making pizza

For the first time in a week, I started to feel something. An ache. An upset inside me so big that all I could do was cry.

I’ve been staying busy, working hard on school assignments, studying and binging on stupid Netflix shows during breaks. I’ve been creating distractions for myself so that I don’t completely melt down but yesterday it hit me.

I didn’t realize it but I’ve been avoiding cooking all week but yesterday when I started my prep work for Easter dinner for today the hurt crept in. I rinsed the turkey, put it in the roaster and started to mix up the stuffing. Cutting up the onions I started to cry and not because the onion was bothering my eyes but because you and I always cook together. It made me so lonely for you. It went from chopping onions to thinking about making pizza and all of the great times we spent together in my kitchen making wonderful food, listening to music and creating memories. Thinking of the first time at “The Ranch” making pizza kicked it off.

Some of my favourite memories of us are in that private, quiet little world with Greta the doberman. Cooking, walking, snuggling and just the two of us. Did we create something we couldn’t really have? A world for just two? Was it unrealistic?

The reality was that when I left the Ranch I still had a little boy to think of. He still needed his mom and being his mom had to come before being your girlfriend. That still hasn’t changed only he’s not so little anymore.

I’m a mom first. I loved being your girlfriend but I’m tied to my kids in a way that I don’t think you understand. I am their one reliable constant and have been since they were babies. We are a tight knit four. You tried to be a part of it and I welcomed you but to them you didn’t belong. They didn’t want anyone else to take care of me…they could do it without your help. They also didn’t see the you I saw. You didn’t let them in either.

What they don’t realize is that for the first time in my whole life someone finally gets me even in a way that they don’t. I’m their mother but at some point they won’t need me and will be completely immersed in their own lives and I will be alone.

I’m completely fine being alone, I learned a long time ago to not rely on anyone and take care of myself. It hurts less that way but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel the emptiness that I’m left with now that you’re gone.

I’d like to think maybe with some time, reflecting on what was so amazing and fun about us, that we’ll be able to come back together to find a way to make it work. Obviously changes need to happen first because the cycle can’t keep repeating itself.

I honestly thought being together was going to be easier than it has but there’s a disconnect between my kids and you that pulls me in opposite directions. It’s stressful and while you always think I’m choosing them over you…I have to. It’s not a choice I make lightly because I deserve to be happy too but there’s insecurity in our relationship that I don’t feel but you do, you don’t trust it and it drags us down.

I can’t rely on you to be solid in our relationship because when things get hard or you start seeing obstacles before they happen…you walk away. I don’t walk away anymore, I stand firm for what I want and what I believe in. I don’t settle for anything less. The bar is set really high because I was so hurt before and nobody gets to hurt me anymore.

I accepted all of you and can’t understand why you don’t accept all of me, just as I am. Maybe your bar is set even higher than mine and that’s fine but you have to decide if I’m worth taking a risk to love and be loved. You said to me once you don’t need to be loved but you do.

I wish you had of been able to overcome the wall my kids have built but you didn’t think you needed to. It goes both ways.

As I wandered through the house after you moved out today, tears fell. I sat in the closet just being sad. It’s so full of my shit but the one shelf that’s empty, looks how I feel.

I’ll have my cry, feel everything I’m feeling and hopefully tomorrow it won’t hurt so bad.

goodbye

When you and I began, I saw a future for us. I don’t see it anymore.

We argued over…I’m not even sure what. I got defensive over my kids because I feel like you’re always running them, and me as a mother, down.

You walked out without a goodbye or trying to resolve an un-resolvable problem.

The fight is always the same. My ex, my kids, school…I’m not free. The thing is I take it personally, your dislike of my kids and the way I parent them. You judge me when I’m trying to just do the best I can. I don’t need it…I do enough judging of myself.

You’re sorry we’re at odds right now, you miss me and love that we might work at something; however, walking out was easier. It was not the right choice.

Now I’ve made a choice to do something easier too.

A relationship of one, with myself because it seems someone always tries to control me. If I’m alone there will be no worries of that.

I’m good.

I’m solid.

Quite capable making decisions on having friends, or dinner for a birthday. I care about people, I like helping when asked, I love big…there is no limit…until there is.

I hope you find someone to share the kind of life you’re looking for, at least you know now what it is you aren’t looking for.

Take care, my love.

I wish you all the best.

I’m gonna take care of me from now on.

It’s easier…

On my ❤️

white picket fences

This year was my first Christmas without my kids. It was the first time in 21 years that they did not wake up to a magical Christmas Day that I was a part of. This year I let their Dad have this time with them because I thought he needed them more than I did. It turned out that they needed and wanted me more than they wanted him this year. They know that Christmas has always been a special time for me. My parents always made a big deal over the importance of spending time with family and so in turn I always made it a special family time for my kids. One night over the Christmas holidays, I had a conversation with a new friend of mine. We had played some family games, and had a few too many drinks when he asked me how I saw my life these days. I wasn’t sure what he was asking me so he started to explain. He said that this was not how he envisioned his life. He had built his white picket fence and when it came down he was crushed. He missed his family and with this conversation I became vulnerable, teary and admitted to him that I missed my kids. I didn’t miss my relationship but that I was hurting and his question made me start thinking about how I had built my own “white picket fence”.

When we are young and witnessing our parents relationship, we begin to decide what kind of relationship we will have or want for ourselves as adults. If your parents were considerate of each other, worked collectively as a team of two to raise you and your siblings in a respectful, loving, and attentive environment; you probably would have grown up wanting to find a partner modelled after your mom or dad. If you grew up with a dad disrespecting your mom or visa versa you may have made a conscious decision to either be more of a dedicated, respectful partner rather than what you grew up knowing or maybe you had never really thought about it at all; not really placing any value on any relationship you might have.

As a child I started building my white picket fence. I wanted to marry a loving husband who would engage and teach his children what being a husband and father looked like. My mother is my fathers whole world..she always has been. Her happy has always been his happy. He spent time doing things with my sisters and I in ways that my mother did not. He encouraged my sisters and I to read, he took us camping in the summer, took us sliding and skated with us in the winter. He let us choose the music we wanted listen to or the books we wanted to read, and in doing so he created the same love in me for music, reading, and writing. Today those three things, soothe my soul..he must have known I would need these tools to get through the hardest time of my life. In the back of my mind he was the type of man I wanted to be a father of my children. Unbeknownst to me the father of my children did not have that kind of family life or upbringing.

His dad did as he pleased, without much respect or consideration for his mother and therefore in his mind vowed he would not be that same kind of man. In the beginning of our relationship he wasn’t like his dad. He worked hard to provide for his family and we worked as a team to build our own version of a picket fence around our house; however, he wasn’t the dad I envisioned. I didn’t expect him to change or to be something he wasn’t, but I did want him to form a bond with his children that would also create a strong belief of family in them. The bond between my husband and his children was important to me, and still is. Unfortunately with his work schedule he was often up before the kids, and home after they had gone to bed. If he was home while they were awake he was often irritated by them and their “noise”. They were apparently not part of his “program”. I was at a loss of what to do. Moving forward from that point on, I felt I was alone and on my own. The paint on our fence had started to peel.

Just when I thought we had built our fence, and that it was sturdy and looking good; it started to need repair. The white paint wasn’t so white anymore, boards were coming loose and the posts weren’t as strong as they once were. It wasn’t something I could mend on my own but tried for several years until I started feeling like a dog chasing its tail. No amount of paint, nails or cement could fix what I didn’t break and he became the man he vowed he would not become. I stayed in the relationship for my children which was the absolute worst reason for me to stay. They witnessed their father’s disrespect and the abuse he inflicted on me because I gave him the power to do so. I stayed and he figured that he got away with it once, then when I stayed for round two there was no way I would ever leave. What he didn’t know was that I felt round three beginning and decided it was time for me to go. Three strikes and YOU’RE…OUT!!

The fence came down, along with everything I had tried to build for and in-still in my kids. Now that two of the three are adults and the other is just starting his teens they have to decide how they want to build their fence. They will have to decide how they will model their lives around what they’ve had to deal with and probably continue to struggle with it for the rest of their lives. My hope is to find a different route this time and maybe not concentrate so much on what kind of fence I build, if I build one at all. I know what I want and feel free to express to them the importance of honesty, appreciation and respect in a relationship…can build a strong fence. The fence will still need to be maintained regularly, but being aware is one of the first steps in making it strong. The “white picket fence” that I built with their dad, was just as much theirs as it was mine and I’m sorry for them that he didn’t think it was worth maintaining.

new beginnings, strength and protection

I bought two bracelets at a little shop in Las Vegas in February. One was a beautiful gold little moon and the other was a silver little tree. The moon represented new beginnings and the tree represented strength. I bought them at a time when I needed both a new beginning and strength. Of course I know they are just bracelets but part of me wonders if there is a little bit of magic in them.

Within a couple of weeks of buying the bracelets I lost the new beginnings one and was devastated. My daughter who was with me when I bought them laughed and said “I guess no new beginning for you” I cried because the new beginning was what I was looking forward to the most. Still I forged on and the new beginning started..even without the bracelet. I attributed the going forward with my plan to move and start a new life from the strength I was receiving from the bracelet with the tree.

But now I’m afraid that I might lose the bracelet of strength and what will happen if I do. Are amulets or talismans real? Do they really give you protection..or keep evil away? Do they really give you the strength you need, when you need it? I believe so. I need to believe that even without this bracelet that my strength will still be with me..but right now I don’t. I feel anxious when I notice the red string is coming loose. B says that the bracelet is just a bracelet, and that everything I’ve accomplished so far is because I am strong enough to do what I need to do.

little miss can’t be wrong

Hmmm…sometimes I wonder if relationship stuff is all on me. My lack of flexibility. My stubbornness. The way I only see black or white, there are no grey areas. Am I unwilling to compromise or change my behaviour?

What am I willing to put up with?

Well…I’ve put up with so much shit from everyone for such a long time that I’m pretty sure what it is I want in a relationship and what I don’t. I’m jaded because my ex decided he could do whatever he wanted and I would just go along with it…until I didn’t and because of this I’m harder on people who are in my life now. I’m not the gooey, soft person that I was. I’m still kind, but a relationship with me now comes with boundaries and limits. I’m not as accepting of things as I was and I fight back…HARD.

I don’t play games and cut right to it…most of the time. I actually never play games but when I shut down, it probably seems like I do. Sometimes it takes me a little to see how to work things out and not be so rigid in my thinking. It’s hard when you come out of a relationship that wasn’t respected or appreciated and not be wary of someone who says they want to be with you. I don’t trust it. I wonder what the motivation to be with me is if I’m unable to admit fault because I apparently can’t admit when I’m wrong. I think I own it when I’m wrong.

In my marriage, I didn’t challenge my ex but I challenge my new relationship every day.

Every.

Single.

Day.

Maybe the difficulty lies in that my partner in my new relationship wasn’t challenged by his ex either and he doesn’t know how to handle me standing up and staying exactly what I want or mean. Honestly…that part is not on me to try to figure out.

Some days are great between us and there are no questions as to why we would chose to be together but then there are others where we just can’t seem to get it right. Like the last few days, and it makes me question my ability to be in a relationship.

Should I be in a relationship? Or am I just too cynical now and unable to trust?

Should I avoid relationships all together and be a lone wolf?

Should I be more passive and less aggressive when confronted with a problem?

I honestly can’t effectively see what it is I need to see until I back up and am allowed the time to take in what is actually bothering me.

I’m bothered by someone who tries to mold and control me into what they think I should be or do. And maybe that’s not a fair point 90% of the time but when it feels controlling in the other 10% I shut down. I get defensive.

I’m bothered that when I need to get things out of my head, my verbal list making is made to feel irrelevant or insignificant and that I’m talking just to hear myself talk. I think of it as my way of making it known what I need to do, get it out of my head and just by saying it out loud I’m committing myself to actually doing it. I have reasons for my verbal list making.

I’m bothered that I was so weak for so long and now that I’m not it doesn’t feel right either. I never used to confront anyone and people took advantage of my soft gooeyness.

I’ve been in this relationship now for a little more than two years and most of the time we work really well, but when we don’t…we really don’t. It’s not for lack of love or commitment but lack of being able to understand what it is the other is going through. In our previous relationships we shut down because it was easier, which was probably a large part of the demise of those relationships. It was easier to not fight back or stand up and say how we really felt. Now we’re not flexible enough sometimes to share the same space. I might be “little miss can’t be wrong” but when he says, “I don’t always have to be right, but I’m rarely wrong” sometimes sends me over the edge.

thoughts

Sometimes I have so many thoughts running through my head, I just can’t keep up. I also can’t keep up with all of the feelings that come with these thoughts. I can’t put anything into words and I sit quietly as I try to make sense of what is happening in my head. Today is one of those days where I don’t really want to be alone with what I’m feeling, but I am.

I’d rather avoid the sadness I feel sometimes. I’d like to put it into the back of the closet and forget about it like the dress that doesn’t fit anymore because I’ve put on some weight. I still like the dress but for now I just want to forget about it and hope that it will fit again when I decide to lose the required weight. Sadness is kind of like the weight I want to lose and be free of. I’m not struggling with it like I used to, but there are days when it sneaks in and I can’t shake it.

I’m a nursing student and am headed into a long term care practice setting. I’ve been working through modules over the last few days and am finding this section is making me sad. I’m sad for the elderly whom I haven’t even met yet. I’m anxious because I know some of the elderly clients will have dementia or Alzheimer’s or be angry because they aren’t able to care for themselves any longer. They are now in a situation where they have to rely on nurses like myself to assist them in their activities of daily living. I’m sure it feels somewhat demoralizing for those who know what is happening to them but they just can’t make their own limbs do what they want them to. I’m already feeling too much and I can’t shut it down.

I’m worried that as a nurse I will always feel too much for patients I will eventually interact with. I wonder if at some point I will just be desensitized to situations and it won’t affect me. I worry too much.

These last few days has also made me worry about my own parents at 73 and 70. Both are in relatively good health minus the usual things that start to plague elderly adults. Diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis etc. My dad is worried about his vision, his cataracts are getting worse and he has to go for surgery soon. I talked with him and I reassured him it will be like having the vision of a twenty year old again. He laughed and said “Well there is that.” I know he’s worrying about his quality of life these days and my mom should anything happen to him. I worry more about him, if something should happen to her.

I’ve tried to put on my nursing hat and gently tell them what I know, and that they need to make their wishes known. They feel invincible and they are a long way away from having to make those kinds of decisions, but they aren’t and I can’t get across to them the importance of these decisions. I feel like I should also be making it known what my wishes will be. Anything could happen to me and I worry about who will have to make these decisions for me when I’m no longer able to. Who do I ask? Who do I have these difficult conversations with? I’m only 48 and I don’t feel invincible. I feel vulnerable to absolutely everything and fear takes over.

I remember the first time I took my oldest son on a plane. He was only 5 months old. I was worried the plane was going to crash and he wasn’t going to ever really know what life was like. I was anxious the whole trip. I would look into his chubby little face and think how much I loved him. My love for him was overwhelming and it made me scared of so many things. My mom has always said you never stop worrying about your kids no matter how old they get. I have three now and they are all grown, and my mother was right, I still worry about them.

I have to remind myself to take everything day by day and I can only control what I’m capable of controlling and the rest I’ll just have to deal with it as it comes.

live wild, love hard

“That’s not love .. just need.”

So for awhile now I’ve been trying to figure out the difference between love and need. I know what love is…how to feel it…how to give it…how to show it but I struggle with how to receive it or trust it. I know as children we need love to grow and learn, but as adults we want to find love, be in love, give love but most of all be loved.

I want to be loved but I’m happy with who I am and I’m feeling less and less complete in a relationship I can’t trust. I’m told it’s okay to say what I want but then it becomes quickly evident what I’ve said was not the answer he wanted to hear. I know as I’m saying “No” it will be the wrong answer, but then I think…it’s the wrong answer for who? Saying what I want is okay and I shouldn’t be made to feel bad about it.

I think I’m going to continue just doing my own thing and…

Live my life the way I want, be in complete control of it and not have someone tell me if I’m doing it right or wrong.

Love…I want to give it and receive it but not be controlled by it. My happiness does not depend on someone in my life…it depends on me. I can love myself first, right?

I’m finding strength I didn’t know I had and it’s making people in my life uncomfortable. It’s not like me to stand up and say “No” but that’s a problem of theirs not mine.

fear

I love you but I hate you.

I miss you but I’m better off without you.

I want you out of my life but I never want to let you go.

I love you but you’re easy to let go of cause you’re really really challenging and I don’t know if I need it.

If you’re out…say so.

I’m struggling with all of that…it makes me feel like I don’t matter the way I should. I shouldn’t be that easy to walk away from.

I say things when I’m hurting that I can’t help but say because it’s my armour, my protection. B says I can say them to him but can’t put my ex in his place when he comes at me. My ex was abusive…and my reaction has always been the same, fear. I left that situation and swore nobody would get to hurt me again. I get defensive now, lash out, fight with words and say things I couldn’t before. I don’t want to feel controlled by anyone anymore.

I will do things in my own time. Fear has a constant hold on me and I don’t trust myself to move forward. I have to retrain my brain and find a way to not feel triggered.

I fear that I am not enough.

I fear that my love will be rejected.

I’m afraid of overthinking and the decisions I make.

I’m always afraid I’m going to hurt someone with my words or actions and I won’t be able to take it back. I don’t want to be the cause of anyone’s pain.

I fear that I love too big, unconditionally, without judgement or expectations and it comes across as needy. I want to be held tight enough, to crush the fear.

My insecurities run deep, and are hard to escape…but I’m working on them.

I need to focus on me right now, just breathe and keep telling myself…

I matter. I am enough. I am amazing. I am beautiful inside and out. I’ve got this, chin up girl. I deserve love. I will love myself first.

It’s hard to do…but I’m working on it. Patience and understanding needed.

home

He became the light when I thought the darkness would never end, but now it’s creeping back in.

He was the music that made me want to dance, and now there’s only silence. My body still.

He was my favourite Sunday morning, afternoon and night…now I just wish the day would end.

He was my nightly comfort, keeping the bad dreams at bay but the demons have returned to the edge of the shadows cast from the light I leave on. I don’t sleep because the demons know they can get me if I do.

He was my first and last thought of the day…”My love…Have I told you today…that I love you?” I have no words.

There’s a void growing. Deep and dark. A feeling of worthless nothing. There is no sunshine only rain. I’ll grow cold and numb again.

He breathed life back into me when I thought it might be gone for good but now he’s gone and says…it’s for the best.

There are so many hours in the day…I lay here and just let them pass. I’ve been here before, watching the sun rise and set. No purpose. No reason to move…so I don’t. Emptiness consuming me.

He was my tree, tall and strong, holding me up.

He was my home, my safety, my security.

My love.

folding towels

The Messy Towel Drawer | Maxwell Family Blog

I used to work part time in a department store and every time I went into work, I’d end up in the linens department. I’d help customers find pillows and bedding I thought would work well for them based on what they told me for likes and dislikes. I was also responsible for tidying everything in the department as well. The messiest mess was the towel section. I’d often stand in front of it and look at with dismay because it was ALWAYS a MESS.

Customers would pick up several individual towels, hand towels, and face cloths to try and decide what would work well with the colour schemes in their bathrooms. They would shake them out to see their sizes and determine if they will be absorbent enough for their needs. I would usually survey the mess with a sigh and begin folding.

I hadn’t really given much thought to folding them but the other day I felt my life was just as messy as those towels. Nobody cared what state they were in, much like nobody cares what state anyone’s life is in. Customers unfolded several towels and just left the mess for someone else to clean up and I’d wonder what the reasoning behind this really is? Did they not fold their own towels or take care of messes? Did they not know how to refold a towel that they’ve just shook out to see if it will fit around their bodies? And couldn’t they just see that the exact same towel in a different colour would be the same length? I feel like a lot of people just don’t care and feel entitled when it comes to having to clean up after themselves. It’s hard for them to see the destruction they’ve left in their wake. How does this relate to the mess in my life? Well let me tell you.

For a long time I cleaned up my ex-husbands messes and when I decided I wasn’t folding his towels any longer, he fell apart. He didn’t know how to take care of the messy situations in his life he’d created. He created them but somehow felt he was entitled to have me clean them up for him and I would never leave him no matter what he’d done. I loved him more than anyone should love another person who continually hurt them. I loved our children so much that I was willing to keep folding his towels and clean up his messes. What I didn’t realize was that my children were taking notes. They knew my love was so big that I would keep hiding and not be the person I needed to be, so they could be happy. Only they weren’t happy; none of us were.

I didn’t think they knew what was happening to me and how I was slowly dying on the inside, but they did. My love wasn’t the same. It became mechanical and lacking the emotion it once had. I wasn’t hearing them when they would tell me about their day because I was so wrapped up in my grief. I was becoming bitter and cynical. I realized it scared them. I was lonely and sad, but trying to be happy for them. I was trying to be someone else because I felt like who I really was, wasn’t wanted. I wasn’t enough for my husband so he found others who helped make him feel whole. The thing was, and I realize it now, I was too much for him. He took advantage of all the love and kindness I gave him. The kids couldn’t rationalize why I would allow him to abuse my love for him and our family. I felt they would learn that forgiveness is key, but in forgiving him, he had to be deserving of it and he wasn’t.

My life has been a constant state of messy towels for a long time, but I’ve decided the only towels I’m folding from now on…are mine.