My Olive Branch is Broken and I May Not Repair It
I am a pretty nice person. I almost always go out of my way to accommodate other people. In fact, I have done it so many times that I am an expert at saying yes, regardless of the resulting outcome for me. I struggle to say no, and struggle to develop and maintain boundaries. For example,
- Professionally if I’m asked to work on something, I do. Even if I’ve already put in 60 hours that week, I will give up sleep or even my weekend to get the new additional task completed, because really, why wouldn’t I want to work 70-80 hours a week? And, I will do it perfectly. I will never half-ass something, I will truly do it flawlessly or as close to flawlessly as humanly possible. The odd time I may ask for support at work, but I’ve learned that regardless of where I work, the request will fall on deaf ears. So, I continue to be asked and I continue to say yes. I will probably complain to Mr. MPB, but I can essentially guarantee that it will be completed perfectly and no-one outside of my house will know the implications to my personal well-being.
- Personally, if a loved one asks for help, I will be there in a flash. If someone is in the hospital, I will go visit to help them pass the time and bring flowers of course. If someone needs a ride somewhere, I will drive out of my way to pick them up and drop them off. Or maybe if someone just wants to meet up for a friendly coffee to say hello, I will rearrange my schedule to make it fit there’s.
You see, I have a problem. I am a people pleaser. I do anything and everything to please other people.
This has resulted in compromising my own health. In the past I have had an ulcer. I have laid awake in the middle of the night having panic attacks. I have stopped taking much need pain medication in order to stay on top of something at work. I have worked through miscarriages, only taking one day off for a D&C surgery. I have hopped on a plane and flown part way across the country because someone is not well.
Once we started down the road of multiple miscarriages, eventually it became too much for me to handle. Something had to give, so I eventually walked away from work. It was hard at first, but today I can honestly say that about 90% of the time I’m really glad I did it. And, I’m really glad I took the risk of unemployment over working in a very unhealthy office. In fact, some days I even feel empowered by my new found ability to stand up for myself.
But here’s the thing, I’m still compromising myself constantly in my personal life.
Most recently, I asked my parents to attend an event with Mr. MPB and I. It was an important event to us. We invited them as our guests and as such would have bought their tickets. We wanted them to share in this event as it is significant to our lives.
They were unable to join us due to travel plans which had them out of the country, which I completely understood. However, as life unfolded their plans changed and they become available. Yet, instead of saying yes to us, they made plans to visit one of my siblings at the exact same time.
It is not often I reach out, but given how important this was to me, I was devastated when I discovered they were available and they did not choose me. Now, I’m not saying that they should visit us at the expense of another sibling, but I am saying that the event we invited them to was a once a year, big deal kind of thing. My sibling would have been there any other day of the year.
Needless to say, and the point of this ramble is that, I’m getting really tired of being disappointed by other people who do not seem to be able to return the favour when I need/want them in my life.
By no means am I saying that I am writing people off entirely for not answering the call when we ask. But, in this moment, I’m thinking maybe it’s time for me to stop jumping every time someone asks me, and instead maybe I need to start asking myself if I have the time and energy to do what they are requesting. Maybe it’s time for me to start putting myself first when it comes to people I love (funny thing, just writing that made me feel guilty).
I’m sick of feeling let down. And I’m tired of being hurt by those I love and sacrifice myself for.
I need to find some sort of balance, but does that mean it’s really a good idea to close myself off to those I love? I don’t have the answer right now, but I do know that it’s on my mind a lot these days.
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