Communicating Truth

Actions and patterns communicate the truth of our character and our hearts.

I prioritize the closeness and connection of my chosen relationships, holding zero regard for an illusion or status of having said “relationship”.  Life is both too long and too short to pretend.

I have many swirling thoughts in need of sifting, from the last weeks of church and today’s meeting.  For now I have time and energy only to share a reading from my program of recovery, which is front and foremost on my mind.

A brief study of some intangibles: 
Our attitudes are usually conveyed to other people by what we say and do — and how. If the attitudes really reflect what we feel. Gentle actions and soft, courteous words may only counterfeit our true feelings. We may even think we have overcome resentments, self-righteousness and self-pity, but if they are still there inside us, they will in some mysterious way emanate from us and deny what we try to convey by our play-acting. 
“How can he tell?” asks a confused wife. “I never raise my voice, never argue, try to do what he expects, and yet he’s always challenging me!” 
Today’s Reminder 
Merely to change my behavior, and what I say and do, does not prove a change of inward attitude. I am deceiving myself if I imagine I can completely disguise my real feelings. They will somehow come through, and prolong the hostility in my family. I must root out entirely the troublesome emotions I’ve been trying to hide. 
It is not that I do no care what others think. It is that I am not driven by it. At all. Ever.

The white knuckled, tight jaw, grin and bear it vibe— I cannot live in that way that or near that energy.  It feels toxic to me, debilitating.   If our truths divide us, that means we are not to be together, NOT that we are enemies but that we are unable to support each other in living as our best, fullest, truest selves.  It makes no sense for me to place energy in pretending to be or feel a certain way, so that I may remain in “relationship” with a person or group.  My experience is that people deeply committed to appearances and rightness and who boast willingness/commitment to enduring their own pretending for the “sake of the relationship”, become deeply enraged at the audacity of authenticity.  In them, there appears to be a constitutional desire, to punish the truth speakers(those called to be transparent about their own unique and personal truths), and this shared anger can serve as a basis for connection.  In the world of therapy, this is referred to as trauma bonding and triangulation.

While behaving in ways that are unkind and harmful, both my sister and ex would assert that their alliance and antics are harmless and that they are free from anger– that subjecting my children to the unwholesome gatherings is nothing more than trying to create a sense of family and connection(while attempting to alienate their mother). They are free from bad feelings– I am the only one broken enough to have or express pain or anger.  I will never not feel angry about what this does to our children–the incongruous messages, the deception and the forced closeness with people they observe being harmful- while insisting on displays physical affection, forced proximity and and feigned connection.  So YUCKy.

 

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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Aha!

I am now recognizing how, after moving here, if we would have continued as a blended, healing, fixed family with my FOO, my ex, my kids and myself, that would have kept me in some sort of center position, like I would have been at the hub, not in the driver’s seat, but the common link.  I see how unsettling this would be to my sister, who works hard to reside IN the center.  And it is undeniable that for my sister and my ex, the desire to punish me runs deep.  For each of their decades of attempts to control me leave them feeling less powerful and important than their egos can bear. Continue reading “Aha!”

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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

Happy Birthday ?

Thank Good Gawd Almighty for the most marvelous friend —who loves family, God, selfies, presents, fun, joy, travel, celebrating, and even me— to the end of the earth and back, she loves me.  Crying as I type that, because it is so damn special, the friendship that we enjoy.  Truly BFFs!  Yesterday was my 50th.  For my special day, I planned to run a time consuming and far away errand (the result of a 80 mile round trip drive to get a birthday gift for my ex, from our boys) and then go to lunch with my best girl in the world.  Awake at 5 am, I remained pinned under my weighted blanket, listening to Option B on Audible until 11am, knowing I was missing my window of opportunity to make the errand or lunch happen. I was runnin’ down the clock.  I texted the Bestie (friends of more than 40 years, I will call her “Favorite”) informing her that I was too

For my birthday, I purchased a ticket to see Glennon speak at one of her upcoming events!!!  Yaaaay

sad to do any of the things.  Favorite rallied, invited me to meet her at work and drove the 40 miles to the errand. She was present, loving, fun, and comforting, not probing or trying to fix or cheer, just WITH me, like a fucken boss of a friend.  She declared, before my arrival, that it was ok that I feel however I did as long as we were together– and went to lunch.  I even panicked at her plan to take me anywhere I like for lunch,  because I could think of nothing I wanted.  We figured it out, though!  The whole day together and birthday dinner too.  Possibly, my best birthday yet.  Favorite and her parents, my sons, dinner of my choice, with cake and gifts and even a photo–with my boys.  If I can do exactly and only this, every year for all of my birthdays, I would be blessed.  God, it was so sweet and wholesome– each of us just being exactly who and how we are.  LOVE.

I recognize that it is normal and healthy to want to celebrate, and I wished that I did.  In general, I require space and solitude, more so in times of heightened struggle.  My experience with depression is that I stop liking and wanting even the people and things which, when I am feeling healthier, I like and want.  I cannot make that be different, not even for my boys whom I would do anything for.  It is possible that I could exercise & get outside more, and make healthier food choices–those things would not hurt.  But, apathy is at the wheel more of the time than I care to admit.  The anguish over certain things/people seems to be in endless supply, and the grief and shame over the anguish are oppressive.  Recovery has taught me to now offer generous space to anyone finding it necessary to make a person look or feel bad for feeling bad.

Having the calendar create expectations that all people should feel/act/perform happy is a freaking nightmare.  When I reflect on all special occasions, I can recall only, my overwhelming panic and shame of not feeling(and therefore behaving) the way in which I was supposed to.  I can feel the stinging disdain and remarks directed at me for being so selfish, just heaps of shame.  Oh jubilant ones, I am so sorry that I cannot be happy for and with you as a result of my brain chemistry and family experience, which have left me with sometimes crippling anxiety and depression.  (The best– is that they would debate this.) My anxiety, surprisingly is not lessened by the consequences imposed for being this particular brand of selfish menace.  Oh, and why won’t I just  lighten up and stop being so defensive, they wonder?   Because when you are depressed, you may actually just be a bad person, making a selfish choice to be miserable, at the expense of all the joyful good people, who will rightfully school, shun, and gossip about you for that sort of bullshit.  And best of all, they will insist you return for the next “celebration” and punish you when you do not, or even when you do.  Good Times.  Shaking my head.  So glad THE day has passed…and so grateful for Sweet Greg and Favorite just loving me through it.

Here is what I know to be my truth.  I can now(since recovery)be counted on, to: tell the truth, do as I say I will, apologize when I blow it, help you and be there for you in hard times.  You can count on empathy, encouragement, and inappropriate jokes.  But please, DO not count on me to be happy because you need for me to be.  That is unfair and insane.

Brilliant quote from C.S. Lewis ➡️ “Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery’s shadow or reflection: the fact that you don’t merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.”

My first choice would be to have peace and or the potential of healing with my mother and HER family. However, being loved and connected to and surrounded by the finest people, unrelated to me, is not a shabby Option B, at all.
Much Love,
Magda Gee

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How Do I Handle This?

The one thing I have most needed to know how to handle, is myself.  I am finally learning to do this– with love and compassion.  Only in recovery, have I been encouraged and taught to navigate and cope with difficult feelings and people.  With the fixed mindset that I was responsible for all bad behavior and words spoken to, about, or near me, I was always on the verge of, or mid- panic/mental breakdown.  I could be counted on to behave like a complete lunatic when faced with stress:  dishonesty, an unkind word, betrayal, dismissal, and most any situation in which caused me to feel threatened, ashamed and powerless.  With my volatile vibe and explosive responses, nearly anyone could get away with treating me poorly or unfairly, since my insanity insured  a stealing of the spotlight, taking a person promptly off the hook for foul play.  My unfortunate reactions made it not only possible, but likely and easy for people to righteously demean me. ?? When I stopped reacting, those ☠️relationships, which relied on my sick engagement, ceased.  Old habits and relationships die ⚰️hard.  I let them die—so I can live.

As I write this, as when I do most things, I hear voices of those who neeeeed for me to BE wrong and sick in order that they feel right, good, and well.  As if their only source of traction relies on a contrast to ME.  Those voices are all:  “Oh yeh, poor Magda, as if she is/was some sort of angel snowflake, sooo precious.”  Anyone who genuinely knows me, also knows that I absolutely do not intend to convey a life of absolute innocence.   I neither deny nor make excuses for the less than stellar ways which I have been.  As a result of feeling intensely emotionally charged 24/7, negatively charged, I said and did unreasonable, unkind, and dishonest things.  Fuck, it is all I knew.  I had not witnessed mercifulness or grace (the spiritual kind, not a poised and carefully curated appearance).  When we know better, we do better.  I am learning, a work in progress. Continue reading “How Do I Handle This?”

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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

Why Lie

Alone in the car with my younger son, today, I pretended to take credit for saying something fantastic, a quote which actually came directly from him.  He was like:  “Mawm,  I said that, not you.”  In all seriousness,straight-faced, I replied; “Nah-aaaaah, I am totally the one who said it.”  He was rightly disturbed- I admitted to playing and went on to share about about gas-lighting–how it can make a person feel crazy when someone repeatedly insists that things are different from how they know them to be.  I explained how gas-lighting is a real thing that some people do- and that it is a form of abuse.  He recalled how his bully did that to him in 4th grade(which he then began doing  relentlessly to his brother(we have nearly fully recovered over the course of a year))  I explained how it is especially troublesome when a person who is older or in a position of authority, whom is believed to be trustworthy, does this to a person who must depend on them.  The person being gaslit will begin to doubt everything, lose trust first in themselves, and then in others.   And that is an impossibly scary way to be in the world.  Depression and anxiety often result and can sometimes be healed.  I stopped with that.

We have a deal, my sons and I– If they ever catch me in a lie, of any sort, I will pay them $500 each, on the spot. I do not have $500!!   We have clarified what makes a lie a lie, is when person intentionally conveys a message which they know to be untrue or inaccurate.  Anytime they doubt me, which is rare, I just say “Why would I lie? I have no reason to lie.  To anyone.  I am not afraid or trying to get anything.”   Plus, I now have faith and courage.  Yay,me, finally. Continue reading “Why Lie”

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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

Some Letters

Angry letters I would write and send if not for recovery.  I have anger, but it is not the boss of me.  I let it teach me and then I get to practice taming it.

Dear Dad,

I experience little conscious memory of you, only of the raging in our house and you bringing home gifts of perfume or Brach’s Sour Ball Candies from your canteen at work. And that I resented you for making me different from others, in ways that couldn’t be masked-my name, my brown-ness, our weird food, my nose, our lack of traditional celebrations and trendy clothing.  I recall with haunting clarity, the smell of your greasy pillow and that you rode a 10 speed and slaughtered Cornish hens in our home, ate lamb, rabbit, tongue, veal and calve’s kidney and liver—knowing it all broke my heart.   Oh, and you enjoyed the beach.  Aside from that, just fighting.  Lots of fighting–but you were different from mom and sister.  You always felt despair over screaming and being unreasonable or hurtful.  You would often apologize.  We are alike that way, the screaming and the apologizing.  I am better about screaming and have learned what to and not to apologize for.

Sometimes months go by and I have not thought of you at all, because whatever there was between us that made us tear at each other, is too painful to recall.

Dear Mom,

Your contempt for me, from as far back as I can remember was terrifying.  I wished I could have felt some sense of safety, nurturing, or confidence in your care.  Between you, your punitive and judgmental mother, and my sister, there was little chance of me, ever getting to know or love myself.  What did you expect to become of me?  Did you think you could shame and banish me out of being someone so terribly inconvenient and with needs to which you could not relate?  If so, you deserve an award for your efforts.  Too bad, it did not work out well for anyone, except Jilan.  She scored much positive attention and traction, from just not being ME.  

Dear Female Sibling,

The way you have touched and spoken to me is vile.  Except for when you were being other Jilan, offering gifts and compliments, but even that was icky.  Often you would ask what was wrong–but it was not in a compassionate way, it was in a scared probing way to see if I knew and understood what had been said or done.  The thought of you touching my children makes me physically ill.  The collective will of you and your mother, violates me as a daughter, sister, and mother of my children.  The way you subtly smear and systematically alienate/pick off women (who dare to displease you–remember, you have bragged about this to me) in your life and work is repulsive.  The arrangement you have with Randy makes my young sons feel conflict, angst, caught in the middle of things which they could have been spared.  Shame on you. Yes you.  For all of the stuff.   You gossip and judge and shame others as if it is your calling.  If it is, bravo.  You are killing it, at those things.  There is no zipcode, white suit, title, last name, or club that can fully conceal the truth of  what you do and have done. Even having beautiful children is not proof of some level of goodness in you which nullifies the damage by your hand.  Your Sisters in law,your cousins, Alison at your work, your aunt…. just to name a few.  Patterns do not lie.

Dear EX-H,

When we first met, I loved the part of you that was confused and pained by the things done to you by your sisters that paralleled my own experience.  I thought together we would make something better.  Do you recall  how your father cautioned you about the affect your sisters would have on us? Do you recall how you were always having to choose between your sisters and me…except for the two years in which we were close with Kendall and therefore banished by the other two? Do you recall how your sisters ignored us and baby Will at Christmas entirely and when you called them out, they said, “what he is only a baby, like he will even remember”  It was sad and really unsurprising when after years of promising to want something better for our family you said to me “I will never change. There is nothing wrong the the way my family or I do things.”  I can see that when I was crying about the dynamic with my sister and mother, you related more to them than to me.  No truer words were ever spoken than when you said you would never change.  May be the only promise to have never been broken—never changing.  Sad.   What I find most challenging are the moods that parallel my sister’s.  The days or weeks of non-malevolence followed by underhanded and disruptive antics for no reason at all.  These times are marked by zero eye contact or acknowledgment when I have spoken, as you did in marriage.  And, because you are my children’s father, I will never fully detail or address the specifics of your choices which put your ego and will ahead of our magnificent children.

There are some very relevant things that you should know, as co-parent.  I am unable to share, because you consistently offer reminders, that you are not safe, unwilling to prioritize OUR family over yourself. You and I are raising beautiful boys and we both know full well that addiction is a real and present danger, for them.  I do not understand how you knowingly, continually place them in situations that require them to disassociate or pretend.  Oh wait, actually, I do understand–and it makes perfect sense.  

If I thought they would make a difference, I might write letters which instead, say for the zillionth time how willing I am to work toward something better and to heal. But healing is for the broken and you cannot possibly be broken so no need for fixing.  And pain is for the weak while anger is for the right.  There is no where to go with this.  

Fuck it
Much Love,
Magda Gee

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