People pleasers

My coach shared a video the other day about something that really resonated with me and I wanted to share my thoughts about it with you.

Are you a people pleaser? Lots of us women are, I’m not sure my daughter is but then she is of a different generation completely.

I have constantly strived to please everyone and then one thing I have certainly learnt is that you end up pleasing few, if anyone at all and certainly you/we are the losers because it’s usually at the expense of our happiness, health and welfare.

I got married to a man I knew I didn’t love because that’s what my parents wanted/expected, I believe they didn’t realise how serious I was when I said that I was doing the wrong thing and wanted to cancel wedding and insisted that it was just pre-wedding nerves, even the fact that I got married blind drunk didn’t register with them.

I stayed with said husband even after huge rows, because everyone told me how selfish I was being and that the first 6 months were always rough, then went on to have a baby because that’s what he wanted, apparently his parents thought it would ‘calm’ me down! Oh I forgot to say that we lived in the middle of nowhere and the only car was used by him plus I wasn’t allowed to work as I needed to be at home keeping our small cottage clean and tidy…..how long did they think that was going to take me?  Anyway I digress

So I stayed in that marriage for 11 years, looking after 4  babies/children trying to please my parents, my husband, my in-laws, my kids by being the perfect daughter, wife, mother but I failed at that every single day according to all, yes kids too…they can be hurtful.

I tried to break the pattern by meeting friends, going to night school, trying to do a writing course so I could write short stories, all failures as he didn’t like me using the car to meet friends and after the first couple of weeks he refused to babysit so I could attend night school, the writing course was my own failure for whatever reasons, I can’t recall now. I used to watch the Waltons and wish our family was like that; how sad was that? I wasn’t allowed hobbies, sounds dramatic, it was never said like that it was more insidious. I loved reading but if I read in the evenings then I wasn’t paying him enough attention, same if I sewed or knitted, so I didn’t do them.

I totally lost my identity and became a person so untrue from myself it eventually made me ill plus I remember being so very angry with everyone, resenting any freedom they got, I cried every single night and slept badly.

Eventually I made a decision, everyone but my sister and aunt thought I was being selfish, thoughtless and my parents just thought I was having a funny turn…actually so did my husband. He blamed my daughter’s birth, saying it had sent me over the edge, he blamed my sister for having a bad influence, he blamed my parents but at no point did he ever consider that he might be a contributing factor, sorry digressing again.

Despite all opposition I got a divorce but of course the underlying problem was/is still there. I still tried to make everyone happy and constantly at the expense of my happiness, of course there has to be a balance when you have young children but they are now all adults some live at home, some away but I’m still trying to keep everyone happy and I’m still very unhappy, perhaps the first step is recognising that trait in yourself and then changing the pattern.  I catch myself everyday still trying to be that perfect person.

I’m still here, sharing my house with two adults who think it’s their house and I struggle on how to claim it back especially as they cannot afford to move out. I need some space in which to create but unsure how to carve it out of where I am today. Still I can’t allow it to stop my dream of setting up a business…where there’s a will, there’s a way………

See you on Friday!