I sit every week and listen to people to talk about the trials and sadness of their life.
Is it enough for me to challenge their negative thoughts, tell them to self care and help them to find their worth?
All of those things are exactly right. But what’s the missing pierce. We are humans not robots. We are all different and made up of an infinite amount of little things that make us look at and feel life in a Particular way which will never be the same as another. Trying to provide a step by step guide to being a different way is like trying to turn them into you. Where is their worth in that.
I will use myself as the as the example. I know this stuff, I think about this stuff and yet I am a human just like you. With a heart. I care. I really and truly care. Not so much about the things people say about me but why they feel like that.
In this current situation in my life I find myself thinking about what is happening for them that has made them so sad and bitter in life that they would take it out on the person who has loved them the most and that they say they really love.
I mean it’s not like I met the nightmare bloke because I had low self worth and was willing to put up with anyone.
I met him when I was twenty. I was shy and insecure but also bubbly and funny and kind. He was cheeky, clever, funny, loyal and kind. We practically grew up together. The most happy and fun times in my life have been shared with this person.
We loved each other. Madly deeply. We had fun everywhere we went and rarely argued. Our love was dreamy. It was made of that special stuff that people look for and hope for.
We saw each other through all sorts of challenges of life and bounced back together in making life as fantastical as it could be.
Until lifes challenges finally caught up with us and changed us as people. P’s job is a very lonely job which has become harder over time and I have seen him change so much in that. Less patient, accepting and frustrated and angry. The girl who had taken a back seat and happily been a mum at home doing all the things that go with that, had returned to work.
Before i had my girl I had a really good job that I had worked my way up in and paid well. It took me to exciting places. But always felt very soulless.
I was happy with the new simpleness of my life. I loved being my girls mum. Getting in a box and pretending we were blasting into space to visit the moon. Walking round the room with sci fi music playing and as though we were weightless. I laugh to myself thinking about it. I wonder who enjoyed it more?
Money was tight. We had the flat. We never had lots of money to do it up. But we did the best we could with what we had. I tried to make it a home.
So I was very happy to take some local part time job so I could make a little extra money, continue to have that time with my girl when she went to school. I opened the post. I literally sat there with a massive pile of letters, opening them and putting them in a pile. Like a kid with a post office set. And my letter opener. Three hours in the morning opening letters.
What I really loved though was the chats. Being with people again. Laughing and making friends. Getting up in the morning and doing my hair and putting on something nice to wear. It was like a little social life of different people where I got a couple of quid to help make ends meet.
I loved that job even though I literally just opened letters.
When they realised they didn’t need anyone to open letters any more they moved me to the warehouse where I packed boxes. There’s an art to it you know. So big M told me.
We used to play music and laugh and I would dance in the aisles of the stockroom amongst the weird stuff we used to pack. But I was beginning to feel like i wanted to be more. I had a brain and it was switched off. I was happy but my life was passing by packing boxes. My girl was living her new life at school and making friends. P went to work and went out with his friends. And I took care of everything like a perfect mum and wife. Being there for them whenever they needed me. Making everything magical in birthdays and christmas and holidays and trips and day to day life. But little by little it wasn’t enough any more. Why wasn’t it enough? It should have been enough.
When they restructured again my chance came to find something that used my brain a little more. To be someone in my own right again.
The manager of another department told me I could apply for a job in her team. I’d been out of it all for so long I had lost my confidence.
The confidence that used to speak to New York office like I was Melanie Griffith’s In working girl. Keeping the figures for our dealing room and having to be on it everyday even after those crazy nights out of partying.
Where had that girl disappeared to? I didn’t have those basic IT skills that are just learnt on the job and make you look as though you are an expert when in fact it is just something that was learnt at school or being in a job long enough that it becomes second nature.
I was starting again. From scratch where everything that came before had no value. No university degree? Not interested. You took time off to be a mum and open letters and pack boxes? You are no longer up to anything more complicated.
But this manager saw that I had a brain and I was good with people and wanted to give me a chance to find my way again.
I remember telling P about it when I went home. I remember it so well. He was lying in the bath and I walked in excitedly. I have a chance for a better job. Someone has noticed my hidden potential. The skills I have learnt over the years that might be good in a different career. A career!!! From opening letters to a possible career. But still local. I could still do those school runs. Still be a mum cooking dinner and helping with homework.
But I couldn’t make P’s dinner before he went to work or spend that time chatting with him.
He was less than enthusiastic. Money was tight but he asked why I needed more. Why can’t you be content with what we’ve got. I never let you go without. We don’t have much but we have more than many and we are happy.
Oh just do what you want
I was so upset. I was excited and he thought I was greedy, selfish and they weren’t enough.
They were enough. But I had lost myself along the way. I had become the wife and mum and nothing more. There to fulfil everyone else’s needs but my own. I was happy being that but I wanted to be me as well. To feel like I was still a person in this world that was someone..
That was 10 years ago and the moment that feeling selfish began.

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