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 #60 on: June 16, 2021, 09:32:40 PM »
I need to blow off some steam.

I had been over-extending myself.  And I knew it.  And it was making me unable to focus.  I'd go to work and mindless scroll on-line.  I didn't even try to do anything simple or even fun.  Just the very bare minimum.  It was a bad feeling but I couldn't force myself to work.

Then my husband had a health concern and I grew even more fearful.  Anxiety, stress, serious feelings of despair.  When his test result came back okay - the relief was instant and I was able to see how far behind I was.  I was able to pull my shit together and tried to get back on track.

The following week was horrible.  Issues with some of my business shipments, deadlines, all kind of things.  I was working and productive but exhausted.

Then we had a fire on our property.  A big one.  All the bells and whistles.  While we're safe and our home is safe - it was scary and a devastating loss.

I'm not okay.  This year has been a series of issues.  Some of my own doing (like over extending myself) but some things that are truly out of my control.  This fire is really the end for me.  I closed up my office for a couple weeks to focus on fulfilling my current obligations.  And to deal with the things you have to take care of after you have a fire.

I had to post something on my business social media and I am projecting a positive outlook (i.e. glad to have our home, glad no one was injured, etc.).  People are responding with kind comments and raving about how amazing my outlook is.  I mean, I do believe the words I've posted.  But this is NOT easy.  I'm not okay.

This has continued to open my eyes to those who are good for me and those who do not care.  Some people are checking in.  Some people are not.  Strangers have been more comforting and caring than some people I considered close.  Some clients are extra comforting.  Others (ones I've worked my tail off for) have barely acknowledged my loss.

I'm going to disclaim this by saying that I'd never harm myself.  Never.  And I know I sound like I'm hopeless.  I'm not.  I know it will be okay.  I know that good things will follow.  I'm blessed that this has made my husband and I closer.  Like I said, I'm blowing off steam.

But I am done with everything in my life.  I am ready for drastic changes.  And I don't care who falls out of my life as a result.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #61 on: June 16, 2021, 10:54:13 PM »
A fire! That sounds awful. I too struggle when people don't understand that just because I'm holding up okay on the outside, I'm not necessarily doing great on the inside. Do we have to fall apart to get some real sympathy?

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #62 on: June 16, 2021, 11:32:59 PM »
Do we have to fall apart to get some real sympathy?

Thanks for listening.  Yes, I feel the same way.  Sometimes I think people consider me simple minded or silly instead of strong and brave.  At different times in my life I've endured some truly difficult stuff with very little support.  I know who I am and what I can do.  I'm just glad that my husband understands.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #63 on: June 18, 2021, 10:55:44 PM »
I am sorry for your loss.  I am glad your home and family are safe.

I can relate to coming to a place in life where you need a reset.

I also have been through a lot.  I am at the pivot point and am tying up loose ends and trying to work against momentum to get my life heading in another direction.  It's like I have got the old momentum almost stopped but it's going to take more effort to get the ball rolling in new direction.

I am tired and want to rest and run from it all however I realize at the same time the effort is in part for me this time.  It's about my future and I am tryi g to keep the efforts up at tad longer so things will roll where I want them to.

I hope that you also find things going towards your best life path soon.

Leaving some folks behind will be painful perhaps but being free from their pdness might also be its own reward.

I hope all goes well with the insurance company etc. 

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Oscen

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #64 on: June 21, 2021, 11:59:58 AM »
Hi Hopeful Spine,

I've let myself drift away from two "friends" who weren't good for me. No regrets.

Sorry this has been a hard time. Take good care of yourself.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #65 on: June 21, 2021, 06:04:52 PM »
I also have been through a lot.  I am at the pivot point and am tying up loose ends and trying to work against momentum to get my life heading in another direction.  It's like I have got the old momentum almost stopped but it's going to take more effort to get the ball rolling in new direction.

I am tired and want to rest and run from it all however I realize at the same time the effort is in part for me this time.  It's about my future and I am tryi g to keep the efforts up at tad longer so things will roll where I want them to.


Thanks for your kind words and commenting.  My husband was saying the things you are saying.  He's just tired.  In the past he's wanted to change to please his parents, or me.  Or to fit in with his family.  Once he realized that he needed to change for himself - then everything else would fall into place.  It's been working - for both of us.  But we have setbacks. 

We visited his family on Father's Day.  His family barely acknowledged our struggles.  A few in-laws asked and we could feel the disinterest from his actual siblings.  They made comments that sort of downplayed what we are going through.  It's like they resent that we have a legit struggle going on and don't want to admit that things are hard and maybe we could use a little sympathy and support.  So instead of saying the right things or behaving as if they cared - they sort of implied that we should be over it already.

Except for his mother - who fawned over us completely.  Too much actually.  It was a tiring visit and I could tell that it hurt my husband.  We had a family friend who suffered a fire not long ago and everyone was banning together to assist them in small, meaningful ways.  No one in his family is doing that for us.  If we brought this up - they would undoubtably point fingers and saying that we're selfish and petty.  So we say nothing.

Today I am trying hard to turn things around.  Sometimes I can lean on excuses in order to skate responsibility.  I could easily do this with the fire as an excuse.  I won't.


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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #66 on: June 21, 2021, 06:14:35 PM »
Hi Hopeful Spine,

I've let myself drift away from two "friends" who weren't good for me. No regrets.

Sorry this has been a hard time. Take good care of yourself.

Thanks for listening.  Sometimes I feel like I must be the most judgemental and high maintenance woman in the world.  I'm always so disappointed with people.  And maybe my expectations are too high - I don't know.  I just see so many people doing the bare minimum for me and I don't understand it.  I texted two of my oldest friends and they both replied back with bland, "sorry to hear that - glad you are okay".  I don't expect to hear from them again for awhile.  Until the next time we have lunch.  I've never considered this - but maybe it is time to drift away.

I never want to "quit" anything.  To a fault.  I'm doing business the same way I've always done it because I know what is expected from me.  I can change it up anytime I want and I don't.  I actually LOVE that I'm closed right now.  Love it.  I can't imagine acting on that feeling and quitting what I'm doing.  But maybe I need to. 

So to "quit" a friendship because it's not measuring up - seems callous and cold.  I've been trying to adapt.  To down grade my expectations. To be "okay" with what they give me.  But it's not okay.  Maybe they are doing anything "wrong".  Maybe they are giving exactly what they want to give.  But it feels wrong to me and maybe that is enough of a reason to move on.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #67 on: June 29, 2021, 02:32:54 PM »
I'm not okay.  Life is piecing itself back together after our loss.  I'm taking the time I need, but it doesn't seem like anything is improving.  I'm working all the time and I don't seem to be getting closer to the goal line.  I don't have time to work out or do my hair.  Or paint my nails.  I can barely complete laundry and I'm only washing dishes when I see a bug. 

I'm constantly plagued by feelings of self doubt.  I'm finding time to resent all those who are letting me down.  I'm jealous of others and their lives.  But when family or customers stop by I am Positive Patty. When I share a bit of the truth and those people walk away I'm pissed that I was so negative.  I'm staying away from social media because I waver between wanting to appear strong and faith-filled vs. wanting to be real and risk pity.

I want sympathy and comfort but I don't want to appear weak.  So I choose the narrative of being strong and then I resent people for believing (what I've told them) that I'm okay.  Someone made us a meat loaf and I was so, so, so happy.  It was like a quiet acknowledgment that they know life is hard and that I need a little help.

I'm keeping many responsibilities.  I just keep saying to myself, "finish that commitment, then you can clean your space, then you can replace that item, then you can fix yourself up.  Then you can take a day to shut the door and relax." Over and over again.  I'm a fucking mess.

I know what I need to do.  I need to do a huge mike drop and turn this thing around.  I need to disappoint people.  I need to leave a few commitments hanging.  I need to be direct, curt, a little rude.  I need to say "no."  I need to not worry about that covered dish for that party I really don't want to attend.  I need to NOT fulfill that volunteer responsibility that I made when I was fully able to assist.

My life is different now. Not ruined, not awful, not tragic.  But it's different and I can't keep operating as if it is all okay.  IT'S NOT!!

I feel like I'm failing.  At everything.  That I was probably failing all these years.  But I pretended that I wasn't.  I feel like a fool.  All these efforts.  All these relationships.  All these moments that I though were important.  I wanted them all to be something.  Very few of them were.  And every rejection, disregard, silly slip that anyone makes - I take it personally and say to myself, "not again!"  I'm not going to be stupid anymore.

As always, I feel like I need to provide the disclaimer that I'm not suicidal.  When I reread things I sound pretty bad.  I tell my husband everything and I do have a few good friends to lean on.  I have money and food and a beautiful place to live.  I just don't have "myself" at the moment.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #68 on: June 30, 2021, 08:03:44 PM »
I'm sorry that you're not okay. I wish I could do more than read your posts and offer my moral support and understanding.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #69 on: July 01, 2021, 03:58:41 PM »
I once ran a business as a sole proprietor.  I would stay up all night at times to deal with repairs and figuring out solutions when I had missed an aspect of a job or ran I to more damage than it seemed when I took the job in.  I played super woman LL the time.



Eventually I reached my max output under this method.  I painfully called a client and said, I discovered there is more wrong than I had anticipated when we spoke over the phone Yada Yada I have a loaner device I could bring over.  We discussed, they were fine with it taking a couple days longer.

I later did this again, and amazingly there was again no judgement and the client was fine.

I later invested in another loaner device and told all clients I would call them back with a clarification of what was going on  after I had a chance to diagnose from my work Bench.

Because I was no longer loosing sleep I worked better, and I could prioritize jobs with the clients I was able to have more productive time. Also I did not waste time looking for workarounds just so I could maintain a schedule set with too little information on my part.

Moral of my story, I was applying "pd like" pressure from clients when it did not exist in many cases.  I was working in ways that had been influenced by pds.

I had allowed my self created job to become very "pd" in how I was allowing it to flow into my private life because my expectations were based in part on negative messages.

Maybe the fire is a reason, not an excuse for a change in some time lines, and a reason to carve out a bit of time for self preservation.

I hope you get to where you feel back in control.  In the mean time those little black bait stations for bugs work well.

Cyber casseroles are yours. 
 

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #70 on: July 05, 2021, 11:18:04 AM »
Moral of my story, I was applying "pd like" pressure from clients when it did not exist in many cases.  I was working in ways that had been influenced by pds.

I had allowed my self created job to become very "pd" in how I was allowing it to flow into my private life because my expectations were based in part on negative messages.

Maybe the fire is a reason, not an excuse for a change in some time lines, and a reason to carve out a bit of time for self preservation.

I hope you get to where you feel back in control.  In the mean time those little black bait stations for bugs work well.

Cyber casseroles are yours. 
 

Thanks for sharing and bringing up some good points.  Especially since you have run a business and know the pitfalls and mistakes that can be made.  Thank you for your support.

Being a people pleaser means I have built a business, anticipating what a person needs/wants/expects and then I deliver.  I'm very good at that.  I can quickly size up a person and then determine if I will have to be strict and do extra stuff to help them stay on task.  Or if they are high maintenance and I will have to shuffle my schedule for them.  Or if they are so darn nice that I bend completely and do all kinds of things for free.  Then I quickly adjust my feelings about the job and I just say, "okay, so I'm just going to have to do XYZ for this person.  I'll do that (for them) later on Thursday (for free) and it will be fine."  This is not a good way to do business. 

My husbands business is ramping up and he needs help.  A great deal of help right now - especially as a result of the fire.  And I'm doing it because he needs it.  But I'm hating it.  It's just not what I want to do.  Soon he will be able to hire help and it will be fine.  But right now I have to help.  His mother helps him a great deal and she is SUPER helpful.  She really is.  But the enmeshment is clear and becoming worse.  And unhealthy.  Her own marriage sucks and she doesn't make efforts with her peers or her many other children so she devotes her time to my husband who easily welcomes her.  She claims to LOVE to do all the manual labor that he needs done.  And maybe she does enjoy the personal satisfaction of helping him, regardless of the work.  I don't know.  He expresses his appreciation and he does nice things for her in return.  He sings her praises often.  So do I.  I tell everyone how vital she is to my husband.  But she is excessively helping to the point that I'm uncomfortable.  And when I join in to help she seems to resent my presence and assert herself.  Since she is a very non-assertive person it's easy to notice that I'm in her way.

This weekend she hurt my feelings while we were working together.  As my "punishment" to her I did not allow her to do a job that she normally does.  It's a job my husband really hates so I suspect it makes her feel extra special to do it for him.  Well, at the end of the night she went to take the stuff with her I said, "oh no, I'll take care of that.  We'll bring it home and it won't take anytime at all for me to finish it up."  I put smiled prettily as I put it in my car and my husband agreed with me and told her that she'd been so helpful already, that she didn't need to do that crappy job.

She seemed very put out.  She even showed up at our house the next day to pick up the items.  "Just thought I grab those things and finish that job for him."  Even though I hadn't take care of the job yet I told her I had. I didn't want her to have the "honor" of doing it for him.  Her disappointment was evident.  And damn it, I actually felt bad.  So I gave her things from my garden and chatted with her for awhile (even though I was still upset that she had hurt my feelings).  She finally said, "well, I guess I'll be going now."  And she seemed so sad walking to her car.

So even though she hurt my feelings, she got free produce AND I had to to the shitty job.  It was completely messed up.  And probably explains why there are such weird relationships in this family.  When I try to broach the subject with my husband he only praises all the good that she's done.  I don't have the energy to really lay this out for him and I'm not even sure I'm right at this point.

We took a day off but it wasn't enough.  And now the week begins again. 

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #71 on: July 06, 2021, 10:59:26 AM »
Maybe she is so in need of meaning in her life she is over indulging on this opportunity.

I am sure it's annoying.

My H was very enmeshed with his mother.  Never took my side.  When she passed at 91, he seemed to take it better than I could have ever imagined.

Then I realized I had been parentified.  His narcisistism has increased ever since. 

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #72 on: July 12, 2021, 10:26:04 AM »
My goal this week is to lower all expectations.  In reflection over the weekend it occurred to me (again) that I might be the problem.  You know what I mean.  If everyone around you is an asshole, then you might have to consider that YOU'RE actually the asshole.  I am upset all the time because people let me down.  So perhaps my expectations are too high.

I struggle with this because I truly don't feel that I expect a lot.  Why wouldn't I expect friends to check in once or twice?  When I sent out a group text to 19 family members and only one makes a passive comment - why wouldn't I be disappointed and annoyed (and hurt!)  When people on a committee do not step up (even though I've asked and they KNOW that I am going through a lot) why wouldn't I be frustrated and stressed?  Why wouldn't I get upset when all these people are on social media - living the dream - while I'm low key suffering?

I dug deep this weekend.  I realized that I'm upset with EVERYONE, even people I don't know all that well.  With old time friends I rarely see - I feel like, "why aren't they helping?"  With my husband's family - some of them haven't even called to check in - not even once.  Why?  When I deal with my clients and explain why I cannot help them with their next project they dismissively say, "no worries, thanks anyway" I'm super annoyed that they don't even say, "I'm so sorry to hear about your fire."   To me it's common decency to say these words.

The biggest realization is that not even my mother has really bothered to call to check in.  She hasn't made a meal, helped me with anything.  She lives a block away from me.  She doesn't even call.  But i don't think about that a whole lot.  Instead I focus more on these casual friends, acquaintances, clients.  I have greater wrath for them, instead of my own mother.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.

I'm being silly - I know this.  My husband and I completely support each other.  He has a few people who are helping him.  I have a few people who are helping me.  Not many for each of us.  But we have it.  So why am I so upset with EVERYONE?

None of this is new.  I have endured years of serious marital issues, I've dealt with my husband being in jail, rebuilding a life, building a business, dealing with medical issues and major surgery, my husband dealing with an expensive year-long medical issue, helping him with sobriety, saying goodbye to pets, a new home, a fire. 

None of it is serious enough for the people in my life (especially my mother) to say, "Hey, let me bring you a meal."  "Let me help you with laundry", or "I'm going to take you out for lunch."  Or, "Hey, here's a book I think will help, here's some flowers to brighten your day. Here's a little ice cream."  Not even a damn text to say, "hope you have a good day."

I mean, I do these things for others.  But no one cares enough to do it back.  Of course that hurts.  What the hell?

But this week will be different.  I have close people, I know who they are.  When I think of the people who haven't helped I will remind myself that they are NOT my closest people (and yes I will have to say that about my mother as well).   

When I deal with clients I will remind myself that they are people who pay me to do things for them.  I may be friendly with them but they are NOT my friends.  They are not my closest people.

When I deal with my committee members I will take care of my obligations and be frank about how I'm not able to do their work as well.  I will be nice, but direct and I'm not going to worry about gaining support, respect or emotion from them.  They are conditional friends, who serve a mutual purpose - but they are not my closest people.

I'm going to consider my husband "my family".  Not my parents, or siblings, or anyone else.  They all have their own issues and I'm not going to insert my problems into their life - even if I think they SHOULD care.  I will go to "my family" - my husband - when I am having difficulties.  And that's it.  For this week - I'm going to try something really new and disregard my feelings and judgements and instead focus on those closest people.  At the end of the week I will hope it served me well and I will be able to move from these wasteful negative feelings toward others.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #73 on: July 13, 2021, 10:19:47 AM »
Yesterday was interesting.  I had a variety of things to take care of yesterday and I didn't use my regular, cheerful, "hey there awesome person!!  I'm super swamped.  I hope you can help me with xyz".  I was direct.  "Hi.  I need someone to help me with this.  Please speak up if you can assist."  Three people spoke up.  I didn't expect that so I was pleased.

When posting about my office closing for the rest of the month I posted exactly that.  I didn't throw in updates of my fire or how overwhelmed I am.  I'm closed.  Until the end of the month.  Period.  I didn't look at the post again the rest of the night.  With such a simple message (with very little emotion) I don't need to see how many people "liked" or commented encouraging things.  No expectations = no disappointment.

I hadn't intended to talk about this with my husband but he surprised me.  When chatting about whether we'd attend a family party (parties where we felt "obligated" to attend - but would have to make extra efforts to do so) he shared with me how "done" he is.  He did not want to attend the parties.  And I agreed.  We realized that over the years we've heavily attended, supported, and shared joy with all our siblings and their children. 

Imagine - attending and gifting events for over 30 children for the last 20 years. 

From birth, baptisms, birthdays and other religious milestones.  We showed up.  We gave freely.  We loved and enjoyed.  But no more.  Time and again we're not feeling the love in return.  So we won't attend either party and today I plan to rsvp "no" with little explanation or emotion.  "Sorry, we won't be able to attend.  Best wishes for a fun time."

And all of this seems reasonable.  And smart.  But it's not me.  I'm not someone who barks out demands or hides the love.  But I did feel freedom and a bit of relief.  I texted and typed what I wanted to say, paused briefly and then hit send.  My words were not perfection.  They did not instill what I "wanted them to feel".  But I don't regret the words.  I was not mean, rude or anything negative. 

When I choose my words carefully I tie in expectations.  For instance at times I wanted people to feel sorry for me and my troubles and then maybe feel impressed by how much I've taken on.  I wrote things accordingly in a beautiful fashion with nice insights, positivity and I usually throw in a special quote or phrase to tie it all together.  And later, if enough people did not react how I want - I felt embarrassed and hurt. 

When I just pass on info I have zero expectation other than wanting them to receive the info.  I don't need or care if they reply to a boring statement.

But I don't want to be a cold person.  I don't want to be boring and direct.  However, I think I need to be - until I can build up my self esteem and handle my emotions.  I want to get back to my usual cheerful self but only if I can be confident in myself and not put those expectations on others.

Good Lord do I have a lot of work to do.  I feel like a flipping mess and it never seems to end.  I hope in a year or two I look back and thank myself for these efforts.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #74 on: August 02, 2021, 06:34:47 PM »
Another month has flown by and it's really not getting easier.  When a large thing is completed and behind us, we have another large thing to contend with.  We have no time for friends.  Just ourselves, working, working, working.

And I do believe that this is just temporary. I do believe that we will once again relax, that we will enjoy life again.  That we will garden for fun and not because the weeds have overtaken the fence line.  I believe that car repairs will eventually solve the problems, that the air conditioner in my office will once again run as it should.

I believe that there will come a day where I will put clothes in the dryer and sit back down to watch a show.  Maybe read a book.  I believe that one day I will be able to leave my work at 6:00 and go home to make dinner and sit on my patio for awhile before we eat.  Someday it will all fall into place. 

But it won't happen anytime soon and I'm tired.

I just finished a large committee obligation where I was taken advantage of.  I gave up and accepted it and made the decision to finish with integrity.  Sadly, the event didn't go well.  It just didn't.  I was proud of how I finished, I did everything I could.  But it wasn't enough and for some reason this event didn't succeed.  So today I'm struggling with my feelings.  Realizing that while the committee sucked, they were not fully responsible for the negative results.  That some on the committee did a lot.  That I made my own choices to proceed as I did.  But it's a loss and I'm feeling defeated and defensive with every feedback that I've received.

Feeling sad because everyone in the family attended a party that we opted to not attend.  Again, our own choice and we need to own it.  But I'm still sad and I'm drifting into feeling sorry for myself.  Regressing into ruminating.  Remembering all the ways I've been hurt and likely to be hurt in the future.  Not healthy.

I'm feeling silly because I'm mad that my husband isn't saying or doing any of the right things I need right now.  He's being wonderful and kind and helpful and keeping a good attitude.  I am too.  But I could really use something extra from him right now.

In conversations with others I'm finding that many people are struggling right now.  I know I'm not alone.  I know the tide will turn but it's really hard.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #75 on: August 16, 2021, 10:19:19 AM »
Made a couple of strides this past week.  A big community event usually causes stress.  Lots of in-law issues has made this event not fun, especially to an introvert like me.  This year I had none of those issues.  My husband and I found ourselves working at this event most of the weekend and that shifted our focus to real situations and responsibilities.  There was no time to watch, feel or anticipate the actions of others.  Which was perfect.

In fact, one of my in-laws, who I used to consider a close friend, showed up unexpectantly.  She seemed a bit put out that I wasn't dropping everything to chat with her.  I was friendly but I went about my business of helping customers.  She finally moved on.  I made a passing comment to my husband and the rest of the weekend proceeded nicely.  A little part of my heart still wanted to build on her efforts.  Oh!  How nice it would be, to be her friend!  I'd get to see her children, be a part of their life, it would make the holidays so much nicer to have a friend within the in-laws again.  But my mind knows better.  She still trash talks her husband (very boring to always have to listen to someone complain).  She still parents in a way I don't understand (very hard to not be judgemental) and she still only really cares about herself (this in-law walked away to get her kid a drink of water while I was discussing how I thought I had cancer)  This is not a healthy person for me.  She's just not. 

Later when talking to an in-law I actually respect, I was tempted to make a comment about the situation.  Even beyound that I wanted to ask someone else a question about this person.  But I didn't.  I knew that was all small scale "drama" and I didn't want to go there.  Very glad I didn't.

In other news, after it came up in an argument, my husband solved the problem of task that I struggled with.  After his efforts I was able to enjoy the event without stress.  Which showed me that if I have anxiety about something I need to be upfront about the problem and be proactive about solving it.  My husband needed me to do this task so he ended up taking the lead on making it better.  But I could have make those efforts myself.  Next time I will.  Without shame.

My mother in law helped at some point and there was a moment I could have relished.  She was failing.  A few weeks ago when I failed, she made it into a private joke with my husband (sort of) and it hurt me.  But she was failing this time and I helped her out and later said some encouraging things.  The was she was treated this weekend by her family gave me compassion for her.  So I took the higher road and was glad I did.

At the end of the event we had to pick up some things.  I was of no use so I waited in the vehicle.  Someone pulled up awkwardly next to us and went about their business.  Fine.  A little while later they came back and was trying to load up their vehicle, which was difficult since our cars were so close next to each other.  My initial shot of panic made me believe that I'd better do something.  The obvious thing to me was that I needed to move my vehicle for them.  However, my door was pinned by the people loading the car.  So I sat there waiting and feeling guilty about doing nothing.  Until it totally dawned on me that I wasn't responsible for this.  THEY knew they were loading up their car.  THEY choose to park where they did, which was totally inconvenient for THEM.  I was just so happy to have the realization that their responsibility in this situation was greater and 100% their fault for their struggles.  I did not need to scurry around to try to move my vehicle (which would have messed up our plan to load up).  Furthermore, writing this today I realize that I could have rolled down the window to actually ask them to move their vehicle so that their open door wasn't so close to mine.  It worked out because they finally did move their car and finished loading up. 

In random conversations with others I'm discovering that many people around me are dealing with all sorts of things.  Random acquaintances have shared that they have family members in the hospital, that their childrens marriages have failed, money issues, a lawsuit.  I've been feeling overwhelmed in my life because of my fire and a variety of smaller stresses.  I really have been through a lot.  But I'm okay.  I'll keep my problems because I'm really grateful that we are no longer dealing with health issues.  I'm grateful everyday that my marriage is rock solid and fun.  I've been on the brink of divorce and it's no way to live.  I'm able to pay my bills.  I don't have the actual fear of a judgement in court.  Just the judgement on myself.  Yes, my problems are manageable and I'll sort through this "low" until the "highs" of life return.

Life is still extra hard right now.  But it's getting better and this usually stressful weekend, was a turning point.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #76 on: October 04, 2021, 10:44:27 AM »
In my first post on this chain of threads, April of 2020, I wrote,

Quote
How do you make new friends when you've wasted years in one-sided friendships?  How do you re-train family to treat you differently?  How do you rejuvenate business so that you WANT to continue on?  How does one find peace?

The past year and a half has been hard for me.  Really, hopeless at times.  I'm feeling reflective today and want to report that life is getting much easier.

This past year I've gained a couple new friends who are slowly becoming important to me.  The one gal is very good about checking in.  I'm finding that when I return the favor and check in with her that it's a completely mutual relationship.  She still has her family, her own lifelong friends but she's made room in her life for me.  And I truly enjoy her!

The other friend is much more reserved.  It's a different sort of relationship in that I feel happy to accommodate her quirks because she is such a quality person.  Because I've entered this friendship cautiously I don't have that resentment or jealously built up.  I can enjoy her and wish her well on the other parts of her life that I'm not a part of.  And know that this relationship has room to grow.

Having these positive people in my life on a regular basis, I find I don't think too much about those people that I've distanced myself from.  The casual friends that didn't serve me have become more like positive acquaintances that pop up from time to time.  I've come to enjoy my brief encounters with them.  Those long term friends that didn't invest in me are still there but now they are social media friends that occasionally "like" the photos I post.  I'm now okay with that.

Since the fire on our property, my husband and I have grown closer in a different way.  We've always been a "team" - helping each other with our individual goals.  Now we have the joint goal of rebuilding what have both lost.  This past summer in particular, our time together has been filled with struggles instead of fun.  But we're doing it together, still finding joy, and encouraging each other along the way. 

His family is still his family.  The more I avoid them the happier I am.  I used to think that this was a flaw within myself.  That I needed to solve this part of me.  But now I understand that they will never fill the role I placed upon them and for right now I need to keep that distance going.  Those sister-in-laws were never my sisters.  Just miserable women who needed each other for a bit.  I am no longer fit their club.  The siblings that play favorites are hurt people who can not break free from their roles. 

We hosted an annual party this past weekend and, as usual, all family and friends were invited.  His family always attends and it's usually stressful for me.  This year it was easy for me to warmly great these family member and then move on.  I focused on my own family and friends.  I focused on the new acquaintances who were invited for the first time.  I enjoyed the day instead of trying to win the favor of specific people.

Since we do not intend to go NC with family - I think my next step, for the holiday season, is to begin again.  Continue to avoid the people who have truly hurt me (there are two I want to protect myself from).  For the others, pretend I'm meeting them for the first time.  Enjoy them as they are and not what I want them to be.  Move forward cautiously.  After all - I have my husband and my own friends to fulfil me - I don't really have time for them anyway.

I've been working out and very mindful of my eating.  My mind has shifted and food is now joyful nourishment.  Good food, prepared with love and enjoyed with appreciation.  A rich dish made from the seasonal offerings and enjoyed once - not fast food swallowed daily.  It's taken years but I now regard food differently.  It's not magic but it feels that way.  My weight is where I want it.  I love it.

Most exciting of all is that I'm closing my office for the rest of this month.  I've spent September saying, "NO!" to new projects.  That was hard.  I've been clearing my schedule so I can take care of various tasks that have been holding me back.  I'm going to PLAN my next move instead of letting life happen around me.  I want to make money again!  I want to be successful again!  I want to work hard so that my individual goals will contribute to the larger goals that my husband and I are aiming towards.

It's not all perfect.  It's going to be a hard month of professional changes.  I still struggle with some people in my life who do not respect boundaries.  I WANT these relationships to be good but they just aren't going to be.  I still gossip and regret.  I struggle with how I sometimes judge people.  I still haven't figured out my religious worship and that is on my mind a lot.  But it's getting easier to not feel so hopeless about these flaws in myself.  I have faith that I will figure it all out.

To answer my own questions . . .

How do you make new friends when you've wasted years in one-sided friendships? 
Answer - you wait until someone sparks your attention.  You go slowly.  You continue only if it feels safe.  Genuine relationship follows.


How do you re-train family to treat you differently? 
Answer - you re-train yourself.  Once you see yourself a certain way, you will not expect your family to fulfil you.  Acceptance follows. 

How do you rejuvenate business so that you WANT to continue on? 
Answer - you make a substantial change.  A big splash that feels right.  (This one is still in progress for me so I don't have all my answers yet.

How does one find peace?
Answer - you keep trying in faith.  Don't give up your efforts.  Peace will eventually find you.  This cycle will often repeat itself.  Again, don't give up!

I'm saying it again for those in the back - DON'T GIVE UP!!!

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #77 on: October 13, 2021, 04:10:54 PM »
I like how you are clearing off time to take care of things that are holding you back.

I am finding it good to do this as well.

I ode tidied many things that are time wasters, or just cause inefficiencies because of stresses involved.

I am tking time to fall back and regroup. In most cases the things needed are already owned mostly there I just need to organize and  do logistics.

In my family we call this clearing log jams.

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Hopeful Spine

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #78 on: November 23, 2021, 03:54:02 PM »
Well.  The holidays are upon us.

I know now that my real triggers are my in-laws.  A impromptu gathering (and follow up photos on social media) has me getting itchy, even though I didn't attend.  Extra text messages to organize the family parties are irritating me.  A toxic family member coming to town ahead of schedule.  The gift exchange name draw. 

I'm not comfortable.

Other things are going well.  I'm handling my family.  Marriage is great.  Work is a bit stressful but busy.  My friends are great.  A few newer friendships are really developing and it makes me really happy.  I'm struggling with eating and exercise.  The second I slip the depression takes ahold and I become despondent.  But I'm able to remind myself that I CAN do it.  I can wake up tomorrow and eat the good breakfast and make the time for the gym and be back on track.

But I can't seem to do this with my husband's family.  It's not that I have panic attacks before a party and a recover period after.  I'm fine in that regard.  It's just a general feeling of sadness throughout my week.  Each text is just a little nudge.  I've been finding myself, mid-task, ruminating about a past hurt.  Or planning how to handle someone IF they say this or that.  I do stop and remind myself how unhelpful this is to my life.  And it works until the phone dings again. Or when my husband (who tends to soften towards them during these times) will mention something about someone.  I tend to judge his mother a lot more around the holidays.  She wants "happy family" and I know she loves to have her home full of her children.  I just don't understand how she spends the bulk of the year barely paying attention to her children (or grasping for scraps of their attention) and then embrace them so openly at the few parties that are sort of required in this family.  I probably should admire her capacity to love but in a way I lose a little respect and my irritation at how she raised these people grows.

Anyway, I needed to blow off some stream.  And poke around her to see how I can cope during the holidays.  I want 2022 to be very different for me.  This is the year I say "goodbye" to certain people and things.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Struggling with the New Me - Part 2
« Reply #79 on: November 23, 2021, 04:52:25 PM »
Just keep pressing forward.  And remember it does not have to be an all or nothing.  If you miss going to gym, you can do stretching exercises and floor exercises at home.  You can walk in place briskly for a few minutes after.  It's okay to live life on the way to your goals and
Not be a robot.  Besides If you eat too much at one meal you can eat celery sticks and a piece of toast  with tea another meal, it's about averages over days not any single day.

Be kind to your self, move toward your goals in baby steps if need be, protect against beating your self up. 

There was a talk radio therapist that used to tell everyone to just smile and be polite around difficult people and if they try to bring you into an unpleasant or trouble making topic, interupt with "can you pass the dip please"  It never made since until I figured out what pds were.  You can bring a bowl of dip just in case, Lol.

I understand the in law as trigger, I really do.  I can even feel a twinge of pain when certain places come to mind because they trigger the residual in law memory related anxiety.

Can you silence certain contacts so they have no text tone?  I am also trying to get phone noises under control.  One thing I am doing that works for me is to not have emails except one setup.  This way I only get email noises when I sit at my computer. 

The texting thing can be much.  Once recently I was trying to take care of something online in a sort of an emergency and so many calls and texts were coming in I could not see what I was doing. 

Have the best Holiday possible and 2022 will be better.