“I was Chair at Lower Canada College (LCC ) school store where my children attended,” Olga continued. “I had been Chair for seven years and I wanted to step down but was paralyzed by my inability to say no and afraid of disappointing all the people that had become my friends there. I just kept it up even though I knew it was time for me to let it go.”
As I listened to Olga go on, I nodded in silent agreement, thinking of the many women that must be in similar situations, feeling overwhelmed, burdened or ready for some kind of change but unable to take action for fear of disappointing the people they care about. I remembered a conversation with Jade in which she expressed feeling the need to go away in solitude in order to focus on her healing but felt she was unable to because of her family. As we talked, I urged her to listen to the calling within herself, but she pushed back, “ I have a husband and two young boys to care for Kim. I can’t just pick up and go.” It is baffling to find that even with a life threatening diagnosis many women still find it difficult to affirm their needs.