A Crack In The Earth and Shifting Perceptions...  

clevergirl4U 59F
1461 posts
4/24/2006 9:02 am

Last Read:
7/28/2006 1:55 pm

A Crack In The Earth and Shifting Perceptions...

This is not an attractive, funny, or sexy post. It is about what is going on in my life, and what is troubling my heart and mind. I'm not sure that I have written anything quite like this here before.

Lately, in order to get people to do the "right thing," I have had to be a real bitch. By "bitch" I mean that I have expressed anger in a very direct way, called a spade a spade, and pushed back as hard as needed (metaphorically) in order to ensure that I was treated fairly and with respect. In a couple of situations, the time for diplomacy has long since passed.

I am not new to bitchdom...I built two homes after my divorce, and had to do some pretty outrageous things to get contractors and subs to do the "right thing." In truth, I rather enjoyed my reputation as a woman who would not be trifled with, when it came to business. But I also pride myself on being a diplomatic, kind and decent person. This latter aspect of myself seems to have gone underground...or maybe better put, is reserved for those I trust and respect.

Katrina changed me in ways that I do not yet understand. Perhaps anyone who has survived a major trauma can give me some insights? Something in me "woke up" after Katrina and behavior that I once tolerated became utterly intolerable. As an example, my ex and I have gotten along amazingly well over the past 10 years that we have been divorced....or so I thought.

After Katrina, I saw him with a completely new pair of eyes, and I got ANGRY. My whole perception of the dynamics of our relationship shifted and I became very aware of his rationalizing, denial, passive agressive behavior and manipulations. My bullshit detector seems to be operating with a new high-tech chip.

These days, I seem to have no fear. I am often blunt and tell the truth straight. My boundaries have changed. I have taken "not caring what people think of me" to a whole new level

Has anything happened in your life that brought on a complete shift in your perceptions? If so, were you comfortable with your new thoughts and feelings? Was the change permanent?


ArtisticTwist75 42F
2505 posts
4/24/2006 12:59 pm

Clever,

I understand completely where you are coming from. I have also had circumstances in life sharpen my boundaries and make me stronger, less involved in trivial details. Once you experience devastation, your life does change, your attitudes do change. For me, it took a long time to become comfortable with the person that my circumstances made me, but after became "used" to the facts. The change, for the better I think, has been permanent. You can't forget experience. I know you will be all the better for your difficult time. My heartfelt prayers.

Artistic


TheRealThing655 49F
9558 posts
4/24/2006 1:05 pm

I hear you and have great respect for you. In our society it still seems women are "bitches" when they assert themselves and yet it is expected of men. While I did not suffer the devastation of Katrina, and I feel for you, I also seemed to get a new pair of eyes too as far as my husband. Maybe from years of emotional abuse, never believing anything I did was good enough. One too many put-downs from him. One day it was just ENOUGH. I was not going to take it anymore. And is a fact that he will never see what he did. Because he's a narcissist. And most narcissists will never change. I too am blunt and tell the truth now. I am tired of bullshit.
Great post, thank you.


norprin5 56M

4/24/2006 1:09 pm

an emotional/mental breakdown a couple years ago changed everything...the change seems to be permanent...i'm comfortable with it, but my queen, sadly, is not...

King Nor XVIII


playwithme00000 45F
96 posts
4/24/2006 1:18 pm

indeed.. part one was about 5 years ago I left my home and life with a man I loved and still do.. but to survive him and his ways and build, rebuild my life I had to walk.. I changed and developed new friendships.. realised that those I collected around me had similar traits and were sucking me dry.. I made those choices and reacted...but not so much anymore..my newer friends are inspiring and people i didnt think would like me or want me.. but they do..a few months ago I lost a family member and I know I am numb..I know I am still working this out but I have turned some of my work and life upside down.. I am a bastard to work with and be with but maybe when I reset my life I wont be so harsh..Am trying and in some ways makin it happen..there is less damage around the journey I walk.. I dont feel so fragile or so hurt and I dont hurt those around.. in fact I think people are now liking me more.. the real me, all parts of me.. silly me, the rock mee..take your journey and sometimes we have to kick arse.. and sometimes step back and it will happen or change because they can't rely on us all the time..go make your life how you want it. it will be amazing ! x

Play with me........


rm_corezon 54F
3376 posts
4/24/2006 1:47 pm

yes, there are things that have happened in my life that brought about a complete shift in my perceptions...generally emotionally traumatic things that had the sudden shifts (marriage, motherhood...cause slower shifts, I think)...one particularly difficult time in my life in retrospect I realised that the experience and it's aftermath left me with a focus and perceptions consistent with PTSD;

no,the sudden changes are not comfortable to me, never, no; and whether more more valid than the perceptions I had before SOMETIMES debatable...some of the changes in perspective lasted, some eased up, the edges toned down...nothing is ever written in stone; life and conscious rationalization continue to affect us, always


p33c3y0 43M

4/24/2006 2:03 pm

yeah ... definitely ... corezon says emotionally traumatic things ... that's about right ... there are little things of course (they maybe change you in a more powerful way since they're difficult to perceive).

for me ... it took time to adapt. it's not worthwile to fight things that can't be changed. but that doesn't mean you don't necessarily *try*. and i don't think i will ever ... change back.


clevergirl4U 59F

4/24/2006 2:26 pm

    Quoting norprin5:
    an emotional/mental breakdown a couple years ago changed everything...the change seems to be permanent...i'm comfortable with it, but my queen, sadly, is not...
I will have to go digging in your basement for clues

I think I am dealing with some kind of PTSD because the change happened so quickly and drastically. I've decided to see a shrink, and had my first appointment a week ago. He thinks my anger is "displaced"...that nothing warrants being THAT angry at my ex. I told him that "No, I think the anger is placed squarely where it belongs." I'll make my peace with this eventually, but at the moment it feels very disorienting. I am by no means angry at the world...just a few select, lucky people


clevergirl4U 59F

4/24/2006 3:06 pm

    Quoting TheRealThing655:
    I hear you and have great respect for you. In our society it still seems women are "bitches" when they assert themselves and yet it is expected of men. While I did not suffer the devastation of Katrina, and I feel for you, I also seemed to get a new pair of eyes too as far as my husband. Maybe from years of emotional abuse, never believing anything I did was good enough. One too many put-downs from him. One day it was just ENOUGH. I was not going to take it anymore. And is a fact that he will never see what he did. Because he's a narcissist. And most narcissists will never change. I too am blunt and tell the truth now. I am tired of bullshit.
    Great post, thank you.
I certainly don't have to be a bitch in ALL of the arenas of my life in order to get things accomplished. Some tradesmen resent doing business with a woman as an equal, or employer. Some men don't seem able to have a direct and forthright discussion with a woman in order to resolve a problem. And you are right, they view an assertive woman as an agressive woman, and therefore a bitch. And I really resent having to expend the energy required for me to switch into bitch-mode.


clevergirl4U 59F

4/24/2006 6:53 pm

    Quoting rm_corezon:
    yes, there are things that have happened in my life that brought about a complete shift in my perceptions...generally emotionally traumatic things that had the sudden shifts (marriage, motherhood...cause slower shifts, I think)...one particularly difficult time in my life in retrospect I realised that the experience and it's aftermath left me with a focus and perceptions consistent with PTSD;

    no,the sudden changes are not comfortable to me, never, no; and whether more more valid than the perceptions I had before SOMETIMES debatable...some of the changes in perspective lasted, some eased up, the edges toned down...nothing is ever written in stone; life and conscious rationalization continue to affect us, always
Thanks for the insights...I am exploring the possibility of PTSD, mostly because the shift was sudden and the edges feel very jagged...


rm_1hotwahine 64F
21091 posts
4/24/2006 9:29 pm

First of all:
"My bullshit detector seems to be operating with a new high-tech chip."
is a great sentence. I love it.

Okay then...
I have never experienced the kind of slap-in-the-life sort of thing you are describing. However it has creeped up on me slowly and continues to do so. So I guess I'm experiencing what you're saying, in slow motion.

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]


rm_titsandtires 53M/42F
3656 posts
4/24/2006 9:53 pm

I've experienced that kind of thing. Without going into alot of detail... yeah, the changes that came as a result have been permanent. For quite awhile now. The change is tough in the beginning. But definitely good in the long run.

tires


kyplowboy22 63M

4/25/2006 4:52 am

I have had several things happen in my life that brought about changes in my core personality. I think a lot of it is the loss of blind innocence; you come away with cynisism and a 'no play' attitude about certain things, people and situations. They only seem to solidify themselves with time and I have had some for over 30 years now. Not so sure its a bad thing as much as it is a realist thing. Kind of lets you look past all the bright colors and shiney stuff and see the dull, rusty underside that most things actually carry with them. Later

kpb


clevergirl4U 59F

4/25/2006 10:05 am

    Quoting rm_valleyrat4:
    My ex-wife decided to become an alcoholic. It changed my life. I can read people so much better now that I look for and understand addictions.

    For most it's the worst thing that could happen to them. For me? It's a gift of knowledge that only cost me 11 years of my life and 1 marriage. A very high price but one that has a certain value to it.
I'm one of those that don't think people "decide to become" alcoholics or addicts. Did she start drinking while you were married?

But living with an addict must have taught you a LOT about the nature of the beast and what to look for when you navigate through life looking for potential partners.


clevergirl4U 59F

4/25/2006 10:12 am

    Quoting ArtisticTwist75:
    Clever,

    I understand completely where you are coming from. I have also had circumstances in life sharpen my boundaries and make me stronger, less involved in trivial details. Once you experience devastation, your life does change, your attitudes do change. For me, it took a long time to become comfortable with the person that my circumstances made me, but after became "used" to the facts. The change, for the better I think, has been permanent. You can't forget experience. I know you will be all the better for your difficult time. My heartfelt prayers.

    Artistic
Thanks for your insights and support

Boundaries....in terms of what behavior I permit from someone else, you are right...mine have become not only more sharply defined, but pulled in closer TO me. I think that what has me worried is that I will say or do pretty much anything these days, if I feel violated, and it is THOSE boundaries that have me feeling a little nervous I have a "do not fuck with me attitude" that is a little scary.


clevergirl4U 59F

4/25/2006 10:18 am

    Quoting playwithme00000:
    indeed.. part one was about 5 years ago I left my home and life with a man I loved and still do.. but to survive him and his ways and build, rebuild my life I had to walk.. I changed and developed new friendships.. realised that those I collected around me had similar traits and were sucking me dry.. I made those choices and reacted...but not so much anymore..my newer friends are inspiring and people i didnt think would like me or want me.. but they do..a few months ago I lost a family member and I know I am numb..I know I am still working this out but I have turned some of my work and life upside down.. I am a bastard to work with and be with but maybe when I reset my life I wont be so harsh..Am trying and in some ways makin it happen..there is less damage around the journey I walk.. I dont feel so fragile or so hurt and I dont hurt those around.. in fact I think people are now liking me more.. the real me, all parts of me.. silly me, the rock mee..take your journey and sometimes we have to kick arse.. and sometimes step back and it will happen or change because they can't rely on us all the time..go make your life how you want it. it will be amazing ! x
Thanks for visiting and sharing

I've changed along the journey myself and there is nothing like relationships to teach me more about myself and what I need to do to survive. I'm sorry for the numbness you feel from your recent loss...death a family member IS a serious trauma.


clevergirl4U 59F

4/25/2006 10:21 am

    Quoting rm_1hotwahine:
    First of all:
    "My bullshit detector seems to be operating with a new high-tech chip."
    is a great sentence. I love it.

    Okay then...
    I have never experienced the kind of slap-in-the-life sort of thing you are describing. However it has creeped up on me slowly and continues to do so. So I guess I'm experiencing what you're saying, in slow motion.
You can have the sentence, if you want

Yeah...it's the sudden onset that is so disorienting...


ArgosPlumyKooky 46F
3902 posts
4/25/2006 9:22 pm

i found myself and my voice slowly but very surely over the past two years.i am not sure what prompted this but i LUV it


Northerncomfort2 67M
120 posts
4/26/2006 12:47 am

Clever, I think the disintegration of a marriage, certainly one of the most traumatic events of anyone's life, MUST change perceptions and re-define boundaries of behaviour. I know that mine did.

I entered into it with not only a sense of complete love for her, but for her two children by a previous marriage as well. When things got "wild," I turned inward to determine the cause. It appeared at the time that surely it must have been something I had done or was doing to effect such a dramatic change in such a short period of time. After 20 years of marriage, much of it in esprit de guerre, I stopped looking and bailed out. I still felt that I had been the cause of the behavioural change in what had been, for a year of dating, a very loving and happy woman, but the emotional "capital" exacted by the search for cause was taking a physical as well as emotional toll.

Getting out into fresh air, I discovered many things about myself that I had come either to doubt or failed to perceive altogether. There was a sense of rediscovery, some of which was mild vindication, but most of which was simply discovering that there were attributes that I possessed that were of value to others....and THAT created a sense of wonder, some of which persists decades later.

Am I comfortable with these revelations? Yes, to the extent that anyone in their second half-century can be "comfortable" learning totally new things about themselves...

Are they "permanent"? That is too early, I suppose to tell. Did Briar Rabbit avoid future Tar Babies? I would suppose so, but both the Rabbit and I might fall for a future Tar Lady...

Now if one superimposes upon the marital fragmentation the wrenching, numbing, all-encompassing personal violation of Katrina, the soul-churning agony becomes two-fold. The changes in attitude and personal boundaries are profound and driven as a manifestation of survival instinct. They are also acutely painful, since they alter one's perception of "self," drawing us from that personal emotional fireside where we have furnished our psyches with everything we need within arm's reach.

Is this permanent? I hope for all who have suffered both divorce and Katrina-like trauma that this is not the case. I would rather think that once the recovery from the trauma is well underway, our long-accustomed gyroscopic consciences will right the keel and we will once again be able to sight the horizon with a clear eye...


rm_tucker2626 61M
8 posts
4/26/2006 8:13 pm

I understand where you are coming from. Having gone through Katrina and being from your "neck of the woods", I too have found myself having to be more confrontaional. For me, the realization of how little I am in control of aspects of my life has made me become a tough SOB when I have to be.
I see people for who they are and really don't pretend that they are more than what they appear to be. Will I be this way forever? Not to this degree, but I don't think I will ever be the way I was before.


clevergirl4U 59F

4/26/2006 9:03 pm

    Quoting kyplowboy22:
    I have had several things happen in my life that brought about changes in my core personality. I think a lot of it is the loss of blind innocence; you come away with cynisism and a 'no play' attitude about certain things, people and situations. They only seem to solidify themselves with time and I have had some for over 30 years now. Not so sure its a bad thing as much as it is a realist thing. Kind of lets you look past all the bright colors and shiney stuff and see the dull, rusty underside that most things actually carry with them. Later

    kpb
I think I can apply what you experienced to what I am feeling. There HAS been a loss of innocence. But I don't think I am cynical. I think maybe I am more willing and able to turn a critical eye on situations. I seem to be saying "That is SUCH bullshit!" a whole lot more these days.

Insightful as always,kpb.


clevergirl4U 59F

4/26/2006 9:11 pm

    Quoting rm_tucker2626:
    I understand where you are coming from. Having gone through Katrina and being from your "neck of the woods", I too have found myself having to be more confrontaional. For me, the realization of how little I am in control of aspects of my life has made me become a tough SOB when I have to be.
    I see people for who they are and really don't pretend that they are more than what they appear to be. Will I be this way forever? Not to this degree, but I don't think I will ever be the way I was before.
Thanks for visiting Tucker...really Good to hear from someone local on this...we could probably swap some war stories

Confrontational, yes. I have said things to insurance adjusters that I NEVER thought would come out of my mouth! Having crawled out from under the rubble, my thinking seems to be "Fuck, I've already lost EVERYTHING, what else could you POSSIBLY do to me?" I guess it is a "nothing else to lose" attitude.


clevergirl4U 59F

4/26/2006 9:21 pm

Northern, my friend:

PLEASE stop apologizing for the length of your comments. By now you should know that I thoroughly enjoy bright and intuitive people, and I count you in those numbers

I'm not sure if life is ever an "even keel" for long...maybe we just spend our lives "righting the boat" from the waves that come from living. I've certainly given up any idea of "sailing off into the sunset" long ago. Now how was THAT for an extended metaphor!


clevergirl4U 59F

4/26/2006 9:25 pm

    Quoting rm_titsandtires:
    I've experienced that kind of thing. Without going into alot of detail... yeah, the changes that came as a result have been permanent. For quite awhile now. The change is tough in the beginning. But definitely good in the long run.

    tires
Yeah...I kinda think this change is a permanent part of me. But I am looking forward to the time when the softer side of me feels safe enough to come out and play.


CaptLT 63M

7/28/2006 1:23 pm

Clevergirl,
In Jan 2001 I came home from work in a great deal of pain in my left leg, so much that I had a doctors appointment already set up, something I did with trepidation.
The diagnosis was cellulitus, a staph infection, was hospitalized for treatment, for three days, and five monthes of recouperation.
The first morning in the hospital the doctor said: "we may have to remove your leg if you dont respond to treatment, my first objective is to save your life, and if we save your leg, thats okay. You can live without your leg!"
Needless to say he had my undivided atention, but that started a catalyst of change in my life that has astonished many people, including myself, and like the country song, after I realized that I was going to survive, I rode the bull, and jumped out of planes, so to speak,I became a totaly different person, things that were unimportant were now important, things that were important were now unimportant. Some of my family think I have lost my mind, and maybe I have.
With all that I would say that you also have become a new person and if you allow it the world as you knew it has changed forever, some fight the change, and some ride the change like surfing the waves in Hawaii. It is all up to you. Make your choice!
The Captain


clevergirl4U 59F

7/28/2006 1:55 pm

    Quoting CaptLT:
    Clevergirl,
    In Jan 2001 I came home from work in a great deal of pain in my left leg, so much that I had a doctors appointment already set up, something I did with trepidation.
    The diagnosis was cellulitus, a staph infection, was hospitalized for treatment, for three days, and five monthes of recouperation.
    The first morning in the hospital the doctor said: "we may have to remove your leg if you dont respond to treatment, my first objective is to save your life, and if we save your leg, thats okay. You can live without your leg!"
    Needless to say he had my undivided atention, but that started a catalyst of change in my life that has astonished many people, including myself, and like the country song, after I realized that I was going to survive, I rode the bull, and jumped out of planes, so to speak,I became a totaly different person, things that were unimportant were now important, things that were important were now unimportant. Some of my family think I have lost my mind, and maybe I have.
    With all that I would say that you also have become a new person and if you allow it the world as you knew it has changed forever, some fight the change, and some ride the change like surfing the waves in Hawaii. It is all up to you. Make your choice!
    The Captain
Great feedback! Thanks for sharing your story. With both Katrina and now a serious illness, I am becoming a new person, too. So I can relate.


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