Sunday, May 13th 2012
Put a Tiara on a Doormat and then WATCH OUT.

Happy Mother’s Day. I hope every last one of y’all are especially blessed today, whether you happen to be a mother or not. I am. Especially blessed, I mean. SO thankful for this sweet life I’ve been given with these strange, small people to raise.

It was a weird morning here. The boys used to make me breakfast with Mike on Mother’s Day and so they especially missed him and were very aware of the differences this day held. They gave me their cards and surprises and when i got up too early, they firmly told me to go back to bed. They tried to get along and be kind, but their own mixed up emotions about the day got in the way and there were at least two really petty freakout fights over nothing, before 9 am.  We talked through it and then i told them they should probably call Mike. They did, and the next petty freakout fight wasn’t until about 1pm at my mom’s house.  They are… fragile, today.

I’m doing that “here, let me just withdraw further from society” thing I’m so fond of. If I’ve flaked on you with emails and texts and phone calls, and I certainly haven’t read your blog in ages, well. This is why.

I told a friend of my decision to just “let myself go” and that did not go over well. She’s had some similar stuff going on in her own life, but more recently, and so she had the energy to jump forcefully on the ‘you are worth more than that’ soapbox. And it made sense in the moment. I took her word for it, started working out more, eating less, and I suppose I’m officially putting on a tiara and not letting myself go. So to speak. I like exercise and am rather halfhearted about food anyway, so I guess it was a weird idea in the first place.

I put on a tiara the other morning (literally) and Caden-8yr stopped in the hall and said, “Whoah… Mom’s wearing eyeshadow.”

“WHAT…? Eyeshadow? Didn’t you notice the big shiny TIARA?”

“Well, sure. But you’re in a tiara phase. I didn’t know you were in an eyeshadow phase. So THAT is what I pointed out.”

I figured if my eyeshadow were somehow THAT noticeable to an 8 yr old boy – a group not known for even knowing the word ‘eyeshadow’, I better tone it down. So I did. The alternative would have been an even bigger, shinier, tiara, and I already had on the biggest one I had.

He’s a funny kid.

He and Seth-6yr just got over strep. And it wasn’t just any kind of strep. It was the kind that hit very suddenly, and with fevers so high that they each spent a different night clinging to me because they were hallucinating. My side of the family does that when we have high fevers. Fun times. It’s really difficult to explain to a small child in the middle of the night what a hallucination IS, and that it really isn’t real and they really are safe and here, just hang onto me like a terrified, sweaty monkey if you need to, we’ll get through this night together.

They’re okay now. And I have caught up on sleep again. And even laundry.

I’m a recovering doormat.

(That was out of the blue. I know. Hang in there with me, though. I’ve wanted to tell you this forever, and if I wait for a transition to occur to me, I never will get around to it.)

I’m a recovering doormat. It’s been going on for a couple years now. I wasn’t the sort who signed up to do stuff i didn’t want to do or said yes to all sorts of favors for people. That’s not me, and it never was. But I did do this weird thing where in several key relationships, the two of us IN the relationship would both sort of exalt the other person. It sounds so weird to even write that. But that’s what we did. If the other person were into that sort of thing. (And if you are a doormat, then you have certainly attracted numerous people who are into that sort of thing.)

God dropped a couple of people into my life who were not into that sort of thing. And who didn’t even understand that dynamic at ALL. Without their knowing, a few conversations gave me a glimpse of a different, healthier approach. I started looking at things from a non-doormat standpoint. Then I started attempting to re-negotiate the terms of some of my relationships, with an eye on God’s vision of who I am.

But some things are non-negotiable.

With more than one individual, there was a distinct, “no – this doesn’t work” message. Give this up, go back to serving ME, wasn’t that more fun…? And…. no. I lost those individuals. I hadn’t anticipated that, really. I thought I could gently reconstruct the relationships in the way they always should have been. I asked for certain things. I started speaking up, drawing lines, and acting like someone just as important as the other person, and explaining WHY.

But those relationships had only ‘worked’ because of the original way they were (mis)constructed, and my changing the deal wasn’t acceptable. It made everything all wrong and not worthwhile for the other person. I had agreed to one set of terms  - maybe even insisted on those terms – and then… changed them.

I lost those people.

They lost a very faithful doormat.

They never knew me. And when given the chance… weren’t interested. And that’s all right. They weren’t the people who were ever there if I needed something or someone. Now if I need someone or something… they still aren’t there.

And so in that way, it isn’t all that different.










6 Comments on “Put a Tiara on a Doormat and then WATCH OUT.”

May 14th, 2012
8:00 am

After a traumatic experience such as death or divorce, the milestones of the first year are always difficult. The first Christmas, the first birthday, the first holiday without the person who is missing–it’s hard on all of us, adults as well as children.
It’s hard to lose friends, but on the other hand, if they were never there when you needed them, how were they your friends? I wish we lived closer, so I could hug you when you hurt, keep the boys to give you a breather, or just hand out on the back porch and look at the lake. I love you, and I’m here whenever you need to vent. Just give me a call, or e-mail.
Jan recently posted..Bleak House–A Character Analysis

May 14th, 2012
12:59 pm

I’m with Jan – friends are the people who are there for you when you need them. If they’re not willing to be there for the not so fun times, then they’re not worth your effort in the good times. I’m always a little amazed and humbled when my girls show up in the no so fun times – and spend alot of time wondering why these hilarious and amazing women hang out with *me* of all people. I’m still trying to convince myself of my worth. It helps to have girlfriends who love you. Especially if you’re sister-less like myself.

I’m hoping that losing those who didn’t truly appreciate how amazing you are makes more room for those who do realize it – and aren’t afraid to tell you.

May 14th, 2012
4:28 pm

jan and mysti,
y’all ARE my real life friends! : ) and okay, you’re right. they weren’t my friends. I was THEIR friend, but it wasn’t ever a two way street. It was an illusion I settled for. I am such a loner, mysti, i’m not exactly looking for anyone else. like, at ALL. like, if i haven’t ALREADY met you in real life (or here) then no thank you. i’d gladly spend more time with the two of YOU though!!

May 15th, 2012
9:28 pm

I had a similar relationship with a lot of my friends in L.A. They were ‘wealthier’ than me, had nicer clothes than me, better toned bodies than me, and *clean houses*. Which I never ever had. So our relationship was about me oohing and awing over how wonderful they were at everything and they would occasionally drop little tidbits under the table as if to help me better myself, but really they were making themselves feel higher and better than me. Or maybe I’m just imagining it to be that way now. But they didn’t know the real me either. I’m a door mat too. I’m also very self deprecating. Not a good combination. I don’t know why I’m like that. :S It’s miserable.

I’m really sorry you had to lose those friends, but glad you rose above the situation. :) I’m also really impressed with your 8yo too. His observations crack me up.

May 15th, 2012
11:15 pm

:( I love you.

Jennifer Sullivan
May 16th, 2012
12:26 am

How many tiara’s do you own?

I’m glad you aren’t anyone’s doormat anymore.

I’m happy you seem to be working through these things. You just do what you have to do. We are here for you.
Jennifer Sullivan recently posted..I’m THAT girl

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