I love baseball. Couldn’t tell you many rules. Couldn’t name many players much less their stats. Been to less than a dozen major league games. But I do love going to baseball games. The atmosphere of comradery and competition is a thrill. There is a time to get along and there is a time start swinging for dear life. There is a time to step up to home plate, draw a line with my foot, and start swinging. Life under the rule of abuse, trauma and chronic illness is much the same.
While we have lived with abuse, trauma and chronic illness in our lives we have been provided opportunities to learn how to be calm, take things we don’t deserve, accept what we do deserve, and learn how to overcome the emotional disconnect it can all bring to our sense of self.
Then there are times during the muck to simply rise up, get out of the dugout and start swinging the snot out of those who keep stomping on us and our current situation.
I am finally okay with this. As a Christian I have been taught by the “church” (not the bible) that we should always play nice and allow the abusers to keep wiping their dirty feet on us, let them stomp the snot out of us. I write about a Christian perspective in a Christian blog and will keep that there.
Here I will declare that there are times to call “batter up” and start swinging.
Sure, we will probably strike out far more times than hit a home run but it is better to discover a fighting voice than to go down without a fight. There are abusive people who refuse to deal with their own issues that make them mean, cruel, unjust to others. Instead of dealing with their own issues, they just keep stomping the snot out of us. Batter up….
Sure, we will probably look “small,” look like a fool to others while we swing into space, who cares at some point. I have been known to scream at the top of my lungs inside my house so loud that neighbors could hear. As long as this is the exception and not the rule, I am fine with it. There comes a time when we boil over from the yuck-and-muck that others keep dishing out.
Abusers are highly skilled at hiding their actions from outsiders. The world does not see what goes on behind closed doors, and very few care. As we walk through our individual situations we can find ways to move through the illness, abuse and/or trauma and into a more peaceful existence. For me, getting stuck in this was not an option.
Better Out Than In
“Better out than in” is one of my favorite sayings.
I use it for health coaching all the time. Better to get the disease out than keep it in and let it kill us. I use it for emotional health all the time. Better to get the uglies out of us than keep it in to destroy us. I use the saying in many situations that need changing, not acceptance.
I personally would prefer to stand at the batter’s plate and strike out than keep this yuck-and-muck inside of me and let it destroy me. Willing to play by the rules of the game but not willing to always stand up against the cheaters.
Within the rules of the game, we can find ways to move through yuck-and-muck instead of getting stuck!!!!
Yep, things can get so out of control in some of our lives that picking up a bat and taking wild swings is the best thing we can do, no matter what others think, say or believe. There are many of us (men and women) who have been doormats our whole lives and are finally done. The point of fed up, past DONE, requires some serious bat swinging.
Unless you are defending your life, NO, do not literally take a bat to another human being. That reduces you to the abusers level.
Responsibilities of Bat Swinging
Every choice we make in life, no matter how big or how small, has consequences. Play this game within the rules of humanity.
- No physical harm to others, unless in physical danger yourself, this is non-debateable
- Spew only words of truth, not ugliness that diminishes our fight or rips another to shreds unfairly
- Know when enough is enough, at some point stop swinging
- Weigh the true situation at hand, if in an abusive situation think out the consequences of bat swinging
- Somehow temper the need to be swinging that bat in the first place with the need to respect others, it is a very fine line
- Be prepared for the outcome, whatever it may be, sometimes the price is high when we come out swinging
- Know our own personal limits, do we tend to take things too far or can we truly say that bat swinging is past due to help us in our personal growth
What Position Do You Play?
We did not ask for the positions of life we have been assigned to. Here we are. Just like those born with a silver-spoon have their assignments to live out. We all have different positions and abilities to fulfill them.
Responsibility for OUR choices is a completely different conversation. Victims do not need, or deserve, lectures on how we got here.
Wish I knew some baseball lingo to make this more of an interesting read. I don’t so lets get down to business. Batter up….
Had I learned that I was worthy of the air I need to breath and food to sustain life as a child, then I would not have needed to endure so many innings of this nonsense with more abusers. Blaming parents is a useless self-destructive endeavor. Time to take full responsibility for everything. Time to learn that the game is over, I am not required to keep playing more innings. I am not a victim, I am becoming a skilled survivor. Here I am, so here I go. Batter up…
A baseball game consists of nine innings but can go on virtually indefinitely if the teams are tied.
“The longest major league game was played in 1920 and lasted 26 innings. It ended in a tie.
The longest professional game was between two AAA teams – the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings – and began started on April 18, 1981. It lasted 33 innings, with 8 hours and 25 minutes of playing time; 32 innings were played April 18/19 with the 33rd inning played June 22. The Paw Sox won the game, 3–2.” ~ Quora
Time to break the tie without calling it quits on myself. I am not required to go more innings of this yuck-and-muck. It takes two to play a game and when I finally chose to stop playing, the game was over.
I have allowed, and offenders have taken, a basic sense of dignity and humanity from me. While we are still standing, that makes it a tie. I refused to settle for that defeat. Through the years of battling chronic illness on top of abuse, I finally found who I am. I have a swing as gentle as a butterfly and as mighty as a tsunami. Time to use it so I can retire from this game.
There are some people who already know how to come out swinging to stop the onslaught of abuse and trauma and shame dumped on them. I applaud them for learning how to deal with it and take care of themselves the best they can. They are an inspiration to show others how it is done.
Others are softer, more timid, so beaten down, that we have not yet found the courage to step up to the batter calling.
My son displayed this courage during one of his baseball games. He played for an independent team that was young and inexperienced. The only way to improve and gain experience was to get out there with the big guys. He was 11-12 a the time. My son was always on the small side and was always sickly so he knew the drill of being the underdog. He got picked on by so many that he had learned when to shut up, give up, and sit it out.
He also learned when to crawl out of the dugout and get the courage to face the batter’s plate. There was an older team who was willing to give our team a challenge game, one that would be fair under impossible odds. There was my young son, small, quiet, inexperienced but far mightier than his counterparts in spirit. He was scared out of his mind, he told me so when he backed down the first time. Back out he went.
Standing there on home plate, swinging his big heart out. No one gave him any breaks because of the situation, but they gave him the opportunity to step up and that he did. Whack, hit the ball and off he went to first base. Even he was surprised at himself. His courage paid off. He gained a confidence in himself and a respect from others that he otherwise would not have received.
I have a private picture of him on first base, half the height of his opponent. As his opponent towered over him in height, weight and experience, he gave my son the plate fairly. (None of these pictures on this blog are of my son)
After the game was over, the opposing team approached my son’s team and expressed their admiration for such a young and inexperienced team to take on this incredible challenge.
Now, the opposing team was not abusive, not attacking my son’s team whatsoever. They were there in a good fair spirit and offered this great experience to our team. But the display of my son’s specific courage under such fear was what I will never forget. He was by far the smallest and weakest on the team. To stand there and have a full grown young man pitch at him was terrifying, but he did it.
The bat and ball are only tools to move through abuse and trauma. The courage has to come from within. The self-worth has to be self-induced.
When we have been used, abused, tortured, humiliated, abandoned, spit on, wiped up and wiped out by others, it is terrifying to take on the bully. It is easier to slither away into oblivion.
There will be many innings of thinking we have had our fill of abuse. Then one day, we find the courage to face the terror head on. We have what it takes inside of us to take the walk to home plate, pick up the bat and swing the living snot out of anything that comes at us. Not because we have the skill to do it, because we have the courage to stand up for ourselves regardless of the outcome.
Have you gotten to a point where you can stand up for yourself? If not, are you seeking examples of how to do it in a safe manner?
My ways are not always safe or recommended. We all have to find our unique ways through our unique human experiences.
Maribeth Baxter, MBNC (Certified Mind-Body Nourishment Coach)
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