Strength flows from spirit full enough to nurture another, alive enough to act toward good, clear enough to understand, faithful enough to wait and see, fearless enough to reveal the truth, free enough to choose to learn, courageous enough to stand alone, connected enough to love the other.
-“Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal With People Who Try to Control You” by Patricia Evans
AKA: What I Learned in My Twenties: Don’t Trust Strangers and Try Not to Piss People Off.
“I’d rather be in a corner by myself with a puppy and a goldfish and be happy than have somebody sitting in my house and I’m wondering what the hell they’re there for.”
I’m not really a big Tyler Perry person, but this is good. It’s more of an interrelated point than what I’m talking about, but what I learned during my twenties is that most of the people in your life are temporary. Treat people as if they’ll be long term associations in terms of kindness toward them, but as for investing yourself, your secrets, and your future, make them work for it. Keep up an air of mystery and see if they project who they think you are onto you, or if they’re actually interested and/or capable of getting to know you. It sucks that my advice about people boils down to be wary, but, eh.
We’re all frightened wild beasts, you just need to find members of your own genus…or you need to find those little birds that’ll pick the crap out of your teeth…also you sometimes need to be someone’s tooth-picking bird. All this advice is pretty basic, but here we go:
These are people you have had a mutually beneficial relationship with for a long period of time, consider this the “proven success” box. You call each other on each other’s mistakes, and generally help each other progress in life. If somebody in this box needs $200 and you have it, you’re going to lend it to them, and they’re going to pay you back when they can.
PROTIP: Be careful about bouncing your romantic relationships up here. For some reason I thought it was funny to do this to myself until like, last year. I don’t know really know when it’s officially appropriate to move romantic partners in this box, but just be more cautious than I was about this, because you can get involved in some pretty complicated and long-lasting hells this way.
This is where you put most of people in your life, they’re not all you’re friends, really, but you don’t have anything against them. Think of it as being kind of like a “trust pool” rather than a box. You have the shallow end, these people aren’t really your friends so much as people you don’t have anything against…
In the shallowest part you have people that you see on a regular basis, and you’re both nice to each other, but it doesn’t really go deeper than that. Maybe you chat up the mail-man or a customer, and might even know a few things about them, but you’re not really discussing traumatic events with them or loaning each other money, either.
Then the pool gets a little deeper, there’s probably the most people toward the middle, and you know? Most people are fine chilling out here. If somebody seems happy in the middle, don’t push them elsewhere. Just let them be happy there.
Let people start out in the shallow part of the pool, don’t go throwing people in random parts of the pool because it seems like a good idea…also, try not to rush people to the deep end of the pool, make sure they can swim before you’ve got a mess on your hands.
You’re going to want to keep this box as empty as possible. Think of this box as a cross between purgatory and probation. If somebody’s in this box, either they screwed up with you in a major way, or you’re unsure about this person, or maybe it’s something like a co-worker you don’t like, but have to interact without, you know, stabbing.
Most of the time, you don’t really “want” them around, they just are.
Try not to put people here, but once they’re here, keep them in this box. I’ve bounced a few people out of this box, and it never worked out.
If you’re even thinking about this box, you’re in a situation with no potential soluation. Apologize for your part ’cause whoever the hell it is didn’t get all the way down here on their own, and go no-contact. If this fails, seek help elsewhere.
I’m trying to write a post on how mental health, substance abuse/dependence and culpability intersect with one another, which will be interesting if I ever manage to finish it or figure out what my exact opinion is on that messy combination. However, I keep getting horribly sidetracked by interrelated issues while writing, getting too personal with other people’s lives, which I feel is crappy behavior, have to re-draw the line on where my responsibility began and ended in past situations, which I did with my fourth step, but my perceptions have radically changed in the last six plus months.
One of the main problems with writing this is that one of major events in my life was a messy abusive relationship that I kept going back to. It really should have ended a lot sooner than it did, and I started out talking about my own responsibility with it, and ended up getting tied up with my ex-partner’s end of the situation. The man I was with had a number of wonderful qualities (which is another thing, is people don’t really seem to realize how ostensibly “normal/above normal” abusive people can be in certain areas/seem), but also had a number of physical and mental health issues (beyond what should be applicable to a man in his 30s), including paranoid schizophrenia.
At the time, I kept arguing with myself about how responsible he was for his actions, but it would have been better, I guess, to operate from a different viewpoint. Something more along the lines that no matter what the cause is for certain behavior, especially when it’s repeated, combined with the responsible party’s knowledge of the problem and tendency to put fuel on fire rather than attempt to mitigate it well…that’s pretty good grounds for terminating a relationship, really.
But I feel shitty talking about this, because I feel that people with schizophrenia are talked about negatively too much. I’m certainly no expert on it, but I’ve known two other people well enough to know that it was part of their life, and they were both good people, one of them was pretty instrumental to me psychologically surviving a chaotic portion of my life.
*sighs* I guess the point is that the man is an asshole with schizophrenia, not an asshole because of schizophrenia.
Should I be treating this specific disorder differently than any other medical condition? Honestly, I feel like if, for example, he had heart issues, or even depression, and actively disregarded them while doing things to worsen his health, I’d feel differently/talk about it differently. But maybe it is appropriate to treat this differently.
“Invest in the human family. Invest in people. Build a little community of those you love and who love you.”
― Mitch Albom, “Tuesdays with Morrie”
Knight was gracious enough to tag me in this, and provided some amazing questions; Here are my answers and tags for others, feel free to answer as you wish:
Here are the rules:
- Give 11 questions
- Tag as many people as you want
- Answer the 11 questions given to you
- What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been to?
2. If you could recommend one book and/or movie to the rest of humanity, what would it be?
3. Describe the strangest thing that has ever happened to you.
4. What poem or piece of writing has had the biggest impact on you?
5. Who’s your favorite artist? (Music, visual art, or writing)
6. Was there one moment that changed your life in some way? If so, what was it?
7. Share a song with us.
8. What are your spiritual beliefs?
9. What do you miss the most? (Person, place or thing)
10. What is your ultimate goal in life?
11. What skill have you yet to master?
What made you start writing ?
I’ve been writing since childhood. It helps me organize my thoughts and I enjoy it.
Your favorite writer/ poet ?
That’s a hard one. Currently, I love Thich Naht Hanh’s books on basic mindfulness practices, but in terms of a long term relationship with a writer/poet, it’s Allen Ginsberg . I used to walk around with a printed out copy of his poem “Howl” in my coat in high school.
A fear yet to conquer
I’m weirdly afraid of succeeding. I have a long history of getting within spitting distance of a goal, and then going off in a weird direction/distracting myself with something else and losing the opportunity or messing things up for myself.
Ooh, boy. I dunno. I’m pretty easy-going and calm, unless I feel like someone is violating the basic laws of being a human being. I don’t end up in these situations a lot, but I will call whoever it is on what they’re doing, and calmly destroy them in about five sentences. Yeah, it’s a cool talent and usually gets whoever it is to stop doing whatever they’re doing, but seeing me in “attack” mode freaks people out.
Also there’s no hallmark card that says something along the lines of: “Sorry for pointing out that you were doing the same thing your asshole father did to you when you were a kid when you were attacking a someone for doing something minorly wrong/being in a situation they didn’t create/etc.”
Your ultimate goal in life
A stable, quiet life.
Will you call yourself an introvert or extrovert?
I’m pretty strongly introverted, but I’m actually kind of good at jobs like cashiering and working front desk at a hotel. If you just focus on filling the other person’s needs and making sure they have a good experience, it’s not that hard.
Your Zodiac sign
Western: Sun: Pisces, Moon: Aries, Rising: Cancer.
Interesting note: I have several combinations of planets that are linked to a heavy tendency toward addiction.
I don’t know a lot about the technical aspects of vedic astrology, but I had a birth chart done by Kapiel Raj about a year ago. Vedic astrology tends to be more predictive, and deals more with long-term patterns than western astrology.
In terms of romance, I’m something called manglik, which has stigma attached to it, and basically means I have bad luck in love, and it’s likely that I’m going to marry late…or I’m going to unintentionally kill my spouse with my overtly fiery nature. It seems to depend on who’s talking.
Weirdly enough, he said there’s a chance in the next few months that I’m going to meet a tall, fair man through friends who works in law enforcement, something like a probation officer, and it would be my “ideal” match.
I don’t know how much weight I put on that, but I’m amused because my type is more along the lines of “short, dark, and has a probation officer”.
…seriously, I get this image of me walking next to some tall blonde giant and it makes me laugh…my boyfriends are generally closer to 5’7 than 6’7….
I could never go to this guy’s place of work, I’d probably know like half the dudes in the waiting room…
Also, my career aspects are weird, and it’s recommended that I work for myself, and I have several healer/shaman aspects and should consider a career in alternative medicine.
Chinese: Earth dragon, no clue what any of that means beyond what you’d read on a placemat at a Chinese restaurant.
Movie you have watched hundred times and can watch over a hundred times more and still relish it
Beetlejuice, my first favorite movie. I wore out the tape and ate the box as a small child, and still enjoy it as an adult.
If given a chance , which famous personality would you like to date ?
Out of those people who are living, not approximately 100 years old, and attracted to women (which narrows things down to a depressing degree)-we’re left with Damian Marley, who I believe is married.
He’s scarily intelligent, spiritual, and is a kinda “street”, which is what I like.
Okay, so he seems more than a little street here…
Also in real life, I have a horrible time understanding men with Jamaican accents. Women from the islands I understand, most people with accents don’t throw me, or at least for long, but I’m pretty sure every man from Jamaica that’s dealt with me thinks I’m a little deaf and a little slow.
Your Favorite writing genre
Spirituality/Recovery from addiction/Self-help
The decision you regret the most
Hm, it’s hard to pick, but there’s a guy (actually there’s a couple like this, but this guy is in his own league) who’s been in and out of my life for years, but we’ve basically been in each other’s social orbits for about fifteen years now (which is approximately half my life, thank you very much). Every time he reappears, my life turns into complete chaos and I’m totally thrown completely off balance in 2 weeks to month. He’s basically a human poltergeist.
It sounds like I should have figured this out sooner, he displays a lot of normal “toxic” traits, but literally some of the stuff that happens in my life when I’m around him are a) totally unrelated to him, b) really weird and just kind of inexplicable.
If I could have never met him or decided to befriend him, or the in the very least decided to stop giving him the benefit of the doubt so much, that would have helped me out.
Like, have you seen the Dark Knight? The last time we saw each other was (hopefully) as close to this moment as I’m going to get in my own life…and it was substantially less dramatic…also, this better be the one time in my life I compare myself to Batman.
Ahaha…I don’t feel like the Harley Quinn to his Joker, I feel like the Batman…
Whenever we hang out, it’s like 2-6 hours of mental chess that always ends with:
Him: ….crazy whore….
Me: …white trash thief….
Is there such a thing as a “dark” soulmate? Like someone that’s going to eternally mess with you without even trying half the time? We run into each other sometimes randomly at gas stations, through friends we didn’t know were mutual, etc.
I actually asked him out approximately three months ago based less on my attraction to him and based more on how astronomically weird I find this situation, we have a really weird synergy and I thought that maybe like having a more traditional relationship with him would change the mind-bending elements of this relationship, or at the very least extinguish some lingering questions. Now he’s my second biggest reason for moving a minimum of 2-3 hours away…