"Protect and Serve." or "Don’t let the bastards wear you down."

Note: This blog was written on Wednesday 11.28., but because I’ve been wary of offending those who might read it, I hesitated, and since have tried to write it different or “better” in order to let you know what’s going on. Instead, this waffling has meant I’ve written nothing here at all in order to serve that I be seen in a certain way – be “approved of.” I’ve (finally) decided to let it ride. And to perhaps move on. 

Thus, I bring you Wednesday’s blog. 
Since I’ve made my decision and told my doctors that I would
like (well, “like” is a strong word) to continue with chemo, rather than try my
chances at a bone marrow transplant, I’ve had several non-medical people ask
me, “Why?” To explain and “make it good,” as one person put it.
I would like to tell those of you who question the decisions
of others to “mind your own business, and have business to mind.”
For the last two months, I have been faced with the prospect
of an untimely death, organ damage, and infertility to name a few of the
biggies. This is nothing to mention the other physical, let alone emotional, reactions. Through this, I have let you know precisely where I have been
on my decision, what my fears, beliefs, and convictions were. What the
statistics were. What the doctor’s opinions were.
Therefore, to ask another “personal question,” why, pray tell, is it any of your business to press me on something you have no
right to know, but which I have already answered in my no-(or very
few)-holds-barred writing?
On the phone with my mom earlier, I was speaking with her
about another situation in which I was being asked to defend my position. In
which I was being asked to defend why I was expressing a boundary. Why, Molly,
are you putting up a boundary against me, tell me, Why?
Because I can.
Because I rarely have before.
Because it’s time, as I’ve written before, for me to believe
that my needs and my self are worth standing up for.
Because that’s what adults do.
We protect and serve ourselves on every level. Currently,
that looks like asking the right and available people to help me out, instead
of going to empty or oil-soaked wells for water. Currently, that looks like
defending myself in a way that is firm, but not manic.
If I were to defend my decisions with rancor or aggression,
then perhaps I’d have something to look at. But, if, as I am desperately trying to do now, I am defending myself with a calm
and firm conviction in the belief that I am worthy of protecting, then that
seems a worthy effort – not battle.
Perhaps this all sounds rather vague, but the point is that
I am in contact with humans. You are in contact with humans. Sometimes they
step on our grass, and we ask them to back up, and they do. But sometimes we
have to throw that electric invisible fence a few amperes higher.
A friend once told me that with some people, you put up a
boundary once and you never have to address it again. Some people, you have to
put it up every time you’re in contact with them. … Sometimes, you choose to
not let them on your block anymore.
This morning I heard something funny. “Fool me once, Shame on
you. Fool me twice, Shame on me. Fool me three times, I need a 12 step program.”
A lot of us have trouble with boundaries. We are learning
how to be in communication with people who don’t always, if ever, do what we
want. The unfortunate thing is that my priorities
are not always
your priorities,
and this causes conflict.
I don’t feel it to be my priority to explain my actions to
you, unless I am harming you in some way, or being inappropriate. I would like
to still believe that, for the most part, I can guide my words (and actions) by asking if they are
“kind, honest, and necessary.”
I don’t believe it necessary to explain myself to you. And
yet, I feel aggressive saying that – my limbs feel charged with agitation as I write it now. I am not used to telling you to get off my
lawn. I am used to letting you set up house on it, and retreating inside of
To get out of that constriction long enough to say, Get off
the grass, is a big progress for me, and it won’t be graceful all the time.
It likely won’t be graceful at all in the beginning. This is
new behavior, and like a new dance step or chord change, they aren’t skillful
at first. So, I might at first tell you to F off. Or I might hurt your feelings
by being aggressive in my defense. Or I might hurt your feelings by not
replying to what might be a genuinely open and concerned question from you
about my path in life.
But. It isn’t any of
your business. I lay myself out here because I like to. Because it gives me a
good feeling to write what’s on my mind and in my heart. Because I
do like to share with you what’s going on with me.
Is this to say that I can take praise but not criticism?
Well, I suppose for now, Yes. Because what it currently feels like is I am
finally allowing a sapling of self-esteem to crack the surface of the earth,
and a wind that smells of criticism feels like napalm. I am not yet strong enough
in my belief in myself to weather criticism.
It might not make for a very useful person yet, but I have
no doubt that each time I defend myself against the foul winds, I am building
more esteem which will nourish the plant, and the process will continue to
enhance the being who I am.
I don’t only want to be emboldened by defending myself
though. I want to be emboldened and strengthened just as much – actually, in
fact, more so – by my positive traits,
as reflected back to me from myself, and yes, from others.
I don’t live in a vacuum. What other people think of me does have an impact on me. But I am seeing that the time
it takes me to remember who I am from the moment when it is called into
question is getting shorter and shorter. And that’s just over the last 2 weeks 😉

Besides, I guess the marker of this is what Patsy always tells me when I want to give unsolicited advice, and I offer this to you, general public:

Are They Asking You?

Most usually, the answer is No.

2 thoughts on “"Protect and Serve." or "Don’t let the bastards wear you down."

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