By Mir
April 25, 2005
Category Growing

There are things I know, and there are things I feel.

I know that my children’s behavior is oftentimes not an accurate barometer of my fitness as a parent. But I need to see them behave properly to feel like I’m doing my job.

I know that a task well done, to the best of my ability, should be its own reward. But I need to have it acknowledged to feel like it matters.

I know I shouldn’t be so affected by others. Yet I fall apart and readily doubt myself the moment it is suggested to me that I have failed to meet expectations. Even when I know that the person making the accusation is wrong.

What’s up with that?

When did I become this needy of others’ approval, this ready to blame myself?

The further in time I travel from that awful period in my history when 1) I reached my limit and walked away from my marriage amidst my husband’s protestations that I was 100% responsible and 2) I worked a job where I was paid next to nothing, treat like crap, and then fired, the more apparent it becomes to me that I have not yet regained my equilibrium.

Time is passing; I am supposed to be healing. Not ripping the scab off and watching it bleed, over and over.

When my competency is called into question, the part of my brain that knows becomes very angry. As often as I remind my kids that “life’s not fair,” you’d think I’d cope with it a bit better, myself. But, uh, no.

Then the part of my brain that feels crumples up in a heap in the corner.

And between the anger and the hurt, I stand there trying to organize information. The facts of what I did (or didn’t do). What has been perceived. What was then said/done. Whether I might have misinterpreted that. Whether I’m being oversensitive. Whether I should defend myself, or let it go. Whether I am right or wrong. Whether being right entitles me to anything.

All of which barely skims the rim of the gaping maw of neediness I have apparently become; incapable of judging any situation at face value when it relates to how someone else is (mis)treating me. Although I am quick to wound, I so doubt my ability to read others at this point that I will entertain the notion that “I just misunderstood” because–somehow–that is less painful than accepting that some people just aren’t going to treat me well.

This is where I either figure out how to affirm myself–independent of what’s going on around me–and conduct myself accordingly, or I shut down and close myself off from others (either literally or figuratively) for protection.

I don’t think I have enough band-aids for this.


  1. Mamacita

    When you learn how to do this, would you please share the secret with me? And then move next door so we can have playdates with each other? Because, um, I think you are awesome and I wish I were more like you.

  2. susan

    I’m sorry things are tough.

  3. Psycho Kitty

    Sending good thoughts your way, Mir.

  4. Amy

    Thank you for putting how I feel in to such descriptive words. I hope the bandaids are plentiful and the wounds heal quickly.

  5. Mike

    Hey, I’m sorry some dope made you feel like that…but I so know how you feel. There’s no doubt like self doubt, huh? But if having an outsider’s perspective is any help, I’m sure if there was any misunderstanding going on, it wasn’t _yours_. Take care, Mir. *hugs*

  6. ben

    Sorry, Mir. I wish I had words of wisdom, but alas, I fall for this even harder than you do (I think).

  7. teachbroeck

    I will rip my daughter’s Barbie band-aid off my finger and share if it would help

  8. Philip

    Well you certainly have the ability to write clearly what you are thinking and feeling – on this page you always find a way to even-handedly assess what is going on, describe sometimes very difficult emotions. Is there a way you can translate this into reshaping your thoughts as they occur to you in real life, the same way you sit down and reflect about your thoughts when you write?

    Be patient with yourself. I am feeling something very similar myself today, and wrote about it, but I gave myself more freedom to deal with it then you have here.

    Do you see how good you’re doing? If you don’t let me tell you: you are doing very, very well.

  9. La Pix

    I’m sorry after all your excellent work and conscientiousness that this happened. I am amazed at your ability to pinpoint and describe emotional things so clearly.

    “conduct myself accordingly” ouch.
    I sometimes find myself grimacing and cowering when I read your blog because your words are harsh.

    I think you are on the right track when you mention figuring out a way to affirm yourself independently of others. I also think it is very worthwhile to tell and show others how you would like to be treated.

    It is most important to treat *yourself* with kindness and empathy and respect your feelings. It is important that you can accept and like yourself as you are, even while growth is in progress. That old saying about forgiving and loving yourself first is true.

    Being able to do that, truly and openly, enables us to respect and accept others as they are too. Whether they behave properly, conduct themselves accordingly or sometimes not.

  10. Bob

    I hope things are better for you today. I wish that I could offer a shoulder to cry on, or a sympathetic ear for you. They are there in thought, if not in deed. Take care.

  11. Amanda B.

    I’m sorry you are having a rough time. I applaud you for sharing your feelings and exploring what they mean. I know you will find the answer.


  12. HomefrontSix

    The BIG bandaids with the pain-killing ointment work really well in these situations.

    I’m sorry that you’re feeling this way. I hope today is a better day.

  13. dad

    Actually, I think you are doing very well. You are one of the “more together” folk I know, despite being far too hard on yourself and probably too smart for your own good. Just think of all the people pulling for you.

    But then what do I know? I’m your dad.

  14. libby

    Delurking to say 1) when did you get inside my head? I was just thinking extremely similar thoughts only a few minutes ago, and 2) HOW FREAKING COOL it is that your dad comments on your blog. I am in awe of both of you. I hope you can figure out all this stuff, at least enough that you can “affirm yourself” and know how fabulous you are. The internet knows that, anyway.

  15. Stacy

    And when you figure all that out? Bottle it and make a FORTUNE because you’re not the only one…

  16. Suzanne

    women everywhere would stand in line for such a magic secret! In the meantime, I’ve learned how to make my little retreat corner very soft and cushy for such incidents.
    That and chocolate works well for me!

  17. Lizzie

    Sorry…was outta town when you posted this…I hope it’s not too late to send some warm fuzzies your way.

    The reason I come and visit this blog is purely inspirational.

    So, there.

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest