Forgiveness vs Acceptance

Hi guys! It’s been a LONG time since I blogged.

I’m in Arizona currently since getting back from Finland (handling dad’s business as he passed away). Been doing some day hikes but mostly helping near the Arizona Trail around mile 200 at High Jinks Ranch for now. Decided I’m going to be using my blog to spout off my inner turmoils and thoughts. Might mix in my interspersed adventures in between but this is what I need for myself and for my PTSD/Major Depressive recovery.

March 25, 2018

I have so much to write. My mind is everywhere. Hard to know where to start or what’s relevant. Even just having written that, I wonder “Relevant to what?”. I tend to always think of others or have some subconscious ideal or measuring stick. So I’m just going to attempt to vomit out my conceptual ideas, some of which haven’t even fully formed and are simply vague feelings at this moment, and edit later.

Last night, I did my first audio Ho’oponopono session (Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness… Similar forgiveness practices are performed on islands throughout the South Pacific, including Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti and New Zealand) and I realized I’m 100% resistant to forgiving.

I imagined my mother’s face in the section of audio where you have to ask them “Do you support me today in my experience and connection with God and Others?”. If they answer “yes”, you give them a hug and let them go. If not, they have to stand at this 3’x3’ podium you imagine for yourself in an auditorium. Then you say “I love you. I forgive you. Please forgive me” and imagine the forgiveness flowing from you to them

And I just started sobbing. Tears were just streaming. I could feel my inner child feeling horrible for making my mom sad and wanting forgiveness but my older, more protective, layer shut that down. After all, I didn’t shun my mom. She shunned me. That was HER decision, not mine. And imagining my father’s face (he recently passed away from alcoholism) was just as hard.

Maybe I’m just being defensive. I know I’m not a victim. That’s not my identity. However things DID happen TO me. To try to say, as a child, I’m responsible for my parents’ decision is absurd.

I find that so many people find “forgiveness” to be synonymous to “Acceptance” but it’s not. Forgiveness is act of pardoning an offender . Acceptance in psychology is used to describe a person’s assent to the reality of a situation. Yet there are so many help books and memes being thrown around – even this Hawaiian practice – of insisting we forgive and won’t be able to move forward without doing so. Not only the ones who’ve done us wrong but ourselves. I only, as of right now, agree with the latter part of that sentence. Other books claim forgiveness is just letting go of resentment. To me, that’s acceptance – NOT forgiveness.

To go into more detail of that and my disagreement with that concept: Having been repeatedly molested by 2 different people by the age of 9 (one by 13-14 yr old babysitter’s daughter and another a teacher at the Scientology “school” I was placed in after moving to the US), I refuse to say that I forgive them. I don’t. And I don’t know how granting them pardon will help me. Accepting the reality that it happened and that it’s now 20+ years later and I have a life to look forward to is something I can get behind. CHILD ABUSE ISN’T FORGIVEABLE. It just isn’t. It usually carries a life sentence for those wronged by people who knew better, psychologically speaking.
Also, am I supposed to just forgive my rapist? A man who takes absolutely NO accountability for what happened….? I called him a year after the incident went down and he had no recollection of it (Surprise, surprise) and brushed it off. I get it he was super drunk but does that erase the truth of what happened? NO! I have the flashbacks and vivid memories of exactly what happened to prove it. And I refuse to just let him off the hook. Who knows who else he’s done this to or will do it to.

Now, I may change my mind about all this the more I meditate on this and practice it in my mind. And, contrary to some people’s thoughts on human behavior, people CAN change. We can change our minds about things as we learn more and evolve.

But those are my thoughts for the day. Recovery is work. Finding that I have deep resistance on this subject matter is enlightening in its own right. Maybe (just maybe) there IS something to all this? Or maybe there isn’t and it’s just something people want to believe to make themselves feel better.

My inner skeptic and naive self are at odds on this, as you could probably guess just from this long-winded rant.

I’ve gotten some self-help books on all this so I can do more research. Will update more as I let it all percolate in my brain.

Toodles for now. Would love to hear stories from others about this – your experiences and thoughts, especially when it comes to acceptance vs/and/or forgiveness.

Wintery Life Lessons from Lapland

Whilst driving through Lapland, the thick snow heavily weighing the trees down calmed my raging thoughts and I realized why:

*and of course with all the inspiring analogies between the weather and emotions out there in cyber space, it’s not hard to come to this sort of comparison. Lol

Mental illness/depression/grief – It’s like winter, when the colorful beauty and sunshine fades and air is cold and even bitingly wet and – unless you have enough layers – you’re going to be miserable and, in the worst conditions, can even get frostbite. But it’s necessary for the natural cycle to power down so you can come back again and again. And if you don’t allow it and deny it or even scream at it, you won’t get anywhere. And if you try so hard to make it warm everywhere, you won’t rejuvenate and will actually cause more damage in the environment in the long term.

And there is a beauty and stillness to winter which only the dark seems to embrace. Even the sun only comes up briefly, seemingly unable to take much of it before running away again.

And you have to have people around you who put on layers with you and commiserate. To have anything less is the equivalent of having people who strip you down or refuse to lend you a scarf or jacket despite having them laying around, unused. And people who don’t have enough warm clothing to share should be open and honest about it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of but to make someone constantly ask for and then have them explain themselves as to why they need a jacket when you can’t even offer one is a waste of precious energy needed to keep oneself warm.

With that in mind, I’m no longer going to chase people who can’t be there for me. I have no trouble making friends so that isn’t an issue. I’m honestly not sure why I’ve spent so long clinging to people just because of past history. People evolve and just like people can unfriend me and have a right to for any reason (even if I sometimes disagree with them doing so), I have the same rights. I’m henceforth letting go of things that no longer serve me and it feels freeing as fuck!

So, thank you Wintery Finland. I learned such an amazing harshly real lesson from you.

And thank you to the ones who’ve been there for me during probably the worst 6 months emotionally. You know who you are. Yeah, you. I love you. I know I haven’t been the easiest person to be around and it makes me even more appreciate of the ones that have stuck around and haven’t made me feel badly about it or made me defend myself in an effort to get me to apologize for it. Because I’m done apologizing for how I feel and why. My grief is my own and I won’t bend it to suit anybody’s expectations of what it should look like or how I should act. This isn’t a normal time for me so leave those normal expectations of me at home if we’re gonna kick it. Friends that are only friends when it’s convenient for them are not the type of friends I need or want anymore. Fair weather friends are too easy to find. Just as people have the right to pick and choose you, you can do the same. For some reason, I didn’t feel allowed to do that until now. This epiphany might sound stupid and/or obvious to some but, for me, this is huge.

And for those I’m letting go, you’re not a bad person. Neither am I. But this is where I leave you. I truly wish you well.

Happy Thanksgiving?

It’s around this time, I feel more depressed than usual.

I have no family here. They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. My friends are all with their families, proud to show their love. I’m happy for them. I really am but also realize I’m really all alone.

It’s hard. But I also realized today, while taking a small hike around a waterfall that I couldn’t get a great shot of from the non iced areas, that I’m not trying hard enough.

I take it so personally and feel so abandoned  when someone doesn’t respond to my call, my texts or whatnot but when it comes down to a simple situation like getting a great shot with my iPhone, I don’t always get in the water – no matter how freezing it is.

Maybe I have to let go of the people that don’t make any effort to know me or keep a friendship with me and stop taking it so personally. And, just maybe, I have to start trying harder. In retrospect, I should’ve taken my shoes and socks off, rolled up my pants – or taken them off entirely – and gotten the perfect shot of the waterfall I saw today to get that one perfect shot. No matter how fuckin’ cold that water was – and, trust me, there were icicles right near it so it was COOOOLD!

What’s weird is that I was in Finland and have been ice-hole dipping. That’s where they drill a hole in the ice of a lake and people go swimming/dipping in it. So, I KNOW what cold feels like. Getting in the ice holes was exhilarating. I did it several times. Why didn’t I just do it this one time today?

I think I’ve been cruising. It’s easy to do but I expect so much more of myself. Why am I beating myself up when I’m not even trying hard enough to warrant the emotional abuse I reap upon myself?

On a similar note, the holidays ARE where people struggling with depression feel the most alone and isolated. So, reach out to the ones you love. Pick up that phone when someone calls, call your loved ones, etc. That’s what the holidays are for!!! ❤

Oh, and no question about it at this point, Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

 

Rage fest over

I have officially calmed down. I have these beautiful souls in my life who just flutter in and out of my life. Sometimes, when life gets hard, they whisper sweet encouragements and offer their homes and whatnots. I’m a lucky girl. 🙏🏻😊🙏🏻

Not out of the fire just yet but the first step has been accomplished. I have stopped seeing red and ready for whatever next adventure awaits me. 

Tried to talk to the owner lady today but she wasn’t around. Have to speak to her and just be the better person in this weird situation.

After having spend thousands in doing this weird gypsy life and finding myself in some sticky situations (such as now), I’ve decided to make a blog entirely devoted to pointers of what NOT to do if you’re like me and want to find a remote job somewhere. I’ve found that both jobs that went left had similar red flags I could’ve – and really should’ve – taken serious note of before making such a huge commitment.

I’ll list some cool sites I’ve used to find these jobs, things that happened that I should have noticed and what went down. If you have personal experience with this too, would love to hear yours and if there are any pointers you’d like to share, feel free to send them my way! You will, of course, get due credit should I post it.  Let’s save the wanderlusting gypsies of the future thousands of dollars and unnecessary heartbreak! 

P.S. The meanie cook who’s trying to starve me was actually nice today!!! I heard her laughing, only to see a random jolly appraiser dude. Of course, she’s being nice. She wants dick. This confirms my suspicion I mentioned in last blog that she just needs to get laid. Living in the middle of nowhere definitely has its cons in that regard. Lol

Oh, brother!

I don’t have a brother but I’m done sighing so that’s the alternative to my predicament.

I haven’t written in a while… Over a month.

I went to the Grand Canyon, hiked down South Kaibab Trail and came up Bright Angel Trail with a really good friend who’s new to backpacking. Then did a road trip to Sedona and New Mexico.

Whilst during all this, I got 2 seasonal job offers. One at Yellowstone – the lady was even willing to get my flight ticket – and another at a special needs camp in TX. I wish I’d taken one of those instead of the “year round position” I took in Tennessee.

How do I put this? This place is… Well, horrible. At least for me. I spent the last of my savings to go across the country based on conversations I’d had with the owner, who seemed so sweet. The first day upon my arrival, they spring on me that this is a new job they’ve created and that, really, in one week they’d see if it (and I) even work. What?!??? I specifically told them that the worst thing for either of us would be surprised and was forthcoming about EVERYTHING , even my painful periods since that may affect my work.

3 days in and I’ve never been chastised so much. Everything I do seems to be wrong and the more I try to get something done perfect, the more I seem to fuck up something else. I haven’t even been shown around and have to constantly ask where everything is. I feel like they want someone who is meek, accepts what is said to them and doesn’t ask questions and that’s just not me. 

The lady put in charge of assisting me hates me (although I think she just has never been laid and hates everyone). When I brought this up to the wife of the owner, she said she’s just a “spiteful bitch” and not to take anything personally. That’s all fine and dandy but who allows someone like that to train with new hires? Do you even WANT people to stay? Also, if I remember correctly, she said this lady was one of her closest friends and has been there for a while. WHY, on God’s green earth, would you call her such a mean word (even if it is true) to another worker? I don’t even want to know what she says about me behind my back.

Not to whine but they’re getting me at a steal. Not to say numbers but I was making what they pay a week (6 days of working, mind you) in a long day. I simply wanted a place to call home, a place I could just walk around in mid or after work to explore nature. I like money but it’s not what motivates me. I want a job I can grow in, that allows me my freedoms but also tends to its workers and, in return, I’d bust my ass for them. I’m loyal but I don’t give my loyalty freely anymore.

Working 6 days a week doesn’t allow for any backpacking, which I was hoping to do.

And she says that on my day off, I HAVE to get my social security card, which I lost in one of my many moves, before she can even pay me even though I have a driver’s license, valid passport AND a green card. Oh, and I remember my social security # so anyone familiar with I-9 form (form to be filled out for IRS and so you can be paid) knows to have the physical card isn’t even mandatory. Yes, it’ll be good to have but to threaten me that I’m working for free otherwise is unnecessary. When I tried to tell her if she just brought out the form and that I’ve dealt with I-9s as HR and an Office Manager, she simply yelled “people MUCH smarter than you have told me otherwise. Plus, I’m the boss. What I say goes!”. Woah! Inability to even open your mind to what one of your workers has to say isn’t a good look on any executive, I don’t care what industry.

The more I try to appease her, the more she tells me how I’m doing things wrong. I’m desperate but not this desperate. The trains run through here and I thought earlier today (and yesterday and the day before) “What a relief it’d be just to stand in front of it and get it over with”. But I know that’d let her win. I can’t have that.

I’ve been in tight spots before and I’ve been blessed with angels coming into my life in the form of friends and family … And even strangers. But when wil this end? I can’t just give up and be a desk jockey unless it’s for something I’m passionate about. When things are calm and I’m making money, I hate my life. But being in this predicament is really triggering my depression. 

Now, I’m sitting with my fruit (oh, did I forget to mention: the lady who hates me is the cook. Worst situation ever. Since I get off at 5pm and guests don’t eat until 6, I have to grab leftover food and eat it in the barn I live in – which had a microwave but still. She says I can’t grab a plate and have to use styrofoam containers for the food. I tried telling her toxic that is. First, I hate microwaves but can get over that. I am NOT, however, eating melted/microwaved styrofoam food. But I guess that’s what happens when the cook is your worst enemy). On the bright side, I guess I’ll lose weight. My diet was worse on trail but at least that had been my decision, not someone else’s. 

I’ve never been the litigious sort but, had I a shitload of money, I’d sue this place. The passive aggressive hazing, the situation they helped put me in (because, really, it’s mostly my fault for being naive and trusting they’d hold up their end) and horrible food/living standards are the worst I’ve seen. And I don’t like bullies. They shouldn’t be allowed to treat people like this.

There’s nobody to talk to here. There are only the husband and wife owners, the cook and the wrangler (who seems nice but we never see each other). So gotta get this out somehow. I feel like I’m just bursting with this frustration. I’ve never wanted to punch anyone so bad. Wish I could take one of my old kickboxing classes right now. I’m too wired to even do any yoga. 

Not that everything is horrible! The guests are fantastic, the 47 or so Arabian horses and all the other animals are wonderful too. And even the owner lady is super sweet when guests are around but, when they leave, she yells at me constantly. I feel like I’m a naughty child or something and I’m 30 years old. Shiiiit.

So, stuck in TN. Need to get out. Looking to work someplace that wants a spunky, motivated person that’s not afraid of hard work. Willing to work from the bottom up and prove myself. Know of any place like this? Let me know!

Now, here are some pics:

   
Dinner 👆🏻

 The main part of the ranch 👆🏻

   
 Had to take a walk before even writing this, just to chill out. Here are some wild turkeys just roaming around.

  
Woo-Woo, my best friend in this place. He’s such a good listener.