Endless criticism destroys marriages, it destroys people. Any one who has either been in a relationship with someone who did nothing but criticize knows what it does to you. It rips you apart. It destroys your spontaneity, it means you are walking on eggshells and always afraid of doing something "wrong"." I am not sure why some people think it is good to reign as judge and jury over other people but sadly it is something I have encountered.
Everyone judges to an extent, we even have to judge people and situations as safe and even criticism can have a place to deal with problems, but there is a point where it gets excessive and becomes a battering ram upon the souls of other people and one is criticized for many things even beyond their control.
What if you feel like nothing you do is right? What if you feel you just can't make anyone happy?
What if people just don't believe you and you are telling the truth? What if you can tell they decided you were a social embarrassment and liability? My mistake was questioning someone at a group who did not like me.
One person wiped away an entire social circle. Another believed someone else who didn't like me. Endless criticism destroys relationships.
I have suffered enough losses. Some would say this person probably never was your friend to allow the opinions of others to influence them. I knew the end was beginning when they said to me, "Sometimes it is hard to be your friend, because you are so overweight, others give me problems for it." All sorts of feelings were triggered in me. Will I ever be enough? I have lost almost 40lbs recently too. Inside this felt like a sock to the gut. They knew about my stage IV lipedema diagnosis. Can people understand the pain of being extremely overweight? Our social status is so low that even supposed friends will turn on us under pressure from others. The pain of this was intense. I told her. I received no empathy.
I made the giant social mistake of telling a couple local people about this blog. ACONs are not understood by the general populace even ones you think are close friends. Please never make my mistake, only tell the closest best friends and even then be careful.
Many of us ACONs were barraged with endless criticism. I grew up being told that everything was wrong with me, I was told I smelled, was too fat, too messy, so forth and so on. Enough is detailed here. Sometimes I am unsure how to undo the damage when the world backs up what was said to to me. The other day someone I thought cared about and liked me decided to criticize me severely. I cared about her deeply too but this was getting worse and worse and hit a high mark. I no longer felt accepted and when acceptance goes out the window then many people just get nervous. It was like she had a list and was reading it off. I had visions of my mother sitting by her side, as she decided to shred me to bits during our last visit. Talk about being triggered! This friendship predates my going no contact by a few years.
The other day I had this friendship end, because I stood up against criticism. Big mistake? Or lesson learned? I don't have friends to spare in town. Would you be upset if someone decided to rip into you one day and tell you that everything you do is wrong? Would you say something about it? Or would you sit there and take it and then conduct business as usual? There was part of me that thought, "Keep your mouth shut, otherwise you will lose the "friendship". But then another part, the "recovery", "fivehundredpoundpeep" 'stand against abuse' me, said to hell with that!
I know I am not a perfect person. I weigh 508lbs and weighed 543lbs just a few months ago. I am struggling with some serious sadness upon the decline of my health. Lipedema is a progressive disease. I was faking it to make it so long I lost touch with my own body. People never realized how much pain I was hiding to do anything. People didn't know I was collapsing into bed after doing things. People outside of this blog didn't know or understand how I have been struggling with the loss of the family, the same as if one's whole family went down in a jet airliner but worse because I was rejected and abandoned long ago. One thing I am tired of everyone telling me how to feel. They judge me for feeling the "wrong feelings". I couldn't get a lobotomy to please them all! I am sorry I was slow in "moving on", or "fixing my life" but I was actually trying my best no matter what they think.
In fact my progress is showing, and that I no longer want to take endless criticism. That's progress. I'm done with the measuring up game and people pleasing. It shows now doesn't it? The me of yesterday sadly would have probably sat there and taken the endless criticism and cried and said, "I'll try harder!" and nothing would have been good enough anyway. After all this is what I was trained to do.
I was told by this friend during the criticism-a-thon that ended our friendship that I was "unforgiving" to cut my entire family off. Didn't I write on here, they cut me off before? That no one would visit me, and I hadn't seen many of them for years and it didn't matter? I wrote about trying to fix the relationships. How could any person read about the abuses here and think I should sit around and get few more blows?
My household has struggled for so many years, struggle is the default setting, but why does everyone have to pile on and tell me I am a piece of crap? What am I supposed to do about it? I don't even know HOW to do what they want me to do and/or I lack the resources to get things done.
First of all I was not believed even when my husband was backing me up saying he witnessed it too, that someone in the self help group constantly put me down to my face. This friend actually called me "paranoid", even when my husband said, he witnessed these events directly to her. She said this over and over and I felt gaslighted. I got the full brunt of a smear campaign, and it rippled out. Later I would be scapegoated in an email for scaring new people away from the group even though I was gone all winter and only attending one-two times a month instead of every week. People started believing these things. My sins? I questioned the scheduling of the group one time. I got sarcastic once as a brag fest reached a zenith but then listening to people mock people on welfare wasn't too fun when it happened twice.
This friend told me I was selfish, and that I defined myself by my disabilities. What is that even supposed to mean? She doesn't realize I hid a lot of sickness she never knew about. How does one define themselves by their disabilities? Was this projection in that she was telling me she saw me through them? Am I supposed to pretend they never existed? Is the brainwashing for us to be so brave, we are to act like we live in healthy normal bodies? I may write about this later, but there is pressure on us disabled people to always be overcompensating and some still won't be happy.
Her constant Republican litany about how social security was a "slave system" hurt my feelings but it was something I overlooked for a long time because I avoid political litmus tests for friends. I will admit when someone is really really sick, you can be selfish at times to survive but I still don't know what I did to her if anything in that realm. I thought I was a good friend.
Add to this the failures to "progress", the odd dichotomy that she was allowed to vent, but I was a "complainer" and "she didn't want to hear about it" and "I lived in the past" and "did not move forward". At one point she even asked my husband who defended me in return"How do you deal with Peep?" like I was the most horrible person on earth and she was trying to get him on put me down team. What is ironic to me, is people can tell me their problems and I am okay with this. I consider it part of friendship but why can they vent and I can't? I remember laughing at jokes during our last two visits and doing some cards, maybe my memory is faulty. What does that even mean? Here too you wonder how many simply don't accept you and befriend you hoping to fix you and looking to the person you will supposedly be in the future instead of today?
I felt not listened to and judged harshly. I answered back to a few of her charges but I then wrote her an email, telling her that it was wrong to criticize me so much. "Why did you rip into me that day?" I even wondered and told her maybe you had a bad day or were worried about some problems but made it a clear boundary that deciding to rip me to shreds was not going to be tolerated. I told her that her standards for people are too high and I am not measuring up to them and not interested in trying to and that I didn't want to be a project. I wrote: "This has taught me a lesson that I need to lay down a new boundary, that people have to accept me as I am presently, warts and all, or just walk on. I can't be hurt anymore being told I am "not good enough" or must "change" to be acceptable."
Once someone is walking on eggshells and worried about what they will say or not say a relationship is already going down the chute. If you can't freely share or have to test everything you say by if it is an "acceptable" topic or not, it means spontaneous sharing is over with. Once someone is telling you what to talk about it. It is a bad deal. I know now if I feel that way something is wrong. For some months, I was censoring myself around her, knowing that certain topics upset her. Obviously I was not censoring myself here, so that may have created problems too. Losing one's voice is not a good thing.
It is also by my own experiences a bad idea for friends to be in self-help groups together. There is too much boundary crossing as you talk about personal problems. I did make some mistakes in the friendship of that I have no doubt. We may have been even just too different. But I find myself asking why all the criticism? Why all the impetus to "fix" someone? Why all the non-acceptance? Why all the focus on social appearances?
Endless criticism can destroy a friendship. I however have changed, I don't want people around me who want me to measure up and who tell me in endless ways how I am lacking. I don't want someone's love of me based on my "achievement". I had my fill of criticism for a life time. This doesn't mean I think I am perfect or finished but it means refusing the walking on eggshells.
Culturally I moved to a very reserved and affluent community and it's a "bad fit" in every sense of that phrase. I'm under pressures most don't understand. I made my mistakes, but I think to myself as I sat there, getting reamed out...."Aren't I a person too?" "If I am not valuable to you it's time to walk away". I fear the loneliness but what other choice was there? Why don't these people realize the more you rip people down the more you hurt them? Who wants to live with the judge and jury always ready to do a crack down? I don't.