We’re all a little selfish sometimes. But for me, I feel I am *always* this way, with so many things.
See, I’m an only child. I grew up where everything was mine. My parents’ family time was mine. The presents my family bought, all mine. I didn’t have to share with siblings. While my parents tried to teach me to share with others, I still found myself feeling like “I should have got that too” or “Why couldn’t they have given me some?” when I went to friends’ birthday parties and such. But I think that’s all a part of being a child. Maybe.
No, what I am talking about is the selfish thoughts that ramble in my head as an adult. Most are auto-thoughts, as my husband has named them. Those instant thoughts you never can control, never say out loud, and never really act upon…at least that’s the hope. For me, my selfishness seems to stem mostly from my insecure and self-loathing nature. But there are sometimes that those thoughts could easily be a truly selfish. I have trouble distinguishing between the two most of the time. I usually keep them to myself because being selfish makes you lose those people closest to you, right?
But here I’m going to list the times when I feel selfish. I’m saying them out loud, admitting that I think these thoughts. And trying to accept that it’s OK to have these thoughts, everyone has them, and as long as I don’t dwell on them, or act upon them, then I can get through and carry on. And my loved ones won’t leave me.
Some will be irrational. Some may be truly selfish. But here’s my list in no particular order:
I feel selfish …
…remembering when I said I wanted a baby
…remembering when I said that I didn’t want a child while he was in the Army
…remembering when he ETS’ed and the reasons why
…for leaving him at home, alone, when the pain is too great for him to join in the family outings
… if I do something for myself.
… for having fun while doing it
… when I get angry at my husband or my son because I’m really angry at the situation and the pain but I took it out on them
… for asking for help when I need to vent
… when I wish he’d do something, anything, around the house
… when I want someone to take care of me, like I take care of everyone else
… when I think “I wish I was sick, or hurt, just so someone is forced to take care of me”
… when I want someone to think of me, to do something for me, without me having to ask
… for thinking our situation is bad when there are so many people out there in far worse situations
… when I complain about a headache when my husband suffers through chronic daily migraines and pain that never goes away
… when all I want to do is go to sleep and there’s so much stuff that needs to get done
… for wish I was a guy and didn’t have to do all the “girl/wife/mother” things
… for wishing for a normal life
… when I let my husband sleep so late after being up all night, or because he’s in so much pain
… when I give up trying to wake my husband up after he tells me he wants to get up but can’t
… when I want to run away
These are only some of the things I think about. There’s never a day that goes by where I find myself wondering if what I’m thinking is selfish. You’d think that after 24 years I’d have gotten over my insecurities, but no. What I have to do is learn to let it go, not dwell on it, and never act on it.
In my learning process, I’ve come to open up more to my husband about what goes through my head. Not nearly enough, but I’m getting there.
I am not a bad person. I am not selfish. I am good. I am loving. And these thoughts are OK to have, just skip over them. I will not dwell on the negative. Focus on the positives.