My Saddest Day

I have lived many sad years, decades actually. Life, even on the most special of days, has been that, for me. So, when asked what is my saddest day, I had to take time to think. My saddest day was maybe the day I knowingly married someone who “loved” me as my family had hated me. I wished I could say it was the passing of either of my parents. That would be a lovely way to feel–to have known the great pain of losing of someone by whom I felt fiercely loved and to whom I believed myself to be strongly connected. My parents were not that for me. My father made it clear I was not like “everyone” else (He was mostly referring to whiteness, christianness, and southernness). And my mother and sister made sure to remind me of all the ways which I failed to be like them. There was no safe place for me. Nowhere felt good.

I guess, my saddest day ever, was the day my sons phoned me from their dad’s car, with their Aunt, whose hostile and divisive maneuvers can be explained by (but not excused) her decades of untreated addiction. It was my younger son’s birthday weekend and I had agreed to let the boys stay with their father for a Sunday dinner which, according to our legal arrangement, would have been with me.

My sons(who were typically not encouraged to call or connect with me while with their father), called to report that they were returning from dinner with my mother and sister (with whom I was not on speaking terms). The sound which emerged from me, after putting the phone down, was one which I have not made before or since. I do not have any words to communicate the feeling. There are no words to effectively describe the reaction to this level of of what to me, seemed betrayal of demonic proportions.

A dinner table arranged for and by people who are angry with me, posing as a celebration for my son, and which I knew nothing of- before the call. The lie they told my children— that I had been invited and chosen not to go. The response to my email asking why they would do such a divisive thing– offering no reason, just an assassination of my character with my mother, my nieces, my ex, and his sister copied. What the fuck?!

My ex and I had worked miracles to move cross country together, as a family–so that I could help my mother and he could purchase a home of his own. In that one foul play, our work of healing was set a blaze. Ashes. Whatever it was that bonded my sister to my ex, was more important than the solidarity of healthy co-parenting, which I believe my sons deserve. The loss of that is immeasurable. The grief of what has been snatched from my sons, is typically too much to bear. I cannot get over it. It is not over. Every difficult situation and decision for them is faced and made without the blessing of parents joined for the common cause of the children’s well being. That colluding and collaboration guaranteed the impossibility of shared purpose required to work together, raising healthy children with a solid sense of belonging and connection and truth. What a mess. My children were never happier than when mom and dad sat at tables together with them and for them. Gone. Poof!

My program of recovery helps me to manage myself while in the middle of this. While I cannot fix it, I can follow program wisdom and not make it worse by expecting or demanding healing and closure with people who behave in these ways–knowingly imposing struggle, hardship, and loss.

Today in church, sin was defined for us— as a behavior which infringes negatively on another’s freedom, any choice which knowingly causes hardship for others. I have previously referred to this as unwholesome, by my own definition, and am comforted by a deeper understanding of sin. Choosing the spiritual path requires a sacrificing for others not OF others….the constant choice to do what I ought to do v. what I want to do. Anything with strong emotional appeal is typically driven by our own will, ego, envy, vanity, selfish ambition, and hunger. These are things I surrender to remain on the path and in the direction of God. That is my wish. That is my recovery and my miracle–having a path and a God.

The pastor asked us to contemplate the question(in times when we are feeling the strong emotional appeal of doing or having a thing): “What does love require of me?”. To be clear, I interpret this to mean God’s love and spirituality, not approval and the pleasure of myself and others. I see how most of my life was driven by distorted perceptions of love and connection. Because of my distorted perception and my lack of wholesome guidance and direction, my choices and attitudes were rooted in selfish and defective thinking. I had no path, only my reactions and faulty beliefs, to guide me. That is how I navigated and endured 40 years of god-less life.

In one million years, I would not have imagined a biblical quote might be something of comfort and relevance to me–or that I might savor or share. Without the sermon, to help me understand the sentiment of this, these would be just words, weird bibley words for only the christiany people.

But THIS from Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

In the church we attend, which I have heard my boys refer to as “our church”, it is continually said, that ours is a church in which you get to belong, before you believe. How amazing is that? Belonging and belief in and to something greater than ourselves—these are necessities. My boys have had removed from them, an experience based and unshakeable belief in loyalty and faithfulness of family. What will they believe? That it is ok to collaborate and triangulate against each other. ??? They have no reason to think otherwise. It is the norm on all sides of their families.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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The Anatomy of Trust

After posting the image to IG, I was reminded of the Brene Brown Video called the Anatomy of Trust. She makes it clear to see what trust does and looks like. I can not get enough affirmation for how I experienced my family and the effects it had on me, the lack of safety and trust—-I am working hard, swimming upstream so that I may offer my boys a safer experience than what I had. Below are some items I want to share for my readers and one day my sons.

Brene’s BRAVING acronym helps us to build self-trust and understand how self-trust is essential in building meaningful connections so that we can show up for ourselves and for our classroom community. Boundaries – What’s okay and what’s not okay. Reliability – You do what you say you’ll do. Accountability – You own your mistakes, apologize, and make amends. Vault – You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share. Integrity – You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them. Nonjudgment – I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. Generosity – You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others. ***By these measures, my only option is to maintain distance from those who repeatedly and righteously live in ways that disregard these Principles.

Trust is defined as choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions. When you trust someone, what you make vulnerable can range from concrete things such as money, a job, a promotion, or a particular goal, to less tangible things like a belief you hold, a cherished way of doing things, your “good name,” or even your sense of happiness and well being. Whatever you choose to make vulnerable to the other’s actions, you do so because you believe their actions will support it or, at the very least, will not harm it.  ***In my case, it was my children I made vulnerable.

Distrust is– what I’ve shared with you that is important to me is not safe with you.

I am a work in progress. The continual unlearning. And the Learning and Practicing BRAVING, in all of my relationships— limiting personal relations, to only those who share these values. What a miracle to know better, do better, live better, love better.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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Because I was Terrified

I was terrified and ashamed and I did not know what to do, for much of my life. With the only consistent direction: “Be somebody entirely different (think, feel, want, and hate, exactly as we do) or fuck off”. My despair over not knowing how to do those things, manifested into behaviors that were bully like.  Or maybe I was just mimicking what I experienced in my home life. Either way, I took that attitude and those behaviors out into the world, as the only ways I knew to be– until I found recovery.  The intensity of my learned hatred for myself made me unkind. Today, I love who I am and how I live and love. I am so proud of my ability and choice to practice kindness as a way of life. I am rarely mean, and when I am, I promptly amend.

When I googled the definition of bully, this was the first result of my search:

bul·ly1/ˈbo͝olē/noun

noun: bully; plural noun: bullies

  1. a person who seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable or threatening
  2. persecutor
  3. oppressor
  4. tyrant
  5. tormentor
  6. browbeaten
  7. intimidator
  8. coercer
  9. subjugator

verb: bully;

seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce

I cringe to recall the many things said and done by me, with the intent to punish, exclude, dominate. I just did not know better. I believe that sometimes I am guilty of bullying one of my sons when I am feeling bullied by him.  My behavior, is a shitty historical reaction and I apologize but cannot seem to altogether stop.  What I mean when I say that I feel as if I am bullying him—is that I employ shame and guilt to try to control the situation, or gain the outcome I feel is necessary.  I hate that.  100% unwholesome.  My other default seems to be a coldish detachment from him, which is probably equally damaging.  This is how I was raised. Yes, I am breaking the cycle one day at a time.  But damn—it is taking too long.

My greatest fear is that my boys will practice what they are witnessing consistently, by the adults to whom they are related, and whom they are likely to emulate. My intent is to consistently practice and model for them, in hopes they will choose: to be includers and connectors, practice rigorous authenticity, self love but not self-promotion, and kindness– to see people struggling or disconnected and to feel desire and compulsion to lift and protect especially those in need of lifting and protection, to stand up to bullies, to not be bullies themselves, to never turn a blind eye. Breaking the cycle is much harder than continuing it. Very effing difficult.

They are spending time this weekend with people whom, to this day, attempt to bully me. I hate it for them. It is their ongoing experience to watch people get picked off and excluded for failure to agree or comply. I just keep telling myself…My job as mom, is to lead, teach, guide. But I desperately want to do some forcing and enforcing. Big surrenders today, every day. I am a work in progress.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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

Fuck Shame

In recovery, my greatest endeavor and achievement to date, I get to have a God Of My Understanding (GOMU). Before connecting with my very own GOMU, shame, pride, and guilt were my guides– and I knew only dynamics, in which those were generously promised in spades.  

In moments of pridefulness, I could justify doing and saying deeply hurtful things.  In daily life, shame led me to and kept me in toxic relationships. I came to believe that people are assholes because I am a bitch–A loser, unworthy of love, kindness, protection and connection- and entirely responsible for unkind words and behaviors of others.  It was odd to believe that I could cause all of the bad things said and done by others, as well as my own bad behavior.  It made no sense.  It is literally insane to think this way—maddening.

My resentment over this hypocrisy coupled with my inability to understand, change, or exit, grew to unmanageable proportions.  

I lived in fear of my feelings, because they were intense and consistently invalidated and punished.  I sought people who would do that (judge, dismiss, punish). That that was the “love” I learned.

Recovery is freeing me from sick thinking that directed me to yield to shame, guilt, fear, and pride. They make terrible guides and companions.  Having a GOMU has allowed me to become right sized, playing  neither big nor small.  I get to practice living life on life’s terms  WITH HEALTHY BOUNDARIES for myself.  

My boundaries are my spiritual skin.  They remind me that my job is to honor my needs, limits, and responsibilities. That is my job.  So simple, but unfamiliar and challenging, especially with regards to parenting.  I do pretty damn good with those to whom I did not give birth.  I am consistently able to let go of a need to manage and control. Or to attack or defend when threatened.

But my boundaries become tangled up with my sons and I frequently react with emotion which is as historical as it is hysterical and damaging.  With adults, I instinctively exit sticky entanglements and let TF go, because I am not in charge.  But with my sons….it gets complicated. I accept that my job is to lead, guide, teach, not boss—but but but but…

I am a work in progress, reparenting my children right along side myself.  Today is my mother’s birthday.  I have a lot of feelings about how she did and did not parent me.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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