28 Comments

Does This Hair Look Like a Doormat?

Does This Hair Look Like a Doormat?

Don’t answer that question. I use it to illustrate a point. What is the point? Just because I am a Christian with freakishly large hair and a penchant for helping wounded strays, does not mean I will be ill used. Well, maybe for a little while, but if I reach my breaking point, watch out. I can make an angry red-head look like a yawning kitten with a milk mustache.

Years ago, I didn’t know how to use the word no…ever. Not to my husband, my family or my friends. I was the go-to-gal for any dirty job that needed cleaned, any problem that needed solved, or the heap wagon for any load of life anyone needed unburdened with. The words ask Di were heard often. And actually, I do love helping people.

But there is a problem with being the one that always gives to everyone with no boundaries. I woke up one morning, rolled out of bed, looked in the mirror and thought…

Who the heck am I?

The scary part was I honestly didn’t know. The reflection was a stranger with a painted on smile. When did that happen? Real panic welled and my soul cried out for me to recapture myself. But the thought of one more chore made me sick. Because finding yourself is hard work when you’ve been lost for years, hidden in crazy hair and fake smiles.

So I began to examine my life. I had suffered panic attacks before, but nothing like what was to come. Then there was anger for giving myself away so carelessly. So much so that I was worthless for well over a month. Everyone knows you can’t keep that up for long and I had done it for years. I remember being so miserable about having to find myself that I wondered how I would manage this new task when my to-do list was a mile long?

That is when God stepped in and showed me where I had to start. I began plucking away at the list. I mean, did I really still need to clip my 10 year old’s toenails along with his four siblings? Did I really need to watch other people’s children for free when I could barely keep up with my own? Did Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner need to be at my house with me cooking and cleaning everything every year? Did I really need that job that caused me to miss out on three nights a week and every weekend with my family?

I’ve told you all before but I will tell you again. I promised myself I would never again do anything I didn’t want to unless it was absolutely needed.

Nothing is more irritating to me than for someone to ask something of me that they are fully capable of doing themselves. That is where I must set boundaries. It is a sure sign that the person is self-absorbed, self-serving and inconsiderate. I know that person hasn’t taken one moment to consider what all I have to do in one day. Because if they had, they would never ask me to do something they could do on their own. What is sad is even now I find myself saying yes. Bad habits are so hard to break.

I know as Christians we are supposed to control our mouths,  actions and feelings. But after a time of inconsideration and overall rudeness, I tend to snap. My breathe comes short, my heart aches, nausea and cold sweat hit. I’m done. Given all I’m willing to give. I’m swallowed by fear (of losing me), anger (at myself for saying yes in the first place) and then, resentment (for the person that has pushed me to that point.) I become petty and little things anger me as much as the big ones.

I don’t want to be that way.

So please remember that I am a mother of five that lives on a mountain. I home-school, haul water three times a week, and cook about 72 meals a month. I shop on Tuesdays, try to write, try to be a good mother and wife. I go to bed late and get up early on most days. I am not your doormat, and I don’t take kindly to being treated like one. Take your dirty shoes elsewhere.

Peace, love and God’s will.

A very special thanks to Chicky for placing WELCOME across me and stomping footprints in deep. You rock! 😀

About Diane Graham

Diane Graham lives in the mountains of eastern Oklahoma with her husband, children and many dogs. She is an avid reader and lover of all art forms that encapsulate imagination and goodness. Her debut novel I Am Ocilla was released in March 2012.

28 comments on “Does This Hair Look Like a Doormat?

  1. Oh, my, how I do relate to this one. There were no boundaries at home growing up – everybody was always up in everybody else’s grill most of the time. Add the pressure of expectations from a church, and you are behind the eight ball.

    • I think a lot of women can relate to this. We set boundaries for our children but forget to put them up for ourselves.

  2. I thought I just posted a reply, but I can’t find it.

  3. In my very first assessment I was told by my manager: “You have to learn to say no.” Was tough to do at first but I found it got easier with practice. 🙂

  4. Love the pic, Kat! How can I make use of your talents? Oh, wait! I’m being self-absorbed! hehe!

    I fear for the person(s) who pushed you this far, Vaulter. You are wee but Might-Wee (does that work? not really).
    Glad you’re learning to say no, and yes, it’s a life-long struggle for some. My problem is a tendency to say “no” all the time, even when I should say “yes.” For the record, I prefer my problem. Lends itself to more naps.

    BTW, toenail clipping is vastly overrated. I just punch holes in my shoes to accommodate the suckers.

  5. Great thoughts here, Diane. I loved the moment you talked about people who ask for stuff they could easily do themselves…I think a big part of what helps my marriage stay harmonious is that we long ago agreed not to ask the our other half to do something unless there really was some compelling reason we could not. (Like heavy things and power tool related stuff falls to Scott. He knows this.)

    A well-spoken no is a powerful thing. Let’s face it, if the super capable Diane sweeps in to save the day all the time, that doesn’t leave much room for other folks to step up and fill a need. By saying no to some things, we give others a chance to say yes in places they never knew they could.

    Write on, friend!

    • Thanks, Becky. Not sure if you are aware yet, but I am the resident rock-head. It takes me a while to learn these basic things. 😛

  6. “Nothing is more irritating to me than for someone to ask something of me that they are fully capable of doing themselves.”

    Yes! I’m a reformed people pleaser, too. It’s hard to set the default to “no” when it’s been “yes” for so long, but it’s possible. I had to learn that sometimes the best way to love someone else is to refuse a self-focused request.

    The mantra I live by: We teach people how to treat us.

    • Thanks, Janalyn. I agree. Even though at first I thought everyone would just think I was a nasty person. I didn’t trust those I love enough to see how I struggled. Silly me forgot the simple answer…Just tell them. 😛

  7. There is a beautiful brain under all that hair! Great post!!

  8. My Dearest youngest daughter,

    Even in horror you are beautiful!LOL! Seriously though, many years ago and I think you know what time I am referring to.I almost drowned in a Sea of good intentions.I had to go to therapy for a while and I learned a very important lesson, I was exactly like you! I wanted to be the good soul and help everyone,no matter what the cost. One glorious day I went to a therapy class and the therapist said,” I have a s#?t sandwich, who will take it?” I of course look around to see that no one else will. So…… being the bleeding heart. I take it and the therapist immediately says, ” Now what ya going to do with it?” Everyone in the class just guffaws. I of course was totally humiliated! I ran out of the class crying. The following session, the therapist again asked who wanted this nasty sandwich. All eyes fell upon me with smirks waiting to burst forward. The therapist looked at me in gleeful anticipation and asked, “How about it Billie, will you take this disgusting sandwich for me again? I replied with a hint of sarcasm,”No but if you’d like me to, I’ll sure as heck help you bury it.” Nuff said?

    • Oh see, that is where you and I differ, Momma. I would have taken the sandwich. Then I would have buried it all right… Up someone’s tooshie. LOL Or maybe down a snarky throat. Then I would have to go to the corner.

  9. Btw Turtle, YOU ARE A RIOT!

  10. I used to have the same problem… Not any more! I’m pretty stubborn when it comes to requests I don’t want.
    However, I do still have a problem with the amount of stuff I ask mySELF to do. Sometimes it just never ends! And I feel real bad saying no to myself, ya know?

  11. This article is something I am going to make my liberty day chapter! Tonight…today…Friday wee hours of the morning. I actually used to think that christian meant we had to be a doormat. Seek peace with everyone..walk that second mile until we got blisters. Your almost prophetic articles always seems to fit into the theme of the week in my own life. You know when God wants to pull something out of us, out of our flesh, he makes sure that everything around you is a facet of that lesson. Steve Harvey was on TBN this week. The comedian. He was so funny, couldn’t possibly convey it but his message was he , too, tried to act like he thought a Christian should act. No one ever told him that just because we go to the altar , it ain’t over. We are works in progress. He thought ok, got a lot of making up to my wife…just did everything because of the guilt of the past. When finally God said…”Let Me take care of that, Steve.” So that is why today is my day of liberty. Nope, don’t have to do all and be all for everyone. No more battered housewife in every relationship of my life. I am a work in progress….deal with it.

    I love that photo…you are so cutie patootie , Di…That will make me smile for days.

  12. Oh, my sister, I hear you. It’s especially hard to say no to church work, because there can be a feeling that saying no to the work is saying no to God. Becky pointed out that our “no” can make room for someone else’s “yes.” It’s also true that our “no” to one thing leaves us free to say “yes” to something else.

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