Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Thinking about you, thinking about me..

Hmmm.  So, around the time of my birthday, I always go through a period of assessing things.  Where am I at, who am I? Do I have enough friends? Am I the only one who thinks that?  I remember when I used to go out drinking, if one of my friends got a boyfriend, I'd always be worried that I wouldn't have anyone to go drink with.  I think it's a feeling that still pervades me to this day.  The feeling of being not quite good enough - feeling like everyone else is having a big party elsewhere and they're all friends.

I think in the psychological world, they call this feeling "Paranoia".

And yeah, cause I've been in therapy for a while, most of the time...I know that this feeling isn't real.  I know that parenting and motherhood is a solitary game, most of the time.  That you have to trust your instincts, that you have to make decisions and be happy with the decision that you've made.  I also know that a lot of mums suffer from guilt.  And I wouldn't like to say that I'm the guiltiest of mums, but I think I'm up there.  Alex has been having lots of problems with sleeping and nightmares lately, so much so that we are taking him to a child psychologist to talk through the fears that he has.  I am terrified that it's my fault!! That I've somehow damaged him and they're going to find out that I've done a crappy job.  But, in my rational mind, I know that I have done the best that I can.  That Alex is a well adjusted little boy, who is a little shy, and who has a vivid imagination.  That's where the nightmares come from....I've even had that clarified by my best friend Jen......who had similar nightmares at a similar age - and as far as I know is leading a pretty creative and successful life!

So I need to stop doubting myself.  Another favourite way of doubting myself is to look at the relationships that I have, and the ways in which I've let people down....the ways that I could have done things better.  I was watching the Lion King with Alex on the weekend, and that Wise Old Baboon cracks Simba on the head.  Simba says "that hurt!" and the Baboon says "yes, but it's in the past! You can't change it, but you can learn from it"  So the next time he goes to crack Simba on the head, Simba ducks.  He learns from his hurt.

Do I do that? Or do I just hurt from my hurt?  I've been going over and over my dramatic exit from Weight Watchers.....and the people I hurt.  And the hurt I feel.  So much hurt.  And is there a point to going back there?  I still miss the friendship that I had with N and L, and if I'm honest, the kudos that came from being a Leader.  Alex asked me tonight again, "why did you fight with your friends, mum? Why don't you work for Weight Watchers anymore?"  and I told him - "buddy, mum wasn't very good at being a boss.  She didn't like telling people what to do".  I have very high standards of myself...and I want everything to be perfect.  And I started to realise that I would put in way too much time ensuring that my clients were receiving the perfect service.  That I'd think about them after hours and plan how I was going to help them and meeting their needs.  That I was going to be the absolute best at everything.  And if people didn't do things the way I wanted them to, I tried to be nice about it.  But I hated having to ask. I wanted them to know the right way (my way) to do things. Instinctively! Without being told!

Oh...and I wanted reassurance constantly, that I was the best.  Because I felt like I wasn't doing enough to be good, to help.  I realise, looking back, that I was always asking them to prop me up. That I was always relying on them to help me. And that I wasn't necessarily giving that back.  I like to think of myself as kind of evolved when it comes to my emotions.  But it's going back over things like this that makes me realise that I am controlling.  That I am inflexible.  That I am limited.  That I want people to agree with me 100% of the time or I feel like crap.  And that's not their fault.  It's mine.  It's something that I need to fix.  And I can start by stopping the comparisons.  Who cares if I have enough friends? Am I a good friend? Am I so worried about being perfect that I am an imperfect friend?  My flawed and skewed perception of myself cuts me off from so much.  But I can learn from this.

I can start to solve my own problems, and to be open to imperfections. Soooo much of my life has been opting out of things that I'm not good at.  Not even trying, because I dont' like the way that coming last feels.  And it's not about doing stuff that I hate...it's about living life.  A life without fear.  I have so much fear.  And it makes me angry.  Because I'm terrified that I'll be rumbled for the fraud I am.  But what if I'm not a fraud? What if I'm the authentic me, the one that I don't think is good enough? And if I say "this is me, warts and all, the way God made me". and be proud of that, instead of waiting for the moment when I feel good enough.  Living life, as me, and not looking around to see what everyone else is doing. Being happy in my own company, and taking each day as it comes. 
I'm terrified that Alex is afraid, because I spent so much of my own childhood being afraid.  But learning to accept that fear, and triumph over it, is a battle that only he can fight.  As it's a battle only I can fight.  I alone can do it, but I don't have to do it alone.  My relationship with God gives me great comfort, if I would only let it. I try too hard to do it all myself, to be perfect before I come to God, or anyone for help.  I would much rather be the helper than the helped.  But that's arrogance. Of course we need help. Everyone needs help. Being vulnerable is not a crime...it's a necessity.