Grief and Anger

My dad’s one year memorial just passed. Unresolved emotions makes it hard to let go.
I feel stuck in my grief and realize the “daddy’s little girl” in me, will be sad forever.
What about the rest of me?
I feel sad my father and I didn’t have more of a relationship.
Habitually I passed right over anger.
I don’t want to be angry at myself, I don’t deserve it.
I’m not mad at daddy, it’s just sad we didn’t connect more in this lifetime.
This is the bullshit I tried to feed myself.
I also fed myself a bunch of carbs and washed it down with a big glass of wine.
Thankfully, I have grown to be self aware enough to recognize my emotional eating and drinking as a sign something was wrong. Stuck in the thickness of grief and anger. Literally and figuratively constipated. Unable to release.

In therapy, I found my elusive friend again, anger.
Yes! I AM angry!
I put my daddy on a pedastal. He was my superhero.
I needed him too much to be angry. I was too afraid to be angry.

I’m angry daddy! You chose booze and women over your own children!
Then when you were sober, you chose pride and expected us to take the blame!

I have always focused on the beauty and forgave the ugly in people.
I suppose it was a coping skill. How else would I have survived being abused as a child?
Or repeatedly raped? Attacked? Abandoned?
It was a handy coping skill to help me accept the horrors that have happened to me; but, it’s a faulty tool. You HAVE to acknowledge the bad, ugly and horrific. If you don’t, you end up in relationships with people who hurt you, let you down, mistreat you, or worse. 

I am so fucking sick of picking out the good in people and ignoring the bad! I want to see people for who and what they really are! Only then I can judge if they are healthy for me.

Thanks daddy for this lesson.
In finding my anger for you; I discover that I did NOT deserve to be abandoned. It wasn’t my fault. I don’t need your approval.
I am liberated.
I do NOT need to demean myself in my relationships with men just to feel worthy, or to keep them by my side.
I don’t need nor want negative attention.
Allowing grief and anger to come in helped me grow.

I am still angry with you; but, I also am grateful for the times you did show up.
When mom was sick, when she was dying, and at her service.
You were there. Real and feeling. Loving and supporting.
I love you for that.
I treasure the night of my brother’s surprise 40th birthday party, and you showed up. We were all a family for a brief moment in time.

I love you daddy for what you could do and did do, and it’s okay for me to be angry too.
I am sad. I am angry. I am grieving. I am letting go…

 

Relationship: Need vs Want

A few months ago, my therapist told me something that blew my mind. She said that in a (romantic) relationship need and want are paradoxical. If you need someone, you can’t want them. You can’t have both.

It was a revelation…a “dawn on marble head” moment. I thought, Wow! I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a relationship where I was wanted and not needed and vice versa. My relationships have always been co-dependent, or worse, abusive.

I try to imagine what that would be like. Two emotionally and financially independent people who are together because they choose to be. They want one another as an addition to their lives, not because they can’t live without each other. Each is complete on their own.

These lines between love/need/want seem pretty faint. I never even knew they existed. How do you know the difference? I had to do a little research to better understand this new phenomenon that my therapist had laid on me.

“We should not confuse the perfectly natural yearning for a close relationship with an emotional need for one. An emotional need is a preference or desire that you’ve decided must be gratified to maintain equilibrium, that is, you can’t be well or feel whole without it, and once the brain becomes convinced that it needs something, pursuit of it can easily become obsessive, compulsive, or addictive” says Dr. Steve Sosney from Psychology Today.  Simpler stated, “When you fall in love to escape from your problems, to feel better, to reduce bad moods or to feel good about yourself then know that you need the relationship instead of wanting it.” by Mr Radwan in his book, The book Psychology of Falling in Love. 

This makes sense to me. I have believed for a long time that people need to heal their own wounds; otherwise they are always looking for others to fill the voids.

“We do not need someone else to provide us with some element we feel we are lacking either as a person, or in our lives. We are the only ones who can provide that to ourselves,” from Path of the Butterfly.

My present relationship was definitely built on need. When we met over 3 yrs ago, we were both a mess. He was laid off, without a license and leaving his apartment to move in with his parents. I was being evicted from my apartment; and I had recently sent my daughter to Alaska to spend time with her dad for a few months. She had started cutting herself and I thought building a relationship with her father would help her. My good intentions were crushed when they (her father and his wife) threatened to keep her. They blamed me and they wouldn’t let me speak to her. I was an emotional disaster.

My boyfriend and I latched on to each other. It was him and I against the world. We teamed up, took care of one another and good things started to happen. He got a job. We got an apartment. He hired a lawyer. My daughter came home. Regardless of these accomplishments, our relationship suffered later. We’ve been living separate since second incident in August.

I find it terrifyingly intense to face that someone I ‘love’ may have just been ‘need’. What happens when the need is put aside? Each day I agonize and analyze my relationship; but, the truth is it will take time just to trust again. It’s impossible to know my true feelings about my boyfriend, until I am whole within myself. I have a lot of healing to do.

Hopefully we both continue to heal and grow; because then will we begin to know the true potential of our relationship.

Reality (poem)

       shattered heart photo: shattered heart symptoms-of-a-broken-heart-588.png
I sit alone in this house and all I can see are broken dreams
Nothing is as what it seems
My tears fall to the floor
What was, isn’t anymore
Shattered illusions
Massive confusion
My heart is broken and dare not speak
My mind is gray and my soul weak
Hoping time will make things clear
Meanwhile enveloped in fear
You broke your promise and you broke me
Now only reality will set me free

Just Sad/My boyfriend strikes again

sad photo: sad crying.jpg

I haven’t blogged for over a month.

(Except for the very sad suicide post on Robin Williams for Wordless Wednesday)

My last written post was July 24, titled Second Chances.
My last sentence of that post was “He will never get a second second chance.”

So sad to share that a little over a week later, my boyfriend broke my heart.

During the week after my last post, my best friend (whom is also my niece’s dad) received news that his father passed.

I was there for him just as he was there for me when my mother had passed.

We have been best friends since our late teens and have been there for each other’s many ups& downs.

That weekend was the burial service. We sipped a little brandy before going, “to calm the nerves”, my nana used to say.

The service was very sad, and even sadder because my best friend’s sister lay in the ground as well, reminding us all of how her life was shortened from a car accident years ago.

My boyfriend and I went to my best friend”s (and his partners)  house for breakfast….and more brandy.

I observed that my boyfriend was drinking fast, he was a few ahead of me.

We all talked and bonded, laughed and cried.

My boyfriend expressed to my best friend and I that he was jealous of our relationship, and that he knows him and I will have that one day, and that he’s sorry if he tags along and follows us, but he wants to take a piece of that. Those were pretty much his exact words.

I bit my tongue, because I had mixed feelings about what he said. I didn’t want to discredit him from expressing  his emotions, as I recognized it as progress.

Fortunately, my best friend responded to him and I stayed silent.

A few hours later, I expressed to him that I was proud of him for verbalizing his feelings. I told him I had mixed feelings about what he said and that I was processing them. He wanted me to say what I was thinking, which I have a very hard time to speak before I process, and he knows that, but he insisted.

I said Ok, and I did my best. First of all, I explained that him and I are closer in ways that my best friend and I will never be. Also, that even if our relationship were to last as many years as my friendship, that it would still be different; because of the experiences shared, etc.,. I also said that I believed nobody can “take a piece” of someones friendship by “tagging along.”

Well, he didn’t like what he heard and that ugly personality took over. His face changed. He snickered under his breath. He mimicked my friend and I laughing. I was afraid and told my best friend, who already noticed the personality change. I was not going home with him like this.

This lasted a few hours. A few hours of both my best friend and I trying to coax him back,,,involve him. It was useless. Finally, my friend stood up and confronted him. He said enough was enough. My boyfriend lunged at him across the picnic table. Punches were thrown. I threw myself in the middle.  My best friends partner came out with a bat as my boyfriend was tackling me for the car keys, I will never forget first feeling relief as I was so scared, and then came the fear that the bat might actually be used. The two of them went at it, my best friend went at him again, and I didn’t put myself in the middle this time. I figured what ever happened he had coming to him.

Finally my best friend called the police. They arrested him and took a report. Though nobody pressed charges, the state took over and charged simple assault. The state ordered no contact until his court date. I had bruises on my arms and tears in my eyes, as the police officer asked if this has happened, and has it gotten progressively worse. Yes, I thought with great fear. Was this really happening?

The next day all I felt was sad. I wasn’t angry. Just sad. It lay heavy on my heart what he had done. Somewhere inside I died.

That week in therapy I found my anger, with the help of my therapist. When she spoke the words, Its Not Okay!!! It’s Not Okay…that he beat your best friend on the day of his dad’s burial. It’s Not Okay…that he even pick up a drink knowing that he has the potential to hurt you.

She is right. It’s not Okay!!!!

His court was on August 20th. I had terrible panic attacks thinking he was coming back home that day. I had set up a bed in the den, as my niece has my guest room. But, I was afraid, afraid of not being able or ready to hold my boundaries,,,and what the hell were they anyway? I was afraid, that if he did this because he was jealous of my best friend/family member, than how could I ever rekindle and build friendships? I was afraid, what if he drank? Will he do it again? I told him via Facebook that I thought we shouldn’t live together for a few months; but he wanted to come home, and he does pay the bills. Then the fear, anxiety and panic was relieved when I learned the prosecutor wants to speak to me before deciding penalty and the court  is continued to November 19th, with still no contact.

These past few weeks I have processed and over processed. Gratefully, I have a few month more to process and really absorb the reality.

The reality though I’ve only been able to see glimpses of it leaves me with so many mixed emotions, but mainly just terribly sad.

 

 

Second Chances

I want to thank all of you for your heartfelt support and responses to my post, My boyfriend hit me. 

I am deeply grateful for the concerns, comments and love I received.

It’s been two months since I wrote that post.

Now I write about Second Chances; but,

before our defensive hearts get in an uproar, let me explain.

First and foremost, the first weekend after our incident, I had my brother-in-law come stay with us, for emotional support and safety.

During that time, we all decided as a family, that safety was not an issue. My very remorseful and sad boyfriend was not (and is not) a violent person.

My boyfriend broke down and cried harder than I ever heard a man cry. He could not believe nor understand what he had done.

He implored for forgiveness.

My heart forgave, because I knew his actions were not him; but, my head could not forget, and I remained distant.

After my brother-in-law left, I stayed in the guestroom with my daughter, and continued with the idea that we would move as soon as we could.

My boyfriend started therapy and began opening up and talking about his feelings.

After many heart-to-heart conversations, my mind agreed with my heart, and I saw the potential of a second chance.

Despite his inability to process and express his emotions; he is a giving, dedicated, faithful and honorable man.

I evaluated our relationship and considered the facts.

1) The fact that my boyfriend actually hit me. This fact alone was nearly impossible to move beyond; especially because of my history of abusive relationships.

2) The fact that my boyfriend was aware of my past and broke this major boundary anyway.

3) I then compared with the fact that other than this incident; my boyfriend does not display typical abusive characteristics; such as, being verbally abusive, demeaning and/or controlling. In my experience these behaviors have been associated with abusive people.

4) The fact that he immediately sought professional help and shows a desire to improve his communication.

5) The fact that when we met, we connected on so many levels and thrived on the thought of being a team for life.

6) The fact that both my daughter and I love and trust him.

7) The fact that almost everyone deserves a second chance.

Weighing all of the facts; I am giving him that chance.

The fact that I had to confront many deep fears and anxieties to give him that chance; provided an unexpected healing in myself.

I believe just the words, second chance can stir emotions in anyone that has experienced pain. Many of us have given too many chances to people who were undeserving.

One fact outweighs them all, and I have made it very clear to my boyfriend;

He will never get a second second chance.