Those regular readers to my blog will know that the past few months have been rather interesting! Due to many reasons, I am unable to go into much detail about my experiences but I wanted to share with you the life lessons that I have learned.
The Bad News......I have been exhausted, stressed, anxious, have experienced a lack of sleep and nourishing food for extended periods, I believe that many of my choices seemed to be taken away from me and felt dis empowered. I believe I have also been subject to bullying tactics, intimidation and lies. Oh, and ignored for a few days as well.
The Good News......Despite the above, I am feeling stronger and in more integrity than I ever had in 40 years!
During this situation, I admit to struggling hugely with keeping my boundaries intact, sitting in the knowledge that something ' wasn't quite right' and also struggling to not give my power over to someone else. Self doubt crept in a few times as well which caused me to doubt my own emotions and feelings.
When you find yourself in a situation where many of people around you disagree with your point of view and on some occasions, insinuate that you are a trouble maker, over emotional and told to ' suck it up' - it can often be quite a difficult journey to stay true to yourself and also trust that whatever you are feeling, is real and true for you.
I have to admit, on several occasions, I chose to suppress my feelings and keep quiet as it was easier than continuing to fight the internal struggle which was going on inside and outside of me. On some occasions, it felt the easiest thing to do - well, for an hour or so at least until the tears of frustration or hurt came flying out in private.
Despite several lonely occasions when I did feel like I was the only one who seemed to think that this was an unhealthy environment to be in , I am really proud to say that I refused to be bullied and accept what I believed to be unacceptable. I believe that in certain circumstances, we have 3 choices. We can choose walk away, accept it or change it. I tried all 3 with the following outcomes:
1) Walk away. I contemplated this on several occasions - even getting to the point of searching out flights and alternative travel arrangements home. However, it may sound like an excuse but most of the time I was not located close to an airport or at one remote place, there wasn't even a bus or a hire car service available.
2) Accept it - Ok, I tried. I did heaps of soul searching, self doubt crept in and on several occasions i did enter the thought pattern of ' Is it me'? I was determined not to be a victim though and tried hard not to let other peoples behaviour effect my well being. Again, easier said than done sometimes but I did try!
3) Change it - Um mm, by confronting the issues and trying to find a resolution, I think we all tried this approach on several occasions. But as Beverly Engel states in her ' Nice Girl Syndrome' book, just how many times do you give a person a second chance if they are not willing to take responsibility for their behaviour? Just how many times do you allow someone to keep treating you badly?
One of the most painful parts of this process was the suggestion that I was ' over sensitive' to certain behaviours due to my experience of being in an abusive relationship. To this I have only one response - by healing myself from abuse in the past, I am now very clear on what are acceptable and non acceptable behaviours to me. A red flag is a red flag. Whoever may be waving it. ( Oh, if you want to check out my interview with former Oprah guest Beverly Engel on the topic of verbal abuse - you can check it out here
Lisa interviews Beverly Engel
In the end, I did what I felt was right for me. I pulled out my journal, wrote down everything which was happening to me down and got all those toxic emotions out of my body and onto paper. Also, despite the fear, I also continued to speak up for myself and stood true to how I was feeling - despite the consequences. I listened to my affirmations and spoke to friends and family for support... I need to admit, this was scary stuff!
More to come in Part 2.................