Tomorrow marks the five year anniversary (if you can call it that.. anniversary sounds too positive) of the day I nearly died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Not really the happiest day of the year for me obviously, but at least it does make me think. Yes, I remember the awfulness of that day but it also makes me think of the good that’s come from it all.
When I realized I couldn’t tell my parents what happened to me because they would invalidate my near death experience &/or spin it around to how it affected them, that was a big wake-up call. I realized I needed them out of my life & began to actively pray about making that happen. I also realized there were other toxic people in my life that needed to go as well. Those who trivialized my experience or tried to make me think positively about it had to go. My circle of those close to me has become very small, but they are absolutely wonderful people. Quality over quantity, as the saying goes, & that is how I like it. Better to have only a few very close, good friends than a wide circle of acquaintances.
What happened also caused me to realize just how quickly your life can change & change drastically. The morning of February 27, 2015 appeared to be any other day. By the end of that day however, I was an entirely different person. Not only because of the brain damage & other health problems the carbon monoxide caused, but because coming close to death will shake a person up! Yes, I knew if I died, I would’ve gone to Heaven, so that wasn’t a problem. What was a problem is that I didn’t expect to die that day! Coming close when it was unexpected was traumatic, even though I did survive. Even now, thinking about it still shakes me up!
Coming close also showed me how quickly & unexpectedly a person’s life can end. That made me realize how important it is to enjoy your life as much as you possibly can. There are unenjoyable things that we can’t avoid of course, like getting stuck in traffic. But, there are ways we can sneak enjoyment even into those situations. Use that stuck in traffic time to listen to some good music or an audio book, for example.
Part of enjoying life for me is I also use my time in the evenings to indulge in hobbies I like. I’ve come to realize that when I don’t get creative time in, I get irritable & don’t enjoy anything like I normally do. Creative time is very important for most people, not only me. It gives freedom to use your imagination. It also gives down time that we all need in this often overly busy & chaotic life. If you don’t have a creative outlet, it may be time for you to find one. Wandering around a craft store can be a great place to start. They carry items for almost every hobby imaginable! And guys reading this, they even carry “guy stuff”, not just things for knitting & cross stitch. Many carry model car & airplane kits, stuff for electric trains, wood working & more.
I hope this post doesn’t sound like I’m looking for pity because of what happened. I’m not. I just believe I learned some valuable things from my experience & wanted to share them. Although I can’t say I’m grateful for what happened on that fateful day, I am grateful for the good that came from it. The things I shared here definitely changed my life & my attitude for the better! I hope they can help you too! ❤
15 responses to “Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned & Want To Share”
Cynthia, in regards to the idea of the circle of friends shrinking, I had a thought I wanted to share with you. As I’ve watched my own circle of friends shrink, I’ve noticed that the ones that I now trust the most are other friends who have never had children.
I try to only discuss my parental abuse with others who have gone through similar things. My friends who have had children of their own are at first very open to the concept, and share stories of their own. But if I ask too many questions, they often shift it tone and attitude. They tend to take the side of my abusive parents. They say things like “Your parents were just trying to get their ‘needs’ met.” They often go on to encourage me to talk to my parents (which we both know is the absolute wrong thing to do).
I think in the best case scenarios, I think these parent friends did the best they could with their children. And they like talking about how they were abused by their parents. But then they quickly realize they did the same things with their own children, and then they want to shut me down because they don’t like being reminded.
In the worst cases, these ‘friends’ become hostile. I think these people feel absolutely entitled to exploit their children in the same way that they were exploited. They feel “owed” somehow.
Right now, I only have one friend who is a parent who recognizes she was abused as a child and acknowledges that she made many of the same mistakes with her own children, and is now trying to make corrections.
Just some thoughts.
That’s really interesting. You make sense, too. My friends who are parents aren’t that way, but I can see that sort of thing happening. People who are in denial in some form hate hate HATE to be reminded of what they’re trying to deny & will go to any lengths to shut someone down who reminds them of that thing. I’ve seen that in my own family.
That is good your friend is aware of mistakes she’s made with her kids & is trying to fix things! If only more people were like that!
Your friends who are parents who aren’t like mine, are they from intact homes? Have they been through narcissistic abuse by their parents?
A mixture. One came from a very abusive home life with a father with Bipolar Disorder & I believe PTSD. Others had narcissistic parents & still others had normal, non-abusive parents.
So there was a “normal” parent in the mix.
Meaning a parent that wanted to help the children, even though there was an abusive parent involved.
Hard to imagine such a creature exists, isn’t it?! lol Seriously though, I have friends with wonderful moms for the most part. Two moms I’m rather close to, in fact. And the children of these moms are compassionate with me. Even though they saw my parents’ very convincing good sides, they know I’d never lie about them, so they believe me. It’s pretty awesome!
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On the idea of the friend with a good mom, I will share my experience, and it may have nothing to do with you. So take it with a grain of salt.
I had a best friend for most of my life whose mom seemed awesome. I preferred being with them than in my own home through high school, college, and even 20 years after.
In retrospect, I now realize they took me in as a sort of refugee or pet. Kind of like that awful movie “The Blind Side”.
They liked me if I could enhance their life. But the minute I did something different from their preferences – like voting different, or going vegan,
they dumped me.
In other words, know your place with that tribe. You can’t “gunnysack” with their tribe anymore than you could have done with your own tribe.
Oh geez! Don’t you just hate that?! That’s partly why I can’t stand discussing politics with many people.. aside from my lack of interest, the fact so many people get all crazy about it & will end friendships because someone thinks differently bothers me. Not sure when people stopped being willing to agree to disagree but I wish that would come back.
“Not sure when people stopped being willing to agree to disagree”. Really? You know why. It is because they are narcissists and they need to feed on negative emotions. Peace be with you.
I mean when did people stop being willing to agree to disagree… seems like that used to be something the majority of people could do. Suddenly it seems like almost no one can do it anymore. Narcissists never could, but now it seems like even the average person can’t. It’s depressing
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On the idea that people are no longer “willing to agree to disagree”, I think it’s the rise of social media. When we used to have to actually talk to one another I think we were much more civil. Now we can blast off anything behind to safety of our keyboards. If we get a few “likes”, we think we are “right” and can therefore go on saying more brash, sassy proclamations. I know I’ve been guilty of this!
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That’s such a good point. Social media gives people a safe outlet to be jerks. They can say anything they want & not receive any real consequences.
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This is just an idea as you run your blog and groups. You seem to feel compelled to comment on every post as a sort of checklist. And that is fine. But, if so, you are allowed to say, “That is an interesting idea. I will have to think on that.”
I really believe I have OCD, although certainly not in its most severe form. I also want people to know they are heard so yes, I try to comment on everything I can. I have said those exact words.. not sure where at the moment.. here, YouTube or my group (could be all, who knows with my memory), but I have said them.
Thank you for your suggestion. Obviously I think it’s a good one since I’ve done it.
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