100 Days of Healing – Day 60

I have been pretty intense this week about sorting myself and my environment out. BrenĂ© Brown has a great comment from her therapist, which is rather than put on a shell, get yourself out of the briar patch. I’ve been living in a briar patch and blaming the thorns for being there. Time to get out!

I started purging my belongings yesterday. A quick, temporary move has turned into five years of stuff stored in boxes, stuff that I don’t even remember that I have and certainly a lot that I don’t need or someone else could use. There are some family heirlooms and some things that I will use later in a different living situation, but there is also a lot that I can release: the bag of info and giveaways from a conference I attended over a decade ago. The scraps from handcutting invitation postcards for a program I ran over fifteen years ago. Yep, hoarder tendencies run deep in my family, and I used to keep some weird and unnecessary stuff because I found it painful to throw anything away. Now I understand the weight these things place around your ankles, and how difficult it makes it to get up and walk again when you fall. So out it goes!

I’m halfway done, and that’s enough for now. Usually I will force myself through a task like that until it’s done, and I’ve been forcing myself through some tough stuff already this week. Then I get to Monday and wonder where the weekend went and why I am so exhausted?

So it can wait, I can take a break and rest, because it will still be there to deal with this week, like everything else on my schedule. But I will feel better and be more prepared to handle it.

100 Days of Healing – Day 59

You’ve likely heard the same messages I’ve heard my whole life. Men are the leaders, men are in charge, men are the protectors, men go first, they set the tone, they set the expectations, they set the example, they provide and you, woman, are here to respond.

If I held to that bullshit, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today, because I would have continued to lose myself in an abusive relationship thinking it wasn’t for me to step up and change things for the better.

If I didn’t have the courage to step away from all of the messages I’ve heard for decades about my gender role, I wouldn’t have learned so much about who I am and why – and it wasn’t because I submitted myself to someone else’s ideas about my role, it’s because I shattered that box and asked really hard questions about who I am and who I want to be – then stepped up and asked a man the same hard questions and had the courage to take the risk that the answers were going to break my heart.

I’ve limited myself for so long because I was told that I was just a girl. Girls shouldn’t be leaders, they shouldn’t fight for better and they really shouldn’t say, “this isn’t ok and we can both do better, but I can’t do it for you.”

I’m working on the practice of holding two opposing ideas at once, and this, intentional recovery, has been both hell and freedom. And the best part of freedom might be freeing myself from bullshit gender messages that have prevented me from living as the best possible version of myself, a person of courage, honesty and compassion.

100 Days of Healing – Day 58

My boyfriend and I continue to have difficult conversations. I keep doubting I have the energy to keep going, but I keep pushing through.

We don’t have anything to hide behind. We don’t have money and job security, we don’t have a lot of time together, we don’t have a long history of trust and connection, we don’t even have a certain belief that we belong together. It’s fucking hard.

Because we don’t have anything to hide behind, and because we’re both sticking with the difficult conversations long enough to get past the darts and jabs, we’re starting to get honest. The kind of honest where you face shame and admit you’ve been hiding things because you’re not sure they’ll like you anymore if they know. The kind of honest where you say what isn’t ok. The kind of honest where you admit you might be the problem but this little bit is all you know and you haven’t learned enough to figure out the rest yet.

I’m not sure how many people ever get this honest in a relationship, but I don’t think many do it within the first nine months. It takes more courage than I knew I had. And I do it because I believe I matter enough to speak and hear the truth. To not walk away because I’m scared and this is really hard, but because walking away is the right thing for me. And I don’t know that yet because I don’t have enough information.

And there’s no backing down now, because we’re here, rumbling with the truth no matter how scary or how hard. AND IT’S HARD. I’m still not in neutral, and I’m not comfortable with some of the surprises I’m getting. I’m constantly in high threat mode and no one else is bringing me back down to my version of calm. While I’m rumbling with a really painful series of realizations about who I am and how I got here.

But worth it, because I’m worth it. And so is he.

100 Days of Healing – Day 57

I lost 5.4 lbs on my juice cleanse last week. No surprise there. I gained a little more than half of it back the next day after a bean and cheese burrito, a handful of chips with salsa and a small piece of cake. Figures.

I immediately started thinking up my next crash diet. Keto! I’ll do keto for a month and get my weight down. And not because I really believe in fad diets or think this is a sustainable lifestyle, but because it’s important for me to see right now that I can. Did the weight come back immediately? Yes. But more to the point, I did it. And I can keep doing it. I am starting to believe I can make the changes I need to long term for a healthier lifestyle.

I’ve been walking this week and tracking my calories, or at least close enough to it. And I’ve lost nearly 2 lbs since the post-juice weight jump. I’m 3 lbs down total, and I’m pretty pleased with that, because that wasn’t crash diet, that’s real, and the juice was the kickstart I was hoping it would be. I needed to see that I could do it so that I could have the confidence to continue through what will be a longer and greater challenge.

100 Days of Healing – Day 56

I have had a lot of boomerangs in my life – people who just won’t stay gone. Mostly guys I’ve dated come back around for another chance, but sometimes it’s former friends who can’t help reminding me why I stopped talking to them in the first place.

Boundaries, right? I’m learning to do that.

I had a pretty long Monday, and my workday ended when my internet cut off mid-email to a client. It eventually came back, but I was dead in the water as far as what I was trying to get done, I couldn’t do a yoga video, and I decided to go for a walk.

Something was really bothering me though, and I was pissed.

When I finally sorted it out, it was over a shitty comment on social media.

I had been transcribing an ordinance that had been so badly scanned that my software couldn’t convert it. It was badly written to begin with, and full of Oxford commas, which I don’t use so they are not in my typing pattern. I kept having to stop and insert them back into the transcribed text, and I found it annoying. I shared my annoyance on social media, posting, “My workday is plagued by Oxford commas.”

My brother commented that he likes them. My friend’s wife asked her who she is associating with. A girl I went to college with replied, “Well, if you really want to risk losing millions in a lawsuit, you just go right ahead and leave out those lovely, clarifying Oxford commas 

And no, she didn’t punctuate her sentence.

This is a person I finally stopped talking to several months after we graduated because she was so negative all the time. She drained me, and I couldn’t take it anymore. We’re still friends on social media, and have had very little interaction over the years. I did congratulate her recently when she earned a significant professional achievement – and this is how she repaid me.

I’m not going to lose millions over it. The ordinance, which I did not write, might generate some lawsuits if not fixed, and it has nothing to do with the commas – any of them. And she had no idea what I was working on or why, because we didn’t talk about it. So I find her comment unnecessary and, like so many comments of hers before, negative without real basis. And negative about something I’m doing that has nothing to do with her.

Which got me thinking about two other people who sometimes reply to my posts and always with completely unnecessary and unwelcome comments.

I don’t talk to any of these three people in real life, and with the exception of my congratulatory note, I don’t comment on their posts.

So why am I so hesitant to unfriend them? I don’t have any real consequences from cutting them off, and doing so will remove a negative aspect of my life that I genuinely don’t enjoy or appreciate. Do I wait for another annoying response to one of my posts to pop up? Do I let them know I don’t appreciate their comments? Do I unfriend them in the dead of night?

I very rarely cut people off, even people who have done me a lot of harm. Maybe it’s time I stop allowing that kind of behavior?

100 Days of Healing – Day 55

I feel like I’ve hit the floor of whatever hole I’ve been in. Not in a “hit rock bottom” way, more in a “fall through whatever rungs were left and now have to both repair the rungs and climb back up them” way. It’s overwhelming. And as much as I can look back at the last few years and acknowledge that I’ve worked through a lot of hell and made so much progress, I’m tired now and don’t have the energy to push through what’s in front of me.