Tag Archives: relationships

Venturing Outside the Echo Chamber

“Safety” in the Echo Chamber

The echo chamber is this awesome place where your thoughts are always validated, everyone in there with you thinks you’re a genius, and this warm, comfy blanket reassures you day in and day out that you’re safe.

But, word of caution, the price you pay for such a love-fest means you stagnate—you cease to learn and grow, and you might even become overly argumentative, or even hostile.

I guess that’s okay if you already know everything, but if you have a sneaky suspicion you don’t actually know it all, you might want to try to step out of the chamber for a minute.

Even though I knew so much (with good reason at the time), I have still been extremely lucky to have been well-rounded with friends with or without similar religious or spiritual beliefs to mine, from Mormons to Muslims to Buddhists to Atheists.

Being willing to openly discuss views and opinions with them has been wonderful to keep me growing, though up until a few years ago, I did so with my mind already made up. Even so, I wasn’t offensive and the seed for seeking truth in a bigger and better way than I had known before was planted.

Opposing Views

Surprisingly, social media influenced me during that time as well.

Getting out of your own echo chamber means having an opportunity to see another view, and maybe even changing your own.

For those who say you can’t change someone’s mind on social media, I say “BS!” My views on public breastfeeding totally flipped a 180!

To be fair, no one else could change my mind, but they did influence me to change my own mind!

With enough exposure to reasons for the opposing view, followed by a stranger’s suggestion to step back and honestly ask ourselves why we viewed it our way, I was able to discover “filter” I was seeing the situation through was completely off-base.

I’ve met others who have said their minds were changed through social media as well. Here is a fantastic example from a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church!

The key is to get out of our own echo chambers and be willing to understand another view, even if you still disagree in the end. If you can say, “I don’t agree with that but I understand why they view it that way,” then you’ve made it!

These connections with acquaintances or even strangers of different views can have lasting meaning.

Demographic Differences

Same when connecting with different demographics.

I have an amazingly open friend, with whom I relate on many spiritual and life experience levels, even though we have a big difference in age. Because of our similar mindful and universal law studies and practices, I recently assisted her in a Mindful Aging course she taught for people over two decades older than me.

Some similarities I appreciated were that I turn 40 tomorrow, a number I can’t even comprehend, and to see some of the concerns I have discussed so openly with them was extremely comforting and helped me shift my mindset around them. I can start now before I get to the age where they are just starting…

A surprise bonus connection was that one participant was caring for a spouse who had dementia, and she expressed the difficulty in not knowing who she was going to be interacting with from one moment to the next. Even though the circumstances were different, I related to her with my own experience with my ex and his multiple-personality-type behavior, which meant my asking “Who is it?” more times a day than I care to remember.

Between various views and demographics, when we leave our echo chambers with an open mind and heart, we soon learn we have a lot to gain from our differences, and we have so much more alike than we ever thought.

Share some of your own connection stories in the comments!

Don’t Get Mad, Get Empathy

When Being Yourself Hurts…

About three years ago I introduced my BFF to my favorite food, Indian buffet and since then, we have gone almost every week, with some exceptions.

Two weeks ago, we were sharing stories of struggle and triumph over vegetable korma and naan bread, then I said something that set him off.

To be clear, him “getting set of” just means he got on the defensive and said something that hurt my feelings. He doesn’t attack me verbally or otherwise, and if we get heated, he never crosses a line into name-calling, crazy accusations, or things he can’t take back. It’s pretty mild. It hurts, like any misunderstanding between friends, but we fix it and it’s over.

In the moment, though, it feels crappy, hurtful, mean, and I wonder if I can really trust him with my true self and my feelings.

We weren’t getting anywhere so we stopped talking and I wiped my tears and got up to get more food. When I returned, he told me why he thought he was upset. I understood his reasoning, but it didn’t compute with my reality and how hurtful what he had said to me really was, so I disagreed.

The Filter of “The Book of Law”

Then I remembered something I’ve been helping my clients become more aware of within themselves in order to better their own experiences in life…

Every person thinks, speaks, and acts based on their own filter created by the “Book of Law,” as Don Miguel Ruiz calls it in “The 4 Agreements,” that was programmed into them as a child and reinforced through the fact that every experience must validate that rule book, even if in your mind you know there is another perspective.

I looked at my friend’s handsome, uncharacteristically somber face and quickly gathered some facts I know about him in order to imagine what filter he may have been experiencing my original statement through.

Instantly, I was snapped out of my own hurt feelings and gained empathy for him. Whether I was right or wrong in my “guess” about why it bothered him so much didn’t matter, because I had come up with a scenario in which I could actually understand why he would react and in turn hurt my feelings.

(Variations of this skill can also be used to have empathy for an abuser, which kept me stuck in a harmful marriage—the key is to know when to use it and know when to walk away for the greater good. That is a topic for another time. To be clear, this is not an abusive situation, this is a misunderstanding among friends—no two people are coming from exactly the same perspective, so these things happen!)

I asked him, “When I said X, did it feel like Y to you? Is that why it bothered you?”

He thought for half a second, and confirmed.

I asked, “Okay, so you’re not upset I brought it up, it’s more in the way I said it, and had I said it this other way it would have felt different to you?”

He agreed again.

2-for-2—It Works Again

Earlier this week, I was talking to a family member who knows some private but pertinent information that led to my entire life turning upside-down. I am hurt and can’t understand why this person isn’t as affected by this information as I was. They are supportive of me, but clearly can’t understand where I’m coming from.

I remembered I had just had a great experience turning my hurt feelings around with my BFF, so I tried it again.

I merely took a moment to realize from that person’s perspective, they simply cannot afford to imagine a piece of information that conflicts with other information they have, which they firmly believe through undeniable means.

I was actually in that exact same boat, with the same former information, and with my own undeniable reasons to stick with it. However, when the new information was presented to me, it came directly from a person involved, a friend of mine… This personal connection FORCED me to look at the information, even though it created a conflict of two “truths” that can’t coexist, which fueled a living hell for me for a time.

My family member wasn’t told directly by my friend. They don’t even know my friend. So to my family member, it’s far enough removed they can ignore it. I can’t.

I can, however, put aside my own hurt feelings about my family member, because I understand their perspective—I would have reacted the exact same way just a few years ago.

Stepping into their “Book of Law filter” helped me to realize that it’s not about me, or them slighting me, or them not understanding me… It’s about them not being able to fathom this new information that conflicts with other information they would live and die for. And that’s it. No need for me to be hurt.

Even if I’m ever wrong in these filters I’m trying to uncover, the act of trying to come up with why their perspective would make sense, even if I still disagree, makes me feel better, and turns my sadness, pain, or anger into empathy and I’m over it!

It is that simple. At the very least it helps.

We talked more about the Book of Law in the context of being your own, authentic, real self without fear of judgment of others recently—download the Shine Without Fear audio here.

And if you’ve been wanting to change your Book of Law filter so you can make some big leaps, you might be looking for my Inner Circle: Ultimate Breakthrough program.

 

 

4 Keys to Learning to Trust Again

“Trust” has come up a lot lately, with clients, students, prospects, and with myself.

For example, one client recently had to face the fact she didn’t trust she could make major changes in her life, her health, her family, friend, and associate relationships, and in her business.

One student admitted she has a go-to response of skepticism and wondering what someone’s ulterior motive is.

One of my Periscope followers didn’t trust there could be a result other than failure if she tried to do something big, new, and powerful in her life.

Trust is “photobombing” my mind as I have some things going on in my life that are forcing me to face where I stand with it.

Does anyone not have trust issues? Has anyone not had their trust broken?

Romantic Trust Issues Are Like Every Other Trust Issue

Probably the biggest area for trust with me right now is with men and potential romantic interests.

A couple of months ago, I started receiving some male attention from about three people out of the blue in the same week. One I thought was platonic. One I thought was interested in me. One I had no idea if he was interested or not. It didn’t matter if I knew the motivation, just the idea that I was attracting new male attention of any kind was too much for me.

I literally laid in bed for two days depressed—I couldn’t handle the fear it evoked. Even with all of the personal development work I have done, it still got to me.

This is the power of broken trust when it is still lingering.

Remember, not that long ago, I was in a marriage with a guy who displayed multiple personality-type behavior—I quit counting at 150 personas, and one time he told me he was “more aware of it” than he let on, which means possibly HE, not some obscure personality sexually assaulted me, HE told me I was destroying him while in the next breath through another “personality” HE begged me to never give up on him, not to mention the other incidences which were already considered to have been done by the “main personality” anyway—he choked me, he cheated on me, he used me in humiliating scenarios in texts with other women, and he manipulated me.

…Until I had a major breakthrough and got out of that bizarre and twisted situation.

Even though I got out, the effects of having been there too long (even having been there at all) were in me. It was too late, I was going to have to deal with them. Some, like certain types of abuse triggers, didn’t even start coming up until more recently.

Since then, I’ve had a couple of relationships where I gained a renewed view of men, and learned a lot about myself. For one, I am capable of trusting.

The Desire to Trust vs. the Need to Justify the Pain

One of those relationships was with an amazing guy who treated me with great respect. Fights (really just disagreements and discussions) NEVER crossed lines, and I really appreciated rediscovering that not all men were abusive monsters.

Even so, after having been mistreated, cheated on and lied to so extensively, I periodically found myself wanting to sneak a peak at his phone so I could know for sure he was not acting inappropriately. I can honestly say, and he knows this as well, in my effort to be honest and transparent, that I never once gave in to that temptation. He never gave me any red flags. I had to trust that. He didn’t hide anything, he didn’t ever act suspicious, and he loved me.

While all of that helped tremendously, ultimately, my desire to have a healthy relationship built on trust was stronger than my need to have my pained past run the show. That right there is the hardest part and the first key.

Be Okay with Being Wrong

Do I know FOR SURE he didn’t do anything I would find questionable or inappropriate? No. But I have to trust in what I know of his character and how well he treated me, even if someday I find out I was wrong.

How can I be okay with that?

Because there is no other way.

This is the next key—be okay with being wrong. You can’t know everything. You have to trust. Trust your belief system, trust your business partners, trust your family and friends. Place trust where you need, and know that someday one (or more) of those may fail you, and be okay with that too.

Operate from the Empowered Place of “Choice”

Not too long ago, I attracted the attention of another man. This is coming up for me daily. His big thing is “being present” which is great, because it helps me take his lead and be more open and present as well. Every day I have to think about who I am, what I want, and eliminate the what ifs.

What if he’s manipulating me too? What if he’s got an ulterior motive? What if I’m stupid for trusting? What if? What if? What if?

I defer back to my desire to have something healthy and trust. I defer back to my peace with being wrong.

So, what if I do find out my fears are true? What if he is trying to manipulate me or does have an ulterior motive? What if I feel like an idiot for not catching on sooner?

Or what if it simply ends today with no explanation?

I don’t know what I don’t know. How can I? I am okay with that.

In any case, I can leave and deal with it. I’ll be sad for a minute then move on because I am approaching this from an empowered place of choice, rather than a needy place of trying to get him to fill a void within me.

If I want to be open to any healthy possibilities with him or anyone else, I have to trust. I have to trust my intuition, and the absence of red flags thus far. I have to be honest with myself if any concerns come up.

That’s trust in relationships, and the same exact keys apply in all other areas.

Trusting When Sales or MLMs are Involved

Just yesterday, an acquaintance on Facebook from high school messaged me with a link to an MLM (Multi-Level Marketing company) out of the blue.

How would you have reacted? Ignore it? Say, “No thanks, I’m not interested”? Roll your eyes and complain to other friends about the annoyances of people trying to sell you MLM products, services, and business opportunities?

I get it, my very first reaction was annoyed, but then I stepped back and thought, “No, she is a real person and so am I. I am going to treat her like a real person.” It only took an instant for that thought to come in and my decision to act on it changed everything within me on a dime. Already my own experience was better because I was suddenly not annoyed anymore. I made it about her and not me.

I was familiar with this particular MLM and I said something in all honestly to how I think it’s a great thing and cool for her to be spreading the word. We had a little conversation and she ended up asking me for tips, which surprised me. I told her I have a lot of tips for people trying to stretch and grow themselves and referred her to a free offering on my coaching web site, and when she noticed I am a DVSA survivor, she spoke up with gratitude about that as well.

In the end, I felt good that I attempted to live up to my purpose in life to bless others, even in the most basic sense of simply being kind.

A similar thing happened last week with another person. I had also reacted to her outreach person to person and ended up offering to interview her on Periscope since she’s local. I don’t know if she will take me up on that or not, but she is passionate about her product, its results and helping people, so that’s a great thing, right?! Of course it is.

My experience (see that—MY experience… we are each in control of how we experience circumstances, situations, and others) with people in MLMs is so much more pleasurable because I am being honest and treating them like real people. It takes the pressure off both of us.

I am not worried in the least about them “selling me” because, hey, we’re just having a conversation. I won’t buy or do anything I don’t want because I’m operating from that “empowered by choice” place, and I feel great, and they probably do to, having me not bring in preconceived notions (i.e. trust issues) about what they might be doing.

Start Learning to Trust Again

If you relate to these examples around trust or to the client, student, or follower examples from the opening, then set aside a little bit of time tonight.

Ask yourself these questions, then decide to embody the keys, summarized below.

  1. Why you are reacting this way?
  2. What benefit are you getting from not trusting?
    (Do not skip this one… no matter how awful something is, if we are continuing to allow it, it is because of some subconscious benefit to us, even if that benefit is something like “to keep me safe from getting hurt again” or “to keep me from success which is scarier to me than failure.”)
  3. What negative consequences are you experiencing from not trusting?
  4. Why you are willing to keep not trusting?
  5. What possibilities open up to you if you decide to trust?
    (Regardless of whether you later discover you were wrong.)

If you were really honest with yourself, I bet you discovered some insight you either didn’t know or wouldn’t admit prior to now. If not, ask yourself again or email me (Tanisha@TanishaMartin.com) to schedule a complimentary 15 minute session with me and I’ll help you raise your self-awareness.

Now what?

Take these keys to heart and reawaken your ability to trust:

  1. The desire to be healthy and trusting has to be stronger than the pain of the past.
  2. Be okay with being wrong.
  3. Operate from an empowered place of choice.
    (Rather than a place of needing to be filled. Rather than from a victim place of what others might do to you, whether break your heart or “try to sell” you.)
  4. Be honest with yourself.

If you are ready to really trust again, then this is the perfect time for you to get some extra support from me. My next Inner Circle coaching program starts soon, and you can still get the early bird rate. Check it out and register here: TanishaMartin.com/innercircle.

He Wanted to Shoot “Meatbag’s Wife,” aka Me

Jingle Bells Knocked Him Out

Jingle bells at his parents’ Christmas family gathering put him over the edge. He had to get out of there.

No, he wasn’t done with his parents, their relationship was fine. No, he wasn’t anti-Christmas, he loved the festivities. No, he didn’t hate music, he was amazing with the saxophone.

It was literally the bells. The jingles. The ringing. The little balls inside of a metal casing that bounce around and sent sound waves into Simon’s eardrums that raise the hair on his neck. The stimulus that made his blood cells rebel against the vibration and seek refuge out every orifice.

He tried to keep it together long enough for us to say goodbye without raising questions.

While frantically donning our coats, he whispered in my ear, “I’ve missed you so much!” It was no longer Adrian, with whom I had spent the evening, but my beloved Vaslir, whom I hadn’t had the pleasure of spending time with in a while!

We were right smack dab in the middle of our year and a half period I call The Personality Explosion, where my ex-husband’s multiple-personality type behavior was in the thick of its bizarreness.

My wonderful Adrian had quietly slipped away, obviously because he could no longer withstand the bells’ stimuli.

At least I could look forward to the rest of the night with Vaslir. It could have been anyone. He told me time seemed to still be frozen inside, he could still move, but his guards’ bodies were frozen. The inside world as we knew it was changing again, and we had no idea if it was to Simon’s benefit, or if he was getting worse.

(Simon is his given name [which I have changed, to give me more freedom in writing my experiences], and the name we used to identify the original personality, as well as the collective whole.)

Just as suddenly as Vaslir had appeared an oddly uncertain, yet forthright girl was suddenly sitting in the passenger seat. A new voice, a new demeanor possessed my husband’s body.

She Forgave Me for Being Born with Brown Eyes

She didn’t know who I was, why she was in this strange machine speeding through a city of magical lights that mocked her ignorance. She was both in awe and frightened.

Aria came from an Aryan nation in Simon’s inside world where it is “only proper to live underground or in tents.” We didn’t even know there was an Aryan nation in there. In his mind was a world of peoples, governments, monsters, mountains, oceans, deserts. We knew about main personalities’ fortresses, including Simon, the original personality’s white one, Sixclaw’s red one, and Legion’s black obsidian one. We knew about the Children of Anya, the City of Emotions, Etis Yim’s vampiric clan, and various pop culture icons like the Arbiter from Halo®, known to us as Jozale, the Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride, and the pirate Demon, aka Inigo Montoya, and various Transformers®.

We had never heard reference of this nation before, nor would we ever again after this encounter. She said she was of the “one true race” and I was one of “them” who hunted her people. There were also machines with dyed hair and blue contacts sometimes succeeded in their massacres, by virtue of their deception.

She paused her reflection and looked at me with scrutiny. “It’s not your fault you were born with brown eyes, though. I forgive you.”

What do you say to that? I went with a simple “Thank you.”

I listened to her express gratitude that she was God’s chosen people, the only ones to whom he has imparted knowledge. I countered that Heavenly Father loves all of his diverse children.

I learned that her own father has never revealed his name to her or her brother, Arian, who has a special purpose she has yet to learn. She was excited that for Christmas in two days, as they would receive three gifts—a leader, an assassin, and a warrior.

I made a mental note of everything she said so I could record it later in the journals I kept of everything that happened with the personalities, in case there were clues to solving the mystery of Simon. I always maintained hope for healing and answers.

I told her a little bit about Simon and his mind from whence she came. Sometimes that wasn’t very well received. I can’t imagine waking up in a strange place with a strange woman, relocating me somewhere, and hear her explain I am part of her husband’s inside world in his mind.

Even though I was in the fast lane of the freeway, I couldn’t get us home fast enough when she began demanding I let her out of the car. No one had ever done something so dangerous as leave a moving vehicle, but she was brand new, and I had no idea what she was capable of. The doors were locked and I kept calm, reassuring her I’d let her out as soon as we got home.

We didn’t make it that far when she slipped away. It sometimes happened quietly other times accompanied with violent lurching. The latter usually occurred when more than one personality was fighting for control.

He Wanted to Shoot Meatbag’s Wife, aka Me

In this case Simon’s eyes closed, and when they opened again, his entire body slumped over like a giant wooden puppet who had no hope of completing his transition into a real boy. I had to push him back to the passenger side after making a sharp right turn in our neighborhood.

This was new. I wondered if with Vaslir’s time being frozen, some of that was spilling out into the real world. It turned out to be unrelated. I never knew which pieces affected the others. The puzzle was wide and some pieces random.

“Who is it?” That was always the first order of business. You could put that phrase on his tombstone.

No response. “Look at me.”

He turned his head. “Okay, good, so you are aware. Who are you?”

Nothing.

“Are you ok? Do you know me?” With personality changes, we always established first who he was, and second whether or not he was familiar with me and the outside world.

Still nothing.

“Can you move? You turned your head a moment ago. Can you blink a response?”

He remained still. I was baffled. My failed attempts at interaction continued long after I parked the car in our driveway. He wasn’t moving, speaking, or blinking as suggested. He wasn’t doing anything, but remained completely limp, no matter how uncomfortable he appeared to be.

I began devising a backup plan. Who could I call to at least help me get him into the house? My mom? His family? 

We generally tried to keep the weirdness between us, as it was just too hard for others to even comprehend what we were living through. I couldn’t comprehend it, and I was right there. He didn’t get enough counseling help over our time together to really dig into it, but he was told by one counselor he didn’t have textbook Multiple-Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder, and that he was simply delusional. Whatever that means. To me, it made no difference. I’ll never know what was really happening with him, all I know is what I experienced.

A monotone, slow and deliberate, mid-range voice finally spoke. “Waiting instructions.”

Through trial and error, I finally figured out he would obey commands.

“Get out of the car, please.” His movements were stiff and awkward.

“Walk with me to the house.” When we got to the porch, he stood within inches of the screen door. I opened it, because obviously reasonable people will move out of the way, but he still didn’t move when it touched him. I had to tell him to move out of the way.

I let him go ahead of me into the house, but he stopped just inside and I had to tell him to go in further so I could enter.

I still didn’t know who I was dealing with, but I knew I had never seen this yet. I had been sexually assaulted by a new personality, Animal. I had had an attempted sexual assault by another new one, a pirate, and had been saved by Etis Yim, who we had previously considered an enemy. I had met werewolves and slave girls, mutes and musicians, assassins and wizards. Even Simon’s nine-year-old self had spent a week with me. I thought I’d pretty much seen it all. How there could still be completely unique scenarios blew my mind. Whether it was all real or contrived, the only thing I could conclude was that Simon was a genius.

“Are you ok? Do you want to take off your shoes?” No response. Right, because I didn’t give a command.

“Take off your shoes.” They were removed.

I noticed that if I wait a little between commands, he relaxed slightly, but when I start to speak again, he straightens up, ready to perform.

Suddenly he moved on his own—it appeared to be systematic twitches—nose, eye, ear, nose, eye, ear. Repeat.

“What is your name?”

Silence.

“Tell me what your name is.”

“HK723.”

“Tell me what HK means.” Nothing. Okay, let’s try… “Tell me what HK stands for.”

“Hunter Killer.”

I remembered that Aria had just told me machines were hunting her people. Maybe this is related? Simon also had a video game with a droid that had the HK designation.

“Tell me, what is your purpose?”

“HK is designed to conquer. The HK will rule the world.” In our conversation, he didn’t know the term “droid,” but said he was a “warbot.”

“Tell me, who is your leader?”

“Galactus.” Never heard of him. He could have been referencing a Marvel® character, whom I was unfamiliar with at the time, but he never came up again, so it didn’t seem to matter.

It was late and I wanted to get more comfortable. Sitting on the bed was a common place for these encounters, so I moved us along.

“Let’s go into the bedroom.” No response. Right, I keep messing that up. “Go into the bedroom.” HK723 walked straight and determined. He didn’t even step over or around the stack of puzzles that were in the way on the floor. He just bulldozed through them, scattering them across the floor.

He stopped just inside the doorway, blocking my way into the room. “Walk closer, to the bed.” He went right up to the corner of the bed, touching it with his legs—it seemed unnatural and uncomfortable, as it made him lean awkwardly to stay on his feet. I stifled my laughter and had him sit down on the bed in front of the dresser mirror so I could tell him about Simon, and who I am. I would inquire periodically, “Tell me if you understand,” to which he usually said, “Affirmative.”

Other times he said, “Confusion,” “Insufficient information,” “Irrelevant,” etc. He also established that he has no feelings, feels no pain, and his likes and dislikes are irrelevant.

“We want peace for Simon. Tell me, do you know what peace is?”

“Affirmative.”

For some odd reason, I wasn’t convinced a Hunter Killer robot would have the same definition of peace we have. “Tell me what peace is.”

“Peace is the absence of aggressive maneuvers.” Okay, that’s a start… I think…

I explained a little further about how we want peace and happiness. “Tell me if you understand.”

This time, he twitched like he’s processing. “Confusion. Purged.”

“Tell me, what does “purged” mean?”

“Data would not compute. Removed data from system.”

Okay, how much data got dumped? I reestablished he did indeed remember talking about peace.

“Tell me, do you understand who Simon is?”

“Affirmative, Simon is Meatbag.”

Huh. He sees us as “meatbags”—I guess that makes sense from the perspective of a literal-thinking machine. “Tell me, do you understand who I am?”

“Affirmative.”

“Tell me who I am.”

“You are Meatbag’s wife.” I snorted. Then immediately recomposed myself—I still didn’t know for sure if I was safe with HK723, why he was here, and what his intentions were.

Through my interrogation, I discovered that before he found himself in the car with me, he was in the inspection room being evaluated by Chief Scientist Paluwa and various other meatbags. He had no standing orders, thus must await specific orders each time. Yeah, I got that. And he was the 3rd most recent unit created.

I began running out of questions. “Tell me, what are you thinking.”

“HK 723 requests permission to act as will.” Probably best not to go there…

“Tell me, if I granted permission, what you would do?”

“HK 723 desires to shoot.” We had no guns, so I knew this wouldn’t play out literally. We did have nerf guns, though, and he had a plethora of PC and XBOX shooter games. Oh, and that realistic-looking black plastic toy gun within his reach on the dresser…

“Tell me what you will shoot.”

“HK 723 desires to shoot Meatbag.”

“Tell me, do you mean Meatbag [indicating him] or Meatbag’s wife [indicating me]?”

“HK 723 desires to shoot Meatbag’s wife.” Yeah, no.

“Tell me why.”

“Meatbags are inferior.”

“Tell me if you want to use that gun on the dresser.” Luckily he was still obeying his programming, so I wasn’t too alarmed. It seemed like just another game Simon’s mind was playing and I wasn’t in any real danger.

“Affirmative.” To which, I explained that the gun was a toy and not real. His face displayed moderate confusion and disappointment. I told him I liked him, but shooting people isn’t nice and doesn’t bring peace, although there are times when we have to defend ourselves.

He suddenly, violently flipped over on the bed. I asked him to tell me if he was ok. He said they were using some type of ion blast against him. He flipped over two more times. He became still and I heard another voice talking through his mouth.

“Stupid droid wouldn’t respond.”

By this point in our dramatic relationship, I was well aware that when someone was in control of Simon’s body, their persona inside was as if asleep. It wasn’t too hard to figure out the inspectors were having trouble with this “dead” droid.

The voice was clearly engaged in a conversation, but I was only hearing his side of it.

“Space it.”

“At least the other 4 worked.”

“When will the new batch be done?”

“Good.”

“Such a pity some of them malfunction—beautiful creatures.”

“I’ll rename the next one 723 so that we can have a sequence of numbers without having to worry about it.”

“Wonderful contraptions.”

“Wake me in five hours when the President’s here.”

Then Simon’s body turned over once more, and curled up as if to sleep. I was about to try to talk to HK723 again and make sure he was okay, but Alain, a downed mech-fighter pilot I had first met months ago, came out instead.

Relief—I was back to someone I knew and loved. I tried to keep track of all of the personalities and their stories, as we pieced together the fractured pieces of Simon. Alain and I had a short discussion about a possible duplicate “Alain” I had met recently, but we didn’t get far before Adrian returned to take Simon over again.

 

He was stuck in darkness inside, watching my conversation with Alain as if on a screen. He did not have the pleasure of access to my odd interaction with HK723, but he laughed as I filled him in.

At least those few hours inside gave him a chance to fully recover from the jingle bells fiasco.

Confident he was solidly in control, we went to sleep, and enjoyed spending exclusive time with each other over the next two days, Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Being Responsible TO Vs. FOR Others

There’s much more to the story, and I will at other times share more of the abuse parts, but my purpose here was to illustrate a typical evening, giving some insight into the concept of having compassion and feeling responsible for someone. He was obviously sick in some way, and I loved him.

Here was this handsome, fun, loving man, who had a lot of other serious problems, but the personality issue overrode everything else. We were in this phase of constant switching and dealing with attacks on the inside. On top of my compassion for him, it made me feel important.

He trusted me with this part of him. Some personalities that showed up initially as evil and cruel, fell in love with me and turned out to be some of the greatest internal leaders for peace. He showed me how much he relied on me, how much good I was doing him.

I was the keeper of all the clues. He didn’t even know what was going on. He was the common denominator in his subconscious realm, and I was the common denominator in the conscious realm.

But David Neagle, my favorite coach, always reminds us that we are responsible TO our loved ones, friends, clients, students, etc., but not FOR them (except in the case of minor children, obviously).

This was a hard lesson for me to learn and contributed to my finding myself being physically abused and sexually assaulted and manipulated by him, which increased over time. I mentioned a sexual assault above, but it having been at the hands of a new personality, it was easy to make it about him and his personality problem, while completely glossing over the fact that I was assaulted and scared.

It all started with him needing help, with him needing my love and support so he could function, or at least have the best hope of functioning.

 

Now I fully understand and subscribe to David’s teaching that I am responsible to, not for. I finally get what it means to be a healthy person engaging in a friendship or relationship with another healthy person. I am happy. My confidence has grown. My self-respect showed up suddenly and slapped me in the face, giving me the power to leave him.

Someone in need, with problems, or with a sad past, is not and never will be a good enough reason to be hurt and abused by them, no matter what.

Resources

If you relate to being needed, but suspect (or know) you are not being treated decently, I hope the distinction between TO and FOR will help you. And please seek clarity and assistance from professional resources. Some local and national are listed here.

If you are trying to rebuild your life after having been through a hard circumstance, whether abuse-related or not, you may find a healing boost in this free video series, or support in moving forward in a big way through my next group coaching program.

You are not alone.

Keeping Your Cool When The Conversation Gets Hot

Our Experiences Create
Our Perspectives

We are human. Most of us anyway. And as such, we have unique experiences and usually have the opportunity to interact with other humans with different experiences on a daily basis. One of the most mind-blowing concepts to me is how I can have one perspective that seems so powerfully “obvious,” and another person can have a completely different view! Here’s a basic example:

I attended an Advanced Leadership seminar and the facilitator suddenly in the middle of her lecture squirted us with water from a bottle. She then asked everyone what their experience was. Some people found it refreshing, even funny. Others found it shocking and imposing. Same circumstance, completely different experience.

You can imagine someone like me who grew up in Southern California and ran through the sprinklers with my cousins practically daily would love the refreshing splash. Someone else who as a teen was constantly fighting with their parents, who inevitably grabbed the nearest glass and sloshed the contents at them, would have an aversion to suddenly being splashed with water. These are obvious examples on the extreme ends of the spectrum to illustrate the point. A more subtle example might be a fun-loving person who is always goofing off would find pleasure in a little unexpected joke, while a perfectionist who is wound so tight trying to live up to her own standards would have a hard time dealing with something so out of the ordinary for a formal meeting she paid good money to attend!

Differing Perspectives Lead To Misunderstandings

Angry WomanWhen I’m having a discussion with someone about anything from the mundane to controversial topics, this difference of experience and perspective comes up all the time! Sometimes a spark can ignite and the conversation heats up quickly, escalating into an uncomfortable, tense situation. Most often, the trigger was a misunderstanding based on the differing perspectives. If both allow it, it can quickly get out of hand, but one person can help alleviate the pressure.

How do you bring the conversation (and sometimes the relationship) back down to reason or avoid the escalation in the first place?

1. Accept Reality

First and foremost, accept the fact that people have different experiences around certain words, behaviors, and ideas, thus everyone has a different perspective. That will never change, so the sooner you accept it, the sooner it won’t bother you as much. It’s that plain and simple!

2. Seek to Understand

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

~ Stephen R. Covey

Regardless of whether your position is just a mere thought, or such a solid conviction neither heaven nor hell could change your view, it is important to seek to understand the other person’s perspective. This softens your feelings toward them and their “obviously ridiculous” views—in most cases you will realize their views aren’t that ridiculous and actually make sense based on where they’re coming from! Imagine that.

It doesn’t mean you have to adopt their view, but at the very least, this approach will help you keep your cool, and bonus—they will feel like they were heard and will have a more positive experience of you.

3. Keep Your Walls Down

This might be the hardest part for many people, because we want to protect our own feelings. Walls come u—anger is a cover for hurt and rudeness is a cover for feeling shame. You do not have to allow someone into your most inner circle, or share your most private thoughts, but if you are going to have a real conversation, you must keep the walls down and allow yourself to be vulnerable, even when it hurts. In practicing this, I am the only person in my family that I am aware of (or at least one of the few) to have gotten an apology, and even a genuine, truly connected hug just for a few seconds, from a certain person. That wasn’t necessarily my intention (see #4 below), but it was a bonus I received by practicing these points, especially this one, in my communication with that person.

Keeping your walls down means that you can effectively practice the other points here. Once your walls come up, you are closed off and you might as well leave the conversation until a later time. Sometimes my walls come up and I don’t catch it right away, but close friends know they can call me on it and I’ll immediately drop the walls back down and be able to continue the conversation in a calm and productive manner. It’s much nicer for everyone. :)

4. Let Go Of The Outcome

You can never control another person’s choice. Whether they completely convert to your view, or at least understand your point, or ignore the tips made in this post and emotionally escalate the conversation, you have to accept every outcome.

In the case of the latter, you do not have to engage. When you stay calm and unemotional, then they are just arguing with themselves and your blood pressure stays even.

When you are trying to get a certain outcome, you will likely be disappointed. When you try to have a good conversation and do the best you can, allowing them to do the best they can, any outcome will do because you didn’t demand an expectation be met.

Skills like these will improve all types of relationships and improve every conversation you have, even if you are the only one practicing them!

If you have a family, personal, or business situation arise and you need a mediator to help facilitate a no-walls, real conversation, this is something I love to do, and I would be happy to offer my assistance! This isn’t counselling, but I will coach you through the communication process and facilitate the conversation through to the positive results both parties seek. Prices vary depending on how many are involved in the conversation and other factors, so please inquire at Info@TanishaMartin.com.