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.

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

WBA@wholesomebadass.com

Author: Wholesome BadAss

I am in a program of recovery for those whose lives have been affected by someone else's drinking, drug use, mental illness. I am new to the experiences of faith and hope and courage, qualities absent for me in proximity to my family. No Contact has been the way to keep safe from diminishing words and actions directed at me. I think I have listened for the last time to how I deserve mistreatment. By holding out for something more wholesome and loving, I have been both banished and demanded to return. I prefer serenity to proximity. I will continue with my program and faith in the best possible outcome, so long as I do my part-- to stalk GOD as if my life depends on it.

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6 Comments on "No, No Thank you, Unfortunately, That Wont Work"

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WindmillFighter
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Wow, that is a boatload to let go of OR to hang on to. Best wishes, either way. Yes to No. None of it sounds ok or kind, or painless. Letting go wouldn’t mean accepting it as acceptable, just not letting it consume you or take you down. In family’s with narcissism and triangulation, often the take down is what is desired and needed to justify YOUR brokenness, maybe even insanity, the best distraction from their own bad behavior. Not saying you look crazy, just be careful. They will look for cracks in your “turtle shell” and ways to overturn… Read more »
APple Girl
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M- I am worried about you. You have a lot of pain. I encourage you to keep processing the hellish dynamic of your family. I have to get my uglies out but I try not to do it in public. Instead with trusted others. I need to work through my pain and then present my best self to the larger world because not everyone deserves to know my pain. Not everyone will take good care of my heart and pain. So I worry that you are doing it in public. People that don’t understand see you as hateful revengeful weak,… Read more »
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