The Hits Keep Coming

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I’ve taken a long break from this little space of mine. I distance myself from people, things, friendships, and relationships. It’s a process that I find a little home to be myself, I don’t feel safe with it, and then disappear. I’m like vapor that can never quite be caught my another. With one situation being rectified, another comes to the surface. And yet again, I’m teetering. But, there are beautiful things in this world I appreciate.

My friendships, newfound and special to me. One even lasting three years even though we’re both people with a cynical approach on the world.

A newly floundered friendship where I’m just waiting for them to get bored with me. Somehow, I make friends with easily bored people. Luckily, I’m a complicated mess of a person to get to know so there’s a lot of layers to uncover. Always one more when you uncover another, so yeah.

Losing my career, trying to find it, surgery and health conditions that just add to a never ending list. That’s not exactly a thankful thing, but it’s forced me to slow down and do more that I would normally never do. Because it makes me look at my mortality and realize that every day this life should be lived to its fullest extent. You just never know.

Distance is still there between my family, it’s endless. I don’t and won’t trust them to be there for me. I will be there for them if they need it, but I can’t rely on them. The cycles of gossip and telling me to just get over things has never been useful for me in my life. I tell my brother not to share information and he goes against my word and spills everything to my mother. I feel like I’m in an endless gossip circle that has never benefited me.

This game of telephone where my words are taken, used against me, and they make endless ridiculous scenarios out of them.

I’m in a certain sort of limbo, my arms and legs flailing in the air. I make the most of it but I’m terrified of the edge. I know what’s coming, but I don’t want it to come.

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When your family doesn’t want to see you

I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster that has mainly had stomach churning dips that are never ending. There’s been a move, my husband’s surgery, my husband still jobless two years later, and my brother getting engaged. I feel like I can’t fully exhale because something else is just looming to punch me in my stomach for good measure if I try to catch my breath.

There has been a plan to visit my family that got dashed because it was my idea when to see them because I could get cheap plane tickets. Now, I’m staying in the city so that I can explore it for the first time ever while they can either decide to see me, or not see me. Yesterday both my mother and my father told me to cancel my hotel, plane tickets, because what was the point of my trip? It’s a lot of money to waste on sightseeing and that they didn’t want me to come.

My emotions that were well tied up for awhile broke at the seams. I was angry, hurt, sad, and told them that my original plan was to see them and this was my last chance to do it. With my husband being out of a job for so long and his 401K officially used up my plan is to pick up every weekend to make the most money I can. This is my last chance to travel until a time I just can’t see right now. But, since they didn’t plan for me to come and this was my idea I have had them attack my plan time and time again. 

My mind teeter-totters on the edge of just doing what they say, yet my stubbornness fights against it. I have this weekend and two days off for this trip and I won’t get put on the schedule at the last second. And I want this trip for myself. I need it as a break from the relentless working and stressing loop I keep falling deeper down. But, unfortunately, I end up doubting myself as my family tries to get me to disengage from this vacation. It’s a negative feedback loop that keeps getting fed every time I talk to them.

I think I need this for my own sanity to travel and enjoy a city I love and coincidentally came from.

Teaching myself how to forgive

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve never really been taught how to forgive, I’d hold on to grudges and I’d end up holding onto a lot of anger. The way I was taught was that the world was an untrustworthy place, everyone was out to get you, they were there to take advantage of you, or just plain hurt you. You should be prepared for said ‘screwing over’ by other people because it wasn’t a matter of if it was going to happen but when.

So, this is how I’ve lived for a very long time and as I became more and more aware of myself I realized living this way made me feel terrible. I’d hold onto all of this hopeless anger because I didn’t want to forgive, or especially forget, so I would eventually become it. Becoming the anger is something that eats you up inside, it consumes your every thought especially when you are around that said person who hurt you.

I remember saying so many times, “I will never forgive you for this, I can never forgive you for this!” The feeling of holding onto that is very memorable, how it twisted my guts in the worst possible way. There was no way to escape it, and there definitely wasn’t any way that I could forgive because they would just hurt me all over again. Over the years I’ve distanced myself from many people, though I allow time passing to do the work for me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t know what it is about starting from scratch that made something click in me. I can be a good person at times, I can even be great, I can love, but I’m stopping myself from loving and I don’t think I’m fully living my life because I’m scared to. The not forgiving was eating me alive, making me literally sick from stress, and I was afraid to let people in. I’m not going to lie and say that I let everyone in now, that I’m not cautious, yet I am putting myself out there more with going out more in social situations.

Every time someone is nasty to me, or says something to upset me, I try my best to forgive them. My motto lately is that whatever they’re criticizing me for is what they really are unhappy with themselves. That other people’s unhappiness doesn’t mean it has to be rub off on me, especially with not forgiving them and holding a grudge against them.

Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things for me to try to perform on a daily basis, but I know how holding on to that anger feels like… It just eats me away from the inside out.

The point where you love your body

0607111853I believe that women in particular can have a difficult time with loving their bodies, because I know I have personally had a very hard time with it since I first got a ‘body.’ As a little girl I was nothing but legs and height, and all I cared about was playing outside for as long as I could and doing boyish things with my brother. Puberty hit me at a really young age and I recall being thrown off by what was happening to me. My long, lean build was gone and I ballooned out in about every direction.

Of course, like any woman out there I was teased quite a bit and bullied a lot. The boys started noticing any girls who had ‘blossomed’ and so I covered myself in baggy clothes and hid it as best as I could. The worst teasing, unfortunately, came from my family because suddenly my metabolism was turned against me. I couldn’t just eat anything like I did as a kid and have it not show. My family thought they were helping me by pointing out my weight daily, but year after year of this on a constant basis deteriorated my perception of myself. I avoided mirrors like the plague and got used to hearing from my mother in particular that if I lost weight I’d be perfect. 

319919_1975714788888_1123630225_31682279_2101631656_nTurns out later that I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and this makes it difficult to lose weight, easy to gain, and your hormones are completely out of balance. Even when I was diagnosed and put on medication it didn’t help my weight, and I may have gained while I was on my medication. The symptoms it helped clear was cystic acne and it regulated my period so I wouldn’t go six months at a time without one.

To this day I always react to people bullying someone about their weight, even if the bully is that person. I make sure to say any good thing that crosses my mind, you look good today, etc. but I try to keep weight out of it. Lately I’ve been told that I look like I lost weight… and I know I haven’t. I just don’t need to lose any more especially since I am very content at how I am right now. I have never been as happy as I am about my body, especially because it just feels so much stronger. I had a set goal weight I wanted to go for at first, yet, I don’t care as much if I am at that exact weight or a few pounds above it because my body just feels good. It even shows in my career that I can give deeper massages that may have exhausted me if I did several in a row before and I don’t feel tired at all.

0907111815Through my journey I’ve had I have realized that finding love and appreciation for your body, and who you are, of course begins and ends within yourself. The kind of teasing and bullying I’ve been through for my weight is something I’d never wish upon any other woman or especially a child. Yet, I know as women we have to fight against not only what people say about how we look, or the media says, but also when we end up turning against ourselves as well.  To this day I don’t like it when people I don’t know tease me incessantly thinking they are funny and I will tell them every time to stop it. 

I am not one for resolutions or goals but I did have at least one this year that I will continue to love my body, treat it good, and maintain all the hard work I’ve done. I want to continue doing one of my passions I never thought I would have which is cooking 6-7 days out of the week. I’ve always been one to want to change little parts of me, my thighs, my stomach, and I’m learning to be content with what I’ve got. It’s a process continuing to love your body, especially when it seems like everyone is telling you that you need to fix any flaws that you have. I realize now my flaws are what make me… me, and that they can be the most beautiful thing about a person.

Choosing strength over worry

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt feels like its been forever since my husband was notified about the news of his job ending at the end of the year. He has processed it far better than I have, and he has decided to take charge and do everything in his power to prepare to pick his next job. We are both worries, him and I, so I was surprised that he has been handling it as well as he has. My husband has been reading career books, and even has a huge file of the materials he’s accumulated.

All I could do in the beginning was be consumed by the worry, the worry of us running out of money, him not finding a job, so much adding up that at times I felt like I was under a rip current from all of my anxiety. I struggled to get back to normal, but I kept on getting thrown around in the strong current.

Just a week after the news I had a preplanned trip to travel with my brother on our first brother/sister adventure together and I think that this helped me to get back to myself. I laughed more than I had in what felt like years, and it definitely felt cathartic to let all of that pent-up negative energy out in the form of laughter. My brother and I had a great time together and though I came back still worried, I felt like I might be handling it better.

It’s amazing how different I am from when I first moved away from my family and friends, because if given a chance for my husband to take back a job where we used to live, I wouldn’t exactly jump at it. After all of this time I spent fighting our move here and wishing I could go back, I don’t wish for that now. It’s only after the fact and after I accepted our move that I realized the truth… That this move was a very good thing for the both of us. I’ve grown leaps and bounds, teaching myself to cook when before I would burn the water when I had boiling water on the stove and Id run away because I didn’t know what to do to fix it. There’s other things that I’ve grown in, and even my whole body has changed with my weight loss thanks to my dedication to cook and track what I eat.

I don’t want to blame things, people, or circumstances for what I’m going through or the emotions that I feel. Lately even though my husband’s job loss is scary and imminent, I feel like I’ve been even more loving to him and I’m leaning on him more. He asked me if I trusted him to get another job, to choose correctly for what he’d be doing or where we might be going. Normally I’d answer, “Sure, I trust you but I don’t trust the world out there” yet now I’m just answering with just “I trust you.” For all that he and I have been through since saying those simple words “I do.” a year ago when we got married we have faced challenges and we have also conquered them.

There’s the other stipulation of us moving again, and we could be moving many miles away, but even with that I accept it. Another move may be another opportunity for me to learn something new about myself. It will never be easy not to have anxiety about the unknown, yet I’m trying to train myself to pick hope and strength over worry.

Family isn’t just a word

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have an uncle and aunt who technically aren’t my aunt and uncle, yet I’ve always seen them that way. And, for a while now, I feel like I’ve been playing a childhood game where I can pretend that they are my family, even though we aren’t, because they’ve made me feel like family. These two people have made me feel special, and like I was important, since I was a little girl and I’d honestly hardly ever see them.

It wasn’t until the trip where my husband finally met them that I realized I wasn’t playing a childhood game of pretending. It was real, and not only did they call me their niece but they were also super proud of it. It was a unique and awesome concept, being able to show my husband some of my family that had adopted me in. We had so much fun spending time with them, a lot of laughs, and I appreciated the time we got to spend with them.

214Now, I will be traveling back to visit them with my brother, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. My brother has asked me since I was a teenager if I wanted to travel with him to visit my uncle and aunt and I’ve just never felt I could do it. There was the difficulty of getting the time off, not getting paid for taking the time off, getting someone to cover me, and the cost of the plane ticket on top of everything else. Yet, I feel like since my move my husband and I have made a year ago I am more daring, and luckily, have an easier time getting time off to travel. This trip was pre-planned before I found out my husband would be losing his job so it takes on a deeper level of being around family during this time.

My brother has always been someone I’ve looked to for guidance in really tough times, much more so than my mother or father. My mother likes to look at me for reassurance, and so does my father, so I’ve come to lean on my brother for our rare serious conversations. There may be no serious conversations, only fun, since I will be hanging out with him and my uncle and aunt. I haven’t been laughing very much lately, truly laughing, and with being a rather positive, funny, and upbeat person it’s been hitting me.

018And, of course since I am a happy go lucky type of person everyone around me is aware of the change if I don’t cover it up carefully or if I’m not busy I will just be thinking too much of the ‘what ifs.’ When I’m thinking intensely I am one of those people who frowns or looks slightly angry so I’ve been trying my best to be preoccupied which is easiest when I’m massaging.

I thought of canceling the trip to meet up with my brother where we’d spend the time with our aunt and uncle when I found out my husband is being furloughed. I told myself it wasn’t right to be traveling, to be on vacation, to be laughing, when something so serious is going on. My husband, of course, insisted that I go and that I needed it. Truth be told there’s been a number of years I have wished I could have traveled with my brother to visit our aunt and uncle, yet, I just couldn’t and now I have the chance to. I just got back from a trip and ended up getting sick from that so I’m trying to recuperate as best as I can.

I want to lean on family during this time of uncertainty and I am going to try my best to. I’m not the type of person to let people know what’s going on in my head, what I’m struggling with, but hopefully it will be a relief and what I need.

The meaning of family

I wasn’t planning on being back with my family this month, and my husband and I are planning a simple family get together of the holidays of just us two for Christmas and thanksgiving. My father is more than aware of our feelings towards his family, we just are kind of like outcasts. I don’t know but being the only girl in the family it was like I was being punished for not being a boy. My cousins were always better than me, doing more important things, and I was used to being ignored in family gatherings and I would prepare with a book going to Christmas or thanksgiving.

It’s like they have a favorites system, and he is the lowest on the list. As I’ve heard his grief over the phone when he found out his mother passed, to him trying to control his emotions in the days after it hits me like a knife to the heart.

Every family has their skeletons, their issues, their imperfections, some more than others. And, he is my family and we have had our differences and we have had our arguments but it falls away when death is present. Especially when it is one of the most important person in your life, your mother, is the one that you have lost. His grief is raw and I can’t ignore how hard this must be for him, because it’s written on his face.

I wish I could offer my father more comfort than what I know what to do. I wish I could do more than just patting him on the back, and closing the lap top when he keeps staring at his mothers obituary. We know that it is for the best, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of it.

My memories turn back to some of my favorite moments with my grandmother doing what we love, horseback riding together. Her affection she had for the school horse I loved before I bought my very own horse. Her stories of riding when she was a kid, and these are the memories I have of even my great grandmother which stand out.

My great grandmother always talked about her child, my grandmother, and riding in their backyard. My great grandmother was a very sweet and kind woman, and she lived to almost one hundred years old. Her wake was the first I attended, and I didn’t understand why everyone was so sad or what had happened since I was that young. I thought the point of these meetings was not to cry, since my mother made sure never to cry in front of us that I shouldn’t cry for what had happened. From what I could see you should never cry in front of someone, so I made sure to never do it in front of someone as I got older.

I feel for my father and it just aches in my heart when I see him staring off with a lost expression on his face. I may not be able to take his grief away but at least I can be here to give him the support he needs.

Death and its effects

I haven’t dealt with death much in my life, which I know is a blessing. But, its also because I don’t let people in my life as well as I don’t have much family. My grandmother, my moms mother, died before I was born.

My grandfather was the last death that we experienced as a family and taking him in our house was the most difficult 2 years of our life as a family. He was diagnosed with a rare disease, then it was discovered he had a life threatening problem and we had hospice visiting for a year. The way he finally was hurt was falling down and the wheelchair was too far away for him to fall in. We never had a funeral for him so I haven’t gone to a funeral since I was 5 years old. I really don’t know what is going on, what you do, what happens, none of it.

My grandmother just recently passed, and the feeling of her being gone is something that hit me harder than I ever thought. My grandmother and I had a complicated relationship, but she was also a stubborn, strong, and force of nature type of lady. She was suffering and had that fierce independence taken away from her as disease ravaged her body and functions. My grandmother is of course in a better place but death has knocked at her door step so many times I can’t even count. She has fought against death and recovered when you thought it wouldn’t happen, so for her to finally be taken by it just feels like maybe it just isn’t possible.

Yet, it is possible, she is gone and I am back where my family is to be there for third funeral in my life. My father is devastated and I need to be there for him for support. My fathers family and I have never gotten along, and I was definitely closest to my grandmother. My family, my brother, me, my mother, and father, will be there for the wake and the funeral. I flew down to be here and it’s been very hard for me being back and with my grandmother’s passing.

That’s what happens when you are family, you will band together for each other to get through the toughest moments in life, even when death makes an unexpected appearance in your life.

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What to do when bullying is on the brains

As a little girl, mainly grade school and preschool, I was bullied, which I find just crazy. How does bullying happen, how does bullying snowball, and how is it that every person seems to go through it and it tends not to be so rare? I had the grade school girls in my class bully me, and I cried to the teacher about it and she certainly didn’t believe me. I’ve been called big girl, and a whole slew of names, so I started to get a really aggressive personality. I’d be ready for a fight, and ready to defend myself if it came.

When I was volunteering and working with children I made sure to try my best to make them feel comfortable and to discourage any kind of bullying. I noticed the shy kids when we were doing activities and would try to get the shy ones out of their shells.

I worked at a nature garden, a space camp, 4-H, a ton of different volunteer opportunities which had me working with younger children. You never know why a kid may be shy but when it came to me watching what I said it was because when I was younger I was made fun of for everything I said. That will discourage you from talking and interacting so I never tried to talk down to the kids I worked with. And with the shy kids I especially made sure to talk to them, encourage them to interact, even act goofy and get them to call me weird if that made them laugh and have fun.

I don’t have any tolerance for bullying whatsoever if it is with kids, adults, there is just no reason for it. Being bullied hard when I was younger just makes me fight against it that much harder if someone is being put through it. I know bullies must get something out of what they do, I’m guessing it has to do with control and putting someone down to make themselves feel better… but I will never understand it.

Get back in the saddle

I realized something with my last blog post, something I certainly have tried to ignore and push out of my head and fight for a few years now. I am a horseback rider, it is literally in my blood and my family on both sides has horseback riders. I can see an image of a horse from miles away, and as a little girl I collected breyer horses. I pretended that they were my own and even had a wooden stable for them. I raced them in circles, jumped them over miniature jumps, and dreamed of having my own horse.

And, I got my own horse, and she was amazing, spirited, bratty, smart, and most of all, one-of-a-kind. I loved her more than anything, even when she tossed me, even when she hurt me when she was younger. We fought each other and we were both stubborn, but I still loved her to death. She was diagnosed with a degenerative disease and slowly that feisty little thing started to slowly fade before my eyes. The pain was evident, she limped when she trotted and it was clear she was in so much pain. Near the end she went off her feed and stopped eating, me and my mom were distraught and tried everything to get her better. We did injections that were supposed to help and supplements, and kept fighting hard but she was suffering, and kept on losing so much weight.

Finally, we made the decision we didn’t want to make. I cried for so long, and I still cry when I think about it. I put away my model horses and took down every bit of horse stuff I had. The saddles, the bridles, all of our equipment and clothes were boxed away and I swore to myself I would never do anything with horses again. How could I when I finally owned my first horse and then lost her even though my mother and I tried so hard to do everything to make her better.

Horseback riding has always affected me in a strong way, whether it’s the adrenaline rush of jumping or the peace I feel from trail riding. I’ve been doing it since I was 7 years old, and I did everything horse related I could. I even tried every riding style out there, from English, to hunter/jumping, saddle seat, and I even dabbled in western and gaited horses. My favorite type of horse was always the high-strung ones, the horses no one else could handle. That was the type of horse my girl was, my first horse, and she was high-strung and hard to train. I like the challenge of a horse that is nervous and how I can calm them down by just not being affected by their nervous energy. I enjoyed breaking in gaited horses when I got the opportunity and how it feels being in the saddle.

I think I’m going to try to get back into riding, I think it might make me feel more at home with the move and get me back into something I’ve loved for so long. I hope I’m strong enough to get back into the saddle and ride again, because I’ve tried to tell myself I don’t want to be a horseback rider again but I know it’s in my blood.