I’ve always felt like being a woman is a massive chore.
If you’re raised in a conservative, traditionalist household, your father might feel that you are his property. What his property does reflects on him to others. My own father wasn’t exactly conservative, but neither was he liberal. He was religious when it suited him. He idolized Bill Clinton and JFK for being skirtchasers, but otherwise, women existed solely for his needs. That’s the way it was for me.
He and my stepmother weren’t one for positive reinforcement. They preferred heavy-handed authoritarian parenting. I needed to know they owned me, and that anything they gave me I had to be slavishly grateful over. Flat out told as a child I was just renting that room I slept in. My existence was a burden for them, and gosh, I wasn’t a likeable burden either. Didn’t I think about my father’s feelings? Didn’t I care about his reputation to people who didn’t matter? Why didn’t I adorn myself with skirts and makeup and high heels, become a cheerleader, and be popular at school? Why did I insist on being quiet, introverted, reading books, and showing no indicators of femininity? Why did I embarrass him that way?
I’ve always known I had low value in this world as a female. And a female who doesn’t make her life’s goal to please the eyes of others, that’s even worse. It’s easy to reject this world when you’ve been treated the way I’ve been. It’s easy to reject what others try to force upon you. Femininity has always been forced upon me; it doesn’t feel liberating or empowering to me. At all.
I’m steadily giving up on the notion anyone will understand. No one will understand. I need to pound this into my head, to get past the notion I’ve been struggling with since childhood, the falsehood taught to me by fiction: someone will understand some day. That fiction was meant for normal children, good little boys and girls who know what they’re supposed to be when they grow up. Not for people like me.
I’m finally opening my eyes. I thought for the longest time that if I was kind and nice, no matter how “odd” I was, people would still like and accept me. But now I know if I don’t wear makeup, have nice hair, and act appropriately feminine, I will never be accepted. I will never fit. I will always be strange, and people will forget my name.
I’m better prepared now. I took off my pair of rose-tinted glasses. It’s funny, how much I talked in this blog about the female half of The Couple wearing those, but I had a pair myself after all. I know now I need to conserve my energy, when it comes to other people, because they will never return that energy to a “strange” person. Other people are a bottomless pit, taking and never returning. If I was normal, if I was a proper woman, it would be different.
If I live a lie, other people will reward me. If I live my own truth, I am borderline shunned. And yet, I know what is still better, in the long run.