I'm a good, kind, and helpful person. I work hard at creating safe space for people to explore their mind-body wellness. And when I received trashy, degrading harassment in response to my content, I quite honestly had flashes of, why bother.
Welcome to the podcast, Unlocking Wellness! I'm Crystal McLain, Licensed Clinical Massage Therapist, and Self-Care Coach and I'm exploring ways to unlock our wellness barriers so we can create Self Care Independence, because we find our freedom when we’re living well.
Hello my friend. Normally it's a more joyful tone here at the podcast, but I felt it was important to share a recent experience with you today.
It's so easy to become discouraged and disheartened by humans sometimes. Today I have story to share about an incident that left me feeling not only discouraged, and disappointed, but violated as well. And I thought I'd share my personal reaction, response, thoughts, and process of how I'm dealing with it, just incase you have gone through something similar.
So here's what happened...
I'd taken a photo of the marigolds in my garden and had this idea that it would be fun to incorporate them into my new line of self care products that I'm developing. But never having done anything with marigolds before, I thought I'd ask my Instagram family if they had.
I set out to create a new blend of Intentional Massage Oils. So, I arranged all of my tools and ingredients, lit a candle, did a gratitude and blessing ritual, and noticed my phone light up.
I received a message on Instagram. I saw that it was a response to my marigold question.
I was excited to learn what someone else had done with marigolds, but instead of receiving a bit of insight, I received some disturbing sexual harassment.
Immediately my body reacted from my past trauma. I felt nervous and sick to my stomach.
I immediately blocked and reported the account.
Then I texted my friend who I know had also been the recipient of this type of bullshit.
And in that moment I decided to take my power back.
I'd be DAMNED if I let some pervert ruin my day. I've worked too hard to recover from my trauma to let some asshole ruin my day.
Crystal (probably even a year ago) would have stopped in her tracks, ruminated over the situation, and binge ate. I thought about these things, but didn't engage in them. I took this as a personal win.
Instead I did some deep breathing exercises (practiced a little EFT, even though I'm just a novice at it still), and reminded myself that I am strong and I safe.
Then I got mad as fuck.
Why the hell do people need to do this kind of shit? Why is it some people just can't leave others alone? Why do some people try to ruin the goodness that others are trying to bring into the world? Why? WHY!? WHYY!!??
Then, in my rage, my brain started to spiral out a little and I started to think, why bother? Why am I even wasting my time with any of this? I should just become a hermit who doesn't engage with social media.
Then I realized that I was giving the predator power.
Then I got even angrier.
I started having terrible, violent thoughts towards this person. I could feel myself filling with toxic poison. And, again, I realized, this was giving the predator power as well.
I was losing focus on what I'd set out to do (which was make therapeutic oils). And I realized I didn't want to put that kind of energy into my craft. So, I took a step back.
I took a break.
I walked away.
I took a long hard look at the variables of my situation, and tried to keep my ego out of it.
Okay, so, this guy did a disgusting, horrible thing, and he should totally be held accountable for his actions. Absolutely, 100%, yes. BUT, I also couldn't help but think how miserable this person's life must be. The angry part of my brain was GLAD he has a miserable life. But BECAUSE of his miserable life, he's turned to hurting others.
And that didn't sit well with me.
I mean, how does one even become a predator in the first place?
Well, I'm willing to bet that this person has never felt loved or safe in their life. I'm willing to bet that they don't know the feeling of true joy or personal empowerment. I'm willing to bet that they don't know what it's like to give or receive compassion. They don't know what it is to be gentle, and caring, and live with positive purpose. And unless they change their ways, they're going to go through their life in a dark, lonely, and unfulfilling way and die a miserable, broken person.
And they're only going to hurt people as long as they're hurting themself.
And you know what? That's sad.
That's sad, and scary because I know there are a lot of these people out there. And when I think about the enormity of the problem, it makes me feel powerless.
And I don't like to feel powerless.
So, you might be like the angry part of my brain that's shouting, "yeah, but fuck this guy. He should rot in hell. They should all rot in hell!" (sigh) I get it. That seems like an easy solution, right? But simply wishing for that to happen isn't going to change the situation, is it? The fact remains that there are countless people out there who are so blinded and misguided by their own trauma, pain, shortcomings, whatever, that they feel the need to darken the light of others.
And I just can't hold onto that amount of that amount of anger. It's not good for me. It keeps me from doing my job of showing up as a compassionate human being. It prevents me from living a healthy, fulfilling life.
So let me say this: it is so much easier (for me) to move through this life with a compassionate heart than an angry one. It's not an easy thing to DO, but the end results cause a lot less adrenaline fatigue and indigestion. So it's totally worth practicing.
I also want to be very clear, I'm not saying to NOT be angry.
Be. Fucking. Angry.
That said, there comes a time when you have to deal with that anger in a healthy way. For me, finding the angles around anger with compassion helps a lot. Investing that aggressive energy into dance or exercise also helps let off some steam and makes me feel powerful. Spending time writing blogs like this helps me process.
I find that if I hold onto that anger for too long it gets distorted. It gets bigger than than myself, and I don't know how to deal with it. That usually leads me to wanting to numb my feelings and that looks like food, booze, or drugs...
I've worked too hard to process and recover from my old trauma to let this one situation set me back to square one.
So, this is a basic run down of what happened...
I went into a fight-or-flight respone, I had a PTSD reaction, I felt angry, I felt scared, I felt hopeless, I felt like giving up, I felt like binging. I felt like not ever wanting to be pretty, charismatic, or smiley again. I filled with rage and wanted to destroy this person. I felt bad about wanting to destroy them. I felt stupid for investing any energy into thinking about this situation at all. I felt like a fucking warrior because I took the time to pay attention to every ounce of it and how it was affecting me.
This all to say, a LOT of thoughts and feelings have popped up in a rather short amount of time.
So I keep taking sidesteps when I have an occasional flash of the images this person sent me the other day. I step out of my ego, and sink deeper into my true self, and meditate on the fact that these are feelings and reactions to my temporary circumstance. But ultimately, I have the power to choose how I respond to my reactions. This is the power of consciousness, the power of mindfulness, and self awareness. I feel grateful for the Self Care Independence I've created. I feel like I have control and power, even when I'm feeling vulnerable and scared.
And that is an incredible gift that absolutely no one can take away from. I own my personal power, despite how weak I feel in the moment.
There's a lot more to me and my life than this moment in time. And I know that if continue to nurture myself, this moment will pass a lot more quickly than if I continue to give it power.
Recognize your feelings, yes.
Sit with those feelings, yes.
Welcome and thank those feeling for keeping you safe (because that's what they're trying to do), yes, yes, yes.
Harness the energy from those feelings and transform it into your own personal power, absolutely, yes.
You, my friend, are bigger, and better, and stronger than any bullshit that's ever been thrown at you. You might feel tired, vulnerable, maybe even scared, angry, or confused. But that's just your gorgeous brain trying to make sense of everything you've been through.
If you've been through something terrible, and you're feeling paralyzed, or inhibited by it in any way, shape or form, I am so very sorry that's happened to you. Please know, you are not alone in your suffering. And your suffering does not have to define you. It doesn't have to take away the sweetness in your life. And you have so much power within you - I wish I could show you! Because honestly, you do. Rest, cry, rage, do whatever you need to do in this moment, but promise yourself that you'll remember (or maybe for the first time, realize) who you are meant to be. And if you're not sure who you're meant to be, I will tell you this: You are meant to be a person who moves through life with a confident heart, and speaks their truth, and lives authentically without apologies or contingencies. And you were meant to be the greatest source of love and encouragement that you'll ever receive.
You are your greatest love. You are your greatest resource. You are the source of everything you need.
I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you so much for being here.
I'll see you soon.
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