After my menu post last week many of you expressed how exhausted you would be if you meticulously measured your portions, thought about food all the time, and were consumed by the immense guilt that occurs pretty much anytime a calorie entered your body, but let me tell you, that is NOTHING compared to how tiring it is to feel like a complete failure 99% of your life.
That sounds horribly morbid and depressing, and I promise you I am normally a pretty happy person, but I HATE disappointing others.
I have written a few times on my people pleasing tendencies, but after I posted about the diminishing relationship I have with my mom, it kind of dawned on me why I might be so upset; I feel like I am constantly letting her down.
Just yesterday she told me for the millionth time that she is unhappy with the way I maintain her home.
Now, admittedly, I suck at cleaning.
Cleaning never has been a strong suit of mine, and I really do not notice or care if there is a pair of shoes sitting by the back door waiting to be taken upstairs.
My philosophy is I will probably wear those shoes tomorrow, so it seems easier to just leave them right there, where they are daily accessible on hectic, before-work mornings.
Same thing with my egg pan…
I use the same egg pan everyday. So after I wash it, I sit it back on the stove since I know in approximately 24 hours I will use it again.
These things drive my mom absolutely INSANE.
She hates clutter, hates anything being visible on the kitchen counter, and does not understand how I cannot also be crazy living in a house where the salt and pepper shakers are still on the breakfast bar.
I wish I could be more meticulous but that has never been a priority of mine.
Of course I don’t want crumbs on the floor, or my bathroom to be filthy, or anything that could possibly be hazardous to one’s health going on in my home, but a laundry basket being unpacked just doesn’t seem that important…
To someone else this would simply be unacceptable and, that someone else, is my mom.
The conversation about how irresponsible I am when it comes to taking care of a home happens probably once every two months, and it always makes me feel horrible.
Anytime she talks about how messy I am, non-caring of her property, etc. I hear, “you are unappreciative of me, you are a horrible, completely unreliable person, and I don’t like you anymore.”
She doesn’t say these things directly, but there are so many times where I have asked her if she hates me now.
Ever since I got sick I have this immense paranoia that everyone secretly dislikes me, but is just too nice to say.
I have never been an OVERLY confident person, but it has definitely gotten worse as my disorder advanced.
I take everything personally, internalize any form of criticism as me being a sh*tty person, and then I engage in ED behaviors because I want to punish myself for not being better.
This is particularly true for my mom, poppy, Ryan and any other significantly close person around me.
My entire life has been centered on wanting to make everyone else happy and comfortable, that if it doesn’t work out that way, I have a complete breakdown.
I realize how unhealthy that is, and that it has obviously been problematic for my well-being, but it is who I am and I need to do A LOT of work to change it.
So after I was crying hysterically as my mom continued her cleaning rant, I decided to tell her what was going through my head.
“All I ever want is to make you happy, but every time you come home I let you down AGAIN because I am not good at taking care of a house. You don’t like the person I am as an adult. You never want to spend time with me anymore….”
Gosh it continued forever and I am so embarrassed that I sounded like a whiny five year old.
And she looked at me and said, “CJ, trying to make everyone around you happy has not fared well for you, so maybe you need to focus on that for yourself…I think you let yourself down and that is the problem.”
My mom brought up a pretty valid point.
The life I have now is nothing of what I planned.
I am very satisfied with many aspects of my life, and feel incredibly blessed for all the gifts God has given me, but there are certain things that do make me feel disappointed in who I have become.
I think the things I am referring to can definitely be changed, but it will take a lot of effort and patience on my part, as well as on those closest to me.
Perhaps I will go into more detail about the less blatant components of who I am that make me so disturbed, but for now, I know many of you have expressed to me your desires to please everyone else.
It might help for you to also look deep inside your soul and see how that makes you feel, if you are truly happy, and if there is anything you could change to make things better.
It is Monday after all and what better day for a little self-evaluation and goal setting?!