WARNING: mention of murder, suicide, and domestic abuse/violence
When you were little did you ever wonder what you would be when you grew up, or what you would do for the world? I know I did. For as long as I can remember I have been a fixer. #empathprobs
I was voted nicest girl in my class, & I always sat with the new kid at lunch. I couldn’t stand anyone being left out or lonely. As an adult it would be the complex that would leave me emptying my pockets on East 4th street, scrounging my pockets for quarters for any homeless person who asked.
I loved animals. I would read everything I could get my hands on about the environment. I would lay awake at night with a bellyache worried about the Great Barrier Reef. Sharks were being slaughtered at an alarming rate, our oceans were being polluted. Most of all I worried because I read that when our oceans died we all would die so how could I save the world? I would make posters in my room, dreaming of all the activism I was going to do as an adult. I was determined to make a difference.
Spoiler alert I never made that marine biologist/activist dream come true but I continued being an animal lover and I still try to do my part. As a matter of fact I am attending an event for “Pin-ups for Pitbulls” tonight. Eat grilled cheese, raise money for adorable dogs, hell yes, sign me up!
The biggest part of my fixer mentality came from my parents tumultuous relationship. Since I could talk I was trying to keep their marriage together and making up for my fathers short comings.
My parents were together for 30 years but split up every 3 to 6 months like clockwork. That’s when my mother and I would pack up and head to West Virginia to stay with my grandpa, or sometimes with my Grandma, or depending on finances we would find ourselves in a place of our own, but no matter where we went my father was never far behind. He would always make contact under the guise of wanting to be in touch with his only daughter, but he never asked me much about myself or how I was coping. He always wanted to know what my mom was wearing, who she had been talking to and how we could plot to get them back together. Along with a fixer I also became a master manipulator of my mother, something I had to make peace with later in life. My mom was my best friend but I didn’t always have her best interest in mind.
I was just a kid being groomed to take the world upon my shoulders and all I ever wanted was for my parents to be happy and every time I brought them back together they were, for a little while.
My dad would lovebomb the shit out of us. He would take us to dinners and shopping for whatever we wanted, the pat on the top of my head for a job well done. I would get so excited to watch them fall in love all over again, I would fall behind in the mall just to watch them hold hands but knowing soon enough we would do it all over again. Seeing them happy made me happy.
So for 28 years I lived my life for my parents and I did nothing for myself. Eventually my father turned into my toxic bestie and I went from daughter to therapist trying to coach him into integrity. My mom, well she was my capable, smart, amazing best friend, but she couldn’t see it, and I had to constantly remind her that life was worth living. My childhood years I spent convincing her we needed my dad in our lives, while my adult years I would spend time rebuilding her confidence and trying to make her realize she didn’t need him. By this time she became full of social anxiety and had no other friends except for me. So how could I go to college or move to another state or follow any of my dreams. How could I? My parents needed me and to be honest I had become completely co-dependent upon them as well.
So three years ago when my father murdered my mother and took his own life, I didn’t know what to do. My whole world was ripped from me. I was shocked, even though all the signs had been right in front of my face the entire time. Love always makes us see the best in people.
The whole first year I would do a lot of therapy and I would spend so many days sobbing tears into my hands and I would say to my therapist “I couldn’t fix it, I tried so hard, and I just couldn’t fix it”, and that was true and genuine. I did try my best to fix it. For 28 years I gave it all that I had, I tried with all my might to fix problems that had nothing to do with me and all I got in the end was weight gain, an auto immune disorder, a lot of nightmarish thoughts, ptsd, and a hole in my heart that will never heal.
After a hellish first year I started coming to terms with everything and I started thinking about how I could fix other people. Maybe I could start a domestic violence shelter? A support group for women? Education and prevention for girls in junior high? Argue with idiots who were against feminism on Facebook? Try to make men suffering from toxic masculinity see the light? Try to help my friends with asshole husbands see that they have asshole husbands and that they deserve better? How could I use my story to inspire others? I tried to meddle in it all, I mean God forbid if I didn’t live my life in constant martyrdom.
I’m sorry, was that too soon? Joan knows that I love her, its cool.
But guess what? When I’m interviewed about domestic violence I have to spend a week recovering. When women who look up to me ask for advice about their abusive partners, I don’t mind giving them some direction but when I see them post a smiling photo a week later with their abuser on social media it’s triggering for me and gives me anxiety because I know there is only a couple ways these relationships play out. I get angry that I can’t make people choose the right path.
Why was I putting all of this upon my shoulders then? Why couldn’t I just realize that I have control over one life and that is my own. Is that so hard to accept? Why couldn’t I just accept that the past happened and I wasn’t going to redeem anything or bring my mother back to life by saving someone else’s? Nothing could fix my past.
All of this really started getting out of control when a friend of mine started dating someone new and I wasn’t feeling right about it. My friend assured me she was happy and this is what she wanted but that didn’t seem good enough for me. I just couldn’t let it go. So I took some time for myself to get my emotions in check.
During this time I had some coffee dates with some friends, wrote in my journal, read some witchcraft books, and meditated……a lot. Ya know, cool shit.
And thats when it all hit me and I had a very simple but profound epiphany.
“Miranda why don’t you just try saving your god damn self?
This hit me like a ton of bricks but it felt good, it just whooshed all through me, it felt fucking amazing.
I thought “Miranda, you only get one life, why use anymore moments trying to save someone else, for now you are meant to be an ordinary person, let that be ok”.
Is it so hard to believe that some of us are just meant to be ordinary people?
Trust me when I say I love the Jane Goodall’s, the Maya Angelou’s, and the Mother Teresa’s of the world. I love to read about them, I own their books and I cherish the work that they have done but that is not my path and I’m really ok with that. Thank god for women in the world like Jane Goodall but I am off the fucking hook.
Maybe that could have been me if I didn’t devote 28 years of my life to my parents 🤷♀️🤷♀️🤷♀️
But I can no longer sit and think what my life might have been or what my future holds.
Right now, I don’t want to save anyone, and as an empath who is comfortable putting herself last that’s really, really hard for me to admit, but its true. I don’t want to force my hand into someone else’s and guide them into integrity. I don’t know sister, find your own way home.
Some of us get to live life for ourselves and that’s so fucking beautiful. I just had to wake up and chose to see it that way.
One of my favorite quotes came into my life a few months ago and I read it all the fucking time because it’s the constant reminder I need.
“I am willing to let go. I know that every person has divine guidance and wisdom within them, so I do not have to run their lives for them. I am not here to control others. I am here to heal my own life. People come into my life at the right time. We share the time we are meant to have together, and then at the perfect time they leave, and I lovingly let go. I release others to experience whatever is meaningful to them and I am free to create that which is meaningful to me.” -Louise Hay
That quote found its way into my heart while listening to mediation and I immediately grabbed my journal, wrote it down as fast as I could and it’s been words I have lived by ever since. That was a message I needed to hear.
I don’t need to be saving anyone right now. I need to heal my own life.
Sometimes that healing comes in the form of meditation or healthy eating.
Sometimes it’s traveling to a beloved city and having a fun night with locals.
Sometimes it is talk therapy.
Sometimes it is dressing as slutty as possible and going out dancing until 2:30 am with my girlfriends. (for those who know me, yes I actually dance now, I know right? I’ll tell you about it in a future blog)
Sometimes it is binge watching Stranger Things with my husband and sleeping all day on Thanksgiving because I finally just told my family and friends “no thanks” to their invitations.
Sometimes it’s making mistakes and then learning from them.
Good or bad, I know I really love healing my life and it is a process I have taken great pride in. I am going to pour all of my energy into it and give it all that I’ve got and I know nothing less than amazing things will come from it.
The greatest contribution I can make to this world right now, is to be the most authentic, unapologetic version of myself that I possibly can be and that is enough.
Save your god damn self.