Sunday, February 1

"Don't Should On Me." Standing Up to Abuse, Finding Freedom ............ 2/1/15

Copyrighted Image: "England: Northamptonshire:Summer Day" by Tim Blessed.  
       A funeral I attended.  I even strapped a guitar over my suit and performed, playing the song the deceased--- a lovely woman---asked me to play at her funeral, "Just A Closer Walk With Thee."  After the memorial service was over,  Yolanda, a woman who had the direct nature firstborns can
have---probably because she was one---said, "Are you going over to the reception at DeAnna's?"  She, the daughter of the deceased.

        "You should go," this oldest adult child in her family said.  She hadn't seen me in eight years, these---her first words---was the way she greeted me.  With my girl-friend at my side, and four others standing by me,  I calmly said, "Don't should on me."

        "What did you say???"  Her eyes widened, as she replied, thinking I swore.

        I said, "Don't should on me."  Her head moved back as if I had punched her, which would have been satisfying.  I continued, "I am of the age that I am not accustomed to others telling me what to do."  I said this with love apples in my cheeks.  No glaring, my voice calm, expressing my words in my soft-spoken way.  My eyes looked steadily into hers, a reaction she was not used to, from anyone.

         She sputtered for a second and left.  Oh yeah, I haven't seen her since.  Eight years.  Forty-five seconds.  That's all it took.  And what did I gain?


         My dignity and self-respect, I maintained.  I did not cower to someone who was practiced at bullying others since she was nine.  It felt good, responding, not reacting.  I nurtured the little Pablo who lived within, who was not allowed to speak his truth as a child.  I was happy.  I knew what to do, did it and was calm when I did.

          My insights and strength was gotten through my time spent with Al-Anon Family Groups.

       What else did I receive on this day?  Peace of mind.  We get what we tolerate. We train people how to treat us.  On that day I was liberated from a person who had tormented me for many decades.

         You see, Yolanda is my oldest sister.  Twelve years older than me.  This event happened at my mom's funeral.  DeAnna is my sister, the third-born in our family, eight years my senior.  I am the fifth.

        I have not seen Yolanda since.  Eight years.  Am I glad. And if you did the math, that's forty-five seconds with her in sixteen years---long enough.

        What did I do, after my oldest sister left?  My friends and I went back to our cars, waiting.  After every one left---all my siblings, relatives and friends of the family, we returned to the burial site.  We watched my mom's casket lowered six feet into the ground.  Dropping a wreath on her coffin, I asked my friends and sons to form a circle around the open burial spot, holding hands.

       At that spot, not only did I leave mother, but I also prayed for the toxicity of the mistreatment I experienced during my childhood, adolescence and adulthood to be buried, too.  There weren't bad memories about my mom.  She was loving, gentle, affectionate and warm.  I would not be the person I am, without her impression upon me.  My dark days of youth was what I suffered from Yolanda and my father.  He was a perfectionist, but they both mistook blame, shame, guilt, fear and judgment for discipline. They did not see it for the abuse it was, and is.

     After dirt was piled on top of my mom, I treated everyone to lunch at La Cascada on Whitmore in Ceres.   This is where I took my mother when my wife, sons and I visited her.  Once inside the restaurant, I asked everyone to tell me about their mothers.  For two-and-a-half hours we celebrated our time with stories about them.  Friends are the family that we choose and that is how it was.

How About You? 
How do you handle emotional bullies? Any suggestions? 

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Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.