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Brevity free birthday, from the inner webs of my brain

I’ve been thinking a lot about what to post this morning for my sweet husband’s birthday. Because, you know…. that’s sorta what i do. Think. And then Overthink. On everything. Yup. Evvveeerrryyythhhhiiiinnnggg. I worry. I question. I doubt. I stress. I worry some more. And then i worry that i didn’t think of everything that i should have thought of and how could i possibly be prepared if i haven’t thought of that scenario yet. Anxiety. It’s a true gift people. And i am blessed beyond measure with it, Let me tell ya. I can think through more scenarios in seconds than you could ever imagine. Lol. I tell you all of this So you’ll understand, perhaps, a little clearer about this mysterious thing that happened to me a little while back. I met this guy. His name is Adam. I was very recently divorced and a very big mess. And something magical happened. Every time i was around him, I didn’t think. I didn’t go over in my head twenty different ways to say what i hoped would come out right before i said it. I didn’t think about my reactions to what he asked. And let me tell you, he asked {{A LOT}} of pretty psychoanalytical questions. But something about him made me just answer. Without hesitation. Without thinking. Without hiding behind my carefully constructed mask that i had spent YEARS perfecting. He just got the raw ugliness. The raw brokenness. The raw openness. The shame. The glory. The pride. The horror. All of it. He got me. And i was absolutely sure without a doubt that he’d go running. Like seriously. Sprinting away. When I’d get home I’d replay everything and think “why in the heck did you say/do that??” “Are you insane?? Did you really just flirt with him without consulting all these voices first?!?” (Trust me…. i get the irony of that question. 😂😂) but i began to realize not only was he learning about who i was… *I* was learning about who i was. It was this fluid moving living thing between us.   And the more he stayed. The more this uncontrolled openness freed my soul. I had never allowed myself the courage to just be honest. I hadn’t put down my shield enough to be real with anyone. Fear. Pride. Past Experiences. That unending terror of being a disappointment. I was that terrified prisoner. And then Adam showed up. When i least expected him to. When i was anything but ready for him. God planted him in my path. And i truly believe it was God that allowed my anxiety to lift. To give myself the permission to be loved as *me*. Not as who i wanted to be. Who i planned to be. Or who i was pretending to be. But who i was right then and there. And he has been loving me in a way i only thought was reserved for hallmark and Disney movies ever since. And today is his birthday. And I’m so very blessed and excited to spend another year celebrating him and his existence. So…. in my annoying and ever present long winded way… 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Adam. We are better because you are in our lives. Thank you for the gift of the truly unconditional and unselfish love you show to all of us every single day. I missed a lot of your birthdays up to the day we met… but here’s to never having to miss another one ever again. ❤️❤️ 
I adore you, sweet husband. 

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Fragments of memory. Bits and pieces of me. 

I remember when we were baptizing our first child.  He held her with such awe, and looked at her as if she was the reason the world was created.  As if everything in his life had been building and waiting for her to be born.  I knew I never wanted to forget that moment.  I did everything I could to soak it in, to capture it in my mind and live that moment as completely as I could.  My heart wept for joy at the words he was saying, “she is like this little piece of clay that God has given us to mold into a person.”  He wasn’t exactly a spiritual person.  He didn’t pray openly, or speak about God.  He went to church with me only because he knew I wanted him to, but it always seemed to end up a down payment on something else for him to do later.  There were red flags everywhere, now that I look back, but I ignored them because there were also moments like these.  Beautiful, precious, hopeful even moments that I thought showed me into the softer side of him that he was just afraid to let out.  Those little sweet windows he’d allow me to gaze into every so often that made you feel like you were let in on this special secret world where the man of my dreams lived.  Where everything was perfect. Where we were happy.  Where HE was happy.  Like the magic of finding that white dusty footprint in your living room next to the plate of half eaten cookies and chewed up carrots in the yard.  Where your belief was so strong in what you wanted to know to be true, that you’d actually believe you heard sleigh bells,  and that hope would keep the illusion of Santa  safe until next Christmas.  He led me to that secret window just often enough to keep the illusion safe.  To keep the belief alive that we would be ok.  That we were ok.  That the rest was worth it.

And then I woke up. 

It wasn’t this drastic moment of clarity.  I wish I could tell you there was this triumphant “Ah-ha” moment where it all clicked.  I took much longer than that.  I struggled drastically with guilt.  I gave way too many last chances and said “I can’t do this anymore” way too many times to him, and to myself.  I’d twist the reality of the situation around to where it was me at fault.  And sometimes I’d even lash out so that it was actually my fault for the argument.  The sad part?  The incredibly terrifying part?  No one knew any of it.  There was this violent sea twisting and crashing beneath the surface that I was drowning in.  Yet, from above, we looked like the perfect couple.  The family to be.  High school sweethearts who laughed and had big gatherings of friends in our beautiful house.  Our three kids were amazing.  Polite, social, active kids who excelled in school and life.  and I was a shell.  A smiling mom who made gifts for all of the teachers, bus drivers, and classmates at christmas.  Who sent food in for parties.  The one who all my friends came to for advice, and actually gave good advice that helped people.  But no one knew I was broken.  No one knew I was dying inside.  I’d spent our entire relationship convincing everyone how amazing he was, how happy we were. And the further along it got, the longer it went on, the more scared I’d get of telling people.  The bigger the fear became that no one would believe me.  The fear of disappointing my family and even more so, his family who I loved so dearly, would overwhelm me.  The public shame of it, and the ugly aftermath that was sure to come from him lashing out.  He knew my fears of disappointing people.  My need for people to like me, and think I was a good person.  He knew how deeply that affected me, and I knew he wasn’t afraid to use that against me.  He did while we were together, why in the world wouldn’t he unload after we weren’t.

And he did. 

And he still does. 

I’ve learned so much about myself in this process. I’ve learned (and continue to struggle relearning this) that you can’t control how other people act, but you can ALWAYS control how you do. Your reaction is where your power is. Your recovery is yours. It can’t be derailed by them unless you allow it.

Even though I left physically almost 5 years ago, I didn’t completely emotionally and mentally leave until last year. That moment was a huge victory for me. And I could see in his eyes that he knew his rein on me was over. 

However, it allowed him to shift his target from me to our children. He knew my mind and heart were closed to him.  That I wasn’t going to be his victim anymore. But he also knew those three beautiful babies would always be my heart, and he has mercilessly used that to continue his wrath. H

The raw truth. Kind of. Maybe. Part 2

It’s been a while since I’ve been on here. I tend to go in spurts of writing and then ignoring. Feeling and then pretending it doesn’t exist.  Being emotional and then smiling it all away.   Consistency has never been my forte. I don’t know why I’d expect any other parts of my life to be. I go between struggling to process it all. And pretending it didn’t happen. And then I even teeter a little on the notion that I made it way worse than it was and I’m just being greedy for attention. The poor me martyr. In reality,  it’s somewhere in between all of it. It’s a whirlwind of all.  And there are even moments where I’ve never admitted just how bad it truly was. 

Something about me that I admit is my Achilles’ tendon: I see the good in things. To a fault. Usually to my fault. Not just in people. In situations as a whole.

 They couldn’t actually have meant to be that cruel. They couldn’t have meant to hurt me. It was just the  way I interpreted it. It’s my fault that I got my feelings hurt for no reason.

But in reality, it was exactly that. Or even worse than what I admitted. And that’s humiliating. And humbling. And infuriating. 

The tough part about healing is when you forget to feel it in the first place. When your today’s beautiful  reality outshines the pain of the past and you’re free. Until you’re not. That sneaky way that the tar of pain can creep in when you’re not watching and freeze you in your place for no other reason than to show you it can.  There’s no warning. There’s no trigger. Just BAM against the wall of angst. And you’re frozen in the nightmare. And it doesn’t make sense. 

That’s where I am. Trying to figure it all out. Trying to understand what the truth of the past was instead of the rosey tinted view I let myself believe in. And it’s hard. And it hurts. And it’s tricky and sneaky. And it makes absolutely no sense. My poor sweet husband. I wish I could explain it to him. He doesn’t understand.  He wants to help. He wants to heal me. He wants to figure it out so he can explain it to me. But it’s muddy chaos. And constantly changing. 

And it’s hard.  

Dragons to dust

Photo credits
What if it’s not the fairy tales that save us after all. Maybe it’s finally realizing that the reality is, there is no such thing. The knowledge that fairytales are just the illusion we create to feel safe inside of when today is just too harsh. Sometimes, knowing that is what saves us. That I don’t need to wait on the knight to rush in. That there is no knight. That my own strength and determination and worth is enough. That *I* will save me.

Hysteria 

It’s a strange feeling to wake up with the realization that you’ve been here before yet everything is different. The comfort of home without the reassurance or ease. The walls are faded and the lights flicker and you wonder how long you’ve been asleep, or if you’re even awake. Time plays tricks on your vision and you’re depth perception is uncertain. you can watch the reassurance as it fades into the shadows of the fan blades circling over head. 
“Here’s the challenge,” he said with his back against the wall. “Do you run after life or do you stand up and live?” 
There’s truth to the notion that you must go after what you want to fly beyond where you’ve been. But there’s also danger in running after something only to lose focus of the journey for the destination. 
There’s a pendulum of awkwardness teetering to each side waiting for the tics to toc and the birds to sing. The snow falls into rainbows and the sun shines under the sea. Where nothing makes sense, yet everything works brilliantly. Questions become as irrelevant as their solutions. Lies become outsmarted by the truth. And the heart is no longer in sync with your mind. Logic tells you you’ll never win. But the wind whispers what your soul should have never forgotten . It’s impossible for you to fail. It always has been.

Caged

Photo by undecided-shoe

You’re vaulted away as if the sun is the antichrist coming for your soul. You’ve shut so many doors around you to keep everyone blind but it merely puts you in the cage of your own self hatred and insignificance. 
You pretend not to notice the trail of your own tears and pray that no one else notices them either. But I do. 
Your reflection is tarnished in the house of broken mirrors and your lost in the maze of self doubt and discontent. The shuffle of your feet attempt to drown out the screams in your head but it doesn’t work. Nothing does. You search for the man you knew you were but he’s not there behind you. Your hands are not familiar and your voice is not your own. The words drip like fire from your mouth but never make the connection to your heart and lay empty on the chair beside you. They fill the cup of the wrong well and the price is far too great to see past to your destination.
Breathe deep the cool wind from the broken window pane that promises relief to the stagnant room you’ve made your home in. Realize it is that brokenness that gives the renewal and the chance to inhale again. The price is not ideal, but not higher than your ability to collect and overcome the debts. There is magic in your veins and power in your heart. The world waits for no one, yet your heart demands it’s time. And so the world waits. For you.

Dark Grey with her. 


Art by Mark Demsteader

Its nearly as if The world spins on a different tilt when she is sad. The clock hand is sluggish. A dimmer output from the sun. Even the birds take on a lower flight path and their songs are dark grey. It’s as if the happiness of the world waits for her permission to continue. Her smile radiates such warmth and joy that it just doesn’t make sense to be upbeat when it is missing. Perhaps tomorrow. Perhaps the world will be bright and sing again. But today, we shall be gray with her. Folded into the lap of comfort and rocked. 

Fenced


Photo credit source

There are moments in life that the world seems to stop spinning. We struggle to cling to the gravity that held us to the familiar without admitting that we no longer recognize what we are afraid to lose grip of. We have wished and held so tight to the fragments of what we believe to be what is needed. The fear of letting go. And being let go of. Of testing your navigation mid flight. And feeling the spin of losing control. Or even the fear that the free fall is what you crave. That the knowledge you have and the feelings you desire will never align to match the picture you have so vividly captured as your goal. So we sit. In fear of going forward, afraid of looking back. Blind to the warnings along the way. And terrified of exposing our own insecurities and admitting our life isn’t where we want it to be. The familiar is now foreign. The courage required to step to the new path is exhausting. Where the promise of security and happiness waits balanced on the fence of the unknown.

To explain or not to explain ?!

What is your preference when you read a piece by someone. Do you want to know their meaning and the story behind their words? Or do you prefer to read it and apply it to your own story however it is applicable ?  Does knowing the back story take away from, or add to the experience of reading someone’s work?  I put an “about the piece” explanation in my post titled reflection. I’ve never done that before, but I felt I needed to explain away the vagueness for my own healing journey. I was going to continue the trend, but didn’t know if it was presumptuous to think it mattered beyond what you took from the words and how you built it to your situation. 

Let me know!  Just something I was thinking about this morning 🙂 

Hope you’re all enjoying your Monday.