Sunday, August 8, 2010

Enough Already!!!

I am a people pleaser...there, I said it! I am the type of person who wants everyone around her to be happy, and will do almost anything they ask me to do for them to insure that happiness, even if it sometimes means sacrificing my own happiness in the process.

It started in my childhood. Older members of my family wanted me to be a nurse, so I started answering the "What do you want to be when you grow up?" question with "A nurse," even though, in my heart, the answer was "A teacher." I joined a candy striper program in high school, and I hated every minute of it....some weeks I would sign in, then hide in the restroom until it was time to sign out, just to avoid having to deal with the situation.

I got a full scholarship to nursing school, and I forced myself to push through the first quarter. During the break between first and second quarters, I tried to convince my mother that I didn't want to go back...she guilted me into continuing, though. I made it through one week of the second quarter before I just KNEW that I was at my breaking point. So, one night I wrote a short note, took a bottle of pills and went to bed, thinking that was the only way I could get out of a hopeless situation. Obviously, since I'm still around, I was rescued before it was too late....and I was then able to convince my mother I was serious about not wanting to be a nurse, and only doing it because it was what SHE wanted.

I nearly let other people talk me into giving my first child up for adoption, and I wound up married to my first husband because that was the only way I could keep my child and still be seen as respectable. I put up with a lot of crap from my in-laws, and lot of behavior from my husband, that I should never have let just go by, but I didn't want to make waves or start any arguments. I nearly had a nervous breakdown during my second pregnancy because it was such a difficult time, and I went through most of it on my own--more emotionally than physically--while also trying to take care of a three year old. I finally got to the point where I couldn't take any more, and I walked away from the relationship rather than make any sort of effort to fix it....and I felt guilty for letting everyone else down, never bothering to really take a look at how I felt about it.

In my second marriage, I spent years putting up with emotional and physical abuse, hiding it from most everyone, thinking that I somehow deserved it. I told myself that if I were a better wife, somehow, it wouldn't happen. And yet, no matter how hard I tried to keep him happy, it was never enough.

I can't count how many times I've given up plans of my own, shelved dreams and hopes, or even gone so far as trying to be someone I'm not, just so the people who matter to me can have the life I think they deserve, or at least some temporary happiness. And yet, every time I do it, I build up just a little more resentment, and eventually it leads to things like this blog, where I just let it all come spewing out.

All I want is the chance to be ME...to live the life that I want...to make plans for myself, and to be able to follow my own dreams. Is that REALLY too much to ask???

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