If you know me or had been reading my former blog, you know that I suffer from low self-esteem. I always have and I probably always will. I usually manage to compensate fairly well and get by in life without it being a huge issue, but like the strange alignment of the planets recently, things in my life have changed and I have been taking a beating.
First and foremost, my parents moved to town. This has been the worst thing in the world for my self-esteem. I am now within a stone's throw of their constant criticism and I get to experience it first hand at least once a week. And it comes from both parents, not just one. If E has a cold, or a bruise or bumps her head, my mom essentially calls me a bad parent for not rushing her to the ER. If I took E to the ER everytime my mom told me to, I would be suspected of child abuse or Munchausen's syndrome. Seriously! My dad watches every single bit of food that I put in my mouth. If I don't eat, he comments. If I do eat and it is not a leafy vegetable, he comments. And then they both make those comments. You know the kind. The veiled, trying to be supportive but really knocking you to the ground, kind of comments. "Well, you've been heavy all of your life, of course you can't lose weight."
Next my boss is hypercritical. I can't do anything right. Actually, it is not just me, it is everyone in her world. She corrects all of the other teachers and parents as well. It's just that I am the one who works day in and day out with her and it takes every ounce of energy I have to keep a civil tongue in my head when I am being constantly criticized. I am a good employee. I am a damn good employee. And yet, she constantly finds fault. That does not help my self-esteem issues. I have been trying to not complain but it has been chipping away at me, especially this past couple of weeks because...
Lately people have found it alright to raise their voice and yell at me. It's weird. I seem to be fair game for people to take some strange internal wrath out on. First it was the Santa incident at church. Then yesterday Hubby got irrationally frustrated with me that I bought the wrong Christmas lights and even E told him that his tone of voice was "very stern." Lastly, a woman in choir yelled at me for jumping a note during warm-up for our Christmas cantata. I made a mistake in practice. A mistake I had never made before, but she saw fit to raise her voice like a harridan and screech at me in front of all of the choir. I was flabbergasted and just not able to shake it off because of all of the other issues I am having. She hit me where it hurt. I am afraid to make mistakes, especially when it comes to my singing, and she called me out on it.
So all of this is coming to a head now at Christmas time because I hate Christmas. And I hate Christmas because, really, I make Christmas for so many other people. My friend the Assassin calls me the Arranger in our relationship. That's who I am in the world. I am the Arranger. My parents, husband and family rely on me to create the right Christmas magic, cook the perfect meal, bake the perfect goodies, sing the perfect song on Christmas Eve, buy the nicest gifts, wrap all the presents, and still find time to smile. I am the Christmas spirit provider in my house. Right now, and in this time in my life, it is just too much pressure. I am suffering in myself and not able to rise to the challenge. I am afraid I am going to fail and let everyone down. I never do, but this year I have all of these added things tugging away at my psyche making me feel crazy and I can't even stand to smell all those 72 sugar cookies I made yesterday, much less eat one to make myself feel better. But I am tired of all of this responsibility for other people. And I am tired of other people yelling at me unprovoked. And I am tired of not being able to accept that I am who I am and that should be good enough. I am tired of not feeling like I am good enough.
So there. Go ahead and order your cheese. I have provided the whine. But I just needed to get it out. So please. No more yelling at me.