What Water?

This flower makes me imagine the taste of grape-flavored candy, pixie sticks, and smarties candy. Now I want some candy, but I’m minimizing my intake to save my teeth and health 🙂 Yay 🙂 I don’t really miss it actually.

Now I’m remembering all of the Halloween candies haunting me from the past. Remember those silly wax lips and teeth? I used to hate getting bit o honeys and mary janes, tootsie rolls, or that taffy in orange and black wrappers, lol. My favorites were now and laters really bad for the teethers though.

When I was grocery shopping this week I passed aisles of Christmas stuff and my stomach dropped, I panicked for a second, then remembered that all of those stressful holiday seasons are done for me, wahoo! It’s low pressure and simple now. Over the years I’d try to keep up with all the cards and traditions until I slowly began dropping all of the extras because it was too much and destroying the joy and peace when that’s what the holidays are supposed to be about…peace, joy, sharing and love? Instead, it became frantic, obligatory, anxiety-provoking, and exhausting. These days it’s all peace, joy, sharing, and love because we keep it simple and the kids are grown 🙂

I mailed our daughter’s goodie package today and the mail is backed up, it’s taking twice as long for priority mail, so it won’t get there until Tuesday.

The holiday season will be different this year for sure. It will be really quiet and uneventful here, no complaints from me, except I will miss the kids, but we’ve decided no traveling until after the pandemic. It’s not worth the risk.

The air quality was unhealthy today so no walk. I began watching My Octopus Teacher, so far it’s beautiful, I’m only about 12 minutes in, I will watch the rest tomorrow. I did a section of learning from the video marketing course I’m taking. I’m slowly getting back in the groove.

I’m now listening to a book called Asking For It: The alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do About It by Kate Harding, so far it’s excellent.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17836520-asking-for-it

I’ve been into personal development for years and delve into abuse and awareness, plus psychological components like trauma and complex PTSD. What’s puzzling to me is it seems that many people who are into personal growth do not explore these aspects of life because all of our lives are impacted in complex ways by the fallout from trauma, exploitation, and abuse in all its myriad forms. If we’ve been socialized in an abusive, toxic, exploitative environment, society, and culture, then we need to re-educate ourselves on what is healthy and appropriate. Until we do, the toxic and harmful will be perpetuated because we can’t see that it’s not appropriate because it’s been viewed and taught as the norm.

“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?” David Foster Wallace

It’s important to learn about healthy boundaries and codependency because I can guarantee our society is rife with boundary violations due to toxic societal norms plus codependency in relationships. Overall we are not an emotionally intelligent society and it’s perpetuating trauma and harm. Many of us are in abusive relationships and don’t even know it. Our intellect tells us to go along, tells us how we should be thinking and feeling while our emotions keep protesting from deep within, our logical hearts know when our boundaries are being violated, so there is a cognitive dissonance between what our trained minds tell us we’re supposed to be doing and feeling while the place within us that knows the truth keeps nagging away and sounding off alarms from deep within. Which do we listen to?

Well if there’s some dominant authority figure looming over us, we try to keep deferring to them because that’s how we’ve been trained, to respect and obey authority. We try to appease the people in power, performing our roles according to our cultural norms and training. That’s how it’s deemed normal for men to be predatory while women, children, and others lower in the hierarchy bear the burden of fending them off and struggle to be treated with respect and equality. That’s the norm and it needs to change. Abuse is ingrained in our patriarchal/kyriarchal society. It’s like the water that the fish can’t see because it’s part of the fabric of our society.

Educating ourselves on abuse is basic knowledge that we all would benefit from learning. Then we could become aware and hopefully shift our mindsets and behaviors from toxic abusive norms to ones with healthy, loving boundaries where we do not abuse, exploit and traumatize one another as a matter of course.

I’m always surprised when people are having relationship issues and they have no knowledge of healthy boundaries, psychological defense mechanisms, manipulation, coercion, covert abuse, or codependency. I wish I could have learned about all of this when in high school, it would have saved me from feeling like I was the confused and way off base, deranged, pathetic one when actually I was in a highly toxic environment. My emotional responses and logic were normal, except my boundaries were being violated, I was being abused, emotionally, and physically, being manipulated, controlled, and gaslit. That was the water I knew, it was the norm for me and I thought I was to blame. That’s what manipulators do, they turn it around and twist everything to suit their agenda leaving their prey battered, confused and submissive. It’s called crazy-making. It’s mind games.

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/ten-examples-crazy-making-relationships.html

Our society has crazy-making built into it. So it’s best to educate ourselves, become aware, and do what we can to disentangle ourselves, get as free from the toxicity as we can so we can be healthy and create our own nurturing space and way of being that ripples out to others by our examples.

These days there is so much free information, we have no excuse for not becoming more aware of the water we’re swimming in. We have the power to create change with our newfound awareness. We do not have to submit to toxic authorities, we have agency over ourselves and what we willingly participate in.

Michelle Miyagi
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