*Trigger Warning: This post may contain triggers; read at your own pace*
Disclaimer: this is a place of learning, safety, and hope. Take what you want from the post and forget the rest. Maybe this will help you. Maybe it won’t.
REMINDER: These are my opinions and thoughts unless clearly attributed to another source. Feel free to stop at the graphic if you don’t want to read the rant 🙂
One of the best days of my high school life was when our literature teacher had us read Maya Angelou’s work, starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Back then I didn’t understand why Ms. Angelou’s words resonated deep within me or how I could relate to the story. But I did.
And still do. Relate and resonate with her words, guidance, wisdom (your words here).
My alter personalities enjoy reading poetry and biographies once in a while. But often they read these books after a complete switch, leaving me and some others out of the loop. It’s okay because we all have different interests and want to keep some things only ours instead of shared.
But they wanted me to share these two quotes with you today because they feel relevant to all the changes happening in present time.
Ms. Angelou is like a rainbow peaking out of the clouds when I feel down. Maybe she can help you too.
And now for the mini rant. I feel so frustrated and am not sure who to talk to or how to address this continuing problem in my life. It’s not like any part of me asked to be wired this way. But certain parts of my sense of self will take longer to heal than others.
Should I have listened to my instincts and cut the person off as soon as they started tingling? Or was continuing the conversation until the inevitable rejection a better option? I don’t really know. But I do care and wish relationships were not so messy or complicated.
If you’ve read past posts, you realize that social media is difficult for me on many levels. I have trust issues and “feeling safe” issues among others that relate to who is “friended” or “unfriended” becomes a “connection” or gets “disconnected” or “follows” and “is followed” on different accounts. Lots of mistakes in the past make me careful about what content I put up and where I go to interact on social media.
The other part that comes up here frequently is my choice to be single and celibate on purpose. Then explaining to people who connect with me on LinkedIn or other other social media places that I am not available without oversharing or overreacting to the trigger.
What is the trigger?
Male or female flirts with me/hits on me/shows signs of sexual attraction
My automatic/instinctive reaction?
Oh s*** he/she/they/it is dangerous and trying to attack/hurt me. Gotta protect myself. Time for the alters to come out and communicate with him/her/them/it.
Yeah, it never ends well for me (and sometimes the other too) once my instincts kick in.
So back to the social media – I am on LinkedIn for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is that it’s supposed to be a professional network for people to connect and support each other’s business and work goals. Not for people to find partners or flirt or set up dates or other personal type connections.
And yet, twice in the past two years I’ve had men connect with me and then use the messaging tool to flirt with me. One time I asked customer support to intervene. The last time, I made a mistake and let it go on too far because of a miscommunication about the word “friendship”. That kept me up late last night and into this morning with all these thoughts:
Did I share too much? Or not enough?
Was I kind in my rejection? Or too blunt as I explained my reasons for not wanting his type of “friendship”?
Should I not have explained about the sexual and physical abuse in my past and how that translates to me being unable to feel or experience sexual attraction for others in the present?
*key point here: my body is healthy and normal (so the doctors, etc. say) and does react to physiological stimuli – my body reacts to attractive males – but the rest of me does not. Instead, everyone else notes the physiological reaction and reacts with “Oh s*** time to protect ourselves again”*
All my counselors agree that this is a defense mechanism developed when I was still a toddler to protect me from the abusers and pedophiles. And some day in the future, when I feel safe and learn to trust a male with those sensitive parts of myself, I will feel sexual attraction and romantic love and all that other stuff.
Key words being “some day”.
Not now. Not months from now. Not a year from now.
And so I still get frustrated with trying to make friends and be friendly without the “sex stuff” – as my child and teen alters call it – getting in the way.
Times like this, experiences like this, make me want to give up and go back to being a hermit who lives in her head. No worries about other people or other beings (my plants). No worries about being kind or considerate of others. No worries period. Just suffering and existing on a routine that keeps me breathing.
But then I get the proverbial kick in the ass from somewhere and realize I’m too selfish to give up the life I have now. I like/love/accept all parts of myself and who I am becoming. I enjoy having people, plants, and wildlife around.
I even find humor in the challenging people sent my way to teach me life lessons.
And this means prejudice, bullies, emotional blackmail, poverty, accidents, deprivation, rejection, or whatever else comes my way. My new neighbors teach me about change every moment of the day and evening. Like Maya’s quote above – I can’t change the people or the situation, but I can change my perspective and attitude about the people and the situation.
Plus, living, thriving with joy and prosperity as I roll with the challenges is the best kind of revenge against people trying to tear me down.
Maybe it’s the best kind for you too? Or maybe not…
Either way, I fall into a shame spiral. Fall over the side and drop for a bit. Then pick myself up and make the climb back to the top. But not the same place I fell.
The journey back up always takes me along a different path, but always gets me where I need to be in the end.
How do you handle communication and relationship challenges? If you want to share, please write in the comments. Your thoughts are appreciated.
Thanks for reading.