I need to get some of this out

I’ve been hiding from my phone for the past couple of days.  Ok, maybe not hiding, but I plug it in and walk away from it.  I don’t want to be near it.  Families… weddings… I swear, weddings, funerals and babies bring out the crazy in people.  And typically – when the crazy comes out – someone gets hurt.

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I guess this time… that person is me.  I’m hurt.  Reeling actually.  I feel as if I’ve been singed and cut by someone I never thought I’d have to fear.

My “bro”.  He’s not related to me by blood, but we call each other “brother” and “sister”.  We met 13 years ago, he was my neighbor who lived with his then-girlfriend across the hall.  I swear, the first time I met him, I knew he was my brother from another mother. LOL.  We’ve had a lot of ups and downs over the years, but we were always there for each other.  He’s always been there for me.

I knew, as his wedding day approached that our friendship was about to change in a big way.  Ideally, I’d gain a cool sister out of the deal.  But she has never seemed to have much interest in that, we don’t share a lot of the same ideals, so I get it. Actually – I wish she understood exactly just how much I get it.  The Bro’s life is about to change in a pretty serious way.  His life now must be with her.  Up until recently, I’ve been excited to think about what is in store for their future… moving in together, babies, eventually buying a house, doing all the things that I know he wants to accomplish.  And I knew that our friendship would move to the very back… like nosebleed seats.  And I’m cool with that – hell – I’ve been pushing him in this direction.  I guess I figured we’d get through his wedding day first.  I was wrong.  And truly, I’m not sure our friendship can recover from this.  And if I’m honest, After all that was said, I’m not entirely sure I want it to.

I won’t spill all the details here… but I will say that I wish I could help some people see how much their words can damage.  How their tone and the way they approach other people will directly impact how their words are received.  I will also say that it takes a very brave and yet rather stupid man to judge another.  My bro laid out many of the decisions I’d made over the course of my life … pointing out my mistakes, effectively rubbing my nose in the areas he felt I didn’t measure up.  Not just in my past, but even now.  But he did all of this, only knowing bits and pieces of the story.  He judged me… and it came across with anger, disdain, disappointment and shame. His soon to be wife even joined in the “fun”.  She’d verbally attacked me prior to my bro letting me have it.  Screamed at me and said I was a horrible “best man”.  Ironic she did that when I was putting finishing touches on some bachelor party related stuff earlier that evening.  It was a hard hitting 1-2 verbal sucker punch from them as a couple.

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I won’t lie, that first 24 hours after they both let me have it… I was a wreck.  I broke down.  I bawled and went quiet.  I crawled inside my world and licked my wounds.  I wasn’t even angry, I was self-reflective.  I had to check myself… make sure that what he’d said wasn’t true.  I guess because I’ve been actively working on self-improvement, I had to really take a good look and make sure that there weren’t areas of his feedback that I needed to consider.  The next day, we spoke again and he apologized and tried to sweep it under the rug.  Even tried to deny some of what he’d said the night before.  I thanked him for the apology but stated that for me to feel comfortable attending the wedding and the festivities, that I would like an apology from his fiance/soon to be wife.    He agreed that I deserved it, but warned that I might not get it from her right away.  He laid out various reasons and excuses for why I should just let it go.  About 15 minutes after he said he’d talk to her and get back to me, my phone rang.  It was her, and I answered it pleasantly, as I didn’t want to start things off on the wrong foot.  She immediately started yelling – even yelled an apology.  Yea – cuz THAT feels totally sincere.  I hung up on her, and texted her that perhaps it would be better to move to text.  Honestly, I just didn’t want to be yelled at anymore.  We texted a little – but I pretty quickly gave up on that too.  So here I sit, no sincere apology and still feeling incredibly upset and uneasy a few days later.

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Yes, I could back down… I could suck it up and be there for him on his wedding day.  And likely – I will do this.  More for me than him.  I don’t want to feel guilty 10 years from now for not showing up.  And I’ll go into it knowing there’s the potential for drama, or daggers being thrown at me, there will be the potential for awkward uncomfortable silences, and even worse, a high chance that I will end up feeling used or insulted by the end of all of this.  I will suck it up, BUT… I’m done.  Or at least I think I am.  I’m going to just keep going down my own life’s path… because I’m dying to see what happens in the next chapters of my life.  To get thru this, i’m going to keep telling myself that it’s not my circus, and not my monkeys.

I’m a grown woman who’s made a successful, full and happy life for herself.  I’m a woman who has good, sweet, smart children who may stumble or struggle in their life in places, but who know without a shadow of a doubt that their momma loves them and would do anything to see that they are safe and well cared for.  I don’t deserve to be talked to or treated in that manner.  Especially when what is being said isn’t true.  At least I had that going for me, I knew, deep down in my heart that nothing they said was true about me… that it was being said out of spite and anger and jealousy.  But here’s the thing, even knowing that… it still hurt.  It was a different hurt tho.  This hurt came from knowing that the someone I trusted over the years is now throwing daggers… they are no longer worthy of my trust.  That perhaps I’d misjudged him all along.

So … because of all of this… I’ve been avoiding my phone. I’ve been staying off social media and just kind of hiding in my world.  I’ve had some shifts in a few friendships in the last few months… each of them shook me to my core for various reasons.  This one is no different.  What is interesting to me is that when I promised myself that I’d get healthy, even if that meant cutting toxic situations out of my life… I guess I didn’t realize how many of my relationships had toxic layers woven into them.  Maybe living on my own and staying single for a while truly WAS the best thing I could have done for myself.  I’m so glad I’ve done it up to this point.  I’ll have to watch myself moving forward… I’m putting up my walls with everyone – unintentionally.  And I don’t mean to.  I am just unsure on who to trust, vs. who will judge me or hurt me.  Easier to just put up the walls a bit.

I had an interview today – it went quite well.  I felt confident, for the first time in months actually.  A genuine confidence, not the kind where you fake it till you hopefully make it.  Maybe being shaken to my core this weekend was good for me.  Helped remind me who I am.  Where I’ve been, and more importantly, where I am headed.

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Couch surfing…

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Ok , this title is a bit misleading… but only sort of.  I talked to my Dad tonight.  I asked if it would be possible, on weekends when I don’t have the kids, if I could come stay with him and the family.  I was nervous, as I wasn’t entirely sure what he would say.  But he was kind and sweet and caring and said that I am always welcome.  He asked me what was going on and I shared.  To sum it up – I need some space.  The energy in the house, when the kids aren’t around has been negative and depressing lately and I honestly can’t stand it.  I find it to be making me anxious and since I’m not typically an anxious kind of person, it helps me realize just how much I need a break from it.

I may go check into a hotel somewhere, I may go stay at a friends, and now, if I need to, I have the option of staying with my dad.  Having those options makes me feel better about things.

My housemates and I sat down and discussed budgets and plans.  I am planning on being out of here and into a new place by April 1st.  And no, that’s no fools joke.  I feel better now that we all sat down and planned things out.  Everyone is on the same page.  I know what I have to contribute to the house, and worked out a very detailed budget for myself in order to meet the savings goals I have set.  All of that, plus my tax return and my bonus, I will be more than capable of buying a home and covering the moving costs and having a small cushion for those home owner surprises that are bound to come up.  I’m proud of myself.  I’m not always very good at speaking up.  I’m far too often “the nice one” who ends up being a doormat.  And I’m not doing that now.  I’m taking care of me and the kids first – everyone else comes after that.  It’s a first for me.  And oddly – it feels good.

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Today was day 1 of 3 of a very intense review session of the work I’ve been doing since October.  So far, things are going very well.  I’m proud, and relieved, and nervous as there are still 2 more days of this.  Everything I’ve been building and documenting and testing is being analyzed and picked apart.  I have to have reasoning and data to support every decision I’ve made and have to have contingency plans already prepped and ready in case something isn’t approved.  It’s been a very long few months with a ton of hours, even travel to get this far.  In roughly 2 weeks, my part of this project will be complete.  Another check in the box, another project to add to my portfolio – but this one is a bit different.  It’s the first time I’ve looked at this industry (TV and cable) and in the past, I’d probably pass on it.  It wasn’t glamorous or exciting enough.  But I’m trying to build the start of something to re-shape and re-think the way we think about our TV’s.  It’s not there yet – but it will be…and it’s kind of cool. 🙂

Well – I better get some sleep.  Another long day tomorrow.  Thankfully, no reviews tomorrow, just a day full of meetings with all my direct reports.  Goodnight neverland.

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We’re a month into the new year…

So much has been going on lately, my apologies for not updating things here.  The single, working mom’s life is interesting.  Never a dull moment!  🙂  Truthfully, things have never been better.  I’m excited for the year to come.

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In approximately 2 months, I will have purchased a home and hopefully be all moved in, or at the very least, in the process of doing so.  I’m so excited, no.. thrilled… no .. no words can truly do justice on this one.

I’ve been allowing myself to dream a little bit when I go to tour places.  It’s so much fun.  I picture where I could put my christmas tree, I picture a place for my office, I picture my decorations or new landscaping, I picture baking or entertaining friends.  I’ve wanted to own a home since I was a kid.  A forever home.  A place that my kids can count on me being when they return home from their adventures and lives elsewhere.  Some place that I could love and restore and add on to.  Sure, eventually I’d like to do some income property of some sort.  But home.  I’ve been in search of it for a few years it seems.  It’s about time I give it some priority and bring that little dream to life.

Puppy training is going well.  Today especially.  A new friend suggested I treat it a bit like role playing, and I think that helped a bit.  It was a definite confidence boost.  🙂 I’ve been struggling to “Be the Alpha”.  I’ve never played the bad cop well.. I’m the good cop.  The one with the hug, a cup of tea and a cookie.  The cheerleader and encourager, not the punisher or enforcement.  This is a trait I will learn.  I’m determined to be a good dog owner.  I know I’m a good cat owner.  Kitties and I have great understanding.  🙂  I adore dogs too, the cuddles and the snores and the companionship. I just have to get a bit better at it. 🙂

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I’m almost done with building out a new piece of software at work.  It’s just a base for what I really want to be able to do, but it’s such a huge step for this company from a technology standpoint that I’m already super excited and proud about it.  It’s been a crazy push to make it to these deadlines.  Heck, it’s 10:30pm on a sunday and I literally just logged off from putting in 5 hours tonight just to get a little ahead for my morning. But, I’m excited for the coming week ahead, now that I’m feeling a bit clearer in the head, I have some ideas I can’t wait to prototype out this week.

My kids spent the weekend with their Dad and I had the nice opportunity to go out with some friends, play some video games, and just generally enjoy myself and recover from the miserable head cold I’d managed to come down with last week. It’s nice to be in a good place with the ex too.  Granted, we haven’t had issues in quite some time now, but I started thinking today about how lucky I have it in that regards.  We communicate better now than we ever had.  He seems to be happy and doing well in his life and he knows that deep down, I’m still rooting for him to succeed in all that he dreams.  It’s nice to be in this kind of space.

I’ve had the chance to reconnect with a few old friends in the last couple of weekends and it’s been really nice to catch up and just take a few moments and not have any responsibilities or requirements other than to just be me.  I get wrapped up in so many things… being a boss, being a mom, being a friend, being a daughter or granddaughter.  It’s rare these days for me to get to just focus on being me.  A friend challenged me to figure out a way to discover that I’m a beautiful woman this year.  So I’ve been attempting to learn that.  Got my hair done, as it had been a while.  Did my nails, it had been a while on that one too.  I think I came to the realization that my friend may be right when, after taking a couple of selfies, I was in surprise at the woman staring back at me.  That’s not me.  But it is.  And she’s … pretty.  And confident.  And there’s a bit of wisdom in her eyes that I didn’t know was there.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about my life this past week.  About bucket lists and resolutions.  I’ve never really been one to do that kind of thing.  Of course, I do have a Bucket list, it can be found on this blog… but that was a first for me too.  🙂  I didn’t come up with any resolutions this year.  Mainly because I felt that if I worded them that way, I wouldn’t actually accomplish them.  I’ve simply been reminding myself each day with a quote I stumbled upon on Pinterest.  Odd place to find something so life affirming, but there it is.

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“You only have one life.  How exactly are you going to spend it?  Regretting?  Questioning?  Crying?  Hating yourself?  Running around after people who don’t give a shit about you?  You have one life.  Spend it well.  Go out, and make yourself proud.”

It’s about damn time that I remember that, and live up to it every day.  Sure I’ll falter here and there.  Self doubt – it’s something at least I can count on to show up… but I’m definitely NOT going to keep holding myself back.  I’m finally starting to understand not only who I am, but what I bring to the world.  My worth.  It’s lovely.  It’s empowering.  Nothing big or flashy… but a nice warmth from the gut kind of thing.

Well neverland, it’s time to log off.  Need to get some sleep.  Sleep well and dream sweet!

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Why hello spine! It’s nice to see you!

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Over the years, I’ve struggled with having a spine.  Standing up to others, dealing with conflict…these are things that I can be terrible at, and amazing at; depending on the topic at hand and the context of the situation.  I’m usually better at standing up for others over myself.

In the last few weeks, I’ve re-joined a support group that I used to work with on a regular basis.  And in the last few weeks, thanks to some of the incredible men and women in this group, I have noticed a shift in my own confidence, my ability to communicate my feelings and needs and my ability to stand up and shut down situations where I am uncomfortable or upset.  I’m re-learning how to set healthy, appropriate boundaries.  It feels good.  Heck, it feels GREAT.

BUT…

Something that I have noticed about myself in doing this is that when I make great strides in my own emotional well-being, I tend to get a bit antsy when the folks i love and care about aren’t doing it for themselves.  I am learning to wear my big girl panties with pride.  To be an adult, and own my responsibilities.  If I promise something, I keep my promise.  If I know I won’t be able to keep my word, I don’t make the promise.  If for some weird reason, I can’t keep my promise, I find a way to make up for it and essentially still make do on what I swore I’d do.

I’m also learning that the only thing I can truly control, is me and my actions, feelings and reactions to others.  I can’t force someone to keep their word.  What I wish I could do, however, was control how I feel when someone doesn’t keep their word.

I’ve had that happen to me recently.  I’ve given this person a chance to make it right.  They essentially have a few weeks to figure out a plan and make good on their promises before I will have to decide what I plan on doing next in regards to our relationship.  I won’t lie, it’s a bit frustrating when I consider that the solution is really quite simple and would be very easy to get accomplished.  They know what those solutions are… now it’s on them.  I hate the waiting.  I hate not knowing whether someone will essentially act like the grown up they are or if they will continue to show me that they are a child.  I want to yell… “Dude!?  Grow UP!  It’s not hard!!”  Sigh.  Isn’t life fun?

You see, I died that day.

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On my drive to pick up my son after work, I was thinking about my post from earlier.  I was thinking about grief.  How sometimes, I just forget all about it.  I get wrapped up in life, T, work, the kids, the house… and then some days, it’s all I can think about.

Acute Grief.

Only a few weeks after Ben had passed away, a doctor diagnosed me as having Acute Grief.  I remember wanting to punch him in the face.  What do you expect?!  He’d asked me what I’d been going through from a stress level and I broke down right there in the office.  You see… I died that day.  The woman I was… she’s gone.  Left in her place was a shell; a look alike.  Acute grief.  I’ve looked it up.  It’s a real thing, and I won’t lie, I’ve related to most of the symptoms (physically and emotionally).  He wasn’t wrong.

Someone asked me why I chose the tagline for this blog that I did.

“Ramblings of a girl masquerading as a woman…”

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Because that’s what I am.  A girl in a shell of a woman, who is learning how to live again.  This year will mark six years since that day.  The new me… is essentially a little girl…I’ve had to re-learn how to breathe, how to trust, how to love.  Every day I grow just a little bit more.  Every day, I add to my goals and dreams for this new life.  Some days, I’ll work toward those dreams with gusto and some days, I’m timid and maybe even a little afraid.

Interesting how I’m just as vulnerable now as I was as a child.  Vulnerability.  We think when we’re children that we’ll get away from it.  But in reality, it is only in adulthood that we learn to accept our vulnerabilities for what they are.  And in doing that, they become strengths.

Goodnight Neverland.  Talk again soon.

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