Tag Archives: Support

Beating Bullies and Safety Nets of Love

Well hello peeps…thanks for putting up with my last, somewhat vulgar, post.  Not my typical blog post but much needed.

I have been harbouring an awful lot of anger in my heart and it really, really needed to come out.  Nothing made me realize that more than this past weekend.  Luckily, I was able to and was supported in doing so.  It was fantastic.

I am one of those “fine” people…you know the ones right?  The conversations typically go something like this:

“How are you?” ~ “Fine.”

“How’s life?” ~ “Fine.”

“Are you ok?” ~ “Yep, I’m fine.”

“Do you need help?” ~ “Nope, I’m fine.”

Except this past weekend I decided had to do something differently (we all know the definition of insanity right?) and I answered those questions with “no”. It scared the daylights out of me to do that because I was worried that not being fine somehow made me less.  Somehow people wouldn’t care.  Somehow I wouldn’t be superwoman.  Man, I was so wrong.  I was immediately surrounded in love, support, understanding, friendship, guidance and acceptance.  Not being ok was totally ok.

It was one of the most liberating and freeing feelings I’ve had in a very long time. For once, it was ok to not know what to do or how to do whatever it was that needed to be done.

The person who was making a point of hurting me this past weekend has been hurting me for a very long time and I’ve had enough of it. It’s not that I can’t take it anymore – I don’t want to. I don’t want to and I don’t have to. The toxicity that comes from that individual is black and thick and infectious.  So, I simply put my heart in other people’s hands and asked them to hold it safely while it was hurting so badly.  And they did.

The outpouring of support, understanding and love was, and still is, incredible. It was a moment in my life that I know I will look back on often and draw strength from it. I know that taking that small risk made a very large, impactful difference in my life because I know it’s ok to not always be ok. I know that there is a safety net there to catch me when I fall and I know it’s made of the strongest substance on earth.  Love.

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Come as you are…

“Come as you are, as you were,
As I want you to be
As a friend, as a friend, as an old enemy.
Take your time, hurry up
The choice is yours, don’t be late.”

Ahh…the lyrics that shapped my early teenaged years. Good ole Nirvana. I can distinctly remember 13 year old me talking about how I could relate to the lyrics because I had grown so much over the years (yes, that was written while rolling my eyes). Boy do I wish I could go back and smack 13 year old me up side the head.

Certain things have been happening in my life that have really made me look at who I am and who’ve I’ve become. I spout off about the stories of who I used to be and the things I used to do but I rarely talk about who I am and I’ve come up with a theory on why. Basically, the person I used to be is familiar and I know what to expect when I behave in those ways but this new, more honest version of me is scary as hell.

The person I used to be smoked weed, got drunk, screwed around, lied, was manipulative, usually had an alterior motive but that is who I used to be. I didn’t really give a shit about anyone but myself. If I spoke up about something, it’s because I stood to gain soemthing. If I wanted to get high, get drunk, and/or have sex I’d just call up whoever would be willing and go to ‘er, the consequences never really mattered.

That’s all changed. I like to pin point my own extra marital affair as the piviotal point of change but I think it’s been happening for a long time before that, maybe I just started paying attention after that last encounter. Recently, I was faced with a decision to lie or tell the truth. Lying would have been so much easier, in the short term anyway. I could have preserved one relationship and stalled the strain on another but in the moment when I had the choice, I chose to tell the truth. I’ve asked myself why so many times in the past while because that’s not what I’d normally do. I’m glad I’ve had the wherewithall to question the why because I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my answers.

First, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to realize and celebrate the fact that my values and moral compass have shifted. I no longer identify with being a “cheater” or “cheap” or “easy” or “a homewrecker”. That’s just not who I am anymore. I’ve made peace with that part of me and it feels fantastic. I find myself getting defensive when someone says “once a cheater, always a cheater” because that’s not true, I am no longer a cheater nor will I ever be again.

I also don’t identify with being a liar. I am not completely innocent when it comes to lying and I can’t say I won’t tell a lie in the future but what I can tell you is that it doesn’t feel good when I do it. I feel the weight of guilt, frustration, worry and general distaste. In that moment of being able to chose, and knowing what the consequences of my choice were, I finally chose what was best for me. For my psyche. I may never repair those relationships and that’s a consequence of the situation but at least I know that I was honest and I’m not hiding anything. I’m not keeping secrets or protecting lies. I am free of that and that freedom is delicious.

Finally, I’ve been taking a good long look at why I’m drinking and why I have started smoking pot again *gasp* and really, the question there is why am I chasing that dragon? Why am I feeling the need to live a life that’s not a sober one and again, I think it’s to get away from facing up to what I already know. Things are different now. Pot is not my deal and when I think about hiding it from my kids and being paranoid that I’m going to get “caught”, it is clear to me that my conscience already knows what my brain has been slow in realizing. It’s just not for me. Drinking makes me sick and I do and say stupid things when I’m drunk. It’s also not for me. I have to be ready to let that go. I have to learn to be comfortable and confident in my sober skin and that’s what I’m going to learn to do. I want a healthy life and not one that is foggy and half-remembered.

Finally, I have been examining the relationships I have in my life and I’ve started to question why I’ve prioritized some unhealhty, one-sided relationships over ones that I felt comfortable in. I have distanced myself from so many of my friends over the last few years and I am ashamed of that. I have a lot of fence mending to do and hopefully those fences are strong enough to be mended. I have been chasing people who couldn’t give a damn if I was in their lives or not, bending over backward, trying to be everything to everyone and I have forgotten that to a handful of people I am enough for them without even having to try.

I am so blessed to have found the person that I love completely. I am so blessed to have healthy, interested, good people as children. I am blessed to have fences that need mending. I am blessed that I realized it before it was too late.

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Dreamscapes and Landslides

I have been told that I am a vivid dreamer and I agree.  My dreamscapades are radical, entertaining, realistic and memorable.  It isn’t often that I dream and then don’t remember.  My dreams fascinate me.  They give me something to think about, to analyze, to delve into; however, when I wake, I go about my life in a doldrum fashion. I give very little thought or analysis to the “why’s” in my life.  I hardly glance at the needs, wants and desires of my soul.  The urge to spread my wings, expand my mind, expand my bubble – ultimately expand my life.

Lately I have been trying to rationalize the vast difference in my dream world vs my waking world.  I’ve been thinking why am I enjoying my dreamscapes so much but completely, and utterly, ignoring my wakescape (yea, I made that up).  Why is it that I’m not building a world of wonder while I’m awake?  Why am I holding myself back while I’m awake but letting it rip while I’m asleep.  I mean really, I spend about the same amount of time in each place.

In my dreams, I don’t let people walk on my heart, I don’t justify hurt, I prioritize myself, I literally live “dream big” …so why am I not giving myself that same respect during my waking hours?  No matter how hard I try, I simply can’t put it together.

I look around the world and every now and again I am touched by a soul who is amazing, brilliant, and so full of life and light that it’s palpable.  And I want that…no, I crave that.  And I know it’s there for the taking…I just need to reach out and take it.  I suspect that fulfilment, enrichment, a nourished soul is not so much found in a bucket of kale or a gallon of water but rather it’s learning the talent of making your life “right”.  Those moments that make your heart and/or soul hurt take something from you, they take away a bit of rightness until the moment comes where every waking hour no longer feels “right”. 

I want my life to feel right.  I want to bounce out of bed and greet each day with enthusiasm and joy.  I want the people in my life to support me, love me, value me.  I want to talk with people who talk back, who engage in conversation and have an honest interest in what I have to say.  I want people in my life who can recognize that I’m practicing being vulnerable, that I’m not perfect, that I need tenderness and support.  I want people in my life who see me as more than something to posess.  I’m not just a body to use, I’m not a soul that can be claimed.  I want people in my life that inspire me to share who I am, that care about me just as much as I care about them and that aren’t afraid to show it.  I deserve that.  I want to make my dreams my waking life too.

Skeleton’s in Social Media’s Closet

Social media – incredible, useful, brilliant and scary all at the same time.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkdIn, Digg, Stumble Upon, various blog sites, forums and chat rooms…a million ways to connect with people all over the world.

At times I am awed by the power of social media sites.  I have been able to connect with people I went to school with, thousands of miles away.  I have been able to offer my support and advice from one Coast to another.  I have been able to witness, at least through pictures, births, weddings, deaths, life threatening diseases and I have been able to send a quick note of love, prayer and support to at the touch of a button.

Through blogging, I have been able to work through some very personal issues.  Vent and rant about things that roll around in my mind.  I have been able to share parts of me that I didn’t think I could, say the things that I didn’t think I could say and get out the things that take up WAY too much of my brain space.  Through my writing, my words and this blog, I have touched other people’s lives with my writing and even have “followers” (ps…YAY FOLLOWERS!  Thank you!!!).  Through accessing social media, I have been able to read about the struggles of other mothers trying to get through each and every day, I have been able to read a struggle with mental health, I have been both moved to tears and laughter through the skill of other writers. 

These are awesome things.  Powerful things.  The bright side of social media.

But what about the dark side?

Websites like thedirty.com; facebook stalkers, craigslist killers…the stuff that no one really talks about but we all should be thinking about.  Facebook added a function where you could “check in” to places that you are currently and immediately my back went up.  My first thought was “why do my facebook friends need to EXACTLY where I am?” and my second thought was “if they know where I am, then they can figure out where I’m not”.  I’m sure that every one of the people I have on my facebook site are good people.  I have also locked down my profile so that you would have to be a pretty proficient hacker in order to access my information but a lot of people don’t do that.  There whereabouts are out there for the WORLD to see.  Me, you and Mr. Aklihovinaoa from Africa who would like to send you your $5,000,000,000 inheritance. By telling the world where you are, you are inherently telling them where you are NOT.  Such as…at your house (welcome robbers)…or with your children (hello abductors)…or precisely where you’ll be leaving shortly (hello creep-o’s who stalk people). 

The dirty.com is a ridiculous website that I am so grateful did not exist in my youth.  That would have been serious trouble and my heart goes out to the younger generations who have to deal with excessive access to information.  Who have to deal with bad decisions and moments in your life being posted online, for anyone to see – f.o.r.e.v.e.r.  This also opens the door to a whole new avenue of bullying.  “Cyber-bullying” is a relatively new phrase but one that needs to be talked about.  Often.  With our world becoming more and more mobile, our lives, our children and ourselves are more and more accessible and vulnerable. Every little thing you do, every little place you go, every public (and sometimes not-so-public) decision you ever make has the potential to be captured, posted and commented on.  Think…”Wal-Martians”…people who make poor wardrobe choices and then go into Walmart get their picture taken and get posted to a website for the WHOLE world to look at and laugh at.  I have been one of those people who look and laugh.  To me, I am a cyber-bully.  What business of is it of mine what someone else decides to wear to a store?  Why do I even care?  Do I feel so crappy about my own self that I need to look at someone else and laugh?  Cause I think my momma taught me better than that.

The darkside of social media is that often times the human is taken out of what we’re looking at.  Those girls/ boys on thedirty, the people on Walmartians, and sites such as that are all people.  Perhaps they’re underpriviledged, perhaps they are mentally challenged, perhaps they just like what they’re wearing, whatever the reason…good on ’em.