Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How Do I Move To The Front Burner?

I have realized that I have a disease.  One many people, but especially women, suffer from.

I have developed this disease over the years and it has been put upon me by family, society and myself.

I have the people-pleasing disease.  It is a genuine desire to please people, to make them happy, to help them.  I love to help people.

That sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it?  The bad thing about this disease is that I put myself last.

What I want and what I need are not nearly as important.  What I want and need can wait until tomorrow.  What “you” need is more important and needs to be done today.  Of course I can wait. 

No problem.

It has become a problem, though.  I have lost an entire year because of this.

Short version: my uncle was in an accident and hospitalized for 3 months last year.  During those three months, I gave up everything to help my mother who was the one beside his bed every second, paying his bills, taking care of all of his affairs, etc.

I took on the role of housekeeper, chef, caretaker to grandma, personal assistant to my step-dad, errand-girl, grocery shopper, etc for a house of 4 adults.  I kept after my mother to make sure she took care of herself, ate, slept, gave her pedicures when her feet were killing her, etc.

Most of this has kept up over the last year and 1 1/2 months.  I don’t do all of it and I don’t do it to the level I was during his stay in ICU, but it continues because my mother cares for my uncle.  He had MS prior to the accident, but has suffered a decrease in his ability to care for himself.  That is for another post.

Because I want to help her, I give up what I need/want to do.  What my mom, my grandma, my family in general, friends, etc. need and want always take precedence.

I’m not blaming anyone really.  I know I have done most of this to myself.

I just didn’t realize the extent until the last week.  Things getting pushed back until X happened.  Today I was going to go to one of the schools I am interested in to learn about a program.  Last night around 9:00 pm, I got a call from a “cousin.”   She is really the daughter-in-law of one of my mom’s best friends, which makes her family.  She is the sweetest thing too.

She was in a bind for a sitter today.  My mom’s friend told her to call me because she knew I hadn’t found a job yet.  She needed someone to watch her son in the afternoon.  I said if you don’t mind bringing him here, that’s no problem.

And really, it isn’t.  He is only 6 months old and is currently sleeping.  I’m happy to help.  As I said, I love to help.

But I put myself on the back burner.

I’m not sure how to remedy this.  Is there a magic pill?  A special diet?  Hypnosis, maybe?

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