I can’t believe it’s been a year

One year since I had the crushing realization that that neither of us were happy. One year since we stood facing each other on the edge of the dance floor and I asked you if you had broken our agreement and you said yes. One year since I spoke those words “It’s over, I’m ending this now” and we drove home while I tried not to have a panic attack.  One year since I sat on the floor and watched you pack up your things and leave.  One year since you said to my words about how I did not want to end things this way that you were not that into me anyway. One year since you decided that you wanted someone else you had been chasing in front of me for months but didn’t have the guts to tell me the truth about it. One year since you said if I would have just been agreeable to you having a weekend with her it would have been over quickly and we could have continued on together.  One year since you did what I knew you would do all along. One year since everything that I thought I knew and loved and wanted disappeared before my eyes. One year since my entire world came crashing down. One year since my biggest fear with you became a reality. One year since my life changed forever.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss you sometimes. I miss your laugh, your face, your hands, your hair, your smell, the sound of your voice. I miss the way we could spend an entire evening just listening to music, watching Game of Thrones or Battlestar. I miss how we would go out and spend the whole time just itching to get home and be alone together.I miss spending the day sprawled out on the sofa in our pajamas, limbs entwined. I miss how I would catch you looking at me sometimes. I miss the walks we took.  I miss the long showers together or laying in the bathtub on a Sunday. I miss the trips we took together and the time we spent at the festival. I miss the stupid voices and faces that you would do to make me laugh. Imiss coming home to you cooking in the kitchen. I miss the questions you would ask me that would keep me thinking for days.  I miss watching you sleep next tome.  I miss coming home and seeing you walking down the street with B and smiling when you would see me.  I miss dancing with you until 3 or 4 in the morning.  I miss loving you with all my being.

But there’s a lot that I don’t miss about you, too. I don’t miss how you would sometimes push me away in the night.  I don’t miss how you would barely communicate with me at times. I don’t miss how you always seemed so far away, so unreachable. I don’t miss how you would only text me when you had something to tell me. I don’t miss how you didn’t check in with me, even when you knew I was struggling. I don’t miss that when I was rushed to the hospital you never took the time to come and be with me because it was not my day with you.  I don’t miss that when I was dangerously under the influence to numb myself to what you were doing that you took advantage of that to do even more things…and then laugh about it to my face.  I don’t miss how you never took the time to find out how I was feeling. I don’t miss the dark parts of you that scared me. I don’t miss how you shut down emotionally whenever something was difficult. I don’t miss how little you seemed to miss me when I wasn’t around.I don’t miss feeling lonely when I was lying in bed next to you. I don’t miss how uninterested you seemed in getting to know me. I don’t miss desperately trying – and failing – to connect with you when you seemed distant. I don’t miss how I never really knew where I stood with you. I don’t miss how you could make me feel so loved one minute but so invisible the next. I don’t miss always feeling like an afterthought. I don’t miss that you never told me you loved or missed me.  I don’t miss the fact that you identify as someone who always lies. I don’t miss being constantly scared that you would change your mind and choose someone else. And then you did.

But I forgive you. I know you did your best.I did too. I guess our best just wasn’t good enough. I should have believed you the first time you told me that you couldn’t give me what I needed. I should have believed you when you said that you just transfer on to the next person and do the same thing over and over.  I Should have believed you when you told me that that only promise you would make me was that you would hurt me.  I don’t regret any of it. Not one single second. The time we spent together was painful, beautiful, scary, magical, torturous, intense, passionate, confusing,indulgent, wild. It made me who I am today. And if it didn’t happen, I wouldn’t have been able to learn everything that I’ve learned. When you walked out the door that last day, I was forced to face up to the reality of my choices. I was forced to wake up to some truths about myself I had been running from for many years.  Turns out I made some really bad choices.But choosing you wasn’t one of them. You might not have been good for me or right for me. I might have ignored all the red flags, let you keep me at arm’s length, and made excuses for all of your questionable behavior. But loving you was still one of the best experiences of my life. And my God, did I love you.

I am going to start a regular serious of posts about the Tarot.  I have been reading tarot for many years now and it has become very important in my life.  I have collected some interesting decks over the years and I pick my decks based on the art and symbolism.  I have found that not every deck works for me.  I will be posting at least once a week about a different card or in some cases more than one card.  I hope you will enjoy my insight and what these cards mean to me in addition to traditional meaning. 

I will also be making some posts about ritual.  As a pagan High Priestess I have been providing ritual for over 20 years.  I love writing and providing ritual for my community.  I can also answer any questions you may have about ritual if you have any. 

I am looking forward to posting on some other topics.  I will keep posting about my journey but you will find some other posts among them.  Please comment if you enjoy my blog.  I love your input. 

I have been doing really good.  I have started to have ritual at my house again.  I have renewed friendships that I had not been putting enough energy into.  I hosted a one year anniversary housewarming with my housemate.  We had all the kids and grand kids over for a thanksgiving dinner.   After almost 6 years my divorce is about to be final.  I have the most wonderful housemate in the world.  I have a great dog.  I have wonderful friends who have helped me through a very dark time in my life.  I have a companion and consort that makes me extremely happy.  I am helping to lead a women’s group based on empowerment.   My job is better at the moment and I have some great vacations coming up in the next few months.  In the midst of all this wonderful stuff I have been fighting off that black cloud that whispers “you are not good enough” “those people hurt your purposely”  “they just used you”.  I see it out of the corner of my eye sometimes.  Other times it sneaks up on me in the shower and I end up having all kinds of thoughts about what I did wrong and how I was wronged.  It gets so bad sometimes that I start having terrible revenge fantasies.  I am told this is normal.  I hate normal.  I don’t want to think about lighting candles and screaming curses.  I don’t want to imagine someone crying and being hurt as badly as I was.  Deep down I only want happiness for others.  So why….why am I struggling so? 

How far does this go back?  I think part of my growth is to figure out where this deep self loathing and anger that is trying to come out really comes from.  I truly feel like I have an infected wound that is constantly oozing awful smelly green stuff that I keep trying to cover with a band aid.  The thought of cleaning it out scares the shit out of me.  My fear of rejection certainly goes way back.  It seems that as soon as I trust someone that is when the other shoe drops.  I have a huge fear of that other shoe.   As long as I can remember I have been standing watching the back of someone I care about who is walking away and I am wondering…what I did wrong?..   But did I really do anything wrong?  In some cases, yes.  In other cases, no.  I cannot lump them all together.  I was a troubled teenager.  It started when I was around 11 actually before I even became a teenager.  I am not sure exactly why.  I can say some of it came from being part of a religion that taught me that women were not as important and you should submit to the men in your life.  That teaching caused me a lot of pain and hurt for many years.  I never thought I could say no to men.  I was manipulated to do things I didn’t want to and then shamed for being sexual.  I was called a whore, slut, bitch by the men who used me and the women who hated me.   I thought I was doing what was expected of me instead I was being used and then judged by both men and women.  Several times I completely trusted and felt comfortable with men who should have protected and mentored me only to have them put their hands on me the first time we were alone.  Instead of protecting me my parents shamed me.  My mother called me names and my father turned a blind eye.  My first boyfriend was physically abusing me.  My father found out about it and called me into the living room and said “You tell that boy if I ever hear of him doing something like that again I will take his head off”.  Me, tell the boy who was torturing me at school and at public events in front of people, who spit on me and raped me several times…tell him what my dad had just said.  I felt like I had done something wrong.  I never told that boy and he kept abusing me into high school.  This scarred me greatly.  I still have a great fear of being alone with men unless I know them well.  Men I really love I cannot be sexual with.  I can only be completely sexual with men who are emotionally unavailable.  To be completely honest I could care less about sex at this point in my life.  I spent way too many years being used for sex and then tossed aside.  Then it became that I was being used for what I could give …a place to live, a car to drive, food…I could go on and on.  I was always open, loving, understanding and willing to share everything I had and I rarely got anything in return.  I only wanted one thing though…to feel safe and I wanted someone to like me.   I feel safe with very few people.  At this moment I can tell you of the men in my life I feel safe with my housemate, my consort, my son and a couple of men that have proved over time that they are truly my friends.  I have some very close women friends that I trust as well.  I feel lucky to have them.  Some of them were with me last year when I was so wounded I just wanted to end it.   Others live far away and have kept in contact with me over the years. 

So now I find myself in a place that is confusing and I can barely see.  I know this is the part when I am struggling to finally throw off the cocoon or the skin I have been trying to shed for the past year.  I don’t remember much of anything from December 15 until almost the end of the summer this past year.  I felt like someone reached in and put their fingers in my heart like a bowling ball and just kept twisting it.  In some ways I should count this as a blessing.  If I would have had the energy to act on the anger of all these years I would probably be in jail right now.  I stay away from certain places not because I will hurt …it is because I have overwhelming feelings of rage.  I know for a fact this is not about the persons it is directed at right now.  It is all the rage that has been building since that first slap, rape, rejection, or betrayal by not only men but women.  I want to be rid of this anger I have been carrying for so many years.  I want to lance my heart and clean it out completely.  What is stopping me?  That is what I am working on now.  I need to let go completely.  I have said for years I want to write a book and I have put it off because it hurts to write about all the betrayal and pain I have experienced.  It is important for me to say that I also caused others pain.  In my own pain I lashed out, I hurt people, I did things I am not proud of and I was not a great parent.  I regret all of that.  Today I am lucky that I have children who have grown up to be wonderful people who still love me despite what they had to live through.  I hope that it helps them to be better parents and I see them being way better parents than I ever was. 

I need to stop right here and say something important.

I take responsibility for every single thing I have done.  I am not standing here pointing fingers and saying that every wrong thing I have done is the fault of others.  I made my choices and I know in many instances I did the wrong thing.  I own that.  I still have days where I think about ending things.  Luckily I have a safety plan and people to talk to.  I still have days I just want to lock myself away and give up…go live in the woods and forget everything…but we all know that is not reality.  I have a calling and I want to dedicate myself to that calling.  I just have to keep reminding myself  I am worthy of the friendship and love of the people who have stuck by me. 

So here I am facing some anniversaries and fighting the feelings I am having.  I can’t fight anymore.  I have to just let the feelings flow over me and embrace my shadow.  It hurts but I believe that with time it will only get better.  I am grateful for the lessons I have learned this past year and most of all I am grateful that I can see who my true friends are at this moment and one of them…is me.  

 

 

“People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses”   Brene Brown ~ Rising Strong

I will not stop telling my story.  I have been shamed for telling my story because people who have hurt me do not want my story to affect how they may be perceived.   But here is the thing.  It is my story.  You have the right to tell your story too and I am not going to try to stop you from telling it.  I am telling my story from my experience in the best way I can.  I had hidden some of my posts because to be honest I was trying to please someone else.  I have to be true to myself.  This makes me uncomfortable because I do not like to hurt anyone, even those who have hurt me.  If you do not like what I am writing…don’t read it.  If you don’t want to know what I think stay off my blog and go live your own life.  I am back to writing and I intend to tell that story….from beginning to end without leaving out the middle.  As Rene Brown says in her book Rising Strong so many times we hear the beginning where the person is face down in dirt and then the end where they rise back up but what about the middle part?  The middle part is the struggle that is sometimes hard to look at.  By telling the whole story others can see that they are not alone.  I intend to tell the whole story and to make all those posts I hid public again.   I am back on my feet and I am able to look back over the last couple of years with different eyes now.  I take responsibility for my life and I will share that story with you now.  So stay tuned….

I am practicing gratitude.

Every morning when I brush my teeth I speak three things I am grateful for and why I am grateful for them.  In addition I am sending one message a day to a different person to tell them why I am grateful to have them in my life.

Our brains are trained to constantly scan for the negative.  It takes work to be positive.  I have had way too much negative in my life for too long.  I want to change that.   I will be reporting back here on how it is going.

Things are going good for me right now.  I have made the choice to live my life doing what makes me happy.  If you are going to judge me for my life choices I don’t want to hear it. It’s my life and I have lived too much of it pleasing others and being drained and abandoned.   I can’t live that way anymore.

As the leaves turn colors and start to fall from the trees I feel the urge to make some changes.

I was having a discussion with a friend the other day and she said something to me that really stuck with me.  She said that her therapist told her that most people spend 80% of their time thinking about themselves and 20% thinking about others but she was the opposite.  I know that for almost all my life I have spent 80% or more of my time focused on other people.  I constantly would be thinking about what someone else would think about me, how I look, what I said, do they care about me? what can I do to make them happy?  etc etc..  I did that so much that I lost myself in the process.  I have been in more than one relationship where I gave all I had out of love to be left standing completely drained as they walked away without looking back.  All that time, energy, love and money wasted on someone who used me until they had used me up.  I gave up doing things I loved because I was criticized by lovers and friends for being “too busy”.  I did not do things for myself because I was too busy doing for others.  I bought for those I loved and went without myself.  I want to be clear.  It was not always asked for.  It was just what I did.  It was my identity.  I was not happy unless I was doing for someone else.  I have had no balance in that area.  The last two relationships I have had almost did me in.  I did everything to please and ended up hollow.

But it is time for change.  I know it will not be easy.  When people love me I am suspicious of them.  I struggle with feelings of not being good enough.  When I do things for myself I feel guilty.  When I allow myself to feel rage because someone has harmed me I feel like a bad person.  When I take up for myself I feel I am doing something wrong.  This is going to take some work.  I was thinking this morning about how it is important for my own mental health to forgive and I have forgiven some people who hurt me deeply.  But here is the important thing I was missing.  I can forgive but that does not mean I have to open my life in anyway to someone who will only damage me if I am around them.  There is one person in particular that has shown me zero respect or compassion that I have chosen to forgive even though they have not once apologized for their part in what happened.   I do not have to allow that person to have any part in my life.

Its time to turn the page and move on.

The box of darkness I was handed last year is on the floor empty.  The contents are no longer scary.  I can look at them one by one and be reminded of the lessons I have learned over the past year and a half.  When I first opened that box I was overcome with darkness and sadness and I let it overtake my heart.  I was in a dark place for many months.  Today it is hard to believe how far I have come.  I have grown in so many positive ways.  I have wonderful people in my life.  Some of these friends I gained throughout this process.  I never dreamed I would have friends who would just come and sit with me on the couch or sleep next to me just so I could rest.  One in particular has become a sister of my heart.  I am so incredibly blessed.  So universe thank you for this box of darkness.