New perspective 

I’ve been away from this for a while. Those problems discussed in previous posts continue to haunt me, but due to a series of very hard decisions I will finally agree with the counselor I was seeing that I Indeed saved my own life.  Saving in the sense that I’ve decided the slow painful emotional and spiritual death I would have undoubtedly endured from the abuser were not In line with the promises I had made to myself a long time ago.  I’m no longer in the beautiful location I was before, and truth be told, it’s a good thing.  A place is just a place as I’ve explained to many friends and concerned individuals regarding the circumstances I’ve dealt with the last number of months. It’s hard to actually see the beauty in anything when you’re so fucking sad and hopeless that the mere act of meeting the next day fills you with more sadness and more hopelessness.  A beautiful place is the stuff of nightmares when you feel that way. No amount of awe inspiring sights can remove that black veil covering everything. 

I do not wish to give in depth details into what all transpired. A very long trip back home with my belongings in a moving van gave a lot of time to recount everything that had happened.  To break it down simply I had a good month and a half, and the following five were unbearable.  

When you’re gaslighted often, your good nature and intentions frequently manipulated, and abused both emotionally and verbally with no known perspective to measure ‘normal’ against, it is terrifying what you will tolerate from someone who says ‘I love you’.  

What I have found more terrifying is the pervsere pattern of behavior of this individual and the insanity of what I walked away from as it pertains to myself and as I know now, many others from the past. To say the version of the world I was made to believe existed was warped is putting it lightly.   I’m yet another casualty in a rather long line. It fucking sucks and it fucking hurts but I gave it my best shot, I gave it everything I had, and no amount of my giving was ever going to fill that black hole inside of them. 
The amount of anger that had to rise up to gain the necessary traction to put the rubber to the road has continued to leave me feeling rather blunted emotionally. I went from crying nearly every day for 4 months, to being blindingly angry, and now to simply feeling somewhat numb.  It’s an old feeling I knew well for a very long time. I see the cracks forming in the emotional armoring of it, for which I am thankful. I will shed it one day, I hope sooner than later.  

The feeling of being back in a place where I am valued for exactly who I am has been a breath of fresh air and has given new looks to old things.  Glimmers of hope and rays of light shine on a spirit that was hanging on a razors edge. It feels good.   I have changed, I am not the same person that left. How I choose to embody that change and give it back to the world is up to me. I can choose to be bitter or choose to be better. My choices these days bring more smiles than tears and that’s a great feeling too.  

Chances are

Chances are people don’t change. Chances are always likely that past behavior is an indicator of future behavior.  Giving the benefit of the doubt in a situation I am dealing with lately continues to result in a feeling of having my heart ripped out and then set on fire in front of me.  They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I feel guilty as charged with that lately.  A nightmare loop tape I keep entertaining.  Strength is a hard thing to grasp at times.  In some respects holding on shows strength, while other times it is the letting go that shows the most strength.  I had a moment of clarity a few days ago, amid tears so heavy I could barely see the sheet of paper in front of me, I took out a red pen and wrote simply:

 ‘I never want to feel this way again.’    
In that moment I knew only one thing, the feeling in my stomach, as though all of my insides had gone bad, the feeling of complete betrayal, and the literal pain in my heart, made me contemplate some very scary thoughts, were not worth the efforts I’ve been putting forth.  It is not worth it to hope and to continually be made to feel as though the mere act of existing is a burden and a right I barely deserve. Faith can get you killed sometimes. I feel like I’ve died a few hundred times in the last few months. It’s as though I feel an emotional or relational ‘rock bottom’ and I come to find out there’s another level below as the floor is blown out from under me.  This post won’t have much of a feel good nature to it, I have nothing to give of myself at the moment.  I’ve been stretching the lifelines thrown by my friends to their absolute limit lately, and I feel I owe it to them along with myself to get to saving my soul and sanity. One decision means hurting someone I don’t think actually experiences any deep feelings, and another decision means cutting myself open continually on the whim that it might all work out.  What used to be a bonfire of passionate energy feels like a rain soaked ember. Lately, I am that rain soaked ember.   

I know that’s not the me that I want the world to experience, it’s also not the me that I myself want to embody.  I know one thing, the way I felt, I never want to feel that way again.  Ever.  

Closer away 

I’ve been sidelined with a few very pressing matters recently. So pressing in fact they have superseded any attempts at writing of any sort.  I can say that lately despite all the shit going on, I don’t feel the depressive fog.  I feel more clear, a bit more focused.  I still feel like crap often and the negative ruminating bludgeon that is my inner voice has been an unconquerable bastard lately.  However, I do feel some clarity.  I recently stumbled upon the term ‘codependent’, and I gave the article a thorough read and about fell over when I basically saw myself portrayed in the article.  Not a ‘go me!’ Kind of realization, more of a ‘holy cow I need to explore this weakness’ further type realization.  I’ve been devouring any and all articles related to the topic. As I’ve stated in previous blogs I suck and have sucked all my life with boundaries. I’m awesome at thinking whatever is wrong with you, is likely due to something being wrong with me and that is what is causing you distress. It’s toxic, and I think it’s why the inner voice sometimes feels like a Titan that can’t possibly be bested.  It’s been given millions of seconds of time to practice and hone its tradecraft.  I’m a bit perturbed to see just how long I’ve allowed myself to in a sense be trampled on by a fair enough number of people.  As they say, recognizing a problem is the first step, so I’ve added that to the list of things I’ve been delving into, and it’s been interesting to learn.  I’m much more aware of myself lately I’d say. That disembodied ability to look at myself and a situation, as taught with mindfulness, is being brought to bear more often.  I’ve got a much clearer sense of where my boundaries are now, which feels good.  I say it feels good but it’s also terrifying because now I have to walk the walk if I talk the talk. I can’t bullshit someone and draw a line in the sand then back up and draw another when they step over the first.  It’s a scary endeavor but having a better sense of ‘control’ does feel good and it’s given my confidence in some ways a bit of a jump.  

Until next time. 

Feigned concern and it’s only deserved reply 

I feel I’ve been a victim of such a thing for a while now.  Abuse of ourselves by others is an insidious thing.  The frog and the slowly boiled water comes to mind.  I’ve had a lot of eye opening realizations lately. I don’t care to delve further but the kicker is that I’m a few hundred miles down a really shitty path and I’ve only finally gotten off the pickup truck and asked exactly where the fuck we are headed.  Because frankly the destination doesn’t look too appealing.  The destination isn’t something I signed up for and I feel my heels digging in and my cheek beginning to turn.  When someone asks how you are, you state how you are feeling and there’s a certain generosity that is felt and reciprocated when we open up.  Lately, well, for a bit now, I’ve found myself falling victim to inquiries into how I am, but in a tone of ‘just making sure you’re still here’.  Given the nature of the connection, it’s an appalling realization. Even more irritating is that it’s true, that’s the nature of the correspondence.  A reply on my behalf stating I’m not good, and this persons help is needed, is met with a text that mirrors a field of crickets.  You can shout all you want about needs to the crickets in the field, they don’t care, they have their own song to sing.  It’s a sad realization, a crushing one if I am being honest.  The bright side is that I only really started realizing it when I started paying attention to those in my life whose care and concern for my wellbeing was met with a sense of ‘you’re not alone, how can I help?’.  Offering themselves with no expectation of a return.  Only a mutual understanding that this is how friendships and really any relationship works. That one day they can trust that if they need me, I am there as well, and I always have been and always will.  I can’t imagine another standard of which to hold myself. 

I’ve decided to meet this feigned concern with silence. Answering makes me feel less than myself and it’s a roll of the dice as to whether a genuine reply will be given, but then again a genuine reply should never be wondered or worried about. Hence the necessity to remain silent. 

Shut up and have a beer

Sometimes that’s all I think you can tell yourself.  I’ve fallen into that sort of mindset the past two days.  I’ve been thinking so much I’m doing nothing but redlining my stress level, burning up the tires, and going nowhere with it!  It’s stupid and I admit that.  The toughest part is getting ahold of that lead foot on the accelerator to Shit-what-if-this-happens-ville.  It’s a crappy town and usually you’re the only inhabitant.  The problem with tough situations is that they are already tough, and our human brain’s need to figure out damn near every possible scenario is to blame for that malarkey.   Hey as a human being I guess in a way it’s a talent.  Let me explain.  When I get fixated on some things, positive things, I obsess to an unhealthy degree over them.  It’s an internal obsession but still, the things I sink my teeth into so to speak keep me awake at night.  In those sorts of circumstances it brings about great things and great results in my undertakings.  In those instances I can’t fault myself at all.   There is always the other side of the coin to the obsessing though.  Grabbing a beer and telling myself to sit down and shut up is an attempt to get this negative series of worries and fixations to pipe down for a little while.  It’s exhausted me both yesterday and today, but prior to that I’d been having a string of pretty okay days. Nothing stupendous but not as many nose dives.  It’s frustrating how strong those tracts are in our minds sometimes.  A flap of the tiny butterflies wings sends a seismic shift through your mind and then you find yourself buried under fifty tons of ‘Im a sad sack of suck’.  Commence the digging out and rebuilding to try again tomorrow!  To start the process, I’m going to shut up and have a beer. Perhaps if you’re worrying yourself silly,  you should too.  

Taking a moment

I am in between work tasks and decided to take a few minutes to come outside and enjoy the sunshine.  The heat, and the subtle smells of spring feel full of hope and promise. It’s a far cry from the feelings I’ve been writing on lately.  I talked with a friend for some time last evening, a friend I haven’t spoken with in months.  It was an incredibly easy catch-up for the two of us.  The way friends can go so long without speaking and then pick up as if a day hadn’t passed is incredibly comforting. To exchange compliments on what we’ve seen from the others ‘life’ in social media was fun as well, because it turned out neither of us quite had a proper bead on how the other was actually doing.  We assume because we see, we know absolutely. What fools we are in that sort of assumption.  A lot of kind and caring things were said to me, and it’s made a difference.  I tend to take narrow views when things get difficult and it takes the outsiders perspective to knock me out of that at times.  Mostly it was my narrow view that if I fail at the tasks that are set before me, I’ll be judged mercilessly by the masses. It was encouraging to hear this friend state that not only was I nuts to feel that way, but they were already proud of me, and that they aren’t the only ones who feel blessed to call me a friend.  I sound like a blowhard at the moment but it came as a revelation of sorts. Even in ‘failure’ I have value to those that really care.  I love my friends and those I value whether they fall flat on their faces or fly like birds. It’s been harder to feel that I am worthy of the same treatment and love mostly because of the amount of isolation I’ve been experiencing the couple few months.  I’m convinced good friends will save your life. To give is a great thing and to have that giving given back is a phenomenal feeling.  Like Tony Robbins said, ‘it’s not about me, it’s about we’.  It felt good to exchange happiness yesterday, really really good.  

Eye contact 

They’ve done multiple studies related to depression and eye contact, or more to the point, the lack of eye contact initiated by depressed individuals.  Speaking of myself lately,  I will seat myself next to those folks doing a less than stellar job of maintaining even fleeting eye contact.  

It stems from what I am dealing with at the moment I have no doubt.  What I have been trying to understand is what factors are playing into that feeling of not being confident enough in myself to look people in the eye.  The most odd discovery is my inability to even look at myself in the mirror without feeling a sense of shame. Thinking about that, considering what’s going on, and what I’ve been finding, I’ve arrived at two big things and I will explain their impact.

-missing my daughter

-not living in a home I own

The first one, missing my daughter, is absolutely no shock to me at all. The shock comes in that because I miss her, I find myself afraid to speak of her.  Perhaps because it forces me to acknowledge inwardly how much I miss her.  Her name comes up, or children are discussed, and I feel this swell of love, pride, pain, and sadness.  It’s an odd mix, and given so much of my days lately are spent simply trying to stay level, I tend to fall into a feeling of despair because it hits me with such force. 

 The second issue I’ve identified is the lack of owning the home I currently live in at this time.  I own the home I lived in previously but due to my recent move, it is now being rented to a wonderful family. 

 I used to gripe about the stuff of homeownership, but I find myself missing that content feeling of ‘this is mine’.  Lately it’s a feeling of wanting to make a change to the home, or seeing something that could be fixed or improved etc, and knowing it’s pointless because I am a resident in the home but have no right to alter this place.

 I suppose it boils down to missing the feeling of control I experienced with owning my home, I could make any change I wanted, and I often did. I remember painting numerous walls, refinishing probably half the floors in the home due to my hatred for carpet, yard work, a paver brick patio, and countless other little home ownership memories.  

  I have control over a fair number of aspects of my life but none feel quite as concrete as having the controls experienced with the above two.  Control is the wrong word to use in Regards to my daughter, perhaps it’s that control of knowing I was only a short drive away. Now that short drive is a few hour plane flight, it’s quite an adjustment. 

Identifying those two things and their influence on me was a bit of a surprise for me. I’ve been forcing eye contact more the last few days, and it’s a task, I feel completely exposed.  Normalcy feeling uncomfortable is an oddity for sure. That’s the normalcy I want though, eye contact, confidence and ease. Fake it till ya make it, right?

That’s enough musing for the time being.  It feels good to express it, even though I likely know none of you that will read this.  I hope you, reader, are well and happiness keeps hold of your spirit. 

Preoccupied

It’s been too many days since I posted on here.  That sounded like a confession… anyway, it has been, and my only excuse is ambivalence and a busied mind.  

Lately I’ve had a fair amount going on that is consuming my days and my energies. Mostly work, which is nothing to complain about seeing as I brought it on myself in asking for more productivity. Something I am proud of and hopefully it continues. I’ve had a few happenings this week that have done nothing short of change the arc of my life and I find myself overwhelmed and nervous even though the changes are incredibly positive.  I think it may stem from the fact that I tend to see situations as never-ending.  Once I’m out of them I sometimes find myself looking around saying ‘now what?’.  It’s been an issue I’ve worked on for quite some time, looking past a problem or goal and into the future of what lies beyond them.  I’m noticing my set point lately on an emotional level seems to be dread,  which only hurts my happiness as it’s difficult to be present when I’m wondering what the hell is going to go wrong next.  It’s a stupid way to think but lately it’s as automatic as blinking and breathing, I’ve taken a big step back in that respect I guess.  The good part is recognizing, but the difference between recognizing an issue and taking legitimate action against it are two very different things.  I think taking things seriously all the time is to some detriment. I keep taking myself as not being enough, or severely lacking, very seriously.  The hateful inner speech has been after me again, I’m depersonlizing it to help separate it from myself to avoid feeling any worse.  I see it, now to do something about it 

I need to focus on the amazing possibilities that lay before me, things I’ve not dreamed of being able to even envision until a large span of time into the future.  It’s truly an incredible thing. I will make a better effort to embrace that I deserve to be happy, that the stormy seas are allowed to calm, and I am allowed to relax a little bit.  

I was gonna, but then you…

I was just sent a text of this nature and it cut me in two.  A nice gesture was proposed in a text. that text also contained the reason that the nice gesture wasn’t going to be done, the reason and justification for nixing the nice gesture was nothing in which I myself personally had any say.  

As I have recently learned, this constitutes abuse. 

This. Is. Abuse. I can not believe I am admitting that.  Even recognizing it as such, doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.  We are so willing to forgive and forgive those we love who show us a smattering of love but lack any and all consistency.  The ever present worry of stepping wrong is exhausting and unfair.  This is emotional terrorism, and I continue to allow it to happen.  I am making the choice to allow this torture to continue.  I could ask what the fuck is wrong with me, but I continue to search out just what it is that’s pulling me back to someone whose behaviors make me feel like nothing. Perhaps it’s that I am used to the abuse? That has become my normal?  As the victim always seems to do, I keepforgiving the abuser, when I’ve done nothing to deserve to be treated or made to feel this way.

  The sad part is I talk to talk to friends, were I to learn they are tolerating this, would I stand for it? Hell no.  I would pull them aside, give them a loving but stern talking to, and encourage them that they deserve better.  For the last 5-10 minutes I’ve repeated statements such as ‘I am worthy of love’, ‘I am enough’,’I have value’. I am both shocked and appalled I am actually saying these things to myself in reference to something that should at its top priority, never make me need to say these things to myself.  I’m sure others in these situations feel trapped as well. How do we know when to say when? The hammer is swinging today, and I’m keeping a hand on the handle and not doing anything to stop the beating…. 

What is wrong with me? 

A short break 

I was back home for a few days and the time away from here, and almost anything related to my day to day was a wonderful feeling.  In previous posts I’ve mentioned the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Honestly until I went home I had no idea just how strong that feeling had actually become.  Being around people who genuinely care and just enjoy my presence without any expectations was a feeling I haven’t had consistently in quite some time. It was a hell of a change to be crying happy tears through the weekend as opposed to the tears related to a broken spirit.  Many many thoughts crossed my mind this weekend and I am still sifting through them and hope to arrange them enough to post a few things in the coming day or two.  They will remain unvarnished and I’ll be as open as I can, but I feel that just dumping a hodge podge of thoughts wouldn’t help me and wouldn’t be an understandable read to anyone.   

The gears of this therapeutic process begin to turn again.