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don't speak...don't speak!

emotions | the middle

Where to put it all.

Most days I am overwhelmed by emotions.  Before COVID I had  to learn to manage this in public.  Now, in the privacy of my own home, I can be or feel what I need to feel when I need to feel it.  Before going 100% remote, it was painful and exhausting to hold back some emotions in the office and on the bus.  Those times when, you may understand, when whatever it is there  is just nothing you can do to keep the tears inside.   

Most days I struggle with where  I am in support of causes or what I perceive as injustice.  Often I find myself in the middle and it seems there isn’t much room in the middle  anymore.  You are  either on one side or  the  other.  This is untenable for me.  Untenable  because  I believe people  should  be allowed individual freedoms.  Yet, there are strong forces that are pulling us miles apart. Some of the pulling are leaders some of us have voted or continue to vote into office.

I support Black Lives Matter.  I also support law enforcement and the rule of law.  Because I believe, I have to believe that there are good police officers, just like there are good in every other segment/profession of life.  That said, black and brown people are black and  brown 24/7, 365 days a year not 40 hours a week. Now you think I don’t really support law enforcement.  Fine. I do.  Legal, unbiased and fair law enforcement. 

I made the choice to get vaccinated.  I won’t lie or hide it, I do think others should because I see it saving lives and I also see the stress and exhaustion on the faces and in the voices of the Nurses and Doctors I support everyday.  I hear the pain of loss and feel their struggles daily.  That hits me at my core. I also believe that is a personal choice and decision to get a vaccination and it should not be forced.  What I read says it  saves  lives and can get us back to a bit or a normal  life.  Others read the opposite.  So here we are, divided.  I grew up in a time when it wasn’t questioned.  It was seen as a way to preserve life and minimize illness.  

I saw this on Instagram; @journey_to_wellness] Who says having a wide range of emotions in one day is a bad thing? 

Our emotions are there to tell us something. Maybe they’re nudging you to rest, to spend time with a friend, or whatever it is that you take away from them. The feelings we feel so profoundly are what make us human. 

So whether your wheel of emotions today looks like the one of the left or right, whatever your feeling today is entirely okay. 💕”

My chart, happy is a little smaller and most days, motivated and excited are taken over by stress, anxiety and exhaustion.  And the exhaustion comes from feeling and realizing the exhaustion of others for the most part.  What have I got to be tired about?  Well, a couple things, but not ready to actually tell that story here yet. 

I am in the middle more and more each day.  More than I care to be, yet here I  am.  Maybe an assumption?  Maybe a reality.  My reality, I am in  the middle of so much and have no avenue or platform to have any affect on that personally, locally, yet alone globally.   Which in my reality is not for me to push or try to change with others.  You have to come to your  own conclusions.  And  we have to  realize that often those will  not be the same.  

Ultimately we  all have access to the same information.  We all, for the most  part have access to every bit of information in many forms.  I think it’s our DNA that determines where we go, where we lean.

And by DNA, I don’t just mean biological.  That could be part of it,  but the DNA  that we have within us from our lived experiences of life.   The good and the bad.   The new and the old.  And by old I mean past lives.  Yes, I believe there is something to that.

Our lived experiences are as vast and diverse as we are.  Easy childhood, difficult childhood, adversity, wealth, poverty, abuse, neglect, love, disdain, adoration, abundance, lack, isolation.  What does that do with our DNA and how does that  affect of influence our relationships?  How does that affect our response or reaction to what comes to us.

I’m not physiologist, nor have I studied psychology to the extent that it gives  me any  credibility to speak to this.  I can speak from my understanding of my experience and years of observation.  

Insecurity reveals itself in many ways.  Me, saying I need to keep my words to myself and thinking I should stay quiet, it is my feeling that I wasn’t given much opportunity to speak out as a child or teenager.  Knowing and now understanding  introversion, odds were against me.  What others had to say or say to me, was more important.  Which maybe is why I easily headed down that path of religion in high school, people listened to me.

While I have  settled into it a bit, I live a secondary life to everyone I am in relationship with.  Many of us do, but there are some who have that one that is of the utmost importance, that one they think of when they wake up and when they go to sleep.  If I’ve ever had that, I didn’t know it.  And that’s okay.  That’s not what this life was  to be about for me.

What happened in your childhood do you believe affects how you interact or respond to another person?  Have you considered their experience and how that has affected their relationship with you?  Their response or reaction to you? I’ve said, at least to myself, I believe that more often than not, a response to someones words or actions are more a reflection of the person hearing or receiving not giving.  Of course if it goes deeper, then both bring to the conversation, the situation their own … let’s just call it, baggage.  And very often, I think has nothing to do with what is happening in that moment.  What happened to you when you were 8 or 9 is triggered.  And I bet 99.9% of the time neither has any idea that time is seeping into now.  It is.  Maybe we should all do a chart and put in it what happened to us as a kid so that we can have it for awareness and carry it around. If you have issues with trust and you are having a conversation with someone who has issues with trust. Guess what?

I am in the middle and have been since a child.  If only I were a actually a middle child I’d have more to work with. I know that plays into who I am today and the relationships I am in.  I would however like to shake some of that, but I’m not sure I can.  It is deep in me and as I grew up and realized that being in the middle was where I was.  As I got older I also had to come to terms with what that actually meant.  Sometimes I felt like in that middle space, I was more of a pawn in a game for some.  Something to barter with for love and affection or control of me.  Also  probably why I don’t care to control anything…exhausting.  Let it go.  

Most days I feel I have let this go.  But has it served me?  Being in the middle or letting go?  I also know that it will alway be there as reminder to me.  Yet, I can’t always control how it presents.

Again, I haven’t studied phycology a great deal, but that does tend to be where I  read when seeking out answers.  And have been in  therapy a few times.  So as I was writing this I found an old article in Psychology Today, “6 Ways that a Rough Childhood Can Affect Adult Relationships”.  Number 4 kind of hit home;

4. Avoidance of relationships: “I’m someone who is better off alone.”

Alternatively, people with negative developmental experiences involving intimate relationships may opt to avoid closeness and isolate themselves. Sometimes this starts early on and sometimes later, as an attempt to break the cycle of harmful relationships. But healthy relationships with other people are crucial for personal development, presenting opportunities for growth and change. Missing out on them in adulthood as a self-protective measure further impairs development of a fully adult identity, solidifying a self-perception of unworthiness and self-condemnation. There are many exceptions to the feeling that we are too flawed for others, who deserve better. Most of us have the capacity to offer more than we think we do, and thereby become more appreciative of ourselves. It’s too complicated for here to talk about hope, faith in oneself, and how a long process of recovery unfolds. It’s worth noting that sometimes we unconscious push people away, appearing to ourselves be a threat when we do not so intend.

In terms of harmful relationships, mine were not harmful like others.  I wasn’t physically abused.  But maybe I was manipulated or used.  Do any of us really know how  to navigate life in a clear and balanced way?  Do most of us think that someone is out to get us or is there to disrupt our life, take something away from us, to ruin our day or make us feel something? My Mom has said to me many times, ‘people don’t make you feel something, you let them make you feel it’.  

We all struggle.  Who knows how to do any of this?  Who knows anything?  I know I don’t.  I just know that I want there to be fairness.  I want people to treat each other with kindness and care.  I want the lens of fair to be so sharp  and bright that there can be no question. 

Right now I am still in the middle and while I know the side I would move to if I had to I will still fight for the other side as well.  As long as their goal is also equality, fairness and no one is harmed.  Right now, I don’t see that or feel it and I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with my childhood, but pure lack of enough concern for humanity and a lot of misinformation. We have to fight together and fight our personal bias.  We all want our rights and our freedoms, we can’t eliminate those for others because they believe or feel differently.

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don't speak...don't speak!

Almost…

Deep reflection is not a new space for me.  Writing things down is not new either.  Actually putting them out to be seen by anyone is still something I don’t do that often.  Some of you may disagree.  If I showed you my Cloud, Notes, email drafts and old blogs no one knows about. I think you would get it.

I almost let someone silence me recently because they twisted my words to lash out at me for something and I questioned my ability to articulate a thought. I am not a bad person, I do deserve respect and I will continue to fight for equality for everyone in all aspects of life.  And I will speak out.

I’ve been called sardonic, yes.  I’ve been called judicious, yes.  I’ve been called dark, yes.  I’ve been called solid, no.  But never, “this tells me that you don’t want anyone to have freedom of choice, not women in danger, or any person who wants to have freedom of choice”.  What?? At least to my face and uh, not what I said. 

Oh, ‘I’ve been called solid, no’. In case you are wondering. This is my shield, my protection. No I am not solid. In reality, I am a melting mess 75% of the time. Kind of like this post. And it is exhausting even in normal times.  But now?  Family stuff, COVID, racial injustice, division over things like science and a cloth to protect each other from a virus that’s killed… where does it end? It will not end.

I will however acknowledge that how I reacted to what is happening in Texas, maybe could have been done in a better way. That said,  my question stands and more or less is saying, maybe not asking, what’s the next law another state will pass that infringes  on the rights of its citizens.  And now the DOJ agrees.

Ironically, that was exactly my point of the post I shared and my words were twisted.  I do absolutely expect that if not stopped our freedoms will be whittled away by white men trying to control what they have no legal, or moral right to.  Period!  

So here it is.

Ironic – The expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

Sarcasm- The use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

Which is why this;

“Private individuals in Texas can now sue anyone who performs or aids banned abortions, including doctors and even an Uber driver taking a patient to an abortion clinic. Plaintiffs, who need not have any connection to the matter, can win $10,000 in damages.” NYTimes

Made me say this; 

So, can I sue someone for not getting a COVID vaccine?  What if they infect a love one who then dies?  Seems like I should be able to do that.

NO!  I DO NOT THINK THAT LAWS SHOULD BE PASSED LETTING CITIZENS SUE EACH OTHER!

Sotomayer’s Defiant Dissent  

Honestly, this is what I believed happened. Psychological projection a defense mechanism in which the ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves and attributing them to others.[1] A bully may project their own feelings of vulnerability onto the target, or a person who is confused may project feelings of confusion and inadequacy onto other people. Projection incorporates blame shifting and can manifest as shame dumping.[2] Projection has been described as an early phase of introjection.[3]

We live in very trying times.  We are pitted against each other with falsehoods and misinformation.  Not so long ago I said, assumptions are killing us. 

Your belief is not right for every one. Your truth with out credible facts that can be referenced or even offered are not truth but your opinion.  Of which you are entitled to. However;

These are my opinions.  And I would fight to the end to say that my opinions or thoughts are a fight for freedoms for everyone on this planet.  Especially for those I love.  There is a minority ruling the majority right now and that is scary and the consequences feel evil.

My truth may not be yours, but I believe they are rooted in the fair an equal treatment of every human being on this planet.  Do you not want that?  Or do you want more than your neighbor or the person across the office or passing you in the aisle of the grocery?

I believe we all do want the best for others, but un-investigated or acknowledged bias within each of us does impact how that best is defined and how we see it in others.  (My opinion, maybe. Or a truth).

There are many things that worry me because of the potential downstream impact on humans.  Regardless of the side of the aisle you are on, when laws start getting past to restrict freedoms, they won’t just be the one you agree with.

If a state, Texas can pass a law like this, my point or my reaction was the lunacy of this.  What’s next? We are in precarious times and the slopes are slippery.

~Legal Defense Fund statement on Supreme Court decision.

The social media  platform is a hit and run environment. Don’t hit and run.  Be brave enough to look me straight in the eye if you are going to accuse me of being someone that I am not.

You know that Maya Angelou quote?

Wrote about that last time cause I’m having trouble with “This”.

Except for a few years in my late teens of radical fundamental christian self-righteousness judgement, I am who you met the first time.  Maybe I was a bit guarded or you may have even thought me aloof.   But I am me. An introvert who keeps her circle small and loves that if I don’t want to I don’t have to leave my house.

Saying the last couple of weeks have been deep reflection is an understatement. In the beginning my reflection immediately lead me to believe I should be silent.  No more posts, no more commentary on the injustice I see today.  No one needs to hear from me.  And I know I’m not going to change anyones mind. 

I would like to think that albeit my delivery is sometimes, sardonic or sarcastic or even ironic, you know me and know what I meant.

I used to say that I was more silent than verbal because I often had this deep feeling that my words had no value or no one was ready to hear what I had to say, therefore I saved my words. Literally.  Or who would care what I thought.  I would save them until someone was ready.  

One has already decided that I am no longer the person they thought I was. A message to her. Nothing is further from the truth.  But your opinion is yours and yours alone.  While wrong, I will respect that.  And no matter what, I will be here if and when you call.

I imagine they might not read this, but I want this to be clear, my post was trying to point out the lunacy of a government  passing laws and regulating what choices a woman makes for herself.  New Texas law removes that right and  allows someone, anyone to sue anyone helping  a woman or child get an abortion.  At its very worst, a father can rape his daughter no matter her age then sue if she tries to abort a child as result of that rape.  As I read somewhere,  this is a blueprint for other states to follow suit. 

My friend Ken said,

Thanks Ken!

Sometime in their own struggles or pain, others will project their fears, their struggles onto you.  They will judge you and question your core.  I nearly let this happen and it almost silenced me. While an important time of reflection and thought about what is important to me, I will not be silenced or manipulated to conform to another’s self projection on who I am.  

A conversation does not happen in the comments section, DM or email.  They happen face to face, a conversation.  A talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged. The other is noise and pointless.  If you want to question something I say and don’t have my number to call to meet, then ask me for it. And yes, I’m a little guilty here with this post.

I was raised as and am a bleeding heart liberal for god’s sake! Not a radicalized version of anything. Well, in liberal terms I guess.

When I see something and respond, or react, it comes directly from core.  My desire for fair and equal treatment of all humans period.  And in the reason for this post, my ridiculous response to a ridiculous law. 

Yet we don’t live in a fair society.  While many are saying don’t take my freedoms they are supporting taking freedoms away from others and can’t see past their ego or fears.  How does EVERYONE not see that? We are a mess. And Texas…

Side bar – I’m also a bit unsettled about the vaccine mandate. I need time to rattle that around and might come back later. Right now I will say, what about my right to live and work is a safe place free of a virus that is deadly. How am I protected if others aren’t?