I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into my writing these last few weeks. Most of the words are not public… I reached some new territory for my processing and needed to give myself some personal space. I have found that writing makes me vulnerable and I maintain balance by sharing, observing, sharing, observing, sharing…
It’s easier to understand the lessons by taking a step back.
February in numbers: (I LOVE Grammarly)
One of the things I’m still struggling with is the guilt of letting go of biological family members. I’ve gone back and forth with compassion (to understand that they are not well). Filling up my cup of love (to increase both patience and tolerance). Trying to help ease the pain of their suffering (so they will stop harming themselves and others). Reinforce kinks in my armor (so the abuse doesn’t affect me). You name it, I’ve tried to wrap my heart around it. I would say head but dealing with a matter of the heart is not logical. There is no reason or understanding when it comes to emotions. It’s just love. Pure love. Love that doesn’t judge, control, or belittle. This month’s struggle is to let go of people that define love as harming me.
The fact of the matter is I love everyone. This specific case is loving someone that hurts me. I need to redefine in my head, letting go of someone does not mean that I love them less. It just means that I’m no longer able to accept abusive behaviour. It’s admitting to myself I’m not perfect and I have boundaries. Boundaries are necessary for my well being. I cannot be value added to the world if I allow abusive people into my personal space.
So what happens when the person hurting me claims I am the reason for his anger. If I remove myself then problem solved right? No. Removing myself is fine for a short-term solution. But then when others ask “How is your family?” The words I hear are “How is your abuser?” When other’s say that I’m intolerant, I get defensive and ask if my life needs to be ruined for others to see the truth. The abuser will tell me I’m the reason for all problems and then behind my back try to get information about me. Each time information is shared with him, I’m at risk. (There is a VALID reason why people go into hiding. Abusers escalate behaviour. It’s not right but it happens). Just because someone is related to me, does not mean I’m obligated to allow them into my life. Family means the world to me and the one thing my mother’s elder brother was right about is I define family by LOVE, LOYALTY & RESPECT. Nowhere in there do I mention DNA. So people cheering for my success and helping soften my failures are family. My family.
Healing is not linear. Sometimes the battle is muted. I feel like I’m miles away from the front line. Then other days, I feel like I’m standing in the line of fire. Nothing in the physical world has changed so maybe that does, in fact, make me crazy. Or does it just mean my love is so strong I actually still have faith others will wake up and make efforts to be less harmful?
I’m not sure.
My goal is to process this pain so I no longer have emotional responses to certain things, mostly scenes where dad’s are stoic and protecting their daughters. Or Father’s Day. Or weddings. Yes, I get very sad at the thought of even getting married. Who is going to walk
me down the aisle? If it’s dad, then what will he do to turn my day into his? If it’s not dad, then what will be the pushback for being ‘disrespectful to my own father?’ Do I prepare drugs to make sure his temper is in check? Do I allow him to bring his girlfriend (aka the homewrecker)? Do I have a local ceremony so I cannot be blamed for being a financial inconvenience? I’m super talented in Crisis Management… this experience is one of the reasons WHY I’m successful at completing events for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. (Thanks dad for providing this training ground). I digress. I hated the space that my mind went when confronted with anything to do with fathers. Not a pleasant space to be in and every.single.thought is based off something that actually happened. I was an inconvenience to be picked up at the airport after a 16-hour flight. I’m detached from reality for expecting people to have direct conversations rather than talk behind backs. I’m living in the past because I believe that apologies are only sincere if behaviour is also modified. Accountability is non-existent when dealing with a web of narcissists (My expectations are too high). I’m the scapegoat. I have been conditioned to accept terrible behaviour and keep my mouth shut about it. My head knows it’s wrong but my heart says ‘it doesn’t matter, just let them have their way’. Gamification of this process made it manageable…
So I eventually got tired of the games. I was no longer going to hide my pain. I had to do the hard thing. Process abuse. Process pain. Learn how to set boundaries with people I share DNA. Be strong to ignore manipulations from people claiming to love me. Allow lower spectrum narcissists into my world as combat partners. Maintain such a strong sense of self whilst being in ground zero. I know who I am when I’m galavanting around the world. I know who I am when I’m allowed to be me. I fall apart when I’m in physical proximity to people I share DNA. My threshold for abusive people… mentally and emotionally abusive people is THREE. I can maintain sanity if it’s 1 or 2 but once I hit #3, I start to unravel. I question myself. I start to believe the words of the masses rather than the voice from within…
A dear friend commented that anyone can be peaceful if they are off-grid and hugging trees. It’s a true test of character to maintain equanimity IN the chaos. Professionally, I have proven the ability to swim in a sea of toxic but biological family is a different beast. I drown in this sea. The storm has been too great and so I needed to develop new skills… for survival. When I can be in the storm and not have it affect me, I can literally do anything.
I’ve struggled to check my progress. I opt to share a movie clip from “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” This was a nice reminder of love. The love between parents and child. The love between man and woman. The love of self. So many demonstrations of love. A few months ago, I’d be in tears during scenes where dads are stoic in protecting their daughters. I would have a hole in my heart asking myself why my dad couldn’t protect me. Control and protect are two very different things. The father in Armageddon (Bruce Willis). The father in this movie clip. They both brought me to tears. Now, they just give me hope. I might have lost my biological father but in his absence, I’ve gained a heck of a lot more. I have some phenomenal father-figures in my life that make me feel like my existence matters. They know who they are and how much I love them. We reconnected at the perfect time, I softened my rough bits and accepted what real love is. Family love.
The Universe affirmed the lesson by connecting me with these kind souls.
I am forever grateful.