I was Used by a Man in his Forties

27 Feb

I recently ended it with a guy I had been dating for almost a year. He started off as kind, mature and non game playing. Flash forward to today of him accusing me of being hateful and disrespectful. His lashing out was due to me sending a firm message on the time line on when his items need to be out of my place. There were no curse words thrown around in my message and no hateful tone. He freaked out because there was a timeline and then a consequence attached to it of his stuff being donated to Goodwill if he does not pick it up at a reasonable time. However he misread the message. Why? Because I put down a boundary. The man I dated had so many great qualities but being respectful of my time was not one of them. He is the type to always have an excuse of why he is running late or got caught up with other things. So he lashed out at me when I made, we will call him X, respect my time. In X’s eyes he had been a saint. Helping get me through school, paying for groceries and being emotionally supportive. All things that he was quick to throw back in my face. While I don’t disagree that those things were wonderful and I do think of them fondly. Where his biggest blind spot is, is that I live in a 200 square foot studio and he slowly started moving his stuff in. He pretty much lived there. X was there at one point for about a month straight. Without paying rent at all. One month he gave me like 500 dollars because I struggling, but that was it.  Every time he came to visit he would drop off more dvds, clothing, and random items. Then a few months ago, he convinced me that a huge filling cabinet would be a great idea for storage. Then he brought over his huge table. Needless to say, I began feeling like a stranger in my own home. I am somewhat responsible, because I should have told him to remove the items sooner. I’m a little guilty of getting tunnel visioned and he was bringing stuff in little by little. My focus at the time was getting my skin care license and so I chose to pick my battles. Also, he was loving before and very attentive. That changed after a while.  Eventually, he stopped paying as much attention to me when he came over and would just work on his stuff for hours before laying down. That’s when I started feeling used. Used for my internet and a place to lay his head. Did he really have a home? X was over a lot and it didn’t seem like it was to spend time with me any more.  I would leave and come home, he would still be there. So yes, the anger did build. I needed my space back. This guy was clearly using me. I was another storage unit with a cuddle buddy add on addition. Because there certainly wasn’t any intimacy anymore.  It was justified in his mind because he would cook without me asking and buy groceries. Key words being, I did not ask him to cook. When he cooked, he would not clean up and it would leave more of a burden for me. Flash forward to me trying to end things. He did not have time for me to do it in person because apparently he was in a hurry. Mind you, X does not have a job so what is he doing?  I was too nice over the phone I guess because he came in and helped himself to some pasta and only grabbed six bags full of stuff when there were about fifteen left. Why am I writing all of this? Well today was traumatic and has had me thinking quite a bit about my choices.

All this has made me realize I have weaker boundaries than I thought I did. I should have never let someone like this into my life. A man in his late forties that does not have a job, just sells stuff on ebay and crashes on a couch somewhere. I was so caught up in how he helped so many people through rough times. Then I came to realize that he is a unique type of narcissist and a mooch. The kind that justifies that he is a good person by how much he helps people.  He donated a lot of his time to crisis counselling and with helping people. But when it came to me, he was burnt out and did not have time. Typing this all out, I can’t believe I stayed in it for so long. My biggest flaw in my life is I am a hopeless romantic and I walk past red flags all the time. I am grateful to have strong friends in my life to set me straight and protect me. Also, that I am becoming aware of my patterns of men I keep choosing. I need to work on the piece of me that keeps thinking it’s alright to date these type of men.

 

But, this is certainly the first time that I have been used for the fact that I had my own place.

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How to Stay Happy for the Holidays

19 Dec

Many Americans want you to believe that we are all happy during the Holidays. But, that is simply not the case.  This time of year can remind some of us that are finances aren’t in order, our family is broken, a death of a loved one or that we are alone.

These feelings are valid. I respect the sadness that is felt and the comparison. But let’s not be Alice falling down the Rabbit Hole. Your life is meant to be joyful, no matter what time of year it is.

Here are some tips to survive the Holidays:

  1. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend here are some ideas:

Think of what talents you possess and use them. Are you a skilled painter? Paint a painting. Skilled writer? Write a poem. Good at fixing things? Fix their leaky faucet. Great cook? Make them dinner. Organized? Clean their house. 

2. You choose not to are or are unable to spend time with your family for the Holidays:

If you chose not to because your family is not healthy for you to be around. Stay strong in your choice. Good friends can become family. Nourish those relationships and stay in the moment with them. When we wander off in our mind and compare with other happy families, that’s when we may become depressed. Remember social media is a highlight reel of what people what you to see. 

3. A loved one has died and you are reminded of them during the Holidays.

Meditate on good memories and write down what you miss the most about them. Once you get those thoughts and emotions out, it will be easier to process them. 

4. You find yourself alone for the Holidays.

Focus on what hobbies make you happy and schedule your day full of fun activities. Attend church, a group meditation, or parade. Try not to stay at home if you find yourself feeling down about being alone. Have a movie on, make hot cocoa and create distractions. 

Always remember that Holidays only come once a year. These feelings are not permanent and you will get through them.

Tips to stop Co-dependency and People Pleasing

16 Dec

 

Did I offer to help without being asked?

Even if you have the best advice out there. You may come across as a know it all or a meddler. People want to feel empowered and intelligent. Others just want to vent. Try asking these things instead:

“Let me know if I can help.”

“That sounds really frustrating.”

“I can only imagine what you are going through, thank you for trusting me enough to share this with me.”

 

Is this person giving back the same energy that I am putting out?

If you have invited someone out multiple times and they keep saying no, it’s time to back off. Wait until they initiate hanging out again. 

In a relationship,  If you are talking about the future all the time and they remain silent. Listen to the silence and watch actions. 

Do they gossip about others?

Even if you think they won’t do it to you. They will one day. When you put your foot down and you piss them off. These types of people are insecure and bored. Often times they display narcissistic character traits. 

What could you be working on to improve yourself?

A lot of times when we brainstorm how to help others without them involved, it’s because we are running away from our own tasks at the moment. How dare we? They didn’t ask for our help. Focus on yourself. Not your circus, not your monkeys. 

If you find yourself doing this take a deep breath. It happens to the best of us. 

Write down your goals and your to do list.  

Can they fix this situation themselves?

 We may belittle someone when we start throwing out solutions for their issues.  Don’t take the problem from them and fix it. The long term effect of doing this is the relationship is an unbalance in responsibility. One person becomes the patronizing adult and the other become the irresponsible child. The parent role becomes passive aggressive and bitter because the person in the child role does not listen. 

How do I feel after being around them?

If you feel drained after being around them start to observe what makes you feel that way. Emotions come and go so we must be careful of that but if it’s certain behaviors they are doing, write those down. If it’s one upping, bragging, complaining etc… 

By doing these exercises you start to figure out where the line is for you and how you can set limits on yourself.

Am I telling you to become antisocial and self-serving?

No. I am explaining that your time is valuable and that you need to be your biggest fan. When you are being yourself others like you more. They don’t feel like you would crumble if they said no to you. A relationship with a genuine person is much less risky. Their ego is not as fragile.  It’s exhausting to be around someone who obsesses over who likes and dislikes them. It’s back to what I wrote before. Mind your own business. What are you avoiding doing?  There are bills to pay, soccer practices to get to, and a emotionally stable life to live.  

 

 

 

The Trap of Comparison

14 Dec

Lately I am falling into the trap of comparison. I know that it is a completely unproductive mindset but I have my bad days. Embarrassingly I will admit, it has been about others looks. This kind of comparison is a losing battle and almost laughable that my mind would go there but here I am. It is bothering me enough that I am writing about it. I live in Los Angeles, one of the most vain cities in the United States. Where the way you look can get in you in doors vs. not. Your opportunities increase the more you take care of your self. But then someone hotter comes along and it’s blown to shreds. I have seen so many 2.0 and 10.0 versions of me, it’s vomit inducing.  Yes, I get that there are tragedies out there that I should be focused on and how dare I.  But people are complex and just because I choose to write about this topic does not mean it is all I think about. With that statement out in the open there are a couple of things that put me back in my happy place and give me a reality check.

 

  1. They may get in the door quicker but if they have not crafted their skill, they will not stay there. Success is were luck, preparation and opportunity meet. Without the preparation success will not last.

 

2. One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Notice how I am writing out over used sayings. Yeah they work but we have all heard them before. It gets boring. This is my point I am trying to make.  If you’re considering going under the knife make sure you are doing it for you.  Trends come and go.

 

3. Not all personality types will get along  with each other. This means no matter what you look like if you two don’t blend well, the relationship will be short lived.

 

4. This one is for my artists out there. You are telling a real person’s story. People are flawed.

 

5. Think of the children. I know, this sounds so Miss. America. Little girls and boys are sponges. The way we view ourselves and teach them that we are enough, has an immense impact on their own self image.

 

6.  We all poop, fart and have morning breath. No one smells of roses all the time.

 

7.  Beauty is temporary. We were born wrinkly/afraid and we most likely wrinkly/afraid.

8.  Everyone knows that Instagram model with all likes that is just horrid in person. They have a bad energy to them and hate life. It’s because of the pressure. There is so much pressure on fitting the mold of what the world wants.

 

I may re-visit this blog at a later date but these are the things I try and remind myself.

Rich but Spirtually Poor

10 Dec

You know what drives me crazy? People who are viewing your life from the outside looking in, yet pass judgement. Their focus seems to be on how much money this and that person has. Not a single conversation with them is without mention of who has what job and where their social stature is. These are some of the most spiritually poor people I have ever met.  They are spousesless and lack meaningful friendships.  There is so much more to life than money and job status. I would like to see them switch lives with someone else who has nothing and see how long they last. Truly experience life hungry and without a place to live. Then they will see how difficult it is to keep a sound mind. This is coming from a person who has been to the bottom, top and in between. Stay humble.

Sheeping with Wolves

30 Nov

Maybe it’s the Wolves that are the most insecure. They scratch and howl, while the Sheep keep focused. But they’re in a pack? They are followers. What cowards.

Yes!

Maybe…

Wolves are witty.  Witty and humorous, they say what you’re too afraid to say and you love them for it. You befriend them.

They’re not so dangerous, you say to yourself. Others are just jealous of how confident they are.

In their eyes you’re just a Sheep.

The minute you step out of the label they put you in, you too will get bit. How dare you turn on them?

They are Alpha. You follow them!

The Sheep gets shaved and the Wolf ends up alone.

Who is better in this situation? Both are doing what they are taught. Following their truth. The bottom line is, are they happy? Maybe you are a wolf. You don’t have many friends and aren’t afraid to step up when times get tough. But, don’t understand why others don’t want to be around you. Is there a big family and number of friends surrounding you? You have difficulty making a choice without phoning a friend? You might be a sheep. That’s okay too. Just love yourself. Not trying to be all Koom-bay-yah and shit but seriously…

We can’t all be leaders and some of us just aren’t family people. Each type is valid. So why did I write this rambling paragraph? Because, we would benefit in befriending both types. Not bullying or victimizing ourselves. Just be who we are. Know what we are comfortable with and push ourselves when things get stale. But never compare to our opposites. All Wolf or Sheep is predictable. Learn from each other and do not box each other in.

When Life gets Shitty, Stare at a Corner

17 Apr

About a week ago, I let myself crumble. Once the feelings calmed, I tried to figure out what I did have control over. I looked around my room at all the clothes on the floor and dust collected in the corner. I laughed because being messy was nothing new. If other things are going wrong why do I have to live amongst clutter on top of all the other chaos? My first priority was creating a meditation corner or a blank wall/space to stare at that is not dirty. I began scrubbing the floors, walls, and taking down distractions. My mind drifted to the monks and their open spaces. They say environment is a projection of your mind. Was it true? Who knows? All I cared about was clearing the chatter in my mind.
   The first week, my job was to keep my chosen corner clean. In the beginning, I simply stared at the wall. It did bring me peace. Yet my mind was so full of agitation. How can I trick myself into focus? I looked around my room. Fire! Well… contained fire. I grabbed the candles around my room and lit them with meditation music playing softly in the background. The first night I took videos of the meditation, snap chatted, and texted my friends. Shame on me?  Nope. It was where I was in that moment.
    This same pattern continued on for the next three nights. Each following day I was mindful of keeping my corner clean. Then little changes started to occur around my room. I liked how the corner made me feel and started to notice the disorder elsewhere. I washed my sheets, cleared under my bed, de-cluttered my desk, and became innovative in decorating. Each night I placed the candles, crystals, and rose petals in whatever arrangement felt best.
   Last night, I started feeling sorry for myself again. It was Easter and I missed my family. So I lit the candles once again and continued my ritual. This time writing down my stream of consciousness.
   Around 10pm, I became tired and made the choice to put my phone across the room. All other nights it was placed in the bed next to me causing me to wake feeling anxious and droopy eyed.
    This morning at 5am, I woke refreshed. I looked over at the cat curled next to me. The air was crisp and slightly chilly. I made the effort to not check my email or social media quite yet. Instead, I looked around my room and smiled. Got up and excitedly sent a message to someone I care about. Went to youtube and turned on more calming music, made breakfast, and coffee for my roommate. Sat up in bed and listened to a guided meditation.

So here I sit on my tablet, writing this entry to you all. I’m excited and regaining hope.

Have all the bad things gone away?
No.

Here is what I did gain.
I can brain storm more effectively. Thus coming up with new ideas on how to help my situation.

Those reading this who are going through a tough time… just start with a corner.

Try a corner and see where it leads.