Taryn is free

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I had plans to post the final part to my “Creepy ass White dude” saga today, but I had an interesting change in relationship with a toxic family member and I wanted to rejoice in my newfound freedom. Out of respect to my parents, I won’t name the person, but I will talk about the relationship and how I allowed it to muddy the waters of my state of being for so long.

Undetected Virus

When you are asleep at the metaphorical wheel of your life, it’s easy for toxic people to infiltrate your mind, setting up a host of nasty Trojan horses to gain control over you. For years I allowed this person to prey on me because I was so oblivious to my own needs and rights as an individual. As such, I allowed this person to drain me of my resources— time, money, help, support, etc.— under the guise that they were family and that trumps everything. Well, if you’re family is consistently hurting you or making you feel like you’re the problem or that everything is your fault, RUN!

Subtle Infiltration

The problem with emotionally manipulative people is that they are subtle in how they get their hooks into you. Problematic behaviors don’t just manifest overnight, they take time. The person can make seemingly harmless comments to you or about you under the guise of “trying to help”. They’re good at twisting your words and putting you on the defensive to destabilize your emotional wellbeing. If this happens over a decent period of time and you’re not doing anything to establish boundaries, they will control you.

A Tricky Blind Spot

It’s funny, looking back, I really was out to lunch. I think one of the biggest reasons why I didn’t see it was that she’s family. You don’t expect your loved ones to use and abuse you. That and she leveraged children. This gets trickier when little ones are involved, so I was able to reconcile the shitty behavior for their well-being. Ironically, it was this relationship that helped me see how messed up Brett was. Once you’ve experienced “Bat Shit Crazy” it’s way easier and faster to spot. Interestingly enough, both of them suffered some form of abuse one way or another. I really believe that at one point they were victims. The funny thing is, there’s a very fine line between victim and aggressor, and if you don’t seek help or deal with your trauma, you’re likely to become the monster you once feared.

Aiding and Abetting

I’m not going to go into every detail about my relationship or interactions with this person because a) I’m lazy and it would take forever to recall details, and b) I’m at a point where I’m happy to move past stewing over the garbage encounters with that person. While I’ve set my own boundaries, my family is still entrenched and sweeps this person’s behavior under the rug. I’ll admit, the last encounter— the 4th of July— nearly got the best of me because of how fake everything was. There was a time where I felt like Candace from Phineas and Ferb (yes, I’m referencing a children’s cartoon). But, instead of trying to expose fun science projects, I was hellbent on proving that this person was indeed the root cause of a lot of problems. Needless to say, this tactic provided me with more anguish than solutions.

Since my parents are out of the country and I’m a nomad, we have to do family occasions at this person’s house. This means we all get together, pretending that they aren’t a manipulative narcissist. For the most part, I can hold my tongue as I generally focus my time and energy on all 7 of my niece and nephews. That said, I’ve come to the point where pretending like nothing is wrong and sitting on the grenades this person lobs in my direction, is over. If my parents want to continue in that cesspool of dysfunction, I can’t stop them, but I’ve served my time into that mental ward and I’m checking myself out. Now that I’ve had a week to think about things far away from the situation, I initially wanted to call this person out and distance myself. However due to their snooping ways, they did the heavy lifting for me.

 

Cat out of the bag

Yesterday, I was having a chat with my father— a thing we do several times a week— and we were catching up on things. He stays with that person in question, and how he does it is beyond me. Just to give you context, we talked for an hour and that person had come up, because of a gaslighting conversation they had with my Dad. I know this because of how my Dad was speaking about the situation. The words he was using to describe his actions had a negative and malicious vibe to them. I asked him why he was talking in that way because the one thing my father is not is negative or malicious. It turns out, these were the words the other person assigned to his behavior. This tactic is not unfamiliar and I was quick to shed light on what she was trying to do.

Toxic people will do anything to shift any type of blame onto their opponent. They assigned intent on your actions even if what you’re trying to do is benign or benevolent. They do this to make you feel insecure, thus depending more on them. This made me furious. It’s one thing to treat me like shit. But if you do that to either of my parents, we have an issue. So anyway, we talked about it and I gave anecdotal evidence to highlight her manipulative behavior. It wasn’t more than 8-10 minutes of our conversation, but it turns out to be the best thing to ever happen.

Breakup Email

Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep I got an email titled “This Morning…”. I opened it and it started by the person admitting they were eavesdropping on the conversation with my dad and heard all of the names I called her. She then talks about how I trashed her family, and how I’m no longer welcome in her home. After reading it, I laughed out loud. First of all, I did not call her any names. Second, what I said was the truth, if she has a problem with that, she should definitely self-reflect.

To be honest, I’ve never felt more happier about being “broken up” with. The funny thing is I know she was trying to hurt me, but truthfully, she set me free! Thanks to her, I no longer have to play into her crazy mind games and manipulative tactics. I feel like the last year has prepped me to handle these types of situations with ease. I have to give God some blame because my relationship with Him has really impacted how I see myself, the world, and how I move around in it. I’ve come to learn how to control my mind, thoughts, and feelings. Balancing those things are so important and disciplining myself to do the work has been well worth the discomfort!

Free to do what I want

So in a nutshell, I’m free of the dysfunction and nonsense that once plagued me. Prior to this, I tended to take a long-suffering, obligation approach to certain family members. Not anymore. This experience —along with many others— has shown me how to remain calm in even the most turbulent of storms. I didn’t share this story to crap all over my family member. No, I still love her and hope she gets some help. I shared it to shed a light on dealing with toxic family members. So here are a few takeaways:

-Be present in your life, take care and value yourself

-Don’t take the blame for what manipulators do, this isn’t your fault

– You are not responsible for anyone but yourself

– How others perceive you is their problem not yours

– Don’t allow others to assign intent to your actions

– As long as you’re not hurting others, be yourself!

 

With my newfound freedom, I am writing more than ever before. My creative thoughts are buzzing and I could not be happier. The last thing I will share is an article— which you can find here —about manipulative people, how they work, how to spot their tactics, and what you can do to set boundaries. I was going to share it with the final “creeper” piece (I probably still will), but it’s just such an excellent read and does a wonderful job explaining the shit-show that is a manipulative person. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the reading! I’ll finish off the rest of the “creeper saga” next week. But before I got, I want to leave you with this little number to enjoy. Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Thinking, Start Doing

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

That quote is on a magnet that I put on my fridge about a year ago. When I bought it, my thought was I’d see it everyday when I pulled out my creamer for my coffee then magically become motivated to test my limits. The reality is, that most times I don’t even look at that magnet, nor do I venture out into unknown territory often. I ran into my neighbor again this morning as I was finishing my walk with Abbey. Honestly every time I see her I really do believe that sometimes things do happen for a reason. This morning was no different.

Last week, I had been struggling to progress with my freelance writing. I’ve been meaning to update my LinkedIn profile and put of samples of my work. The actual task of updating my profile is quite simple. You just have to update your career and upload some documents and Presto! You’re in business. If it’s so easy to do that, you’re probably wondering why on earth have I not done so? The simple answer is that, I’m scared to put my stuff out there. Once I hit that submit button, my hopes, fears, aspirations, are available to the world to do with whatever they choose. That type of vulnerability is terrifying to me. Granted, I realized that one of my key points in my post 2 weeks ago. I can’t very well encourage you all to be vulnerable if I’m not willing to do so myself, now can I?

Talking it out with my neighbor made me realize how much I hold myself back. My mind was working in “negative thought” overdrive. By holding onto negative thoughts and promoting self-doubt. I’ve talked myself out of doing simple tasks for fear of being judged. When I got home, I took a good look in the mirror and I’m resolving to make a change. I need to tear down the walls that I’ve built up and just get on with it. I am challenging myself to get out of my head and start living presently. And since it’s the beginning of the month, the timing couldn’t be better.

June is the month where I break out and really challenge myself both personally and professionally. I will update my LinkedIn profile and get over the fear of judgement. After all, in order to succeed, you have to start. In order to keep myself accountable, I’ll check in with my progress here and give an honest update with how it’s all going. My hope is that you’ll join me and stretch your minds to conquer whatever holds you back this month. Here’s to a growth-filled June. 🙂

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Caught With My Pants Down Pt. 3

As many of you who read my blog know, pants and I don’t necessarily see eye to eye. In fact I only put them on when only when necessary. With that being said, I’ve developed a strategic system so that my sister and her family are not scarred for life by my “trouserleness”. I actually made a “terms of agreement” with them, so that way we all can live harmoniously without the oppression of pants. I get up pretty early, around 4:30 or so, so until around 7 am, when everyone else get up, my dog and I roam the house, pants free. After 10pm if I’m still up and around, I walk around however I please. The “No Pants Peace Treaty” has worked quite well, until my sister forgot to inform me she was having company after 10. This is where my plight takes place.

It’s 10 on the dot, I’m downstairs just hanging out rocking the boyshorts, grabbing a bottle of water, and rocking out to some tasty jams. I’m also looking out at the patio up in the sky strewn across with a cluster of stars. The Vegas weather has been nothing but amazing so I was taking it all in. Then, in a random instant, the doorbell rings, Abbey goes ape-shit (she hates being surprised), and runs to the door. My sister answers and invites one of her friends in. Fortunately for me, I’m in the kitchen, wearing just a V-neck, sweater and boyshorts. Since the kitchen is strategically sectioned off from the living room, all they can see is a seemingly fully dressed me in the kitchen.

My sister then offers her friend a drink and she accepts. They start making their way to the kitchen, and I’m just standing there with a creepy/embarrassed smile on my face trying to figure out how I can not so creepily explain my plight. Fortunately for me, my sister gets to the kitchen first. She’s laughing at a joke that her guest had made and literally mid-laugh, she stops in her tracks, looks at me in my no pants glory, bewildered.  She pauses then laughs and explains to her friend that I’m “freelancing” and to wait in the office so I can put some pants on. I then jokingly point out that it’s past 10 and my sister laughs and agrees, then apologizes that she forgot to tell me she was having a girl’s night. I shrug it off, honestly I was more concerned for the girl’s embarrassment rather than my own.

You know, you’d think I’d stop running around without pants by the shear amount of times I’ve been caught. But I will continue the no pants fight as long as I live to see another day. In addition to the “No Pants Treaty” my sister shoots me a text should there be guests past 10 in which I happily retreat to my room with my pup, in my no pants glory.

 

 

 

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Now that I’m a Bum…

What to do, what to do?!

Well I have a list of things I plan on accomplishing during my time as a bum.

I am so excited about all the shenanigans I’ll be able to get into.

I’m sure my fur-child Abbey will enjoy my increased presence.

To Do List

1. Get back into fitness (My ass has seen better days…)

2. Learn to take a decent photo

3. Work on my “Labor of Love

4. Travel, travel, travel!!!!

5. Enjoy life!

 

I’ll try to get in a blog post or two! 😀

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(Me in about a week)