I AM a rapidly reforming Martyr. I’m not talking about the Mother T, Nelson M type of powerful, useful change the world type. I’m talking about the whiny, needy, victim laden type. Yes I know, poor role models, abusive uncle, caring for my family of 17 on a shoe string budget type. Yada, Yada. Everyone has a great story to justify their own inner M. I fully own my past and sometimes present behavior as a burnt chop kitchen hero. (Except when I was vegetarian, when I would have taken a smaller share of the marinated tofu that everyone else loved).
If there was a twelve step program for Martyrs I should have enrolled years ago. Except I was too busy slaving over the dishes on a Sunday night, when everyone else was eating the last of the super, nuper, lovely, lumps and chunks chocolate ice-cream that I had been coveting.
The bad rub was that Ms Polly in the kitchen was nurturing her very own pot of festering resentment ratatouille. I would be coasting along, mightier and holier than thou when I would find the ratatouille oozing out of my pores. What started off as a mild sense of discontent, would bubble and erupt like a carbuncle. Not at all pleasant to anything in the flight path.
These incorrigible behaviors have challenged my relationships and at times my family harmony. Why the heck would anyone keep doing it? It obviously isn’t for the steak knives or the attractive giveaway t-shirt. Our Inner M is just dying to be loved and nurtured right back. Instead of going out and doing what is useful to us, we maintain the Big M hoping that it brings us what we need. It just doesn’t work though.
It’s so much easier to delegate the dishes to someone else, get my pajamas on, and grab that super nubbly ice-cream, while the team are wiping down the benches. Then we can all enjoy a great evening together, trying to diagnose the patient before Dr House does.
I don’t know if it’s a femme 40’s thing, but I have a few fabulous friends around me, and we are all swearing off the burnt chop at the moment. One friend has just finishing studying, and had to do a creative presentation of her learnings about Collaborative Management Practice. She bought proud tears to my eyes describing her strip tease (down to a skin- colored body suit) where she systematically packed her unhelpful aspects of self in an old suitcase. Of course this included her Martyr self, that gets in the way of her being an even more effective manager than she already is. When she shared her story, I don’t know if my tears were for her courage in exposing her own vulnerabilities or the parallel process going on, in eliminating my own Inner M.
So in giving an eviction notice to my Inner M I…
Give my family more tasks to do
Stop doing things when I feel resentful
Spend money on myself when I need to
Each the last biscuit on occasions
Tell people what I want instead of expecting them to divine it
Have a fend for yourself food night
Let people care for my 8 month year old baby when they offer
Give myself permission to NOT bake bread, make stock or whatever task I feel is essential to life on earth
and get in quick for the super nuper Ice cream.
I am much happier, and so is everyone else.
Take a mattock to your Inner M today.