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Through The Thick Of The Woods

Happy New Year! I’m a little late to the game, but I’ve been resting and listening to my body, and that’s what has been keeping me so busy. I created a poll on Instagram (@myvenussoul) to help me decide on what topic to write about and the results were unanimous, so here I am with the topic of choice: Family, Boundaries, and unhealthy expectations. I will be posting more polls and interactive posts on Instagram, so be sure to follow me. This blog discusses serious topics, such as abuse (mental, emotional) and depression.

Family is a huge topic in my life right now. I’ve been redefining what family means to me, what it looks like, and how it’s supposed to make me feel, because most of what I knew was unhealthy and loveless. I am related to many by blood, but I am not family with most of them. Family means more than blood relation to me. Family means togetherness, sincerity, the willingness to understand one another, and the understanding that we are all human, but that does not mean that unhealthy and abusive behaviors are tolerated or normalized. I’m not willing to tolerate those types of actions from anyone, but especially not those that are supposed to love and care for me. Growing up in a household full of abuse scars you and it can skew your perception of yourself and the world around you in extremely harmful ways. That was my life from the ages of 14 and up, although I did get a sneak peak throughout my younger years, but I was shielded from it at that time. Ever since I was a child, I felt a disconnect towards one of my parents. At first, I thought it was because I missed that parent, but it was actually the opposite, it was my body telling me something that my brain couldn’t decipher at the time. This person is the “parent” that wasn’t around even when they were, which is the same “parent” that I lived with from 14 and up. The parent that always chose themselves over the child that they chose to have. The same child that was in the foster system because of that “parent” didn’t care about the child’s wellbeing which sets the tone for my entire life, but by the grace of God everything worked out and I was placed in the sole care of my best friend, also known as my dad. Thanks to my dad I had a foundation to stand on and some important teachings that helped me navigate through life, which is exactly what I needed during my teen years while living with that person.

During my teenage and young adult years I was expected to not speak, only listen. To silently deal with disrespect and dangerous situations, and I’d even get scolded because my silence was too loud. I wasn’t allowed to emote or feel anything towards that person because that was seen as an attack, and to this day nothing has changed. To her, I was born to be her punching bag and take everything that she threw at me, which could be taken literally as well. I’ll never forget the time that she punched a hole through the bathroom door because I was “taking too long in the shower” when it had only been five minutes. Her ability to see red is something fierce, it is dangerous, and it happens almost daily, so you can get an idea of what my life was like back then. I did my best to conform to everything that she demanded to “keep the peace” but that plan failed miserably because I realized that what I was striving for was impossible. How can someone be treated so horribly and still be expected to act and feel a certain way? Basically, being expected to play the role of a happy, well-mannered, and obedient child. The only time that I was happy was when I was out of the house, at school with my friends, or all the times that I was out ditching because I couldn’t focus on my studies when I was hurting so severely. Because I couldn’t live up to that person’s unrealistic expectations of what a child should do and be, life got worse. I was extremely depressed and had no hold on my emotions. I honestly couldn’t cry for so long that I thought I lost the ability to. The realization that I would truly never be loved by this person set in early on and it was something that took a lot of time to understand and make peace with. Maybe she loves me in her own way, but she certainly does not like me because I don’t fit the description of the imaginary child that she made up in her head and that’s ok. I’d rather be happy versus trying to live up to someone else’s unrealistic expectations and because of this I was slowly able to let go, be free, and begin to live a life that I didn’t think was possible.

Over the last seven years I have had to rewrite my entire life. I had to start from scratch and unlearn unhealthy habits and teachings, learn the things that I didn’t have the opportunity to learn, and so much more. This required me to sit in silence and I mean for a few years. Through this silence I learned so much about myself, the world around me, and just life in general. Learning about boundaries, discovering my own boundaries, and finding the bravery to express them out loud, rather than silently dealing with being uncomfortable or unhappy. Family or not, I’ve learned to say “no” when it needs to be said. I’ve learned to speak up when someone is being unfair, offensive, or inappropriate because I don’t have to take that. Those things are not acceptable to me. You’re either going to speak to me with respect or there’s no reason for us to speak at all. Not to say that I don't mess up here and there, but that's to be expected because I'm human and I'm not always going to get this thing called life, right, but that's ok. I'm forever a work in progress. All in all, this entire situation with many of the people that I am related to by blood has taught me a world of lessons. It taught me not to take disrespect and not to hold onto what doesn't need to be kept, which will be a lesson that will carry me throughout the rest of my life.

Lessons I Have Learned & Advice:
· You don’t have to forgive or accept someone solely because you’re related to them. If the connection does more harm than good, then don’t force yourself to stay. Listen to your body.
· Boundaries are for everyone, including family. Speaking up may ruffle some feathers and upset people but you can’t please everyone and it’s better not to try to.
· Just because something is normalized does not make it right or acceptable.
· TRUST YOUR GUT. This one will help you every time.
· Not everyone is fit to be a parent and not everyone's situations are the same. Be wary about giving people advice about family related issues when you don't understand the situation/dynamic. I've had many people suggest that I reconcile with certain people and just "get over it because you only have one ___". I only have one me, so I will continue to protect myself and protect my peace.
· It’s ok to make mistakes. You’re not always going to get it right. Not every reaction or expression of emotion is going to be worded correctly and you may say things that you don’t mean, or you may come off too harshly. Every experience is an opportunity to learn, so use those experiences to help you grow.
· Healing is not linear.

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Ana Garsia
Ana Garsia
Jan 21, 2023

🌺🌚🌸🌜🌻 hey you are doing great . I like this blog thing you have going on .

Jan 27, 2023
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Thank you♥️

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