This is me. Growing up.

“You are well within your rights to stand up, interrupt everyone around you and say “This is not who I am. This is not what I want. I’m sorry, but you’ve mistaken me for somebody else.”

 – From the I Wrote This For You Tumblr

In many ways that quote sums up what I’ve been attempting over the last few years. I have succeeded in some ways and failed in others. Neither success nor failure are good or bad things in this , they are simply marks of progress.

Sometime back, mayhap even last year, I was having a conversation with my best friend about growing up and changing wherein he said something along the lines of growing up meaning growing apart, changing meant moving in different directions, and he disliked these things a lot. At the time I tried to reassure him that this didn’t have to be the case…

In hindsight I would like to kick myself for that.

Over the course of the past 6 years there have been massive changes in my life. I had an emotional melt down, my anxiety issues attacked on all fronts, and, as mentioned not that long ago, I have been suffering through a massive depressive period. As a result I’ve discovered a great deal about myself, my personal boundaries, my likes and dislikes and what I will and won’t tolerate.

I drew the line, finally, with manipulative and abusive relationships and walked away from mine. Not without tears and struggle, but I did it.

I’ve come to a place where things like being sexualised constantly by anyone, and believe me constant comments on how great my breasts are is sexualising me, is not tolerable. Yes, they’re pretty fucking impressive, but they’re not me and quite frankly they don’t have much personality of their own.

I’ve hit the point where taking advantage of me while I’m drunk and not able to give full consent after being told, many fucking times, no is not acceptable – and oh how I loathe that it took me till 28 fucking years of age to draw that line.

I have stopped being willing to forgive and let slide. I can and will hold a grudge, I will not forget when people hurt me because frequently the same people repeat the actions over and over all the while informing me that they love me dearly. The same old bullshit repeated ad nauseum no longer cuts it.

I remembered the power I held in my body, my sexuality and my sensuality. I am using it and I am doing so without feeling like doing so makes me beholden to anyone. I don’t owe anyone anything, and that doesn’t change when I get out of my jeans and singlet uniform and put on something slinky and sexy.

I also learnt how to ask for help, finally. To reach out to the people I need. In doing so I quickly discovered who would support me and who would try and hinder my development. Who try to hold me in the one place as the same person they knew 6 years ago, or even three years ago… hell 6 months ago.

In short I grew the fuck up and started taking control of my life. I changed.

In doing so I have begun to move away from many people formerly important to me. I’ve changed too much, grown to different from the person I am expected to be, to continue with them.

I should be sad…

But that girl is not who I am, not who I want and I will not be put back into that box.

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