Growing up I lived with constant tension
. If you've
never had to deal with a passive aggressive person who lashes out when
you least expect it I'm glad for you. At home I know certain people have
had bad days the minute I walk through the door. I can tell people that
getting enough sleep, regular exercise, nutritious food and enough
water are critical for behavior management however if the person you
live with refuses to listen there really isn't much you can do other
than live your life the way you see fit.
Because my husband and I disagree on so many fundamental issues our
children are conflicted. My husband sees nothing wrong with unlimited
computer and TV time. He sees little value in time spent outside, team
sports have no appeal for him, our first date was spent at a hockey
game, today my e-mail asking if he wanted to go to a game I had a free
ticket to went unanswered. Communication and trust are two building
blocks that must be in place if a relationship is going to succeed. On
one hand I took vows, on the other I feel as if I can't handle this type
Love is less about romantic things and more about what is good for
the other person only if there is debate about what good is that becomes
an issue as well. In counseling a therapist told him that telling me
not to care about him was counter productive and not going to work. My
mother acts as a doormat for whever person she abdicates power to. It is
hard for me to respect a woman with a six figure income who does not
put fuel in her own vehicle because she forgets to write down the
odometer reading and that makes her husband mad.
He does not want her writing checks because he doesn't like her
handwriting in the checkbook register. Her hair is short because he
likes it that way. My mother has never had a sweet tooth, growing up her
children would have killed for all the junk food she has in her house now that she
never eats. My mother works extremely hard, she is very loyal, some
might argue loyal to the point of stupidity but she is loyal, she does
what she believes to be best and in many ways I am proud of her and her
My father was physically, verbally and emotionally abusive to his
wife and children. All of us have various scars, some visible, others
are harder to see, currently my father is an unwell man dealing with an
advanced case of Parkinson's disease. I could write a lot of things
about him and my mother, maybe some day I will but for now it is enough
to say that while I respect their role as my parents I hope I will not
repeat many of their mistakes. I also pray that my parenting
shortcomings will not damage my children the way my siblings have been
My mother did whatever she could to make my father happy. He would
sulk, he would come home, watch TV, criticize whatever she made, my
mother comes from an aggressively thrifty family, she had a huge garden
when we were very young and I hated canning, pickling and spending hours
in an unbearably hot kitchen during the summer but it meant we had food
to eat that was nutritious and inexpensive and I give my mother credit
for that. It really puzzles me that she can abandon certain ideals she
formerly held because the man she is married to now wants to eat Cheetos
and leftover Halloween candy.
The man my mother married is also frugal however in him it is
unattractive because he goes out of his way to point out his money
saving ways. At a family gathering he was sewing a sandal strap back
onto the bottom. I am all for repairing shoes, the company I work for
does it all the time however spending time repairing an item that has
outlived its usefulness is foolish. I hate manipulative controlling
people. I loathe people who are sneaky and subversive, my dad was not an
ideal father however he never lied to us the way my mother has.
Today I am married to someone I do not know how to deal with. At work
I have a strategy for every account. No matter what they say to me on
the phone I can take it, I can process it and I can find a new approach
to try and win them back. At home I do the same thing for much higher
stakes but I can't win the heart of someone who has shut it off from me.
He says he loves me, I actually believe that he does but it is not a
good nurturing love that helps another grow.
I want to be loved and respected for who and what I am without people
asking me to change who I am. Being married to someone with high
expectations and little tolerance doesn't seem worth the effort
especially when you are trying to make some small changes. There really
isn't a right or wrong answer to some things in life. At work I grade my
accounts, this one is underperforming, another is down for legitimate
reasons, some of them need encouragement or training.
I do the same thing at home, I compartmentalize when I can't cope.
This past weekend I watched several movies but I hardly ever do that and
I sat in front of the TV after I spent most of Saturday cooking,
cleaning and organizing. The real problem isn't TV or how much who
spends on what. We've lost faith in each other and we apparently don't
trust the other person enough to reinvest in them. A couple months ago I
was talking to my sister. She said she wanted someone to pick her up,
hold her in their arms and rock her gently.
Most days that is what I want. I hate sitting next to someone who
doesn't know that I am crying because it feels like they don't care. I
hate people who shut other people out and won't talk about what is
bothering them when obviously something is. I don't want to come home to
a partner who is on the computer at six-thirty when I get home. I want
someone who can pull gluten free meatloaf out of the fridge, stick
veggies on a plate and nuke them for the girls instead of it being
seven-thirty and me finding out my children have not had supper.
I need a partner that is going to complement my strengths and
minimize my weaknesses. I need affection, I want little things like
meals that we share and honest conversations. I do not want someone who
tells me I don't deserve a nice house and it is hard to hear that
someone else doesn't like the car that I picked out. The guy who sits
next to me drives a BMW. One snowy night he was kind enough to scrape
off my car for me, two of our coworkers asked if he had traded his car
in and one of my favorite things to remember is the look on their faces
when he told them the car belonged to me.
Infrequently I remember that insecure people can withhold praise and
approval from someone else as a way to control them. All too often I
find myself playing stupid mind games that I don't even realize are
hurting someone else. People have played games with me and because I am
typically very direct and straightforward subversive behaviors don't
always register. I can leave work after a long day feeling good about
what I have done. My drive home takes almost exactly an hour, traffic
doesn't usually frustrate me, everything can be okay even if I am tired.
One call to or from home can bring me down so fast I forget I was
ever up. Walking through the door I can feel the edgy tension before my
children come running. I want to be greeted when I arrive at home.
Credit for some of the things I do would be nice but now I have learned
that self praise is the only kind you can really rely on. Knowing that I
am making some of the right choices helps. I try not to be too hard on
myself and others but that's how I was brought up, things were not good
Tomorrow I am going to the dentist. I would not have made a very good
dentist because I do not have that type of personality but I would have
been good at some of the non-mechanical aspects of dentistry. After my
appointment I have a two hour lunch meeting with my boss and the rest of
my department. We have a massive report that this math genius put
together for us. It will be over everyone's head and once again my boss
will not understand any of it. Her e-mails always tell me that I am
doing a good job which should make me feel good but doesn't.
I know that she knows I am connecting with people that we could
easily have lost. More than money which is easy to come by I am earning
respect and other people's trust and confidence. Today an account of
mine told me that no one had ever called them before my first phone
call. We had a pretty good conversation where I only interrupted half as
much as I normally do. I have accounts that I have lost, not because of
anything I did but because no one was there to support them when times
were tough or congratulate them on their successes.
The man I called is not easy to get a hold of. I never want to call
him because I know I will never get through but today I did and I've
heard other people say that no one ever called them before which is sad
and good to hear. It made me realize that my job is more important than I
thought it was, I tell people that they will sell if they believe in
what they sell. Now I have people who believe in me which is much more
important than any sales they may bring in. Those people will ride out
the tough times if I take care of them while I can.
Work is not much different than home however my husband is right in
saying that everyone else gets the good fun me while people at home have
to deal with the exhausted, fragile, emotional me. I need a lot of time
to myself, feeling like shit and being in pain takes a lot out of me. I
invest in the people at work because I get positive feedback from them.
I love getting e-mails that say Happy Valentine's Day. When I can't get
through to a podiatrist I make friends with office managers and
receptionists. Being good at my job is easy because I love meeting
new people and learning more about them.
I could be more organized about my follow through. That and notes
about my accounts are my weak spots. Where I am strong is making people
feel as if I care because I do. I don't sell anything other than the
company I work for and myself. When accounts want to go other places I
tell them that I could work for a competitor, I took a pay cut to work
where I do but I have not left because I believe that there is potential
where I am at and they are the best shoe company out there because they
believe in quality people such as myself.
Being a warm supportive person takes a toll on me. I am not always
cheerful and upbeat but I try not to focus on the negative because we
all have things in our lives that are good. I have a ridiculous number
of friends who support and encourage me. On any given day my phone
brings me towards new relationships, I open e-mails at work that start
'My dearest Jessica' and I know for a fact that I could move to Texas
or North Carolina and have a job tomorrow. Intense people like myself
can be off putting. I don't know what I can do about that except be
aware of how I come across.
I fight for things I believe in which probably has something to do
with the my promotion at work. I don't care if people like or hate me at
work as long as they are not actively working against me. I have run
into that and the frustration seems counter productive and unbearable
just as having someone I married undermine me at home infuriates me. I
never thought I would be this thin, I thought
that would solve some of my problems but losing substantial amounts of
weight so rapidly has really not been good for me.
Today at work I took a
walk instead of eating lunch with my friends. It was warmer than it had been, the
wind was cold but my jacket blocked most of it. After my walk I came
back to my soup and some fish. The road to wellness is a long one but I
am optimistic when I'm outside. At the end of the day I want sunshine,
good nutritious food and someone who loves me, believes in me and does
their best to support and encourage me to grow. From my point of view
that does not seem like too much to
ask. Maybe that is out there for me and my
current prescription reads patience.