this is a really relatable share. if we are able to catch and transform certain patterns born from our experiences, we end the cycles that we each battle in different ways.
logo by Shamona Stokes
this is a really relatable share. if we are able to catch and transform certain patterns born from our experiences, we end the cycles that we each battle in different ways.
logo by Shamona Stokes
maybe I’m not like most people. maybe I’m not like a LOT of people. maybe I’m like no people. I don’t know. but since I was small, I forever wanted to know how I could be better. fixed. “normal”. I wanted to know how I could be a better person. I wanted, mostly, to know what was wrong with ME, because then maybe, just maybe, I could fix my surroundings. I know. heartbreaking. it brings tears up just writing this. but this is real. it’s how I spent my entire life. it is a lens that I still look through, and I fortunately now have other lenses for reference.
when I was in my 20s, I attended many alanon meetings. I remember one time, the group leader at the meeting was speaking about what HER addiction was. and I kept thinking, “what is mine?”. I had been to therapy (with seriously, some really defunct people, and a couple of good ones throughout that decade of my life) and they had asked me repeatedly “but what did you DO with all of that pain? what did you DO with that trauma?”. the looked desperately for a diagnosis for me and could never find one. I was never a cutter. I never had eating issues or body image disorder. I didn’t vomit or starve myself. I didn’t use drugs and I was not alcoholic. I did not sleep around. I had no personality disorder (though I desperately wanted one! because then I wouldn’t have to accept my reality and the others in it! because then I could actually FIX something!). as I sat in this one alanon meeting, I felt like a failure for not being able — once again as I felt all throughout my early years on this planet — to pinpoint my “problem”. I didn’t know what it was and it felt horrible. because if I could just have a diagnosis, or a tangible label, maybe I could work toward fixing stuff. but what stuff was I fixing? I remember leaving that alanon meeting and realizing what my addiction was…bending, breaking, doing all kinds of headstands that I could to fit what others wanted me to be. I unconsciously chose broken and sick people in my relationships so that I could prove I was broken. being around their brokenness was familiar territory, and it put me back into the old comfort zone of what my ego knew best: having my light dimmed, or dimming it enough to be broken enough to match another person. I was addicted to being less than, and then working out these issues in my intimate/romantic relationships. because I never chose a situation that was on par with my being. I didn’t know how. I was trained so beneath my actual value that I would go and match it in the real world, and then try to break myself further when it didn’t “work” – because obviously it didn’t match me on a core level. I was addicted to having something wrong with me. the problem was, that that was just the problem. and so I could not find a “real” problem. which perpetuated the problem.
at the end of my 20s, I decided to take a good, long break from relationships. I was always better on my own anyhow. I could go a year or two without dating, even celibate, with no issue. in fact, the longer I was alone and not entangled in an unbalanced romantic “partnership”, the higher I would begin to fly. until the pitfalls of my early life and training sucked me back into a paradigm that had nothing to do with me. and so I would repeat it again — to prove that I was damaged. so I spent a LOT of time alone. of course I saw all of my peers dating and sleeping around, and I wondered what was wrong with me sometimes, because it just wasn’t me. this time alone however, without the burden of someone else’s unsolved, unattended to, and honestly eternally unsolvable issues, was EVERYTHING. my life became stable. interesting…I removed the common denominator to the pitfalls of my life and being, and I was thriving again…
I saw a few more therapists. the one I liked the most at that time was murdered in her office one day. it was tragic. she was classy, supportive of me, and probably the second therapist since my move from out-of-state years prior, to tell me that I was not crazy: I was around crazy people. the PROBLEM was, I still didn’t believe that (the part about me being normal). I kept trying to prove that there was something wrong with me. and I unconsciously chose the worst people and situations to validate that. it was an old comfort zone, the only zone I ever knew. so, how could my mind or ego adrenaline even get itself around the fact that maybe there was another truth that I just could not connect to in the outer world? after all, somewhere, deep down, I did believe that therapist, and that is how I ended/escaped every relationship I ever had. I only saw my then-therapist 3 times before she was murdered. but sometimes, there are people who say something to us, and it just clicks. the source of the info is so important. she saw my truth. she clicked for me. but I still, myself, was not convinced on an unconscious or even fully conscious level…
as I entered my 30s, I still chose really bad people to be around. when I say “bad”, I mean those with bad intentions. users, social climbers, sociopaths even. of course I would realize who they were once situations went awry. I was not dating these kinds of people. I had ended serious and even casual dating in my 20s! so it began to show up in my day-to-day life as I began to build other things/businesses for myself. unconsciously, there I was, choosing some of the very worst people: so that I could prove that I had caused it. that I was responsible for their bad behavior. that I was the one who was unbalanced, not them. I basically unconsciously looked for any asshole I could find, and these assholes were absolutely fully unconscious as there was not a shred of self-reflection in their field, and I tried to help them or do them favors. things like getting them jobs, bringing them onto projects I was part of, joining projects they were doing, and so forth. even co-workers on little projects or a crappy retail job that I had. I kept attracting all of these users losers and plain clothed assholes. I resigned to the fact that again, it must just be me. if I kept attracting this, what did that say about me? again, I looked for my dysfunction. I went therapist hopping again. I found one out-of-state and she was really nice. but not nearly strong enough for me. she did not have the depth of insight that I needed. I felt perpetually lost and decided that I am just not a likeable person.
now, it’s not like I didn’t have friends and acquaintances during all of the above time. I had tons. too many, in fact. and, both at those times and in retrospect, of course I did: all I did was give. endlessly. like blood bleeding from a stone. of course people loved to be around me. I saw the best in everyone. I was a sociopath’s dream. I was a dream not only because I had no boundaries around my giving, but because I was trained to go against my instincts and straight into abuse, duality and danger. most of my “friends” at this time were not only fair-weathered, but they had no core true self. I began to become more and more isolated during this time and it actually felt good. it was around the time of many ego deaths and a death of self that I talk about in my eBooklets. one day a thought occurred to me, as my “best friend” at the time accused me of being selfish…LOL — she was THE most selfish person I have ever met, both in retrospect and I knew it at the time that she said it — the thought was “wait a minute, maybe my life has been inverted for me and I need to reverse everything I have ever thought about myself…what if, just for a few minutes a day, I meditate on the fact that there is nothing wrong with me?”. this seemed like a HUGE feat. and it was. it still is, and I will continue explaining why.
as I began to meditate on the above, which honestly seemed like a HUGE risk, I began to spend more and more time alone. this is around the time that I had been counseling people on the DL, and doing healing work for them, but I had not called it reiki nor had I come out of the closet with my healing practice. I basically began to see the correlation between my inner happiness and the fact that there was no one around me. I felt on one hand, amazing, but on the other, that maybe I could not spend my life in solitude, trusting no one. so I resolved to remain in solitude, and to slowly let people in eventually. after about a year or two of transition to the point where all I did was eat, sleep, do yoga, work and breathe ALONE 100% of the time, I met two ladies. one’s name is Megan. Megan is my dearest friend, a brilliant doctor who is also very empathic and can’t talk about much of what I do for work in her field. yes, the medical community is still like that. the other lady, her name is Vanessa. I met each of them about a year or so after my hiatus from society. I had been nearly a shut-in and I loved it. no one was giving me shit. I had either stopped communicating with or substantially cut down on engaging with ANYONE who made me feel bad. and I didn’t question it, and I didn’t question what MY problems were anymore, for the first time ever, at least not at the frequency that I had in the past, my entire life prior. so enter Megan and Vanessa…
Megan is someone I met at my yoga studio. at that time, I could not afford to go to yoga, so I was a work-study. she was also a work-study and I covered her shift. I don’t know how we ended up hanging out but we did. it was such a new experience. I remember one day, I was feeling down, and she just came over and sat on my bed with me. I had nothing to give to her. just my presence. and that was enough! that. was. enough. I couldn’t believe it. I thought “wow…is this what friendship is? no tit for tat, no measurement, no…judgement?”. that moment hit my gut like nothing else. it was one of my first social experiences with 100% acceptance. I knew right then and there that she was a lifer. I didn’t need to do a song and dance for her to like me, and I didn’t need to solve her problems. she didn’t need to show me off to her other friends and there was nothing outwardly or superficially important about me to her. she just wanted ME. we are friends to this day, even while she has spent the last 6 years working overseas with occasional NYC visits. actually, I think she is moving back soon…
also around the end of my hermit solitude phase (I still have them by the way, this phase was just simply marked with a brand new chapter, and nearly none of the old souls in my life carried over to this day), I also met Vanessa. Vanessa also happens to be a doctor! in fact, I met each of them while Megan was in medical school at NYU and Vanessa was applying for a medical program in AZ. one day, I was sitting in my then-favorite coffee shop where I spent a LOT of time thinking and writing (and getting hated on) and getting loved on. I offered to move one of my belongings for this young lady sitting near me and we locked eyes and began talking. that was it. she met me at the biggest transition ever, to date, of my life. it was similar to spending time with Megan: she wanted nothing from me but a true, soul connection. like Megan, sometimes she would come over and just listen to me, and give ME advice and support. like Megan, she was pure. devoid of jealousy, bitterness, comparisons, and anything similar. my body felt light and relaxed and I didn’t have to try to smile if I didn’t feel like it. any potential resting bitch face was not met with resistance or attitude. she just knew my soul and accepted and supported me. we are still in contact. she saw me transition from the throes of housing court and no food to having a thriving business that continues to expand every single week. she is genuinely happy for me. she did not feel inadequate when I posted about my excitement and success for my business when I came out of the closet over half a decade ago. she will probably read this and definitely give me the thumbs up.
the two women above, Megan and Vanessa, were instrumental in helping me to redefine my personal worth, identity, and NEW NORMAL. it is also not an accident that these were the energies present in my life when I came out of the closet with my work, with my actual name and photograph — because my practice has been nothing short of that same exact energy. my practice is the greatest blessing in my life (besides my cat). ha. my practice is everything, and even when I get scared about getting “bigger” and saying “yes” to being “out there” publicly, I know that nothing — nothing — can damage what it is. because it is me. my internal being. all of it. with all of this said, it became easier and easier for me to work on my “problem” — which was, figuring out what my “problem” is…
although my practice was and is the ultimate dream come true, something I give and take the ultimate form of inner peace from, I was still encountering pure assholes in my day-to-day life in acquaintanceships and people whom I kept trying to help. I write about the technical aspects of this in my eBooklet about why we are attacked. so I had totally licked the romantic part of my life, and the “never ever again” moment that I had in my 20s has never been again, but I was still coming up against old familiar responses in the general outer world. and, like a chicken-egg snafu, either choosing people or being chosen by people to help and then get stomped on. the old unconscious patterning of being convinced that it MUST be something that I was/am doing ensued again. and so last year, when I decided that because everything was going SO right in my life and I wanted support as I crescendoed — with a new therapist — I decided I would go back to addressing my “problem”: trying to find out what was wrong with me based on others’ reactions. you would think I would have had that figured out already, right?
well, in a sense I DID have it figured out. I DO have it figured out. I know this on a strictly intellectual level, and it doesn’t linger long when I’m in the “problem”. but it’s something that I would like to be rid of forever, and know FULLY on an emotional and even newly unconscious level. and recently I got there. and that is not easy, as my adrenaline has been running on the same fuel of BLAME and guilt since the day I was born.
over the past year, and this past year of 2017 specifically, something happened. not only did I begin therapy consistently, but I attracted more Megan’s and Vanessa’s — in my personal and career sector. nevermind my practice and my patients, that/those are DIVINE. but my ME life — what I want, where I want to go, who I am, etc. those who are helpful to reflecting back my core, my truth and my value. those who want to help ME, and see ME succeed. what also happened, as a compliment to having these NEW people around me, is that I had a healthy and powerful sounding board for my understanding of self and those entering my field. so when my lifelong “problem” popped up (I will tell you again below what it was/is!), there was an army of sound, sane, wonderful people around to keep me on track.
my “problem” has been a rather intense reaction from others. my entire life. it’s separate from me having been a rescuer or saver or God complex individual in romantic partnerships or past friendships. something that plagues me, nearly daily, is unwanted responses from others around me. these others are not usually strangers, but they are not always friends either. they are people I see on a regular basis in passing. who just can’t figure me out. and for some reason it’s important to them to figure me out. you know how it goes: people generally do not like what they can’t understand. they are also people/3rd parties that I meet as significant others or what not to people I have a connection to. or, they are acquaintances that I have tried to help and inspire. not friends, and not patients: but present enough to notice. in short: they just don’t like me. for no valid reason in particular (I’m finding out). my entire life, and up until this year, I have been hypervigilant to accommodate someone’s response before they respond (PTSD much?). I have been hypervigilant to smile, mirror, or do whatever so someone would not feel whatever it is they feel around me. I have been pathologically apologetic. to avoid my “problem” — other’s reactions. but we know that’s not been the real problem. the real problem is the fact that I still believed that there was something that I was doing to illicit said response or behavior from someone else. this was my glue. the ego adrenaline in my DNA that said “if you don’t blame yourself you will die”. because that is how I began and lived my entire life. and I am excellent at helping others through my work who have been in the same position. and I can explain it all intellectually, like any of us can, but living there full-time has been a challenge in terms of really, truly and 100% believing and feeling that my very presence is not defunct.
so yesterday when I went to therapy, I had like 5 real-time debbie downer examples to share with her about the insanity I was experiencing with other people as of late. I went in partially convinced, again, that I might need some fixing! I asked her – begged her – to tell me if I was haughty. or arrogant. or…something. anything. and however, even before the therapy session yesterday, I was already on the brink of full-breakthrough into the land of no more fucks given. so before I get into the appointment —
I had been walking with my gatekeeper, late at night before my latest therapy appointment, down the west village neighborhood blocks. I looked up at the sky and asked him to please tell me if I ever had a diva moment. I asked him if I ever appeared to be full of myself or rude or anything like that. he nearly laughed. “no”, he said. then, he told me something ground-breaking to my awareness as to what my “problem” is. we had recently been in an elevator, looking at new rental space for me. as we were going up to view the space, the real estate broker said to about six of us in the elevator “this is our prime unit. it will go incredibly fast”. my gatekeeper told me that I unconsciously — and that he knew it was unconscious — looked up from the email that I was sending, tilted my head (sans side-eye), and just looked at this broker with an awareness that he was full of shit. and then I went right back into my email. and he was right — I had no memory of my unconscious response. my bs radar was alive and well, even while I was engaged in another thought. I guess this type of active radar is obvious to others. well, the guy was totally full of shit and the unit was shit. so I guess I don’t mind my radar and I’m glad to know it is there, and this might possibly help to “explain” others’ responses to me. I will not apologize for my natural sense of truth and what my body does or signals around that.
back to my therapy appointment yesterday. there were so many examples as of late, of negative and unfair responses of others toward me (including those I have tried to help on a personal level — no good deed, y’all!!) that I was again in my old sickness, assuming “I did something”. or “I am this way and it needs fixing!”. so as I unloaded the 5 recent examples with my therapist, we went through every checklist possible and she spelled out what I already knew intellectually, cognitively, consciously: this is about other people. if you have read my other posts, you will see the very first thing she ever said to me on our very first day together, knowing absolutely nothing about me: “another person’s obsession with you has nothing to do with you”. pretty astute, ey? yeah, I found the right therapist.
and so all of the events leading up to this week in particular finally allowed me to unhinge that remaining 1% of me that still believes that it is ME who is affecting others, and responsible for their response: through forgetting to smile, through poor mirroring or whatever the Fuck it is people want from me. I think I have been pretty solid at being unapologetic now for a number of years, but my “problem” was still there, in the basement of my mind. and maybe it still is, in the tiniest fraction imaginable. but something broke this week, for good. I had too many people acting shitty toward me, again for no reason that I could fathom or figure out (and believe me, I tried, and asked) to ignore what I was supposed to learn: another person’s behavior has nothing to do with me.
the crux of all of the above was and is a survival based chemical inside of me. that is all. it is different for each of us. there are a lot of factors. too many to count how it manifests for each of us.
I asked my therapist for a full explanation as to my “problem” again, one that I have heard many times, and one that makes me vulnerable to share here, as to WHAT people respond to with me. and here is what she gave me. it’s nothing I didn’t already know, but maybe I fully accepted it recently. she told me that my “problem” is that I am transparent. that I can not lie. that my face and my body language can not lie. that my energy reflects back truth, like a child, and most people are not comfortable with the truth. this sounds a lot like my eBooklet about why we are attacked. but, just like a first-class therapist who goes home to her wife-beater husband every night, truth sinks in at different times and different levels. cognitively, emotionally, spiritually, physically and otherwise. I think I heard it in all spaces of myself this time. I thought about all of the people I see, in spaces like yoga studios and places where people are supposed to be “awake” and who just do not like me. and I hear about it. and see it. and feel it. and I do not have the energy to get them to like me. because I don’t know how to be fake. my “problem” is basically, bottom line, that I don’t know how to be fake. and my bullshit detector is naturally on over-drive, and I can’t fix it. I also can’t change whatever electromagnetic equation or signal my body or field put out to accommodate someone else’s personal sense of security, and I can’t make myself ugly enough for someone else to feel attractive. that, of course, is base-level 3d shit, but it does amaze me how people respond to physical appearance (I wish we were all blind, that would teach us a good lesson). I thought about the “friends” I hire for projects only to have them secretly resent my success and ghost me while trying to maintain relationships with MY hard-earned introductions. talk about hurtful, daggers to the heart. I thought about the spore of where all of these patterns, across the board, come from. and I decided to take a real risk: stop asking what I am doing wrong. stop analyzing, worrying and looking for a diagnosis in order to spare my conscious awareness of someone else’s deficits. I have to let them be what they are without looking inward anymore as to how I might be causing abc response. maybe I’m different, and, like my therapist said, I may never learn to lie or fake it with my energy field. and if that’s my problem, I do not want to fix it. I remain unapologetic for being the best person I know how to be, and letting others lose their shit if they can’t stand my truth. let them.
I write this from an open and (obviously) vulnerable space. as I write, my stomach feels queasy, because I am releasing lots of final threads of beliefs, feelings that accompany them, and the shitty people who have jumped on those threads of energy. I write this from a space of compassion for anyone else who doesn’t blend, can’t blend, doesn’t know how, and lives from a space of purity and non-judgement — only to be judged constantly by others. I write this from a space of advice, given my personal make-up: be willing to let people not like you — hate you, even. be willing for there to be something gravely wrong with you (there isn’t). be willing to, just for a moment, imagine that what I am saying is true. if you do it enough, you will step into a power few will ever know as humans.
my problem has been and is, thinking that I have one. that is my problem. what is yours?