Toxic Love

My mother has described me as someone who’d bring home little lost people instead of animals. Through the years, I’ve survived toxic relationship after toxic relationship because of this accursed belief that I can fix people. Make them better. Help them see the good inside them. 

In my current state, I’ve managed to wash my hands of most of those relationships and surround myself with positive people.The most recent relapse into my old ways (and likely last relapse) was a run-in with an old friend who almost everyone had washed their hands of due to his actions. I held out my hand again, and he bit me. Not as hard as he had in the past, but he still bit. This time, the bite did not puncture me. As hard as it was, I turned my back and walked away.

As much as my love for other people defines me, it also puts me in an unwelcome situation. I am easily manipulated, emotional, and have an extraordinarily hard time with appearing as anything but kind and rock-solid. I go internal when I’m having problems, and have no one but myself to blame when no one has any idea how low I’ve sunk. I know I’ve confused friends in the past with this behavior. It’s easier now that I have a man in my life that (unfortunately for him) is the softest place to fall I’ve ever experienced since the support I get from my family.

Writing has helped tremendously with the decisions I’ve made to keep my life chaos free. It started with Livejournal a million years ago (I know, I know…) and now I suppose it’s come to a head with this blog. I’ve been able to see my mistakes and learn from them. Even when I make brand new ones!

My life now is wonderful. I’m basically broke, but who isn’t. I’m 4 years deep in passionate love. My family is amazing. Every friend I have is magical. Yet there is still that want to hold on to old, wounded people. Even when they have no interest in being held. In a way I’m sure this is tied to my ego, as I feel fantastic when someone tells me I’ve had a positive effect on their life. Learning when to let go is a hard process, also likely tied to my ego.  Why couldn’t this one work out? How are they still such broken assholes when they’ve had ME?

Learning about quality over quantity, as cheesy as it sounds, was absolutely key in growing apart from the clutches of Miss Nightingale. I went from having no friends, to having hundreds of acquaintances, to having a few dozen key loved ones. Holding on to the want to be surrounded by admirers is easily diminished when you realize a lot of them are there for the same reasons you are. Because everyone else is.

I cherish the friendships I have now because each of these people give me something.

Does that sound selfish?

It’s not material things, it’s not verbal praise, it’s just company. They give me good company, and good times. I don’t have to pretend and I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I don’t have to walk on eggshells. I communicate. I disagree without fear of losing them. I agree without want of pleasing them. I treat them as I would want to be treated, as they do me. I never feel bad in their presence, I trust them with every fiber of my being. I know that no matter what happens, no matter the hardships we all face, they will always have my back. So yes, it’s selfish.

If you are in a relationship where you are missing even one of those elements, you need to re-examine it.

To be your best you, you have to be selfish. You are nothing to anyone if you do not love yourself first. This is vastly different from self-importance. That builds walls around you and it’s nothing but fake, grandiose crap. See the difference.

Sometimes I forgive, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I forget, sometimes I don’t. When I think back on those no longer in my life I wish them well, and thank them internally for serving a purpose in building me as a human being. Your abuse made me strong. Your lies make me smarter. Your unforgiving, selfish natures made me want nothing more than to be exactly what you were not.

I am a work in progress. Always. I am never perfect. I can not make anyone cease to suck if they don’t think they suck. I can not fix the universe.

Be charitable, be kind, but do not be a doormat.

This is a lot heavier than most of my posts because it means a lot to me. I am surrounded by people who I know exactly where I stand with and it is literally the best feeling in the world. Those few who I question get my co-existence and nothing else.

And thankfully they are very, very few.

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Haters gonna hate.

Juggalos, Justin Beiber, Emos, Hipsters…everyone’s got their hate bandwagon.

In my youth I saw it all around me and kind of took it as canon.

In the goth clubs. Don’t dance to Manson. Manson’s a poser. Don’t shop at Hot Topic. Suburbans goths suck. New York goths are snobs. DC goths are hicks.

At the punk shows. Spiked hair is for posers. Short mohawks are for posers. Skinheads are all racist, no matter what they say. Hardcore punk is crap. American punk is crap. Pop punk is crap. UK 77 era punk is crap compared to US 77 era punk. Crust punk is for kids that don’t shower. Glam punk is for kids that shower too much.

Now that I’m older, my effort to justify my relationships with people by what music they listen to, or don’t listen to, has officially ended. And frankly it was half-assed to begin with because you can’t keep up. My old crew (and mostly still current crew) was a mix of every kind of misfit, and everyone got along fine. Somewhere in my late teens to early 20’s, who you were seen with became immensely important to many of my friends. Being a fat, awkward weirdo and being graciously let into some inner circles felt great at first. After a while, keeping up with the do’s and don’t of scene life was exhausting. Have the wrong friend? Wear the wrong T shirt? Listen to the wrong album? Forget it. GTFO.

I found myself in an odd state of envy towards people who could blindly listen to pop music and thoroughly enjoy themselves without apologies. Of course, this envy was deeply embedded between a layer of self doubt followed by an even thicker layer of belief that they were brainless hive-minded morons and I was way smarter and more enlightened!

As I got older, things changed. That happens when you get older. Those base and stupid things we think tie us all together started to fade into the background. Deeper relationships (although less of them) were founded on a sort of mutual energy. A feeling of “you’re really neat even though you watch reality TV and like Nickleback”.

I’m not writing about suddenly becoming the Dahli Llama and loving everyone no matter what. I’m also not writing about over-tolerance of things like hate organizations. I’m writing about the weird, seemingly growing intolerance of other people’s completely banal shit. Hipsters and Justin Beiber come to mind almost instantly. Some of the folks I know that hate on Hipsters the hardest…actually kind of look like them. Hipsters, to me, seem like the amalgamation of all the scenes I grew up watching kind of…coming together. Why is that so bad?

The Beiber thing is a bit easier to understand, as pop music featuring kids has been a boil on the butt of outside the box thinkers and grumpy old adults since the dawn of time. The Beatles, Menudo, heck my brother had a “New Kids Suck” all caps T shirt that got him sent home from school once (and it was hilarious). It’s always existed, but this was before the internet. Trolls had to work harder then. If you truly wanted to piss off a fangirl, you had to walk into a building full of them with neon letters painted on your chest that said “EVERYTHING YOU LIKE IS DUMB.” Now you just write it in bold white all-caps on a picture and share it on Facebook. Instant Troll.

So I get it, it’s irritating. You don’t like it. So don’t listen to it. Here’s a kid who got famous doing what he loves and I really hope it doesn’t screw him up. That’s my end thought on the matter. His existence, and the existence of those before and after him will continue to please and annoy until the end of time. I’m choosing to be tolerant of it’s presence because I have many other delightful things to steam up about. My rights as a woman, the future of my career, and the government peering into my vagoo every five seconds just off the top of my head.

The easiest to understand may be Juggalos. Here are some fun people who believe in a Valhalla of weed and ax murder founded by two insanely chauvinistic guys in clown makeup. There’s SO MUCH THERE TO RUN WITH! But should I? They’re basically just another group of kids who found an accepting subculture.

Where to draw the line.

For me, it’s drawn on how you effect my life. This is perhaps more selfish a move than condemning them outright, but I look at it this way. Racial intolerance effects my life. Violence against men, women and children effects my life. 12 year olds looking for some sweet and dulcet teen pop tones to ease them gently into womanhood does not. Someone wearing lenseless glasses (seriously why do you do that) does not.

I attempt to carry this tolerance of hoomans beyond music genre. I carry it into religions, political differences, and completely different sets of beliefs. I can think of some amazing lessons learned from staying judgement. Some of my most favorite conversations have been with people who are nothing like me on a surface level.

So although it’s very easy to pick on subcultures, it’s even easier to let them do what they’re designed to do. Give kids a way to feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves.

 

I spoke to a friend recently who lamented her daughter’s obsession with My Little Pony.

“I hate it, but she’s got no idea. She’s five. I don’t want her dressing like one at 35 because mommy didn’t like ponies.”

There will always be cool and uncool, and there will always be a dichotomy drawn on which is which. Rage up about things worth raging about. If that thing is Hipster glasses, count yourself lucky. You’re doing alright.

PS. You totally sound like your parents.