The Guilt of No

I used to take “No” lessons from one of my coworkers years ago.

Back when I was still married to Ex-husband #2, and working for a different company, one of my coworkers used to tell me often that I needed to learn how to say “NO” and mean it.

This was usually in reference to something my ex wanted to spend money on that we really didn’t need, and I was being coerced into going along with it. He would manipulate me with guilt, and I would cave, because it was easier to just go along and get along than deal with the pouting and temper tantrum when he didn’t get his way.

The “NO” lessons didn’t work very well back then.

Of course, the guilt had had years of training by then, as my Mom and Grandma were the Queens of Guilt, wielding it like fierce bullwhips crackling in the air whenever us kids would step outside of their imagined “acceptable” boundaries.

It’s damn hard to say No when you’ve been trained most of your life that you don’t have the right to that word…

And yet, here I am again, trying to learn how to do just that.

I’ve done it, successfully, a few times over the years. Sometimes even in big ways, that have benefitted me greatly. 

And yet, there are times, recently, when I still feel guilty about setting personal boundaries and saying No.

I have a personal fb account. 

It’s very private, and I have very few people in it. Less than 20, actually. A handful of family members (some blood, some Chosen), some friends from the blogging world that I never get to see in person, a couple of friends who live out of state, who, again, I don’t get to see in person, & a couple of friends from here in town.

But, these are all people who I am actually CLOSE to, in one way or another. We share a connection, we talk, we text, we vent, we laugh, we mourn, we gripe & share war stories together – the friends here in town? Occasionally we get together & actually GEOGRAPHICALLY hang out with one another. We go to dinner, or grab drinks, or walk in the park, or get coffee/tea. We do things together.

So, when I received a “friend” request the other day from someone who I’m not close with, but just a friendly acquaintance…

Ahh…there’s that guilt again.

There was a blow-up a few years ago at work over my fb account. Because I’d deleted a bunch of people from my page who I wasn’t actually really friends with, but just friendly, and when they wanted to play around on my page…they couldn’t get on it anymore, because I’d deleted them.

It got brought into the office, of all the inappropriate places, and made a big stink about, so I blocked pretty much everyone, & said I’d deleted my page altogether.

Problem solved ~Poof. 

But no.

Now it’s rearing its ugly head again.

Well, whatever.

I’m done explaining.

My personal page is private.

I don’t see what the big deal is, anyway. 

It’s not like any of the juicy shit gets put there, anyway.

All the raw, personal ME is RIGHT HERE.

Stop being butthurt about not being able to snoop on my social media page where I post memes about Paganism and GOT, FFS.

If you’re reading this, you know more about me than those who only see fb.

And if you want to know what’s going on in my life, but haven’t seen it here? Maybe you should FUCKING ASK ME INSTEAD OF TALKING BEHIND MY BACK.

Why I Lurk.

My anxiety is so bad tonight, & I should have known better.

Some little time ago, I joined an internet group for introverts. I thought that maybe, if I joined, I’d find some people who truly understand some of the things I go through daily.

Fuck – was I a little too optimistic.

I normally don’t post my own queries in groups…it always seems to erupt into chaos. But, I’d been silent in this group for some time, watching others interact. I “liked” a few memes. I commented once or twice on someone else’s post.  It all seemed to go well.

And I thought that maybe it was time for me to pose a query of my own.

So, I did. I asked my question, which was about me.  It was concerning the effect that anxiety & introversion have on each other for me. I asked if it was possible that my introversion & anxiety seem to feed one another. I stated that I knew almost to the day when my anxiety began to present itself, & that I wondered if that was what caused my introversion to start, or if I had always been an introvert & that the anxiety simply “peeled away” the layers and revealed my introversion.

One woman immediately told me that obviously I wasn’t really an introvert, & that it was all my anxiety causing my issues. 

Yeah, I got defensive. I tried to be polite, I tried to explain myself, but I hate being “diagnosed” based on a 3 or 4 sentence conversation by someone who has no knowledge of my history or circumstances. 

She fired back that obviously I was wrong, she was right, & I had broken 1 of the rules of the group by not being polite.

Fuck that. I was polite. I just didn’t kiss her ass, fall down at her feet, & tell her that obviously she was the Goddess of Right, & I was a lowly Minion of Wrong.

And, she had me booted from the group. 

Exit, stage right.

Shit like this is why I lurk.

I fucking hate confrontations. It makes my heart race, my stomach queasy, & my skin gets hot, I’m nauseated, angry, & anxious.

I can’t stand people who judge others, especially after only just a few words. It reminds me of the presumption that those radio “psychiatrists” could diagnose someone’s problem over the radio after just a few words, & actually help them fix their lives. 

I’m so done trying to join groups. I’m better off on my own, blindly grasping around in the darkness, looking for my own answers.  

Just like my love life, I’m better off not even bothering trying to connect – less chance of being hurt.

Walls up, barbed wire back in place.

Lurk Mode activated.

Catching Up, Letting Go, & Shoveling Through

Got into an argument on the internet, today. 

Yeah, I know, it’s pointless, irritating & inflammatory to argue with strangers on the internet…but he pissed me off. 

It was in a pagan group, & he was busily invalidating people’s beliefs, so I spoke up & told him off. 

Politely, and with facts.

The subject was Wicca, & he was running his fingers, telling everyone that the only TRUE Wiccan was HIS type of Wiccan.

I pointed out to him that there are many valid paths, not just his, & he got condescending…which, you know, just calms me right down, because who doesn’t like being talked down to?

When I pointed out to him that Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, etc., were just as Christian as the Catholics, even though they’d split from the Holy Roman Catholic Church years ago, he totally ignored that, & spouted that I just don’t understand what true initiation is.

Someone get him some Kool-Aid, wouldja? Jim Jones wants to visit with him.

So, I dropped the mic on the conversation & left the thread. 

Let it go. Trolls shouldn’t be fed, I wasn’t going to get him to understand that he’s just as bad as the fundie Xtians who think all of us Pagans are going to hell, & I just get all riled up with no resolution.

Time to do something a little more constructive.

Like baking cookies. Chocolate chip are all baked & ready to go on Monday. Snickerdoodles are waiting to be mixed next, & they go in the fridge overnight, so I need to get on that.

I also need to shovel my front sidewalk, but that’s not happening anymore to right. Maybe tomorrow…maybe I’ll wait till my neighbor decides he’s sick of looking at it & clears it for me with his 4-wheeler…

I also need to get busy on Yule gifts & a custom Xmas order my mom wants for a family member.  Trees…trees, trees, lots of little wire trees. Nothing I Can show you till  after the holiday season, since they’re all going to be gifts, but I will post pictures then.

Annnd, I’m almost done painting inside my house for now. The living room & dining room/office/gym/ferretarium are painted, & most of the hallway is finished, with only the trim at ceiling & floor, & around doors is left. Touchups, really, then I’m done for now. I’ve got some demolition to do in the kitchen before I can paint in there.  I’ll post pictures of the finished painting as soon as it’s all done. I’m rather proud of having done it by myself. I love the soft grey color that seems to shift throughout the day with how the light hits it. Sometimes it’s just grey, sometimes it looks more blue, sometimes more lavender, but always clean, soft, & comforting. 

There, now you’re caught up. 

Time to go mix cookies…

On The Block

Something I discovered a few days ago…

Someone I considered a friend, at least, a friendly acquaintance, blocked me from her social media.

Why, you ask? 

Well, as to the actual reason, I couldn’t say, since she didn’t bother to drop me a note stating her reasoning.

But, I have my speculation.

This lady is someone I met through blogging, years ago.  She wrote a funny, sharp, & thoughtful blog , that I enjoyed thoroughly.  Always sarcastic, but never what I’d call “mean”, she’d talk about her past, her present, her job, boyfriend, vacations, pets, celebrity crushes, whatever struck her fancy.  And I’d laugh at every one because of her sharp & witty sense of humor.

She was also a former member of the military, with strong pro feelings about guns. (I’ve never had a problem with responsible gun ownership, & she’s definitely of that sort, so no worries right?)

Well, fast forward a couple 3 years or more, & she happened to post something about guns.. Something to do with the current stories of the government wanting to get rid of private persons owning semi-automatics. Nothing that would nornally ring my bell, but I read it, and noticed that there were an awful lot if commenters mocking people who were non-gun owners, nonmilitary, etc. 

So, I commented.  I stated that I had great respect for responsible gun owners, that I had nothing but love for our military, and that I, personally, was NOT a gun owner, of my own free will.  

Also, that I would never mock others who chose to think differently than I did, simply because of those beliefs. 

A few days later?


My “friend” was no longer.


Guess that’ll teach me to be tolerant of people with ideas different than my own, won’t it?

Yeah, she has the right to have whatever people she wants on her social media, and I’ve purged mine from time to time as well.

But it would have been interesting to know her true reasoning behind putting my head on the block.

A Moment of Time- the ‘Versary

A little over a year ago, I posted a philosophical question on Facebook, and a possible answer that I’d found.  It was a late-night meandering of my brain, and I was thinking out loud – or at least, virtually.

A little over a year ago, I received a private message via FB that changed the way I live my life.  A family member took offense at my musings on my own FB page, and wrote me a scathing e-mail, basically ruining any future chance we had or have for any kind of familial relationship.

So, a little over a year ago, I started a “web journal” for my thoughts.  It started out just for me, over on another blogging site.  I wasn’t happy with the mechanics of their web tools, though.  So, when I discovered that one of my favorite authors, Kim Harrison, uses WordPress, I flipped my blog over here.

And exactly one year ago today, I posted my first post.  Basically the same thing that I’d posted to Facebook that cold November night, but expanded slightly, just because I could.

Here, I found that I could say whatever I liked, and not have to deal with hatemail.  It was the wonder of not just anonymity, but of feeling like the people that were out here, in this vast place known as the “blogosphere” with me, were doing the same thing.  Live and let live is, for the most part, the motto here.  You do you, I’ll do me, and we’ll all get along just fine.  If  you liked it, post a reply, send a smiley – and if you didn’t?  Well, click away, and there were a million more blogs to read that had nothing whatsoever to do with me. 

Shouting into the darkness, I found that there were people out there that not only shouted back, but that actually stuck around to read more.  I found people that, while they had their own things going on, were willing to help me get through what I had to say.  And I was able to help them, as well, sometimes. 

In this last year, I’ve laughed more, cried more, made so many new wonderful friends, and reconnected with old friends I thought possibly lost to time.  I’ve been able to drag my memories up out of the darkness, and wipe the dust from them, seeing them clearer than I have in a long time, helping me to deal with some of the darker ones, and laugh or cry again at the good ones.

I can never really express the depth of what I’ve gained from this experience.  It has been an amazing year, and I’m still stunned by it.  I went from being giddy that 1 person had checked into my page in a week, to constant amazement at the numbers of people that stop by, on a regular basis, and have simply fit themselves into my day. 

There are people now, that I’ve never met face to face, but I hate the thought of not checking in with them – every day.  I read about their lives, they read about mine.  We laugh and cry together.  We get angry and promise to back one another up in a fight.  We have mutual admiration societies, and flash mobs when one of our group goes to a new place, posts a guest post on someone’s blog, or needs people to click somewhere to help them out.  We all rush in droves to click happily away, supporting each other, standing by one another.

Chosen family. 

Those 2 words have popped up a lot in the last year, and will continue to be a part of my life now.  There are no ties of blood, no obligation to do these things, or help one another.  Nothing that binds us, but our own desire to be there for them.

And, going back to my original post on faith vs. logic?  There’s no logic I can point to, no concrete evidence I can dig up, that tells me why this has worked, and done so well for me.  But I have Faith that it is what was meant.  I needed this, one year ago.  I had no idea how it would turn out when I clicked that button telling me to “Get your own blog!”, but I needed it.  And I have Faith that I did the right thing that day, 1 year ago.

I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.  Thank you WordPress, for an amazing year.

Brightest blessings~ Brea

P.S.  I had to add, just as I was finishing this post, and publishing it, a friend RebelRegan popped in and dropped a gorgeous new header in my lap for the blog!  The serendipity and synchronicity of this is wonderful!  Thanks, my friend!