January 20

Ok the story I wrote last night really cleared my head. I feel SO MUCH better today. I even have a clear head and good space about G today (regarding the audacity on his part and my honoring of us having a “part-time” relationship – aka seeing each other 2-3 days per week – and what absolute bullshit that is)! Although I am still finding him stalking my thoughts… 

January 21

I went to Al Anon for the first time today. It was overwhelming and somehow, a home I’ve never known before. I have to go back. I was pretty solid today from waking until now (just before bed). I think having my phone docked in the bathroom from the kid’s bed time until morning helps me unwind and relax more. I feel capable and realistic today. Al Anon felt like confirmation from the Universe that I’m on the right path. Great day with the kids today. Spent 1:1 time with both, just playing together.

This day. Wow. I’ll start from the beginning. Feeling at peace and at home with myself. Felt a little unsure of seeing G for the first time in almost a week (he came to watch the kids while I met with Jimmy’s mom and went to Al Anon). He was distant, but fine. 

Al Anon. Woah. I think I found my people. I was so overwhelmed – overcome with waves of emotion. Today just knocked on the door of that dark closeted vortex of all my headaches and pain from being married to Tyrel. I am starting to see how much his illness shaped who I became during my 20’s.

I’m ready. This is my year. But I’m shakin’ in my boots, scared as hell. I don’t even know what demons are waiting to see my face behind that door. But here I go! Watch me do this!

G went rock climbing with us – SO FUN! On the way home, I said, “Thanks for coming with us.” And he said, “Thanks for inviting me!” Then he looked me in the eye with a side smile and said, “It’s nice to be invited to do stuff with you guys every now and then!” I laughed and said, “Oh… yeah…” I guess he feels the distance/change lately. I don’t want him to feel lesser than what he is to us, but I just can’t do more right now. It’s just too much still. I’m a Petty Betty still and that needs work… and time… As much as it takes. I feel very resolved and in touch with the goal today. I am working on ME and I am committed to learning about myself.

Today I thought about how fucking back and forth I can be and thought, “Man, it’s not just because of Tyrel, G, my kids, my hormones, my mom, in-laws, or other people’s problems. I FEEL DEEPLY… ALL THE FUCKING TIME. It’s just who I am. But I don’t have to let it RULE me. I can learn new outlets to help and skills to process better instead of mulling and obsessing until I wear myself into the ground.”

I think I have some heavy, hard days before me, but I can do hard things. And I’m believing this will give me a different story in the future – for peace, for love, and for my family. And THAT is more than worth the discomfort that’s coming my way.

January 22

Feeling calm and empowered today. I have a lot of peace about working to provide for my family as I remain committed to my creative inspiration and writing (Big Magic influence). Had fluttering glimpses of hope for my future love story – just having a partner who is fully in tune to me as I am to him.

Kids were good. Filling their love tanks over the weekend is paying off.

Peaceful today. Felt solid about my feelings toward G: I love him dearly but I want someone who WANTS and LOVES me AND my kids 24/7, not every couple of days. I want affection, all-in, rock-my-world, life-changing commitment. Not “I’ll take you when I feel like it” kind of love. But I’m also excited to be open to this idea of letting him love us how he can and wants and remain in our lives, potentially always. I love doing stuff with him, and the kids’ love for him is so precious too. I hope I can settle out soon so he and I can find a good friendship rhythm.

Feeling confident about working with C, continuing to write and chip away at my dreams to get published, buy a house with property on the lake and get two goldendoodles!:)

I’m thankful. So thankful for my family, our health, and this life I’ve been given. 

January 23

Solid. All day. Great time connecting with kids. I worked, lunch with a friend, worked more, wrote, dinner with G, we all went to Peter’s basketball practice (G too), then peaceful bed time and Facetime with L. G didn’t stay, which was perfect. He misses us. We love him. It was a sweet time. I felt fine and stable about it all mentally. We’ve been keeping in touch the last week about Jimmy (he’s not doing well).

I am happy and hopeful about my choices and the journey I’m on and life.

My mind was running a little too hot last night–couldn’t sleep for an hour thinking about this:

I think I have only been able to love (G, in particular) and receive love one-dimensionally. Meaning, if it didn’t fit my preconceived idea about what it should look like, I would self-implode. If he loved me in a different way, I wouldn’t know where to store that or how to absorb it. And if he needed love in a different way, I would feel like he doesn’t see/understand me and is asking me to compromise who I am and my sense of peace.

I could be wrong here, but it seems to fit pretty accurately. I need time to myself to expand my understanding of love and reign in some fanatical (fantasy-based) ideas about love, partnership, and commitment. Because really, I can’t deny how steadily G has shown love to me and the kids for two solid years – storing my storage at his house, time, fun family dates, wrestling, recitals, birthdays, holidays… the man shows up. And that MEANS something. I just don’t know what yet.

And also, I realize now how my hasty breakup recovery over the summer was such a slap in the face. G was collateral damage of my Dating Rep (aka mixed up sense of self) habits. He deserves an apology for that one!

Two days till Book of Mormon at Bass Hall with him!

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.
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