Veteran, Well being

Women Empowerment – Not so supportive and the womanhood role

Women Empowerment – Not so supportive and the womanhood role

10/08/2022

I went to sleep way too early then ended up waking up around 11:30 pm. I only slept for 3 hours but it was enough to keep me awake. It is now 3:05 am. Insomnia is still kicking in on occasion.

I had many thoughts yesterday about marriage and what it means to me. I had an anxiety fueled moment where I got so upset over the fact that my marriage, in my mind, failed. The person I talk to online was supportive even though he did not really understand but it was the effort he made that counted.

I had to break down all those feelings and see what the root of the problem was.

I realized that my marriage ended because I ended it. I had to because it was going nowhere and it was becoming toxic, like my mother’s. That is not a marriage that I want, no one should. Then why was I getting so upset over it?

It was the idea of marriage that I was obsessing over yesterday. I had grown up with the traditional marriage trope in my mind. Find someone, fall in love, marry them, have kids, raise them, send them out into the world, and then grow old with the person you married have grandchildren. That was my ideal marriage. Yet, that idea changed over time for me because I was in a bad marriage.

That topic of marriage and how I fit into these “roles” of womanhood came up and the reason I am writing this.

When I was in this bad marriage, I relied on the other women in my life as a support to get through things but all I ever heard was “Be nice,” “Be a better wife,” “Be what he wants,” and my favorite (sarcasm) “Let him be in charge.”

I always went against this because women who took on the roles of being both a father and mother to their kids raised me.

All these mixed messages about how I was supposed to be as woman, wife, daughter, sister, and friend.

After I woke up a few hours ago, I started thinking about these women’s organizations that wanted me to join them. The one is a women’s veterans’ organization. I should be happy and excited about the opportunity, right? I am not.

About 6 years ago, I joined a group of women veterans who met for lunch once a week. In the beginning it was fine, everyone seemed nice, friendly, and welcoming. I went to these regularly for 3 years. Then one day because of a miscommunication that had nothing to do with me directly created this tension among the group and I was told to leave. I was really hurt by it. I was never given a chance to explain anything or let my voice be heard, I was just banned.

Then I started running into some of those same members within my therapy groups, once again tension was created by them because of the previous history. Instead of seeing the whole picture or getting the whole truth about was going on, I was moved out of the groups by the providers. Once again, the treatment was bruising my ego. I was bounced around for many years between the groups.

Then 4 years ago, I started in a peer art group. I thought that I found my place to be. We are all veterans. A few I worked with while in the military. Everything was going okay.

Over a month ago an incident happened within one of our sessions and it has changed the group dynamic. It made me feel uncomfortable and it also seemed to bring out the worst in others.

I am still unsure about staying in the group. I do enjoy the art projects but at the same time, I feel like I am no longer making any progress there. I still feel like an outsider.

Recently, a woman from a veteran’s organization was in a session and trying to recruit new members. She was aggressive, but it is not the first time I have seen that style of leadership before. It did, however, rub others the wrong way. They were discussing it and her in our next session.

That is where I have the problem.

In these groups of women, we discuss supporting one another and empowering us to be our best.

It is a great idea in theory but in practice, which is a whole different issue.

In practice, our own insecurities come into play as well as our egos.

I have seen this in every situation where women come together to support one another.

We come into these groups with an agenda already in mind and for some they want to be noticed or in charge. In my case, I am vocal and blunt about issues that I see, and if asked my opinion, it is what you will get. It never goes well, and I end up being an outsider.

I have not been in any organizations where women truly supported and cheered on other women. It is a shame that we are trying to be what “society” wants to us to be. We are trying to fit into these pre-made molds of what is expected of us. The ideas developed by men or complacent women.

I originally joined these types of groups to make friends, specifically women friends. I have never had a true best friend while growing up that was a girl. I always felt like I was missing not having those girlfriends that you could always lean on, hang out with, or just talk to.

I could not even develop a friendship with my own mother or sisters, and I truly do not know why?

It has been a part of my therapy for years, interpersonal communication and relationships.

The issue with having guy friends is when they get involved with someone it usually ends. The new person in their life does not want me around and it always gets messy. I always just walk away from those friendships.

Here I am, 51 years old, and still not understanding how to develop a friendship.

In the groups I have joined previously, I was very polite, kind, helpful, and volunteered as needed but ended up being ignored by the other members.

I did understand that I stick out in these groups because they are Caucasian women and there is little women of color. It would make me try harder to fit in but then I would eventually be pushed out anyway. It is all so distressing because I would try to make friends with the other women of color, and they pushed me away too.

I do not understand. Why is it so difficult to be supportive of one another? Why do we allow cattiness and pettiness to become a part of the conversation? What happened to honor, integrity, and honesty among people?

Why do we still allow this separation between us based on physical features, ethnicity, and age?

In a true society that wants growth, everyone should be accepted for what they can bring into the conversation. We need different ideas and opinions to reach the next level of growth.

I guess, I am too idealistic and naïve.

I want people to just love one another and be happy together working towards something greater than ourselves.

I want peace, harmony, and good to prevail.

I just do not see it in the world, or I do not see it enough.

I had always believed that if society and government were run by more women then things would bet better, now I am not so sure.

I will keep moving on, it is all I can do.

I will keep being me and stay positive.

Thank you for stopping by.

Have a wonderful week!

Peace, love, happiness, and good vibes, always.

Suzanne.