My youngest, then and now.
My youngest son, Christian, had a bad boy reputation. In fact, I think that reputation probably still precedes him. As a child he was always getting into trouble at school and elsewhere and throwing major temper tantrums. We were told we would be visiting our son in jail when he was a teen if the problems were not addressed. The professionals who told us this did not address the problem. Everything they did and told us to do did not work.
By the time Christian reached his teen years he began to change. He became a very happy and fun loving teen. He has been the life of the party and the leader for many years now. He has the biggest heart of anyone I know and none of this had anything to do with the school or the “professionals”.
Even as a small child my son has been very wise. When I say wise, I am not referring to his IQ, although he is very intelligent. He has always been wise in matters of how one should live their life in order to be happy and how to deal with other people. I believe it is this wisdom which caused him to change as he grew older. He is still ornery but in a good way. No, we have never had to visit him in jail and he is now nineteen.
Christian is the one person who taught me to laugh. I was always a very serious person and not very out going. It is as if my son is everything I am not (or was not). I would like to pass on some of his wisdom to you. This is an add on to his big brother’s post of earlier today Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself!
Christian has always known how to set personal boundaries. I am not sure where he learned this from because neither of his parents knew how to do that. I am the worst of the two of us when it comes to setting boundaries but I have rarely seen Bryce say no to anyone either.
A few years ago I remember having a day where I was extremely frazzled. I had a woman at church trying to get me to babysit the children while parents attended Wednesday night classes. This is a job I have always hated but had trouble saying no to.
Also, I had stopped by my friend’s house. Since I did not plan on staying I left my phone in the car. My friend and I ended up talking for awhile. When I returned to the car my phone had seven messages from my mother. She was so upset in these messages that I thought she was ill or there was some other type of emergency.
When I called my mother back I found that her remote had not been working all afternoon and she had not been able to watch television. She wanted me to come over to her house immediately to see if I could fix it. The CFS was acting up that day and all the requests were making me extremely fatigued.
When Christian got home from school he wanted to know what was wrong. When I told him he said, “mom, none of these are life or death situations. Tell the church you do not like to watch the kids and tell grandma you will get there when you can.” This twelve year old boy had a good point but his mother was very chicken!
There are good reasons for why I have trouble saying no. As my son, John, mentioned earlier today, self-sacrifice is highly encouraged in our family. My growing up years were very difficult. Although not physically abused, we were very much mentally and emotionally abused. The control was very severe all the way up into our forties and fifties. It is only recently as my mother’s health is worsening that we can be more in control of our lives.
I, myself, have not had a relationship with my mother in 2 1/2 years. I have grown and blossomed tremendously since then and have been able to put Christian’s advice into practice. The problems that occur when you cannot live your own life, make your own decisions, etc. are enormous. This started from the minute I was born and continued until the end of my relationship with my mother. When a child is raised in this manner it makes for a very insecure and unbalanced adult. I am very happy to say that I do not resemble the person I used to be a few years ago. I owe this to both of my sons, John and Christian. John taught me so much about healing after he crossed over and Christian has taught me invaluable lessons through the way he lives his life.
If someone is having a true crisis my son will drop everything to help. Afterward he can immediately get back into the present moment and continue on with his life. The things he has taught me has been invaluable to my happiness. The people who do not allow you to live your own life do not have your best interest at heart. They are wanting their own needs met without thinking that you may have other things on your plate at the moment.
My son is very good at determining when someone is truly in need and when they are not. When it is not an emergency he has no problem going about his business. The problem is that he is also good at manipulating people but he does it with such grace and charm that no one seems to mind (this he gets from his father!).
These days it is rare that I have trouble saying no. I am much stronger than I used to be and I am a much different person. Setting boundaries is well worth the initial fear. The end result is that you will be a much happier person and in a better position to take care of others. Ironic, no? – Michelle