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/

Are You an Empath?

Empath Self Assessment by Judith Orloff

1. Have I’ve been labeled as “overly sensitive,” shy, or introverted?
2. Do I frequently get overwhelmed or anxious?
3. Do arguments or yelling make me ill?
4. Do I often feel like I don’t fit in?
5. Am I drained by crowds and need alone time to revive myself?
6. Am I over stimulated by noise, odors, or non-stop talkers?
7. Do I have chemical sensitivities or can’t tolerate scratchy clothes?
8. Do I prefer taking my own car places so I can leave early if I need to?
9. Do I overeat to cope with stress?
10. Am I afraid of becoming suffocated by intimate relationships?
11. Do I startle easily?
12. Do I react strongly to caffeine or medications?
13. Do I have a low pain threshold?
14. Do I tend to socially isolate?
15. Do I absorb other people’s stress, emotions, or symptoms?
16. Am I overwhelmed by multitasking and prefer doing one thing at a time?
17. Do I replenish myself in nature?
18. Do I need a long time to recuperate after being with difficult people or energy vampires?
19. Do I feel better in small cities or the country than large cities?
20. Do I prefer one-to-one interactions or small groups rather than large gatherings?

To calculate your results:

  • If you answered yes to one to five questions, you’re at least partially an empath.
  • Responding yes to six to ten questions means you have moderate empathic tendencies.
  • Responding yes to eleven to fifteen means you have strong empathic tendencies.
  • Answering yes to more than fifteen questions means that you are a full blown empath.

I am now learning more about being and raising an empath– seeking strategies on how to stay grounded and centered– with Dr Orloff’s book The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People

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/

Bye Mom

A little more than a month has passed and I have not cried for the absence of my mother. When she was alive, because of the fracture which seemed permanent, deliberate, and guaranteed by the collaboration of my ex and my sister, I could not stop myself from crying–deranged crying over my unacknowledged efforts to heal– together. My sibling (the word sister will not do) and my ex worked decisively toward this exact ending. I found this picture today while cleaning, taken from my mother’s home, on one of our last good visits, nearly 3 years ago. I perceived a subtle but palpable souring, that our days together were numbered, due to something more threatening than her age and physical ailments. I felt, in my bones, that the sickness which would do US the most damage, was not the cancer in her body.

Upon holding this picture, I was able to experience a feeling of something non-angry, maybe fondness or compassion– and then a shit-ton of grief –of not having had a mother who chose healing and me. I may never fully understand or accept the way in which this family functions. I do embrace that I am different, in ways which now make me proud and hopeful. I accepted all of the risk and exposure of moving here and connecting my ex to THEM. I knew better, but hoped foolishly for the improbable. Their desire was never at all, similar to my own.

Acceptance of this is hard AF and my grief is messy…as most of my feelings tend to be. I am not emotionally tidy or buttoned up.

I was planning to post about Greg’s birthday dinner and gifts and how much we have enjoyed each other this week. But– this is where I am, for now. Bye mom. Thank you. I know you did your best with what you had and what you knew. So did I. I love you. I am sorry we were not able to connect in this life time. I never stopped trying. Ever.

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/

A Litany for Survival

A Litany for Survival BY AUDRE LORDE

(…) For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive.

Finding a voice somewhere between screaming and silence allows me to speak my truth and to be heard by those who are for me, and for those who need to hear. It will be offensive or irrelevant to those not for me. It is an effective way to sort…..For me OR not for me. I don’t get to choose, just to accept.
I am hopeful that my boys will learn to live lives rooted in self worth and courage. We are finding our way, together, learning to share our truths, and find our people– one day at a time. Allowing people to sort themselves for us.

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/

Making Amends

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Each of the 12-Step Programs follows these two steps to recovery, verbatim. Only in my program of recovery(Al-Anon), was I taught when and how to appropriately amend. Also, apologizing with words is not the same as amending our behaviors and working to restore trust. To amend, means to intentionally change/stop hurtful behavior. Sometimes a relationship is damaged beyond repair. Still, we can continue to heal ourselves by changing our behaviors, (even with those with whom we no longer speak) regardless of how it is received or acknowledged on the other end. Spiritual striving calls us to improve upon ourselves for ourselves. Better action leads to better living.

In my family experience and then my marriage, there is a perverse practice of dramatic and profuse apologizing for circumstantial things like running out of wine, over cooked meat, having only one kind of salad dressing, “the messy house”, street construction, a delayed flight, getting stuck in traffic, misplacing a thing….but not for acts and behaviors which are chosen.

And then there are the apologies that begin with “I am sorry that you feel….”

And, of course, the most soothing of all: “Ok, I am sorry, now can we just move on, already?” (aka: STFU)

But apologies like: “I am sorry that I spoke in in a hurtful tone, said or did a hurtful thing. I won’t do that again. You don’t deserve that. I can do better.” These messages were never communicated, in any form, like not even on the radar. Is this because people are impeccable with their behavior? Or is it because I am unworthy? Or perhaps, because some people have not learned healthy accountability and responsibility? Recovery teaches me that amending originates from a place of humility and a genuine and deep desire to repair or heal, the damage caused by our choices. When you are not able to acknowledge or admit to the existence of damage or conflict, it would be impossible to own, heal, or even contemplate reparation efforts.

I longed for the opportunity to heal with my mother. The initiatives by my sister and ex, which sustained my alienation, guaranteed the impossibility of that. It is difficult to live with. While my mother did not break the cycle in her lifetime. I believe that if she were able to understand what I seek for my children, she would approve. I see how healing is too disruptive for a family deeply entrenched, encamped in rightness, maintaining the status quo. Easier to collectively agree that only one person is broken and without that broken part of the family, everything is fine. One of the gifts of recovery, is that I now live in peace with my choices and my behaviors. I make choices that reflect my values not my feelings. I can feel like shit and still act right (morally and spiritually right).

I will continue to report my journey, so that my boys might one day read and be reminded of how my words here, consistently match my actions and my life– in support of what I believe to be true and good about love, loyalty, kindness, connection, faith, family.

For the record, wholesome=pure of heart(maybe broken and, still pure) badass=never giving up on making things better than they have been and could be without rigorous and intentional contrary action. I make no claim to being this way already, only to my daily commitment to becoming so. I am a work in progress.


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/