TL;DR - I'm new to the RedPillWomen sub, freshly out of lurkdom, and wrote this post as a sort of encouragement to my fellow lurkers and newbies. It's a little bit of history and a little bit about my recent changes, but I'm not writing this for you to get to know me. I'm writing because I was always a "smart girl" and when I found RP, I quickly thought I had it all figured out. Swallowing the red pill made me feel special. I was enlightened and everything was going to get better. It was a great feeling. I'd learned which lessons were important, which parts applied to me, which things I should implement in my life.
Except I was wrong.
Because I'm not smarter than RP. You're not smarter than RP. RP isn't a list of things that you get to pick and choose from, and it's a much larger life-shift than I ever imagined. The last few months and weeks have been a humbling experience and if anyone can learn from my thoughts at the time, then it was worth writing this out.
We were waiting in line to get on the plane. I was nervous and fidgeting. "We should have started boarding 8 minutes ago. Not a good sign."
"Relax. Everything will be fine." C put his arm around my shoulders. "Relax."
"Good evening everyone. Unfortunately our crew is arriving on a delayed aircraft. We will begin boarding as soon as they arrive and can perform their safety checks."
"I think it'll be fine."
"Well, we're clearly not leaving on time. We only have 39 minutes for our layover and who knows how far away the next gate will be, fuck fuck fuck. This fucking sucks."
"I really think it'll be fine if you just relax." The annoyance that I was all too familiar with had started creeping into his voice.
I shut up, a sour look on my face, grumbling in my head. We were not fine. This was not fine. We were going to miss our connection and then we'd get there late and...
And what? We'd have a few less hours to spend with his parents? We had intentionally not scheduled anything important early in the day in case something just like this happened. Our worst case was almost equivalent to our best case scenario, and this had me so freaked out that I was swearing at C? I took a deep breath.
"Folks, I'm happy to say that the crew has just cleared the plane and we're ready to begin the boarding process."
Yup. That was definitely worth being a whiny brat over.
Last November was a high point in my life that I thought was only going to get better. My boyfriend, now fiance, and I had just returned from an amazing overseas trip where he'd proposed. There were lots of wedding plans and decisions to make and I was so excited to get to the end of the aisle that the warning signs we'd dealt with at the beginning of our relationship went unnoticed. But after a big blowout on New Year's Eve, our issues became too big for me to ignore.
That made January a low point in my life that I wasn't really sure would ever get better. My fiance, C, had been blunt with me. The person I was acting like wasn't the person he was signing up to marry. I took that... poorly, and spent another few weeks in a downward self-destructive spiral. I spent a lot of time on the internet, largely looking for like-minded souls to commiserate with. I found RedPillWomen instead.
My identity growing up had quickly formed around the idea of being "the smart girl". Early schooling was filled with praise for my good grades and test scores. I learned that I could get everything I needed out of life simply by being intelligent. It was a heady feeling. I wasn't fitting in with the kids at school, but by god was I smart. I clung to that. I was smarter, I was better, I was going to show them all.
I went to college to study engineering. That was what smart girls did - we needed more girls in STEM - and I was a smart girl. It certainly felt better than high school. I met other smart girls. I felt included in their club. We were going to take over the world. I found a guy willing to put up with my shit. The problem hadn't been me. It had been them, and now I had finally snagged one of the good ones.
College ended. I "found myself" - for realsies this time I swear - in the real world at my first big girl engineering job. I decided that my "good" boyfriend wasn't good enough and let him know where he needed to brush up. After a year of constant conflict, we brushed each other out of our lives. Suddenly I was alone. Still smart, I told myself, but very, very alone.
C and I worked together, and he had an air of confidence that I wasn't used to. I liked it and wanted him to end my loneliness. I attempted to rise to his challenges at work, to prove to him I was one of the guys, that I was just as smart as he was. He didn't seem to care. Then one day I wore a dress. He stopped by my office to chat. I wore another dress. We had a date the next week.
He was upfront from the start about what he wanted and what his expectations of me were. Sure, I thought, that's what he thinks he wants. He'll learn that I'm special. I didn't change a thing, at least when he wasn't looking. Then he caught me in a lie. He got mad, but I only felt his disappointment. I spent the next week nauseated until he informed me that I had another chance. One other chance. I took it. I stopped lying and started trying to actually take his expectations to heart. Things improved. Life improved. I started questioning many of the choices I'd made, many of the choices my fellow "smart women" had made in the name of independence and equality. I told C that maybe I would be okay staying home with the children, that maybe our future family was a higher priority than my intelligence saving the world. He smiled. That brought us to the proposal last October.
"But we can do it this weekend, right?"
"Let's discuss this later."
"I just want to know so I can stop worrying about it.""You don't have to worry about it, it's my job to worry about it and I've got it under control."
I started crying.
"Why are you crying?"
"I'm sorry I'm just anxious and I just wanted to know and now you're being mean to me."
He walked out of the room.
My tears stopped and my hamster started. I was fuming. It was New Year's Eve, we were supposed to be celebrating, and he had retreated to our bedroom. What was wrong with wanting to know about a plan in advance, for crying out loud.
The night only got worse and the plans I'd been looking forward to for weeks never materialized. It was the worst New Year's Eve I've ever had.
By that March I'd found RedPillWomen and received quite the wake-up call. Everything I read rang true, and explained both C's attitude and the entire course of our relationship. C was RP, though not in so many words, and while I'd started wearing dresses and now owned hair and make-up products and was okay giving up my job to stay with the kids… my attitude still needed an adjustment. I was still coming from a place of being a "smart girl" who knew everything. It turns out that there was a lot more "everything" to learn.
I'm going to jump ahead to the story that I started this post with, because this has gotten way long and unfortunately that conversation was just this past weekend.
It's not that I haven't been trying, and C would admit that. It's even been working, for the most part. Our sex life has bounced back since I committed to making him my priority. We've been having home-cooked meals most of the time and I lost the few pounds that had creeped up on me. My mantra became "soft" - softer in voice, softer in my actions, be his soft place to land. In a lot of ways, I've really taken the RP mindset to heart.
And yet here I was swearing at him in the airport because our flight was fifteen minutes delayed.
Then I read Delphine's post. She quoted a line from her husband and it stopped me in my tracks.
Do you trust me? If you trust me, why are you arguing with me? Do you not think that I will do what is right by us? We are about to be married. Trust me.
It encouraged me to make an account and come out of lurkdom. I wanted more of this attitude, more of this mindset. I hung out in the RPW chat some. And then I realized that while I've been sucking on the pill for months, I had yet to fully swallow it.
The red pill is a bitter one to swallow and the bitterness is going to be a shitty aftertaste in your mouth for a while. It doesn't go away the second you swallow. That bears repeating. Swallowing the pill is actually the easy part. Knowing you need to change is not the same as changing. Heck, the more I change, the more things I learn I need to change. Turns out RP isn't just about fixing up the outside of your life. It's great if your house looks lovely, but it's a much greater reward when the fighting inside stops.
Our fighting hasn't stopped because I haven't stopped fighting for control.
I don't trust my fiance. There, I said it. I want to. I'm working on it. But I don't, right now. That's why I was swearing in the airport, as much as I don't like to admit it. I even wanted to start this paragraph with "Sometimes I don't trust my fiance," but that's not accurate. Trust isn't a sometimes thing, just like RP isn't a sometimes thing. It sucks, it really does, but you don't get to pause it when it's inconvenient. I don't get to pause when I'm pissed off, when I'm anxious. And right now I am those things a lot and it is hard to give up control and just trust.
Changing my brain to the RP mindset has become somewhat of a full-time job. I feel sometimes that I don't really have time for it, what with my "real" full-time job. Then I remind myself that if I want to have a lot of free time, I can keep acting like I have been. Pretty sure C would leave and I'd be a freeeee woman. Which is totally exactly what I want.
So here's what I came to say. Swallow the red pill. Don't do it because I said so, do it because you're a smart woman who's been reading here and wants to see something different in her life. It's well worth the rewards that everyone else has mentioned.
Just don't forget and be too smart to actually swallow the whole thing. If it's not bitter, you're probably not there yet. There's a lot of hard work ahead, for you and me both.
We need to share our stories and these experiences with one another. Don’t be content with simply reading and lurking, take a chance and tell your story, we’re here to listen, help, and learn together.