I Choose Peace, Love, and Healthy Relationships

peace love healthy relationships

I take a lot of shit from people because I choose to make decisions that honor my inner peace. I have let too many people enter my life and suck me dry. I used to be pissed at myself for not seeing their toxicity, but then I began to understand energy exchange and now I understand that it was my energetic boundaries that needed to be healed because I was attracting co-dependent relationships.

There are people who carry around a lot of negative energy and they don’t know what to do with it. I know I’m dealing with one when I see their name on my phone and I get that sinking feeling in my gut, my chest tightens when I hear their name, if they email, I avoid it, if they comment on a post, I don’t want to read it, if I have to be in the same room with them I am full of dread and anxiety.

These kinds of people need to heal as well, I’ve come to see that. I’ve also come to know that I cannot be in relationship with them. They are on a different part of the journey. They seek out my energy because I have so freely given it in the past–I didn’t know I was giving it. I have just begun to understand that my life pattern was one of absorbing other people’s negativity.

It goes something like this: I am having a super good day. I’m happy, I’m doing something I love to do. I get a call, text, email from the negative person. They come with what seem to be good intentions, so I engage even though the sinking feeling has come, my chest has tightened, and I’m doubting their motives. By way of conversation and being in the same energetic space as me, they begin to dump all of their negativity onto me. As the enabler, I give. I absorb. I take it and absorb it all. They leave feeling refreshed, good, lighter. I walk away feeling heavier, depressed, and ill.

I absorbed so much of everyone else’s stuff that I became ill enough that my systems started to shut down. My adrenal system was in failure. I was *this* close to irreparable kidney damage. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t think.

I started learning how to heal myself. Part of that healing includes removing relationships like I described. I first try to set boundaries with the person. If that doesn’t work, I cut them out of my life. If they cannot respect initial boundaries, I am not well enough to put forth the energy it takes to maintain healthy boundaries. I am as toxic for them as they are for me.

People feel slighted, hurt, and very angry that I make healthy decisions about my life. I can’t control how they feel. I can control how I feel. I choose to no longer absorb their emotions.

I choose peace, love, and healthy relationships.

If anyone I have removed myself from wishes to continue in relationship with me, they need only choose the same. Until then, I hold them in love from afar because sometimes that’s all they will allow.

Hoarding

Not like the TV shows. But kind of.

Little mementos of the lives lived: birthday cards with their signatures, a Starbucks sleeve with a note on it, a broken He Stopped Loving Her Today 45lp, a frog figurine on a shelf, obituaries cut out of the newspaper, those little cards from the funeral home, ashes in container, a shirt that still smells like my mom.

I finally burned my journals with all of their negativity. So that’s a start.

A Time to Heal

First birthday cards, bands from his hospital birth, love letters from my husband, notes of encouragement from friends, rocks from various trips, old 35mm film that needs to be developed, camcorder tapes that surely contain the voices of the now-dead.

How do you purge these things? And why do I hoard them?

I’m closer than ever to getting rid of this stuff, but as I go through the stuff, I just don’t know how to throw it away.

Dental Phobia and Sexual Abuse

I was stunned. Going into this healing after sexual abuse journey, I had no idea how much of my life was touched by this. Like a candlestick, the wax drips down and covers everything until what’s left is a big pile of wax and no flame to light the way.

It’s one of those things I would’ve never connected. I don’t really even know how I connected it.

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I was reading Not Marked  and the author was explaining  how sexually abused people sometimes try to put off anything to do with the healing process. She was saying if she had a bad tooth, it wouldn’t just get better by ignoring the pain. You need to go to the dentist and get it taken care of.

In that moment, I had this wave of emotions mashed with memories wrapped in shame and covered in fear. There was not a specific recollection of an incident, more like a culmination of all of them layered like a Greek baklava.

I put the book down, went to Google and typed in “dental phobia sexual abuse.”

I didn’t need to read any more than this:

How could a visit to the dentist trigger memories or feelings of past abuse?

Many aspects of dental treatment have been found to symbolically represent sexual abuse for many survivors. The following conditions may trigger a repetition of earlier trauma:

  • being alone with a person more powerful than oneself,
  • being placed in a horizontal position,
  • having someone nearby and touching you,
  • having objects placed in one’s mouth,
  • being unable to talk or swallow, and
  • experiencing or anticipating pain.

Many dental experiences may remind the patient of their abuse experience in that they produce awkward sensations of suffocation, such as in the use of rubber dams, or gagging sensations, or feeling restrained in their movement.

 

It makes perfect sense, but I was completely unaware.

What to do with the knowledge, though? I don’t know. Process it. Try to pour the wax around a new wick? Find a dentist who doesn’t scare the shit out of me and give me panic attacks like the one I am currently (not) seeing out of fear?

The uncovering of all of this fear is…scary.

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.

Depression

I have been thinking about this topic for about a month now and I’ve been putting it off. Last night before I went to bed, I was reading some articles online about depression in creative people. Here’s one article I read. I read Lisa Sampson’s interview today at Infuze where she answers a few questions about her depression.

Statistics are really overwhelming. I wonder if anyone even reads them, or pays attention to them? I’m not just talking about depression in creative people I’m talking overall. But I’ll probably focus on creative people since I’m one of them.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) says that the cards are stacked against us literary artists. Recent studies show that we’re four times as likely to have mood disorders. That’s the nice way to say it. I refer to myself in other terms but I don’t want to tick you off, so I’ll play nice today.

Only three other conditions rank higher on the scale of deaths in America for people 18-65. If a “real” disease was causing it, wouldn’t everyone be dumping a bunch of money into it and raising awareness? Probably. But I guess we’re too depressed to get out of our jammies and do anything.

This next thing I read makes me want to throw up. Really. It hurts me in places I won’t go into here. Someone takes their own life every 18 minutes in America. Wow. Then there’s the fact that every minute someone tries. Did you hear me? Every single minute someone in the United States is attempting to kill themselves. Every freaking minute.

Oh, and then this: More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease (7 million), cancer (6 million) and AIDS (200,000) combined. Have you seen all those little pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness? The walks? The AIDS awareness stuff. The heart healthy foods. Reading this, I’m thinking or rather trying to think logically, if more people suffer from depression than those three diseases COMBINED why isn’t someone doing something??? Yep. We’re all stuck in our jammies again, aren’t we?

I’m just one person. I can’t change the world. Ha! I can’t even get out of my jammies. Am I depressed? Probably. Have I been seen for it? In 1991. Once. I’ve lived in denial since then because I didn’t want to admit that I could be like those in my family with depression. My uncle just hung himself in February and I still can’t talk a whole lot about it, but it has been opening my eyes.

One of my characters is an old southern man and he says this to a younger man, “Something’s gotta die for others to live.”

That line has been haunting me since I wrote it on many, many layers. I know I have to do something about it, I just don’t know what. The title for a book keeps swimming in the depths but I keep trying to shove it down; drown it. “I am Suicide.”
I hate it. It won’t die.

Yeah I laughed at that one too. Ironic, eh?