|I gave myself a pep talk this morning. Well, it wasn't really a pep talk, more like a "you need to be doing better" talk. Sometimes I have real issues with myself. I'll catch myself in a funk, or a mood, or in some behavior which nobody else really comments on (or perhaps even notices), but *I* notice.
Lately I haven't been wanting to pay attention, or think, or motivate myself beyond my own selfishness. Okay, that last bit may be a little harsh, but I'm writing it there so I can actually look at it. Yes, I'm selfish sometimes. S-E-L-F-I-S-H. Look at it, Laura. Gaze at it and become one with it, because it's sure become one with you.
Bare bones, here. "Think it, therefore write it," says my inner self. Okay, here goes. In my marriage with X(m), I was in fact and actuality put upon, abused, ignored, and mistreated. Those behaviors, and my reactions to them, carved grooves in me that I easily fall back into. You see, when one feels put-upon on a regular basis, one can fall into that same put-upon funk again, except it may be under false pretenses. Let me see if I can explain this (to myself). X(m) made me feel very sensitive to being selfless - "X(m) wants it this way, so I have to put aside what *I* want for him." Upon breaking out of that relationship, I told myself everything was for me, now. No more selflessness because I already paid those dues.
A pause, here. I'm not a selfish bitch all the time. I have no problem being congenial, accommodating, and kind. It's normally my automatic reaction. Plus, my life at this moment, and the occupants of my life, make it painless to be selfless because there's no sacrifice involved. But lately I've been catching myself going in the opposite direction. Quick aggravation if things aren't done "my way". A martyr attitude when compromise (or complete giving-over) is in order. A feeling of being unappreciated when someone makes a negative comment about my performance ("I may not do X the way you want me to, but what about Q, Y and Z? Did you forget about those??").
All this adds up to me feeling pretty disgusted with myself right now. And, as a measure of how idiotic I am at the moment, I still hope for swarms of mail and feedback saying "No, Laura, not at all! You're wonderful, kind, perfect, and lovely." No, actually, at the moment I'm operating at bare minimum.
When it comes to my relationships, I'm a die-hard perfectionist. Just ask Calvin. When I perceive (and often it is totally my perception only) that something is "wrong", I dig and fuss and question and poke and prod and pester until I *create* the problem. When Calvin, however, mentions that I'm not performing up to par, I alternate between a) Completely cowed boo-hoo oh-you're-surely-going-to-leave-me; and b) Oh, yeah? Well, let's just enumerate *your* shortcomings, buddy. I haven't been performing up to par because *you* haven't been performing up to par. Cause and effect...
I'm an idiot. Have I mentioned that?
Personal criticism has never set well with me. Not that *I* think I'm perfect, but I always hope that other people's perception of me is better than my own perception of myself. When it's confirmed that what I feel on the inside is enacting itself on the outside, I get defensive. I feel misunderstood. I feel unappreciated. My automatic reaction is "Gee, you never tell me what I'm doing *good*, you only give me feedback on what I'm doing *bad*." Which is total crap. Total, complete, unadulterated horse hooey. It's me, myself, that is focusing on the bad and ignoring the good. I complain that Calvin teases me too much in the name of affection, so Calvin adjusts. He kisses, hugs, cuddles, and calls me "pretty". Then at one point he lapses into tickling/pinching/poking/(grabbing various body parts and making uncomplimentary (to me) squishing noises) and I'm right back to "You're always mean to me, you always tease me, you never let up on me..." Horse. Hooey. And I totally deserve the exaggerated sigh and alarming eye-rolling from Calvin that follows. But I get tweaked, and huff myself (much as I hate to admit it, I pout. Good God). I mean, how stupid is that? Displays of affection met with aggravation. Jeez.
Hence the modified pep talk. "Become a better person." Here's what's involved:
I'm hoping to climb back out in short order.