Tag Archives: family

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.

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

A letter to my Mother

You can’t have a Mother’s day right around the corner and NOT think about your mother. If you have read my blog for more than 5 mins (ok 1 year and 5 mins since I took some time off), then you know I don’t have the best relationship with my mother.

It’s so sad (to quote POTUS)

Have I tried to talk to her?  Yes.  Did it help? No.

The problem is not that I don’t love my mother.  It’s also not that she doesn’t love me.  We love each other very much…Love is not the problem. It is not the solution either.

See, my mother does not believe that I love her. She does not believe that I have forgiven her the abuse from the past. She thinks that I am an angry, bitter adult who refuses to let go of the past.  This my sweet readers is what projection looks like.

She will bring up things from the past, to make a point.  I will inevitably address her “point” and she will close with “you never let anything go”.  Hmmm, wait a second, weren’t you the one who brought that up.  That is completely beside the point, and it always is.

I have fantasies…of a better relationship with my mother.  I imagine us going out to lunch and have good conversations, laughing and thoroughly enjoying each others company.  I imagine family holiday dinners with good music, good food and fun.  There are times that I think it is possible.  Seriously, I know what I’m dealing with. I understand her pain and where it comes from, surely our love for each other can overcome all the negativity.  Prince said it…Love is the answer.

It is with great sadness I have to inform you that Love cannot save everything.

My mother, deep down, has a good heart.  I have told her this.  With everything she has said and done, underneath it all she has good intentions.  She means well, I know this.  I think that is why I still fantasize about our relationship being better.  There is some part of me that hopes that the better parts of her…the goodness, the well-meaning, the love will one day take the wheel and all the pain will take a back seat.  Sometimes I see a glimmer…and then with one blink of an eye the pain rears up its ugly head and knocks me back down.  Usually it’s with a back handed passive aggressive comment, sometimes it’s a full in your face insult.

She wants to help.  I want to let her help.  Her help comes with conditions, strict hard core “my way or no way” conditions.  My acceptance of her help also comes with conditions…to not give her ultimate control.  There are boundaries.  She out right refuses to accept or respect my boundaries.  She’s even said “what is a boundary?”.  Not sure if there is a way to get through to someone like that.  I’m still going to hold on to just a little tiny bit of hope.

So, to the strangers out there who read my stuff, let me say to you…

Mom, I love you. I miss you. Happy Mother’s Day.  You have made me a better mother, if not always for the right reasons. I have learned to love and appreciate the lessons I have received from you.  I see you in my little girl and somewhere in me feels like if I can love her through it, maybe I’m loving you a little too.  If I had a chance to hand pick my mother out, knowing what I know now, there are times I would have picked someone who was more loving, caring and nurturing.  Then I think that if I had that, I would not be the person I am today.  I would not know the things I know, love the way I do, and be graced with the two beautiful children that I have.  So, if I had a chance to choose, I would choose you.  If there was only one thing I could change it would be to help you to let go of all the pain and let the love in.  We are all missing out on some special relationships and we all suffer for it.  I wish you love and peace and thank you. Happy Mother’s day.

 

On to the next chapter

So, let’s recap the recent adventures of my fucking life.

After years of searching I finally found a job to get me out of the grasps of a psychopath.  Walking away from that job and starting the new one gave me the courage to finally put my house on the market and find a place of my own.  It’s like I was riding the mother of all waves, flipping up my hang loose sign, sticking out my tongue and telling the world that this was totally rad dude.

I was settling in to the new place, planning out all the projects to do when shit starting hitting the fan at work.  At this point, I’m not sure if I was purposely ignoring the signs or if I was just being overly positive that everything was going to be fine.  People were getting laid off.  People were quitting.  I think in one week 3 people were gone.  I remember texting my girls and having them all say “get out girl…time to find something new.” The AP manager, who had put in her notice, told me that I should protect myself and find something new. Still…I honestly believed that this place would fine in the end, although a little leaner. This is where I was supposed to be.  I knew it in my gut.

On Friday, the few of us left in the office were brought in by the owner to discuss what had been happening and where they were headed.  They were in trouble, but they had a plan and wanted to know if they would have a staff to help get that plan in motion.  I was all in!!  It was going to be bumpy but I had faith that the company would come out strong in the end.  On Monday the boss gave me his CC to make a purchase for him and told me I should probably have that number so to be sure to keep it somewhere safe.  I did.  At 4 pm that afternoon we were all told they were closing their doors.

How the fuck could I have been so wrong???  Did I see this coming and ignore it?  Was I totally blindsided???  To make matters even worse it was the day before my birthday!  I was numb a little, trying to be strong…finding every bit of strength to not break down.

I did not want to cry.  I really didn’t even want to acknowledge it.  What the hell was I going to do???

After shedding a few tears, having a minor panic attack and coming clean with my daughter, I decided that this was going to be just fine.  I mean, come on, if this had happened just 3 months earlier I would have been totally screwed.  I would have most definitely lost my house because I did not have enough money in the bank. I would have been stuck there for way longer cause I would not be able to get approved for any new loan at that point.  It would have been a disaster.  BUT…it happened when it did and it was perfect.

I got to take my birthday off!  Who doesn’t love to have their birthday off!!  I was able to have a completely delightful morning make out session with the hunky stallion because…well, I didn’t have anywhere to go.  I was in a good place financially because with selling the old house I had equity so I had plenty of money in the bank.  Since I am a smart chick I was also putting mortgage payment money away even though I did not have a mortgage payment for 2 months during this process, so there was that.  Looking over my situation I realized I could go at least 3-4 months without having to touch any of the money from the house sell, and still be ok, still be able to do the things to the house that I wanted, just not all of them.  I was going to be ok, really, this could not have happened at a better time.

So….having faith paid off.  Things did not pan out like I had hoped…but that’s fucking life.  That’s why you have to stop with the expectation that life is only good if it happens like “this”.  You must be willing to let life unfold the way it is intended and believe that you will be ok.  That, my friends, if the god damn story of my whole fucking life.  Where once something like this would have put me in a complete state of dread and panic (or the people in my life, ie: my ex husband who is soooo damn dramatic) I was now able to have a (brief) moment of uncertainty and then turn my focus to acceptance and peace.

Now I have the time to work on getting the house settled.  I was going to take the time off to do all those things that would have eaten up every weekend for the next 6 months. Boxes unpacked.  Drawers and cabinets organized.  I was going to look for the right job, not just settle, while getting my house done the way I wanted.  This time is was going to be used wisely.  Come on, this was going to be great.  So far, it has been.

I have tackled some major shit that I would have dreaded doing after a long work week.  Ugly kitchen cabinets GONE! New sparkly wall, hell yeah!  Unpack boxes and get rid of more shit…bring it on.  I’ve been a beast when it comes to working on the shit here…I remind myself all the time about how bad it felt not doing the things I really wanted to do at the old house only to have to do them in record time for someone else to enjoy.  This is MY house! I will do with it what I please and it will be wonderful.

Being rejected is not fun.  Being rejected over and over and over and over….again and again totally sucks.  It’s easy to sit back and feel like a failure.  This is testing my faith. Faith in myself. Faith in my abilities. Faith in the Universe.  I’ve been up and down, and up again with feeling defeated by this circumstance.  Still, I continue to bring myself back to accepting that in the end, everything will be ok.

Accepting and gratitude is the fucking key.

At an appointment with my financial adviser to discuss my accounts and see how I was doing, I told her I had lost my job.  She asked what kind of job I was looking for…and we discussed my “qualifications”.  Then she said they were looking for a part time on call person and would I be interested.  Why yes I would be interested…yes the fuck I would!  Finding out about the specific position and the perks and the potential was just what I needed.  That along with the fact that my financial adviser thinks I’m fantastic and is already looking out for where I can be placed full time and permanently was just the confirmation I needed that, yes…everything was going to be just fine. I will be fine, even better perhaps.

Now I am focusing on training part time, while continuing to get my shit finished at the house.  I believe that once I that full time position opens up to me I will be done with most of the major work on the house which will be a lot less stressful and take less of my free time.  It’s all working out.  Every damn bit of it.

Am I lucky? Maybe, but I believe in my soul that things work out for me because I am willing to keep my faith.  I roll with the bad instead of screaming and yelling about how unfair life is.  Ok, sometimes I yell, but what I don’t do is stay there in a pool of self-pity and whine that I am a victim and life isn’t fair. I appreciate and show gratitude for the good things because I know that things could be worse.  I live the life I speak about…I practice it every fucking day.  Faith in something out there that is so much bigger than me has a plan…and it is a way better plan than I will ever dream of.

Life not going the way you wanted??? Think about how that could change if you just look at all the setbacks and bullshit in a different light.  I’m not letting the shit part of life drag me down…cause if you think about it, shit is the fertilizer. Gardeners and anyone who has a dog that shits in their yard will know what I mean. If you accept the shit, things will assuredly come out better that you dreamed.

Realizing how much it still hurts

Since I’ve gone back to re read some of my old blog posts…I realize there is so much the still gives me pain.  Remembering where I was, and where I am not brings me comfort…but there is still some residual hurt in there too.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Not following through…
Not to long ago, I made a vow to get out of my dump, and bring back a little bit of joy…So what did I do to make that happen? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
The other day it occurred to me that I was just sitting around feeling sorry for myself and hoping that my mood would change. Um…really?? I don’t know why I thought that would work…just wishing myself happy hasn’t really ever worked before. What I needed to do was inject some more positivity into my life…Do what I did before that changed my life, and my outlook, around.
I borrowed some books from the library…but that just wasn’t doing it for me. I was still sulking round…Then I fell and sprained my ankle…REALLY bad…My husband took the day off of work to take me to the Dr. (this is NOT his normal routine). It wasn’t broken, but I was instructed to stay off of it for 1-2 weeks…Ugh. I got some crutches, but really, who wants to use crutches to go to the bathroom…and you can’t use them when you get something to eat, or drink….Cause there was no one gonna be taking care of me all day long…

Hubs and the kids did a pretty good job…They tried…but stuff wasn’t getting done…and every time I tried to say something…I got the “I’m doing the best I can!!!!”…so on day 5, I had enough of sitting on my ass…so I started doing some stuff. LONG story short…I’m going into week 3 and it still hurts…I can do more, but it still hurts, and I’m still limited….

During that time, actually the day after I got my “instructions”…my Mom showed up at my door…(if you want to learn more about our strained relationship it’s in here). Go here if you want to find out how THAT went. We had the memorial service for my Grandmother…the one that passed in February…my Mom’s mom. It was a nice service…people shared funny stories, and touching stories…I read a poem about Hugs…It was pretty nice. Things are still tense with my Uncle, and my Mother….oh well.

Then I emailed my mother to try to re-open that door of communication. She shut me down. Then came back with “…apologized every way you asked…will not except you going into a rage when you don’t like what I say…have the right to express my opinion in a civil way…” then I was given her Terms…”want to have a real relationship…will not walk on eggshells just to make you happy.” My response to that was “Ok”…I’m done. I really really would like to have a good healthy loving relationship with my mom…but I guess that’s not happening right now. I have spent the last few week writing a letter…Starting with I wish things were different, I tried, I love you…I have gift for Mother’s day. Then I went into explaining why I’ve made some of the choices I’ve made the last few years…Basically why I have chosen not to discuss certain things with her.

That letter was very therapeutic…I edited…added more, took some out. I tried to make sure that it was putting her on the defensive…I made it about me and my choices. Then I decided to make two letters…One in with the gifts letting her know the other one was in a sealed envelop, she could read it if she wanted too. Then I said “fuck it” and just sent the gift with the first part of the letter. I came to realize that she is just not ready to listen to me, what I feel or think doesn’t really matter to her. She thinks that she has apologized for the past many many times…but in reality, that’s not what she’s done. She thinks that I asked for that…I haven’t. I’ve never asked her to apologize for the past…only to STOP continuing to do the negative stuff. Respect me…I guess that didn’t get through.

On Saturday…I broke down…BIG time break down….I cried for at least an hour…may have been two. I was feeling sooooo sorry for myself…My mother, my marriage, my friendships. I was pissed at my mom, pissed at my husband and pissed at my friends. I felt abandoned, crapped on and tossed aside. I wanted to know when it was going to be MY turn to receive…when were the people in my life going to start giving me what they have demanded of me for all these years. What did I do to deserve all this shit…Why can’t my friends come visit, when they know I’m stuck at home…Why can’t my husband drop me off at the door when I’m saddled with crutches, instead of making me walk from the parking lot across the street…Why can’t my Mom see what she is doing and stop making me pay for all the injustice that she feels she has endured????

Why?
I want to tell you all to piss off…and run away to start new…
Why can’t you see what you are doing to me?
Why is it so easy to brush me off, walk away, never give a thought to me…?

Ugh…It was ugly…But apparently very much needed. My husband listened…while I gasped for breath in between my wails…For that I am thankful.

On Sunday…I started doing something about my situation. I stared listening to positive podcasts…getting my mind back on to the path of gratitude…I feel like I’m getting warm, but the fire isn’t going yet…

I’m working on it…I’m not sitting around waiting for it to happen to me…I making it happen..I’m warming the fire…Ahhh….I feel lighter already…and I mailed my mother her gift.