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Being Free to be Annoyed

26 Apr

I was really annoyed last Saturday at a course I was taking.  And I didn’t think I should be.  And it was obvious.  I was acting like a freaking monster, picking fights left and right.  I had to leave early.  I couldn’t wait to go off and be by myself.  Because I hated everyone.

But the main person I hated was me.  What was wrong with me?  Why wasn’t I happy?  I shouldn’t hate everyone.  I shouldn’t be so miserable.  I should be wonderful and skipping through the tulips like all the other pollyannas.  But instead, everything anyone did or said sent me further into my tizzy.

The next day I went back to the course.  I knew I needed to talk to someone.  Everyone else was so happy.  I took one of the leaders aside and told her how I was feeling.  Instead of telling me I should be happy, she told me that yesterday she had felt the same way.

“Embrace your negativity,”  she said.  “You are powerful no matter how you are, so your negativity is just as strong as when you are positive.  You can’t fight it.  You just have to treat it as a friend and take it with you.”

I wasn’t sure that I understood that.  But later, someone told me to just accept being annoyed.  Or frustrated.  Or angry.  Don’t make it wrong.  Just acknowledge it.  No judgement.

So I’ve tried it, and it’s been very freeing.

And then tonight the funniest thing happened.  I had a call with some other writers, and one of them got on ranting and raving about how annoyed she was with some people she had been with last night.  She hated them.  She never wanted to see them again.  She went on and on and on detailing how she had fought with them and even her boyfriend was mad at her.

I started laughing.

“Why are you laughing at me?”  she asked.

“Because that’s exactly how I was Saturday.  It’s amazing.  I was annoyed and hated everyone, too.  But by getting into dialogue with people, I learned to accept however I was.  It has given me freedom.”

We continued to talk about how to use our feelings to make a difference for everyone.  Instead of hiding our negative feelings and making ourselves nuts, we can actually tell people.  Other people may be feeling the same.  We can step into the community instead of wanting to leave it.

The third person on the call hadn’t said a word.  We apologized for our rant. There was silence.

Finally she said, “I’m just glad it’s not be that’s annoyed this time.”

And we all laughed.

And the amazing thing is, I’m now looking forward to being annoyed or frustrated so I can try out my new strategies.  And that’s a miracle.

 

 

 

“Lovable”

9 Apr

I was introduced to Suzanne Muller, an author, because a friend of mine thought she could help me get my book published.

She told me her book was called “Lovable.”

“You are kidding,”  I said.  “My whole issue is that I think I’m unlovable.   I guess I was meant to talk to you. ”

We chatted.  She couldn’t help me with my book, but she offered to introduce me to the person who helped her get her book published.

But, we also discussed what she does.  She has a whole business and web site dedicated to helping people find the relationship of their dreams.  Sound familiar?  Not only have I also been a relationship coach, but I am also in search of my dream relationship.

Before we got off the phone, I ordered Suzanne’s book.  And yesterday I did the first exercise.  It’s similar to one I would do with my clients, yet a little different.  It caused me to look at what I really wanted in terms of dating, men, relationships, etc. Even though I’ve done it before, I took Suzanne’s coaching and did it again.

And, I had a date on Friday night.  He seemed very nice and when he described the kind of relationship he wanted, it was exactly what I wanted.  Part of me got excited.  But, then he wanted me to come over after dinner and it was a little too much.  And, he said he really liked me and wanted to see me again.

That night I couldn’t sleep.  I was nervous and my instincts were trying to tell me something.   I was afraid of jumping into this thing and then having to extract myself.  It was going a little fast.  That used to happen with guys before I got married.  And, I didn’t want to repeat the same mistake.

Even so, I saw him for a second date last night.  It was fun, we drank wine, we saw a movie, and it was very enjoyable.    But then he wanted to move too fast.  Part of me wanted to explore things to try to get over Psycho, but the other part knew I needed to get to know him better.   It got uncomfortable and I stopped talking. He asked if he should go.  I said yes.  And, I was relieved.  Happy that he was gone.

And then I started thinking about Psycho.  [I have decided to stop calling him Psycho.  It feels a little mean.  I think Schizo is more appropriate.  Because there are definitely at least two of him.  The charming, passionate man who made me feel so special, loved, connected and adored, AND, the completely selfish mean ass-hole who lied, acted like I was ruining his life and would pick apart everything I did or said.]

So why was I thinking about Schizo?  He’s not looking or available, and the other side of him is a horror show.  So, WTF?

Well, today I figured it out.  I had collapsed the feeling I had with Schizo with Schizo himself.  I want what I had with his charming self.  I loved it.  It was magical.  And I have been holding onto the fantasy because I’m afraid I would never find it again.

And, what I am looking for is the magic, with someone who is trustworthy, capable,  devoted, willing to communicate instead of run away, and available and looking for a relationship.

The guy from this weekend had some of that, but I wasn’t feeling the attraction.  And, I was feeling like there was something wrong with me for not.

But, Suzanne says, when you are out dating and meeting men, ask yourself, “does this experience look and feel like my new destiny?” If not, this may not be the partner for you.

So there it was.  He just wasn’t a fit.  Even though he was available, looking and wanting the kind of relationship I wanted.  And Schizo isn’t a fit either despite my delusional thoughts that he is.  I just want the feeling. And, I’m not going to settle for less.  I don’t have to.

And, today I’m going to do the next exercise in the book.   And if you would like to look up Suzanne’s web site and order her book, it’s called “www.loveablizeyou.com.”  Suzanne will guide you through the exercises to your own loving and fulfilling relationship.  I can’t wait.

Oops – I forgot I had a Great Life

3 Apr

Finally, after 6 hours of searching, I figured out how to change my sub-title for this blog.  So I have replaced the Menopause sub-titl with “Oops – I forgot I had a Great Life………..

Today I was at the gym.  A different one than normal.  I saw a guy I knew from high school.  He was a class above me.

“How’s it going?” he asked me.

In that split second I remembered that the last time I saw him my father was still alive, but struggling.  Sadness took over my voice and all I could say was quiet  “ok.”

“Come on,” he said. “It’s a beautiful day.  Life is good.”

I was tempted to tell him about my dad, but something made me tell him instead about my plans to meet Renee, who he also knew, for breakfast.  She just moved to his neighborhood.  I tried to be upbeat as we chatted about where he lived  and how she should come visit, etc.  I smiled, pretending I was REALLY HAPPY ABOUT MY LIFE.

And I walked away thinking, “he probably thinks I am just a sad, pathetic, negative phony jerk.”   My good feeling from my work out had disappeared after our conversation, with me wondering what was wrong with me that I couldn’t just be upbeat and happy all the time like him.

I told Renee about it and she said, “if you tell people about your Dad, they will have more freedom around the sadness.  It changes everything.  You don’t have to pretend to be happy.”

Oh, I thought.  Well I could try that instead.  Would be easier.

Later today, while on my deck, in the sun, I was reading a book called the Charisma Myth.  It was talking about that exact thing.  How if we can prevent, identify or address the internal discomforts that cause our faces and bodies to display negative body language, we can minimize how it affects others.  People can sense when we have a negative thought, physical discomfort, or unhappy emotion.  They subconsciously think we are responding to them and it can put an unconscious barrier between us.

The book also addresses “feeling bad about feeling bad,” one of my all time ‘send me over to the wrong side of life’ triggers.  Not only do I feel bad about something, but I think I shouldn’t feel bad so I feel even worse.  Again, I thought I was the only one who did this.

It’s all learning and I guess we are never done.  That’s what makes life exciting, right?

And it’s all on the path to freedom.

Thanks for reminding me I have a great life.

I’m having an internal tantrum

2 Apr

I was trying to change the subtitle of my blog from “Is this Menopause or do I hate my life?”  to something a little more uplifting.

And I can’t figure out how.  But in the process, I looked at my old blogs from 2012.  I was still married, having fantasies about a certain guy from the gym, and always mad at my husband.   Do I really need people to read all that?  It’s more like a journal.  Should it be public?  Probably not.

So what do I do?  Should I even have a blog?   What’s  the purpose?  If it’s supposed to be helpful to others, then I have no clue what I am doing.  I feel like I’m 5 years old, throwing my hands in the air and yelling, “I CAN’T DO THIS!!!” And throwing myself on the ground, flailing like my daughter did when she was two years old.  We called them butt flops.

I don’t know how so I am going to quit.  Life sucks and then you die.  Whah. Whah. Whah.   I want to just curl up and suck my thumb………………

OK.  Back to adulthood.  The title is negative, so I was just trying to figure out how to make the sub-title  more positive.  And I got frustrated.  I guess I could ask for help.  I could password protect the ones I don’t want people to see, but in this mood that would be all of them, so what’s the point.

I am siting out on my deck, in my own private rental cottage, without a husband, without my fantasy man, and life is actually good.  I am frustated, but life is still good.  The sun is shining and I am outside in my shorts and tank top.  (I have sunscreen on, but will go get my hat since I already have so many wrinkles).

I was out earlier but it was too cold.  It has definitely warmed up.  The problem with sitting outside is that you can’t see the screen.  I can’t do most work outside for that reason.  So, coming outside is a luxury.  But it’s Sunday so why am I even thinking I need to be working?  (More, self torture). Why can’t I just relax for a change?

I guess what else is bothering me is what I had been reading from five years ago.  When I looked back at my fantasies, I was on the other side of the relationship with my last person.  The one who lied about being married.  I’ll call him Psycho for now.  And, I was so excited when he would pay attention and say nice things.  It made me so happy.  And I held onto it for dear life back then.

And, it was ok at that time because I was still married so it really was just a fantasy.  When I got divorced, we actually did start having a relationship.  It was magical for a while even though he did get mad sometimes.  He would always apologize after and make me promise not to leave him.  And I stuck by him, loving him as I did.  And it was heaven.  The happiest time of my life.

But then his wife called me.  Yes, he had a wife.  He had told me he was divorced, but he wasn’t.  And it deteriorated after that.  He couldn’t keep both of us happy and she held his financial future in her hands and I didn’t.

And, I make myself wrong for loving him so much even though he was a liar.  And, if I look back, I put up with his anger, accusations, witholding of himself, and not having much time.  I hung in there thinking he needed me.  And I try not to feel completely stupid that I believed his lies.

But, the truth be told, I really did care about this nut case.  And I still do in some ways.  I think the connection was so deep and so strong that I thought I was being “loyal” or “supportive” or “patient” through his angry and insulting interludes.  (I hate to say it was sort of normal for me.  My dad, God rest his soul, was a wonderful man, but he didn’t hold back his opinions.  So, it didn’t seem unusual unfortunately.)

What bothers me is that I still think about this person coming back to me after his “supposed” divorce.  And that we would be so happy together.  In my mind it could be so good.

I guess when I meet someone new that I am crazy about, I will move on.  Until then, in my down moments, I will allow myself to fantasize.  It doesn’t hurt anyone and it doesn’t put on weight!!!!!!

And, my date from last night was……I created a new scale for evaluating dates:

  • horrible
  • tolerable
  • enjoyable
  • can’t wait to see him again

Last night’s was very  nice.  I would put him in between enjoyable and tolerable.  He has already called and texted.  He was very nice and I was his first date after his divorce so I don’t want to be mean.  But, it’s my life.

And what I really want is the connection I had with my last guy.  It was so exciting.  I told my sister I didn’t think yesterday’s guy was my type and she said:

“Maybe you should change your type!”

So here’s a chance for me to trust myself and not let her comment seem like the truth.

“My test is if I’d rather be home alone with a book, he’s not my type,” I said.

“Oh,”  She said.  So there.  Nothing more said.  YAY ME!!

So if I’m hanging onto to Psycho it’s because I loved what we had, as crazy as it was.  I am going to hold out until I have that again.   I don’t need to take the first semi-normal guy who pays attention to me.  I like my life alone right now.  I love the freedom.

I miss the affection, passion, and companionship.  I miss thinking someone has my back and will help me with my car and other manly things.  But I will survive without them.  And, I can hold out for what I want.

And if this blog is not the way a blog is supposed to be, then I guess it doesn’t matter.  There is no grade.  I am not trying to get into an Ivy League school with it.  Been there, done that.   That degree didn’t pay my bills when my ex spent more then we made.

So, I will figure out how to change the subtitle of the blog when I do.  And, I will continue to express myself.  This is about freedom, not trying to get it right or worry about what people say.  It is for me.  I don’t know why this works to calm me down, but it does.  So thanks for listening.   I feel much better now.

Infuriated

5 Mar

I am using this blog to vent.

I was having a wonderful day.  I was cooking, cleaning up, and happy about my success at the gym smiling at 5 people.

I tried grilling some chicken, chicken sausages and eggplant, but after two hours, I hadn’t made much progress.  Since my oven doesn’t work, I was determined to get this stuff cooked.  Seeing my frustration, my neighbor stopped by and offered to check the fire.

“It’s just too cold,”  he said.  “The wind blew out the flame.”
I took the food inside and made it on the stove top.  I sauteed the chicken and made a stew with the sausage and eggplant, adding some canned tomatoes and some of the chicken as well.

My son stopped by with a friend from college.  Like most 21 year olds, they were hungry.  They had several helpings of the chicken and the stew.  Since most of the time no one likes my food, I was very happy that they enjoyed it.  The friend was nice and wants to be in the drug enforcement agency after college.  He had 5 friends that died of heroin overdoses.  It was nice to see someone who wants to make a difference in the world.  He said if he can save one mother from having to cry over her dead child, he will have achieved his goal.  I hope he does more then that.  I was inspired by his passion.

So why do I need to vent?  Well, after they left and I was about to start a project, the door opened.  I thought my son, Jesse,  had forgotten something, but no, it was my ex, looking for Jesse.

Even though Jesse had left, Mark, my ex, came in anyway.  He often stops by when he’s hungry.  I offered him food and he accepted an apple and peanut butter.  He left the dish and knife in the sink.

“Who’s supposed to clean this?”  I asked him.

“I thought you would want to so you could use it again.”  I have no dishwasher and this was a plastic plate and knife.

“Why wouldn’t you think to clean it?”

Because he wouldn’t.  And I started screaming about how he just comes, eats, doesn’t bring anything, and leaves a mess.  He does that at my mother’s as well.

Mark just looked at me, not saying a word.  That got me even madder.  I was trying to understand how a grown man can act this way.  Finally he spoke.

“You want to do everything yourself.  You don’t need help.  You like to be independent.” he said.

“Why would you think that?” I screamed.  “I love when someone offers to help.  I hate doing everything myself.  I hate lugging all my stuff everywhere.  It’s very convenient for you to think that.  Then you don’t have to offer to do anything for me.  BUT IT’S NOT TRUE!!!”

So he actually offered to help. I had him take the garbage out to the curb on his way out.  I walked him out, loading up my car for the next day with work stuff.  When I came back I was fuming.

Why do you even let him in you might ask.  Have boundaries.  Tell me not to come over. You are divorced, you don’t owe him anything.

Well, I tried that.  And, I felt like a bitch.  I guess I feel sorry for him.  He stops over my mother’s as well and she feeds him.   One night I asked him to please at least bring his dish to the sink.  He acted shocked that I would mention it.  Acted like of course he would take his plate up.  Infuriated, I end up screaming at him and looking like a bitch as usual in front of my mother.  I was so mad I went upstairs and told him never to come over again.

The next night he came back as if nothing had happened.  Like in our marriage, nothing I said was ever heard or paid attention to.

Being ignored, not respected, mocked, and treated like I am the crazy one infuriates me. I can’t explain it.   I don’t think I’m a bad person.  But he makes me feel like one.  Is it too much to ask a grown man to clean up after himself, especially if he is constantly getting  free meals and didn’t offer to bring anything or help in any way.  Am I wrong?  Would you be infuriated?

This is what happened during my marriage.  The guy acted so innocent when I was upset that I would think that I was going crazy and the problem was me.  I know it takes two to tango, but often, after being around this man, I feel crazy.

I guess the answer is stay away.  Tomorrow we have a seminar together with our son.  He asked if I wanted to drive with him.  The lazy answer is yes so I can sleep, but I think it’s time to say no.  Be independent.  If I am going to really move on, it’s time to move on.

We are still connected through the kids as a family, but we are no longer a couple.  I think in order to save my sanity, it’s time to say no.

I get sucked in by ass holes who get you to feel sorry for them.  They can be charming, but are completely narcissistic and self oriented.  The last guy had this whole sob story about how terrible his childhood was.  “I just want someone to take care of me.”  So I tried.  And in the end, he would practically spit at me when I offered to help.  It makes me sick now to think about how nice I was and how badly I was treated.  Ugh, don’t go there.

So what can make me more aware next time?

If I’m not getting treated the way I want to, move on.

If they are not available, move on.

If they don’t keep their word and try to blame me for being upset, move on.

If they criticize my words or what I am doing or wearing, move on.

If their words don’t match their actions, move on.

If I feel worse after being around them or talking to them, move on.

if I’m afraid to get them mad and have to change myself to keep them happy, move on.

Ok, well this is a start.  I am feeling a little calmer.  If I keep repeating the same thing that infuriates me (being around Mark), or having to change myself to keep someone happy, then who’s the idiot?  Me.

And, I will not call myself stupid for making these mistakes.  Each man I was with served a purpose.  But, to think I need any of them to love me again is crazy.  That’s amnesia and thinking I am still unlovable.  And I gave that up.

Being in scarcity makes me think I will never find someone else that I am that attracted to.  I will no longer go there in my brain.

I have developed my plan.  I am getting myself out there.  I have signed up for seminars, workshops, programs and vacations.  I will figure out where I will live after June 1.  I will hit my work goals for the end of March.  I will be at my goal weight again.  I will serve others and make a difference.  I will enjoy my life exactly as it is right now.  I will be grateful for what is good.

I can learn from my mistakes instead of going down the path of I am just stupid and unlovable and crazy.  I am tired of that game.  No cheese down that tunnel.

So thanks for listening.  This helps.  Until next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and I fed them and it was very nice.  I enjoyed the conversation and that they ate what I made.  And liked it and asked for more.

5 Smiles Closer to a New Life

5 Mar

Today I was at the gym again.  It’s a new gym in a new town so I don’t really know anyone.  I had been at my old gym for years and used to walk around talking to everyone like I was in high school.  I flirted and had fun and had a great time.

Until………my sort of ex boyfriend who shall be nameless changed all that.  And even though I am responsible for letting him change me, I still became a different person tehn I was before.

He told me that he hated people like me.  Friendly, flirty, talkative.  That if I was friendly to a guy they thought I wanted to have sex with them.  And, if I wanted to work out with him, I couldn’t talk to anyone.

At first I didn’t believe him.  How could that be?  I was just having fun being friendly .  why would they think that?  I couldn’t believe it.  But, I liked working out with him so I decided I would do what he wanted me to.

And, just like with my ex husband before him, I let him turn me into someone other then my real self.  I became a good girl, trying to please him, not talking to other guys, keeping my head down.  Serious, not smiling, and definately not friendly.

And it didn’t matter that I changed, because he always got mad about something else anyway.  There was no pleasing him no matter what I did.

So then why would I change myself for these guys?  It’s a great question.  One that I’ve been wondering about.  I think I learned to be a good girl when I was small.  My father was a great guy, but a couple of times he got really mad.  And it was scary.  So, I decided I better be good.  I learned to do whatever I had to do to keep him from getting mad.  It worked every time but once.  I forgot to sweep the porch one day.  He told me I was a lazy, selfish, good for nothing.  And, until very recently, I believed that his words were true.

So the pattern was there.  Be good.  Do what they say.  Try not to get yelled at.  And do whatever I had to do to get them to love me anyway.  The problem was, thought, that deep down, I thought I was unlovable.  I didn’t think anyone could love the real me, so, it makes sense that I would try to be someone else, right?  In a crazy sort of way.  Logic doesn’t apply.

So, back to the gym today.  I was there, remembering my post from yesterday.  I decided to do something.  “Say hi or smile at 5 people,” I decided.

So I smiled at a few people and they didn’t smile back.

Don’t give up.  They probably had an ex boyfriend like me.  And then the next woman smiled.  I counted her.  Another young guy asked if I was using the bench.  “No, ” I said.  And he smiled.  2.

A woman was stretching and shaking her head.  I asked what was wrong.  “My friends are always late,” she said.  And we started a discussion.

It didn’t have to be with guys I decided.  Just to get my friendliness back.  2 to go.  I got on the elliptical even though I was finished.  No one looked at me.

Desperate to get my last 2, on my way out, I said hi to the guy at the desk. He said hi back.   I also spoke to the membership girl about a college break discount for my kids.

And then, on my way out, I asked the guy behind me if it was still cold out.  “Yes,” he said.  “but it’s almost spring.”  So that was 6.

And, even though I almost didn’t do it, I forced myself.  These weren’t noble prize  winning conversations, but I still felt like a new person.  I did something I didn’t want to do.  It’s not like I have new friends or a date from it, but if I can say hi or smile at 5 people I don’t know every day, my life just may look different.  Who knows what can happen?

But the main point is that I feel great.  On a high.  I guess that comes from going out of my comfort zone.  Doing something different.  I’m not really sure.  But you can bet I will try it again tomorrow.  It might even become a habit.  And then, who knows what could happen?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talking to my Dad, God rest his soul

4 Mar

Earlier today I was feeling alone.  And scared and worried about the future.  But when I stopped for a minute and became grateful for what I have, my thoughts altered.

Maybe great things are in store for me.  Maybe my journey is just beginning.  I have a blank slate  – I am divorced, my kids are off to college, and I can create anything I want to.

And maybe that means my life will be way more then I thought it could be.  And I remember my dad who died a month and a half ago.

My dad told the Rabbi two days before he passed away, that he didn’t know life could be this good.  And I am happy that his life surpassed his expectations.  He was a great man and I miss him terribly at certain moments.  I miss knowing he was there and seeing him shuffle from room to room because the nephropathy from his cancer treatments had destroyed the feeling in his feet and hands.

And now I am crying, but I’m ok with that.  I have learned to feel the sadness instead of resisting it.  And it will last less then a minute if I allow it.  Some great mentors have taught me that recently.  Trying not to be sad hurts more.

I sob.  It’s easier to do when I’m alone.  But I know if my Dad is watching, he would be saying, “what are you crying about?  I’m right here with you.  Get on with your day already.”

And I smile as the tears come down.  “I miss you, Dad.  It’s not the same without you.”

“I know,” he answers.  “But you always have me in your heart.  I am with you.  You are not alone.  And you have our amazing family, great friends, and a community that loves you and believes in you.  You will find your way.  It’s just scary and unknown.  But it will all work out.  This is just the way life looks sometimes.  I love you.”

“Thanks, Dad.”  I answer silently.  “I needed that today.  I guess loneliness is just body sensations and thoughts that occur sometimes.  They don’t mean anything.  I have a  great life and I love my place here.  I remember when you came to look at it and you loved it.  I wish you could be here with me, but I guess you are, in my heart and spirit.  Thank you for loving me and giving me my life.  You were a great father.  Thanks for driving me to school in the mornings with my harp.  When I got out of the car you would always say, “Be Terrific.”  I wish you could say it to me right now, but I will hear it in my mind.”

And I’m not going to apologize for crying.  I am trying to learn to experience my emotions instead of numbing them like I did last night.  Red wine, chips and hummus.   And, I might do it again tonight.  Or maybe I won’t.  Either way is fine.

And the grief comes and goes.  Sometimes I am fine.  Sometimes I am a crying mess.  And I know that Dad just wants me to have a great life.  And I do.  (But sometimes I just forget!)