I am ridiculously difficult to buy presents for… unless you are buying me art supplies. Then the list of possible gifts is endless and has been known to include power tools like compound miter saws.
I’m not a girly girl so jewelry, make-up, and most fashionable clothing is out. I can’t use lovely scented lotions because I’m allergic to so many unidentified things. I don’t really cook anymore so kitchen stuff is useless, not to mention my kitchen is already well stocked with cookware and gadgets.
I do not like other people spending money on me. I really truly do not like it. In fact, I really dislike spending money on myself, too. So when it comes time for Mr. M to ask me what I want for Christmas, I get hung up in The Spending Money (On Me) Spiral. He is spending money on me. But it’s OUR money. Therefore it’s partly my money being spent on me. Double whammy.
The double whammy causes me to be completely, totally, cripplingly indecisive if I happen to (rarely) want something that is a little expensive. This year’s indecisiveness is brought to you by our friends at Apple because I really want the new iPod Touch.
“But, Vickie,” you say. “You already have a perfectly good iPod Touch.” Yes, I do. I know. I love it. It works just fine. It has brought me countless hours of joy.
But last week my twin sister, Valerie, got an iPhone. This was the first time I had a chance to play with an iPhone. The screen is amazingly gorgeous. I can actually read tiny lettering on web pages on the iPhone that my failing eyesight can’t read on my Touch. Then I played with the camera, the video camera, FaceTime, and then all the other cool stuff that my Touch doesn’t have.
My brain began to scream, “WANT! WANT! WANT!” My brain began to show me in rapid fire succession all the fun projects that I could do with a new Touch like make stop motion animations, pepper Twitter with photos, make video tutorials, FaceTime with my sister and far away friends, and finally have access to things like VoiceOver so I can have the web and Twitter “read to me” when I need to rest my eyes or cannot tolerate light anymore.
I have been going back and forth with “yes” and “no” to Mr. M on this for weeks, even before Valerie got her iPhone. He has not enjoyed my dance with The Spending Money (On Me) Spiral. Today he required an answer. I balked. I stammered. Both “yes” and “no” fought to come out of my mouth at the same time. So I completely gave the decision to him. Now it’s going to be a surprise if he buys it or not. I am quite sure he will buy it because he is so super nice to me and totally spoils me
at Christmas all year. But I am not going to be disappointed if he doesn’t buy it either. Like I said, I have a perfectly good iPod Touch already.
So where lies the rub?? What is my damage?
This is not about the iPod Touch. This is not really about the money. This is about my self-hatred, which lately has been off the charts as I struggle to be productive through excruciating pain and fatigue trying to be “good enough” and never getting there.
Inside, I am being torn in half.
One side really wants the iPod Touch and is excited like a gleeful 6 year old about it. This side is jumping up and down inside my head and squealing right now about playing Angry Birds on that clear new screen.
The other side is just doom doom doom. “You don’t deserve it. Who do you think you are? You have a perfectly good iPod already. No one should ever buy you any gifts because you are a piece of doo doo. No nice things for you – especially nice things that will bring you untold, incalculable hours of fun and joy and let you spread untold, incalculable hours of fun and joy to the interwebs!”
I really need to work on this self-hatred problem. It’s sneaking its way into everything. I deny myself so much good because of it. I deny myself happiness, success, comfort, and the list could go on for quite some length. What ends up happening is that I am also denying you - my family and friends - the gifts I have been given to share because this self-hatred makes me isolate and not share my love/joy/art with anyone. This self-hatred makes me feel like no one could possibly ever want to see what I do or spend one second with me. I fight tooth and nail with it just to post what I do on the web, like this post for instance.
New iPod Touch or not, receiving gifts at Christmas taxes my self-hatred significantly. As the pile of gifts with my name on them grows, so does my anxiety. If these people really knew how horrible I am they would be giving me coal like I deserve!
This year I am going to make a conscious effort to pay attention to feeling good about receiving. I’m going to listen more to the gleeful 6 year old in me. I’m not going to listen to doom doom doom. Receiving a gift is about taking in the love from the gift giver. It’s not about me and my cr@p unless I choose to make it about me and my cr@p by listening to the doom. Doom, you shall have Christmas off! I’m going to keep reminding myself that if I really were as horrible as I think I am, then these wonderful people who love me might have noticed by now and wouldn’t be giving me any gifts at all.
As part of my plan for 2011, the word I have chosen to focus on is HEALING (more on this soon). Quite near the top of the list of things that need to be healed is my self-hatred. I think that might clean up some other messes lurking in my baggage, too.
If you are suffering from the “self-hatred doom doom doom” this holiday season let me know in the comments and we will pull each other through this together! If you have a case of the “I’m not good enough”s this year, I got your back, too! If these are things you have worked through and have some solutions to offer I welcome your thoughts!
Please have a happy and safe holiday!