Tag Archives: angry

In Defense of Me

I had a little text exchange earlier today.

My sister sent me a picture and two videos of the kitten she is giving me in the fall.  I did not want a new cat as I have three and that is enough.  But my sister cleverly sent a picture first and then asked me if I would like to have a new kitten.  She would pay for all the shots, the spaying, and bring her to me from N. Carolina since they were coming up anyway.  It was a cute cat, and my sister always gets her way, and one of my cats is 19, so how long would I have to wait to be back down to three cats anyway.  So, I said yes.

Now my sister sends regular updates via text, which is considerate, I suppose.

Today I felt compelled to thank her for her efforts which are allowing me to see my kitten grow up even though she is hundreds of miles away.

Instead of responding with a “you’re welcome” she texted back with “You’re welcome to come down and see her and bring her back with you.”

Gahhhhhhh!

Why would I want to drive myself all the way down to Asheville, NC to pick up a cat (that I probably shouldn’t have said yes to) when you’re coming up to New York anyway in September???  In fact, all of this was your idea to begin with.  In fact, about a hundred whyshouldI’s raced through my mind when she responded the way she did.

The safest answer I could come up with was, it wasn’t in the budget to make a big trip this year.

Her answer:  Budget?  It’s a couple of tanks of gas!  We have plenty of room for you.

Gahhhhhhhh!

This convo was exactly like nearly every exchange with my mother.  No matter what I say in answer to any question, large or small, my answer is up for grabs, correction, improvement.  How did these people get so far into my brain?  Why do I have to defend everything all the time????

It’s the boundaries again.  I never learned good boundaries.  Neither did they.  But they are okay with it and I am not.

I can not be okay with poor boundaries.  I will never get better if I don’t firm up the boundaries.

And why am I still thinking about it and turning it over and over in my mind an hour later?

I get so stuck sometimes.

I probably should have sucked it up weeks ago and turned down the kitten even though she is super cute.  But I didn’t and now I am entangled.

My answer that shut down the exchange: I would have to fly.  That’s a hell of a drive and I’m not up to it these days.

She had nothing but an “oh, okay” for that one.

Score!

Such small successes in this journey, but I’ll take it.

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Filed under anxiety, boundaries, bullies, decision making, decisions, dysfunction, family, getting along, growth, history, honesty, journey, pressure, progress, self-care, self-respect, Uncategorized

Out to Lunch

Today I took myself out to lunch at our local Wendy’s.  It has been three and a half years since the last time I ate there.

Wendy’s was the nearest place for lunch when I was still working at the Terrible Job.  Back then, I went there most days for lunch.  The last few weeks before I quit, I’d sit at my table furiously eating my spicy chicken sandwich and fries and looking at Facebook on my phone.  I mean that I was actually furious.  By the time my lunch break happened, I would have already had a lousy day and it would have been about six hours since last eating anything.  As hungry as I was, I never finished my meal either.  It was during the time period that I was restricting my food intake–sort of an act of aggression but directed at myself.  I’d eat about half my food and then angrily throw away the rest of it and drag myself back to work.

Yes, I was quite a mental mess by then.

Since today is Sunday, I knew I would not run into any former customers or former co-workers.  It would be safe for me to eat there.

Growing up I was of the mindset that I had to go where I likely would be treated badly.  I didn’t really have a policy of avoiding troublesome people.  Well, often enough there was no other option.  I was a kid, I had to go to school.  Going to school involved walking on public streets.  I was just a kid.  What else was I going to do?

Some unhappy kids skipped school, did drugs, got into fights.  Those did not seem like good options for me.

As an adult, I kept up that habit of staying in bad situations.  Often I volunteered for such.  Then came the day when I was at the end of my rope and I decided to go home from the Terrible Job.  I promised myself I would no longer do things that were sure to end in trouble or unhappiness for me.  No longer do I tolerate toxic people or situations.  Sure, it limits where I can go at certain times of the day in this small, crappy town.  But this is my little gift to myself.  I no longer participate in my own victimization.

Today it is Sunday.  I can go to Wendy’s if I want.

I ordered my spicy chicken and fries.  I ate until I was full.  I people-watched.  It felt so normal and safe.  It felt like taking back a little bit of my life, but on my terms.  No self-judgment or self-criticism.  Nobody prying into my personal life.  No having to explain anything to anyone.

It’s really hard to basically start life all over again but not moving away to do it.  Old habits and old distractions and old dangers are everywhere.  I am new, or at least I want to be, and I am surrounded by old.  It has been a very good exercise in letting go and learning how to be detached in a healthy way.

I can do this thing.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under anxiety, boundaries, bullies, decisions, depression, emotional health, enemies, getting along, growth, healing, human nature, peer pressure, progress, PTSD, self-care, self-respect, social phobia, Uncategorized, work

Playing Hooky

I decided not to attend a funeral on Wednesday for an 83-year-old lady who I liked and respected. It felt very weird to not go and pay my respects. But I believe it was the right thing to do in this case.

The notice was in the paper on Monday morning and my natural instinct was to consider attending any services once I found out when they were.

Monday night I received a phone call regarding the death notice. The son of the lady who died had phoned a mutual acquaintance and asked her to call me specifically and let me know when the full obit would be in the paper so that I could attend the services.

For various reasons, this son raises red flags with me and many years ago his mother told me she had said to him that he needed to leave me alone. My gut was right and to be trusted on this thing.

So, basically, she was dead one day, and his first thought was to try and contact me.

This made me very, very angry.

But I still had to fight my beliefs. I have always been one to attend funerals to pay my respects. So I felt guilty for even considering not attending. I turned it over and over in my mind all the way until the middle of the night on Tuesday.

I pictured myself getting dressed in black and parking the car and walking in and having to go through the receiving line and greeting the son and another of his siblings who I used to work with.

I pictured myself having to greet the woman who he had call me and wondering how I would explain why I no longer attend meetings of the organization we are both members of. Then I pictured meeting up with other members of this organization and having them say, “Oh, how have you been? Oh, you’re not working any more? Maybe you have time to come to meetings now!”

All of these people have had a toxic effect on me and I always used my job as a reason for backing away from the organization.

Now my only excuse is, all of you diminish me. It is not your fault. But you have a draining effect on me and I am no longer willing to welcome such people into my circle.

I thought that if I attended in spite of my misgivings, it would give a mixed message. I don’t like it when people send me mixed messages. That’s just wrong. And it would also show the son that his clever manipulation had worked. It would open a door that must stay closed.

And so by Wednesday morning, I was firm in my decision not to attend.

Once it was too late to change my mind, I started to beat myself up about it. How can you not attend a funeral service for such a humble and nice woman? What kind of person does that?

I started to get scared. Maybe people would judge me. Maybe they will give me the cold shoulder in public. What if they retaliate? These are things I have experienced in the past. These are the reasons I have kept myself a hostage to toxic people.

But in the end, I had to shut down those thoughts. I was right to stay home. I was right to be careful with my emotional health. I have never thought I could do that before. My own personal concerns ALWAYS came last. All my life I automatically disregarded my needs at all times. I felt that my needs were not actually worthy compared to the needs of others. Boy, was I brainwashed!!!!!

This was difficult for me. In fact, the rest of my week has been devoted to resting up from the stress this caused me. And it would not surprise me if there were some repercussions to come at some point, though I hope I am wrong about that.

I really hope that by making better decisions, finally, that this will leave room in my life for better people and better experiences.

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Filed under anxiety, decisions, depression, emotional health, self-care, self-respect, stress