The First of Many

In working on phase II in the Insane Roots memoir series, I have gone back and revisited some of the most devastating moments in my life. Some of which, were so damaging that I had almost completely blocked them out of my mind.

Breaking down the walls has been challenging to say the least, but it has also brought back a great deal of beautiful memories as well and reminded me of the many milestones that have had an extensive impact on who I am today.

As you can imagine, my journals as a teenager were centered mostly around boys & the fact that no one understood me. It’s hard not to laugh at myself, but it’s all about perspective and back then I had very little experience with life.

And for that reason, I don’t think I had a very good idea of what love really was back then either. Mostly because I realize now that I didn’t love myself and until that happens I am not sure you are really able to love someone else fully. It takes a lot to allow yourself to be vulnerable to the possibility that the object of your affection may not return the gaze. 

My past relationships were no cake walk, let me tell you!! With the exception of a very small handful of the men I have dated, the majority of them treated me like dirt.

They claimed to love me, but if they did, there would be no way in the world they would have behaved the way they did.

It wasn’t until well after high school that I can honestly say I felt real love and it was reciprocated at that! It was clear then that all those who had come before were merely practice for the real thing. And although that relationship didn’t work out as planned, it worked out the way it was supposed to. 

I was shattered for a while when we broke up, but I think anyone would be after having been with someone for as long as we were together. 

Eventually, I put myself back out into the dating pool again and well….Ya it didn’t pan out the best. So…almost 3 years ago, I  took myself back off the market (“closed for remodeling” as I called it). 

I knew there was something in me that I needed to repair before I was ready to get back out there again. I was clearly attracting the wrong type of men and allowing them to treat me like the ones in the past did.

Again, it was my own self worth standing in my way. I didn’t believe I deserved a different kind of relationship; one where the love goes both ways.

I also think that deep down, I am still battling with the feeling that perhaps I just don’t believe that anyone could actually love me. I mean all of me…right down to the crazy! 

I know that it’s silly, but even now there is a lump in my throat as I think about it. And it causes me to overthink everything…this constant state of worry that breeds unhealthy habits. 

Habits of self defeating behavior, the need for reassurance & fear. 

Sometimes I really am my worst enemy! 

I’m stopping that! 

From here on out, I am going to focus on the fact that I have someone with whom I love spending time with & perhaps it will grow into something more & perhaps it won’t. 

Maybe he’ll feel the same or maybe he won’t, but either way when I am with him I’m happy and for now that is enough. 

Overthinking where it’s going just leads to unnecessary pressure and a ton of needless worry! 

I’d rather be thankful than fearful, so that is just what I’m going to do!!

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Emotional Menstruation

We have all experienced it. You know…that moment of overwhelming emotion that brings you to your knees. There is nothing you can do, but let the levy break and ride out the wave.

Thankfully, these happen less and less for me now. Which is a great feat considering the intensity by which I feel.

For someone who spends the majority of their life hidden behind a mask of social acceptance, being vulnerable with someone is perhaps the most terrifying.

You grow accustomed to its ability to cloak your emotions, sturdy your walls and hold within the strangeness that is you.

It keeps you from being vulnerable or so you’d like to think.

It all works perfectly, until you find someone with the ability to see you and I mean really see you. When you are together, the rest of the world seems to fade away.

There is no fear in being vulnerable, because within these moments together, you have never felt more safe, more accepted, more true to yourself.

The state of my mind these last few weeks has been one that I had always assumed was no longer in the cards for me.

I am feeling things that are both exciting & terrifying all at the same time.

Sometimes, I feel like I have so much to say and not an ounce of the courage needed to say it. I am busting at the seams to dive in head first and never look back, but I am too afraid to take the leap.

Then other times, the magnitude of what I am feeling sends shivers down my spine and I am filled with the overwhelming fear that it won’t last and I will be left with yet another broken heart.

I am not sure I can do that again. I know I certainly don’t want to.

And what does all this lead to? …Yup! Emotional Menstruation.

I suppose its necessary sometimes, although not my preferred method of expression!

The worst of it is the fear.

Given my track record of misreading situations, I can’t seem to conquer the worry that the connection I am feeling is all in my head or worse, that it is real and they will change their mind.

After all, everyone else has.

 

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Outside Looking In

The sadness comes in waves sometimes, breaking me before I even know it’s there.

It is not its presence that is off putting, but rather the crippling unknown source of the pain.

This mask is beginning to shows its age now and some days the light shines through.

Exposing the vulnerability of a wounded soul.

It is odd, how feelings of joy can welcome this pain.

As if to remind me, that everything fades.

And the greater the love, the deeper the loss.

I guess I have grown accustomed to the emptiness.

That dark cloud looming over my existence.

On the outside, I appear not to be damaged, but on the inside I am falling apart.

Or at least I always was.

It is unfamiliar and perhaps the root of this struggle.

For lately, I find myself less broken.

A peculiar state of mind for a member of the strange.

The uncomfortable knowing that you have been discovered.

And embraced even still.

 

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We All Have Our Demons

I learned something about myself this weekend. A weakness that I didn’t know I had overcome and one that I never really wanted to admit to myself that I had.

When I was younger, I had such a need for acceptance and approval from those around me that many times, I would compromise myself in order to receive it. Of ‘course back then, I didn’t realize that the approval I was getting was in itself self defeating.

As transparent as it was, it is what I thought I needed.

I did not possess the self worth and confidence to stand up for myself. I held no courage when it came to telling others what they may not want to hear.

And when it came to relationships or men in general, I did not always say no. Even though, it was what I wanted to say.

This weekend, I was faced with one of those uncomfortable moments when someone of the opposite sex is refusing to take no for an answer. You try to be nice and say, “I’m sorry, I am just not feeling it.”

And still they persist.

The old me, would have probably endured a long night of constantly dodging their inappropriate behavior and stealthy making my escape.

Ya, NO! I was not having it!

And perhaps, part of my courage was rooted in the fact that my mind has been overly preoccupied with another, but I can tell you without a doubt that the majority of it came from being secure enough in myself to not give a shit about how I made this person feel.

After all, he obviously didn’t care how his behavior was making me feel, so why stand by and condone it by allowing it to continue.

I didn’t need or want the approval from someone who clearly held no respect for me.

The moment came when I had enough. With my hand in his face, I said, “Okay, stop right there…” and proceeded to, somewhat nicely, tell him very clearly where I stood on his advances.

At that point, he had two choices – Stay mad and let it ruin his day or get over it!

Talk about feeling empowered!

I didn’t realize it until the next day, but this held great validation for me.

I talk about how far I have come, but I still have my demons.

I feel lighter now, knowing I have one less.

 

 

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I haven’t yet, but I will.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about how when we were younger and a guy we were dating treated us well, we would instantly no longer find him attractive. And the ones who treated us like dirt, we fell madly in love with.

I mean what rational person behaves like that? You are basically screwing yourself from the get go!

And then we wonder why all of our relationships fail?! Really?!

Does it really make sense that someone you were originally attracted to for being a jerk would all of the sudden become the thoughtful person you originally pushed away.

Having been that way most of my life, I realize now that any relationship I have ever been in was founded on unrealistic expectations. All of which were not communicated to the other person.

I came to this conclusion a few years ago when I was doing some major rehab on myself. And I swore that I would make a great effort moving forward to stop expecting and start enjoying.

I also made the decision to stay single until I learned to appreciate the value in it. I was a serial monogamist for years, jumping from one relationship to the next without taking the time in-between to evaluate where the previous one went wrong and what I needed to work on myself.

It was not fair to the person I was dating or to myself.

I have learned so much about myself over the past few years. The most important of which is that my happiness should never be considered the responsibility of another. That has always led to co-dependency and failure in my relationships.

I have also learned not to take things so personally. I mean let’s be honest, people don’t always say what they mean or they may in the moment, but in the light of day, everything changes.

I am a very strong willed and sometimes stubborn person. Partnered with my independence and the magnitude by which I feel, it can be a lot to handle. It always seems like a good idea in the beginning, but it is never very long before the opposite sex turns and runs in the other direction.

I used to internalize this as there being something wrong with me. Maybe I was just unlovable?!

It took a long time for me to realize that was simply not true.

I am not unlovable, I was just not meant to be loved by them.

And I know this now because I have been loved and I mean truly loved. For all my faults, through all my mistakes, unconditionally, I have been loved. It was a very long time ago, which is perhaps why for so long I forgot it was possible to find that again.

I haven’t yet, but I will.

And until then, I am content.

I know now that I am cut from a very different cloth. I am not the usual run of the mill gal and loving me is not a task for the weak.

I also know in my heart that behind the scenes, everything is falling into place.

There is nothing I need to do, when the time is right, I know our paths will cross. And it is important that they do not cross too early. Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself that had the timing been different, it could have been perfect. But for one reason or another, one or both of you were just not ready for the intensity of what you shared.

As I am growing and becoming more myself, I am sure that person is doing the same. Meeting now could mean preventing ourselves from lessons we are still meant to learn.

And besides, the main focus for me at this point in time is staying true to myself. Something that has been a challenge in the past when sharing my life with another.

After all, we are no good to anyone if we have not found a way to be comfortable in our own skin.

It was a rarity and a blessing back then to have found someone with whom I could walk that path. We were so young and our love so strong that nothing else mattered. And although we have both chosen to walk a different path, he will always be the one who gave me the courage to be myself.

Our love is different now and in many ways stronger. He is not a lover, nor would I want him to be or could he be. The story of how we came to this place is a long one and I am saving that for the pages of my next book, but let’s just say that he and I have the same taste… in men. 🙂

The last few months have been hard. I have struggled with the same feelings of inadequacy in love and after the most recent heart break, I really thought I would never feel unbroken.

But I do.

Now, I do.

I have been fortunate enough to find the strength to pick myself up (once again!) and move forward. I have been able to look back on the situation and see it for what it truly was…not meant to be.

He was the first person, I found comfort in after a very long stint of being alone. I could see his potential, but he could not. He was important to me, but I was not to him. And you know what? That is not his fault and it is not mine. My feelings for him changed, as I changed. He changed me.

That was more than a month ago now and I can honestly say that I have no ill feelings. He was doing the best he could with what he had at the time and that is all I could have expected from him.

As I said before, I know now that I am cut from a very different cloth and loving me is not a task for the weak.

I have been loved and I mean truly loved. For all my faults, through all my mistakes, unconditionally, I have been loved. It was a very long time ago, which is perhaps why for so long I forgot it was possible to find that again.

I haven’t yet, but I will.

And until then, I am content just being me.