Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cracked Wide Open: Observations after my Last Post

Thank you.

To all of you who commented, texted, emailed or in some way reached out to me after my last post.

I know it wasn't pretty. I know that I split myself open and shared part of me that was raw. The thing is, I've done that countless times on this blog... and no matter how much I do, somehow someone can relate to it. Thank you for letting me know you're out there. I'm astounded by you because in the middle of it, it's the loneliest feeling in the world. Have you felt that too?

I hope that my blood and guts and tears help someone else. It embarrasses me to share, yet the feeling that I learned from it, or you learned from it, or someone else learned from it - well that just encourages me to continue to be nothing more than completely, authentically honest.

***

After much reflection and moving past the cloud of PMS, I decided to attend A Course in Miracles study group on Monday night. It's always my go-to, especially when I've been cracked wide open.

The next day, I heard this loud enough in my head that I made a quote picture out of it:



ACIM reminds me to say, "So what."

I've made amends with Gentleman Jack and my children. They all know my sincerity.

GJ said to me, "My sweet girl, I know you could never hurt a single person. Your heart's too big for that."

My youngest daughter said, "Mommy, you always say you're sorry. I didn't worry that you wouldn't say it to (GJ) or us. I knew you would."

Yet, I continued to beat myself up for it. That Course book reminds me that, beyond the healing I could offer others, I should offer the same to myself. I've been working on that this week.

So what... that I screwed up and forgot how much he loves me. It was a momentary lapse of reason that could have gone even further if I'd not recognized what was happening.

So what... if fear got the better of me. It got the better of both of us and still we continue to love the very life out of each other. 

So what... if I don't know what is going to happen. None of us do, do we?

Things to ponder.

***

A few times this week, my daughters have disagreed, fighting over one thing or another. I've noticed the mean reactions they have to each other.

Do you know what I've also noticed?

How quickly they're able to come back together and say, "I'm sorry. I really didn't mean to say that."

It made me smile this week to see that they too have the courage to walk back in.

Maybe my rawness and honesty isn't such a scary thing after all. Maybe it is showing all of us in this house just how strong and brave we can be when we're vulnerable and loving.

Have a wonderful weekend, loves.

xxoo

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pardon me while I kick my own ass...

It all started innocently enough. It always does, doesn't it?

Throw in a deadly combo of PMS, the last night of a wonderful week together and an incorrect assumption about exactly when I'd have to head back to Texas and all hell breaks loose.

I'd decided to leave a little earlier than usual because I needed to get some things done after being gone for a week. When I shared that information, during some heavy breathing spooning, well, let's just say the spooning stopped and so did the breathing. Aaannd, if I know anything from yoga, when the breathing stops, so does the clear thinking.

He reacted out of pure sadness and anger, saying something that I took as hurtful. He's good at snapping, processing and getting over something all in the realm of about 3 minutes flat. Me, on the other hand? Pfft. Not. So. Much.

I reacted to his single statement and the deep inner feeling of "I let someone down" and things only got worse from there.

Today was a continuation of my stubbornness and unwillingness to just let the damn thing go. I couldn't. It seemed like a culmination of much discontent lately. So many things... that I just wanted to get back to the comfort of MY house, MY space. He knew I was still upset. He knew none of the excuses to leave even earlier were true. He's good at figuring me out so he, of course, tried to stop me and talk some sense into me. I would have none of it. When he grew angry, again, I snapped and did something I never thought I'd do.

I left the room, told my girls to tell him goodbye because we were NEVER COMING BACK and loaded us up to leave. 

He rushed to the door after the girls were loaded and told me that he couldn't believe I would do that to the kids, in front of the kids. What could I say? I had completely lost my mind at that point. I pushed him away and aimed for the door. Then there was the whole, "If you walk out that door, it's over" statement that I fully expected to hear. I didn't care. My heart was pounding in pure fight or flight and I wanted to get the hell away before I started throwing things.

I got in the car and backed to the end of the driveway, very nearly leaving the dog behind. When I looked back and saw complete shock and sadness in the eyes of my girls, mommy-mode kicked in. Suddenly, my thoughts were a little clearer. I put the car in park and went back inside.

That's when I saw something that will stay burned in my mind for some time.

He was on his bed, tears streaming down his face, already typing me a text message on his phone. He was deflated. He'd lost faith in me, in himself, in our relationship. He looked at me and said he'd never forgive me for leaving with the girls like that. He said, "How could you ever take away my girls from me?"

He wanted me to go ahead and leave. He said he wasn't sure anymore. I was completely, utterly broken.

I brought the girls back inside, promising them I'd do whatever it took to work things through with him.

More intense, heated discussions took place, as you'd imagine. I said I would stay until he opened back up to me. I apologized profusely. We talked about us, the kids, life, past relationships, pain, frustrations, jobs, moving, not moving. Finally, after about an hour he softened, "I understand why you ran away. It was fear. Fear of the unknown. Well, I'm scared of that too, baby." Then he took me in his arms.

I'm devastated that his ex-wife got something from him that I'll never get: the promise to be together always. We don't have that because we don't know. Also, sadly, neither of us is that naive anymore. Too much experience and no idea what the future holds.

What do you do when there is no plan? I would advise anyone in a long distance relationship to make a plan but we don't have one. It seems impossible. What do you do?!

He made me dry my tears and go talk to my girls. He knew that I'd be honest and loving with them and they'd be fine. He also asked that I speak to his son who was witness to the whole thing. After a giant family snuggle, the kids all knew that everything was okay. The basic understanding to them was that leaving, after a week of bliss, was just really really tough. And that's at least most of the truth.

The drive home was even more processing for me... to the soundtrack of a million songs I could relate to. You ever notice that?

I know that I have been in a low lately. I'm recognizing this and again, I know what it takes to get out of it. But my question is WHY DO I GET SO LOW? I think much of this started when GJ noticed that I was so busy with my new job that I was not keeping him in the forefront if my mind anymore. But still, why do I let that, or what other people do or say, affect me so much?

Someone commented on a recent post that perhaps I was writing about Gentleman Jack. I was writing about many people close to me but yes, he does come to mind also. This single parent thing is no easy task for either of us.

I recognize that each of us is responsible for our own health, emotionally, mentally, physically, fiscally. I know that, intelligently, but I keep seeing lack of it everywhere. Then for some reason, I end up feeling like I'm supposed to do the saving. It doesn't seem fair that I should feel good if someone else isn't.

The truth is, we're both struggling in some way. But when I feel like I'm struggling less, I end up feeling guilty about it. Instead of continuing to take care of myself, I feel bad... and choose to let myself go instead. This doesn't help anyone, I know, and I've read a thousand books that tell me this. I do know it. I've written here before that I treat myself better when I'm single and this is why. I don't feel so bad about doing good FOR ME when I'm not in a relationship. I don't feel so selfish about it. I know it's not a selfish thing and yet.... *sigh*. Then, when I let myself go, I'm not a good mother, girlfriend or anything else for that matter. Suddenly I look for something else to hang on to. I over react. I don't think clearly. I take things personally. All in the name of look at me, I'm not doing so well either.

I AM NOT A MARTYR. Dear God please rid me of the codependency. I am aware and choose it no longer.

Relationships feel like so much work for me because I do this. I can't seem to find a balance of "me" versus "me and him". I don't like to let people down or disappoint. I don't want to be seen as selfish or any of these ugly things that I am. Also, a long distance relationship is fucking hard. Sometimes I wonder if I do self-sabotage or look for lack in our relationship because I get so tired of not knowing or trying to find that balance.

I'm home now and need some serious sleep. I'm physically and emotionally exhausted. Still, I needed to say goodnight and apologize to my man one last time.

We talked for a bit with him saying that I don't need to apologize anymore. Then he reached across the phone line to my heart and let me know that we were stronger than ever:

"I hated that you walked out the door like you did earlier. But the fact that you walked back in? That just showed me that you are stronger than you give yourself credit for. That was love, T. And our relationship is spectacular. Ours is one for the record books, baby."


Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Rant on Infidelity, Gay Marriage and What People Do in the Bedroom

So General Patraeus, who was the only general who could help get the United States out of Iraq, has now resigned and is publicly humiliated because he had an affair with his biographer.

People are asking, "How could he have done that?!"

Ya know, I dated a solider....and let me tell you something... sometimes they need something to hold them down when everything around them is blowing up. The man had a confidante, someone he trusted with his story. I could EASILY see how that could have lead to an affair. It's really not all that shocking to me.

I wrote of my own affair:

"I have learned this lesson about an affair. It is the darkness that fuels the fire. And if you decide to keep a secret from your spouse, even a little one, you will keep one a little bigger than that too. Then a little bit bigger. And even bigger. The line gets pushed further and further and soon you realize that you CAN keep secrets from your spouse. It becomes easier and easier. The next thing you know, you've gone so far that you can't even imagine how you got there."


The man was telling his story, sharing his life with someone who didn't live it with him. Someone who fell in love with the idea of who he was and he relished it. It's human nature to feel feelings when you're being cherished. He acted on it, yes. But it's also human nature to be weak. Now, we want to tear the guy down and have him resign from an office that he held pretty damn well just because he fucked around.

It reminds me of the whole gay marriage question. I know that's a huge leap but think about it:

People are so wrapped up in the fact that if you're gay then we don't want you serving in our military or we don't want you being CEO or teaching our children... because who you fuck matters with what you do for a living.

I'm sorry, I disagree. It doesn't matter who you fuck.

I mean, yeah, having an affair is stressful and will mess with your head. I know that from experience. But obviously it didn't affect the man, he did an awesome, honorable job. Just as anybody who's homosexual or lesbian or whatever in their private life.... it doesn't matter what they're doing in the bedroom, it doesn't mean it's going to affect what they're doing in the outside world. If they're not doing anything illegal, leave them alone.

And yes, from dating a soldier, I also know there's an honor thing. I know but still. Pfft. There's still a HUMAN thing too.

Am I saying having an affair is okay?

Hell no. I've been on every side of infidelity - EVERY side. I've been the cheater, the mistress, the one cheated on, the daughter of parents who both cheated, the friend, confidante and sibling of cheaters... No, it's not okay. But that doesn't mean that it's not going to happen. That doesn't mean that I think we can sit back and say, "SHAME ON YOU."  That doesn't mean we don't all have our own crap or secrets that we are unwilling to share.

I think we need to keep our noses out of everyone's business because TRUST ME... the regular straight married couple you see living behind the white picket fence, with a cat and dog and 2.5 children? TRUST ME. There's some stuff going on there that they're not sharing. And that's okay! We all have it. I don't think their bedroom life matters if they can still do their jobs well, and represent their country well, and care about people and take care of things, I don't think it matters who they're fucking... or anything else they're doing to their body. (Don't even get me started on the government trying to get involved with women's - and not men's - reproductive rights.)

Let he who is sinless cast the first stone.

I'm just sayin'.






Sunday, November 11, 2012

Passion and Mediocrity = Turn On and Turn Off

When I see someone passionate about what they do.... when I see someone so passionate and focused on what they do.... when I see someone passionate, focused and good at what they do.... it is a turn on.

The other night I attended my friend's A Course in Miracles class. I've known D since 1989 and he's always seemed passionate about whatever I saw him doing. Like when we were in a band together for a year, his vocals, songwriting and stage presence was a turn on. Being around him when I first became introduced to the Course and other spiritual writings, and the hours of spiritual discussions... those discussions were a turn on.

Talking to D after the class the other night, I said that I felt bad about not being attentive to Gentleman Jack since I'm so focused on my job. That's when D looked right at me and said,

"I'm a little jealous too, T. You're doing something you're passionate about and you're making money at it. I wanted to make money as a rock star and that didn't happen. I wanted to make money teaching A Course in Miracles and that isn't happening. Like GJ, I'd like to make money fishing but that's not happening either. Both he and I have to do something we're not passionate about in order to make money and live. You're pretty fortunate."

It really stopped me in my tracks. I've always believed that if you do something you love, you'll never work a day in your life. And I've always believed that you should find something you love to do for work.

***

In my last post, I wrote:

Part of me wonders if I surround myself with people who hate themselves so that I feel better about myself. How's that for honesty?


I think I assume people hate themselves when they seem to be living dispassionate lives, say they want something else, but do nothing about it. I can't stand excuses, half-ass or mediocrity. That's a turn off. So when I see people go half-ass on something or seem to be "content-but-not-really" with some sort of mediocrity, it makes me crazy.

Surrounding myself with people who are okay with half-ass-ness doesn't make me feel better. In fact, it makes me feel pretty bad. 

I'm a dreamer, a do-er, a don't-tell-me-it-can't-be-done-get-out-of-my-way-and-watch-me-make-it-happen kind of person. If I'm passionate about it, I'll do it - be a singer/songwriter and perform with my own band, do triathlons, get a college degree. I'll do it, impossibility be damned!

If I believe I'm only mediocre at it, however, I'll want to quit. I know it's my own fear that makes me want to quit or stop trying altogether. I get scared if I can't be damn good at something. It feels like failure. I'll make excuses to bow out or just stop trying at all. Then I get irritated when I make excuses... and I get irritated when I see others do it too.

I keep forgetting to give myself permission to suck at something for a while in order to get better at it.

I'm just not that gentle with myself. Or others either, apparently.

I have to give my absolute best to whatever I do. I'll at least try. So when others don't even try to change what is bothering them, I get annoyed. You can't keep making excuses and not even try. Don't do the same thing over and over and expect something different.

I like people around me who also put their best into what they do, who believe that nothing is impossible, who support my dream, their own dreams and inspire. And also, when I'm that focused I think I really need someone to pick up the slack because I do let other things slide. I didn't have that with triathlon...so maybe my running injury is part-psychosomatic. I was doing it alone, trying to do everything else and unable to really put as much time into it as it needed. I started resenting the hell out of it. I've now met someone who wants to run with me - she wants to get better at it - and it's making me want to try again.

When I'm not doing my best, when I'm making excuses or not trying, I notice that others are doing that too. I get judgmental of them... really judgmental of myself, right? When I'm slacking off and unable to do everything, I get pissed off that I HAVE to do everything. That's also when I get resentful of those who ARE doing their best and are motivated to make anything happen. Which may be why I feel that some people resent ME for trying so hard. Kind of a vicious cycle, no?

So the quandary is this:

Do I need to be able to do everything, including focusing on my body (fitness, diet, health), my house, my kids, my job, my boyfriend, my family, my friendships, in order to feel balanced and whole? Or do I need to learn to sit with the inability to do everything perfectly and be okay with that? Because when I'm okay with my own lack of balance, then I'll be okay with others' as well.

Right? Which one of those scenarios is true balance?

Not everyone is passionate about their job... and that's OK. Isn't it? Maybe they have something else that they do have passion for.

Not everyone is as hard on themselves as I am on myself... and that's OK. That's probably even good!

Still, watching someone live passionately to their full potential? That's a turn on, pure and simple.


When people lose the truth about themselves, when they forget that their dreams can come true if they just try and believe, when they don't recall that they're boundless, love-filled, spirit beings who are powerful and can do anything, much bigger than their body, much bigger than this world, when they limit themselves and what else could be possible ---- it turns me right off.

But that's nothing more than a reminder that I've forgotten the same thing about myself.

Isn't it?


Thursday, November 8, 2012

I really don't want to blog...

I just don't. I have nothing good to say.






Oy.

I have to get this out somewhere.










I've lost balance in my life. AGAIN.

Blah, blah, yoga. Blah, blah, A Course in Miracles. Blah, blah, taking time for myself. Blah, blah, I hate my long distance relationship and wonder if I should be in a relationship at all. Blah, blah, poor me.

Yeah, that's about it.

Nothing helpful. Nothing inspiring. Nothing to offer those of you who read... what's left of you if I haven't bored you to death or caused permanent blindness from eye-rolling with my incessant questioning of who I am, what I want, am I in the right place, am I in the right relationship, am I a good enough mother, am I good enough.... blah, blah....

I'm pretty pissed off today because I realized (again) that I allow too much of others' lack of motivation and dependence on me affect me.

I believe you're most likely to resemble the 5 people who are closest to you. You'll take on their habits, their determination for success, their motivation, etc. And I try to surround myself with good people. I think I do. But when one of those people is in a funk, however long that is, it AFFECTS me too. It doesn't even have to be a self-admitted funk, on their end, just my perception of what I think they SHOULD be doing that they're not. Does that make any sense at all?

My perception is that people hate themselves, don't feel worthy of love and will do masochistic self-sabotaging acts to prove just how not worthy they are. I do what I can to keep my head above it, try to fight on with some sort of good compassion-filled life and self-actualization and then, when I lose my center, I become full of self-loathing as well. Constant questioning. Wondering if I'm doing right by myself and my kids. Wanting to run away and start fresh somewhere else where nobody knows me.

As I said... masochistic, self-sabotaging acts to prove unworthiness.

Yes, I know I need to find my center, my core. That is where my balance is. But I'm feeling so beat down by so much shit in the world. So much hatred - don't even get me started on the U.S. election. I can't even believe how many people I had to unfriend on Facebook because of spewed hatred. Is this really the kind of world we live in? Where people cling to such outrageous hatred? I just don't understand that. It makes me hurt. It concerns me for my kids.

Gentleman Jack gets downright pissed off that I allow things to hurt me. He says that I should be an individual, strong and resilient and not allow people's crap to bother me. After all, it's their crap. He says that's what HE does. (I have to call bullshit on that because it's fairly obvious to me that my crap is bothering him.)

Dammit if I don't fall into those old co-dependent habits again when I lose my center. Then I feel so weighed down, it's difficult to recover. I feel like I can't share it with anyone because... well... he's my best friend and says I'm wrong for feeling it. Which doesn't make me feel any better at all.

He says that he takes good care of himself but I keep seeing all sorts of ways that he doesn't. Which makes me feel helpless and angry. Which makes me wonder if I'm serving him well as a friend at all. Which also shows me how fucking judgmental I am. And hateful. Just as hateful as the hate that hurts me.

Maybe I'm not seeing him at all. I used to see him as so fresh and good. But I keep feeling that he wants to use his insecurities to convince me otherwise. When I feel like this, he wins. Then he gets pissed off that I let him.

So many other people have won as well. So many others that I don't allow in my life anymore because they convinced me that their insecurities and self-loathing was the truth about them. I keep telling myself to see people differently but it only works for so long. I get so tired, so easily. I'm at the point where I don't want to let anyone in anymore. It hurts me too bad.

Part of me wonders if I surround myself with people who hate themselves so that I feel better about myself. How's that for honesty?

I said in my last post that I need to talk to a professional and I believe I still do. I'm just so tired. So worn out of trying to find the balance in my diet, my fitness, my finances, my job, motherhood, my friendships, my love life, my relationship with my ex. Can't someone else do the job for once?

And could I handle it if they did?

Sorry to bring you down. Feel free to go read happy posts somewhere else.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Unavailability

As Livvy so intuitively commented on yesterday's post, my fantasy relationship with John Taylor of Duran Duran could very well have been a married man.

And in fact, it was... about 8 years later.

So maybe that is what made me sad as I recalled these feelings during my vacation as well. Either way, it triggered some sort of unreleased guilt or grief or something.

My tendency to be attracted to unavailable men started when I noticed boys were attractive. Don't get me wrong, I realized this tendency a while back. Thankfully, I feel like I'm a recovering co-dependent... and admitting it is the first step.

Thanks again for following along and getting the point that I eventually made. Besides, it is part of my history that, to me, explains more of what makes me... me.

***

Gentleman Jack has been voicing his concerns about how hard I'm working on my new job. I'm very focused, I can't lie. He'll also admit that he's just not as driven in his career, currently, as I am. I think he might be a little bit bored of it.

It sort of worries me that he's "hurting" in a way. I recall when I was getting my degree, my husband felt the very same way. I'll admit I wasn't a very good wife at that time. My sole focus was making great grades and completing what would be the first and only college degree in my family.

My husband stayed true and took care of things during that time in our relationship. Once my career kicked off, all of that focus paid off. I'm offering GJ the same reassurance.

Things will balance out. He's still my biggest cheerleader. Living 3 hours away, however, is difficult enough without adding to it the fact that my focus isn't readily available to him.

***

.....which makes this whole thing pretty ironic, no?

There I was, on vacation in a beautiful beach town with my sweet, sweet love, and I was chiding myself for loving unavailable men - the rock star, a married man, and ultimately losing my husband because of my own indiscretions ... while all along, I was actually being the "unavailable" one. Wasn't I?

Why am I having such difficulty recognizing the love that is currently in front of me?

Is it because I am so driven and focused on a career again and I'm afraid to leave him behind?

Is it because I just want to take care of my girls with all that I have left at the end of the day?

Is it because I've not had a moment to nurture myself - lacking in yoga, my spiritual studies, no more triathlon training?

I feel like I've lost a bit of balance and really need to work on getting it back. I don't want to lose my man. But for some reason, I don't have the energy to convince him that I'm still in. I'm exhausted. I can only pray that he holds in as he says he will.

And maybe it's time for me to talk to a professional to release some of the stuff that I'm still carrying around. I've gotta lighten this baggage, you know?

Thanks for sticking with me. I've been unavailable to you too.




Thursday, November 1, 2012

Duran Duran Love Affair, part 5: From Fantasy to Reality

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4.

I was in a dark club off of Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana at about 2 a.m. in April 1989. For the past 4 hours, I'd been hanging out with Duran Duran.

I never thought I'd say that and yet, there I was.

My favorite band member and, up til then, love of my life, was wasted out of his gourd and I wanted to do something about it. I invited myself to join him and his fellow bandmate, Nick Rhodes, at the table for two they were sharing. They were deep in conversation but I didn't care.

Nick, in his sweet sobering way, reminded me quickly that they were talking and that I shouldn't just sit with them. I couldn't move. I couldn't speak. All that I could do was sit there, as if my ass was GLUED to the seat, and stare at John Taylor, so spaced out that his eyes couldn't meet mine.

I felt like... if he would just look at me... the planets would align and hearts would meet and so on.... It's sickening to relive this. Even typing it makes my stomach churn. At that moment in time, I finally knew it.

He wasn't the love of my life. He didn't even know I existed. He didn't even know that HE existed. I was nothing. He was nothing. We would never be an "us" and it was damn time that I figured it out, grew out of some teenaged fantasy and plant my face into a reality that it was all a lie.

It was no longer "ANYTHING can happen" but "YOU ARE WORTH NOTHING. YOU ARE TOO DIFFERENT TO BE ACCEPTED BY THE REAL WORLD."

I stood up, looked Nick Rhodes in the face and said, "Fuck you." Then I looked at JT and said, "Fuck you too." Then I walked out of the bar yelling that all men should be castrated.

I recall Nick apologizing and perhaps even walking behind me but that door was closed. I was D.O.N.E.

***

Shortly after I returned home, I began dating the man I'd eventually marry. I recall crying to him, one night on the floor of my apartment. I told him about the twisted fantasy that John Taylor of Duran Duran would be my knight in shining armor, taking me away from the hard reality of life.

That man, now my ex, looked me straight into my eyes and said he understood.

He UNDERSTOOD.

He held me and let me cry over my broken heart. He was there to help pick me up. He was there to hold my hand. He was there.... being my knight in shining armor.

My heart healed around my new love.


Later into our marriage, I heard him admit to a mutual friend that he fell in love with me that night. That was when he knew he would marry me someday.

***




In his new memoir, John Taylor reveals his cocaine addiction. He reveals, very articulately, his feelings about his fans. He admits to black outs and fans that were a little out of control.

He also admits how much he adores his fans now. We've all grown up now. Heh. He's on social media, readily accessible on his Facebook and Twitter pages. The world just got smaller, ya know? 

After meeting him in 1989, I stayed away from attempts to meet them again. Whenever I did meet him or the band after that, I gave them space, offering love and respect instead.

I also saw those fans who were "out of control" and avoided them altogether. I'd been there, done that. Now I just wanted to appreciate the music.


While reading that book on vacation last week, I felt as if I was mourning again. I felt such loss over the fantasy that never was. I felt loss over being distracted, missing out on other realities in life because I was neck deep in books, videos and albums. I felt like I was reliving it, missing out again. I felt like I was missing it again too. Missing that naivete that I could be anything and that the world wasn't so harsh of a place.

And I also felt loss over the man who DID love me after that. I'm not sure how my ex-husband didn't think me anything less than insane but somehow, he loved me through it. He loved me through spending large sums of money on front row tickets. He loved me through traveling the United States to see my favorite band. He learned to love Duran Duran on the stereo.

He knew it was a part of me and he loved me anyway.
 
For some reason, that made my heart ache again.

***

Thank you for reading my story, as unrelatable as it may be. I am so thankful for this place to process things that make little sense to me... and no sense at all to the rest of the world.

Onward and upward.