.....it was more than enough for "normal people"....but would NEVER be good enough for those fucked up dysfunctional ones that I was surrounded by.
They make themselves feel better about who they are or what they do (or don't do) by putting others down. I could have NEVER been enough....ever.....because it wasn't about my own shortcomings but about the problems/issues someone else had within themselves.
This realization was affirmed by my ex at some point when he let something slip in a conversation....he blamed me for all his troubles/problems/illnesses. He felt that I OWED him something because I was "the healthy one". What a bullshit, victimized, incorrect and flat out asshole way to think.
That was one hell of a hurtful epiphany that left me feeling used.....after 14 years of loving someone with all of my heart. But that was okay....it was what finally made me realize my efforts were fruitless and that my energies really were better spent on myself (and my children).

My new mantra now is.....never try to change anyone. See them how they are....and either accept them how they are.....or move on.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:20 PM   #5
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Thank you ladies for your WONDERFUL responses. I am glad that you have chosen to share your journey and insight with all of us. I appreciate the strength and intelligence in each of you!
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:42 PM   #6
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Spiritangel you do not sound too "new agey" to me. You and I deal with things in much the same manner. I too inside despite what others told me felt that I had/have a place in this world and as a result constantly picked myself up and dusted myself off. I learned that often when people come at you its because you have something they want or need or as others have mentioned have issues of their own that they are putting on you. All we can do is be true to ourselves, feel what we feel, learn from what has happened to us and try to help others along the way. We have no one else but ourselves when it comes down to push or shove to depend on. We have many people in our lives that support, teach, love and are just plain there for us. But how we deal is up to us! And sometimes things get overwhelming for us and that is when my spirituality and the ancestors help me right along the people on this earthly plane. What I have learned is that I am a strong, feisty, smart and loving woman. I have a role to play and am important in many peoples lives. And the ones that are telling me that I am never enough cannot and will not see me for all that I am and will be. Does it make me mad and sad? YES But will I give up NEVER.
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:06 PM   #7
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Hugs Ruffie, I totally agree, although I dont tend to get mad about it, just a little sad at how they view the world and what it must do to them, some people carry such toxic baggage around with them
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:32 PM   #8
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I spent many years being what I thought others wanted me to be. I was married to a man who loved thin women, and I fought like hell to remain thin even if it meant controlling food intake with vomiting.

I was a good wife and mother. Someone benefitted from my goodness, my putting someone else's needs before my own and my feelings of low self-worth. Someone benefitted from my low self esteem since living with it made me work harder and longer.

When I decided to accept myself, my beautiful fat body and decided that I was good enough, those people who benefitted from my lack of worth got pissed off because the rules of the game changed.

At the age of 61 I have met a man who adores me, adores the cellulite on my thighs and the way my belly hangs in the front - adores all of it. My son is angry that I am involved with this man since it means that I no longer think of my adult son first. I did enough for him since I raised him to be intelligent and independent in the world.

It takes guts to think about yourself first. It goes against the conditioning of the social role of a woman. Women are to be concerned with everyone else first. The great philosopher Angela Davis stated that if you wanted to understand the economics of a society take a look at the people doing all the work. Women do all the work to the neglect of their needs and when they do address their needs then they are accused of being selfish in doing so.

I no longer care what people think. I am willing to not have a relationship with my son if he cannot accept my partner. People will accept me or won't. I finally have what makes me feel whole in life and will not feel an ounce of guilt for taking care of myself.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:11 PM   #9
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Being accepted for who you are is key for me.If you view me as your servant then count me out.
I do fuss over my current BF because he deserves it.He's a nice guy that treats me with respect and honors my opinion.
My ex was the kind of guy that expected me to wait hand and foot and cook when HE wanted me to.That got old real quick.
He drank a lot and was very abusive as well.Drug all his nasty friends over and wanted me to wait on them.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhLaLaSoSexy View Post
hm....im only 21 but i did read a book that really helped me. Its called 'If you have to cry go outside' by Kelly Cutrone. You may know her because she has her own tv show. Shes a successful business woman in the fashion industry and shes not exactly what society would say is "pretty". So i could relate to her as being different. You either get her or you dont.
She inspired me a lot and maybe she can do the same for you?
We women get lotsa mixed messages, and it sure seems we're never "good enough" or we never do enough, both at home and on the job. It's entirely possible I've hit the glass ceiling at my job. All things considered, I really can't complain too much. I do enjoy my work and my colleagues, and we also have a good working environment. The problem is that as I've advanced into management, I'm a woman in more of a man's world. My size has been an advantage because it helps give me an aura of authority, and I can hold my own. So I'm both flattered and insulted when they consider me "one of the guys." Oh well, I'll just keep forging ahead.

Time: Big Girls Still Don't Cry
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...8102-1,00.html
Quote:
"A woman attempting to succeed in a company where men have always occupied key positions may reach a certain level and then be turned down for promotions for which she's qualified," warns Roxanne Rivera, the author of There's No Crying in Business: How Women Can Succeed in Male-Dominated Industries (Palgrave Macmillan). "But she may find it impossible to stay at a higher-level job because there's no other woman she can talk to at work to get the support she needs."

Rivera, the co-founder of a large construction firm in New Mexico, is not afraid to espouse traditional notions of femininity. Her "nine standards of ladylike behavior," she reassures readers, "aren't designed to turn you into a prissy, ultrafeminine type of person." Among those rules: speak articulately, intelligently and cleanly ("women who curse are cursed in male-dominated businesses"), dress appropriately ("wearing high-quality clothes that mark you as a professional woman, as opposed to a member of the oldest profession"), and project an aura of authority and confidence ("too many women rise to speak in a room filled with men and their voices are tiny and hesitant").
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katherine22 View Post
I spent many years being what I thought others wanted me to be. I was married to a man who loved thin women, and I fought like hell to remain thin even if it meant controlling food intake with vomiting.

I was a good wife and mother. Someone benefitted from my goodness, my putting someone else's needs before my own and my feelings of low self-worth. Someone benefitted from my low self esteem since living with it made me work harder and longer.

When I decided to accept myself, my beautiful fat body and decided that I was good enough, those people who benefitted from my lack of worth got pissed off because the rules of the game changed.

At the age of 61 I have met a man who adores me, adores the cellulite on my thighs and the way my belly hangs in the front - adores all of it. My son is angry that I am involved with this man since it means that I no longer think of my adult son first. I did enough for him since I raised him to be intelligent and independent in the world.

It takes guts to think about yourself first. It goes against the conditioning of the social role of a woman. Women are to be concerned with everyone else first. The great philosopher Angela Davis stated that if you wanted to understand the economics of a society take a look at the people doing all the work. Women do all the work to the neglect of their needs and when they do address their needs then they are accused of being selfish in doing so.

I no longer care what people think. I am willing to not have a relationship with my son if he cannot accept my partner. People will accept me or won't. I finally have what makes me feel whole in life and will not feel an ounce of guilt for taking care of myself.

This....about people getting angry when you stop running around after them.....grown ups that want "taken care of". I'm so sick of them sometimes......
Also, I noticed that if there was ever a time, even for a short period of time, that *I* needed someone to help/care for me during illness, etc....these same people would feel mighty inconvenienced....and had the gall to say so.
Crikey......
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:18 PM   #12
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This thread does not deserve to be orphaned. We need to nurture it

Happening upon DIMS, I've found, has not been not an accident. Whenever I'm at a low point in my life, I tend to self-analyze and and examine my self worth and what has been affecting it to the point where it has begun to deteriorate.
Throughout my life, I've gone through several cycles of transformation or metamorphosis, becoming a new better me.
Still, I know this isn't over--the cycles will continue and as I come out of them, I must ask myself, through all this pain, what have you learned?
Nothing is random to me, so has this or that been placed in my life to show me what I want, what I need, what I don't want, what is essential to my well-being, what makes me a better person, friend, sister, daughter, neighbor, lover? Where is the line between selfishness and survival? Does love mean sacrificing your soul?
Every fear I've ever had, I have been forced to face in the past 8 years, including death and I've survived it all. Now I face the greatest one (a likely divorce) while at the same time facing a tandem one (trusting other women for emotional support) and the success of both are somewhat dependent on each other.
I had a strong mother who never realized her dreams and never vocalized her fear, anger and poor self-image. My grandmother came from a time and place where if a man didn't beat you regularly it was a good marriage and a woman speaking up or leaving was likely a whore and certainly not a good woman. And in spite of all that was against me, I knew in my heart that I was wonderful and amazing and beautiful and lovable and so so worthy of the very best life has to offer.
And now, I have to take everything I've learned and move ahead. A formidable task indeed, but one I see I've been prepared for. I'm terrified and excited and ready.
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:13 PM   #13
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Old 05-04-2010, 06:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TallFatSue View Post
We women get lotsa mixed messages, and it sure seems we're never "good enough" or we never do enough, both at home and on the job.
And you have no doubt noticed that the people for whom you are never "good enough" are the people for whom NOTHING is EVER "good enough." In other words, it ain't you, it's THEM:

"Some people live in a dream of what'll
Allow them to live their dream:
They solemnly hold out a half-pint bottle
And ask for a pint of cream."
--Piet Hein
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:19 PM   #15
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I love this thread for what it is teaching me and re reading my post gave me a lovely energy boost

Huggles to all the wonderful women who have shared here
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:11 PM   #16
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tualatin, Oregon (near Portland)
Posts: 566
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CastingPearls View Post
This thread does not deserve to be orphaned. We need to nurture it

Happening upon DIMS, I've found, has not been not an accident. Whenever I'm at a low point in my life, I tend to self-analyze and and examine my self worth and what has been affecting it to the point where it has begun to deteriorate.
Throughout my life, I've gone through several cycles of transformation or metamorphosis, becoming a new better me.
Still, I know this isn't over--the cycles will continue and as I come out of them, I must ask myself, through all this pain, what have you learned?
Nothing is random to me, so has this or that been placed in my life to show me what I want, what I need, what I don't want, what is essential to my well-being, what makes me a better person, friend, sister, daughter, neighbor, lover? Where is the line between selfishness and survival? Does love mean sacrificing your soul?
Every fear I've ever had, I have been forced to face in the past 8 years, including death and I've survived it all. Now I face the greatest one (a likely divorce) while at the same time facing a tandem one (trusting other women for emotional support) and the success of both are somewhat dependent on each other.
I had a strong mother who never realized her dreams and never vocalized her fear, anger and poor self-image. My grandmother came from a time and place where if a man didn't beat you regularly it was a good marriage and a woman speaking up or leaving was likely a whore and certainly not a good woman. And in spite of all that was against me, I knew in my heart that I was wonderful and amazing and beautiful and lovable and so so worthy of the very best life has to offer.
And now, I have to take everything I've learned and move ahead. A formidable task indeed, but one I see I've been prepared for. I'm terrified and excited and ready.
Your not alone. There is no point of arrival, as we continue to learn things at a deeper level. Acceptance is everything. Whatever is happening in your life, accept it. Acceptance does not mean that you like it. Acceptance is acknowlegement and a willingness to live your values no matter how you feel. The whole world is in pain and thriving anyway.
__________________
"It's absurd to divide people into good and bad. People either or charming or tedious." Oscar Wilde

Queen Elizabeth I residing within.

If I continue to eat I will grow as big as a room.
"What are rooms for?":bow:
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