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Baby steps - day 15 when friends lash out and hurt you

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

whoa Nellie. Forgive me, my friends, as I write Too Much Detail into a food blog - but today, I need this more than I can possibly say. I got a double whammy yesterday, from two friends and I'm still reeling. I'm also trying to process it all in the healthiest way possible - because I really don't want to accelerate any issues or take any steps that can't be retraced and I understand that Christmas time is often a time of deep emotional crisis for many people. I guess, I just don't want it to be for me.

the first blow came from someone who is very close to me, both a friend and family, someone who is supposed to be having Christmas dinner with us this year, as she does every year... and who is going through a really really bad time with her teenage daughter and ex husband. I think she's been pretty well shafted in the whole situation, but it was a bad marriage - it was always going to be a bad divorce. BUT, and there always is a but, isn't there? She is not without her own share of blame in this problem. She won't stop trying to "win" this battle with her ex over the children and he will always be able to defeat her because he knows how to jerk her chains and she's no good at being manipulative. Her flaw is bossiness and a passionate nature that says hurtful things and then can't understand why people don't forgive. This has made it hard while the children were small, but now she has a furious teenager on her hands and it's become a disaster.

While I have a lot of sympathy for her because she has to deal with all this sadness, I think she's not focusing on what is important - which is fixing the relationship with her daughter. She's still furious that the ex (and he really is a stinker) is fueling her daughter's nastiness (and she really is being nasty). My friend can't seem to put her own needs aside to fix the problem, and not too deep inside me is the belief that the parents owe it to the children to work on fixing things. Until children are adults, I don't think a parent should be asking her kids to meet the parent's needs. I'm pretty sure the counselor they're all seeing feels the same way, based on the things she's told me. There's a huge problem with the daughter right now and that has to be fixed first. Of course, I do understand that it is going to take all three of them to find a real solution, but even if the situation can't be fixed, I believe my friend will be happier and healthier if she could look back and say "I did all I could".

And I don't believe she will be able to do that if she keeps on being furious at her ex, her daughter and everyone she talks to who doesn't get as mad at them as she is .... which, turned out to be me, yesterday.

After getting a pretty hot blast from her I went to my once-a-month knitting group and one of the women there, who doesn't like the colors I wear just went on and on about how the project I was working on made her want to puke. And I just didn't know what to say - or to do. Because, even if I didn't like something someone was working on, I wouldn't insult the person. or the project. I would find something nice to say about it or at least say "mmm nice" or even say nothing at all. I would never tell someone what they were working on made me want to throw up. And no matter how much she tried to back track afterwards, "oh it's growing on me" ... the pain was already lodged. It was such a pointless and hurtful thing to do but it's not the first time she's gone on and on like this over one of my projects - and she NEVER does this with anyone else's knittinig.

I'm not a quick reply girl. When shafts hit me I tend to curl in a bit and then work it out. I couldn't even look at this woman at first and then I just didn't want to accept her efforts at apologies because what the heck. It WASN'T an apology. It sounded to me like she realized how nasty she sounded and was trying to make other people think she wasn't so mean.

So. A double whammy. Still trying to figure out what to do... and also trying to remember that these are people with issues. I'm not the person with issue. I'm the person with mean friends. But of course, I can't help thinking "What have I done to make people angry at me? did I say something thoughtless? Do I sound arrogant? (I think some people think I am) Did I hurt them and now do they want to get me back?"

whew. Okay. Well. Hmmm. Let me fiddle with this some more. What are my solutions? Because, my inclination is to just curl into a ball, turn my back on them both, and roll away from both of them. It's a big world and I don't need friends who lash out at me. And I am not obliged to either have a miserable life because a friend does or to spend time with someone who's habit is to insult me. I don't actually need to knit with friends, for goodness sake.

But of course, my close friend is really someone I love and someone who is important to me. We've been friends for 30 years, for goodness sake, and besides, she's family. I can actually discount most of what she said yesterday. I know she's crying out from serious hurt and since I know her whole history, I know where a lot of that hurt comes from. I really have to tell her to not call me names again, because that will eventually drive me away. But I can gladly agree with her that her creepy ex is as creepy as she claims and I can also assure her that I love her. Because I do. She doesn't have to be perfect for me. She only has to be herself, and i know that part of herself is a passionate heart. She loves as hard as she hates. As I sit here, writing this ... I realize that I love her enough to address a few issues, brave her flames, and when it's all died down, take her in my arms and tell her how much I love her. Yup. This is just how it is. I love my crazy sister who lies so much you never know what to believe .... I love my dad who is a perfect Jekyll/Hyde ... We love people because we love them.

As for the other friend. . . well. friend? I'm not sure what to do about that. I could just quit going to the knitting group. I don't have to knit with others. But this is a small community. I won't be able to avoid this woman. I am in the library and she reads. I'll have to think about this. I wish I could have spoken up right then and told her how much I resent her constant personal jabs at my taste and that I wish she would refrain from trying to humiliate me in front of other people. but I didn't so now I'll have to wait till the NEXT time she does it - and she will, because this is NOT the first time.

LOL - maybe I should write out a script and carry it in my knitting project bag - then, the next time she spits on me I can make a production of pulling it out, putting on my glasses and reading my "speach".

sigh

well. Thank any of you who have read this far for caring enough to find out what is hurting me. Writing it all out really helps even if nobody reads it. I read it. Better yet, I spit it out. I organized my thoughts and processed some feelings. I'm ready to go on today. I even got a little help from Martha Beck - her quote for today is : Free yourself from struggling with dysfunctional people by REFUSING TO TRY TO CONTROL THEM. Instead, be totally honest.—Martha Beck, Daily Coach Tips

and as for my baby steps?

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me? ___x___
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing ___x___
3. Morning yoga ___x____

That's 3 for 3! 15 more minutes
Total Score 39.5 or 3 hours and 18 minutes.

Today is a toughie, with meetings, interviews and some other stress situations. Today is a REAL baby step day so I'll just do these 3 things:

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me?
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing
3, Take 3 deep breathes whenever I feel tense

Thanks everyone for being my spark friend

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDWINA172 12/16/2010 6:03AM

    Your patience with family and friends is admirable. I hope they realize what a good person you are. You are a sweet-heart. Hope all works out for you. Have a great week.

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TOOTHFUL99 12/15/2010 8:57AM

    You're a lot stronger than I! I'd still be curled up in that ball, rolling away, because that's how I deal with confrontation.

Why do people feel the need to spread their disfunction on the innocent?

There's a song by the Proclaimers that has a good line: "Your life is full of misery, well, do something for it or try to ignore it. Don't give it to me!" Sometimes I feel like that.

What it comes down to, in my opinion, is that you can't change people so you either have to accept them into your life or move on. You chose who's in your life. (Yes, even family!)

When you find the answers, please share them with me!!! I have my own mean people issues I could work out!!!



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DENRNAJ 12/15/2010 8:30AM

    When I am faced with situations such as these I think to myself, "what is important to ME?" Does that person's opinion of me have anything to do with MY self worth? No.
Responses to hurtful statements? Wow, that's too bad that you don't like_____. I'm so glad that we live in a world where we all have different tastes, makes life interesting. I am really thankful that we live in a country where we all feel so free to express ourselves. Then, subject change.
For the friend- remove yourself from this. Don't engage in the negativity. My best friend is involved in a very stressful and negative family situation. I will listen if she needs to vent but I will not become involved. This is her business, not mine.
I may sound too bossy but I really do feel for you. You do not have to give up things that you enjoy because of the stupidity of others. You don't have to avoid people or situations. You are a worthy person, worth being around, and worth being treated with decency and respect.
emoticon Janice

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MARIE625 12/15/2010 8:22AM

    Wow. I can understand your friend - she's hurt & angry and lashing out at you instead of her ex & daughter. But the knitting lady?? Good grief! I'm lousy with quick comebacks. I normally don't think of them until about a week later, but I think I'd have said something to her like "Good thing I'm not making this for you then." I also think your idea of a prepared speech to pull out and read to her is a great idea. It would definitely show her that she's hurt you in the past & you aren't going to put up with it anymore. She sounds like the typical bully and bullies tend to pick on those who don't stand up for themselves. I'm curious though - how do the other knitters react to the woman? What ever you do, don't quit going to the knitting group. Don't give her that satisfaction! And now that I've had a few minutes to process.... Next time the lady says something nasty to you, you might want to respond by asking her if you've done something to upset her. Tell her you are sorry if you've hurt her in the past & that you didn't realize you had.

As for your close friend, I'd suggest copying a lot of what you wrote in this blog, change it so that you are talking to her, print it out, slip it into one of those "Hang in there" Hallmark cards and give/send it to her.

Good luck! And congrats on typing it all out instead of heading straight to the fridge & eating your emotions. Good job!

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SHISHYCAT 12/15/2010 8:04AM

    Hey - So, you have a couple of options with knitting lady.
1. Ignore it - which is what you've pretty much done and is completely valid.
2. Respond with humor - "Yum, puke! My favorite!"
3. Tell her you were hurt by her comments.

I suggest 1 or 2. A person like that isn't going to respond well to your honesty. If it happens again, you can say in the moment "well, that hurts" - it won't take any more than that. It's true and you've stood up for yourself and it's about you, not her. Unlike JLITT62, I think that quitting a group that makes you miserable is a perfectly reasonable response. There's really no reason to let people treat you badly. You can either call them out with humor or straightforwardness, or you can extricate yourself. It's all your choice depending on the situation and whether you really like the person or not.

A lot of times I wish I had said something witty or cutting, but when I think about it later, I realize by not putting the person in their place I actually did the right thing. So don't feel bad about not having a good comeback!

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SHEILA1505 12/15/2010 7:59AM

    Well done, Bess - and well done, Martha Beck

Talking it out with us was the best thing to do instead of holding it all inside - and yes, carry your speech - that's an excellent idea! Write it when you are icy cool calm and collected and hopefully it never will have to come out of your handbag - but at least you'll have the comfort of knowing that it is there should the need arise

Again - big hugs!

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SUNRISE14 12/15/2010 7:59AM

    Wow my friend don't let people treat you so nasty ! I use to take it from people and i was very miserable. I knew no peace or happiness in my own life and it wasn't worth it. Anymore if someone treats me or talks to me wrong i stop them and say Hey what have i done that you want to talk to me that way or treat me that way. If i have done anything tell me and i will try to change it or make it right in some way but if you can't talk right to me just leave me alone until you can. I am here for you but don't be mean to me. The friend with the x you two need to not talk about her problems and issues you are not going to change her. Talk about positive things let her know hey i love you and are here for you but you can handle this on your own. Change the subject don't fight her battles you got enough of your own in this life ! The lady that don't like your colors don't sit with her or close to her. If she remarks on what you are doing again tell her if you were making it for her you'd make it the colors she chose. Tell her to be nice ! If you can't solve things this way stay away from them ! Family doesn't give your family licence to treat you wrong either . I tell them to don't envolve me in issues i can't do anything about lets love one another and be kind thats how a true family is ! Good luck ! emoticon

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JLITT62 12/15/2010 7:47AM

    Oh my, one of THOSE days. Don't you just hate them.

Mean knitting lady -- I see 2 ways. Confront her with humor or just with honesty. Tell her her comments hurt you and make you not want to come to the knitting group anymore. When my husband starts lashing out at me cause of work stuff, I tell him (most of the time now) that I am not his whipping boy and I do not deserve to be treated like that. Much better than just holding onto a grudge (a bad habit of mine).

Or maybe you can just tell her that the puke color reminds you of when your kids were little and therefore is endearing to you . . .

Don't quit the group. Of course you can knit by yourself, but that's not the point, is it? Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.

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Baby steps day 14 - Listening to your body

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Which I did yesterday - and mine told me it was tired unto death! I went on in to work to be sure any important bits and pieces that had popped up over the weekend were dealt with and then I went home, took a hot bath and slept all afternoon. Woke up for a vegetable soup supper and went back to sleep at quarter to 9. Man - do I feel like a New Woman today.

I'm not sure why I was so dead dog tired, since I haven't been terrible about getting enough sleep - but evidently the body thought I had. But this year I intend to breeze through the holidays without a sniffle, a sneeze, a cough, or any other malady. I plan on keeping Himself on the healthy path too - and am pleased to be getting his cooperation.

As for the baby steps? How did I do? Let's see

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me? ___X___
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing ___X___
3. 30 minutes of gentle yoga when I get home from work ___0___
4. leave work early if I can because ... I still need that nap. If I can't - in bed by 8 o'clock. ___X___

That's 3 points for a Total Score 36.5 or 3 hours and 3 minutes.

I didn't even try to do the yoga but not because I forgot or because I brushed it off. It was because the body said SLEEP OR ELSE and I obeyed. In the end, I want to be able to hear what my body is telling me ALL the time, and ignoring it when it gives me a clear signal is likely to make it stop talking to me.

Felling pretty good about myself, actually. As for today? I'll get that yoga in this morning before I go to work.

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me?
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing
3. Morning yoga

Ankle is still a wee bit tender - only a wee tiny bit but still I'm not ready to start doing fast walking and it's just too freezing cold this week to go swimming. Next week the temps moderate and i'll get back to the pool.

Hope your Tuesday is beautiful.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEILA1505 12/14/2010 9:21AM

    Great job, listening to your body! In such a case, it's almost not right to deduct your points for not doing Yoga - if you had done the Yoga you would not have been respecting your body and that is worse - IMHO :))

Hugs

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RITAROSE 12/14/2010 9:15AM

  You are wise to take assesments and get the rest you need! Good plans = successful program! Congratulations! Stay healthy! emoticon

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JLITT62 12/14/2010 7:52AM

    I've been sleeping later these days, and just haven't been able to squeeze in my morning yoga - and I really miss it.

But I go swimming pretty much no matter what the temps are outside. It's just so relaxing. I wear a swim cap & my hair doesn't get too wet, and I don't have to walk that far to my car -- and bundle up good! -- so it's really not that bad. Just food for thought!

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Baby steps day 13 - Write It Down!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lawsie! Sometimes I wonder just where my brain is. Not here, that's for sure. Or perhaps the right brain is throwing a tantrum and the left brain has decided to turn it's back, instead of dealing with the issues. but whatever the truth is, here's what happened to me yesterday

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me? ___X___
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing ___X___
3. Take a NAP! (I've been skimping a bit with sleep. Not smart) ___-X___
4. tap into my right brain with some left hand writing ___-X____

Score for yesterday - zero. And why did I get a zero yesterday? Because I forgot to do the last two things on my list. I forgot to take a nap. I forgot to do the left hand writing. I just ... forgot. Even though I remembered to do the 5 self-checks.

Total Score 33.5 or 2 hours and 48 minutes.

Gradually over the past 10 years this happened in my work world - my work life has grown so complex that no frontal lobe could contain all the things to do I have. Not even a paper planner works for me any more. I need to use my on-line calender to stay on top of my work life. Evidently, if I want to change or adapt my behavior during the mad crush that is Christmas Time, I will have to Write Down My Intentions - DAILY - on a piece of paper I can carry around with me.

So, for today?

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me?
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing

I really like these two things and want them to be part of my daily life forever so I'll keep working with them.

3. 30 minutes of gentle yoga when I get home from work
4. leave work early if I can because ... I still need that nap. If I can't - in bed by 8 o'clock.

we have snow flurries this morning - they're beautiful.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESSHAILE 12/14/2010 7:01AM

    Thanks honey - I'm doing much better with the water. I actually have a special glass at work for being sure I get enough water but sometimes I really do just forget. duh.

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SHEILA1505 12/13/2010 9:29AM

    :)) Oh, Bess :)
how are you doing on the water thing?

Big hugs!

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Baby steps day 12 - babying myself

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The good news is that I have a Very Very Clean House

The not so good news is that I didn't earn 3 points yesterday. And once again, it was a matter of forgetting. There's a cogent point that's trying to worm its way into my consciousness ... and the point is ... consciousness! I go around unconscious too much of the time. Here's how it plays out:

1. Deep clean the house - that's my exercise for today ___X___
2. the water and 5 f&V thing ___0___
3. S L O W dining tonight because dinner is going to be steak. I want to really enjoy my healthy 4 oz portion - every single bite. Cause I'm not getting one bite more. ___X___

Score 33.5 or 2 hours and 48 minutes.

It also means this is day 2 of a 10 day streak. 8 more days and I get an extra 15 minutes.

As for the water and 5 F&V ... I just forgot to drink water - and forgot to eat vegetables and fruit. I got busy. I dashed here and there and at the grocery store I succumbed to the temptation of snack crackers. A new brand. The promise of cheese flavor. They weren't even that good. I threw the box away half way home because I realized I was ruining my appetite for the marvelous steak dinner I'd planned for later. Unconsciousness - I really have to work on that.

For today I'm going to do some special Pay Attention Consciousness Training.

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me?
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing
3. Take a NAP! (I've been skimping a bit with sleep. Not smart)
4. tap into my right brain with some left hand writing

December has been a juggernaut month so far, with work, parties, gatherings, and powerful emotional events. I love it that way, too, but I believe the universe wants me to have a slow down day and it's sent me

RAIN

It's going to rain all day today. seepy slow long drizzly rain - which the ground needs right now - and which induces me to slow down, take it easy and recharge my holiday batteries. I have 4 Christmas movies to watch, 3 dogs, 2 knitting projects and 1 husband to cuddle up with. Yup. sounds like a baby myself day to me.

Happy Sunday to you all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEILA1505 12/12/2010 7:57AM

    I don't know if it will help but I have a 500ml glass that I use to make sure I drink my water - I take it wherever I go in the house and drink from it all the time. I mark off my daily chart every time I empty it and at 3p.m I have drunk more than 2litres - that's 72oz - and plenty more to go! Admittedly it is warm here but I manage this in the winter too

Good luck with clocking up those minutes!

Hugs

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GETBACKUPAGAIN 12/12/2010 7:38AM

  Love your attitude!

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MSLZZY 12/12/2010 7:20AM

    I have to have my water daily-it's such a habit. And f/veggies? My body needs and craves them. Keep working on it and keep adding those minutes up to LOTS of free time! HUGS!

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SUNRISE14 12/12/2010 7:17AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Baby steps day 12 - Perfect holiday gathering

Saturday, December 11, 2010

One of the best reason's for setting little daily goals down in writing is that now and then, you do them all! Wow! Of course, it helps if they are BABY goals, but I have confidence in their cumulative effect.

1. eat a healthy breakfast ___X___
2. call both my parents and tell them how much I love them ___0___
3. healthy snacks and water in the car because we are off to the city for a family gathering ___X___
4. Journal my eating ___x___
5. Walk for hours around the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Festival of Lights tonight. ___X___

That's 4 points. I did call Daddy but didn't get an opportunity to call mama - I'll do so today.

Score 32.5 points - 2 hours and 40 minutes of time off in January!!

For today the plan is:

1. Deep clean the house - that's my exercise for today
2. the water and 5 f&V thing
3. S L O W dining tonight because dinner is going to be steak. I want to really enjoy my healthy 4 oz portion - every single bite. Cause I'm not getting one bite more.

I'm proud of my healthy eating yesterday and I though I was on my feet, walking for about 6 hours, my Skechers Shape-up shoes were the perfect foot support for my tender ankle. I bought those shoes last summer because I suspected the flex caused by the curved sole would help with my wanting-to-slip disc. It does, but the built up arch support had a powerfully comforting impact on strained tendons around my ankle. Good shoes - but don't expect that you'll become Imam by wearing them (or whoever is the latest super-model)

Last night I gathered with 22 of my all time favorite friends and family to tour the Lewis Ginter botanical garden's festival of lights; acres of whimsical beautiful garden themed lights, glass houses filled with 30 foot trees, orchids in full bloom, paperwhites, poinsettias, libraries full of doll houses, conference rooms filled with animated model trains, all canopied with frosty stars in a black sky. Sisters, beloved cousins, close friends, all of us caroling along the paths, bursting into song because, in the dark ... nobody knows who's making all that noise.

right now, my heart is so full of Christmas spirit, love for mankind, joy, thankfulness, and bliss, I ought to be bottled and given away on street corners. sometimes, we're lucky enough to have a Perfect Holiday Gathering. Last night was my turn. I hope yours comes soon.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 12/11/2010 8:13AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHEILA1505 12/11/2010 7:49AM

    Sounds like a wonderful way to spend the evening - apart from all that cold, of course!

Hope our family is going to go to Carols by Candlelight in the Botanical Gardens this year - we all picnic first but don't have to bundle up like you do :))
Hugs

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