This is, honest-to-goodness, a 2 minute stream of conscious thought from this morning. No edits. For all of you parents or care-givers out there, I am sure you can appreciate this. If you are teetering today, hovering on the verge of a fist-slamming, tear-draining, laryngitis-producing tantrum, I implore you. Read this. If it doesn’t make you feel a bit less alone, at least it may make you laugh, at me.
I am mad at myself. I have become the kind of person that I hate. I feel sorry for myself and then pretend that I don’t deserve to feel sorry for myself, and then get mad at myself for letting things get like this, and then get mad at myself for thinking like that. In one sentence, one second, all seconds, I have hated and blamed myself for everything.
But am I not right, somewhere in there, in those 4 separate thoughts which are really one? I am on the bottom of my priority list because I put myself there. I am at the bottom of everyone else’s priority list because I let them think that I am okay with it. I sacrifice for everyone else because that is what makes me happy and they continue to let me do it because I let them think it is okay.
But it doesn’t always make me happy. I don’t always like saying yes to everyone else, because that means saying no to me. And the more I do it the more people expect it. If I have a flash of insight and push back it looks like selfishness. But it is selfish, to want to be put first, or at least move up a few positions on the ladder once in a while. So then I feel bad, selfish, and roll over again. The more people on the ladder the harder it becomes to say yes to everyone. Yes I will be there for you, I will catch you, care for you, take you where you need to be. I will be excited by the things you want to do, I will prioritize you, your wants, needs, and your emotions. Your feeling of being number one will take priority over my wants, needs and feelings. Why? Because it makes me feel so good to make you feel good. Doesn’t it.? Wait. No, it doesn’t. Not today. Why not today? I don’t know.
It hasn’t felt good for a while now. Weeks, months is more like it. The hardest part is I can’t figure out why, so it feels like I am looking for attention. I can’t answer the question “what is wrong”, not when I ask it, and not when you ask it, so is there something wrong? Do I want you to think there is something wrong so you will hug me, tell me everything will be okay, make me dinner and tell me I am amazing? None of those things will help, so that can’t be it. Do I want you to say I’m sorry. Yes, but for what? I don’t know. You are the same person you always were, nothing has changed, nothing has happened.
So I look around. Big, clean house, smiling kids, easy job. So if it is not you, and it is not the kids, my job, or my life, what is the big fucking deal? Why can’t I smile and just do it. Why do I walk around fighting tears? I feel sad. That is it. Sad. Not mad. So I am not mad at you, so that is why an apology from you won’t help. That is why you can’t fix it. So how do I fix it, how do I get happy? All I want to do is crawl into bed and cry, for hours. And eat chocolate brownies. Heated up. And drink a whole cup of tea before it gets cold, sit in a tub until it gets cold, and then finish the tray of brownies before anyone else gets a bite.
So …I need some ME time, some alone time, some selfish time? To stop being sad about feeling selfish, I need to be selfish, but not feel selfish about doing it? What the hell? Does that not sound like a pretty vicious cycle of selfish acts and selfish feelings counterbalanced by self-less acts and self-pity?
A change in attitude and outlook is looking more productive. Re-reading this makes me sound like a martyr and a whiner. I need to start doing things for others and putting them first when it will REALLY make me feel good (not a sacrifice if I am truly happy doing it) and to start saying no (not selfish) if it doesn’t. Then, start working in some ME time (plan ahead so it works into all schedules – can’t feel guilty about taking time away from anything that way) and then stick to it (no pushing it to second string). Lastly, start taking time to appreciate all of my people. Showing them that they are appreciated, allowing myself to feel happy and love them fully, doing less so we can appreciate the things we do, instead of just anticipating the next thing on the agenda.
So, what is stopping me from doing this. Nothing. Did I just solve my problem by spewing out everything on a page, spilling my guts, scolding myself and forgiving myself all at the same time? Yes. Do I feel still feel sad? A little, because I wasted a lot of energy being sad and pathetic, because I was feeling resentful of the people around me, and because I feel like if anyone else reads this they will think I am fucking nuts, and a bit of a drama queen. But I’m not, I know I’m not, I know that I have been struggling with this for a long time now and it needed to get out of my head. It would have been a pretty pathetic conversation to have, and pretty hard for anyone else to follow. I am my own biggest critic, so it makes sense that I be the one to set myself straight, to kick my own ass, to let me cry on my own shoulder. But sometimes that is really lonely, and exhausting. Maybe I need to let someone else be that person once in a while. Maybe you would do a good job of it, if I let you try. Next time.
So I had the conversation with myself. Argued with myself. And wrote out the transcript so I can read it back to myself every time I get like this. Because it will happen again. Because I am not perfect. Because I know I will continue to put my loved ones ahead of myself, and that at times I will be holding them up, so far ahead of me, that I will trip, and roll down this hill again. But at the bottom I will read this, dust off, and pick up the pieces and start again, on even ground (for a while). My heart is in the right place, I make everyone’s life around me special and happy. Everyone loves me even if I get a bit neurotic, and shows it, I just have to look in the right places.
SO, today I will go home and hug my kids. I will make them hamburgers that are delicious, with cheese and relish and maybe I will buy french fries and make coleslaw. I will tidy the house (because that makes ME happy, for real) and I will get them to make birthday cards for their dad. I will smile when my husband gets home, hug him for real and tell him I’m back. Somewhere in there, before our baseball game, I will try to do a work out, at least half of one but at double speed and intensity, and work out the last remaining grumpies. But I hate working out in the house. So maybe I will go outside with the kids and just run around the house 12 times. And then I will get up tomorrow morning, read this, and laugh at myself.