Friday, December 30, 2011

Know Any Guardian Angels...?

The Guardian Angel
Pietro Da Cortona
1656

Do any of you folks believe in guardian angels?  I could certainly use one right about now.  I can't remember when I have ever felt so despondent.  For the past several years, I have been supportive of my family through many family problems.  I have assisted with what little financial support I can provide, I have assisted with resources, psychological support, time, effort, care, concern, and so much more.  I have always been the person that folks can call at 3:00 in the morning, and I will be available to help with whatever help is needed.  I sometimes feel like an eight-legged octopus trying to hang onto all the unravelling ends of everyone's lives.  And this Christmas season has been no different.  There has been stress, financial concern, psychological concern; I have been trying to keep everyone stress-free.  I just want everyone to be happy.  But, the realization came to me that it's all for nothing.  I can't make other people happy, and I can't solve their problems for them.  It is burning me out, and it's affecting my health and my job.

People often become so self-absorbed that they can't see beyond their own problems.  On my birthday a few days ago, only one family member phoned me to wish me a happy birthday.  All I want is for my family to actually care about me ~~ Johanna ~~ the person.  It is a very lonely feeling, and today I feel unbelievably sad.  Yet another family crisis has blown up, and yet again I was unable to hold the unravelling threads together.  And yet again I have become the unwilling brunt of the situation.  I am beginning to see a pattern of one individual using me as a tool to hurt another individual.  He uses me to push buttons and to cause trouble, which seems to be a trait of other individuals in his side of the family.  And there has been a pattern of it consistently since he came into our family.  And he's very clever at it.

Today I am feeling rather sad, heartsick, and very, very tired.  I am sorry to be such a downer, but I just needed to vent.  It's very difficult to go through life feeling as if one's family doesn't care, but that is how I feel.  I am not a valued member of my family.  I need to distance myself, because it's better to be alone than to be constantly embroiled in someone else's turmoil, year after year, after year.  If they don't like me, well ... they don't like me, and I can't change that.  I always feel I am never *good enough* and I think, "If I can just be a better person, if I just be nicer, if I just do nicer things, if I help them more, maybe then they will like me..."  But it doesn't work that way.  I get that now.  I get it.  I'm a nice person, I don't need to be a better person, or nicer, or more helpful.  I'm just fine the way I am, and if they don't like me, well, that's okay.  I can't change it.

Okay, I finally get it.

But, I could sure use a guardian angel right about now.  Or a hug.

42 comments:

The Bug said...

I'm so sorry you feel this way Jo - but you're right in that you can't really change other people or keep them all safe & happy. I figured that out a while ago with a family situation - & it was hard to let go of the need to "fix" it, but in the end it saved my sanity.

Wish I could be there to give you a hug!

lgsquirrel said...

I am so sorry for what you are going through with your family but it is good that you recognise that some people are just manipulative and that you should not let them play you. You ARE a great person so don't let them get you down. I am sure you do have a guardian angel and a heavenly father who cares but I wish we could all give you a hug.

mrsnesbitt said...

So sorry to read this Jo - sending you ((((HUGS)))) from Yorkshire, UK. Lots of love,Denise xxxxxxx

SparkleFarkle said...

Here is a hug, of sorts, that always sees me through, when desperate are the times (<--which, unfortunately, far too any are): It's called Voyage to the Bunny Planet by the lovely Miss Rosemary Wells. (Years ago and during a time of great need, I received it as a boxed book-set from a dear, dear friend: ME!) Included in it are such comforts, titled, Island Light, Moss Pillows, First Tomato, and, of course, Voyage to the Bunny Planet.

In a land far, far away, please know that a SparkleFarkle loves you and keeps you tucked into her Good Night Prayers.

"Here's to the day that should have been..." <--You'll soon know how very meaningful that phrase will become in your life, after you run right out and buy a copy of Miss Wells' book, which I know you will. You have to. I'm begging you, because it is the "medicine" you need, I know it. Please don't wait. You'll find it in the Children's section.

God bless,
SF~~~~~*

Linda Myers said...

I can relate! I've had to detach from the issues of my family members and learn to listen without trying to fix. That actually works better than providing financial help. Plus, I've learned not to expect anyone in my family to behave as I wish they would.

When I keep my expectations very low, I'm pleasantly surprised when they're exceeded by the behavior of my family members. And when I'm detached from the issues, however they work out for the other people, I'm not the bad guy.

You're absolutely fine and loveable and valuable, Jo.

Kathryn said...

Hi Jo,
I feel for you. All we moms/women/females want is for everyone to be happy. At some times in our lives we do seem to have that power (when the kids are small maybe?), but when we are dealing with adult issues there is truly no way to make everyone happy. A wise friend once said to me that the best gift we can give our loved ones is to be happy ourselves. You can't make them happy, but you can work on your own. One thing I'm learning to do about my own birthday, is to plan my own fun. I don't wait for disappointment - I head it off! If I want attention from my family members on my birthday I plan a day with them - I take the initiative. If I want a certain special personal gift, I buy it for myself. It's not too late for you to choose a day, invite your family members, order take-out, and have them over. tell them sincerely that you can't think of a better birthday present than their company, and then enjoy it. Yes, it would be wonderful if they took the initiative, but it may happen yet. In the meantime don't have a sad and lonely birthday. extend it for a week or two and make fun happen. don't 'let' yourself be forgotten. Be unforgettable! I'm sending a hug, too.

JeannetteLS said...

Dearest Jo,
You have my email, so write me any time if you want to vent. I am afraid that I do know exactly that situation. I'd say I know how you feel, but we are each of us different, but I think I do! It is far too common a situation that the person who tries the hardest to be there for everyone so often becomes the person easiest to blame, to take for granted and ... well, too often the most invisible.

My guess is that there will be myriad voices in here who will tell you over and over that you are already good enough... MORE than good enough. And who will encourage you to go after your very own personal dreams, and let go of feeling it is up to you to hold the family together or solve other people's problems.

You are unbelievably smart. You are a talented writer. As I recall, you are also an artist. You are insatiably curious about the world. You are generous--but to the point of giving YOU away right along with your love. You are full of humor, even if that part of you is hiding just now.

And you are full of light, even if it is a little dim just now. Just let all of our long distance GRATITUDE and our CARING and affection soak in, okay? Believe it as it comes in our responses. Take us up on offers to read, if you want to write less publicly. We do not judge YOU any more than you have judged US. You are appreciated and when you do not write in here, you are MISSED.

I don't know that this helped, but perhaps the totality of the support will sink in, so you can take heart and know you are as far from worthless or inadequate as it gets.

SO THERE

Small City Scenes said...

Jo, you have many Guardian Angels all over thinking about you and caring for you. I learned later in life that we cannot solve all the problems in the world and we must not let that knowledge affect up physically and/or mentally.
Happiness is.......just that.

My mother has a poem I love:
Today
For Yesterday
I hold no apologies
For tomorrow
I offer no answers
Today
A gift---I will honor it by fully living in it.

Enough advice from a nobody.
Sleep well and be wrapped in you Guardian angel's wings.
MB

Hilary said...

There are people who never grow up. I think that our own offspring's generation has quite the sense of entitlement. Are we to blame for that? Partly, I suppose but there comes a time for everyone to grow up and be a caring, giving member of society in general but particularly within the family. If you're not getting any sense of that from your family members, it's very sad for you, indeed but it's sadder for them. They'll need to know how to function in the world and if they're always getting and never giving back, the wolrd will swallow them up. Don't allow their behaviour to be your barometer for self-worth. You can't "fix" them but neither should you allow them to "break" you. I'm sorry you're feeling sad.

Alicia said...

I'm sorry you are having such a rough time of it dear Jo. I myself have come to realize that I will help people because it makes me happy, I won't let them guilt me into helping.

I've also learned in all my years :-) that I'm pretty wonderful and I don't need others to love me so I can know that. If you need someone to love you so you can know how wonderful you are, well then just go back and re-read all the comments your friends and followers have left for you. You my friend are LOVED!

But regardless, you're getting a virtual hug from me {{{{HUGZ}}}} and a wish for a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Sextant said...

I don't believe in guardian angels per se, but I do believe that we all have within us a Divine Being in the form of our Souls. Some of us have Souls that have not figured things out yet and cause a lot of pain to others. That does not make them evil, they are just lost and haven't found their way.

Others have Souls that want to make everything right and good and often become frustrated in the process.

Jo you can pick your friends but you are stuck with your family. It is not your job to make them happy. Your job is to make Jo happy and provide a fair opportunity for your family to be happy. If they are wise, they will embrace that opportunity. If they choose not to do so, then so be it. You did your part. You can lead the horse to the water, but you can't make him drink. Despite whether they are happy or sad, ultimately they will be OK, because at their core they are Divine.

Never question your worth Jo. It exceeds the angels.

Your guardian angels are right here Jo, feeling bad for you and writing what their hearts hope will comfort you. Your guardian angels are those friends real and virtual that care about you.

Be with people who love and honor you. Share your happiness with them, and there will be plenty left for your family. It is then up to them if they choose to accept the love your offer. If they don't, well at least you tried. Jo, have a Happy New Year with or without your family.

Leslie: said...

More hugs coming your way. Remember what we talked about on Tuesday (your birthday) - make plans for your visitor in March, make plans to visit them, do your own thing, and distance yourself from the family. You KNOW I know how hard it is because I've been going through it at my end. But when I accepted things, I had the best Xmas ever! We will continue to talk and I have a few books to recommend to you.

Linda said...

Hugs to you, Jo, from your blogging friends. I know it isn't the same, but we do care for you!

susie said...

Here's lots of hugs for you. You're right, you can't fix other people's lives. All you can do is step back so they can fix their own lives. And if they don't like you for it, just remember, there's no way you can please everyone. Don't even try.

So, a big hug to you, have a nice glass of wine, and relax! You're fine just the way you are.

Single and Sane said...

Jo -

You have hundreds of guardian angels who look forward to your posts and have nothing but the best of wishes for you. It doesn't seem fair for birthdays to come at a stressful time of year, particularly when the stress is at its worst with family members. You're right, you can't make other people happy and you can't solve their problems. Take care of yourself. Treat yourself to a relaxing weekend. You are loved. I hope you can feel the hugs that we're sending your way!

Margaret

Paula Slade said...

Dear Jo,

I'm sending you a big hug and supportive thoughts.

Angels are everywhere. (I'm writing about one that gave me inspiration when I needed it most. The post will be up tomorrow. - Hope it helps.)

Blessings in the New Year.

Jo said...

Omigoodness, everyone, I am overwhelmed by your beautiful comments, and thoughts and hugs. I am going to read all your comments again. You have no idea how wonderful you have made me feel.

I felt I was being a bit of a *downer* posting this blog post today, but I was really feeling in the depths of despair when I wrote it. Overwhelmingly sad. I asked for a guardian angel, and so far at this count, I have 16 of them...! And every one of you had something special to say, that has bolstered my spirits more than you can possibly imagine.

Thank you, my wonderful guardian angel friends...! Goodness!

((((Love and hugs back to you))))

Jo

Whitney Lee said...

You obviously have a great many people who care! I am glad you vented-it gave everyone an opportunity to offer support and comfort.

I was directed to read the book Emotional Blackmail (by Susan Forward, I believe) several years ago. It shone a light for me and has been an invaluable tool in my coping toolbox ever since. It helped me see how my own emotions were being trampled by other's needs and self absorption and how to step back and coexist happily with the people in my life who mean the most to me. It also allowed me to see how I played into other's manipulations.

I'm sending happy and hopeful thoughts your way. And Happy Birthday!!

ivan said...

Josie,

I can empathize.

Years ago, when I was in a similar situation, you had said, "You've always got us."
And you yourself obviously have your friends.

...There has been movement. This year I got three emails, a Christmas card, and even a gift.

Time and chance.

It's just putting up wih the loneliness, while the Furies come.

But it does change!

DJan said...

I have just finished reading all the supportive comments and wish I could add something of value. All I have is my own desire that you find your way through this time into one that lets you know about your importance to so many others. I know I have learned from you and always continue to appreciate the honesty of your posts. You are truly an inspiration to many.

Expressing your true feelings is so much more valuable than a fluffy post about nothing. This was obviously very important to many of us who care about you. Big virtual hugs to you, Jo...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I'm so sorry you're going through so much pain, Jo. People evolve at different rates, and maybe your higher purpose in this family is to demonstrate goodness, kindness, mercy and love to them. You have certainly done that, and hopefully on some level, they are paying attention. Meanwhile, try to lavish some of that love and kindness on yourself because you have more than earned it. Sending warm hugs and hope they help just a little.

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

Sorry you are having such a sad time. You have learned the truth of human nature, however, we cannot make other's lives better, cure their woes or make them like/love us more. Each of us is in charge of ourselves. We create our own happiness or sadness. Once learned, strive to make yourself happy and those who are most important will be happy for you. Sounds like you have a lot of people in your life who take advantage of your helpfulness. Good luck with 2012 and may it be a better year for you.

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

Sorry you are having such a sad time. You have learned the truth of human nature, however, we cannot make other's lives better, cure their woes or make them like/love us more. Each of us is in charge of ourselves. We create our own happiness or sadness. Once learned, strive to make yourself happy and those who are most important will be happy for you. Sounds like you have a lot of people in your life who take advantage of your helpfulness. Good luck with 2012 and may it be a better year for you.

jojo said...

I know the heartache of which you are feeling now and I can assure you that you are loved...by many of us out here. It's not the same but it is real...

Bruce Coltin said...

Hi Jo, I got a call at Angel Station #6, where I hang out. I would have been here a lot sooner, but I slept through the alarm. Truthfully, I've never been very good at this angel stuff, but I do want to wish you a belated Happy Birthday and a wonderful New Year -- which you will absolutely have, once you make up your mind to treat your family turkeys accordingly.

Strength and humor, Baby.

Russell said...

Your request for a guardian angel is reasonable and I am certainly saddened by what you are dealing with.

Guardian angels look like ordinary people. A neighbor. A co-worker. A friend. A waiter in a restaurant.

Surround yourself with people who are independent and positive about life. Don't let the negative people fill your thoughts. Replace them with people who feel good about life and themselves - and you.

Be pro-active. Get dressed, step outside, face the world and make a decision to see the best in it. One step at a time - but you have to take that first step.

You are a great person, Johanna. Share youreself with others who appreciate you!

Nicole said...

I'm sending you many hugs!

I often feel like the forgotten member of my family. It never bothered me that much until my mother passed. We were very close and it made up for being forgotten by my father and my brothers. With my mother gone I feel like my husband is my only family. I don't think my brothers or father would ever really come through for me. This has been especially true this holiday season.
My one sister-in-law even makes posts on Facebook that are directed at me, my husband and my kids. She reads my blog and usually an hour after she has read it she makes a comment on Facebook.

Take a step back from the situation. Be willing to listen, but don't offer to solve it. Be prepared for a lot of sulky behavior once the person(s) realize you are not willing to get involved. This will be especially true from the one that is using you to hurt the other family member.

I'd say keep your expectations low (and I find this can keep you from being hurt) but why don't we deserve to be loved the way we love? I think we deserve to be treated better than that.

The point to all this rambling? To offer understanding and virtual hugs. We appreciate you!

leilani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leilani said...

o, you been thru the death of your partner, raised your children, cared for urself. This is going to be easy... see your way OUT of the people in your life now and their chaos! Live, Laugh and Love... just you and the people who will drop into ur new life! The woman, Jo, you who writes this incredible blog is NOT a woman to mess with! =) Happy New Year Jo!

Katy said...

Without reading other comments I can say I so identify with what you have said. "If I can change, they will like me..." Stepping away from that situation was the best thing I could have done. I'm slowly starting to not only see that it is for the best, but also feel better about myself, my life. Hang in there. I hope you will find this too.

***HUGS***

Bagman and Butler said...

Thank you for such an honest blog. I always feel that I have to be upbeat and positive even when I feel hopeless. I think everyone feels that from time to time. But then again, I can't speak for everyone. But you are quite right that you can't fix everybody and everything. My favorite prayer is: "God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Over the years, the wisdom part has begun to show me that there is very little I can change beyond the bounderies of my own skin. And, of course, I send you a hug.

Cyth said...

Hi Jo,
I am so sorry that you are faced with the this one reality in your life. You are not alone in that. I have gone through somewhat similar experiences. It hurts. Sometimes it hurts badly. Allow yourself to feel the hurt, then you can gather yourself together and move on. I'm not sure that the hurt will go away, but I am sure that you will find an inner strength along the way.
I used to receive from Story People a quote, or Story of the Day ,each day. I printed this one out and hung it on my fridge for just such occasions. " There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling rain & remember it is enough to be taken care of by myself." It helps to think this sometimes.
You are a good person. I'm sorry that it is not always seen.

Cyth said...

Hi Jo,
I am so sorry that you are faced with the this one reality in your life. You are not alone in that. I have gone through somewhat similar experiences. It hurts. Sometimes it hurts badly. Allow yourself to feel the hurt, then you can gather yourself together and move on. I'm not sure that the hurt will go away, but I am sure that you will find an inner strength along the way.
I used to receive from Story People a quote, or Story of the Day ,each day. I printed this one out and hung it on my fridge for just such occasions. " There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling rain & remember it is enough to be taken care of by myself." It helps to think this sometimes.
You are a good person. I'm sorry that it is not always seen.

John said...

Hi Jo,
Sorry I didnt read this sooner. Now what can I possibly add to all these wise comments. Just know that you are not alone. I tell people that I am purposely estranged from most of my immediate family. It is easier than dealing with all the drama. Big hugs to you and Happy New Year. 2012 has to be better. Make it better! xx

Jo said...

Thank you everyone, once again, for your wonderful, kind, heartfelt comments. I must admit this Christmas season I have been feel rather sad and overwhelmed. We have been short-staff and overworked at work, and with all sorts of other issues coinciding, well, I have been feeling extremely sad and rather anxious about everything. Sometimes life hits you in the face, you know?

You are all wonderful guardian angels, and your comments here have made me feel about 500% better...!

Love and hugs,

Jo

Blue Ridge Mountains said...

If every morning you tell yourself what you are thankful for and are blessed you life will improve. Try it, it worked for me.

ZeldaMom said...

Hugs coming your way!
I believe in Gaurdian Angels, too many strange things happen for there Not to be angels.
You sound like a wonderful person.

ZeldaMom said...

Hugs coming your way!
I believe in Gaurdian Angels, too many strange things happen for there Not to be angels.
You sound like a wonderful person.

Celia Sweeney said...

Hello, I read your post and just had to send a virutal hug your way.

Take care
Celia

Holly said...

Jo -
So many of us are coming to the same realization ...society taught girls to give-give-give and now wonders why we are absolutely drained. A friend of mine suggested I read a book called BOUNDARIES ... I have it on order - may be of use to you (may not, but you are an adult and decide for yourself. Blessings -
Holly

bear said...

It's really "funny" (coincidental?) that I read all of this on a day when I realized i've had & still am having this same season of feelings. I haven't blogged or read blogs in a long time now & I feel that a guardian angel led me back to you & your blog today. I know exactly how you feel & wish you were sitting beside me so I could give you a great big hug! I love your writings, your art & your honesty. I think it makes us all feel so human when we can relate to others in this way. Thank you for sharing.

bear said...

It's really "funny" (coincidental?) that I read all of this on a day when I realized i've had & still am having this same season of feelings. I haven't blogged or read blogs in a long time now & I feel that a guardian angel led me back to you & your blog today. I know exactly how you feel & wish you were sitting beside me so I could give you a great big hug! I love your writings, your art & your honesty. I think it makes us all feel so human when we can relate to others in this way. Thank you for sharing.