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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Better Them Than Me?

Hello again to my favorite Internet People!  Mother had another epiphany this morning that I thought I should share with all of you.  I am not sure this one will translate to too many other people, but it might, so here goes.

I was talking with my husband this morning about people, and he brought up the fact that most people, when confronted with bad news, in the paper or on the internet or whatever, their first reaction is generally, "Better them than me." Meaning, if bad things have to happen, at least they are happening to someone else, and that is good for me.  Basically.  Not that people don't have sympathy for one another, they usually do, at least a little bit, they are just far more grateful that it wasn't them.

Now this is a normal, healthy, human reaction.  There is nothing inherently wrong with thinking that way.  It is a matter of self-preservation.  A little shallow and self-centered perhaps, but perfectly normal.  For other people.

I don't think that way.  I don't know whether I ever did, but I do know that for the last 30 years I have lived by the mantra:  "Better me than some poor fool who couldn't handle it."  Um, yeah, great way to invite all the crap the universe has to offer into your life.  And, it seems to have worked out really well for me.  Not.

I hadn't really thought that much about it before.  I adopted my mantra from a dear friend when I was about 16, and it made sense to me at the time.  If I could save someone else even the smallest amount of suffering by taking it on for them, I was always up for the challenge.  I thought I was being noble I suppose.  I wasn't.  What I was actually doing was setting the stage for the longest running role of my life, Mother the Martyr.

Isn't that what Mother's are supposed to be?  Aren't we supposed to sacrifice ourselves for the good of our children and families?  That's what our society tells us, every damn day of our lives.  I just took it to the extreme, as I do with most things.

I have spent the better part of my life searching for shit to bring into my life.  And yes, I do mean shit, literally. Great big huge stinking piles of fetid excrement.  I invited them all into my life and told them to make themselves at home.  Hell, there have been times when I have even shoved most of the good things out of my life to make room for more shit!  And if I am to be completely honest with you, and with myself, I did it all for the sympathy.  

People feel sorry for you when your life is filled to the brim with shit.  And, more importantly, you are allowed to feel sorry for yourself if your life is filled with shit.  Even if you invited it in.

It occurs to me that there are times when I feel like there are only two emotions available to me, feeling sorry for myself, or feeling angry at a world that forced me to believe I didn't have any other option.  Feeling sorry for myself is easier, but far less productive.  But getting angry is just pointless.  Its not like I can change the rest of the world, or get back the last 45 years.  All I can do is move forward.  And letting go of the need to take on all of the problems of the world as if they are my own, well, I think that is the first step.  How the hell I am going to do that, I still have no clue, but I am working on it.

I have still been having trouble forcing myself to eat.  My stomach is tied up in knots so tight that there just isn't any room for food.  I have been trying to understand why it keeps doing that and I am beginning to think that my stomach is actually perpetually full, of anger.  I have been eating my anger for 40 years, there is no room left for food.  Most of the time I am so angry that I can't even see straight, but, I am not allowed to display my anger in anything but the most passive-aggressive ways possible, because I am female.  I can't just stand up and say, "this is bullshit, quit fucking with me" because then I am considered a "ball-busting bitch" or a "hysterical lunatic".  I am just supposed to sit back and let the world walk all over me, and don't you dare forget to say thank you for that too, you "ungrateful" bitch.  Awesome.  

You know what I have figured out?  That I am tired of all of this shit.  I am tired of being the world's shit magnet, it is somebody else's turn.  I am tired of sitting quitely in the corner cleaning my finger nails for fear of someone being offended by my anger.  I have a right to be angry damnit!  I have a right to feel however the hell I want to feel and I am really tired of being told that I don't.  I may not be like the rest of the people on this planet, but I am a human being and I deserve to be here just as much as anybody else.  I am done lessening myself to fit into others' stereotypes, fix your damn labels or keep them off of me.  And if you can't do that, then get ready for the shit storm, because I am not taking it for you anymore.

Until Next Time ... 

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