My future successes, both big and small, don’t need applauding from people I once wished cared about me but don’t, never could, or never will. ~ Maureen Wambaire, My Mantra
This post was first written- one sec- more than a month ago. I just returned to edit and add some things because I realized something. Not picking up phone calls or calling people out with a final bow might invite them to take laps and reassess their relationship with me. To try grasping the person I am because we are healing from A LOT of things, baby!
You know those chats that you should have kept scrolling past because you know how that vibe gets stale and fast? This one ended with me asking, “Why did I say that? Why do I care if he thinks I’m different?” Even pre-pandemic, we’d stopped hanging out, not just him but many people.
Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy a bottle of something hard as I groove to Agolo by Angelique Kidjo during my downtime. I don’t mind having fun late into the night with good company and keeping up until I log out like a Windows PC. Clubs and the CBD give me increased irritation with every passing day.
But let’s skip the part about anxiety and sensory overload for now.
I have changed, though. But whether or not people who once knew me do get to know about it, experience it, and even affirm it is irrelevant. I just archived that chat after apologizing for the turn the convo took. Why. Was. I. Explaining. My. Self? The people who matter and know me… I don’t need to do that or even feel awkward.
As a neighbor plays, Shake Your Bumbum by Sauti Soul. Take a break and come back if you’re feeling triggered. Ni weekend!
Healing souls is something I have been doing in my tiny corner of the internet, which is maureenwambaire.com. Just because I can now practice counseling (after also being in therapy for years) and see tangible changes in a human being doesn’t mean I have to announce it. “Hey, guys! Remember how broken, busted, and bleeding I was? Look at me now! I’m much better and even now helping people!”
But why was I feeling the need? What nonsense is this? Alas! Let me tell you. It is called poor differentiation. Google Scholar and other sources are your friends. Don’t screenshot this part and inbox me, please.
I call that “instinct” to people please nonsense, and here’s why. I have a tribe of people who have been with me through my falling, stumbling, epic fails, slow growth, and healing and have loved me through it. They have cried with me, been angry on my behalf, prayed with me, told me I was foolish, and I listened, and finally, people I get to share my heart and soul with as they do the same.
The best part is I don’t have to please them.
So, people-pleasing dash. Issovaaaaaaaa! And this is what therapy, a sound support system even with people you never thought of, trusting the process and all that do for you.
And it’s not an attack on humans; it’s just an awareness that many people in my past saw me as a fool. I wasn’t being intentionally foolish; it was just evidence that I should have started therapy WAY sooner. Relatives, cousins, employers, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers have all seen me act and say things that I cringe over. The worst part is there are the people I “want” to please with this more “self-aware” version of myself.
Am I making sense? And the subconscious *close your eyes* FUCKERY *now open* of it?!
I’m glad this time around, I caught myself. I have bent over backward to please people who are nowhere to be seen in my life now. When I stopped doing that, people fell off like flies, even the ones I tried to hold on to. A tiny part of me still goes, “I wish they could see me now,” but my healed part goes, “Nope! You aren’t bringing them, crazy makers, back into your life, you hear me!”
Special shout-out: This is to the guys who thought I was into them that much. Thank you for being a conversation starter with my girlfriends as I walk into the chat with a screenshot like, “Get which fucker decided to slide into my DM today?!?!” It brings my friends and me so much joy to talk about how foolish I was before we tear your character into shreds. Good times.
You’ve read my mantra.
See where you’re actively or subconsciously seeking approval at your own expense, whether financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically. You’d rather be home or doing something else, but there’s a person or people that will take you to expensive gigs you don’t care about that leave you broke, drained, disappointed, and hurt. Most of all, feeling used.
Also, people-pleasing is a trauma response. But that’s a post for another day.
Join me in the great exodus to healthy relationships, won’t you?