Allowing myself to exhale…

I love going back and reading things I’ve written in the past.  Even more so when you realize that your life is so much better than it was.  I am still making mistakes, but different ones. I still have doubts and insecurities and dreams that aren’t very different from those of the last few years, but I’ve also been committed, optimistic, frequently more in control and well…that shit has paid off.

The other day I was sitting on the couch and looking around my new place…still thinking about what I could do with this or that, imagining how much nicer it will be once the walls are finished and the new fan goes up…admiring the little touches I’ve added.  It hit me that I still can’t believe I finally got out of the old place.  Nearly the entire 10 years I was there were spent in turmoil. I debated back and forth constantly over trying to make it my own and dumping and running away from it as fast as I could.  There was fear of course.  Where would I go? Would I even be able to afford to move? What if I moved and hated the new place even more? Is it fair to my kids to stay somewhere I don’t want to be or take them from a place they call home? Am I going to make a grown-up decision all on my own and have it turn out to be ok??  What if it’s not ok??

With all the work I do and all the proof that I’ve enjoyed in my life, I still get scared.  Still, although it sometimes takes me a while, I do take that faithful leap into the unknown…and most often land on my feet.  Right now, I’m on my feet yet still immersed in a little disbelief that I finally did it. I have my first home, bought on my own, decorated exactly the way I like it.  The quote on the wall about finding time for the things that make you feel happy, to the pictures and books on the shelves, the sparkly wall and the cow picture…it’s all mine.  I do not have the exact life I would have hoped for in the beginning of my new single life journey, however I am able to recognize that not only am I in a good place, it still has room to grow.  I am not stymied by my situation, and I am incredibly thankful for that.

There are times I find myself avoiding any down time for fear of falling back into old pattern of bullshit mental talk.  I can vividly remember too many days in the laundry room thinking about how I should have done this or that, or reliving conversations trying desperately to understand what the fuck happened or how I could have made a different ending, or preparing myself for future encounters so that I could be more in control and ready.  There was too much quiet time spent beating myself up, or crying over stupid shit, or just plain being afraid of never having a life worth a shit and wondering if I had made a serious mistake. Grrrr, I hated that laundry room.  I also hated the sleepless nights unable to turn my brain off wondering what the hell was wrong with me.

That doesn’t happen anymore. I have found some peace that I embrace with every molecule in my body.  I am grateful for it every single day. I know too, there is nothing wrong with me…there never really was, there were just wrong choices I needed to come to terms with.  Of course, there are still things to work on. I’m still growing…and that’s a good thing.  There are also still challenges…I’m ok with those too.  Who wants a boring old life where nothing ever happens to shake things up and get you out of our comfort zone.  From the looks of it, there are a lot of people like that, it’s a shame.  Challenges and setbacks are beautiful gifts we should all welcome and embrace. They are the catalysts to greater lives and there is just no way to get there without them.

The Stallion and I are growing together too.  Our relationship has blossomed into something quite beautiful.  Reading post after post about how it was time to let him go and how it was never going to be anything more than a casual encounter gives me a little twinge of pain in my chest. I know that if I had been more mature, more self-confident I would have walked away…but honestly I’m glad I stuck it out.  He is just another reason for me to be grateful every day.

My boy has started his first job, and come to terms with the fact that his choice of college major isn’t working out for him.  He’s going to take classes at a local college for a year and re-asses what he wants to do moving forward.  It’s a mixed emotional rollercoaster for the both of us, but we’re both playing it pretty cool.

The girl is making a list of colleges she wants to visit and we have our first official road trip scheduled in a few weeks.  We are going to take a couple of days to visit Memphis because she’s a bit of a music geek, I’m a super cool mom…and I’m going to miss the hell out of her when she goes away.

Life just doesn’t stop moving…and we along with it.  So be thankful for the good and bad times, acknowledge the lessons in both and give yourself some credit.  We’re all doing the best we can and it’s never wrong to give ourselves credit where credit is due.  Life is beautiful….it’s OK to exhale.

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Shame on you…shame on me

I have been a long time fan of Brene Brown. If you are on a journey of self discovery and you have not yet read any of her books, I suggest you make some time to do so.  She has been a long time shame researcher, and for someone who has lived the life I have, her lessons on shame have been invaluable.

Don’t think you’ve experienced shame?  Not a shamer yourself?  Well let me tell you, you are probably wrong. Identifying it in your life will be the best thing you can do to help yourself, and those around you. I recently had this with my mother…”I’m sorry that you are making this all about yourself. I just see you just keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. You’re not helping.”  This was in response to her not getting her way, and not being open minded enough to be involved in knowing or understanding what is really going on.  That is shame in action.  I was supposed to feel all bad about what I was doing and give in…not happening.

As a society we do a lot of shaming.

We shame women who stay home with their kids, and women who chose or have to work.

We shame people who need food stamps to feed their families, and people who over indulge.

We shame people for ordering diet Coke, and people who drink protein shakes.

We shame people who smoke, and people who over exercise.

We shame in those who take religion too seriously, and those who don’t take it at all.

We shame the overweight women in the drive through, and the skinny kid who doesn’t want to eat.

We shame women who breastfeed their babies, and women who chose or have to use formula.

We shame our friends and families for not including us in their lives enough, and for always being around.

We shame ourselves too.  As a matter of fact I’m doing it to myself right now.

Why can’t you get your shit together? If only you would just stick to what you say instead of always caving in?  Hey, why not put a picture of your fat self as your phone back ground so you can remind yourself what you are doing to your body?? Fat shaming myself is not turning out to work as well as I’d hoped.

Is it fair to say my life is not a good one because someone I have chosen is not living up to my personal expectation???  What about the 20 other people who are? The one’s that are ready and willing to be what you need are worth less than the one person you pinned your expectation on who isn’t living up to it?  OMG.  Honestly, I am pretty sure I’ve been in that position myself.  Thankfully I have learned better.

Why do we shame everyone?  Do you know the facts? Are you being everything to everyone and living the highest of high values and character that you feel it is ok to judge and shame a person for doing something you think makes them less. Do you feel like a failure in so many areas, that you think anyone who is failing in the one you luckily have down is a piece of shit? People…geez.

The mom who stays home or the mom who has to work. What the fuck do you care what or why they have chosen their path?  Aren’t we all just doing the best we can for our kids?  My life is not the same as yours even if we choose the same path. So what if the parents are greedy and spoil their kids into being abnoxious self entitled assholes.  Why do you give a shit??  Are you SURE your kids are going to be perfect??  Here’s another thought…no matter what you do, someone else is going to judge you.  So get off what ever fucking horse or soapbox you’re on and do YOUR best with YOUR family and stop the judgment on others.

You think people who use food stamps are pathetic and lazy??  How many do you know personally?  People who are over indulgent are greedy and selfish??? Sounds like jealousy.  Think diet coke and cigarettes are death by hand…so what if they are?  Are they tying you down and forcing it on you? What if they are in transition from an even more deadly addiction and they are trying to step down?Disgusted by the overweight person standing in front of you???  Have you checked the scale lately or maybe you need to check your compassion switch cause you are an asshole.  Think mothers breastfeeding their babies in public is indecent???  Oh please, come tell me that to my face.  Breasts are beautiful…and they are uniquely designed for FEEDING YOUR BABIES!  OMG. Every time I see a video of a woman yelling at another woman who is breastfeeding in public I want to reach into that video and flog them.  I have never seen a mother with her tit hanging out for display.  If there is a face attached to it then there is less of it to see then most bikini tops on the market these days. If you are uncomfortable look away. If it makes your man excited punch that fucker in the face and tell him to stop being a pervert.

The answer to end all of this shaming is compassion.  You either need to have it for others, or you need to have it for yourself.

Another is to let go of expectation.

We are not the same. None of us.  Even if you shared the same womb with someone you are not the same. Every single one of us has our own challenges.  Some put on us by society, some by family, some by circumstance, some by choice and some cause we just don’t know what the hell we are doing.  Ultimately, everyone is just trying to do the best they can…even the fucking asshole next door tossing dog poop in your yard.  Some just don’t know any better, and some have just no been shown any better.

Not a single person has improved their own personal life by shaming someone else.  If you find yourself doing it, turn that shit around on yourself and find out why you feel that way.  Most likely you have some kind of deficiency that you need to tend to. You don’t have to share it, but you should work on it if you truly want to be a better person.  If you don’t, well then toddle loo…. Why not try being a friend or reaching out to someone you might see as less than you.  Maybe that person just needs a kind word.

Please please learn to be kind to one another.  It is the only way to truly being to heal the world and make it harder for those who would chose to bully or attack people.  I’m sure most of us would be heartbroken to see somone get abused, but the only way to make less victims is to make people more empowered.  That comes through compassion and understanding.  Either get to know someone, or get the fuck out of their business.  There is enough shit in our own backyard to attend to without pointing out what looks like shit in someone else’s, and quite honestly what looks like shit to you might be a life raft for someone else.

Take you shame, your judgement and your pity and turn it inward.  If you feel this way towards someone else that means there is something that YOU need to work on.  Good people, kind and compassionate people, people who are secure in their own skin don’t do that.

Never let them win.

There has been a theme lately with one particular friend about paybacks.  This has been a lesson hard learned for me, but one I have a complete grasp.

Yes, I would love to punch that bitch in the face.  What I wouldn’t give to tell that asshole to go fuck himself. Oooohhhh, yes there are people and moments that take me to a place of total hate.

What I have learned, the most hard and unpleasant of ways, is that when dealing with people that think you are crazy, for lack of a better word, then there is nothing in this world that pleases them more than for you to go crazy. If you don’t already know, I am fluent in the ways of the narcissist.  Yes, it’s a gift that has been bestowed upon me more often that I care to admit.  The two most prevalent examples of this are my mother and my ex-husband.  Let me give you an example with each that demonstrates exactly the type of behavior they love to elicit from me.

This story was laid out in detail on the blog many many (OMG like YEARS ago) years ago.  For those who may have missed it here is the cliff notes version of the incident.

I was freshly divorced, maybe a year.  It was Christmas, and she had made it abundantly clear that if I didn’t want to join her for Christmas, she wasn’t interested in joining me.  I had decided to make a care package of gifts to give her, one of which was a picture of me and her when I was little playing around with a toy Santa sleigh.  I wanted to remind her of our bond, in hopes to help mend things. This setting boundaries thing was still pretty new to me (us) and I was just getting the hang of standing by them, while she tried to butcher them to pieces.  So, I was still trying to “bring her around” without actually setting foot in the lions’ den.  Plus, I think it merits mentioning that the first Christmas after my divorce (or actually during) her gift to me was a donation to a local charity…in her name…but presented to me. (???)

Before I had a chance to mail it she showed up on my doorstep, uninvited…unannounced.  As I said, I was still learning how to hold my own and keep my boundaries firmly in place at this time, and it didn’t take long for this visit to turn ugly.  She started out pretty cool, offering me a check (sizeable I might add) and telling me she missed me.  I can’t remember everything verbatim, but it was quickly followed by her saying I was a jerk (that is NOT the word she used, but it encompasses the feeling of her intent), to which I replied “but look, I have a box all ready for you filled with gifts!!”  Awww, I was so naive at that time. That gesture catapulted the conversation up a few dozen notches, she got in my face, I told her to back up, she wouldn’t, I told her to leave, more ugly words… As she was leaving I remember asking her “What do you want???”  Her reply “For you to apologize.”  Ok…so I said “I’m sorry if my actions hurt you.”  To which she slapped back with…”It doesn’t count if I have to ask for it.”

There were a few other choice words, I was trying to get her to see that the block between us was her…but she wasn’t having it (see what I mean about my being naïve) and then I snapped.  I grabbed the box, ripped it open, pulled out the framed picture and said “SEE!!! SEE WHAT I HAVE HER FOR YOU!! THIS IS HOW MUCH I CARE!!”  I do not remember what she said after that but I took that frame, smashed in on the sidewalk told her to fuck off and never come back.

The look on her face was all I needed to see to know…she won.  Yep, I gave her exactly what she wanted.  Me, losing my shit.  I just gave her the confirmation (in her own head) that I am so full of hate and anger that I cannot let go and I am the reason we cannot have a relationship.  Let me tell you, in the  moment of seeing the look on her face I knew that I had fucked up.  I went in the house and instead of being mad at her, I was completely and totally pissed at myself.  I know this scenario.  This is what I have been working on, preparing for, and I fucked it up.  Dammit, dammit dammit.

That was the last time I was ever going to lose my shit in front of her, no matter how dirty she got.  She pokes, she tries, but no matter what, all I have to do is look at her face and I can see her trying to get me and I won’t let her.  She will NEVER win that battle again.

Yes…that was the long cliff notes version.  On to the next scenario….

Just after the divorce, the ex and I were getting along fairly well.  I was doing what most new divorcee’s do, going out with friends and having a good time (on the weekends the kids were with him anyway). One day I was at his place and he mentioned a picture someone told him about me on Facebook (he doesn’t have FB he thinks it’s the devil).  It was a pretty innocent picture, some guy pretending to grab my boob and me looking all surprised.  There was not touching, my boob was not hanging out…and I was not dressed like a $2 whore.  Picture was just that… HE did not see the picture.  HE was only told about the picture and apparently it gave the impression that I was nothing but a 2 bit whore and I should keep that shit to myself.

I started off pretty calm about it…I mean, I knew the picture and I would not have been embarrassed to show anyone, my kids included who would have more than likely just rolled their eyes.  As I laughed it off, he got more agitated…that’s when the whore (that is not exactly how he put it) and watching my self comment came up.  Guess who snapped??? Well, I started to go off and as he stood in front of me I could see this calm look of satisfaction come over his face.  That mutherfucker….

I didn’t even finish my sentence…at that moment I turned and walked out.  You almost won that one asshole…but I’m getting quicker.  I knew then, he would never win that fight with me again.  That is, as a matter of fact, one of the reasons I asked for the divorce.  He has given me a few chances to lose my shit since then, but, thankfully I’ve learned to stay firm and remember what his end game is…and I will not fall for it.

So when this friend tells me stories of people treating him poorly, attacking his credibility or just disrespecting him in general (and trust me these are minor infractions) he adds how much he wants to take them down.  My response to him…never let them win.  They want to paint you as the asshole, then they poke you and piss on you until you get all huffy and become and asshole…they win.  If you throw the first punch, they win.  If you tell them they are and always have been a liar…they win.

Anytime some jackass pokes you to the point that you lose your shit…they win.  That is their end game.  That is their drug of choice….to poke you till you explode, then sit back and say “See…I told you he was an asshole.”

Is it hard to sit back while they call you names, make up lies, threaten you…yes it is.  Do they deserve to get put in their place either physically or verbally…hell the fuck yes.  If you do that, will they finally stop making up lies about you?  Threatening you?  Nope…they will probably never stop.  It may lessen, but they will never stop trying to make you into something ugly because that’s just who they are.  Ugly, sad people, lacking in confidence or even human decency.  That’s them, and it has not a god damn thing to do with you…unless you fall for the shit.  If you can take a moment and remember who you are dealing with, remember that they have nothing better to do than to see how far they can go before you lose your shit, then maybe you can step back and let them try, without a single fucking response from you.

Here’s the picture I want you to see.  This crazy fucker is trying desperately to get the world to believe that you are the biggest asshole that has ever walked the earth.  They will bring up ugly parts of your past, they will pull shit out of their ass, they will do anything and everything they can till you snap and lose your shit.  Then, they will sit back with the most calm look on their face and point….See, I told you so.  You might as well just throw those fuckers a parade because if you give them that…they win, and that’s all they want.

BUT…same scene, with you just standing there laughing lightly, maybe chuckle, look them in the face with not one negative thought word or expression. You just let them go until they are blue in the face…suddenly they look like the crazy one.  You win that one hot stuff. You win.

So please…please when dealing with nut-jobs, remember who you’re dealing with and

Never Let Them Win

So, what killed your dream?

Maybe you decided that starting tomorrow you’re going to get up at 5 am and start running. 5 am comes and you reluctantly get up and get dressed only to find out it’s raining cat’s and dogs. Fuck.

Perhaps you’ve decided to finally tackle that long put off home improvement project, only to find out that you are going to have to be putting in extra hours at work and you won’t have the time.

One day you decide that it’s time to start prioritizing your relationship only to find out your partner has been cheating on you and is leaving.

You want to start eating better, so you pack a beautiful healthy salad to take to work…but Fred is retiring and there’s a big office party with tons of unhealthy shit you love.

You want to take your dream vacation…you got laid off your job.

You’re going to start getting to work early to get a head start on your work…car has a flat tire.

You’ve decided to finally go back to school and get your degree… but you get divorced instead and find yourself back in the work force after 15 years and taking care of the house, kids and dog all by yourself.

Fuck fuck fuck!

There are so many more examples.  I’m sure you’ve thought a few of your own.  I know I ran through a long ugly list of mine.  You have a plan, now is the time…something get’s in the fucking way, you freeze.

Dammit.

It’s common, we all do it.  However, those who are successful either do it less often, or get back on the damn horse a lot faster than the rest of us do.  They simply don’t give up, just because it didn’t go as planned.

Think about the first example, running at 5am.  What would you do?  You could say fuck it, and go run in the rain, get on the treadmill or drive to the gym, maybe do something else since you are up and dressed anyway.  If you are determined, the rain won’t stop you, it will just alter your plans a little.

The way I look at it is this…the Universe is watching, and wants to know if you are truly committed, so it  throws in a little test.  Do you let it break you, or do you laugh, change things up and keep moving forward?  If you are like me, many times, you let it break you.  I resign to the idea that it was just not meant to be.  OOOOHHHH maybe you have that ever-favorite conversation in your head “Shit never works out for me”. What I have learned…and sometimes pretended I don’t see, is that when a dream, or a passion or a desire is placed inside of you, it is meant to be.  How many times do you come back to the same thing, only to get stuck by another obstacle and give up…. just to come back to it again? It is yours, take it, just be willing to not let the little shit get in the way.

Another fun obstacle I’ve observed in my life is the need to have approval for moving in on something.  Something tells me, I’m probably not alone in this one either. Yes…this one has played maybe an even bigger role in my lack of follow through than even the unforeseen obstacle.  Mostly it has to do with being around people who always criticiz or belittle your interests.

When I was in my early 30s I decided after a lifetime of being a customer, I was going to be a Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics.  My husband told me to go for it…but it better not cost too much, and my mother agreed to book a party to get me going.  It seemed as though I was getting support, which was rare for me.  After the party, which went about as well as you could expect for a first time, my mother asked her friends what they thought of my “performance”.  Everyone had nice things to say, were encouraging and empathetic.  Then my mom said “No, tell her what you really think.” She proceeded to list out all of my failures, reading to much, not engaging enough, blah blah blah…. All things, mind you, I already knew as I was doing it, but still did my best to keep going.  I knew, it was only a matter of time before I would get a hang of it.  Unfortunately, I took her criticism too hard, and I quit. If I couldn’t get the support and encouragement from my mother, what the hell did I think I was doing?? What I should have done was just  keep going until I got better. I’ll never know whether or not I could be driving that pink Cadillac.

Over the years, I let other people’s lack of support or criticism derail something I was immensely passionate or excited about.  Time and time again I would have an idea, cultivate it and come up with a plan, passionately express that to a loved one, only to listen to all the reasons why it or I would fail.  They might be right, what the fuck was I thinking???

What I needed to do then, and still now, is listen to that part of me that says go for it anyway!!!

Raining on your first run day? Run anyway!!

Long work hours keeping you from working on your project? Take a little time and tackle a small part of the project anyway!!

Partner not interested in prioritizing your relationship? Prioritize your relationship with YOU instead!!

Big office party putting a kink in your nutrition plans?? Enjoy a little of your favorites now, eat the salad for dinner!!

Dream vacation plans pooped on because you lost your job?  Maybe instead of visiting the place of your dreams maybe it’s time you pack up and move there!!!

There is a way around ever fucking obstacle you will run into.  The only thing standing in your way of success is what you do with that obstacle.  It can shut you down, or it can be a tiny little blip.  The hardest thing we will ever do in our life is take that first step towards something we want.  Our lives are made up of opportunities to take that step all the time, and we can choose to take it and get on to the next step, or we can be back looking at that same damn first step over and over again, never getting to step two.

Let me lay a few facts that I have learned.

Step two is easier than step one.  Obstacles clear once you start moving forward.  Obstacles will reappear, but if you are already in motion, they will do less to stop you.

Have faith and be open.  If “this” doesn’t work, that’s ok, just move forward anyway.  Sometimes you will have to change your game plan to get on a better path, but if you are open to possibilities you will most likely get something way better in return.

People who criticize have nothing to do with you.  If you are surrounded by crabby ass people who never encourage you or always put down your ideas don’t do it because your ideas are stupid, but because they don’t have the courage to follow their own dreams.  Spend less time with them, go out and find new people to be around. I promise you there are people out there that will be supportive. If you can’t find anyone right away, I am always here to listen and cheer you on. Seriously.

Pay attention.  If something keeps pulling you in a particular direction explore it.  You never know what you are capable of till you try, the Universe knows what a special person you are so trust it. Often it will lay the ground work for you… Go where your heart goes.

Trying and failing is so much better than never trying at all.  Opportunities are everywhere, more come into view when you are out there doing instead of sitting around waiting.

Don’t wait till someone gives you permission.  If you have a dream, that is all the permission you need to act. You do not ever need someone else to tell you it’s ok, but if you need ask me, I’ll give you the thumbs up.

I have an idea I am working on right now.  As much as I would like to have the support of my friends on this (and I’m not saying I don’t) I know I do not need them behind me in order to get it off the ground.  Maybe it’s not a good time for them.  Maybe they don’t see the big picture. Maybe I’ve proven myself to be a bit of a flake and they need time to see if I’m all talk, or whether I will be taking some action. Maybe it’s about bringing new people into my life.

All I’m saying here is that we all get stuck, and I get it…but let’s not stay there till we’re 95, ok?  However, if your 95 and still haven’t taken that step, get on it!!!! It’s never too late to start.

First comes the epiphany…then comes the negotiations.

Here I am all proud of cracking the code to my deep seeded need to self-sabotage.  How do you celebrate such and epiphany??  Do you throw out all the junk food and start doing laps around the neighborhood? Do you throw out all your “fat” clothes?  Do you high five yourself while you do 1000 crunches and tell yourself that those fuckers who thought you were a failure are going to have to eat shit?

If you are me, you have two (homemade mind you) bacon, avocado cheese burgers.  Yep…now we start the negotiations.

Excuse one: I am fucking tired and besides I ate good all day and I am hangry for a cheeseburger.

Excuse two: I don’t have to start today.  I can just be happy knowing I got a grip and will soon be putting myself to work.

Excuse three-infinity: You have time and you need to finish up some stuff…and there’s this and that and how can you expect to have the time right now. Geez.

Yeah. That’s me.  I feel like what I need is to put a life size cut out of my mother and my ex-husband giving me that stupid fucking “See, we knew you couldn’t do it” face right in the middle of my living room.  Maybe that would be motivating.  Since cutting those two out of my life (for the most part) it’s nice not having to look at their face, or listen to the negativity.  Nope, now all I have to listen to is me…and me ain’t saying too much to get my shit going.

I won’t be beating myself up for too long. Right now I’m still absorbing the message and kind of laughing at myself.  At least it’s with a kind heart, not like when the other shit-heads used to. I also have to acknowledge that I am not sitting around on my ass not doing anything but stuffing my face and complaining about my jiggly parts.  There is work to be done…and so it must be done.  I am not leaving myself behind, I’m taking care of shit, before I take care of MY shit.

Planning is important, but doing is the key.  So, while I am not doing the “eat healthy and exercise” shit right now, I’m trying not to negotiate with my inner dumbass about why I don’t really need to be doing this today. Or tomorrow.  Or why it would be ok if I just started next week.

No, I’m keeping my mind on the prize. I’m acknowledging the slip and reminding myself that I am important…and how I feel is important.  I’m not giving up the good fight. I’m not throwing in the towel.

I’m going to end this post and head into the kitchen and start putting together some delightful meals to grab and go for the next few days.  I’m also reminding myself that I have tools at my disposal that are not in the least bit overwhelming…

Negotiations can be tough, especially if those negotiations are with a voice in your head that has been some what in charge for a hugly (hahaha)  part of your life.  She has won enough times…now it’s time for a new champion. A champion who can’t wait to stop bitching about not finding anything comfortable to wear.

 

 

Please hold while I put on my broken record.

The other day I had to yell at myself.  This yelling consisted of several poorly written pages in my journal.  The topic, self-sabotage.

Losing weight and getting in shape has been on my “To Do” list for as long as I can remember.  My track record hasn’t been too good…a few good days here and there, but always back to square one.  Recently I had been rather busy doing shit around the house, which has been moving along pretty well.  That week, with no work and lots of chores/projects I managed to lose 6 lbs.  What I learned, and probably already know but sometimes refuse to accept, is that food is my biggest problem with weight.  I eat too much.  I eat too much bad, and I eat too much good.  I just eat too damn much.  After seeing that 6 lbs weight loss and feeling fucking elated, I spent the next four days putting it all back on…plus two more.

I got on the scale at then I lost it. The journal was filled page after page with…

What the hell is your problem?

Why do you keep sabotaging yourself?

You eat like you’re a starving child who has no idea when or where her next meal is coming from?

What the fuck??

It continued for 6 pages.  There was a lot of self-bashing and a lot of “pull your head out of your ass.”  I didn’t give myself too much of a break because I know this is all bullshit. I am more than capable of doing this. It’s not like I have 50 lbs to lose, I have 20 at most.  After completing my written beat down, I went back through my journal…and would you believe, I have had this same damn conversation on more than a few occasions. Surprise! OMG why the hell would anyone want to listen to a broken record year after year? What I can’t wrap my head around is the WHY.  Why the fuck do I do this? Why do I get going strong only to throw myself back down the damn hill and lay there is a pathetic heap of “I just can’t”.

I hate complaining.  I hate complaining about myself because in my experience nobody really gives a shit.  Ok, not nobody, but for a large part of my life, the people who were supposed to be my greatest support system didn’t give a shit about my problems.  They always had worse problems…mine were just pathetic.  I hate when other people complain because most often they just complain, there is rarely little action.  So, when I start to complain about not fitting into any of my clothes comfortably, or I feel fat and uncomfortable, I keep it to myself, and I don’t usually complain for long. It is a cycle that repeats itself over and over and over…. all the damn fucking time.  One week I bitch, I get focused and start to see results, pat myself on the back and then in the blink of an eye all my hard work is washed down the drain and there I am whining about how I can’t wear this or that cause it’s too uncomfortable.  Oh my fucking lord, please make it stop.

When you look up the meaning behind self-sabotage, it usually centers on self-worth. You fail because in the end you don’t think you are worthy of the reward.  Is this my reason?  After all the work I have done, the years of therapy, the books, tapes, videos that I have engulfed, in the end do I still feel unworthy? Something harming is hiding inside of me and I can’t find it.  It’s deep…real deep.

I have subscribed to several Instagram feeds about health, fitness and nutrition.  This is my passion.  This is where my heart goes every single time.  Yet, for me, my own personal journey, looking at all of this is just a reminder that I am a failure.  You are never going to make it. You are never going to be good enough. Funny, as I type that I can hear my mother’s voice.  She has said those exact same words to me on several occasions.  At 16 when I was trying to find my own identity, I believed her.  At 24, when I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be married or not, I believed her.  At 32, when I was a stay at home mother of two and feeling overwhelmed by life, I believed her.  I can remember several instances over my life where I was in a place of accomplishments, feeling like I was coming into my own, and she would “put me in my place” and point out what a failure I really was.  Every time I agreed, and went back to settling for meritocracy.

Alright alright alright…did I just get this shit figured out? I did!!!  It’s all my mother’s fault.  Whew!!! Now I don’t have to take responsibility, I can just sit back and blame her.  Except….no, I can’t.  Now I understand where the core of this self-destruction comes from, and, I also understand, by no fault of my mothers, that this is what she knew, so I have to be responsible for myself.  It is time to take the little girl inside of me, who has always believed that she would never be anything more than a failure, wrap my arms around her and allow her to forgive that life.  I need to tell her that those are the stories that her mother feels she was told, and she repeated them, nothing more. It doesn’t now, nor has it ever had anything to do with ME.  Now I can hug that little girl tight and let her know that she isn’t a failure, she never was a failure, and the woman she has become is strong, capable and empowered.

Honestly people, I just floored myself.  I have tried for sooooo fucking long to figure out why I do this to myself repeatedly, always coming up short on the answer.  It is because of you, because I share my stories, that I finally found the answer.  Thank you.

Now the work begins.  How do you break down a lifetime of stories that were never true?  Where do you start repairing the damage that is buried deep in your bones and start to heal them?  You start with on small step. One step towards the goal, and when you hear that voice, or when you see yourself slipping, you give yourself a little reminder that….

This is no longer my story.

What is Love? Don’t hurt me…don’t hurt me no more.

If you remember the 80’s you sang that title in your head…don’t lie.

I want to talk about Love.  I’ve been mulling this over in my head for days…but I just can’t seem to wrap my head around exactly what I want to focus on.

See, growing up the way I did, love was abusive.  I didn’t really know that at the time, I just knew when my mother beat me, or when she shamed me, or embarrassed me in public, it was all because she loved me, because she said so.

When I was married, I don’t think my husband ever told me he loved me.  I’m not sure he even said yes when I asked if he loved me.  In all fairness, I’m not sure I loved him…but the problem with that is that I don’t really know what it means to love. I was comfortable with him.  It was familiar and for all intensive purposes it was the kind of love I knew.

If you are raised to believe that love is abusive…or that the people who are the main and most important people in your life tell you that the abuse = love, but it’s not abuse, and you are making shit up or that they can love you this way, but to show your love to them you must do it that way…it’s hard to say  with clear certainty that I loved my husband.

What I do know, is I tried.  With all of my fucked up examples, all the books, the years of therapy, the tears, the begging, the KNOWING that neglect, emotional abuse, shame, abandonment, withholding of affection was not what love was, I still tried like hell to love that man.  BUT, if I can be honest with myself, maybe what I was really trying to do was get him to love me, the way I needed, not the way I was used to.

I love my kids…this I know for sure.  No matter what, those kids taught me the truest meaning of love.  It was through them that I learned that I was lucky enough to have had other people in my life that loved me in a true and honest way.  My paternal grandmother for instance.  I remember crying so much when she died…I remember thinking that was the last person on this earth (besides my kids) that truly loved me for who I was and that I was being abandoned and left in the clutches of an abusive mother and a love-less marriage. Damn.

Though, because of the negative and abusive way I was loved, and because I was fortunate to have had a few people in my life who loved me in positive ways, I was able to show my kids love in the best way.  At least I think I have.  I do those things I wish my mother had done.  I apologize when I am wrong, I let them have room to be who they want to be and not who I want them to be, and I tell them I love them…I tell them often, and I back it up with action, not abuse.

I wrote once about being asked by my counselor if I loved the Hunky Stallion.  At that time, I was thrown completely off.  I knew, I had not a single clue if I loved him or if I just wanted to be in love.  It was a reflective moment that lasted a super long fucking time.  Do you love him? Do you know what love even looks like? Are you just imagining a Disney like romance that doesn’t even exists? Are you following old patterns?  He’s damaged, you know this, are you looking for someone to fix or are these genuine feelings?  Love??? Bitch please, you don’t even know what love is.

Nope.  I am certain that my feelings at that time were not feelings of love…they were feelings of infatuation: an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something.  At that time, it was more about passion, than intimacy and love. Then one day it happened.  Did he just say he loved me??? I mean, it wasn’t just me he was talking to but…um, I think in a roundabout way he said it.  I will ignore this because, um, well, yeah…I’ll just ignore it.  What the fuck??? Did he just say it again??? It wasn’t to my face…and he may have said I love “this” and not you but why don’t you just ignore it anyway…You know because, ew…feelings.

Like most people who have had bad relationships…I knew like I knew what the gates of hell looked like (um the door to my past relationships) that I was NOT going to be the first to say I love you. I was NOT going to even acknowledge it until he was in my face telling me he loved me without any distraction or misconception.  No fucking way was I going to be the first to say it…cause, well, you know that this isn’t really love anyway and this ain’t going to last so don’t put yourself out there and look like a god-damned idiot.

I don’t listen to myself very often.  Probably not at all…so I did it. Not to his face, geez, do I look like a strong, self-assured woman to you??? Nope I said it in a text…and I started by saying “listen fucker” ….and off it went. I went and threw that word out there…wondering where it would land, but not caring too much cause for once I knew that it was genuine and even if it wasn’t reciprocated, I felt good about letting it out.  I am used to loving without it being returned…and yet, I felt safe enough to know it would not be used against me, even if he didn’t feel the same.

He did not let it linger out there on its own for long.  He addressed it and we had a beautiful talk.  For once in my life, my love was not used as a weapon against me, to hurt me, to keep me in my place to be bargained and beaten down with.  It was received…and it was embraced.  For once, in my 47 years on this earth, I felt like Love was a safe emotion to express (to someone who did not come out of my lady parts).  I’m going to just let that sink in to my bones for a while.  I am not going to get all mushy and start dreaming of our wedding or a fantasy life that ends like a Nicholas Sparks book. Fuck that shit.  I am going to just revel in the peace of knowing that it landed in the hands of someone who will not abuse it, or me because of it.  That, for me, for now…is enough.