I Need My Space Back :)

So…after debating on this issue for the past week, on and off, I have decided that Coming Out Crooked needs to go back to it’s original format. My reasons are simple. I need my space back. This space was never meant for business consumption. It was meant to be a personal space for me to work out my shit. To capture the journey of my coming out and my life, with all the pain, the sadness, the joy and the love that has been in. I think it’s important that I keep this space for me.

This message is specifically for the followers that have joined ‘my tribe‘ in the past few weeks based on the positivity messages posted here in my JUST DO YOU newsletter. I have a new home for those messages, and for the newsletter, and it’s intention is clear. If you’d like to continue to follow me on that particular journey which is catered more to positive personal development and the power of self-talk, then please find me here!

www.thebuddhaneuron.com

It’s a brand new site. A new venture. A new journey. And it’s literally being built as I write this lol so it will be changing constantly until it’s all done! But the BLOG is up and running and new posts will appear on Tuesdays and Fridays. Right now, it’s where my true focus is so please feel free to join me. Everyone is invited lol. The Buddha Neuron is just as much a part of me as Coming Out Crooked. It just has a different focus. I’m a Gemini. Nuff said! Lol

That’s it!

Have an AWESOME weekend! And perhaps I will see you on the other side!

hugging_face_emoji

 

So, let’s talk about my new friend, Happy!

Happy and I met about a year ago in a blizzard of wintry white. Sitting on the couch watching quietly as the world disappeared under a blanket of snow, I was painfully lamenting, once again, my broken heart. I had fallen in love and ultimately been rejected. I am not one of those women who falls in and out of love on a dime, so that kind of intense, emotional bonding is super rare for me. And the struggle to just get over it was real. For a long time, I continued to suffocate in a deep pool of self-recrimination. Asking myself all the agonizing questions one asks when a relationship ends. Why did they leave me? Why hadn’t I been enough? What could I have done differently? And so on. It’s a thing we do, right? Rejection is never easy. But, here’s the clincher.

The relationship had ended nearly two years prior.

And I was deeply involved in a new one.

I know, right. Ya. I took it pretty hard and my recovery-from-rejection skills were at an all time low. I met my nemesis, Abandonment when I was little, and we have never seen eye to eye. And somehow, in this life, I don’t think we ever will.

Now, on this particular super stormy winter day, I was wallowing in anger, futility, and hopelessness and feeling stupid sorry for myself, when a new voice joined the cacophony in my head and shouted, “Seriously, Trish? Again? What is wrong with you?” And I swear, it was literally in that moment, that something inside me just kinda clicked. I looked around at my surroundings and seemed to see my life, as it was, clearly for the first time. The warm and wonderful home I had created with my new partner. The abundance of true acceptance and positivity I had in my life. And most importantly, in a flash of brutal insight, I realized what a disservice I was doing to the person who was actually giving me the kind of love that I needed. I had it all yet, I couldn’t see any of it because I was stuck in a never-ending loop of negativity that came from reliving the past. Over and over and over.

 And because I refused to change my thinking

 I stayed there for a very, very long and painful time.

But in that wonderful moment of realization, I felt this bubble rise up and burst in my gut, in a warm and fuzzy kinda way, and all my crazy angst settled into acceptance. And the more I looked around, the more present I became. I almost felt embarrassed by how foolish I had been, wasting so much time hurting myself over the past. It was done. It was over. And no amount of agonizing was going to change that. So, I respectfully and consciously made the decision to let it go. And guess who showed up and introduced herself?

 HAPPY!

And I was like, damn girl! You are lookin’ gooood!

Lol, okay. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I trusted Happy at first. She was covered in a sticky sweet, sugar-coated gooeyness that I was completely unfamiliar with. And my non-trusting and way too familiar friend, Doubt, was only too eager to tell me to step away! That Happy couldn’t be trusted. That staying in our comfortably familiar place of brooding and sadness and misery was infinitely more pleasing. But, the choice to stay stuck exactly where I was suddenly no longer seemed acceptable. And it sure as hell wasn’t fun!

I wanted more for myself.

And I deserved more!

Even in my most insecure and darkest moments, I always knew I was capable of so much more then I was allowing myself to be. So, I dug deep into my arsenal of awesome life experiences and grabbed onto something that would allow me to befriend this foreign, but magnificent creature. And the first thing I found was Choice. Choice was the tool I used to move into a space that I intuitively knew would make me feel Happy and believe she was real. I had to trust my gut. And that wasn’t easy. Did I mention Doubt and I were pretty tight at this point? Still, I made the choice to push away the things that didn’t make me feel good and only accept the things that did. I didn’t reprimand myself for putting myself first, something I have always had trouble doing, and I gave myself permission to be free of the past. Self-compassion eventually won out and led me to the path of learning to love ME.

I embraced Happy as a fulltime roommate and you know what?

She’s friggen awesome!!!

Happy and I are still getting to know one another, so we do this little dance every now and then. The two-step. One step forward and two steps back lol. But I am confident we will find a rhythm that works beautifully for both of us. I’m no Happiness Guru (not yet anyhow ) and I don’t have all the answers. And I’m in no way trying to convince you otherwise. I make mistakes, have shitastic days and get weighed down in fear and self-doubt, just like everybody else. Besides, this is a BIG BIG topic and there is no way the question of how to be happy could ever be covered in one simple newsletter. People have spent lifetimes trying to figure this shit out, and those people have more people trying to figure their shit out!

Because Happy Looks Different To Everybody!

For me, it began with the simple and conscious decision to let Happy into my life. To understand that cultivating a genuine willingness to open myself up to changing my attitude, my behaviors and ultimately my thoughts, were the only way Happy was gonna come. And I really wanted Happy to come. I’m talking about true happy; lasting happy. Happy that comes from within. Not the crack-happy that has you soaring one day and then bottoming out the next. Nope. I wanted the real McCoy.

So I did the work!

And I did it with these three things.

Intention. Focus. Repetition.

I learned to stop the negative self-talk and started a brand new conversation in my mind with positive self-talk. I learned what to say to myself when I talked to myself so that I wouldn’t fall back into the same mental and emotional trap. I had to remind myself what an amazing person I am. How kind and loving and compassionate I am. How intelligent and creative and fun I am. How sincere and honest and powerful I am. And I had to remind myself that I am worthy and deserving of loving and healthy relationships in every area of my life. In truth, I kinda had to rewire my brain cuz that negative loop had been playing for a very, very long time.

Was it easy to move from pain and apathy to acceptance and happy? Hell no! It took a lot of work! I had to learn to shut out the noise of negative self-talk, practice a crap load of mindfulness, and had to keep kicking myself to stay present. And I had days where I just wanted to quit trying and just slip back into the rabbit hole. And some days I did. But, I never stayed there long. And soon the times in between crazy angst and calm became further and further apart. I connected with my gut again. And started trusting what it was telling me. I started finding meaning and purpose in my life again, something I had lost somewhere along the way.

But most importantly, I found my long lost best friend,

Confidence!

We are like crazy tight now and she is sexy as hell, let me tell ya!

So, I’m gonna share a little pearl of wisdom and tell you this: Much of our success and fulfillment, which is what Happy really is, comes down to how we see things. It comes down to the meaning we choose to give the events and circumstances we find ourselves in. It comes down to what we believe this wonderful thing called life is all about.

There is so much noise in our world these days. So much that disconnects us from who we are and from achieving what we want most. We’ve disconnected from our gut and the truth we know is buried deep inside. We don’t take the time to sit and listen to ourselves anymore. Our most positive selves. Our most cherished selves. The one who knows we are friggen rock stars! We need to shut out the hundreds of thousands of negative messages that we are bombarded with every day, including the ones we tell ourselves! The ones that tell us we need to do this to be successful, or put up with that to be loved, or be this to be accepted, or look like this to be beautiful. And definitely, the ones that tell us we aren’t good enough! Screw that!!!

We need to take more time just to enjoy being US! 

When did that happen anyway? When did we become so obsessed with doing so much stuff that we forgot how to just BE?

Your attitude impacts everything. It directs your thoughts, your energy and most of all, the actions you take. If you want to master one of the most underrated secrets for how to be successful and happy in life, this is it:

Positivity!

Yup! Positive Attitude! Positive Self-Talk!

Now, before you roll your eyes and say here she goes with the hippy dippy stuff again, listen up! When I say positivity, I’m not talking about wearing rose-colored glasses or ignoring real-life challenges. And I’m not talking about being fake or keeping your not-so-positive emotions hidden. We’ve all got them. But, it’s about how you manage them, and how much control you give them that matters! What I’m asking you to do is use more of your Intelligence. Be smarter! Become aware of how much power you have and take responsibility for the impact your Attitude has on the quality of your life!

The actions you take, the energy you exude and the results you create are so much better when you practice positivity. Positive Self-Talk might seem obvious to you, but you’d be surprised to learn that most people just react to the world and allow their attitude to be dictated by the events that happen around them. Even if you have the best of intentions, do all the right things, and work really, really hard, if you don’t learn to harness this amazing and positive energetic exchange, you’re never gonna meet Happy!

And did I mention that Happy is pretty friggen phenomenal!

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It takes the brain a while to acquire new information and incorporate it, so don’t beat yourself up if you try to run with this and fall down a few times. BE PATIENT with yourself. Embrace your ambition and don’t be afraid of the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Just keep trying! We really need to learn that the real stuff doesn’t happen overnight! We need to give ourselves time to learn, to implement, to fail and to ultimately succeed! It’s a process. This is so important to understand! Listen to your gut. It’s trying to tell you something and it’s the place where your truest happy resides.

How many of you have had a strong gut feeling, ignored it

and then were sorry you did afterward?

Ya, I thought so.

Gut level cognition is absolutely valid and we ignore it all too often!

 YOU deserve to be Happy! 

So listen to your GUT! Stay Positive! Practice Positive Self-Talk! 

This trifecta will never steer you wrong!

Whew! That’s it my lovelies! Lol, like I said, HAPPY is a BIG subject! I may not have all the answers but my promise and commitment is to bring you the very best of what I’m living and learning and keep it as real and as honest as I can. Don’t expect perfection cuz it ain’t gonna happen lol. But you can expect thought-provoking ideas, my own timeless brand of wisdom, some silliness in between, and an unwavering devotion to helping you live your most expansive, expressive and meaningful life… Happily!

Till then,

Own Yourself!

Accept, Embrace & Love

Everything that makes you YOU!

And Namaste Your Ass Off!


I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.~ Hafiz (1320-1389)

Emancipation

“Change plays such a significant role as we begin to process the excruciating, overwhelming feelings and emotions that inner work can sometimes generate. This healing of our truest selves is necessary before we can embark on any journey of light worth traveling and to live a joyous life before exploding in starlight off this mortal coil.” 

I read some version of this the other day. And then kinda scribbled out this edited version on a random piece of paper. It ultimately released my writer’s block and inspired this post. It’s a little all over the place. Full of emotions I have yet to grapple. Truths yet to behold. Feelings trying to be understood. Kinda like me right now. An emotional nugget wrapped up in an enigmatic codec only a celestial being could possibly decipher. And I’m kinda counting on that. 😉

Write. Speak. Truth.

I struggled with whether or not to post this. I didn’t want to hurt, offend, mislead or belittle anything or anyone. And that fear held me captive for a little bit. But then I remembered – again – that this is my blog. My freedom of expression place. My safe-to-be-me space. And if I can’t speak my truth here, then where??? This post is exactly how I felt at the time of its writing just over a week ago. Since then, a friend has died. Unnecessarily and unexpectedly. It kinda knocked my world off its axis a bit. Questioning life and what the hell it’s all about, ya know? And my relationship with K has experienced a huge shift. Good? Bad? Undecided. But Life is tail spinning. Crossroading. Again. And the fucking rabbit hole is looking really good right about now. And. Oh ya. Writer’s block is back. Great.

And through all of it, this post has been sitting in draft mode. Taunting me. Accusing me. Daring me. Telling me that I still owe it to myself to remain true to its intention. Not to back down. Not to give in. Not to ignore, or fear, the belief that drove its creation. Because no matter how rationally I may, or may not be, responding to the unpredictability of life in this very moment, a week ago the shit got real. And it woke something up that’s stirring deep in my belly now. Right along with my good friend, anxiety. Emancipation. It’s been howling in the wind forever it seems, but only now am I truly beginning to hear its song. And I need to talk about the new crazy that’s surfacing. Damn it!

Overwhelmed. Searching. Changing.

Things have transpired within and without over this past year, and in particular the past few months, that have left me feeling scattered and shattered. Doubting and questioning. Tearing down old belief systems in order to create new ones. It’s work. Hard work. Exhausting work. And it’s still going on. Every. Single. Day. And all without therapy. But something wondrous is beginning to emerge from the chaos. A sense of Purpose. My Purpose. One that can no longer be denied by the fear lurking deep in my reflection. A powerful, resonating voice has taken hold of my mind chatter. Calmly, quietly and without prejudice, it speaks to my Heart in an honest and undeniable way.

When you begin listening, truly listening, to your Higher Self – your Soul’s voice – you begin to hear truths that are self-evident. And I am beginning to listen. Truly listen. I don’t really have a choice. She is very persistent. And she’s telling me I need to find my Joy. My Purpose. My Self. Love. She is forcing me to reluctantly admit that very real change is necessary. In every area of my life. To accept the truth that I am not happy living within the restrictive confines of responsibilities and commitments necessary to maintain a relationship.

I. Need. More.

I need my freedom in a profoundly necessary, genuine and very real way in order to explore who and what I am. To determine fully what my Purpose is. To place myself in Service in such a way that, at this moment, excludes the demands of a partner. Kinda like a Buddhist Monk. And I am beginning to understand that in order to begin this deeply personal, life-affirming and long-awaited work, I need to live alone. Maybe even simply, be alone. I don’t know that I want to be alone. But I believe I need to be. Until I come to that long, over-due, happy state of truly knowing myself. My boundaries, my limitations, and my personal power. Until I can love someone from an honest place of giving, without fear of loss.

Without compromising who I am. What I need. Or what I want.

Only then will I be able to participate fully in, and give to, Life. Only then will I be able to participate fully in, and give to, Love. Only then will I be able to exchange the telling words restrictive and confining, for freeing and nurturing. Until then, for me, relationships will be struggles full of misery, misunderstandings, and hurts. I know this to be true because I have lived in that self evident truth for far too long and I write about it here!

I believe self-enlightenment is a singular pursuit and not one where many have found the correct balance between selfish and selfless. I have been trying to learn to love myself and love someone else at the same time. Is that even possible? I don’t think so. At least, that is not my experience so far. What has resulted is a bumpy, incredibly painful ride for everyone involved. This is not a path I want to keep revisiting. Perhaps, one day, I will come to understand love differently. But for now. Love is a fucking mystery.

Friends and past lovers all tell me the same thing. Over and over and over again. Even K tells me so. That no-one can give you happiness or peace. That it comes from within. That if you don’t love yourself, how can anyone love you? Make yourself number one. Live your life on your terms. If it’s not fun, run! And my personal favorite, “You have to love yourself first before you can truly love someone else.”

Ya… Everyone is FULL of sage advice.

This conflict internal has been ever present. From my earliest memory to now. I struggle with the complexity of Identity. Sexuality. And Love. I even struggle with Femininity. I don’t fully understand it or know how to embrace it. I know right? How can a femme woman not know, understand or feel her own femininity?

Welcome to my world.

Truth is, there was no time to revel in being a Girl. No blossoming into womanhood. No kind, loving, maternal figure to explain the blood between my thighs. The penalty for promiscuity. The pain of sex. Understanding and embracing my divine feminine power is something my daughter sweetly tries to teach me. No irony there. My beginnings nurtured nothing. Let alone being a Girl. I missed that beautifully critical stage of mental and physical development. Completely. And what I did learn about being a Girl wasn’t taught kindly.

Being with a woman has brought more understanding of my feminine than I had ever imagined it would. I still struggle with it. But I am learning to accept and appreciate that part of myself in ways that continue to surprise and heighten the depths of my being.

K makes me feel feminine. Incredibly so. She’s a Leo. A gentlewoman, a passionate lover and a true, old-school romantic. It can’t be helped. She is so Prince Charmingly male that I am the Belle of the Ball. Every. Single. Day. Such a contrast to any of my previous relationships. At first, I had no idea what to do with it. To go from, “You look hot, baby.” to “You are the most beautiful, intelligent, incredibly sexy woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Thank you for choosing me to share your life with.” was, well…geez. What’s a girl to say? (Mind you, depending on the context, hot can be sexy as hell. Kinda like how fuck can be a turn on if it’s said just the right way. Just sayin...)

After an impressionable and considerable portion of my life lived in problematic pretty – and the unwanted attention it has derived – it’s been nice having a partner who truly appreciates all of my womanly girlishness in ways that aren’t crude, lewd or rude. Or threatening. She embraces my feminine energy and its power. Thrills in it. Loves how it brings out her inner Dapper-Dan. Sometimes I think she’s more aware of it than I will ever be. But that’s K. She truly is a lover of women. A philogynist. Just ask her. She’s got the tattoo. 😉

And I do love her.

I sincerely do.

She has expanded my awareness of self more than anyone I’ve ever met. Taught me lessons I may have never learned without her guidance. Shown me there is a better, healthier way to handle my emotional triggers. And she’s done it with such grace, patience, and compassion that I am humbled in her presence. Often. Her willingness to remain open in the face of all the adversity and challenges I have brought into this relationship astound me. She came into my life at a time when I needed her. When I was so lost and broken that without her intervention, I’m not sure where I would be today. I was on the proverbial ledge. Ready to jump. She sat beside me and quietly, gently, lovingly talked me back inside. She’s been such a gift to me. I will always be grateful for her love. Always. In many ways, it is she who has brought me here to this enlightened place. Though she may not be thankful where her expansion has led.

K took me out of a darkness and helped heal my broken heart. I took her out of a darkness and helped her heal from Cancer. This has not been a one-sided affair. We have helped heal each other in some beautiful and very fundamental, meaningful ways. We came into each other’s lives for a reason. I don’t have all the answers. And this is no admission to the end of our connection. It is simply the beginning of a new experience. For both of us. Not all who meet and fall are destined to stay together. I’ve learned that the hard way, as has K. Life is funny like that. But when powerful, loving connections are made, they should be respected. Valued. And if at all possible, maintained. Even when it hurts to let go. I try to live by that philosophy no matter how hard it seems at first. I hope she feels the same.

This choice, and it IS a choice, to live emancipated is not one I am making lightly. I have thought of nothing else for weeks. It has taken me in and out of darkness. It has hurt and paralyzed me with fear. It has confused and angered me. Made me laugh and cry. Torn me apart countless times. I have wrestled with it extensively. And exhaustively. Because I have a good life with K. I want for nothing. She loves me. Adores me. Has proven over and over again that she would burn in the fire for me if need be. Has given me nothing but love. And more love. Compassion. Kindness. Been a Light when I was lost. And remains true to the betterment of my life. In every way. Spiritually. Mentally. Physically. In almost all respects, she is the perfect partner. And right now you’re probably thinking, “Then why would you ever want to give that up?” Trust me. I have asked myself the same thing. Over and over. And all I can say is…

Something is missing.

Something deep within. Something she can not give me.

The true happiness of inner peace.

And I need that.

I’m 55 years old and many hurts are as fresh today as they were at 5. I need to make peace with all that has made me so that I can make room for all that I was meant to be. From birth. And in my heart of hearts, I know I have to take this next step on my journey alone. If I am to grow into the fullest of my potential as a person, a healer, and a life partner, I need to choose me. Now. None of this is about leaving K. It’s about coming home to Me. My intention is not to hurt. Only to heal.

Sigh.

And something else is happening. Even more alarming, and almost scarier than declaring my own emancipation. I am beginning to question GOD. Not whether or not a Divine Being exists. No. I know that a Divine Being exists. I’m a Reiki Master. An Energy Worker. I believe completely and wholeheartedly in Universal Energy. It might sound crazy to some, but I know I have a calling. To Heal. Firstly, myself and then others. It makes complete sense to me now. Perhaps, on some level, I have always known this. That my purpose here on Earth is not just to suffer. Although, often times, great Sufferers are great Healers…and sometimes they are great Writers too lol. Someday, I hope to be both 😉

I have witnessed things in the name of healing that can only be explained by divine intervention. I have actually seen the ethereal glowing green energy of the Heart Chakra up close and personal! It’s fucking mind-blowing. And so unbelievably peaceful. There truly are more things in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in our philosophy, Shakespeare. And we have barely touched the surface of what we are truly capable of as energetic beings. I couldn’t do what I do if I didn’t believe in a Higher Power, in more than what we can see and touch. So, perhaps it isn’t GOD I am questioning, but rather Faith.

I have recently opened myself up to the idea of prayer, but have NO IDEA who I’m really praying too. What to call IT. How to connect with IT. People who have blind faith amaze and inspire me! I want to BE one of those people. I want to live in a spiritual practice that grounds me and allows me to feel a real connection to a Higher Power. I want to live in my own Grace. The one I know lives in each and every one of us.

I believe in the Soul. Reincarnation. Karma. Akashic Records. Quantum Theory. The Power of Thought. I know SOMETHING BIG orchestrated all of this! But at the moment, I’m just trying to decide whether IT is a He or a She, and whether to call them Bob or Martha. Or the Big Guy in The Sky. Or maybe, just go with God? Ya. I’m ripe with curiosities about the whole GOD thing.

It’s all very confusing.

Lately, a plethora of information has been coming to me in what feels like spiritual messages. I’ve been inviting them in, to a great degree, in the form of research for a book I’m writing. Reading story after story in self-help books about personal growth, overcoming childhood trauma, relationship stuff…even better writing practices. What’s surprising to me is that there is a HUGE, and not so subtle, religious/spiritual underlying bent in ALL of these writings! K warned me that this would happen. That I would start to see the connection with spirituality in my research. That I should be prepared to meet God, as it were. And I was like, “Cool. I’m down with that.” But I had no idea it would raise so many feelings! Or start coming at me in almost everything I do and see! It’s everywhere!!!

GOD stuff. FAITH stuff. ENLIGHTENMENT stuff.

LAW OF ATTRACTION stuff. SELF LOVE stuff.

It’s all been a little heady to be honest.

But the message is becoming transparent.

” BELIEVE IN AND LOVE YOURSELF, TRISH. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.”

But, as I am prone to do, I question everything! Even when the truth of the thing is settling comfortably in my heart. Old habits die hard. But hey…I’m working on it! Thing is, Self-love is becoming an overused, almost meaningless catch-phrase. We say it. We preach it. We bumper-stick it to shit. We think we understand what it truly means. But how many of us actually LOVE ourselves? Completely. Unconditionally. And without caveats? How many of us truly believe we are worth loving? How many of us live in the beautiful light of our own TRUTH and understand that we ARE love? I know that I have not yet come to this realization fully. I have not learned to love myself as l know I should. Or forgiven myself. Or believed in myself. I do not know the truth of my own worth. Or how powerful my own light is. Man. I have so much work to do!

I don’t really understand who I am. 

But I’m finally beginning to WANT to. 

So, I am seeking. A new journey is about to unfold. The journey to Self-Love. And it begins within. And sometimes that journey begins alone. And that’s okay too. This inner work I’m doing now is allowing me to find a strange, unfamiliar, slightly disturbing and-not-yet-completely-comfortable kind of peace in recognizing the honesty of what I need. I’ve never fully lived in that before. It is, at times, startling. And somewhat frightening. While at once being the most exhilarating and calming experience ever. Truly understanding and believing that you have the ability to live your life according to the sound of your own heartstrings, the rhythm of your own internal beat, and the guidance of your own voice, and no-one else’s is a gift unto itself.

I have lived in the shadows for far too long. A Shape-Shifter. The eternal People-Pleaser. Always being what I thought/think I should be to suit a situation or relationship. But never once have I lived completely, fearlessly and happily in my authentic being. Never once have I been true to the beauty I feel is my Soul. I’m not even sure I know how to do that. Or if I can. But I feel like I owe it to myself to try.

Ya…

There’s a lot going on inside the mind of this little nugget wrapped up in an enigmatic codec only a celestial being could possibly decipher.

And I’m kinda counting on that!

Still processing. Happily doing the work. Grateful for this life experience. Saddened by all the confusion, pain and trauma. Willing. Open. Accepting. Hopeful that the healing light I send out into the world will also find its way back to me. I’ve been in the darkness for far far too long.

I’m ready to be found. 🙏🏼

Namaste

(BTW: Love you Divine Celestial Being! Just sayin  😉 )

Every. Single. Day.

“There’s such unnecessary sorrow
In love unspoken.”

~Me~


I woke up today thinking about mortality.

And the precious time we waste getting this love thing all wrong.

K’s cancer diagnosis and upcoming surgery has given rise to much emotional thinking. Prevalent now, are thoughts of wasted moments ticked by in silence. A silence that should have been filled with love. Love that could have created harmony. Peacefulness. And a beautiful knowing that reaches far beyond the breadth of a relationship. Even beyond the breath of life.

I thought about Khalid.

And how often we said “I love you” to eachother. And to be honest, I don’t remember us being super mushy and full of syrup. We laughed a lot. We loved a lot. We had one of those quiet, deep and passionate loves. The kind that fortifies no matter how stormy the weather. But we didn’t actually say “I love you” a lot. We didn’t have to. It was completely understood. I think… I hope. But we should have. I should have. Every. Single. Day. He meant the world to me. He made me happy. And he gave me his heart so selflessly. So effortlessly. He was Unconditional Love. Personified. I should have been tripping over the words. Shouting it from the roof tops. Daily. But I didn’t. I was too angry. And too scared. His illness terrified me. The tumor in his brain a constant reminder that I was going to lose him. That cancer was killing him. Slowly. Stealing his love from me. And that for every truly happy moment we shared, weeks were being taken away. And though I loved him so intensely, I didn’t tell him I loved him like I was gonna lose him. I left too much silence in the spaces between his seizures, his surgeries and his death. It was only in the darkness of my grieving that I wailed it to the heavens. Often. In desperate hope that he would finally, really hear me. And I am content, in the end, that he did.

And now. It is known. From an unbreachable distance.

Some days. Like today. I can’t help but wonder how different our time together would have been if I had just said the words. More.

And then I thought about P.

We rarely said “I love you” to each other. Not nearly enough for the passion we shared. The obsession. The constant craving. Not nearly enough for the great love I felt. For her. Fear of how easily and carelessly she would hurt me, stopped me. Afraid to expose my heart. I became…careful. Not always saying the words when they wanted so badly to be said. Perhaps, that was my mistake. Hers was not knowing how. Instead, we became ensnared in filling our precious moments with accusations, mistrust and one-up-manship. You hurt me. I hurt you back. So busy proving ourselves right not to trust in the vulnerability of love. We missed the sweetness in the knowing we were already so deep in it. And wasted 5 years engaged in a pointless war. One that would never have started if we’d just been less wounded. Less afraid. Braver. Kinder. And had just said the words we both so desperately needed to hear. Every. Single. Day. Showing and telling eachother just how deeply we loved. Because the sad truth is, we really, truly did. Stalemate offers no comfort.

And now. It is known. From an unbreachable distance.

Some days. Like today. I can’t help but wonder how different our time together would have been if we had just said the words. More.

And now there’s K.

Sweet, loving and loveable K. Who wears her heart emblazoned like the S in the Superman logo. Who knows no fear in love. Who walks into the raging inferno of that uncertainty, vulnerable and with open arms. Never knowing if she’ll be loved back. Or if kryptonite will take her down. Standing strong in the conviction of her belief in Love’s power. I am in awe. And I am blessed. She is that elusive Unconditional  Love. Personified. And she tells me she loves me. Every. Single. Day.

I was uncomfortable with all her sweet talk. Her random blurts of love half a dozen times a day. Her “Where did you come from, Cotton-Eyed Joe”-ness. Her genuine kindness and giving. The things she did and still does…just to see me happy? Hmm. I haven’t had that kind of love in almost 23 years. Almost half a lifetime. It feels alien now. Unfamiliar. Untrustworthy. What’s the catch? I have reasons not to trust expressions of love. They’ve proven false countless times. Love lies hurt. A lot. And I have never trusted love spoken too soon either. I mean who says “I love you” – and means it – just weeks into a relationship?! Liars and manipulators, that’s who.

And maybe lesbians 😉

But how can those quick, hurried proclamations be trusted? Love is HUGE! Real love, that is. The kind of love that lasts. That’s deep and knowing. That remains steady when the flames have cooled and the love story is not always perfect. It’s not something to be bandied about. Traded back and forth like hockey cards. Or toaster ovens. Or declared in the heat of passion. Or used against someone to move them against their nature…

Love is powerful. Love is gentle. Love is beautiful. And Love is kind. And even though K still says “I Love You” far more then I am completely comfortable with, I get it. There is power in repetition. 

This repetition has gained my trust. Encouraged bravery.

This repetition has instilled security. Given haven.

This repetition has proven reliability. Allowed hope.

This repetition has introduced a quiet consistency. A strength. A bond. For moments like this. When the love story isn’t perfect…

Lightbulb moment? Ya…kinda.

I really didn’t know all this was happening while I was dodging K’s love bullets. But I see it now. And I understand the truth in just how important saying the words really is. I have spent a lifetime mistrusting love because the promise of it, and eventual withholding of it, has been far too painful to endure. But I have wanted love. Wanted to be loved. Perhaps more then most. Done “things” in the hope of it. Have compromised myself more then I care to admit because of it. And eventually I learned that it is far easier to scorn it. Belittle it. Challenge it at every turn. Then to give in to the hope and dream of it. And the acceptance that maybe, just maybe, this time might be IT. It’s a difficult, lonely and unnecessarily sad path to follow. And I don’t recommend it.

My daughter once told me that LOVE doesn’t hurt; people hurt. She is right. Love doesn’t hurt. It’s a wonderfully warm and glowing hug that fills you up with the most incredible and fulfilling light. And if you are lucky enough to feel its amazing power, always ALWAYS try and give it back. No matter what. Love deserves that. Don’t compare it. Don’t analyze it. Don’t abuse it. Embrace it. It truly is what life is all about.

And if you feel it. And it scares you. And you want to run as far away from it as you possibly can. DON’T.

Even if you feel like it’s too late to say it. That it doesn’t matter. That it has no power. No value. That nothing will change. DO IT ANYHOW.

Say the words.

I LOVE YOU

I LOVE YOU

I LOVE YOU

Every. Single. Day.

And repeat them. Over and over and over.

They matter.

To someone.

So much more then you realize.

Don’t wait to make it known. From an unbreachable distance.

And have days. Like today. Where you can’t help but wonder how different your time together would have been if you had just said the words. More.

~

So it begins…

I’ve overcome my technical difficulties. I’m managing to fight off a cold, fingers crossed. And my mood has stayed stable for an entire week without meds! This is GOOD news lol! And most importantly, the post that won me my Freshly Pressed award has been found! I thought it lost after I deleted my blog, (the first time), BUT I had the foresight to print it and am soooo glad to have it back! It felt like an important part of me had gone missing when I was unable to find it, and I’m not sure I could have happily begun this intense venture without it. So, yay and thank you Universe!

This piece below was written during a serious purging after my mother had gone missing for a day and my sister called me, very concerned. I was soon thereafter awarded the dubious post of becoming my Mother’s next of kin emergency contact. The reason for this was solely due to proximity, and not familial bonding. As only hinted at here, there was at the beginning and still is, no genuine loving or intimate connection between my adoptive mother and I. It’s not that she was cruel or unkind. She was simply…unaffected. Unaffected and emotionally distant. As a child, I wanted nothing more then to please her. As an adult, I feel like nothing more then a disappointment.

Ya…there will be a lot more of that later.

However.

It was 24 hours after my Mother had been found in her semi-assisted seniors living space, lying on the floor with a fractured hip and then hospitalized, that I tracked her down. Unready to be reinserted into the fold of family after a long absence, and definitely unprepared to deal with the host of ugly feelings that reintroduced themselves due to the forced proximity, I began a 10 day writing spree to try and cope with the wealth of conflicting, often time guilt-ridden, emotions that surged.

Mother.

Not quite the dream I had imagined.

Like I said.

Not cruel. Not unkind. But a scar rendering indifference just the same.

I most definitely have a love-hate-confused set of triggers when it comes to my Mothers.

Yup. I had two of ’em.

Biological was truly, deeply a messed up version of Mommy Dearest. You’ll meet her soon enough.

Non-biological? Cold and indifferent. But she was and still is, the Mommy Nearest.

Hence the title of the post.

So, without further ado…

The prologue to my Auto-Bio Me and the beginning of my Release.

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Mommy Nearest – Day 8 Ago

Back in the days of “free love”, Martin Luther King and JFK, when everyone was fighting for civil rights and the abolishment of racism, prejudice and war, there was an equally innocent and alarmingly growing population of people who were left undefended. Invisible for all intents and purposes. Uncared for, unwanted and unloved. Without a voice and without rights, they were born into this world not by choice, but by the careless whisper of seduction and the accidental meeting of ova and seed.

Orphans. The Forgotten Children.

I know. Because I am one.

We were housed in homes that neglected us, abused us and only took us in for the government cheque issued once a month for our care. And if no home could be found for us, we were placed in government run, impersonal, dehumanizing, inhumane orphanages. I have experienced both and the memories are not kind.

The 60’s were not enlightened, protective times for abandoned children. Like a strange breed of cattle, we were cloistered, tagged, and herded behind dark and angry walls. Dressed in ill fitting clothes, fed three squares of slop a day, and left to sleep on questionably clean, threadbare cots made of metal coils and cold steel frames. Crushed side by side in neat little rows, we led anything but neat little lives.

I think the worst days for me were the ‘begging’ days. The days when a comb was run through our hair; our shirts, pants and skirts straightened; spittle and thumbs used to wipe that smudge of dirt off our cheeks, and then forced to smile as we were put on display. Paraded in front of any and all prospective ‘parents’ who, with a cursory glance, had the power to own us or leave us to our fate; their biological brats sitting pretty and clean and pious, eyeing us and despising us for even thinking we had a right to their life.

On one such occasion, my new family was in attendance. A tall, dark haired man with kind, laughing eyes would soon become my ‘dad’. A small, quiet boy, 3 years younger than I, with a shock of blonde hair and big blue eyes, would soon become my ‘obnoxious little brother’. A plain looking girl, 3 years older than I, with curly brown hair and sly green eyes, would soon become my ‘sister’. I sensed she was going to be trouble. I was right. And the woman I was soon to call ‘mother’, seemed to look right through me. Strange that I have no clearer memory of her in that moment. It’s just sort of…blank.

They had come to take me out for the day and the staff had warned me to be on my “best behavior”. This could lead to me being chosen if I “played my cards right”. They told me to smile. More. I tried. But my face felt stiff and my heart rock heavy. I had been through this all before. Many times.

I smiled anyhow. Big and bright and wide. It never touched my eyes. Once brown and sweet and trusting, they had turned black and cold and angry. I tried not to look bitter.

I always had a hard time smiling on ‘begging’ days. On any day for that matter. I think my smile disappeared just around the time I discovered it. There hadn’t been time to fill the proverbial halls with my innocent laughter. No time to revel in the joys of becoming a carefree child. By the time I was 5 years old, I understood what it felt like to whore myself, and my child withered up and died. ~