“What becomes of the broken-hearted?” ~ Jimmy Ruffin

So, the tagline of this blawg is “just being me in this bipolar life” and that’s what I need to do right now. Just be me.

See, I have a great post I’ve been working on for a couple of days almost ready to go and was going to finish it this afternoon. Instead, I feel like crud, I’m having a super shitty day, and I guess just need to talk. I hope that’s OK.

I felt pretty super until yesterday at lunch…I don’t know what I ate (and no, I haven’t been experimenting in the kitchen, ma 🙄) but it may have been some bagged salad. It tasted a little ‘off’ but not so much to stop me from shoving it down my gullet. See, I knew eating healthy would eventually backfire. So, from then until now (24+ hours later) I still feel like crap and my bathroom has been busier than usual. Charmed, I’m sure.

Anyhoot, it’s no biggie…just some ickiness, a bit of clamminess, and that general feeling of blah, but it’s my mood that’s taking a toll on me today. I think that started early this morning when I woke up from a pretty bad nightmare. It always sounds so freaking stupid when people try to explain their dreams to you because first, it bores the shit out of you and second, they never sound that bad in the light of day. This one was a doozie though…it involved black snakes laying on my bed and ma’s ex husband (that fucking bastard 😡) being the only one who could kill them for me. Hello…calling Dr. Freud. I don’t know what Siggy would make of that (however, I can guess) but I know it was really bad at the time and I was quite shook up.

So, after getting up and visiting the bathroom (yet again 😳), I finally fell back to sleep and I’ll be damned, I had another nightmare. This one was troubling as well. Thankfully there were no snakes (yes, I’m absolutely petrified 🐍) and no R (fucking bastard 😡), but instead it was all about J which is weird because it’s been almost a year now since I’ve seen him.

The whole premise was me being hunted by someone and J was the only person that could help me stay hidden away and safe. Except he didn’t. I was trying to hide myself in this area of a town that was out of the way, and I tried and tried to get him to help me do this, and he’d keep disappearing for days and days while I was trying to stay out of danger. Then, he’d come by where ever I was hiding, and instead of bringing me food or water or whatever else I needed, he would just drive away in his car and pay me no mind.

I guess I don’t need the good doc for this one…it’s a pretty easy one to figure out. But for some reason, it brought up a lot of stuff that I know I need to put to rest. And Lord knows I’m trying.

I hate that I still care so much about him, when he hasn’t spoken a word to me since the day I caught him. I know I shouldn’t, and I know it pains my ma and sis that I still have this hurt in my heart. But I do. I’m not the type of person who can say “Done…NEXT!” I wish I could. I don’t know if this is a curse or a blessing because I suppose you could argue either side, but when I love, I love so hard. So so hard. And to be honest, it’s very hard for me to understand when people don’t do the same.

The first year we were together was hellish to say the least. He was lying to me about his ex-partner and making me feel I was ‘crazy’ (not hard to do, huh? 🙄) when I would question him. His PTSD was not under control and he took a lot of things out on me that I didn’t deserve. But even though it wasn’t OK, it was “OK” to me because when you love someone (to me), you love them through the good and bad. Unfortunately, it was mostly bad. A year after we started seeing each other is when he finally cheated multiple times on me. I know there are a lot of you out there that can relate to this, and I’m so sorry you do because it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. Also, I’m older and him doing this made me feel so horribly unsure about myself.

In between cheating, he would tell me it was over…he loved me. Only me. I was the one he wanted. Then, he’d be with her the next day. Literally. Now, I’ve had my heart broken before…numerous times 🙄. But J shattered it with this behavior…something I’d never experienced with another man before. Couple this with everything else going on that summer and that’s when my breakdown occurred. NO…the breakdown wasn’t his fault…but his behavior didn’t help and his cheating had further consequences I don’t talk about.

Anyhoot, a couple of months after not seeing each other, we got back together and things were so much better. He really did try and I could see that. It wasn’t perfect…not by a long shot…but I felt better with him than I had and it seemed he was feeling the same.

But, I was angry. Very angry. And I had a right to be. Sometimes I could push that to the side, and sometimes it came out with a vengeance. But regardless, I knew I needed to work through him cheating so blatantly and I tried very hard to do it. We had great times during the next 2 years…vacationing in Tampa (and getting to hug a penguin!), being with his kids and feeling like a little family, getting him set up in his apartment so his kids could stay with him and have their own room and all (I loved helping him decorate and get things nice), fixing dinners together, pulling the carpet off my floor and cracking up while trying to roll it up, taking Eddie to the dog park, watching the stupidest horror movies we could find, snuggling on the couch…basically, just doing the best we could.

Last summer, I really took a step back from him though. I needed too. I needed to resolve the anger that was still in my heart and also get strong enough to realize I would be fine if something happened to us. I needed that reassurance. Of course, that didn’t sit well with him and I can understand that. But I also understand that some people never try to forgive, or work to forgive, infidelity, so I thought I was ahead of the game. Apparently, I wasn’t.

Finally, last October we had a pretty bad argument and I was being really rough on him because I was worried about his son and wanted so bad for J to get him the help I felt he needed. This wasn’t well received and that was it. He was done. I caught him just a couple days later after being ghosted, and later he messaged me saying I was a day late. One day.

See, when I went to see him that Saturday, I had realized something during the couple of days we hadn’t spoken…that I had a choice I could make: I could forgive him for cheating, let go of the anger I knew was hurting the both of us, and move forward with him as a team. But, when I went to tell him this, well…you know what happened.

By saying I was a day late makes me feel like if I had forgiven him just a tad earlier, we’d still be together. Remember how those of us with bipolar ruminate, personalize, over-react, etc. I know in my brain this isn’t right…he had to have known this gal for a while…but there’s still this whisper that says I could have saved this.

I know…I know…it’s not right. I truly do understand that. He deserved anger and tears and recriminations after what he had done…and I wasn’t some shrew constantly berating him. In fact, I doubt most women would have given him a second chance, let alone the numerous ones I allowed him.

So why did I do it? Give him so many chances? Well, love I guess. Sometimes I think I’m an anomaly in that I can’t turn love on and off easily. I just can’t. Never have been able too. I ‘expect’ people who love me to love me through my good and bad, but only because I’m willing to do the same for them. It’s only fair. I also pray a lot, and every night I say “The Lord’s Prayer”. When I say “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…” I feel I need to take this seriously. So I try.

Maybe it’s because the ‘anniversary’ of what happened is approaching that I’m thinking about this. Maybe it’s because I’ve been single now for a while and am starting to feel lonely. Maybe it’s just because he’s not completely out of my heart yet. People have said to me: “You need to forget him…get him out of your mind…throw him away!” but I’ve been thrown away (by him ironically as well as 3 other hubbies 🙄) and I can’t do that to others.

Maybe that’s the problem. Feeling like I was thrown away after all the work and effort and forgiveness and love and patience and kindness I tried to give him for the 3 years we were together. He came from a horrible home…I wanted to make his life better…show him that there are loving people out there that really care. I wanted to make up for what he hadn’t had all his life. Yes. I’m a fixer. No. It’s not necessarily healthy, but it’s who I am. At least I can recognize it, but not acting on it is really really tough for me.

I was actually going to write a letter to him on here…you know, like I’ve done for others. It was going to be my ‘goodbye’ letter that cut those remaining threads that I have (I know he has long since moved on). But I can’t do that. Not yet. I’m just not ready. Sometimes I think he’ll see the error of his ways and call me or message me and tell me how much he still loves and needs me. Other times I get ‘real’ and understand this will never happen (IF it ever did, I’d buy a fucking lottery ticket immediately). That’s the shittiest thing about relationships: it takes 2 to make it work and 1 to make it end. Go figure.

I know I’m having a bad day and that the nightmare I had, and time of year it is, brought up some feelings I just haven’t put to rest yet. I’ve come so far in a year and am so proud of all I’ve done and accomplished. But I’m also lonely. I want someone to snuggle with. Someone to laugh with and cry with and share my plants with and talk to and feel like I’m not quite as alone in this world like I’ve been feeling. My ma is fucking wonderful and I don’t know (truly) what I’d do without her, but she also has her own life…lots of friends and social stuff and things to do every week. My sissy has a great husband and grandkids and friends and I envy her that…but in a good way…she deserves it. My sonshine is building a life with his girlfriend and throwing himself into his career…and he should be doing that (have I ever mentioned to you all how freaking proud I am of him?)! But then there’s me. The cheese stands alone. 🧀

I’ll feel better tomorrow. I’ve gotten a lot of tears out and my poor neighbor had to come over and help me un-stick a shelf from my doorway (don’t ask ) and as I was bawling to him about all kinds of stuff (when you feel shitty about one thing, others always follow) he assured me that ‘this too shall pass.’ And he’s right. It will. But right now? My heart hurts. Aches. And I’m feeling pretty durn down from being thrown away yet again in my life. I’ve never…ever…had a guy (actually, a hubby 🙄) leave me and then come back with regrets. Never. Maybe I’m just that forgettable. I hope not.

Kristi xoxo

“It was time to teach them a lesson. Time to show them a thing or two.” ~ Stephen King (Carrie)

list25
Image from list25.com

So, I was watching “Gypsy’s Revenge” the other day, and if you aren’t familiar with this case, it’s about a girl (Gypsy Rose Blanchard) who grew up with her mom who had Munchausens by Proxy syndrome and convinced everyone in their lives that Gypsy had cancer, muscular dystrophy (requiring a wheelchair), epilepsy, eating problems (a feeding tube had to be used), eye and ear problems, asthma, a limited mental capacity, etc.  The list is LONG and the mom, DeeDee, was provided with tons of stuff:  money, a house, services, vacations (Disney land for one), and experiences because of her ‘sick’ daughter and the weight on her shoulders because of the care she required.  Now, here’s the thing:  Gypsy was fine.  Her mom made up these ailments for the attention and perks, and forced Gypsy, from a very young age, to go along with them.  There were threats, isolation (no friends, school, limited contact with neighbors, no unsupervised computer use), and tons of manipulation that made this ‘scheme’ work for a couple of decades.  Anyhoot, Gypsy had her boyfriend (a real winner 🙄) stab DeeDee so she could be away from her mom’s abuse, and to make a long story short, she was sentenced to 10 years because of the role she played in planning and then being present for the murder.

gypsy-rose-blanchard-and-mother--courtesy-investigation-discovery

OK.  I understand why Gypsy did what she did, and I don’t think she should have been sentenced to prison.  She was robbed of 20 years of her life and this abuse was physically horrible with surgeries not needed, meds that could have effects on her later in life, etc.  Yes, I understand that having her boyfriend kill her mom was wrong…but I can also sympathize with her situation.  Because of how sheltered she was, the amount of supervision DeeDee provided, and a lack of resources, she didn’t see any other way to escape.

But, I also believe that revenge figured into this as well.  See, she could have called social services and shown them how she could walk and was actually quite smart despite her lack of schooling.  Or, she could have told doctors when she was alone with them (which was rarely but did happen) or spoken to her bestie (an older neighbor girl who was permitted to talk to her).

So, here’s my question:  is it  OK to exact revenge on those who wronged you?  And if so, how much and in what circumstances?   Hmmmmm.

As I’ve written about before, I was sexually abused by a psychologist for 2 years.  I wanted revenge so badly after getting out of that situation and had fantasies about what I would do!  After all, an eye for an eye, right?  I wanted him to feel as demeaned as I did…as broken…as ashamed.  But how would I have done that?  I couldn’t give him a dose of his own medicine (or arsenic per se 😲) so him ever feeling close what I did became a moot point.  I guess I could have destroyed some of his property, and I’m sure that would have felt pretty good at the time; however, with my luck (and lack of any criminal know how, except underage drinking a few decades ago…sorry ma) I would have been caught and may not have been able to get a position as an educator.  OK…despite all of that though, would it have helped me to do something to pay him back for what was done to me?  Would it have lessened all of the pain I was feeling?  Make up for what I went through with him?  No.  It wouldn’t have.  Period.

b2ap3_thumbnail_honest-notes-from-children-22

Take ma’s ex who was physically abusive so long.  I think I speak for my sissy as well when I say I wanted someone to beat the shit out of him so he could get a taste of what he did to ma so many times.  I wanted him to cry.  Beg.  Suffer.  Understand what it’s like to be the victim for once, and not the perpetrator.  Part of me thinks it would feel so fucking good to see this happen, and then part of me wonders if I’d be able to stand watching something so violent.  Wouldn’t me having that done (Lord knows, I couldn’t do it with my scrawny muscles and being a shorty) put me on the same level as him?  Or, is it justified?

When J cheated on me, I wanted to ‘cheat back’ just to show him how horrible it feels to have a partner do that.  However, I came to understand that his ‘love’ for me wasn’t really there or he wouldn’t have felt a need to emotionally/sexually bond with another.  I’m a big believer you can only truly love one person at a time, and if there’s another person in the mix, you might just be an infatuation, need, or outlet for narcissism, etc.  He obviously truly loved this other woman, so I had to have been something else to him.  Why didn’t I revenge cheat despite the fact it wouldn’t have hurt him?  Because I would have felt degraded…humiliated…ashamed.  Look, I’m one of these old-fashioned gals (yes, I’m old, and I will never ever say something like “I’m 53 years young”…that bugs me to no end 🙄) who will not ever be with someone I’m not in love with.  Period.  To revenge cheat destroys that ‘value’ if you will, and the consequences to myself would have been just as horrible as J’s cheating in the first place.

1e68f4b1ece2000e9772bce254b63929--heartache-quotes-lets-go

Now, what about so-called little things?  Yes, I have sought revenge.  I have wanted to pay people back for hurt, embarrassment,  rejection, what have you.  So, in the case of J, I took my anger of his cheating out on him for a couple of years.  I know I was nasty at times…shrewish.  I know I said things that were completely inappropriate to the situation we were in at any given moment, and I’m ashamed of so many of them.  I also know that what I preach about forgiveness isn’t always what I practice.  He did apologize numerous times, but I had to have a release for my justified emotions…and that’s the way I chose to do it.  The thing was that every time I was horrible to him, I would say to myself:  “For fuck sakes, he deserves it!  He hurt you worse!”  And yes, he did.  But did that really justify my behavior continuing for so long…or even starting in the first place?  Hmmmmm.  And then the consequence?  We never moved forward in the healthy way we said we would since I simply couldn’t get all of my anger out despite his much better behavior.  Or to be more honest with myself, I didn’t choose to quit feeding my anger.

Sometimes, I take revenge out on myself, and I think so many of us do that, particularly those of us who are mentally ill and have skewed emotional reactions anyway.  After J broke up with me, I punished myself for a long while.  I blamed myself.  I put myself through a lot of personal torment since I knew what I had done was unnecessary.  I kept asking myself:  “If I wouldn’t have been so angry and revengeful, would we have stayed together and built something healthy?”  I don’t know the answer to that.  How about this one:  would he still have cheated?  Hmmm.  Maybe…maybe not.  After all, he cheated after I had treated him like gold the first time around.  So really, I was punishing myself for everything that happened, even the things that weren’t singularly my fault.

19260422_10158839556105082_6437091440112659084_n

I’m ruthless when it comes to my own behavior and words.  I ruminate over things I say and do, and punish myself much more harshly than I would punish another who did the same to me.  Why is that?  Why are our own expectations of behavior so much more stringent than what we expect from others?  Why do so many of us hold ourselves to higher standards?  Why do we settle for ‘less’ when we are telling ourselves to do ‘more’?

Having bipolar makes all of this even more difficult for me.  One of the effects of cycle changes, mixed mood episodes or being manic is irritability; it’s just one more of the wonderful symptoms I experience.  This irritability can quickly escalate into anger (or for some, even rage) and since those of us who are bipolar have issues with impulsivity and a greater lack of control over emotional expression, this escalation can be very difficult to contain.  There’s also side-effects from some mood stabilizers, like anger, anxiety and impulsiveness that can contribute even more to this.  😬

original-3972115-1
The Anger Iceberg was developed by John and Julie Gottman of the Gottman Institute.

And here’s the thing with anger…often times when you express an emotion (anger is considered a secondary emotion since there’s usually another emotional catalyst beneath it such as frustration) it amplifies the emotion.  So, once anger is being ‘let out’, it can intensify quickly.  I think everyone has experienced that in their life at one time or another:  what starts out as a molehill quickly becomes a mountain.

You know, I’ve done really shitty things in my life and have hurt a lot of people.  Do I want those people to exact revenge on me?  Would that help me feel less guilty because I’d feel like I paid the price for my sins?  Or would it increase my feelings of remorse and shame and cause me to ruminate even more?  Would this revenge ensure I would take away lessons from the mistakes I’ve made…or have I already done that by changing my ‘bad’ behavior and moving forward the best I can?  Do those I hurt have a right to punish me?  Hmmmmm…

No matter what the answers are to these questions, I believe wanting revenge is a pretty natural part of being human.  None of us want to feel like we were used or betrayed, and matters like domestic violence can never be justified.  No wonder we want to take all the negatives that are a consequence of these things and put them on the one who caused them in the first place.  But really, who would it help in the long run?  Beating ma’s ex wouldn’t lessen the pain she endured for so long.  It would only keep R in the forefront of our lives (since no revenge against him could ever be enough) and that’s something ma doesn’t need.  I think that really, the best revenge comes in moving forward, being happy, learning a lesson, and letting go of the hurt.  That’s what helps us, grasshoppers…and it’s something we should all try to do more.

Kristi xoxo

 

Sexy is as Sexy Does.

So, a friend and I were yapping yesterday about sex (I’m running out of words that basically mean talk, since every post has me yacking to someone else) 😳.  Both of us have, ahem, been ‘without’ for a while (she a bit longer than me) and we were discussing when it’s appropriate to have it in a new relationship.

We live in a hook-up culture, don’t we?  My students and I talk about this in our Human Sexuality class, and I’ve had so many girls tell me it’s easier to find a ‘fuck buddy’ (sorry ma) than a relationship.  I’m not saying all younger guys are like that by any means (my son better not have been); however, in our society men are socialized to equate sex with masculinity and scoring means you’re a ‘real man’.  Look at the language used to describe sex with women:  tap that, bang, get lucky, bone, slay, get busy, bump uglies (😳), nail, ride, etc.  Hmmmm.  It’s a conquest.  And if a guy doesn’t take advantage of an opportunity to be with a woman (imagine a man turning a woman down and then telling his buddies…hmmmm…), well…he must be gay.  🙄

D-G-TGJ.01-660x440

And in our society?  Sex comes first in relationships.  It’s almost like couples have sex and then decide if they are emotionally compatible with all of the things that go along with it.  In addition, with society telling men they need to have sex to show they’re a real man, this might be pushed to the head of the line for that reason alone.  I’ve had so many male students tell me they lost their virginity at 14, 15, 16…just because their friends already had sex and they were being mocked for being a virgin.  They felt enormous pressure to show they were a ‘real man’ too, so they just had it.  No love.  No intimacy.  In fact, how do you even know what those things are at 15?  So they did it just to ‘score’ points with their buddies.  Isn’t that sad?

And then women?  We are so objectified and are ‘told’ that the worst thing in the world (I’m being a bit dramatic here) is to ‘hold’ out on your man.  Or really any man that wants you.  If you do?  OMG.  You’re a bitch.  A tease.  Something must be wrong with you…are you frigid?  After all, we’re here to please men and not doing so sets us apart from the women who do.  Why go through all the rigmaroll of a relationship, when you can just hop on a futon with someone else?

Last spring, in my Marriage and Family class, we were talking about these issues, and 2 of my girls stated they were virgins.  Actually, 1 did, and then when there was so much heated discussion, another admitted to the same.  Just that alone should tell you something is very wrong.  For an 18 year old to believe, and often justifiably so, that she will be berated for being a virgin is very unjust to me.  Anyhoot, one of my older male students (40’s) said he didn’t believe the girls because “No girl stays a virgin anymore…it’s just not done.”  So, I asked:  “Tell me why isn’t it done?  Why can’t this be believed?”  And he said: “Girls need to put out or they won’t have their guy.”

OK.  Girls need to ‘put out’ or they won’t have their guy.  Really?  That’s what keeps a couple connected nowadays?  Her ‘putting out’?  Hmmmmm.

SUITSUPPLY-TGJ.01-660x440

And the funny thing is this:  50 years ago, the ‘girls’ who weren’t virgins would have been the ones looked down on.  Not the girls who were.  It was right to ‘save’ yourself for marriage.  It was Biblical.  It was expected.  We’ve done a complete turn-a-round and now women have the pressure to keep their man happy or lose him to someone else who does.

I hear a lot of teacher talk and in some of the local grade schools, girls have been caught giving oral sex to boys in the bathroom, around the corner of the building during recess…pretty much anywhere they can.  See, this is status to them!  It’s sex!  It’s ‘putting out’ and making these guys like you.

Are you fucking kidding me?  Our GRADE SCHOOL girls are saying they need to do this in order to have status and boys around them?  OK.  Where do I even start?  First, when I was in 5th, 6th grade, I didn’t even know what a BJ was! (I can’t type it…my ma would probably have a heart attack or call me yelling…either one is bad…).  Seriously!  And then when my sissy taught me about sex (over pop tarts one morning and with napkin drawings) when I was in Jr. High, I was disgusted by the thought of oral sex…as were my friends!  In other words, we weren’t ready for anything like that, and didn’t feel pressure to do it.  Actually, the girls who did ‘do it’ were looked down on as ‘sluts’.

These poor girls break my heart.  How did they learn so early that pleasuring a man is the way to be ‘liked’?  And bless them, because they are being liked for what they can do with their mouths.  Not who they are.  Where’s their self-esteem?  Where is their understanding that doing what you are being pressured to do is wrong?  Where is their self-respect?  Where the hell are their parents who should be teaching some freaking values to them?  I don’t get it.

Capture
This ad is a horrible statement about women.

I also think about how they are learning that pleasing a guy is the most important thing.  What about their pleasure?  We talk so much about all of the meds and devices that are out there for men to continue to enjoy sex in regards to impotency, but around 75% of women don’t orgasm from vaginal intercourse, they need extra help (toys, hands, tongue…).  And, 10-15% never orgasm under any circumstance (abcnews.com).  Where’s the help for this?  The outcry?  Why don’t we take the pleasure of women as seriously as we do the pleasure of men?  Doesn’t that alone say something about sex and gender in our society?

Before my son started the 6th grade, I bought him a book…complete with drawings.  I gave it to him in the summer (we always had a summer school project) and he read a chapter a day, filled out the info, and then we talked about it.  Yes, it was uncomfortable.  Yes, it was probably mortifying to him (I’m sure he’s nodding his head vigorously now), but guess what?  He learned the mechanics of sex along with the physical, emotional and social consequences of it.  Then, when he was around 16, we were driving home from dinner and he asked me some direct questions about sex (he always talked better in the car when I wasn’t looking directly at him).  Basically, he asked me about sex before marriage, whether he should always use a condom, and what I would have thought if he had been gay.

So, here’s what I sad:  “I don’t think it’s realistic to think men and women wait until almost 30 to have sex (that’s around the average age people are getting married now), but that’s a choice you need to make.  All I ask is that you be respectful, loving, and kind to any partner you have.  Yes, you provide the protection even if she’s on something;  for the love of all that is holy in this entire universe, wear a freaking condom every time.  Never have sex with anyone you can’t raise a baby with, because you will accept full responsibility if she gets pregnant.  And who gives a shit if you would have been gay?  (His friend came out as bi-sexual so I think that’s where that question came from).  All I know is I want grandbabies…one way or another.”  😐 

Our poor young people need guidance.  Conversation.  But instead, according to my scores of students over the years, they aren’t getting it from their parents.  They see it TV, look online (8-11 is the average age kids start to see porn online), and hear stories from their friends.  Wow.  I know people who have kids that are at the age where they need information now!  Yet, these parents refuse to bring it up.  Refuse to sit their kids down and talk to them.  So…what’s going to happen when they are around this pressure?  These expectations?  How will they ever be able to make informed decisions?  And, will they be punished if they make the wrong ones?  Believe me when I say this:  Ignorance is NOT bliss, and not talking about it will NOT make the issues go away.

Capture2
I can’t even.

But, here’s the kicker (as if all of this wasn’t enough already), even people my age live in a hook-up culture at times.  One of the guys I dated this past winter (he was a real winner) was pissed when I wouldn’t sleep with him after seeing him twice.  What?  Really?  Just because I’m, ahem, a bit over 50 doesn’t mean I don’t want to build intimacy…need connection…and for piss sakes, need to be in love!  C’mon now.  Why is that so wrong?

I hate that sex is used as a tool nowadays.  As just something to do because it feels good (sigh…I’ve kinda forgotten ).  As a way to gain ‘status’ or keep a partner (believe me…the keeping part doesn’t necessarily work…sigh again).  That it’s ‘expected’ just because ‘everyone else is doing it.’  Even infidelity is becoming common.  More than 40% of couples experience this in their marriage, and so many will justify it by saying: “It’s just sex.”  Okey dokey.  Glad you took those vows.

What happened to love?  Seriously.  What happened to waiting until sex will have a deep meaning for you?  Part of a relationship that has built intimacy and trust and respect?  Why have we weakened what sex is all about?  When did it just become another thing to do?  Another Saturday night?

It makes me sad.  It makes me sad that guys have to prove themselves sexually to be accepted and it makes me even sadder that women are succumbing to pressure.  I don’t have an answer for this, and maybe there isn’t one.  It’s awfully hard to move backwards rather than forward.  But I just wish sex wasn’t such a ‘goal’, but a personal, intimate, loving connection that means something very special.  And, it breaks my heart that so many young people will never know that experience. 💔

Kristi xoxo

Forgive? OK. Forget? Hmmm.

So, my son and I were yacking while doing dishes last night, and we got on the topic of forgiveness.  You see, his best friend found out his wife was cheating on him.  After a week of thinking about it, the friend decided to go back to her to give their marriage another shot.  I told my son I thought it was great they were going to try to build up their relationship again, and O said this: “Mom, you can’t do that.  It will never be the same.”  I argued and said it could be, if she worked diligently at building up trust.  Again, he said: “MOM…it will NEVER be the same.  He won’t be able to look at her the same way ever again.”

So I’ve been pondering this for a couple of hours, and I’m thinking he may be right.  (He’ll probably be floored by that sentence if he reads this…rarely do we ever tell each other we were right about something).

Anyhoot,  let’s look at forgiveness.  To forgive something is to release it from yourself.  To let it go.  “To remember without anger.”  (I don’t know where I read this, but I love this particular definition).

unnamed-1

If I lend you a thousand bucks, and expect you to repay it, that’s only right since it was a loan.  BUT, if I say “Follower, I forgive you that loan.  You’re clear.” that’s something else.  You have been released from the burden of that loan.  I can’t go back later and say, “Hey, forget what I said, I want my money back.”  NOT FAIR!  I have already forgiven the loan.  Excused it.  Cleared it.  I wiped your slate clean.

Get my drift?  You can’t say you TRULY forgive someone if you are going to keep bringing the issue up.  Keep picking at it.  Keep looking at it under a microscope.  If you say “I forgive you”, then you pack it away and lock it up.   Let’s take a look-see at  cheating, something so many people will face in their relationships.

As we know, forgiveness isn’t always asked for by the person who cheated.  It may not be ‘fair’ to give it to them.   The person may not deserve forgiveness at all.  So, you have to forgive them for YOU.  You.  Because if you don’t, the anger, betrayal, hurt, etc. will feed off of you again and again and again.  But, forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting.  It means you have become smarter from the experience you went through.

I know of whilst I’m speaking (I feel like typing formally tonight and am feeling quite British after watching Rocketman for the 10th time.)  As I’ve said in past posts, my last partner cheated on me with his ex-girlfriend during our 3 year relationship.  The first time was during a month stint when she was visiting from another state, and decided to stay with his family.  He was living with me at the time, but chose to sleep over at the family home too.  You know, just to protect the stuff (old clothes that no longer fit) he still kept there.  Mind you, he hated staying there and never did after he moved in with me,  but ya gotta protect those pants.

6360892-Mahatma-Gandhi-Quote-The-weak-can-never-forgive-Forgiveness-is-the

Then, he cheated on me the last time I saw him in October:  Him naked…with another woman right there.  So I ASSUME it was cheating, although I didn’t actually SEE it.  For all that is holy, I am grateful for at least that.

After that first summer of his cheating a couple of years ago, I couldn’t forgive.  No way, Jose’.  I think it’s probably because of a few things:  first, he lied to me the entire year before he cheated in that he assured me he never spoke to her,  never made plans to see her, never e-mailed her and blah blah blah.  Second, it was over a month period, with a week here and there in-between seeing her, and he swore to me, actually held my hands, & looked me in the eye, and promised me it would never happen again.  Because he loved me. Not her.  (When she was here the last time, he proposed to her.  Just saying.)  And I took him back.  Again.  Again.  And again.  (Don’t say it…I know what you’re thinking).  Then I said I forgave him.  I lied.

I wanted too.  I truly did.  I loved him so very much.  I was deeply invested in his life.  His kids were a joy to me and I still adore and miss them terribly.  I saw so much in him he never saw in himself.  I understood his personality disorder because of my mental illness.  I knew he had PTSD from his 3 tours in the Middle East.  I wanted to give to him everything he never got from his family.  I wanted to forgive him.

So, I said the words, and I thought I meant them.  I was ready to go back to the way things had been (which wasn’t a good place either when you think about it.)  I said: “I forgive you.”

Freedom concept

But I couldn’t stop checking his phone.  He had lied about texting and calling her for an entire year BEFORE the cheating…I had to see his phone all of the time to make sure her number didn’t pop up.  And yes, I’m sorry to say I checked his cell billing too.  When he’d be out and about while I was at school, I’d ask him where all he went.  I looked at envelopes in his mail to make sure she wasn’t writing to him.  And this pissed him off.  In fact, he told me this behavior was why he was cheating again.  Because I was making HIM upset due to this invasion of his privacy.  It made him stress out.  It made him uncomfortable.  So guess what I did?  I apologized.

You can say it:  “What the fuck, Kristi?”  After I thought about it, and it didn’t take long, I realized  he had deserved all of that.  And more.  Hello!!!  YOU’RE the one that cheated.  YOU’RE the one that lied.  YOU’RE the one that broke the trust I truly had in you.  I trusted what you said.  What you promised.  What you swore.  You broke all of these things!  Your cheating had to have some consequence, and that invasion of privacy was a small price to pay for what you put me through emotionally.  You brought it on.  You let it in.

Now, here’s the irony of the situation.  I was thinking about him last October, after an argument we had on the phone.  And while I was stewing about it, I finally realized I had a choice:  I could forgive him and rid myself of this horrible behavior I hated to be doing,  the angry feelings I was feeding into everyday, and the words I’d say to hurt him like he hurt me; or, I could continue being with him in a way that caused so much stress and rife in my life, that I was making myself sick and ashamed.  So, I chose the first.  And here’s what happened:  I said to ME, “I forgive you, Guy.  I’m letting it go.”  And I swear that the burden I’d been carrying for those couple of years began to lift off my shoulders.  I know it sounds preachy, but it did.  I could finally remember all those things without anger.  I packed it away and threw away the key.  It was such a relief.  So I went to tell him the next morning and you know the rest (as does his girlfriend who screamed at me in the hallway of ‘our’ apartment).

“Well,” you say, “guess you shouldn’t have forgiven him after all, huh?”  Yes, I should have, Grasshopper.  And yes, I have forgiven him again.  Not because he’s asked.  Not because he’s deserving of it.  Not because he’ll even know.  But I do.  I flushed the anger, humiliation, embarrassment, hurt, and broken heart right down the crapper.  It was great to see it spin down that hole.

I’m never going to forget any of this.  It’ll fade.  It’ll become something I don’t tear up about at times, but it will always be there.  I’ll always remember, and I’m building up better boundaries, trusting my instinct more, and working on my self-love because of it.  I’m remembering without anger.  I’m forgiving, but not forgetting.  Instead, I’ve turned all of that negative energy into positive stuff I’m using for me.

And to tell you the truth:  it feels fucking great.

Kristi xoxo