Time to Lay it Down

Few really truly know me. Even less actually ‘get’ me.  And by getting me, I mean know the true essence of who I am, what I stand for, what I believe in…what makes me tick…on the soul level.

Perhaps I have not let many in to be able to fully reveal myself. I’m aware that I do this as a defense mechanism for fear of being judged, not accepted or approved of. I’ve struggled with this my entire life.

Throughout my life I’ve been a people pleaser; always seeking to make others happy so they are not disappointed in me.  This behavior occurred in my relationships ranging from family to friends to my ‘romantic’ relationships. I’ve recognized this pattern of behavior within myself a few years ago.  I’m aware of it, yet at times it still rears it’s ugly head to challenge me to break the pattern. I no longer want to care what others think of my choices, decisions, my way of thinking, my spiritual beliefs. I no longer want to care what others think of me.  I am no longer seeking approval for the choices and decisions I make for myself.  I always respect the opinions of others, however my feeling is if someone does not agree with something I say, do or feel, that is on them, that is not on me.  It is no longer a burden of responsibility that I am willing to carry as it has gotten too heavy to bear and I am laying it down.

I am a deeply sensitive being. Like a badge of honor, I wear my emotions on my sleeve for the world to see.  I not only feel what I feel, most times, I also feel what you feel. My heart overflows with a sense of responsibility to care for many; to be the Light that shines in your moment of darkness.  Yet, at times, I too seek to find that Light in my moments of darkness.

Behind the closed doors in the sacred sanctuary of my apartment I cry with you, I smile with you, I hurt with you and I laugh with you. Tears are shed…a release. Releasing the emotions that I feel, is such a good, healthy thing to do because I simply don’t want them to get rooted within me. Many do not understand this and many never will.

I am a positive, kind person who does my best to see the good in people and situations.  Having a positive perspective on life can be difficult at times as I am human, just like you.  I have my own dragons to slay and some just don’t understand this. I share my outlooks with others in hopes it will help them for a moment in their day and perhaps they will, in turn, pay it forward.  It only has to begin with one person.  My perspective is, if I help one person, animal, etc, it will have a ripple effect and the gesture is much grander in the big picture then in the actual moment.

The journey I have been on since I moved to North Carolina has not been easy.  It has been an introspective map leading me to have met the most beautiful people, experience amazing moments, and it has allowed me to find out who I am and what I want from my life. Now at forty-four years young, I am beginning to understand who I really am and what my soul’s purpose is.

As I move forward, one foot in front of the other, I grow into the human that I was meant to become in this lifetime. Not everyone will understand and that is okay.  At times, I don’t even understand and in those moments I pause, take a deep breath, ask for Guidance, trust and continue with my journey.

 

Got You Where I Want You

We all have had times in our lives that we consider our carefree days.  Those times for me were in my mid-late twenties to right around thirty. Did I have responsibilities?  Sure, but looking back on it from present life today, it really seemed and felt much more carefree to me. A few less worries, a few less responsibilities…life simply did not seem so serious.  It was much more about fun and carefree with our main concern being where we were going out for that night.  I belonged to a kickball league, was listening to amazing music and pretty much did whatever I wanted.

Music was and is such a big part of my life, that I feel I must have been a part of this industry in some way, shape or form in a previous life.  Concerts (large and intimate) have always been a constant thread woven throughout the intricacies of my life. I hear a song and am instantly transported to that moment in time where it made the greatest impact.  It took only one listen of ‘Got You Where I Want You’ by The Fly’s to hook, line and sink me back in 1998. I was crazy about this song.  It was honestly the only song off their album that I knew, yet I was hell bent on seeing them perform at an amazing venue, which has sadly since closed its doors in 1999, called The Bayou, locating off K Street in Georgetown. It was the last song they played (of course) and with drinks in hand, I sang along and went a little crazy.  It was bliss.

Life has a funny way of providing you with twists and turns that you never expected.  It is definitely a journey and not for the weak of heart. Every facet of my life has had meaning and purpose and therefore, I have no regrets.  My carefree days were some of my favorite times of my life.  When I think about them, my heart aches ever so slightly for those moments however, I have had moments in my life since then that definitely had some sparkle to them.  Life can seem so dreadfully serious at times and yet it’s during those times when music has such an uncanny way of saving my soul and changing my perspective.

Recently I was driving down the highway.  The sun was out, the windows were down, my long brown hair was being tasseled by the breeze and the radio was on.  That’s when I heard it.  ‘Got You Where I Want You’ came on.  My heart dropped as my mind instantly went back to 1998.  As my foot pressed a little harder on the gas pedal, I cranked up the volume, felt the music and sang along being completely lost in the moment..  It was an actual carefree moment that I have not had in such a long time.  A tear trailed from my left eye, down my cheek.  And for three-odd minutes of a song, I was 25 again.

You Only Have to Forgive Once…

 

Forgiveness is a powerful act of self love that can have ripple effects far beyond just saying ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘I forgive you’.  When you forgive another person, a situation and even yourself, you release the emotions behind whatever you may have been holding onto.  Those emotion(s) may be anger, guilt, resentment, sadness, shame and jealousy (to name a few) all of which are considered low vibrating emotions. To cling to these emotions and not uproot them from within yourself can only cause lingering amounts of pain and resentment.

What happens when these emotions get stored in your body year after year without being released?  They will unveil themselves to you in a new form such as physical pain and/or dis-ease. And then you are left wondering why you all of a sudden have chronic neck pain that just won’t seem to go away.

Please know you are not condoning the actions of someone or a situation if you feel they may have caused you suffering, rather you are freeing yourself of holding onto something that happened in the past.  That particular person does not need to know you forgave them, meaning, you do not have to do this face to face.  This is something you can do privately between you and what you may call the Higher Power (God, Buddha, Source, etc).

There are many ways to forgive and release.  It can be done by stating forgiveness sentences out loud, by praying, journaling or whatever else might work for you.  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  To forgive is to let go and that in of itself is beautiful.

Trolling

Being back in Tennessee with Henry was a nightmare.  I felt like I was constantly looking over my shoulder.  Henry would leave for work and then my mind wanted to know if there were there cameras in the house viewing my every move.  Paranoia was rearing its ugly head.  In my mind, I deserved to feel this way, but that didn’t stop me.  I continued to stay in touch with Mark.  It was nothing major but just knowing he was there to listen made me feel better.  I was fueling the fire for Henry to not trust me.  I know it was wrong, I do, but at the time I just didn’t care. I was in pure survival mode for my mental and emotional state.

Paranoia for Henry also set in as he came to me one morning before work and asked to see my phone.  You see, he had mentioned to me how a friend of his, who also cheated on his girlfriend, would allow his girlfriend to go through his phone and computer trolling through Facebook, phone calls received, phone calls dialed, etc.  You get the picture.  Henry presented this idea to me several times to which I ignored.  Until that morning when he bolted into the bedroom and demanded to see my phone and email.  My heart was pounding.  I was scared, I won’t lie.  Not of Henry, but of the possibility of him kicking me out.  I had no where to go and no money at the moment to leave. The phone numbers that I did not recognize, he would call to see who was on the other end.  He listened to voicemail messages, read emails and Facebook messages.  Then he flipped his lid when he noticed a post on Facebook…from Mark.  Just a post on his wall but nonetheless.   He could not believe we were friends on Facebook and asked me to immediately end it.  So I did.  Henry left for work.  I got in the shower and cried.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was during this time that I enrolled in certification for level 1 class in something brand new to me, Reiki.  Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy (reiki.org).  During this long weekend of meditation, tears, and connecting with other women who I know were placed in this class on purpose via Source, I believe I have found something much grander than me.  This was the beginning of me being aware that I was indeed on my spiritual awakening journey toward enlightenment and it has forever metamorphosed me into the person I am today and into the spiritual being I strive to become.  The reiki shares my teacher would hold became my social outlet and my way to decompress from the intense stress I was dealing with on a daily basis.  I really believe it saved my life.



The Scarlet Letter

My wedding rings were taken off my left hand as well.  I had all of them.  His and mine.  I put them together in a box as it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Henry called me later that afternoon and told me he didn’t really want a divorce but was just so hurt with everything that had transpired and asked to take me to breakfast the following morning so we could talk, to which I agreed.

Henry picked me up and off to breakfast we went.  With tears in our eyes and sad Christmas music in the background, we did out best to talk and eat.  On the drive back to my parent’s, Henry pulled over on the shoulder of the road.

“I’m sorry.” he said, “We should have at least tried to have children.” His eyes welled with tears.

I honestly could not believe what I was hearing. Would a baby have made things better between us? Certainly not, but to hear him say this to me, well, it just crushed me. I had given this up for Henry and here he was apologizing.  I didn’t know whether to cry or scream. Regardless of my emotional response, it didn’t matter.  It was too late.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The week between Christmas and New Year’s was an emotional roller coaster.  Henry and I made appearances together to see old neighbors and family and to also share with them the fact that our marriage was in trouble and we weren’t quite sure what the outcome was going to be. I have no clue why we were sharing with people at this time and I also did not quite know what part of the story Henry was sharing with his family and friends.  Did he only mention that I had kissed another man?  Did he also forget the mention the years of struggle between us?  I was paraded around our old stomping grounds wearing, what felt like, the scarlet letter.  Whether it is was intended or not on Henry’s part, it was not a pleasant feeling.  I felt as though I were being judge by everyone.

On Christmas Eve we traditionally went to Henry’s parent’s house where his siblings, their spouses, kids, and friends gathered every year.  I was VERY nervous about going.  Truth be told, I didn’t want to go but did anyway.  While I was welcome with open arms, it was turning out to be an emotional night. Drinks were flowing for some and I’ll never forget sitting the front porch talking with one of Henry’s relatives.

“You fucked up, you just fucked up.” She said to me.

“Excuse me?”  I replied.

She then proceeded to tell me, after several cold beers, how I fucked up by cheating on Henry. She cast the first stone and I was NOT pleased.  I told her that I didn’t need to explain myself to her but that our issues stemmed long before I kissed another. I was fuming.  I sent Henry a text message and told him it was time to leave.

He was appalled by her comment and even told me that he told his family to please not talk about it so we could enjoy our night.  Great times had, let me tell you.

This summed up exactly how I knew everyone was looking at me.   I was wearing the scarlet letter.

Home For Christmas

No matter how old I am, there is nothing like the feeling of being at home with my parents. It is 100% my safe zone.  I wanted to run, run, run and in my mind, being back home, I had escaped the matter at hand. Reality, however, would soon follow me when Henry arrived three days later.

It was Thursday evening and Henry was slated to arrive at my parent’s house at 4 a.m. Friday.  Any discussion I have had with Henry, while truthful (for the most part), at this point was to honestly tell him what he wanted to hear.  Was this the best thing to do?  No.  Why did I do this?  I was scared…of him, of us, of the present and the future.  I had given him my power.  It was his way or no way during this time.

I had numerous messaging conversations with Tara about this entire issue and about Henry.  Tara is my sister from another mister.  She knows me like the back of my hand; the good, the bad and the ugly yet through all of that, she still loves me as I love her. When Henry arrived at my parent’s home at 4 in the morning, he greeted the dogs and then was out in the living area for a period of time.

“Wake up.”

“Wake up!”

It was Henry.  He turned the light on as I looked at him in a confused state.  He backs up, takes his wedding ring off and throws it onto the bed toward me.

“I want a divorce.”  He said.

While I knew deep down this is what I ultimately wanted too, his behavior threw me for a loop.

“You left the computer on and I read your messaging conversation with Tara.”  He told me.

“How DARE you bash me like that to her,” he said, “I would NEVER in a million years talk about you that way to ANYONE!”

In truth, I cannot remember this conversation to 100% accuracy.  What I know is that I shared my feelings about Henry to Tara.  Did I mean ill will by it?  No.  I was venting, I was desperate and she was the only person, at the time, I felt I share everything with.  Did I intentionally bash him?  In my mind, no.  In his mind, yes.

I never intended to hurt Henry.  It was now something I felt I was doing over and over again.  I dealt him a crushing blow.  He left, in tears and drove to his parent’s house.  I felt like the worst human being ever to walk the Earth.

It was now 6 a.m.  Crying, I cracked the door to my parent’s room.  They asked me what was going on.

“We’re getting divorced.” I told them.

Merry effing Christmas.

Change is Coming: January 2014-October 2014

To Tennessee.

Where we knew no one.

Henry moved first to begin his job and I soon followed.  I was not yet 24 hours in lovely, hot Tennessee when at the pool, enjoying a relaxing day, Henry tells me that he thinks he made a mistake and is going to start looking for a new job elsewhere…preferably something a bit closer to home.

What the fuck?  Did he really say what I thought he did?  Did I NOT just move a couple hundreds of miles from everything and everyone that I knew; from a great paying job, from EVERYTHING?!  I’ve barely had one sleep in Tennessee and this bomb gets dropped on me.

I was not happy. In my mind, I gave up everything for him to move here.  In my mind, I was the one who sacrificed more.

Yes, this is all true but as time ticked along I came to learn that his employer did pull a fast one on him. Henry despised his job and from that point on, he was on what felt like the never-ending job search. A part of me felt bad for him.  The other part of me told him to suck it up.  This is what he initially wanted and he had to make the best of it. At times I felt guilty for being so hard on Henry about the move and his job. I wasn’t being the supportive wife. I was starting to be the resentful wife.

We shared several months together exploring what the new area had to offer and we did have good times too.  We laughed, we went out to eat – stuff like that.  Most of our time was spent eating dinner, on table trays in front of the television. There was not too much conversation going on and I’m not sure why.  I knew I was becoming increasingly unhappy and I was trying my best to not let it shine through.  But some things you just can’t hide.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I continued to work for my employer from home until the end of summer at which time I applied for and got unemployment compensation while looking for a permanent job in Tennessee.  Summer faded into autumn and I had the opportunity to go to Los Angeles, all expenses paid, to work for one week at a trade show.  My best friend, Tara presented me with this, I talked it over with Henry and off to L.A. I went.

Little did I know this trip would change my life forever.

You’ll Know…You’ll Just Know

I had the purest of intentions on my wedding day. I wanted to get married and I wanted to marry Henry.  It was a dream day full of the most joy I have ever felt in my life.  We were surrounded by the most important people in our lives.  It was a day of love to the fullest extent.

It wasn’t until a few years later that became aware of feeling differently about Henry.  When these moments rose up, they scared me and I would simply ignore them.  How could this be?  We met and married four year later and here I was a year or so later feeling…holy shit, feeling doubt? Things he used to do that I found cute or funny were no longer cute or funny to me.

The red flags began to wave very high during this time as I no longer wanted to be intimate with Henry. In some ways I just wanted to ignore what was happening but you just can’t out run the truth. I could not turn my head from this feeling. And when we were intimate, I just went through the motions so it would be over. I didn’t kiss him the same way, I didn’t look at him the same way, and I realized I didn’t love him the same way either.  What the hell was happening?

On several occasions Henry would ask me about my level of attraction toward him because he too was aware.  I lied. I flat out lied to him, and to me.  I was not being true to myself and I certainly was not speaking my truth. Who was I to speak my truth?  I was scared.  So scared of Henry’s reaction to all of this. So scared of the repercussions if I did tell him.  Fear…living in so much fear.  This is not a good space to be in.

Things became too comfortable, we took each other for granted and never really fully appreciated one another.  I felt as if I was always second choice to his work.  I was sick and tired of picking up after both of us, cooking, cleaning, just EVERYTHING.  I remember saying to myself a few times, ‘If this is how it’s going to be for the rest of my life, I’m in trouble.’ And I was.

And while there is much to discuss about my relationship with Henry PRE-wedding, I want to begin in the January of 2014.

Let’s go back, shall we?

Bah, Bah Blacksheep

I’ve considered myself the black sheep in my immediate and extended family for many, many years.  I adore the only sibling I have…my brother, but we couldn’t be more different.  He sees things in black and white and I see things in every single shade of gray.  I would like to lump my three cousins into my sibling category.  And yet, even as the second oldest of the five of us, I still feel very odd woman out.

Everyone has thriving careers and has had them for many years.  Growing up, I remember having a knowing of what each one of them would do for a living. Art, politics, engineering, pharmacology…and then there was me. I entered college as a theater major and exited with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. Only to now be making a living in sales and fundraising.  It’s funny how that works out.

I was the last out of the five to get married at the ripe age of 38…and I am the first to get divorced at the riper age of 43.

While I know the choices that I have made within and about my marriage were and are the very best choices for me, I still cannot help but to feel I am such a disappointment to my family. A disappointment not just with this, but throughout my life with different choices I have made.  My parents are the most amazing, supportive people on the planet and quite frankly, the most important people in my life.  They have never uttered these words to me.

When you separate from someone and eventually divorce not only do you grieve and feel sadness but if your family members were close to your significant other, they will also be going through their own grieving process.  This was the case with both of my parents but more so with my dad. When I was home over Christmas and recently separated, I remember my dad being very sulky one evening.  He was quiet at the dinner table and then just went into the bedroom to watch the news.  There was definite tension and while I understood what was going on, I was feeling that my dad was just so not happy with me.  I walked into the bedroom and asked him what was wrong.  I knew he was sad.  Then with tears rolling down my cheeks, I asked the question…’Dad, are you disappointed in me?’ He told me no, he was not.  He was just very sad.  100% understandable.

These feelings I have about this situation are mine and my alone and I know I have to work them out and forgive myself for feeling this way.

As my teacher always says, ‘It’s an inside job.’