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A Question of Responsibilty - Madame Ximon
A Question of Responsibilty
When does it end?

When do the bonds of love, friendship, and community cease to have value next to the need for self-preservation?

I've heard all about the need for establishing clear boundaries in interactions with friends, lovers, and business associates alike, but let's face it: I like to feel needed. I like to help people, and I like to see them happy. I hate the thought of letting someone else down. And therein lies my downfall.

I've come to a point where I have committed to so much on behalf of other people, that suddenly I've realized I have no commitment to myself anymore. No time to pursue my own goals, no sense of identity beyond what I do for others. And the stark realization that pulling back from any of those commitments has the potential to pull the whole house of cards down. This is where it gets ugly.

I don't even know where to begin, which thread to pull out of this tangled mess. I just know I've got to begin soon. And I dread the thought.
5 comments or Leave a comment
dolphinish From: dolphinish Date: June 10th, 2011 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awww, I'm sorry to hear you're going through this.

I like to feel needed. I like to help people, and I like to see them happy. I hate the thought of letting someone else down. And therein lies my downfall.

Maybe this is too obvious, but can you imagine what you would want for a friend in this situation, what advice you'd give them?

Also, if spending some low-key time watching the ocean would be helpful, you're more than welcome to come stay with us for a couple of days.
meddevi From: meddevi Date: June 10th, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
We should have an evening together out...tea or something...
alabastard From: alabastard Date: June 10th, 2011 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Been there, survived the fallout, for the better. Those who value you will understand and want the best for you, they will still be there.
loopback From: loopback Date: June 10th, 2011 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is critical.

Several things come to mind, and having been in a similar position (in feel, not in scope/scale), I offer the following opinions:

1. if the whole house of cards is 100% dependent upon you and nobody else, does anyone else actually NEED what you're doing?

2. 'nature abhors a vacuum'. If you withdraw because you choose not to throw your energy into a never-satiated maw any longer, someone else will step up.

3. in the event nobody else steps up, then the function you were killing yourself over was something nobody else thinks is important enough to inconvenience themselves to do it.

4. In the event that it falls apart, the problem is not that you stopped. the 'problem' is that nobody else was willing to do it.

All that being said, you have also set up an environment where, presumably, people assume "ximon will take care of it, so I don't have to think about it." So on the practical, Male-Answer-Syndrome side of my brain: You announce early on that you are reducing your activity level to some amount, and that over the next x days/weeks/months (whatever timescale is appropriate) you'll need people to step their game up and take on the following specific tasks which you can HELP them with and answer questions, but you won't be DOING any of it.

At which point comes the hardest part, for you. You have to let people fail. You have to both trust that they can do it, and sit on your hands and let them potentially fuck everything up into a smoking crater. If you step in and 'help', they'll know they don't ultimately have responsibility, and they'll never get good at it.
Grant Garvin From: Grant Garvin Date: July 5th, 2011 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)

I missed this post, and felt the need to reply.

The amount of time and dedication that you've willingly put into the business and the convention has never, ever gone unnoticed and unappreciated by me, even when I've been scatterbrained, selfish, and unappreciative. I apologize for that.

I've been (stupidly) quietly dealing with similar feelings in many ways, and my occasional resentment of the store and that unbelievable responsibility that you take up is in large part due to the fact that the 80+ hour weeks leave little room for anything else at all. That hurts me greatly, and I haven't been able to properly express it.

I have been trying very hard to pick up some of those threads and take as much of that responsibility as needed, wherever it is needed.

5 comments or Leave a comment