10 11 2009

I have been hesitant to post anymore dark dreary posts, just because I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do. I’m supposed to be salt and light. All I am is sad and lonely tonight. Which is stupid. I spent all day with a friend, and we had five dogs in the house. Yesterday I went to the movies with a great friend and talked on the phone with three people. Saturday I had wonderful quality time with my husband. I had several “friend” encounters last week too.

But I feel different from everybody else. Even my friends. I attended two (!) meetings today, Alanon and ACOA and both of them, went late, left early, said nothing. I’m supposed to be in my “safe place” there and I just shut down. I don’t really even feel like writing now, I’m just doing it because I feel I must.

Right now is a season of sacrifice for my husband and I. He is working like crazy and going to school. I leave the house when he’s gone, I get home and he’s gone. I came home at 1:30 after my workout and meeting and I saw the three dirty pans that he left on the stove, the butter and sriracha he left on the counter and I wanted to cry because I had missed him. The man refuses to use a damn microwave. I make full meals when he’s gone, and put them in pyrex dishes so he can just heat it up when he has the time. He to reheat every component in a different pan, using different utensils. Keeping up with the dishes is a full time job but I don’t care, because it’s him. I love his particularity. He once put a single serving of frozen microwave lasagna in the oven for an hour and insisted it was worth it.

I don’t really feel like being with anybody but him, he’s the only one who really knows me. I force myself anyway because I know I need to. It’s all very codependent. When he is there I feel so full and complete and loved and perfected. When he is gone, the darkness closes me in. I know that God is really trying to get me to count on him and these are just terrible little growing pains. That’s why I force myself. Because I have to give God my effort. My trying and eventually, it will be true.

You see, my husband won’t always be there for me. I know he will be there as much as he possibly can but God is showing me that though he may not be there, God will provide me with friends, and life and fulfillment all ripe for the picking if I am willing to accept it.

I realized Saturday that the single most important thing after breathing in and out is giving my minutes, my hours, my days to the Lord and committed to doing so. I got busy today and I forgot. I pulled into the driveway at 8:15pm, and tried not to get my hopes up that my husband would be home yet because I know not to expect him till 11:30. But I did anyway, then I sat in the car not wanting to go into the big empty house, and trying to figure out why I feel so desperately lonesome when I finally remembered. And I gave my God the pitiful leftovers of my day hoping he could piece something together that made sense in the short time left.

Hey Jude is playing right now on my Pandora, and it was the part where he’s screaming over and over again, better, Better, BETTER, BETTER!!!!!! It made me smile. It was like his promise to me, God’s promise to me. Things will get better, I will get better, Better, BETTER BETTER!


Understanding God

30 10 2009

I have been trying to read scripture every day. I am inclined to want to spend a great deal of time and energy and effort and do it perfectly, going over a book, and the Bible and highlighting and taking notes, that stuff really jazzes me. When I do it, which is rarely because it takes such and involved effort to do it perfectly. That is NOT Biblical. God doesn’t care if you do it perfectly, half of it is just showing up. So to avoid my perfectionism I decided to just read proverbs daily, correlating to the day of the month.

It’s been a little scary to be honest with you.

Certain scriptures have been jumping out at me and taking hold of my heart and speaking to me that make me really uncomfortable.

Oct 28th: He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty, Proverbs 28:19

Oct 29th: A man who remains stiff-necked ater many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed without remedy. Proverbs 29:1

I am not really sure if it is God or the guilt that lives inside of me for so many wasted gifts and hours that makes these scriptures slap me in the face. It is said in the Bible that ALL scripture is God-breathed. These proverbs make me feel as though God is going to smite the crap out of me tomorrow…SMITE, SMITE, SMITE- Like so much Dragon’s breath. I can just see him with his lightning rod, tossing bolts down from heaven upon me destroying me without remedy, bringing me from my American dream into the depths of poverty.

Now, it is good to have a healthy fear of God. Blessed are those who fear the Lord. But I don’t think that the way I am interpreting these scriptures is correct. He is a God of love and he says that love is patient and kind and is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. THIS is GOD.

It’s hard to get sometimes.

Which brings me to my Proverb today Oct 30th:

I am the most ignorant of men. I do not have a man’s understanding. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!- Proverbs 30: 2-4

You can hear the author’s desperation in his voice, the fact that he cannot understand God, that the knows that SOMEONE must be up in heaven, SOMEONE must have control over the winds and the waters and the ends of the earth. But he doesn’t know who. How frustrating. I have never really felt this way. I always knew that God was there and that he loved me, from when I was a tiny kid I believed. This is not the case for everybody. Especially analytical people who like numbers and facts and full explanations. For whom a feeling just isn’t enough.

The reason I bring this up, is this is a particularly meaningful scripture to me. It brings me to tears to remember it. In my Bible, in the corner above it in tiny lettering is the writing “K is here- 6/30/03”.  In ’03 I was talking to an old boyfriend again after being broken up for over a year and living in different cities. I was a new believer in Christ and he wasn’t. I told him I was only looking for a husband and only wanted a Christian husband, but we continued talking on the phone anyway.

When I talked to him I could feel his desperate confusion, his knowing that there was SOMETHING greater than himself out there, but not knowing what it was, or how to reach it. He could see the coincidences that were not coincidences, the miracles that were to big to ignore, yet too intangible to be sure. He would go from admitting that there was a God, to being angered at the very thought that he was considering it. He wanted names and places and proof and without a reasonable doubt. And I just couldn’t give it. And it wasn’t my job. So I wished him luck and told him not to call me anymore.

We didn’t talk that whole entire summer which was incredibly hard, because I had been so sure that I would marry him. I prayed fervently and so many other people that I don’t even talk to now did too. I quit smoking in June because he had once told me that he would never marry a smoker and I told him I would never marry an atheist. I decided to prepare for him to return to me. In August he called me up again. Triumphant, he understood he said. He got it. He had started going to a Bible study, and seeking other men and it happened. In January we were engaged, and by the following August, we were married. And he has been the most amazing blessing, and most Godly man I can imagine.

I am reminded that it is not my job to know, that I am human and He is God and he is in charge and I am not.

I don’t get alot of what I read, but if I continue to seek, God will make sure I know what I need to know, when the time is right. I don’t have to worry about being in poverty or being destroyed by God. Because he is with me, he comforts me, he loves me. But I need to heed his warnings, because at the end of it all, I don’t want to have nothing to show him for what he gave me, not because I am scared he’ll hurt me, but because I love him.

Under the Microscope

29 10 2009

I think that this is a good time to tell you why I began this blog. This is not my first blog, but it is the only one I know is going to stick. I own maybe a dozen URLs ranging from being a wife to being a realtor and in college I even made my own vanity site with pictures, etc, but none of those stuck. I’ll tell you why. None of them were true.

Sure they may have had pictures and cute quotes and told true stories, but they weren’t what I thought about on a regular basis, they weren’t who I really was, so they fell off like old skin that I just couldn’t fill up anymore. If you want to read great funny stories and fabulous household tips and see really pretty pictures- This isn’t the site for it. If you feel inadequate, uninspired,  awkward and alone, this is for you, because I am you. And if you see me get better, you will know that you can get better. This is the whole reason for it.  The reason I posted my before and after pictures is because one  lady wrote me this:  “Thanks for posting this, I was too embarrassed to post pics, but my room looks just like yours did, so if you can do it, so can I!!!!”

The reason I share all of my muck and embarrassment is for the same reason. Do I think that airing out garbage is going to make me famous? NO. I won’t be able to run for office and I won’t be able to pretend that I have everything together anymore. Truth is, I haven’t really shared it with many people I know, only people I don’t because they are kinder. Why are we kinder to strangers than we are to people we know? I think it’s a helluva lot easier to pat someone on the back and say, hey I’ve been where you are, or I AM where you are, when we don’t know them, because we don’t have to look at them everyday, and most importantly, they don’t look at us everyday. Scrutinize us and follow our every move waiting for us to fall, waiting for us to fail.

I also share because your testimony is your greatest weapon against the forces of evil. The story of how God has delivered you from the lion’s den lets others know that God is great and can deliver them too. It is hope-giving. And it holds me accountable to the changes I am making. You may not comment all the time, but when I look on my statistics and see 74 people reading, I may not know 74 people that have this address, but I feel the responsibility of keeping my promises to those 74 people. I don’t feel like keeping my promises when it’s just me because I have a bad track record with myself.

The truth: You can hide and be in denial about your life if you want to.

I don’t. I just want to get better.

I’ll leave you with one of my all-time favorite movie scenes. If you want to follow me just to pick my life apart or feel superior, than I feel sorry for YOU because the brick wall surrounding your heart is tall and that means that no one can get in.

Obey Your Mother

29 09 2009

I spent the weekend in El Paso, my hometown and went to my ten year high school reunion. I can honestly say that no one has changed. I read somewhere that when you go to your ten year reunion no one looks different, just swollen. It was kinda true, although there were too many people that still had cute high-schooler bodies for my liking! But I digress. It was really great to see so many people, lots of pregnant wives and young mothers, I guess we’re at that age.

I of course talked too much about nothing in particular, out of nervousness and tried to summarize my life’s pursuits in two sentences or less. Realtor-married 5 years, No kids, Just Dogs (insert joke). How are you??? No one asked, surprisingly if I graduated college. Which I was kinda glad about. It’s a big sore spot with me. Just because I was one of the “smart kids” in school and it’s embarrassing to see people who were distinctly AVERAGE with advanced degrees because they went the slow n’ steady route and I went the crash and burn route. All or NUTHIN. I’m not jealous, I’m really very happy for alot of them, it just makes you take a good long hard look at your life and what the hell you have been doing for 10 years.

I have concluded that my not finishing school was a big screw you to my parents, especially my mother.

It really is a huge regret of mine, something I wish I hadn’t done, something I wish I could go back and change, something that makes me madder than hell at myself. And also something I will never admit to my mother. I realize that I am constantly trying to get her approval, but not by doing exactly what she wants, which is kinda how my sister operated. But by doing the exact opposite. Challenging her to love me anyway. To prove that she still loves me despite my shortcomings. And she never meets the challenge, but I continue to test her,  just in case.

My mother is someone who withholds affection if you are not doing exactly what she wants you to do. It’s funny, because if one of her children does something wrong, she ignores all of us. EVERYONE is in the doghouse, it’s like just having children disappoints her. My little sister just doesn’t tell my mom if she is doing something that my mom doesn’t agree with. Me, I roll around in her disapproval. I seek it out, it’s masochistic and stupid and I can’t understand why I have this need to put me in a situation where I am just going to be shot down and unloved.

For my fifth wedding anniversary I got my first tattoo ever, a dove (the holy spirit) with a scroll beneath bearing my husband’s name in amharic characters. Mind you, I am twenty eight years old, living on my own and my mother is 700 miles away and it was a tattoo I had been thinking about for YEARS. I think it’s beautiful, it looks great and it really stands for something I believe in and will continue to believe in. Of course, while I am getting stung a hundred million times a second by a humongous needle, all I can think of is how pissed off my mother is going to be. I hear her voice in my head, “Only trashy girls get tattoos. What will your children think of you? This is going to kill your grandparents. Your grandpa might have a heart attack and die when he finds out.”

I do it anyway. This is ok, I believe this is a healthy response. What am I going to do, let my mother control my life from west Texas? Here is the abnormal part, right afterward, while the ink is still wet, I call her up and tell her. My sister told me not to, my husband told me not to, my better judgement told me not to. But I called her up anyway and it went something like this.

Me: “Mom I just wanted to let you know before you found out from anyone else, I got a tattoo.” Silence. “Hello? Are you there?”

Mom: “I’m here I just can’t believe it. Why on earth would you do that to your body?”

Me: “It’s been something I’ve wanted for a really long time.”

Mom: “That’s so stupid. You do these things just to get back at me. You need to stop ruining your life just to get back at me, I told you I was sorry.”

Me: “I don’t know why I tell you these things. I’ve gotta go. Bye. ”

Mom: “I thought you were over that phase in your life. I thought you were more mature than that.”

Me: Ashamed. Beat down. Depressed. Serious case of tattoo remorse. Hating myself. Wondering why the hell I called her in the first place. Worst part is knowing that even if I want to call her in the next week, she’s so mad she won’t take any of my phone calls. The most ironic thing is, she thinks she has changed. She doesn’t see it as withholding love. In her mind if you want love, you won’t do anything that pisses your mother off, if you do do something, then you clearly don’t care what your mother thinks anyway so why do you need love?

I guess that is why it is so hard for me to believe that anyone can love me if I do something they disagree with and I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop when it looks like I’m being loved unconditionally.  Because surely, I cannot keep up this facade, this perfection, eventually they will find something that they don’t like about me, or disagree with me, and everything will be over. So I leave first. I leave jobs and friends, and relationships and family. The minute they start to get too close, I’m gone, so they can’t reject me. It’s a very frustrating and lonely way to live. That is why I really really like going to these meetings. I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to pretend. I can be myself, and they understand, without me even saying a word. And nobody gives a damn if I’m covered head to toe in God-awful tattoos.

Highschool Reunion

25 09 2009

On Tuesday, I went to a weight watchers meeting. You remember, I’m a meeting junkie now (almost typed meeting chunkie, hahahaha) anyway. The leader asked, “Anybody in here who is here because they are getting ready for an event?” There was one lady who was going on a cruise, another who was going to a wedding, then I piped up with, “I joined because I wanted to go to my reunion, but decided not to go because I got fat.” Immediately like four people voiced their opinions, “GO!” “Just do it!” “NO one cares” “They all got fat too!” “It’s not high school anymore!” My favorite, “If you go they’ll think you’re filthy rich.” Excuse me?? “Yeah, because those are the only people who go to those things, the ones who are filthy rich and want to brag, or the ones who are still skinny!” Hahaha.

Seriously, it got a big reaction. It made me start thinking too. I am so damn tired of having to be perfect. Because I am the worst perfect person I have ever met. I mean there is nothing that I have not failed miserably at, yet I always want to be perfect. Notice I didn’t say “strive” for perfection, it’s not a trying thing, just an idle want, and then hide myself when I’m not perfect. Anybody wonder why I’m in hiding so much? Why I barely leave the house some weeks. Why I am constantly lying when it’s not really a big deal. Exactly. I was taught that if you are not perfect, you are NOBODY. So I couldn’t let everybody think I was NOBODY. I have to be SOMEBODY. So, I am going to be perfect or be alone. That’s it.

So I’m alone a lot.

But I did decide after everyone’s prodding and encouraging that I will go to my high school reunion. I will go and drink punch and dance to stupid 90s songs and try and make up some excuse for never finishing college when I was all Gifted and Talented and Advanced Placement in high school. I will try to be gracious and listen to people talk, instead of wondering if I look skinny. And I will not worry about what those people are saying about me behind my back, because chances are I am saying worse things about myself to my face. Those are my promises.
Just so you know, I have only been to two Al-Anon and one ACOA meeting this week, I have been doing kind of crappy on the program, AKA not doing the program. I need to get with it, this is basically life or death here folks. Maybe I’ll look back on this 10yr reunion as  a turning point in my life, and my 20th I’ll be happy, recovered, have well-adjusted kids and a good career and no apologies. That’s what I’m holding out for. Oh yeah, and if WW works, I’ll be skinny too! Basically PERFECT. ACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Old habits die hard, what can I say.



My Dependency

21 09 2009

I am currently going through the 12 step guide, “The Hurting Person’s Handbook”  A companion for 12 step recovery. The first step in recovery is admitting that my life is out of control and become unmanageable. One of the Step 1 Meditations (based in scripture) is based on Psalm 31 9-10, “Have mercy on me, O Lord for I am in trouble; My eye wastes away with grief, Yes my soul and my body! For my life is spent with grief and my years with sighing; My strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.”  The meditation for this passage tells us how we are unable to admit we are powerless until we have “first assessed the magnitude and gravity of what our addiction has cost us.” It goes on to suggest compiling a list of losses that are due to our problems with dependency.

When I was thinking about this, I first had trouble, I mean, I am not an alcoholic. I shouldn’t be the one with the dependency problem, right? Upon closer look however, I realize that I don’t have one dependency, but several that have cost me quite a bit in my life, and I think I need to examine all of them in order to heal. Usually (I think) the codependent is the person that is obsessed with the alcoholic and trying to change or “save” them. I saw my mom try to save my dad my whole life, through manipulation, screaming, threatening, crying etc. She tried to get him to stop drinking and give a damn the only way she could think of, Drama, drama, drama! As you can imagine, this did not work. My dad still drinks and they are very much divorced.

I realize, though my husband is not an alcoholic and I cannot see any symptoms of an addiction, I am very much prone to using the same manipulation-shrewishness to get my way. I am codependent and basically get all of my self-worth from how he sees me and treats me. Looking back I saw this pattern develop starting with my very first crushes in elementary school. Since my mother ignored me and spent so much time on dwelling on my dad, I realized I desperately wanted to get my very own measure of self-worth.

As far back as the fourth grade, I can remember my very first crush, JJ.  I don’t really know why I was in love with him. He was much shorter than I was, a swarthy, athletic kid who came from a well-off family, his dad was a doctor and he did well in school. Even then I was thinking long term, this is a guy who will be able to support a family, as he wanted to be a doctor too someday. But this was no childhood crush as I imagine childhood crushes should be. There was no pulling hair on the playground or teasing and chasing. No, I carved his name underneath my desk along with the date of when I started loving him and did not cease for three years. I never told a soul, but daydreamt of our life together, imagined his parents, his siblings. Wondered how his mother would like me, imagined how I would get him to love me and carved his name a new every new  years eve, thought about how I would keep him happy. I was totally obsessed. I would picture how I would feel once he started loving me, how he would see me, once he noticed that I was the right one for him for life. How I would be totally complete.

As I grew older, I transferred my affections to another boy, then another, finally one who I dated. My very first boyfriend. I dated him from my freshman year in highschool all the way to my sophomore year in college. I did not care about anything but him. If he had asked me to marry him any of the years that we were together I would have said yes. I cannot tell you how unhealthy this was. We never slept together, just because my mom totally scared the shit out of me and I was convinced I would immediately be pregnant if we did. But if our relationship was going well, I was over the moon, if he broke up with me I was in the depths of despair.

You may think this is just normal teen-agey stuff, but I don’t think it was. It wasn’t the fact that I loved him and he was so wonderful that I just had to have him, he really wasn’t that great. It was just because he loved me that I liked him.  I needed him to see me as perfect, and cute and quirky and sexy and smart and _________, and I had to ruin him for all other women after me, or I was none of those qualities. If I didn’t project this facade of perfection, and sugar and spice and everything nice, I would ruin it and he would not love me anymore and I would be worthless. I had to see myself through his eyes.

The first step in recovery is basically giving everything over to God, and I think alot of that is seeing us through Jesus Christ’s eyes. In the handbook, the first Step 1 meditation is Matthew 9:36, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepard.” Jesus Christ sees our neediness and flaws with deep compassion and love. He is forever accepting of us, that never changes. People, especially hurting people are not able to give us that constant and complete love that God gives us. No matter what, he sees our flaws and sees us as his children that were created for him to love, the way you are supposed to see your newborn baby girl.

My mom was happy when my dad was loving her. She was all sparkly and beautiful and loving to us. But when he didn’t love her, when he was drunk and gone she was a joyless-pitiful creature who cried and slept and ate constantly to dull the pain of the fact that she was NOTHING, therefore she had NOTHING to give us when we were little. She didn’t love us the way a good mother looks at her perfect and helpless child and wants to give her the world. She saw us and saw only her pain and rejection and bad choices she had made. She projected that dissatisfaction onto us, and since one of the characteristics of an alcoholic family is hiding the pain, we were the only ones she talked to about her loss. But we couldn’t tell anyone. We were stuck being the adults, and we were no good at it. I couldn’t wait till I could grow up and I would show my mother how to be a good wife, how to be a good mom, how to love someone perfectly and get their love back. PERFECTLY.

Man was I ever wrong, I have no clue how to love somebody. I am selfish and depressive and dissatisfied and pain-ridden. I am constantly needing my husbands time and energy and love and like a SUCUBUS I am draining him of life. This is why I am getting help, not only because I want to be happier, but because my husband really does LOVE me which is crazy, because he KNOWS me and loves me anyway. I am very lucky and I need to be a blessing to him, not a curse. I need to be his helper and not a little girl, constantly begging for his approval. I need to be a strong independent woman that he doesn’t have to worry about. I need to make him glad every day when he wakes up in the morning. I need to learn different than I was taught. My dependency aside, I picked a pretty great guy, and right now, he needs help with the laundry.