When will things get back to “normal”?


Do you ever wonder when, or even IF life will get back to normal? I spent a few years wondering that same thing. Then I realized, “normal” is such a relative term. Emotional chaos and psychological upheaval, are both very real, when you get out of an abusive relationship. Just because he or she is out of your life, doesn’t mean it’s “over” completely. You’ll go through good days, when you are surprised how little you thought of the relationship. Other days you’ll fee like its only been hours since your world fell out from under you. The only advise I have for you on those days is, BREATHE! Take a deep breath…then another… get up and walk or call a friend. Get busy doing something. Be determined not to just breathe, but to live!!

Normal… Here’s my version of normal: Both of my kids are struggling and barely off the streets. I found a wonderful man over a year ago, who I married this past summer. His kids are only slightly more stable than my own kids. Both of our previous lives have been compiled into one major fucked up scenario. We, as well as our children, take turns with our fucked-up-ness and are no where near what the status quot would view as “normal”. All of our children feel safe with the two of us, and know they can turn to us when they need us. Financially, we’re like babies, trying to get things under control, though I can now say, “It’s a wonderful life.”

After my exodus, I day dreamed about what life would be like when I was my normal self, again. The thing is, I was forever changed because of what I lived through. I would never see that part of myself again. The part that I was comfortable with and who I thought I loved, I would never get back. It was that part of me, that I grieved for a very long time. It was also those parts I lost, that were also the reason(s) I was such an easy target. I don’t mourn those parts of me, anymore. I needed to change.

Normal for me, used to be emotional chaos even before the monster came into my life. I was always panicking when I thought someone was angry with me. I back-tracked over my words, relentlessly, to avoid any negativity from any person. I over-explained myself to the point that I looked like a child. A vulnerable child. I had no self-confidence, though I believed I had plenty. I trusted everyone, and put my own heart on the line, without a second thought. Normal… I was FAR from normal. But, that life was normal for me, regardless of how horrible it was. It was normal because it was what I was used to.

“Normal” has changed, so very much! Once upon a time, my counselor asked me what my personal morals were. I tried to answer her questions, but I was repeating my parent’s morals…I was repeating what society had taught me, throughout my life. She kept saying, “That’s THEIR morals, but what are YOUR’S?”. It took me this long to finally be able to answer the question. I feel like I’ve finally arrived! Ha! The thing is, once I was able to answer that question, I also realized that my personal morals would be what would also create my “normal” life. What I’m used to and am happy with, now.

Morals are not only what is acceptable in society. They are also what your own code of ethics, are. Normal to me, as well as what are my personal morals, is… Never lie to myself. Always be real and true to myself. (This sounds so self-centered). If I’m going to say or do it, I might as well stand behind it. That means; if it comes out of my mouth verbally or in action, I have to have the confidence to stand behind it. Don’t cower or backtrack. No excuses or lies, especially to myself.  This line of thinking and living, demands self-confidence, in order to follow through. If I have planned to accomplish something during my day off, but chose to procrastinate instead, I cannot make excuses. Making an excuse to someone else for my inaction, means I am lying to myself as well. If I procrastinated, I am honest about it, come-what-may, even if that means someone becomes angry at me, for it. I own it and most definitely earned it. That’s just an example. Society’s morals are in the mix, too. I still cling to and claim them.

The result of all of that is, I don’t live in fear of the unknown, anymore. I walk with it, now. I’m not afraid of anger so much, anymore. I’m still learning and growing, but I’m very satisfied with who I am as a person, now. I am finally living my “normal”, in all it’s failings and frailties. I can breathe deep, knowing that, though the life I’m in isn’t real stable, the life I AM, is…

What a wonderful awakening 🙂

 

 

Just say “no”


This is about learning how to “be”. It’s a lesson that some already know, but I’m guessing there are so many others just like me, who struggle with this very thing.

Part of being targeted, or “targetable” is; lacking self-confidence. The very fact that those of us who lack self-confidence make it very visible to everyone around us, is exactly what causes predators to “take notice”. It makes us appear as a fun game for predators. It’s fun for them to torment, shock, hurt and abuse us. Part of the reason we are so obvious to them, is that we are completely unable to just say, “yes” or “no”.

I’ll explain a little…

This is another one of “those” posts, which requires you to place yourself back into a memory, in order to answer the question. Not to worry, It won’t be too painful (I hope). Can you remember any time in recent memory, or distant, that someone asked you if you want to do something? In my past, sometimes I would say “yes”, even though I wanted to say “no”. Those times I actually said, “No, thank you”, I immediately followed with an exuberant explanation, telling them all of the reasons why my “no” was reasonable. It took me a long time to realize that all I was doing was making my low self-esteem and lack of confidence very, VERY obvious. I realized that I caused some people to lose respect for me, just in that small explanation. I appeared weak and unsure of myself. I caused some people to view me as if I was still a child.

Remember, I glean a lot of understanding by being aware of my own emotions, or reactions to certain situations. I also understand that some of my reactions, mirror others’ reactions. It’s just being human. I realized when someone over-explained themselves to me, how I naturally, internally felt. I realized one day, that I viewed them as if they were a young child, at that point. It wasn’t intentional, at all. It was just a natural occurrence that I became aware of. I think it causes(d) others to feel the same way, when I would “over-explain” myself to others.

That being said… My friend of so many years, asked me, “Why do you have to explain?”. It took quite a while, but she eventually got to me. I asked myself the same question. “Why DO I have to explain myself?”

Over explaining the why’s behind your decisions, chosen actions, etc. stems from many possible triggers. Most of those are completely fear-based. My personal reason stemmed from a long-time fear of anger or of upsetting someone. If I didn’t do what he/she asked, or answered in just “the right way”, that person might become angry or think less of me. In order to avoid the negativity, I would explain myself until I felt they understood, and everything would be “ok”. Now, I realize that in explaining myself, that person probably did think less of me. Not of me as an individual, but probably lost some confidence “in” me. It’s hard to explain… moving on…

Something else to consider about over-explaining ourselves to others: When we over explain, we also divulge information that isn’t privy to EVERYONE’S ears!! In order to help someone understand our why’s and why-not’s, we try to show them how empathetic we are, and hope that they will be empathetic as well. We share information that makes us appear weaker, to soften their potential anger, or discontent with us. You might have other triggers which drive you to over-explain… Try to place yourself in the shoes of the listener. How would it make you feel if you were that person, listening? Uncomfortable? Full of pity? Disgust? Less respect for the one doing the explaining? No shame, here… Read on..

Giving someone an explanation for your chosen direction or what-have-you, is sometimes necessary…but you don’t have to explain yourself! If someone misunderstands your decision, you might have to reassure them, or explain your choices in order to salvage or further cultivate a friendship. If your boss tells you, “Explain yourself!” Trust me…it’s in your best interest to give an explanation 🙂

With every realization I’ve had in the last few years, learning to put them into practice does take some brave steps into the “unknown”. When I realized just what I was doing when I chose to explain myself, at all times, it was a rude awakening. It’s not healthy to explain ourselves to everyone, for every reason. It further hampers our self-confidence, and keeps us stuck in place. Step one: Just say “no” or “no thank you, would a different day work for you?”… or even “Yes”.

Have you ever experienced a time when someone wanted clarification? “I heard a rumor, is ‘this’ true?” Again, don’t explain but don’t lie either. If it’s true, just say “yes”. Most often, a short answer is good enough, and the other person doesn’t want or need any more information. They are satisfied with the outcome, as you should be, too.

If someone asks me, now, “Would you like to get some coffee later?” I let my yes be yes, and no mean no. If I like the person and the problem with getting together for coffee is time, I offer an alternate date or time. If it’s due to dealing with personal problems, I still offer no explanation but suggest a different time or day. My personal issues are no-one’s business, unless I choose to make it their business.. No apologies needed… 🙂 If it’s someone I would rather not get chummy with, I just say, “No, thank you anyway.” No further explanation is needed. I have become more confident in myself, as it pertains to interactions with other people. Sometimes I fall back into old habits, because it’s hard to change life-long habits, without slipping once in a while. When you realize it, you’ll correct it and become stronger by the day.

I’ll post this as it stands. If you need clarification, I’ll be happy to help!

Each day brings growth and healing. Healthier choices and lives to follow.