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Clearing out the emotional clutter!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Early yesterday morning I was having a cup of coffee when I noticed 2 deer in our yard again. They were both curled up in the grass under a big oak tree. As I watched I saw the most amazing thing happen. They stood up, and the fawn approached her mother and started nursing. It was SO beautiful! I felt blessed to have witnessed such an incredible sight. Then the phone rang, and I saw on the caller ID that it was my MIL. I did NOT answer, but I felt like I was 'hit up side the head'. In a matter of seconds, I went from a feeling of joy to dread.

Last night while writing an email to a Spark friend, a few things dawned on me. I told her that just because I've tolerated something for years, does NOT mean that I have to continue to do so. My late FIL once told me how his wife treated him the same way she treated me. He said that "she does NOT stop until she wears you down". I asked him why he tolerated her behavior. He said "it's easier to go along with her than stand your ground, because she will NOT stop until she wins". This man drank himself into total numbness every day, and was literally a shadow of his former self. I was 24 years old when he told me this. I wondered if Doreen today is a shadow of the 24 year old me?

One of the great things about the input from Spark friends is that you can see things from a different perspective. Whether it's one word, a comment, or something in someone else's blog, you can see things in a new way. Different words from yesterday's comments stuck in my head, as well as a quote from Yvonne's blog that states-'fall 7 times, get up 8'. I'm not one to stay down, I always drag myself back up! So thanks Spark friends for the input.

I don't know why, but after I sent last nights email, a book that I haven't read in YEARS popped into my head. This morning I woke up thinking of that book again. Was it some kind of divine intervention? I always think that my mom is watching over me and my hubby. I pulled the book off of the shelf and sat down to flip through it. It's called 'Journey to the Heart', and it's a book of 365 daily meditations. I opened it to October 14, which was yesterday, to see what the title and subject were. It was "Clear out the clutter", but it was about deeply embedded emotions and their impact on our lives. The author wrote about the undercurrents of old emotional energy and how we don't see the anger, the fear, and the sadness. She went on about how these feelings stay with us until we consciously acknowledge and address them. Well, I can say that after venting yesterday, I've DEFINITELY acknowledged the problem and my feelings. Now I have to address it, make changes, and let it go! I don't know why that booked popped into my head, but I'm sure glad that it did.

I usually wake up every day feeling happy, glad to be alive, and grateful for the little things in my day that bring me joy. I want to keep those feelings ALL day. I do NOT want to feel the joy being sucked out of my day by the toxic vampire anymore. I deserve to be happy, NOT stressed out and overwhelmed by someone else's toxic negativity. My friend Ruth referred to it as toxic quicksand-and that's a good way for me to look at it. I don't want to feel dread anymore!

As I looked at the meditation for today, I got chills! The kind that start at your head and go through your body. She wrote "the sooner we become honest with ourselves, the more quickly we'll grow and move on to a new place". I know that I have a lot of work to do, but it's okay, because I'm READY! I'm responsible for my own life and happiness, and only I can make the necessary changes to have the life I want and DESERVE! I think that the universe is speaking to me, and it's up to me to move forward! Feel it, release it, and continue forward on my journey.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HICALGAL 10/15/2009 9:55PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRAVELNISTA 10/15/2009 8:52PM

    emoticon great blog! You continue to grow stronger every day! emoticon

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MEOWMAMA3 10/15/2009 8:15PM

    Powerful blog Doreen...You know what to do. Evilene be gone!

While you're online, go back to the blog, cut and paste the first 6 sentences on a blank page, cut and paste this link--click on it, and savor that special moment all over again without her interrupting!

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http://a5.vox.com/6a00c2252185fff21900fa967fb0650003-500pi

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TXLIZWOLF 10/15/2009 5:56PM

    What a series of events! Coincidental? I think not! You have divine guidance, and I am glad you have the willingness and open mind to listen :)



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NOTABOUTHEFACE 10/15/2009 3:08PM

    Awesome and what a nudge in the right direction from something bigger than yourself. Shrivel up that toxic vampire with big garland of garlic called freedom. She only has as much power as you allow her to have and YOU are in control my friend! I'm supporting you all the way!

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RASTUS55 10/15/2009 3:02PM

    WOOHOO!!! Your on your way! just like your name....wings of change. Time to fly out of that old rut with the toxic hag and put a bunch of space between you and her! Hope you get the kind of support you deserve from your hubby. Let this controlling bag go ruin someone else's life...yours is now untouchable! YEA YOU!
Ruth
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NGCHILD 10/15/2009 1:36PM

    Talk about divine intervention!! I think your mom is always going to watch over you and your hubby! Angels do that.

Your blog gave me chills! That book popped into your head for a reason. It's time to put Doreen and hubby first! Make those positive changes in your lives.

Isn't it amazing that it sometimes takes us standing outside looking in to the situation to get a clear picture? Your FIL ... poor man. Your MIL needs professional help. You can't live in fear of this woman. She sounds like a real downer.

I keep you and your hubby in my prayers!

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HELP!! This albatross around my neck is getting to me!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A couple of weeks back I was very pleased with how I handled the TOXIC VAMPIRE. aka my MIL. But I was too cocky! I should have known what I was in for with my MIL 26 years ago. We were dating and DH took me to the Jersey shore for a day on my future MIL's boat. I was sitting there in my bathing suit with HER and her friends, when out of the blue she asked me "have you ever thought of getting your boobs done"? I wore a size 10 at the time and was not flat chested, but she felt the need to embarrass me in front of her friends. After the shock wore off, I replied "NO, because your son LOVES them just the way they are"! She glared and her friends laughed. That shut her up!! I showed her that I wouldn't take her crap, but it also let me know what I was in for. And it has never gotten any easier. It's been a battle ever since. Even though my mom raised me to always be a lady, this woman has pushed me to the edge!

When we were planning our wedding, which my father paid for, she did her best to make things difficult. She would make her comments about me being a girl without a mother, and how I took charge. When you lose your mother as a teenager, you have no choice but to be strong! We were to be married in my church, until SHE said that she and NONE of her family would come to the wedding. Me being young AND naive, felt that I should give in to keep the peace. Which I still regret to this day! I should have said 'oh well, we'll miss having you'. But instead we were married at the country club where our reception was held. Before the ceremony she eye-balled me up and down in my gown, but never said one word. After the ceremony I had people coming up to me telling me what an evil bitch SHE was. So many people heard her as she approached my husband when the wedding march started. SHE said "it's NOT too late". So at our reception, this is what I kept hearing from people.

Before our wedding SHE told my DH to set up a DIVORCE FUND!!!! When he and I started our business, SHE told him that he was an idiot for putting BOTH of our names on everything. We were partners and worked together. Recently with the way things are with the market, some of our investments have taken a hit. I do NOT discuss the nitty gritty with her, but she does know that we have stock in certain companies. SHE recently told my sister-in-law "GOOD, let them lose all of their money"! Despite years of DH trying to keep her in her place, she has only gotten worse.

I could fill a book with all of the nasty things that this woman has said to me over the years. If you've read my previous blogs, you know that we moved to Florida to put distance between us. SHE followed us! I did cut her out of my life in the past, and yes it was peaceful. But after health issues with my husband's late stepfather, we had contact with her again. She knows that I have compassion, and that I can't turn my back on someone that needs help because of an illness. And despite the fact that I feel that she hates me, when she was sick, I was the one there for her. NOT her own daughter. She has literally picked me apart from head to toe! She even tries to start her crap with me by bringing up old wounds regarding my late sister! Even though I put my foot down, and will NOT allow her to go on-SHE will try again and again.

A couple of weeks before last Christmas she started more crap, out of the blue! She said that "ALL men cheat". I told her that I don't agree, and that you can't make a blanket statement like that. I told her that I trust my husband because I KNOW who he is, that he loves me, and that I AM the center of his life! SHE told me that I'm VERY naive. So on Christmas Eve at our house, in front of ALL of our guests at the dinner table-SHE said it AGAIN! Her companion and ALL of our guests looked SHOCKED-their mouths were hanging open. My DH was SO angry. HE told her "NOT another word"! HE said " you said this to my wife 2 weeks ago, and I didn't like it then, and I don't like it now"! So right after dinner, while my husband was in another room, she grabbed me by my arm and starts on me about "the way he spoke to HER"!! I told her that she's lucky that he didn't throw her out of our house. It got nasty with raised voices, and I went off on her! My husband heard me getting emotional, and rushed back into the dining room and let her have it. Everyone was uncomfortable, including her companion. Why would she do this?

So fast forward to a few weeks ago, when we were all invited to a birthday party. If you remember, the hostess emailed pictures to all of the guests. DH said that she noticed my weight loss and that she would go into overdrive to try and knock me down. SHE told me that "people forget just HOW BIG YOU REALLY ARE"! To make a long story short, I laughed at her and caught her totally off guard. She tried to hurt and anger me, but I did NOT give her the power! My DH warned me that she wasn't done with me yet, regarding her comments. He felt that she was surprised by my attitude, and that she would regroup, and come back and try to zing me again.

Sure enough, like a dog with a bone, she called and brought up the photos again. She started by saying that she doesn't have any pics of hubby and me. I told her that we've emailed plenty to her over the last year. Her reply was "well, there are NO GOOD pictures of YOU that I would want to put in a frame". In a moment of stupidity, I let her engage me and I told her that we sent her some good pics of the two of us from DH's birthday, last month. She said "YOU look funny". Feeling SO confident in how I left her speechless, I did NOT listen to his advice. MY mistake! You would think that after 26 years of dealing with that waddling cesspool of negativity, I would know better!

We've tried everything! Talking to her, setting boundaries, moving away, and limiting contact. But NOTHING works! I feel like I constantly must keep up my guard. Dealing with her is like ingesting a little bit of poison every day-for 26 years! Her constant put downs have left my self esteem wounded. DH thinks that it will get worse as she sees me losing more weight. She leaves me constantly feeling drained. I often worry about what all of the stress of dealing with her is doing to me. I say that she's evil because she gets pleasure in causing pain. I know that I'm venting, but it's SO difficult! How do you try and focus on your health and moving in a positive direction when you have this ALBATROSS around your neck? I know that I'm a strong woman, but I'm feeling worn down and drained!

  
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AHEALTHIERME9 10/16/2009 5:03PM

    Hi there!

The title was so catchy, I couldn't resist!

Doreen, I'm so sorry that you're going through this...

Let me say that all these ladies are absolutely right. It's time to just not have her in your life. And if you don't feel comfortable taking action and confronting her, then don't. At this point, it sounds like you've been there and done that. You can make this happen quietly and without any effort on your part at all. No need for drama or declaring how it's going to be from now on. All you need to do is calmly and quietly make yourself unavailable each and every time there's a visit, a get-together she will be at, or what have you. If you're the one doing the entertaining, who says you have to invite her?

Life is too short. You know that song "Live Like You Were Dying"? It's sooooo true. You should be living a dynamic life together with your DH and enjoying everything and anything that brings you happiness and wonder.

You may want to have a loving talk with DH and share with him your plan to not socialize with her OR you may just want to keep it your own little secret, and each time something new comes up, "Oh, we can't... I have plans." or "I'm not feeling up to it." It will take so much pressure off you.

It's time to celebrate your life, and the way to do that is to focus on the good things, the positive things, the people you enjoy and who enjoy you, good cheer, great health.

You are allowing this by not just letting go and calmly saying "Good-bye."

(Remember my blog?) It's time to just say good-bye. It's easier than you think.

Let go. emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/16/2009 5:04:00 PM

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 10/15/2009 9:48AM

    Is beating her with a switch an option? Oops, I'm sorry, I was thinking that. Darn you fingers! emoticon She is a first class b*tch, plain and simple. Are you sure our MIL's aren't related?? So you said you cut her out of your life before but had contact with her again because of your late stepfather. If he's gone, is there a reason you can't cut her off again? Sometimes you've gotta cut 'em off like lasering a boil off your @ss and she's infested for too long. I don't want this to come off wrong because you KNOW I know what you're going through and that your husband is supportive of you but it really worries me that he's telling you to 'gear up' for her regrouping to come after you like some dingo. He needs to lay down the law and tell her to shut the eff up or he's done. You are his wife and 26 years of suffering is long enough!! I know he's in a rock and a hard place but this cannot be allowed to go on anymore. You are working on yourself and you cannot just ignore this constant attack on every single thing about yourself. I watched the Mr go through that for 17 years and heard about his childhood of being bullied and manipulated and he suffers from incredible self doubt and is his own worst bully now. NO ONE deserves to suffer that way!



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TRAVELNISTA 10/14/2009 9:38PM

    Doreen I can not offer any advice on how to handle a MIL as I have never been married. I feel so bad for you as you seem to be surrounded by so many toxic females in your life.

Thank God you found Spark because we definitely have your back. You come here and vent whenever you feel the need.

I think Vampira is going to continue to reign until DH sits her down and tells her enough is enough. He is going to have to stand up to his Mother once and for all, lay down the law of the land, and and mean it.

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HAPPYNCONTENT 10/14/2009 8:51PM

  Sorry about this. I, too, have a close relative who is constantly negative, so I know how draining it can be. I am learning, however, to get a thick skin and just carry on because I have finally accepted that this is how she will always be and I don't want to waste even one more second of my life in a depressed mood because of how she treats me. Hard to do, but so worth it! Is she negative and nasty to everyone or just you and the hub? BTW, I'm glad your hub supports you!

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ANITAWPG 10/14/2009 4:54PM

    keep the hubbie, but lose the MIL
and may i say, you are lucky for having a supportive hubbie


While I am now witht he most amazing man, my first marriage was a disaster, in the end I got rid of the evil witch and her putrid offspring

do you have call display? perhaps consider investing in it, and just don't answer the phone when it is her.

does hubbie have a cell phone - let her call him on it, can you block her number from your phone totally? you can request that here with MTS and thens he can't even call you from her home number

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MEOWMAMA3 10/14/2009 4:35PM

    Oh Doreen, Doreen....

Only you can decide what to do, I understand you want to keep peace and you are considerate of your hubby's feelings, but this is beyond ridiculous. She's got to go.

I say....Divorce yourself from her COMPLETELY! You have gone WAY beyond compassion and civility, patience and forgiveness. BAN HER FROM YOUR HOME, tell DH he's on his own with her. You didn't marry her. She will NEVER NEVER NEVER change. You don't need to put yourself through this crap anymore. You don't need to stand up to her, just be done with her.

If she were my MIL I'd have a restraining order out on her stupid ass.
Or a contract. Ooops, did I say that ??????

Seriously, close the door.

Stay strong,
Hugs, Kim

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TXLIZWOLF 10/14/2009 3:54PM

    Yeah ... I wouldn't have - any of it.

My husband's mother is like that. She called me nasty because I refused to clean up after her in her own house when she asked me if I always left dinner plates sitting on the table (hers and her husband's, I had cleaned up mine, hubby's and the kids') and the story goes on.

I have not spoken to her any more than "yes he is here" or "no, he is out, can I take a message" since 1986. To this day, when she calls and gets my husband directly, she'll ask before hanging up "I Liz still there?" after 32 years of marriage...

I told her back then that she is a miserable, hateful old hag and I am not putting up with her bullsh*& any longer. She was floored and did not understand why I was so ugly to her - must be because I am German... NO, Witch, I am of German DECENT!

You don't need the stress of all the bickering - unless that is your form of humor and you are getting your funny quotient filled with it (doubt it).

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RASTUS55 10/14/2009 3:17PM

    Ok enough is enough of this miserable bag. You have been more then tolerant of her crap and it is time to stop now. When she starts in with her negative BS...I would say...I am hanging up now or when she is at your home I WOULD throw her out when she starts with her insanity. She can be miserable all by herself instead of sucking you into her black hole as well. It is time that you and your husband both put your foot down and don't allow her to carry on in this manner anymore. If you oust her from your life enough she will soon get the BIG picture and if she don't then who gives a damn anyway? This woman needs counseling and medication she just isn't right but that doesn't mean you have to put up with her abuse and keep swallowing all the crap she dishes out! Be done with her once and for all! For your sake and the sake of your marriage and your self esteem! She is just like quicksand, once you get caught in her cesspool of sand she draws you down to the point of no return! NO MORE Doreen! Do you think your husband would go along with this?
Ruth
emoticon she makes me furious!

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NGCHILD 10/14/2009 3:14PM

    Doreen -- first of all what a wonderfully patient woman you are! Talk about having the patience of a saint! I can't even imagine how much pain and suffering this woman has brought you. She must be miserable herself in order to inflict such pain on others. Isn't it sad that people must act like that? I can't believe you and your husband moved states away only to be followed.

It sounds like your husband needs to be the one to deal with her and her antics. How would your husband feel about you no longer talking to her? Is that an option? If so, maybe you need to treat her in a way that sounds like would stop be in her tracts ... ignore her.

I am here if you need to chat!!

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Comment edited on: 10/14/2009 3:14:34 PM

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Still learning!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

After reading some of the comments from yesterday's blog, It opened my eyes, so to speak. So thank you all of my Spark friends! I realized that I need to be more pro-active. I should have called the hostess and asked what was on the menu BEFORE I nibbled on 2 pieces of cheese. And I should have asked her if she could have left the breading and cheese off of one piece of chicken parm. I was SO mindful of NOT offending her by not scraping off that stuff from the chicken, that I put what was good for me last. She DOES know about my problem with too much cheese. To be honest, I was disappointed because I expected her to have the same consideration for me, that I have for her. I know my friend's food preferences and always have lots of choices when I entertain. If someone doesn't like something, I don't make it. And I certainly wouldn't make something that a guest couldn't eat. I even make sure that we have the wine and beer that they all like. I know that she hates fish, so how would she have felt if there was seafood in the entire meal? Okay, so I learned that sometimes consideration is a one way street. Taking care of my dietary needs is MY job! Next time I'll be prepared.

As for the food intolerance issue, I've learned what works for me over the last few years. I had to do a total elimination diet and cut out everything that I tested positive for. I didn't eat cheese, milk, bread, or anything with yeast or gluten for over 1 year. Not ONE bite! I slowly added some of these items back into my diet one at a time. I probably will never be able to put milk in my oatmeal, so I learned to use almond milk instead. I learned that I can tolerate about 6 TBSP of milk/cream, about 2 TBSP of cheese (which I love), and plain yogurt ONLY if I strain out the whey first, so it's like Greek yogurt. The best part is that I no longer feel like I have to live my life near the bathroom, and the migraines are also a thing of the past. So having cheese in my salad, chicken, and dessert was a triple whammy! I felt bloated and it took a couple of days for my system to get back to normal.

I'm fine when we eat at a restaurant because I ask questions and order carefully. So I need to take that same approach when I'm invited to someone's house. I will ask the hostess about the menu, and if I feel that it would be an imposition to accommodate me, ask if she would mind if I brought a dish. If she's not comfortable with that, I can decline the invitation. Since I entertain a lot at our house, I usually enjoy being a guest when invited to someone else's home. I've realized that there have been many times that I put my needs on the bottom of the list, so to speak. This was an eye-opener! So, what I've learned is that I need to speak up and be more pro-active. Lesson learned!

  
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ANITAWPG 10/14/2009 4:49PM

    Speaking from the hostess end of it - she totally should have made an effort to have SOMETHING that would work for you.

We got amrried this weekend, I gave teh chef a spreadhseet - it had the seating plan and listed the allergies/intolerances of those who had. And yes, we gave the chef conniptions trying to come up with a meal that would work for ALL the allergies.

we had ....
1 with egg intolerance
2 with gluten free needs (1 who also was allergic to alcohol)
3 lactose intolerant
1 with almonds & alcohol
1 with ALL nuts, rice, wheat, sunflower seeds
1 for oranges, chocolate, pork, seafood

and then me - alletgic to kiwi

int he ned figuring out the meal wasn't bad - the breading was left off the chicken breasts and they got a consume soup instead of the roasted red pepper the rest of us had

we added a fruit platter to the dessert table

everyone was able to find something

it did take a lot of planning & pre-work
I am sorry that your hostess would to take the time to do the same

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HICALGAL 10/9/2009 6:12AM

    it's a learning process and we're in this together. good for you! emoticon

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TRAVELNISTA 10/8/2009 12:49AM

    emoticon Doreen!You just took another baby step.
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TAKINGCAREOFKIM 10/7/2009 9:22PM

    Okay, so when I read your post and thought you made good choices, (which you did) I did not realize all the cheese/gluten issues Sooo, yes, what you describe above would make an even better choice! You are right that if the hostess knows of your intolerances, it would have been polite for her to try to accomodate you. A couple years ago, our family went on a family retreat with other families of the women in my Bible study group. We were having a meal the first night which I agreed to "cater". One of the children had MULTIPLE food intolerances and I knew it. I planned my menu as carefully as I could but then called the Mom of the child and read the menu to her. Although they regularly bring food for the child when they know they are going somewhere that they don't know the menu, I really wanted her to feel like all the other children going through the buffet and be able to eat off of it. I had entree, veggie and side choices which she could eat but the dessert that I had thought she could eat had canned cherry pie filling in it which she could not have. I simply made my own cherry pie filling from some cherries we had picked and frozen--simple solution and they were actually better cherry bars than with the canned (go figure, I just had never taken the time to do it before). I know the family was very grateful to be able to relax and all go through the line together--it was an easy thing for me to do and I think your hostess could have done likewise. You're figuring this all out and doing great! Keep it up! (sorry such a long post!)


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NGCHILD 10/7/2009 4:37PM

    Good plan Doreen!! Be proactive. Be assertive. Be nice. (These are all problems for me but they sound good!)

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Trying to maneuver the minefield of dining out!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Saturday night we were invited to a dinner party at a friend's house. Everything was really nice, the hostess set a beautiful table and prepared a delicious meal. But there wasn't much that I could eat. I skipped the alcoholic beverages and stuck with sparkling water with lemon. Appetizers were cheese, crackers, and some kind of mayonnaise based dip. I nibbled on two pieces of cheese. As for the main course, she made caesar salad (with lots of cheese, croutons and dressing), garlic bread, chicken parm (breaded, fried, and covered with cheese), and pasta. All delicious, but not the best choices for me.

As everyone loaded their plates, I got a knife and cut a piece of chicken in half, and took a small portion and a LITTLE pasta. The salad already had the dressing on it, so I took some, picking out the croutons. My dinner plate looked very empty. I even noticed one of the so-called friends (that was also invited) eye-balling my plate. I felt that I did the best I could with what was there. Dessert was cheesecake, which I ate 3 or 4 bites of, then stopped. I felt pretty good about how I handled the food minefield.

However when I jumped on the scale to take a peek, my weight was up by 3 pounds! I knew that I was holding a lot of fluid because my wedding ring which normally slips off easily wouldn't even TURN on my sausage like finger! I tried to compensate by eating lightly before the party and the day after. I also made sure that I drank PLENTY of water and rode my bike for over 10 miles yesterday. I know that part of the problem is that I have food intolerances. I tested positive to 28 different food items, and when I eat stuff that I shouldn't, it really causes problems with my body in the form of digestive problems and migraines. Despite the fact that my friends know how sick I was in the past from this, they have never asked me what I can or can NOT eat. There were days that I couldn't leave the house, or stray too far from the bathroom. Until I had the testing done and eliminated all of the foods that I tested positive for, things were pretty miserable with my digestive system. I now have this under control, if I'm careful. At least in restaurants I can order things the way I want them. And in the past, when I brought my own food to a get together, I was the source of jokes.

As of this morning that 3 pounds is still hanging on for dear life, and I can't budge my wedding ring. I've been drinking so much water, and I'll try to put this delicately--I feel like a human Brita filter! I find myself not enjoying going out to eat so much. I have no control over how something is prepared, what's in it, or how much salt was added. How could 1 meal negate a week of being so careful? I don't want to be anti-social, but it's just NOT worth it! So what do I do in the future? I feel like I'm a pain in the @ss, but how would the hostess have felt if I scraped off all of the breading and cheese from the chicken, or brought my own food? I certainly don't want to offend anyone, but what is the right thing to do?

  
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TRAVELNISTA 10/7/2009 7:07PM

    I think you handled everything with grace which is the type of person you are. However, next time I would advise the hostess of your food allergies and I am quite sure she will work her meal around those allergies. If she cops an attitude, which I doubt will happen, then I would politely turn the invitation down.

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HAPPYNCONTENT 10/6/2009 9:35PM

  I love love love to cook for friends and family. I take enormous pleasure out of seeing those I care about enjoy a great meal. However, the most important thing is that they feel welcome and comfortable in my home. The last thing a hostess should want is for a guest to be uncomfortable. I say, explain to the hostess before the actual event that you have food restrictions. Definitely communicate before you turn down an invite. If she/he has a problem with it, then fooey on them and don't go. But I would think most people would be happy to accomodate your requests as long as you let her know that it is simply your diet restrictions, not her poor cooking!! I also feel that many people would appreciate going to a healthy dinner party, but are just too uncomfortable to suggest it.

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DEBDUK 10/6/2009 8:52PM

  Always feel free to call the host and ask what they are serving. Explain to them that you are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle and want to make sure that there will be something for you to eat. Like everyone else said you can offer to bring a dish or ask that they leave some of the salad without dressing and a piece of chicken plain. If they cop an attitude say thanks anyways but you won't be able to attend. Friends understand, if they don't they aren't that great of a friend. I only weigh myself every other week. That prevents the disappointment of the weight fluctuations that we women have. Keep up the good work. You did a great job in a tough situation. Think of all of the good things that you did. I always keep a bag of fresh cut up veggies just in case. Smile emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/6/2009 8:53:28 PM

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HICALGAL 10/6/2009 8:33PM

    the next time i was invited to those kinds of dinners, i would explain my food allergies and decline the invitation or offer to bring a few dishes that would be safe for me to eat.

if they are your friends they will understand, make a few changes to accomodate you and even be honored that you'd volunteer to bring a few dishes too. i would if i was the hostess. all the best!

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TAKINGCAREOFKIM 10/6/2009 5:16PM

    You did GREAT! You made all the right choices from what you had. I am proud of you. Forget about what the scale said for now--it's about how you feel. You are doing a great job and you obviously feel better AND you are making great choices. You'll probably have a 10 pound weight loss next time! :-)

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 10/6/2009 3:22PM

    I'm sorry but I would tell them that you have multiple food allergies and you'd like to either request they make something you can have or if they wouldn't mind, you'd like to bring your own dish. A real friend would have absolutely NO problem with this at all!

You know what? We went to a birthday party and my mom made sure we had turkey brats, light buns and a big ol relish tray along with stuff like cheesey potatoes and baked beans and stuff. I took 2 bites worth of potatoes and beans but the rest was all fruit and veggies. Guess what? Almost all of the fruits and veggies were completely gone and all of the crap was leftover!!! I think that when given the choice, people will CHOOSE to eat healthy every time.

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RASTUS55 10/6/2009 3:13PM

    You did the best you that you could under those circumstances. I really don't think it was the meal that caused your problem. The best thing to do is not jump on that scale everyday because that puppy can be your worst enemy! We women have so much fluctuation in water that it can change from 3 to 5 pounds at any given day....not fair but true. Maybe you are in the middle of your cycle or close to your period. I know when I went through those times I turned into a human water balloon!! Just carry on...weigh once a week and breathhhhhhhh!!!! Trust Dr Ruth....it will all work out in the end!! I truly understand your frustration! HANG IN THERE SWEET PEA!!!
Ruth

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NGCHILD 10/6/2009 3:08PM

    I'm sorry that you had such horrible luck with the dinner party. You didn't mention anything here but did your 'friend' have anything to say? I even told my husband how awful this woman was to you. He said mean people suck and you can't fix stupid. LOL.

Not sure what to tell you about eating at friend's home. Sounds like you aren't hanging around alot of mindful and supportive friends. If they know of your condition and this has been a problem for you .... not sure why they aren't asking for things you can eat? Not nice people for sure and not a good hostess! (Side bar: I invited a friend over for dinner last summer with her soon-to-be hubbie and I hadn't seen her for a few months. We BBQed pork steaks, potatoes and onions, I made a huge salad and stuffed celery only to be told as we sat to eat that her soon-to-be hubbie didn't eat pork! I nearly DIED. I had no chicken or steak in the house. I stuffed about 6 more stalks of celery with cheese and stuffing stuff, took out some lunch meat from the fridge and bread and that is what he ate. I was so embarrassed!!!)

You can't always have the parties at your house and it's fun to go to someone else's house once in a while. Maybe continue to take your food when asked or like a grilled chicken breast and nibble on other things they have prepared. This is a tough situation. The only way to avoid it is not to go.

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It's a new day, and a new me is emerging!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Early this morning I was sitting in the kitchen enjoying my cup of coffee when I noticed something out back in our yard. At first glance I thought that a large limb must have fallen from the big oak tree at the corner of our property, but then it moved. It was a fawn in the grass, curled up next to our bench under that oak tree. It looked like a postcard. She was beautiful! I watched as she groomed herself and chewed on the grass. Then I noticed another one taking a rest in the grass about 20 feet away. The two deer stayed in our yard until almost noon, grazing on the grass and nibbling on the leaves of our hibiscus tree. This isn't something new, we've had up to 5 deer in our yard at a time. I can be on the patio and get within 20 feet of them, and they just watch me, unafraid.

But as I thought about it, I realized that I've watched the same scene for years. So I wondered, what feels SO different? The answer is -- I DO! I always try to find pleasure in the simple things during my day. But something has shifted, and I feel a lightness in body AND spirit. I NO longer feel SO burdened by this extra weight and the negative factors in my life.

My husband and I were invited to a party Saturday night to help a very sweet man celebrate his 70th birthday. After I got dressed my husband said "wow, I can really see a difference". I wore an outfit that I liked and I felt good. There were about 20 people at the restaurant, including my MIL. She eye-balled me up and down and watched EVERY morsel of food that I ate. She kept leaning forward around the table decorations to see my plate. I was very careful with my food choices. The hostess ordered about 8 platters of appetizers to pass around the table. I had two pieces each, of both broccoli and calamari, and that's it. I ordered cedar plank grilled salmon (which was delicious), a dry baked potato, and salad. When the birthday cake was served, I peeled the frosting off of my slice and had 3 bites of the cake, and stopped. I felt really proud that I stuck with my food plan. WOW, a new feeling--pride!

After the hostess emailed the pictures to all of the guests, my MIL called to discuss it. This is something that she ALWAYS does. Her usual comment is "wait till you see how terrible YOU LOOK, you'll want to delete them all"! But this time she said " you look a little smaller". OH MY GOD, a compliment from HER! This is a first, but wait, here comes the PUNCH--her next comment was "people forget how BIG YOU REALLY are". There it is!!!! To be honest, in the PAST this comment would have floored me and hurt my feelings. And I would have given my power away by letting her engage me. NO MORE! A new day, a new Doreen!!!

This time I waited a second and LAUGHED at her! With a chuckle in my voice I said "BIG isn't really the RIGHT word, you must mean tall, after all I'm 5'10" barefoot". There was total silence! I think that my response and most of all, my attitude took her by surprise. She repeated my ENTIRE response back to me in the form of a question. "You don't think that BIG is the right word, you think tall is, because you're 5'10" barefoot"? I said "yes, that's what I said, and I have to go now". And I left her speechless as I got off of the phone. I felt good as hubby and I headed out on our bikes. We had a great ride together, talking the entire time. We did 10.5 miles together, then he headed home, and I continued. I did 14.5 miles and came home feeling great, despite having a numb keister!

So this morning while I watched the deer, I thought about what a difference 2 months can make. That's how long I've been here at SparkPeople. I feel SO different! For the first time in quite a while, I feel proud of myself! YAY!!! I also feel like I've taken control of my life, and can steer it in a new positive direction. I've worked through some of the negative factors in my life, which made me feel burdened. I then 'released' those feelings by writing about them in my blogs. I realized that I've had the control ALL along. I ALONE control my life and the choices that I make. I now feel a strength and determination that was buried for far too long. I feel a lightness in myself from the inside out--for which I am SO thankful for! It's a new day, and a new me is emerging!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELNISTA 10/2/2009 8:00PM

    I am so proud of you! I can't wait till you go to a Christmas party and you run into her. You should have lost even more weight by then and you will be all dressed up looking Fantastic. She is going to be totally green with envy. Hmmmmmmmmm, at least she will match the colors of the season.

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HICALGAL 10/1/2009 11:19PM

    right on!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIFROMWYOMING 10/1/2009 9:31PM

    I loved how you handled your MIL! That was wonderful, and reflects truly how changed you are inside - how the strength you are finding in yourself is enough to sustain you even if you get a few knocks out in the world. I'm SO happy for you, my friend! You are beautiful and I'm glad you are able to see yourself that way. Feeling 'lighter' is worth more than gold.

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RASTUS55 10/1/2009 5:58PM

    Touché Madam!!! Love the response to the wicked witch of the east! Good for you, instead of letting her bring you down to her level you brought yourself so far above her you left her flat on the ground & flabbergasted, might I add! WOOHOO! And the best thing was you didn't even let it eat at you like you would have before. Yes you have been in the drivers seat all along but you just had to take a hold of the wheel and steer yourself clear of all the negativity!!! Good for you!!! No more letting negative people take you for a ride on their hellmobiles! YOU GO GIRL!!! Enjoy the new you and the serenity of your home with all your beautiful deer.
Awwww peace at last!
Ruth
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IMOFF2DLOONYBIN 10/1/2009 5:51PM

    That is so awesome! I completely understand having in-laws that watch your every move while eating. At my fiance's grandparents his aunt and uncle stare at me as I eat and whisper to each other while looking at me. It's to the point where we aren't going to go to as many holiday meals because they are so judgmental. Now I try to just smile at them as they talk about me. It always throws them.

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 10/1/2009 5:50PM

    Watching those deer sounds so relaxing and lovely. Sigh, enjoy it for me too since we're getting suffocated by urban sprawl. Did you go to O'Charley's? I'm sure other restaurants serve it too but dang O'C's really have an excellent cedar plank tilapia and salmon there. Droooool. GOOD FOR YOU for putting that witch...er...MIL in her place. Just remember you are always improving and she'll always be a miserable wench! Pffft!

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TAKINGCAREOFKIM 10/1/2009 5:40PM

    Yes, indeed you are different--we all can tell that. Yay for you! You are doing awesome!

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NGCHILD 10/1/2009 5:36PM

    Doreen what a treasure you are! You seem to find the good in most situations! How exciting to have deer in your yard and to be able to watch them without them being frightened. We have a huge deer problem here and it's the opening weekend of deer season so they are afraid of all humans!

Your MIL is .... is .... HORRIBLE! What a hag. You have obviously learned to deal with this woman and I must applaud you! For having to deal with someone so mean and negative all the time must really be tiring. Great come back by the way.

Unfortunately she has not lived by the golden rule ... I'm sure she wouldn't like someone talking to her like that or treating her like the way she treats you! Maybe next time eye HER plate. Then maybe she can see how much she likes it!

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Comment edited on: 10/1/2009 5:37:37 PM

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