Last week I participated in part two of a training at my work for DBT with clients with psychosis.
The trainer was on zoom and next to her name was (they, their).
I made a comment on some content and the trainer referred to me and my comment as “they just said”…. I responded in private chat to refer to me as she/her yet the trainer did not acknowledge what I asked.
I was stunned. I was angry. I am not a they.
This goes back to an irrational thought I have due to my hair loss and my hair style -(not wearing wigs anymore because it causes me more neck pain and headaches) that I am not feminine “enough”. It’s an irrational “not enough” thought.
I know this is a thought and is not a fact. Logically I know this; and when this person referred to me as they, this thought raised its ugly head. It’s an ugly thought, it’s not a fact.
I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me. I know who I am. I am not neutral; I am a woman, friend, daughter, mother, and grandmother. I am worthwhile and important and that doesn’t have anything to do with my appearance.
I can note my appearance because my hair curls in the front like my dad, my lips have the shape of my mother, I have dark eyes like my great grandmother. My children have physical traits of mine passed on. My appearance connects me to my ancestors and to my progeny.
After this happened last Thursday, I had two strangers comment flattering about my appearance/hair and two people I know comment flattering about my appearance/hair. It reminded me that one person’s opinion is not a fact. I see this as a sign that my Heavenly Father knew my heart and tried to soothe my wounds and remind me who I am.
I remember listening to Rod Stewart’s song Hot Legs at a youth activity at our local reservoir when I was maybe 15. I thought I did not have legs like that and never would have legs like that.
At 15 I judged my legs. I felt ashamed of my feet too-at size 10 feet I thought there was something wrong with me.
Now that I’m a little more aware of my judgements-I remember being involved in athletics-volleyball, softball, and riding my bicycle to work (3 miles? Each direction) every day in the summer. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t anything wrong with my legs. One summer I got an in park homerun at a softball tournament. My legs can run.
Now that I’m older, I realize my legs are still hot legs. I helped my daughter move last week-up and down stairs maybe a hundred times -filling a 26 foot Uhaul and unloading the same Uhaul. My knees work really well.
Hot Legs apply to anyone with legs. I’m so thankful I have legs that work.
Several years ago (actually about 2001) I was searching for my dog (Rufus) around 130am in my neighborhood with my (now ex) husband.
I ran out of the house in just a knee length T-shirt with no shoes. It was summer and I often run around with no shoes.
I couldn’t find Rufus and set back walking home. I was only about 3 blocks from my house (ex husband was on a bicycle looking) when I realized someone was following me. I turned around and a man was on the sidewalk nearby..I think he said “come here” and reached out to grab me. I jumped so far back and maybe I yelled I don’t remember. It was scary. I called the police the next day but nothing happened. I don’t remember feeling safe in my neighborhood again.
After this incident I took a Taekwondo class where I learned how to yell and punch. Who knew I had a hard time yelling?
Then a few years ago (again quite a few, this is 2007) I worked at our local State Mental Hospital graveyard shift. One morning around 6am-I am almost off -and as I walked out the staff door into the general patient area-a psychotic woman (much bigger than I) punched me in the face-between the eyes-(it did not break my nose but hurt like hell later and gave me terrible headaches) I cannot remember her punching me but found myself on the ground in the hall with her arm around my neck-choke style. Several staff members got her arms from around my neck and I stumbled to the staff desk.
A few years ago I called 911 because I could see a man beating up a woman on our street corner. I didn’t feel safe going outside in the middle of the night to confront someone.
As a woman (especially one getting older) I feel vulnerable and I don’t want to be beat up again or fear for my safety in my neighborhood or in the car by myself.
So the last few weeks I have been visiting my local Ready Gunner-and I’ve rented about 10 handguns deciding what I like and what I’m comfortable with. This last Tuesday I bought a Glock 43X and now I need to spend time at the range getting more comfortable with my new friend.
I thought I would share some of my difficulties lately and how I’m dodging the punches.
Someone very close to me is involved in the dissolution of her marriage due to a emotionally abusive spouse. Her spouse also knows my ex husband (I divorced him about 17 years ago).
I have found out that her husband and my ex shit talk about me throughout some family events (involving my adult children and grandchildren- those are most events I continue to be around my ex husband). I also found out that my ex inquired (to the person close to me) wondering if she was being unduly influenced to leave her husband by someone he did not name (I’m guessing it is me) and I have been super angry and negative being re exposed to abuse and emotional manipulation by my ex husband.
I have a difficult time managing this again, the negativity and emotions this stirs up is overwhelming for me.
I have a stressful job and do not need the additional negativity that this information affects me.
How do I manage? I have been focusing on things I can control to help myself. Can I control other people? No. Can I control outside events? No. Does other people’s shit have anything to do with me? No. If someone else is a douche, does that have to affect me? No.
Can I control what I focus on? Yes. About a week ago, I was listening to a podcast of Rachel Hollis interviewing Brendon Burchard. I was so impressed I subscribed (it’s FREE!)to Brendon’s podcast “The Brendon Show” and also bought his workbook “the high performance planner” and his book “High Performance Habits”. In 2018 Brendon reads his whole book as part of his podcast (so you can listen to his book for free!) and it’s so inspiring. It reminds me to live according to my own values. I especially like the planner and the ways I daily remind myself to set an intention, remind myself the person I want to be, a way to demonstrate excellence to myself, ways to coach myself through the day and ways to determine if I have been successful in my day (along with three goals to keep my focus every day).
This has been a huge support in dealing with this new situation and previous triggers from my abusive past marriage.
If any of you out there are struggling, I strongly suggest looking this up and listening. Everything will be ok, you can do it, you are strong enough, you are smart enough, you matter, you are important.
I’ve been listening/watching several inspirational speakers (Rachel Hollis, Ashley Lemieux, Mike Lemieux, and Stuart Edge) which is really pumping me up to be myself! ❤️
Today I thought I would share the times in my life that I DID NOT LISTEN to others opinions of me and that makes me proud of myself.
Many years ago in admiring (someone close to me-their coworker physical workout and body improvement) I said “I want to do that, I want to do what they did” – to which my loved one said- “you can’t do that, what makes you think you can”? To which I thought to myself-watch me, and then I’ll rub your nose in it.
Many years ago the same person (now not part of my life) said “no one’s going to want to marry you or date you, you’re old and have all these kids”- to which I thought- you’re an a$$hole-I’m worthy just the way I am, anyone would be happy to be in a relationship with me.
Several years ago, in speaking with a loved one (different one this tome) about my course work in graduate school, she said “you don’t really think you can be a therapist do you? You can’t do that”. To which I thought, you aren’t really in my corner are you and yes I can. (We haven’t had much of a relationship since).
A couple of years ago someone said “you can’t really be a blogger or have a fashion Instagram-why are you trying”? To which I thought, wow you don’t know me at all do you? I am already doing that.
And then there are the three times I listened: one person (not really close but a trusted adult) shamed me for my voice-“why do you always talk like a baby”, another person close to me (or so I thought) shamed me for my voice- almost exact words, and another time I listened…someone shamed me for posting on Facebook and Instagram (about several things) AND I listened.
I’m not listening anymore to the voices that tell me who they think I should be -THAT IS MY DECISION-and that is why I’m sharing this with you today.