Day in and day out, I wake up to this woman. I fall asleep to this woman. I leave my home and return to her presence. Hell, she tends to even tag along at times. She’s like a fly in my ear at a barbecue, just buggin’ TF out of me. Her walk. Her talk. Her high yellow ass walks around like her shit don’t stink. Head all high with that damn smirk on her face and that one eyebrow raised. Phone rings, she got the nerve to look at the screen and put it back down like she can’t be bothered. The moment she opens her mouth, you’d assume she was a sailor. Cuss words coming from both sides of her mouth without a filter in sight. She has this confidence about her that’s too loud for me and I believe others are starting to feel it too.
Truthfully, she seems like a woman who’s unapologetic in who she is. She knows she’s made mistakes in her life and she’s held herself accountable. From those mistakes, she’s learned. She’s learned who is really there for her and who isn’t. She’s learned how to say “no” without further explanation. She’s learned to set boundaries and stand firm in them. What really trips me out is how she acts like she doesn’t need anybody. I guess you can say she’s learned how to enjoy her own company but if you ask me, I think she’s just gotten to be “too good”. She done removed the wool from her eyes and started seeing people for who they really were … now she’s out here, just cuttin’ everybody off. I mean who does she think she is? We all need somebody, right?
Honestly speaking, she’s who I’ve always wanted to be … who I was scared to be. I used to make myself smaller for others to feel comfortable. I used to belittle others with false confidence to make myself feel comfortable. She exudes love yet leaves plenty for herself. I admire and envy the way she loves herself loudly whereas I’ve looked for love in all the wrong people, just trying to fill that void. What I envy most about her now is her lack of fear. Whatever she thinks or feels, she does. She doesn’t ask for validation. She doesn’t look for reassurance. She just does it. She seems so free and that’s what I’ve always wanted out of life … freedom.
I always kept myself so confined in my comfort zone, never thinking I was able or capable of the things she’s accomplished. I was scared to go through the things she went through to get where she is now. I can only imagine what life came to look like for her once she removed those rose colored glasses. I cringe at the thought … it sometimes even brings tears to my eyes. Yet still, I wanted to be her.
It wasn’t until one evening, I was having one of my crying sessions, locked away in the bathroom though no one else lives with me. The bathroom always served as my safe space. She opened the door without knocking and I saw her hand reach into the darkness where I was. I sniffled and she said, “it’s okay little one. Come on out.” As I crept closer to the light, her face came into view and the stranger was …
Stop asserting yourself into a role you weren’t asked to fulfill.
In figuring out my purpose, I’ve played many roles in life that were not meant for me. There is one role that I reflect on most. I was never asked to play this role. I never auditioned for it. I just asserted myself into it. My childhood trauma impacted me to the point where I was scared of conflict … even the ones that didn’t concern me. I always remembered myself as being the peacemaker, trying to make sure everyone was happy because things were good when everyone was happy.
Now that I am in my 30s, I realized these circumstances led me to become a “fixer.” I was someone who was broken … so in return, I ran around trying to fix everything and everyone I came across. This tied into my relationships as I attracted some of the most broken people. When we become young first time daters, we don’t ask the person we’re dating, “what happened in your childhood that has made you the person you are today?” We don’t ask, “have you any demons that you haven’t addressed through therapy?” In our teens and 20s, we weren’t thinking about things like that even though we were setting up a beautiful life with this person in our minds already. Fixers like myself saw all of your past trials and tribulations that hurt you and thought, “I can fix this.” I thought with this big and generous heart that God blessed me with, I could love away another’s trauma. I thought I could affirm away their insecurities. What I didn’t realize was picking up someone else’s broken pieces only cut me.
Hurt people hurt people, especially when hurt goes unacknowledged. You obsess over proving yourself as the fixer, not realizing that this stems from your own trauma. You’re doing your best to prove your worth and you’re far different from the disappointments that this person has experienced.
Fixers feel like they get what they deserve. If they have been treated like shit then obviously it’s something the fixer is doing wrong. In true fixer fashion, fixers try to “fix it” in the hopes of being loved again. Being a fixer is a toxic trait that many of us have to let go of.
Boundaries are important when you’re overcoming being a fixer. When you’re a fixer, you’re also a giver and you have to be mindful of your limits because these takers have none. Don’t let someone guilt trip you into believing you’re obligated. You are not responsible for the broken pieces of others … just your own.
As for me, I don’t consider myself as broke anymore. I spent a lot of time falling in love with broken people. I spent a lot of time being a fixer and a healer for others. To combat that, I am spending plenty of time alone so that I could fall in love with myself and receive a taste of my own medicine. No longer a fixer, I am now a potter … someone who put the pieces of her broken pottery back together with her own hands.
How many of us have ever heard or seen someone in a situation and have been quick to say, “couldn’t be me?” Let’s be honest because I’ve been one of those people as well. There have been plenty of times where some of my friends or coworkers have vented to me about a situation and I’d say girl, you’re better than me because I couldn’t deal with it. I’ve had this way of thinking until it actually was me …
Every now and then, I like to take time for some self-evaluation. During these moments, I affirm myself, choosing things that I admire and pinpointing when I’ve done something good for myself. Also, I find things that I’m not happy with and do my best to work towards changing them. Instead this time, I’m not conforming myself to fit in where I never was meant to. I’ve tried and failed plenty of times when it comes to being someone more acceptable, more normal, more lovable but there is something I’ve always failed at to which I’ve opened my eyes abruptly:
I’M ALWAYS APOLOGIZING.