Toxicity of People Pleasing

This post is going to be a little raw.

Uncomfortable.

I was reading along in my book, almost done by the way, and I came across a scene that really hit home.

I’ve been struggling all day, debating with myself on whether or not I should even write this post.

However, after a long stroll of contemplation and hauty debate with myself, I decided this topic is important.

So here we are.

I don’t think I’ve been doing this blog long enough for anyone to be reading the books along with me, bbbuuuuttt, if anyone happens to be reading The Revolution of Marina M., then:

*Spoiler Alert.

Our protagonist, Marina, gets thrown into a Bolshevik Cheka camp for women. This is when the Cheka are killing off counterrevolutionaries and suspected bourgeoisie. Everyday the Cheka are calling names and imprisonment IDs by the thousands to be interrogated. Most of the women never come back. After weeks of withering away alongside her fellow persecuted comrades, her name is finally called.

She fatefully ends up being interrogated by an old friend.

A youthful but relentless girl by the name of Varvara.

Though, washed over by an extreme wave of relief, she is not entirely saved.

She takes refuge with her acquainted interrogator.

You find out quickly that Varvara has always loved her in a more intimate nature, than revealed in their youth.

Marina is never forced into anything.

However, she feels obligated to partake in intimate relations with Varvara. After all, she saved her from imprisonment and death! She is not into women herself, but she dismisses this fact. She owes Varvara.

She has already experienced a multitude of abuses at this point. Sex was no longer sacred or beautiful to her anyway. So what does it matter? She is numb to the experience.

I’m not saying I’ve experienced anything like this.

Not even remotely.

However, I have had certain situations happen where I felt obligated to do things I didn’t really want to for the sake of another person. Whether I felt I owed it to them, or I just felt insecure in their relationship to me, or I was haunted by my past discrepancies.

I have learned time and time again that doing things solely for others, things that could be hurtful to you, is NEVER THE ANSWER!

I was a toxic people pleaser for years. Always thinking I was doing the right thing. How could I be wrong if I’m being selfless?

There is a fine but critical line between people pleasing and being selfless.

Being selfless, in my opinion, is wanting to do something solely for someone else, while still keeping your ultimate well being in mind. You feel good about it afterward, while attaining the goal of helping someone.

People pleasing, is doing something for someone else, solely for the sake of pleasing them. Hence the name. No regard to yourself. No introspection. They just have to be happy.

Lemme repeat: PEOPLE PLEASING IS NOT THE ANSWER!

Everytime, and I mean, E-V-E-R-Y-T-I-M-E, I’ve done something I didn’t want to do for the sake of some one else, it blows up in my face. Everyone, and I mean, E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E, ends up hurt in the end.

I like to think of it this way:

You know the ole saying, “You can’t truly love someone else, unless you love yourself first”?

Well, you can’t truly help someone if you hurt yourself along the way.

If anyone out there reading this, is in a “people pleasing” situation, and feels trapped. Please know that you are not alone, and you need to get out of it. Whether you are being pushed into it, or the person you are trying to please doesn’t even know you are hurting, you need to stop. Not only for the sake of yourself, but others.

You have strength, and a heart of gold.

This too shall pass.

Thank you for reading. ❤

P.s. My posts are a little heavy and intense due to the nature of the book I am reading. I plan on picking a much lighter and jovial book next. 😂😂

Fear

“Terror stretches time- all of hell can exist in a moment.”

-The Revolution of Marina M.

-Janet Fitch

I think this line is beautiful.

I’m not sure why.

It’s not about a beautiful thing.

Or a beautiful concept.

Such a poetic way to describe fear.

Fear- such an ugly thing.

In this blog, I write about quotes and lines that take me off guard, grab my attention, make me stop. They always grip me on a personal and relatable level.

This one took my breath.

I’ve gotten into the terrible habit of letting Fear control my life.

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have not had many truly terrifying experiences. However, somewhere, somehow, I let fear creep in little by little through my anxiety and depression. Seeping into my body like a toxic gas leak.

It truly does morph your perception of time and reality as you know it.

I’m trying my hardest to combat my fears.

I hope you are too.

I hope you find healthy outlets to help you cope.

Find something that can turn the ugliness of your life, into something beautiful.

The picture above is a concept piece I made.

I had so much hurt and anxiety built up inside me, fathered by fear.

I angrily jotted down a poem to rid myself of the toxic emotions. As soon as I finished the poem, I decided I wanted to turn my ugliness into beauty.

Regain control and power.

That symbolic transformation birthed the portrait above.

It’s something just for me.

A constant reminder that I have the power to transform.

My foundations may be crude, but the finished product is beautifully me.

Fear to Love.

Terror to Beauty.

Take back your life and your time.

Thank you for reading. ❤

Defense and Coping Mechanisms in Both Life and Literature.

In the book I’m currently reading, The Revolution of Marina M., the author Janet Fitch implements something I’ve never experienced in a book before.

She switches the point of view from first person, to third person, then back to first person.

The third person POV is only for a couple of chapters, and at first, I found this highly annoying.

Okay…..I was straight up pissed. Ha!

I had just spent a good five hundred pages getting used to Marina telling me her story. I had imagined we were sitting together having tea as she told me of of lust, poetry, deviance and revolution. Then naturally progress into having multiple glasses of vodka as she had me on the edge of my seat with every word….

Then what’s this?!?! Someone else takes over her story?! Nah man…..nah..

However, after just a few pages, I began to appreciate and see the beauty of this change.

More importantly, its significance.

Right before the change in point of view, Marina experiences extreme terror, pain, betrayal ,abuse and loss.

The next chapter after this horrific scene she seeks refuge at a beautiful observatory.

The story is then taken over by Marusya.

The mute and completely dilapidated shell of herself.

She is no longer Marina.

Why would she be Marina?

How could she keep being her?

No….its best to be Marusya…..

Marusya hasn’t been abandoned or abducted, raped or accused.

Marusya was the girl who spoke no words.

Didnt have to speak.

No one knew her here.

She lived a peaceful life.

Helped around the observatory and kept her hands honest in labor.

She holds onto this alter ego, no, more than an alter ego. Her mind holds onto this completely separate existence of herself for as long as it physically can. Until our poor heroine is ripped back into cold reality, away from the stary skies of the observatory.

This extreme display of how her mind had to cope with her pain and defend her last strain of sanity was….well…

Powerful.

And greatly appreciated.

Now, I have never been through anything remotely close to what our brave Russian protagonist has.

Thank God!

*No spoilers as to what happens to her. You have to read it! 😜

No no…by comparison…my life would look like rainbows and lollipops.

However, this intriguing display of escapism and borderline psychosis made me reflect on how my own mind has coped with pain.

Isn’t it funny how coping and defense mechanisms can make things better and worse at the same time. You are protecting your mind the only way you know how, yet, its only because you don’t know how or cant get out of your current situation.

I knew I didn’t want to be where I was.

Didnt want to do what I was doing.

But, I didnt know how to get out.

So I just lied to myself.

Told myself I enjoyed everything.

Told myself I was a different Haley.

I had created another version of myself to cope with my reality.

I couldn’t keep up with how fast things where spinning out of control, and quite honestly, I was too weak and tired to get myself out.

I knew the truth deep down, but lying was easier.

This was just my experience.

I guess I wanted to write about this because I find coping mechanisms and defense mechanisms to be extremely complex.

How do you feel about them?

How did they effect your life?

Are they your bitter tasting memory, or a saving grace?

I’m still confused about how I feel about my sinful alter ego, and how I dealt with her.

I guess in conclusion- it’s all grey.

Fitting really.

I dont believe in a black and white world anyways.

Thank you for reading. ❤