Posted by: Marie | February 18, 2010

(252) Repeat performances

Post #252
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, November 4, 2009]

Something has to give.

Right now, I feel powerless and helpless. My financial resources are so limited right now that I don’t have too many options. The income from piano lessons will hopefully provide more options, but the business is not yet to that point. I need more time.

Photo by Martin Chen

The easiest solution would be for me to lease a studio apartment in which I could live and teach. However, the rent & utilities would be at least $600/month (compared to the $350 I’m paying now). On top of the financial burden, I’d have to deal with neighbors being upset about the piano noise and about my clients clogging up the parking spots.

And, I’d have to find a new a spot in someone’s garage for my motorcycle. (This would be the motorcycle I haven’t ridden in almost two years because new motorcycle tires are way low on my list of financial priorities.) And, I’d have to buy my own piano since the piano I’m using now belongs to my housemates. I don’t see how I could make all that work.

But, something has to give – now.

I love teaching piano – it is becoming a source of income for me (which I need), and it is a huge source of healing for me (which I really need). But, the joy of teaching is being destroyed by this stressful, anger-filled environment.

I guess I’ll solve this like I solve all conflict – by leaving. I don’t know any other way. I’ll just have to find a way to leave – and hope I land in a better situation.

In this situation, I can see a repeat performance of how I deal with stuff . . .

In setting boundaries, I say “treat me this way or I’ll leave” because leaving is the only leverage I possess. Inevitably, the other party continues his or her behavior and I have to leave. I don’t know any other way.

It is from this repeated experience I have come to believe people don’t value me . . . they say, “Go ahead and leave, I don’t care.” If they valued my presence in their life, they would take steps to address my pain so I could stay.

Maybe I need to use pain to enforce my boundaries – make it so that it is more painful to violate my boundaries than it is to abide by them. I can see that having to enforce my boundaries with the threat of pain would necessarily indicate I’m dealing with people who don’t respect my boundaries – who don’t respect me.

If I begin dealing with people who respect my boundaries, I believe they would respect my boundaries because it is the right thing to do – not because they want to avoid my wrath.

Is it possible that someday I might find someone who is willing to honor my boundaries without involving the infliction of pain – where I could just say, “my boundary is here” and the other person would make an honest effort to not cross that boundary – because he cares about me and wants me to feel safe?

Maybe I’m dreaming to believe that could be the case. Maybe that is unrealistic.

Maybe it is all me – maybe I am just not able to cohabitate with another human. Maybe I’m just too sensitive about my personal space. Every time I have tried living with someone, I have ended up feeling like I am getting walked all over.

I find it hard to believe someone would actually take the time to become familiar with my boundaries – and then to honor them without a battle. It seems people will only “honor” my boundaries if I fight “tooth and nail” to protect them. How can I feel safe in my own home when I always have to be on-guard, always fighting?

Maybe the only way I will ever feel safe in my own home is if I live all alone. That is depressing. I really want to have someone to come home to, I want a relationship in which I can relax and feel safe, be safe – but that feels impossible right now.

This sucks.

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