I’ve been wrestling a lot lately with my people-pleasing side.
Having nightmares because my work/life balance seems off.
I’ve always wanted to be able to go with the flow- cause no strong current, no choppy waters.
I worry about how people view me, how people will react if I say “no” to something that they expected, even wanted, a “yes” to.
I say yes all of the time to things I have no desire to do, to things I’m internally screaming no at.
My boss asks me to work extra hours, I say “that should work” when I’m really feeling anxiety and a headache coming on from knowing I’ll be stuck at work even more this week.
That’s just one example out of many, sometimes there’s not even an audible question, there’s just a standing expectation.
Sometimes I pile expectations onto myself, and become lost in the self imposed rules I make- “this is my job, if I don’t do it, who will?”
Recovery from anorexia is a conundrum for a people pleaser.
I still have nightmares about it. About what happened when I was at a loss of where to turn.
Of course everything in my body was telling me to keep doing what was keeping me safe.
My doctor, dietitian, and family were telling me I needed to recover.
Please the people, or please the mental illness (which felt like me at the time)?
I still have nightmares about my family turning their backs on me.
In some ways I am still living in my past. When I dream, I am always living at home, yet married.
Always trying to escape my childhood home. Always screaming at my family about how much they hate me and how I don’t understand.
Always trying to find my husband, fumbling with my phone, unable to type out how I need him, I have to get away.
These dreams (nightmares) seem to surface when I’m going through any kind of conflict in my life.
Let me be clear that my family doesn’t hate me (to my knowledge) and it’s been around five years since I felt abandoned by everyone close to me.
I had one of these nightmares last night. Someone was trying to kill me, and no one would defend me.
In some ways, these nightmares seem like they’re telling me a story, one I’ve heard- lived through- before.
One that keeps repeating itself until I learn my lesson.
Anorexia beat me up and left me bruised and broken.
I felt I had nowhere to turn, no home to run to.
This is my biggest trauma.
It feels powerful to write that, like I’ve been waiting for it for a while now.
It makes sense that in my dreams, I am running away. And running towards my husband.
Several years ago, I was pretty lost. I didn’t know what to do in my recovery. I was slipping and those around me were watching me fall.
Maybe it was because I tore all of the ropes and rescue devices right out of their hands. Anorexia didn’t give them many in the first place.
How to rescue someone who can’t be reached?
I ran away, as I am wont to do.
Maybe I’ll finally learn and apply this lesson. Own up to my spirit and heart and say no to what I don’t want.
Maybe I’ll stop running away.
Maybe this will be my rescue.