There was a time in my life when “just a girl” was enough. I suppose education brings a little more self-confidence because I haven’t been just a girl in a long while. What caused the transformation? My last few years of college and a bit after graduation I was dating a man who seemed perfect. Perfect if you were on the outside looking in that is. The sad part is emotionally controlling boyfriends are every bit as scary as physically abusive ones. I am sure plenty of you have met or dated this kind of guy. At first his attention is flattering, but over time you begin to notice the attention is focused more on CONTROLLING you than loving you. You know the little signs, calling or texting to check up on you, showing up where you are uninvited, alienating you from your friends, he has to make all the big decisions, and most important, he is never at fault. Yeah, that guy (or girl).
I have to be honest, after a few years of that, I am actually lucky I even graduated. I was such a basketcase I couldn’t figure what I even wanted anymore, I mean, he told me when we graduate, we are going to get married. It’s not like I had a choice any longer, right? How did a basically self-loving high esteem me get to this state? Honestly? I still don’t know. Only thing I can reckon is something in my life weakened me for just the blink of an eye and he insiduously worked his way in. But luckily what he didn’t count on was those girlfriends he so astutely alienated me from? My once a month “girls night out” posse? They didn’t take this sitting down, one tough intervention, and several years of forgiving myself later, “here I are.” I may be just a Cao, but never again will I be just a girl.
Take from? Yeah, I need to. A relationship shouldn’t change who you are, especially when you’re already a happy person. You should be the only person with the power to change who you are. Reflecting on this all these years I realize, if you are a strong, secure person, at odd times you may start to feel a bit weird about how you can never be correct in much of anything around this person, especially if it is a topic that the person feels confident of knowing. Those little niggling feelings? Listen to them; they are there to guide you. If you don’t listen to them now, in a decade or so you might be a former shadow of the person you were supposed to become. Don’t let that happen to you. Because I kinda like the you that you are, all on your own.