Balancing the Scales

2592We can hold on to our opinion, hurt feelings, anger, and/or control to a point where we lose all perspective. On that day, we can find ourselves alone. We can find that one by one, our friends are no longer around and our families avoid or tolerate us, at best.

Often we have developed the need to be right or to have control by having to constantly “balance the scales” as we grew up. It was an act we put on to make the world think that we were equal and that all was “normal” in our world. We literally felt we had to put on this “act” in order to survive as a person who mattered and/or fit into society. When we see someone who has a need to brag or build themselves up, we can feel contempt or we could see it as an attempt to build their own self confidence. At some point, they have most likely been made to feel “less than” or as if they were unimportant or flawed in some way or ways.

Growing up, I lived mostly in a fantasy world in my head to keep from falling apart. I would create a world that was different from the world I lived in so that I could escape reality. I pretended that being treated as if I was not “good enough” didn’t hurt me. I depended on my high school friends to make me appear to fit in. Today, I cry the tears I didn’t cry then when a situation brings up those feelings of not measuring up.

There are times that my perception of a situation is flawed and my reaction is out of place. I confront either face to face or in writing. Upon reflection, I find myself wondering if I have lost my mind to have made the confrontation. I embarrass myself and once out there, I can’t take it back. When that happens,Β  I have to take life one step at a time or one hour at a time to keep from trying to over-fix the situation. Attempting to fix the situation usually only makes it worse as only time can heal at that point. By trying to “balance the scales”, I end up falling on my ass. It gets to where people don’t take me seriously when I try to make a valid point.

I have become aware of trying to build myself up in other people’s eyes and it comes off like bragging. Upon writing that, I realize that it is really trying to build myself up in my own eyes. When I write these posts, it helps me to face my shortcomings and understand that they aren’t the be-all, end-all. I have let the over-inflation of my shortcomings by others and myself drive me into a defensive posture. In order to feel o.k. about myself, there is a tendency to take someone else’ temperature to see how I am feeling. I have literally let someone else’ negativity about my personality define me.

There is a struggle within me to find myself even though that sounds cliche’. I really want to stop seeking reassurance that I am doing or saying the right thing or that I am o.k. I want to stop allowing myself to be shamed for my feelings and emotions. I want to stop reacting to every perceived slight and making excuses for every mistake. I want to stop feeling devastated by my fear of abandonment. I want to be able to flip a switch when I am feeling vulnerable.

I guess what I am saying is that I want to be mentally and emotionally healthy. It will take hard work and I will have to fight a lot of dragons, real and imagined as there are people who have pigeonholed me. I will have to walk away from attempts to discredit the changes.

All I ask is:

Do not lead me for I may not follow.

Do not follow me for I may not lead.

Walk beside me and be my friend.

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9 thoughts on “Balancing the Scales

  1. Oh sweet love. I know that sense of abandonment all to well. It’s taken me years to realize that mistakes are just that, that accidents do happen and that is not my fault and I’m not to blame. Neither are you. People will mis-use and abuse us because we seek affirmation. That’s not wrong. It’s just who I am. Everyone has a different love language. If I may be blunt, my blog is the very first time I my life that I’ve been honest about my life in each moment I write about. It’s caused me to see the best-and worst of myself. I have to remind myself that the uplifting nature I show others I need to apply to myself, and so should you.
    Work on you, but FOR you, and not to please others. πŸ’œ Because I quite fancy you as you are.

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    1. Your words are like balm for the soul. Reading your blog and comments are like going to a meeting, only more personal. Like a meeting, I am finding that if I put it out there, someone will respond who has been there. One of the things I have picked up along the way is that we have a tendency to beat ourselves up in silence thinking that we are the only one who has experienced something. I am going to be REALLY blunt here: It’s like masturbation, people are ashamed because they think they are doing something wrong when it is totally normal. Sorry, I know that was graphic but it is a good example of what we do to ourselves. Everything you said, I needed to hear. Thank you, thank you, thank you!😍

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  2. I second what Bits so eloquently said: If she walks on one side of you, I’ll take the other as your friend, too! πŸ™‚

    Some of what you said reminds me of something my boss once told me about something called The Canoe Theory. Have you heard of it? She said, so often we react to others as if we’ve been slighted, even when there was no offense intended. It’s like, she described, laying in a canoe in the middle of empty waters, enjoying your view of the sky when you feel a collision with your boat. You leap up, ready to confront whoever bumped into you, only to find you were about to scold an empty canoe. It had just accidentally rocked into you.

    Especially when it comes to my own self-esteem issues, I think it’s easy for me to believe that someone is purposefully attacking or ignoring me. It takes me a lot longer to realize their “slight” might have really been an empty canoe. They may not have realized what they said or did would bother me at all, which makes me wonder, if they meant no offense, why I took offense in the first place…

    Anyway, though you absolutely should feel validated by yourself first and no one else, I want you to know that I’m thinking about you and that I care. I wasn’t going to reply to any blogs today because I injured my wrist–I strained a ligament lifting my daughter–but with a splint on, I’m typing all this through the pain because I want you to know, I’m by your side, Patricia.

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    1. Oh wow! I know you know how much I appreciate you but I am going to say it again. I APPRECIATE YOU SO VERY MUCH! I am also grateful to you for helping me find Bits too (pretty sure she found me on your website actually). Your words couldn’t have been more perfect to my eyes. I was needing reassurance and had no where to get it. Speaking to my mother on the phone is very difficult and frustrating because of her hearing so I write her letters in large type but keep them positive because I address the letters to both her and my stepfather. She loves getting them. Danny only wants to hear positive and I am working on not being negative. Poor wrist, that must mean the LJ is getting big. πŸ˜€Thank you for the effort, it means a lot to me. My mom left me a voice mail and then followed up with a letter saying that she had watched Joel Osteen and he talked about writing and not giving up your dream. She encouraged me not to give up my dream of writing and that she feels that this is the perfect time in my life for me to do it. Actually I have been working on a novel but I tell myself that it is just for fun. Giving myself an out.😨 Anyway, you are the best!😍

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      1. If you ever want another pair of eyes on that novel to help with proofreading, I would be honored. In the meantime, I’m loving the blogosphere that has brought all of us together! When I make my first million (ha!), I’m going to pay for us all to have an in-person reunion where we drink coffee/tea/wine/whatever and laugh and talk about all these things we can’t help but write.

        In the meantime, don’t ever give up on your dreams, Patricia. Even if the only thing you ever accomplish with your writing is reaching me & Bits and changing our lives in small ways, I’d say you’ve done a HUGE thing! πŸ™‚

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      2. I will take you up on your offer. I second that emotion and am looking forward to our reunion. I’m convinced that someday, we will find a way. BTW we never heard back from the owner of that house so it helped us decide that it wouldn’t work. Danny thinks he was just testing the waters to see what people would pay. I’m o.k. with it. How is your house hunting going? Haven’t heard lately.

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  3. And that is truly the best thing a friend can over. To be simply there by our side. This is a heartfelt post. And reminds of the things that I do struggle with and am trying to overcome. Wishing you all the very best πŸ˜„

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