Crafting the Change: In Reply to Goddesses and Doormats #queenofallevil 7/30/14

Lately I’ve read a few pieces written by queenofallevil that are really hitting home. She writes about empowering yourself and refusing to belittle who you are to someone else needs or expectations. She talks about how to achieve self-realization in a very straight forward manner. While blunt and to the point, what she says needs to be heard, read, understood, and used by so many of us. When you come from any sort of dysfunctional relationship, whether it was how you grew up or was a romantic one, the first step is to be aware of what happened to make it dysfunctional and eradicate it.

Personally, I am one of those people that over-cares and over-does. In my first marriage, my husband-to-be actually told the priest that the reason he was marrying me was because I made everything work. I made it easy for him to live his life the way he wanted to. In essence I was his executive assistant to be, not his future wife.

Being a helpmate is not a bad thing, but when I took care of all of the details constantly for someone who, while admitting that I did so, continued to use me in this manner without trying to change what was going on, I lost track of who I was. He did not want me to work saying that the military was taking care of everything and would stop if I worked a true job, so I was allowed only a small job to cover extra expenses. Over time my sense of self-worth and id just dissolved into who my mate needed me to be. I lost my voice, not physically, but mentally and spiritually. I left my interests and hobbies behind so that I could help him achieve his goals. I buried myself in his needs and wants to the point that others didn’t even know if I could talk or express an opinion of my own.

The best thing I did during that relationship was to go back to school during which I fell into my profession. I started out as a voice major. It was something that I loved, but something that was costly in time. He didn’t mind that I sang and practiced all the time. It wasn’t until I changed my major to speech pathology that things truly got rough.

During my second year of classes, I started getting job applications constantly sent to me with salary quotes. After he picked one up and read that I was going to make more money than he did, well things started getting rough. No longer did he allow me time to study or do my projects. I had to squeeze in all the extras that a graduate student is required to do during the hours that he was not at home because once he got home, I was required to be available for him at all times.

It wasn’t until he left on a year-long duty overseas, that I realized that without him and his needs, I didn’t know what to do. I was finishing up my master’s degree at the time, about to intern, when I finally got angry enough to do something about it. I realized that I didn’t want to continue to follow him around anymore. I wanted my own career, managed by myself without his interference or even his input. I wanted out in a big way, which was my first indication that something was truly wrong. I was growing out of the doormat stage of that particular relationship, unfortunately I had not grown enough to recognize and stop the pattern.

My first dysfunctional marriage led into my second one in which I continued to be the care-giver, the organizer, the doer of the relationship, and in this case one more step … the provider. Focusing on what had to be done and how to do it, I made it to where my second husband didn’t believe that he needed a job at all. He simply stayed home, played on the computer, or played at creating items for his hobbies. Was it entirely my fault that he chose this venue? No, but I made it easier for him to do so. After all, why work for someone else making a little bit of money, when your spouse has made it so simple to just stay home and have fun. I won’t say that we could afford what he was doing, we truly couldn’t but that part never truly bothered him, only me as I began the spiral of exhaustion of mind, body, and spirit.

So, this cycle repeated itself, in a slightly different manner, but the result was the same.

My lesson is to become less available to everyone else’s needs around me. It is very hard to not be the person that has the supplies, has the answers, and knows how to fix or do whatever needs to be done. It is harder still to stop wanting to help everyone around me. As a natural care-giver, I need to work socially on what I do professionally … teach others, not do for them.

As a society, we use the word help in a very positive manner in which the person helping is supposed to be doing a good thing. We have created a generation of people who have been brainwashed into being the end-all and do-all of their families and relationships, but this is not necessarily a good thing. In response to the care-givers, we, as a society, have also created a generation of users; people who think nothing of running their helpers, the ones who love and care for them, into the ground from all of their demands both necessary and unnecessary.

So, in reply to what queenofallevil is writing about, I believe that the answers lie both within and without. People need to recognize their dysfunction and work to alleviate it, but the change is not just for individuals. We, as a society, need to acknowledge the dichotomy and work towards crafting the change.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mark Baron
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 18:29:18

    I always wondered how he managed to do so very little with so much time on his hands…

    Reply

  2. queenofallevil
    Jul 31, 2014 @ 08:30:08

    You are exactly right. Society needs to change and like any other movement, it starts with the individual. One by one, we need to take back our power and eventually, things will change. It’s not an easy thing to do because dysfunction really screws up our perspective and it’s easier to go along and be miserable sometimes than it is to stand up and say – “No more, I deserve better”.

    I spent 12 years in a marriage similar to your first one plus alcoholism and lots of abuse. I learned a lot about myself in that marriage and much of it was not so good. I was a doormat and so mentally whipped that it was easy to accept that status than fight for better. Luckily the epiphany came and I escaped it.

    Reply

    • Quietude's Junction
      Aug 01, 2014 @ 17:39:40

      Well, I came from a divorced family where I lived most of my growing up years with my alcoholic mother. So for me, dysfunction was a part of life. I’ll never forget when I was in sixth grade and wearing a size 11, my mother came out, drink in one hand and cigarette in the other wearing a pair of my size 5 short shorts that I had out grown a year or so previously. She danced around telling me that I was too fat to ever be able to wear them again, but that she was gonna keep them to remind me that I would always be fat. So, it makes sense that both of my marriages were dysfunctional.

      Reply

  3. johnribner13
    Jul 31, 2014 @ 20:33:01

    Well written post! Good luck in your new, far less dysfunctional life. You deserve it.

    Reply

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