A loved one in my life has been going through a lot lately. Honestly, so much has come to light the past week that my head is still spinning. Not only was I unaware of just how bad her own situation was, I was also in the dark about the toxicity of the conditions under which she has had to live. The everyday home life that’s supposed to be a safe place… a refuge.
This morning, I ran across an article I can only describe as one of the best published articles I’ve ever read. Not only is it well-written – it delves deep down into the crevices of certain ‘toxic environments’ we sometimes find ourselves in, exposing unspoken facets of unhealthy and even hellish habitats. After reading it (twice), I simply couldn’t continue on with my day without sharing it with all of you.
Escaping a Toxic Environment – Written by Natalie Thomas
(Published in Huffington Post Healthy Living, 10/27/12)
We’ve all been in them. Situations so dire we lose hope, becoming the very person we pitied, dreaded, swore we’d never become. We talk of an exit like a dream scenario: a child running away with the circus, an adult winning the lotto and immediately quitting their job (not to mention the detailed disbursement of riches: 10 percent to charity, 10 to parents, 10 to splurge, 20 for dream home, 50 in savings). But somehow, we can’t seem to envision a world in which we get there. Capable, otherwise strong, able-bodied beings paralyzed by fear, believing the hype, fearing the backlash.
I’ve been in quite a few dysfunctional situations in my life: bad relationships, unhealthy work environments. And no matter the category, the symptoms are similar: broken-down self-esteem, misery-loves-company companionship, excuses like rain drops.
But while unhealthy intimate unions can wreak havoc on the psyche and may inform the way in which we treat others, it’s usually an insular thing. Group dysfunction, however, is far-reaching and often much more dangerous. They say there’s safety in numbers, but there’s also destruction.
My first experience with toxic circles began like most — in middle school. Her name was “Shannon.” Up until she arrived, we were a blissful, naïve little bunch. Most of us had grown up together, performed in dance recitals, shared many a sleepover and were on track to ride out our middle and high school years together, tight as ever. Then she showed up.
Within weeks, we turned on each other. Shannon decided who was in and who was out. One day you were popular and pretty, the next you were a pariah, with no warning, no bearing on your behavior or actions, simply her whim. She had the power and she abused it. Heavily. If you didn’t agree with her, didn’t laugh at her jokes at the expense of others or talk trash about your friends, you were her next target, and God bless you, because her bad side was everyone else’s backside. You were ostracized. No one would face or acknowledge you despite it having been done to them the week before — how horrific it felt, how they were raised, how much they knew it was wrong. They were just thrilled to be accepted again and did whatever it took to stay there, in her good — albeit evil — graces. Shannon transferred before high school, but it was too late. The damage was done. She came, she terrorized, she left. We were never the same.
It began in middle school. It should have ended there too. But we all know, sadly, that’s often not the case. I had a few more experiences through college and post but, thankfully, I was experienced enough to avoid the drama, speak up for my friends and myself and maintain some shred of dignity. Since Shannon, I’ve made a conscious effort to surround myself with trustworthy, unconditional, loyal and uneasily-influenced friends, so it wasn’t until I entered the working world that the toxicity returned.
Despite the professional setting, those with power and plenty on their plates, those who know better are often caught up in office drama, choosing sides and spewing names. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. They also manifest in all ages and professions. Just like middle school, in the corporate world there is a cool crowd with a penchant for hazing. And although the behavior is similar, the ability to remove oneself from it is likely harder. After all, beyond your reputation, your paycheck, career and livelihood are also at stake.
As a newbie, you’re tested, humiliated and alienated, but you suck it up and trudge on. Eventually you earn your place as newer souls are indoctrinated. There’s a level of pride and confidence that comes with seniority, being a veteran. You’re finally accepted and, initially, that’s enough for you. But eventually that too wanes, and you realize how silly it all is. You realize who you’ve become and, disgusted with yourself, start to break away from the group and forge your own identity. But it doesn’t come without a price.
As soon as they smell indifference, independence, you’re a target again. To blend in, strike a balance between individual and included, you laugh at the occasional joke, roll the obligatory eye, knowing it’s wrong. With each disparaging remark you champion, a bit of you erodes. This is not who you are, who you want to be. You are better than this. Better than them.
In winemaking, there’s something called bunch rot, in which one bad grape infects the group. Toxic friend and work situations are no different. By definition, toxicity is the degree to which something can damage. Make no mistake, these are damaged people — once smart, free-thinking, well-respected individuals now broken down to think and act like a vicious, rotten herd.
These cultish environments lead you to believe you are fortunate to be where you are, can never do better, there’s another waiting to take your place. Those that leave are ingrates, “depressives” — no matter how many years you gave, how hard you tried, how amicable you think you left, you are the enemy. Others are encouraged to shun you, engage in the shit-talking. The ringleader feels more secure — and less inclined to lash out — the louder the laughs. And so you do it; you laugh at what you know is wrong. You contribute in the ripping apart of your friend, your former colleague. It’s just easier. Knowing, hoping one day you too will be a refugee, doing all you can to better your situation in the meantime, adopting the mantras, lying to others and yourself. You are happy. It’s just temporary. Everyone else is doing it. It’s not that bad.
Until it’s finally your time. You’ve woken up, gathered the strength, gotten a better offer, had a life-changing experience… Whatever it is that is propelling you forward, upward, past the muck, the insipid and incestuous clone-like clique, you do it. You — gasp — leave.
You’re filled with a rush of emotions: elation, paranoia, sadness, relief. You seek shelter with other survivors, celebrate with drinks, commiserating about how bad it had gotten, exchanging war stories, your scars like badges of honor.
Away from the brainwashing and the negative influence, you realize how self-consumed you’d become, how jaded, how bitter. And, little by little, each moment without your toxic crutch, you become you again, realizing just how crippling your situation had been. You start to think like an independent, no longer part of a petty pack. You become kinder, lighter, sunnier. And soon it all starts to feel like a dream. A beautiful, shameful, fucked up dream.
You move on. You work on and better yourself. And you wait. You wait for the next embattled soul to wise up and join your fray. And you welcome them with outstretched arms and a cold beer. No “I told you sos,” no “What took you so long?” not even a “How could you do that to me?” because they know and, with one look, you do too. It wasn’t them. It was the atmosphere, the influence. After all, you once were there too. And you don’t “get it” until you’re gone. And once you are is when you really start living again.
For more by Natalie Thomas, click here.
I’ve grown comfortably accustomed to my husband working out of town. Would I rather have him working locally? Of course. But we both realize sometimes sacrifices must be made in order to earn a living. We’ve been blessed in more ways than I can begin to count, this would include us both having successful careers as well as remaining gainfully employed.
For a while now, I’ve felt like my one life has been split into two different realms of existence. I don’t know quite how to describe this feeling; it’s just weird. I really had gotten used to these different realms – because at the end of every week, my husband would be back home. Each week I would morph from my single-life-working-girl realm back into my ‘whole’ realm which includes my husband on the weekends. Oh how I cherish the whole realm… I anticipate it’s arrival the entire week.
Last month Keith was given notice that his new job site was not only much further from home, but also mandated overtime hours – meaning no more coming home time for a good while. It’s so strange. Now I can see these two familiar realms being transformed into a new third existence. An existence where I just… am. Literally, I’m just there. Not sure what to really do. Yeah, it’s pretty tough to explain, obviously.
I miss him. Badly.
I do realize he could be deployed overseas for many months at a time. I am grateful that’s not the case. While I don’t whine out loud much about the situation (doesn’t do any good and no one really wants to hear about it anyway), I can and will write about it. That much at least helps.
I’m not afraid, quite the contrary. It’s the loneliness factor that comes into play… that empty hole feeling inside my gut. This is in addition to feeling like I’m thrown into this third identity. It’s not the same as living alone as I’ve done in the past. It’s quite different than living alone, because I actually know what I’m missing… and, what we both are missing out on.
2013 – time just keeps ticking on by, doesn’t it? Jerry Garcia once wrote into a song, ‘Lately it occurs to me… what a long strange trip it’s been.’ This is surely the truth.
It’s hard for me to believe the series of events that have been jam-packed into one lone year. Honestly, I’d never have believed it even if someone had forewarned me. A lot of things stand out, too many to mention really. If you follow my blog, you know them already anyway.
Every year, I pick one word in an attempt to describe the year. 2008 was Monumental. 2009 was Colorful. 2010 was Serene. 2011 was Transitional.
2012 was Disclosure. That one just looks so out of place with the others, I figured it deserved it’s own paragraph.
I hadn’t even thought about a word for this year, until my husband started monkeying around with our dog while using the word on him. Only then did it hit me – BAM… there’s my word.
My word of 2013 is Persistence. Maybe I should say it’s Keith’s word instead, since it was his own persistent efforts that played out in both our favors. In any case, I’m forced to use it just because it fits better than a glove.
Continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. Donning your suit of armour, setting forth a plan of action for something you feel you can’t live without, never accepting defeat – making something so worthwhile to you actually happen.
Gotta admit I admire your persistence, baby. And at least Mojo’s pronunciation of the word is considerably different than our own… Per·thith·tenth.
“I know you’ve only ever known your father and me. And I love Jack, because he is your father. But there’s another kind of love, Amanda. One that gives you the courage to be better than you are, not less than you are. One that makes you feel that anything is possible. I want you to know that you can have that. I want you to hold out for it.”
~Adrienne Willis, Nights in Rodanthe
by Nicholas Sparks
Appropriately enough, this movie was released exactly three months after the ending of my 21-year marriage. To date, it’s the only movie I saw at a theater more than once. I actually saw it on three separate occasions, taking a different girlfriend with me each time.
I related with it on so many levels. Being alone for the first time in my adult life. Having yet to find out who I really was. A product of a looming divorce. A mother of an extremely strong-willed daughter who would have her say regardless. Never to be last… a woman who fought to maintain her dream that a true unconditional love did in fact exist, somewhere out there. Hey, it might’ve been a dream – but it was my dream.
When you do find that kind of love, you want your loved ones to know that it’s out there for them as well. You want them to hold out for it.
Another kind of love.
One that gives you the courage to be better than you are, not less than you are. One that makes you feel that anything is possible.
For an enhanced viewing experience, ⬆ just click the play arrow above!
And guess what… WE DID IT!!
What started out as any other beautiful sunny September day slowly and surely graduated to rain as the evening fell. Ah, well. Thank goodness for that glorious Plan B, which is one big reason we chose this particular venue. Besides, a little rain never hurt nothin’.
The original plan was to be married by the lake in front of a beautifully draped alter adorned with hanging crystals to reflect the sun and water. As it turns out, we wed indoors in front of the fireplace – nonetheless very beautiful in it’s own unique way. (And believe me, I’ll find a fanciful DIY project with which to use the hanging crystals and reams of unused alter material!)
In addition, I’ll always have the memory of that beautiful sunset night at rehearsal.
While our real pictures are pending final edits from the photog, we’re currently depending on the ones our friends and family have so graciously supplied.
This man has made my dreams come true. Speaking of which, after the ceremony we danced back down the aisle to our chosen recessional “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates, with everyone behind us following suit. I consider it my very own True Romance. Hey, Tarantino… can ya top that one?
My post is simple today, though indeed thought-provoking. Below would be my number one pick of all Bob Marley’s quotes. The amount of love that erupts from this one wise paragraph has always overwhelmed me. Even so, I never could grasp the full intensity of it – just the intense yearning to someday find this beautiful kind of unconditional love. One without judgement, one that makes you want to learn new things, one that makes you feel beautiful, one where you openly invite vulnerability into your life. One Love.
Hope you enjoy.
On this day four years ago, Keith and I went on our first date. For this reason, we’ve always celebrated it as our anniversary.
I remember I didn’t want him coming directly to the door of my third-floor apartment. I think this was a combined reasoning of not wanting to add to his stress level of a first date along with if I didn’t want a second date, the exact location of my apartment would be kept secret. 🙂
Wearing high heels while descending wooden-slat steps could prove to be a recipe for disaster for any woman, especially an accident-prone one like myself. I was certain I wouldn’t make it down without a catastrophic fall. I didn’t, though. As I rounded the sidewalk and the parking lot came into view, so did this tall, dark and handsome man – flashing a grin while leaning back ever so cool-like on the hood of his Volvo. Four years later, I can still see it as clearly as I did that evening. If memory ever eludes me when I get older, I pray for this one memory to remain because it is seriously that precious to me.
We went to dinner at a restaurant called The Grid Iron, which is still open today. Through the course of the meal, the conversation seemed almost too easy, if that makes any sense. He talked about his job as an elevator installer and came across as just a kind soul in general. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was spot-on in that analysis.
To bide a little time before the movie started, he asked if I’d like to ride around his town of Gastonia for a bit. I found him to be an excellent tour guide, narrating this and that, gingerly pointing out an establishment or two he’d installed elevators in.
I’d never seen a Harry Potter movie, actually don’t think I’ve seen another one since. But Harry Potter it was that night, and looking back it was probably the best choice by far. After the movie, he drove me back to my apartment in Lake Wylie. Because of a few losers I’d been out with prior to Keith, I decided I didn’t care much to kiss goodnight on the first date, and so I held fast to that. I reached over the seat, hugged him and told him I’d had a good time. That was it – our first kiss didn’t actually happen until another week later on our second date.
The rest is history. He got the car door for me that night, and he still gets it for me today. He still sings Josh Turner songs to me in that deep sexy voice and it still makes my stomach flutter. His tour-guide antics still entertain me, especially when we’re up in the North Carolina mountains where he’s spent so many years working.
And so inspired a little tribute to you, baby. Happy Anniversary to my precious tour guide…
Keith’s father’s wedding was this past weekend, and it was a beautiful ceremony centered completely around love. My future sister and her husband hosted a lovely reception at their house afterwards, which was so enjoyable. Keith’s side of the family is very kind and loving, so the time we enjoy with them is always priceless.
The older I get, the more cognizant and appreciative I am of incessant acts of selflessness. Every good thing I witness reminds me to try and be a better person. I look at it as a sort of pay-it-forward view on life, for lack of a better term.
The priest officiating the ceremony spoke about the sanctity of marriage and how you wake up each morning with the goal of putting your spouse’s needs before your own. Just because of that thing called Love. Because that’s what real love does, you want to give as much as possible when you love someone that much. It’s a mutual respect between each other that is never ending – it’s not something that changes with passing time.
When dinner time came, we stood back and waited on others to get theirs. I’ve always preferred to get my plate after everyone else has gotten theirs, never first or even middle. Keith attempted to hand me an empty plate and usher me in line. I politely refused, telling him I’d rather wait. He went on about midway through and filled his plate, while I stood conversing with a few family members. A few moments later Keith stood smiling in front of me, presenting me with a large plate of food. What he had just gotten was for me.
Now I know this might not sound like a monumental act of kindness to some, but to me it speaks volumes as to the type of man he is. This is Keith, every day. Even after four years, he’s constantly putting my needs above his own, as I do his. When I wake up every morning, he’s the first thing I think about. He’s the last thing I think about before I fall asleep. We both hold a strong mutual respect for each other. Our time apart at the beginning of the year only served to make us stronger, resulting in deeper devotion to each other as one whole. As it should be. As it always will be…
Have I mentioned we can’t wait for September to roll around?
I’m constantly amazed at all the events that have transpired in this short year.
I moved to my own apartment. It didn’t take long for me to realize that Mojo was not cut out for apartment living, so I made the gut-wrenching decision to re-home my precious boy. In the interim I put forth my most valiant effort in the quest to start a new life. Early March, Keith donned the suit of armor I always knew he had and formed an attack plan to win back my hardened heart – which I never thought would be possible. He’s since ran the entire marathon with a few extra miles thrown in for good measure.
The missing piece to the puzzle was always Mojo. I’ve wanted to write about it for a while now, but the subject was just too painful. On April 3rd, I pled my case to the gracious couple who had agreed to take him. On a stormy April 4th, we made the drive up to Salisbury to retrieve our baby boy. I am forever grateful to Debbie and Danny for allowing us this most precious opportunity… for my heart is once again full and complete.
I’m one of those people who believes every thing happens for a reason. I didn’t think so at first, but I believe all of this was actually meant to happen, and I don’t regret a single thing that’s happened this year.
Near sunset on the last day of summer in front of Lake Wylie, Mojo and Camille’s mommy and daddy will officially become one. The plus? Keith seems even more excited about it than me.
I didn’t use to think so, but life is packed full of second chances. And thirds, and fourths. As far as an individual goes, there are usually varying opinions as to whether someone is even worthy of another chance. When it involves you personally – it’s ultimately up to you to make that judgement, hopefully weighing everything carefully in order to make the right decision.
A couple of weekends ago, Keith proposed. I said yes.
It’s not something that happened overnight. Over the past month, there has been much take place in the area of damage control and his attempts to fix things. This much I know… he’s a good man. Is he guilty of sitting on his hands for a year? Sure. Is he guilty of cheating on me, hitting me or any type of emotional abuse? No. Have I considered that he may have done this out of desperation and/or a last ditch effort to keep me? Yes, I’ve considered it very well – and no, he did not. Why do I feel the need for any explanation on my decision? Because I care about what others think – especially so with my family. It also doesn’t escape me that the views my family and friends have of him are largely a result of what they’ve heard from me regarding his commitment issues.
A good friend told me last week, ‘the breakup sucked, but it served a greater purpose for you both’. That’s quite possibly the most insightful statement I’ve heard so far. I’ve said here before that I do regret moving in with a man without being married. I don’t regret moving out a few months ago.
The bare-bones of it all is this… my decision will directly affect my life and my happiness. We, as the natural makers of our own destiny, must hopefully choose the right path which leads to that happiness. Can we ever be 100% sure in making a decision of this magnitude? Of course not – none of us can. All we can do is take time to carefully weigh all the ins, outs, and everything in between… along with lots and lots of prayer.
Of that much I’m sure.
It seems to be the hardest thing to ditch, this transition from the plural “us/we” to singular “I/me”. This morning I was telling a neighbor about the discipline training “we’d” gotten for Mojo. I recognized my blunder as soon as it came out of my mouth, and walked away feeling awkward.
Right now I’m angry. I hate admitting it, but I am. As I look back on the mistakes I’ve made, I’m angry at myself for being so naive. I’m angry for staying, for believing, for surrendering my whole heart to someone who didn’t appreciate it for what it was worth, for holding out hope, and for all the wasted time. I’m angry at him for being such a damn good receiver. For the lack of communication, for the broken promises when the hand of communication was forced, and for the sheer selfishness that made him, well – him. I’m angry at him for not even once asking me to stay. It stands to reason that I have been played for a genuine fool.
There are some hard lessons to learn in life. Sometimes that one ‘sure thing’ that feels so certain turns out to be the devil himself dressed in a thin veil. As my dear uncle used to say – such is life, I suppose.
One thing’s for certain – the walls surrounding this ticker will be rock-solid from here on out.
I’ve wanted to write something for a few weeks now but every time I start, I back up and delete it. Perhaps it’s because I’m so unsure of myself at the moment – or that yet another dismal post will disappoint my gentle readers. This post will likely be all over the place, for that I apologize. I must get past whatever it is I’m feeling and just write though… because I need to.
January was a topsy-turvy month to say the least, but the busy details of my move kept my otherwise scattered brain very occupied. The US Post Office took it upon their selves to forward my mail a month early, even though the forwarding order had a start date of February 8th. Three weeks worth of mail is now who knows where, and believe me I’ve called everywhere about it. I also had to find a living room suit, as I had ditched mine previously.
I guess I’m still in shock. There’s a bit of anger deep down in there too, but right now just mostly shock. This not being my first time, I understand the many levels of emotions you go through when it comes to breakups – at least that should make things easier. This morning in the grocery store checkout, the cashier asks me “So who are you pulling for in the Superbowl today?” For whatever reason I had to fight a flood of tears back. I paused for what seemed like a minute, and stumbled to him, “I’m neutral on this one, to me it doesn’t really matter.” And it doesn’t. But what an inopportune moment for tears.
It’s gonna be okay. I just need to type that, to read it, to believe it, because it will be. Five days from now, I’ll stand… once again.
I’m well past the time I normally post this little entry as I do at every year’s end. With each coming year, I pick a new word to try and sum up the prior year in a nutshell.
In case you missed it in priors years’ posts, here’s the rundown. 2008 was Monumental. 2009 was Colorful. 2010 was Serene, and 2011 was Transitional. The word I picked for 2012 was Disclosure.
I guess I was dead wrong in last year’s post when I said ‘this butterfly has completed her journey’. I have not. In fact, it would appear the journey never ended, and indeed is far from over.
I wanted the fairy tale ending. Can’t blame a girl for that, can ya? Even though fairy tales rarely if ever come to fruition.
The commitment I so yearned for is not to be. Over the last year I’ve heard a spectrum of excuses ranging from the somewhat believable to the absolutely ridiculous. You may remember I didn’t want to open my mouth to begin with, but with year after swift year passing, what else is there left to do? Just as I thought, as soon as I allowed those sweet thoughts to pass my lips, I felt less-than. Less than the woman I’d worked so hard to uncover – the woman who’d previously remained unknown, even to myself. I, as a whole, had immediately been lessened.
He just wasn’t ready. His job security was unforeseeable. He’d set a (silent) 5-year mark for himself before ever contemplating a commitment to anyone. He’d known all along about my wishes but avoided the issue. Why is it so important to you – it’s just a piece of paper, after all. Our exes names still remain on both our mortgages. You’re like a kid wanting candy. My credit didn’t go through. I was gonna wait until your birthday.
Like a kid wanting candy. Gotta admit that one burned.
I have to take blame where blame is due. I should never have given up my home and moved in with a man, in his house, in hopes for a commitment. I didn’t and don’t approve of living this way, and I know right from wrong. I went with my heart instead of my gut instinct, and we all know love is blind. That’s my bad.
I will have a home of my own again soon, planned for the beginning of February. After 3 1/2 years I have much healing to do and feel the need to once again find and complete my inner Bon. Being single isn’t so bad. Being in a relationship with someone who has no desire to make you a permanent fixture in their life is a bad feeling.
Here’s to 2013 and the goodness it may bring to us all. And always remember change can often be a good thing.
It’s always worried me when a fellow blogger disappears suddenly and never comes back to let you know they’re okay. In these albeit rare instances, it serves to feed a pit of never-ending questions and scenarios in my head. Did they have an accident, did they die, are they sick, the list goes on – and believe me, I can create some scenarios. It’s for this reason that I wanted to let you guys know I’ll be taking a blogging break. Heck I as much as have already, anyway.
When I started posting back in 2009 it was something I needed to do, and it ended up being very therapeutic. It was also something I enjoyed doing. The past few months, maybe more actually, it’s become (can I be frank?) more of a chore. All of you should be able to relate to this honest admittance, since we’ve all likely had an occurrence of being burnt out on some thing at some point in our lives. To be honest, I’m dealing with a lot of ‘stuff’ right now, and a blog isn’t always the best place to, ahem… bare it all. Sometimes it is, just not all the time. So I also consider it ‘removing the cell phone from the drunk’. Yeah. That’s a good analogy.
I’ll try to visit in here and there, and may even be back again in good time. I value all of your friendships through the years more than I can tell you. I’ve met some truly wonderful and inspirational people who, I like to think, have influenced me in very positive ways. For this I feel so blessed, and I’m thankful for each and every one of you.
With that I’ll bid you all adieu for a while, and in typical bon-fashion will leave behind a couple of renegade thoughts.
- As much as I prefer routine, it seems as if my life is always changing.
- Never take communication for granted. It’s such an integral part of life.
- A promise is a promise – it’s not made to be ignored or left to dry up, as if never mentioning it again will make it disappear. That’s simply not the way it works.
Hugs and Kisses
When is the right time to bring up a subject that means everything to you? Is there ever really an optimal moment? Perhaps it’s an instance when you’ve both had an easy day, are feeling great, and possess an entirely open mind? I don’t think that perfect moment exists.
What the hey… my life is all but a damn open book anyway. There aren’t many secrets I actually have. Don’t get me wrong, I’m good at keeping secrets – just not my own.
That word – Marriage. I finally said it out loud.
But if you remember, I sure didn’t want to. I fought broaching the subject – with good reason. What can I say, except the timing just never seemed right. I couldn’t even fathom starting up the conversation, and resented being the starter anyway. What if the response was negative? Was I really prepared for that? So I waited. I put it off as long as I could, which wasn’t very smart. Hindsight strikes again.
Question of the Day: would you consider yourself honest if you admitted knowing your partner wanted to get married, but completely withheld the fact that you don’t? My own answer would be no, it’s far from being honest. Realizing communication is an integral part of any relationship, the fact that I didn’t want to communicate it in no way exonerates me from any blame. Fact is, I should have bit the bullet and said something a long time ago. So my bad there.
The phrases ‘I’m just not ready’ and a silent ‘five-year mark’ set for himself whenever he is ready are still ringing in my head from this weekend, I guess they will for a while. For the record, I consider both naturally-born cop-out statements. It would’ve been nice to know about this five-year mark, that’s assuming it even holds water. The last time I checked, I wasn’t growing any younger.
It’s neither how he feels nor his view on marriage that I have a problem with. The pill that’s hard to swallow is him admitting to know how I felt all this time while keeping his own agenda hidden. All the hints, writings (guess he really does read my blog, at least certain ones) and printed ideas were actually seen and heard – just never addressed. The ghost subject was always skirted and left to hang suspended in mid-air. Prior occasions, day trips and vacations continually evolved into me thinking “could this be it?” – each time ending in disappointment. I realize now he ultimately had no intention of addressing or even acknowledging the subject of marriage, much less doing the deed. It was simply never an option. This has killed a portion of me inside.
“Blessed is he who expects nothing… for he shall never be disappointed.”
**Note: I have closed comments off this post, guys – just needed to vent. Love to you all.
Ever throw a hint that doesn’t get picked up on? Maybe you’re sure that it’s a strong enough one to be recognized but it gets averted anyway, or worse – avoided. Not a good feeling. Can even be frustrating, especially if the hint’s been thrown out on a semi-annual basis for any length of time.
Hinting about a want, desire, or issue of importance in your life can be mentally draining when the hint goes unacknowledged. I understand it’s sometimes better to come right out and say what it is you want – but for me that key word is sometimes. The problem I have with this is, depending on the subject matter, there are wants/needs I just don’t believe I should have to suggest or hint for. It’s just the way I feel, the way I was brought up, the way… well, let’s just say I don’t want to repeat any past mistakes. That’d be kind of stupid.
Mama always said, stupid is as stupid does.
Setting Stages is a very close friend of hinting, and they often show up at the same event together. I’ve set some pretty cool stages myself, if I may say so – like Biltmore House and the beach. Is it right? Wrong? Hell, I don’t know. I just know I could do it, so I did. There’s this little thing you’ve gotta remember about setting stages, though. If your expectations are too high, you’ll end up setting your own self up for disappointment. Which sucks.
Throwing out an effective hint can be tricky. It needs to be thought out carefully beforehand, because the last thing you want is for the hint-recipient to feel pressured or bad in any way. You need to make sure whatever it is you’re hinting for isn’t too far-fetched or ‘out of reason’. If repeated hints never get addressed or acknowledged, the time will come when you must accept the fact that it’s probably something the other person doesn’t want.
Some things are meant to be… while others aren’t. And I’m pooped.
Daylight savings time has always been my preference if given the choice. It just feels right – at least most of the time. Now though, it seems right to make the change back. I’m feeling the need to hibernate, while adorning my feet with not one but two pairs of socks. After 43 years I guess I’ve finally grown accustomed to the bi-annual change of time.
Recently I learned that two of my ex-bf’s are engaged. This doesn’t bother me, it’s just kind of weird in a way. I can only describe it like this – it’s like I’m watching life go on around me from inside of a bubble. I know that probably makes little sense to anyone who’s reading.
I get along well with my ex-husband, probably much better than the majority of the divorced population. I won’t say we talk often, but when we do it’s always pleasant and long enough to catch up with meaningful events in his, mine and our daughter’s life. During a conversation this past summer, he confided that he missed being married and he’d like to be married again one day. I totally understood where that came from because I feel the same way. We went on to agree that it’s a ‘state of mind’ comfort that just never leaves you. He’s had a wonderful lady in his life for years now, as I’ve had a wonderful man in mine. It’s something I never forget to thank my dear Lord for every day.
A few weeks ago, I had a conversation along the same lines with a coworker. Like me, he also came out of a long-term marriage and now he has a special lady in his life. We both agreed that we don’t feel that the word boyfriend or girlfriend is taken very seriously, for whatever reason. It was funny to learn we had the same view on this. I’ve always appreciated a male perspective, especially on issues like these.
Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and enjoy your extra hour! Don’t go and spend it all in one place. 😀
Guess what came in the mail yesterday? Lo and behold – a Helzberg Diamond mini-catalog. ‘You might like to look at this’, K said as he tossed it over to me. At first glance, I just let out a small hmmph.
Upon much closer inspection, I found six out the of eight pages were adorned with various engagement/wedding ring sets. I found out quite by accident this mini-catalog was large enough for me to actually drool over. Like a kid looking at a Christmas toy catalog, I was. So many to look at and choose from. That is – IF a person were to ever desire, or have need, to choose one.
Which made me think of one of my favorite little childhood jingles about worms. Fat ones, skinny ones, even little bitty ones, see how they wiggle and squirm… oh okay, I’ll shut up.
Because it’s not a worm. At least I don’t think it is.
The subject always heats me up in a bad way. Each time I try to write about it I end up backspacing, deleting, rewriting – and guess what? I still end up all over the place. This is sure to be no exception.
A guy I know is going through a rough time. Upon recently learning of his wife’s affair with a co-worker, he confronted her on it. She pledged to ‘end’ it, but obviously didn’t. Long story short, he left her this past weekend.
My curse of thinking too much strikes again, as question after question invades my thoughts. Even if she had ‘ended it’ like she promised, could she really have continued working with the ex-lover? And if so, could my friend have slept well at night knowing the two were still ‘together’, albeit on the job?
Welcome to today’s world where the females are definitely giving the males a run for their money on this issue. At the risk of sounding crude… I’ve gotta go there. Why can’t these people keep their pants on? Can an hour of pleasure really be worth destroying the life of your spouse and/or children? Does your stomach not twist up in worry and angst over what you’ve done – or at least from fear of getting caught? And are ya really gonna trust someone you cheated with not to do the same to you later?
Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely do have great respect for those who’ve been able to get past an affair and ultimately save their marriage. I just can’t imagine many cases turning out like that.
I’ve heard the words reason or exception thrown around, I say SAVE IT. No reasons or exceptions matter to me in this most tender area. Yes I have an assload of sins myself, but infidelity isn’t in that huge pile and it never will be. I know some might call my views one-sided, and maybe they are – but they’re mine. Infidelity within a marriage is a certain removal of trust – the most personal betrayal – a definite stab in the heart. Who knows what goes on in a cheater’s head – I’m just unable to rationalize it in any way shape or form.
Being as how I wrote about it in length last August, I’ll just reiterate the fact that I’m happy beyond words and leave it at that. If you have any desire to hear me gush on about it, you can read last year’s post.
I just bought his anniversary present today. Wish I could say what it is in this post – but on the off-chance of him reading this, I’d be screwed (I’ll be sure to fill ya in later). I hope he likes it.
It really is the little things in life that count. Like being together and making memories. Experiencing the overwhelming feeling of complete love and trust. Just being happy. Actually, I consider being happy a huge thing…
Since my separation and divorce, the word has never passed my lips with regard to myself. I just don’t believe a woman should the first one to speak it, and I have my own personal reasons for feeling that way.
A long long time ago, I did utter it and lived to regret it. I became a prisoner of the word; listening intently to expressions of regret for the next twenty-plus years. ‘The whole thing was your idea”, I was told. Other times, “Your mother might as well have held the shotgun”. Great – my own little shotgun marriage, standing in front of a judge in a courthouse on that hot August day. How lovely. How endearing. How very valued those words made me feel.
In some ways, I think being made aware of this bitter regret only served to make me stronger. I’ve come to the realization the path to real love and commitment will never be found on a one-way street. That the word compromise actually exists for non-selfish reasons. That the amazing feeling of total and complete trust creates an airtight bond that is impenetrable.
I won’t even go so far as to throw out a hint. As far as writing about it, I’m not really concerned with who reads this. I know K doesn’t read my blog – he reminded me of that little factoid just last week. Besides, as dear old Dr. Suess once said…
Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to have my Dad over. We cooked out Saturday night and watched a movie afterwards, and the next morning attended service at his church. With it being a 50-mile drive from my home to his church, Keith suggested that him spending the night might make things easier. I can’t express how grateful I was for the opportunity to do this.
I was able to meet Dad’s fellow church members, many of which are elders. Those of us who were early sat on the side pews and conversed amongst each other. I didn’t pay much mind to a kindly gentleman who got up and went back outside, until Dad turned around later and said, “That’s Mr. and Mrs. Q. They can’t take care of each other anymore, and live separately. Every Sunday morning he eagerly waits outside for her to arrive.”
I would estimate Mr. and Mrs. Q to be in their nineties. As I turned around and watched them come ever so slowly down the isle, arm in arm – my heart melted. What I saw wasn’t two elders. I saw a very beautiful couple, each wearing a wide smile. Love radiated outward from them, I mean they actually glowed. It seemed a real-life version of The Notebook, and I found myself wanting to know more about this couple I’d never met.
After church, we went to my great aunt and uncle’s house where they had prepared us a feast for lunch. They recently celebrated 62 years together – not only are they very dear, but very wise. I’d like to give you an example of just how wise.
While seated across the table from them, Uncle N said, “The secret of a long and happy marriage is always telling each other the Truth. No matter what, even if it’s something the other doesn’t want to hear. When you tell them the Truth, it gives them worth. It verifies they are valuable to you.” Aunt D listened intently while nodding her head in complete agreement. Anyone could see how deep in love they still are, even more so, after all these years.
None of us are perfect, for there is but One that is. The trivial things in life are really that – trivial. I see it as black and white, really; the things that actually matter in life are just plain common sense. I believe a couple should respect each other enough to abide by Truth together. I’ve never understood what could be so hard about that.
From the very beginning K and I each made Truth a requirement, not an option. Sure, sometimes it’s going to be something hard to say or hear. Some of these things can and will cause hurt. But if you repeatedly withhold that Truth, deprive a person of it – you’ll see what you have left in the end…
Recently, a friend of mine posed a question that captured my attention – so much so, that I decided to grab the question by it’s hand and take it for a little walk.
Have you ever worked a puzzle only to find that when the pieces start coming together you start seeing a picture you really don’t want to see?
Why yes B, I have. In my own life, there have been times where I spent much longer on a puzzle than I should have. Times where I tried hard to convince myself there were no missing pieces, or pieces that neither fit nor belonged. An imperfect puzzle, if you will. Admittedly, there were times where I would ‘cheat’, having shaved a bit off here and there in hopes I would make a piece fit. To make the puzzle whole.
Weird as it may sound, starting a brand new puzzle can be a difficult and trying thing. Here you have all these tiny little pieces with no real beginning. Just like anything that’s worth the effort – it requires effort. Slowly, intricately, you embark on a journey of building something whole from a thousand little scattered pieces. You set aside pieces that might match up later, or have a similar color/pattern. You take mental snapshots of different shapes. Slowly, methodically… it begins to form.
Upon completion of an intact puzzle, your patience and perseverance is hopefully rewarded with something pretty or at least pleasurable to look at – not something ugly. So what happens when you work halfway through a puzzle then begin to see something unspeakable taking form? Your first notion might be to push the thought of it away – it simply couldn’t be. You work through a few more pieces, and oh –
Couldn’t be. Hope it’s not…
Maybe the situation’s new to you and you’re shocked. Perhaps you’ve been there before and aren’t. Or, could be you’ve been there before, but you’re still shocked. You may ask yourself, how could something you’ve worked that hard on, invested that much time in – turn out to be a picture of something you don’t want to look at, for whatever reason.
Just a day in the life of a jigsaw.