15 Signs Your Break-Up Was a Good Idea

1. You feel an immediate sense of relief.

2. You look back on the relationship and realize there were signs of emotional abuse.

3. You decide to go shopping and enjoy the fact that nobody is complaining about said shopping.

4. You get into your car, roll the windows down, and blast your favorite radio station–the one your ex partner always switched off.

5. Friends and family agree with your decision and even wish you had made it sooner.

6. You don’t have to watch your new favorite TV show in secret for fear of your ex partner’s criticism.

7. You find renewed focus on the job, no longer distracted by constant relational anxiety.

8. It becomes evident that you gave up quite a few things due to perceived pressure from your ex partner, such as time you could have spent going out with your friends. 

9. You realize that it was neither healthy nor normal for your ex partner to show no sexual interest in you over a period of months.

10. You finally see that you generated the emotional support and affection with little to no return from your ex partner. 

11. Now that it’s gone, you really don’t miss your ex partner’s constant nitpicking.

12. Your ex partner’s good looks no longer attract you. Pretty people shouldn’t get away with ugly behavior.

13. All of your confusing and unexplained emotional outbursts over the past few months suddenly come into focus. Clearly, you were under duress.

14. You conclude that your ex partner’s consistently disfunctional and controlling behavior stemmed from insecurity.

15. You forgive your ex partner, thereby completely escaping their figurative clutches. (The best way to give your ex partner continual control over you is to remain bitter. If you forgive, you can find complete freedom and wholeness.)

If you think you might have suffered or are suffering from emotional abuse, I recommend reading this article: 30 Signs of Emotional Abuse.

I found it helpful.

–June Skye–

How to Live in a Bubble

If your goal is to miss 90% of pop culture references, this is how you should live. It is vital to start at a very young age, though, and to continue the following regimen for at least a decade.

  1. Be homeschooled.
  2. Listen to exclusively Christian music.
  3. Focus all extracurricular activities in elementary, middle school, and high school around your local church’s calendar of Bible studies and events.
  4. Don’t watch TV.
  5. Stay away from R rated movies, and most PG-13 movies.
  6. Avoid all social media.
  7. Leave magazines other than National Geographic alone.

Yes, I lived this life growing up. My parents transitioned me into a public high school to begin the process of becoming an adult, but by that time I was already years behind my peers when it came to the celebrities they knew, the music they loved, the movies they memorized, and especially the clothes they wore. I spent a lot of time feeling very far removed from their experiences and their knowledge. Not to mention incredibly behind the curve.

Oh, sure, I had better grades than most of my fellow students, and I certainly possessed enough Bible knowledge to out-answer anybody in my church youth group. Nevertheless, these were not advantages when it came to pop culture. Whenever somebody brought up a song or a movie line of something famous, my mind would go blank (and I’m sure my face as well) and I would feel out of place.

During and after college, I gradually started to venture out into movies at the Red Box, TV shows on Netflix, music on the radio, the occasional magazine at the hair salon, my Facebook news feed, and country bars. It has been an interesting and spotty education at best.

However, I don’t think I would go back and change any of it. If anything, I get to have so much fun watching Friends for the first time through, discovering new music from different genres and decades (yes, I just listened to Eminem for the first time the other day, don’t judge), and especially developing my individualized fashion based on current trends.

It’s been a blast of a journey so far, and I’m excited for all of the new things still to be experienced. As for the bubble of my childhood, I’m grateful. From it, I have something precious that nobody can take away from me.

The power of a fresh perspective.

–June Skye–

the terrible chai tea latte and the even worse question

We were sitting at a small, round table next to the window, and I was drinking the worst chai tea latte I had ever tasted. It desperately needed less spice, more milk, and more sugar. It was unbalanced.

My friend was telling me all about her exciting ministry of mentoring young women. I couldn’t help but ponder how much better she was at being a Christian than me. While she was making a difference for Jesus in other people’s lives, I had slept in and missed church for the past three straight Sundays.

Our conversation drew to a close, and of course we ended in prayer.

“How can I pray for you?” she asked, with sincerity streaming from her eyes.

I started rambling about my life, my relationships, why I had a hard time connecting with other Christians. My words fumbled and failed to reach any conclusion.

“I know what you mean,” she said with an understanding nod. I was reassured that something of what I said made sense. Then we prayed.

Afterward, we walked to our cars, and the rambling continued. I couldn’t make it stop–the words kept tumbling out.

Finally, she had to politely remind me that she had to be on the other side of town in less than thirty minutes, but that we should definitely have coffee more often. We hugged and said goodbye and got in our cars and drove off.

Ten minutes later at the wheel, it hit me. The reason for the rambling. I was asking a question with a waterfall of words, and it was a question I had asked many, many times.

“Am I acceptable?”

I spent at least 90% of my time 0-18 years of age in exclusively Christian circles, and then I went to a private Christian college. So I got used to the Christian response to my question:

“Yes, but…”

So much pain followed those ellipses as I attempted to squish myself into conformity within the bounds of the cookie cutter answers.

Memorize more Scripture.

Don’t say bad words.

Stay away from alcohol. And drugs. And sex.

And anyone who doesn’t stay away from the above mentioned.

Be nice.

Be a lady.

Dress modestly. Bikinis, mini skirts, spaghetti straps, tight jeans, leggings, strapless, backless, super high heels, crop tops, and Abercrombie and Fitch are evil.

Go to church every Sunday. And Wednesdays. And Tuesdays. And volunteer for service projects on Saturdays. And attend every church retreat too for extra credit.

Pray every day. Twice daily is better but all the time is desirable.

Read the Bible every day. Read the Bible through once a year.

Get good grades. A perfect 4.0 is best.

I think it was middle school when I realized that my list of things to do or to avoid was endless. And every sermon seemed to add more!

But I made the attempt. I learned to customize the rules slightly, but I got really good at playing the Christian game that made me acceptable to other Christians.

Except that it didn’t. I always had this feeling that I was never going to be good enough, that my Bible study friends only tolerated me. That I was deficient in some respect.

I would like to say that nobody ever confirmed it, but that would be a lie.

Over the years, I’ve lost many, many Christian friendships for failing to measure up to their standards. And I’ve also watched every single member of my immediate family get rejected by other Christians in painful ways, from close Christian friends to Christian youth group leaders. It’s an epidemic in the church–Christians judging and subsequently rejecting the Christians sitting in the pew right in front of them.

HELLO PEOPLE! THE BIBLE DOESN’T EXIST TO BE USED AS A WEAPON AGAINST YOUR NEIGHBOR! AND I’M TIRED OF BEING MEASURED BY YOUR HAPHAZARD AND CONFLICTING INTERPRETATIONS OF IT!

Dear reader, I’m sorry. That’s a lot of caps all at once. I’ve just really, really wanted to say it for a long time now. I hope you’ll excuse me for momentarily shouting at you.

To my friend at the coffee shop, I won’t do you the injustice to accuse you of judging me.

But at the time I inwardly cringed to prepare for the familiar verdict of unacceptable.

I wish I could simply stop asking the question. One day, dear reader, I’m going to figure out how, and then I will tell you all about it.

–June Skye–

from Walmart aisles to watermelon

It’s the simple things

Like finding the perfect black ballpoint pen in the Walmart aisle 

Or carrying to the cash register the right-sized leather journal with a narrow green ribbon

Having a philosophical conversation at the club over a couple of beers and a Long Island

Folding an entire load of warm, clean  clothes right out of the dryer

Laughing with friends and family over barbecued hot dogs and burgers, with fresh watermelon on the side

Taking a hot shower on a cold day, so hot the goose pimples emerge for a glorious 30 seconds

Finding relief in a clean, white toilet that flushes 

Driving a car that speeds up, slows down, and stops when it should

Working at a job that keeps the mind and hands occupied all week long

Creating something, anything, perhaps a free verse poem that winds through its varied thoughts to come to the conclusion:

These are the simple things that make a privileged life.

–June Skye–

out of the pink room

inside

bubble gum pink.

four walls.

a bed.

she was twenty-four years old with a voice to scream at the staff watching at the window

velcro straps don’t speak

but if they could

they would say

SHUT UP. 

NO ONE CARES.

NO ONE IS COMING TO LET YOU GO.

she pled for the  bathroom

please

please

please

please 

when the staff opened the door,

they found a limp soul who had wet the bed.

outside

they crushed me into a pink hospital box

but i just wrote them on a page

and they cannot get their straps on me

my voice has gone completely free

–June Skye–

on failure and other monsters

If you had asked me three years ago what my greatest fear was, I would have said failure. 

Now I am deathly afraid of something else: a fire-breathing dragon that has the power to burn my life to the ground. By comparison, failure is just a monster in a closet.

But let me start at the beginning. If you have been reading my blog, you know that I am bipolar and that I have experienced a couple of manic breakdowns. If you have ever experienced a manic breakdown, you know what it is to fail, to literally break down inside and stop functioning.

Last year, I took a job in a mid-sized California city, along highway 395. It was my first true act of independence–living in my own apartment somewhere entirely new and working full-time. What could go wrong?

Well, enough. It only took a couple of months for isolation, anxiety, uncertainty, and a few well-placed poisonous people to splinter my sanity into tiny little pieces. My first attempt at being a full-fledged grown-up landed me in a mental hospital for 26 days.

Fail.

My family came to get me and bring me home to Arizona. I really can’t thank them enough. But it was not their support that drove me to then find a steady job, begin new relationships, and eventually find the courage to start a blog.

It was my new fear at work. The fear of getting STUCK.

There is only one failure that I care about now, and that is failing to move forward. As long as I continue to put one foot in front of the other, I’m making progress against the fire-breathing dragon of STUCK-NESS.

For example, this blog has one more post. It is not stuck yet!

–June Skye–

 

 

what about bob?

In May of 1991, the year I was born, a comedy starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss was released under the name of What about Bob. Murray plays Bob Wiley, a mental patient with a laundry list of problems, who is handed off to psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin  (Dreyfuss). 

Then the situational irony begins. Bob quickly invades Dr. Marvin’s life with winning enthusiasm and oddball charm. In response to Bob’s takeover, Dr. Marvin loses his grip on his family, his profession, and ultimately himself. By the end of the movie, Bob becomes the successful professional, and Dr. Marvin becomes a mental hospital patient.

Lots of people think this movie is funny, including my entire family. You may be one of those who find it hilarious.

However, I hate it. 

Here’s the fundamental problem: I sympathize with Dr. Marvin too closely. He’s portrayed as arrogant and controlling, but I don’t think he deserves to lose his connection with his family, his professional credibility, and his sanity just because he has a bit of an ego. In my experience, a lot of psychiatrists have swollen heads, in fact.

Living with a mental disorder, I know exactly how fragile sanity can be. Everyone has a tipping point, and all it requires is just the right touch, the right set of circumstances, the right person to come along and tip the balance. For Dr. Marvin, that tipping point was Bob.

Although it’s personally disturbing to me that Dr. Marvin crumbles from the inside, I guess I should look at the other side of the coin:

Someone as initially dysfunctional as Bob can succeed. 

I guess I can learn something from him.

–June Skye–

P.S. I you are reading this, thank you for taking the time. I would love for you to leave me a comment. If you like what you have read so far, please follow my blog for more scribbled thoughts about mental health and anything else that strikes my fancy. 

That’s all for now.