How many of you grew up to be the Good Girl? The girl that pleases everyone. The girl who always puts everyone else's needs first. Even at her own expense. The girl who doesn't even know she has a choice, that she - her wants and needs - are of as much value as anyone else's. I did.
I've been finding myself saying Good Girl to Grace a lot lately (comes out like I'm on auto pilot or something) - when I want to give her thanks for doing as I say, for doing the "right" thing, a good thing... And every time I do, I find myself feeling bad. Every time something tells me I'm doing the wrong thing. Because being a Good Girl has actually been the worst thing I have been. Being a Good Girl I never knew I had choice. That my will mattered. That it was of value. That I was of value. Instead I thought my will was a burden. Ugly. Unattractive. Annoying. I was meant to please other's will. I was meant to take others into consideration. Other people's wills, wants, choices and needs.
So, as I'm using Good Girl as a way of expressing my appreciation to Grace, my thank you - why am I not saying that, what I actually mean - Thank You! Would that change anything? Where would that lead? Would it lead to Grace knowing I am grateful for her choice? That her choice matters? That she has a choice. That her will matters? Will she teach herself which choice feels good and which not? Will she learn that her self worth is not in if she pleases others (not even me), but in the choices she decides to make. Will she feel the freedom of knowing she is loved for who she is - not for being a Good Girl. Because children do understand, that where there's good there is bad. And for a child, being bad means being unloved. And no one wants to be unloved, least a child. So a child will do everything in their power to stay loved. And in the quest to do so, the child's own will and person disappears, as all she seeks out are ways to be a good girl. To be The Good Girl. To be loved.