That Voice in My Head

Monday, 1 April 2013

Sometimes I come here because I don’t know where else to go. Sometimes I come here and this never leaves the “draft” folder. Sometimes….


That voice in my head, “don’t do it”.


Ever done the very best that you knew to do at a given time? To then, apparently lose a good friend? Or feel you have and have been shut out?


What is friendship?


That voice in my head, “the definition of friendship is huge, you can’t define it”.


I will and have always been the first to admit that I don’t know much. I’m not nor will I ever be the smartest person in the room or the building for that matter. But I try to be honest and committed to the best that I know how to be for those who allow me into their lives.


I have a friend who has had some extra challenges in the last 2-3 years. I have tried to be there and be present for whatever was needed. But somehow, in this attempt I have fallen short. I’m not 100% sure the true root of the cause. I know where it stems from, but ultimately I can’t honestly believe that is the reason. If it is, then so be it. I only want for you, peace, happiness and contentment. And what I responded to many months ago, was not that. I can’t imagine that you thought it was a good place to be.


I had a conversation last week with another friend about her friend and the power that we sometimes give up to those around us. To those we know and don’t know. How we take energy or information from one and let that direct our actions, intentions and purpose.


I’ve also never thought or think that I have any power beyond myself. I’m not one to immediately and rarely defend myself. And certainly I have no power over anyone other than myself. So to say to a friend, “how can this be the way you want to be or how you want things to be”, and have it be such a deal breaker is unfortunate.


People project onto others their fears and insecurities. But if you let that projection guide or miss-direct your direction or intention I think that one of two things are happening. One; you are full on giving them the power and letting their fears guide you. Two; your fears, your insecurities are the same as theirs so you wither and allow them to have the power and it either stops you from what you are doing or drives you from a situation. And you lose, not them. And you probably blame them for you changing direction. When all along you are in charge of your fate and destiny.


As I write this I go for a quick check of Facebook and see Dr. Brian Weiss’ post. “Our critics rob us of joy. Our supporters and lovers nurture us. Forget critics and listen more to lovers.” Those who truly love you will tell you the truth which can sound like a critic. I think we are all old enough and wise enough to know that by now and know the difference. If we are not in a place to be nurtured by those who love us, by those who care the most, what then?


What is our true self? How do we define ourselves in our truest form? I will start.


I am going to be fierce in protecting my friends not only from others but from themselves. I don’t invest partially in a relationship. I’m all in. I hold very dear to my heart each and every relationship that comes to me and I am going to at all costs work to ensure that these individuals that have come into my life are safe, protected and living to their true nature.


That voice in my head, “don’t be afraid, fear has kept you from doing many things”.


Now, if they have shown me a side of themselves that is their true nature that is contrary to what they had shown in the past. Then who is at fault? I do know this; I’m going for the goodness. I’m going to try to encourage the behavior or purpose that feels most rewarding and of course less stressful.


Call me crazy, but that’s what I prefer. Sounds kind of presumptuous, but I’d prefer that others do this for me. And what’s wrong with having someone in your life that sees you struggle and offers help or suggests trying a different approach? That it’s ok to ask for help and just plain ok to get help. That sometimes life deals you more than you should have and it’s ok to admit you just can’t do it and need help.


Actions breed actions. Words spoken in anger leave a mark. Words spoken in frustration are sometimes miss-interpreted or miss-heard. Neither of these is ever my intention or the intention of anyone really. I hope.


That voice in my head, “maybe it has to get worse before it gets better?”.


I’ve heard friends say, I don’t want to be that kind of parent.” And, “I don’t want to be that kind of friend.” Or even, “that kind of person.” Okay, then don’t and listen to those around you that hear differently.


That voice in my head, “what gives you the right to say any of this?”.


What I do know is that my investment is to the degree that I am willing to let it go for a while, especially if I feel it too toxic for even me to wade through. When you know someone well, you know their limits, their boundaries. And I know my own. You know the hard and the soft. Again, I’m choosing the later in supporting my friends.


That voice in my head, “who are you to say to tell a friend how to be or how to act? get off your high horse”.


I think it’s just my strong desire for those I love and care about to be happy, content and have the easiest life possible. So when I see, right in front of me someone struggling who refuses to ask for or reach out for help and is buried in the muck and I know that I don’t have the tools to help but rejects the idea that something might be off? That voice in my head actually opens my mouth and I say something.


I’ll just say it. If you are constantly yelling at your kids and they are yelling back at you…let’s try out a different approach. Let’s look at the entire situation and accept your contribution to the situation. Accept that you might need to change or do something differently. That you might just have had too much thrown and you and additional help and resources are needed. Far beyond what I can offer.


That voice in my head, “you’re belaboring it, let it go”.


I read a great article that a friend posted on Facebook last week. A friend who doesn’t have kids, but still it was a great article, 10 Things I Learned When I stopped Yelling at My Kids


I’m not a parent either. But I was thrown into partial parenthood a couple years ago when cancer took a dear friend, leaving behind an amazing husband, and two small children. I did what I would think anyone would do. I stepped up. My life was insignificant in terms of what these three amazing individuals needed. And I would do again and will do anything to be there for them, now and forever.


I have another friend who had cancer, lost both parents in less than a year and I can in no way know what she is feeling or actually going through. But I do know that it can’t be easy and all I wanted was for her to reach out and find a balance to lower the level of tension and stress and volume.


That voice in my head, “if things are where you think they are, you are just going to make this worse”.


That voice in my head, “then what have I got to lose”.


I only did what I did because at the time I did not know what else to do. I encouraged and suggested options that were looked at as some sort of intrusion or what I don’t know. I’m at a loss as to what to think at this point? So I’m here taking the aggravating passive aggressive approach.


So I am probably wrong. I should have kept my mouth shut. My thinking that I was caring too much by saying anything was misguided. My thinking that saying, you can’t be happy being this way or yelling this much, was an intrusion. But at the time the pitch was beyond acceptable in anyone’s book. I hoped. My mistake, my mistake thinking that kids will be kids and that they are and will react to everything you put in front accordingly. “So, yeah, I need to watch my expectations and remember that my boys are kids: they are still learning, still growing, and still figuring out how to handle waking up on the wrong side of the bed. When they “make mistakes” I need to remember that not only does yelling not help, but like me, they don’t like to be yelled at!”


Fear. Fear of losing what you have. Fear of it all going away. Fear that what you fear most will happen. So what do you do in this case? My thoughts do anything you possibly can to avoid fear from becoming a reality. AT ALL COSTS. And that may mean admitting that you can’t handle something. It may mean having to let go, you can’t control everything. Step back, take a breath and let it go. Or “it” will go or cower or retreat to a place that will be untouchable, unapproachable, lost and never be what you hoped and longed for.


Check your own reality. What is it that you want to accomplish? Put yourself in their shoes. Talk to yourself like you talk to them. How do you feel? What do you want to do in that instant? “I also quickly realized that acknowledging my personal triggers by saying out loud: “Orange Rhino, you have wicked PMS and need chocolate, you aren’t mad at the kids, don’t yell” works really well to keep yells at bay.”


The Orange Rhino (alternatives to yelling)


Why do I put this all here? I feel I’ve lost a friend and I don’t know what else to do. An attempt to reach out weeks ago has not been responded to. It has been seen, but there is no response. I have no doubt that it is known that I would and have been there at the drop of a hat. That will never change. Nor will my desire to be the type of friend who won’t gloss over the bad stuff and will say, this doesn’t feel right.


I feel I’ve lost a friend that instead of telling me to my face anything retreats to silence and avoidance. Decided that me caring too much was too much. I thought we meant more to each other than that.


Here’s the second layer. The kids. This is where my fierce shifts to high gear. When I see a kid cower in fear, react in anger I have to believe that they didn’t come up with that on their own. That it is a learned behavior. Learned at home, learned at school, in the park, wherever. And because they are a kids, I will protect them against any adult, parent or otherwise.


I didn’t grow up around a lot of yelling. Some; but mostly very long tedious lectures that would send my brain spinning. As if my brain wasn’t already spinning enough. So yelling is in my book unacceptable and counterproductive to almost every situation in terms of discipline.


In my “partial” parenting effort, I know that I’ve raised my voice. Or the tone of my voice has changed to make a point. But I have not yelled. Who in the world likes being yelled at? And certainly after hearing it more than once over the last couple of years, my awareness is beyond high and extremely sensitive. Because whether anyone likes it or not, the looks on the faces of small beings being yelled at is a look that haunts me today on any child, a look that should not be on a child’s face.


That voice in my head, “you’re digging yourself in deeper”.


So fine, don’t talk to me. But do talk to your children with the respect that you want them to show you. Otherwise, your expectation should be to get back exactly what you dish out.


That voice in my head, “did you really just post that?”.


That voice in my head, “crap”.


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