Tag Archive | forgiveness

Where do we go from here

What if you can’t get there from here? What if you can’t go back, those roads are gone? What if you look ahead and see the same familiar roadblocks?

I lost hope that hubby will ever be a strong yet gentle supportive being I need. We try to be kind to each other but it is not working. The hurts run deep. Each unable to forgive and trust. Each day only hurts worse. The tension makes me sick as I try to smooth things over, do what he needs, explain again why I can’t, try to avoid him and this horrid sense of obligation and burden. I feel obligated to be affectionate. He keeps telling me how much it hurts him that I can’t. He keeps telling me how he can’t stand to hear all my negativity. He keeps saying he is confused, and frustrated.

I feel like a burden. I can’t be what he wants and it seems no matter how much I explain I cannot get him to understand ptsd and what this therapy is digging up.

I tell him I can only sleep for about 15 min at a time, then I wake up in a panic. If I am lucky those minutes are nightmare free. I am usually not lucky. No, my brain is creating new gruesome images to torture me, things that would make Dexter queasy. 

I tell him I barely manage to shower once per week.

I tell him most days I don’t eat food, only coffee or ice cream.

I tell him I have daily flashbacks transporting me to various childhood memories unexpectedly.

He knows all of this, and yet he is confused when I struggle to respond quickly when he invites me out to lunch. I say I don’t know, because it is the truth. I don’t know if my prison of a brain will let me out today. 

And he is frustrated when I dare to give him conditions for this lunch, like that place is too noisy, that one is too smelly. Yes it is frustrating for me too. No I am not being manipulative as you said to me today.

I think if you could, you would understand by now. So I think you can’t. I think you lack the empathy. I know you care about me, but it isn’t enough. You need to be nice to me too. You need to accept me as I am.

I know my behavior is odd. Ptsd is winning right now. But it isn’t like you are clueless. You know my stories. And yet you remain confused.

The sad truth is I feel much better when you aren’t near me. Without you my anxiety is not crippling or devastating. Without you I can make decisions without being badgered. Without you I feel less guilt, more valuable, less fear, more happinesss.

Things can change. Maybe they will. But you were given tools, ABC sheets and homework from the counselor. You never did them. I can’t ask you to change, I can only work on myself. But one day I will be back on my feet, a completely changed woman. If you don’t learn, grown and change too, I fear the distance between us will be irreparable. It is your choice to stay stuck. I want out of this mess.

Mom’s Last Words

Cancer has taken my mom. So swiftly, it devoured her in only weeks, leaving all of us wondering what the hell has just happened.

Mom is gone. I’m taking solace that she is no longer suffering and pray she has found peace at last from the tortured life she had here. She wanted to go. She was ready.

I did find the courage to call her last week, and I’m so thankful that I did, not knowing her time was almost up. I still couldn’t dial the phone or stop the tears, but I knew it was time to do it anyway, so I had Hubby dial the phone, say hello to mom and then hand me the phone.

It seemed mom was waiting for my call. She had so much to say and really didn’t allow me to speak. I kept trying to get my turn but she talked the entire time nonstop. Ha. I guess nothing ever changes. This call was for her peace of mind not mine. She did say some kind, loving words, and some disturbing ones of course. I’m going to try to recall and document the conversation here, both for my ongoing story, and as a keepsake as her last words to me.

Mom:Hows my girl? My good good girl. I’m so happy you called, I was hoping to hear from you. Do you have any questions? I’m not sure what you already know and I don’t want to stress you out too badly.

Me:1st Brother has filled me in. I don’t really have any questions I just wanted to talk to you. I’m having a really hard time with all of this. (I barely got these words out, choking on tears)

Mom:Oh ok good he filled you in. It is ok to cry a little but don’t cry a lot. It is natural to cry for someone you care about but I need you to stop at some point. I need you to be ok. Death happens to everyone, everyone has to die some time and this is just my time. It might be days and it might be months now, we don’t know. I’ve got everything taken care of, planning to cremated with no funeral or viewing (I started crying harder at that – I already knew this but hearing it from her was awful. she had no emotion in her voice at all) Do you think that’s alright?

Me:I said I thought it was fine and really whatever she wanted.

Mom:I spoke to the priest and he said this was fine that many people do it this way. He performed some of the last rites and forgave my sins so I am ready any time. I’m sorry I don’t have any money or nice things to leave any of my kids, and I’m not preparing a will for the items I do have. If there is anything you do want I’m asking you work it out with your brothers without fighting or drama. I put together some photo albums with pictures of you when you were little but you don’t have to take them if you don’t want them.And you don’t need to come to the funeral mass, I need you to keep getting better and taking care of yourself and your little family. You’ve always been such a good girl, a good, good, good girl and you deserve to be happy. We’re asking that no one sends cut flowers since there won’t be a funeral or grave and we won’t have anywhere to put them. If you feel I need flowers because you know I always loved them please get a potted flower bush for me that could be planted in a garden.

You know how I always have a silly sense of humor? Well I still have it. The hospice nurse came over to introduce herself and asked me if I’ve ever used hospice services before, and I said No, I’ve never been dying before…And we both laughed. She said she meant for someone else, another family member, but yes she could she she didn’t word that in the best way.

I’ve been feeling alright, but my throat was killing me last night so I had to call a nurse in the middle of the night, they gave me extra meds and throat spray that helped a lot. It only takes a few minutes when I call they come right over.

Me: So you don’t have a nurse there with you all of the time?

Mom: No, I could if I want to but I didn’t want that yet. They’ve all been so nice. But my ears are so blocked I can barely hear, they can’t seem to fix that, and my sore throat. And I have elephant legs from all the fluids during the surgery and in the hospital they gave me lasix and I have to keep my legs elevated until the swelling goes down. They’re huge. (She started laughing) Sorry your bratty brothers are being bad, they are always so bad. (She laughs some more)

Me: (I’m thinking, Mom, I wish you had told me sooner, I wouldn’t have stayed away so long, I thought we had more time, I wish things were different, I’m sorry you have to suffer, I would have brought the kids to see you for christmas if I knew it was the last one, how long have you known? Why didn’t you tell anyone? It isn’t fair, it isn’t right, to give up on all of us without a fight and leave us all here to sort it all out for ourselves. But she never stopped talking to give me a chance to say anything)

Mom:I’m so happy you called and I need to keep taking good care of yourself because you’re my good, good, good girl and I love, love, love you. But I’m so beat, so I’m going go now.


Me: I love you too mom

I’m not sure if she even heard my response before she hung up. The next day they moved her to the hospice full time center, and the following afternoon she died. Just like that and she’s gone.

So I’m doing alright. I don’t have any illusions that even with 20 or 40 more years that we would have had enough time to form a close bond, something out of nothing. But I did love her, and I did want a mom to love me and support me. Although I find it disturbing to be called a good girl, in her eyes there is no greater compliment, so I’ll take it. It means I’m not a failure to my mom which I didn’t know was important to me until now. I’ve worked so hard to keep her at a safe distance, but underneath I still wanted her approval. That’s all we really want, isn’t it? To be loved and accepted by those closest to us? I can accept and forgive any pain she may have caused and mistakes she may have made if I know the love is there, and I do believe her, that she loved us, that she wanted the best for us.

Unlike AF. See, I think he delivered the final crushing blow in the awful Will, when he stated he didn’t love me. Somehow that was worse than all of the abuse I endured and I snapped. As much as AF hurt me, I still loved him. Children love their parents, I no longer feel guilty for loving him and needing him to love me.

So at least that is the last words my mom said to me, and that is a gift I will treasure in my core. No matter our troubles and differences, I needed that.


Addendum: Found out the Funeral mass for my mom is scheduled during the week of my back surgery! I’ve been doing all of this work and planning getting myself ready to be able to go. I need this, I need to say goodbye, my kids need to say goodbye.

I call 1st brother to see why they are waiting so long? 2nd brother is going on a cruise so they are waiting until he gets back. Oh. And they can’t change the date now it has been printed in the obit and planned with out of state friends and family. Apparently 2nd brother called everyone except for me to make sure the date would work. Apparently it is more important that her neighbor be able to attend than her daughter. Apparently I am still nothing, non-existent – not even an after thought, I’m not a thought at all.

Before my trauma therapy I would not have spoken up for myself. I would not have known how or that I had a right to do so. I asked if we could have a 2nd service, a smaller one before my surgery? So this is not ideal at all. The day before my dreadful 12 hour back surgery, I need to drive 2 hours away to my hometown, see my brothers that I haven’t seen in years, to attend a memorial mass at the crack of dawn. Or I don’t attend at all. How am I supposed to be in the hospital knowing I didn’t attend? I can’t, I won’t. So I dig down deep, find that reserve of strength and do what needs done. I know mom said I don’t have to go. But my heart says I do. Even if it isn’t the REAL funeral mass, it will be real for me and my kids.

And maybe this is better, that it won’t be everyone there. Maybe it has worked out this way for a reason. I only have to deal with my brothers, not all of the aunts and cousins and neighbors and friends too. I’m already going to have flashbacks, so many triggers, we’ll be in the childhood church, the one I went to each week with mom growing up, when she dressed me in pretty dresses and I had a tiny white bible, a tiny white purse to hold the bible, and I sat there as her perfect, pretty little good girl. I loved it though. I loved singing the hymns and mom always seemed so happy there, peaceful. She loved showing me off, people always said I was so pretty and well behaved and she would beam and look proud. I didn’t get much of her attention at home, but at church, I was her good girl and everything seemed good and right in the world for a moment.

So I’m going to shake and twitch as I enter this familiar building, it will be difficult to keep myself grounded in reality. But I don’t care. I’m going to my mom’s memorial mass. I’m allowed to look a bit crazy eyed, cry and stumble. I’ll use all of my new skills to help me. I’ll feel what I need to feel. I’ll have Hubby, my kids, and my sis in law there to support me.I’m doing this as much for my kids as I am for myself, to show them death is a part of life, that it is ok to cry, that we shouldn’t avoid the bad stuff or the hard stuff, and that we get through it together.


Complex Grief, Pre-Mourning the Loss of a Parent

My mom is now in hospice care. And the pain has hit me full force, in fact I can barely type this through the tears flooding my face. I stop and calm down but as soon as I start typing and see the words I start crying all over again.

I thought I had more time.

I’m working furiously on myself, to heal, to recover to a more stable ground. I needed space from my mom and brothers after my suicide attempts last year and they granted it to me. I have not seen or heard from my mom, no visits, calls, not even an email in so long. Because I asked her not to.

Because I thought I had more time.

I withdrew from everyone this past year, went deep into myself, into my fortress of solitude where I regroup, lick my wounds, and learn how to go on. I’m doing that now. I’m starting to open up again, bit by bit, as the world appears safe and I test the waters with each wary step.

With complex PTSD comes complex grief. Even though I more clearly understand my mom’s role in raising me in the chaotic, traumatic world, contributing to my feelings of shame and worthlessness, allowing me to be abused and feel unloved and unlovable…as I heal and go through this recovery program I’m better able to feel and identify my emotions in the moment. I don’t hate or resent my mom. I am disappointed that we were never close, never had a strong supportive relationship. I do appreciate the times she tried, and the times she apologized. I don’t think she intentionally caused me pain, I really don’t. I think she wasn’t strong enough to stand up to my abusive father, herself also being a victim. I can understand all of this. It saddens me. I feel she did her best with the tools she was given.

I forgive her completely. I truly do. I had hoped to have a limited relationship with her again at some point.

But I thought I had more time.

So now I am forced to make a choice. I don’t feel ready to visit her, not out of the blue. Plus my brother has told me she looks terrible, the cancer has really taken its toll on her. I’m not sure I can handle seeing that, my brain will fixate on that image forever.

I’m trying to get up the nerve to call her. I haven’t heard her voice in years. I got her phone number from my brother. I keep staring at my phone. All I have to do is push the button, but when I try I start shaking and crying. I don’t want to talk to her like that. I want to let her know I care, that I’m sorry this has happened, that she is suffering, that I’d never wish this on anyone let alone my mom, and that I wish we had more time.

I wish we had more time.

But here’s the thing. My brother said mom is at peace. She is relieved to have an exit plan. She has wanted out for decades. She’s been living like she was dying for as long as I can remember, so she has finally gotten her wish. Is this better than being distraught? To happily give up and have no fight in you? I don’t know. She never had any fight in her. A victim of life for life.

I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to welcome death. I want to fight. I used to fight.

I keep thinking of a song by Tim McGraw, “Live Like You Were Dying” because of one line in it. I’ve been hearing this song in my head, endlessly since I got the news about hospice.

“Talkin’ ’bout the options and talkin’ ’bout sweet time.”

I’ve spent an entire year in my bed or recliner. Like I already died. Partially I was healing, but partially I had given up and was only going through the motions.

So I’ll keep trying, and eventually I know my finger will press the call button. While I keep trying, here at home I’m looking through photos of mom with my kids, going over some memories together. My daughter asked if she could have a locket to put her Grandma’s photo in, I said yes we would get her one.

And then I saw how social support networks are supposed to work – when you don’t isolate yourself. My daughter said she told her friends at school and received comfort and sympathy and many questions. This generated more discussion here at home and we hugged and cried together.

My daughter made a beautiful card for my mom, in her favorite colors, full of flowers and butterflies, and poetry. My son painted a picture. We are going to mail her a care package along with some photos of us since I don’t think we can visit.

I have this gnawing feeling of guilt like I SHOULD visit, like I HAVE to visit, but my counselors say I don’t, and that those are shame gremlins speaking. If I WANT to see her, then maybe I should try to manage it, that is if mom even wants to see me. But I don’t have to operate out of that place where I’m the good girl and satisfying urges to squash feelings of guilt and obligation.

This is so complex and each day brings up more powerful emotions for me. I wish I had more time to sort it all out. I’m doing the best I can with a difficult situation that I can’t control. And I’m doing it moment by moment. I might change my mind once these feelings settle down.

I’ve included Tim McGraw’s song here in case you don’t know the one I mentioned earlier. I’m going to listen and cry again. You’d think my well would be dry, where are these tears all coming from??

Forgiveness is Not a Pardon

“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different.”
Iyanla Vanzant

Road Closed

Let the Road to the past stay Closed (Photo credit: MOEVIEW is Aaron Molina)

Forgiving those that hurt us is such a complicated act.

At first I was unable to even think of forgiving my abusive father. And then I thought I had to forgive him, to feel better. But I also thought then that forgiveness was akin to a pardon, and let him and all of his toxicity back in my life. It took many painful years to understand that I could forgive him, but in order to close the road to the past I had to close the road to him as well. You can’t forgive and put it in the past if someone is still hurting you in the present. I understand this now.

It took me so many years to shake the guilt, shame, and sense of obligation. I put on a happy face and played the part of the good daughter, because I knew nothing else to do. I do now. I know what to do. No more playing parts or plastering on quiet smiles. I am always me now. Good or bad, happy or sad, whatever, I am authentic.

Now the most complicated part has actually been forgiving myself. Still working on this one, but see glimpses of that road closing too. The same theory applies here. I did terrible things, I hurt myself and my family in numerous ways through desperate acts of despair. I thought there was no way to pardon those acts. So my new idea fits with the quote on the top.

I have stopped hoping that the past could be different. I am no longer stuck. I forgive my parents, my brothers, my husband, myself, hell, I even forgive the world (and God? That’s another story I’m not sure I’ll ever tackle in this blog).

My hope to change the past has transformed into acceptance of my present and hope for my future. When I stopped looking back, and closed that road, I could finally see all the roads inviting me forward.  Sometimes I still stumble, and look back and flood myself with fear and old familiar pain. Sometimes. Not all of the time. And when I do look back now, I can see that road closed sign is much, much farther away, vanishing behind me with each step forward I take.

Related article:


Forgive Yourself

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz (Photo credit: Nutmeg Designs)

“Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” Leo F. Buscaglia


I’ve been reading a bit over at http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/ and really struggling lately. She links to this purpose fairy article and I found this quote and just started crying.

I have forgiven everyone in my life for the harm they caused me. I am unable to forgive myself the harm I have caused myself and my family. I am unable to forgive the trauma I caused my husband when I attempted suicide. I am unable to forgive the years of financial troubles I caused with my illness, from doctors, psychiatrists, meds – and from losing my job. I have not forgiven myself for causing our young family to have to file bankruptcy, to give up our vehicles, to nearly lose our first home. I have never had a full time job since then. I do work, I do contribute, but to me it is not enough.

Yesterday was a terrible day, stuck in confusion and darkness. I tried to explain this and reach out to Hubby, and all he heard was criticism, and he said “Stop – I’ve reached my limit” and was quite angry. I don’t know how to explain any better, that in my darkness, everything is dark and negative and painful. He has never felt like this, so he does not get it.

I feel like a terrible wife, a terrible burden to him. He tried reaching out to me, but I was then unable to receive it. I tense up at his touch and hear a voice in my head saying, “Please don’t touch me”. Hubby is so tired and confused. I know he loves me, but it feels like a love for an abandoned and blinded puppy right now. I can’t accept that he loves me, all of me. He wants me to be OK, but I am not. So I have to either tell him I am not, or plaster on my usual smile.

I need a break. from work, from being a mom, from being a wife. When I feel like this I desire to be alone, to find myself again. But my life does not allow me to take a break, and so I get lost for a while. I feel like a scared child again trying to make grown up decisions. Having a family depend on me has been my drive to get healthy and strong, as well as my prison. I am trapped by their endless demands, they depend on me for so much. I forced myself to shower and get dressed and run in the sunshine yesterday for a moment of freedom. It did not feel joyous though, not at all. It felt like another chore, like I was walking myself, like I was my own dog. So strange to try to explain. Like I’m my own mother too, and the mom in me is annoyed with the bratty child in me. Is this disassociating? Is there more than one me in me? I don’t think so, but maybe on some level this is true, as I pushed down that scared little girl to survive. I’ve always known I can be a chameleon, blending into any group as needed, playing any role to fit in, disappear, not stand out, not be weird. I can adapt and learn the rules quickly to either avoid attention, or be the leader. I have a different me I present to each group. So, maybe this is the source of conflict when I am asked to be a Mom and a performer at the same time? They are not the same me? And so I short circuit and spiral into darkness, confusion, and chaos.

I feel alone and completely out of control right now. Not really scared, sad, but not really hurting. Mostly Numb. Stupid Walls.

Blogging May be Bad for My Filter

Since I started blogging, I have found it is easier to know my own thoughts, and to share my own thoughts, both in writing and in speaking. I am also finding this is not necessarily a good thing at all times.

I am getting so used to speaking my mind, voicing my thoughts, that I have turned off that filter that used to keep everything inside. This sounds good at first, but I need that filter when speaking to: employees I am training, my supervisor, other parents, and anyone else that does not know me as well as hubby and WordPress.

I apologized – again – to my supervisor for overspeaking at a meeting. I brought up some facts, just for the sake of discussion, but it was received as negative towards the company and possibly could reduce team morale by reducing their confidence in the accuracy of what we were discussing. Yes, I meant to keep that vague.

Even a year ago, I still carefully phrased, rephrased, and mentally practiced EVERYTHING before I said it. People always thought I was quiet and thoughtful, not that I was internally obsessed with not interrupting them, not bothering them, and making sure my words were perfect before releasing them. But now, the words flow out as quickly as the thoughts are formed. Great for blogging – not so great in team meetings in a company full of political drama. :-/

I think part of the problem here, is that it feels SO GOOD to speak my mind, to not have secrets, to just be me – that I throw caution to the wind and get it all out.  But I need to be careful with my new power, or it will come back to bite me. I think I need to put the filter back in place, just in a diminished form as it used to be.

But then, I had an interesting thought, (and because I’m blogging, it gets to come out) about why I have this need to be heard in meetings now? Am I trying to make sure they know I have ideas? Do I feel more important when they listen to me? Do I care about the end product so much to take these risks? Are the quiet people sitting on top of ideas they are too afraid to speak about, or am I the only one with ideas? Lots of questions here, and no way to answer them. I still feel like a social foreigner, so I must analyze my behavior and compare it to everyone else’s at every meeting. Why? What is the fear here?

I know there is a fear, but I can’t figure it out. It feels great to speak my mind during the meeting, and I hear my own voice going on and steering discussions, and I feel a bit high – I mean I really enjoy that. But then, as soon as the meeting is over, I feel afraid, unsure of what I just said, and request feedback from my supervisor, and apologize for talking too much. So what if I talk too much. I know lots of people that talk too much. Why do I think that is so bad and unacceptable behavior for myself?

I’m playing therapist here and digging deeper. I used to be scolded harshly for speaking whenever my mom was speaking to a friend, in person, or on the phone. I would sometimes wait hours for permission to speak up. She never beat me, but her anger and shame at me interrupting her was very powerful. (light bulb) I remember one time, around age 5 perhaps, actually messing my pants because it took so long to ask her to go to a bathroom. I just stood there next to her, while she would raise the finger indicating “1 minute-not now” and tried to without that natural urge. I never told her, just hoped no one could smell it, threw away the soiled undies back at home to hide my imperfection and avoid a lecture on how expensive new undies are, or how hard she works to clean our laundry. I know we all do this to our kids, but my own kids feel safe enough to say very loudly “But mom I have to go to potty NOW!” and then I take care of their needs. My mom would continue to ignore, give us angry looks, and scold us later for being rude. Even though I could hear her important grown up discussion was about the Cosby Show episode she saw the night before. I guess I can see how his jokes and amazing sweaters were more important than anything I might need, right? (I’m not as bitter as I sound there. Well, maybe I am. I guess I’m not in a place of total forgiveness to my parents yet. Every time I think I am, these hurt, bitter feelings come up when I reminisce)

My mom must have my bad manners made her look like a bad mom, so she enforced strict rules so we appeared as perfect angels to her friends. (narcissistic?) So, another reason I have always been crippled in any type of discussion, always waiting for my turn, for others to ask me to speak. I don’t naturally know how to join in.

So I think these meetings, when my supervisor asks for our thoughts, I feel freedom to speak, and then feel fear for taking up too much time, and shame if I say anything wrong and embarrass our team. Hmmm. And I think apologizing right away serves two purposes, clears my guilty conscience, and also allows me to own my mistake. This is huge. I have never had the ability to say , wow, I messed up, I will be more careful next time. And now I can.

So is this a good thing or not? Should I put the filter back on for work, or continue to voice my concerns? I don’t think I’m saying anything detrimental, or that will cause anger, just questioning best practices and answering questions asked by management, and I fear I may come across as a “know-it-all” and lose credibility if I’m not quiet sometimes. Need to find the balance there perhaps. They should not ask questions if they don’t want answers. (“The truth – You can’t handle the truth!”) Just tricky now that my team has been downsized from 25 to 5, our meetings are much more interactive now.

Loving someone who was abused as a child must be so hard

I have discovered something new to feel guilty about. Yay!

It is really starting to bother me now.

I have been getting super close to hubby in the past few months. Sharing everything. And he started sharing with me too. Turns out he has been holding back on me, pretty much forever, for fear of adding to my pain and burden I carry around from childhood abuse. Now this is understandable, but it makes me sad and guilty too, and now I want to be there for him like he is for me.

Last week I couldn’t be there for him. I was down in the deep dark place, that is one step above despair, where I question my worth and fight the urge to give up and disappear. While I was fighting that battle, I relied heavily on hubby to do what I could not. I expected him to be perfect, and take care of every task I dropped. I expected him to listen to me endlessly.

The thing is, he pretty much was perfect, and went on tirelessly, even went to work after 1 hour of sleep because we were up all night talking. He is so there for me and devoted to supporting us. I could not have made it to work like he did, but since I work from home my schedule is flexible.

I want to be there for him too. He said he had a rough day at work last week, and I cut him off, told him I could not listen. I remember this day. I actually put my hand up and asked him to stop talking, that I was already overwhelmed and unable to take any more. That was the day I snuck upstairs to cry in the shower. I was hurting and barely functional that day. I was unable to think of anyone but myself that day. Although I did still make meals and do a few easy tasks, I did not connect to anyone. I did not spend the day in bed or on the couch. My bad days are not as bad as they used to be. And I used to be really proud of that progress, until I reframed these thoughts and think how unfair it us to hubby.

If hubby ever cut ME off like that, I would be devastated. But for him, he knows he has to accept that. Even more, he is learning how to pull me back to him. The night we talked all night, I had been suffering for a few days, torturing myself with thoughts that I am not good enough and never will be. I did not realize he saw my pain this time, and was trying to be ‘normal’. Laying in bed, he reached for me, held me so desperately, and whispered, “Don’t pull away too far this time, ok?” It was like a million butterflies all over me. He cut through to the current me. I was not intentionally pulling away from him, and was not aware of it. I was going into my protective zone, which still isolates me. I did not know how much I needed his help. His words, and powerful touch, zapped me out, and allowed me to speak my mind. And wow, a lot of ugly stuff came out. The little girl in me was hurting. That’s the best way I can explain this. Once in a while, the little unloved girl in me needs to be heard – and loved. Once I acknowledge this, grieve for that unloved girl, and get needed love from hubby (and myself), I can move on.

I’m trying to accept how wonderful he is, this hubby of mine, and accept that I’m getting better, and accept that it is ok to expect less of me than him. He said it is like if he gets the flu, I know I can’t ask him to run to the store. So it is like sometimes I get an emotional flu, and can’t handle any more, so he knows not to expect it. I will try not to add this to my guilt, and instead use it as motivation to continue healing, so I have more to give back to my hubby and kids. I want to be stronger for them and be there most days, not just on really good days.

Reverse Role Models – Learning the hard way

Just realized I have many reverse role models in my life. I don’t have many (any?) people that I admire so much that I strive to be like them. I have had to rely on myself far too long for that. But I have learned many things from my parents as long I do the opposite. Warning – This turned out to be a bit harsh, wow, didn’t know I carrying this anger inside. Good to get it out. I can now forgive this too and let it go. I am amazed at how these memories continue to churn up, out of the blue, and then BAM, I have to deal with it.

1. Do not deny love to children when they misbehave or make a mistake, or act grumpy, or even when they say terrible things like “you’re the worst mom ever”. This is the time to love them more. Tell them you do not like the behavior, but still, and will always love them. (Both parents were guilty of this, I used to feel invisible, and isolated as they gave me the silent treatment)

2. Do not make promises, even tiny ones, if you can not keep them. (Dad would have us look through vacation books and watch travel videos, but we never went any where. It was always our fault for having medical bills that we could not afford a trip or that we did not do our chores, or someone got a bad grade)

3. Do not blame others for your mistakes. Accept your mistake, do what you can to fix it, and then let it go. Also though, do not blame yourself for things you can not control. (Dad’s anger was always our fault. If we could just be good kids, he’d be a good dad. Mom always blamed us for being overweight, the pregnancies and all the kid food. She now blames her *illnesses*)

4. Do not hold grudges. Deal with each issue immediately. Start each day new and fresh. (So many people have been banned from our lives from some wrongdoing or another. I always knew about some aunts or cousins that *we don’t talk to them, so you can’t either*)

5. Do not show jealousy, especially towards your children. (My mom would always hand me over compliments for being pretty, then in the same breath say she used to be but having babies ruined her. She would tell me to get the pretty dress, but then moan that she can’t wear pretty things any more. She would say how lovely our music is and then say how sad she s she never learned to play an instrument. this one goes on and on for pretty much every topic. Her jealousy filled us with guilt for the good things about ourselves)

6. Loving your kids does not mean letting them do anything they want. (When I moved in with mom, seeking something normal at last at age 16, I was encouraged to date and guy that asked, as it would be rude to refuse. I think back now on the guy who was 26, picked me up, at age 17, while my mom was home, and she just took some pictures of us and said have a nice time. No curfew. No “who the hell do you think you are dating my little girl-get the f***k out of here creep!” That’s what I would say when the time comes for my own girl to date. I was anorexic too, and never once did my mom encourage me to eat, instead I was told I was thin and beautiful and she wished she could wear a size 2 again. Again, this can go on and on)

7. Gifts should not have strings attached. (birthday gifts of cash always had something I had to buy for myself, so why didn’t she just buy that then? Because she wanted to take me out shopping to get it. It was cash and time with her. Gifts from dad were always inappropriate and to prove he loved me more than mom, and to make her jealous, like the gold necklace when I was 10 and he got nothing for his wife’s birthday)

8. Activities must be age-appropriate, to the youngest present. (Dad – Just because you think the teenage sons will enjoy watching that porno with you, maybe the little girl should not have seen it at age 6? Dad – Just because you think dirty jokes are funny, your 6 year old should not have to hear things like “How do you know you have an overbite? When you’re eating p***y and it tastes like s**t” I did not understand that joke for many years, and when I finally did, I could not believe he used to say stuff like to me. I used to repeat it to my friends at elementary school, not knowing what I saying, no wonder I didn’t get asked on many playdates. I should not have seen Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in the theater so young, I had nightmares about the lava pit and ripping out hearts. )

9. Children need a bedtime, and a bedtime routine. (I was never told to go to bed, and usually stayed up late watching TV with everyone. Sometimes my parents would go to bed first and let me stay up. Not sure they exactly let me, just never cared enough to check if I ever went to bed. Or brushed my teeth. or bathed. on and on)

10. Do not say you can’t, when what you really mean is you don’t want to. (Both parents had an excuse for anything, always too busy, too tired for the kids. Or my mom can’t exercise, really is she doesn’t want to. I can’t go to your school play means I don’t want to. I can’t afford new shoes for you means I don’t want to give you money because I have to pay the hooker this weekend. I can’t drive you to your friends house because I don’t want to miss my TV show. I can’t remember to put you in bed because I don’t want to think about you as a person – you are my property and should stop making demands)

Marriage Miracle

Not sure where to start, or how to describe my most amazing weekend and what can happen if you stay open and live in the moment.

First let’s back up. The past few weeks have been painful and tortuous, as I wait and see what happens in my marriage. I had fallen out of love with my husband over the tough years of raising babies. I focused on the kids and home, and he focused on work and making money. Through those tough years, we were unable to focus on each other. As I read more and more, this is actually fairly common. What else is fairly common, is to go back to the beginning of a relationship and looking for trouble to explain current feelings. This was eye-opening and I dislike being common.

We started unintentionally abusing each other. Yes, each other, it was not one-sided. It became habit to ignore and disrespect each other. Everything we did annoyed each other. Ugh, that’s no way to live. So the frustration built up and led to resentment over many years. My spirit hardened and pushed him away to avoid getting hurt. But he had stopped looking so long ago he did not notice the final brick in the wall.

Why did he stop looking? Many reasons, but a big one explains a lot. Well, there were many times he saw pain in my eyes, not from him, but as I dealt with my painful abusive childhood, dealing with memories, processing, bouts of depression. He said he was unable to handle seeing that pain, and had to look away. I can accept that. But at some point he never looked back, never noticed when that pain was gone, so many years ago now, and when I was finally able to accept him, when I went to him and tried again and again, he was safe behind his own wall and I felt rejected. So we both went on for years, doing our duties, loving – but not feeling loved. Aww, how sad.

But something happened a few days ago. We were in limbo, I thought I wanted him to leave to end this pain, he was frantically trying to prove to me he is a good man and that we do have a future together. One day last week, I forgave him. Completely and sincerely forgave him for every hurt, slight, annoyance, everything. I didn’t do it consciously or even try to forgive him – it happened all at once, like whoosh, years of resentment gone. At the exact same time, I also forgave myself. I accepted we are imperfect humans and what is done is done.  We vowed to make a fresh start.

The most wonderful feeling has returned to me. He went to work on Friday, and I missed him. I thought of him during the day. I met him at the door when he got home and hugged him so tight. He held me back and we just stayed like that, looking in each other’s eyes. No words, just feelings. My little boys kept coming in to the kitchen to ask for this or that and my answer was, “not now sweetie, mommy is busy hugging daddy”. Wow did husband like that answer.

So my husband is a very smart man, and he knew how to bring us back together. He arranged for the kids to go to his mom’s all weekend. I had no idea what he had planned, but I was open to anything. That night, after kids were at Grandma’s and we were alone, it was very awkward, we didn’t know what to do. It was like a first date in some ways, but we already knew each other. So when we tried to get close, and snuggling took a step forward, I felt the same distance, lack of desire, lack of need from him and pulled away. For the first time in 18 years together, I asked him what that was, why he did that, as I felt so rejected every time. So, it turns out, this very good man of mine, over the years, had learned that if showed his full desire to me, I would get frightened, or flashback to my abuse, and he couldn’t stand hurting me or reminding me of this pain. His distance was respect and love and protection. Oh my God! Of course! So I explained to him, that I don’t feel like that any more, I am no longer a scared little girl like I was when we first met so long ago. That I am now a woman fully capable of accepting his love, but I needed to feel the need in him. He says “Really? You want me to show you how you drive me crazy with desire?” Well, err, umm, let’s just say he showed me. Oh wow did he show me. In fact, he showed me 4 times that night, and once in the shower too. (blushing now, but still smiling 🙂 )

Sooo, this amazing man has kept himself hidden to avoid overwhelming me. There were so many times I have pushed him away, when I was unable to have anyone touch me at all. He waited for me to give him permission each step of the way so I would be comfortable. Wow. No wonder he was either angry or flat all the time. What a tremendous stress and effort that must have been.

Now I know this doesn’t mean everything is suddenly all better and will be perfect now. We’re still going to go to counseling, still taking it day by day, still going to do the hard work. But we’re going to do all these things as a team. A beautiful loving team, and it doesn’t seem like such hard work now. Was this a marriage miracle? I guess I don’t know, but I’m certainly open to that notion. I am so happy we have so many more tomorrows to keep getting better. Together.

“Sorry, but . . .”

Maybe the most important thing I have learned, is that apologies do not end with “but”.


“I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you, but you came home so late I was too  sleepy” (I tried to share my joy of my first ever art show with him, but when he looked around me to see the TV, I called my mom to talk instead)

“I’m sorry I didn’t help much with the kids for the last 8 years, but it is hard for men to connect to little children, it will be easier now that they’re getting older” (I found out he made the kids have bedtime stories laying in bed with their eyes closed, how do you read a picture book together with your eyes closed?)

“I’m sorry I didn’t help you carry laundry downstairs, but I thought it made you proud to do your job on your own” (I have an injury from childhood that makes walking difficult, and stairs I have to hold on to the rail, making carrying baskets very difficult)

“I’m sorry I never cut the grass, but those city rules are nuts, who cares if it is 12 inches tall?” (I hired a lawn service to avoid penalties and be able to have my kids play outside in a cared for lawn, his brand new mower sits unused in the garage)

“I’m sorry I can’t give you space right now to heal, but If I back off I’m afraid I’ll lose you forever” (So he continues to hug, pet and say he loves me 600 times a day, when I have not had that attention from him ever, it feels so false)

“I’m sorry I yell at you and the kids, but my life is very stressful and I can’t handle when things change and I don’t know” (like when I had 2 flavors of ice cream for the kids, that was a stressful change we all needed to suffer your yelling)

“I’m sorry I yell at the kids to be quiet, but my whole day is very noisy” (when the kids start singing and giggling in the van, he tells them to stop)

“I’m sorry you have been unhappy, but I didn’t know” (He hasn’t looked at me, really looked at me,  in years, of course he doesn’t know.)

“I’m sorry you are hurting, but you can’t make me leave” (He has always convinced me to hang in there and give him another chance. I’m not sure I can or should this time.)

“I’m sorry I didn’t call, but -I forgot- my phone died-I lost track of time-I’m just so busy” (I can’t call him at work, and his cell phone doesn’t work in the factory? and I never know what time he’ll be home)

“I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything for -Christmas-Anniversary-Birthday-, but the store had nothing I could afford for you that was nice or would mean anything” (you mean when you went out Christmas Eve to Walmart just because I hinted that I was excited to open gifts? That I have every year managed to do something special for little or no money for you? That I work with the kids so they each have something for you? Thank you for the boxed set of DVDs you grabbed from the end aisle display)

“I’m sorry that when I brought you home from the sedated dental visit, I left you in your coat, sitting up in a chair alone for hours, but I didn’t think it would hurt your neck like that”

“I’m sorry I never told anyone how sick you were, that you slept everyday all day, and that I didn’t check on you the night you took all those sleeping pills, and just kept you to myself, but I was so used to you sleeping I didn’t know you needed help and I was just a dumb kid.” (I told him everyday about the pain, and the images of death that haunted me, my desire to just stop breathing and escape this dismal world of no hope – he was 29, I was 25, not really dumb kids exactly)

“I’m sorry I didn’t pay any attention to you, but I thought it was just your depression complaining”

“I’m sorry I crush your feelings every time you reach out to me, but I’m just a dumb guy and can’t be expected to know any better.”


I could go on and on. Well, my husband, I’m just sorry. No but.