When It Feels Like Losing

Every Friday Spotify issues an automated play list called Release Radar. Often it isn’t the latest releases but some from a few weeks back. This song shuffled in last Friday, and it really struck a cord with my own personal struggles with self doubt recently.

I know I’m on the right path for healing from the various abuses I’ve survived. I have an excellent therapist guiding my way, friends, support groups, and healthy coping mechanisms. I’m on the right track, in all essence ever so slowly winning the battle against my mental illness. Yet are times when I feel like I’ve lost such a vital part of my world, moving away from all of the unhealthy things that I’ve been exposed to since birth. My rational mind says: this is a good thing. This is healthy, and this is necessary. My emotional heart says: OMG PANIC. YOU ARE SACRIFICING YOURSELF, THE VERY FIBER OF YOUR BEING, YOU AND THIS BREAKAWAY FROM THESE COMFORTABLE, FAMILIAR THINGS IS SO DEVASTATINGLY WRONG.

Being someone who’s always relied on my emotions to serve as a compass for my actions, it’s been so overwhelmingly difficult to continue to make the right choices in the face of adversity. It feels like I’m losing everything that made up my identity in favor of a new one. It feels like I’m creating the false self that I’ve been fighting for so long. It feels that way, but the more I learn the more I continue on this path I’ve come to realize that the things that shaped my identity in the past were my survival instincts in overdrive. The identity I’m losing is the protective false self shell. I don’t want to live in that shell anymore even as painful as it is to consciously, and mindfully separate myself from it.

I am winning, even though my heart feels lost right now.

 

Til Death

I miss my husband. I’ve been battling with the separation depression ever since we began our long distance marriage, but with everything else that happened with my mom, my broken hand, scrapping the build, 2016’s general crappiness, I haven’t really had a chance to address it or express it. I finally allowed myself to really feel it a few nights ago. I sat on my bed texting him, and bawling like a baby for half an hour. 

I just want his voice and his second hand smoke and his beardy kisses and crusty deodorant underarm snuggles. His  anxious fidgets, and random youtube videos and talk of trapping and hunting and work inventory. His dirty socks stuffed behind the couch, and his toenail clippings hiding in the carpet and his laundry piled up so high in the bathroom that I can barely open the door. I want all of my left overs from dinner eaten, and the sound of the tv playing all night long after he falls asleep, and all the empty toilet paper rolls stacked up with OCD precision on the back of the toilet but never in the trash can, and his beard trimming messes in the sink. I want all of those things, and all of the other things that drive me batty when I see them every day, but I miss terribly now because the lack of all those things means that he’s not here with me.

I want him to know that my writing is a primary outlet for my greif, and my poetry isn’t wrought by love. My intricate prose surrounding the ghosts of my past isn’t nostalgia. It’s a eulogy for a part of my identity born in trauma. A missing piece that I’m aware of, but no longer want in my life. I want him to understand that he shouldn’t feel obligated or insecure because he doesn’t fill that void. That piece is designed to remain empty, in a healthy, loving relationship. I just have to adjust to it. 

I want him to know that he is enough just the way he is, even when I’m constantly hounding him to become a better person, challenging him to grow and reach his full potential. Things that are easily within his reach if he could brush aside his self loathing, and doubts. 

I want him. Only him, now and forever. Til death. 

The little picture…

Exactly this!! This is exactly why I was so distraught when I first heard the news of the immigration bans. Temporary or not, so many “little pictures” were shattered in a matter of moments. Really good read here. Definitely check it out.

don of all trades

It’s often a good thing for people to be able to see or understand the “big picture,” when it comes to certain things.

There’s a saying for when a person is so focused on the minutia of something, that they forget or simply lose focus on the big picture, the end product that they desire.

It’s said that these folks can’t see the forest for the trees.

In being so focused on the minor details, the trees, they miss out on the greater sum of what those trees are a part of, the end result, or the forest.

If you went to a baseball game and just focused on the third baseman, without looking at anything else but him, you’d potentially miss out on a really good game.

Every now and then though, you would catch something that others would likely miss, something that the third baseman is doing or…

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Donkey Sombrero 

Ugh… one of the things I struggle with a lot in my recovery journey is deciphering where the line is in terms of behavior like standing up for myself when people are being rude or generally combative. I guess the best way to describe what I’m thinking is picking my battles and what constitutes an appropriate anger response. 

Friday I was picking up B2’s meds from the local pharmacy. We went through the drive through because it was convenient and easy. I finished my transaction and pulled forward away from the window before pausing to answer a quick text from Hubs and put away my debit card. When I pulled forward there was no one in line behind me. I generally always try to pull forward instead of sitting at the window when I comeplete any kind of drive thru transaction just to be polite to those working the drive thru and whom might arrive behind me. 

So we sat there for less than two minutes before an impatient guy in a Jeep pulls up behind us. Immediately as he pulls upto the window he taps the horn. I looked up and pulled a little bit farther forward, as far as I could go before I was sticking out in traffic, and picked up my pace trying to finish getting everything in order. I was just finishing putting my wallet in my purse before this guy lays on the horn and starts waving his arms around getting pissed off. We hadn’t even been sitting there for four minutes and this guy is getting down right irate that we haven’t pulled far enough forward for his liking. 

So me, being me and not going to put up with this rude ass guy being rude throw the car in park and take my foot off the brake making it obvious. Guy get’s out of his car and walks up to mine, with a huffy, arrogant look about him. I roll down my window and before he has a chance to say anything look him dead in the eye and say: “You, Sir, can be patient. I have three kids in this car and I’m getting my affairs in order before I leave the drive thru. There’s no need to be rude.” 

That clearly surprised him. I don’t know what he was expecting hopping out of his car and waltzing up to mine the way he did but he took two steps back and changed his tune real quick. He didn’t apologize for being rude or impatient, but he did back off and find some manners after I stood my ground. Which sort of made me feel like I’d over reacted to his initial impatience, but at the same time being a woman, in the car with my kids by myself, having some strange pissed off guy come up to my window in this day and age, it isn’t surprising my fight/flight response kicked in. 

His behavior was clearly aggressive, and I reacted accordingly. People never seem to expect the fight response from those who they think are “beneath” them. All Jeep Man was thinking about was himself, and how Mom in Minivan had momentarily inconvenienced him. It never crossed his mind at all that Mom in Minivan would/could speak her mind and not just cower away in shame. He was genuinely surprised. Which made me even more annoyed at the entire exchange. 

I was pretty proud of myself for remaining calm. I didn’t curse at him, and I didn’t also hop out of my car and get in his face. Lol. I’m mellowing out in my old age. Still… after it was all said and done the self doubt started whirring through my head. I know I didn’t have to throw the car in park. I’ll never see that guy again, and I seriously doubt that our exchange will change his rude, impatient behavior. 

At the same time, should I have allowed his rude behavior to influence the importance of putting my debit card away before I pulled out into traffic? No. By fighting with my wallet while trying to drive I would have endangered myself, other drivers and my kids. Pissing off one guy in line at the CVS drive thru seems like the lesser evil, and least risky option to me. Especially since we hadn’t been sitting there for an inexcusably long time, just because I wasn’t paying attention or didn’t give an eff what else was happening. 

I don’t know… maybe I was being the asshat misinterpreting his honking, flailing and hopping out of the car as aggression when he was just concerned or something else. 

Whoa WordPress

My blog has gone Rogue! It’s publishing things that are supposed to be scheduled and scheduling things that are supposed to go live. lol. I don’t know what’s going on but hopefully I’ll have it all sorted out here in the next few hours. O_O Sorry!!

Place it down and walk away

Forty and Everything After

That burden you carry
That bag of dark matter
It is sapping your energy
Draining your spirit
Put it down here
Right here
And walk away

You have carried this load far too long
And each peek inside that bag does you harm
And showing its contents to other people does you harm
It is time to accept this burden has nothing left to give you
Apart from more things to carry
Place it down here
And walk away

As you collected these heavy effects
They had a purpose to serve
They contained lessons you needed
They contained valuable gifts
But you have harvested those now
All that are left are empty vessels
Give me your bag dear
I am going to place it down here
And we are going to walk away

You can look back at it if you wish
But you may then stumble on your road
Pay attention to where you…

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#FreeMelania

Never have I empathized with a woman in the public eye the same way that I empathize with First Lady Trump. I watched the inauguration from an Olive Garden bar, lamenting over other personal issues with a close friend. It was on all of the TV screens, so I couldn’t really avoid it much as I wanted to. The entire family really, much more so that President Trump looked incredibly uncomfortable. Barron was bored, as any preteen kid would be after an entire day of being paraded around for the nation to oggle over, and while the older kids managed to maintain their poise fairly well in the eyes of the camera, the few times they were caught in a candid shot showed them all incredibly nervous and anxious.

First Lady Trump was at the forefront of this, dropping her facade much more readily than the older children. I’ve read the countless articles by so called body language “experts” analyzing President Trump’s behavior, and by proxy the First Lady. I’m not doubting the validity of their credentials, but they all seemed to miss a very important factor: First Lady Trump was petrified, and exhausted by the end of the evening. Going from being a fairly well known, upperclass wife who was only minimally in the spotlight to the First Lady of the United States where her every moment will be ruthlessly scrutinized by more detractors than supporters? Yep. That would be pretty terrifying. Especially considering that her husband is not a beloved elected official.

Regardless of your political views, whether you support or denounce the President, at least have some basic human compassion for his family. I’ve seen several articles rushing to Barron’s defense, as other tasteless articles decrying his behavior and questioning his mental status have emerged, and there is the mostly tongue in cheek hashtag campaign “free Melania” and yet it all seems to be a big running joke. It doesn’t matter why they were married, or the status of their marriage compared to the Obamas. It’s true, a lot can be read into by the way a man treats his wife, but how do you think it makes her feel to see those articles plastered literally everywhere?

My thoughts on this whole matter were really solidified this past Tuesday when I attended my Great Uncle’s funeral. Interacting with my mom’s family is very much like interacting with the public as a respected figure. There are rules of etiquette to follow, certain times to smile, certain things to wear, certain ways to behave, and very little of it is genuine at all. I felt very much like the First Lady, as I was trying to walk in heels for the first time in five or six years (I don’t actually remember when the last time was lol), trying to remember my manners, keep my legs gracefully crossed, and smile at the appropriate times all while trying to keep the children in line and following my mom around to show off the Twins. Grief wasn’t really at all in the equation as to our attendance, it was more of a way to appease my mom.

If there had been cameras following me around watching my every move, I’m certain that very many of the small candid moments the Trump Family has been criticized for would also have been captured in my personal “appearance” for my family. If what several notable psychologist have said about Trump is true, and he does suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (much more obviously than his fellow politicians anyway) I can only imagine what must have been going on behind the scenes. The lectures, the ranting, the list of rules for behavior ten miles long, and how the negative press they all received has been saved away in a narcissist mental file folder, an arsenal of abuse to be dished out later.

I wish more people could empathize with the Trump Family instead of providing all of this critical material to haunt them for years to come. I definitely don’t agree with Trump in any of his policies, but I do maintain my compassion for the First Family.

Finding the Volume of My Voice

Untangled

I attended a luncheon last Fall for trauma survivors. There were ten amazing women aged 20-69 who sat together and shared (as much as we were comfortable) our experiences, talked about our healing and learned about trauma-informed leadership. Most of us didn’t know each other, and the facilitator made it a safe, respectful and comfortable environment.  We each had up to three minutes at the beginning to stand up, introduce ourselves, share what we wanted about our story and talk about what we would like to bring to the survivor community in any form of advocacy.

At the end of the luncheon, the facilitator asked us to write on a sticky note what we wanted to do for other survivors after what we had learned that day. I wrote, I want to find the volume of my voice.

Last month I was invited to be on a television show where…

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Room for a Pony

Last year when we sold our home with the intention of building, the idea was to upgrade from our small, rural, starter home into something worthy of a long term investment. A large, suburban home where we could comfortably raise the kids until adulthood, gain equity, and resell with a healthy profit for our retirement. That was our goal. 

Now all of the sudden, Hubs has found a trailer in the literal middle of nowhere that he has his heart set on. It is the exact opposite of what we originally set out to do and our realtor has highly advised against it. Not only because buying a trailer is basically like buying a car, it will depreciate over time not accrue value like a brick and mortar, but because the realestate market in the area is AWFUL. Nothing sells there, even the brick and mortar homes. The town has never had a population of more than 900 people in its entire century plus of existence. 

There is no potential for a return on this investment. It doesn’t even have any rental potential down the road. It’s a HORRIBLE financial decision, but all Hubs sees is the $70k price tag vs the $150k+ homes we’ve been looking at. It’s true, this trailer is really nice. It’s been completely updated and renovated. I’m not above living there at all. If the kids were grown, and he wanted to buy it? Sure. It’s four walls and a roof. We don’t need an expensive suburban home after the kids move out.

Now? Before the kids have even started their school career, and we’re still working toward retirement? (If such a concept even exists in 20yrs) No. Now is the time to be investing. Spending money, to make money later. Working hard, long hours so we can enjoy our empty nest. I thought Hubs and I were on the same page, but now he doesn’t want to take on the payment of a more expensive home. Even though it’s only a few dollars more per month than the rent we’re paying now. We’re approved for it mortgage wise, we don’t even need a downpayment, but he is refusing to budge claiming that he doesn’t want to waste his time being “house poor”. Making an affordable investment is not being “house poor”. Making a shitty investment to keep up with The Jones’ is being “house poor”. We got approved for $200k+. If I immediately went out and started looking at homes at the top of our credit approval? Yes… that’s “house poor”. Staying with in range of what we already spend now? Normal investment. 

*brain explodes* 

I mean, on the one hand I get it. The trailer does have the same square footage as the homes we’re looking at for almost half the up front cost. If it was a short term investment, like our first starter house was? Great. Sure. Let’s go for it. But short term investments are low up front cost with a quick return. This is a low up front cost, but with no return potential, and even the possibility of depreciation!! I’m like HUSBAND WHAT ARE YOU DOING? 

The only potential this place really has is the fact that it has two lots. Which means at some point we could technically build a brick and mortar home on the site, but with the real estate market being practically non-existent in the town to begin with that’s too much of a gamble in my eyes. If it didn’t sell we’d be out the cost of the trailer, plus the cost of the new build and stuck living in the boonies forever. 

There are some good points too. We would finally be able to live together again. The payments on it would be dirt cheap, freeing up money for Hubs and I to focus on going back to school together instead of one after the other, and hey with two lots we even have room for a Pony! The mother/wife in me wants to go for it for the immediate good of the family. Business sense, money management me is screaming and tearing my hair out.