January 10

Today was good. Still felt the undertones of being untethered. Feel like I’m in Phase 2 of detox from a relationship (maybe I’m being generous there), or maybe I’m only half way through Phase 1? Who cares.

Went by G’s house after volunteering to pick up Peter’s basketball. G asked to come over tonight. I was nervous about how it would go (sexually). It went great. When I felt like reaching out to touch or “win” him – I stopped myself and reminded myself of what I really want beyond just familiarity and companionship. I’m proud of my shaky courage and restraint. Excited to start working on writing again (after months off). Stressed about $$ but trusting something will come up as it always does.

I am not the sum of what I have experienced…

This keeps tossing around in my head. I’m not simply a child of divorce who thrusted herself into a doomed marriage prematurely because of her underlying “daddy issues”. I am not a victim, a project, or down-trodden. I am creative, capable and destined for LIVING.


Via Big Magic:

I need to focus on just sharing my story as I write instead of teaching a lesson. My life is my course. My course is creativity. And my creativity is living in the center of my soul.

Here I come, Soul. I’m committed to finding and nurturing you. I enjoy being creative and making choices that promote creativity and self-expression.

January 11

Today was pretty solid. A few short “squirmy” moments where I was feeling unsure about myself and my actions, but mostly I was just livin’ Rep-free, enjoying my freedom and choosing to write. Peace of mind and peace in my home.

I’ve started writing in three different notebooks instead of Google Docs. This is a terrible decision for backup purposes, but excellent otherwise. Because right now, I can hear the rain falling outside. To be more honest, I can hear the rain drumming down the drainage pipe – but whatever. The point is that I’m not lost in a screen and I can simultaneously eat a very crumbly cookie without pausing the writing. Amazing!

A few things on my mind today: last night’s journey of the mind and today’s landing.

(Sip tea. Ready to dive in)

First, last night: G suggested he come over for dinner (asked if I wanted him to, more specifically). I was a little uneasy about this because I had JUST been missing sex with him the day before and hadn’t had time to reevaluate my mental (and sexual) stance on him for the day yet. He played with the kids while I cooked, per usual. All seemed normal. I wasn’t sure if we’d drink wine – I didn’t really want to, he didn’t ask. There was no wine. I wasn’t sure if he’d stay after I put the kids to bed. He cozied up in my bed and found a show called Narcos: Mexico.

For the first time since January 2017 (or December 2016), I actually didn’t feel the need – nay, the compulsion – to share with him all that has radically transformed within the deepest parts of my soul in the last few weeks while we have safely, silently distanced ourselves from each other. Geronimo!

Another marvelous win for my new way of living! We lasted two episodes (50 minutes each), one head rub (I asked/begged for – my grow-out from shaving my head has reached perfect softness with a feel-good peak), and one bowl of fruit without delving into connective, deep conversation OR affectionate touch. Seriously, winning!

Although… while he was massaging my head, he moved to my temple and then down to my neck and occasionally swooped down my back just a little. I thought, “is he going to take this further? Do I want him to? Not really. I don’t actually want HIM right now. I just love to be touched.” I decided to remain frozen and I silenced any cues of pleasure I could have released. Ultimately, I don’t want to have sex with him. I want more. I want someone who can’t stand the chasm of my body pillow between us. I want someone who drips with curiosity about me – over hours, even days, especially weeks. I want desire and a need/craving for intimacy with me. Anything less would be cruel and torturous. I only reminded myself of one thing and that seemed to be enough for me to stay platonic and not march toward the flame of seduction that feels SO instinctual lying in bed with someone I love and used to crave and fantasize about. Go me! I think perhaps… I might actually be growing.

Moving on.

Today I steadily kept a pulse on my need vs. neutrality towards G (or anyone/anything else). I checked in with myself and evaluated my “pulls” several times throughout the day. “We hung out last night, do I want more today? Am I waiting for him to reach out, start a convo, or lean in at all? Do I assume or expect a text, call, or invitation today or in the near future from him?” etc. Mostly I was solid all day. The only slight detour happened right after we got home from school and I was thinking it would be so much more fun if G would be here for hot chocolate/popcorn/movie night. That lasted… maaaaybe… 3-5 thought blips then I realized it and invited myself to enjoy my home, my children, and my peace without another person around. The evening was boring and lovely and snuggly. Everything a single mom could ask for.

January 13

Good day. Finished a short story, spent some time with the kids (good mom day), then G came and got them and took them to some play place while I volunteered at the rodeo with the horse ranch. G was a little rude on the phone (probably just hungry or moody) and I thought, “I’m SO glad I get to not like this about him and not have to live with that for the rest of my life and not have to try to sugar coat that behavior or make it seem OK when I hate it to my core!” 

He would have eventually been that way with me (potentially always) and that’s not the kind of life I want or deserve. (Hmmm, I guess that’s what he meant when he said, “you deserve better.” Ha!) Anyways, I was more than content – THRILLED – to get to come home, put the kids to bed and spend the evening alone not making concessions for ANYONE at all! 🙂

January 14

So great! I’m doing well. Had brunch with the hos today, spoke with C about working for him again, engaged with kids. Feeling happy and hopeful. Wrote some, rested, cooked… it was a fine day. Thought about G – hoping he’s not upset or struggling regarding me (he’s probably not – ha!). Working to be conscious of those stories and thoughts I create when I’m unsure of how he (or someone else) feels or thinks about me. 

P.S. I love Big Magic.

A few thoughts on my mind today regarding this “No Rep/Self-Love” Lifestyle.

First, I keep finding myself at the same crossroad in my thoughts that sounds like this:

“Wow. I could easily continue what I’ve always done and make choices to drink more, reach for my phone when it’s too quiet, wallow in what I wish I had, use people for their beauty or benefits to me OR (now there’s a new option) I can invite myself OUT of my habits/addictions/patterns and allow myself to NOT be addicted and then live with more peace, more love for myself and others, and more contentment in the moment.” 

Although this other path is unfamiliar, it isn’t necessarily scary because it resonates with my soul in a way none of the other things on the first path (my usual path) do. The idea gives me pause and sets me in awe of all that I’ve been missing out on in the new world I’ve just opened up for myself.

Second, when I let my mind wander, it goes all over the place. Today I was playing out a very different scene than the ones that usually play in my mind. I imagine how when I go dancing or out with friends and a guy asks me to dance or to chat – usually, I receive them almost as an intruder, trying to get/steal/win/buy something out of me – my time, attention, affection, approval, etc – and I immediately resent it and more often than not, REJECT it. “I don’t need you or your attention/drinks/dances. I’m quite fine on my own so bug off, asswipe!” (How inhuman and cruel.)

Today I caught myself imagining quite a different scene. One where I accept dances or drinks as an invitation to connect with another human (as long as they don’t smell like B.O. I’m not a saint, I have my limits). So, instead of being put off, I allow space (maybe just a tiny bit at first) to see if there is a conversation or a connection to be had other than “you obviously think I’m hot.” So, if he’s fat or dog ugly or old or dumb, that really becomes irrelevant as long as he maintains respect for me… as a human and a woman.

Woah! Mind blown… by my own mind! Ha!

If this idea could catch on, then men could learn to look for signs of a woman’s Rep Meter (No Rep or Heavy Reppin’) and know better when and how to approach her (thus finding less rejections while understanding the deeper reasoning has little to do with HIM)! And women – oh, ladies could have soooo much more fun and freedom!

And finally, thoughts on G: Early on he said my “manners” were bad, later revealing, no, it’s just that I’m “inconsiderate”. Ok, not the first time I’ve heard this. And now, what I’m about to say is not about one of us being right or wrong, it’s just something I’ve never (ironically) considered – Where he sees inconsideration, I see a scheme to spend more time together, and/or share experience. For instance, he had the kids up North and I was downtown, about a half hour away. He asked if I wanted him to meet me at my house (20 minutes South of where he and the kids were eating) and bring me dinner and I said “sure”. But then changed my mind because I would have 10% preferred to not be in rodeo volunteer, hay-covered clothes while I ate, but 90% was scheming to get him to come over and spend the evening with me. But then I remembered how deeply he values consideration, so I called back and told him I’d meet him so he didn’t have to drive back to my house which was very much out of his way. Over dinner he pointed out how proud he was of me and how much I’ve grown which made me want to roll my eyes, because I realized all along that what he saw as inconsiderate, I saw as an opportunity to get closer. And there you have it – the chasm between our two personalities and why (without recognition and intention to meet in the middle) we do NOT match.

I often think of myself “in relation to” someone else or a particular situation. For instance, in relation to G, I operate at say a level 200% and he at maybe 100%. In order to even come close to satisfying my hunger for sex, conversation, curiosity, intimacy, time, attention, etc. the man must give 100% all the time. Where if I matched him in his efforts, it would only require a piddly 50% of my potential energy/depth/effort.

Bottom line: although this isn’t SURPRISING, I never realized this about myself before and take great comfort in knowing G hasn’t failed me or resisted meeting his full potential – he simply has a lower operating level, whereas mine is double that. Again, neither of us is wrong or bad. One level isn’t better than the other. We’re simply not an organic match, meaning, to make it work, greater compromises would have to be reached to close the gap between our natural bents.

It’s fun to know this about myself. In considering a life partner, finding someone with a “higher threshold” for connection/relationships will suit me very well, I think. It has been a week of “consciously observing” myself without judgements or criticism and I am thoroughly enjoying the understanding and peace that it comes with. Although this is just the beginning, I suspect by six months in I’ll quite possibly be catatonic with leisure and restful soul syndrome! Ha!

I wake up and go to sleep everyday choosing to support and create an environment in which I can thrive.

Oh, and on the subject of dating, I’d like to revise the language. It’s not necessarily a year of no dating – the timeline is indefinite. The point is I have allowed myself permission to “not look” anymore. So every single male I encounter doesn’t have to be subject to my immediate categorizations and evaluations. They are not meat to be seduced or won anymore. They are human as I am human and because I am not expecting anything or searching them to provide me with something, life can proceed as normal when I enter a moment with them. IMAGINE THAT! It sounds so stupidly obvious when I write it, but to know how this simple gesture has changed the very state of living for me is – well, equally embarrassing and revolutionary.

M: Me

Tyrel: My first love, husband and my abuser 2005-2015, father of my children, died by suicide September 2016

Children: Jane and Peter

G: Ex-boyfriend and best friend

S: G’s ex- girlfriend

A: Widow and close friend (one of the “hos”)

L: Younger sister (12 years younger) and close friend. Technically, my half-sister (her father is my stepdad, R)

R: Stepdad, father figure from age 11 on, and Opa to my kids

Z: Widow and close friend (one of the “hos”)

H: Older sister (two years older) and close friend

W: kindred spirit, beloved friend, licensed therapist

I began my self-study by documenting myself in my everyday life in hopes that after a few months, I could see patterns and understand some of my own rhythms. I kept 3 journals (the — symbol represents distinction between journals 1 and 3): 

  1. An emotional/mental well-being journal where I daily jotted 1-3 sentences about my overall internal stability.
  2. My mind-body-spirit (aka moon phase) journal, which was a calendar where I noted my hormones, diet, activity, and overall feelings about myself each day.
  3. The mamma-jamma journal (the main chunk of this memoir) where I painstakingly detailed out my experiences and my every thought about those experiences.
GET MBK REAL TALK IN YOUR INBOX

GET MBK REAL TALK IN YOUR INBOX

Get the latest blogs sent right to your inbox as well as news and updates on where MaryBeth will be speaking.

You successfully subscribed to the MBK email list!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This