I have not spoken up or made my feelings known for a long time. I have not done so because I don't want to hurt the feelings of my family and friends. Instead I have just remained quiet, not letting them know my true feelings. I did this out of a true desire to not hurt them but I have found that by not being honest with them, I began to resent them. I found myself avoiding them because of the frustration on my part of needing to speak up or stand up for myself and not doing so. I do not want to resent or distance myself from my family and friends. I want to be honest with them, to speak up. I have remained quiet, not because I am a timid person, but because I know that they do not respond well to a change in the status quo. I have tried in the past to be open and honest with them and each time that ended badly. Each time, I approached the conversation calmly and sincerely and yet the end result was me feeling bad that I hurt their feelings. However, the time has come to change how I deal with them. I have learned that I am not responsible for how they choose to take what I have to say. It is my responsibility to approach them with kindness and respect and however they choose to respond is their choice. I know this now but I have not put it into practice yet. Fear is holding me back. I am still afraid of hurting their feelings and I am afraid that some of my relationships may not be the same after I take an equal footing in the relationship. I know that when I begin to speak up it will disrupted the equilibrium of the relationship. My hope is that we will be able to ride it out and settle into a new place of equality and respect. This is an open letter that I would like to send to my family and friends, maybe someday...
Dear Family and Friends,
You may have noticed some distance from me. That is because I have not been completely honest with you. I have been afraid of hurting your feelings and making you feel bad if I say what I really feel. It has become frustrating for me to not be able to be open and honest with those that I am close to, so I have pulled away. I love you all and I do not want to be responsible for making you feel bad. But the thing is, I have realized that it is not my responsibility if you feel bad or not; that is your own choice. It is my responsibility how I speak with you and how I treat you but I am not responsible for your happiness. I promise to always endeavour to treat you with the respect that you deserve; however, the time has come for me to respect myself as well by speaking up for myself. I know that when I start to do this, it may create some ripples in our relationship, but it is my hope that we will end up with a stronger relationship, in a place of mutual respect and honesty.
Your daughter, sister and friend