I've always been the type to blame people for things--my own reactions to circumstances. I think people, definitely myself, forget that WE control our own emotions because we control our thoughts. My finger pointing is a testament to a horrible habit of playing the victim. This all didn't occur to me until after a few interactions with my mom & this one dude that has tried to date me since 06.
My mom: She was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, maybe 10 or 12 years ago she took that diagnosis as a death threat. She stopped working, having hobbies & basically stopped contributing joy to her own life. My brothers, sisters & I all watched, sad for her, but understanding that she had a battle to endure. Too bad my momma didn't want to fight. What I didn't know back then, that I have certainly learned now was that my momma didn't teach her kids a valuable lesson in resiliency & perserverance--two things I suffer with trying to hold on to. My mom never really had goals & dreams, so it was up to me to dream of getting out of the small town life that I grew up in.
She taught us how to give up & ask for sympathy. Growing up poor because my mom couldn't & refused to work, around friends with hard working moms & both parents always garnered sympathy from my friends & after a while, it was what I was used to. I started seeking it out. I'd complain to my friends, hoping for that "wow, I don't know how you deal with that" look on their faces. Most of the time, my friends fed into it. "Aww poor Dani." It's not a strange thing for your friends to feel sorry for you or bad about your circumstances, but constantly make sure they are patting your back with an obligatory frown, pasted on their lips just for you--means you enjoy the role of victim.
And that was me. Seeking sympathy so I could get some sympathy, sit comfortably in the victim's seat & point fingers at all those who did me wrong. This is especially apparent in my dating. To the one man that observant & man rnough to point itt out to me--thank you.
The guy: He & I had a first date that went pretty well. He tried hard to get some once he dropped me off back home, but I wasn't giving him that much of myself on the first date. I guess he was pissed about that & wanted to make sure he played me out.
He asked me out the very next night to a fancy dinner at some swanky NYC restuarant. I was SO excited. I was fresh from NC & was dying for a romantic NYC date. I got all dolled up & waited & waited & waited. He didn't show up. He didn't call. And of course he didn't pick up his phone. He stood me up. Three years later, I'm over being stood up, but I realize I held on to that feeling & he's tried to make that up to me, realizing he was wrong, but I resented him. One day, when I guess he was tired of trying to make it up to me, he said, "You're so determined to label every man 'no good.' Not everyone is out to get you!"
Cut me open & squeeze a lemon in the wound--it STUNG. But I swallowed it. He was right. Yeah, there were a ton of times where men did bad things to me, but I was beginning to play the victim, whine & complain to my friends about it & point the finger at all of them--labeling them no good.
So that brings me to this. I've never really participated in lent, but the idea of it, inspires me. Giving something up for 40 days that you are comfortable with--something you enjoy. At least that's how other people explain it. It's definitely a challenge. I've decided to give up complaining. Complaints are meant for a sympathetic reaction. So, not only will not complaining help me break out of my victim role, but it will teach me how to be more grateful. I'm moving onward & upward in 2010!