Saturday, July 21, 2007

The things that matter most

at work the topic of unhealthy relationships came up. a woman that i do not know very well (i wasn't in my regular facility this week) stated that she didn't understand why people stayed in unhealthy relationships. i suggested that sometimes people don't think they deserve better. this woman went on to say she still didn't get that because she's never felt that way...and was incapable of relating. she goes on further to say that she's never had self esteem issues and that she thinks she's great. in disbelief i shook my head smiled and walked away. clearly she's confusing a mutated ego for self esteem.

i've been thinking about this alot since then. i have had my share of unhealthy relationships and self esteem issues. i've spent way more time than i care to admit obsessing and worrying over my various relationships. marriage, parenthood, career,extended family and friends have all caused me to doubt myself.

maybe i'm too introspective at times but i like to believe marriage and parenthood evolve, there's highs and lows. work isn't called work for nothing. dysfunctional family relations are manageable provided proper bounderies are set. people come and go. it's just the way it is and believe you me that's one BIG HARD ASS PILL to swallow. i'm getting better at it. it's a constant work in progress.

when i was younger, being the eldest of 3 i always wished that i had an older wiser sibling to lead the way. i didn't get that support from the adults in my life and i often felt overwhelmed and in over my head. despite the progress i've made in my adult life i've never really squashed that insecure girl inside. she makes regular appearances especially when i'm feeling misunderstood or ignored.

i recently spoke to both my brother and sister. my mom and brother have had a rather prolonged falling out and the other day he announced that he and his wife are expecting their third child via a mass email.

our mom doesn't have a computer.

up till now i've managed to avoid getting in the middle of their beef. i know them both well enough to know that their both extremely stubborn and incapable at this time of moving forward. i e-mailed my brother immediately with the obligatory congratulations yada yada...but added the question. did you tell mom?

i waited before calling our mom hoping that my brother had at least called to tell her himself. when i didn't hear from her i called and another e-mail recipient had gotten to her first to congratulate her. she was shocked and a little more than upset.

once again i found myself wishing there was an older wiser sibling to step up and make things right. i realized that it was me. i called and let him know that while we were happy for them i was a little hurt that he hadn't told us personally and that our mom was pretty upset. i kept my cool and managed to not get into with him and hung up feeling like i did a good thing.

my sister called the other night, she has had less inclination to be calm with our brothers choices. she called me to find out what i said and then proceeded to rehash her beef with him. i just listened as she rambled and once again i found myself wishing i had been born last and not first. still i managed to keep my cool and without getting emotional said i just wanted our brother reconsider and allow mom access to the kids and to set his issues aside.

relationships are tricky to say the least. god knows i'm no expert and i struggle with them on all levels. i will say that instead of beating myself up i am more inclined to go for a run, read a good book or immerse myself in some kind of project. this is very good progress for a girl whose natural tendencies border on masochistic self scrutiny and doubt.

so i made a few small gains in the familial sector this week. todays is T's birthday and for as much as i complain about the in-laws they really are a good example of love and family. something i'm proud and happy to be a part of.


Anne said...

Did his wife tell HER family in a mass email as well?! Yikes. I'm the oldest of four girls and face similar situations all the time, trying to play peacekeeper or provide advice that they never follow or truly want. If it helps, studies now show we're also the most intelligent sibling, statistically speaking.

Lara said...

Family relationships can be so complicated because there's usually multiple players and layers of unexplored feelings. Good for you that you were able to express the things that you wanted and needed to without becoming embroiled. I'd say that shows the wisdom of the eldest sibling, even if she doesn't feel so wise.