Tag Archives: love

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.

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.

The Tipping Point

We all have it.  That point in any given situation where you throw your hands up and say “enough”.  Of course we like to tell ourselves that we have a line, cross it and that’s it buster.  Unfortunately most of us don’t really have a line we vehemently stick too.  It should be drawn in permanent marker somewhere that is impossible to move.  Usually it’s drawn in chalk and when we or someone else crosses that line, we wipe it down with our fuzzy sock covered foot and drawn a new one.

We do, I believe, all have a tipping point.  It’s a mystery like any other…it most often has no rhyme or reason to it.  It could be 5 mins from now or twenty years.  You might reach that point listening to a song on the radio, or a look someone gives you, or the worst possible heartbreak imaginable.  No matter what you think or tell yourself, you really don’t know when where or how you’re going to get there…but you will get there.

With my mother it was 44 years.  Ouch.  Well maybe that’s because mothers really do deserve more time to get things right.  It was almost that time when I was 32 and she grabbed me and pushed me up against the counter…while I was holding my baby. Again almost when she went to my soon to be ex, bought him a new hot water heater and told him how she was not going to help me out cause I “needed to suffer”. Nope. It could have been when I said that all I wanted was her to respect me as a mother, and she told me I didn’t deserve any respect. Nu uh, it was when I finally sucked it up and asked for some help, and instead of just telling me to go fuck myself or saying yes….she made it all about her, in front of my child….again.  Enough.

With my ex husband it was 17 years of marriage and 6 months of counseling.  Of course my relationship with him was not nearly as toxic as the one with my mother, but still they had a lot of similarities. So, it wasn’t the time in the first few years we were married when he said we should get a divorce because I didn’t do the dishes enough or put all my shoes away or want to have sex.  Perhaps it should have been that time I said I loved him and I just wanted us to be happy, and he said he couldn’t give me that. To be honest I don’t even remember the specific incident that finally lead me to my tipping point, but I remember staring at a pile of dog poop as I was about to scoop it up and it hit me…Enough.

I’ve watched friends play out relationships that fail over and over and over…As an outsider it’s very easy to say “oh yeah, I totally would have bailed at that point.”  It’s not hard to point out that you told them so and you saw this coming…and they should have known waaaaay back when.  We’ve all been on both sides of that scenario even if we don’t want to admit it.

I’m hear to say…be gentle with yourself.  Stop beating yourself up over giving that person, or that job or that project one more chance even when everything in your gut is telling you it is never going to work out the way you want.  Be patient.  It’s all a process we need to go through so that in the end (the real end, not the pretend end like last time) we are finally able to walk away knowing we did all we could.

If I haven’t actually reached the final tipping point yet…I am as close as you can get just before.  I let the words and the actions really really sink in this time.  The fog lifted, the rose colored glasses fell off…what ever, but this time I allowed myself to see and feel the truth and what I was trying to avoid.  For a moment I sat there in fear of my feelings…afraid to open my mouth and admit any of it was real.  I gave myself some time…to make sure this time it wasn’t about emotional reaction, or drama or avoidance. I did what the educators all tell you to do, I slept on it.  When I woke up I talked it over with myself.  If I was going to do anything at all I wanted to be sure it was going to be something I would stick to.  It didn’t take long to realize I had had…Enough.

If only I could be like a guy…just this once.

If only I could just turn off my feelings.  If only I hadn’t allowed my feelings to get in the way in the first place. Blech. Stupid feelings.

Just enjoy a few hours together dumbass…the kissing, the touching the intimacy, it’s awesome and you know it.  Stop giving a shit that he sits there next to you with his head swirling with all that garbage, quiet, not wanting to let you in to help sort things out.  Just enjoy that time and leave not caring if you don’t talk to him for a while.  Stop fucking wondering when you’ll see him again.  MAN UP.

If only I could.  Not care about what I wish it could be or what I’d like it to be.

It would be so nice to be a guy right now.  Just in this one little area.  Going on with my day to day life…bored, alone, not caring if there was someone to talk to, to kiss me and tell me things are going to be ok….to crawl into bed with.

I’m not a guy.  I tried…I tried to enjoy what was being offered without letting my desire for companionship get in the way.  I wanted to…Seriously.  I can’t even count how many time I told myself that at the very least, I had someone who enjoyed my company (although not very often) who was with me and only me, and that it would be a foolish to just walk away from that.

I guess…to some degree, if I were a man, I’d be a fool.  I couldn’t keep things going knowing how I felt.  I couldn’t turn off those feelings for more than a day or two.  No matter how much I tried to hold on to the good part, I couldn’t let go of what I really wanted.  A lover to call my own.  A man who is proud to be with me and isn’t afraid to show it, to anyone.  Someone who could be brave enough to open up himself to the possibilities of what could be.  One person I could be myself with and know without a doubt, would be there the next day.

Nope.  I couldn’t let any of that go.  Not like a guy could.

I had to be woman,  put on my big girl panties and admit it. The TRUTH. Then, I had to remove myself from his life. His reasons are that he’s go to much going on to put in the time I deserved. Too much on his mind to go beyond just the little moments. Ok.  I don’t want to be one more thing that clouds up his mind…he’s got enough of that, I get it.  I didn’t want to pretend I was ok, when I knew I wasn’t. In order to be fair to both of us, I had to remove myself from the equation.  Let him deal with shit and let me stop wishing for anything else.

Yeah, I feel a little like and idiot.  There’s a small part of me that thinks I could have done it, wishes I could have done it…but I know, in the end, I would still want what I want.   Dammit.

It sucks.  Big time sucks.  I’m really gonna miss those kisses.

I wish I could have been more like him.  Just this once.

Accepting the lesson of LOVE

The last two weeks have shown me that Love is my lesson. It shows up in every corner of my day and reminds me that I am still rooted too deeply in fear. So in the true spirit of breaking the patterns I’m embracing my lesson and diving deep within to accept and embrace the fear in an effort to understand and finally let it go.

Let it go.

I’ve acknowledged that fear has held me back in a lot of ways. I’ve also had moments of intense bravery and managed to walk right through my fear in order to get to a better place. However, it seems that I haven’t had enough brave moments, or perhaps I’m not embracing them as fully as I should. Whatever it is, will be uncovered eventually, but for now it is time to work on Love and release the fear.

There is something almost magical about opening your mouth and saying out loud what your soul has been aching to say. “I can’t do this anymore.” Saying those words was both freeing and terrifying at the same time. There is that moment you can feel a huge weight has been lifted from you and yet just as quickly you can feel the desire to back peddle and take back those words. I felt that very same way when I finally told my husband I was done. Oh thank God it’s finally out there…oh shit what the fuck did I just do???

One of the ways I’m learning to let go of fear is to face it and stop lying to myself about how it shows up in my words, my actions and my thoughts. When I react to something someone says, that’s fear. When I hide because I don’t want people to know I am hurting, that’s fear. When I continue to do the same thing over and over again that I know isn’t what I want, that is fear. When I am alone with my thoughts and I tell Myself I am unlovable, that is fear.

Love will set you free. I believe that. You must love yourself as you are before you can love someone else. Ok, that makes sense too. Love is the answer. Indeed…but what is the question? Love. It’s all around me reminding me over and over that this glorious journey of life has always about love. The love you give and the love you receive. It’s something that you must learn to give freely and completely without any expectation or demands.

Love begins and ends with me. I must learn to love myself.

So here is the fear that keeps lurking in the pit of my soul.

I am not lovable. I am not good enough. No one will stay.

Ew. On the surface, I know none of that is true. I have been able to prove that again and again….and yet, they still bubble up. So how do I start to turn those crazy fears around?

I’m not lovable. Fuck that, I’m totally lovable. I’m thoughtful compassionate caring and a complete goof-ball. What’s not lovable about that?

I’m not good enough. Good enough for who? That jerk who said you “weren’t long term material”? Or the idiot that thinks it’s better to be alone than be with you?  I am totally good enough on my own and completely open to finding someone who is daring enough to just how good I am.

No one will stay. Why would I want to hold on to someone who doesn’t want to stay. If they don’t want to stay, they weren’t meant to stay which means there is room for those who will.

Whew. See how easy it was to turn that shit around. Now…practice practice practice. Next time fear shows up I will acknowledge it, embrace it then smack it on the ass as I escort it out.

Love and romance and other nonsense…

Today is my birthday. Yes, Valentine’s Day.

Anyway, here I am alone another year.  All my own doing of course, but I’m really not liking it at all.  This last week has had me reflecting on the reasons I can’t seem to find someone who wants to share a life with me, or vise verse for that matter.  It’s been a roller coaster of emotions over the last few years, and yet I always seem to pick myself back up.  I’ve been rejected more often than I have rejected others, and still I manage to put myself out  there and give this shit another try.

I know you are wondering, yes…there has been some reflecting on the hunky stallion…how could there not be.  The focus has been on the fact that for a short time, I was comfortable and trusted him…I allowed myself to imagine possibilities I had previously let go of.  I felt safe being myself, and that in it’self was an amazing feeling.  As with any relationship, you aren’t just putting yourself out there, someone else is putting their own self out as well.   Then there was that moment…I got caught up in my own feelings and jump the line that sent him running for cover, never to fully return.

I’ve beat myself up a little bit about this, and of course I mentally beat him up as well.  For me, I know, that if he had opened his big fat mouth and said “slow down there slick” I would have easily stepped back into our comfortable little romance. That didn’t happen.  Once you push someone’s fear button, you cannot undo it just by taking your finger off of it. Only they can do that, and he couldn’t.  Unfortunately this lead me to wondering if I might fall back into old thought patterns of not trusting myself, trusting relationships, and my all to familiar habit of self sabotage.  What I came to realize was that this is not the first time this has happened, and it may not be the last.  In the end, and what I’m grateful for, is that I always manage allow myself the opportunity to take a chance, open up and imagine those beautiful possibilities again.  When the time comes, I know, I will feel safe again.

I’m not broke.

My life is not ideal.  It could certainly use some improvement.  What I know is that I still have so much to be grateful for.  There are things that I wouldn’t change, and people I’m so very honored to have in my life.   Even better, I’m still able to laugh at myself when shit goes wrong…and shit goes wrong all the time.  I will not let myself be enveloped by the stupid little things that on a larger scale don’t mean a damn thing.

No lover for me this Valentine’s Day, that’s ok. One day there will be.  One day I will look back and be thankful I never gave up, and know that these moments were just leading me to something better.