“When we have poor values– that is, poor standards we set for ourselves and others– we are essentially giving fucks about the things that don’t matter, things in fact make our life worse. But we choose better values, we are able to divert our fucks to something better– towards things that matter, things that improve the state of our well-being and that generate happiness, pleasure, and success as side effects.”(2018) Manson, M. The Value of Suffering, page 88, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.”
What in the world would you do with a super power that gives you the ability to see the true intention of someone’s words as it leaves their face hole? Pushed from their lips to your ears as it was set up in their brain like a math equation; maybe that is what pythagoras theorem really is, lol. Back to my point, it’s here I promise. What would you do? Would you choose to influence your own life, or there’s? Do you express to them the need for simplicity or beg them to read a dictionary?
Would it be worth walking away from a family member? A close childhood friend who has always been there for you, because you aren’t allowed to turn this super power off. If you care about them, you are faced with a decision. Let them live their life because we only get one or influence your two cents to save their soul from whatever fate they will incur? This is my brain, daily.
Forcing myself to shut off a ache in the back of my heart that says “they need to know all the facts.” Not everyone wants all the facts. Not everyone wants to be “today years old” when they find out their favorite thing is deep rooted in something taboo. I am not speaking on the history of any certain thing but the value it gives to your future. The energy we put into things should be what sustains us– all forms of relationships and even hobbies.
If you would have told me 5 years ago I would be where I am now, I would have probably ran away from you. Told myself “she’s crazy to think I’d want that!” That woman wanted nothing to do with commitment. Nothing to do with making decisions for a grown person or compromise with their ideologies. I wanted everything to just be “calm” for the moment. Peaceful in the chaos that unmasking could give.
“Our values determine the metrics by which we measure ourselves & everyone else….If you want to change how you see your problems, you have to change what you value and/or how you measure failure/success.”(2018) Manson, M. The Value of Suffering, page 79, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.”
I gave more of myself to everything– my kids got the good and the bad. My realization that none of it was working and just like the ocean– nature will lead the way. They got the beginning stages of reparenting and my unmasking experience. I gave them explanations for the need for their patiences with me and the process. Raised in a toxic household, myself included, my trauma triggers started in 2007.
I pushed to show those around me that I needed to change and I was taking accountability for myself. When the stage of “hey friend” came around, I realized quickly who my “real” friends were and gained a few new ones. Putting energy into new set boundaries created a revolving door of “hey I am new here and you remind me of an old friend” short exchanges and long bouts of isolation. The toxicity of the outside world only imploded after the toxic relationship announced “if you’d just be less you, they’d like you more,” and I was done.
” I fought the RIGHT fights for the wrong people. I put energy into projects I was resentful at the end of because I couuld have done it for myself and been happy — to turn around and have no energy to do it for myself. These weren’t the friends I needed in my twenties. Trying to find my place and leave a toxic relationship. ‘If that’s bad — I should have left years ago!’ coming out of the mouths of strong asf women. I couldn’t look in the face of my daugthers and want this life for them. I had to start being the parent I needed in the 90’s. I had to learn when to stand up and when to shut up. I made many mistakes — I took accountability and amends. All the while, still surrounded by the fake people only calling for a favor.”Mrs. Austin — Toxic Relationships
I put all my effort into school and those friendly faces working toward the same goal, getting the hell out of the situation we were in. In 2009 I fully emerged myself into my higher education at the age of 26 and along came my Ollie. Then a life changing car accident, I walked away with bruises, whiplash and PTS. After the birth of Elle in 2012– I sat in pain, eating my life away in the healthiest way possible until 2013. A new years resolution that gave me my sweet Ayla.
This was my breaking point and I started to change my perspective on my mental and physical health through a different lense. I had already started my “let it the fuck go” process in 2014 when I finally completed what I had sent out to do 10 years before; graduate community college. I can only throw out two inferences to this statement:
- You know me: Damn, only 10! Congrats, or
- You don’t: She’s not as smart as she thinks she is.
Regardless of how you see me, I am who I am. Being raised undiagnosed autistic & adhd, I put 110% of myself into each situation I have invested my time & energy into. Even more if you pay me because my work ethic is my hyperfocus on autopilot. I am & always will be a problem solver. People are not puzzles & treating strangers as so is not socially acceptable.
My brain just wanted to help them “fit in” better. So to those I loved and never wanted to see get hurt, I would give them the cheat codes. I would give them a glimpse into my compartized brain & help them find the “loophole.” Later in life I realized that this form of manipulation was something I witnessed & never truly utilized until I was an adult. This manipulation is defined in parenting in different ways and can be twisted into something dark. Being the “just be happy” kid I was, I wanted that for everyone else.
Manson defines “shitty values” in 4 categories, pleasure, material success, always being right and staying positive, as empty achievements relative to allowing your life to be filled with longevity versus instant gratification. By forcing yourself to see values in only one side of life’s struggles can narrow your point of view and thinking to focus your energy on controlling the outcomes.(2018). Manson, M. The Value of Suffering, page 86, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.”
I can look back on childhood photos and remember exactly what I did that day; after 4 of course. No joke, I have very little of these photos in my daily life because of the stains of those memories. I would tell someone I loved some piffy slang I heard on tv or the radio then follow it up with how I felt they could better their situation. Let me tell you – No one, absolutely NO ONE wants to hear the truth from a 6 year old. I held on to those reactions & slowly let it funnel my attention to those who showed me they loved me, not just told me. I can remember the reactions of the adults in my life & the words they used. Then I truly believed I would never be loved.
By 25 my spoons were spent on my kids & “family.” Mostly recovering drug addicts or convicted criminals. Why, you might ask? They don’t judge me. They don’t feel a need to impose expectations on me like my actual family has my whole life. I am so sick and tired of “we just want what is best for you” when I can clearly see you miss the target of that same statement for your damn self. When I was a kid, trust was something easily bought with attention & candy.
Now, just a year from my 40’s, I ravel in the freedom of knowing myself and experiencing peopling for the first time in a decade as myself and able to unmask for the majority of my days. I am filled with gratitude to wake up everyday with the outlook that I am worthy of the sunshine on my skin, space to experience my feelings and tame the teenage angst. Manson goes on to discuss the differences between good and bad values. Good values can be found internally and expressed through giving and engaging the world as it is and not what you ponder on its potential. Bad values are inconsistent and require outside sources to fill what I can only explain as narcissistic characteristics of granger and using charm and a prayer to achieve it.
“Values are about prioritization. Everybody would love a good cannoli or a house in the Bahamas. The question is your priorities. What are the values that you prioritize above everything else, and that therefore influence your decision-making more than anything else?”(2018). Manson, M. The Value of Suffering, page 87, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.”
My values are few but crutical to my relationships with others. I need to keep these boundaries so that small talk doesn’t turn into a knock down drag out fight. My energy will match yours, my tone too. I can’t turn that off when I am out masking. That won’t be me in a “safe space” where I don’t feel the need to defend myself or blend in so not to center myself in the situation. I have had to learn that not everyone is taken off guard by other people; they create the trauma that brings the drama.
I got tired of being the “big girl.” I don’t mean fat — the friend whose a girl that they could call to defuse the situation they started or get them out of it with minimal ass beatings (they ultimately deserved it but I didn’t know that at the time!). Taking in more and more content about healing from my trauma — I want to pass it on to you. Here’s some homework. Brene Brown is a “let’s get to it!” kind of gal and I fall more and more inspired by her and her guests each time. In this podcast from Jan. 26th she talks about “Living Into Our Values” and I wanted to share it with you.
I hope you enjoy and deep dive into the rest of her Unlocking Us podcast.
On to the next one…
Leave a Reply