A sample from Book 10
get it out–
that ingrained lesson
in your head
stop! suppressing it–
you are not dead
don't worry about
green or red–
too many...already bled
for you to shrivel in dread
you do have a choice–
redefine what's been fed
rewire that inside voice
female verses male–
look who's already led
down, down, down–
the bottom of a cell
–on the surface
why do we still tread
slogans they spread
find a good man
after I thee wed–
while man elevates in win
pretty little mommy
on lists of craig–
might as well list
held back little mommy
–tuck her...nice and sweet
in her bed
advancement's common thread–
smart like daddy
propaganda of j.c. penny
–analogies deeply bred
she's just a girly
words...over and over
follow the creed
every line...in the 'reg'
–you're a 'she'
be a teacher in ed
or a nurse for ned
forget going into med
forget running for the leg
or even a pres
–don't you see
you need a third leg
words...buried in the head
leaving girls...in dread
hanging their intelligence
on a peg
I'll say it...what other's said
get out of your head
forget the man-ego clout
don't be misled
don't listen to internal's doubt
bypass labels...bitch, bossy
–ambition is not damnation!
but a reclassification...recondition
of old worn, torn traditions
here's some jubilation:
it's okay...go red
for those babies
you can do both
it's okay to be a queen!
expose that internal dread
in front of the crowd–
be in the lead
–hire someone to clean
forget all those slogans said–
you're a woman–
removed from bygone's dead
let another make that bed–
dawn those heels
paint those lips red
rewrite those unwritten regs
that wrongly imposed
man-ego driven creed
(September 9, 2016)—If you are new to my writings, here’s the gust of it: My writings take you through my personal journey through silent abuse, then the five stages of grief, then the gaining of strength to not be afraid of being a free-thinking woman in today’s society. I post here bits and pieces of that journey.
The whole of it is being compiled in over 11 books. I have been ridiculed greatly for these writings, for being so out-spoken. It did affect me at the beginning, but once I learned how to gain the strength needed to move forward, it became easier and easier, and that is the sole purpose of the why behind all of this writing.
I often stress that reading self-help books and books written by women help us move forward during this strengthening process. I write a lot about the books I’ve personally read. I’m not paid to promote anybody’s work. When I find a book that has me taking notes, highlighting, underlining, shaking my head yes, I write about them. These are books worth my time.
[Before becoming the chief operating officer at Facebook, Sandberg was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google and Chief of Staff at the United States Treasury Department. That’s not all of her resume. You can get her book to learn more about this fascinating woman.]
This is one of a stack of books that I bought last summer before I entered the most pivoting moment of my healing process—the acceptance stage of the five stages of grief. Of this huge stack of books, Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind was the only book I was able to read last year, and I read that book several times!
[In 2014, I read one book as well, a John Gresham novel. I started a few, but could not, at the time, finish them.]
(If you read me regularly, you know as an educated woman, I’m a serious reader. A small recap: Before the darkness hit me, I was a 30+-book-a-year reader! This year is a huge turning point for me, especially, since June. It’s a milestone if you want to call it that…I’m pass the 10-books-read mark! On my personal journey, this is how I know that the metamorphosis of my self is moving forward and not backwards.)
The first few pages of Sandberg’s introduction had me so hooked that I immediately started underlining and putting my little stars on passages that struck me to the core, which inspired this morning’s writing ‘Internal Exposure.’
We internalize the negative messages we get throughout our lives—the messages that say it’s wrong to be outspoken, aggressive, more powerful than men. We lower our own expectations of what we can achieve. We continue to do the majority of the housework and child care. We compromise our career goals to make room for partners and children who may not even exist yet…My argument is that getting rid of these internal barriers is critical to gaining power.
This is a powerful paragraph because it is what I write about before, during, and after surviving the five stages of grief. Sandberg boldly states that—Some, especially other women in business, have cautioned me about speaking out publicly on these issues.Wow! I have been cautioned over and over as well about the exact same thing. People have gone as far as deleting and blocking me on Facebook as well as totally disregarding me as a human being, and dismissing me as a friend and relative outside of the internet!
Sandberg goes further—
I have heard these criticisms in the past and I know that I will hear them—and others—in the future. My hope is that my message will be judged on its merits. We can’t avoid this conversation. This issue transcends all of us. The time is long overdue to encourage more women to dream the possible dream and encourage more men to support women in the workforce and in the home.
That is just in her introduction! No. I don’t plan on quoting her entire book, but these few passages are so profound that I had to include them in today’s message. I’m not alone when it comes to my thoughts about the world in which women live today.
Sandberg’s book is not the only book I’ve read with this same message, and…and these books I’ve read after all the writings I wrote myself about this very same subject.
I agree with Sandberg when she says that it seems that, no…women are backsliding as she refers to it. Her research is thorough. Her notes at the end of her book prove this. I saw all of this as I made my way out of the darkness. I didn’t see this before. Or, maybe, I did and just ignored it. Nope. That’s not it either. I did see it. I know this because of the work I wrote before 2012.
I wrote about the suppression as a woman that I was feeling. In my first book, The Denial and Isolation of Self: Guiding ‘Self’ Straight into the Hands of Silent Abuse, you’ll find that I’m very subtle with the admittance of this suppression.
When I first entered therapy, I learned about the denial stage in the five stages of grief. It is a depressing thing to learn about yourself, but it also leads you to a place (it takes a while) that strengthens that part that you suppressed.
I grew up with all these traditions that’s been passed down: A woman’s place is in the home. She is to be seen and not heard. She is expected to take care of the home, the children, the man, the yard, etc., etc., then the added burden of having to work outside the home as well; and…I have to laugh at this…men, now-a-days label women as crazy…etc., etc.
As an over-forty divorced woman, I hear a lot from divorced men who are looking for a relationship. The constant of crazy is all over the place! We aren’t crazy. We are fed up!
We gave, most of us, over 20 years to a relationship…did all that was required…according to tradition…plus the added bonus of working outside the home…only to be left because we hit pre-menopause with that mixture of that empty-nest deal, financial stress, a body-shape issue because we didn’t have time to take care of ourselves because we were devoted to family, job, house as well as illnesses all human beings experience after their 40s…which all adds up to anxiety and stress we don’t want.
A woman has so much more to deal with than a man. You can argue all you want. This is pure fact. Many women want a career, too. We want to shine just as much as our men counterparts do.
I know I put myself through college while dealing with house, husband, children (babies at the time), and working at the same time. I know from my personal experience, I was stretched so far that it was difficult to hold it all together, but I was expected to; then after all of that, I had to face the [x] not wanting it anymore!
I’m not the only woman who has gone through this. I won’t be the last. The message here as well as the message from every other woman who is bold enough to talk about it is: We have a right to be a leader in any kind of business. We have the same kind of mentality that a man has. We may use our way of thinking in a different light, but our end results are the same. We are no less able than a man.
I’m not a woman activist in the sense that I think women should be on the front-lines of a battlefield during war, or that a woman’s body is equal to a man’s body. No. I was told that in federal buildings, a woman is not allowed to ask a man for help. It’s okay for a man to offer, but she is not allowed, according to written regulations, to ask for help. This is absurd to say the least.
I guess I need to explain this a little bit: If a woman works in a federal government building in the U.S.A. and, say a desk needs to be moved or a heavy box of computer paper needs to be moved from the material room to the office in which she works in, she can’t…by written law…ask a man to help her! Excuse my language, but that’s fucked up!
In my opinion, many women are stepping back from the ambition part of life because of this constant treatment of always considered the little girly! I know I get this all the time. I also believe this is happening because of the music industry. Why do I think this? Have you watched some of these rap videos or listened to their lyrics? I’m not condemning their art forms…and that may sound a bit mixed up, but it is what it is.
I think the messages sent down from these pop stars to young girls is a bit off-key because they are selling the message that—being sexy and bowing down to your man—is a woman’s role when that is not the case at all. Those messages are not only in music, but in movies and reality TV. This has been going on for years and a lot of women get the brunt of it when they try to excel in the work place. I know I’ve experienced it.
In 1991, I was asked by an attorney, during an interview for a job, if I planned on getting pregnant. I was asked this same question when I joined the National Guard after exiting the Army. I did get pregnant in 1999 and had my baby in 2000. I was home-bound for a short time, then laid off after working for a company for three years and being successful in what I was doing. The reason given: Lack of money. The real reason: I had a baby.
I know this for a fact because I wasn’t the only woman who had been laid off by this company after their baby was born. They stay inside the guidelines of the law (time-frame given by law to a woman to stay at home with her newborn baby). After that time is up…laid off!
It’s the same when I sit down to write. No. I’m not making a buck yet. I know I will. It’s all a matter of timing. Any artist knows this. This is what I got when I was married—You are lazy! That’s right. I completely taught myself PageMaker and Adobe Photoshop, then Adobe Indesign.I wrote a novel…formatted it and published it myself. I wrote five chapbooks, formatted them, and published them myself.
I did all of this when I became sick and couldn’t work outside the home for a while. I spent many days and nights teaching myself about the internet and online marketing and publishing. This was all before 2011. This was all before websites were made for you…etc., etc.
What do I have to show for all this self-study and hours upon hours at the computer? Over 15 books, which I’m going to publish myself! There’s a reason for everything…and it’s not lazy!
Why did I spend so much time learning all of this on my own? Because of tradition! I couldn’t work outside the home at the time, but I was expected…expected to bring in an income! I was doing, but I couldn’t get any man to help me.
When I had to get a computer guy to come to my house to help me with my wifi, I was treated like a child, even though I had my entire 2,400-square-foot house wifi’ed, except for a minor glitch…the cable people (a couple of men) didn’t secure my ethernet cable under my house, so it kept being ripped out by critters who took refuge under the house! All my time spent at the computer to learn all of this was labeled obsessed because I wasn’t doing the traditional role of a woman (i.e. cleaning house, cooking supper, etc., etc.).
I couldn’t and still can’t get anyone to help edit my work. I’m shunned because of the topic I write about (saying out loud what everyone wants hushed!). I also wasn’t moving on man’s time frame! Because of all of this, I’m divorced and ostracized…as if I have a scarlet A tattooed to my forehead! To top that, I’m labeled crazy, lazy, and obsessed. Go figure!
The story is the same with sexual harassment, men being advanced over women because they are part of the boys club, etc., etc. In order to break this, more women need to talk about this issue…use their voice. I can’t stand this hush-hush society. It is time to open the gates and say what’s on our minds as women. I personally plan on continuing forward with my journey…ridiculed or not. To me, it’s worth it!
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Additional Readings On Improving Self and Going After That Dream
(Each page has loads of additional books (in every format), videos, instruction materials, and inspiration gift ideas.):
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor-Bradford
Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day by Joel Osteen
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Fearless by Max Lucado
Fifty Shades of Grey by E. J. James
How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own Life by Susan Piver
How Successful People Win by Ben Stein
How To See Yourself As You Really Are by The Dalai Lama
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Love is Letting Go of Fear by Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D.
Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea by Gary Kinder
Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future by Steve Case
Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M. D.