The gullible Empath

I’ve written about this before (pre-Saturn Return, in 2009): I’m a Pisces, blah blah, we are sensitive and easily led astray. Now I’ve matured a bit- I’ll be 35 on Sunday..OMG! Is 35 too old to say “OMG”? Now that I’ve reached my ripe soon to-be-middle age, I know that this fish DOES have a backbone somewhere underneath those scales. We are survivors despite our sensitivities, and depending on the rest of our planetary blueprint, we can be tough as nails and driven to succeed (That’s my Capricorn Venus talking ūüėČ ).

But deep down we are Empaths. We feel those good good good good vibrations as well as the bad. I just got back from an astrology conference where all the meeting rooms were named after elements: fire, water, earth air and aether.. yes ETHER.

“According to ancient and medieval science, aether (Greek: őĪŠľįőłőģŌĀ aithńďr[1]), also spelled √¶ther or ether, also called quintessence, is the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere.[2]”– Wikipedia.com

How appropriate, I thought, since half the time I feel like I’m floating through the ether, totally unnoticeable to the masses. Oddly enough, people kept bumping into me, tripping over me, or flat out looking¬†through me when I waved to them throughout the conference. Am I invisible?? Maybe I’m just part of the Quintessence.. I like that.

As a child I was quiet, often overlooked, always waiting with wide-eyed expectation. I often felt pangs of inspiration, the urge to create, I cringed at harsh words, cried at sad songs, but mostly felt like I was some kind of human filter: constantly absorbing the world around me, whether I liked it or not.

I soon realized this sense of “openness” about me became known as “gullible” by my peers. I had no walls, no boundaries and very little ability to say no. In other words: easy prey in the childhood jungle. It was a game of coaxing and belittling, luring and humiliating, enticing and tricking, advancing and retreating, until I became so afraid to believe in anything, that I stopped doing it all together. I denied my basic instinct to be empathic at all. How could I continue, when everything was a trap?

In college, my worst grade was in was Public Speaking. I remember distinctly feeling an immediate distrust of my audience; an abhorrence to expose myself, as if I was already being judged before the words could even leave my mouth. Having felt invisible most my life, why would anyone listen to what I had to say? How could they truly hear me?

Where I once was a sponge, I now was a stone; ready to be thrown, lest I be thrown at first. This may seem against the empathic way, but truly I was only acting as others had acted towards me, so in away I was absorbing their way of life.In my eyes there was no middle ground. I could be me, or I could be them. I could be soft, vulnerable and foolish or tough, strong and smart.

After years of absorbing many characters around me, and leading numerous “lifestyles” where I took on any role that seemed most beneficial to the particular situation I was in (oddly enough usually someone else benefited ha!), I had a bit of an identity crisis (Hello Saturn Return) and was forced to drag my true self out of the rock it had been hiding in. on top of being a Pisces, I have a Stellium in Libra/6th house, which explains my desire towards “the other”: giving to another, serving another, or (in this case) being another person.

So how to be an Empath in a world that values resistance to sensitivity? Shutting yourself off to feelings doesn’t work. You still absorb them, except they’re shit-stained in judgment, bitterness and resentment. Anytime you don’t get to be your authentic self, your soul is saying What the fuck, man?!! Unfortunately you have to be yourself, even if the world is in direct conflict with that. You have to learn, love, work, and exist in a way that’s right for you. Even if the world punishes you for it. Even if people take advantage of your openness. Even if being an Empath is painful, it’s better than pretending you’re someone else. You cannot receive joy if you’re not yourself. That joy belongs to someone else- you can’t take credit for it. Any good things that happen to you while you’re fronting as the cool, tough, IDGAF non-Empath are meaningless if they can’t permeate your soul.

The world may not love you for who you are, but you still have to love yourself. And that includes setting boundaries, disconnecting, and caring for your mind, body and spirit when you feel overwhelmed with life. Protecting yourself doesn’t mean shutting down, judging or distrusting everyone around you. It means finding a balance of openness, where other people’s problems, emotions, experience and words don’t become your own. Be aware, be smart and be open to the world, and you’ll reap the benefits of every joyful gift you receive.

Happy Birthday to all my Pisces people! I hope you give your inner Empath a big piece of cake ūüėČ

The Golden Rule

I used to¬† believe in the Golden Rule.¬†My hippie parents taught me to “treat people the way you want to be treated” and so I went forth into the world with the best of intentions for my fellow-man. I would show them respect and logically, I would receive it in return.

I soon realized the rule didn’t work that way. You don’t get back what you give. You can send out all the hugs and kisses and cakes and butterflies, but the world is not required to reciprocate.

This was a hard lesson for an impressionable Pisces like me. I couldn’t understand why I was being subject to so much abuse and torture from my peers. I was giving them love and understanding, they were giving me ridicule and¬†disgust.¬†Bullies and Opportunists preyed on my sunny disposition.¬† To them, if I was fool enough to let them in, it was my own fault for getting emotionally robbed.

Continue reading “The Golden Rule”

Sick of this

Roofie called my lawyer yesterday, stating that he’s tried numerous times to meet with me but I’ve refused. Lawyerdude said “I don’t believe that, but if you two can work this out, I think that’s best for everyone.”

I feel like my teeth are being pulled out one by one, and just when I’ve managed to get over the pain, here comes Roofie with the pliers again. Unfortunately, my Laywer is right. As long as one of us keeps “trying to work it out” that’s what a Judge wants.

So via email and phone calls through my lawyer, Rooferman finally agreed to meet me “One on One” at his parent’s home sometime next week.¬† Since his mother considers both of us her children, I guess that’s as neutral a location as we’re going to get.¬† Maybe his mom will even back me up.

When his parents came to me the night before our last court date, they had lots of questions and I explained the parenting plan my lawyer and I had made up in detail. His mom asked me if the Judge was going to clarify these things at the status conference, because she thought Rooferman didn’t really understand all of it.

Maybe with her help, he will?

At least this time I’m not going into it with a shining ray of hope. In fact, my lawyer is asking me to contact witnesses for the trial already. Basically, preparing for the worst, but if at all possible,¬†hoping for the best.

¬†I know many of my bloggy friends have told me not to meet with him, and to stop torturing myself. Last time I was so shocked by his request to meet with me that I started fantasizing an easy way out (I’m a Pisces, I’m good at that). This time I know¬†what he’s trying to do. So I can show up, bring my parenting plan, listen to what he has to say, and tell him “I’m sorry you’re not willing to compromise. I will see you in court.”

Otherwise, he will tell the Judge that he tried and tried to come to an agreement with me, but I refused to meet with him. 

I’m just so sick of this.

Full Moon in Cancer

Last night was the full moon. This full moon also happened to be in¬†its home¬†sign of Cancer. SWM had herself a little astrology lesson on Cancer and its ruling “planet” the moon, so I’ll elaborate a bit.

The moon signifies the unconcious. In the tarot deck, the moon card is about whats hidden in your life. What are you really thinking? What signs are being shown to you that you haven’t quite picked up on? We all have our fronts; the face we present to the world. Your sun sign is the outer shell of your personality jawbreaker. Its the first thing people notice about you, and the facade you like to hide behind. Your moon sign is whats underneath that. Its your soft underbelly, mingling (or¬†in my case, fighting)¬†with your outward appearance.

The full moon is a¬†night of enhanced energy. A time to meditate and focus on the elements of the astrological sign which the full moon is hanging out in. When the full moon makes it cycle and lands on the sign it represents, then the mood is all about “You pass Go. You collect $200”- In the spiritual sense at least. You can feel the energy when the full moon is in Cancer. Your dreams may be a little wacky, but pay attention to them! They are trying to tell you something about the inner circle of your jawbreaker.

On that note: My dream from last night:

I was walking around the city of Boston at night. It was winter. I had no shoes on. I walked into a Dunkin Donuts and asked for some food. I held out my hand and the cashier started screaming. My hands were entirely black with dirt and filth, like I had been walking on them. There was glass and blood on them. Another cashier came up and told me to leave.

I walked out into the city and it was daytime instead of night. I saw a familiar face. We hugged and they told me to walk with them. Then they saw my bare feet and asked why I didn’t have any shoes. I laughed it off, pretending like it was no big deal. I didn’t know why I was shoeless. All my other clothes were perfectly normal. I said to my friend,¬† “Well, you know..” They gave me a strange look and walked away.

Unfortunately, LB climbed into bed with me at about 3 am, and I forgot the rest of the dream. This is why you should always write down your dreams immediately after waking up. Yeah, right.

Each astrological sign rules a body part. Its pretty easy to figure out, because it starts at the top of the body with the first sign (Aries) and moves down to end at the feet with Pisces, the last sign.

Since my sun sign rules the feet, I would analyze the bare feet in my dream as being symbolic of my astrological sign. Since your dreams are the unconscious feeling you have about your life, my filthy feet are representative about the negative emotions I have about being a Pisces. I wrote about my passive-agressive Pisces Sun/Aries Moon dynamic, and this is obviously still present in my dreams.

I would go more in depth, but LB’s dad just arrived to pick her up and I have a busy day ahead of me.

Have a relaxing Sunday, ya’ll. What did you dream last night?

Sherrybaby

Ok, here goes.

When I first saw Sherrybaby, I was still “trying to make it work” with Rooferman, even though I had moved out and was living with my mother. He adamantly refused to¬†be within 10 miles of the angry feminist aura of her house, so LB and I saw very little of him until he¬†finally put our¬†engagement through the guillitene¬†and moved in with Blondie.

Here is where I reveal something very embarrassing about myself:

I tried to get Rooferman to watch Sherrybaby, because when we couldn’t communicate,¬†I¬†would attempt to¬†present the issue through a¬†movie with a similar message.¬†Yeah, I was delusional. But, being a Pisces I was convinced that the magic of movies could soften the pain we both were feeling, and get through the hard times.

When we had no propane to heat the house, we would huddle together under blankets and watch Cinderella Man, and for a little while, it would make everything ok. Rooferman would turn to me and say “I love you” and I my hope would be restored. If the Braddocks could¬†make it through the¬†Great Depression, then surely we could weather our storm.

Of course I was wrong.

Sherrybaby is about a person who wants to be a good mom, but doesn’t know how to do it. Its about someone with a¬†dirty past, who is trying to reinvent herself. Most of all, its about how f***ing hard it is live a normal life, let alone¬†re-insert¬† yourself into normal life, after you’ve been an addict,¬†been in prison and left your child.

After Rooferman successfully removed himself from our lives, I though maybe him watching Sherrybaby would make him realize that no parent is perfect, and most of time we really don’t know what we are doing. I thought he would be able to relate to Sherry’s character and identify with her struggle to be a “functioning member of society.”

There are scenes in Sherrybaby that were eerily similar to how Rooferman would react to certain situations. Sherry would get so frustrated that she would punch cabinet doors, throw dishes in the sink, in order¬†to fill the void of powerlessness. Most of her actions were functioning on a basic, instinctual, animalistic¬†level. When a man bumps into her on the street, Sherry, fresh out of prison, turns around and follows him, saying “Excuse YOU! Hey Sir, You just bumped into me! Hey! Rude Motherf***er.”

I’ve seen Rooferman utilize the same intimidation techniques when someone is “disrespecting” him or when he feels threatened. He flares his nostrils, puffs out his chest, and stares people down. Sometimes we would walk down the street and all of a sudden he would be looking over his shoulder at someone, saying “yeah, just keep walking.” I wouldn’t even have noticed that someone passed us.

Sherry does terrible, awful things in the film and you want to scream obscenities at her, call her trash and a piece of s*** mother. There are terrible, awful things that happen to her as well, things that make you want to vomit, things that make you want to say, “well, hell if I that had happened to me, I probably would have reacted the same way.”

I really don’t want to deter anyone from watching Sherrybaby because I’m comparing some of her despicable behavior to Rooferman’s.¬†Obviously my pathetic, passive-agressive movie-therapy¬†philosophy didn’t work.¬†I never got him to watch the movie. Even if I had, it probably wouldn’t have affected him the way I wanted it to. If anything, you should watch it because¬†the acting is so powerful.¬†I talked about Marissa Tomei’s performance¬†in In the Bedroom as harrowing, but really, its nothing compared to Maggie Gyllenhaal’s performance in this film.

¬†I guarantee Sherrybaby will¬†trigger¬†an intense reaction in any mother. Whether you consider her actions unforgivable, or see some glimpse of hope in her future with her daughter, as a mom, there’s no way to deny her struggle to find¬†a sense of¬†humanity.

This is the scene that struck me the hardest:

Sherry

I just wanted to ask you…if you could help me take care of my daughter.

Sherry’s brother

Of course Sherry, that’s what I’ve been doing.

Sherry

I know, but I never asked you. So…would you please help me take care of my daughter? I can’t do it on my own.

Why was this scene was so powerful¬†to me? Maybe it was watching someone have the courage to admit her inabilities and ask for help. Maybe it was the ability to put aside the pride Sherry displayed so adamantly through the movie and finally become humble. Maybe deep down, I was fantasizing Rooferman saying something similar to me; expressing gratitude for the care and effort I’ve dedicated to raising our daughter, and finally getting some sort of conformation on that. That was my emotional reaction. I’m curious to what yours would be.

If I haven’t completed turned you off yet, watch the trailer here. You can also hear an interview on NPR about the movie here.

Preparing for the worst

Update: My first post at Rocky Mountain Moms blog is up!

I made a pot of coffee in preparation for last night’s bedtime battle. I could see the animistic side of my child¬†getting ready to pounce.¬†I picked her up from her dad’s and her eyes were as wide as saucers. Rooferman put his foot in the door as soon as I knocked, and wouldn’t even let me in. He retrieved LB and handed her off to me on the porch.

I have an opportunity to work a school event this weekend and rack up a little extra cash, but I would have to give up my only full day with Boo Boo. Rooferman growled that he had to work too, so switching our days was out of the question. I wonder if his court date didn’t go so well. Looks like I will be bringing a 2-year-old to work with me on Saturday.

On the way home, LB¬†said from the backseat,¬†“Daddy too busy.”

I chugged my first cup of coffee while reading Curious George. LB proceeded to climb over the headboard of her toddler bed, slide down to the pillows and repeat the process throughout the duration of the story. I reached for my second cup.

After book 3, I said “Ok, time for nite nite.”

Lb said in a choked scream, “DON’T TURN THE LIGHTS OFF!”

I told her it was time for bed, but she didn’t have to lay down. She could play until she was tired, but mommy was leaving the room and closing the door. She protested as I walked towards the door.¬† I told her I loved her and I would see her in the morning. She screamed “NO!” I closed the door. She started crying. I ran down the stairs, buzzing on caffeine.

Since I was wired, and prepared for the worst, I figured I should busy myself with housework and NOT settle down into relaxing netflix, blogging¬†or book reading. I started the dishes. I banged pots and pans. I emptied the dishwasher and loaded it. I looked at the clock. It was 9:45 pm. LB had not emerged yet, but I knew I wasn’t out of the danger zone yet.

I then made the executive decision to bake banana bread. I don’t bake. I have failed at every high altitude baking project¬†I’ve tried. But by 10:45, LB still hadn’t made an appearance. I had two loaves of Banana bread in the oven, and I’d even showered at that point.

Curiosity got the better of me, and I¬†crept into her room. There she was, sleeping with the blanket pulled around her face, like¬†The Baby Mary. Did she really put herself to bed? I couldn’t believe it. I even stayed up till midnight (aided by the damn coffee I drank), convinced she would wake up go to the darkside.

Hippie Counselor man told me that fear is 90% imagined, based on a single grain of truth. However, once fear is allowed to grow and build on itself, it gets to the point where it consumes and overwhelms you. The more fear controls you and the more your imagination dwells on it, the more likely you are to make a bad decision (or unable to make a decision at all).

¬†For me, I am faced with a bad situation and I immediately think “This is how the rest of my life is going to be.” I don’t know if its my need to prepare for the worst, so I’m not as blindsided when bad things happen, but I’ve decided that¬†mantra is no longer working for me. I can’t live with that level of defeat, because I’m going to end up seriously depressed, and then I’m going to end up eating my weight in chocolate or snorting pills again.

Yes, this transition has been hard for me and LB, but that doesn’t mean EVERY DAY is going to be hard. Some days are going to be good. Some days she will morph into a howling banshee, and I will stare at walls. But I’m discarding Pluto’s fatalistic “this is just how it is” crap. I spent too many miserable years with Rooferman under that umbrella.

I’m too old to be angst-filled,¬†but too young to be a pessimist.

Psychological Revelations

Thank you all for your awesome words of comfort. Blogging is such a strange thing. In all physicality, you are completely isolated from the rest of the world; alone with your thoughts, staring at a computer screen. Yet, I feel such a strong sense of connectedness to humanity through these virtual writings. I’ve traveled to Africa, I’ve gone back to college, protested in California, and glimpsed into religion.

Further still,¬†I’ve recieved tangibles from bloggers through the mail. I’ve actually glimpsed fellow single mom bloggers via youtube and flickr. I’ve even broken down the barrier of anonymity and met a kick-ass¬†girl blogger¬†in real life.¬†Blogging’s shrouded Internet presence has become so much more to me, and I¬†wish I could¬†express my gratitude to those who have made it so real and meaningful.

Mr. Hippie Counselor asked me why I like to beat myself up so much. I said “I don’t¬† like it! Who likes making themselves feel miserable?” Apparently he thinks I do.

I started to think about how much I hate people who blame the world for their problems.¬†How much I don’t want to be¬†like that.¬†Obviously most of that hate comes from¬†dealing with¬†Rooferman’s dysfunctional worldlyattitude. Maybe blaming myself for everything¬†guarantees¬†that I won’t be¬†one of those despicable “Its never my fault” people. Maybe I’m so afraid of being that person, I take it to the opposite extreme. That way¬†I can separate myself from Rooferman and everything he represents.

How Pisces of me to turn myself into a martyr.

Mr. Hippie Counselor¬†asked me if I could forgive myself. Forgive myself for what? For getting involved with someone who told me it was my fault I got pregnant? For staying with that person for another year and a half? For putting my daughter in a situation where her parents were raving lunatics? Those are unforgivable offenses to me. Normal human beings don’t compromise their emotional, mental and physical safety. We are smarter than that (at least that’s what I’ve always believed).

Maybe I think too highly of humanity. Mr. Hippie said he thought I was one of those people who truly believes in the golden rule. Well duh, I’m a Pisces, we are famous for being sensitive,¬†empathetic and getting ourselves hurt because of it.

So here’s the¬†emotional homework that was given to me: Repeat and tap on the pressure points:

I forgive myself for the choices I’ve made.

I deserve to be happy and in a good relationship.

Even thought I’m still angry and afraid, I love myself deeply and completely.

Apparently I’ve acquired a therapist. Maybe our next session we can act out this scene from Good Will Hunting:

Oh, and thanks to Ms. Single Mama, I now know that I’m dealing with a “Kid Man.”

This must be the week for psychological revelations.