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  • Spiritual Bullying

    New Age Bullies | Julia Ingram, MA

    I see this a lot. I see this from people I know and care about, and it's both maddening and upsetting.

    Friends, I applaud your decisions to be healers, to help others, to be lightworkers, to teach yoga, to be vegan, what have you but please, PLEASE. please be mindful of what you are saying, how you are "helping" others, and what "wisdom" you are so very determined to share. Please be mindful of who you share things with. As in all things, Consent. First. Always. When sharing on social media, spend some time thinking about what you are saying before you say it. it may have made sense to you and been helpful to YOU, but can be harmful and destructive to others.

    Victim blaming is a huge, huge problem in the spiritual community and we owe it to each other and ourselves to be CONSCIOUS of our message and to avoid blaming the victim. not only is it not helpful, it can actually cause SERIOUS HARM to those we think we're helping.

    This includes pushing people towards "positive" thinking when they open up about their struggles, telling them they have attracted their circumstances "for a reason" or because of the Law of Attraction, or telling them to find "gratitude" when they tell you about misfortune or struggles. This should NEVER happen. Before anything else we should be listening with open hearts, acknowledging and validating, and flexing our deep empathy and compassion.

    There are reasons I have this giant barn owl on my chest. I've gone through the dark night of my soul and come out the other side. It was excrutiating. It was painful. It was nearly fatal. But in that darkness I eas reborn. I have grown through those struggles. I have stood in front of my shadows and loved them. Sometimes I hate it. Sometimes I resist and scream and cry and beg for things to be different. But resisting the "negative", pushing it down, trying to negate it with gratitude or positive thinking only increases suffering and delays the inevitable: our need to face it. Our need to accept it for what it is, to learn from it, and to use it as a tool for our own growth and helping others with theirs.

    I know this is not a popular angle. I know that positive thoughts and bite size "memespiration" quotes and posts attract people and give us likes, followers, and revenue, but as those who have chosen the healing path, we owe it to ourselves and to others to DIG DEEPER. Daily positive thinking/memespiration only scratches the surface. It may be suitable for neurotypical folks, but for the multitudes of us who are not, it does not go deep enough.

    The world doesn't suffer from a negativity problem, it suffers from an empathy problem. This world is suffering on many levels. Hunger, poverty, violence, war. Mental illness is prevalent and (especially in the US) quality care is difficult to obtain, especially for low income ppl/the cash poor. These are not issues we can positive think our way out of, and to be honest, it is extremely condescending and hurtful to say to someone suffering fro. assault, rape, hunger, poverty, etc. that what needs to change is their attitude.

    This is not what we are here to do.

    For many of us there is much, much more that needs to shift besides our daily attitude. We do a disservice to those we help or want to help by staying on the surface. By hiding our own negativity, struggles, and suffering. By creating an image of having it together. We do a disservice to ourselves as well when we hide these things.

    We are human. We are ALL human. We all flop about in this human existence making mistakes and fucking up and learning, which is crucial for our spiritual development. Allow others their humanity. Allow YOURSELF your humanity. Stop hiding it. Show your bruises and bumps and scars. Talk about how you got them and how you healed them or are working on healing them.

    The world doesn't need more happy thoughts cheerleaders, it needs honest, deep healing. That is what we are called as lightworkers to provide.

    This is what we are here to do.

    Stop the bullying. Use empathy. Think before you speak. Go deeper.

    In lak'ech, ala k'in.

    ~ meggus •❥

  • Abandonment

    I am struggling to understand the lessons learned from the rejection and abandonment by my ex-husband and ex-girlfriend. Struggling hard to trust people again. I tried for a bit, but wow, people just let you down all over the place. Even if they're aware of your history and struggles to trust again. 

    That knowing? Sometimes I have this feeling of knowing that I will be on my own from now on. I don't like it, I don't want it. But I can understand it...between my gender identity and sobriety and disability, it makes sense, but it's a hard pill to swallow. but do i have to swallow it? is this truly what i'm sensing and knowing, that i'll be alone from now on, or is that my pain gettng in the way?

    Do I swallow it and accept my circumstances, or do I reject it and..well, frankly, get hurt a lot more? So far it's been the latter. I honestly disqualify myself far before anyone else. Since the chronic pain started I don't see that I have much to offer anyone. 

    You 20 somethings think it's hard navigating this stuff...wait until you're older. but likely you won't have to. navigating dating at 43 is...well, if you're not in perfect shape and ready to party or desperate enough to pick anyone, good luck. 

    yeah, life is harder single. Try being disabled and divorced, try being divorced because your spouse wasn't willing to make the necessary changes to deal with the fallout of the trauma and disability. And yet. I asked for the divorce because the situation became so toxic for me it was my only way out. Even still, I tried to end it by suicide a couple times. 

    Loneliness is horrible at this age. Every wrinkle and fold is a death sentence for the possibility of a relationship. And yet friends try to tell you not to be negative! that i'm awesome and blah blah, but they are usually coupled and don't see what I see. 

    i love people and am here on this earth to help as I can. But it's hard to believe you're helping when you feel like an afterthought. 

    ~~i ask to overcome the trauma of abandonment that has plagued me since childhood.~~

    And that is about all I can do or expect or want at this moment. 

  • self-reflection

    Treat them like queens until they disagree
    And never reflect to think 'wait, maybe the problem was me'
    Nah, man, just keep smoking weed
    Tell this one 'yeah they were all crazy, unlike you baby.'

    Camp Cope - The Opener

  • On being single and demisexual

    I was out with my lovely friend Amy the other day, and we got to discussing dating and being demi. I don't really have many opportunities to talk about it with good friends who get it, but Amy gets it. I am SO GRATEFUL for the opportunity to verbalize to her what's been going on inside of me, because putting my thoughts into words often leads to things becoming clearer and me understanding something about myself that I'd had trouble getting my head around. Yes, I need to write more. Writing is great but also rather hard for me. I'm working on it, so here we go. I'll also be putting this up on megg.us but i'd rather type it here than link.

    ...

    I talked to her about how much I've changed in the past ~4 years, and how it's been difficult to adjust to this new normal. I talked about having difficulty dating, and before that, having extreme difficulty being sexualized post-trauma. Or even just having people noticeably find me attractive. While I still have some issues there, it's not to the extreme it was (there were times it made me literally vomit). We discussed how my view of myself has changed. Gaining self-esteem, self-love, self-worth, and confidence has been amazing, as I did not have that for most of my life. I actively hated myself. I insulted myself all the time and even self-injured. That urge isn't there anymore—the habit is gone. There's still times when I call myself a dumbass in my head for forgetting something or making a mistake but it's not often, and when I do I notice it, correct myself and replace it with a kind/gentle thought. I'm pretty amazed by this. I tried to change this for a long time, but the root of it was hidden so deep inside that I couldn't reach it. My brain just buried it all in self-defense. Trauma shook just about everything loose. It was horrific and extremely difficult, but when stuff came up I was finally able to face it and deal with it. I don't know that I'd label that as a "blessing" or a "benefit", but I am certainly thankful for the outcome.

    I've come to realize how distorted and dysfunctional my relationship with love and...well, relationships was for a long time. I didn't feel confident about myself, didn't love myself, didn't trust myself, and didn't value myself. There was a big hole inside me when it came to self-worth, and so I relied on others' opinions to fill it in. That of course is a precarious position to put myself in, not to mention the people I love. It wasn't just self-worth I sought in other people, either. I wasn't aware of it at the time, but I was also searching for my identity: who I was as a person. Sometimes even my personality. Relationships became my self-expression, became my identity. Who I was changed depending on who I was with, and because I put all this stuff (consciously and unconsciously) on my relationships, they struggled. The hole inside me gaped. I tried to fill it with people, I tried to ignore it with alcohol. My relationships were unstable and so was I. They struggled and failed and so did I. I hurt a lot of people and I hurt myself.

    I'm not going to say I'm ashamed of this stuff, because I'm not. I'm not going to shame myself anymore. I've spent too much of my life shaming myself for everything and it's been unhelpful and destructive. Through my healing I did come to recognize that what I was doing was unhealthy and hurtful, and when I finally did come to that realization I worked to change it. And change it I have.

    I don't *need* relationships like I used to. I was a serial relationship-ist for a long time. Being alone was frightening. I needed the attention and affection I wasn't giving myself and sought it out in others. I needed the stability and solidity of relationships to function. When I became single, I immediately started dating and hanging out with friends w/benefits so I didn't have to face that gaping empty hole inside me. These days I give myself attention and affection and love, and that's changed everything. I'm not indiscriminately seeking people out to gain affection or intimacy. That sounds bad—I did have some level of discrimination, but I generally let emotion lead me, and it led me into a lot of uncomfortable and distressing situations. I wasn't listening to my inner knowing, or to anything rational inside me. I just felt shit and believed it (whether true or not) and then did shit. Emotions can reveal a lot but they're just not truths, and while I did have some good experiences, a lot of them were anything but.

    In my years of healing I've learned that I have ME to rely on. I'm working on that and getting stronger every day. PTSD forced me to have to learn how to adult all over again: how to take care of myself, how to manage day to day shit, how to communicate with people and listen to others. How to be social. How not to be awkward in social situations. It's thrown some serious curveballs at me like brain fog, issues with memory, stuttering, muscle and joint pain/stiffness, all of which flare up if I'm triggered. I get overwhelmed a shit-ton easer when I used to be the multi-tasking queen (not that that's something to be proud of. My skill at multitasking came from an anxious, fearful, overly analytical racing mind) I've had to adapt and cope with this new stuff. Some things I won't get back and I've had to learn to live with it. I'm setting reminders to set reminders. I step away from situations when they start to get me worked up. It's hard, and it's not all good, but I'm doing it. I'm settling into this new life and I'm doing it all myself. I feel PRETTY DAMNED AWESOME about that, too.

    Now don't get me wrong, I do get lonely. Last year was really bad due to the circumstances I was in, but this year has been so much better. I'm not isolated. I have [a] real job[s] with guaranteed income and free time. I get to socialize with people on a daily basis. Loneliness doesn't consume me. It doesn't make me want to curl up into a ball and implode. I can spend time with myself and enjoy it. I enjoy it a lot, in fact! I love myself.

    I LOVE MYSELF. I can say that over and over and over and know that I mean it. I feel it deep in my gut and my heart as a truthful statement. I HAVE worked very hard on my healing, and I'm continuing to work very hard on my healing. I don't shame myself anymore when I recognize my negative behavior. I acknowledge it and where it's hurting me and others, apologize if necessary and possible, and work to change it. I don't rely on anyone else but myself for my own stability or for my sense of self worth. I don't rely on anyone else to save me. Funny enough, I had so much trouble asking for help in the past because I saw it as shameful, and yet things would inevitably reach a boiling point inside me, explode, and I'd end up getting that help. I do try my damnedest to help myself first, but have gotten so much better at recognizing when I *do* need help and then asking for it. Doesn't mean I always get help, but I can ask now.

    So on this "meh" feeling about dating: I'm not having to seek out other people to validate my self-worth and provide me with a sense of stability. I have that now, independent of anyone else. In my head, I'm not constantly putting myself on display for others or wondering if I'm attractive enough. I'm not rating everyone I meet in my head on their attractiveness and suitability as a partner. I'm not constantly evaluating others' interactions with me to determine if they're flirting and/or if they think I'm attractive (ok TBQH I still do this with some women but only because the line between no homo and yes homo isn't always clear to me o_o I am clueless).

    With that in place, my demisexuality has popped out and said OH HEY. There's a lot of beautiful people in the world, but I don't feel sexual attraction to many (most) of them any more. I don't even think about it, really. That happened on its own a couple years ago, and it's so completely opposite of how I used to be that it's been hard to adjust to. I thought I was broken for a long time. I most definitely had (and still have some) trust issues, but I worked on them in therapy for a long time. After a while, I felt inside I was willing to try. I enabled my OK cupid profile and messaged people. I downloaded some other dating apps and made profiles there too. I've had extended conversations with a good handful of folks , and yet have been so noncommittal about it. I'm sure this has probably pissed some people off and/or made them nope the hell on out, but I don't know. I can take it or leave it right now. To some extent I'm still afraid of getting close to other people and being disappointed, but after my conversation with the lovely Amy on Tuesday, I've realized that's not what's driving me.

    I'm just ok being by myself. If someone comes along and the stars align and we hang out and I feel that deep emotional connection and it goes from there, that's great! I don't *need* it. And I don't *want* to need anyone, platonically or otherwise. I don't want anyone to make me happy, make me a better person, always have my back, or save me. I want that from MYSELF, and I have it and it's getting better every day. I have old friendships and new friendships that benefit from this. Perhaps eventually I'll find someone in that same place, fall in love, and our powers combined will enhance all of it in each other and make it Even Better. These days I don't *need* anyone else to be happy and secure and stable anymore. I just need me. And I'm SO OK with that.

    Thanks Amy <3

  • learned helplessness

    have you ever heard or read something and it flipped a switch, turned on the brain lightbulb? 

    it happens to me a lot. a lot of times i have a concept, an idea, a knowing bouncing around in my head, and while it's there and I can concieve of it and fully comprehend it in the abstract/in imagery, that knowing doesn't make an impact on my life, behavior, or choices. It's like a seed of a concept of an idea of a breakthrough, and i'm seeing it in its foetal stage, not yet fully formed. 

    then, somewhere, I'll read something (as is the usual lately) and the light goes on, the legos snap, the magnets click together. Verbal connects with non-verbal, and suddenly the dream imagery of a breakthrough becomes tangible. A thing with substance, an entity, a reality. 

    That happened to me today when I read the words "learned helplessness." Today's click was palpable. I felt a burst of energy tingles, i felt that warm light around my heart, and I knew. 

    So many of my struggles to accomplish have been me butting up against learned helplessness. IT'S THAT FROZEN FEELING. can't move. shut down. closed off. a statue, a mind without body. an observer without a mind. THIS is what i've been struggling against, and now I understand why it was so difficult to overcome. I needed the right strategy.

    And now I have it. I've been a victim of learned helplessness. But I'll be damned if I'm going to shame myself for that or let anyone else shame me for it. No one can solve a problem they don't fully understand, except perhaps by chance. 

    Oh, chance! You elusive beastie. Your visit is welcomed and appreciated.

    It's 4 AM, so the details will have to wait until tomorrow.

  • i want a dyke for president...

    my gay non-binary afab self is crying cos I'm terrified by this election and everyone screaming and no one listening. i have only just begin to understnad. and my heart is breaking for me and for those who have lived their lives facing prejudice and racism and hate every day (longer than I have been alive), who are forced to live with low- or mid- or high-level fear, who are harassed and assaulted and jailed and murdered for their skin color, their religion, their race, their gender, their orientation. my heart is breaking for all of us who in this moment feel hopeless and terrified and distraught and confused. my heart is breaking for everyone who has fought so hard, many longer than I have been alive, for basic human rights and respect and recognition and equality and a living wage and an escape from poverty...right now it all seems to be sliding back and the level of fear out there in the world is palpable. it is a hard night to be an empath. it is a harder noght for many many more, and so much harder for that multitude to face the day tomorrow. Please, let's find each other, all of us, in every moment of the coming days and get through this. together. 

  • shit.

    It's July 4th. There's a flask of Jim Beam at my hip that I'm trying not to feel guilty about. I'm out of Rx muscle relaxers. I'm working to get my ass into physical therapy, but a) finding a decent medicare/medicaid facility is not easy, because b) waitlists. 

    In the fall, I'd been seeing a massage therapist 1 or 2 times a months to help work out the insane muscle tension I have from PTSD, and help deal with the fallout of pain from degenerative disc disease and palletofemoral osteoarthritis. I turned 41 this year. Both of these issues were accellerated by PTSD, which can have painful ramifications for the musculoskeletal system and some physical work I did last summer. 

    I'm 41. I don't look it or "feel" it. My body, on the other hand, feels like it aged 20 years in the last three. It's really bumming me out. 

    I have low back pain and knee pain nearly every day. It hurts a lot. Sometimes I cry from it. Last fall I was taking ridiculous amounts of ibuprofen (1600 mg/day) - my doctor prescribed me Diclofenac. It doesn't touch the pain either. The disc disease can cause nerve pain, which NSAIDS cannot touch. I experienced that this past winter, and I hope I never go through it again. I may have to move somewhere warmer to avoid the hellish pain Chicago's winter brought me.

    My option has been physical therapy, but well, I've talked about that. I'm working on it. Oh, the muscle tension - yes, well, in addition to early hardcore arthritis, PTSD causes severe stiffness and muscle tension because, well, being onguard 24-7 wreaks havoc on your body. I weaned off of Rx antidepressants in January and back onto the supplement routine (under supervision of my psychiatrist).  I was doing well, I'd made huge strides in therapy and with my doc. getting of of Rx antidepressants is hell. Hell. Especially considering my history. After 15 years on meds (with no doctor ever once suggesting I wean off), the risk of Tardive Dysphoria for me is huge. And yes, it is real, and incredibly terrifying

    Many nights it's difficult to sleep. My neck, shoulders, and head are so tight with tension that I chronically feel like my head is "asleep", without circulation. I wake up in pain, I toss and turn. i've been through two 10 day rounds of muscle relaxers, which helped, but the symptoms keep returning. 

    I'm scared. 

    I want to be active. I have a beautiful bike I am afraid to ride for fear of making my symptoms worse. Housecleaning makes my symptoms worse right now. I want to get the cheapie gym membership and do some weight training, but I can't yet. I'm afraid I might not be able to. I'm afraid I'll need back surgery, knee surgery, knee replacements. The pain is bad. I can't get away from it. Sitting makes it hurt. Lying down makes it hurt. Walking makes it hurt. If there was any kind of NASA strings I could pull from dad working there, I'd willingly spend a month or seven on the ISS just to get away from the pain gravity causes. I'm scared. 

    I'm scared, and I hurt, and I'm out of muscle relaxers. 

    I'm sober now. It was a conscious choice I made. In 2013 I was a heavy, heavy, daily drinker. Since the trauma time, I've not been a regular or heavy drinker in any way, but I do know it can get away from me very easily. I was never a fall down, sloppy, "in the gutter" drunk, but I  have problems with alcohol, and self-medicated with it and weed for far too long. Three years ago, before the trauma phase, I would come home from work, drink 4-6 beers and a few shots and smoke a bowl without a thought. I know now how unhealthy that was for me, self-medicating on top of Rx meds, so unhappy and drowning in substance every day.  I chose sobriety because healing necessitated it, because being present necessitated it, because working through hardass shitty feelings necessitated it, because it has been one of the best choices I made for myself, ever. Choice - this was a choice. My therapist and I have discussed my issues with alcohol at length. J and I were both heavy drinkers/smokers. I'm pretty sure he still does. I simply cant. 

    Yet here I am tonight nursing a flask of Jim Beam because of the pain I've been in for the last two weeks. Because it's a muscle relaxant. Already my neck, shoulders, and head feel noticeable relief, but I feel guilty about drinking. Very guilty. It feels wrong. It's already making me more emotional, which I hate, but there's noticeable relief here that I can't ignore. 

    I am conscious. I am conscious of everything I have written before now, which is why I feel so guilty about drinking. And shitty. I have felt SO SHITTY about choosing sobriety, because NO ONE ELSE I KNOW HAS CHOSEN SOBRIETY. For me, that has meant staying away from bars, staying away from parties where I know there will be alcohol or other substance. It's been isolating. I'm extremely isolated. and i'm not sure how to change that. 

  • mo anam cairde

    ...being an anam cara requires of a purposeful presence — it asks that we show up with absolute integrity of intention. That interior intentionality, O’Donohue suggests, is what sets the true anam cara apart from the acquaintance or the casual friend — a distinction all the more important today, in a culture where we throw the word “friend” around all too hastily, designating little more than perfunctory affiliation. But this faculty of showing up must be an active presence rather than a mere abstraction — the person who declares herself a friend but shirks when the other’s soul most needs seeing is not an anam cara. Maria Popova, writing for brainpickings.org

    The phrase "anam cara" became significant to me in 2008. I had "mo anam cara" engraved on the ring which I gave to J at our first handfasting. I added John O'Donohue's Anam Cara: A Book Of Celtic Wisdom to my wish list as well, but never acquired it. It may be time to do so...the phrase and what it means recently popped up again like a lit billboard - rather synchronistically in relation to some encounters I've had in the past few days.

    In [that book which impacted me enormously and which I often mention] The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck speaks about genuine love in a similar fashion:

    Because genuine love involves an extension of oneself, vast amounts of energy are required and, like it or not, the store of our energy is as limited as the hours of our day. We simply cannot love everyone. True, we may have a feeling of love for mankind, and this feeling may also be useful in providing us with enough energy to manifest genuine love for a few specific individuals. But genuine love for a relatively few specific individuals is all that is within our power. To attempt to exceed the limits of our energy is to offer more than we can deliver, and there is a point of no return beyond which an attempt to love all comers becomes fraudulent and harmful to the very ones we desire to assist. Consequently, if we are fortunate enough to be in a position in which many people ask for our attention, we must choose among them whom we are actually to love. This choice is not easy; it may be excruciatingly painful, as the assumption of godlike power so often is. But it must be made. Many factors needs to be considered, primarily the capacity of a prospective recipient of our love to respond to that love with spiritual growth. People differ in this capacity…It is, however, unquestionable that there are many whose spirits are so locked in behind impenetrable armor that even the greatest efforts to nurture the growth of those spirits are doomed to almost certain failure. To attempt to love someone who cannot benefit from your love with spiritual growth is to waste your energy, to cast your seed upon arid ground. Genuine love is precious, and those who are capable of genuine love know that their loving must be focused as productively as possible through self-discipline.

    There was a time when I bent myself backwards trying to do nice things for others and help people as much as I could, to a fault. Most often at my own expense. I tried my hardest to see the good in everyone, but often used this as an excuse to ignore issues, to ignore important-but-uncomfortable discussions. There was a time when I wanted to be liked by everyone, when I did everything I could to avoid conflict because I was afraid of it. I compromised my integrity and ignored my values and intuition in the interest of not creating waves or upsetting others. I held my tongue when people did or said something that hurt me, or brushed it off instead of having a conversation about it: "Ahh no worries! It's nothing!" Worse, I convinced myself this was the right thing to do. This lead to being hurt again and again, and me swallowing my emotions and looking the other way. I allowed a lot of unexpressed hurt, anger, and resentment build up inside me, and it chipped away at my well being and integrity. 

    I still see the good in everyone and I still do my best to help others when it's appropriate and if I'm able, but there's a great importance to carefully selecting where I focus my love and attention. It's not that I don't hold love for many things & people, because I most definitely do. Being thoughtful about where and most importantly with whom I extend myself, my energy, my time, and the fullness of my love is key to my well-being and success. 

    I'm a human being with a lot of value and worth, and if someone I love upsets or hurts me, I owe it to myself (and them) to speak up about it. It's taking some getting used to, this being assertive of my needs, so I take a step back and roll things over in my head and heart before proceeding. As much as it's important to speak up, it's also important to pick my battles carefully.

    I'm a human being, so I screw up a bunch while trying to figure things out. Instead of taking every mistake as a grave error and evidence of my worthlessness, burying my head in the sand, I recognize mistakes for what they are: they key to growth and change. I recognize that I have value and worth, and I owe it to those I love who also have value and worth to acknowledge the hurt I've caused, offer my apology, and work with them to make amends. I've realized that making peace sometimes means walking away and allowing for loss without contempt for what's no longer there. 

    I have limited resources. I choose to preserve them for those who are anam cairde.

  • i'm just a baby, ma'am

    I've come to understand my path to be one of a healer and teacher, but above that I'm a perpetual student, and above everything else I have an obligation to myself first. I've been through hell in a lovely little hand basket with blood red ribbons, and moved on from that to the dark night of my soul, and am still here. I don't ever wish to repeat that, but one thing I've gained from it is an ability and willingness to put myself first, to address and deal with whatever the hell is wrong with me first, and to present myself as 100% me, wherever I'm at. What I refuse to do ever again is put on a happy face, put on a guise of OK or being wise...I may have been through x and y but I'm still a freaking baby and I expect to be so until the day I die. 

    Some might find that annoying or something to avoid, but I don't care, tbqh. If I'm not being me, whether that be the light or the shadow at any given moment, then there's no point. There's so much MORE to learn, always, every day, but as much as maybe sometimes people can learn from me, I refuse to stop learning from everyone else and freaking life itself, and that is priority one. I'm dedicated to presenting my authentic self, whether that be pissed off or happy and joyful or in pain or annoyed or whatever, and whatever it is I know I'll learn from it, from those around me, and through discovery. Beware those whose ego is so immersed in "helping others" that they lose sight of the first step in doing that, helping themselves. Beware those who poop out knowledge and wisdom in easy little nuggets, but who have not challenged themselves enough to be advising others.

    All that said, right now is a time of profound personal change and spiritual growth, and i'm still in recovery. I hurt, I am hurt, I learn, I grow, and you are a huge part of that, people. Learning & growing most importantly, and so thank you for being here.

  • the anger of healing

    Recently, I was approved for disability benefits, retroactive to 2013. I was approved without having to appeal a denial, which is pretty unheard of when it comes to disability. Initially it was a huge relief, but as time has gone on I've found myself mad as hell. Mad as hell at all the people who shoved happy thoughts up my ass as the solution. Mad as hell at the people who couldn't seem to accept that yes, it was THAT BAD. MAD AS HELL at the selfishness of certain Very Important People in my life who convinced themselves I was just putting on an act/being manipulative to get what I wanted.

    Frankly - and I'm about to be frank and honest in an upsetting way here kids - frankly you'd think that two suicide attempts and one at-risk hospitalization would have made that clear, but it didn't. Frankly, you'd think that people who were well aware of this wouldn't accuse me of making someone suicidal because of something I'd posted on Facebook, shortly after an almost-suicide that left me unconscious for two days. You'd think that having a diagnosis of PTSD would be enough to convince those who claimed to love me the most and who I loved the most to try to understand and be supportive. Except it didn't.

    I've been branded all sorts of horrible things. I've been held solely responsible for conflict stemming from not only my but others' issues, even while working very hard to own my mistakes and meet in the middle. Treated without any consideration for my status as a living, breathing human being with feelings, recent severe trauma, and recent history of suicide. I deserved no consideration or compromise, just blame. Such a horrible person, deserving of being ignored when asking for companionship by those I thought were friends, hurt by this but it being brushed off by multiple people as "everyone’s got their own shit to deal with."

    Guess what, I'm legally disabled. GUESS WHAT: my shit was REAL, serious, and deserving of the same consideration, compromise, and compassion I gave you for yours.

    When I'm told specifically that I'm a danger to Someone Else's health and well being, that any contact from me could damage their progress, I have to wonder: Why, then, are you wearing the bracelet I had made for you, the one that says "<3 love you [pet name] <3"? Honestly?? You weren't unable to work. You weren't declared disabled. You spent a few weeks in an IOP and learned...something, I guess. How to blame others for your issues maybe. And then went right back at it. Not that I think you have no issues - believe me, you do, but that YOU painted yours as more debilitating and dangerous than mine, therefore excusing the horrible treatment you showed me? No, just no. 

    There's so much anger in me over this treatment by people who claimed to be friends, who claimed to love me so deeply. Every damned day I have committed myself to working towards forgiveness. Reconciliation isn't possible with most of them, some because they have cut off contact in their own anger, some because I am still grieving and hurting and not there yet myself. Some I have simply let go, because I know that in the grand scheme of things I am better off without certain people and the energies they bring in my life. And blessedly the universe has seen fit to fill those holes with new, fantastic people and even skme new dimensions and directions in old friendships. For that I couldn't be more grateful.

    And yet here I am, still angry and still working towards forgiveness and freedom from those past hurts and bad situations. It's certainly not because I hate these people for what they've done. Just the opposite, in fact: It's because I love them so much that makes thia so hard. Letting go isn't easy. I strive for reconciliation but I also look out for myself: sometimes walking away from takers is best. Sometimes you want to reconcile but those you want to do so with refuse to acknowledge their hand in the hurt. All this destroys trust, and for me right now, in light of everything that's happened, breaches of trust are incredibly painful and difficult to heal. Trust cannot return when you are denied reconciliation, when another's denial prevents any acknowledgement of their own role in a conflict.

    I'm angry, and sad and hurt and lonely and brokenhearted and still not ready for intimacy and relationships and aching physically, while at the same time having made huge strides personally, emotionally & spiritually, having overcome obstacles I thought were impossible to overcome, having changed myself, my emotions, and my behavior in ways that I never thought were possible. And I'm proud of me.

    And if there's one thing I have now that i never thought would be reality, it's the voice in my gut that reminds me everything is going to be OK, that everything will work out. I have faith and belief in that voice, and it has yet to give me reason for doubt.

    Still sad though, still stinging from unloving, uncompassionate, and cruel actions and decisions of others, despite their motivations which in many cases I think have validity. Their actions? No. Not at all. Denied reconciliation, and my heart aches and I still weep, regularly.

    I'll be ok eventually because I am determined to continue working towards forgiveness, and because i *know* I will. Which in no way excuses anyone's hurtful actions, but merely says "I release this conflict. What you did wasn't ok and never will be, but I love you and I don't require anything else from you anymore."

    I'll get there eventually. There's no time limit or deadline, no rush to do anything other than heal and be the best me I can make.