Hello, my name is Stronger Me, and I am a doormat. I’ve been a doormat for some time and it has wreaked havoc on my life on occasion.
I come from a long line of doormats. I remember when I was in high school asking my mother why she didn’t say something to my dad in response to his sarcasm. She said that it wasn’t worth the effort.
At some point in time during my marriage, I realized that I was doing this same thing. Things were happening that would have other people stomping-their-feet-and-spitting mad. I had no reaction because it wasn’t worth it. Doormat.
Although it might have been my marriage that shoved me in the direction of being a doormat, it certainly isn’t the only area of my life that is affected. I find that I am always trying to prove something, whether it’s that I’m an asset to my company or a friend in need. Oh, you need a Team Mom? Well, I don’t want you to think I’m one of those working moms that doesn’t care about their kids, so sure, sign me up. (Does that woman really exist or is she just made up in my head as part of my own guilt trip?)
To be honest, most days I don’t mind being a doormat. Doing things for other people gives me a sense of purpose. Who am I if I’m not PTA Mom or Soccer Mom or Carpool Mom?
Other days, like say, today, I see that many of the people in my life only associate with me when I’m doing things that benefit them. Sure, it makes THEM shallow, not me, but what does it say about me that I do it anyway? I know their motivation and yet I continue to give.
Recently a friend came back into my life. It was someone who I “lost” in the divorce. Someone that I used to spend all of my time with. Someone that I mourned the loss of. As such, her return caused a whirlwind of emotion for me. On one hand, there was joy. My friend still cared about me. I wasn’t forgotten. On the other hand, would I be hurt again?
It seems that there was a falling out with my ex over money (shocker), so he was out and I was in. I knew that there would come a time that he would charm his way back into their lives. All he had to do was pay a portion of the money that he owed them. I told myself that because I knew these things, I wouldn’t be hurt when I was out and he was in.
I was wrong.
Since I didn’t care about the teams in the Superbowl this past weekend, I encouraged the kids to spend time with their father. He pitched a HUGE fit last year about the Superbowl. (Practically stomping his feet and jumping up and down like a two-year-old. It was ugly.) I usually invite people over so the kids want to stay home and hang out with their friends while we all eat too much and watch the game.
This year, I have to admit that I wasn’t in the mood. I recently hosted a get-together for the Aggie bowl game (whoop!) and I’m worn out. My new-old friend had invited me to her house and assured me that he wasn’t invited, so I had a potential plan with or without the kids.
Then The Ex paid her husband a portion of what he owed them and told them the exciting news that his kids would be with him for Superbowl, so he was in and I was out. Of course, my friend didn’t call or text me to SAY that. I found out from my kids. And since The Ex was bringing his new family, let’s face it, I knew that no one wanted me there to make it uncomfortable. My friend’s silence and lack of texting and/or calling said it all.
So I took the high road. I sent her a text and told her that I was going to use the time alone to get some projects done around the house. I acted like it was no big deal and we briefly chatted about my chore list.
Then I cried because it was a big deal. It opened an old wound.
She was kind and sent me texts throughout the night with updates about what my kids were doing. I really do recognize that she is in a tough spot because of the friendship between her husband and my ex. It still hurts, but I get it.
The next day, she texted me to ask if my son had any old bats that could be passed down to her boys. In the past, I have always passed down all sorts of clothes, sporting equipment, books, toys, etc. Of course, I said yes. We sent pictures of the bats with their various lengths and weights and she said that she would pick them up the next morning. I was feeling better. I was feeling normal.
Until the morning. For some reason, my paranoia woke me up bright and early. What if all of those bats weren’t just for her kids? What if they were for the new girlfriend’s kids? I mean, she is friendly with HER now, even driving her kid home from school every day. What if it was my ex that actually told her to contact me for the old bats? What if I was set up? More tears.
In the grand scheme of it all, it doesn’t really matter. We have more than a few bats that are sitting around unused. Her kids need bats. I have bats to give. And we all know if I have something to give, I will give it.
Hello, my name is Doormat.