“Has he managed to turn you from a woman of substance into… a brick flying, calling too damn much, crying … and spying woman?” With the insight of a psychic, Jill Scott sings about insomnia induced by her lover’s inaction to consider her feelings and treat her with respect. Like some women, Jill is singing about being home, laying in bed and wishing up a storm. She is wishing for her man to come back home. She then wishes that he would call and say he missed her. It gets to the point where Jill settles and is just wishing for him to call and say hi. Jill wishes until she wished the night away. Now she is not only miserable but she is physically drained and forced to go to work. How many of us can relate, whether through personal experience or a friend’s experience?
Jill Scott’s question reminded me of discussions I had with my girlfriends. These discussions usually came after we spent too much time analyzing episodes of Sex and the City, Girlfriends or The Game. The typical episode that would send us into frenzy would involve a female character acting in a manner she knew was inappropriate or pathetic but she did it anyway. Why? Because her lover, the one who should be making her happy, the one she holds in high esteem, hurt her ever so deep. She is on a downward spiral because the “he” in their lives hurt them bad. One memorable episode that got our group discussion going is the episode of The Game where Melanie crawls into bed with Malik just to spite her ex. [Sidenote: I am so happy that new episodes are returning in January on BET. Make sure you stay tuned!]
Inevitably, there is one friend exclaiming that it was the guy’s fault (usually Mr. Big or Derwin) that caused the woman (usually Carrie or Melanie) to act like they lost their god-given sense. Then the others would nod in agreement blaming it all on the guy. I, on the other hand, am never satisfied to put the blame solely on the guy. I am always ready to allocate some responsibility to the woman in question. Like I tell my friends and I will tell you, “He didn’t change her, she allowed herself to be changed because of the hurt she felt!” Let’s be real: someone can’t change you unless you allow yourself to be changed.
Why should your man’s inaction or wrongful action cause you to change yourself from a woman of substance into a brick flying about to lose your mind sistah? As my friends get ready to point out that the man failed to take into account the way the woman in question felt, I quickly explain myself. I get it. I GET IT! I can relate to and understand the woman’s intense level of hurt. Yet, using negative emotions to act beneath yourself is not the way to go. Instead, channel the negative emotions into positive action. If this is a relationship worth saving (and you will undoubtedly know), you may not be ready to give up. If that’s the case, don’t fight yourself but fight for your relationship. LET HIM KNOW there is a problem and work TOGETHER to fix it!
Channel the hurt and the other intense feelings into getting counseling or having a (calm) heart to heart with your significant other. Simply saying “you are doing this, it hurts me, why did you do it, please don’t do it again” should start the ball rolling. You may even have your own format of addressing the issue. But please don’t do what Jill Scott sang about. Don’t lay awake for hours on end wishing he would come home while wondering when you changed from a woman of substance. When it gets to that point, when you are asking yourself the same question Jill Scott sang, it may be time to bounce. If you find yourself fighting for the relationship in vain, fighting yourself just to stay with him, then channel your hurt into your stilettos to walk away. That is much better (and legal) than throwing a brick through his window?
At this point, walking away is not quitting. Once you recognize that this is not the way your relationship should be, then walking away is simply putting you first. It is a waste of time to act inappropriate or below your standards merely because that someone failed to do for you what you can do for yourself. What is that you ask? That is treating you with respect, making you happy. You have the power, you just have to find a way to release it.
Instead of reacting to the hurt, remove the hurt from your life and keep it moving. (Yes, I know it is much easier said than done!) For some of us, we find that power through prayer while others find it through meditation. Some of us find other outlets like writing, exercising or volunteering. However you get the power, whatever the means may be, find your power through positive action. Throwing a brick through his window, hacking into his Twitter account or changing his voicemail to some ungodly message IS NOT the way to get your power. Neither is laying awake at night wondering why, especially when you have a JOB.
Learn from Jill Scott’s song. Stop fighting yourself and wondering how he managed to change you from a woman of substance. How? Well, though easier said than done, all it takes is a few steps. First, stop waiting by the phone. Take responsibility for the change in you. Next, realize that you didn’t lose your value but momentarily forgot it. This will allow you to recapture what you lost. Finally, recognize that you are a woman of substance. Believe me, these steps are not easy but they will lead to positivity and … an “Insomnia” free night!