Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Victim or hero

When I'm not feeling well, like the past few days, I tend to get very depressed.

I mean, when does a working single mom get to be sick?

The entire time I'm lying in bed, I'm thinking "I should be working" or "I should be doing laundry" or "I should be paying bills" or "I should go get the kids".

I need to stop shoulding on myself!

All that I really wanted was for someone to take care of me, do those things for me or at least tell me that everything would be ok.

I guess we all go through times when we feel victimized or resentful of our situations.

But it passes. Right?


There is a lady that I work with who sways from playing the victim to playing the hero with no in-between!

I feel bad for her. She is an unmarried, 59-year-old, miserable cat-lady.

The thing is, I think you can be an unmarried, 59-year-old, happy cat-lady, can't you?

She just isn't. She sucks energy out of a room and drags everybody down. The guys who office near her say that she's either complaining or talking like she knows everything.

She always wants to be right.

I wish I could help her but I can barely tolerate being around her too. I can't stand when she comes in my office because she won't detect the social cues of "Ok, the conversation is over now." Instead she will stand there and stare at me until I actually say, "Ok, the conversation is over now. I need to get back to work."

She takes everything personally. She will literally walk the office and tell everyone when something good happens to her (like if she has a date) or if something bad happens to her.

I know she's lonely. I realize she's miserable.

Oh my goodness. I do my best to be nice to everyone but I don't know how to handle this.

But my wanting to help her.... doesn't that make me just like her? Wanting to be right too? Who am I to judge anyway?

Does my wanting to "fix" people really help anyone?


I suppose I have a difficult time because I can relate to her.

I have moments of loneliness. I have moments of misery. I have been known to take things personally. I have moments when I want to walk the office and brag about something wonderful that happened to me (like if I have a date). And when I'm having a difficult time, you can see it written all over my face.

The CEO comes into my office every day to tell me his "hero stories". He's very proud of how he runs the company and he likes to brag about it.

He recognizes this about himself. He understands that not everyone wants to hear it.

I actually ask him about them because I enjoy watching him light up.

I also don't mind being a sounding board for others when they are feeling lonely or miserable.

I think we all have moments of victimness or heroism.

But what do you do - or do you do anything - when someone is so stuck on one extreme or the other?

I suppose all that I can do is stop judging and recognize that she is nothing more than a reflection of myself.

Wanting someone to tell me that everything will be ok


Wanting to be right.

Seeking reassurance



Victim or hero.


  1. I was really sick for two weeks in March and could barely get out of bed to get the girls to and from school. It was horrible. I went into great depression and was crying on Skype to J almost every day. I felt so worthless and incapable, it was horrible! Why do we do that? Of course, he was great with me.

  2. You know, I have a lonely older lady like that in my office too. Mine is down right nutty, but I refuse to even think that these traits I see in her are a reflection of my own issues. *zoikes* I don't think that makes you just like her... but I may be biased on that one. I used to joke with friends that I could probably have a blog filled just with stories about her crazy ass. Hmmm, maybe i will.

    Being physically down can make it really hard to not let the funk and shouldas creep in on you, and I know there is only so much down time you can take being a mom... but try to give yourself a break and not beat yourself up. You do the kids more justice getting yourself better than making sure all the socks are washed. Get better soon.

  3. Yep, it is hard to be sick and single. Just focus on getting better cuz it will all be there when you are better.
    Some people seem to feed off the attention of being down and out. I had a friend like that and it would suck the life out of me. Share the good fun things.

  4. Being ill is no fun, my sense of humour goes AWOL too.

    I used to work with a woman like that, except she was into dogs. Like calling them her babies and telling wonderful stories (not) of what they had got up to, and comparing her situation to having kids.

    I think feeling sorry for yourself, or anyone else for that matter, is a very unproductive process. Much easier to acknowledge that than do anything about it, of course.

    Can't change who you are, and why would YOU want to?

  5. Sometimes I wonder why so many people think it's okay to make fun of "crazy ass" people. If they're ill, they're ill.

    Of course, I've dealt with anxiety and depression for years, and have dogs and cats that I referred to as my babies, just yesterday. I hardly ever speak up about things in my life - really good, or really bad things - because I'm aware that it can be an attention grabber, as well as the fact that the negativity can be draining. When I didn't speak up at all, I had people asking me to open up, to confide - I have to be careful, because it's a slippery slope.

    It isn't so easy being on this side of things. Last week, I screwed up - badly - in a social situation. I've gone from dealing well with things, back to being a self-sabotaging "freak" - some people have been sweet, others are giving me the cold shoulder, and one more has shut me out completely. I'm scared that I'm never going to be "okay" again - not fully - no matter how hard I work at it, as well as "getting it right" in social situations (it's exhausting).

    Sorry... I just don't know anyone who truly revels in their misery.

  6. By the way: that wasn't directed at T, and I'm not trying to stir things up... I shouldn't have read the comments, having an idea of what to expect. I'm just feeling badly, for the people mentioned here.

  7. T, this too, shall pass. Stop being so hard on yourself sweetie. It's life, and sometimes, it's OKAY to not be okay with it.


  8. T-you are right and you will be ok and when you dont like your situations you are smart enough to pull yourself out of it and see the goodness you have and that you bring to others.

    I think the hard times make us stronger and help us learn what to do or what not to do..

    Get well


  9. I agree with Qtmama. She's right on and I'm otherwise brain-dead today so cannot articualte an original thought.

  10. To Anonymous and everyone else, I would like to reinterate qtmama's comment: "It's life, and sometimes, it's OKAY to not be okay with it. "

    It sounds like we are all doing our best and don't want to be a burden on anyone. As Anonymous said, "it's a slippery slope."

    So true... I think we all want validation and reassurance at some level. But perhaps some of us just don't know how to ask for it... or give it.

    Thank you all for your thoughts.

  11. Hey, T. I think that when we're sick as single mommies it just utterly sucks because we know we have to buck up and just deal with it--most of us don't have an S.O. or family to come in and help us. And that just makes us feel worse.

    So, I say, let the storm roll through. We feel what we feel. It's when we STIFLE what we feel that it makes things even worse. It has to be released.

    I don't see you playing victim or hero--I see you being REAL. And I have great respect for people who are real and don't try to cheerlead or downplay the hard times.

  12. Today's Daily Om spoke to me. A perfect response to this post as well. It reminds us to Allow Others to Be.

  13. Which came first, being sick or being depressed? Often, depression shuts out bodies down and we easily get sick. Hope you feel better soon.

    Regarding the miserable cat woman, just feel compassion for her. You don't have to fix her. Send love from a compassionate heart is sometimes all anyone can do.

  14. I know that feeling of wanting to "fix" someone. It's an ultimately frustrating effort. But I love your insight.


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