Friday, March 29, 2019

Til Death Do Us Part?

In today's world, people live three times longer than in the middle ages, not surprisingly this means the average person has three marriages. The average length of a first marriage that ends in divorce is eight years. Two years of that is typically spent in the agony of questioning whether or not to leave.

There are those fantastic exceptions, of course, those lifelong romances so many of us aspire to, but is that realistic? Is it healthy?


Would it be better if instead of saying "Til death do us part," if we gave more pragmatic and achievable commitments?

What if we made monogamously committed partnerships that lasted five or six years at a time with a one year period to decide if we wanted to continue through the next several years with that same person and follow through with the contract?

Maybe there is something harshly jaded in this thinking but personally, I love variety. I've dated a plethora of people and found priceless treasures in each and every one of my relationships and dating experiences.

I think part of why so many partners separate on less than friendly terms is because of the letdown, the betrayal of dreams, the unmet even if almost impossible expectations.

One in three marriages goes through some type of adultery and adultery, once committed is an addiction akin to heroin. The way it affects the brain is relatively irreversible.

To say drugs are bad is to say that the concept of monogamous lifelong marriage is inherently flawed for a third of the population.

Would it be better if cheating and the decline of marital bliss into animosity were avoided by well set up and thought out guidelines? i.e. if children are adopted or conceived the commitment is extended from five years to fifteen upon the agreement of both parties?

Is this too clinical? Too logical? For most people, the best part of a relationship is the beginning. The heady rush of shiny newness is fresh and alive and both people are in bliss so they often lose their ability to think straight and often make promises that later cause misery and resentment if not hatred, so maybe it is time for logic and reasoning to replace the possibly worn out stagnation of doctrines that are perhaps proven by the divorce rate incompatible with today's life expectancy.


When the most likely suspect in a murder investigation is the spouse, perhaps it has become essential to individual survival to change the current thinking and beliefs about marriage.

You're probably wondering when the Disney princess in me died. You're probably thinking I don't have a romantic bone in my body or that I've never been in love.

I assure you that is not the case. I've loved deeply and love falling in love even when my heart gets smashed to bits.

Admittedly like many out there, I am a failure at relationships. No matter how hard I try to make a significant other happy or please them, things have ended.

Many of you are aware my tolerance of terrible in relationships is fairly high, possibly even too high. The lengths I have gone to, to save relationships, is "near death" in my primary care physician's opinion. I bend myself backwards and into a pretzel for "important" relationships. Yet my, "They lived happily ever after," is still beyond my current horizon.

Luckily I am one of the truly lucky ones, who loves being single as much as any relationship I've ever had, often more so.

So my thoughts are skewed on this topic or perhaps I don't have the rose-colored glasses love stories have given our society. I don't know.

There is still a part of me that fantasizes lifelong love but I'm not sure an epic novel is worth giving up all the wonderful short love stories that could play out in my life.

What do you think?

Would you prefer to live a life of Hallmark movies that run ninety minutes and explore various cute meet fantasies or do you want to live in a sitcom, your life firmly connected to reality and viewing the day to day through a humorous lens?

What fills your bucket?

I talk to couples that have been together longer than I've been alive and some of them are truly happy. My great grandparents Lola and William got married on a dare, after a dance was canceled, when they were teenagers and they took care of each other until my great grandfather passed away at ninety-one. They loved each other deeply and depended on each other daily.



Theirs was a beautiful relationship but they lived out their lives in the same house.

The idea of spending the rest of my life looking at the same walls, walking the same streets every day for the rest of my life seems like a prison sentence.

I want to spend a year in Paris, a few years in Cambodia, Prague, and a hundred other places. I want to dive the depths of the ocean and hike through jungles where people haven't been in hundreds of years. I want to visit space stations and maybe even spend my final days on Mars or some other planet.

We live in an age where so much is possible, and some people only find the negative in it. So many people tell me that the internet is the reason relationships are disposable as though that is somehow bad...

Once my great grandfather got Alzheimers, he was terrified to leave us alone at the house and worried about the Indians attacking. He and my great grandmother lived through some incredible adventures. They needed each other to survive.

Today, we only stay in relationships if those relationships fulfill us. We are not locked into anything for survival and have every opportunity to be happy.

I think it is wonderful relationships fail because it means people are growing, evolving, becoming more than they once were and that some forms of behavior are no longer tolerated and will eventually be excised from our species. It means people have choices and feel safe enough to leave.

Leaving a bad relationship is powerful. Not so long ago though, that wasn't possible. Back when "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" was published in 1848, women weren't allowed any legal rights outside of their husbands' control, which made the novel an act of rebellion and a historical masterpiece.


It wasn't until 1870 that The Married Women's Property Act came into being. Before that, a woman had no independent existence under English law, and therefore no right to own property or to enter into contracts separately from her husband. Women could not sue for divorce, or for the control and custody of children, no matter how badly they were being abused. 
Prior to this, most legal systems implicitly accepted wife beating as a valid exercise of a husband's authority over his wife, even when it ended in her death.

I still remember when divorce was taboo in the 1980's. Luckily, in the 1990's, it became more acceptable and my mother finally freed us from my father, whom while I love him dearly could not be trusted not to strike out at the slightest provocation.

I was too young to have been in kindergarten when I got a stomach ache and puked in the kitchen garbage instead of in the toilet and for that crime my father beat me severely. My father's reaction to that uncontrollable biological function enlightened the danger to my survival in my home before I was of an age to tie my shoes.

Yet despite these incidents, it wasn't until I, the youngest, was thirteen my mother finally had the courage and incentive to leave.

She feared ostracism, she feared being a single mother, but my sister's involvement in swim team forced the issue. The bruises we'd hidden were uncovered and my mother was put in a no-win situation. She either had to divorce my father or lose her children to state custody.

She came into my bedroom shaking like a leaf, her face white. She expected I would cry. She expected as my father's favorite and champion that I would be upset and broken by the news.

Looking at her face, hearing the quiver in her voice, I grew up. She told me what she was doing and I could tell she expected me to lash out, to tell her I hated her, or that I wanted to go with "Daddy," instead I said simply, "It's about time."

Her eyes widened with shock. She let out the breath she didn't know she'd been holding and left my room exhausted by her fears of how I would react.

Whenever divorce statistics rise, I celebrate all the women and men finally freed from the paralyzing fear of living with a violent or mentally abusive person.





I believe our society is currently in surgery and divorce is the scalpel cutting out a cancer of unacceptable behavior.

Maybe our species will evolve to a point where life long partnerships are easier and healthy for everyone, but until then maybe our concept of "Happily Ever After," needs to be put under a microscope and examined more closely.

What do you think?

For more on Divorce: 


      

Monday, March 18, 2019

Victim or Victor? Thoughts on living fully.

I've been a victim. I am a victor.


The course of my life is determined by who I choose to be each day.
I do not let the circumstances of the present or past dictate my future or how I feel about myself.
I choose to believe in what is beautiful.
I choose to believe the best of the world and those I meet.



Greatness comes from seemingly small consistent daily actions.

Happiness is a sacred strength of spirit. It requires both a sword and a shield.
Happiness is gained through what we give to this world without expectation of return.
Happiness is protected by protecting ourselves from those who would destroy it, destroy us, or deny us our power to have it; we must cut them from our lives.

We must shield our happiness by focusing on those who do good to us and others.

Gratitude sustains internal joy.



Entitlement destroys all that is good.
Expectations of others are daggers we stab into our hearts.

Unconditional acceptance of ourselves in every moment heals the deepest wounds.
Acceptance of others and who they choose to be, allows us to chart our path around the sharp stones and walk through beautiful forests.

Trying to change others is equivalent to bloodletting a doctor to cure a patient. It drains life from the world.

Our purpose is to do what we love.



A soulmate is a person who encourages, accepts and is loyal to the one they are with.



We are each greater than we know.

Humility and the willingness to change ourselves is the key to everything we want in life. We can only achieve externally what we first create within ourselves.


For more on creating your best life: 


      

Sunday, March 3, 2019

You Are What You Think

We create with each thought the life we live.


It is far too easy to focus on the betrayals, the slights, and the losses that rip our guts out. I recently talked to someone dead set on the belief he was alone in life and everyone would leave him. His pain shot through my soul leaving fifteen gaping bullet holes. One for each person he lost in a single year.

I wanted to take his burning agony and set him free but he clung to it like a tired toddler with a blanket in a tantrum. There was no reasoning with him. He pushed all comfort away with vicious determination.

He was blind even to the possibility his thinking was negative.

With such a magnitude of loss, it makes sense he would see things in such a harsh light, but freedom, joy, and change lay in questioning the reality with which we are presented.

It isn't easy to do that though. In order to survive we've been built to avoid the things which cause us pain, and for him, pain stems from connection, from anchoring his soul in the warmth of others. His safe harbor storm-tossed and dashed upon the rocks, he dares not brave calm waters and instead prefers the tumultuous hurricane raging within.

His torment made me remember times when I was tempted to anchor myself upon the sharp rocks. Times when I wanted to embrace pain as the only possibility in life, but the echoing ghost of Shakespeare cried out, "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."

In pushing myself to love even when the monsters of fear, rejection, loss, and broken heartedness loomed, I found great joy.

To love when it scares us the most opens a wellspring of happiness and peace. To love even when the one we love does terrible even unforgivable things is rewarded with a sense of deep accomplishment of character.

There is someone who knows about things going on that I don't talk about. He's had to read emails between myself and someone else. The other day I saw this dear overworked reader of my private communications again after several months of no contact between he and I and previously having met only briefly once before.

The admiration he gave, his joy in seeing me, the way his eyes sparkled as we chatted, it was evident I had accomplished something quite amazing in his eyes through my steady ongoing fortitude to be kind even whilst firmly setting boundaries and dealing with someone who lacked empathy towards me.

If we reject our dreams of love and belonging, if we decide to push away those who wish only the best for us and try to turn our hearts to stone, life loses its luster. It is possible to trudge onward in this condition but it is impossible to reach new heights. We may deceive ourselves for a while that this is the best recourse but eventually we must face the realization that pushing love away does not lessen the pain we drag with us in life, it only numbs the ability to feel it for a while, weakening our souls until when we finally do again feel it, it is almost unbearable.

Emily Dickinson wrote a poem, "CONTRAST" that has followed me through life.


A door just opened on a street —
I, lost, was passing by —
An instant's width of warmth disclosed,
And wealth, and company.
The door as sudden shut, and I,
I, lost, was passing by, —
Lost doubly, but by contrast most,
Enlightening misery.

For a time I was that lost person my life a maze of cold winter streets, where I gazed at the falling snow lit only by street lamps walking through shadows, alone and scared with no place or person to turn to. 
I glimpsed others who had warm dining rooms with a plate, a glass, and flatware lovingly laid out for them beside others they cared about. I wanted it so much, my soul ached desperately for a safe place and people I loved, people who would love me in return. 
It took time, patience, and a lot of work but eventually I achieved friendships worth millions, was graciously given so much love I could spend lifetimes swimming in it, and now I often sit beside people who love me more than I could ever possibly deserve. 
It took decades of chasing the light, and seeking out the warmth and braving the acceptance of whatever crumbs and morsels came my way to get here. 

I've learned it's easy to pull shrouds of darkness over one's self and hide the light within, easy to let ice freeze our hearts until no warmth remains. It takes no courage or character. 
But if we do that, fear becomes our master and we chain ourselves to pain. 
To love until we exhaust ourselves, to fight to love even after we feel drained of love, our souls wrung dry, is the journey we must take to find our divine greatness.

Sometimes love must be from a distance, sometimes that love looks different than we ever imagined for love takes many shapes and disguises. Sometimes love is calling the cops when someone hits you, sometimes love is saying, "I don't forgive you and I can't let you be a part of my life anymore, but I hope you find whatever it is you're looking for."  
Love is the strength to say goodbye even when it hurts if it is what is best for that person because someone will always be alone if they never learn empathy or how to treat others, love is holding onto kindness even when it means holding your tongue, love is setting firm boundaries of how others are allowed to treat you, because above all you must love, cherish and protect yourself in order to be a light, a warmth in the lives of others. 
If we lose ourselves in our efforts to love others we lose our ability to truly love them. So above all hang onto your happiness. Hang on to your worth. Hang onto your dreams and greatness. You are so amazing, and if you haven't already discovered how brightly you shine, you will. Just keep chasing the light and letting in good things when they come. The contrast may hurt when the blows of loss knock you down but get up and keep trudging onwards bravely!

You will get your heart's desire if you refuse to give up even when it seems as though it is impossible. 
Here are some books to help you get there: 
   

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Fight to be Happy

Fight to be happy. In other cultures, this is a common mentality. Yet in the USA I've noticed a strange entitlement as though it is the world that is required to make people happy and not the individual responsibility.

From my experience happiness isn't created outside of the self and happiness cannot be bought, nor found, nor given. It is rather a determination of will power to find joy in common things. When I wake up I make myself a promise to be happy no matter what.



There are times when this isn't easy. When my sister died, it seemed a little absurd to try and find things to be happy about in the midst of grief but I did discover it was possible. I was happy to know so many people cared. Happy to know she wasn't alone when she passed. Happy her children had the chance to say goodbye.

In the average day to day though, it is in the little blessings where I find happiness the most. I love the sound of Messy's nails tapping on the floor as she follows me around from one room to another. I love watching her tail wag and the toothy open mouth grin she gives me midst her running around finding new things to sniff.

Happiness requires focusing on life's little pleasures and small accomplishments, even in the face of larger tragedies, disappointments, and failures.

While I believe it is important to honor one's dark and painful emotions, I think it is important to remember emotions are not substantial and do not reflect reality.

A few months ago a relative of mine blew his brains out. This was the third suicide in my family in about two years.

Depression tells lies, anger exaggerates, and sorrow forgets every other joy.

All emotions are important but important does not determine destiny.

Losing Art February 20, 2006, dragged a knife through my soul leaving a wound that still bleeds every year on that day.

When he died, I wanted desperately to crawl into his grave and give up breath and life and my future just to be near his remains even if that meant closing my eyes to never open them again.

Grief sent me on a path of self-destruction and I did die for a few moments. The medical professional had to tell my fifteen-year-old cousin who drove me to the hospital I was dead.

Her breathing stopped, her face went white and while I wanted more than anything to slip away I couldn't hurt her like that. I couldn't let that same dagger of death strike my mother, my sisters, my father, as had torn my soul when Art died so I returned.

From there I had to fight each day to pull myself out of the pit of despair, I'd let the agony of losing him dig. It wasn't easy.  My best friend, my love, my only anchor was gone. The one person in the world who truly understood me had been ripped out of my life.

I no longer lived for myself I lived for others and cared not what happened to me. I married in a haze of apathy. I was a zombie. Breathing because I knew only if I stopped it would cause pain to those I loved.

My existence had narrowed to a single point of loss. Time, however, has a way of burying the past and growing new things from the old.

Though I hadn't done anything to move on, I also hadn't tried to hold on either. I was a ghost in my life but seeds blew into my heart that time planted around the grave of loss.

Many people came into my life warming away the chill winter of death that haunted me. Spring returned through their love and empathy. Out of the love and support of many, I was reborn.


I don't know what my life would look like if I hadn't fallen into that pit of despair and I suppose everyone is allowed one long period of sorrow in which they wallow but on the other side of the canyon of hell I make new choices when I face loss. I accept that sorrow comes but I no longer allow it to linger or hold me in its grip.

Instead, I fight. I don't fight to push grief down or away instead I fight to see outside of it. I choose to embrace the fruits born of the charred ground. I choose to nurture the seedlings of new growth and celebrate the space loss makes for possibility.

For more on Happiness:



Wednesday, February 13, 2019

I was today years old when I found out I had multiple personalities.

I was today years old when I found out I have/had multiple personalities.

Why did it take so long when I was diagnosed 18 years ago?



Google wasn't a thing when I was seventeen and Doctor Fife, my once upon a time psychologist, said I had Disassociative Identity. He explained it as the ability to cut off emotions from trauma.

Apparently, D.I.D. has never been cured but from my experience it was. I guess it is kind of like when an alcoholic hasn't had a drink in fifteen years is still considered an alcoholic? IDK.

Last night I should have gotten home and gone straight to bed but of course, habit drew me to my computer to check on a few things and at three A.M. I found myself clicking a link to a youtube video on Disassociative Identity because despite having lived with it my entire life I've never had anyone else to compare my situation with.

Luckily my case is very mild. I'm someone who doesn't have full-on blackout amnesia and my "alters" as the girl in the video likes to call the other sides of herself all have names that are derivatives of my name.

That's partly because when I was diagnosed, I asked Dr. Fife what I should do about it. He said I needed to work on self reintegration or as I like to call it, reclaiming the self.



What is it like for someone like me who only borders on the edge of having multiple personalities? Well, my trauma coping skills have reached level ninja for one. For two I still have times where I feel like I am watching myself but feel unable to control what "the body" is doing saying, or how "it" is acting.

Other people doing certain things can trigger this, so I tend to avoid triggers as much as possible. If I find someone who triggers "my crazy" repeatedly I cut them out of my life.

When I say "my crazy" I don't mean anything violent or psychotic, but rather whiny, weak, and needy or just sledgehammer tactless.

One of my alters says everything I feel like I can't or shouldn't and she says it in a "fuck off if you don't agree," manner. I call this alter MY bitch mode.

Using my and mode allow me to acknowledge that it is still part of me however different it is from "the me" I most want to be, it is still a part of myself.

When I was with David, he expressed he thought I had about twelve different personalities. I find this funny because he also told me I was boring.

I guess all my "parts" as I prefer to call 'them' are a bit more sane and stable than the recommended dose of crazy for drama and mayhem.



As I write this, a part of me is afraid to mention him by name and part of me is afraid to reveal this to you, my dear readers and friends. Yet to reclaim the self one must fully acknowledge emotions as they arise and to expose one's self without reserve is to be powerful. It is only what we hide that has power over us.

On the bright side of this though scientists believe D.I.D. is a mental superpower in a way. It allows one to learn other languages quickly and it can temporarily cure diseases and slow the progression of terminal conditions.


It is sort of amazing. So I guess bordering on that isn't too bad even if sometimes it seems as though I am watching myself from the back of a theater feeling as though I cannot stop myself from doing something my "front/main part" finds utterly embarrassing and doesn't want to do.

The video I clicked on:

D.I.D.


Books for understanding and living with D.I.D. 



     












Tuesday, January 29, 2019

I Dreamed of Him

I stopped at a little gas station. My most recent heartbreak was there. He tried to make chitchat while I held in the pain of my sister's death.

Then the doors opened and the man who has haunted my dreams since I can remember arrived. His fiery gaze pierced my soul, I could not look away.

He approached raising one eyebrow questioning if I was with the man who stood before me talking without meaning his words.

Before I could answer though, fire and darkness slid his arm around my waist as though it was always meant to be there.

He pulled me close. Pulled me away from the lies, deceit, and false friendship. I rested against his chest; his pounding heartbeat soothing in my ear.

He lifted me into his arms carrying me out to his vehicle.

In the seat waiting for him to make his way around to the driver's side questions tumbled through my mind.

He sat down and closed his door.

"What are you doing here?" I asked floundering for a reason to put up a wall and pull away.

He stopped glaring at the one who broke my heart and started the vehicle. "I didn't want you to have to go to your sister's funeral alone."

His simple words tore me apart and I cried as his kisses burned my lips.

When I awoke, I wished so deeply it hadn't been just a dream.



Friday, January 11, 2019

Of Friends and Foes


Ever had someone quit a friendship with you? Did you ever not want that friendship to end?

It's easy to get selfish in friendship and take friends for granted. I know I have. Did you ever want to fix things?

Being on the side of walking away from a few people today, mostly because with what is going on with my sister I just can't give anymore I've been sucked dry I had to let go, but that doesn't mean things had to be over, things just had to change.

But if someone is to the point of quitting a relationship platonic or not with you, how do you change their mind?

I can only tell you what would work with me at this point in these relationships.

First, I'll share with you what happened and then what could have been different.

Me: Hey I want you to know I wish you the best, but I think it's best to cut contact. As my sister is in the ICU and you've shown a lack of concern for me, I think it's best if I invest my time and friendship elsewhere. Good luck in life I wish you well.


His response: So you blocked me? I didn't even know anything was going on with your sister. I haven't even been on fb to see your posts. I've been dealing with drama from my ex.


Me: I'm sorry you're dealing with drama but it isn't just this week and what is going on with my sister. Have a good life.


Him: Ok then


So let's say you get the first message from me and you know I"m someone who hangs on until you've snapped every last thread with me, how could you change the outcome of this scenario?


First, acknowledge the other person's pain: I'm so sorry I've hurt you so much you feel like this is what you need to do. Is there anything I can do to change your mind? How can I be a better friend to you?

This opens the door to a real conversation about what is wrong in the relationship. Instead of making excuses and being defensive you're showing real concern for your friend and the relationship.

If you make it about you when a person you care about is sucked dry... they really don't have much of a reason to hold onto the relationship with you, do they?


Here's the other scenario that happened, I decided to just block someone without a goodbye or a head's up.

This person has known for some time he hasn't been a good friend but hasn't worked on doing better. He has my number if he wants to text he can but truthfully I doubt he will notice I've cut ties for a few months.

So how do you approach a situation like this? First NOTICE!!!

If he were to text me, I'd want it to be sooner rather than later.

Ideally, the conversation would go something like this,

Him: Did you delete your facebook account?

Me: No, I just blocked you.

Him: Wow, I didn't realize I hurt you so much you felt you needed to do that. Can I make it up to you? Can we fix this?

The truth is until you ask point blank what needs to be done you will never know.



I could have of course gone on a rant with both of these people on the myriad of reasons I chose to cut ties. I didn't though because it didn't feel like I mattered enough to either of them for them to even care how they hurt me or for them to try and change their behaviors.

Also, no one wants to feel emotionally attacked or have their failures pointed out unless there is something more important at stake than their ego.

I've learned it doesn't work to just bring up what a person is doing wrong unless the person actually cares to know.

Change can only happen in relationships when we open ourselves to what we've done wrong. Admittedly maybe I was too hasty in walking away, maybe I could have tried harder but under the current stress I broke a little bit and had to protect my energy.

Below are some links to books I found useful in having meaningful conversations and better relationships! You'll be amazed at how these insights can change your life! Lot's of love!



Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Feelings of Not enough


This makes me bonkers more than anything else a person can do. This leads to me ending relationships because I can't handle it. Of course, I have to admit I've done this too but only when the person was violent or threatening.
In 2018 I cared about too many people who just didn't or couldn't show they cared back. It was so hard on my heart, it still is. Daily I ask myself why I'm still trying with these people.
I know eventually, I have to end things for my own sanity but I keep hoping for a miracle.
I keep wondering why they push me away, what I've done wrong... I keep wondering why I'm not enough. If it were just one person it wouldn't matter but it isn't. It's several.
One of which... I made a huge sacrifice for but that person can never know about it because the fallout would be massive in his life.
So I keep my silence. I keep trying... at least for now. Soon though I'll stop trying and block all contact.
I know there are people in the world who value me and who can accept the love I have to give and return it easily.
M comes to mind but,
For a while, M and I went through a rough patch where he didn't speak to me for an entire year. Things haven't been the same since.
This kind of pain... it's so hard to trust again afterward. It's so hard to let down the walls.
I'm trying to stay upbeat, but it hasn't been easy. With the new year, I've decided to take a few months and try out a different location, try out a different life and see if the problem follows me.
I've only ever twice before had this problem, where I wasn't enough for it seemed everyone in my life.
The first time was because as a child I was sexually abused by a handful of people. While the struggle was mostly internal, it left me incredibly vulnerable to feelings of not being enough for others.
The second time started when I was in sixth grade, my parents were divorcing and every friend I had abandoned me. I made new friends but it took time and despite how sweet my new friends were I never felt quite as close to them.
Because of what I went through I'm someone who tries too hard and is far too hard on myself. I know I'm a bit boring because I try to do everything right and so it makes me less fun and far too serious, despite working on loosening up over the years.
As a child, I believed the reason bad things were happening to me was because I wasn't real. The original tale of the little mermaid how she didn't have a soul and had to kill herself at the end was kind of how I saw myself and the world. It led to my first suicide attempt.
After an LDS general conference where the "prophet" talked about how it was better to have a millstone hung about one's neck and be dropped in the deepest ocean than to hurt a little child I believed if people would be punished for hurting me then I should spare them the temptation and die. I was four.
Faced with the feelings of "Not Enough" as an adult for the first time... I again feel like I did as the child who tied bags of stones to her body and planned to drown in the nearby pond.
Every insecurity that was once laid to rest has resurfaced.
I know this is happening because there is something more to learn and it will make me grow in some way.
The first time all those feelings went away was when I decided at sixteen that even if I wasn't enough for anyone else I would always be enough for me. That one decision changed everything. Now though I'm coming upon a new crossroad, a new decision until I figure out the lesson though I won't know what it is. In the meantime... I'm trying to distract myself. I'm trying to hold on to a vision and goal for my future.
A vision of being loved and loving without reservation.
I'm not sure if that exists... but I hope so. While I hope though I will continue as I always have, trying my best to improve and become better so by the time I meet that someone who will love me completely without running away I will be a lighthouse in the storm for that person as well.

Below are links to one of the authors that helps me overcome fear and doubt and reminds me I am always enough! I'm about to start going through her audiobooks again. Click the links if you want to join me on the journey of self-healing!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Advice to myself for 2019

Dear Ashley,

We have a lot of work to do. Let's make this year amazing! First, though you need to stop ruminating and get some sleep!
I know you have a certain relationship in your head you're obsessing on how to fix it while also questioning if you should just discard it and move on.
You've done more than enough for now and you need to just let things lie.

If the other person decides you're the kind of awesome necessary to have in life then that person will figure out what they need to do to measure up to what is required to be your friend.
You are always so damn hard on yourself when it comes to relationships that you seldom ever seem to let yourself just enjoy the time you get with people you care about.
I know Art's death is a large part of that and so you want to make certain you never again leave things badly with another, but hun lately you've been going to extremes and it isn't good for you.
You are making yourself sick over relationships and instead of those being a source of joy you are being sucked dry by your own expectations of how you believe you should be.
Accept that you aren't perfect and there are going to be misunderstandings and mistakes.
You try your hardest and I love you for it but you need to learn to let things go and that you can't fix relationships when the other person doesn't care at all.
Besides judging from the most recent experiment in your life you've found a strategy that works. So you need to breathe a little and get back to focusing on writing your books and let things unfold without pressuring yourself to be everything to everyone.
Anyway, I know you like to obsess and worry and fix but sometimes you need to let the other person steer the boat.
Remember you are going to be okay.
I love you and I love you even though you're not perfect because you are so much more than the carbon copy of an impossible ideal!
Happy 2019 my dearest wonderful self!

Time VS Space

I'm frustrated with someone and what better way to deal than by writing a blog about it? It may not be the right way to deal but it's the write way tonight.

For some people asking for time means asking for space. For me, time and space are not nearly so relative.

I needed time to trust again after way too much space. Alone in the abandoned relation'ship' I'd been bailing out water trying to keep our friendship afloat all by myself for months after he broke my heart.

I get it, I was insensitive and deserved to have my heart broken but he said he wanted to be friends... Maybe he said it to be nice, to soften the blow, maybe he didn't mean it but I trusted him and took him at his word.

The first few weeks, it made sense he would be cold and distant, my stupid mistake hurt him, hurt us. I deserved to be punished. I accidentally hit the jackpot on his pain receptors in my need to sabotage the relationship out of fear of ever again going through a "limey" hell.

A few of you understand what that refers to, and you rock!

Anyway, me telling him 'time' auto-mistranslated to 'space' because I guess that's what most people mean when they say time... I really wish people would be more exact so that plain English wasn't so complicated and was a bit more PLAIN.

Space means (in the Dictionary of Ashley) seeing your face or hearing your voice causes me so much pain I can't take it.

Time, on the other hand, means this needs work to get back to okay.

Give me time is very different from give me space, and maybe that's just my twisted lingo but I can't seem to get that through his head and so I'm quite frustrated.

I wish I knew how to speak like a human instead of an Ashley.

Growls.

What to do when meeting an ex's new flame

Start with "Hi, it's nice to meet you." 

I know some of you out there probably want to get out the gasoline and a lit match but that isn't going to help you. 

People are allowed to move on. 

Warning: This isn't an outline about how to get an ex back, this is just basic human decency which seems to be lacking in the world these days. 

I've met a few new flames of people I was still in love with and though it felt like my chest was being carved up by a knife, I sucked it up and said, "I'm so glad he/she found you." 

Why? Because when you love someone it means doing your best to support their happiness even if it means them being with someone else! 

I've talked up my exes, highlighting my favorite qualities to the new Paramore in their life. I also find things to like about them being a couple. 

Typically the new person will ask why you're glad that your ex found them. The answer, "because you make (insert name of ex) so happy. 

That's it, simple, then you move on, you might ask how they met or how long they've been together if you want to go the extra mile of supportive or just satisfy that twisted need we all have to torture ourselves in some way, and who knows that might be yours... 

I know it's mine, lol.


Once you start getting to know the person outside of seeing them as the what that you were replaced with, it can truly help you move on. 

You can actually become friends with them. Sometimes I've ended up liking the new flame more than the ex and gained great friendships that outlived the 'new' relationship. 

So to completely narc on myself, I once took out an ex and his new flame to a fancy dinner blowing over $200 on the night. At the time I couldn't really afford it but it was worth it to know he was going to be okay and truly loved by a wonderful woman.  



Here's the other side of all this though, the new gf or bf may not be that great and you will be able to see through it better than your ex. If you notice things that you see as red flags, it's okay to bring these concerns up to your ex later on the phone or alone if you have that type of friendship. 

Don't go full blown list of every tiny criticism but just mention the things that are important and can indicate an abusiveness or mental instability. 

Do it in a way that shows your ex you still care and do your best to also point out what you liked while you're at it because your ex deserves a balanced view. 

And always remember when your heart is broken:

  

Monday, December 24, 2018

Dear MOST Men,

I want to be heard, but the way I look makes you deaf.

You say you know me. You don't know me. You only know your idea of me.
We haven't had deep conversations. Yet you think you know me when you haven't asked a single question.
You want to sleep with me so much you won't get out of my car no matter how I hint, ask or beg. When you finally do, you're angry I made you leave and you bash my job because it means I can't give you the time you demand.
You kiss me because you can't hear "No," over the pulsing drum of the selfish animal howling inside you.
The animal that makes me afraid. So you tell me to relax and I want to slam my fist into your face but I restrain myself knowing you can hit a lot harder.
You have the power to kill me with a single blow. So I let you kiss me shoving down the urge to bite off your tongue as you plunge it down my throat making me gag.
I try to talk, to bond to give you a chance to see more than just the "pretty" but you cut me off because you want to sleep with me so damn bad and so you have to interrupt before I can finish a single sentence.
You tell me to take a compliment when you tell me you want to touch my tits or lick between my thighs because you think I'm so pretty.
Your "compliments" make me gag.
Being pretty makes me hate you because you don't treat me like an intelligent living being, instead, you treat me like I live only to be your fetish, your dream and not my own. You tell me I'm being a "Princess" when I grasp for straws of the identity you try to steal away.
You act like constantly talking about how pretty I am, means I owe you something. You think you're treating me right because you tell me I'm pretty.
Pretty isn't my identity. It isn't me. When I look in the mirror a stranger stares back.
Until I look deeper.

I wish I could find someone who looked deeper and did not go deaf.