Sunday, 10 February 2013

To the mothers of all my exes (and other boys)...A question

I'm the youngest of three siblings, all girls. My parents wanted a boy, there is no doubt about that. My arrival was the death of their last vestiges of hope. I was always aware of this.

My parents are an odd lot. I can write till my last breath and you'll still be confused. I know I still am. But there is one thing that shines through clearly. My parents taught us to take responsibility for our own actions. Never was a friend or boyfriend blamed if we were caught smoking or smoking up, drunk or doped. All through the flunked exams, the stolen goodies being discovered, the trashy talk, never once do I remember being told that I was doing what I was doing because my company was bad, my friends were influencing me. And not once did a friend get reprimanded. If I screwed up, I screwed up. I was responsible for it and no one else.

That one solid value has seen me through some rough times.

How is this a question for the mothers of my exes (and other boys) you ask?

In my 31 years, I've been around and had my share of relationships (a pitiful 5 to be exact!) and each one, each and every single one has made me ask this question again.

It's tough for me to describe myself. I'm strong, yes. Wilful, for sure. Stubborn, determined, talented, intelligent...the list goes on. And that is where the trouble lies. I don't hide who I am. I'm not quiet or submissive. I don't pretend to be polite. I will challenge you when I feel the need. I will not apologise for the way I look or because the powers that be blessed me with breasts instead of a penis. I will be me, tough and confusing as it is.

Why is that so threatening? Why have I been repeatedly told that I am too strong for my boyfriends? That I influence them too much? That I have too strong a hold on them? So strong that I can apparently bend them to my will and make them disregard every thing else. How is it that I hold so much power? And why is it the mothers, who are so threatened?

So my question to these mothers is, why don't you have more faith in your own upbringing? Did you screw up so badly, and are you so aware that you screwed up that you think I can change in a few months the son you brought up for 20+ years? Why didn't you give him a stronger foundation, so that people like me can't shake it so easily? Why, why is it someone else's fault always? Me, his friends, his work, his past...always something to blame. Why isn't he responsible for his own thoughts and actions?

If you did your job well maybe you wouldn't be so scared. If you knew you'd reared an intelligent, sensitive and independent man you wouldn't be so worried about him being 'wrongly' influenced by people like me. If his own moral compass was well honed, if you believed in him and yourself, no one, not me nor any other human being would be able to convince him to be immoral.

Where did you go wrong? Why are women taking responsibility for themselves and others while men pretend to be boys and pass the buck while their mothers say their son could do no wrong? Why didn't you teach them that they have within them the strength to know right from wrong and to be true to themselves? To trust their instincts, their inner voice, the intelligence that each one of us has and needs to connect to? To feel deeply and know that their is value to their feelings?

You can blame me and everyone else till kingdom come, but where oh where did you go wrong?

I am me. I choose my own sets of values and morals. I abide by them. I voice my opinions and I fight for what I believe in. I will not be cowed down by any man or woman, by any religion or society. There are millions out there, just like me. Strong, independent, unique and gifted. Let your sons out only if they are brave enough to hold their own. Let them out if they can stand by a woman and be her equal. 

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