Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Pleaser

Once upon a time a baby girl was born. She didn't ask to be born, but was grateful. She was born to a Mother & a Father, that were struggling to get by along with their little girl, the Baby's older Sister. The young family struggled, but they were happy. The Big Sister loved her Baby Sister. The parents loved their daughters. But things were tough. Money was tight, the couple were young and inexperienced.

When the Baby girl was almost a year old, her parents were in a horrible accident. They survive but there were consequences. Her father was handicapped, her mother although her injuries were not severe, the emotional scars, and the burdens to follow were heavy.
The girls did not get the same care they once did. The accident changed everything. Their Mother had many new responsibilities to deal with and her time was thinned.

They survived. They made do. They were there for each other when the parents could not be. The little girls figured out the best survival skills they could find and that got them through and made them strong.

The older Sister functioned best by putting things out of her mind. She preoccupied herself with activities, friends, and life. She got thick skinned and learned to let things roll off of her without doing too much damage.

The little sister functioned best by trying to fix everything and everyone. She learned to be a "Pleaser". She tried to make others happy, comfortable and less stressed. This was not the best way to do things, especially for her, but was what she knew. It was how she coped. She always put herself last and served everyone. She learned how to be a good listener. She learned how to make others laugh. She worked hard to make others particularly, her family feel comfort. She constantly put herself in harms way (the thick of the family's dysfunction).

The family continued to have lots of problems. The parents had poor skills of how to make a better life. They would bring joy to the daughters & each other, but their long term thought process never kicked in. A good thing was always followed by a bad thing.

Depression, suicidal tendencies, drinking and blaming always interfered in this family. Growing up was difficult for the girls. Scary.

The older sister learned well that blocking the bad memories out allowed her to flourish, although things sometimes haunted her.

The younger Sister constantly tried to fix people. It carried through with her her whole life. When things went wrong she still blamed herself, as that was what she learned.

When a Pleaser allows to be a target, the arrow always finds the target. She will be blamed and take to heart any of the bad that happens.

The little Girl grow up and found ways not to be overwhelm. But she continued to try to fix and save people, animals and things.

She meet a wonderful Prince that turned her world upside down (in a good way). They had two little girls as well and were on their way to "Happily Ever After".

But the past haunts her. The present haunts her.

The girl's parents continue to have problems. They let their problems get enormous and out of control. They are in their golden years but miserable. They pour that out to the girls who want to help and have tried unsuccessfully.

One day the Girl, now a Woman, became frightened. She knew she couldn't handle it anymore. But rather than fall into the same pattern of her parents, she fought back. She let love ones know she was overwhelmed and needed help. Together with their support she was able to become strong, face her demons and realize none of it was her fault. Even when her Father tried once again to take his life, telling her that if anything happened to him it would be her fault. She got professional help and medical help. She let her daughters, who also are now adults know that it is okay, not to be able to burden the worlds problems. That when the going gets tough, you fight back.

Now, with a little something that helps her stabilize her depression, and a wonderful Therapist that makes her feel "normal", she has become a happy person. She enjoys her husband. She enjoys her daughters. She has learned to set boundaries. And best of all, understands, it's not her fault.

Even at 48, I find myself fearing the overwhelming guilt of not being able to "fix" everything. One of the parents, is again, threatening suicide. Throwing the guilt and Damning life. Amazes me that it still can grasp me and shake me up so. I am doing a really good job of keeping my head high and embracing the good things in life. I speak lovingly to the parents. I realize they haven't a clue what they do to me. I pray even harder. But... I also have made peace with myself. "I can't fix people". It's not my job, nor responsibility...


JC said...

Tell that little girl that I want to give her a hug. That older lady is very brave. I'd like to sit by a river drinking wine and talking about lifes ups and downs with her.

Linda said...

Bless your heart, Janis. ♥

Unfortunately some of the things you wrote about I can relate to, as I have been that person who deals with bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts and speaks quite bluntly about it at times. It runs in our family history and I've sometimes felt a comfort in that connection, which seems odd to others. Anyway - I can relate on my own personal level. Though thankfully, I've hidden most of that from my daughter and she is confident and happy.

Anyway - my heart goes out to you.

Anonymous said...

I Love YOU!!!


Vicki said...

Wow! I too am a pleaser, but my story is so much different! I am new to this blogger thing~
In a nut shell~I am 57=been married for 34 years have 2 children John~29 and Cori~32.
Sept. 12, 2008 my beloved son-in-law was killed in a motrcycle accident and my daughter was pregnant with her 5th child.
I had been a stylist at a salon for 30 years in Lee Summit,Mo.
Long story short after Scott died myy husband and I moved down to the country to help take care of the family.
In Dec/08 my son was diagnosed with cancer-Hodgkins Lymphoma-stage 3. He also moved down here to help.
I gave up my life to help my kids and I need to heal.
Your post let's me know I am not alone.
I don't know why I stumbled across your blog, Reya Mellicker turned me on to her blogs and I am so glad she did.
Thank you for your story~we are more resilient than we give ourselves credit.
Much love and healing!

A human kind of human said...

hug (((Jan))) hug!