Love, getting older, and trust

I’ve spent some time with my grandparents within the past month.  Real time.  Where we sat and chat and had no time restraints.  I’m grateful that I’ve been able to take the time to prioritize my family in that way.  I love them with all my heart.

Something that has struck me and left me processing for a bit now, is what I see in their relationship to each other.  They are all they have left, of a life that was rich with friends and loved ones.  They are now at an age, where they watch who’s left of their friends pass away.  Moving on to bigger adventures in the grand circle of life.  It’s a sad, lonely, and quite frankly, a depressing time of one’s life it would seem.  So of course, the love my grandparents share is magnified that much more.  They’ve been through everything together.  They hold hands when they get their hair cut.  They are constantly talking about each other and thinking about each other when they are apart.

It’s left me thinking about my own future a little bit.  For one, I feel this sudden urge to make sure my retirement accounts are healthy – holy moly does that level of care cost a FORTUNE or what?!  But beyond that, I can’t help but wonder what my future as an old lady will be like?  Will I live in a nice assisted living place like my grandparents?  What will I be like when I’m an old lady?  Will I be more cantankerous?  More kooky?  More sweet?  🙂

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Who will be by my side?

Of course, when you start to look ahead, you can’t help but also look behind.  I think about the fact that so much in my life has changed from where I was 10, even 15 years ago.  How young and innocent I was.  Naive to much of what life could, and would throw my way; but I’ve always handled it all.  I’m damn proud of that.  And I don’t think I’d trade anything from it.  EXCEPT one thing.  Well – ok maybe two.  One – I’d love to have my body back from my early twenties.  Uh… yes Please!?!  But two… Somewhere along the lines I’ve lost my ability to trust someone else completely.  And I miss that.

I sat today and tried to pinpoint when I lost it.  Like it was a coin from my pocket that had somehow slipped out and run about loose.  But it wasn’t like that.  I think it was more like how a rocky cliffside will slowly erode away from the ocean waves that pound on it.  The more people I’ve put faith and trust in over the years who’ve let me down, have made it so that I’m a bit leery to be blindly handing out my trust anymore.  And that’s really quite a sad thing.  That’s me changing and adapting due to shitty people.  It’s perfectly normal of course, life experiences teach you, after all.

I’ve been thinking a lot about  weddings and relationships.  I think it’s because of something my grandmother brought up. 70+ years together.  Just Wow.  I was admiring their wedding photo and couldn’t help but think that they both, for sure, upheld their wedding vows.

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I always upheld mine.  That I can say without uncertainty.  When I think about my own future, it’s dawned on me that I’ve never really thought about what I’d want someone to say to me now.  Because of my own experiences – I think I’d want to write them – rather than have someone say them for me.  Because the standard I will love, honor, cherish, obey …. insert the rest of the standard bit here… isn’t quite right for me anymore.

Yes, I would hope to be loved, honored, cherished… i’m pretty sure they cut out obey now… so i won’t get into that one… but I think I’d also want a few other guidelines in there.  Ones I would hope would be a mutually spoken thing of course.

8 Vow additions for a future husband & wife:

I promise to Respect.
I would hope that my future husband would promise to always respect me and our relationship.

I promise to Trust and never do anything to cause that level of trust to falter.

I promise to always put your needs at the same priority level as my own.  If I’m going to be “selfish” it will be for us – not just myself.

I promise to always be stubborn and to never quit trying and putting effort into us and our lives we’re building together.  Even when things get tough or tense.

I promise to always communicate and be transparent. You are the one person I am not allowed to hide anything from.  I will always try and make sure that we are communicating in a healthy manner.

I promise to never judge you.  I will always empathize with you, and try and understand from your perspective.

I promise to always prioritize our sex life.  To be affectionate with you.  To touch you and hug you and love you. Because this is something I will also need and crave.

I also promise to adventure with you, to make you laugh, to sing to you, to lift you up and encourage you to spread your wings.  To be your cheerleader when you need it, and a silent gaming partner when you need that too.

 

Hmm… yea, I suppose that covers quite a bit.  Makes me wonder how people end their vows these days – and yes, I realize I could go search that.  Do they say till death do us part anymore?  Or is it till divorce or death do us part?  LOL.  Ok, ok, I shouldn’t laugh at that – divorce is no laughing matter at all.  As obviously, I speak from personal experience there.  But do people work loopholes into their vows now?

Can you imagine what some of the worst vows out there could be like?  I take you… till death, divorce, sickness, fatness, or a really cute rich guy comes along…

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Ugh.  I would certainly hope that doesn’t happen.  Would seem like a sad state of affairs for the “sanctity of marriage”.

Is it wrong for me to long for this to be a more simple thing?  I suppose there is no such thing.  All you can do is hope for the best.  Hope that the right person will come along and sweep you off your feet.  That they’ll be the one to open your eyes to everything that’s good and wonderful in the world.  And who knows – maybe they’ll even be a master at making grilled cheese.  😉

Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you.

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When dealing with others who are toxic

Do not expect to receive something from someone who doesn’t have what you want.

This quote has been running through my mind all day today.  The things you have to tell yourself after dealing with a particularly toxic member of my family.  I’m hoping that by writing about this, I can get to feeling better about things.  But even I recognize that journaling can only do so much.

I’m faced with kicking my baby brother out of my house.  I’m not looking forward to it, and honestly – it makes me feel like one big giant asshole.  But I cannot do it anymore.  At first, I thought that maybe staying here would be good for him, but the longer this goes on, the less respect I have for him.  It’s time for him to go. He’s barely contributed towards anything, and comes home drunk or highly drugged at all hours of the night, often waking the household.  He leaves food out, and has set off fire alarms, and last night – well – this morning actually… he came home with a completely totalled car.  He’s already had a DUI and I’ve witnessed him coming home from driving completely plastered now a couple of times.  What kind of example are my children getting from all of this?  I told him he couldn’t stay.  That I’ve had enough and that I was calling Dad.  Dad needed to know that his youngest son was doing this, that the car he was still paying for was totalled.  Yea – i know – I totally ratted out of my brother which in most cases, would not be cool.  This feels a bit more life and death tho.

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I was scared to call my Dad.  I knew the messenger would be shot at.  I didn’t expect it to go the way it did.  I didn’t expect to feel whooshed back to the days when I faced that same kind of verbal treatment daily.  I didn’t expect to feel a moment of fight or flight… on the PHONE.  I hung up.  I walked for a few minutes.  And then suddenly I had things I wanted to SAY!  That’s not like me.  My flight instinct is strong with my family – I clam up, go quiet and get the heck out of there. Today – I stood up for myself.  Don’t talk to me like that.  Don’t treat me like this.  I have done nothing to earn this behavior being slung at me in it’s vileness.  It felt good.  It also backfired on me.  Managed to get me in bigger trouble – but whatever.  I don’t really care.  You want to tell me know that i’m not your daughter?  Cuz you’ve said it to me plenty of times in the past.  I don’t care.

This is when the quote runs through my head the most.  My father is simply not capable of giving me the kind of father/daughter relationship that I need.. why?  Because he does not possess the skills to do so.  Never has.  Most likely – never will.  So why do I continue to hope beyond hope that someday something will blossom and we’ll have a closer bond or kind-ship? That’s insanity on my part!

Dad asked me to take in my baby brother, and I did.  And I can honestly say, I’ve given him just over a month here, I’ve really TRIED.  But I can’t work with someone who doesn’t see that what they’re doing is self-destructive.  I can’t help someone who has no desire to help themselves.  And now – all it’s doing is dragging down my family’s ability to live successfully.

I’ve always done the right thing.  I’ve always been the good daughter.  I’ve always strived to do what was asked of me, what was expected of me. But now – I want to show my children that they don’t have to have toxic people in their lives.  I want the people I surround myself with to be people who actually care about me.  People who will put their all into building something healthy and amazing with me – because I’ll happily put in the effort to do the same with them.

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After all the drama – I took a moment to plant some flowers outside.  It made me feel instantly better. I then spent the day with my kids.  We played some Wii sports, and walked to the park.  Enjoyed each other and did what we could to make each other laugh.  I’m grateful for them.  My children.  I’m so lucky to have them in my life.  I swear on the very last breath I take – that I will NEVER give to them, the kind of heartache and pain that my father has given me.  I refuse.  They deserve so much better than that.

Well, I better get some sleep.  Goodnight Neverland.  Happy Sunday to you!

lipstick kiss

 

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

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My brother is staying with me for a month.  It’s fun to see him every day.  We didn’t grow up together, and only met when he was 10.  So we’re still getting to know one another.  He’s a punk, but I love him.  My kid brother.  But one of the challenging things I’m learning about having him here, is that it exposes me to some of my family that I’d rather not be exposed to.  Thru him, I get to see and experience what he goes through with my father.  Usually – it doesn’t get to me, but last night, he shared an experience he had this weekend and I just about lost my shit.  I’m still upset.  But I think what upsets me the most, is that, at least for the next month, it will be a “norm” in the house.  It bothers me.

My father is … well… abusive.  Physically sometimes, emotionally others.  And not all the time…. but still.  A spade is a spade.  It takes a lot to write that.  It took me a while to get my brother to even admit it out loud.  Now look – there’s something to be said for getting physical – sometimes a well timed shove can wake someone up – That is not the type of physical altercation that I am talking about here.  There is no excuse that I can logically come up with to make it ok.  I know that man loves his kids… in his own truly messed up way, but he is toxic.  It’s why I’ve put up walls and boundaries – to keep me and the kids safe and worry-free.

So here I sit.  Knowing that over the next month or so, I’ll likely be (at the very least) hearing more stories, learning more things, and overall, likely cementing why I made the choices I’ve made to step away from toxic people in my life.  I try and remember that there are two sides to every story… and somewhere in between lies the truth.  But so far, the stories I hear align with everything I know from my past… and I’m not convinced that leopards change their spots.  When someone shows you who you are, believe them.

It’s sadly, nice to know that I’m not the only one of us kids who struggled with Dad.  But at the same time, I wish with all my heart that I could take that away from him – let him be spared.  I’m protective.  I don’t want to see my family hurt.  I’d do just about anything to keep them all safe and loved.  Ugh.  It’s rough being a sister sometimes.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Much love neverland.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

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An anxious moment

Man oh man, I don’t know what set me off today – but my anxiety got sky high this afternoon.  It’s taken me a good hour just to get it to a level of better control.  No fun.  I’m trying to think about what’s churning around in the ol’ head that would make me feel this way.  And what’s frustrating, there isn’t a single thing that tipped me in this direction.  I think maybe it was just a combination of a few things that did me in.  But … that’s not like me.

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I hate to think of anxiety like a weakness – but sometimes, it is.  I’m simply saying what is… at least for me.  I won’t judge others – but I will judge the heck out of me.  And I’m being a little judgemental on myself right now in saying that this “new” weakness of mine is just plain ol’ annoying!  And I suppose what is even more annoying, is that I don’t know if my anxiety is new, or if I’ve simply learned to recognize it for what it is.  It’s been 3-4 years now, as recognizing it was something I learned through therapy.  And I’ve learned various methods to work through it and manage.  I’d like to say to control it – but I don’t think anyone ever REALLY has control over it.  Who knows, maybe I’m wrong.  What I hate is that for the most part – and I mean 85-90% of the time – I have a great sense of awareness about my emotional wellbeing, and can use the tools that therapy and schooling and experience has taught me to ensure that I maintain that inner calm… but it’s that 10-15% of the time that I struggle.  Today, being one of them. So – perhaps by writing, I’ll get out whatever is pushing me to that point.

Communication in relationships.  All relationships – not just romantic ones.  For the most part, I think I’m a good communicator.  I am very good at empathizing and understanding someone else’s perspective without judgement or getting offended.  I am also very good at reading people… so often, when someone shows they are a certain emotion, I pick up on it, even when they don’t think they’ve shown anything. I respect people to know that what they speak is their perspective.  But as good as a communicator that I am, I also recognize that others are not.  I think somehow, in my quest to become better at communication – I may have lost sight of the very real fact that not everyone is striving for the same thing as I am.  Not everyone will be comfortable sharing their perspectives and truths with me. At least not right away – and sometimes not ever.  Not everyone is striving to be an emotionally healthy communicator.  And because of that – not everyone is ready for it when I present it to them. I think where I get stuck on that tho – is then what? When someone I’m communicating with isn’t on the same page or emotional level as I am, it creates the opportunity for a few outcomes.  1.  The person hears me, I hear them, and one or both of us grow because of it.  2. The person doesn’t hear me, or I don’t hear them, and then they shut down and healthy communication cannot continue until things get back on track.  This is often when unkind words can get spoken or someone can get unintentionally hurt.  And personally – I’m not a fan of any of that, for anyone.  So what’s interesting to me, is now, knowing this – helps me see full circle, why I became a horrible communicator to begin with.  It was because I wanted to avoid that second option.  Interesting double edged sword there!

Upcoming Vacations! So my vacation time is getting closer and closer!  16 work days to be exact.  WOW!  Putting it that way – holy cow!  I’m excited.  Some real time off.  I’m also a little bit nervous.  For a few reasons.

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It’ll be my new car’s first big trip.  Kind of exciting, I’m excited to see how it does! This will be my first longer stay with M. And I am actually not worried about that bit of it – but meeting his friends and family will be interesting and has me nervous – although I don’t know why.  I’m good at meeting others, and I have yet to meet someone’s parents and have them not like me.  BUT… i’m still nervous all the same. I think it’s because I’ve never quite measured up to my own family’s expectations – so it always makes me hesitate to put myself out there to try and meet the expectations of someone else’s family! Ha. Sad I know.

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Grilled Cheese. I can’t believe I’m adding this in here – but it just came up.  M knows how to make a proper grilled cheese.  Can I just say how happy that makes me?!  He butters both sides and gets a golden brown – just the way it SHOULD be, and has the perfect bread to cheese ratio.  I’ve never understood those people who only butter one side.  They say it’s less greasy – um.. hello?!  It’s GRILLED CHEESE!!!  What on earth do you expect?!  If you want less grease – go eat a salad for goodness sake!  Mmm.  I will say, eating a grilled cheese sammich in bed is the perfect antidote to a stressful moment.  🙂  Even if it isn’t diet-friendly.  It’s ok tho – I did quite a bit of exercise today – so I highly doubt this indulgent is going to set me back.

Trust.  Sigh.  Let’s just say that there are plenty in my life who’ve pushed me to my limits when it comes to trust.  Some are still active participants in my life – others, not so much. Even I have to draw the line somewhere. I’m terrible – I often give way more chances and opportunities than are deserved.  Sometimes, my friends give me shit for this – and sometimes, it’s why they love me.  I spoke to a friend today who has recently broken my trust.  I don’t know if I want to remain friends in the future or not.  I really don’t.  But at the same time, I care about this person and want happiness for them in their future.  So I suppose from an outsider’s perspective, this is me giving them another chance – but it’s not.  In my head – as the trust erodes away – even in small baby chunks, it opens up room for doubt.  And doubt, my friends, is the silent ninja killer.  It really is.  The moment you introduce doubt into a relationship – it’s doomed.  I suppose I could say that perhaps it’s possible to earn back the trust – because it is.  But I’d also wager that it would take twice as long to remove the doubt.

Well – I think that’s it for now… writing in here, plus the grilled cheese… I’m a lot better than when I started.  Going to go hop in the shower and get back to being me again!

Much love Neverland!  Talk to you again soon!

lipstick kiss

The Jealousy Monster

I was just on the phone with my brother.  🙂  The topic of jealousy came up.  Funny, it’s the second time in a couple of days that I’ve had the chance to witness someone struggling with it.

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My daughter was struggling to contain her jealousy monster in regards to her boyfriend.  Some girl at her school was hugging on her boyfriend and it bothered her.  I sat and talked about it with her for a while.  Told her to really think about things.  Had her boyfriend ever given her a reason to not trust him?  No.  Then perhaps she will be better served by trusting him, and giving him the benefit of the doubt.  It was interesting to watch her go through the various stages as she processed what I’d said.

Jealousy is a strange emotion.  One that can be dangerous to the health of a relationship if not handled appropriately.  If you break it down – it’s a signal from your brain.  A warning signal.  Saying that a valued relationship is possibly in danger and steps need to be taken to make sure things stay on track.  What it DOESN’T need to do is make people crazy monsters.  That’s just counterproductive and ruins any forward progress you may make.  It requires trust tho.  This is why I feel the way I do about liars in general.  I struggle with them because if you can lie to me, then I cannot fully trust you.

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I don’t know, I’ve never been someone who has struggled much with jealousy.  In fact, I can say that I’ve only felt it a few times in my life – and it wasn’t over people or relationships – but over the success someone had achieved.  I wanted that for me.  🙂  So not quite the same thing I suppose.

The way I see it – if you’re feeling jealous…then there’s something off about YOU.. not the other person.  It means you’re likely struggling with an insecurity, fear of abandonment or something else that is pushing you too feel and act out in that way.  And if you’re upset that someone is looking at another person, or even lightly flirting with another person… then that’s an issue with you.   You’re in a relationship – you’re not dead.  It would seem unnatural and confining to expect a partner to walk through the world uncaring or unaware of others in that way.  Why shouldn’t they be allowed to admire a beautiful figure?  I certainly do! To expect a partner to do otherwise would mean missing one of the joys of life.

If you have trust… then you should likely know that your significant other would never disrespect the relationship, you or themself in that way.  So why get your panties twisted in a knot about it?

Look – I deal with anxiety on a regular basis – but the way I see it – why on earth would I purposefully allow an emotion to control me and make me MORE anxious if I don’t have to?  Jealousy just doesn’t have a place in my world.  Never has.

Just some thoughts for the day…

Much Love!

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