Friday, March 20, 2009

Me vs. Them

I am struggling with priorities. I don't want to do nuthin for nobody. And I am ashamed of this.

Vickie had a great post about "Focus and Clarity" on 3-18-09 that confused the heck out of me. She then followed this up with a discussion on 3-19 about "priorities." Still no light for me. I am a master at prioritizing everything that does not have to do with emotions. I don't always adhere to my priorities, but I am in no doubt about them except when I am forced to choose between something I want and something "they" want. I do usually manage to follow my own desires by (let's get real) lying and or avoidance. Then I feel massively guilty for not wanting to help, for not helping and for being dishonest.

Why don't I want to help? Because I feel taken advantage of. Like I have a finite amount of energy and when I expend it on "you" then I have less for me. Sucked dry and spat out. This is not the loving world view I believe in. I want to want to help. I want to be compassionate. I want to love as I have been loved.

Why don't I help? I do alot of the time. But I resent it and I gripe about it. I have stuff of my own I want to get done and I can't do it if I am out and about helping "you." I feel like I never can get my own stuff done at my own pace. I need to hurry up and get it finished so that I can be available when "you" need me. I resent this and so procrastinate about tackling my projects. Then I go out to help and hate it because my own house needs cleaning and I am spending time helping you clean "yours."

Why am I dishonest? Because if I said, "Don't bug me until I want contact," I would have no relationships at all. Most people like much more contact than do I. I don't know if I have intimacy problems or I am just a loner by nature. I am happy seeing husband and pets daily, people at church once a week and most friends and relatives quarterly. I am also very serious. I read and ruminate about the meaning of life. Long conversations about inconsequentials just bore the heck out of me. I do like to lunch and gossip. I used to love to go out and dance and drink with friends on Friday nights. I like to shop. Has just dawned on me that in the past few years I have been trying to have relationships with people with whom I have little in common. The people I want to have frequent contact with are the people I s-l-o-w-l-y befriend who share my interests. These friendships are harder to come by now that I am no longer employed.

Okay that was all very enlightening. What I learned.
1. I do not want to expend gobs of my time on superficial (for me) acquaintances.
a. I am not obligated to care about everyone as deeply as they might seem to care about me.
2. I am not someones entertainment when they are bored.
a. I do not have to stop vacuuming and spend time talking to someone every time they are caught in a traffic jam with six kids in the car.
3. I need to deliberately seek out and spend time with those people with whom I think I might have have much in common.
4. I do not need to give bunches to time to people who are not at all interested in me. See #2
5. My husband is very considerate.
6. I am not always a dumping ground for unpleasant emotions. I can say, "Okay that's enough of that, let's talk about something more cheerful."
7. These insights and my consequent actions are going to make some people angry. I need to be prepared for the anger and not cave in.

Thanks Dr. Freuds, this has been a valuable session. Take care of yourselves. Bea


Cindy...154 said...

Boy can I relate. I call it the al-anon or co-dependent side of my character. I read al-anon stuff and sometimes go to meetings and it helps a whole bunch. I have a book of daily readings called courage to change. There is also a hazeldon website that has meditations from a book called the Language of Letting Go. All of that helps me with the doing stuff for people and hating them for it side of my personality. This weekend I am not doing nuthing for nobody unless I really feel like it and feel up to it. I am tired and want to sleep. I gotta read and edit the worst contract ever written, for my job, and then the rest of the time is for whatever I feel like whenever and ifever I feel like it because right now I am plum tuckered out. Great topic, thanks!!

Cindy...154 said...

Maybe it is Hazelden or something like that.

Annimal said...

Amen, Amen, Amen.

Anonymous said...

Ok I am gonna try my best to express my thougths on this becuz I have struggled with similiar emotions. Ok first as a christian I will always help becuz I am commanded to walk as close as I can to a Christ like example. BUT I realized when I contribute my help out of a need for a approval,that is not Christ like.
So if someone asks me to help, I try to be think ,if noone but me was involved in this ministry would I help? a meal,if I answer no then I say "no".
BUt then I realize I love to help, when I am walking as called by the Lord not by other people.
I always try to remind the words of Christ.." I came not be served but to serve, to give my life as ransom for many"
Second the friends who call to just say" Oh I am sitting here,so talk with me ,so I am not bored. BIG PAIN to me!!!! Get caller Id and DON"T answer!!! If you do say " Hey let me holler back at ya" then absolutey fight the urge to say why... Give no reason why you have to go, just say you have to go, and I'll call you back then don't! If they later say you didn't call back, say " Girl that day was crazy" no more......
Last thing I found when I stopped seeking approval I made friends who I more deeply enjoyed.
These issues have plagued me for years. Thank you for letting me share.

LG said...

Great post; that's all I can say.

Anonymous said...

My thing: since leaving CA no "best friends". But have live-in b/f, 3 kids, pets. Vball at least once a week to get my "social/fun" time in, but no going out to dinner/drinks whatever (probably because I'm broke) and I'm not a gossiper. ALL of my communication is thru email. I only talk to my parents on the phone. I like "set time" with vball/friends. I do no volunteer work. I do nothing I don't want to do socially (but then again, I'm not really asked! maybe I'm giving off some kind of vibe...). I think this is because of my prior 15 year crappy verbal/emotional marriage. Any demands on me send me into a physical panic.

Only "demands" that I cater to would be b/f and kids, and work. But I have a great job.

I really just want social time with my b/f, kids, and vball. that is enough. it is MORE than enough. my kids were asking me this weekend, when we were at the park Sunday just hanging out, Mom, do you miss having g/f's to do stuff with? "well I play vball". yeah, i know, but like go out with and party? (ha ha) "well those moms probably have a lot of $ and me playing vball is PERFECT for me"... that's true mom, that's what you love...

Cindy in CO

Anonymous said...

Great post. I describe it as the Martha & Mary Syndrome. Many of Us, including me, work and work to be helpful because we see a need or want and think it's our calling to fill it. But when we do it, we end up complaining like Martha because Mary wasn't helping, and we can get angry and resentful. Oh boy, been there, done that.

Mary didn't worry and wander around and fix supper for 20 at the drop of a hat. She fed her soul and HER needs. That's a lesson right there. When we have that, there's more joy and generousity available to give to someone else.

Good thinking going on here. Priorities are hard.