Yesterday a freaking breakthrough happened, guys.
“What does that mean?” you may be asking yourself. Well, let me tell you.
Through reading my last few posts, I’m sure you know by now that I am taking my healing into my own hands and trudging through the last eight years of bullshit in my life. I started with addressing my thoughts and emotions about losing my virginity to date rape. I am still reeling a little bit from actually experiencing the emotions I have had bottled up for years from that.
A month or so ago I posted about a boy who, incredibly kindly, told me he wasn’t interested in me any longer. I wrote about how I couldn’t be mad at him because he was just being honest and upfront with his feelings. And that was awesome. And I didn’t realize how much he taught me in just our few dates.
But yesterday. Wowie zowie, yesterday I realized what he taught me. And it was a whopper. Get ready!
Yesterday I went on a date. I had gone on one previous date with this guy this summer, then he moved for work. His job ended up not being a great fit for him so he moved back to DC… I really had lost almost all interest at this point. But he had been haranguing me for a second date, so I said “sure.” I didn’t say it because I necessarily wanted to, but mostly because I had been texting with him and felt obligated to say yes.
So we went on our date. And he was nice, albeit a bit handsy. He drove me home and was sort of hinting at further dates and/or just coming into my house to “I dunno…watch something.” And I stopped him. I looked him in the eye and told him that I thought he was a great guy and I enjoyed talking with him, but that I wasn’t interested in going on another date. I didn’t want to lead him on or do the dreaded “fade away” where I would gradually stop responding to him hoping he would just forget I existed.
I told him these things. Because I knew that being honest and upfront was the best, and because I remembered how I felt when Guy Who Dumped Me did it. And do you know what he did?
He thanked me for being honest. He thanked me for saying no.
And I went inside and didn’t feel upset or guilty. I felt happy. But that was it. I didn’t really think much of it after that.
Later, while in therapy, I told this story to my therapist. And in the middle of the story I began to cry. Huge, triumphant tears were streaming down my face as if my emotions knew my revelation before I did. And I stopped talking so I could figure out why I was crying. It didn’t take me long to grin wider than I have in so very long. Because I had realized something amazing. Yesterday I thought about my needs and I fucking said NO.
After eight years of saying “sure,” “why not,” and “okay” to men, I had finally SAID NO. I didn’t do it angrily. And he didn’t get upset. Because, oh my goodness, BECAUSE IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO!
On my therapist’s couch I was sobbing while smiling the most radiant smile, like I am right now as I remember taking the fucking wheel in my decision making. Because I said no. I created a boundary and I stuck to it.
No more will I live in the land of the “why not?” No longer will I acquiesce half-assedly with a “sure.”
Because I am going to make my own decisions about my life, about my body. I am going to take care of me. And that means thinking something is a sure-fire yes and SAYING YES or if something isn’t a sure-fire yes, saying NO. It doesn’t have to be mean, it just has to be firm.
I. Said. No.
And you can, too.