I have been considering writing this blog for months, and now it is time. These last few months, I have been very reflective of all the relationships in my life. From my therapist, associations, that “friend” from social media I had accepted as so to connections, I have been exploring at a greater depth the interactions and experiences surrounding my relationships.
My authentic nature has always made it challenging to connect and maintain a healthy relationship with others. Until recently, I carried the weight of each of these relationships, still believing there was something “wrong” with me. The shame that accompanied these differing relationship experiences exasperated an already wounded sense of self. Each time I felt I needed to fix something about myself. This response is a learned perception from childhood where my trauma began and continued to compound, only beginning to lessen in the last couple of years as I have started to heal the lens of CPTSD. No different than most children, I carried the burden, because of course, it must be “me.”
I have found myself observing others the last year, their assumptions and choices. After all, these behaviors affect me, and why shouldn’t I understand them? Perhaps if I comprehend others, I might understand how I feel and navigate the world at greater ease. Perhaps understanding others will assist in my sense of self as I determine what role I play. Honestly, I continue to struggle with confidence and approval. I ebb and flow in the self-compassion so very much deserved, my interaction with the world a constant reminder of the social construction of measuring up.
In the last few months, this observation and emotion exploration have finally exposed an underlying current I had not previously been aware of. I finally recognize just how projection works within our relationships and how pervasive it is throughout society. See, I have carried and taken all of the relationship issues personally. And in this meme society, I recognize that we must move beyond the glossy phrases and words that create the ultimate bypasses. Even though we say do not take others’ perceptions personally, pointing it has nothing to do with you but only them, we bypass the fact that these perceptions affect us all. The perception of others may not affect us if we are not connected, but if we are, each other’s perceptions do indeed affect us.
This experience all came to a head for me a few months ago. Suddenly I became aware of the avoidance tactics I had been using for years. The sayings that make life a bit more bearable many within my circle all seem to live by. Like “everything happens for a reason” no longer helps me cope with a much more multifaceted and complex reality than the current dual thinking allows me to comprehend. We can not use this bypass as an explanation for these complex relationships with ourselves, others, and our environments; I can no longer use this explanation anyways. That might be why our relationship is at an impasse.
For years I lived by experiencing life through this rose-colored glasses bypasser’s code. The people I surrounded myself with did the same; they were my birds of a feather. However, as I began to expand my mind and explore beyond the box I currently resided, I found conflict with those surrounding me. I wasn’t in conflict; I only asked we explore more and further. But those questions I raised were too much for those I had considered “friends.”
I use the word “friend” loosely. Because if I cannot seek comfort and support when my dad has a major heart attack because you fear I will “lower your vibration,” you are not my friend. Or if something was said or happened, that didn’t sit right, and you didn’t communicate but instead distanced yourself you were not my friend. For too long, I have had weak boundaries and limited understanding of reality’s complex nature and our relationship to it. No one lowers anyone’s vibration; what happens is you are incapable of processing your own emotions, and that is why when I express and share mine, you do not know how to maintain.
I finally see the projections and understand them. For the gentleman who perceives me as a dictator or the one who sees me as this dark villain feeding off of others’ negative energies, THAT IS YOUR PROJECTION. For too long, I have carried these perceptions as if there was something wrong with me. Now I completely understand where I learned those behaviors as a very young child with my grandparents and mother seeing how this has exponentially grown into adulthood.
Finally, I see where my radical authenticity is a threat to you. I am open to exploration and navigation, curious, and willing to inquire again and again until I find the happiness I deserve. My willingness to show up and explore my emotions and processes is a threat. It is much easier just to find today’s meme, spiritual practice, or the next distraction to get me through the day. But this is not what I choose. They say I am a doer; what does that even mean? I do what I set my mind to. I have even heard delusions of grandiosity, but the fact remains that what I decide I want to experience, I continue to move my life in that direction, always working towards its attainment. Now I understand why that is so uncomfortable for those I have relationships with; it isn’t easy to watch that when you are not happy with yourself and do not dare feel the complexity of this path’s emotions.
So, keep focusing on your peace while bypassing every upsetting circumstance that shows up. Do not learn and explore beyond the socially constructed boxes. But I will NEVER carry your projections as my own again. I am not responsible for you or how you navigate life. You should only be so lucky to have a relationship with someone like me. And this, my “friends,” is how we learn to love ourselves, navigating with compassion as we transcend the wounds that keep us in the cycle of abuse.
Thank you for the relationships and connections; you have facilitated my growth. Be the change, live beyond the meme.