ALWAYS AND FOREVER

It was right here all alone!
Perhaps we can forge a new path together.

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My husband and I argued over something so stupid this evening. But I’ve learned through time and experience that when we are fighting about something so stupid that there are more important issues that are not being said. As is often pointed out by marriage councilors, “it’s the elephant in the room”, that we seem to walk around but never acknowledge. I know the elephant won’t go away unless we deal with it. For some reason tonight was the night. Life sometimes has a way of putting things right there in front us whether we are ready or not. I was encouraged to address these issues by my therapist but I have learned that I have to be very careful how I put things to my husband because he is very sensitive and takes everything to heart just like I do. Oh, what pair we are. There are all these little annoyances that can erupt into an emotional explosion if not properly dealt with. It’s the explosion that brings real issues to light. Well, that is what sort of happened tonight.
I don’t want to talk about the content of the argument because that doesn’t even matter. but I think that the fact that it triggered something bigger, all though painful, needed to be said.
Its been so easy to take for granted what we have as a couple. It is possible to lose sight of what each of us needs so we stop providing it whether it is hugs or compliments and sometimes even manners. I think that it’s because we have lived more than three decades with each other and it has become so easy to get comfortable in our regular routine that we miss the importance of what brought us together in the first place. Our love for each other. We created a bond that grew in our hearts over the years. That bond has always been there right along but somehow got pushed aside by the fast pace of life. The girls are all grown and have their own lives. They don’t need us so much. So this should be the perfect time to come together and maybe do something that we never had a chance to when the girls where home. It could be a time of discovery. It could be exciting. Instead of looking at life through older eyes thinking that we are over the hill and we should just throw in the towel and let life happen to us, we could re-discover each other.
I want my husband to know that we don’t have to give into a set way of advancing in age. He looks at himself as old when he is only in his 50s. Really……I’m not old. Does he think that I am old? I may be a grandparent but that does not mean that I have to live like the typical old granny that sits there in her favorite chair knitting while sounded by cats. No…..that is just not me. I want him to see that too.
Tonight could be a turning point in our relationship. We got through all that stuff that we were holding onto for so long. Perhaps we held on because we thought that it would be a good thing for our marriage not to bring up things that could anger each other and take away the peace from the house. It didn’t work. As a result of holding back, we have put a wedge between each other. We were not being fair by hiding how we really felt. If we are doing that than we are also holding back what each other needs. What we need is the biggest issue. Tonight we took a leap of faith and revealed what each other really needs. It’s a start in the right direction. I don’t know where this new-found knowledge will lead us but I know for sure that I do not want to go backward and live like we were in some sort of marriage limbo where we seemed to be living more like roommates than husband and wife. I know for sure that I’m not throwing in the towel on getting older or on our marriage. I have a lot of life left to live and a spark in my heart that just won’t keep quiet.
If we choose to, we can live in a world of comforting illusion.
We can allow ourselves to be deceived by false realities.
Or we can use them to hide in silence our longings.
But its time for our marriage to come out of hiding
We don’t live in illusions that should be.
But we live in the possibilities of what could be and strive to make that our reality.
“Always and Forever” was there from the start
and from that moment on it has lived in our hearts.

Linda

Vivid Dreams

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My last therapy session seemed to have triggered a lot of very vivid dreams. I wish that I could say that they were all good ones but sadly they were disturbing. In therapy this past week, we talked about one of the most traumatic memories of my childhood. EMDR causes the mind to release trapped trauma. It is very intense. I feel the emotions of that memory and I have body memories. I am not sure which is worse. I think they are equally bad to face. But without effort and bravery I would be left with these memories. The horrors of that time would forever be entombed in my mind only to be triggered at random times and events throughout my life, leaving devastation in their wake. I don’t want to live my life with that kind of fear and pain. So, I will bravely press on and allow the release of feelings knowing that although it will be uncomfortable, its temporary. I will share these memories with this blog but not until I am fully finished processing it.
The dreams that it triggered seemed so real. I had felt like I time-traveled back to my childhood. I know that dreams are not ever completely literal. But honestly it did feel the same at times. It seemed like I dreamt all night. I would often wake up in fear, shaking and then go back to sleep only to find myself in the same sort-of experience. This seemed to go on forever, though I know that it did not. Nevertheless, they are still just dreams and they can not harm me. I will not let some scary and painful dreams stop me from my goal to move on in my life. The freedom and joy that I will feel from not giving up will be worth all those restless dreams.

Linda

“Oh the places you’ll go”

This is one of my favorite books. I thought I would share it here because it is so packed with valuable wisdom. I loved reading Dr. Seuss books to my girls when they were little.

 

 

“Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself,
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any,
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.
It’s opener there,
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen,
and frequently do,
to people as brainy,
and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.
OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers,
who soar to high heights.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’ t
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so,
but, sadly, it’s true,
that Hang-ups, an
Bang-ups, can happen to you.
You can get all hung up,
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch,
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.
And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself,
is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused,
that you’ll start in to race,
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace,
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space.
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go,
or a bus to come, or a plane to go,
or the mail to come, or the rain to go,
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow,
or waiting around for a Yes or a No,
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite,
or waiting for wind to fly a kite,
or waiting around for Friday night,
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake,
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break,
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants,
or a wig with curls,
or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
NO!
That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape,
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places,
where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!
Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball,
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.
I’m afraid that some times,
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.
All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something,
you’ll be quite a lot.
And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance,
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
But on you will go,
though the weather be foul.
On you will go,
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go,
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many,
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore,
and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike,
and I know you’ll hike far,
and face up to your problems,
whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up,
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And you will succeed,
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray,
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!

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I’m Trying To Find Me

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Therapy has been a long and exhausting road. My future has always paid a price as a result of stumbling through survival and finding a way to really live. Blame for the trauma that I experienced is no longer important to me. I have to say that this is a sign of my great emotional progress and growth. By not playing the blame-game I’ve forgiven those from the past that have harmed me and I am on the verge of freeing myself from this heavy burden that I have been caring for far to long. I could blame myself for taking so long to work through all of my painful experiences or I can pat myself on the back with confidence because I kept fighting to move on. I’ve learned that it’s not how many times that I stumbled that’s important to remember. It’s really that when I fall I always find a way to pick myself back up and continue on my journey. It’s not just the journey of survival, although there where many years that it felt like that, but it’s what I continue to do to improve my life despite it all. I think that with just a little more strength to climb this difficult mountain I will be able to see what’s beyond it for me. I really want to know what my life will be like once I free myself from all of this. I know its coming soon…very soon, I can feel positive change. Often when people do serious harm to us, we lose sight of who we are separate from everyone else. I am trying very hard to find myself and discover what life can truly be like for me. I am almost there. All my hard work has not been in vain.

Linda

The Key

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Her world in a word,
surreal.
She views the world,
from the outside in.
If there are reachable goals,
they are goals she cannot win.
If she is to profit from her life,
she must not hide,
she must be seen.
Who could know her ability.
The piece of herself that she holds so dearly,
if she does not try.
Who can know her heart,
when so much wasted time has gone by?
She is close to the door.
The one to which she chooses to ignore.
Beyond the door there is a constant,
movement and growth.
This can give birth to those,
beautiful things on her mind.
It’s what she wants the most.
So those beautiful things,
can all be revealed in time.
And yet instead she feels the need to hide,
over those ugly stories told over time.
This door is hiding her hope.
And so she finds it difficult to cope.
Her heart carries the key!
And so she pleads to her heart.
Lets just see.
And so she does.
Where there is an effort to start,
her beauty might shine.
She can feel alive!
But only for a short time.
For she does not know her heart.
How would she know what she could do?
Does she know that,
all that she needs to do is reach,
and tell the stories known to her,
that made her feel so weak?
Does she know her words,
are filled with wisdom,
and understanding,
that only she could impart?
Because they always come,
straight from her heart.
There is a question to be perused,
and she knows that the key must be a clue.
She acknowledges a need to change.
A great transformation
where so much is gained.
First she must shake off the burdens,
and memories on her mind.
All those fears,
that had wasted her time.
It all was not her fault.
To this she must realize.
She tries the key and it fits.
How exciting to know,
that this key that’s been hiding,
really fits the door.
And in such a way that she cant ignore.
Turning ever so slowly,
she is cautious,
but with great excitement on her mind.
She is curious about the wide open world she’ll find.
“So they say its not my fault,
she repeats to herself.”
“I am an individual,
with an open heart.”
So she must do away with the memories,
that so darkened her sole,
and the possibilities that it stole.
The burdens that held her back,
from the vision within her sight,
that she can now dream of things brighter.
Not just for a day.
But everyday of her life.
In this seeing of the outside in,
there must be a change.
Seeing this view is much too strange.
The key was the answer all along.
It was the key to her heart,
The door was just a start.
As she steps just right,
her surreal world,
opens bright.
She finally lives.
And all she had to do was begin!
Linda

The Absent Mother

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Parents don’t have to hit or terrify us or even use cruel, mean words to leave scars. This seems difficult for people to understand. I could say well they didn’t beat me but wouldn’t that negate my feelings of loss and abandonment. I would be invalidating myself. It was very painful to reach up to my mom only to be pushed aside like I wasn’t important enough. It was painful when she left me in my crib for far to long and all alone. It hurt when my cries went unanswered. The truth about all this is when a parent fails to guide us or protect us or give lots of affection this is neglect. They may just fail to fulfill their important role as a parent. This too is neglect.
Emotional neglect is invisible. It’s hard for a small child to seek out help when no one sees that there is something wrong. It’s hard to see because if a parent is doing some good things people might just look at them as good parents all the while not realizing that the child is in dire need of affection. We can understand that neglect is often associated with not attending to the childs physical needs (food,clothing,shelter), but emotional neglect goes unrecognized.
It is not that people intend to be emotionally absent. Maybe they have a hard time being present in general or making emotionally contact with us. Generally we’re talking about people who are emotionally shut down like my Mom.
I do understand though that it is possible that a parent is busy taking care of someone else. It might be someone who is mentally or physical ill. I can’t say my mom worked too much because she didn’t have a job. Sometimes its just that a parent might not have had a good role model when they were a child. They could be acting on what their parents did to them. It can be generational. But regardless of all that the wound is invisible.
We don’t look down on a parent with these issues. They don’t look like an abusive parent. But it is still wrong and it leaves permanent scars. That’s really sad.
I read somewhere that not only is emotional neglect harmful, there is evidence that it is worse than physical or emotional abuse. A child tends to cling to an abusive parent rather than be abandoned. What a young child can least tolerate is being left alone or feeling invisible. That was me as a child. It’s a type of abuse that is hard to get protection from because I’ll say it once again, its invisible.

It’s true that we can’t change what happened, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make up for much of it. Healing from neglect isn’t about blaming but understanding what happened, how it impacted us, and most importantly what we can do now to help complete our own development.
Linda

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The Caterpiller Incedent

 

 

I woke up in a good mood and I hope that it stays this way. I have therapy today. I always have a bit of anxiety in thinking how its going be. The last visit we started to open up a new memory. Its one of the most painful and frightening experience of my childhood. I wont talk about it right now. Perhaps after it is processed, I will. In this way I wont trigger myself by writing about it. There always seems to be this apprehension in opening up. Its like when people have a fear, like a fear of spiders. The reality of facing that fear is so incredibly difficult even to just think about. I have a fear of caterpillars, drowning, and being in a small space where I can barely move. My therapist said she can even help me with these fears using EMDR also.
I have no memory of the caterpillar event that caused the fear. I only have what my parents tell me. They used to joke about it all the time. Its seemed that it would often come up in conversations with my parents and other adults. Even as an adult I had to hear them talk about it for a laugh. I don’t think that its funny to laugh at a screaming baby covered in crawling caterpillars. Everyone was off a ways playing basketball. I would think that if my mom checked on me more often than I would not have been literally, as they say, covered. I guess it was one of those years when there were nests everywhere. Well although I have no memory of that event I am terrified by caterpillars. If one gets on me, you better believe I would undoubtedly scream. It’s weird how this little larva is so small and I am so big in comparison and could crush it in an instant. Once I am past the fear of caterpillars than I can truly appreciate the results of such a creepy crawling thing because it turns into something so beautiful, a butterfly. Perhaps my past abuse was the larva of my life. The cocoon is the work that I am doing right now in therapy and soon the presence of a spectacular beauty, the butterfly. I hope that this butterfly, me, will be able to fly anywhere and glisten with strength that can open up doors to new beginnings.
Linda