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Archive for the ‘learning’ Category

I sometimes wonder why – but I know why – it takes so much out of me to stand firm and say ‘I will not tolerate this’, and move on. On numerous occassions in the last 12 months – perhaps more if I was to get really tough, there have been times when maybe I should have put my foot down and had the hissy fit. Maybe I could learn something from my feisty eldest daughter – I don’t think she handles issues well sometimes but i have to admire her for fighting back and not submitting, caving in, giving up, giving way.

I had something, I had a dream, I had hope, I grasped true pure happiness, if only for a brief moment.

I loved the man of my  life in the last two years deeply. I would like to say it was unconditionally but I think that is the province of the children. I wanted to be able to do it unconditionally – but a little hurt grew and there was another hurt, and then another. I found myself once again buried by feelings of powerlessness, of being unheard, of not being free to be me or the person I can be. I wasn’t being nurtured – I was doing the nurturing . And the lesson I have not yet learned it seems is to nurture myself first.

I have learned something though – a lot. He is a good man, a wonderful person. He made me laugh. He showed me love. He was passionate. He is feeling remorse for deeds of the pass – suffering from them even. He could be firm and kind, even tolerant, just like me. But he suffered the problems of drinking and all that goes with it. Alcoholism – that insidious sneaky revolting affliction that is affecting so many people, so many lives, so many good things in the world. He has a real battle on his hands. I did what I could to help but I am drained.  Al Anon teaches that alcoholism is a family disease – they are right. It affects all of us, screws with our minds and lives. In order to get well we need to look after ourselves one day at a time. This is what I will do.

I have also learned that to stop drinking is not enough to deal with the issues of alcoholism – there is a whole lot more very painful work ahead for a recovering alcoholic. Not having a drink is just the first baby step – not the resolution. Letting go of someone going through such a struggle so you can stay well yourself  is damn hard – you have to be firm, even cold. You have to be consistent. You are not giving up on them but that’s what they think you are doing – they are selfish when you feel guilty and selfish yourself for saying I need to look after me.

I keep telling myself – if I am not well I am no good to anyone. I still have one child at home I am responsible for. I have a job and career I love. I have parents who need some of my time and attention. I have a maturing adult daughter who still needs my emotional support and encouragement. I have to be well. Hell I cannot even be a friend to my ex partner who is suffering from that insidious condition if I cannot be strong and firm.

God speed my love – give yourself up to your higher power – you will find a way, as I will.

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‘You have a problem with confrontation’ ( a psych nurse)

‘You have not confronted the most important person yet – yourself’ (My counsellor)

Yikes….my body is wracked with fear and anguish. My experience of confrontation is negative….scary…frightening. Confrontation means I will upset someone, rock the boat, stand up for myself (and I always seem to fail at that). The last person I want to upset is me. I have already rocked my boat by giving up on my marriage….so what exactly does this mean? Why is my thinking so skewed?

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This great poem fromCraig Harper really speaks loudly and clearly about the way life can pass some people by. Check it out:

It’s five fifteen in the morning.

You wake up excited with a day of new and amazing possibilities ahead of you.
You bounce out of bed and hit the floor running.
You jump in the shower, throw down some toast and head out the front door.
Knowing that today, is the day.
Your heart is racing with anticipation and your mind is cartwheeling through a smorgasbord of possibilities.
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When I was a child I was not allowed to express my anger at what I perceived to be injustice or unfairness. If I did, I was accused of being ungrateful. I had to be ‘good’ and it was somehow my fault if I was bad and I was never able to day something or even think something that would upset mum. ‘you should not think like that’, ‘don’t hurt other peoples feelings’. Well that has led to a whole range of keeping thoughts and feelings to myself till in a fit of deep depression and rage they all come spilling out. If i spoke my mind, hurt someone or got caught doing something wring, especially lying i would even have a full on physical response – the hot flush.

So…I am on my way to mending this and I made what for me was a big step some time ago. (I wrote this at the time but just discovered it in my drafts and not yet published – oops!)  My husband is a chronic liar. I have always dismissed it as machoism, bullshit, tall stories, but essentially it is not being honest. It has always guiled me but since I learned to repress my anger I could never let him know I thought he was talking crap, that I didn’t like it, or comment on what it said about his lack of integrity. I am for some reason proud of my integrity and the fact that I am honest and do not lie. So…there has been this constant silent war going on between the two of us – my integrity and tell no lies approach to life vs his say what you think other people want to hear to make you look good approach. Hmmm..a real conflict there. In this silent war, I get depressed because I do not express my anger. I don’t know how to as I was taught it was a bad emotion, an inappropriate one and one that hurts those who love you. What a dilemma!

In a conversation between my mother and myself, my husband butted in (usual) and declared we as a couple did not do love bites (hickeys). It was a lie. An out and out lie to make us look good in the eyes of my mum. My response – for the first time in I don’t know how long was automatic – ‘Don’t lie!’. There – I had challenged him, confronted him over a pissy little lie – but it was the first step. I had the courage to say my peace, to point out his lack of honesty instead of swallowing it so it can eat me up inside. Further to that I said it in front of my mum who had belittled him so much when we were younger that I would never challenge him in front of her to save him that embarassment and me the admission that perhaps mum was right about how not good (enough) he was. (read my first post).

So…I have made a first step – albeit a small one. the next question a counsellor would ask is how did that feel? Liberating! A big YES! fist in the air ‘I did it’ kind of response. Anyone would think I had just won the 100m freestyle for women! After being so clammed up for so many years, it was so nice to have the courage to say to him do not lie.

After that of course I had to let the guilt pass through – I expected he was feeling embarrassed, angry at me for pointing out his lie in front of mum, etc etc. But he is 47 and if he cannot reflect honestly on how he (we) behaved as a young lover at this age well….what hope is there for my almost 17 year old daughter! She is honest, truthful, and never punished for telling us things we do not like to hear. I am realistic about how she is behaving – as I say to her I don’t have to like it – but I do want her to be truthful. I always thank her for being honest and sharing with me – and she feels safe enough to come and ask me pretty much anything as a result. No judgement – just truth. She knows I don’t like to see her hickies and I have asked her to be discreet. Enuff said. No need to pretend you do not (did not) do them as a young person yourself.

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As a parent I am concerned about the phenomenon of MY SPACE – my kids are into it -as are many others. I am also a teacher of teenagers and have already witnessed the impact that a MY SPACE page can have within a peer group in the real world. I have come across this really interesting explanation of ‘friending’ and while not necessarily the best resource since it’s the first one I have found I would like to share it with you. It’s a start at least. To be informed is to be forearmed for a potential breakdown in social group for our own children.

If you are a parent or a teacher or someone who works with teenagers it is in your best interest to get a handle on how the kids are socialising and ‘friending’ each other online. Check out this article and you will see what I mean.

Here is a little from the Abstract to get you started:

“Are you my friend? Yes or no?” This question, while fundamentally odd, is a key component of social network sites. Participants must select who on the system they deem to be ‘Friends.’ Their choice is publicly displayed for all to see and becomes the backbone for networked participation. By examining what different participants groups do on social network sites, this paper investigates what Friendship means and how Friendship affects the culture of the sites.

Hope it helps!

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Well this is not about my relationship with the ex for a change! This is about me, you and everyone else! I am rather chuffed to say that I have been noted for responding to a clip of a scene performed by Sydney Poitier noting how it reflects what we are capable of if we use our emotional intelligence. You can check it out at Tune up your EQ. Emotional intelligence is one of those things I believe we need to develop or learn and for some that is easier said than done, including myself. I was raised to believe that in time I would ‘mature’ and in developing this maturity it is assumed that the way I handle my emotions would simply grow with me. This is not true, and as a teacher, and mother, I spend quite a bit of time ‘teaching’ a more emotionally intelligent response to situations. (more…)

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