Wednesday, July 29, 2009


A good friend of mine, who lives a couple hours away and whom I see very little, recently sent me an e-mail inviting me to join her soon for her birthday party.  My initial response was an enthusiastic Of Course! I Can't Wait!, but almost as soon as I'd typed the words I erased them.  Not because I changed my mind, or didn't want to go, or realized some urgent plans that had already been made that day--simply because D couldn't go and I needed to check with him first.  Now, it's certainly not a bad thing to check with my husband in order to ensure that there is nothing important in our respective lives on the date in question that I am forgetting, prior to sending my RSVP.  I think, however, it is probably a bad thing that the main reasons behind my desire to check-in with him before committing are fear of him being angry that I'm gone, and worry that he will act out either as a result of that anger or a result of being all alone on a Friday night.  

This is where my people-pleasing is at its worst--in these gut reactions to simple things, like invitations to birthday parties.  In my effort to please others and thereby control them and my environment (because if I can keep D happy, of course, he won't act out and I won't have to deal with all that craziness) I have once again discounted myself.  This kind of thing used to happen all the time, and cost me some friendships along with my sanity.  Luckily, now I have my recovery tools and while those deep-seated fears haven't exactly gone away, I can at least remind myself (again) that I cannot control D's reactions.  It is not my job to ensure his happiness 100% of the time, and even if he is alone and/or angry about my absence, he is perfectly capable to drawing on his own recovery tools to get through it.  I can leave him to his Higher Power and focus on--gasp!--me.  And if I focus on me, and self-care, and what I really want to do, the answer to her question comes easily.  

Of course!  I can't wait!


Enigma said...

I've been struggling with this lately. There are many situations that I've been avoiding (i.e. parties, the beach, movies) because 1) I'm afraid they'll be too triggering for my husband and 2) because like you, I am afraid he'll be upset that I went without him and act out in the mean time. I'm trying very hard to be present for myself and as well as my husband, but it's definitely a delicate balancing act. I'm certain it will take a lot of faith on my part (in my Higher Power) to help me surrender my husband and his actions, so that I may continue to take care of myself & not fall back on old habits.

BTW, I'm so glad you've decided to attend the PAR-TAY!!!

RockiBottom said...

I find myself doing this as well. I have turned down many invitaions simply for the fact that I didn't want to leave Hub alone. Alone time meant time for him to do the things he shouldn't. Unfortunately, I have turned down enough invitations that I no longer get them now that I would more easily accept them. I am glad you are getting to the point you can say "yes, absolutely"