Learning to be thankful for the word NO!

During this season of self imposed stress I choose to say no.

And, when I say no…to all the things that serve no meaningful purpose in my life I am truly saying yes to peace, harmony and personal growth. It may seem harsh or unreasonable to some but for those who refuse to waste their lives accepting nastiness and manipulation it is a revelation.

https://peacecounseling.org/how-do-you-respond-to-the-word-no/

I no longer require the approval of others to live my life and pursue my goals because their approval is nothing more than soul-crushing judgment in disguise. I see it clearly and it serves no positive objective so it will no longer have a reserved parking spot around my neck.

I can breathe again.

The expectations of self-centered tyrants are set aside, to list and groan as they silently sink to the bottom of the pity well that birthed them. I will no longer invite them into my mind space as there is no more room at my table. I have filled it up with the self-preserving wisdom that comes when one wakes the hell up!

Instead, I fill my life with people and experiences that bring a calming center point to my world because to do anything else is the exact definition of insanity. Running in circles, chasing anger, resentment, and the fear of being found out as a fraud…none of these things have appeal so I say no to them all.

In looking back I see the time I wasted attempting to be something I was not for dishonest, broken people and I also see the time they wasted denying who they really are. Pretending to be loving will not make you loving just as pretending to be strong will not sustain you when your heart is breaking into a thousand pieces. Eventually everyone either becomes too tired to lie or they fall on their own sword of deception.

This will not be my life. This never was my plan.

I have decided to simplify because, after all, life is only hard when we make it so and the crazy-making mentality I was raised with is no longer SO in my world. I send it back to where it came from, wrapped in a pretty bow, packaged all elegant and shiny. You can’t miss it. It’s the box marked NO!

© 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.

Be like water….

Water, though it may seem soft, gentle and flowing, is a truly powerful force. One that will get to its destination no matter how we try to hold it back. Even the most carefully packed box of family heirlooms, long hidden in a basement back corner can succumb to the determination inherent in this liquid equalizer.

It will find it’s way.

And, so, when asked what I wish to be like in life I say…water.

The ebb and flow of an idyllic stream, languidly lapping against its bank, in no hurry because its destination is already known. Rivers, lakes and oceans patiently rising and lowering with no deadlines, no worry, no stress. They will all do as they will and desire nothing more than freedom to roam wherever they wish.

Boulders stand no chance against the disintegrating pressure swiftly running rapids apply, their supposed obstacle just an illusion. Walls, neither stone, brick, metal or wood can hold back the tide. All will fall away and crumble. It’s only a matter of time.

I will be as water.

I will flow without hesitation and will entertain intended obstacles as mere suggestions. Thank you for the offer to stop moving forward but I shall have to decline. This body of water must grow and travel beyond its banks in order to experience life.

I cannot be stopped.

© 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.

Lunatic fringe…

“I just have to share this video with you!!! It explains everything and contains all the facts you need to hear!!!”

Or…

“Let’s drive all the snowflakes crazy by posting this!!!”

What the hell is it with lunatic whackadoos and excessive exclamation points and typing in all CAPS? Are you so gleeful over insulting the intelligence of those around you or are you just manically obsessed with getting you POINT across?

Both you say?

Okay, Nutty McNutterson, here’s something to consider; if your shit-stirring posts don’t in fact “drive them crazy” and they instead ignore/hide/snooze did you actually achieve your objective or was it all for nothing and now you look ignorant?

My money is on them looking like an ignorant, isolated, narrow-minded twat waffle. And all for what? What is the objective? Online opinion posts mean nothing if you don’t have the guts to say any of that bigoted, isolationist conspiracy theory trash to said “snowflakes” face to face. I have yet to meet anyone willing to verbalize the shit they smear online in real-time.

Cowards feel pretty safe hiding behind their keyboards.

Also, do not…DO NOT…send me unsubstantiated claims, unverified “news” articles or videos from paranoid loons. When I see any of these annoyances in my private messages I know immediately that its either an arrogant attempt at mockery or, a very naive brainwashing attempt.

You obviously do not know me at all. I can tell the difference between fact and fiction. I don’t need you to tell me what to believe thank you very much.

At one time the newness of social media was exhilarating. Being able to talk with anyone you want, catching up with old friends and the prospect of possibly making new friends became a favorite pastime. Now, the saddest part is seeing how out of touch with reality so many people are. I mean, like tinfoil hat wearing, preper-in-training, white hood and burning cross devotee out of touch. Straddling the razor’s edge out of touch.

What happened to you?

Who hurt you? What happened in you life to make you such a scared and suspicious person? I can’t even call people like this “individuals” because there is nothing individualistic about towing the propaganda party line. You’ve been indoctrinated. You have lost your independence. You are controlled by a false narrative and can’t even see it!

Fear is what happened to you.

To be so fearful of change, so terrified of no longer being a majority member of society to the point where attacking anyone different, for no reason at all or a false, made up reason is simply sad.

You are sad.

And, even though I may feel sorry for you I still do not have to tolerate you. No amount of pleading or ridiculous attempts at “educating” those you feel are sheep will make me see things your way. I am not a follower. I am a searcher, a fact finder, a gatherer of information with mounds of empirical studies behind every claim. Hearsay is simply gossip and I don’t have time for gossip.

Just the facts ma’am.

Please keep your prejudices and your bigoted agendas to yourself and hopefully, if you can open your mind long enough to see through the fog of narcissistic bullshit, one day you will recover the humanity you have lost.

© 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.

Here’s the thing about respect…

I see many memes and rant posts online about how respect SHOULD work.

SHOULD work? Says who? You? Not likely buddy!

“Remember the time when Americans respected the office of President and the flag and the Bible and Jesus and Mama” and on and on?

These posts are touted as coming from a place of nostalgia but, they aren’t. Pride, arrogance and ignorance allow ego to rule better judgement. And, when unbiased, unclouded judgement gets thrown out the window no amount of “I’m not a this or that” statements can act as a logical disclaimer.

None of it makes sense. You sound dumb and stuck in the past not nostalgic. And, I am not trying to be purposely mean here, I’m stating a fact. There is no need for half of the “in my day” posts I see online…other than to purposely stir shit.

Please don’t assume that I long for the same idyllic (highly dramatized) past that you seem to. One filled with parents that taught their children how to be “respectful” and resilient by hitting them with a wooden spoon, washing their mouths out with soap and letting them roam free across the countryside like tetanus riddled, dirt eating hobos.

That doesn’t sound fun at all! Not one bit and I lived through a lot of this except lets add a fist up side the head, getting slapped across the face with a dirty, wet mop and a wild desire to run away for some strange reason. I wonder why I would want to flee such a bucolic life but, please go on about how awful anyone 20+ years younger than you is. Cough…cough…jealous…

“Kids today are entitled, whiny babies!”

https://thehiredguns.com/5-myths-about-millennials-that-boomers-and-gen-xers-need-to-let-go/

Uh, aren’t you whining online about your opinion of kids today? An opinion based on other bullshit you see posted by fellow, crusty Gen Xers and dusty Boomers? Oh, shit! You’ve officially become your parents!!! And, you’re also a fucking hypocrite. Who raised these so-called entitled brats? Hmm? I can’t hear you. Oh, that’s right! Gen X and Boomer complainers did. How soon we forget and get out of here with that shit!

Should have listened to Nancy Reagan and just said no to drugs…because your memory sucks!

Relax, don’t do it…

Okay, so we’ve now established that the “they need to learn respect” and the compulsive posting of remember the good old day bulletins are no more than scabs covering guilt over either being a sometimes shitty child who grew up to have some shitty parenting moments or…you were raised by shitty parents and wanted to encourage your children to speak their minds without hesitation exactly because of how you were raised.

Which is it? I’ll go first. I can claim all of them, without hesitation or shame. That’s how honesty works. It’s a game changer I tell you! Why lie about it?

Now, let’s get to the “I’m not a ________” people. If you have to pronounce what you aren’t online, for all to see, even those who don’t give a shit, then most likely…you ARE whatever belongs in that blank. I don’t pretend to be that which I am not and instead of protesting against what I “think” others are accusing me of being I, instead, live my life in a way that such accusations never happen.

If you don’t give them an opening then they will never make it through the door.

So, in conclusion…stop demanding respect from others when you, yourself show disdain and disrespect towards others you feel aren’t like you or those who don’t live up to your idealized view of some fictionalized grand past.

The past is done. Change helps people evolve for the better. And, standing up for yourself isn’t an example of entitlement, it’s power. Wake the hell up from your daydream and smell the future’s coffee.

© 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.