Take Me If You Dare

“Take me if you dare. If you give me less than love I will kill you”

I found myself scribbling in my journal “Go away…don’t come to me with your crumbs.” I am learning to spot these people more quickly.  I used to look deeper into their heart and see the sweet soul inside AND I still do but please go where you belong in the shallows, I will visit you there but don’t try to be my lover as I live in the depths.

And I found this other scribble “trust her, she does not lead you astray” and I know I am speaking of my own wisdom and my gutt reaction.  She knows what we are dealing with long before I accept it.

I am a passionate woman and I do not want to play at life ~ especially love, in any other way.

In one of my favourite books Lover by David Deida he says “Find a man that will be able to feel that you are not afraid to destroy that which is less than love.”  He also suggests being the kind of woman who says “take me if you dare, if you give me less than love I will KILL you”  Personally I think that is BRILLIANT.

Guilt Project – Days Two – Four

Facing REAL THINGS brings clarity.  It is much harder to let go of what we carry when we do not truly understand.  And so we look…sometimes we must look. In a world that tells us to hurry up some of us rebel and dig our heals in and SCREAM “I will stay right here!”  In a world that tells us to hurry up some of us Fly too high when we are not quite ready and then fall so hard….over and over.  Find a middle..always try to Find a MIDDLE or at very least come back to a middle.

And now on to the guilt project Days Two through Four:

Day Two – Always Loved Ulli

Hanging out with my kids in their dads house with my ex mother in law was interesting. Since our separation I have slowly been detaching from her and it had been a long time since we had talked.  The thing is her and I have this very close friendship but it’s always this dance.  I tell her everything, she surprises me with her openness, I freak out a little on the inside after.

She is the only other person who intimately experienced my marriage.  She listened to stories, gave advice and watched how her son and I would unravel, build tension and then blow up. I don’t believe she felt the answer was separation it’s not what she wanted to see but undeniably she always knew we were a volatile combination.  She loved us both and seemed to understand what each of us needed to do yet she also seemed to understand how neither of us could change to fit.

So with the above in mind I’m not sure why I figured she’d have taken sides.  I’m not sure why I figured she had since painted me as the selfish, nasty woman who left but that’s what I did and so I was guarded.  As I write I know exactly why I figured it.  Did you catch it? There it is again…. guilt. So that’s how I acted.  I sat in my living room for most of a day behaving like a guilty dog that had something to hide. We watched each other, we chatted, we asked each other questions about other people and the things we weren’t talking about built up.  That’s the thing about people who know you…. they can tell what you’re not saying.

That’s how it went until I caved.  See… that’s our dance…. I always cave.  I’m going to leave it at that.  We started dancing and I started releasing.  One thing she said and I’m sharing it mostly because it’s funny “you two are like salt and pepper… mixes good for a while but can’t last”.

I think she may have meant oil and water.

Sounds like I was writing to a reader eh?  That was my intention starting out…to write to you but I think it shifts to writing more raw.

Day Three – A Big Cry

I’m not a non crier… I do cry. I’ve shed a lot of tears over the past couple years but something about being witnessed in tears is powerful.  Or is it more than that? Witnessed in tears while you are specifically speaking about the situation from your purest heart.

I sat with dearest Ulli and we kept talking. That’s how it always was with her and I… once the floodgates open we will exhaust ourselves and talk until it’s all out.  She said to me that she had been sitting with her son talking and offered him something new to consider.  She offered “in a way Nicole gets the short end of the stick…. she goes home alone and for you it is like this” and she opens her arms to the activity and the boys swirling around her.  And so I say “yes oh yes” and I pull out my notes and the blog posts I’ve been writing.  I read to her out loud the first one but when I got to the second one about my quiet mornings I struggled through with intense tears and almost an inability  to read my own words.

I had a big cry. I quickly did what I always do. I explained how I am okay and how I’m not feeling sorry for myself and how I know I have a great thing in many ways and how I wouldn’t change a thing but YES it’s hard.  Maybe it’s not even that it’s hard… maybe it’s that guilt AGain.  Maybe it’s only hard that I think nobody gets it.  Or worse …I don’t get it.  In my heart of hearts I have not let myself have peace.  So she blessed me by saying “have peace. I hear you.”

Coming from this odd person and that odd person is meaningless. Coming from the mother of my ex husband.   Well…..

This is the one that brought me to my tears but apparently I got off the track of guilt:

Day Four – Morning With Mine Babies

This is the best, the mornings in my home with my babies.  My oldest are teenagers and they are sleeping anyways but the feeling is luxurious. Walking up slowly, drinking coffee-making plans for the day from my own home. Doing my own dishes, my own little chores and just having them with me.

This situation, the way we split out custody is so stark a contrast for me. I was that 24/7 mom. I never went on girls nights (maybe 5 in 15 years), I never actually went anywhere during the early years and in the three years leading up to all these changes I was solo parenting 50% of the time.  50% wasn’t your classic 2 weeks alone / 1 week the husband is home but rather it was 3 weeks to a month at a time and then papa would pop in for a weekend or more.  It was intense, lonely, difficult and often desperate feeling.  The kids in school might have made it easier but that wasn’t our path and so it was 24/7 vs this now…. Such a stark contrast.

But today they are mine in my home.

This is a lovely surprise – the experience of hearing myself from then and seeing where I am at now.  If you are struggling with a divorce, relationship end, or any major loss it takes time to heal and facing things creates better results.

 

Day One of this project is here in case you missed it is here:  https://booksnblogsblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/26/guilt-project-day-one/

To understand what and why this project check the link here:  https://booksnblogsblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/healing-your-heart-the-guilt-project/

In short – I wrote about my guilty feelings everyday for 30 days.  I have decided that revisiting it everyday for another 30 days is where I draw the line and so I will chunk it where it is suitable to chunk it. The writing I expect will be raw and ugly as I don’t intend to edit much of the original content.  But sometimes life is ugly.  Sometimes we are ugly.  Take HEED

 

Guilt Project – Day One

My resistance to the committment I made to rewrite and write-through this guilt project is symbolic of how much a I’ve let go and I am so happy to be in this place almost 2 years after my marriage officially ended.  That being said the guilt project which was executed mid August (4 months ago) was a huge step towards letting go by digging in.

To understand what and why this project check the link here:

https://booksnblogsblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/healing-your-heart-the-guilt-project/

In short – I wrote about my guilty feelings everyday for 30 days.  I have decided that revisiting it everyday for another 30 days is where I draw the line and so I will chunk it where it is suitable to chunk it. The writing I expect will be raw and ugly as I don’t intend to edit much of the original content.  But sometimes life is ugly.  Sometimes we are ugly.  Take HEED.

 

Day one stands alone quite nicely:

Day One – Guilt and Denial – The Thing About It

A good friend said “oh my you shouldn’t feel guilty, you’re wasting your thoughts feeling guilty”. I think “yes and no”. Of course I shouldn’t feel guilty – relationships end and people get divorced but I do…. I do feel guilty.  It’s not a swallow me whole kind of guilt but rather a pestering nagging guilt and it hits me hardest when I start to get happy.

I was told about this guilt.  Did you know? The “leaver” feels various levels of guilt while the “one left behind” feels various degrees of abandonment.

I feel guilty when things start to look up for me and that guilt is magnified when I see his life stuck.  If I’m honest it was partially the same dynamic in our marriage but that’s another story.

So then there is denial.  Everybody loves denial and I do too.  But this is what I noticed…. in a race to get over this and start living I went through the motions of opening myself up to life.  I pushed a lot…. pushed myself hard to find time to get outside of my box and glimpse new life and new possibilities.  If you saw me… you’d never have known I was carrying guilt on my shoulders.  To be honest I never noticed really until now.  I was in denial.  And do you know the problem with denial?  In denial you never get to be authentically happy.  If you don’t face the “thing” which in my case is guilt you never get to that juicy gorgeous place of happiness. It’s not a place anybody ever gets to stay forever but then again I don’t really know because I don’t face the “thing”.

So this is the thing about guilt and denial.  I’m going to kick denial to the side and I’m going to gaze lovingly at the guilt….. and hate the guilt…… and punch out the guilt but I’m not going to pretend it isn’t their.  I’m going to kick its ass only by seeing it for what it is.

You get it? I know I shouldn’t feel guilt for all the reasons one shouldn’t feel guilty.  I know I shouldn’t feel guilty for all the ways I’m still a friend to my ex and an amazing mother.  But the honest to god truth is everyday guilt grabs me by the throat and it’s time to look it straight in the eye and say enough.

Today is a new day. It’s raining. I’m taking my boys to meet new kids and a new mom.  My  EX mother in law arrives this afternoon. It’s been a long time since we talked. I love her but she is her sons mother and not my own.  It might be a good exercise in facing my guilt.

Love Nicole

And the verdict is…..I loved re reading and re writing this.  It is also not that UGLY but I am sure some ugly is coming.

See how I signed it “love Nicole”?  That is how I talk to myself….and I hope you do too.

 

 

 

This Is Who I Carry In My Pocket

This is who I carry in my pocket.  Seriously I do.  She goes with me everywhere and she is my smiling Buddha.  Yes it is the inner child thing but I have simplified it.  She is the light, love and ease that I am.  She is who I was before the world taught me who to be and how to be.  I know that if I can find my way back to her I will not only be okay I will be better than okay and I will be amazing.

I wrote about her over a year ago and then she was just somebody I glimpsed now and then but I kid you not I bring her into my thoughts almost everyday.  I can feel her smile and I can feel her love and I know that she knows everything that she needs to know. I see her almost everyday.  I dug this up:

https://booksnblogsblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/little-she-whispered/

Isn’t she adorable?

My Divorce – How It Looks Now – “Funky Reality”

Before I embark on the Guilt project an explanation of my Divorce and how my life looks is in order. I think it will make more sense and I want to share.  I did a hunt through old posts and I have NEVER spelled this out.  We have created a unique life that makes the challenges of getting along as coparents intense but that intensity also has forced a lot of extra growth as we have been pushed into getting along.

First Looking Back:

We decided to end our marriage just over two years ago after about 18 years together. Finances were tight and so we continued living together for another 6 months.  This was a living hell.  All of our conflicts came up and all of the emotions and hurt were raw and at the surface.  He was supposed to move out but the security deposit money and first months rent were out of reach. His strength had never been pushing and with an extremely tight rental market finding a place was crazy difficult. An old friend offered to give me a bed to take on my “weekends” off and that was my first step out the door.  I needed that break…I was falling to pieces and I was emotionally exhausted.  Everything was hard – staying “home” was hard, leaving my kids was hard, facing the man I had loved for nearly 20 years knowing I had devastated him was hard and I was crushing under the weight.  I cried a lot, screamed a lot, yelled a lot and fell down to my knees often.  I was ready to end my marriage but I was scared to death of the other side.

One day when I was having a melting pot moment a friend called and she  said “you are breaking and you cannot keep this up ~ I am going to make some calls….I am going to find you a place.”  Finding my own place and being the one to move out was necessary but devastating.  I felt like I was leaving my kids and when I explain this situation now, I still feel like it looks as though I left my kids BUT this is why that interpretation is wrong.  We decided that HE needed the bigger house.  HE needed a garage for tools, he loved the garden and collecting things and needed the space.  I was the parent that was out and about – very active and happy enough with a bright, light but simple roof over my head.  Only one of us could live in a bigger house if we were going to come close to maintaining the lifestyle we had created for our children and so I left and we created this “funky reality”.

Other factors in our Divorce to note before I break out the “funky reality”:

  • I had been a stay at home mom for 13 years at the time we divorced.
  •  I worked within and was probably about 50% of our home based renovation contracting company ~ I did all of the marketing, book-keeping, estimate preparations, contract preparations and created all of the business systems.
  • My livelihood depended on our marriage remaining intact.
  •  I also homeschooled my four boys and promised them that no matter what happened I would never take that away from them.
  • I had just started working within my dads commercial janitorial business.

And so YES, I moved out.  My dad paid my damage deposit and first months rent.  I found the most beautiful, bright, tiny but oddly functional one bedroom Lane house.  My landlady was a blessing allowing me to create a home in this tiny suite and she smiled at my bravery and openness. With high ceilings I was able to transform the living room into a bunk bed / couch/ TV hutch…………and we have made the space home.  I love it though I sometimes miss having my kids in this space more often.  It would never function as a full-time home but we got the “funky reality” and somehow it all works out in the end.

 

The “funky reality” is this:

  • Monday through Friday I wake up/have a coffee/pack up my van and head to my children at their dads home where I taxi my oldest to school (new thing) and home school/mother my other three boys.
  • While I am at their dads house I do light housework, manage his money/pay his bills (used to be my job), market and do the books for his business which is now only part-time (this is a good thing), and juggle most of the things I used to juggle including taking care of things that are no longer my responsibility but would lighten his load.
  • At 4:30 pm just before he gets home I leave and spend my evening untill 10pm doing commercial janitorial work (includes listening to 2-3 audio books per week and coming up with inspiration…except when it sucks….sometimes it does really just suck).
  • Once a week I clean a condo in the morning and I used to do a house but I dropped that contract.
  • The kids spend evenings with their dad and day times with me…..sometimes I make supper but more and more I have stopped.
  • Every other weekend my boys come spend the weekend untill Sunday with me ~ I work Sunday afternoon.
  • On the weekends I dont have my kids I often go to them anyways during the day while their dad puts in extra hours.
  • We have to communicate often and we bump into each other often……half the time it is okay but half the time it evokes a LOT of emotion.

In a nut shell this is my life and this is where our lives are at now.  We get along better but I would never want to go back………the patterns are still entrenched and while we are decent coparents we were not supportive lovers, we did not bring out the best in each other and as much as life hard…. it is much easier emotionally.

The kids?  The kids suffer financially but they are great boys and get a lot of love that makes up for the things money could buy.  They have said often in a million different ways that they would never want us to be together.  Sad but true…..it really wasn’t good and had not been for far longer than I would like to admit.

This last little bit I am saying because in my search for people to relate with I was left feeling alone in that many people writing about divorce had left abuse or had been cheated on and/or betrayed.

My ex husband was a hard working, decent man that loved me.  He had his flaws as did I…. nothing dramatic happened.  But in the hustle and race of life we forgot to love each other.  We did not learn each other.  We took for granted that the other would always be there AND when we wounded each other….we did not repair.  I want to say HE DID NOT DO THE WORK but that is not fair and nor is it true.  Only now do I see that my work might have included figuring out a way to understand better his way.  But our marriage ended for so many reasons….it was the big things but it was also a million little things.

The only way forward is forgiveness. Forgiveness takes time and comes in waves. All we can do is stand tall and strong facing each one as it hits.  When we get knocked down and indeed we will….we have to get up and try again. Nobody Is Perfect.

Real Writing – The Deep Stuff

This morning I am stealing a moment to work on my bigger writing and MAN IT IS HARD.  It is hard excavating these deeper things when I am not really in the mood to do it but made a committment to myself to do it. Writing about the Divorce and what my life looks like now is ESPECIALLY hard when I have mostly let go .  Do I really want to spend time in the past?Well honeslty – I do and I don’t but the reason I DO is because I so love the layers that peel away as I grow and reflecting in writing is WOW.  Reflecting publicly in writing is DOUBLE wow.  So I DO wins over I DON’T.

Now if only I can grab some time…….you will understand the challenge of that better in the first of my big pieces “My Divorce – How It Looks Now”.  For now I must go retrieve a “boys best friend” from the airport and get ready to fill my tiny little house up with boy energy for the weekend.  5 boys…..400sq ft…..are you ready?  Will you come winter Cliff Jumping?  I will be the one on the side with the expedition backpack full of blankets cringing and hoping that they all chicken out.