Drainer people

If I have to identify the biggest cause of family unhappiness, I’d say it’s the set of expectations we have about family members.

In most cases, each one of us has had twenty to thirty years to formulate our beliefs as to what families  should be like, and we think we know what to expect when we finally start to make our own families.

Whether we want to emulate the relationship we saw in our own family or completely avoid interaction with it , we have definite ideas about how a family should be.

Interacting with one’s own family can  often be difficult. And when you get a bunch of in-laws  with their in-laws as well, you’ve got trouble. 

Sometimes, we have what I call drainer people in our lives. And that could come in the form of a family member say ..our brother’s dearest wife, or it could be our boss, or a co-worker , it could even be the very people in our spiritual community.

They drain us with much energy and leave us feeling washed out. They ca n be controlling or rigid and  domineering . Drainer people are swamped with pain and problems that they’re absolutely miserable individuals.

They are  people who had been hurt so deeply and are carrying around such enormous loads of pain and complaints they’re looking for someone to blame- and we ‘re a handy target.

Their negativity and pessimism is a strong force that can suck us  dry.

At some point, in cases like that, retreat.

I have a recent experience with a drainer. I feel victimized . When we feel this way we want to escape from it.  That’s an innate protective habit. Run. Avoid. Shut Out.

Sometimes we feel there is just no hope mending broken fences.

We may try to be nice, considerate, open, pleasing, thoughtful and every other positive trait you c an conjure  up. You try to communicate respectfully, pull out your best listening skills. You invite them for dinner.

You get only hostility in return.

 Eventually you stop trying. It could be lovely  if we didn’t  have to endure this strained stage. Some of us can be lucky but the majority of us seem to experience it for some period of time, perhaps  like an initiation.

It helps to know that this strain is common; we’re not the only ones enduring it. Most of us get over it.

But sometimes, we just have to let go of drainer people in our lives.

Retreat.

Retreating is not the same as rejecting. It isn’t punishing with hostile coolness.

It’s simply giving the other party or parties the space they seem to want , not imposing our company on them and yet,  being as cordial  as we would be toward any acquaintance.

Each of us get to decide what we will do in any circumstance.

Letting go of a drainer can really help us refocus, rebuild and reshape our own belief about  who we are.

It can give us the freedom to highly appreciate what we are capable of and what we can become.

Next time you meet a drainer in your life. Analyse  and Decide.

We have a responsibility to live our own lives as well as we can, there’s no need to try to live each other’s as well-  let them handle their own.

I would rather Flat-iron My hair now!

Yes, Indeed. My latest hair treatment made me sick.

Why only now I have the nerve to come and talk about it?

Because I was scared. I was scared to make a big fuss about what happen to me after my treatment knowing there are probably 1,000 women out there who went and have their hair treated.

Second, I did not have enough proof  to support my theory.

Thanks for the noises the Brazilian blow out is  making right now. I think, it is getting the public spanking it deserves.

A simple girly want of having a Gwyneth Paltrow or Jennifer Aniston straight locks sent me sick for the entire month of August.

It all started with a trip and an inquiry to a popular salon in town. I was promised that it was a healthy “keratin” treatment that would strengthen my hair, coating it in powerful protein.

Giddy with girly excitement, I was clueless to what I was actually doing, let alone how it would affect me in the next few months.

And so willing mouse that I was , I made my appointment in middle of July.

I have struggled with to tame my unruly curls since my move to Canada. The weather and dry air made it unmanageable specially in the winter days.

The Salon professional as I may say, claim that the treatment can be used on any hair type, no matter how brittle, bleached, or over-processed your hair, it can make it look temporarily healthier, leaving hair looking shinier and smoother for up to 12 weeks.

During the treatment my hair first were shampooed , so as the keratin solution can bond with my hair shaft effectively, then the keratin is applied, waited for an hour reading magazine.

If the choking  fumes didn’t turn me off, certainly the eye and ear shield I was given  should have.

But right there back then, sting  and stench aside I knew I am going to love my new super-manageable hair.

Then I was rinsed and  the hair is blown dry, a stylist  uses a flat-iron after to activate the effect .

It cost me 200 bucks excluding the after treatment shampoos and conditioner that the stylist sold me on the virtue of the product.

And my new hair  – I love it. At first I did but over the next couple of weeks…something started to happen to me.

At first, I didn’t know why I was having all those weird feelings…I could not explain why nor the doctor I went to see me could not explain why.

I develop watery eyes, earache like someone pinching my ear canals, chest pain , nausea and headache.

These signs  are normally associated with a cold symptom but I did not believe it because It was in the middle of a hot Manitoba summer.

I was told by my doctor my ears look fine but there is some kind of a dried stuff in there but it is not inflamed  and that I’ve got eye strain, and this Doctor was not even mine because I went to a walk-in clinic.

I was sent home and was told to rest my eyes and take decongestants.

The whole month of August, I was dizzy and have headache and  my entire scalp feels so sensitive even a touch of a comb is unbearable.

I manage to survive that entire month, still clueless of what is happening .I documented each day what I feel in my diary, I went to chiropractor appointments if in case it has something to do with my neck and back ….the treatments were good but it never improve my watery , burning eyes on that month.

I never knew what was the culprit of  me being sick for a month  until I heard and read on the paper the Brazilian blow out treatment being scrutinized publicly.

I always knew in my heart, there’s got to be something. But it was all suspicion.

I tried to browse and read about the treatment I have and if it causes people to be sick.

I was astounded by the volume of articles and blogs about hair treatment.

Right now Canada have  banned  the Brazilian Blowout after finding unacceptable levels of formaldehyde in the product. In fact, the Canadian Government has gone further. Our health agency has pulled the Brazilian Blowout from the shelves and is warning stylists and consumers not to use it.

Fast forward, it is october now, my eyes feels a bit better but the watery and burning sensation still bothers me from time to time and I have a scheduled eye exam already on November.

You want to know something? I noticed some other changes too.

My normally thick and healthy black hair turn brownish, with split ends and fly aways.

Granted as a consumer, I should have been more cautious going to salon and allowing  a stylist  I never really knew gave me a treatment.

 But the thing is, I can not entirely blame the stylist, I myself have some part on it, because I gave my consent.

I guess,  hair treatment companies that lure people into believing that there products is 100% safe  should be more responsible enough to make people aware of the contents and ingredients, what is on the label should be what is on the bottle.

I found out that the Hair treatment I have , its promise of  slinky hair involved both keratin ( it’s a protein) and a secret active ingredient: formaldehyde.

The stuff I remember in Biology Class dissecting a frog. Yikes.

Our world really became ” an anything for beauty ” mentality. And I guess I was one of the catch because I jump in the bandwagon to join millions of women out there who craves a frizz-free hair.

I am grateful for my experiences allowing me to be a better informed consumer.

Next time someone ask me what about a  ” safe ” and formaldehyde-free  hair treatment ?

I will be quick to answer, NO, THANKS.

Perhaps for the meantime ,  I will definitely go back to using a hair dryer and a flat-iron to tame my curls .

before the treatment, notice the wavy and curly locks

after the treatment, notice it's sleek and straight

first few weeks after treatment

after several months-damaged hair after the treatment

Learn to deflect…Don’t absorb

Two days ago, I went for a coffee date. As usual, I was early and dragging along my son with me who was more concern with his planned sugary doughnut to order ,  we settled  in a table near the entrance way.

We waited for a couple minutes before this old lady I am meeting arrived, and then shortly after we ordered together.

It was Tuesday afternoon, hot and humid, too many old folks in the coffee shop popularly called Tim’s- short for Tim Horton’s.

We were on the middle of our happy conversation, when a middle aged-big bellied man sitting alone, which I hadn’t ‘t notice how long he sat there meanly said in a voice loud enough for the nearby table to turn heads “boy, you let all those stuff  fall in there, now people will step on it ! common, what you doing?

My son surprised, never said a word and just looked down while I checked what was it that he did, since I really didn’t notice anything as he was sitting in front of me.

The man turned to me and said, “the gum that is stuck underneath the table, look at it, people will now step on it ! I managed to looked and I saw dried blue gum that hardened like a toy clay scattered on the floor.

Embarrassed and a bit annoyed, I just picked it up myself  and managed to say in a murmur  ” It should not be in there in the first place anyway”. Well, his hands shouldn’t be there in the first place responded the irked man.

I never said a word again and we left the place right away. As soon as we are out, I asked my son what happened there? and he said that “grumpy man needs to mind his own business” I did not do it in purpose, I was holding under the table and I felt something and then touched it and it suddenly fell. I didn’t want to, I didn’t mean to…but he made me look bad.

I was stunned at what my 8 year old boy said, and so I told him, his actions can be interpreted by people in ways they perceived to be true. As you grow up you will encounter a lot of people like that and you have to be ready to deal with them.

I believe it is necessary to learn how  to effectively deal with aggressive people, because they are in our lives. It is important to deflect their cannon balls.

Often, we stand in front of the aggressor’s verbal blast like the guy in the early CBC Vignette who stops steel balls shot from a cannon with his stomach.

 Similarly, we must learn how to deflect verbal blast past us, instead of internalizing the negative energy.

Deflect negative energy and ideas, don’t absorb them.Listen to a person’s thoughts, feelings, values, and beliefs, but don’t accept them as “the truth, only “their” truth. Take what makes sense but don’t accept it all.Each of us has  our own perception of “truth”.

A deflection might sound like this: “Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs with me. I appreciate what you say; however, it is not how I see it.

We need to take a page out of a martial arts handbook if we want to learn how to deflect another person’s energy, how to step aside and  let the strenghtMale_martial_artist_c6ba of their aggression-verbal or physical pass us.

These individuals certainly have power and believe they are right, but we don’t have to stand still and be their target, absorb their negative energy, agree with what they perceive as truth.

We can deflect, not fight or disagree and then introduce our own truth.The real truth is that both truths are valid.

LONELY REALITY OF BEING ALONE

I’ve shaken up by a major life change three times.

Becoming a mother, getting married and moving to a new country.

These big milestones challenged my long-held belief about who I am.

The thing about having a baby, getting married and moving to a new country is that;  it’s not like putting a new chandelier in the dining room.

It is a big change and it changes everything.

It is scary to look at my life and realized that it bears almost no resemblance to my former existence.

When I left the Philippines five years ago, I have no idea that forming new friendships  can feel daunting.

I am a normally outgoing, fun-loving , friendly creature who never had problems in the past making friends and or having friends.

Five years passed by and here I am – still no close friends.

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While I have a tight-knit group of pals back in the Philippines, I have yet to find any girlfriends in my new town.

“I missed that female connection”, just being with my husband and my son doesn’t make me feel 100 percent  complete.

When I first came, the first thing I did was to meet up with my ethnic community for friendship, though my social calendar filled up quick with invites for lunch and coffee, it wasn’t  until last year that I realized  I needed more meaningful relationships, friends I could count on in an emergency.

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I remembered I was washing dishes and I cut my hand-deeply-on a glass. I had no idea where the nearest ER, or how I would get there, my husband was away for a trip. And I did’nt feel like I knew anyone well enough to ask for help.

I manage to administer first aid treatment once my total composure came back, knowing that my young son was around to witness it, I tried calmly as I can to display an attitude of  ” mommy will be alright”.

Then came a series of half-hearted incidents like my son knocking off his bike and diving mouth first.

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Then getting stuck in the ditch on a slippery winter road on the way to drop my son to school ( those few years  back when I was too naive not to have a CAA membership for roadside assistance and other car problems) 

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The one time my husband was away again that particular time, no one offered help in my neighbors, I didn’t have anyone to asked help for, broken fences in the pasture needed fixed, my son and I helped each other drag the big horses along while we walk them back inside the property one hand with several carrots and the other hand motioning where to go.

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That particular night we were able to put them back inside but hurt my hand so badly, I fractured my middle finger when one of the horses got wild and suddenly kicked, a crisp of fear shivered through me, a realization that in a twinkling of an eye…I or my son could be seriously injured.

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Then last Tuesday again, they broke the same fence, it happened when we were about to feed them nightime oats, but this time it wasn’t bad but still I brought the attention to my husband and told him, I guess “I am ready to have no horses”

My son adored the horses as much as my husband , they both seemed to have a particular liking and rapport with the horses, I didn’t . I was too scared of them.

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So, came the verdict yesterday ” no selling horses, fences will become either a barb wire or electric ones” after a careful thinking and asking my son and my husband, that we will have to sell the horses.

They won. I am fine . I came to love the horses too. In few weeks time, the old 15 years old fences will be replaced. My husband is arriving tonight, he does a lot of travelling across provinces lately.

Up until that point, everything had been a kind of vacation, still new and exciting…and then yet all of a sudden now, I realized…

“This was life.”

Between juggling work, marriage, kids, and everything else..for the first time in my life.” I felt , I was missing out on girls night and other female stuff”

Even though, I had found a few neighborhood pals, still I hadn’t found “the one” – a friend I truly feel at ease with and can confide in.

My other friends from work were all a bit older  and have older kids, I didn’t have many women my age to hang out with.

I want someone who could pop out on a Friday evening for a drink and just to talk about our daily lives or the latest episode of  ” American Idol” or the latest fashion trend.

I want someone with at least younger kids or same age  that my only son could play with and socially grow as a little human being.

I wanted my son to grow up socially rich in human exposures that would help shape his decisiveness in his future choices with a mate or a friend.

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I even enrolled him in a summer camp, in Mini-U  for two weeks for friendship and exposure opportunity for both of us.

For me, forging new adult friendships can feel as dreadful as dating. “It’s like I haven’t  felt the spark yet”.

At times, I have met someone who I think is cool, it feels awkward and pathetic to ask to meet up, like I am begging them to be my friend.

But, I hadn’t given up. After my son’s 8th birthday party recently, I decided to send out an email to the other moms who attended. ” I’m inviting them to a tasting party ( ethnic foods) just one replied back, “I’m still plugging away”.

I think it takes work to cultivate new friendships and it can feel  especially tough when I am juggling my career and my family and I no longer have the luxury of aimlessly hanging out with people for hours like I did when I was much younger back in my country.

But, I am willing to reach out. I knew I can find a new  partner in crime 😉

Desperately seeking : a new friend 😦

Insatiable Mind 🙂

THE CAREERIST AND THE HOMEMAKER

Do you believe that we continue to evolve ?         Mid_adult_woman_5a89

As the human race evolve, so does our society and it’s idealogies and world views.

Until now, it still perplexes me to look back and think about the people, mostly women who fought a hard battle to get  to where the modern woman of  today is  now.

Now, going back, I wonder.

How did women react, in behaviour, attitudes and feelings, to what had happened ?

Right here, I made their general reactions plain by examining two broad groups; the feminist, from mild to extreme, and the non-feminists. Or maybe to save myself from being shunned using the term “feminist” I should then call the two groups as : the careerists and the homemakers, although I want to emphasized the two are not necessarily separated.

There had been quite a number of feminists who were careerists, homemakers and mothers of rather large families at the same time and sometimes entirely successful in all three direction.

Women out there ! Which one are you?

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In emphasis however, the careerists have stood chiefly for careers, for objective female achievement, and the homemakers,  whether employed or not, concentrated on activity centering the hollow shell of modern home.

The effects  of the careerist  activities are shown more broadly in public policy ( law)  and in modern ideology relating to women.

The effects of the homemaker activities reflects- the new and rising generation.

I think, by and large, the accepted ideology and policy guiding the social regulation of women today- in democratic countries, at any rate- is the work of the careerists, while the personal characters of the people in society are mainly the work of the homemakers.

Both contributions of the two groups is positively essential to the making of the modern woman of today.

My approach to these two groups is critical and analytical.

As I deal first with the careerists, it should at the onset be understood that I am not implying that they should not have pushed for their political and social program of rights and privileges.

I am not, as a matter of fact, implying that any group of women ( or men ) should  or should not have done whatever it was they did do.

Women have invariably done whatever they felt forced to do in the given circumstances.

For their credit , the women of today, including myself enjoys the rights , freedom and special circumstances previously denied to our ancestors.

We, as the modern woman of today’s generation  in our special way must look back and appreciate everything our ancestors did for us and imbued the challenges ahead with head up high in this era of modernization.

THE PRICE THAT WE HAVE TO PAY FOR BEING THE MODERN WOMAN OF TODAY ?

JUGGLE ALL THE NOUNS ATTACH TO US AS A WOMAN AND  THERE IS A LONG LIST TO CALL US TODAY 😉

mother, wife,  career woman,  homemaker  etc .etc .etc.

Just my precious thoughts again. 🙂

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