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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.

Belief · Blessings · Buddha · Changes · Changing · Depression · Fear · Friends · Friendship · Gratitude · Happiness · Healing · Journey · My Life · Self Love · Spirit

. 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.

Body Positive · Changes · Changing · Consumerism · Greed · Health · Hope · Negative People · Outrage · Politics · Positivity · Self Acceptance · Self Esteem · Self Love · Suicide · Youth

. Content of Your Soul .

I watched the video/commercial. I am stating my opinion, which may be biased as a woman, but here we go. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this commercial.
 
If anything, I find it empowering, for BOTH men and women.
 
If anything, I find it validating, for BOTH men and women.
 
If you’re a man who is finding issue with a commercial or company promoting respect, then the issue is not with the content of the commercial, but the content of your soul.

We are in the midst of an awakening within our society. People, men and women alike,  are beginning to hold each other accountable for unacceptable behaviors.

Women no longer need to remain tight lipped with grace over inappropriate behaviors, comments, or actions towards them or their bodies.

Women no longer need to, “smile and giggle” when there’s an unwanted ass grab. 

Women no longer need to accept unsolicited dick pics in private message while active on social media.

Men no longer need to remain “tough” and carry the persona of “strength” when bullied, belittled, or mocked for showing emotion.

Men no longer have to hide their “less than masculine” hobbies or interests. I have male friends who find that over the last 10-20 years, aspects of their “male persona” have changed. “I used to be uncomfortable with my wife’s purse in our cart. Now, I just don’t care.”

Men are even allowed to show support in one another without it looking, “Gay”.

If toxic masculinity is, as Piers Morgan says, “… pathetic global assault on masculinity,” then why is it even a hot topic? What I am finding is that men who are offended, protesting, and boycotting like Piers Morgan, are avoiding the question of whether or not they’re actually guilty of these very behaviors.” (compiled with the fact that a lot of them I’m reading on social media haven’t actually WATCHED the video). Don’t come at me with your defensiveness if you haven’t fully educated yourself on the topic at hand.

Just to be clear, Gillette’s ad does not implicate all men as those who act in this manner. This ad promotes that all men should hold each other accountable by calling out the behaviors.

This is not attacking “all” men for this behavior, it’s attacking the behavior itself. If those seeing this as an attack on “all men’s” masculinity, then it’s not the commercial with the issue, it’s your perception of masculinity that is.

“The gender doth protest too much,  me thinks. “

Maybe it’s time to actually discuss and define, “Toxic Masculinity”? What I have found researching the new coined term, “…a manifestation of Patriarchy that both harms men, and causes men to be violent and aggressive against women and occasionally other men.”

Personally, for me, it is when we even need to call out “boys will be boys” mentality. It’s when we tell girls that, “…it means he likes you if he pulls your hair”, as opposed to teaching our sons that pulling hair is not way to express your crush on a person.

Or, the doxxing of female game programers, artists, geeks, nerds, cosplayers, and activists who fight against the men who feel women have no place in the gaming cyber geek world.

Women, such as Brianna Wu, had all of their personal information released online opening avenues of abuse from men worldwide. “One tweet said, “I’ve got a K-bar and I’m coming to your house so I can shove it up your ugly feminist cunt.”

If you do not see an issue with this, then the problem isn’t Gillette, again, it’s you and your belief systems.

Another example of abuse because of gender and nationality, Kelly Marie tran. Who had this to say when she penned a beautiful statement as to why she’s leaving social media. She was mocked and harassed for everything from gender to weight, from role to ethnicity. The attackers took open hunt on her instagram and even her woookiepedia page.

Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of color already taught me: that I belonged in margins and spaces, valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories,” Tran wrote. “Their words reinforced a narrative I had heard my whole life: that I was “other,” that I didn’t belong, that I wasn’t good enough, simply because I wasn’t like them. And that feeling, I realize now, was, and is, shame, a shame for the things that made me different, a shame for the culture from which I came from. And to me, the most disappointing thing was that I felt it at all.”

Or, how schools push and shame their preteen to teen girls about their clothing, as opposed to teaching boys to respect women and their bodies, and then punish them for wearing shorts and tank tops in 102 degree weather.

Our daughters are raised with vile, sexually charged advertising in EVERYTHING, but then shamed if they immulate the very examples they’re taught. Toxic masculinity is defending and promoting advertisers like Abercrombie & Fitch or Carl’s Jr, who make a point of objectifying women, and encouraging the behaviors behind it. There’s even a study that shows men and women (BOTH) are affected mentally by these types of advertisers. (Sited Resource) This study has found that sexualized advertisements could have a negative effect on men as well as women .

Final example of toxic masculinity, in my eyes, are the sheer number of sexual violence and assaults that do not get reported. Why? Because women aren’t taken serious when they say they are victims.

Do you know how many rape kits have sat unopened, unexamined, untested? In my state, Washington State, according to a 2018 statewide inventory conducted by the Attorney General’s Office, 6,460 backlogged. If that’s just one state, imagine the numbers for our whole nation. It doesn’t help when certain celebrities promote these ideals

If toxic masculinity isn’t a thing, there wouldn’t be NUMEROUS social media pages dedicated to showing that women are property/meat, and men deserve all of it no questions asked….
Because, as Piers Morgan says, “Let boys be damn boys. Let men be damn men. Sexually harasses coanchor.

More sources:
Women Women Refuse

#MeToo

Addressing Gender-Based Harassment in Social Media: A Call to Action
Rachel N. Simons, The University of Texas at Austin

End the Backlog – Accountability Project by Joyful Heart Foundation

Justice and Research Statistics Association

#Gillette #MeToo #Empowerment #Toxicmasculinity
Changing · Consumerism · Gratitude · Greed · Happiness · My Life · Spirit

. Less is More .

So, there I was, standing at the sink doing dishes… so many dishes for just two people; my housemate and I. The sheer amount of flatware to wash, ugh! Anyone who truly knows me, knows that dishes are not the chore of choice. But there I was, swipe, wipe, rinse, repeating and staring off into the nether realm. It was in that moment that I fully understood the meaning of, “less is more.”

When my housemate and I moved into our duplex, we had two spoons, two forks, a number of plastic flatware, and I think one butter knife. This absolutely drove me mad, so I went out and purchase a flatware set for six. It was this decision that I realized doing the dishes I made a grave mistake. When we had the few utensils we had, we were forced to be proactive and actually tend to the dishes, almost daily. With the ease of having a plethora of spoons to choose from, we no longer stayed up on doing our dishes. Abundance equates laziness. 

How does this apply to the rest of my life? In so many ways, food, clothes, knick-knacks… just so many things. Things I do not need, but want.

I realize that this is another avenue of seeking balance in my life. I have decided that I’m going to attempt to use less, starting with flatware. 

Beauty · Changing · Compassion · Happiness · My Life · Self Esteem · Spirit

. Scheme of Things .

 

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 grand scheme of things, we are told that “love your neighbor, do onto others, etc” is the golden rule. However, that is just a snippet of the actual “golden rule”. There is a second half that we so quickly forget.

In Buddhism, “Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”
In Taoism, “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.”
Even in Christianity (The most debated, discussed, and wrongfully interpreted religion outside of Muslim) says, “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you, for this is the law and the prophets.”

The part that we so quickly put to the side is the aspect of respecting and loving yourself. It is so easy to do onto others in a respectful, friendly, positive way. I know personally, loving and respecting myself is the biggest hurdle to jump in this lifetime.

How many times have I heard, “Would you say that to a younger Regan?” “Is that something you would say to a friend?” All preceding some negative self talk that escapes my lips. What if the golden rule isn’t do onto others, but really, Do onto yourself and the rest will follow?

When I meet my maker and my negatives are brought forward in question, it will be easy for me to acknowledge the mean side I’ve projected onto others. However, when questioned about my self love, I know that I am going to stumble over my words far worse than a young mom navigating through scattered lego blocks with bare feet.

The hardest part for me is the knowledge that this takes place on a daily basis, I’m rational this way. However, my emotional maturity is lacking, and I am blank on how to correct this. I would hope that my maker isn’t such a malevolent God that I’m banished to some personal hell to replay on repeat daily. I would hope a loving God would guide and teach like a mentor.

I do love so many areas of my life, my employment, my friends, my freedom. I sit here at 42 and realize I do love myself, but damned if I didn’t learn this way later than I could have.

I figure I have about 20 more years of life ahead of me. Here’s to due diligently focusing on the Golden Rule, “Love yourself first, and the rest will follow.

Beauty · Changing · Fear · Healing · Health · Positivity · Self Acceptance · Self Esteem · Self Love

. Gluttonous Self-Harm .

 

 

I had a very personal, painful realization as I was stuffing my face with mac’ n cheese last night. I didn’t stop eating until I felt my stomach protest from the expansion and fullness; even then, I didn’t want to stop. It’s the only thing I “felt” since last Friday. This is not good self-care practice. It is, however, a good awakening.

I work in Social Services. I’m aware of the “self-harm” phenomenon, I just could never get my mind around it. “How can someone willingly cut themselves to ‘release pain’ and ‘feel alive, to feel something'”? I have been really critical in my way of thinking towards this. Having come from an abusive past, I could never fathom openly harming myself until I bleed.

As I was sitting on my couch, “shoveling” food into my face, feeling the effects of it expanding my stomach to the point of pain, I strongly realized I am no different. You can’t see my self-harm scars in forms of angry red scars on my skin. Nope. You see it in my weight.

I am morbidly obese; those who read this know this.
I am a health risk; those who know me personally know this.

But, I realized, I don’t eat enough on a day to day basis. I’ve been told time and again by family and friends, “You eat like a bird.” I’ve heard from nutritionists who put me on a caloric intake diet, that I’m not meeting my daily needs by about 200-500 calories a day. This is true. I’ve tracked it with myfitnesspal. I have seen it, black and white, that I’m lacking caloric intake. But, I shrug my shoulders. In a sense, I don’t care. Food is just not a thing for me. When I do eat, or even think about eating, I tend to do a lot of nibbling/grazing. (Which I’ve been told is healthier, but eh..)

On the other hand, when something emotionally charged triggers my C-PTSD, the only thing I can control is my food. Hell, I can’t even control my thoughts until well after gorging. It’s become somewhat of a rebellious act, since my teen years. I heard, “You’re too fat to do that” or “Lose weight and conform” so much in my youth through puberty, I went the route of “Fuck you, I’m going to eat anything I want, and how much I want!”

My sister, whom I love dearly, took it the other route. She has an eating disorder binge / purge. We both are self-harming, but not in the obvious ways we hear about. Over eating should really be looked at as a self-harm, just as cutting is.

So, here I am. Fully aware of my obesity. My mortality. My mental illness. And now, fully aware that I cater to that demon that lives inside me that said, “You only have control of this in your life.” I thought I had exorcised my demons that last few  years of therapy. I thought they were shoved back down to the black murky hell they emerged from.

I’m now learning that there will always be one that shows itself when least expected.

Where do I go from here?  I’m really at a loss with this reality. I want to fight this like a warrior. I want to show that I can grow through this. Where do I start?

Beauty · Blessings · Changes · Changing · Gratitude · Happiness · Healing · Health · Journey · Love · My Life · Positivity · Self Acceptance · Self Esteem · Self Love · Spirit

. Check Engine Light .

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Turning 40 has been interesting and surreal. At 40, you’re in this strange place where your mind believes you’re still in your late 20 – early 30, but your body says, “Um… nope.” But it’s not a sudden denial of fantasy. No, no, it has more of a subtle creeping approach that slowly draws your attention towards it. Like a well loved car.

The key to successful aging is to pay as little attention to it as possible. ~ Judith Regan

Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart. ~ Caryn Leschen

You’re driving along, sun is shining down on your pretty red car. You haven’t noticed your car in a long while, as it’s all become automated; get in, get to work, get in, get home. But the car, the paint, body and soul of this vessel hasn’t caught your eye in many moons; that is, until this sunny day.

The sun hits the paint just right, and you’ve noticed that the shine has really started to weather and fade. “That’s okay.” you say to yourself, “she’s been well loved.” You start taking inventory, as you sit in traffic for longer than desired. The fabric on the seats have thinned, thread and weave showing it’s still holding together. The dash and the doors, calloused in area where it’s provided the most support for hands. The windshield, and windows, a bit blurry from road f.o.d., but you can still see well enough to get you to and fro. Her engine sings wonderfully, even in moments of hiccups, burps, stutters. The frame, body and wheels may creak, stick, and resist movement, but she always finds a way to venture on. She may be aging, but she’s still a beaut. She’s got spunk and desire to continue escorting you and your kin, even if her age is showing. You don’t fully notice these changes, because you’ve grown old with her.

I was stuck in traffic this evening; bad, heavy traffic. It was raining in true Washington State fashion, which caused major back-ups and long periods of being at a stand still for no other reason than it’s wet out. In those moments where traffic paused, I realized that my body is my vessel.

I know that this should be obvious, and it probably is for most. However, I’ve been somewhat disconnected from my physical body my whole life. I’ve never paused long enough to practice mindfulness and truly connect with my skin, bone, and sinew. I only learned the art about a year ago. I used this dark, dreary day to connect within. I began to take inventory of “me”.  I never realized that when you hit 40, your warranty really does expire and parts start changing in rapid pace.

My eyes, as I have aged, have gotten much worse; much like the windshield on a well traveled car. I can still see, with assistance of glasses. But, age has changed them.

My hair has totally thinned out. It seems with the more silver strands that have staked claim to my temples, the thinner my hair is. It’s much like the well used fabric of the seats in the aging car. My threads are still there, just not as thick.

My hands are soft, but calloused in areas where I’ve used them well over the years; painting, typing, etc. Much like the interior of the doors and dash. They’re still viable and supportive, but well used and worn just right.

My body, I will admit I haven’t taken great care of it. It’s aging like the wheels on the car above. I creak. I groan. My knees and ankles resist movement. But, alas, I’m still able to move towards the desired destination.

I’ve taken stock in my physical, emotional, and mental changes. Age has affected me, all for the better. I may be at the point in life where my mind is young, but my body gently reminds me that it’s surpassed roller skating with ease, taking stairs two at a time, or dancing until early dawn. But we’re an old couple now, connected at the hip. I accept my aging process. I’ve tuned my dial, and turned up the vibration and will remain grateful that I’ve had the chance to connect with this body of mine; well before my check engine light turns on.

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 .

loner_by_ambar89-d3ei5l8

 

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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?