The fuck you say…?
Okay, quite honestly, I felt at one time I was so good at asserting myself that I was never one to give in to peer pressure or anything similar, but I have noticed that I have had my assertiveness run into another personality characteristic of mine: I’m conscientious of other people and their needs and have routinely sacrificed my own needs for that of another person.
And it fucking sucks!
Today’s entry into my Beautiful Me Journal is all about the concept of saying “No”. I tend to say “Yes” to any request said or unsaid. It’s truly my undoing. For example, not long ago I thought I made a decision to end my marriage, but here I am a month later and no action has been taken by me or by her. Truthfully, this can be an entire topic all on it’s own and I will most likely begin tackling it in my series on S.A.R.D. But it’s an example of where I can’t say, “No.”
Another, and probably more serious issue, is my inability to put my sobriety first when it comes to the perception that I might disappoint someone else – namely my wife. This past weekend we began ripping the carpet up off our stairs and hallway because it is nasty gross from dogs and needs to be replaced. I certainly didn’t mind helping, but when Monday rolled around, I had mention I had three goals for that evening: go for a walk, attend an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) online meeting and work on homework for a class I’m working on. Yet, when dinner was over and my wife and oldest child began working on the stairs again, I felt compelled to jump in and help out. Partly out of guilt and partly out of knowing it’s something that needed to get done. But, I didn’t say “No”, in spite of the fact I needed to do the things I set out for myself. I truly felt like I would be a disappointment, if I didn’t help out.
It’s the whole concept of setting boundaries for myself that I miss the need to do it. I can’t help, at times, to wonder if it has a tremendous amount to do with my upbringing – i.e. do for others, sacrifice for others, etc. I’ve wondered if the things I’ve done at times in my life – sex, drinking, relationships especially, or whatever had anything to do with what I want or more to do with what someone else wanted. And the idea of having to explore this concept even has me questioning what it is I really want for me. Sometimes I think I don’t even know. I can remember voicing the things I want and expressing my desire to do something, but having gotten tired of conflict in my life, I began giving in and ignoring my desires for those of other people simply to keep them happy.
I don’t understand why I do this, but I can rightfully say the idea of setting boundaries terrifies the hell out of me now. It gives Hilda a huge avenue of power over me and it has the tendency to cloud Stephanie‘s influence of positiveness. It seems like an insurmountable change for me that I doubt my abilities to do it. It makes me doubt myself. It makes me question my own values and intentions in life. It makes me feel unworthy of love, even.
It’s obvious, I will have to address this and I know it’s not going away. But I hope, truly, truly hope that I can learn this powerful characteristic again…