Get A Backbone

Kathryn Williams
3 min readMar 21, 2020
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Last night, my dream was incredibly self aware and revealing. In the dream I was going along with the group of people who weren’t necessarily doing anything horribly wrong but were dancing on the edge of breaking the rules. And in my dream head I knew that I shouldn’t be part of what was happening. I knew it had the potential for getting us into trouble and yet I still went along with it.

Likewise, in this dream, I allowed my sister to convince me to give my ex another chance when I had no actual desire to do so and in fact kept telling other people I had feelings for someone else so why would I even want to give someone who hurt me another chance. And even though I didn’t want to and was only really entertaining it to wait until he slipped up and showed his true colors again, I still didn’t have the confidence to just say no and do what I knew to be right in my gut.

By the end of the dream I was sitting explaining to someone that I had realized I don’t have much of a backbone. I fear offending someone, or being seen as bossy or overreacting, or a prude, or weird that instead of speaking up for myself or just plain walking away, I go with the flow.

My dream self seems to know me better than my waking self does.

I’ve been thinking about this on a surface level a lot lately, but my subconscious/unconscious self put it into illustration and into words what I couldn’t land on myself. When someone says you are (insert adjective here). And I know I’m not, instead of saying actually no I’m not, I agree with them or find a way of giving them the true information but still agreeing with their false statement. Why do I do that? Just say actually, I think you’ve observed me incorrectly. Or actually you might think that because I did/said that, but actually the truth is that I’m actually like (insert character aspect here).

Why is disagreeing with other people so difficult for me?

When a guy texts me and it becomes sexual in nature or not even sexual but just steers into a direction I don’t really want to go with them, instead of just saying can we not and being taken for rude or prude or judgmental, I either play along hating every second, or find “clever” ways to divert the conversation. I don’t need to cater to someone else in these circumstances! I need to do what makes me feel comfortable and helps me be my truest self.

Photo by Sammie Vasquez on Unsplash

I know I don’t have a dominant personality, but I need to find the balance of acknowledging someone’s dominance and allowing it to make me crumble. I have had brief moments in my life where I actually did this and it is incredibly empowering and yet there is guilt when I think about how it may have made someone else feel.

But as long as I’m not being cruel, I cannot cower to their dominance anymore.

And neither can you.

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Kathryn Williams

Writer, singer, adventure seeker, world traveler, nerd, animal enthusiast finding the beauty in life and navigating the rough waters of faith and anxiety.