Fixing people. | May 8, 2011

Recently I have been forced to analyse some of my character traits. The two that come into play b have been that I am “bombastic”(which pleased me way more than I think the person’s political correctness intended) and my rage, which has been fiercely uncontrolled as of late.

I wake up each day with a ten thousand pound weight on my chest. I have been woken up by tears streaming down my checks most days out of the last 3 weeks. I am hot with resentment and hostility. I am also frustrated because usually here I feel like I am relatively good at seeing positive paths forward beyond tumultuous events. I am aware that a portion of my frustration is that in many ways I don’t have a reason to be sad. I am past a lot of the scary moments of my life. I am somewhat safe and people have been supporting me in beautifully radical ways, not to neglect the fact that many people radically do the opposite of supporting me. But over all, this is the closest I have gotten to what I see as community.

One thing is, I am processing the most significant heart-break of my life which is extremely foreign to me. I am friends with nearly all of my ex’s and in life I decide to practically put more emphasis on friendships rather than intimate partners, which usually leaves my head above water.  I feel extremely disregarded and torn down this time though. It feels like it won’t ever stop either.

So most would say, I’m in bad shape. I would too. I am attempting to engage in a community in healthy, intense ways but failing obnoxiously. Because of this I am trying to pull myself apart and find the healthy parts of me. This is tough to do when I am continuously battling heart-break, finding out what living in Denver as a single mostly unsupported mother looks like, and killing my sprouts that were my damn therapy!

Then this idea shows up that I need to be fixed. Sure, sure, sure everyone struggles mentally but mine seriously needs some work. The thing is, I’ve been working on “fixing myself” since before I can remember. I keep getting frustrated because there is no diploma for such an accomplishment. There is no mark that determines my success and the rest of my life I will always have this foundation of just like bucket of yuck coping mechanisms. Also, to be transparent about my internal struggles often comes with the baggage of the token psycho, which is very helpful for outsiders. It opens up so many fun, “OMG, did you hear what Lesley did or said?” convos that are about as intoxicating fulfilling as Jersey Shore, but alas a good train wreck is a good train wreck.

My argument here is that whenever a group gets to a point where someone is unreasonably difficult and counterproductive, that person gets ejected. There is never enough TIME. and there isn’t. I know. The funny thing is the individual that is in many ways most effected by their own negative behaviors has the least time of anyone to learn healthy ways to process as anyone else. The conversation never ever stops in my head. Not only do I contemplate every single way I perpetuate violence and negativity I contemplate every time I witnessed violence and negativity to where I adapted it and began using it.

But ejecting people is so deeply a huge malicious coping mechanism in itself. It is how soldiers forget the human element of their position. It is how police shrug off their love lust of power over people. It is how groups with intense potential internally implode. (Side note: I do also see that the ways that I interact with the world make groups implode with immaculate deft, as well. Trust me, I’m trying with all I got to kick that.) Ejecting people creates a hierarchy of people who’ve “got it right” over those obnoxious few that just can’t seem to grasp “it”. Which, what is this “it” people are grasping? Is it not taught social norms that govern our interaction? Ought that person concede and comply or represent their own social norms? 

And where do these ejected beings go? Do people think that they magically find a community that can offer them a space to relearn more productive habits? No. Ejects are our alcoholics, they are people who consume their happiness through products,  they are the assholes at parties.

I think I feel most lost at this time because, yes, I have failed over and over since coming to Denver, but I feel at this point like I’m drowning. Like there isn’t even anything I could do to rewrite reality. I have asked over and over again, what is it that I CAN do to participate in more healthy ways?  I have deduced from coded language that I mostly need to sit down and shut up. I am sure most can see why I have trouble taking this pointer seriously. What?  someone told a white woman to sit down and shut up? crazy…

The bottom line is, I don’t think people get “fixed”. We all just morph through phases of pain and happiness.

We. I. just want to be heard.

I believe as long as there is people who feel they are fixed there will be those who are not.

Perhaps I do fill a certain mold. But I won’t. Someday, I won’t anymore.

But I also never want to be the person that feels like I am fixed. I tell ya, I can’t look around anywhere and find someone who is fixed and those that think they are. I don’t like, but more so, I am hurt by the divisiveness of them places themselves above breakdown.

There are things I get. I get that my rage is shocking.

When I went home to New York to visit my son, I hadn’t been home for a long time. Until this point in my life I have walked away from every conflict that lingered. I stopped talking to my sisters a year or two prior to the visit. I wasn’t in town long and we were catching up on a lot. Each night consisted of as many of my siblings visiting as possible so that I could somewhat “reunite” with as many as I could. One night my sisters Kathy, Judy, Sandy and Patty all found ourselves in the livingroom. Kathy is known for being blunt, to be gentle. Some would say she is one of the harshest people you could meet.  She starts the talks of and begins jovial and jokesy, then she brings it home. It is the round of where Lesley gets to hear every single thing she has done to her siblings and she went for it. My sisters were formed in a circle around me and I was sitting indian style on the floor with my friend Sara slightly behind me. By the end, one sister had left the room, one sister turned away, Sara and I were crying and shaking and Kathy had stormed away. As she walked down the hall all I could think is, “yea… I get that moment.”

I also get that I am beginning to depend to heavily on substances, like alcohol and caffeine. It doesn’t help.

I am moving forward attempting to keep both of these things in mind.

There is another line in a Mumford and Sons song that says, “I will know my name as it’s called again.”

I think that’s where I’m stuck. I want to be trusted again. Which usually looks like honesty, we assume. But I think I am also finding it means less obnoxiousness. But what a catch, you know?  Which brings up the bombastic word. I am thankful for my bombasticness. The people who fall in love with me, I think it is a favorite trait. I am afraid of losing myself in tappering back. It makes me feel like this town isn’t cut out for my type… but that’s probably a fallacy of memory that I assume there was a time I was loved in all of my blood curdling sassiness.

But I want people to call on me because I do sacrifice so much for transparency.

I need opportunities to make good decisions. I need opportunities to shine again.


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  1. Maybe you just need to practice needing yourself for a while. Maybe you should concentrate on that and being as rock steady as you can for yourself and your family. Whatever environment works best for this process would be the best suitable choice of living. Also, because you elevate your friendships then maybe you should surround yourself with a few close friends during this process…friends who won’t zap energy from you and friends who will be there for you but still be able to hold their ground when your rage gets shocking.

    What are you looking for when your rage is shocking? Are you looking for people to see through it and comfort you? Are you looking for someone to rage back at you in piercing honesty? Are you looking for someone to be unaffected? People are always going to react in some way to rage. Eventually if there is still rage people will blame themselves for being part of a problem and walk away. Like I said before…I think you need to be there for and nurture yourself for a while until you don’t feel like letting go of your rage will cause you to suffer inside. You don’t have to be alone either. You can have friends near you. You just need to “go through it” with yourself. It seems as if your falling might have been subconsciously done so you could fall solo and face all of that within yourself that causes you pain.

    Comment by not needed — May 9, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

    • No. The reason I am here is because I needed to need myself my whole life. I have disciplined myself my whole life. I moved out at 15 I went to the Army. I have support and developed myself by myself my whole life. I know how to need myself times a thousand. I DON’T know how to need others and I need others to teach me. That is what I need from my peers. I need to be allowed to need others. I need people to still be there when I fuck up.

      When my rage is shocking I am looking for people to say, “Shhh, this isn’t how we move forward. You’re falling back Lesley. Be strong and clear. I am not going to leave you. We are not going to leave you.”

      I understand and hear that “going through it myself” thing and I think I am. I am very far from the cycles of my upbringing. I know I have to try harder and I will. It is my life I’m fighting for.

      Comment by raven0us — May 10, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  2. Call your rage passion–and with it move mountains. You aren’t broken, maybe you are frustrated because you are already ahead and nobody has met you there yet. Keep faith in yourself. If you keep moving at the speed that feels right to you, eventually you will find the community that is moving at your speed. You are a born leader, just move in what you know to be the right direction, eventually you will find yourself surrounded by that community. Or, you may find you no longer need it so closely. I wish I could fold my big fat mama arms around you and just let you really know how amazing and inspiring you are. Keep writing.

    Comment by Becky Campbell — May 11, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

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