I Am Not Prepared For Any Of This

I’m sitting here in a quiet little writing bubble, a calm but brief space in time I carved out for myself this morning. I realize there are still so many things going on around me, and this is no bubble at all. The world still turns, people are driving to work, news is being made. I’ve got a sleeping 3-year-old in the other room, and I’m being kicked in the ribs from the inside by an active growing baby.

There is also a gym full of Seniors going through a dress rehearsal for their graduation on Saturday. My daughter is in this group of Seniors.

For a few months now I have been a very live wire, on-edge, short-tempered, and impatient. Anger is my default emotion when my anxiety spikes, and I realized all of it wasn’t because I’m six months pregnant. Yes, that doesn’t help the situation any, but it isn’t the root cause of all of this tension and fear. I’ve not been able to put my finger on what my deal has been, exactly. That is until yesterday when I was briefly talking about my daughters plans after graduation and found myself unable to keep a dam of tears from breaking forth during an appointment. Mind you this was NOT during an appointment with my therapist and was all quite awkward.

Boom, just like that, I had my answer.

The past few years have been a big emotional, mental, and well… an overall complete lifestyle transition for me. My household went from only having a single 15-year-old child to the adding of a baby boy (now a toddler). All the routine family dynamics changed overnight, my marriage changed in the blink of an eye, and the roles we all had become comfortable in, transformed. I tried to learn how to balance the shifting in-between teenager mode and toddler mode, gracefully I mean, but let me say that it is some hard stuff to juggle. Both ages come with extreme challenges and are such diverse stages of life, it almost seems impossible to find any emotional or mental stability, let alone clarity.

These past eight months easily being the roughest ride. My elder child turned 18 and the “I’m an adult you can’t tell me what to do” independence bug has taken hold of her. She is so much like me, which can not only be frustrating as a parent but an annoying mirror of all of your own faults as a person. She inherited much of my stubbornness, opinionated sauciness, vocabulary, and all of those other many quirks that make the people’s lives around me so much brighter… (sarcasm).

Her birthday is in November so she is always the older of her classmates and also adds another onion layer to this 18-year-old stage. Yes, she is an adult but I am still trying to get her through high school and that crazy busy senior year. It is quite the endeavor trying to get her to do things around the house, bring up topics such as grades or attendance, or do the normal things that a kid is accountable for in a home. Due to her pulling out the adult card all the time. The struggle is real, my friends.

Now don’t get me wrong, I adore my daugher. She’s an insanely bright and a good kid all around. She’s also a late bloomer in a lot of aspects, which has been a benefit in the worry department for the old mom here. But for some parents, like my own (sorry guys), blessed with these smart and strong-willed kids that challenge us….well, it can be tough.

Let’s be honest here folks,18 is a dang rough stage in life for everyone involved, and it’s supposed to be. It is one of the biggest transitions in both the child’s life and the parent’s life. It is the shift out of childhood and the first year into true adulthood when the heavier of parental responsibilities begin to shift from the parent to the child. All completely normal, but it doesn’t always make for the calmest of houses. Add a pregnant mom into the mix and it’s a force of nature.

So for the sake of all involved, AKA “So Mom doesn’t lose her sh*t and end up in a hospital,” 

She has spent this last month of school having a vacation at her grandparents house. I should point out it has actually been great for her (I won’t lie, for me as well). She has gained more confidence and independence, but still from the safety of familiarity which is good for my head and heart.  My parents don’t treat her like a parent which while annoying for me, seems to benefit her.

Does it sting she wants to be there instead of here? Sure, but I get it. She can feel more like an adult without mom reminding her of all the little daily things that need doing. While I assumed she would stumble and not be able to keep everything straight, she has proved me wrong mostly. We were in a dance that both of used got tired of tired of. For example, her not following through on things being asked of her or keeping up with responsibilities. Because she knew I would get fed up and do it, or fix it, etc. This caused resentment and animosity on both sides. Now she has a more solid after-plan, she’s going out more and wanting to be more social, and is even dating a guy.  Basically, she is growing up.

So why then did I end up bawling my eyes out yesterday when things have been going okay?! I mean, I am gaining peace of mind with her being out of high school and the stress involved with that. You know, the grades, attendance, activities, early mornings, the fear of a school shootings.She’s becoming more responsible and accountable for the things she needs to be doing and that is what I had hoped for.

So why the break down?

Read over those last couple of paragraphs again…

I am scared… no… scratch that… I am terrified. There are things weighing heavily in my head and heart and that I’ve avoided looking at. It had nothing to do with dealing with a mouthy, grumpy 18-year-old trying my patience, and everything to do with her leaving my nest.  All these questions, and fears, and tears broke wide open after I being asked what she planned on doing after high school.

Have I prepared her well enough?

She’s still so young and naïve, what if she gets hurt?

Can she handle herself with confidence if some guy gets too handsy?

Does she understand about not getting in cars with people under the influence?

Did she hear anything I told her?

Was I too honest?

Does she realize that I love her and will be here if she needs help?

In a few more months she will be the same age I was when I conceived her and that hits home. It has me questioning everything I have taught her, and all the things I didn’t even get to touch on over the years.  We’ve always had a relationship where we talked about everything. I never felt the need to lie or try to avoid uncomfortable topics, but there is also so much that I am not sure I prepared her for.

But the truth of the matter is…

I am the one that is not prepared for any of this.

Sure.there won’t be an empty nest here for a long time. But my firstborn is flying away and I haven’t a clue what this world holds for her, and there is not anything I can do about any of it.

While she may very well be ready, I for one, damn sure are not.

Nobody prepares a parent for this part…

The future is Terrifying.

We are all sharing this time specific time on earth together. So I know I can’t be the only one that is incredibly sad and overwhelmed that hate and carnage have been normalized, rationalized, and even defended.

Not once in my youth did I ever think this very real and present horror we live in would be our ‘future’, and that someday my own children would know no other way.

Zombies? Sure.

Aliens? Still waiting.

Global epidemic? If you don’t count ourselves, okay.

But this?! This is far worse.

I hear ranting and raving about 2nd amendment rights, I hear that if it wasn’t a gun it would be a knife or a bomb, which may very well be true if guns weren’t so damn easy to get.

But last time I checked bombs are not widely available and some a-hole isn’t chucking ninja stars out of a thirty-second story room killing 59 people and injuring over 500.

There isn’t some huge black-ops military coming to take away all our freedoms, because we already give it over willingly on a daily basis.

I am by no means anti-gun, but I do think it should be much more difficult for me to get a gun than it is to get adequate healthcare.

I love this country, but I am absolutely appalled at what it has become. What we, the people, have become…

If it isn’t another senseless act of gun violence, it is one group of people trying to trump another groups rights, for there own.

It is calling a peaceful protest unpatriotic and disgraceful and turning a blind eye when men wearing our flag as leisure wear march under a fascist flag that others died fighting against, a generation ago.

It is vehemently defending the religious freedoms of some,  while prohibiting the free exercise of others. It is cherry picking from the constitution to suit an agenda.

It is turning away the tired, the poor, the huddled masses…

This is not an America that I consider great. This is a scared, ravenous America, where money is more important than a citizens life. It is divided states, divided hearts, divided rights, and divided minds.

This future I thought so much on in my childhood, it utterly terrifying and I for one, am tired of being afraid. I’m tired of the constant barrage of fear mongering, chaos, and sadness.

It’s all topsy-turvy, and I sure as hell hope we can all be forgiven for it.

There but for the Grace…

Life has an almost divine way of intervening at just the right moment, in order to remind me as to what is really important…

I sit here and ponder on this from the safety of my dry front porch, I am comfortable, the weather is mild and pleasant, my plants are blooming nicely, and the birds are chirping wildly as if celebrating the passing of the storms. I count my blessings, of which there are many, and can’t help but be struck with a deep sense of guilt and grief, so many countless others were not so lucky.

A shame ripples through me and leaves goosebumps over my arms, the hairs standing on end prickling through my sleeves, and adding a most uncomfortable sensation crawling up my spine.  So many others…

I think of faceless strangers, the names of which I will never know, sitting in unfamiliar buildings as their homes and memories are in watery ruins. I think of them mourning for family and friends that did not weather-the-storm. I think of a three-year-old little girl clinging to her mother’s lifeless body as flood waters swirl around her, she will never know just how much she was loved, she will never again feel the comfort of home.

Here I am fretting over unpaid bills, an overgrown lawn, worrying over trivialities, listening to meditations on managing stress…What stress?!

What damn stress?!

Life?! Just typical life things?! That isn’t stress…

Stress is wondering if you or a loved one will make it through to the other side of an insidious disease, and all the medical bills that stack up. Stress is having your home demolished and wondering where your children will sleep at the end of the night. Stress is not knowing where your children are…

There but for the Grace…

Tonight I will hold on tight to my children, I will be grateful for the roof over our heads with its overgrown lawn and chirping birds, and I will be thankful for the bills that did get paid. but most importantly I will think of all the faceless strangers

But most importantly I will think of all the faceless strangers that are not fairing as well and remember to never take these things for granted because there I go.

Let’s not talk about that…

Twenty-one years ago, at the age of seventeen, I was admitted into a psychiatric facility, this past Saturday I listened to my soul break apart, as a thick steel door shut with a heavy thud and a heart piercing click, while it separated me and my own seventeen year old daughter.

Once again I had abandoned her, but this time, instead of leaving her in the safe arms of loved ones, I left her standing in a cold tiled hallway, in the unfamiliar arms of a seasoned and obviously tired psychiatric nurse.

This is a scenario I could have never imagined as I read and sang to her while she was cradled peacefully in my womb, so long ago. I had made a promise to never hurt her, to always protect her, to fight for her, I promised her that I would never let her end up like me. What a liar time and life has made me.

For decades I have struggled, in my way, with my own mental health. The overwhelming anxiety, social awkwardness, and the inevitable crash of second guessing, depression, and low-to- no selfworth that can even make the simplest act of folding laundry seem like a climb up Mount Everest.

I have dealt firsthand with the demonization and stigmatization that comes with it, from strangers and loved ones alike. I have screamed until I am blue in the face to prove my ‘sanity’ as abusers use it as a weapon to minimize any legitimate and justified grievance I have, only to be told that I need to “take my meds”.

No, this isn’t right, this wasn’t supposed to happen! Look what I have done, look at how badly I have broken her! Had I not been so callous at times, had I not left her when she was younger, had I not yelled so much out of frustration, had I just held her more, been more nurturing, been the mother I promised her I’d be. Perhaps what someone told me last friday is right? I am unfit to be a mother, and I am just going to end up fucking up my son, just like I fucked up my daughter.

This is what anxiety and depression sounds like in a sufferer, and a mother, of someone afflicted with mental health issues.

Leaving my daughter there was the hardest and most gut wrenching thing I have ever done, but I also know that my daughter needs significant help, help I can not give her alone. A level of care and finesse that I am not qualified to give her.

I have visited her twice since Saturday night, at the brief allotted times I’m allowed. I have driven home alone in silence with tears streaming down my face, tortured by the echos of her pleas, her bargains, and her threats.

I have tried to hold tight and strong and repeat the words of reassurance from her doctors, therapists, and nurses that I am doing the right thing, that this will be hard…but is needed.

It sure as hell doesn’t feel like the right thing, I feel like the world’s biggest piece of shit mother that I could see her begging and crying, and still abandon her.

Tomorrow I will drive alone in silence to our family therapy session knowing, once again, I will be leaving her behind those thick steel doors. There is no way to lessen that pain, there is no way to prepare for the agony of feeling her watch me walk away without her.

I will come home and cry in the shower, I will be strong for my son, I will pretend to live life as normal, I will pull myself together. But I will not smile as my world is crashing apart so I don’t inconvenience anyone.

I will see Facebook posts about the first day of school and solar eclipses and tell myself I am doing the right thing. I will attend birthday parties and try not to lose my shit.

I will toss and turn at night and eventually just wake up. I will walk around in a fog, with vacant heartbroken eyes. But, I will not walk on eggshells to make sure I do not make other people uncomfortable, angry, or cause injury to a facade that has been so meticulously crafted by someone else so as not to cause pouting or rumor.

I will not try to talk myself out of posting this, as to not embarrass anyone else. I will speak up, I will speak-out-of-turn. I will not take the blame and feel guilty for things I have not done.

I will be the bad guy, because someone needs to be and more often than not that falls on mom, that is the sacrifice we make.

I will try and keep my composure as I’m given secondhand advice from people that have never been in this situation personally.

I will not get upset when I overhear conversations from relative strangers that lay fault on me, because… “What did she expect?!…”

I will persevere, I will be strong for my daughter, I will be tough even when tough is the last thing I want to be.

I will allow her to push me away, and I will still try an pull her closer. I will paint her room and spend money I don’t have, without allowing guilt to be forced down my throat, just so she won’t come home to the same toxic reminders.

I will lie in her bed and smell her and pretend I am holding her, I will give her the comfort she needs, and needed, from far away. I will protect her, I will fight for her, I will not allow her to end up like me.

I will not lose my shit.

I will love her.

I will not lose her.

I will not leave her.

I will be a warrior.

I will be a warrior for myself.

I will be a warrior for her.

I will be the woman I needed my mother to be.

I will be the mother she needs me to be…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toddlers and Teens and Husbands…Oh My!

I am a mother, and the only difference between me and the vast majority of other mothers out there is that my children are fifteen years apart. Mind you, that doesn’t mean I am “nineteen kids and counting” and have just bred a pyramid scheme of free childcare and labor as to appease the ovary gods, or to scratch every metaphorical itch that my womb (soul) gets.

That may not sound too bad, two kids…fifteen years apart, but I can assure you that it is a bit worse than what you can even begin to imagine. That is to say, that you as the reader, are a normal and logical parent that had children within the same decade, and possibly within five years of each other.  I assume (and you know what they say about assumptions) most people either have full grown adults, teenagers (13+), pre-teens (8-12), or little ones (see previous and do the math).

That’s an intelligent move and I extend my hand in a congratulatory manner, I wish I had known then what I know now.  Isn’t that just the total cliche of life?!

But alas, here I am…Stuck in parenting purgatory.

At a moments notice, I have to go from toddler style to teenager kung-fu. I have to deal with horrible haircuts, slipping grades, a rejected heart, driving, only child syndrome of a now big sister, teaching adulthood, and or, calming psychotic freak outs of an internet addict when the WiFi is too slow…

While at the same time trying to deter a biting phase that seems to be more than a phase, potty training ( AKA; pooping on the floor), sharing, hitting, climbing on counters, jumping in fire ant beds, trying to break co-sleeping (room sharing), and or, tantrums of a binky addict at 2 am when I can’t find the right binky out of the 12 binkies in the bed.

I have to go from being punched in the nose (for God knows what) by a two-year-old, and then verbally assaulted (for God knows what) by a seventeen-year-old.

I’m so physically and emotionally exhausted that, well, that I can’t even think of an analogy to describe how tired I am. Whining (and wine) doesn’t even help anymore. I am a hot mess most days, and not in the same cute and adorable way that Mila Kunis is a (supposed)  hot mess in” Bad Moms”.

I am that streaky self-tan, holey yoga pants wearing, sometimes buzz cut having (easier than pulling it out), always late if I show up at all, smoking (yes, SMOKING! I’m tired and weak-willed!!) mother, sipping on a pint of Maharaja at 10:59 am because it’s five-o’clock somewhere.

“Wanna get away?”…well yes, Southwest Airlines, some days I do!!! Is that okay, Southwest?! Am I allowed to say that?! How about you stop patronizing me with your low airfare and clever little commercials in between the same 5 episodes of Paw Patrol that I’ve been watching for two weeks!!!! AHHHHHH!!! *throws sparkling Rosé at television*

Did I happen to mention I am also married?

Somehow, I am supposed to keep my shit together, keep myself from killing my seventeen-year-old replica, keep a crazy baboon toddler from killing himself, keep the animals (literal animals, we have pets) fed and clean, keep the toilets clean, keep the litter clean, keep the yard clean, keep myself clean, and you’re telling me I am supposed to keep track of a forty-three-year-old man’s contact prescription, car keys, pool key, shoes, and feelings all while stuck in a repetitive verbal loop of;  “The [insert random object name] is right there… in front of you…right there…no, not there…look down a little and to the left…your other left…oh my god, (storm over in annoyance and grab said object) it’s right here!”

Really?! For real?!

When in the hell did I fill out the W-2 for this job?! How long is the contract?! Is there a non-disclosure?! When exactly is the non-compete clause up?! Is there even a 401 or retirement package?! Geez…I need a smoke, anybody got a light?!

But as with most things that seem like an overwhelming storm of emotions, there are beautiful silver linings, one of which is called nap-time and it is absolute heaven.

It’s that amazing time of the day where I get to snuggle up under the covers, in a cool dark room with a miniature human that I grew. I get to serenade him softly as his warm carrot breath slowly wafts across my cheek, and his tiny arm twitches while he holds tightly to my neck.

Then there are those times where I am sitting across from my daughter drinking coffee together, and she is rambling on about politics or philosophy and I am in awe of what an incredible young woman she is, about how proud I am of her mind and her stubbornness, and I chuckle silently to myself about how she is going to give some poor sap a run for their money one day. That she will be a strong, fierce woman that won’t put up with nonsense.

There are those rainy, quiet Sunday mornings where the house is in order, the litter is cleaned, and the groceries are all bought and put away before I am even out of bed. The days of no special importance that the honey do list is all checked off even though I had no idea I had even made one. No reminders, no plans, no appointments or engagements…just relaxation and laughs and catching up on the DVR.

These are all moments of pure bliss, times I don’t just wanna get away

Toddlers and teens and husbands, oh my…

What would life be without them?

Lonely, and terribly uneventful.

 

Then there are the bad days…

It’s nearly 10 pm on this hellaciously humid Texas night and I’m sitting out on the porch writing this as I listen to the wildlife and bugs going nuts. I have had a low-grade fever all day, so I’m doing what any rational sick person would do; I’m writing a blog post and sipping on a pint of Yellow Rose!

Why am I doing this? For the simple sake of transparency, while this blog is meant to be uplifting, it’s also meant to be real, and you can’t very well have real healing without working through the real hurt, or just real day-to-day shit. Being honest with myself and my audience is a crucial part of that.

Thursday night I attended a workshop about desire, I was excited to go and hear the speakers and support someone I care about.  What I wasn’t expecting was for my old self-sabotaging self to hitch a ride and be my date for the night.  I thought I had arrived alone, but it became quite apparent as I stepped into the room filled with pairs of ladies mingling, of which I knew none, save for one of the speakers and another that was providing the food, that little Miss SpellCheck (my inner self-defeating monologue) had come along for the ride.

I could tell the majority of the ladies knew each other or had brought friends along, and immediately that voice in my head started screaming. “WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE, WE DON’T BELONG HERE, THEY’RE ALL GONNA LAUGH AT YOU, YOU’RE JUST GOING TO EMBARRASS YOURSELF!!!” (Yes, those words exactly, and I see the humour as most of you know me as Kari)

But, I did what I do when I feel completely awkward and I struck up a few conversations before the event kicked off and tried to feel more comfortable in my own skin. The speakers began and were incredible, but then I kept getting in my head. When I feel moved by something or agree, I find myself unintentionally making little noises, you know like…Mmhmm or just MMMM’s, either way, I was strangely aware that I kept doing it, my mother does the same thing and I remember being annoyed by it in my teenage years, and here I was doing the same thing! So, cue voice in my head “Oh my God, will you stop?! I can’t take you anywhere, I knew you would embarrass us!”

That went on for a bit, as I tried to shut her up and pay attention, which I was, it was just a dual monologue. I ended up speaking about something, though if I’m honest I can’t remember what it was that I had said because the whole time I just had SpellCheck screaming “What are you doing?! Shut-up, shut-up, shut-up!”, but this is where it got really bad friends.

There was this group of women and one other lone woman that I had been noticing (outside of my head) for a while. The lone woman had asked a question early on, seemed uninterested in the answer and then just sat on her phone the rest of the time, before screaming injustice and storming out. I could feel something was off but ignored it before that took place. After I had shared my little story, a woman from the group asked a question a bit later to one of the speakers and was obviously aggressive and looking for an exchange of words. So what do I do?! I pipe in and try to deflect from the speakers and defuse a situation that I can tell is an obvious set-up, but then I couldn’t shut up!

I don’t know if I was annoyed at myself, or by the fact that these women were not there to support other women but to rather make some stand against who-the-hell-knows-what (shills), but I just couldn’t shut-up. I had made an awkward and weird situation even worse and in the process completely derailed the presentation. Thankfully, one of the speakers (and my life coach) was there with a life raft and got it back on track. The presentation concluded and we all went back to mingling, where I proceeded to apologise over and over, interrupted a meaningful hug between friends and was generally just ready to go crawl under a rock and die.

I spent the drive home crying, the night and subsequent day and night going over the whole damn thing in slow-mo and swearing I’d never leave my house again. I had nightmares both nights, you know those nightmares that feel all too real?

Why am I sharing all of this? Because it’s pertinent to the healing that came today, in between going over it in my head, I journaled, used tools that I have been working on in my sessions, but oddly the healing came out of the incident itself. We were asked to do a worksheet, it was one I had already done a few times, one that I had analyzed before, meditated on and thought I had really spent time thinking about. This time I had just done it in the heat of the moment, what I needed right then, and what I thought was just about the group of women (shills) that had distracted me.

It happened to fall out of my purse this morning, it was folded up but I knew exactly what it was and I didn’t even want to acknowledge that night, I just wanted to hide and figure out a way to stop my sessions with my coach because I was so damn embarrassed and I felt I embarrassed her. I went to just throw it away, but then I was moved to read it, and it hit me like a ton of bricks, so much so that I sunk to the kitchen floor and bawled.

Without revealing too much of the worksheet because it is not my intellectual property, the first question on it reads; “What I desire most is…”, and there in my hurried handwriting is the word patience. Simple, and poignant in its simplicity. That is exactly what I desire most!

Patience with myself, patience with my husband, my toddler, and my teenager. Patience with this journey, instead of finding a new path and a new process in order for a quick fix! Patience in the fact that healing takes time, writing takes time, meditation, and losing weight takes time! These wounds I carry took a long time to make, they are not just going to disappear simply because I acknowledge them. Forgiveness…takes time.

Patience indeed is a virtue, I have been expecting to wake up an entirely different person, because wouldn’t that just be easiest? If I wasn’t myself at all?!

No, friends, I don’t like that idea one bit anymore, I think I’ll be patient and learn about this version first, I’m starting to really like her.

 

The road is lit, but there’s no promise it’ll be paved…

The decision to stop the music and walk off the dance floor of life that I had become so accustomed to, wasn’t an easy one to make.  Don’t get me wrong, the idea of it was easy, but pulling the trigger with six loaded chambers, well, that was an entirely different matter.

I knew I wasn’t happy but didn’t know why I wasn’t happy. Granted, I had a long list of suspects I figured could be widdled down until I found the culprit, but hadn’t a clue what would make me happy, and if it appeared would I even know it when I saw it?

But that’s the thing; it wasn’t anything that I could see, but rather something buried deep down inside of me. Something I had kept numb over the years with cigarettes, booze, drugs, men, women, friends, fights, love, music… damn near anything and everything, as long as I didn’t have to take that long, cruel look at myself in that harsh fluorescent light that is the self.

Even as I started down the brightly lit path of self-discovery, I quickly found out that is sure as hell wasn’t paved and smooth. Yes, there were other people’s maps that could give me a general sense of where I was going, but the surveying, excavating, and laying of stones was on me. But as with most big jobs, there is going to come a time where you simply can’t do it all by yourself; you will need to hire a skilled professional, and so I did. An amazing woman by the name of Colette, that I happened to meet through another amazing woman.

Me; that jovial, tough-as-nails, don’t give a f*ck what they say, woman, needed help. See, that’s the kicker here folks, I did, I gave a f*ck, I gave a f*uck very much as to what they said. Who are they? They are everybody, everyone that isn’t me. My family, my friends, my enemies, neighbours, strangers, gossips and confidants alike, anyone I could embarrass. Because I was an embarrassment, at least that is what I had been telling myself for a very, very long time and that’s just kind of what I did, embarrass.

I was annoying and embarrassing because I talk too much, share too much, and say it far too loudly. I am too opinionated and get too passionate about those opinions/ beliefs. I stood my ground, yet I allowed myself to be walked over, dismissed, and discounted. If I didn’t silence my voice, I allowed others too.

I was an embarrassment to be seen with because I’m brightly hued from the top of my head to the tipiest part of my toes, also refer to the former paragraph. I was an embarrassment as a woman, I was far from strong, instead, I was weak; weak because I can’t take care of myself and my children financially, weak because I tolerate things I don’t deserve, weak because my first instinct at the hint of stress is to get angry and defensive, weak because I gave a shit. Weak because I could never do what I am doing right now.  I was annoying and awkward because I care too much for strangers and not enough for myself.  I love too much, yell too much, laugh too loud, cry too hard. I whine and bitch, I am too honest, lie too much, apologise too much…I simply continued to breathe.

I was an absolute embarrassment as a human, I didn’t deserve anything, and I damn sure didn’t deserve to be happy!

That, my friend, is just a small list of things that ran through my head every single time I opened my mouth, and even when I did not. These are things I still very much struggle with, and I know I’m not alone in this. It’s something preprogrammed a long time ago, and it is something I work daily, with help, to rewrite.

One thing that was made very clear to me, was how I was talking to and about myself, I was constantly shit talking! How in the hell is a person going to feel, let alone be any different when they have a constant critic in their own head?

I was also putting my self-worth in the hands of other people when it should have been in my own hands. The way it was put to me, was that if you are constantly dependent on other’s to define your own self-worth you will never attain it. As far as the shit talking went I was told to “Say it to Create it”, it’s the concept of neurolinguistic reprogramming.

That has been the biggest challenge for me, shutting up the voice in my head (I call her SpellCheck) and changing the entire code. While it’s a work in progress, I try to keep the don’ts, the how’s, and the negative’s out of my vocabulary diet.

I can only hope that someday my experience and writing about my journey through all of this, can help you as well. Or, at least be a reminder that even in the darkest hours when you feel the world swallowing you up, and you can barely keep your head above the waterline, you, my dearest, are never alone.

X’s and O’s

 

 

 

Where To Begin…

Well, friend, that is the everlasting gobstopper of questions for me, and one that has screwed me up for many years.

 I mean, do I start at the beginning? Because that would be far too long for one post, and yet, isn’t it ad rem to the subject matter?  Then again, I typically end up wrestling with that old adage “We don’t need to hear your life story” and I get all flustered and embarrassed and can’t figure out which way is up, and I start second guessing and doubting myself, sigh… but I’ll come back to that at a later date.

I can’t very well start at the end, because I don’t know what the ending is, and well, the middle is just a bunch of blurry, disorderly snippets so grabbing anything of relevance from it, is kind of like playing the lottery.

So I’ll just stick to the present, that is where I’m at, and it’s the only thing that hasn’t gotten too warped by time yet.

Now, let’s go back to the beginning (see what I did there) and take a closer look at that statement, “We don’t need to hear your life story”. That’s what a lot of us say when we are bored and impatient, or when it feels like time has stopped completely as we wait on pins and needles for our chance to speak again. You know, when we aren’t actually listening to the other person but rather, just waiting to talk.

But see, that is one of those crazy dichotomies of being human. We say we don’t want to hear or read about other people, and their dramatic story that has made them who they are. But then we turn around and gorge ourselves on gossip columns, tell-alls, and biographies (auto or otherwise). Why? I ask myself that a lot, why do I do that, and yet can’t be bothered to give the same attention to the people in my life?

I think it’s simple really, I may not necessarily want to hear that stuff, but I sure as hell need to hear it. It’s a biological necessity to feel connected, understood, less alone in a lonely world. On the flipside, there is that gluttonous want to see the mighty fall, in order for me to pass judgement. It’s a way to distract myself with comparisons from the I’d never(s) and how dare(s) gallery. Picking through another person’s garbage, to find comfort within my own dirty bath water.

So, I suppose that is the answer to the question…Where to begin? My own dirty water, I suppose.

I’ve got to admit that this is very difficult for me, to kneel before the court of my peers, place my neck on the block, and be prepared for any critique, rejection, or ridicule that may come. But, that is what I am going to do because that is precisely what someone who is not an embarrassment but confident, would do.