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Category Archives: be my muse?

Daddy Issues

I’m going off of memory here because I’m lazy and don’t like to incorporate research (BLECK) into blogging, but I believe it was Freud, and Oedipus, that theorized our first loves are our opposing sex parent when we are babies and young children. Little boys love their mothers and little girls love their fathers truer and deeper than they think they’ll ever love anyone else, and the reaction of said parent is more important to how we shape our views of ourselves than I, and most people I’d wager, ever realize. Whether this is true or not, I can’t tell you, but I know for me, my father and our relationship has proven to be the catalyst for most of my crazy issues as an adult.

My parents divorced when I was about 5, and most of the memories that I have of the time before are not so peachy. Lots of yelling, lots of fighting and lots of pissed off dad. His anger was scary, he’d yell and scream and throw shit, and as a 5 and less year old kid, I had a decision to make – be afraid of my own father, or try to do things that didn’t make him angry. Queue the emergence of my brilliant wit. I learned quickly that when dad was laughing, he wasn’t yelling and the choice for me was obvious – I wanted a laughy dad, not a screamy one. Besides, a couple of hits on the ass with a wooden spoon would have even made Jesus renounce his religion, if it had happened to him as a three year old.

Flash forward to my adult life and the main lesson that that little girl learned – do whatever it takes to avoid confrontation and make sure everyone is happy in order to avoid chaos and fear. To this day, I make jokes in tense situations to avoid the anger or sadness that may present itself otherwise. Laughter beat out dads anger, but the laughter was just masking my fear, not displacing it. Don’t get me wrong, I love laughing and having a good time, but I pushed myself into being that way as a child because it was a way better option than being screamed at and cracked over the ass with a wooden spoon by my dad because I spilled some milk on the kitchen floor. Remember – 5 years old and less….

Our relationship as adults is less of a relationship and more of a requirement. He expects me to honor and obey, and forgive him when he tells me that depression is something I should be able to handle myself, and that it’s ‘stupid’ that I am on antidepressants. He wants me to go out of my way for him and give him the unconditional love that he’s never given me. He wants me to yearn for his affection that he withholds like it’s the last jar of peanut butter on earth. Yet, despite all of that, I still try to make him happy. I still try to be uplifting and funny and I still try to be that little girl who he used to get so much enjoyment out of  – but as an adult, it’s harder for me to suppress the fact that I’ve never felt my dad loved me for who I am, only for the laughter I could create. I’ve always felt he loved me just because I could make him not be angry, and that isn’t the unconditional love that a child needs from their father. It’s made me derive my self worth through how I can make others feel – if I can’t make people turn that frown upside down, then I’m worthless. If I can’t solve a problem for someone, I’m a piece of shit, and so on and so on.  I want him to be happy, I want him to enjoy life, but every time that I try to bring that to him, he shoots me down. He makes sure every conversation ends with a ‘reality check’, which leaves me feeling like the world is terrible and not worth being a part of. He’s so resistant to letting go of his negativity and constant belittling that he makes no effort to ease our strained relationship, despite the fact that he is acutely aware that it exists. And that makes me sad for him, and sad for me because there is so much more to this thing called life than just hating on it and bitching about the bad shit that happens to us all sometimes. I want to have a relationship with my father that is healthy and loving and where I feel he accepts me and that I am good enough to be called his daughter, but I’m realizing through age and therapy that that just isn’t going to happen. He’s always going to think I could do more, or be better, or thinner or prettier or a harder worker, but not in an encouraging kind of way, more like a ‘you are not good enough’ one.

Tonight in my therapy session, I realized that my dads happiness is not my responsibility, and it’s OK that that makes me sad. I cannot live my life for him, and I cannot allow him to drag me down when I find something to be positive about. I love my dad, and I always will, but I don’t LOVE my dad, and I wish that I could.

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Dial up the crazy

It almost feels funny to type this, as it’s been almost a year and a half since I’ve used this word, but, I have a ‘boyfriend’. He’s wonderful, I like him a lot, he does all the things I think a good boyfriend should, and I hope that I get to keep calling him my boyfriend for a very long time. With all that said, however, my crazy still manages to poke holes in what could otherwise be a completely normal relationship, and in times like these, I write.

I live in southern Pennsylvania, (southern enough that I rarely admit to the PA residency except when trying to prove that I drive the farthest to work when compared to anyone else), and for those who don’t know, Maryland and Virginia (along with many other states that i have no reason for mentioning here…) got hit with a helluva storm the last weekend in June, with 80 MPH winds, hail, monsoon volume rains and excessive lightening. There are people to this day that are still without power due to the storm damage, and my boyfriend works in Maryland, for one of the companies that’s out and about replacing some of the telephone poles that were broken, cutting up trees that were splintered and generally trying to fix some of the shit that got jacked up. Since he and I have about an hour and 15 minutes worth of distance between us, his long hours and 7 day a week shifts have taken a toll on my emotional stability the last 2 weekends, as I’ve seen him for a fraction of the amount of time that we PREFER to see each other. See, I intentionally typed “we prefer” to try to outsmart the crazy, but the crazy is uber smart, and it sees through my thinly veiled attempts with little to no effort. The small amount of time that we HAVE been able to see each other isn’t exactly the same sort of QT that I’m used to spending with him, either, as he’s exhausted, a mere fraction of his usual awesome personality, and I swear – dude falls asleep LESS THAN 5 minutes after his head hits the pillow – I don’t think a narcoleptic could top that. So this weekend, I ate dinner with him and his family, then we watched a movie, I got to sleep in his arms, and then got up at 5 am and drove home as he went to work. I’m not complaining, because I wasn’t exactly living la vida refreshed either, but as soon as I give my brain a moment to wander, it immediately jumps to him distancing himself from me for some yet to be discovered reason. Or for some reason that I may have thought of but dismissed, or for some reason that I may never even think of because there’s probably not even a reason in existence at this point. Logically, I know what sheer exhaustion can do to a person and that this is his true reason for being less than all over my grill as of late. Yet my crazy expects him to be bright eyed and bushy tailed, utilizing every second I am within his vision to adore and fawn over me, despite the fact that he’s worked no less than 10 hours per day, for the last 10+ days straight, and he’s already doing about all he can just to stay awake and spend a few hours of face to face time with me. I am interpreting his exhaustion for disinterest, and this is where I inevitably lose my sub-par grip and sob into a pillow for a few hours. Queue the red, puffy eyes I’ll have for the next 2 days.

I must feel safe with my boyfriend, though, because instead of bottling it up and becoming aloof, I’ve opened up and explained these feelings to him, and god love this man, he consoled me and assured me and managed to quell my concerns in just a few words. In past relationships, I would have been told “That’s stupid, why do you feel that way?” and it would end up being an entire discussion about my feelings and why they are dumb, his lack thereof, and I would still never feel that acceptance or understanding that I longed for. Despite the fact that I want to talk about my feelings, I don’t feel the need to make an entire presentation out of it – I want to say my piece, have him reply, and move on. Then I want to reiterate his reply in my head to make myself feel better whenever crazy girl sneaks in and tries to overwhelm the awesome that I have created. Seriously, I know that these crazy thoughts are crazy things that only crazy people make up, but I literally CANNOT help them from seeping into my brain and once they are there, the only way to make them go away is to say them out loud and gain affirmation for their complete idiocy, or their legitimacy.

One huge thing I’ve wanted in a boyfriend is someone who would actually listen to what I say, and HEAR me when I say it. I don’t need it fixed, that’s on me, I just need a man to understand that I have feelings (I know, you’re thinking ‘You’re a chick – DUH you have feelings’ but wait, explanation on this to follow) and be OK with hearing them out-loud. Too many men seem to completely suppress, or downright forget that chicks have feelings, and need to express them to get over them, and firsthand I can say this has created more than several issues with me and men in the past. This one guy I dated told me that I wasn’t ALLOWED to tell him when I was disappointed. His reasoning was that he didn’t like making plans anyway, so when plans fell through, I wasn’t allowed to be disappointed because it was something I used against him to make him feel badly. Not badly enough to NOT break plans or to even TRY to not break plans, just bad enough that he didn’t want to hear about it. I feel that you don’t get to know a person if you’re always just putting on a show, so I want to be honest and try to share who I am in my entirety. All the world is a stage, but even the stage hand gets to know the REAL person playing the part, and I want to be with someone who knows all of me, not just the stuff that’s lollipops and gummi bears. Long winded reason # 47 why my boyfriend is awesome.

 

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Sometimes, hindsight sucks

Today I let a little crazy out. My man and I had this wonderful weekend together full of awesome people, literal fireworks and tons of Q.T. and I almost fucked it all up in about 5 minutes time, just as he was leaving. At least, that’s what I thought until he proved me wrong.

My past still seeps through into my present at times, and while most of my past is what has made me who I am today, ergo, I am thankful for it, there are plenty of things from my past which benefit no one, no how, no way. Mainly, this is regarding my previous dating encounters, as those are still the my biggest hurdles of insecurity in life. However, I think anyone with a pulse can agree that past relationships all have their double-edged swords. On one sharp side, I’ve learned from the mistakes I’ve made and I have managed to stop picking men who have issues with commitment or emotion or who hate their mothers or anyone with a womb, but the other side of the slice is that those ‘learning experiences’ jack you up so much emotionally that when shit happens which triggers memories, before you know it, you’re sobbing hysterically into a sofa pillow cushion wondering why in the hell you don’t just magically become the crazy cat lady now and save yourself the anguish of WAITING for it to happen.

Despite the fact that I sipped copious amounts of crazy juice this afternoon, lost my shit for a minute or thirty, and even shed a few tears (but don’t tell anyone), instead of spinning wheels away from crazy town faster than a Delorian, my man was so worried about MY feelings that he stuck around and talked through things with me until I felt better, even though that meant his time table was pushed back and he got home later than wanted/expected for his stupid early 5:30a Monday morning. He was more interested in making sure he and I were copacetic than anyone I’ve ever been in a relationship with and I could not express to him, or you, how incredibly amazing and wonderful that is if I sat here until my ass and fingers went numb, using a thesaurus to select any and all words related to AWESOME in three to five different languages. His concern for my feelings eased my worries faster than an ice cube melts in hell, yet on top of that pile of awesome, just to assure me more so that all the amazing things he said earlier were incredibly true, he called me on his way home under the veil of being lost, just to make sure that I was OK. Seriously, the man knows his way home by now, and I generally am anti-lying, but I’m OK with this particular guise.

I am so happy that lately, people are remarking upon how happy I look, even when I’m not talking about him and I, and even when they have no idea that my man even exists. And ya know what, I’m not even gonna pull the “I don’t know how I got so lucky” card because dammit, therapy has taught me that I deserve some fricking happiness at this point in my life and I’m finally starting to believe it. I’ve been with terrible men, I’ve been with men that just weren’t a good fit for me for one reason or twenty, and everything in between, and I may sound like a selfish asshole when I say this – but I DESERVE someone who appreciates me, crazy and all, and who gives as much of a shit about what I think and feel as I do about what he thinks and feels. And I truly think I’ve found him, especially after today.

 

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Don’t hate me because I love yarn

I am über proud of my Granny Skillz. And by ‘Granny Skillz’ I mean my abilities to knit and crochet. I don’t care that I’m 30 and love knitting, I happen to greatly enjoy sentient activities and this one allows me to at least FEEL productive while I use as few muscles as possible. It’s quite remarkable, actually. You can spend hours moving little more than your arms from the elbows down and yet you can create these beautiful, imaginative items that are often made out of extremely long, but single pieces of yarn, all woven together in pretty little patterns. You can create flowers (seriously, you can, I can’t, yet), scarves, socks, headbands or little sock like things for your kindle to keep them from getting banged up in your purse since you carry it everywhere. Yeah, that was my first crochet project – it left some things to be desired, i.e. I MUST learn how to make prettier end stitches before moving forward with much else – and it is complete, for all intents and purposes, and it’s not a bad go for the first time I’ve crocheted, either, so I’m cool with it. Not gonna sell the pattern for profit, but I can consider it a success.

Anyone that KNOWS how to knit and/or crochet will tell you how EEEAASSSYYY it is. And I will admit to having done such a thing myself, but let me tell you this: that is bullshit. It’s so freaking hard to learn one or the other and it’s even harder to know one, and try to learn the other. They are similar, but so VERY different and it’s like trying to teach a lefty how to cut construction paper snowflakes with righty scissors. It’s as difficult as trying to explain the color blue to someone who was born blind. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I was feeling rambly and trying to make that work…anyway, it definitely took me a few hours of patient one on one teaching to learn the pattern and movements of crochet and I still have some cleaning up to do of my stitches but overall, I think I’ve got the basics down – half shells, double crochet, single crochet, and chains – not too shabby. I remember when I started knitting, I didn’t realize that there was a front, and a back to the piece of work – I thought it somehow magically knew that on its own or something, or perhaps I just didn’t imagine it made a difference as I expected patterns to follow my method, not the proper one. Truly, until a few years ago, I knew how to knit, but I had been doing it all wrong. As soon as you recognize a front and a back, the patterns make SO much more sense and you can actually create something that looks like the picture – I HATE it when stuff I make doesn’t end up looking like the picture, but that’s an entirely different rant – and people then look at what you’ve knitted and tell you how beautiful it is and ooh and ahh at it while they touch it and rub it against their faces… and then you say, Oh, it was EASY.

 

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Some things change, some things stay the same

It’s been several years now since it started, (somewhere between 4 and 6, I honestly stopped paying attention) and yet I’m still about to write this next sentence: My therapist has suggested that I start blogging again. It helps to solidify the neuro pathways that I’ve rediscovered and it helps to emphasize the reasons behind why I’ve made the choices that I’ve made, and why I used to think that I only deserved [X] amount of anything – happiness, love, kindness, friendship, you name it. I almost feel like I should create an entirely new blog as I am not the same mentally nor emotionally as I was when I started this, or even the last time I posted, and its only natural to want a fresh start after such change.

My ‘perception filter’, as my therapist calls it, is still distorted to a point, but I’ve managed to get the blame game down to a dull roar and I can now see where my deep-seated feelings of guilt, worry and my overwhelming fear of disappointing others comes from. The knowledge alone has opened so many doors in my head that I feel like my brain is a freaking mansion as opposed to a cardboard box. A cardboard box that was once shared with evil, spiteful rats, gnawing on whatever was left of my well-being without regard.

Thanks to my amazing therapist and my own want to learn and grow, I am excruciatingly happy today. I am content with who I am, and I am content if there are people out there who don’t like that, or me. I can say with confidence that, emotionally, there isn’t much I can’t handle now, and I have more confidence and trust in myself now than I’ve had in a long time. Life is good and I look forward to each day with a genuine smile and the outlook that great things are on the horizon. After several years of dating, trying to find the man who fit into my needs and wants while I fit into his, I have found one who is the closest I could ever hope for, and I know that were it not for my therapist and the progress that I’ve made personally, he would not be in my life at this time, and that is the best motivation to continue to grow that a girl could EVER ask for.

I hope to continue to explore myself and what makes me tick, and I hope that I can begin to start sharing my growth again via writing, as it truly is something that I enjoy and I denied myself enjoyment for too long. I saw something via one of those witty websites the other day, a meme of an EKG heart rate; underneath it stated “If life didn’t have ups and downs, you’d be dead.” Well spoken and a good reminder that the bad things that happen don’t have to define who you are or what you do – YOU make those choices and only you can take back the control and turn life into what you want it to be. Thanks be to my therapist for helping me learn that lesson.

 

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I make the earth move, not earthquakes. Pffft.

The other Tuesday, I was in DC during the earthquake that pretty much threw everyone in DC into a tizzy, and I didn’t even realize it had happened. Perhaps it was because I was outside, walking around Arlington National Cemetery, watching the incredible Changing of the Guard, or perhaps it was because I was enjoying the company I was with so much that it rendered me completely oblivious to the ground shaking at a 5.8 magnitude beneath my feet.

I have had this tendency in the past to put myself into relationships almost just for the sake of being in a relationship. You see, I have this irrational fear of dying alone. And yes, I hope and pray that at 30, I’m still a long, LONG way away from dying, but I get down on myself when I am single and my mind goes crazy. That’s what crazy people do, after all – GO CRAZY. Due to this, I jump at any man who expresses interest in me, hoping that after long last, he’ll be the one to make me happy and make it so that I WON’T die alone; however, I tend to reinforce that fear each time another “not right” relationship ends.

Almost a year ago, I joined one of those online dating sites. In fact, over the years, I’ve joined a couple of them but I’ve found the one that claims to match you based upon a whole bunch of dimensions, (and don’t ask, because I don’t know what they are, either), to be the one I prefer the most. I’ve met quite a few men on there and actually dated one of them for a few months. A couple of others resulted in a few dates and free dinners while others still never got farther than the guided communication. And yet, there was this one guy……this one guy that kept popping back up at random, but opportune times, and who always just seemed to say the right things and act the right way and have the right mentality. This one guy, who has more artistic talent in his goatee than I have in my entire body actually finds ME interesting and fun. This one guy who somehow didn’t text me at all during the few months I dated this other guy but he managed to reach out to me days after that relationship ended, just to say hi. This one guy, who intrigued me enough that I went outside of my comfort zone, and worries of ulterior motives, and feelings of potential failure, and planned to meet the dude in DC for some museum touring, Presidential resting place viewing and a National’s game.

It was actually kind of an unusual first encounter, aside from the whole meet up in DC for an overnight deal – but there were none of those awkward feelings when you meet someone for the first time, for me. I was very comfortable, relaxed and just plain happy to be in his vicinity and I’d like to think he felt the same way. We had an absolutely brilliant time, despite the earthquake and a slight misjudgment of distance by foot, and we both agreed that we had a ridiculous amount of fun and that we should do it again. Soon. And this one guy is already making plans with me to come visit so he can show me around his town. This one guy that keeps in touch pretty much daily now, and who actually is opening up to me about these deep thoughts he has, without me even asking. This one guy has got me smitten, me thinks, and I gotta say that I’m enjoying the hell out of it.

 

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Feast or famine

It seems that I only feel like blogging when I’m hating on myself via some deep-seated emotional issue that has been triggered by a thought or some outside event. This post shall be no different from the norm.

Failure is a word that triggers a strong emotional and mental response from me. It could be failure to complete a task appropriately or the failure of a relationship – it doesn’t matter, either way, I end up feeling like a fuck up who can’t do anything right or correct in life. This is a feeling that has followed me around longer than I’ve probably even been aware of it, and it’s become a topic of interest over my last few therapy sessions.

Each time I recount the failure of a relationship, or that one time I applied for something and was denied, or when I just allow people to take advantage of me, I end up a bleary eyed mess and full of emotional turmoil. Mistakes are failures, the inability to mesh with a single person for the rest of my life is a failure and you bet your ass that I’ve failed at life because I’ve never accomplished the dreams I had as a stupid child. It’s enough to drive a person into a downward spiral of depressive sludge.

Today, as I was having a moment of incredible weakness to my BFF, I kind of realized that in some deep, dark, psychotherapy place in the recesses of my mind, my parents divorce has warped my perception of relationships and their levels of success or failure. I’m sure it’s much more involved than that and I’m sure it has a lot more to do with the whole inability to deal with or discuss emotions that my entire family possesses, but I’ve never really thought of my parents divorce in a negative way until today. It’s one of those situations where the more you learn about yourself, why you react the way that you do to certain things, and where those feelings of inner turmoil and blackness actually COME from, that you can’t help but start to look at events in your life differently.Some end up being more detrimental while others end up having that silver lining to them. My BFF pointed out that relationships take two people and that I cannot blame myself for the end of every relationship because I AM AWESOME. So, in a moment of clarity, I’ve realized that I AM awesome, and have apparently been setting my sights too low, hence the fizzle of each of my past relationships. Awesome shines brightly and some people just burn faster than others. To truly be happy in life, I need to aim high and find someone who’s awesome matches my own, instead of dialing down my aura to fit others.

 

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