Tuesday, March 24, 2009

No Coincidences

Yesterday I wrote about our humanness, and the sharing of emotion that connects us all. Today, well, I came across this song, which isn't new by any means...but this was the first time I'd heard this version of it. And so, I checked out Matt Brouwer's official website and read his bio. Could he have said it any more succinctly? I don't think so.

"I hope my music is an invitation for people to engage in the celebration of life, both the great times and the difficult stuff too. No matter how the specifics of our experiences differ, the essence of what we go through is the same. Music helps us celebrate those big moments and also offers comfort and hope in dark times as well. Music provides that common ground. Beyond one song or one album, my dream is to grow old with an audience and share the years, never being afraid to go deep into the conversation of what it means to be human. I’ve seen how music can bring clarity and resolve to our experiences in a way that marks that passage of time and helps assign meaning to those moments we often take for granted. With this new CD I think that’s the message, being compelled to aggressively seek out that kind of connection with an audience that lasts beyond the shelf life of a product because we were courageous enough to dig a little deeper." ~ Matt Brouwer

"I Shall Believe"

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thoughts on Loss and Love

In talking with a good friend recently, the topic of loss and how we cope with it is foremost on my mind. She has experienced much loss and heartache in the past 5 years. As is often the case with life, just when you think you're on the "up side" of dealing with something painful, you have your bearings again, life throws you another whammy to slap you back down. Along with two other friends of mine (and probably scores of others that I don't know about), we just keep telling each other and ourselves "just keep swimming, just keep swimming" (think Dory of "Finding Nemo") because sometimes, that's really all you can do.

The third anniversary of my mom's death is coming up on May 5th. It's really hard to believe it's been almost 3 years. I've thought about her a lot more the past few weeks. Zachary has talked about missing her much more lately as well.

I suspect that the loss of my recent love relationship has stirred up some of its own grief/loss feelings. It's a loss that has taken me much longer to move past than I had hoped or wanted...I've struggled mightily to let go. Being with him, well, it was as though I was intoxicated, literally feeling euphoric. All of my inhibitions felt like they were gone and the communication with him was just there. I was me, in my best sense. There were times that being with him felt surreal because the intimacy was so intense. I knew in my heart that he just "got me" without a whole lot of explanation. Though I've been in love before, it was never like this. This was the closest I've probably ever allowed myself to get to a man. It's hard to understand, let alone explain, how I could feel what I felt in a short period of time. I was, for once, open enough to trust and believe it was a mutual feeling, and one that would continue to grow and be strong enough to withstand life's trials and tribulations. As such, the love in my heart for this person just doesn't really want to let go and believe that what was, and touched me so profoundly, is *poof* gone. He's moved on, and I'm trying very hard to do the same but it takes time I guess...more for me than some.

So many different events can trigger seemingly unrelated memories and feelings because the emotions (grief, loss, angst) are the same. The more I think about us as human beings, the more I profoundly realize that we all have different circumstances in our lives, but the emotions we feel are all the same. Personally, I feel like it's my life purpose to figure out how best to connect to other people through those emotions. It keeps me feeling human, compassionate, and alive.

I've also reflected a lot recently on the value of friendship to me. I cherish all of my relationships...friendship, family, and romantic. I've touched on this topic before in other posts. My level of commitment to these relationships seems at times to be much greater than the average person's. But, as I continue to journey through life, I am learning how to discern between the folks who do and don't invest as much in the relationship as I do. I'd much prefer to be on equal footing with a person than not. The give and take is crucial. I'm learning to weed out the ones that don't share the same value system with me in regards to relationships. Occasionally, I make a mistaken assessment and my heart is whomped. Life happens. Loss happens. I continue to learn to live with it and move on, taking what lessons I can from it.

I'm trying to not let my trust and faith in people be rocked every time I'm disappointed...but that's another lifelong lesson I suppose. My recovery from such events has gotten shorter over the years at least. Give enough trust to be happy, but not so much as to be easily hurt. I tend to trust more easily than I should in circumstances I shouldn't...and I have difficulty trusting in the situations that I should trust in. It's almost as though my entire sense of what is and isn't appropriate with regards to trust is warped. Well, it probably is, now that I think about it. A lack of healthy boundaries throughout childhood probably has done quite a bit to form the skewed schema of trust that exists in my head. More conscious effort will be required to keep this straight I guess.

I am so very, very happy and grateful though, to have in my life friends who have endured through years and years of struggle with me. Their willingness and commitment to stand by me through thick or thin has done so much to help me realize that it's worth it to continue to give people chances to earn my trust. I'm glad I don't just blindly shut the whole world out when my issues flare up...I think that would be a very, very lonely and isolated place to be. Not a lot of personal growth is going to come of that either, I suspect. This is my personal thanks to friends old and new for showing me love. I value it more than you will ever probably know despite my best efforts to show you.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


One of the lessons that I learned at an early age was how to read the "feelings" of other people or situations. It was actually a survival skill in my household. If I could "sense" what the mood/atmosphere at home would be before I arrived, I could better prepare myself for how to handle it and respond to it. I can clearly remember walking home from school some days and having that feeling of dread hit the pit of my stomach, when I was easily over a mile away from home still, for no apparent reason...just "knowing" that the home situation was going to be an emotionally volatile one that day. I learned how to keep my head down, my voice low, and try to be as invisible as possible during these times. It didn't always work, but I would try my hardest.

Over the years, I've realized that this ability to pick up on people's feelings without them even being present is not necessarily something everyone can do, let alone with accuracy. Time and experience has shown me that I do indeed have this talent quite well-refined. But, because I also have my issues (and we ALL have issues, don't get me wrong), I tend to discount my perceptions/feelings on these matters much of the time...or I allow other folks to talk me out of them. That is, of course, until someone or something comes along to slam into my face that indeed, it is a foolish thing to do, discount my own perceptions/instincts/gut feelings on situations. I can't actually think of a time that I discounted my feelings/gut reaction and didn't regret it later on. If I had heeded what my gut was saying on more occasions, I'd have avoided so much pain in my life. I'd have held myself in higher esteem. You see, when I start doubting myself, I start demeaning myself at the same time. If it's not the issue of someone else, then it must be MY issue, and that I expect, demand, need too much. That I'm clingy. Unhealthy. Undesirable. All of these thoughts result in me going down a really bad path of feeling worthless and unlikeable, never mind feeling lovable.

I'm certain it all comes back to/stems from my trust issues. I don't trust other people...how can I when I don't even trust myself? So, for now, this is going to be my focus. Tuning back into my own intuition and even when I try to fight it, following what it tells me. Learning to trust myself. You know what's funny? I just bought a couple of books on this very topic a couple of weeks ago...before I realized just how imperative this would be to me at this point in my life. Coincidence? Nah, I don't think so.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Battering Kind Of Week

This has been one of those weeks that I need to find some way to completely let go of and forget about. So many things happened this week that are just plain ugly and could ruminate in my brain until it explodes.

My son has had a fever all week and he's been home or at work with me because he can't be at school with a fever. No other symptoms. And now, it looks like Monday/Tuesday may very well be snow days.

My food intake has been more erratic than it should be. My exercise habits have been less than consistent this week. Two times to the gym, that's it. It was very difficult to get there between having to work from home and leaving work early with a sick child. And these things lead me to be extremely concerned that I will regain my weight. That thought absolutely terrifies me.

Add to that all the other stress of the week (dealing with issues with my son's other parent and his diatribes, the gist of which basically have me painted as a naive and controlling parent), well, I think that I'm pretty much shit on the bottom of anyone's shoe. I feel pretty damn worthless, stupid, useless, a horrible mother, miserable co-parent, you name it.

If I could disappear, well, honestly? I think I would. I don't want to deal with anyone. Not my child, not my friends really, not my therapist, not anyone. Just hide somewhere. And yet, I feel insanely lonely and in need. I could really use a good cry and someone to hold me while I had that cry. Unfortunately, that isn't going to happen. I'll probably opt for a bubble bath and a good cry later this morning when Zachary is out with his Big Brother.

I know I need to update his Big on what's been going on with his dad...and I just can't even figure to how to do that. Or if I even should...given that according to dad, I'm just indulging the child in his need for attention.

I'm trying to tell myself this too shall pass. But right now? It feels all consuming. Please, please let it pass quickly and let me get back to living soon.