Cleaning Out My Closet

My Facebook closet, that is…..

I am one of those people who feels things deeply and many times differently than most others. I am at a point in my life where I can take a friendship or leave it. I don’t need your bullshit. I don’t need the constant barrage of opinions and false information to clutter my mind or my Facebook feed. It’s exhausting. I have enough to worry about in my own life….in real life. Why can’t we just share pics of our families and pets and wonderful things happening in our lives? That’s the reason I got involved with Facebook in the first freakin’ place!

I’m sick of wading through post after post of what someone thinks about this, that, or the other. It’s like they are on a crusade of sorts to convince people to come over “to their side” or “to their way of thinking.” You know what? I already have an opinion. It’s an educated opinion. It’s MY opinion and you telling me what yours is, is NOT going to change mine!

I have always stated that I won’t ‘unfriend’ someone because their opinion is different than mine. I can still be friends with someone and not share the same thoughts on a given subject. I can, however, ‘unfollow’ those people who are constantly cramming their thoughts about politics, religion, LGBT rights, gun control, etc., down my throat via social media.

I don’t care if you love Trump and the bus he rode in on. I don’t care if you’re a Southern Baptist or a Catholic. I don’t care if you believe everyone on the planet should own a gun. I don’t care if gay rights upset you because it goes against your beliefs. I don’t care what you think about athletes kneeling before a game. I don’t give a rat’s ass in September if you have your own opinion! We ALL have our own opinions and we are entitled to them. That does NOT mean that everyone wants to know what you think about every subject known to man and then be belittled for having an independent, perhaps different thought.

One of the things that really gripes me is that when I see “an opinion” post on social media that I don’t agree with, I scroll on by….. I really don’t care how someone feels about a subject. I know that I won’t change their opinion by commenting what I think! But the very few times I have posted something that I believed with all of my heart to be any caring person’s view, I’ve had people comment and act as though I’ve committed a felony!

People’s opinions are based on their experiences, their perceptions, their interpretations. Sometimes, on actual facts. Go figure. That’s what I’d like to see more of on Facebook. Factual commenting, not berating, insults or ridicule, would be a welcomed change. At the very least, for folks to just scroll on by, would be very refreshing! But seems to me all anyone can do anymore is be disrespectful. Quite frankly, I’ve had enough.

So, I will be cleaning out my Facebook closet once again…..

 

Opinions: Not Right, Not Wrong

I don’t voice my opinion often, but when I do, I think I deserve the same respect that others expect when they voice their opinion. What I normally get is barked at by those who don’t agree, or disrespected in some other form….including confrontational private messages! Do you know what I do when I don’t like someone’s opinion? I just keep scrolling!!!! I don’t argue and bark at them as though they’re wrong or stupid for having an independent thought. I accept that others will have a different opinion, and discussion is always welcomed but have some damn respect!

Learn to be open-minded

I don’t know what it is about opinions that people don’t understand. Opinions are neither right nor wrong. Opinions are views or judgments formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. They are based on a person’s perception or experience of a situation. My opinions are normally formed after I consider both sides of the matter. This is something I think many people neglect to do. They just “thump their chest” as if to say, “What I say matters!” Well, so does mine. Everyone has the right to form an opinion, and to not be disrespected, even if views are different. I use to tell my kids as they were growing up, “If you want to be respected for your opinion, then you must first respect the opinions of others.” It’s just that simple.

My Blog, My Drama

I started this blog way back in 2008. It was a way for me to express myself through the turmoil that had just begun. It was therapeutic.

It has always been difficult for me to express myself verbally. I attribute that to the fact that my mother stifled me every chance she got. My opinion wasn’t important. My feelings didn’t matter. I was the child and children were to be seen and not heard.

Into adulthood, my ex treated me just about the same way. I found myself having to explain what I meant at every turn. I learned to keep my mouth shut. It was just easier than having to explain myself constantly. I think that’s what he was aiming for anyway. That was his way of stifling me like my mother always did.

So, anyway…. 2008 began with a series of events that became even more troubling as time went on. I needed an outlet. I had to do something to keep myself from going bonkers. I started writing. I hadn’t started seeing my therapist yet; that came a few years later. I think Dr. M would be very proud of me taking this blog to another level, stepping out of my comfort zone. Being Aunt Debbie has always been public, but I never advertised or shared it, except with a few choice people. I am definitely out of my comfort zone!

In July, I decided to share, share, share. I decided to let Google index my blog. I started interacting with other bloggers; I commented on their blogs, and in turn, I received a very warming acceptance. I received comments on my posts. I even started a Facebook page to pair with my blog. It has been a positive experience, for the most part.

The part that isn’t positive is when I receive confrontational comments on my posts, which have nothing to do with the post. Let me just say that I don’t do confrontational. This is MY blog. So, only MY drama is allowed. I don’t have time for your BS. Don’t like my blog? Don’t read it. Don’t like my attitude? Don’t follow me; not on WordPress, not on Facebook, not on Instagram.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not always right. My opinions differ at times. I can handle a discussion about different topics, even when opinions differ. What I can’t handle….no, what I won’t handle is YOUR attitude if you come off confrontational. I’m not trying to be a bitch. I’m just keeping it real. Real simple. Be nice or go home.

 

Want Respect? Show Some….

I am not a political person. I am not a religious person. I have my opinions and I have my beliefs. Just as you have your own beliefs and opinions. If you want me to respect YOUR opinions, then you must also respect mine. Keep it to yourself if you can’t be respectful. Simple as that.

When I say I am not a religious person, that doesn’t mean I’m not spiritual. I have certain beliefs and I choose to keep my beliefs to myself. Why? Because my beliefs are my personal choice. That makes them personal and I keep personal things to myself. I wish everyone else would too. I believe everyone has the right to his or her own beliefs but that doesn’t mean that they need to share. They don’t have to take every opportunity available to tell people all about it and push their beliefs on others.

(That’s the biggest problem with social media. Everyone feels the need to tell everyone how they feel or what they believe….. That’s a blog post for another day!)

Learning & Moving Forward

The last 5 years have been extremely trying. I’ve had to deal with more than I ever imagined I would, and at times thought it would never get better. I spent hours upon hours upon hours crying my eyes out. I have felt helpless, and hopeless. I’ve felt anger and sadness. I’ve suffered through many panic attacks and raging depression. After a couple years trying to pull myself up with not much success, I began seeing a therapist. With her help, I learned a lot about myself, and other people.

My therapist has helped me make sense of much of what I was feeling. With her guidance, and my hard work to meet her challenges, I can finally say that my life is getting back on track. I don’t think I could have done it without her help. You may think these things are a “no brainer” but when you have been raised a certain way, treated a certain way, and had to deal with so many issues, it tends to overwhelm a person!! You sometimes lose yourself while trying to process things, and some things are shoved under the rug because they are too hard to deal with.

Some of the things I have learned along the way are:

*I have learned that the guilt and shame that I carried for so long, was NOT mine to carry. I am not responsible for the actions of others, and I have made peace with events of the past.

*I have learned to set limits and create boundaries. Just as I don’t allow just anyone to come into my house, I cannot allow just anyone to enter my mind, and my life and drain me of my energy or place unwanted expectations on me. I do not have to allow negativity from others to bring me down. I do NOT have to engage in their drama.

*I have been a caregiver for all of my adult life. I have always put everyone else’s needs above my own. I put my needs on the back burner, thinking they were not important. I have learned that it’s not selfish for me to take care of ME! My needs are just as important as anyone else’s!

*I am a logical thinker. I’ve learned that if I can’t make sense of something, in my mind it’s hogwash. I get along with those who are like-minded. I don’t mix well with people who do not think for themselves. I don’t understand people who follow anything blindly.

*I’ve learned that there are certain people whom I cannot help simply because they won’t help themselves. I can’t keep throwing them a rope and letting them pull ME under! Some people are emotional vampires, draining you of all the energy you have. It’s ok to take a step back (or several) and protect yourself! I know I don’t have to let them drain me anymore! (This goes back to setting limits and creating boundaries, as mentioned earlier in this post.)

*I’ve learned that my thoughts, my opinions are just as important as anyone else’s. All through my childhood, my mother stifled me. I was ridiculed for voicing my opinion, for asking questions, and for asking for what I needed for ME. I may still keep my mouth shut at times (because even though I have the right to say it, doesn’t mean I should) but I no longer let the fear of what others think, keep me from using my voice.

*I’ve learned that I can forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made in my life. We aren’t handed an instruction book when we first venture out on our own, when we enter a new relationship, or when we begin having children. We have no clue how to do it, but yet we figure it out along the way! We make mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes are small and sometimes they are huge, but we learn as we go and we have to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made or we will drown in the “shoulda-woulda-coulda” mentality.

*I’ve learned that others will never understand my chronic pain if they have never experienced chronic pain themselves. I can explain until my head explodes but they won’t understand that I can’t do the things they think I should be able to do. They don’t SEE anything wrong with me, so they think I’m just lazy. They can’t see how tired I am, how much I hurt, or that I’d just like to crawl in a cave and never come out again. I don’t have to explain anymore. I’m good with whatever they think about me. I just pray that they never have to experience chronic pain themselves! (If you need to understand chronic pain, a good place to start is with “The Spoon Theory.” Google it. There is no better way to understand than this.)

And last, and I am definitely not finished learning….

*I’ve learned that you just can’t fix stupid!! I get so irritated with people doing stupid and inconsiderate things that I could just pull my hair out! I am still working on this one, but I’m getting better at just letting it go!! I let things get to me too easily sometimes. It seriously affects my mood when someone pulls out in front of me on a busy road, or when someone zips through a parking lot right behind me, even though I’m already half way out of my parking spot, or when a group of people are having a “reunion” of sorts in the store blocking the entire width of the aisle. When you approach, they turn and see you but still make no effort to move over so you can pass through! UGH. I could go on and on….. These things aggravate me to no end. I always try to be courteous and watch for others around me when I’m out and about. I know they have things to do just as I do. So, why don’t they behave the same way?

All in all, my life may be a bit difficult but I am moving forward. I continue to see my therapist and work on my issues. I use to think “I will never see a shrink because I can’t talk to a stranger about personal things! That’s what friends and family are for!” Well, I was wrong for thinking this way. Yes, it’s good to talk to friends and family but some things are too deep and personal to share with them! Sometimes, a complete stranger can see things more clearly. A trained therapist can actually help you figure things out!