why do i feel like crap?

The universal reaction of my female friends* has been “He asked you WHAT?” and “You absolutely did the right thing”. So I sit here tonight and try to analyze why I feel so bad about saying No to J yesterday.

If it had been any other reason except for taking care of my ‘rival’, I would have said yes. So was it just spite? What purpose does that serve?

I read a quote today that hit me: “There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.”– Don Miguel Ruiz.

Obviously, I am taking this personally. My refusal to help out till the agreed date came from my place of personal pain. Yes, girlfriends, I am ‘justified’ in feeling pain. But I don’t want to live my life in that place. I don’t want to wallow in it. I don’t want to be unhappy.

Nor do I want to be (or be seen as) a bitch. It’s just not me. I have a compassionate soul. Yes, I know there’s a difference between acting with grace, and being exploited. But is the difference in the action of the other, or in my own attitude? If I am honestly OK with helping, does it really matter that another might not be? Even if I am honestly not OK with it, perhaps I should adjust my attitude so that I am?

My response yesterday, when I read J’s email, was to get far, far away. Tonight, I am sad that I won’t see L and the Boy. Sad that I acted from a place of pain rather than a place of compassion. I don’t hate J. I don’t hate his chicky-babe, despite my constant use of this disparaging term. (I have googled her. She is impossible to despise.)

Why am I being spiteful, simply because he loves another? Somehow it makes me feel shabby.

I am confused. There is a very bad taste in my mouth. This is not the way I wanted things to end.

*I need more male friends.

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  1. Lola

     /  April 4, 2012

    This feeling makes sense but doesn’t chagr the fact that he shouldnt have asked this of you. At some point, he has to take control of his own life and stop asking you to pick up the pieces. The fact is that he HAS been severely exploitative and he’s been able to do so because he ignores your value beyond how it can serve him. It’s not healthy to continue to go back. You can see those kids on YOUR terms. What he asked of you was unreasonable and unfair to L more than anything. You did the right thing. Please stand strong on the line that you drew in the sand. Don’t move it or this pain will continue.

  2. Again, claps for Lola. ha ha. When he decided to end your relationship, that decision does not mean that he can go “do” whatever he wants while you continue to be the primary caregiver for his children with his previous wife. I have respect for the fact that you care enough about the kids to even consider the idea, but at the end of the day, he will have to deal with the problems that come with the decision he made to end it. I can tell you that K loves you and can not even comprehend that you guys aren’t together, let alone everything that has happened since. If you ever want a male’s opinion, I’m sure he’ll be willing to share. I think that eventually, hopefully, if it’s what you want, that you’ll be able to have a relationship with L and the Boy and not with J.

  3. Thank you Emily. And Kevin.

  4. Tui

     /  April 4, 2012

    Mum, I know you are hurting right now. This must be very difficult for you. But I think, you did the right thing. You are right, you can not remain in a place that holds so much pain for you, regardless for your kindness or desire to help another. You need time to heal, and healing in that location would be hard, if not impossible. Look after yourself first, then others..and try not to tax yourself unless absolutely nesseciary. Love you so much.

  5. Rhea

     /  April 4, 2012

    I have always believed that you must value yourself the most, that you should do what is right for YOU, that you have to take care of yourself first an foremost, because if you are not ok, then you are no good to anyone else either. I know you are a compassionate, caring, wonderful, giving person and that you want others to see that in you. But you cannot sacrifice yourself, your self worth, your principles, your wants, just to not be seen as a bitch. Screw that! J is going WAY to far here. Taking care of L in the first place was a bit much but that was just as much for her as it was for him. Asking this of you is pure selfishness, even if it is so he can care for another. He wants you to go out of your way so he can impress Chicky-babe with his tenderness? Once again, screw that. Please remember mum that YOU are the most important person. No one is perfect and I’m worried that you are becoming more of a martyr then the Buddhist monk that you are trying to be. Like Lola said he has to take control of his own life. He ended it. It’s over. He made his bed now he has to sleep in it. You have no obligation to him. You can continue to be there for L and the Boy without bending to his personal situations.

  6. DAD

     /  April 4, 2012

    Rhea is 100% right. Your first duty is to yourself, and not just for selfish reasons. You will lose too much self esteem if you continue, for whatever reason, to Kow-tow to J. Lauren will grow up and realise this for herself. It will be difficult for you, but you will be able to maintain a relationship with her over the coming weeks and months, albeit not the ideal one from her viewpoint.
    Your Dad loves you dearly, and he would like to be included as one of you male friends!!


  7. I love your Dad’s message to you. What a wonderful support system you have Hashi. I agree with what everyone has said above. Stay strong. You are doing the right thing. It only feels wrong because it’s a new way of being for you.

  8. Jess

     /  April 5, 2012

    I love you and your compassion. Your willingness to help others is unlike any I’ve ever known. You have done the right thing – but the right thing is almost always the absolute hardest thing. In a way, the things you are feeling about your response to his request is probably a sign of another significant step in the right direction. Away from what hurts and towards lasting happiness.

    Wish I could be there x

  9. Sometimes, the right thing to do is to be selfish. This is self preservation. Listen to your friends and family that love you so much. They have no agenda, no wish for anything other than to see you happy. That is pure, untainted and only comes from the heart. The best thing you can do for Lauren is to teach her how to love herself also, so know that you are leading by example. Be open with her about your choices and you will have the privilege of helping her to blossom into a self aware, confident woman. What greater gift can you give the both of you? xxx

  10. gina

     /  April 5, 2012

    I apologize in advance if this is long winded. But know that i hate long typed means of communicating so i only type this much because i feel this strongly.

    I’m commenting on this bc you’ve put into words how i feel constantly. I do not have an answer as to why you feel bad for standing up for yourself. I say no when i should and then torture myself over it. I’m sure some shrink somewhere knows why this happens, i don’t. Here’s what i do know.

    YOU DIDN’T SAY NO TO BE SPITEFUL. You said no becuase his question was INAPPROPRIATE. He should have never put you in a position to have to think or answer that question. You now wonder and feel crappy and that’s all on him. You shouldn’t be having this problem in the first place.

    As women we mother, we friend, we childproof our houses. And for a moment you childproofed your heart. Good. Take care of it. Set up a boundary. Take care of your feelings like you would mine Hashi. You wouldn’t let J do something hurtful to me, treat yourself the same way.

    I know you don’t hate J. I know he’s only human and I know he’s trying. That’s true. But what is also true, even as much as he doesn’t mean it to be, is that he’s doing all this for him and not you. If he REALLY cared about your feelings, he would you cut you out, and let you heal.

    And lastly, the most important thing i know is this. I’ve tried this new – not feeling bad, making a decision with my mind, not my heart – thing and have said “No”. No, right up front, with no follow-up “but” or “if”. And you know what I’ve found? People ‘s responses were very “great, that makes sense, let’s get some ice cream.” It was ONLY THEN did i stop torturing myself. Only then did i believe there was nothing to feel bad about. No one around me thought there was anything to feel bad about. I used to not belive this would work because it didn’t work with people like J. And because being nice was my whole identity. How could I not say yes to everything i possibily could? Then I’m a bitch. It’s doing it at the beginning of a relationship that makes the difference. People like J are used to getting too many yeses already. This problem you’re having may continue.

    It turns out people are like children. They lke boundaries, they like limits. And they respect you for it. And as a side bonus, it turns out people actually percieve you as nicer when you say no more. Odd? It’s like they notice the occasional yes. When it’s always a yes, it’s expected and the sacrifice seems to get very little credit.

    I didn’t read the comments above and I hope (and I am sure) they are full of love and mush and are better than this post. I’m glad. Cause I would send you love if only I knew the best way how. In the meantime, INAPPROPRIATE quesiton, continue with the childproofing, you are more than just a giving tree. I’m happy you wish them well and don’t hate them. Now be a grown up and wish them well from afar.

    I love you. Hang in there. I hate that our hearts get tortured. But it better than not having one. On most days anyhow….


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