Archives for posts with tag: you’re not the boss of me

Yesterday was hard. Just watching the world watching the Kavanaugh confirmation stuff going on was sufficiently painful to make for a difficult day. He’ll probably be confirmed. It’s a damning indictment against all of us, and this world we’ve built. Seriously. (I’m quite serious.)

…Which leads my morning musings elsewhere, because there’s more meat on this bone than one man’s plum lifetime government appointed gig; it’s about all of us. It’s about the way we listen. It’s about the way we treat others in their moments of pain, grief, and stress. It’s about how readily and easily we dismiss the concerns of others, most especially if we don’t experience life the same way, or suffer with the same disadvantages. It’s about privilege, and the dichotomy of having it versus not having it, and how confusing the chrysanthemum flower Venn diagram of privilege actually is, with its overlaps, and intersections. It’s about how little we care about the pain of strangers, and how quickly we minimize the pain of loved ones because (although we likely mean well) it is uncomfortable to share it.

Be considerate. Listen deeply. Understand that the experiences of others may not be your own – and that this does not invalidate those experiences! It’s less about trusting their narratives, and much less about their veracity and your willingness to believe, and so much about “basic human decency” and being considerate, just generally. I’m saying we could all do better on this one, and that we all do well to make the attempt.

I’m pretty fucking done with angry men shouting me down. I’m pretty fucking done with angry men deciding what my truth is. I’m pretty fucking done with being dismissed, diminished, shouted down, talked over, or patronized. I’m done with a whole fuck ton of bullshit. I’m pretty fucking angry, myself. So… what am I going to do about any of it? Well… I’ll for sure be voting. That’s one thing I can do. Speaking truth to power is another. Refusing to soften my tone, or yield my position, these are also things I can do. Already am. All those things. Still… I could do those things more skillfully, I’m sure.

It’s time, then, to begin again? Isn’t it always? šŸ™‚

Learned helplessness sucks. It’s a common enough byproduct of surviving certain sorts of trauma. The frustration that can surge to the forefront of my experience due to complications of struggling with learned helplessness is akin to the nuclear blast of emotional weaponry; sudden, unreasonably forceful, and laying waste to the pleasant now that might have been. When I am simply doing my best to manage, day-to-day, and doing so with some measure of success, other things that need to be attended to may fall by the wayside; I can only do so much, moment to moment. My will falls short in the struggling, you see. I give up. Learned helplessness is a very real thing.

I wrote some days ago about my environment degrading, and that being a sign of ongoing stress, and a need to take care of me, more skillfully. I spent yesterday restoring order to the chaos of my environment. It feels very nice to handle that bit of business, and my surroundings are orderly, clean, tidy, and quite to my taste, generally. What I need is at hand. What I don’t need, has been put away. The effort to restore order in my environment results in renewed enthusiasm to keep it so, as well as ‘clearing my head’ for a whole host of other things that would benefit from being handled sooner than later.

I woke later than usual this morning, and took my medication later as a result. I am now taking care of me – and my loved ones – by taking sufficient time solo for my medication to kick in, and to wake up, and find my voice before I impose myself on their experience. Yes, that level of consideration matters to me; some women don’t leave the house before they ‘put their face on’, I avoid interacting with people before my brain has entirely come back online, and my level of pain is as addressed by medication as it will be, for the day. Taking the time I need really matters to me, and failing to do so changes my experience in a reliably unpleasant way.

The only snowflake I'm likely to see this holiday season.

Let it snow…

I recently got an email from an ex. A large measureĀ of my PTSD is related to relationship trauma, and domestic violence, and I don’t have a comfortable experience of exes reaching out from the past, generally. I felt very anxious reading the email, and feel anxious considering it after the fact, too. This ex, this time, reached out to inquire – 4 years after the break up – whether I have any of her antique holiday ornaments. I was filled with complicated emotions that began with irritation and anger; when we divided our property I had specifically asked what holiday ornaments she wanted and was firmly and specifically told that the holidays would no longer have any meaning, and that she wanted no part of them. The anger became mixed with some measure of humor, and bewilderment; we’d never owned any antique ornaments together, at all. She had a few small handmade figurines, made by her Mother, and those were so clearly hers that taking them with me wasn’t even something I considered. I had a small number of handcrafted ornaments my own Mother made, and had given to me. The rest of our ornaments were common enough glass ornaments, some traditional sorts that I purchased my first holiday alone after I left my first husband, few of which actually remain, and some interestingly non-traditional sorts that continue to delight and amuse me with their whimsy. Still, I carefully checked the tree, decked out for the holidays, to see if ornaments dear to her had remained with me. I didn’t find any, and my journal entries of the time indicate that I had taken pains to carefully box the ornaments that were peculiarly ‘hers’ and left them behind for her when I moved out. I replied kindly that I didn’t have the ornaments she was looking for, and reminded her that we hadn’t had any antiques that I could recall. I made an effort not to read subtext into her reply, and have since tried to let it go. You can see the effort to do so has been only marginally successful; I feel angry that she even asked, and helpless to act on that in a way that is appropriate, effective, and needful. My logical brain tells me that I already have – so let it go, already. My heart says ‘this was so not cool!!’ and wants to do/say more. That was probably the point in the first place, making it even more wise to just let it drop without another word.

My level of physical pain the past couple of days has been very high. I hurt enough to affect my experience moment to moment, and although the effort to be compassionate and kind to others nonetheless is entirely worth it, I also find myself struggling not to resent how clueless people around me seem to be about the fact that I am indeed in that much pain. Sometimes I just want to lay down and weep, I hurt that much. It doesn’t help, though. I sometimes want to plead with people around me “please just be patient with me, please be kind to me – I just hurt, is all!”, but it hasn’t been my experience that it makes much difference; they are having their own experience.

Time to get the day started…laundry, putting away things that were relocated out of my personal space during yesterday’s cleaning, writing holiday letters…all the makings of a fulfilling quiet day. Today is a good day to take care of me, on my own terms. Today is a good day to change how I feel in the world.