Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Rant

Yep. I am going to rant.

I don't understand how people we know and love can be so utterly lacking in basic manners. I still love them, and will continue to be gracious to them, but it irritates me to no end when folks do not follow up a gift with a simple "Thank you." It doesn't have to be a fancy note. A simple phone call to express appreciation or gratitude is sufficient for me. I'm also content with a simple line item left on my Facebook wall.

I'm referring to nieces and nephews here, and it really irks me. I think they know better, and I KNOW their parents know better. I'm faithful to send birthday gifts to the children, and cards to all the parents, and yet few if any bother to follow up.


Some would say to stop sending the gifts if they can't at least let me know they received them, and possibly say "Thanks." I'm not sure why I don't cease with the giving Maybe partly because I like to give (gee there's a shock) and I don't want to stoop to their level. And truly, the gifts aren't given with a string attached. But I never thought of expressing thanks as a string attached to a gift.

On a similar note, I'm irked that Master's siblings never ever bother to send Him a birthday card - they certainly know when His birthday is as they are all older than Him. And I also think it's beyond the pale that my ex-husband's siblings and mother stopped sending my son any cards or gifts for birthdays and Christmas when we divorced. Yep. My son's aunts and uncles and grandmother on his father's side ignore his existence. (I assure you it isn't because he ever failed to send a Thank you note!) I guess they think this hurts me, but they are wrong. They have lost the presence in their lives of a truly remarkable young man. That hurts them even if they don't think it does.

I truly am baffled as to the bad behavior of people we are related to. Mostly I don't give it a thought. But I've just sent quite a few gifts and cards of one sort or another and also celebrated my son's and my Master's birthday's, and so this is fresh in my mind.

OK. Rant done. I know there is no way to control the behavior and actions of other people, and to even allow myself this brief fuss is a huge waste of my time. But sometimes it just feels better to get it off my chest. I'm not expecting anything to change. Doesn't mean I have any respect for the folks in question though.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

18 And Counting

Today is my son's 18th birthday. I wished him well, but he's been in another state visiting his girlfriend since last Thursday, and won't be back till tomorrow, so no giving gifts or a celebratory meal and birthday cake till after he comes home.

It's weird. It's the first time not being with my child on his birthday. It's just the beginning though. I know that as they get older and live their own lives being apart from children on their special day is more commonplace. I guess I'm just a little melancholy this first time. And really, 18 is such a milestone in our society. He's been away a lot this summer, as well as working when he's home, so I've been alone alot this summer. I've loved it actually, but it's so different from last summer. He and his friends were here constantly, such fun times.

Constant change. I've mentioned before that I love it, need it, and thrive on it. I meant in terms of myself and my personal growth and development. I meant in the ways and amounts I want, like, and need. In order to not feel static and stagnant. Not sure I like the changes with loved ones. Taking my son further from me, even though I know it's normal, natural, and healthy. Doesn't mean I have to love it. I can cut the apron strings and be glad he's moving on and into his own life without loving it. I know I'll adjust fine.

So Happy Birthday to my son. 18 years ago today I began this journey. I wonder what the next 18 years have in store?


Monday, July 20, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name

I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered.

But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue:

'No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.'

~Eleanor Roosevelt


Monday, July 13, 2009

The Matriarch from Hell

Some years ago I made my peace with my experience of my Mom (I say it that way because I realize my perceptions of her may not be the same as other people's perceptions of her, including my siblings.)

And yet, working through my experiences is still an on-going necessity in order to try to remain in a healthy head-space and for my emotional health. Recently, I was stewing all over again about how nothing I ever do or say is good enough for her. I constantly think of ways to try to please her or make her life easier (no small feat given her age and advanced RA and physical disabilities.) Over the years I've done things for her, thinking it would make her happy, and been amazed at the dreadful response from her. Apparently I'm a slow learner because I continue to try to do nice things for her.

A couple of points realized here. First, I am a pleaser, I always have been and always will be. It is simply who I am. It does not guarantee that those whom I attempt to please are capable of being pleased. My mother is apparently not, nor was my ex-husband.

Second, Mom's inability to accept anything I do for her, or gifts I give to her, and find pleasure and joy in the receiving of service from me (or anyone else) is her problem, not mine. I have not failed simply because she chose to not be pleased. And the root of her inability to accept service is her own insecurity and lack of self-confidence. She has issues. Those issues spilled over onto her children, and they came to her largely from her own parents. I suspect she was a better mother to me than her mother was to her. I know I've parented my son more effectively than I was parented, although I'm sure he'll have issues too - hopefully they won't be the same as mine, lol.

These points are lifeblood for me - absolute MUST remembers, even if it means repeating them to myself daily. I am a pleaser, not everyone can be pleased, and their inability to be pleased has NOTHING to do with me and is no reflection on my ability and self-worth. Unless I work hard to remember these points, I can very easily get caught up in a negative downward spiral.

Some would say that it is Master's responsibility to help me work through that and remain healthy. But I'm not sure I agree with that. I've worked through the issues, and made my peace, and know how to move forward in a way that is healthy for me. How much hand-holding should He have to do with me? Isn't there a point where He can expect me to keep my mind from taking me back down there?

My need to please gets so tangled up in everything, I don't often know how to respond during a conversation. Recently, during one discussion of a problem He was having, He reminded me that I didn't have to fix the problem. That was liberating, to say the least. As a pleaser sometimes it feels that the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Sometimes I feel that He does expect me to fix things. There seems to be a skew in my mind that blurs for me the lines of service and fixing.

I tread this path daily, trying to work out how my own perceptions distort reality, in all my relationships - and mostly, within my own mind.

In the end, this entry really isn't about the Matriarch from hell, but rather the way my mind gets wrapped up in knots, even as I long for clarity. I long for everyone in my life to own their own crap. And perhaps, if I stop trying to please for a little bit, and stop trying to fix, I'll find that each person will step up and take care of their own issues, or perhaps I'll find that they have been all along. But no matter what, I must find a way to seperate my service to Master from my need to please.

The pleaser in me seems to be afraid that I am unlovable unless I do X or perform Y or give this, that, or the other. Offering service must not come from a place of fear and worry and self-doubt, and that is exactly where the need to please comes from.

Shew. A lot to think about. Making your peace with the past doesn't mean you can stop learning from it. Pleasing someone else is not possible if they don't wish to be pleased, and is no reflection on the giver. I cannot fix anything for other people, and to think I can or should is presumptuous at best. Sevice comes from a place of security and self-worth and confidence, the need to please comes from a needy and fearful place. Ultimately, I am worthy of love, even when I haven't received/experienced love from others. And that is no reflection on me.