It is Not that I Don’t Care..

People have expressed to me, their sense, that I do not care what others think.  This is UNtrue.  I make no efforts to control what others think or how they feel about me.  That is not my job.  If a person does not care for me, that is not a problem (until they decide to punish me), it just means we are not for each other.  I would surely prefer if everyone applauded my decisions and methods, but that is unrealistic and counter to my striving to live authentically, with honest and transparent boundaries(for myself)– which support self care, personal growth and my own well-being.  

This truth and freedom are offered to me by my program of recovery. Many people do not yet understand that recovery is not only for those with obvious and overt addictions to substances, sex, shopping, gambling, food…. Mine, is a program of recovery, for those struggling to recover from abusive relationships, typically with the mentally unwell or addicted person.  For the sake of my blog and journey, abuse is: behavior of others which harms, betrays, diminishes, or disrespects another.  Sustained entanglement in an abusive dynamic can result in trauma and depression(mental unwellness, sometimes temporarily relieved by addictive behaviors)- which require recovery OR denial (offloading or numbing pain instead of healing it).  I choose recovery.  For people who choose power, rightness, and denial, I am definitely not their cup of tea and they are not mine.  It is not a war, just a fact…until attacks begin- typically underhanded–the silent kill shots are the worst, the highly visible ones, to which nobody objects, are equally deadly. Continue reading “It is Not that I Don’t Care..”

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/

For the Love

I never get tired of seeing or sharing this image.

As the beginning of another school year– at new schools, rapidly approaches, I imagine and worry dream for my sons– the possibilities that lay ahead.  Of course, I want them to thrive academically and even socially, but more than this, I want them to feel deeply connected to something bigger than themselves, their peers, and especially even their parents(and families of origin).  My hope is that they are more spiritually striving than socially.  (It will offer a more honest and comforting existence.  Oh please.)  We (parents and blood relations) are small and broken examples of how to be in the world, in ways that are too often, far from wholesome and nurturing.  How I wished we had church in our lives.  As I read the wisdom and hopes of Jen Hatmaker, Bob Goff, Glennon Doyle, Brene Brown, I am taking copious notes-no guarantee that they will manifest into immediate and sustainable action.  But still.

Notes for myself and my children:

Hurt kids make easy targets. And cowards, both bully and look the other way. Please let us stand between the abusers and the abused.  Let us refuse to silently watch one person break another down.  Say “no”. Say “leave them alone”.  Do not look away.  The tiniest scrap of hope is enough to save a hurt and lonely person from drowning.

Let us be safe and kind and gentle to all others–to be tender and empathetic.  I pray for your kindness more than your success.  How we love all people is the highest measure of our character.  Well behaved and kind are not the same.  And often bravery and kindness do not take the form of well behaved.  Be brave.  Above all else be kind and loving—unconditionally.  Let’s do this!

Develop eyes for pain.   See hurt people.  Offer them kindness with your eyes, words, or actions.   Please, let’s learn and commit to this as a way of being.  Kindness is the height of bravery.  It is difficult and awkward and feels risky–asking someone struggling, and on the outside,  “What’s up” or if they want to sit with you or what book they are reading.  We can do this.  We can do hard things.  I love you so much, but not always so well.  I am learning too!

 

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/

Because Obviously

A program friend recently asked me if I out my sister  to punish her, and cautioned me against it—because that(punishing) would be bad for my recovery (not out of regard for her).  I share what happens because finally, I can and I must.  Fortunately, what I have to share is observable, undeniable action/behavior, witnessed by my sons and nieces and even my sister herself, not relative, at all.   I do not imagine or cause the overt acts of betrayal and disloyalty.   And– as my boys get older and may one day want clarity about what was going on with me/us, it will be here– where I share my experience of it.  It is a privilege and a duty to exercise rigorous honesty and– my recovery is hinged to sharing—all of the stuff.

Since public appearances are prized by her, and this is unfavorable behavior; I leverage that.  If knowledge of her choices and values causes discomfort, it is not the sharing part, that needs changing.  I am certain she will offer a million justifications for why she must and can and should.  Right things do not ever need justification.  This, all because I unapologetically expressed an honest and clear boundary.

Disrupting our co-parenting and family, and robbing our sons of innocence is a sin against them.   Requiring children to dissociate is not the choice of a kind and happy person.  Her dark and demanding presence, insistence on hugs, the pretending required by my boys…all of it is vile.  This is where I get to state my objection.

My ex-husband laughed heartily, literally roared, when I asked him to step back until we (my mother and sister) worked it out.  My ex declared, with something not unlike maniacal pleasure, how my mother and sister had zero intent of making things right between us.  In foolish disbelief, I went directly to my mother…who confirmed for me the truth of what he said.  Ouch!

I can only imagine the exchanges between them, that led him to his insight.  My sons exposure to the unwholesomeness of this alliance is tragic.  My powerlessness to protect my little guys makes me angry AF.

Apparently my sister (hate to use that word) hosted another dinner for my ex, his father, and my sons this weekend…spent the evening fawning over him, over his basic lettuce, tomato, carrot salad…so amaaaaazing (as disclosed with horror, by my sons). And she is reported to have suggested  more than a few times, how they MUST get together next time– at his house. STOP.  Barf!

The most disturbing thing about this, is that I can fully envision myself, before recovery, being exactly this spiteful and vindictive and feeling completely entitled, victorious, and intoxicated by my indisputable rightness.  It is true.

I am a work in progress.  I am powerless over this.  It is difficult to witness my boys being used and confused—by family, in the name of love.  Especially by someone always wearing only white, always smiling, laughing awkwardly, tryunuh hug up on my boys and ex while claiming love.  Lord, help us all.  Because, obviously….

Then I wonder…am I defending my sharing?  Nah,  I don’t think so.  This blog is more like an ongoing fourth step, where I examine all of my own ickyness.

But it is a party and we are family.  C’mon.  It is love!

 

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 Forgiving

Daily, I feel tormented by the notion that if I were JUST  less sensitive and more forgiving we could be a happy healthy family.  But this, THIS is the lie-the myth of the scapegoat and the messaging of abusers.  Intense sensitivity is something, that as an adult, I have learned to understand, accept, and to accommodate without shame.  My mental wellness requires that I offer space to anyfuckenbody who judges sensitivity and uses it as an excuse to be unkind–shaming.  I do regret that I had nobody to teach me this sooner.  Self acceptance, preservation, kindness to myself and to others—these things, they were first introduced to me as a 40 something woman, in recovery.  And I forgive myself for not knowing what I didn’t know, before I knew it and I forgive myself for not accepting poor treatment as the price of membership for a club to which I clearly do not belong.  And I forgive myself for not being able to forgive before I am able. Continue reading “On Forgiving”

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/

Like-hearted

As only a witness to perfectionism, it seems that trying to be perceived as perfect is the exact opposite of this. I dunno. Just saaayin. Naaahm saayin?

Over the past decade, I have become very clear on my lack of desire to surround myself with likeminded people, so much as I do those whom are like-hearted.  In fact, it would be terrifying to be surrounded by like-minded others. YIKES  In recovery, we call our like-heartedness, unity of purpose, which makes it possible to genuinely want to help and support each other.   What I mean– is that quality of life for me, is elevated by those who believe and practice the same static life principles as I do.   Greg and I are such an unlikely match by all of my old measures.  But we do share a unique like-heartedness.

Greg is naturally more gentle, patient, and willing than I am. (In truth, this could be said of even of the most mature toddler.)  Still, Greg and I have highly compatible operating instructions.  Nothing about the ways in which either of us operate, emotionally, socially, or morally, are troublesome to the other.  We do not pretend, defend, or deny anything–and our greatest sources of laughter, connection, made up words and nick-names, stem from our own foibles, our shared humanity, our desire to learn and expand together(not identically but compatibly).  We call ourselves out, so that we can collectively laugh and learn–again, together.  We each guard and police only our own behaviors.  Okay, sometimes we do monitor and supervise each other, but we do so openly and with apology and laughter.   THIS is my first relationship in which defense is not part of the norm…because we each value being connected, more than being right or better than.  Most of our jokes are about being right and blaming others for our own misconduct.

Those who value or demand perfection more than they do growth and connection, are toxic to me.  I can do better each day, in fact that is my life’s purpose.  But– perfection seems undeniably tethered to shame, fear, guilt, power, and often dishonesty.  To me, perfection focuses more on appearance of how things are rather than how they actually are(Perfection is not, at all, the same as healthy striving).  And the perfection vibe drives, in me, intense spiritual  and physical unwellness. Continue reading “Like-hearted”

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 We Good?

I cannot figure out how to rotate this and make it stay. But he is just as cute sideways.
I love that he has his own little house retreat. He is so talented to be able to lay sideways in it.

Nearly every night between 1 and 4 a.m. , this guy wakes me up to let me know that he needs to go potty.  But, if I get up to let him out, I will not fall back  to sleep.  Instead, I will lay awake agonizing over things which upset me and I will be wrecked for the next day.  So naturally, he takes care of business  and returns to bed.  Then, in the morning when I do get up, he either slinks directly to his kennel or walks down slowly and crouching looking at me asking with his sweet Baby Seal eyes “Are we good?”.  I cannot be angry or punitive with him.  I mean I could, but if he tells me he needs to go and I don’t do my part, what am I to expect?  I realize there are effective training tactics or adjusting food and water schedule & access, which might help.  And until I am ready to initiate those with consistency, it is unfair to punish him.  Anxious and ashamed people and animals do not exercise their finest behaviors.

I am permissive with our dogs, possibly because I relate to having inconvenient needs of my own.  But our pets do not belong to me–  They, like my children, have been entrusted to me– and no matter what, we belong to each other and together.  I catch myself becoming irrationally irritated over dog or age appropriate behaviors of those for whom I am responsible.  The truth is I feel bothered only because, in the moment, the needs or demands seem inconvenient or disruptive to my own self-obsessed thinking.

I admit that I have been guilty of attempting to shame my dogs and children out of behaviors that vex me.  Shaming is such a damaging and bullshit move.   I can do better for them.  One day at a time.  I am a work in progress.

We are good, little guys.  We belong to each other.  No matter what.  Always.

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/

Stand Your Ground

In recovery, I am reminded consistently that we are never  victims.  This does not mean that people do not intentionally victimize and persecute others, but that we do have choices about how we respond.  All choices may be highly undesirable, none the less, they are choices.  Like going to a crummy restaurant where you hate evereeeeything on the menu.  Every single thing. Continue reading “Stand Your Ground”

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/

It Might Just Suck

I do not suck, sometimes my behavior does–but THIS- this alllllwaaaaays sucks.  Today is a hard day.  I wake up every single day, so painfully aware and deeply affected by the state of my family.  I recognize that I do not cause or imagine the dysfunction- and that I alone, cannot repair it.  Intellectually and spiritually, I accept this– it is what it is.  However, acceptance of circumstances does not block me from the emotional pain of having been treated poorly, openly diminished and then discarded.  Repeatedly and consistently.  I intend to never get used to it.  Hopefully, I will continue to get better at not placing myself in this familiar dynamic.  We learn what we live and do what we know.  Unlearning–as fast as I am able and dead center in the middle of another lesson.

My boys asked me if I thought my mother would leave me anything when she dies.  All I can respond with is :  “I don’t know”.  I suspect she may leave me in the state of pain that she sees as my due.   Of course, it would be nice if her final statement to me and about me to the world, could be one of kindness.  Every day– all of the days, slowly-this kills me.

Young hurt lil Magda, still needing a mama, believes this is proof of her unworthiness.  Adult me, in recovery, knows it is evidence only of the sickness in our family.  I can learn, grow, and know all I want– and still not one damn thing will ever make this not hurt.  I may never get my head around the idea of choosing not speaking to one of my children.  Or aligning with one of them, or aligning with any person at all, against one of my sons.

I will never stop longing.  The heart wants what the heart wants.  My sweet sons continue to foot the bill for my struggle to make peace with this-to move on-get it behind me.  The best I can do, is to remind them frequently and explicitly of how wanted and loved they are, AND that they do not cause or imagine any of this.  It is a painful mess.  I suffer from depression and anxiety, not from them.

Sadness

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 Bullying

Oh-  this post!!!!  What an immense comfort and timely topic.  Bullying, oppression, exclusion- behaviors and attitudes:  not as narrowly defined as we tend to think.  Below is a snippet of what Glennon shared at Momastery, regarding bullying-related suicides.

And people are sensitive. People are heart-breakingly sensitive. If enough people tell someone over and over that he is not okay, he will believe it. And one way or another, he will die.

Each time one of these stories is reported, the tag line is: “kids can be so cruel.” This is something we tend to say. Kids these days, they can be so cruel. But I think this is just a phrase we toss around to excuse ourselves from facing the truth. Because I don’t think kids are any crueler than adults. I just think kids aren’t quite as adept yet at disguising their cruelty.  Children are not cruel. Children are mirrors. They want to be “grown-up.” So they act how grown-ups act when we think they’re not looking. They do not act how we tell them to act at school assemblies. They act how we really act. They believe what we believe. They say what we say.

It’s trickle-down cruelty.

If I want my world to be less vicious, then I must become more gentle. If I want my children to embrace other children for who they are, to treat other children with the dignity and respect every child of God deserves, then I had better treat other adults the same way. And I better make sure that my children know beyond a shadow of a doubt that in God’s and their father’s and my eyes, they are okay. They are fine. They are loved as they are. Without a single unless.  Because the kids who bully are those who are afraid that a secret part of themselves is not okay.

 It is odd, how striving for this brand of kindness and acceptance seems kinda subversive.  Elitist, excluding & exclusive seem to be nearly the norm, common.  Why is it uncommon to want the best for everyone?  Why do so many feel the need to oppress and exclude?!  More importantly, how  do we break the cycle and innoculate our children from messages that any one is more or less worthy of the most basic human dignities and rights?  

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/

First, Your Spirit

Lately, I spend every moment possible reading and listening for comfort, from those who have openly navigated troublesome experiences, who possess the inner strength and courage to share–messages of hope alongside their deeply personal and  messy details.  I, personally, need to hear the mess.  The message without the mess can leave me feeling separated and alone.   And without the message, I find only a sick commiserative and temporary comfort.  I need both, together.  The mess and the message:  the shit before the shiFt.  Daily doses of Bob Goff and Glennon Doyle seem a perfect prescription for now.

I am both losing and finding myself in the teachings of those who who humbly share their hardships, missteps, mistakes, confusion and lessons.  It is through them, that God speaks to me and is guiding me—helping me to recover my spirit.

I seek their wisdom with the hope and intent to become a better guardian of the spirits of my sons.  They are intelligent, courageous, strong, able, and kind humans.  These things just are.  What they also are, is deeply faithful– and this, I know has something to do with my recovery and parenting.  In all of the many ways I fail and struggle, I am deeply comforted, if not proud of the ways in which I practice protecting and developing their spirits:  their senses of connection, belonging and their deep gut knowing of goodness and kindness.  Below, I share with you my daily dose of healing from Glennon.

The thing is that I’m not worried about my little man’s brain. I’m worried about his heart.

When I was in elementary school, all of these little teeny things happened to me that made me embarrassed, or confused, or sad. Like when I had to stand against the huge cafeteria wall with my nose pressed against the big purple painted grapes, or when all the girls teased me at my lunch table because my hair was greasy, you could start a car with all that grease, they said. Or when the boys never chased me at recess. Or when a classmate brought a Playboy to school, or when my friend Jennifer called me a gay wad. What’s a gay wad? But these things didn’t seem big enough to talk about, and I didn’t want my parents to know that all wasn’t perfect . . . so for whatever reason, I kept all these little sad and confusing things secrets. And keeping secrets became second nature to me. Which didn’t turn out so well for me for a couple decades.

So when it comes to how my kids are doing at school, I don’t worry about academics. I worry about social things. I worry about their time at lunch, at recess, on the bus. Mostly, children learn to read and add and sit still eventually. But not everybody learns that he deserves to be treated with respect and so do others. And not everybody learns that he is OKAY and loved and precious and that it’s all right to feel hurt and all right to hurt others, as long as he cleans up his messes. And not everybody learns that different is beautiful. And not everybody learns to stand up for himself, even when it’s scary. So I worry about that. Seven is young to navigate a big social sea all by oneself. I feel like thirty four is too young sometimes.

Last week, I snuggled in bed with Chase and told him all about the embarrassing, sad, scary little things that happened to me in elementary school. I told him that I never gave Bubba and Tisha a chance to help me, because I kept my worries in my heart. So my worries became problems. I told him that this was a shame. Because the beautiful things about being a kid, is that you don’t really have any problems. You might have worries, but if you share those worries with your parents, they don’t have to become problems. I told him that his daddy and I are his team. That his worries are really our worries. And that the most important thing in the world to us is his heart.

 

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 Gossip

Unable to articulate all that is on my mind, I have decided to share another magical and medicinal post from Momastery.com 

I would like to pre-empt this by saying that this post, for me, relates to people with whom I have intimate and meaningful affiliations.   It is likely that I will continue to dabble in gossip about celebrities and other remote people.  If I have meaningful information or opinions, I will share them with the person whom they are relevant.  This is a tough habit and norm to breech.  It is a wildly unpopular way of being in the world.

Even if the gossip is given under the guise of “concern.” Because if a concern is big enough to talk about, then it is big enough to be addressed directly to the concern-ee. And if a concern is not big enough to be addressed directly to the concern-ee, then it’s not big enough to talk about.

I want to live in a world where women trust each other. Where people know where they stand with each other. Where women give each other the benefit of the doubt simply because they believe down deep that other people are doing the best they can. Where self control is valued. Where women don’t delight in evil. And so I am going to create that type of world for myself. Because we all create the world in which we live. That’s the secret. If you want the world to be different, then go ahead and make a different world for yourself.

Gossip is tricky. Not gossiping is even trickier. Because here’s the thing. There is something inside me that loves gossip so incredibly much. When someone shares something with me about someone else . . . a juicy little morsel, it makes me feel so IN. It just makes me feel so special and accepted and like if she’s talking to ME about HER than she must like ME more than HER and it just feels cozy and like we are in this little circle of trust.

But as my dear friend Adrianne says, (Earmuffs, Jesus) “That. Is Some Bullshit.”

When someone shares a secret or complaint or judgment of another with me, all it proves it that she’ll do the same thing to me. It offers a false sense of security, this gossiping. No time for false things during this beautiful short life. We’re looking for the Truth.

It’s going to be hard. This new Love Experiment is likely to put a damper on some friendships. It might make certain get-togethers a little less fun and I might be left out of some juicy conversations. I probably won’t be as funny or exciting. I might be a bit of a wet blanket. That’s okay. Because I want to be a woman who can be trusted. More than I want to be funny or envied or admired or IN, I want to be trusted. I want to be a safe place for friends to land. I want to be honorable.

“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter”  

Bob Goff

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/

The Tightrope

You struggle to keep your balance- to not jump- but you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  You are walking a tight rope held by those you are bound to.  They plan to let go,  you know it in your gut, and you keep going.  What else to do?  People watch, helplessly, silently–some judging.  You put one foot in front of the other.

Cuz-faith.  Faith that it will be what it is and you will be ok.  You have been down this rope before.

 

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/

Get Well Soon

My recovery is a wildly unpopular choice, extremely agitating to those who need to be feel in control, play God, the judge, the jury, the punisher, the rewarder.  I am also reminded daily that recovery is the ONLY way– and it divides me further and permanently from those feeling displeased(harmed) by it.    They are not yet ready and will literally do anything to get in the way of recovery life.  Annneeething!  I carry on with fervor, not ease, but fervor.

Sometimes we have to sacrifice what we want now, which is war, to get what we ultimately want, which is peace.  And not everyone defines peace the same way.  For some people can only find peace in winning, which requires a war and a loser.  Well people do not make sick people well, but unwell people can make well people sick.  I seek wellness, illumination, peace.  Progress not perfection.  One Day at a time.

There is always a right way to say what we need to say and a wrong way to say it. There is a way that will invite more light and reconciliation and a way that will invite more darkness and polarization. The latter is often the result of mental unwellness and cycles and dynamics of addiction plaguing a community or family system, usually through generations.  Break the cycle, I say!  

And, sometimes doing what we really want to do, if it’s going to add more anger, isn’t the right thing to do. Even if it feels good at the time.  Recovery has offered me the tool of pausing and acting rather than reacting.  I am emotionally triggered in under a nano-second, this I cannot help.  Recovery taught me to pause long enough to decide what I can do to acknowledge the feeling and then to practice self care and self preservation without harming another.  In sick systems, there is no distinction between being displeasing or making a mistake AND being harmful.  Recovery teaches me that –it is not my job to please and it is not mean or a crime to displease or make mistakes.  I do not choose any systems that have reliance on people pleasing OR paying the price.

a little bit soap box and ranty–oh well–

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/