This was a kicker for me. In the world of family dynamics, I'm the one that bends over backwards to help out. Mind you, I love helping others...whether its cooking a meal, cleaning up, helping to run errands, needing favors, it's a bit of a high for me to help someone in need. However, it took me a long time to realize that I was being sucked dry with no recourse. I mean, I would be told that I was a spoiled brat, selfish, overreacting....what?? I just cleaned up your kitchen and picked up your kids from school?? I was the only one with you at the hospital?
A friend of mine introduced me to Narcissistic Personality Disorder and later another friend introduced me to Empaths and I was transported to reality. I was surrounded by it! Holy cow!! Enough is enough. I started cutting off ties with family members as their greediness came to light. I think their retaliatory behavior validated my decision to sever ties. When I had a miscarriage, I would get passive aggressive remarks about why that happened to me? Meaning because I had cut them off I was being punished by some higher forces. When my dad past, that was the hardest on me, my confidante, my advisor was gone and I had to take everything I learned from him and really put it into practice. I started caring less about what people thought of me, and I started to say "no". That was a big one. Just grow some balls and say NO. It's ok. People are adults and can figure out their own problems, you need to focus on yourself and your family!! That's what I started doing for the first time in my life and I was in my 40s. In the course of that time, I became stronger, much more self-confident, and much more relaxed.
I wasn't running around trying to figure out Thanksgiving, Christmas, and whatever other holidays but doing what I wanted to do. F*ck it. I felt great!!
I am much more careful now when I meet new people. I guess I am more reserved in a friendly and social matter. My efforts now have a limit and that's ok. My eyes are wide open and seeing and living the moment before me. I am mindful.
Regardless, I am grateful for my life because it has shaped me for who I am today and I love me.