Sunday, August 28, 2011

Codependent Sunday

My counselor says that not every problem in life has a solution. She says that some things just don't have a definitive right or wrong answer. For me, that simply does not compute. In my job, if there is a complaint or a problem, I work it out until the issue is resolved. Then, I jot down some good notes, and file it away. It's fixed. End of story. So to accept that some of the issues in my life may not have a resolution, is a hard pill for me to swallow.

I am a fixer. I am a people-pleaser. I am a rescuer. I am massively codependent. How the hell am I supposed to accept the fact that I can't control or fix aspects of my life that feel effed up to me?

I've been writing this journal now for nearly three years. It is supposed to document my journey "out" of codependence. But no matter how hard I claw and dig to climb my way out, I always seem to grab hold of something slippery, and slide right back down to the pit from where I first started. When that happens I feel hopeless, stupid, and totally disgusted with myself. I try to reach into my mind and remember all the things I've learned. I try to think of detaching, of letting go of that which I have no control. But sometimes it just doesn't work. Right now is one of those times.

While everyone in my life seems content and happy, I regularly feel like my head is about to explode. While others seem to have no problem at all accepting "what is", I feel as though things are totally and completely out of control. Madison says things aren't out of control at all, it's just that some things are simply out of MY control.

There are things in my life that are not so great, but there are a lot of things that are very good. Yet I seem hell bent on ruining them by picking them apart. I don't get that about myself, but I know for sure it's born out of my need to control everything and possibly everyone around me. It also comes from my massive insecurities, and an absolutely insatiable need to feel loved and wanted.

I keep thinking back to Del Shores' tweet: "You don't need everyone to love you". But even more so I get the fact that his friend had to remind him of that in the first place.

My counselor has a sign up in her office that reads "It Is What It Is". People like me would be so much happier if we could just accept that. How sad that we so desperately want to jump up and scratch out those words and write "It Will Be What I Want It To Be".

I'm going to go upstairs now and soak in a nice hot bath. I'm going to pray for peace and wisdom in dealing with those things that I'm told have no answer--things I can't fix and file away. I'm going to say over and over again:

God grant me the Serenity to
Accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can and
Wisdom to know the difference

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dang You, Lionel Richie!

This morning I got an email from my friend Old Beth. She said that she was driving to work this morning and a song came on the radio that reminded her of when we were 16 years old, carefree, and living at home with our folks. She said she started crying so hard she had to change the station.

I don't know that we truly felt carefree at 16, although in our late 40's, it sure seems like we did. I'm sure we had our problems. Back then all we could think about was getting out and being independent. Making some money and getting married.

Today, sometimes I don't like being a big girl. The responsibilities can be overwhelming.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Journaling 1981 Style

I'm sitting up in my bed with my laptop, well....on my lap, trying to think of something to write in this journal, and then it hit me. I was thinking of doing this very thing 30 or more years ago. Well, sort of.

As a teenager, I would retreat to my bedroom at night, then lay awake listening to the radio. Sometimes I would draw, sometimes I would read my "Living Bible" and underline all the scriptures I thought were interesting. Once in awhile I would sneak the phone (which looked identical to the one pictured here) up under my bed covers and ever so slowly and quietly, dial someone's phone number and have a late night chat. But usually I would write. I had all sorts of stationery that I used for letters to my girlfriend Kim, who had gone off to college at UofK. I wrote to my girlfriend Gale in Ohio, and letters to my boyfriend Chris W. after he went in the Marine Corps. I wrote letters and drew pictures for everyone. I had journals, and like now would write the things I was thinking or feeling at the time.

But in those days it would have been almost impossible to imagine the technology of today. I'd be listening to an iPod, not a radio with dials. And the stationery has been replaced by electronic messaging. I'm not sure that back then I could have dreamed that virtually every person in the world would have an entire library of information at at their fingertips. No more writing to the guy at the local newspaper to ask the name of a movie you saw a few years back. Just Google it.

But some of these things are a lost art. Radio DJs who could actually play the songs they wanted to play, and who had the freedom to play your late night request if you called in. The beauty or humor of colorful stationery and colored ink. All gone.

It would have been hard for me to imagine the different struggles I write about today. Even though some are remarkably similar to the ones I had in those days, many are not.

I love today's technology and the freedom it gives us, but often I do feel nostalgic for the way things were in 1981.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Leaf Dance

I had the strangest experience driving to work yesterday morning. It was a little abstract, I hope I can describe it so you might be able to visualize and share it with me.

I was driving down a road that is heavily lined with very old, very large trees. At that particular time of the morning, the entire street was in shade. But beams of light shot straight down through the trees, making spotlights on the road. Many of the trees were shedding their very small, round shaped leaves, and the little yellow leaves covered the road. There was only myself and the car about 5 car lengths ahead of me.

"Benny and the Jets" had come on the radio, and was at the part where Elton John plays a catchy, almost burlesque type piano solo. As the car ahead of me drove over the tiny leaves, they whirled up in the air, danced around, and fell back down to the ground in the most beautiful, delicate way. I felt like they were doing a special little dance, just for me. A little sign that Fall is coming.

It only lasted for several seconds, but the petite little yellow leaves spotlighted by the sharp morning sun, gracefully dancing to the beautiful music of one of my favorite artists, made me feel so happy. It was like I got a special little present that no one else in the world was given.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Will You Love Me Forever??

In case you aren't familiar with him, Del Shores is a talented film director, writer, and producer. He is probably best known for his play "Sordid Lives", which later became a film, and eventually a short lived television series. It's a cult favorite, with fans (including Scarlet and myself) able to quote lines from every scene. Del Shores is also a self proclaimed codependent. We should hang out sometime.

In April, 2010 I posted a wonderful quote about codependence from one of Del's plays.

Today I came across something Del posted on Twitter earlier this year. I liked it so much I'm going to share it too:

"You don't need everyone to love you" great quote from Robb. Thanks... this codependent needed to hear that tonight!"

Madison and I have had some discussions recently about this very thing. Why do codependent people so desperately want other people to want them and to love them? Why do we worry, worry, worry about this all the time? Is it because we don't fully love ourselves? Sometimes I have to wonder if it's even possible for us to ever feel loved enough. I'm not sure it is. There's always this insecurity that the other person is going to leave us, lie to us, or love someone else more.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Words That Stick

Words are powerful. Sometimes you can say something, or someone can say something to you that sticks in your head forever. Words or phrases you will never, ever forget as long as you live. Sometimes you remember it because it made you happy, or sad. Maybe it was erotic. Maybe it shocked you, or maybe it changed your life forever. For me, here are some that spring to mind.

Sally, to me: "How far away is all the time dread?"
Scarlet, to me outside the Luxor in Las Vegas: "It's as hot as damned Egypt!"
Me, to my husband when we were dating: "I think I'm falling in love with you"
My gynecologist, to me: "What's going on with you?"
My psychiatrist, to me: "I feel pretty confident I can help you"
My therapist, to me: "Sometimes there's not a way to fix things"
Me, to my therapist: "Is that okay?"
My husband, to me: "Right now I'm here, but one day I'm going to be here"
Our neighbor Dorothy, to my mother: "They just said on the news that Elvis died"
My friend Kathie, to me: "Michael Jackson is dead"
My mother, to me: "One of the Beatles was killed last night"
Someone named Sandy who used to work with me, to me and my coworkers: "My husband just called and said the space shuttle blew up"
Some guy at a bar, to me: "You have the most beautiful lips I've ever seen"
Miss Pamela, to my husband and me: "There's the blue van!"
My husband, to Robert Plant: "I love you, man"
My mother-in-law, to me: "I know I can never take the place of your mother, but I swear to you I love you like I love my own children, and I will always be there for you"
My boss, to me: "'s just a job"
Kitty, to me: "Life is complicated"

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I Remember You!

Sometimes I have the strangest feeling that there are people in my life that I've always known. And I don't mean I've known them since I was a kid, I mean I've known them "forever". My husband and I both felt that way with our children. During both pregnancies, somehow we already knew what their personalities would be like. When I was first carrying my son, we didn't have a boy name picked out, but we did have my daughter's name picked out. When we found out the child was a boy we were excited, but instantly both of us had a little sadness that the girl wasn't coming. Somehow we knew she was waiting, and would come to us soon. Two years later, she did.

When my daughter was about three, she would say how she remembered playing with her Grammy when Grammy was a little girl. They played in a field and picked flowers. At first we tried to explain to her that Grammy was a grown up when she was born, but that did not change her insistence on the subject.

I believe there are old souls in this world and newer souls. The older I get, the more I believe we may be sent back here to learn the things we just didn't get the last time around. And maybe we come back with some, but not all of the same people. Maybe that's why we are drawn to certain people, and feel instantly comfortable with them. Maybe that's why some friends come in to our lives at an early age and even with long periods of not seeing each other, we know we must never fully lose contact with them.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Seriously suffering from writer's block.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Commercial Art Advertising...Really??

When I was a junior in high school, I realized two things. One, I had a major crush on my Sociology teacher, and two, I was completely fascinated with human behavior. This lead my decision to sign up for the class again during my senior year. They say you shouldn't have regrets in life, but I often wish I would have chosen to study Sociology instead of Commercial Art Advertising when I went to college. Maybe I'd have decided to stick with it and graduate instead of dropping out after two years, and maybe I'd be working in that field today.

It's so interesting to me to see how people act, and especially react to certain situations. Some people, when confronted with something they don't want to hear, twist things around so they can quickly avoid the comment by changing the subject and acting like the comment was never made in the first place.

Some people tuck all their fears, pain, and emotions far, far away, so they don't have to deal with them. Only they do deal with them, the issues just manifest themselves in very repressed and unhealthy ways. Some people (like me) want to talk about every emotion they are feeling. They want to think about and analyze what caused them to feel the way they do.

Some people are independent, some people are codependent. Some introverted (my daughter), some extroverted (my son).

Some people are bitter, some at peace. Some are deceiving, some are genuine. Some lie and cheat to make themselves "winners" or to always appear smarter, some are honest and accept their shortcomings.

But none of us are born with these traits, with the possible exception of introverts and extroverts. So the fascinating part is what factors cause us to end up they way we do. Our parents, our upbringing, life experiences, and other environmental factors. All very fascinating to me.

But I didn't choose to study this in college, so now I have to be satisfied with MY choices. I have my blog, which allows me to dabble a bit in the subject, but at this point in my life, it appears that's as far as it's going to go.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

River Ghost

My husband just came home from a weekend adventure trip. He and a buddy canoed down a river and set up camp on the banks at a cove. While exploring, they came upon an old abandoned church and cemetery from the 1800's, which is an historic landmark in the area. While my husband was telling us about walking around looking at old graves, and about cave explorers who had been lost in the area, and never found, I made the comment that I hoped he didn't bring any ghosts home with him.

About that time I heard something in the kitchen. It sounded like dishes clanking together. There was silence, and I asked if anyone else heard it. My husband and daughter both said they did. My daughter got up to check to see if her brother had come upstairs and gone into the kitchen. It wasn't him. We laughed it off and forgot about it.

Then about 6:00 this morning, my husband got up to go to the bathroom and heard more clanking coming from the kitchen. Was it the river ghost? If it was, he must be hungry! My husband walked in to the kitchen slowly and quietly, and concluded that the noise was coming from inside the corner kitchen cabinet. The one that swivels around in a circle. Slowly, he walked over and turned the cabinet to open it. That's when the creature revealed itself! One of our cats had gotten in there! We estimate she must have gone in around 9:00 p.m. when my husband opened the cabinet to get a pot holder. Seems she had a little overnight camping trip of her own!

I keep telling this particular kitty that curiosity killed the cat. I hope she'll listen!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just Tellin' The Truth

I'm beaten down tonight, friends. Day after day, week after week of brutal heat is taking it's toll on me. It's too hot to sit outside after work, so I feel like some type of shut in. It's too hot to sleep well at night, and too hot to cook. Besides the heat, I had to go through the pain last night of saying goodbye once again to Kitty, who spent a wonderful couple of weeks here at home. We got to share a lot of quality time, and had a great visit, but saying goodbye to her rips something out of my heart, and takes a lot out of me.

My self esteem is lower than it's been in my life, and my job continues to leave me unfulfilled and frustrated. I feel that depression is trying to creep back up on me and I'm fighting with all I have, but just like before, all I can think of is getting home and shutting down.

I'm not saying this for attention or pity, or to try to find someone to offer a solution. This blog is a journal of my life, and this is my life right now. Hopefully in a few years I'll read this back and remember this dark period, and think how glad I am that I was able to pull through it and feel good again.

Monday, August 1, 2011

And Many More!

Happy, Happy Birthday wishes to three of my favorite people. Yesterday was Miss Pamela's birthday, and today is Kitty's. Sally's is later this week. Wishing each of you a wonderful year.

The Circle of Life

So last night I'm walking into the grocery store when I spot this incredibly hot young man walking out. He's early 20's and looked like he could have a spot on the new season of "Jersey Shore". I couldn't help but look at the boy.

Then a strange thing happened. Instead of him glancing up to catch my older, more experienced gaze, I noticed his eyes were focused solely on my very pretty almost 12 year old DAUGHTER!!!

This is just wrong on so many levels.