Thursday, December 31, 2015

365 days

So much can happen in the amount of time it takes for the earth to return to the same point around the sun.  So just for the craziness of it all, let's just take a very simplistic look at my year.

Engaged, sick, physically disabled, depressed, unemployable.-->moved to women's shelter, broke up with ex, enforced no contact, traveled across Canada--> healthy, physically strong, happy, employed and following my dreams.

Yep, that's pretty much it.  I kicked this year's ass. It was crazy and full of heartbreak, fear and uncertainty. I came out of it stronger than I've ever been.  I am truly looking forward to each day.  Each morning I wake up to legs that work, children cuddling around me and no one to answer to but myself.

I don't need to think of next year and what it will be like. I don't live in my future anymore because finally my present is a beautiful place to be.

New Years

Sometimes when I read some romantic meme on Facebook, I forget that I have chosen to be single this New Years.   Sometimes I miss... I was going to name all this stuff about cuddling and sharing experiences but I get all that from my kids and friends,when really, I miss sex.  I miss the connection, the oneness that enfolds myself and my lover.  That's what I miss.   But I do not want another relationship where the main thing that holds it together, despite many flaws, is sexual attraction. Not to say there weren't other good parts of the relationship, but I know now that I was having more make-up sex then I love you sex, and that was a problem.

I have called it being picky, but really, it is about feeling that I have not healed enough from my last relationship, so I'm scared of the next one. I do not want to invest years of my life into something unhealthy and damaging.  How fair would it be to my next partner, if I brought my damage with me? All my pain and fear?  I know what it's like to have to hold up someone who has not dealt with their own pain (this is a pattern in my relationships, I am totally Ms. fix it) it was draining to me and disempowering to my lovers as well.

So I read this meme about how there are 45 days until Valentines and I will probably not have anyone to kiss then either, and a little part of me said, hmmmm, maybe there will be someone to kiss.

I have hope, I have hope because I have been growing in leaps and bounds since my last relationship. I feel happier, more confident, healthier and free.  Who knows, I might just feel like I got all my shit together enough to put myself out there in the dating scene.

Or I may just stay home, order chinese and try not to slop it all over the Terry Pratchett novel I'll be reading on the couch.  Either way, win/win.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Spirit of Santa

Kids came back from their father's just beaming about their sleepover at their cousin's house.
"But one bad thing did happen..." They suddenly looked very unhappy. "Daddy told us there's no Santa and that we weren't getting gifts from him anymore.  We didn't get any on Christmas."
To put this into perspective, my son is 8, my daughter, who is 10, was on the cusp on non-believeing, I think next year she would have come to the conclusion herself, but still kept it from her brother.

I told them that yes, Santa did exist. Santa was the spirit that inhabited the men who would drop off gifts at their neighbour's door not wanting recognition, just wanting to spread joy.  Everyone of these bundled up men pulled in sleighs giving out gifts were Santa.  Soon more people were inspired by and eventually filled with Santa's spirit and wished to give gifts with nothing in return but the warm feeling of generosity.  Parents gave to children, neighbour's to eachother, the image of Santa changed and became more detailed and eventually became the jolly heavy man in a coat in all those books, movies and commercials.  I said we can keep the spirit of Santa alive in our Solstice practice.  We agreed excitedly to make and drop off gifts at people's homes with a Santa tag on it so that they would never know.

Then my son came into my room and we cuddled.  "You seemed sad about the Santa news, you want to talk about it?"
"Daddy told me at the dinner table infront of everybody." He said.
"How did that make you feel?"
"Like he didn't care if he embarrassed me."
"You felt embarrassed?"
"Yeah, he said it like it was obvious."
"So you're embarrassed you believed in Santa?"
At this point I had to hold back both anger and tears, but I took a deep breath, held on to his shoulders looked him in the eye and said:
"Never be ashamed of believeing that wonderful magical things can happen.  You are just like me, we have big imaginations and we truly believe in good things and good people.  This is a great personality trait to have.  It makes us creative. It makes us kind.  This is part of what makes us awesome.  You understand?"  And he nodded, genuinely smiled and kissed me on the lips.

Monday, December 28, 2015

I think this is what forgiveness feels like

So I recieved some info about my ex's actions at the end of our relationship that left me feeling hurt and very angry.  I wrote so many blog posts and erased them.  I knew I wasn't working through my pain in my writing, I was building it up like a bonfire.  Believe it or not, there are many things that I leave out, details I do not share.  There is a line between sharing emotional growth through experience and exacting revenge. That line can be found in your emotions when you are writing. I never purposely post something I wrote in anger.  blogging was not working for me so I headed to Facebook and started a status.  I wrote and erased repeatedly. What am I suppose to be learning from this situation? I asked myself.  Because what I really wanted to do was expose his hurtful actions, But I knew that was an awful thing to do, then I thought: It's pain that is making me want to lash out like this.  Suddenly I knew exactly what lesson today had to bring and I wrote it as a status:

I'm beginning to see what emotional pain can cause people to do.  Those in severe pain will use whatever means necessary to escape it, even if it hurts the people they love.  Blame is often thought of as the cure for the horrible pain of guilt. Acceptance  and self forgiveness is the only long lasting relief.  May all of you in pain find solace.  May the incessant loneliness that haunts you be replaced with the knowledge that you are not alone.  May you see that you have an inherent goodness that cannot be blemished by any act. May you look into the sky and realize that you are the product of millions of years of serendipitous reactions and mutations, or to put it in simpler terms: a miracle.

Looking back on our whole relationship from this mindframe, it makes so much sense.  I no longer take on anything he did to us as a measure of our worth to him.  Every hurtful word, every manipulation it all came from pain.  Over time my reactions came from pain as well. Towards the end,  I began to come from a space of love for myself and my children, I didn't want pain/fear of pain to rule my decisions anymore. I can't imagine how horrible he must have felt knowing that we were willing to face the risk of homelessness and poverty rather than continue to live with him.  I still stand by all my decisions to enforce no contact, however, I think this is what forgiveness feels like.

Compassion, compassion was the real last lesson.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

the pen is mightier than the penis

I messaged a friend tonight.  I was all in a tizzy.  I wanted to be in a relationship again.  I wanted it a lot.  He talked me off the relationship edge.  God bless him.

The holidays will do that, make you want to hunker down with a certain special someone.  Which is fine if you have already met, dated and feel you have someone who suits you.  But to have this I want a relationship feeling with no particular person in mind let alone know well enough to commit to, well that is just plain dangerous.

This kind of desire can lead to the lowering of standards.  Which I have been working very hard to avoid.  But then I listened to myself.  What is it I am really desiring?  Passion.  I have been stumbling around trying to find that thing that really does it for me, that isn't a person.

It's been here all along, offering me solace.  Available at all hours of the night.  My writing.  Crisis averted.  No jumping into a commitment for me, no scanning the room for potential dates, nope.  Just me and whichever writing utensil is closest.

Thank you to my friend who put things into perspective for me.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Writing, Addiction and Joy

So I was out tonight enjoying a half pint and live music, but something else was calling me... I wanted to write.  I write while I'm out quite often.  But I wanted in my bedroom quiet time writing.  Like when I was a kid and I'd put on pink Floyd and just escape into my own world for hours.  I loved writing, I could create any world I wanted and step right into it.  It was beyond magical.  It was god-like.

Journaling has been a fantastic tool for self discovery and growth.  But maybe I am ready to move back into my fiction. Write everyday, I kept reading in books.  I believed it in theory, but here I am moving forward.  When I was 18 I thought I lost my ability to write stories for good.

I had a crystal meth addiction as a young adult. I wrote extensively high as a kite.  I often got great marks in my creative writing course as well.  Problem is this: drugs give to you creatively, don't let anyone tell you differently, but when you quit... They take.  They take what they gave and then they take everything else.  Any scrap of talent you had, gone. I gained my weight back, I caught up on my sleep after weeks of being awake, but no matter how hard I tried my plots fell flat, my characters lacked substance.  Your brain builds new synapsis when you repeatedly do a task while high, the problem is the synapsis that allowed you to complete those tasks sober, they whither and die.

Imagine quitting a drug and one of your main coping mechanisms (your art) is no longer there for you.  People wonder why musicians often return to their addictions, this is why.  Ever seen a newly sober musician struggle on stage, this is why.  To quit your drug can essentially mean quitting  your  career and letting go of what has defined you for years.

So after years of here and there writing in the form of lyrics and poems, I moved into journaling and now for the next stage, my fiction.

I never could have rediscovered my passion and talent without the insane amount of loss and pain I suffered at the beginning of this year.

Thank you all for being with me on this journey. Thank you all for your support.  I am living my joy again.  I am whole.

Friday, December 25, 2015

WARNING: TMI tongue in cheek. Read at Own Risk

Making a list of all the awesome things about being alone for a few days at Christmas.

1. Peeing with the bathroom door open.  Why? You ask, because I can.
2. Not having to turn my fan on high to hide the sound of my vibrator.
3. Singing at the top of my lungs. Everywhere.
4. Not having to put on clothes to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night also see #1
5. Eating what I want and not needing to set a good nutritional example for my children.  I ate pie for 3 out of my four meals today.
6. Dancing all around the house, sometimes like pee wee Herman
7. Game of thrones marathon where I'm not wondering if my face is as blank as I'm trying to make it be because I'm watching naked people have sex on tv while sitting next to my roommate.
8. No one reading over my shoulder while I write asking me: "What's a vibrator?"
9. Deciding to leave in 10 minutes and then actually leaving in 10 minutes.
10. Deciding to leave in 10 minutes, then not going anywhere at all.
11. Spending several minutes flexing my muscles infront of the big mirror at the bottom of the stairs.
12. Knowing I could have obnoxiously loud sex and not embarrass my roommate or wake my kids, not that I will, just that I could if I wanted to.

So Close

I'm so close to being ready to open up my heart again.
I can taste it in the back of my throat,
The readiness, not my heart.
My heart isn't in my throat anymore.
But what I want is on the tip of my tongue,
Trying to avoid the spot that tastes bitter.
The problem is I am a romantic
I see every opportunity as a sign
I see every prolonged glance
As a connection
But a glance is more like a brush with something
Not a true connection
Or so my literal self tells me
I don't know exactly what I want
It's been so long since
There was such a selection
Since I ordered for myself a flavour never tasted
I imagine what each will taste like
As if my imagination will do it justice,
Or save me from another bad taste left in my mouth.

Christmas Not So alone

So, as described earlier, I have no kids or romantic partner I am spending today (the 25th of December if the date somehow is not working on the blog) with.  I am starting this blog by typing in the bathroom because I can.  Because no one is going to knock on the door while I'm in here.  I'm just going to bask in that for the next paragraph or so.

I tried to stay up late last night reading, but given that I was exhausted from a busy day at work and had two glasses of champagne in me, I was asleep by 11:30.  Then of course I couldn't sleep in past 8.  Which was fine, I spent an hour looking up my dreams on dream interpretation websites, just to confirm what I already knew.  Nothing like a dream interpretation ego boost to get you going in the morning.

My roommate headed out the door shortly after I got downstairs.  There was a combined gift from my good friend and a wise woman who helped me clear out my storage.  Pickled milk thistle (which I will be trying tonight) and an inspirational quote that so suits where I am in life.  I was looking for my headphones for my hike and I saw them... beautiful arm warmers from Willowfern.  And a note from my roommate saying:  in case you did not know....Arm warmers.  They were beautiful.  The colours were great.  I totally hesitated picking them up.  They didn't have my name on them... Are they really for me?  I wondered.  I was scared to pick them up.  What if they are really for someone else?  I left the room and did a few things then came back to look at them.  No one else lives here. I had to tell myself.  They are for you.  Then I got all teary.

Why did I hesitate?  Because I have not had close friends in half a decade.  No one aside from my children or occasionally Scott, left me gifts.  That's not to say my family never gives me gifts...just not little surprises.  I'm not used to so much kindness and giving in my life from friends.  For many
years I collected acquaintances.  I had a friend/business partner but we were both very busy women and tried to catch up the best we could on our way to teaching classes.  Another friend and I have drifted apart since my break-up, the truth is though, cultivating friendships was simply not something I had any energy left for.  Until a few months ago.

So on my way to my hike I stopped by my friend's for a visit, which turned into chatting for over an hour.  Then halfway down Hunters Bay Trail I turned around and started walking back.  Something said you need to head home. As soon as I came in  I checked my Facebook and saw that another friend was having a singalong at her place for those who don't have family with them this Christmas, so I thought,why not?  And headed over there just in time for it to start.

Some people are just so warm and welcoming they put you right at ease.  In fact I was so at ease (I think the glass or two of wine I drank may have had something to do with this) that I attempted The Immigrant Song  on Karaoke.    So much fun.  I am so grateful to them for putting out that invitation.

I left and unlocked my door to my empty quiet home and took a moment to listen to the ticking clock.
I called my dad and mom when I got home to wish them a merry Christmas.  It's going on 7pm and I have a glass of bubbly wine started and the big question on my mind is: Which book am I going to risk dropping in the bathtub tonight?  I'm thinking Game of Thrones.

I'm finishing off my dinner of cherry pie.  Kind of wishing that I was having sex tonight; I ovulated today so I know this is simply a hormonal thing that will pass and be followed by bloating and sore swollen boobs that will make me feel the opposite of sexy.  So there you have it, Christmas without family or a romantic partner need not be a horrible experience.  Put time and effort into friendships, into finding what gives you joy and watch as everyday can be fulfilling, even the ones our society puts such high expectations on.

Merry Christmas, may all my friends and family find their light within.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I'll Be Home For Christmas...

I always felt that this song was such a let-down.  Here I am facing the very predicament as outlined in the song.   My children spend the 24th through 30th at their father's,  usually Scott was off work at that time and we would make plans to distract us from the silence of the house.  Obviously, this year, there will be no Scott and I am not working that week.   I agreed to work late into the 24th thinking that I had no other plans for Christmas, a couple of friends will be coming over for Christmas Eve dinner.  Which will be great.  My father called the other day to invite me to his place just outside of Toronto for the 25th, but that would mean leaving right after work, no dinner with friends and arriving in Toronto late Christmas Eve night...  Though I would love to spend the evening of the 25th with my mom, dad, Alice and my nephew, it seems like a stressful way to spend Christmas Eve.  There's something else too,  I think I'm meant to spend this time on my own.

I don't quite know how to explain it,  I'll try in a point form list sort of way (which I seem to be liking lately):
- Facing uncomfortable situations has always left me feeling stronger and wiser.
- One of the reasons we stay in relationships that are unhealthy is the fear of being alone,  well I want to look that fear in the eye until the illusion fades and I realize it never had eyes to begin with.
-I want the feeling of freedom, all by myself freedom.
-I want to catch up on reading.
-I want to create!
-I want to meditate on what I want for this year.
-I want to study for my G1
-I want to work on my fundraiser.
-I want to go out of town one night and hang out with a friend or two.
-I want to scrub a bathroom uninterrupted.

So, yes I may be spending the day of the 25th alone (one friend may be popping by that evening). But I'll be reading books, crocheting blankets, colouring, writing,  taking a long bath, sipping bubbly and practising yoga.   I may even go for a long hike with my earphones/muffs singing along to my iPad playlist.  I was feeling a little sorry for myself a few days ago, but that is because I forgot how blessed I am.  Christmas is about new life, new beginnings.  I have now set myself up to be able to do anything with my future.  My family knows I love them, I know they love me.  We will get together again, I know it.

So I'll be home for Christmas, I'll be at home in myself.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Time Flew By

Today was the first time I thought back to my relationship with my ex and truly felt it was A while ago, that realization of wow those 5 and a half years really flew by.   It really felt like a chunk of the past, something completely separate from my now.  Maybe the term I am looking for is compartmentalized.  It felt so freeing.  

I dreamt last night that I saw crazy waves in the ocean, (the images curtesy of lake Eerie Facebook photos I'm sure) they were watched from afar though.  I felt no fear of them.  I just let them be, I turned and let that ocean be exactly what it wanted to be as I walked away.  The waves would no longer overtake me, I was in no danger of drowning.  I can see now, that I am not responsible for my ex's choices, feelings or where he is in life right now.  I was feeling so much guilt, but then I realized, just like me, he made the choices he thought were best for him.  He is where he is because of his choices just like I am where I am because of mine.  We did not make these choices for eachother.  I can't believe how long it took me to step out of that mind frame.  But I am so glad I did.

I've come to realize that my guilt was the result of an overestimation of how much power I truly have over another's choices and actions...

I guess I was done learning lessons analyzing my past, now onto the lessons from analyzing my "now".

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Last Lesson

We were fighting in my dream, he knew he shouldn't be talking to me.  He knew he shouldn't be in my house.  I hit him with a book and it scratched his face.  I felt horrible and went to get something to help it heal.  Then I turned to him and said: can't we just be done?  And the utter emotional exhaustion I felt took over. The ceiling opened up and the sun was shining through.  It was almost noon and I wondered does this mean I'm only halfway done getting over him?  Or that this is my realization?  My subconscious is begging my brain to stop analyzing.  That I've figured out enough, I have learned every lesson I can and it's time to let go.

I saw some of his family members the other night, I barely felt any negativity, just an anxious twinge that went away as soon as it came. So the dreams from the night before were my old belief systems crashing down, then acceptance of love without fear, then the realization that nothing good is going to come out of more analyzation, there's no more to look into, it's all been examined, every lesson penned and absorbed.

Understanding something does not necessarily mean it won't cause you pain anymore.

That was the last lesson.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Illusions of Strength

Don't be a victim
I was told as a child that the strong stand up for themselves.
I was told as a child that the strong spoke up for themselves.
I was told as a child that the strong don't take shit from people.
You fight to be treated with respect.

So I stood up and faced him, I yelled back and told him I wouldn't take his shit.
Then I felt like I wasn't being a victim, because I fought back.

Everytime I did these things, I victimized myself. I co-created an unhealthy pattern in my relationship.  I allowed things to happen repeatedly under this illusion that as long as I stood up, spoke up and fought for respect, I was being strong.

I wish someone had taught me that standing up for yourself, actually meant standing up and walking away.  Because then the next two lessons would be unnecessary.  

I wish someone had told me that any respect that had to be "fought" for was not respect at all and therefore not worthy of the fight to begin with.

The fighters don't understand the walkers, but the walkers understand that.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

9 Tips To Help You Avoid Sex When Healing From Heartbreak

So you may be in that gut-wrenching chest-ripping portion of the break-up, the first moment you realize it's truly over.  I'm not talking about your average break up.  I'm talking about years together, so-comfortable-with-each-other-you-pick-each-others-back-acne relationship termination.  You know rebound sex is a bad idea, you know a rebound relationship is an even worse idea and yet...

Perhaps part of you just needs to feel that closeness.  Maybe you feel sex with someone may make you feel sexy and wanted again.  Maybe you hope it will numb you even if just for a short period of time.  Perhaps your aim is to create jealousy in your ex. Maybe your ovary has just popped an egg into your Fallopian tube...whatever the reason for craving sex, part of you still knows, this is a bad idea.

Here's some tips on avoiding the post break-up sexathon that you'll probably regret later:

1. Don't go out.  Hide in your room.  Generally, sexual partners do not randomly appear at your front door offering themselves. (If you have a thing for delivery guys, you may also need to abstain from pizza and Chinese food). The draw back is that though a mourning period can be healing, too much time alone can be unhealthy.  Invite over a friend that you do not find sexy in the slightest.

2.Don't shave your legs before you go out.  (This will not work if you never shave your legs).  If the idea of scratching up a guy (or gal) with your Christmas tree like limbs turns you off, this may be that   little bit of a show stopper that you need.

3. Leave your room a disgusting mess when heading out to the bar.  Yep, mess up your bed, throw around your granny panties, find old food in the fridge and put it on plates, place it so it can be seen just peaking out from under your bed.  Imagine the look on the hottie's face when you bring him or her back to THAT, while s/he is chatting you up.

4. Imagine that everyone who offers to take you back to THEIR place is a psychotic murderer.  Generally going to a stranger's house the first night you meet them, is not the safest of choices anyways.

5.Erase ex lovers and old friends with benefits numbers from your phone.  If you mean anything to them, they'll get a hold of you in your not so vulnerable future and you can add them to your contacts then.  Same with Facebook.

6. Bring only a little cash if you are intending on going out to the bar, leave the debit and credit card at home.  The less drinking you do, the more able to remember that your legs aren't shaved and your room is a pigsty you will be.  Drink too much and all is lost.

7.Masturbate before you go out to situations in which you will meet potential sexual partners.  Be satisfied. (I can't help but think about Something about Mary as I type this) Never go to the grocery store hungry.

8. Make yourself look unavailable.  Unfortunately the ring finger doesn't seem to work anymore.  However if you are waiting for a friend while out, wearing headphones can discourage mister I'm-desperately-trying-to-make-eye-contact from approaching you.  Also I find music very healing to the broken heart so why not kill two birds with one stone?

9.  The most important and helpful thing I have found for myself is this one: Invest in your friendships.  Hang out with those who remind you of a different kind of loving fulfilment.  Have
dinner parties with them, go to the movies, have coffee, go shopping, start a book club or attend a stitch and bitch.  This friend should not be the fun loving Free spirit I love taking home a different guy every night sort of friend (not that there's anything wrong with that, it may just break down your resolve faster).

So there it is.  I'm going on Seven months rebound-sex free.  There was one close call where I thought maybe I'd like to make out with a guy, but thankfully it didn't happen.   So to any of my fellow highly sexual beings trying to abstain for the sake of fully healing your hearts.  Good luck and watch out for that plate of food sticking out from under your blissfully empty spacious bed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Small Luxuries

What I've wanted for Christmas for two years:  2 meters of super soft faux fur material.  I get it, we don't always get what we ask for.  We need to be thankful for what we do get, and I am.  But today, as I stared at the half price sale on the very gift I had been coveting for so long, I felt guilt.  Such a luxury,.  Should I spend the money?  I remembered my mother handing me cash and telling me to get myself something really nice for Christmas.  She had that "I mean it" look on her face.  So I did it.  Man, I have been looking forward to bedtime ever since.

I shall pour myself a cup of peppermint tea, light some candles, listen to music and cuddle up in my new silky soft throw and truly revel in how amazing life is that I can do this.  Eat, Pray, Love was a book I started when I left my ex, and though I have yet to finish it,  I loved how she really took time to nourish her senses, recognizing her self worth through this practise.  She deserved to feel good, she deserved to remind herself of all the good this material world had to offer.  I deserve that too.

So my friends who are also tentatively healing from heartbreak, do something luxurious for yourself. Eat your favourite dessert, buy those comfy pj's, slip on that sexy lingerie under your work clothes, choose the flavoured frothy coffee over your usual, double double.  Make plans that you look forward to.  Fall in love with your life again.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Just Fine

Did a YouTube 10 minute body scan to recharge myself.  It started at the top of my head,  and moved it's way down.  When it moved to my chest, I took a moment to focus on my heart. It hurt, my heart really hurt.  But not with missing Scott. It was full of anxiety, shame, it needed reassurance.  So I imagined myself holding it.  I told it that I am sorry it is hurting.  I told it that I don't blame it for loving.  That is was good for it to love.  That I am proud of it for loving so deeply.  I'm not angry at it anymore, and I never should have been.

I missed focussing on the upper legs and a few other spots, however it think I focussed exactly where I needed to.

I loved wholly, I gave myself completely.  This is what my heart does, it is good at it.  I just need to find a chamber for myself in it, and I will be just fine.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Joy of Toys

Today I was very mindful of my thoughts, I named them and let them go.  I'm pretty proud of myself.  I also did some silly fun things. When it was quiet and all my chores were done, I took down one of each of the big kid riding toys and rode them all over the store.  I tried to Ollie the spoon toy, but being as I could never ollie a skateboard either, I gave up.  My thighs, arms and core muscles loved the workout.  I'm telling you my fellow bite sized parents: get these toys for your kids, then put your kids to bed early so you can have a fun work out.  I also (accidentally) played dominoes with the lower shelf of the craft section...  

Playing is such an important part of mental and physical health.  How appropriate that I get a toy store job at a time in my life where I need light hearted play.