February 16

It’s been an emotional few days, but overall I am committed to doing my shadow work and embracing all my darkest human emotions. And I am finding a lot of enlightenment, truth and peace. I am extremely grateful!

Well this whole boundary idea is super liberating and fucking scary at the same time. I don’t think I’ve literally ever set a (romantic) relational boundary in my life! I’ve had breaking points and if they reach it – it surprises us both – but I feel free to walk away. So not only do I not clearly set boundaries (by voicing what I want/need to feel safe/loved), I immediately put a wall up or walk away altogether (with no remorse) if they cross that breaking point. 

Reeeeeal healthy, MBK. Nice! Ha! (eye roll)

Listening to Mark Groves on Rebel Podcast (from Valentine’s day two days ago, ironically): I recognize my pattern here and how actually communicating a boundary and risking them not honoring it and then having to have the balls to walk away is WAY more vulnerable than just peacing out because they burned me where I didn’t even tell them they never should!

One reason I’m so afraid to set boundaries is because I hate being accused of being manipulative and I can definitely see how G might think my boundary about S being in the loop is manipulative, but it makes me feel safe and clear in conscience and I need that in the Universe if he and I are really going to try to be friends. And honestly, I am mostly doing this for my kids because I think my mom cut a lot of people out of our lives and that didn’t serve me well in my teen years. I want people who love my kids to have access and freedom to show that. I just don’t trust G anymore to be as open as I prefer to be if I’m going to be an active part of his life. We can build it back, but starting out, I’ll need this boundary.

Speaking of G – of course I’ve been all over the emotional map – angry, disappointed, hurt, betrayed, rejected, left behind, etc. – but today I was able to reach the place of understanding that he did the best he could with the tools he had. I am seeing all the things I wanted for him to be and grow into (make deep connections, develop intimacy, love connection), but he never actually said he wanted those things! So, once again, I built up this image of him in my mind and really, he’s just who he’s always been – a chronic, long-term dater, a pattern-repeater and he’s perfectly okay choosing himself above all else. And today I feel THANKFUL I was able to see all this in him now because it’s the biggest turn-off ever for me and I’m so grateful I didn’t get in too deep with him! True colors eventually show. G’s took exactly 2 years. And I’m thankful to see them. Now, with this whole perspective, us being friends and him being involved with the kids with no strings between us is truly possible.

I know I have much more to learn about myself, setting boundaries, healthy responses and codependency, but I am super encouraged with where I’ve gotten in just three days! 

HOPE! There’s so much hope for a new kind of love story every time I discover an unhealthy habit I’ve carried all along. I’ve redirected my mind many times over the last couple of days, back to: Me. Inner child. My pain. Source. Feel. Go deeper. And strange enough, compassion for G came from it. I understand it’s not my ego being rejected that hurts the worst, it’s thinking I knew G and his character then finding out I was wrong. THAT is a familiar feeling from childhood and again, I created him to be grander in my own head than he ever truly was… THAT is not his fault.

P.S. Today Peter accidentally broke the leg of one of my dining chairs and cried when I was upset then said, “Now where will G sit?!” Toucheé, Universe! Message received! I guess that confirms the fleeting thought I had: Maybe he shouldn’t come over to the house for family dinners anymore…” LOL.

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

D: Dear friend since 8th grade

C: Married to D, hired me to as a freelance writer/editor for awhile

B: Dear friend of 20 years who I shaved my head with when she got breast cancer in 2018 and lost her hair

O: A guy I “talked” to in another state and went and visited after G and I broke up in summer 2018

In 2019, 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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