Thursday, May 14, 2009

What makes YOU feel important?

Or perhaps, what makes you feel not important?

Last night's temper tantrum was all about "important." Important and crazymakers. I have a pathological need for crazymakers in my life. I find them and keep them close. I was raised by them. My best friend in college was one. I married one. Julia Cameron wrote the artist's way which I've attempted to work through twice and cannot. I did, however, get as far as crazymakers. They are the people who NEED you. NOW. And anytime you turn your energy elsewhere they come running in to demand it NOW.

In college my best friend was not a night person. She was a morning person. She would call at 7 AM to take of business that was bugging her. She was fabulous and keeping her own boundaries set and good at saying "no" (although she'll tell you she wasn't) and she was fabulous at stepping over other people's boundaries and volunteering other people to do things. She offered up my pillow and blankets to an arriving international student (who had arrived without bedding) when I requested them back a month later I upset the student and in turn my friend. (Sorry, I was in college, I didn't have extra bedding.)

In the day of modern conveniences it seems being important means being too busy. The family member who announced she was moving into my house 2 years ago (and did and stayed for 7 or 8 months; displacing my child who two years later will NOT sleep in her own bed because she didn't for all that time so why should she now?) is always too busy to watch my children when I need her to but insists on having them over for a "big date" on her schedule.

The partner who wants to me to call is happy to spill for 10 or 15 minutes about their day but when I try to discuss mine I am ALWAYS told "oh, they are ordering dinner, can I call you back?"

While it does at times get old I understand my children's need to be crazy makers. It is a survival skill honed over years of behavioral evolution. "mommy pay attention to me or I might die" actually makes sense out in the wild somewhere. But what I've really had enough of is all the adults running around who still think they can act like this. And the minute I start carving out time for myself, or having some semblance of a schedule for myself or god forbid want to call and talk about my day need to start demanding from me. I'm taking on my crazy makers and drawing some lines. Either it is a two way street or you find a different street.

And by the way; it WAS an intense day yesterday. Miss D. who runs the preschool room has diabetes. She felt her sugar was low and stepped out to have a cracker and juice and I took over circle time and snack. After about 10 minutes I found our director and sent her looking as I couldn't just leave the class. Miss D. had started to crash, was awake but not lucid and the paramedics were called and it was a little nuts. Helping Mom and I did fabulous. None of the kids really noted anything. After 20 minutes one asked where Miss D. was and I said "she isn't feeling well. She needed to rest but she'll be back soon. Probably the next time you are here." which seemed to satisfy everybody. And we had a pizza party on the playground and one of the children in Bitsy's class was to ride with me over to fetch M-Lyons and one of the mother's was late to pick up and it was a very busy morning. I did kind of want to discuss it. And after asking if he was busy, and listening to blow by blow accounts of what he did today and who he talked to I WAS irritated that "it was time to order, I'll call you back" is what I was told when it was "my turn" to talk. And you know, I'm tired of these people expecting me to be their rocks, and their corners and not giving it back.

And so I did call and chat with my much younger but brilliant sister and admit that I DO need to look in the mirror and see what it is that I'm pissed about REALLY and what I can do to change it. Because the truth is, I cannot change the crazy makers. I can only change how I respond to them.


Tabitha in Bliss said...

So true! I have been there and done that.

The Muse said...

Control lies only within yourself!
Say goodbye to the old days and live the NEW you! :) LOL

Cheryl said...

I totally get this, as I have grown up, have friends, family, people at work who are the crazy makers. My husband is at the top of the list, for many of the reasons you named. I think you got it exactly right, you can't change them, only how you respond to them. Now if I can just remember that when I'm in the moment, LOL.
Carving out time for yourself is so difficult, yet so vital. It is my current goal, again. Wish me luck.

Great post.