We continue to feel the pain of “Mom loves you best,” and “It isn’t fair,” decades after our first fight over the new toy.
One day last year I had a conversation with a co-worker that got me thinking about our relationships with our siblings. My coworker (who is over 50-years old) said she was quarreling with her younger sister and feeling pulled by the need to give in and the need to stand up for herself and was very torn by this. Then she said, “I feel silly that it upsets me so much at my age.”
Many women carry around great shame about their bodies and the belief that if they were thinner or had more willpower, everything in their lives would be better.
Lately, I have been fortunate enough to be counseling several adolescent girls. Of course all of them spend a lot of time thinking about how they look (they are teenagers), but listening to the way these girls talk about their bodies has me thinking a lot about shame and how critical many women are about their own bodies.
When I listen to the conversations of women around me I hear a lot of complaining; their butts are too big or too small, their arms sag, or their waists aren’t small enough. They complain about wrinkles and freckles, and hair that is too curly or straight or not the right color. Then there is the big one: almost every woman believes she is too fat.
Recently I was introduced to the “thinspiration” websites. I really got sucked in by some of these blogs and manifestos. I was horrified and fascinated. “Thin is more important than healthy.” “Without food I am perfect.” “I want to be light as a feather, barely there.”
Sometimes you need to let loose and have some fun.
Yesterday I squandered time, and money, and energy and it was glorious. I spent a beautiful day getting a pedicure, shopping, and then having dinner with my family. I had an iced coffee, I ate too much, I drank too much. I laughed all day and caught up on gossip. I bitched about work (a little), I ignored my emails and my cell phone. I didn’t rest. I didn’t do anything productive.
This morning I woke in a fabulous mood and I tried to remember the last time I enjoyed myself like that.
(Originally written 10/24/2014)
If you have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue, do you ever leave a doctor’s office wondering if it’s all in your head? I’ve been battling what has been diagnosed as chronic sinusitus and an earache for months. Today I finally consulted an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) only to be told that I have no signs of chronic sinus infection and no fluid on the ear. But I definitely have unexplained hearing loss in one ear. This leaves me with far more questions than it answers and wondering once again what the heck is wrong with me.
If all relationships are different, than how do I know if mine is working?
I spend a lot of time thinking about my marriage. And when I say "thinking," what I really mean is worrying. Should it be better? Is it harder than other people's marriages? Do we have more problems, more conflicts, less in common than other couples? I turn these questions over and over in my mind like worry stones. These questions have worn grooves in my brain.
The answer to all my questions is "yes," and "no." We have more conflict than some couples, less than a lot. Some couples must work hard to find things in common, others probably can't wait to get out on the trail (wagon, bike, campaign, whatever trail) together. All relationships are different.
To say all relationships are different is somewhat reassuring, but leaves much unanswered. If all relationships are different, than how do I know if mine is working? How do I know if this is a good relationship with some challenges or a really difficult relationship that could work if we are both committed to trying or a bad relationship that should be chucked into the scrap heap of love?