Sunday, May 22, 2011

Don't be a target, patsy, or schwimp

On a private Aspie board I frequent, someone posted about apologizing over and over for the same thing.

I'd like to warn anyone else who does this why I had to learn to stop doing the exact same thing: Because when I would do that, people saw me as an easy target. They knew I guilt-tripped easily, and they used that apologetic, wants to please, wants to make everything right part of my nature to manipulate me into doing/giving stuff (favors, work, money) for them.

Three things have really helped me cut down on the number of people who manipulate me (very rarely happens now, but I'm still a big softie-always will be- so sometimes someone gets me, lol)

1. Look as confident as I can (often pretending, "fake it til you make it"
2. Don't apologize much (even if I'm wrong, and even if deep down inside I feel that huge pressure to apologize and try and "make it right")
3. Don't do things for people til I've known them for awhile (at least 6 months) and even then, try to tell them "no" every other time if not more often.

The weird thing about all this, is that when I started enacting these boundaries in my life, I thought I would lose all my friends. But what happened is I only lost my "so called friends," those people who didn't really like me, but were just pretending to like me so they could take advantage of me.

And I began attracting more quality people into my life. I still don't have as many close friends as I'd like, but now I at least have a small nucleus of folks I trust to have my best interest at heart. Couple years ago, all I had were people who would use me up and wear me out, and then not be there for me when *I* needed some help.

My Baby Boy Loves Me

guest post by Janine Wiggins:

So... tonight at 318Live, my little Peanut was a bit wild. Translation: overtired. He was whirling around, flapping his arms, and exhibiting autistic traits I hadn't seen in awhile in this extremely sociable, usually well behaved little man. I was a bit frustrated at first because I really liked the praise and worship songs they were singing this time, and wanted to get into it. But since he was overtired I knew my best bet was to jump in the water with him, calm him down, and help him get to sleep.

As he alternated between pressing my hands hard to his ears and giving my hands an abundance of kisses, I reflected back on how he was over 2 years old before he purposely gave me a hug. Over 4 years old before he actually said "I love you" without it being a mimicked my response to my having said so.

As I began to thank God for his over-the-top displays of love (which sometimes drives me crazy now, lol!) I realized that for every time I have to take him to a back corner, so he can whirl around and flap his arms, I have 20+ times of awesome behavior that always garners compliments like, "my, how very well behaved your son is."

Finally, I remembered how I cried out for 8 years to the Lord to heal my body so that I could have a child. This is always where the Spirit takes me back to, when I get overwhelmed with parenting ;-)

I left 318 that night, not only with a heart for the mission we raised funds for (HelloSomebody), but also with a heart full of gratitude for the great God who gave me a wonderful, bright, intelligent, loving little boy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Loving Ourselves

Quick thought for today... I was browsing an old self-help book on building self esteem. Wish I could find the title for you. One thing she mentioned stuck out to me because it's something I'm currently focusing on: Loving myself.

We need to love ourselves.

This is hard, sometimes, because we may never have experienced real love from our parents, so-called friends, etc. But I've been working on accepting myself (faults included) and loving myself. And her chapter actually outlined what I'm doing along with a few tips and tricks. I will have to get that book for you, but in the meantime, here's what I wanted to share:

Every day:

1. Tell yourself, I am worthy of being loved.
2. Be your own best friend.
3. During the day compliment yourself at least once.
4. At the end of the day, if there's something you're mad about yourself for, or have been beating yourself up over, tell yourself "I forgive you for {insert whatever it was you're mad at yourself for}"

When we begin to internalize that we are worthy of being loved, people who will actually love us (not just use us) will be attracted to our lives.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I don't take care of *me* I can't take care of my son

I just responded to a comment left last week, and I was surprised to see that my last post was back in March.

It shouldn't have been a surprise, though, because I've been traveling a lot for my new job and that takes a LOT of energy out of me. I replied to that commenter "I have much higher travel commitment than I'm used to. That's part of why I don't post here or on fb as much as I used to- I just don't have the energy to post anything other than pity parties lately, and that's not helpful for anyone, lol!"

What is helpful for anyone reading this is that I am not beating myself up about not doing all that I would like to. And I hope that if you are having to trim your life of some things (whether permanently or temporarily) that you are gentle and loving with yourself about it.

I've accepted the fact that I only have so much energy, and I have to pick and choose where it goes: God, taking care of me, taking care of my son, my job. Yep, in that order- yes, I know some mammas will take issue with me putting myself before my son, but I've realized if I don't take care of *me* I will be unable to take care of my son. This may not hold true for other, more capagle, more energetic, more NT (lol) mammas out there.

What does taking care of *me* look like?

Gotta make sure I eat right, which means allowing time to both cook AND clean up later
Gotta exercise (ugh, but it helps my mood and my waistline)
Gotta get enough sleep (yes, I'm going to bed in 5 minutes!)
Gotta make sure I have a clean house and clothes (because if I let the clutter build up, then it overwhelms and paralyzes me and takes WAY MORE effort to clean than if I just attacked it a little bit each day)
And finally, I must budget adequate time for proper grooming, which improves the way other people treat me as well as the way I feel about myself.