Things have been weird in bettyland lately. There's been too much work, too little pay, too many responsibilities, too many distractions, too many disappointments.
When I was a child I complained a lot. I learned it (well) from my mother, who held a national title in constant complaining. I never realized that I complained until age 15, when I went away to summer camp. My cabinmates were all too happy to point out my character defect.
I was very bothered by that. I didn't know how to change something I wasn't even aware of. It was the language of my family and had become second nature.
There were obviously people who tolerated it. I was not banished from society- in fact, I seemed to enjoy a fair number of social contacts. Being shy, I was never popular, but I was lucky. In a recent post I described a very cool high school boyfriend who had chosen me based on my appearance.
I can't say exactly when I became convinced that I should try to change and become consciously positive rather than negative, but I think it was fairly recently. You see, my luck ran out once the child came into my life. People do not gravitate toward single mothers, especially the clearly overwhelmed types. Friends became few and far between. Even the friend whom I used to identify as my "emergency contact" abandoned me shortly after the baby was born.
My best guess is that my unwanted solitude forced me to change my habitual way of thinking and speaking. My most recent friend played a definite part- he showed that he could not tolerate any negativity from me. I think I changed, but it didn't save that friendship. A few months ago he took in a female roommate who has more than taken my place in his life. I rarely speak to him now. (But when I do, it's damned positive.)
I do still have someone to talk to. In fact, I have a date with her today. Unfortunately, I'll have to talk fast because I'm only allowed 50 minutes a week with her. And I'd better enjoy it while it lasts, because my insurance will only cover 19 sessions per year.