8/28/19: And Where's Yours?
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*Coach MK speaks*
Learn from your past, then PACK YOUR SHIT and get the fukk out of there.
Hi! I’m Coach MK and This is The Morning Mantra.
*cue intro music*
Hi, my name is MK Fleming. I'm a run coach based in Denver, Colorado. But this isn't a podcast about running, exactly. Don't tell my clients, but *whispers* we're never really talking about the running. When you know a crap-tastic event is coming it helps to have a mantra to keep you centered and focused as you move through it. You don't have to be an athlete to be hashtag #coachedandloved by coach MK. And if you are here, then you are hashtag #winningatlife.
Trigger warning: I reference my rape and subsequent drug use in this mantra. No graphic detail- it aint’ that kind of podcast!
Today’s mantra is: Where’s yours?
One of my favorite songs is Baggage Claim by Miranda Lambert. “Baggage Claim, you got a lotta luggage in your name!” It’s about a woman whose boyfriend has consumed all of her emotional energy for way too long. She’s had enough and she’s moving on, his side piece can take care of his ego from now on.
I don’t know about you, but I did that for way too long in relationships. I did SO MUCH of the emotional heavy lifting. I thought that was my job, I’ve been conditioned to think I was responsible for the mental health of everyone around me since I was very little, conditioned to think that I didn’t matter at all UNLESS everyone around me was in fact happy. And the only way to make men happy was to hide my emotions, my wants, my needs, keep my STRONG WILLED BIG MOUTH SHUT.
Remember, strong feelings strong emotions, anything other than total compliance could be the stroke of anger that killed my dad. We didn’t ask men back then to control their emotions, and YES anger is an emotion, we just punished women and children and minorities for having them. I often wonder how my life would have turned out had I not been raped. If you had met me as a kid, would you have considered me strong willed? Today, FOR SURE but once upon a time, when I was 6, 12, 17? Nope. They didn’t know how good they had it.
I was an emotionally neglected and arguably emotionally abused child who got tired of carrying everyone else’s baggage. My rape was my final straw, after that I was a mess. I own it, I was terrible. I was terrible to be around, I was anxious and angry and scared and FURIOUS. If I can’t play by the rules and win or at least some semblance of justice, I’m not playing anymore. So I made my own rules, I did my own thing, I no longer recognized obligations or social niceties. I was still, for the most part, a decent human. It’s possible to be both decent and a hot mess, functional and dangerous to only yourself. Was I pleasant to be around? No. Were people actually scared of me, thinking I could or would turn on them? Also, no. I was like a zoo animal, people watched but rarely approached. I can’t blame them.
I mourn the 20-year old version of me, and part of my recovery for the rest of my life, will involve a process called “owning my shit, then running away with it.” Meaning, when I meet someone from my past and somehow my messiness comes up, I own up to it. I use the r-word to explain that I was traumatized but still responsible for my actions and apologize for how my trauma radiated into their lives. At this point, two things usually happen:
1. The person I’m talking to backs up, apologizes, and tells me I wasn’t THAT bad, if I had been they wouldn’t be here talking to me. They then, usually tell me what they were dealing with in THEIR twenties, and even if we don’t walk away besties we both walk away with a certain kind of peace we didn’t have before. These are the good conversations, turns out people’s opinions of me weren’t as bad as I thought. That I wasn’t as bad as I thought.
2. They double down, either pointing out specific, messy things I did or just not responding to me points directly. The conversation is one long joke, and I’m the butt of it. No mention of them or their shit. Nothing is their fault, they used drugs because they were with ME! And how can I be sure they were there I was on DRUGS!! These are the bad conversations that remind me that some people are just looking for a bullshit stick to hold. I let them enjoy a moment of superiority then make excuses and leave. I never reach out to or make time for these people again; that's where the 'running away with it' comes in.
Therapy has allowed me to have different versions of this same conversation in my life today. I can own my shit and don’t feel ashamed. I’m more than the sum of my past mistakes. No one carries my baggage anymore, I got this. No secrets. No shame. Good luck beating me with a bullshit stick, I got places to be, yo. The past reverberates into my future through the compassion and empathy I developed as a child. I will always remind people that they are more than the sum of their mistakes because I am too. But it stops there. I will not carry your shit, or engage with anyone who plays the blame game.
SO. The mantra: in those moments when you realize you are talking to a person who will not own their responsibility, their actions or the chains of events their actions set into motion, STOP. Hear my voice in the back of your head, saying. “Yes, this is my baggage, WHERE IS YOURS?” Like Miranda Lambert said, ‘If it ain't obvious what has set me off today Behind every woman scorned is a man who made her that way.’
*cue outro music*
You are Coached. You are Loooved, and you ARE winning at life. And you're definitely winning at life if you subscribe to my Nuzzel Newsletter, follow me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram. feel free to do all three!