I was remembering that two of the most flattering and undeserved compliments of which I am aware, are also two memories that make me choke up, even after all of these years....
The first was this scenario:
SHE and I are hanging out on a random weekend night. We cross paths with HER friend, HIM.
Much later when HE and I are friends, he drunkenly confides:
When we met, I thought you were a stuck up bitch. I even told SHE when we met. But then SHE told me (loosely translated except the most important words) Oh, gosh, give Bex a chance. She's "one of the coolest people I know" (see? I'm choking up again...) And HE did. Then HE and I were friends for a long while. But we aren't really friends any longer. Huh. Guess I AM a stuck up bitch.
And SHE? Well, I think SHE changed her mind. I wasn't really cool at all...
See how a compliment CAN hurt?
I'm dating someone. It's a horrible unhealthy relationship, as every time he drinks, he is EXTREMELY verbally abusive. (But he never hit!, so ... of course, he'd change for ME, right? ugh. I was VERY naive!)
We were at a club, all slithery drunk; that's what we DID, as I said, VERY unhealthy... I lived on the dance floors then, big hair glued in place, when a stranger approached my boyfriend to tell him that I was a "beautiful girl. No dude, MODEL beautiful" ... That was another painful compliment that I learned about as my drunk boyfriend relayed the story later that night, the words in quotations seared into my memory as he SNEERingly hurled them AT me, then told me he guesses I am a whore. I wasn't.
If you began to date a man, who immediately stuck a copy of " The 48 Laws Of Power" into your hands, and insisted you must study and learn them like a college student... including heavy HIGHLIGHTER use...would that be weird? Asking for a frenemy...
I'm not sleeping. My right hip is burning. When I try to walk, or stand too long, there's a nerve getting pinched, and the result is a SEARING BURN, that shoots down my leg. No warning, just that fucking zing, and the hip threatens to give out. I'm finding my 'hammer' a very necessary tool right now. Where else but here at 3 a.m. might I admit that I'm feeling a mighty case of the "woe-is-me" bullshit. Knowing it's bullshit doesn't stop it from flooding my mind when I'm feeling low. My conditions are degenerative, which means that the most painful joints are the most damaged. Worn out. Those words are haunting. I'm just over 50, but I'm struggling to keep up. I need to remain mobile, I accept that in order to DO that, I'll need the recommended mobility aids. But really? A walker now, because the hammer is no longer sufficient? Is it okay to feel a bit of self pity now and then? It makes me feel such shame. The most difficult lesson I've learned is that although it's MY brain, and there's such a thing as mind over matter, my brain also has a mind of it's OWN, and that boggles me... **If you weren't aware before this entry, I suffer with an anxiety disorder. When Richard was killed, it doubled down. The ranch fiasco kicked everything into overdrive. ** So, while I can TELL my brain that a panic attack is not a 'real' threat, my brain decides not to listen to logic, and the anxiety parties on. That's what is happening right now. I'm AWARE that having scoliosis, degenerative disk, and spinal stenosis, will all contribute to the demise of my back and neck, but is it fair that I'm 52 fucking years old, and very aware I may be losing the fragile bit of mobility remaining? It's happening so quickly, I'm claustrophobic. Please don't remind me that you "feel terrible" for me, I already know it. Who would rejoice this? I have to get it out, whether anyone sees this. It's a safe space for me... especially when I'm paralyzed with a fresh or long running fear, especially since I'm mostly unable to reach out to those around me. I live with the knowledge that (barring a medical miracle, or ten) I'll forever be completely dependent on my husband, my children, the govt... that's a big reality pill to swallow. No matter who you are. There are others exactly like me... if this might help a single one of them, it's worth the transparency.
I've found VERY quickly that many people are confused about my "new" self...
What they're NOT understanding is that this isn't a fucking fad, I'm not trying to make a statement, etc.
When I hit my 50th birthday, I suddenly realized I had been diagnosed a full decade prior with ME/CFS...
Upon reflection, I DECIDED that with the limited daily energy my body allows, I CAN NOT, and WILL NOT, spend that coveted energy on the BULLSHIT any more. It's a conscious decision, and I'm working REALLY hard to honor myself by no longer wasting a precious commodity that healthy people (I know this is true~ I WAS one of 'those people') take for granted.
I've spent much of my energy on things that matter so little to me now. cleaning the house, doing laundry, washing dishes, cooking dinner, etc... have been significantly altered on my priority scale.
I am aware that having my body essentially fight itself from the inside out has likely reduced the life expectancy for me. I decided I want to spend my energy doing things that ENRICH my life rather than reduce it. Simple as that. (yeah right, huh? nothing's ever simple, I'm still needing occasional self-reminders to keep practicing this behavior)
So, when we moved into this rental after the catastrophic betrayal at the ranch, I began to sort through every belonging I had. I began to question whether any of those belongings either enriched, or harmed, my life. And I began to purge. And purge. And purge.
I've been brought to an almost blissful mental state on the better days. (The REAL secret to life: rid body of rx meds, artificially scented anything, chemical cleaners, most commercial products for your skin/house/body then begin cannabis use!) I look around and see SO MUCH MORE simplicity.