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.

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Learning to Love Ourselves

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I have always had a hard time with the concept of self love, until now.  I never felt I should put myself ahead of the needs of others, especially those who needed something from me, that I could provide.

This kept me in a bad marriage much longer than I should have been.  I did his work for him, I took care of him, of our business, of our home.  Eventually, of making the money to pay our bills and keep food on the table.  I got nothing back for it.  It’s of little surprise that when I left the marriage, finally, I was out of love, and depleted.  It’s of little surprise that I tried to fill the hole with food, and when I left, weighed about 40 lbs more than I do now.  It’s of little surprise that my heart used to pound in my chest so hard every night that I was afraid I’d have a heart attack in my sleep, and prayed every night not to let that happen, not to leave my son with my ex as his only parent.

It would have been the same with S, because I was giving myself to him, unconditionally, unlimited.  I did try, but not hard enough, to leave him when I began to feel that same emptiness.  But unlike my ex, S would give me an emergency fix and offer up a small bit of himself, and make me feel like he wanted me around, and I’d buy into it.

I realize now that I was not loving myself in either case, that I was just finding a way to keep giving of myself.

Loving ourselves does not mean that we think we are great.  It does not mean that we give our egos free rein over our thoughts and emotions.  It means that we dig deep, we find out what we need and want to lead a rich full life.  And we seek that out.

After my marriage I did that, for at least 5 years. I learned to meditate.  I sought out people who were more enlightened than me.  I read spiritual books voraciously.  I thought I had it figured out, who I was, and how to find what I wanted.

My first foray into trusting and loving someone was with S.  Although I knew and had learned well the power of unconditional love, I still had not turned that love inward.  I still did not ever put myself and my needs first.  I offered it up, and for some reason, felt it was ok if I didn’t get it back.  It wasn’t.  I was already depleted when the Boop came back into his life.  That incident cracked my heart open and took what was left and spilled it out onto the ground.  What could she give him that I didn’t? Why?

The answer was she gave him less, not more.  She wanted less from him, not more.  She was satisfied with less from him not more.  I get it now.  I get it.

Since then, in the last 6 weeks, I have realized that loving yourself means not giving up your dreams.  It means you honor the emotions you feel, you don’t act out on them, you feel them.  You honor them.  You live through them.  You find a way to grow from them.  Use them like the rain, to grow into something beautiful.

I learned that anger is only a mask for pain.  I learned that hate is only a mask for fear.  The fear is that things will now change, you will have to start over, you may live your life out without ever finding the love you want.  Which makes us so willing to accept even small bits of what we want, it’s better than nothing, right?

No.  It’s not.

This is where trust has to enter.  We have to trust that our lives are unfolding as they should be.  That the rich full life and love that we seek will come to us.  We have to trust that when we open the space in our hearts by letting go of people and relationships that are not working, the universe will fill it for us, with what we are dreaming about.  Simplified, it is the law of attraction.  Like attracts like, it’s a scientific physical law, and also applied to energy, emotions, relationships.

In my life, at 40 years old I dreamed I would have an amazing beautiful baby boy.  He was born on Cinco de Mayo in my 41st year, 10 lbs, 15 oz.  22 1/2 inches long.  Today he is 23, 6’3″, athletic, and focused, and kind, and loving and has been the light of my life since the day he was conceived.

All during my divorce (which took me 4 years to complete) I dreamed of owning my own beautiful home, and having my son with me.  That’s all I wanted.  And 4 years ago, I bought it, and my son had already been with me a long time.

What you dream of will manifest.

But first, you have to love yourself.  You have to believe you are worthy of an amazing life.  Of love and belonging.  Of whatever it is you dream of.  I am re-engaging with my dreams, and letting go of trying to make what was always untenable work.

I still will keep a place in my heart for the child who drives that riverboat, but it’s his journey to get it down the river, to steer through the deep and get wherever it is he’s trying to get to.  My path leads away from him now.  And I’m ok with that.  In fact, I am looking forward to moving toward the things that I want.

I’m learning to love myself, and honor myself, and my dreams, and I think that it has a lot to do with learning to live like water.  The journey to source, to ourselves, to becoming more authentically ourselves, is not always easy.  It doesn’t always flow.  It get blocked, and requires work to unblock it.  It requires us to at times make a new path, at times wear the bedrock away.  It requires us to trust our guts and the universe, knowing that the intent of one is the intent of the other.

Shadows and Light

I’m doing the Deepak Chopra/Oprah 21 day free meditation “Become what you Believe”.  They offer these 21 day free meditations about 3 times a year, and I’ve done them all, I think.  They are invaluable.  The insight I get is generally very enlightening.

Today’s meditation was about the shadows, our darker, hidden beliefs about ourselves that, when brought to the light, lose their power.  I think I’ve had a few, lol, that have led me to not learning the lessons and so repeating them.

With my ex…when we met, and in the early years of our relationship, he was a different man. He was a nationally ranked swimmer.  He had what appeared to be a big close family, and his father ran a very successful business. The family exuded success. I was dazzled by the accumulation of wealth, and what seemed to be a close intact family.  It took me years to see the underlying dysfunction.  He and his older brother dislike each other immensely.  His father had a foul temper, and could lace into people, my ex and his wife, and anyone in his way, at any time.  He knew it…he always said, “I will knock people down, but I then give them a hand back up.”  Well yes, he did.  He gave them a hand when they were bloody and beaten and their brain scrambled, because then one was the most vulnerable to do what he wanted, to listen out of fear of being beat up again.  When my ex was young, it wasn’t just verbal, it was physical too, until my ex got too big and could and would have fought back. The brothers hated each other because one of them had to be at fault for anything that happened bad, and they learned to point the finger at each other from the time they were babies.  The mother, stood by and watched, and allowed it all, in the interest of “backing up her husband.’  Which was really just inability to face the fear of life alone.

So there was the dysfunction. It was all about power and control, it was a gift from my father-in-laws own alcoholic father, passed down through the generations, to my ex.  I hope to have broken the cycle by getting my son away from it, and working with him, to help him understand his own shadows.

But I digress.  The point is, the dysfunction.  S also had a family of origin that was dysfunctional.  More dysfunctional? I don’t know but small bits and pieces, because I never met them.  But in neither family was there unconditional love.  In both families the mother allowed the father to run rampant over the family. That I am sure of.

So, my own shadows.  When I realized this about my ex, gradually over the years, I began to consider leaving him, which would have been the best thing to do.  But I didn’t. Fear mostly.  Of many things.  Finally, the universe put in front of me something that was just unacceptable on all levels, and I was able to gather the strength to overcome all my fears, and I left him, and began a long battle to reclaim my life, and my son’s.  Leaving earlier would have been the right thing to do for my spiritual evolution.  With S, it didn’t take me as long.  Last summer, when I realized all he wanted was a physical relationship, I tried to leave him so many times, but again…I chose the easier path, and allowed myself to be pulled back in.  The universe actually helped me out, bringing Betty Boop back, because I needed something drastic to happen in order to get away from him for my own evolution.  I needed to regard myself with more value, more worth, and to stop believing obvious untruths that soothed my ego, but hurt my soul.

I chose the easy path too long with both. And even after Betty Boop came back, and he chose her for his own reasons, (choosing the easy path, perhaps? It’s way easier to repeat the lesson, than to rumble through it. But that’s his business, not mine.) I continued to talk to him, to want to find an easy path to stay in his life, but thank God, I loved myself enough then, to not take the one he offered.

I now need to learn that I DO deserve a healthy relationship.  I went from one so controlling I couldn’t breathe, to one so uncaring that it ripped me open.  I gave both men my full heart, I tried with both to make it work, no matter what it took.  And it took me…it took pieces of my soul in both cases.  It took me giving myself away.  I reclaimed myself from my ex, but then, I hadn’t learned the lesson, along came a different wolf in different sheep’s clothing, and I gave myself away again.

I think I am learning the lesson now.  I think I get it.  I am reclaiming myself from S.  I woke this morning feeling ownership of my life again.  I haven’t even checked the phone to see if he tried to leave a voicemail. I am hoping he’s finally leaving me alone, and has stopped trying to keep me on the periphery of his life.

Back to beliefs.  I really believe now that dysfunction does not have to be my lot.  I want, and will find a loving passionate relationship, or not.  But I’ll never settle for one that is again dysfunctional.  My eyes are open, I don’t want to repeat this lesson.  I don’t need another teacher.  LOL.  I see the shadow, and now, it’s in the light.  I will always have compassion for those like my ex, and S, who have been buried in dysfunction all their lives.  They have the choice to change it or not.  It’s not my job.  I can shine the light, it’s all I can do.  Its their choice, to stay in the darkness, and repeat the lessons, or bring their own shadows to the light.

As for me…Onward, as Liz Gilbert says. Onward.