To Thine Own Self Be True

•April 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

One thing I’ve learned in the past six months is something I’ve known for a very long time, but not followed; to be true to myself.  I have been so lost since my divorce, I was actually lost about three years into my marriage unfortunately.  When I was a child, I was extremely shy and very introverted.  I read a lot of books, had few friends and really worried about what other people thought of me.  I’m not sure where that began or why, but it was what it was.

Something snapped between my sophomore and junior years of high school.  I was sick and tired of being teased about being stuck up and shy.  I was tired of feeling bad about who I was; I rode and showed horses (and did damned well at it), was a cheerleader, in drama and choir as well as carrying AP English classes.  I realized I was actually pretty accomplished and had something to offer to people, it was their judgement of me that kept them from seeing it.  No, I didn’t set out to change their opinion of me, I just didn’t care if they had one anymore.  So started the two years of me pushing myself to be more outgoing, talk to someone new every day.  Sometimes it was in line at the grocery store, sometimes it was at school or church.  No matter where I went, I at least said hello to one new person.  After the first few months of having a sick feeling in my stomach just before I would say a word, it went away, and I began to smile more and found that the conversations came much more easily.  I even made a few new friends!

Through my teens and early twenties, I became a bubbly, sarcastic and outgoing person.  People actually wanted to hang out with me and invite me to things.  When I went to college, finding friends wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, merely because I refused to worry about what they would think of me and I accepted myself for who I was.  This confidence carried through and I found some very dear friends that I still have to this day.

It all changed when my mom died.  I was rocked to the core.  I withdrew again and began self-destructing, or at least trying to.  Failed relationship after failed relationship, ostracizing family and in general being a pain in the ass.  I was lucky to not become an alcoholic or get into drugs, but my strong moral foundation kept me from those things.  I think it also helped watching my mother struggle with alcoholism and I knew that that was not anything I wanted to even attempt to dabble in.

Just as I was coming out of this dark time in my life, I met my ex-husband.  He wanted to ‘fix’ me, and I let him.  I was just coming out of my deep depression, so that bubbly, happy, sarcastic person I had lost was just starting to come back.  For a long time, he was good for me.  He gave me stability that I had not had in a long time and a foundation to grow from.  Because of those things, I felt indebted to him and began to fashion myself after his example.  I would ask his opinion on the most trivial things and follow his advice implicitly.  Unfortunately, with that decision, I lost a lot  of my friends, and the ones he could stand me to be around, he refused to allow to be around him or interact with them in any way.  I essentially became a hermit in my marriage.  I had the friends he approved of, listened to the music he listened to, and the only time I went out was when he was with me.  There were no ‘girls’ nights out or much time that was just for me.  When I got a horse, it became a huge fight because it took time away from him, he didn’t want to participate and would gripe constantly about the time and money spent on my ‘hobby’.  I offered numerous times to just give it up, but he refused, knowing that it would surely kill our marriage because I’d resent him.  Thing is, I ended up resenting him anyway because of his constant harping on me about the time, commitment, and money spent on my passion.  Eventually, I ended up angry, bitter and I did everything I could to go against what he wanted, I was trying to get back to being ‘me’ again.  Only this time, I had an iron fist trying to pound me down.

Now that it’s been two years since we divorced, I’m finally getting centered again.  I’ve done the failed relationships thing, I hit a couple doozies along that path trying to find acceptance for sure!!  I lost myself in men, repeating my bad habits learned from my ex-husband and then reeled when things ended and almost derailed a few times.  The thing is, now that I’m out of that mindset, I’m seeing where I went wrong.  I’d enter a relationship being my happy self, and as soon as tension started, I’d back down, retreat into my own head and try to tow the line.  Problem is, most of the time, I never knew what the line was that I was trying to tow!  It was imaginary and I was deliberately making myself unhappy in order to try to please someone else.  I was basing my happiness and self-concept on someone else.

I realize now that doing what I was doing will NEVER work.  I can’t worry about what other people think of me, I am myself, no excuses and no apologies!  I have to know who I am in order to make anyone else happy.  I know I can stick my foot in my mouth, I’m very familiar with the taste of the bottom of my shoe LOL.  I know that I am low-maintenance, I wear jeans and t-shirts unless I have to wear something else, I’d rather wear boots than heels and I have tattoos and plans for many more.  Coming out of this last relationship, I’ve realized that I can’t be embarrassed about who and what I am, and neither can the person I date.  Looking back, I realize that while it didn’t seem that he was self-conscious about me, he became that way after I met his family.  I don’t know if the family was an excuse to express his own concerns or if something was said that he didn’t tell me, but whatever it was, it made me seriously doubt myself, my appearance and my actions.

After I started up with this blog again and defining my life rules, I looked back at things that have happened in the past six months.  Wow….was I dumb.  I yet again tried to fit my round self into a square hole.  I was trying to compromise when there were no parameters for a compromise to be made.  There was nothing wrong in the beginning, issues were created and it all just came tumbling down.  I’m coming out of this experience much stronger than I thought I ever could be.  I’m able to proudly hold my head up and tell people that while I don’t have a 9-5 job, I do have a job; it is to be a full-time student and the best mom I can be.  I can hold my head up high, laugh and smile and be myself.  My true friends love me for me and wouldn’t change a thing.  They get excited for me when I tell them about my tattoo plans and my horses.  My daughter and I get invited to their family functions and I am basically creating my own little ‘family’.  I don’t need to be attached at the hip to a man or rely on him to give me the confidence to do what I need to do.

I’m not completely 100% happy, I do still miss my ex daily and wish that things could have been different, but I can’t change what has happened, only my reaction to it.  Every day I’m adjusting my reactions, I’m purging out people that do not support me and create their own problems to get attention.  It isn’t easy, it’s necessary; for myself, my daughter and my future happiness.  So, I’m back to where I need to be; working on being myself, accepting my body for it’s flaws and adorning it with art as I see fit and not worrying what people think of me.  Those that matter won’t mind, those that mind, don’t matter :-)

The Reinvention Begins….

•April 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

When I set about thinking how I’d like to ‘reinvent’ myself, I realized that I want to make changes, not the type where I become a different person, act differently or behave differently; but I want to project how I feel on the inside to the outside world.  If I feel pretty, then I want to dress in a way that shows others how I feel for myself; if I’m feeling silly, I’ll go ahead and tell a joke.  These are the things I plan to reinvent.  I realized that I’ve been adapting myself to the men in my life, rather than being just ‘me’ and letting the cards fall where they may.  By adapting to my significant others’ expectation of how I should be, rather than just being me, I lose the part of myself that they liked in the first place and I become unhappy, which in turn, makes them unhappy.

With that being said, I am going to come up with my 5 Rules for Being ‘Me’.  That way, I can look back on this blog post when I do meet someone and begin a relationship and make sure that I am being true to myself, not true to what they want me to be.  If I’m ever going to be able to bring happiness into someone else’s life, I damned sure better be happy with my own. :-)

So, here goes…..My 5 Rules for Being ‘Me’:

1. Forgive

Forgiveness has been something of a double-edged sword for me.  Some people in my life expect forgiveness, even if I don’t feel they deserve it; on the flip side, I have things in my life that I would like forgiveness for and may not ever get it.  What I have learned of forgiveness is that it MUST be given freely and without the hope that it will be reciprocated.  Forgiveness is not about the other person, but about ourselves.  If I forgive someone for something they’ve done to me, I also have to forgive myself for allowing it to happen.  Life without forgiveness is full of bitterness, resentment and anger.  I spent my teens and early twenties as a very angry, resentful person; moving into my thirties, I am determined not to waste the energy on those negative feelings, it just isn’t worth it.  Even if the person I forgive has no idea that I have forgiven them, the purpose is not for them to know, it is for me to let go.  Let go of the hurt, the pain, the anger and frustration with the pain that was inflicted.  I very carefully forgive myself for either allowing it or not realizing earlier that the person was going to hurt me.  Forgiving myself gives me the ability to cry, let out the bad feelings and move on as a happier, stronger and more educated person.

2. Live for Today

‘Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.’

~ Dylan Thomas

Life is about the journey, not the destination.  Yes, I know, this is cliche, but it is so true!!!  We are only on this earth for a short time; we shouldn’t waste it on things that are of no consequence.  Yes, we all have to work, pay bills and maintain our responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t stop for a moment to appreciate all that is around us.  I reflect every night before I go to bed on what happened during that day.  I give thanks that I’m here and alive to appreciate it and try to let go of any negativity I encountered along the way.  I don’t ignore the negativity, but rather try to find something I may have learned out of it.  Most days I find the simple joys that make me smile; yes, I’m that girl that’s dancing in her car with the stereo blaring, I skip down the aisles at the grocery store and I laugh at myself often and loudly.  I tell my closest friends as often as I can that I love them and how much I appreciate them.  I don’t ever want to lose another person in my life without telling them what they mean to me.

3. Regret Nothing

This is one rule that I have NEVER wavered from, even when I was an angry teen and twenty-something.  My mother taught me very early that it is our experiences that shape us and create us into what we are today.  I took that one step further and realized that if we regret that experience or choice, then we would not be the person we are and in turn, we regret what we have become based on that.  If I am to love myself, then I have to be okay with the choices that I’ve made, even if they’ve been wrong.  Even the mistakes in life teach us who we are, sometimes more so than the things we’ve done right.  Through struggling and suffering we find out what we’re made of.  I do regret hurting people in my past, but I don’t regret the choices I made.  I have learned how to be a better friend, lover and person from those choices and hopefully, if I have hurt people, they can find it within themselves to forgive me; whether I know they have or not.

4. Learn Something New

Learn something new DAILY!!!!  Take your mind into your own hands and expand it.  We are all raised with a certain set of beliefs, values and morals, given to us by our parents.  There is nothing wrong with that, there is nothing wrong with having the same feelings about them as they do; however our world is so diverse, we can learn so much from so many other people.  You don’t have to believe the same way they do to see that how they view  the world as valid.  We can also teach ourselves so much in a day.  Recently, I learned how truly strong I am when it comes to providing for my family.  It took losing all my pride and begging for help, but it also took strength and perseverance. Through the most difficult time in my life, I learned so much about myself, my friends and life, I am still processing it all and stocking it away for the next bump in the road I encounter.  I am growing daily and I am learning so much, it is truly amazing when you become a student of life, how much knowledge you can pack away in your head and share with others who may be struggling.

5. Love My Body

Do I wish that I had a better body? Yes!  I would LOVE to look like Jillian Michaels – toned, athletic and, in my mind, GORGEOUS!!  Do I have that body? Nope…..not even close.  However, I do have features that are attractive and beautiful.  I have great legs, an awesome smile and beautiful eyes.  I am a recovering bulimic, I have massive body-image issues.  I look at myself in the mirror and think ‘oh my god, look at this fat pig looking back at me’.  Sad, but true, however, I am determined to not let that continue to hinder me.  If I cannot see the positive and beautiful things about myself, I can’t ever expect anyone else to.  Believing that I am beautiful allows me to accept compliments and attention from other people.  I have also chosen to adorn my body with tattoos.  They are not for everyone, but for me, I love them.  I intend to almost fully sleeve both arms, cover my back and hopefully get one up one thigh to my ribcage.  I love to highlight the things about my body that I find attractive.  Never again will I allow another person that I am with to be derogatory or not accept them wherever we are.  There are certain places that I will cover them up, such as church or at a professional function.  Otherwise, take me as I am, all my lumps, rolls and freckles.  I am me and I love that; I am unique, there is no other like me and that’s what makes me special. :-)

There they are, my Five Rules for being ‘Me’ – I’ll be revisiting this often and hope it helps my readers. I highly recommend making your own five rules, if you choose, it can be very eye-opening and revealing.

 

The Reinvention of Me……….

•March 31, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The beginning of 2012 was looking very promising, I had the love of my life at my side, our little blended family was working well.  My daughter and I loved them and they loved us, it seemed perfect.  Then, a week into the new year it all began to unravel.  My daughter turned 2 and the man I loved and needed to be there to support me while I threw a party on my own was unable to be there.  I will admit, I was highly stressed, I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to things for my daughter, I want it to go ‘just right’.  I broke down and cried, got frustrated and in general freaked out LOL.  Luckily I had great friends that stepped up and helped me, and the party went off without a hitch and my daughter had a great time.

Just after that day, the love of my life decided he was going to walk away and my world turned upside down, sideways and went up in smoke.  Over the next three months it was full of breaking up, getting back together, struggling and losing him, soaring to new heights when we decided to try again and it was a messy, confusing cycle that I’m still struggling to understand.  It is over now, and we aren’t speaking.  I’ve run the gambit of emotion, sad, depressed, angry, indignant and back to sad.  Currently, I’m trying to set aside the negative feelings and focus on getting my life back together.  It’s difficult because emotionally, I was in a place I’d never been before.  I allowed a vulnerability never shown to another human being to come out while I was with him.  For a while I thought I’d given that piece to him and that I couldn’t get it back.  Now I realize that I was showing it to him, but it was always still a part of me.  I’m slowly taking it back, one excruciating piece at a time.

Add to the breakup the next phase of crashing to rock bottom, my finances – I’d fallen behind on my rent, utility bills, had a car die and bought another one (yes, this one works and has no major issues), and my former husband was taking me to court over our daughter.  When I realized the gravity of my situation, I looked around me and I wondered how I was ever going to get back on top again.  The only good thing that seemed to be happening was that I was enrolled in school and getting good grades.  I felt like a failure, a loser and like a terrible person.  I couldn’t believe that I’d allowed myself to get into the situation I was in, it was surreal; this was NOT where I had planned to be at this point in my life.  But! Like the survivor I am, I began to plot out how I was going to get out.  I asked friends for help, looked at state programs and relief and I knew that my tax money was coming soon to help.  I just kept treading water until I could get a resolution to the problems I was facing.

Through this process I have learned that pride has no place in your life when you’re at the bottom.  Sometimes it does work to get down on your hands and knees and just beg.  It sounds terrible, but sometimes it’s all you’ve got.  It wasn’t easy, and my life still isn’t, but from where I’ve been it’s looking better.  I have decided to reinvent myself, thus the title to this blog, it will be a few parts (prolly a LOT of parts LOL) but when I finish this series – I’ll look completely different.  I will be financially stable, still in school and enjoying my daughter, my friends and my horses, I’ll be back to being ‘me’, just better.  It won’t be easy, and it won’t be pretty all the time, but it will be mine and I’ll be ok.

Now that I have the background of where I’m at, I will break down the portions of my future blogs into the positive, forward changes that I’m making.

The Definition of Insanity…..

•January 21, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over; and expecting a different result.  I find it intriguing how many of us actually do this.  Whether it’s with our finances, relationships, work or any type of activity that requires action and will not just ‘fix’ themselves unless we make the choice to do something about the problems within them.  For me, I have problems budgeting my money.  When I was married all the money was controlled by my husband, I didn’t get an allowance and was given access to money, but it was never shared with me how much we had, what we were budgeting for and when bills were due.  This set me up to be the problem whenever we were broke.  He knew how much we had, what bills were due and how much we needed, but because I had no idea, when we couldn’t afford something, he would tell me that it was all my fault, my horses’ fault because they cost so much, etc.  How fair was that?  I knew the cost of our mortgage, the board for my horses and the car payments.  Anything else, I could not have told you what our water, electric, gas or  insurance bills cost or when they were due.  Sort of a genius way to make sure that the person in charge of the money is never at fault for not having enough, don’t you think?

So, fast forward to current day and me living on my own.  I went from a very comfortable joint income to one that is just above poverty level and no skills in order to keep myself from getting behind or pay everything on time.  I’ve been conditioned over the past eleven years that if any little extra bit of money comes in, you spend it.  We never saved anything, any bonus or extra money left over from the previous paycheck was spent on a ‘toy’ for him.  His excuse was ‘you have a horse, I don’t get to have anything just for me’.  My guilt about having a hobby that he hated and resented allowed me to just roll over and let him do what he wanted.  I constantly asked him to share with me what our finances were, and he’d always ignore it and put it off until I gave up.  Does this excuse my current financial struggles?  The answer is No, however, it does give me a starting point to make change.  I have made the decision to get on my feet, job or no job, I have money coming in, it goes out and I can control it.  I finally decided that I’m tired of scraping and scrounging and feeling like a failure.  So, I have implemented a budget, so that I can target where I am wasting money and can maybe stop bleeding money like I have.

The same can be said about relationships, we are conditioned to have a certain relationship; but those habits that we form can be changed.  Before I was married, I was a ‘collector’ of men.  I had ‘friends’ that were men that I would manipulate into doing things for me.  I would play on their emotions for me and get whatever it was that I needed.  I never had a good girlfriend because I had no idea how to be a true friend and women didn’t provide me with the things I was looking for.  It was not a sexual thing for me, but the men I knew had crushes on me, and even though I had told them that I was not interested, they continued to keep the relationship with the hope that I would change my mind, see how wonderful they were to me and I would fall in love.  It never happened for any of them, and to this day I feel guilty about my manipulative ways.  When I got married, I was getting out of this mind set, had a few girlfriends and I was learning how to adjust myself from a manipulative person to being an open, honest and caring person.  Unfortunately, the relationship was doomed from the beginning because I had relied on him entirely too much from the get.  When we finally decided to try to fix things, it had gone too far and there was really no fixing anything, only putting a band aid on a gushing wound that was never going to get any better.

Since my divorce, I have become better about solely relying on a man in my life to fix every little problem.  I have created good, healthy relationships with both men and women.  I analyze fairly often the effects of what I do on others.  I still need to vent, I still need to break down now and then, but I don’t go to anyone to ‘fix’ what is wrong.  Most times, I just need to get it out, bounce my thoughts on someone’s listening ear, get them out and then I can create a plan to do better the next time a situation arises.  Knowing that I am that way, I also make myself available for my friends to do the same with me.  If they have a problem, I am there as a shoulder to listen.  Sometimes I voice my opinion, other times, they just need a shoulder to cry on.  It is amazing to have such a support network and be able to find strength when I just don’t feel like continuing on.

This blog will lead into my next, hopefully that one will be written tonight; I am still gathering my thoughts to be able to put them down in writing.

2012 = Two Thousand and Oh My Freaking God I’m Busy!!!!

•January 11, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Yup….. I missed posting for New Year’s, I missed posting about my daughter’s birthday and I missed posting about my venture into school.  Why?  Because it seems that since December 31st my life has been turned upside down, slid sideways and has been nothing but busy, busy, busy!!!!  I’m not complaining, it’s actually a welcome change from sitting on my couch all day watching smut TV and doing a few small cleaning jobs here and there LOL.  I’ll probably post separate posts for each, but on this one, I’ll just do a short recap and see if I can’t get my creative juices flowing :).

Firstly, New Year’s Eve was very nice…… My boyfriend and I celebrated at home for a little bit with sparkling wine and baked ziti, I do so love a man that can cook!  I got myself all dolled up, curled my hair, wore makeup and a cute outfit.  I’m not normally a high-maintenance woman that must do her hair and makeup everyday, so on special occasions, I make a little extra effort to look nice.  We went to a small local pub and spent the holiday evening with my boyfriends cousin’s and wives.  A couple of my friends came and had a drink or two, then went to spend the rest of the evening with the rest of my friends at another bar.  I will say that I missed my friends that night, but spending the evening with the love of my life made up for it, no matter how uncomfortable I may have been with the family that we did spend the evening with :).

Secondly, the next week of the new year was spent planning my daughter’s birthday, she turned two on January 9th…. Holy crazy, insane, fun, emotional and amazing day!!  We celebrated the Sunday before her actual birthday.  My parents, cousins and their daughter, best friend and her daughter, two of my closest male friends and my brother all came to celebrate.  The difference in interaction and maturity in my daughter from when she turned one to now was really awesome to see.  The children were all 1 1/2 years apart, we went from 2 to 5 and they had a blast!!  She got some really fun gifts and toys and a couple of shirts.  All in all, it was a great day and I was very pleased……and exhausted :-).

The actual day of my daughter’s birthday ushered in my first time back to school in 11 years….wow…..  I’m not so sure I didn’t bite off a bit more than I can chew.  I’m a ‘jump with both feet’ kind of person, so I took 15 credit hours….I think I may have been insane at the time of registering for classes LOL… I am pursuing my degree for Elementary Education, so I took my first 3 classes for Early Childhood Development and the prerequisite Sociology class.  Yeah…re-reading that, I’m insane…. One of my classes entails a 4 hour lab once a week as well in a preschool daycare class.  So far, all my teachers seem great, the classes very interactive and engaging and I really enjoy hearing differing views and ideas about children.  I find it so intriguing to hear the different ideology across age groups as well as those that have children and those that do not.  I try not to be one of ‘those’ moms that say “well, you don’t have kids, you don’t know”, but yeah…it rings true sometimes LOL!!!  While I have set myself up to be insanely busy with studying, writing papers and going to class, I think that it will be good for me.  I love to expand my mind, hear differing opinions and expressing my viewpoints.  I’m really looking forward to the next sixteen weeks, it will certainly make time go by quickly, that’s for sure!!!  My goal is to four-point all four classes, I’m old enough and focused enough now, I feel I can get it done :-)

That’s all for now, I just realized that I have to go to my daughter’s doctor appointment this morning and I guess I’d better get my ass moving LOLOL!!!!

I can only control me….

•December 28, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I think about the reason I started this blog…the prayer that was my mother’s favorite… the words of knowing the difference between what I can change and what I cannot…..

It is amazing how difficult and complicated that sentence is and I find myself thinking of it often this week.  I have so many things I cannot control at this time, but there are a ton of things that I can control.  I just have to remember those things and enjoy them.  I can control how I show affection to my family, I can control how I spend my days – not allowing myself to be overcome with my situation and be productive – I can control how I treat my friends, I can control my reactions to negativity.  Remembering this during the holidays keeps me somewhat sane during a very highly stressful situation.  The holidays are not easy for me, I’ve had bad Christmases, lost my mom, it’s just plain rough.  I am very practiced at putting on a smile and being ‘happy’ for everyone, but inside, it is hard.

With the new year looming I reflect on the past year, it’s amazing the changes that have happened, the struggles and obstacles I have overcome and the way that I’ve been able to come out ahead and for the most part happy.  I only have one last hurdle to jump over, my ex-husband.  His controlling behaviour has become intolerable and unacceptable.  He has decided to use our daughter as a tool to control me.  He is threatening actions against my family and wanting to deny my family visitation with her.  Regardless of what happened to me as a child, my daughter has the right to know her grand parents, for better or worse, she is allowed to have her own experiences.  I will shelter her the best I can, but I will not allow him to dictate how I choose to raise our daughter.  We had originally decided to co-parent and decide all things together, but, as he did in the past, the ‘together’ he means is his way or the highway, these are his compromises.  He decides, I give in and he gains all the control.  I am going to have to face my fear of confrontation with him and stand up for myself.  It is no longer about me, but about our child.  If I let him chose whether or not she sees my parents, when will he decide that it’s not in her best interest to be around my boyfriend, my brother, and finally me?

This is the last part of controlling myself that I have to do to fully regain myself, my independence, my self-confidence that was shattered after my marriage fell apart and there was no turning back.  Once I conquer this, I will once again be myself.  The fearless fighter that I’ve always been and I can truly reclaim my life and my identity back fully.  I am so close, I just have to close my eyes and take the leap that will bring things full-circle.  Luckily, I have built an amazing support structure around myself so that I am not in this alone.  I will not be left out in the cold and I will be able to overcome any obstacle that faces me.

My family, my friends, the love of my life (the boyfriend :D ), are all there to support me and encourage me to be the best mother, woman and person that I can be.  I will fight, I will not give up and I will perservere.

Overcoming Relationships…..

•December 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I find myself contemplating how one comes out of a long-term relationship, be it marriage, partnership, friendship or any type of long-term love.  It’s a lot like grieving a death.  You have your denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance…it truly is a death.  The death of love is sometimes worse than the death of a loved one.  With the death of a lover or friend, you may still physically see that person, whereas an actual death, you know you will never see them again.  Not that it makes it any easier to cope with, but at least you have finality of the last moment you saw them, the last words spoken.  You can reflect and remember fondly the good times and never have to worry about having another bad experience with them again.

I am contemplating this because my best friend is struggling.  She came out of a fourteen year relationship with a man whom she had a child with.  She finds out he cheated on her, she had cheated on him and they have a gorgeous three year old in the middle of their pain.  She also is being stalked by an obsessed ex-lover, who continues to profess his undying love, and his idea of undying is until he ends her life or she is with him, whichever comes first.  I couldn’t imagine being in her place.  I have gone through having a psycho boyfriend – he literally had a psychotic break while we were together.  It was of his own making, and I refuse to take responsibility for his actions, sober or not, mentally unstable or not, he still took action, did what he did and made his bed.  It’s up to him to atone for himself, I no longer have to worry for that.

My friend is in a different position though.  She has such a good heart, I love her to death, I truly do.  She sees the best in people, believes in giving them a million chances to do the right thing.  I sometimes wish I was a little less jaded about people, and could give them more chances, but my life has taught me that sometimes, it only takes one strike and you’re out.  She, however, seems to never hit the limit of what a person can do wrong, she truly wants to believe that someone can change, do better, get better and overcome.  The problem is, that there are truly bad people out there, that will never rise above their own terrible, selfish and hurtful ways.  They will never have the self-awareness to be better.  Perhaps its because of how much she’s overcome in her life, that it can’t be an anomaly, it has to be possible, she can’t be the only one.

I know she’s not the only one, I’ve risen from an angry, angst ridden teenager to be a very self-sufficient, confident adult woman.  I raise my daughter the way I choose, and I’ll be damned if anyone gets in the way of that.  Where she and I differ is our way of coping with loss.  Her adamant denial that some people cannot change for the better sometimes gets the best of her.  Whereas I allow the stages of grief to wash over me, and I welcome them, knowing that it gets worse before it gets better, she gets to the point of anger and tries to move on.  I have spent quite a bit of time trying to convince her, that if she lets it get a little bit worse, the light at the end of the tunnel is NOT a train coming to run you over, but it is truly a light, a beacon of hope and a way to move on.

We must all learn to accept the losses in our lives, to see that light, to move forward.  However, you cannot skip steps, I have tried and it ends in utter failure.  I learned through my divorce that I never was truly independent.  I ‘faked’ it quite well and pretended that I didn’t care, didn’t want a family and a man to love me unconditionally.  Well, I ended up in a bad relationship that resulted in the most wonderful experience of being a mom :-).  However, getting over being wrapped up in another human being for eleven years and giving up my own life for his, proved to be a journey unlike any other.  Though the loss of my mother tops the list of really difficult things, the grief was immeasurable, the being worried that I had failed, been not good enough or something of the sort. My friend’s  journey is just beginning.  As I said previously, she gets to anger and stops.

The problem with stopping at anger, you forget who you are angry at, and target that emotion to anyone that comes within a certain proximity to hurting you.  She is angry at her ex, angry at the stalker (rightly so – don’t stop now girl c’mon!) and finds herself angry at the man she is currently dating.  She has come a long way in her self-confidence, independence and feeling that she is worth a good man in her life, but she has not truly found out who she is since her fourteen year relationship ended.  It is through that anger, depression and acceptance that she will find out who she truly is, how strong she is and how beautiful and worthy she is.  I fight with her on almost a daily basis to try to get her to see this, however, it is only through the epiphany of depression to acceptance that you can truly believe this concept.

The cliche of ‘you never find the ‘one’ until you’re not looking for him/her’ is true, but not in the true sense of ‘no longer looking’, but it’s finding who you are and accepting it and being OK with who you are in that moment in your life.  When it all comes together and it’s ok to not have a significant other.  You have built yourself a great circle of support and you are fulfilled. The ‘right’ relationship comes along and amplifies, does not complete nor finish your life, but makes it more full, more rich and adds that little extra to bring things full circle and adds a happiness not found in mere words, but in the actions that accompany the feelings.

I have been lucky to be open to allow this to happen, and I will continue to work with my friends to bring this to fruition for them as well  It CAN be done, it CAN happen, we cannot give up hope, but first we have to put hope in ourselves.  Faith that we will persevere and overcome our own bad behaviours and habits.  Only with thoughtful and careful analysis of what we have done to sabotage our past, can we change our future.

 
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