Archive | March, 2015

Being Disappointed – Instead of Pushing Someone Away, Get Closer

30 Mar

About a month ago, I discovered that when I’m disappointed, instead of just saying “Oh, too bad.  I’m disappointed.  I was looking forward to that,”  I get bitchy and pick a fight.

For example, if I was going to get together with someone and they told me they couldn’t make it, my immediate response would be “fine.  f— you and the horse you rode in on.”  I didn’t actually say it, but I would think it.

When I looked deeper, I realized that when they cancelled, I felt unimportant, that they didn’t want to get together, that I wanted to more than them, that I was an idiot, etc. all the way down the line of feeling bad.  It was hard for me to admit to someone that they meant something to me.  I had never wanted to give someone the satisfaction of letting them know I cared, but…..when I was finally willing to be vulnerable, magic happened and my relationships got better.

Now, I try to say, “I’m sorry.  I don’t mean to be bitchy, it’s just that I’m disappointed.  I was really looking forward to it.   What happened?  And, when can we reschedule?”

Often they will tell me what came up and then reschedule.  Their reason never actually has anything to do with me or how they feel about me.

It’s a much better result than getting into a fight and feeling bad all day.

Try communicating your disappointment the next time you get upset.  Speak about yourself and how you feel rather than blaming them and saying “you”.

Let me know what happens.

The Two Sides of Life – Strategies

27 Mar

There are two distinct Hilary’s inside me.  One lives on the “right side” of life.  Everything is great.  I am woman hear me roar.  Everything is possible.  I am living my dream.

Occasionally, though, I end up on “the left side.”  It’s not alot of fun over there.   I can tell when the people I know are over there, too. They are not happy and sometimes not nice.

Life looks bleak on the left side.  Nothing is good.  I feel like a loser and can’t do anything right.  Everything is my fault.    And, my favorite is that I should be happy and I’m not so there’s something wrong with me.  This creates a downward spiral of feeling bad for feeling bad.  And endless cycle of gloom.

A few years ago I realized that I was “Tired of Feeling Bad.”  That’s when I created this blog.

I started developing strategies to get back to the right side.  i have added to them and revised them since then.  Here they are in case they are helpful:

1.  Let yourself be however you are.  Your feelings are valid.  Don’t make them wrong.  Feel them.  Don’t suppress them by eating, beating yourself up, drinking, or the usual way you normally do. I was surprised the first time I actually felt my sadness.  It was a physical pain.  But, once I let myself feel it, it went away pretty quickly and I actually felt free..

Bonus:  Give yourself a time limit to feel as bad as you can.  Really feel bad.  You will find you might get bored.  Giving yourself permission to feel bad seems to lesson the force of it.

2. Name the left side as a separate person.  Mine is Pathetic Patty.  I also have Sad Sally, Bitchy Bertha, and Mean Martha.   By separating them from me, I have some choice in the matter.  I can laugh about it to my friends. “Pathetic Patty is back.  Can you tell her to leave me alone?”

That lessens the seriousness of my mood.  I have friends “Missy the Mistake – 8th of 8 girls,” Lawanda the Loser, Larry the Loser, Stupid Stu, and Bad Betty.   Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves we end up laughing.

3. Vent.  Get it all out.  I always feel better after.  I have different methods that I use:

–  I call a certain friend’s voicemail.  Sometimes I don’t even know why I’m upset, but in the process of talking I figure it out.  I’ve been doing this for years, and now I am at the point where I just delete each message until I feel better and can move on.  She doesn’t even have to listen to it.

– If you have a friend who is a good listener, talk to them.  If they listen to you, they might offer solutions that you can hear that might help.

CAUTION:  Not everyone can listen.  If they don’t know you are venting, they might make you feel worse by offering solutions that you did not ask for, acting like you are just always complaining, upset or wrong, or just dismissing you.  Figure out ahead of time who is safe.

– I type in a journal on my computer or write on paper what I need to get out.  I can often see what I am making into a big deal and then take action to clear it up.

4.  Distract yourself – call a friend, go for a walk, read a book, put music on, get to work, etc.  Sometimes you even forget you were upset.  Sometimes you don’t and it’s still there.  Then, try something else as well.

5.  Geshtalt – Have a conversation with your other/inner self.  You can do it silently or out loud.  It seems crazy, but it actually works. I have found that one Hilary is being mean to protect the other Hilary because she was hurt by someone or something.  Once the anger turns to sadness, I know that I have hit the real issues and I am on my way out of it.

These are just a few.  If I think of more, I will add to the list.

Trusting Myself

26 Mar

I published my first blog entry in two years the other day.  When I got home, my soon to be ex husband said, “I enjoyed your blog post today.”

“What?”  I cried.  “How did you know I posted something?”

“It came to my email.”

“Seriously?  Ugh.”  I said inwardly groaning.

“I liked it.”  He said.

“Well, I didn’t mean for it to get sent to you.”  Of all the people to see it, I thought.

So now every time I write a post, Mark will be reading it.

So, do I let this suppress me or do I dare to speak?

I think I will dare.

I have lived my life filtering what I tell to people.  For example, I told a couple of friends I was writing a memoire and their response was, “you can’t write that.  You can’t publicize that.”

So I stopped talking to them about it.  I tell other people who are supportive.  And, I am going to practice talking to people whether or not they agree with me.  I can trust myself and my own instincts and don’t need other people’s approval.

Well, it sounds good.  Let’s see if I can actually do it.

Reminding myself why

22 Mar

I have filed for divorce and it may happen in a couple of weeks.  Someone asked me why it took me so long.  What am I holding onto?  I have been thinking about it and this is what I can come up with for now.

For years I made my soon to be ex husband wrong.  Blamed him for all my problems.  Everything was his fault.  It was easier  because then I didn’t have to take responsibility for my life.   I didn’t have to do anything.  Easier to just sit and wait for him to change.  I waited desperately for him to become what I wanted him to be.

But, finally, my daughter pointed out that nothing had changed since she was born.  I was fooling myself and to stop thinking anything was ever going to be different.  Wow.  Wisdom from the young.

So I had a decision to make.  Put up with that life and shut up, or do something about it.

I started taking actions.  Making my own money, separating our money, doing what I wanted to do, making friends, creating communities, following my passion, and finally, filing for divorce.

I am sad and wish I didn’t have to break up our family, but we can still be a family. Just a different one. I hate to leave the “family home,” but I can make a new one where my children feel welcome and safe and home.

I am scared and have been focusing on only the negative outcomes of my decision, but today, I have decided to create a new future that empowers and excites me instead.

I need to remember I am strong.  I have dreams.  I am going after them.  I will not back down.

And, I want to remember all this when I am freaking out and wondering what I have done to my life.  That’s why I am writing this.  To remind myself why.

Thank you.