Thursday, August 8, 2013

From Rose's Garden: Setting Boundaries and Self Numbing

In deciding what to write about tonight, my mind moves back and forth between “self numbing” and setting boundaries.  I’m shaking my head right now because I can’t land on one topic.  They are both fighting for equal attention in my head.  They don’t even share any commonalities, or do they?  I’m really not sure.

Boundaries arise tonight because I find myself having trouble setting them, both personally and professionally.  As I shared in a prior blog, I have a boss who has no problem crossing boundaries with me and being downright rude at times.  Today, I caught myself, again, allowing a new coworker to take advantage of me and waste a lot of my time.  She was hired to help me out.  She does a lot of data entry that I just don’t have time for as well as doing other tasks in accounting. I am very grateful to have this help because it allows me to take on more challenging projects.  However, she is really beginning to wear on me.  She has been with us for six months and she still won’t stand on her own.  She continues to ask me the same questions over and over.  I always stop what I am doing and take the time to answer them….over and over!!  I do this because I know too well what it’s like to have someone NOT take the time to answer questions.  My boss doesn’t.  He never takes the time to properly answer my questions and then holds me accountable for not reading his mind.  Not cool at all!!  So, I overcompensate by allowing this gal to repeatedly ask me the same questions. She doesn’t like to ask our boss questions or appear unknowing, I guess.  Consequently, she interrupts me a lot.  Today, after taking the time to show her something for the fourth or fifth time, the accounting solution that I showed her wasn’t working. When it wasn’t working out, I went to our boss and explained that I was trying to help her and it wasn’t working, from an accounting standpoint.  I learned that she had left out key information when she told me what he had asked her to do.  I didn’t have a clear picture of what she was supposed to be doing.  She followed me into his office, trailing behind.  When I mentioned that I didn’t realize all the factors, she actually made a very rude comment in front of our boss.  She said something like, “Well, Rose, you should know that!”  And she said it with major attitude. Wow, did I ever learn a lesson today!  From this point forward, I will NOT stop my work in order to do her thinking for her.  Girlfriend, you done crossed the line with me, for the last fricking time!!!

As I have mentioned in prior blogs, I have trouble establishing boundaries in my personal life as well.  I make attempts, but seldom see good or lasting results.  I need to do some work here.
Self numbing or "taking the edge off " is a bit of a problem for me as well, lately.  I do really well all day as far as eating healthy.  But, when I get home and am faced with certain situations, I just realized that I have been snacking on stuff that makes me feel sick.  Like sugar….ugh!!  My focus THEN changes to the fact that I feel sick.  I just realized tonight that I’ve been doing this for the last week!  Rather than dealing with any uncomfortable feelings, I eat something that creates a different discomfort.  Why?  A quick diversion??
Ok…so I’m going to put my list making skills to work here.  Yes, I’m a list maker!  It’s how I get things done!  What have I learned sitting here tonight (while sticking food in my mouth) and  pondering?
  1. First and foremost…girlfriend needs to set boundaries!
  2. I have been unconsciously engaging in self numbing.  Why?  It takes the edge off of vulnerability, pain and discomfort.
  3. I CANNOT selectively numb my emotions!  By numbing my painful or difficult emotions, I am also numbing many positive emotions.
  4. See 2) above…this is NO LONGER  an unconscious behavior.  I have identified it, so continuing in this manner is self destructive!
Here I sit, the strong one….everyone that I know considers myself the strong one.  What they don’t realize is that I am really no stronger than them!  I just handle things differently.  That’s all. I’m not necessarily any stronger.  Emotions are powerful. They have very, very sharp points….like thorns on a rose.  Their prick can cause extreme discomfort and pain.  Who likes discomfort and pain??  Not this gal. My response to vulnerability and discomfort has been to take the edge off or create a diversion with mindless eating, staying busy, perfectionism….it goes on and on!

What IS different now, is that I am identifying these behaviors!!  I have many tools available to me now; through this group, through my coach, Shirley, through the 28 day challenge that I’ve begun with Iris. Just being a part of this little community makes me more aware.  I desire to learn how to lean into the discomfort and make my way through it and stop diverting myself and my emotions.  I am, as always, a work in progress.  

Love and peace to all of you
P.S. I’m sharing a couple pics tonight: my homemade enchiladas. I made the sauce and, also, made the tortillas gluten free this time.  I made 2 large pans and they disappeared quickly.  I’m also sharing a pic of my favorite alcoholic beverage this summer.  They are Whole Fruit Margaritas and they are divine! I throw in a whole lime, lemon and orange.  I also throw in berries…in this picture, I used raspberries.
There are also some pics from my back yard where we enjoy our food and drink.

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