Learned behaviors….

Who taught you to fear?

I have busied myself with little oddities tonight around the house and the echos of the eggshell dance have been present throughout the evening. I count the last few things that need to be done in the days and ahead and then the things beyond that. I am tired.

Moving, I moved so much in my childhood. So many memories discarded over the last few years and even more over the last few months. Things I never dreamed I would let go of have finally met their fate in the local landfill. I think I kept the most important things and I try not to consider the things I let go of too long or I will, like many other times, overthink. This brought up some old wounds and the dive into how and why I still practice old behaviors that also led to survival.

The eggshell dance….a learned behavior and a childhood coping mechanism. My conscious thoughts were “be quiet, be good, stay out of the way, tiptoe around the bubbling anger that could overflow at any moment”. A learned behavior to make sure I was safe. To make sure life was a little bit easier. Always watch-full, always, always aware, and always, always fearful.

Forward….I carried that learned behavior into my adult life and still practice it even today. Although I try not too, I realized tonight I still carry that programming with me. It sent me into scattered thoughts this evening, sifting, looking, digging in and trying to recall at what point I learned this or who taught me. Self taught I think, its been here so long I cant remember where it came from. It’s a thread in the fabric of my life that runs deep. I practice it more than I like to admit.

Everything will be okay, if everything is okay.

Never too much or too little, always trying to find the perfect balance and sometimes life just isnt like that. A lot, life isnt like that.

People will judge you and it will hurt. It can be a harsh judgement or a small one, sometimes the sting is the same.

So tonight I will consciously try not to spend too much more time on why I repeat this behavior and do my best to be more aware that I have no reason to be fear-full any more and just be……

Peace for your Monday evening ❤

The fabric of life

I am standing in front of your side of the closet, delicately touching each shirt as I go. I know the feel of what I am looking for. And there it is, my favorite shirt of yours. You smile when I find you in the kitchen and there we were……

Sometimes it’s hard for me to share some of the layers of my life with you, not that they are a secret, but because they are reminder of the tenderness that still remains. I had been trying to tell you for some time and finally found the words, or my voice in Saturday’s morning hours.

For many, instead of dealing with pain, it is easier to bury than acknowledge. So it is buried. Some people never touch it again and some people have no choice in order to heal. I uncovered it and worked on it, through it and beyond it. I learned some valuable lessons in the process. Allowing the poor behavior of others to back step my healing process once again. Another lesson in the book of life. I was finally getting it.

I know now that the lessons I received were to remind me of who I am and my strength. But most importantly to know exactly what I deserve in this life.

I have always carefully thought through my actions and words towards others. “How would I react?” “Are my actions considerate?” “Are my words kind?” “How would I feel?”. I believe where I come from, the things I have experienced throughout life, made me more mindful of others and their feelings. I have experienced situations where someone has subjected me to harsh words and actions and then wondered why I lashed out in anger or eventually just walked away from them.

My favorite shirt, because it feels of you, the way you calm me and the way you stir me. You make me sure of myself and of you. You are the quiet comfort in the middle of the night and the sweet sunlight that floods the morning. You get it where others don’t, the same as I do you.

So I have come to realize that we all heal in our own time. We all heal differently. Even though some have done the self-work and have been on the path of healing, it doesn’t mean that the tender layers, in the core, don’t exist. It may just means we can touch them some days more than others. Some bury the past better than others, and some dont. I always think about the saying “you never know what someone is going through”, and we really dont.

So this is the fabric of life….

My favorite shirt of yours… because of our lessons and continuous growth. The patient people we are with each other and the impatient people we are with ourselves. The worn and tattered layers we came together with and the threads we are weaving together now to create the fabric of this life. Our new life.

Peace for your Sunday ❤

“Feel Free”

Feel Free

I fall into my routine and think about what needs to be done. Then I drift to whats been done to me. The age of 13 keeps coming up. I read a passage in The 5 Love Languages today and thats where it all started.

“Something in our natures cries out to be loved by another. Isolation is devastating to the human psyche. That is why solitary confinement is considered the cruelest of punishments. At the heart of humankind’s existence is the desire to be intimate and to be loved by another”  Chapman, Gary, The 5 Love Languages

I believe that I am a likable person and a good human so when I am not acknowledged or intentionally ignored it is devastating. I took and bath and read a book, pulled a writing prompt and ended up in my 13 year old life for a few moments.

When I was 13 my Mom was married to a verbally abusive alcoholic. He would drink beer every night. And then we bought cases for the week and on Friday he started with hard alcohol.  They say that women pick men like the father or father figure in their life from 12 to 16 or maybe its 13 to 16. This makes perfect sense for me now. I have really had some time to think about the men I have had in my life. I thought I did good when “I picked” a man. You see I let the long-term relationships I have had, not a lot, pick me. Well I finally picked a man and he was….well he just was. He wasnt an alcoholic and I have my thoughts on what he did in our time…actually I know what has been to me, by admission and then by action. Actions, by all means, speak louder than words.

When we went to live with Arnold I was 12. Out of sight, out of mind. Stay quiet and in your room and you didn’t feel the repercussions for being 12 and not his biological child. If I was lucky I was ignored and that was a lot. I never realized until the last several years of my life how hurtful it is to be ignored. There are actual articles out there that say the damage of someone ignoring you is worse than physical abuse. When I am not acknowledged its like saying…”it doesnt matter if you are here, you don’t exist, you aren’t worthy of my time”. First I hurt and then I hate and I am not a hateful person. I acknowledge everyone…yes, everyone. I would never ignore someone on purpose. I have more compassion, understanding and emotions than to hurt someone like that.

I don’t know how the prompt of “Feel Free” led me to this, that’s not whats important. The flow is important, the emptying of thoughts. And whats more important is sitting with my own feelings. The feeling of not mattering, of reaching into my core and knowing I DO FUCKING matter, even if it’s not to you. Think about how you treat people….and then ask yourself how you would feel if someone treated you that way….Some people lack empathy and compassion and decent common courtesy.

Be A Good Human….<3 and yes, treat people how you would like to be treated

Peace for Sunday and all days ❤

Pour the whiskey…Part II

If you read my previous post you may somewhat understand my frame of mind and why it has taken me a few days to revisit that part of my life. I hear the bullshit phrase “get over it”. I may never get over it, move on, learn lessons, empathize with those that are related to me because of the common bond of alcohol, but get over it???

So the next step father was Leo. He was a nice alcoholic. A business man. I always thought he was the nicest one of all of them until several years ago in therapy when we were going through my step fathers and I mentioned him. I told her that he was the nicest, that the only thing he did was get drunk and take us out flying in his plane. I remember looking up at him from the small seats in the back and him telling my Mom he was going to fly us into the mountains and kill us all. That was nicest step father I had. My therapist was mortified. It wasn’t until then that I realized how damaging he was too. Many years later at lunch with one of my step sisters she confided he did that to all of them. Some how I don’t think he did. I think maybe she was comforting me…she also made it very clear that everyone felt bad for me because of the life I was raised in. They weren’t married long, he was the sickest of them all because of the alcohol. We had to visit him in a hospital in Washington where he was sent to dry out. He finally reformed and lived until a couple of years ago. He had to have been in his 90’s. I went to his funeral to sit with my sissy’s. I love them, he gave me three good sissy’s.

There were two more step fathers after these, fortunately I was old enough to take off at this point. One divorced my Mom shortly after he found out she didn’t have the money he thought she did. We spent Christmas Eve in a local casino. I was under age but drank and gambled. The other wanted a nursemaid  and they divorced after a family member ruined that. She hasnt been married since, had a few boyfriends…but has been alone for many years now. She was damaged at some point. We finally have a semi decent, functioning relationship. It was part of my healing process to confront her about the things in my childhood. It took her 3 weeks to read the longest and hardest letter I have ever written a person. She cried and apologized. It’s never been mentioned again. These men are no longer mentioned. And I told my brothers…I told them all about my childhood. It was only then that the one that is 19 years older than me confided she did the same shit with them and always put them after her boyfriends. My brother who is 20 years older will not speak of his childhood. She fucked us all up and we turned out pretty fucking amazing. I was the only child between my parents. A product of an affair, which I am pretty sure she was paid to leave town and remain quiet. Whew….the secrets families keep….you never know how deep the pain runs. We were children. Just children.

So…be 12 and realize you are not wanted any where….even your own fucking biological father never showed up and maybe then you might consider that it’s not weak to want to die. Be 12 when the drunk comes home and your mom is out, and you know he keeps a gun under his pillow. Be FUCKING 12 while you and your best friend lie on your bedroom floor and he tries your door. Be 7 and an alcoholic is sexually abusing you or you are being abused at a local daycare. If you saw the horrors (many graphic details I have left out or toned down)  I saw growing up and even empathized in the smallest way you MAY reconsider your rigid thoughts. I think what angers me most is that people think things just go away. I am amazed that I love the way I do, that I give people chances and that I take risks to love and have friendships. These people taught me how you aren’t supposed to be treated. In what some may consider a fucked up thought process I feel they taught me how not to treat people…I give what I have never had. Sometimes to my own detriment. I have also learned that not everyone who drinks will hurt you and that it is okay to drink in moderation and with people you feel comfortable with. So I have learned a lot.

Smile at that person next to you in line, or observe the child who plays alone at the park, or be kind to the troublesome child. Always, always be kind, you never know where people like us come from.

Peace..every, every day

Alcoholism Part 1

So, as I was trolling social media tonight I came across and interesting article. If you have time, and it interests you, please take a look at it.

http://www.reachoutrecovery.com/recovery-topics/parenting-tips/10-things-to-know-about-children-of-alcoholics

I grew up with alcoholic step fathers. Several. None were nice or fun. I am not even sure where to start expressing my thoughts on this subject, my mind is racing with memories. I never knew the adults in my life were alcoholics, that’s how normal alcohol was for me. I was maybe 7 when I tasted Wild Turkey for the first time.

That is what Fred drank.

Fred was step father number two. He was the party guy. He was a World War II vet. He drank and smoked constantly. There were constant parties at our house where I was not allowed to come downstairs. I would lay on the step, about halfway down the stairs where the wall was so they couldn’t see me. The house was filled with stylish women that had pretty hair and 70’s clothes. The men were semi plane, brand inspectors and cowboys that worked for the state. The room was filled with cigarette smoke and drinks were everywhere. I would fall asleep there until my Mom would get me into bed some time in the night. During the few years they were together, he died in our house of a heart attack, it was a constant party. He drove drunk and would let my Mom walk home from across town in the middle of the night, alone. Piece of shit, but she stayed. So, needless to say I was left alone with him and he was sexually abusive….yep….maybe 7. When I was still married if I smelled hard alcohol on my husbands breath I was repulsed. Sad, but true. He never understood, only when we were in therapy did he apologize and I would like to believe he genuinely felt bad. I am not sure, because after that all drinking was done on the side.

Step father number one use to hit me…he was mean alcoholic.

Step father number three was the most mentally abusive. She married him twice. I used to be angry at her for the choices she made, but she was damaged too. Number three was Arnold. They divorced on my 16th birthday and again on my 18th. Both of those birthdays I spent in the courtroom. When I was 12 he convinced her I ran away.  I have to wonder about her mental state, I was at my best friends house and she knew it. I came home to a police man asking me if I knew where our address was. I said that was my house and he followed me home. Arnold, when I  was 12, called me “a whore walking the street looking for a stiff dick”. I was FUCKING 12!!! I didn’t even know about sex! Of course when the policeman realized he was drunk he left me with my Mom and Arnold. My Mom had the nerve to say many years later that I was not an easy child, are you fucking kidding me? I went to school and stayed in my room, or was at my friend’s house. I had to be out of sight because everything was ok then. You see these men and my Mom were older. They had already raised children and here comes a little girl.

(I have to add that as I am emptying my thoughts here Fred’s daughter-in-law liked my comment on that post…she has no idea. Not that I know of…)

I think this has been a little overwhelming for me this evening….I will follow-up with a second part when I can….Yes, I have moved on, healed, learned the lessons they delivered…just felt the need to empty my thoughts after reading that article….

Our children look to us for guidance and example. I have explained to my girl that addiction runs on both sides and she needs to be very aware….

I am calling it a night….Peace for now ❤

Good love….what exactly is it?

 

What exactly is good love?

It wasn’t the Mom who was present but never there

It wasn’t the step father who was a monster

or any of the other step fathers who weren’t as harsh

Or the adults who told you how bad they felt about the way you were treated as a child

It wasn’t the cheating man or the angry husband

Not the fist that caught your face in rage

Not the blade that eased the pain

Its not the room where you spent most of your time

Its not the loneliness that is ever present…

Its not the venomous words spoken

And not the right words left unsaid

How do we accept something we are not familiar with?

Something so foreign?

So what exactly is good love?

 

 

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