Tuesday, August 31, 2010



uncertainty or fluctuation, esp. when caused by the inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.
Psychology the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions.

This is me. Annebivalent. There are so many things about which I either can't make a choice, or waffle between two choices. For example:

Job - what am I going to be when I grow up? What am I going to do when Ellie is in school full-time? Should I go back to work? Full-time? Part-time? What should I do? What am I even still qualified and capable of doing after being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years? Should I work from home? What could I find which would allow that? Should I work at the kids' school? Would they have a position for me there? Or should I stay at home? Lord knows there's plenty of work to do here in terms of cleaning and food prep. And I've heard older kids often need their parents at home even more than the younger ones. If I don't go back to work I would always be available to help at school, to be home when the kids are sick, to provide carpool whenever necessary. I wouldn't have to worry about other people's schedules or how my work schedule fits in with anything. We'd also be broke. I just don't see how we can send two kids to private school without me bringing in money somehow. 

Which is why Brett wants me to write. Well, no, actually, I don't think that's entirely why he's encouraging me to do so. He fantasizes about me writing a bestselling novel and making lots of money, but really I think he wants me to write because he thinks it would make me happy. And in truth, if I could do anything, I *would* write. I have several ideas for books, an idea for my romance series, an idea for a children's story line. But then you know what? I wonder if it would be fair for me to be at home writing when the odds are my writing would never go anywhere. I don't actually know how hard it is to get something published. Well, published AND successful. But even more than the guilt (not only would I not be earning any money if I choose to write, but a lot of those cleaning projects and other stay-at-home tasks would continue to be neglected) is the fear and doubt: no matter how excited I get about any of my ideas, the devil in my head, that devil of self-doubt, rises up and challenges me. Every stinking time. I convince myself I can't do it before I even start. How could I possibly write a story as well as a "real" author? I read books and think there's no way I'm observant enough to get all the details right, or to know what to include. I did not pursue an English degree, much less creative writing in school, so how dare I assume I can become a novelist? I find reasons that I wouldn't do it well enough, so why even try? 

This self-doubt drives me nuts. And it seems to underlie everything I do - or don't do. How do I fix it? How do I challenge it? How do I STOP letting it STOP me? I don't know. I guess I need to take a clue from Nike and "Just Do It!"

Of course if I ended up playing on Facebook all day instead of actually writing, well, that would be a problem. But I digress...

Food/Weight/Body - My size has always been a source of ambivalence to me, in terms of how I feel about it and myself, my self-confidence level, etc. Having disordered eating, food/body/weight have always been central to my thinking. O.K. But lately I've been really ambivalent. Part of me wants to go all out and really try to drop some poundage before I turn 40. You know, get back to my wedding weight, or maybe even lower! Part of me feels like, "Eh, the beautiful years are behind you, and no matter how much weight you may or may not lose, you won't get back your looks or non-flabby body parts, so why bother?" This voice has been the loudest lately. The one screaming, "You're already fat, let's have ice cream!" I'm trying to challenge it by getting back to the gym more, but that devil, that devil is big. I have so much junk in my head when it comes to food and dieting and weight that I paralyze myself over it all the time - I have the diet parts, the Weight Watchers ideas, the SouthBeach or SparkPeople or Atkins or grapefruit plans, all fighting against the "diets don't work" mentality I learned in OA and from common sense. It's war! I have the part of me that is concerned about  my health at war with the part of me who figures it's hard to fix what's already broken and besides, we're all being poisoned by our toxic ways now anyway, so why not go out gorging? So I have borderline blood pressure and high cholesterol and have been worried about (but have no signs of) diabetes for a while now - there's nothing *really* wrong with me, right? And I see people fatter than I am who are much older than I am, so surely I won't die tomorrow if I eat the cheesecake today? 

It's so frustrating, this Stinkin' Thinkin'. Two years ago I was all gung-ho at the gym and really enjoying the working out and the physical progress I was making, even though my weight wasn't changing. Today I'm all kinds of "bleah." I'm trying to just do the next right thing and keep moving, even if I don't want to, because I know feelings are not facts. But just doing the next right thing hasn't happened with food yet. I feel rebellious again in that area - but I'm not quite sure against whom I'm rebelling. One of my favorite OA lines is, "You can't think yourself into a new way of acting; you have to act yourself into a new way of thinking." In other words, "Just Do It." Hrm, there's that idea again. 

But how can you Just Do It, when you don't know what the right thing to do IS? 

Parenting: I feel that way about my parenting right now. I simply don't know what the right thing is. I feel as if I'm not the mom I want to or should be, but I'm not quite sure what the want/should ideal is. I feel as if I'm not doing well with my son, who's showing increasing snottiness and negative attitudes and behaviors. And instead of being able to respond calmly and in a proactive way, I find myself exploding in a very very reactive way. I don't know what the best thing to do is. I don't know the best way to discipline. What kinds of consequences should there be for mouthiness? Should I be focusing more on a positive discipline / reward system? Even if it feels to me like one shouldn't be rewarded for choosing proper behavior? Should I make consequences harsher, or more lenient? 

Many mornings I wake up dreading the day, wondering what kind of fits he's going to throw this time, and how am I going to handle it? I so want to learn to not let other people's emotions influence mine, but I'm definitely not there yet, so if I'm faced with a whiny, complainy, negative son, I usually end up feeling whiny, complainy, and negative myself. 

Annebivalence. Annexiety. Why is it my two devils lend themselves so well to including my name in them? 

1 comment:

  1. My all-time favorite parenting books are Parenting By the Book, by John Rosemond, and Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Tedd Tripp. I reread them a lot!! :)