Posted by: Judy | February 15, 2016

Mark Twain on Habits

Motivating Daily shared a quote by Mark Twain:

A habit cannot be tossed out of the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time. ~ Mark Twain

The way I respond to NM is a habit. I know she isn’t safe. Anger is a great wall. As ntexas99 pointed out, it’s also an energy sapper.

I’m doing much better than I used to… (picture the wheel spinning as I think through what comes next) I used to respond with rage. The rage stepped down to anger. For the most part, the anger has stepped down to annoyance and even little response at all. I am able to be civil and pleasant, most of the time. Almost all the time.

I snapped under pressure. I want to learn to not do that. Not for her, for me. I don’t have the time or energy to lose my temper.

It’s important to note, for my own sake, I’ve made a huge amount of progress. What I saw as failure was actually a good opportunity to step back and notice how much it took to push me over the edge.

Several boundaries were violated on several levels. If she wanted to show me she cared she would have respected my boundaries. She can’t go a single day without violating a boundary.

Healthy boundaries:

Please don’t interrupt me when I’m writing. I’m working.

Both EF and NM talk to me from the hall. I’ve told them it disrupts my work. They both do it anyway. They choose to violate the boundary.

Please don’t come in my room without knocking.

Where the food was placed required she push my door open and stepping into my room, and she didn’t knock. She could have put it right outside the door. There’s a pullout shelf at the end of the hall next to my door. She could have put it there. She chose to violate the boundary.

Please, food is not up for discussion at anytime for any reason.

I know this sounds insanely unreasonable. They’ve both made my life miserable when it comes to food. They’ve both given me treats and then harassed me about my weight. Neither one is able to keep from commenting on what I eat, what it looks like, smells like, tastes like, and how much. Every single meal. Really. The boundary is insane because their behavior is insane. Their comments and behavior are all indicative they treat me like an extension of themselves. I’m not an individual person. The note telling me not to starve was simply ridiculous. She’s the one who would change how she made my favorite foods until I didn’t like them anymore. She’s the one who scolded me for eating anything not at mealtimes. She was the one who wouldn’t allow me to eat leftovers from the fridge or even crackers from the cupboard. She’s the one who controlled everything I ate. She’s the one who’s complained the loudest and longest about me being overweight. Expressing concern about me starving is so over-the-top insane… yeah, I responded over-the-top. Darn. I don’t want to respond to her insanity with insanity of my own.

How could I have responded better… no, how do I wish I’d responded?

Allowed myself to feel what I feel, including the momentary rage, rolled my eyes, returned the food (I honestly don’t trust the sanitariness), kept the note to document the insanity, and been done with it right then.

I did it, except the done with it right then. I’m coaxing the old habits down the stairs, a step at a time.



  1. I really wish you could get out of that madhouse. Hugs.

    • You and me both. In the meantime, learning what I’m able. 🙂

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