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Thread: Becoming authentic

  1. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    I stopped a boyfriend from calling me "honey" when I told him he could just as well substitute "dummy." "Watch out for that puddle, honey..." Thinking back on it, he probably was just trying to avoid calling me by one of his many other girlfriends' names.
    At any rate, I've always hated the term. I'm with your daughter.
    +1...plus it is condescending!

  2. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    Yes, there is some depression. Yes I am working on the negative thoughts. Dh is very good at helping with this.

    (me “i’m Sorry I suck at dinner.” Him “you’re actually a lot better at it than you think.” - if you are thinking that’s not much praise, it’s almost too much to be believable, unbelievable is useless.)

    i actually have some relevant training at a level above self help books. I am very good at seeing depression in other people, pointing out false or misleading beliefs, talking to them about ways to take care of themselves, etc.

    but when it is me - my mental side kick is right there undermining me “oh please, your life is amazing, what do you have to be depressed about? You’re being melodramatic. You’re not actually suffering, other people have actual depression, you’re just a lazy hypochondriac”....
    So it sounds like you are identifying your thinking as a big problem for you. Is there a way to use that insight to become happier?

  3. #213
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    (me “i’m Sorry I suck at dinner.” Him “you’re actually a lot better at it than you think.” - if you are thinking that’s not much praise, it’s almost too much to be believable, unbelievable is useless.)
    Reminds me of one of the most helpful things my first market research boss said to me. When I truly was petrified to recommend something to a client because I had only been in the market research field for about a year, she said "You know more than you think you know." I used that as a mantra many times to get me through moments of insecurity. Listen to your DH.

    When it comes to those negative thinking loops, to me it helps to remind myself that it's just a thought. Byron Katie's books helped me a lot with that. With her 4 questions that she calls "The Work" she has helped me on occasion unravel "realities" I was choosing to hold in my head that were simply thoughts that weren't true.

    When you talked about feeling sad/depressed about the kids you can't help and the state of the world, I thought of the character May Boatright in The Secret Life of Bees (great book) who was extremely sensitive to the suffering of others. Her sister got her to write those things down and cram them in the cracks in a stone fence--kind of like a wailing wall where she would offload the sad thoughts and hand it over to "God" or "The Universe" or whatever. We can only do so much in our short, limited lives. Be gentle with yourself.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  4. #214
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    I’m swimming

    there is is a line in the poisonwood bible to the effect that a mother is only as happy as her most miserable child. I have 66 extra children. Fortunately it’s more of a rollercoaster ride than a constant stint at the bottom - I can come home ecstatic from a single sentence - but they pull at me constantly.

    all three of those factors interact, and I really did list them in order. The first two trigger the voices. So does the mess in the house, my weight, a dead farm animal - even if there was nothing I could do, a missed deadline... but those things are not important. They come under my dad’s chant of “100 years from now, none of this will matter anyway” I can fight those. But the other things can send me spiraling down, and then a broken plate can be the thing that sends me to the ground.

    and I am seasonal, so lack of sun makes everything worse.

    i have been working on being kind to myself the last few months. I am getting better, but i’m not sure how much of it is anything i’m doing - the weather is improving, my husband has been helping more with things we have agreed are not his job, even though he is short on time and tired (cue voices) and i’ve had some good moments with my kids.

    I pulled off a really cool event at school yesterday “all by myself” (with the help of a lot of people I asked for help, but being in a “management” role is rare for me.) and it spontaneously expanded and went so well I was left with an “I must have missed something, a big rock is going to fall from somewhere” feeling. I keep looking back at one picture on the school page of a particular boy who is totally enraptured and smiling, and thinking “that is his real smile. I made that kid smile. For real.” - worth the whole day.

    But my brain didn’t take a picture of that moment. My brain keeps replaying the moment when I had to ask one teenager to leave an activity and wasn’t able to follow up with him personally. My brain keeps asking “how could that have gone better? Why aren’t you reaching that kid?” I scrolled through the photos, and I found one with him in the background, looking closed off, standing back, and I thought “there. Right there is when I needed to show up and pull him in.” There is only one of me. I don’t know what I was doing at that moment. Maybe it was more important. I was really busy. I made sure somebody else would follow up with him. I cannot personally throw all the starfish back into the sea.

    there is a difference between knowing and believing.

  5. #215
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    Today I “outted” myself to the guy i’ve been buying hay from for 14 years. (Mentioned my family not being a huge fan of my cooking, he expressed disbelief that I couldn’t cook, I casually said that I was a vegetarian in explaining why they objected to many of my meal choices....and there was a pause...”can I ask you a question? I don’t want you to get mad. I don’t want to offend you.” Me: “sure.” Him “you’re not a liberal are you?”)

    there ensued what what I would categorize as a “good discussion” on gun control, parenting, women’s clothing, capital punishment and beer, touching on areas of agreement and disagreement. But I am now exhausted. I need to rebuild my emotional capital.

    also, Dh says the price of hay is about to go up.

  6. #216
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    I am doing better than I was. We have a snow day today. I have taken most of the morning to rest and relax and am now going to tackle three big tasks that have been weighing on me.

    i got an e-mail from a parent this morning that was both encouraging and humbling. Registration for next year started yesterday, and we had been exchanging e-mails over break as she attempted to figure out what her daughter will do next year. She was having difficulty fitting one of my classes into the schedule and I was trying to figure out what I could do to accommmodate her child as far as flexibility in other classes and scheduling.

    the email thanked me for me willingness to work with them and stated that they decided to scrap the original plan and start over, building the schedule around my class.

    so, somebody thinks i’m That good.

  7. #217
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    I am doing better than I was. We have a snow day today. I have taken most of the morning to rest and relax and am now going to tackle three big tasks that have been weighing on me.

    i got an e-mail from a parent this morning that was both encouraging and humbling. Registration for next year started yesterday, and we had been exchanging e-mails over break as she attempted to figure out what her daughter will do next year. She was having difficulty fitting one of my classes into the schedule and I was trying to figure out what I could do to accommmodate her child as far as flexibility in other classes and scheduling.

    the email thanked me for me willingness to work with them and stated that they decided to scrap the original plan and start over, building the schedule around my class.

    so, somebody thinks i’m That good.
    How are you doing at “learning who you are and standing up for that”? OP

    For me, it seems like I’ve taken up residence in a black hole? Although, I have managed to ferret out my insistence on personal integrity.

  8. #218
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    Well,

    I am a teacher: I am trying to see and value myself realistically as a teacher, to look honestly at my successes and failures without self blame for those limitations I can’t overcome an appreciation for my strengths, and a constructive approach to my weaknesses. I think I am doing a lot better there - I am trying to accept and internalize things like that e-mail, I stood up for myself with my boss this year, I am working on reaching out for support more and on turning away people and suggesting other resources rather than attempting to meet every request, demand, or perceived need of my own.

    I am a potter: this fell by the wayside as the SAD got bad (I never SEE the SAD when I am in it) but
    i am still dragging myself along on this. My studio is still coming along slowly, I am starting to prepare for a show in May, I am trying to accept praise as well as criticism. I recently responded to a request for a commissioned piece from a parent who asked if I sell my work with an e-mail stating that I do, but that the piece she wanted was not something in my line or style, however, here are some people I know professionally who might be interested in her commission and do excellent work. It felt very “fake it until you make it”, but I recently got my SECOND gallery check from a venue where they also sell, and even if I am a very small fish - the classification system still seems to point to “fish”.

    i am a wife: and I am working on communicating better with my husband and negotiating household roles (the rest of wife I have always been excellent at - just noticed, sometimes I can internalize positive feedback. )

    i am a mom: and I am still dropping everything for my kids. The youngest has been less needy lately and the bonus child seems to be in a good place right now, so this is requiring less of me.

    it felt good to be honest with my hay farmer about where I stand on some things and to have an open and respectful discussion.

    i took a similar deep breath and spoke up about corporal punishment at the food bank a couple of weeks ago. I have been rehearsing some opening statements with friends as I have really poor social skills (take your pick of adjectives depending on how much you like me: rude, blunt, tactless, honest, straightforward, awkward, abrasive, hostile..) in order to avoid standing silently by in groups where everyone else seems to have a mistaken sense that “we are all in agreement here.” I’m still dreading the day I need to set the record straight on my “relationship with Jesus” as they seem to have misunderstood my explanation that I was not there with a Church, I just wanted to volunteer as an individual, the day I showed up and they tried to figure out where to record my hours.

    i am a farmer? I don’t know. I am more than a “hobbyist”, but not a professional. My interest is primarily at the subsistence level. Sustainability, nutrition, education, and the feeding of my soul....

    and the hardest to be to be honest with myself about, I am a person who suffers from mental illness, and the fact that I am high functioning most of the time does not mean that I can ignore my limitations and need for self care and outside support.

  9. #219
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    Well,

    I am a teacher: I am trying to see and value myself realistically as a teacher, to look honestly at my successes and failures without self blame for those limitations I can’t overcome an appreciation for my strengths, and a constructive approach to my weaknesses. I think I am doing a lot better there - I am trying to accept and internalize things like that e-mail, I stood up for myself with my boss this year, I am working on reaching out for support more and on turning away people and suggesting other resources rather than attempting to meet every request, demand, or perceived need of my own.

    I am a potter: this fell by the wayside as the SAD got bad (I never SEE the SAD when I am in it) but
    i am still dragging myself along on this. My studio is still coming along slowly, I am starting to prepare for a show in May, I am trying to accept praise as well as criticism. I recently responded to a request for a commissioned piece from a parent who asked if I sell my work with an e-mail stating that I do, but that the piece she wanted was not something in my line or style, however, here are some people I know professionally who might be interested in her commission and do excellent work. It felt very “fake it until you make it”, but I recently got my SECOND gallery check from a venue where they also sell, and even if I am a very small fish - the classification system still seems to point to “fish”.

    i am a wife: and I am working on communicating better with my husband and negotiating household roles (the rest of wife I have always been excellent at - just noticed, sometimes I can internalize positive feedback. )

    i am a mom: and I am still dropping everything for my kids. The youngest has been less needy lately and the bonus child seems to be in a good place right now, so this is requiring less of me.

    it felt good to be honest with my hay farmer about where I stand on some things and to have an open and respectful discussion.

    i took a similar deep breath and spoke up about corporal punishment at the food bank a couple of weeks ago. I have been rehearsing some opening statements with friends as I have really poor social skills (take your pick of adjectives depending on how much you like me: rude, blunt, tactless, honest, straightforward, awkward, abrasive, hostile..) in order to avoid standing silently by in groups where everyone else seems to have a mistaken sense that “we are all in agreement here.” I’m still dreading the day I need to set the record straight on my “relationship with Jesus” as they seem to have misunderstood my explanation that I was not there with a Church, I just wanted to volunteer as an individual, the day I showed up and they tried to figure out where to record my hours.

    i am a farmer? I don’t know. I am more than a “hobbyist”, but not a professional. My interest is primarily at the subsistence level. Sustainability, nutrition, education, and the feeding of my soul....

    and the hardest to be to be honest with myself about, I am a person who suffers from mental illness, and the fact that I am high functioning most of the time does not mean that I can ignore my limitations and need for self care and outside support.
    Wow! That could have been one of the most honest and introspective posts I read on this forum. I don’t think I’m capable of that. I’d say you are a lot.....and you are doing fine at all of it.

  10. #220
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    CL: I think that many times you are too hard on yourself. When I look at what you accomplish everyday it is unbelievable. Having SAD is also out of your control. It is just biology but I am sure it is hard to deal with. I am lucky that the lack of sun does not bother me. Although, where I live now we have over 300 days of sunshine/year. I sometimes get sick of all the sun and want some gloom and doom) I spent most of my life in the Midwest so luckily no sun was not an issue. What a compliment that the student is arranging their entire schedule around your class!

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