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

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

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

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

8 MBK Memoir: How to stop chasing belonging and start choosing YOURSELF

February 8

Wow. Great headspace today. Wrote a short story and cataloged the major milestones of abandonment in my relationship with Tyrel. It was healing and freeing. Then I listened to the Evolving Man podcast with Sheleana Aiyana on Codependency and Conscious Relationships. Encouraged about my own journey and even dating again when the time is right and I find someone I’m in alignment with. Got to practice holding space for Jane today after school when she was angry and didn’t know why. I invited her to my room then let her be alone in her room. She came in a few minutes later still mad and I bear-hugged her, wrapping my legs around her and we worked through the “feelings cake”: Anger is the icing and Hurt Unfairness Fear Frustration (HUFF) is the cake. She was frustrated that Peter didn’t want to play with her. I reminded her that that doesn’t say or mean anything about her and that he has different needs and that’s OK, and she’s OK even if/when he chooses not to play with her, it’s not a reflection of her value. She was so loving and relaxed the rest of the evening – AMAZING! This shit WORKS! Can’t wait to do it for myself!! 

February 9

Good day. Getting super into learning about moon cycles! Rising Woman literally satisfies ALL of my questions about myself that started in December!

February 10

I listened to Shay and Ben’s podcasts on Evolving Man about conscious relationships and codependency this week. WOAH! I learned SO much about myself and the way I am in relationships. I am excited to continue to do the work and practice holding space for myself (and my kids)! It’s actually really fun and it works SO well!

I think it’s important to note a few things I became aware of in my past relationships:

  1. I have a solid abandonment wound from Tyrel. I wrote “Honeymoon Buoy” to help lay it all out in one place. It was healing to get it out of the sticky corners of my mind, but there’s a lingering pit in my stomach of LOSS and unfairness. I need to hold space and move through it still.
  2. I recognize that while I wasn’t necessarily codependent with Tyrel’s addiction, I very much was with him relationally. I complied because I was afraid of being rejected or abandoned (because he said that’s what would happen – he would leave me) if I brought my actual needs and desires to him. But moreso, I did not know how to hold space for myself or value my own needs so I basically asked him to do it (which he was clearly incapable of doing) and it became a space of deep wounding for me.
  3. I carried over much of that codependency into my relationship with G. We had the anxious/avoidance partner dynamic going strong and very much unconsciously. I still couldn’t hold space for myself and became frustrated when he couldn’t do it for me either. But what I’ve realized is that even as I’m starting to do the work and look at my shadows, it wouldn’t have worked with G because he was never two feet-in the relationship with me. He never has been/was. And there was no hope of having a conscious relationship without both partners being two feet in.

With all of this new awareness, I have, of course, wondered if G and I would ever get back together and here’s where I am today: No matter if it’s G or some new guy – I don’t want a fling, something casual or even a boyfriend. I want a conscious relationship with a partner in life. So, when I feel an aligned connection (which will be so fun and educational to experience), I will remember that I am worthy of asking and waiting for what I want. I love doing the work and I know I will love doing the work in a relationship. I want someone who will feel the same. 

My moon sign describes my ultimate fulfillment coming from true, deep intimacy and that couldn’t be more true. I finally feel like I’m on the right track to receiving that as I learn to give myself love and care! It’s all very exciting and the more time I get to practice without any relational distractions, the more confident I feel in all of this:)

My moon sign also says I have impeccable intuition and I can always get a read for what’s beneath the surface – damn, is that true or what?! (That’s why I’ll never stifle my gut feeling again!) Anyways, I have been sensing (through G’s flip-flopping from being super involved with the kids and basically hardly speaking to me at all) that he is in turmoil – perhaps about me and the kids or maybe just about his relational choices and patterns. I feel for him, but I know I cannot help him find his way through this. I just hope he sees the work, leans into it, and finds everything he didn’t even know he wanted in life.

February 12

Oops! Two nights ago I was swarming in inspiration from Rising Woman (via Evolving Man podcasts) and last night I was a little under the weather. Both days were slow and peaceful for me with a bit of anxiety driving in the rain with the kids yesterday. Nothing major. The kids have been so peaceful and responsive to me lately.

Man, I’m really looking forward to the day G isn’t on my mind during nearly every passive thought! 

Today I listened to Evolving Man’s podcast with Shay about the disconnect in masculinity/femininity and (just like all of their podcasts together) I get ALL the answers as to why me and G weren’t making it work. Of course there are so many things, but today’s podcast was answering all the questions I’ve heard G ask about himself. I want to call and tell him and discuss it all with him so badly, but we don’t have that openness anymore, which is healthy I guess, but I wish it wasn’t that way. In fact, I don’t think it’s necessarily that it’s healthy, it’s that way between us now (distant and strained) because G is in an avoidant pull, but just about himself and life. He’s approaching 40 in a couple weeks so I’m sure there’s some introspection happening there.

Anyways, my point is this – today I thought about opening a door to G (maybe “one last time”) before I let him go – or whatever mental closure I’m still searching for – and inviting him to consider listening to all these Evolving Man podcasts and maybe see what “we” could be if we restructure our relationship, but then immediately I thought: 

No. Because something is off about that. Me asking him to join me when he’s already said he’s out. Me entertaining a reunion in a way that perfectly satisfies ALL of my needs and desires for a relationship. Me asking him to change to fit me better.

Clearly, I’m having a difficult time – although not in actual communication with him, that’s been somewhat easy to transition out of – it’s letting go of the idea and hope of what we could be or have been. It’s really hard for me to let it go. I don’t want to live with regret so I guess I’m trying to fight for things that aren’t actually there with tools I haven’t actually acquired yet JUST in case 10 years down the road I figure out this is what I really wanted or it was my best chance or I never found anything closer to a match to me than him.

The thing about me and G is that although we’re both still pretty emotionally unintelligent, we were made to be extremely emotionally intelligent. But neither of us is there yet and there is no guarantee we will feed that potential in the future (I mean, obviously I will, but there’s no guarantee with him)!

The truth that is still settling in, is this:

This is the beginning of this emotional intelligence journey for me. I attract what I’m ready for. As more time passes, I will learn to recognize men I am in alignment with and make sound decisions based on emotional health and not a desperation to feel accepted. This is new territory and allowing myself time and space to journey through it without fear of regret will be a gift I can give to myself.

So, I will lean into my desperate attempts to rationalize begging for G to take me back. I will make space for myself and let my inner child know she is loved and accepted no matter what G chooses his journey. I will fight to have an intimate connection with me. And eventually, I will attract someone who can hold just as much space for me as I can hold for myself. 

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

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

7 MBK Memoir: How to clear a path for your Authentic Self

February 1

It was a good day – spent it writing which fed my soul. I woke up this morning feeling unbelievably accomplished and proud – just for submitting 4-5 pieces this week. I was made for writing. It’s like when a race horse gets to race – just watch me RUN! 

Feeling great all day. Empowered with writing, loving my friends (brunch with hos and Warm Place Family night), and my mind is calm. It’s just wonderful and all I’ve wanted for… my whole life. Dreams really do come true – when you do the work and make the choice: Self Love and Self Care. It’s a state of mind!

February 2

Just pondering how I’ve lived my new lifestyle for a month – my separation from my phone alone has been transformative. I’m so thankful. I binged on Rising Woman material this morning. I am so ready to discover and embrace myself as a woman. I remember just a month ago how clouded my mind was and torn my heart was with duplicitous emotions and anguish. This is the most peace I’ve EVER felt during the ovulation moon phase I think!

February 5

Oops! I’ve lost track of time and days! I’ve been super busy – (Rodeo) late night, Super Bowl the day before that… it’s been fun, but I’m wiped. However, I have been feeling extremely solid. I’m full of powerful and positive thoughts about myself, like, “I CAN… I AM…” type of things. I’ve been seeing things (mostly with G) all around me in a different light – like I love them, but they don’t tell me who I am or determine my value! Crazy good!

February 6

Today has been good – very busy, but I feel a hovering of uncertainty. I think it could be feeling frustrated with how G reacted to Peter head-butting him on accident at the rodeo the other night, or maybe I’ve been too busy. I will sit and feel and make space to recognize this tonight.

As I thought about it more, I realized the heavy feelings came after the Safe Haven (domestic violence shelter) volunteer interview this morning. I think my body is feeling the transition from my past to my New Self and it’s heavy… and remarkable. I am no longer that girl – young, naive, broken, victim, empty, alone, ignorant – I am informed, capable, strong, loved, and full of compassion and love to give. It’s the ending of an era and the beginning of a new one!

I feel a little unsettled today, not bad, but enough to know I need to lean into something. 

It started when I left my volunteer interview for the Safe Haven today. It’s like I felt myself peeling away from my “old life”. As if it’s truly become my past and I am now living in a different portion in time. Which is a GOOD thing, but this moment of transition deserves some conscious attention and honor, I think. Every step of my journey has led me to the wholeness I’m now living in and that is worthy of recognition and respect.

I also think I’m still upset about the way G responded to Peter when he accidentally head-butted him the other day at the rodeo. He and I had just had a conversation earlier that day about his escalation and emotional reactions to Peter’s behavior/emotions. But he just left Peter with the guilt and shame without sorting it out with him that night. Then he sent a video the next day to release him from guilt after I had suggested he let Peter off the hook. Not the end of the world, but it made me see how G’s inability to recognize and lean into pivotal moments of connection can potentially hurt my kids too. I need to figure out if I should talk with him about it. 

Also today, after working with C for a while, we went to his house and chatted with D a little (about G) and C said, “Yeah, he’s definitely keeping one foot in, one foot out with you and the kids in case he feels like dipping back in or in case you start seeing someone else. There’s a reason he’s staying so involved with the kids still.” Then I left feeling kind of pissed (frustrated, really) that G might be using me and my kids to fill his need for companionship or connection. So selfish. The feeling of being used is sickening… although, I am using him (babysitting, companionship) just the same… We may need to talk about this.

This heavy feeling is interesting. I’m beginning a new era of MaryBeth. One where I am not down-trodden, weak, feeble, empty and broken, damaged or wounded, but one where I am rising strong, healing wounds, embracing the pain of my story, acknowledging the woman inside who’s been there all along. I am capable of surviving tragedy and chaos and creating a life full of joy, peace and abundance! I am compassionate and I am drawn to people who understand pain and resilience.

For the last couple of days I have been reminded of when I was 18 and about to leave for college (could be the warm Texas weather we’ve had lately), but it’s a sense of freedom and a new beginning where the possibilities are endless and I have so many options and choices on what I want to do and who I want to be. I was beginning my adult life back then and now I am beginning a new chapter.

It’s incredible. I feel humbled and honored to be active and alive and awake in this moment. I am so thankful I’m paying attention and I’m so excited for today and for what is to come. Gratitude is overwhelming me. Goodness, I feel the sweetness of life.

February 7

It was a beautiful birthday for my 7 year old boy! Busy day but needed to create some space to feel out my stress and emotions today. Exploring self pleasure – it was nice to feel in touch with myself. But maybe that wasn’t the best way to self-soothe. Learning a lot from Evolving Man and Rising Woman. Thankful for the path of enlightenment unfolding before me. Feeling solid and comfortable in my own skin today.

It was a BEAUTIFUL day celebrating my best boy’s 7th birthday! Very busy and feeling a tinge of stress, so I tried to self-soothe and create space to feel and acknowledge the feeling.

I’m becoming obsessed with Evolving Man and Rising Woman podcasts and blogs.

Today I contemplate G differently – sympathetically. I acted out of my abandonment wound and focused mostly on him instead of myself. It’s unfortunate, but I understand it more now. All I can do is keep working on myself and align myself. It makes me curious about how my life will unfold. I am ready to hold space for myself next time I feel unstable. I want to soothe my inner child and stop acting out of abandonment (projecting what I feel and making it other people’s “fault” or needing someone else to reassure me when I feel insecure). I am absolutely FLOORED at how this enlightenment is just unfolding everyday before me lately. I am so excited to see what lies ahead for me. I feel like I’m healing the parts of me I’ve always felt have plagued me.

How lucky am I? And I get to learn how to hold space for my kids… and teach them how to do the same!

I want a conscious romantic relationship next time – and every time from this point on. In fact, I may want to do this work for the rest of my life – after I do more work of my own for a while, then help others live in conscious healing.

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

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

6 MBK Memoir: How to consciously connect with yourself

January 26

(Watching Beautiful Boy with Steve Carrell)

Strung out.

Cold, sticky tiles I lay on.

I am separate from my body.

I am two parts: broken and ruined.

Drained of worth, short of purpose.

Whether in or out,

No matter here or there.

Be it with or alone,

If I’m empty or full.

It never stops.

Always questioning,

Always with no answer.

Am I, just as I am, enough?

Without it, I’m undone.

The panic eats me from the inside.

It’s all I know and all I have

My way outside the black soot of my soul.

This.

This is all I have.

You can’t set me free.

You can’t even see me bleed.

Alone I lie.

Cold, on stained, sticky tiles.

And alone I die.

In vain self-denial.

Sometimes I have more ideas than I think I can handle, but this one’s worth writing down.

Towards the end of Beautiful Boy, when he’s in the diner alone writing, he leaves his notebook to go shoot up in the bathroom, I had a thought:

What if everywhere I go – coffee shops, diners, out to eat, even bars–I write a short poem or ode of inspiration, date it and tag my IG?

If I encourage, touch, or inspire one person, it would be worth it to me. I leave it in the hands of fate and move along. Maybe I snap a pic and post it on my IG before or maybe not. It’s all about human connection and energy – feeling alive and seen, knowing someone left something maybe JUST so you’d pick it up.

I hope I remember to do this.

It went perfectly (Book of Mormon at Bass Hall with G). He’s keeping his boundaries and it helps me stay true to what I know is best for me. We enjoyed each other’s company and the night without leading each other on, flirting, or crossing any lines. I feel solid and empowered by all of it and hopeful for my growth and future love story (with myself and life partner). Tired af. But feeling stable and settled in my mind and heart today.

January 26

Long day. Peter’s party was today. Some of Tyre’s family came up – it was difficult, but not as bad as it’s been before. G was with us most of the day – getting balloons for me, helping with the kids, etc. He had a bunch of his favorite people show up. It was wonderful being with them. I felt very loved having all of them loving Peter. I’m completely wiped though.

January 28

Light cloud looming – Tyrel’s 37th birthday today. Just relaxed tonight. Still feeling solid.

January 29

Solid. Actually, really happy. Volunteered today and it was wonderful. I’m getting more comfortable there. Had wine with dinner. G came over.

January 30

Feeling a little stressed – but for no particular reason. Other than that, I feel really good. I’m happy. My own happy. I’m focusing on my body, my feelings toward myself and loving ME. I’m not my own enemy. With everyday that passes, I see a little more why G and I are not together. I love him, but I’m growing strong and finding myself and I’m BIG. Our relationship was small.

February 1

I’ve fallen in love with @risingwoman on the gram. Everything they post is exactly what I’m learning about myself right now. I am learning how to have a conscious relationship connection with myself and open my mind to the possibility of a conscious relationship one day. I see how a mother wound or abandonment issue has left me feeling unworthy of love and seeking validation from others – men, friends, female role models – so many people. Even things like social media. But I truly am loving who I am… just as I am.

Every time I have a “negative” or “positive” emotion – mostly when they’re BIG – I try to take a moment to consciously open myself up and make space for that feeling. It’s been nothing less than revolutionary for my mind. I still think about G daily, but from a different stance – more loving and less insecure. And with each day, I become less interested in him (and the idea of anyone) and his emotional unavailability. It’s fascinating!

I also find myself actually thinking it might be EXCITING to get to know someone new down the road and let someone get to know me – the REAL me – whole and calm. Usually the beginning of relationships are fun for the flirting and chemistry, but extremely anxiety-ridden for me because I haven’t built enough trust and I’m so damned afraid they’re going to betray me or leave me or something.

But I know. I really really know now that I can trust myself to heal after heartache, disappointments, tragedy. I trust ME so I think I’ll be a lot more free to enjoy the moments of getting to know someone next time.

Oh, heart, you are healing and in doing so, calming my mind.

February 5

First of all, FUCK work for taking away my journal time! Haha

Second, I am BEAT every time I volunteer at the horse ranch and I’m realizing how much physical exhaustion helps slow my mind and calm the overthinking down. I used to say, ”I don’t have the patience/energy/time or anything to give to volunteering or helping others,” but today I noticed that volunteering and connecting/loving on others HELPS me to be more tender and compassionate to my littles and myself. It was very sweet and extremely fulfilling. I’m addicted.

Third, people are starting to notice I haven’t been on my phone as much. I feel like I’m losing touch, but I know I just need to set a new rhythm/pace for my socializing.

Fourth, woah, Nelly! The clarity of mind is coming fast! I have felt so solid and framed in a way I’ve never been towards myself! I love things and people and G, but they don’t say anything about who I am anymore, and they don’t tell me who I am either. They don’t give me value or validate me. And… the biggest part – I don’t ask them to. 

I don’t ask my kids to behave so I can look like I have my shit together. I don’t drink or not drink according to who I’m with but rather by what I feel is best for ME at that moment. I don’t serve food, time or flattery so people will see that I bring value to the world, I do it because I want to. And on and on…

Last night I felt – even in silly banter – I was able to communicate my true heart and self to G more clearly than I used to be able to. I didn’t stumble over my words or lose my thoughts because my feelings and fears were clouding the moment. I chose to speak. It was so satisfying! And I don’t crave attention, verification or acknowledgement to know that I AM ENOUGH everyday anymore. I feel like an oak tree has taken over my core and I am strong, solid, and old in so many different areas.

I am proud of who I am, how far I’ve come and my choices to love, stabilize and lean into myself and family.

XO

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

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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