I have a lot of great positive past posts waiting to be published, but this I felt needed to come first...
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, how many uplifting books you read (or listen to on audible), or positive affirmation quotes you put on your Facebook, IG, or bathroom mirror... the darkness still comes...
Like a slow moving fog filled with memories and voices of your past telling you that you’re not good enough... and you never will be. Those lies that someone has planted deep in your soul that you have fought like hell to kill off like a choking weed, they come back. So you fight harder! More uplifting books, church talks, music, quotes, etc. You also go and do service for anyone you can. You look for validation in every person you talk to just hoping that their praise will kill the voices of the past.
Now typically I win. I’ve done a lot of inner work... that’s an understatement. The amount I’ve done is astronomical. I’ve lost weight, I eat healthy (95% of the time), I do things that I love and that feed my soul. I’ve also built an amazing tribe of friends in Utah who are some of the best people you could ever meet. I have a husband that is incredibly supportive, children that I have good relationships with, and actually enjoy being around. Life is pretty great quite honestly.
Yet I let something happen this weekend. Other people’s words got twisted and thrown at me, and I allowed myself to listen to them even knowing in my very core they were false. I let it trigger all those childhood feelings from my ice cold narcissistic step father who would speak in the same flat even tone, and bring me to hysterics while he just kept talking. As well as making me feel like I was crazy, but the reality that I thought I knew was wrong. I vowed I would never let anyone talk to me like that again, and yet I let it happen in my own home, and in front of my children.
Then everything went dark and I came to while the paramedics were taking my blood pressure and blood sugars. You see my body does this weird reaction to extreme stress and it thinks I’m having a stroke. The ER Doctor said every single sign pointed to a stroke except for the results of my CT scan. My blood sugar has been perfect for over a year, my A1C is perfect, and my blood pressure is normal. Yet Sunday they were at dangerous levels… from stress. All because I let someone make me so stressed out that I literally collapsed.
I cannot emphasize enough to you that this is not okay. It’s not okay for me, and it’s not okay for you. I’m not saying that you will have the same reaction, but negative stress in heavy doses is so bad for you. Physically and mentally.
So yesterday I spent the day with one of my beautiful children who confirmed her words were twisted. She also expressed how upset she was, and how she felt manipulated. After which she confirmed that I’m not actually crazy, nor am I a horrible mother (because we always go to that as moms don’t we?). Unfortunately, sometimes other people are happiest in their anger and sadness, and project that on to others.
So as the holidays approach, and families gather… If you have a toxic family member that makes you feel even slightly bad about yourself. Remember it’s your choice to be around that person. You do have the right to set hard boundaries, and tell them that they are not allowed to speak to you like that. You can also express that they are not allowed to upset your children, and that you will not tolerate their negative behavior.
It’s okay to say “No, I’m sorry we’re not coming over.”, or to not invite them to your gathering. We no longer have to put stress on ourselves in the name of friends or family.... Our lives are meant to be enjoyed. Although every moment isn’t going to be all hearts and rainbows, it also shouldn’t include standing there while someone makes you feel less then. I promise you that you are worth more than that.