***I originally wrote this back in early April…so much has changed for the better! I hope it blesses someone today***
For the longest time, I believed that people needed to hear my side of any number of stories in order for true justice to occur. It was never enough to tell just one person. I was a gossiping woman, yet somehow felt justified because I was “right”.
One day I woke up and the truth of my behavior dawned on me. I had always wanted the world to view me as the victim. “This person works so hard at her job, on her marriage, at becoming her best self, but some coworkers don’t appreciate her knowledge, her husband ignores her, she eats that crappy food, her house isn’t nice enough, her kids don’t respect her enough,” ad nauseum. Admitting that these had been my thoughts feels cringy. Rereading it is even worse.
Now what? I can’t ignore this truth bomb. I. Am. Not. A. Victim. I need to write that again. I. Am. Not. A. Victim.
When I was growing up, I was taught that admitting truth is half the battle. But now, I’m not certain what’s next. What does the rest of my life look like? When you live a certain way for over 40 years, a mindset shift and changed behavior aren’t so easy.
My number one shift has to be to pray specifically about opening my mind to the truth that I’m not a victim, and also to thank God for the overabundance of blessings in my life. Prayer is what opened my eyes to this victim mentality in the first place. I have been praying for quite some time. I’ve prayed prayers like, “Lord, please help me appreciate what I have.” or “help me see my husband with your eyes.” I’ve prayed for God to “change my heart” and “make it ever true,” just like the old church hymn sings.
I don’t know what my future holds here on earth. I’m not sure if I’ll be respected at work for my knowledge of literacy. I can’t speak to whether or not my husband and I will build or buy our forever home or if we’ll live in the old house we raised our kids in for the rest of our lives. I really don’t know if my husband will show me love in the way I can perceive it. I don’t have these answers, but I have to be alright with the unknown. If everything went according to how I’d like it to and in my timing, I wouldn’t have a reason to grow and change.
And I need to. Desperately.
Update: My family loves me and I know it. I am reclaiming my house and making it into a home. I am enjoying a summer of healing and I’m looking forward to year 15 of teaching!