Tag Archives: relationships

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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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.

Ooops I did it again.

Recently I decided to get a lawyer to work out some financial stuff with my ex husband.  The letter was drafted to advise him that he has not been holding up his legal obligations to me.  It was also to address how he was going to assist in helping pay for our son’s upcoming college expenses.  The letter laid out how much he owed, how much I was willing to waive, and what I was requesting in regards to college.   It went on to say that we could easily keep things out of court and come to a mutual conclusion.

He responded by getting a lawyer.

That’s where I should have just left it, let the lawyers hash it out.  I didn’t. Since I know him very well,  I knew what he read and how he interpreted it.  I reached out and tired to explain myself and why I did what I did and how it would, in the end, be mutually beneficial and fair for all of us. My efforts were to ease his pain and see things clearly.  He did not respond.

I was telling my step dad about it.  “What are you doing?  You are taking on the anguish for both of you.”

That will be the last time I reach out to my ex on the matter, I said.  When I thought about what he had said, I realized how right he was.  I was doing what I’ve always done when it comes to him.  I try to come in and explain, make him see the whole picture, try to justify myself, do what I can to make HIM feel better.  That has rarely ever worked out in my favor.

I was justified in doing what I did.  There is no doubt. Has he done things for the kids…certainly.  There’s no argument there.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean he can just do what he thinks is fair, and not what is right.

The real question is why did I feel the need to explain myself?  Why do I care how he feels?  What does it matter to me if he wants to pay a lawyer to do what the lawyer I paid would have done for him?  Why, after all this time, do I still feel like I have to explain myself to someone who has never bothered to try to understand me?  Obviously it’s cause I still have self deprecating habits that need to be broken.

During my therapy appointment I talked about what I had done.  He asked “If I had met you in the parking lot after seeing the lawyer, and asked you how you thought he would respond to the letter, what would you have said?”  The answer, he would have cried victim.  So…why are you surprised by his response?  That’s a good question…and one I’ve been asking myself for years.  Simply put, I always hold on to the hope these people in my life will suddenly become different.  I am reminded time and time again…they are not, and will not be different.

About 1/2 way through our appointment he stopped me.  “Do you have some kind of belief, that if you behave like the strong confident woman you know yourself to be, that no one will love you?”  As much as this question felt like it came out of left field, it was as direct and to the point as one could get.  The answer, yes.

I’m in a vulnerable place right now.  Completely by my own doing.  It’s time to get back to focusing on how good things are, how far I’ve come and how well I really am doing.  That’s not been the case lately….I’ve been focusing way to much on what I don’t have and I feel like I’m being reminded over and over that there is less good than not.  When I take a moment to clear the garbage out of my head, I can see so much good in my life.

Too much time has been spent lately in an attitude of lack.  Time to turn that shit around.

 

I found my Crazy swtich.

Why oh why oh why, do I keep telling myself I know this is wrong, I know this is not going anywhere, I know that this is not what I want, or dare I say, what I deserve.  Yet…somehow keep flipping the crazy switch on the hunky stallion. I feel like shit, apologize to him, beat myself us, then back off, until the next time.  Why?

I thought about what it was that was flipping the crazy switch on in the first place.  What I realized was that it’s the same pattern I’ve engaged in my whole life.  In my ever so naive state of mind, I keep thinking that if the other person doesn’t walk away, that means somethings going to change.  It doesn’t. Ever.  All of the sudden I realize “Hey, I’m still not getting what I want!!”  I’m still hanging on to something that isn’t going anywhere and I flip out when I realize that NOTHING HAS CHANGED.  Rinse and repeat. Over and over again.

I’m not going to blame him.  This isn’t about him.  This is all about me and my crazy shit.  I’m not following through, period.  It’s not fair to him…and it most assuredly is not fair to me.  So, now that I found the switch, I decided to disengage it.  Telling him was part of the problem, so that stopped.  Believing he would change, stopped.  Putting too much trust that he would do what he said, stopped.   Thinking things would ever be different…stopped.  Wanting to be important enough for him to want to change, stopped.

I made a decision that if he wasn’t going to make an effort, I wasn’t going to chase after him.  A commitment I made to myself.  I didn’t share it…just did it.  Now over the last couple of weeks things have picked up online.  Men have been requesting my company and I’ve had some really great conversations.  This commitment to myself had to go a step further.  If I am no longer willing to take the crumbs offered by the hunky stallion, I wasn’t going to take crumbs from anyone else either.

Date with the 30 year old tech, cancelled.  He’s been nothing but sweet and respectful.  He was the first one to put out an offer for a real date.  So why did I cancel? A part of me knows this isn’t going to be what I want.  I’m over dating younger men just for the fun and excitement, and the ego boost.   I feel like I would be setting myself up for more of the same disappointment.  So I cancelled.   My friend said I wasn’t giving myself enough credit, and I think that saying no to something that isn’t what I want IS giving myself credit.  I get way too comfortable accepting what is being given, instead of holding out for what I truly want.

Conversation with the 34 year old IT guy, done.  Again, very nice and respectful, but we’re on different paths and I don’t want to be on his.

Messages from anyone under the age of 35, who start off with “Wow your sexy” or “I think you’re absolutely gorgeous” deleted.  For that matter anyone who starts out with those type of comments have gotten deleted immediately, no matter what the age.

On the positive side.  I had a wonderful phone call from a 36 year old who lives a little far.  He’s moving closer over the summer…so for now it’s all about getting to know each other.

There is the 42 year old banker.  He’s not been overly engaging, but it’s been good.

Then, just to throw a monkey in the barrel…here comes the hunky stallion.  After all this time he decides to ask me out.  I don’t know what’s going on with him, and why NOW he feels he needs to take this step, but the invitation was sincere.  He also admitted I am special and he knows he doesn’t show it.

Now…of course I bet your first instinct was  that I probably dropped everything and jumped back on the “ooh the hunky stallion and I are going to live happily ever after” wagon.  I did not.  It was an offer.  He’s made them before and never followed through.  I’m not about to put anything into it, especially now.  If he wants to take me out, then he is going to have to take the lead, I’m not doing it for him.

Today, another offer to meet from someone I’ve chatted before, but never met.  He is 46 and offered coffee and good conversation.  I said yes.

Bottom line…I found my crazy switch and have flipped the bitch off.  I’ve stepped out of the role I put myself in and am trying to stand firm.  Keeping my focus on the end game and not allowing myself to fall “victim” to the same trap.  A trap I know I put myself in not the other way around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things will never be the same.

I had a bit of a breakdown, completely lost my shit and had and epiphany all in a span of 5 days.

It’s been quite a week.

I’m not going to go into details of the breakdown (cause I’ve been there before), or the losing my shit (yeah, that too).  I am going to tell you how all of that got me to a clearer understanding of myself, in a way I haven’t before. (even though I totally know I should have by now)

I’m reading the book The Conscious Parent.  What I like most about it is that it isn’t telling you how to discipline your children or how to get them to behave the way you want…It is about understanding yourself, as a child and as a parent.  It is about finding truth behind what it is your children do and the things they trigger in you. It’s also about accepting them completely, as they are, who they are…right at this moment.

I am completely and immensely grateful for having read this book.

Anyway….after my breakdown(don’t all great stories of triumph start in the gutter?), and after losing my shit (the hell storm before the calm), I was in sort of a “what the fuck am I doing?? why do I keep doing this shit??” state of mind.  While I was reading the chapter about the roles we play as children, when I got it.  I am chasing love and acceptance.  It was absolutely clear that was my role as a child, my role as a sought our romantic relationships, and the same role as parent.  What was so eye opening was that I do it with my children too…every single trigger is about my feeling loved and accepted.

Ok, here it is, I’m chasing love AGAIN!! Instead of stepping back and making some room for it to come to me I’m trying to control a situation I know damn good and well is not going to change no matter what I do.  I was not accepting things as they really were.  Still trying to say the right thing, or do the right thing, or take the blame for anything and everything…just to make him love me.

I chase and chase until I’m exhausted.  With my mother, with my father, my ex-husband, friends, lovers…Every fucking person, every fucking time.  Chasing love and acceptance from anyone who has rejected me, but claims to care for me.  This shit has got to stop.

I told my counselor and he agrees.  I was nurtured for this role…and I have perfected it.  I’m exhausted.  Chasing love is a lot like running, and I really don’t like running.  Why do relationships have to be so hard??  Well, he says, good healthy relationships AREN’T hard.  The one’s I try so desperately to hold on to are.  Shit, I don’t want to do hard anymore.

HOW do I snap out of it??? How the hell do I stop myself from doing it with the next schmuck??  If I keep chasing every idiot who will not ever love me…I will never have room for someone who will.

The answer is to just stop and ask.  Am I chasing or am I allowing???  If the answer is chasing…get the fuck out, shut the damn door…turn your ass around and high tail it out of there.  You don’t have time for this crap anymore.

So all you handsome narcissistic assholes, charming emotionally unavailable and/or emotionally immature men….This chick is OFF the market.  For YOU that is…off the market for anyone who needs someone to chase them.  Off the market for anyone who triggers that part of me.  I’m not chasing anymore….Done.

Things are never going to be the same.  There are going to be a few Universal tests coming I just know it.  I laugh cause I know it’s not going to be easy, but maybe a little easier than it would have been a year ago.  I’m going to be unpredictable to those who know my type…and I’m sure that, again, I’ll piss a few people off in the process.  I’ve had some experience at how changing affects the people who desperately need you to remain the same.

Ok, I’m all fired up and ready let go of the role of Chaser.  Now I just need to have a little faith that no matter what my past has been like, there is someone for me out there.  Someone who does not need me to chase them, who will not withhold their affections as a weapon, who will love and accept me completely.

Here I go…

 Different Wolf…Same Sheep’s clothing

Counselor “He is thinking only of himself and his needs, right?”
Me “Um…well.”
End scene

Daily I let things settle in with my situation with the Hunky Stallion. I have little Ah-ha moments that strengthen my resolve that this is and always will be a dead end relationship. Even though my intellectual brain KNOWS this…my emotional brain needs to understand and analyze it or I know I will continue to make the same mistakes.

One day I was thinking about our last (and not only) conversation about what I wanted from a relationship…then all of the sudden it hit me.  “Why does this sound so fucking familiar???”  I realized that it is the same exact conversation I have had with my ex husband year after year of our marriage.

It was always the same…Me doing my best to be ok with not getting what I need from the relationship until one of us explodes.  Sometimes it was him. Sometimes it was me.  However it started, it was always ALWAYS the same damn conversation.

Me: I need this!
Him: Yes I know. OR Yes you deserve that. OR I can’t do that.
End scene

Nothing changed. NOTHING.

You would think I would have learned. I guess there are some things you have to learn again and again and a-fucking-gain to get it through your head.

I’m seduced by sweet words of intention….I want so much to believe that the other person really wants to give me what I want, what I deserve.  Somewhere in my crazy fucked up brain I honestly believe that when someone says they understand that withholding their affection from you hurts you that they are going to stop withholding…stop hurting you.  Experience has taught me otherwise…and it seems I still need to repeat the lesson.

Now…I get, it is ME who needs to do the “changing”.  Why do I let myself get stuck thinking that if I just give him more time he’ll get on board?  That’s a great question, and I think if my counselor were to answer that, he would tell you that I was raised to be giving…and giving…and giving….Yes, folks, we can blame my fucked up relationship behaviors on my mother.  Come on! Give me a WHAT WHAT!!!  It’s not my fault…she fucked me up good.

Except for one little thing…I am an adult.  I’m now responsible for my own actions…even if those actions are breed into the very fibers of my existence.  I am responsible for whether or not I continue to play the part I was raised to play, or stand up for my own well being and say FUCK that shit.

Yes the wolf is different…but it’s the same dynamic every single time.  I am catching on.  Thankfully I’m becoming wiser faster…I was married to my ex husband way longer than I should have been.  I’m not going to say I regret it because in all those years I was blessed with two beautiful children and grew as a person in ways I probably wouldn’t have had I been in a different relationship.  The thing is that at my age…45 this year (fuck)…I don’t have another 20 years to wonder if he is going to love me enough to change.  Now I have to be the one to love me enough to say goodbye and move on.

Now…if some handsome, confident, strong yet sensitive, fun, passionate, adventurous and loving man would just ask me out on a damn date.

I guess I got time.

Be open to the lesson. Haven’t I said that before?

So, I’m going to sound a little like a broken record here…but please bare with me.  If there is anything I hope that you can take away from my crazy life lessons it is this…

If you want help then ask.  If you are seeking a sign or a message or something that helps move you in the right direction ask for it.  Then let go of any idea about where you think it should come from and just be open to receiving the answer that you need.

This time it came by way of trying to manage my financial affairs.

There isn’t one single area of my life that doesn’t need some work.  I need to get into better shape, I need to manage my money better, I need to find a better job, I need to work on my relationships, I need to be a better parent….and so on.  Most often I find myself trying to tackle everything at once thinking I can chip away at each area and make some progress.  Problem is…it’s exhausting and ultimately I find myself overwhelmed and not really any better off at all.

One of the things I wanted to do this year was read more.  So I set an intention to read at least one book a month.  Not overwhelming myself but just pick one.  The first book I chose was Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.  I could use a little guidance in the area of finances and I thought I’d take a chance and see what I could learn.  What I got was a little more than I bargained for.

For starters…I did learn what I need to do to get the money thing under control.  So, I’m on a temporary spending freeze, with a budget in place, a small emergency fund open and I’m chipping away at my debt.  The lesson was to start with one thing, the emergency fund and do whatever it takes to get a foundation.  I’m lucky enough to have been given a nice check for Christmas and decided a part of it needs to be set aside inaccessible unless necessary.  Done.

After step one, then you move to step two.  Establishing a budget, and start chipping away at your debt.  Start with the smallest and work your way up.  Makes sense.  Work on one piece of the problem until it has been eliminated and then you move on to the next.  Since this is going to take me some time…I’ve decided to stop there and work on this till it’s done.  Thanks to the public library, the book will be there when I’m ready to move on to the next step.

Um…didn’t you mention something about a lesson??

Well yes I did.  In that book Dave emphasized the importance of working on one step at a time.  Yes we all want to save for retirement, pay off our debt, take care of this need at that need…but ultimately you need to stay focused on one single goal before you can move on to the next.  If I’m putting money away AND trying to pay off my debt, it’s going to take longer to pay off the debt, and I’m not really going to be saving a lot of money in the process.  So, pay off the debt FIRST.

One step at a time.  One project at a time.  Stop spreading yourself so thin that you take longer getting to the finish line on any one of them.  If you’re like me…you end up giving up on all of them cause you feel like you’re never going to get to the end.  Right? So thanks Dave! Financial lesson = life lesson.  Work on one step till you reach the end.

I’m not going to give up on all my endeavours.  I’m still working on getting healthier, being a better parent, and cleaning up my finances.  I am going to give up on the dating thing though.  Not because I’m still holding out hope for any particular situation to suddenly change…but because I have a lot of work to do for me, and right now Me needs to be at the top of the list.

I cannot change any area of my life if I’m just putting minimal effort into all of them.  Nothing will really change for the better…and I’ll be tired and bitter.  So for now the main focus is my finances…which actually kind of spreads its self to other areas of my life.  Keeping on budget means being creative with dinner ideas and teaching my kids how to use what we have and be less wasteful.  Spending freeze means no eating out and no poor food choices making the progress on getting into better shape easier.

So I took out a book to help me with my finances and I learned how to manage my life as well.  This time I’m not going to get overwhelmed and give up on everything.  This time I’m going to stay focused on one small goal till it’s met before moving on.