When partner went to pop a black sack into the wheelie bit this morning, he noticed a couple of bags of rubbish in there, chucked on the top. As rubbish in the wheelie bin needs to be in a black sack, he was a little confused as to why it was there. After asking the girls, it transpired that when their dad dropped them back to ours after their week’s holiday with him, he emptied all the rubbish out of his car and asked the youngest to put it all in our bin. He knew we were at work so we wouldn’t interrupt his plan and he presumably specifically asked the youngest because the older two would have questioned why he couldn’t just throw his rubbish away in his own bin.
We could have been really angry by this incident. It did grate. He often grates and I have, in the past struggled to let things he has done go. I’ve let them get to me, eat away at me and affect my relationship with the girls.
Now, however, I am getting better. I’m still work in progress but I am improving in the way I deal with the things that he does in an attempt to get under my skin.
I have made a decision that I will no longer be controlled by him.
By letting the things that he does upset me, I am allowing him to control my emotions. So I now try to take a deep breath and ignore. I love this video. It is looking at how to deal with a person’s envy and insults and its ultimate message is: if you refuse to accept them, they belong to the one who offered them.
On this occasion with the rubbish, I turned the situation around. I asked my daughter how she felt when her dad asked her to throw his rubbish into our bin. She said that it didn’t feel right, but that she felt she had to do it, because he had asked her.
I told my 12 year old daughter very clearly (and loudly so that the daughters still lying in their pits could hear) that if something doesn’t feel right then it isn’t right. It’s the same message we use in our Taekwon-do classes when teaching Stranger Aware. I said to her that if an adult, even someone you know or a friend asks you to do something – for example touch them or do something sexual with them, you don’t have to do it.
This is such an important message and I was grateful to her dad for giving me the opportunity to say it to my daughters so forcefully. I recently read that young girls are feeling obliged to perform sex acts on boys when they really don’t want to. As I have 5 daughters/step daughter, this really concerns me.
I want my daughters to take control. I want them to feel able to say: no. I never want them to feel beholden to anyone. Nobody should ever hold that power over anyone, ever and I am gradually learning to lead by example.