Thursday, September 3, 2009

All buzzed out

Bumble bee [hic!] No, not in that way. I've been a busy bee today and earlier this week. This weekend, Ken's stepbrother and his wife are coming to visit from Illinois. They'll be staying with Ken's Mom and stepdad, but we're going to have them all over to our place on Sunday for a cookout--it will probably be the last one of the season. *sniff* So I've been working on getting things tidied up and looking a little nicer, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, all that jazz. The place wasn't a pit by any means (I've seen much worse...believe me), but more of a sort of "controlled chaos." I needed to get it done, because on Saturday, we have the Notre Dame game, and I definitely won't feel like coming home and cleaning that evening! I'm happy with the results, and the things that are left on my list are minor ones.

Then I spent a little while drafting letters to our Senators, Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh, about health care reform. Dang if I didn't choke myself up a little bit! I sent essentially the same letter to both, just altering them a bit here and there, and maybe I'll post one of them in the coming days. Now I'm taking a breath (and smelling the balsamic pork tenderloin in the crock pot...mmm), doing an entry, then I'll get some reading in. I haven't read much in the last few days because of other things going on, like my lunch with my mother-in-law yesterday.

Bring out the best2 One of the things we talked about was how sometimes people bring out the best in you, and others bring out the worst. I've experienced both. In my relationship with Borderline Personality Disorder Boy, man, did he ever bring out the worst in me. Almost to the point where at the time, I thought to myself, "Who is this person I've become?" When in a situation like that, I think most reasonable people will simply react. When someone is in your face, telling you what an effing cee you are, I believe it's a natural reaction to go into defensive mode. I have to say, though, that I'd rather be the type that gives as good as I get, rather than a cowering, weepy mess. I may have been yelled at, but I was never broken...hell, I never even bent, and I refuse to be mad at myself, because I did what I had to do.

I hate the bullying of others, and I also hate it when others try to bully me. I'm not sure what it is about me that makes some people think they can do so, but they find out pretty quickly that they picked on the wrong gal.

Anyhoo, it's unfortunate that I was in such a situation, because it was a little damaging to my psyche. When you are forced to become someone you don't care for, or do things that go against your very nature, it is profoundly disturbing. While I was in the situation, I even went to a few counseling sessions. I'm cool with admitting that, and I don't think there's any shame in talking to someone when you're going through a tough time or experiencing a bad situation. It was also kind of nice to get a little validation; she had me take the MMPI, a comprehensive personality test, and I hate to break it to you all, but I'm pretty normal. A slight tendency towards addiction, but I smoked for 20+ years, so no surprise there. Of course, the person I was with at the time said, "I might have known she'd tell you that. I've heard that's always my fault." Talk about cognitive dissonance! Dude, she sent the test out for interpretation...she only gave me the results. Deal with it.

Bring out the best So that was my experience with someone bringing out the worst in me. Fast forward several years, and I'm hooked up with Ken. My life then and my life now are like night--almost literally--and day. I've said this to Ken before, and I said it to his Mom yesterday, but he brings out the best in me. He'd had similar experiences in his life, and we've sometimes talked about "Can you imagine me doing such-and-such?" or "Can you believe I once did whatever?" It's funny, because it's so far removed from what we are together that neither of us can imagine doing such things in each other's presence. I don't think you'll see me pushing Ken and yelling, "Don't call me stupid!" anytime soon! Ha!

It also leads me to wonder about interactions with others outside of relationships. Do you consistently bring out the worst in others, or do you feel that you bring out the best? What will be the sum of your life...will others remember you fondly, even those from many years ago, or will they rue the day they met you?


  1. I'd like to think I bring out the best in people close to me. I give praise & try to give them confidence. I guess that's good. Hubby #1 brought out the very worst in me...I didn't even think I could be so bad. That's why he is X.
    Isn't a nice feeling to have a clean house...I just love it when it's clean & organized, for the whole few hours it lasts. LOL.

  2. Great question... After a particularly bad experience in a relationship that ended just after high school, I vowed to be a positive force and try to only allow them into my life. I believe I have succeeded! :-)

    ps... can you email me the crockpot recipe? Sounds delish!

  3. Waiting for the recipe (ummmm sounds good) and the letter! Recipe first!

  4. I think my intensity at work will not leave a lot of "he brought out the best in me", but in my personal and family life, absolutely :o)

  5. It's a gray, uncertain thing. I think I bring out the worst in people who expect too much of me, and the best in people who don't expect anything of me other than who I am.


  6. I don't know how I affect others. But I didn't like who I was during the last part of my marriage. I was so bitchy and miserable.

  7. Different relationships bring out different traits in a person. Sometimes, a person is at his/her best when he/she is alone. That being said, I can only hope I bring out the best in people with whom I interact, because for the most part, they do the same for me.

  8. I know the get together will be a blast! I'm so glad that you & Ken found one another! I think with my hubby & myself...we do bring out the best in one another.

    Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

  9. Counseling and just a little validation can go a long way for many people who are stuck in shitty situations. Just hearing it from a third person does wonders. Unfortunately, walking in the door is sometimes the hardest part for many people.
    Reflecting on such issues is also a good thing. Needless to say, I liked this entry!

  10. Three things:
    1) I hope I already bring out the best in the folks I love, but what an awesome reminder to always keep in mind and to aim for!
    2) Can you post/send the recipe for the crock pot pork loin? Yummers!
    3) Have you seen this site? It's like the photo album of the Sarah Palin Fan Club:

  11. I think in my 80 years, ALMOST, Only the alcoholic neighbors bring out the worst in me as did their alcoholic mom. By the way did you read about the man that bit off the tip of another mans finger , at a rally or something. You don't know how many times I have said with all the shaking of fingers in peoples faces that It has not happened before..

  12. Hi Beth,
    I don't know about bringing out the best or worst in people, but it never ceases to amaze me how much little acts of kindness -- even something as simple as a smile at someone who seems down -- can mean to other people.

  13. after 6 years of going rounds with v2.0 who was classic p/a with a twist of drama queen bpd i know exactly what you mean.

    had i not gotten some help for myself i truly believe i would not be in the position i am in now to truly enjoy life as it is to be lived, sharing with someone worth sharing it with.

    it hurt to hear some of the things i had to hear about myself and my contribution, but in the end, it's so worth it to be aware and able to make better decisions and set boundaries.


  14. Damnit, I wish I would've commented when I first read this as I had a lot I wanted to say and now it flew out the window. First off, I totally agree with Marty's comment. Those little acts of kindness, at the right moment, stick with you for life.
    Secondly, after meeting you, I think people see you as weak. You're small, you come off as kind of timid and sweet... not like someone who will fight back when fucked with. I would also picture you as a peace keeper in many situations, when nerves are just frayed and people are losing their shit a little bit. People who see that, would also assume you don't care for confrontation and will avoid it when it's presented, no matter what the circumstances. We both know differently but others, are narrow minded idiots who can't see past their own issues to truly veiw those around them.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?