No, No Thank you, Unfortunately, That Wont Work

One of the things I have paid most dearly for in my FOO and marriage was speaking my truth/ saying NO.  I became accustomed to screaming, begging, swearing, hysterical threatening…anything to make my NO legit, heard, to make it stick.  These dynamics were sustained for only as long as I would fight or surrender to their will.  Once I began to calmly and definitively say “No, that won’t work for me.”  without threat,volume, profanity or explanation, those entanglements died.  The name calling and belittling were no longer effective in getting  me to buckle in shame or fear of banishment. When questioning disrespectful responses to my fair, though unpopular boundaries, I was told I earned it by saying the same thing over and over.  Oh.  Ok.  Same question, same answer.  No?  I really believed for so long, that if I said it in just the right way with the right voice at the right time, that it would count, that I might count.

Big Open Heart, Big Fucken Fences
Big Open Heart, Big Fucken Fences

My unemotional NO- is intolerable- and heard loud and clear, not respected or honored-but leaves no doubt-only silence and passive aggressive retaliation.  I no longer do and accept terms that fail to consider my children and/or me.   I no longer participate in my own abuse and neglect.  I no longer hang around those who feel entitled to take as they like, at all costs.  I do experience anxiety before delivering my new faith and courage-backed NO, and then….  relief & self esteem, once I have.  BUT, for the Grace of God, Dare I.

Having nearly mastered “The Art of No”, if I could get to a place of saying yes, yes to things that would elevate the quality of my life, that would be a real miracle.

Some of the No’s that have brought wrathful righteousness (totally denied-because feelings are for the weak, covert retaliation is for the strong) from Catherine Ghoneim Whitney :

No, that dinner time is too late for us. No, I will not miss concert planned for three months for your last minute “invite”. No, I do not think ignoring my emails is kind or ok. No, publicly calling me names and excluding me won’t frighten me into coming around. No, connecting directly with my ex-husband to gain access to my children in order to circumvent healing and amends does not work for me. No, telling me that I earned or imagined my abuse is not true. No, I will not be bullied into doing things your way. No, blessing an email that annihilated me does not seem like the act of a kind or safe person. No, being around you without amends does not seem prudent. No, aligning with my ex is not acceptable. No, I wont pretend it didn’t happen. No, most sisters and NORMAL healthy families would not resort to this. No, ignoring my begging you to stop doesn’t feel like people capable of love. No, creating conflict for my children is not acceptable. No, wrecking our nuclear family is not what a kind person does. No, what you did to me as a child is not ok, and probably does not make you gay, and you don’t need to destroy me for fear I might share.

NO CONTACT is the only sane alternative.  And as my mother responded to me when I asked to work it out:  “I wish you well”.

Simple translation to all of my No’s:   “Please stop hurting my family, my children.  Please let us be.”  Being married to a man, and a judge does not undo the truth of what you do, which speaks to who you are, the nature of your soul.  Love and kindness are not selective.  Home wrecking is nasty, just like the other things you did.  Happy Birthday to my sister.  I wished I could drop all my anger over your words and actions and celebrate with you…just let it go and pretend.  if I could pretend, I would have never moved cross country to be free of you.  If I could pretend, I would still be married.  If I could and would pretend, you would have gotten your way and this would not be happening.  So maybe the real problem is my refusal to obey and pretend.  I will never try harder to do those things. No.

And yes I am angry.  In this family identifying someone as angry immediately costs them credibility and invites open fire.  Of course I am angry.  I own that what is going on is damaging and unfair to my children and I am furious.  Who wouldn’t be.  I am sad and angry and resent being erased and ganged up on by my ex and my family.  If I had less recovery, I would march right into her office and tell her in no uncertain terms what would torture her to hear about herself.  Count your blessings I leave your children out of this. I will never reduce myself to doing that because then you would have just a little something legit to work with, not just a raging frustration to gain compliance from me.  My side of the street is so effing clean.  No behaviors or words of mine aimed at anything except getting peace and space from you and your antics.  “Amen”(as she likes to say)  Afuckenmen!

Having feelings and healing  from trauma is messy as shit, and totally badass.  Going to tell my sister off would not be.  In fact, it would ease her burden just a little.  So technically, it is just a heightened form of withholding on my part….could be a touch more wholesome.  For the record, I repeat, Wholesome Badass is what I work towards…not a claim to anything more.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram by clicking the pic- Wholesomebadass. https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/

Memorial Day 2017-Dying for Peace

While our Memorial Day weekend was lovely in the simplest of ways, I, not so silently, mourn the reality of my “family” situation.  They– are more situational than family. ( hahaha)  But seriously, special days are now, a new kind of hard.  My ex-husband and I worked beautiful healing miracles after our lengthy and litigious divorce, to move our family cross country, together.  My motivation  for this post:  Invitation to bbq at my best friend’s home caused me sadness, sad that asking my ex to join is no longer appropriate.   Continue reading “Memorial Day 2017-Dying for Peace”

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram by clicking the pic- Wholesomebadass. https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/

Self Love is the Shit

While it is true that I have tapped into the magic of self love, this by no means is an expression of being perfect or finished or in love with myself.  It means I recognize my worthiness of  connection, wholeness, peace, and kindness of people who value me.   I no longer doubt and dislike myself enough to subject myself to the painful brand of love-and I have for now stopped begging for it to be different, with my family of origin. Without self-love, I was willing to come around, to dine with people who name call and behave in ways which are diminishing to me- creating unnecessary hardship and loss of innocence for my children.  I realize how I came to marry my children’s father, emotionally and morally vacant,  concerned primarily with appearances.  Not knowing what being loved and nurtured felt like, I chose more of what I knew.  As I have recovered; learned what it means to offer, receive, and welcome wholesome love and nurturing, I no longer tolerate or take blame for  others whose behaviors and words I experience as foul.
Continue reading “Self Love is the Shit”

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram by clicking the pic- Wholesomebadass. https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/

Stay Close to Anything That Makes You Glad to be Alive

What a novel concept!  Learning to be mindful of the choices I have-  sometimes the menu of options sucks, but as an adult with recovery, I do have choices.  For my weekend with sweet sweet Greg, parting only to go to my sweet Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class, I am immensely pleased and grateful.  All my BJJ fellows and Greg make me very glad to be alive.  Miracles are happening.

What/Who makes you glad to be alive?  What deserves a little space?

 

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram by clicking the pic- Wholesomebadass. https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/

Starved

Because I experienced trauma around food, I have spent the second half of my life learning to develop a healthy relationship with it.  Still, I find it challenging to eat right foods at right times, in right quantities for right reasons.  I have the metabolism of a hummingbird and so I do need to eat a lot and frequently or my hands become shakey and I am taken down by headaches and nausea when my blood sugar gets too low.  Also, I have been known to quit a job, end a relationship, move out, or tear a person’s head off due to hunger induced insanity(Hanger)—completely irrational.  Usually once I was so far past hunger and the next opportunity to feed myself felt too far out of reach; I would just lose my mind.

I am deeply affected by touch, sound, smell, texture, and appearance, as is my older son.  So, many food items were simply unthinkable.  This is part of our unique sensory processing.  Being told what I must like or not like, but eat anyway (the unspoken:  if I wish to connect and be worthy of love and safety) and when I should and should not eat, based on the clock, really fucked me up.  Also, the absence of daily food options that were manageable for me at a sensory level did not help me to thrive. When I would go away to a friend’s home or camp and college, I was nuts with food.  Binging and purging several times within one meal or sitting.  I couldn’t get enough and then it would be too much.  It wasn’t for weight that I did this.  It was not knowing how to process the

satisfaction of foods that were comforting offering a full but not overstuffed belly– abundant and available to me at my time of hunger.  The generous offering and safety to just eat things that were unscary with people who were unscary.  I could not manage myself, at all.  I had not learned.

My boys and I joke about the calve’s tongue that would torment me from my childhood fridge: grayish purple with the enlarged and irregularly shaped white-ish pores and the roots on the back as if it had been yanked out rather than cut.  I still see it vividly plastered tightly with saran wrap to the white styrofoam with  with the slapped on label “beef tongue”.  Also, there were calves’ liver and kidneys which seared their haunting images into my mind.  My mother at times, would ask me what I want for dinner and then would follow quickly with—“and do not name all the things you don’t want”  But I hated all the shit we had– and what I did want and crave was not available, so the question was just silly, if not antagonistic.  Was there hope that I might just say “Oh, I will have some baba ganoush with fava beans and Prime Rib(gag just thinking of it) or chicken livers?”    Lambs are angels, my favorite animal, so the mention or sighting of their chops or an entire leg was distressing to me.  Food was scary, not only because the idea of animals dying and the terrifying people who slaughtered them, but food was a guaranteed source for judgment and fighting.  I was too hungry, too picky and just a pain in the ass.   “If she gets hungry enough she will eat it, right?”  Nope.  Never happened.  Never.  I was hated was when I was hungry and/or stressed, and yet…..

So, what prompted this post is that tonight, my older son wanted burgers while my younger son wanted tacos.  I was glad to prepare each to order.  I informed them how they owed this to my mother.  That if I had a normal relationship with food, I would make ONE dinner from a list of things that they like- and some nights it may just not be what they are in the mood for(but never anything they dislike).  They eat as much and as frequently as I do and they enjoy eating, as much as they like/need.  Our only food rule is- dessert: only for those who have eaten enough dinner.  For them, with me, food is not scary. I do not require them to try things that I think would taste or feel bad to them.  And they have become quite adventurous lil eaters.  My sons share my objection to “wiggly meat” which to this day my mother claims to not comprehend.  That is ok. I no longer need her to.  Sweet Greg is also disturbed by most meats and will have nothing to do with any sign of muscle, fat, tendon, skin or goo.  On one of our first dates when he brought steaks over, I knew I loved him because he also brought these things that I refer to as “meat grabbers”.  He has never touched raw meat.  He refuses.  He got me my very own pair of meat grabbers.  It is a miracle that I prepare food for my boys because honestly, the texture and touch of most all foods on my hands makes me feel physically ill.  Even the foods I like.  To the touch, avocados, strawberries, cantaloupe, salmon, all meat, even pasta—things I like upset me at a sensory level when they come in contact with my skin.  I am grateful to have a son who is similar and allowed me to learn to nurture him in these ways.  Parenting him and protecting him from overload has been an immense part of my recovery from food abuse and other stuff.

My mother was actually avant garde and gourmet in her cooking preferences and skills.   It was just not a good fit for me and that seemed to insult her authority and effort.  I still require enormous quantities of food and eat frequently. I genuinely struggle to know when I am hungry, full, need a time out, or a restroom.  Mostly, I wait until it can no longer wait, shaky hands and tell me to eat, a stomach ache tells me I am full and a barely contained bladder informs me of necessary action.  Honestly, my wiring and my upbringing made it challenging to know what was true and necessary to take care of myself.  I hope that I am preparing my children to care well for themselves and others, to seek serenity, to have their most basic needs and rights honored, if by nobody else, than themselves.

Anyway, all to say if not for my mother, I would be making only one meal only and we would eat at designated meal times only rather than the 6 meals per day that we enjoy.  So in addition to good medical and dental care and my college education, I am grateful for the cautionary tale of how to make your kids fear food and family and struggle to control it or themselves with it.  I am a work in progress and they are my best teachers.   With them, I practice eating sanely and exercising; becoming as healthy as I can be.  They deserve a healthy mom.  Anything for them.  Always.

PS–I think it goes without saying.  I do so many things I am not proud of as a parent.  I by no means claim anything near perfection in anything I do.  I tell my boys, I am not perfect at anything ever….but telling the truth.  My experience is my truth.  We are only as sick as our secrets and lies.  Secrets and lies are neither wholesome nor badass.  Ever.  Truth seeking and sharing is difficult, it is not the easier way.

What is your truth?

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram by clicking the pic- Wholesomebadass. https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/

The Broken Clock

For 4 brutal decades, I was distraught over the confusing swings of mood(with me indicated as THE cause) by my mother, sister, and later my husband/now ex-husband.  At times there would be eye contact, engaging conversation, and something resembling connection– then long periods of averted eyes and zero acknowledgment when addressed, or a surprising character assassination in response to something from months or even years earlier.  Then, compliments, gifts, or initiatives to engage, close on the heels of emotional vacancy or barely contained rage- impossible to discern which.  It is too much.
Continue reading “The Broken Clock”

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram by clicking the pic- Wholesomebadass. https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/