Giving My Younger Self the Confidence I Need
By Abbie Vanessa
“If you could go back to those moments where you felt attacked in past relationships, what would you tell yourself?”
I was asked this fascinating question the other day. I was talking about how shitty people were as I was growing up. Oh, how I wished I would have had the confidence that I have now. I could probably write a whole book on all the different times I was too timid to stand up for myself when people disrespected me. There is one instance that I remember the most. I had been dealing with a very toxic person at the time who made me fear for my physical well-being. I walked on eggshells when he was upset because of his reaction to situations frightened me. At that time, the mental damage he could cause didn’t cross my mind.
“No matter the type of abuse, it leaves a mark in your life.”
Honestly, no matter the type of abuse, it leaves a mark in your life. To this day, there’s a particular situation during that relationship that gets me riled up. As I write about this story, I will refer to my ex as “douche face.”
Picture it, a cheerful company Christmas party at a beautifully decorated venue. People are enjoying each other’s company, eating good food, a fun photo booth to take pictures with friends, people showing off their dance moves.
Douche face and I sat at the same table with his new boss and boss’s wife. I was chatting it up with the wife, she was super lovely but just stayed at the table. I asked her if she wanted to hit the dance floor. She did, but the music was not her style. I wanted her to have a good time, so I requested the DJ to play a few songs she said she liked.
Let me tell you, we were having a blast busting moves on the dance floor. She mentioned she liked songs by Selena. The Latina in me screamed with joy and said, “ OHHH MY GOSHHH I LOVE SELENA!” We were enjoying life until douche face comes up to me, grabs my arm, gets close to my ear, and says, “ Remember, you are a lady, so act like it.”
Bitch when I tell you I was fuming…….I stood there for a second to gather my thoughts, knowing I couldn’t say anything in front of everyone. I was so overwhelmed with anger that I had to take a walk, and I lost my shit. My friends at the party cooled me down, but I will never forget that moment. Douche face expected me to be a trophy wife or a robot that just sat there while he did whatever he wanted to. That is not how this was going to play out.
“Don’t you dare give this insecure man any of your tears.”
So, what would I tell myself if I could go back to that very moment? I would walk up to my younger self, grab my other arm, and say, “ You better dance your little heart out girl. Everything he just told you, brush it off. Don’t you dare give this insecure man any of your tears or reactions. You are a lady, and ladies can do whatever the fuck they want to do, and we live under no one’s shadow. You let that terrible man be miserable and angry by himself.” I’ve learned never to allow a man to mold me into something I’m not. I’m not a toy that’s going to do what you want.
For the longest time, I thought I had something wrong with me. Wondering how I am supposed to be? GIRL, I WOKE UP ONE DAY AND SAID FUCK THAT DOUCHE FACE. I WILL BE NO ONE’S SHADOW, LET ALONE A MISERABLE BITTER MANS. So, I decided to drop that whole relationship and work on who I wanted to be as a person.
I worked hard for two years, and I feel super stable. I don’t allow anyone to tell me how to be. Not even my momma. And she pooped me out of her body. The point I’m trying to make is that you should find what version of yourself makes YOU the happiest and not allow others to change your views about yourself.
Unless you are that shitty person, you should probably change and be better.