Can I say Wow? Well I’ve said it. I just finished the audiobook version of Untamed, by Glennon Doyle, and it was the most eye-opening book I’ve read/heard since my separation.
Untamed, opens with a story of a cheetah at the zoo that performs a “Cheetah run” for the crowd. “As Glennon watches the scene unfold, she identifies that women are similarly tamed from birth by systems that include misogyny, body shaming, religious doctrine and the suppression of their wants and desires.” How true it is and it made me realize a lot about the loss of marriage from both sides.
Glennon examines all aspects of how a women becomes tamed and unleases her story of how she “untamed” herself and the preconceived notions of how a woman should be and what life should be lived. Live untamed. Be a fucking cheetah.
This book has inspired me to start writing my story. I want to write a novel after doing the required research and finding my silver lining in my life.
Because of this book, I have come to realize that my “neurotic being” certainly didn’t start at the demise of my marriage. In fact, marriage and companionship was my respite from living with drug and alcohol abuse.
I have lived a life watching people get high, fight and argue. Unlike Glennon, since I was 5 years old, I was on the outside looking in at addictions. I did have my trials with alcohol this year until I had enough. I was fortunate enough to catch myself and take action on my life.
The Early Years
After much deep thought, I know my teenage years was filled with wanting to be loved. I would go from boy to boy where I really never felt “love” with any one of them. They used me and I used them on my pursuit until I lost my way. Anyone who treated me well, I quickly discarded.
I tried drugs but it really wasn’t my thing. It was rebellion. If my parents could love my brother more because he did drugs, so will I. But it just didn’t stick with me. I didn’t want it. But drinking. Oh boy, I could party hardy at a very early age.
I remember the first few years of my courtship (I think I was 16 or 17), he told me that the first time he saw me he thought I was ugly. I felt horrible. I felt degraded. Why did he say that? Why didn’t I run? I have no idea, but the ideal of being in love trumped respecting myself enough to run for the hills.
I remember if I had a notion to try something positive in my life, my mother always said “I can’t do that”. What she meant was that I didn’t have the skillset or aptitude to do “That”. This only drove me to do it.
I also remember that a woman had to have a certain body shape. I think that’s why I’ve always been overweight. I acted out the same way as when my Mom told me that “I can’t” as warped as that sounds. “Oh yeah? I’ll show you that I can be desirable fat……yet unhealthy.” That was my sub-conscious. It’s taken me years to accept me for who and what I look like. Quite honestly, if a person doesn’t love me now, they surely won’t love me if and when I lose the weight because that’s not love. This I know for sure.
I was also accepted to the Computer Science program at the University of New Brunswick. My ex would not go with me, so I chose love; The only thing that mattered to me.
After being proposed to in a gravel pit (which I joked about for 24 years, however, it’s an insult to my femininity that I should have commanded), I broke the engagement. I don’t recall why, but I remember throwing my ring and giving up. After much thought, maybe that was the Universe warning me and I didn’t listen.
I was a selfless woman, in a very typical small misogynistic town, where the majority had the same beliefs of a woman’s place. I was woman who was tamed to believe that you find a husband, have kids, and work hard for the rest of your life. What YOU want, what YOU need, and what YOU desire are irrelevant.
The men assumed positions as hard workers and providers. Mom took care of everything behind those closed doors. After much thought, no wonder he chose his job over family.
They convinced us to be afraid of ourselves. So we do not honor our own bodies, curiosity, hunger, judgment, experience, or ambition. Instead, we lock away our true selves. Women who are best at this disappearing act earn the highest praise: She is so selfless. Can you imagine? The epitome of womanhood is to lose one’s self completely. That is the end goal of every patriarchal culture. Because a very effective way to control women is to convince women to control themselves.Glennon Doyle
Quotes from Untamed that Untamed Me
Now that I’m single, and receiving all that I’m entitled to after dedicating my life to a misogynistic point of view, I’m ready for a change. I’m ready for me. I’m ready to learn, listen, smell, embrace, and experience all that life has to offer. I have decided that my marriage was true on my end because I lived my true self, but it takes two, so it wasn’t beautiful no matter how many rose coloured glasses I put on. Now, I’m going to live it better – alone.
You are here to decide if your life, relationships and world are true and beautiful enough for you. And if they are not and you dare to admit they are not, you must decide if you have the guts, the right – perhaps even the duty – to burn to the ground that which is not true and beautiful enough and get started building what is.Glennon Doyle
This new life is SO new to me. I was “with” someone all of my life. First my parents and then a partner at 16 years of age. I am lost…SOOOO lost. That said, through grief, heartbreak and moving forward, I will never ask anyone advice or opinions who hasn’t been in exact same place, mentally and spiritually, as I am. I didn’t choose a man right away to soothe the pain, I don’t need their advice. I didn’t dive into work to soothe the pain, I don’t need their advice. I’m finding me so I can truly and honestly live my true self.
This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.Glennon Doyle
I need to learn how to meditate and be into myself. I need to bring more out of me. The real me. The true being that I am.
Perhaps imagination is not where we go to escape reality but where we go to remember it.Glennon Doyle
Food and alcohol has been my vice for a long time. More so food than booze. I am working on goals. I need to accept the fact that I need the anti-depressants for now, for months or for years to find me. It’s ok to need help and feel everything you need to feel to heal well and live life the way you want. Anti-depressants scare me so it will thwart me from mixing them with alcohol too. This time, I’ll choose those over a booze filled haze that throws off my growth and healing.
It’s okay to feel all of the stuff you’re feeling. You’re just becoming human again. You’re not doing life wrong; you’re doing it right. If there’s any secret you’re missing, it’s that doing it right is just really hard. Feeling all your feelings is hard, but that’s what they’re for. Feelings are for feeling. All of them. Even the hard ones. The secret is that you’re doing it right, and that doing it right hurts sometimes.” I did not know, before that woman told me, that all feelings were for feeling. I did not know that I was supposed to feel everything. I thought I was supposed to feel happy. I thought that happy was for feeling and that pain was for fixing and numbing and deflecting and hiding and ignoring. I thought that when life got hard, it was because I had gone wrong somewhere. I thought that pain was weakness and that I was supposed to suck it up. But the thing was that the more I sucked it up, the more food and booze I had to suck down.Glennon Doyle
We have been a broken family for a long time. I need to think about this one and elaborate later. Prior to my separation, I remember crying to my son and saying that if he did anything disrespectful to his companion I would seriously kill him. It’s better to be a human being, seek help and avoid hurting someone else, then be the proverbial “man” and stuff it all down. He promised that he wouldn’t.
However, I know my daughter and I are entering therapy to help our relationship. It’s important to me and worth every dime of therapy spent no matter what the results may be. I know. as a woman, I’ve put too much pressure on her based on my misogynistic beliefs passed down and then pressured her to think differently when my walls came down.
A broken family is a family in which any member must break herself into pieces to fit in. A whole family is one in which each member can bring her full self to the table knowing that she will always be both held and free.Glennon Doyle
My parents are elderly, however, I’m a 47 year old woman who has been abandoned and hurt. I took my parents in every year. I did for them well for many years. Today, when it comes to my daily list or a chore they want me to do, the answer is yes, but I’ll do it when I have time because I’m doing this first. This is one reason why my daughter and I need therapy. I need to let her have her own mind. What she decides, and with my untaming, we will find a middle ground.
A woman becomes a responsible parent when she stops being an obedient daughterGlennon Doyle
Here I am. Alone. Living with my parents. I cried. I screamed. I drank. Boy, did I drink. The reality is that the World is my oyster now. I can be me. I can be a photographer. I can be a feminist and try to make women aware of the dangers of pornography, sex trafficking and online escort sites, and being who they need to be to find true happiness.
I can be with a woman or man if I choose to. I can be alone for the remainder of my days. I can have amazing sex. I can fall in love. I can run through the fields knowing that this is my life and I can do whatever the fuck I want with it. I am rising. I am feeling what I need to feel to heal and be my true self without limitations or judgement. I am a fucking cheetah.
Freedom is not being for or against an ideal, but creating your own existence from scratch.Glennon Doyle
My New Mantra
This book has made a huge impact on my new life. There are so many excerpts that moved me, made me think and realize that my purpose and calling is calling bullshit on Patriarchy, living your best life, and helping those that are heartbroken because of misogyny see the best in themselves and life their best life.
It may take me years to do as I need to really dive deep in research, write, and remember. I’m ok. I’m alone. I’m happy alone because I need no person in my life to fulfill me. With this road I’m on, I feel it’s time to be alone. Find myself and be the best that I can be for those currently in my life and those in the future.
Thanks Glennon Doyle for your absolutely life changing advice.