Tension?

Tension. I woke up this morning anxious. It’s 7 am and still kind of dark outside. I’m not sleepy but I wish I could stay in my bed where it’s warm, my house feels cold. I always turn the heat down at night and then put it back up in the morning so I did that already. What do I have to be anxious about? The ex has court this morning because he hasn’t paid his share of the property settlement. I’m sure he’ll get off scott free but I hope not. He has a way of almost getting in trouble and then getting more time or just getting a slap on the wrist… it’s frustrating and I try to forget about it since I can’t really do anything… but it’s frustrating.

Yesterday the kids and I went to go find a Christmas tree. We soon discovered that most of them are sold out or dead. The rest? Expensive. Seventy to a hundred dollars for a tree too big for our place. The younger kids started complaining about this being the ‘worst Christmas ever’ and I just wanted to cry because I was having a hard time finding a decent tree that wasn’t too small or dead and that I could afford… Christmas has been the most difficult for the kids to adjust to. Their dad just isn’t very celebratory and I’m broke. We did find a cute little one for forty-five dollars, but it is by far the littlest tree my kids have ever had and they’re disappointed. I tried. I forced myself to stay positive and to keep encouraging them as we decorated the tree and then put lights on outside. My youngest lit a fire in the fireplace and that helped a lot. We ate a good dinner and then watched a Christmas movie as well. All in all, the day turned out well but the moods never really changed. The holidays are the hardest to be positive when the kids are the ones who suffer. It’s not their fault their parents aren’t together any longer and it’s not their fault their father is no use.

As a mom, I want to fix everything. I want them all to have smooth sailing and never an upset day. I don’t want them to struggle through anything and I want to be able to buy them whatever they could possibly want. Yeah, I know, not my job to give them everything. It’s my job to help them grow into great people and to love them unconditionally. I do love them but it’s hard to watch them struggle. It’s also hard to allow them to see me struggle. I can’t really help it though and we’ll all be better off and stronger for our struggles. That’s the way we grow.

Life is supposed to be filled with good days and bad days. We aren’t supposed to have all good days. If we did, how would we know they were good with nothing to compare? How would we grow if we never had to work for it? How would our lives get better if we didn’t know how to handle the difficult stuff? I look back at my life over the last several years and I see how amazing it currently is. I’ve come this far because I have been willing to struggle through it and there’s no way I’d ever go back to who I used to be. The struggles are all worth it.

thanks for reading,

me

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7 Ways to Waste a Perfectly Good Day…

How do you waste a perfectly good day and still have a perfectly good day? I feel like a pro. Let me give you some pointers:

1 – Don’t plan what you’re going to wear the night before. Don’t do anything the night before that will require you to do anything in the morning. This is important. If you plan something it needs to be canceled or you will ruin your perfect chance for a wasting a perfectly good day.

2 –¬†Once you get in bed, stay there. Read something useless until you feel sleepy then let yourself go to sleep. A perfect day really does begin the night before. It’s important that you set yourself up just right or you may ruin your chance for a perfect day.

3 – Finally, morning has arrived, the sun has risen, your eyes have opened of their own accord because they are so used to opening in the morning. Don’t worry, just lay there a few minutes longer. There’s nothing to do and nowhere to go. Lay there, check out your Facebook feed, read some more… anything… just Do Not Get Out Of Bed, not until there is absolutely no chance of falling back to sleep.

4 – The time has come, you’ve gotta pee and you aren’t even the slightest bit sleepy any longer. Good. Go ahead, get up but don’t get dressed. There’s no reason to, not yet. Heck, this is your day, you don’t even have to get dressed unless you just want to.

5 – Now if you must, which of course I did, go to the kitchen and fix yourself a cup of coffee. Stand there, wait, do nothing… watch it brew and just enjoy the anticipation of holding that warm cup and sipping it in peace. Take it to a place to sit comfortably and just let yourself be with your coffee for as long as you need. This is excellent for you… being still and being present to now and nothing else. This is what you’ve been told you need to do more than once. Just be still for a few and let yourself feel or think anything that comes up or nothing at all. You will be better for this, trust me.

6 – As the morning changes to noon to afternoon and then evening just marvel at the fact that you were able to sit still for so long. You are merely thanking your body for all the hard work that it has put forth over the last few weeks. Your body deserves this amazing break and you deserve to enjoy it as well.

7 – As nighttime approaches put a movie on, drink a beer (or a cider like I do), put your feet up and end your day on a positive note. Popcorn might be a good idea but only if it’s not too much work.¬† Praise yourself for letting yourself rest. You’ve done well.

There are other things that you can do to waste a perfectly good day and still keep it perfectly good but why bother? Wasting the day away is what the goal was and you’ve done well, adding more might just ruin all of your hard work. I have thoroughly enjoyed wasting my perfectly good day. Tomorrow will be different and busy, but today? Today was a perfectly wasted perfectly good day.

thank you for reading,

me

Thoughts? A book…

Lately, my life has made some extremely wonderful turns. I’m newly single, building a life that I love; yet already in love with life. I’ve traveled through hell and back and I’ve survived. I’ve done more than one person ought to do and I’ve made life happen despite it all. So, I did something. Like many of you who read this, I’ve decided to write a book. A book about my journey so that I can set it out there for others so that they maybe can believe in themselves again. I’ve decided to be vulnerable, letting it all out. Trusting that there are those around me who need me to stand up and stand out. Trusting that there are many out there who need someone like me to start it all.

I remember being alone, feeling alone, feeling hopeless. I was alone. I didn’t have someone to stand up beside me until I made that giant first step. What if there is another person just waiting to make the step to freedom but is too scared to stand alone? What if that person just needs to know that she (or he) is not alone? What if everyone knew? This world could change, it would change. Abuse would not be a dirty little secret any longer. What if a woman could stand up in her church and tell the truth? What if the church told her more than to pray for her husband? What if?

So, the truth is, dear readers, I have written my book already. I’ve been open and vulnerable and honest about my journey. I have friends reading it now. At first to see if it was worth putting out there, and now to see how I can make it more readable and with fewer mistakes. The feedback so far is that I must put this out there. I wrote it like my life depended on it. I wrote every morning before the sun rose and each evening past when the house was quiet. I wrote daily for weeks, months really, until this past summer when I finally finished it. My journey is not over but I ended the book so that I could bring it to completion. I look forward to putting it out there soon. Be waiting. It has a trigger warning in the beginning and yet I hope that does not stop you. It is my path to freedom, my journey, yet it is also yours who have no voice yet. It is for you.

thank you for reading,

me

The Hell of Emotional Abuse

Do not discount yourself. So many people compare themselves to others. They decide they aren’t in hell, exactly, because ‘someone else has it worse’… I say stop it. Stop. Yes, some people have it worse than you and some people don’t. That’s normal. But that does not mean you are not both experiencing a form of hell.

If you are in an emotional abusive relationship do not say, ‘at least I’m not being beat every day’. All that does is discount what you are going through. I promise you, I wished he would just hit me, just get it over with already. If I’d had a damn bruise I might have moved out sooner… but you see? I did have bruises, I had bruises on my soul. Just because someone doesn’t throw a fist into you does not mean that person is not abusive.

Do not discount the implied violence and the soul wrenching guilt trips. Do not discount how you feel. Emotional abuse is like taking a trip on a crazy roller coaster in pitch black. You have no idea if around the next curve you will be falling into the abyss or climbing a mountain. You have no idea from one moment to the next whether you will be loved or hated. That feeling in your gut, that spark of fire burning there? That is your sign of how things truly are.

If you are scared and you can’t figure out why. If you are worried about the stupid shit that doesn’t even matter, things like messing up and forgetting something or not taking out the trash or having the car filled up or whatever… shit that doesn’t matter in five years… If you just can’t seem to be good enough no matter how hard you try… Or even worse, you’ve been put on some stupid pedestal and so if you make the slightest, tiniest error, you’ve failed… Yeah. Those things. Just because you don’t have a bruise doesn’t mean it’s not abuse.

So what if he doesn’t yell at you, yelling isn’t required either. There’s still the looks of displeasure and the cold shoulders or, heaven forbid, the silent treatments. Emotional abuse is one of the most destructive forms of abuse out there. Rather than destroy the outside of a person the inside is the target. The very being, the core of who you are, is the target. Not only do you have to fight it by yourself you begin to wonder why you fight and then you quit and you forget why you had any worth at all.

Then you begin to believe his lies. His lies that there’s no one else who could possibly love you. His lies that you may need some anger management because you burst into tears because he’s disappointed again. His lies that the only reason he stays is because he feels sorry for you, for there’s no way you’d ever survive on your own because you are just too stupid.

You can’t even do the checkbook right. Don’t you even know how to add? Seriously? Why would you buy something for you? Why on earth would you get yourself something from the store? Who cares if you like oatmeal or grits when no one else does? Why did you buy that? Don’t you think you need some rest? You look tired you should go to bed… And then gratefully thank him and go to bed only to be awoken an hour later because you need to put the kids to bed and turn out the lights and lock the doors because that’s your job and if you don’t do it then it won’t get done… How dare you get angry when all you have to do is take care of the house and kids! He works for a living, he pays for everything. You should be grateful… but you look so tired honey, why don’t you go get some rest.

What do you do then? How do you defend yourself from an enemy who is constantly changing? The only thing you can count on is that his mood will be different in a few minutes, maybe better, maybe worse. Some recognize it as ‘walking on eggshells’ trying to be quiet. No matter what step you take you make noise. There just isn’t any thing you can do. Emotional abuse is like that. It’s so far deep into the cave that you don’t know how to find your way out again. You are so lost that you begin to try to make the best of the dark and the dirt and the rocks. You’ve forgotten that there really is air and sky and rain and wind and not just the stale, old musty, mildewy dirt. When you are in the midst of an emotional abusive relationship it’s hard to find your way out.

So, yes, you are living in hell and yes you are in a hell just as bad or worse than others. Everyone’s hell is different but this one is yours. Do not discount yourself, do not make light of the fact you have no bruises. Hell is still hell and there is no comparison.

If I have described your version of hell then forgive me. I find peace in finding words. Words can draw pictures that help others to see.

thank you for reading,

me

Jealousy? Where did you come from?

And yet another emotion… jealousy. Wow. This one kind of surprised me. But recognizing it I understand and I’m OK with it. (Which also surprises me. I seem to be constantly surprised at how my reactions have changed over the last several years.) So rather than hide from it, from this new feeling, I decided to bravely and carefully take a closer look at it. I somehow trusted myself to be able to handle what I found.

What did I find exactly? I decided to call it jealousy but it’s not a green with envy kind. It’s more of another discard to a point. The man is dating someone and honestly that’s what I’ve been hoping for. I’ve wanted him to get his mind off of me and want to get on with his own life so I wouldn’t be a target anymore from his old life. I’m glad that he’s dating, it’s good. And yet, with the realization of it, I still felt the discard. The reminder that I’m not important to him. Why would I be important to him? I never have been, why would leaving him change that? Silly me.

What’s going on inside, then? Where did this emotion come from? It’s my kids. I love my kids and I want them to have amazing lives and I want what’s best for them. The problem is, I want to be enough for them and I’m not. I could never be, either. Kids need both their mother and their father to develop into healthy adults. Preferably neither mother nor father is a complete jerk, though. I’m worried my kids, especially my youngest, will meet his girlfriend and come to love her as she love me. As if she doesn’t have enough love in her to love both of us! Of course she can. I’m just jealous because of fear, because I don’t want to lose someone else. I’m jealous because I love her beyond my own breath. And my fear is unfounded. The future ahead has so much possibility and it can be good.

How can him dating be good? Maybe she could help him be a better dad. Maybe she can help him clean up his mess and make sure my kids don’t come home with lice again. Maybe she can make sure they actually sleep in their own beds in their own rooms for the first time in two years. Another woman could turn that house upside down and make it a home again. And that would be good for my kids.

And yet? I remember how my life was with him and I remember how he lives and how he behaves and how everything is always someone else’s fault and how I could never in my wildest dreams be good enough for him. I remember how I fell for him and how easy that was way back when. I remember how terrified I was just to go home. I feel sorry for her, if she does choose to stay with him. I pity her for I will not warn her of him. She will have to learn for herself. She’s an adult after all. I pity the fact that if she stays she will wonder what happened to her life in twenty years. She will wonder how on earth she let all of her dreams go. That is if she’s able to. I know so many who have given up on their dreams and died internally. It may be that she is no different from him.

It would be nice, though, to not care anymore. But, that is who I am and I am learning that I’d rather feel how I feel than go back to the chaos. I’m in love with living now and having my down moments is just part of life.

thank you for reading,

me

Being Weird

Weird – out of the norm; state of being that allows unique and unfamiliar traits to be represented; not going with the status quo; being true to oneself; living an abundant life…

I like that word, weird. It’s very useful when you experience an emotion you’ve never experienced before. It’s useful when trying to describe something that is good but completely new. Weird.

I have found that I use that word frequently lately to describe where I am. As I come closer to graduation I am confronted with the fact that I get to choose my life. Weird. I get to decide whether to relocate or to stay local, whether to keep in touch with some people or not. I get to decide if I want to work in a hospital, or a clinic, or a store, or on my own. It’s like I have a multiple choice game, a choose my own adventure kind of life ahead of me. I can decide for myself whether I like the ocean or the mountains or the plains or whatever. I don’t have to do what I’ve always done any longer. The only word for it is weird. Weird.

Why is there no word for being able to choose your own life? Why is it that people typically fall into a place and just make the best, or the worst of it, rather than change the place? Why is it that all of the decisions in the past were based on what other people thought, or did, or didn’t do… why did others pave my path instead of myself? Weird. Seems it’s more common than not that we don’t actually choose which direction we go. Why not?

Why is it we are constantly trying to prove ourselves to people we don’t know or don’t like? Why do we try to do things that we know we don’t care for? Why do we work in places we hate, live in cities we can’t stand, and never ever dream? Weird.

Who is it that decided we would grow up and be a doctor, nurse, teacher, lawyer, game designer, architect? Did we decide it? Did we really choose? Or did we ‘take the advice’ of our parents, our teachers, our peers? Did we try something and fail and decide with only one failure to just give up? Did we decide we weren’t good enough? What a terrible loss! How did we decide to give power to others on how we live our own lives? Why didn’t we just do what we felt best? Why didn’t we get out our hatchets and carve our own path instead? Weird.

I love the word weird. I love being weird. I love creating my own life how I feel is best. I love the fear that comes with the unknown, the knowledge that if there’s a twinge of fear that it’s good, that I will be challenged. I can feel the fear, the excitement, physically. Now that I am learning to listen to myself, my own feelings, now that I am doing that I am beginning to use my body as a measure of which way to turn. If there is a crushing feeling in my chest, if I cannot breathe and my heart begins to break, then I know that is the wrong direction. If the fear is there, the anticipation, the opening of my lungs, the breathing deeply and enjoying the breath then I know that that is the better choice, the better path to follow. All of this time has been wasted listening only to my head, listening to the lies others have told me, and not listening to my heart. Weird.

Maybe we could all be a little more weird. Weird in our own individual ways. Maybe we can actually step up and into who we are meant to be. Maybe we can actually tell it like it is, speak truth in love and let others know how we feel. Maybe we have to start with ourselves. Maybe we need to learn to listen to our dreams, our own individual purpose. There is hope, there is peace but to get there you have to believe. Believe in yourself and trust in your power to accomplish more than you’ve ever knew possible. Let fear be your friend and your guide, who knows what’s on the other side of the bend? It may be a life that you love.

thanks for reading,

me

Life is for living

Live dangerously. Take chances. Dream. We all come into this world the same way. We all leave it the same way too. We are born and we die. We know how it begins and we know how it ends, why not make the middle more interesting? That’s the living part.

I’m tired of living vicariously through others. I want my own adventures, my own chances to fail. I want to live for the sake of living. It’s interesting, coming to the end of my school career. I’ll be a licensed pharmacist by this time next year. So what am I going to do with it? Who am I going to be? How do I want my life to look in ten years? five? three?

It’s easier to know what I don’t want than to know what I want. I don’t want where I’m at. I don’t want to get up, go to work, wish I was off, go home, go to sleep, and get up and do it all over again. I can hear my ‘friends’ saying, “but that’s what growing up is all about”. I can hear them saying, “get over it.” But I don’t care what they say. I don’t want that and so I am not going to put up with that either. I can hear them again, “you’ll learn” and totally discounting me, thinking I’m naive and that I just don’t know anything.

But I do know. I do know a lot. I’m not a kid, I’m in my 40s. I’m not naive, I have an incredible grasp of life. Maybe that’s the problem? Because I have such a grasp of life and because I understand how amazingly fragile it is, maybe that’s why I refuse to let it slip away unnoticed. I refuse to give up or give in. Not ever, never again.

I will not let my life go unnoticed. I will not let the days slip by without recognizing the love and the pain around me. I write. I write to save my memories and to remember my dreams. So what do I want in the next few years? Freedom, peace, adventure, love. I know something others around me don’t realize. I know that people do live lives they love. I’ve met them and I want to be like them. I’m not saying I don’t love my life now, I’m saying that I am not content to let it be this way forever. I am content that today I will go to work to learn and that I will be challenged and tired. I am happy to do that today. Even tomorrow and so on for weeks, months, maybe even years. What I am not content to do is allow my work life to be my only life. I will play and I will live.

thank you for reading,

me