Teaching Others How To Treat You (Personal Responsibility)


All too often we find ourselves being treated the same way by different people and we’re left scratching our heads as to why this keeps happening to us. Well, as the Justice card implies cause and effect and accountability, it shows us that we need to take responsibility for how we TEACH others to treat us.

Well what the hell does that mean? This is the question I asked myself in the beginning of my recovery. Because I had no idea what that looked like and that I just found out it existed, I time and time again found myself in unhealthy relationships. Which brings me to the cyclical nature of boundaries and values. If you can not name your core values, you can not have clear boundaries. If you do not have clear boundaries, people will go too far with you because you haven’t created a mental sanctuary of protection. And when you get hurt because of that, you lose further site of your values. This is why boundaries are so important.

I talk about this subject at length because not so long ago I had no boundaries and my life was pretty fucked up. But when I got the help and did the work, my boundaries started coming out of the ground, and my relationships of all kinds were strengthened. If you are like I was and have no idea what this looks like, let me offer up some clear cut instructions:

Step one: find a list of core values online. Write down the ones that stick out to you on a piece of paper and keep whittling that list down until you get to about 10 core values. This seems like an extremely daunting task because all of these values are super great, but this is a personalized list to find out what means the most to YOU. You’re looking for priorities, not abundance.

Step two: cut that damn list in half. Again, we’re looking for values with utmost priority in your life. This is tough, but use your intuition. Your gut will lead you to what is important.

Step three: look at the complete opposite of your value (aka your threat.) See what will come in opposition of your value and make a pact with yourself to not allow it in your life. This takes practice but this is how you create a solid and valuable life. You don’t deserve to tolerate someone or something that completely bowls over your values.

Step four: realize that you just created a boundary. Yup folks, that’s right. The ability to protect your value is the creation of a boundary. So congratulations!

Let me give you an example of what that looks like.

My top five values are authenticity, balance, courage, friendships, and self respect. From the balance area, I’ve created a boundary in which I will not over exert myself by working over 40 hours a week. I need my me time and so I have created a situation in which I am respected by my employer. If I feel like I can’t be myself around someone (authenticity,) I choose to not be around that person when I have the choice. And most importantly, if someone does not respect me, I stand up for myself because I do not deserve ill treatment. This includes shutting down my inner critic. All of these acts take courage, and a strong tribe to support you.

Through all of these examples I’ve tried to paint the picture of exactly what the boundaries/ values relationship looks like because I sure as hell had no clue when I first started my recovery. I am a visual learner, and having been stuck in a black hole of depression and martyrdom, I couldn’t see outside of myself far enough to know what a healthy relationship looked like. So don’t wait around for change. Grab a pen and get proactive. There are plenty of lists online so you don’t have to think up a value out of thin air. Get some values, create some boundaries, and stay witchy ( *)

The Story of My Last Straw


When you are codependent, your happiness doesn’t belong to you. It only exists when other factors are aligned. Your happiness is dependent on a myriad of things, mostly pertaining to relationships, both romantic and not.

I first met my ex boyfriend on a dating site. Being single for a very long time before meeting him, I was naive, excited, and honestly, quite desperate. We talked 24/7 before meeting in person. Texting, phone calls; we were always in contact. It made me feel wanted.

When we finally met, he took a little getting used to. He was manic and all over the place. He made me a little nervous. But he was attracted to me. And that was good enough.

He forgot his wallet on the first date, so he only had a few dollars on him to buy me a beer. I wanted this to work, so I paid the rest of the date.

From that night, we spent three whole days together. Constant closeness, which is what I desired, what I needed. He did not leave my side for three whole days.

When we finally parted, I was sure I would never hear from him again. That was what I was used to. But instead, the communication kept on flowing. I was the happiest I had been in a very long time.

A week later, he told me he was falling in love with me. I returned the statement with utter infatuation. This was finally it.

Fast forward about nine months into the relationship and we have decided to move in together. We spoke of marriage and honeymoons. He was my soulmate.

Right after moving in, my job fell through. Since I had anointed myself the bread winner, I faced a lot of anxiety. I put down all of the money for the new place and he promised he would pay me back. And of course I believed him.

When I found a temporary job and worked 13 hour days to make ends meet, I shuffled home one night to find a sheepish look on his face. He had been crying. And my heart sank.

This was the day he told me that he had fallen back into heroin addiction and needed to go to rehab. He would be gone for a month, but he promised he would find a way to pay for the months rent. He always knew the right things to say.

During this period of him being gone, a period where I was only able to speak to him once a week, I started to gain a bit of clarity. Well, he mentioned he has drug problems before. He also had flimsy excuses for missing important events. He had quite a few things about him that, while should have been red flags, were just regular flags in my rose colored glasses.

And while my obsession for this human was ever present, my whole life became about exposing who he was from that point on. From digging into emails, texts, Facebook, I did not have a life that was my own. I needed to know what was going on in order to feel happy.

After the second relapse was when I decided to set myself free. He had been home not even a month, and I hacked into his anonymous phone number website profile and found he had been in contact with his dealer again. I sat on my bed, waited for him to come home, and said, with a broken spirit, that it was over.

Needless to say, the drama that arose afterward was not only textbook, but horrifying. With my need to fix him and have him in my life, I couldn’t let go. But by putting my foot down, I got a little closer to freedom.

When I said those words, it was a tiny little baby step. As badly as I needed things to go back to “normal,” they were so dysfunctional that I would just be riding the same carousel forever if I ignored it. Up until that point, that was normal for me.

Through supportive friends, therapy, Al Anon, yoga, writing, etc. I took my life back. I tried to immerse myself in anything that would take my mind off of him and heal me. And in doing that, I found my heart and soul again.

When you are codependent, you take care of other people to the point of hurting yourself. You become emotionally, physically, and mentally broke. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to take care of yourself first. Its like the instructions on a plane for when you lose cabin pressure. Secure your mask first, and help others after.

Much like the woman in the Eight of Swords, codependents are blindfolded. With danger surrounding you, if you only took off that blindfold, you would see that there is a way out. But only until you let yourself see things clearly, you will be bound.

If any of you have experienced or are experiencing a relationship that is painful to you in a way you can’t put your finger on, take a closer look and be honest with yourself. And if you need someone to speak to, you can always find me here through my contact page. Remember to love yourself first, and stay witchy ( *)

Photoshoot Bliss

Hi all!

Today I wanted to show you the final products of the photo shoot I did on Tuesday! This was an incredible experience and really became something in the moment for creative expression. It was so therapeutic to let go of any kind of self-consciousness and  just focus on the possibility of something beautiful.

While we were shooting, we made up stories to convey any sort of emotion, but the project turned into something completely different, and I think its because my personality really shone through and acted as the purpose for the shoot. I’m really proud of myself for doing something so out of my character and so grateful for my friend to ask me to be a part of it. I hope you enjoy the photos ( *)