Thoughts and Prayers for Christmas….

I tried.

Hard.

Now, I don’t have to anymore and I’m relieved!

For the past 2 years I swore that I would continue being thoughtful, dutifully sending cards and gifts to family that despised me because “I’m better than that.” I wrote about it in a declaratory tome announcing my status as a saint after all! Jesus, it was easy to fall for the guilt trip then because I desperately wanted to be the bigger person but now I accept the real, hideous bigger picture instead. Also, I don’t want to be like my mother and continue a tradition of sending Cards of Lies with words I knew weren’t true because her actions always said otherwise.

It was never about how they would view me at all. It was about how I viewed myself.

Ego led me to believe someday they would care and so, I sent cards, money and gifts not out of true love for them but out of fear that I would be seen as a shitty person, prone to pettiness and grudges. I see that now and give myself full permission to stop. The way they view me will never be swayed by cash or gift cards anyway so the time to cease and desist is now. It was long overdue and is hard to accept but accept it I will while also wishing them well, silently, on each momentous occasion.

Thoughts and prayers work for phony Christians when doing actual good isn’t desired so why not in this instance? The only difference is, I mean it when I say I wish them well. I do. It’s free and isn’t emotionally draining. To do anything else only shortchanges me and if this really is about how I view myself then I will continue the well wishes in private so my mind, heart and soul can remain at peace. To send or not to send a card will make no difference so I chose to spare a tree. It’s only right.

And, in the grand life-long scheme of things it doesn’t matter. None of it ever mattered because each puzzle piece never wanted to fit in their allotted spot. They only wanted to take chunks from the other pieces around them in order to fill the void and because learning how to be introspective was too hard. A word for everyone out there…it isn’t hard at all! Some people are just fucking lazy. Oh, and they are scared shit-less of the ugliness they’ve allowed to fester inside so they belittle others more successful, more kind and more loving than they are in an attempt to hide their ugly souls.

I shall pray for you…

Not really. I don’t do that. But even if I did it wouldn’t put a dent in the nasty so instead I will think of them often and imagine they are better people. People who actually care about more than themselves, people who aren’t so cowardly that they must hide behind cutting words and passive-aggressive memes. I mean, really! Who wants to be so phony that no one ever sees the real person, no one ever gets to connect with the honest heart inside and, instead, gets rebuffed by a hard, icy exterior devoid of a welcome sign?

I can ask that, and do a lot but I already know the answer. I’ve always known the answer.

© 2019-2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

In the company of wolves…

It’s no secret that I was raised by a narcissistic bully and a giggling passive-aggressive with a searing dislike for anyone “more fortunate” than herself. I have written about this numerous times and after each soul cleansing admission the only player in this dark, twisted tale to change is me. As it should be.

Each time I lay it all out there, stripped to the bone and raw for all to see, my personal suffering lessens and I relax just a little more. I forgive a little more while remembering to forget even less. Catalog it for future lessons I say! In getting it out I am freeing myself from anger and shame. I am freeing myself from them.

And by THEM I mean my entire family, not just the ones who refuse to talk to me, who refuse to acknowledge my presence on this earth. Or, refuse to understand that I stood with them when they needed me most while I stood here alone.

Little Red Riding Hood has nothing on me…

It’s okay. I have great balance and an affinity for going my own way, on my own time schedule and without the assistance of unwilling companions. It’s truly becoming easier. I’m not alone anymore.

But, just because something is easy it doesn’t mean that it’s preferable or kind or right. This experience is none of those things yet, in a way, it’s exactly all of those things in the same token. It’s what I expected, it’s what I received and now it’s what I will glean knowledge from to learn and continue growing.

The mysterious, all knowing THEY in life have said that strangers will treat you better than family ever will and I have found this to be remarkably true. Strangers typically have no idea what your net worth is or your nasty secrets when engaging in acts of kindness to someone they see as “in need” of a brief kind gesture. Holding open a door, smiling for no reason other than something in your glance triggered their reaction. It’s nice and I appreciate it so much more now.

While growing up I was taught that each interaction with family produced only two things; anger or indifference. You either made someone mad or you didn’t exist to them. Nothing in between. Oh, I can say that there were times when it appeared we mattered to one another but, in looking back, I see now that it was more of a theatrical show for others so the normal family facade could stay in place. It was not sustainable nor was is real.

When I describe my family as wolves, at first glance it may seem mean spirited. But, in taking many decades worth of steps back I now see it as the ultimate coping mechanism, passed down from one generation to another, infinity. It had to start someplace, we didn’t invent devouring our own or lashing out in fear each time authority (or sanity) is challenged. We may not have invented it but our generation is perfecting it.

Each day, week, month and year that goes by connection is cut further and further and the string holding our family tree together is stretched beyond its limited capacity. It’s still tethered but the longer we go without contact the easier it will be to ignore, reject and justify what we do.

We do nothing. And, that is exactly the point. Nothing comes from nothing but doing nothing when something is required is the ultimate cruelty committed by a species that requires connection to survive. To know how to connect but to refuse to engage in it is madness, a self-fulfilling prophesy for failure.

And, yet, here we are, welcoming the wolves of jealousy, resentment, anger and pettiness around our doorsteps. They sit and dare anyone to attempt reconciliation. Come! They invite you to stand at my door to see what type of greeting you will receive.

Now, here’s the thing about wolves, they don’t always get it right nor do they recognize the evolution of people tired of traditional dysfunction. People so tired of grudges, so tired of secrets, so tired of lies that they stop doing all the expected things and replace the usual reactions with healthy ones instead. Becoming enlightened throws off the wolves scent for blood, and our becoming immune to the aggression and mind-numbing psychosis confuses them.

This is why I write everything down. It’s documented and it’s expressed in a way that leaves no room for alternate interpretation. I said it, I meant it, it’s done. Let the universe receive it for processing so I can go about my life. Let the universe determine the outcome so I can be free to live. No guilt, no worries and no looking back.

Yes, the invitation still stands and is sincere. Come to my door, it’s not barricaded against you. Just remember to leave your wolves at home.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Happiness grows when you let go…

Today I thought about my mother. I haven’t spoken to her in over 2 years and the details as to why have already been addressed so there is no need to rehash that pain.

For those who require a refresher, here you go: The back story for newbies

I thought about how wonderful it would be to share a laugh, a kind smile, anything loving at all with the woman who brought me into the world. Just to pick up the phone and talk about how our collective days are going.

That never was and can never be.

To long for something so simple yet so incredibly impossible to obtain crumbles the soul from the inside out. It’s the kind of gut wrenching agony possibly felt by those who have lost a loved one to illness, old age or even a tragic accident.

I say possibly because I don’t know how those in that situation truly feel, I can only guess so I suppose the better descriptive word would be EMPTY. I feel empty when I think about the loss of something I never even truly had.

The unconditional love of a mother.

I never had that. Conditions always applied. I was required to be quiet, obedient, loyal to my abusers, willing to lie and pretend all was well behind the door of the various run-down houses we lived in. A scarred front row guest with exclusive access to view my very own horror story. It was easy to hide in a small town, a place where airing private dirty laundry in public was strongly frowned upon and obvious abuse was routinely ignored. Your kids, your property!

At one time the knowledge that everything about “us” was wrong hurt me deeply. Seeing others with genuine, loving relationships with their mothers and fathers, laughing together, reminiscing about joyful memories and funny stories. I had a tiny bit of that; the “funny” stories we told, the “editing” of the past to make it seem as if we were normal and not horribly broken. In looking back, the tales we told acted as the smeared, greasy make-up clowns wear to hide the utter despair they feel inside.

Over the years I cataloged all of the pain, all of the dirt, all the grime. I held it in my hands and turned it over and over, composing speeches I should have made, declarations of outrage to those guilty of harm. Disdain and growling anger boiled from within to spill out first in writing and then verbally all over the floor of my therapist’s office. It was pronounced, organized, claimed and then bagged up and disposed of.

Letting go has been a long process, one that has taken decades for me to quantify, qualify and then release the rage. It involved being honest about how dark my childhood was, devoid of normalcy and how I no longer owe my family any loyalty. It also involved no longer tolerating the gas-lighting, purposeful “crazy-making” of both parents and siblings invested in continuing the fucked-up family tradition.

The sun will come up tomorrow and I will rise, giving thanks for the life I have. I will express gratitude for those I love and for those who love me. The positive influences I allow within my orbit will be raised up and tearfully proclaimed to be deeply appreciated. I have all of this because I chose to let the negative go.

The happiness I feel in this moment continues to grow and will only increase as I release each bad memory, each hurt, each lie, each nasty letter, email and text out into the universe to float away. My achievements are mine. I earned them and will be proud of how far I have come.

Peace be with you. I release you from my life.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

As much as we’d like…there’s just no blocking out those who try our sanity forever.

Unfollow. Unfriend. Report. Block.

All of the above are temporary actions that fail to access deep into the core of what is truly wrong within any relationship, whether that be online or real time.

Last night I had a dream that I saw my sister sitting at a bar looking at me from across the room. She looked sad and was beckoning me to come and sit by her. My SO moved past me in the dream to talk to her and after a few moments came back and said, “You made the right decision.”

What does that mean? That I was correct in placing her outside my life for a while, like a time-out for unruly toddlers or that I was right to stop letting our angry interactions of the past impact my here and now? There are days and weeks that go by now where I don’t give her or any of my other ousted family members a thought. That once bothered me a lot. It doesn’t anymore.

My sister and I haven’t spoken in almost two years so to have that dream was both a little alarming but also, telling. The telling part is that this was an obvious signal pointing to a tale of misguided jealousy and misinformation spun out of control, nudging my subconscious to either defrag and reboot the experience or delete it all together.

By delete I mean forgive, let it go, move on or any other trite word people use to describe an action they should do and want to do but can’t because they are cowards deep down inside. I don’t consider myself a coward. Stubborn and opinionated? Yes, but when you get down to the brass tax I will weigh in and fight to the death in defense of what I hold to be true. Count on it.

All of this time has gone by and the things I formerly did as a kindness and duty no longer hold the same amount of meaning. You buy a birthday card, sit down and think of just the right words to say that might touch the person receiving it. You try to find out exactly what they might like, love or laugh at and you get it, cost is no concern. Except now, a lot of those steps are taken out of the equation because you know that the receiver doesn’t actually care and just seeing a package or envelope with your name on it will instantly make their eyes roll in derision.

It’s really the ultimate kindness to stop pushing your name or likeness in front of them I suppose. To stop forcing them to think of you when they don’t really want to. Or, is it? Sometimes I think that I could just forget about acknowledging certain milestones because my milestones of late have all gone unacknowledged. But, then I remember I am an Aquarius! We love a solid grudge but we also fight for justice and to fail to extend a thoughtful gesture, even to those who have wronged us, is blasphemy!

Back to this dream. What was it all about? Was it a sign that I should reach out or was it a sign that I’ve done enough and have earned the right to move on down the road, free of bitter entanglements and resentment? I think I might be there, standing at a fork in the road, one sign pointing back to the darkness I came from and the other directing me to go forward without looking back.

https://blog.rescuetime.com/burnout-syndrome-recovery/

I’m just fucking tired and caring takes time, energy and effort. I don’t have it in me anymore. The well filled with this sad saga is finally dry. So, which way would you go? Back to attend to the wounded or forward to protect your hard earned sanity and serenity? Personally, I prefer the light that clarity and release provides because the heavy darkness of strife and drama is unbearable anymore.

And now, to commemorate this epiphany I have unblocked the door to my social observation deck, as it were. Run free upon my fertile fields of pithy prose! I will try to rake up as many offensive thorns as possible but cannot make any guarantees. Tread carefully though, it has always been my experience that offense is only taken if the insult, joke, meme, fault and so on applies to the one taking it personally.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A day for the good fathers out there…

Let me start by saying that my father is still alive. I can’t say if he is physically well because I have not seen or spoken to him in 3 years but I can definitely say that he isn’t mentally or morally well in the slightest.

It’s very hard for me to say that and to clarify, for those who will attempt to jump my train and use judgement to derail it, I do so with great pain but also with glaring honesty. If we aren’t honest with ourselves in this life then what hope do we have of being better incarnations in the next right?

From the first moment I can remember it was clear to me that my father did not like me. Again, this is just my perception but what other conclusion can one draw when in lieu of your name, “stupid” or “dummy” is used and the words “I love you” are never said until the gravity of mortality hits while sitting in front of your youngest son’s casket? And let’s not forget the hugs that were replaced with a fist to the back of the head or arm or shoulder or between the shoulder blades. That was his favorite kind of “hug.” I literally felt an all over body shock hearing those words for the first time at 23 but also suspect that they were said because of some sense of shock he felt himself and also because other people, non-family people were listening.

Did he mean it? Maybe, but even after the lightning bolt moment of having a son, someone he bullied and belittled relentlessly just like he had done to me, die such a tragic death as drowning…nothing really changed. The derogatory remarks still came even if he was getting too slow to punch and I was too old for him to intimidate anymore. The snide comments about my intelligence, my looks, my life aspirations…nothing changed at all except he had one less child to abuse. So, what would it hurt if he lost one more? After all, he didn’t seem to care and enjoyed lashing out at everyone around him.

I write this not out of anger or any sort of clumsy revenge. I write this because it is true and even though the well-meaning folks out there will say, “you only have one father and you’ll regret staying estranged from him,” I say no, I feel relieved to have had the courage to release myself from his ever negative orbit and today I honestly can thank him for bringing me into the world even though he didn’t raise me with love. I learned to love and be kind and be thoughtful in spite of him. That is a success!

https://www.forbes.com/sites/heathermorgan/2019/06/14/best-dads-raise-badass-daughters/#7f0b96505a69

I see all the posts on social media about wonderful dads, dads who contributed so much love and joy to their children’s lives and I am so happy that so many out there received what I did not. That is the truth! I am overjoyed for them because it lets me know that I am correct to have faith in this human race, to have hope that things will improve.

To all the great dads out there; we need you! I am so very thankful for you because without you I would never have had the opportunity to meet others who were raised in love and kindness who in turn could teach it to me. It’s the simple acts of kindness, the giving without only taking, the joy of being kind, being thoughtful without worrying what other men will think.

I salute you today and every day. Keep up the good work!

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

If all you want to be is right then I guess I will choose to be happy instead.

I have been thinking about this topic for a long time. Right, wrong, in between and I don’t care are all positions people either fight over or simply walk on by without a single thought. I’d like to be in the latter category. To do anything else seems counterproductive and illogical.

There is a whole world of wonder outside of our own heads….

I will let you have your outrage, your vitriol, your angst and also…your misery. Many in that list are well earned so I would never want to take that away from the possessor; I prefer to err on the side of mental and physical well being now. You do what you think will get you by in life and I will do what allows me to climb mountains, sail seas and soar above the negativity. If I live by example, fully immersed in the current moment rather than frustrating ruminations then I won’t have time to worry about how others perceive me. That will no longer be my concern.

How Being Right Stops You From Being Happier

Okay, you enjoy that title! I’m just going to be over here enjoying life. Cheers!

Oh, please don’t think that I am stepping away from being passionate about causes and movements that matter a great deal, that won’t change. What I am setting aside is the reactionary response to little digs, picks, prods and manipulative lead-ins. Also, please don’t dish out the line, “Well, if you don’t speak out and stand up then you are just another sheep waiting to be led to slaughter!” Save your time and breath. When it matters I will speak up, no doubt there and when it’s an effort in futility and only feeding the ego of narcissism then I will have better things to do. Got it?

5 Ways to Handle People Who Always Think They’re Right

I don’t always have to be yelling to be heard and I don’t always have to react in rage to express my disagreement with arrogant and ignorant statements. Sometimes it’s not so much what you say as what you do that matters. I will be happy, despite ridicule over my point of view. I will enjoy my life and revelle in the wonder of new discoveries and new travel adventures and also the excitement over meeting new interesting people. All of those things involve both personal action and intent. There is no praying or hoping here. It’s all ME powered.

So, do you want to be Right or do you want to be Happy? Or, neither? Take a moment and choose wisely.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.