It’s been awhile since I posted. I last said I was going into surgery to fix a problem than had been ignored for over 20 years.
I am happy to say, my surgery went well. Once they opened up my back, it was very clear why I have had bouts of paralysis for years and things were much more dire than imaging simply made it show. I was lucky to end up with an extremely talented neurosurgeon, who fixed what he could, but will probably have a couple more surgeries to completely remedy the problem. I’m ok with it if it means I’m going to continue to walk for a very long time.
So posting has been hard as I’ve been on lots of pain medicine, which has caused me not to trust my instincts and live with some bad decisions. Pain medicine is necessary when you go through major surgery, but not fun as I hate not feeling like I’m in control of my life.
I had someone volunteer to come care for me, and I believe she had really great intentions, and I appreciate what she could do for me, but I also realized some things were not quite right, which led to a low.
I was so excited about understanding how important connecting with others was in my last post. Well, today left me hating people, the world, and feeling used, and like I’m only good enough for what I can give others. For once, I wish someone would offer to take care of me, because they truly wanted to, not because they needed an escape, money, I’m a better option, etc. All my life, I’ve had to ask others for help, only to be disappointed that it wasn’t really about helping me, it was more about what I could do for them. This, sadly, was the case once again. As I said, I believe her intentions were good, but I realized that this person and so many in my past don’t really care about helping me, they are first and foremost helping them self, and my needs are very secondary, if on the list at all.
I hate being looked at as an opportunity. I wish someone would care for me without asking for money or needing a place to live or just getting something out of me. It reinforces so much of my trauma patterns in my head that I’m only good enough if I’m the one giving to others.
Leaving the hospital, I could barely walk. I needed someone to basically do everything for me without having to take care of someone else’s financial and emotional needs. Unfortunately, this is what happened. Instead of my healing, I was the one doing the caretaking. It really is my fault in a lot of ways. I knew this would happen on some level and should have asked someone else, or I should have gone to skilled nursing where they would have taken care of me and only me, and I wouldn’t have had to worry about taking care of another person.
It was such a low. In fact, I was feeling so so so low. I began to question if anyone truly cared about me or loved me just for me?? I feel like people see me and see money or see that I have nice things and that I’m buying a house, so I’m a way out to bigger and better things for them. The truth is, I have these things as I buy NOTHING. I never go out. I never eat at a restaurant. I only buy things on super cheap clearance. I follow my budget strictly. I have nice things because I work super hard at saving to not buy frivolous things or “impulse” buys so I can have what I really want. I’m not rich. I’m not a millionaire. I am a woman who is a single mom supporting myself and my son on basically a disability income.
I was low and my self esteem went into the depths of the toilet having these realizations about myself. I then reached out on facebook for needing help packing up my house to move in a couple weeks as I’m restricted from doing anything for a couple months with the back surgery. I ended up as the hours went by, people began to offer. People began to offer who were using their only day off to help ME!! When I asked what they wanted in return, it was simply nothing but to know they could help me and to see me! They didn’t want money! They didn’t want an escape! They didn’t even want a place to live! All they wanted was to help with no alternative motive that wasn’t going to be thrown in last minute. This was the high. The high is that people do love me for just me, not for what I can offer them tangibly. People simply wanted to help as it was the right thing to do.
I have honestly been so confused the past week since coming home from the hospital as to why things were happening the way they were. I couldn’t figure out why I needed help with so many things, but the person helping wasn’t doing it, except to ask for more and more money and just eat me out of house and home with the promise of helping in a couple weeks??!! I was so confused as I thought helping was about helping, not about being an ATM machine.
I know when I have helped others in the past, I didn’t expect anything in return. I helped for the sheer joy of helping others. As I have reiterated, I’m sure the person helping me wasn’t completely intentional in all of this, but the fact it happened, was pretty heartbreaking and made me feel low and useless and unworthy. I know her part wasn’t about me. I’m sure her own patterns of operating in this world affected her decision making.
The good that came out of it is that I realized I’m better than being used by anyone. I will continue to help others without anything in return, and I will expect others to help me for the same reasons. Having things be conditional or strings attached just reminds me way too much of my dysfunctional family.
Do I still love and care about the person that was helping me with all these conditions? Absolutely, but it was also an excellent reminder that I need to set boundaries with people, especially when they are doing things that are wrong to me and making me feel bad. I set a boundary today! I asked her to leave for awhile! I am super proud of myself as anyone with trauma knows that setting boundaries is hard. We HATE setting them as we get afraid people will get mad or won’t like us anymore. My new way of thinking is that boundaries make ME feel good regardless of how the other person feels. I honestly enjoyed a peaceful evening for the first time in a week. It was relaxing to only have to care for my needs and my sons. We are both in sync with each other and each of our physical and emotional needs are not overwhelming and so important to to me.
So, don’t allow yourself to be walked all over. No one is a door mat no matter how nice the person may appear. If you get an uneasy feeling in your gut, trust it. I know trauma makes it so we don’t trust any signals our body gives us, and it took me a week to figure out that my gut was giving me huge red flags and warnings. I set my boundary though. It made me extremely uncomfortable at first, but look! I had a peaceful evening again. Peaceful enough that I could gather my thoughts to post on my blog, which is hugely important to me.
So go for it! Set some boundaries. Boundaries, ironically will give you your own freedom and will keep you safe!