Posts Tagged With: empowered

“No, thank you.”

I’ve finally spent some time at school subbing.
I like it.
I like the social aspect of being around young people.
I like the freedom it gives me.
I like being able to go to school when it suits me.
I like being with the staff and kids I care so much about.

The principal came to see me in a classroom the other day to offer me a part time position.
The position is to shadow a kindergartner.
This little by has epilepsy. Because he has epilepsy, his physical development is delayed. He has almost no use of his entire left side. He suffers mini seizures throughout the day and occasionally can fall over while simply sitting in his chair.
I spent about an hour with him on Thursday. Cognitively he’s on it. Socially too. He’s got a great little personality and quite the sense of humor.
The principal and classroom teacher are eager for me to start working with him. They’re fighting to get his part time assistance to full time assistance.

After spending time with this little dude, I know I can help him. I know I can provide the support he needs to be successful in the classroom.
However, if I’m being perfectly honest, it’s more labor intensive than I want. It’s more responsibility than I want. If something happened to this kid on my watch? I mean, just NO!
I want to substitute teach. I want to spend time in different areas of the building, with different kids and adults. I don’t want to be responsible for this little boy.
I want to have the freedom to choose. And if I committed to this kid there would be no choice for me.
Subbing fits perfectly into my life right now and I’d like to keep it this way.

I’m going to say no.
I’m anxious about saying no.
Why is it so hard to say no?
Is it because I don’t want to offend, or disappoint?
Is it because I think saying no will change other people’s opinion of me?

I don’t know how honest I can actually be.
I don’t know how what I say will land.
And the biggest part of me knows I must speak my truth, but there is a small part of me that doesn’t want to offend or whatever.
I’m thinking of all the excuses I can make. How elaborate must they be?
How much explanation will be enough to assuage my guilt of saying no?

It seems to me that saying no is particularly hard for women. I mean, doesn’t it feel like we’re trained to be compliant from the youngest age? Like we’ve been bred to feel so bad and guilty about making decisions for ourselves that we are borderline incapable of saying no? Like we’re not meant to have the power to decide what is and isn’t right for us?

I must remember my work.
Where I have power.
Be honest and unmerciful.
Create healthy boundaries.

It doesn’t matter why I don’t want to accept this position.
Only that I don’t.
I can say ‘no, thank you.’ without worrying about how to excuse it.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

so far, so good, what’s next?

Now, you know I’m a planner.
I like lists and calendars and color coding by subject.
So, once I recognized what I can and cannot change, I broke it down further.

I ask loads of questions.
I know that.
Y’all know that.
My family and friends know that.
But what’s different about this process is that I answered my own questions.

I asked and answered questions to come up with a plan.
I used the same system of dividing the page in my big sketch book so I could see it all together.

The first question is:
What frustrates me?

*stagnation
(no real growth, no movement, no real participation in life or household, etc.)
*lack of effort to create growth or movement
*caring about (these things)
*wondering if it will ever change

OK, now what do I do about it?

How to stop being frustrated?

*accept that these are the choices YBW and Thing G are making
*accept that nothing I do will change their choices
*focus on myself and my choices
*accept that this is the situation I’m in…until…?

So far, so good. What’s next?

I know it’s hard to read.

Ways to feel more comfortable.

*let go of wife and ‘mom’ guilt
*stop apologizing for choosing growth
*accept as much as possible
*pay attention to myself and where my power is
*be kind and courageous
*stop judging
*accept limitations (cannot change situation, only how I function in it)

Ways to regroup if I’m triggered.
(frustrated)

*immediately stop and breathe
*quickly assess if it’s something I can change (if not – do my best to accept and let it go, if so – make the appropriate change)
*accept that this is my work and I may not ever be met with the same
*remove myself gently from the situation
*tap into vast support network without engaging in ‘shit talk’

OK, so in the meantime I have a plan.
But…

How to remain sane in the long game?

*accept this is my work
*accept change may never come
*be peaceful in the knowledge I did all I could do the best way I could
*love

I don’t know how or even if the situation will change.
I do know that if I can do these things I will feel better. I will make the relationship with my husband more positive.
Maybe that’s all I can do?
While I know I have magic down deep in me, I only have power over myself.
If these changes I’m making serve only to keep me from being frustrated, angry, and resentful in an unchanging situation, at least I’m content in the knowledge I am going at this in a mindful and loving way.

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salty or empowered, the shift in me

So I was exposed to the former husband while at Thing 1’s for the baby shower.
Thing 1 said, “Momma. The salty was coming off of you in waves.”
I was horrified!
I was not salty with purpose. I was there to celebrate my baby having a baby. It wasn’t about me. It was all about Thing 1. (and Husband N and Baby K)

Thing 2 says, “Oh that’s just (dad) trying to stay relevant.”
Thing 1 says, “He just wants to remind people he’s there.”

Like most narcissists, he resides in a world created by his compulsive need for adoration. When he feels threatened in any way, he tends to back pedal, blame, or talk mad shit about his perceived attacker.
Most of us simply go along with his behavior to avoid potential ugliness. Life really is so much simpler that way.

Only I was consciously different last weekend in that I simply did not engage his behavior.
I did not engage in his attempt to hug me.
I did not engage his attempt to draw me into ‘inside jokes’ or his telling of stories.
I corrected him when he falsified events with embellishments.
I was respectful and polite, but I did not behave as though we have any special knowledge of each other.
Apparently the former husband was feeling the salt because he brought it up to Husband N who directed him to discuss his concerns with me.
That will never happen. He will talk mad shit about me to anyone that listens, but he won’t have a frank discussion with me about anything.
Interestingly, he talks the maddest shit about me to our daughters. What he chooses not to realize is that they tell me what he says about me.

While we were there, he said two particular things to me that rubbed me the wrong way. But instead of engaging him, I simply responded with honesty.
When Thing 1 walked out of the room, his eyes followed her then he turned to me and said, “You did a wonderful job.” I looked up, smiled, and replied, “I sure did.”
I worked my ass off to be the best possible mother to my daughters. I know I did a good job. I know my girls are good humans. I don’t need his approval.
Much later on, he said to me, “I’m glad you’re going to be with her for the birth.”
I literally had no words with which to respond, so I just nodded.

These things may seem benign to the casual observer, however in the comment about being with Thing 1 while Baby K is born, he’s essentially giving me permission to mother my own child.

It may sound as though I’m over here like, ‘let’s talk mad shit about the ex’. But in reality, it comes from a desire to express the shift in me.
I made an entirely conscious decision to change my behavior around him.
I chose not to engage in his performance.
I kept my focus on myself, on my daughter, on the celebration.
For the first time in over thirty years, I set clear boundaries.
I was not fearful, did not walk on eggshells.
I was empowered to simply be myself.

I’m going to say that again.
I was empowered to simply be myself.
My true self.
The me that trusts what she knows.
The me that loves fiercely and without fear.

I did not engage him.
There was push back. Husband N got it the same day.
I suspect there will be further push back, my girls will get it in mad shit talk about me.
I don’t care.
Husband N has no fucks to give when it comes to his wife’s father.
Thing 1 and Thing 2 know what’s up. I hate their dad uses them that way, but I can’t solve that problem for them.

I will always be polite and treat him with respect because I love my daughters and that’s the behavior they deserve to witness. They also deserve to witness a woman with strength and dignity. A woman who loves and lives passionately without fear.
I deserve to be that woman.

I will never again accept any one else’s version of who I am.
I am my own version of me.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

the magic is in me

Monday I twice verbalized something I noticed recently. (Because I pay attention.)
I’m feeling different both physically and emotionally since the beginning of the year.
No, not just different, better.
Stronger, healthier, more aware.
Enthused.
Empowered.
Energetic.

What’s different physically is I’m practicing intermittent fasting. This has made a huge difference when it comes to my energy levels and cognitive function. It’s also provided me with better sleep.
Interestingly, my weight has remained the same, (within three pounds) but that’ll have to do because I’m all about this energy and alertness.
What’s different from the emotional point of view is that I’m actively focusing on me. Doing what I need for the betterment of me. I am paying attention to where I put my energy.
So with having more/better energy and cognitive function, and actively choosing where to utilize it, I’m not only accomplishing more, I’m feeling good in the process.

From where I was in December to where I am now is night and day.
Then I felt overwhelmed, at the moment I feel capable and inspired.
I’m going against my instinct to question it, the whys and wherefores, how long it’ll last.
I will not ask questions that stem from doubt.
I will accept where I am and how I feel about it. And I will to celebrate it!

My energy is being well spent. I’m doing not only what needs to be done, but also what I want to do.
I’m doing coursework like a boss.
I painted Thing G’s old room henceforth to be referred to as ‘the blue room’. Once I move guest room furniture in there I’ll get started on the pink room. My creative space. My nest in this house. (Teeny little squee!)
I’m able to read more.
I’ve even picked up book club books for the next two months.
(I cannot express how big this is. I haven’t read for months…not even magazines.)

I plan to keep this momentum.
And whatever comes at me, well, I’ll deal with it then.
I realize that by relentlessly questioning timelines and end dates my energy is wasted. I realize trying to plan for any possible scenario is wasting my energy.
My energy is precious.
So instead of wasting it on situations in which nothing I do will make a difference anyway, I’ll spend my energy paying attention. I’ll spend my energy focused on me.
That’s where I can make the biggest difference.

I cannot change others.
I cannot alter how and what others do.
I can pay attention to myself.
I can alter how and what I do.


The magic is in me.
The magic is all around me.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

two boring sides of one disappointing coin

During a chat conversation this morning, my darling English friend shared with me what he’s working on in therapy. We talked quickly before I had to leave for school, which left the conversation open ended. He suggested we come back to it later “and maybe we can discover where our minds and beliefs agree.”
What I adored about this conversation was that is was in no way aggressive or argumentative. We were just remarking on the subject as we see it.
Oh, but it got me thinking!

Here’s the pertinent bit of the conversation:
Him:
I’m supposed to be working on the Madonna and Whore dichotomy for my meeting with my counselor tomorrow.
So far it’s not going brilliantly. As far as I’ve got is that all women have aspects of the Madonna and Whore, but no women should be looked at in just those lights.

Me:
Interesting
Perhaps you could consider women as activists? Women as world changers? There are a f**k load of those out there. Even though you’re not the biggest fan of liberal minded women.

Him:
Men put the Madonna on a pedestal and objectify the Whore, and both are wrong
I love liberal minded women, I just don’t like angry liberal minded women

Me:
I suspect it is somehow bred into women this Madonna and whore thing. I don’t think we’d come up with that on our own and I believe that’s worth considering.

Him:
I believe a lot of woman is created by what a man wants, needs, desires and expects.

Me:
Yet women oughtn’t be angry?
I think you just made the whole point!!

Him:
As a polite Englishman, I think I struggle with women who are angry, rude, aggressive, opinionated, and political. How odd.

Me:
Interesting!
What if the women were not rude or aggressive? What if they were angry and opinionated and political?

Him:
An angry woman is also difficult for me to accept.

Me:
The opinion you have and share with many men is why women have been, are, and will remain ‘less than’.
That’s something worth being angry about.

Him:
It’s not an opinion, it’s a whole belief system

Me:
Yes it is.
Because I have breasts and a vagina, I’m somehow only one of two things. Neither of which has power unless “bestowed”.

carrie-miranda
Carrie and Miranda know what’s up.
And that right there is why women (and men, and in some cases, children) took to the streets Saturday last!

If the men of the world were somehow either Madonna or whore with no other real identity that foolishness would cease with a quickness!
That makes me angry!
That makes loads of women angry!

On the way to dinner I was telling YBW about the conversation and that it sparked this post. He mused that most men don’t like angry women because they can’t be controlled and that frightens them.
This makes a kind of sense to me, but I suspect there’s more to it than that…

I’m strong and capable. I’m smart and funny. I’m loud and brash. I’m kind and compassionate. I’m confident in my sexuality. I’m “girlie” af. I’m infuriating as hell. And I am sometimes so angry I cannot speak, only shake with violent rage. I am in charge of my own body. I decide what is right for me. I love with an unparalleled ferocity. I have immortal longings in me. Not to mention loads more things I’m not thinking of right now.
But what I am not is some pristine virgin. Neither am I a whore.

Being either Madonna or whore is boring!
It’s one dimensional.
Where’s the challenge? Where’s the adventure? Where’s the trial and error and lesson learning?
I believe women are more complex than that. We’ve got fires in our bellies, hearth fires and holocausts. We are terrifying and strange and beautiful. We are overflowing with much muchier muchness. We are bad ass warrior Goddesses. We are calm and gentle nurturing Earth Mothers. We are givers of life.

Men want women as Madonna or whore. Two boring sides of one disappointing coin.
aint-nobody-got-time-for-that

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

normal = positive…who knew?

Taurus horoscope for Jul 4 2014
You have found a new path to controlling and uplifting your emotions. It is evident to those around you who know you well, and it is a joyful sign. Now that you are beginning to feel transcendent above the difficulties, you are feeling more powerful too – because you have empowered yourself through optimism. You can expect many things in your life that were formerly challenging to become much easier. And since your spirit is lighter and you are more yourself, you will find that wonderful people and circumstances will gravitate to you.

Interestingly enough, I have experienced these feelings in the last week or so…by shedding the veil of grief I began to feel ‘normal’ but it’s more than that.
I do feel uplifted and powerful…and strangely optimistic.
I already have wonderful people around me so perhaps the circumstances will follow.

Normal = positive.
Who knew?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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