I’m totally buying that guide The Year Ahead astrologer Susan Miller sells – although I wish she opted for a more honest title of “When to duck and cover.” While the end result of this latest drama is lost friends – and that always sucks- it’s also cut the drama down by a lot. I didn’t even realize how much of my energy these people were taking until I had all that energy to myself again. Oh yeah… healthy friendships don’t do that. It’s also telling how little time I’ve had apart from them, and that I’m already seeing a positive change in my workflow and environment as a result of their absence from my life. While I’m being blamed for the mess, I’m not assigning blame. That’s just too karmically entangling, and it’s far from the first time I’ve had accusations leveled at me with the caveat that my side go unheard. (Generally when someone doesn’t want to hear your side, it’s a good sign that the problem has nothing to do with anything you did.) Hopefully this will be the last wtf-ery in my adult life; I’m taking measures both magical and personal to make sure that I attract healthier associations in the future.
In assessing how this situation came about, what patterns that needed breaking lay within it, and what to do to both break that pattern and prevent a repeat, I concluded that Mike and I just don’t speak crazypeople. I also realized that we need to learn how, as most crazy isn’t actually crazy: where we both went and educated ourselves in how to be as rational as possible, others went with emotional intelligence or at least got skilled in manipulating the emotions of others. While I have no intention of engaging with the willfully and irresponsibly irrational again, shit slips past me because I continuously make the mistake of assuming others take the logical/unemotional approach despite experience repeated ad nauseum that really should have caused me to learn differently by now. I am sensitive, and I recognize that others are also sensitive; it’s when the sensitivity makes it impossible to communicate that I start to suspect it’s not sensitivity afoot but manipulation.
I went so far as to go to the library across the street and dig through the self-help books, and in the process I found a copy of the book Queen Bees and Wannabes. I’ve had multiple people recommend it to me over the years, but always ignored it as it’s ostensibly a parenting book and parenting is NOT on my life to-do list. In fact, most talks about parenting anything bore the living hell out of me. I’m glad I skipped over my stumbling block this time, as it had a whole lot of insight into my own life growing up and even problems dealing with other women that I still have. It’s almost laughably, hilarious, too – each chapter had a “What not to Do” list that was almost an exact checklist for how my parents handled – or actually didn’t – the relentless problems I had in junior high and high school. I may buy myself a copy and highlight things. I immediately thought of sending it to my mother with her techniques circled in the “don’t do this section,” but that’s too petty to bother with the postage, and it’s unlikely she’ll be raising any additional children. Also, my mother is not someone I would describe as self-aware. As an artist, it’s time I parent myself, so I can read it and get it right on my own behalf.
Yes, I’m still grieving, and April is a shitty month for that anyway. Today is the day I lost a friend I dubbed my first boyfriend (sort of.) He died today, when we were 14, cause still unknown. April 15 marks my father’s passing, and with it the end of any family relationship that I could actually live with. But I feel better about the grief. I explored the possibility that my behavior might have been wrong, or harmful: I made amends where I was allowed to for the single thing I did do that was proportionate to what I actually did, and the rest really is out-and-out false accusation. The entire timing coincides with crazymaker behaviors as Julia Cameron describes them in the Artist’s Way.
Next up: an Etsy post. Really.