Respecting Boundaries

I’ve not been around much lately. This morning, I realized that I was missing my life, and recognized that I needed to get back to it. Happily, D also recognized it for me and for himself.

I was thinking about Brene Brown’s acronym BRAVING, for trust. The “B” in that acronym is for Boundaries. I realized it’s not just setting boundaries for behavior of others toward me, but for myself. I made a commitment to myself that I would not ever give up my passions for anyone else, after my ex tried to mold me into his idea of what a perfect woman should be. “Grooming” he called it. He was “grooming” me. I remember thinking, “Go fucking groom yourself.”

S did not really try to “groom” me. But he did try to curb my commitment to writing, to get me to write only things that we acceptable to him. He wanted me to write fiction. I have a hard time with fiction. I write what’s real and true for me, and often that was at odds with what he wanted to see, and often, the reason it was at odds was because he’d told his girlfriend about this blog and she read it. God forbid she knew the truth. Other times, it was explicitly about his terrible behavior, the games he would play, the hurt and pain he caused me. None of which was something he wanted to face.

His lack of, and disrespect for, boundaries.

I didn’t give up my writing. I may have tried to censor it somewhat, but even then, it was not hard to read between the lines. It caused endless problems for me, for me and him, for him and her, but really. I mean REALLY, what else could he expect, knowing that it’s what I do. He’s the one who told her about this blog. Which tells me, he wanted her to know, for reasons known only to him, and probably so deep even he doesn’t recognize them as real. Personally, and I could be wrong completely, I think now, looking back, he wanted her to break up with him, so he didn’t have to be the bad guy.

Along comes D. On about our 4th or 5th date, I realized I had to tell him about the blog. I was scared shitless, really, considering the issues it caused me with S. But D had to know. If he was going to know me, he had to know about the blog. So I told him, over a Cuban sandwich, about it. He was interested, but didn’t ask to read it. He asked questions about it, but obviously could see the discomfort and vulnerability it caused me. However, a few days later I sent him a poem, which gave him access. I knew it did, I expected that he would read it. He said he got half-way through the blog previous to the one I’d sent him and felt like he shouldn’t be reading it without my explicit permission. He told me this. I gave him permission, of course. I was however, terrified, seeing as how so much of it was about the contentious, and passionate relationship with S.

He did not disappoint. His comments were, “What I got out of it is how much you are capable of loving, how far you will go for love.” And then…. “I don’t need to continue reading. I don’t need all the details. I know you better, I know all I need to know.” And I don’t believe he’s read much else, unless I send him something I’d like him to read. He’s sure of himself, and of me, and there is no game. The blog is who I am, and he applauds me, likes that I have a passion. He makes me take time to continue to follow this passion.

I think that my giving him permission to view my life through this intimate and completely vulnerable. wndow, gave him permission from himself to tell me things he had always kept to himself.

The trust is awesome.

I’m in a place now I never really thought I’d be. Not that I hadn’t wanted it, but just didn’t think I’d ever find it. I was beginning to wonder if my new lesson wasn’t how to be satisfied with living my life out alone. If it was, then I’d learn the lesson, with as much grace as I could. It seems, maybe I won’t have that lesson to learn after all. Time will tell.

The marble jar just keeps getting fuller.

Love and light, everyone.

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Couldn’t Be Much Happier

He likes my little house. That’s a big deal to me, because he was not happy at all that I sold our house in CT, and decided to move here. Change is hard for him, and we were so happy in that house, after the years of abuse with his father. We were ok in the rented condo I had for transitional space, but the house we had there was a dream come true for both of us. Now that he’s happy in CO, and has a life there, he is happy for me, and he really really likes this cute little house. Kept saying, “You did really good Mom. I get why you just had to buy it.” Because, he felt for the longest time that buying this house pushed me to sell the house in CT immediately. But fact was, that house was going on the market when it did, and he gets that now. You have to sell between March and November up there, because very few people buy a house in the winter.

It’s so funny, how it used to irritate me so much to find his stuff stuck in the couch, or spread on the coffee table, his shoes on the floor somewhere, or a light left on somewhere. And now…it just makes me smile. Like, oh, this is how it always was. It is so familiar, the way the things our children do are.

We can, and did, just sit in the living room, each in a recliner, and talked for hours yesterday. The TV was on for noise, as was the habit in our old life, but we just talked and talked about our new lives. I could tell he loved the familiarity of our furniture from the old house. You’d think there’d be not much to say, because we talk every day anyway, but there was. He was way too tired to do any sightseeing, and I think it was cool, that he just kind of wanted to stay here and reconnect.

My son loves to mix this EDM music, and he uploads it to SoundCloud and has like 5000 followers. He got a gig to play the Saturday after Easter at a club in Denver. He played there once before, and they liked him well enough to invite him back for Saturday night. He doesn’t get paid, but he gets his name out there. He’s meeting a lot of the artists that have made it really big. He’s really breaking into it. He says he spends most of his free time making new recordings. I love that he has a passion for it, that he follows his passion. He landed in the right place to follow this passion, since he says Denver is probably the hub in the world for this kind of music, and the wild shows that go with it.

We’re both looking forward to going over to the island tomorrow to see my sis and hubby. My sis has a big really nice apartment over the garage, overlooking her pool, that he and I always stayed at. I told him maybe we could share my mom’s old room, where I stay now, in the house. He looked so disappointed, lol. He said, “Idk, Mom. I really need my own room, you know I stay up way later than you…..” But I know it’s just because he loves that space, it’s like a really nice hotel suite. So I’ll tell my sis that he’s staying up there, so he can watch TV late, and go to bed late and sleep late, lol. Just going to tell him to come to the house to shower etc….so she doesn’t have to clean it all up for one night’s stay.

He also knows my sis is a great cook, and the food will be awesome, lol. And we’ll hang by the pool, and the hot tub and go to the beach. It will be fun. My sis just loves my son too. I know at one time her hubby was appalled that I wasn’t insisting he go to college, but he’s doing so well, I know my brother-in-law has changed his mind on that. And it’s hard not to like my kid. He’s funny, and kind, and smart. His priorities are good, and he’s set his own boundaries, that make it easy to be with him.

I’ve had a few moments of wishing he lived close to me, but I am trying not to get too attached to those, because that stuff will just ruin the time we have. Just going to enjoy having him here, and then begin to plan the next time I’ll see him. Probably in the summer sometime, I’ll head to CO for a few days. He has all kinds of places he wants to take me now.

Couldn’t be much happier this morning. Love and light all.

Recognition, Remorse, Repair = Resolution

I woke up at 1 AM last night, on the nose. And as so often happens, my mind tried to resolve unresolved issues. Like my ex, who I will have to deal with until he signs the quitclaim he has to sign. The thing is, with him, that I’m sickest of, is him trying to use me to manipulate my son into talking with him. I don’t do it, won’t do it, but I’m so tired of him going around and around in long, ridiculous circular conversations about it. I’ve said I was going to block him, when this last legal thing is done. I hope I can follow through on that.

The reason I say “hope” is because I don’t know if I have the heart to cut him off from his only access to even know how his son’s doing. However…..his actions have been, and probably always will be, about control. My problem is that I know his need to control things come from the shame he feels that he’s not worthy of unconditional love. He was brought up in a household where love was earned, and could be taken away, and often was, on top of being extremely abusive both physically and verbally. This was an upper middle-class family, he grew up in material wealth, and was taught that it was what was important. To understand that, is to feel sorry for him, because it so messed up his own life.

However, he was so abusive to both my son and I, I have to eliminate him from our lives. Just have to. My son has, for all intents and purposes. And I will too. My idea in the middle of the night was that I would send him a letter, so that he couldn’t talk over me, or pretend he didn’t hear me. And tell him that he is cut out of my life because of he has never acknowledged, owned, or apologized for what he did to us. I will list some of the things he did, so he has to look at them.  He apparently does not know that I know he physically abused my son as well as emotionally and verbally abused him. My son told me, when he came to live with me. I will tell him that I know. Then I will tell him that until he is able to accept responsibility for what he did, he needs to stay away from me. And I will suggest, that until he can do it for his son, he won’t be welcome in his life either.

This way, I can eliminate him but also give him a path back. I cannot deal with his absolute insanity. His re-writing of history. His tales he weaves to manipulate and draw me back in. The lies. So many lies. I am grateful my son has been able to just eliminate him, because he knows that’s all his dad will try to do to him. I’ve kept that door open out of compassion for my ex, but I think I need to put it in proper perspective, and hold him responsible for his behavior in a much stronger way.

I’m going to prepare the letter to him, and send it as soon as the sale of my slip is completed. I just have to do something to keep the dogs from barking on my phone (his ringer is dogs barking), blind-siding me, filling me with dread, triggering PTSD from all the years of abuse I suffered from him. I need to take my power back, and put the truth out on the table with him, again. It’s not the first time I’ve done it, but with the passage of time, he seems to think that the slate is wiped clean. I want to make it clear that until he can recognize, feel remorse, and attempt to repair the damage he did to our lives, and even moreso to his own, that the slate will remain engraved.

Once I figured out what I would do, I almost got up and wrote him the letter. Then, decided it didn’t need doing at that moment, and that I needed sleep more immediately, since a friend is coming over this morning, and because I have open mic night tonight, and I have to get to Walmart today too. I have probably a week until this sale is completed. Instead of getting up, I relaxed and fell back to sleep.

Resolution to issues is always a good thing. You can’t always get it with the other person, as in this case. But you can get it with yourself, and decide on a pathway that will give you peace of mind. You can eliminate toxic people from your life. It seems I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. All of them have a way back if they want to take it. Recognition, remorse, and repair. Real change. And if they don’t want to take it….well, love and light to them. I hope they are able to find peace with themselves and their actions but they are not welcome in my life, until they can do those three things. Recognition of what they did, real remorse for what they did, the kind of remorse that causes real change in behavior, and then, repair of the damage.

Resolution is a good thing. Love and light everyone.

The Breaking Point

I’m just wondering how many times of getting burned for pushing someone’s boundaries it takes before a person learns that no means no, that respecting a boundary is the first part of earning someone’s trust, and thus a cornerstone of the foundation of a relationship.  It’s sad….to undo your life because it’s so important to you to get what you want in the moment, and not see the bigger picture. It never was a game to me. I never intended to cause hurt, but if someone pushes me 10 times and I’m still standing, I will eventually push back, and they may get hurt.  It’s the risk you take living on the edge.  Everyone has a breaking point.

Love and light.

The Benefits of Fresh Air and Boundaries

It’s so awesome to sleep 8 hours, unbroken. I think the fresh cool air last night did it for me. There’s one woman who performs fairly regularly at open mic who plays a ukulele, and mostly sings what are kind of her own brand of folk songs. She spent a lot of time working with kids somewhere like Honduras or somewhere, and is just an old hippie like lots of us. Anyway, her last song is always this one called “Carry My Rain in a Bushel Basket”. She invites anyone who wants to to get up on the “stage” (which is not a real stage, just the back of the outdoor restaurant, under the trees) and sing with her. Most of the regulars do, including me. I can sing in a crowd, lol, just not alone. I tried to see if she was on youtube somewhere, because she has a CD of her songs, but there are too many artists with her same name, so I don’t know which is her. Anyway, I thought I’d just put down the chorus of the song here, the part we all sing with her. It’s positive and uplifting, kind of with that child-like innocence we all had at one time.

Carry my rain in a bushel basket
Let the sunshine through
Carry my rain in a bushel basket
Let the sun shine through.

Carry my rain in a bushel basket
Carry my rain in a bushel basket
Carry my rain in a bushel basket
Let the sun shine through!

At the end of the song there are always jokes about her holey, or holy, basket, and how much a bushel of rain weighs. Whatever, it’s a fun thing to do, to get up and sing as a small community. The first time I went up, I hid behind my good male friend, lol, because he’s a tall man. When it was over he kept saying, “You sang! I heard you sing!” LOL. He’s got a beautiful baritone voice and usually sings. Though he didn’t last night, I have a feeling he just came to see me, and hang out together, because I’d texted him earlier in the week. We are not romantic, mostly because he is utterly loyal to his wife who is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s, which is one of the things I admire about him so much. I think he just enjoys the female energy next to him for a few hours, as I enjoy his male energy. We are close on so many levels and we totally respect each others boundaries, which always leads to having a solid friendship.

Well, off to get things ready for my friend to come tonight. I am so excited, and so happy to have the temperatures get back into the 70’s. We will have so much fun. Life is good.

Love and light, all.