Thursday, October 17, 2013

Taking care of myself vs. taking care of others

One more thought about that conversation with my sis last night. At one point she was saying something positive about what would come out of all of this growth process in the future. She was saying how I would come out stronger etc. and I stopped her and said something about how that was the point that I was unhappy with. That I'm so very tired of being strong. I'm beginning to hate that word. What I desperately want is to be cared for. That I KNOW I will get through this experience BECAUSE I'm plucky, strong, and focused on the positive and that's exactly what is part of the problem, that I always have to take care of myself instead of being taken care of. And she stopped me and pointed out that that's where I'm confused. I'm confusing pluck and good spirit with taking care of myself. I had just a few moments earlier described how in any conversation ever, if I'm brave enough to say to someone how my feelings have been hurt or how I'm feeling vulnerable or uncared for, I immediately switch to taking care of them. For 12 years with my partner if I brought up something that showed I was hurt, that immediately made him feel like a victim, no matter how appropriately I voiced the issue. So I would almost instantly switch gears into taking care of his feelings. I've done that with my parents forever. Caring for their feelings before my own. So to say that I'm tired of having to take care of myself and desperately want someone else to care for me more is only partially true. I HAVEN'T actually been taking care of myself. I have to learn how to do that. That very phrase, "taking care of myself," makes me think of self-indulgence and time for me for things like exercise, girlfriend time, a massage, etc. (Even as I type those I find it hard to put them down for fear that this invisible nonexistent potential internet audience will judge me.) But there's a more important part of taking care of myself that I've been missing. Every time I try to take care of my feelings in relationship to someone else I sublimate my feelings to take care of them instead. Good point sis. I'll think on that.

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