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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Garner

Hey, Naked Lady!

Dear Naked Lady,

My husband and I had a falling out with his family a couple years back. Most of the details are unimportant, but it is important to note that his mother was vile to me. She said things to me that no human should say to another. She compared me to my husband's sister and said how much better at X, Y, & Z she is than I. She said my husband could have done better than me. She said a lot of really nasty things that I thought I was over, until this week. 

My husband's grandmother was dying this week and he didn't find out about it from his parents, but from his cousin. He hopped on a plane and went to see her before she passed, but he didn't make it. I wanted him to go spend time with his family and I had hopes that amends would be made. 

That hasn't happened yet, which I'm sure is to be expected in a family death situation. You deal with the death, not the drama. But apparently comments have been made it is clear that there will be no change. 

The viewing was today and I'm sure it was very emotional for my husband. His grandmother was from overseas and when he sent me a text message this afternoon asking if I'd like to go to the country where she grew up next summer, I said "I would love to!"

He replied, "We want to go spread her ashes."

My heart immediately sunk deep into my chest and I immediately felt nauseous. I asked him if it was a family trip or a him and me trip. He said it was a family trip. I told him that I would never stand in his way from going on that trip, but that if I was going to spend that much money to go on vacation, I wanted to be around people who like me. I reminded him how terrible his mom was to me, and confessed that I just don't see a future where they accept me. 

He agreed that there likely isn't a future where they accept me. 

I am SO upset that he even asked me to go on that trip. I feel betrayed and hurt. And while I don't want him to miss it, I would be devastated if his first trip overseas was with them and not me. I just don't know what to do or how to feel. This has brought up a ton of emotions for me that I thought were resolved. Those feelings of inadequacy that his mom makes me feel are so strong right now and it feels awful. 

I know it isn't the case, but it feels like he's choosing them over me, despite what they've put us through. Ultimately, I don't know what to do about this situation. I don't want my first trip overseas to be with people who wish I didn't exist.

You sweet thing, you have ALL the feelings. That's a good thing, by the way. Feelings are amazing, because guess what? We have control over what can happen from them. THey're just feelings, and we choose what we do about them.

I hear so much here about how this treatment of you isn't fair. I think we should remove that word, because it's so damn subjective. A life sentence in prison seems unfair to a serial killer sometimes, ok? What they did hurt you. It made you FEEL horrible, inadequate and downright pissed off. Those are the feelings. What you DO about those feelings is the next thing.

I'm going to tell ya something here that kinda sucks to hear, but that's part of my charm, right? I call it like I see it. You take what you'd like from what I say, and throw the rest into your own emotional bonfire, have a glass of wine and let that shit burn. It won't hurt my feelings at all. I bet you think all the things she said to you about yourself, and you've gone through your life collecting evidence from people that these things you think are true. Your mother in law is just another one of the evidence collection points. She ain't special. It's you, beautiful.

What she said is just what she said. It does not have to be the reality. You've given away your power by letting it become your reality. You have sat down in place, and said "yup, you're right...and I'm gonna stay right here in this place until you take it away". The hard part about all of this is that she has no idea, most likely, the impact of her words for you. Or maybe she does. But that part doesn't really matter. Until you choose to take your power back, you'll sit there frozen in time in a relationship you don't really seem to want anyway. Want to know the awesome part of this? You can start looking for evidence of the abundance, love and beauty that you provide instead. What if every day, you got up and searched for evidence that you are a powerhouse human being? I bet you'd find it. I just have this hunch.

When you've collected all of this evidence, you all of a sudden start showing up differently to others as well. You've done it in some relationships, I'm sure....I know without a doubt that there are people that leave you feeling charged and alive, smart and beautiful. Consult those people. They are your assistants in your new self. They are there to help you find your new view. Notice I said "assistants". They aren't there to do the dirty work, friend. You are. I bet you're reading this right now saying "shut up naked lady...I just wanted you to tell me what a bitch my Mother in Law is!". I could do that. I could crawl down into your little protective cave and join you in that, but the real beauty is up here...out of that cave, in the light, in the truth. I can't say that when you shift this self-conversation that every single person in the world will all of a sudden meet every expectation you have and you will ride forth on unicorns together into a rainbow sky. What I can say is that this work will give you a lovely protective bubble against their thoughts of you. This bubble might shift and sometimes might pop for a few seconds, but if you keep at it, it comes right back, and allows you to see fairly quickly that other people's thoughts and opinions mean very little with regards to your own truth. It's not about caring less about what they say. If we didn't care at all when people say hurtful things, that's a whole different "Naked Lady" letter...but there is power in recognizing what they say, and then recognizing that while it may be their truth, it sure as hell ain't yours. And you definitely don't need to take it on and let it impact your life.

Let your husband have his own future with his family. Let him grieve with them. You work on you, and see what can shift. Eventually, you will probably need to sit down and have a conversation with him about it, but that's not important right now. You are. Also, stop stressing about a trip that hasn't happened yet, will ya? You have more important things to think about, like how to make yourself see yourself for who you really are. You are a ball of light and love. You wouldn't have been put on this Earth if you weren't. So go act like it. And do me a favor will you? Don't choose lame ass assistants in this process please. Choose the best of the best. Find your own naked ladies to tell you the truth. I think you'll like what they have to say.

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