Oh what tangled webs we weave… (The lies we tell)

when first we practice to deceive! – Sir Walter Scott

I’ve had Sir Walter Scotts quote running through my head today, and have loved it since I was a little girl. Though I didn’t always find it easy to apply to my life.

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” – Mark Twain

My mother was one of those, and still is for the most part, that is so affected by lying that she rarely will tell even the whitest of lies, or even a lie by omission. As she’s aged she’s less likely to find it as uncomfortable to lie by omission but telling a straight out lie is just not in her comfortably.

I, however, grew up lying. I lied, I lied a lot. It made other people happier if I didn’t speak the truth, my truth or the truth, it didn’t seem to matter.
So if I thought/believed that by lying someone else would be better off, I would do it, without a 2nd thought.

truthlies

Throughout my 20’s I learned (mostly through ridiculously angry fights with my partner) what I was doing, and how it was actually harming me. How I was repressing my truth, my light, my joy. For everyone else but me.
And how bitter I was becoming over it, how I was killing myself slowly, if not softly.

By the time I hit 30, lying became something I had to put energy in to, thought in to how or why or when. And I grew increasingly uncomfortable with the straight out lies, though I must admit the lies by omission are much easier to sneak by (myself).

At 35 I find I loathe lying, even by omission. I’m left so utterly uncomfortable by it that I feel nauseaous, even with a lie by omission.
I finally feel comfortable saying things such as, I really don’t want to eat there, or I really want to go home not out to a movie, or.. the little things, or so they seemed, that were actually quite big things over time.

masquerade

And when others inevitably show some irritation at me not doing what THEY want, I just don’t take it on anymore, it doesn’t worry me like it once did. Perhaps because now I see how much I began to hate the people I thought I was lying FOR. Making them happy in the moment was really just that, in the moment, and it didn’t last.
So I wasn’t happy, and they weren’t happy for long, so what was the point?

Considering my recent “career” choice, it is often necessary to not share everything, and even lie – for general safety of others around me. And I’ve come to hate what I do.

Not simply because of the omissions of my life, but because I’ve come to realize that most people lie. A lot.

Even the one other person in my life, aside from my mother, that I believed to always tell me the truth, even when I didn’t want to hear it; has been lying, a lot.
And another friend I love dearly, seems to lie habitually – and hey, I understand this, where it comes from, but.. it still hurts.
Neither of them knows how much I really know about the truth, or what I see to be the truth (the facts vs. their stories).

imagesKLC9CJ12

So I’m in a conundrum, allow them to continue their lies? Confront them? Never speak to them again? (I can’t imagine this last one really happening)
Am I lying by NOT telling them that I know what they are doing?

Yes, I do still find myself telling those “little white” lies and occ. lies by omission, so perhaps I have no ground to stand on, despite my efforts to be as honest as possible, as often as possible, especially with these two people.

I suppose it doesn’t mean I have to continue to be in their company, truthfully it makes me uncomfortable to be around others whom I know to lie (whether to me or to everyone else is not really the point, is it?), and I realize I’m lying to myself to believe that to ME they must be telling the truth all of the time.

Perhaps the only answer out of all of this, the only, well, truth, is to be true to myself, true to others, and let the rest go.

Knowing we’re all a little bit afraid of what happens when people discover our truths, and accepting that.

 

“Teach me to behave like the orange which, though crushed and bitten, fails not to impart its sweetness.

Battered by unkindness, bitten by carping criticism, or hewed with hard words and cruel behavior,

teach me yet to pour the unceasing sweetness of my Love.” – Paramhansa Yogananda

 

Otherwise, I might have to move out to the country, keep my critters as my only company, and become a hermit..

Well, that doesn’t sound so bad some days.

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Holding on and Letting Go

As I’m heading in to my 5th colonoscopy (and 3rd upper endoscopy) tomorrow morning, with all of the fun prep involved (ahahahahahahaha… oh fark it, it sucks), I’ve been pondering the energetic reasons for finding myself here.

I’m not able to move things through my digestive system (so what am I not letting flow in my life?), except for an episode every 4-6 weeks of violent, uncontrolled, purging from both ends. If I don’t take laxatives, or large portions of enzymes and avoid a HUGE and growing list of foods, and an enema now and then.. I can go weeks without, well.. going.

At my last ER visit they discovered something in my lower left abdomen..

I’ve had digestive issues since I was at least 6 or 7 years old. When after a trip to that bastion of great cuisine, KFC, I ended up with what is still to this day the worst case of purging I’ve had, the toilet bowl was such a deep red, it was terrifying – I remember it nearly 30 years later, that and the intense pain and discomfort.

For whatever reasons my mother had at the time (fear of discovery of a home issues, my stepfather being so drunk she couldn’t leave, ?) I didn’t see the doctor right away, much less visit an ER.

When I was about 11 I noticed that I often had to “help” things along – I won’t go in to the details because it’s just not needed.

I’ve read about others who’ve had to do this as well, and recently my aunt told me that not only did my great-grandmother have serious issues (ending in colon cancer) but that my grandfather, and my aunt have had nearly the same exact troubles. So, hey, I’m not alone! Hmm.

However about 2 or 3 years ago I noticed it wasn’t just slow or sluggish or.. a sense that I needed to help my body move the waste out and on, but that I wasn’t feel ANYTHING at all at a certain point. In my lower left abdominal area to be precise.

And not long before this, I’d begun to have recurring dreams in which I’m shot in that area, usually leading to death. Or a fading of consciousness. They continued until last year, when I’d lost all sensation in that area.

It isn’t as though I feel I have to go, but I can’t. I don’t feel anything at all.

Which leads me to wondering what I’ve killed off inside myself, and what I’m holding on to, unable to let go of. Because I do believe it’s all tied in together.

And what is my family holding on to – what did I choose to take on and deal with? 4 generations having the same exact troubles.

Here I thought I was making such progress in letting go, in feeling worthy, yet it has become clear (or not so) that there’s still some deep work to open up to.

I was frightened of tomorrow for a while, terrified even, in part because of such uncertainty over what will be my 12th procedure/surgery where I fall asleep (are the odds still in my favor?). Also because I wonder what they will find, or won’t find. And what then?

Surgery would just be a temporary fix to what is obviously a hundred year problem (if not longer).

I want to heal the wound that has haunted my family. Free us from this bondage.

And someday? I’d love to be free to use the bathroom without delay, discomfort, or the nothing at all… I’d love to be well.

 

And then?

And then what? Stopping the Worry Demon

Lately I’ve had a few people ask me how I stopped the “What if” demon. She’s been in my family for generations and had a rather cozy spot in my life for so long, along with her brethren of friends.

Now I’ve read more positive thinking & self help books, articles, on line email threads, than I could count on all of my fingers and toes times.. 10. (Maybe more) And I’m not bashing them, they’ve all offered me something, in some way. Some, of course, far more so than others (“Feel the fear and do it anyway” – that title alone got me from 16-30).

However what has actually “cured” me, and saved the villagers of the small town living below the snowball that becomes an avalanche when I worry and get lost with the “what if” demon is this..

I simply take the fear and follow it through, quickly, simply, but honestly.

Example:

I’m out wearing a dark colored shirt, and I realize it’s covered in cat fur (white cat fur). I wonder what people think of me, what if they see it? what if they judge me for it? what if they don’t like me because I’m so untidy? What if I were out with a friend, how would they feel being seen with me? And … it begins.

So I take it from there. And then what?

They see it. And then what?

They judge it. And then what?

They care, or they don’t. And then what?

Do I care what they think? Possibly. And then what?

Well, why do I care? Will my friend be embarrassed? And then what?

Perhaps they won’t want to go out with me. And then what?

I’ll go out alone in the future. And then what?

I won’t mind who sees the fur, it’s my cat, I love her, I’m not harming anyone with a few cat hairs. And then what?

Ok, they judge me and give me a snide look or turn away. And then what?

I continue on my day, never to run in to this complete stranger again. And then what?

Now, this is how it goes with 90% of the worries I have, and 95% of the worries I hear from other people – so concerned with the approval of others, and their presentation to people they will never meet again that they get caught up in the what if game.

Even if it’s what if with people they know, co-workers, spouses, friends, lovers, parents..

So I’ll add in the positive way this event actually happened today, before going on.

Now..

I run in to someone I know, the cashier at the grocery store. And then what?

We actually get in to a wonderful conversation about our cats, I find out he’s a cat person and is very concerned with how my cats vet visit went. And then what?

I actually fell like I connected with someone, they cared, and I cared, and we were better for it.

 

Ok, so lets take it even further into the demon realm, and say it is someone I know. And then what?

They judge me, dislike me for being so unkempt and unpolished. And then what?

I don’t talk to them again, they won’t return my calls. And then what?

Lets be honest, anyone that doesn’t get me and my love of my cats, isn’t someone I really want to be friends or close acquaintances with – they can’t understand me or appreciate me. So I decide to move on. And then what?

Well… and then I make friends that do get me, that love cats, and dogs, that don’t mind a few cat hairs on their clothes and we have great, relaxing times together. And then what?

Perhaps it doesn’t go so well. Now this is where the demon really sinks her teeth in.

Perhaps I can’t find any new friends, perhaps they all seem to hate animals or my cat hair shirt. And then what?

 

Do I die? Does anyone die? Is my cat hurt in any way? Is this event so catastrophic that life itself ceases to exist because of this event?

 

No? Well then.. I move on, I let go, and the crazy, neurotic snowball that was building steam has suddenly disappeared. Poof!

There is no fuel for the fire.

My best friend hasn’t called me back, my husband hasn’t texted me, my boss didn’t smile at me as they normally do each day. And then what?

Do I die? Does anyone die? Is someone going to end up in the hospital because of this moment? (perhaps if I don’t stop the snowball, yes.. mental hospitals count) No?

Well then, move on.

Life is beautiful, and this particular turn of ours, on this merry go round of nuttiness – this act we play out on the stage that is called life. It’s short in the scheme of things.

Too short to be caught up in worry, in fear, in letting snowballs bury the poor villagers of the cute mountain town below.

So there’s my secret. Something I haven’t found in any book so far.

And then what? What then? Can I live with what happens next? Literally.. Yes? Good. Let’s move on.

The whirlpool vortex of Depression

(Did you know Vortext is a “new” word? Typos CAN teach us lessons..)

As I sit here procrastinating on the creation of my dream site and all the content for it – and I was pondering the value of plagiarism in society and in the act of creation (more on that later), I was reminded of how easy it is to get sucked in to someone elses depression.

I’ve spent much, most?, of my life depressed. It’s only been the last 3, maybe 4ish, years that I can say I spend more of my time happy, upbeat and positive (or at least mildly neutral) than otherwise. From the time I was 6 or so, perhaps even younger if you listen to my family, I went from a happy outgoing little girl to a rather quiet, sometimes morose, ghost.

There are many.. explanations for that, of which I’ve talked about in some detail already.

But I came to realize fully recently how often my mental, emotional and even physical state of being is something I diminished for the sake, or seemingly so, of others.

I’ve read so many supportive quotes, texts, prose, wonderfully full vibrational thoughts on not doing so:

I will not die an unlived life.

I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days to allow my living to open me;

to make me less afraid, more accessible,

to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch,

a promise.

I choose to risk my significance;

to live so that which came to me as seed goes

to the next as blossom

and that which came to me as blossom,

goes on as fruit.

And I read it, and reread it, memorized it and held on to it as truth.

But I was an awful lot like the character on the dark road, alone, in the middle of the night, with but the barest of even a small pen light to guide the way, whistling in to the shadows, jumping at every twig that breaks and every leave that rustles in the trees. Repeating to myself that everything will be ok, just keep walking. And yet, deep inside, feeling terrified and wishing I could just run all the way home and never have to look any deeper in to that darkness.

Because I was depressed, and while I would read the words and know their truth, I could not live it.

As I was washing the dishes yesterday I grasped that I have, for the better part of 30 years, taken on so much from others – feeling I was sparing them somehow.

As a child it came out as being somewhat subdued, not demanding anything extra, anything more than my mother (who could barely crawl off the couch at times, much less even muster up food or sustenance of some sort) could possibly give. Which was next to nothing.

As a teenager it came out as being sick, caused I know by insane amounts of stress overloading every aspect of my being until I literally collapsed from exhaustion, and offering my mother a confidant, a .. kindred souls experience.

In my 20’s, under the weight of nearly two decades of chaos, I spiraled in to depression and often found myself in arguments, fights, full blown episodes of utter blackness, not often helped my a partners belief that life is hell on earth and nothing good comes of it. (It’s hard to see the bright side when no one else wants to even imagine it let alone hear about it)

My 30’s has been a parting of the clouds, a release of the need to provide others with support I .. well, I don’t believe in.

Yet standing at the kitchen sink I saw that I still do this, in small, twisted ways. And that it’s still killing me slowly, although that’s been picking up pace too.

When my husband is depressed I’m far more likely to watch a movie with him, or play a game, or just (ho hum) putz around online, rather than choose to put energy in to my dreams and my projects and plans – because I don’t want him to be alone, to feel so lost and depressed.

Not just because I know how it is, and oh boy do I. But because I have, since I was a little girl, tried to make everyone else feel better, to dim my light, to suffocate the fire, to crush the blossoming hope, so that they wouldn’t feel so.. alone.

Yet I’m now able to see how very little this actually benefits anyone. Them, or myself. And that I’m ready to be a bit more, well, selfish. And be happy, doing what I need to do, what my heart longs to do – from that state I am far better situated to offer a helping hand to others.

It’s a lot easier to lift someone up when you yourself aren’t drowning with them. Which is what depression really is, drowning in emotion, in sorrow, in loss, in anger, in apathy. And it’s so easy to get sucked in to that if you don’t secure the rope your throwing out at them first.

I wish my love, my hope, my happiness, my simple (awesome? sorry.. sarcasm) presence alone would be enough to light the way for someone lost in the darkness; however now I finally see, and know, how important it is to be the light for ones self, and to so be it for others.

It beats stumbling around in that darkness, alone or together, eternally lost and afraid.

Veronica Yem

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