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Is this how you achieve your authentic self?

(23 Posts)
VertigoNun Wed 23-Mar-16 22:31:04

I have spent years changing.

I was a willing doormat and happy to help others, I didn't expect things in return. I was very sarcastic and PA though.

I worked on trying to be a better person to stop sarcasm and make myself happy. I haven't achieved this. I have had various parts of me go from one extreme to another trying to improve myself. For example being very sociable to almost a hermit.

I am now going through a stage now of not wanting to do things for others at all anymore. I am still feeling bad for them. I am not feeling guilt or changing my plans for their guiltrips.

I even said "nobody did anything much for me, why should I feel bad" as an excuse to not do something. shock

I want to be me and I am fed up looking after others I want to put me first now. I have as I cared for my family of origin my then h when married and children. They are now nearly ready to leave home. I don't need to look after people anymore and I am fucking relieved.

I really need to self care. I am fat, unwell, unfit and not making the best of life. Is this how I finally achieve self care? I did take care of my figure, health, looks etc in the past on and off. I would be horrified at my life now, ten years ago if I had time travelled.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 23-Mar-16 23:18:36

There's a basic level of self-care that everyone should do.

I'd say health, fitness and some "styling" falls into that basic level.

It's a bit like that airline safety rule to fasten your own oxygen mask before helping others. If you are taking care of others to the serious detriment of your own health and fitness then it is likely your boundaries are screwed.

So, yeah, realising this truth might be the way you personally can teach yourself to apply proper boundaries. Different things trigger that change in different people.

I think an excellent rule of thumb for life is "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

If I help someone else have an easier life, I expect them to help me have an easier life too somehow in return. I don't do favours for people who don't reliably return the favours. That includes family.

Children get a temporary exemption from that rule, of course, but by the time they are adults I would hope I've taught them not to take advantage of other people's doormat tendencies nor to let their own good nature be taken advantage of. Husband and other adults are not exempt, even my DM and PILs.

mum2mum99 Wed 23-Mar-16 23:22:30

Seems like you are in a difficult and lonely place right now. You obviously know that you need to self care but something is stopping you. Have you tried therapy? It worked for me. Good luck

VertigoNun Wed 23-Mar-16 23:26:55

I had a "thing" recently with my dc.

They are feminists and do little in the home. They are ill too though. One decided to help me rare and said "I took the bin in for you" the other said "I wiped the worktop for you" rare I lost it. I said to them you think I am the wiman and you are the man, why are those jobs mine? I had a flashback to the ex saying something like that to me.

I h given up doing their washing except one secret pair of knickers for each. I left it for a week now and they haven't done it. I am not doing it anymore.

Now I need to start self care.

I realised some people are drains as you describe, you have a good outlook Run.

VertigoNun Wed 23-Mar-16 23:30:06

mum2 I don't feel lonely. I need a rocket up me to get going and my body says rest so I am listening to it. I know it's going to take 18 months to get fit as that's the medical experts opinion. It is going to be so hard to do, I am building myself up to it. It's not just starting it's keeping going that's part of the challenge.

mum2mum99 Thu 24-Mar-16 00:06:29

it seems not looking after yourself has been there for quite some times. It will take 18 months? It does not matter how long. The most important is you set up healthy compassionate habits/routine or whatever works for you for a lifetime! It might have to be one baby step at a time. Putting too much pressure on yourself is not compassionate!

MistressDeeCee Thu 24-Mar-16 00:24:06

OP, you sound as if you know and accept who you are now. Good for you, you can admit past mistakes and that now, its all about you. Even posting here, leading on from the changes you've already made, is a step forward. You've given yourself your own "rocket"..some people never, ever manage that. You'll be fine, in time. Enjoy the new you smile

BubblingUp Thu 24-Mar-16 03:38:59

It seems like you are still "other focused" even though you aren't doing things for others anymore. Maybe just focus on you. Nothing but you - without any relationship to others - whether doing or not doing.

sh77 Thu 24-Mar-16 04:02:24

I have had a light bulb moment this year. I realised I was investing far too much emotional involvement and time helping others but there wasn't anyone to nurture me. I realised it isn't good to keep giving and getting fuck all in return. I limit that energy for the 3 people in my life who genuinely have heart for me. I have been trying to be "good" my entire life but neglected myself in the process.

RiceCrispieTreats Thu 24-Mar-16 06:37:36

Self care does involve doing things that are good for us. It comes from knowing that we are in charge of ourselves, and that no one else has power over us, or responsibility for us.

What you are describing here does NOT sound confidence in your own power and responsibility towards yourself : rather it sounds more like defensiveness and passive aggression.

Eg you are angry at your DC. You still feel that they have the power to upset you. Yet you are not telling them what you expect, just exploding, and setting traps for them to fall in. So you can prove to yourself yet again that others don't respect you.

To me, it reads that you don't fully respect yourself yet, since you're still handing it over to others to demonstrate their respect for you. Iyswim. Still thinking and acting like a victim.

But developing true confidence in ourselves takes time, when we've ben victims so long. You know it's the goal you're heading for, and you will get there.

VertigoNun Thu 24-Mar-16 10:29:59

Sh77 flowers

Oh you are right ricecrispie Do you mean leaving someone else their washing is setting traps? So I give responsibility for me to others power by asking them respect me? Darn it, thanks I need to do more then. the getting annoyed at the dc over the bin and worktop wasn't that bad it was such a big light bulb moment for all of us

RiceCrispieTreats Thu 24-Mar-16 13:42:11

You asked about being your authentic self. My point is that anyone operating from their authentic self does not set any stake on whether others behave as if they are worthy of respect. Your authentic self knows it is inherently worthy of respect, whether or not others confirm it.

Your defensiveness is a sign that you're not quite there yet.

None of this is meant unkindly. It's a long hard road to go from being a victim to feeling secure.

All the best.

tormentil Thu 24-Mar-16 19:50:32

Hello VertigoNun

I have read and want to reply because I hear from your post that you 'are trying to be a better person' and that it seems not to have worked. This is hard - surely your intentions should be enough? What is a better person anyway?

Why are you being so hard on yourself?

In my opinion, anyone who wants to be a 'better person', is always a good person at heart. It sounds like you are a good person at heart.

But it also sounds like you have boundary issues. Join the club - me too. Good people get taken advantage of. It sounds like this has happened to you.

Find out more about boundaries and how to say no and mean it.

Roses43 Thu 24-Mar-16 20:37:15

Sounds like you are self aware to me op. I think you will get there.
18 months pfft hmm take no notice of that. Everyday will feel like a step forwards once you start and you will pick up momentum. Enjoy the journey!
Are you looking for somebody to give you permission to think about yourself for a change? Guilt free?

Permission granted smile

DistanceCall Thu 24-Mar-16 20:44:06

Telling your children that housework is not your work in particular (and that it isn't "woman work") was not passive-aggressive. It was the right thing to do.

Taking care of yourself and demanding that others treat you with respect is the right thing to do. Good for you, and well done. Keep it up.

Atenco Thu 24-Mar-16 20:45:44

Well you can't do much for anyone else until you have dealt with your health problems. Getting fit can be fun, especially if you could find someone to join you in it. I'm not an exercise fanatic, but I love walking. Another friend of mine who was grossly overweight joined a cycling club, loved it, met great people and the weight just slid away. There are all kinds of different sports, the trick is to find one you particularly like. As you start to get fit, you will find your mood will change with it.

And personally, as an end-goal, I would put being able to help other people out of love and a desire to help, not because you feel pressured to do it, and being able to say no, when you need to. I disagree with another poster who says only help those who you know will help you in return. By that light, I am owed loads of favours from some people and other people owe me loads. IMHO, what goes around comes around. It often not possible to return a favour directly to the person who did one for you, but out of remembrance of their kindness you do what you can for the next person.

And I totally agree that you should not be washing your teenagers clothes.

Roses43 Thu 24-Mar-16 21:41:22

Great post Atenco smile I like that. Good words.

Some truly lovely people on mumsnet.

VertigoNun Thu 24-Mar-16 22:30:34

Truely lovely people on this thread. halo flowers

TheSilveryPussycat Thu 24-Mar-16 22:44:36

Although I started out with the best of intentions re bringing up my DC to contribute around the house, this was totally undermined by my lazy cocklodger of an Ex (at the time he was H).

However, one thing I did manage was to get everyone to do their own washing. Just tell them nicely that that's what you expect in the future, help them the first time if needed, But Only the First Time.

You've got insight, as others have said. You can and will get there!

VertigoNun Thu 24-Mar-16 22:51:04

To be fair on my dc they have chronic health issues and I was a SAHM so to support them I did it all. They have poor school attendance levels so I didn't want that going down further.

The youngest is finishing GCSE exams soon so it's a good time to stop carrying them and freeing myself. smile

DistanceCall Thu 24-Mar-16 23:14:46

If your children have chronic health issues, one of the best things you can do for them is enable them to be independent - because you won't always be there to do things for them.

Be a happy mother that helps them to become grownups - for themselves and for yourself.

RickOShay Thu 24-Mar-16 23:37:25

Agree with Ricecrispie. Perhaps you could start by forgiving yourself for your mistakes, all of them any of them, then the next step is to stop feeling sorry for yourself. I still do sometimes, but am better at recognising what I am doing and why I am doing it. You can turn things around. I have found that kindness is so important, I mean kindness towards yourself. It is possible to love yourself and other people, like so many things it is a question of balance. Everything is more ok than you think it is, and change is always possible if it comes from a position of strength and that comes from knowing and respecting yourself, accepting what has happened to you and why it has made you behave the way you have.

Good luck.

RickOShay Thu 24-Mar-16 23:40:30

You don!t really need anybody's respect except your own.

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