Learning lessons from friends: continuation of Friends/Religion/Finding Myself

A few weeks ago, I simply put out into the Universe that I wanted to help people in need and be a vessel of peace. Two days later, three people called on same day and told me they needed a place to stay. 

 I was unsure about having one of them live with me,  because he had not paid rent to the person who he had been living with for a year, and I did not want our friendship to end by having him stay with me and not pay anything. We discussed the price per room and I thought $400 would be good, but he thought $200 was fair, and paid me some money each week. I was not happy with this, but I couldn’t find my voice to do anything about it.

 I didn’t think he would pay a dime. But not only did he pay me what he said he would, he also helped me with my car, my dogs, listened to my problems and bought my son treats. I thought he would drag me down by using my utilities and getting in my way, but instead he brightens most of my days with his company, and I have  realized that I didn’t even know what an awesome guy he was until he moved in. 

I thought my other friend, who is a healer, would be a wonderful person to live with. I found out She was the opposite of all I thought she would be. I had always been under the assumption that if you were a healer you were a person who was someone to look up too. In fact, I felt that I was honored to be in her presence, because I could learn from her.

What I learned is that just because you are a healer does not mean that you are a nice person.

I found someone who did not want to pay rent in cash at all, and who would offer me some meals (along the lines of tuna fish sandwich/ spaghetti/soup) and had decided to charge me for eating without telling me.

I remember being offered a hot drink of tea and then being told how expensive it was and that I should be grateful to be drinking it. I realized then that she was money-oriented, and I never thought “holy people” were like that. She also mentioned that by helping out with the dogs she was paying for rent. She was doing a reverse charge by assessing fees for her feeding my dogs and bringing them inside at night.

This woman had money, but was tight with her money and bartered with me without telling me. Each week I asked for rent, and each week she told me I owed her money because she spent $200 on food in a week. I never knew tuna fish cost that much.

The man who did pay me $200 is far below poverty, but yet we have never had any problems. And when he would go out to buy donuts he would freely give my son one.

It took my counselor friend and my roommate to have a few short and intimate conversations with me to get me to understand that my healer roommate was using me. I was faced to look at how my boundaries were violated and how I was so used to letting her violate me, because of the status I gave her: she was Queen and I was her subject. Why? Because she was a healer.

I am not kidding. It was huge burst to my bubble: I believed at age forty-something that all healers and teachers were holy. I just didn’t know they were human. I didn’t know they could be selfish. I didn’t know that God or Buddha or the Great Light wasn’t going to jump in and make her stop using me and staying in my house for free.

She was washing clothes day and night. She cooked all the time and was using my utilities. Yet, she would not pay a dime, and I couldn’t stand up to her for so long because I thought she was better than me for being a healer. Thank Goddess my other friends intervened and helped me develop a backbone. It was hard to be forced to see the truth. Healers are not always holy. I believed they were for forty-plus years. I was wrong. People are human. 

The best gift I got from her was the gift of having someone force me into establishing boundaries. I remember asking her when she would leave, week after week and she would say things like “I will decide after my trip,” and “I am waiting to be led by Spirit.” I can’t believe I put so much faith into another person and none in myself.

I thank her for teaching me an excellent lesson: Love yourself first.

I learned that I misjudged my friend without  a lot of money, because he gave me the most amount of money he actually could give me, and his company is priceless.

My third friend resolved her issue with her roommate and moved out within a few days. She taught me that all healers aren’t bad. She was kind, loving, and was exceedingly warm with my son. I am really glad to have met her, because I was beginning to get a bad taste in my mouth for the term “healer.” She is everything bright and beautiful. 

I have been doing a lot of emotional clearing recently, because I finally have identified who my friends are and why they are my friends. I have learned the importance of boundaries, and the importance of putting myself on an even playing field as everyone else, especially spiritual people and all people in positions of religious power.

I cant’ believe it took me well into my forties to think about the possibility of valuing myself and not putting myself below others. I am equal to all. 

I am important.

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Friendships and Religion and Finding Myself

I learned a lot of lessons in the last three weeks. I have always given people who are healers as well as teachers in the field of religions such as pastors, priests and reverends, higher status than me, because I thought they were better than me.

I had this notion that they were almost non-human and certainly infallible to human mistakes. I thought that their opinions should be unquestioned because they had more knowledge about “stuff” than me. The problem is that I never questioned what this “stuff” was.

I guess it is because I grew up Catholic, and I remember always being told to be quiet and to listen to  Father(a priest) during service and to not question any services. 

Maybe it’s because I was told that I needed to go to Confession each week, even during times when I was certain I  had nothing to confess. I remembering being 16 and in Catholic school and as I was kneeling in one of the pews I was having anxiety because I couldn’t think of what to confess. My friend heard my heavy breathing and asked what was wrong. She told me that it was possible that there was nothing for me to confess and that she was different from others because she was at a Catholic school to get a good education, and that not everyone believed kids had to go to Confession. To me that was completely absurd. I finally decided to confess my confusion over not being able to decide what to confess.

Whew… saved by another confession of my lowly self. I also prayed for her Soul, and that she learn the importance of confessing her confusion as well. 

I got into my head that I was less than others just because I was ordinary. I thought about being a nun but I liked the boys. I wanted to be a Shaman, but I didn’t want to take drugs and I heard that you had to be chosen for that position. Only later in life did I find the perfect religion for me: Religious Scientist. But by the time I found this philosophy I was already damaged and confused and needed much reprogramming. I learned that everyone teaches us lessons for our good, and that I am a part of God. Still, I had to force myself not to bow to the Reverend Doug the first year.

When meeting him, I would casually lower myself pretending to pick up something I had dropped so that I could bow without him knowing it; other times I would do a quick knee bend towards him after he was leaving, because I was programmed to show obedience and it felt too uncomfortable not to do so; even though I knew it was not expected, nor desired at this new church.

For many years,  It was hard for me to believe I was equal to someone more spiritual than me! But no matter how many classes I took that centered on  “Loving yourself,” “Finding your Divine Purpose,” and “Being one with God,” I never really believed in any of it! But for years, I thought I did.

It took three friends who became homeless the same day and needed to live with me to  understand that not only did I not see myself as equal to everyone, but I also would  NOT establish boundaries, because I got used to giving my power to everyone else.

I had gotten use to believing that I needed someone more spiritual than me to help me love myself. And that by being godly I needed to give and give and give of myself. I never remembered a lecture in church as a child or as teenager in which I was told  to love myself first. I never remember hearing a lecture about establishing boundaries either. 

 

 

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I want some space.

I often have two feelings at the same time when I am with my son: GUILT AND ANGER. I feel guilty because my son wants to play  and I am busy, and I feel anger because he prevents me from getting things done in a timely manner so that I can do laundry, cooking, cleaning and paperwork.

I feel angry when I need  him to go away and he gets in my way like a road block.  I feel upset when he stands behind me and I trip over  him and I have to take time out to calm him down. I get upset when he whines, “Mommmmmy,” for no reason at all other than possibly wanting to hear how loud he can get, because when I do see what he wants all he says sheeply is “Hi, Mommy,” and then just looks at me.

Yes, I get that he wants attention but I have things that need to be done at home because chores and paperwork don’t get done on their own. Though I must admit, I have tried to see if little elves and fairies would come by to help me out when I am not looking, but to my dismay, the work is never done. I guess there is no Santa Claus either.

I also get angry when I do the laundry  and he wants to dance on the pile of clothes. When I try to get him to get off he will stand on the leftover piles of clothes, as if he was jet skiing, and so I have to drag the items out from underneath him one at a time. Sometimes, I think he hates me because I feel like he does things on purpose to  prevent me from getting things done.

Then when I try to make a meal, he follows me to the kitchen and rushes to the refrigerator as if it is a game called, “How many items can I grab from the refrigerator before mom looses her cool?”

The game goes like this: when I go to the refrigerator he stands right beside me waiting to get in, too. I will then  walk him back to the couch and give him a book or a toy and  he will rush back to the refrigerator just as fast as me! It is as if there are two of him; because by the time I get there, he is usually there, too! (I don’t remember having twins but I might have had them, because I was groggy in the hospital after giving birth.)

I will then open the refrigerator, and he will quickly grab  the eggs or something else in the refrigerator, and we play a game of   tug-of-war as I try to get the item back. Sometimes, I succeed, but usually I am fighting to get back an egg, ketchup, bread or whatever is in his reach which turns into a yelling match–no,I am not proud to say that–and then I end up apologizing and feel guilty for being such an angry, evil  mom.

This is what happened to day: I felt guilty and angy when he “won,” and was able to wrestle away an egg and throw it on the ground. He got so excited when he saw the egg ooze all over the kitchen floor–yolk and all–what a pretty mixture of yellow and white! “Damn, it Josh,” I said, “God, now I need to clean it up! Wait, is that dog piss I see in the corner of my eye?”

Ugh….I have a couple of dogs and they used to be potty trained until I got a new dog that wasn’t potty-trained. Now all  my dogs are NOT potty-trained–they are all probably thinking “Hey, why should I go outside when Josie never goes outside? Yep, I think I will pee inside, too!” I am not fast enough to see who is peeing on the floor. They all appear to be candidates in the Seven of Wands, which  is a card in the Tarot deck  that means “STEALTH.” Hmmm….who is doing this?

To make matters worse, after being with my son in the mornings, I then go to work in the late afternoons ( I will be leaving soon to do this) and help everyone else decrease THEIR anger issues. My job consists of helping kids and adults who have behavior problems and severe emotional disabilities and most of them have anger outbursts which is why they are my clients in the first place. By  the way, for those of you who are wondering how the hell can I be working with others with their anger issues when I have my own I have one thing for you to ponder: Ever wonder why people get psychology degrees and become counselors? They have their own issues to work out which is why the field interests them in the first place.

I am able to compartmentalize who I am as a mother and who I am as a professional. At work I have more patience with my clients than with my own son because it is my paid job that I have to do correctly and if I do have an outburst I can get fired.

I don’t like being upset and I don’t want to be upset around my son, but I think I just need a break.

I really feel like I would enjoy my life if I had time to have “Lisa-time.” But maybe it doesn’t work that way when you are a single parent. I don’t know. But I do know that a three day stay in the loony bin sounds like a relaxing time to me.

I wonder if they serve popcorn? I really like kettle corn.

I wonder if any of my friends are there? Birds of a feather do flock together.

As I type this to release my stress, my son has hit my computer four times  desperately trying to get my attention. Anger and guilt seethe inside of me. Well, time to get a couple of donuts and a coffee in the drive-thru to release more tension before  I go to work. I have to have a clear slate in my mind before seeing my clients. I only wish I had alone time so  I could de-stress instead of choosing food as a way to let go of  my anger. I have tried going to places where I can drop off my son, but he screams/cries to the point in which the staff calls me back to pick him up.

I wonder if I could be a fat model and make millions of dollars and then I could  work part time and possibly be able to find “me time.” I am getting pretty large these days. One of Steve Tyler’s daughters is a fat model. Maybe, we could be besties (best friends) and she could introduce me to her agent. I think I will order an extra donut today as I go through the drive-thru. I may have a new career in on the horizon.

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I co-sleep and breastfeed my son at night and it is awesome!

I enjoy co-sleeping and so does my son. My boyfriend would prefer that our son sleep elsewhere, but I say that it shouldn’t really matter since I am the one with the least bed space. For those of you who are wondering about privacy, well, we have lots of privacy, just not in our bed. And I don’t think we need to have privacy in there anyways because Josh and I  are the ones who bond together in the bedroom. I enjoy reading books to him in bed at night. I pull out his favorite Sesame Street books and read all sorts of books that teach him about numbers, colors and names of animals. I massage his feet and tickle him before he goes to bed. I tell him I love him and he opens his mouth to be breastfed when he is ready to fall asleep. Our attachment is deep, and it feels good to know that his last thoughts at night are probably filled with mommy and Josh being together and having a great night sharing cuddles, kisses and books.

 WHAT ABOUT DADDY?  I don’t like the TV on in the bedroom, because I can’t sleep with the noise on. And my boyfriend needs the TV to put him to sleep so he watches in the living room on the couch and ends up falling asleep. He then  wakes up early in the morning and goes to bed. For those of you who are wondering,  ” What about having sex?”  Well, we don’t have sex in the bed!” That is right, there are other areas to have sex: The living room, the kitchen, the hallway…you name it. Sometimes with him and sometimes by myself! Oh, yeah, I have experience doing both. What can I say, “I am a winner everytime!”

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Shut the TV off and watch our son near water.

Josh is usually  with his dad or my mom when it is time for me to go to work, but my mom had a recent concussion so she cannot watch him. His dad is supposed to watch him, but he doesn’t always supervise him when he heads out to the baby pool because he thinks he’s a “big guy” and “will be fine.” Let’s just say that there aren’t any 2 year olds that I know who are mature enough to take care of themselves by water. His dad thinks I am picking on him.  He says that if he can hear our son, he doesn’t need to be visually watching him every minute. I disagree. Well, maybe, I am overprotective, but I think that ALL parents should shut the TV’s off and sit right next to their  baby pools, even if the pools are small because kids can drown in two feet of water. Did you know that there have been reports of children falling into toilets and drowning? Rare, but true. Go Google it. Or better yet, here: www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml02/02169.html

Final report: I decided to stay home and write this blog to relieve stress and also so I can watch my son. Sometimes, when you have two toddlers in the home–Josh and his dad– the best thing to do is to stay home.

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I Like the Letter “E” but not when I am turning in important paperwork.

I am having a difficult time writing my notes for work today, but I don’t feel that my son will be properly supervised by his dad, who is in the living room watching television, if I leave. I usually leave the house so that I can get paperwork done: this way my son doesn’t sit on my lap reaching over my arms continuously tap the letter “E”. I like the letter “E” just fine. Word such as “Excellent,” and “Exuberant,” are wonderful “E” letter words.  But my boss just doesn’t let me turn in my documents when they look like this: My client Jeff waseeeeeeeeee workingeeeeee.” So, I really feel the need to leave the house so that he doesn’t have a chance to type with mom. Need I say more?

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It is emotionally tough to be a mom that goes to work when I want to stay home.

I am happy that I have a job in a field that I enjoy. But many times when I am at work, working with other people’s children, I miss my own son ,and I want to be at home with him. For example, when I  am taking clients (kids) out to cultural events to help them with their social skills, I long for my son to with me so that I can experience the events with him, too.  I understand that I need a job to support my son, but I miss him terribly and in my heart I want to be a stay-at-home mom. But if I stay at home, I can’t pay my bills and Publisher’s Clearing House has yet to call my name.

I made him: I am responsible for him. And since I didn’t marry into wealth, I need to work to support him.  ” Mommy go to work, son,” is what I say before I leave and it always hurts as I watch tears roll down my son’s face but I am adamant about not getting on welfare to support the two of us.

Friends, family and even acquaintances have asked me why I don’t go on welfare since I do qualify. Here is the plain and simple answer: Society is not responsible for my son. I am responsible for him. I may need to take another job or have mac and cheese/ Top Ramen soup more often, but tax payers should not have to help me support my own child. I may need to blog my depression at times when I feel that I am sick and tired of not having propane all the time or gas in the car. But I made my bed and I need to figure out what to do so that I can make money and also be with my son. If there is a will, there is way. And by GODDESS, I will surely figure out how it is done.

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