A Friend Request

Scott now wants to be friends on FB. We have never been friends on FB. It has certainly been his demise. It’s how I found out who Betty was, where she worked, that he was with her too when I thought he was only with me.  (And she thought he was only with her.)

Apparently it’s over with her if he is willing for me to be seen in his friends list. Wow, lucky me.  That has always been a temporary situation anyway.

All I can say is, NO. He is offering up sloppy seconds to me, again. I don’t want them. He apparently does not realize that if he were my FB friend, my son and all my friends would see it. All the people who had to watch as he reduced me to a pile of mush, and played with me, and used me. The same people who told me over and over who he was and to leave him alone. The last time I told my son that I thought he might come to our house in CT, uninvited, my son said, “Just saying Mom, if he shows up in our driveway, I will walk over to his car and punch him in the face.” He was not kidding. I told him, “no, I’ll deal with it.” He said, “Just saying Mom. That’s what I’m gonna do.”

My son is the one who had to see me reduced to a slobbering pile of sobbing mess after he did the prison whore. He also had to watch me then again, 9 months later, when I got the text that instead of us being together for the weekend, he was going to be with “someone else” (Betty) and that he was “busy and didn’t want to talk about it.”

When I saw Scott a year ago, after Betty had found out about me, my son said, “What the FUCK is the matter with you Mom? This guy made you cry more than my dad did.”

And still I talked to Scott through the move down here, on the phone, even though he was still officially with Betty, though I haven’t seen him in over a year. Until a couple months ago, when I just got so sick of the games he plays. The disappearing act he pulls, and then comes back as if it never happened. I just got so tired of being messed with.

And now he wants to be FB friends.

He had never been a friend. He has been my lover and my adversary. He has been my teacher of hard lessons, he has been a soulful connection. But he was never a friend to me. I was one to him. Every dark day that I knew about, I tried to help him. When she found out about me, and left him, (temporarily…but that’s another story) I was there for him. I loved him so dearly, more than I ever thought possible. And he used that love to bolster his own ego. To take what he could from me. And give back nothing, nothing permanent, nothing that lasts. We could easily have stayed friends. But he chose not to.

And so we are not. Not on FB, not in life. Not in any way. When I hear from him now, I feel dread, I feel a foreboding. Feel like the darkness is knocking on my door again. Do I love him, yes….always. Can I have any semblance of him in my life? Absolutely not, at least, not the way he is.

We can all change. It is hard hard work, to change and grow. If at some point he was able to convince me, look me in the eye, and tell me what he’s done, what inner work he’s done to change from being an egocentric, selfish man to someone who actually can be a friend, I might listen. I might then open the door. If he could actually apologize to me, and to my son, for his shoddy treatment of me, I might listen. But it would have to be heartfelt, sincere. I am good with words. I am intuitive. I would know the difference. He will say he has apologized to me enough. But what good is an apology when the behavior continues, unabated?

When I went through my divorce, I didn’t date for 5 or 6 years. I went inside, I learned to go deep, I learned to look at myself and forgive myself, but that also implies that I changed. And I did. I’m not angry with Scott (or my ex for that matter). I am just saying that I can’t have in my life what he has brought to it for 2 years now. (The first year, up until he did the prison whore was good with him, even after that, it was good. Then came Betty.) I have joked that he should go to the monastery for 6 months, like he often said he was going to. It’s a journey he has to take by himself. Even if I was inclined to help him, I would not. There is never real growth without real pain. There is help…but you have to seek it out. And not seek it from me. Not look to have the gaping wounds once again soothed by me so life can go on the way it has for decades.

So, I write this knowing he will read it. I don’t want to open the doors of communication with him, because it’s not safe for me. I know that somewhere inside there, I still love him as I always did, and that I would just be hurt again. I need to heal, I need distance, emotional distance to match the now physical distance I have purposefully put between us. He needs to heal too, and see himself. And acknowledge his soul and his spirit and stop feeding his ego, which is doing a good job of killing him, and hurting everyone who loves him. When he does that, when he can realize that he too is a child of God, as deserving as all of us, he’ll be able to love himself, and forgive himself, and then he’ll have something to offer the people he wants in his life.

I wish him Godspeed on that journey should he choose to undertake it.

Love and light, everyone.

Sleepless in Florida

I ended my 4 or 5 night streak of good sleep last night. My son began texting me at 11:30 last night that his car’s valve cover gasket is leaking. His service engine light had just come on. It will cost $500 to fix.

11:30 is way past my bedtime, I was in bed, and falling asleep. I was up kinda late, because I went to open mic, and then came home and wrote for awhile to unwind. After texting back and forth for awhile, I told him to call me this morning and we’ll talk about it. I went back to sleep for 2 more hours, and then woke up and was wide awake. So, I do what many of us do, I got up, got on the computer and wrote some more, to empty my head. Then at 3:30 went back to bed, took a half an Ambien and fell asleep til 8. Or so.

Now my sleep schedule will be messed up. But really, does it matter, LOL. I’m retired. I don’t have to be anywhere at any time, except at the doctor today at 1:30 for a therapy treatment. Which is a back massage……

Had a good time last night at open mic, as always. Both of my good friends who go with me were sick, so I went alone, but knew I could hang out with my other friends. My friend P welcomed me with a hug, and walked me to my car at the end of the night. What a good guy.

A man I’ve been messaging with has expressed a wish to go to open mic with me. He plays guitar and sings and also is a boater/sport fisherman. He said he could play a Buffett song. That crowd would love Buffett. So who knows, maybe. I like him a lot. He’s a sweet man, so far.

I splurged and bought myself a leaf blower that also vacuums leaves to deal with the leaves from the banyan tree, which perpetually are falling off. Much easier to blow them than to try to rake them. I also bought a push broom and a rake. Push broom is to allow me to scrub my deck.

I guess it’s time to take the Christmas tree down. I am usually anxious by about this time, to get the house back to normal. Even though, my house has not been “normal” really. I wish I had everything in it’s place but I still don’t. I need to though. My friends from high school will be here in 2 weeks, and I need it better organized than what it is now, since they are all staying here one night as we try to recreate our high school days. But, it will be the night of open mic, so we won’t be hanging here all night, which is something I’m glad about.

It’s cool here this morning, 51 when I woke up. The house was cool. But the sun is out brightly though the high will only be 61. I love living in a place where “cold” is 60. LOL. It’s been snowing up north in my old home. Not missing it at all.

Love and light everyone.

Really Settling In

Wow! Four nights of good sleep in a row, without any sleep aid. Last night was the best yet! 8 hours, with only one wake up for about a half hour. Awesome! So what is allowing me to sleep so well?

I think that I’ve let old things that caused me anxiety just go. I don’t wake up wondering about them any more, or even caring about them. New things, happy things, have come into my life, and when I wake up, I think of them and go back to sleep. I think I’m finally settling into my new life, and feeling comfortable here.  I am remembering that I named this house Avalon, a mystical place of new beginnings.  There was so much I wanted to let go of from my old life, and so much more I wanted to bring in with my new life.  It’s all happening.  I see that the journey from there to here was the way it was purposefully, bringing me to a much better, happier, fulfilling place.

For instance, tonight is open mic night. Both the friends I usually go with have been sick with bad colds, so I don’t know if either of them will go with me. But I am comfortable enough to go alone, because I know there will be people there that will be happy to include me. I have a circle of people here, and it’s a huge comfort to me, to have a base.

The big work on my house is mostly done now. I still have tree trimming and a shed to put up, but that’s not big stuff. No more workers in my house all day. I have to go curtain shopping for the windows now. The shades I bought will not work with the new windows, so I have to take them back and get something else. Right now my bedroom windows have tablecloths over them, and the living room has towels, lol. I’m going to re-install the blinds I had in the living room, they are fine for the living room. I had the same ones in my bedroom, but they let too much light in. I wanted the better shades I bought, but they won’t work. I think I’ll have to go for room darkening curtains. But that’s ok too. Whatever it takes.

When I was moving furniture yesterday away from the windows, the mirror on my dresser, big heavy mirror, fell off. Apparently the movers had stripped the holes where the screws went. So now I will need help getting it back up. I’m sure my handyman will help me with that. Thank God the mirror did not break. But it so aggravated me that the movers just left it like that.

I’m going to get going early this morning. To take back the shades, to look for curtains and a few other errands. I want to take a good long walk on the beach today. Tomorrow it’s going to get cold. Well, cold for here, lol. High of 60. By Sunday it will be back to 80, happily.

Lots of good things happening. I still pinch myself every day, I’m so amazed that I have this wonderful life here. Just so blessed, so lucky. When my sister and I were shopping, we were waiting in line to pay. She remarked that it was 3 PM. I said, “Oh good, we will have time to get into the hot tub for awhile and have a glass of wine before we go down to sunset.” Then I looked at her, hearing myself, and said, “It’s a rough life isn’t it? LOL.” She said “Thank you for reminding me…..” We both know how lucky we are.

Love and light, everyone.

Uncomplicated Love

“Think of someone you love who is uncomplicated to love,” the meditation guide instructed. I thought, of course, of my son. And as thoughts are liable to do, immediately after my son, I thought of my mother. And then of my father. And then of my two sisters.

All of them, uncomplicated to love, and to be loved by.

I have never known different with my family. Even when we had our disagreements, our rough patches, I never doubted that we loved each other, and that if pressed, we would be there for each other. Ever.

How friggin’ blessed I am, is something I’ve come to know as an adult. Really not until I was well past the half-way mark of my life did I realize the depth of that blessing.

I remember back when I just assumed all families were like mine. It seemed incongruous that my best friend’s father (at age 12) could put belt marks on her legs, but he did. She didn’t make a big deal of it, so no one else did. I can’t imagine what it was like, to be a 12 year old, going through puberty, and have your father take a belt to you. I remember my own father, at times in his frustration with my misbehavior as a child, raising his hand. That, the raised hand, was enough to make me know I better stop what I was doing, or saying. He never brought it down on me. I think it would have killed him to hit me.

I was SO naive.

I have known and loved men who were beaten by their fathers, whose mothers stood by and watched, thus enabling the brutality of a child. I think I made it my quest to prove to them that they were lovable, that they were in reality, as deserving of unconditional love as much as anyone. I wanted to convince them that it is possible for someone to love them purely, with no conditions. I cannot imagine a more painful thing to live with than the belief that you innately do not deserve love and belonging. Would it not instill false shame, to think you weren’t worthy of your parents love? And shame is such a destructive emotion.

I was unable to achieve this. It took me a long time to actively give up the quest. And that in itself, is not a good basis for a relationship anyway. There is no common ground. But, I love them, still. And wish they could see themselves the way I saw them. I wish they knew that all the love they think they missed is inside them now, given to them as a divine right. No one can take it from anyone else.

My childhood friend, has somehow managed to retrieve a relationship with her siblings now. They are very close. She has held onto the friendships of her youth. She’s coming to see me, and our other friend who lives in Daytona across the state, in January. This group of girls is like my family. They reconnected with me after about 40 years, and we picked up where we left off.

I think though, that it is part of my soul’s journey to love others the way that I’ve been loved. Am loved. It’s always the underlying emotion, the baseline. If I’ve loved you, I will always love you. If I never see you again, I will always love you, always wish the best for you, always feel the pain I know you feel and always send out whatever I can to assuage it. I may not like your behavior, I may choose to withdraw from it, but the love I felt, only came through me. I did not create it, I just channeled it. And will continue to do so, actively or passively.

So this was my post-meditation blog. Kind of a deep, heavy meditation, and it seems I’ve been doing a lot of reflection and introspection around this broader subject lately. I hope I’m not boring….not bringing the kiss of death on myself, lol.

Love and light, all.

On Being Vulnerable

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A friend who lives close to me came by tonight and dropped off a couple of rakes she offered to loan me, rather than me buy one. I was going to buy one today because I need to rake up the back yard, from stuff that’s fallen from the huge tree, which someone told me is a banyan tree, though I’m still not sure it is, and from the palm tree that is entwined with it. I want to get the yard cleaned up, and put down crushed shells back there. It’s supposed to cool off later this week, so it will be a good time to do it. She offered to loan me her rakes rather than me buy one.

I invited her to eat with me, and watch the Voice. She’s the friend who sings, really sings, so I thought she might enjoy it. She doesn’t have TV. We had about an hour to kill til the show was on, and I’d told her about Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability, so we watched it. She loved it…she already understood it, but loved it anyway. It’s probably the 20th time I’ve watched it. It has almost 27,000,000 (yes 27 million) hits now. Literally.

But I thought about how while I espouse vulnerability all the time, I still don’t make myself completely vulnerable. While I am fully willing to be the first to say “I love you” with no guarantee the feeling will be reciprocated, and while I’m fully willing to invest in a relationship with no guarantee it will work out. I was fully willing to move to a town where I knew 1 person, and willing to do what I had to do to create a new life here. I thought I was fully willing too, to show up, to be seen, and to risk failure, because after all, I write a blog. I pour my heart out here, I have few things that I won’t discuss here.

Then I look at my friend, who sings her heart out. I look at the others who go to open mic and sing because they love it, and aren’t afraid of the failure. Of the people who are willing to sit in front of a crowd and read their poetry, and risk that maybe people will not like it, or worse, criticize it.

Those people are really espousing vulnerability. Their lives are alive, and full of joy, and they get off the stage and they collaborate on playing music together, or putting together other venues, or asking people to come hear them read their poetry.

I’m not that willing. I am terrified to get up in front of people and read my poetry. I am even terrified when my friend gets up and sings it. I can’t, yet. It terrifies me to my soul. I easily allowed myself to fall in love with someone and completely gave my heart to him, with no guarantees. Yet, I cannot get up in front of a crowd and read a poem I’ve written.

What’s up with that?

I think if I’m going to walk that walk, and talk that talk, I have some work to do. Allowing my friend to sing the poems was a start, I suppose.

I think it may align with Marianne Williamson’s famous quote, that our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. Who am I to write a good poem, that people like? What if I can actually write? What if….does that then put expectations on me that I’m afraid I can’t meet and that then I’ll disappoint them? And then disappoint myself?

Brother. This shit gets deep.

Every time I have watched that TED talk, I have learned something else. I always take another step, begin to excavate another level.  As Brene says, “Lean into the discomfort.”

Well, here’s to some productive digging.

Love and light, all.

Hard Night, Beautiful Morning

I slept hard last night. Nightmare, of hate and anger. Displaced, afraid. Real fear that they were coming to get me, and that I would die in their hands. (I don’t know who they were, maybe Nazi’s.  With tanks. And soldiers marching.)  Then, in the dream, I told myself I was dreaming. And that I could combat their hate and anger and fear with love.

I did. I turned the tide, I sent the fear packing, I taught them that they deserved love, and they lay down their arms.

Still, it was a hard and terrifying dream.

Not sure what brought it on. Probably some deep-seated stuff, from the past.

Whatever. This morning I awoke early, around 5:30. My room was cool, I could hear the faint hum of the ceiling fan. I tried to go back to sleep but decided about 20 minutes later that that was not happening. I got up, tried to write, and did, but not sure it’s worthy of publication. I need to re-read and edit.

I decided it was time for me to see the sunrise here in my new hometown. So I quickly got dressed in my bathing suit top, and a skort, and drove the short mile or so to the beach. I parked along the street, as the first rays of dawn broke the sky.

There is a long fishing pier on the beach. I headed down the pier, into the gray and pink early morning light. The pier was dotted with a few fishermen, people walking dogs, people exercising. But not more than a dozen people in all. They all greeted me, everyone, with a “Good morning.”

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Felt like I was taken into a brother/sisterhood, of people who love the morning. I walked to the end of the pier. I guess it’s maybe 500′ long? I’m a bad judge of distance.

On the way, I passed a gull on the rail, so still I didn’t think it was real. He just watched me as I passed by. Then, a great blue heron flew in and landed on the rail, about 100′ in front of me. As I approached, taking my camera out of my pocket, it flew away.

I got to the end of the pier, and sat on a bench. I was alone. I set my cup of coffee next to me and closed my eyes and just breathed. Tried to take in that this was now my home. Listened to nothing but the sounds of the sea birds, and worked at finding peace again, the remnants of that nightmare still on the fringes of my psyche.

When I opened my eyes again, the sky to the east was breaking dawn. Turning the clouds pink, and gold. It is something I will never tire of, seeing a day come in over the water like that.

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There were a lot of boats anchored in the bay, many with their dinghies laying in the water behind them, signaling that they were aboard. I thought how lovely a place to anchor out. One boat had two dinghies behind it. I made up a story in my head of people coming from one boat to the other, drinking wine and talking late into the night, too late and too dark to find their way back to their own boat, and staying with friends instead. Like Van Morrison’s song, “So Quiet in Here”. “this must be what paradise is like, so quiet in here….”

After awhile, two women came walking past my bench, and struck up a conversation. One of them had a dog, she did not stay long, her dog was anxious to go. But the other woman and I talked. She’s lived here for 20-something years. She used to live in Philly and Martha’s Vineyard. We talked about the Vineyard, and the breach that happened about 8 years ago in the south beach, and changed the whole nature of Katama Bay, and made Chappaquiddick a real island.

She walks often, she said, so maybe I’ll see her again there. Her name was Mary.

I got up and walked back down the pier Most of the fishermen had gone by then. I walked along the sidewalks, past what says is a casino, but is really a dance hall now, advertising lessons and dancing in fox trot, tango…ballroom dancing, for $8. No partner needed. Might be fun to learn the tango. Outside is a sculpture which says this town is Florida’s best kept secret. I’m beginning to agree. I walked past the permanent beach vollyball courts, and along the beach for a while.

As the town woke up, I headed back home, to record this, my first sunrise here. What a lovely way to start the day. I think it may become a habit.

Love and light.

A Going-Away Party

My bff, as I suspected she would, had a surprise going-away party for me last night. She’d asked me to dinner, but I know her. I knew I wasn’t going to get away with just a dinner. So when I got there about 20 of my closest friends were there.

I started to cry, just for a second, that they were all there, for me. No one, ever, has thrown a surprise party for me. Just was so nice, just wrapped up in the love of the people I love. They’ve all said they wanted to come see me in FL. I know not all of them will, I know some of them will.

We ate, and drank, and told stories, and laughed. I love going to my bff’s house, because I know I will laugh there until my stomach hurts. I only had one drink. I was tired when I got there. But it was just fun, relaxing. Caught up with everyone before I left.

A few people gave me gifts, which totally surprised me. How nice! I am going to have to get some cards that I can write thank you notes on, to all the people at work and my friends.

I don’t think there’s anyone I haven’t said goodbye to now. And I’ve been good, I’ve barely cried at all. At least not til I’m alone. I think I may cry when I leave town, maybe when I leave my house to go to my friend Susan’s for the two nights before I leave. The movers are coming Tuesday to take my stuff. Wednesday I’ll clean the house, and we’re leaving early Thursday, really early like around 5 am, to beat the NYC traffic because we have to go over one of the bridges over the Hudson. So, I will stay at her house after the movers take my stuff.

I am nervous, and anxious, and excited, and happy, and sad. I have never had so many mixed emotions about anything. Yet, I know it’s the right thing, only choice I can make that makes any sense for me to be able to spend some time not working. So I forge ahead, each day, and make the dream come a little closer. When I get to Florida, Susan will be with me, and my friend Pat from high school who lives there, and my other high school friend Cathy who is coming over from Daytona just to help me move in. So I will be greeted and in the company of more people I love. In October my sister will be down for the winter, I can’t wait for that, to be able to be close to her. It’s all good.

I am so blessed, just so incredibly blessed. That I am able to do this at all, to make this choice, to have had family to help me do it, and life-long friends. My bff toasted me last night, reminding me that we have been friends since I brought her Glorious Morning Muffins when her father died, and we sat at her kitchen table and bonded. 20 years ago. She has stuck with me through my horrible marriage and divorce, and helped me to move out, and advised me to leave Scott in the dust long before I could imagine it, but she was right. She could see how he treated me, and how I was taking it and after my ex, she couldn’t stand to see me let Scott do what he did to me. But she also never got mad at me for my inability to let him go, she knew I really loved him. Though one time, when I asked her to go shopping she said, “Ok, I’ll go, but we’re not talking about him.” LOL. And we didn’t. I don’t think she and I, or any of my friends have ever uttered an unkind word to each other. True true friends. We are there for each other, all of us, without judgment, with only unconditional love.

The path opens, and it is paved with the wonderful things that have been put in my life. I know there are more waiting for me there.

Love and light, everyone.