Mind If I Pop You With My Stick?


As you all know, my life has been undergoing some major changes recently and it has been nothing short of stressful. This was a long few weeks. A really, really, long few weeks.

One night I found myself sitting at the kitchen table and just feeling absolutely overwhelmed. I felt an overwhelming rush of emotion come over me that I know all too well. It happens to me several times a year. Not enough to really drag me down, but enough to know it a little too well.

That feeling that wells up from my innermost place and erupts to the surface in a selfishness that I’m not proud of. That feeling that always leaves me asking,
“Why me?”
Why me? Why was I chosen to be born into a family where I was unwanted from the start? Why did no one care about me in even the most practical of senses? Why, of all the people in the entire world, why was I so unlucky to meet the one man who would spend years tearing me apart in ways that most people can’t even imagine? Why was I chosen to bear a daughter with special needs and a son who would be damaged by his own father? Why didn’t I get to finish college? Why do I have to struggle so hard financially, when I am working harder than anyone I know? Why me? And why now, when I’m feeling so down, can I not pick up the phone and call a mother that cares? Why in times of crisis, do my own parents, the one’s who brought me into this world, not care even care that some of my most basic of needs are going unmet? Why have they never cared? Why me?
I went into the bathroom and washed my face, clinging to the hope that I could wash the tears off and feel better, but as usual, it didn’t work. I sat down on my bedroom floor and leaned against the bed, taking deep breaths and trying to just let the feeling pass. I picked up my phone in hopes of a distraction and started browsing Facebook.  As I sat there scrolling through my newsfeed and reading my friends status updates I felt my own emotions only intensifying.
“I am livid. John is going to be late for dinner and I’m going to have to put the kids to bed myself.” Oh suck it up lady at least your husband comes home. “At the nail salon, so happy to get a break from the kids!” Where is my break, when do I get a break? “So mad, Troy didn’t get a raise this year.” Please, I know your husband makes well over $100,000 a year, shut the fuck up. “So irritated, drove all the way to Starbucks and they were out of caramel. Ugh why me?” Really? Really? That’s the irritation level that sets you off?

I sat there and the feelings of entitlement for the emotions I was having started turning from self pity to anger. Doesn’t anyone know how good they have it? Why doesn’t anyone else see how good their life is!? How selfish and entitled has this world become?

I didn’t like the way I felt.

Then I got to the status update of a friend who has a son who is critically ill and in the hospital. I suddenly felt guilty for my own selfish pity party. Here was a woman who was watching her son die and I am complaining about my life. Who the hell am I? She would love to be busy, poor, and overworked, yet here I am sitting on my bedroom floor having a pity party for myself.
Do I have it bad? Yea, I do, but it could be always be worse. I’m not wealthy and sure I’m hungry, but it’s unlikely that I will actually starve to death, because I don’t live in a third world country. My son was damaged and it took a lot out of me to get him back, but he is back, and he is thriving. I’m not sitting by his hospital bed begging the heavens for a little more time. I think of my past and as awful as it was, it could have been worse. I have been afforded the opportunity to be writing this to you while my younger sister watches me from heaven, long gone, and long forgotten by the parents who were supposed to have loved her. I grew up in the most awful of ways,

but at least I grew up.

I have no right to have a pity party. I am thankful that the lessons of my life have burst the bubble of illusion that so many people seem to float around this world in. I am thankful that the bubble has been burst and I can clearly see the world around me. I can’t imagine floating through life where the only view I have, is of me. I want to see to the world. I want a perspective outside of my own bubble dome. I want reality.
I’m thankful that my bubble landed on the sharp sticks of reality because now I can really feel the grass. I can see the sky, I can feel the breeze, and I know that the world around me is so much larger than what was inside of my bubble.

I want to hold hands with other people on this planet and I want to join them in their journeys. I want to learn from them what I can and I want to see the world through their eyes.
I picked my sorry ass up off the bedroom floor and I looked in the mirror again. This time I didn’t see my tear stained face and cheeks rosy from crying, I saw my eyes. My eyes have seen more than most people in this world will ever see. My eyes have viewed things, places, and actions that most people can only dream about. My eyes are open.
Don’t walk through life feeling sorry for yourself. Don’t base your disappointments and frustrations against your own enclosed bubble view, because inside that bubble, no one has it harder than you. No one has been as jilted as you, no one can compete against you, and since you can’t see outside of your bubble, you assume everyone is happier than you.
Life is a lot happier when you take the time to look up and outward. Pop the bubble and step out. I learned a long time ago that if I tried to compare my life to the life of the people around me, nine times out of ten I would end up feeling like crap. Then I stopped comparing. For everything that made me feel jilted, I would look for one blessing that I had. It didn’t need to be a blessing that was better than another person’s, it just needed to be something I could be thankful for.
I made the conscious choice to counteract my life’s shortcomings by focusing on everything that I did have. As I mentioned in the post “Let Your Soul Breathe,”  a habit is a choice that you have made so consistently that it becomes very difficult to choose something else. It becomes your default. If your natural reaction when you start feeling like you got the short end of the stick is to automatically start thinking of how many great things you have in your life, don’t you think your life is going to be a bit happier?
It’s all about perspective and the only person that can choose which lens you are viewing your life from, is you. I guarantee you that your life will never measure up to everyone around you. For most of us, we will always know someone who has it better than us in some way or another. If you want to go through life dwelling on everything that you did not get, should have gotten, was taken from you, and that someone has more of, than be my guest, but don’t be surprised if at the end of your journey you feel like the trip kind of sucked because you spent all your time being envious of someone else’s journey.
Yet if you choose to pop your bubble and really look around at the world, your journey can only get brighter.

People tend to quantify entire lives down to a certain aspect that they are comparing. “Suzy’s life is so much better because she has more money.” Yea, and now you feel like shit because Suzy has a better life, but you are ignoring the fact that Suzy’s husband is cheating on her with his secretary. Let’s just even take it a step further and say that Suzy’s life IS perfect. That her faithful husband has an amazing job and she gets everything she wants in every area of her life. Does that make your life any worse? No, let Suzy be. Your life and her life are not on the same path. She may hit mountains later, or she may encounter any at all, but the only thing you can control in this situation is your feelings and your actions. Your life will not be any better because Suzy’s gets worse, but your life will feel worse if you view it as worse. So let it go. Get off the pity party bus and keep walking. Take off your jealous sunglasses and look at what you do have.
Don’t discredit all the blessings that you were given by suffocating them out with everything you wish you had. You’re going to step all over the flowers that have grown in your path if you go stomping through life looking at the path of everyone else while yelling “it’s not fair.”

My life is not perfect and chances are it never will be. I’m choosing to look at the blessings that I do have and be happy with them and I’d like to challenge you all this weekend to do the same. Keep a journal if you want, write down when you feel jilted and then follow it up with three blessings that you do have. Open your eyes and look around.
Pop your bubble. The world is so much larger than what you see when you are only looking at yourself. Pop your bubble and let your soul free.

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28 Comments

  • afairytale84
    April 5, 2014 at 1:41 am

    I had no idea you lost a younger sister. I'm so sorry.Everyone has, needs, and deserves to have a pity party every now and then. Those feelings are real and shouldn't be ignored because they'll just fester and get worse. Allow yourself to have a pity party once in a while and don't feel bad about it. As long as you, to steal your phrasing, pick your sorry ass up off the bedroom floor, then you're just fine.I absolutely love how you're always (besides the occasional, and perfectly acceptable pity party) able to stay so positive. It's freaking amazing. And you are completely right. If you always focus on everybody else's lives, you won't be able to see the joy that you have in your own.Also, there's a reason I rarely use Facebook. I go on occasionally to keep in touch with some people, but for the most part, I stay away. People have gotten far too vapid and entitled and it's better for my mental health if I just stay off the site.

  • Mzfuzz
    April 5, 2014 at 1:46 am

    It can be really hard to see the reality of the world-the world that the vast majority of people either willfully ignore or are blissfully blind to. But I agree with you-being able to see things as they really are allows you to truly enjoy what you have. Someone always has it better than you do, but someone always has it worse, too. Perspective is important! And, in the most basic, real, physiological sense, the way we think and/or speak about something is what our brains perceive as “true.” Changing the word you use for something (challenging vs. impossible, painful vs. devastating, etc) actually changes how your brain perceives it. To change how you see something, change how you talk about it! Anyway, great post as always, Eve. Thanks for your insight and sharing your pity party with us. I love me a good pity party, for sure. Never seems to make me feel better though!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      April 5, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Very true about the word choices, very true. I’m going to file that one away for future reference 🙂

      Thanks for reading friend!! 🙂

  • windmill
    April 5, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    I was just going to say that it's ok, and necessary, to have a pity party sometimes. So basically I'm just going to second this. (Apart from the Facebook bit – I admit, I spend way too much time on there!)I definitely have pity parties sometimes. For me if I don't ever allow myself to feel that way, I can't properly step out the other side of it into 'picking my sorry ass up' again. I just feel generally a bit miserable and grumpy until I let myself feel whatever has been festering. So I say – go ahead and have your pity party. You went through a lot of shit, let yourself feel shit about it as needed. It's a necessary step sometimes, and that's ok. You can (and very clearly do!) come back to your generally positive outlook afterwards!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      April 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Haha, don’t forget this blog is a condensed version of my life that you can read in five minutes. I totally had myself a good…eh….two hour cry fest before I picked my ass up off the ground.

      I think for sure sometimes you absolutely just need to cry it out and give yourself a break. No one can be expected to be strong ALL the time. Its ok to visit the ugly places, just don’t set up camp and stay for a while.

      I’m glad I have you guys to validate my feelings or give me gentle “redirectioning” when I need it 🙂

  • afairytale84
    April 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Hey, I've been known to have a good two hour cry fest myself every now and then. Nothing wrong with that. 🙂

    • NotMyShametoBear
      April 6, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Haha, damn straight!

  • Lotus
    April 6, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I just have to say, you are an intelligent, interesting, funny, beautiful, kind, helpful, loyal, strong woman 🙂 your kids are so lucky to have you as their mama, and you're a fabulous interwebs sister- I truly do look up to you and I love reading your posts. Good for you for totally ROCKING life outside the bubble, even on the days when it gets hard. Hope you have a beautiful day, girl! 🙂

    • NotMyShametoBear
      April 6, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Aw, “little sis,” you always know exactly how to make a girl smile.

      Love hearing from you, as always my dear 🙂

  • Anonymous
    April 7, 2014 at 11:39 am

    So wise, and SO timely! I really needed to hear that I think. I'm going to return and re-read this later I think, let it sink in. But THANK YOU!! It would take to long to explain why but I'm just grateful for this post!And a big 'awwww' at that sweet hedgehog photo (or is it a baby porcupine? We only have hedgehogs in the UK). Prickly they may be, but so cute! Blessings always…

    • NotMyShametoBear
      April 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Aw, thanks hun 🙂

      Its a baby hedgehog!! We used to sell them at the petstore I worked at, they are so cute, but boy do they smell!!

      Sending you hugs for whatever you are going through 🙂

  • Amanda Harris
    April 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Late to the party, but I'm glad I read this. Just had a death in the family, and your post gave me a much-needed kick in the ass.You're absolutely right. Time to pop the bubble.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      April 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      I’m sorry to hear of the death 🙁

      I’m glad you were able to get something out of the post though 🙂

      Hugs hun

  • Anonymous
    April 7, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    You should listen to the song Everybody Hurts, by R.E.M… says it all!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      April 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Nice reference!!

  • Lotus
    April 7, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Aww, you're a peach! 🙂

  • Anonymous
    April 9, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    We would love someday for you to tell us about your sister- if you feel ok with that.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      April 9, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      I will try to work it in to a post soon 🙂 Thanks for commenting, its always “good” to know what readers what to read about

  • Anonymous
    April 27, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Hummm…what I've learned about people, and myself, is that we only now the dramas and tribulations we are faced with. We've all done it – feel sorry for ourselves. It's normal – look at kids, when they don't get their way (OK, my kids anyway). I think when you're be big enough to realize, it could be sooooooooooooooo much worse, and appreciate what you have, that's when you know, you're a grown up:)Nathaliexoxoxox

    • NotMyShametoBear
      April 27, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Very true!

  • Anonymous
    April 28, 2014 at 2:00 am

    I have to say, when I check back – I can't believe how many grammar mistakes I've made! Probably making one again…geez…Nathaliexoxoxox

  • Anonymous
    June 28, 2014 at 12:00 am

    I also notice a very big contradiction in what you say about your self-esteem:you write a lot about how ashamed you feel, how undeserving, and how you thought you were worthless. Yet in another post you say you “grew up with the utmost respect for yourself.” That makes no sense. You said you had no sf esteem while you were together with your husband, that you bought a used wedding dress because you felt you didn't deserve better. How does it fit that you grew up with the “utmost” self-respect? Would a person with self-respect jump into marriage with an (abusive) man just to leave the family? You even wrote in one post how you wouldn't struggle when your husband raped you because you had such little self-esteem. So I scratch my head when you also write that you have the highest respect for yourself. In another post you say you have fairly stable self-esteem. So why do you talk about feeling worthless and ashamed so often, mixed with talking about how you “are worth it” and no men are good enough for you?I'm not a troll. I am an avid reader of this blog. These are my real opinions and I've long had the confusion about the contradiction of Eden's self-esteem.

  • Anonymous
    June 28, 2014 at 12:07 am

    I think its fairly normal for any abuse survivor to waivor back any forth with their self esteem. I have always read it as Eden knew she was good, knew she deserved better, but never thought that anyone else would see that in her so she settled for less and let other people treat her like crap. It seems to me that she has only come to realize now that other people see her worth too.

  • Anonymous
    June 28, 2014 at 4:56 am

    I agree with the reply-er, it is extremely common for self esteem to waiver in abuse victims and I agree with her/his interpretation that Eden seems to have always known she was worth something but just didn't believe anyone else believed it.I absolutely disagree with the original poster. She simply gave up with her husband. She was getting beat, it was easier not to resist, and he made her feel like crap. I think that would steal anyone's self esteem but that doesn't mean that she can't get it back. I also disagree that no met are good enough for her. She always speaks highly of the men she breaks up with, always pointing out that they were good people, she just says they weren't for her. That is a big distinction.I also think it is possible to be ashamed of a situation of things that happened without being ashamed of who you are as a person.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      June 28, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Hum. Well I do think it is normal to have fluctuating self esteem. I think when it came to growing up, I always knew that I was worth more, I knew that I was worth something. I did respect myself and I did have a good self esteem, I’m not sure how.

      Getting married, huge mistake. I didn’t understand love, I didn’t understand being loved. I really did think he loved me and I thought that was what I deserved; to be loved. I didn’t understand people in general. Deep down it didn’t feel right to marry him, but having someone care about me in general was so abstract to me that I thought maybe that was the issue, that I just didn’t know how to be loved. He wasn’t abusive when we were dating, not at all. It was literally as if a switch had been flipped when we got married. Like I was “locked in” and all bets were off.

      My marriage, yea, that ‘s when things changed in the self esteem department. I pretty much felt like nothing for a really long time. He just beat me down so much, not just physically, but mentally as well. I was hanging on to the tiny shred of self esteem that I had, but yes, for the most part I didn’t feel like much. When he left, that is when I started gaining it all back and I think I’m in a good place now.

      I don’t think I’ve said that any of the men weren’t good enough for me, I just said they weren’t right for me. For the most part they have all been great guys, just not what I was looking for.

      As for any other self esteem fluctuations, those were more situational than wide spread and I think that is common. I mean I got raped and felt like trash for a few days and then realized it wasn’t my shame to bear. I think that is perfectly normal.

  • Anonymous
    August 1, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Hello… I really hate parables. Always disliked them in church. I always annoyed me how the preacher thought we would be good and we would absorb the stories and relate them to ourselves… no. Too pointed. After someone steals, a pointed parable about stealing, lies lying etc. You can be straight with me. I wish they wouldn't tell didactic stories “not pointing fingers” as if we wanted or needed stories. Ugh. Annoying. Atheist for four years.

  • Anonymous
    June 17, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    I SO needed to read a post like this. Thank you so much!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      June 24, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      🙂

      *HUGS*

      And thank you!

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