It's been a hot minute. But I've been off finessing the fuck you in an incalculable number of ways. Still learning to see the 'fuck me' in the 'fuck you.' I think using the fuck you metaphor to explore the ways in which my behavior can be counter-productive has been just as important as embracing the fuck you and the way in which I finesse it.
The past few weeks have been particularly hard, even though I can't imagine any other set of weeks in which I've been so happy, grateful for my life, grateful for the people in my life, and truly validated as a valuable, lovable, worthy human being. If it seems contradictory, that's kind of how life is.
Last week I was forced to deal with a lifetime of fucked up shit. Four divorces (not my own) in my life, and there's a lot of baggage there. To attend my beautiful, wonderful (ex-step) sister's wedding, I had to process a lot of shit. I thought I was fine, but was so stressed out about it that I was having stress dreams about it...and of course, waking up and promptly putting it out of mind, or so I thought.
Once I realized how much it was all pushing down on me, I had some fucking layers to peel back. First, I had to deal with my self-righteous anger. Toward my ex-stepmom and toward others. I was angry because I wanted things to be different. I wanted people to be different. But 1) I can't control other people or how they act and 2) I shouldn't be able to control other people and how they act, cuz well, they are autonomous beings, dammit. Finally, I am not responsible for other people's actions. Let me repeat that, cuz it's classic divorce kid baggage: I am not responsible for other people's actions. OR fixing things. And further, holding on to anger and resentment don't fix a damn thing. They fuck with me, they make me bitter, they stress me out. Nix that shit. It has its place, but its place isn't for fucking me up.
I also had to led my guard down (oh, God, vulnerability, no!!!!!), really think about what it would mean for me to interact with these people who I felt estranged from. I love these people. I don't like what they've done at times, but I love them. I decided that interacting with them and loving them didn't mean I would be condoning their behavior.
Self-righteous anger in check. Assumptions in check.
Then there was all this other shit to deal with. 23yrs of divorce life. 4 divorces. 2 estranged families. 3 estranged step-parents. Lots and lots and lots and lots of pain. The thought of facing an entire family from whom divorce has estranged me brought a lifetime of feelings to the surface. Never quite feeling a part of the 'family' that is the only family you've got. Then divorce severing you from the only family you've got. Over. And. Again. Loving deeply, letting people in, only to feel abandoned and betrayed later. I was feeling and mourning that shit, all of it, still. It doesn't go away. My stress and my pain had as much to do with this lifetime of shit as it did with the current situation I had to face.
But all of that, that lifetime of shit, ain't on nobody in particular. My ex-family isn't responsible for that lifetime of shit, for all that pain, for the things I have been through. That's not on them. It's not even on my ex-step-mom; despite the fact that her decisions have helped to trigger that pain, she is not responsible for all of it, the totality of my pain.
So mentally, I had to divide that shit up. "Here's why I'm really feeling so god damned shitty and scared and hurt. ALL this stuff." "Here's what's really relevant to this situation."
And I'm sayin this like it was simple, but I mean peeling back layers when I say that. This was a long, hyper-reflexive process that I had to go through. Lots of realizing things and being honest and lots of letting shit go. That ain't easy. Even for someone who was practically raised on Melody Beattie's "The Language of Letting Go."
I also realized that my sister's wedding was really fucking important to me. To have that memory when I am old, because I fucking love her. I'm not big on weddings, nor do I really value them that much...in fact, you might even call me anti-wedding (though not anti-love or anti-commitment). I'm typically not very sentimental about it. It's nice, but overemphasized and people spend too much fucking money on that shit. So I don't put too much stock in weddings--attribute that to my 23 yrs of divorce baggage, if you want--but this one actually had a lot of meaning for me. And that's what really forced me to deal with all of the above.
I got a lot of fuck me off my back this week, and some fuck you, for that matter. If it weren't for the wedding, I wouldn't have mega-processed all that baggage and come out a little bit lighter and in no way worse for wear.
That's a gift my sister has given to me, and she doesn't even know it.