The work thing is still unresolved. One supervisor called (the one who does the schedule) to get clarity on what my decision was and talk about what hours I want and am able to work. The supervisor I was talking to Friday then e-mailed me to tell me to call the scheduling supervisor, which I had already done, so they could announce the decision. I wanted to e-mail back and say “you guys need to talk to each other, you share an office ferchrisakes”. But I didn’t.
When I talked to the scheduling supervisor, I stumbled a bit, tripping in my co-narcissism shoes. My brain was itching as I spoke to her; I was trying to balance being accommodating while advocating for myself and I was doing a terrible job. I couldn’t bring myself to say what I really wanted for fear of being seen as ungrateful for them giving me not only a set schedule as a per diem, but giving me a say in those hours. Both of those are exceedingly rare.
I noticed that I get confused when I’m grateful – I have convinced myself that if I am grateful to another person for doing something for me, that negates my right to stand up for myself. I’ve gotten the message, somewhere, that if I am assertive and if I put my needs first, then I am actually being UNgrateful. That’s some screwed up math right there.
So after our call, I e-mailed her and told her two of the days she was thinking about giving me wouldn’t really work. I could do one, or the other, but not both. I told her which days I preferred to work. She e-mailed me back and what she had to offer really didn’t work well either. So I told her so.
Do you know how huge that was for me?
The Man did not. When I told him about it, he started to get indignant – he’s already a bit miffed that I didn’t stand my ground about the position I wanted. He said a lot of “you should” at the beginning of his sentences. At this point in my healing from the effects of a narcissistic parent, being told what to do is a GIANT trigger. I had to end our phone call because I was about to lose it.
I am acutely aware of what I “should” be doing. All. The. Time.
I don’t need other people to tell me what I “should” be doing. Not. Your. Job.
I don’t need any coaches yelling at me from the sidelines of my life. My. Life.
I don’t need anyone to teach me how to stand up for myself. I. Need. To. Learn.
It’s through these experiences I learn. It’s through the discomfort of knowing when I’m not standing up for what I want, for my values, for my beliefs – that discomfort tells me to pay attention, that discomfort shows me where I can make better choices.
You can’t teach a person how to ride a bike by riding it for them or screaming at them from the side of the road. They have to get on the bike, learn how to put just the right amount of pressure on the pedals to move forward, learn to keep that front wheel from wobbling, and learn how to come to a stop without skidding.
I’m on the bike. I’m pedaling. I’m still pretty wobbly. I’m hitting potholes and soft stand. I’m getting skinned knees. But I’m learning. Help me up. Help me clean and bandage my wounds. But don’t point out the pot holes, I know I hit them. I know I fell down. I know I have gravel mixed in with the torn tissue on my knee caps and the heels of my hands; I don’t need you to point out all the ways I could have prevented that from happening.
I know. This is how I learn. Let me do it.