Unfuck Yourself – A Tough Love Essay on Self

Life truly has a way to creating what seems to be unsolvable situations. Situations that leave people feeling like they are truly fucked and have no options. I know. I’ve been there. Everyone has. Yes, even those with money and power…but their “Well, I’m fucked!” scenarios are a bit different from those of us who are average and even those who feel like they fall below the mark of average…like life gave them one extra swift kick to the stomach. Again,I know. I’ve been there.

The Basic Truth about Feeling Fucked Over in Life

There is one basic truth about feeling fucked over in life if you live in a developed country (you know, one where it isn’t a routine occurrence to beat someone to death or throw someone from a roof to protect the “honor” of a family. Because apparently, being a murderous clan is so fucking honorable…).And that basic truth is this: when you’re a child you have zero control over your life for the most part. You can’t help what your parents do or where they live. My parents were drug addicts. We were constantly moving. I went to thirteen different schools as a kid. I couldn’t control their addiction. Of course, like any kid, I internalized what they did as my fault (and they made sure I thought it was my fault. Straight As were never good enough. Nothing I did was ever good enough. I was told all of the time I’d grow up to be a loser and be in jail.)

Children are at the mercy of the world…their world. Their parents, their family, their society, and even the system. That doesn’t mean that a child going through rough shit can’t make good decisions. It just means that they can’t necessarily be held responsible for what happens when they’re children. When you constantly have negative influences around you, it is hard as fuck to not fall into that.

That repetitive negative behavior influences most people for the rest of their lives. As they become adults, they remain a slave to what happened in the past. This is because their entire thinking pattern was affected. Even if they dreamt of getting out of that life as a kid (I sure as hell did – I was four the first time I calculated how long it would be until I would turn 18), the thoughts remain well into adulthood.

The Primary Issues of Feeling Fucked By Life as an Adult

We all have our struggles, don’t we? Of course, it’s hard for us to really notice (let alone accept) the fact that we’re not only one struggling. There are a couple of primary issues that keep adults feeling fucked over by life:

  • They still have the same thought process. We can stop associating with the assholes of our youth (including parents), but that doesn’t stop the thoughts.Our brains keep telling us the same shit we heard for our entire youth.Sometimes, we even choose a partner that, although we don’t recognize it at first for whatever reason (and I could give you a litany of reasons – yay Master’s level forensic psych classes!), who mirrors the very person who heaped most of the abuse upon us. “I can fix them. They will change.” No, they won’t. But because we couldn’t fix or please the other person, our innate drive is to find someone like that and make it work – to show it really wasn’t us. (And it wasn’t you, by the way.)
  • Change is hard and unknown results are fucking terrifying. It’s the same reason why many domestic abuse victims don’t leave (and why it takes them going back an average of seven times to leave…and I’m not judging – I lived through that…a decade of it). It’s hard to change. We know what we know. We might not like our current reality, but we have an intimate understanding of it. To some degree,although you probably won’t admit it to yourself or to me, it’s comforting. We want to be different. We want to change. We want to be successful. We want to be happy. We want to feel peace. We want all of these things, don’t we? And we know that what we’re currently doing won’t get us there. Hell, a lot of people know what they NEED to do to at least start on the path of getting what they want. I mean, they may not have EVERYTHING mapped out, but they know how to start. Yet, they don’t do it. Because while they know what they WANT to get out of it, there’s no guarantee. They’re terrified of the unknown.

Failure Isn’t What You Think It Is

People are terrified of the unknown because on one hand they totally expect their entire life plan to go off without a hitch. Shit, if it were that easy, everyone on the goddamn planet would be a success, wouldn’t they? They think that if one thing goes wrong, they can’t be successful. They MUST be a failure at whatever it is…and at life. And they blame everything and everyone instead of putting that energy toward refining their plan.

Failure isn’t when something doesn’t go how you think it should. Failure is all in your head. Do you know how much research usually goes into the creation of anything? A whole fuckin’ lot of it. When things don’t work, shit gets changed and the research continues. Your life is a giant research project on how you can obtain the results you want: success.

And What the Fuck Is Success, Anyway?

Well, the media would have you believe that it’s money,beauty, youth, glamour, giant homes, elegant dinners, and buying the most expensive shit out there. I mean, seriously, did you not read the news story about how Pay Less Shoes opened a fake designer shoe store called Palessi? First of all, how did these people not fucking know they were getting had? When I first heard the word I was like, “Oh,wow, did Payless Shoes come back under a new name?” Do not trust the media to help you define success.

For most of us, myself included, success boils down to the following:

  1. We want enough money to pay our monthly expenses(including food, keeping a roof over our heads, and not wondering if we have to choose between paying the electricity or the water). Basically, we don’t want to worry about money. I don’t even think most people want to be filthy rich(because that brings its own set of problems). We want to secure our existence.
  2. We want to feel safe. We want to live somewhere that makes us feel safe. For some, that could be living in a different neighborhood.For others, it could mean moving to a different city or state to get away from an abuser.
  3. We want to feel happy / peaceful. Here’s the thing about happiness and peace…it’s all an inside job. You will never earn enough to feel happy for the rest of your life. Our brains automatically say, “Oh this is nice…and it would be so much nicer if I had more…” Then, we’re unhappy with what we DO have.

Success is an individual journey. Like, what do you really want in life? What would make you feel successful? Get clear about it. Crystal-fucking-lake clear. You don’t even have to make a roadmap or goals at first. Just know what you want. I wanted to not worry about whether there was food. (I grew up without much food ever being in the house. When we had groceries, it was usually because my aunt or grandma dropped some off. Thankfully, there were times we lived within “walking distance” of them. I thought it was walking distance…my grandma and aunt disagreed. I would walk over there and eat.) I didn’t want to worry about where I’d live. (It’s a serious problem when you’ve moved as much as I did because your parents were constantly evicted for non-payment of rent.)I wanted to feel safe. (Ten years of domestic violence and a permanent VPO against a former spouse can make it hard to feel safe at times even now. C-PTSD literally rewires your brain.)

When I started my professional writing career, I was teaching college (FYI – I started working on my bachelor’s when I was like…26.I had two little kids and I worked full time) and working part time in a law firm. I wanted to work from home because:

  1. I could set my own rate. This would help because I could make enough (as the business would grow) to keep food in the house and the rest of the bills paid.
  2. I could work from home and not worry about the d-bag showing up and trying to kill me or calling my employer to try and get me fired. (It’s legal to fire domestic violence victims in several states. I was even brought in by the legal department of the college I worked for where I had to present all of my court documents and evidence because he kept calling them.I never lost my job, thankfully, but it was terrifying. And it isn’t like I’ll fire myself!) The way my home sits, you can’t really tell where I am in the house. There are few front facing windows. I also have three dogs. Two of which are quite protective. I’ve also taken krav maga. I have no doubt that I can keep myself safe now.

There were other reasons I wanted to work from home (including serious introversion – dealing with people can wear my clear the fuck out).

No One Will Save You – You Have to Unfuck Yourself

No one is coming to save you. The government will not make your life better. I don’t give a shit how many empty promises you heard on television or the radio. Having a significant other who will “save” you is toxic at best. You’re supposed to be a partner. Your happiness should never be tied to the existence of just one person other than yourself. No one is going to drop on to your doorstep and just give you six billion dollars. Sure, play the lotto if you want…the chances are still low of that happening (although I wish you the best).

The only person who can make your life better is you. You are your own biggest problem. And you’re also your greatest solution. You HAVE to get on Team You. This doesn’t mean you totally say to hell with everyone and their feelings and hurt people. It means that you start taking responsibility for your life. It means that…..(get ready to hate me!)

YOU DO THE FUCKING WORK IT TAKES TO GO FROM WHERE YOU ARE TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE.

No more excuses. Do the work. And it’s hard. It’s a daily thing. You don’t do the work for a day or a week or a month and bam everything is suddenly peaches and cream. No. It’s a daily action.

No one can save you from your thoughts…except you. And as you go through the process of literally stopping negative thoughts in your head and saying something positive instead, you’re gonna feel like the world’s biggest liar. You’re gonna feel fake. You’re gonna feel kinda gross for doing it. I know. I felt that way. It takes time to reprogram your brain from feeling like a total loser fucked over by life to someone who can do something to make a positive change.

One of my favorite sayings is that success is the best possible revenge anyone can have. So, do the hard work. There’s no magic secret. You have to work through it all. You have to work when you’re upset,sad, anxious, depressed, whatever. You have to do the work when it sucks and when it is boring. I have complex PTSD and it is NOT easy. But I get up every fucking day (even when I don’t want to do that) and I do it.

It means maybe starting by doing some things you don’t necessarily want to do that will still bring in money you need. Looking back, I’m proud that I have over 400 ghostwritten books under my belt. Do you think I loved every single one of them? Fuck no. But it paid the bills for a while. As time went on, I refined how I approached potential clients. I also refined how I treated myself. Now I enjoy almost all of my projects.

And That’s How You Unfuck Yourself: Do the Work

That’s it in a nutshell. And I know people don’t want to hear it. Life is hard. For everyone. You’re not special in that sense. Do the work. Face your fear of what life will be like when you change it. Think long and hard about the real reasons why you’re still where you are…and think long and hard about where you want to be. There’s no real secret: do the fucking work.

First World Writing Problem: My Never-Ending Manuscript

About three-ish years ago, I started a manuscript all about how to start a business. Around 18 months ago, it was almost finished. Then, I suffered the dreaded flash drive crash. I lost it. I had no back-up (like an idiot). You would think that I would have learned my lesson having suffered a similar fate about a year prior to that with some client files stored on a flash drive that dropped dead. But,no.

Anyway, I had to start my manuscript over. I created an outline and that’s what I did. The problem? It’s become the never-ending manuscript. See, the previous version was finished at around 15k words. Like, it was ready to have the loose ends tied up. This one? Nope. I’m at over 30k. I still have three sections to complete.

I know that doesn’t sound like a BFD to anyone because most writers deal with writer’s block. I don’t. I suffer from the opposite: idea diarrhea. I keep thinking of shit to go back and add to previous sections because I want people to really get the most information possible out of this book. And the idea diarrhea is starting to piss me off. Because with the way my brain works, the book may never end.

Idea diarrhea

It’s also an overstimulation of my poor brain. I had a great day yesterday (and the day before and the day before and, well, just keep going back for a couple of months). Last night, I thought hey I’ll just sit down and work on this…there’s only three more sections!

Within two hours, I was fucking pissed. Not at anything in particular other than myself. I like my writing. I like my book. It was just overstimulating to keep going back and adding to different things and. I was totally worked up and stressed up and had to stop working on it.

This morning, as I piddled around the house (we’re doing our Thanksgiving tomorrow) listening to a Tony Robbins podcast, I had yet another idea to add. It was a good one. I never did make it to my laptop to jot it down. I’ve since forgotten it (and that’s probably not a bad thing).

By the way, this WordPress update fucking sucks.I’m writing my initial post in Word to copy it over because if I backspace onetime in WordPress to correct a problem, the whole fucking post disappears. It’s also not properly spacing between words. Get your shit together, WordPress.

October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I wanted to take a few minutes and address one of the most disheartening things that most people don’t know. It’s an issue I dealt with personally many years ago. And that issue is that in most states, it is perfectly legal for an employer to fire a victim. 

I worked for a technical college. I taught paralegal studies, directed the program, acted as an academic adviser, and managed the internship program for paralegals. I had recently moved to Oklahoma City. The Tribe paid for my move. They came and installed window and door alarms. My advocate went with me to court hearings for the protective order. I am forever in debt to the Absentee Shawnee Tribe for their help and their support. 

One day, the Campus Director (who also happened to be a lawyer) called me into his office because of a “problem.” The college had received an anonymous phone call that essentially said I was a sexual deviant and had nude photos of myself online. I had to talk to him, the Director of Education, AND legal. Separately. And all at once. My job was on the line because, as they eventually determined, the ex that I have a permanent VPO against (that is now worked into the divorce decree via amended language) for stalking, abuse, and harassment made these allegations. 

I had to produce old emails from websites that held pictures that he had that he used to try and blackmail me. I had to produce my entire court file that led to the VPO. I had to hand over documents (including police reports) filed with the local police and Tribal police. My domestic violence advocate also had to get involved. 

So, essentially, I had to be retraumautized and revictimized to keep my job. Legal eventually told the Campus Director to drop the matter and ensure that day time and night time security was notified of a name, description, date of birth, car tag, car description…all the stuff I could give them, basically, to ensure that they could keep me as safe as possible since I taught both days and nights.

Not Everyone Is So Lucky

I hated what I went through. It was like reliving everything. And I could tell you some real horror stories that I’m still not ready to discuss. A lot of victims are fired because their employer doesn’t want the potential liability, the potential danger, or the absences that take place because the victim has to go to court, move, or (God forbid) is in the hospital. They lose their jobs. Their income. It’s the one lifeline they feel like they have. 

As a nation, we simply must do better. 

Almost 40 and…

I don’t think I could say that I’ve ever been happier. I really look forward to my 40th birthday next week. Today we went and bought some new bake wear I wanted / needed (new loaf pans, new pizza pans, and new cookie sheets). I still need to get a crisping rack for the oven, cooling racks (those are available at Dollar Tree), and a few other nice-to-have things.  Read more