13 MBK Memoir: How I taught myself to self-regulate

13 MBK Memoir: How I taught myself to self-regulate

February 20

Looming heaviness about doing life alone when I want to share it. But I’m OK. I know it’s a temporary feeling.

Made the curve on the 18th when I wrote G a letter he’ll never see. Got all my venom out then the next morning I woke up with a clear head – remembering my work.

Today, I am paying attention to my inner little girl and feeling the disappointment that she has been marked by throughout her life. Going to hold space to feel this now…

I think my disappointment feeler flips on then what follows is codependency – me searching to be acceptable – then the inevitable abandonment comes. Historically, when I feel disappointed, I switch gears in my head (so I don’t have to need anyone) to think positively and do my best to avoid that area of disappointment again with that person. This has not served me well, as it always leads to me being overly accommodating/emotional and them… disappointing me.

As hard as I try not to need, I scream NEEDY in the relationship. Not a mature way to get my needs fulfilled. 

In my attempt to avoid being disappointed, I’ve:

  • Learned to want/need/ask for bare minimum
  • Been accused of being “unpleasable” because no one can seem to get it just right – I “expect too much” – (isn’t that ironic? I’m shooting for the least and coming across as needing the most. Ugh)
  • Avoided actually ever voicing what I desire in a relationship
  • Assumed and expected others will disappoint me
  • Stayed small so they won’t reject me
  • Accommodated them tirelessly as a sort of “deposit” for when I really need them to show up and not fail me
  • Been extremely frustrated with people’s inability to step up

I have so much to learn and there seems to be so much duality with all of this “not needing anything from anyone, but knowing no one can do it alone…”, “being vulnerable and open, but not too much too soon or with the wrong person…”, “feeling through the wound, but not letting it dictate your actions…”, and on and on.

I feel overwhelmed about it, but I also feel confident the Universe is on my side and each piece will fit together in time – money, house, storage, preparedness for a relationship, awareness through it, career, publishing, books, living my best life… All in time. It’s coming.

I feel like I’m almost ready for it all, but I also feel I have so much to learn about myself still… and PRACTICE. I’ll leave it up to the Universe (Uni) how much I do alone and with a partner.

I’m missing sex this week, but longing for deep, intimate connection… the kind I’ve never had.

I feel empty today. The reality of not having “a person” who knows my daily life makes me feel empty and unloved and alone in the world. This is a feeling (and situation) I have avoided since I was a teenager. The quickest fix is having a romantic interest. But I’m not ready for that. I thought G would hold me over for a while longer, but that’s gone. I know I have friends and sisters involved weekly with me, but there’s no ONE person doing life with me – watching and hearing my kids grow up. 

It’s really difficult for me to sit in this feeling. At the same time, logically, I know it’s a good thing for me to overcome, and it won’t be this way forever. I’ll invite myself to join in movie nights, holding space, writing, dancing, and being. 

I have the biggest smile on my face 🙂 

I just watched Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightly) and that movie encapsulates everything about ME. I love the slow, dreaminess of their mundane life; the freedom of time. I love the balls and excitement of possibilities and unknowns and even the misconceptions and the paradoxical, transformative feelings. Ah! Oh, and of course the music! 

I feel dreamy tonight. I can’t even remember the last time I felt dreamy! But it’s different this time. Mr. Darcy is not the center of my dreaminess (although he does make an appearance in my dream). It’s me. I’m at the center.

If money were no object, here’s the life I would dream of:

(At first I was embarrassed by my own deepest wishes – appearing lazy and moochy – but then I kept going and then I saw my truest heart underneath)

I don’t want to work, as in, have a job with responsibilities and someone to report to.

I want to spend my days writing – creating stories, arousing emotion, provoking honesty, sharing the human experience. 

I want to be uninhibited in showering my kids with love, support, time, and care. 

I want to travel the world and experience new cultures and bond with people. 

I want to serve, help, and volunteer like I get paid for it. 

I want to be a partner in building an empire where we can be a resource of stability, hope, healing and true humanity. 

I want to have freedom to hold space for myself and others whenever I feel like it. 

I want animals and earth in my everyday life.

I want the wind, the sun, and the water in my daily routine.

I want quiet sunsets and all-out parties.

I want to give lavishly to the needy and make people feel seen, heard, and known.

I want to see myself in everyone I meet and curiously explore their stories.

I want to live abroad, learn new languages and understand different cultures.

Basically, I want the human experience as untamed, stress-free, and enjoyable as possible.

I want a lifestyle where I can be forever curious and creative (and productive when needed). I am a clover-picker, holistic-hippie, free-spirit, wild mustang kinda gal and I long for the open range I can finally let loose in.

All smiles tonight. Welcome back, Dreamer.

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

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.
13 MBK Memoir: How I taught myself to self-regulate

12 MBK Memoir: The collateral effect of a life without boundaries

February 17

Woke up this morning with so much anger!

I had to punch my pillow and grit my teeth and clench my fists. I didn’t let myself breathe through it. I felt it, and I thrashed for a while. Oh. My. Gosh!

I am angry that G took away my freedom of choice – on how I wanted to move forward with this new scenario. He took my power (but only because I gave it up by not setting ANY boundaries and by continually, over and over and OVER keeping silent when I felt the emotional wall he was throwing up to corral me)! He took my control of deciding what was in my best interest and decided for himself how things should go (which turns out, is NOT how I would choose)!

I am sitting with the BIG feelin’s today! I am angry with myself too; for not being brave enough to SPEAK as soon as I felt the wall go up upon his return from Costa Rica (late December 2018). Time and time again, I could have addressed it, but I allowed him to be the shot-caller and in doing so, gave up the power to protect my self-interest. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but he’s not the only one to blame.

Digging deeper than the current anger, I remember the first time I felt this kind of betrayal when someone else took control of my best interest and failed. When I was 16 and my mom told me she asked R to leave. Only in hindsight do I see that for two years before that, my mom treated me horribly, which was a shock when it first started happening. She didn’t tell me anything about what was really going on and didn’t manage her own emotions enough to keep from taking her stress out on me. She had all these emotional walls and barriers with me and expected me to navigate them without ever saying a word about it. So when I tripped a line (or triggered her pain), she let loose on me and fought me like I was her enemy. I see now that she felt powerless and out of control so she came down hard on me, but it devastated my trust in her. She became unpredictable and dishonest about her own feelings and therefore, her feelings towards me became tricky and confusing.

I was too young then to know how to set any sort of boundaries, so I continued the patterns throughout dating. I gave the man all the power to take care of my heart/soul as he saw fit. The only power I had left was my virginity. So sad. I never set boundaries because I didn’t want to be rejected. So then I had to use my deep hurt and pain to try to convince them not to do anything to hurt me.

With G, I pleaded with him to be brutally honest with me even when it was difficult and then I passed off all responsibility to him by trusting that he would. Well, he wasn’t honest (most recently, and really over the whole two years regarding his lingering feelings for S). And that means more wounding for me. 

Last February when he confirmed that he’d been in contact with S the whole time they were broken up, I could have said, “Ok. I think it would be best for me if you went ahead and cleared all that up with her once and for all so that there doesn’t have to be an open line there. Let me know when that happens and we can decide where we stand after that.” I could have said it again in August when I asked how long he was going to keep texting with her and he said, “As long as I want. I don’t see me stopping anytime soon.” But I didn’t. I held my tongue and trusted that he operated with the same level of conviction and honesty as I do… and that was naive and codependent of me to do. I shifted my power to his hands and sat helplessly, waiting for the other shoe to drop; all because I didn’t want to be out-right rejected or to end the relationship (apparently a slow death appealed more to my codependent heart). I wasn’t willing to walk away to preserve my own well-being and heart.

Now G’s struggle over the last two years makes sense – he was trying to troubleshoot hurting my kids or getting in over his head. Well, any way you try to figure that out, it’s going to require him to grow up a little, let go of his ego, and come in humble. Otherwise, it just won’t work. He seems to feel unsafe relinquishing any percentage of control to me, but that’s the only way to move towards a healthy, sustainable friendship with him in the kids’ lives.

Just talked with W on the phone about G, the kids, boundaries, all of it. Here’s what I know:

I need to see how things play out (kids’ feelings, G’s interest in them, my own emotional well-being), and take action accordingly. I do not need to make any decisions now. 

I need to create distance between G and the kids. I am not interested in pursuing a friendship with him at this point. I have zero interest in knowing S or her knowing my kids. He will not come to my house anymore. I need to find other arrangements for my storage (that he’s still keeping in his house for me). When the kids ask, I will engage in convos about “how friendships change over time” and correlate G as a chapter in our Family Book, pointing out that “few people stay for the length of the book no matter how much we wish they could. The important thing is to appreciate the love and life they brought to us.” 

W posed a wonderful question I will keep considering throughout this: “What do I want to teach the kids in this?”

I am OK. I am hurt, but I will heal. I am creating space for myself and my future. I am guarding my heart and my children’s – guiding them through life with the lessons I teach them and my actions in how I follow through. 

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.
13 MBK Memoir: How I taught myself to self-regulate

11 MBK Memoir: Fumbling through the Shadow Work in hopes of new outcomes

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.
13 MBK Memoir: How I taught myself to self-regulate

10 MBK Memoir: How facing the darkest parts of yourself can free you

February 14

G came over and held space for me while I vented (heavily with my ego). And for a minute I felt relief, but after he left, I was still stuck… and alone… with my very alive abandonment wound. So, I’ve decided to stop focusing on all that G could do to be a better friend to me, lover to S, and person in the world, and only focus on myself. (This new idea came from an Evolving Man podcast with Shealeana Aiyana.)

It’s time. This is the Universe watching me choose. There is only one right path here: inward. I feel my wound throwing a tantrum – scraping my insides, kicking and screaming and I’m having to be conscious about not turning to my phone or any of my other distractions. While I’m already exhausted, I appreciate that the Universe is moving rapidly in these tests lately. Hopefully that means more practice and gentler experiences to come.

So today I tried to feel and connect with my inner child and love on her, witnessing her pain, but it took me a while to remember to do that. Then I did it. I remember feeling alone A LOT as a little girl – no one to talk to, play with, explore and experience things with. I remember huddling in different closets, many different times, bawling my eyes out; feeling like no one saw me, knew me… or loved me. And that led to me remembering the deep abandonment I’ve felt from my parents not being reliable sources of protection and safe love for me. Growing up, it felt like they would cast me aside, leave me  “hung out to dry”, forget about me, or play tricky games about love and showing up.

I think now I can start to resolve they were all doing the best they could, and I can begin to provide safety, security, unconditional, free-flowing love for my inner little girl. She is safe. I am committed to witnessing her, listening to her, and paying attention when she feels scared, unloved, or unwanted. It’s no one else’s job, nor could anyone else even do that for me. I choose to accept that responsibility and role for myself and walk toward healing.

It’s heavy, painful, and it grieves my heart to feel these things again, but I also see how this wound has been directing all of my romantic relationships from the age of 15. I’ve been asking everyone else: Do I belong with you? If shit goes down, will I be taken care of, loved, kept or will you leave me behind and discard my love?

I’ve never felt like I belong or have a home safe to hide me in storms so I will create my own safe home within my soul. I’m ready to do the work now – to get what I’ve always wanted.

Whew! This is notttttt easy. It’s so natural and easy to play the blame game. I have all these memories of moments when G said things and I think, “I should have known! He was hiding secret feelings for her all along! He should have told me!” (Like when I brought up if S was still holding out hope for getting back together with him – when he knew she was pushing to “talk things out” with him), but then I stop myself and think, “But I wasn’t taking care of my own heart in those moments. I was just carelessly leaving that in his hands, denying my intuition, and not standing/sharing my boundaries/desires/needs to feel safe and cared for.” So, in reality, it’s on ME!

Still trying to swallow and own that though. It’s a very new idea for me.

This all requires so much from me–being a bigger person and all. Baby steps. I’m claiming new ground, taking a machete to new terrain here. I’m preparing a new garden for myself, for receiving love, for knowing, caring, loving and holding myself. Because even when the little girl inside screams otherwise–I am loved, safe, cared for. I belong and I am chosen, accepted, and wanted. I am worthy of receiving love and giving love to those around me.

February 15

I’ve always been a clover picker. At seven years old, I sat in a clover patch and searched tirelessly for four attached leaves. When it was clear my four leaf clover would come another day, I laid down on my back, arms open and marveled at the vastness of the sky. Clouds have always entertained me and entranced me – their many shapes and wind-filled wings captured my floating heart from childhood.

Whew, I was just replaying everything that went down with G to Z and all of the sudden I got so angry. I was so mean to my kids and felt like screaming my head off. Here’s the trigger:

When G told S he would be in mine and the kids’ lives for as long and as much as I want and she will need to respect that if they are going to date again, it immediately sounded so wonderful and felt so awful in my gut at the same time. I didn’t understand why until tonight. Two reasons:

  1. I suspect he’s keeping me (and the kids) on the back burner, flip-flopping me and S from front to back. And, more importantly…
  2. I think he’s using us as a power play in his relationship with S. It’s an easy and convenient way for him to test her right out the gate to see if she’s going to let him call the shots and play dysfunctional games.

This infuriates me. I’ve heard the line said, “You’re never upset for the reason you think you are,” so I dig a little deeper to familiar feelings in my childhood. So many familiar feelings. My mom seemed to be so beautifully Christian but I felt so mistreated by her. My stepdad using me to help him get to L. All my ideas about the church being pure and looking out for my best but turning out to be the opposite. And many more like these. I was born a “Clover-Picker” (not paying attention to what was happening around me) and never learned to take care of my own heart, so when other people/organizations claimed to be doing me a favor only to find out I was a pawn in their grander, self-satisfying scheme, it enrages me. I mean, steam out my ear holes kind of rage. Don’t even get me started on involving my kids as a part of this.

I’m trying not to focus on what I want to do about G moving forward, but this idea has me wanting to say he can hang out with us when he’s ready to let S know us too. I have ignored my gut so many times with him (and others) because I want to trust and give the benefit of the doubt, but I feel he was extremely misleading and secretive about S throughout our relationship and even since we broke up. So, I am heavily leaning into my gut this time. However, I don’t know how much of that I need or will actually share with him because I don’t want to try to “fix” him or manipulate their relationship. It would be a boundary that protects me and my kids from becoming part of his game; diffusing the mystery and secrecy. If he doesn’t respect the boundary, I’d have to be prepared to walk away.

We’ll see in time what I end up learning through my work. But I’ll tell you, even imagining this boundary helps me feel calm, safe, and loved. So surprising and interesting! I thought my anger just now was a slip up – which taking out on my kids definitely was – but I’m thinking the anger is part of guiding me through the work and clarifying healthy boundaries maybe?

When he said maybe we could meet S in a year or two, I was just like, “WHAT IN THE ACTUAL?” Such a game. And also, no.

Anyways, back to focusing on my Inner Child. Sheesh, I’ve been tuning in close to her today. Wind, clouds, kites, and the outdoors soothe her well. So much peace in a clover patch for me. A lot of reassurance today that I’m paying attention now and leaning in. She’s loved. She’s safe. She’s wanted. And she belongs.

I’ve had a virus (low fever and loss of appetite) this week that started two days before the S news but got a lot worse after. I am an emotional feeler!! My body keeps track (emotional nausea) and doesn’t let me forget when I’m not in alignment – Inner (child), body, soul, mind, spirit. And now I’m realizing nausea is my Inner Girl screaming from abandonment wound pain. LISTEN!

All the times I was sick about things with G for days, then we’d talk and all of the sudden I’m totally better. Sheesh! No wonder I never chose to break up with him or set any boundaries – I was too afraid to leave – I didn’t want this nausea to take over! It subsided substantially after talking with H today about G. She just listened and didn’t share any advice. She just said she’s proud of me and confident I’m on the right path. It was perfect! Because for the first time, I don’t want to hear what everyone else thinks I should do. I want to study myself, listen to the voice within, and draw my boundaries to protect my Inner all on my own!

Whoop! Ok, in this moment… I feel empowered and I’m enjoying “the work.” What a crazy road this new path is! Yeehaw! Here we go!

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

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.
13 MBK Memoir: How I taught myself to self-regulate

9 MBK Memoir: How to heal yourself through break-ups, jealousy, and ego trips

February 13

Wow. Well, wow. The timeliness of yesterday’s thoughts is just… wow. The Universe knew a test was coming. And thankfully, I was attuned to that. I knew it was coming and figured it would either be by way of G wanting to date again or G informing me he was dating someone new…

Today, he told me he and S are seeing each other again. Wow. This may take a few pages…

It’s so surreal that this day has finally come. I guess the Universe is just MOVING RIGHT ALONG here… ha! I’m holding space for myself and allowing the punches to the gut of jealousy to move through me. My ego is a BEAST sometimes.

First of all, it’s not completely shocking, although I really hadn’t given it much thought. I’ve been pretty disconnected from him for two months and boy has that paid off. Then there’s the fact that they saw each other for the first time around Thanksgiving (probably when I was in Colorado crying my eyes out to B about him). That disappoints me because here I was this whole time thinking he was doing so well and (I thought) not looking for the next thing two weeks after a break up. That equally annoys me and gives me relief – knowing he isn’t as awesome as I thought he was. 

Then there’s the fact that he’s been hanging out with me for MONTHS not telling me. He told S that he wants to do “the honesty thing” (that he and I “did” when we first started talking two years ago) with her this time because HE needs it and enjoys it so much and I literally can’t roll my eyes hard enough – his honesty depths and frequency has nothing to do with truth and EVERYTHING to do with how he sees it best suits him. So frustrating. Regardless, now is good timing because I truly do know he cannot be the kind of partner I want and deserve. He showed today that he chooses what he knows – his own way, his old girl, and emotional infancy.

Good riddance to all THAT.

Then he tells me he “of course” told her all about me and let her know that he will not only be in the kids’ lives but in my life too as long and as much I allow it. (First of all, how unbelievably shitty is THAT for S?! Gah! I do NOT miss his rules!) He told her he enjoys my company and genuinely likes being around me – again, what a dick to her.

Eventually, I found myself saying, “Maybe down the road, if it leads there, she could meet us too so it won’t have to be a weird separate family you sometimes hang out with without your girlfriend (insert “you crazy fucking ass!”).”

But he was so genuinely happy and relieved when I said that, I kind of felt sorry for him – like he’s trying so damn hard to build a castle with room for all his important people but all he has is a plastic spork as a tool.

Anyways, we’ll see in time – I could honestly see that happening with ease if I can get on the other side of things emotionally. But another part of me is like – why the fuck do I want to hear, see, witness, or get involved with all his stupid dramatic shit again… and continually? We’ll see – obviously the kids play a role in this decision, so who knows?

I seriously can’t stop shaking my head and laughing at how predictable he is. And how loyal I am to hope and assume he’s better than that. I do NOT want to demonize him through this, because he and I have brought each other some incredible lessons in two years but oh…my…god! If they start a family and end up making this work – it will be so beautiful and meant to be, but it’s just so circular – the cycles of breakups and makeups.

The other thing is that I think maybe she was the reason all along that he wouldn’t go two feet in with me – he never stopped missing her. I think in August or September (2018) when I asked how much longer he was going to keep up the monthly “recovery birthday” texts with S and he reacted so strongly – ”As long as I want. I don’t see me stopping any time soon” – he made a choice, just like I told O I would keep talking to G. You choose who you’re most deeply connected with. Today, I would understand that kind of response is a red flag.

I am choosing to remind myself I wasn’t just a pawn to keep him occupied while S “learned her lesson” (as he once put it) from him, and all he is saying and doing now doesn’t say ANYTHING about who I am – my worth or my lovability. This is G’s journey and I can either support him gratefully or I will choose to let him drift out of our lives. I have choices and he does not give me any more or less meaning.

It’s a punch in the gut to think about them going on dates and him holding her and talking to her for hours. I know it’s my ego, but my only loss here is the companionship. He won’t be calling me when he’s bored. I’m not his playmate or friend in the evenings and on weekends. And honestly, our friendship has shallowed so much over the last couple of months, it’s not even fun for me. I like talks and curiosity and questions and being in each other’s lives, and it’s not that way with him anymore. So what, I just keep him around to fill space or time or babysit? I don’t know. I don’t need to decide that now.

Got to truly hold space for myself today and it was very uncomfortable and difficult, but I felt SO good as the day progressed. I feel able to accept this information about S and G as if I had chosen it. It almost seems as if this was the way it was always going to be. That gives me peace. I also started thinking that I’m actually really glad it’s S and not someone of menial substance. I think I can find more and more peace here. I do have to be conscious of my distaste for G’s choice to not take ANY time after our breakup, but he chooses his own path, which is clearly to continue his idiotic cycle of NEVER BEING ALONE!

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

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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