Putting the "MO" in MOFO since 2004

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006


New Years resolutions, or spontaneous emotional vomit.

New Years resolutions are for people with follow-through, organization, and most importantly, people with the general where-with-all to locate a clean sheet of paper and a pen with which to write them down in a reasonable amount of time. That and five minutes of quiet to actually think of good resolutions. So, New Years resolutions have really never been my bag.

Frankly, most nights by the time my little Shorty is in bed I would rather watch Law & Order and not think about anything for a few minutes. After that, I typically limp into bed to read 3 pages of my morbid true crime novel before falling asleep, book in hand.

I recently watched an episode of “Oprah” that featured and author by the name of James Frey. He wrote a heart-shattering autobiography called “A Million Little Pieces”. I actually read the book over a year before it hit Oprah’s show.


The book details his journey through life-threatening addiction and rehabilitation. It also details the very real and very human pain and suffering of several other remarkable people along the way. Some of their stories have happy endings. More of their stories begin and end so tragically that thinking about those people, in fact one in particular, makes me want to sit down and cry to this very day. This very moment, in fact. My heart broke, and my heart sang while reading his personal account of human survival, love, and his journey to finding enough courage to grasp for the tiniest shred of HOPE in the face of overwhelming pain.

A subject that kept coming full circle during his discussion of the book was the importance of taking an honest personal inventory of onesself. James talked about having to admit, when he wrote the book that he “Was a bad guy.” He had caused a great deal of pain in his life. In order to tell the story properly, he had to tell the truth about he was, even though it was enormously difficult.

Facing who you really are, who you have been, and being honest with yourself about good, the bad, and most importantly, the ugly are crucial components to self-knowledge and happiness. To un-stick yourself, sometimes you have to look right into the eye of the demon. When you do that, and it doesn’t kill you (and it shouldn’t) it is then possible to move forward. You know, it’s not all Pollyanna around these parts, even if I try to filter the ugly muckity muck out before presenting it to you all in writing.

My New Years resolution is to be truthful with myself, and to be truthful with others. So let’s start out with the ugly. I am going to let a few cats out of the bag here. I have some issues people. Brace yourself.

I sometimes find people and their habits to be extremely annoying, and then I smile and pretend I am not annoyed. Sometimes it eats away at my insides and makes me feel like a dark, mean, petty, nasty person. Because I am really angry but don’t have the balls to be proactive about it. Because I am lazy and it’s easier to sit and be angry than to be proactive and potentially create a confrontation. Confrontation gives me anxiety.

Sometimes I realize I am incredibly angry but I have no idea what about. That makes me feel like an idiot, because I think it means I let people treat me badly without even REALIZING I am being treated badly. Then I am ashamed for not seeing it.

I can act the martyr like no ones business

I can be a flake, and I am sometimes extremely self-centered.

When I am in doubt, or feeling anxious, I freeze and get stuck in a state of inertia, and I let other people take care of things that are really my job. Then I feel terrible for being lazy and frozen and stuck.

I have SKILLS in passive aggression that would boggle the mind. So subtle, I am afraid they could be insanity inducing.

My intentions are only followed by action about 50% of the time.

I can be a blamer. I blame first, rationalize second. Acknowledge my part in the matter third. This is why I often keep my mouth shut and stew for a while in confrontations. Which is actually pretty darn smart if you think about it.

I can be the most ambivalent towards the people that I love the most in the world. I think it’s because they are the people that have the most power to hurt me, and I don’t like to trust people with that.

I have a difficult time trusting people (see above).

I often feel very very dysfunctional and overwhelmed by my own dysfunction.

People who act superior make me want to scream. I feel physically ill when being condescended to. Then I feel petty for not being the bigger person and forgiving their condescension which is likely based in their own insecurities anyways.

My first response to confrontation is usually to feel anxious and intimidated. Once a little time passes, I regroup and sometimes take defensive attack mode. I can be very dangerous in this stance, and can feel and spew bitter angry things. Unfortunately, when I say bitter angry things, they are often my true feelings. Then I realize I am an angry person. Then I feel ashamed.

I judge myself very harshly, and often allow myself to feel judged by others. I can also judge other people very harshly.

People think I am nicer than I am. I feel like I am pulling the wool over their eyes. Then I think to myself that maybe they see through me, and like me anyways. What a nice thought…

When I feel small I often find faults in other people. When I feel better about myself, I find their faults endearing. When I feel small, I point them out so that I can feel superior. Then I feel petty, but pettily superior, which is apparently preferable to feeling small.

Sometimes I drink like a normal person, and then sometimes I drink wine like I am being propelled by an insatiable compulsive demon. Then I tell people my secrets and then I am embarrassed about it the next day, and many days following. I am afraid I don’t know how to socialize without liquid social catalyst juice.

I crave social intimacy, but much of the time, I am afraid to go there sober.

My therapist told me I lack proper emotional framework. I want to start over and do childhood again, because it’s really hard to build a whole emotional framework at the age of 33. I don’t have the time or the vision. Perhaps I will just build a simple lean-to and slap some planters with geraniums in front. Done!

I have bunions.

Oh, and I occasionally vomit too much personal information on people!

On to the good:

I am a great mother. My daughter is the number one most important thing in my life, and I think I communicate that to her

I am a great cook.

I love to take care of people.

I love to seek out the good in people.

My therapist tells me I have no idea how wonderful I am. And I really want to believe her. But then again, I am paying her to say that. Money well spent.

I am hopeful for my future.

Sometimes I am struck silent by the beauty of things.

I care.

I have an overdeveloped sense of empathy. I hate to see people suffer.

I am learning to be more honest. And it feels good.

I am learning to be less afraid of myself, and of other people.

I am learning to trust myself.

I throw a stellar dinner party.

I am learning to not feel ashamed of who I am (this is one exercise in that. Are you scared of me yet?)

I am a great mother.

My capacity for love is enormous, and it grows all the time.

I have an above average IQ.

I have an excellent sense of humor. Even I find myself funny. Sometimes I am the only one that laughs, and that’s fine by me. In fact that makes it even funnier.

When I love someone, I love them forever. People take up permanent residence in my heart. Even if they hurt me, and even if I go to that seemingly ambivalent place, I love them always.

I am diplomatic and I love to share.

I am learning how to seek out help when I need it.

I am generous.

I like to have fun.

A lot of really intelligent wonderful people seem to like me.

I am very quick to forgive. Goes back to hating to see people in pain. When someone is truly sorry, I just want them to stop feeling pain.

I realize I can’t be perfect and I don’t have to be, and on the occasional moment that I actually “get” that, I breathe a luxurious sigh of relief.

So there lies some of my ugly, and some of my beautiful. For some reason, it feels good to put the words out there. Because it makes the bad less scary, and it makes the good seem more real. Not sure why, but it does.


Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

Thanks for the book recommendation - sounds excellent, and I will put it on my wish list.

I think you are awfully hard on yourself (duh - that was one of the faults you listed - judging harshly), but I admire you for having the courage to take stock of both the good and bad.

At some point, I look forward to imbibing some liquid social lubricant with you and spewing entirely too much personal information on each other.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous madge said...

Ditto, ditto and more ditto. I have many of the same good and bad tendencies. Nice work ending on the good, 'cause you've got some doosies on the bad side. You'll need that positive reinforcement when battling the other.

Man! That book is EVERYWHERE right now. You are the third person in one week who has mentioned it. I'd love to read it, but they are out of it at Border's right now. That Oprah...she can sure sell a book.

Oh, and, I'm a champion over-sharer. Forget sodium pentathol, all you need to get my deepest, darkest secrets is a bottle of champagne.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Mary Tsao said...

I don't remember if you noted "courageous" on the good side, but dang, girl, it takes some courage to strip yourself naked and run around like you just did. In the blogosphere, that is. Me, I make a joke and try to laugh at things I should probably be crying at -- the class clown at age 37.

Just don't give up drinking, at least, not before we have a chance to spew together. I promise you I'll be lying in bed awake half the night worrying about what I said and thinking it was lame. Promise!

10:17 PM  
Blogger DDM said...

I just did the drunken spewing of info on someone at my husband's work Christmas party. She is the significant other of my husband's boss. Chatty, chatty bang bang I was....ugh. And then, this past week, while our son was in recovery from brain surgery, she walked in as our new morning NURSE. Fifteen shades of red I was. I HATE THAT I DO THAT!!!!!!! She was wonderful, funny and totally didn't turn me in to child protective services for being a drunk idiot two weeks prior.
I really, truly admire how you just stripped down and talked so honestly about yourself. I don't think I'm that courageous. Yet.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous zitzyj said...

There is no bad.
There is no scary.
You are terrific.

Your blog makes me realize I gotta get back to the home turf and spend some quality time with you. You are a joy. The slurping is fine and I gotta get to one of the dang hi falutin dinner parties you throw.

btw, when I write these comments a month after the entry, do you still see them? aaahhhumm.

6:35 PM  
Anonymous pjindy said...

zitzyj is my alias.

6:36 PM  

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