Friday, December 28, 2012

Given Super Powers for a Night


I wrote this post quite some time ago.  Actually around American Thanksgiving.  I basically wrote it for myself to work things out.  I never thought I was going to post it because it has only to do with my inner workings and ttwd- most of my musings I'm sure you're tired of LOL.  So there is no spanking, or real epiphanies in it.   There is no follow up to my last messy post.  Just think of it as weekend filler.  I won't blame you if you move on :) 
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 In a post a while ago, I said if I could have a super power it would be to see myself as others did for a week.  It didn’t exactly happen like that , but I did have an eye opening experience from a pushy older sister!

    We recently made  a trip ‘home’ to visit with some of my family.  My eldest sister and her family stayed with us at my Mother’s home.  I have mentioned before how we always have such fun when we are together.  My (newer) brother-in-laws just smiles, shakes his head and resumes doing whatever he is doing when we are together. 

  I’ll ( sort of ) spare you the details of our time together. I did manage to slide in quite a bit of baby snuggle time with my 3 month old great nephew, which scored big points with my 27 year old nephew, as I sent him back to bed after a rough night.  Win. Win.

 My sister and I ended up with my Mother after a rather rowdy, laugh-fest dinner for a more private conversation.  The conversation started out typical for our family, particularly at this time of year as my Dad is never far from our thoughts.

 Before I get into the conversation, I’ll (try) and give you a brief  background on our relationship. ( okay who am I kidding- the only time I can accurately use the word brief is if I am describing underwear)  

  My sister is almost 20 years older than I am.  She went away to University  8 months after I was born ( in my province at the time high school had 5 years).  She also worked away from home every summer, so once she left for university, she never moved back home.

 She was everything you would find in a the lead character in a movie growing up…Captain of the cheerleading squad, valedictorian, Provincial Scholar, straight blonde hair, blue eyes.  She still is a very attractive woman, who everyone loves- extremely intelligent, successful professional, EXCELLENT dancer ( seriously her and my older brother used to win dancing competitions in university)- and she always knows what to say.  Now I know what you are thinking…NO … I don’t compare myself to her- you’d have to meet her to understand why I suppose.  She finds herself quite ordinary. 

Growing UP my mother just couldn’t help it.- I made the cheerleading squad ( I know right?  Me yelling…hard to believe) my mother’s response- 

Margaret was captain of the squad in grade 10, one of the youngest captains ever”.

   I was nominated for valedictorian, ( which I didn’t want and withdrew..eek talking to a large group of people…no thanks) of course the fact that Margaret ACTUALLY was valedictorian was brought up.  I even had a high school teacher bring me an almost 20 yr old yearbook to show me Margaret’s picture in it to ask if she was my sister.

  Anyway being the youngest was always fraught with comparisons…no biggie really because there are 2 others that had to deal with that too…LOL.   Seriously, I buried that hatchet long ago.  I know my Mother didn’t mean to.  I’m a parent- sometimes you just don’t realize that conversation can seem like criticism

 Our discussion around the dinner table that night started off because of something she was going through with her adult stepson and how he was hurting her feelings.  I can empathize with him, as he lost his mother and my sister is now married to his father.  I went on to explain how I know I must have hurt my Mother’s new husband when I was 22, although I didn’t mean too.  I was young and I felt lost, and I was self absorbed.  The two of them then abandoned the initial conversation and began talking about me.  Now normally as long as I am not being criticized or complimented, I don’t mind—but this conversation had me thinking for the better part of 2 days.<- raise your hands if you are shocked?


  They both started talking about how until I met Barney that they felt scared and sad for me, because they were afraid that I was feeling alone and abandoned.  *Alright, I can understand that.*  Everyone else was married with a family of their own.  I lived in a city with no family.  I wasn’t able to stay in a productive relationship for any longer than a few minutes- wait that makes me sound...well let's just say months then. 

 It was the next section of the conversation that had me thinking.  They went on to talk about when I was a baby and had to be hospitalized.  My sister was 18, my brother 17 and my other family members 9 and 7.  My Mother was unable to be there at the hospital all the time, so my brother and sister took over supervising my hospital care- something I never knew about.  I was shocked to find out that my 17 year old brother went toe to toe with the head nurse of the floor because I was not being seen to the way I should have been.  HUH?  Greg?  Really?

Margaret then said. 
“ Yes really.  You are our little project.”  Still not sure what that meant.  I’ll blame the B & B she was downing.  

“ You belong to all of us you know.  We all watched you grow and cheered in all your triumphs.  We were all terrified the entire time you were pregnant.( again just jumping in here..I may be the smallest in my family but seriously? I'm not elfin for crying out loud!)  Yes you were Daddy’s little girl—and spoiled rotten, but by all of us.  You are what ties us all together”
                                                           


  Sheesh…talk about pressure!  No seriously.  I couldn’t figure out why these words kept playing in my head over and over again.  What was it that I felt about that?  Before ttwd and self examination I would have just left the table and never thought about it again. (annnnnnnnd probably slept better..ahem)

  Do you ever feel like when you go ‘home’ you fall into your old position in your family ?  I used to do that before we had kids.  It shocked me the first time my eldest brother got out of his chair in a room packed with his friends to offer me his seat. I’m not sure why it did.  I mean I was a woman- at least on the outside.

This time when we went ‘home’ I slipped into my old Wilma role, but the pre-ttwd role.  Hardened..bossy….sigh…I certainly did not want to think about my husband being able to spank me around my family.  I can’t deal with those thoughts there.  Not yet anyway. 

I was chatting with one of ‘our own’ the next night and she made a comment about something happening that “ didn’t have anything to do with Dd  I  then realized that even though the subject matter didn’t have anything to do with ttwd, -  TTWD touches all aspects of our lives.  At least it does for me.  I know some of you have had posts discussing this before.

My sister’s words, which she has never expressed before came to me because I wasn’t hardened, smart mouth Wilma anymore.  Well OKAY, as much ( and only to Barney- again this was WELLLL over a month ago when I wrote this post..lol).   I opened up to her about how I saw myself in her stepson, as opposed to adding fuel to her fire.   I have always had the ability to see myself in someone’s else’s situation, I just didn't expressed it very often.

  The conversation wasn’t all me.  My eldest brother has been dealing with health issues since he was 21.  Margaret is the only one he really confides in.  She said

 “ I have always thought that Greg was never going to live to a ripe old age, and I am coming to peace with that

I tried, why I am not sure, to lighten her spirits by telling her that the crusty ones will always outlive us all…that  heck I’ll probably go before Greg” 

FAIL !  Wrong thing to say ! 

Don’t you dare say stuff like that!  I need you.. we all need you and you are NOT going anywhere until I’ve been dead for years do you hear me?”

Um how can I not- you are YELLING at me ?”…to which she burst out laughing

After analyzing this situation for quite some time, I realized that by shutting myself off, even before Barney, I didn’t let my family in either.  They consider me an integral part of the unit, not just the ‘baby’.  That all those times I felt alone I had an army standing behind me….after all I am their “ little project”


Sorry for those who were looking for a more of a Dd aspect to this post.  I know you got a whole lot of Wilma talking about herself- but I had to work it out.  Who knows maybe as a result of reading this post someone out there will allow themselves the  super power to see themselves as their family does, if only for one night.

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So I am sitting here more than a month later after my early morning musings the other day thinking- huh.  Maybe I should try to see myself through Barney's eyes?  Nah....wink

37 comments:

  1. Our blogs are for us and to put in them whatever content we want. Readers have a choice to read or not. I'm glad I chose to read.

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    1. Thank you Sunny

      That is very sweet of you to say

      Willie

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  2. It's awesome that you were able to see how important you are to them.

    They are family because you share DNA. But Barney is family because he chose to be. Imagine how much he loves and needs you ;) seems to me you're a pretty lucky girl.

    I know what you mean about falling back into old habits and roles. I am the oldest and my personality is that of a typical oldest child. A little bossy (ok! Ok! But a "little" sounds better), responsible, in charge... I also used to be(again! Just let me tell it how I want) somewhat sarcastic and snarky. With the gaming around the last week or so it was easy to go back to being "her". It didn't work out so well for me :(

    Seeing yourself through Barney's eyes... That could be interesting...not sure I wanna know what John sees!

    P

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    1. You know P you are absolutely right - " Barney is family because he chose to be ".

      I have a friend who is adopted. When he was little, because kids can be so cruel at times, his brother's teased him about being adopted. His father came into the room and said

      " You boys happened because of something your mother and I chose to do- we had no choice in the matter- we actually went out and PICKED Micheal ! "

      I suppose that sounds harsh, but he remembered it all his life. His parents 'chose' him. Being chosen is like winning the lottery :)

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  3. They have no idea that you are actually a "big project" in a little package!!! Lol
    Actually, I think it's great that you have all these little mommies looking after you. And let's face it, Barney needs all the help he can get. ;)
    Emma


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    1. Spoken like a true OLDER sister!
      Sheesh...trust me they KNOW! Oh LORD do they KNOW...lol

      They tease Barney all the time about him having me now! lol

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  4. So Willie - you have found that not only do you play a pivotal role as wife to Barney, mother to the 3 heirs and friend to all of us in blogland but you play a pivotal role in your family also. :) Well color me surprised. Not. LOL

    I loved reading this story of how they see and value you. Maybe you should try to see yourself through Barney's eyes - bet you would be very surprised by how much and just what he values in you. Yes, you know he loves you but I don't think you realize just how much he values and treasures you Try it, you might like it. ;)

    Blessings,
    Cat

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    1. I need a "like" button!!
      I love how you just lay it out there Cat. But you do know Wllie doesn't listen very well?!?!
      Emma

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    2. Oh I know Emma - wonder if they make a hearing aid for those who hear but don't listen? LOL

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    3. Awwww Cat you had my eyes well up with this- at least the beginning part.
      It is like you are the pushy older sister in Blog land...lol

      You know the one who is annoying right most of the time. The one who tells you want you NEED to hear not always WANT to hear. And then the one who teases you !

      Much Love
      Willie

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    4. NOW as for YOU Emma...( btw I don't like how I can't reply under each comment...grrr) and your partner in crime- yes it has been a while since you two 'teamed up',

      I AM RIGHT HERE YOU KNOW ! ( sheesh maybe I am as short as my family believes)

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  5. This was a sweet post. I struggle with seeing myself how others see me. I know how I *want* to be seen, but that doesn't mean that's how it is.
    I love that you got a glimpse of it :)

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    1. Thanks Elle

      I guess I struggle because of the evil voices in my head...lol. Actually it is hard to really be 'yourself' I think. Although of all places you think you should be able to with your family. There is a role though, that you have 'played' all your life, and it does change to a certain degree. I am more of a peer to my Mom now. She calls for advice and I help her more as the days come and go... I know she appreciates all I do, but still I am " Little Wilma" to most of them :)

      I have begun to realize, after that night that the two personas are actually one. I can still be Willie who takes charges and helps her Mom, or talks her sister off of the ledge and still be vulnerable 'Little Willie' to them as well. Vulnerability does not equal being weak.

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  6. This is a very sweet post indeed!
    It's hard to try to see ourselves for our true selves and I'm glad you thought it all through, then wrote it out. You being their little project and seeing yourself in another light is interesting.
    It had to be something to hear that from them, and give you a lot to think about.
    Writing blogs has helped me see many things and it's important to write for yourself first. Like sunnygirl said, we all have a choice to read or not read.
    It has helped me a few times to write things out.

    Isn't it funny how we all have our little "places" in the family?
    I know exactly how it is to get back into the family role, I am the youngest too, and I sometimes feel like I'm regressing when I'm home! I still feel as if everyone thinks of me like a child.

    I can't imagine seeing how Barney sees you, but that's only because my mind goes right to what I feel like "H" sees of me. - LOL

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    1. Thanks Emi

      I think my issue was that when I'd go home I had all these conflicting thoughts in my head. I am the Aunt, the great aunt, the daughter, the sister, the sister in law, the mother, the wife. I know that we are all in similar situations, but 'falling' into a role is not what should happen. BEING is what should happen. For the common denominator here is Wilma. Auntie that takes the baby so her nephew can go back to bed, is still the sister that offers advice, and the daughter that her mother worries about.

      It was a little unusual to hear those words come from my sister's mouth. Not that she isn't big on praise, or compliments. She has a fantastic outlook on life, it was unusual because she said she " NEEDS" me. I mean I know we ENJOY each other immensely. In some ways we are two peas in a pod- a perfect example of Nature verses Nurture. We are more alike than siblings who grew up in the house at the same time. But there is a certain feeling that came when your older sibling says to you that you are 'needed' in their life. It is a very different feeling indeed.

      As for the child thing. Maybe they do, or maybe it is in your head. Or maybe they do because it is in your head. I was too busy staying in my own head to see how they thought of me. I wouldn't let their visions in.

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  7. I love this post Willie, made me smile. "little project" love it!

    I am so glad you got to see how loved and valued you are by your family. Cat said it perfectly, I bet if you were able to see what Barney see's. you would discover just how much he treasures and values you as his wife and mother to your children.

    Agree with Sunny too, our blogs are for us to process/share whatever we want to.

    Hugs
    Roz

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    1. Thanks Roz

      I can't believe the comments I have received on this post ! I honestly thought of pulling it after I put it up. I'm not entirely sure why, but I thought that anyway.

      Sure 'little project' like a work in progress...NICE (wink)

      Love Willie

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  8. Hey Willie

    'After analyzing this situation for quite some time, I realized that by shutting myself off, even before Barney, I didn’t let my family in either. They consider me an integral part of the unit, not just the ‘baby’. That all those times I felt alone I had an army standing behind me….after all I am their “ little project”

    The whole post is beautiful and insightful Willie, but this piece right here, is the gem of it all :) Isn't it nice to realize that even when you feel alone now, not only do you have your family standing with you in the things they know, but all your friends on here too, that stand with you.

    Hugs Willie :)

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    1. Thank you for your overly kind words M3.

      It is remarkable what comes to you if you leave the door open :) The key, I suppose is to remember NOT to hibernate when the weather outside your door gets dicey.

      Just recently we have been buried under centimetres of snow here...34 cm one day and an additional 25 two days later. People came out in full force around the neighbourhood and helped each other dig out. If you were struggling, they came to the rescue no hesitation- but you had to step outside the door in order for them to see that you needed help. Waiting until the 'coast' was clear and 'doing it on your own' would have made for heavy, lonely work.

      Help and a hand up are always there if you are willing to see it :)

      Love
      Willie

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  9. Willie,
    I love this post! Great things always come in small packages:) I agree with all of the above! What an awesome insight to be able to see how others see us. I think fear holds us back sometimes...I know it does for me. You are special wilma!
    Filler...Bah! This is wonderful!
    Bea

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    1. I am not trying to be humble when I say I can't believe the comments on this post. Seriously I am dumbfounded.

      I am happy you enjoyed the post Bea.

      Fear is the route of all evil I think. I am not one to concur it that is for sure, but perhaps standing in the middle of my fears and not moving is just as good :)

      Thank you for your ridiculously kind words Bea.

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  10. I'm having a hard time getting back on the blogland wagon, but I can't help myself here!

    You know what I love about you Willie? Every time you write a post, somewhere in it (usually near the end) you say something quite profound that says exactly what you need to do. You already know it and worked it out as you wrote.

    I am not one tiny bit surprised that you are the center of your family and YES, you should take a look at yourself through Barney's eyes and even the eyes of your boys. You don't think nearly highly enough of yourself or the part you play in everyone's life. All these struggles of opening up, of not just talking but really communicating with Barney--it all makes sense in this context. You are just beginning to learn how to not hide and keep all the thinking inside yourself; to feel that softness that can only come from the inside out. I for one am stinking proud of you. :)

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    1. ( deleted comment was the one I wrote to Bea)

      Did you set out to make me cry Susie? Because mission accomplished :)

      I don't know I helped you get back on the blogland bandwagon, but I will take full credit if you continue to help others because of it!

      Profound? Well I'm not so sure. It certainly isn't intentional, more like rambling around hoping not to make too many run on sentences.

      I do understand your point about me hiding. I have always been buried so deep within myself. I have always lived in my own little world even in a room full of people. Watching, observing, NATURALLY commenting, but still not truly sharing. I must have shared enough as Barney found something to love :) but it is like I give a snippet of myself to placate people, but I hold more back for myself.

      I have always joked with others saying I've got to be me...take it or leave it, but I am slowly beginning to realize that that hasn't necessarily been the truth. Don't get me wrong I am genuine ( I hate telling people WHAT I am), but it has only been since ttwd and blogging here that I realize in life it is not only exceptable to be failable - but expected. You can't be everything to everyone, but you do need to be YOU to everyone. It is very easy here to do that. Hopefully it will become easier 'out there'.

      I do judge myself harshly, I suppose. I look for everything that others could interpret as an issue and focus on that. I'm not sure how to work on that outside of trusting my husband. He is a very smart man, he rarely makes poor decisions, so that should tell me something :)

      Love You Susie

      Willie

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  12. Sometimes it is easier to judge ourselves harshly, then no one can say anything that we haven't thought of first.
    But when you make yourself vulnerable and see how others truly value you and love you, that is a lot of pressure. It seems hard to live up to that.
    You are doing it, you do not have to worry that you will fail. It is who you are, loving everyone without fear. Being the glue. You are important to all of them, and now you heard it even though you felt it before.
    I did have tears in my eyes too.

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    1. You know Minelle I have said those exact words to another Dd wife. That people can't think of anything that I haven't already thought of myself.

      The thing is it drives me CRAZY ( yes Emma not a far drive ) to see my middle son like that. He is SO hard on himself. Makes it easy to keep him on the straight an narrow, but not so great for the self esteem. NO one is harder on him than him.

      You are also right on the money with the pressure. It is hard to live up to what you think other people expect from you...and more so to live up to what you expect of yourself.

      Tears and fears....ahhhhhhhhh the subject of many a blog post...tears the result of even more!

      Love
      Willie

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  13. Your blog is your blog only. And your readers are looking for the Wilma and the Barney who practise DD, not just the DD itself. So this post is exactly to our liking.

    Even though I am thousands of miles away, I always try to see you through Barneys eyes. I usually don't succeed, but maybe you can do a better job from up close.
    Hugs,
    Bas

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    1. Actually Bas, the fact that you are thousands of miles away is exactly the place Barney needs to be to see properly ( he's a little farsighted in his advancing years- here hold this Christmas card so he can read it would you ? )

      He prefers braille when it comes to seeing me..*wink*

      Love Willie

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  15. Hey Willie - Love the new color and the new pic of you - too cute!

    Love ya,
    Cat

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  16. Awww Thanks Cat!

    Sometimes a new paint job is as good as a vacation!

    Smoooooooooooooooches ( er air smooches until this virus passes)

    Willie

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  17. Hi Willie,

    How fortunate you are to have a family who will tell you those things you need to hear. May you always see yourself as you truly are.

    Your comment made me think of a book by Dean Koontz called "Life Expectancy" at one point early on in the book, Jimmy asks his girlfriend to marry him. He calls her on the phone and in short says he's not much to look at, he's a lummox, he's a baker, he dances like Dr. Frankenstein's firstmade and that he will never be a millionaire. He says he'll never have great adventures and he is unsophisticated. He asks her to marry him and his girlfriend replies that she is in love with someone else.

    When he tries to find out who it is she says: That he's a baker and he's talented, and Jimmy starts protesting. She says "There he is, the one that I am in love with." He asks her to put him on the line and she says he already is on the line and she hopes the weird Jimmy that is always putting himself down is gone forever. That her Jimmy isn't a braggart, but he knows his worth and her Jimmy would never stop until he gets what he wants. So, Jimmy asks if she will marry her Jimmy and she says yes.

    I think your Barney was smart enough to know a gem when he saw one. He knows the value of his Willie and so does your family. You may have tried shut them off, but they saw through the cracks...pretty smart of them!

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  18. That is beautiful Cygnet ( she says with tears rolling down her face)

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Love
    Willie

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  19. Oh Willie... I'm only just catching up on reading through the blogs - and we soon have another two days holiday! I felt very happy within myself until I read what you had written, and now you've made me well up! I don't have anyone except Starman and our kids. All my friends seem to come complete with brothers and sisters and still have one or more parents. And I even teach children who come with sometimes six or seven brothers and sisters. I do have some cousins spread across deepest, darkest Europe - but it isn't the same.

    It must be so wonderful being 'even the youngest' of a family. I am very envious. I think it would be great to have someone to share things with, argue or fight with, compare things with, even be in awe of like older brothers or sisters. Thankfully I have Starman. I have more reasons to be thankful for him than you can possibly imagine.

    You need to write more of these insightful posts Willie. I love reading them! Many hugs, Ami

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  20. Well consider yourself officially adopted!

    When you find your way back here someday, you can meet every crazy one of them...heck their 'little project' is merely an extension of all of their personalities !

    I am very, very lucky. Our age gaps are huge, but I consider everyone of my siblings my friends first ( alright, maybe not so much ONE brother but ya know what they say- Every family has 'one' and if you don't think your's does- YOU"RE IT!).

    Not only do we have such fun, we have all vacationed together, kids, grand kids the whole lot, we care so deeply for each other- even if it is not always spoken. The wagons have been circled on more than one occasion. The other great thing, we love having a big family, so welcome aboard !

    Much Love
    Willie

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