Self-Defense

When I cannot sleep or too agitated to rest, I fantasize. Conjuring up scenarios in my head to cheer me up and calm me down. But most of the time I ruined my own fantasy by wanting everything to be perfect. Every move, every word has to be precise, even the lighting has to be perfect or otherwise, I cannot move from one scene to another. The keyword is feeling. If a certain setting doesn’t evoke the emotion I want to achieve, it will not do for me. When a person in my fantasy look at me across the room, I want to feel something, when someone holds my hand, whisper in my ear, sing a song, tells a joke, I want to feel it inside, I want the gesture to move me, or otherwise I will repeat the scene over and over in my head till I get it right.

I know it’s craziness but I can’t help it. If I want to escape reality, the fantasy must be damn good, or otherwise, what’s the use?

Don’t judge me for escaping the stresses and cruelty of the world 

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The Perfect Mother

Children are knives. They don’t mean to, but they cut. And yet we cling to them, don’t we, we clasp them until the blood flows.

My daughter always said that when the time comes she will be a better mother than I am because you see when it comes to motherhood (among so many other things) I am a failure in her eyes.

Well, she’s a mother now and her baby is four months old, so far, she didn’t manage to take care of Oona on her own yet. Every day she needs someone to be there because she cannot stand being alone with her daughter. Too demanding, too energy-consuming, too tiring too difficult too scary too everything according to her. She got a list of people (cleaning person maternity help and such not included) in her network and she shuffles their schedules to fit in hers. No questions asked. Just do what she says and everything will run smoothly. That simple. That easy.

She complains that Oona cries a lot and taking too much of her time. In fact, she said she has no life anymore. Duh (eyes rolling) you wanted a baby, suffer the consequences. In fact, Oona cries because she is making her nervous, stressing the baby (and everyone around her) with her regimented rules and schedules. Babies fall asleep when they want to, no need to force them to lie in a darkened room because you find it is time for them to disappear. In my country, we leave them to drop down whenever and wherever they please no matter how unconventional that might be. Like my father said if they fall asleep in a strange position whichever corner they choose, it means they are comfortable there so let them be.

Babies cry when they are hungry so please don’t force-feed them in the hours that you deemed right. Oona is not even allowed to hold her own bottle. Against the rules. The other day She said that Oona is under the weather and agitated. I would be too if I don’t take a bath for four days. She cannot put Oona in the bath alone. Too scary. Besides, Oona doesn’t like water. I wonder why. Probably the same reason why Oona doesn’t like to be dressed up. She squeezes her into clothes that way too small it restricts the baby’s movements. I can imagine how painful it is to wear a romper that there is no room to stretch your legs without putting pressure on your neck. She said she suspects that Oona has pain in the neck. Another duh. If you are a perfect mother, you will notice that you are squeezing your baby into clothes that don’t fit. No?

And if you are too scared to put her in the bath for whatever reason, at least freshen her up a bit, give her sponge bath, start with playfully wetting her hands and feet in lukewarm water either in a basin or under the softly trickling water from the tap. You can apply the same method to wash the hair. Hold her head under the tap but not the face or you can use a plastic cup so you can pour softly and slowly while talking to her describing what you’re doing to distract her. Do it playfully and lovingly as not to scare her. And if you are really worried you might drop the baby or something, do it if necessary in bed putting a waterproof sheet underneath the bath towel. Anything but leaves her unwashed for days!

Not sure what to do? Google it for crying out loud. For sure there are loads of materials out there to get ideas from.

During one of my visits, I had to take Oona for a walk (and Mary the dog) so my daughter could take a rest she said. It was cold, I wear a double hoodie but Oona didn’t have a cap. My daughter either forget to give it or didn’t find it necessary. I know better than to question her judgment. Any question raises about her choices is guaranteed to be met with hysterics that lead to teary arguments and finger-pointing. We had disagreement already over the cap of the perambulator. She wanted me to close it completely sealing Oona in the darkness. What is the point of walking outside if she is not allowed to see anything? A few meters from the house I opened the pram’s cap halfway, picked some yellow flowers that were bending over the fence and hang over the hood where Oona could see them. She liked it.

When we came back, my daughter commented about Oona’s sudden changed of mood. The baby looked healthier and obviously happier she said. I think to myself: Of course, she is. Any fool with half sense would know that like with anybody, babies need to go out too. To relax, not to party like my daughter seems to prefer upsetting her own structured schedules for Oona whom she claimed a hypersensitive baby therefore susceptive to too many stimuli. But that’s another of my daughter’s many amazing characteristics; putting her wants and needs first above anyone else. A modus she practices from babyhood with her brother who learned from the cradle it is best to give way than be subjected to teary confrontation. Wonderful.

She’s suffering from post-natal depression ( she said) which costing them money going to a psychiatrist (or is it psychologist?) and all. And guess whose fault is that, her being depressed, mine of course who else. Me and my ex failed to give her a proper upbringing (emotional blackmail anyone?) and all that jazz. Excuses I find. She’s 31 years old. She is married to the boy she had been chasing all her life. They now have one of the four babies she planned a long time ago to have and bring up perfectly, they have a decent house and okay relationship, man up for God’s sake! She practically living her dream. What’s the problem then?

Sometimes I suspect her of using Oona, deliberately agitating the baby and God knows what so she can justify her claim of how difficult her situation is and how brave how wonderful how good how perfect she is to withstand the ordeal of motherhood.

Look around for God’s sake! How other mothers are doing. Are they being overly dramatic? And I mean mothers who had survived a more traumatic experience in their lives than her. There is one among her circle of friends for example. Are they using their history as an excuse to cover their inadequacy?

When I gave birth to her I was barely in my twenties, alone in a foreign country where I didn’t understand nor able to speak the language, living in a tiny studio in the marginal part of the capital with little else to go on. The only view I had was an abandoned building that put fear in my soul. My drunkard thoroughly abusive husband disappeared on weekends leaving us alone with no food and locked me and my daughter outside in the middle of the winter whenever it suited him. I had to beg milk for her from the cafes in the neighborhood and ring bells of various apartments and pleaded to let us in even in the hallway so my daughter will not freeze to death. How’s that for a reason to have post-natal depression?

With all of the horrible things I had experienced, not even once I blamed anyone and feel nothing but love for my children. I never saw them as a bother, upsetting the balance of my life or costing me energy or blaming them for not having a life. Something my daughter is constantly talking about when it comes to Oona. One time, I asked her if she once looks into Oona’s eyes and feels that whatever troubles she’s having taking care of her is all worth it. She said; “I don’t have that. I don’t feel anything. I don’t enjoy motherhood, I don’t see her as all of you see her, she’s costing me too much energy and demanding all my time, I have no life anymore, yada-yada-ya.”

I can’t believe it. What did she expect? A walk in the park? First of all, she wanted to have a baby. So much so that when they cannot conceive the normal way they went to a lot of trouble to ensure that she gets what she wished for. Wish granted. What’s the problem then? The reality doesn’t fit in her perfect vision of how it supposed to be? Motherhood is not as easy as she thought it would be? Or the idea of her failing in her lifelong quest to do better than me terrifies her more than anything.

For the record, Oona is a sweet child in nature, calm, agreeable and happy. Only cries when it matters and not at all demanding. But like all normal babies who are in tune with their surroundings and susceptible to the moods of their mothers, Oona feels what my daughter feels and it makes her nervous, agitated and traumatized. She suffers under the constant quest for perfection, order, and control of my daughter who forces Oona to learn to roll over, lie on her belly, this and that because she finds it is about time Oona does these things. I thought: For God’s sake leave her alone. She will rollover crawl and walk in her own time. My son didn’t walk or talk till he was two and a half and turned out to be a multi-talented gifted individual. Each baby has a different pace when it comes to developing. There is no one size fits all (written or not written) rules for these kinds of things. If you are a perfect mother you ought to know that you can’t give your baby a textbook upbringing. Let them do their own thing. All in due time. And if there is indeed something wrong with your baby, no amount of forcing can change that so leave them alone.

What’s the problem then?

The problem is responsibility. My daughter cannot handle it. An aunt (and uncle) cushioned and pampered her for twenty-six years- something she never appreciates (what it is she appreciates anyway) someone devoting all their lives at her beck and call- something my daughter endlessly and shamelessly practice even now among her friends and family. I may not be the perfect mother but I don’t use and manipulate people to suit my needs. I’m afraid the trait comes from the side of my family. My mother was an expert. She thought she had everything coming. I called it Annalyn syndrome. Annalyn is my sister who unfortunately has the same character as my daughter. They love to put the blame on anyone but themselves and play the victim. Own your fucking mistakes for crying out loud and stop blaming people for your own failure. If everyone uses their imperfect background as a starting point (foundation) which to build their future, then everyone would be a criminal.

I for one have plenty of reasons from all sides but I don’t go on bothering people. I’m not saying I am better than my daughter or anyone else. I am probably worse in some areas. What I’m saying is the opposite. Don’t think you are perfect when you are clearly not. Don’t claim you’ve done it on your own and don’t need anyone when you can’t even take care of your own child and need an army just to survive a day. And appreciate the help you get and be grateful instead of acting high almighty I am better than the rest. And please decide what it is you really want to do with your life instead of jumping from one interest to the other confusing the people around you. And stop using your background and upbringing as excuses if you lost the motivation and don’t succeed.

My daughter spent 31 years of her life trying to decide what it is she really wants to do and achieve. So far she is in the middle of yet another endeavor with so many on the sides that it is unclear what is her ultimate goal and where she gonna go from there.

She said she wants to have a practice (a part of a conglomerate of experts housed in one building) giving advice to families on how to run their lives and bring up their children properly. She said she has the perfect background to do it. I told her practice with Oona first and at this moment she is the one who needs advice.

And that is another problem. My daughter cannot take advice or tips (especially from me but she will gladly pay a ridiculous amount of money to a stranger telling her what she wants to hear) on how to run her life without taking it as a grave offense and switch on to the full battle defensive mode.

I understand the difficulties of motherhood. I’ve been there, haven’t I? I know that each person has their own manner of dealing with any given situation, I understand that my daughter has some trouble coping with the responsibilities but she made the choice so snap out of it and shoulder on. There are people who are in a more desperate situation that she is right now. Millions of them. She has a supportive family, an understanding brother, willing in-laws, a patient husband, a network of helpful friends and a dream of a daughter whom I will gladly take on if given a chance. So stop being a ninny, step up to the challenge and show some respects where respect is due.

And most of all, stop the quest to be the perfect mother or perfect anything because perfect doesn’t exist. She had already a dose of reality check from every corner and had to swallow almost every word she once swears she was not going to do so learn from it instead of clinging on to her unrealistic ideals that exist only in her head.

I hope she man-up soon for the sake of Oona before it is too late.

I’m not holding my breath though.

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Parallel Lines Don’t Intersect

The poem at the bottom reminds me of the time I was convinced I had a crush on a senior in high school. I was a freshman, we were both in pilot classes. The best of the best.

I was there by brain alone. No prestige no wealth not even looks. He had all of those and more. Naturally, he didn’t want to be associated with me. Avoided me like the plague. I remember enrolling in the woodworking class because I thought he would be there but no, he was in embroidery class. Joined the gardening class hoping to catch him there but what do you know__ he was in the baking class!

He grew up to be the most successful individual I know past and present. Traveling around the world for his job and belongs to crème de la crème in his field. He is never married. To his job by the looks of it. He never stops studying. A Ph.D. here, there and everywhere and still going. I wonder what his motivations are. Anyway whatever it is, he made it.

A couple of years ago, his cousin – who used to be my classmate – and I came across each other online and since she was just across the border from where I live we decided to meet for old time’s sakes. I heard he will be there as well. But at the last moment, he dropped out. I concluded that even after all these years he still doesn’t want to be in the same room with me. I retreated inside my walls and never heard of them since then.

you said you like old stuff
so I bought a vinyl player
and a typewriter.
I thought it’ll make you like me too,
how could I be so futile?you said you’re into painting
so I enrolled in an art class
and practiced drawing.
I heard you wrote him handwritten poems,
oh god, this feels like drowning.you said you’re into bad boys
so I tattooed a dragon across my chest.
I saw you date your nerdy classmate.
guess I’m all too late
again.

see? no matter how many times
I change myself for you,
you still can’t see me.
no matter how fast I chase you
I’m still miles away behind
your
free-versed heart.

you said you’re still a virgin
so I stopped watching pornography.

I heard he banged you hard.

God, I deserve a drink.

~from Postcard Promise via Facebook

5

The Past Comes Peeping Out Again

By accident, I came across a familiar name online, a name I know so well. A name I’ve seen written on railway sleepers outside our house once upon a time. A name which was converted into numbers as a part of coded messages written on walls around the neighborhood meant only to be understood by me but meaningless to others. A name that has now an extra name added to it, inserted in between and belonged to a familiar face of a stranger. How did it happen?

The face belonged to a friend. A son of one of my father’s workmates and buddies. His father was trying to couple him with me even before I set eyes on him. I always nod and politely smiled whenever the topic was brought up but deep inside I was not the least interested. Judging by the appearances of parents and siblings, this phantom boy who worked in the city will never be anything to me. And so I thought.

Till one sunny afternoon, I was trying to read and heard a commotion outside. Peeping through the slit on the wall I saw two young men carrying air guns chasing each other across the train tracks. I found their accent funny. Clearly, they were from the south and speaking a dialect I heard my father used sometimes. I wondered who they were.

I saw the older of the two boys again during an old fashioned barrio fiesta dance. He was more good looking than I remember, looking like a city boy that he was, fresh and modern. I was charmed.

I wish he wasn’t a show-off. I wish he didn’t dominate the dance floor, I wish he wasn’t so sure of himself the one hundred percent crush I initially had for him reduced by twenty-five percent after his performance that night. On the way home, he deliberately stayed behind to have a word with me he said and I thought: This is it! He gonna professed his undying love for me. But what he actually said was he got an eye for my friend Rose and could I possibly help him to win her heart. The seventy-five percent crush plummeted to fifty after that revelation. When I heard that he was the phantom son of my father’s co-worker, the remaining fifty percent went all the way down to zero and we became best of friends. That’s the face the familiar stranger belongs to.

The name is totally another matter.

It belongs to someone else entirely. Same town, same neighborhood, same young dreamers club (he was the president, the other the vice) but different looks, different age category; he was older. Twenty-six to be exact. I knew right away he fancied me. Actions speak louder than words, right? He showed it in so many little things but he never made an attempt to voice out his feelings or formally court me. I confronted him with it and to my surprise, he didn’t deny what I already knew. When I asked him why, he said he was not a teenager anymore to give in to impulse, too old to be foolish. I was a handful he said. Starting anything with me was like picking a rock to bash your own head. I was too much for him he said. I called him a pussy and he laughed about it. We laughed about the whole thing. I was not the least insulted nor angry. The whole conversation was bordering on funny, a joke. But we understood the seriousness of what being said and not said. We accepted it.

He was a frustrated engineer to be, dropped the dream in favor of drinks. He carries a big scar across his stomach. A souvenir from a street fight which almost killed him. If he learned some lessons from the experience, it didn’t show. Life goes on.

I went away in search of a better future. I lost track of the people I once knew. Forgotten almost. Never seen them again nor I set foot on the once familiar turf once more. Now I saw online a stranger who is carrying his name wearing a familiar face of another.  Too much of a coincidence. It piqued my curiosity and started to dig deeper.

Well, it turned out to be this: Mr. Frustrated Engineer married a sister of my once best friend. (Why they all ended up together eventually? Too little choice? Too lazy to cast the net wider? Whatever) Mixing the name and the looks perfectly well. There are six siblings to the familiar stranger. All good looking, all degree holder. Three of them engineers. Not bad I thought. And the familiar stranger who is bearing the name of his father, well, he is an engineer too. Surprise surprise. Kudos to him and to the sister. Despite circumstances, they managed to raise a family of well educated talented young people who will be parents to more successful future generations from my past. Making me wish I am thirty years younger and back to the place I tried all my life to escape from. Fancy that.

And to him, he made the right choice by not choosing me. It would never work out. I am too much of everything for somebody like him. For anybody for that matter. The best way to keep me is to set me free. Something my husband understands so well. And by the way, he’s also an engineer.

Well, Mr. Frustrated Engineer… Do you still remember the song you used to sing to me while strumming your guitar?

This is it:

Something New In My Life 

by Stephen Bishop

I guess I wanted something new in my life
A new key to fit a new door
To wake and see a different view in my life
The one I’ve been waiting for

Dreams like everyone I had a few in my life
Who knew that this one would come true in my life
I knew the moment when you touched me
You touched me

You’re like a sudden breeze that blew in my life
A new face, a new smile, a new song
And now I know I wanted you in my life all along

You’re like a chance I had to take in my life
I found you and couldn’t lose you
And all the difference that you make in my life
The feelings I never knew

I guess I must have saved an empty place in my heart
For you to come and fill the space in my heart
That long before I said, I loved you
I loved you

Whatever happens, this is true in my life
When all the springs have come and gone
Whatever doors I may go through in my life
Whatever else that I may do in my life

You’ll always be the something new in my life
From now on
I know there always will be you in my life
From now on…

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I am made for Autumn

Yes. The colors, the atmosphere, the way the light slant through the trees and on everything. The sky mix of hues, lavender orange pink purples and blues… The chilly breeze and evening fires, the rain, the smell of earth, late-blooming perennials shorter days and early nights. All of those makes me feel peaceful and warm.

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A Wet Man Does Not Fear The Rain

Is that so?

When you hit rock bottom the only way is up?

Dangerous are the people who got nothing to lose

They up the stake and go all the way.

I feel like that sometimes.

Other times I worry about everything and nothing.

But one thing is true

The more you have, the more scared you get of losing them.

Same with people I guess.

The more you love them, the greater the fear.

Watching thriller and detective films sometimes, I curse when I learned that the leading character has a family, children especially. I think to myself: How stupid you are to have an Achilles heel. In that line of work, better to live alone and have nothing you cannot walk away from when the situation calls for it.

If I have got my wish, I am living that kind of life. Solitary. Lone wolf. Always in transition, nothing to lose, never vulnerable.

I will be a Ronin.

Yeah. I like that. A secret fantasy of mine.

I never walk into a place I don’t know how to walk out of.

And I never took a companion I cannot shoot in the head without a second thought.

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Found Treasure

We all have carried storms in our spine.

These days, I kept wondering when or where would it start, that time would heal all wounds. I haven’t known pain for months now, not that I am already healed nor that I have been used to the pain. Instead these days, I still sing along to my favorite songs, I still watch my favorite shows, I still read and go out sometimes. But for long I have felt numb— numb to the very fiber of my bones.

It’s like I became an empty shell, just drifting along or as to how they say it “going along with the flow” of whatever this routine pattern that had become of my life. I have lost the fire to do what I want, I have lost the power to realign my life. I became a shadow that watches my life passes by; like another person watching through a body that doesn’t feel like mine anymore.

However life wasn’t supposed to be easy, it wasn’t supposed to be all good days, or rainbows and butterflies. Life, is a storm, and it will hit as hard as it could, and all we have to do is take the blows, endure the thunder and lightning, for I realized that in life, it really meant nothing if we hit hard, or we hit fast, or if we hit back, what matters is we endure, we brave the waters, we carry ourselves no matter how battered or tired or broken we may get; what matters most is our ability to stand back up— our persistence to continue being alive in a life that wanted otherwise.

After all these time, waiting for the day that time have healed all our wounds would be worth it, for we have already carried storms in our spine, what else are we going to be afraid of these little rains?

— Chard Christopher

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Say What???

Everything’s kind of opaque and ineffable.

I mean, one instance I’m animated, happy and glorious, right after that I become quite not implicit and assured, or I am confused and cluttered about life or I’m temporarily in a hodgepodge of feeling something sure-enough and feeling torpid and toom– sort of like I am an out-of-sight landscape devoid of color and peppy life.

That is the moment I thought emotionalism sure cannot be in the same bivouac with life.

Everything’s kind of like that, every single day. Breathing and living became an arduous routine. We were propelled into this state, like a garden-variety of misplaced inanimate objects pushed in a circle, like a prosaic assemblage meant to be displayed or hung in order for a designated niche to look lively and polychromatic, like we were lunged here just so our place wouldn’t look arid and unaccompanied, like we were born into this just so the integral void would be replaced by wights, like we were shoved into this without any given druthers.

We were woebegone lodestones that had been attracted and captured by life.

Living’s been colorful, you know? also tiring, disquieting, and discombobulating. Living became an uncongenial groove, something I wouldn’t want to be near or be placed in, something I wouldn’t want to get wind of, something better left unnoticed or undisclosed.

But when I am surrounded by people I desiderate and I set store by, only life and the way I feel become less onerous and more endurable.

Maybe, just maybe, life figuratively turns into a narrow and rough road when you perambulate by your own bootstraps. Some things are quagmires that are mystifying and hard-bitten to fix when you are broken-down, cloistered and etiolated, but everything becomes painless and lenient when there are people beside you who are willing to peregrinate and carry half the baggage of your pain and are willing to buoy up some of your throes.

In defiance of the mixed and capricious emotions I have, contrary to the uncertainties and debacle I might stumble upon, and knowing how painful and hellacious life is, perhaps life itself isn’t a voyage meant to be lived alone.

Words by Lois Anne Amigleo

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How did sadness become so familiar I can almost hear it chanting my name

Sadness… It is more like melancholia which I believe I was born with. I was eight years old sitting on a breakwater that my father had fashioned to protect the dikes from the waves when I first realized that this world has nothing to offer to me. Even then the feeling of being been there done that twice over and back was prominent and constant. I was not sad nor depressed. Just an understanding of a fact. There are only two occasions in my whole life that I’ve felt that way. For the rest, I’m fairly okay. Melancholic but never lonely.

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HSP Tolerating Socializing

“Sometimes people who don’t socialize much aren’t actually antisocial. They just have no tolerance for drama and fake people.”

This is what I want to say to anybody who accuses me of being antisocial.

I’m in a point of my life where I don’t care anymore what people think of me. I just want peace and quiet away from all the cacophony of a crowd. 

“As a highly sensitive introvert, I need plenty of quiet alone time to recharge. Loud talking and music drain my energy and make me feel claustrophobic.”

“I can function quite well in public situations but find myself completely exhausted afterward. I struggled to make banal small talk with groups of people, much preferring a deeper discussion with one or two others. I can stand up and give a talk and lead a group discussion, no problem, but then I have to retreat and rest for a whole day.”

Worse still, I need at least three weeks to recuperate.

“I love my family, and I can tolerate people in my space for a little while, but if they stay for more than a day, I get stressed. Picking up on their feelings, having to be ‘on’ all the time, not having my own space to retreat to — it’s too much.”

“I cannot tolerate chaos and disorder especially in my personal space. I need everything organized and clean. I cannot do clutter. I must have the house put in order before I start for the day. Otherwise, I’m just so distracted by the extra sensory input.”

“Others seem to need a radio or TV on in the background ‘for company,’ but it drives me crazy. I love shops with no music. I can’t cope with the sound of power tools, lawnmowers, or leaf-blowers — it’s excruciating.”

“Strong smells especially from perfume or essential oils. I find them overpowering and they make me physically ill.”

“I absorb and hold on to other people’s emotions, which can leave me feeling sad, upset, or drained.”

Like now, I’ve been out too long yesterday and here I am, 6:30 in the morning and still awake typing despite taking a tranquilizer and a sleeping pill. I’m too stressed to sleep even though my body is exhausted and ready to give up.

People don’t understand that being with them takes too much effort and energy. They asked but don’t listen and all ready to judge. Better to keep away than to cause a discussion or misunderstanding even. I just don’t want to waste time explaining anymore.

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Coming To Terms

“One morning she woke up different. Done with trying to figure out who was with her, against her, or walking down the middle because they didn’t have the guts to pick a side. She was done with anything that didn’t bring her peace. She realized that opinions were a dime a dozen, validation was for parking, and loyalty wasn’t a word, but a lifestyle. It was this day that her life changed. And not because of a man or a job but because she realized that life is way too short to leave the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket. It was the day life began!” ~ Sarah Krycinski

I walked too long with guilt.

Knowing that for the most part, it wasn’t my fault. That in the end, I had to choose for myself or I might as well give up altogether. I know not so many people would understand. In fact, I know no one who does. It got something to do once again with expectations and what society dictates, not what is best for all party involves.  It took me decades to forgive myself. Partially. And to resign to the fact that it is what it is and there is no damn thing I can do about it. I still feel guilty sometimes, but it doesn’t keep me awake anymore and the urge to compensate is gone. I still do my best but I don’t expect appreciation nor understanding for the choices I had made. I learned to distance myself and draw the line. I no longer hope for reconciliation or acceptance. I just want peace. Even if it means being on my own, far from what once I hold dear.

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Allowing Yourself To Be The Boss

Acceptance is for most people one of the fundamental goals to achieve if one wants to be deemed successful. In order to belong anywhere, to be respected, to keep self-esteem and dignity and to answer one’s need for interpersonal relationships one needs to be accepted; by one’s own family, friends, colleagues, and society in general. Only a few enjoy being an outcast (I’m one of them) and most if not all find themselves in this situation, not by choice. Predominantly, one becomes solitary because she or he failed to adopt a herd mentality or conform to what is expected by the majority. If one wants to belong, one must get the approval of society, so simple is that.

“What do you mean I have to wait for someone’s approval? I’m someone. I approve. So I give myself permission to move forward with my full support!” –Richelle E. Goodrich

For the vast majority, they don’t know any better. We are conditioned to adapt to what the society deemed appropriate from the cradle and we learned early enough what the consequences are if we don’t. So, from such a young age, we strive to be what the society expects of us at the cost of our true selves. We suppress our own individualities and uniqueness in order to be part of a group. Lucky are the ones who can portray their true selves and still be accepted and admired, but I am thinking, those rebels, are they really showing their true colors or it’s just for the show? For the sake of the art or whatever it is that motivates them to be different. I think of Van Gogh and all those eccentrics whose lives ended in tragedy. Is that the price to pay if you dare to swim against the current?

Most will think: why bother, it doesn’t worth the trouble. Why rock the boat if you can’t swim. Better to sit still and enjoy the ride and hope to reach the shore safely. It’s better to be part of the herd than make the journey on your own because for most people solitude means boring among so many other things. I wonder if they even tried to follow their own path and be who they really are. Just once, for a change, to test the water, see if they like it. I guess not. Why fix something that isn’t broken, right?

What about those jerks that get away with everything and advance on society’s ladder by stepping on other people’s back, are they being true to their own nature and being rewarded as well? Talk of having the cake and eat it too. To me, it only looks that way. Notice that most of those jerks used to be respected pillars of the community before the public learned their true colors? Appearance is everything. You want to be accepted, learn first to deceive.

How about you?

What do you think?

Do you need other people’s approval?

Of course you do!

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What happens when people open their hearts?

They get hurt. They get abused. They get used. They get taken advantage of.

Best not to let people get too close. Close enough to harm you. I learned that the best way to protect yourself and your core is to not to form an attachment with anything or anyone. People come and go, they change, their priorities change. Nothing last forever. The only constant in this life is_ changes. So better be prepared. Just keep yourself intact and you will survive whatever may come. You don’t need anyone for that.

“ I’m wounded, and I’m bruised.
But I’m not ashamed of admitting it.
It is a part of my healing process. And I’ll embrace it with a head held high.
One day I’ll stop touching the thorns,
and I’ll enjoy smelling the flowers.” –Rahma Djebbari

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