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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just Say No

Yesterday while reading blogs I realized that there were only TWO that made me chuckle.  This is when I realized I was in a funk.  This is when I realized that I need to get some shit off my chest before I explode.  THIS is when I realized I needed to Pour My Heart Out with Shell over at Things I Can’t Say.  It’s easy enough to link up, just click the button below.  What’s not so easy is that you MUST remember to be considerate  in your comments.  Be fair, Be Kind. 

pouryourheartout

So, lately it seems as if everything that is happening is not going in my favor.  For a while now I’ve been struggling financially.  I’ve gotten a second job only because my patient load with my primary job was cut way low.  I don’t know why this happened other than the company wanted to be able to pay a new nurse less than they were paying me.  I really was dumbfounded….

I begged my supervisor for my patients back.  I begged for new cases.  I TOLD her flat out that we were sinking and that I couldn’t continue this way. 

Nothing.  Not an “I’m sorry”, no explanation, absofuckinglutely nothing!!

The second job was more than willing to give me more hours.  Mostly on night shift.  I could not pick up too many night shifts because I had to be awake during the day for either my primary job or for the kids.  Neither of which is very fun when you are exhausted.  So, I only work at the second job when I feel I physically and emotionally can handle it.

We saw an attorney.

We followed her advice.

We won’t be back on our feet for probably 5 years.

THIS has all taken it’s toll on us.  “US” being me, my spouse, the kids….We are pretty much overwhelmed…

It seems that I am always there to do for someone else when they need something.  It seems I am always offering to help when I see that someone could use it.  Even with our financial situation, I’ve bagged and boxed up tons and tons of baby clothes and baby toys and have them ready to give to so-and-so’s friend who just had a baby and “has nothing”.  My spouse just brought two contractor sized garbage bags full of stuffed animals to the fire department for them to give out to children who are in scary situations, or who have been hurt, or who’s parents have been hurt….

We asked nothing for these things.  We are doing what we feel is in good faith….

I go above and beyond in my job, never saying no to people when they ask me to pick up a gallon of milk or pick up their prescriptions or to come over on a Saturday because they can’t figure out how to regulate their breathing treatments.  I do all this, and more….and this is free of cost….for them.

I do it because I care.  Not because I want anything in return.

The problem is, who is doing what for me??

All I wanted was a half hour to get my hair cut yesterday.  During this half hour I received 4 texts from a friend (no big deal), 4 phone calls from my daughter who was asking me to run around to different stores looking for silly bands while I was already out of the house even though it was pouring outside.   Another text came from the spouse telling me the silver Nintendo DS game was missing……

One more thing, people…just add ONE MORE THING……

Seriously?  Then the last phone call came before I put my phone on mute.  My teen asking for yet another sleep-over.  She is ALWAYS asking for something. 

I lost it.  I screamed and hollered and probably busted a few blood vessels during my rampage, but dammit!!  I have had enough! 

And, of course, I said yes.  Why wouldn’t I?  Who cares if they stay up until all hours making it difficult for anyone else in the house to relax?  No big deal, right?

The night before the teen was having a melt down because I wouldn’t watch a movie with her at 10pm.  I tried to be nice and tell her to wait until the weekend when I didn’t have to get up at 5:30am….she went on and on and ON.

Then she proceeded to tell me that I “do nothing with her”. 

THIS broke my heart.   I felt defeated….once again.

 

I DO everything I can with her.  I know she doesn’t get the attention she did before the two little ones came along….and I am sorry for that.  The fact remains, she is no longer an only child.

It seems that I live my every moment for everyone else.  I get a few minutes to blog….and that’s usually from my car…..seriously.  I hardly ever get quality time for me.

But am I being selfish for saying that?

Shit…I don’t get quality time with anyone.

I know the spouse feels rejected, and this makes me very upset.  We are losing our “togetherness”….hell, I think it’s already lost.  When it’s time for bed either I am exhausted or aggravated, or he’s waking from the chair and stumbling to the bed, or the Lil Lady has made herself comfortable between us, or the teen is wandering around the house thinking it’s ok to be making a midnight snack because she is starving after declining dinner because she wasn’t hungry then…..

Half the time I am in constant motion from the moment I get home until I wake the spouse from the recliner to tell him it’s time for bed.  And that is when I feel like he’s waited patiently (while sleeping as I continue to be Mom) for it to be “his turn”….And it’s at THAT moment that I don’t want to give him what he wants because I feel like it’s what I’m “supposed to do”….not what I “want to do”.  Once again it feels like I am not saying NO even though I have every RIGHT to say NO.  And when I DO manage a NO, I feel like shit.  I feel like saying, “What about ME????”

In all reality, it’s not about ME.  It’s about everyone else and what I can do for THEM. 

I seriously wouldn’t be surprised if he told me he found someone else who has the time to give him what he needs.  I would be devastated….I would want to die….I would KNOW it’s MY own damn fault.  I would feel like I should have done more for him. I would feel an amazing amount of guilt for not having been the best wife I could have or should have been.  

 

 

I should be able to do this.  I really, really should.

But…..

…how much can one person do? 

…how much can one person take day after day of giving, doing, and caring for others when this person feels like they are invisible until something is needed or wanted??

Seriously, people……HOW MUCH??

How do you all handle the demands in your life?  I don’t handle them well at all, and I feel like I am the one at fault for not being able to juggle 3 kids, a spouse, and 1 1/2 jobs…..

What is wrong with me? 

I am becoming very bitter.  I am feeling overwhelmed.  I am feeling very alone.

A while ago my sister gave me this poem that she found…..she felt it would help me.  I tucked it away somewhere in my kazillion email folders and left it there to do no good for anyone.  Today I bring it out for you…..and for ME….in hopes of finding that balance that is missing in my life. 

I want my children to grow up knowing their mom did everything she could for them.  I want them to have the strength to say “no” to things that take away from what’s most important to them.  I don’t want them feeling guilty for knowing their limits.  I don’t want them remembering how I would run to the basement to have a good cry when I couldn’t take it anymore.  I don’t want them to remember me as “the Mom that was always yelling”. 

I want them to be able to take care of themselves as well as others….

I end here with the poem.  One that I hope will show you that it’s ok to know your limits, and it’s ok to take care of yourself as you take care of others.  And THIS is something I need to learn….

The poem is written by Barbara Basser…..I can only hope to grow up to be like Angela….

 

When Angela was very young,
Age two to three or so,
Her mother and her father
Taught her never to say NO.

They taught her that she must agree
With everything they said,
And if she didn't, she was spanked
And sent upstairs to bed.


So Angela grew up to be
A most agreeable child
She was never angry
And she was never wild

She always shared, she always cared,
She never picked a fight,
And no matter what her parents said,
She thought that they were right.

Angela the Angel did very well in school
And, as you might imagine, she followed every rule
Her teachers said she was so well-bred,
So quiet and so good,

But how Angela felt inside
They nevery understood.
Angela had lots of friends
Who liked her for her smile

They knew she was the kind of gal
Who'd go the extra mile
And even when she had a cold,
And really needed rest,

When someone asked her if she'd help
She always answered Yes.
When Angela was thirty-three, she was a lawyer's wife.
She had a home and family, and a nice suburban life.

She had a little girl of four
And a little boy of nine,
And if someone asked her how she felt
She always answered "Fine"

But one cold night near Christmastime
When her family was in bed
She lay awake as awful thoughts went spinning through her head

She didn't know why, and she didn't know how,
But she wanted her life to end
So she begged Whoever put her here
To take her back again.

And then she heard, from deep inside,
A voice that was soft and low
It only said a single word,
And the word it said was NO

From that moment on, Angela knew
Exactly what she had to do.
Her life depended on that word,
so this is what her loved ones heard:

NO, I just don't want to
NO, I don't agree
NO, that's yours to handle
NO, that's wrong for me
NO, I wanted something else
NO, that hurt a lot!
NO, I'm tired, and NO, I'm busy, and NO, I'd rather not!

Well, her family found it shocking,
Her friends reacted with surprise
But Angela was different, you could see it in her eyes

For they've held no meek submission
Since that night three years ago
When Angela the Angel got permission to say NO.
Today Angela's a person first, then a mother and a wife.

She knows where she begins and ends,
She has a separate life.
She has talents and ambitions,
She has feelings, needs and goals.
She has money in the bank and an opinion at the polls.
And to her boy and girl she says,
"It's nice when we agree
But if you can't say NO, you'll never grow
To be all you're meant to be.
Because I know I'm sometimes wrong,
And because I love you so,
You'll always be my Angels
Even when you tell me NO"

Happy WEDNESDAY to you all!

12 comments:

She woke up FAT said...

Thank you for telling me I am not alone. I wonder how many other wives and mothers are all silently feeling this way.

Eileen said...

Oh, sweetie, I am so sorry. I know exactly how you feel. I was there, at the end of my rope, just done. DONE. Unable to do more. Disconnected from my husband. Nothing more to life than surviving. I'm lucky enough to have found my balance...finally. And I'm learning to reconnect with my husband. To not feel guilty when I do something for me.

It can get better. It CAN. Don't give up hope.

Sending love and strength and hope that you can find your balance and step into recovery.

reagan said...

The best thing about PYHO is finding camaraderie! All I can really say is the best thing about rock bottom is that up is the only way to go :)

Best wishes!

Shell said...

I needed to read that poem. I really did.

Thanks for linking up.

Tracy said...

You need to learn to say NO. Just one wee step at a time. If you are asked to do something for someone that would take you away from time with your family, say no, it will be really hard but the more you do it the easier it will get.

Also, trade off with the tween, in return for her looking after the little kids for a couple of hours so you & hubby can have some time, agree to watch a movie or go shopping with her.

singedwingangel said...

Oh do I hear you sweeetie.. Loud and clear.. I think as women we are the world's worst for saying yes to everything. Much to our detriment..

Cheeseboy said...

I am sorry. It sounds like you need a vacation!

*LLUVIA* said...

Wow...

I needed this!
The poem is a real eye opener for me!

~ugly girl with a beautiful heart~ said...

I know exactly, EXACTLY how you feel!

I think we all feel like this at one point or another. I definitely know how you feel about the "together" stuff. I'm 26, I should be bouncing off the walls wanting good hot lovin, but more often than not I'm exhausted and turn him away...or just do it to make him happy, which doesn't because he knows I'm not into it. Ugh.

You need to chat woman, let me know.

Lourie said...

I love that poem! That is great. I think we all need to learn how to be selfish once in a while and say no without guilt or worry. Great post! Take 5 minutes if you can.

The Drama Mama said...

Learning to say No is one of the hardest and best things I ever did. I'm still not perfect at it, and I still tend to stick my butt out there for someone to kick it, but my life is much quieter now that I've learned how to say it.

:hugs:

Pam (The Reader) said...

Terry...hang in there. Marriages go through ups and downs and every one of us has disconnected from our spouses at some point. I'm just fresh back from some marital counselling because my husband and I began to feel like roommates not spouses. We were neglecting each other. I've been feeling huge amounts of guilt because we are a one income family (chose to have a stay at home dad because we felt it was right for our family) and I work ALL the time too. I worry that my kids will feel angry that I didn't spend enough time with them.
There is hope. We've found some small ways to put the romance back in our relationship. Something as small as committing to sitting down every day (even when we are both exhausted and spending 5 minutes each talking about where our heads are at and what we need help/support on). Yes, I tell him when I'm overwhelmed and ask HIM for help for a change. It's working.
Your daughter needs to learn that you are setting a great example for her as a strong woman taking care of her family. Is it hard to adapt to her no longer being a single child. Sure. However, that's called character building and I promise she'll be fine. One thing I don't doubt? She knows she's loved. Will she try to tell you she doesn't. Yep. That's hormones talking. Just spend the time with her when you can. She can conform to your schedule. It won't kill her and it isn't the end of the world. A movie on the weekend is equally as good as one on a Wednesday night. Except that you'll both enjoy it more if you aren't worrying about getting up. And guess what. She won't even remember that you had that conversation when she grows up (even if you do). :D

Hang in there girl! You are truly awesome!