One of the worst things ever given to me by my monster (mother) was her attitude. She was always better than everyone else, made comments about others constantly, would be sweet to someones face and then trash them on the way home and just never have anything genuine or kind to say of others.
If someone would walk in with a beautiful new jacket, a comment would be made “Must be nice to have money for that!”.
If someone walked in with an old jacket, the comment would be “You think she’s spend a few dollars to wear something decent”.
A friend would invite us over for tea and serve sweets which inevitably got a comment about their weight or how they could be a bit more health conscious.
The same friend may serve nothing but the tea the second time and a comment about not being very sociable would be made.
A teacher might call home to let you know that your child needed something for school and a comment about how teachers are always begging for something but then the same teacher might not call and be accused of not caring to raise money for their students.
Men were either too nice or not nice enough.
Kids were too quiet or too noisy.
Women were ugly, fat, pompous, annoying…
Let me end that diatribe by just saying that no one could ever do anything right. It wasn’t only me and her other children. It was EVERYONE.
It never mattered how hard you tried, how much you cared, how rich you got, how pretty you were… in the end? You were a failure. Always.
Of course this seeps in to your mind as a child and you take it all very personally. You accept that you are just not good enough… for anything or anyone.
Say goodbye to self-esteem.
Losing a good sense of self-esteem is bad enough but even worse in my opinion? When you grow up this way? It is almost impossible not to model that behavior even if you know it is wrong. It just comes naturally.
I can not even count the times that I caught myself making unkind comments about people and told myself off for it yet caught myself doing it again at the first opportunity. It drove me crazy and it was a part of me that I truly disliked yet it seemed impossible to change. Believe me, I tried.
So I began doing something a little different. Each time I made a negative comment or judgement, I forced myself to also find something good to say. That guy might be butt freaking ugly but his shirt was nice. It didn’t always even out very well but I tried.
In time I noticed that before judging anything at all, I was looking for the one nice thing about a person. My brain began to actually work to find the good before it was allowed to switch to bad. For the past couple of years, I have tried and failed to erase those immediate negatives and it rarely seemed to work. Still, I pressed on.
I made a few big decisions too.
Most of you do not know that the year before I started Heathers Helpers, I had another site and another blog. It was filled with yucky stuff. Horrible memories, gross details, names of people who hurt me, deeply personal stuff. It was not a nice blog to visit and when I wrote it, I felt very negative about the whole thing.
I stopped writing that blog just before I went in to hospital the second time and when I came out, I began to rethink what I wanted to put out in to the world. I shut down the old site, took a 6 month break and then began this blog with the intention of this being a positive place for people to visit. I discuss tough subjects and allow some details of my past to be seen but there is very rarely anything triggering (I hope), rude or explicit.
My life mantra became that I’d seen so much evil and hate in my life. So much negative. I wanted to start evening that out in some way by doing my best to add positive instead.
I noticed something weird this past week or so. I am sure that it’s been this way for a while but I didn’t notice it until now…
I no longer need to look for good in people. I just see it.
My mind does not look for what is wrong but rather sees what is right.
I’ve always been very giving but in the past I’d be taught to expect something back… and I did. That is almost completely gone now. Giving freely without any expectations is joyous. It just feels good.
I am not even going to pretend that I am perfect at this and I am unsure if anyone can be. That said? I am going to try to always keep moving in the right direction. A positive and giving one.
The lesson I have learned through these past few years and actively trying to manipulate long-held beliefs in my mind… IT IS POSSIBLE. I was one way for 40 years and now I am no longer that way (95% of the time). I hope that each of you might take a moment to think if there is anything in your heart or mind that you would like to change and then just start to do it. You might try and fail hundreds of times but eventually you will find success and feel so good about yourself for it.
There is absolutely no need to be stuck in ways from the past that you are unhappy with. Make a decision to change it then just stick with it no matter how futile it will feel at first.
Is there a better way to start the week??? I think not. 🙂