Tell Me About It - April Edition


The second Wednesday of every month will be "Tell Me About It" days.  It's where I will answer all your questions.  

If you have a dilemma, a relationship quandry or a social puzzler, submit your query!

 

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Dear Vanessa:

I’ve worked very hard to love myself as I am.  I hated myself for years, to the point that my relationships suffered, I was engaging in risky behaviour and I couldn’t even look in a mirror fully clothed, forget about naked.  I slowly crawled out of that pit of self-loathing and I am working to love everything about myself and my life.  The problem is my female relatives.  Every time I see them (which is at least weekly as we’re pretty tight knit) one of them, my mom, my aunt my grandmother, ask me how my diet is going and when I’m going to lose some weight.  The thing is, I’m not on a diet and haven’t been in quite some time.  I’ve tried joking it off but it really hurts me that they can’t see past my weight to all of the other things I have accomplished.  How can I get them to stop this?

Signed:

No Diet Debbie

 

Hey Debbie!

First of all, congratulations on finding the strength to love yourself.  It’s not an easy task, especially in a world that often tells us that we’re not worth it unless we can check off every item on a never-ending list of unattainable feats.  You’re one step closer to your bliss.

The hardest people to stand up to are our loved ones and yet they are the ones who can hurt us the deepest.  My advice to you, set boundaries.  Firmly if need be.  Start by saying that the diet comments are hurtful and that you don’t want to feel like you need to lose weight to be loved by your family.  If they persist, get stronger.  If they refuse to respect your boundaries, call them on it, nicely but firmly.  Say something like, “I’ve asked that you respect me by not bringing up my diet so can we change the subject.” If they persist further, the gloves are off.  I guarantee that feelings will be bruised but it will be better for everyone involved in the long run. 

Royally yours, Vanessa

Miss Fuller Woman Canada 2016

 

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Dear Vanessa;

How do you deal with flaky friends?  I have a great group of friends but they always cancel plans last minute.  What do I do?

Signed:

No Flakes Allowed

 Hi NFA;

One thing I have noticed as I’ve gotten older is how much less free time I have.  It’s a serious drag.  That being said,  I still make time to honour my commitments as best I can.  Sometimes you’ve just gotta flake because that laundry ain’t gonna do itself. 

If you’re noticing that the same friends are flaking over and over again, perhaps it’s time to check in with them.  What’s going on in their life?  What’s causing the breakdown in communication?  Do they need you but don’t want to burden you?  If everything is business as usual with them and they’re still a flakey pastry, become less available.  Not in a passive aggressive way or anything.  Just don’t make time for solo hangouts.  Invite them along to group outings so that if they flake you’re not left sitting by the door in your coat and heels when their ill-timed call comes in.  If all else fails, invite them only to events you’d be ok attending by yourself; a movie and skip the recap nightcap or a spa day.  It’s absolutely ok to protect yourself and your time.

Royally yours, Vanessa

Miss Fuller Woman Canada 2016

 

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Dear Vanessa,

My child is a drug addict.  The right thing to do is what I'm doing and that is no contact unless it's to tell me she's sober or in the process of getting sober... But... Why does it feel so wrong to shut her out.  And is zero tolerance really the most loving thing to do because I feel like I'm abandoning her.

Signed:

Heartbroken

 

Dear Heartbroken;

 May I start my response by offering you a giant virtual hug?  I can’t possibly imagine what you are going through.

 

I can’t even begin to offer you advice on your situation as it’s such a personal one and would be different for everyone.  What I can offer you though is hope.  Just as you can't enable her self destructive behaviour you know you're doing the right thing but your heart doesn't care. It hurts  because you are a parent and seeing your child hurting hurts your soul.  Everyone's rock bottom is different and she’ll hit hers.  The key is to be available emotionally when that happens and the only way to do that is to keep yourself strong.  When she's ready to get clean she’ll have a strong, healthy momma to lean on. Remember: You can't pour from an empty cup.  If you’re drained to the point of breaking, what will you have to give?

Royally yours, Vanessa

Miss Fuller Woman Canada 2016


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