Confrontation

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Anyone who has read my work for more than a month or two can likely tell you basic things about my character. My friends can tell you precisely who I am and what I stand for.

My own brother has described me as, “The last person I ever want to disappoint because you’re scarier than Mom and Dad combined. I’m more scared of your reaction than I am anyone else’s.” I was surprised to learn this, but it explains his behavioral patterns around me because he knows I see through all the bullshit.

Whenever someone describes me, these are the key words used: Honest. Loyal. She says precisely what she means; there’s zero sugarcoating involved. She’s not exceptionally forgiving, and that’s because she knows the difference between a mistake and patterns.

One of my own physicians said he knows I don’t hold back and he respects that because he sees other people do it and wonders what they aren’t saying, but never wonders with me because I’m not afraid to be forthcoming and extremely honest about everything. When I hear myself described like that, I know I am a solid person, regardless of what the occasional idiot may think or be stupid enough to say.

In life, forgiveness is something people have to earn. Once you break my trust, will I forgive you? Or will I listen, merely because I prefer closure? I suppose it depends on the person, but I am now faced with this in my real life.

Early this morning, something popped up in my Facebook memories that pissed me off. I was so angry for a moment, I saw red. Red is a warning sign. It’s like blood spatter to Dexter Morgan. Anger fuels me to be a better person, but that moment where I see red? That’s dangerous.

A former friend who made plans with me and then texted, weeks prior to arrival, to say her boyfriend had scheduled a private tour of the zoo the day we intended to meet up decided to pop back up with apologies. In truth and fairness, I baited her because I was enraged by what I saw.

When she had originally asked if I could make time during the month of May to meet up because she couldn’t wait to see me and missed me, I set an entire day aside, and not for nothing, it was the anniversary of my mother’s death which is SO hard for me. Lesson learned; I will never do that again, especially not for someone who flakes on me.

Quite frankly, I am astounded that anyone over the age of twelve, or someone studying certain forms of biology and/or science, would desire a tour of a zoo. 🙄 It breaks my heart to see animals in captivity. The only thing I do appreciate is the preservation of big cats. Leopards, certain types of tigers, cheetahs, and some of the smaller exotic cats are becoming extinct. This is not news, though. I don’t want to live in a world where these amazing creatures do not exist. I appreciate the wild preservation of their habitats in South Africa immensely, especially all the work being done in Namibia. However, that’s not what angered me.

It was not a change of plans, as she seems to believe, but the disrespect of my time and not immediately standing up to said boyfriend and letting him know that she already had plans that day. You can’t text me and say, “Just FYI, he scheduled a tour of the zoo that day. He’s trying to change it, but…” But nothing. I replied by saying, “I don’t even know how to answer that, so I won’t.” That moment, right there, is when you reschedule or call me about alternatives. You address it in the moment. Especially since she’s here at least 2-4 times a year to visit him.

The post in my “memories” credited me for the friend I am to her, and after deleting my initial response from two years ago where I stated that I’d always have her back, I let it be known that real friends learn how to apologize so they don’t lose their ride or die support system. She immediately replied with an apology and wanted to get into it. 😒 It’s pretty sad when someone waits and waits before they finally get called out. My anger was my error at seeing this proclamation which feels faker than a three dollar bill, and feeling as though a nearly eight year friendship was a total lie.

When a person says they were ashamed and too shy to contact you because they figured you needed time to forgive them, I find that a mixture of pathetic and laughable. I’m not a rabid beast; you just have to communicate properly. All she had to do was reschedule and be respectful of my friendship and time. That’s how adults resolve things. I would also love to know why she thinks I’m going to forgive her, because if you know me, you know forgiveness isn’t a likely scenario. I’ve got boundaries and self-respect.

Also, and this is important: I don’t permit men to tell me who I can and cannot be friends with. Nor do I allow men to make decisions for me OR disrespect my friends and family. I’d sooner stick a fork in his thigh. I’m not someone’s mouthpiece or tool, and I do not suffer fools. I’m not some delicate little flower. I am a lotus.

If you’re in a controlling relationship, naturally that person doesn’t want you to be around friends who are loyal, honest, smart, make you laugh, and who, up until this occurred, I would have cheerfully shot in the leg and buried alive. I will never, EVER support a friend who chooses to remain in an abusive relationship simply because they see the abuse as a form of love. I assure you, I’ve lived it and witnessed it, and it’s NOT on the same plane of existence as love. Perhaps some beggars refuse to make the choice for themselves because they’re not strong enough.

An abusers’ ultimate goal is to isolate you from your friends and family almost entirely. The sad part is that so many people let the abuser win. If you confront that friend, suddenly you’re labeled as “jealous”. 🙄😂 No sweet pea, I feel sorry for you. No one sane wants to be in an abusive relationship, and I will absolutely give you credit if you have gotten out of one. By “you”, I mean whoever is reading this and nodding their head in agreement because they understand what I’m saying. They understand because they’ve escaped the madness and uncertainty of being in a relationship with a gaslighting, narcissistic, abusive, disrespectful jack ass.

Instead of letting this discussion become Facebook fodder, I replied by saying we should discuss it privately. I don’t do drama on my page at all. Also, I need time before I say anything, but I’m willing to hear the nonsense out. Perhaps I’ve already made my decision and DO want closure. I’m not entirely sure. In truth, I am still so angry that anyone thinks this is acceptable treatment of a friend who has been the highest quality friend one could have or hope for.

An old friend once said, “Lisa isn’t to be trifled with.”, and I think that sums things up nicely. People assume I’m nice, sweet, caring, kind, and a host of other things that nauseate me. Clearly, I have my moments and some good qualities or no one would ever be able to call me a friend, but the second you cross over the line, you’re going to meet the other side of me. The one I often refer to as “The Dragon Slayer”. When you meet that other person who is professionally icy, you might not know what to make out of her. That’s okay. She’s already seen you coming from a hundred miles away and she’s not in the mood to psychologically break you into bits, but she will, if necessary. Many women are as multifaceted as what I’ve just described. We can be your best friend, your biggest supporter, or we can be an enemy. The grey area is ambivalence. It always is.

When you call me your “sister”, that’s a fucking privilege. It’s not some cute word to throw around. Fact: I will always be someone’s sister. I was born a sister. I am a sister to my brother, and to several of my cousins. My best friend and I have basically grown up together, and she is 7000+ miles away. She is 100% my sister. 100% family. She wouldn’t dream of disrespecting our friendship in any way. She would never fly into town and NOT see me. She would never disrespect our friendship, our time, or our bond. I would never disrespect her, either. Alas, I now realize how one-sided this other “friendship” actually was.

I was the support system. The therapist. The one with a fully functioning brain. The one with the grace and maturity I’ve possessed for the majority of my life without truly seeing it until someone pointed it out to me recently. I got nothing out of this relationship, except the feeling that I was always on call, like a doctor. When communication stopped, I felt free. I felt like I hadn’t been able to breathe properly, and suddenly this drain on my life force was no longer present. I was relieved. I was done.

I don’t know if there’s anything salvageable here. The pretty words of apology and love are just that; they’re pretty fucking words that mean nothing to me. They are not the actions of someone who is truly sorry and apologized on their own. I forced it by calling her out, and she would have waited for me to make a move until she died if I hadn’t had that flare of anger. I can legitimately say nothing for the remainder of my life and be good with that. If you’re trying to play the silent treatment game with me, you will lose. It’s NOT a fucking game, it is real life. Friends are not expendable beings.

My closest friends often say, “You’re honest and direct, but you’re also supremely fair. So if someone has pissed you off or hurt you, they deserve whatever you dish out because they didn’t have any respect for you.” That acknowledgement and validation is like music to my ears because it’s pure and true.

I don’t do disrespect in my relationships. I don’t make plans and leave people hanging without a word. I will never intentionally flake out on you. I’m not rude and disrespectful. I will be on my best behavior when you drag the uninvited boyfriend along without telling me in advance. Basically that means I won’t poison his food or accidentally, on purpose, stab him in the neck when he says something disrespectful to you that makes me want to slap him while you sit there and take it. Ultimately, I’m YOUR friend, NOT his, and I reserve the right to judge him. 😉 #BarelyKidding

The one time I had a huge disagreement with a friend, I apologized because I was wrong, but the friendship was very much like this one. I realize that now. I overvalued it because to me, friendship is a commodity I don’t play games with. But there I was; the rock she was desperately holding on to, until a bigger rock came along and I was tossed aside like garbage.

I don’t like leeches and I really don’t like psychic vampires. They are referred to as such because they drain you. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. To the point where you eventually avoid them or cut them loose. Dealing with them causes disabling fatigue. Unfortunately, you can’t increase your iron intake and be good to go. The only way to stop the drain is to deny them access to you.

I have never seen any relationship successfully recover fully from disrespect and a breach of boundaries and trust. I’ve tried with one person in particular. Repeatedly. I inevitably decided five years ago that enough was enough and that if they came back tomorrow, I’d listen, but the friendship would still be over. Essentially, I feel the same about this situation. There’s no emotion involved at all, except the previously aforementioned ambivalence, and that’s no way to rebuild something, or start from scratch with. You can’t slap me and tell me you love me. It doesn’t work that way. It never has.

I’m in control of how accessible I am, so she will be sweating it out for as long as it takes me to be patient enough to listen without rolling my eyes. I make no promises, though.

I am not afraid of confrontation. Not even a little bit. I know who I am. I know where I’m coming from, and I know where I’m going. I can’t save every broken birds’ wings. That is not my job, nor is it a role I want to take on. I wear many hats, but it’s time to send the wrong people packing. They were never meant to be a part of my long-term tribe, and that’s okay. I’ve grown and changed, and the last thing I want to do is take on any type of false superhero aspect. In life, your ultimate, true savior is YOU. Grab a sword and take a stab at it. Please don’t wait for someone to rescue you on a white horse. This only exists in fairytales. Perhaps before you buy into such bullshit, you should read about faeries and learn something.

© 2020 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

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By the way, Peace Talks by Jim Butcher is now available for pre-order. FINALLY! Release day is July 14th. There, I promoted something for another writer. Jim’s a badass wordsmith who shares the same birthday as I do. Give him a shot, and start with Storm Front. You won’t be sorry. #DarkUrbanFantasy

Dark Days In America: Part II

This contains mature/graphic content.

If you have ever been sexually assaulted or raped, I want you to know #IStandWithYou. The most appalling thing I have experienced during this horrific time is a woman saying to me, “It’s not like he raped her.” It took every last ounce of strength and determination in me not to break her jaw for that. Women who don’t stand with other women, who immediately take the side of a man simply because “he’s a man”, are women I don’t want anywhere near me.

For the record, men have come forward with their own stories and I believe them, because it takes a great amount of strength to stand up and speak the truth.

I’ve been trained, since birth, to speak up, speak out, do not be afraid, and to KNOW there is strength in what I have to say. As long as I know the truth in my heart, I do NOT care if I am believed by assholes who are quick to judge.

I’ve had friends come to me in light of the #MeToo movement with stories that broke my heart and took extraordinary amounts of strength to write, leave alone say to someone else. I have had friends who were raped who were verbally abused by cops when they demanded to report it as the crime that it is. I’ve had friends who were sexually molested and tortured as children, and no one believed them, not even their families. I stand with them and I will keep doing so.

#BelieveSurvivors

Brave Enough To Be Angry

This is incredibly well-written. It also triggered some memories for me that I knew might surface eventually. With many of my close friends coming to me with their stories, which range from offensive to disturbing and terrifying, I find myself a lot quieter.

The other day I was viciously attacked by two women, absolute strangers, for having a definitive opinion about someone/something. These people do not know me, they don’t know where I come from or what I have been through, but like so much on social media; people love to attack from behind a device. They feel safe in saying ugly things because you don’t live next door to them, or across the street. I find that cowardly. I actually expect that from most men (Not all, just most. There was a HUGE argument the other night when some douche bag attacked my cousin on social media. Instead of keeping the horrors of what occurred in Texas to a civilized discussion, and just discussing the facts, which is exactly what was happening until this guy took a cheap shot, an ugly low blow, and then deleted it, like a punk. I wanted to punch him in the face. You can say a lot of things to or about me, but you’ll never say I’m disloyal or that I don’t have your back. In fact, my cousin immediately texted me to say “Thank you for having my back in that discussion.”), but women should know better. I wish we, as women, judged less and respected more. However, we don’t. We collectively preach certain things, but so many do not practice what they preach. I’m not perfect. I can judge without realizing I’m doing it. I’ve often looked at it as intuition, as opposed to making a judgment call, especially when I end up being right.

Yes, women are a force. I wish all of us stood for the same things and truly understood the bonds of sisterhood.

 

An Open Letter To The “Person” Who Hurt My Brother

An Open Letter To The “Person” Who Hurt My Brother

Let’s pretend, for a second, that I don’t know who you are. I’d simply hunt you down slowly and throw you to a pack of wolves. I wouldn’t shed a tear. My tolerance level for such behavior is nil.

However, I know precisely who you are, which makes this ten times worse than if you’d been a mere stranger. This information is dangerous because, in doing what you did, you pissed off the wrong person. Moreover, you left evidence of your “attack”. It wasn’t an attack in the physical sense; or you’d be dead. No, your attack was low, cheap, deplorable, offensive, and you’re incredibly lucky I haven’t ripped you to shreds and fed you to wild pigs. You fed someone lies in an effort to hurt them. It was not “tough love”; it was pure, unadulterated viciousness and hatred. I know you think you’ve gotten away with it, but you haven’t. Knowledge is power. Nothing will ever protect you in this life again. I work best when I’m angry.

My brother is 100% my blood. He is one of few people in this life that I would kill for. The remainder of the list is shorter than an ant hill in winter, and getting shorter each day. I think some people mistake passion and/or rage for love. They’d be wrong. If I don’t love you, you do not benefit from my loyalty and fierceness.

Like most girls, I didn’t want a baby brother. I genuinely wanted a sister, but G-d gives you what He gives you. You learn to deal with such things as you grow up. I’ve been there for my brother since before he came into this world. I was there when we brought him home from the hospital. I vividly remember the first time I saw him. He was quiet; looking directly at me as if he knew who I was; with wide, searching eyes. From day one, I was his protector. He would cry hysterically if I was out of his sight for a minute, and he always wanted to follow me everywhere. He was obsessed with his older sister. Thankfully, he outgrew that, but still, a person remembers.

No matter how mad I get at him, a siblings’ prerogative, I will always have his back. Not to stab him in it, but to shield him from as much as humanly possible. Not because he needs the protection, but because it’s what a good sibling does. Take notes.

Just because you lack quality communication skills does not give you the right to take shit out on my brother. If you want to be ugly, take it out on someone else. Go see a fucking therapist or a psychiatrist for much-needed medication, but don’t attack a person for existing and being human. Don’t swipe claws at someone unless you’re prepared to be attacked in kind by someone far more lethal. Sadly, my brother is too good a person to confront you. He’d rather pray for you and hope that you develop a heart. I have no such issues.

There are maybe a handful of people I will go to bat for in life, and my brother is one of them. You hurt him and even if it takes me five years or ten, I will figure out precisely what it is that will bother you the most. Hell hath NO FURY like me when angered to this level. I wasn’t raised to eat bullshit politely with a knife and fork, and I will not allow him to believe lies about himself, or lies fed to him about me. Something you do not seem to understand is that he knows me and I know him. You can’t feed people lies about each other when they know the absolute truth.

One aspect of being bonded, close siblings is that my brother talks to me. If someone says something to him he will say “Hey, let me tell you about this and get your take on it.” But this time, the issue at hand was taken way too far. He doesn’t deserve to be hurt like this, and to feel such hatred from someone he’s never harmed. If you want to pick on someone, pick on someone your own size. In fact, attack the person staring back at you in the mirror, because after all, that’s who you’re really mad at, not him.

If you love someone, love them wholeheartedly. Love them unconditionally. Love them while you’re still alive. “Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes.” You can bandage certain wounds, but not caring and letting a person know how much you don’t care? Not everyone recovers from that. You cannot fix wounds that deep. Unlike him, I won’t pray for you. I’m not that kind.

I cannot unlearn what I’ve learned. It is one of the most astounding things, and yet, I’m not surprised. The fact that I have managed to restrain myself this long speaks VOLUMES for how well I have learned to manage my temper. Ten years ago, you would still be explaining to people why you got beaten with your own arm; after I ripped it out of its socket and broke your face with it. Some people talk tough, but I have the capacity to do what I say I will do. My temper is infamous. People do not expect it. They see a petite (read: short) woman. They smile, I smile, but they have no idea what lurks beneath the pretty exterior if you piss me off or hurt someone I love. I am a protector, but I won’t be fooled.

Not to get it confused or twisted; I yell at my brother a lot. We get into very heated arguments because he pushes my buttons and keeps pushing until I lose my temper. However, when I tell him the truth about something, it isn’t to be mean and hurtful, it’s because I’m that direct. He doesn’t take it personally because honesty from me is acceptable, but someone else being cruel to him for the sheer satisfaction of being cruel? NO. That’s unacceptable, and he knows I will inevitably say or do something to put a stop to it. I didn’t major in drama because I lack the ability to be fake. But some people behave like insane sociopaths, and it makes me question their many faces.

I refuse to make excuses for your behavior from here on out. I refuse to say kind things or to temper things gently. From here on in, I am going to be the biggest, most vicious pain in your ass. I’d start investing in hemorrhoid cream now.

If you cannot be a solid person, at least have the decency to tell someone honestly, instead of hanging up on their phone calls and ignoring them for months at a time. If you pulled that crap with me, you’d come to find that he’s the nice sibling. Me? I enjoy being bad cop, even though I’d be an amazing one.

Knock off the drama or deal with me. The choice, ultimately, is yours. Do what you can live with. You’re closer to leaving this world than I am.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Flaring

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Today’s flare-up is brought to me by my brother. I am thisclose (not a typo, it’s intentional) to cutting him out of my life completely. He is so fucking selfish sometimes and refuses to understand that getting quality rest determines my days and nights, and pain levels. When I tell someone at 6:00 PM or so that I have to be in bed before early, that means you cannot text me incessantly and call demanding “just five minutes” because you want something I already told you was not going to happen.

If you cannot respect me enough to give me space to rest and decompress, then you cannot be a part of my life.

The pain is so bad that I am rescheduling my appointment for this afternoon because I am concerned for myself pain-wise; imagining that between the pain and the cold, I won’t make it there and back safely. Tomorrow is another day. 😦 I, however, don’t have to be happy about it.

 

Sisterhood Unraveled

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The majority of my closest friends have been in my life for longer than most marriages last. We’re talking twenty years, on average, for each of my best friends. One, now officially former, best friend has spent the past six and a half years ignoring me. There was no disagreement between us, we’ve never had a legitimate fight. Absolutely nothing occurred to warrant her going radio silent. This, however, is her behavior whenever a new man enters her life. It’s utterly baffling, and such an immense turn-off that she truly believes she can come and go in the friendship as she pleases. I’m a person; not a revolving door at a hotel or airport! It’s unacceptable behavior. So, I’m going to write my feelings out of my system today. I’ve never blatantly outed a friend in such a manner, but it’s time to light a Yarhzeit candle to the friendship. For now it is time to remember, and move on.

Here’s a fact about me: When I’m done, I’m truly DONE. I find it sad that after all this time, she doesn’t know me well enough to know that I will cut her out of my life permanently. She doesn’t seem to realize that I will exterminate her like a fucking termite. She’s gotten far too comfortable in the friendship, and has forgotten what loyalty and true friendship are, and for that, there’s simply no forgiveness left in me. From here on out, I will refer to this person as Two-Face.

Two-Face and I became instant best friends from almost the first encounter. We said the same things, thought a lot of the same things, had a similar sense of humor, liked nearly all of the same things, and she stood up to people who challenged my role in her life many times. We were thick as thieves; always laughing hysterically for hours on end. She called me her sister, often saying I was closer to her in life than her own sister could ever be. It certainly seemed that way, because her sister isn’t anywhere near as good to her as I was from day one, but apparently she forgives her sister damn near anything and has an extremely short fucking memory. I’m more like an elephant. I might forget that I left tea in the kitchen for two hours, allowing it to brew too long and go bitter, but I do not forget the long-term. In fact, it’s all so sharp and clear, it’s eerie.

For me, referring to any friend as family is the highest compliment I can pay someone because I don’t consider my own relatives “true family” most of the time, except for those who actually stand by me, as opposed to doing so merely when it is convenient for them. I have family that will call me family when they please, as opposed to daily. That doesn’t fly with me, which is precisely why none of those people are my true family. I share bloodlines with them, but beyond that? Nothing. I would not give them a bodily organ if they needed it and I was the only match on the planet; I’d give it to the stranger whose family needed them instead. Through time, they’ve shown me how little they value me, so why should I hold them in high regard?

It’s important to be careful how you treat your friends. Friendship is a delicate thing. It can wax and wane like the moon, but it can also grow stronger daily. My best friends, those who’ve never left, seem to know me better than she does. I often thought she & I were closer, not just logistically speaking, but because we shared such a daily chunk of each other’s lives that the others often miss out on. I was wrong.

I have never dropped a friend for a man, or for another relationship. Not ever. I might be happier, perhaps a lot more playful and silly, but my friends play a significant role in my life. I do not exclude them simply because I am in a relationship. I don’t ditch them for months or years at a time, as if they are toys to be placed in a drawer and taken out when I choose. I find that disrespectful, and incredibly unhealthy. I am at my healthiest when I have my girls to turn to no matter what, because I’m genuinely a Girl’s Girl to the core. Women supporting other women, in good and bad times, is a remarkable thing. It is something I respect wholeheartedly. Don’t get me wrong; I will tell someone they’re wrong when they’re wrong, regardless of gender. I have absolutely no qualms about letting people know I have boundaries and human emotions, but I’d never intentionally hurt a friend. If you do something once and you ask for forgiveness; it’s a mistake. We all make mistakes, no one is perfect. If you repeatedly do something ugly; it’s a pattern and a choice. I do not have to accept choices that are continuously hurtful. I have enough issues; I don’t need my friends to emotionally cut me to pieces, nor will I allow it.

Two-Faced, now on marriage number three (Which, at the point, means you shouldn’t even bother. Unless you have children together, are planning on having children, or it’s for insurance purposes, that piece of paper is clearly ridiculous. That’s my OPINION, but I also know her so well that I know the second the relationship crumbles, she will be back at my feet, begging for forgiveness. Her absence will be blamed on HIM, not on HER.), was married when we first became friends. Her husband was utterly lovely…and she treated him like shit. My first impression was that it showed strength (No, I don’t think it’s okay to treat your partner like shit. I did not see it for what it was initially.), but over time I realized they never should have gotten married, that they only did so out of family pressure. They didn’t want the same things. They grew apart. When she called to tell me they were divorcing, I was heartbroken for her, and very protective. They stayed together for a period of time to get their finances in order, and parted ways amicably. They didn’t have any children, so it was a clean break. It was harder for their families than it was for them, because her family loved him and his family loved her. I’ll give her one thing; she’s great at fooling people.

She moved to another city and immediately started dating. He was re-married to someone else quickly after they were divorced, and was expecting his first child. She’d disappear for short periods of time between boyfriends. It was utterly obnoxious, and I’d never seen this side of her before. I started filtering myself in regard to my own relationships because I was somehow able to manage more than one person in my life at a time, never making excuses. I could keep my friends, be a part of my family, AND keep a guy in my life, without issue. Why was this such a problem for her?! In fairness, I’d soon discover it was a problem for a lot of women, and to this day, I will NEVER be able to wrap my mind around that. Relationships come and go, they’re not etched in stone, but friends should be forever. Where are you in life without at least one true friend?

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She came to visit me at one point and was an absolute bitch for roughly 85% of the visit. Perhaps I should be ranking that at a higher percentage. I had the hardest time not knocking her teeth out, because I’d be appalled if I ever behaved that way toward a friend, especially in their home, and worse, several times in front of their family. Nothing was good enough for her, but in actuality I know that she was acting out, which is sad because by doing so, she ruined much of the time we spent together. When a major snowstorm hit the day before she was supposed to leave, resulting in approximately a foot and a half of snow, you would have thought I’d caused it by her behavior and attitude towards me. I had paid for her plane ticket and treated her like family; and in turn, soon after the visit, she didn’t speak to me for almost a year. I was utterly THRILLED when I dropped her off at the airport. Her behavior was SO awful that I honestly didn’t care if I ever saw her again. After 9/11, she e-mailed me to make sure that my family & I were safe. Our friendship resumed at that point, she seemed genuinely remorseful. “It’ll never happen again, Lisa. I honestly don’t know how I survive without you.” Whatever.

Maybe six months after flying out to visit her, she stopped speaking to me once again. I called her at work one day, after she’d been ignoring me for weeks, because my mother was in the hospital and I didn’t think she was going to live. I was devastated and needed my best friend to talk to me down off a ledge. She actually got on the phone and told me “I have problems of my own, I don’t have time for yours!” and hung up on me. In hindsight, I NEVER should have allowed her back into my life after that move. I should have ripped her to shreds, but I didn’t. My mistake, because that won’t ever happen again.

Maybe the following year I got a letter explaining that she’d hit a rough patch soon after I left, and decided to move back home to be closer to her family, and again, the friendship resumed with her, once again, pleading for forgiveness. “It’ll never happen again, Lisa. I swear.”

But it did.She never truly apologized for anything, not once. 

She met husband number two, who was moved in very quickly (She should get U-Haul discounts on how quickly she moves men into and out of her life. I’ve never seen anything like it. Why can’t you just date like a normal person?!), and this guy hated me. He didn’t want her talking to me, and he didn’t want me visiting. She claims he made her choose between us, and we’d lose three years of friendship to a marriage where I am almost certain of his verbal abuse, but even more certain that the abused became the abuser. I feel she’s always had that in her; and I am sure that is why her first husband moved on so quickly to someone who was so drastically different in every way. Poor guy dodged one hell of a bullet! 😦

Her relationships are what they are. It’s her searching for love in all of the wrong places, because, despite being eternally selfish to her core, she does not have the capacity to truly love anyone, not even herself. She puts on a good show though, an Academy Award worthy performance, but it’s all incredibly fake. She is, in essence, the Phantom of The Opera in his mask. So filled with self-doubt and internal torment, the mask is a shield to keep people at bay, to hold everyone at arm’s length, until it suits her to get closer. She’d openly deny this, because she is so blinded, she cannot clearly see herself. I find it sad.

At her best, she believes she’s a decent person and wants to be better and grow, but she always gets in her own way. I’ve been friends with her long enough to see the good, the bad, and the ugly, so I am certain her relationship with me was borne out of needing someone stronger in her life to be friends with, because she has no other true friends who’ve seen it all with her. She has people she works with who only ever see the mask, but I’ve seen the pain. I’ve seen the roots, and I understand them, but I do not accept the fact that while she believes she’s “grown”, she’s truly still at square one. Other people who’ve gotten close have crossed boundaries and felt her wrath. There’s a reason I’m referring to her as Two-Face. It disturbs me that she can have two completely different sides to her and not own it. I know I have both darkness and light within me, and I am very open about that, but I am NOT two-faced. I am the same person at all times. I will always apologize if I’m brusque or bitchy without cause. Always. Sometimes I don’t hear how I sounded until 1-3 days later, but I’d rather apologize and own it than pretend to be something, or someone, I’m not. She thinks she’s the same way, but she most definitely is not.

Several years ago, I wrote her a letter and let her know precisely how I felt about the friendship and what she’d done/was doing to it. It took me almost a year to write it without being vicious, so even now, I’m trying to not be batshit crazy over how I’ve been treated. I laid it all out for her, and told her that this was unacceptable behavior, and that I knew for a fact she’d never allow me to treat her this way, so why was it acceptable for her to treat me so horribly? I even said we’ve never fought or argued, and that neither of us had done anything unforgivable (up to that point). I said it was all about communicating openly and honestly with each other, which we’d always done. I told her if she wanted out of the friendship, she need only say so.

However, here I sit six and a half years later and I find, I’m the one who wants out. I’m DONE. I was never anything but an amazing friend to her; loyal, devoted, present, caring, and generous. I loaned her money when she went through a couple of horrible years and had trouble making ends meet. I wanted to help her and keep her safe during that time because her family was refusing to do so (most especially, her sister, who is apparently a saint now.). I didn’t expect to be paid back, but when I think about the fact that it’s somewhere between $10,000-$15,000 owed, I do find myself wanting that money back. She always promised it would be paid back because it was a LOAN and not a gift. There’s a difference in the phrasing. I would already have sued her for it, if the state she resides in allowed people to be sued for small claims. It doesn’t, and I think we can all safely agree that the number is definitely NOT a “small claim”. I would even accept installment payments at this point. Unlike running out on a credit card; I am a human-being and I deserve to be paid back. I don’t care how you treat a billion dollar business, but I DO care how you treat me, the loyal friend who has stood by you when others, including your own family, have walked away or stepped back.

We were sisters, and I was always there for her no matter what. She didn’t just unravel the sisterhood, she broke it. She continued to hammer away at it until I said “Enough!” When I wrote that letter, I let her know it wasn’t an ultimatum, but that I wasn’t going to hold on to how I felt and allow it to continue to hurt me. She e-mailed me a month later and said she’d read the letter multiple times and would e-mail me in a few weeks after she thought things over. I never heard from her again. Knowing her; she lost the letter in her many moves since receiving it, and didn’t have the guts to get back in contact with me and face the issue. She can’t say she doesn’t have my e-mail address because I’ve had the same primary e-mail address for over ten years. Her cowardly behavior is another strike against her. You don’t let things slide and not apologize. It once took me eight years to apologize to a friend for potentially hurting her, but I apologized, and the apology was accepted. The friendship did not resume because, much like Two-Face, this person could not maintain a marriage, a family life, and a best friend. Apparently it requires a really high I.Q., multiple doctorates, and/or maybe some special gift I’m unaware of. I do NOT understand it, and I’m done trying to.

I hold many titles with ease, and Grace. Daughter, Granddaughter, Niece, Sister, Best Friend, Friend, Cousin, Writer, Editor. I hope to add other titles to that list, and I’m certain I left a few out because I’m focused on what I have to say, but my point is, I do maintain each title. I am still my parent’s only daughter and my Grandparent’s only Granddaughter, even in their physical absences. Two of my Grandparents have a second Granddaughter, and for that I apologize to them because she’s an embarrassment on every level as a human-being. I am my Aunt’s only niece and my brother’s only sister. I’m a best friend and friend AT ALL TIMES, not when it is convenient to be so. I try to be there for my cousins because I choose to have relationships with them, even when they’re not ideal relationships, even when the other person is difficult and makes me sorry I bother. I make an EFFORT. I’m imperfect, and in that imperfection, I am unique and solid.

When I think about Two-Face I am reminded of good times, of laughter, of travels, of so many hilarious moments and shared thoughts and secrets. I will take her secrets to the grave, but I will not allow her to harm me any further. She is the only person who, in the role of a friend, managed to turn something unbreakable into something broken. Her deep desire for self-destruction isn’t going to take me down with her. She is sitting somewhere now, possibly believing that she ended the friendship on her terms or that the revolving door with remain revolving, perhaps not even giving it a second thought. Ultimately, I am the one cutting her off and out. Permanently. I am not going to be vicious or vengeful. I am not going to allow myself to feel the hurt, anger, or utter betrayal a second longer than I already have. This, however, will take time; for I’m so angry as I write this, I’m shaking.

I am not going to cut myself off from who I am as a person, and what I have to offer others. I am going to continue being myself. I will continue to be intuitive and mindful of new people. I won’t allow anyone in my life when there are red flags of warning. I’m not going to stop being a loyal, damn fine friend to people. I am not going to allow this to turn me into a bitch, or allow myself to think that I deserve to be treated like that. I know better.

Friendships aren’t gifted to us so that we may irrevocably damage and break them. They are gifted to us in order to support us through thick and thin, and they are indeed a gift because true friendship is so unbelievably rare. I realize I am a rarity in how I handle my relationships with others. No matter how bad my life may be, and believe me when I say that it isn’t easy, I’d prefer to continue being the kind of friend I’ve always been to people.

She may have hurt me, but she did not break me. She did not win a damn fucking thing. When all is said and done, she will be as alone as she was when she came into my life; a broken child in need of a place where she belonged. I gave her that, and I never judged. I’m still not judging, but I am saying “No more.” I’m placing a wall made of concrete and steel between her and I from here on in. She can get through electronically, providing I deign to open an e-mail from her, but she cannot reach my heart or soul ever again.

There’s only so much damage I’ll allow. Breaking the bonds of sisterhood is on the list of “ultimate betrayals” for any female friend. She was given the choice to repair the damage, and instead, she chose something else instead of realizing she could have both. She chose selfishness. I am not selfish. In fact, on many levels we are polar opposites. Perhaps that is why our friendship was so incredibly close and was then twisted into something ugly by her. She doesn’t know that there’s no going back, that my ability to accept is gone. I feel sorry for her. She always comes back, but this time, she has no idea who the other person is that she’ll be faced with. I’ve changed for the better. Once I cut you off, there’s nothing you can say or do to get back in. Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice and you’d better find another planet to reside on.

Interestingly enough, the last time I was this done with a person; it was a man. He’s in town this weekend and all I can think is “Motherfucker, don’t you DARE darken my door.” That I’d put them both into the same category today is interesting, because that’s how she & I became friends.

Never Again. Done means done. Friendship is an ultimate strength, NOT a weakness. Other people have stepped up in your absence and replaced you; something I once thought would be unheard of. Stick that in your bitch pipe and smoke it.

May life provide you with precisely what and who you deserve. I am off to light a candle and say my goodbyes. If you get in touch, expect a fucking bill.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

burnyourbirdges

One Day Too Many

If you’ve never had a loved one go missing; you’re damn lucky. If you’ve never lost anyone close to you, especially a family member, you are luckier still.

I have spent most of my life watching family members leave this plane of existence for another. I’ve written too many eulogies and speeches not to feel the heavy emotion of deep loss. However, my brother’s mysterious, sudden disappearance is scarier than all of those losses combined. Mostly because, no one seems to have any answers, and the ones they do have are either asinine or terrifying.

People do not just disappear into thin air. Especially not people who are roughly six feet tall and armed. My brother has had to defend his life once before; and he sent the other person to the hospital after warning them NOT to come closer. If you’ve warned a person multiple times that you’re armed and they expect you to just stay put and take a beating, then they simply do not know that my brother & I weren’t raised to behave that way (No, he did NOT shoot anyone. I only wish he had.). If you come at me, I’ll come back harder. My brother is a gentle soul, but if you push him, you will likely get a beating. I keep telling him he’s too Zen for me, that I like my anger, and he keeps telling me to forgive people and pray for them. See what I mean?

It has been over a week of me not knowing where my brother is. The police in Pennsylvania threatened me with imprisonment and a fine if I am “filing a false missing persons report”. For one, I’d never do something like that and two, I expect to be taken seriously by anyone wearing a fucking badge when I call them with a legitimate issue. You can’t keep telling me “We don’t know your brother.”, because that’s got nothing to do with this particular situation. There’s a reason you don’t “know him”; he’s a good kid. He’s not out robbing banks and knocking over liquor stores. He’s only a pain in the ass if you’re his sister. He keeps to himself, minds his own business, but is cautious and aware of things most people are not.

My brother is smart, and by smart I mean MIT/Harvard kind of smart. His intelligence is mind-blowing to people because they’re expecting him to be silent muscle, or they’re simply not expecting his level of intelligence to go beyond one realm. He’s always been this knowledgeable little sponge. Sometimes I’m blown away by his ability to take things apart, put them back together (“No, I’ve never done this before.”), or explain something with such precision that it makes my head hurt. He is the exact opposite of me in that he is extremely likable. I have never heard anyone say they didn’t like him.

My brother & I are very close. We’ve had to be, because at the end of each day, all we have is each other. I know he has my back and he knows I have his. Ultimately, he is one of the only people I would willingly take a bullet for. Other people have, sadly, shown me their true colors as I deal with horrible situation.

For starters, I do NOT need to be lectured on what to do or how to do something. I’m a capable human-being. When I have to block a family member from contacting me because she sticks the knife in my back and keeps on twisting; under the guise of “caring” and “providing helpful information” (The fact that I didn’t say “FUCK YOU!” or “BITE ME!” is a testament to my reining my temper in at the last second.), that tells you a lot about who I deal with on a regular basis. A normal person wouldn’t say “Sorry to hear, sweetie.” I’m not sorry to say that if you say that to me, it makes me want to punch you in the face. I didn’t just break up with a boyfriend, you dumb cow. My brother is MISSING, it’s not something trivial! This person doesn’t even know my brother to say the things they did, but wouldn’t shut the fuck up. I finally had to say “All I really need right now is support. All you have managed to do is anger and enrage me, so I am stepping back until I can be a decent human-being.” I said that because the questions wouldn’t stop, and I let them know that enough is enough. This person was pushing the last of my buttons (How many times do you have to reiterate that you’re not okay?!), and doesn’t know when to stop in general. If you push me and you don’t stop, I will absolutely lose it on you. I didn’t do that. I respectfully backed out the best way I knew how, but this person made it all about them. When it’s one of your siblings, then we can discuss your hurt feelings, but until then, NO, the world does not revolve around you. It’s not about you, this isn’t even about me, but if you want to be supportive, don’t throw it back in someone’s face and say you’re sorry you bothered to inquire. My personal life is not a fucking newspaper.

If you don’t know my brother’s middle name, date of birth, place of birth, who is Godparents are, or anything unique about him, then you don’t get to ask me stupid fucking questions. And there is always a difference between someone who genuinely cares and someone who wants to gossip, just as there is a difference between people who pretend to care, but sleep just fine each night while you cry hysterically from worry. I know the difference based on how others behave. Pushing someone who is already hanging by a very fine thread is dangerous. But this person couldn’t respect me enough to back the fuck off. I’ve gone months without speaking to them before and I can go a year this time without batting an eyelash. I don’t need this kind of drama in my life when I’m dealing with a serious situation. Moreover, don’t Facebook message me or text me for “updates” unless you live in another country. Those are the only people who get a pass. Everyone else is fully capable of picking up a phone and saying what they need to say, without being passive-aggressive, or aggressive. It’s called compassion. Don’t claim to possess it if you do not actually utilize it.

I’m an extremely private person and I am waiting for more information before I do anything that I feel is invasive to my privacy, or my brother’s. There is always a proper and improper way to handle a situation. I’m handling things in a manner in which I feel is correct.

You can support me, say a prayer or a kind word, or get out of my way because at this moment, I am a ticking time bomb. My brother is OFF LIMITS. I don’t appreciate anyone making up conversations I never had with them. Focus on your own family problems, don’t stick your nose into mine.

My best friends both said “What do you need? I’ll do whatever it is you need to help.” and they live an ocean away. My “relatives” did not say that. Hell, most of my “friends” didn’t say that, either, but I don’t fault them. I fault the person who messaged me last night and came at me when I am already raw with emotion. She always accuses others of attacking her, but the fact of the matter is; she likes playing the role of victim. She doesn’t know any other role but the role of victim. In every situation, it somehow becomes all about her and her role as the victim once she’s pushed you to the point where you have to tell her to back off. I don’t have respect for that. Many of us carry childhood issues with us, but when you’re pushing 40, you need to work your therapy and stop playing the victim card with everyone. It’s the reason people don’t respond well to you and it’s the reason people don’t like you. It took me a few years to see the pattern, but now that I do, I’ve stopped allowing myself to be turned into the “great evil” for speaking the truth.

When someone is bleeding from head to toe, do you throw them into the Dead Sea? No, you don’t. Therein lies the problem here.

I can let some things go, I can forgive certain things and I can forget others, but when you constantly play the victim card with me, I question how valuable the relationship is. I also realize that some people self-sabotage to the point where they have no friends or loved ones to turn to. But there comes a time when you can no longer make excuses for them.

I’m just trying to get through this dark cloud hanging over me where my brother is concerned. I know full well that I am not some “great evil” for saying I am stepping away. If I’ve said nothing and every other thing you say is an attack (“Sweetie” does not soften a damn fucking thing. I’m not five.), then it is up to that person to know when to back off. If you always have to say something to back them off, that’s unhealthy. Being told I’M the unhealthy party is utterly laughable.

Sometimes, people forget who they’re talking to. They get too damn comfortable. They start thinking you’re exactly like them. They don’t realize that the silence from one day too many has hit you hard, and that saying nothing is better than talking shit.

It’s a damn good thing she wasn’t standing in front of me.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Boiling Point

nevertake

Fact: I am seriously contemplating ending my life. No one knows what’s going on, or cares, but I feel it’s important to talk about.

I walked away from self-harm at least a dozen times last week, maybe more. I have no strong desire to actually carry it out, but we cannot “cure” the thoughts that go through our minds.

It’s not any one thing in particular, it’s a multitude of things, all of which are out of my control. Ultimately, I often feel that lack of control is what makes us feel so out of control. I believe it leads to a lot of rational irrationality.

I’ve never hidden the fact that I come from an abusive background. If asked, I am quite vocal about it. Hell, I’ve written about it many times. My father was the bane of my existence from age six until about 2000 or so, when his health began to rapidly decline, culminating in his death, a 15 year battle with cancer that ended in late 2007. I cannot put a Band-Aid on my upbringing, but I try very hard not to allow it to define me. For the most part, I am successful. I don’t dwell on it. It’s done and it’s in the past, but lately it’s other forms of neglect, abuse, disrespect, & abandonment that have just plain left me in tears. What’s worse? This behavior makes my father, G-d rest his soul, look like a fucking angel by comparison. That’s probably what affects me more than anything else.

Nothing I do is ever “good enough”. I know that’s ridiculous, but when that is what is projected to you constantly, you either walk away or you tell someone to go fuck themselves. For the past 4-5 years, I have worked very hard on my anger issues. I’ve talked about that quite openly. Therefore, so as not to act like my father, I try to curse less and not tell people exactly what I think of them and their behavior, even if they deserve it. I don’t accept or allow it, I just disengage with the crazy. I cannot talk to a psychopath, to people who don’t hear me out thoroughly, or to anyone who believes everything they say is right 100% of the time. It may be right in their mind, but their mind and mine are two completely different places/worlds. That’s true for everyone, or we’d be living in a very bizarre utopia.

No matter how hard I work, it’s not “good enough”. How many times a day does someone need to be insulted, talked down to, and/or disrespected? How many days of the week, month, year, before they snap? The term “going postal” isn’t meant to be cute. It stems from things building and building in the workplace (or in some cases, ones’ home life) until someone finally loses it. The same thing can happen in a person’s daily life, and it doesn’t have to involve murder and mayhem, it might just be a verbal argument. One can hope, any way.

There is an immense difference between constructive criticism and venomous hatred and resentment. I am educated enough to know the difference in how people speak to me, and I am sick and tired of being told that everything I think & feel is wrong. Statistically speaking, it’s impossible for me to be wrong 100% of the time, just as it is impossible for someone else to be right 100% of the time. I don’t aim for perfection, but I will not have anyone question my perception of others. I’ve got two words for that mind-set: FUCK THAT. You can agree to disagree with me, but don’t deign to tell me you’re right and I’m wrong. No. Unacceptable.

Voicing thoughts, feelings, and opinions isn’t wrong, but I am constantly being told I am wrong. After a while, even a person with the highest I.Q. starts to lose their mind. After a while, any sane person is going to get tired of hearing such nonsense.

The only thing that is saving me is the love of Kitten. During the worst of my dark thoughts, when I wasn’t sure if I could bear another second, leave alone a minute, she’d crawl into bed with me, give me kisses, bring me toys, & watch over me with great affection. Cat followed, both of them refusing to let me out of their sight. How is it that two little creatures understand my pain better than actual people? I find that sad and pathetic for the human-race, but a real win for the animals in this world who are superior in terms of compassion, empathy, and love. My cats know more about love than 99% of the people I know, and that is truly saying something. They know me better than most people, and I’ve had them such a short period of time compared to the relationships in my life, yet they know me better, inside and out. People are emotionally harming me, but my cats? They wouldn’t even scratch me intentionally. Again, it speaks accolades for them. Clearly I did something right, and that “something” was adopting and raising them. They love me unconditionally. It is a special relationship, and not something to ever be taken for granted.

Words have power, and sometimes that power is destructive and extremely harmful. Be self-aware. Realize that you sound like a vile human-being and dial it the fuck down.

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When someone is visibly suffering, or even silently suffering, they do not need your drama, venom, hatred, or negativity. Don’t pretend you don’t see it or sense it. Put it away. Stash it in another country, because I do not mean shelve it for a week, and focus on showing them that they matter, because eventually, all your shit might push them over the edge and the only person who will be left with grief isn’t them, it’s you.

I know so many people who, after years of far worse than what I deal with and have dealt with, simply took matters into their own hands, leaving people wondering why. People have actually said” Nothing is so horrible that you have to take your life.” Oh, really? Try living my life for a year, I’m pretty sure you’d feel otherwise. In other words, don’t judge what you don’t understand. It is okay to admit you don’t understand the various forms of depression and other forms of mental illness, but it’s not acceptable in 2016 to be ignorant about it.

I’m one of the “privileged few” who inherited it on both sides of my family. My paternal Grandmother suffered from her early teens until the day she died. The things she was put through during her life in terms of “treatment” were truly horrible, and I am not a candidate for certain treatment methods because of that. No doctor would allow me to go through what she did, despite the advancements that have been made I am considered too high a risk factor, and here’s a fact; I wouldn’t sign myself up for it either.

Approximately ten years ago, I was diagnosed with “treatment resistant depression”. It means that while I suffer abysmal highs and lows, my brain chemistry does NOT respond to medication. I’ve tried everything and all they’ve done is make me really sick. Therapy works, if the therapist isn’t a piece of shit, but with Fibromyalgia, there are times I cannot drag myself in on a weekly basis in order to “go deep”. I walk into therapy in a relatively good mood, positive about what may be accomplished by going, and I walk out feeling like the biggest piece of shit on the planet, so it’s important to find someone who knows when and when not to push your last nerve. I’m not shy, I have a voice and I know how to use it. Since moving, I have noticed that I have become ten times more internalized than ever before and not only is that completely unhealthy, it gives you some insight into my environment and how I don’t feel comfortable discussing important things because I don’t feel understood, cared about, loved, and the list goes on. It hurts so deeply to type that, that the tears are pouring down my face. I’m hurting so much and certain things were said to me today that can never be taken back. I can never un-hear them.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been to therapy in three and a half years and after putting myself back on medication last month, it made me too sick to function. If you’re able to take medication, wake up each morning, and go to a normal 9-5 kind of job, well, G-d Bless you. I cannot. I knew very young that I’d never have a “normal job”. Not because it is beneath me, it’s not, but because I don’t play well with others. There is not a single thing about me that says “team player”. I am glad I knew that about myself at such a young age because it propelled me in the right directions as a creative spirit. I’ve never NOT worked (I’ve been working since I was 12, no joke.) and not created something out of nothing, but for months now I have felt sick, weak, dejected, and the absolute opposite of who I truly am. There is nothing keeping me here. Nearly every day is the same; completely monotonous.

My creativity ebbs and flows. It always has. I do nothing on command. I’ve always liked that about myself, but it can be tricky when you are involved with creative projects that need 100% of your commitment, or they’ll fail. But how does one stay “on” when they’re predominantly “off”?

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Today I reached my boiling point in reaching out to people I felt I could trust for help. Five times today I got off the phone in hysterical tears because in the grand scheme of life, people don’t care about my struggles or my pain, but they do care about being selfish, hostile, cruel, and hurtful. The final call which I did not want to make was the last straw.

Some things are out of my control, just as they are for many of us, but I’d like to think that if someone called me crying, truly upset by something happening to them, I would do whatever was within my power to help, even if I’d helped them 100 times before, I don’t keep score. In fact, I HAVE done that (helped others) and I will never stop being the person that I am because to not be me is to be lesser, and I refuse to let experiences like this alter the person I am. I refuse to change to suit other people because then they win.

My mother raised me to be a strong, independent woman, but she also told me that sometimes we all need help and not to be afraid to ask for it. However, I was terrified to ask for the help I needed and my fears were warranted because in asking for help, I got hurt. I am sure the other person does not see it as I do. Of course, I didn’t threaten or insult them.

Here’s something important I think some people need to understand: It takes great courage to ask for help. Especially for someone like me because I have a lot of pride, but definitely feel that I have fallen from Grace. 😦 When a person asks for help, and they’re upset and you know things have been bloody awful for them, don’t make it worse with cruel, hateful words. Discuss things with them at a later time, in private, when each of you is calm, and assure them that you do indeed love and care about them. It’s okay to have boundaries and to place limits on things, absolutely, but it’s not okay to be hurtful or say things in anger that cannot be retrieved.

For now, I have no idea what tomorrow brings, but I’m hoping it doesn’t involve me “going dark”. I’m writing this in tears, because the pain is just too much to bear. I am also weighing my options quite heavily because I am too sick to deal with such harsh negativity being directed at me in such an ugly manner.

We all have physical and emotional triggers in life, whether we’re aware of them or not. Certain words and tones will turn me from a caring, kind, loving, helpful person with a genuine heart into someone incredibly inclined to poison your dinner.

Choose your words wisely. Do not make assumptions. Don’t insult loved ones, for they can be gone in the blink of an eye. And absolutely do NOT trigger someone when you KNOW their history. Some people really should know better, but they don’t. Maybe anger is a better place to reside for some? I’ve been there and it’s unhealthy.

Tonight, I am going to try to accept the fact that no one else is like me and the other people cannot be what I need them to be, because it’s simply not in their genetic makeup. My brother recently paid me the finest compliment by saying that no one could spend five minutes with me, or speak to me for five minutes, and not come away realizing how incredibly genuine and unique I am. I damn near cried, because it’s truly the NICEST thing he’s probably ever said to me, and it was such an incredibly astute observation. It almost makes up for the crappy things he’s said to me in the past when he was angry (at himself) and frustrated (with his own bullshit) and took it out on me simply because I am the closest person to him.

I learned a valuable lesson today. I learned that no matter what people say, their actions and words don’t always mesh, and I am wary of people like that. Life isn’t perfect for anyone. Life isn’t always fair, either, but I refuse to kick someone while they’re already bleeding on the ground.

To the people who kicked me today when I was desperately upset by a situation completely out of my control, please don’t ever think I won’t remember the attack. To the few that reached out later on to raise me back up off the ground, I won’t soon forget that either.

Wishing you all a far better day/week/remainder of the month than I just had.

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copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.