Without recovery, I would still possess only the tools and beliefs of dysfunction; a fixed mindset with a Zero-sum mentality– all conflicts resulting in a winner and a loser. Winning and losing are suitable for games and wars, but not for safe and trusting relationships. I have no desire for relationships where one of us must lose in order for the other to win. I prefer the shared work of identifying a mutually desired and agreeable resolution—A Third Way.
I exhausted myself yesterday, saying NO, to a person who consistently proves unsafe for me—who adamantly rejects a third way- entrenched in the belief that if he wants it, he is entitled to it and if it hurts me, I deserve it. My calm and direct NO, free from fear, justification, volume, and profanity is one of the miracles of my recovery. It changed the game! Game over, actually. Previously, I would become relentlessly hysterical trying to make my NO be heard, worthy, understood–just admissable.
Today, I say NO— I openly communicate my boundaries. If a person attempts to force or override my boundary, the relationship is over—unless it is an essential one—like someone with whom I must co-parent. While I cannot fully detach from that one, I no longer choose to fight or to submit. This leaves a gaping hole of silence which used to be filled with the fighting. As I am mentally and spiritually maturing and healing, I recognize how healthy & wholesome people hear and say “No” regularly, without fighting, fear, shame, guilt, reprisal. AND fuck the smiling coward clowns who offer cool maybes or fake yesses (in the name of positivity) and then just never do the thing they agreed to. Passive aggressive dishonest bullshit. Ew. Very triggering. Developing and honoring clear boundaries has not been a particularly popular or painless way to live, within a system where some are required to shrink so that others may swell with a sense of elevation and authority.
I love love love when Sweet Greg disagrees or tells me NO, I typically
rebuttal respond by saying “I don’t understand how….”. His standard and brilliant reply: “You don’t have to”. Muah! What a stud! No heat, no fight, just boundaries like a badass. Recovery and Sweet Greg remind me that I don’t have to understand or agree with person’s boundary to respect it. That is some magical wisdom. I seriously did not know, as I had not witnessed anything like this before recovery.
I worry that, through examples and genetics, my sons could become inflexible, greedy, social climbing, addict lying fuckers who will do or say anything in order that they have their way. I also worry that they will become passive aggressive menaces to those who displease them. Entitlement is some scary shit.
At least there is a widely available, wonderful, life-giving solution to the matter of addiction. I would not feel sad to have a friend or family member also benefitting from the love and wisdom of any 12 Step Program.Much Love,
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