Vulnerable and Real

So, I’ve been an emotional mess.

I’m tired. This is the worst quarter of grad school and I’ve just been… emotional. I’m so tired. I haven’t slept as much or had much time for rest. I’ve been spending too much time alone. I’ve felt this deep neediness and insecurity and loneliness. My brain has not been nice.

We studied these attachment theories, which honestly I fucking hate. We read all of this stuff about kids who didn’t have stable caregivers and how they are fucked for life, how their brains wire poorly and they develop abnormal amygdalas. I just read all of this shit, and it’s all about people like me. They talked about children like me, who’s moms abandoned them and how we cannot form secure attachments and are permanently and irreversibly broken. They talked about kids who’s parents were neglectful, and absent and the children they raise who cannot regulate emotion and can’t form normal connections. And fuck, I hate that.  I hate it.

I hate the idea that someone would read this and think, “well that explains it. Poor fucked up girl. Of course she is this way.”

And then I’m reading this other stuff about how humans crave connection. We need trust and belonging. We are wired from birth to attach and connect and seek intimacy in all kinds of forms. We are balls of fear and longing with center cores of gushy love. We all want to be seen and heard. Continue reading

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

The Cats Will Eat Me…

I really dislike my brain sometimes.  I woke up this morning with my brain churning a little.  I noticed it and realized what was happening.  Every now and then I start spinning about something.  I used to see Great Date do this, and it’s how I finally realized I did it too.

Sometimes it’s fear.  Sometimes I feel a little afraid and my mind casts about to understand my fear.  The house is not on fire.  The cats are okay.  Maybe I had a nightmare I don’t remember.  I don’t know, but my mind is an unkind place.  I cast doubts around about my worth.. my friendships.  I chew on the edge of my relationships.  I pull up reasons I should be afraid or sad or that things could be bad.  I pull up real and imagined evidence for how I suck.  I tell myself mean things.  I am the voice in the dark.

catsI’ve learned over time that this is just me petting a worry stone.  I can spin up elaborate bad things, and I know it.  I’m cherry picking the little rotten things to make problems that don’t exist.  I’m fine.  I’m more than fine.  I’m happy.  I’m here in my quiet apartment with my sweet kitties.  I live in a neighborhood I love.  I live in a city I love.  I have a family that I love that loves me.  I’m making the best choices I can and I’ll be ok. My relationship(s) are good.

And I learned to pull out the anti-venom for poisonous thoughts.

Continue reading

Somebody that I used to know

I was just reading old messages to my blog and a link I missed a million years ago, to a blog I wrote a few years back and it linked to this song.

———-

Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember

———-

I had my biggest break up a few years ago, and it’s taken me a while to sort it all out.  It was like when my father died and I found myself thinking of things and feeling things I hadn’t thought about since I was 14.  His death just kinda shook our snow globe.  

Did you ever notice how things we don’t deal with come out sideways?  I find the great lessons are like onions for me, and I peel back layer after layer after layer.  I learn about being vulnerable over and over, or about extending trust again and again, just in new and deeper ways. 

It takes a while after a break-up to sort out reality from hopes and habit.  It’s hard to see a relationship for what it is when I’m in it.  I spent too long in some relationships, trying to make myself happy with what they were so I didn’t have to do the work of being true to myself and leaving. 

I spun sugar out of air, making connections where they didn’t exist and seeing the best in everyone at the detriment of the truth.  I overlooked that selfishness or that drinking problem or that inability to be honest. I put up with his utter inability to handle emotion and told myself I was a good person for helping him learn, except.. did he learn?  I said “he’s just tired” and “she’s just feeling stressed”.  I tried to be agreeable when I was stood up or pushed off or managed.  I forgave so easily because I just wanted them to go back to them loving me.  Breaking up after that feels like waking up.  

We repeat the patterns we’ve learned over and over again, don’t we?  We are always trying to work out those first relationships.. make them love us, prove we can stay, show ourselves and the world how great we are to make this work.. we’ll make this work dammmit… 

And the thing is that this isn’t a dress rehearsal.  We have one life. What are we shutting off every time we do this?  Why do we plead and pour and cajole and beg to make things that really shouldn’t last?  And when they do come apart, why is it so hard to let them go and handle all the remnants.  And why do we run away from taking the real chances at love because we don’t want to lose our security? Continue reading

Celebrating with my daughter and RollerGirl

I went out tonight with my oldest daughter (step-daughter) and RollerGirl.  It was the daughter’s birthday the day before and RollerGirl’s the day after.  If you’re new.. RollerGirl was the woman Hubby and I dated separately and together.  She’s the one Hubby said he was leaving me for.  More on that in a second.  I like RollerGirl though.  I always did.  So it’s not that weird to have fun in a hang-out situation with her.  Yeah.. it’s kinda weird that she and my daughter are close.  It felt like another betrayal at first, that Hubby would leave me for RollerGirl AND that my daughter would be angry at me for the divorce, AND that to add insult to injury my daughter wouldn’t really talk to me but she’d become close to RollerGirl.  I’d been there for most of my daughter’s life and RollerGirl was this woman she’d met a few times.  What the fuck?  Right or wrong, I felt really betrayed by Hubby and RollerGirl.  It turns out that RollerGirl talked to my daughter and tried to get her not to be angry at and blame me, that while I’d been hurt and upset at them talking it’d be a good thing in the long run for my daughter and me too.  It also turned out that she’d never planned to have this family with Hubby that he’d told me he was leaving me for.  He’d said it to me and the counselor to hurt me, I guess.  It was the cruelest thing he could say and he knew it. Continue reading

The Evidence

I had that recent realization that I have to stop living in fear about my loves.  I remember telling a friend not too long ago, “I’m so happy I’m terrified”.  Ever get like that?  The thing is that I see silver linings all over the place and I’m a optimistic person, but.. but I’m often waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I don’t like admitting this about myself.  It’s not a thing I’m proud of.  But I’m betting I’m not the only one that does this and it’s a happiness and love killer.  I’m not saying that keeping your feet under you is a bad thing in adventures and love.  I’m not saying that heads in the clouds are bad.  I actually like these two things together.  I am saying that keeping my one foot out the door (just in case!) is a thing that makes me unhappy and hurts my relationships.  I’ve been feeding my insecurity.

Standing on the ground in red shoes

Standing on the ground in red shoes

This makes me think of something the character Rob said in High Fidelity-

Rob: “I can see now I never really committed to Laura. I always had one foot out the door, and that prevented me from doing a lot of things, like thinking about my future and… I guess it made more sense to commit to nothing. And that’s suicide. By tiny, tiny increments”. Continue reading