I was a non. In my university days, I would become whomever I was around. If you asked me my opinion, I usually wanted to hear yours before answering. Then my answer would be based on what you said. If you asked me where I wanted to eat, I would say, ” I don’t know, what do you want?” How annoying. I am so annoyed with myself when I look back. Why did my friends even bother?
I grew up in a home that turmoil was a constant. So I would do what I was told to keep the boat from rocking. I was taught that. Maybe this is a survival skill a battered woman learns. I can remember so many times, we would come home from church and be at the dinner table eating lunch. My dad would be talking about what the pastor had said. I had totally different opinions. I am not sure whether they were right or wrong but nevertheless they were different from that of my dad. I would start to voice my opinion and perhaps liked the idea of rocking the boat… daring to question, daring to think for my self or have my own opinions… but would feel a kick under the table.
My mom. Her eyes were telling me to be quiet. Probably begging me to be quiet. My father could not handle being wrong or having his authority questioned. So my thoughts learned to become quieter. Oh I would continue to think loud thoughts in my head but that is where they stayed. Perhaps where they were safe.
When I went to university, it was a whole new world. I was free. I just didn’t know what to do with that freedom. I knew I could breathe. I can still remember that wonderful feeling. Oh I was scared, not doubt. It was a big world. But it was so neat to know I could do anything. Well almost anything.
I think I was exploring all the things I could be. I remember thinking that person is so confident, I like that. Or that person it so selfish. Yuk. How thoughtful that was of so and so. I was being molded into all that things I could be and wanted to be.
There were all those things that were in my genes that I had to learn to grab hold of too.
I am not sure when I was tired of being a non. It took years of growing and feeling strong enough within to be the real me. It took a long time to trust that those around me would love me regardless. It took having Sammy to realize that I HAD to protect him. In order to do that, I couldn’t be scared anymore.
I remember the first time I stood up to my inlaws. It was the first really time I STOOD. It was scary. Really scary. But I did it.
It had to do with defending my kids and I KNEW at that moment if I didn’t I was letting them down. it was a millisecond decision but was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.
It was a defining moment for me. I spoke my mind (really it was only a few word but still…) and no one hit me. Oh there were other reprocussions but ones I could live with. It was a horrid moment yet amazing. I only see the amazing now… it didn’t feel great to stir the pot but now looking back … that moment changed everything.
It is amazing what wee helpless babes can empower you to do. Slowly I went from a non to a mom. I went from having thoughts and opinions that were quiet to loud. And I felt safe doing so. This is a gift that I had/have with Sanj. I know that no matter how mad he gets at me (like when I ruined the ice rink) he will never hurt me.
I am safe. I think that one of the keys to leaving non-hood behind is feeling safe. Giving yourself permission to the REAL you. Giving yourself permission to be HAPPY. Giving yourself permission to be a person.
I know some nons. When I am around them or have a conversation with them, I feel restless. Almost anxious. I don’t want to be around someone that is going to agree with me or be me. There is room for only one me and sometimes that is too much.
I see people in the 30s, 40, 70s that are nons. It is not too late. Let go and BE! It is so amazing to be free and be who you were meant to be.