Thursday, December 30, 2010

Emotionally Abusive Mothers and Adult Daughters: Part 2 of 4

Subtitled: Control, Family, and Secrecy.

All aspects of my life were open to mom's criticism and could be used, at any moment, to trigger a verbal assault. Even the most obscure points of my life could be cited as a reason to berate me and make her point about my flaws. She'd hit the finer points of issues real and imagined about:

My education. My employment. My address. My clothing. My boyfriend/husband. My child-rearing. My purchase of a pet. My vacation. My finances. My friends. My hair. My sex life.

Sometimes, I'd laugh if I wasn't fighting the urge to cry. Or yell. Or take up yoga. Just 2 short years ago, I disagreed with her about my son's need for braces. She had a tantrum like a child, and turned the conversation into criticisms of my parenting and choice of boyfriend. She threw in the fake tears and cursing to top-off a brilliant performance.

During the various stages of my life, my mother became visibly flustered whenever she lost a tool she could use to criticize and control. I remember the assault she waged when I decided to move out of her house at the age of 26. I stopped accepting her excuses for why I should stay and I experienced an unbelievable wave of relief as I carried my last bag from her home.

She also lost a grip during the time I was married. She didn’t dare challenge my husband’s right to rule the home and reveal herself to him as a controlling mother. She picked the times he wasn’t around to criticize him (to me), to challenge my choice to marry him, and to complain about our parenting.

Just last year, she gifted me a timeshare vacation. I only had to pay the booking fee and transportation. A gift is never truly a gift from a controlling mother, which I realized (again) when she made it clear who I could and could not travel with on my vacation.

I spent countless years wondering why I had chronic feelings of inadequacy even when faced with contrary evidence. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t respond to my mother’s “concerned advice” with joy and appreciation. Why in the world did I always want to turn down the help she offered and even continued to push on me when I turned her down? Worse, I didn’t know why I was growing to dread spending time with my parents.

The last one… losing my desire to hang with the parental units… was the hardest of all. Mom always pushed the concept of “family” (although she is amazingly and chronically estranged from her own birth family). It was nothing short of blasphemy for me to ever speak ill of her, to prefer another family’s company, or even call my mother-in-law “mom.”

Along with the “family” theme came the “secrecy” theme. I was never to speak about home outside of the house. Mom always claimed that other folks didn’t need to know about the problems my dad caused the family. I never stopped to think that she might be protecting her own public image as a wonderful and attentive wife and mother.

I have a vivid memory of how she always saw me as an extension of her and her precious reputation (which must be protected at all costs). At the age of 21, I became pregnant with my oldest son while attending college. She sent me $500 – for the abortion clinic. I had a choice: Hit the clinic or go start my life somewhere. She couldn’t stand that I chose to “go start my life somewhere,” so she and my father retrieved me shortly after the birth. I believed she cared since she wanted me back under her roof….right? Well…

While you're waiting for Part 3 -
Bonus Link for your Reading Pleasure:
DESPERATE MEASURES: When They Sense They’re Losing Their Grip On You - 5 Surprising Ways Of Keeping You Attached

Monday, December 27, 2010

Emotionally Abusive Mothers and Adult Daughters: Part 1 of 4

Subtitled: When the last straw outweighs the excuses.

Last night I experienced the liberation of leaving the State of Denial. In fact, I left the state so fast, I barely had time to wave as the landscape disappeared in the rear-view mirror. This came after another round of bitter tears following an unwarranted attack from my mother – who has been emotionally abusive for as long as I can remember.

Judging by my experience and the experiences shared by others, emotional abuse often gets veiled under “less offensive” terms. The abuser may be characterized as overly critical, controlling, misguided, unfair, grouchy, or just plain mean. I find that these words mostly act to whitewash the intent, malice, pain, and emotional stress that targets must endure.

Denying the crushing weight that 30+ years of emotional abuse placed on my broken heart also meant I had to devise excuses – and even accept the excuses that she and others offered.

She lost her mother at a very young age, so she just wants to be very involved in your life.
I can understand a desire to be present, but not to mistreat.

It’s a generational gap.
Culturally, her generation knew more about honor and respect of fellow man. This doesn’t explain a damned thing.

She means well.
In what way? If you know you’re hurting me, and keep repeating the behavior, then you mean it.

Blood is thicker than water.
It simply isn’t, and this has been an excuse to ignore the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that occurs in family structures.

All families are dysfunctional.
No. All families face issues – not necessarily dysfunction. When love and respect are present, those issues can be overcome.

She was frustrated about my father abusing her, so she took it out on the nearest target.
Even if this is true… and even if one can agree that she deserves sympathy… none of that erases her culpability or explains how she is getting worse long after she and dad parted ways.

She’s controlling because she cares.
That doesn’t even make sense. You
care for things that you care for. You don’t control things you care for. It is dangerous to claim that wanting to eradicate another person’s free will and their right to enjoy life on their own terms is an act of caring. Nonsense like that leads people to stay in abusive relationships.

You’re taking it wrong/overreacting.
You can’t take pain “wrong.” If you call me a name… it hurts. If you withhold love and punish me for disappointing you… it hurts. If you wrongly accuse me of doing something evil… it hurts. If you do these things repeatedly, knowing that it hurts me, I am not overreacting to excuse you from my life. Period.

Maybe you’re doing something wrong.
Let’s pretend I’m doing something wrong. Let’s pretend I went against her advice and failed. Let’s admit my ex-husband wasn’t the best choice for me. Which one of those “crimes” should result in a personal, low, verbal bashing that includes attacks on my character, rude comments about my personal life, lies about things I never said, and a reminder about things my childhood flaws (although they were really just signs of being a child)? Maybe I
am doing something wrong. Or maybe you should just mind your business and stay in your lane.

She’s like that with everybody.
How in the world does knowing how my mother also mistreats strangers make me feel any relief when she mistreats me? Do we assign points now for “equal opportunity” in this case?

Finally, the latest gem she actually offered to me:
“Now that I’m getting older, I feel like I’ve earned the right to say exactly what’s on my mind.”
It’s funny how some use the term “what’s on your mind” to describe criticism, spite, and vitriol. You never earn the right to hurt others who’ve done you no wrong. Never.

While you're waiting for Part 2 -
Bonus Link for your Reading Pleasure:
The Silent Partner (aka the other family member(s) who watch and may even make excuses for the abuse)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Emotionally Abusive Mothers and Adult Daughters: Series Intro

If you were hoping for the next installment in my Insufficient Postage series, you may be in for a treat. The next four posts regarding emotionally abusive mothers and adult daughters can be read as one long letter to my mother.

Don't look for the spills and thrills and chills that come with bitter cat fights. I won't be calling my mom a bucket-full-o-bitches in this one - although that would probably make for a good reality television episode. No siree, this one has a happy ending that releases me from the guilt of wanting to divorce my mother after decades of her verbal slashing.

Here's how it works: The posts are already saved. They're timed to appear on the blog 3 days apart - the first one beginning in 3 days. There simply was no other way to share a 4-page long document without jamming an overstuffed post into one space and possibly losing your attention due to size. This assumes everybody has a touch of ADD. Like me. :-)

Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Insufficient Postage: Daddy of the Month Year Century Millenium

In this series, I write letters to people in my life - past, present, and possibly future - without the tension of actually mailing them. See the original post about the new series for more info.

Dearest Dad,

There's no lie in the idea that fathers are the first and most important men in a daughter's life. For the past 39 years, I always felt safe in the love you have for me. I can count my disappointments on one hand with plenty of fingers left to spare. Those disappointments were always short-lived because forgiveness is an automatic mechanism that operates in our relationship.

You never hid your pride in having me for a daughter. In spite of the mixed criticisms and praise from mom, I developed a confidence with roots in the love you always express. After long days of construction work... with icicles hanging from your beard... you let me know my importance every time you used your tired arms to lift me into the air with a weary yet surprisingly bright sincere smile.

As mom told, and pictures confirm, you made sure we laid in the sunlight together whenever possible. You wanted your baby girl to get enough sun, right beside your protective side.

As I grew, your protective spirit towards me never changed. I'll never forget that day in 7th grade when I got my feelings hurt at a school dance. My date ran off with other girls, and you pulled your pump-action shotgun in response. The moment of fear I felt in that instant was quickly overcome by a deep love for your regard of my young feelings. As mom talked and you fumed, I got an early lesson about not settling for less.

When I entered young adulthood, you left our home to live with another woman. You didn't call or keep in touch. I was hurt until I realized you were mostly concerned that I'd reject your decision. I was wise enough to know that sometimes children need to reach out first. I visited you there and let you know I still loved you as my precious father. I didn't judge your relationship for two reasons: (1) I was relieved that you ended the tension with mom and (2) You didn't lose an ounce of value as my beloved father. We never lost touch again - even as you eventually grew out of your new romance.

As I made the leap from girl to woman, I watched you become an amazing grandfather. I smiled with eyes full of happy tears as love for me pour into my sons. They love you with the same energy that I do, and they're immensely blessed to be a part of your life.

As you grow older, I am forced to consider the day - hopefully a day far away - that you may no longer be a part of our lives. You don't know this, but I have cried advance tears at the thought of losing you to heaven's call. As I write, I cry them again. Know this:

Whenever the moment comes that you must face your own mortality, you leave behind a daughter who still sees you as the strong, protective, loving father who lifts her into the air as an endless expression of amazing love. Heaven must have a special place for premier fathers, and I'll see you there when I arrive.

I love you daddy. You're the best of the best.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Insufficient Postage: A New Series

The pen is a dangerous thing. With one flick of a wayward Bic, you can leave indelible evidence of your wisdom or produce an unwanted record of your ignorance. With one stroke, you can enlighten a day or usher in storm clouds of contention.

Either way, I have a pen in my hand today. I decided to take the age-old advice to start writing letters to the people in my life. Some letters represent hopes of squashing old hurts. Some letters signify my need to express love to somebody I may have neglected over the years.

Of course these letters will never see the blue-uniformed image of a US mailman. Time and circumstance may change the way I see things. A penned letter may become permanent (perhaps damaging) evidence of an old thought kept mercilessly alive in somebody's underwear drawer.

So I’ll send them in my mind… all returned to sender for Insufficient Postage.

I suspect this series will feature a multitude of tears, fears, and cheers as forgotten memories begin flooding the pages. Names will be changed to protect the guilty and the innocent. But I’m sure if anybody knew to find me here, they’d also recognize themselves in my growing pile of returned mail.

Won’t you join me over the next several weeks?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Keeping fear in the cage where it belongs

Heidi posted another great piece at the Fitting Words blog. This time, she got more personal than usual about her fight with fear, and she asked that her readers provide some input.

I didn't start my response to Heidi as commentary on relationships, but the end product mentions "letting go," which is something we don't do well when it comes to friends and lovers. Once I was done basically blogging in her comments, I decided to share my rambling here.


Warning… I think I’m feeling philosophical again. lol

Fear is a useful and necessary emotion. It helps us to preserve life in the face of danger. It’s the meter that lets us know we’re in danger in the first place!

When left unchecked, fear can rule in our efforts to preserve more than life and limb… Preserve our pre-conceived notions…. Preserve our expectations… Preserve the control we want to have over the random things of life. This unchecked fear is a misuse and abuse of the proper function for fear, and I believe we have a choice in letting fear out of the cage… or not.

I may not be the best advisor here, because I fight with fear in many forms… most notably… fear of failure and fear of what others, mostly mom, think of me.

BUT, whenever I can dance to a small victory over fear, I can say faith was my fighting buddy. Whether it is faith in God’s benevolence, karma, or the way the universe always seeks a level – I believe I am always where I should be. If a job falls through… that means something better is coming. If a friendship fails, I can accept that his/her precious role in my life came to an end.

In doing this, I find that there are no “bad” situations. Just learning experiences – many of which reveal the lesson as time goes on. In times where faith fails, I tap my own reserve tank with one reality: Allowing a situation to steal my joy is like sticking a knife in an open wound. I become the force making the situation much worse than it should be — which makes me the author of unnecessary additional suffering.

The rare times I want to wallow and let joy chill on ice… well… those times don’t last long. There’s nothing like feeling the power of letting something go.

How do you battle, win, and/or lose against fear?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monogamy is selfish? I'm not convinced...

Kenya Stevens of JujuMama LLC left an interesting post on her Facebook wall today:

The nature of monogamy is selfishness. Most people would gladly have another lover, but what kills the dream is they would have to accept the same scenario. They deny themselves to further deny the one person they profess to love most. That to me is the real drive behind infidelity, the selfishness, and wanting to keep... your lover in darkness while you explore the light. (via Shannon Roberts)

Now I love Kenya's unconventional approach to strengthening relationships and her book is in my Amazon shopping cart for quick purchase this Friday. But her recent statement ate at my thoughts until I replied on her page and moseyed here for more commentary.

My original message to Kenya:

I don't agree that monogamy is selfish in itself. Pretending to be monogamous while cheating on a partner that you told something different is selfish. When both agree on the structure of their relationship -- that's harmony.

My His Side values monogamy as much as I do. As such, we have harmony in that area. Isn't it better to say that either ... See Moremodel works... so long as it is a shared value & desire?

Footnote: Monogamy does have its virtues... like the possible resulting children, the possible shared disease, etc. since there's no 100% method of preventing both. Discounting one structure to promote the other denies the value to those who chose it.

I couldn't resist spilling this conversation into this blog, because monogamy is central to my desire in a relationship. Kenya chronicled her journey into sharing her husband's goodies on her old blog, and it was clear it took a long time for the choice to sit well in her soul. That alone tells me that she clearly had a different preference for her marriage - which also features young children. As far as I was concerned, it took a pretty selfish motive on her husband's part to ask her to endure the ordeal.

What say you, or dear readers? Hit us in the comments.

Footnote: This blog will feature a book review of Kenya's book "Change Your Man: How to Become the Woman He Wants." I agree with Kenya's premise that men and women are different - and attempting to change your man via confrontation won't lead to harmony. I ordered her husband's companion book for His Side.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bitter Pills to Swallow

Several weeks ago, my parents received bad news. "Although you are legally married, you've been living apart for many many years. He must be dropped from your retirement insurance."

In a funny twist, my parents are together almost every day. She cooks for him. He helps her with the house. They introduce themselves as husband and wife. But they can't stand living together. Mom is too controlling and dramatic, which doesn't mix well with the healthy doses of testosterone pulsing through dad's veins. Even in their 60's and 70's, some of their encounters mirror the hilarity of tweens trying to navigate puppy love.


Since mom couldn't produce a single utility bill or bank account statement in dad's name at her address, he is left to his own sparse insurance. They estimate his medical bills could increase by $1000 out of pocket per month. Nobody on retirement funds can afford that nonsense.

As my mother shared this crisis with me (and lamented about my father's annual visit to his girlfriend's hometown - a total other story), she said the bitter words I hear from far too many older women. "STAY. SINGLE." She meant it. "Share your life and your resources with no-one. You'll have to help them one day."

I have thrown my hands to the sky and raised my face to the wind many times with the same objection. "What part of that advice offers me the option and information I need to experience the beauty of a loving relationship?" Doesn't choosing a partner come with the absolute promise that one day I'll have to hold them up during a time of need? Doesn't the anticipation of their love and support during my darkest hours balance the perceived hardship? If that isn't love, then WHAT. IS????

Wounded people wound others. That concept is one block in the foundation of this blog. The wounded spread their bitterness like a disease... cleverly concealed under the shroud of "loving relationship advice."

Keep this in your back pocket: If the advice you get doesn't explain how love can win, then the puppet strings of bitterness and fear are showing all over the messenger. Smile. Keep it moving. Brush the bitterness off your clothes and find a trail that leads to love. It is the only truly positive power this planet has ever known.

Photo yanked from Legal Juice.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rewriting History and Distorting the Present

Big Mark said something at his blog that gripped me. It wasn't even the main point of his post, but I stopped reading. Dead. I couldn't go on until I digested the truth of his statement:

The trap of looking back is that the past sometimes looks better than it really was.

Say it out loud. Now say it again. Close your eyes and recall the times you fell into this trap. Now here's my story...

I was miserable when I was married. I chose my husband for all the wrong reasons. He looked great on paper, and he was an out for me as a 26-year old single mom dreaming of moving from mom's house. I had a great career, but my life was minus the savings and the guts to step out.

He walked out one week before our 4th anniversary. He was chasing a single welfare mom with a brood of kids who was willing to sell her soul for the BMW she thought he paid for.

After his departure, fear gripped my life. I wasn't sure how to care for two boys - the one previous and the one we shared - and make ends meet without a second income. I became physically ill, and I decided to get him back as I rewrote history to convince myself that "it wasn't that bad."

He never came back, and I continually count that as one of the biggest blessings of my life. Because it was that bad. Not because he was so bad (although that's arguable), but because I was losing myself to be a "good wife" in exchange for the security of two incomes and a reputation of "good wife."

Three years later... almost to the exact day... I met His Side. Like a precious puppy rolling in the grass at play, I languished in the freedom I found to be myself and still be loved.

In response, I did my share of distorting the present. A new fear of losing that feeling drew me to focus on His Side's flaws as an excuse to be alone again. Because His Side isn't fatally flawed in one critical way: He doesn't hide a single ounce of his love for me in spite of his flaws. Like children, he makes me crazy, but love keeps me wrapped in his life.

I left him. I put him out. I demonized his flaws. But he presses on with protecting me from harm, loving me, putting that love into action (in endless ways that deserve their own post), and reminding me that he is committed to loving me for the rest of his life.

Rewriting history. Distorting the present. Neither is healthy or fruitful.

He bought me a beautiful ring over the weekend. I wear it on my middle finger. He held onto the matching band, and wears it on his pinky. In spite of my fearful defiance, I have enough information about his character, his fight, and his love, to concede that one day both will be on the proper finger.

He promised to stop by here and write. I can't wait to hear what he has to say.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

An Open Letter to HisSide...

To my best friend, my ex-boyfriend, and my road dawg:

Your uncanny ability to "say too much" always leads to a heartache that you regret. From what I have learned, common wisdom says to "speak little and listen much."

You spend more time than you wish to admit talking down about others... including folks you've never met. Please tell me how you know that the woman standing on the corner must be a whore who cheats on her husband? Your unfounded judgments know no bounds, and your negative outlook isn't erased by your monthly statements that 'I'm a very positive person of faith.'

I find it increasingly difficult to enjoy my time around you, because your criticisms - about me and others - come more and more frequently. I find it difficult to deal with your negativity - much of which stems from personal issues that you choose to project onto others. I am the closest, so I receive the most fire.

You have a strong negative opinion about the people who don't like your demeanor. You claim 'they don't know you.' You dismiss their opinions as hogwash. Do you not realize that karma is knocking at your front door?

You are responsible for the aftermath of placing your mouth on the lives of others. When you talk at the rate of a teenage girl, you will eventually - almost always - encounter folks who tire of the over-the-top dialog.

More importantly, if you trespass on my property and get shot in the process - I won't apologize if you bleed to death on my lawn.

As the saying goes: Shouldn'ta-been-talkin'-shit.

Today we sat in a restaurant and I listened to you diss my mother about her relationship with her sisters. You went on and on, while my brain tried to compute: "Where did he earn the right to speak on such a thing?"

I took about 8 seconds of your time to ask the question, "So why is it that you don't ever call your own sister?" And yes, I added the footnote: "So shut the F*CK up."

You went off like a rocket about disrespect and the rights I don't have to talk about your family. You missed the priceless lesson that your dumb ass was doing the same thing.

I know you'll read this post. And I don't really care that you're offended. Clean-up your own shyt, and you'd be amazed at how little you have to say in criticism and judgment of others.

My advice for your usual critical and judgmental behavior remains the same:

"Shut the f*ck up. Smell your own shyt. You're on my property and I have a gun. TRESPASSING laws are in full effect..."

End rant. Back to life.

I (kinda) apologize to the blog followers who cheer for our happy ending but witness this bullshyt on the way...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dropping by my own crib to say hello and share a random bit...

I drive by this blog, peek out the side window, and speed off like I don't live here. The problem is... I DO live here, and I am neglecting the crib.

On any given day, I have loads to say. Those words simply haven't made it to this blog in 2 months. It's time to change that. Blogging is free therapy. Sharing my words with others make me accountable to myself. When I pen my thoughts, bullshit gets illuminated. Kinda like the the gems of time when you catch yourself giving advice to your kids that you haven't even applied to your own life.

I started reading a series on male promiscuity today. A friend sent the random link and I found myself engrossed in this man's take on the subject.

The series is still in progress. You can check it here while I continue to get my thoughts together:

Blog Name:
The Black Bond Blog

Links for the Series:
1. Intro Male Promiscuity

2. Male Promiscuity Part 2. How it Starts

3. Promiscuity Interlude: Apparently a warning that the rest will contain vividly graphic language.

It doesn't take long to figure out the reasons this blogger claims to have received hate mail. He doesn't mince a single word - which is a trait I tend to appreciate as others may loathe.

Enjoy. (Or Not) hehe

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Birthday Card from HisSide...

I celebrate a birthday this week. For a quickie, I thought I'd share the card I received from HisSide:

You Mean
So Much
To Me

Do you have any idea
how much I value
you and our relationship?

Let me give you a hint -
you're one of the few people
in the world
who truly know the real me.

That's because you've shown yourself
to be someone I can trust
with my secrets, my feelings,
and, yes, even my failings.

You listen to me and accept me unconditionally
and always give me
the benefit of the doubt.

You've made our relationship
a place where
I always feel safe,
knowing I won't be judged,
and that means so much.

Honestly, I don't know
what I ever did
to deserve having
someone as great
as you in my life...
and I don't know
what I'd do now
if you weren't!

You mean the world to me.

Love always.

Happy Birthday.


[insert crazy ass drawing of happy face and hearts].

He said he searched hard for the right one, and it says everything he wanted it to say.

He inserted "Forgive Me" at the top.

He knows I love his flawed ass like crazy, as much as he loves my flawed ass.

So begins the birthday weekend of a lifetime.

His is only 3 days after mine.

Party on...

Card courtesy of Hallmark. Who else?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ya' girl was featured at Fitting Words

I recently found a gem of a blog named Fitting Words. The blog focuses on providing advice about finding the perfect words to deal with problematic relationships between everybody from spouses to co-workers.

The blog authors are polar opposites, one who uses "fight" techniques and one who favors "flight" as a means to respond to conflict. They each provide feedback without reading what the other has to say. The results represent their competing "fight or flight" views, which I find infinitely useful for somebody looking for alternatives.

I was moved by the story submitted by Verklempt, a woman reaching for acceptance from her parents. I responded with a comment that was featured as Rush of Expectations.

If you are fascinated by the constant dance it takes to initiate, grow, nurture, or even leave relationships, give the blog a bit of your traffic. They rock.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Setbacks, Love, Patience, and DECISIONS

His Side spent a week in jail after the justice system saw fit to incarcerate him in a dangerous state prison for $200 overdue in child support payments. I spent that week fighting to get him out. I presented in court. I sidebarred with the prosecutor's office. I slept in my car in front of the prison. And miraculously, I drove away with him before sundown on that cold dismal day.

He was deeply and sincerely appreciative. But he couldn't avoid the setback that slowly crept into view. Old habits. Old ways. Anger. Bitterness. All directed at the wrong targets.

This came to a head during a very public and very embarrassing scene where I did. not. play the role of a patient friend. I was frustrated. I was hurt. And I was so done with it.

Any reasonable observer would have arrived at the same conclusion. But there's a side to this story that nobody knows. Well, not until now.

His Side experienced what I consider to be one of the most traumatic events a child can endure. By all professional accounts, his angry self-medicating behavior is almost a direct trace to that dark place in his history. The story is his to tell. I won't detail it here, but... He shared this with me years ago, and at the time, it explained e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. It was so difficult for him to share and sit before me in a puddle of his own tears. But for me... well... I already knew trauma with the only explanation. It didn't surprise me one bit. The only surprise was that he finally told somebody and that person was me.

But His Side missed an important step: He didn't get any help... and I couldn't help him. I was the only person who knew, and I was also the safe haven where he acted out. Walking away from the carnage was about the only wise choice I had.

Something quite different happened after this post-prison episode. He confided in his older cousin, who's been like a mother to him since his own mother's death. He said he was actually able to sleep that night - something he hadn't done in ages. After that, he called a doctor. In simple terms, he told the doctor he wants to stop hurting the person who has loved him the most. Dayum. He has new medical benefits and even better... a fvcking appointment.

For this I am proud of him. He's being true to his claim that watching himself spiral out of control hurts him because it hurts the people he loves. And right when I was ready to make a decision to trade our friendship over a setback, I was compelled to embrace him as he takes the wisest step he's taken so far.

Love's a bitch.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Why does His Side remain in my heart and in the circle of my life?

At the height of turmoil during the looming breakup, LoveBabz asked me a simple question (paraphrasing):

'Why do you answer the phone when the departed His Side calls?"

I didn't have a ready answer, and I felt disturbed about my inability to respond to such a simple query. I knew answering the phone would probably expose me to a pained and frustrated His Side. I knew he would compel me into my own frustration. I knew he would fluster me into wishing I hadn't answered the phone.

For a while, I dealt with this by writing about the war between my own hope and deep disappointment. Much of my analysis focused on my legitimate frustrations with His Side's flaws. More accurately, I was focused on the hurtful ways that his flaws manifested against me in very personal and destructive ways.

But I always answered that phone for one reason: I never spent a day pretending with His Side. And he never had to spend a single minute pretending in an effort to secure my approval.

He always accepted my darkest and most annoying flaws. And I loved him in spite of the decimating wars he fought with his demons. He was unwavering in his sincerity to fight for a love he credits with changing his life. And by all accounts from his family, his love for me represents the most faith and fire he's lived since digging from beneath truly harsh circumstances.

So I kept answering that phone. We eventually fumbled and stumbled into the friendship we share now. Satisfying. Gratifying. Transparent. Tight.

I'll openly admit that many demons fled his presence. That man knows how to fight a good fight, especially after grasping the truth that loved ones should not receive any blows during the battle.

I recognize him now... as the man I saw looming beneath the armor while fighting the wrong war. We're not back together, but we're still a dynamic duo. I know better than to interrupt his transformation with the stress of caring for a romance. And I stay true to myself not to interrupt my own journey. Timing is everything.

I answered that phone because no matter the hardship, it was always real. I enjoyed the luxury of being myself in all of my glorious wonder and broken glory. I have never felt more human, loved, accepted, and powerful in all my life.

I don't worry about our future. I don't stress over the "ifs" of becoming a couple in the future. In truth, it may nevah happen. None of it draws my attention because I must live this day before I can live the day named "tomorrow." And my "todays" are good because 90% of the time, I'm glad I answered the phone.

A special shot-out to LoveBabz for this thought-provoking post:
What Am I Doing, Seriously?

Photo lifted from: Freelancedom

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Some Relationships Will NEVAH EVAH Work Out (TMI Warning)

Oh how I longed for a tall crisp glass of milk today. As I tucked my Special K into the cabinet and slid the milk into the fridge, my touch lingered as memories of an old friend swept through my mind and dissipated. Glasses of comforting milk pepper my childhood experience as one of the few things that never dissapointed.

When returning from a tour of Europe at the age of 16, my mother purchased a gallon of milk each day for a week because I just couldn't get enough of it after stepping off the plane. In between gulps, I almost forgot about the searing blow that came after first landing in France:

"Can I have a glass of milk?"

"Milk? Goats milk. You are American, so you probably don't drink this."

"You mean milk from a GOAT? There's no. cows here?"

"Only goats milk."

::blank stare:: "No thank you."

Well, with age comes wisdom and decreased tolerance for the stuff we stuff into our young faces. For me, a few more years rolled in with a bag full of lactose intolerance. One glass of milk at night can mean an ugly trip to a dark place at about 3am.

But today. This day. This February 2, 2010... I just couldn't resist the call of the milk. It was like the call of the wild. Raw. And loud. And primal. And begging for a side of cookies.

So I had a glass. A tall glass.

And then I had another.

I resumed work and all felt right in the world.

Until that rumble hit.

My mind races: "Oh no. This isn't supposed to happen until 3am. It sounds like a 5th grade marching band in my belly. And they're all farting. And clanking their instruments. And belching. And..."

So I rush to the corporate facilities, launching wolf-bait rockets, wondering if somebody will hear... or wonder if I went home... or walk by and wonder why I ate the precious 5th graders with their marching aspirations.

I give myself the giggles, magnifying fears that somebody outside the door will call a mental-help facility to come pick-up the "suddenly crazy co-worker laughing like a loon in the bathroom."

I rise from the throne, put a gallon of Febreze Air Effects® into the air, and realize the relationship with milk is OVAH. Seriously. Never again.

::blank stare::

What? You thought this was about me and His Side? I'll talk about that next time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year, Same Old Bullshit.... NOT.

Warning: I am not feeling particularly deep today, so this post contains no advice or deep reflections. If that's what you needed, contact 1-800-SOWHAT.


I have never gone into a New Year with a bad attitude about the future, and this New Year is no different. As the icing on the cake, there's something spectacular about this New Year doubling as the mark of a new decade. Can you believe it's 2010?? What a blessing to see another decade. I just wish we had the shiny suits and the flying cars that all the old movies promised by 2010.

Anyway, this is a relationship blog, so I won't bore you with my loosely-formed list of resolutions that will probably die an ugly death by February. But I will share this: I am enjoying a front-row seat to a wonderful transformation in His Side. And I'm not talking about the selfish list of things I'd love to see change about him. I'm talking about the joy of watching him like himself again. He's jumped some hurdles, ducked some bullets, and ran through other random obstacles. He achieved some personal victories that he's proud to claim. And it shows all over his happy-ass glowing face.

Yeah, we tried the "let's still be friends" thing too soon after the breakup. Silly rabbits... Tricks are for kids.... BUT... I can ultimately measure the current friendship as worth the original chaos. Shit, nobody died, the stuntmen got paid, and no animals were harmed in the making of this drama. Isn't that a success? hehe

See ya next time... and Happy New Year!