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.

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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.

Is my introversion showing?

DSC00156As much as I can fool everyone else that I am an extrovert I just can’t do the same with myself, and you better believe I have tried. Sometimes you just know as a kid that being around with people drains you, and that you totally crave ‘me‘ time. I was always that quiet and shy kid who always loved to just be alone with herself and my imagination would just run wild. If I ever was sent to my room for being bad or whatever reason I would relish in the quiet time and bring out my toys to play with them.

The only thing that has changed about me is I know how to handle people to make them feel at ease. I know how to make them believe that I am an extrovert and being considered an extrovert seems to make people feel comfortable. I put a lot of energy into being outgoing, loud, and fun at work which is who I am, but I don’t have enough energy at the end of my work day to go out and be social. After a day where I push myself all I can think about is coming home to my husband and being quiet and just taking it easy.

005With my job you can have some down time and when there’s down time people expect me to be around other people. On certain days I can push myself to be social and interact, but sometimes, I just can’t and that is when I generally keep to myself. During these forced quiet times I think that my introversion is showing, and I try my best to not to let it show, yet I can’t deny when all I want to do is recharge in peace and quiet.  My profession of massage has me being with people all the time when I’m busy, and if I have a day when my clients want to talk during their session I can get particularly exhausted. Luckily, it tends to be unusual for a client that needs to talk during their massage and even more peculiar for there to be more than one in a day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve become quite accustomed to the declaration that I am crazy. Pretty much everyone says it and growing up as a kid who was always called strange and an oddball I’ve learned to wear it like a badge of honor. My favorite thing to say in response, though I have many, is You wish you could be this kind of crazy!” Even when I was younger the other kids would try to bully me about my strangeness, and my anti-social nature, and back then I would still take it as a part of myself. I was unique, extremely unusual, and there was really nothing wrong with who I was unless I wanted to believe them.

So, on days where I know my introversion is showing I just tell myself it is a part of me. I can dance, and be goofy, and be crazy without a second thought but when I come home it’s time to press that recharge button.

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 Boudoir Experience

budiouphotoAs you may or may not know I signed up for yet another Boudoir Photo Shoot, even though I had done one early in the year. The photo shoot was so much fun, the pictures turned out great, and it turned out to not be a complete robbery of my wallet to get some of the professional pictures. All last month I was working out, walking, and eating a little more carefully in preparation of the Boudoir action I’d be getting.

I collected more little outfits to wear at discounted prices and made sure that they fit. Believe it or not as it came down closer to my photo shoot time I share with my coworkers I’d be getting it done. They were excited for me and so I buzzed with excitement when they day finally came.

This time I was going to try a traditional corset where someone ties you up so you can’t breathe, can’t move, and in general can’t think with it on. My husband instructed me to breathe in and out at the opportune time and of course I breathed out when I should have breathed in because he was trying to kill me. Those little strings pulled tighter and I wondered if the corset was giving me a bear hug I could never get out of. He kept on pulling and pulling obviously enjoying seeing me squirm in pain.

When he was all finished he had me try to bend over, I could barely accomplish this and had to bend at the right angle. My wonderful hubby then said it was too loose if I could bend over, so I ran away from him and stupidly drove myself to my photo shoot.

I nearly crashed into the car in front of me more times than I can count. I told myself to focus on the road but my mind kept on trying to find solutions to breathe better without pain. That corset choked my rib cage with a vengeance and I wondered how women did this when this piece of torture was a fashion necessity. This time for my cover up clothes I wore my little shirt dress that I love since I can’t imagine wearing the corset with jeans. Once I got to the location they sat me down (ouch!) and fancied up my hair and put on some smokey eye makeup plus some fake eyelashes.

This time I was so much more relaxed to be half-naked with another woman in the room who coincidentally had a camera with her. I could feel myself less guarded and also less hyper this time. The smiling and different looks came easier to me, and I was out of my head with being self-conscious. And not being self-conscious when you’ve spent your whole life being that way is definitely priceless.

Thinking of good comebacks after the fact

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHave you ever had someone say something to you and you really wish you had a comeback to give them right back? I had this recently happen to me and I will share it for an example:

Coworker: “Whoa! What happened to your hair?!”

Me: “I’ve been working… My hair gets fluffy when I work hard.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wish I had a better comeback and it always gets me the next day or even the next week for what to say. I also have this inner filter I try to keep on always because I don’t want to say something that would hurt someone’s feelings, even if that person is trying to rile me up. If a coworker looks especially nice a day that I work, I always make sure to tell them.

How a woman responds to a compliment is almost always, “uhhh… I look like crap today, are you blind??” so unfortunately even good comments have to be kept in check. I’ve learned the lesson of who will receive a compliment well, and who will make me feel like a dope for saying anything.

And, it’s okay to not say something nasty or smart as a comeback if you can’t think of anything to say in return until days later. Just laugh at the remarks and it’ll frustrate the person trying to put you down in that moment.

You say I’m an extrovert, nice try

IMG_0668It’s kind of funny that I suddenly got a kick to take personality tests and that every test is telling me I am an extremely strong extrovert. Like, I’m such an extrovert they rarely see people score that high in the extrovert category the results end up telling me. But, I kind of smile at that because I know that I am throwing the tests off.

I am the life of the party, and people tend to feel really comfortable being around me. I like to dance and I tend to talk a lot with ease. I mean look at my profession, I’m around people all of the time with massage! Yet, I am incredibly private, I feel uncomfortable talking about my personal life, and when I’m done with work the last thing I want to do is spend more time socializing. On the surface of things there seems to be no other category for me to go in but an extrovert with my loud and outgoing personality.

The tests just get that surface level of me, the side everyone sees when they meet me and when they think they know me. Luckily, I know myself better that when I need to recharge I do. And, when I feel like I’ve had enough of talking or being social I go back home to hang out in my bedroom.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am a person known to break out in singing, dancing, I even ended up dancing on a kitchen counter at one party (I was encouraged to hop up on the counter, I tried to fight going up there, but it seemed like too much fun.) This seems to be in part to my not caring what people think of me, I am crazy, fun, and loud, you either take it or you can leave it.

When I was a child it was a different story, especially at family gatherings it was like a form of torture facing the holidays. I didn’t have anyone to talk to being the only girl, and the youngest, so I would find a quiet corner on Christmas eve year after year to read my book and wait for it to be over with. I wanted to sit at the adult table because I related to adults better even when I was very little. I’d always be that shy, reclusive kid and teenager, observing what was going on and studying people’s interactions.

There are very few people who meet me now and knew me way back when in school and they can’t quite believe I’m the same person. Then, it’s just as interesting to have people who have met me now and they can’t believe me to be anything but loud and you-see-what-you-get type of person. I may trick the personality quizzes, yet I can’t trick myself.

Cockroach Killer Extoardinaire

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A bug was harmed in the making of this post. Just not this one since it was outside in the safe zone

I’ve never had to deal with cockroaches before, count me lucky, or sheltered, but I know what they look like. My friend has that as one of her big fears, cockroaches she told me can fly, Sarah, seriously! This friend of mine also recently discovered that she has an intense fear of sink holes, which she just recently discovered and she said they can follow you and happen anywhere.

I am a bug person since the age of three I’ve had memories of grabbing ants (even fire ants, ouch) and putting them in my clear plastic purse. Crickets, grasshoppers, moths, caterpillars, rollie pollie bugs, about every bug you can think of I’d collect. As I’ve gotten older I still have an appreciation of all things creepy and crawly, yet, I’ve changed since I was a little girl. If a bug is invading my home I will most likely kill that bug with a vengeance, they will get especially annihilated if I caught them in my bed.

There is no love for bugs if they are found creeping around my home, though they can only wish that I have compassion the day I find them and I might try to let them outside. If they get caught in our home again I doubt I can find it in my bug loving heart not to crush them to pieces. My husband does not have my killer instincts and so we have taken on opposite roles to say the least. So, when my husband and I went to visit our little pet and he nearly fell over I thought he had hurt himself, which was not quite so.

He saw a cockroach, jumped onto the coach like a girl, and told me to take care of it. That bugger was huge, so I did the logical thing.

Me: “I’m going to get my killing boots, be right back.”
Husband: “Don’t leave me with it, come back here!”

I headed over to my closet on the opposite side of the apartment and searched for the perfect killing boots. I couldn’t find my favorite pair so I went with a high top type of boot after five minutes of searching, pulled up my pajama bottoms, and stomped on over. My husband was on the couch cowering, asking me why I’d left him for so long, he wouldn’t stop hiding on the couch. The cockroach was, of course, hiding as well.

I wasn’t going to be done until I killed it, so I searched around and was able to rush it out but I missed killing it and it darted under our couch.

Me: “We need to move the couch, it’s hiding, get up and help me move it.”
Husband: “What if it attacks me?! I don’t want it to attack me!”

It took quite a bit of convincing but he did move the couch and lo and behold… The cockroach was someplace else. I was on the hunt so I flipped over a pillow and found it, and went into killing mode. I may or may not have sworn while I was stomping it to death and did more than a double tap, more like a twenty tap to make sure it was dead. You gotta remember cockroaches can survive anything, and they are probably like zombies, you gotta make sure that head is off to really kill them.

We then volleyed back and forth who would throw away the dead bug, but I did the killing, so he can take care of the cleanup. My husband then informed if there was a zombie apocalypse that he would be able to handle it. I highly doubt that and know I would just need my killing boots to be able to take on some zombies.

My middle finger hurts

140Imagine my surprise today when I woke up this morning and noticed that my middle fingers, right in the joint area, were aching every time I bent them. This perplexed me because my work day massaging the day before wasn’t too intense and I only had one deep tissue massage. Every time I wake up and something I need to massage is not working (my hands, my fingers, my wrists, etc.) it always makes me panic for how I’m going to work around it.

I of course wondered why it was mainly my middle fingers which were hurting me the most. All I could think of was that I may have been flipping someone off in my sleep, that’s all I could come up with. And I had to be intensely flipping them off in my sleep, because the joints were sore and I haven’t had my fingers hurt like that in a while. Or, who knows, maybe I was doing deep tissue frictioning on my pillow in my sleep, you never know.

So, when I walked into work I was less than enthused with my current predicament. One of my coworkers asked me what was up and I was honest that for some odd reason my middle fingers were aching. She immediately concluded that I must be angry, especially since it was the middle fingers that were bothering me. I told her I had a good day the day before, and she luckily offered to help me out.

My coworker is like a witch doctor because she seriously has magic hands and can make a certain area feel better with her voodoo magic. I knew she would be the one to help me at least dull the pain so I sat down, had a cup of coffee, and let her use her fairy dust on me.

We sat there while she held where the area was that was sore on my one middle finger, and then the other, and voila! it was totally feeling better. She says it was really nothing that she did but I don’t know any other person who can tune in like her and make something stop aching by just the tiniest bit of work. I’m convinced she is a magical handed voodoo priestess, but of course, she won’t admit it… yet.