I’m a giver, a fixer, a what can I doer, and most of all I’m a wear my heart on my sleever. You er, get the point. For as long as I can remember friends have jokingly called me “Ma” do in large part for my desire to make sure everyone is okay. If you’re sad, let’s fix it. If you’re hurt I have a bandaid. If someone broke your heart, I have a shovel. Protecting people is what I’ve always done, it gives me purpose, but it can also give me a great deal of stress.
There comes a time as we grow up, 30 years old and still growing up here, that we have to step back and allow people to take care of themselves. We have to be Switzerland or marooned on an island without offering advice to the outside world. This was such a foreign concept to me, it felt like I was turning my back on those I care about. By protecting them I was helping them, I was showing them I cared right? Wrong. I ended up enabling them and taking their stress onto myself.
Over the past few weeks I’ve found myself knee deep in crap and in desperate need of mud books. I was in deep, so deep in fact my entire body felt it. My head hurt, my body ached, I was feeling overly anxious about everything. A dear friend of mine was suffering greatly in a situation just far enough out of reach she couldn’t fix it. I’ll spare you the gory details, but we’ll say it involves yucky boys and their yucky choices. In my desperation to dry her tears and mend her heart I chucked myself smack dab in the middle of Yuckville, population me. It was dumb.
What started out innocent enough ended up with me becoming the scape goat for a whole slew of problems that had not an iota to do with me. BUT, since I’d dove headfirst into the mud and the muck, I became an easy target. For the lack of having a more eloquent way to word it, the situation sucked, hard. The positive thing about it though, I had brought it upon myself thus had total control to fix it. And so I did, today, like right now.
I’ve become Switzerland. My job as a friend is to sit back, drink some Swiss Miss Coco (or a margaritas, whatever), and listen. That’s right listen, just quietly take it all in. It’s exhausting riding in with the Calvary every time a war doctrine is signed by a pal of mine. I tend to walk away with far to many unnecessary battle wounds. So a girls got to do what a girls got to do. Look at me like you’re sounding board, a comfortable place to vent, and feel safe to cultivate a game plan. However, that’s where the drama llama train stops. I have no opinion and once the conversation is over I’m clicking the erase button. In fact I’m inventing a bigger erase button.
Why do we all need an erase button? Have you ever had a friend confide in you about an injustice in their life? You are so fired up about, for example what an idiot their hubby is, that you then vent for 6 months about it. Fred is such a jerk, how could he eat all the white chocolate covered pretzels when he knows they are Wilma’s favorite. Then when Wilma asked him to get more at the store he laughed at her. What? What a jerk… you get the idea. Now all your hubby or BF hears about it what a jerk Fred is instead of what a hunk he is for putting his dishes in the dishwasher. When you hit the erase button, you are still being an active listener, you just aren’t taking the drama llama home with you. Houses are for dogs and cats, not llamas.
Does anyone else take on the problems of those around them? How many drama llamas have you put out to pasture?