Hello there. The Unleashed One here, back sooner than expected, with another journal entry. I thought I would close out May with another M.O.M. (Misconceptions on Monica), so without further pause, let's get to the sauce.
MOM #3: The only thing that's changed about me is my appearance.
If that one is actually a news flash to anyone, then perhaps you've been on the other side of the world that has absolutely no access to technology.
Okay, that statement may have been somewhat extreme. Let's bring this to the base level.
I will surmise that it is harder for humanity to accept someone has changed than to release their perception of someone. It matters less whether the perception is true or not, just how powerful that perception is to thwart the basis of reality.
I will venture further to say that it is harder for people to accept that internal change (more often than not) accompanies external change. Especially when people equate "nice and kind" with "naive and pushover" and a nice and kind person decides to rewrite that narrative via assertiveness and setting boundaries.
Then, that "nice, kind person" becomes that "mean, cruel bitch".
Along the way, I've become that "mean, cruel bitch". I do not believe those terms are accurate, but they are facts to individuals who previously had access to me.
The process of healing is not a carefree entity. Although it's friendlier to deem it "talk therapy", the end result of the talks is not always friendly.
There can be intensity, tears, shame, and disappointment.
There are moments when you leave the session even more confused than when you started.
Note: This is not to discourage anyone to get the help that they need. Just understand that you're not "always" going to feel good. Feeling good through combating trauma takes work, mainly your willingness to work.
I recognized that in my younger years, what I thought was keeping the peace, actually served as the gateway for people to treat me as a lesser individual.
When I would say "yes" when I really felt like saying "no" gave credence to people believing they could do anything they wanted to me without any blowback or repercussions.
The more I embodied the archetype of "The Iron Maiden", the more inhumanely I was treated. What was coached to me as strength and endurance were used against me in those moments when I should have abandoned those teachings.
I do not fault the teachers, for they were just going by what they knew.
What they were taught.
What they thought was best.
I cannot change the stitching in my past's quilt. I cannot wash out the caked-on stains of bullying, psychological abuse, emotional manipulation, sexual assault, and rape. I cannot swap out the patterns of toxic coping mechanisms of then for what I know now are better solutions.
Even to this day, I work on giving myself more grace. Forgiving myself for the atrocities. The ones that have been dissected to death. The ones I've just now been brave enough to pull out of the dark chest of my subconsciousness.
All I can do is be better in the present. Treat me with more respect. Make better choices with who I allow in my life. Be as protective as possible with my boundaries.
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As I outlined in "The Weight of Weight", it was the decrease in my physical weight that opened the corridor to the rest.
I see the difference in how I'm treated at my current size. It should have surprised me but it didn't. However, it is mainly those who know me from the past who have attempted to gauge my temperature.
Can they address me in the same way as before? Can they get away with the same antics as before?
I have reached the stage where they cannot. In other words ...
Yes, I was that kid that was teased for being fat, wearing glasses, wearing braces.
Yes, I was that girl perceived as being ugly because I was black, along with being fat, wearing glasses, and wearing braces.
Yes, I was that adolescent that was not accepted by my race for seemingly "acting white" and "too poor" to fit in with the white people I was thrown into academically advanced classes with. I was only accepted by those who hadn't been accepted by others.
Yes, I was that individual who longed for love and often got imitations of love from the wrong individuals.
Yes, I was that person who tried to cope with pain in other ways that ended up hurting innocent people in the crossfire.
A person can unlearn behaviors. A person can change. A person doesn't have to succumb to fate as solely being a byproduct of one's environment or mistakes. That's the power of free will. That's the power of transformation and growth.
I have discovered that as I've transformed and grown, people that once may have belonged no longer do. I have conveyed, to the people who have remained, that I have changed. However, change isn't always negative. It can rip off the blinders ... to see people who say they are for me are really for me ... or were they gauging more benefit off of who I once was.
Sure, I've sustained more personal losses than I thought I would, but it leaves space for those who are in alignment with who I am now and who I want to be in the future.
And with that said ...