Bye Bye 2019

My first full year as an official orphan (in which I was banished by literally every blood relative) truly flew and I am going out on a high note:

-Cleanly extricated from a vexing arrangement with the ex

-Endeavoring into a graduate program of study, purely for personal interest–and with all approved time off, necessary to attend class.

-Approval has been granted for the Tuition Assistance Program offered by my company

-Donated my blood today and loved it

-And have just been dismissed from work early, in order to begin preparations for bringing in the New Year with my Sweet Greg. Tomorrow marks the 4 year anniversary of our first silent hike (my favorite kind). I have faith that 2020 will be good. I do not usually feel this way. Ever.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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Recovering From The Family Disease

Discovering that there is a name for this disease of perceptions and relationships, was the beginning of my healing. Every meeting offers the gift of hearing and sharing about matters, which once defied articulation and remained off limits for discussion. Finally!! No longer alone, ashamed, guilty, terrified. I began to heal.

In each meeting we are reminded that we don’t cause it and cannot cure it. We slowly let go of the painful myth which insists that we imagine, cause, deserve(and my favorite): we are too sensitive to those things which hurt us. The sick culture of “the problem/abuse/adiciton/lies(…) is not a problem—ONLY your reaction is the problem”. We, who find recovery are blessed beyond measure, others will develop reliance on blame, denial, and self soothing substances and habits. Recovery allows us to transcend pain, rather than extend the pain to others. Healing or offloading seem to be the only options. This type of damage and pain does not heal itself and time does not undo or change it. It requires work—-Ongoing focused commitment to the work of examination, self reflection, amending, and active healing.

All Twelve Step Programs teach healthy and sane choices for how to live life, freeing us from the need to control or fully understand the insensitivity, dishonesty, secrecy, and pretenses which naturally flow from life in a family who has been affected.  The disease of alcoholism/addiction is generational and toxic patterns are passed down. Even if it is a grandparent, aunt, or uncle with addiction or mental illness of any sort, IT affects and shapes every member of the family. Nobody is spared. Recovery offers simple steps, principles, and practices for how to Live and Let Live, One Day at a Time—no matter what others do or do not do.

Live and let live—I practice this best, by doing one next right thing at a time:  (appropriate) self care(upkeep and maintenance—not gluttonous and avoidant self soothing), my actual responsibilities, and appropriate service (not enabling or people pleasing). This allows me to live my own life, experiencing as much serenity, grace, and mercy as possible.
I struggle to follow this Good Orderly Direction when my practice of faith is weak and my obsession (with what others are or are not doing) is strong.

I admit to feeling obsessed over continued unwholesome BS of my sister and ex– which perpetuates and widens our division as co-parents. I am deeply pained over how it continues to affect our children. Their father made a knowingly harmful and divisive choice. And in turn, I elected to terminate a long term favor to him– which was already unpleasant and stressful to me– AND– his only effort to examine this natural consequence— was to ask our son why he told me. How is it possible to feel both unsurprised and shocked by this?? It is the disease, cunning, baffling, powerful. I read recently that: after vilifying a person, there is only one thing left to do, wage war. I refuse to engage their war. I do my recovery/life — one next right thing at a time, the best I can. But fuck, I sure would like to retaliate. My shreds of recovery stop me. I also kind of obsess over what I am rumored to have done which allows people to tolerate or justify their harmful behavior. This is the culture of alcoholism.

I love love love that my boy courageously responded to his father’s condemning inquiry: “What–Was I supposed to lie to her?” His father’s response: “I guess not”. I feel possessed, utterly. AYFKM? Do a shitty thing and then try to shift blame onto a child for your own fucked up choices and natural consequences. Here is my recovery—-When you become a source of harm to my family, I will not come after you, I become unapologetically less accessible motherfukker. Oh AND Hey, I have an idea: Don’t be a sneaky coat tailing, social climbing, money grubbing shit and don’t involve children in things which harm them. I AM So fucken powerless and deep into MY Step Zero, this morning. I may not be my most wholesome or badass self at this time. I am aware. I will continue working on myself.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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Back to Step One

I have definitely lost touch with my higher power, indicated by my obsessive and anxious rehearsing and rehashing, the afterburn of having stood up for myself. Today, I must journal hard– about all of the things, over which I remain powerless. In my powerlessness, is my freedom. When I rely on my faith and recovery, my anxiety wanes and the quality of my life is elevated: AND I am able to rest peacefully in the satisfaction that my side of the street is clean.

The arrangement with my ex, in the last month, has literally sickened me(spiritually). I wanted to help him AND THEN for him to appreciate (BE SOMEONE HE IS NOT) or at the very least recognize and respect (AGAIN, BE SOMEONE HE IS NOT) my willingness to do so. I see that was my unwell thinking and should not feel shocked or hurt by the fact that he is still exactly who he has always been and promises to be. I am indeed the crazy one for having expected or hoped for anything other.

I am keenly aware that reprisal and retaliation are to be expected.  In my family of origin and his, clearly communicated boundaries are perceived and responded to, as a call to war. After all, who TF do I think I am?  

Such a bummer for the boys(and me)—We were juiced up on the holiday vibe and then– the thing.  Not only did he choose the hurtful thing, he chose to involve our children–selfish, dirty, unnecessary. I will be unsurprised if he finds an undesirable alternative for them and then presents that to them as the natural consequence of them having told me.

I have pre-empted this by telling our sons that he was lucky to have had my help and that he knowingly chose to jeopardize that by doing the thing and then involving them. My agreeing to help was foolish and stressful. The clear option to stop, presented itself, as a natural response to having our lil family treated as inconsequential. To those things and all people who CHOOSE to live this way, I say No More (for me). You be you, over there, on your time, in your space.

I am off to journal with actual pen and paper, now, as I have slipped deep into my spiritual malady- which tricks me into believing that I have the POWER to control anything besides my own attitude and behavior. I am powerless.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram- wholesomebadass
LR Knost Instagram Post No More. That's Abuse, not peace

No More

So-  In my desire and pursuit to be merciful, I foolishly agreed to a highly undesirable arrangement for myself. I did so, in an effort to be of service to my boys’ father.  On each of the days in the two weeks which I provided my support, he consistently took more than what was offered with neither apology nor gratitude.  Once again, I had confused being merciful and useful with allowing myself to be used and manipulated.   In my stomach, I felt knots of tension, anxiety,  a feeling of being trapped in an unwholesome circumstance/dynamic.  I discussed the issue with friends and in meetings.  I prayed and journaled, seeking clarity on how to do “the next right thing”.

And then on Christmas Day, he generously provided the gift of clarity. He, while benefitting from my support and inconveniencing me– elected to do something knowingly harmful to US.  And (drumroll please) here is my recovery:  I resisted the delicious urge tell him about himself –even a little.  I communicated the following – something I had previously felt afraid to say.   I texted:

“Merry Christmas.  Just wanted to give you a heads up. I can no longer keep the boys in the mornings and afternoons on your weeks.  I am willing to help for a week or two more, while you find other arrangements.”

Things that continue to be Hard AF: Holidays, Recovery, Boundaries, Co-parenting with active and untreated addiction. Trying not to obsess, also feels nearly impossible.

12 Concepts pps 39-40

Conviction and Compromise

One qualification for useful life is give-and-take, the ability to compromise cheerfully. Compromise comes hard to us all or nothing types.  Never the less, we must never lose sight of the fact the progress is nearly always characterized by series improving compromises. Of course we cannot always compromise. There are circumstances in which it is necessary to stick flat-footed to one’s convictions until the issue is resolved.  Deciding when to compromise and when not to compromise always calls for the most careful discrimination.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram- wholesomebadass

A Book Club Must Read

Just thrilled to have found and reposted this meme on instagram, if only—-for one commentor’s response: “Each time I try to appear normal, or pick up their energy thinking it’s mine… I get exhausted, ill, or totally screwed up. It’s a theatrical effort. We’re different.” ALSO–The facial expression on the guy in the image is funny AF– and the genius creator of this meme is my new hero. My bar for heroism is still quite low. Remember, I am recovering from over an over developed appreciation for cleverness.

I have finished pretending and trying to shave off or hide parts of myself for approval or the illusion of belonging. My self improvement has nothing to do with needing to present myself in the image of another human. I now have a god–and it is NOT the approval or disapproval of others. The system of rewarding likeness and diminishing differences is a cycle– like a highly infectious disease, it will affect each person with whom I come into contact, whether I am the punished or the punisher. Ew. I reject this. Erasing ourselves or others is very non-wholesome and non-badass.

Genuine lasting connection and belonging have little to do with being the same, though similarities are surely binding, particularly when they are legitimate — neither forced nor feigned. If sameness or a shared enemy are requirements or invitations, I am out. No thank you. As my commentor said: “we are different”. I graciously accept and thank GAWD for that.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram- wholesomebadass
Henry Cloud Boundaries Quote

Boundaries Are Hard

I was raised by people who did not believe in apologies or examining of their behaviors, deeply rooted in a sense of perpetual rightness. Why change when you are already right? Noticeably Affected People were expected to independently get over whatever it was that bothered or wounded them in the first place–Quit being so sensitive and rehashing the past. Sheesh- It is tiring to walk on eggshells with her every time she is dismissed or diminished. Unreasoanble. The system elected secrets and moods as stand-ins for boundaries. There was no positive regard for vulnerability, healing, and emotional and moral maturing.

Repression and outbursts are how anger rage has been handled for generations, in my FOO. Oh–And denial. Not once can I recall witnessing someone approach me or another to express something along the lines of “Hey, when this happened, it upset me or made problems for me, can we discuss?” OR “Hey, when I or said or did X, I was angry and that was hurtful, I would like to work to restore trust between us.” There was silence, then retaliation, more silence mixed with weird exaggerated laughter as proof that all was good and fun–for the unbroken. Always lacking in the values and practices of reflection, humility, compassion, empathy.

These patterns still reign today, in my FOO and with my ex who share the commitment to this style of anger denial/management. Anger, I am told is a secondary feeling, a reaction to sadness or disappointment, which we are not able or willing to face. In my family of origin (FOO) hard feelings are not to be honestly or directly acknowledged– for doing so– is reserved for the weak and defective–as the whole and the right are not burdened in these ways.

I went to bed last night, agonizing over a boundary with my ex, because old programming insists that my boundaries are actually grudges. Since his triangulation with my sister, I request that he remain in his car and text when he arrives to pick up our sons, who greet him in the driveway. Why would I allow an abuser inside my home, my place of rest and recovery? This is not retaliation or mercilessness. This is healing.

Reading Henry Cloud’s: Boundaries I am relieved by his words: “Regarding abusive relationships, it is healthy to guard your heart until there is evidence of sustained change. It is ok to limit togetherness in the name of binding evil.” Evil seems an outrageous, over the top term. But anyone who knowingly chooses to do harm, by definition, is a doer of evil: an abuser.

My refusal to invite that or make myself available to that, is part of spiritual maturity and healing. And this, as my only option, angers me. Because the truth is, I long to be able to allow the father of my children into our home and to welcome him into the family and friends we enjoy and love–for holidays and birthdays– and for any reason at all. I suppose my anger is part of the grieving of what is not to be. Subjecting myself for more, will not fix or heal us. Tried it one too many times. The data is consistent. I have expressed my continued willingness to do the work of healing. The offer goes dismissed, with my ex as with my sister. They really are two peas. Actually my ex says he wants to but does not know how. So, there is that.

What my ex and my sister did, divided my children not only from extended family but from the possibility of having two parents –unified to support them at the highest level. My children’s happiest days were those spent with US, after divorce, working together. I grieve this loss.

The only mercy I can offer around this, is to my children– through less expression of my anger over what their father chose repeatedly to do to us, TO THEM. My sister has no real skin in this game. More than half our lives were spent not speaking. I would like reconciliation with her but do not need it. For my children, I would do literally anything to improve the quality of their childhood– it is shaping them forever and is passing quickly.

As for my mercy tattoo, I will continue to admire and rub it and be reminded to practice mercy. Just as the tattoo will not magically transform me, neither will graduate work in ethics and morality. These are things I choose, to deepen my connection with powers greater than myself–my spiritual striving.

I am pained by evil in the world, behaviors which pass for acceptable or un- punishable, but which are wrong/hurtful/damaging–morally and ethically out of line. The ability to do a thing and get away with it does not make it good or even okay—while right and good is frequently found objectionable and punished. Extreme examples of this are reflected in the persecution and elimination of Jews vs. protecting them under Hitler’s reign AND in helping slaves to freedom and fighting for and speaking up for equality. I really don’t get it or maybe I do get it, but do not accept it.

Why is it that moral and ethical behavior toward people, animals, the planet is not mandated or at the very least taught as part of basic education? Am I here on this earth to learn to accept the unacceptable or to work for change- to be the change I wish to see in the world?

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram- wholesomebadass