Tuesday, May 31, 2016

RIP Harambe

I've kept my mouth (semi) shut on this subject for a few days now, but I can no longer keep my opinion on this matter to myself.

I will admit I was enraged when I first heard about this happening.

I immediately felt so much anger at the whole situation. Everyone is quick to blame everyone else in these situations. No one ever accepts the blame. It's always pushed off on someone else. We are a society on an eternal wheel of blame throwers. We are a pass-the-buck society. So who is to blame?

The mother for turning her back, the father for turning his back, the zoo, the zoo employees, the enclosure itself, God?
 
It all comes back to one simple thing for me every time. We hear of these tragedies happening all the time.
 
Humans are assholes. But we are so entitled.
 
What gives us the sense of entitlement over other species we share this planet with? Because we are "smarter" or because we are more "evolved" than these other species? Please.
 
Since I have been a kid, I've felt strongly that I don't support wild animals being held in captivity and used for human entertainment and profit. It sickens me. The last time I went to a zoo, I was in high school and we went on a field trip for my photography class. I didn't want to go but I did and it just proved my conviction even more. It saddened me to see these large, bountiful, beautiful animals held in cages or spaces that were just too small and enclosed. My heart broke for them.

I wrote a research paper in high school as well about dolphins and whales in captivity and ever since have been a strong advocate against Sea World and despise the thought of the place. I have never stepped foot into a place like that nor will I ever. I got so far deep into it back then that I even boycotted any Budweiser products or putting any of my money towards any entity that was associated with Sea World.
 
Since that time in high school, I have never again stepped foot into a zoo, attended a circus or gone to Sea World. I have strongly boycotted them all. And still do to this day. Granted I was strong in my beliefs when I was younger and went above and beyond in my convictions... I was a vegetarian for many years, very involved with Peta and attended quite a few protests in defense of animal rights.
I have since slacked on my convictions and am no longer a full blown vegetarian. I eat chicken and fish (still have not touched red meat or pork since high school), I am no longer a member of Peta, I no longer attend protests, but I still remain strong in my beliefs against the treatment of animals in general. And especially those that do not deserve to be in captivity.
 
Stories arise of lions and tigers turning on their trainers and killing them or hurting them severely...of killer whales turning on their trainers and killing them or hurting them severely.  Stories of wild animals escaping zoos and running out and on the loose ending in their untimely murder by a human because "we can't have a wild animal loose running around." Stories of what happened the other day. And who do we ultimately blame? The animals. That's right folks. We blame the wild animals because humans are assholes.
 
What the fuck do you expect?
 
I am so sick of these arguments that zoos are actually helping endangered species...that they are actually helping them from becoming more endangered. That they are humane and that they treat the animals well.  Really?! How the fuck are they endangered to begin with? Because of the fucking human race...that's why.
 
And humans are so brainwashed in thinking that this is ok and turn a blind eye and continue to support and give money to these places that have animals in captivity for human entertainment. So we can take our kids there and teach them that it's ok to do this to animals. Because we are the human race. And we are entitled to treat animals this way. Because we are smarter. Because we are more evolved.
 
Maybe one day it will be enough of a wake up call that these places be shut down. That we shut down these places and create more wildlife sanctuaries and protection of animals in the wild and turn this downward spiral around.
 
But I digress.
 
I read a book many years ago that furthered my beliefs that these mammals should be considered our equals or to atleast have so much more respect for them than we have. If you've never read it, I highly recommend 'Ishmael' by Daniel Quinn. I guarantee it will change you, even if it just jars you ever so slightly.
 
Humans created this tragedy as we do many others. We can place blame every which way we want, but the truth is that humans made this happen. We created the sense of entitlement, we created these zoos, we continue to brainwash each other and continue to think it's ok to keep these wild, bountiful animals in captivity so we can stare at them through a large sturdy piece of glass into a tiny world we made for them and continue to say when tragedies such as this happen that "well, it's unfortunate but given the circumstances, the best decision was made."
 
Because we are humans.
 
And because we said so.
 
I'm sorry that you were murdered in cold blood, Harambe, because of us. Because it's what "had to happen" under the circumstances that WE created. As humans. And as entitled assholes.

We are all to blame.

 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Narcissism

I jokingly posted a meme on Facebook about a month ago with a photo of a pinup girl stating "My milkshake brings all the emotionally dysfunctional, selfish, narcissistic alcoholics to the yard".

I laugh because it's true (atleast I can have a sense of humor about it), but in reality it's not so funny.  And it's true as shit.

I have always been attracted to the broken.  Because I'm a fixer.  I'm a textbook Al-Anon.  I have always been attracted to the artists, to the creatives, to the non-conventional.  I love them.  I am drawn to them like a magnet.  And I know that will never change.

However, with every experience in life, you must learn something.  If you don't, you're doing it wrong.

I've learned that I become easily co-dependent in relationships and completely offer 100% of myself to the other person.  I lose myself in the process. I become completely selfless and everything I do is for them and to make sure they are taken care of or happy.

I first came to Al-Anon because of the effects of alcoholism in my life.  But after being in the program for 2 years now, it's so much more than that.  It's a way of life...not just in dealing with alcoholism, but in dealing with every single thing in life.

I didn't intend for this post to be about Al-Anon, but I can't help but bring it up in everything because it is such a huge part of my life.

So we know I gravitate towards the alcoholics and the addicts...because that's what I do.  I'm good at it.

If you are an alcoholic, it doesn't necessarily mean you are a narcissist as well, however, they can go hand in hand.

I didn't really know anything about narcissism.  All I knew is that it was someone who was self involved.  Someone that was vain or constantly concerned about their appearance. I didn't really understand it though.  I didn't know that it goes much deeper than that. I just assumed it was physical obsession of oneself.  Boy, was I misinformed.

My ex husband was a narcissist.  And my now ex is one as well.  I knew they were both alcoholics, but had no idea there were narcissistic tendencies.  Or that that was what it was/is.  And it's easily hidden because they hide behind the fa├žade of being selfless - that they are doing everything not for themselves, but for others - then it quickly turns and the ugly face of narcissism rears it's ugly head.

But the term has been brought up many times lately so I've been drawn to reading about it.

I recently read this article in The Huffington Post : The #1 Secret on How To Engage With A Narcissist.

The worst part about it all is that I finally have a program and no longer involve myself so deeply in the sicknesses and I know I am doing the right thing and have handled myself in a respectful and calm manner, yet the other person STILL manages to play the victim and to make me feel bad - and like I have been the horrible person and that I am the sole reason for the demise of our relationship.  Why?  Because it's engrained in me.  Because feeling like that is engrained in me.  For allowing someone to make me feel like that is engrained in me.

So I just have to continue to stick close to my program and to constantly reassure myself that I am doing the right thing for me and to continue to do the next right thing.

And I don't regret these experiences.  I am solely responsible for my part I play in these relationships and for allowing myself to be a part of these relationships.  But I do know that I am growing and I am learning.  And I am becoming a stronger woman in having those experiences.  So that hopefully the next time may be a little different.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sigh

I just don't understand why people choose to be miserable.  Ultimately it's a choice.  If you are in a bad situation or are down on your luck, then do something to change it.  Stop blaming everyone around you and pointing fingers when YOU are the only one that can change the situation you are in.  And if you can't change it, then you have to change your attitude towards it.

I understand being stuck in this emotional bondage.  I understand being obsessed with controlling a situation or a person, but I am no longer in that place.  I have a recovery program that I work and stick close to that helps me from going down that road again.

It's hard knowing you are doing the right thing and having to be put in a situation to deal with someone who is stuck in a negative spiral attempting at every turn trying to suck you right down with them.  And sometimes refusing to get sucked down just makes them act worse.  But I continue to do the next right thing.  I begin to have feelings of restlessness and irritability, but fortunately, I am able to turn it right back around.

I could look at my personal situation with a "woes me" attitude and be angry at people, places and things too.  But guess what?  I CHOOSE to make the best of my situation and my life and I choose to see the blessings.  And I also choose my reaction to certain people and I also choose to protect myself and not get sucked into the sickness.  Because I've been there.  And today, I have a choice.  I have a program that has saved my life.  And it just goes to prove that I need it to survive.  Because I deal with the sickness every single damn day.  And I have to stay strong and focus on myself because if I'm not careful I can just as easily get sucked right back into it and make the situation even worse.

The worst place to be is not realizing that it's your own behavior and your own actions that are causing a situation and you choose to blame everyone and everything else EXCEPT for yourself.  It's a vicious cycle.  And I've been there.  Unfortunately until you realize it and start to heal yourself and fix yourself, you will stay in this sick mindset eternally.

It's not my job to fix anyone else regardless of my situation.  Sadly, this person is forever connected to me through circumstances outside of my control.  But what I CAN control today is how I react to the sickness and that I can protect myself.  No one can take away my serenity and happiness if I don't let them.  I feel sad for people still stuck in this sickness....but again, today, I choose not to participate.

I can only pray that this person will get the desperate help they need and begin to heal.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Thank God - Simply, Just Thank You

Thank GOD I have a program.  Thank God I am in recovery - emotional sobriety.  I will never be perfect, but I am so very proud of who I am today compared to the person I was 2 years ago.

I am currently in a very stressful situation personally and am being confronted with behaviors that are very unhealthy and very troublesome by a certain individual that will be forever in my life at this point in some aspect.  Despite my naivety at the time, a blessing that has not yet emerged Earthside has come from this decision to have this person in my life.  Unfortunately, situations have unfolded that I wasn't aware were there at the time, but for the past several months, I am proud of my behavior.

The person I was 2 years ago would not have handled this situation the way I have today.  With dignity, respectfully, calmly and with a rock solid program.  I can honestly say that directly because of my program that I am working, I have not done anything or said anything to this individual that I feel that I now or later will owe an amends for.  I have handled myself civilly and with boundaries that are healthy for me.  And for my baby-to-be.

Unfortunately some additional worrisome behavior was directed at me today that instinctively, thoughts of lashing out verbally and in anger at this person have crept up within me.  But since I am in a program and working that program, they have quickly diminished and as I remain calm and at peace with today, I can say the Serenity Prayer several times and all of those thoughts and feelings go away at once.  I am really proud of my progress and am so thankful that I am not in a place of regret or insanity as I may have been 2 years ago.  I have set a clear boundary, this person is overtly attempting to cross the boundary I have set and I will not react or respond because I am sticking to my healthy boundary.

I am truly blessed.  I can only hope that people that are struggling with physical or emotional addictions can find serenity as I have.  I wish it and pray it for them.  But I know I have to take care of myself and my well-being and not be sucked into other people's illnesses despite whatever connection we may share.  I am in control of how I react and how I let someone affect me.  And that is a control that I am so happy to possess because Lord knows I can't control anyone else or anything that goes on around me except for myself.  And today I am in control of my emotional sobriety.

Today's reading out of Courage To Change:

"Life doesn't always go smoothly or peacefully, even though I might wish it would. In the past, when something bothered me, I'd say nothing rather than face an argument. It seemed better for me to be upset than to risk upsetting someone else.  The results were usually disastrous.  I would become irritable and unreasonable as I let resentment fester.
Today I suspect that adversity has value I hadn't previously recognized.  When I face adversity and deal with my problems or express my feelings, things have a chance to improve.  Even if they don't, I release some of the pressure I feel.  I'm new at this, and I don't do it very gracefully yet: sometimes it's scary, and sometimes my words are not exactly welcomed.  Nevertheless, I feel better when I realize that I have finally begun living life on life's terms.
Looking back, I see how much I've grown.  I wouldn't have chosen any of the crises in my life, but since coming to Al-Anon, I've learned that every problem can help me to change for the better, deepen my faith, and add to my self-esteem.

Today's Reminder

The Chinese word for crisis is written with two characters.  The first stands for danger, and the second for opportunity.  I will look for the good hidden within everything I encounter.
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands." - Richard Bach