I have just had an opportunity to see someone ‘calling me out’ or, should I say, read about someone calling me out…and I am A N G R Y. Angry, that after all of the mess of the past year caused by this individual, that this person still tries to justify all of his negative, crazy, traumatic behavior. More than anything, I’m angry with myself for not knowing better how to recognize the “red flags, for not listening to Inner Chingona when she screamed “watch out!”.
Make no mistake, this person’s actions have put him right where I imagine I was exactly a year ago: at the absolute bottom. The difference being that I had to work hard to come back from it all and HE, on the other hand, is likely now living in the desmadre that he put himself into once he started this raging war against me, where the desired result would be in my destruction or at the very least, where my reputation would be in the gutter, my relationship with family and friends non-existent, with no prospects for work thus the end of my career. I could not control this person’s actions and there was no way to see any of this madness coming, as he would let his destruction out in phases, only he knew when things would go down, I never knew what would set him off. Well, I am done walking on eggshells worrying and not knowing what will happen next…walking on eggshells is the first “Red Flag.”
Red Flag: I learned that there is no rhyme or reason for a person with violent tendencies to go off (or not) on someone. Red Flag: There is always someone or something to blame for his actions: drugs, alcohol, rage, me, not me, not alcohol, not drugs…and huge red flag: watch it if this person does impulsive things like throw loud or ‘silent treatment” tantrums, scream, shout, throw things, destroy property…it’s very likely that YOU will be next on the receiving end of their rage. I may not have gotten hit physically, but it felt like I was hit straight to the face when I would either hear about a phone call he made to someone or see all of my business ONLINE via random postings on social media, via email, with pictures, without, with references to familia, colegas, and friends, some even had phone numbers included, all meant to destroy my reputation — you name it, I saw or heard it.
So much of my life fell thru the cracks and, I got a random surprise the other day, a traffic ticket that I had gotten last year right when the storm was hitting me from all sides. Do I remember getting pulled over? No. Do I remember why I got the ticket? No. Now it’s in the hundreds of dollars that I’ve got to pay and it made me realize just HOW bad things had gotten for me last year – during this time, this individual was regularly calling both my oficina and familia to let them know that something might happen to me, etc. It seemed like all I did was drive from one place to the other so the folks could see that I was alright and that, no, I hadn’t been hurt or killed that night/day. Bigass red flag: I spent all of my energy worrying about what he was going to do next instead of taking care of myself! Not cool.
What have I learned? A red flag is your inner chingona trying to get your attention. Sometimes, we don’t want to see the pinche red flag, much less pay attention to these very important warning signs/red flags! Pay attention to your inner chingona, that all-powerful intuition, it may save you from drama, hassles, danger and, more important, save your life. Below is a great list of “red flags” to look for…BE informed, I was NOT. NOW I AM.
RED FLAGS: Watch it and LISTEN to your intuition, Inner Chingona, that voice that says, ‘BE careful’ if/when you see these signs:
• Abuse of alcohol or other drugs
• Don’t work or go to school
• Abuse of siblings, other family members, children, or pets
• Put down people, including your family and friends, or call them names
• Are always angry at someone or something
• Try to isolate you and control who you see or where you go.
• Nag you or force you to be sexual when you don’t want to be.
• Are physically rough with you (push, shove, pull, yank, squeeze, restrain)
• Take your money or take advantage of you in other ways
• Accuse you of flirting or “coming on” to others or accuse you of cheating on them.
• Ignore you, give you the silent treatment, or hang up on you.
• Make vulgar comments about others in your presence.
• Blame all arguments and problems on you.
• Threaten to kill themselves if you break up with them, or tell you that they cannot live without you.
• Experience extreme mood swings…tell you you’re the greatest one minute and rip you apart the next minute.
• Tell you to shut up or tell you you’re dumb, stupid, fat, or call you some other name (directly or indirectly).
• Compare you to former partners.
• Cheat on you or have lots of partners.
• Have a history of trouble with the law, get into fights, or break and destroy property.
• Don’t listen to you or show interest in your opinions or feelings…things have to be done their way.
• Lie to you, don’t show up for dates, maybe even disappear for days.
• Tell you how to dress or act