. Writing . · Abuse · Batterer · Beauty · Belief · Blessings · Body Positive · Buddha · Changes · Changing · Compassion · Counseling · Forgiveness · Gratitude · Happiness · Healing · Hope · Journey · Love · My Life · Positivity · Self Acceptance · Self Esteem · Self Love · Spirit

. 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.

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.

My Life · Spirit

. Spiraling Vicariously .

Let me preface this by saying I know I am far, far from perfect. I have triggers that cause irrational responses to negative stimuli, but only after repeated instances and lack of respect. I have learned, practiced, and instilled the art of reflection, processing, and establishing my boundaries around those triggers. This week I am finding myself trying to stay afloat in others mental chaos.

Scenario One: One housemate is unmedicated Bipolar II; I shall call her Princess. She actually seems proud of the fact that she’s not taking her medications and in a serious rapid spiraling with a heavy lean on angry, negative, violent mania. She uses it as a crutch to treat everyone around her like shit, and gloats about it. Everyone who is around her allows her to do this. She makes threats of stabbing, hurting, or attacking and people bend at her will. Her words, actions, behaviors are very  C-PTSD triggering. “Worst decision I made was helping you out.” . . . . She can’t even help herself.

Same housemate will drop an opinion on you, but when you try to discuss another view point, she freaks out. If you’re going to come at me with a harsh opinion on something, you have to be open to a rebuttal or opposing opinion. Conversation is not ALL in your hands. If you don’t want a response, think twice before stating something. Instead I’m met with, “You better watch what you say, remember last time you said something.” And, “blah blah blah. This conversation is over.” Who does that? You don’t rule my world, the world,
only yours.

Scenario Two: Homeowner/Landlord. She’s constantly in pain due to her Fibromyalgia. But again, it’s a crutch to detach and not give a rat’s ass about her home, her pets, or herself. I’ve tried, calming and rationally, to ask her to establish rules and boundaries in the house that regulate the crazy housemate 1 is causing. I’ve been met with a “Martyr / “Woe is me” Eeyore attitude. She refuses to put stipulations down to prevent the aggressive threats of bodily harm from housemate 1. I’m not too sure what it is, but she’d rather go off on me in a way warped manner than to nip the shit in the bud.

I’ve been pushed to my limit; over my limit. I’ve asked politely and have been met with a shitty response. Some of the basic quotes from tonight’s blowout:

Landlord: “I’m most likely going to die in a week.”
Me: “No. You’re just in pain.”
Landlord: “Oh that’s right, you’re so much smarter and know everything” (insert tears here).

Landlord: “You’re killing me. Right now, you’re killing me.”
Me: That’s a bit much.
Landlord: “I’m on the verge of suicide, and you’re killing me.”

Landlord: “That’s fine. Whatever. You’re not going to pay me anyways. “
Me: Excuse me? IF anything, I have always communicated funds, been open, and have paid you FIRST and foremost of anyone I owe.
Landlord: “Whatever. I don’t care about any of this. I just want your money.”
Me: Okay. You just want my money. Okay. I want a safe home to come home to.

I’m killing her because I’m asking her not to be passive aggressive in regards to house chores, and actually address the issue at hand. Princess brings days worth of dishes up from her room and dumps them into the sink. She doesn’t do her own dishes, expects everyone else to do everything for her. Landlord does dishes and sends me a nasty passive aggressive message about doing dishes. Um. I DO my dishes. I even CONTRIBUTE to the house with dish soap, sponges, etc.  But no, she won’t say anything to Princess, nope. There’s really an unhealthy disconnect with these two; which makes them great housemates for each other. It’s a weird symbiotic relationship. It’s the blind leading the deaf. It’s unhealthy.

I also have the right as an adult and human being to express my discomfort. I pay rent. This is supposed to be a safe place. It’s not ATTACKING another if you request a meeting to discuss calmly the concerns you have. You escalated way before I could even fathom doing so. 

So, what do all the triggery issues do to me? A lot, from mental to emotional to physical.

First, I start to panic inside. I immediately go to a doom spot. My actions to prevent that, speak out about my concerns. When those concerns are neither heard or rectified, I go very internal.

When I go internal, I literally feel like my physiological self is trapped in a box and it starts to lash out trying to break out. I get IBS, headaches, inability to sleep. I get super depressed. I begin to question everything; my movements, my thoughts, am I bothering anyone.

As I descend into the depression, I find myself pushing. Pushing people, pushing buttons, pushing away. I give things away. I delete friends from contacts or social media. I’d rather push you away than get into a place where anxiety and fear open the doors for hurt and disappointment.

Finally, I become the very person I’m trying set boundaries around. I get aggressive, argumentative, and angry. I get passive aggressive. I push everyone that I respect away. I find reasons to snip, growl and attack. I’m constantly on edge. I also start believing the voices in my head that tells me the world would be better off without me.

Essentially, I on a mental spiral that makes me feel out of control. It’s the weirdest sensation. I can rationally see myself spiraling, but can’t stop. It’s like, tripping on your shoelace on the stairs, seeing the tumbling ahead of you, but nothing to grasp to steady your gait. I need to be in a place that I feel safe and in control. I need to be in a place where I feel respected and heard.

Compassion · Happiness · Hope · My Life · Spirit

. Behind the Mask .

 

Walking into my office at work, you’d make quick observations of me:
1. “She’s really a fat woman.”
2. “Damn, she’s happy though.” or “Look at her chair dancing away!”
3. “She knows her shit.”

If you’re privy to become apart of my tribe, you’d meld your observations into formed opinions:
1. “She’s a strong woman.”
2. “She’s got a great personality.”
3. “She’s a loyal friend.”

All of these are various masks that I wear on the outside; which is exhausting to maintain during sun up to sun down. I literally have to put cognitive thought into making, “…happy” around me. It’s not a natural part of my being. This is what High Functioning Depression, or Dysthymia, looks likes on me.

As a fly on the all in my secure and safe abode, you would observe a radically different woman. I sit and stare, a lot, at nothing really. The television is usually on in the background, running some blathering show about something. I am surrounded by blank canvas, acrylics, and books; so many avenues of creativity, but lacking one major thing. Ooomph.

I don’t know how to properly describe what it is: Drive? I mean, I have inspiration. I have imagination. I sit here and think about all these interesting things to paint and create. I think about the process of thought to fruition. But it’s that initial start that I cannot muster. This is what high functioning depression does to me.

See that pile of laundry? I know I should do it. I know that my vacation ends today, and my work starts again tomorrow. I stare, endlessly, at that pile of laundry. But, putting my foot onto the floor and taking that first step towards finishing this goal is nil in void. This is what high functioning depression does to me.

I sit at the edge of my bed. I stare mindlessly at the room in front of me. I barely acknowledge my pugs snuggled warmly behind me. I rationally take in the aspects of my life I am very thankful for: Roof over my head, food in my belly, secure employment, insurance, etc. But I cannot find “joy” in the finer things in life. The best way to describe it is numb. I KNOW on a articulate, mental level that I shouldn’t be this dissonant. This, however, is exactly what high functioning depression does to me.

There are ample things I want to do with my day, weekend, or life. I have a bucket list  of things I desire to complete before death. I think about these things everyday. I pull out my computer to pick up and write in the novel I have started. I find myself an hour later having divided my time between facebook, games, and nothing… absolutely nothing. It is not laziness. It’s not lack of motivation. It’s just a weird lack of everything. THIS is what high functioning depression does to me.

So, I may be a happy gal when we meet. I may seem like I’m an embodiment of strength. I may seem to “have my shit together”. . . but I’m numb all the time. I lack a drive to write, eat, speak. It’s taken me four days to write this blog, from start to finish. I start, and give up within minutes of opening the WordPress app.

Please, if there is anyone in your life who “…seems normal” but is suffering depression, please just be there for them. Offer to do small steps with them. Encourage them, don’t chastise them. Listen to them, don’t just hear them. Because, High Functioning Depression is very debilitating. It is very real. Medications help, but don’t cure. They add to the numbing effects of life.

Belief · Blessings · Compassion · Employment · Forgiveness · Gratitude · Happiness · Healing · Hope · Journey · My Life · Negative People · Outrage · Positivity · Self Acceptance · Spirit · Working

. 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.


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.

. Writing . · Beauty · Compassion · Family · Forgiveness · Gratitude · Happiness · Healing · Hope · Hug · My Life · Self Acceptance · Self Esteem · Self Love · Spirit

Like a bowl full of jelly…

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It’s been a long, long while since I’ve blogged. I’ve had quite a few flowing in and through my conscious mind, but I have lacked the drive to make them come to fruition. But this morning, I felt that a healing, cathartic blog was due.

Running late today, I pulled into my coffee stand, placed my order, and waited. It’s Monday morning, and I’m not fully with it yet, physically anyways. Mentally, however, I’m steamrolling through thoughts.

The barista came back with my cup o’ heaven, she made a joke and I laughed; full belly, from the soul laugh. This laugh stopped my steamrolling thoughts instantly, like I ran into a brick wall. The realization hit me with a force that both warmed me and saddened me.

I am my mother’s daughter. 

I fought this thought for many years; fought it harder than Ali fought and knocked out Foreman in 1974. I never wanted to become my mom. There were so many ways she carried herself that I disagreed with, from her drinking to how she hated herself so much that drove her to drinking. It wasn’t until I went through domestic violence that I finally realized all of her wonderful qualities too.

I am my mother’s daughter.

I may not carry the same traits as her, but I do mirror a lot of who she is. This blog is about recognizing and accepting that I carry a lot of her within me.

My looks: I am similar in size. My hair is the same flyaway texture, with the same streaks of grey at the temples. I have the same eyes, mouth, and nose. I’ve always thought she was beautiful, even if she can’t stand how she looks. Fat or thin, she’s always been beautiful in a young daughter’s eyes.

My personality: We have the same laugh. The exact same laugh; except that I tend to snort lol. Our laugh has always been fully, deeply, authentic. It’s the kind of laugh where you cackle and your whole body gets into it. There’s no little laugh with us, it’s always been “Go big, or go home.” It’s something I’ve always loved about her. I never realized until today, when I heard my laugh at the drive thru window, that I harness that power as well.  

Humor, which rides alongside laughing, we have the same quick wit, dry deliverance sense of humor.

We also have similar intellect. Although hers is very mathematical minded, we both have the ability to communicate and debate with an intellectual side. She taught me from a young age to look up words, be friends with a dictionary, and hold myself to a higher standard. My love of reading and words extends from the hand she put out.

I can also say, with a full heart, thankful soul, and open mind, that I am grateful to be able to grow out of the stubbornness that could only focus on the negativity when I was a child. Those who know me know that I did not have it easy. My childhood was rough, and incredibly hard to laugh and maneuver through. I could have grown into something a lot worse than what I became. I’d like to thank my mother for that. Even through the negatives, a friendship and understanding was formed in my adulthood. It is possible, to put anger aside and be the daughter needed. It is possible to be the daughter who puts the disappointment aside and call out to her mom when she needed her the most.

I am my mother’s daughter. I am thankful for it everyday.

 

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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 .


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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.