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What if I don’t?…

Back in December I took the decision to return to a counsellor I had seen some time ago when I was going through a rough time.

I’ve had three sessions now and feel that I’m making a little more sense of some of the confusion that buzzes incessantly around in my head. There’s still a long way to go but there is definite progress.

Today, amongst mother things, we considered ‘What if I don’t…….?’

To clarify, this wasn’t focused on anything or anyone in particular. It was more about helping me to see that, I have to allow others to do things. Hell, I might even have to accept that the world won’t fall apart if some things don’t get done for a while until people realise that I’m no longer doing it.

The trigger for the discussion was that I felt really guilty because I forgot to get Lily’s snack bag out of the fridge and take it to school. Some might consider this to not be a very big deal. I don’t. I consider that, as her Mummy, it is my responsibility to make sure she has everything that she needs for the day.

To gain perspective (lack of perspective – me??….) the question I was forced to answer was; What’s the worst that can happen?

Obviously for a child who had a gargantuan bowl of cereal followed by a pain au chocolat before school, and who will get a roast dinner at lunchtime, the worst case scenario is that she might get a bit peckish and grumpy. School will provide water and, having spoken to her teacher, will also provide a piece of fruit. So, all in all, nothing too dissimilar to the usual contents of her snack bag.

Conclusion: Nothing awful will happen.

Lesson: No need to feel guilty, it was an accident. Who knows, it might even prove a useful reminder to Lily that she is able to do this herself.

However, in reality, the crux of the problem isn’t a forgotten snack bag. That’s just one incident amongst an accumulation of things that, in isolation, are insignificant but over time, add pressure. Effectively the types of things that build and build until they become the straws that eventually break the camel’s back.

The suggestion was posed that, in order for me to resolve this, I stop enabling this to happen and allow/force other people in my life to take more responsibility.

Apparently I looked utterly terrified at the prospect. For a self-confessed control freak the thought of ‘allowing’ people to be responsible for themselves it nothing short of nightmare fodder!

Why?

What if nobody notices things aren’t being done anymore; or nobody cares they’re not being done; or someone does them but not to ‘standard’; and what if, those small insignificant things build up to crisis point where I end up losing my shit again!

But actually, it makes sense. If one of the things that makes me unhappy is that I feel an enormous burden of responsibility, then I need to deliver that message loud and clear. And I have to allow consequences to be felt in order for changes to be achieved.

 

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