For some reason, this week I am in a bit of a blue funk. And chocolate is not even really helping, though that hasn't stopped me from trying.
I think it is a combination of things; I am a bit bored and lonely, and I got a really judgmental email from someone that both angered me and hurt my feelings. I had a really hard time knowing how I should respond to the email, since I am not at all typically good with confrontation. Often, I end up talking to everyone else, besides the person who has offended me. Then, I just stew and get more and more angry at that person, but never give them the opportunity to address the offense.
I wondered what I should do. I mean, I want to be kind to others, but at the same time, I don't think we are expected to let people talk disrespectfully to us, are we? I was torn. I didn't want to offend this woman, who I see regularly at church, but on the other hand, she is known for being extremely judgmental and sometimes offensive. So, do I have a responsibility to explain to her how her email made me feel, so she could perhaps be more careful in the future? I don't know.
The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that she made me so angry because she had judged me as a parent, which always makes me defensive. She was wrong about her judgments, though, and I knew it, so why was it bothering me so much? For some reason, other people's opinions of me have always been important, even when I don't like or agree with the person. Is that crazy or what? Lately, I think I have been overcoming this, though, because in this case, once I wrote a pretty mature and calm response to her email (OK, the first response I wrote was angry, but I didn't send it), I felt a lot better. I realized that I am doing the very best for my child and that this woman really doesn't even know the whole story. Also, I don't agree with her parenting theories or philosophies, so it shouldn't bother me that she disagrees with me. Obviously, she is going to disagree with me.
It just makes me wonder, why do I always second guess myself when it comes to my parenting? Why do I assume that others are right and I am wrong, in every situation, including those situations in which they are not at all knowledgeable? Why do I care if someone thinks I am a lousy parent? Why do I care when someone is disagrees with what I know is right for my kid or my family? Maybe I need to go back to therapy to keep working on these issues....