NaBloPoMo Day 19: The value of self

●๋• Know that when a person is toxic, it is because of their own issues. Accept that a toxic person’s behavior has nothing to do with you. In life, each of us has to take responsibility for our own actions. Toxic people do not do this. They have a habit of turning things around so that you feel bad, you feel guilty, and you feel like you are at fault. Realize this and take back your power.♥

If you’re not being treated with the love and respect you deserve check your “PRICE TAG”. Perhaps you have marked yourself down. It’s YOU who tells people what you’re worth by what you accept. Get off the “CLEARANCE RACK” and get behind the glass case where they keep the valuables. BOTTOM LINE…. VALUE YOURSELF MORE!! Remind yourself everyday of your value. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will. It’s one thing to please other people it’s quite another to do so at the cost of your self worth. ♥

This reminder was brought to me by a Facebook friend, Heidi B., I haven’t even met in person.  Yet. I’m not sure why she “friend requested” me, but I’m glad she did, she’s a terrific person.

I was married for more than 10 years to a man who started out valuing me.  Seven years in or so (maybe it was more like 8), perhaps pushed by external circumstances, he started drinking.  Every day.  To the point that if he didn’t have his beer on Sundays (Georgia currently has a no-alcohol-sales-on-Sunday law), he would sleep all day.  At the beginning, I tried talking to him about it, but he got so defensive I backed off.

Now he never got physically violent, but his tongue got increasingly demeaning.  Worse, he started misunderstanding situations, imagining or exaggerating in his mind every minor reproach.  Note what I said earlier:  in the beginning, when his brain wasn’t so pickled on alcohol all the time, I couldn’t talk to him about any seriously bad habit.  Imagine how much worse it got when he was drinking!

We (my kids and I) were fortunate in a way: he never got physically violent.  His tongue, on the other hand… His tongue got really mean.  I won’t go into the details; suffice it to say I personally experienced two kinds of put downs: the more sincere ones, where I imagine he was trying to express genuine frustration, and the imagined ones, where I was accused of darn near everything except cheating on him.  I lived a simple life with this man; opportunities for confusion on that subject were few, maybe even nonexistent.  I don’t know: I never tried it.

One of our last arguments included this gem, which I have on tape:

Him: I’m doing more than you are, I’m going to school.
Me: …
Me: What do you mean?  Does my working not count?
Him: I’m working for the future!

Note that at that time, he hadn’t held a job in at least 3 years, quickly going on 4.  In fact, the only reason he was in school at all, rather than drinking the days away, was because a year before I had threatened not only to move out, but to move back to Canada, taking all the kids with me.  We moved to a dilapidated apartment complex with potential (as can be seen now with all kinds of improvements going on; I’ve posted on those recently), and were falling back into the old rut.  At some point between that move and the above conversation, I took stock of my life, and realized I really had sunk way low.  I felt my life was not only stagnating, it was going backwards, and this was unacceptable.  As a result of this realization, I was keeping the option to make or force a change wide open.  It took a while, tough.  One of the things I was coming to realize is just how little I was beginning to think of myself.  His words, and my increasing inability to block them out, combined with the increasingly detached attitude of my daughters, all combined to make me feel small.

In short, I was no longer myself.

Eventually, I did what I should have done long before but didn’t want to do because I didn’t want to break the relationship between him and his daughter:  I gathered all the kids and walked out.  I had tried talking things through;  I had tried doing less talking and more listening.  Perhaps I could have done more, but lacking any other ideas, and convinced if I stayed a moment longer, things were going to become truly unhealthy if not flat out dangerous in some way, I walked out.

Since then, I’ve been striving to recover my sense of self, my self worth.  I’m nowhere near there yet… but it’s better.  I feel like a better person now.

It can only get better.

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5 Responses to NaBloPoMo Day 19: The value of self

  1. If you believe in your heart that you made the right decision, then I probably did the right thing. However, even the right decisions can be difficult to do.

  2. Kathy says:

    Here from NaBloPoMo! Congrats on making it to day 19! I love what your friend Heidi shared on Facebook and you in turn shared here. It was just what I need to read tonight, as I too have been struggling with on self worth. I am proud of you for standing up for yourself and your children. We are all works in progress and I wish you the best on your journey to “get better, not bitter,” as we say in a bereaved parents support group that I attend. Take care and thanks again for sharing. 🙂

  3. Your friend is right! Everyone has issues, but some people drag theirs around like rotted garbage, and occasionally whack other people with it. You shouldn’t feel bad for distancing yourself from a toxic situation (or person) – there are some people it is not healthy for you (or them) to be friends with them. That doesn’t mean you can’t forgive them, or that you can’t find healing and a new life without them.

    Do what you need to do to get YOU back. Abuse is abuse, no matter what form it takes, and you should never feel like you need to apologize because it wasn’t as bad as what someone else may have gone through. It sounds to me like you are taking the right steps to keep your own baggage from becoming toxic, and I admire you for it!

  4. Thanks for sharing this. It will get better. Your post reminds me of another post I read recently–she posted a poem at the end that I love and sounds like you might like it too: http://www.eatthruthepain.com/2011/11/nablopomo-day-14-love-after-love.html

  5. Jaguwar says:

    Thank you all for your comments, I truly appreciate that. There is a huge blank space in my blog; part of it has to do with the loss of some data when I lost the domain name of my original blog. However, *that* blog had a huge hole in it too, because I didn’t want to share of myself. I couldn’t do it. For one thing, I was taught that we keep our family troubles in the family. That might be true, but… this feels awfully good. Talk about confession being good for the soul! Not that I confessed, really; I merely shared. Perhaps some day I’ll be in a place where I *can* share. Better, a place where I don’t need to share. You think?

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