Yesterday I didn’t know if I was going to be able to post up my news about being stage 4 and all the extra details of ‘The Return of Harry’ I had to tell Richard and my mom first but I hated lying to you all on here. So I prepared two posts for yesterday just in case. Steve whilst editing my main post he also read this one and said that it was good and that I should put it up as it gives people an insight into me, so here it is for you……
Yes Onions! Peel back a layer and you will find another layer and another and another keep going until you find the centre, your centre.
On this journey of mine through cancer I have discovered and understand more about myself now then I ever thought I would. Not just about me but of the people around me, let me explain….
If you have read my post about my sister and her death then you will recall me saying that the feeling of never being enough haunted me and still does. In terms of not being able to make up for her not being there. Inside I have a deep need to fix people, that’s why I’m dangerous in that I think or want to fix people, their problems, their fears and worries. If I hear of someone suffering I think about it deeply and I want to fix them or help in whatever way I can. I also fear failure (we all do) but not failure in achieving material things, failing people, not being good enough. And I hate criticism, not because I can’t take it but because it means I have failed or hurt someone, or that’s how I see it.
I look back at some of my extreme behaviours and I know it’s me over compensating. A good example is that when in an environment of new people who don’t know me, and as I can’t cope with awkward silences, I feel I have to speak. Now this normally leads to me saying anything that pops into my head and normally without my brain centre checking it first.
Now in a work environment I am marmite (love me or hate me, there is no middle ground) I’ve been thinking about Jo a lot lately, who when I first met her was the store manager of Worthing. Now she only ever saw me at meetings, a few hours of work based interaction or would hear me on a conference call. So I would have come across as a strong, self opinionated woman, too mouthy and with always having something to say. I could often see in her as I often did in others faces the ‘oh for God’s sake shut up’ look. Now over time the layers have come away little by little with Jo and others as they get to see or just accept who I am at work (you know I’m right Jo). Mr Grey and Mr Vines would both agree as would may more people that, I’m a pain. On conference calls at work where you can’t see anyone else, when as a team we were asked at the end ‘Any questions?’ Even though I can’t see them all I can imagine their faces when it comes to my turn and everyone else has replied no and I always say, “yes I have a list.” They all put their heads in their hands and go ‘oh no here we go, shut up Wendy!’ It makes me smile as I type this as my work colleagues who read this will either be laughing at memories of those calls. Or like Jo will be thinking omg you saw my fustration with you, yes I did. Each time I did it hurt me cos I didn’t show you or others the real me. Now I didn’t have a photo of Jo and I together so I went on her facebook and stole this photo, I think it best describes how Jo and others would look when she is thinking “has she finished yet” or ‘did she just say that’.
I went on a management course with M&S entitled ‘Self image and projection.’ I came away horrified and really upset. Once home I shared my day with Steve. The feedback amongst other words were that I was intimidating. When I told this to Steve he just looked at me with a puzzled shocked look on his face, laughed and said “didn’t you know this?” No I didn’t was the honest truth. I saw me, a person who wasn’t confident at all but I knew I over compensated by being too loud and appearing confident as didn’t ever want to fail and I didn’t want people to see the real me.
I have never been an office manager, I have to be with the people that count, the team. I resent work that takes me away from that. I need to feel needed whether that’s helping a customer or training a 16 year old how to fold a t-shirt and put it into a bag properly. My self projection problem is that as I’m tall anyway and with 4 inch heels on I’m even taller than most people plus I used to walk at a speed that was Zola Bud would envy. Why so fast? I have no idea.
Our lives and experiences of it define who we are today, in the here and now but also in the tomorrows to come. I know that I had become a perfectionist and a fixer. I couldn’t fix my mom and dad’s grief but I wanted to so much. This translated into wanting to fix people. My search for everything being perfect comes from the same obsession, that anything I do has to be the best it can be.
My nickname, given to me by our four kids is ‘clean freak’ they just saw my need for everything to be clean and tidy. What I was actually doing was satisfying my need to make it as perfect a home as I could for them as I loved them so much.
I thought that being on chemo would make me even worse with hygiene and everything being perfect. Prior to chemo starting I had a mega rant at home at everyone because someone had emptied the bin, changed the bag but left the rubbish bag on the kitchen floor. The day continued and everyone walked past the bag and no one thought to put it outside (that would normally be me you see, doing everything). I ranted on about hygiene and that once on chemo everything had to be perfectly clean because of germs and my suppressed immune system. Turns out I have swung the other way. I’m more relaxed now then I’ve ever been about everything. One because of the risk of harm only affects me, and that doesn’t matter anymore. Secondly no one is going to die if my home isn’t perfect, no one will say “I went to see Wendy, she looked well but my god her windows needed cleaning!” And now even if they did say that, I wouldn’t care anyway and why? Clean windows are not important anymore. When Steve checks this post before I hit the publish button he will say “what are you going on about we have a window cleaner?” But I hope you get my point. My mom, Rebecca and Steve find this new relaxed approach to things very odd indeed whenever I say ‘leave it as it doesn’t matter, we can do it tomorrow.
Sometimes I read earlier posts that I have written. The ‘Sorry and I buy a bird table’ post really is a great example of how I felt I had failed by getting cancer and how alone I felt as I wasn’t part of being with people everyday, I wasn’t needed. I sat day after day watching the clock tick by. If I had picked up the phone at that time to any one of my friends and family and said “I need help” they would be shocked I’d asked for help first and then any one of them would have loved it that I had reached out to them and asked. But I didn’t and why? Because I didn’t want to give them that burden of failure, of not being able to fix me.
I think this is one of Steve’s main problem at that moment, he can’t fix me. He can’t make it right, he is powerless on this journey as we all are.
Now I’m no saint and there are some people that drive me insane. Through the years I have accepted that I’m intimidating and I use this to my advantage at times, when it’s needed. The people that drive me insane are actually simply the ones that are selfish. I think that being selfish is the worst human trait of all. The me, me, me people who’s only goal is to get their own way, to only see their point of view and manipulate situations to their selfish advantage. Now that’s actual failure right there. They may think that they are winning cos they can get their own way but they don’t understand or get anything about what’s important about life and this makes them empty and shallow.
At work I will often say that I am no different to anyone else, no more special just because I’m the boss of many – or used to be :-(. I am no better than the cleaner. I actually think that serving people is an honour, not a chore to be endured. There are some people who don’t deserve being treated with respect but none of us are perfect hey, they just haven’t discovered their meaning of life yet. They are running too fast on the hamster wheel of life and they are blind to what life is really all about.
That was the post that was going to go up yesterday. I can’t thank you all enough, not just for the pouring in of love from you all but to those of you who contacted my loved ones to support them.
I will continue with my blog so that you are all part of this journey. I will continue to write whatever length I like, thanks for the feedback on length, I’ll be letting my mom see your comments haha and if she disagrees I will set Rita on her lol.
Now I know why I started this blog, was it that I knew it was going to be serious. Am I leaving a trail of love for the people who love me? I think maybe I am. Whatever the future holds for us all my thoughts, the journeys high and lows are here for them to read at anytime and be comforted by how much I love them.