Tag Archives: self awareness

Lessons I clearly haven’t learned yet

It’s been clear to me and probably anyone who has read this blog that I have adhered to the “maybe this time will be different” rule in my relationships.
I’ve done it with my mother.
I’ve done it with my ex husband.
Clearly I’ve done it with the hunky stallion.

What I’ve come to realize is that it isn’t just with relationships that I hold steadfast to this rule. There are at least a few other areas where this has come to light. Let me explain.

Online dating: For the last 5 years I have gone on and off online dating. When I go on, I have good intentions and hopes for some type of real connection. I get frustrated after weeks or months of the same lame offers. Either I’m attracting creepy guys, overweight horny guys, young horny guys, good looking horny guys or older men who send me the strangest emails….I’ve connected with a very few decent guys, but there has not yet been any real connection. So I quit. Then I get lonely, tired of not ever meeting anyone anywhere and go back online again. Of course I change up my profile a bit, add different pictures, try to express that I’m really interested in a long term committed relationship. After getting the same type of responses I delete my account and the circle continues.

Summation: Online dating is not for me.

Diet: This year I decided to take a hold of my eating habits. After a year of working out and getting my body in better shape, I find myself frustrated with still having a jiggly belly. Trainers tell me that I need to work on my diet. I bought a book with some really healthy and easy recipes, all clean eating balanced meals. The result after just a few days I am bloated and unable to poop (keeping it real people). I talk it over with my trainers and they are perplexed and I’m recommended to either keep going with the hopes that eventually things will work themselves out or add in Probiotics. After 5 days of not getting any relief and the pain of it overwhelming, I toss in the towel and order a pizza. Everything is back on track. A few months later I decide to try again, maybe my body was just in shock. This time I’ll add the right dietary aids and some additional “tricks” I’ve researched. Same results. Bloat, constipation, pain, pizza…relief. Just this last week I thought I’d give it another try…Fuck, after 4 days its a bacon cheeseburger to the rescue.

Summation: Clean eating does not work for me.

Online shopping: I love a good deal. I hate shopping in general. So when I see a great deal online I want to jump on it like the 10 tank tops for $20. It’s taken me a long time to realize that I am no longer a size Large or X-Large…so I ordered adult medium. I couldn’t believe how small, really tiny they were, not a big investment so I gave them to my daughter. Next were a set of yoga pants, size medium…I couldn’t get over the camel toe they created, so I gave them to my daughter. Next was the oh so cute black and white sweater that was only $12. Turns out it was being shipped from China. Ugh…it’s a little snug in the armpits but I can work with that, so that’s a partial win. Recently I decided to order a couple of cold weather items. 6 tops, one to be a gift for the girl, the rest just for me. I ordered all my tops in large or X-large cause I think I’m finally getting that online and real life are very very different. I get 1/2 the order, one is too short in the arms and the other one looks more like and child large than an adult large. My daughter once again benefits. I desperately tried to go online and see if I could get the remaining order in the X-large only to be told they have already shipped. Keeping my fingers crossed but admit that my daughter may be the beneficiary of a couple of more tops. Dammit.

Summation: Don’t buy cheap shit online or at the very very least check the size chart and see what size you are online and not in your imagination.

There is much work to be done with me for sure. Forever a work in progress….

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.

 

Surviving vs Thriving

“You have been conditioned to survive.  You are very good at it.  If there is an apocalypse I want to be with you, because I know you will survive…you and the cockroaches.  What you do not know how to do is to thrive.”

That is what my therapist told me yesterday.  He couldn’t be more right.  I am a survivor.  Look at me still keeping the house going, paying my bills, getting food on the table, car’s still in one piece and running, I haven’t failed at my basic responsibilities.  I’m also anxious, unhappy and unsatisfied.  Yeah me I win at basic survival skills….but fail at a life worth living.

The job is dead end.  I know this. There is no where for me to go, no steps to climb, no room to grow or even fulfill my own potential. Where I am right now is where I will always be.  It will not take me anywhere…ever.  If I ever want to have more than just my basic needs met I’ve got to get out of there.  Homework assignment: Get back online and apply all over the place…stay away from small companies and look for larger corporations that will allow me to grow.

The man is a dead end.  As much as it breaks my heart I know that is true.  Much like the heartbreak of ending my marriage…no matter how much I wanted things to be better, I knew they never would be what I needed, with him.  The truth is that the hunky stallion gave me a peek into something I had never experienced with a relationship. It was beautiful and exactly what I always imagined I relationship should be.  However, it was just a peek.  Then it stopped.  “If you were acting like a mature confident strong woman would you have stayed this long?”  The answer is no.  I would have been done when he said he didn’t have time to give me anything.  What THAT woman would have said is, I like that feeling you gave me, I want more of that and will seek out someone who can give it to me. Instead, I begged for him to give me what he does not have.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Under the Tuscan Sun.  The movie starts with a woman who is confident her life is good.  She soon finds out her husband has been having an affair and want a divorce.  Her life was NOT what she thought it was and she received a very painful awakening.  She goes on a journey of self, following her gut and making what most people (even herself) would think were absolutely crazy choices.  In one scene she has a meltdown.  Screaming how she bought a house for a life she doesn’t have.  When asked what she wanted…she replied.  People to cook for, a family, a wedding in this house.  At that point she was thinking of one particular vision.

At the end of this movie the man who had originally asked her what she wanted came to her and pointed out that she had gotten everything she had asked for.  For the first time she was able to see that indeed she had.  She was cooking for the men working on her house, her friend and baby were living with her…and there had indeed been a wedding.  Everything she wanted…but not exactly how she had envisioned it.

What I love most about this movie is it takes you where most of have been at some point.  Painful realization that the life we are living is nothing like we imagine it to be.  We do the pity party, the break down, the cursing the Universe and everything in it because we have been given a shitty deal.  It isn’t until we pick ourselves up and break out of our little comfort zone that we see how much more life has to offer.  Instead of “I can’t”…give a little “what the hell”.

I could go on doing as I have been…on autopilot, making due with what I have.  Would anyone really fault me for that?  Probably not…although I think eventually people will get tired of hearing the same old sob story over and over again.  I don’t want to hear it myself.  So there is a choice to make, one that anyone of us can make at any point in our lives.  We can stay stuck, surviving…or we can shake things up a little and start thriving.  Let go of those things that are not working for you…the job, the friends, the house…the man (or woman), whatever is keeping you stuck.

Get busy living…or get busy dieing.  It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

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…

Managing my addiction…

Most people have some kind of addiction or another….even if we aren’t openly aware of it.  There is substance addiction like drugs alcohol or tobacco.  There is addiction to work, or exercise or food.  Then, like me, there are those who suffer from an addiction to patterns or feelings.

My name is Dawn, and I am addicted to giving people too many chances.

Like any addiction I am compelled to give in to those people who have repeatedly proven that they do not deserve it.  I can’t help it.  When presented with an opportunity to use my better judgement, inveritably my addiction rears it’s ugly head and compels me time and again to give anyone I care about another chance.

I’m getting help.  I’m finding out the “why” of my specific addiction.  As it turns out, it goes back to being conditioned that if I do not give someone I care about another chance, then I am not showing that person love.  If I do not forgive the abuse, misunderstanding, hurt or pain that person has caused me, then I must not really care about them.

With any addiction, this continued pattern has not served me well, but I must be getting something out of it, right?  True…there is always a pay off with any addiction, but the bottom line is that it breaks a part of you each and every time you give in to it.  I’m tired of being broken.  I want to be loved…but I do not need to be loved by people who are incapable of loving me in a healthy way.

My counselor has given me an assignment.  One strike.  That’s all I’m allowed to give.  Don’t call when you say you will. Done.  Break a date. Done.  Come in to my home and abuse me…Done.  I laughed…cause I know that this is going to be very tough for me.

I mean come on.  What kind of loving individual would I be if I didn’t give someone another chance???  I couldn’t at first wrap my head around that idea.  Then I realized that people who truly love me, those who deserve my love in return, don’t need a 2nd or 3rd or 99th chance.  They don’t abuse me or mistreat me.  That is not love…well not healthy love anyway.  Breaking this addiction will also make me less and less attractive to the people who thrive on people like me.  What narcissistic individual wants to be with someone who isn’t giving in to their needs?  We established a long time ago that I am a beacon for narcissism…and that needs to stop if I am going to have the life I want…the live I deserve.

So as I travel along this road of live and love…I embrace my new motto.  You get one shot buddy…fuck it up and you’re OUT!!

Hands to heaven…I think I finally got it.

Have you ever had one of those conversations with a friend…where you are telling them that you are fine, everything is good, but deep down inside, you know that just isn’t true?  Inside of you, you are turning and restless and unsure of anything…but what you want most is to get where you say you already are, so you pretend that you are there, when you know you still have far to go.

I’ve been there.  I’ve done that too many times.  Pretending that I’ve got my shit together…knowing that I should have my shit together. Having the right answers….but unable to put any of them into place. Hoping if I can convince that other person…maybe just maybe, I can convince myself as well.

This time was different.  This time when I told my friend where my focus was…how I was doing, I was really honestly there.  Truth is…until that moment, I wasn’t really sure myself.  When I went on to explain how I was doing…the things I was doing to move forward…how I wasn’t focused on the end, but actually taking steps that no matter what happened, it would only make each and every possibility better.  This time…as the words came out I felt a wave of conviction and truth wash over me.  I am really doing this.  I am really moving forward with no regret and no fear…I am just doing what I need to do to make sure whatever happens, I will be in a better place.

It was a strange feeling.  At no point did I wonder if she could “see through me”. I was being completely honest.  Maybe at some point there will be someone in my life to fill the empty space.  Maybe I will find myself in a position that I can no longer financially afford to stay in this home.  Maybe, I will be able to make a choice and move on to something else.  No matter what….clearing out the clutter will make any one of those just a little easier.

I walked away feeling really good about myself.  Something that I haven’t felt in quite a while.  I had a deep sense that I was on the right path…making the right choices for all the right reasons.  There was no forcing myself into one particular box in order to fulfill a particular unknown scenario…there was just peace and acceptance.  FINALLY.

This, my friends…is what we are truly searching for.  Truth, acceptance and peace.  I have no idea what the actual turning point was.  Maybe something my therapist said.  Maybe something I read or heard.  Maybe divine intervention.  Whatever it is I am completely grateful for it.  There is no longer a need to put on a front for the people around me.  No more fake it till I make it moments for me.  This time…it’s real and it’s enveloped me like a warm fuzzy quilt on a cold winter night.

At some point you have probably heard that you should have no expectations.  You may have read somewhere that you need to live in the now, without any worry or fear of what might come.  I have.  Many many…many times.  It has always made sense to me intellectually, perhaps spiritually…but I’ve never really been able to grasp the HOW.  My life has been all about trying to be one step ahead of the problem.  Be ready for the accusation, the assault, the proverbial rug to be pulled out from under me.  It’s what I’ve known for as long as I can remember.  Being present in the moment, making decisions that will be positive for my life no matter what direction it goes, has something that has never really been an option for me.  At least, it never appeared that way from wherever I was standing.

When I left my lunch date I was feeling light and joyous.  I was able to look strangers in the eye and smile.  The feelings I had on the inside could be see on the outside so much so that people would say “hi”…and as strange as that sounds, it’s been a long time since that has happened.  For much too long I’ve kept my head down, fearing to look up and catch someone’s eye…fearing they may possibly see the darkness I felt inside.  That’s hard to admit…and it’s very out of character for me.

I’m returning back to the me that’s been hiding.  I’m finally lifting my head up and looking for the joy…I can’t tell you how wonderful that is.

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.