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you’re already home where you feel loved

Put your dreams away for now, I won’t see you for some time…
I am lost in my mind, I get lost in my mind…
Mama once told me “you’re already home where you feel loved”
I am lost in my mind, I get lost in my mind…

Oh my brother, your wisdom is older than me.  Oh my brother, don’t you worry about me!
Don’t you worry, don’t you worry, don’t worry about me…

all you need is love ... love is all you need

all you need is love … love is all you need

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Again.  I’m making a serious effort to understand myself and the way I form my thoughts and the channels that I follow… I’m very conscious of time these days. I’m very aware of the years. I’ve arrived at this place called mid-life. My indentured servitude spans nearly 30 years. I have two young children. It’s up to me to shape them, form them and prepare them for life. And how can I do that, if I don’t have it figured out myself?! There’s a whole new generation of young people in my life, looking to me for guidance, and what can I give them? I’m fumbling along under a facade waving the fake it till you make it flag and hoping that nobody notices that I really don’t have it all going on. (To be fair to myself, I do actually have almost everything going on –I’m just trying to wrangle this emotional thangggggg…..)

I’ve been thinking about human behaviors. I’ve been observing the way insecurity manifests in people and myself. I’ve been thinking about self destructive thoughts a lot lately, and wondering where they come from, why they’re there, how to obliterate them, etc… It occurs to me that they are entirely manufactured! Not that that is any big news. I’ve known that all along, but somehow I am beginning to let it sink in, that any negative thoughts originate within myself. So if they’re coming from me, I can change my mind, and turn that ship around.  Easily enough said.

Certain thought streams tend to short circuit to emotionally unattractive destinations.  I intend to repair my mother board so that my thought streams lead to healthy destinations.

One of the show stoppers is that dangerous zone of caring what others think.  Why so much concern?  Why ANY concern?  Judgment…   It’s such a slippery slope!  The reality of the matter is that I don’t know what another person thinks or feels. Those thoughts are entirely theirs. Am I spending my time passing judgment on the people in my sphere?  Or  do I simply love them?  Ummm.  I simply love them.  So, uhhhh, hello?  Stands to reason, doesn’t it, in the most simplistic way, that not too many, if any for that matter, are spending time passing judgment on me.  Why would I bother to waste any brain space on wondering or dreading what others might think of me?  Good grief! And even if I were to play the devil’s advocate, what kind of ugliness might someone dredge up on me?  Her.  Yeah her.  She goes to work every day.  Yeah.  Imagine that.  She pays her bills.  Amazing. She lives within her means.  Unbelievable.  She takes care of her family.  Whoa.  She saves for a rainy day.  What the what?  She tries to make people smile.  Crazy.  Oh sure, she gets emo once in a while. She’s a sensitive creature with an empathetic nature, so of course the travails of others can take their toll if she’s not careful, but she’s wicked smart and kind of funny, so hey.  She’s all right.  Mmmmm hmmmmm, yes ma’am.  She’s all right.

Seriously.  It’s ridiculous to waste time and life energy on wondering what others think, and worse yet, assuming what they think.  That’s a one-man-band, honey.  It’s ALL IN YOUR HEAD!!!!  SMH…

Okay.  Sure.  I have issues.  Daddy issues.  I’ve written about it before.  WHY DIDN’T HE CARE ABOUT ME?  WHY DIDN’T I MATTER TO HIM?  etc etc etc.  The thing is, I did matter to him.  I just didn’t recognize it.  Where he could display his love, affection and admiration to and for my sisters, somehow he was unable to convey it to me.  Maybe, all along, I’ve felt irrelevant only because I’m not the charming vivacious spitfires that my sisters are.  Maybe it was difficult for him to find a way to reach me.  Who knows?!  But the fact is that I’ve carried an invalid assumption along with me for most of my life, that I somehow just don’t quite measure up to what I should.  And don’t you see?  That’s the comparison game!  Comparing myself to my sisters!  We are apples and oranges (as well as peas in a pod).  Oh how I love my sisters!!!  They are amazing people!  And we are beautiful in our differences and in our similarities.  As beautiful and amazing as they are, I am as well!  I just wasn’t tuned in to the same bat channel.  So I didn’t get the message.  That is SO tragic!!!  Fifty years old and only now just dawning.

Anyway.

One way or another, this post was meant to be about love, and how you’re home where you feel loved.  All this blah blah blah about the great “why am I the way I am?” question, but the crux of the matter and the bottom line is that happiness is that place where we feel home, where we are home.

I feel home.

This.

This is what life and love are all about.  This is everything.  Now is now. I’m living it. Now! I laugh, I smile, I hug my children. I listen.  I act silly.  I cook. I eat. I work. I take care of business. I keep up my home. I do laundry. I do dishes. I love.

I am happy.

Posted in depression, family, friends, health, love, me, men, mental health, relationships, thankfulness.

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black box mysteries

Black boxes. Those mysterious entities of which the knowns are made visible on a strictly limited basis. You know. The need to know basis. The guzzintahs (inputs – what goes in) and the guzzoutahs (outputs – what goes out) might be evident, but the inner workings? Good luck with that.

I’m no stranger to depression.  Good gravy, that’s an understatement.  I’m the queen of understatements.

I’ve recently experienced new-to-me forms to which the only explanation I can muster is the tangled cocktail of hormones clashing within my body, wherever it is that they wage war.  Probably some minuscule region in my big giant convoluted and messy brain.  I dunno.  The ‘m’ word surfaces.  It’s probably the culprit.  Most likely.  But what do I know?

I will say, this latest bout was short-lived, and THANK GOD FOR THAT, because it was a whole new level of numbness and confinement that I’d never before experienced.  In a way, if I’d had the capability for emotion beyond numbness, I’d have been terrified.  Terrified because I could see clearly that I was absolutely stuck in a place that had no way in and no way out.  I didn’t know how I got there.  I didn’t know how I could get out of there.  I was just there.  Stuck.  In a box.  Stuck in a black box.  Stuck with no will for anything.  Living?  Sure.  Fine.  Whatever.  Existing?  Sure.  Fine.  Whatever.  Dying?  Sure.  Fine.  Whatever.

While I was there, I was at least able to battle myself with self-talk.  It went like this:

depression1

depression2

depression3

depression4

depression5

 

I did snap out of it later that afternoon.  Maybe the tides changed with the latest hot flash.  Who knows.  I’m left with mixed yearnings.  I want to be helpful to someone, anyone, with the experiential knowledge that I have.  If someone else at least knows that they are understood, even if there’s little to no explanation for the given emotional state, it gives a sense of comfort and hope.  I’m generalizing based on my own perceptions, of course.  The conflicting yearning is one that wants to distance myself as far as possible from things of this nature.  This is not a pleasant place to be. Or to think about.  Ever.

I’m calling a truce and settling for the moment with a blog post.  I seldom have the energy to actually polish my thoughts, so I throw this out as a placeholder and maybe one day I’ll revisit it.  Or not.

Posted in depression, me, mental health, ob-gyn.

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the gift that keeps on giving

I am so incredibly blessed.  My life is beautiful and amazing.  I have two gorgeous children who are full of zest.  Joie de vivre – it is ours!  We live in comfort.  Our needs are met.  I have the best friends that anyone could ever hope for — all so true and solid.  I am privileged to be partnered with a wonderful man with whom I connect on so many levels and in so many ways that I can barely comprehend, let alone attempt to describe.

And yet.

I’ve said it before.  Nobody makes it through life unscathed.

it's a dog eat dog world out there

it’s a dog eat dog world out there

On the matter of motherhood, there are times that I wish that I’d simply gone to a sperm bank and opted for artificial insemination.  Certainly I wouldn’t be enduring the chaos to which I am far too often subjected, had I chosen such a route.  However, I understand that all these twists and turns in the journey of my life were necessary to place me here, now, where I am SO GRATEFUL to be.  (Oh dear Lord, me and my stranded prepositions.  Bless my soul.)

I get it!  I wouldn’t change a minute, a moment, or a circumstance, if it meant I couldn’t have the now that I have.

So what’s up, Buttercup?  Well.  Let me tell you.

I almost want to post verbatim the things he says, because it’s very hard to describe or summarize.  It’s just a bunch of drama and blah, blah, blah, and oh, so tedious.  But what the hell.

—Dec 3—

HIM.  “I have to work the next two weekends and NewWife has to work the next two Sundays. Just because I have to work does not give you the authority to take my weekend away from me, that is contempt of court which you did when you all of a sudden forgot that you weren’t coming back the day you told me from your trip. It doesn’t matter if you made the mistake accidently, it is still contempt which my lawyer expressed to me which he has already drawn up the papers for.      You may not like some of the things on my end but I also don’t agree with some of the things you are doing either!  What upsets me the most is your letting things happen with other people around the boys and when I was around it was a different story but yet you let total strangers have the same things around the boys that you bitched about me having which is so hypocritical of you. Example is the reason why you asked for only every other weekend was because of the guns that I had. Which I practiced good gun safety and respected it as I still do. so you lied about your reasoning why you restricted me from the boys which gave you no right to do so and then the bullshit you tell BB that all I did was sit on my ass and ate gummy bears every day or all the time which is a total bullshit lie in itself and why I bring that up is that he keeps repeating that you keep saying that. You seem to like to not address any concerns I have and and ignore them all together.”

To which I recoiled and reacted, when I probably should have just considered the source and dismissed it.

ME.  “I didn’t lie about anything, and I don’t keep telling BB that about gummy bears.  I really did have the trip dates wrong.  Good grief.  Also, I have a responsibility to protect them from emotionally abusive treatment, which is what I heard they endure with NewWife.  So if I knowingly send them to an abusive environment, then THAT is a breach of my responsibility as a parent.  I didn’t know how badly things were with how they were treated, and then BB spent some time with Auntie and opened his heart to her with things he’s never told me, and she relayed that to me.  So no, I never considered it was awful for them when they were at your place, until I was given reason to question it.  I did know that they seldom feel like the time they’re with you is quality time.  Their comments are generally something to do with ‘NewWife and the kids’ or ‘Daddy and NewWife stay in their room watching tv all the time and we don’t see them much’, etc.  What they want most is to spend time with their dad, YOU, and more often than not when they are there, that doesn’t happen.  I am NOT keeping them from you.  I am trying to keep them from being bullied, which is how they feel with NewWife, or feeling like they’re pushed aside, which is how they feel when they’re at your place but don’t get to spend quality time with you.  They were so hopeful when they learned that NewWife had left, because it gave them the glimmer of hope that they could spend some real time with you.  They were crestfallen to learn of her return.

Contempt of court is deliberate disobedience, and I have NOT done anything of the sort.

Further to all that, regarding contempt of court…  Why do you suppose the parenting plan has written into it the portion where you have to coordinate with me to confirm you will SHOW UP for YOUR visitation?  How many times have you had some reason not to take the kids on your scheduled visitation?  So for you to suggest that I am in contempt of court (and I can only assume you are referring to the parenting plan) because I want to ensure my kids are not placed in an emotionally abusive environment is ludicrous.

All I have asked of you is to BE THERE FOR YOUR CHILDREN.  I don’t know why you are so hungry to turn it into something ugly on my part.

Further still, in the interest of giving you more time with them and to make up for missing the time that was missed, I offered Thanksgiving break, to which you didn’t respond.  You also did not respond to my inquiry about this coming weekend, until I got your threatening email below.  You say I ignore your concerns.  You’ve called me a hypocrite and you’ve not clearly expressed specific concerns.  If I could tell what your actual concerns are, then I could respond.  I am not interested in throwing accusations back and forth.  We should have a mature and calm discussion with each other to bring up and address issues and concerns.

I like to think that I am being reasonable.  I wish I would be more vigilant, and less apt to react and acknowledge his aggression by immediately placing myself in defensive mode.  Had I completely ignored him, he might have just dropped everything.  Alas.

—Dec 4—

HIM.  “With what is written in the plan if I don’t respond then I lose my right to have them.  That is not contempt. I am very tired of people talking crap and negative bullshit about me and making crap up to make themselves look better. Futher more when you keep the other parent from seeing the kids what ever the reason is considered contempt. I have protected the boys and will always will and I question you when I hear things going on from your side. When we were together you had issues with motorcycles and guns and I have never shown a lack of responsibility and the safety. You were always preaching against those then all of sudden you turn around and do the opposite when I’m not in the picture. And then when I voice my opinion you don’t care to respond or even talk about you just do whatever you want no matter how I feel about the issue like taking the boys out of school for a week when they should be in school learning. But my opinion as usual doesn’t matter to anyone and never will unless I am made to yell and make a big stink about it. Why am I being made to do so. I have brought up many concerns about a lot of things and as usual you could care less about them you have shown that many times. Just like when I got laid off from j.b. hunt. I had to keep asking friends and the church to help pay the rent and groceries and other stuff to help but yet did you care at all. No! you just kept taking child support and didn’t care what so ever. but it doesn’t matter now anyways because you simply don’t see anything how I see it and never will or don’t care. Just like when you moved did you care about me getting to see the boys no  it took months for me to get to see the boys. I tried talking to you but no you made your excuses and didn’t give a crap.”

Interesting.  So much to say.  Gun safety.  The man does not have a track record that inspires confidence.  My former opinion remains intact.  And the rest?  Exhausting.  I know I’ve blogged ad nauseum about many of these points before.  It’s the same old stuff, regurgitated for some reason.

ME.  “The process for dealing with contempt or perceived contempt is to follow the parenting plan’s dispute resolution process.  We can schedule to meet with a mediator to resolve disagreements about carrying out the parenting plan.  I am not keeping the kids from seeing you.  Through all of this back and forth, you haven’t actually informed me of your intent to pick the boys up this weekend.  I’ve told you that we have dentist appointments today.  We can meet at McDs on 44th Saturday morning at 9.  Please confirm.”

Note that this email conversation is in parallel with a phone text conversation.  It’s a thing of beauty.  Really.  Wait for it…

—Dec 3—

ME.  I can’t tell from your friendly email whether you are or aren’t planning to see the kids this weekend. They have dentist appts Fri. I mentioned this in IM yesterday and haven’t heard from you. Also, I’d like to coordinate Christmas plans.

HE.  How do you think that crap would make you feel if I told them that crap of lies. And as always you evade what I say as usual

ME.  I don’t tell them a load of lies and crap.

HE.  So you honestly think that’s all I did? I Never did anything for anyone i never busted my ass to do things never looked out for anyone. I never went out on a limb or bent over backwards for anyone… That’s pretty much what your telling them!!!And as you normally do you ignore the facts why. Because I’m not white collar like you so since I’m considered a blue collar you get to spread lies and crap about me. If that’s how you want to play the negative crap game two can play at that game

ME.  Why do you out of the blue think I’m spilling a constant load of negative crap about you? I don’t even know how to respond to that.

HE.  I dont know why you even make it an excuse or whatever your doing when you tell him all this crap. I have never said anything negitive about you in frontof them or to them what so ever but i can start. But then again im just a blue collar loser lazy ass that doesnt do anything.Then why does BB say you say that all the time and that’s the reason you did certain things was because I was so Damm lazy and never did anything for anyone and aged video games everyday all the time .

ME.  You flatter yourself if you think I spend any time at all telling BB all about you.

HE.  Yeah just the negitive lies and bullshit

—Dec 4—

ME.  Please confirm if the boys will be picked up at 44th Mcds at 9am Saturday.  BB wants to have a friend over tonight. I need to know what time to meet tomorrow so I can tell his mom when I’ll drop him off.

HE.  I would only have them til sat eve

ME.  ?

HE.  I work sun and so does NewWife.  Plus I work sat also

ME.  You said she works Sunday, not you.

HE.  Plan states sat morning to sat eve as per what you put in there

ME.  No. Every other Sat 8am to Sun 7pm.

Did I not say it was glorious?  What the what?  Seriously, it’s perplexing.  Clearly he’s resurrecting squabbles we’ve had in years long gone.  I made a blue collar vs white collar comment several years ago during an attempt to explain why it might be so difficult for us to communicate.  Must’ve hit a nerve…

—Back to the email conversation, dated Dec 4—

HIM.  “So how is it that you keeping them from me on my weekend as the plan states not keeping them from me. Does not say I get the right or you have the right to make up for lost time. The plan was mainly done by you not me your thinking not mine. I trusted you to do the right thing and in the end you decided to limit visitation because of ridiculous thought of me having protection that they could not get to if they tried as you explained it to NewWife as to way you did that, there again disregarding what is right and what your selfish thinking put down on paper but I am supposed to idoly sit by and say nothing or have an opinion. Seems like when I do, nothing matters anyway. you can hire a mediator all you want those are for the rich people that can’t talk it out with other people on there own. again when you deviate from the plan it is contempt unless it was o.k’d by both parties with the correct information”

ME. “I am not keeping them from you.  This is the schedule.   [Excerpt from parenting plan, Sat 8 am to Sun 7pm, every other week.]  You’re telling me that you are working Sat and Sun, which essentially means that you are neither able to pick them up on Saturday morning, nor are you able to drop them off on Sunday evening.  Therefore, you are forfeiting your visitation.”

Oh my goodness!  So much blah blah blah!!!  After ALL of this, the picture emerges.  He is working the weekend and trying to find a way to turn his lack of making room in his life for his kids into my fault.  It also appears that perhaps he wants me to drop off the kids for a few hours at his convenience on Saturday, because that is his available window.

Such a tedious read!  And yet, in a way, mildly entertaining in a voyeuristic way, akin to crap fiction.  So this is a snippet of the waters I navigate.  Sadly, not fictional at all.

I actually had some valuable thoughts emerge from this experience.  First I was shaken and disarmed by the threats, and then I was mystified by the references to wild back talk.  I mulled things over and observed my emotional reaction to the onslaught, noticing how easy it is to get caught up slinging vitriol.  I don’t want to sling vitriol.  I married that man for reasons that (sort of) made sense at the time.  I had children with him.  These are choices that I made and for which I am responsible.  Now I have to find a way to live with the consequences of my choices.  He’s projecting his own inadequacies.  That is evident.  He is who he is, and I can’t fault him for that.  He is completely entitled to be who he is.  We have nothing in common, other than our kids.  Try as I might, I simply can not understand him, nor communicate with him.  I can wish that he were a reasonable and kind man.  I can wish that he would have the courage to look in the mirror and take responsibility for himself and his own choices.  I can wish that he would step up and be a dad to and for his children.  Those are wishes, and certainly hopes.  I have no control or influence on any of those things.  I do have control over my own thoughts and actions.

I want to maintain clarity where the well-being of my children is concerned.  I want to be a good example for my kids.  I want to take the high road.  I want to be able to calmly face opposition, impervious to attack and distraction tactics.  These are all within my sphere of capability, given vigilance and self-discipline.

~*~*~*~

Update.  Because, you know, NewWife chimed in with some golden nuggets of her own.

05 Dec 2015; 12:53pm
NewWife:  I will be picking up the boys at 3pm today at the mcds in renton..ty see u then

1:51pm
Me:  No.

2:11pm
NewWife: Then we will see you in court for contempt for two weekends in a row

3:00pm
NewWife: I bet the boys will love to know that you have kept them from seeing their Dad for 2 months

My immediate reaction is still far too visceral, and my vigilance to my emotions can stand to step things up a notch.  I glanced at my phone, read the message, and became internally livid, truth be told.  Having received no confirmation for meeting Saturday morning at 9, having clarified via both text and email that visitation is posted as Sat morning until Sun evening, and having concluded via email that his visitation is forfeited, the scenario seemed clear.  So to receive her demand at nearly 2pm Saturday, pronouncing in effect that I should jump in the car and drive immediately to the meeting place…  It’s an hour drive on a good day…  Let’s just say, in retrospect, that they seem perfect for each other.  Militant.  Immature.  Materialistic.  Self-serving.  Despicable.

Is there any consideration for what’s good for the boys?  They are sweet children, finding their way in life.  They have a yearning for one-on-one time with their dad.  Very simple.  They don’t want to go to his house and be sequestered with his wife and her four rowdy children.  The first questions they ever pose when visitation time is at hand is whether he will be home, and whether he will be the one to pick them up.  Before that, however, they both immediately chime in that THEY DON’T WANT TO GO.  And so often they have expressed, forlornly, that they would love to just SIT AND WATCH A MOVIE with him.  I don’t want them to see all this BULLSHIT that takes place when attempting to coordinate visitation.

It’s disgusting, really.  It mostly boils down to an issue over the haves and have nots.  It’s all about the means, not about the boys.  It seems that they consider the disparity between our respective means a catchall for any justification of responsibility.  It seems that they think, because I have more ‘means’, that I should kowtow to their shortcomings.

Ummmmm.  No.

I’m struggling with this.  I have to see and know and understand and DO what is best for my children, while honoring and upholding what the law requires, and somehow navigate through the flotsam and jetsam of attempted communication with their father.  It is a crock.  And it stinketh.

Me no likey.

Posted in bellyaching, divorce, family, men, mental health, motherhood, relationships.

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ah ha moments that so easily evade me

abby normal

abby normal

I am an INTJ.  Lest I forget.

It’s funny, given the broken record that is my life and my emotional state, that I don’t seem to recall, when it would be most helpful, that I am an INTJ.  I would save myself so much emotional anguish, were I able to remember that one small detail.  It explains so much.

Why am I so unlike most of the population?  Because I am an INTJ.  It’s normal (for an INTJ).

There is an explanation for me.  There is a category for me.

BAM.

Case closed.

Return to zen.

Amen.

And hallelujah to boot.

(p.s. I am a very Feeling INTJ. More like a borderline INXJ.  Which explains more.)

Posted in me, mental health.

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sometimes referred to as daddy issues

a matter of perspective

a matter of perspective

Night time, alone, I sit in my bed with my thoughts.  Music softly fills the background.  I sit with my back against the leather headboard. Toni Childs sings The Dead are Dancing. I sit, letting thoughts of my life drift through my mind. Tears stream down my face. My thoughts are in parallel with unuttered prayers. What is expected of me, come tomorrow? Mother. I’m a mother. Yet here I sit, late at night, cleaving to whatever fragments of thought I can visualize that represent me.  My essence. My spirit. My soul. My self.  I take this moment to find myself, to honor myself.  Otherwise, through the day, I live from moment to moment to moment, consumed by the myriad tasks and responsibilities that never end.

Tears.

Tears.

Tears.

So healing.

Could I even do this, sit in silence with my thoughts and my tears, if I were married? How do people who are coupled survive? They must be able to find the moments they need, no matter their life situation. Or maybe most people aren’t like me.

Probably.

I suppose I’m a rare bird.

Part of me hungers and aches for the feeling of being wanted. It seems so ridiculous, to spend a lifetime chasing such a fleeting experience. As if I’m missing something. Does anybody else feel this? Why do I? I feel so alone. I always feel so alone. Why? I am NOT alone! So how can I feel this? Why do the tears continue to stream down my face? I wish I knew.

~*~*~*~

Coping. How do people learn to cope? How do they learn about coping? When I was young, I had lots of headaches and tummy aches. As in, every day. Every single day. My sensitive nature has been with me all along. As an adult, here I am, 50 years old, pondering the notion of coping. I have a gin with olives that I’m nurturing, and a playlist of some of my favorite tunes set on shuffle, keeping me company. The boys are peacefully retired for the night. The morning reality includes a commute — 1.5 hours realistically; 2+ hours if conditions aren’t favorable. It’s excruciating for the gentle soul that I am to face that in the morning. Daily. Its so hard for me. So I sit here, again propped in my bed, tears streaming, thinking of the word ‘cope’. I’m coping.

Why am I not shaking my fist at the sky and triumphing? Why am I just coping? Everything is SO GOOD.

SO. GOOD.

My life is truly GOOD! So why am I struggling so? Will I ever make peace with myself? Is it all about me, when it boils down to it?

~*~*~*~

I don’t mind being raw. I don’t mind being vulnerable in writing these things that represent my moment, my now, my thoughts and emotions as they travel across the landscape of my mind and my heart.  Truth is truth. It’s courageous. I rock! I say what others might not have the courage to say.

And the dead are dancing again. Probably it’s meant to be, the way the music shuffles and certain songs repeat. All things have a reason.

Love. <3 I’m writing love everywhere. <3 Leaving love everywhere. <3  Cuz that’s all I am, when it boils down to it. Love.  <3

~*~*~*~

I don’t mind being raw. Truth is truth.

Posted in depression, ego, me, mental health, relationships, sorrow, thankfulness.

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cherish

cherish is the word I use to describe...

cherish is the word I use to describe…

The word popped into my head a few minutes ago, and I had a train of thought I planned to explore, but have since forgotten.  Still, I will hold the title and keep on writing. Maybe it will come back to me.

There are so many interesting thoughts of late that I want to capture and ponder.  My boys spent three weeks with their dad.  Unprecedented.  During that time, I had the opportunity to take a grown up camping vacation.  I haven’t had so much grown up time in YEARS!

It was hard, to be separated from my boys for so long.  I had a few tearful moments.  I sort of wished that I had been able to plan ahead for that particular window of time.  I might have spent it differently, rather than work through the first two weeks.  I was ecstatic to be able to go camping, though.  It was important to me on so many levels.

When I picked up my boys, the early evening sun was shining and the color of their eyes in the sunlight was dazzling and mesmerizing.  Their eyes are a grey green rainbow of sparkling color.  They are so beautiful — they take my breath away.  I wanted to take a picture and capture those colors and that beauty, but my phone camera skills are lacking.  The emotion of the moment was pure joy.  Reuniting with my boys.  Oh how I lufffffff them.

~*~*~*~

While camping, I experienced a plethora of thoughts, sensations, and emotions.  Granted, it was likely due to a mixture of erratic blood sugar control, substance consumption, and the heat.  One day, I had a series of out of body thoughts that I found perplexing and worthy of further exploration.  It was almost as though I had a starkly defined split personality.  On the one hand, I was so peacefully content that I had found my way to this stage in life where I have the most amazing, comfortable relationship with a truly decent, kind, loving, capable, intelligent, fun and interesting man, with whom I can clearly imagine growing old with and loving deeply until the end of time.  On the other hand, there was this nearly over powering persona that I’d call Doom, who stood by, authoritatively looking down on me, telling me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t live like this, that it couldn’t be real, that I should just walk away and spend my life alone where I belong.  It was such a strong and defeating sensation, so physical, in fact, that I could almost feel myself being compelled to stand up, start walking, and just leave it all behind.  All the while, the other persona (who I will call the real me) looked on with disbelief and horror, saying, good grief, you’re not buying into this bullshit, are you?

In the end, I reasoned with myself that I have no control over another’s thoughts or feelings, nor do I wish for such control.  He’ll never purposefully hurt me.  If he loves me, he loves me.  If he wants to be with me, he will be with me.  If he decides we don’t fit after all, he will say so, and we will part on kind terms.  There is no need for fear or anxiety or second guessing or anything at all.  And the converse holds true in all cases.  I will never purposefully hurt him.  If I love him, I love him.  If I want to be with him, I’ll be with him.  If I decide we don’t fit after all, I will say so, and we will part on kind terms.  He isn’t worried or concerned about us.  It’s all very simple for him.  He loves me, he respects me, and that’s that.  Similarly, I love him, respect him, and that’s that.  So why does this nemesis of a personality emerge?  I suppose it’s a manifestation of fear, and it’s not welcome here!  I have to acknowledge that it tried to grip me, though.  I’m also grateful that he’s not saddled with these ridiculous emotions.  He is so very steady.  Unflinching.  Unwavering.  I truly admire that in him.  He is solid.

~*~*~*~

I wrote this ages ago, and it’s been hanging out in my drafts, along with the 200+ spam comments attached to my Presence and Life post that I can’t for the life of me figure out.  Search engines are blocked.  Somehow there must be a thread or fragment somewhere that the bots have found.  I don’t find it when I inspect my code, so I am perplexed.  Maddening.  Anyway.  Even though the moment is long over, and my emotions haven’t taken too much of a dark turn (in general) since then, I think it’s good to be able to preserve some of these thoughts for further exploration, should they ever resurface.

The photo is taken from the cover of this year’s journal.  I was diligent until mid-July, and not a word since.  Interestingly enough, that time frame seems to coincide with the time frame when my kids were away.  I’ve either been too busy, too stressed, or having too much fun to bother with daily summaries.  Certainly, life overall has been wonderful, as evidenced by the lack of lengthy self-psychoanalyzing posts (since June, at any rate).  One of these days I may find my way back to blogging about the beauties of this simple life I’m leading.  Facebook and Snapchat, while fun, are nowhere near as fulfilling, and the seeming constant monotony of working through difficult emotions makes for a very lopsided blog.  So.  Posts of alpaca adventures, tree felling, trail blazing, carburetor rebuilding, farmer’s markets, fantastical Lego creations, gorgeous grey-eyed kids, road trips, country vistas, water sport shenanigans, and such may be on the horizon.  Or not.

Posted in depression, health, love, me, men, mental health, relationships, thankfulness.

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memories, associations, and deja who?

I have a LOT of time to think during my commute.  This morning I was watching my thoughts and my emotions as they swirled about, playing with and against each other.  There was nothing concrete; it was all very nebulous.  I noted that thoughts and emotions are completely different animals, so it’s almost futile to even attempt to manage or  understand them in the same manner.  Thoughts can be concrete and follow reason, so they can be grasped, given the effort.  Emotions,  however, are entirely different.  They are a form of data that requires a completely different translator.  The same rules of analysis don’t apply.

I’ve been wondering why certain emotions are surfacing.  Logically, there is little to no reason for anything but giddy happiness.  Life is so GOODMY life is so good!  Yet these emotions are surfacing and overtaking me.  Just when I think I’m all sorted out, grounded, steady, solid — BAM, tears are streaming from my face and my heart feels as though it’s clenched by an iron fist.

For some reason, I thought of PTSD.  It’s not reserved for battle scarred war heroes, you know.  Not that I want to assign another disorder to the list of labels already attached to me, but the words themselves –post, trauma, stress– align well with the emotional experience that I’m trying to describe.  I also thought of memories and associations.  So many associations stir fragments of memories that evoke buried emotions.  A song, the color of the sky, a turn in the road, the sound of a voice –so many random things in any given day can stir something up.

Memories are things of the past, and the experiences are over.  Any traumas and stresses were overcome, because they are in the past.  I am here.  I am healthy.  I am strong.  So why and how can an associated memory bring me to my knees and knock the wind from me and rob me of my now?  As I was pondering this, I wondered in terms of PTSD.  Maybe at the time I couldn’t actually process or deal with whatever it was.  Maybe survival was the only thing that I had the bandwidth for (and may the gods and my departed dad forgive my overabundant use of stranded prepositions).  Maybe, when caught up in the fray of whatever drama I was caught up in, all I could do was stay afloat and suppress rather than address the emotions and stresses du jour.  So maybe, because I’m no longer in sheer survival mode, the associations that stir memories release those emotions as though they are fresh.  BAM!  Ouch!  Me no likey.

I wanted to write these thoughts down, and I thought I’d entitle this post, “memories and associations” — it has a certain flair.  But it also rings a bell (hello?  how many things are endless repeats in this blog?), and so it happens that I’ve written at length about memories and associations before.  I re-read that post and thought, oh shit.  More tears.  I really needed more tears.

So here I am again.  I wish I knew a healthy way to address the emotions that overtake me.  I wish I knew how to pick and choose which emotions could overtake me.  I’d love to keep the giddy highs and dismiss the dark lows.  I bet it’s possible.  I just need to find the right decoder ring.

Posted in depression, ego, me, mental health.

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talking myself down from that tree

Stage I.  Darkness

I’ve had an epiphany of sorts regarding depression. Maybe it’s best not to make a global statement here and I will simply qualify this conclusion as a description of my own particular depression.

The state of being depressed is the inability to feel, see, hear, remember or understand love.  When I say love, I mean all love.  The love that others have for me, the love that I have for others, and the love I have for myself.  In short, a love eclipse.  Complete and utter darkness.

In the moments when I am stuck there, it’s almost impossible to imagine being elsewhere, because at those times there IS no elsewhere.  It’s a lost land.  Another world. Breaking free from that place is almost unfathomable. During those moments of darkness,my thoughts drift to the conclusion that life (in this form) is pointless and empty, and being gone would mean no longer feeling the desolation of the absence of love.  Add to that the vile voice from without, sneering the words “you are unlovable”.  At the same time, I yearn for loving arms to hold me, without judgment over my ridiculous display of ego, while my tears release the poison that somehow got stuck inside me.  Clearly (now that I am collecting my thoughts), the yearning for the external expression of loving kindness is to thwart those acrid words, proving that I am, in fact, lovable.  So yes, I feel the need for an outside source to envelop me, accept me, and let me be me, while I flush the icky stuff out.  Also at the same time, I am tempted to flee and sequester myself from humanity altogether.  I want to hide somewhere alone, curled up in fetal position, and weep until I am strong enough to emerge.  Meanwhile, another part of my brain also derides me for this despicable self absorptive indulgence.  I am well aware that in this place, my ego is running wild, an untamed beast.  I am also fully aware that, logically, reasonably, the balance of positive things in my life so far outweighs any measly negatives, that in reality there is absolutely no shortage of love in my life, and it’s almost inconceivable that I would or could ever get to such a place of despair.  I don’t want to feel like this.  Ever.  And yet I do.

It’s perplexing.  It’s embarrassing.

I got stuck there for a little while yesterday.  I felt it coming on the day before, and tried to power through it with various thoughts and reasonings.  I even went so far as to try the prescription my doctor gave me when I tried to describe this phenomenon of getting stuck once in a while.   In all fairness, the pill did help a little.  I could feel that I had taken something, and I could feel it maybe keep the wave at bay, but it didn’t keep it from hitting.  In fact, I felt disoriented the next morning, and that could be due, in part, to the effects of the medication.  At any rate, the eclipse happened.  I knew it was coming and I didn’t know how to diffuse it.  Bam.

Stage II.  Anger

I come out of it when I get some sleep and rest, and distance myself with a little time, but I noticed this morning that, although the darkness and despair is gone, something else lingers.  It’s like a constipation of the brain.  I’m nearly full up, blocked up, and have barely any margin for throughput, so the slightest inconveniences or irks or frustrations push me to the ragged edge where I feel like I’m gonna blow, and I just want to explode somehow, or smash something, break something, do something, anything, to get this detritus OUT of me.  It manifests as anger.  I start dredging up thoughts of other frustrations or experiences, etc etc etc, and think about how awful so and so was, and how horrible such and such was, then immediately turn it back on myself, because ultimately, I’m the one who made the choices that put me in the situations that resulted in the various unpleasant outcomes.  So then I chastise myself for my poor choices, for wafting through life with my idealistic notions that all people are good and nice and honest and loving and kind, and everyone deserves a chance because who am I to think that I am better than someone, or that someone is unworthy of me –rather than exercise a little bit of common sense and self respect to protect my heart and my soul, for God’s sake.  Ohhhhhh, I’ve already been down this thought path before, and established that I am The Fool.  I may yet come out of this diatribe emotionally intact.  So.  Anger.  Because I am not at liberty to break or smash things, I manifest with tears.  I must be quite the vision, should passersby glance in my car as I’m driving to or from work.  Sobbing, otherwise attractive woman behind the wheel.

Stage III.  Back in the Saddle

I’m glad that I took the time to try to capture these thoughts.  Well intentioned friends and family members may point out that I don’t love myself (enough, not necessarily at all), or don’t respect myself (enough, not necessarily at all), or that I don’t treat myself as though I am complete or whole.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  It’s a whole helluva lot easier to see things from another perspective when you’re on the outside.  I don’t know.  This blog is testimony to my emotional struggles.  I should probably take some time to write about the joys and wins, but I’m generally too busy enjoying and living those days and moments to bother documenting them.  Writing out and working through my struggles helps me get back to my normal self.  I suppose it’s true to say that when I am caught up in a dark place, of course I’m not whole, of course I’m not complete, of course I’m not self-loving, of course I’m not self-respectful.  Which causes which?  If I were whole, etc, would I ever get caught in that dark place?  Or am I whole, except when I get caught in that dark place?

The mere fact that I felt it coming leads me to think that with proper and rigorous vigilance, I could thwart it.  And if that’s the case, maybe I don’t have depression at all.  Maybe I just have an untrained, untamed mind.  And if’n that’s the case, well I’munna beat that thang into submission.

Posted in depression, ego, me.

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the emperor’s new clothes

Being the vain creature that I am, I like best the photos in which I look lovely.  It makes perfect sense.  If I feel as though I look good, I might actually feel good.  Why is self-esteem such a strange beast for so many?  From our earliest days we are bombarded with images and ideas of what is pleasing and acceptable, and God help us if we don’t measure up to whatever standards are presented.  All that aside, it’s always been somewhat interesting, the disparity between how people see themselves and how others may see them.  This could hold true for more than just face value.  Ha ha.  Face value.  I slay myself sometimes.  What I mean to say is that the view  we have of ourselves, be it our emotional element, our mental element, our spiritual element, or our physical element, may vary widely from the view others hold as they perceive us.

Recently my mother expressed interest in updating her profile photo on Facebook.  She imagined that she must look so much better now than she did last year, as she’s lost quite a lot of weight since then.  Last year my sisters and I ditched our families and responsibilities for a weekend and descended upon our mom’s lair to celebrate her birthday.  We had a wonderful grown up girls time together, and even subjected our poor mother to endure a photo shoot in which we, the artists, applied makeup, arranged hair, advised wardrobe and took photos.  It was a time to treasure, in so many ways.  It was the first time we’ve  had a photo taken together.  Ever.  We were being girly.  My mother is NOT girly.  We would giggle when we’d notice her peeking at her reflection when she passed a window or a mirror.  She would scoff and grumble, but secretly we could tell that she was tickled by what she saw.  We all looked so beautiful, and not one of us under the age of forty.

glamour girls

I always see my sisters as beautiful, regardless of makeup, hairdo, or wardrobe.  They are eternal to me, locked in my heart as silken beauties with intelligence and abilities that span the cosmos.  We are KIM GIRLS!!  But I know with certainty that they don’t see themselves as the radiant beauties and paragons of humanity that I see.  I wish they did, because THEY ARE!!!

This year, while visiting my mother, I took a quick photo and showed it to her.  She was dismayed, to say the least.  The face she saw in the photo clearly did not match the visage she imagined.  I love the photo, though.  I love it because it’s a facet of our reality.  In this photo, I see, almost for the first time, our resemblance.  For most of my life, much of this resemblance has been masked by the prominence of my Korean heritage, but in this photo, it is very clear that we are cut from the same cloth.  This is a reflection of our everyday selves.  Unpolished.  Untamed.  These are the faces of a mother and daughter, 25 years apart in age.  She is 75 and I am 50.

peas in a pod

We both look dramatically different from the earlier photo.  We’ve gone from Vanity Fair to Mother Earth News.  Regardless of what I actually look like, I still prefer to imagine myself in a similar light as I see my sisters — timeless exquisite beauties.  And so it is, that I continue to wear the emperor’s new clothes.  But I’m not so vain that I won’t share a picture like this, that is more likely a representation of reality than any of the other pictures I share.  I can look at a picture like this and see a different kind of beauty.  I can see that I am my mother’s child.  She is, and always has been, beautiful to me.  A glamour girl like her own (and only) sister?  No.  A winner of any sort of popularity contest?  No.  An old hag in her own estimation.  But to me?  She is and always has been indomitable.  A pioneer spirit who can make something from almost nothing.  A tenacious survivor.  These are all beautiful traits that I am happy to inherit, should Providence be so inclined.

Posted in ego, family, me, mental health.

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on second thought

I’m glad that I wrote about exploitation the other day.  It helped me process thoughts more productively.

Exploitation suggests an offender –the one exploiting, and a victim –the one exploited.  It absolves, somewhat, the one exploited from the responsibility of the situation.  Not that I am advocating transferring responsibility for a situation to someone, anyone, or anything other than myself….

Now that some thoughts have had a chance to mill about outside of the coulda woulda shoulda trap, I’ve finally been able to get somewhere.  Now I can and do reclaim responsibility for all of it.  Maybe I was a victim, maybe not.  Well, that man on the train had no right to invade my space, and that Iranian dude had no right to amuse himself with me in the manner that he did…    ….and that ex boyfriend really had no right to do me while I was asleep.  Had I woken up and gotten involved, well hello, that would be a different matter altogether (what’s better than barely waking and reaching for the one you love, and moving together in union and harmony in a semi conscious state?  How sexy and amazing is that?!), but I did not (wake up or respond in any way), and he proceeded, so yeah, he had no right to do that.  I was curious, truth be told.  Curious as to whether he would proceed or not.  It was a test, I suppose, and he failed….    Anyway.  I am not a victim.  I don’t know why or even how some things happen the way they do.  I am no longer hungry for an explanation for any of it.  I’ve decided to let it all go.  It’s something from the past, and the minute that it became history, it lost its power over me.  I don’t know why it took me almost 25  years to figure that out, though.

I’m learning the value of the now.  The only moment for which I have complete control is the moment that I’m experiencing now.  Now!  I am who I am.  I am who I choose to be.  I am who I want to be.  I can draw from the wisdom that has accumulated through the years and the experiences of other times, and I can choose to let all of the experiences be just that.  Wisdom.  Nothing else.  They can’t bring me down.  They aren’t an anchor, holding me down or holding me back.  I don’t want to be sad.  I don’t want to be angry.  I don’t want to be depressed.  I don’t want to be gloomy.  I don’t want to be hurt.  I have no desire for vengeance.  Besides all that, I’m a firm believer that good things come, always, always, always, somehow, from the ashes and anguish and sorrows and tears.  Always, good things come.  So in addition to that certainty, I now have this revelation, this added bonus, this wellspring of effervescent joy.  This is my moment, my life, this time that I am breathing, this instant.  This is mine!  This is my life!  I’m not going to be duped into allowing the past to steal my present.  No more!! And I’m not going to let the future steal my present either.  While I may have some input as to what my future holds, there is absolutely nothing that is certain.  Nothing except for the now.  My now.  My present.  This is what I have.  It’s all that any of  us has.  I’m claiming it.  Owning it.  It’s MINE!  This is life!  THIS.  IS.  LIFE.

brown eyed girl

I am exactly who, what, and how I want to be in this very moment.  I am good!  I am kind!  I am loving!  I am gentle!  I am strong!  I am smart!  I am capable!  I am resourceful!  I am responsible!  I am lovely!  I am fun!  I am creative!  I am happy!  I am healthy!  I am joyful!  I am alive!

Hello world.  It’s me.

Me!

Posted in confessions, depression, ego, health, love, me, mental health, philosophy/religion, thankfulness.

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