Monday, February 22, 2010

A Question...

A new week. What will this one bring?

I spent the night at Tiff's again. She asked me to, she said it didn't make sense for me to drop her off at 10pm and go home, just to sleep and return at 8:30am.

Funny, I think of things to write about when I am not at my computer writing, but when I find some time to sit down, my mind goes blank.

As I have mentioned already, I am shortly coming to the half century mark. The big 5-0. I have shared how my life has turned out very different than I thought it would as a young adult, living in a fantasy world. So I have a question: How has your life turned out different than you thought it would and would you think it is better?

I ask that, because despite my reflections, I think I have turned into a better person than I would have been had my life followed my "plan". I think I would be more selfish and self-centered, less patient and compassionate. There have been a lot of trials, heartache, disappointments, and losses. Sometimes I have felt robbed because of the selfish decisions of others. Their right to choose infringed on me. But I also wonder how many times I infringed on others and robbed them of something that was important to them.

I've done an awful lot of repenting in my life. I smile though, because I am so grateful to be able TO repent, to have the knowledge of the Atonement's existence. I desperately need it every day of my life.

My children have told me I have changed a lot. I was loosing my relationships with them, because I was so wrapped up in me. I learned something that was really important for me to learn - "IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT ME!" Never was. Never will be. There is an ebb and flow in life. Sometimes I am in the center, but most of the time someone else is. Right now, in my center, that someone is Tiff. I want to support her by being there for her as she works to graduate and find a good job. Something she will enjoy and be fulfilled in. Something she can support her girls with. This is really important to me, probably more than she realizes. She is my baby, yes, all grown up, but still my baby. Okay, Bobby is younger, but he is autistic, so he plays by a different set of rules. Tiffany has always been my baby....she is my baby girl, anyway.

We have not always been friends. When she was a teenager she hated me. Come to think of it, so did Michelle and Bridgette, at least I don't think they liked me very much. I don't think my boys have disliked me, but my girls sure did. It broke my heart, I didn't understand why, but as I have grown and learned to put others in the center, my relationships have improved.

The trials of my second marriage brought so much growth to me. It was sink or swim, and I started sinking... The biggest epiphany was the realization that I was manipulating others. This may have been part of the problem with my girls. I read the book "Women Who Love Too Much", by Robin Norwood. My counselor suggested it. I started reading it and was soon devastated. I came face to face with a huge, gaping hole in my integrity. I discovered that I would manipulate others in order for me to feel more comfortable. I think I knew it all along at some level, but I wouldn't let me look at it, identify it, or admit it. I feel that book opened me up and exposed a festering mess in my core. For those who may not recognize this, this is called a "CONTROL ISSUE". I was really good at it, very subtle. My ex-husband never did figure it out. To this day he still believes I was not a controlling person, or that I tried to control him. He recognizes things I did AFTER he confessed his affair, but not before. I just became more desperate after the affair was out in the open.

I controlled and manipulated all along. Instead of making a choice to take me out of an uncomfortable situation, I would mold those around me to satisfy my need while in it. OUCH!!! For several days I was a mess, it was like I could not stand to be in my skin. I was thoroughly uncomfortable with me. Finally, I reached out to God in a way He could help. Not that I didn't try before, but I had finally been softened enough that He could start to mold me properly. Now I try to evaluate whether or not my behavior is manipulating others. I may not be 100% successful with this, but I know it is a lot better.

So again, my question is: How has your life turned out different than you thought it would and would you think it is better?

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