Tag Archives: strength

Come as you are…

“Come as you are, as you were,
As I want you to be
As a friend, as a friend, as an old enemy.
Take your time, hurry up
The choice is yours, don’t be late.”

Ahh…the lyrics that shapped my early teenaged years. Good ole Nirvana. I can distinctly remember 13 year old me talking about how I could relate to the lyrics because I had grown so much over the years (yes, that was written while rolling my eyes). Boy do I wish I could go back and smack 13 year old me up side the head.

Certain things have been happening in my life that have really made me look at who I am and who’ve I’ve become. I spout off about the stories of who I used to be and the things I used to do but I rarely talk about who I am and I’ve come up with a theory on why. Basically, the person I used to be is familiar and I know what to expect when I behave in those ways but this new, more honest version of me is scary as hell.

The person I used to be smoked weed, got drunk, screwed around, lied, was manipulative, usually had an alterior motive but that is who I used to be. I didn’t really give a shit about anyone but myself. If I spoke up about something, it’s because I stood to gain soemthing. If I wanted to get high, get drunk, and/or have sex I’d just call up whoever would be willing and go to ‘er, the consequences never really mattered.

That’s all changed. I like to pin point my own extra marital affair as the piviotal point of change but I think it’s been happening for a long time before that, maybe I just started paying attention after that last encounter. Recently, I was faced with a decision to lie or tell the truth. Lying would have been so much easier, in the short term anyway. I could have preserved one relationship and stalled the strain on another but in the moment when I had the choice, I chose to tell the truth. I’ve asked myself why so many times in the past while because that’s not what I’d normally do. I’m glad I’ve had the wherewithall to question the why because I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my answers.

First, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to realize and celebrate the fact that my values and moral compass have shifted. I no longer identify with being a “cheater” or “cheap” or “easy” or “a homewrecker”. That’s just not who I am anymore. I’ve made peace with that part of me and it feels fantastic. I find myself getting defensive when someone says “once a cheater, always a cheater” because that’s not true, I am no longer a cheater nor will I ever be again.

I also don’t identify with being a liar. I am not completely innocent when it comes to lying and I can’t say I won’t tell a lie in the future but what I can tell you is that it doesn’t feel good when I do it. I feel the weight of guilt, frustration, worry and general distaste. In that moment of being able to chose, and knowing what the consequences of my choice were, I finally chose what was best for me. For my psyche. I may never repair those relationships and that’s a consequence of the situation but at least I know that I was honest and I’m not hiding anything. I’m not keeping secrets or protecting lies. I am free of that and that freedom is delicious.

Finally, I’ve been taking a good long look at why I’m drinking and why I have started smoking pot again *gasp* and really, the question there is why am I chasing that dragon? Why am I feeling the need to live a life that’s not a sober one and again, I think it’s to get away from facing up to what I already know. Things are different now. Pot is not my deal and when I think about hiding it from my kids and being paranoid that I’m going to get “caught”, it is clear to me that my conscience already knows what my brain has been slow in realizing. It’s just not for me. Drinking makes me sick and I do and say stupid things when I’m drunk. It’s also not for me. I have to be ready to let that go. I have to learn to be comfortable and confident in my sober skin and that’s what I’m going to learn to do. I want a healthy life and not one that is foggy and half-remembered.

Finally, I have been examining the relationships I have in my life and I’ve started to question why I’ve prioritized some unhealhty, one-sided relationships over ones that I felt comfortable in. I have distanced myself from so many of my friends over the last few years and I am ashamed of that. I have a lot of fence mending to do and hopefully those fences are strong enough to be mended. I have been chasing people who couldn’t give a damn if I was in their lives or not, bending over backward, trying to be everything to everyone and I have forgotten that to a handful of people I am enough for them without even having to try.

I am so blessed to have found the person that I love completely. I am so blessed to have healthy, interested, good people as children. I am blessed to have fences that need mending. I am blessed that I realized it before it was too late.

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My Promise

Dear You,

I am hurt and I am angry.  We agreed to take on life together, we promised to support, love and cherish one another.  What happened?  What went wrong?  We fight against one another now.  There is no respect, there is no trust, there is no communication, there is no love.  There are only empty words and broken promises.

I am sorry for the hurt that I have caused you over the years.  I acknowledge that I am difficult to live with, to be with and to deal with on a regular basis.  I am loud, I am hot-tempered, I am a spirited individual.  I like being right, I like things my way and I’m bossy.  I realize that I can be a know-it-all, paranoid and that I tow a line of issues so heavy that it could likely sink a war ship.  I know that trying to decipher my emotions is like trying to read an alien language while being blind, my insecurities are enormous and that my personality is inconsistent at best.  I know that I need to be wanted by men like a starving man needs food and I know that hurts you.  I know it has changed how you feel about me.   

It has taken me a very long time to learn, understand and acknowledge all of my faults.  The “bad” parts of me.  I have worked so very hard to change a lot of that.  I have tried to quietly analyze my issues, understand the root of them and learn new ways of being so that I could be the absolute best person I can be. 

I tried communicating what I need from you for quite some time now and I have finally realized you simply aren’t going to hear me.  I, the real person I am, doesn’t matter to you.  What matters is that you are able to live your life the way you want, being able to present an image to the world of success, being comfortable, being a part of something and not having to be accountable or responsible for any of it.  I resent that.  I resent that you put yourself, your friends, your electronics, anything ahead of what is best for us.  I am fundamentally tired of hearing how much you love me, how often you put me first, how often I am thought of when in reality, I am not.  In reality, I have learned how to smile over the tears, I have bared the brunt of criticisms, I have learned to be dismissed and I have let my wants, needs, hopes and dreams be in second, third, fourth, last place.  Hearing the words “I promise”, “I’m sorry”, “I’ll try” and “tomorrow” makes me sick to my stomach.  I have lost all faith that things will ever change because tomorrow never comes.

I have tried to take an active interest in your life.  I’ve tried to learn to love the things you love so that we can enjoy those things together.  I have tried to talk to you about your hopes and dreams.  I have tried to learn what your needs are, what your boundaries are, what you, the person you really are, need from me.  It is like trying to glean water from a stone and it makes me tired.  I am a stubborn person, I don’t give in easily and I certainly don’t give up…

… but I call mercy.  You win.  I give.

I have nothing left but one thing…one final promise.  I promise to keep going.

I promise to focus on me and the person I am growing into.  She is a lovely creature, a calm creature…she truly is a beautiful creature.  I am strong, I have endured so many things and I will overcome this too.  I have turned my inner critic into my loudest cheerleader and with that I have discovered an inner strength that is palpable and unbreakable.  

I will continue to smile but there will be no more tears for I am done crying over what I can’t change.  I will consider critisims but I won’t take them to heart.  I am achieving a level of personal growth that only comes with desire and determination.  I will not be dismissed.  I have valid feelings, thoughts and opinions and I will be considered.  I will not place my needs, wants, hopes or dreams on the back burner.  I only get one shot at this life and come hell or high water, I am going to make the most of it.  Finally, I promise to continue to support you.  If you ever decide to embark on a journey of personal growth, I will be one of your cheerleaders.  I will celebrate your success, help you through your dark times and I will encourage you along the way – I know how difficult these things can be on your own.

I have loved you for so long, I refuse to give that up.  The love I have for you has given me the strength, the want and the desire to be a better person.  I will be eternally grateful for that.

Parenting Paradigm and Prayers

When you become a parent, there is usually a chorus of “congratulations” and “hold on tight, it’s going to be a ride” coming from those who are close to you or, frankly, anyone who sees you.  In the beginning, it’s not so much hard as it is scary.  The day you bring a baby home and look at it and think “what the hell am I supposed to do now?” hits you like a tonne of bricks.  It’s the day you realize that you are truly responsible for another human being and a helpless one at that.  Luckily, for most, those moments only last a short while and you quickly move past them and get into the swing of things.

Then life takes hold and all of those lines you were fed suddenly become painfully clear. Time really does speed up, to a pace which rivals light speed.  Before you know it, you’re facing the terrible twos, which have nothing on the terrors of a three-year old.  Suddenly your baby isn’t a baby, she’s a toddler then all of a sudden you’re standing in an elementary school waiting to register for kindergarten and you’re thinking “WTF?  How did I get here?” Once your child enters school, it’s almost like time isn’t measured in months anymore, it’s either “the school year” or “summer”…holy fruit nut batman, where does the time go?  You negotiate the school years with grace, charm, twists, turns, bumps, and pitfalls BUT you make it.  It’s graduation day.  What now?

Somehow along a timeline that has been put in super fast-forward, you negotiate the waters of parenting and you start to realize two things.  First, you realize you start to sound an awful lot like your parents did and second, that your parents were generally right. 

I am in a tight parenting spot right now.  If you take the baby bird analogy, as provided by my dear BIL, STech, we have a baby bird in need of a mighty kick out of the nest.  The hard part about that is we know our baby bird is going to struggle with the fall.  We know that she may not flap her wings until the very last possible second.  We have to have faith that she will flap those wings of hers and take off into flight. 

As her Mom, albeit her step-mom, it is heart-wrenching to watch her be scared and confused.  I feel that same fear and confusion but for different reasons.  I fear that if we don’t push her to independence she will never get there.  I fear that if we continue to swoop in and make everything alright, she will never learn how to make things alright for herself.  I’m confused because I never wanted to be in a position where I had to push one of my children out of the nest when they don’t have a job or anywhere to do.  I’ve been there.  It sucks.  Big time.  I am worried about how she will make out, out on her own.  Will she fall back into a cycle of poor decisions?  Will she get herself into a sticky situation?  I guess time will tell that. 

Parenting is so hard and it gets harder as time goes on.  It is exhilarating and confusing and frustrating and rewarding and simultaneously the most difficult and the most incredible thing I have ever done.  I pray that I have the strength to guide my children onto the right paths while respecting their ability, need and want to make their own decisions.  I pray that our family will pull through the raising of three children, all from very different foundations.  I pray for the day that we have a big family dinner, the days when my hair will be more salt than pepper, and I can look around my table, at my beautiful children, and see the successful outcome of much laughter and many tears and so many years of hard work. 

I want my children to look back at their lives and remember that their parents supported them.  Maybe not in the ways they would have liked but that we were there, with love in our hearts and resolution in our spirits.