Words And Actions

A friend of mine is going through a really tough breakup. It has been dragging out for months, about 7 months to be exact. It is hands down the ugliest break up I have ever seen.

She hangs on to the few nice things he says and sees those as small windows of hope. In the past 7 months I have been there for her while she has sobbed so hard you would think that someone  told her that each member of her family had suddenly died. I know that sounds harsh, but that is exactly how hard she was sobbing. There is no other analogy for the ugly sobbing and wailing.

He has said “I don’t love you any more.” He has cheated on her when they got back together and lied and said he was with his son. He has said “it’s over” countless times.

But this guy is so confused that he will do and say these awful things but then he will leave the door open for hooking up in the future by saying he doesn’t know what he wants. Or he still wants her in his life.

Is anyone else reading this and having a “No, duh.” moment about this situation?

Of course a guy doesn’t want to let go of a girl he cares about. Not only is there a physical connection, but after spending two years with someone there is a really strong bond emotionally as well.

I have told her every time she comes crying to me that she needs to look at what his actions are saying, not what his words are saying. Words are easy, actions show the true person. There’s a reason why it’s a cliche that actions speak louder than words. Because they reveal someone’s true self and feelings.

On one hand I know what it’s like to not want to let go. It is really hard to break up with someone that you love. It is hard to let go of someone that you thought you would spend your life with. You are not only letting go of a person, but all of the hopes and dreams you had associated with him.

My friend keeps hanging on to all the words that he says, and the ones that he doesn’t say. He doesn’t say “I don’t love you” (This time. He has said it in previous breakups. Yes, there have been a few breakups) He’s not saying I want you out of my life forever. Or  “this is a permanent goodbye.” He’s leaving a window open so they can maybe get back together some day, and she is holding on to the hope of that window like the last life raft at the Titanic.

But his actions are speaking volumes. He’s lied, he’s cheated, he’s created distance, he is constantly making her cry, he keeps breaking her heart over and over. He has been incredibly selfish and chosen himself by seeing her only when he wants but never when she wants to see him.

I don’t mean to knock this guy down, these are the actions of a guy that is really confused and selfish. And selfish is fine, just don’t drag someone else through the mud because of it.

I know it is hard to let go of someone we want to be with. I know that sometimes our heart wants us to hang on because we have memories of the good times and we have hopes of what could be.

But at the end of the day real feelings will be revealed through someone’s actions. If they aren’t willing to take your feelings into consideration and make changes to help you, then it’s not worth fighting to keep them in your life. You are fighting for a fantasy that will never come true.

It is hard to hear the truth. I know my friend is in denial and isn’t ready to hear it. We all hear it when we’re ready, and unfortunately it may take some more time and more heartbreak for her.

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Making Decisions Are Made Trickier By Others

I should mention that I didn’t purposefully avoid posting last week because I was afraid to post. I was dog sitting and lost internet connection. So I should be back on schedule this week.

I had some reflections last week about decision making.

How do you figure out what you want?

The trickiest part about all of this is that I think there are many layers that are involved that make up what we think we want.

Deep down there is what we want. There is something that we know that we want that makes us happy and feel settled and resolute. It’s inside, but sometimes it is buried very deeply.

On top of what we want we could have many layers of other people’s. There is what society says we should want, our friends and family, and however we choose to lie to ourselves.

Let’s work with an example, just so I can be more clear about all of this. The first thought that comes to mind is having children. Personally, I am still figuring out how I feel about having children someday, but right now I am leaning towards not having them, or at least not having them for a really long time.

I think that children should be something that I really want, I shouldn’t be going into it lightly or unsure. And I don’t really want it, I don’t feel compelled. So it is probably better to wait, kids are a life changer.

Plus, I can’t say I have a man in my life that I want to procreate with.

So society says that everyone should have children. I know I often have articles or books that I have read that support statements like this. But this time I don’t, I’m just saying how I feel.

I feel pressure from everyone around me to have kids. Mostly it’s just that societal pressure of “everyone else is doing it, follow the herd.”

When I feel that kind of pressure, I almost always stop and go the other way while I look into what is really going on. Not because I am contrary or I think it’s cool to do what everyone else is doing. Because doing what everyone else is doing isn’t a good enough reasons for me. I need to look at the other options and sort it out for myself.

When it comes to friends, they just want what is best. They want you to be happy and they want to spare you pain. It is easy for people on the outside to see the path of least resistance has no pain, therefore that’s the one they want you to pick. But that path isn’t always right for everyone, sometimes you have to go your own way and make your own path despite the difficulties that you encounter along the way.

It is hard for us to watch friends struggle. Especially if the friends think that they see the easy answer. I know that it is so much easier to be on the outside and tell a friend what to do It’s easy because my emotions and feelings are wrapped up in the decision, I can see things with only logic.

Unfortunately our lives aren’t only logic, there is a lot of emotion that gets tangled up in our lives. And some decisions we have to follow our heart and not our head.  Our friends can’t do that for us.

With some decisions it also feels like there is outside pressure from our friends and family to make the same decision that they made. Or at least that is how it feels  to me.

Friends have a baby? Join the baby club and have one also!Everyone’s doing it! Mom wants grandkids! All of her siblings have grandkids of their own and my mom is feeling left out.

And then there is my mom. Trying to go to my mom for advice sounds like it should be easy to do. That’s what most people do, right? Talk to their mom for advice, right? My mom means well, and comes from a loving place, but we see things completely differently.

My mom is great when I get dumped. She is incredibly comforting and loving and supportive. But anything other than that, her advice falls flat.

My mom not only comes from a different era where marriage was not really questioned, it was expected. Much like when you took a job and stayed with that job until you retired.

My mom is so eager to get me settled down, married and with a set of kids. It’s all she can see. She asks all the time about whether or not I’m dating anyone. She has a hard time when I am single because she thinks that I am less stable.

Like when anyone gives advice, people can only give the advice through their own filter. My mom’s filer for relationships and marriage is completely different from mine.

Actually, part of the problem is that my view on relationships is completely different from anyone else I know.

So how do we figure out what we want when our friends and family have viewpoints that are so different from us? Their opinions inevitably seep into our heads. How do we know what we think is really what we think and not influenced by outside sources?

Do the outside sources really influence our thinking and evolve into our own thinking? Or does it cloud our own inner guide?

And worse yet if you’re like me a rebel against the flow of normalcy, how do you know you’re not going against other people just for the sake of it?

 

I Didn’t Want To Get Out Of Bed Today

I haven’t been following my own advice lately. Today was the first day I woke up and didn’t want the day to start. I didn’t want to get out of bed.

I do think part of it is because I am tired and haven’t had any down time. I had no time to rest this weekend, it was all go-go-go. So all I wanted was a little more sleep. But I knew it was bigger than that.

I haven’t been standing on my own two feet lately. I’ve been freaking out, panicking and whining. I hate when I turn into that girl. That girl isn’t fun. And she’s distracted and can’t hold down a normal conversation.

The funny thing is that people really do love to hear other people’s problems, they are more than happy to talk about what is troubling me, and they listen and give advice. I think people like to hear when someone else doesn’t have it all together, and giving advice makes people feel useful.

I don’t know about you, but I rarely follow the advice I’m given. So it’s a waste of breath for everyone.

Today, the alarm went off, I had even set it slightly later than normal. I snoozed and begrudgingly got out of bed. I wasn’t excited about starting my day, I didn’t feel like I had anything to look forward to.

Which is odd because we have a really big and exciting day at work, we are making a major public announcement. So I know it’s not a work thing.

I’m having a hard time writing because someone close to me read my blog. At first, I had some minor panic because very few people that I actually know read this.

It is so much easier to bare your soul honestly to strangers. Having someone close to me read my thoughts and feelings, that were written without much of a censor because I felt safe as a somewhat anonymous writer, felt like an intrusion of my privacy. Strangely, it really did. Even though I willingly put this all out here publicly, I felt like my privacy was invaded.

Then I was also embarassed because I am right now focused on writing and publishing consistently, which often leaves me little time for editing. Someone that I really care about his opinion of my work was reading unedited personal thoughts.

On the one hand, it was a slight relief. This person didn’t judge me or hold anything against me. So that was good. But I think my raw feelings can be really hard to understand from the outside.

I feel things fully. It’s just who I am. I am very intuitive and emotional. I can sense what is going on with others and I fully feel and express my feelings.

When I am having a bad day I have a hard time hiding it.

I think that fed into my gut feeling this morning. I was nervous about writing, even though it is something I really look forward to and I really value. Spending time writing has become part of my routine and it has helped me a lot. I sort through some of my confusing emotions, I feel connected to all of you, and hopefully I am helping all of us to feel a little less alone in this big world and these confusing relationship paths.

And yes, I am on a really confusing relationship path. Yes, my writing has become a little more of the worried and panicked kind lately. Not the stuff I exactly would want someone close to me to read. I moaned “oh, you didn’t get to read any of my witty or funny posts!”

Writing is part of how I express my feelings. I can express myself and stop focusing on my worries so much. It is part of the process to help me let go.

I feel a little blocked, honestly. Partially because I feel “found out” and partially because I am confused about my own feelings.

I don’t feel weepy and weak and emotional like I did last week. I’m not exactly sure how I got last that. Other than I am no longer PMSing, which is certainly part of it.

If I try to retrace my steps, I spent a lot of time reflecting on love this weekend. And I’m not quite finished sorting through all of it. Maybe tomorrow I will feel more clear and able to express myself.

But right now… Right now? I know last week I wasn’t my best single gal, I don’t want this week to be the same. I know I’m not proud of my behavior, I am a little embarassed about my writing, and a little nervous moving forward.

So I guess I take it one step at a time. Today starts whether I want it to or not.

How To Create A Safe Space For Honesty

I think it is important to be honest. Honesty starts with myself. If I am not honest with myself, I can’t be honest with anyone else.

It helps me uncover what I need, what makes me really happy, and what I want.

And I want to be honest with you. I feel it is really important for me to have an honest relationship with you. My writing is really important to me, and I think if I can’t be honest in my writing with my audience then why do it?

And I firmly believe if I can show up and be honest, it gives other people permission to do the same. And that’s what I ask from everyone in my life (you, too, dear readers!). Show up. Be honest.

I try to be conscious of this so I can create safe space. I try to make sure that I am in a place where I can be open and listen. If I make it a safe space for the other person, they won’t feel attacked or judged and have the space so that they can fill it with whatever they need. Honesty can take up a lot of space sometimes.

This is not something that I could just suddenly do one day. It took some time to realize what other people need.

I used to get really frustrated with some of my friends when I would try to share something that was really difficult for me and they would bulldoze over it with their own experiences, or advice or ways to try to make it smaller. Many times our friends just want to make our pain smaller, they want to make it go away so that we can feel better.

Here’s the thing about pain. There is nothing that anyone can say that makes pain go away. Pain goes away over time. Not because someone has a perfect one-liner (doesn’t that make you feel better? Like the pressure to be a perfect friend just got lifted?).

So I realized that what I wanted when I was sharing something that was painful was the ability to be honest without being judged and it was because I wanted space.

Giving someone space is really hard. Especially when they are saying something directed towards you, those hard and honest conversations are really hard to hear.

It takes courage, patience and a lot of deep breathing.

I had to practice a lot. I remember a lot of early morning conversations with my former roommate. She worked an overnight shift and I am an early riser. So she would come home and we would sit in the kitchen while she was winding down and we would catch up. And we talked about everything. So I practiced listening.

I sat, and kept my mouth shut. It was the perfect assignment because she and I approached life very differently. I would make completely different choices from her (read: I had to practice not judging her choices because they were different from mine), plus she was also a really good listener to me so I had a good role model.

So I practiced listening, I practiced asking questions, I practiced trying to give her what she needed.

I try to do this when I have these difficult conversations with the guy that I am dating. We are very honest with each other, and we have a lot of stuff from the past that we want to address. And a lot of stuff that we’re working through.

I know that someone is less likely to bring their honest self if they don’t feel safe.

I’m not saying that this makes the conversations any easier. It just allows them to happen. And honestly, I think that helps get people closer together, it strengthens relationships. And who doesn’t want a honest relationship?

 

 

How Do You Forgive Someone That Hurt You?

It is one of the most difficult things I try to do. Forgiveness.

I feel like it is a sigh of defeat. I know better. But I feel like it’s waving the white flag.

“You win. I have to be the bigger person and you can walk away without learning anything.”

It feels like I have to be the one to do the growing and the person that did the hurting doesn’t have to do anything.

Hell, he didn’t even have to apologize.

It can be any kind of hurt. It can be someone that hurt me emotionally or physically or unintentionally.

But I forgive because I have to.

I don’t forgive them for the guys’ sake. I don’t care how it makes him feel actually. He doesn’t even have to know I am trying to forgive him. I don’t even want to give the men the satisfaction of knowing that they hurt me that bad.

He doesn’t need to know that I am working on forgiveness. It doesn’t matter.

I forgive because it’s for me.

I forgive because it lifts a weight off my chest, and no one else’s.

For me, I realized I have been holding back. I haven’t wanted to open myself up[ again emotionally. Not for real.

I’ve let the weight of this particular person hurting me in the past weigh me down like an anchor. I am trying like hell to drag that anchor because I want to move forward but it is becoming too heavy. I’ve hit that crossroad where if things are going to go forward I need to let go of the anchor so I can keep walking forward.

I wish there was a short cut because I want to get to that place where things were moving forward. But there isn’t a short cut, and I don’t think I can really, honestly move forward in the relationship I am in without fully forgiving this guy for hurting me in the past.

I have been trying to take the short cut for probably the last several years. I’ve tried pushing him out of my mind. I’ve tried to be friends. I tried to fake it till I make it. I thought I had forgiven him since we talked everything through.

But I don’t feel fully free. The way I do when I have really let go and moved on from the pain. I feel like I am still holding back. Bracing myself to get hurt again.

The same thing happened when I tore my ACL for the second time. I knew I had done it right away. That pain was really familiar in my right knee, it was the same feeling I had when I did it 10 years earlier to the left knee.

So after the surgery I started physical therapy. And I knew how painful it would be so I was a complete baby. I resisted all the help they tried to give. I winced at the thought of the pain and started to well up with tears. I didn’t let them do their job effectively.

And what happened? I didn’t get full range of motion back. I have residual pain in that knee that I am told I may have to live with for the rest of my life because that’s just the way it healed.

I screwed myself by not allowing the pain to be fully felt in order to get to the other side. Had I just suffered in the physical therapists office, and the suffering would have been just moments of temporary pain, who knows if my right knee would have recovered fully?

But how do I do that? How do I let myself open to the possibility of more pain from the same person. How do I shut off the voice that says “Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me?”

I do I forgive someone from breaking my heart? For what seems like a really silly reason in retrospect? How do I move forward?

I could ask for guarantees, but I’m not going to get them (or believe them even if he tried). I could ask him to apologize, but what’s that going to do? The answer doesn’t lie in anything that he could possibly say.

It has to come from me, from somewhere inside.

I don’t really know the answer. I am working on a forgiveness meditation to see what comes up and maybe that will guide me to something. This morning I found I have a lot of bad emotions that I try to push away or make excuses for. So maybe step one is to sit with all the negative emotions.

Just like the pain in my knee, I need to feel them and get past it to the other side.

I don’t have any clue what I am doing.

I am scared. I am scared he is going to hurt me again. I am scared that I am going to try all this and the relationship is still going to fail and to me that feels like a complete waste.

I am scared  I am going to spend this fall the same way I spent last fall- alone and recovering.

So how do I move forward? I know I am supposed to “embrace the uncertainty” and “feel the emotions.” But damn, that’s hard. It’s one thing to know something and another thing to commit to doing it.

I am completely open to what you have to say. Have you forgiven someone that hurt you and you were able to heal the relationship to move forward? What do you think?

 

I Have Been Passive In My Dating Lately

I have become a passive aggressive relationship partner. I know exactly what I want, and I accept and express my feelings. But somehow I stopped going after what I want, I stopped saying how I really feel. I now sit back, let the guy come after me and if he doesn’t come after me I lose interest because I figure he’s not really interested.

When did I get so passive? I was the girl that went after the guy. I told him how I felt. If I wanted to text him to say hello I did. If I wanted to see him, I asked to see him.

Maybe it was because I have been heartbroken a few times recently and I want to prevent that by getting less involved from the beginning. I wanted to encourage them to come after me, perhaps? Or I was afraid I would scare the guy off if I was forward with my real feelings.

I was telling my friend about a pickle I am in with this guy that I am dating that I really like. I was whining about how I am between a rock and a hard place. And I was so frustrated by my situation that I didn’t see the simplest answer. And she didn’t at first either because most of the solutions would involve me getting hurt.

But then it hit her. “If you want him, go get him! Set up dates, call him to ask about his day, send a text when you’re thinking about him. Stop worrying if you are getting in the way.” She gave me this rousing speech that should have been straight out of a Nora Ephron romantic comedy. I would definitely see Rosie O’donnell giving this speech to Meg Ryan.

And we both agreed that yes! I need to go get him, give it a shot. Stop sitting and pining and thinking about how great he is. I need to show I’m interested and give our relationship a shot by acting like it is a relationship.

How enlightening. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that.

It was so eye opening. I don’t know why I had gotten so distant in my relationship, why had I stopped really making any effort? I was only half showing up. And yet when we were together I was fully present and loved every minute. And when we were apart I spent my time thinking about him.

It’s like that song from the 60s:

Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’
Plannin’ and dreamin’ each night of his charms
That won’t get you into his arms

So if you’re lookin’ to find love you can share
All you gotta do is
Hold him and kiss him and love him
And show him that you care

I used to love that song! And who knew Dusty Springfield had such insight on love? Such simple words, and yet they are so true.

So that’s my plan of action. Show him that I  care. I have been making him do all the work for the last several months. I have been making him come to my city instead of taking turns. I have made him take me out and tell me how he felt. I tell him how I feel but it’s time to put it into action.

Maybe I haven’t fully forgiven him for hurting me the first time. I still feel like I am blocking him because I am afraid I am going to get hurt again. If I give it a real shot then I have the chance to get really hurt.

And even bigger, I could be wrong. If I tried, really tried to make this work, and it still  fails? Then I’ve been wrong all along. I would be wrong about how I felt and I would have wasted this time dating him again.

It’s funny how much I don’t want to be wrong. But if I don’t give it my best shot, then it’s going to end eventually anyway because I’m not trying to be a part of a relationship. I wouldn’t be holding up my part of the bargain.

So I can be right that he’s going to hurt me.

And maybe that is the way it will end no matter what.

But I have to try. I have to act from my heart.

Ever Heard Of Agamy? The Single Gal’s Monogamy!

Agamy. Pronounced Ag-uh-mee. It is the state or quality of being unmarried. It can also refer to aversion to the institution of marriage.

What a perfect word for a single gal during wedding season. We’re not just single, we have our own gamy like those people dealing with monogamy or polygamy. We singles that are happy to not catch your bouquet are agamists.

I only have two weddings this year. It’s about average for me to have two a year now, but one summer I had seven. Seven. Weddings. In one wedding season.

And I was completely single that year so the only time I was given a plus one I didn’t have a date until days before.

Two were family weddings. I was a bridesmaid in two of them. I hooked up with two wedding guests. (nothing to brag about, but I had so few options at family weddings and small tiny weddings with friends from college. And one was the plus one, so if I didn’t get a hookup that night I did something completely wrong.)

Weddings can be really fun. They can also be depressing. Many of the weddings I have attended over the years seat me at a table of all my friends. All my friends that are in long term relationships. I am delighted for them, that they found love. But it’s hard to go to a wedding as a single woman and be surrounded by a ton of happy lovey-dovey couples.

So sometimes it feels good to have a girl friend as a great wedding date, and wing woman. At least you know you will have fun, you will have someone to dance like crazy with, and you have a DD.

But I have spent many weddings, without the Plus One, and I’ve been terribly alone. I smile and celebrate the couple. And I hear from all my old friends that I haven’t seen in a while, and they update me on their new boyfriend/fiancee/child (and of course they got the plus one because they are in a serious, committed relationship. And me, no commitment in sight so no one thinks of giving me a plus one).

And I am happy for them. I am.

It’s just a moment that reminds me how far I am from that.

It’s not about them, it’s about the feeling of loneliness. Even if I am dating someone when I go to these weddings and I hear the stories and I see how happy everyone is, I feel like where I am right now is no where close to that.

Also, on the flip side of all of that, I call bullshit.

I think all these couples get extra gooey at weddings.

Weddings remind them of their own wedding, or the potential of the wedding, and they feel a temporary high. Like the high when you first kiss, first say I love you, first time having sex. And that commitment ceremony reminds them of all that.

And what do we get? The bouquet.

And what do we want? Probably just someone awesome to ask us to dance, compliment the effort we put into looking pretty. I don’t even set my sights so high as to look to get laid. (For the record, I have only ever hooked up because of a wedding once. The odds are horrible for a woman to pick up a guy! It’s so much easier for those few single dudes to pick up a girl. So unfair.)

Wait. I take that back. I did hookup at a second wedding because I invited a guy that we met at the bachelorette party. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. I promise to tell that story later, it’s a great one.

So the year of the Seven Weddings, I was a bridesmaid twice, read a poem during a ceremony, hooked up once twice, danced my ass off, and caught one bouquet.

And that was the one year I didn’t care. I wasn’t looking for a relationship. I didn’t want anything other the joy of living my life my own way and not having anyone else to report to. The last thing I wanted was the tradition of being the next one to get married.

Often, I enjoy agamy.  I love my single life.

But, right now, monogamy is looking pretty good. Maybe because I’ve met someone that I like enough to actually say that. I guess we’ll see where it goes.

Yeah. The photographer actually captured my repulsion towards the bouquet. And my friend's disappointment in the background.

Yeah. The photographer actually captured my repulsion towards the bouquet. And my friend’s disappointment in the background.

Giving Myself A Pep Talk

 

Sometimes we try to be something other than our true self, maybe I do this because I want to be liked or I am afraid that if they see the real me they will be scared. I sometimes hide my true self.
This may be hard for me to grasp sometimes, but I have to remember my own inner power. I have to remember to “shine because I have to.”

There will be people that shine a little more because I do. There are people that will like my shine and want to be around it. And there are people that won’t.

And these things can change. They won’t be constant, necessarily. maybe they will, but with most of my long term friendships I have gone through those phases where there is a period that you might not like them very much. But then it blows over and all is well.
Part of what gets me anxious in relationships, and causes a lot of the jealousy that I’ve been working through lately, can be dissipated if I let go of my attachment to a specific person. “But I want THAT person to like me.”

Here’s the thing with relationships with other people. We can want something- we can want them in our lives, we can want them to be the one, we can want them to change into the person we see they have the potential to be.

We can want all day long, until we’re blue in the face.
It doesn’t change what is.
Maybe this is why Eastern philosophy teaches about detachment and letting go.
Maybe that’s why it’s so important in meditation and new age philosophies to let go, go with the flow.
When we let go of our expectations for other people, we are more likely to find peace.
When we hold on tightly to what we want, we are likely to get upset and frustrated.

So I want a guy to like me because I like him? It is not required to be even. I can have my feelings, I can own them. But I have to be willing to let go of expectations of reciprocity.

Maybe that’s just human nature to expect reciprocity. And being ok with a state of unbalance is hard for us.
I have to be willing to be my best me whether or not he likes it. I am not dependent on anyone else. He can get on board or not. He can pick someone else, or pick me. It should not affect my shine. My shine is shining because I have to.

And I feel lucky that the guy I’m referring to happens to really dig my shine, it’s what attracts him to me. And because he likes me, makes my desire to have him choose me even stronger. I want him to want me. But I have to be ok with being me and him being him. And while we walk a path together, it’s cool. If he chooses another path it is not about me.

Some Thoughts On My Adoption

Yesterday I mentioned that I am adopted.

My adoption story is something that really does make me who I am. It doesn’t have an ending yet, so I’m still in the middle of figuring everything out.

I have always known I was adopted. My parents never hid it from me. When I turned 21 I was allowed to go looking for them, but decided I wasn’t ready. Then after a few years I was curious but I was so busy that I didn’t think it was the right time.

Even last year when I decided that I wanted to start the search, I still sat on my paperwork for six months.

But now things are moving along. Paperwork is filed, the initial portion of my search fee has been submitted. And now I am waiting.

I am incredibly excited to get this process moving.

Even though I wasn’t ready to search, I have had my file since I was 21. My mom had non-identifying medical information, she had a few letters that were written between her and my birth mother and my birth mother’s mother.

I have read through those descriptions so many times. It contains the important stuff like does my family have a history of cancer, heart problems or other health related issues. But there were also short passages where each person, my birth mother and my birth father, each described themselves and their parents.

I found parts of myself in those lines. My birth mother was artsy and smart. We shared many of the same qualities, the good and the bad. There were a few similarities that I shared with my birth father, but what I shared with my birth mother was striking. It looked like I had written my own self description.

The letter that she wrote was loving, and I could feel how loved I was by my birth family. I know the decision wasn’t easy for them. I know I wasn’t given up because I wasn’t wanted, that was evident in the letters. They were both religious, and weren’t ready to get married. They wanted me to have the best life, and they didn’t see that they were able to do that.

It is scary to know that my genes are out there somewhere. And I could have siblings. The letter from my birth grandmother was dated around my first birthday and she told my parents that my birthparents were getting married.

But there is a part of me that has internalized that I wasn’t wanted by this couple. Despite the letter that was beautifully written and full of love, I still deal with feelings of abandonment.

I don’t know if meeting my birth parents will help me deal with some of these issues. But I think that it’s a really big part of who I am and some of the insecurities I deal with.

I can’t wait to meet them. I am looking forward to building a relationship with them and getting to know them. I hope they are open to a relationship. But there is only one way to find out where this will go, just like most things I have to wait and see.

 

Vulnerability And Honesty

I don’t know how some people do this. I don’t know how people that I admire are able to share the truth about their pasts. Maybe it’s because their past is past and by the time they are sharing it with the world they have already healed.

I read stories of men and women that found sobriety after hitting rock bottom with drugs and alcohol. I read about how they started small and built up their lives one step at a time and now they feel like they are here to live life out loud and stand in their truth.

There is no reason to hide. We all suffer. We all carry pain and things that we are ashamed of.

And we don’t have to.

I realized this morning I carry a lot of armor with me. And it’s heavy and I am tired of it.

I carry it to prevent myself from making real relationships because I am terrified if people get too close that they will leave.

I carry it because I have shame about…well, the things that I am ashamed of. I am afraid that people won’t like me if they know the truth about me.

And the funny thing is that I believe that we really connect when we are honest, open, and willing to allow each other to be who we really are. I believe that I have a story with sharing, and I think I have it in me to be brave enough to tell it.

I think that having empathy for each other and kindness is what the world needs. (Hm, this song is now stuck in my head)

And I want that in my relationships- no matter what kind of relationship whether it’s friendship or romantic.

And I wish some of my issues were obvious like I have a drinking and drug problem. Unfortunately some of my issues are really deep down and hidden. I am really clever with some of my faults, I have been working with them so long that I don’t even realize I do it.

I was adopted as a baby and my dad died when I was 14. I have always been driven, competitive and an over-achiever. And when my dad died, I wasn’t any different. I went back to school because perfect attendance was important to me (I don’t know why, I guess I thought it was a thing of pride since I had always had perfect attendance. I never got sick, and I never would get sick. I guess I thought this would look good on college applications?)

I decided that responsibility was more important.

I also decided that everyone leaves and abandons me. Whether they choose to or not. People that mean a lot to me leave. Besides, it is really important to me that I am independent and not relying on a man to rescue me.

And of course if you look hard enough, you can make that reality.

I date the wrong men. I don’t let the right ones close. I keep them at an arm’s length. I don’t let people really get inside. And it takes me a long time to get to know anyone, even friends.

I push people away in a subtle way. It’s so subtle, I don’t even know I am doing it. I don’t physically run away, I actually do the opposite. I get really excited about again, I reveal certain things that make us feel very close. And then I get upset when things don’t go perfectly and I drive a wedge between me and the guy.

I expect the moon and the stars and get disappointed when it doesn’t happen.

So that’s the subtle thing that I do, I repel actual intimacy.

I don’t think that I have actually overcome this yet. Especially because I only recently discovered how subtly I do some of this. I don’t think that it’s something that you flip a switch and it’s fixed. I guess it’s going to take work.

And I guess it’s also going to take me being vulnerable with someone that is willing to be vulnerable with me and willing to see the stuff that I am ashamed of and meet me with empathy.

So, I guess that all comes back to me picking a worthy guy. So, wish me luck with that.

And then there are the things that I am ashamed of that go beyond just relationships.  But I feel a little like I am binging on vulnerability, and do not want to wake up with a vulnerability hangover later.

So maybe one step at a time. Maybe I share the other stuff another day.