I Stick by My Boundaries

Some, or most, of us have all been there for someone. We have continued to love and support them in times of struggle and continue. Hell, we might even try and lighten that person’s load with everything they are going through. Yet, we can be met with hatred when one perceived the wrong move is made. Then, we are subjected to the cruelty of psychological projection. Projection is a defense mechanism some people use as a defense to cope with their own extreme emotions; involving projecting the hated emotions onto another person rather than taking responsibility for their own actions that have left them with the self-hatred.

Projection hurts the person that is projecting and the person they are projecting on. The person that is projecting, you must understand, does not know or lacks the acquired skills of coping for their own self-hatred. It hurts the person they are projecting on because it leaves them feeling hurt, confused, or even triggered. So, let me tell a story.

I am in an open marriage and find that honesty/communication is key within this. When I hear of significant others lying to each other to have affairs I do not understand. Life is much easier if you are honest about your needs and wants in this life. The one person you should not feel the need to lie to is your significant other.

I had a friend that started to have an affair. I asked them to talk to their partner about it because lying about it is only detrimental to the mind in my own biased view. They did not want to and I still listened to them. I helped them when they asked, I validated feelings, I kept them in my meditations of peace every day. In short, we are not all perfect but I was trying my best not to judge them and keep my boundaries up against this.

The time came where I asked if I could take their child to the pool as our sons are awesome friends. They said that was fine but if I could take the child a little longer. I asked why and they told me that they were hoping to see their secret lover. That is where I draw a boundary; I will not be a part of a lie or their lies to their partner. I can not fathom the pressure it would put on me as I see both of the people often and said I could not. After I said I could not the person said that they forgot they had family dinner that night; which means they could not go to the pool. Okay, bummer, but I totally get that. Life happens and family ALWAYS comes first in my book.

After all of this conversation, the person told me that things had changed because their lover had left their partner. I went to the partner’s Facebook page and found that they were still together. I advised my friend of this and they said that they were completely stressed out and their brain was garbled. I knew the feeling of being garbled and how it affects one’s brain.

While all this is happening to her, I am helping a person go through a rape. I have talked to her every day for about two weeks now and trying to help them. It had become a political debate as to what a person should do in the position of rape and why rape victims do not come forward. I am also in inactive withdrawal from gabapentin. Needless to say, I was reaching my breaking point as well and understood the stress part.

To make it easier on this person for making plans this weekend, I sent a message to their partner, one of a few messages I have sent to their partner, asking what they were doing on Saturday and if they wanted to go swimming. I shortly received an instant message from my friend accusing me of trying to out them to their partner, as far as their affair, because they said their son could not go swimming. HOLY CRAP! I was so confused, I had no idea what to do with that. It led to a triggering point and it hurt deeply. I did not know what to do.

With everything going on in my personal life and then with that and with all the accusations I have faced in the past two weeks I put up a Public Service Announcement on my page, again I say: my page, stating it hurts to be accused of something I had never done. This led to the person I have loved and attempted to protect to block me on everything and start gaslighting me to others.

This is not new to me. I have been the person that has been in this before. The middle of a guilty conscious and the projection of hatred of another person. It just touched a nerve.

So, if you find yourself in a place you do not want to be in: you can leave. You show compassion to yourself. You take notice that what is happening is not necessarily because of you. Let the person have their space. You have now seen how much that person values you. So, let them be. Continue to think fondly of them, wish nothing my happiness and freedom and peace for them; however, stay clear of them.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus

We All Just Want to be Heard

We all have our own character weaknesses that have the ability to control our thoughts and reactions. These are, typically, developed in early childhood through our upbringing, environment, social class, and so forth. It is all fascinating to me to believe that at one-point women were to stay at home with the children while the men went to work, carried one job, were able to feed their children, maintain a roof over their head, and be able to retire at the age of fifty-two. It is a marvel to me. After the industrial revolution, the dynamics of family living changed; it is an undeniable fact that this changed. What changed though? Women were able to obtain birth control, thus, being able to choose how large their family was. The men went to the great wars and the women were left to work in the ammunition workshops or anything.

What does come as shock to me at this day is looking back at our historical roots and discovering that some of our first female doctors and psychologists were turned down for their degree simply because they did not have a penis between their legs? It was a woman’s job to take care of her children and not leave the house but for a little while. There are still these stereotypes today and it really does sadden me. I cannot imagine not being able to work. Although I could fight for disability payment, I would be incredibly bored without working and that is, to say the least of the matter.

What brings this up? Every Sunday I go and have coffee with my Grampy at his residential living apartment. It is a new one and close to the house. He has his own kitchen, but why use it because all meals are prepared for him, bedroom, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. He can decorate as he pleases. You can tell where his pride is when you walk into the apartment. There are pictures of all of his grandchildren, not all great-grandchildren because that is a soccer team, his time overseas in the Korean War as a radar technician and pictures of my recently passed away Grammy. Sixty-years of marriage that all ended a stroke. Her last words to me were I love you too.

I was talking with Grampy this Sunday and the topic of war came up, as it often does, and a woman’s place in the world when he was growing up. Mind you, a lot of what my Grampy says can be contradictory. He says how sad it was when the nuclear weapons went off to end the war and it killed so many civilians but then goes into a racist line about how he felt when he was younger and still feels today. Then he’ll talk about the recent chemical attacks that are devastating the Syrian people right now and how it saddens him but then condones bombing an entire another country, along with civilians, to stop the civil war. Then talk about Muslims as if they are second-rate citizens.

Now, I love my Grampy. This must not be construed in any other direction. He has bestowed on me the will to keep going in my education, the importance of family, and how much marriage can mean to one individual person. Sometimes though, the things that he says truly show his age and everything that he saw as a child. He never really talked about his emotions when Grammy was alive. It was Grammy and I talking, or “hen pecking” as he put it, while he took the boys to go and play. After Grammy passed away it was like a bottle was squeezed open and everything started to come out. Although his Aphasia makes it difficult to understand him at times, he always gets his point across.

What I cannot handle all that well is when he talks about how he misses my Grammy so bad. If I could have done anything to help him join her, the Gods know he tried with his heart attack and stroke, I would have allowed it. Men that outlive their partner do not typically live much longer; yet, here he is in all of is Fox News loving glory trying to convince me that I am indeed a political party that I do not align with at all. Him finally opening up about his childhood, the depression, the wars, his father, his grandfather, and his life as just a person; not just a great engineer, Republican, or how everything in his life was perfect. This man in front of me now is fragile. It is something that I cannot begin to fathom. Grampy was always stoic and had something to say about everything. Now, he really enjoys just remembering the good and bad times in his life and how it shaped him.

In the end, is that not what we all do? We all wish we could go back to the beginning to make it better or right somehow but cannot go back so we just talk about how wonderful it was to be there in that moment. Shooting rabbits so your family could eat at the age of eleven, your mom frying up squirrel for dinner that you brought home. Building houses and repairing farm equipment. My great-grandmother not producing enough milk for my aunt so my great-grandfather buying her a cow! These are the stories I long to hear when I talk to him. His stories of how our, and his future, came to be. How we got to this point in our journey. The stigma around mental illness, even autism though he has two grandchildren with it, the racism, the contradictory thoughts, how he was raised, how my great-great grampy was. All of it.

Because, in the end, we all just want to be listened to and heard.

Thank you as always to Jenn Bovee.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus

Photo by GriefandMourning.com

Music saves

I grew up in a butcher shop; a real butcher shop that my paternal grandparents owned and my father worked at. I remember the back room so vividly where all the processing was done. Most of all I remember the laughter listening big band music like Glenn Miller and diving head first into my grandfather wanting to dance on his feet. We swayed and laughed and had an amazing time. I remember the basement of the shop being the scariest thing I had ever seen, but it was the only place where the restroom was. It was so dark down there.

I remember my maternal grandmother’s love for the big band music that she eventually died to listening in hospice. I remember the time that I went to a wedding and her and I took the dance floor for a spin. My music levels have always been diverse though because of my daddy.

We lived in a house when I was young that he and my maternal grandfather built, and funny enough my husband and myself almost bought. My father had this giant music player that was equipped with a record player for the vinyl, an eight-track, cassette player, and an AM/FM radio. We would listen to Red Red Wine while I stood on his feet and danced (it’s the one thing that helps me forget).

I remember living in California with my ex-husband and going to my best friend’s house to hang out. We would listen to Marley over and over, Stir it up in particular, while we just danced around the house and cleaned. That was what military wives did, we stayed at home and cleaned.

I remember being introduced to Sabbath, Zeppelin, Janis, Jimmy, Jim, Marley, and all of the greats. I mean the greats of the time. Then I was introduced to different types of music. Scream metal, death metal, electro, and some of the newest forms of music that I am not sure even have a name. One of my favorites is “pray” by Terror Jr. My sister sent it to me saying me it reminded her of me. You see, when people ask you to listen to music, they want you to listen to the lyrics. “Deep in the shadows, that’s where I live, I can be your daddy, preach for daddy, pray for the pussy, whip me like a caddy”. How funny, but it makes sense…”A long way from God, but we can still pray here”.

I am going through a withdrawal of Xanax right now, the worst symptom being the insomnia and this constant ringing in the center of my head. I could not sleep so I came downstairs to listen to music and now I am in a better mood. Is that not the way that it typically works if you find the right kind of music you identify with?

I think that is the place where I began to understand that music soothes you in a way that nothing else can. When you are having a horrible day or night what do you turn to in order to amplify the mood that you’re currently in? I mean, I know that I have PTSD and some memories are burned into me. I would rather remember the beautiful times that I had with music than the ones that remind me of the terrible things. Sometimes the horrible lyrics can remind me of a situation but I never let that stop me.

You’re having a bad day? Get in your car, or room, and blast your music. It is called distraction when you are having a particularly hard time. Case in point: my oldest son was having horrible anxiety after my grandmother passed away. He was screaming and posturing, he could not stop crying. I threw him in the car, let him sit in the front seat, and blared his favorite rap songs. Bass turned all the way up. I must admit that this had two reasons…I was afraid I would need to take him to the hospital if I could not get him to calm down…we listened to Blackbear on repeat and drove around until 12:00 a.m. He calmed down and fell asleep in the car.

Play some music and lighten your load.

Thank you as always to Jenn Bovee.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus

In times of trouble

If only I had the emotional capacity to forget things and people. I have met people that are able to shutdown their emotions for another like a light switch. I will never be able to understand that thought or the emotional distance that someone like that must have. However, I am grateful that I do not understand that switch at the same time. If I do not understand it, then there is no way that I am the person that they are.

If you read my blog on a regular basis you are aware that I am polyamorous with my husband. Poly means many loves; they combined Greek and Latin to come up with the word which is a trifle icky to many people that study language. The wording is changing over time, but it all means the same. Poly could not be further from cheating than anything. Everyone in the relationship has say in the action of the group.

The last relationship I had lasted for six-years with a man. I remember sitting there and wondering if it was the right decision to be with him because before then it had always been women. I remember distinctly the first time we decided to be a couple. We were sitting in the basement watching Paranormal Witness on SyFy and he was nervously trying to touch me. He was putting his fingers closer and closer to my feet. I told him it was okay if he touched me and he stroked my cheek telling me how soft my skin was. I looked into his beautiful blue eyes and said “but what if I fall in love?”. He said nothing and leaned in to kiss me.

That was how it began, a simple sweet kiss and a worry. Many fights, him cheating on me, so many lies to me, so many changes…I thought it would keep us stronger in our relationship. He was there when I received the diagnosis of my son’s Autism Spectrum Disorder, he was there for counseling to make our relationship better, and he was there when I would have panic attacks or flashbacks.

I was on a medication called Abilify, and it makes you not understand impulse control. We had decided to be just friends so he could find his “white picket fence family” but he was still going to be there for my family. Both my children called him dad and I believed that we would be in each other’s lives forever. I went to his house on a morning after a night of him drinking and had sex with him. A few days later I started to bleed and that is not supposed to happen due to IUD. I contacted my doctor to see if this was normal and they said it could be but take a pregnancy test. As it turns out I was pregnant. It turns out you can get results a lot sooner than you would think. I suffered a miscarriage as is most common with an IUD pregnancy. I handled it by myself, in a pool of blood. I went to my OBGYN to ensure everything was okay with my strings. While she was down there making the adjustments, the rest of the baby came out.

bloodpregnancy test

I found out he was lying again, and I asked him what more he wanted from me. He told me to fuck off. Okay, ouch. Then I heard he was lying and said that I did not have a miscarriage and was saying horrible things about me. I was so upset that he would say such things. We loved each other once, and saying those lies was gut wrenching. What was even more destressing being when my son with autism needed him. He did not answer. I do not understand how someone could be so calloused to a child. Me, yes, I do understand it, but to someone that called him daddy that has autism…I will never understand.

I am trying to understand it. Maybe it is because he was not the biological father. Maybe it was because I was so incredibly blunt with my last conversation. Maybe it was a combination of everything. Maybe we were just toxic. Either way, it is just something that I cannot wrap my head around.

I’m glad I don’t understand it.

Thanks as always to Jenn Bovee for always being there for me.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus

SAD

I am always so tired during the winter months and there seems to be little remedy for it. My depression peaks at this time of the year, as it does with several others. Seasonal Affected Disorder. Four to six percent of people may have winter depression or ten to 20 percent have mild Seasonal Affected Disorder (“Seasonal Affected Disorder”, 2000).

What I am trying to get at is that you are not alone if you feeling this depression. You may be tired, gaining weight, feeling alone, feeling overly sexual, feeling no sexual want, wanting sweet or even salty food. It is a constant struggle for me to continue to get out of the house and continue.

I do have tricks up my sleeve though that may be able to help you! I know that sunlamps may be expensive, but I can tell you that it is all worth it. Even just fifteen minutes a day can help you wake up in the morning. The feeling to want to rely on caffeine is undoubtedly a thought for many people during this time but it can also make the problem worse (at least it does for me). I notice if I intake too much caffeine through coffee that I become tired and sluggish. Slowly fading away into a nap for reasons unknown to me; until I started doing some research on a brain chemical called adenosine. This chemical and the transmitters is the reason behind being sleepy. Coffee makes you urinate, and when you urinate your blood thickens; when your blood thickens, there is a little less oxygen in your brain to help it to keep functioning (Scott, 2016). Doctors at the Mayo Clinic suggest to only consume 2-4 cups of caffeinated drinks. This includes soda, and to limit your sugar intake.

How does one take care of their oxygen levels though? Water, exercise, and mindfulness. The more cardiovascular exercise you can do the better. Although yoga is an amazing attribute to add to your daily journey, perhaps adding in a vinyasa yoga practice would help to raise the blood levels to your brain. Exercise frees the blood to flow more energetically to the brain.

Look, I know it is hard. Believe me, I know how hard it is to get motivated when you’re already in a slump, but if you start to make a routine you would be amazed at what you can do. Do not make it a resolution either, make it a lifestyle. I know that in the past years I have found that my SAD has grown to progressively rising levels, but I also notice the more I do (the more active I am in my lifestyle) the better I end up feeling towards the end of the day.

Today I had three cups of coffee and crashed hard and had very little water to follow it up with. My dietary needs were also not met. I am a vegan and need to ensure that my protein levels are high, but I did not do that today. Instead I fell asleep and woke up feeling like shit. So, tomorrow I intend on following my daily routine over again.

Thanks as always to Jenn Bovee.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus

References:

Scott. (2016, April 16). Why does coffee make me sleepy?. Driftaway Coffee. Retrieved from https://driftaway.coffee/coffee-make-sleepy/

Seasonal Affected Disorder. (2000, March 1). American Family Physician. Retrieved from https://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0301/p1531.html