Change

20 02 2008

 Things are changing ’round here. In recent weeks I have been having some friend issues. Actually, these issues have been going on for years. I won’t bore you with the details but basically it comes down to this; two of my friends have been questioning my morals, values and personal beliefs. They have been questioning, and quite frankly, making fun of who I am.

 For years I have been trying to explain to them why I do the things I do in an effort to get them to respect my choices. I don’t expect everyone to necessarily understand what makes me tick, but it would be nice if at least I was respected. I have had no luck. After years of this, I had to make some changes.

 You may be asking why I have put up with this for so long. That would be a two part answer. First, I understand why they behave the way they do. One of the things I really like about me is my ability to see the big picture in people. I can usually figure out pretty quickly what motivates people to do the things they do. When I teach crisis intervention, one of the things I stress to my students is all behavior has meaning. I tell them that people are not acting like jerks because they feel like being jerks. Something much bigger is going on. My job is to figure out what that is. As far as my friends are concerned, I have ignored a lot of “bad” behavior because I knew where it was coming from. My mistake, as I have recently learned, was that I allowed that behavior to be projected on to me. No more. It’s yours, either you deal with it or keep it to yourself.

 The second answer to the above question is much more personal. I realized that for all this time of putting up with this is that I have been asking myself the wrong question. The old question was, “Why can’t you just respect who I am?” the new question is “When am I going to accept who I am? When am I going to be able to say ‘This is me, take it or leave it.'” A couple of weeks ago I was finally able to say that. The morning after the incident that sparked all this I woke up and felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I am not exaggerating when I say that I felt happier, more proud of who I am and that I was literally standing straighter. It also made me take a good hard look at what I had. All along I have had other amazing friends who love me for me, support me and respect who I am. I wasn’t really in a place to fully appreciate those people until now, I wasn’t able to see that I was getting it until I was giving it to myself.

 I had a follow up conversation with one of those friends last night. My intention was to let her know that things had changed, that I had changed. I needed to draw a line in the sand. I essentially said that I had come to a place in my life where I really like who I am and am proud of who I am. What has been going on between us has not been fun. I am tired of having my character attacked and I am tired of being asked to to change who I am because you are uncomfortable with it. I get that you may not understand why I do the things I do, that’s fine, however if you can’t respect who I am then I don’t want to play anymore.

 I was met with much opposition and defensiveness. I expected that. What’s interesting to me is that now, even more so then before, I understand why she behaves they way she does. The difference is that now I am not going to allow her stuff to affect me.

 Chili asked me after Auntie teacher and I broke up if I was getting tired of my relationships turning out the way they were. My answer was an enthusiastic “No!”. I told her that with every relationship, whether it be an intimate one or not, I come away learning something about myself. I grow. I am so grateful that I can recognize that and that I have the ability to look at myself honestly and ask “How am I contributing to this?”. I have been able to look at my own behaviors and say “Yeah, you know what? This just isn’t working for me anymore. I gotta do something different here.” I have been able to really listen to what people say about me and how my behavior affects them. Sometimes what they say is just not true, sometimes it is. When it is, I get to the bottom of what is motivating my “bad” behavior, try to explain to them that it was about me and not them and make a heart felt apology for any pain I may have caused them. I also thank them for helping me learn something about me that I just didn’t see before. What better gift can one friend give to another then the gift of growth?

 The resolution to all this is that I’m not playing anymore. I took my ball and went home. I tried to express to my friend that I was grateful this happened because I came away better for it. I’m not sure my message was received which is fine.

 Remember the post I did about birthdays? “Who is this older woman who suddenly appeared? Welcome her. She brings gifts of perspective and insight. She is your finest accomplishment. So far.”

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10 responses

20 02 2008
Kizz

I am stuck on the question Chili asked you after the break up. Something about it made me respond kind of strongly and I can’t figure out why.

20 02 2008
mrschili

I bet I know, Kizz, what it is that made you respond strongly. It’s the same thing about the question that makes ME uncomfortable, really; it’s the idea that the one constant in all our failures is US. It’s the idea that we keep getting presented with the same challenges over and over again and, until we figure out what the lesson is and really LEARN it, we’re going to KEEP getting presented with those challenges over and over.

Auntie figured something out just now – that it’s not about how people treat her, it’s about how she allows herself to be treated. For us Chili women, that’s a HUGE lesson because, all our lives, we were told that the best we could hope for was to be treated badly because, well, that’s all we deserved. Figuring out how to stand up for ourselves is a big deal – it’s something I’m STILL not very good at (though I’m getting better) and it takes a lot of courage to do it.

I’m proud of you, Sweetie. I’ve loved you like this all along, I’m just not sure you ever realized it…

20 02 2008
whodoesshethinksheisanyway

I get what you are saying, Chili. But in my view, it is SO NOT a failure. Every time something like this happens I come out way better for it. I actually get excited! I can’t wait to see what happens next! Let me rephrase, I can’t wait to see what I create next!
I am pretty sure I really learned it this time. Must be that college edumaction im gettin!

21 02 2008
Laurie B

Hey there wdstsia, I am proud for you.

It took me a few days to chew on this. My first response was “lighten up”. I’m thankful for your post because it made me sit back and consider the “with and who” I count as my best friends.

There have been several times in my life where I have had to draw a line in the sand and tell people “measure up”. I am one of those people that will put my life in your hands if you measure up. If you were making decisions that I don’t agree with..zapp! Not in my circle of trust.

Tough standard I know. But anything less is a lie, at least in my version of life. I’ve walked away from some people that had been firends and then went on to make decisions about their own lifes/relationships that put them into the “you’ I don’t trust” catagory. Good decision each time.

Cruel maybe, but I had to draw a line somewhere. And I did. I’m glad you have too.

You go, Girl!

22 02 2008
whodoesshethinksheisanyway

Laurie B-
When I wrote this post, my intention was just to get my thoughts out. I don’t journal but this blog has been a good place for me to put some of my thoughts and feelings out there and it has been rather therapeutic for me. I did a post about a client awhile ago. What happened with her struck a cord with me and all day I was carrying it around. After I posted about it, I felt so much better. The same with the above post. I write, I let it go.
I never expected that someone would read my words, my very personal story, and that it would cause them to stop and think about their own lives. I know that happens all the time, I just got so wrapped up in my own process and how it affected me.
Thank you for telling me that my post caused you to think about your own life. That was an unexpected but very welcome bonus for me!
I don’t think you are cruel or tough in your standards. Unfortunately, as woman I think we are taught to always be nice, to turn the other cheek even if it means we are uncomfortable with the situation. The world sometimes struggles with strong woman who stand up for themselves. Like I said to my friend, I’m not going to change (and neither should anyone else) because your uncomfortable with who I am.
I have to post more on this. Be watching for more later..
Thanks again!

22 02 2008
Mrs. G.

I’m going to have to think on this one and come back. I like it when I have to think.

22 02 2008
Laurie B

Hey Auntie thanks for your response. I do not have a blog but I do read yours and some others. If I am out of place to send a long comment, then please tell me. I have assumed that a blog was an open conversation but I might very well be so very be wrong. I am just not sure of the rules. Thanks for any advice.

Am I supposed to be the rah rah voice, or comment from my heart? I can only assume that that answer is different for every blog poster.

Thanks for your willingness to share what you are thinking.

23 02 2008
whodoesshethinksheisanyway

Laurie B you can say whatever you want. You can leave a long comment or a short one. I would like your voice to be whatever you feel like it should. There are no rules except that I don’t have much tolerance for people being mean, which you are not.
I agree that this is a open conversation and I welcome that. I enjoy getting other peoples view points as they challenge me to think which often results in growth. Growth is good!
It appears as though something in my first comment to you made you feel like your original comment was out of line? That was not my intention at all! Could you please tell me what I said that made you feel that way as I reread both of our comments and I can’t quiet put my finger on it. The thing about writing is it’s sometimes hard to convey inflection. I’m wondering if maybe that’s the issue.. Again, please let me know.
I was very happy to hear that something I wrote made someone else, in this case you and Mrs. G, think. That is one of the best compliments I have received in a long time. Thanks!

23 02 2008
Laurie B

No issues at all, Auntie. I’ve been enjoying reading your blog and “talking” with you. Long may it continue!

I just wasn’t sure about sending a longish reponse. So many responses on so many blogs are short little quips, I just didn’t know if that was protocol or some such.

Off to watch Local U women’s basketball. They aren’t having a great season but we go yell our fool heads off for them anyway.

Have a great weekend!

19 05 2008
Feeling the Pull « Who does she think she is anyway?

[…] by whodoesshethinksheisanyway in Uncategorized. Tags: peeps trackback  Remember my post about my friends that I stopped speaking to? Well, one of those friends has called me a couple of times since that incident. The first time was […]

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