I called my mother today in an effort to check on her. We are having some extreme heat here in Boston, and she doesn't have her air conditioners in yet. I went and saw her yesterday, to work on some financial issues, but still, just wanted to check.
After the preliminaries were checked, yes, she has the fans going, is drinking water, etc., the next question out of her mouth was: "What are you eating that is making you gain weight?"
I was shocked. I have actually been doing well on my diet, and have lost 10 lbs in the past month. But, I was insulted none the less. I said, "You just insulted me, and you need to stop."
Her response was, "Oh, I didn't mean to insult you, but the dress you had on yesterday was tight, and I want to help you lose weight." Now, mind you, this is a woman that has never been over 135 lbs in her life, and was once 5'8". She has no clue how hard it is to lose weight, and she has no idea of the medical issues I am facing that contribute to my weight.
Nonetheless, I was still insulted. She tried to direct the conversation to a more appropriate dress that I had shown her yesterday that I will be wearing to my stepbrother's wedding next weekend. But I couldn't just fake it that it was okay for her to insult me.
I said, "I need to go. You've insulted me and upset me."
She said, "Okay.", and I hung up.
I hate that she has this power over me. I've actually been feeling pretty good about myself, and in one fell swoop she was able to cut me down and negate all of my hard work. Now I feel like eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's just to deal with the anger. Luckily, I have nothing but lettuce and protein in the house.
I had just come from therapy and then having a nice salad from Whole Foods with an old friend. All of my gains from therapy went right out the window. I know deep down that she has no censor and no consideration of others. She doesn't seem to have it with anyone but me however, and that is no longer okay. She has been able to get away with treating me badly because I didn't want her to abandon me, but I don't need to let it continue.
In my email today was an email newsletter from Sharon Teitelbaum, a life coach for work and personal goals. Something in today's email really resonated with me. She quoted a blog post from Jeff Flemings that said to
"invest emotional energy only where it will be reciprocated and multiplied."
She then went on to ask the question, "Is this a good investment of my time and energy?"
That's what I am asking myself:
- Is it a "good investment of my time and energy" to be letting my mother's comment overwhelm my sense of accomplishment?
- Is it a "good investment of my time and energy" to continue my relationship with her that allows her to belittle my efforts?
- It is a "good investment of my time and energy" to continue thinking about her comment at all?
I'm going to try to take Jeff & Sharon's advice. I'm going to focus on something that gives me back the good energy that I am putting out.
I don't exactly know what that will be yet, but I'm working on it.
In the meantime, I'll be focused on getting some freelance transcription work done so I can get a paycheck this week. That alone will help me to get past this moment of anger and sadness. The rest, hopefully a stream of freedom in my life, will follow.
Share your good investments! I'd love to hear how you refocus when someone disrespects your work.