Closure with her

Last night, I dreamed of her. It was another one of those dreams… the kind of dream that you wake up from knowing it meant something. Heck, you even kind of know it’s a message while you’re dreaming it, it’s that meaningful. Rarely have I dreamed of her, so that in itself is something.

Let me preface this with a quick summary of my family. I was raised in a co-dependent family, which revolved around a narcissist. No, none of us had a clue that this is what was going on. Only I do, now, after a few years of therapy. Once this revelation came to me, I decided to no longer participate in the co-dependent behavior, which, unfortunately for me, is a condition of membership in this family. I am now the family scapegoat…cast aside, shunned, ignored…unloved. That’s how co-dependent/narcissistic families operate. Love is conditional.

OK, so that’s the summary. Don’t feel too badly for me. I’m grateful I woke up. Yes, it’s sad. And yes, I cry…from time to time. But no, I will not go back to those conditions, in order to be “loved”. That’s not real love, anyway. Even you can see this, right?

So, back to the dream. In real life, I have not seen her in at least two years. In the dream, I am at her home. It’s a surprise to both of us, yet we do not clash. We both seem cautious, yet calm. Like one waiting for the other to react, yet we don’t. We look at each other, without saying a word. Her eyes are soft, something I’ve never seen before. Both our eyes speak for us. They say, “I hope we can pull this off”. By “this“, we mean being in the same home without conflict, as I’m there to see him, and he is ill. Something I’ve been dreaming of in real life…as he really is ill…knowing it will never be allowed. In the dream, we pull it off. Sincerely. No conflict at all. I am there to love him, and she lets me. It was quite perfect.

God, I miss him.

My time with him in the dream is too brief. Next thing you know, I’m out of his room, never to see him again.  I passed by a sibling who is no longer talking to me, not since I broke the co-dependency requirement. She stood up to hug me, saying, “You know I love you, Jami…more than you probably know. You know why I had to do it”. I guess I do know why she felt that way, even though I knew it wasn’t right. I forgave her. She disappeared from the dream.

I move on, and find myself in another bedroom in the home, leaning on my side on a bed. She comes in. In real life, I suppose this is when the conflict would take place. But this is my dream, and we are calm. She looks at me, eyes still soft. So very soft. I really just can’t get over how soft her expression is. It’s surreal. I find myself patting the bed next to me, gesturing for her to lie down. She does, cautiously nestling her head in the crook of my elbow, like a child to her mother. She is curled on her side,  with me around her, like I’m protecting her. I stroke her hair. It’s stiff and uncomfortable, but I do it anyway. She looks up, as if she’s partially nervous, yet aching for this connection. I stroke her hair, comforting her…nurturing her. Yes, I was nurturing her. She was like a homeless, injured dog you see videos of people trying to rescue from an alleyway. Scared of everything, running from everyone, fighting with whoever crossed her path…yet desperately wanting to be loved. Her guard was down for the first time in her life. She was vulnerable as she lied there in my arms. So vulnerable. You just don’t see vulnerability in someone like her, I think because she’s just been so hurt in the past. That’s why all we see is her armor…her anger… in real life. In real life, we will never see her vulnerable side, as I think she’s just too fragile to take off that armor. All that would be left is fear, and no one wants to just be fear. I will never connect to her in real life, so it had to happen in the dream. It felt like a gift. Even while the dream was occurring, I knew something was happening. I think God gave me this dream to resolve a bit of the pain in my real life. He gave me a gift of closure I’ll never get in reality. All my futile hopes and dreams in the real world will never come to fruition, but they did last night. I don’t yearn for reconciliation or closure with her in real life, but I do yearn for it with him. I think God knows how these two go hand in hand, and because of that, it’s just not meant to bein the real world.  It almost feels like it really happened. I suppose that will have to do.

 

 

This post was written in response to Linda G. Hill’s “Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday”. Linda is a master of badassery, in all aspects of her life. Check out her author page, and read her amazing books. You can find her by clicking the link below.

 

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 17/18

 

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Gratitude

I started writing as a way to process trauma and other difficult things that found their way into my life. It never lets me down. I’ve been doing some journaling over the past few weeks to deal with some family stuff, and each time I write, I have a cathartic cry and end up feeling lighter. Every single time! You should try it!

Over the past few months, the need to write has decreased. Sure, life continues to shit on me whenever it gets the urge, but  I’m kind of OK when life shits on me. I chalk it up to life sometimes being shitty, maybe have a cry about it, and go on about my day. Does this happen every time life shits on me? Nope. But way more than it used to, so I’ll take it.

My therapeutic writing transitioned into writing about amazing experiences I’ve had that had nothing to do with trauma at all..still things I needed help processing/understanding, I suppose. All I know is, when my soul tells me to write about something, I listen.

Tonight, my soul is telling me to write about gratitude. Not processing anything, not pages of angst, no questions…just gratitude for what I have, what I am, what is.

  1. I am grateful for my health. Even though I have two chronic illnesses which cause chronic pain, annoying discomforts and require time, effort, money…and I can’t eat bread, for crying out loud…I’m grateful for my health. I’m alive. I can work. I can drive my boat. I can love.
  2. I am grateful for my family. Of course, my sons…my reasons for going through all this shit. God, I am blessed with those guys.  But, when I say I’m grateful for my family, I’m also referring to the members of my family that have been a part of the whole “life shitting on me” crap. Despite all the heartache…and let me tell you, it’s a LOT of heartache… I’ve learned some valuable life lessons from them, and I think going through what I’ve gone through with them over this past year has allowed me to become something akin to angelic. I’ve learned to love when I’m not being loved. I’ve learned to forgive when I haven’t been asked for forgiveness. I know a lot of people know how to do these things, but for me…it took a lot of work. I think it’s a little harder when you have to give this love and forgiveness to people you’ve been craving love from your entire life. To be able to love them, and be OK with them not loving you back, well… that’s just something bigger than any words I can come up with, so I’ll stop here.
  3. I am grateful for failed relationships. Who would’ve guessed it? Well, not really all of them. Most of them I could do without. Maybe because they’re all really the same guy. But, the last couple, I’m grateful for those ones. With them, I was able to accomplish things I never could figure out how to do with the other guys. With one of them, I’ve learned how to stand up for myself, how to value myself. How to feel worthy…at least, for a little bit. At least, until I met the next guy, ha ha. Hey, that’s a pretty big deal when you haven’t done that before. And that next guy? Well… I can’t say the lesson is 100% complete, but I think I’m pretty close. The lesson I’m finally learning, the same lesson all the other guys came into my life to teach me…I’m learning how to let go of people I’m attached to. I’m learning to not take things personally if someone can’t love me. This is so important, because by learning this lesson in a relationship, I’m also learning how to do it with the people in my family. It all comes full circle. You know, you keep unconsciously seeking out the same situations you’re struggling with, in order to resolve them. Except you don’t KNOW that’s what you’re doing, so all you do is keep repeating the same pattern over and over and over, wondering why the hell you’re so unlovable…until something clicks (really, just therapy….just go to therapy. Everyone. Just go.) and you understand that saying, “Remember that time you confused a life lesson with a soul mate?” You learn that some people aren’t going to love you, and it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with how lovable you are. Yeah. That. I’m so close…
  4. I’m grateful for my practice. “Practice” is the word I use to put all of my “work” into a nice, neat little package. Therapy (which I don’t go to anymore, but don’t want to leave out how important of a piece it was in solving my puzzle), writing, meditation, going to church, surrounding myself with people who empower me and lift me up, consciously validating myself, not seeking validation from others, service to others…all of this is my practice. And my practice is what connects me to “source”…which is a long-winded way of saying I’m grateful for my connection to God. Without it, I’d be the lost lamb again. I’m not lost anymore. I am grateful… I am touched by grace… I am love… I am light… I am.

 

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Shock and Awe

I’m nearing the two-year anniversary of what I affectionately call the “Shock and Awe” part of my journey.  Back when the shit hit the fan in my life and I basically cracked open and let the pieces fall where they may. “Traumatic” is one of many words that easily comes to mind when I think of those times. Wow. Two years. So weird how it seems like the blink of an eye, while at the same time, an eternity. A lifetime. Can a lifetime really fit into just two short years? I think so. I feel like a completely different person compared to two years ago. Except I didn’t change into someone different. I just became more myself.

Settling into myself feels good. I wish I knew this version of me a long time ago, but that just wasn’t the plan. I don’t think it would feel the same, if I had always been this version of me. I don’t think I would appreciate it nearly as much. No, I think one has to go through the shock and awe of it all in order to appreciate the value in finding one’s “self”.  Funny, I never even realized I had no sense of self, until I found it. Until I found her. And damn, she’s amazing. I love her…

 

 

The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan Daily Prompt, Jan. 20th, 2018

 

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A Single Ray

Last Saturday night, I wrote here about shining a light on the dark places in peoples hearts, minds and souls. Sunday morning, I went to church and we had a guest pastor fill in. I love her sermons. She’s a confident, empowering woman. She spoke to us about the star of Jesus shining brightly around us, on us…within us. Just beautiful. And that night, I attended crystal bowl meditation, and at the end, I drew an Oracle card. The last sentence of the affirmation I chose read, “I am light. I am love”. Can you believe it? The Universe is telling us something here! And just to make sure I’m paying attention to the message, I received a card in the mail from a friend the other day…



And just for GOOD measure, Linda G. Hill’s writing prompt this week instructed me to look next to me and find the 6th, 7th and 8th word of whatever’s next to me and use it as the base for this post. So yes, Universe…I am most definitely paying attention. A SINGLE RAY of sunshine. Simply divine!
 

The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan Daily Prompt, Jan. 13th, 2018

 

 

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Bubbles, caves and ecosystems

Relationship dynamics are so complex. It doesn’t matter which type of relationship you look at…romantic, friends, coworkers, family…there’s fragile framework in a lot of them. Sure, some are pretty rock solid, but as far as I can tell, many are like a house of cards. It can look nice, and be fun to participate in…but you’re always mindful and know that one misstep can make the roof collapse.

It’s funny how you can live in a house of cards your entire life, and not even realize it. Maybe you think everyone’s house is made of cards. Or maybe you know your house is made of cards, but you don’t want to let anyone else know about that shoddy construction. Or even more likely, you don’t want to admit to yourself that there’s just no real support around you.  So, you tell yourself everything’s just fine. “This is SO normal”, you say,  as you walk on eggshells, trying to keep everything in place.

OK, this analogy is getting away from me, sorry. It sounded so good in my head when I started. Let me switch gears here… some people create these little ecosystems of lives. Like Sandy Cheeks on Sponge Bob. She’s a squirrel living in the ocean. As a land animal, she needs to put her entire home in a bubble in order to survive…her own little ecosystem. Except Sandy is living there because she wants to enjoy life with her friends. The people I’m talking about, well…they create these ecosystems because they are hiding. Not so much from people, but from the truth.  I’ll let you interpret the truth in any way you choose…the truth of a painful past, the truth about their insecurities, the truth about their guilt, the truth about toxic behavior, the truth about shame… pick whichever one suits your fancy. Or maybe they’re hiding from a toxic person. An abusive person. Or addiction, or abandonment, or neglect.  Or past failures. For this conversation, let’s call the truth and/or the toxic person/environment “The volcano”.  So, if you spend enough time in their ecosystem, you don’t even realize what’s going on isn’t normal, because everyone living in the bubble is acting just like you are…walking on eggshells to keep the volcano from erupting. Acting like it’s perfectly normal to live in this giant, explosive shadow. Or like it’s normal to live with shame and guilt. Or like it’s normal to live with abuse. Keeping the lid on the volcano becomes automatic. It’s a survival technique. No, it doesn’t always work…that sucker still blows it’s top from time to time, but if everyone tiptoes around enough, it settles down. Till the next time….

The trouble brews when you finally realize, “Hey, I’m thinking maybe this isn’t so normal, after all”. You take a step back, outside of the bubble, into the sun. At first, it’s too bright….so bright, it hurts. Because you’re used to living in the dark. Like living in a cave. It’s so much easier to hide in a cave. The dark corners can feel safe, although they are cold and lonely. You sort of end up picking your poison. So, you find some sunglasses and do some hard work…facing things no one else wants to face. You face the truth. You face the toxicity. You face the guilt, the shame, the insecurities, the pain…you even start to talk about it. And trust me, that’s a big deal. NO ONE talks about what goes on in the bubble. No one. But you do it, anyway. Because it’s freeing. And once that’s said and done, you realize walking on eggshells hurts like hell. You can’t believe you never noticed the pain those shells cause you. And then you look at everyone else in that bubble and wonder how the hell they can stand it in there, bleeding from walking on shells, just to keep a volcano from erupting. The sun doesn’t hurt anymore. You throw your sunglasses to the ground and yell to your loved ones “Just leave the volcano, for crying out loud! Save yourselves!” They look at you like you’re crazy.  They are wincing, from having to look at you in that bright light of the sun. “Leave the volcano? God no!” and just like that, you are the black sheep, because change is hard. They get mad at you. Maybe some of them gaslight you. Maybe some of them shame you for talking. Maybe some of them resent you for doing and facing what they are incapable of doing and facing themselves.  They might even allow you to come back in, IF you stop talking about “it”…whatever “it” is that makes them so uncomfortable. God, you even think about it for a while. I mean, these are the people you love, for God’s sake! You want to be with them, to be loved by them… accepted. Chosen. You really think about it, without even noticing that these conditions they are putting on you means they aren’t choosing you at all. So, you try, but soon discover, in order to survive in their bubble, you need to let go of your light. And you find you can’t do that, even if you wanted to…because you realize, you ARE the light.  They just don’t realize that the light will stop hurting once they face it, and there’s not a damn thing you can say to make them understand. Oh, you try alright. But it doesn’t work.  They just become more angry, more reactive, more withdrawn.  All because you cracked open their bubble, their fragile ecosystem, their house of cards. The light shined on them, and on all the things they are hiding from. It’s blinding. They are not ready to look at those things.  You really can’t blame them…you lived in the bubble your entire life, just like them. Coping. All you can do now is love them from afar, and pray for God to give them just a touch of grace, like he did to you…back when you found the light. A touch of grace to allow them to see the light. Just enough to find their path out of the cave.

P.S. I will always be waiting at the end of the path to share my light with you.

The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan Daily Prompt, Jan. 6th, 2018

This post was written in response to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday. No edits allowed! (none needed…this flowed from my soul…)

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Resolutions

 

 

 

I can’t say I’ve ever been big on making New Year’s Resolutions. Always seemed kind of cheesy to me. I guess I figured if I wanted to change something, I would. I guess I never wanted to change much before last year.

On New Year’s Day 2017,  I joined a few friends at our local beach. We braved the winds and gathered some flat rocks. Using a sharpie, we wrote intentions on the stones…positive affirmations of what we desired in our lives for the upcoming year.  Boy, did I have a lot of desires…I gathered EIGHT rocks! I scribbled my wishes on them, cast them into the ocean, holding on to the faith that the Universe would return them to me. I was not let down.

I came across a photo of the stones a few days ago. I teared up a bit when I saw what I had written.  A few of the tears were from sadness, because it really was a shame that on that day, I did not feel like I had any of those things in my life, or in my soul. But, most of my tears  were from happiness, or really…gratitude, because as soon as I saw the picture, I knew that I really did have all of those things in my life, and in my soul. Actually, I’ve had all of these things inside me the entire time… my entire life. I just had to learn how to uncover them, how to see them. A year later, and my eyes are wide open. Amazing how some of us can just stumble blindly through life, thinking God forgot about us when he was handing out these qualities. We all have them, you know…all of us.

I’ll be returning to the beach again on Monday. It’s a tradition now.  I was thinking about writing the same intentions and casting them into the waves, just for good measure. Or maybe I won’t write anything at all.

 

This post was written in response to Linda G Hill’s stream of social consciousness Saturday. No edits allowed!

 

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Dec. 30/17

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All I know

You’ll probably be surprised to see I’m writing about love and shame and worthiness and acceptance tonight. Just kidding. We all know it’s pretty much all I know…

I spent a good chunk of this summer treading in the swamp of unworthiness, barely keeping my head above water, trying to force relationships into being what I need/want/expect them to be. It was a struggle. Sure, I’ve struggled with this many times before. Actually, it’s been an unconscious cycle throughout my entire life. Sure, I broke free from it somewhat last year, but to really break free from a lifetime of this shit takes a few tries, you know?  And life tends to throw you curve balls just when you’re least expecting it. That’s what makes it so interesting, right? So, yeah…I started to repeat my old cycles, the one’s I go back to with every relationship I have with emotionally unavailable people, because that’s all I knew. That is, until now.

I can’t say for sure which experience triggered this newfound acceptance. Maybe it’s a combination of the landslide of rejection and betrayal I thought I was experiencing. (Perception). Maybe it was the result of all the therapy and meditation and writing I’ve done over the past two years. (Most likely) .Maybe it was that I’ve just had enough of treading water for people who really don’t even want to swim. (Ah-HA!)

I can vividly remember the day it started to unfold. December 3rd. As I shamefully uttered persuasive words to someone who I had spent a great deal of time trying to turn into someone they just aren’t ready to be, I realized the words I was uttering weren’t really true anymore.  I was just so used to saying them, to feeling that way, that it’s all I knew to say. I heard them coming out of my mouth and a small voice in the back of my head said, “Why are you still saying that? It’s not true anymore”. I hung up the phone and felt a shift inside me. And I realized it wasn’t just about this particular person, but about multiple people in my life who I’ve become codependent with. No, that should read had been codependent with. Because at that point, I knew I was codependent no longer. To me, codependency is like setting yourself on fire just to keep others warm. That’s an awful thing to do to yourself, isn’t it? So, I’m not doing it anymore.  I miss them. I’d love to have them in my life in a healthy way, but I don’t need them.

I think I got to this point by finally learning how to not take it personally when someone can’t love me the way I need to be loved. God, that sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Intellectually, it is. Emotionally, not so much. But, somehow, I’ve finally figured out how to match my emotional self up with my intellectual self, and it’s pretty damn amazing.  I mean that. Amazing. The dark swamp in the bottom of my soul is gone now. Replaced with a glowing light that shines so brightly, so strong…no one can dim my sparkle now. I’m a rock star, dammit.

These people, they are on their own journeys. Just like me. Hell, I took 45 years to even realize I needed to start my journey. And it’s only by the grace of God that I figured it out. Who am I to demand someone start theirs RIGHT THIS MINUTE, just because I’ve started mine? Just because I tell them to? I mean, of course I know they should start their journeys, but we all know you can lead a horse to water… you just can’t make it drink. It is NOT a reflection of me that these people are incapable of loving me, or incapable of facing their own darkness, or incapable of meeting the expectations I place on them. It has absolutely nothing to do with my worth. So, I’m learning to let them be. Just be.

I’ll close with a quote I found on Jeff Brown’s Facebook page. It’s enlightening and beautiful and so appropriate for me right now. My light is shining.

“Sometimes people walk away from love because it is so beautiful that it terrifies them. Sometimes they leave because the connection shines a bright light on their dark places and they are not ready to work them through. Sometimes they run away because they are not developmentally prepared to merge with another- they have more individuation work to do first. Sometimes they take off because love is not a priority in their lives- they have another path and purpose to walk first. Sometimes they end it because they prefer a relationship that is more practical than conscious, one that does not threaten the ways that they organize reality. Because so many of us carry shame, we have a tendency to personalize love’s leavings, triggered by the rejection and feelings of abandonment. But this is not always true. Sometimes it has nothing to do with us. Sometimes the one who leaves is just not ready to hold it safe. Sometimes they know something we don’t- they know their limits at that moment in time. Real love is no easy path- readiness is everything. May we grieve loss without personalizing it. May we learn to love ourselves in the absence of the lover”

This post was written in response to Linda G Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Dec. 23/17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thinking ink

I’m thinking my last post was kind of heavy. Well, I suppose most of them are, aren’t they? Anyway, I’m changing it up tonight, people! Tonight’s topic: ink.

I have three tattoos, and they all suck. I got them when I was immature and impulsive and I regret all three of them.  At least they are tiny and easy to hide. One of them, I am thinking about getting covered up. I actually have been researching tattoo artists in the New England area for the past couple of years, because I don’t want to rush into it like I did the first time. I’ve been searching for someone who style I like. I finally came across someone last year and made an appointment for an evaluation and really decided what I wanted to get.  I had been focusing on this tattoo that my brother had for several years now. I figured, if I liked it for this long, I wouldn’t regret it. His children have the same tattoo and I thought it would be awesome for all of us to have a “family tattoo”. I was so sure!  And then I changed my mind, ha ha. That’s the thing about tattoos, permanent is more permanent than you think. It’s a lot longer than having the same idea for three years and thinking that it will never change.

So,  what made me change my mind was the connection to nature I discovered while going through this crazy journey of mine.  This tattoo artist that I found asked me to describe what I wanted and why I wanted it and all that, and I told her that if I could have the perfect tattoo, it would consist of a deer, a hawk, a butterfly, and a buffalo skull.  Doesn’t that sound like a horrible tattoo?!  I would have to devote my entire back to a nature scene like that, and there is no way that’s happening. Each one of those animals symbolize something important to me though.  Everyone is telling me that a butterfly is the obvious choice. I think they are right.  Maybe I can condense it down to a butterfly with a hawk feather and maybe a deer footprint. Just like editing my article… “Trim that shit down, girl!” This artist is pretty amazing and can design some spectacular nature scenes,  so I’m sure we will figure out something together.  I was actually supposed to have the meeting with her in April, but it just so happened to coincide with the date of my Reiki certification class, and I felt like that was more important at the time, so I postponed her. Unfortunately, she’s super busy and in DEMAND and I have to wait until next spring. I guess that will give me plenty of time to decide on such a permanent decision. Any thoughts?

 

 

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 25/17

 

This post was written in response to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday….which is pretty much the only thing that seems to get me to write lately. Thanks, Linda.

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Open letter to the man who groped me last night

Hey.
You came to my birthday party last night with my friend. She didn’t know anyone on the guest list, so I told her to bring a friend. She chose you.
You seemed harmless enough. Confident, talkative, easygoing. You jumped right in when we were drinking shots and having cocktails. You shook all the men’s hands and chatted with all the women.  You were generous with the smiles and cracked a few jokes. You blended right in. It was a great party, wasn’t it?
When my friend and I were dancing in my living room, you were sort of dancing next to us. I say “sort of”, because at this point, you were pretty drunk, so to just say “dancing” would be an exaggeration. You were swaying, holding your drink, staring at both of us. Not in to our eyes, but watching our bodies. As soon as I noticed it, you went into the kitchen for something, probably another drink.  As you walked past me to get back to your spot in the living room, you sort of squeezed behind me, between me and the coffee table. As you did that, you brought your hand around my waist in front of me…and rubbed your palm across my crotch. I didn’t say anything. I’m still wondering why I didn’t, which I suppose is the reason I’m writing to you now. You know how after someone does something to you, like way after, you think of all the things you should’ve said? Well, that’s exactly what I did, so I’m saying them now. I didn’t say anything because it was easier not to. It was easier for me to hope it was just an accident. That because you were drunk, you maybe stumbled behind me and I just didn’t see you stumble and your hand just so happened to fall down on my crotch. God, that sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? I told my friend, right there as we were dancing, that you touched me inappropriately but I wasn’t sure if it was intentional or not, and if it happened again, I was going to have to say something. She was mortified. She brought you there as a guest, because she didn’t know anyone at the party. You were there in a supportive role to her, you know. I felt bad for telling her. Can you believe that? I felt bad.  I didn’t feel comfortable dancing in front of you anymore, so I walked into the kitchen and told the story to a few of my friends, saying how maybe it was an accident and how you might have stumbled behind me and I just didn’t see it. Because that would be so much easier to deal with than admitting a man I didn’t know touched my privates in my own living room in front of all my friends and I didn’t say anything to him…on my birthday.  One of my friends cut me off and said, “No way…I saw everything from in here. He touched you down there and it was completely intentional and completely inappropriate.”  She looked serious. Her eyes were saying “This is not OK“.  The women I was talking to all stared at me. God, that left me feeling like an idiot for even trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. And still…I said nothing. I didn’t want to embarrass my friend who brought you here, as it’s not her fault. I’m sure she didn’t know you liked to touch women inappropriately in a sexual way without their consent. So, I minimized it. I said, “Well, I’ve had a lot worse happen to me in my life”, laughing it off. They still stared at me. I just wanted the party to go back to being the fun celebration it was, before it turned into this. I didn’t want to ruin the good time by making a big deal out of it. I didn’t want everyone else at the party to think I was looking for attention, or blowing things out of proportion. I didn’t want my friend, the one who brought you here, to feel badly about me talking about you groping me, so I laughed it off . That’s right… you groped me, and I’m the one feeling like I’m ruining my birthday party. That’s how sexual assault goes,  you know.  But no, you probably don’t know that. Because most women don’t do anything about it, so you think your actions are OK.
Not too long after, my friend comes over to me and tells me it’s time for her to get you out of there. I’m not sure what you did to make her feel this was urgent, but I can imagine. After you leave, TWO other friends tell their story of being groped by you at my birthday party. You reached out and touched one of my friend’s breasts. Another one, you stared at her body for several minutes, making her very uncomfortable, before reaching out and grabbing her ass. The other two women didn’t feel comfortable saying anything about it until after you left. After you left. Are you starting to see how men keep getting away with this bullshit? Needless to say, once the men here heard about it, they were fuming. They were angry that they weren’t paying enough attention so they could have seen it happening, because they would have taken you outside and taken care of you. These are military men, so I think you can be assured you would probably not be walking today. Later on, when you came stumbling back to get your coat, I left it on the porch, because I knew if you came in, my party would become violent and I didn’t want that.  This was supposed to be a night of friendship and love.  And I also think that part of me felt bad for you. Part of me didn’t think it would be fair for you to be punished for touching me, when I didn’t say anything to you about it in the first place.  Like it would be my fault for you getting hurt because I didn’t speak up.  Did you read that? I didn’t think it would be fair to you.  Even as my mortified friend waited for you in the car, and you put your coat on, you tried to come back in my house. You reached for the door to come in, smiling at me. Swaying in your drunkenness. Leering. I can only imagine what you thought you were going to do. I shut the door tightly on you, and you stumbled to her car. I was glad you were gone, but also worried about my poor friend, having to be that close to you. 
Jesus, you sexually assaulted three women last night, and none of us said a word to you. I was so worried about looking like I was making a big deal out of nothing, or ruining the party, or making my friend feel badly about bringing you into my home, or anything except what I should have been worried about. Isn’t that crazy? I was worried about me ruining my party by reporting being groped. I would have blamed me for my friend feeling bad. I would have blamed me for you getting beat up.  This is how men like you keep doing what you do. It becomes normalized. We become conditioned not to say anything, so you think doing things like that is harmless. That it’s OK. That it’s no big deal. You know, because no one ever says otherwise to you. Well, I’m saying something now. It’s not harmless. It’s not OK. It’s a HUGE deal. There were over 25 people here last night, all local people, and they all know about what you did. Not just because I said something, but because the other women did, too. The entire party talked about you being a “groper”, and not one person had ever met you. I felt ashamed for not saying something to you, for not doing something to stop you. My friends were surprised to hear about how I froze. They were surprised, because I’ve just spent the past 2 years in therapy, overcoming a very long and varied history of sexual abuse. I am now an empowered woman who speaks up on behalf of other women. I verbally challenge people who minimize sexual assault. I knew better than to stay quiet…yet I did. Because discussing this type of thing and experiencing this type of thing are most definitely two separate things.  I was ashamed. Me, of all people, should have said something. But I didn’t, and that’s OK. I’m still learning. I’m still healing. I’m still traveling my journey. So no, I didn’t say anything at the time, but I sure as hell am saying something now: “Hey....This. Is. Not. OK.”
This post was written in response to Linda G Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday

 

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Cut short the funk

Id like to thank the universe for cutting short the funk I’ve been in these past few months. I knew something was about to happen. I could feel it building up over the past few weeks. Amid all the inner turmoil, I would catch glimpses of whatever “it” was…little glimmers of hope, of putting puzzle pieces together in my brain. I kept up with my “work”…meditating my ass off, writing in my journal, researching attachment types, abandonment issues and emotionally unavailable men. The other night, I tearfully sat in my friend’s driveway, telling her how desperate I was to change my attachment type, knowing full well the only way I was ever going to stop the pattern of only being drawn to emotionally unavailable men was to believe in my own self worth, and to make peace with the first emotionally unavailable relationship in my life… the one with my dad. Easier said than done, people. Easier said than done.

I spent another day soul-searching. Reading. Listening to podcasts. I knew I had all the answers in my possession, I just had to figure out how to make them work. I could feel an impending shift inside me. I went to dinner that night with my friends, still tearfully talking about the same thing, but telling them “something big is about to happen to me…I can feel it.” And wouldn’t you know it… I woke up the very next day, and the angst was gone. Just like that. It lifted. I exhaled. I smiled.  I thought about trying to figure just what it was that made it go away, but I stopped… No need to. I just wanted to enjoy it.

I felt like a damn rock star.  I kicked ass at work that day. I ended up finishing early because everything seem to line up just right. I noticed a lot of synchronicity throughout the day, and knew it was the universe falling into place for me.  I ended up completing a lot of tasks I had put  off for months. Every interaction I had was joyful and purposeful. I was mindful of everything. I was walking on air and felt unstoppable.

Are you waiting for me to tell you about when the other shoe fell? Well, I’m not going to. The synchronicity is still happening. I still feel no inner turmoil. It’s been days now, and I’m still a rock star.  Carry on.

 

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 4/17

 

 

 

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How I escaped from my cocoon while running a business and raising two kids without completely losing my mind

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