Where to start today..., well, I've been reading Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend and wondering why I didn't finish it back when I started. I have some ideas there, I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and not ready for taking on a project like those that are outlined in the book. Bad boundaries caused a lot of my marital and other relationship problems and like anything else that's new I have to step back and realize that a lifetime of not knowing what to do or how to do it can't be undone in a single reading. My first impulse was to start trying out the new techniques, but then I read the section about bonding before boundaries so I pulled my oldest daughter onto my lap and had a heart to heart with her. I've been putting off spending time with her for a variety of reasons, and none of them are very good. The book talks about why we do things and I like how they made motivation a factor. People often do things for the wrong reasons and now I can see how in the past I've done things out of fear and guilt instead of genuine interest. There's so much in the book I'm afraid I won't ever master any of their concepts, but I know that starting a project like this will only lead to greater self awareness and respect which is something I desperately need in my life.
I've gotten a couple of messages from people who have told me that they're following my daylogs and that more than the votes and C!'s help to keep me going, especially on days like today when my head is pounding. I have a fourteen year old with a lot of energy, an introverted eleven year old, and a lot of stress and turbulent emotions. Last night I read to my oldest while she took an Epsom salt bath. She loves the story of Rapunzel so that was our selection last night. When I was done she wanted another story, and I wanted to read one to her, but I started working on my boundaries by telling her that I was very tired and could only manage one story for the night. I didn't handle it perfectly, but I communicated what I was willing to do, read a story, and what I wasn't going to do; read a second one. Things like that are hard for me. I feel like I'm not being a good mother, I felt like I could push through being tired and read another story, but I was so tired I fell into bed last night and it was a pleasant surprise when it seemed like the girls went down without too much fuss and staying up late chasing each other around and getting riled up again.
I'm very distracted today. I keep jumping off E2 to see what's happening on Twitter or to skip through a commercial on YouTube. It's amazing how fast the house can collapse into disorder and disorganization. We just came home after buying new glasses for my youngest and now the lunch things are out on the counter. I just asked the girls to clean up after themselves so they're in the kitchen, but not doing the job I would like them to be doing. Parenting is tough because things creep up on you, and if you don't have good role models and boundaries, or are ignoring self care because you never learned how, it's that much more difficult. I feel like I have a mountain of things to learn and implement. I have so much that needs fixing in my own life I don't think I should be in charge of two girls who deserve more from their parents. However, I'm dedicated to self improvement and trying to remember that at least I'm working on some of these issues now.
I've been less active on Twitter lately, it's an interesting place to explore boundaries. Here's an example from last night and another one from this morning. Last night a guy asked if I was on SnapChat, and if I was, if I shared my username. I know what SnapChat can be used for, I have an account, but I rarely send snaps to my friends. A friend of mine who is down in Australia has a great deal of artistic ability, I enjoy her snaps, most of the rest of them are okay. I told this guy that I was on the site and gave him my username. I just checked and I don't have any new snaps from anyone so I don't know if he's going to send me anything or not. The point is that I feel comfortable sharing that information with him. He asked in a polite manner, I gave him what he asked for willingly. I didn't feel coerced or manipulated into sharing that with him. Another guy down in Florida sent me a DM on Twitter asking if I had read a book about segregation in the South during the Jim Crow era. In his message he apologized for possibly duplicating that information since he recommends that book to a lot of people.
Here's what I didn't like about what he said: First of all, there's no reason he couldn't have just told me that on Twitter in the public chat facility. I frequently recommend books to others and unless there's a reason to go behind the scenes, I drop someone a tweet letting them know that I think they would enjoy such and such book for such and such reasons. Secondly; I recently followed this guy so I feel like he knows that he didn't recommend anything to me. He would have a record of the recommendation if he did it privately, and if his memory is that bad, then I feel like I must not be very special to him which leads me to my third point. I feel like this guy wants to talk to me and is using a book on a subject that I've indicated interest in as a way to start a conversation. While there's certainly nothing wrong with that, I do things like this myself, I don't care for the way that it was handled. I'm either special and you remember talking to me, or I'm not special and you're so clumsy you can't remember if you told me about a book or not. He goes on my list of people I don't trust that I think are manipulative and possibly subversive. That may be harsh, but I'm going through an unenviable divorce where someone repeatedly hid things from me and I am not interested in anyone who is anything other than forthright about their intentions.
I had a chat with the guy who told me he was suicidal in his twenties. He's recognizing that he needs better boundaries and told me that he is going to work on respecting his wife and their private marital conflicts. He's told me things in confidence that he wouldn't like coming out in a public arena and I'm not going to share that with anyone, but it's making me reflect on what I share and who I'm entrusting things about my personal life because the thing is, you never really know other people. My book talks about how others will view boundaries. The people I want to be associating with are going to see that I have boundaries when I communicate them, and respect them, and me. The guy who asked for my SnapChat info is very direct. He asked for what he wanted without beating around the bush and that is attractive to me since I rarely encounter it. I want to be a more direct person since sometimes I have problems stating what I want. My therapist and I are working on the idea that what I need and want are important which isn't a concept that's very easy for me to put into practice and believe.
I'd like to write more, but my head is killing me so I'm going to exercise my right to take a Friday afternoon nap...
P.S. Wanted to write about seeing him last night and meeting an attorney on Monday, but that will have to wait.