A common “negative life mantra” that runs thru my mind often, which I hope to prove wrong is, “Nobody will EVER take care of me”…
Not sure which exact mosaic of odd normal/dysfunctional American family dynamics led me to wholeheartedly believe this mantra.. Maybe losing my older brother at age 7 & watching my parents struggle to reconcile the loss of a child, being my own parent as a teen (I made a terrible one, btw) or simply just the style of parenting I was under being the 5th of 6 kids, whose parents were admittedly “done”… But there it is… floating about in my mind, ready to lend it’s ugly advice any time something or someone “shows” me they don’t care, won’t care or cannot care for me.
Today it was a repeat of something that has happened to me recently at a different Dr’s office:
I, Bethany, mother of 6… who spends most of her time and energy TAKING care of her kids, taking her kids to appointments, cancelling my social plans so I can take care of my kids, Managing a Dr’s office, where I lead a TEAM to care for our patients… scheduled myself a Dr’s appointment for MYSELF… Yeah, rare.
This time it was an audiology appt to attempt to see if my hearing problems can be helped… (so that ppl can stop complaining that I am “TOO LOUD” or so that when I go out to a restaurant or a party I am not lost in a sea of swirling voices, a quite unnerving sensation which does NOT lend itself to my immediate need to MAKE and KEEP friends (another story, another time)).
It is NOT easy for me to get to an appointment for myself. I have to FIND time between kids Dr, Dentist, IEP & social appointments for it, I have to get a sitter, sometimes pay a sitter, and sacrifice my PRECIOUS time without kids for the appt.
SO I get to this appointment, check in, promise to fill out my paperwork fast (I arrived 3 minutes late, which I was sure to courtesy call them 10 minutes prior to the appt to make sure it was ok…due to icy snowy roads)
And 40 minutes of waiting after my appt time, I approach the front desk and ask,”how much longer do you think I might wait for my appointment?” to which the receptionist apologizes for the wait and tell s me it’s because they took 2 “Emergency appts”. But i’m at an audiology clinic and NOTHING about audiology lends itself to emergency appts, and if it did the pts would go to the ER… so she is bluffing and NOBODY made a single effort to notify me of the delay or apologize. I thank her and quietly and patiently continue to wait in my chair in the lobby.
A few minutes more and I am taken back to a conference style room, where I am told the Dr. will be in in ANY SECOND. I wait another 20 minutes.
At this point I leave the room, and approach the same receptionist,
She obv has no clout nor ability to help me and says the “Dr will be coming to get you ANY SECOND, but you see, she said that 20 minutes ago. So I walk out, upset, in tears, and with travel time, I have lost 2 hours OF MY LIFE and $$$ to the sitter. I. AM . PISSED.
And that little nasty mantra enters once again, “See Bethany… NOBODY CARES about you and NOBODY WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU, EVEN if you PAY THEM TO.”
And for most of my life, I have made sure to surround myself with situations to drive this mantra home, avoiding friendships getting into bad marriages with self-centered husbands, and also self centered boyfriends, never taking myself to the Dr, never going to the dentist.. Not even taking care of myself, not eating right, not making my care a priority,, and NOW I am trying to do that, MAKE my care a priority… and for some reason the universe is THROWING this crap at me…
Maybe I needed the awareness of how prevalent this issue is so that I CAN heal.. So I CAN protect myself from selfish and negligent care providers that will overbook MY appointed time, so I can TAKE CARE OF MYSELF…SO that I can put myself first.
I still feel alone, I still feel like NOBODY has got my back. I still feel like NOBODY “gets” me… but whatever… I have BEGUN, to be *ok* with spending money on MYSELF, even if it’s for something I WANT not NEED. I have started to REALLY try to be SELFISH, in the good ways, not self-CENTERED, but to put MY oxygen mask on FIRST, so that I can better HELP and care for all the people i NEED to care for. I have committed to some things that make me alive, I have committed to train my body and mind to be the best rock climber I can, I have committed to dress nicely, to eat healthy and delicious food, and eat more often… (still a struggle to eat enough).. I have committed to “just do what sounds joyful” more, even if that means doing nothing, and I have committed to LEARN what it looks like to care for myself.
And even though I may Never really shut up that voice that is lurking in my mind, I *might* be able to prove it wrong,
someone WILL care for me,
and that someone is MYSELF!