Sunday, September 23, 2018

Me in the Middle

I am a middle child. 

A really, really middle child. 

Three older siblings all born two years apart, then 4 1/2 years to me.  Then another 3 1/2 years to my younger siblings who are only 14 months apart. 


Middle Child.

In the early 90s when I was struggling with situations in my family of origin I came across John Bradshaw's  work on Family Systems. 

The middle child.  The peacemaker. 


A couple of weeks ago I wrote down all the times I was 'in the middle' of family dramas. I counted eleven. I few of them I felt directly responsible for because I was the catalyst for the disagreement.  Or, at least, I thought I was. I have since come to realize that being a catalyst is not the same thing as being one of the two substances that react with each other. Often to explosive results.

Yesterday I had an epiphany. 

I wasn't in the middle by nature.  I put myself in the middle.  I took it upon myself to be a mediator, or a peace maker, or a conduit, or the one at fault.

I sometimes tried to intervene.  I sometimes tried to mediate.  I sometimes prayed for reconciliation. I often took on all the blame.

All because of my own issues with confrontation and discord. 

I want everyone to get along. I want everyone to be happy.  I want to put my hands over my ears and sing 'la la la' to block out the anger, or sadness, or disappointment. 

I wanted my family to be like the Hallmark movie of the week. Everyone around the table at Thanksgiving saying heartfelt and kind things to each other. 

I put myself there. 

Only once have I ever been asked to pass a message along from one person who was not speaking to another.  Ironically I didn't.

Once I believed a lie one person told me about another.  It made me suspicious, but still anxious that somehow it was all my fault.

I have though, repeatedly through my life, not told someone what I was doing, or who I was doing it with, if it involved mentioning someone they were in conflict with.  This has happened too with friendships where I was good friends with two people who were not friendly with each other.

I silenced myself to spare the feelings of another.  I hid parts of myself so as not to cause pain.

I believe this behaviour, in part, contributed to my struggle with depression.

I denied my experiences, my loves, my stories so as not to rock the boat. 

One example of my co-dependent behaviour.  There are others, but I am here at the moment.

Me in the Middle. 

Working with this.  Realizing that others are resilient enough to deal with their feelings and their relationships and I don't have to fix them. 

It isn't my job. 

As I often tell others (I am so wise when talking to others). 

Not my circus.  Not my monkeys. 

Pay attention Me. 

Not your circus.  Not your monkeys.

Yopping Update # 12 - Cables and cable and cables, oh my.

I finished my socks and they have been on my feet all week:

My husband likes them so much I have cast on another pair for his hobbit feet (large, not hairy).

I have finished section four of Bonnie's Wish, and I have started on the border - all 616 rows of it! 

That is a s#itload of cables!

I went to a textiles show on Friday with a friend and it was interesting and inspiring, but at this point in my life I am happy to stick with knitting and spinning and leave the quilting and sewing for others who are soooo talented and creative. 

However next weekend is KnitCity and I am sure I will be uber inspired and probably make a few purchases there.  Stay tuned. 

My son found this picture downstairs while he was visiting last week.  I think it was one my daughter took of a mural on the east side of town. 

It is now the wallpaper on my phone.  It speaks to me. Loudly.  And my son says the character with the words on her t-shirt looks like me.


I hope you can 'Let Go' this week.  It will be my mantra for some time. 

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