I find myself…

People don’t always seem to like that I am a confident person.

Maybe because I’m young.  Maybe because I’m a woman.

I really don’t know.  But I have had many confirm this – one person told me I came across as someone who needed to be knocked down a peg.

Wanting people to like me, I’ve come up with some adaptations in my behavior.

I criticize myself and talk myself down ALL the time.

I talk about being insecure, sloppy, forgetful, clumsy, making mistakes, being disorganized, etc.

Most of it is true – I’m just more forthcoming than others in sharing the inner critiques we all have so no one thinks I’m “too cocky”.

As a result, people find the need to “help” me more.

Essentially, they think I am not able to figure things out on my own, so they give me lots of helpful suggestions that make me feel like they don’t think I’m competent in my work – or my person-hood.  It’s frustrating to say the least.

I find myself caught between wanting to be liked and wanting to be seen as competent.

Can’t I have both?

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Yet I wonder

Today I was driving through an intersection.

I had the right of way, my light was green.

An elder gentleman waiting at the red light perpendicular to me decided to turn right, into my path.

I was able to slow down, but I honked to let him know I was there.

He flipped me off.

Now I know he was the one who made the mistake.  I know it was ok for me to honk to let him know I was there.  I know he was probably upset and flustered and that’s why he did it.

And yet, I wonder, what I did wrong to upset him.

I feel responsible for keeping everyone happy – a pathological need, probably stemming from socially imposed gender norms and my own insecurities.

But sometimes, people get angry at you for reasons you can’t control.

I shouldn’t feel bad.

And yet I wonder….

Shiny

I’m shiny
I’m showy
and many
despise me
when I am
my true me
What can I do?
Why change me
if the problem is you.
I was created
this way
much to the dismay
of a world that would
just shut me down.
For so long I kept my light hidden
closed up inside
and the world kept on pushing
continued to chide
Couldn’t make myself
what wouldn’t be smashed
so the time for hiding
is now in the past.

I’m shiny.
I’m showy.
I’m loud and I’m lovey.
I’m done with keeping
myself from being free
and for all those
out there who
want to smush me
I send love
I send hope
that one day
they won’t fear me
One day they too

would be free.

You think I am rude.

You must think that I’m rude

for the way I react

but your comments are sexist,

they’re agist in fact.

I get tired of explaining

Why it shouldn’t be said.

And in my tired frustration

I’m honest instead.

I respond with confusion

and my face displays

that I’m unhappy with such a collusion

you must think I’m a jerk

an ungrateful girl

but that’s part of the problem

I’m not a girl in this world

I’m a person, adult, pastor

just plain human

And your treatment of me displays

that not only do you see me as WOMAN

you see me as a child

most certainly beneath you

and your station.

Most days I can respond with kind faces and words

So you don’t feel the sting I felt from YOUR words.

But today I am tired. Sick as a dog.

And I’m allowed to be annoyed

at these heavy word logs.

Your intentions aren’t bad

And I have to feel sorry you are sad

when it is YOU who offend me

Over and over again.

To be a woman who is younger than 50 in a “man’s” profession is HARD

Hard not because it’s meant for a man to do

but hard because the world treats us differently based on our gender

our age.

I hope someday I don’t have to deal with such agist sexist discrimination.

And when I’m less tired I’ll help change the nation.

but today I am tired and sick

and don’t have time to deal with this shit.

We shout crucify…

Reading the passion

You realize

We continue to fashion

Ways to crucify

Jesus

Over and over again

In our history there

Isn’t one point when

We stopped hurting

The poorest among we,

We elect power grabbing

Leaders who continue

To hurt thee,

Jesus

In children with poisonous water

Chemicals, bombs, refusal

To feed and serve those we deem

Do not deserve

We kill you again and again

Oh God

We never stop our

Evil actions

Oppressing black family

Drawing factions

Stealing and poisoning land

Belonging to first nations

We let money drive us

Greed rule us

Satan enters us

We kiss our Lord with worship

And tonight he breathes no more…

Just Words…

If those were just words

How can we trust you?

At any point you’ll just jerk the rug…

I have to assume

if those were just words

You don’t mean anything

You’ve said at all…

Including

I’m Sorry

I’m not proud

There are bigger issues…

What bigger issue could there be

for HALF of the world

than personal safety

from Underlings like you?

An outrage – I’m angry

But I was before

When you said that to immigrants

You’d leave SHUT the door.

I’m tired of your words

Because who knows which ones count.

Energy wasted on you’s an affront.

To my life, to my faith – to my dignity.

Justice belongs to every race, creed and gender identity.

And you can bet that I won’t be quiet that you won’t get a vote

from me..

Tired.

I am unbelievably tired

of how horrible this is.

This debate, this election,

this modern day shiz.

I know it’s important,

I know that it matters –

But we’re SO caught up

in lunatic chatters

We can’t seem to remember

there’s good in this world

That God is our hope

and people not all squirrels.

We are all beloved…even the jerks.

This political system, there’s change in the works.

Go on raise your voices

Speak out against wrong

But have love for the other one

you disagreed with so long.

It’s going to be fine – we’ll all be ok.

Because in the grand scheme of history, this year’s but a day.

Not a woman…

Guess I’m not a woman.

It’s not news to me.

When I try to fit in the box

I bust out you see.

I never worried about all the rules

but I learned I was wrong early in school.

TOO LOUD

TOO WILD

TOO OPINIONATED

my manners

my dress

were always abated

The feminist ideal must have gone away

because it feels I’m alone in my quasi-masculine way

 

So sure I was girls could do what they wanted

now I spend my time arguing not all women are daunted

 

I’m not a woman
don’t want to be man
Just being me the best that I can

To hard to argue not all are the same
So don’t call me a gender, just call me by name.

 

 

© Stefanie K Fauth, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Stefanie Fauth with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

You mad?

Feels like I’m drowning

whenever you’re mad

I gasp and I struggle

to make you feel glad

Don’t know why my world stops

you’re allowed your feelings

but soon as your temper pops

my heart goes reeling

You won’t let me fix it

I feel crushed under emotional water

I can’t swim out of it

if I try too much, your anger grows hotter

 

Says more about me than it does about you

I can’t fix your feelings, so what should I do?

 

Why does deep love

come with so much pain

feeling with my heart

instead of using my brain

Must learn to let go

of what I can’t control

and hope you forgive me

and peace finds my soul.

 

© Stefanie K Fauth, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Stefanie Fauth with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Tattoo anxiety…

Just when I think I’ve done all the therapy I need to “fix” the anxiety that ails me – I’ll have another bout that makes me feel oh so delightfully hopeless.

This time, there were life factors that contributed – my husband has recently taken a job that has him traveling Monday through Thursday of every week – and since he used to be the stay at home parent to our two boys – it has been a difficult adjustment.

Of course, work is stressful at times, and that can contribute to any symptoms I feel – but what set me over the edge was a new tattoo.

I had wanted it for years – a tattoo on my forearm that said “Saint” when looked at one way, and “Sinner” when looked at the other way.

It looked good, I was happy with the art – but the tattoo shop had a “demonic” bathroom and played that special inward-singing heavy metal that scares me – and I was on edge the entire time it was being done.

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It wasn’t my first tattoo – not even my second – but it was my first visible tattoo – and it was BIG.

And as soon as it was done, I had what those in the business call “tattoo regret”.

All I could do was fixate on it – how clearly I’m not a person who is able to be trusted with decisions, and I should be locked up for fear of harming myself and others.

I cried hysterically for several days off and on – much to the perplexity of my husband – who was confused by my reaction.  He loved the tattoo, and I had wanted it for years.

I continued to be a wreck about it for at least a week.  It felt like people started to look at me like a side show – “tell me about your tattoo” – which was genuine interest – and most people loved it, but when I was feeling like such a wreck, it was hard to be excited and talk all about it.

I heard it was normal to have a big reaction to a highly visible tattoo – but I felt like anything but normal when I was so stressed I wanted to rip it off my arm…

It’s been a few weeks now – and my anxiety has once again become it’s normal, manageable level – but it was a harsh reminder that I’ll never be done with these panic attacks.  No matter how much therapy and breakthroughs, there will always be life happening, and as long as life happens, there will be times of anxiety.

I’m taking solace in the fact that I know what to do to help myself – and I know how to climb out of that black hole that my mind digs for itself.  For me, it’s talk therapy, a steady dose of anti-anxiety meds, and a support system of family and loved ones who are willing to be with me when all I can do is cry.

I’m hopeful if you suffer from anxiety that you are able to find a way to cope -because in those moments it’s at its worst, it’s hard to remember that there is life beyond this time, but there will be.  No matter what, it can and will get better.

For me – the tattoo may get removed, but I no longer freak out when I look at it.  If I do remove it, I promise to keep you posted!