Noël AlvaFor the women who feel like ‘too much’ – you know exactly who you are. You’re the ones who grew up always feeling different – feeling crazy, feeling brash, feeling just a little too passionate and fierce. You’re the ones who’ve spent your whole lives being told to bite your tongue, to sit on…
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.
A few months ago, someone tried to disabuse me of my anger. I’ll just take a moment here to marvel at their audacity…
Okay, marvelling done.
Back to my anger of a few months ago. I was mad fit to split! What made my anger even ‘bigger’ was the fact that I was hurting – Oh, but I was hurting! – Thank goodness for time because it allows us to move forward from bad situations that would otherwise imprison us in an infinite ‘badness’. Can you imagine being stuck in the saddest or baddest or hardest moment of your life for some indefinite duration? I shudder at the thought! If there truly is a hell, then I imagine that would be it!
But I digress… my anger of a few months ago… it was born of a feeling of betrayal, abuse, disrespect, and disregard. I felt all these things and as a result, I felt, besides the accompanying pain, angered.
I tried to fight my anger. To be the ‘bigger person’. To be ‘civil’ and act ‘unaffected’. But when I balanced out the cost of embracing my anger and expressing it, verses stifling it and denying it, I realized it would do me more good to express it. And so I did.
I decided to hold the person responsible for my anger accountable. I decided to confront them with what they had done to trigger that anger. I didn’t expect much in terms of an explanation or an apology, I just wanted to let the person know that they did not get to behave as they did and get away with it.
Of course, the cause of my anger would hear none of it. They instead chose to deflect the issue and quickly enlisted the sympathetic services of a third party. It was this third party that sought to disabuse me of my anger by declaring that I was vindictive for expressing said anger and for demanding accountability.
Shall we take another moment to marvel and reflect on that? … you do not cut me with a sharp blade then ask me not to bleed!
How does expressing my anger -within legally acceptable limits- translate to vengefulness?! How does speaking one’s mind, calling someone out on unacceptable behavior and demanding accountability make one vindictive? So we should just accept all manner of crappy treatment and silently suck it up because it would be vindictive to do otherwise?
Should we feel ashamed of our feelings of anger? Should we feel less of whom we are simply because we feel hurt, or angered, or bothered by something? Should we deny our own anger because someone else denies it or does not understand it or acknowledge it?
Should we let someone disabuse us of our anger by attempting to make us feel guilty about it?
I have learned that most people who deny other’s the freedom of feeling anger, are usually people who do not want to take responsibility, or be held accountable, for the role they have played in causing that anger… I have further learned that it’s that much more harder to freely own and express your anger if you’re a woman.
For reasons unknown to me, it seems women automatically lose 50% authenticity for their anger solely on gender basis. Just how authentic and rational can your anger be if you’re a woman? What with all your overreacting, emotional, and hormonal issues? I’m sorry, is it that time of the month? No wonder you’re so testy!
Anger, like any other emotion, is all part of the human exprience and nobody should try to disabuse the other of their emotions. We may not understand why someone feels the way they do, but that does not mean their feelings are any less real or valid. The least we can do is allow them the experience of their own feelings without trying to diminish or belittle them.
My anger of a few months ago has since dissipated and blown to the four winds. But moving forward, I’ll be owning my feelings, both negative and positive, thank you very much! And I will not be forced to defend them or explain them to anyone who may attempt to deny me the experience of said feelings.
If it’s okay to feel joy and express it, it should be okay to feel anger, too, and to express your feelings in reasonable, none destructive ways. There shouldn’t have to be any shame in it. After all, they say life is about dualities, isn’t it? The Yin and Yang? You can’t have the one without the other and expect to have a whole, now can you?
Let’s be wholesome and allow others the same.
A mother, having just lost her child, wept in anguish and tore at her clothes while ranting at Death in anger, demanding that he account for reaping so young and innocent a life. Death, upon hearing the mother’s grief so nakedly expressed, was moved, in spite of himself, to respond.
He rose from his shadowy abode and set forth, arriving at the berieved mother’s door step at the crack of dawn. The griefstricken mother, too overcome by the pain of loss to realize that she had openned her door to Death when she answered the single knock that echoed through the morning stillness, nearly keeled over with joyful hope when the stranger standing on her stoop offered to return her child to her alive and healed… “As long as”, the stranger said, “you can bring me a drink of water from a home that has never been visited by Death.”
~ Borrowed from an African folk tale.
I haven’t blogged for a while. Not because I had nothing to blog about but because I have been dealing with loss. I’m not very good at dealing with loss. Usually I just shut out the world and retreat into myself. I’m told that’s not very effective. I beg to differ. It seems to work for me.
In the last few months, I’ve buried one dear old friend and one very special lady who was like a mom to me. To lose two people who were so close and dear brought home to me a new meaning of loss.
When we’re in the grip of experiencing loss, we tend to focus on what we will miss about what we have lost. We overlook the gift that was granted us of having had the chance to experience whatever it is we have lost. We forget the good times we had, however fleeting, and dwell on the bleak prospect of having to deal with absence due to our loss. We wallow. We grieve. We obssess. We feel regret, anger, helplessness. We wish we could turn back time – take it all back. We may even feel victimized – alone…
I know I have felt all these things. And every time, the question circling in my mind has been: WHY?
Yes, just like that, in capitals – WHY?
Most times, I never get the answers I’m hoping for. And let’s face it, “Why?” isn’t exactly a question that has a satisfactory answer to anyone who’s in pain.
The loss of a loved one is a painful experience on all levels of human emotion, but I think we make it more so by focusing on the actual loss than on the beauty and joy of having known, loved, and shared a part of our lives with the person we have lost. I don’t know, maybe we don’t know how to be any different. Maybe we just can’t help ourselves… or maybe we’re just scared that we might lose more of what we love. So we focus and obssess on the loss, and for a while we forget to be grateful for everything else that we still have going on for us.
Some losses cannot be taken back. There are no do-overs. When it’s done, it’s done. When it’s gone, it’s gone. So we better learn to make the most of what we have, in the time we have, and make beautiful memories we can cherish and look back on. Because everyone of us has experienced, or will experience, a great loss at some point in our lives, and the memories of what we had are all we have left when Loss unexpectedly comes visiting.
This is such an insightful post, I just had to share it. At no point does control translate to love or caring. It’s all about someone wanting to have power over another. Great points on why we let others control us.
One of the hardest things to do, for some of us, is admitting to ourselves that we have made a wrong emotional investment. Even when there are neon signs, blinking away right in front of our eyes to point out the fact, we still find it difficult to call it a wrap, cut our losses and quit while we’re ahead.
Maybe we can’t bear the thought of losing out on “everything” after all the effort and sacrifice we’ve put into the relationship. Maybe we believe if we just hold it together for a few days more, or a few weeks more, or a few months more, or a few years more, the situation will change and improve and we’ll be rewarded with our heart’s desire… We will reap the benefits of our patience and resilience.
So when the narcissist starts on his crippling cycle of value – devalue, attach – detached, hot – cold, we rationalize this erratic behaviour and assign it’s cause to everything but the real reason – the narcissist’s dysfunctional personality – which is beyond our control.
We shy away from the truth that something is seriously off kilter with the other person’s behaviour and reaction, towards us and towards normal daily situations. We convince ourselves that maybe we can influence and control their behaviour and feelings for us by being more pleasing and accommodating.
So, instead of cutting our losses and running for the hills, we embark on a ‘pleasing’ mission. We hold on to the relationship at all costs because we have invested so much time and emotions and effort and finances… We want our reward. We want to reap the returns. We must reap the returns. And we won’t let go until we reap the returns. Any day now, things will get better. Things will start to look up. He/she will come around and realize how loyal and dedicated we are…
And the narcissist looks at us from his lofty mental throne. He looks at us desperately holding on to the pipe dream he sold us, and he gets the mother of all highs from all the narcissistic supply we’re generating for him by continuing to put up with his BS.
It’s sad. Mainly because it just is sad, but also because the cost of holding on to a dysfunctional relationship far outweighs the cost of letting go – and we simply don’t seem to realize it!
Or maybe we don’t want to realize it. Maybe the narcissist has gas lighted us so much that we can’t trust our own reality… Our own truth.
Maybe the truth isn’t the truth unless the narcissist agrees that it is.
Maybe we are waiting for the narcissist to give us permission to process our truth by first validating it for us.
So we’ll just stay aboard this sinking ship that we have invested all sorts of energy and resources on. And we’ll let our gut instinct stand on one side, whistling and tapping it’s foot and looking at the sky, while we hold back from processing our truth because we’re waiting on the narcissist to validate it… No matter how much the waiting hurts us.
We’re waiting for the narcissist to say:
“Sure, I’m a self-serving, emotion draining, mind bending, super-individual, who occasionally moonlights as the perfect man/woman so as to lure unsuspecting and foolish mortals, such as yourself, into my made-up world where I abuse them into submission, with nary a qualm, through manipulation, lies, cruelty and a whole bunch of other devious, but highly effective, techniques. All this for the sole purpose of getting narcissistic supply (because I am a narcissist) and having full control over you. I realize I have treated you quite shabbily and this may have caused you some grief, but it could not be avoided. I have to do it to survive. No hard feelings, okay? “
Do you see that happening – ever?
No? Me neither.
The narcissist will never validate your truth, because your truth invalidates his false self. But just because he fails to cosign to the truth does not make it any less true. Trust your truth. Trust the authenticity of your experience and your instincts, then validate it for yourself.
Do not allow the narcissist to keep you ensnared in his toxic web by continuing to engage him in a quest for validation or accountability. Cut your losses and call it a bad investment – there’s no shame in it… At least there shouldn’t have to be.
Bad investments happen to the best of us. We take our lessons from the experience and we learn to do better next time.
Refuse to handle the narcissist’s lies just as he refuses to handle your truth. You do not need anyone’s approval to embrace your own authenticity.
Let’s be gentle and kind to ourselves.