Mask Be Gone

Today will be another 2 post day but I will leave the second one for later on. It is a fun filled one about T and me last night.
I need to give credit where credit is due with regards to the posts where I have a lightening strikes moment and insight happens.  All of them, at the very least 99.9% of the time they evolve out of conversations that I am having with friends. They will make a statement or ask a question and suddenly boom there it is. And I talk it out with whomever I am talking to at the moment. The vast majority of them are broken down between two people of whom K is one of.
Today she is going to make cold calls for the company that she is working for. Dropping off flyers/information packets at the business around the area. When in the office for the most part she can go casual. Today though, she was not sure if it would be okay to wear casual or make a better impression if she dressed up. What did I think. And I thought about it.
Sales Person=Professional look=suits/slacks w/dress shirt for men. Pantyhose/skirt/slip/blouse/dress pants/blazer/dress/heels/flats/purse
for women. Damn uncomfortable being dressed up like that all the time. I have done it in the past and best place I have ever worked was for a company that was in production. I was in Customer Service but could handle this because I dealt with the salesmen not actual customers and I  could wear jeans and sweatshrits to work. I was in my glory. (To be honest the first day I started I wore dress pants in and was told I was dressed up too much.)
I explained that that was my definition of a sales person’s dressware and K agreed. She is going to throw her flair into it though and come out looking awesome. I began to think though as we are talking about what facades we put on. We are programmed to think and feel about certain people and careers solely based on how they are dressed.
Ex: A meeting is taking place between 2 competitors with a company. Person A arrives for the meeting casually dressed because he/she knows that the product they are selling is exactly what the companny requires and at a fraction of the cost even with a few bells and whistles thrown in of their competitor. Person B arrives for the meeting in business attire. Their product essentially the same as Person A’s but with extras that the company does not need nor will they ever use. And it costs triple the price. In the end despite the fact that Person A’s product is what they need for a great cost the company choses to go with Person B.
We immediately disregard people if they do not fulfill our preconcieved notions of how they should look. How does one know that the lawyer who wears jeans and tee shirts to the office did not graduate at the top of his law class while the lawyer in the $1000 suits who charges hourly did not? We give so much creedence to how we present ourselves to the world, that we forget who we are.
At work I have a facade. Chipper. Always happy. Smile on my face. Flying around here there and everywhere. Stopping to talk to people. Helping customers find what they need. This is the face that I wear day in and day out, 40 hours a week whether or not I feel like it.
Before Dec. 23rd, my entire being was a facade. I smiled and pretended I was happy. I laughed and talked and tried to be the world’s best problem solver. As I type this I recalled a moment just before that saturday which made me realize how much my facade was me.
I had been helping a customer and chatting away with them. When done I went over to another till to bag for one of my cashiers and her customer. All of us are chatting away and both of them mention that I am always happy. My mask slipped for a brief moment when I admitted that I was not really 100% me. And both of them told me that they never would have known. That I certainly did not show that things were not quite right.
Maybe if I had not been so intent on presenting myself as a strong and capable woman who required no assistance someone might have noticed a little earlier as the cracks began to appear. Maybe if I had been willing to be truthful with myself, I could have, no there is no could have. My facade had become me. I had become my facade.
Now I can look in the mirror and see me. This morning after I put cream on my face and set my glasses on my nose I took a really good look at myself in the mirror. And I saw me. The real me. The one who’s eyes are sparkling, clear, not fogged and drug numbed. I no longer look haggard and tired. I am still sleeping the same but again, there are no drugs at play deadening my sleep. I feel good. My hair is not looking brittle and ready to crack. Nor is it falling out in handfuls any longer. My skin is clearer and smoother as well.
There is another part of me that fell beneath the illusion of my facade and the role I was playing. That was my brain. My brain has been fooled and stupified and drug numbed for so many years I am damn surprised that it still functions. But it is there. With ideas and knowledge and truths that I fought to hide from for so long. I am open to the changes that are tearing down the ugliness that I wore to fool the world and replacing it with me. The real me.
I began thinking this was going to be a random reflection based on what K and me were talking about. Instead it opened my eyes further to the changes that I have wrought both inside and out. I am not going to wear masks any longer. What you see is who I am. I want to be accepted for the person that I am, not the person that society expects me to present to the world at large.
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Mixed Bag

I have learned a lot in the last month.
I am still learning.
I am changing.
I am becoming braver.
I am being honest. With myself and others.
I am responsible for my feelings and reactions.
I am working very hard to slow down and think before I speak when I become annoyed with T or for that matter, anybody. This is hard as it is a habit/learned trait that I must consciously break. I will have to carry this technique over into the work place.
I am present. Working very hard to not plan. To not fret over the things that I cannot control.
I am looking after me. No more of this shit putting everyone else first as though they are more important than I am. I will not do that anymore. I do not need to bend over backwards to make people like me.
I am a wonderful woman with a wicked sense of humor, smart as hell and damn sexy. I will not allow anyone to undermine the foundation that I am building beneath me.
My definition of projecting:  Reading a statement and because of something that you fear within yourself, you color a person’s response/words to you with that fear.
Ex. I was explaining to a friend something that I had noticed she had a bad habit of doing. We are intensely honest with one another. After I was done she  thanked me with an exclamation point. I know how dare she be excited and show it with an exclamation point because yes I helped her. Yet I fear that I am going to annoy her because of all my advice and experience. But than I stopped myself and realized what I was doing. I was projecting my fear into her typed words and thought she was being sarcastic. She was not being sarcastic at all. Once I realized that and changed my mind set the fear was gone just like that. Bye bye.
I am learning that once you can recognize what you are doing, you being to pick up on it when you are doing it. Once you are aware that you are doing it you can change how you think, feel and respond. Once you begin twigging to when you start projecting and figure out why, you conquer that fear.
I am a mixed bag of thoughts and ideas.

Lessons Learned

This was a week of lessons for both myself and T. I think too that it has been a hard week for him as the amount of time the Ex has spent with him has been minimal. I cannot even work up anger. I am resigned. I am sad for T. I cannot make him change. I cannot make him see the young man who is growing up right in front of our eyes. T is playing Farming Simulator as I sit here typing this.

I was excited because I am able to listen to my music on my notebook while writing and also watch T play Farming Simulator. I believe I have explained before? Long story short you build up a farm. People create maps and you go farm. Drive around. It is a popular game judging by the amount of Youtube videos I have been subjected to. At the moment I am sitting here with our shared headphones on (the ones that cover the whole ear not inserted buds that would be gross) listening to Florida Georgia Line. Basically I load the entire album and start at the beginning. Today may be the first time in a long time that I get through the very long list.

We had two rather comedic episodes that left me gasping for air I was laughing so hard.

Yesterday morning I was about to wash the bathroom floor and asked T if he wanted to go use the bathroom before I did. He said yes. As he is climbing down his ladder I stand there  and tell him he is not to pee on the floor, the seat, the side, nowhere but into the toilet as I had just finished cleaning it. As a matter of fact, I suggested that he straddle the toilet and push it down to pee straight in. With hand pantomimes. T stared at me in absolute horror and as I turned away informed me that that was the absolute worst advice ever. And if I had one I would totally understand why. I giggled again typing this up.

Later in the day as I was driving him to the Ex’s for his night with him T was muttering away about what an absolute boring evening it was going to be. That none of his friends could come over. It was going to be dad, grandpa and grandma. I

I am trying something new. We are all programmed to notice the negative, the absurd, in other people’s pain. We mock others to make ourselves feel better about our own selves. When T and me had our long conversation the other week I told him that we needed to change. That we needed to look for the positive no matter how hard it is going to be. And it is going to be hard. I mock others. I make fun of them to others. I am no saint as I told K and P. It is a habit, a trait, who knows but it needs to be changed. Now the other day when I dropped T off at school I mocked the bright color of one of his classmate’s snowsuit. I tried to recover by saying at the very least we would not lose him in a snowstorm. Told him that he was not to make fun of the boy to which he emphatically told me he would never. I told him I was sorry. That I should never have made a comment and about a child’s snowsuit nonetheless.

So back to T and me, driving to the Ex’s. Grandma and grandpa are visiting. T is going to be bored. I suggest that he could hang out with grandma. And glanced over to see him looking at me like this. Yes I pulled over and took this picture. Mom, he leans forward his arm on the back of the seat, that male posture when they want to tell you something really important in the car, Grandma is old. And she is annoying. The laughter escaped me and I tried to stifle it. I looked at T and explained to him that grandma really loved him. That she wanted to spend time with him. As he is muttering away, frowny face on, arms crossed. That was when I learned something new about T.

I suggested (I am great for suggesting things) that he might want to spend some time with grandma because she would not be around forever. And he said no that was not true. Um yes, unfortunately we all die someday. Nope, we get another life. I looked over at T and said you think after we die we get a different life. Yep. So you believe in reincarnation. Yeah like having past lives and all that. We get to be together in the next life too. There are times when T reminds me how so very special he is. He also believes that had he been born a girl, the Ex and me would have still been his/her parents. The life would have been the same just pink. He expanded my mind right there.

Today he was annoyed that I had picked him up from his friend’s so early. Had thought that he was going to be staying there until 5 p.m. He was angry with me and refusing to talk. So I thanked him. I could have argued until I was blue in the face with him about his attitude but again I am trying different things to find what works for us. I want to stop that cycle I have seen myself falling into. But no, I thanked him. And waited. Finally he asked for what.

I told that I had taken his suggestion and had started writing a story the night before. Wanted to know what it was about so I gave him a quick a synopsis. Explained that what had started off as a short story about one thing had morphed into something else totally different. My main character had a story to tell we were just figuring it out. I thanked him again and he said you are welcome. I felt it was a small victory and we chatted and laughed all the way home.

Once home with chores taken care of I went to grab the headphones and T was loading his game. Asked where the headphones were. As if I didn’t know, he had taken them into his room one day watching Youtube and left them in there. He fought with me. Told me I had taken them and put them somewhere and it was not his fault that I could not remember. I took the remote for the XBox and sat down on the couch explaining that he could have the remote back once he checked his room.

He argued with me and I kept my cool. I did not yell. I did not let my temper get the best of me. I spoke calmly and repeated that he would get the remote once he had gone to look for the headphones. Finally I said that if he was sure they were not there could he please just humor me and go take a look. Stood in the door and said looked. Uh-uh get up there and look.

I heard him climb up into his bed and silence. After a few moments I got up and double checked the table and counter just in case I was being a hardass for something I had in fact done. I stood watching him from the doorway as he climbed down and threw the headphones at me. I think he thought I was going to crow and say I told you so. Or some form of that. Instead I said thank you I really appreciate that you looked for them. Warned him I might sing and was that okay? I was informed that it was most definitely not cool to sing out loud. I made no promises. He giggled.

I need to be his example. I cannot expect him to act one way and for me to act another. I will slip. I am sure that I will make a mocking comment about someone, and snort giggle when reading memes on FB again I am no saint. But I will actively work to do this. For both of us. And in a world full of negatives looking for the positive is hard. And that is when I learned my second lesson.

What I do now is easy. I am in my home. Being a good example is not hard when I am not interacting with others for extended time periods. I will be going back to work. I will be around toxic people who are going to attempt to shame me. Those who are going to judge me. Not celebrating with me as I recover from this bout of depression. That I am emerging a better stronger woman. And it is going to be hard to not to give in. To not laugh at that little aside about a coworker. A dis about an employee. An irate customer. Being tired. I could come up with a thousand reasons why I slipped back and forget what I was doing this for in the first place.

Yes in part this is a step in my mental health and realizing that I was following a cycle that my father got from his mother. I was yelling at T and several times during the week I cut myself off from phrases he said. I need to break it here and now. But this is for Tember. Our children are our future, and I want to encourage T to see the good first before having to process the bad.

 

She’s a little pushy

This is going to be a wee bit of a brag.

T has informed me that the time has come for me to move beyond my poetry to short stories. He would like to see me stories like his. The Adventures of Pickle. Kids book he has created.

I have been mulling over an idea or what I thought the idea was going to be. Last night I grabbed my notebook and opened up a new page in Evernote Notebook Fiction. I wrote for an hour. At times my fingers flew across the keyboard as my character began to take shape. Imagine my surprise when my main character morphed from male to female and the male lead is becoming a secondary character.

I wrote 1249 words last night.

I could have continued writing but than I would only be going to bed now. I have not written a short story since the early 2000’s. I am so excited and even now she is hovering at the edge of my conscious poking me as though saying ‘Hey Jay what are you doing? I am here, c’mon let’s get going I have so much to tell you.”

 

Ownership

I use to pride myself on not being a liar. That I always told the truth. But I realize that I don’t. I realize that a lot of the times I say what people want to hear rather that what I actually think. Why are we  programmed to hide our thoughts and feelings?
I was going through an old notebook and found some items that I wrote. It appears to be a list of some sort defining my beliefs on certain emotions and behaviour.
Never Lie: To lie means I am scared of the reaction of others. Yet when I lie, it will snowball rapidly until I am found out.
To lie is to give false comfort.
If I start lying to others, it makes it easier to lie to myself. I need to be honest when I look in the mirror.
Confidence: The belief in oneself. To acknowledge that I am good. I do not need to go out of my way to showcase my talents and abilities. They can speak for themself.  Whether at work or in my private life.
Toxic People: People who try to tear me down, make me disbelieve myself. People who make it all about themselves. These are people that I need to avoid. I do not need to allow them any access to my life or inner self. I protect myself.
Forgiveness: The ability to let go of past hurts. I carried mine around, extra baggage that needed to be looked at, examined and put away. I need to forgive myself for being so harsh. For the abuse I put my body through. I need to forgive myself for ignoring the voice that was screaming in my head for so long.
Trust: in this list I found I defined trust as allowing someone into my life and hold nothing back from them.
I feel that trust for me is now different. I am not sure how though.
Betrayl: in this list I defined betrayl as making a promise and than not following through on it. Thus breaking the trust between myself and the other person. There can be no friendship once a  betrayl occurs.
Friendship: Friendship is a two way street, each giving and receiving. There needs to be trust, faith and no fear that I am going to be judged when I really need to reach out. When there are problems (real or perceived) an open discourse must take place to enable the lines of communication to remain open.
I am not sure what I was going through at the time. I do not even know when I wrote this list out. Yet it is even more relevant to me now. Within this journey I am on, I need to redesign the way I view things. I need to make myself responsible for my thoughts and emotions. I need to take ownership.

Learning to Care

I am proud of me
in a non-egotistical way.
Not proud of my abilities
nor of my talents.
What I am most proud of
is how far I have come.
Where once I could not imagine the end of the day
where once I thought that I had no strength
that forever more I would be a poor wretch
stalking through the dark thoughts
trying to find the exit.
Yet I have seen the exit
burning bright in the distance
and every day,
it comes closer.
Truely there is no exit from depression
but there is recovery
there is relief.
I will learn to live in the moment
to live each day to its fullest.
I will learn to manage my sad days
so that they do not overwhelm me.
I will reach out to those who support me
when I need to feel comfort.
Most of all though,
I forgive myself,
I love myself
and from now on, I will take care of myself.
©Jay-lyn Doerksen
Feb. 20/18

Voices

Within my mind
there resides a voice
it is mine of course.
Every so often it sings its song
and I must listen.
Danger, Danger, Danger
Hide,Hide,Hide
Strength,Strength, Strength
flying at me
swirling around me
making me stumble and fall.
Each of these voices
they are me,
they are mine,
splintered in three.
I wish that they would stop
they would leave me alone
because this new nightmare?
I am not sure
how much more I can take of it.
I am crumbling before you
slowly collapsing into a pile of dust
the fear and venom
bled from my veins.
I will arise
like the phoenix
from the ashes of that girl, that woman
soaring free
taking my place finally
in my own history.
©Jay-lyn Doerksen
 Feb. 1/18