Would you believe there are some people who get extremely discouraged when people even look at them with a look of disapproval or disappointment? Would you believe they get discouraged to the point they just don’t care?
I have always been told that I don’t take criticism well. This is true, especially when that criticism is pointing out something I have done that is negative. Half the time I used to break down crying. By now I think I have learned to handle the crying aspect. I don’t cry as often over negative sounding criticism. I have, instead, been shoving it into my deepest soul and “ignoring it” if I can… and if not, it comes back to me as anxiety.
I’m a grown woman. And I’m still affected by looks and sounds of disapproval.
A teacher got angry because I took too long taking notes or wasn’t doing things as quickly as the other students. A Doctor gave me a look of “why don’t you change yourself?” after she noticed marked weight gain when I was a teenager. A teacher who helped me with my internship, who didn’t realize that I needed things worded differently in order to properly succeed. And so on the list goes…
I’ve always tried to be what I thought everyone wanted. Not because they wanted me to be, but because I wanted to be everything they wanted me to be. I wanted to be the good girl. I wanted to make people happy. I thought it was my job. If my family owned a restaurant, I would have gone into that business because I would feel it was expected and not because they even wanted me to. I didn’t want to be a disappointment.
My parents are amazing. I need to say this because it would be horrible if people ever thought I had parental issues. There were things that were expected (chores and such), but they tried to help me be the best me that I could be. They supported me when I went to school in Pensacola starting as a Vocal Music Major. They supported me when I switched to Elementary Education and had to stay an extra year to finish. If anyone is to blame, it’s me. I was the one who hung the “fear of disappointment” over my own head. I was so afraid of being a disappointment that I didn’t feel like trying new things sometimes.
I can’t be that girl anymore.
I was talking to someone last night and I heard it in (why don’t we have a gender neutral pronoun in English?) his voice. I was talking about how I couldn’t work every possible hour at this job I’ve applied to. I mentioned that the hours 10AM-5PM would be my best bet. “Oh well the hours of 10-2 are usually ‘mother’s hours’” Woah! Did we just forget that I am a mother? I have other responsibilities. I normally have dinner cooked around 5:30PM. “Could you maybe work a 6PM-9PM?” Not during the week. My husband doesn’t get home until 6:30PM on most nights, and the babysitter –my amazing sister– has a life. I’m usually the one who does the night time routine because of the husband’s schedule. Neylan is fed by 6PM and we start getting ready for bed. “Oh… well…”, I heard on the other end of the line.
Even before I got off the phone, I felt a cloud over my head. And a large puddle of anxiety forming in soul.
How does a person get over that? How does a person move past the “feeling” she has encountered and show everyone up? Every once in a while I’d like to think I could just to give everyone who ever made me feel like that a giant finger and move on past it like my sisters do.
I know what you are thinking now, “That’s not the way a good Christian should act or think.”
No, it’s not. But sometimes I have to step back from the political correctness of it all and deal with how I ACTUALLY FEEL. We can’t move forward until we admit we feel something and need to find a way to jump the hurdles.
I let these things be hurdles. I let them knock me down. I let them scare me into a ridiculous submission and away from my best me.
It’s not a wonder that I slowly started changing my life after I got married. Abbie always made me feel that no matter what I did or how I FAILED, I would always measure up. I was always perfect to him. I absolutely felt like I could do “no wrong” and BE “no wrong”. Did I hold myself to a standard in what I did in our marriage. OH YEAH. And I started to jump hurdles.
You can’t change something you don’t know about.
“… commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” ~Psalm 4:4
Megan A.K.A. “Mom”