“Tell me there will be music and other ways to escape.”
~ Reclaiming Me, @acousticprint
“Tell me there will be music and other ways to escape.”
~ Reclaiming Me, @acousticprint
I’ve noticed that I am often the target. Others seem to zoom in on me as someone to exploit. I’ve noticed when I am out on the sidewalk, on my bike, in a store, that others seem to feel free to come up to me, and not others around me, to try to panhandle money.
I’ve known people who are perfectly willing to give out a few dollars to others who ask for it. I believe that anyone has the right to do with their money as they want, even to give money to panhandlers and to encourage that behavior. I’ve done it myself many, many times. I’ve donated money to the American Red Cross and I volunteered for years at the local chapter as well as the nearest food shelf. I’ve donated over twenty bags of clothes and household goods to the food shelf over the years as well.
I was even told once that I was being heartless and unfeeling not to give money to strangers in the street. That was wrong of him to say that to me. It is my right to spend and/or donate my hard earned money how I choose to do so. He was wrong to look at me and see a heartless and unfeeling person. It was even more wrong of this guy to say that to me when I was nineteen. I knew right then, that this is a guy and I could never have anything between us, not even a friendship, and we didn’t become friends.
Unfortunately this too has happened much too often in my life; people who barely have met me judging and evaluating me and feeling free to express those negative thoughts as though they were fact. Well let me just say, these kinds of people are not in my life and none of them are loved by me. I will try not to judge them, but just to say that we were bad fits and that is okay to understand and to walk away from, hopefully as quickly as possible.
Moving into the inner city again has given me a lot of opportunities to observe, interact, and deal with this, ever single day! Every time I take a bus there magically appears someone who tries to get on the bus for free, or to get someone on the bus to give them bus fare so that they can get home. I myself have paid more than a few people’s rides and I have seen others do it as well. I decided not to do it anymore.
First I have to say I have never left home without enough money to get back home, by bus or whatever method I am planning on using. I am guessing that they haven’t either. And the one time when someone stole my wallet, I was about ten miles from home with my bicycle and since my bus pass had been in my wallet, I had to bike home instead of flipping my bike onto the bike rack on the front of one of our local buses. I don’t ask people or drivers for money or a free ride. I pay my way.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about panhandling for money and the right to say no. I’ve been manipulated into feeling guilty and a sense of obligation to strangers by the things they say and do. I know this is their profession and I have to say that they are quite good at their jobs. I’ve even had people say explicitly that I cannot claim to not have any money, since I obviously have a bag of things I have recently purchased at the store. Again what money or monies I may or may not have are mine and mine alone, they are not their monies. I do not tell them how to spend or not spend their money. I do not infringe upon their legal right to go out in public and live their lives, paying their own way through the day. But I am not willing to pay for their day either.
Realistically I don’t have the spare money to give to others and when I do I am depriving myself of the money that I need to get through the day, week, or month. Being on a small disability income does not give me a lot of money to throw around, for myself or for those that I love.
If strangers get my money I don’t get to buy a thing or two for one of my great nieces or my great nephew, at a great discount price, as a nice little gift surprise for them. That’s not right. Those that I love should be getting the little gifts that give me joy to give them. Speaking entirely selfishly, giving to strangers in the streets is joyless, makes me feel used and lied to, and frustrates me and has actually lowered my self-esteem.
So a woman followed me from the sidewalk into a store to ask for a “favor.”
I told her no.
She stared at me, with an amazed look on her face. And then I repeated no and stood there, staring at her. She walked off, looking like I was a big disappointment to her. Good.
Working on enforcing my boundaries is good for me. I won’t be responsible for her low opinion of me, nor will I validate it. What I do with my money is my business. I don’t owe her or anyone else on the street or the bus the money that I have with me. No.
I’m starting my dietary prep work today for the tests tomorrow. It’s a liquid diet today and getting ready for the colonoscopy. Since I find anything about food, eating, eliminating, and digestion of any kind potentially incredibly upsetting and triggering due to my mother abusing us, I am trying to be extra gentle and comforting to myself today.
I am taking the attitude that it will be really nice when it is over with.
The greatest gift that we can to give ourselves is the same level of love and devotion that we shower onto others.
I haven’t had birthday cake on my last three birthdays. Mostly due to my hesitancy and worry about baking and cooking of any sort. The other part is due to my gluten intolerant issues.
So this year I planned ahead. I found and bought a gluten-free chocolate cake mix in advance. I was uncomfortable with the idea of making a whole cake. I kept planning on making a trial run cake in advance, but found that I was scared of doing it, kept forgetting, and then when remembering kept putting it off. It was overwhelming to me.
I looked for a good recipe for chocolate frosting, but there seemed to be far too many ingredients to research about being gluten-free and for buying. Each time I would go to the grocery store I would forget to buy any of them or wander the aisle not being able to decide to buy or not to buy. Many visits and I still didn’t make any decisions.
It was very frustrating. It was overwhelming to me. When I get frustrated and overwhelmed about purchases, especially gluten intolerant food purchases I tend to keep putting off buying things. This is exactly the same way about cooking and baking. I attribute all of those food related issues to being abused by my mother around food and her rejection and exclusion of me from “her” kitchen.
Finally I found a recipe online for chocolate cake in a mug.
Mix one cake mix and one 4 oz. pudding mix. This mix is enough for about eight or nine cake mugs.
Use 1/2 cup of this cake and pudding combination and then mix one Tablespoon water, one Tablespoon oil, and one egg white.
Use Pam or some other vegetable oil on mug. Spoon mix into mug.
Microwave mug on high for two minutes.
I thought this might be my solution for my birthday cake. I thought it would be very good with ice cream instead of frosting.
When my birthday came I found that I had not bookmarked the recipe and the evening of my birthday, after my dinner with a relative, I found that I couldn’t find it and really was too tired. Almost too tired for a candle, but I did manage that.
But on Monday night, finally, a birthday cake, in a mug. It kind of looked like a tiny muffin. Kind of funny. Kind of cute. It was pretty great.
I figure that after all the years of healing that I have done, I am about half full. Half full of the pain and damage from abuse, but also half full of all the healing and good things. I figure I’ve managed to heal and drain out about half of the damage and pain the abuse has caused me.
I’ve noticed that it used to be that I would cry at the drop of a hat. I always believed that there was so much pain in me that no matter what, whether it was a good or bad thing that happened to me, my normal reaction was tears.
Some things still drive me to tears, remembering more incidents of childhood abuse, being emotionally and verbally re-abused, usually in some secondary wounding way, watching anything that is talking about child abuse, starvation or neglect (due to personal childhood experiences with these), including kids, animals, and groups of people being targeting in their country of origin to warfare, Celtic music, many of Bruce Springsteen’s songs; and when a happy and precious ordinary moment gets noticed and honored.
I think that I will always find the path to tears easy to travel. I am okay with that. It is no longer accompanied by the belief that I am unworthy and damaged.
I believe that the reason I respond with tears is because I would become overly full and something had to leave me, and luckily it was the bad that had to leave, so there were tears leaking out; the excess I could no longer contain. I look forward to the day when there is only good inside of me /us and that when something wonderful and joyous happens all that can come out will be laughter and smiles.
Seeing that I am half full or half done with healing sits fine with me. I plan on living ’til I’m 104, so on my birthday this year I’ll be walking into the second half of my life. Yes, it suits me just fine.