I am finally free …

Well I know I have months of healing emotionally but I had a major breakthrough this past holiday.  I feel like an orphan with no real immediate family but I have great friends who will never let me feel so alone and lost again.

I have had to draw boundaries with my family and its been hard, sad – you name it.  But I will no longer accept their attitude toward me, it has devalued me for years.  I used to go around thinking, “we have always had our differences but we have always worked them out in the past” but now I have accepted that, no, in the past I have always backed down and let them have their way.  I tried to stifle, bury my hurt.   No more.  Now I wear my pain as a badge of honor, courage.  I have been through the worst times of my life without my mother, sisters and their children by my side.   And I accept now that this was by their choice, not all by design or my doing.  I have tried.  My conscious is clear.  I am done reaching out.  I used to walk around thinking, will I ever be good enough.  Well I know I am the best.  I have a huge heart.  I am worthy.  Their loss if they never got to fully experience my goodness.

I have read many books, watched many movies, and met many women who have good relationships with their mothers, sisters. So many discuss the mother-daughter and sisterly bond. Each time I hear or see this, unexpected tears would stream down my cheeks. For I could not recall attachment, closeness, memories of this bond within my own life.

I have tried talking honestly with my family.  They refuse to understand my view, accept me, refuse to meet me half way.  And its finally okay.  I have no other choice but to accept and move forward …without them.  I am actually writing this right this minute and not crying.  Its a first for me.  Every time, I wrote about the lack of relationship with my immediate family, I would break down.  In the past, I have stayed away, traveled a lot, made sure I wasn’t around.  I used to cry when I realized how much of my nieces and nephew’s lives I missed out on but those tears will no longer reach my cheek.  My nieces and nephew are old enough now to forge a relationship with me, if they wanted one.  I guess they don’t.  They have expressed to me in the past how hurt they were about me not being around for a few years.  But really?  Did they ever think about me and my pain? I am sure they have not.

The past few years, I felt rejected, unloved, unwanted, forgotten.  My self esteem has been at an all-time low.  My health is poor and my body keeps failing me.  And even with all my physical, emotional and financial troubles, I tried to reach out to them.  I tried.  Not being worth it, had always been my deepest fear; I felt as though they have all proven to me, I was unworthy of their love, acceptance, inclusion by them not trying to work on our relationship.  But in reality, I see clearly now, their actions do not make a statement about me; they make a statement about them.

My trying to be worthy to them, was at the root of all my depressions and low self-esteem. I have decided to move on again.  I am not going to sacrifice myself, my time, my energies, my money, to them anymore.  I have learned that there are some people who are incapable of healthy, loving and mutually respectful relationships  I am slowly understanding, I am capable. I have great friends – so I know that I am a loving, respectful person. I have done my grieving.  I have shared with them all I had to give.  I have tried to follow the golden rule:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  But I was always the one left more confused, hurt, exhausted, broke – you name it.  We all hear how we should be the bigger person, the example of love and forgiveness.  And I tried – I feel that I have succeeded.  Now.  I forgive them and myself.  I will continue to pray for them.  I will always be happy for their success; and sad for their loss.  I will just remain in the background, at a distance.  Where they have put me.  I am okay there.  Now.

I was not being an example of love to myself nor anyone when I allowed my family and even some friends walk all over me.  I see now, that I was sending the message that they were more important than me.  Every time, I dropped my plans to accommodate them or help them I was devaluing me.  I allowed them to think they were more deserving.  I was willing to accept the smallest kindness as a huge step forward.  Like a dog that always comes home to the master no matter how the master regards the dog.  No more.

So many people, even in my own family, believes that a barren, childless woman is selfish, or can’t understand certain things.  They regard motherhood as a sacred institution and most regard it as the highest gift.  If so, explain to me why or how so many mothers kill their children – physically, emotionally?  If there is no unconditional pure love, what is left?   For too many years, I felt a void, a lack of empathy and interest, and a lack of feeling loved. For many years, I did not understand and tried to rationalize it.  I tried to fix it.  I tried to be the good daughter, the good sister, the good aunt.

The more accepting I am learning to be, the happier I am.  The more I learn to just let go of expectation, the more I can let go, also, all my sadness.  I no longer have to try so hard for them to love me, accept me.  I love myself.  I accept me.  All this has allowed me to understand more and begin to find my quiet sense of being, my peace.  I have become more centered.  I am no longer invisible, especially to myself. Without understanding, we flail around, we make mistakes, feel deep unworthiness, and sabotage ourselves and our lives.  No more.  I am happy, at peace.  I love myself unconditionally.  I used to think my cancer, my accident, my family, my work all defined me.  Now I am free from that.  I define me.  And I choose happiness … with hope in my heart, grace in my step.  It’s been quite a journey…and I am looking forward to more self awareness.


So me …

“I’m quirky, silly, blunt, and broken. My days are sometimes too dark, and my nights are sometimes too long. I often trip over my own insecurities. I require attention, long for passion, and wish to be desired. I use music to speak when words fail me, even though words are as important to me as the air I breathe. I love hard and with all that I have… and even with my faults, I am worth loving.”

– Danu Grayson


Good bye …

I have spent the last few years struggling….emotionally, physically, financially – and despite or perhaps in spite of all, I have tried to find love. I always believed if I could find just one person who will love me, have my back, things will make sense. But I learned that you can’t find true anything, especially love when you are so lost and struggling. You find pieces. I have allowed the wrong people in my life the past few years.

I recently found myself so sad, crying inconsolably because an ex found happiness with another woman. Yet when the tears dried, I took a good look in the mirror and asked myself what was that all about – you don’t even want him back. All true. We were toxic together. But in my vulnerable state, I made it all about me and my own feelings of unworthiness. I thought I was too sick, too broke, too old – that is why he is treating her so much better than me. I kept questioning myself and a few friends, why could he change for her but not for me? Why does he love her more than he ever loved me? Ha! My eyes are wide open now.

I am sure there are many of us out there who dated a guy, had some great times with him and then he says something like he doesn’t want to be in a relationship or that he’s not ready to settle down. Then BAM … six months later, you find out he’s engaged to the next woman. Huh? How did that happen? And even more curious still … why her and not me? I have learned, the hard way, it’s not about me. I would obsess about all – what went wrong, how things could have been better, different, what the new woman has that I don’t, etc. I could go on and on, but the real question has been: Why am I obsessing over a man that clearly didn’t want, love or respect me?

No more losing sleep on someone who is just not worth my time nor energy. I can see how my friends may think that all my lamenting means I am not over him, or I want him back. But its not about that. For me, its about learning, accepting, growth. Honestly, it’s not that my ex never recognized that I was a good woman; I truly believe he just wasn’t ready to grow. If we are lucky, we all grow and change over time. Certain experiences, both positive and negative, change us forever.

In any relationship, there are unintended hurts, offenses, and betrayals. Over time some things are resolved, some things are healed, and some things create wounds that begin to erode the relationship despite the attempts to move past it.

When someone new comes into the picture it creates a new dynamic. It’s a clean slate, for one thing. There is none of the history, hurt, and toxicity in the new relationship. Since the new person is different the whole relationship is different. And hopefully we have learned valuable lessons from the last relationship. For me, I choose no more self-blame. I understand now how I allowed some of his behavior. I take responsibility for my part.

Naturally, I have seen him step up when a woman doesn’t take any nonsense – You could say he respects a woman who won’t tolerate his nonsense. But in reality, I shouldn’t care so much how different he is with her. What I see is all surface. I have no idea what is really going down behind closed doors, and I shouldn’t. He’s her problem now.

I logically understand that my ex may remember some of the things that were important to me and do them for his new girl. Since she didn’t have to beg, or even ask, she reacts with delight that he is so thoughtful. He feels good because it she seems so simple to please. Its a beautiful cycle. Yes, basically, she is getting the benefit of my past struggles with him. I get it. At first, trust me, I was hurt, I didn’t like it. But with each passing day, I am a little more thankful. I am even a little happy for him, and her. Yes, I am. They make a great looking couple. I hope it lasts. But then I recall just how bad it was, and just how narcissistic he was. And I almost feel bad for both of them. He has issues that he needs to resolve before getting too serious with anyone. I just hope he receives the help he needs.

A friend reminded me that some people, especially a narcissist don’t really change. He will romance this new lady just like he did me at first. He will be charming, romantic, sensitive, and he will be everything she always wanted in a man. He will tell her how different she is from me, how she is his dream woman, and how I never appreciated him. He will deny any angry outbursts or violence but if he can’t deny it he will explain it away as it being a “very difficult time” in his life – subtly casting the blame on me.

He will make her feel like a princess as long as she is providing something he needs – supporting him financially, admiration, a place to stay, or the “look” of a normal, responsible man. I couldn’t pretend for long – this is why we never worked.

Sadly, for some people, things don’t really change. A person can only hide, run from the truth for a certain amount of time. Eventually she is not going to be enough for him either – she’ll suffer a financial setback, gain some weight, get an illness, or become aware of his crap. The pattern will continue, but luckily not for me.

Yes, I need to accept the fact that my ex is going to treat women in other relationships differently than he treated me. I am learning not to make take it so personally. It’s not a true statement about who I am. My ex failed to see my true value. His loss. So a final good bye. I am working on me – rebuilding my life, my strength, my health, and regaining my self-confidence and just moving on forward … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.


Sometimes …

Sometimes, you just can’t tell anybody how you really feel. Not because you don’t know why…or how.  Not because you don’t know your purpose. Not because you don’t trust them. But because you can’t find the right words to make them understand.


May your shade be sweet …

It’s been awhile since I could really sit up and write. Been pretty weak as of late. Recuperating has its own merits thought, right? I have been watching a lot of movies, re-watching some I couldn’t quite recall all. And I absolutely fell in love with this song, “Shade and Honey” from the movie “Laurel Canyon”. And a bonus: all the beautiful actors in the movie: Frances McDormand, Alessandro Nivola, Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale.

And the fact that sexy Alessandro Nivola sings this great song, only made it sweeter:

I could look in your face
For a thousand years
It’s like a civil war
Of pain and of cheer
But if you was a horse
I could help you with your chains
I could ride you through the fields
By your fiery mane

May your shade be sweet
And float upon the lakes
Where the sun will be
Made of honey

I cry diamonds while you burn
‘Cause no one here can save you
She’s returning to the Earth
But one day she’ll be silver
Stars are dying in my chest
‘Til I see you again
She was born with the wings of a hawk
Where she combs her hair with blood

May your shade be sweet
And float upon the lakes
Where the sun will be
Made of honey

May your shade be sweet
May your shade be sweet
Where the sun will be
Made of honey

May your shade be sweet…
May your shade be sweet…

And float upon the lakes…

May your shade be sweet…


Healing

I write for many different reasons, to express many things … at times, my brain just can’t shut down.   My head feels clutteted….so I write.  And if in any of my ramblings, I can reach just one person , then I like to believe that it was all worth it to be so honest and raw.  To feel so vulnerable.

Read the below quote and it is what i would like to believe.   I would like to believe that with time and honesty, I can make a positive impact on another person.

It’s important that we share our experiences with other people. Your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else. When you tell your story, you free yourself and give other people permission to acknowledge their own story.  –  Iyanla Vanzant


Beauty

Allow beauty  to shatter you regularly. The  loveliest  people are the ones  who have been burnt and broken and torn  at the seams, yet  still  send  their open hearts  into  the world  to mend  again, and again, and again. ~ Victoria Erickson

Exactly how I choose to live my life … fully, with no regrets.  Tears haven’t killed me yet.  Grace in my step, hope in my heart, beauty in my soul …. ♡


I Am Worthy

Thanks to a great friend with a beautiful soul, I was reminded that I am worthy of so much more than what I am going through. Then I came across these quotes and it just turned my entire day, week around. Thank you…you know who you are.

You are not useless. You are not hopeless. And no matter how scared you are, you will never be alone. And deep down, somewhere, in the part of you that decided the good days and your happiness and your health were all worth fighting for, you know that, too. Hold onto that knowledge. It will see you through the worst. – Ella Ceron

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. – Maya Angelou

Some people will never ‘get you’. Do not spend eternity asking why. People will see you differently, just cherish those who lift your soul. – Dodinsky’s Garden of Thoughts

The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming. – Romans 8:18

The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed. – Ernest Hemingway

I refuse to be destroyed though. Not letting my struggles become my identity… I still know how to smile. I know how to love. I know how to live. More importantly, I know how to put one foot in front of the other … with grace in my step, hope in my heart…

You’ll meet her, she’s very pretty, even though sometimes she’s sad for many days at a time. You’ll see, when she smiles, you’ll love her. – Pan’s Labyrinth YES! Me! Worthy of all good things.


Living with Cancer

Today … was like coming home, after a long trip. That’s what true friendships and love are …. it’s like coming home. I was finally able to meet up with some friends today and it was a good day. Good days have been far and few in between this winter.

I find myself trying so hard to be strong. Sometimes, I feel so alone, going through cancer, trying not to be a burden to anyone … but then you let your guard down and realize who truly has your back.

I try to put a big smile on my face but at times, all I want to do is curl up and die. Just give up. But then I find myself lucky enough to spend a couple of hours surrounded by friends and my smile is genuine. I still want to curl up, but not die. Lately, I have been too weak for much. But today was a good day. A day of genuine connection. I felt a part of something. And sometimes, that is all we need. Today was a day of hope and hugs.

People ask me on the bad days what chemo is like, how I am feeling – and although I consider myself articulate, I have a really difficult time explaining it. It’s difficult to describe the forest from the trees, right? Chemotherapy side effects are worse than cancer, that’s for sure. With cancer, most of the time you’d hardly know it if some doctor didn’t tell you. I mean, I was pretty hard up by the time they found it in me, but sometimes cancer can go all the way to stage IV and you’d never know it.

Chemo, on the other hand, you can never forget that. Not for a second. There’s no ignoring chemotherapy. It invades every cell by the end of it. You spend months marinating in a stew of toxic wastes that are out to kill you. And I don’t think that’s overly-dramatic. You try it sometime and see if I’m not right. The exhaustion, the pain, the numbness, the forgetfulness, the vague feelings, the full yet empty stomach, the nausea… so many things, feelings. The exhaustion never totally leaves me, and I can’t stand very long, and today was not really different, except that I felt okay, accepted, no one made me feel bad. I got to sit like a statue and was surrounded by good friends… making new memories. Embracing life…with grace in my step and hope in my heart. Not giving up – on people, nor myself.


“Til I Get It Right”

Wild Saturday night!! And by that I mean, quality Me time, snuggling on the couch with my fav Chili dog, the fire roaring, M&Ms nearby and watching the movie, Hateship Loveship. Loved it. Based on the talented Alice Munro’s “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage” stories. Great cast. Love sexy Guy Pearce and the talented Kristen Wiig. Can fake love turn into true love? All believable. We all want love. We all want to root for the underdog. May we all find the courage to go after what we want in such a quiet calm way as Kristen’s character, Johanna, does. Sometimes plain is truly extraordinary when we really see past the usual. I am a sucker for the good girl / bad boy cliche. Still works for me. lol

So if you are snowbound like me and in the mood for a good recipe for a good movie – a good story, wonderful casting – watch this movie.

Fav movie line: “I have what I want.” YES! May we all be so lucky.

Fav movie soundtrack: ‘Til I Get It Right
Written by Hollis De Laughter & Larry Henley
Performed by Tammy Wynette – oldie but a goodie.


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