Sometimes The Solution Sucks

The other night, my older son was distraught by a situation at school and was spiraling into despair by obsessing on the unfairness and the reason/ question of WHY? Only because I have some recovery, was I able to say to him, that demanding to understand why and mentally sustaining the argument with ourselves of how it isn’t fair, only makes us feel worse. We must continuously and intentionally choose the the very next right(spiritually right) thing over our reaction. In our conversation, he realized there was only one constructive response to his dilemma. Brilliantly and calmly he asked: “What about when you hate the solution?”.

I hugged him so hard and laughed and cried all over him, explaining that often, the solution just stinks. But when we focus on what needs to be done to elevate the situation and not ourselves, we get through it and come out the other side. He totally heard me and just did the next right and necessary thing.

Me to me: Cool another opportunity to bring up recent experiences, in which my only healthy options– sucked badly.

  • Taking our Sweet Angel Pie Cooper to the vet for a one-way trip.
  • Not wishing my niece a happy birthday because it is unfair to her but is the right thing to do in response to the arrangement by my sister in which she snatches access to my young sons while collaborating with my ex and destroying our possibility of peaceful co-parenting and alienating everyone but herself. I so want to tell my niece I am thinking of her. I do not. I believe she knows. I feel good about my ability to respect my sister’s grown children enough, to leave them out of it. And it still sucks.
  • Not telling my sister and my ex about themselves—because that helps nobody, though it would give me an immediate and delicious high. Again, only one solution here– acceptance of the facts. Our family was intentionally divided and there is nothing I can do to change that. I can choose to accept it and learn from it and to teach my children to recognize healthy and wholesome acts of love along with acceptance for the fact that some types of love are neither healthy nor wholesome. Love chooses healing. Here, for me, healing/moving forward means not fixating on perceived wrongness or unfairness. Even while I can not forget, I am better and more willing to do the next right thing rather than waiting for people or circumstances to become different, honest, kind and “fair”.

Sometimes the solutions are purely frightful– Saying Good Bye to a beloved family pet. People having cancer, dying, and not inviting you to their funeral and still showing up anyway. Going no-contact. Filing for divorce. Being lied to and about. Being banished and being treated unkindly. Having your children used and forced into conflict. Moving to a more affordable area. Having your ex, to whom you were married for a brief eternity of 4 seconds and who never even knew your family, listed as one of the survivors of your mother. Biting your tongue. Acceptance is always the solution.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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

On Mother’s Day

If one of my legs became afflicted with progressive, fatal, and incurable disease, diminishing my overall health and quality of life –and I could have the leg removed and adapt, as a healthier person or host the disease and constant pain, but get to keep both legs—with hopes of appearing more normal– I like to think , if necessary, I would cut that shit off myself, with a dull butter knife.  

I never wish to have only a single leg, but– if I could stop pain and disease from compromising all parts of my body, life, and infecting my children– THAT is a no brainer.

Having two legs, like having a relationship with my mother is something I had viewed as evidence of being normalacceptable, and healthy.  This is flawed thinking and believing, rooted in concern for how things look from the outside.  I care more about how things and people actually are– than appearances—no matter who is looking.  I prioritize goodness over looking good. (Good, as in wholesome—not, as in pleasing or correct).  I choose to save my ass over my face.  Seems, there are times in life, in which we are called to choose.

When recovery not only taught me to, but insisted, that if I want to be well and whole, I must acknowledge my feelings and limits and honestly express them. In doing so, the sickness within our family was illuminated.  It showcased the fact that we did not want the same type of relationship—in which each person mattered— no more and no less.  My mother hinged having a relationship with me to my accepting/tolerating/ignoring/denying poor treatment and unkind words from my sister. We each made our choices. I chose mental health and wellness.

These are my thoughts today, as my first mother’s day without a living mother.  

In recovery, we learn that pain is a part of life BUT that suffering is optional.  As always, the special days are complicated for those of us who struggled with unhealthy family systems that led to unhealthy sense of everything.  

I will end on a funny-ish note. While on vacation a few weeks ago, at a gift store we saw a cute “Get well soon” card and one of my sons asked if we can send to my sister. I use the word sickness to explain the painful and confusing things which are said and done. This has been the only succinct and blanket statement I can think of– to help them process unkindness and dishonesty. I just say, that is what unwell people do. And then we talk about healthier behaviors. We want to be well. We are learning together how to do that.

Also, I am certain my relatives would insist I am the cancery leg BECAUSE I chose to be so. Whatevs.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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

“Happy” Easter

Ugh! My life has never been better. Ever. But this does not change the reality of my depression and anxiety. In fact, they are made worse by the expectations that I feel or be different because of what the calendar suggests about the day. Clinical Depression and Anxiety, whether a result of trauma or just basic brain chemistry are not circumstantial. They are not moods.

I am preparing for my first vacation ever with my boys. It is Easter and there are Easter baskets and hidden eggs. Sweet Greg is out seizing the trails on his bike while I prepare for Easter lunch at Favorite’s with #framily. All is well. All is actually great. And yet–I am still burdened by depression and anxiety, an urge to fast forward through vacation and Easter so that I be free from historically imposed guilt and shame for my wiring. I am neither sour nor ungrateful, just struggling in these ways, particularly on special days as THESE were the ones in which I was persecuted more overtly for being so selfishly sensitive. Shamed and banished for not knowing how to do a better job of denying a pain I could not articulate or relieve by myself.

As I have continued to organize and purge these last weeks, I found more than a couple of notes from my mother asking, insisting to know what had changed, why things were fine for so long, as indicated by emails and letters sent by me.

I was ineffective at helping her understand that– absolutely nothing had changed– except for my willingness to pretend. When I sent reports of being happy and fine with chit chat, which I loathe, I was accepted. When I decided that pretending, dining, gifting, and chitchatting with those who judge me– was no longer something I was willing to do, shit hit the fan. I spoke truth. I said NO. I shared displeasure. All without shame, profanity, or volume. That is what changed. When I refused to fight or pretend, all conversations stopped. I learned to say No. That is what changed. I learned to take care of myself—and I got the silent treatment and did not beg my way back for more of the same.

This week, I began learning to bullet journal–so pleased by another simple, therapeutic and creative outlet to enjoy and soothe myself. The truth is– nobody ever taught me how to relax or enjoy. I was demanded to do those things, I did not manage success under those conditions. The Bullet Journal Image at the top is one I am working on copying…the concept.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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

I Feel You—literally

Yesterday at the vet for routine procedures, there was a man, with his very old and loved, black cocker spaniel neatly bundled in a blanket with only a grayed  muzzle and one yummy little paw poking out. He seemed serene, almost smiling.  Hopefully and foolishly and unhelpfully–I asked, “Will he be ok?” and he shook his head No. Without skipping a beat, I crumbled.  My tears streamed without consent and I apologized. (With my relatives, I learned to apologize for sensitivity, difficult feelings, empathy, and compassion, for failure to mask genuine pain or struggle is a trouble-making failure. Acknowledging pain and struggle was equally offensive under certain circumstances–because those things are weak and or not real).

Anyway, I could not help but recall when my dog was 14 and suffering- the grief of THE knowing– it was time, time to help him, to do right by him, to ease his journey over the rainbow, to say good-bye.  I can liken that experience of holding him, in our last precious moments, only, to holding my sons in their first moments and months.  The gravity of their vulnerability and the gift of their faith in me as provider and protector, made it difficult to breathe.  

The man(with the bundled pup) was with his wife and their other dog– they all entered THE ROOM together.  From where I was sitting, I saw through the window of the door that the other dog sat faithfully on the table beside his buddy.  They were all there, in the final moments. It may take me a few days to fully recover from this. You see, I did much more than just observe this. I experienced it, at a cellular level, the way I do all things-which are deep and true.  

I have always been this way. When I see pain or suffering of others, I feel it as intensely as if it were my own.  Homeless people or animals, starving children on tv, movies in which people are cruelly persecuted and violated.  I am equally affected by tension and anger whether directly expressed or poorly contained. It gets on me and it takes a while to break free from it. 

I am equally affected by sensory stimulus and recently read that for HSPs and people with sensory dysregulation, it is as if we hear with 100 ears and what may not register for an insensitive or neurotypical person and will overwhelm us in just seconds…all of the senses, for me are hyper tuned in–with no dimmer switch.

My older son is sensitive in these ways also.  He recently explained how it seems difficult, for only him, when his brother fights with his father(or me), saying: “they each walk away and are fine and I am the one left with all of the feelings, and it wasn’t even about me”. I remember being yelled at “it is not about you”  as if I were in violation of someone by feeling so much.  

This way of being, is not a choice.  It feels like a curse much of the time.  I am learning to seek serenity, to shelter myself and my son from too much stimulus, and to remove myself/US, entirely from people of the opinion that growing thicker skin is all that is needed, and who assert that it is as simple as making the intellectual commitment to do so. And for the record, the opposite of sensitivity is NOT strength, but insensitivity. I think some may be confused about this.

I have felt unable to write since my declaration that I would no longer write about “them”. Anyone intimately familiar with trauma, grief, and healing will understand that forgetting is not possible.  I am reminded of the “family commandment” to forgive and forget, and the collective judgment that comes for not doing so.  And here is what I know today: Kind people seek but do not demand forgiveness.  Time changes nothing. People change things or they do not.

I would like to forgive my sister and my ex for the Nagasaki bomb they dropped on my sons’ little family with their arrangement.  But it is both unforgivable and unforgettable.   Not because I lack the ability to forgive, but because it is harmful to my children— for the rest of their lives—my young sons have lost the hope and peace of having two parents who work together for them, for us.  We had managed to do that before the arrangement. I may write less about it, so as to not deep dive into the despair. But I do not get to forget.  I am willing to lessen the proverbial grip on their throats, let go of the unforgiveness, because that is a healthier choice.

While I write for myself, I often wonder if people who knew me back when, read these posts, if they would think that my claim to sensitivity is also a intended as a claim to angelic behavior. It is certainly not. I can say that my behavior for the last 10 years has been spiritually driven, rather than guided by very sick and destructive programming of my first 40 years. Wholesome and Badass–These are my strivings– to recover the best parts of my self, not a suggestion or claim of my status. I was a terrified human with no resilience and no healthy coping skills. I am a work in progress, always and gladly.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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

An Inconvenient Child

I was an inconvenient child. There was no tolerance or support for this, only resentment. I learned resentment at an early age.

Unlearning is taking time. As mother to a highly sensitive child, I am grateful that I can love him through the overwhelming thing of life instead of resenting him for not making my life easier.  He makes me, life, and the world better just by being in it, exactly as he is.  But he sure does not feel that way and my heart is breaking.

He is terrified by his discomfort and the price he will pay, if not effectively masked for his father and family for this upcoming trip to CA, where he will be called upon to pose as shiny and happy and uncomplicated.  Over the past week, I have sent the following group texts to him, his brother, and their father and we continue to discuss.

1–“Lighten Up” Please do not ever say these words to someone who is struggling.  That is a bullying tactic—what is really being said is “Shut up”.  For people who have not yet learned to cope with feelings, they will try to act all strong, by saying this— and try to make a person feel weak and ashamed for struggling.  Never in the history of time has a person lightened up because they were told to do so.  A kind and compassionate person who genuinely cares about how you feel will ask what you need or what they can do when you are struggling.  Please beware of people saying these words.  They are not safe.  Please protect each other and show up for each other.  Even if you fight at home, in public, you choose loyalty.  Make it clear that bullies can not divide you.  Only bullies divide and shame people.  We will talk more about this.  We are breaking the cycle of bullying and addiction. They go together.

2–Boys, with your upcoming trip to CA, I want to check in with you today but also want your dad to be aware of what I am asking of you.  Both sides of your family have siblings and parents not speaking.  If you notice, it is the ones who say and feel more that get punished and cast out.  This is a sick cycle.  We will break it.  S2, you were blessed with a more resilient composition, you easily experience joy and connection because you are not burdened with being particularly sensitive to all of the stimulus.  The sickest people will show you favor –for this– while doing the opposite for your brother.  Healthy people will not make either of you feel preferred or better or chosen over the other.  KIND and Healthy people do not divide people.

3—S2, I am asking that if you observe any situations in which you are clearly receiving favor over your brother, please consider going to him, being his person, his brother, his loyal protector.  Anyone who judges that is bad for you both.  You are brothers.  You are not here to do anything but love and protect each other.  You may not be best friends or always understand each other, but you can be fiercely and undeniably loyal—so people know they cannot mess with you, if they get one, they get you both.

4–I hope you will both choose that.  Please do not allow any person or group of people to convince you otherwise.  We will talk more about this. There is nothing more noble and badass than loyalty. Brotherly loyalty.  S1, it is ok to be sensitive.  Anyone telling you that you are too sensitive is an asshole.  You don’t ever need to say that but you need to know it.  Kind people don’t even suggest or offer anything other than support.  Assholes who do not know how to be sensitive and compassionate say THAT– so they can blame you for their weakness.

5–Remember this: Anyone who judges, mocks, or criticizes or abandons a person for having difficult feelings— needs help.  Go away from them and REMEMBER—it is not you—it is their disease and sickness that makes them behave that way.  

And if you see this happening to a person, show up for that person who may not have the courage to speak for himself or herself.  That is what kindness and love look like.  Showing up.  Offering comfort.  Being a safe place.  Love is not lavish or expensive or even exciting, it is just kind. Be love. Notice love. Recognize non-love for what it is. Be there for each other.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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

Life and Love are Messy by Rachael Alaia

I work to give voice to the difficult questions that most people usually try to avoid.
I feel compelled to “disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed.”
I am committed to disrupting the ways we exist that disregard life, denigrate the wellness of all beings, and desecrate that which is sacred and true. 
I write fire to stir the pot. A lot of what I write asks us to renegotiate our relationship to being human, as we’ve been taught or conditioned or believe ourselves to be. I write to imagine things differently.

I reject the notion that I have to deliver my message in a certain tone to be worthy of being received. I value truth, and compassion, and believe the two do not have to be mutually exclusive. 

This—on my mind and heart. The gift of when another person expresses what I cannot—I am always listening to and for voices of courage, fierce, gentle, strong, loving voices—seeking truth, not claiming it.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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