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Putting it out there

May 13, 2010

My will goes out like a pulse into the universe. It doesn’t matter if anyone ever reads this. It’s my will emanating out, influencing others, manifesting my own reality and affecting that of others.

I am adjusting my peptides. My cells are adjusting their receptors. I am slowly moving away from re-creating my miserable anxiety-ridden marriage. I am moving away from trying to predict the future, to game the reactions of others, to control response and emotion.

More hours than not I am feeling that hugeness and it is indescribably beautiful in ways that seem corny to me, the unsentimental, the stripped down, the writer to whom everything is “material.”

That positivity, that connection.  When anxiety about the future happens, I search for that connection and it’s so much easier to find now that I know my body is adjusting to the new pattern.

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a thousand beautiful things

May 5, 2010

Being alone provides interesting challenges.

When I was married I never felt more alone. More lost. More at sea. More curled up on my side of the bed. More disregarded. More frozen from the inside out. There aren’t good words for that feeling yet. I remember it. But I can’t go there, not yet. Can’t write it. It’s enough to be done with it, and to know I never have to be there again, never accept it for years on end just to prove I could stay married.

I come home to an empty house one evening every week and every time I think about what it means to come home alone. To walk into a home where no demands are made on me. No one is hungry. No one needs help with long division or an art project. No one needs me to read to them. Oh, evidence of need is all around me. The morning mess of breakfast dishes. Rice Krispies slow dance in a bowl of water. The box of Ziploc bags on the counter. But no one is here, right now, asking for anything. How many times did I covet this as a young mother? Countless.

While I was going through the divorce, sitting in this apartment I had carefully composed from thin air, this place I was supposed to feel an escape from the pressure in, all I felt was panic. I can now identify it as such. A thick black hole of not knowing. I felt: who will love me now? Who will care for me? Who will fill this hole?

It wasn’t until after the divorce was final that I knew who needed to do those things: me. This is something we always know but some of us find a way to avoid accomplishing. I found so many ways. I never lived alone. I took care of my mother. I took care of my father.

I failed to protect and care for my brother. Failed to stop my mother from crying herself to sleep for years. Failed to fix my father, no matter how much compassion I had.

Maybe along the way I lost faith in my ability to do those things for me. I did those things for others to prove I could, to fix the past,  and denied that I needed anything.

Such a lot of effort to deny fear of failure and the work I needed to do.

The other day, after experiencing ridiculous success at something I didn’t know I could do, I laid down on my favorite rug. My son, who had been sick for two days, came in and laid down with me. He rested his head on my chest and I held him, like I always do. I said you know what? He said, what? I said, my life is really full and really amazing. He probably rolled his eyes.

Full of a thousand beautiful things I can give to myself every single minute of every single day.

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watch the dip

May 2, 2010

I wake at 3 am. I think about not drinking wine any more. I think about not drinking anything any more. I wonder if it’s making my face bloat or break out. I wonder if it’s making me lazy.

I don’t drink the way I did when I was married. When I was married, mid-week hangovers were routine. Wobbling home was routine. Getting in the car when I shouldn’t have was routine. With my kids.

There. I said it. Seems unconscionable now. Back then it was simply the way I was even though I knew full well it was an unbelievably stupid thing to do. Alcohol was quickly becoming my coping mechanism. My mother says all the time – she didn’t recognize me. Didn’t know who I was. I didn’t either. It was all caving in, crashing down. All of my plans for a perfect little life. I couldn’t force it to happen anymore.

My commitment problem. Committing to things that don’t work just to prove I can.

As I woke up tonight, I watched my mind dip into that place that will take my gut to the place of panic. I feel the back of my brain buzz. I don’t know what that buzzing is. I just know I need to pay attention when it happens.

It’s really a mild panic now, more of an anxiety. Who will love me? I am alone in the middle of a Saturday night. Who will care for me?

The answer is clear, the universe fairly rings with it, it vibrates all around me.

I have to give that to myself. How, I ask?

No answer. On that one, universe is silent. Not a good partner. Or maybe the best.

Recently I have been waking with that feeling already in my gut, as though I were dreaming of the anxiety already, as though I were the only human left on earth already and had to deal with myself and couldn’t. This time was really different. I woke and then watched my mind begin in that place of fear, and felt the fear move down to my gut. But it wasn’t a cold stone, more of a tide this time.

And in the awareness, the feeling dissipated. I smiled. Flopped over in my bed. Taking up the whole thing.

When I was married sleeping in my bed brought home the gulf between my husband and myself. There were so many nights I was so much more alone than I am now. Even on the few nights we would have sex. Those were actually worse. It brought home what I didn’t feel, and I would pretend. Always pretend. Feeling as though that was part of the deal. Part of what marriage is.

It makes me sad. I really loved him. So much. For a long time. And I fight with the idea that it was a mistake. I have two beautiful children, sure. I walked away with more than most people get to leave with. But I fight with the notion that my love itself was a mistake. I fight with the feeling that I don’t know how to love. I do battle with the sadness of having love just slip away like that, and whether or not that will always happen. Whether or not, in the end, it’s me who can’t really love.

But why fight? What’s the point of fighting? It’s over. You have learned. Maybe not everything you need to. But a lot. And you are recognizable again. You are you. In all of your imperfect beauty.

And that may be the purpose of the universe’s non-answer. It may not be that you are afraid of being alone. You are afraid you don’t know how to love.

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same lesson

April 25, 2010

It all goes back – for me – to learning how to both be alone and that I’m not alone – separate and together, gain nourishment, feed myself with the love of being part of everything even at 3:45 am when I can’t sleep and it would appear I have no one, nothing but my music and laptop and the internet to keep me company.

This must be the lesson I need to learn. At least, what i need to learn right now. But it could very well be the central lesson of my life.

Time alone on the weekends I have to myself is not the problem, though they are disorienting in a structural way (a way I need to take more advantage of spiritually). I am learning to love them. I need to make plans with friends more often so that I’m not alone. I need to make friends here. I am going to do what I need to do to make that happen.

I remember being a teenager and this period of time where I was in a musical, running track and had an after school job and I had to keep my grades up or lose my activities. I did it all, and maybe I was even more productive in all of them because I had things that had to be done. I had to learn in that trial by fire way to organize my time. Focus my efforts. But I didn’t want to be home. I couldn’t stand being at home. I remember a semester in college – 6 classes and 3 jobs. I was busy literally all the time.

But I have never, not once in my whole life, been alone. By alone I mean having no one but me to take care of, no one else in my personal space that I had to share it with. And that aloneness isn’t going to happen. I have children. So in the most important way I’ll never be alone. But in other just-as-important ways I need to be.

Patterns.

Same lesson. Haven’t learned it. Haven’t given myself a chance to. It’s kind of like having this long hair. Can’t get used to it. Haven’t had hair this long since I was 9. But I like it. Most of the time.

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Anonymity

April 22, 2010

Dear Reader,

You might think I keep this blog anonymous because I gossip or get nasty or talk about my ex.

Here is why this blog is anonymous: I don’t have to wear another face or another mask or anything here.

I’m not malicious or gossipy or weird or some kind of fucked up person divulging their worst shit online.

But I am crazy private.

I just discovered this about myself a few months ago. I used to not be. I used to be more… out there. But I was married to someone with no boundaries and for some reason I adopted much of that bullshit. Now I know – I get it. I’m all about live and let live. But with myself – I am conservative. I love without reserve when I love but I have become very careful with whom I give that level of care to.

I don’t know if this means I will spend my life alone or not. I hope not.

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Back again

April 22, 2010

I haven’t posted here in a while.

I was thinking about all the things I do differently. I wrote about the concrete stuff on Facebook but here, I can, I don’t know, be more open about what’s happening to me.

To me. With me. For me. By me.

It’s such a wild place to be. This place where my mind is so clear and crystal that I don’t know what to do with all the space. Is this what it means to walk the world with awareness? I feel like I hear every bird chirp, see every flower bloom, notice every fluctuation in a stranger’s face.

In a way it interrupts the writing of stories. To feel like you can see through everything to what it really is.

Someone I loathe wrote to me that things aren’t ever what they seem. Resisting my temptation to get the last word, I wanted to tell him, oh, but sometimes things are what they are, sometimes an asshole is really just an asshole.

When I met that person I was in a place where nothing was what it seemed. My whole life was smoke and mirrors.

Another friend I met around the same time called me complex.

Oh, I was complex. My house of cards was a mansion.

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loop

March 22, 2010
Two friends of mine have challenged me, in different ways, to start looking at what I give to others, and to start giving it to myself.
In therapy, we talked a lot about taking care of others, of feeling compelled to do so. I wonder how many others have this experience. Are taught this skill. Pass it along.
This… looping of that care back onto myself… such an easy habit that I want to engage it again and again. It feels good to feel good.
Negative habits are so hard to break. So hard to notice until you’re 2 minutes in. So hard to put the brakes on, at first.
This habit — I want to keep it going. I want to soak myself in what I’ve given to other people.
If I make other people feel half as good about themselves as I am making myself feel right now, well, now I know why people want to be around me.
This is powerful, heady stuff.