When I was very young…and even as I grew older…I was a magnet for unavailable men, screwed up people, and drama. Then I finally found a therapist who could get through to me and I soon learned how to establish healthy boundaries. I learned to ensure that the actions of the people I let into my life met the words that came out of their mouths…because I was a sucker for liars.
It was many years before I built my boundaries up strong enough to keep the drama out, but I worked and worked at it until the only drama in my life was the shit I caused myself. When you cut the trouble causers from your life, it leaves a peace behind that only you can disturb. Sometimes you still disturb it, but in many ways it’s a lot easier to deal with yourself than some unpredictable shit of a person that can come at you from left field.
The fingers of dysfunction still have a tiny hold on some who are close(ish) to me…and one of them has recently been in need of help. And HMH and I let them into our lives and offered our help.
It’s only weeks later and we’re finding that we’ve been lied to. And manipulated…because this person knew what to say to us and how to say it in order to get something they wanted. There’s been plenty of drama around our normally boring, drama-free household. Drama stirs up the ghosts of the past. At least it does for me.
I worked so hard to eliminate as much drama as possible from my life. I married a drama resistant man, at least in all ways other than the occasional “Hey, y’all, watch THIS!” crap he gets up to. He does, after all, own a t-shirt that says “WARNING: I do dumb things!”. It’s all true.
So now we’re in a position of having to remove this person from our lives, which will involve to some extent a little kicking and screaming on their part as they’re shown the door. More drama. But our boundaries are declared and this person will be made to make tracks. And me? I’m finding that the entire episode is causing me a huge amount of stress.
What do I do when I stress out? What does any compulsive overeater do when they stress? They eat the world. I’ve had gastric sleeve surgery to stop myself from eating a large pizza and a pint of Blue Bell ice cream in one sitting…but I didn’t have brain surgery, so eating is still what I’m driven to do whenever I need to cope.
I can’t physically eat enough to calm myself down, but my head still wants me to. So I end up with my soul in a riot when there’s drama. I’m already an insomniac, so this makes it worse. I have nightmares. I don’t sleep much. But there are things that help:
- Stitching. I’ve said it a million times, I know…but having a hobby that is just for me does me a world of good. It makes me count. It makes me focus. And I end up with beautiful creations when I’m done.
- Venting. It’s not healthy to keep it in. Whether it’s Hot Mess Hubby, a friend, or just writing it down…I have to vent.
- Being kind to others. Yeah…sometimes I catch myself feeling like everything is terrible. Doing nice things for others with no expectation of anything in return renews my faith in life.
The thing is…you can’t let it in. The drama. You can’t let it get inside your boundaries, and if you don’t have any boundaries it’s time to get some. I’m not talking about hardening your heart to the world and declaring everyone the enemy. That’s easy and stupid and not at all healthy.
- Build healthy boundaries. Find a good therapist. Read some books about it. It takes time to learn, but you’ll learn.
- Surround yourself with good people. How do you spot good people? Words are cheap. Do their actions meet their words? That’s the quickest way I’ve ever sniffed out an asshole. Okay, that sounded really gross, but you know what I mean.
- Vent your frustrations in a healthy way. Get a hobby. Get away from the drama. Have good friends. You have to be there for yourself.
You’ll be amazed at how little drama you put up with once you accomplish this…and how little drama you have to put up with because you made good choices.
Ultimately, I made good choices in this situation. I knew the risks of allowing a person like this into my life, but I wanted to have faith in them and believe that they were changed. They were not. That doesn’t change the fact that I did a kind thing and tried to help someone I thought was in need. The fact that they were manipulating me is no reflection on me. It’s a poor reflection of them. The fact that I won’t fall for it again is a testament to those healthy boundaries I’ve worked so hard to build.
And so I have to do a little extra sweeping to clean the drama out of our lives…but I’ll sweep it, trust me. Soon HMH and I will be back to our fabulously awesome, boring-ass drama free lives. And loving every minute of it.