As I was recovering from the aftermath of one medical decision, a bout of hemorrhaging sent me to the hospital last fall. All of this transpired during an already stressful period for me, and in the weeks that followed, I tried put myself back together the best way I knew how. That first loss, followed by an emergency room visit that I feared would be my last, left me in such a vulnerable place that I remained catatonic for some time. Again, I tried to cling to my writing and anything else I thought could mend me, and even tried to reach for someone I felt was slipping away from me forever. That was a mistake. Really, since October I’ve lost two connections: one business, and one personal. In the aftermath of both, I went through a short period of regret and guilt. But when those faded, I was grateful for what each experience left behind, and realized that in the context of both situations, desensitization serves me better than guilt or regret.
Because misplaced guilt and regret? Fuck that.
“G-G-Goodness gracious, I might give a fuck on a rare occasion
I would steal my sauce too, ’cause it’s outrageous
Do whatchu gonna do, you don’t gotta explain it.”–Rico Nasty
Guilt is always the culprit for hiccups in my personal growth because guilt is tricky. When it isn’t a tool used for inward course-correction, it immediately becomes a weakness. Often, I let it overwhelm me because I’ve inadvertently wired myself that way throughout the course of my own therapy and healing. Meaning, since I felt guilty about my own issues from the moment I took ownership of them, as I worked through them I became hyper-sensitive about how I was making others feel. At first, it was a good thing. But then it became this pattern in which I made excuses for people I trusted even when they were being abusive. And I did this because I always figured that I must’ve triggered them in some way:
I haven’t been sensitive enough to what they’ve been going through.
I get really moody too and they’ve had to deal with that…so why is this different?
Also, how do you fix something that you’re not sure you’re causing? When the situation is truly murky, the only way to answer that question is with more questions:
Was I wrong here? Yes?
I make amends, move forward, and try to be mindful. It isn’t hard to do; I know this because I’ve done it, and continue to do it in all of my interpersonal relationships.
But what if I wasn’t wrong?
What could he/she have meant by that…because the tone of it was fucked up? Am I tripping, or is he/she flat-out wrong this time? Yes?
When the other person is wrong, that’s the toughest part for me–as counter-intuitive as that may sound. But I say that because when I’m not wrong I’m forced into a spot where I need to ask the other person to work to repair our bond…and that doesn’t always go over well. In some instances, I think those conversations are tricky because I’ve never been a confrontational person. The downside to that is when I do express concern, it may come off as abrupt. Since I know that’s not a fair way to be, I’ve really been working on that. But in some instances, conversations go left because the other person just doesn’t do well with reciprocity. Too arrogant for the give and take it involves, I suppose.
Whether the other party is willing to engage me using fair rules or not, I know it’s my duty to seek it, in all my relationships, because it sets the tone for how we’re going to communicate. After all, if you tell someone “hey, this is how I’m feeling” and their response is something akin to “you always say that” or (and this is what actually happened) “you only feel that way because you’re sensitive about it because of that thing that happened to you,” then that person is trash. Basura. Throw the whole human away. (I did.)
The upside? Both scenarios I mentioned earlier (one in which a tiresome bitch confused me with her school-aged students and another in which a greedy, sexist, bald bastard tried to finesse me for some writing work), I adopted five little words that I can carry with me and use in each instance that someone tries to skip out on their end of our emotional bargain, leaving me to pick up the pieces. Just five little words and I’m ready to wipe folks’ dusty-ass energy off of my hands for good after I’ve uttered them:
Bitch, it’s you–not me.
Whew, chile. Dassit. That’s the tweet.
The focus of my morning hatha yoga flow. That, and this:
“Every time I post a picture, they make me the trending topic
They hate me and they love me and it ain’t no way to stop it
Some people say I’m ugly and some people say I’m gorgeous…It must be a bummer, know you wanna come and join us
I don’t wanna listen to your problems, ’cause they aren’t important.”—Rico Nasty.
Did you know that every athlete has to desensitize a part of their body for their sport? Essentially let the pole, rope, ball, bat, or other apparatus cannibalize one limb or spot on the body until the body gets it? That’s the body arguing against the movements or task, even though that push and pull eventually becomes habit, then art. I honestly thought that most friendships were that way, with one person learning the other through constant contact. Friction. Injury, even.
I think that I was always so willing to push through those injuries because I desired to see the good in everyone. I was willing to push through even more when I thought a friendship was worth salvaging. And I’m sure that desire stemmed from me desperately wanting others to see the good in me too. Now?
Fuck that; I see the good in me. It’s there and it always has been.
“Bitch…it’s actually you, not me.“–A t-shirt that I will soon own.
When you’re in the midst of a relationship that always feels as if it’s on the brink of boiling over, and then finally decide that engaging in it is no longer worth your energy? Call up those words. Conjure. I’m sure even our ancestors had at least one proverb with the same energy. If they didn’t, they should’ve. Because it’s helpful and it feels so damn good, that sometimes I just want to scream it into the void:
Bitch it’s youuuuu. (Not me.)
I’m good. If I’m your villain, that’s fine. If I’m your saint, that’s fine too. Call me what you want, just don’t call me broke/n. I’m neither.
By regarding myself this way, I’m able to say ‘no’ to things I don’t accept anymore, and that’s a good thing. Right now, my partner digs that I’m transparent and vocal about my boundaries. It’s working well in family and work life too. I don’t bottle things up, which means that I never explode on anyone. It’s that simple. Bliss for me is saying my piece, hearing someone out, and reaching a resolution. If I have to keep pushing back about the same issue, I say goodbye and am immediately at peace.
I say goodbye and the sun shines brighter on my face. I begin to sleep better. Blessings flow in abundance.
More specifically? I block a bitch and feel the universe smile at me. I dump one grimy boss and someone approaches me with a better deal in the same week.
Actually, the latter sums up my life from last fall until now.
That, and the pole brunches I throw. Date nights. Coffee with Momma in my new kitchen.
Desensitizing yourself to someone else’s drama doesn’t make you callous, it protects your peace. Doing so doesn’t mean that you’re unable to be empathetic anymore, but it does mean that you’re wise enough to discern if someone has too many issues to empathize with, i.e., perpetual drama. Perpetual negativity. Bullshit that never ceases.
If I’m only capable of tearing up the soft parts of someone, and they’re only capable of tearing up the few soft parts of myself that I have left, then our bond is dead. We can’t be lovers, business partners, friends, or anything else in between. Rather, we’re doomed to stay in orbit.
ORBIT AN ORBIT IS THE PATH OF AN OBJECT AROUND A POINT OR ANOTHER OBJECT IN SPACE. IN GENERAL, THIS PATH IS REPEATEDLY FOLLOWED BY THE OBJECT, THOUGH, IN SOME CASES, DIFFERENT CELESTIAL FORCES LIKE GRAVITATION CAN CHANGE ITS ORBIT. AN OBJECT IN ORBIT IS CALLED A SATELLITE. ORBITS ARE FORMED DUE TO TWO OPPOSING FORCES—THE ORBITING OBJECT’S MOMENTUM AND THE FORCE OF GRAVITY THAT PULLS IT TOWARDS THE OBJECT IT IS ORBITING. THESE TWO FORCES HAVE TO BALANCE EACH OTHER FOR AN ORBIT TO BE SUSTAINED.
But, better to orbit than to crash.
Also, know that when you speak on someone…actually, let me be clear; when you speak on me after I’ve graciously been silent? (I’m desensitized not deaf.) Then, I become the celestial body in the middle–the object–not the thing in orbit. That’s a satellite’s job: circling, monitoring, reporting. That’s not me.
Yup. I’m the center of your universe as long as you put energy into that shit. And like I said before: that’s fine with me. The way my prayer life is set up I tend to get paid either way.
Happy Fucking New Year.