It took me quite a while to understand my worth. In fact, it took me 23 years so far and who really knows whether I got there yet. All I suddenly realize is that I thought it all was under my control and I knew what I was doing only to figure out I still let men do what they want to do too often. For the sake of feeling wanted, for the sake of intimacy. I do not have everything under control and to admit that is probably one of the hardest things to do.
As with most girls (or people in general of any gender really) I was getting into the habit of wanting to be liked by boys. I flirted, I played, I enjoyed. I always felt like I was leading the way because I was the one who seduced the other. Turned out this was not always the case. I bring up this one situation over and over again where this guy from my class tried to make me give him a hand job in the bus home from our school trip by taking my hand and placing it between his legs twice. But let us go a little more back in time. How did it get so far anyway? I mean, something must have led to this point, right? Just to point it out first: I do not and will not blame myself for anything that has happened to me. It is education in the first place that should have prevented me from feeling like I needed all this approval from boys, to know my worth. And even more important, these boys need to get teached to respect not only the other sex but human beings in general!
So, there was this boy trying to get a hand job in this dark bus full of class mates. There was a time where I enjoyed his attention. For months before that he was making me feel wanted and at the same time he played me. He played me and when he was being nice again I soaked it all in only to see myself whining about why he is such a jerk again. I would never defend his actions but I will say that this boy never learned how to treat people respectfully and I did not know that I was worth more than that.
I kept on chasing after boys who did not want me, denclining those who treated me with respect and love. I wanted what I could not get, I accepted what I thought I deserved. I did not feel deserving for a healthy, uncomplicated and loving relationship and this is probably still true today. I do not know how it feels to have that actually. A relationship free from toxic behavior. Deep inside I always thought relationships have to be complicated and full of troubles because this is what I learned. This is what surrounded me my whole life. This is what I experienced as a young girl when I started to get interested in boys. Relationships were not meant to be easy. At this young age you are suppose to be mean to each other. First it is called teasing and then it just gets worse. Boys will be boys, it says. And girls go along with it, maybe getting playfully bitchy because that is how you are suppose to react. While I was desperately trying to get attention from guys who did not want me, I became blind for those who have done anything to make me happy. Actually, I always knew. I saw them, these boys trying to win over my heart by giving me their time, giving me cookies, giving me laughter. But this voice in my head always said that is too easy. It cannot be that easy. Again, relationships are suppose to be hard and difficult. Only friendships seem to be that light, so we should stay friends I figured. So, I never got into these easy, light-hearted relationships, really. If there was someone who I really seemed to like and who really seemed to like me, it got complicated anyways. I got in a habit of complicating things by mostly not communcating what I needed (because I never learned to) and things just went downhill from there on. Again, I do not blame only myself, there has been other reasons why it did not work out as well, for sure, but I see the patterns within myself and I am about to break through them.
I find myself in similar situations repeatedly. It is either me chasing after someone who in the first place does not have any interest in me or I find myself allowing someone to ignore my boundaries for the lack of self-worth and/or the need for approval. I considered myself well-educated on what sexual harassment means and where it starts but it turns out I was totally unaware of when sexual harassment starts for me personally. One may wonders how someone can not know his*her own boundaries but this is just how it is. Nowadays, media is full of it: teaching you about sexual harassment, what to do about it to either prevent it or how to act about it in a certain situation. But sometimes you find yourself in a situation, you know you do not feel hundred percent comfortable but you cannot point out why. You may have been intimate with someone and still you suddenly do not feel well anymore when they touch you. You shake this feeling off first, to then realize way after that your boundaries have been crossed. No one can teach you about your own personal boundaries. No one can tell you when you are suppose to say no because only you can decide on that for yourself. But what you really have to understand is that you must insist on your no. No means no (I know, I am bringing up all these phrases here but they cannot be said enough).
You should never feel ashamed because you were not able to say no though. Some people will not understand that but sometimes it is not easy to say no at all. It is something you have to train yourself on. I know it is hard, especially in situations where you actually feel close to someone. It can be tough to priotize yourself. To maybe put the other one or both of you in an uncomfortable situation by saying no, maybe even in the middle of sex or even just kissing. But you must understand that it is your right to do so. Your well-being is on top of everything and the other person should respect that whatever your reasons may be.
It ended up being a little bit of a rambling but this is so important for me to get out there. Know your worth. And do not feel ashamed to set and change your boundaries whenever you feel the need to and to say no.
Please be respectful and do not judge my grammatical mistakes but I'll be happy if you just correct them with respect. Thank you. :)