Manifesto

I love Brene Brown, as anyone who follows my blog knows.  She is brilliant, and can explain things in very human terms which are easy for us to relate to.  This manifesto is from her book Rising Strong, which has been instrumental in getting me from the weepy, sad, rejected woman I was 6 months ago, to the strong, self assured woman I am, who knows her worth. I’m worth more than I was getting. And I am still not afraid to be vulnerable.

Rising-Strong-Manifesto

 

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Trying to Find My Courage

courage vs comfort

I have so much to say this morning, and feel like I should just not say a lot of it, at least not right now.  Talking to Scott dredged up a lot of old stuff, that I’m hoping will settle back down where it was.  Not longing, but anger, disappointment, confusion.  My head is spinning, my emotions are a little raw again.  And I don’t want to write anything that can be taken wrong, that might cause pain to Betty, that will fuel a divide that is already huge.

He said that Betty told him I was still in love with him.  It sounded as though she said it not in a jealous way, but kind of as a revelation.  I told him, well that’s not news Scott.  I told you I will always love you, and I will.  But that doesn’t mean I can be with you, or accept your behavior, or would ever trust you.

He asked me what I wanted from him now.  I thought about it….but nothing.  I want nothing.  I want to move on, I want to fall in love with someone who can love me back as passionately as I can love.  I am happy that we talked, even though it came to no good end yesterday.  I hate cutting off communication with anyone, I don’t think that refusing to communicate ever eases anything. Not that I want to be communicating with him the way we used to, constantly.  It is just easier to know we can communicate, than thinking that  we can never talk.   Especially with this frigging connection that we have, or at least that I have with him.  Sometimes I feel compelled to let him know what I’m feeling, and it’s nice to know I can, especially when it has to do with his health.

I have to talk and write, to work things out.  I had to stay silent in my marriage for so many years, just to stay safe, just to keep the sleeping dogs sleeping.  If they woke they were vicious.  I refuse to do that ever again.  It almost killed me then, really. When I left that marriage I was diabetic, way overweight (I’ve lost about 40 lbs since then) and my heart was beating irregularly, pounding in my chest.  I prayed every night, literally, “Please God, don’t let me have a heart attack while I sleep.  I can’t leave my son with his father as his only parent.”  Thankfully, that prayer was answered night after night.  When I moved out, it stopped the very first night I was alone, and it’s never come back.

I started writing during that time.  I started writing down what I was living with because I just thought, “I have to write this down.  No one will ever believe this.”  I discovered the therapeutic benefits of writing it out.  My ex didn’t know I did this, though the journals weren’t hidden.  He went through my room a number of times, to see if I was hiding money, because once he found $85 I had squirreled away.  He had to see the journals when he rifled through my drawers and closets, but ignored them, because for whatever reason, he was not interested in my thoughts.  Until I brought them to court, and the judge showed an interest.  Whatever.  I wrote them for me, but they had a bigger benefit than I ever imagined they would.

I won’t go there again.  I’ve learned to have the hard conversations.  Scott asked what he could do now,now that he’s done all this damage.  And he apologized.  I thanked him for that, I told him it was a good first step for him to recognize and feel remorse for the damage he did.  But what could he do now?  He seemed genuine, as if he wanted to know.  I said, “next time you have a choice to tell a hard truth or a pretty lie, choose the hard truth.  Just choose the truth.  Practice it.”

I’d like to tell him to journal his day, to look back and observe his behavior, to see where he was selfish, and where he stood up for something.  But that’s my method, it’s not his.  Even though, I’ve read bits of things he’s written and he’s very talented.

All of this pain, every bit of it, could have been avoided by the truth.  Well, ok, I still would have been hurt and sad to lose him, but I wouldn’t have had all the other emotions around it.  I would have gotten past it, through it.  All of Betty’s pain, and his current pain, would be non-existent.  I acknowledge that the pain I would have had, I could have just looked at myself, and taken responsibility for it, because I dismissed 100 red flags because I didn’t want them to be true.  I loved being in love, I loved him beyond reason, and refused to accept anything that said to me, “NO, not now, Deb, not this time.  Don’t do it. Stop…..”  Because I thought he just wanted to be alone, and work things out, I thought too, that someday he’d not want to be alone.  If I’d known he was in love with Betty, I would have let go.  Quickly.  It’s the one boundary I will not cross.  It’s the only one I ever set.

Yes I’m a little fixated, as was said in a comment to me on my apology blog.  I need complete understanding to let go of things, or as much as I can get.  And really, I had it, I will have it again, I will gain clarity again, once all this stuff that was dredged up settles back down.  I have been moving away from it, in small, but steady steps.

I am looking forward to my lunch date today.  We’re going to a new Mexican restaurant.  It will be fun to meet this man that I’ve been talking to all week.  I have no expectation though.  It has been nice, so far.  Sometimes meeting in person makes it better, sometimes you find out there’s no connection.  But it’s a brave thing to do, to put myself out there again.  It’s a step in the right direction, toward where I want to go.  Brene Brown says that making yourself vulnerable is the most courageous thing you can do.  I think she’s right.

Love and light.

Adder:  My date is off.  It’s fine.  He had a what appears to be a valid reason, and said maybe we can meet after work one day next week.  But I knew when Scott’s energy got thrown back into my life that this date might not happen, it’s just the way it is.  I was not focused on meeting a new man, I’ve been, obviously, focused on still working my way out of this old relationship.  That’s the way the energy ripples out.  I have some work to do still, and until I get it done, nothing will work out the way I dream about.

 

Random Memories Wreaking Havoc

Warning:  This is pretty raw……

Today was difficult.  I had that random rogue wave memory hit me today, while I was working.  (See last blog)  I had to go to the ladies room to keep from crying at my desk.  I just don’t understand the mentality.

When he did the prison whore, he called me two days later and couldn’t wait to tell me.  He didn’t want the weight of it on him.  He said “I did something and it’s gonna hurt.”  But he still had to tell me.  He had to do the right thing.  That was February.

In May, he had me over to his house on a Sunday.  Not of course, Saturday night.  I had been there in April, a couple weeks before, the night his friend died. (I had been sitting at home, and was overcome with a feeling from him…I called and asked if he was ok.  He said “funny you should ask.   Gus died last night.”  I was there in a few hours.  He was sad….really sad. But Ok.)  I didn’t think anything of the fact that I hadn’t been with him the night before, now two weeks or so later.  He’d had the memorial service for his friend the day/night before. I got there late morning, I think.  We made love, we were sitting naked, he on his couch and me in one of his recliners, and he told me he was thinking maybe we didn’t need to see each other every weekend.  I remember saying, “I think I want to get dressed.”

He was most likely in her bed the night before, or maybe she had been there and left.  More likely he was at her house…which is why I was not at his house the night before.  I think Saturday that weekend he might have gone to the memorial get together for his friend who died.  I bet she went with him.  She knew the friend too.  I think they first connected when she commented on his picture on FB.  Maybe he even called her to tell her. Since she wasn’t really married……  Maybe he spent the night with her.  Maybe their first night together again.  Maybe not.  Maybe he came home and texted me about it. I can’t remember, it was 7 months ago.  But I’m sure he started seeing her then.  And then he had me over Sunday.

He just said he wanted to focus on himself, on his house, his yardwork, he’d been in a relationship for all his life, he wanted to see what it was like alone…..He still wanted to see me, just not as often for awhile.

Because he had her now.

(This is only a rough timeline.  I didn’t always write about it when I was with him, apparently.  I know I was the weekend of March 30.  I know that was not the last time I was at his house, so I think this is approximately right.)

But he didn’t respect me or his relationship with her enough to tell me the truth.  He could tell me the truth about Samantha the prison whore, but not Betty.  He couldn’t tell me the truth about her until I was ready to come down there and find her there. He disregarded everything either of us ever said to him about not wanting any part of a relationship like that.

All summer he tried to get me to be part of an intense physical relationship, but nothing else.  Because we had a great physical relationship.  When I began to realize that’s what he wanted, I told him to let me go.  Not to come see me if he didn’t want to stay.  A couple of times he spent the night, I don’t know how that worked with her, that I got him on a Saturday night.  Maybe they were fighting.  Maybe she went away.  Maybe he lied to her.  Who the hell knows?  But he gave me just enough to hold on.

Now I get why in early May he was excited to go to Florida with me in early June and suddenly did a 180° turn.  I knew something was up then, but I couldn’t figure it out.  I was angry about it though.  He’d found cheap tickets for us, we’d talked about what we’d do…etc. He was going to rent a car so we could fly into Tampa and then he’d have a car while I visited my mom.  And suddenly he wouldn’t go.  Broke my heart then.  And I got over it, because I fucking loved him.

Sometimes I’d agree, “if that’s the only way I can see you then ok….”  More and more often the answer became “…..Let me go if that’s what you want.  It’s not what I want.”  He wouldn’t do that either.   I’d say, “You wanting to find yourself and be alone is fine, but it doesn’t mean I’m sitting in the wings waiting for you whenever you get the urge.  If you want to be alone, then be alone.”

Of course, he wasn’t, alone. He had her.  But he wouldn’t say so.  He wanted us both, hanging around.  I could see him anytime from Sunday afternoon til Saturday morning.  He could easily, apparently, go from her bed to mine, or mine to hers.

I remember the day of the eclipse, end of September, Sunday night of the weekend before he dropped his bomb.  We were texting…I was telling him that the reason our sex life was so good was because I loved him so much.  That I couldn’t even participate if I didn’t love him.  He suddenly seemed to hear me….he was going to come here and watch the eclipse.  He was getting ready to leave and fell down his stairs and couldn’t move.  He was laying on the floor on his back.  He had been half-thinking of spending the night because I can go into work late on Monday.

And then he couldn’t come.  I think that was true…He had been planning to leave when he called me me from the floor.  She wouldn’t have been around on a Sunday night, and never would have known if he came over and spent the night.

So we sat on our own decks and watched it, texting occasionally.  We both saw the same shooting star.  We texted all week from early in the morning til we went to bed.  During work. During lunch.   Close, intimate, sweet, sexy.

Right up til we went to bed Friday night.  I felt he heard and understood me for the first time in ages.  I felt close…he said he did too.  He texted me at 4 AM when he woke up “for no reason”.   Turns out for plenty of reason. At 10:30 he texted me that he was going to be with her.

Set up.  So set up.  So set up all summer for him to devastate me.  At the moment I loved him the most, he brought me down, he crushed me.

I’ve been pretty good lately.  It doesn’t hurt much anymore.  Angers me more than hurts.   But today, all these random memories from last spring have been just barging into my mind, not knocking at the door, not ringing the doorbell, not asking if they could come in. Slapping my face, ripping open scars, spitting in my face.

All that time.  He could tell me about the prison whore, who meant nothing to him.  But he couldn’t tell me about Betty, who he claims now, he loved.  He couldn’t even honor her by telling me the truth.  He couldn’t respect her wishes.   He couldn’t honor me or respect me and my wishes.  What did I do to deserve that?  I loved him so much, I was always there for him.  I asked very little of him.  Whatever he wanted.  We had fun together, we played, we flirted, but for me…it was always within the confines of just us.  It was just two people who cared for each other being intimate.

I want to get back to forgiveness.  I’m happier there, but tonight I’m hurting.  It won’t take so long, it won’t hurt as deep this time but it hurts.  He’ll read this, and he’ll hide away from me.  What does he care, he didn’t care for those 6 months.  He’s probably hiding from Betty too.  Why should he wonder if the women whose lives he ripped up for his own pleasure are ok?  He can’t do anything about it, but if it was me, I’d still want to know that they were not still laying on the ground bleeding.

I know he’s a sick man.  I mean, mentally ill, to do this to anyone.  I also know he’s not going to do anything about it.  He’s not going to face his demons, he’s going to let them have free rein.  He’s going to go to his grave believing that he was hurt by all this.  All this that he created, and he set up, and he caused with his lies and deception to feed his own ego.  Eventually, I’ll feel sorry for him. Eventually.

Not tonight.  Tonight, I’d like to know that he feels the depth of my pain.  Tonight I’d like to know he has even a modicum of remorse for the way he shattered me, and left me lying there in pieces.  Tonight I’d like to know that it all meant something to him, something more than great sex.  I wonder if he knows how much audacity he had to ask me to help him with Betty, after he ripped my heart out and chewed it up and spit it out in a bloody mess.  He wanted me to help him deal with the lies and deception of another woman, without any consideration as to what those lies and deception did to me.  As if I should just understand, because he didn’t love me, he loved her.  As if that somehow made my pain less intense.  You’d be hard pressed to make me believe he loved anyone but himself.  Playing two women all summer, lying to them both, deceiving them both.  That’s not love S.  That’s self gratification, like jerking off.  One was an old fuck, one was a new one.  But we were both just a fuck for you.  We both know it.

I know I’ll never get what I wish I’d gotten even a little of.  I’m left to dry my own tears, and put my own self back together, and start walking again, away from him, toward a new life.

 

 

 

Daring to Fail Brilliantly

Free Mobile & Desktop Background  |  "Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly." - John F. Kennedy  |  Lettering by Pommel Lane

I thought this was a quote by Brene Brown.  Sounds just like her.  In remembrance of JFK today, I posted it. I was 12 when he was assassinated.  It was my moment of reckoning, it was the moment when I realized that world was not always going to be a beautiful friendly place.

There is no great success without great risk.  Whether it be for love, financial success, personal achievement….You have to be willing to get into the arena and be seen.  You can’t be afraid to fall, you have to learn how to get back up.

Therein lies the struggle.  When you are laying on the ground, with the taste of dirt in your mouth, you have to know how to push yourself up onto your elbows, wipe off your face, battle the forces that want you to stay down, and rise….your elbows, your knees, one knee, then both feet.

My first hero, JFK, and my latest one, Brene Brown.   Brilliant lights.

The Strength of Being Vulnerable, and the Sadness of Those Who Are Not

A friend (Megan, https://lovewillleadyouhome.wordpress.com/) wrote a blog today on vulnerability, asking was it a strength or a weakness.  It made me think of Brene Brown’s incredible TED talk on vulnerability. At the moment, it has 20,784,830 views.  Mine are maybe a dozen of those.  I sent the link to my friend, and watched it again myself.  Brene Brown is brilliant, funny and RIGHT on the mark.

If you haven’t seen this, please watch it.  It’s 20 minutes that can change your life, literally.  I dare anyone to watch it and not shed a tear.

I watched this, and I realized I tried to convince my ex, and S, that they were worthy.  Neither of them bought it.  Both are disconnected.  I tried, really hard, to get my ex to understand this, because he wanted a relationship with our son so badly.  I told him that our son needed to see his father go out on a limb for him, a limb he didn’t know wouldn’t break.  No guarantees.  But if he didn’t try, at least try, he gave up all hope. The fear of being vulnerable was not something he could overcome.  Maybe someday.

And S?  He wants to be free?  Of what?  Of any relationship that might cause him to feel vulnerable.  I believe this.

Neither of these men could take a risk, not knowing the outcome.  Both of them numbed their feelings, using assorted different methods.

Me?  I will offer my whole self.  My feeling is if you don’t put yourself out there, even not knowing the outcome, if you won’t take the risk, then you lose any chance for joy, for love, for creativity, for love and belonging. Let yourself be seen, who you are, without shame. Take a chance, and feel the miracle of connection. But you gotta love yourself first, and know who you are, so if it doesn’t work, you can just move on, with gratitude that you can feel as much as you feel.