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I Don't Do 'Demanding'. Tuesday February 28, 2017

I feel a rant coming on, but bear with me!

I'm tired of demands being put on me. Enough already!

Does anyone else feel like they don't put upon anyone, ask very little of anyone yet people are relentless in wanting more from you?

I feel like taking a stand. Who'd like to join me? Let's have an enough is enough.

I'm tired of the guilt of not being perceived as a team player if I don't want to do what doesn't feel right but feel forced to because others would have to if I don't. For me 'Team' means all being on the same side, if there have to be sides that is.

I'm just tired full stop I think!

So today I'm going to take my time and do what I want to.

In the nicest possible way anyone who thinks it's ok to want more out of me will have to think again!

There will be days when I will be giving beyond measure. Needing something is different, but today I'm doing me and anyone who thinks that it's ok to be demanding will be met by a polite redirection!

Rant over.

I'm aware that there is a lot of negative energy and language here, which I haven't unpicked, just expressing what's on my mind.

Coming out of my head now and back in the room! Onwards and upwards!

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Isabella Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 6:38am

Can I have a rant too? I 'suffer' in exactly the same way...other half and grown up son always feel that offloading to me is ok. Yesterday I had a lovely afternoon out with friends, felt relaxed and happy....walked through the door, hadn't even got my coat off - so-and-so has just happened - panic stations. So I'm joining you today, LillyPet, I'm going to take my time and do what I want.....

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:48am

Yay! Good for you Isabella! Look after you LPxx

Susie Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 1:43pm

Hello LP - this came at the right time for me -as today I have given in/abdicated and am feeling guilty about not being able to cope. I read the blogs but don't like my scores (v low) so just try to stagger on regardless - but not today - today is bed & misery. So sad to think of so many of us still lugging all this stuff around for so long and all in our our own separate hell. Susie

LP Wed, Mar 1st 2017 @ 5:27am

Hi Susie, I'm sorry I didn't see this until now. I'm feeling pretty low at this very moment too and that's ok. No need to feel guilty. There are good reasons why we feel like this. Everything can be seen in a different way. Yes it's sad that there are so many sufferers, but it's great that we've found this caring community to be a part of. At this time in your life your scores are lower than you want them to be. Rather than worry about it, maybe be a bit matter of fact about it. That's where you are at the moment. That's what is normal for you at the moment. That feeling of not coping is upsetting. It's ok to have bad days, but don't let fear make it worse. If you need a day in bed, a bit of self care and tlc take it! For me the low feeling tends to be shaken off once I am up and out though. Too much time in bed seems like ripe conditions for negative thoughts, like I'm not coping etc to be amplified. So after a bit of rest and looking after yourself, I would get into a routine that involves getting out for some fresh air. Accept what is normal for you at this moment in time, rather than viewing it as struggling on. What turned it around for me when I was at a low point was reaching out for help. The decision to call to speak to someone was in itself enough to make me feel a bit better. It's true what they say about taking action, it gives motivation. My routine for not allowing the low to take over starts first thing. Mornings were the worst for me. So having made sure that I get to bed at a good time, I get onto moodscope when I wake up. It wont work for everyone, but I put on the tv to distract myself from thinking aka worrying (!) and make a tea in bed! Have that and my tablet, then I'm good to get up. Routine is so helpful I find. Let me know how it's going Susie I'm glad you found Moodscope. Count the good things today! Love LP xxx

Jane Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 6:53am

Yes LillyPet, yes! Go for it. A little bit of 'me' time every day would be good if you could. I'm with you on the tiredness- so tired xxx

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:50am

Thanks Jane. Sometimes just want to get off the merry go round for a bit to rest, catch up with the back log, then I'll be back on track! Hope you get some rest, it's number 1 Xx

Mary Wednesday Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 7:43am

I would like to rant too. My family. I love my family but what annoys me is the way family is expected to be "sacred". Everyone, including my husband, insists on thinking that, of course, I must want to spend time with my family. If I suggest doing something with my husband, he immediately includes the children. If I want to do something by myself, I need to "put my family first". Quite frankly, it sometimes feels as if my family are Prometheus' ravens, tearing at my insides every day until I have nothing left. And then tomorrow they start all over again. Sometimes I want to walk out. Not from my husband particularly, but from my whole family. Sometimes from life itself. When you read my blog on Thursday you will find a comment about a discarded plastic bag. That's how I feel - even I am well and not depressed. There, rant over for now!

Susannah Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 8:17am

Hi Mary W Just an idea... I don't know the age of your children, but perhaps, the next time you want to suggest an outing with your husband, you make some preparations in advance: Book a babysitter Then tell your husband that ONLY you and he are going out to do X and the kids are all sorted. Obviously I have no idea about your domestic arrangements - who works, who does the majority of the childcare... Have you tried explaining that you spend so much time with the children that you need to restore your energy and want some time alone with him - and that the children need to get used to spending time without their mum? Can you arrange a day or half day out with a friend? pssst.<whispers> I really mean a spa day, but that might be out of budget<whisper off> It sounds like you need time to yourself - next time don't ask or suggest - just inform and do it! Good luck and stand firm. Susannah

Sally Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 8:34am

Mary, this is normal! We were not born to be joined at the hip. You need your space. "They'll bleed you dry your children/ family." Quote from someone who knew my situation..and understood that you can't Do It All. We have to make sure we fix our very own boundaries as to what is acceptable/ do-able. Really. Peace and love.

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:59am

Hi Mary, I completely get the family is sacred thing. My sister pushes herself into the ground for my parents and I constantly feel guilty that I need to be helping her, but it's her choice to get that involved. Plus she and my mother wont listen or understand when I try to express how damaging my sister in laws actions are to me because it upsets my brother and we dont go there with family, leaving me feeling bad and unheard. Am I allowed to say sod the lot of 'em? !! Don't mean it really, just when it comes to that bit! :) xx Time for you to make some changes and get hubby on board or at least talking through how it can work better moving forward. Xxx

Brum Mum Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 1:45pm

Hi Mary from someone who left her husband I know exactly how you feel... I also think the Church upholds this sacred notion, although there is some great feminist theology to counter this. Last week of half term was really difficult.. I was tired physically and emotionally and my preteenager was pushing the limits and pressed all my buttons. I look back and feel one small win was getting her to unload the dishwasher more than once. When we are ill those caring responsibilities feel doubly hard. I like your analogy of Prometheus ' Ravens. I once likened breastfeeding my son as having a vampire suck the life blood out of me. I hope this does not come across as overly negative but more realistic about the challenges we face.

Susannah Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 8:09am

Hi LillyPet.

Good rant! Stick up for yourself, because it looks like others are only thinking of themselves.

It's good to remind people that you have limits and need time for yourself.

It MIGHT make them hesitate the next time they assume you'll handle everything.

Stay strong

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:59am

Thanks Susannah, feeling empowered :) xx

Jul Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 8:41am

I am with you Lillypet. 100%. I was just having a rant over breakfast about the demands my family, or a certain member of my family puts on me and how for years and years I have succumbed and for what?? I think I give in and make myself available for all and sundry to take advantage of, because I feel bad about myself so giving is the one way I can feel I am contributing something positive to other peoples lives. But of course it backfires. I am left with little energy. The reason I love Moodscope so much is that it's give and take here in equal measure, something one rarely gets in life if you happen to be a giver. It's incredible Lillypet but your blog today couldn't be more relevant to how I am thinking this minute. Bon Courage at work today. Julxx

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:11am

Thanks Jul. Sounds like today is the day to stand up and say enough is enough! I liked how you said "for years and years and for what?" I think you're right about doing it as your contribution. We can go overboard with that though. My sister does and sacrifices too much of herself. Today is the day for change! LPxx

Lex Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 8:47am

I agree, LP, and with so many others here: good rant! The word that came to me today was 'trade'! I've had some trouble sleeping (and sleep, at the moment, is a welcome escape from seemingly impossible situations). So I said to the 'universe' - "If I'm robbed of sleep, it has to be paid back!" The same is true of other people (and it could apply to family equally as well) - if they want something from me, it would be good for them to trade something in return. This is for their sake, not my own, training them in the importance of exchange. Life is exchange. Life is trade. (Then gracious giving can be a nice surprise!)

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:18am

So true Lex! It's all about balance. LPxx

Rosemary Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 1:37pm

Hi Lex - I have left a reply for you on your blog yesterday :)

Catherine Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:10am

Hi LillyPet, you just said what I'm sure we all feel at some point! A friend passed on a great quote to me last Friday which gave me a big boost and a big smile just when I needed it ....'when life throws tomatoes at you make a Bloody Mary!' ... have a great day and thank you for your blog!

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:19am

I like that! Not a bad idea:) Thanks Catherine. LP xx

Rosemary Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 1:39pm

Love that Catherine and one going in my memory bank :) (prefer it to 'when life throws lemons make lemonade')

Brum Mum Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 1:53pm

Ha ha. Great quote.

Sally Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:11am

Rant away! Anger cleanses the soul. So they say. It can, too.
I ranted after my father died. He had been such a tyrant. I'd had no way of getting back at the unfairness of his treatment of us all. So I wrote . When I reread it after four years, I felt better. It was all still true. But I had stood up and defended myself ( if only in writing) it was purgative. Smiley face.

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:21am

Fabulous! So good to hear that even then it's not too late if you haven't said things you wished you had. I've worried a bit about that, but writing helps me enormously too. Thanks Sally. LPxx

Valerie Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:25am

I strongly suspect that the majority of the members of Moodscope would score highly on tests which measure reliability,empathy,generosity etc.I have become so much more tough over the years,learning the hard way that some people will sap the life force out of you.Look after no.1 today Lillypet.It's not being selfish,if you become ill you will have nothing to give to those who are truly in need.x

Jul Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:48am

I think you are spot on what you say here Valerie. Julxx

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:22am

Absolutely, thanks Valerie and Jul. I will! LP xx

Sally Wed, Mar 1st 2017 @ 6:40am

Yes, Valerie, I suspect we all would . Thanks for bringing that idea to the fore...smiley face.

Leah Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:43am

Thanks for your blog but I have a different view.
I know many people feel overwhelmed with family responsibilities but when the children leave hom and the parents are dead one can feel it would be nice to have someone need or make a demand would be welcome. No person is is an island and when family are so independent one can feel isolated. I have been through having many demands . I have listened to my friends talk about how demanding their elderly parents are, As someone whose parents died 16 and 10 years ago, I know soon those demands stop and you are left alone. I know how quickly children grow up and move overseas or become very independent.
I can hear moodscopers saying I don't know how overwhelmed they are with the constant demands but I do. I just want to remind people this will pass so quickly.

Hopeful One Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:49am

Hi Leah- I have left a reply to your comment on yesterday's blog.

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:31am

Hi Leah, It's a very good point and I'm glad to hear about it from a different angle. When I wrote this I had work in mind mainly and friends with good intentions wanting company to do weird and wonderful things that I dont even have time to think through! Workwise, the Team Player thing is a big one and feels like a guilt trip way of getting more out of us than we are getting paid to do! I do hear you though Leah. I'm glad to have family friends and colleagues, but today, for me it's about drawing a line to preserve ones self.

Leah Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:18pm

LP Thanks for explaining where you were coming from. I suppose I was more addressing the comments from people talking about family demands. I also meant to say your blog followed on from mine about people pleasing. I think when the demands of people pleasing get too much it is time to take a stand. Take care.

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:56pm

True. Thanks Leah, you too. Xx

Sally Wed, Mar 1st 2017 @ 6:59am

Leah, I so get where you are coming from! We lost both my husband's parents last year and it feels "empty" . No more daily phone calls from them , no more trips to keep them company, no more eyebrows raised at how stubborn, selfish, small minded they were being...a void is a void is a void still! Similarly, when my children left home the same year, a void ( more like a chasm!) opened up: One had gone off to uni, the other to a care home because he is special needs and needed more than we could provide at home/ we were exhausted from "24 hour shifts" day in ,day out. I know this is to be expected in life ( Life moves on, we are constantly being told) but nevertheless I felt empty and desperately lonely ( despite having a loving husband and friends). It was as if life had ceased to have any meaning. I threw myself into a demanding job, but that wasn't right either, because I was unready for the shock of mainstream life, and very vulnerable. Two breakdowns followed in the space of three years. Now, things are better. A lot, lot, better, and a balance has been achieved in my head. I help others ( perhaps to excess) but get back so much from giving. The only resentment I feel is if someone uses me/my time, and doesn't acknowledge it. Leah, always good to read/ hear from you.

Hopeful One Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:48am

Hi LileyPet- I enter this discussion with trepidation as the only male to comment so far! I see myself as having an outer space and an inner space. When my outer space appears to be pushed e g by unreasonable demands from friends or family I listen to what they have to say and just before they get deep say "The answer is NO... but carry on. When they finish, If I feel they are making too big a demand I cannot meet I just say the "The answer is still NO" or I may say"Yes" if I think its OK. For my inner space I tell myself "Forgive or forget - choose one ... but always choose one" That I find takes the sting from a potential rant.I am not saying a rant is a right or wrong thing but I know could do without all that cortisol it will inevitably generate.

And of course tell them a joke to soften the whole exchange.

The expectant mother was looking for advice. She said, "Grandma, when you and Grandpa had your first baby, did Grandpa ever handle the middle-of-the-night feeding?" Her grandma replied, "No. I always did that." The young woman laughed. "That must have been before women's liberation." The grandmother responded, "No, it was before we had baby bottles."

Hopeful One Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:52am

Hi Guys- Did not notice Lex had contributed!

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:37am

Lol, I definitely agree with keeping cortizol levels down HO! Thanks for the reminder and the laugh :) I like your outer and inner self, a layer of protection and self preservation that I for one could do with more of. Also the " The answer is No, but carry on. :)) love it. Will try to use those! Thanks HOxx

Christine Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 12:00pm

A good man once told me to always do my best. Always. So demands placed on me were to be honoured. Always. Then he said "And always your best is 100%. Sometimes that best is actually 2% and sometimes that best is 150%. The trick is that you are doing your best AT THAT MOMENT. Forget the rest." I do my best all the time. And his philosophy has helped me for years. xx

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:01pm

I like that Christine, even 2% is fine if it's all we feel able to manage. Sometimes I just need not to be asked and stop to regroup for a bit, I guess that's doing my best at that time too! Very helpful, thanks xx

Rosemary Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 1:36pm

Oh LillyPet you've hit the nail on the head. I don't have much family now but still feel the heavy weight of friends who unknowingly 'demand' of me to be the life and soul of the party. In the early days I admit it felt quite nice to be 'so wanted' but as the years have passed it has become draining. I am learning to step back and let those around me create their own entertainment but the urge to keep everyone happy is deeply ingrained. Work in progress as they say :) x

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:03pm

Good on you for taking a step back Rosemary, join the club! :) xx

Sally Wed, Mar 1st 2017 @ 7:08am

Yes, Rosemary , that's exactly it! "The urge to keep everyone happy is deeply ingrained". Thanks for putting it in a way that chimes with me!

Brum Mum Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 1:51pm

Anger can be a useful emotion so rant away. I had a moan with a colleague yesterday and it was good. (I also started the day by locking myself and dog between front door and inner door and needed to be rescued by elderly but lovely Dad.) I spend my work life encouraging people to out themselves first but it's a lot easier to preach than to practise. Thanks for your blog.

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:10pm

My pleasure BM. How nice to be rescued by your lovely dad :) Glad you could rant with a collegue. I have one of those too, helps alot. Yes, always so much easier to be objective with others especially if it's work. Interesting that you were stuck between your inner and outer door, given what HO said about having an inner and outer self.... LPxx

Maria Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 2:35pm

Hi LillyPet, thank you for such a resonating blog. Don't let your giving nature sap you of all reserves. It's taken a long time but I have come to believe that I must take care of myself first before helping others. It can be hard doing that however with recharged batteries I have the energy (and desire) to aid those in need. I feel really good when I want to give assistance rather than feeling like I have to. Bravo to you for standing up for yourself. I hope you do it regularly...

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:13pm

Thanks Maria, yes a huge difference beween offering help and it being demanded! Will do the same, own oxygen mask on first! LPxx

DAVE Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 5:43pm

Well done LP.
'A good rant a day keeps depression at bay'....with only one proviso, that no lasting harm has been done to anyone, and if it has...Get out the repair kit, don't let it fester, and RESTORE the equilibrium, without losing self can be done but needs practice...So rant away until you've perfected it...

Life every day, for all, with or without BP is a roller-Coaster, a minefield, and sometimes the 'Metal Detector' battery.......runs out of power......And we explode....So say what we mean, and mean what we say.

So rant away, keeping your own Councel !

We all have issues LP you're not alone.

Thank you.

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:17pm

Hi Dave, Yes I kept my rant contained in this blog and hope no one out there was harmed! :) HO's reminder about cortisol levels was very helpful...and breathe! Thanks Dave xx

The Gardener Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 5:57pm

Don't want to rant, just a little niggle. I suggested the other day that I should change my 'nom de plume' Gardener gives cheerful overtones, I think. My idea was the Hamlet line 'The Lady doth Protest too much', so, dig up the Itma? character Moaning Minny. Wednesday mornings see my kitchen full of a group of Brits who used to frequent the local bar. Women mostly - they never seem to have anything to do, all having coffee or lunch together in various towns. They are capable of breaking into smaller groups for malicious gossips. I think they are all pretty bored, all had hassle, quite often the 'hassle' has caused them to live in France. One came in early last week - what for? So I could scan papers and fill in her forms for her (too lazy to learn French properly). Another I asked a favour - a nice one - to use her spectacular mixed-race daughter to model my knitwear - never seen it worn. Oh no, far too busy. NONE of them have ever invited me to their houses - even when Mr G is in respite.

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:21pm

Wow, people are sometimes only too happy to ask but have nothing to offer. Luckily not everyone. Hope you get that knitwear modelled, great idea. LPxx

The Gardener Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 6:09pm

He has reached a new 'low'. I try to be charitable - but he says the most hurtful things - which means he can think clearly. Current thing is that I have not remained true to the marriage vows taken 62 years ago - the sickness and health bit - I do not do enough 'caring'. Now he thinks I lived the life of Riley while he did the work and earned the money. We did everything together - built houses, built up the business - when he had a breakdown when he was 47 I took over completely, huge responsibility and the children at the height of their needs. I am fighting bitterness, and keeping myself from screaming in my defence - he does not want to know. I've never coped with self-pity, another struggle. Took Mr G to hairdresser - he was so awkward getting in the car that two other women came to help me. Somebody from the hospital parked opposed. She said to my husband - 'stand up straight, and get in the car at once'. He did. Will two weeks respite make any difference? Leah and demands - I get loads - always have - don't resent it - flattered a bit? That people have confidence that I will cope despite background chaos.

The Gardener Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 6:49pm

Please regard the last para as scrubbed out - having a rough time and taking it out on others, won't do.

Leah Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 9:24pm

Gardener, I thought your last paragraph was so moving and honest and should not be scrubbed. Many moodscopers will be going through a similar thing or have done in the past like me. I don't think you are taking it out on others but you are presenting a realistic picture and not sugar coating it. Your realistic warts and all writing is what helps you to make sense of your life. Please don't erase the emotions of your life at preset. I do never detect any bitterness only realistic patience and just an attempt to try and make sense of a situation that makes no sense. Big hugs xx

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:34pm

Lovely reply Leah, I agree. Go easy on yourself TG. Xx

Sally Wed, Mar 1st 2017 @ 7:20am

TG, I agree wholeheartedly with Leah. Your writing was very moving and gave us a good insight. People can be so "take take ". And yet, when you ask a small ( nice) favour, oh no.... I say "Oh God, give me patience , but make it quick!"

Alex Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 7:08pm

Hey LillyPet,

Having the same feeling here. Done a job for someone else. Bought supplies up front, brought all the tools necessary, and drove a total of 150km back and forth to deliver, install and upgrade the system. While I worked on the computer we looked through my CV and had a good chat. They could do their job while I was there because I brought another laptop so they could continue.
Then when I left I asked them to come back to me for a follow up. Just to make sure all was well afterwards. When I send them the bill, for the memory, the gaze and time, they where furious about it. "For they only ordered memory!" When I explained that I had been at theirs, on a Sunday afternoon, in my sparse free time, with my tools, driving to and from, and lending my own laptop. They saw what I did. Paid the bill in full and… sought another supplier. Gone friendship, gone trust, gone faith.

And then you want to build your own company, not with friends anymore for they are more important then a memory module.

Kind regards, Alex

LP Tue, Feb 28th 2017 @ 10:47pm

Hi Alex, That sounds like a nightmare! Getting people to part with money shouldnt have to be that hard! Some will try it on and others dont think it through properly I guess. Good day to have a rant! All the best.LPxx

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