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Face your baggage!!!

Good lord I am going to use a moment to vent. I don't do this often but sometimes a girl needs a place to get out some emotions in order to not completely annihilate those around her. I'm super tired of eggshells, I'm super tired of feeling in trouble, I'm beyond tired of feeling like everything I say is taken wrong or put in the wrong context or flat out converted into some kind of dark maniacal way of thinking that is meant to be mean or horrible.

I tend to be a pretty positive person. I try hard to be because life is hard enough without feeling as if everything is coming down on you all the time. I have spent a good portion of my life with some pretty bad abuse/mental health issues floating on my shoulders, effecting how I behave toward others, and overall really effecting my personal interactions with everyone in my life.

How I feel regarding what other people say and do is and always has been a direct result of one thing.... HOW I FEEL ABOUT MYSELF! It's super easy to take shit wrong, to feel like people are trying to be mean to you, having hurt feelings over everything said or done to or at me, when I question whether or not those folks might be right. I had to spend time, a lot of time, in therapy learning how to be accepting and forgiving of myself. It's made an incredible difference in how I can take what others say and do.

I'm gonna use a video game analogy because I live in a nerdy household. Let's go Zelda for reference. In the beginning of a game, you start out fragile, in a tunic and shitty pants. You find that you struggle to battle and resist other peoples attacks, because you haven't fashioned or found appropriate tools in your game play to make you stronger and more resilient. As the game progresses, you find a jacket, it' gives you added protection, you learn a spell, you make a special meal, and they all help in one way or another, be it against heat, or cold, or a strike from a stronger enemy. There are moments in the game when those items aren't enough because you face those foes who are just stronger and bigger and going to give you a hell of a challenge to get through. They take all your skill and perseverance and even picking yourself up and trying again, but with the other tools you have even if not enough to protect you completely, they do help.

Counseling has been my game adventure in life, traveling the path and gathering the tools I need to be a stronger person. To doubt myself less and less, to feel stronger in who I am, flaws and all. It's like wearing armor in a game. When someone says to me, you are wrong, or you are not adequate, or you don't believe in the right things, I don't doubt me as much anymore, so what they say isn't relevant to how I feel.

I am okay with my beliefs, and actually pretty strongly set in them. With that said I am constantly learning, morphing and changing, and for goodness sakes, changing my beliefs. I listed to people, I learn new things, I see others prospective and I change my mind on how I feel about things based on my lessons in life. If I'm uninformed on something that seems important, I become informed. If it is important to me and it affects my life or the life of my loved ones, I learn and I think and I change my beliefs where needed

I am happy in my body, I've made a total mess of it, but the alternative to what I have is so much worse, and I am slowly regaining the shape I covet for myself. I'll have moments where I'm not thrilled with it, but this is all under MY control and when I am ready to make changes to it, I will, and what others think or feel doesn't matter.

I know my heart. My heart is predominantly good. I have moments of weakness, moments of selfishness, and moments of less than desirable thoughts and feelings. I can be vindictive when someone really pushes me to a point, but overall, I am not a harsh person. I don't think about ways to hurt others, take advantage, or screw others over. I might occasional do things or make decisions based on selfish needs, but its never with an intent to hurt. I actually tend to have trouble being selfish, which is a bigger flaw for me than anything else. I am a more apt to take care of everyone else before I take care of me. So when I take a moment to be selfish, I am very much grateful for my own drive behind that.

With all that said, I get very much frustrated when I am functioning normally and it's perceived in a way that is negative, or hurtful or manipulative or aggressive or something. I believe that I could very well be not aware of my tone at times, but I believe anyone who truly knows me, knows the emotion behind things that I say and do. Those who truly know me, might question just for a split second, and then clarify if needed because they were caught off guard. Those who TRUST me, know that I work exceptionally hard to live my life with kindness. If I succeed at anything in my life, my primary goal is kindness!

So with that said, when someone comes at me again and again with negative responses to things I say or do, it takes me back a bit. Especially when it someone who should be closest to me. Someone who should know me best, who should trust me most. Someone who should be able to say, hey that seemed harsh, I should ask what she meant. Or hey, she doesn't normally respond like that, maybe something else is bothering her, or on her mind. Or maybe my question was irrelevant in the moment, or insensitive to the moment, or unrealistic in the moment.... I'm not likely to respond harshly to anything unless there is some underlying reason.

With all that said, as I feel more confident in who I am I find myself in this weird central place where I'm angry over the response I get... and if I am angry, it's because I am hurt. I don't like being hurt by something like this, because that means my armor isn't thick enough. I walk this fine line between thick armor and not allowing for emotion and feeling, vs not enough armor and being hurt over something. I do believe there is a difference between feeling hurt for how someone perceives you vs doubting who you are. I don't doubt who I am and I am not sitting back with these situations saying, OMG what am I doing wrong, is it me that is causing all this?

NO, it's not, not this time (selfish moment, but again knowing myself). I have had years (literally so many years) of therapy, I have tools and skills, I communicate well for the most part . I do have times I do avoid talking about these feelings as it lands me in another moment of attack, but when I feel safe enough to discuss, I communicate what I need to without issue. I have clear thoughts and feelings, and if for a moment I don't, I literally will stop a conversation, take a time out, and process how I am feeling. Remember the show, How I Met Your Mother? You know when the characters Marshall and Lily would fight and then they would "Pause"? I literally do that. I don't feel like having a discussion about something serious when I am emotional is beneficial for anyone involved. Furthermore, sometimes emotions come in a flood with no solid understanding on what is feeding that emotion. Our body has an instinctive reactionary response to a situation and often times it knows better than we do in that moment how to protect us, feeding a situation with alarm, aggression and emotion. It's not until everything calms down that we can take a moment to truly process what is wrong, what hurt us, and how we feel about what happened.

When the sensitivities are soooooooo high that I can sit down and speak to you in a moment of calm and portray my feelings without it being turned somehow into a direct attack on you, THAT'S A FUCKING PROBLEM! For real man, I have feelings, and if we have a close relationship, I should be able to share them with you, talk about them, stand up for myself in moments that it's necessary, and not have all of it be considered/consumed as me being on the attack/offensive. I'm not an attack person, I am a shelter and defense person. It's a fucked up part of being a victim of sexual/physical/emotional abuse. Again, video game tie, I'm a defensive player... one who sits back and makes sure they can't get into the castle, that keeps the walls up. I'm not out in the field on the front attacking, because those are not my strengths, and with my history, will not be. I am a hunker down, surround the wagons, shelter with my weapons and protect my kin kind of gal. I'm not a race out and go after those who have wronged me kind.

With all that said, I also have less tolerance for situations when someone doesn't want to hear it or doesn't seem to get it. So many people are conditioned to always feel attacked, and never face their own damage and issues that it is near impossible to build a close relationship with them. FOLKS YOU GOTTA PROCESS YOUR SHIT! Like for real. You can't be abused and just assume it isn't going to have an effect, or pretend that life can go on like normal and you can ignore it. You body is literally wired to defend yourself, to sense similar risks and dangers and immediately go on the defensive when those situations arise again. The idea of getting help for a situation like this isn't a matter of there being something wrong with you, it's a matter of something working right! It's a conditioned response to a bad experience, but once you are out of the situation that conditions, you will have to work to overcome your conditioning. If you have ever seen an abused animal pull back when you raise your hand in any way, that's what I mean, you prepare for the blow, emotionally, you do things to cope, to survive, and once you are out of the bad situation, you will need to re-acclimate to life. If you don't , you will treat those around you as if they are the abuser, which is not only undesirable, it's extremely damaging, and hurtful.

I apologize for my cursing and whatnot, but to truly find a happy place in life, you must take care of you. You must take care of your emotional damage and baggage so you can build relationships in your life. I'm speaking from true experience as I am working to rebuild relationships in my life. A life without close relationships is a very lonely and empty feeling. I have had a lot of very lonely time since I quite drinking almost 5 years ago. I have distanced myself from others for several reasons, but one reason is because I have struggled to let people in and struggled to take down my shield. Now, letting people in, I'm finding that part of the reasons it is hard to allow people in, is because they have the same set of defensive responses to the things and either haven't or don't think they need to get assistance with working through them. The balance comes into how long you want to wait for them to figure out that it's affecting relationships in their life. and how important healing is, or how important their relationships are to them.

Finding yourself in a place where life hits you with something hard, and you have no one to turn to, or if you have strong emotions on something and you want a sounding board to bounce your thoughts of, and you feel like you have NO ONE to talk you, it's a horrible place to be. It's an island of loneliness, don't visit there, it's not the paradise you think it is when you've been hurt.

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