Blogging, Life Coaching

Love of My Life

I find myself at a precipice looking over the edge. Like the haunting scene in Star Trek, in several episodes. But I digress.

Recently, as in practice what you preach, I found a little pocket of grief and let myself express it. I had never forgiven myself for falling in love with my X.

The exercise is simple to explain yet difficult to implement. When you discover a twinge of emotion or a reaction to an event, like seeing something or someone. Or if you notice a response to something someone says or does, make note. Chances are you’ve likely learned to suppress it, ignore it. This is a defence mechanism to keep yourself from getting hurt. Ignore that there is a source of pain. Shove it down.

Often it is socially inappropriate, for instance, to express a true emotion as it is felt. Starting to wale remorsefully in the food court, for instance is likely not a great idea. The problem with this is in some homes all expression of emotion is strongly discouraged, so there is no safe place.

Make note of your reactions. Write them down if necessary. Or perhaps they are still fresh and ever present, a pain you are always aware of. It takes more energy to suppress the emotion than it does to express it.

Don’t get me wrong. Expressing it is difficult and usually painful, sometimes it can literally overwhelm you. So you prepare for that. When you know you have some time alone, wrap yourself in a blanket, shawl, duvet, pretty well what ever you have.

Don’t leave this out. It is a way of calming yourself down on many levels. Then, prepare for afterwards. What will you do? A bath, shower, walk, movie, dancing….You know better than I do. My first choice is a walk outside. Familiar, stimulating, life in all its forms. There is some sort of healing power from being out in nature.

I may still need to take a walk. I haven’t gotten my 7000 steps in yet today. Not even close. So where was I, oh yes, I found a pocket of pain.

True to myself, I planned for afterwards. My family would be home for a few days. Perfect, they are everything. So I carved out an evening to get in touch with what still hurt and that was it. I wrapped myself in a shawl and let the pain rip out of me.

I loved him completely. All of the people I love look like him. They have brought me a huge amount of perfect moments. Like I spoke about the wedding. I’ve chosen to remember the goods bits. Like he’d been hit by a truck. I mean as if he were dead, not estranged.

But a gift he gave me has resonated through my life and it has been wonderful. Unfortunately my love for him was not reciprocal. To him I was just a cog in his wheel. Easily replaceable.

Now here I am still blaming myself for being so stupid, instead of admitting for better or worse, he was the love of my life. Question is, are we restricted to one per lifetime?

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Dispelling Toxin

When I get stuck in an old memory, thinking of how things were while married I am humbled to admit I learned some damn good ways of defusing toxic emotions. On the other hand, an enormous amount of personal energy was dedicated to that task. Sometimes to the elimination of all other forms of communication. People were literally frightened to speak. IMG_7185

I just heard a woman, one of my neighbours, walk through her door and yell.”Hey it’s the weekend!” As she entered. I love having neighbours.

So, a stark contrast to what I was describing above. Even just stating it was the weekend could bring you under fire much less yelling! and for no reason!

So, I’m trying to figure out how to teach others that it is abnormal to constantly be on guard. Mistakes should be handled as something to solve together not a mess you made and better clean up.

People wanting to arrive at home and celebrate by yelling, “It’s the weekend!” should be normal and encouraged.

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Boundaries

I like to keep up with what’s been published on Narcissism and I thought it was worthwhile to read about codependency. Many people I talk to feel that they are at fault when they are with a narcissist. They are “codependent” and so it is their own fault. IMG_7191

So in a narcissism book I’ve been reading the author is using self-deprecating humour to make it look like he is a narcissist when the examples make a mockery of the way a true pathological narcissist would act. He suggests that we “give narcissists a break”. He uses one example where he speaks first without asking the other person about their day and then he asks. Seriously? this infuriates me. This is NOT what a narcissist does, but I digress.

In exact contrast to the give the “narcissist a break” of the first book, the second one, on codependency, says, if you put up with one you are the one who has the problem. So, in other words, if you give the “narcissist a break” you are codependent.

Your success in the above two books combined would be between being reasonable in how you react when you think you’ve been treated poorly and recognizing that if you are there in the first place there is a problem with you. The line between being fair and at fault is very thin. Overreact and you’re intolerant, stay and you are the one who has the problem. Complicated.

When are you hurting yourself if you compromise? The ultimate question when it comes to boundaries.

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Imaginary Man

Last night, I described how I asked myself why I was still fat and I burst into tears. Several ways to interpret it, but I’m trying to get in touch with my body not analyze it to death. Sophie is barking. I’ll be right back.

I let her out long enough for her to realize that it is still raining.IMG_6748

Where was I? Awe yes, Russell Crowe. Yesterday, I came to tears when I asked myself what was going on? Those are the facts, mam. Just the facts.

I also cried later. If I consider the possibility that there is a man for me that wouldn’t just cause me more work. How would that look? I began to imagine he was standing at the stove, stirring the mushrooms. Not only did I not have to worry about dinner, it was already half made and he was taking care of the rest.

A flood of relaxation washed over me and I wanted to be near him. I walked over to the stove and threw my arms around this imaginary person I had designed to help me through this visualization. He did not really have form, just a presence. His features and build were unclear. That was not the important part of this visualization.

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Fear

Now I’ve eaten most of the Hershey Kisses. I grabbed another ten in one exact handful and I ate the first of those. I think I’ll go watch some more Grace and Frankie.

IMGP6058I am uncomfortable. I am not relaxed. I had to think about taking deep breaths. Having a dog whine at me is not helping. My daughter was right, she; the dog that is, not the daughter, is too needy. I guess it seems like they all are. But they are not. They are not all needy. That can’t be the reason to keep everyone away, just the needy ones.

Fear that I would take him back. He just announced he is getting a divorce. Kill me now. That would never happen. knock on wood.

I am frightened. It is raining lightly outside and there are a bunch of surveyors, like a club with a lot of younger men. Walking around the neighbourhood with the tool used to measure a distance outside. The rain just picked up a bit. It is noticeably louder.

Sophie just wandered in. She is not demanding attention. Perhaps she is figuring this out. When I sit in here, I want to be left alone. She went into the other room. Now she is back whining. I shut the door.

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Treadmill

The man I was talking to on the Camino was trying to decide whether it was worth the wait, or whether he would continue the walk. He stayed and I did not. He told me that he was not going to stay. He changed his mind after I walked on. He did catch up with me later, because I stopped by a very old bridge to regroup and take some photographs. We walked together all day, which included him picking me berries that he knew were edible and me finding an Albergue with a pool.IMG_0059

Again, I’m only capturing this anecdote because it flashed into my mind earlier. I’ll have to reread it all and see if there is a connection, but for now, I’m going to have another kiss and then a smoke.

One of my teachers is Martha Beck. She recommends changing something in your surroundings as a way to move through things you want in your life. Cleaning up and removing junk from your life, is the most popular example of this. I just realized the symbolism of my new treadmill. I mentioned earlier that it had to go into a new place because where the other one was was too small.

Now I realize that I’ve opened up the “guest” side of the bed. Before the new treadmill, anyone that wanted to get into the bed from the opposite side that I get in would have to climb over the treadmill. When they arrived, there was no bedside table or lamp because there simply wasn’t room for one.

Now that space is open and I think I was to get bedside tables and perhaps a vanity for that space. Doing my nails and makeup would be nicer if I had a place to sit and do them. Funny how that happened as I was thinking about the possibility of a lover.

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Dating Again?

So, I’m telling co-workers, people that I know casually in my social circles and my daughters that I am thinking about dating again. I considered not telling them. But, truth is I’ll want their judgement. That is one of the safeguards that has been recommended by people I’ve told about my plan and my concerns.

IMGP4864Apparently, our current social etiquette is to meet someone electronically. If you are not on a dating site, it would still be appropriate to have the man email you directly. Anyone who knows me would have my email or would ask for it. Then time is set aside usually for a coffee. If it is a mutual friend or a friend of a friend, it might be a drink. The second date is as diverse as there are people but generally involves something enjoyable that is done in public for a slightly longer period of time. Like a walk in the park or dinner.

Before there is a third date or at least a date alone, I have to introduce him to at least one of my friends and one of my daughters. That is likely date three and four. There may be other dates in there, but none in private.

This is one of my greatest fears. There is a possibility that I lose my intelligence in these matters once I am intimate. It is a reasonable explanation to what happened in my marriage. I have written some pieces on “chemical bonding” that our bodies do. There are hormones of attachment. Oxytocin is Queen of this. She is what is released during childbirth, orgasm and milk let down. Why ducklings can bond to the wrong object. They were flooded with oxytocin when there was nothing else around to bond to.

So, that must be avoided at all costs until I believe his isn’t a narcissist.

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