March 11

Dang. This was a night! Today at a friend’s house, the five year-old boy asked if I had a dad. I knew he was asking where Jane and Peter’s dad was. It was a heavy moment in the midst of six kids eating lunch. I told them their daddy actually died so he’s not here on earth with them anymore. Everyone carried on and when we left, my kids were in good moods but pretty amped up. As the afternoon went on, Jane was getting more and more disturbed/anxious/outside herself. I raised my voice in the car at both of them and Jane spiraled. She went into “you hate me. Don’t look at me. I’m stupid” mode from there. It was difficult – I never know where to begin – but I leaned in. She was so HARD and so shut down. I (slightly with frustration) encouraged her to feel and name her feelings and tell me. She was resistant and argumentative for 45 minutes. Then I went and held her (she fought me). I gently eased off. But I stayed with her. I didn’t leave her alone in the dark feelings and I told her it hurt me very badly when she said she was just going to kill herself. (I fucking HATE Tyrel for that.)

She said, “You wouldn’t even care if I was dead.”

I said, “I would be sad forever if you ever died.”

She followed with, “Well, my whole life is sad anyways.” 

And then I knew… it was the conversation from the friends house earlier that day. I asked if she was missing Daddy. She nodded. I pulled her in tight. She let me. I reminded her that it’s OK to miss him and feel sad, but she’s not alone. I told her, “We’re all in this together and I love you.”

Then she started talking about her recent crushes (a sign we are reconnected:), and then, she very sweetly, apologized for all the things she said to me. I told her I forgive her and she said, “I was just so mad!” O told her I get that way too sometimes and she said, “You never say things like that!” I expanded, “Well, I yell and then I feel really bad about that.” 

It ended up very precious. I hate that her heart aches so painfully, but I’m honored to be the witness and love her through it. Tomorrow we will talk more about how normal those overwhelming feelings are and how important it is to remember to talk through them.

It was scary for me there for an hour – witnessing, hearing, not knowing how to guide her. But, in the end, gentle love and soft hands led her back to me. Fuck, I hope I can keep doing this for her. She is so innocent and precious and worthy.

And… in it all, I was reminded of what I get to do for myself now too.

We’re healing.
We’re really healing now.

I feel cleansed. Capable. Equipped. Even in the unknown. I told her, “You know, I’ve never raised a 9 year-old before?” and she looked at me with surprise. I told her she can help me learn how to love her by talking to me about what hurts her and makes her feel loved. Later, after she apologized, I told her, “Tomorrow is a fresh start.” She said, “Yeah. Let’s just take it easy on each other tomorrow, Mommy.” I said, “Deal.” And we agreed to remind each other with “Eeeeeeaaaasy,” when we need it. Hehe:)

I love our bond. I love my girl. I love being a mom. I love this journey.

#Thankful

March 12

Stomach bug in the morning – kept me in bed which is what I really needed. My body didn’t betray. Amazing insights/revelations about forgiveness, starting with myself! I loved myself today. O texted and called later today. So weird. And I see/hear him so differently now. Making room for what’s next for me…

Holy fucking shit. Ok. So much:

  1. I had a horrible dream (two actually). I was fighting with brother and K about our kids not knowing each other. And the other had to do with G and how much he hurt/disappointed me.
  2. I went to bed constipated and woke up with a stomach ache. I sent H to the horse ranch in my place so I could stay home and rest. Not feelin’ good!
  3. I set my intention this morning to forgive because clearly from my dreams, I’m hangin’ on to some shit.
  4. As I’m dozing in and out of sleep this morning, processing forgiveness and what it means to forgive, let go, and maybe not necessarily act like everything is back to normal (like what boundaries might be applicable), I felt I was in the “in between” space that Sheleana (@risingwoman) references in the moon cycles. I’m in Priestess now. It was so enlightening. As I was focusing on how brother and K’s rejection of me felt, I suddenly just knew, this forgiveness is really for me. Everywhere and everyone I feel resentment for started with me abandoning myself. Same with G. I rejected myself long before and many times prior to them ever doing it, and for the exact same reasons they ended up rejecting me: My Situation (kids, grief, chaos) and My Financial Status.

Woah. Those have been my two biggest grievances against myself the last couple of years. It was a profound realization and I am leaning into the source: me. Do I ask myself to forgive myself for not only rejecting parts of me and blaming others, but also for being so disconnected and disengaged? I guess so. Inner needs to forgive grown-up me so we can close this circle out and begin to embrace the healing that awaits.

March 14

Woke up feeling weird. Held space to determine where/why. I think I was judging myself for talking to O two days ago and for conversing with four guys at the Basement Bar with my friends last night. I didn’t like how much I spent on a babysitter, margs, and food. And today I just paid attention to those things to perhaps do them differently in the future. But I also see that it’s okay and I deserve a night out and being friendly (I wasn’t flirty or reppin’) is okay too.

Went to D’s tonight. Saw G at the gym earlier. I don’t even miss him. He feels like my past and so far away from me now. Can’t wait to get two more months behind us!:) Not in a mean way… just in a sense of moving on.

Loving myself and reminding myself that I’m enough just as I am at any given moment.

March 15

Good day. Borrow H’s rental car to take kids to Waco Zoo. Felt provision and cared for–it always works out eventually. Ma mentioned giving me some money to put towards a new car. That was so kind. I went to Lisa’s for her birthday. I love her. I feel whole inside and I love my body – even when it’s bloated. I’m open to practicing what I’ve learned (in meeting someone)… maybe. LOL.

The way I want to slow burn in my next relationship:

I don’t want a boyfriend. I want a partnership, which means I’ll have to take it slow at first to be able to see the alignment clearly and not step outside of it.

  • Day dates (because I won’t be drinking and no sitter costs)
  • Coffee date first
  • Golf, volleyball, scooter/bike ride, outdoors
  • Picnic
  • Museums, art shows, arboretum, etc.

Then maybe night dates, once I know the sitter cost is worth it–or better yet, he offers to pay. I want to be clear about what I want out of a partnership in connection, my passion for emotional intelligence (for myself, my partner, and my kids), volunteering, and not being stressed.

I want emotional connection everyday. I want a best friend, lover, and travel buddy. I don’t want eye-rolls, demeaning, condescending, lecturing patriarchy. I want mutual love and affection.

I am willing to do my work.

He is willing to do his work.

We are committed to working on our relationship intimacy.

M: Me

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

Children: Jane (9 years old) and Peter (7 years old)

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

E: Kids (bomb ass) therapist

Brother: My older brother

K: My sister-in-law (brother’s wife) and friend

Ma: Tyrel’s mom, my mother-in-law

Lisa: Lifelong friend since high school

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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