The way is love

Graphically real in a full monty kind of way

When abusers come to visit

forgiveness 3

I have some guests coming up for the weekend. My mother and my step-father.

When I talk about being abused as a child, it was by my mother.

And, yes, I do still let her into my home. Why?

  • I have a son and he has the right to have a relationship with his grandmother
  • I confronted her about the abuse and she apologized
  • We have worked on our relationship for over ten years and she accepts what she did to me, she doesn’t deny it, and she allows me to be myself

I know most abusers don’t admit their actions. And in that way I suppose I’m lucky, if you could call it that. At least she accepts what she did.

I am under no illusions that she is “better,” however.

She said she doesn’t remember what she did to me. I believe her because a lot of people when they’re abusive and mentally unwell don’t know quite what they’re doing. That’s no excuse, don’t misunderstand me. I still know what she did to me was very wrong, and I am still working through the wounds.

In a lot of ways I find it ironic that I can have her in my home and enjoy spending time with her.

For a while it was still a bit sick, I still wanted to earn her love. When my son was young I still carried that everlasting hope that she’d become the mother I wanted to have. The mother I deserved. But I know now she will not be that woman.

I went through years and years of hating her for what she did, but I didn’t express it and turned it inwards, hence my depression and anxiety.

I think her behaviour really hit home for me psychologically after I had my son. I have always considered my son a miraculous gift, and I could never imagine treating him the way my mother treated me. The idea is abhorrent to me. I am not an abuser, never have been. Maybe that’s why I can forgive her to a certain extent.

I know for myself that keeping that anger alive ultimately only hurts me, and the people I love. If I’d kept holding onto the anger I would’ve become more and more diseased by various physical and mental problems because I’d be holding that hate inside myself. I have decided I just don’t want to do that.

And over the last two years since I had my breakdown, I’ve been slowly ridding myself, layer by layer, of all that pain and hate. It’s been very hard to let go because I’d learned to use it as fuel to keep going on. But now I use love as fuel, and that’s been an eye-opening transition for me.

So when my mother walks through my door this afternoon, I can honestly greet her with my heart. Not a naively hopeful heart, I know she isn’t the mother I really wanted, but in some ways I feel lucky that she’s my mom. And I think that’s healthy, and okay.

 

perspective

The good, the discouraging and the perspective

perspective

I feel pretty mixed up today.

I’ve had some really good things happen and some discouraging things happen. I suppose somewhere in between them there’s balance.

Good things

I received a really nice message from a man on a singles site. I had shown interest in him and he let me know that he’s about to meet someone and doesn’t like to pursue more than one woman at a time. He said my profile was very interesting, but he wanted to see how things go with the other woman first. I thought that was very honest and filled with integrity. And I thanked him for letting me know. He’s renewed my faith in the online dating scene.

I also found out that my ex-husband, the father of my son, wants to spend more time with my son. My son has been with me 100% of the time for about six months. I guess his dad is missing him. So I may have my three evenings a week back, and my son may be seeing more of his dad, which is very good. Especially since my son’s 16. He needs a man’s influence in his life too.

Discouraging things

I woke up and realized I have a yeast infection. Often after I take antibiotics I get one. I just feel as if with my woman garden (thank you Jenny Lawson for this term!) it’s been one thing after another. First the UTI, now this. Blah!

I know it’s not really a big deal or even that unexpected, but I’m tired of feeling tired. The UTI kind of knocked me out, and often the yeast infection medication does too.

I’ve been worried about making enough money for a while now, and it’s damned difficult to be productive when all you feel like doing is curling up in a ball and sipping on tea! Something about this feels so November in Canada. It’s a month where everything is going to sleep or dying, we are overwhelmed with grey all around us and it’s getting cold and it’s dark so early we feel like going to bed at 5pm. Not an inspiring month.

And when I went for my healing treatment on Monday apparently the first two chakras are linked to creativity and our financial life. Figures! No wonder my woman garden is unsettled.

Perspective

But then as I was driving back from the pharmacy feeling sorry for myself I realized that compared to some of the things going on in the world, a yeast infection isn’t much. And the UTI isn’t much either. Even my financial concerns are only temporary.

My heart goes out to the families of the victims in Paris and the countless others physically hurt from the terrorist attack. Now that is something really beyond discouraging, and has made me realize I’m having a pretty regular day.

 

The dangers of denying who we are

Jacqueline Snider

I have a history of denying my self.

  • I have been underweight for most of my life.
  • I have lived my life to please others, including my parents, my boyfriends, my husbands and my son.
  • I have denied my feelings to make other people happy.

These behaviours are not uncommon for a woman in North America, and likely in a lot of other places in the world too.

Rather than growing up being encouraged to look within myself for my direction on my health, relationships and career, I was encouraged to be what others were comfortable with me being. And that has done me a lot of harm.

That mentality of living for others, trickles down into all sorts of dangerous and insidious places.

I consider practically starving myself very dangerous. Being on the border of anorexic for most of my life and actually being proud of denying my body what it needed is very sick. It was partly a form of control on my part, but also I was denying the fact that I’m a naturally curvy woman. There’s so much media pressure to be a skeletal woman that it’s hard when you’re more naturally curvy, as most women are and should be.

Trying to please my parents, boyfriends, husbands and even my son comes from my early programming as a little girl. My mother used to yell at me, “Why can’t you read my mind?” so of course I did my best to read hers and everyone else’s. And I became very good at it, which is also pretty sick. That didn’t teach me how to read my own, however. In fact quite the opposite.

And then my feelings suffered immeasurably. Did I even know my own? Or did they change with every person I was with? And I totally lost touch with them when I denied myself so much that I had a breakdown. I was severely depressed.

And what have I been doing since then? I have been denying myself the right dose of anti-depressant medication. At first I took the full dose, but as I got better I tried to wean myself off of it. I experienced a boomerang effect that I caught fairly quickly, but it scared the hell out of me. My mind had started racing again, I couldn’t sleep, and my anxiety climbed. I went back up to only the half dose. And now I ask myself why. Why was I denying my brain and body what it needed?

That’s my pattern. It’s almost automatic, and it’s taken me almost two years to see that. I went to the pharmacy yesterday to get more pills and the pharmacist took me aside and asked me why I’m behind on my prescription. She reminded my I should not stop them. And with her insistent, rational words I had my ah-ha moment (thanks, Oprah!) and I thought, “My God, I’ve been doing it again!”

This time I wasn’t hard with myself like I would’ve been and I took the full dose last night for the first time in over a year.

I consider this a personal victory.

I don’t care when I realize these old automatic self-destructive habits are still part of my life, I’m just thrilled with myself when I do.

We must learn to be gentle with ourselves. And I moved another step in that direction yesterday.

 

 

 

Hormones speak to us–Learning to listen

I found a new health food store near my house.

I say new, but they’ve been there for 22 years and I’ve been living here for 16. So new for me.

I often don’t see things unless I’m looking for them. Obviously. (Slightly embarrassing.)

I was in search of uva ursi for a UTI and couldn’t find it at my two other regular spots.

And I love the fact that I can find new places that offer me something I need.

Modern medicine has its uses, but antibiotics were over-prescribed when I was a girl and I’ve become resistant to it.

And using something natural totally thrills me.

Going to the doctor for me is always stressful, so if I can look after myself effectively, safely and easily on my own it gives me such a sense of strength. And it helps me avoid the stress of driving into the downtown, waiting in my doctor’s waiting room for at least 45 minutes (as my stress continues to mount) and then talking with her and getting a prescription.

Invariably I get a yeast infection from the antibiotics so then I need a treatment for that from the pharmacy afterwards. It seems like such a ridiculous process, and it’s exhausting too. The UTI makes me sleepy and then the yeast infection medication does too. At the end of it all I feel like a f*ckin’ case.

Perimenopause causes our bladder lining to be more sensitive to hormone fluctuations, but I’ve also found that caffeine, alcohol and especially coffee really irritate my bladder. So I’ve stopped drinking those things and I’ve found a VAST improvement.

I even found when I was drinking caffeine that I would, at times, experience a bit of incontinence. That TOTALLY freaked me out because I’m only 44! But it did make me feel like I was losing control of my body somehow.

But I wasn’t. As Christiane Northrup says, “Symptoms are our body’s way of talking to us.” So I decided to really pay attention, listen and then act on what my body was saying. The key is that I am finally acting on it.

In the past I would pay attention for a while and maybe even listen, but I didn’t act on it, or if I did I didn’t act on it for very long. It was as if I didn’t respect what my body was telling me enough to keep acting. Well, I’m not treating myself that way anymore.

We aren’t taught as women to look after ourselves. We’re always being pushed to look after everyone else first. I have been changing my ways, and I no longer do that. It’s easier now that my son is older and also that I don’t have a partner.

The only warm-blooded creatures that I must look after are my dog and cat, and I love doing that. They bring me so much joy.

It’s so interesting what my body has taught me since I reached middle age and had my breakdown. The breakdown gave me the permission to put myself first, and ironically so has my perimenopause.

Despite the doubters who believe our hormones fluctuations are bullshit, I am here to tell you they are SO NOT.

And my hormones have helped me listen to myself, and that’s likely exactly what they’re here for.

 

 

 

Silence is rejection

After getting some really good input from a guy friend of mine, I think I’ll leave my first love alone.

Last evening, I admit I sent his sister a brief note on Messenger asking her for her brother’s contact info. And if she contacts me back, which is a big if because she’s not on Messenger either, I don’t need to call him. I can leave it alone.

But something tells me she won’t contact me so that’ll be just that.

And I do have a history of pursuing men who aren’t good for me, and this might be one of those situations.

I am not good with silence. And maybe I am encouraged by it, which isn’t healthy.

Silence is in a way a rejection of the other person. I experienced a lot of that as a child and it created a need in me to win love. To try and break the silence, unfortunately at almost any cost to me.

That’s an old pattern that I’ve worked hard to stop repeating.

So, I will stop it now. With a BIG thanks to my friend!

 

Feeling chicken sh*t–What can I do about my first love?

My debate is about whether I contact my first love or not.

It’s been about 30 years since the last time we saw each other.

He could be married and have kids. He could be single. Or somewhere in between.

I feel like an inexperienced teenager again agonizing over little things.

In March, I requested to be Friends on Facebook and LinkedIn and he didn’t respond.

After having a series of dreams with him in them over a few nights I wrote him a message on Messenger. He’s not on Messenger so I don’t know if he read it. It was an apology for something that happened between us all those years ago. I really needed to get it off my chest. It was quite emotional and it may have unsettled him, but I really felt he deserved to know how I’d felt about him. I said in the message I’d love to hear from him, but I haven’t.

I’d love your input on this.

One of my guy friends says maybe he is my soulmate. OMG.

I’m not sure I believe in soulmates after all I’ve been through. I’m trying to, but it’s not easy. And I know it sounds kind of crazy, but I miss this guy. Even though I haven’t seen him for 30 years it’s as if he’s calling to me somehow.

Would it make any sense to look up his phone number and call him?

I admit the idea scares me, but I can’t shake this feeling that we still have a connection.

What would you do? Would you let it go? Would you call him?

Please, help me if you can. I’m feeling so stuck with this and I don’t want to miss an opportunity because I’m feeling chicken shit.

 

The first boy I fell in love with

In my dream last night I was once again wanting to touch the first boy I fell in love with and who fell in love with me.

I had three dreams with him in them last night, and my ache for him was just as real as it was when I sat next to him in class.

When he would stare at me and sing me love songs and be unable to pay attention in math class.

But he and I have this connection that I don’t totally understand, and likely never will.

I can feel his energy inside of me.

When I was going to run into him in the subway I would get this feeling in my gut and then he’d be there.

And it happened again and again.

I still don’t know how it’s possible that I could feel him when I had no idea he was nearby. But then a part of me did know he was nearby, but not consciously.

I find it a bit freaky and wonderful all at once.

The only thing I can know is that our connection was and is still alive. He must be open to me the way I’m open to him or it wouldn’t happen.

I haven’t seen him for many, many years, but somehow we’re still connected to each other. Maybe we always will be.

I’d love to see him again. I have no idea if I ever will, but it would be magical for me.

And I believe in magic! (Aren’t these lyrics from a song?)

 

 

 

The Bloggess helps end (or at least decrease) depression and anxiety as we know it!

I had a dream with rats in it last night.

Then I read The Bloggess’s post for today and she talks about PokemonGo rats!

The Bloggess is my total heroine!

Now I totally believe I have a psychic link with The Bloggess through PokemonGo!

She says she and her shrink talked about how PokemonGo is getting people out of the house, out of their depressive isolation, helping to reduce their anxiety and even OCD!

How cool is that! Now I totally know why I was dreaming about rats!

Thank you SO much The Bloggess!

(Can’t wait for your next book to come out by the way. Just sayin’.)

 

 

 

Sleep is as elusive as hell

I’ve had to resort to sleeping pills again.

After 3 or 4 nights of really unsettled sleep, I resorted to the pills.

I don’t like needing them, but at the same time it’s such a relief to know I’ll actually sleep through the whole night when I take one.

Is it my depression that’s causing the fitful sleep?

Is it my perimenopause?

Maybe it’s a beautiful cocktail of both.

I’ve read that it could be unresolved issues. If that’s true I may never sleep well again.

No, but seriously, for someone who used to sleep like a log, it’s really frustrating.

I don’t want to keep taking pills. I’ll become resistant to them and need more and more.

I could end up going the way Marilyn Monroe did. Though I know of the conspiracy theory, but I haven’t been sleeping with a mobster or the president and his brother so I think I’ll be okay. As far as anyone staging my death is concerned, that is.

No, I’m unimportant enough to just need to find a more natural solution.

I’m going to research perimenopausal natural supplements. Maybe that’ll help with not only the insomnia (I hate to use that word), but also the night sweats and hot flashes too.

One can hope, right?

 

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