Saturday 27 December 2014

Are you surviving or thriving?

As I look back on 2014, it's funny how life goes.  I refuse to give in and believe the world is a dark and sinister place.  If it were as some would like me to believe it is, I wonder...why anyone would want to live in such an evil place; why would anyone wish to spend their time being cruel to another rather than living their own life. 

I was going through some papers I found with notes and wanted to compare them to my blog....clearly I didn’t get those notes into my blog; yet it would seem my word for 2014 might have been “surviving”.  Let me be totally honest here.  I am so sick of “surviving”. 
I remember speaking with a group of ‘administrators’ about the impacts of bullying, who regularly used the phrase, “...they’ll survive....” in reference to children who were being bullied.  Finally I tossed down my pen ~ more dramatically than I intended ~ but, I seized that moment.  As I was being visually assessed, I shook my head and glanced back around the table at the educators, medical practitioners, political people,  and parents who were there and I said, “Children survived the holocaust, but would any one of you deliberately put a child, or anyone for that matter, in that type of living condition?”  Aghast that I would make such a comparison, and with their judgemental eyes focused on me, they initiated what became a very interesting discussion. 
The point being, why would any one person deliberately treat another person poorly and if, they weren’t aware what they were doing was hurtful, why once it was brought to their attention, why would they continue ~ especially if the person(s) being treated horrifically wasn’t doing anything to them or that would impact their life. 

Since August 1, 2012 most each day of my life has been living in ‘survivor’ mode.  I’ve not only been directly threaten but I have had to live with many “implied” threats including writing on my blog.  I was beginning to feel like the caged in bird again or worse, a trapped animal.  I understand this in not uncommon when going through a divorce; especially where there is a real or perceived imbalance of power.  Ahhhh, one of the identifiers of bullying.

I am one of the first people to say, every experience has a lesson to be learned; and that we're right where we're meant to be when we're meant to be there.  And my children’s favourite, 'we’ll get through this' and 'it will all be ok'; ~ forever and for always.  These are all true and....I do believe in these reassurances, here’s where I’m having some trouble’s easy to be put at ease by these words when you’re dealing with a onetime occurrence.  It becomes daunting and overwhelming when the actions are reoccurring and deliberate acts of cruelty.  Another, identifier of bullying. 

It isn’t just myself whose been forced to suffer such vindictiveness this past year (+), but my three children as well.  As Christmas winds down, my estranged husband and his family gave my children yet another ‘memorable’ holiday.  For people who claim to love and care for my children, one might think they’d choose not to behave so maliciously; especially during the holidays.  And over the past three years since my husband walked out, one might even think, they would have reached out to these amazing people with compassion; at least once.  Alas, lies that have been told are starting to step into the light.  And rather than showing kindness to my children, their kin, my children are forced to endure even more brutality and denigration.    

This is what I’m talking about when I ask, “Children survived the holocaust, but would any one of you deliberately put a child, or anyone, in that type of living condition?”   The reality is....the answer to that question is YES!  There are people, who would do that; who DO, do that!  I was once part of a family who believes it is better to hurt another before they can hurt you ~ even if there is no real evidence that person would ever hurt them.  They also would deliberately hurt someone and speak ill of them for no other reason than to try to build them self up.  Some refer to this behaviour as bullying while others might call it arrogance and intolerance.  Then, there are those who’d refer to it as narcissism or schizophrenia; or maybe even signs of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

So where does that leave the ones being hurt?  Shy of years of therapy and tons of medications?????  “Don’t take it personally” ~ one of the four agreements.  This is their issue not yours.  You must continue to find the courage and strength to distance yourself from these sorts of people so you don’t end up believing their lies or worse, become trapped by their toxicity.  The challenge...most often these people are our friends, our loved ones, maybe even a spouse, parent or child.  Maintaining, if necessary, a relationship with these people can be done is imperative that you create and maintain firm boundaries for yourself and that you be willing to forgive yourself when you stumble.  Make sure you have supports you can rely on, anytime of day and...that you trust.  These people are smooth and used to doing anything to get their needs met.  Often they are well respected, by those who don’t or won’t see them for who they are; and worse they usually “attack” when you are your most loving, or vulnerable. 

I still can’t get my head around people who do this or why they do it, but I can say....this year has been one where discovery, not only of these personality types has been a huge learning curve for me; but also learning how to recognize it!  There is value for these types in our society but, in what roles?  They lack compassion and empathy so, when they hold positions of power/authority; or worse they think they have control, those around them are more likely to live in a constant state of surviving, rather than thriving.  And in these scenarios, there is not likely going to be any alli rescue missions.

If as Einstein said, ‘you’re doing the same thing but expecting a different outcome’ and you're not getting it, you might simply be existing in a state of insanity.  If you feel trapped or as if you’re not living your life...change something; even if it’s one little thing.  Have the courage to look deep within yourself; and believe in yourself as you take the step you wish to take.
Recently, I have taken steps that I believe will release me from my bondage and....even allow me an opportunity to move beyond surviving.  Hopefully, my captor is getting bored with his subject (my children and I) and is truly willing to release all his perceived control over us; me.  And, here's hoping the lessons learned on this journey will not soon be forgotten or implemented unjustly in the future.
Even if a door closes, remember it's on hinges which means, it can be re-opened.  One only needs to knock; then decide to wait for an answer.  Just don't ever put someone first, who puts your second.

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