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Hi Ninisjpc,

I'm sorry that I never saw your last post and didn't have a chance to reply. I was just wondering how you were doing lately. I know you've been around giving your great advice to others :), but I was thinking about you personally and hoping things have been going a bit better. I reread the end of this thread and I have to say, I can see where you're coming from a bit more. I don't think there's any contradiction between being a feminist in the sense that women are just as smart and capable as men, and they can and should succeed just like men have traditionally, and feeling incomplete without a man.

My mom has been divorced since I was a baby, and has made an extremely successful career for herself. My dad helped some, and was always around, a very consistent influence in my life, but really it was my mom and my mom alone who gave me the best of everything: all the toys, books, clothes, cars and education (8 years at extremely expensive private schools). She has taken care of several beautiful homes, inside and out, doing repairs, putting together furniture, all the typical guy stuff, all on her own without a word of compaint. She really prefers it that way, doing things her way on her time with only me to answer to. She has had a few boyfriends along the way, but just isn't willing to give up her lifestyle and privacy for a man. I admire her more than anyone in the world--I can't imagine that anyone could have had a more loving, caring, and supportive mother--but I can't imagine being completely happy like her without a man. Maybe having a child helps, but being a single mom is SO hard, even when money isn't an issue (and my mom had to work her way up from scratch, so she didn't always have plenty of money). Anyway, besides a little tribute to my amazing mom :angel: , my point here is that even with that inspiring example of independence, I have always been much more comfortable with a man in my life.

Since high school, I've always liked having a steady boyfriend, just someone to count on for company, support, and social companionship. I'm not sure it has as much to do with how you're raised as your temperment, and I, while a firmly avowed feminist, don't think I would be as happy without a man in my life. I don't think this makes us less strong, independent women, and I don't think it's anything that you or I should try to change. The truth is, it's great to have a partner by your side. I think that probably a huge reason why you're having trouble getting past this break-up is because of a lack of other relationships to compare it to, so that you can see that there are other guys out there and that he wasn't the be all and end all of men. I wish I had some way to give you that perspective, but I can't. Despite having 4 other serious relationships, I just know that my current SO is the love of my life, the one I'm meant to be with forever. If anything happened to change that, I know I'd never get over it either. I'm sure there must have been lots of wonderful aspects to your relationship, and I'm sorry that I and others focused on his negative traits in an attempt to make you feel better. You wouldn't still be struggling with this if he was really a complete's always hardest to get over your first love, and even harder when you didn't find love until you were mature enough to recognize it and when you invested so much of your hopes and yourself in the relationship. So while I wish I could give you some profound advice as to how to move past this, I can't. I can only give you compassion and understanding, and say that it doesn't make you less of a person or woman to want a man to complete you (cheesy as that sounds). Still, with all the love and care in your heart, I'd bet that someday, when you're not even looking, another man will come to love you in a way that will make you forget this other guy. In the meantime, I hope things get easier little by little.

Also, I wanted to say that I completely agreed with your story about your friend who supposedly considers herself, and all women, inferior and subordinate to men, but still bosses her husband around. I think that in today's day and age, any women who feels that way is either terribly insecure or just a plain hypocrite, spouting out that dated rhetoric as a cover for being controlling and overbearing. I do feel sorry for that woman's daughter--what effect will a lifetime of such mixed signals have on that poor girl's view of herself and men? GRRR...there's nothing wrong with admitting you need a man, but EVERYTHING wrong with saying that you're inferior to them. It's like the women who opposed the Equal Rights Amendment...what kind of woman wants to hold all the rest of us back? Clearly, a hypocritical, bitter woman who begrudges all other woman any happiness and success.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling, and I hope it was okay to bump this thread. If you feel like it, I'm sure I'm not the only one who is concerned with how you're making out these days, so fill us in if you'd like. I hope you've been doing a little better, I can only imagine how hard this is to live with day in and day out. Take care!
Wow, Nini, I really, really feel for you. I didn't realize what you'd been going through for so long. That makes me really mad at all the insecure, mediocre people out there who somehow manage to identify the sensitive people (who won't stand up to their abuse) and target them for bullying. These are the same people who gathered together in high school, jealous of the really smart, attractive and confident people, and whispered bitterly about them while taking out their insecurity on people they viewed as easy targets...those insecure bullies are the followers/sheep of the world, I really can't stand those people. I wish I had some great advice for you, but all I can say is maybe you should start treating anyone who tries to "keep you down" like a bully, stand up to them and say, "don't talk to me like that, don't touch me like that, don't treat me like that." The reason they're so mean is they know they can get away with it, because they're bored and frustrated with their pathetic meaningless lives and wish they could be more like the people they admire. Ever noticed that happy, satisfied people don't need to beat other people down--in fact, they want to see everyone else be happy and confident as well?

I don't know if this will help you, but in some ways I know how you feel. Almost every girl I ever met hated me, for absolutely no reason, without ever even talking to me. Part of this is because I was always surrounded by boys, both friends and admirers. Part of it was that I wasn't interested in gossip, shopping, makeup, etc., and that even though I rolled out of bed and went to school every day without doing my hair or wearing any makeup, I still looked a whole lot better than them. I think it was mostly that while most adolescent and teenage girls feel insecure about everything, especially their looks, I always liked the way I looked and liked my body how it was. I was lucky in some ways just to look conventionally pretty naturally, and to have nice stylish clothes so I appeared to fit in. But the other girls hated me SO much for not playing their game. The clique of girls who considered themselves popular in my very small, academically demanding private high school, didn't have any friends but each other. They had a running contest who could eat less, and wondered why no guys asked them out (because guys hate to hear girls constantly blab about superficial stuff especially weight, and would rather hang out with each other and the very few girls that weren't hung up on looks and gossip). There was one other girl in the same boat as me, but we were only kind of friends because her best guy friend became a serious boyfriend of mine, and we eventually broke up. She kept to herself more, wasn't so obvious about not respecting or liking the other girls and not caring what they thought, and so I think they laid off her a little more than they did with me.

I would usually have only one girl friend at a time, who would end up stabbing me in the back, making up lies about me, and trying to steal my boyfriend of the moment. All the other girls sat around making up mean stories about me and telling everyone that I was this evil, horrible **** (I think they wished they had the opportunity to do some of those scandalous things, but maybe they were just bored). Probably they were just jealous, but it still really sucked. I was lucky enough to have a lot of supportive guy friends who cushioned me from all of this, but everyday when I walked through the hall girls would be whispering about me and snickering. The only thing I could do was put my nose in the air and act like I was better than them, which probably didn't help matters, but I don't think anything I did would have helped anyway. However, with that attitude, none of them would ever say anything to my face, and I think a lot of them were intimidated, so they instead picked on the shy, quiet loner girls. These girls didn't care enough to spend their whole lives obsessed with their hair, makeup, and expensive designer clothes. They also didn't have the confidence, or what may have appeared to be my arrogance, to shield themselves from teasing, and the "popular" (but only among themselves) girls would mercilessly pick on them. I am positive that if any one of those girls would have been like, hey, leave me the hell alone, how dare you talk to me like that!, the bullies, who were terribly insecure, would have been scared into backing down.

Anyway, I'm sorry for this long rant about myself, but the only thing I can think of that you can do to change how people to treat you is just refuse to allow it anymore. In order to get them to respect you, you may have to intimidate them. You obviously have much more to offer than the average person, which is why they try to "keep you in your place." I don't think this will stop unless you try and become more assertive, try to project more confidence (even if you have to fake it), to send the message that you won't tolerate being pushed around anymore. Next time someone tries to put you down, try saying, "don't talk to me like that again." Most people will be so shocked (remember, these aren't confident people) that they will move on to an easier target. Try being polite but firm, but don't feel bad about being rude or intimidating because after all, they don't feel bad about acting like that toward you. If you refuse to act like a victim and take abuse, they will realize that they can't get away with it anymore. Anyone strong and confident enough to stand up to that attitude wouldn't be putting you down in the first place! Again, sorry to be so long-winded, but I really think this approach is might help you turn your attitude around. You really deserve so much better than what the world has shown you so far. :angel:
Hey Nini,

Hmmm, are you by any chance a virgo? :) I dont know, but all my friends that had problems similar to yours were virgos... anyway that is not important, but what is important is I feel you are addressing issues that if resolved will help you heal from all your hurt- which I feel has very little to do with your ex boyfriend. I totally agree with snails,esp her last paragraph... it is just about people being jeoulous- nothing more, nothing less... it is up to you how you want to handle it... You know what, if someone's self esteem is low enough they can actually see negative connations and remarks in statments that were given as compliments. I dont think you are there at all, just giving an example of what low self esteem can do to a person.
One thing I wanted to add is people for the most part will only treat you not only by the way you want to be treated but also by the way you treat yourself. Are you sure that you yourself dont feel you are an underdog, someone who should be in the background, and not deserve to have the spotlight on youself??? It might be that a part of you does and that is projected onto others and those who are jeoulous and insecure will take advantage of that once they pick up on it. If you have confidence in yourself and dont for one minute believe that you are not fully worthy of everything, no one else will believe that otherwise and no one wil treat you as such. And even when you are fully confident in yourself there will still be those select few who cant stand you being in the spotlight, like snails said you then owe it to yourself to stand up for yourself... you might need to fake it for right now but if you work at it you will slowly start believing in it yourslef. It is a hard process but I dont think you cant get there, I think you can get there... I just believe you have been looking in the wrong direction...

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