Feeling overwhelmed, unappreciated.

cube1067October 6, 2004

Figure writing to THS is cheaper than therapy.

Well, you certainly dont have to be married and have children to feel overwhelmed and unappreciated. Its such a small thing that kicked off this diatribe its the straw/camel thing I guess. I won a departmental contest at work today, but a mix-up allowed a work-wide e-mail announcement saying some other person won. As I was writing this, the contest judge walked in and gave me a prize, but there will be no e-mail announcing me as the winner. Another unacknowledged victory in my life. I can hear you saying "its what YOU think that matters", but I dont understand why people act like compliments from others are so unnecessary when it seems to me that most people love compliments and accolades.

Ive been living an unacknowledged life and today I am angry about that. From such simple acknowledgements like "you look nice" to more major ones like "it was a good idea to pay off the mortgage", I feel like my circle of people dont see me. Its been my lot in life to be the person with the good ideas that is taken for granted. I feel like I get a lot of "so what" attitude from my friends and family. I have gotten compliments from strangers, but not from those closest to me.

I dont know. Ive been overwhelmed by house issues this year, getting maintenance done, complaining properly when work is not satisfactorilyI dont need to be told to be grateful I have a home. Im just wound up because I wish I could let someone else "handle it" for a change. This built up stress could be that I dont enjoy conflict and Ive had a lot of it with getting my windows done this year. That issue is finally resolved, I got a discount, and I paid the bill on Saturday, but part of me wonders why in addition to doing ALL the fighting, I had to deliver the check to pay the final bill. I live with my Mom; we bought our home together. Shes not an invalid, shes one of those ladies who lunch. Its not that she should do more. I think I wish I would hear "good job" instead of whats next to be done. No acknowledgement given for getting a discount. Im beginning to sympathize with the husbands of the world, living with someone who simply requests more, more, more.. Can I just hear a "good job, honey" please?

Again, just as I am writing this, my girlfriend/coworker has popped in here for the 3rd time to tell me something unimportant. Shes waiting on the compliment I usually give her; I can tell she got her hair done at lunch time. But I got a &itchin hair-do 2 weeks ago and she has said nothing. Not the first time. Matter of fact, last week when I was with her, a stranger came up to me and said "I love your hair". Girlfriend said nothing. I dont feel like treating her better than she treats me. Not today.

I dont know. For the last 2 weeks Ive noted how close I am to irritability. I have a good sense of humor and Im relying on it to get me through this. But this dissatisfaction with people around me has been ever present for the last two weeks. Could I be peri-menopausal? I am getting near to that stage.

Oh, God. Just now the prize judge came by and said to my girlfriend "Did you see she won today?" Girlfriend said "I saw her certificate. I wondered how she got that and why I didnt have one." Girlfriend never mentioned the certificate to me. Its been hanging up for 3 hours now.

I credit girlfriend with getting me this job, though. I was a temp someplace else. Through conversation with my girlfriend I found out someone had quit at her job. I asked if they were hiring; she said yes but they needed a person who knew "XYZ", which I do not know. Two days later her boss asked her if I was looking for a job (I used to work for him too) to give me a call. She called, and the end of the story is I now work for my old boss once again. I feel like my friend could have chosen not to make the call, but she did call, so she is a friend. So maybe on a better day I wont be so sick of her.

Ive got to find a healthy avenue for venting my frustrations and getting back on an even keel.

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(((((((CUBE)))))! My heart aches for you - I don't think your feelings are misplaced at all. I had the attitude you are now experiencing, for many years. Last year, I met a certain someone here on gardenweb, my attitude has changed drastically, and my life is better for it. This guy has all the same troubles everyone seems to have, but he is SO intelligent that he doesn't let it rule the rest of his life, and believe me, he has life-issues! I was a bitter and angry person until I met this man, and now I know I AM valuable, despite being mostly unappreciated by others. THANKS - you know who you are!

This man made me believe in myself again, so hopefully you will meet your 'savior' and see the value within yourself, be able to pat yourself on the back, carry yourself proudly through life, and KNOW that people do care and notice your accomplishments, but being in the same mental state you are in, can't express those feelings. God BLESS you, my friend!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 7:16AM
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Sorry, but I don't know if a guy is going to solve the problem. Just one more person to not appreciate you. This is an epidemic in our culture, being negative. You have to really fight against the tide to not have it engulf you. One thing I try to do is remember that there are millions of people out there with your same complaint. I hear this from my friends all the time. The world is really full of people who are hurting because others don't "value" them. IMHO, our culture devalues people because it encourages us to objectify everything. I try to meditate on this and remember in my own life to try and be a source of positive karma, not negative. I'm not trying to be sanctimonious because I rarely acheive my goal, rarely! But showing others you care and appreciating them at least empowers you to some extent. Also, having some type of faith in a loving entity helps. Also, oddly, for me getting out in nature helps. Nature offers up so many beautiful gifts to us on a daily basis if we pay attention. Even on dismal days there are often glimmers of beauty. I remember in the movie Dr. Zhivago when Yuri Zhivago is on a train for Siberia and he is surrounded all around by depravity, and then he looks out the window at a beautiful full moon. He was a poet. To me this is the solution, to look purposefully for the joys life is sending your way and to focus very hard on them. And then to return that joy back to the world. You cannot control other people but you can decide not to let the bastards get you down, under any circumstances. This takes a lot of will and discipline. I'm no expert in this area by far. One of the best books I have ever read on this subject is "The Art of Happiness" by the Dali Lama along with some psychiatrist whose name escapes me right now. That's another thing I find helpful, reading inspriational books.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 9:16AM
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I appreciate the response. Sometimes all we need is a good nights sleep to regain perspective. Just like children, adults get cranky and out of sorts when tired.

It does help to remember that other people are carrying their own mental burdens, and that many other people are feeling unappreciated by loved ones also.

On a different forum I wrote about being "not in love" with my house. The other writers were talking about their dream homes, and I too think that something grander, more spacious would please me..but then I think about how much I envy the family portrayed in "The Waltons". I recently started watching that show on the oldies channel. I LOVE that family. I love how they live. So that makes me think that its not the structure, its the love I am pining for in a home. In that family how could you not feel secure, supported in all that you are, and loved for who you are. Im embarrassed to say I am brought to tears when one family member does something in the best interest of another family member. What a strong foundation those Waltons had!

Ive learned that I grew up in what psychologists call a distant family. I could state examples about times I felt love was withheld, but I think Ive learned that mature love allows people to be who they are and still be loved by you. Its just that now I have an unquenched thirst for acknowledgement.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 4:55PM
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My only point was that I had lost self-value, enforced by those 'friends' and 'loved ones' in my immediate life. It could have been a woman, instead of a man, but this happened to be a man, whom I KNOW was heaven-sent. He began to reinforce my value, to myself and others, before we ever met in person.

When we finally were blessed to meet, and I got to know him, I realized he was the most mature, honest, articulate, and loving person I had ever met. I removed myself from his life for a number of reasons, but mostly because he had, personal issues, that combined with what I had happening in my life, was too overwhelming for me at the time.

He placed my head on a level path, made me feel worthwhile, and loved. I have always been loved, but just had lost sight of that fact, because I was down on myself.

When ones self-esteem is at its lowest plane, EVERYONE seems down on you.

I don't pretend to know what it's like for anyone else - I'm not a psychologist - but, I DO KNOW that without Michael's time in my life, I wouldn't be in charge of my life and feelings as I am today!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 5:59PM
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Cube you need to watch fewer episodes of "The Waltons" and more episodes of "Everybody Loves Raymond!"

And Kay I hear ya. I have a family that is very negative, and I have to seek out the company of people who are not like that. Negative reinforcement is a habit of culture that a lot of people are locked into without even being aware of. Once I heard a speaker at a counseling conference refer to them as "toxic" people. IMHO the only antidote to them is to do the healing work on yourself and then engage in the healing of the world. But first heal yourself. To me, this is a life long struggle. Some days and weeks I am more on top of the battle than others! And yes, along the path of my life I was greatly influenced by meeting a group of people who just don't live their lives in the grips of negativity. They showed me another path. But they still struggle with these same issues, I have even seen some of them sink into depression as life throws the darts at them. They loose their ability to taste the strawberries. This relates to a story I tell my students:

The Strawberry: A Zen Tale from Japan

There was once a man who was being chased by a ferocious tiger across a field. At the edge of the field there was a cliff. In order to escape the jaws of the tiger, the man caught hold of a vine and swung himself over the edge of the cliff.

Dangling down, he saw, to his dismay, there were more tigers on the ground below him! And furthermore, two little mice were gnawing on the vine to which he clung. He knew that at any moment he would fall to certain death. All of a sudden, the man saw a strawberry growing on an outcropping of the cliff. It was red and ripe and luscious.

Clutching the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other and put it in his mouth. He never before realized how sweet a strawberry could taste.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

:-) I have to try really, really, really hard to be a strawberry savorer. I worked with disadvantage kids for a couple of years and that's one of the great lessons they taught me. When it's either laugh or cry, why not laugh? You know Rodney Dangerfield just died this week and I heard him talking about his life in an interview and that was definately his philosophy!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2004 at 12:22PM
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Cube, I was feeling much the ame way you are when i found this site called "flylady.net." It's sort of about cleaning and organizing, but FLY stands for "Finally Loving Yourself" and it is about changing your way of thinking. It's free and amazing.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2004 at 9:33PM
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"Its been my lot in life to be the person with the good ideas that is taken for granted."

You're all grown up now, and in charge of your own "lot." Find another job. Sell your share of the house back to your mother and move out. Turn off the TV and go see a movie. Paint your bedroom walls. Take a daytrip to the nearest outlet mall. Do something...ANYTHING...to shake up your routine and get out of that pattern that's reinforcing how you see yourself.

Whoever said life is hard sure knew what she was talking about. But there's almost always something you can do to make it LESS hard for yourself. Sure, it takes work. And a whole bunch of trial and error.

I know I'm not a regular post-er on this forum. I do occasionally pay a visit though, as I am doing tonight. So it may seem that I'm making judgments when I have no right. But sometimes it takes a fresh perspective to help us see ourselves differently. Perhaps that's how you'll see my comments. Or perhaps not. lol

My point is, it's your choice whether you let other people control your lot in life.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 1:35AM
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Skaterio and Cube, I was thinking the same thing--FLYDADY. It's a great Web site for getting your house to seem more homey. Yes it's bizzare and out there, but you don't have to do all the things on the Web site, pick and choose what works for you. Once you free your home from CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) then you can invite people over. I have about one dinner party per season and invite people who make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It's a great pick me up, the whole process--getting the house ready, cooking, etc.

Also, it might be helpful to find a spiritual community to join if you haven't already. I mean I should talk since I don't belong to one, but the idea is that a spiritual community can help people fee loved and appreciated and connected to a higher power. I was speaking with a pastor last year and he told me that your complaint is one of the prime one he hears from everyone.

A couple of years ago I got a book called "Minyan" by Rami Shapiro which is about developing a spriritual practice. Minyan is a term in Judiasm which refers to a group of ten men, which is how many people you need to start a worship group. Anyway, the rabbi who wrote the book developed ten spiritual practices which, according to the review on Amazon, "ground a person in divine reality and balance external and internal affairs." Anyway, the book isn't pie in the sky, it is very practical and accessible to people of any religion or even agnostics. One of the practices is to read inspirational books every night. Like a devotion, read a couple of pages as your before bed reading. That's how I found the "Art of Happiness" book. Two other books I have especially enjoyed are:
"Attitudes of Gratitude" by M.J. Ryan, and "The Simple Living Guide" by Janet Luhrs. There are bound to be other books out there, just find a few you like and then look them up on Amazon.com. They always tell you other books you might like or other books that other people who bought your book also bought, which gives you some ideas to try. Right now I'm reading "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari" which as a novel pretty much sucks, but as a guide to meditation practices is quite good. By putting the ideas in the form of a novel I guess the author is making them more accessible. But it's not really a novel, just a fable.

Also, MJ is right, the TV is very damaging to one's self esteem, the world portrayed there is not even close to reality. The whole medium is designed to get us to feel that our life is inadequate. That way we will buy things to fill the void.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 11:51PM
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Cube, I have a mom like yours. I just read the part about you living with your mom. I dunno, I think as a long range plan you might find yourself so much happier not living with her. I don't know what your situation is, but I just feel so much better when I am not around my parents for long periods of time. God bless them they were great parents and they are great people, but they are very much in the throes of the negative mindset. I feel sorry for them, but I have to get away from that on an everyday basis. I think their main problem is that they have no spiritual life, and I think that this is behind a lot of the negative attitudes of a lot of people. There are people who live differently, you have to seek them out. It's like alchoholism, when you are trying to kick that you have to not be around people who are big drinkers for awhile. I think the same thing can be said about negative critical people, you have to avoid them for awhile when you are trying to heal yourself. I was lucky that I found a group like that years ago when I was in my 20s. I don't know about now that I am in my 40s, it isn't easy to make new friends period. But I'd start with finding a church or something like that. I'm lucky in that I work with some great positive people. I worked in a negative atmosphere for years and I do know what a toll that takes on you if you don't develop a postive antidote. Even given that it is still tough.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2004 at 12:13AM
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Lpink, laughed at the "Everybody Loves Raymond" line. (:>) But I actually caught a few minutes of ELR last night and it was unbelievably apropos. The wife began dressing provocatively just so she would hear appreciative comments from someone, since she rarely heard compliments from the husband.

Also last night on QVC, Donald Trump said his new book ("Think Like A Billionaire") had lots of insight on handling negativity from others. He said you really need to be able to handle negativity, because it will be a constant enemy.

And Kay, recently I was also moved to look at life differently by a "Michael". In my case, Michael was a housepainter I hired. He was only around for 3 days, but his effect has lasted. Hes kind of like my Burt Lancaster (in the movie Rainmaker ) only without the romance. Michael complimented me on my eyeglasses (which Ive had for over a year. But I chose them carefully to avoid the bookish look I will inevitably have with my prescription. I liked them but have not heard yet whether any family or friends like my glasses). Michael also listened to classical music while he worked. Im an oddball in my circle because I like classical. He was prompt, hardworking, and extraordinarily polite. Oh, he was also young, physically beautiful and he had an accent that made it sound like he was making love to you no matter what he was saying.

After he left I found myself looking up the word vitality . I was struck by the meaning: the property that distinguishes the living from the non-living.

And I now find myself attempting to live with more vitality. I may not achieve it everyday, but I am making more of an effort. Entering the contest where I was gypped was new for me. I entered a second contest on the job (it was a week long affair) where you had to do something with crafts. I thought my offering was kindergarten quality, but hey, at least I did something; I was the only one in my group to do something. It placed second which amazed me.

So like "the Donald" said last night: Never give up; Never stop trying; Learn how to fight the effects of negativity.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2004 at 3:14PM
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I am also seeking vitality. Good word, Cube. I just feel invisible. I am going to a folk dance class Friday night and I am not going to let anything stop me (I started thinking up reasons to stay home as soon as I decided to go).

Cube, I have been thinking since I first met you (I am embarrassed that I did not mention it sooner)....

love those frames! ;-)

and congratulations on the contest. I would like to hear more about the craft that you entered.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2004 at 8:01PM
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Me too Cube. You actually made me get up and make sure I knew where my titanium trifocals were! I'm a dual wearer, lenses/glasses, and with my metal allergy I don't have cool choices. You made a great choice.

A coworker/friend suggested we get together for a movie on Friday. If JC can go to her folk dancing I could handle a movie.....???? I really enjoy being around her as she's spiritual,intuitive,upbeat and very intelligent.

Pretty cool on your craft too! What was it? Inquiring minds
you know! I would have entered something to surprise everyone. Very few at work even know I do crafting. Of course, very few know much of anything about me. :P


    Bookmark   October 14, 2004 at 4:37AM
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Thanks for asking! My craft was nothing major, a hollowed-out smiley face touting customer service help lines. The idea was to decorate the office doors for customer service week. Went to Michael's (the craft store) and spent $12 and maybe 90 minutes of effort. I hung my offering on the door with bungee cords, twine, and office clips.

I made a point of NOT showing it to my Mom because, well, you know how some people can kill and idea with a smirk or even a non-reaction.

Glad you like my frames. I'm a lens/frame wearer too. Do you find you wear your glasses more as you get older? There was a time I would not go anywhere in my glasses. Now, my vanity seems to be lessening. I think I'll be more interested in the guy who likes me with my glasses on!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2004 at 2:30PM
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HA! Not right now as I've lost my left lens and waiting to see my opthamologist. I can make-do as it is my left eye that is the worst. I've lost several to put it mildly. Just almost impossible to fit.

Yes, I do when I am able. Squinting causes frown lines too.
Our eyes are programmed to take a hike at 40 normally without additional problems. I even asked my Dr. about bifocal lenses...hounded him actually. "You will be the LAST one on the list." Men wear glasses too! If someone couldn't deal with it it sure isn't anyone you need/want in your life for sure.

My Mother has passed but my sister rarely has anything good to say about what I make/do/buy. We're like black and white. I don't have to live with her tho and just stay away when I get saturated.

Remember too, many people in life and on the web use criticism because THEY have low self esteem. It just isn't obvious. We can't change them..only the way we perceive things.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2004 at 4:29PM
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