Fuckin’ Perfect

Brave.

I’ve been hearing that a lot lately in regards to both my professional life and my private, personal life.

Yet I sit here and my eyes overfill and pain spills down my face. I listen to this and I tell myself I am not what they say I am.

Pink “Fuckin Perfect”on Vimeo.

I can ignore it for a long time. I can give second chances. I can forgive, I have forgiven, I will forgive again. again. again.

But what I will not do is submit myself to the abuse that others dish out with no regard.

I don’t know how it happened. How it all came to blows on the same day, the same moment.

I was making a professional resignation from an organization I’ve been a member of for nearly a decade.  Y’know what. Wait. Let’s be clear here. The people  in that organization have become family to me. We’ve fought, argued, debated, grown, and always–always we’ve loved.  It is not those people I walked away from, those people joined arms in support and walked away as well. It’s really two of the officers of the now disbanded Indiana Horror Writers that I took a stand against. A couple of the officers made some poor choices with sexist language and after trying to deal with it as a group, without resolution, six of us gave our resignations and ended our affiliation with the Indiana Horror Writers. One of us has control over the digital assets of the organization and we’ll see what happens next.  The two men we had problems with are forming another group, people are taking sides. More than that though, I’m accused of being unprofessional, a liar, unreasonable. My posts were deleted, I was removed from the organization’s forums, blocked from one of the officer’s Facebook friends list, was told I couldn’t resign because I wasn’t an officer, talked about in a private forum I was removed from, but all the while told that the doors are open and it’s a safe and comfortable place to discuss the issues. I was told it’s my fault. The message is clear: Shut up.

Safe does not equal degrading me, attempting to shut me up, or trying to control me.

At the very moment I hit submit, and I’m really not kidding, the very moment, I received a phone call from my dad, who proceeded to tear me to shreds verbally. I was called names, accused of stealing money, threatened, and made to feel guilty because it’s my fault. I was hung up on more times than I care to count. And then, one time, the phone didn’t disconnect and I heard what dad was saying to my sister about me. I heard the names they were calling me. The message is clear: Shut up.

If I listen to these people I’m a liar, a thief, a bitchy broad, a hard head, I’m unprofessional, disrespectful, lazy, jobless, and nothing is enough. I’m not enough, I didn’t do enough, I don’t do enough, I’ll never be enough. Never.

{like when I was a child, I was a slut, a bitch, a whore, a liar, a thief, worthless, told that I should have never been born, told that I was brought into the world and can be taken out of it. I used to pretend I was adopted because that made more sense to me.}

I listen this the song again. again. again. Fuckin’ Perfect…

to drown them out.

because they think they’re the victims.
they cry about injustice and how they’re being wronged by me.

Months ago, they were all told how to fix the issues that came to a head on Monday. Resolutions were spoken. Ignored. Because they won’t own up to their parts, I am the punching bag.

{brave i am not}

After the dual meltdowns Monday morning, so much adrenaline ran through me I thought I’d puke. I was shaking so much for so long and I couldn’t make it stop. I cried more that day than I cried when my uncle hung himself and when my mom died.

I stood up and said, Fuck this. This is why my body is in adrenal failure. Because people who say they love me haven’t the first fucking clue of what it means. I will not submit myself to this for one more second. And if you hate me, it will eat you alive, not me.

You don’t like my attitude, my words, my language, my song? Leave. Yes. These are my true colors they have always been my true colors and one thing I have never, ever done is hid this side of me. So you go ahead and blame me so you don’t have to look in the mirror. So you don’t have to change. So you don’t have to own up to what you did. You go ahead and post about me and talk about me and call me names. Tell stories so people take your side.

I do not care if another soul on this earth believes me or thinks I’m a horrible. Turn the whole world against me if you must. I am ok with that. I thought I couldn’t live with these decisions, but I found out I can.

This is not brave. This is survival. This is the last straw in a long line of straws that I have allowed to decimate my physical, mental, and emotional health. If you think this is about just one little incident, think again. It’s about a lifetime of people treating me like shit and I’m not doing it any longer. So if that means leaving organizations I love and walking away from people I love, so be it. Go tell someone else what I horrible bitch I am. I’m not going to shower myself in insults and bathe in lies. I’m not going to eat your hurtful words nor drink your warped version of love.

Danger

I am taken advantage of often and most times, I don’t see it coming.

I’m not gullible, quite the opposite actually. I’m pretty keen to behavioral problems and patterns–correction–certain problems and patterns. There are some that slide right by me. Probably because the neuro-pathways in my brain have been trampled down with these particular issues, so much so that they’re “normal” to me.

danger

That makes me judgmental.

A bitch.

I fully admit it.

I feel the overwhelming need to protect my family and myself from certain types of people.

But I fail.

and often.

I fail and I let these people in and I think I let them in because my brain craves challenge and figuring out their motives (I think) is why I dismiss or ignore or don’t recognize their harmful, toxic patterns. I think sometimes my brain often fails to alert me to certain things so that it gets to figure out the puzzle.

Yes. I do talk as if my brain and I are two autonomous beings.  And this is where I totally understand the apostle Paul says

Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

See. Paul gets it.

So while I know and I mean I KNOW that certain types of people are toxic, sometimes, I miss the signs.

And *most* of the time I blame it on this idea that if I’m Christian I must accept any and all people into my life lovingly and willingly. And truly, that’s just bullshit of the highest order.

I have to convince myself (like now) that it is OK to keep unsafe, emotionally unhealthy people out of my life. It is acceptable.

(and then I feel guilty because how many times do you forgive your brother. 70 times 70 and all the other rhetoric dished to me like manna, like it would sustain me when it really just destroys me emotionally and takes me away from my family and distracts me from God)

It is like Jesus in the desert being tempted by Satan with Scripture.

There are people in this world that ONLY Jesus can deal with and I’m not called to fix them or figure them out or allow them to trample over my precious time.

So why do I keep allowing it?

I have no freaking clue.

But it’s a pattern in my life. Some emotionally needy or spiritually needy or physically needy person enters my life, I feel empathy and sympathy for them, they weasel their way into my inner circle, and then (like leaven, yeast) they expand and blow up and how do you take yeast out of already risen bread?

You don’t.

You don’t let it in (in the first place) You keep it out.

How?

I have no freaking clue. But I’m working on it. But I’m buying a book called “The Sociopath Next Door.” Because I think I’ve had a few in my life and truly, I want them out (and they are out, but only after exhausting, time-consuming drama) so I’d like to not let them in…

starting now.

 

life: unmasked

walk with Him

Healing (still)

Last October, after I attended The Relevant Conference, I started a series of posts here dealing with emotional healing and pruning spurred by God’s messages in my life.

The whole series, in order, is here.

 

“Going back in order to go forward is something we must do in the context of community…”

This is the community I choose.

I have no clue how it will end.

It didn’t really end. I just stopped writing. I didn’t intend to. But Spiritual Battles started on every front.

Here–the warning for what was to come. Then my Mac crashed. I started Visual Prayer workshops, I was invited to write for a new blog, my art started selling, I was asked to write for a blog I’d long admired, our PC crashed–so we had no working computer in the house, betrayal occurred, Phil was fired, we had to move, pack, unpack, settle in, Phil had to find a new job…

and since Phil’s termination and our move God has only given me two words: Protection and Provision.  Which are good words, full of meaning. But (there’s always a but) I was confused. Confused about God’s leading, I think I misunderstood. I thought He meant something maybe He didn’t really mean. or something. But I didn’t know what and He was silent. And I was anxious. I prayed. We tried a new church (it was awful) I prayed more, I did Visual Prayer, but nothing.  I felt God was still being silent.

Things from the past started surfacing. Emotional things, but not about family this time, about friends (or so-called friends) the ones who have deeply wounded me, scarring my soul as much as my family did.  Family doesn’t happen by choice, friendships pretty much do…so the pain caused by the betrayal  of people who choose to be in your presence makes one feel used, worthless,

it sucks.

And everything all those people did to me played over and over in my head. I talked a little about it, but mostly just kept it in and prayed.

prayed for an attitude adjustment

I didn’t understand, though, why all the hurt was resurfacing. My first thought was I was under spiritual attack again.

It was a comment in a text that made me stop.  “Maybe  attack, but also maybe God bringing wounds to the surface for healing?”

and then I remembered the series I’d started last October.  Then my Twitter feed lit up with chatter about The Relevant Conference this month, the one I’m not going to, but desperately want to attend.  Last year I didn’t want to go and I had complete sponsorship. This year I feel such an overwhelming urge to go and have nothing and no means to make the ends meet.

I’ve spent the morning reading every single post I’ve linked to today and my heart is heavy because I understand God is still working on me, still pruning (and it hurts) and still healing (and it hurts)

I honestly forgot I wrote all these things. I’ve read my words today and cant’ believe I wrote them.

And, as I said above, I don’t know how this will end…

Growing Up Dysfunctional Part 2

Growing Up Dysfunctional Part 1

* * *

The thing about me growing up dysfunctional is that I didn’t know it was warped. I was happy to throw away grandma’s vodka bottles that she hid between her mattress and her box spring. She paid me $20 every Saturday to dust & vacuum the living room, clean the bathroom, mop the kitchen floor, and throw away vodka bottles.  I was even happier when Uncle Ed (still living with grandma) paid me an additional $20 to clean his room in the basement. Clean everything, but don’t touch that stuff that looks like dried parsley, ok? Ok.  $40 bucks a week for a young kid in the early 80’s was a lot of money!

In fifth grade–so I was what? 10?  During the 1982-1983 school year I broke my collarbone. I’ve always laughed about it but now I’m not so sure it’s funny.

Our city had 4 elementary schools and once a year, we’d all participate in the North American Games, fun races and such…healthy competition between schools. We were practicing my event, a relay race. I was to run across the gym to my team member, pass the baton. That person would run back to the other side of the gym, pass the baton to another person who would then run the baton to me, and so on.  I was running with my baton as fast as I could.  And I blacked out.  Classmates tell me that instead of passing the baton, I hunched myshoulders like a football player and ran my dominant arm’s shoulder into the concrete wall at full speed.

I don’t remember the impact.

I remember being on the floor of the gym, looking out the windows that were just inches above the concrete wall. I used my dominant hand to lift myself up and felt horrible pain and started crying.

Here’s a photo of where this happened.  The concrete wall goes up just a bit, the risers are coving the wall. Then windows almost up to the ceiling.

Why would I black out while running?

Why would I throw myself at a wall, almost through a window?

Also during that same year, I remember an assignment we had:  to write a dictionary on a subject of our choice.  I picked “Car Parts” and laid on the living room floor asking my dad things like, “What is an alternator and what does it do?”

I hated girly things. I hated dresses. I wanted short hair and I wanted to play with the boys and I wanted to BE a boy.

My teacher told me I should be writing about subjects little girls are interested in. I told her I wasn’t interested in the things other girls were interested in.

I was also the best speller in my fifth grade class. I could spell Mrs. Kaczmarek and rendezvous without having studied and I was the only one that got them right. I got good grades, straight A’s. I was in the Gifted and Talented program. I wanted to be a truck driver.

My teacher was right. I was different, to say the least.

But was I different because I was different? Or were things happening to me me that made me rebel?  What would the “experts” say now?

I only remember what my great-grandfather did to me (sexually) and I won’t go into that kind of detail here.  But I don’t know when it started or when it ended.  I only remember a few situations. I know I spent a good deal of time with him. I remember his house had 2 floors and the upstairs was like an apartment, but it wasn’t. It had everything, a kitchen, living room complete with davenports covered in plastic, bedrooms, a bathroom. But my great-grandpa lived in the basement, which also had a kitchen, living room and basement.  He made me rye toast when I stayed the night with him.  He lived in Hebron.  Then he moved in with his daughter (my grandma) and he lived across the alley from us. He drank more vodka than grandma. She stole his vodka and replaced it with water. He knew because he kept the gallon of vodka in the freezer and vodka doesn’t freeze, but water does. He came to my mom concerned with grandma’s drinking. All the while, I was throwing away her booze bottles and he was sexually violating me.

And I didn’t have a clue any of it was wrong.

* * *

(football photo credit)

* * *

Growing Up Dysfuctional

I’ve been thinking. And yes, you probably should be scared.

Scott is starting a series today about his things that have happened to him. Today’s post was about when he left home. At 13.  I’d commented to him that I should follow his lead and tell some stories in February. He followed Karla’s lead, telling how she was betrayed by Alli Worthington, the founder of the blogging conference, Blissdom.

And if you remember, I started to tell my story awhile ago.  Remember these from October?

In the first (long) series:

Sometimes Things Don’t Turn Out As I Planned
Shepherds Aren’t Always Nice
How Things Come Together When God Tries To Get My Attention Part 1
How Things Come Together When God Tries To Get My Attention Part 2
How Things Come Together When God Tries To Get My Attention Part 3
How Things Come Together When God Tries To Get My Attention Part 4
How Things Come Together When God Tries To Get My Attention Part 5
How Things Come Together When God Tries To Get My Attention Part 6

Then there was this one in January, about my Toxic Family.

IMG_3900

None of this is for pity or popularity (can you imagine? Hey! My dad beat me and my great grandfather sexually abused me while my grandmother drank herself to a big bloody mess on her basement stairs and my uncle killed himself–make me popular! Ugh.)  No. That’s not what it’s about.

Sometimes, there aren’t easy answers.  I tried therapy and the shrink wanted to drug me. I don’t need drugs. I need some resolution. I need to say these things because from what I can tell, most of my family acts like this stuff doesn’t exist, like it never happened. And I’m kinda sick of pretending. I’ve never been good at it.

One of the hardest parts is deciding where to start. With my mom’s father? The tabu subject. The man who had an affair with his sister-in-law. Not just an affair, but fathered two children and committed bigamy (married his sister-in-law while still being married to his wife, my grandma.)  Or with my mom’s mom who threatened on a regular basis to stick her head in the oven and said daily, “I just wish I was dead.”

Or maybe with my dad’s mom who, upon his return from Vietnam, spit on him on the doorstep of their family home?

Or maybe with my dad’s PTSD from Vietnam combined with being bipolar (or did the PTSD cause him to become bipolar?) Maybe when he started calling me a slut? Or maybe when he held the crossbow to me and threatened, “I brought you into this world, I can take you out!”

The pieces of the story that would make things complete are missing from most of these stories. In the last 5 years, a lot of people have died in my life.  So I have memories. Some of which may be spot on, some of which may be skewed by a scared little girl’s emotions or warped by an angry teenaged-girl’s fight or flight instinct.

If you are part of my family and are reading this…it is what it is. It’s what I remember.

The residue of which I have carried to this place.

I’m putting it down starting this second.