Crossing the river of misery to a new identity / destructive mixed messages about being a woman


I had a powerful coaching session with Janet Archer yesterday. Significant progress was made on an issue that has perplexed me for years: the belief that “I am not allowed to get what other women get.” I really felt HEARD for the first time on this issue. Whenever I tried to work on this prior to Scholars, I got some sympathy and weird looks but not progress. This is THE issue of my life — and Janet was able to give me a true ray of hope that there is another side of this where I have it all figured out, where my power is.

I’m here posting a question, because my session with Janet had to end 🙂

UM-1
C: My boyfriend’s xmas present to me last year was some chapsticks.
T: “I am not allowed to get what other women get.”
F: Angry
A: Withdraw so he doesn’t see me sulking.
Lie and say I’m “fine,” when I’m not fine.
Compare myself to other women.
Compare my relationship to my friends’ relationships.
Avoid the topics of weddings, marriage, engagement, rings, etc. in conversation.
Spend an hour at Target figuring out what makeup or hair products to buy, paralyzed with indecision. LOL.
Buffer with clothes shopping.
Waffle on what my “personal style” is — is it boho? is it sporty? is it edgy? aaaaaaa!!!!
R: Get stuff like chapsticks, t-shirts, etc. on holidays.
Less intimacy and more disconnection in my relationship.
Thought loops about “I’m not allowed to get what other women get.”

In the Scholars work this morning, I continued to examine and question that thought and the related thoughts that cause me so much pain. I fit it into this other unintentional model —

UM-2
C: When I was a teenager, my parents said, “we want you to be a woman who pays her own way, and doesn’t expect a man to take care of her. The girls who get attention and gifts from boys are bimbos, and you are a smart girl and better than they are.” [They actually said this.]
T: “I am wrong for secretly wanting what the other girls get — who I am is wrong.”
F: Ashamed.
A: Say sarcastic things about marriage in response to my boyfriend’s overture about maybe having our wedding at such-and-such place. Say negative things in front of my boyfriend when a female friend in our group says I would have a fun time having a bachelorette party. Secretly read the stories at “howheasked.com” and judge the women as bimbos while simultaneously being jealous of them.
R: Over time, boyfriend started saying very negative things about marriage too, which just proves the thought that I’m not allowed to get what the other women get, and I’m wrong for wanting it.

UM-3
C: I’m in a relationship.
T: “I am wrong for wanting what other women get — I’m supposed to be happy without all of that.”
F: Ashamed.
A: Lie and say I’m fine, when I’m not fine.
Spend lots of time and money on personal growth to try to “get over wanting anything from a man.”
Sometimes spend time on this issue at the expense of other things I’d love to do — like become fluent in a foreign language, or get ahead of schedule on some work projects.
Avoid intimacy. Get up early to avoid boyfriend. Go for a run instead of staying in bed with him.
Avoid talking about these things with him.
Avoid doing my estate plan.
R: A very uptight life.

Ok, so that’s not very up lifting. Here is are the intentional models I’m struggling to complete:

IM-1
C: My boyfriend gave me chapsticks
T: He was just following my cues, and as I learn to let myself be me, my relationship will improve. (?)
F: Respected (by myself, by him)
A: Tell him what kinds of gifts I like on holidays without it seeming needy, clingy or dramatic
R: I get earrings or something like that

IM-2
C: My parents said, “we want you to be a woman who pays her own way, and doesn’t expect a man to take care of her. The girls who get attention and gifts from boys are bimbos, and you are a smart girl and better than they are.”
T: I can take care of my own needs AND receive what other women receive, and I can decide that it means that I’m smart AND attractive.
F: unapologetic. Confident.
A: Be the kind of empowered woman who receives the best her man can give because “to she who has, more will be given” so to speak. Queen energy. [I am still trying to figure this out…?]
R: More honesty in my relationship. I truly don’t “need” because I “am all that.”

Am I on the right track here? Thank you for reading this lengthy question.