Posts Tagged With: intimate conversation

becoming

I woke up before 6:00 this morning.
My brain pinballing all over the place.

I’m reminded of that Alanis song, These R The Thoughts.

Anyway, here’s what I’m considering this morning.

I have this belief that we all carry baggage, we have no choice.
But the idea is to have a simple carry-on bag, not steamer trunks full. We are all products of our experiences, good, bad, indifferent.
They shape us.
But we have the ability to decide how!
We can choose to learn from these things. We can make small shifts in thinking. We can rewrite our inner speech.
We can learn how to use our experiences to our advantage.

To become!

Not necessarily ‘better’ people, but just become the human we were meant to be before we were inadvertently influenced by others and events, etc.

I long to become.

The easiest way to do that is leave the large luggage behind, pack only what’s absolutely necessary and get on with it.
No matter where I am, I am there.
I gotta be straight with me before I can expect to be straight with the world.

That’s work most people avoid.
And here’s the biggest shame of that, it doesn’t have to be that difficult!
The work can be hard, but once you begin, you’re already further along than you realize. Sure, you’ll slip up. Sure, you’ll feel overwhelmed.
But by simply making the decision to start, you’re already ass deep in the work. In a good way!

It took me so long to learn how to feel safe.
To understand that I could exist in an environment not fraught with fear and anxiety. To realize that’s not how we’re meant to live. I’m no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Well, not the way I used to do.

The me I was before was a wreck. On so many unnecessary meds. Drugs to sleep, narcotics for pain, mood altering meds to simply function.
I realize now that all I needed to do was live differently. To escape that situation.
I did!

Now, my life isn’t perfect. And sure, issues.
But I’m not fearful.
My central nervous system isn’t always so over-stimulated.
I can breathe and sleep and function.
I am learning to feel safe in life. In love. In all things.

Inner speech is such a rat bastard!
But, I’m over here like, I don’t blame my mother for the way I hear her words in my head, the things I say to myself.
I can’t! I won’t!
She didn’t know any better.
Or perhaps she did. Perhaps she was cruel for her own entertainment.
Only, that can’t matter to me.
She was flawed.
But I am me.
And I decide what I say to myself! I decide that I am enough. I decide that I am loved. I decide that I will treat myself with kindness. I decide that I am safe.

I was driving the other day and nothing unsafe happened, but I may not have been paying attention and stopped at a green light or something simple like that. I don’t remember the act, only what happened after.
I remarked, Wow you’re stupid. or similar.
YBW grabbed my hand and was like, it’s OK to make a mistake.
I was hit with the full force of his kindness.
I realized that even though I work to shift my inner speech from “you are not, and will never be good enough” to literally anything else, it will always be in there.
I can’t erase it. I can only build upon it.

It’s OK to make a mistake vs You’re stupid for making a mistake.
A world of difference!

You know what Ms Frizzle said:

How I talk myself is influenced by what I was taught about myself by my mother. Her actions and words assured me I was never quite up to snuff.
I know I’m more than those thoughts.
I know how hard it is to learn to shift that process. I know how hard it is to find different words. But that work is everything!
Can’t learn anything new unless I’m willing to make mistakes.

I’ve been hearing lately about how I’m living my best life.
For the most part, I am.
Sure, there’s stuff to work out. My stuff, YBW’s stuff.
Our stuff. But our stuff is really just my stuff and his stuff kind of bumping into each other.
And I’m working on my stuff…and he’s trying to work on his too.
While there are things that are not ideal, we are aware and we are addressing them.

But I also know this isn’t exactly my best life.
But that’s because I’m still saying things like, “I want to (insert thing).” but not actually doing it. I’m procrastinating finishing my degree. I’m not reading. I’m hardly writing.
But, those are choices I’m making.

I can choose to live my best life to the fullest.
When people say they see me living my best life, they see what’s out there, they don’t see what I’m like inside.
However confident and put together I appear, I’m also a girl who doubts her every move. A girl who fears she’ll never feel ‘good enough’.
But I’m working on that. I’m working towards living my best life inside and out.

I am not a self fulfilling prophecy.
I will amount to more than I was lead to believe! I can, and will do what I set myself to. I can and will be content in my own skin, and in my life!
I am working each day to get to that place inside me.
So maybe I am living my best life after all.

And that’s the key.
Actively living!

It’s cool to want sunshine and lollipops, but you gotta make that happen.
So by doing this work, by actively living mylife, I’m actually in my best life!

Ta Da!
Who knew?

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Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

being a weird mom builds character

I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about relationships.
Specifically about mother-daughter relationships.
I firmly believe that all mother daughter relationships are complicated.
I’m not sure how they couldn’t be. Mothers are complicated in that if you boil it down to the most basic function, we’re kind of flying by the seat of our pants with the task of keeping other, smaller humans alive. Daughters are complicated in that they learn how to be women from the adult woman they spend the most time with. Of course, what they don’t know is that we don’t exactly know how to be women any more than they do, we’ve just been pretending longer.
But here’s another thing I know about the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters: with enough love and honest communication it can be a truly spectacular experience.

While it’s hard for me to have conversations with my daughters about my own mother, luckily they both knew and loved her, and I think they both know they were loved by her. Though they will tell you that she terrified them. They also understand that they’re pretty fortunate that I’m their momma and she was not. Of course, I’ve f**ked them up in my own special way.

Yes, I did say sorry…but it had a question mark behind it. And they received this message when they were together, so they laughed and then told me they love me.
I am a weird mom. They certainly have character.
I’m going to call this one win-win.

Hey, at least we can have honest and intimate conversations.

It’s curious to me how different my relationship is with each of my daughters. Thing 1 and I are close in a way that’s completely different than the way Thing 2 and I are close.
Here’s an example of a conversation with Thing 2 regarding how it’s easier to love than to learn to be loved:

This is one screenshot of a long and beautiful conversation we had about love and relationships, that awed us both.

I’m actually having a text conversation with her right now as I’m writing this. I expressed that I’m struggling to write after not for so long, she shared that Mercury is in retrograde and that makes words tricky.

This is interesting because I’ve been losing words again this week. I continue to chalk it up to my brain never actually healing properly…but if it’s Mercury being in retrograde, I’ll take it. (must learn what a planet in retrograde actually means)

But I digress…(YBW would tell y’all that’s par for the course with me)

The way that Thing 2 and I are close is an easy yet deep intimacy. We can talk of deeply personal feelings and the whys and wherefores behind them.

My daughter’s muchness is something I’ve discussed before. It’s something everyone that knows her is acutely aware of. The trick of it is that it truly is undefinable. She’s hit a beautiful developmental place in which she understands that her muchness is powerful. She understands that it will be what keeps her standing when life tries to knock her down. What she doesn’t yet understand is how exactly to tap into it to make it work for her. But she is young, that will come in time. Only when you’re twenty, you don’t often feel like time is on your side.

Thing 2 has told me countless time in the last two months that I’m awesome, or a wonderful mother, or something of the like. She also said, “You’re the best Momma We really don’t tell you enough”
We really don’t tell you enough.
But when she does tell me…

Thing 2 and I have the ability to open our hearts to each other and just kind of move seamlessly back and forth between the two.

My relationship with Thing 1 is loving, but with a practical twist. We don’t have the ease of intimacy between us. I think it’s partly because of our personalities. I worry that it’s partly because of the way our relationship faltered when she was a teenager. I oftentimes think that I should have worked harder to stay connected with her instead of being as stubborn as I was.
Only I can’t shoulda coulda woulda myself to death. We lived through that. We survived it, and found our way back to each other.
And honestly, we were never all that intimate before that time. So I believe we’re in a strong and healthy place that is similar to the one we were in before that time.

Thing 1 is quick to call with practical questions. ‘How to’ questions and ‘What about this’ questions. Our relationship manifests itself in a practical way. It’s interesting, she always called me Mommie, but when Thing 2 first began talking she said, Momma. Eventually, Thing 1 switched to Momma too. Unless she’s feeling particularly needy. If she’s physically or emotionally sick she will use Mommie.
Right before we went down to her house for Thanksgiving, I got a text about a reoccurring health issue of hers.

Observe the use of Mommie.
When my girls were little and hurt or scared or whatever, I would bandage their boo boos, or help them feel safe and it always ended with a big kiss to give them a dose of “Momma(ie) poison”. Mommie(a) poison is that lasting bit of me helping them heal or keeping them safe. Sometimes you need great doses, sometimes you might just need a booster.
Well, Thing 1 needed a big ol’ dose and she got it when I arrived at her home. It was good for both of us.

We have loving conversations. They’re of the practical variety more so than of the existential variety. One powerful conversation we had was about mental health. However tricky it is, we share common ground when it comes to diagnosed mental health issues. And she is the person I wanted to talk with when I was wrestling with the emotional aspects of my physical health. She reminded me I hadn’t always been “sick” and I would not always be “sick”. She fully supported my decision to go back into therapy. She reminded me that if I was aware of this emotional struggle then I was already better off.
Seems we rely on each other for that practical kind of love. Maybe sometimes I need a dose of Thing 1 poison too.

However practical our love, it is also delightfully silly. We love to communicate via bitmoji when we’re feeling playful.

Mothers and daughters are tricky, curious beasts. What’s wonderful about that is the fact that weird mom’s do build character. Weird daughters build flexibility in even the most control freak moms. We can fly by the seat of our pants and love and learn and grow all at the same time.
Mothers of daughters have the unique blessing of seeing how their girls relate to each other. From the time they’re children through their teenage years and into adulthood. The relationship between my daughters makes my Grinchy heart grow three sizes every time I even think about it. Their love for each other is truly something to behold.
How blessed am I to not only love each of them, but to be party to the love they share!?!

Mothers and daughters have been on my mind for months now. After my realization that I suffered insecure attachments and was (am?) and unloved daughter, I’ve actively worked to suss out my place in this world as a daughter and as a mother. This new understanding created more confusion that I could have imagined. I needed this time to sort it all out. To find a way to have it make sense. To adjust my personal barometer when it comes to mothers and daughters.
Like the Grinch, I puzzled and puzzled till my puzzler was sore. But, I finally feel like I can put it to rest.
I can leave the tricky and curious world of mothers and daughters knowing I’m more informed than ever before. And while I’m not sure I’ll ever be truly comfortable as a daughter, I know being a mother is my truest joy.
Perhaps I didn’t experience unconditional love as a daughter, but I certainly have as a mother. And that actually is enough.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

What are we doing?

My heart is heavy today.
Partly it’s because Thing 2 left yesterday.
Her being here brought me much anticipated joy! We did all the goofy things we wanted to do. We almost snuggled enough. We had good heart to heart talks that included tears and laughter. I’m glad she was here. I’m glad she went home to her friends, I know she was missing them. She’ll be back in a month and we’ll do it all over again!

Partly my heart is heavy because things feel weird with YBW.
We were being goofy in the kitchen a few nights ago and he thought I was hitting him with the dish towel so he leaned over and licked me from chin to hairline. A big, spitty-cow-tongue kind of lick. So after I wiped off my face and got the saliva out of my ear, I punched his upper arm.
When we went up to bed I was being silly and he didn’t want any part of it. That’s when he told me I had really hurt him.
He did everything he was supposed to do. He told me he didn’t like that I hurt him, and please not to ever hit him that hard again.
Then he fell asleep.

I haven’t slept in the same bed with him since that night.

The next morning I brought up the situation. I wanted to clear the air, make sure we could talk about it and understand each other’s points of view.
I apologized for hurting him.
It was clear that I punched him with intent. But I had no intent to hurt him. I think it was just one of those punches that lands much differently than anticipated.

We talked about what it means to be physical in non-sexual ways.
YBW tends to be very “handsy”. He is quick to touch or tweak various parts of me as we pass by one another. He’s quick to pet my hair or cradle my face in the palm of his hand. I quite love this about him. That small, silly physical demonstration of his affection for me.
Yes, sometimes it becomes difficult. There are times I’d rather he not randomly tickle me or grab my bottom as he follows me up the stairs.
In this conversation, I expressed my displeasure that it’s a one-way street. If I try to be playful and tweak at him he doesn’t like it. Now this is mostly because he’s extremely ticklish and most times it feels less tweakish and more ticklish to him.
But sometimes it doesn’t seem quite fair to me.

This conversation was…tricky. I knew bringing it up would create a scenario in which neither of us would want to touch the other for fear of crossing this imaginary line. I actually said as much.
We’re still working on hearing what the other says and not falling into old patterns of hearing what’s been said to us in our previous lives. I didn’t want to bring it up because I knew what would happen. But while we were near the subject, I needed to say what I was thinking.
That’s what grown ups do. They talk about ‘all the things’.

So, where that left us is days of no physical contact. Precious little eye contact. And me not being able to sleep next to him.
I’m just so uncomfortable around him. I don’t know if he’s uncomfortable around me or not.

Last night I was brushing my teeth and he was in and out of the bathroom. Normally he would run his hand across my bottom every time he passes me, but not last night.
He was already in bed when I got there.
I said: I’m going to try and stay in here all night.
He asked why I was leaving. I told him I just couldn’t sleep. Which is true. I lie there and simply cannot sleep so I get up and got into the other room. I don’t sleep much better in there, but I don’t feel quite as anxious as I do lying next to him.
He asked: Am I doing something to keep you from sleeping?
No.
Then I told him I kept waiting for him to touch my butt while I was brushing my teeth. I told him I didn’t like where we were. I pointed out that I asked if I could lean on him while we were sitting on the couch early in the day.
He replied that he still didn’t know when or how he could touch me but assured me I could touch him.

Two nights in a row I curled up behind his sleeping body, my face pressed against his back. Just breathing his scent trying to feel connected to him. Then got up and left the room.

I don’t know if Thing 2 being here inhibited us being connected, I was focusing most of my time and attention on her. The boys are here too, I don’t know if that inhibits us from being connected, YBW is focused on Thing G.
I’m not sure it’s as much them as it is us.

I honestly believe something shifted the night I punched him.
That however playful my intentions were, it landed in a very real way.
I don’t think he wants to really talk to me. I don’t think he really wants to have any sort of physical contact with me.

It’s hard to have an intimate conversation when there are kids in the house, but I’m going to try again to bring it up when he comes home today. We may have to wait till Friday when the boys go back to their mom.
I believe he’s struggling with this too. I don’t think it’s all in my head. But I’m going to have to take the initiative, because I can’t sit with it much longer.

One good thing about Thing 2 leaving is that I can go downstairs and sleep in my cocoon instead of the upstairs guest bed. At least that will be more comfy until we can figure out what the hell we’re doing.

Categories: love, me, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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