Fifteen minutes of freewriting

March 11, 2015 at 3:52 pm
filed under family, life, things that make me cry, weight loss

Today I’m struggling with the idea of self esteem, which according to my Self Esteem Guided Journal, starts out by practicing nonjudgment of other people. Earlier today I made a list of sincere questions that I’m wondering about.

How do you forgive someone without just rationalizing their behavior?

Is rationalizing their behavior, or “explaining it away,” enabling them to continue their behavior?

How do you stop yourself from judging other people, when stopping judging other people makes you feel like a doormat?

Why does stopping judgment make me feel like I’m giving in?

How do I grow enough self esteem to say, “I’m not judging you,” and also feel enough strength inside myself to not feel like I gave something up by letting it go?

Why do I have a natural defense against what I perceive to be bad behavior coming from other people? I know I can’t show them what is right, but I think judgmental thoughts. I feel self righteous.

Why do I think it’s OK to judge other people’s behavior as bad?

Is it OK to stand for something based on principle? Is principle just judgment of right and wrong?

Where do you separate the notion of understanding where a person is coming from and not judging them for their choices, and standing up for what is right? Do I get to say what is right? Aren’t some things truly right?

Is it OK for me to not tolerate the behavior of another person? Isn’t that judging them? Isn’t judging them bad?

Is “justice” something I can define?

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I dont’ know who to talk to about those things, so I’ll just leave them there.

I’ve been struggling with some family issues, and at the end of the day it’s something I have to put my foot down and say “no” to, even though it’s hard. I’m desperately afraid of what my family will think of me, but at the same time, I feel a budding sense of strength at the notion of truly standing up for myself.

Maybe it’s a youngest child thing. I’ve been loved and cherished my whole life, but I’ve always gone with the tide and absolutely never stood up for myself like this.

I got a lot of support on this topic from the girls in my regular email thread (Hi Beth) and the girls in the Gwynnie Bee group. It was so much support that it’s overwhelmed me this afternoon and brought me to tears.

Crying over this is not out of the ordinary for me, but it’s a funny mixture of feelings I’m feeling. It’s mostly the fact that I’m touched by the kindness of my friends. Absolutely moved. It’s ridiculous, their support. But it’s also like a huge weight has been lifted and I can breathe again. I feel relief. I trust these people not to just tell me what I want to hear. I trust them to tell the truth. And I trust them when they say that what I’m doing is okay.

When your family is your world, and your world spins one way, if it stops turning some day because of something you did, even if it was turning the wrong way in the first place, it shakes you up. It scares you.

I have a sense of uncertainty because I can’t resolve this problem. There’s no way I can make everyone feel better.

If I give into the unreasonable request that I feel I’m being asked to give into, it will make the other four people in my family feel better. And the experience itself will be fine and not harmful to me on the outside. But on the inside it will make me heartsick.

If I stand my ground and do what I think is the right thing to do, in this case, which is grow a spine and stand up to a family member who has lived their whole life as an emotional abuser, I will feel strong. But the four other people in my family will be upset. They already are. It has been made clear to me that no one else in my family sees this from my point of view.

When we’re old and dying, will I regret standing up for myself? I don’t think I will.

When my emotionally abusive family member is old and dying, will they regret putting the rest of us through hell to bow to their whims? I don’t think so, but I can’t do anything to fix or change that.

When I was losing weight about eight or nine years ago, I remember driving home from my weigh-ins and bawling my eyes out, like the floods had been released. It was because I realized that for the first time in my life, I was doing something for myself, and the thing (weight loss) was hard, but it was a thing that I knew I needed and deserved to do. And I cried and I cried and I cried. The weight was lifted and I was relieved.

That’s how I feel about this too. I can’t give in at this point, and I’m going to go through a lot of pain because of that. But for the first time I’m doing the hard thing that I think is right. It’s confusing for the rest of them. This dynamic is something they are not used to. On the surface, I look like an evil antagonist. But my heart feels full, and I have support from other people who live outside of the f*cked up (and wonderful, genuinely) microcosm that is my family. Those people see clearly. I can too.

And it is something that I know I need and deserve to do.

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