Friends, Lovers et. al.

It has been a strange, trying and even sometimes miraculous few years. My world turned inside out, upside down and sideways. I lost myself, struggled to find the way through to a new normal and all too frequently wondered just what in the hell normal really was.

I find, my new normal isn’t normal at all. In fact, I find my new normal is constantly shifting under foot and I am frequently reevaluating to test theories. Just when I think I have it down, when I think I am settled on the answer for what ‘normal’ needs to be I prove myself wrong or slightly off center and must try again. So what is it, is it me? Is it my expectations? Is it the world we live in? Really, what is it? I surely wish someone would let me in on the secret, this constant shifting of the sand under my feet, it is making me dizzy as hell and I am tired.

The past week has proven to me I am not who I believe myself to be, at all. Most days I think I have a larger portion of bitch than most, you know tough girl bitch. Been there, done that and come out the other side, bitch. Not mean girl bitch, simply not going to take your shit, bitch. Then something comes along to prove me wrong, someone meanders through my day and I am pulled up short, set back on my heels and sent searching my soul and asking my monsters, ‘hey, wtf, where the hell did you hide my bitch!’

It isn’t that I pride myself on bitchiness. It is simply life has taught me I need some of this to protect me from harm, from the hurt the world and other people will do if I don’t surround myself with12341638_10208005258989848_2508813082028178841_n a hardened exterior. But I am weak, I am soft. I am figuring this out also. I forgive easily and I don’t like hurting other people. I have a difficult time turning my back on those I love or have loved even when they have broken me, even when they have consistently placed themselves and their desires ahead of me. Still, I have a very difficult time saying, ‘get the fuck away from me’. I don’t do ‘No more’, easily. I don’t draw boundaries easily, I don’t like to feel as if I am the source of other people’s pain.

Now, just how truly stupid is that? Really, how truly stupid can I be that I fail to place boundaries and walls that will protect me from future hurt. Even when those I am trying to prevent from hurting have proven they do not, will not and have not in the past shown the same consideration, the same concern.

Well the other side of this failure, I own my heart and forgiveness often leads to unexpected releases of held pain, even pain I did not know I still held. Despite my natural tendency toward isolation and introversion I reach outside of myself, leaving doors and windows open for people both old and new to sneak inside, around edges and corners leading to friendships unlooked for. Doors swing wide where I thought I had slammed them shut, where I had turned my back and wept my tears of hurt, frustration and pain. At the slightest breeze, the quietest knock I open the door and allow myself to be drawn back, without hesitation or trepidation even knowing how much pain the last encounter caused.

11210400_10207936403708509_5830202822718948331_nAm I an idiot? Perhaps, certainly I open myself to more pain. Surely I open myself to being hurt again. These relationships, these friendships are not always healthy and often difficult to sort out. This is especially true where the relationship wasn’t a friendship but a lover or a spouse. It is hard as hell to change the boundary, draw new lines in the sand and not rehash old hurts. It is difficult not to ask, ‘Why the fuck did you do this to me, do you know how badly you broke me?’

Yes, it is likely the other person knows. It is likely, both of you know the content of the ending. Whether short or long-term, whether lover or spouse one of you left, one of you ended the relationship. It is never mutual, no matter how you might portray it to the public. One of you was ready for it to end and the other was left in pain and wondering what happened and why you are alone and in pain.

Do you wonder what in Hades I am babbling on about today?

I have had a strange week. I am trying to sort relationships. Trying to not hurt those I care for. Trying to regain balance, take back my life and make healthy choices for myself. I recognized many things about myself over the past year, things I needed to understand about what I needed from relationships and from myself. I also realized just how easily I sometimes allow myself to be manipulated, not because I am weak but because I am by nature kind, beyond my kindness though is a history of not standing up for myself within ‘love’ relationships. This history goes back 40 years, is grounded in brutality, fear and force. I realized over the past year I haven’t shed some of my history, it remains rooted inside of me, a dark part of my make-up easily called up and easily taken advantage of; one of my personal monsters I clearly haven’t danced with in the light.

As I have struggled toward enlightenment, toward taking back all of me and all of who I want to be I have also fought to let go of hurt. Perhaps it is simply providence, this shedding of anger and 12507215_10208294405378327_4514737177470774775_nhurt this not holding on that out of the blue as I come more to peace with myself, the one person who had so deeply hurt me reached out to talk. Yes, my ex-husband sent a friend request on Facebook and we talked about God and being better people than we were before. We did not talk about why we failed, I don’t think for either of us it was relevant.

That, that one forty-five minute chat allowed me to finally let go.

So despite I ask my monsters to stop hiding my Bitch, maybe it is fine they leave holes in the wall for people to sneak through. Maybe, just maybe this is how I find myself and find peace. There is no going back, no true second chances. There are though opportunities to learn, to forgive and to forge links in the chains that bind us to the world and our own humanity.

Comments

  1. It’s a healthy approach. BUT keep your bitch in your handbag …just in case.

  2. Val I guess it has been that time of year within our awareness, when we step out of our selves and take a deep look within.. And I now see why you said my post resonated with your self..
    You said..
    ” I am trying to sort relationships. Trying to not hurt those I care for. Trying to regain balance, take back my life and make healthy choices for myself. I recognized many things about myself over the past year,
    That has been half of my trouble.. Pleasing others and not pleasing myself.. Seems we have both done some connecting to our Inner child.. And most links within the chain often take us right back into our childhood memories..

    Sending you Much love.. As you nurture and be gentle with yourself.. Hugs and Much love Val.. ❤
    Sue

  3. Very raw, Val – laying it out like this – takes great courage, I reckon. For a moment there, I thought you were writing about my thoughts and feelings.
    Recently, actually only a few weeks ago – I decided to forgive myself and move on. The journey has become terribly lighter. Denial? Perhaps. Lessons learned – definitely!
    Peace and love from a friend,
    Eric

    • I think my friend, forgiveness comes in tiny steps and then huge swaths we cut through our spirit. It isn’t easy, sometimes it is harder than others. Sometimes we take the weight of the world on our shoulders and hold it close, as if it is our friend.

      Lessons Learned, yes.

      Peace back to you
      Val

  4. It’s such a fine line, isn’t it, the balance between being closed enough to protect yourself, and open enough not to be totally isolated? If you keep bashing your head against the wall to see if, maybe, next time it won’t hurt, that’s just plain foolish. But if you allow the possibility of hope in your life…that’s what makes it worth living.

    • It is a true fine line. Those boundaries are terribly difficult to maintain, yet if they are too hard lined there is no joy. It is a strange, terrible and wonderful world Peg.

  5. No matter the situation, finding peace is a difficult journey … and it’s true for all. Every person reacts differently to a given situation … well heck, we are all different … but we are the in realizing the difficult journey ahead. However (and in my opinion), one must give themselves a chance … because if they truly don’t, they well never find it.

  6. Look at this as temporary, Val. A passing phase. It will get better. There’s happiness waiting for you just around the bend. 🙂

  7. It is difficult enough to think of the past but when it circles back and we must face someone who caused us pain, it is not easy. You have handled it well and gained strength it seems. May your healing continue, kind soul!

  8. This recent conversation is something I suppose you needed to let go. A big step. I applaud you, Valentine. Maybe time will be your friend. ❤ ❤ ❤

    • I find these conversations, with old friends, lovers and spouses are freeing. Even when they are unexpected, unlooked and entirely out of the blue. I thought I would never talk to him again, it hurt me to think that. So yes, I think it was important it was big.

      ❤ ❤

      • I had sort of a similar situation but it took years and years before I could talk to my Ex. When I finally did, what a relief. I let go far more easily than I thought possible (for me). ❤ 🙂

  9. I understand, completely. There is a wonderful song by Keri Noble called “watch me walk”. I have found it to be an empowering theme song of late. Good luck sweet lady. Sending hugs and gratitude for you authenticity ❤️😌

  10. So, it’s not just politics and humor we agree on? You kind of described me in this — although i don’t have these dark deeds in my past that need forgiving. But I can’t stay mad, no matter the gravity of the crime against me (you hurt someone I care about and you are toast, however)

    I don’t think it is in our natures to change, even if it does mean opening ourselves up. And, actually, while it can be painful and we don’t always “win”, well, I think it makes us better people.

    So damn good for you, my friend. I think this is a wonderful thing.

    • I think it might be okay Elyse. I I think it is simply takes to much energy to not let go of it all at some point. I still have a few things and people I don’t forgive, but then they don’t really want my forgiveness.

      Like you, hurt those I love I am coming for you. But I don’t seem to have the same protective instincts about myself. Sometimes though, well sometimes I wish I did. I think it would be less painful to walk through the world with a tougher exterior, you know?

  11. My lovely Dad tells me all the time ” you never know what’s around the corner” & that has sadly proved all too true. All of us change & learn daily it’s part of life’s journey but you will always remain good at your very core & at the end of the day that’s the most important thing of all

  12. Dreamer9177 says:

    I understand how you feel to some degree. My period of pain was many years ago, but reading your post brought those memories back all too clearly.Remember that as you “struggle” to regain your balance, it might not be the same balance as before. You are growing and moving on. Don’t let yourself become too tied to the present. I believe that your “bitchiness” is really a means of moving you forward. It is the natural release of those pent-up feelings that you mentioned. I think you are being told from within that it is time for a change, and you won’t be able to resist without causing tremendous damage to yourself. Hang on and enjoy the ride because you are going where you need to go.

    • I suspect the ‘new normal’ is very different from the old ‘normal’ and will look nothing like anything I had planned. Balance seems to be, right now at least, something I am finding by walking on a beam of light through a dark tunnel, many guides along the way. I am good with that. Enjoy? Well I am trying, truly I am trying.

      • Dreamer9177 says:

        I wish I could honestly tell you it will be easy, but you’re going to be just fine and when this is over with you’ll be amazed at what you’ve done.

  13. I don’t really have anything to add other than to say I’m sorry you’re experiencing more pain, especially when you thought you’d moved on. But it sounds like maybe you’re coming to peace with it. Writing this out will hopefully help with that too.

    • I think it isn’t really more pain, simply a discovery phase. Pulling threads and finding what is at the end of them. Figuring out there are still things hidden from view. It is interesting.

  14. This is stunning! You have the ability to express my thoughts and feelings precisely as I move they this difficult time. It hurts. And I’m lonely. And I feel confused by it all. How could someone so publicly “nice” be so different behind closed doors.

    • I don’t know, truly I think it is such a difficult one. I think we struggle with it all the time. But I also think sometimes it is the dynamics of relationships, not necessarily the personality of individuals that have us coming and going.

      Renee, I continue to offer and it remains open. Send me a private email. I will send you my phone number and we can talk. I know this is a difficult time, I know just how lonely it can me.

  15. I would like to have something meaningful to say here, but I am so beat after my travels that I’m barely eking my way through the day. (May good sleep tonight change that for tomorrow, ’cause I have a lot to write about the trip! ♥)

    One thing that does come to mind on account of we just started Buffy episode 1 here is that it’s easier to set boundaries with people who do really visibly hurtful, terrible things. The milder or less apparent the terrible disregard, the harder it is to justify to yourself that action is necessary; the more extreme, the easier. So when people do controlling, not-great things while smiling and speaking with a soft voice, it’s easy to feel obliged to let them down gently, when the truth is there’s a deep ugly behind the shallow kindness.

    Part of why I love Gavin de Becker’s Gift of Fear is how he addresses this. That shallow kindness is itself a considered ploy. It’s not a weakness or something lacking in you that you want to protect people better than you have been protected. It’s a sign of a loving heart, which, yes, can co-exist with strength, ferocity, and fantastic bitchiness. (That’s another thing I like about de Becker. For him, “BITCH” stands for “Being in Total Control of Herself.”) That love is a good thing … to invest in those who don’t hide cruelty behind smiles.

    Wow. On quick scan of the above, it looks like I almost made sense. How that’s possible with my brain this whirly swirl of how-am-I-awakeness is beyond me!

    Big, big hugs. I adore and admire the heck outta you.

    • As I do you! Adore and admire the hell out of you that is. ❤

      You might guess things churned even more toward the end of the week than in the beginning and middle. I have read Gift of Fear and it remains in my library. I think it is time for me to pull it out and read again.

  16. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    This is “human talk”, unabashed and true. This is the process of life …. these are experiences! These are lessons in the process of being learned …

  17. Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

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