Thursday, January 21, 2010

A new year, a new me

I had so much to write, but got rather distracted by workplace chaos. Now, that's over and I'm free to blog as much as I want. I'm back!

Most New Year's don't mean that much to me. I don't do resolutions because I believe in continual goals and self-improvement. It's kind of the same as birthdays- We know that not much changes the day we hit our birthday, and usually year to year there's just not much that changes us. But I think a lot of us are hoping 2010 is a very different year, because 2009 really was a bad year.

Turns out, quitting my job also lined up perfectly with what was going on with my stepkids- believe it or not. I chose last year to start saying what I thought and felt in a different way, and trying to get through to them as a (semi/temporary) last ditch effort. I was tired of a relationship that was hurtful to me and draining. I wanted to try some new things, like writing and reading that letter and finally saying no to the lying. I did it at a time that probably also inspired more feelings, since it was Christmastime.

It turns out that the workplace was also a very abusive relationship. A therapist pointed out to me that no matter what, we should never remain in abusive relationships. If you are in an abusive romantic relationship, you fear getting out. You fear what might happen and maybe where you will live, what you will do without that person's support. You fear the unknown because although you're being abused, you are at least aware of it.

I had never made the connection between work and relationships until today. It's so clear. When you are in a bad workplace, you fear leaving because you're not sure what the other side looks like. You know you're at least being paid. And then you finally, finally leave when you just-can't-take-it-any-more. Just like a relationship.

I was in a somewhat abusive relationship with my stepkids, I was in a very abusive relationship with my work. My husband and I came to the same conclusion over days of discussion and realized it was time. He wanted me to not be driving as far as I was crying or being as distraught anymore. He realized the depressions I was going through wasn't worth it. I realized I was capable of doing more, of finding something, of finding anything that can at least support our house.

(Warning: Religious element) When I got into my car this morning, the coastal Christian station was already on. They have these little commercial-long segments with little positive messages or make-you-think stories. This time, they played one I'd never heard before, from a person I've never heard the voice of. The moment I got into the car, I heard something to the effect of, "God is with you in any decision. There isn't a wrong and a right, and He will only be with you if you make one over another. You need to make tough decisions, and He doesn't have a Plan B. He is aware of all and will be with you either way."

It was exactly what I needed to hear, times 100. I don't know why we don't think of that. We talk about needing to pray, needing to ask God for guidance- But we don't realize that either way, He will still be there. It's not like what you hear about parents that say, "Now that you've done this, you're out of the house."

For some reason, I was concerned about telling my stepkids I quit my job. I was a little concerned I'd say something wrong that would give them the wrong message or a message that would turn into something hurtful for my husband when passed onto their mom...I wasn't sure for some reason. But I ended up telling my older stepdaughter first, who had been really keeping up with my work situation. The week previous, she had actually said the coolest thing I think she's ever said to me- When we said our goodbyes, she actually showed she remembered my stress and the stories I'd told her about work, and said, "Good luck" instead of bye. That actually meant a lot to me. It was much more than a forced, "yeah, love you too" or weak "bye". And her reaction to my quitting was a huge smile of satisfaction and excitement. She was excited that I walked out and honestly proud of me. Her smile also said a lot, because it was kind of one of those, "awesome...." Jr. High smiles. My younger stepdaughter had a type of "dang straight" reaction. She responded somewhat similarly but by explaining it in her own way and stating her similar dislike of my workplace and how ridiculous everything was.

The therapist told me that kids always need to see adults role model the end of bad and abusive relationships. Children should in fact learn that they need to stop bad situations, stop others from treating them wrongly, and always seek the best for them. That had not occurred to me either. It ties directly into their lives, as their mom has told them that their father "left" them, while he tries to tell them that the relationship was so unhealthy for all that he couldn't support the abuse and wrongs any longer. I had also been thinking about how in the future and even now I want them to know that they have to say, "No" sometimes and that we will support them and help them if they are ever stuck in something abusive, whether an addiction, relationship, or situation. So, quitting my job went with that and I didn't even realize it.

Beyond that, "standing up" to my stepkids, if you can call it that, seems to be working very well right now. Since then, they have been consistently nice, consistently caring-acting, and their therapist has said that there hasn't been a negative thing since.

So, for now, it's a new year. I spent 2009 realizing I need to bring myself back and be myself and let others know I need to be that person and not change anymore. I experienced too much pain trying to fit ideas I had or maybe others had...I'm not really sure what it was. And now at 27, I am going to be as true to myself that I possibly can be.


  1. Congratulations! Being true to yourself while aware of the need to continue to evolve into a better you. I hope you find wisdom in your efforts to succeed in your blending family.

  2. Congrats on making a change! I quit a job I just truly hated once with nothing else lined up. It was scary and exciting at the same time. It led me to better things, and it will lead you to better things as well!