An Amazing Life

My past happened exactly how it should have happened. The child abuse I experienced growing up should have happened.  I had the exact childhood I needed to have.

Why?  For the simple reason: it happened that way.  Any other sentence about it is futile and is cruel to myself and to children who are, in this moment, living it.  And I’m done being cruel to myself.

My past lived on because of me.  This blog is living proof of keeping my past alive.  My present was my past with each blog post and the 60 some drafts that will never be posted.  I am the only one that could keep it alive.

I’m not cruel to myself about this either.  It was exactly what was needed to get where I am today.  I needed to be in the ring, figuring it out, trying to make sense of all of it.  It was a beautiful experience.  I met wonderful people who let me know that they understood.  It was such a necessary process in healing.  I know this for the simple reason: it happened that way.

It didn’t happen this way.  It was not four years of wasted time when I should have been doing something else.  I could, of course, tell myself that story.  That I spent time writing and writing about things that I could never change.  But it wasn’t.  It was a beautiful experience to see how humans could connect without meeting each other.  It was a beautiful experience that helped me become the person I am today and will become in the future.

Your past, however you choose to look at, is yours.  It is 100% yours.  That’s an amazing thing, isn’t it?  I can’t steal it from you, I can’t even tell you are wrong about it.  No one can tell me my wonderful experience was not wonderful.  No one.  Including me.  And I don’t.

It was not easy.  Nor will it be.  It is supposed to be this hard.  I was tired and I will continue to feel this way.  I’m tired in a completely different way now.  I’ve learned how to work through my old tiredness and recognise how often “feeling tired” was my excuse, my indulgence.  Even an entitlement.  I am getting better at it being this hard and not going down the familiar path of indulging in it.  Easiness does not await.  Instead, a better version of myself does.  Not a whole, complete me.  For I have already been given that gift of wholeness and worthiness, only a better version of the person I was yesterday awaits.  And that hardness of achieving that each day is different.  And that’s a different poison.

I chose the poison of life being hard because of my past for so long.  Today and tomorrow, I choose a different poison.  I share with you a quote from Professor Jordan Peterson from a debate:

“You’re going to pay a price for every bloody thing you do and everything you don’t do.  You don’t get to choose to not pay a price.  You get to choose which poison you take, that’s it.” ~Jordan Peterson @ Manning Centre Conference

I say Farewell, thank you for listening, and I am speaking my truth offline and showing up as myself each day.  I am amazing.  You are amazing.  Everyone is amazing and capable of having the most amazing life.  Here’s to an amazing life!

Hugs, TR

One Way of Healthy

After dealing with Mari’s e-mails in the last post, I had some time to reflect and I faced doubts about how I had handled it.  Not to say that I am berating myself because it was the one of the first times I tried to assert myself.  Maybe I should have gotten her number and called her (instead of trying to clarify what happened via e-mail) went through my mind.

When Mari brought up subtly my choices in food and took it further by insulting things I like to do (writing, drawing, exercising, etc.) and the food dish I brought, I had wondered if I had provoked these attacks.  Did I build understanding through conflict with my approach or help create a potential battlefield?

I focused on the positive shift: the fact that I wasn’t going into the evening angry because I was going to eat something I didn’t want to eat.  In the past I have giving in to my boundaries in order to be ‘seen’ as less difficult and I have reacted passive aggressively toward others not realizing that I was angry with my decision.

Even with the subtle comments and insults, I didn’t react to them.  Instead, the evening was easy-going and I took her comments in stride and enjoyed the evening.  This was a small factor into why the evening went well, the other factor that helped was the other couple’s behaviors.  They behaved in ways that were healthy and addressed Mari and her husband’s inappropriate behaviors very well.  Besides the lesson I learned from asserting myself, I also learned from interacting with them.  Here is a list of behaviors I noticed, none are new, only it was refreshing to see them in action.

1. They Listen (I mean really listen)

This seems like a no brainer.  The OC (other couple) let others speak and waited their turn.

2. They Empathize

The OC have an adult daughter who is taking university entrance exams.  She failed the first round and is re-taking them shortly.  When telling their daughter’s story the mother clearly empathized with her daughter’s angst when it comes to taking standardized tests and seemed to be in tune with what her daughter felt yet, let her daughter navigate her path.  She wasn’t preaching or speaking about solutions for her daughter.  She was neither critical or unconcerned when telling her daughter’s story.  She was empathetic.

3.  They openly share their opinions and feelings and accept others’

Conversation flowed from topic to topic and on many subjects we differed in opinion.  The OC readily accepted others’ views and voiced their own.  This helped create an atmosphere of sharing.

4.  They speak for themselves

What is interesting is that the husband and wife of the OC spoke for themselves.  It was the manner in which they presented their feelings and opinions that spoke to their individulaity in the relationship.  Of course, they spoke of their common interests as well, yet at the same time I got even a better idea of who each of them were by how they told their own story.  I was able to better discern the differences in the their personalities by how they spoke.  It was clear that they were not enmeshed but still connected!

5.  They speak up for those that don’t have a voice or who haven’t found it yet

There were several times during the evening that Mari made subtle insults about my exercise routine, my enjoyment of writing, etc.  Such comments, I wondered, could have been provoked by my initial assertions and boundaries (as an attack).  I missed some insults however, the OC didn’t.  They addressed them as they came up, sometimes I didn’t realize I was being insulted until the OC said something to show their support.

At one point, Mari makes a forceful comment to her toddler daughter about her food and the OC also addressed Mari’s comment in a way that illustrated that they had the child’s back (welfare).

6.  They fight the ILLOGICAL, not the ASSERTION

Mari talks about how the women in a certain European country (she travels there for work) always are dressed nicely and well manicured and that she felt like a total slob when she works out of that office.  Everyone waits to let her finish her story.  She then adds that she can’t understand how they do it.  She states that she works ungodly hours and that these women leave at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.  The OC says “It looks like you found your answer to your question.”

At another point, Mari states that they can’t travel because of the toddler daughter (and tilts her head towards her).  The OC address the illogical reasoning in blaming the child.

7. They know their limits

The OC set limits.  Mari had said in the beginning of the evening, “Men are cooking, women are drinking” and the OC didn’t follow this suggestion.  They also set limits on when the conversation wasn’t inclusive or involved insulting what another person said or did.