Relationship Advice Tips from Dr. Jeanette Raymond
Are you wilted like this rose bloom?
photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
Are you tired of having to do everything yourself but can’t quite trust others to do it right or do it at all?
It probably feels like a trap that has no exit. If you ask family, friends and colleagues to do their fair share, you know you are going to have to do it again because
It won’t be done properly
It will take too long
You will have to check for mistakes and fix them
It’s just too stressful and more trouble than it’s worth!
So you just grit your teeth and do things yourself because that is the only way you can be sure to get some peace of mind. It’s the only way to get that item off your list.
Sharon faced this problem day in and day out. She wanted and expected her nanny to do household duties and child care, but never felt comfortable letting her employee do the work. There was always something left undone, or half-done. Sharon would fly into a rage and harangue the housekeeper while doing the entire job again, complaining about her trust being betrayed.
Emotional and physical exhaustion overwhelmed Sharon.
Sharon was totally drained. Her body just couldn’t take anymore stress. She ached all over with tense muscles. She allowed herself to ask her husband for help with household and child care tasks. But he was too slow, not caring about the little things that were important to her. He did things in the wrong order and in the end, Sharon’s impatience and anger got the better of her. She reproached him for his poor attitude, his lack of support, lack of trustworthiness and took over the jobs. It lowered her anxiety, but reinforced the fact that she just couldn’t and shouldn’t rely on others to do what they were supposed to do.
What’s going on for Sharon that she is repeatedly let down and betrayed?
Sharon is experiencing a huge conflict that she has had all her life. She wants to be cared for but she fears that she is going to be let down abominably.
As a child her parents had talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk! They said they loved her and would take of her and protect her, make sure she was happy and had no worries. But that wasn’t the reality. Sharon had to take care of and protect herself when her father spent all his time gambling, and her mother focused on fighting with dad and church activities. Sharon had to make sure that she had enough money for food and school supplies. She had to make sure her parents didn’t kill each other, and that the household ran in an orderly fashion.
Sharon had to be an adult parent for her parents, and for herself.
Switching from child to parent mode was second nature for Sharon.
The switching was seamless and unplanned, making it hard for her to have trusting relationships with others in her adult life.
The child part of her who wants and needs to trust others gives jobs to her housekeeper and husband. When she was in touch with the wish to be cared for she was hopeful and trusting. But then the automatic trigger of distrust from repeated betrayals would appear and operate out of nowhere.
The fear of being let down and having to pick up the pieces overwhelmed Sharon. She would become suspicious and have all her feelers out to look for mistakes, bad attitude and shoddy work. It was as if that was a given. Fueled by outrage she would ‘fire’ the person from the job she had entrusted to them and be filled with a temporary sense of power and control.
It gave her an opportunity to blame, feeling perfectly justified in the process.
each bloom depends on the same stem and root of basic trust and support
photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
How can Sharon learn to trust again and not have to do everything herself?
- Sharon can place her anger on her parents where it belongs and not take it out on everyone who she puts in their place.
- Processing her deep disappointment and fear of being alone and abandoned is the next step in making room for trust.
- Coming to terms with the fact that people aren’t perfect and are not out to deliberately do the dirty on her is the third step.
Sharon can’t do it alone. A therapeutic relationship where she can deal with her contradictory views of care takers will give her the foundation she needs to make a good healthy partnership with her husband.
Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
Disclaimer: the information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. There is no liability on the part of Dr. Raymond for any reactions that you may have when reading the material or using the suggestions contained in the article. Reading this article does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Raymond.