Thursday, May 11, 2017

5/10/17 (Wed) My responsibility

I am not without insight as to the baggage I bring to family problems...but at least I realize and admit I hold some responsibly and have really been working on it them over the years.

I have been way too sensitive.
My constant need for approval has made me take things the wrong way and make everything about me in terms of always thinking that someone's mood, actions or comments are in direct relationship to something they think about me.  When I read The Five Agreements I understood that this is a very selfish and self sabotaging way to look at the world. Most of the time the way people act has nothing to do with me and by thinking it does, I am creating problems and drama where there wasn't any before. I try to remind myself that what other people think of me is not my business.  All I can do is try to be the best person I can be. If they have a problem with me they can tell me about it or I am not going to worry about it.  I am still super sensitive to mean people though.  I can't stand sarcasm or hurtful jokes - probably because I was the butt of these jokes at the hands of my youngest sister most of my childhood and teenage years. I believe sarcasm is mean spirited and is actually the truth disguised as a joke.

I have been way too controlling and inflexible.
I am very good at planning and organizing and when things don't go exactly as planned, I have gotten really upset.  This isn't so much true at work but definitely true especially during family vacations that included my sisters and my mother.  I wanted to create this tradition for my kids of going on one family vacatio n a year with all the aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. I planned it for months, trying to find the perfect mountain town, the perfect house, the perfect schedule. More often than not, the trip turned out to be a disaster. Someone was grumpy, someone was fighting, most of us were drinking too much.  I had a really hard time letting go of the idea of that trip and continued planning it for around 10 years.  Finally, my kids were older and my sister's kids were younger so I told them I was done. If they wanted to continue the trips, they had to plan it. Needless to say, the family vacations have stopped.

I can be too distracted in my own head
I live in this person torture chamber inside my own head. In fact it is the wee hours of the morning right now and I am up because I can't sleep.  I worry about everything. I have a constant small amount of anxiety. I feel stressed a lot of the time. I have spent too many weekend in days in bed recovering from a hangover. I have put alcohol before my family in terms of being overly concerned with who I am going to drink with during the weekend.  I am a good mom.  No one will ever tell me otherwise, but I could have been even better without weekend partying and hangover recovering. I just get so obsessed with things - usually drinking - but it can be other things like career choices, vacation, planning, vacuum purchasing, etc. Many times this is a major distraction keeping me from doing what I should be doing (I should be working out right now) and then adds to my anxiety.  I think this might make it hard to love with me sometimes.

I can be judgmental
This one I need to clarify. I am not judgmental of other peoples opinions or thoughts or of them in general. I am a very compassionate, empathetic, accepting, caring person. I always try to see others' perspectives except when it is about or towards me.  I have had a really hard time accepting that when in a conflict with me, other's many not see a situation or a conversation or even the world the same as me.  I have spent way too much time talking - trying to get other people (this really only applies to family - not coworkers or friends) to see my side in a conflict, to justify how I am right and the other person is wrong.  I will just talk things into the ground until my sister or mom finally see it my way.  The sister that is not talking to me once said, "Everyone doesn't see things the same way as you."  I thought a lot about that statement. It really is true. She sees it her way. I see it my way and if we can't meet somewhere in the middle, it will never get any better.  In the past I have fought like hell to get them to come all the way over to my side of a conflict and then I just give up and give in so that everyone can just get along.  In the meantime, I am allowing everyone to treat me like crap because they know how much it affects me ( I will cry/text that I then delete for days or weeks over a family conflict - completely obsessed) and that I will eventually give in.

At least I have some insight about my shortcomings and am working on them.  These are really hard things to change because in doing so I sometimes feel like I am becoming a cold hearted bitch. That proverbial 50 year old (not quite but almost) that has the attitude - be nice to me or don't talk to me. I am done putting up with other people's crap.  I get a lot of family puch bask. My mother is losing her mind over the fact that I won't fix the problem and tells me I don't even care because I chose not to talk to her about it any longer. My sister has completely shut me out because I won't come crawling back begging her to talk. She can usually wait me out. I have my own sense of guilt over not making things right - even though they weren't my fault this time. These are really hard habits of behavior to break. But at least I am trying.  My mom and my sister don't have any insight into what they are dong to make the situation worse.  My mom is irreparably ruining what little relationship she has with me over a conflict that has nothing to do with her.  She would say, "It has everything to do with me! It is tearing me apart! No one cares about our family or the how much this hurts me! I guess I will just go to my grave with a broken family! I don't even have a family any more." Those are all direct quotes.

This is sad to say, but one of my biggest goals in life is to not be my mother, and to not have my daughter say that about me.  I have an amazing relationship with my 23 yo dd and 18 yo ds.  I have loved them unconditionally and have always been compassionate, protective, attentive, supportive and positive with them.  Sometimes, I see a bit of my mother come out of me in terms of guilt tripping them and being a little passive/aggressive but I try really hard to recognize it and change my behavior.

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