I was transported back to 2004.
It had been a year since I first took care of my brother who had ruptured aneurysm due to drug abuse. He had been recovering miraculously, proving wrong all the doctors’ prognosis — Stanford neurosurgeons at that!
It was, naturally, my family’s most awaited news.
My brother had started to take out his anger and frustration on me. And it was time for me to put my foot down — finally but not without much reluctance, admittedly and understandably — and say no to the disrespect and abuse. A predominant and recurring — and probably much denied and readily dismissed — theme in my family of origin.
It was the most difficult and painful decision I had to make — considering that I was my brother’s full-time caregiver. I had seen him at his ‘worst’ — with only tubes and machines attached to his frail body to keep him alive.
And I had witnessed almost every moment of his initial recovery, practically every miracle, every movement….his first smile, first word, first slightest opening of his eyes…first tear he shed…his confessions and recollections…and yes, his ventilations!
It was the beginning of my putting a stop to being a basket case for other people’s toxicity and garbage — regardless if they’re family, and even if they’re going through a most difficult and painful time.
Harsh but I was being called to practice tough love. To love my brother well enough to not be a perpetrator of his destructive behavior.
I was also being called to…
I needed to start doing that. It was time I give myself that. The love. The honor. The respect.
If I continue depriving myself of the love, honor and respect that I rightfully deserve, how will others give them to me?
But my family, especially my mother, wouldn’t hear any of it. She blindly — and surely, unknowingly, unintentionally, unconsciously — cushioned my brother’s disrespectful and abusive behavior — an habitual one, I must add — by justifying it with “That’s because of his aneurysm!”
My mother wouldn’t hear any of what I said; I also wouldn’t hear any of what she said.
I relinquished my role and responsibility of being my brother’s caregiver. And it was the beginning of the end of my caretaking days. It was also the beginning of my distancing myself from my family.
And now, ten years after, I am caught in such familiar energy dynamics. Similar yet different. Good different.
I’m encountering my brother once more — in the person of one of the staff in the resort where I’ve been staying for close to two months now.
This staff, like my brother, has shown lack of respect towards me and repeatedly at that. Not only did I feel disrespected, I didn’t feel valued.
Her display of lack of respect may have been in subtle and almost unnoticeable ways — not to sensitives like me though! (Too bad for her! 😉 )
Failure to catch inappropriate behaviors in their early stages though — be it subtle or otherwise — is sure to turn them into destructive habitual patterns that would prove very difficult later to overcome and correct.
And this staff’s disrespectful behavior and attitude, I had learned, has likewise already been previously shown to her co-workers and other guests as well. Clearly, a behavior that has been tolerated and condoned. Enabled — as was the case with my brother.
And the enabler of my brother that is my mother is now in the person of the other half of the couple who owns the resort. (In fairness to my mother though, and as I shared in a previous post, my sisters and I have, in part, also enabled my brother’s behavior and contributed to his spoiled ways and feeling of entitlement.)
This staff also hasn’t shown any signs of remorse or genuine desire to make amends for her shortcomings — even throwing a feat and turning her back on the resort owner when she was being confronted and being called on her behavior! Clearly, disrespect at its finest!
I do not claim complete innocence in this issue. I had my share of wrongdoing. I too lost ‘it’ when I first confronted this staff for her shortcoming — I did it in front of some of the other employees. A big no-no most definitely!
I quickly owned up to my wrongdoing though. I readily and sincerely apologized. A gesture that the staff didn’t receive well. An apology that she didn’t properly acknowledge. Maybe, she didn’t know how — I’ll give that to her. But it was still a rejection of the gift that I was wholeheartedly offering. This, in addition to this staff neither owning up to her shortcoming nor properly and sincerely apologizing for it.
Sure, we all are at different stages in our maturity and levels of consciousness.
But I have already learned to give only to those who know how to receive.
I’m not giving to the takers.
And I most certainly am not giving to the ‘rejecters’ — regardless if they’re being so unintentionally or unknowingly.
I’m all for fair and balanced exchange of energies.
The staff was also playing the blame game. She was playing out the ‘poor me’ control drama — with matching tears naturally — which the resort owner initially easily fell for. (Playing ‘poor me’ is also deeply entrenched in the Filipino psyche and culture.)
But I wasn’t buying any of that, and I wasn’t going to get sucked into it!
And because my energies have long ago shifted, the energies in my interaction with such people and such energies have likewise shifted — particularly with the resort owner.
She has, thankfully, easily and readily acknowledged and admitted having condoned and perpetuated such a wrongful behavior. She has enabled such a bad habit, not just of this particular staff, but of the majority of the other resort personnel. She has given her power away to them — much, if not all of it. She has spoiled them which resulted, not surprisingly, in their swellheadedness. She has bought into their ‘poor me’ stories. She has allowed herself to be dragged into their dramas.
But that is now changing.
And it is changing largely through my prodding and influence and the role that I have taken as a Truth Barer and Awakener.
A role and a contribution that, much to my delight, has been well received and much appreciated by the resort owner! A huge change from when I was playing the same role with my family of origin, particularly back in 2004.
The resort owner is adamant in instilling changes in the resort. She has woken up and is ready and willing for change to happen. She wants to take back her power — every ounce of power that she has ever given away.
In all the months that I’ve known her, beginning when I wasn’t an in-house resort guest yet, I’ve not seen her this feisty and mighty. Determined and committed.
‘When the student is ready, the teacher appears.’
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