Because sometimes feelings are facts and ties need to be cut…

This simply a post about how to end normal toxic relationships. If you are in an abusive relationship I full heartedly urge you to get out now. Call the hotline and get the help you need to get out.

1−800−799−7233

Sinceraly, Me.

Stones,

When do ties need to be cut? Who decides when enough is enough? Who does the cutting of ties? Where are the scissors? Can I get a pair, please?

All jokes aside, when does it become obviously apparent that ties need to be severed? Humans are social creatures we were not made to isolate or be alone. We crave human interactions and to form attachments and bonds with others. Very rarely can people sever attachments with ease, swiftly, without looking back. I’d kill to have that superpower.

Gift or curse, I’d love to have the ability to sever ties in one swift chop and be able to leave it lay. But unfortunately, I’m one to cut ties and the go back and try to reassemble them. Even those relationships that are one-sided. Even those relationships that are toxic. Even those relationships that are detrimental to you and everyone around you. I still try to retie them.

I have this, unfortunate characteristic of being loyal to a fault. I’d like to say it’s a gift but most times it a curse. I am extremely loyal to people who don’t deserve it. I also will give my heart to people I feel do deserve it. I don’t exactly form the healthiest attachments. I am a tad codependent and I definitely overextend and lend myself to anyone who shows anything resembling altruistic kindness. If you can identify with any of these things, I’d be willing to bet my most valuable possession that you’ve experienced this need to repair these toxic relationships under the guise of “closure”.

I say all of that, to say this.

What does it take for you to end a toxic relationship and walk away? Some may feel as though it’s wrong to desert those we’ve known for so long, toxic or not. At some point we do need to consider ourselves before society’s conventional belief of not giving up on family, not abandoning someone who is suffering no matter the pain, or the “Ride or Die” trap.

My call to action is this…

Examine any relationship that is draining more times than not. A relationship you almost dread to engage in. The one that has you thinking right now that it’s, “Not all bad” or that you instinctively feel compelled to defend without reading the rest of the call to action. I want you to really examine the feelings you get at the mere mention of this persons’ name. Recount all the words that still sting, the psychological scarring, the torment done to your very being. Now imagine your dearest friend came to you, with everything that has been done to you, to them. What would you suggest they do?

Until next we meet,

S. Hollisway

Because sometimes Odes are due (Part 2)…

Stones,

This will be my second post in a row which is great momentum to start and hopefully, I can continue it. I don’t know if any of you remember my original Odes post. I will link it here. It was all about my son who will be 4 soon and about how much I wanted to be better for him. Well it’s been quite a while since that post and I’m still not where I want to me but I am one step closer. He will always be my driving force.

I am learning, however, that I shouldn’t put that much pressure on his mere existence. It has to be my choice and my decision. But it’s always good to have people in your corner cheering you on. Oscar will always have a permanent space on my bleachers. I’m learning to accept that that’s okay. I’m learning that I have other cheerleaders and that is also okay.

My little sister is one of my biggest cheerleaders.

Kyesha

Background information, I am the oldest of 5 children and the middle of 11 I believe. My sister and I who share the same mother and father were really close when I was younger. Even though I was older she was always the protector. We kind of grew about when she became a “cool girl” which was through no real fault of her own. We had rough patches like sisters do but she was always there. She went through a lot, from having children at a young age to supporting a child who spent a year and a half confined to the hospital after having multiple surgeries, to tragically losing the father of her oldest two children. She healed and now she has 5 beautiful children and is an amazing mother.

She’s always been the “mom” sibling. Before we got a “real” adult, we go to her for advice, a reality check, and support. Even with 5 kids, she seems to have a neverending supply. I love her so much and one of the reasons I exist is to make her proud of me. She has earned a seat in the bleachers of my life.

My third cheerleader is one of my best friends in the entire world. She is a fireball.

Alissa

Background information: We met at a place where minds and bodies go to relax and heal. We bonded immediately which is rare because I don’t typically get along with females and neither does she. But we bonded as quick as Meredith and Cristina did in Shondaland. For the longest time, I never knew the benefits of having female relationships. They never seemed genuine instead full of relational aggression. She is the exception. She is wonderful in every way. She loves just like me; hard, passionate, and unconditionally. If you are lucky enough to crash into her you become overwhelmed by her “halo” for lack of a better term. She is kind, warm and supportive but will tear your throat out if need be. She will have your back in the worst times and reign a vicious reality check on you when it’s needed. The best of both worlds.

She has done her very best to keep me afloat. I want to do everything I can to make her proud and pay her back for all her kindness with spades.

These are my cheerleaders for now and I hope to see my cheer section keep growing. I love this and I love accepting support and love for those closest to me. I will no longer be held down by who I used to be. It would have been easier to write a poem but sometimes words need to be written out.

Pain didn’t change me, I changed my pain.

-Icon for Hire “Demons”

Until next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Because sometimes it’s good to break the mold…

Stones,

I have been gone. I apologize for that. I know consistency is important and doing what you say you’re going to do is important. However, I can’t pour from an empty cup. I can’t write under duress and constraint. Well, I can but I can’t write well so, I’d rather disappear then produce crap. I am doing better now I hope you stick with me through this process.

So here are the thoughts that plague my mind.

Why do people feel the need to fit into a predesigned mold that doesn’t fit them to chase after success?

Here is the backstory. Because I have issues with consistency and sometimes have issues writing I have been looking up those generic “how to create popular blogs” and “Popular blog posts” type articles and videos. I got a bunch of the same generic, one size fits all type information. Then, I downloaded a PDF of 8,000+ blog ideas. Let me say first of all that these were not bad ideas. They just weren’t what I’m about. They were about writing blogs about food, crafts, how-tos, DIY’s, things of that nature. This is great for creative people, for mom bloggers, for people who have that audience. As much as I would like the popularity that comes with those topics, that’s unfortunately not where I am. I am not of the bright and shiny collective. I am more of the “cynical hopeless romantic” variety. That’s okay. Blogging, like America, should be a melting pot.

I say that to say this.

I would like to be a very popular and successful writer and author. I can’t however, sacrifice my voice or my identity for the sake of possible success. That’s just not me that’s anyone. I see it day in and day out. Talented people who sacrifice their individuality for a quick buck. Some call it “selling out”. I call it “giving in”. Some people don’t have the strength to stay true to themselves and sadly it’s soul-crushing to settle.

I’m no expert. I don’t have all or any answers really. I can’t offer any “fix it” advice. The only thing I can offer is perspective. I can offer ideas. I’d much rather exist as me tap dancing on the lines of obscurity, then a fabulous life in the spotlight that doesn’t coincide with my values. Think about it; who’s a better you than you?

Until next we meet,

S. Hollisway

Because sometimes I wonder…

Stones,

I wonder

What makes a person good? What makes a person bad? I personally don’t believe people are good or bad, but multifaceted. Everyone can have “good” and “bad” traits but people are made up of so much more than that.

There are strengths, weaknesses, fears, defenses, intelligence, people are made up of so much. I suppose it would be remiss not to mention what has planted in my head.

I know a man who has an interesting temperament. To those who he deems worthy he is a very protective, compassionate, and respectful human being you would ever meet. Society tells us to offer respect to everyone we meet, especially if they are people of authority. He does neither. If you aren’t worthy of respect to him, you won’t get it. He is very skeptical of others’ intentions, especially to the people he loves. So clearly, he needs therapy.

Kidding of course, because who am I to judge? Although I do advocate for therapy for everyone.

However, when discussing his behavior with another friend of mine, she mentioned that his behavior sent up a bunch of “red flags”. She deemed him “bad news” because his behavior was irregular to her. This got me thinking.

Is he bad because his behavior is not what society deems acceptable or is he actually bad? If he’s respectful or caring to those that matter to him and not to others, is that bad? Is he all bad? Is it bad not to indulge in societal pleasantries that are just facades that we all play into? Are we only bad when we don’t do what society wants to do?

I have bounced back and forth for the last few days. I’m thinking that there has to be a happy middle ground. Blatant disregard for human life is worrisome. It’s actually one of the hallmarks of a psychopath. But defending, loving, and protecting whom and what they love fiercely and with their lives is on the opposite end of the spectrum. So while not psychopathic there is a potential for some kind of personality disorder there. Moreover, if it’s not considered breaking a law, (and lawful doesn’t always mean moral so that depends), then there is nothing wrong with not conforming to society’s norms. It might make people uncomfortable, but who’s to say the norms shouldn’t be shaken up?

So here is my call to action…

Can you distinguish between psychopathic tendencies and a breaker of societal norms? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Until next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Because sometimes forgiveness isn’t a requirement…

Stones,

 

Happy Sunday. I am sending vibes to everyone that they are able to reset for the week ahead, accomplish all they want, and become one step closer to self-actualization. Maslow may have been on to something.

So the topic of the day: Forgiveness. This is a very difficult topic to approach because I feel like there are so many stipulations and conditions when it comes to forgiveness. This begs the question, what is true forgiveness?

According to Dictionary.com, to forgive means to,

“stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake”

-Dictionary.com

To keep this post short I will not bother defining “angry”, “resentful” “offense” “flaw” and “mistake”. Another reason is that everyone’s trauma is different and words have different meanings to different people. So I guess the next question would be “Is there such thing as an unforgivable offense?” I personally believe there are many, but before I get into those I have to address the fundamental issue I have with the whole idea of forgiveness.

Society has been conditioned to believe that forgiveness is not for the offender but for the offendee, that if the person who was hurt forgives the person who did the hurting then all will be right with the world. Their chi will be realigned, cosmic karma forgiven and all will be at peace. Here is where the issue comes in; forgiveness doesn’t guarantee that the pain will stop. Forgiveness doesn’t take away the scars, both physical and or emotional. Forgiveness does nothing to take away the pain that they cause. Forgiveness is a misconstrued belief that letting go of anger will somehow erase the pain and makes you the “bigger person”.

This begs the question, “What is the bigger person?”. I think a more important question would be why do the people who hurt you deserve to be pardoned under the guise that it will somehow eliminate the pain. Why do they deserve grace? I’m sure that holding onto vengeful hatred for minor offenses can be tiring but who is anyone to decide if they are “minor” or not? People don’t get to decide what hurts you and what doesn’t. Your pain is valid and your pain is real.

This brings me to my next point, not everyone deserves forgiveness. Some crimes only the God of your understanding can forgive and even that’s too generous for some. Offenders are not entitled to your forgiveness, they aren’t entitled to forgiveness. If you should decide to let go of all the “anger” and “resentment” that is at your discretion and your choice. You don’t have to be forced to relinquish any feelings that you hold at all. Your feelings are yours. Your feelings are valid. They matter and so do you. Choosing to forgive your brother after he said a mean thing to you is just as much your choice as refusing to forgive him. Refusing to forgive your abuser doesn’t make you any less of a “bigger person” then acting as if they don’t exist.

My call to action

Refuse to enable toxic people. The people who hurt you are not owed anything, forgiveness included. If you should choose to forgive someone, more power to you. Do not let your grace be taken for granted. That’s all for now.

Exist and Bleed,

S. Hollisway

Because sometimes flaws should be celebrated…

Stones,

I am proud to announce that as of January 17th, 2020, I have been clean from narcotics for 4 years. I got my 4-year chip. It’s a grudge match every day to make the decision to stay clean. That’s why addicts are always addicts. Some are active and others are in recovery.

I began abusing narcotics when I was 12 years old. I have a lot of chronic pain conditions and in the early 2000s, doctors weren’t as diligent about giving Oxycodone and Percocets to a minor as they are now.

Anyone who says that addiction is a “choice” has no understanding of human nature.

I do not say this as an insult. I do not say this to attack anyone. I say this as pure fact. No one wakes up thinking, “You know what, life is going way too easy. Let me try [insert drug of choice here].” That’s not how it works. People use drugs to numb pain, plain and simple. There was a lot going on in my life at that time. A lot of abuse, sexual assault, bullying, and then, of course, the normal troubles that come with being a preteen. I could not cope. I began self-harming and knew how to hide it. Before the obvious is suggested, therapy wasn’t an option at the time.

When going through all that physical and emotional and mental pain, it became impossible to differentiate between was physical and what wasn’t. Eventually, it all just melted together and the emotional pain became physical. Simply put, I was always in a lot of pain. Eventually, after seeing so many doctors and being a bit on the advanced side, I learned how to finesse doctors out of the good stuff. Dilaudid was absolutely amazing and made everything go away and being numb was the ultimate goal. Luckily, I’m allergic to Morphine or I’d probably be addicted to Heroine.

Things got a bit trickier when the side effects of the pain medications led to the prescription of Benzodiazepines. So now I’m cross buzzed reaching dangerous levels of numbness and an ever-building tolerance is developing faster than I can manipulate a doctor out of my favorite candy. The pressure began to build when I began my mental health journey and got more prescriptions for more complex benzos, the dosage changing every two weeks. Who was I to refuse?

In 2014, I admitted to myself that I had a problem and tried to get help. As a struggling addict, I knew to ask for help. However, as a struggling addict, I was not prepared to turn down 120, 1-milligram tablets of Ativan prescribed to me by a negligent, arrogant new psychiatrist. Then I overdosed on Ativan and tried to stay away. August 24, 2014, I tried to kill myself and I thought things would get better because I thought that was my rock bottom. And then life got harder.

So I’d continue this pattern of starting and stopping until 2016. I was with this man that I loved, and I thought loved me. But he was abusive, mentally ill, and an addict. He didn’t want to get better. I wanted to get better I also wanted to be with him and unfortunately, those two things could never be mutually exclusive. Because I was born with crippling soul-crushing anxiety, I always did what would be considered “downers”. I, to this day, can’t comprehend people who do amphetamines. Who wants to be that high?

My husband at the time loved what would be considered “uppers”. Crack, coke, bath salts, things of that nature. He and another friend of mine would get together and toss back ten Ritalin pills each and then snort five more. (Snorting: another thing I don’t comprehend). As the peer pressure mounted, I gave and tried. They did ten so I figure I could do it too. Why not, right? This was the absolute best and worse decision I’ve ever made in my life.

I could not sleep for three full days. My heart was humming like a motor, on steroids. I was sweating profusely, rocking back in forth praying for sleep, wondering why the carpet was moving like an ocean. I ended up being hospitalized for amphetamine-induced psychosis. It was bad, but I’ve been clean ever since. Not saying I haven’t been tempted, but I never want to feel like that ever again. Being numb works for a while, but no one can thrive numbly. They can’t even really survive. They just exist in a familiar nothingness.

My call to action

Celebrate the small wins. The small feats that occur every day. We are not perfect. Perfection does not exist. Let us strive for progress, the more attainable and rewarding. Every day won’t be perfect, but the possibility of progress should make it worth it. That’s all for now.

Exist and Bleed,

S. Hollisway

Because sometimes we need inspiration…

Stones,

Happy 2020 and fake new year. The world was created. Humans inhabited the Earth. Someone invents time. 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours a day. Cool. 12 months, four different seasons. 12 months divided by 4 seasons would equal 3 months per season. Why in the world would you start a new year in the middle of a season? Insert April 1st being Aprils Fools Day because April 1st is really the beginning of the new year. But I digress, let’s stay on topic.

Welcome to the New Year. It is supposed to be the time of the “New Year, New Me” cliche. I was never immune to it, I fell into that trap every year too. This year, however, I can finally admit to myself that I have no idea who I am. Not a single clue. My entire life I have had my insides brutalized, damaged, and spilled all over the place. So I’ve collected up what I could along with God knows what else along the way, filled myself up, and stitched myself close. Welp, as the years’ have gone by the stitches have begun to wear, and my three-year-old just pulled the string holding me together. So figuratively, my insides have spilled out all over the place. I’m trying to find me in all of this mess and quite frankly, I’ve never felt more lost, vulnerable, and exposed.

Life is complicated. Imagine trying to find yourself when you have no actual time to find yourself. Living is like that job where the only training is on the job, and you have a new trainer every day sometimes really good and sometimes horrible. Living doesn’t pay enough, and the worst part is that it definitely constitutes as face to face customer service. Forced face to face customer service at that. I stand corrected, the worst part is that NO ONE IS DOING THE JOB THEY SIGNED UP FOR.

However in the interest of my word for the decade which happens to be “THRIVE”, I refuse to exist in another decade where:

  1. I am still allowing things to happen to me; and
  2. I have no clue who I am

No more! I refuse to just exist. I am going to THRIVE.

I have so many goals I want to reach. I am 25 years and besides having a kid which let’s be honest isn’t that miraculous, I have nothing to show for being on Earth this long.

Before everyone sharpens their pitchforks, let me clarify. Physically having a child, for most women, is not a huge feat. Being a mother, however, is a different story.

I’d like to leave a lasting impression. Not so much to live in fame or infamy, just impressionable. I’d like a positive lasting impression on everyone I met, but there is no pleasing everyone and good girls don’t make history. I also have the same cape of most social justice warriors so I’m bound to piss at least half the world off. It’s funny how being 25 can make you feel like you’re halfway there and nowhere at the same time. It’s not quite 30 but it’s definitely not 21. But the expectations are there. Expectations from when you were 13 to when you hit the dirty 40, pressure from both sides hitting you right now to achieve the way society wants you to. The madness. When will it all end?

As far as figuring out who I am, I’d love for you all to enjoy the spectacle. There are so many levels to who I am, but for right now I’d love to share this journey with you all of finding out who I am as a writer. I’ve wanted to do so much with my voice and really I’ve just felt like I’ve been squandering my gift. So, I want to throw caution to the wind, bare my soul to the world, and see what I can do if I act as if I cannot fail.

My call to action: Share with me what you are going to do this year as if you could not fail.

It doesn’t matter how big or how small, but maybe by sharing it we can work toward our goals together. Really corny, played out and cliche I know, but I work best when I’m working on behalf of someone else, or I’m accountable to someone. So let’s hold each other’s hands as we take a leap of faith.

Until next Sunday.

Exist and Bleed,

S.Hollisway

Because sometimes projects change….

Stones,

So, I’m so happy I’ve been consistent with posting on my blog thus far. I’ve been having the worlds’ worst case of writers’ block. I can’t write to finish my last book and I can’t be inspired to start the next book. This is getting out of hand. I have never had it this bad before. The only thing that I can write is “I have writers’ block!” Maybe I need to write a book about writers’ block. If only I could write. If you guys have any ideas to help with this let me know in the comments.

So, I may have found a publisher for my first book. The only thing I’m wondering is if I should submit this for the contest portion or should I just submit it just as a regular manuscript. The idea of losing the contest is just horrifying for me, so I might just submit it as a manuscript. However, if I was to win the contest I get an immediate boost as an author and the book gets an immediate boost. I still haven’t made a decision, but what I do know is that I need to finish the book first which I could do if I could just write. UGH! You may be asking how I can finish this blog post if I have such bad writers’ block. Welp, very simply these are just my thoughts.

I have some exciting news. In a few short weeks, I will be launching Hollisway Comforts which is a line of homemade crocheted items made by yours truly. You will be able to buy them on this website in the shop. I will be selling shrugs (sweaters), dolls, rugs, baskets, afghans, scarves, and fingerless gloves. They will be in various colors and then I will stock the stores in batches because it takes a while to make enough of these items.

Okay, that’s all the news I have for the day. Until next we meet.

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here

Because love NEVER hurts…

Stones,

I don’t know who needs to hear this today but love does not hurt. Let me say it louder for the peope in the back, LOVE DOES NOT HURT. It never hurts. Love doesn’t make you feel inferior. It doesn’t leave you broken hearted. Love doesn’t abandon you. It doesn’t critize. Love doesn’t expose your faults. It doesn’t use your weaknesses against you. There is no degragration.

Love should be beautiful. That’s not to say that it’s perfect and without pain or hardships. But love doesn’t hurt. The pain isn’t intentional. Love protects you. It uplifts and supports you.  Love doesn’t hurt.

I find myself like the majority of people I know question love and it’s true intentions. We are told all these stories about love and everyone has their own ideals but, what is love really? Some willl say it varies, but that can’t true. There has to be some fundatmental love rules for every people. Or maybe it depends on the type of relationship. But even still there have to be rules because any relationship can be considered toxic or abusive. So what are these love rules? Well, love is hard to navigate.  You would think that mutal self respect would be of top priotrity but everyone relationship is different. Here is an example:

Story Time

I have a friend. Let’s call her Kay. Well, Kay has been in a relationship for 3.5 years with a man 15 years her senior. They have a child together.  Everything is great between them now. Kay’s boyfriend used to be an abusive drug addict but now that he’s sober the abuse has stopped, right? Well, you would be incorrect. The physical abuse has stopped sure, but emotional and mental abuse continued and without the bruises it’s harder to notice. Kay thinks she’s fine because he’s not always mean but when he get’s mad, he is vicious. He brings up her childhood traumas, exposes her flaws to the world, and berates and degrades her. I tell her this isn’t healthy and she says she should just stop making him angry.

How can I help her?

LOVE DOES NOT HURT! Be it a mother/daughter relationship, father/son, boyfriend/girlfriend, brother/sister, it doesn’t hurt. All relationships have their ups and downs but it shouldn’t hurt.

Until next we meet

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here

Because sometimes UGH!

Stones,

UGH! So there has been another senseless pointless violent mass shooting. My heart is full of sadness.  I empathize with the victims and the victims’ families. I’m saddened because even worse, nothing more but thoughts and prayers are going to be done about this situation. It’s like a revolving door. There’s a mass shooting tragedy, multiple press conferences, thoughts and prayers, and then…nothing.

Silence.

For an undetermined amount of time, there is silence and these shootings and the lives lost are forgotten until the next tragedy. This should have been dealt with years ago. One shooting is too many. But everyone just wants to bicker instead of coming up with solutions. Some people want gun control, while others want to want to argue about the mental health aspect of it. Why can’t we tackle both? Why can’t we both make it unstable human beings to get guns while tackling the mental health issue? But why have this argument for nine months before deciding not to do anything?

Ugh! This cycle is getting old and it needs to change!

We deserve better from the people we that were appointed to be in charge of us. We deserve better and we deserve safety. This isn’t fair and we shouldn’t stand for it.  What should we do to break this cycle?

I’m pondering this question and I have no idea how to answer it. I have no idea how to rectify this situation. It then dawns on me that it’s not my job to fix and yet I feel so responsible and I don’t know how to transfer this responsibility onto who it belongs too. We can yell and scream sure, but who’s really listening? I’m so over living in fear and depending on “thoughts and prayers” to make a difference.  Our fears have fallen on deaf ears for too long. What do we do to make a change? Something to ponder until next week, and until next we meet…

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway