On the whole I think I have done rather well getting over my manipulative and permanently critical mother.
I have a good marriage, two special teenagers and friends who care about me. I’ve made a career in marketing and am currently working for a small company where I enjoy being one of the team.
But, and it’s quite a big but there are still things left over from my childhood that I can’t quite master. For example I sometimes wake up at night really anxious that problems my close friends have might somehow be my fault and feel guilty that I can’t make whatever it is better for them. It’s even worse if my husband has a bad day or week at work. He’s quite a high powered lawyer and of course some cases are particularly difficult. Nor can he win them all. When he’s down I actually feel a pain in my chest that this too might be my fault.
Overall I try my best to please everyone, which at times is exhausting. For example one of my teenagers is vegan, the other loves fish, while my husband is a solid meat and two veg man. Sometimes I make three different dinners to keep them all happy. My husband often tells me I am too easy on our son and daughter, but I am just the same with him because I go along with plans I am not very keen on.
One reason is because I hate arguments. There were so many when I lived with my parents. I remember trembling with both fear and anger not least because I wasn’t allowed to express myself.
I am able to say what I think at work, because I am confident in my skills and also keep part of me back. It’s different with my family. They mean so much to me that I try never to reveal that I have been hurt or annoyed them. I dare not risk rejection.
I’d be grateful for any tips.
You have coped very well to have both a career and a family and interesting that you have freed yourself to speak out at work. Perhaps you can think about how and why you have been able to do this. If you fear rejection at home that’s where you should start.