Posted in Life is too short, Living Life As I See Fit, long over due

My Struggle with Pleasing Others and What I Have Learned

Pleasing others brings a lot of anxiety to person’s life and impacts a person’s life significantly.  I know because I have been there – sometimes, I am still there.  Trying to please others forces one to sacrifice their own happiness.

I am not sure when I started basing my life’s choices around what I perceived others wanted from me but it is safe to say; I did it for too long.  As a result, people took advantage of me and I let them. I let them think it was okay to place heavy burdens on me, to take care of everyone but not myself, to consider their happiness over mine or to worry about how my choices affected them.  I made choices based on what others (especially family) would approve of and in the end, I suffered more than anyone else.

I let people take advantage of me because they always did.  I let them treat me badly because they always did. I let them place heavy responsibilities on me because they always did.  I made decisions in my life based on how it affected them because I always did.

I apologized for every thing; even when I knew it damn well wasn’t my fault. I did it to avoid disagreement or to make others happy. Or maybe, I thought my disagreement wasn’t important.  I swallowed my pride for too many reasons and let others be right even if they were hurting me.  Sometimes, I let people hurt me and then blame me even it clearly wasn’t my fault.  I never said “no,” because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.

I held on to my own mistakes and I analyzed them over and over thinking about what I could have done differently or what other options there were.  I allowed myself to get hurt so others wouldn’t.   I was made to feel selfish when I tried to do or think about what was best for me.  I held on to relationships that weren’t fulfilling my life – again, in the name of pleasing others.  I needed approval and I didn’t always feel like I was enough – for others, for God, and even myself.

While I was always there for everyone, I was bearing my burdens alone. The people whose feelings I was concerned with or who I continually was there for were not there for me.  I stood alone and I continue to.  Mostly because I didn’t trust them because of how often/much they hurt me and how they took full advantage of me. Anytime they hurt me, they placed the blame on me so hence, you can see how I became a people pleaser – for so long and to my detriment.

You see a pattern here?

The one person in my life who I knew I could rely on no matter what is gone. I miss my mom in a way that words cannot express.  But I put up with so much from so many people because of my love for her. But she is gone and I can’t be the person I used to be or the person I thought she expected me to be. I can’t. I refuse. But for her, I forgive, but I am not forgetting or allowing myself to get hurt ever again.

It has taken a lot of soul searching and a whole lot of tears over the past year, and counseling over the past few years.  But I am learning it is okay to make myself happy, that I matter too, and it is okay to not care what others think of me or my choices, and that I can think of myself and not base my decisions on how it affect other people.

I used to think that getting away from people pleasing meant simply doing my own thing.  And I have done that – whatever I feel like doing, whenever I feel like doing it, and with no regard for how it affects others (except the people that actually matter).  But there is more to it than that.

The people pleasing habit doesn’t just disappear.  It nags at you. But you have learn to fight the feelings.  And trying to fight it makes you angry – at the world, at loved ones, at the very people who you tried to please and at yourself for allowing this and putting your needs on hold.

It has taken a lot of work and a lot of distance from people who don’t understand the burden they placed on me for so long to be okay with not making everyone happy and seek out my own happiness.  And they have hurt me. They just don’t get it or even see that. They blame me and I accept that because I cannot control how anyone feels. But I can’t continue to sacrifice myself in the name of acceptance.

I am learning to trust in myself, my faith, and in the Almighty as I learn to face my life on my own terms and that involves keeping my distance from certain people – people who for someone reason are yet to figure out, I need to lead a present and perhaps long journey on my own.  And I don’t know for how long. It is for however long it takes.

I am taking responsibility for what is mine, what I deserve and what makes me truly happy.  And for the first time in a long time, I am happy and I won’t apologize for that.  It takes a lot of courage to stop thinking we have to fix everyone else’s issues and prioritize ourselves.  And that is not selfishness.  It is strength.

I am learning to love myself – something I have was not able to do in the past.  I am learning to feel enough – for myself, for God and the people that truly matter – my kids.

Once upon a time, I didn’t have the ability to make my own choices, but I do now. I can and I will.  And I get that upsets people, leaves them behind and makes them worry about how it affects them. But it is not about them.  It is about me. For once – it is about me.  It never was before. But now it is.  I got too old to worry about how my choices affected everyone else. I am making my choices based on how they affect me.

Taking back control of my life is motivating. It has allowed me to genuinely love and care for the people that truly matter.  Healing is not 100% here, but I am getting there. And for now, it is enough.  But I am not looking back. I can’t and I am not sorry.   I am living my life as I see fit and holding true to the title of this blog.

Posted in Life in general, long over due, Tough Choices

A Journey About How Life Works Out

Don’t you hate when someone says, “things always work out for the best.”  I don’t think that things don’t always work out for the best.  In fact, I believe that we have to make lemonade out of sour lemons.   We can’t really tell the future and sometimes, bad things will happen and we always try to make the positive out of those experiences.  I do that often to help myself get through what I have just been hit with.  I keep telling myself that my brother’s death meant he didn’t have to suffer anymore, but I still wanted him to live.  I still wanted more time with him and to make more memories. If it was up to me, he wouldn’t have died, but it is not up to me, it is up to the Almighty.  I am not sure how something like this works out for the best but perhaps, the fact he is no longer suffering is the only comfort I have.

I don’t have a crystal ball and even if I did, I couldn’t tell the future.  Loss and failure are reminders that we will never know what the future holds. Things that we should of and could have done differently are also reminders.  I learned along time ago to let go of the future and live for today.  However, I have only recently learned that all I have to do now is make memories that will last even through failure and loss.

I don’t know what things or factors in my life may or not work out but it doesn’t mean that I quit trying or dreaming or believing.  It just means that when something bad is happening to me, it will eventually pass and will be a memory soon enough.  Sometimes, things that seem awful in the short-term can pay off in the long run.

You know that saying, “when things get tough, the tough get going?”  I am tough and I have learned that imagining the worst or fearing the future doesn’t really help me to stay tough or get through the obstacles I am handed.   Sometimes, I find myself dwelling at the past even though the past is over because the things that I dwell about have to do with my failures.  I often forget that I did the best that I could have considering the circumstances or the situation at the time.

Tomorrow will be a month since my brother passed away and while I am still grieving, I have been dealt another really tough card.  This card means I am about to embark on journey that is long overdue.  I am about to make some really tough choices and I am scared.   I am scared because the journey isn’t one I want to take, but it is one I have to take.  In addition, it is hard knowing that no matter what I did or how hard I tried, I failed.  As many in my life know, I hate failure and I hate even more that I failed despite my best interests.

In recent years, I have learned that sometimes things happen to you that you have no control over, but it is how you play the game that counts the most.  For the first time in my life, I feel my weakest and maybe it is because so much has crashed down and into my world that I feel really helpless. All I know is that I am taking God on this journey with me.  I am going to ask for his guidance every step of the way and I am going to pray that he helps to heal me as I struggle to find answers and to make lemonade out of really sour lemons.

I want to believe more than anything that the choices I make will be for the best but I don’t know what the future holds.  I just know that I have to make them and the choice really isn’t up to me.  This decision has been staring me in the face for some time now, and I know that now is the time to start my journey and to figure out what it is I need right now.  I have to believe that while everything seems bad today, maybe tomorrow will be better.  The universe works in the most mysterious ways.  The only real role I have is to just show up and have faith.

I have God on my side and with God, everything is possible.  Right now, I am still grieving and I have been hit a really hard curveball and I haven’t really had a chance to get up from the first series of curveballs I was hit with.  Now, that I have been hit with another, I really don’t want to get up but I know I have to.  I have to because no curveball should hit someone when they are already down.  It is my way of saying that I have the courage to get up when no one thinks I can.  Despite how weak and vulnerable I am right now, I am going to be the strongest I have been in a really long time.

God, I need you. Carry me when I am weak. Hold me when I am tired. Love me when I cannot care anymore. And when I huddle lonely and afraid, cover me with your strong protective hands. Guard my sleep and wake me in the morning, rested and strong, and ready to try again.


Posted in Life in general, Life is too short, long over due, Tough Choices

We don’t know what strong is until being strong is all we have

The tears finally came.  I have spent the last week being as strong as I could be and today, I finally let it out.  Watching my 31-year-old brother’s fight with cancer, helping my mom hold it all together and being the person making all the decisions finally took its toll on me.  Everyday it’s something new and my brother continues to fight.

Cancer is evil and every day, it seems like there is a setback.  Since my brother went back on the ventilator, it seems like there are no victories.  Today, the ICU doctor told me it was time for a tracheotomy. That will probably happen in the next few days but I wanted to talk to my siblings about it first.  How does a 31-year-old go from appearing perfectly healthy a few months ago to fighting for his life?

The doctors have scheduled a family meeting for tomorrow afternoon and they want to discuss with us the overall picture.  My brother cannot start any treatments until he is strong enough and right now, he is barely holding on.  I hate watching him struggle just to recover from the surgery and I hate how evil cancer is.  It does not care how old you are, how healthy your life has been until that point, nor does it care about creed or color.

I don’t know what I am supposed to do here and I am waiting for our miracle to come because this should not happen to someone who has not had a chance live his life, to get married or to have kids.  But cancer doesn’t care.  Cancer doesn’t care that his nephews and nieces miss him so much and that they have so many questions my sisters and I cannot answer.  Cancer does care that our mother is dying inside and that the rest of us know that we will lose her if we lose him.  Cancer does not have any compassion nor does it care who it hurts. It does not work on my timetable or anyone else’s.

I hate you cancer and I hate that you have forced to me to be strong whether I want to be or not.  If cancer teaches us anything, it teaches us that we don’t know what strong is until being strong is all we have left. Right now, my strength is keeping me from falling apart or else I would join suit with my mom and sisters.  Someone has to stay strong but it doesn’t mean that I am not waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Every day is a struggle for us and for him.  I have to keep it together in order to make good choices as they pertain to my brother’s treatment and that means I have to stay strong for him.

Posted in cry, long over due

We all need a good cry once in a while

Do you every feel like you just sometimes have a really good cry that is long over due? When the stress is adding up and you just can’t peace it all together and the stronger you try to be, the weaker you find that you are. I am long overdue and all t the stress is adding up for a good one.

I am the type of person that I can handle a lot but then all that build up comes crashing down. So here I am sitting at my desk wondering if it can it can any worse. Just when I finally figure out how to deal with all the issues that have been mounting, financial and otherwise, another problem drops into my lap. Don’t I ever get a break? My husband does not break down in tears, he just keeps to himself, but me, I start balling like a baby. And right now, it is long over due, but my office is not the place. I have four days off starting tomorrow to sort through this mess, but I want to cry my head off and scream that life just isn’t fair.

In all honesty, I am entitled to vent. I have RA and Fibromyalgia and sometimes it is hard to go my job (I am a legal assistant), but I cannot leave my job because my husband made some bad investment choices last year that still continue to haunt us. I figure it does not hurt to cry and it is actually helpful to cry. “According to Dr. William Frey, a biochemist and director of the Dry Eye and Tear Research Center in Minneapolis, Minn., one reason people might feel better after crying could be because they are “removing, in their tears, chemicals that build up during emotional stress.” Frey’s research indicates that tears, along with other bodily secretions like perspiration, rid the body of various toxins and wastes.”

I also have another reason I want to cry. Monday, July 6 is the 8th anniversary of the day I said goodbye to my daughters. When I boarded a plane from Jerusalem, Israel back to the U.S., I never knew how things would work out. That day, I lost a big part of me that I know can never be replaced. My communications with my girls are limited and I have not spoken them in several months, and yes, I have lived with it for eight years, but it gets harder the closer I get to that date. I understand and remind myself that I walked away from an abusive marriage and that I had no choice when I left my girls, but I always wonder if I fought hard enough to get them back. I accepted my choices long ago, but it doesn’t mean that I ever stop missing my daugthers.

My long cry is eventually going to catch up with me, but I am not going to try not to let it catch up to me this very minute. I will be patient at least until I get to my car. We all have our moments and according Dr. Frey, we all need that moment.