Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A little love

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Sometimes in the midst of personal problems and struggles, it’s nice to see some love in the world.

Like this small town in Georgia who embraces refugees.

Or recognizing that it’s okay to love who you love in a region of the world where it’s not always ok.

Or when a stranger rushes in to help people through a tragedy and suddenly he has a home.

Actually, searching for good news, led me here.

Today, I’m tiptoeing back to my sunnier side of myself.  Today, I’m looking for love and light and finding it.

Some days, it's okay to admit the healing is not there just yet.  Some days, it's okay to embrace the darkness and the sadness and the anxiety.  Some days, it's okay to take a deep breath and give yourself a hug.  Be gentle with you, keep striving, don't give up, even if you feel like it.  Those dark moments will pass.

My anxiety is a marathon.  I hit a ditch earlier this week, it’s true, not going to lie.  That damn little black hole is there.

But I’m looking forward to sharing time and my home with the girl scouts tonight, I’ve drafted two older sister scouts to help the little ones with their bridging ceremony, and then we all get to eat brownies that I baked last night, yum.  The non-crafty-mother that I am managed to make flowers out of pipe cleaners (which is kind of a miracle in it of itself) and decorated an exercise bench to make the bridge.  (For people who know me, this type of work is not in my comfort zone, so am hoping to pull this off, lol.)  I’m looking forward to sharing laughter with some moms, we’ve made it through another year of shepherding our girls along the daisy scout trail, and that’s kind of a big deal if we think about it.  I’m looking forward to going to sleep in my bed later knowing my daughters are tucked into their bunk beds in the next room, home and safe.  A little light and love in my home.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Black hole heart--is this healing?

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Dear World,

I haven’t been writing because I’m freaking out.  (And, I’m freaking out for freaking out--guilt, embarrassment, shame, all of it).  Please excuse the cuss words that follow.

As much as I’ve encircled myself with the “healing journey” and “it’s a marathon not a race” phrases, lately I’ve been feeling like they’re just a whole lot of bullshit hallmark card gimmicks (even though I know they’re not, on some level fluttering around my brain).

I’ve been telling myself, if I take the high road, if I put the love for my kids and my family and my friends first, everything else will fall into place.  Don’t give in to pain and doubt and fear and anxiety.  Because all those things are “bad” and love and reaching for the light is good.

And that’s noble and wonderful and lovely, except I feel myself crumbling along the way.  The anxiety creeps in no matter how hard I struggle to believe in the good in this world.  My ex still makes my kids feel like they can’t talk to me when they’re over there.  He’s still charming the pants off the other parents at girl scouts or school or whatever.  I still worry that I seem like the crazy one, even though I know what happened and I know what he did, but I’m supposed to move on and be the bigger person and be happy.  For the kids’ sakes, for my sake, for all of our sakes.

Some days, I just don’t feel like a bigger person.  Some days, I feel small and unsure and dissolving into little bits and pieces.

Some days, I wonder if all I know how to do is to feel shitty, how to survive, not thrive.  How to raise myself out from emotional rubble, that my world is just a cycle of repeating emotional trauma.  Build up a new world on a belief in love and good in the world, then see it crumble into ashes all over again.  It’s okay, I tell myself, because I can rebuild out of the fire, I am the fire. 

Some days, I feel like I’m so screwed up, that I don’t know how to be happy.  Not going to lie—my heart has a deep black hole in it that I’ve been working on forever, it’s always there, and it’s probably how I ended up in my unhealthy relationships in the first place.  I cover it up with overachieving at work and loving my girls fiercely and being the happy networker and fill in the blank.  I cover it up by being remarried and trusting my hubby will be there for us, always and forever, and that’s a big step, too.  I cover it up by reaching consistently for this “good” future, and I’m terrified it will fall apart, because inside, I feel like I’m falling apart.

So, this is why I haven’t been writing too much, the internal rollercoaster has been rocketing ahead full speed and I’m managing my anxiety as best as I can—with therapy, exercise, and that stupid belief that if I believe in the good in the world, goodness will follow.  If my purpose here is to add a little light (instead of my black hole heart), light will follow.  Stupid hope.  Okay, sorry for calling you stupid.  I guess it’s still there after all, even if I’m fraying at the edges.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Percolating Life

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I’m settling back into the swing of things having just returned from my work trip this past week end.  Lots of thoughts percolating:

1) Use your privilege to uplift others—some may have more privilege than others, just by the color of your skin, the tone of your voice, the gender you walk in, and that’s a system we inherited when we were born into this world.  If we feel guilty or enraged at the system, that’s a by-product of being aware of the system itself.  Use whatever means you have to uplift yourself, uplift others, in whatever state of privilege you may exist (this is assuming a lot).  Remember, shining your light, and sharing your light with others does not diminish your individual flame, it means we all burn brighter and together we can make a positive difference in this world.

2)  The projects that I shared relate somewhat to number 1, in that whatever capacity that I can, my job is to help where I can.  To listen where I can, to move forward together where we can.  (how did I get this job again?  LOL).

3)  Coparenting with my ex is a marathon, not a race.

4)  My PTSD and anxiety is also a marathon, not a race. 

5)  My oldest daughter acts like a surly tweenage monster one moment, and is sweet and mushy and loving the next.

6)  Still mulling over how to deal with the braces issues for my older daughter.  Do I schedule the next appointment on the Ex’s time since he’s so eager to be part of the discussion (but has yet to take the girls to a dentist appointment ever in his life)?  Or do I schedule it on mine, knowing that my hubby will be there for support.

7)  The school year is winding down, I’m soon to have a second grader and a sixth grader on my hands, how did that happen, time?

8)  I’d love to take my girls to see my mom in July, but I have no idea how to pay for it.  Still, surly tweenager is showing her sweetheart caring as she continually follows up and asks if we are going.  So I think I have to make that happen.

9)  I’m grateful for the love in my life, and at other times, I feel so overwhelmed by working, mommy-ing, co-parenting, spouse-ing, adult-ing, healing, that I want to hide under the covers from the world.

10)  Breathe.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Working Mom and the Nitpicker

Dear World,

It’s been a busy month on the work front—which is why I haven’t been in communication.  One of the things about my job that I feel lucky about is it has been the one constant in my pre-divorce/divorce/post-divorce world.  It’s normally calm, always steadfast, and the problems that have come up at work, I’ve been lucky enough to figure out.  I’m rolling out two new program initiatives, and that in it itself makes me proud.

However, you know that saying when a person does a good job, give them more work?  Wait, that’s not a saying?  LOL.  I’ve been feeling the crunch lately, the performance crunch.  For some reason I had to give three presentations in a week, and next week I’m headed to two more official presentations, along with participation where I think I’ll be asked to speak.  To a room full of experts.  This is where I’m supposed to be happy that they trust me.  That it’s a compliment to my job skills and reputation that they’ve picked me.  LOL.  I’m getting there!  I wonder…does anyone else have imposter phenomenon at work?

One of the things that comforts me in times of stress and work insecurity, is that I step back, take a deep breath, and remember that all I can do is prepare as best as I can, do the best that I can, and my job isn’t to be “the expert” like these people see themselves, but to bring awareness, and light to the conversation at hand.  This world is a totally crappy place in some areas, and the work that we’re doing, if we can bring just a little more light, a little more aid to the most vulnerable people who need it, then that’s what this is about.  Not being the fanciest talker in the room, not having a certain degree or pedigree.  Put my best foot forward, and as long as I’m adding light and a little more peace and a little more joy and yes, a little more love into this world, then I can feel ok with the job that I do.

That’s a nice hefty statement.  Let’s hope I follow through.

By the way, I love how talking about my work is taking over this post, when it was really supposed to be about a certain nit-picking Exie of mine.  That anti-Exiety medication is sorely needed right now, over some dumb stuff, over some not so dumb stuff.

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1)  Last night, the girls both had their girl scout meetings, and guess who forgot to have them call their dad early, in the rush of getting baths done, homework done, dinner done, in time to do their meetings.  DD2’s girl scouts were coming over, DD1 was getting picked up (thank you fellow girl scout mom!).  It was a last minute change, usually their meetings stagger, but DD1’s meeting got switched, hence, everything happening at once.  After DD2’s troop left, I was sitting down trying to relax for a few minutes, when in comes a text—Ummmmmm….so are the girls calling?   (keep in mind the girls have called me late from his house on many occasions and I never blink an eye, ugh).  So immediately I apologize that it’s been a busy evening, and DD2 has a nice phone conversation with him, but DD1 is not home just yet.

As soon as DD2 hangs up, I get a text: I hope DD1 calls per the decree.

Right, because now we’re going to throw around the decree.  /eyeroll.  So when DD1 gets home from girl scouts, I respond that every good faith effort has been made to have the girls communicate with him on a regular basis.  DD1 calls him, and they have a nice conversation, and hang up.  And in comes more nitpicking texts about how one time DD1 went to the fair with her friend and he didn’t get a call at all from her that night.  /eyeroll.  Because I had explained to him that it was a last minute situation where DD1 was invited to go to the fair, was picked up right after school, and didn’t get home until late.

Of note: on regular occasions when there has been changes in our schedule, I have given him notice.  On regular occasions when there has been changes to his schedule, he has not given me notice.  To which I always assume the best, since I know how it is busy taking care of the kids and schedules and dinner and homework and bath time.  The difference is definitely in the pudding!

Actually, I was only initially upset about the text dramas, and then I let it go, but I made the mistake of checking my email before I went to bed.  (Note to self: don’t check email before you go to bed, check it in the morning instead).

2)  The other day, I had to email him because after the dentist’s visit, it was determined that DD1 needs braces, relatively soon, a permanent tooth is growing in all jacked up and if we don’t make space for it to come down, it will require oral surgery to remove it, ick.  I knew that when I informed him I’d get a PITA response, and he did not fail me there.

His response—hey I was never informed of this new dentist (he was informed three times last year when the cavities situation happened for both kids, ugh), I haven’t been part of this process (he was invited to ask questions and/or contact the new dentist directly), and I heard the kids don’t like this dentist (wait a minute, so the kids have to “like” the dentist in order for DD1 to get braces and not go through oral surgery…?) 

I’m still formulating my response.  I want to be careful and invite him in the process, and yes, I know it’s a cost issue, but also, I have to figure out how to correct the misinformation without inviting further vitriol.  I’m almost there.  I’m not sure how to address the “feelings” part except that my experience has been the girls do not enjoy getting their teeth drilled, however when we leave, they seem fine with the dentist and have told me he’s not so bad. 

Meanwhile, hang tough all you co-parents out there in the world who deal with this shit.  Love to you and your kids!!!!