Grace

I was reading a blog written by a woman with cancer, the big bad kind. And I was awed by her ability to just not be okay sometimes, and to celebrate other times, bringing joy to everyone at her chemo center.  We all have these times when we are struggling, when we are sick, or lonely, or grinding out day after exhausting day of a huge work project, or grad school, or a rambunctious child. And some people seem to do it with so much grace.

I think it’s because some people can accept their dark and their light. They can be not-okay and be okay with that. I think maybe grace doesn’t come from sailing through everything unaffected and vulcan. I think maybe it’s letting the feelings come, letting them go, and the freedom in the in between spots to just enjoy the light, not shaming ourselves for what we feel and think, not apologizing again and again and again for having a time we were weak or wrong. Continue reading

He's Getting Remarried

Okay.. so.. I had the 5 year anniversary of my father passing, which was the same day as my old wedding anniversary to my now ex-husband.  If you are just joining this or don’t know the history, my ex and I were together for 13 years, married 11 of it and monogamous about 11 of it. We opened up and became poly, and he left me for his girlfriend that I had also been dating until he was too jealous of her and I to continue. He told me he couldn’t be poly, and then that he could, and again that he couldn’t. He began dating our old dog walker in secret while we were separated but talking about working it out.  We have been apart about 3 years now and are divorced.

third marriage

I did pretty well this anniversary and thought mostly of my father. I miss him, but it was somehow sweet this year to think of him, and not the aching pain of other times in my grief over him. It was good.

I messaged him and learned that he’d proposed to the dog walker and they were engaged. (He and the girl he left me for broke up in October of the year we separated and after we’d decided to divorce, and he’s monogamous with the dog walker since then).

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Stir that Lemonade

Sometimes a thing just resonates with you, like a sounding rod, like a shot right to the core.  It’s the weirdest thing, but I am there with Lemonade, by Beyonce.  It’s her new visual album.  I watched it the other night when I desperately needed a break from school and zing.. it just struck a cord.  I can’t stop thinking about the ideas and the things in it.  It stirred up some shit in me.

gorgeous underwater surface image found at https://sandroworrell.wordpress.com/. Check them out. GREAT stuff.

The other night I just kept thinking about lies and lying and the dishonesty with those we love. I thought about my mother’s lies, the root of my hatred of lies.  I thought about lovers and friends and my chosen family and the lies.  I keep thinking about other things in the video.  I thought about love and redemption and trust and healing.  She just went there, like for real.  And she came out of it too, and I thought of my own times recently when I’m remembering who I am.  I’m remembering what I am.  I got a little lost there for a while, hurting, healing, reeling maybe.  But I’m not that girl.  I stayed there a long time maybe, but I can’t live in self pity or fear.  I’m not that girl.

I am my father’s daughter.  I am resilient and forgiving and strong and tenacious.  I feel deeply and widely and strongly but never easily.  I don’t like being vulnerable, but I’m learning to be okay with my capacity to do so.

It still bothers me, this way I need people.  But I know that the fact this bothers me is the real bother.  People need people and I am not immune.  It’s the weird thing about vulnerablity being a strength.  My love can wear it down.  I’m remembering that I love me too, just not more than I love you.  I am remembering that I make plans and dream and actually make some of it happen.  I’m remembering that there is a long line of times in this world that you love someone as trully as you can and maybe they just can’t go there.  But it says nothing about you.  It’s about them.  And no.. this isn’t remotely about Traveler.

Traveler can go there.  He’s learned to speak and I’m learning to listen more and more and more.  He says the stuff because I love it, but I’m seeing it too.

And family.. well.. that one’s hard.  but isn’t it always?  Family is loving people beyond the parts of them that make you crazy.  I chose my family, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make me nuts.  Love them anyway.

I don’t know.  I just feel a lot of things popping up to the surface that have maybe been down under the waves for a while.  I feel myself rising to the shimmering surface there.  I can see the bubbles and feel the pressure of my breath held so long, but I feel it faster and faster.. I’m coming up.

Conflict

“One thing you who had secure or happy childhoods should understand about those of us who did not. We who control our feelings, who avoid conflicts at all costs, or seem to seek them. Who are hypersensitive, self-critical, compulsive, workaholic, and above all survivors. We are not that way from perversity, and we cannot just relax and let it go. We’ve learned to cope in ways you never had to.”
Piers Anthony

I hate conflict.  But I also sometimes create it or add to it.  Sometimes my feelings bubble up and I can’t hold them back and they come spilling out in a mess.  And I spend a LOT of time apologizing for that when it happens.  I know how much it sucks, and for someone who hates conflict it is the literal worst.  It feels like I betray myself.

Otherwise, I avoid conflict with anyone I care about. Even if it has nothing to do with me.  Even if I have a legitimate beef with you… Even if I caught you lying.. if you were mean or unfair or cruel.. even if you were the one that treated me badly, my tendency is to want to take the hit if it will just end this gnashing of teeth.  The FIRST thing I think when anyone I care about is upset is, “what did I do?”  I apologize for my feelings.  I apologize for wanting.  I apologize for being a mess and for needing.  I apologize for having felt hurt.   Continue reading

A Million Years Ago

shrek far far away

From Shrek- The Far Far Away Sign

A million years ago….

  1. I kissed you in the vacant lot and ran home breathless.
  2. I broke your heart because I wasn’t ready.
  3. I thought this was what relationships were and I didn’t know this was rare and special.  We danced all night.  We made love and when I called it that I didn’t giggle.  We said shit like “soulmates” and “forever” and I didn’t doubt for a second they were real.  Nobody had ever loved like we loved.  We sang songs to each other.  We took baths together and sat there until we were pruny.  You fucked her.  And you lied.  I felt worse about the lie because it meant we weren’t what I thought we were.  I walked away hurt and insecure.  I spent a decade feeling the image of you in an Indian blanket in our cold apartment, silent, as I dropped the key into your lap.
  4. I got her note. She was gone.  She needed to be with him.  She had a family back home. Wouldn’t I please understand?
  5. I fucked him at some party, the entire time wondering if the pool table took quarters… “mmmmhmm.. yes.. oh baby”.. does that pool table take quarters?  What is the mechanism to drop the balls if it doesn’t take quarters?
  6. I wondered if she’d ever love me back.
  7. I wanted to break it off but his dad had just died.  So I cheated. A lot. I felt more and more sick and when I broke up with him I thought I was doing him a favor.
  8. I couldn’t sleep with him because it would have been too real.
  9. She played with me next to my bed and I thought she liked me, but we never talked again.
  10. I liked him and he liked her and she liked someone else.
  11. He was a lot worse than I thought.  He was a lot worse.  He left a scar on my back from the event that changed my life.  He committed suicide years later, after hurting a lot more girls, and eventually going to prison.  He got out and killed himself.  I felt relieved that he wouldn’t hurt more girls and ashamed I’d been silent and hurt those girls.
  12. I waited a long time to touch him because I wanted to do things differently and when I finally touched him it just didn’t work and we couldn’t make it work so I broke his heart.
  13. He was my friend.  He was deeply honest and really flawed and fucked like a demon.  We talked about EVERYTHING with utter and complete honesty that wasn’t brutal because we bore no brutality.  It was the most comfortable I’d ever been with my body in his pure love of it.  You’re supposed to learn to love your body but I loved mine because he did.  We kept the lines really straight and loved each other for years, around and in between all the others, coming home.  We’ll never be lovers again, but I still consider him a friend.
  14. He left me for groupies and I met the women he’d cheated on me with when her boyfriend was cheating with me and I didn’t know it.  She and I were great friends for years.
  15. I loved him for his letters and got swept up in them and the things he created in them.  It was too late when I’d realized my mistake and I spent a long time trying to stick to my mistake.  When I could no longer be faithful and couldn’t be unfaithful, I left.  I like seeing his happy pics on Facebook.
  16. I never thought it would happen again, but it did.  I met him at Starbucks.  We shared a humor and a passion and loved each other through a million challenges and rewards.  We wrote love poems and songs and gave each other gifts of 100 kisses on post-its and notes hidden in lunches and suitcases and pockets.  For years I knew great love and great passion.  He was my best friend and I was his.  And we grew and grew and grew.  I wish I made him dinner more.  I’ve only learned that these past few years and I wish I’d learned it with him.  Some of the greatest and the worst days of my life were spent with him, and the love we had carried us through them.  With the end I wondered if I’d imagined it, but my box of letters tells me I didn’t. The passion never died until finally, that last year it did.  He told me she was too much and there was nothing left.  He wrote a poem based on a speaker we’d heard together when we were first dating, and redid it at times over the years to delight me. He used it again with the next women, which did not delight me. I don’t understand what happened really.  I make up theories and live with them and discard them because I’ll never know why.  I’m trying to accept that but it sits uneasily without ever having had my closure.  I read the things he said, to me, and later to others, the lies. He was intentionally cruel and admitted it.  And I’ll never understand.  That is not the man I loved. He replaced me and then replaced her.  He lied a lot to them too, and I’ll never understand it.  This is not the man I loved.  He is not the person I loved for so long and so well.
  17. In the midst of all of that I fell for him.  He seemed sweet and honest and clear, a relief in troubled times.  I loved his dazzling mind and the force of his love.  I fell hard and had a hard time letting go when the mask fell.  But I did.
  18. I fell for him so slowly and so well, my love sneaking in on quiet cat feet.  It took a long long time to know him and I’ll always be learning.  His kisses stayed dizzying, and his arms became home.  I love our adventures and our quiet nights and that we can get lost in each other doing absolutely nothing.  And then he told her he’d leave me if she asked him to.  I’m still not totally sure why it changed either, but suddenly all the things we were talking about for our future were different.  All of the little plans we were playing with were off the table.  He didn’t want what he said he wanted anymore.  Or he wanted it differently.  I wondered if I got this love wrong, if it wasn’t what it seemed.  I didn’t get it wrong.  It’s just complicated to live with all of our commitments and honor and complexities of life and history and it’s hard to navigate for women with a past.  There are a lot of moving parts.  It’s beautiful and hard sometimes, but he’s worth it.  Eventually it came that he would not trade me for the wishes of anyone on Earth, and I know it in my marrow.  He’s part of the family I’m making.  I sometimes miss the surety of when I was a girl, or think maybe other ways might be easier.  But then reality reminds me that relationships are always complicated.  Grown up love is complex and beautiful and long-awaited and deep… if you’re lucky.

I’m lucky.

shrek and fiona in love

Shrek and Fiona ride off into the sunset. From the movie Shrek and found at http://basementrejects.com/

 

Resonate

Lindsay & Austin // EngagedFor some strange reason my ex-husband has been on my mind a lot lately.  It hasn’t been an angsty thing.  For a little while now I have been able to look back with a more balanced view.  I remember all the good things and acknowledge the bad with less pain.  I would be friends with him if that were possible, because I miss some really great things about him as a human being, but I would never want to date him or any of that.  And I do of course remember the hurts, but without that fiery ember.  I’m not angry with him and I see it more clearly, the ways neither of us meant to hurt each other and the collision that was our end.

And maybe that’s why I’ve been thinking of him.  For a long time I made myself crazy going over things and then for a long time I tried not to think of him much at all.  But I can think back now.  I feel healthier.  I feel like I can see things more accurately.. all of the ways I contributed to things good and bad, and the ways he did too.  Neither one of us is a blameless victim of anything and neither one of us were evil.  We were both such fallible human beings.  Have you had a break-up?  Relate to this at all?

broken mirror couple

I have been thinking about the people that resonate with us.  My ex used to hate this, that I talk about people resonating.  I can’t help it. It interests me.  I wonder what the effect was on us of loving each other.  What did I leave there, after the healing, after the end, after all of our years, what’s he holding?  For a while I couldn’t see him accurately.  It hurt too much and I was angry.  I know it was like that for him too. I could not imagine he knew me so little.  It was crazy. But I was making him the angel and the demon in my mind when really he’s just a man. Continue reading

And Then It Was Just Us Now

I’m still processing some stuff, but for now the storm has passed with Traveler and I.  I didn’t resolve my future tripping and I don’t have it all ironed, but I decided that right now I just need to love and be loved.

worst cat pet

This is from Worst Cat Tumbler. It’s funny. Check it out if you haven’t seen it. 🙂

So we had a wonderful mid-week date.  He helped me bring home groceries and then talked with me while I made dinner and cleaned up my kitchen.  We talked about Clash of Clans and World of Warcraft and Halloween parties.  We laughed and ate my delicious chili.  Afterwards I was hot and went to change and called him in to lay on the bed with me.  I asked what he wanted to do tonight and he said “I really don’t care at all what we do.  I just want to be with you and spend time with you”.  Of course I kissed him for that.

We planned to lay together for a minute and then go back out to the living room to play World of Warcraft together.  And we never left the bed.  We ended up in bed from about 630pm on.  We got utterly blissed out on touch, just petting each other and snuggling and kissing and saying sweet loving things.  We didn’t even really talk.  We smiled and kissed and petted and snuggled and writhed together.  We looked at each other and smiled.  We twined our limbs together like roots.  We rolled over.  We sighed happily.  We hummed pleasure.  And it was utterly and completely perfect.

It didn’t answer any future questions and it didn’t need to.  It made me feel loved.  It made me feel deeply and completely loved, and I told him that.  I also told him he was kinda crazy about me.  He agreed.

Did you know that snuggling releases oxytocin and that oxytocin is healing?  It’s true.