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All my life I have struggled to speak up and share my thoughts and feelings. It may seem hard to believe since I blog about everything and anything, but it comes from being a part of a large family. I was always overshadowed by my older brother’s greatness (a genius and an artist) and then being in a marriage where I was forced into a submissive role by abuse and narcissism. Even post-divorce, post-transformation, and post-spiritual growth I still struggle. I can’t speak up for myself or assert my boundaries easily or often. More accurately, I used to never be able to, and I am learning and working to speak up, create boundaries, and make my needs known. I was a total emotional chicken, and sometimes I still am. Afraid to ask for what I need, afraid to be wrong or be viewed as needy or anything negative really.

I never realized until very recently exactly how hard it’s been for me to speak up. The two places it is the hardest to ask for what I require and want is with my significant other and with medical professionals. As I mentioned in an earlier post, until recently I made decisions almost entirely passively. I made decisions by not making decisions, and then life just happened to me. I had a victim mentality looking at it now. What a vicious cycle I was living. How could I be happy when I was not listening to my own needs and desires and thus never getting them met?

Speaking up and living that power is the ultimate goal. I believe it to be a universal struggle, especially for women. Our society and culture trains both men and women to think and behave, and it shapes how we all perceive ourselves and each other. How often have we heard that a woman who speaks up is demanding and bitchy, but a man doing the same is a go-getter? I don’t want to be seen as demanding and bitchy, but I also don’t want to continue to live in this land of resentment and victim mentality.

I am working and learning to speak up more. Now I struggle when the person does not listen or give me what I am asking for. I am, however, learning and working on this. Just because I speak up does not mean the other person is open to hearing me and does not mean I will get what I want. It is a work in progress, as am I, the Suburban Goddess Mom.

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