How to take control of my circumstances and my destiny. II

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by Copabanana, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Well, people. I just posted on RE's new thread, about our power being in how we respond and realized I needed more coaching.

    I am not exactly sure why what I did last week, by confronting my supervisors worked so well for me (internally), but it did. (I have described this in RE's new thread or in my first thread on How to Take Control.)

    After my "talk" with my supervisors I put my nose to the grindstone, finished everything, presented at the meeting, and did well. I did praiseworthy and was praised.

    But did I finish the week as a front runner? No. I spent the next day undermining myself in front of 2 of the supervisors. And I believe that the trigger was this:

    One of the men supervisors, when we were alone, late in the day after the meeting, in a joking way, described a personal attribute I have in a disparaging way.

    He called me "reactive" -- and later changed it to expressive. Adding, how much fun that was--but believe me, in my field "reactive" is not a complement.

    I am expressive, that is for sure. But it has enhanced my work in my field rather than detracting from it.

    First problem: I do not see him as having the right to diagnose me at work to my face and I should have said that. I mean either I do my work or I do not, but how he sees my personality, and commenting on it does not seem right.

    I had said: Oh. It is 5! (There is a 10 minute walk to get out to where M waits in the car for me. That matters to me, that he not sit there. It has been well over 105 degrees.) Remember, they have not given me either keys or an ID. I am completely dependent upon them, to get out.

    They are uncaring. I care that M, over 60, waits for me in a hot car in the hot sun. I am not indifferent to this. To say, Oh! I have to leave to me should not generate a diagnosis.

    Not only did I not call him on his disparaging comment but I spent the next workday undoing myself--and giving this person, ways to both think of me as "less than" or vulnerable, and weapons to use against me. Embarrassingly, I was also a tiny bit passive aggressive towards him. I much prefer in your face aggressiveness to the passive type.

    It seems like I had to build up the tension in myself again, by disclosing stuff, letting stuff hang out about myself, to give them weapons to use against me. Playing right into his diagnosis.

    Two things come to mind: I was mad that he made that comment, when I reminded him that I was dependent upon him. (But I understand, I could have said this: I need to leave and you need to take me. (instead of acting like a dimwit and saying: OH!!

    I could have not taken it in--what he said--and just thought less of him. What did I do so wrong?

    You see, I see this latest thing, and my reaction as the same as last week. Somebody acts badly. And I take responsibility.

    I spent the next day at work undermining myself in front of this man. And hated myself for it.

    Feeling vulnerable and exposed. Feeling ashamed because I revealed to much and gave them weapons to use against me, in how they think about me. But it is really how I think about myself. And them.

    How do I forgive myself? (I can hear Jabber here saying--what did you do wrong--it's them). Well, I may have acted like a ditz. And I revealed too much about a past incident in another prison. I feel vulnerable now. And I did it to myself.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is SWOT talking on RE's new thread Where Our Power is.

    I forgot to mention this part. I am sorry people but I will warn you. I am going to stray deeper into FOO-land.

    My perception is that I have been betrayed many times in my life. My sense is that it began by my parents.

    But I am beginning to wonder. If the most significant betrayal was of myself.

    That in order to cover in my own mind, for the ways that my parents were not there for me, or hurt me, I held myself responsible for everything.

    And the other thing I began to wonder is whether or not in my relationships throughout my life, I might have been the first betrayer.

    Because I would always be too sensitive to default by others. And would bolt.

    I am wondering now that with the first sign of danger or weakness or the possibility of betrayal by somebody else--I would label them as defaulting me--and then I would do it first. Like I lacked flexibility to tolerate human foibles. (Now, of course, I could be infinitely tolerant--as long as I had the protection of a role, and the distance provided by such. That is to say I could be all-accepting. And then go home.)

    So, what I am looking for here, is a way not to label other people bad or wrong, if they trigger in me--those things in myself--that I run from.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member


    Very powerful to me and it hit home.

    I so expected to be left that I'd leave first or do or say something that would make them leave. Mostly I just bolted.

    I would think this: "I will leave this person before he/she leaves me." To justify it, I'd also tell myself,"The person is too smart to like me" and other negative self talk.

    Part of it is being wired differently. My mother told me many times that I was not a happy, content baby. I cried all the time, even in the nursery after birth. My early memories start very young,was two or three, and they are of me bring scared and sad and ripping my nails with my teeth...I still but bite my nails.

    Maybe my mother didn't bond with me because I was bot cuddly. I stiffened in her arms. But she fed me a stream of how bad I was and I believed it. So if I was mistreated, I figured I deserved it. And around people who i saw as better than me, me, I left first. Fast. Often.

    I still don't prefer to hang with highly educated or obviously high economic people. In fact, I tend to think negatively about them "Stuck up" I think. I never hang around to find out uf its true or false.

    I am much more at home in a blue collar atmosphere where people dress down and, if very inteligent (and I love intelligent people) they dont talk about their education. Or they are bright, but didnt go to college. The bright but didn't go to college is how I see myself.
  4. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    I think he was trying to get your goat.

    I found this on passive aggression: "Employers can use passive aggression when confronted with employee problems, turning a blind eye, not facing facts or dealing with genuine cases of bullying and intimidation."

    Your supervisors' responses to your requests for assistance with learning the ropes, was that they turned a blind eye.

    You are 100% correct. He had NO right to say that to you. Inappropriate. Slightly intimidating.

    Copa, I have spent most of my life allowing people to get away with hurting, intimidating me.
    I have been very slow to 'defend' myself, on many, many, many occasions. It's almost like my mind freezes up. So much so, that later that day, after the incident has passed, I am kicking myself in the a*s saying "you're an idiot! why did you let them SAY that to you...and get away with it? You said or did nothing in defense of yourself!"

    I also find myself ruminating on it. Obsessing on it. Trying to figure out what they meant by that. I walk away feeling UNlikable. Defective. "What is wrong with me?" that people take to hurting me so?

    I am an EASY target. Perhaps, people see that?

    I have too. I think this is the crux of my issues. And possibly yours.

    Yes. When someone hurts me, shuns me or is harsh/mean to me...I have often thought 'what is wrong with you? you must've done something to deserve that...'
    But as I get older, and my son has now ongoing addiction issues, I have less energy to give to this. My internal coping mechanisms have recently, more and more, shut down to this dilemma. Trying to 'put it away' for good. I just am feeling more like "I don't care anymore why x, y or z said that to me...I did nothing, there is nothing I can think of where I deserved __________."

    I have mulled over this a thousands times, as I wrote just above^^^.

    I think this is profound. My newer default when this occurs with someone and my thought is what you wrote - is to quietly remove myself for awhile. Sort of cutting them off, but not cutting them off. If that makes any sense.

    An example: changing the ability of a FB 'friend' that had hurt me, from being able to see all my posts, pictures to where she can only see what the public can see. Not much. She probably didn't even notice. Probably childish, but it made me feel better. I am very private and if someone hurts me, I will cut them off from my inner, private, family world.

    I have a good friend in my children's 'homeschool field trip group' who can be very abrasive, pushy, (so NOT me) and she seems to command respect from most of the other moms. I am pretty laid back, try to be kind, friendly-I get snubbed all the time. It hurts.

    This particular friend, I will call her "C", recently seemed to come to my aid. Our children are GOOD friends & take some classes at a fine arts school. While they are in classes, most of the moms sit in the waiting area. Some do leave to shop and/or enjoy the free child hour or 2. While these moms sit there, they all 'chat'. (I know them all, but not close friends with all.) I have always found this type of scenario of chit-chat, small talk, difficult...or forced. I prefer a one-on-one with someone. Two of these moms have been talking for the past few months of starting a Speech and Debate club for the kids. Well, recently the plans are all ironed out and it's a go for the fall. Over a week ago, they sent out an email to around 10 (apparently) select other moms, to give the details and starting date/address for 1st meeting. I was not one of the recipients of this email. At one point, I had mentioned to them what a 'cool club' idea that was. My friend, C, was one of the recipients. She forwarded the email to me, cc'ing the original mom-who left me out-saying "yes I am still interested and I forwarded to a friend who is interested also". That was a week ago. It hurt me to see that I was left out. I could see all the moms email addresses up in the TO: line. I was obvi not there. I feel like those 2 moms did it on purpose, as they do not really interact with or talk to me. I am always the first one to say 'hi'. I feel the coldness, why? I do not know. I cannot stand cattiness. If someone treats me this way, I do like you mentioned. I bolt. I cut them off. I will still be pleasant to these 2 moms, but I will not get close to them. That is my protection. Who will protect me, if not myself? This is where my childhood wounds continue to haunt me. My own mother, father did not take care of, protect me. But, it was their job to. They failed this little girl. I am a grown woman on the outside, but a fragile, wounded little girl on the inside.

    So, back to the story. Last week, I emailed the 2 moms and cc'd my friend, C. I said:
    "I think this is a great idea! Is there going to be an informational meeting on it? I do not have any specific details on it, or what’s involved. Thanks!"

    Do you know that crickets are still chirping? No response. To me, the silence is key. It seems I am not welcomed. That is my thought process, maybe from my childhood wounds. I have abandonment issues. Do my children suffer because I am defective in some way? Even if they do respond and invite us, do I want my children to be around this?

    Now, I am upset at myself. For writing that email to these moms. That I gave them the chance to rub my wound. But is this wrong, defective thinking? I don't know. I just know that I have often felt excluded by women.

    No issues whatsoever with men. I feel like I connect better with men. If I could (I am married, so cannot) I'd have mostly 'men' friends. They are easier to connect with, less judgmental. Not catty or jealous. I also am an attractive, fit person and do not look my age. I feel like some moms are intimidated by me. Because I am often shunned by women, over the years I have made sure that I come off as a friendly person. And don't have resting b*tch face, or something. Lol. I also find that most women don't have interest in me or tend to ask questions. I am the opposite, I am interested in others and I think that I make them feel good because I ask them questions and am truly interested in them.

    Sometimes I just admit to myself that I am a freak & I have mild Asperger's. :unsure: And, I must do something to rub women the wrong way, in person. Those moms who sit in the waiting area are there pretty much both the days my kids attend classes there. I feel a large amt of anxiety as I never know if they will shun me or include me. I am not a pushy person, so I have trouble just inserting myself into their conversations.

    This has become so stressful for me, that I think I just need to do what I have to do to feel comfortable. Sit in my car & listen to music or go run errands during class.

    Will they think I am being rude or snobby by not sitting there anymore? Will their cattiness to me become more justifiable in their minds as I change what I've been doing (sitting with them to not sitting with them)?

    This is my new worry. :frown:

    Lately, with my son's current situation - in recovery - recent relapse - I think I am obsessing more. I am truly tired of wondering why people often are harsh to or hurtful to me. I feel like I have a target on my back and/or forehead. I just feel like I need to embrace the way I am.

    Just to note also, I seem to like the more 'odd' people I meet. If there is an eccentric person, I attract them to me. Maybe it is because the more eccentric ones understand me better? Are interesting to me? Not catty? My friend, C. She is 'different', like I said. One thing about her, she tells it like it is. I like that! She is a 'friend'. A real friend will tell you the truth, they are honest with you. Faux friends not so much, they will blow smoke up your a*s. They will tell you what they think you want to hear.

    Please, friends, don't misunderstand me. I am not implying that all women are catty or mean. So not true! There are many wonderful moms in my group! The ones I am talking about here, are the ones I have to see multiple times per week.

    Because my parents (mostly my mother-whom I lived with) were emotionally negligent with me, I raised difficult son the opposite. I was TOO doting. TOO responsive to him. TOO much did I attend to his every whim and need.

    He also, has the tendencies, as you and I Copa. To overthink the reactions or statements others make to or about us. To ruminate on them, to try and understand 'what did that person mean when he said that to me?' Perhaps he has abandonment issues from his father. Whom he desperately needed the love and attention of, but did not get any. My husband, his SF, gave him this but he is/was not his real, bio father. That was key. My son, in essence, rejected his SF. Still does. I think there is also some jealousy there (son jealous of SF).

    I didn't mean to hijack this thread, but it just soooooo stuck me and if I could've written most of it.

    Copa, you and I have much in common.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Well, this could be my theme song. I will try to look at this objectively through your post, to see if we can get somewhere.

    First, people are hurtful. In general I think people do not take responsibility or care to for how much they hurt other people.

    Second, I believe that some people "look" more vulnerable in that they are more open to their feelings, express them, and show hurt and reaction to being hurt. And they may not defend themselves. I believe that people like this are easy "marks" and some people go after them.

    I can go for years and not be targeted at work. When I am not targeted, it seems I have kept my cards close to my vest, not revealed anything about myself, tried to keep a poker face, been very selective about who I let in.

    This time, for all of the years of suffering, I have not done so. I think I want to be more open too. I have been a long time without female friendships in particularly. I have isolated myself from women for the reasons you describe.

    I used to be a woman with many, many friends. I was the one in my family who was legendary for making good and intimate friendships, and keeping them. I think what changed, is this feeling as having been "betrayed." I am wondering now if I just did not accept the humanity of other people. I moved on rather than worked to keep the relationship.

    I talk to M a lot about this. M is like me in that he makes friends easily, attracts people to him. He has moved on in his life too, but he does not blame himself, or anybody else. He just seems to think it is what it is. I think that is the main sense in which we differ, the self-blame, always putting the responsibility on ourselves. For everything.

    M really, really hates it when I allow people to hurt me, and do not respond in some way to protect myself. In M's mind--I need to attack back. Put it right back to them.

    I believe I must allow people to hurt me, for the very same dynamic I describe above: Letting myself be the pin cushion, because everything has to be my fault.

    To the extent we have any control at all I think it is with this element. Letting go of fault and responsibility. Which I think must be your issue (and mine) with our sons.

    It will be interesting what I do at work, now. Because I really do have the power now. Objectively. I do the work really well. They are really short on people in my profession. I do not really need the money. Well, I do, kind of. But it is not that I will starve.

    I can define this whole endeavor as a laboratory to work out these issues. If I wanted to. Just like you have the option of doing this with those stupid women, or any other situation--if you choose. It is just about how you define it.
    Now. Here you have two choices that I can see. One you can in your mind reject participating. Because these women are showing themselves to be mean-spirited and small. Why would you want to spend time in this kind of atmosphere. Your precious time and self.

    Or you can rise above it. Just not hear or see their smallness, and rise to the occasion. Know that you mean well and are a good person and have a great deal to contribute. In this way of looking at things these people are just "noise" and the important thing is the project and what you can contribute.

    I believe everybody has the opportunity to choose.
    Well, here you are illustrating the choice point you have. Why give these women power? Either option you choose you can take away their power in you, by how you look at things. These people are very small women who seem to feel bigger by their ability to exclude or to invite.

    I think I would not want to be part of the group, because of their attitude. But I would not want to give them the satisfaction of winning, by running away with my tail between my legs. I would want the high ground. So I think I would want to make it a win for me by writing a note that said something like this:

    So glad you are doing the heavy lifting to make this speech club a reality for all of the kids!! If it would help you out, I will be able to do xx or xx (define what you are willing to do and make it specific and time limited), if you let me know in the next week or so so that I can carve out time in my schedule.
    I think you have to decide what is best for you, independent of what anybody thinks.

    Personally, I would not want to hear the voices of this type of catty and control-freaking person. I think I might want to stay right there and bring earphones and say this: Pardon me for not participating.. I am taking a course on the Advanced Turkish Language, that I need to finish ASAP--insert sweet smile here--(or high energy physics--or the preparation of souffles to go to Cordon Bleu Cooking school on my next trip to Paris), and meanwhile I would be listening to a book on tape or Tango or what ever on my IPOD. Right there with them. Looking beautiful and svelte and high style. And oblivious. I am sure they are ugly and their husbands look at you!! That used to happen to me. (No more.)
    Well. I am exactly this way. I always prefer to be around the marginal and eccentric person. I feel more comfortable, I enjoy myself, and I feel more amused and interested--and safe. I believe this is my real peer group. I always have.
    So, your way of looking at it is that he was sticking it to me because I stood up for myself. It was pay back. Trying to get me back into my proper place.

    And when I was passive aggressive--in a sense I mocked him--in front of another supervisor, who found it highly amusing, actually, I was returning the favor, letting him know that two can play the game. That I can play dirty too.

    Except, I really went after myself. But now I see why. I punish myself for feeling my power and for letting others see it too. It is way more comfortable for me to feel like a "victim".

    Do you think, rebelson, you might feel the same way?
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I wrote a paper once, actually, it was my master's thesis, I think. I called the paper: Borrowed Crimes. What I was thinking of, and actually, was when a child takes on the guilt and the responsibility for what their parents, or other responsible adults, do or do not do.

    I believe that that is what you do in the quote above, and what I do too. These are vestigial remains of toxic interactions with parents as children, when we take the responsibility for having caused their hurtful or neglectful or thoughtless actions towards us.

    When you do that, or I, ask what is wrong with me, we provide cover for the bad acts of other people. Or take on the stigma, of how they want to define us, because of their own weakness.

    Now, with respect to my supervisor, I have a choice here. I can either keep seeing myself as he defines me, or I can define myself. I can see him as the small one, needing to be cruel, or use methods that are below the belt to establish himself as the one who is above, or I can oblige him--by thinking of myself as small, out of control, and defective--which is what he wants. And going on to act this out myself--continuing to give him what I think he wants and needs. Just like with my parents.

    Do I really want to do that? No. I can walk it all back, if I want to. Just like you can with those ugly catty mothers.

    By seeing them as the weak and out of control ones, and reasserting power over ourselves, by understanding what happened. There is not one thing we have to do differently or to say to them. It is only in ourselves. Forgiveness. For being injured now and so many years before.

    Thank you, rebelson.
  7. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    The past couple years, I have begun to open my eyes to just how hurtful ppl can be, all the while knowing they are being that way. They seem to be so ok with it. I could never do that. I am naive. So, this is and has been hard for me to fathom or 'accept' as true, about others. My eyes are opening the older I get. Some of what I see, ain't pretty.

    I never really needed many friends and I did not ever really feel the urge to go out of my way to make them. I have forced myself many times, to try and 'strike up' a new friendship with someone I had met. But, it just seemed like so much work. I just didn't have the mental energy. So, I stopped reaching out. I seem to attract the friends who let me do all the work. All the planning. Bleh. I tend to be fun and 'spontaneous'. I find most are not that way. Again, bleh.

    My husband too.

    This is profound. I'm always asking myself, 'what did you do to make her not invite you? what did you do to her that she all of a sudden did not even say hello to you?' It can go on. Most of the time, I come up empty of reasons..meaning that I did not do anything that I could think of. So, then there is a huge question mark ❓there. Then, you ask again...'what is wrong with me?'

    I do not and will not attend this 'club'. I do not either, want my children to be around these 'women'. By ignoring my email request for more information on it, these 2 women have confirmed to me, their cattiness. Their silence doesn't hurt so much as it makes me 'done'. I want nothing to do with those type of women. When I see them at the place where our children all take various classes...I will smile & kindly say 'hi'. And keep on walking by with my head held high. Bleh.

    I laughed so hard at this! Hilarious.

    I as well, am comfortable around these type ppl. My mother was like those type ppl, eccentric, dramatic. Maybe I am, too. Ha. My husband says I am 'gypsyish'. Lol.

    I'm not sure? Perhaps this is true. How does one tell?

    This too, is profound. In looking back at my childhood, with the way my mother raised me and the things she did or failed to do, would definitely have given me the idea of 'what is wrong with you? that your own mother would do these things or not do these things that you need her to do? you must be a defective child...'

    I am far from the perfect parent, but I make SURE that my children, addict son included, know of my love for them and FEEL my love for them. :love_heart:
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016