Saturday, September 12, 2009

Nanny 9/11- The little girl that got me through

Originally uploaded by Sully Pixel

What do you remember about 9/11...Where you were...What you did hear first... How you did feel...It was a heavy day for most Americans. Most of us lived secure and serene lives completely unaware of the possibility that are land and our family could be thrust in unimaginable. Up until then I'd never entertained the thought that someone could come into our country and kill so many people at one time. My heart goes out to everyone who experienced a loss and my prayers are with you.

On September 11th, 2001 I was a full time nanny for a sweet little girl who was 2 years old. That is by far my favorite job to date. I was able to spend time with an incredible little girl her grab my heart the first time I laid eyes on her. We had so much freedom to get up and go as I pleased and that morning I decided to a her Borders for story time. I turned on the radio and heard a new report about a plane crashing into one of the twin towers. Confused and upset, I thought instantly that this was more serious than we know yet. I turned off the radio and put in a cassette of Veggie Tales sing along and we sang at the top of our lungs...

...That's what we did sing but I wanted to know everything that was happening. I wanted to know if anyone was hurt. I wanted to see the footage that they had. I wanted to know if should take shelter. If I needed to come up with an emergency plan with her parents.  I wanted to go back to the house and stay glued to the tv so that I could find out the best plan to save our lives if it came down to that, but I knew that I would not do that. I believe that kids are incredibly smart and they very sensitive to the things that we try to hide from them. So I since I could not be trusted to not turn on the TV as soon as we returned home I decided that today would be a fun day. I wanted that little girl to have a great day. She'd had enough hardships in her life. We parked and walked into Borders and quickly walked past all the people that were on their cell phones talking in a worried tone. No worries the story teller was there and in a great mood. She used all kinds of voices and all the kids had a great time.

Story time was too short. I decided that we would stay out as long as possible. I thought of calling her parents because I knew hearing her voice would encourage them beyond my imagination, but the network was busy and I could get any calls through anyway. So it was off to the park. I put her on a swing and we had the best time. I taught her to say,"YEEEHAWWWWW!'", with a proper Texan accent. She ran around and had her choice of playground equipment, we were the only ones there. The park was clean, warm and pleasantly quiet, except for all the noise we made.  I remembered feeling grateful for the sun and the sky and for the peace and safety that I felt. I remember staring up at the clouds and feeling nervous when a plane passed overhead. I thought it was way to low and wondered if my perception was off because of today's events.

Finally we had company. A man and his lap top. He seemed equally eager to enjoy the day as we exchanged words through sincere smiles. My curiosity got the best of me and I asked him for an update; he informed me of the second plane. I took a deep breathe and decided that I would not cry now. It felt good to smile and I was not sure that if I had enough control to only let a a few tears fall. Would I be able to remain upbeat for the little one.

After avoiding home so long I knew it was time to for lunch. So a few songs later we were home and I warmed up some food, put her bib on and turned her away from the TV...  I could not take it anymore. I had to know the state of our country. I needed to connect with all the hurt and fear that was happening.. I needed see it for myself...

... Its was awful; hate does the ugliest things. So many lives, so much losses. Fires, crashes, escaping, collapsing, jumping, crying, smoky, hijacking, death... I was stuffed my face as I stuffed my feeling.

When the little one's moms came home I was staring at the TV with a fork in my mouth. She'd come home early to wrap that little girl up in her arms and tell her how much she loved her. I knew it looked bad that I was eating and watching the horrendous footage in front of her daughter. I wanted to explain but thought that would be selfish. The most important thing I could do was make a quick exit so that a little girl could experience her mother's love and her mother could get the comfort, warmth and peace that I got experience all day because of her spirit and her smile.

listening to "Fire And Rain - James Taylor with lyrics" ♫

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hidden Anger Quiz

The problem with hidden anger is that it is hidden. Passive-aggressive actions can be subtle or hard to spot. The quiz is taken from the book Overcoming Passive-Aggression: How to Stop Hidden Anger from Spoiling Your Relationships, Career and Happiness. Take a minute to assess how you're doing. To complete this brief questionnaire, write down on a sheet of paper either "yes" or "no," regarding your own behavior. If your tempted to write down "sometimes," determine the frequency involved so that you can gauge the degree of difficulty your having.

Hidden Anger Quiz
  1. Was anger prohibited in your home as a child?
  3. Did you (or do you) struggle to please your parents?
  5. Would you describe your parents as having a negative attitude when you were growing up?
  7. Do you take actions to protect your status quo?
  9. Do you use brief answers or short phrases to express yourself?
  11. Do you smile when you're actually frustrated?
  13. Do others tell you about an interpersonal problem they think you have that you don't see?
  15. Are you ever intentionally slow performing a request?
  17. Do you tell others that you don't understand their request or concerns so that they'll leave you alone?
  19. When you disagree, do yo fell less anxiety by silencing your frustration?
  21. Do you see things mostly in black and white, with very little falling into the gray area in between?
  23. If you see a coworker make a big mistake, do you keep quiet?
  25. When afraid to share your opinion, do you later resent things not going your way?
  27. Do you bristle when others criticize your work?
  29. Do you soothe uncomfortable feelings with food, alcohol, drugs, sex, or gambling?
  31. Do you often feel that problems you encounter are someone else's fault?
  33.  Do you continue an argument past its logical end?
  35. Does fear of rejection prevent you from taking actions?
  37. Do you feel that others can make better decisions than you can?
  39. Have you ever turned in projects that contained errors or omissions that would cause problems for someone?
  41. Do you yearn for more freedom in a relationship but at the same time wish to close?
  43. Have you ever had hard time following the wishes of those in authority?
  45. Do you resent someone telling you how to do a better job?
  47. Do you keep your feelings inside for so long that you eventually explode unexpected outbursts?
  49. When a person is too demanding of you, do you look for ways for him to fail?
  51. Have you put your foot in someone's path because you resented path person's good fortune? 

The purpose is not to give a definitive "score" but to alert you of the presence of your own hidden anger, needs, fears, and things you might be avoiding. The more "yes" answers you have tallied the more likely it is that you're concealing emotions, including anger. Concealing anger makes anyone much more apt to react inappropriately or in a passive-aggressive manner.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Complaining About Hubby

My husband, nicknamed Gambit, is a very patient man. He has to be to deal me for 18 years. I know that he's lucky to have me but I do express unpleasantries from time to time (that's PC for complaining, yelling, avoiding fun, being get the point).

I recently felt the need to vent (complain) about a few of Gambits actions that upset me. If I could have articulated myself at that time I would have calmly set a few boundaries. Instead I was carried away by my emotions and let them control of the conversation. What I thought would be five minute conversation turned into a two hour vent feast where Gambit took many blows to his ego. There was no name calling or I hates yous; instead I insisted that he had wronged me and I wanted him to acknowledge it and make an effort to change. Several times I thought that I should stop because I was unable to communicate in a productive. But I continued because the pent up frustration was leading to recurring depression so I thought that it was important to say it all while I had the chance.

I what I did was whine and blame Gambit for our problems. It was the benefit was getting me in touch with a lot of suppressed emotion that keep my passive and hopeless. Because I did not express my feelings, thoughts and solutions I put everything on Gambit's shoulders. If he did not fix the problem it would not be fixed. If he did not change his behaviors we were doomed to fail. It was his fault and I was a helpless victim...In reality I was a person who has not had much practice expressing my authority and disapproval. When I attempted to do so it comes off too aggressive and so I repent by backing off and becoming nice. This  mistake taught me that setting boundaries is a cure for nagging. Setting boundaries should include asking the action you desire, describing the action you don't like and explaining what your corresponding reaction each action in the future...

...Just in case you are wondering the argument was about how money should be handle, c'est la vie...

During the conversation with Gambit did not feel loving...I felt mean. The conversation did not feel felt like an excuse to take out my frustration and make him feel bad, but I don't regret it any of it. The things that I said to him were emotions that I've tried to manipulate into acceptable and loving reaction. I tried to make myself in a good wife by being submissive and supportive.When we disagreed I'd usually let him know my opinion but I tried to prove that I trusted him even when he made decision with our money that I did not like. So I did not express myself the way a good wife should...SO WHAT! I've learned through my battle with depression that I have to express myself and to set boundaries when I feel hurt or taken for granted. I may not always do it the right way, but I think that striving for perfection hinders balance and harmony in self. Instead I'll strive to be authentic and honest.

Still I felt bad for Gambit. Even a short session of someone pointing out my faults triggers emotions of self doubt, anger, and sadness. When people critic me I want immediate encouragement through loving affirmations or I will start to avoid that person. My husband however sat there and took complaints  like a champ: he did not interrupt, was not defensive or aggressive, and he never raised his voice. In fact he encouraged me to get it all out because he knew that I needed to. I was scared that he'd become cold and distant and that night he said some things that hurt my feeling but his words were vulnerable and honest and I was grateful for that. After all was said and done he wanted to make sure that I came to bed to lay beside him. He held my hand and wiped my tears.  We went to bed spent, but not angry and I knew then that we would be okay in the morning.
...And we were. He was so loving and attentive the next day: eager to please, lots of kisses and hugs. He wanted me by his side every free moment he had. So to thank him for encouraging me and helping me let go of my hurts I wrote a letter to him titled "Thank You My Love".

Gambit has taught me what unconditional love looks like. Gambit I love you more than I could ever express in words. "Between me and you... I can honestly say...that things can only get better..."

Related Posts:
Thank You...My Love Letter To Gambit-  3L Saturday Love
My Sick Baby- Love, Lust and Life
My Money Secret- 3L TCB Thursday