When Someone Breaks Your Trust

When someone willfully breaks or damages the trust that you once had in them,

It is hard to believe in that person again.

When their actions and words (or perhaps their inactions) are no longer reliable or acceptable,

The connection you once had with them has been damaged, and it may be gone, for good.

When someone breaks your trust, there is no person or thing: not sex, earthquakes, tornadoes, alcohol, drugs, a material thing (like a new house, car, apartment, money, or job), a new lover, or the threat of impending death that has the power to get it back.

Yes, a temporary remedy may stop or numb the pain that you feel when what you valued, or made you feel safe, is absent and no longer there.

But trust is an abstract thing; it is something that you give to the ones you love.

It is not readily available, or growing on trees for anyone to gain at will.

When the trust you have with someone is broken, or taken for granted, it is hard to be trusting or to give it again.

What will mend a broken trust?

For me, it takes many steps, and thus many thoughtful acts of penance, for a person to regain my trust.

The first is to “fess up,” to be honest, and to break through layers of denial.

However, a person who has learned to be dishonest cannot and will not sustain honest behavior,

And definitely not when being dishonest has become their way of living and moving in the world.

And, if almost everyone around them is being dishonest; or, if their environment enables them – and others – to pretend that everything is “all good”,

At best, there will be many empty and broken promises.

They will often repeat the words “I’m sorry”, and more times than you probably care to remember.

Perhaps, they will also say that they intend to change, but their actions will make them contradict themselves, a lot.

Does this make the dishonest people that you love “bad” for you?

Should you write them off, throw them away, and try to forget about them?

Only you know the answer to that question.

Unfortunately, I have also learned that a dishonest person cannot be trusted

Until they are willing to be honest with themselves about who they are and about what they have done to discredit themselves that damages your ability to trust and believe in them.

When someone breaks your trust, there’s really nothing you need to do until the one who has broken it is willing to admit their mistakes, and their problems.

I don’t believe that many people have that kind of fortitude.

In this world, it is much too easy to hide from the truth and numb the pain we have caused with all kinds of fixes and elixirs.

But, it is not your responsibility to make anyone an honest person when the world that we are living in enables us all to lie and pretend, as if that is the best that we can do.

The world is full of those who have mastered the art of lying and manipulating to get the results that they want.

Being dishonest is a dominant way of relating to others and to the Earth; many believe that it is acceptable and normal to act this way.

Therefore, when someone breaks your trust, you must decide if they are worthy enough to get it back.

© 2019 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

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Going Forward – Thank You for Joining Me on This Journey!

The time has come for me to retire my blogging activities. I have been here on WordPress – blogging my thoughts and my social commentary – for a solid five years (technically six since I joined in late 2012).

Over the years, I have accumulated a LOT of content, and it is time for me to take it to the next level. It is time for me to publish these blogs in a book. I plan to do that by summer’s end!

Thank you for liking and commenting on these blogs, and for being a critical part of my blogging experience. You have helped me to develop my voice and my philosophy on the matters that are important to me.

This blogsite will expire in the next few weeks. If you are interested in the book that is to come, and more of what I am doing, then please feel free to find me at www.amconsultingkc.org, which is my business website. Please note that I have left only a few favorite blogs on this site for now.

Many thanks and best wishes to you all! I am grateful to know that you have joined me here.

Forward,

annalise

You Are Worth It!

You are worth every pause that someone takes on your behalf.

You are worth every “ooh” and “aah” from a loved one or someone who is enamored by you.

You are worth every happy moment that you feel in your own life.

You are worth celebrating when something goes right, or when you get a new job.

You are worth all the smiles and kisses that your partner can send your way.

You are worth it when he or she stops what they are doing to come and see about you when you are scared, afraid, or in pain.

You are worth patience, compassion, and empathy, from your lover and friends.

You are worth a good listen to the stories that are buried deep within.

You are worth it when it means it will lessen the anxiety that you feel inside.

You are worth being heard.

You are worth being seen.

You are worth being valued and being made a priority by those who say they care about you.

You are worth it.

Say it to your yourself until you believe it, and

Never let anyone tell you that you are not worth their time or their attention.

However, in the event that someone shows you with their actions and their words that you are not worth anything to them (and they probably will try it),

When they show you that they could care less about what happens to you, or how you feel,

If they intentionally hurt you with their words and actions,

Then, please know, on the contrary, that they are not worthy of you or the love that you have to give,

They are far too emotionally immature and unprepared for the ups and the downs of life,

With you.

© 2019 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

Leave Hate Alone

I did not fully understand the concept of unearned guilt until I was in a relationship with someone who hated women; and, therefore, whenever I said or did something that reminded him of the women that he hated, he hated me: just like that, as if I had harmed him or taken something from him.

A time or two or three or four, I went back; I let his guilt convince me that I was to blame; and, somehow at fault for his despicable and painful predicament.

But, the best thing that I ever did in response to his hateful outbursts was to leave the anger, hate, guilt, and contempt with him, where it belonged.

I refuse to be with a man who hates women; because, if he hates women, it is only a matter of time before he spews his hate on to me, if I let him.

And that is simply not happening.

Today, I choose love,

Not hate.

© 2019 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

“Reclaiming My Time: I Now Recognize MYSELF!” It’s Why I Write Today

On February 27th, 2019, I was watching the Michael Cohen congressional testimony. As the broadcast got underway, I watched as Congressman Elijah Cummings from Maryland managed a very chaotic start to the hearing. I say “managed” because there were others, namely, Congressman Mark Meadows from North Carolina and Jim Jordan from Ohio, who attempted to stop, postpone, or better yet, control the hearing. I was cooking breakfast on that day, so my attention was in and out, but when Mr. Jordan attempted to override the chair regarding a last-minute vote that was taken to table a motion to postpone the hearing per Mr. Meadows, Mr. Cummings, who was chair of the committee, took back the control of the hearing and prefaced his opening statement by saying this: “I am reclaiming my time; I now recognize myself.” Of course, we have heard those words before in other congressional hearings. In the last year or so, it has been a phrase that has been associated with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who is another veteran congressional figure , and she is a woman who I have respected from afar for her political career.

I am writing this blog because those words – I AM RECLAIMING MY TIME; I NOW RECOGNIZE MYSELF – were like music to my ears. They resonated with me deeply on that day. In all honesty, my response had nothing to do with Michael Cohen, Elijah Cummings, Mark Meadows, or Jim Jordan. I heard them more subconsciously and in relationship to my own life’s journey.

Over the past several years, I have written about surviving emotional abuse and the breakdown of an important personal relationship. In my scholarly and professional endeavors, I have consistently written and presented on matters of racism, sexism, heterosexism and many of the injustices that we are living with today. That said, my affair with writing goes much further back than my current academic career in and with matters pertaining to urban planning. I was a United Methodist clergywoman before I ever thought about pursuing studies about the politics of planning. Although every part of my life has brought me where I am today, it was there, as a preacher, that I first learned to speak up and to advocate for myself and for others.

My life as a black woman has not been easy. In the words of Langston Hughes, in his 1922 poem “Mother to Son,” “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” Indeed, it has had cracks in it and at times it has been very painful. I never would or could have imagined many of the things that have happened to me. Maybe there were some situations that I never wanted to contemplate for myself. But, it is what it is; life is what it is. The things that have happened to me have made me realize and admit to myself that I don’t control life. And, I do not believe that anyone does. No one controls life. It is unpredictable, random; and, at any given moment, things could change for the good, the bad, or the ugly.

On the other hand, I am responsible for how I manage the persons, places and events in my life. And that includes me: how I handle myself. I am responsible for how I react to the events and people that life may bring. I suspect this is why those words were so powerful to me:

I AM RECLAIMING MY TIME

I NOW RECOGNIZE MYSELF

I believe that one of the greatest things that a person can ever do is to recognize her or himself. And it is an even greater thing when you are in a situation where someone or something else is trying their best NOT to recognize you; to ignore or negate you. Reclaiming your time and your person is a power move; it is an action that says: I will see me even if you choose not to; even if you choose to ignore and negate me. Thus, reclaiming your time and recognizing your own presence lets others know that their attempts at not seeing you and not recognizing you are NOT WORKING. Despite their best efforts, you matter, and who you are and what you have to say matters. That said, recognizing yourself is a step towards personal freedom, which could not be more important to many of us today.

When I was a child and an adolescent, and when my parents were upset with me, they would put me on punishment. In response to something I had done or something that I had said, they sent me to my room where I would not be allowed to speak or to be heard. Consequently, I would write out my feelings on paper and post my notes on my bedroom door. I would do it so often that my mother would say, “Go to your room, and don’t you put up any damn notes on your door.” I can’t remember how I responded to her saying that, but, I am sure that it was not good. To lose the ability to voice my thoughts and my feelings, even on my bedroom door, was very, very painful.

I still feel that pain today when someone that I know and love does not want to hear me out. I associate their refusal with the same power and control that my parents had over me as a child. And, back then, when I was a child/adolescent, there was very little that I could do about it. I was a dependent, at their mercy, and, I had to comply or risk being in even more trouble. At the time, I was very helpless.

However, it is not like that today. I am not a child, and I can do something about it when I am not seen or heard by those with whom I am in relationship, and who claim to love me. I am not helpless any longer. I can and I will, like Elijah Cummings or Maxine Waters, find a way to speak: to give voice to my feelings and my thoughts. When someone who says they love me, yet they attempt to rob me of my time, my voice and of my very being, I can act. I can set limits and boundaries on their selfish, controlling, abusive behavior; and, I can reclaim the power they are trying to take from me. I can recognize myself. I don’t have to let their attempts to ignore and disregard me go forward. I can exercise my power with my voice and through my actions to stop their attempts to silence or control me. On the one hand, I am always willing to work with those who want to change their actions and behaviors for the better; but now, as an adult, I can also choose to disassociate myself from abusive and hateful people, if need be. I don’t have to be with such people.

I suppose that my childhood experience with being punished and silenced is central to why I write today in public spaces. There are many people who write and who put their voices out in the world. When I consider all the great African American thinkers and activists, I need not look far to see their written works and thus their legacies. They wrote about their lives when others tried to keep them quiet; and, because they resisted in print, it is much easier for people like me to write freely today. I am grateful for their dedication to themselves and to the written word.

In conclusion, I do not suppose that those great writers wrote their poems, stories and books because others would read them. The more that I write and the more that I consider my own relationship with writing, I believe they wrote in resistance to being silenced and ignored. And, I believe that the Harlem Renaissance was grounded in that idea. Simply put, they wrote because they realized their own worth, and they knew that they had valuable things to say. They wrote in protest, and in spite of the many attempts to stop them from being seen and heard. And, they wrote, as I write today, because they believed in themselves and the power they had to recognize themselves; and, most of all, they wrote because they knew what the creative use of that power was able to do.

© 2019 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

When They Don’t Care About You: Love Yourself

When someone tells you that they don’t care about you or what is going on in your life,

They show you with their actions and with their words what they really feel.

If they run away when there is trouble or pain in your life,

If they refuse to be with you in mind and body when it matters to you,

Realize what is happening, and who they really are in content and character.

They are gone, unavailable, and unable to be by your side, for you and with you.

In cowardice, they cannot look you in the eye and say that they will not be there and that you do not matter to them.

When this happens, you will have a decision to make.

Will you be there for them when they return to offer words of regret and sorrow?

Will you forgive them for not being willing or able to be there for you as you were there for them?

You don’t have to be empathetic or present to anyone who intentionally and repeatedly fails and abandons you in mind or in body.

There are many other people and causes that you can care about,

And they will want to be with you,

Perhaps they will even love you in return.

In the meantime, when someone you once loved fails to love you and chooses to leave you, let them go back to where they came from;

Love yourself, first and foremost;

And, you will know the power of your first and best love.

©2019 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

Insanity

When a man is insane,

He does not even realize that

He

Has

Lost

Himself.

So he continues to give himself away,

Over, and over again.

Until he can muster the courage to gather the pieces and recover,

He will make a fool of himself

With distorted thinking and unacceptable actions.

As long as he refuses (and perhaps he is afraid) to accept his many truths,

Not just the ones that boost his ego,

He may never really know what it means to be sane, recovered,

And in his right mind.

© 2018 annalise fonza, Ph.D.