I’m not sure how to go about this post, other than to simply share it in its entirety and discuss after. So grab a cup of coffee or tea, sit down and get comfortable.
My week started with our oldest dog crossing the rainbow bridge. No matter how many dogs you have, no matter how many times you have to good bye to a pet, it never gets any easier. The dilemma I encountered, was if I should call my sons who have taken themselves out of lives or not. On one hand, I thought, “you don’t want to be a part of our family, then I don’t need to inform you of anything”. So I decided not to contact either one that day. The following day I continued to wonder if I did the right thing. Eventually I sent a text to one of them letting him know. He started asking questions about the dog and of course this led to a little conversation. He told me he loved us all and I went into a complete emotional spin and BAWLED UNCONTROLLABLY for an hour or so. Let me explain. I was filled with so much emotion. It was wonderful to hear (see) him tell me he loved us. At the same time however, I was crushed because I know our family will never completely heal from this and I will never look at either of them the same after the things they said to and about me. My heart was aching for so many reasons. I even told my husband, “I don’t want to see him yet”. The reason? When he comes looking for us, he needs to be ready to reestablish a relationship with us, but not until then. Minutes later he asked what we were doing this weekend and offered to come over. I was speechless. My heart started to pound, and I started clenching my teeth so hard my head started to throb. I didn’t want to say no, because I never say no to him and I really want to see him. But I didn’t want to see him because I knew there would be no apologizing. The horrible things that happened, would be in the corner of the room at all times and everything would go back to the way it was. And one day he would get pissed off at me again, and do the same damn thing. I also felt it important to ask my 17 year old how he felt about it. After all, he this is his home, this brother made threatening comments about beating him up and has ignored him for the past year.
My reply text then was that I wanted to talk with his little brother and check work schedules. He responded very quickly, very harshly that if his little brother was still being petty about bullshit he wasn’t going to put up with any of his shit. I asked him what he was talking about and why he was so mad. He went on to attack me and his little brother that all of the hurt in our family was our fault. I replied to that by stating there is a lot of hurt and mean things were said. Words hurt and can’t be unsaid. I told him I thought people in our family need to remember to be loving & accepting and to take responsibility for their actions and word spoken.
This is where I must stop for a moment. This is when everything became clear to me. This is his weapon, this is how it’s always been. He tells me he loves me, says something he knows I want to hear, and then BOOM, attack and destroy. He goes on to tell me how dramatic we are here, and how I need to stop pointing fingers. He told me it was “nice catching up” but since I am pointing fingers at everyone else and not accepting responsibility for causing all of this he is going to “keep keeping his distance”.
Say hello to your new learning how to be strong and empowered mom. Shit is different now. I’m learning how to control my emotions which control my decisions and I am NOT stepping back onto the firing range again. Normally, this is when I would have cried, I would have said I was sorry, and I would have begged and begged for him to come back home saying something like ‘I need you, I’m nothing without my kids…’. Well guess what 🙂 I DIDN’T DO THAT!! I kept my cool, I replied with stating that I have accepted and apologized for my part more than once and I shouldn’t have to beg. I asked him why he was suddenly so angry and being so mean? I followed that with telling him if he thinks bad mouthing me and attacking his KID brother on facebook makes him look like a hero he is a fool. I told him to go back and look at dates and what was all said on social media and his text messages to remind himself of what really happened. I told him I thought he was the last person that would ever get conned by his manipulating brother, but he did. I said I have no interest in seeing him if he’s going to continue to blame his KID brother and talk shit about him. I reminded him that he is 29 and his KID brother is 17. I finished by saying until he takes ownership in his part and responsiblity for his actions he is not welcome in my home. The last line said “with all of that, I do still love you”
I DID IT!!!!!!! I stayed strong, I stuck up for myself, I didn’t crumble. I set my boundaries and I stood by them clearly. WOOO HOOOO!!!! ALL MY THERAPY IS ACTUALLY WORKING!! LOL
Later in the week, I was speaking with my mother about the weeks happenings. She proceeded to give me a list of reasons what and why I have no right to be hurt by or upset at my two oldest sons. She made every excuse for them possible, and no matter what I said or read to her for proof, she insisted I am the weak link. * This is completely normal for me, and no surprise. I have been blamed for so many things by her in my lifetime that it was ingrained into my head that everything is always my fault. I remember it clearly from my childhood and young adult years. Per my psychologist, it is why I always feel the need to explain myself or justify every word I speak, every action I every take, and every decision I make. It is most likely the biggest contributor to my lifelong self doubt.
I’ve always felt like it’s hard for my siblings to identify with me because of the big age gap, home life was different for them. Most likely they remember my yelling and being angry, but it’s highly doubtful that at their age they understood or even heard what caused it* In years past, when my mother would start to lay it on thick, I would get angry, defensive and start to yell, cuss and probably hang up the phone. THIS TIME WAS DIFFERENT! I calmly told her I appreciated her opinion and value her and that she wants to help. I calmly gave her some examples of why I disagreed with her. After some calm “back and forth” ideas, opinions and statements, I again told her thank you for trying to help, I appreciate it, and I love her. I nicely told her I had to go and we both hung up. I DID IT!!!! I didn’t let her pull me into a shitshow. I didn’t let her pull my down into a hole of “I’m a shitty person”. And I didn’t let her push me into a tizzy. ANOTHER VALIDATION MY THERAPY IS REALLY WORKING!!!! Woop Woop!!
I was so proud of myself, I AM so proud of myself. I set 2 boundaries with 2 important people, but people that knew how to get me worked up. I stood my ground POLITELY and RESPECTFULLY and kept my boundaries in tact. My husband heard both conversations and each time gave me a hug and a high five along with a “good job, I’m damn proud of you”. *brag moment 😉
I feel so empowered. I feel brave. I have a clear conscience. I am proud of me and my actions. I have started to show people that I can stand on my own emotionally, and I can set my boundaries in a healthy manner. Do I miss my son? Yes. But I do not miss the bullshit that comes along with him these past two years. Do I love and appreciate my mother? Yes. She did and does the best she could/can with what she was/is emotionally and mentally equipt with. I owe her respect simply because she is my mother, therefore I can treat her with respect whether I agree or disagree with her.
Do you have people in your life that push you into an emotional corner so you feel like you are helpless? Maybe when you are around them you always feel like you are poo. Can you believe I have been asking people how to do/feel my entire life. Never believing in myseslf to do/feel the right way. I would even regularly ask particular family members that are a decade younger than me. I have more life experience, why would I ask them? Now I’m not talking about getting a simple opinion, I’m talking about asking for suggestions and believing it was significantly better than anything I could ever come up with. No wonder so many people treat me like I have no value. I’m the one who consistantly showed them I had none.
This is a great example of how setting healthy boundaries and not giving into the negative pull of others, can benefit your mental being and your quality of life greatly. I want you to believe that you are capable of not only setting boundaries, but you can make your own decisions without always questioning them. Find out why you doubt yourself and why you don’t value your own opinion. Fix it. Take care of yourself. You can do it. I know you can, believe me, if I can…anyone can. You are smart. You are brave. You are valueable. You are important.
You can love people without letting them walk all over you. You can disagree with someone and believe in your thoughts without allowing your insecurities to cause you to be disrespectul or defensive. People will start to see that you have your own set of values, your own set of beliefs, your own life tactics, your own personal boundaries. At first they will be shocked. They will push back because it will be unchartered territory for them. But if they are worth having in your life, they will get used to it, they will accept it (one way or another) and they will respect it. They will respect you. We have the power to set the standard of how we want/expect to be treated. Set the standard high, you are worth it! Often times things get harder before they get easier, worse before they get better. Every awe moment is preceeded with the shock moment. Allow yourself to be free of all of the crap that others have layed on you. You are worth it. It’s your time to SHOCK & AWE