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 40

I am learning to be intentional about taking days off. For a long time I would have so much anxiety and distress that I didn’t have much of a choice, I couldn’t get anything done and spent hours in a mental vortex. Rather than giving myself some space, I still struggled with the need to “get stuff done”, and probably made things worse because I felt guilty about my anxiety interfering with my productivity. It’s been a battle for me to accept stopping, pausing and resting because I’m so afraid I’ll fall behind and not catch up.

Having a day in which I don’t accomplish anything and don’t intend to is a radical form of self-acceptance for me. And while my mind still has swirls of “but you could…” or “what if you did…” and “you need to…”, I am pushing those thoughts aside and letting the day be the day.

And on a Monday, I am not behind, I am not scrambling to catch up, I am not in the weeds or faltering, I have a normal workday with requests, requirements and opportunities and a schedule that was not negatively impacted by taking a full day off.

100 Days of Healing – Day 37

I’m in the process of separating from my business partner. It’s a process that he isn’t really participating in, which is no real surprise sine he quit participating in work three months ago. It’s been hanging over my head, and while he’s been absent for personal reasons, it’s an absence that neither I nor the business can tolerate.

He had initially agreed to sign things over to me in exchange for his half of the assets, but he has since changed his stance, although he cannot give a time that he will be back to work. After a few unproductive phone conversations I decided to send a letter giving him the option to keep the company or sign it over to me, but either way I cannot continue to be his business partner for a number of reasons that stem from issues that existed prior to his absence, but which have certainly been exacerbated by it.

I have yet to receive a response from him, and I am in the middle of projects that are about to require a great deal of involvement and some travel. There are conference registrations coming up. There is new work that needs to be gotten. And I have no idea how our business divorce is going to go. I am the face of the company and can independently perform our work, so it makes sense (and people close to me argue it’s the “right thing”) for him to take his part and let me continue building the company that arguably would not exist without me. But people don’t always do the right thing, and since he has changed his statements on this, I don’t have a lot of confidence that this is going to be a smooth or quick transition. It could be if I just walked out, but walking out has its own consequences and challenges.

This is a lot of uncertainty, and uncertainty about my livelihood. And I am having to sit with it, because half of it I cannot control, and the half that I can I have done what I can do for now.

I hate uncertainty. Take the normal human response and add PTSD to it and I can experience so many negative effects, because my experience with the negative tends to be magnified. I was at a rodeo last night, and was crying as the women rode in with the rodeo flags. That’s not my normal response, it was a magnified emotional response, but it took me until today to realize that the uncertainty with the future of my company and my work is weighing on me that heavily, and that I am that emotionally disregulated.

But how grateful I am that I can now recognize it for what it is and continue to sit with the uncertainty.

100 Days of Healing – Day 14

There is a lot from my past that I want nothing to do with. People and places that are tied to traumatic experiences are just…I’m out. Even if that person didn’t do anything negative to me, there are just some things that I would rather leave in the past.

I was working retail when the car wreck happened, and a combination of a super-hateful and negative, passive-aggressive coworker, getting betrayed by my bosses and having undiagnosed PTSD while working 20+ hours a weekend and going to grad school 12 hours a semester during the week…I don’t even want to see former customers. Yesterday I saw a woman with whom I had developed really great rapport at the store, and I was so glad I managed to slip by her unnoticed. I just couldn’t. I didn’t want to talk, I didn’t want to bring up that period of my life, I didn’t want to talk about what I’m doing now and I really don’t want to talk about how I’m doing now. I had two good days followed by a rough day, and it was enough that I worked almost a full day in spite of the down day and cooked meals for myself, handled some business for my grandma, reached out to my completely checked out boyfriend and still engaged in some mindfulness work. I didn’t need that shit too.

And I feel no need to face any of that head-on. I think avoiding these things is fine. I think knowing my limits is fine. I think loving myself enough to choose myself and my own well-being over social norms and obligations is fine. And if I’m fine with it, that’s all that matters to me.