Recently read a letter that I found tucked in and among some things while I was semi-unpacking. That was back in November and it cut me to the core, just like it did when I first read it. The letter, written by a boyfriend who would not be long for my life, accused me of failing to meet the standards of a girlfriend.
You see, the letter came with the downturn in my business caused by a variety of circumstances not the least of which was the beginning of the end of print media. I was having a hard time meeting expenses and being asked to help fund another person's lifestyle. I could not do both without losing my own home. So I did what was necessary to keep my home.
In this letter, I was accused of being devious, that I only will care about things as far as my own needs are met. Of course, if someone were taking care of me and struggling they would have said that they were taking care of business. The only difference between the two stances is that he was a man and I was a woman.
A woman can not, still in this day and age, make the tough choices without being accused of some womanly failing. What would be considered assertive, definitive, level-headed and done of necessity by a man is considered devious and under-handed when done by a woman. The motive is not questioned when a man draws a line. But when a woman draws a line there is always haggling, assumptions are made about her intent.
If we are to temporarily cut someone off for the good of the future we are plotting something underhanded. And if we concede to the whims of those who must join us in sacrifice, and the future collapses, then we are held solely to blame. Women have run households for eons. We are to feel guilt when there are sacrifices to be made and others suffer along with us. But when another makes the sacrifices that cause us to suffer we are to bear the burden with a lightness of being that can only be found in the insipid characters of fairy tales.
Truly though my real crime that caused him to accuse me of being devious was that I refused to feel guilty about the choices that I made. I didn't feel the slightest bit guilty for telling him no. Felt no sympathy at all for him when he had to go without extras while I was going without the basics. I did not put him in his situation. And no one has the right to ask anyone to become homeless to provide comfort to another. So when I did what I had to do to recover my losses and keep my home I felt no guilt at all. Heartless?
You have to do what needs to be done to keep everyone together in the BIG PICTURE. You do what you have to do to provide for you and yours, even if yours don't understand.
I can't feel guilty about making tough choices. A friend of mine was recently worried about taking advantage of things available to him as a matter of course. If something is made available to you and you have need of it then accept it. There is no reason to feel guilty. When you have insurance policies it does no good to refuse to file a claim. The claim is there for you to take what you have been paying for in the first place. When a service is offered you accept the service. Guilt free.
Provide for yourself. We are all old enough now to know that no one looks out for us better than ourselves. Guilt free provisions, that's what I am talking about. We bow down to others when we have a weak sense of ourselves. And we bow down to others when we should not because we lack the faith in ourselves to assert the same rights others have. I think that we bully ourselves long after the other bullies have grown up and been put to bed.
Stop carrying on where the others left off!