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. Life and Lotus .


“I am blooming from the wound where I once bled.” – Rune Lazuli

Holy Emotional Flashback Batman!

 When things like this come up in your memory feed two things can happen. It will either cause reflection, or, it will cause a crippling domino effect. For me, reflection is deep today.  If you had met me five years ago, when this screenshot was taken, you would have found the crippling, devastating effect.  I was still being triggered daily by the abuse. In that dark, murky mud, I never thought I’d come out healthy. I never thought I’d be able to bloom. No mud, no lotus. 

I have seen jewelry with the quote, “No mud, no lotus.” I never fully understood it. I knew the gist of it, the organic earthen side. The lotus doesn’t grow like most plants, dirt, water, sun, air. The lotus grows deeply rooted in murk and mud. It is surrounded by bugs, pests, fish, algae, and a deep, dark, dankness. Sometime around my 40th birthday (three years ago) a light went on and I fully recognized the correlation between life and lotus.

“The lotus flower blooms most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud.” – Buddhist Proverb

The lotus gained its symbolism because its life begins deeply rooted that mucky, muddy pond. Even though it begins in mud, as it blooms, each individual petal is unblemished, unscarred from the the mire below. The lotus represents growing through adversity, trials, tribulations, and conflicts. The lotus represents the strength it takes to bloom in spite of, and when it blooms the beauty she shares with the world is indescribable. 

“A blessed state in which the individual transcends desire and suffering and attains Nirvana” – Buddhist Proverb

The word karma is from Sanskrit, where, fittingly, it refers to one’s work as well as one’s fate.  I could have very well ended up the murk and mud, being pulled under into the sludge. I could have listened to the horrible things that were said to me during the time of abuse. I could have believed the truth of my worth is held hostage in the echoing of those words. I just could not connect to who I was anymore, as I could only see myself through his eyes. “Toad”, “Worthless”, “It’s like putting makeup on a pig”, “Unwanted”, and so many more.

I was determined to overcome. I was determined to do the work and push my authentic self through his sludgy marsh. I was not his words. I was not his abuse. In that moment, five years ago, I was weakened by his constant attempts to suffocate me through social media and stalking. I wanted to wipe away anything and everything that defined me; my poetry, my artwork, my photography…. Me.

I am the lotus.

“My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents, and I lay them both at His feet. – Gandhi

In the five years since, I have worked hard on me; every single aspect of me. I am not perfect, but I am accepting of my flaws. I no longer reside in the suffering. I have moments where wounds reopen, but they do not overpower me. These wounds are areas seen that need additional healing. I ask myself, “What was the trigger?” and “What would be the best way to work through this?” I take the blood from my wounds and and form a new petal.  

I am the lotus.

Now, as I sit and reflect on that moment and move into mindfulness, I am amazed and proud of myself.
I have an amazing job.
I have a great little studio apartment, with relaxing Zen garden.
I have successfully purchased my own car.
My pugs are happy.
I am genuinely happy.

I am the lotus.

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. Disconnected Attachments .

Kondo

There has been a lot of discussion, negative and positive, around Marie Kondo’s “purging your life, decluttering your space” comments. “Get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy…” has prompted a firestorm of meme’s in her honor; a lot of which are in mocking or attacking way.

As I sit back in my (yet again) new place, I think about this last move and the process of moving overall. It has taken this move, the 5th in two years, for me to identify why this is such a source of anxiety to me. It also took a discussion with my housemates to help me process further, and a comment from a friend who defined the root of my anxiety to finite detail. It all comes down to de-cluttering vs. attachments. So, I would like to offer another perspective on the sentiments Ms. Kondo has shared.

Before I go into the deep seed by the name of, “Anxietatem Inordinatio” that has been growing and taking root within my soul, let me share this last move to you. We received notice in January that our previous landlord decided not to renew our lease. Our lease was up at the end of March, however, we discussed with the landlord if we could be out a month earlier; she wanted to move family into her rental and we had an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up. We decided, that this time, this move, we were hiring movers. Such a novel idea, pay someone to move your crap for you. However, the reality is, you’re still responsible for sorting, purging, and packing your items. Thus watering the rooted seed that was planted deep within my soul at a very young age and spreading throughout my psyche with rapid strangling vines.

Packing. Sorting. Purging. . . yet again in my life.
Packing. Sorting. Purging.
Which should really read, “Water. Sowing. Sprouting… these suffocating roots taking hold of my soul again.” So the gist is, this simple act of packing is a huge trigger for anxiety. I was triggered. I was anxious, snippy, pissy for a month prior to “THE MOVE”.

As a child we moved A LOT. So much in fact, I believe in my primary years I attended every elementary school in the Kent School District. In my teen years, I was in/out of foster homes, lived with friends, never really knew where I’d lay my head or what crazy was going to uproot my false sense of security again. The only time in my life I can remember staying in one place longer than a year was during my marriage. I perfected the art of packing, purging, moving, and unpacking.  All of this relocation has carved a canyon in my soul that is filled with anxiety, disconnection, and depression. I learned transitioning into adulthood this way of life is my “norm”, it is just the way it is. I am now finding that the learned responses are not normal, my life just was not normal.

  • I learned that material things were replaceable, but never were replaced.
  • I learned that getting attached to material items only gains more hurt in the end.
  • I learned that people are easily to befriend, but hard to maintain friendship with relocation after relocation.

From these “norms” I formed rules.

  • If I haven’t seen it or used it in a year, donation or trash it is.
  • If it’s one of the, “…last minute items” tossed into a box, it’s probably trash or donation anyways.

Whoah… As a 42 year old woman (almost 43) the realization that that’s a lot of my life I haven’t retained, maintained, or stayed attached to. I’ve thrown a lot out, from pictures to people. A lot of youth who are in the system try to hold onto and keep any item that reminds them of their “safe place” or “home”. I was the exact opposite. I have mastered the practice of disconnect and not attaching to anything that’s “given” to me. It’s things that can be replaced, maybe. In a sense, I would like to defend Ms. Kondo. I fully understand what the sentiment behind what she was trying to teach, “If it doesn’t bring you joy…” I think that a lot of those who are mocking her for her statements on non-attachment are missing one key point, she’s Japanese and Zen Buddhist. Non-attachment doesn’t mean to dismiss all from your life and disconnect. It means to not allow materialistic items, negative relationships, or such own you.

I’ve compared life to a river. There’s no aspect of the river that’s permanent. The water that’s flowing is continually changing. The very edges and banks of the river are constantly eroding and sand is being carried away. If a big storm comes, and the water rises, the shape of the river can change. The water finds a new path and that becomes the new path of the river. So there’s not aspect of a river that’s permanent. Life is a lot like that. There’s no aspect of life that’s permanent. It’s when we get caught up in those moments of making things in life seem permanent that we run the risk of becoming attached. So when we attach to the permanence of things, then those things start to own us.- Noah Rasheta

In my possession are a few items that do spark joy, as Marie Kondo mentions, and has travelled to and fro by my side. I have a old school Mickey Mouse stuffed animal that has been mine since I was around 3. I kept a rocking chair that my grandfather won for me back in 1976, before I was born. I only got rid of it this year after major weather damage from being on the back patio. It was sad to see it go. But, it’s just a material item, the memories I hold of my Gramps is far greater than anything he’s ever given me.

I also have a handful of friends that have been with me since junior high (1989-1991) and seen the chaos that is my life.
Kevin, I love you to the moon and back. There is no question about that.
Veener Schliden, You’re my sister from another mister. I’d fight any dude for you.

1993 – THE BEST SUMMER of my life, downtown Seattle, WA.
The day McDonald’s never knew what was coming.

Overall, however, I find that things that bring me full joy in life are the things in this moment. As much as I collect items like Star Wars or Wonder Woman, I know that in the event I need to purge them, they can be replaced. I know that these materialistic pieces that are being donated will make someone else’s day, and I’m okay with that. 

  • My pugs on either side of me, nesting in bed, while I read or play on my phone.
  • Any and every time my son tells me he loves me.
  • A hearty laugh with my best friend.
  • Inside jokes that took 15 years to marinate and still tickle my soul each day.

Satisfying, comforting, and safe memories that are being made each minute of my day. These are the things I choose to hold on to.

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. Such a Funk .

I need to find my way back; stuck in a funk that has influenced so many aspects of my life. I take this negative, unhealthy, toxic vibe from work home with me. I feel unheard, dismissed, and devalued. After two conversations today, I realized that there is a faded path that can, and will, lead me back. Two conversations that delivered two weed whacking weapons that will help clear that overgrown path to mental clarity. 

First conversation was with my sister; my younger sister who has more life experience that I could ever fathom having. She made a very strong point when helping me digest and process the events at work today. One thing she noticed about me and this job, was that of my love and gratitude for my coworkers. The last time I posted my #6915495 reasons for loving my job and coworkers was in July 2017. I can actually start documenting from that point forward when my gratitude began to slip into dissatisfaction. 

 

Second conversation was with a very trusted co-worker who is able to tell it to me how it is; no sugar coating. I have a ton of respect for this approach. She’s also a woman who is not afraid to stand behind and let you figure it out yourself. Women who help, guide, and stay supportive are truly a value. She brought to my attention today, that November is “National Gratitude Month.” 
OH Snap….Gratitude Month.. and I plum forgot on my Gratitude Blog. She has patiently listened to me as I worked through the best way to deal with this trial at work. She’s offered advice when needed. She’s also has said nothing at all when she knows that’s what I needed most. Mere words cannot describe the respect, gratitude, and admiration I have in her. She is a mentor; a guardian angel.

I firmly believe that the way back to a positive vibe and zen in the office, is through the recognition and application of gratitude in my daily life. As the overgrown path becomes visible before me,  I will use my heart, wit, and positive attitude to cut down the toxic weeds of negativity. I will no longer focus on each moment of trite, snippy, aggressive comments. I will not allow it to take up space in my head before, during, or after work. 

Again, this is no a reflection of me. I will no longer brow beat myself into a bloody, blubbery pulp wondering what I could have done different. Even if the stars were aligned perfectly, and mercury wasn’t in a pmsy retrograde, her attitude won’t be any different. This is on her. I will no longer allow her shitty outlook on everything umbrella our office, cutting off the sunlight. This is on her. Let HER live a negative existence. But, alas, I digress. This blog wasn’t to rehash or ruminate over the wrong doings. It’s meant to focus on the positive. 

Today, coming late into the game, I am thankful for the heart and ears of two strong women in my life. Thank you for the perspective you both gave, from two varying directions, that pushed my mind back onto my path. Pebbles found on this path are gratitude, forgiveness, positivity, mindfulness, and accountability.


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. Be Impeccable .

A. “Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home… it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.” – chuck Palahniuk.
B. “Watch out for the joy stealers: Gossip, Criticism, Complaining, Faultfinding, and a Negative, Judgmental Attitude!” Joyce Mayer
C. “If  you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou
D. If it no longer works for you, then leave. It’s never worth staying at a job that makes you miserable and doesn’t help you become a better person. 

Be impeccable. This is the sage words of advice given to me by my significant other. This has been is chant since I started sharing with him the troubles I’m having at work. It started about 8 months ago. It really isn’t anything that should be major, but it definitely has become so. It’s learning to navigate in a shared office with someone who isn’t the most cheerful person. I have no clue how to steer this ship through the thick, murky air that’s been created.

I can respect the fact that people have bad days, or wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I can even respect the whole, “Hell, I don’t want to be here today.” WE ALL have those days; I have those days. But, when it has become a daily occurrence, combined with a negative personality, I just cave. I do not have the tools in my life box to work and manage this on my own. I have no clue how to do any of the suggestions I’ve found on numerous websites.

I have become very much triggered. My C-PTSD is off the charts right now. I have been sick. When I get overly stressed, it tends to affect me from the inside out. I am antsy, anxious, and super angry. I am shaky. My blood sugars have been off; in the high range.  I’ve developed massive heartburn. I’m not sleeping, and when I do, it’s very light non-REM sleep. I cry on my way home. I am so exhausted and spent when I do get home, I feed the dogs, potty the dogs, and tend to go to sleep.

I have to mantra on my way to work, “This is not a reflection of you. This does not dictate your work ethic. You be you, you do you. Stay true to you.” Literally, every day on my way to work. This truly isn’t a reflection of me. Remembering that in the heat of the issue has been really hard to grasp and hang on to. I start out my mornings strong. “You be you..” I am, daily.

I find joy every chance I get. I find joy in my coworkers. I find that my dry humor and quick wit is actually well received and returned with grins, giggles, and legitimate friendships. It has taken a LIFETIME, in a career sense, to find this. This IS my home. I don’t care if it’s just a simple Administrative position. I’m at that age where work ethic, a great atmosphere, and coworkers are more important that advancement, achievements, and a paycheck. (Granted, as long as wages match the cost of living here, lol, I’m totally content.) 

Joy and Gratitude (Hence the blog name) are really the major components that drive my life. I had a shitty childhood with a severe lack of joy. I had a shitty young adult life, with the only joy being my son. I’ve had a hard time finding, acknowledging, and reveling in the joy I have manifested in my own life. I MANIFESTED. I didn’t wait for it to find me, I fought tooth and nail to acquire exactly what I want and need to live successfully. I have changed every aspect of my life to love it fully.

 

I have learned the art of self awareness. I have the strength to set and hold boundaries. I am able to watch for the joy stealers; complaining, criticism, and negative judgmental attitudes. So much, in fact, I have cut my number one negative person out of my life – my mom.

How does one do it when it’s at work? I do not have the ability to control the whole environment. I can only control my little space around my desk, and unfortunately, I share an office. This person I share the office with is one of those that is described above: Joy Stealer. I’m not attacking this person. I’m stating a fact. This person is super

 unhappy with their life, thus makes everyone around suffer the negativity as well. I try, on a daily basis, to overcome the negativity.

Frankly,  2 o’clock hits, and so does the headache. This headache lingers until I get home around 6-630p. Headache brings heartburn, brings shakes. I’m exhausted. I start to shut down. I have no fight and my force shield starts to drop. I can only control my reaction, and I’m failing at keeping it up and strong. I know that if it’s something I cannot change, then I can control my attitude towards it. 

I approached this person a few months ago. I had an open, candid conversation. Things started to get better. It was observed by other co-workers. The office energy had began to grow positive, thrive even. Something shifted. Then, I let my guard down, came to work without my mantras. I was not even focusing on hope or prayer that it will be breathable, something shifted yet again. 

I am back to being completely at a loss. So lost in fact, I’ve become the very behavior I’m frustrated with: volatile, hostile, irritable, cranky, and brash. I’ve become a face with a scowl, standoffish demeanor, and unapproachable persona. All the things I strive NOT to become. It’s like the negative energy has been so thick and suffocating, it’s pulled me in. I have to become the energy to survive within the energy. THIS IS NOT ME. I hate this. I don’t know if I am more frustrated with the fact that this has been a concern of mine for about seven months now. Or, if I am more frustrated because I allowed it to control my outcomes. I am not a hostile person. I cringe at the thought that I can be.

I am trying to figure out how and where to go from here. I’ll be damned if I leave this position. This isn’t a job or a paycheck, this is a new found family for me. I’m invested in those around me, and care sincerely about the happenings in their lives: births, weddings, deaths, birthdays, everything. I will not be pushed out, even if that’s not the intent from this other person. I know me well enough that I don’t fight, I walk away. I refuse to walk away. 

The struggle in that is that I am back to only being able to control myself. I have read every freaking “Toxic work environment” self help website I can find. I have listened to various TED talks. I can only control so much around me, and can only control my own reactions. How does one person actually thrive while slowly being squished? I am worn out. I am so freaking tired. I’m at a loss and unsure how to process and proceed.

* I want to be there. This office mate has made it very clear that they do not; job searching, submitting resumes’, and taking interview calls.
* I want to try to make this work, which I have on a daily basis. I have extended the olive branch. I have reached out. * I have asked if there was a way to rectify it directly with this person.
* I have asked for guidance from supervisor(s). I have received great input, positive options, viable solutions. I have tried to initiate these options. It was received once by them, and only to be dismissed shortly after.
* I hate feeling like I am walking on egg shells, and this is where the PTSD kicks in. I feel exactly how I did when I came come to my abuser, I didn’t know what mood mask he would be wearing and how it will affect my night. I feel this way going into work. I don’t know what mood mask this office mate will be wearing, and how it will affect my day.
* I have tools in my emotional tool box to try to work through it: headphones, support from coworkers, support from my boyfriend.
* I am a 41 year old woman dealing with the office drama of a 20+ something. 

I have hope that this is salvageable. I know that I am an asset. I’ve been reassured that this is very much so. I know my work, work ethic, and my standing. I know that I contribute to the organization in a strong, sturdy, manner. I know that my coworkers can and do count on me. I am able to communicate my needs, concerns, and wants. I can get through this, as I am strong, intelligent, and experienced. I know that the only way through this is with patience and compassion. I needed to write this out, so formulate my thoughts, so that I can see the root cause. I needed to remind myself of patience and compassion. I need to get back to a place of mindfulness and zen.

Abuse · Beauty · Belief · Blessings · Changes · Changing · Compassion · Counseling · Depression · Faith · Fear · Forgiveness · Friends · Friendship · Gratitude · Happiness · Healing · Hope · Journey · Love · My Life · Positivity · Romance · Self Acceptance · Self Esteem · Self Love · Spirit

. Obsessed .


post divider image
So… Ack!! Let’s just start with that. AAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhccckkkkkkkkk!! Shake it off, right?

I have spent the last couple years focusing on healing from my domestic violence situation. It has driven me to push forward and through the emotional traps that have sprung up over the course of my healing. I have assumed this whole time that my abuser was the wicked source of my lack of self esteem, self care, and insecurities. Boy, was I ever wrong.

Let me catch you up a bit, and then I’ll come full circle into my statement above. I have been in counseling hard core since March 2015. I have been averaging two group therapies a week, as well as a 1×1 session with my therapist bi-weekly. I have worked hard on myself, my mind, my emotions and my ability to communicate what my needs are before I break down into a suicidal depressive state. I have come to thoroughly enjoy each week and the topics the group settings introduce. I love it so much, I’m working towards Peer Counseling. My overall goal is to go back to college and finish my psych degree. I want to work with domestic violence victims and/or become a d.v. advocate. I am venturing into my 40s exactly how I wanted to two years ago when I left my abuser. “I will enter my 40s as a rock star.” As my counselor says, “You’ve always been a rock star, it’s just getting you to believe it as well.” So here I am, a freaking advocate for mental health . . . and I wouldn’t change the path it took me to get here for anything.

In these groups I have created a safe, supportive group of friends. It is amazing who your tribe begins to morph the more you grow and establish your own boundaries.  I learned to purge those from my life that were not healthy for me anymore. I learned to establish a set of boundaries by changing my vibe, especially in regards to myself. I changed my view of “me” and that allowed me to see who around me was supportive. I can honestly say I am thankful for the new troup I have built around me. I have some strong female friends to thank for that. (Karla, Julie, Mary, Suzanne, Kerry… to name a few). Changing my inner voice to question my negative self talk is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. That’s not to say, however, that I am perfect. I still have moments of doubt, it’s just not crippling or damaging anymore. Those boundaries and self discoveries aided in my ability to see romantic relationships differently as well.

After a few messy dates, and my capacity to see what was happening and not what I wanted to happen, I finally met a fantastic man. The greatest thing about this is I am not blinded by “newness” of a relationship. I went in knowing who I am, my boundaries, my strengths and weaknesses. I met someone who is in a great place spiritually and mentally as well. We are taking our time, moving slow. It helps that we’re about an hour apart from one another; that forces us to be slow. One of the biggest compliments he gave me recently, “I like that I don’t feel like I need to save you. You’re doing such a great job saving yourself.” Hell Ya I am. It is about time as well. I’ve said it quite a few times, and I will say it again, I am thankful for the path my relationship history has put me through. It has helped forge and guide me to who I am today. However, I have come to quickly realize, not only in my counseling, but from my current relationship that my abuser is not my sole focus.
My ex-husband is.

How does that work out? My ex-husband is my biggest hurdle in the ghost of relationships past. Wow. I didn’t fully recognize this until my current beau enlightened me that in almost all of our conversations I have made mention of my ex-husband. Not only have I made mention, it’s usually negative. This is not healthy. When his words landed that blow on my emotional
psyche, I ruminated on it for about an hour. He’s right, you know. I do mention my ex quite often. It’s not a “hung up on him” scenario. It’s the fact I have never really mourned our friendship. The friendship was severed beyond my control. I wanted an amicable divorce. I didn’t contest, or fight, or push. I wanted it easy, in hopes to mend and keep our friendship. We’ve known each other for 26 years; almost longer than his new wife has been alive (I think she’s 27 now). I believe, deep inside, if she wasn’t a factor in preventing him and I from talking, we’d be able to at least have closure. It was all so brash when she became involved. So where does that leave me? Apparently, it leaves him at the forefront of my mind . . . . so much more than the abuser ever was. How do I “get over it”? Or, “Let it go”?

And please, for the love of all that’s sanity, don’t sing the damned song.

How to let it go. I don’t believe in irony anymore. I firmly believe in a path of learning placed before us. I believe that angels come down and take form of  people when you’re truly in need. I believe the universe slaps us upside the head when we’re “really not getting it.” A couple weeks back the discussion in one of my group therapies was around exactly that, “Letting it go.” There was a huge discussion surrounding the fact that you can’t really, “Let it go.” That the event(s) or trauma that lead you to hold onto the pain will always be in your memory. You cannot ever really let it go. What I took from that, what I processed over and over again in my mind, was the fact that you can’t let the event go.. . but you can let the pain go. But first, you have to define exactly what the pain is.

The pain. The truth of the matter. The emotions behind the transient being taking up space and dwelling over and over again in your mind. Pain is healing and growth. But why am I holding onto it with my ex husband? I will never get my credit back. I will never get my car that was repo’d back. I will never get the ten years invested into the actual romantic relationship back. I will never get back anything invested, really. On a cognitive, rational level, I fully understand this. What good is it to harbor those memories though? Fear…? Maybe a little. Fear that I’ll be wooed into a similar relationship scenario. Anger…? Ya, there’s a lot of that. I’m angry over the fact we were friends for as long as we were and it ended in the manner it did. But, it’s done and over, right?

I need to restructure my thoughts so that I do not continue to move forward in this relationship in a way that could potentially ruin it. We’ve been divorced since 2011. Friendship, and any resulting relationship, has been finalized and severed. Closure will not happen, at least not right now. I cannot continue to harbor these thoughts. I have to let the emotions and pain surrounding the relationship go.

From the movie, “Peace, Love and Misunderstanding”

Diane: You want me to just let go of 40 years of irresponsibility, embarrassment, and her total refusal to grow up?
Jude: Yes, exactly.
Diane: [incredulous] Like a balloon that’ll just float away.
Jude: It’s not a balloon, Diane. It’s a sandbag you’ve got to drop for the balloon to get off the ground.

Abuse · Belief · Body Positive · Changes · Changing · Compassion · Counseling · Depression · Fear · Happiness · Healing · Hope · Journey · Love · My Life · Romance · Self Acceptance · Self Esteem · Self Love · Suicide

. Prowess .

** warning – sexually graphic content. read at your own discretion **

I had a rough session with my therapist today. The end conclusion is that I really, truly have never experienced genuine love; but yet I desire a love of a lifetime deeply. I yearn for a hearth and home. I’ve blogged about it before, but today is a bit different. It took someone from my past to really resurface some buried memories and feelings.

The mental road trip I took with him has left me staggering; tripping over my own defense mechanisms that jut out of my past like broken pieces of glass in my path.

Here we are a week later, and I have had nothing but time to think about it. (By “think about it” I really mean, “Overthink, overanalyze and personally demean self worth.) I have never really identified with an addiction, this week however, I have the realization that I too have an addiction. My addiction isn’t so much “sex” per se.. It’s more the desperate longing desire to actually be wanted. I tend to sell my self worth for a brief moment of intimacy. In those moments of sexual gratification, I could convince myself that I was wanted and loved. I told myself this for so long, I actually believe the lie.  I have spent 20+ years selling off pieces of my soul like a bargain at a dollar store. I have been taught to believe that men promise a relationship for sex, and women promise sex for love.

How do you come back from that?

I have had a lot of sexual partners. There it is. It’s out, it’s open. Judge lest ye be judged. It’s the only thing I “knew”. It’s the only thing I identified that the male gender wanted from me; from age 14 when I was raped by a 26ish guy. Before I actually lost my virginity, willingly, all I ever heard were rumors from various groups of guys who would boast, “I could hit that.” There are a few key moments in my teenage years, that I really feel were pivotal in my sexual awareness and development.

I will start at 14, when I was in a foster home. I was always an early developed teen. I had hips, small waist, big ass and size C/D breasts. I was immediately placed into a sexual position because my genetic code made me a “woman” at a young age. This memory has been blocked from my conscious for years, until just recently. So, bare with me. I remember partying with a neighbor at the foster home. He had all the teens at his house, he always did. We’d drink beer, listen to Guns N’ Roses, and just talk like “adults”. But I wasn’t. I was only 14.  What I remember in my jagged memories is that the group left. I was left behind. I remember feeling kind of out of it, loopy… from the booze or maybe more. I remember we were in his room and he started kissing on me, grabbing my thighs, reaching up under my shirt. I remember kind of “checking out” mentally. He was far too big to fight. I remember him trying to penetrate me, but as a young… virgin.. he couldn’t. He got frustrated and pissed. He just kept pushing, forcing. I remember whimpering and he shoved me off his bed. I remember a friend had come back to find out where I was, because I hadn’t left when they did. I remember this friend kind of sort of sneaking me back in my house to sleep it off. From this point forward, I remember being a “mean” girl towards guys, this lasted until I actually willingly slept with one. And then, it became the norm. “Fuck it, sex is all they want, then fine.”

Second incident, I can recall that instilled and enabled the thought that all my worth was tied into being a “cum dumpster” (actual term a guy used “jokingly” when I was around 19.) I used to take the public transit everywhere. I was probably about 16 or so. It was summer. I was wearing this cute, typical 1990s figure fitting floral dress. It wasn’t too revealing, short, or trashy.  I was standing up on Pac Hwy waiting for the bus; Pac Hwy is known for a lot of street walkers. I was minding my own business, standing there reading my book. A car pulls up next to me, this guy rolls down his window and asks, “How much?” I was totally, completely taken aback. I started crying from shock. I sputtered, “I’m not a hooker!” The bus started to arrive at that moment. So, the impression this left me with subconsciously was that I really am only worth what my body can offer.

Third incident, was in Junior High. It’s not as pivotal as the first two in my mind which is why it’s out of linear timeline, but it still affected me. I never realized exactly how much it affected me until counseling today. There was this peer named Adam. Adam was apart of the “in” crowd. I had taken a photography class, so this had to be around 9th grade. I was in the dark room, prepping my film. Adam came in, got up really close behind me. He used his pelvis to push into mine, and rubbed himself on me. He turned me around, put his right hand on my left breast and forced me to kiss him. He laughed at my face when he was done. Later, at lunch, he told everyone I tried to kiss him. He told everyone I was just a slut. That labeled me for the rest of my school career. I think at this point, I gave in and just became what every man expected me to be.

This lasted up until last week. It’s weighing heavy on my heart. I have never been worth dating; from teenage years to current. I am sure lacking a father, knowing a “good” / “true” man has a lot to do with the shaping of my sexual identity. I am sure that having a chaotic childhood instilled the grasping and grabbing of any attention given to me; even if it’s a falsified promise of love. It’s still touch, emotion, feelings for a brief moment. I am also sure that the reason I carry so much weight on me is so that men don’t see me as a ‘sex symbol’ anymore, they just see me as me.. or don’t see me at all. I’m pretty fucked up in the head.

Now, with my counselor’s help, I am able to recognize it for what it is. I am going to learn to readjust my thinking. I do know that I dream of hearth and home. I dream of a love of a life time. I have to let my convoluted ideas go. I have to relearn what love is.

First assignment from her, “Define what love is to you”. Yay.

Beauty · Belief · Blessings · Changes · Changing · Counseling · Depression · Forgiveness · Friends · Friendship · Gratitude · Happiness · Healing

. I walk alone .

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I had a chance to reconnect with someone from high school. Our paths crossed, but never connected. We were from different ends of the clique universe. She was a cheerleader and apart of the “in” crowd. I was from the group that got picked on by the in crowd. She, however, was never one to bully or cause problems. She was kind of quiet, from what I remember.

It’s now 21 years later and we’re adults. I posted on Craigslist for the need of strong female friends, purely platonic. I had a few answer, and one happened to be this woman from high school. At the time I did not know it. It wasn’t until we connected through facebook that it dawned on me.

We had a chance to meet up in person on Friday evening. We sat and talked for about an hour, just catching up. I asked her why our peers were relentless towards me. She could only answer for herself, “I thought you were just a loner.”

I’ve been thinking about this so much since Friday night. I wonder now how many perceived me as a loner? I was totally alone, and felt it. I was awkward and didn’t know how to connect to people. My mom says I was really unapproachable. I believe it’s heavily filtered over into my adult life. I still am a loner, and really dislike it. I’m an introvert but I believe it’s more for habit than actuality. I’d love to be able to go out and about without worrying about the crowds.

Is it possible to be one way because of habit, and not influenced by true self?

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. Drops of Jupiter .

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Life is way too short to waste…
Make every moment count.

This is so easily read,  just as easily as it is to type. Digesting it, however, is like taking a spoonful of medicine without the sugar aiding it on the way down; bitter, grainy and really hard to swallow. 

Make every moment count. Well, what happens if you wake up 39 years old and realize there are only a handful of moments you chose in your life to make count? What happens if you’re facing death, a mere 30 years if you’re lucky? What happens when mortality, and that fact that you do only have one life to live, knocks the wind out of you?

You become me. Broken, but healing. Lost, but slowly finding my way. Cynical and jaded, reclusively hiding from the world; one book, one netflix program, one video game at a time.

All I can think about, right now at 2:20 a.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2015, is that I really lived this life wrong. I have made so many horrible choices that just flushed the best years away. Most of those choices were for love. They were for men who presented love in a package that was beautifully wrapped, colorfully attired, and perfectly alluded. I was always able to see the best in even the worst of cases. What I was seeing was this brilliantly presented gift, what others could see was a torn trashbag barely holding the contents within. Because I was seeking love. I was searching for it, harder than finding a hidden bedazzled, heart-shaped geocache’. 

Irony here. My favorite quote from the Bible, “Do not arouse or awaken love until she so desires.” Song of Solomon 8:4. I first read it sitting in the most painfully dull church sermon. I absentmindedly thumbed through the Bible, and it jumped off the page at me. I was roughly 17 years old. I was eye deep in bad choices; trying to find validation and love through sex. “Do not arouse or awaken love…” Simply put, “Bitch, stop pushing. Stop fighting to be seen and loved. Stop arousing life with bad choices.”

 Choices. . . that’s a heavy word. C.h.o.i.c.e.s; each letter weighs upon my shoulders like Atlas’ own sphere he holds up. Atlas, who was punished for a choice he made with his loyalties. Atlas, whose common misconception is that he held up the Earth. Atlas held celestial spheres, a globe shape with stars, planets, systems. Humans make wishes every day, almost as many choices are made as wishes. We wish upon those stars, those celestial entities that burdens Atlas. 

If I could time travel, I would go back to pivotal moments in my life where I had made wishes upon stars, and would tell myself to pay attention to my choices, and not so much my wishes. I would travel to those moments when I had opportunities to be a stronger, vibrant, intelligent woman. I would whisper sweet nothings in my own ear, encouraging me to just love me, for everything that I am. I would hold my own hand, pat my own back, and hug myself when times were too rough. I’d offer an encouraging word when the negative in my head takes shape from the shadows around me, pulling in the dark, while it looms over me. 

I would be my own lover, my own soulmate.  

I would do all of this so that I could enjoy being me without the additional hurt I’ve put myself through; by my own words, by my own thoughts, by my own choices. I didn’t follow my creative path, because conforming was expected. I am having a midlife crisis, with a body that feels 60 years old and a mind that never emotionally matured passed mid 20s. 

I love that I am getting to know me. I love that I am working so hard at healing, counseling, and reshaping my thoughts about myself. I hate that it has taken me my whole life to get here. I hate that it has taken suicide attempts, self hate, and the desire to disappear to realize that, by God(dess), I am worth

Every breath.
Every step. 
Every fucking heart beat in my chest.
And every good choice I will make for myself from this point forward. 

Because, I am thankful to wake up and realize my big bang is still forming. That I can still create a livable, viable environment in the next 30ish years.

This point forward, I do not want any regrets. I do not want to look back and see my choices were horrible from puberty to death. I want contentment and genuine happiness; even though I’m clinically depressed. I know that I can be happy. 

A few songs of solar systems, choices, and being okay.

Beauty · Belief · Body Positive · Changes · Changing · Compassion · Depression · Friends · Friendship · Happiness · Healing · Health · Hope · Journey · Love · My Life · Positivity · Self Acceptance · Self Esteem · Self Love

. Fat Girl Walking .

“Each push forward leaves the former person you were in your wake, creating room for an improved version, one that is stronger, healthier and forward-looking, one who knows that anything is possible.”

A friend and I are going to start walking. It will be slow. I will be fat, slow and out of breath. But, I will be going, one footstep, one pant, one sweaty brow at a time. I am excited to start. I am also already exhausted at the mere thought of starting.

This friend and I have been posting motivational comments, pictures and stories with one another to try to get this going. Our schedules conflict somewhat, so it’s been hard setting a launch date. People can read, see and comment on our facebook posts; even people I no longer with to associate with. These people are mainly from high school.

One of them attempted to add me on facebook. Now, I have spent a great deal of time trying to purge those I no longer want in my life. I have been trying to replace them with a troupe, or tribe, of people that are more aligned with my kinship. Best quoted by my friend above, “The people in my life all share one thing in common…they are all genuine. Seriously real, empathetic awesome people. I have no place in my life for bigots or close-minded people… and all claim different religions, or spiritual callings… yet don’t push it on others.” I need these kinds of influences, and have worked hard over the last two years to develop the boundaries and strength to do this.

The one that attempted to add me, although she’s not a bigot or close-minded, she surrounds herself with individual from my high school years that tormented me. I tried to make amends with that part of my life by attending my 10 year high school reunion in 2004. I was met with comments like, “She got as big as a school bus.” and “Who does she think she is dressing like that?” So I’m here to say, “FUCK OFF” to that era and the people who represent that era of my life. They were NOT kind to me in high school, and never grew up 10 years later. I missed out on my 20th, because, no way was I going to harm my path of healing by attending something that makes me feel more like shit about myself. This person, represents that era, those people, and those wounds.

She messaged me and said she just wanted to root us on, be our cheerleaders. Ya know what, I don’t want a cheerleader who’s expecting me to fit into some ideal of weight loss from high school on. See, I’m a fat woman. I am fat. I weight 324 lbs. There, I put it out there. “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” I was large in high school, BUT NOT OBESE. I was thick, curvy and muscular from JROTC. But, I was called lard ass, fat ass, and cow by those very peers that later called me a school bus.

I am not walking to lose weight, for them or for me. I am not walking to “lose weight.” I am walking to increase my breathing function, especially due to my Sarcoidosis. I am walking to build my endurance. I am walking to free my mind of the thoughts that have been weighing me down; THAT’S THE ONLY WEIGHT I AM LOOKING TO LOSE.

See, I am happy with who I am. If I walk and never lose an ounce, I am more okay with that than anything else in my life. If I walk, and retain the body gifted to me by my maker(s), then by God, I WILL enjoy my BODY. Those that I choose to have in my life, well, they will also love me for who I am. They will not love me for trying to change myself… in anyway; weight, mind, body, soul. This is my life. I am okay with myself, body included.

All this comes down to one thing… You didn’t support me then, don’t try to support me now. I’ve created boundaries for myself. You’re not apart of that inner boundary I have. Thank you for your attempt to cheer me/us on, thank you for trying. But as I move forward into my 40s, I’m doing this my way.

Abuse · Beauty · Belief · Body Positive · Friends · Friendship · Happiness · Healing · Hope · Love · My Life · Outrage · Romance · Self Acceptance · Self Esteem · Self Love

The “nots” and what not.

I am flooded with vile images and statements about being fat; whether it’s echoes from my childhood, or from my doctor, or from my own cynical self loathing mind. Just type the word “fat” into google and see what comes up. Hell, there’s even a “all fat people must die” subcategory on reddit dedicated to mocking, hating and threatening people who are overweight.

Where do I fit in on this planet? Transgendered individuals have more respected space in our society than an overweight person does. Think about that for a moment. What the hell is wrong with people?

My worth is not defined by my weight. It just is not. I have so many amazing qualities that are unfortunately packaged in an unflattering body; ironically it’s only unflattering because we are in a society that pushes image more than anything else.

I am not a thin woman.
I do not fit in the conventional, conformed ideas of what being a woman is.
I am not okay in my head, I have a lot of struggles.
I am not fat, I have a lot of fat. 
I am not defined by my weight. 

I know that I am worthy of love that I give to others. I know my worth. I have, however, lost all faith in the process anymore; the romance, and the “whole wooing the woman you want for the rest of your life ideals”.

I’m have a lot of fat on me, a lot. I also know that if you put me in a line of women, I would never get chosen. Men see with their eyes. They’re very vain and physically driven. The reality, the “raw” of it, is that my humor, intellect and personality are no longer in the running. We are, unfortunately, a society that bases everything on first looks. And I’m too old to try. My youth is no longer on my side. All that remains are the great things that reside inside of me. But it takes someone interested to take the time, get to know me, and learn of my positives. This will never happen because the convenience of everything “in your face” has caused our attention spans to focus on this moment. In this moment, all that can be taken in is my short, morbidly obese, body size. 

I am coming around to the fact that we are just broken. Our society has become so instant gratification and throw away, that dating does not exist. It really doesn’t anymore. Social media, hook-up sites, and airing all our shit on blogs (Yes, that includes my blog as well) has caused us to give up caring about soul connecting. We no longer look for the great person inside of the other person. 

Well, not all of us, I am seeking a deeper soul connection. I’ve had to go through hell and back to come to that realization, but that is what I want. So, knowing that in this life a deeper soul connection isn’t going to happen for me, because we’re so image and body size conscious that most people no longer have the “time” to connect in that manner, I am coming to terms with being alright with my dogs and being alone.