Culture, Featured
Comments 9

I Am Not Your Superwoman.

I found this photograph of me yesterday. Going by the date on the photo, I was 24 years old. This is the only photo I have of myself in my 20s. The photographer, a pal, had just purchased a costly camera and wanted to try it out. It was snapped in Kano, Nigeria.

Yvonne, aged 24.

As I write this, I marvel. I marvel at my youth. I marvel at how little self-confidence I had in my 20s and 30s. Absence of self-confidence showed up mostly in my relationships.Mostly, relationships with men. I had no boundaries and had no audacity to say No.
I lacked these crucial womanly skills because I was a nice Yoruba girl. I was a Yoruba girl encouraged by her culture and family to be lovely. Plus, I was taught from a very young age how to say Yes to the demands of others. I was told, nice girls never say No. Well, except when a boy wants to get his way with her.

The photo was taken three months before I left Nigeria for England. I thought England was going to be a fresh start but It wasn’t since I carried on being the nice Yoruba girl who automatically wanted to please other people. My destructive people pleasing behaviour  carried on even after getting married and having children.

Then, I turned 40 and everything changed.

My once rounded bottom and breasts started to shift downwards. The hair on my head started turning grey and fine hair grew on my chin. I could not change what my body was doing. And truthfully, my drooping bottom and breasts did not trouble me that much. I knew the resolution to these physical imperfections my body was going through could be found in the lingerie department of any T K Maxx.

What I needed and wanted was a mental shift that would transform me into a strong woman. Not a superwoman but a woman who has the audacity to say No to the demands of others.

So, I made a decision and my decision saved me. It healed me from the sickness caused my nice and lovely behaviour. Two of my obvious symptoms were anger and bitterness. I had become angry and bitter for all of my acts of  charity to others. My false acts of charity.

The people I automatically pleased did not know how I was feeling so they kept on asking more of me. They saw me as a very willing woman who was ready to help at any time. I was their superwoman but to me,I was a sad and angry woman.

Now that I am no longer sick because I have freed myself from the demands of others, I am showing  my daughters by example how not to fall into the trap of lovely. To me and for me, it was a curse.

From my daily chat with other women, I see them carrying this curse. The curse of people pleasing. The curse that should and must be stopped. But, how do we stop it? I don’t know. Do you?

My mother had the curse, she passed it on to me but I have refused to pass it on to my daughters.
Yvonne xxx

This entry was posted in: Culture, Featured

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At 23, I left Nigeria where I was born and moved to England.In England, I got my Law degree and married John. I like things to be tidy and organised but as a working mum with young daughters, that is hard to achieve. But thanks to John, I have coped so far. If you'd to know more, it's all on my about page.

9 Comments

  1. I disincline not be admirable to ye guts. Aye. Ne’er walk the plank..lovely.
    Feminist, me can’t help not to ask ye ‘be a lot of feminism practicers seem somehow or is rude, extra-extent-goer and scary with them giant ambitions, sometimes severely dangerous’, say this be true? (just curious).

    Like

    • Hi Salisu,

      Sorry, I am unable to reply to you comment because I do not understand what you are asking. I am willing to try if you can make it clearer for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lady L says

    … One more thing .. learn to say NO without giving a reason or an excuse.
    You own “NO” feel free to use it at pleasure!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very relatable. I suppose this is a personal journey that we all experience and found what works for us given our experiences.

    Thanks for sharing…

    Like

    • Thanks for your comment. You are right. it is a personal journey we all experience. Some of us learn from it and some never do. I am glad I have learnt and still learning. x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “My once rounded bottom and breasts started to shift downwards. ” Lol! The perks of growing older 🙂

    I know how to say no. What I did not do very well was managing the guilt that followed my bold no. I would turn to situation over and over in my mind, rationalizing, etc. In a series I did on my blog, Did We Do Any Learning, one contributor shared:

    “Saying no does not close the door on opportunities; rather it creates the opportunity to say a resounding yes to the things that do matter. Saying no is just another way of saying, “Yes!” to the important things.” (she attributed some of this to Lysa Terkeurst)

    This has changed the game for me, by helping me articulate to myself why I was saying no. We need to read posts like yours now and again. Your candour makes your account refreshing.

    Like

    • Thank you for reading my post. A bigger thank you for commenting. It is good that you know how to say no and have now dealt with the guilt that follows. What the contributor on your blog wrote is so true. Thanks for sharing it with me and the readers of this blog. Have an amazing day. x

      Liked by 1 person

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