I think this could have been the motto or the perfect description of the reason of my existence for as long as I can remember.
I still have the disease of "perfection" as one of my favorite bloggers calls it. I constantly feel the urge of "fixing" everyone's problems, lives, whatevers. Even when I have absolutely nothing to do with them.
It's so difficult to distinguish between "my problems" and "their problems" since I was never taught the difference. "Their problems" were always "my problems" in a very internal way. If anyone near me was sad, angry, frustrated, or felt any negative feelings besides utter bliss, it was instantly interpreted as my fault. Either because I caused it by not wearing what NM wanted me to, by not pretending to be happy enough to participate in an event I did not want to, or by not showing gratitude after months for a present that clearly showed how NM did not know me. Or, because there was another cause for the person's unhappiness, but nevertheless, I have become magically appointed as the only one who could fix it.
This way, I was suddenly responsible for being for NM a devoted, loving and accepting father and a mother whom she never had, a devoted, loving, passionate and supportive husband who was always on business trips, a cheerful, fun, loving and supportive friend, whom she never had, and all other people that she needed at the moment. And at the same time, providing this be-whom-I-want-you-to-be service to everyone else who happened to be around. Switching between alternate selves, if that was required.
I still don't know how to say no to other people's desires, even if we are not even really connected. When I somehow still have the strength to do so (and it takes a LOT of strength to deny someone something, at least for me), I feel desperate. I feel that I have failed the other person. That I, myself, willingly have caused pain. That I am now responsible for making it right.
The original recipe was getting an unrealistic request, saying yes and hoping that the other person will not realize that I was not doing the thing they asked. This, of course, never really worked, but it at least bought me some time.
If it was inevitable, the other method was saying no, then instantly regretting it, saying yes, then yes again a thousand times, and going out of my way to make amends for saying no in the first place. This is who I do not want to be anymore.
I am now in a situation, where I had to say no to a person, to whom I am not really close to, but whom I still like a lot, about a project we both really care about. I know it is reasonable and logical to say no, and that it would have caused me a lot of extra work, difficulties with no real benefits to say yes. I still feel very sad, and helpless. My instincts still tell me to say yes. I have almost failed to resist, but I'm still sticking to my decision.
I want to be able to differentiate between my problems and other people's problems. Dealing with mine, and letting them deal with theirs.
I hate being conditioned as a very eager and willing doormat. I want to be me, whoever that is. I want to get to know the real me.
I hope this will get easier in time. Now, it is really difficult.
I have not talked to NM for a week now. I'm getting more and more balanced again.