Maple syrup.

I burst into tears this morning because I couldn’t open the screw top to pour syrup on my son’s waffles.

Yes. Syrup made me cry.

In a flash, I was flooded with emotions, which I promptly squelched, and resumed my task of getting that damn top off.

But wait! Are those the feelings I’m supposed to feel?

What were they?

I struggle to unravel the thread of the fabric I only caught a glimpse of.

Sadness. I’m alone. No one is here to help me. I’ve chased away love.

Shame. For making myself the victim. I know better.

Anger. My fucking parents and their insanely dysfunctional household of terror, 45 years later and I’m crying over syrup.

Fear. What if this is it? What if I’m destined to be alone? What if 3 strikes and you are out?

Nausea. Ok not an emotion, still very present.

The headache is back. My brain hurts.

My son asked me why I was crying. I didn’t even know I was.

Why am I so rigid? I sit here and scold myself for all of the things I should be doing better.

I’m tired.

I’m on the precipice.

I will keep going.

I hope I don’t drown.

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My brain is about to explode.

The dichotomy of life has my head throbbing. I can’t make sense of it all.

Things I know and understand to be true are in direct conflict with each other.

Which way is right?

How do I know what to do next?

We are supposed to love what is and accept people for who they are without trying to change them. Fact.

Growth is good and worthy of support. Fact.

Standing by your husband in support is good. Fact.

Doing drugs is bad. Fact.

Saving money and planning for the future is good. Fact.

Reckless indulgence is bad. Fact.

Beating your children is bad. Fact.

Disrespecting your parents is bad. Fact.

Wait.

What if a parent hits a child? Is disrespect warrented?

What if a spouse is reckless? Do you still support it?

I know better and don’t do better. Fact.

This makes me bad.

Wait. I’m good, I know I am.

No, I can’t be. I try so fucking hard but it’s never enough.

Enough for what?

Seriously, what am I looking for?

Love.

Maybe. Yes. And.

To know that I am good.

That I am worthy.

I do know that, don’t I? At the cerebral level anyway.

Am I?

Am I worthy of love? Am I good?

No, I can’t be. I fuck up all the time. I make bad choices. I can do better. I can be better. I’m not good. I’m bad.

What the actual fuck? You are not bad. Stop being a judgemental asshole.

I need to get angry. Maybe.

I don’t like anger. I abhor it actually.

Yet at times I am full of rage. Deep inside. I hold it together. I push it down. Every once in a while it sneaks out.

It’s an endless cycle. My feedback loop always completes the circle with “I am bad” and “I need to try harder.”

How do I escape the wheel? How do I accept me?

My head hurts. I want to solve the puzzle.

I don’t want to quit. Again.

I don’t want to distract. Again.

Shit. Those agains are punishing. I’m still spinning.

Stop.

Pause.

Breathe.

Accept.

Maybe meditation is the answer.

Maybe, just maybe, I am good enough.

No. I can be better. I know better. Work harder, push harder.

I’m tired.

There I go again.

Time to stop tonight. I’m trapped in working out the problem and need to walk away for the solution.

Breathe.

Denial

****I originally wrote this Easter weekend 2017 and never hit the publish button. It took 5 more months and the tragic & avoidable death of our family dog to get me to finally leave….now it is May 2018 and I recently went away for the weekend. The outcome was very similar to that of over a year ago – on both sides. I am not upset over this the way I was then. It’s not about me. I get to choose what is in my life and what is not. I have compassion and love for myself first. I am not giving away my power to others. I am not playing victim anymore. I have worked diligently over this past year to heal myself, to go deeper, to differentiate between love and dependence. To kick the drama out to make room for light and love. The decisions of others reflect their own inner self, just like mine do. I teach people how to treat me. I used to think that not judging meant accepting bullshit, it does not. To fully love and accept others, we must love and honor ourselves first. And that means having boundaries that we enforce with grace.****

We are all in it. If we think we aren’t, well then that’s a classic case.

We see what we want to see, not what’s really there. We hear what we want to hear, not what is really being said. We believe what we want to believe, not the cold hard truth.

Sometimes though, life hits you upside the head. And you just cannot ignore it any longer.

I’m in love. I see all of the beautiful things about my husband, and at the start, that was enough. I turned a blind eye to actions, and listened instead to the sweet sweet verse coming from his lips.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, months into years.

I sit here today feeling that same nudge at the center of my spirit telling me this is not OK.

It’s not really about an incident. It’s not like one thing happened that just couldn’t be overcome. It’s more like drops of water slowly eating away at my self worth and soul simultaneously. Others could see it – they tried to show me….I turned away from them – instead wrapped in the arms of a man I loved like no other. The good qualities are still there. They always have been.

So are the red flags.

I’m not perfect. I can be difficult too. I put up walls when I’m hurt. I curse too much. Evidently I trust too much too. So I get hurt too much.

And when I’m finished getting hurt, I freeze.

I retreat. Work suffers. Friendships suffer. Health suffers.

Then I get the courage to speak up – and I hear more sweet sweet words. He holds me. I melt. I want this so badly.

And the cycle begins again.

Over the weekend we were apart. I was down in Nashville visiting my oldest son for Easter – he was home.

I spent my time drinking green juice, walking, meeting with people I admire – authors, coaches, employees, eating vegan, filling my soul, talking about yoga and life and goals. I had fun too, so much fun – I saw a snake, drove a Tesla, danced in a bar, ate pizza at 2am.

My husband went to work, swapped out our airbnb guests and hung with friends and family. Sounds innocuous right? That’s the blind version I would have clung to in the past.

He also drove drunk, in my car – wasted actually. He had drug dealers over for a BBQ. Invited an ex to hang out at our house (whom he had previously said would not be allowed in our home again, and had just had a text war with me days earlier) and let the kids run amok. The house was a disaster when I came home – no area was spared – even my reiki room was left wide open to the outside with a broken lamp and glass all over the floor. The kids’ things were left outside in the rain for days, the milk left to warm on the counter, the well filter was never changed and the water flow had slowed to a trickle, wet towels were found in just about every room, toys scattered, crap food filled the fridge, the list goes on.

Individually most of these are small items – minus the drugs and drunk driving. OK, minus the ex too.

I mean can you hear it – Hey Baby, I know you’re out of town – I was going to have a BBQ – invite my BFF – the dope dealer who keeps wanting me to smoke weed with him – yeah, I know I quit last year – well except for those few times I didn’t – Oh, and my ex that openly hates you and wants to sleep with me, yes the one that smokes weed with our teenage daughter – the ex can bring her drug selling boyfriend with her too – you know the one that’s about 400lbs that she doesn’t want to have sex with which is why she asked me instead? Yeah I knew you’d remember, this is the baby mama whose panties you found in the house. Don’t worry though – the kids will be here too – it’s ok, we’ll roast some marshmallows and get them to bed at some point. It’ll be a good time.

What the actual fuck?

Again, if this were one weekend, or a single occurrence, or is there even an or? I sound pathetic. I see how I can get sucked back in, rationalize the hell out of it, work harder, and lose just another little piece of myself in the process.

This is not where I want to be. These are not the things I want to do. This is not the way I want my life to unfold. This is not the example I want to set for my children. This is not OK.

When you live your life outloud…

I speak my mind. I share my thoughts, dreams, successes, challenges. My struggles are pretty transparent because I fully believe we can all relate to them and I’m not alone.

Some judge me for this. They think I shouldn’t share so much. Some applaud me for this. They can relate and stop feeling alone. 

What happens when it’s your significant other that takes offense? 

I took down a recent Facebook post of a quote that resonated with me because he didn’t like it. He got a text from a friend who asked him if everything was ok after reading it. He got upset that people would think it was about him. It was more weight on the relationship that was teetering off balance to begin with. 

We’ve been struggling lately. I think it would be safe to say both of our love tanks are on E. Because of this, everything hurts. There is no communication. There is no intimacy.  There are walls, negative patterns, and hurt. It really does blow massive chunks.

I think of my fav book of all time: Fierce Conversations. “The conversation is the relationship.” What if there is no conversation?

I’m supposed to fly to Portugal today – girls trip – purchased back in November. 

Do you go when things suck so bad at home? Would the relationship be better with a break or will it be damaged further? Does it matter at all?

We come from two completely different worlds. What is status quo in his seems foreign to me. What I assume to be normal adult behaviour is something that he’s never experienced.  What draws us together? I used to say it was that we were wired the same…growth minded, high achievers. I guess that is still true. The coming together on day to day is nearly impossible though. 

I’ve felt lonely and taken for granted for ages now. I’m tired of having the same conversations. I’ve begun to withdraw.

The conversation is the relationship. 

Doesn’t work when there is no communication beyond a few words each day. 

Where do I go from here?