Power, and the proper use thereof.

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen. For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great. You have no power over me.
–Sarah, Labyrinth

This week’s Blog Challenge is to Blog About Being Small – a time when you feel less than successful. That happens every time I give My Power away.

I made a new friend-in-the-box last year. Sort-of. To be completely honest, I felt like the Crazy Cat Lady trying to call a stray out of a tree. We met through my OKCupid profile (which should say a lot right there). I asked his opinion on my potential profile rewrite, he gave it (by slamming what I’d written). I got upset and deleted the verbiage. In another conversation, I was trying to write a blogpost. He slammed what I was writing, doesn’t understand the purpose of blogging, and succeeded in making me so upset that I sidelined the post (it’s still sitting in draft mode). This person has no vested interest in my success, could care less about me as a person, and yet I reacted to his input as if my life depended on it.

We’ve been interacting in this way, cagily dancing around each other since at least May of 2007, and I just NOW pulled the plug on it.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results

My first husband was given a lot of my power early on. After all, he said he loved me, had the best interests of The Family at heart. I sat back out of the way (guilt engaged) thinking “He has to make his own relationship with my daughter.” and listened to him yell at her. His logic was to have her think “if he comes down on me this hard for this little thing, what is he going to do if I do this BIG thing??!!??”

Yes, he was really that much of an ass.

After he left, I gave my daughter a lot of autonomy. I wanted her to have a sense of her own power (something I grew up without, obviously). This has had the benefit of having a precocious mini-adult capable of explaining herself in good terms. Add in the self-centered worldview that comes with being a teen (I’m gonna live my life differently than you did, I’m moving out ASAP, I can’t wait to drive, I can’t wait to get.out.of.here.) and well… she forgets she’s part of The Family.

Well, no. That’s not right. She doesn’t FORGET as much as she doesn’t think of it as “her problem”.

And I’ve talked at length about My Sainted Mama and her ability to completely and totally rain on my parade.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward solving the problem.

I’ve already cut Mr. Criticism out of my daily contacts. I need to work on my daughter – she needs to see the larger part of the domino-pattern that she’s in, and how her floating off on a cloud affects the pattern. Nothing can be done to affect Mama’s behavior – she doesn’t see what she does as “a problem”, so I have to change my reaction to her.

I have to hold on to my Power, so I won’t feel so small.

3 thoughts on “Power, and the proper use thereof.”

  1. What a very true post, all the way through. It’s easy to give your power away, especially to someone who you love/loves you. It’s much harder to reclaim it.

    Bizarrely, Ive gotten better about holding onto my power by reading babycenter.com’s Dealing with the InLaw’s thread. Ive discovered after several several months of reading it, that Im less likely to let ANYONE run me over – even with little things. Even with my family and my husband (who, bless him, is usually really good about stuff like that, but he is male, and therefore, kinda dumb sometimes.)

    How are you going to go about dealing with your daughter?

    1. For the moment, talk to her. There’s nothing else I can do since we live with my folks. Any loud shouting and My Sainted Mother comes dashing out of her room – she distracts me just long enough for my daughter to stomp off to her room.

      A day of reckoning is well on the way, though.

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