Taryn Gets Robbed

I wish I were joking, but it’s true. Some lovely person broke my driver’s side window and stole my laptop bag, wallet, and guitar. The laptop was on its way out, so I’m not totally broken up about it. Plus I have an iPad, so I’m still able to get my work done, thank God!! I am bummed about my bag, however. My mom got it for me in Turkey and had my initials put on it. It was such a cute leather bag, everywhere I went I received compliments on it.

Wait, I’m on the East Coast?

I should mention that I’m in North Carolina. Charlotte to be exact. I had every intention on sharing how I went from being in Arizona 2 weeks ago to ending up in NC, but this robbery happened, and I figure I’d talk about that first. I will, guarantee that I will go more into detail about my recent travels. I’ve been to Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. This week, I PROMISE, I’ll share photos and my shenanigans. Anyway, I should explain how I got robbed.

On a Hike

As I’m nearing 1 week of being in NC (I leave tomorrow), I’ve been indulging in the beautiful trails that are all around Charlotte. Honestly, I’ve had such a wonderful time here. Anyway, this morning, I decided to go to a new trail instead of the 4 mile trail that I’ve grown to love. I decided to take my laptop as I was going to sit in a coffee shop after my hike to do some writing. I get to the destination, and on a stupid whim, I decided to leave my wallet in the car, because I didn’t want to carry it*

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* Friends, never leave your ID, cash, valuables in a car.

I know, it was dumb. So anyway, I spent about 2 hours on the trail, enjoying the beauty all around me. I decided to leave my camera at the house I’m staying in (thank God). As I was walking back, feeling super refreshed and in good spirits after the hike, I was greeted by a park ranger who asked if the vehicle she was standing next to was mine. I was about 50 feet away, so I could barely see her, and the car was out of my line of sight. At first, I thought I was parked in an unauthorized spot, but as I got closer, she explained that someone busted the window and opened the trunk.

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Enjoying Life’s Curveballs

To be honest, after the year I’ve had, having my car broken into didn’t even phase me. After taking the information in, I sighed, called the cops, and inspected the vehicle. The thief even stole my earbuds case, which is also its charger. What’s stupid is that I had the earbuds with me, so all they got was a case, and now I have no charger.

To add to the mania, the park ranger legit hit on me. She low key dropped the “did your boyfriend buy you that jacket” qualifying question, to see where my orientation leaned. I laughed, because who in their right mind thinks it’s wise to hit on someone who’s just gone through a burglary? I sidestepped the question and told her I prefer to be alone and that my dog was all the company I needed. After 20 minutes or so, she left, and I waited for the cops on my own. I didn’t mind, though. After dealing with the officer (I swear, both the ranger and officer were as cliche as can be), I removed the glass and drove back to the house I was staying at.

 

This may sound weird, but I’m incredibly thankful for all of the ridiculous things that have happened as of late. It’s really made me grow closer to God and to keep things in perspective. I’m safe, Abbey wasn’t there so nothing happened to her. The window  isn’t going to cost a lot to replace and will be fixed tomorrow. Aside from losing some cash, my ID, and some gadgets, it’s all well and good. I am annoyed that I will be having to go to the DMV AGAIN as I just got my license replaced in May. Also, I had just purchased some amazing InkJoy gel pens and a really adorable pen case which was in my bag. If only you knew how much I LOVE my pens. Oh, and my journals and manuscript notes were all in there. There were years of ideas and notes about my books. So, that’s a tough loss. Oh well, such is life. I’m thankful that I have parents that were kind and helpful through this ordeal. I’m grateful that everything taken is replaceable.

Motivated to Make it Happen

If you’re of the Christian faith, you know that opposition and setbacks occur as a way to discourage you from growing closer to God. I find that when you’re cultivating that relationship, expect some weird stuff to happen. So, rather than discourage me, it’s making me double down in my faith, and be who He’s called me to be. These crappy moments just make me want to sing His praises even louder. So with that being said, I’m going to finish packing and getting ready for my next destination. That and I’m going to write more and with an increased gusto as I will not be deterred in being who I am. On that note, happy Monday and I hope it’s a good one!

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one’s for my homies

To all my fellow humans who are going through tough times, feeling down and out, and just plain feeling defeated, this one is for you. Since I missed my Motivation Monday: Quote of the Day, I will leave you with my favorite inspirational song. If you remember the 90s, you’ll get a kick out of it! So here’s to you, the disenfranchised, here’s to looking up! “We’ll be singing, when we’re winning”. 🙂

Life is For the Living

I often find myself struggling with the fear of “Am I crazy for leaving my job to go into the unknown land of freelancing” all the time. From a rational standpoint, I have abandoned all the security a 9-5 brings with no immediate backup in sight. On the other hand, the world is my oyster and I’m free to do with it as I please. Getting trapped in a finite way of thinking is something we’re all taught. You go to school, graduate, find a steady job, have a family, grow old and die. We tend to look at life in a “step by step” manner, a blueprint if you will. I threw out my “blueprint” a few months ago and I haven’t been the same ever since.

After going rogue, I’ve failed, faced rejection, and even questioned my path from time to time. Yes, I’ve fallen flat on my face, but as it turns out, I’m still here. I didn’t crumble and die from these experiences. I used to be so afraid to do something wrong or to be shot down that I would not attempt the unthinkable. For some reason, I treated life as a Mario game where you only have 1 life left and if you messed up, game over, you have to start all over again, so you play extra cautiously so that you won’t die. Well, I’m throwing that out the window too.My goal is to turn my dreams into a reality. Pursue the things I want most out of life. I’m just choosing the road less traveled to get there.

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