Friday, December 11, 2009

Kiss My Ass

I'm in a really bad mood. A shaky, pre-menstrual, it must be coming tomorrow even though it isn't due for a week kind of mood.

I would normally ride this mood out, but I suddenly remembered that I meant to start blogging again and it seems fairly reasonable that I might be able to write some of the anger and frustration out of me. Though I doubt it.

I've never felt comfortable with blogging in a completely open manner. I just don't like exposing myself that much. I always used to think I was a very open person, that I didn't hide anything. But I've realized that's not at all true. I am actually pretty closed, fairly private. I keep a lot to myself. My actions and opinions and thoughts are very frequently completely my own and not to be shared with anyone - or at least not with anyone I know.

I think this stems from various insecurities instilled in me as a child. My ideas and feelings were often dismissed as a kid and teen and I came to believe that what I thought or felt didn't count, weren't important to anyone but me, so I learned to keep them to myself.

As I developed the confidence to know that my thoughts and feelings did indeed count - I still kept the habit of keeping them to myself. Often I know that I see things VERY differently than other people and I rarely trust that people can see past their own perceptions, conditioning and beliefs to be able to hear what I have to say. For the most part I think that most people want others to agree with them and can't really comfortably open their minds to other points of view. So I keep stuff to myself. Not because I don't believe in the validity of my own actions, thoughts. perceptions and feeling - but because I don't trust in the ability of others to know, understand and accept them without judgment.

So it's rare for me to willingly expose anything about me for public view and comment. Which is why blogging has been intermittent for me, at best. I just don't really feel comfortable putting it all out there for people to judge based on their own limited experiences.

I've often considered writing a completely anonymous blog. I wonder if I could say what I think and feel and do without any repercussions in real life if I would be more at ease with being completely open. I doubt it, though, even in my offline blog that's only for my eyes, I am somewhat reserved. I think it's just in my nature at this point. And a big part of my own self-growth at this point is about accepting who I am rather than always trying to fix things about myself. So if being reserved is part of me - so be it.

Back to the anger. I am struggling a lot these days with feeling pulled in many directions. OK, it's something I've struggled with for many years, but in the last few months it's intensified. I feel like everyone in my world has something they want me to do or be and that I am only valid and good to/for them if I am fulfilling their ideal of what I should do or be.

My boss wants me to drop everything and be there for to do the work he needs done regardless of what else I have going on. Each of my children want me to give each of them ALL my attention - regardless of the fact that the other one exists and wants all my attention as well. The man I live with wants me to take care of him, the children and his needs without having needs and wants of my own. Even most of my friends, I think, have ideas and perceptions of who I should be and what I should be doing and they get a little twisted when I don't meet those ideas. And of course there's family. And these days with Saint Aunt in the hospital my commitment and involvement with family has increased tenfold. And all of their demands, judgments and ideas have increased along with it.

I feel under constant pressure to do what others want me to do with very little time or energy to do what I want or need to do and some days I just crack under that pressure. Today is one of those days.

I managed to be a good friend and good to myself by taking BFF shopping and then going to the dentist. But I was a bad niece because I didn't get to the nursing home to see Saint Aunt. And of course I'm struggling with the fact that I've been carrying around tons of Saint Aunt's bills and haven't done a thing about taking care of them.

This was a bad week of feeling like I was doing what I should for Saint Aunt. She was moved from the hospital to the nursing home and I was only minimally involved. SA2 did most of the work while consulting with me on the phone - and I felt her disappointment that I wasn't doing more. I felt very much like I was letting everyone down. But the BOSS was demanding all my time in a very unpleasant manner and I had to give it to him.

The BOSS really contributed on an huge level to my problems this week. He set up very limited parameters for me to do work - unrealistic parameters that could not possibly be met and then continually berated and chastised me for not meeting his expectations. It really took it's toll on me.

I mean fuck it!! DO NOT put me in a position to meet your unrealistic expectations and then get pissed when I can't. Your expectations are your own - if you can't manage them properly then that's your problem, don't try to make me feel bad about it! And absolutely DON'T expect me to sacrifice my own well-being to do what you want me to do. I'll do the work, and I'll do it to the best of my ability - but I seriously resent being told that I should give up my life - not take care of my other responsibilities - not do what I need to for myself or my family in order to fulfill my obligations to you. Fuck you!!!

And it's not just the boss - I feel there's so much of that in my life so many ways in which I hear people saying -"Oh yeah, I know you need that. But right now I need you to put that aside for this. You'll be ok without it."

No, I'm not fucking ok without it. I'm not. I never have been. And if I don't stop putting aside myself and my needs because of what others think they want and need from me, then I'm going to go stark raving mad.

I was pretty close to that tonight.

The sad part of all this is that the one person who really does deserve to be demanding in an unrelenting way is the one who probably gets the worst of it from me. Poor Spice can't help making demands, needing more of me than I really want to give. She is 4 years old. She's compelled to want what she wants when she wants it. She needs to express her needs and wants in passionate and often unpleasant way. And I'm supposed to be the one with the patience to gently guide her to better behavior by meeting the needs I know she has while teaching her to wait for some of the things she wants.

But, sadly, the demands of others have left me stretched thin and with my patience completely eaten away. So instead of gently guiding, I threaten and yell and berate her. I hear the words come out of my mouth. I feel the anger towards her boiling in me and I know that as difficult and demanding as she is, she does not deserve this. She is dealing with and reacting to my shortcomings - my inability to tell everyone else to fuck off so that I have the mental, physical and emotional reserves I need to give her what she needs from me.

I am not being the mother I want to be. I am not being the person I want to be. I am not giving myself the time to find out more about who I am and what I want to be and do for the rest of my life. I am so busy struggling with the expectations of others that I am not meeting my own expectations. And I worry that even my expectations are too strenuous to demanding for me to realistically meet them. I worry that I don't have what it takes to meet my own expectations - to be the kind of woman and mother and niece and friend that I want to be.

And I struggle with what to do about those who will put their wants ahead of my needs. What do I do about the people in my life who not only ask, but demand that I disregard my own needs to do and be what they want to. The Bull for instance, who has practiced insistent ambivalence and determined ignorance of my sexual needs for more than a decade - but when I try to stop having sex with him, acts like I am committing a crime by not meeting his needs. Or the Boss, who continually demands that I put all else aside when he calls - regardless of how much that might be detrimental to my family or I. What do I do about these people, and others who feel that I my needs are secondary - that their own needs are paramount, superior to my own.

Is there anyway to make them understand that I deserve to take care of myself? Is there anyway to insist and make them accept that I count - that I matter? Or is the only answer to cut them out of my life. To say, "I know I can't be who you want me to be and to be true to myself and take care of myself as well. So, you should go your way, and I will go mine and hopefully we will each get what we need that apart better than we can together." Is it really that I must throw the baby out with the bathwater? Must I forget about any good or beneficial part of these relationships in order to stop the detrimental aspects from tearing me to pieces?

Increasingly, I'm growing to believe that is the only way. Because getting back to why I am so closed off - people are who they are. And many people can only see the world from their own point of view, through the lens of their own needs, dreams and desires. They will always be at odds with the people who they believe should - but can't or won't meet their expectations. Expectations are funny things. They shape people, shape relationships. Often they destroy relationships. I think in my life, in my future, expectations are going to cut a whole lot of ties.

And while that was making me very, very angry today, I already feel that anger dissipating. I don't hold onto anger well. Maybe because I don't have a lot of expectations of others. I think one of the ways that I think very differently from most people is that I truly don't believe that people do things to each other. I think that, most often, people do things to themselves. People live out their own insecurities and idiosyncrasies. They fight their battles with themselves and other people are often the casualties - but that is incidental rather than intentional. Most people have their own demons and they fight them and the expectations they set have nothing to do with those they set them for.

There's a line in the song of my new favorite artist - Maritri. She sings, "I'm not leaving you for somebody else. No one ever really does. It's all about the self." And that's so true. People do what they do because of themselves. Even when folks cheat or run off with another person. It's not the other person that made them do it. It's not that they've chose one person over another. It's that they are acting on some need or compulsion within themselves. And I think that's true in many aspects of life.

My Boss isn't demanding and tyrannical with me because of something that I am or am not. His unrealistic expectations of the work I can do don't stem from understanding how I work - or what the work entails. He has his own hang-ups and mental and emotional needs that make him act that way. I could be anyone and he would treat me this way, if allowed to. Same thing with the Bull - the ways in which he hurts our relationship really have nothing to do with me - and everything to do with him and how he's developed as a person to perceive and act in relationships.

So, though I get angry and hurt that people do things to hurt me, to make my life more difficult, to disregard me and my needs - I know they do it out of their own crap, that basically people are who they are. I just don't hold a grudge. I just don't hold onto anger. For the most part I know people have a hard enough time living with themselves. Me being angry with them or disappointed in them or otherwise twisted about it doesn't do them any good - and it certainly doesn't do me any good. So I forgive, for the benefit of my own spirit. But I also, at times, have to decide if forgiving is enough. Sometimes, forgiving and separating need to go hand in hand.

And of course through all this, I know that I am not perfect. I know I do things that affect others. That my perceptions, my expectations, my actions can have their own impact and that it's not always positive. And that is another reason why I often keep things to myself. When I can I try not to put my shit on other people. Why I often pull back from people and isolate myself.

Well, I don't know if it's time, or writing it out - I think it's a little of both, but writing it out did help - but I feel better. I'm still a little shaky. Still a little angry. But mostly, by writing, I remembered what I truly believe and that always helps.

1 comment:

professor said...

wow...I share many of the same things/ideas as you...I did many of the same things for the same reasons...
but at some point I said enough is enough...if I wasn't right I couldn't be right for my kids/family/ I cleaned house...I went to school...
even now, when I feel the demands are overshadowing my needs I clean house's not even about starting over, but finding my sanity, my peace...
strengh and love to will make the right decision...
and by the way, you are looking exceptionally beautiful!!!!