Archives for posts with tag: ps I love you

 

Strength isn't always what I expect it to be.

Strength isn’t always what I expect it to be.

Amazing things are possible with a little support.

Love and Inspiration are a lovely combination.

Love and Inspiration are a lovely combination.

Enjoy the moment; it’s the only one quite like it.

Today is a good day to encourage someone to be the person they most want to be. Today is a good day for please and thank you. Today is a good day to be kind and considerate. Today is a good day to love.

I’m still lounging in my sleepwear, and it’s actually 8:00 am. I succeeded in sleeping in – and a good thing, because my emotions and my physical pain kept me up quite late. There’s nothing like stress, hormones, and pain to illustrate all my very worst qualities as a human being: easily frustrated, childishly attached to being comforted, emotional, needy, demanding, inflexible, irritable, unapproachable, resentful, baggage laden, and capable of losing all perspective in a moment. This human primate thing is not so easy as it seems…at least not if I am wanting to be the best that these raw materials allow.

This morning I woke with this headache continuing from yesterday, and through the tears (yes, sufficiently painful to cause tears in the absence of other emotion-causing stimulus) I took time to be grateful for something pretty obvious; I don’t have this headache every day. That’s something. I take a moment and try to apply the same practice to other frustrations, other things I am ‘going without’ or just no longer have in my experience these days, that I continue to be attached to, and to yearn for.  I’m grateful that I ever did have those feelings, and experiences. I appreciate and value the memories that linger.

This is not the most joyful place I’ve been in life. Facing a mid-life health concern, having my own experience – companionship, love, sharing; none of these things actually change one thing that is real and true in all this. I am having my own experience. There will always be elements of my experience I can’t easily share, or verbalize. There will always be the limitation that others are having their own experience, as well, and my words will be filtered through their understanding of the world, and the context of their experience. There will probably also always be elements of my experience that are best not shared at all – that’s been a given all along. It’s one of the most difficult things about having this particular TBI, or of being a trauma survivor; most people don’t try to share on the level I default to, and most people do not want to have a visceral understanding of some kinds of pain. I am alone with my words. A lot. At some point, that has to be okay.

My TBI complicates things, and sometimes in a very unexpected way. I’ve been feeling incredibly discontent lately, less supported than I ‘expected to’, lonely, sexually unsatisfied, emotionally isolated, frustrated, and disconnected in my relationships… I miss a particular time period in a valued romantic relationship (which one would not be relevant, the experience is similar across all of them, to varying degrees). I miss “that year” together, with the intensity of our affection, the continuous good-natured camaraderie, the close emotional bond, the driven heat of sex-all-the-damned-time – and feeling well and truly loved, satisfied, cared for, nurtured, valued… it was fucking fantastic. There’s never been another year like it in my life, before or since – even in the relationship I share with that lover, now. I noticed it at the time, and I valued it greatly. I regularly attempted to express my appreciation and gratitude… and to my later great disadvantage (I realized during the night), his response was to assure me I deserved to be treated so well, and that he always would, and further that I ought not settle for less, ever. I wonder if, at the time, he had any idea that he would be treating me less well over time, himself? I recognized how spectacularly special that time was, and the wonderful way he loved and cared for me. I regret that I didn’t understand his polite refusal to be complimented on it had the potential to set my expectations of the future of love. It’s not fair to either of us that I yearn so much for a moment in love’s life cycle of unsustainable intensity. I’m sure it was a good time for him, too. No time machine. That time is not now.

Here I am now. Love is. That’s a pretty big deal. There are still things I want out of love that I don’t have right now. That is what it is. I suppose I will likely always feel that way. Realistically, if I never had sex ever again… I’ve had more than most people, some of it has been extraordinary. Same with love – if I were bereft of love’s warmth tomorrow, I have at least known love. Romantic promises and hyperbole probably don’t trip everyone up the way they tripped me up…my broken brain got in my way; I did not understand those promises were not ‘real’, only beautiful words of love.

Today I will have breakfast with a friend I’ve been missing, and converse about the things going on in our ‘now’. I won’t need to pretty up the details – he’s the sort of friend I’ve always been able to be entirely frank with, and he’s always there. He’s been a friend since before the relationships of my heart’s landscape now even existed, and has context on who I am over time, and how I’ve grown. When we hang out, I walk away feeling more aware of how far I’ve come, and wholly accepted. It’s never been about sex between us, and it’s good to be able to talk those things over with someone who doesn’t have any potential to feel hurt by it. If you have such a friend – cherish them. You may need the warmth of their good company later on. Later I will ride the train home, and think about all the sex, all the lovers… and the awareness that there is life beyond sex, much of which I’ve not had to explore; most of my experience is sexual in some way. I’d like to find my way to a point on the journey where sex just doesn’t matter, doesn’t drive needs, doesn’t influence my actions or emotions – for now, even the idea of sex tends to feel emotionally compelling, and something more or less on the order of ‘everything that matters’, because for now, it seems to matter so terribly much that without those experiences, I sort of wonder what the point is?

The path isn't straight, the destination isn't obvious, but the journey must continue.

The path isn’t straight, the destination isn’t obvious, but the journey must continue.

Today is a good day to explore the unknown within. Today is a good day to talk with a friend. Today is a good day to wander, eyes open, on strange paths. Today is a good day…to change.

I’m almost over this cold. I’m grateful that although I’ve been sick it hasn’t been ‘that bad’. It’s been bad enough, however, to distance me from loved ones and fun, and that has sucked. My traveling partner will head out again later today, and the entire week he’s been home, I’ve been sick. Two years ago, or more, I’d probably have thrown some nasty tantrum over it, which wouldn’t have helped anyone enjoy their experience more, nor would it sooth my hurt over missing out on connected, intimate time. This time…it just didn’t occur to me to be temperamental about it. He’ll be away, then he’ll return. Seems a practical matter more easily supported by being easy and supportive.

So here I am. Contemplating farewells for another time, getting my shit together for work, and knowing that I’m facing a weekend opportunity to focus on self-work, meditation, and  yoga with a lot more focus and patience with myself than is sometimes possible with a full house, and a full calendar.

Contentment through perspective; sometimes it is enough.

Contentment through perspective; sometimes it is enough.

Today is a good day for smiles, and a good day for generous well-wishes, and fond farewells. Today is a good day to invest everything in love; the return on investment is still the very best, anywhere. Today is a good day for kindness, and a good day to offer to help. Today is a good day to share laughs, and links to good news. Today is a good day to recognize what ‘enough’ is all about, and have some of that, too. Today is a good day to change the world.

Or two, or three, or hell – let’s just pave it into something comfortable, predictable, and mapped, settle into easy contentment, and call it a day?

I had a great day at work, yesterday. Sometimes I have the strange sensation that ‘work life balance’ may actually mean that when things at work suck, things at home are lovely, and of course…the inverse of that would then be true as well. That, thankfully, is fanciful bitterness with struggle, and with the simple ups and downs of life.  We’re each having our own experience. The experiences we have are not all uniformly pleasant, or comfortable. I guess I’ll keep practicing the practices that seem to build a life that is more up than down, more content than not, easier than hard, more pleasant than unpleasant, and see where all that goes.

This morning isn’t my best morning. I woke crying from dreams that contained content ripped from the most difficult moments of the prior evening. It was nearly an hour before my brain would even acknowledge that the evening had ended on a relatively positive note – or at least finished somewhat supportively. My heart feels heavy, and tears are queued up waiting for a reason to spill over. This is one of my least favorite emotional states.

The bottom-line is that I want more than I have in life, in love, emotionally, sexually, even financially (although that one is very low on my list, and exists more to bolster the likelihood of other things I value being attainable).  I think wanting is probably pretty commonplace.  It takes wanting to reach a sense of being without, after all.  I even understand the connection between craving and discontent, and how difficult life can become when we desire only those things that are out of reach, or when we lose sight of the wonders we already have in our life.  I started 2014 knowing that ‘sufficiency’ is a big deal for me, and that ‘contentment’ is an emotional experience I enjoy, and a quality I would like to develop and support.  What I don’t know is where the subtle distinction between genuine contentment and ‘settling’ for something is, and how to recognize it. Is there a difference?

I struggle to communicate with the people nearest to me. Setting boundaries, sharing needs, speaking calmly and explicitly about what I want, what supports my needs over time, being honest about how I feel in the moment, or in general, these are all very difficult for me to begin with. Doing them well is something I find myself working so hard at, and still not succeeding with any reliability. At least, if I am succeeding, the outcome is incredibly unpleasant much of the time. This morning I woke wishing I could just stop talking at all. No more words. No speaking. No writing. No.More.Words.  I seem to have a gift for saying too much, or phrasing something in the worst possible way.  I rarely feel actually understood, or even heard. (It makes it so much ‘worse’ that there was a time and a relationship in which I did feel understood and heard, making it something possible in life that I just don’t have now.)

This morning I have a lingering feeling that the things that matter most to me are simply things I can’t have, or will experience only very rarely. I want very much for that to just be okay, if it is true. If it isn’t true, I’d like that emotional cocktail to just go away. I would like to have a better understanding of ‘sufficiency’. Enough. What is ‘enough’. How to I get that? I have the nagging suspicion that even intimacy is easier/better when approached mindfully… but I’m not sure I ‘get’ how to approach it at all. I suspect I may not have correctly labeled whatever the hell I think the experience of intimacy feels like, and am chasing an unknown experience, or ‘shooting at the wrong target’.

I am grouchy and things suck this morning. I am very human, and even though my intellect politely reminds me that ‘this is a construct of your own thinking and you can choose differently’ and my recently-more-mindful-and-learning-more-all-the-time heart tells me ‘this too shall pass’, I’m hurting now, and it is hard to stop picking at it. Soon I’ll head to work, and the process of getting there will distract me for a time, and maybe it will be forgotten when I head home tonight?

Right now is right now. Right now I feel like giving up. I’m frustrated, hormonal, and cross. I spent the night with my fears and nightmares and woke feeling sad, tired, and crying. Right now is harder than it has to be, and right now I’m struggling. This too – quite inevitably – shall pass. Time runs out, moves on, and brings change. So. Yeah. (I hear myself laugh out loud, it sounds a little worn down and bitter, and I think about how lovely yesterday was – that passed, didn’t it? Yep. So…this will as well.)

Some lovely pictures from yesterday…

We can build serenity.

We can build serenity.

No matter how much I am hurting in the moment, there is more to life and the world than my pain.

No matter how much I am hurting in the moment, there is more to life and the world than my pain.

Things can seem so complicated and overwhelming...

Things can seem so complicated and overwhelming…

Getting right up close doesn't always simplify our view of things.

Getting right up close doesn’t always simplify our view of things.

I am grateful that my experience this morning is largely subjective and a construct of my brain. I can find my way to something different. Compassion first, then, this morning? I pause with a certain surprise to realize that as I typed those words, my internal critic was hurling invective at me, launching emotional weaponry, and rallying my demons… I’m not always fully aware of the nasty bits and pieces of old hurts and old programming ‘going live’ to defend themselves in the background. Grim. Definitely compassion first…well… sort of first. Okay, not even a little bit first – that would have been a more positive start. Still human. I tested me. lol

Compassion, then, this morning – now that I see how much I need it.

Today, I am human. Today I face my hurts with self-compassion, and my certainty that emotional states rely on choices, too, however inevitable or permanent they feel in the moment. Today I change the world.

 

 

 

 

 

…You know how hard it can be…”  Thanks, John.

This morning sucks more than a little bit. Well, for the moment. It’s nice to have a steady reliable understanding these days that moments are just that – momentary. Thank you, Mr-Therapist, Sir, and thank you Jon Kabat-Zinn, Andy Puddicombe, Russ Harris, Brene Brown and Timber Hawkeye. Thank you thousands of years of meditation, decades of hippies, and one loving partner with more willingness to try than seems human.

This morning still sucks. Welcome to Hormone Hell. Fuck I want to be done with this! I’m tired of feeling frustrated by,  and ashamed of, being female because men who matter to me have their own struggles and challenges with what it is to live with and love women. Thanks, Dad, I definitely owe you one there.

I’m doing my best to ride the wave, allow myself room for my emotions (frustration, hurt, anger, resentment, and just enough yearning for intimacy and closeness to set my teeth on edge because it isn’t easy).  A few good deep breaths sounds easier than it feels. My chest feels tight, and the tears waiting to fall are making me angry – it still feels like a weakness to cry ‘for no reason’. It’s hard to allow myself the self-compassion to understand that ‘reason’ isn’t what drives tears.

My coffee is growing cold. With an interesting measure of spitefulness directed inward, I punish myself by petulantly allowing it, observing that choice with a measure of wonder, and some tiny bit of humor lurking in the background, because it is an empty gesture affecting no one but me.

This is about as close as I get to a good solid rant these days. lol. The breathing thing, as simple as that seems, really helps and just a bit less than 300 words later, I find myself growing calm again. No tantrum today, just some lingering sadness. i feel vaguely as if I am ‘just not what he’s looking for’. What an incredibly ugly feeling to have about someone who loves me so much. This is a morning when I would very much like to tell being female to fuck right off.

I woke in a pretty good mood. I’m regularly frustrated and challenged by how volatile my mood can be. That volatility, at other points in my life, has resulted in some incredibly poor decision-making, and real desperation to find balance and peace, decades of wasted time in therapy that wasn’t effective, years spent on medications of one sort of another intended to ameliorate some particular symptom, even hardcore psych meds – all because hormones on top of PTSD added to a TBI is a difficult experience to manage.  Hell, I’ve had PMS so severe that I was actually a threat to people living with me, other times so severe I actually felt suicidal.  That’s not okay. I sit here trying to make sense of that and I feel my feminist rage rise up inside myself – what about me, Medical Science? I want to make someone listen! Why don’t we matter more?  You’d think as popular for relationships as women are, that someone would give a shit about helping us be well and whole and comfortable in and with our experience as beings. It’s disappointing to me that I’m 50 and there’s still no real progress to speak of in understanding or improving women’s experience of themselves as sexual hormonal beings, or improving our place in the world.

Oh, hey, there’s that rant. I guess I’ve still got it in me. Push the right lever, a pellet pops out. God damn it.

I’m still a student of life, of love, of the world… and it is making a difference in my experience, every day.  Over months it has grown difficult to be provoked to aggression or confrontation, and I rarely trap myself in always/never thinking, or spiraling internal arguments where my hurt feeds the fallacy, which drives the hurt.  It is a pleasant change, and a morning like this affords me a good opportunity to see the changes within.  So, okay, in the process I am human.  I am human.

So are my lovers, and they can only take what they can take.  That seems not only obvious, but reasonable. I’m still sad to be alone right now, and that will pass.  I often choose solitude over difficult interactions, myself, and I understand walking away from tension.  Love is strange stuff.  I take care of me with deep calming breaths, with a few thoughtful words, some mindful observations, and gentle reality checks.  Before more than a few minutes pass, my heart is serene, and my compassion is for my lover.  I still feel a current of sadness tugging at my heart, but now it is for the price he pays, as much as for my own challenges and regrets.  It isn’t easy. Love is so worth all of it – but it isn’t easy.  We choose love.  It isn’t a choice we only make once.  That is the nature of commitment, not simply that it isn’t a one-time choice, but that it is worth choosing again and again.

That latte is definitely cold now. That’s okay.  It’s a small price to find that still calm place in my heart.

Today is a whole new experience. I hope I choose wisely. Today I am kind. Today I love well, and with my whole heart. Today I am compassionate.  Today I will change the world… or…at least my morning. 😀

I have come so far from this place.

I have come so far from this place.