People Micromanage Us

I am frustrated.  I feel like certain people, who are very close to me, make it their business to micromanage everything I do.

I understand that they do this because they care about me.  And it grieves them to see me stumble and fall and make mistakes.  They, and I too, chalk it up to my mental illness.  And this is a reasonable “excuse,” if only because there is no other excuse.

One problem, though, is that overall, I am very naïve person.  And even though I’ve been victimized several times, due to being naïve, I have not “learned my lesson.”  So I continue to be victimized.  And I continue to be harassed.  These people think I’m stupid for broadcasting my personal business on Facebook.  They think I should hush and be mum.

I sort of agree with this.  We should be private in some regard.  But, these people seem to read everything I write, and then comment on arbitrary things I write that they don’t like.  They expect me to then not make the same mistakes again.

The problem is, I can’t freaking mind-read which comments they “won’t like.”

I really don’t like how some people use Facebook, the same way old ladies back in the day would sit on their porches looking at the neighbors go by.  Come on.  I’m nearly 30.

I also don’t like being bossed around and told what to do, because nobody is perfect.  No one is an expert at living their lives.  So why should they be experts on mine?  Perhaps I should shut up.  Perhaps I shouldn’t write this, because of course they’ll read this and think that I’m dissing them.

But… just because I have a mental health diagnosis, does that mean that people without a diagnosis are better experts at life?  Does their lack of a diagnosis mean they can tell us what to do, and we have to dogmatically follow what they tell us?

I have a friend, who is in quite a sad situation.  He has a physical disability, and although he is capable of living an independent life, his mother forbids him to do so.  This man, in his forties, seems to find happiness regardless, but he acts quite like a small child.  He holds a stuffed animal for comfort.  It grieves me, that his mother claims to shield him “for his own good.”  What kind of love is that?

So please: if you are a person who has a loved one with mental illness… do NOT micromanage.  Do NOT spout the “you should do this and that” advice.  One thing I learned, at my peer specialist training program at Howie the Harp in Harlem, NYC… was to keep it on the I.  Instead of saying, “you should do this, that… you you you…”  you should instead use the word I.  “I don’t like it when you do ___.  It makes me feel ____.”

Because, when you use the word “you,” it becomes an attack on the other person.  A criticism.  And as a result, the walls go up.  And communication and diplomacy end.  When changing the word to “I,” you then invite communication, because you are simply expressing your feelings.  That allows the other person to do the same, thereby allowing greater compromise to occur.

Of course, I am adopting a “you, you, you” tone with this article.  But, part of my aim for writing is not necessarily about “changing the reader.”  I also just… want people in my situation to identify.  I want people to feel like they are not alone in their pain and suffering. Maybe, I hope… that when people read this, maybe they can feel some relief that someone else gets it.  Or maybe someone wants to ask me a question, who knows.

I kind of had a cruddy day, but I’m taking next week off from work.  I deserve it.  I haven’t had a vacation since I started my job last December, 2014.  I have really earned it.


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