Thursday, May 19, 2011

5 Steps Back

I put up a good front sometimes on trying to be happy... my last post was all about The Happi.ness Pro.ject and how I'm going to do things for me that make me happy.

And then, I talk to my mom. And it all goes downhill.

Why can my family not figure out a way to best support me? Why does she continually bring me down rather than lift me up?

I feel like every effort of me trying each day takes 5 steps back when I talk with her. And yet, every time that happens, I resolve myself to distancing myself one more pace away from her.

What a way to live! If she only knew, she'd be crushed. I'm just so disappointed in the way our relationship is turning out right now, at the time when I would need her most.

Just there saying "would need her most" is a HUGE acceptance on my part. Normally, I would have said "when I need her most". But I KNOW that she just can't be there for me with this the way I would have wanted her to be. And that's been a HUGE loss on top of our already infertility-related loss.

How do you learn to expect so little out of people? How is life worth it when that's all you demand out of it?

My mom is such a downer. She doesn't mean to be, but she is. Just so full of negativity. Ugh. I have to just walk away and shake it off. It's almost too bad that she's family because I would have long stopped being her friend by now.

But what do you do when it's family? It takes so much energy and effort to do any one thing when I feel this low sometimes and it's all I can do to focus on positivity each and every hour of the day. Sure, when it's family, you can minimize it, but you can't make it go away altogether. I have to shield myself from it but then it just feels like I'm going through the motions with someone who I'd rather not be spending time with. even on a phone call.

So, I'll end this post with some positivity (some of which is repeat from yesterday):
  • I signed up for a summer pottery class - something I've been wanting to do for 10 years! There's a studio in my neighborhood and I'm finally doing it. Yay!
  • I bought a 3 month bik.ram yoga pass for the summer too! Yay for exercise and taking care of my body!
  • I scheduled a massage for tomorrow. I needed to treat myself after that weekend with my in-laws and am finally getting around to doing it and so looking forward to it!
  • I may be spontaneous and see a play this weekend, by myself while my husband is occupied. Yay to enjoying alone time and taking advantage of what my city has to offer!
But, seriously, if you have any advice on how to best deal with family that isn't offering the best support, please send it my way! :)


  1. I wish I had the secret for dealing with family members whose support is less than one would hope or need. My issues resulted in an estrangement, which for right now, is healthier for me. I've had to look elsewhere to build my support system and I've realized I am getting it from people who I never considered before. It's been pretty amazing. Anyway, I don't have an answer...just hope things go well for you. I know how hard it can be.

  2. What do you do when its family? What a great question.

    The last time I showed up at my acupuncturist in tears from a very similar encounter (mom = negative, selfish, needy, demanding), my acupuncturist sat me down and tried to share with me how SHE deals with her own almost sounds a bit like abiding with someone in their grief. You learn how to abide with someone in their awfulness, because you have to, but in a way that do NOT let it seep into you. You sit with someone (or on the other end of the phone or whatever) and let them express their negativity or whatever, recognize it as how THEY are feeling (recognize, don't validate) and whatever you do, don't internalize it. Realize its about them, not you.

    This is a very long and complicated way of saying, "lower your expectations" or as my acupuncturist also has said, "you cannot demand an orange from a cherry tree. It will never happen and you will always be disappointed."

    I would love to tell you I've mastered this. Still working on it. Daily.

    Good luck, my friend. I love your list of positivity. I noticed there's a bullet with nothing in it - I hope that means you're leaving room for something wonderful and even more spontaneous to take place!