Posts Tagged With: powerful

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.

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

observing something extraordinary

YBW and I went to Woolly Mammoth yesterday. We saw BLKS a play written by Aziza Barnes.
It was powerful and profound.
It was hilarious and heartbreaking.
It was relatable and once-removed.

These characters used modern vernacular, the way people, well mostly young people, actually speak to each other. I heard pretty much every curse word I know, and one I didn’t (c**tbucket). The N word flew around like nobody’s business, always with an ‘a’ sound not a hard ‘er’ sound.

We sat in the theater for two hours watching a twenty-four hour period in the lives of these characters.
There were aspects of their life that rang true to me, medical issues, discovering a cheating significant other, the death of a parent, relying on one’s girlfriends for love and support, day drinking, and simply being a woman out in the world, and what that means regarding safety.
As a woman I’ve experienced many of these things.
But not in the way these characters experience the same things.

Aziza Barnes says,

“BLKS is a play by and for Black people, and that if you are not identifiable or identified as a Black person, you can still watch this play, of course, but you are bearing witness. You cannot claim it as yours, and you can’t commodify it as yours, but you can surely enjoy it. And you can sure experience it. Most things in life I’ve had to experience purely as an observer, purely as a witness, and it was fine, it was more than fine, it was a blessing.”

All our subscription tickets are for Talkback Sunday shows.
Sharing questions and thoughts with actors and audience members make these post show conversations an excellent way to learn more about the subject matter.
To stimulate thought.
To simply enjoy the show even more.
These actors discussing their thoughts and feelings regarding this play was every bit as powerful as the play itself.

Yesterday I was an observer, I bore witness to something extraordinary!
It was a blessing.

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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

loving yourself

My much loved friend in Arizona has four children, the eldest (a boy) is exactly two months younger than Thing 1 I’ve known him since he was four. The second born (a girl) chose me to be her Godmother when she was about eight years old, I’ve know her since she was two. She’s about eighteen months older than Thing 2. The third, (another girl) was born when Thing 2 was in my friend’s two year old preschool class. I taught the baby of the family, (a second boy, who is now thirteen) for two years in a row between the ages of one and three.
I love this family as though they were my own. My own children consider these children an integral part of their family life.

Earlier this week, a simple facebook conversation with the eldest boy that started as comments and replies on a photo of his parents moved me to tears.

Him: I can’t wait to see you pretty lady!!! You’re getting hitched, and I get to be a part of it. I am so honored and unbelievably excited for you 🙂 Can’t wait to meet the family!

Me: My heart is near bursting that you’ll be here! I love you!

Him: I love you too! You’ll always be a big influence in my life as to who I am and how I must be myself, love myself and be happy to go my own way. I see this in you and it is a true inspiration to where I hope to be one day.

This young man went through terrible emotional struggles his second year of college. He was deeply confused, depressed, and on the edge of hurting himself. His Dad went across the country to support and love his son. This time was sacred for them and because of this time, he was able to build up the courage to safely come out as gay.
We all could see that him saying it out loud changed everything for him. He was at peace with himself. He was as content and carefree as he’d been as a little boy. Our joy was huge. His own joy was too.
And then he met a really wonderful young man. They are such a precious couple! They compliment each other beautifully, bringing out the best in each other. I’ve not seen this boy I helped raise this healthy and peaceful since he was about ten years old.

I say all of this because I want to explain the magnitude of his words. I am truly humbled. This is a child I loved because he was one of my brood. I loved him as my own. For him to share this with me was overwhelming.
To know that my actions have made that kind of impact was so powerful!

It took me thirty-odd years to learn to “must be myself, love myself and be happy to go my own way”. To make the choice to get out of what was categorically, the least healthy situation I’d ever been in. I trusted myself for the first time in my life and loved myself enough to go my own way. It was the most difficult and scary situation I’d ever experienced. It changed nearly every relationship in my life. And I was stronger than I’d ever been.

Never did I feel like a role model. Never did I feel like a positive example. I was afraid every single day. I never stopped looking over my shoulder. But I kept putting one foot in front of the other because I knew if I didn’t the last little spark inside of me would go out.
But the spark grew into the long lost fire in my belly and fueled my independence. Fueled my confidence. Fueled my ability to love and be loved.

I love this young man ever so dearly. I wish him all the success of love and life without too much of the struggle.
To know that I’ve been inspiration to him is almost more than I can even bear.
My heart is overflowing.
We all deserve to feel this much love and gratitude.

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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