Thursday, December 30, 2010

Aim high - perfection

Every night as I go through my bedtime preparations, I tell myself that tomorrow morning I am, for real, going to do the following things...

- go to the gym and exercise like a obsessed, calorie-counting dieter
- possess a positive attitude
- move forward with my own work and business plan
- eat a salad for lunch and stop with the cookies and chocolate
- write in my blog

And every day time goes by and I do none of the above and I scold myself for being lazy or side-tracked or tired...until I get ready for bed again and make a whole new set of promises to myself, including a simple entry in this blog.  I've written so many blog postings in my head - beautiful prose about the morning awash in salmon colored hues; or personal realizations about addiction, or a clarity presented in therapy, or the anger I still feel toward my love. But I do nothing; I write nothing.

I just freeze. My thoughts don't stop but my actions come to a screeching halt. This has happened all my life and I'm better now but I have plenty of room for improvement.

Okay, so I'm not perfect.

Yet.

Friday, December 17, 2010

time passes, wounds begin to heal

Wow, I didn't realize how quickly time passes when you are completely immersed in unhappiness. It was almost a month between my last two posts. What I have discovered about myself is that when life becomes too difficult, I can no longer write. The pain is too raw and it hurts too much to put that sorrow into words.  Instead I just focus on work and distract myself with family matters and move forward until I come into a space that I can manage.

I went to see Dr. B last night.  We spoke of my love and his daughter and why their relationship (or lack of) affects me so deeply, and it does. Fills me with immense sadness and anger and I am powerless to make a difference just as I was as a teenager in my own life. She impressed upon me her belief that it is always the parent's place to make ammends or reach out or do whatever is necessary to repair the relationship -- no matter what the child's age. It didn't happen for me. My father dumped me at 13 and never looked back. Now he's lost his marbles and is at last in an assisted living facility for alzheimers patients where he will live out his days. I guess he will never have the opportunity to explain to me why he turned his back on me with such unwavering hostility. But I think I know and I think back in the early fall, his addled mind confirmed my beliefs.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

much has transpired

After all my weeping and misery, life has calmed down. Specifically, with caution and a healthy dose of trepidation, my love and I are attempting to ... I'm not sure what. I would like to say move toward a relationship again and I believe that's what is going on but...

I've been distracted with enough freelance work to keep me financially afloat and have dreams again. I've been earnestly nurturing friendships and trying to develop a life for myself that extends beyond my bedroom and office at home. It isn't easy when you've spent decades basically being alone or connected only to that one man in your life and your children.

Seeing my love again for very short periods has certainly worked to calm my soul. But it hasn't eliminated my loneliness or desire for him. He's so miserable it hurts. His job totalled him, like a car wreck. I can't help him but to listen and try with all my might not to be judgemental.

It is now the dreaded holiday season and it has dumped some gloom into my heart. I swore I wasn't getting a tree but I did - a sweet squat one that smells wonderful. I guess I'm entitled to change my mind.

I struggle every day to stay positive.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

begging again

Why the fuck am I begging again?

Please tell me...what is wrong with me.

He doesn't give a fuck so why do I  keep trying.

What am I holding on to?

NOTHING.  It's that simple. nothing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

my morning..

I broke down and called him this morning and then like the pathetic fool I am, I cried while leaving a message. He didn't answer but, of course, he wouldn't. He probably doesn't want to speak to me because I will be a downer and he has enough unhappy people clutching on to him.  Just add me to the clump of needy assholes.

On my drive into work I reprimanded myself for being so pitiful and weak. I know it's harsh but if I feel sorry for myself, I will cry and cry and cry some more. And I do behave like a fool believing in the power of love and commitment. I got tossed aside and had no say in the matter at all.  It wasn't like we were on the verge of a breakup. He has weighty issues he's dealing with but as he said, it was him and not me.  So why do I suffer?  Why did I get left?

Because I am compassionate and loving and I thought I was doing the right thing by him -- the man that I love.  But it is turning into the dead wrong thing for me.

Oh, I don't want to believe that. I want to believe that our love meant something to him and he will not leave me curbside. It reminds me of the photo of myself as a despondent teen sitting on the curb at the bottom of my hill in overalls and beat-up construction boots.

Live update - he just texted me. He's teaching, he received my weepy (my words) message and will call me when he's done. Now I can have more anxiety.

I have to get a grip on the situation soon before it tears me up into little pieces of nothing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

jb

Ha!  This is so funny.  As I just published my last post, I noticed that the username associated with the post are the initials "jb."  I believed back when I started this blog that I would marry my love...hence his initial and not mine.  One day I'll fix that or maybe just apply a different word to that initial...bad-ass girl.

what happened to the man I love?

I hate to belabour the heartache I am experiencing but damn it, it fucking hurts me. I want to email him and tell him how much his actions are causing me distress and anguish. But I don't need any more rejection or dejection or just plainly being ignored. But DAMN IT, I hurt!!! I sit here and cry and regroup and cry again. My stomach aches with an empty nausea.

I just don't understand how you claim to love someone with extraordinary instensity and depth and treat them like this.  Treat me like this...

I am supposed to understand that under these circumstances, it is okay for him to crush me...maybe if he hated me...

It's not okay...even if you're losing your manhood, it's just not okay to treat someone you love and care about this way. It's cruel and heartless and it isn't coming from the man I knew and loved. What the hell happened to him?  That makes me cry as well...

sadness

There's a blanket of gloom draped over me these days. It's just not fair. For the first time in three decades, my children aren't making me nuts; my work life is improving, and I have friends. But none of that seems to pull me up out of this dark mood of sadness and dejection I am feeling because of my love.

Our relationship has truly cast a shadow of woefulness over my life and left me with a very heavy heart. I email; he doesn't respond. I call; he gets frustrated and angry with me for asking questions he's already answered. I do nothing and he responds in kind.

And to make matters worse, I miss him every single moment of my life. It's so dispiriting.

I'll try not to cry today.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

what's wrong with me?

I hung up the phone and swore I wasn't going to cry. I paced up and down my hall, repeating aloud and with force, "I don't need him." "I don't want him." Over and over and over again I blurted out the words with manic vehemence. My emotions were flooded with hurt and anger and I was fighting back tears. "I am not crying over him any more." "I don't need him." And I don't want to want him or need him. I don't need him. I don't. My dog ran into my bedroom not wanting any part of my hysteria.

I walked into my room and burst into tears. "No more tears," I swore. My voice faded to a wimper, "please, no more tears." I laid down on my bed and sobbed. How can it still hurt so much?

I'm pathetic and weak.

Why can't I stop wanting him? What's wrong with me?

I don't know

I don't know what direction I'm going.
I don't know what I want.
I don't know if I want a relationship with you or not.
I don't know what's going to happen.
I don't want you to disappear from my life.
I don't want you in my life.
I don't want to not have you in my life.
I don't know where I'm headed.
I have hope that I may decide that I want you in my life.
Buy maybe I'll decide that I don't want you.

I should learn my lessons, let go, and move on. I tried. I still try. Maybe it's time to stop. He doesn't want me but he doesn't want to let go. Where does that leave me? It leaves me face down in the shit. My stomach is sick. My heart is sick. My  mind is sick.

Sick and tired of feeling hurt. He lost his manhood. I think it might be true. He's not the man I knew and fell madly in love with. Maybe that's good. Hopefully he will find himself and share that man with me one day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ick...

Ick.

Can you imagine that my older brother poisoned his neighbor's dog because its barking was annoying. I get it that constant barking can be annoying but killing the pet?  Not unlike dear old dad killing our dog because it pooped on the neighbor's porch and they complained. I don't believe my brother would have enough hatred and anger in him now to do that. He's mellowed with age, I hope.

I feel like ick today. My financial situation is stressing me out. My daugher isn't moving yet and that knowledge has only increased my aggitation and stress. Loneliness might have been a scary thought but now I long for the peace.  Why is the grass always greener over there?

I though about making love to ... I don't know what to call him anymore. I sent him a text earlier - beautiful morning for making love. It was probably inappropriate and did bad things to him if he even read it.

It's the weekend and the anxiety has kicked up. There is no day in the week that I enjoy anymore.

Ick.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm sinking

It's as though my insides have sunk into a suffocating abyss of mourning while my heart has tumbled into a puddle of acrid bile lying in the pit of my stomach. My shoulders are hunched over in sadness. My legs are almost too weak to drag me into work. If only my love could look inside me and see what his indecisiveness and inability to commit have caused..

Oh, I know he means no harm - this, he will tell me, is just him trying desperately to take care of himself. I tried to explain it to a friend of mine but she didn't budge in either understanding or forgiveness. I just shrugged - I don't expect her to understand; she's never experienced a relationship or a love like ours. I just don't know what's better -- a passionate intense love that can't be or a loveless, passionless marriage. Neither are very satisfying or joyful.

He emailed me yesterday that his love for me was amazing. I asked why and he replied with this, "just about everything I can imagine makes it amazing...... my every thought...expression.... dream.... fantasy..... tear......smile..... cry...... ache..... scream....laugh....sigh....orgasm....movement...... makes it amazing.......it just  is."

I cried. It just doesn't make sense to me.

I can't give up yet.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

oh jeez...

I feel like I am going to explode. I can barely contain my emotions and I've been having all these flashbacks from my teenage years. It's disconcerting. I need some movement in my life; to break through. Everything feels to be on hold and I have no patience left for living life in a holding pattern.

I know that much of this feeling is attributed to that man who once was the love of my life and maybe still is but I just don't know. When I think about dating, I cringe. When I think about making love to another man, I shudder. It's just not an appealing thought. But I want a lover and a companion. Please find your way back to me, my love. I can't wait forever...maybe I can't wait another minute. Maybe I'll explode before your eyes and there will be nothing left except a quivering mass of flesh and bones.

It's up to me and I need to make some decisions. Just a few short weeks ago I thought life was moving along in such a positive direction. How quickly our perceptions of what's to come can change. One minute I'm relaxing on the rug dreaming about my future; in the next minute, it's jerked out from under me and I crash onto the concrete flooring. Ouch! Not only are my knees scraped and bleeding, but my brain is bruised and my love squandered. No, we can't take anything or anyone for granted.

I was thinking about Camp Bluefields and how terrified I used to be going through the tunnels in the blackness of night, stoned and intoxicated. It gives me heart palpitations. I looked it up on the internet and read about the suicides and murders and ghosts and goblins and giant spiders and evil entities that thrive in those tunnels. Creepy, then and now.

I stole this photo from opacity.us. Thank you.

they are not just words

Lonely, sad, depressed, hurt, exhausted, numb - these words have described my life for way too long.

I need new a narrative with adjectives that sound like joy, fulfillment, excitement, motivation, inspiration and love in its purest essence.

Minimize pain, limit the sorrow, and turn my focus toward what's beautiful in life and not what drains my vitality.

How does exuberance sound?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

friendship is a blessing!

This past week has been upsetting and when I can't cope, I can't sleep. So, it's also been exhausting. I had plans for my two friends to come over for lunch on Saturday and of course, I didn't clean or grocery shop or prepare so when I awoke that morning to drive my son to work, I started preparations for the lunch. By the way, my son had an accident in his father's truck mid-week. He suffered only minor injuries; but I can't say the same for the truck. It was an unpleasant emotional encounter with his father.

Back to friendship...it was just what I needed. We spent nine hours eating, talking, laughing. It was like a maraton therapy session for all three of us. It was powerful and intimate and humorous and exhausting and teary and beautiful. And I managed to accompany it with a four course meal (with their help) that was extraordinary. And there was no alcohol consumed! I fell into bed at 11:30 last night and slept soundly until 7:30 this morning when the dog woke me up for his morning walk.

After such an emotional week, yesterday was a godsend.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

I'm scared

I am scared to live alone. I have spent more than half my life living with my children and now they will all be gone. I don't have a husband and I don't really have a lover anymore...maybe he'll come back. So when my daughter departs next week, it's me and the dog and cats and all responsibility falls on me. Oh, but that's not really new.

Why does living alone frighten me? It stems from way back when I was a child. I remember having nightmares (6-7 years old?) of indians coming into our house and slaughtering everyone except me. I hid under the bed terrified and heard the screams and saw the puddles of blood seeping across the floor. I dreamed this nightmare over and over again for years and years.

Flash forward to my 20s with two young children and the nightmare became a nightmarish daydream where the world would come to an end - nuclear attack, tsunami -- you name it, and only I would survive with my children and have to contend with survival all alone.

It's the aloneness that freaks me out, which is so strange because in so many respects I've always been alone. Phew... Now, I worry about attacks of vertigo and falling into an unconsciousness state on my hall floor, lying in my puke, with no one there to rescue me. But that was months ago. Or having my back so severely spasming that I can't move or get out of bed. But more than any of those neurotic fears, it is worrisome to me that I just might turn inward and isolate myself from the world. That would be a bad thing for me to do. I have always had my children to force me to stay involved in the world - now it's just up to me.

Dr. B said to ask my children and my sister and a friend to each call me once a week on different days to make sure I'm okay. I don't know that I can do that. She told me she tells all her clients that live alone to do that - it just makes sense. Okay, I'll think about it.

I'm not alone yet.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I gave myself a hug tonight

Something wonderful happened to me at Dr. B's tonight. We spent most of the session discussing the empty nest that will soon be my home (I haven't lived alone for almost 30 years), the loneliness, the ironic timing of my love's rejection of me, my finances, the hurt and anger that erupted...and my dream about dead pussywillows and my love turning into my ex.

Disappointment, she said. Yes, I agreed, disappointment was another major theme in my life. As the conversation progressed, I developed a stabbing pain in my back - felt like a knife stuck up under my right side of my rib cage. It almost doubled me over in pain.

Dr. B quickly came to the rescue. Actually I came to my own rescue with Dr. B's guidance. She watched me shift positions and grimace. What's going on? What are you feeling? I told her. She asked me what part of my body felt neutral. I couldn't really feel much except for the pain in my back. Finally I was able to focus in on my feet. They felt neutral and she asked if I was able to turn all my attention and energy toward my neutral feet. I did. She asked what else was going on in my body and told about this energy movement that was rippling down the side of my torso - both sides, emanating from my neck, just below my ears, and radiating down my sides. She asked if it was warm. It wasn't. It wasn't cold either, just neutral.

I paid attention to the rippling and its travels. It looped around to my front nestling into my solar plexus and immediately warmed up. The knife came out and the pain subsided. Dr. B smiled.

You have the power to alter your own physiological state. Now I smiled. I do. And I have the power to encircle myself with a warm, comforting hug. My homework, Dr. B said, is to practice this changing physiology every day -- give it a name, like SE Grounding, she suggested. I have to think of something a little more appealing.

And I have homework that deals with my love. Maybe I will need a new name for him too. I have to consider if this is the right thing to do as he's extremely stressed and unhappy. I don't want to add to this although what she asked me to do should help not harm. Again, it's all in how he takes it in and right now he may not be taking anything, no matter how caring, from me in a positive way.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

irony lives on

Life can be so heartless sometimes. I have a refrigerator in my apartment that is an energy hog, the shelves are broken and held together with duck tape, etc. I've been wanting a new fridge for a long time but it's not in my financial realm and hasn't been. Two weeks ago my brother-in-law was renovating an apartment in the city and asked if I wanted their old refigerator. Yes, it's old but in good condition. Sure, I said and he dropped it off last Thursday.

I came home Friday and there sitting in the middle of my dining room was the appliance with detached doors leaning against the wall. I immediately felt overwhelmed. I started the cleaning and purifying process leaving the door assemblies until Saturday.

Shortly after I brought out the buckets and the bleach my love showed up. He said he had wanted to see me but gave me no idea why. I thought he just wanted to see me. I spent too much of my life waiting for the axe to fall -anticipating the very worse from him; but not this time. I didn't think anything negative at all and I didn't see it flying at me like a raging bull ready to pierce my unguarded heart. My mistake! He came over to tell me he couldn't live with me and wanted a hiatus. To say I was devastated is an understatement. Angry, sad, hurt, and yes, devastated.

Truthfully, I was replacing the refrigerator because I wanted something a little more decent for when he moved in, if that is where we decided to stay. Don't misunderstand me, I wanted a better refrigerator but our future gave me the impetus to forge forward and find a replacement.

How ironic that the same day I am working toward joining our lives together; he set out to separate them. And I didn't see it coming. I knew he wasn't right but I didn't know I was the cause. We had what I thought was a lovely day last Saturday - intimate and emotional and caring. He felt the same or so he said. But I don't know anymore what words from him are true.

I laid in bed this morning with this anxious bruise in the pit of my gut and I couldn't move. I laid on my side and cried, my stomach churning. What am I going to do? I thought life was moving in a favorable direction and then this bomb gets dropped on me. I tried so hard to do the right thing - asking, reassuring him that I wasn't trying to put pressure but still he lied to me. He didn't have to; I would have understood.

I will keep seeking my peace of mind and find a place where I can live in harmony with all my emotions. Oh yeah, and my daughter found an apartment so she will be moving out this month. That leaves me, myself, and I. How will that be?

I have many unanswered questions lying ahead of me. It will be interesting at the very least and hopefully have no more trauma.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

mature response? I think not.

An intensely emotional conversation with my love left me with a strong desire to escape my reality. Predictable but unfortunate, my reaction was a little less than adult and so I indulged in a bottle of gin and some marijuana. I felt nothing but intoxicated and high. It had been at least a decade since I smoked pot; the last time being with my love. My thoughts scattered and I was able to leave the remnants of an upsetting conversation in some inaccessible fold of my mind for a short time. It worked until about 5 this morning when I rolled over half-asleep and realized that my love is no longer.

I don't understand how I could have gotten myself into an unbalanced, emotionally agonizing relationship. But I did and for just about two decades. I thought we loved one another; oh, but we do, but it just doesn't cure the ills that haven strickened our love. He made so many promises to me, and professed a deep love for me many many times. He promised a long and loving future with me.

Last night all that changed. Now we are in a relationship "on hiatus" but it's my choice, I suppose, whether I choose to remain in a holding pattern or move on. It's not an easy decision when love is involved. He doesn't want to ask me to wait and fill me with false promises; yet, he told me that, "Yes, 'on hold' does give the illusion of hope and I do have hope." I said that is still stringing me along and is that 'hope' real or is he just waiting until he can handle a permanent severing of us. He said that was not what he was doing.

I do believe him. I do think that somewhere inside he has convinced himself that there is hope but I'm not sure that means anything in my reality. I have some processing and a few major decisions to weigh. Plus his lies have left me in a bit of a financial pickle, which he offered to help with me and which I declined.

I don't know why I trust men. I just get screwed again and again.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I misspoke

I made a mistake. The "nothings" I referred to in my previous post is an unfair . We grew up to be survivors and undoubtedly overcame extreme odds. Some have died and some have had sadder outcomes than others. I think I was an exception in some respects - I didn't fall by the wayside and become a neglectful, irresponsible parent or a drug addict or alcoholic. And I haven't let cancer kill me yet.

But I've had more than my fair share of failings -- two horrible abusive marriages and a 20 year relationship that has been as unsatisfying and hurtful as it has been beautiful and loving. At least I have had some beauty and love.

I do deserve better in my life and I suppose only I can provide that. I better stop looking for better elsewhere and continue to look inward for my happiness.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Facebook may be harmful to healing...

I am on Facebook, rather reluctantly; but it seemed to be the thing to do in my family to stay in touch with all those relatives residing everywhere. Although I don't really stay in touch nor do I share much of anything about myself except for an occasional political cause posting or video that amused me. It's rare, however.  But I read about what everyone in the extended famly is doing - trips, school, jobs -- seemingly wonderful goings-on and clever comments that leave me feeling completely inadequate and inferior.  It's all in my head.


Add to that the connections with friends from high school. It just clarifies in my mind how absolutely consumed I was with self-loathing, anger and destructive behaviors. I read one old friend's profile after another and I think, no wonder I wound up with the friends I had - the abandoned teenagers of single, distracted, or abusive parents.  And we all grew up to be nothings so-to-speak.  I separated from the friends who grew up with some measure of success and happiness and drew my life into the folds of the fucked-up.  It just kills me inside because I could have done so much better in my life. 

That is why, I am sure, I dream about beating up someone, who was once my dearest teenage friend, into bloody pulp on a bathroom floor.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

dreaming...

I had another dream last night, one that I could recall.  I was awoken from a sound sleep (in my dream) by my love. He snuck into my room and surprised me with a beautifuly, brightly wrapped bouquet of flowers..or so I thought. He was grinning and hiding something behind his back when he woke me up. I was frightened at first but instantly pleased when I realized it was him.  He pulled the wrapped flowers out from behind his back and handed them to me.  I was elated - I love flowers. I unwrapped them and instead of flowers, there were two branches of pussy willows - only they were in that dormant, dead-like state because it was winter. I was a little taken aback but I saw how happy my love was when he presented them to me so I smiled and thanked him. I felt good even though I didn't understand the gift.

A while later I was going on a short trip with my love.  We were lost and stopped at this rest stop house to get directions.  We both went inside and into a private room where my love flopped down on a sofa to rest. I jumped on him, straddling his legs, and kissed him hard on the mouth. I was so excited and told him I just was so over the top with joy that we were going someplace where I could spend the night with him. I kept telling him how happy I was.

Suddenly this horse appeared in the room - a beautiful, dark stallion that stood over us and the couch in such a way that I could no longer see my love.  The horse's rear was blocking my view. I kept shouting to move the horse and when my love finally did, I looked over and it was no longer him but my abusive first ex-husband. I screamed and jumped up and told him to get out.  He was just smiling and telling me he had all these plans to get rich - he was going to resell wine and all kinds of crap.

I told him no fucking way; get away from me and then I ran outside and down to a concrete outhouse structure where I locked myself inside.  I was crying and I didn't understand what was happening.  I could hear little children outside the building playing. My ex's sister came down and  tried to calm me down from outside the locked door telling me that she knew that I still loved him and I should just accept my fate.  I told her to get away from me and take him with her.  She told me it was the wrong thing to do but she left quietly with the bastard.


And then I woke up.  I wasn't upset but I did feel strangely quiet inside.  Lots of symbolism, I'm sure. I have to give it some thought now.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

depression

I think I might be getting depressed.  I cry all the time over everything - over my life and everyone elses in the world. Maybe menopause, I don't know.  Maybe menopause just intensifies everything. I think it makes me extremely agitated and boiling hot. Unpleasant.

I look in the mirror and I see someone ugly and wasted. So I try not to look.

I'm angry but I keep saying that. I guess it's true...sad and angry. Now, depressed and worthless can be added. Oh gosh, I've made myself tear up.  I'm going to take a nap, right here, right now, at my desk.  When all else fails, escape through sleep. It won't last long.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

something to live by?

Heal the sick; cleanse the lepers; raise the dead; cast out demons
I see this sign every morning after leaving the gym.  Today I thought to myself, hmmm, maybe I should heed those words and lose weight and cure my physical aches and pains; cleanse my soul of all the poison ingested; meditate and talk to my spirit helpers, and get rid of those evil demons that have haunted me all my life.  Yeah, it sounds good.

I went to see Dr. B last night and we discussed my weekend trip. Mostly I spoke of my father - my father who is not "gone" but alive and well and talking jibberish that has secret meanings. I can see it in his eyes...he knows.  And somewhere I know.  It's no longer safe though.

I'm angry. I came home fuming and ready to rip off heads, especially heads of men. And I came home angry at my father's wife for being so utterly cold and heartless to my father.  But why? I hate my father. Dr. B said that although I hate my father for my own history with him, I have human compassion for his suffering now. 

When I look at her (his wife) and feel her hatred and listen to her condescending prattle about all the pathetic things my father now does, I want to slap her.  She didn't have to stay with him for 35+ years. I'm certain he preyed upon her youth and innocence and at one time it all felt good to her. But then he got old and crotchety and abusive and hostile.  He was always abusive and he was always mean-spirited but I guess that was something she could relate to.  My point? She didn't have to stay with an abusive, hateful man -- she eventually grew up and could have left. She chose to stay; however, and isolate herself from all the world except her son. She never worked but was life really good?  I don't think so.

My siblings and I?  We had no choice - he was our father. He was around when we were growing up, being abusive and hateful and traumatizing to all of us. We took it as best we were able but the first opportunity we had, we fled. The rest has been written about. He was a bastard and when his wife wishes he would die already, part of me agrees but the other side gets angry at her for being so insensitive and cold -- for expressing these feelings in front of me, his daughter.

I say nothing but carry the pain home with me and into the office of Dr. B. I have a splitting headache and have since Monday.

I'm angry.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I survived

I handled myself better this trip than I ever have in the past and on Sunday morning I was pleased with my success.  But tonight I'm pooped - up at 4:30 a.m., work all day, and now I'm trying to unwind so that I can get a healthy night's sleep.  I haven't all weekend.  I want to write about the last three days and hopefully I will tomorrow.  I feel upset and disturbed by all that I witnessed.

I will tell you this - my father's mind was not yet gone. He spoke; he ate; he walked and emoted and drove his wife nuts.  She wishes him dead and makes no bones about it. It is no secret and she does not keep those thoughts to herself. She must figure we hate him too.  Do we? Yes I do, and no, I don't.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I shouldn't be surprised...

I woke up this morning with a completely bloody and gooky right eyeball. I was troubled - I have had normal looking eyes for at least two months. My dismay was to be expected, I suppose.  I am, after all, going to visit three people in my life; three people who have caused me extreme distress over the course of my entire lifetime.  And I'm doing it in three days. A whirlwind tour of misery.

Add to that my anxiety over flying and the possibility of a major storm hitting the area this evening just at take-off.  Please nor-easter, stay away until after I lift off and rise above the dark storm clouds and threatening winds.

My mom - she's aging quickly and nuttier than ever; my dad - no mind left; my son - well, he's trying but he just... well, I am just not healed yet and neither is he but at least he's trying.

Good luck. Have a safe flight.

By the way, I have been seeing 333 again, which adds up to 9, which apparently is a great Feng Shui number. The number 9 signifies the fullness of heaven and earth. Maybe something good is heading my way.

Friday, October 08, 2010

the saga is over

My dentist, as she scraped away the final remnants of glue from my newly installed bridge, smiled at me and said, "the saga is finally over." 

Wow - I had thought this before when I had new crowns put on two years ago. It hadn't yet become a saga but the past year certainly catapulted me into the 'saga' category.  I'm not sure how I feel...my mouth is still numb from the novacaine. I don't know if they even look like my teeth because truthfully I have no idea what my original teeth looked like. It's strange because they are my front teeth and your front teeth can alter the entire appearance of your face. 

Who have I become?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

anxiety levels are skyrocketing

And I'm not sure why. Last night's sleep was distressing. I don't believe I slept for more than one hour at a time. Major anxiety kept waking me up.  I don't know what it is; actually, I do - the uncertainty of my future.

I don't know how I will manage financially although I'm okay for right now; I don't where I'll be living in a few months; my children trouble me; my upcoming visit to the family puts me ill at ease; the struggles with my love; and then there's my weight; my computer troubles, my car repairs...it goes on and on.

I've been super sensitive to death and dying. It's everywhere and it's disturbing. Some of it is nature but even that makes me cry. Don't sit me in front of a television to watch the story of how certain hawks work together to snag a hare. I had to switch the channel and yet at night I tune my attention to Criminal Minds before going to sleep and the last imagery I have is of some form of serial torture and murder. I get enough from the news.

Hmmm. Perhaps no more television just before bed. It certainly doesn't relax me. I haven't been able to read either. I need to check out the books I've chosen and gravitate toward something a little less depressing and more uplifting. I'm not in the mood for cheery - nothing is cheery in the world today.

Is it my mood that brings to me all things depressing or is it the depressing things I take in in one form or another that saturates my mood.  The chicken or the egg???

I've been a nasty bitch lately.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

my dad

I was remembering my father last night and this morning.  Remembering how much I loathed his very existence and how he disgusted me. And then I remembered how talented and creative he was and how everyone, with the exception of moi, loved him. And many feared him as well - his raging tempers and alcohol-fueled cruelty and abuse. He was such a harmful man. His wife hates him, I'm sure.

I heard from my sister-in-law that he is done being alive. Oh, he's still breathing but he has given up on all those things that keep us human. I don't really know what that means - he can't care for himself and he can't talk and he can't walk. Is his mind completely eradicated by Alzheimers?

I'm a little afraid to see him. I know it will be emotional and it will be the end. There will be a finality to any hope of ever learning the truth from him, or forcing an apology (for I don't think it would ever come about willingly) or even procure a denial of his abuse.  There will be nothing ever again. He's gone, I believe, and with that any further confirmation or collateral  or confrontation by me of his abusive behavior toward me.

Maybe I'm lucky and maybe that's why I waited this long to do my healing work. This way I can forgive without ever looking into the eyes of the bastard that hurt me so.  The eyes that exist now in he who once was my father are vacant.  I'll know for sure when I look into them next week.

It doesn't sit well.

Monday, October 04, 2010

my purse is safe - at long last

I realized this morning that I didn't need to hide my purse anymore.  For the last 20 years I have never left my wallet or purse or car keys or credit cards or checks out in the open, especially if I wasn't home. Both my sons have stolen from me for drugs, mostly.

I don't have to hide anything anymore. I can leave anything out and not worry about its whereabout in the morning. It suddenly occurred me how very stressful living has been for me on so many levels. Oh my, it makes me cry.  I believe both my sons have grown up and are trustworthy but I can tell you, drug addiction is deadly to relationships, to life. 

I breathe a huge sigh of relief. I don't know how I survived.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

emotions are quiet at the moment

After a flurry of pleading, pathetic emails to my love, he finally responded with a phone call yesterday morning. It was a promising conversation; he was contrite and loving. He made no promises. I asked him if he believed there was a reason for me to hang on. He answered as he always does - I think if you... I said not me, you...tell me if YOU believe there's a reason, and he said yes. I asked if there was a reason for me to have hope. Yes, he told me. I want to believe. I am cautiously optimistic and yes, today I felt better emotionally. My loved called this morning to tell me he loves me and is really going to work at treating me with more respect and caring. Again, I hope so.

On another note, I heard today that my father has deteriorated. He can no longer dress himself or feed himself or go to the bathroom or speak. I will be heading south to see him in two weeks. I'm not sure how I will manage when I see him.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

it wasn't a slip of the tongue

She referred to me as her typist again.  This time she was talking to a board member and I walked in -- "oh, I really need to go, my typist is here."  Fuck her. My insides roiled with anger but I said nothing. When she finally hung up we carried on but I was seething inside. I wouldn't speak. I offered no opinions, no corrections, no help. Oh, I know it's a very immature way of handling things but I was already so upset over my love, I just couldn't instigate a confrontation. I was afraid I would lose my perfect composure.

At least she didn't call me a "sex-retary."  Maybe that's only for men to use.

it came back

That chronic ache in my gut in the middle of the night. It hasn't visited me in many months but last night it returned with a vengeance and it was ugly...my digestive tract. No details are needed - if you've ever suffered from extreme anxiousness and unhappiness, you know what a dysfunctional gut is all about.

I couldn't sleep (not new). I was crying inside over my love and tossing and turning. Every now and then I would have a bout of acute trepidation and startle myself awake. What would life be without my love? Probably not very different as he isn't here anyway...but he is somewhere with me. I wrote him an email at 2:20 a.m. and tried to go close my eyes. That's when the next "it came back" came back.

I had hallucinations behind closed eyes. Maybe that's not the correct word used to describe what I visualized but that's how it appeared to me. It used to happen to me often in times of peak anxiety. I don't enjoy it and I don't like what it signifies in my life.

I guess this stress that is bearing down on me (over my love mostly) is taking more of a toll than I care to admit.

I can't go back. I have to focus on my wellbeing. It's upsetting enough to spend my days exercising my aching, arthritic hands. Hey, I'm not even close to 90!

Friday, October 01, 2010

broken record

Here I go again...crying the blues, spewing the same old vitriolic bullshit that overtakes my emotions every time my frustration and hurt levels come to a boil. The unfortunate thing that I hate to admit is that it will die down once he smooths things over with me. Although I don't know for sure that he will, I imagine [hope] he will and I will melt and all will be forgiven...until next time.  And each time it strips another little piece of my soul away.

So why do I do this to myself? Why can't I stand up to this man who treats me poorly more often than not these days.  What is this power he wields over me?

He sent me an email tonight and told me that he is deeply connected to me (in his marrow) and at the same time, I produce such extreme levels of anxiety in him that he can't be around me or even speak to me anymore. He got sucked into my life because he is a caretaker - it was a distraction from dealing with his own issues.  This I have always known and it hasn't just been me.  Up until the last 6-7 years or so, there had always been a cache of several other needy women waiting in the wings for his care. It made me nuts. I remember telling him once that he only loved me so he could fix me.  Strangely enough, I think it was a familar feeling - people invested in my fucked-upness -- so they could care for me and fix me. No one ever just wanted to love me for me.

Now, how sad is that?

Maybe if I had been loved for the goodness in me, I would lived life differently. But I can't blame others for my own undoing.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

shades of gray

According to the Wall Street Journal:

People who see the world in shades of gray tend to:
Procrastinate or avoid making decisions if possible
Feel more regret after making decisions
Be thoughtful about making the right choice
Stay longer in unhappy relationships
Appreciate multiple points of view

People who see the world as black and white tend to:
Speak their mind or make quick decisions
Be more predictable in making decisions (e.g. who they vote for)
Be less anxious about making wrong choices
Have relationship conflicts that are less drawn out
Be less like to consider others’ points of views

The world is definitely shades of gray for me.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

she called me a TYPIST

and I have to tell you, I was hurt. Is that really all she thinks I do for her? Type? She was talking with her sister and fortunately (for her) while she continued her conversation, I was able to regroup and not rip her head off. I drive to her non-profit organization and help her after my work day ends. We work on grants and yes, I do type but I also write and brainstorm and exhibit extreme patience in dealing with her ADD.

She called me a typist. She pays me well for being a typist - I guess I shouldn't complain. But I've spend my entire adult life feeling ashamed of being a secretary and in one simple sentence, she demoted me to a typist. She was having a bad day. Her brain wasn't working properly (according to her) and I have to agree.

Well, I'm going to chalk that up as a slip of the tongue.

losing my mind

or seeking a distraction? Last night I awoke at 2:22. I told myself I wasn't going to look over at the clock when I wake up and I didn't for one night but last night I noticed - 2:22. When I fell back to sleep I had a dream or many dreams and warnings and repetitions of this date - April 16, 2005. I googled that date to see if there was any significant world event - only a minor earthquake in California and the G7 conference in DC. I don't think either of those events affected me.  Then I wrote out the date - 04162005 and totalled them up to 18, divisible by 3 six times. I know I'm grasping at straws; what straws exactly I don't know.  Maybe I should look up 222 (because I have nothing better to do!).

Okay, a quick look up of 222 revealed the following:

The number 222 carries much significance in the world of numerology . Many positive characters are attached to it like Duality, Division, Polarity, Choice, Gestation, Cooperation, Service, Harmony, Support, Waiting, Diplomacy, Patience, Psychic, Intuition, Adaptable, Empathic, Partnership, Mediator, Comparison, Receptive, Helper, Collecting, Reproduction, Balancer of Opposites, Subconscious Memory, Positive and Negative.

The number 222 signifies that the person is on the right path and he/she will face fewer obstacles. This number shows that the person is doing the right work and the person is going in the right direction as well.

In Numerology 2+2+2= 6. 6 is also a very lucky number. In Numerology 2+2+2= 6. 6 is also a very lucky number. The number six's are very compassionate individuals and tend to be very sensitive to the needs and concerns of others. They are very balanced and truthful people. The number six's are very compassionate individuals and tend to be very sensitive to the needs and concerns of others. They are very balanced and truthful people.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When is it time to let go?

Flashback to a conversation a few months back when my daughter asked me, "when you love someone, don't you stick by them through the good and the bad times? I thought that was what love is." Yes, I told her, that is what you do when you love someone.

Now I am faced with a similar dilemma. I love someone who is going through a really difficult period and has shut me out of his life for months. I cry. I get angry. I plead for understanding and an explanation. He just doesn't feel good inside and rather than lean on me or let me care for him or help him, he shuts me out. I have seen him down and haven't given up on him or withdrawn my love. He's ashamed? embarrassed? sad? feeling like a failure? I still love him because I know the person he is beneath all the struggle and unhappiness.

What do I do? I don't want to care anymore. It doesn't help him and it only causes me distress and I swore off distress. But how do I stop caring about someone I love. Maybe I just live my life as though he doesn't exist and let life with or without him unfold. Funny thing about me, I have a hard time letting go, especially when I love that person. I never gave up on my children. I don't want to give up on my love.

I need a break.

I never thought it would happen to us

A decade ago I would have never envisioned my love and me in a sexless relationship but that is what has unfolded for us. Is it my fault? I believed that one of the positives of my therapy and trauma healing work would be the growth and healing of our relationship. And perhaps it was that in the beginning but no more.

Perhaps the bigger question is, "why do I stay in a relationship with a man who ignores me, won't spend any time with me or talk with me; who I would never be able to reach in an emergency, and who makes promise after promise which he never keeps?"  Am I so desperate for love that being treated with such little respect or visibility is acceptable? He used to love me and I felt it, every minute of every day but no more. He relinquishes a trickle of love every now and then.

What man texts the 'love of his life' a message, after many attempts on her part to contact him over the last two days, that basically reads -- I'm fine but emotional. I just needed to be alone for a while. Sorry to cause you distress. Geez. I guess I have no choice. This has been going on since the beginning of June...little or no friendship, support, love, sex, companionship, or conversation.

Am I being a fool or what?

No, please don't answer me; I will feel even more asinine.

Yes, I have plenty more healing work to do.  First, however, I must acknowledge that something is terribly wrong and I've been working on that. I just so much wanted my love to understand the turmoil and work with me to improve our situation. But alas, that's not quite happening.

Hope is dangling by a thread.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I still get depressed...

but maybe it's the times we live in and not my elusive and abusive history. I am in that phase again where I want to sleep all the time. It's not that my nights are as troubled as they had been in the past but by 8:30 I'm ready to crawl into bed and escape the day. In the earliest stages of sleep, panic still creeps in and awakens me with a racing heart and gasps for breath but I am able to quiet that fear (whatever it is), curl back up and close my eyes. And I've been dreaming like a mad woman and having mantra-like thoughts racing around in my mind. Last night it was the lyrics of Paul Simon's "50 ways to leave your lover" which disturbed me because I don't want to leave my lover. I was hurt though and I'm sure that helped conjure up my musical selection. But I would consciously stop the lyrical chanting in my head and say aloud, "But I don't want to leave my lover." It went on and on for the entire night although I never opened my eyes or sat up in bed.

Oh, but I did wake up and go to the bathroom at exactly 3:33 last night and the night before and two nights before that. That would be three of the last four nights that I arose from my bed at exactly 3:33. Is there a reason for this - are the heavenly flocks trying to reach out to me?  Heck, I don't know - maybe my internal clock is synched to something otherworldy - perhaps angels.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's a funny thing about fear...

You must not go in fear. You must not walk in the [spirit] world in fear. The time has come to be brave. If you are fearful, you are leaking your power.


It's a funny thing about fear...it grows like a mushroom in the dark.


Taken from "The Edge of Dreaming" - PBS Video

Am I fixed yet?

My healing has branched out in several directions (dealing with my career, my poverty, my relationships...). I no longer focus on the physical abuse of my first husband or the emotional abuse of my second. Oh, they still may come into my mind when triggered by a song or story but for the most part I have acknowledged the abuse, gotten angry, wept, and raged.

My teeth are almost complete and I am hoping that at that time I can put that abusive bastard to rest (and not in peace). There was a flare-up a few weeks ago when my son contacted his father but as predicted, his father let him down. For maybe the first time in my 29 year old son's life, I expressed my anger toward his father. No more coddling; afterall, he isn't a child anymore. My son was shocked at my anger and quite relieved, I think.

My youngest son is making things work with his father, for now. And that's been good for the two of us. We talk civily, even with caring and he is realizing that I wasn't so horrible of a mom nor was I that "fucking idiot" he was so fond of calling me.

My daughter is doing her work in therapy and it shows. We still get on each other's nerves but I think the cause of that tension is that she's still living with me at 27. Time to move on for us all.

That just leaves the sexual abuse. Who did it? When? I have pretty good ideas backed by many dreams and flashbacks. Have I really dealt with it? I don't really know. I have acknolwedged the abuse on some levels. I've certainly shed enough tears over it but I'm not sure about the anger part. Is there a specific amount of rage that needs to be expressed and if so, how do you measure it? And maybe I have raged enough but just can't remember. It's been a rough couple of years.

Maybe I wouldn't be able to alter my life's course the way I am if I hadn't adequately mourned all that I lost because of the abuse (physical and sexual) and abandonment issues. I'm worried, however, that I still exist in a place of partial denial.

But I'm not fixed yet. That's the bottom line and I'm steadfastly working to heal my wounds and move on in my life.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

this ain't freedom

Living my life is being hampered by the huge amounts of credit card and school loan debt I have incurred. I'm shackled to my poverty. I've worked so hard to remove the emotional chains that bound me and now I'm toiling to free myself from financial burdens. I move the debt around and around but it doesn't go away. The rub is that I accumulated all this debt because I wasn't okay. I didn't believe in my abilities to earn a decent living. I never finished school so my educational loans are not paying for themselves with a higher wage earning. I guess I still have work to do.

I spoke to Dr. B about my weight in therapy last night. Little did I know that she is also a certified personal trainer. Certified? I don't know what exactly that means - who certified her but she explained to me the proper way to do cardio and resistance. I was doing it all wrong. So now I will do 5-6 minutes of cardio warmup, resistance work on alternating muscle groups, followed by 30 minutes of cardio. I'll see if this actually makes a difference - all I know is that for the last year, I've been working out and nothing has really happened.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

my weight is probably killing me

Slowly it is stealing my life from me - every extra one pound on an arthritic joint is equivalent to 7 pounds so I am dumping some serious poundage on my poor aching joints. I looked at video from a summer event - they aren't many captures of me (thank goodness) but where there are show a very overweight middle aged woman. Shameful, seriously bad for my health...an extra 20 pounds on already voluptuous woman takes it over the top. I need to stop eating. I don't know how to stop eating.


I eat for comfort and ironically it does anything but comfort me. It makes me feel sick and disgusted with myself. I go to the gym three times a week but my workouts are slow because I lack energy. My healthy cells are being consumed by fat cells.

I just ate lunch and I'm full but already thinking about what's next to eat. Ugh!

I cleaned out my closet on Sunday and moved all my slacks into my new dresser.  I had, no exaggeration, 20 pairs of jeans in all sizes, and probably 12 or more pairs of regular slacks (in all sizes).  As my body weight fluctuates, I buy new. This is bad news - I spend money I don't have and chronic weight shifts are very unhealthy.

Time to be true to myself. Time to lose the weight and get healthy again.

Monday, September 20, 2010

333

I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned this but for at least the past year (maybe more) I have been noticing the numbers 333. Maybe I wake up in the morning at 3:33 or happen to glance at my odometer at 333 -- it's always somewhere, something.  I decided to google 333 and see what the numerical or spiritual implications are of having 333 so predominantl in your life.  Here's what I found at Riding the Beast:

Good and Evil both exist. If there is evil around you please feel comfort. 333 is a blessed number (The holy trinity). God must sense your discomfort or evil around you. He is trying to reasure you that he is by your side and watching you. Have faith and believe.
Mark, Luke and John - is "The Way", "The Truth" and "The Life).
The last two nights in particular were very trying - I couldn't sleep and when I did I had wild dreams about my childhood and people whose paths I have crossed at some point in my life...random people that I have never given thought to.  And both nights I happened to glance at the clock at exactly 3:33. This is not the first time either.

Do I need to become a Christian? I hope not. The website has some rather crazy sounding people posting their stories about 333...a little creepy.

the world is a reflection

I'm not sure what it is about reflections that fascinates me. Now that I no longer deny the suffering and joy of living, I look into life as reflected back to me through shadow and light. It lends intricacy and beauty to the simplest of images. 

I have noticed of late that I walk around noticing reflections everywhere - in windows, doors, puddles, eyes, glasses, car mirrors, hubcabs. Life is reflected back to us everywhere we look.

Not a great fan of mirrors, however. They reflect back to me the hardship of my life - in the wrinkled skin, and the scars and the bloodshot swollen eyes.They never let me forget the years of binge eating and starving. I try to be very introspective about the whole aging process and accept it gracefully. Some days I peer into the mirror and I see beautiful me, wrinkles and all.  Other days I have to turn out the light and leave.  Too much for me to see the effects of a traumatic life. But it is my life and I need to embrace it. I am who I am because of all that I lived. No place for regrets anymore.

When I look deeply into the eyes of my lover, I see my sadness. He's a witness and his eyes reflect my hurt as if he experienced them himself. It's haunting and disturbing. Some days his eyes makes me angry; other days they make me cry. Oh, he carries his own but that sorrow is reflected in downcast eyes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

me and my shadow

Some days the aloneness that is my life gets the better of me and I fall into this mood of overbearing loneliness. I reconnected briefly with my love yesterday afternoon and of course, today I miss him terribly. It's the downside of the occasional visit.

But I survived the day and now evening is approaching. I just took a bath to unwind from a nothing sort of day and I'm going to put my pajamas on. Sometimes I just feel so pathetic. I should be heading out to party and dance the night away. Tomorrow, however, I will socialize at my neighbor's party.

Today it was just me and my shadow (and my dog, of course).

Phew.

Friday, September 17, 2010

updates

I'm in the final stretches of getting my new front teeth installed.  Yesterday I went for a metal rim fitting (or whatever they call it). It rocked just a tad so my dentist pulled it apart, refit it, glued it back together and sent it with me to John (the tooth maker) for resoldering.  I also had a photo taken so he could match the color gradations in my real teeth.  It's been 9 1/2 months since I began this procedure. It's been at least two years since my front tooth fell out and cracked decades after its initial installment.  All this recent tooth trauma reignited this nightmare called my life and the ensuing healing. It's been a battle.

The good news - I haven't gotten sick in almost a month. Not that I feel terrific because I don't. I'm tired most every day; again, it's an exhaustion that goes down to the marrow, and my stomach has been a little troubling lately. But I haven't had to miss work or not been able to get out of bed and function. It's a low grade, "I just don't feel as good as I want to."  I think much has to do with my weight gain. It's too much for me. So, why don't I lose the weight? I'm trying sort of. It's how can I calm my anxiety? Eating is not a perfect solution at all.

I realized at John's that I can't just smile. He tried to coax me into smiling a relaxed smile and I couldn't. It felt awkward and made my cheeks ache. And I'm not writing about smiling for 15 minutes -- this was 30 seconds of smiling. I learned decades ago to smile with my mouth shut.  Maybe I'm afraid someone will knock my teeth out.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

sexual insights

I laid in bed last night thinking about sex, not my lack of any sexual encounters, but a deeper insight into the darkness of my sexual history. Much of it is a grim and ugly picture. I thought sex equaled love. But that's a common misconception, especially among young girls who have been sexually abused. At least I think it would be. When your daddy, who is supposed to love you and cherish you, has sex with you, it is confusing.  How do you rationalized such an act but to equate that uncomfortable and dirty little secret with an act of love? A parent's love is sacred... not perverse and hurtful. It just messes up every concept of what love should be and it affects the way you love and make love.

My love (if I can still call him that) has concluded that our lovemaking for all these years was an anxiety reliever. I don't know if that's all he thinks it was. He never dealt with his anxiety and our ambitious and physical sex life allowed him to ignore it for many years. He pounded out his anxiety on me. He thinks it was the same for me and I think it probably was to some extent but for me it was more likely a desperate craving for love and a releasing of anger at the same time. It all made for some extremely intense lovemaking. But I have to admit that my sexual appetite was also fiercely driven by a need to release anxiety. I had way too much in my life. Oh, I don't know -- it's all so complicated.

Now I don't have sex anymore and I miss it.  But what do I miss?  The feelings of love? The intimacy? The physical release? It's not a needed salve for anxiousness anymore. I'm lonely for the touch of my man. My body aches for the physical pleasures we shared. And yes, I do miss the kind of intimacy we just recently learned to share. I discovered love in our lovemaking and I want that back.

But maybe it's not meant to be. I'm patient but I'm also very sad.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Friday night

I indulged in a couple of glasses of champagne tonight with my neighbor. We commiserated over the anger and abuse we both tolerate from our teenage sons. My relationship with my son is improving while hers with her son is deteriorating. I have come to believe that sons need fathers and decent fathers at that. I'm not sure that's so easy to come by.

I also received an email from my friend on the west coast. She's having a very difficult time with her husband of many years. Her therapist told her to lower her expectations of her husband. She doesn't want to leave her home and uproot her life so she needed a plan to make staying possible. Lowering expectations became the answer ... I thought maybe a lover would be a better answer. But then it becomes too complicated. I have lived with low expectations - of myself, of my children, of most everyone around me. I am feeling just the opposite - I need to raise expectations, especially of myself.

No one ever had high expectations (or any for that matter) for me as a child or even once I was officially grown up with children. Oh, my poor darling, she's just had it tough; she's just surviving; she's the fucked-up one. We have no expectations of greatness or even mediocrity for her. Just let her be and we'll hope for the best for her and her children. It's a crushing and deadly attitude to have. Hey, we can send her a check. Yeah, that will solve all her issues.

Nope, didn't work.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

then and now

Compare and contrast - that is what I did in therapy with Dr. B the other night.  I was relating my dream about moving and the teenage girl, etc. and how I feel like I've returned to that exact same place 40 years later. Only this time the way I am handling the situation is completely different.  And although it is a much better feeling to be more in control of my destiny than I was at 14, it still fills me with anxiety.

Where do you feel it when you think about then and now? Oh, sometimes I hate that question but it helps me stay grounded and get clarity on what's happening inside. I wasn't able to pinpoint it at first. I felt proud of myself and puffed up a little about my strength and will to survive. But at the same time I had this very familiar ache in my solar plexus. It wasn't as intense as in the past but it was definitely present. It IS the link to my past.

The conversation gently shifted to my strength. Dr. B asked me, "What do you attribute the difference in your reactions and actions?" My strength, I said with no hesitation. I've always had this superhuman internal strength to keep going but it is a different kind of strength now.  I was a bull then. I lowered my head and charged, hoping for the best. I gave myself no choice. I made it through one trauma and into the next and next and next for years and years. I never considered the hows or whys. I just kept moving.

It's a more cognitive strength now. Physically I'm weaker - I can't lift and drag and move things like I used to. One of my greatest coping mechanisms was movings things -- shifting rooms, rearranging furniture, purging. And starting again.

I still shifted and rearranged and purged but it was done with presence of mind and consciousness. I wasn't a manic maniac rabidly attempting to shed layers of my life. I contemplated my desires and actions. I thought about consequences. And most importantly, I thought about what I wanted. Initially that maniac surfaced but I was able to quell her fears and react with rational thinking.  Oh geez, I sound so grownup.

It's my second chance and it's going to be different. I notice how I tell myself this with almost every post.  Positive reinforcement - I will make changes in my life. This is today; this is now and not then, never again.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

what if

What if I can't change my life? What if I am too weak or too afraid of failure to even try?

Driving home from work yesterday, suicidal thoughts infiltrated my mind. Exhaustion again took hold and I thought, oh god, what if this is all bullshit and I can't implement any changes in my life? What if I am doomed to a life with bad relationships, messed up childen, and enormous debt? I would not handle it well at all.

With those fears swirling around, I decided that I could always end life...no failures, no successes; just a lot of hard work that didn't come to fruition. As I write this remembering my mood earlier, I shake my head - NOT an option.

I am not imprisoned anymore and the power to change my life is in my hands.

I don't know where I'm heading but it's somewhere better.

I WON'T FAIL.
I AM DETERMINED.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

what's weighing on my mind

  • My love's insights about our sex life and the connection to his life-long anxiety and role as caretaker
  • Our future together?
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and my swollen, aching, stiff  fingers
  • The financial mess that is my life
  • 2009 income taxes that I never filed
  • The rather abrupt and somewhat disrespectful attitude of my daughter
  • Travelling and what I was told many years ago about a career choice - travel agent! I laughed but I didn't possess the insight to understand what opportunities that would present - traveling, writing, photography, blogging, experiencing the world. Oh, I was so narrow-minded and frightened - maybe it was the other way - frightened and thereby closed-minded!
  • MY WEIGHT - I almost forgot one of the most important issues. Now that's denial - my weight is affecting my health, my arthritis, my sleep ... and who knows what else.
It's more than a to-do list -- it's a "going to help me change my path" list and point me in a direction that's focused on me. Lately I have encountered many people in my age bracket who never had children...what different lives they led. I believe it is now my turn to live a little.

And I suppose the ever-popular "bucket list" will come later. First things first.

I suspect there is something exciting and creative buried inside me impatiently waiting and wanting to burst out and show the world who I really am.  One day I am going to leave an unforgetable impression on those that know me.

Hey, it's a gratifying thought.

what I did this morning

I found the memory stick for my camera yesterday while I was cleaning so early this morning I decided to take the camera with me on our dog walk around town. I took photos of residential doorways and windows, a few commercial establishments, and a church -- my village. 

I have lived here for nearly 20 years and for most of that time I prayed for the day when I might finally be able to leave this little god-forsaken town. And yet I stayed and stayed - for many reasons; my children, my divorce settlement, but more important than anything else, because of my lover.

 I'm still here; I'm still waiting, but at long last I don't despise the town or its residents. I'm not sure what altered my attitude; perhaps because now I may leave only I don't know where to go.

One more aspect of my life that I need to sort out.

Monday, September 06, 2010

transformation complete

Well,  almost complete and the transformation I mention is the conversion of my son's bedroom into my office. I didn't cry and I wasn't overcome with guilt. My son unexpectedly stopped by this evening - he asked if I could give him a ride to his AA meeting. He walked into what was his room and stopped. I waited, ready to defend my position to an 18 year old but he liked what I did and was pleased that it had become my office.  I breathed a sigh of relief. How absurd -- not that I would have changed anything because of his reaction. It was miraculous (almost) that our conversation did not escalate into a fight, which always leaves me emotionally drained.

He turns 19 on Wednesday.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

lyrical memories

Hello darkness my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

It often surprises me when I hear a song that resonated so strongly with me so many years ago as a teen and still today has the power to evoke strong emotional pangs and tears of sadness and depression. It's not a specific incident it triggers but an emotional memory that rattles my physical as well as my emotional wellbeing.

Friday, September 03, 2010

a day to forget

Yesterday is gone. Thank goodness. Started with a bombardment of annoyances, mostly from the boss. He can be such a pain in the... The weather was suffocating - no breeze, hot and humid. I was not in a favorable mood. When I returned home, the house was relatively quiet and I quickly retreated to my room and turned on the a/c. Only little dog was happy to see me.  My daugher, who I struggle mightily to stay supportive of, was shut up in her dark room, lying on her bed watching television. Mind you, it's 4:30 in the afternoon. She came out after a little bit and into my room. Oh, it's so hot she told me and flopped down on the chaise lounge to rest. I was preparing to do some laundry although I, too, felt like napping.

She brought up her old car that she wants to sell.  I suggested that when it sells she give me the money to cover her rent through December - that way she wouldn't have to worry about it. She flipped out, got angry and an argument ensued. I can't get into all the nitty gritty but we don't understand one another. And I am pissed at her for being lazy and unmotivated. It's an issue, a major issue for her and she's working on it in therapy. But, still, I do run out of patience. She said I didn't do this; I argued, well, you didn't tell me that. It went on and on and I ended up yelling that I was just so tired of her bullshit. Not nice a thing to say. She left my room and I heard her door slam. I was fuming.

I knocked on her door and attempted to start a civil conversation. It wasn't meant to be. She tells me I don't listen. She tells me I am putting too much pressure on her. She tells me all kinds of bad things that I supposedly do. I don't think so but then I get accused of doing these things all the time by my son as well. I think I am patient and understanding. I just think I get tired of being used by my children and rebel, and they get hurt and angry. My daughter is grown. She shouldn't be living with me.

I was unable to calm myself. I grabbed my ipod, my cellphone, and my car keys (all the necessities one needs to calm down) and headed to the river. I found a nice isolated spot right on the riverbank, took off my shoes, plugged myself into the ipod and closed my eyes. The river air smelled good and it was quiet. I stayed long enough to witness a gorgeous sunset.  Then I walked back to my car and headed up the road to meet my love at the train.  I missed him but caught up with him before he left for home.  We hugged. He felt good. He always looks so handsome. I miss him.

This morning my daughter came out of her room just as I was leaving. We had a quick exchange and I was off to the gym.

Again, I feel guilty but I also feel angry. My guilt is what allows my children to take advantage of me and walk all over me. The "new" me is not tolerating that anymore. I did the best I was capable of. I keep telling myself how hard I tried to make their lives okay. I wasn't neglectful - I was traumatized.

What an excuse!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

I've come full circle

Or so it feels.  Thinking about my life at 14 -- a time when I was catapulted into a trajectory of self destruction that would last decades and now at 54 I'm again facing a major transition that radiates around moving.

So how did it start at 14? I'm not even sure if 14 is the correct age but I know that 14 is an age of change and growth and angst for most teenagers. It was an age of sexual awakening, hormonal changes, separation from the protective clutches of caring parents (didn't exactly apply to me), high school, boys, and the discovery and assertion of  'self' as an independent young woman. For me this also included withdrawal and dissocation through drug use - marijuana, hashish, LSD - an escape from whatever hurts life had already dealt me. I don't remember much but I do know I was miserable way beyond the normal anxiousness of  teenage years.

Fourteen was the year, I believe, that my father permanently broke any bonds he had with me and called me a slut and a whore for going to the movies with boys. It was the summer we all went to Europe as a family and I came to the realization of how much I actually hated my father. It was the same summer I laid on the bed in a hotel room in Sweden and wished for the courage to commit suicide. I wrote a suicide note of sorts and mailed it to my best friend in the US but couldn't carry it through. Fortunately my family reemerged from an excursion and I was saved.

It was the year that my parent's marriage was ending although I was not totally in touch with this happening. It changed everything - my father moved out, my mother followed shortly thereafter by finding a second home, and we were left to our own devices. Although I wasn't the one to change residences at 14 or 15, everything started to crumble when my parents divorced and relocated. There was, however, a shift in my physical residence - it wasn't home anymore.

Forty years later and another series of events are forcing a major shift in my trajectory.  I think that this time I have a better plan and it doesn't include any self-destructive behavior. Maybe this time I'll get it right.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sleep is avoiding me again...

I've exhausted my brain - no more thoughts; no more feelings. Empty. Or maybe it's the atavan I took tonight. Last night I didn't sleep - sporadic moments of unconsciousness but mostly anxiety-riddled aches and pains - my arms fell asleep, my hands went numb, my legs twitched. It was so uncomfortable that I sat up on the edge of my bed and cried - many times during the night.

When I did manage to drift off, I was filled with dreams. Last night it was a moving truck (tractor-trailer size) parked in the driveway of a house I recognized from my past. I pulled my car sort of around the side of the truck; sort of underneath the truck, and went into the house. It was very dark and cavernous - a dimly lit stairwell on the right and an even darker hallway heading into the back of the house. There was a 14 year old girl sitting on the stairs. I pulled her up into my arms. I was crying and told her how sorry I was that she was moving again. I was so upset but the girl didn't seem the least bit fazed by it all. She just stood there, limp, arms hanging at her side. I gently put her back down on the stairs and went to use the bathroom. It was a tiny room wedged under the staircase. I got totally uptight being in there and woke up.

I want to sleep tonight. Reason #1 for swallowing the pill. Warning Label: Ativan can lead to addiction if misused. I think those days are long gone - the one misuse I concern myself with is with my son and apparently AA is addressing that issue.  I had no idea how god-centric AA is. It feels cult-like.

I'm going sleep.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I tried but it just isn't okay yet

I wanted to clean up my son's room today and I tried, I really did. About 15 minutes into the cleaning, I broke down and cried. By tearing apart his room and making it my office, I am telling him (and me) in no uncertain terms that he isn't coming back. I don't want him back. I can't live with the verbal abuse, or the lies, or just the know-it-all attitude of a teenager. I've endured enough and he made his choice. I would not have thrown him out but now that he's gone, he needs to stay with his father. Guilt. I have lived with way too much guilt and still I have more.

And then there's my love -- the greatest source of hurt and frustration in my life today. If only I could deaden my desires and live life without him, I would be so much calmer. When and if that moment in time occurs when we reconnect and declare a healthy respectful love for one another, life will be as close to perfection as I have dreamed. But I'm not holding my breath...well, just a little for a little longer. Why? I believe there is something special between us - we've just lost our way. Maybe we'll find our way back together...maybe too much time will pass and the separation will deepen to a chasm we can't climb out of.

I hope not.

Friday, August 27, 2010

My love is suffering

My love is depressed - deeply drowning in misery and hopelessness. It has been suggested that he give antidepressants a try. Raise your bottom line is what I was always told. He's suffering with untold anguish over his career, his current employment, his lack of lasting success, his failed marriages, his absent children, and his overall place in the world right now. It's too much to cope with and he spends most of his time beating himself up over what he didn't do, what he tolerated, all the emotions he denied and ignored...and now it's all come back to weigh heavily on his emotional state. It's bad. He exists in a place of doom and gloom and tells me that if things don't change soon, he'll be dead within 10 years. But I'm not willing to let him go. The very sad thing about depression is that it strips away from your psyche all the creative and wonderful experiences you've had in your life and all the people that have meant something to you. Attention is exhaustively focused on your misery, darkness and failures -- almost as though you are incapable of feeling anything "good" in your life anymore.

I get annoyed with him for wallowing in his misery but then I remember back to my own days of deep depression and suicidal ideation. It's not something that you just "snap" out of. It takes work -- deliberate, pain-stakingly difficult emotional work -- to overcome.  And a little medication definitely gets the ball moving in the right direction.

I cried to him today that I missed him -- that I needed something, anything from him.  He was silent. After I ended our conversation, I thought about my years of combatting severe depression and how he would say to me, "you have to give me something back. I can't exist on nothing." I would get so angry with him because I was really working to feel better. It just didn't happen fast enough and he tried. He held me and loved me and tried desperately to cheer me up. He didn't get it and then he would get angry and act in ways that hurt me.

I have to be patient. He didn't know back then how to deal with my depression but I do know now. Anger doesn't make a difference - it just makes you withdraw. When you're depressed you feel bad enough about yourself without listening to someone who purports to love you, condemn you in their words and actions for being depressed.

I wish he could just "snap" out of it. I miss him terribly but I will try to remember what depression does to a person and fill my heart with compassion.

somedays...

I just want my old life back.

somedays...

I just think it would be easier to live what I know.

somedays...

I just think it would be easier to not know what I now know.

but most days...

I wouldn't trade one single moment of my days now for any moment in my old life.

understanding boundaries

I met with Dr. B last night. It was stressful, of course. We discussed my son and the surrounding drama, and my daughter and her transitions and all the effects this has had on me.  A few minutes before the session was to end I timidly asked her about boundaries and my love.  We touched very briefly on it last week and I needed some clarity. 

It's not my boundaries that are being infringed upon by my love but his own.  He does not leave any space between my sufferings and his pain - he's taking everything in (his pain and mine) and meshes the two together. Of course, he's overwhelmed. Who wouldn't be.

Dr. B called it merging. She said it will not really be controllable for him until he learns to take responsibility for his own pain/suffering and heals from it. That is what he's working on. I think that for most of our relationship he was not dealing with his own pain and suffering which is why he could connect so intimately with my pain and suffering. It's not a good mix for any relationship. I do imagine it made him feel very close (too close at times) to me because he really did feel my pain. But it makes it very difficult to be supportive when you so completely absorb someone else's trauma and then feel traumatized yourself. Deny that trauma and it's trouble, for sure. Hence, the necessity of boundaries.  Without boundaries, it's difficult to feel empathy and be supportive.

Nothing is quite so cut and dry but it certainly played a major role in our relationship. I believe it is frightening for us both to change these roles but it is something we so desperately need to do.  It is what underlies those roles that is so disturbing to delve into.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

coping with the guilt

Why do I feel guilty that I am emptying out my son's room and turning it into my office? Because it becomes so final. No, my son, you may not EVER come home again.  But is that really how I feel?  Yes and no. I am still reeling from what he did and how he did it.  He is still lying, I think. It's hard to know because the information that is being fed to me is coming from his father - a most notorious, pathological liar. He had the balls (oh, I hate that expression but sometimes it just works) to tell me he was a good father and he had nothing to feel guilty about. I almost choked. Perhaps choking him would have been more appropriate.  So now my son is doing everything right - he's with his perfect father living a perfect life. Such bullshit. Oh, I still sound so angry about it all.

Time to move on, maybe. Defintely. How do I just forget him?  It's not all or nothing. I'm still here for him should he wish to talk to me again. It's a strange transition for me. You can see I am still not sure where to be emotionally. All things take time to heal.  Good thing I have therapy tomorrow.

I slept 9 1/2 hours last night and dreamed dreams that encompassed many aspects of my life throughout my life. Amazing. It's comforting to know that I can sleep!  Life is changing every minute for me. 

Who will I become? How will I evolve?  Looking forward to this new journey of self-discovery.

Monday, August 23, 2010

stepping outside myself

I went to a wedding last night with my love. He was gracious and accepting in the end and didn't give me a hard time but he wasn't happy. I think only I knew this; everyone else thought he was delightful and charming, etc. We danced - well he danced; I looked a bit like a two left-footed spastic on the dance floor but I had fun and who really cares anyway?

But that's not my point. I got dressed up and wore makeup. Not my typical motif; normally, my love sees me in jeans and tee shirts with no makeup except for smeared globs of mascara around my eyes. I purchased lipstick and eyeliner and spent well over an hour trying to figure out how to apply the eye stuff.  I didn't purchase makeup remover (who knew you need that too?) so my eyes got quite red from rubbing the stuff off over and over again until I got an acceptable application. I thought I looked beautiful and when I picked up my love, I waited for the compliment but it never came. Oh well.  He said my dress was nice. Now, I may be a nitpicker but he didn't say it looked nice on me. Maybe that's what he meant but I'm not so sure.  He, by the way, looked very handsome and I was sure to tell him so.  He didn't want to go - I guess that says it all. He's not a happy man. I'm not a happy woman. Does that make us a great couple? I don't think so.

I am trying to break out of my shell. It is not easy for me. I am much more comfortable dressing schlumpy with minimal makeup and wild hair and fading into the background unseen.  But I don't want to be that person anymore. Coming from a family of intelligent, creative, highly competitive, loudmouth show-offs, I learned to withdraw very quickly and hide. Been doing it all my life.

Well, the new "me" is emerging, slow buy steady.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's a new era

What a bittersweet day I had. I packed up my son's stuff and delivered several boxes of his possessions to his father's house. What remained was sorted through and stowed in plastic bins. Again I cried. I just felt this undeniable sadness as I re-experienced the mementos of his childhood and our past together.

I relived 14 years of his 19 in his room today. I picked up stuffed animals and books, camping gear and weaponry, homemade pot pipes and many, many little nickel bags that once held some illegal drug. Today I traveled his life from sweet wide-eyed boy who loved meercats to an angry drug-abusing teenager. It was almost too much to handle.

I called my love and left a message..."Please tell me you love me." He called back a short time later and told me just that. He was very sweet.

Yes, children grow up and leave the nest but my son did it such a cruel and nasty way that his departure was and still is fraught with sadness and hurt rather than joy.

But I don't want to cry over the past. I did the best I could.  One day hopefully he will understand what I tried to do.

I'm entering a new era. I ran into a woman this afternoon who worked with my son. She said now it's time for you to live your life.  Amen!

Friday, August 20, 2010

funny what makes you cry

Thinking back on my teenage years makes me well up with tears. It was just so sad - laying on the cot in the middle of my empty room upstairs in my empty house, praying for death. I didn't want to commit suicide; I just wanted to be dead...to cease breathing, to stop existing. It's a theme that has ingratiated itself into my life for as long as I can remember. If only I could die, if only...be it cement mixer, or accidental-on-purpose drowning in the ocean, or being ripped to bloody shreds by a wolf. Life was too painful but life was also too painful to admit to its torment and suffering. So I lived on, day after day, year after year, denying it all yet never not suffering.

So today it was a little article in a local online newspaper from the town I spent my teenage years in that brought on the tears.  The local diner owner, Jimmy the Greek, was retiring after 43 years. It was a staple in our little town and an early place of employment for me -- actually, my first waitress job.  But it wasn't a particularly joyful experience. But why would you think it would be? It's my life after all.  Jimmy and his Greek relatives and buddies would make bets as to whether my friend and I were wearing panties under our uniforms. And they would stare and be loud and obnoxious. It was embarrassing. I hated it; my friend thrived off of it. I didn't work there but a few months; she stayed for a few years. It was another instance of sexual abuse. Another theme in my young life...

to fear or not to fear

When I think about moving, I become almost paralyzed with fear. I am comfortable where I live and I feel safe. I have apartment neighbors I trust and can turn to for help or laughter or a cocktail -- whatever's needed. The idea of isolating myself and having to make friends all over again by myself is, quite franky, terrifying.

But I had a few revelations last night about living alone.
  • I can walk around naked.
  • When I clean my kitchen in the morning before work, it will still be clean when I get home. Yeah!
  • My electric bill will dramatically decrease - no more three computers running non-stop, lights or televisions...
  • No one interrupts my naps or baths.
  • My phone never rings.
  • There are no mounds of laundry waiting to be washed.
  • There are no dishes left around the apartment or shoes on the living room floor.
I guess there are advantages to living alone.  It's just that the creepies sneak into my sleep at night and wreak havoc.  I have yet to figure out how to achieve any form or moment of tranquility.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

choices...

I like this photo I took of the bird blind. It's not that it's a particularly good photograph but I like looking through the four windows -- different aspects of life -- four stages of life -- four approaches -- four perspectives. Whatever. Choices, I suppose, or what do I want to focus on? Mountains and blue sky, lush greenery, swampland, or water. Do I have choices?


We all have choices to make. We've all made choices and are living the consequences of those choices. I made sucky choices most of my life.

No more dissociation

I've been so distressed and weary. How much can I endure? I suppose as much as comes my way. I'm certain some of my exhaustion is still the time change from coast to coast but it's way deeper than a three hour time differential.  The fatigue embodies me from my cells to my thoughts. It sluggishly pumps through my veins and into my joints and organs, ultimately slowing my brain to a mush of incoherent thoughts and irrational emotions. I can't wake up in the morning. My mind won't rise or shine - she cries to me, please I don't want to deal with the day...just let me sleep until everything is normal again. Let her take care of it all. I have to chuckle -when has it ever been normal? I tell myself that she has long since departed. There is no more dissociation.  What it is, it is and I have to deal with it. Shit.