Notes from my Black
The one I fear
People pleasing is hard work. It works in the background and walks with me, sleeps with me, projects from me. It guides my thoughts and makes me question my self worth when I don’t get asked or allowed to help. I have questioned everything from my value as a person, husband, dad, friend, employees, boss, and even customer.
You know that dog in “Up”? I think his name was “Doug”. Or maybe it was “Dog”. I’m talking about the one that makes the old man his master. “I love you because you are my master.” This is me in a nutshell. Give me any time and I will be ALL yours. Without giving a lot of thought to how I relate to people, I would be “Doug”. At least I would have.
How did I get to be this incredible people pleaser? I worked hard at it. I learn lessons, beg for any kind of acknowledgment of good deeds. We listen to expectations as a child. We listen and search for our worth in our family.
Indeed I was taught to shut up, listen, behave, out on a happy face, put all others first, get out of the house all day if I could. Go ride my bike- all day if I could. Take $5 in case I got hungry for lunch. Be back in time for dinner. At least dinner could be counted on. I remember family dinners. Don’t talk. Put on clean clothes if they were dirty. Wash up and present yourself respect everyone else and don’t have actual needs. Give your parents the chance to brag about you at every chance. I wasn’t the smart one. I had my own category.
So how can I not have expectations of others? How can I possibly shed these preconceived notions that I am supposed to serve… not be heard… that I matter…
Even when I’m asked major things, I shy away from participating in my own life. Then I resent it, and resent myself for being such an absentee self. Sometimes I even lash out at people because of my own frustrations at being this way. Then I lash out at myself for lashing out at them.
Can I not just figure something out and keep it figured out? It is too easy to fall back into self destructive modes. It is far to comfortable to keep myself uncomfortable.
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