Struggling with the New Me - Part 2

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2020, 02:13:48 PM »
I don't think there's anything wrong with how you responded, but I think there's also value in thinking about why you wanted a response. Do you want someone to acknowledge that you are picking up the slack? And if so, why?

I find it useful for me to break down situations that bother me and try to figure out why they impact me the way they do. Usually I get triggered when I feel invalidated. So once I realize I am upset over something and realize it's because I am triggered, I have a self-care routine to help myself through it. Otherwise it will bother me and it could consume me.

You may never know why this person dropped the ball and you may never get the others to acknowledge that you picked up the slack. However, it is clear to me that this project is very important to you and you are doing your best to make sure things that need to happen do. And if no one who is a part of this project can see that, then that's on them. Try not to let it drag you down.

Thanks for posting these questions.  I agree there is value to dig deeper.  I'm learning a few things these last couple of days.

Why did I want a response?  I felt uncomfortable taking over.  I'm not usually assertive like this.  I felt like maybe I was being too rigid.  Maybe even unkind to take over someone's responsibilities.  I was also pissed.  This event is a lot of work and if this person didn't do her part, it would contribute to the decline of the event.  In my gut I knew I needed to take over but it was uncomfortable.  To have no one comment made me feel like I was the only one who cared.  Many of them are family to each other (no me) and I felt maybe they were judging me.  Rolling their eyes about how I'm taking over.

A comment would have made me feel more confident about my actions.  A "thank you" would have meant that they felt the same way.

Yesterday I again felt some frustrations.  We met for a planning meeting.  Two people showed up 1/2 hour late.  Myself and the other gal began with out comment and welcomed the late ones with a simple "hello".  We finished our tasks and agree to run some quick errands and meet back up.  I stayed put and did some work on on my phone while I waited.  When a 1/2 hour passed it was clear that their errands were taking longer than expected.  I was annoyed with myself for not going back to work until the others were done with their errands.  All day long I seemed to be telling myself, "it's okay, you didn't know.  It's okay, I'm sure this will work out."  I did not make good choices for myself yesterday and I paid for it by having to work late.

When I do something - I commit to it.  I do the tasks.  I apologize if I'm late.  I thank people who helped with something.  I am there early to set up, I'm there to the end to clean up.  I am often alone.  No one care as much as I do.  Maybe I'm too intense?  Maybe I'm working with the wrong people?  Maybe I don't assert myself properly?

Feedback would let me know something.  "hey there hopeful - I know you want this done today, but we're not all that concerned about that.  Maybe it can wait until tomorrow." 

Sometimes working on a committee shows me how different I am from them.  Their focus is their children (as it should be) or their close family members.  For instance, I spent this weekend working on the event.  Taking care of that dropped responsibility and working on things I was supposed to.  One gal never responded at all.  Another member went on a golf outing. The other two were doing family events all weekend.  Of course I'm pissed.  I'm doing all this work and they are not.

At this point, self care is telling myself, "just get through this week and it will get better."  Then next week a new challenge presents itself.  I can't seem to break the cycle.

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athene1399

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2020, 06:07:17 PM »
I would be upset if I were in your shoes.

If this is a long-term committee, maybe either brainstorm ways you can establish healthy boundaries with the other members, like let them know that it is stressful for you to do extra work when the members are late or have maybe picked up one too many commitments. If you feel that you aren't communicating your needs clearly, look up effective communication techniques. Sometimes there are small language changes that we can make that create a big difference in how what we have to say gets heard by others.

If this is a short-term project, maybe weigh how it would be like for you if you just rode it out. And if you can't without communicating what is bothering you, that is fine too. But maybe know for next time that these are people that you wouldn't want to work on a committee with in the future if you can help it.

I hope things get better.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2020, 08:35:14 PM »
I would be upset if I were in your shoes.

If this is a long-term committee, maybe either brainstorm ways you can establish healthy boundaries with the other members, like let them know that it is stressful for you to do extra work when the members are late or have maybe picked up one too many commitments. If you feel that you aren't communicating your needs clearly, look up effective communication techniques. Sometimes there are small language changes that we can make that create a big difference in how what we have to say gets heard by others.

If this is a short-term project, maybe weigh how it would be like for you if you just rode it out. And if you can't without communicating what is bothering you, that is fine too. But maybe know for next time that these are people that you wouldn't want to work on a committee with in the future if you can help it.

I hope things get better.

Thanks again.  It's a short term thing and will be finished after this weekend.  I have already told my husband to keep me accountable and to remind me of this time if I ever talk of working with these people again.

I do stress about coming off as a bitch.  But I think that I've been SOOOOOOO very laid back that people are very surprised when I speak up.  Their surprise makes me think that I've done something wrong but I know I haven't.  For instance, the group met in my home and we were in the dining room having a snack.  One of the women moved her son to the living room and set him up with their ipad.  She then gave him a pile of cookies and directed him back to the couch.  I spoke up and said, "actually I prefer if we kept the food in the kitchen or dining area."  Reasonable I thought.  I said it very off-handedly in a normal friendly voice.  But the mom sort of stopped and said in a very weird voice, "Oh.  Okay.  Well . . . son, here.  Eat this cookie at the table and then go watch your show.  Hopeful doesn't want food on the couch."

For me, I was being very accommodating by allowing everyone to come to my home and bring their kids and everything else.  I didn't even know that kids were going to be coming.  I was happy to do it.  But I don't have kids and I didn't want crumbs and juice on my couch that day.  I had a busy day and didn't want to have to clean up the living room in addition to the kitchen and dining room.  The way she responded and the mood in the aftermath was uncomfortable.  So I deduce that:

1. Maybe I didn't speak as nicely as I thought and maybe sounded like a jerk.
2. Maybe I'm rigid and don't fit in if I can't accept a few crumbs on a couch.
3. Maybe the mom is kinda rude for assuming she could take over my house.  Maybe she was embarrassed that I spoke so frankly?
4. Everyone acted reasonably and respected my boundaries and I'm just not used to any of it.

Thank you for chiming in with your helpful words.  It's helping me get through this week.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2020, 11:09:16 AM »
It sounds to me like these peoole you are working with are a social and values mismatch.

I had a similar situation at a church I am "firing" soon.  I was in the handbell choir.  It was great the first few years.  A talented director who could teach as well as direct and elevate the group as a whole combined with dedicated ringers who made most rehearsals.  Over time we had a new music director who was good but not quite as talented, then several ringers moved away or transfered or aged out.  The new ringers were not as dedicated and we were missing several each week. (This is like playing piano with fingers absent, lots of chords and melody notes missing)

Then more and more of each reherasal was spent with several members catching up on social stuff. 

After a couple years if hardly playing because we spent months repeatedly practising the same less than challenging music due to the absences of others i grew restless and started resenting my time being wasted when I never missed. 

It then occured to me that the rest seemed satisfied with the status quo so I just quit and served as a floating substitute when someone could not perform at the last minute.   

The issue was a mismatch of commitment and values.  I have identified that in other regards that the congregation is somewhat of a mismatch for me now.  It has evolved greatly since I joined there 12 years ago.  The types of folks and what they are all about has shifted alot, as folks died or moved away and new ones came.

I am winding up my commitments there even as I visit other churches and look forward to change in my rutted routines.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2020, 05:29:29 PM »
It then occured to me that the rest seemed satisfied with the status quo so I just quit and served as a floating substitute when someone could not perform at the last minute.   

The issue was a mismatch of commitment and values.  I have identified that in other regards that the congregation is somewhat of a mismatch for me now.  It has evolved greatly since I joined there 12 years ago.  The types of folks and what they are all about has shifted alot, as folks died or moved away and new ones came.

I am winding up my commitments there even as I visit other churches and look forward to change in my rutted routines.

This is a great way to view the situation.  Not good.  Not bad.  Just mismatched.  Like socks.  lol.  A mismatched pair of socks works.  The pair warms the feel, it protects the foot from the shoe leather.  But a mismatched pair of socks can be uncomfortable.  To the point of annoyance.  Even when it works.

And you are right - like your bell choir group, my group is okay with everything as it is.  The people are a bit more "selfish".  That's actually kind of a harsh word.  They are going to accomplish their things first, even if it bogs down the team.  I'm the opposite.  I can't work on my own stuff if I'm letting others down.  And I have a list of people who count more than me.  That's got to change.

Today I've actually been able to accomplish things and it feels great.  I almost feel an established "release".  At one point I thought - I'm so glad that rough patch is over.  I'm not going to let myself get there again. 

My ex-husband popped up today.  His delivery service takes over when my regular person is out sick or on vacation.  It was actually a nice visit.  He was (and is) such a nice person.  He's happily remarried for years now.  He has 6 children.  His wife is a stay at home mother.  He's a spiritual person.  He's fit.  Friendly.

When we were married he was unmotivated, overweight, refused to worship with me.  I didn't expect that we'd ever have the money or motivation to have a family.  It's nice to see him in a great light.  But there is still a little sadness that I never got to experience that.  When I remarried I struggled greatly.  I suffered even when my husband cheated on me.  In some ways I feel like I haven't grown since the divorce, a divorce that I wanted.

While joking around he made a comment about how yesterday he delivered to my home, and then to me and then a little later in the afternoon to my ex fiancee (I was engaged to someone else before my first marriage).  He joked about how it was a trip down memory lane.  After he left I thought about what he'd said and I felt embarrassed.  Thinking of how he must have been negatively thinking of me yesterday with all these stops.  It was a weird feeling.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2020, 04:08:09 PM »
The event is over.  It was a success.  I did not like how the event ended but it did end in a way I am not surprised.  It further illustrated that I am planning things with the wrong people.  I was reading into the actions.  But now it's over and it's okay.

I spent most of Sunday in an irritated state.  Two new things happened.  First, My pet's health is rapidly declining.  Euthanizing a pet is always hard.  Even when you know it must be done.  And I will likely have to do it this week.  A pets health can upturn and you think "well, maybe there is more time."  That is where I am right now.  I've had to make these decisions in the past so I know it's necessary and humane.  But still, it's hard.

The second issue is that a family member asked me to sponsor them in a religious event.  The religion I'm trying to leave.  In the role I've been asked to fulfil I'm supposed to be an active participant in the religion.  When I was asked, I was so touched I wanted to cry.  It's a real honor.  Of course I said yes and expressed how much I appreciated the honor.  But now - I know that I need to do something.  If I truly honor and respect the religion that I'm actively leaving I will tell my family member that I can not fulfill the duties.  I will hate that because this family member is such a sweet heart and I truly want to do this with her.

I can switch gears and try to get back into the faith.  Try to appreciate the good things (and there are many good things).  But I'll be faking it.  And I'll have to fake it until springtime when the ceremony and responsibilities will be over.

The reason all this is so "pressing" is because I have intended to truly begin my religious journey in October.  October will be a full year since I've stopped regularly attending services.  This time was sort of a purge.  To give me a clean slate.  I was not excited about starting back up but it was to be my goal to try new things and see where it would lead me.

It's a difficult thing to discuss with my husband.  He's still a member of the old faith although he doesn't practice or really pay attention to any of the rules of the faith.  I've argued with him about this.  Why remain a member of the faith if you don't care about it?  And now I essentially want to do what he does - pick and choose what works for me.  Pretend that I'm all in.  When I'm really not.

I know that when I do discuss this with him he will eventually be helpful.  It's just going to be a difficult thing.

Maybe he was right.  Maybe I was letting all those "hard core faith members" cloud my judgement.  Maybe it was okay to fully believe in God and simply "pick and choose" the parts that served me.  Maybe everything was always between myself and God and the rules of the church were mine to accept or disregard as I wish.

I have a friend who is completely fair and very practical.  She is also of the faith.  I could talk to her and 100% get honest feedback.  But I don't want to.  Deep down I know she will say what I already know to be true.  That I need to let my family member know that I am not, in fact, in full harmony with the faith and that I need to decline the honor.  And I will likely choose to fake my faith and take the honor.

Work is stressful.  The event took time away from me and today I have a lot of work.  A lot.  I'm trying hard to focus on one thing at a time.  Today is hard - but it will get better.

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Lookin 2 B Free

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2020, 11:19:47 AM »
I'm so sorry about your pet, Hopeful.  Deciding when it's time to end it is one of the hardest decisions.

I'm wondering why you believe you will want to decide to "fake my faith and take the honor."  Wondering what the benefit would be of that.

We all have our individual situations.  In my case, one of the most harmful effects of living with a PD was not being able to be true to myself and live and express myself in an authentic way.    I was always having to pretend I believed and wanted what someone else dictated for me, starting in childhood which made it hard to even figure out who I was.  In my case, getting beyond the inauthenticity of approval seeking is a top priority for my healing.  So I try to do everything I can to have my outside actions and expressions fully match my insides. 

But your situation may be different from mine.  That's why I'm wondering what would make it worthwhile to spend several months faking a faith.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2020, 05:55:32 PM »
But your situation may be different from mine.  That's why I'm wondering what would make it worthwhile to spend several months faking a faith.

It's a good question. 

I grew up in this faith.  I am glad I did because it gave me a good foundation to build a relationship with God.  I have lots of happy memories of childhood and my teenage years because I participated in the youth group.  This faith has been a part of many milestones, family functions, my history.

However, in my quest to be authentic (ironically enough) I have found that this faith doesn't support my relationship with God.  In fact as an adult I'm seeing that the rules and obligations of this faith actually challenges me in a way that is not positive.  I suspect this is how my husband feels as well.  He's content to not attend church unless it's really needed, such as a holiday, a family wedding or that sort of thing. For me, to not have a regular church attendance doesn't feel right.  I've been using Covid as an excuse to not attend anywhere.  But I want a faith family.  I want to grow in my relationship with God and at this point in my life - not attending any sort of church doesn't feel right.

My solution was to start attending other churches.  To find a place that suits me better.  I actually intended to try attending this faith again to see how it felt after an absence, all the while keeping my heart open to other faiths.

Well, to be a sponsor for someone in this faith you must be in complete harmony with the church.  I might even have to prove it by proving that I'm registered in a specific parish.  While I am not "against" this faith, I am not in harmony nor do I attend regularly.

In theory I'm a wonderful person to be a sponsor to another on a religious path.  I actually care about learning about God and not just fulfilling church attendance and donations.  I actually do respect the faith in general and support my family member on their path.

But on paper and by judgement of the church - I'm not suitable.  Unless I pretend that I'm in full harmony with the faith.

I want the honor of sponsoring my family member.  I want to feel that unity with not just this particular family member but all of my family.  To sponsor this family member I need to do what the church asks - or lie about it.

I know that all of this sound really . . . ridiculous.  Even while typing it - it sounds like nonsense.  The obvious solution is to tell my family member, "thank you for the honor but I'm not really the best person for the job.  I will support you nonetheless."  Then she finds a more suitable person who will stand next to her, I attend the ceremony in support and that is that.

But to do this would be to admit to my family that I don't love everything about their faith.  That I'm going to be different from now on.  That I can't fully share in this with her.  At my core - I don't want to do this.  I just don't.

It would sort of be like if a close friend asked you to be their maid of honor and you were like, "yeah, I'm not the best person.  I'll attend your wedding but you go find someone else to stand next to you."

To me,  the benefit of faking a membership to the faith would be that it would allow me to share in something special. 

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2020, 02:41:08 PM »
The posts in the thread about friendships has got me thinking. 

While culling my circle some people were easier to move on from.  Certainly there have been in-law situations which disappointed and hurt me (mostly by my own failings to see the people as they are).  Those have been painful but necessary.  I'm glad I have come to those realizations because it made me focus on my marriage more than my in-laws.

Some friend situations are easy.  People I never truly enjoyed have easily fallen away during Covid.

Other situations are painful.  I've given a lot of myself to some friendships and I'm disappointed that the feelings aren't returned.  I've had to let go of the "idea" of these long lasting, like sisters, sort of friendships that I long for.

I have another friendship that is sort of bugging me.  It's a person who I truly struggle with.  We're bonded by a mutual friend and a few other circumstances.  But she's a person that can drive me crazy.  She's just too coarse and loud, has unkind commentary on everyone in her life.  She does have very good qualities but when I speak of her my husband often comments, "I don't know why you are friends with her."  Anyway, she's someone I would ideally have wanted to sort of slip away.  I've come across her twice recently and both times she's been friendly but not all that interested in talking with me or even "to" me as she usually does.  I'm feeling a bit rejected actually.  Instead of relieved.  And a little worried for her.  Or hopeful that maybe she's taken stock during Covid as well.  Not sure what to make of this.

I have a couple old friends that I do things with a few times a year.  Cherished friends because they are so old.  But frustrating because I'm usually in charge of the outings and arrangements.  They are actually very casual friends but maybe I expect more from them because of our shared history.  Anyway, I've been a little stubborn about them.  I've not checked in and they haven't either.  I've even deliberately not commented on things they post on social media.  I'm not resentful or mad.  Just sort of waiting for them to reach out first.  I want to break that "rule" that I'm the one who is "in charge".  Rooting for them to take the lead.  It's sort of prideful and I'm sure I'll soon break and send that text.  I think about them a lot.  A lot.  I really care about them.   

Over all, when I stop to think about it - dropping the ball on most relationships HAS opened up other avenues.  A business relationship is transitioning to a friendship, although I'm sort of jumping the gun on that one and need to keep myself in check.

An old friend from high school gave me her number and we've got plans to get together with some other old friends for lunch.  I'm not wildly excited about this but they are super nice people with whom I have a shared history.  It could lead somewhere positive or at least be a nice occasional outing.

I just invited a person to an event where I know we will have a shared interest.  We're currently "couples" friends with our husbands and we've never done a girls only outing.  But I'm going to give it a try.  I like this person and I think we'll have fun with the event.  And perhaps it will make those couples outing a bit more fun after I've gotten to know her a bit.

I don't think that any of this would be happening if I were still focused on my in-laws and my struggles with them.  Letting go of those relationships have given me space in my life.  Even if these new relationships don't go anywhere, at least I've learned to slow down and respect what others are willing to give me.  And learn what boundaries I'm needing to establish.

Today I'm happy.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2020, 10:22:16 AM »
I'm learning what works and what doesn't.  Or rather that somethings works and somethings don't.

The business related friendship is still business.  That's fine.

The couples friend accepted my invite to do something fun.  That's great.

I cleaned out my garden and invite my one difficult SIL over to take my extras.  She did and we had a nice visit.  I don't hate the woman.  I know she has issues with her FOO.  I just can't have a real relationship with her.  A simple kindness like extra garden goodies is a nice bridge with boundaries.  We shared some lemonade and she started to confide in how she was raised.  If we were real and equal friends I could listen and support.  We are not so I was able to listen and make moves to end the visit.  I feel bad for her because I do believe she's struggling.  But she might also be using me and manipulating me with sad tales.  Only to turn on me later - like she has in the past.

I sent a text to my other in-laws offering them thing from my garden.  Our of the 5 people I didn't receive one reply.  Not a "thanks but not interested" or anything.  I find that to be rude.  And that's where I'm going to leave it.  I'm not going to think of how unworthy I must be to not even rate a quick reply.  I'm not going to be hurt.  I'm simply going to note that these are not people who should rate "first choice" on my things.  Next time they won't get a personal text.  Not because I'm punishing them.  But because I'm not going to waste my time.

Last week my husband and I attended church services at my old faith.  I am mindful of the role my family member wants me to participate in.  We did not enjoy the service but it was good to attend.  It's giving me perspective. 

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BeautifulCrazy

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #30 on: October 16, 2020, 04:44:52 PM »
I sent a text to my other in-laws offering them thing from my garden.  Our of the 5 people I didn't receive one reply.  Not a "thanks but not interested" or anything.  I find that to be rude.  And that's where I'm going to leave it.  I'm not going to think of how unworthy I must be to not even rate a quick reply.  I'm not going to be hurt.  I'm simply going to note that these are not people who should rate "first choice" on my things.  Next time they won't get a personal text.  Not because I'm punishing them.  But because I'm not going to waste my time.
For me, arriving at this stage was life changing!
It was so freeing to realize that the responses (or lack of responses) I got from some people in my life was a reflection of who they were and where they were at in their personal development, NOT a reflection of who I was, or even their opinion of me. It was perfectly okay to choose not to spend my time, energy and resources on them, without judging myself, or them.

I know I said it before Hopeful, but I deeply appreciate reading your insightful, honest and self-reflective writings in these posts. Even if I rarely comment, I always read them and find they provoke thought and correlate with things on my own journey. Thank you for sharing here.
  :bighug:

~BC 

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2020, 11:52:20 AM »
For me, arriving at this stage was life changing!
It was so freeing to realize that the responses (or lack of responses) I got from some people in my life was a reflection of who they were and where they were at in their personal development, NOT a reflection of who I was, or even their opinion of me. It was perfectly okay to choose not to spend my time, energy and resources on them, without judging myself, or them.

I know I said it before Hopeful, but I deeply appreciate reading your insightful, honest and self-reflective writings in these posts. Even if I rarely comment, I always read them and find they provoke thought and correlate with things on my own journey. Thank you for sharing here.
  :bighug:

~BC

Thanks so much for sharing and for those kind words.  I too find great comfort on this site when I learn others struggle.  And not just have a few bumps in the road, but truly STRUGGLE to sort out their lives and other people.  It helps me to realize that I'm not alone and that maybe the people in my actual life struggle too - and just don't show it.  Which generates compassion from my heart.  I always leave this site in a better place with excellent food for thought.

Well, I do continue to struggle to separate myself from my in laws.  There are just so many triggers that make me feel "less than".  I do take them personally but really - these are people who are bouncing off the same people they've bounced with for years.  They are doing exactly what they do.  What works for them.  What makes them feel good.  And I participated in their game for almost 20 years.  I'm different now.  SO DIFFERENT.  Drastic changes in my marriage and my health provided the spark to change myself.  The new me does not fit into this family anymore.  I'm trying to hard to accept that it's okay.  And I'm trying hard to not judge these people when they do something they've always done.  I don't want to consider myself "better" than them.  But I do want to be okay with my growth and not let them hold me back.

In other news.  My husband and I have come to an agreement to attend church services every other weekend.  I'm not enjoying the services but I'm doing it so that I can continue to share this with my husband and to participate in a family members journey.  I feel a sense of peace about this and I'm using the time in church to really be aware of everything I dislike as well as the things I will miss.  The sense of community is strong and it seems like I really need community right now.  But the actual faith is lacking.  I'm not truly growing in Christ where I am.  But I am more peaceful with this new arrangement.  It's my intention to respectfully participate in this religion how I choose but to also search out different bible studies, musical events that appeal to me - regardless of what faith it is.

We put our dog down.  Which was a difficult day.  But a relief as well.  The poor thing was suffering and it's true that humans keep animals alive too long for our own benefit.  I wish I had put him down a week earlier.  There is less joy in our home.  My husband and I both seem to feel a bit of disappointment in it only being us.  I feel like less of a family without another living creature depending on us.  Probably this is just temporary.  But it does make me feel the lack of of children in our life.

And today back at work I'm trying to get things back on track.  To not waste a whole day.  There are a few challenges that have popped up over the weekend and at the moment I really DO want to give up on my business.  I work so dang hard.  Much like the rest of my life - drastic changes need to happen.  I just need to gather the courage to do it.

I have just realized that when I want to make changes I hold back because of other people.  My religion for instance.  I was stressing and searching for a way to make the changes I want without upsetting, my husband, my in-laws, my own parents, my godchildren, my traditions, my persona as a church going person.  Like even now I'm compromising with attending every other week.  I'm doing it because I want my husband to be with me, because I want to help a family member, because I want to be a part of the community in upcoming family events.  So I've found peace with this.  But I really don't want to be there anymore.  I don't value what they value.  I don't believe all the rules that I'm supposed to belief to get to heaven.  I don't want to register there.  I don't want to give them money.  But I'm not ready to do what I need to do so I'm half-assed doing what others want me to do.  And I can't decide if it's okay to baby step or if I'm just being pathetic about it all.

And that is what is happening with my business.  I'm trying hard to figure out how to change things without upsetting my current customers who have grown accustomed to my laid back way of doing business (and more specifically, the freebies and the lax deadlines).  And you can't do this.  You can't make the huge changes that are needed without upsetting a few people.  I WILL lose people but I WILL gain much more.  I HAVE to do something.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2020, 11:08:33 AM »
"When you are broken but not bold you become a bystander."

This is a quote I heard recently.  I am thinking of the times that I was wronged.  Like truly, in my heart, without a doubt WRONGED and did nothing. 

To the times I was young and wronged by my parents and family members.
To the teachers or leaders who weren't fair.
To the romantic relationships where I was wronged and disrespected.
To the friendships where I allowed wronged behaviors to prevail.
To my business ventures where I willingly took the short end of the stick (wronging myself here).
To the big events in my life where I wasn't respected, wasn't valued, and wasn't treated right.

I have been broken time, after time, after time.  And I took the high road.  I remained calm.  I outwardly allowed it but inwardly seethed.  I accepted unsaid apologies when I believed that others couldn't.  I've accepted, I've relented.  I've "reasoned" it all out and said that I was okay.  I pretended to have peace.  I thought God wanted me to be meek.

I was the opposite of bold and now - I am a bystander in my own life.  This beautiful wonderful life that I have because I was safe and played by the rules.  And put complete trust in Jesus.  I have been blessed beyond measure in many ways.  But I am a bystander, and a sad one at that, because I wasn't bold.

Today I'm closing up shop for a week or two.  Why?  Because I know in my heart that I need it.  I know that I need a break to get myself settled at home (finally) and to have some breathing room.  I've worked hard for years and now I can take a little break and let my husband worry about things for a bit.  While I'm closed I'm going to be looking for bold ways to make changes.  New rules.  Things thrown out.  Even if they "seem" hurtful or selfish.  I know that I am a kind, fair and decent person.  I know that I will not do anything that will hurt others.  So it's time to stop hurting myself.

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Jolie40

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2020, 02:40:16 PM »
" it's hard for me to admit that I can't do it all.  I can't run a business, run a household, have family and friends, volunteer AND keep a perfect yard. " said Hopeful Spine



I always say "woman can have it all, just not all at once"

used to try to do too much but not anymore
this body has only so much energy, lol


it's good you're taking a break from the shop, Hopeful Spine!
you deserve it



« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 03:36:38 PM by Jolie40 »
be good to yourself

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2020, 05:05:38 PM »
it's good you're taking a break from the shop, Hopeful Spine!
you deserve it

The amount of relief I feel is astounding.  I still have to do all that work - but having the luxury of a week off (a little over a week with the weekends in play) has made me so so happy.

One of the women of the recent committee I worked with (the committee I was feeling taken advantage by) reached out after I announced it on social media.  She had 3 items that she needs from me.  With tight deadlines.  One of which is a big ask.  I immediately replied back and tell her how overwhelmed I am.  I also answered her requests with a "no", a "maybe" and a "yes, but I'll need you to do xyz".  Hours later she's not replied back.  Not even to say, "hope you're okay."

That sucks and that tells me how she values me (she values me when I do what she wants me to do).  I'm going to act accordingly and not pay any attention to the requests.

Thanks for your words of support!

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2020, 10:28:16 AM »
Shutting down my work for a week has been eye-opening.  In the beginning I've made the commitment that I HAVE to complete everything in my work pile.  I'm learning now that maybe it's okay to contact people and say, "sorry - things have changed and I'm no longer able to help you."  The type of work I do is very special but not truly important.  If I say "no" I'm not going to ruin anyones day.  However, saying "yes" to everyone is certainly ruining mine.

I'm noticing who is respecting my choice to close my office and who is taking advantage. 

I'm focusing so hard on my work and I'm grateful to learn how supportive my husband truly is.  I'm allowing myself to let other things slide.  My FOO wants to get together.  But no one wants to plan it.  In the past I would have told my sibling to not worry about it.  I would have fielded opinions from my parents, checked in with my husband, called my SIL, stressed about my other sibling before finally getting everyone on the same page.  When my sibling texted I actually typed out "Sounds great.  I can check in with M&D".  I actually argued with myself that it wouldn't take long until I relunctantly deleted it and typed, "Sounds great.  Let me know what time to show up."

My husband and I had a good conversation about religion.  We've worked out a temporary compromise that puts us on the same page and makes us both happy.  I know that long term I won't want this arrangement but it suits me (and serves me - and us) for the time being. 

My birthday was last week.   A few friends that I distanced myself from did not mark the day in the way they usually do.  I'm okay with that and it made me think, "okay, it's mutual.".  I was pleased with those who did.  The newish business-related friend sent me a really special text and that was a really nice feeling.  I noticed that I was waiting for a few other people to message me and was relieved when they did.  This seems like a problem to me.  To be waiting for that connection with someone, to be expecting it and to be holding my joy until I received it - those are not healthy relationships and I need to untangle that.

It's so helpful to post here and keep myself accountable.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #36 on: November 07, 2020, 11:58:46 AM »
Feeling a little different today.  This past week was a wealth of new feelings and new reactions to old feelings.

Monday - Volunteer meeting where the bully was in full force.  I fulfilled my commitment to the meeting.  I helped out a gal who was the target of the bully that evening.  I felt not an ounce of guilt for not helping with a list of projects that I believe are a waste of time.  After the meeting I left, without hanging around to partake in the the bitch session that always follows these meetings. 

Tuesday - Election day.  I voted and then avoided all news about the election.

Wednesday - A friend invited me to her bible study and I went.  I liked it.  However, I wasn't fully comfortable.  These women were light years ahead of me in terms of knowledge, kindness and decorum.  I was surprised to see a person in attendance who had fallen greatly a number of years ago.  Like, even worse than my husband had.  The beauty and compassion of watching her speak and the ladies reacting to her with kindness was humbling.  It was hard to go but I was happy I went.  I will probably go again.

Thursday - my parents stopped over unexpectantly.  My house was a mess.  Literally the ONE day this week that I had left it in disarray. I could tell my mother noticed.  I didn't fuss, apologize or make excuses.  I know how I live.  I know how complicated my life is these days.  I don't care that my home was not perfect for them.

Friday - This was a low day.  I didn't feel well physically.  I declined two jobs, one of which was a long time customer.  I know it will put her in a bind but the last minute time line was not going to work for me.  This client is usually fair but demanding.  I know she's upset but it would actually hurt my business plan to switch gears and assist her.  I hated to do it but I said no. 

Anyway, even though I had made great strides this week - it was weighing on me.  A friend was having serious health issues this week and those updates were happening on a regular basis.  I managed a lot of things internally over the week.  I went to the gym out almost everyday and I stuck to a mostly healthy eating plan.  Those efforts paid off.  I confided in my husband and with his help my attitude improved and were able to pretty quickly move on to more positive things.  I went to bed happy last night and woke up this morning brimming with the energy and creativity I desperately needed.  In the midst of difficulty I'm happy to report that it was a good week.

A few other softening strides.  On social media an in-law shared an old photo of themselves with their first child.  It was so old I did a double take.  This is an in-law who I considered a friend but she dropped off after starting a family.  Looking at this photo I was a bit sad.  Had she allowed me to be in her life I would have remembered that hairstyle and the onesie the baby was wearing.  I felt like I was looking at a stranger.  And I guess I sort of was.  These days I feel like a stranger to myself.  I'm changing so much and needing to seriously prioritize my responsibilities and the people in my life.  Possibly just like she had to do when she found herself with a baby.  I was hurt by peoples actions but MAYBE it wasn't so personal.  Maybe there is some wiggle room to start over with fresh expectations and boundaries.  At least with this particular person. 

Another wake up.  Someone who I felt was taking advantage of me is also going through some health issues.  Our relationship is mostly positive but can be complicated and I've been hurt by her.  I texted her to see how she was and she replied favorably.  I then shared something small I was dealing with and she replied back with something sort of self serving, basically blowing me off.  I noted that exchange without any feelings of self loathing.  It's not that I don't matter.  It's not even that I don't matter to her, because she's shown me in the past that she does care.  I was able to identify that this is HER limitation.  That I can accept it, but that I should also draw back a bit.  With that text exchange she's proven that she's special but also not a good fit for me to count on her.  I can care for her, help her, enjoy her.  But I need not bend over backwards for her like I would a truly mutual friend.

This all probably sounds pretty braggy but I don't mean it to be.  I'm just pleased to be feeling so good after such a stressful week.  This is how I want to feel all the time.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2020, 10:26:18 AM »
A little "self care" Monday.

It's been a rough couple of weeks.  LONG work hours.  Sleepless nights where I would just get up at 4:30 and get to work.  Covid stress in our area is ramping up and our businesses are slowing down.  It's all come to a head this past weekend.  My mother stopped in to "help" a few time which I was gracious and accommodating because I think she's feeling low and I wanted her to feel some satisfaction of assisting me.  She's, along with my MIL are both starting to stress about the upcoming holidays and neither of them will make their thoughts clear.  My husband and I feel like we're the ones who will have to take control of the situation and deal with our siblings.  DH and I are doing great but we've been busy with home repairs and it's really just been a hard couple of weeks.

We had a party with the in-laws Sunday.  I did stress about going most of the weekend.  The main PD sibling was hosting and the siblings that hurt us the most would be coming to town.  My husband met up with most of them on Saturday.  He felt obligated because the last time this sibling came to town they only notified a select group of people (my husband was not included) and my husband expressed his disappointment.  Only to have them "blame" him for not being included.  So.  Since this time he was included he made sure to thank them and make an extra effort to participate with a good attitude.  It seemed to work and he came home Saturday night only a little irritated that they asked him to be a designated driver.  But on Sunday he was in a difficult mood while we both anticipated the party.

The party was okay.  But stressful.  The PD sibling was nice to us (because they were hosting) and I was cautiously gracious in return.  The party had challenges beyond her control and she seemed to "check in" with me each time there was an issue.  I was supportive and nice, but not overly friendly or helpful.  She was appreciative.  Even pecking me on the cheek and said "thank you for being here". 

Then - she zinged me.  In her I'm pretending to give you a compliment in front of a lot of people and then zing you in a "nice" way and make you uncomfortable.  To be honest - I really do think she was trying to be nice this time.  But since it's usually a zing that's how she delivered it.  Unfortunately it fell flat as many zings often do.  But I looked stupid - not her.

I was planning to break the ice with my awful in-law.  I really was.  I had listened to a podcast that was teaching about forgiveness and bitterness and I have to admit that I AM bitter.  This person has a hold on me that keeps me quiet.  Their past actions still haunt me and even I feel silly for holding a grudge all this time.  But I couldn't do it.  I never can.  I really and truly do not want to.  I'd prefer for her to be alive and healthy, but for me to never see her again.  The hold she has is powerful and is hurting me. 

When I enter a party I scan the room to see where she is.  I intentionally do not visit the buffet or bathroom if she is near.  If her husband is somewhere I will chat with him but I'll see how close she is.  If she's too close I will not sit.  I want to be free to get away.  I will say hi to her children but I will first check to see where she is.  If she's watching me I don't want to linger.  If she's close and my husband is with me I stress that he doesn't say anything that I suspect she won't approve of.  I do this during the whole length of the party.

I know it's not healthy or strong to NEED an apology from her.  But that seems to be the missing key for me.  I don't want our old relationship back.  I don't want to rebuild a relationship.  I really want the satisfaction of her to say, "I was wrong.  Your husband is a good person and I shouldn't have said the things I said."  She doesn't even have to say the words "I'm sorry."  Just an acknowledgement.  That's all. 

If she said those words to me I could look her in the eye and say, "Thank you for those words.  I know you said the things you said because you felt you were protecting your children.  You were profoundly hurtful and I'm not sure we can become friends again but I truly appreciate that acknowledgment."

I KNOW it's not going to happen.  Two years ago I sent a very simple text to her which said that I had hoped we could be friendly at an upcoming holiday.  She replied that nothing would make her happier.  To me that was the first move.  A nudge that if she wanted to make things right that I would be welcoming.  But she didn't want to, or couldn't, carry the ball the rest of the way. 

I feel that this mess is her fault but I also know that the situation is now my responsibility.  (I read that somewhere).  It's NOT her responsibility to make me feel better.  I need to feel strong and confident on my own.  But I'm struggling.  It's been too long and it's not healthy.

I'm considering trying again in a way that I can manage.  Maybe sending a text that says, "I wish things were different but they are not.  I don't like being uncomfortable at family functions.  I intend to make a better effort to be sociable.  I hope that is okay and we can better enjoy family functions."

Beyond all of that the party was okay.  People did act the way they usually act but there was a sporting event that sort of gave us all something to focus on.  I had fun seeing my nieces and nephews and I was happy to experience that they all seemed to enjoy talking to my husband and me.  Especially the ones that belong to my difficult in-law.  They are in their late teens and so very special, smart and wonderful.  That bond we had with them when they were younger has still paid off and it was a joy to visit with them.  Maybe that is enough.

To top the whole thing off - the PD sibling posted photos to social media.  She posted all the fun happy pics of the event.  DH and I were not included but everyone else, including the family friend, was.  The party was held in a public place and she even had photos of all kinds of popular people who obviously happened to be at the same venue.  I don't think that she's done that as a specific "f-you" to my husband and I.  I really don't think that she sat in bed last night, on social media, selecting all the best photos except for ours.  But I do believe that she had photos of everyone but us.  And to me that is the ultimate "f-you".  The F meaning "forget".  She's taken photos and posted what she wants to remember.  Not us.

And it's all just a huge mind game.  I don't WANT to be friends with people like these.  I don't want to have the responsibility of playing their games and making the invisible alliances that are needed in this family.  I don't want the fakeness and the effort all of that requires.
 So I shouldn't give a crap about any of this.  But the rejection from family is hard, hurtful and difficult to process.

So I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself today.  And ashamed that I can't get it together to not give a flying fig about the difficult family member.  And a little sad in general.  But I'll get past it.  I've spent time journaling this and now I'm going to take an hour or two to do something special and fun.  I really don't have time for it today but I'm going to make the time.  Then later this week I will share some of this with a trusted friend who will give me the honest feedback that I need.

And I'm going to start researching therapists.  I'm going to eliminate this problem in 2021.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #38 on: November 23, 2020, 11:30:02 AM »
I've had some unusual thoughts and feelings lately.

A business associate that I once tried to network with is getting on my last nerve.  I think I'm jealous.  I have zero invested in this relationship and when we did speak it was nothing but nice things.  I literally have nothing to base my negative feelings on.  But she's semi local to me and achieving some extraordinary things so she's around.  She working on things that I do not want.  In a business circle that I'm not interested in participating.  But she very vocal on social media and she has tons of support.  I don't know her well but she seems very arrogant.  Maybe I wish I had her confidence?  I'm not understanding why I felt the need to unfollow her and then go back to her site to see it all again.  I seem to have trouble letting go of people who I don't like.  I often visit the social media of people who are outspoken and seem to get under my skin.  I should be wishing them well and moving on.  But for some reason I keep tabs on them.  Why?

My in laws.  A few of my nieces and nephews are involved in a sporting success that our community values.  A recent win has brought a lot of excitement to our community.  My most troublesome in laws, like the other parents involved, are being very braggy and vocal about all this.  And . . . I don't mind.  They have earned this excitement and pride through their children.  I have to say, no matter how much they bug me - I have to admit they are great parents.  I find myself being happy for them and happy they have this wonderful time to enjoy.  I really like this feeling and I struggle to understand why I get so edgy about all the other crap?  The other crap seems to involve them being jerky to my hubby and I but why do I take it so personally and then at times like these I feel such happiness FOR them.  It's a mind fuck for sure.

I seem to be getting better with friendships.  I recently met with a friend who I am casually having coffee with on a monthly basis.  And I have to say, I really like how this friendship is going.  We're mutually sharing.  Mutually helping each other.  I'm comfortable and I00% look forward to and enjoy our visits.  THIS is a relationship that works for me!!!

I'm a bit disappointed that a new person I reached out to hasn't responded the way I want.  We were supposed to do something together and I wasn't able to due to Covid.  I gifted her the tickets, we each expressed our disappointment and then nothing.  She didn't follow up to thank me for the tickets, or to tell me that it was a nice time, or to try to get together again.  I mean, it's "okay" because it's not like I'm super trying hard to develop this friendship or anything.  But my husband casually mentioned that her husband said she was going to be doing something with friend and I had a pang of jealousy.  Which is kind of silly.  Obviously she has her own circle of friends and I shouldn't be expected to be included (I didn't want that and would not have wanted to attend) but it does hurt a little that I tried and she hasn't tried back.  Again, maybe I'm longing too much for positive friends and I'm reading too far into things.

The newish friend who I have gotten to know through business was really sweet to me on a particular day.  I think our relationship is invested in our businesses but it seems to be the sort of relationship that can last for years.  Much like parents who become friends because of their children.  Sometimes that friendship lasts as long a the school years or the children relationship.  Other times it can grow beyond that.  I think that is where I'm at with this person.  I'm learning that this person doesn't have to be my "ride or die".  And I'm okay with that.

One of my customers yelled at me.  I'm doing an order for an older woman and she seems to have expectations that I did not reach.  She's very set on a specific timeline (which I was unaware) and finally let me know I was failing.  I was upset with myself for failing her.  I didn't react very well.  I was very apologetic, flustered and looked like an idiot, if I'm being honest.  After she left and I calmed down I realized how unfair she was.  How unrealistic she was.  How I should not have put up with that.  I texted a very good friend and she said the right thing and I was able to regain some of my composure.  I hate disappointing people.  But in this case, I've learned that sometimes people WILL be disappointed and that doesn't mean that you completely suck.  It's okay.

I have an upcoming event with people who traditionally take advantage of me.  Today I'm being mindful of that and working to get my boundaries in order before I reach out to them to discuss the event.

The most troubling thing is that I'm spending a lot of time thinking of these relationships and wanting new friends - to the point that I am slacking a bit on my work and the potential new things I could be doing for myself.  I don't know why I'm so focused on friendships when I'm struggling to keep up with the life I currently have going.

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Lookin 2 B Free

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #39 on: November 24, 2020, 03:34:40 AM »
I spend a lot of time thinking about my friendships too, Hopeful.  Meaningful human connection is an important need, I believe.   I also think those of us who grew up in PD homes and didn't get our needs met, didn't have secure attachments, have lots of feelings triggered with subsequent relationships.  I don't know if that applies to you, but it does to me.  I hope some of these new promising relationships work out for you!