I can’t believe it took so long, but I just realized this today. My entire life I’ve been told I’m mean anytime I talk about my feelings or take care of myself. It started with my parents who always told me I was a mean big sister for not giving my sister what she wants. That went as far as giving her gifts that were given to me if she liked them. Then I was mean for daring to live my life as a gay person. My parents thought I was being and selfish because it made them feel embarrassed to have a gay daughter. Those things are all in the past. I understand them now as an adult. I have a good relationship with my parents and it isn’t like that anymore.

I wonder though. Did it set the stage for my adult life or do all women feel this way. I’m going through couples counseling and my wife often says I’m being mean when I’m just being honest about my feelings. I’ve let people control me with that approach. I’ve done anything to not be mean and be a “good girl”. Is this just regular pressure of being a woman in our society. Is there for everyone as background noise that they ignore better than me? Do other people feel that they are viewed as mean or a bitch for just saying how they feel and taking care of themselves.

I’m over it. For me, the first step was just going no contact with my in-laws. I don’t care how mean it seems, I won’t see or talk to them. Now I feel empowered to do other things that are good for me even if it makes me “mean” and as I do, I recognize more and more the power that used to have over me.