At a young age I learned that sharing my feelings were not helpful, and caused problems. I wanted to be helpful and not cause problems, so I learned to push down my feelings. I learned to put more value on taking care of other people than myself.
I grew up in a divorced family. I lived with my mom and step dad, visited my dad and step mom on the weekends. My Dad had a lot of ups and downs, never quite knew if you were getting the happy-singing country music dad, or the angry dad who was not happy with anything, later was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, which explained a lot about my dad.
My mom was raised as a caregiver, always putting everyone else before her. She has a heart of gold, but the price of a heart of gold comes at a great cost. She developed coping mechanisms involving people pleasing, which leaves one exhausted leaving their peace of mind in others hands.
I grew up as the "mediator"- the problem solver- taking on other people's emotions and making them my own. Not only aiming to please but taking on the responsibility to make other people HAPPY. I thought I could control other people's emotions by the actions I took.
Of course these actions were praised and appreciated, which reinforced these behaviors.
How we are raised affects our brain patterns, our nervous response system, and our hard wiring. Along with growing up in a patriarchal society, we as women we are held to double standards, socialized to put others wants and needs before our own. We are taught to be helpful, to be nice, and to take care of other people's emotions.
BUT... I am here to tell you that it is NOT our job to make other people happy. I am also here to tell you that you can not make someone feel a certain way. It is their thoughts that create their feelings.
I am also here to tell you that it is NOT your job to take care of other people's emotions, not even our parents. not even our siblings. not even our children (well when they are old enough to care for their own emotional needs). It is not even our responsibility to take care of our partners emotions.
What I mean is that YOU are allowed, to take care of your emotional needs FIRST, you are allowed to take care of YOU before taking care of someone else's emotions (if you choose to take care of their emotions), YOU are allowed your feelings, and YOU are allowed to prioritize your wants and needs BEFORE anyone else's!
Your thoughts cause your feelings, AND you are allowed to feel how you feel without an urgency to hurry up and feel better to make THEM feel better.
You are also allowed to REWIRE your brain, to develop new ways of coping, healing, and living. You are allowed to develop NON people pleasing traits, habits, reactions, behaviors! You are allowed to deconstruct-other needs first beliefs.