My Gift To Myself

So, on my 60th Birthday yesterday I gave myself a gift. I gave myself permission to stop enabling people, feeling sorry for them, caring for them, feeling as if I should accept their behaviours.

I had a fabulous birthday. RD made it so special. People at work sent so many lovely messages before I left work. Friends messaged me on my birthday eve, RD brought flowers, gifts. Love. Lovely thoughtful cards. People rang me, and we took the dogs out in the end and bought the naughty little puppies Tinky tiny harnesses. It was a chilled day.

‘Life’ sent me a gift yesterday: two messages. One was highlighted by the banal messages people send you as a tick box exercise. You know the happy birthday message because they didn’t want to look bad with others because they didn’t send you one. The person who says they will call, but never does. The same person who says ‘I am always there for you’. Often, as if to make it true. I gave up on all that a long while ago. When you have been without said people for so long you start to realise that you didn’t need them, long before they realise. If they ever do!

But I realised yesterday that it was I who had enabled this behaviour to go on. Whenever they said ‘You know I am there for you.’ I should have said ‘No your not, but that’s okay because I don’t need you to be.’ Or ‘Your not, but that’s okay because I haven’t needed you for quite a while.’

I have known for some years that this is a game that’s played. I am not in the game, I just don’t care enough to be in it. In addition, I am not enabling people to play the game. Over the years I was not in touch with this person many things happened to me. ‘The war’ , I started this adventure, and of course, as would be expected I changed. I felt a sense of duty for the years I had known the person, for the fun times we had. But…were they fun? When you evolve I find you often stop looking back at things through rose coloured spectacles. I wrote about that in my other blog. Being an empath I am susceptible to giving people the benefit of the doubt, always have. But I have learned and changed, and suddenly hitting this milestone has made me realise I must stop.

Yesterday as I heard myself say to RD ‘I don’t want to listen to this shit anymore. I am 60 years old!’ I had a revelation. Why did I not do that? Why did I let them say it, send banalities? Enabling themselves to feel better, but irritating the fuck out of me by doing so? I was allowing them to keep doing what they had, in all the years I had known them, done, and I had to stop.

Then there is a person who is a close relative. Most of their lives they have never bothered to buy presents for people, or send them a card. They have more often than not made gatherings about them, mainly targeting me to pick arguments. Their attitude has always been one of excuses. I stopped thinking that they would want to make the effort for me, hoping that they ‘cared’. You see it is not about the gift, or card, it is about the fact that they don’t want to do it, they don’t care. This was highlighted when for many years I didn’t even get a message to wish me happy birthday, or I would get a half-hearted defensive call, full of excuses at 10.30 at night. Like it was my fault. I switched off. But this year was a BIG birthday, and I hoped it would be acknowledged. It wasn’t. A brief message, at least this one was in the morning!

Every Year I take the time to send a card, buy a gift, which was often judged on monetary value, which eventually led me to just put money in their account. I felt a responsibility. Why did I? This person is an adult, not a child. What message am I sending to them by doing this? Pretty much ‘It’s okay to behave in the way you do towards me. Here, have some money for it!’ No more.

You see so many people did take the time: to send messages early in the morning, even the night before. These people wanted me to have a great birthday, they wanted to make it special in small ways. That was all it took, they wanted to. It highlighted said person’s attitude towards me. And do you know what? I am better than that. So this time I asked where my card, or present was. It was immediately met with defensive bullshit. I called that out too. I told them the best gift they could give me was to learn the gift of reflection.

Turning this milestone has really made me think about what I want in my life, and enabling people is not one of the things I want anymore. So my gift to myself is to stop. To call people out, to say ‘No, for me, that is not okay.’ I want genuine people. More often than not we all have mental health issues in some way. But own who you want to be, don’t expect me to say it’s okay, because I won’t.

I think this has been one of the greatest gift I have ever had.




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