Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Things that stress me out, including Unstable Dictators

A more apt name for this post would be "Things That Don't Stress Me Out." But that would end up being a blank post.

I feel so anxious...all of the time. I don't know why I don't have a Xanax prescription because whoo-eee I need one. I guess it's the whole "I don't like doctors" thing that outweighs the "I'm a freaking mess" thing.

This week's thing that REALLY stresses me out is my daughter's problem with her friend. See, her friend has a bit of ... issues. I understand because I have issues too. Different issues than her issues, but issues nonetheless.

Her friend wants to be a cat. Or play Legos. My daughter doesn't really like being a cat or playing Legos. She wants to be a dog and jump rope. Why is this a problem? Because all school year my daughter has played cats and Legos. She is getting tired of playing cats and Legos. She has delicately brought up the dog and jump rope alternative to her friend, but her friend insists on playing cats and Legos. My daughter finally told me that she's not really into it.

This all follows a horrible play date where I took my daughter and this same friend to the park to ride their bikes. Well, the friend really doesn't know how to ride her bike. Instead of trying, there was helmet throwing, screaming, not talking, and then once we got back to my house, she locked herself in our bathroom.

Side note: I've never dealt with this with my own kid so I didn't know how to deal with this.

THEN I went to school the next week, and her friend shut my daughter out because she was mad at something else that happened with her own mother.

SO I kind of think her friend is a bit unstable.

THEN since I am still emotionally scarred from their horrible play date, I haven't offered to have her friend over. This past weekend her friend's mom invited my daughter over. My daughter was forced to play Legos. It wasn't enjoyable for her because her friend is REALLY into Legos and has no patience for my daughter incorrectly putting Legos together.

I forgot about the horrible Halloween meetup. They trick or treated together for about 5 minutes before her friend had a freak out about rain...it's freaking Seattle.

So, anyway, her little friend is reminding me of an unstable dictator. Particularly lately. This wouldn't be so bad except for the Unstable Dictator has tried to cut off my daughter's ties with her other friends like some David Koresh wannabe. My daughter describes the stuff her friend does...some that I saw for myself at aforementioned horrible play dates...so my daughter doesn't want to "upset" her.

My daughter is sweet and kind (she did win that Kindness Award, after all ;) ). She wants to be a good friend. You could say from some of the warning flags I've seen that I've become more curious about their dynamics. From what I see, this girl seems like she only is willing to play what she wants to and will play mind games to strong arm my daughter.

And I'm like, "Oh hell no. We're nipping this shidizzle in the bud."

Commence 1 hour discussion with my daughter. I'm not great at it. I never had the inclination to talk about problems with my mother, and I doubted she'd be a help anyway. I find it emotionally exhausting to role play it out and talk through it, but I did it with my daughter. I so appreciate that my daughter is willing to share.

The gist of what I told her is that she's such a good friend. In a friendship, though, you compromise. And if the Unstable Dictator, errrr friend, will never compromise, then sometimes you need to find someone else who wants to play doggies with you. Unstable Dictator may freeze you out for a while, but she'll get over it.

Stupid me invited Unstable Dictator over for a sleepover next month.

Have I ever said that the worst thing about having a child is reliving everything that gave you anxiety as a child all over again? For people who got anxiety from EVERYthing, this is especially problematic.


jojo cucina cucina said...

Finally a new blog post! I had been checking and checking. As a non-parent i probably shouldn't respond because what do I know? . Also I don't view you as someone who is anxious all the time as you describe. To me you come across as wicked smart, calm and super astute about people and someone who rolls with the punches. I admire people who roll and understand I can learn from it, But I have noticed that many people who are able to roll are often taken advantage of because they don't set boundaries. I've seen it happen fairly often during my time working in the union. Some of my favorite leaders are the ones who were able to keep their cool when they were attacked or bullied or bossed around. I was in awe of how they could do it. But I often wanted them to push back hard and give that boundary so it didn't keep happening. I really really hate seeing someone get away with being a dictator or bully. At the same time I get why people might not want to escalate a situation.

Maybe your daughter has to learn to be a bit more forceful about what she likes and doesn't like. She sounds so sweet and gentle and a kid I would love to babysit - (she did get the Kindness award, maybe she is trying hard to keep living up to that award.) I wonder how you teach a child to stand up for themselves. It makes me wonder what her friend's mom is like.

B said...

Thank you kindly! You deserve a Kindness Award. Actually, you and Julia would get along great. I picture you as someone who gets in there with a kid and talks and DOES things. She loves when someone talks to her like a person (not a doll) and plays cribbage with her or makes something in the kitchen with her. You're so active and fun, and you set some good boundaries so you'd help her get better at that.

I try to not come across like the spastic mess that I am, but I know that it sometimes shows. This week there were several days of meetings at work. I get so paralyzed during them: all the various alliances, the egos, the vying for power. It's great to watch as a sociological study, but I feel so anxious and like I'm always doing something unintentionally wrong.

Julia actually resolved her disagreement with her friend. She offered up a new game and invited another friend to join them. She was so proud to tell me that EVERYONE got what they wanted.