Sometimes, you put your foot in your mouth

I have too many words. All jumbled around in my head. I hear the advice from my mother ringing in my head… “Jenny! Keep your big mouth shut!” I can’t even tell you how often I heard that phrase growing up. I had a big mouth. I’d sit and talk about anything with anyone. I’d share my opinions, I’d ask all the questions. I was a talker. I’ve learned to keep things to myself over the years… I’ve also begun to struggle with suddenly being too quiet. And what a strange pendulum swing to find myself on. In the past couple of years, I’ve really been working on finding the right balance between the two. And although I, for the most part, do a fine enough job of it – there are also times when it feels like I fall flat on my face.

I had a moment like that yesterday. I knew I needed to say something… but I also knew it would be wise to be very careful with my words. As it was highly likely that I wouldn’t be able to clearly paint what I was trying to say with them. And if I somehow screwed up and my intentions were misunderstood, I’d be hurt and worried and unsure of the end consequences. I even tried to talk myself out of speaking up. “Maybe I’m wrong? Maybe I’m being unreasonable? Maybe my thoughts aren’t quite complete enough to share yet! Maybe if I speak up – I’ll lose? Maybe if I share – I’ll have to face judgement or fear?” Again – my mom’s advice rang in my head.

And then the moment came… My words came vomiting out of my mouth before I could even stop them… despite all my practicing and planning and lecturing of myself prior. Even in the moment – I was yelling at myself in my head. “OMG Jen… What are you DOING?! You’re totally not making sense!! You’re confusing the situation and making it muddy! JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP JEN!”

…. But I persisted. Man, i’m an idiot sometimes. I got so worked up that my tears began to flow. And the words became more jumbled in my head. The logical side in me suddenly could see that I was no longer clear. My comments and arguments were no longer quite aligning to what I’d set out to say. But I did have good intentions. I was trying to strike that balance. Trying to find the place where I could share what was hurting me. Where I could somehow share that perhaps a new boundary or at least the concept of one was starting to grow. I apologized. I’d completely flubbed up this beautiful day, this beautiful moment. But in no way could the genuineness behind my apology be articulated. “Bah! Why are you LIKE this JEN?! Why do you have to be so broken sometimes? Why can’t you hold your emotions in check long enough to speak when you’re feeling scared?!”

And all I can say is that afterwards… at the end of the day when I curled up in my bed, when I looked back at that moment to think about how it all went…the tears flowed freely and my whole body shook. I felt both pride that I did speak – and shame that I didn’t speak well. And the whole situation rocked me to my core – because I woke up with a wet pillow, swollen eyes and a raging headache. My tears had obviously continued into the night.

This morning – i’m trying to figure out why this shook me so much. I’ve certainly put my foot in my mouth many times in my life. Why did this one moment leave me feeling so tangled up … and I think it comes back to vulnerability.

If I look back at my past – I have always hated sitting for long in uncomfortable moments. Sitting in that level of discomfort is so bothersome to me that I will try and “fix” it. I will try and do whatever I can to bring about some sense of relief… some clarity… a rule.. an expectation. I think in those moments, when I’m the MOST scared – I’m looking for a box to put myself in. And sometimes, I might look to someone else to define the box for me. Maybe because I’m struggling to do it myself.

I believe in embracing vulnerability and know that there is strength in embracing those moments in our lives. Often it’s in those vulnerable moments that we learn and grow the most. But I also know that it’s been in my vulnerable moments that I have been hurt the most. And that often it’s been the people that I truly love and seek love from that, intentionally or not, have hurt me the most when I’ve been the most vulnerable. You’d think I’d give up sharing and being brave at all. I suppose that’s why I push myself to speak up and to keep being brave. I don’t want to stop in my path of growth and learning and self discovery.

And that is why – I will keep going. Even tho I’m now scared of the consequences of my speaking up. Even tho I still don’t have a box to put myself in. I’m determined to learn to sit in the moment. It’s a lesson that is long overdue for me. And I’ll have to learn to be ok with occasionally putting my foot in my mouth.

More thoughts

It’s a write twice kind of day. I’m feeling thoughtful today. Reflective. Not in a bad or negative way, but in a very quiet kind of way. It kind of feels like my emotions are hovering just below the surface today and if I’m not super careful they’ll all come rushing out. Not exactly where I like to be – but maybe it’s necessary.

I spent some of my morning thinking about the concept of “Gaslighting”. Having experienced it, I shared what I was feeling in the moment, and how it doesn’t feel good to have someone make you question your own memory or worse – sanity. I’ve had people do things like that to me since I was just a little kid- and even today- as a 37 year old woman -I still struggle to always be able to recognize it for what it is in the moment. But this morning – I did. And it’s left me pondering things.

Ugh… i’m blocked. I have things i want to say. Things i want to let come spilling out of me – but I don’t feel like this is the moment. I don’t feel like I’m in the right headspace to let it out and actually have it make sense. I’ve been struggling ALL day to make sense of my own head. Even in a one-on-one meeting with my boss this morning I was struggling. Either I would be too quiet – or suddenly an avalanche of communication would come flooding out of me all at once. My boss totally felt bombarded in that moment and I felt guilty afterwards. As a leader – I need to learn to be more succinct. It’s hard for me sometimes – as i’m the over communicator.

Well – I’ll just leave this here for now. Who knows – I may come back and add more later if I can figure out what it is I’m trying to actually lay down.

Thanks for being there Neverland.

Revelations over pie

pieI ate pie tonight.  Only had a small bite left before I realized I wanted a picture for this post, so you can have a picture of the best bite.  The bite I always save for last.  It was good.  It was while I was eating it that I came to an interesting revelation.  Life throws mean and nasty curve balls at us sometimes.  Things that are unfair, things that stretch us to the point where we think we’re sure to break.  We carry the weight of those choices around afterwards.  Sometimes, life gets you down.  The choice I am making is to be happy.  It’s ok to just be happy.  I’m not always going to make everyone else happy.  That’s life.  And there will certainly be times when I struggle or feel alone or down.  That’s ok too.  I think what I’m realizing is that it’s a choice you make, to allow yourself to be happy.  Stop beating ourselves up, stop comparing ourselves, stop overanalyzing every problem or negative quality and truly embrace a moment to be happy.

Tomorrow, I go back to work.  I’ve been nervous about getting my head in the game.  Tonight, I’m not nervous anymore.  Bring it on!  I’m going to embrace the happy.  Cuz it’s ok.  🙂

This revelation – brought to you by Marionberry Pie.  Nom Nom!

Goodnight Neverland!

“Vacation Depression”

vacationdepression

My friend R and I were just talking about vacations.  She’s coined the term “Vacation Depression”.  It’s that stage you go through when you return to life after a vacation.  Yoda she is, so I decided to write about this interesting discussion here.

Vacation depression is when you head back into life, and everything hits you all at once.  Family, work, friendships, relationships.  That vacation relaxation bubble when you were care free, disappears and the responsibilities of being an adult hit you all over again.  It also seems to be the time when if something could go wrong, it will.  Stress will multiply, sometimes exponentially.  Makes you wonder why we go on vacations?

Tonight, I’m reminded that sometimes, life is short.  We all get caught up in a zone of all the little things that bother us, drag us down, or tie us up in knots.  Sometimes, we have to take a step back and look at the big picture.  Some of the little shit, it’s petty.  We don’t know what’s around the corner.  What tests are waiting to trip us up or bring us to the very brink of our own strength or sanity.

I’ve struggled this week with R’s “Vacation Depression”.  I keep dreaming that I hear the ocean.  I miss it.  I miss swimming in it every day.  Some people center themselves with meditation, some with a walk in the park.  Me?  I like to swim.  And that warm salty ocean was just what I needed.

Goodnight again Neverland.  Sleep well and dream of warm peaceful oceans. 🙂

Oh – and R… on your gravestone, it should say … Yoda, she was. 😉

UGH!!

despair

My god, what was I thinking?!  Seriously??  I know what I was thinking.  And at the time, it was right.

What am I talking about?  The ex; choosing to have Ben against all the odds; the debt that now hangs squarely over my shoulders and mine alone.  And that’s really the kicker.  Alone.  I never thought this would be only on me.  I’d never have thought to think that far ahead.  I’d have never dreamed I’d be a single mom, trying to make it in this big bad world alone.  Alone.  God that word just pisses me off.  And it shouldn’t.  I have no qualms with being alone.  I crave my alone time just as much as the next person.  But to shoulder the responsibility of a choice.  A choice I made WITH someone else.  To tally up the money I’ve put towards paying off that enormous debt put me in a bit of shock yesterday.  So far, thanks to several garnishments, I’ve paid just over $30,000.  Holy CRAP!  And then to tally up what the ex has contributed.  $0.00.  How much has he contributed to the kids?  Same amount.  His was fairly easy to tally up, what can I say?

I got my bonus today.  I should be jumping up and down and excited as all hell.  But when I do the math, 75% of bonus was taken from me, either by the tax man or the garnishment man for Ben’s debts.  Seventy Five Percent!!!!!!!!!!  That pisses me off to no end.  I worked so hard for this.  To hit where I am, to make what I do; to have earned this bonus makes me so proud – and to not even see it, is frustrating.  It would be one thing, if the ex has helping.  If I could look at the debt and know that it doesn’t sit solely on me.  But it does.  He’ll never pay it.  I know this.  Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand exactly how selfish and uncaring he is.  He showed it plenty this weekend.

Logan was over this weekend.  Just for an overnight.  I’ve missed him, and we had a lot of fun hanging out.  But he shared some things with me that were concerning.  He wanted advice on how to approach the ex.  Apparently he’s tried to talk to him about it previously, but it backfired in his face.  I was torn.  Of course I want to help him.  But I knew that by speaking up, it would put me squarely in the enemy seat.  Not a place I like to be in with him.  I trust him as far as I could throw him.  Not very.  😛  But for Logan, I did it.  I don’t regret it, but it definitely took a massive toll on me.  Emotionally, physically… I was a wreck afterwards.  He said a lot.  Refused to hear what Logan was saying.  Got defensive.  Got angry.  Told Logan to talk to the ex’s new girlfriend about this stuff instead.  How can I explain that Logan wanted to talk to people who’ve been in his life longer than 5 months?  He wanted his father to hear him, and even I couldn’t get him to see or understand that.  Of course, it quickly derailed, he flipped it and made it all about what it wasn’t.  It took all that I had to keep the conversation on a mature level.  The ex would raise his voice, goad me into raising mine.  I only slipped up once and when I realized what I’d done, I apologized for raising my voice and simmered instead.  The man threw everything at me.  My vacations.  Ben.  My wages.  Every button he could push, he did.  Every crack or weakness or insecurity he could dig or poke at, he did.  Because Logan was watching from in the car, I held it together as best I could.  I walked straight into my room, laid on my bed and screamed into my pillow.  Cried from a dark horrible place I haven’t done before.  I don’t typically have issues with anger or frustration like that.  I’d almost qualify this as angry despair.  How does someone justify that kind of selfishness?  How can you stand there and break your son’s heart for no good reason?  How can you erase (or try) the son you had that passed away?  Did it all mean nothing to you?  Ever?  Did I?  That’s just it…. I didn’t.  Will I ever to someone?  Is or was it me?  Maybe I’m not meant to have a partnership?  Who’d want to anyway?  For dating, sure… but long term?  I’m not convinced.  What’s funny, I walked into the kitchen afterwards, and the bro had a drink poured.  It was 11 am.  And me, not being a drinker, happily took it and gulped it down…grateful for the burn that scorched it’s way down my throat.

T and I have spent the day cooking with the kids.  We both need to save money and stop eating out so much, so in order to motivate ourselves to do that, he brought groceries over and we both spent the day cooking meals we could freeze for later.  2 Lasagnas, 2 pot roasts, Beef Stew, Seafood chowder, and thai peanut chicken were all on the menu.  The house smells so good and it was a blast to shop, and cook together.  We’ve danced and played with the kids, made faces at each other, had a ton of fun actually. His presence has been a welcome uplift; a vacation away from yesterday’s drama and my stress over my bonus.  I’m so grateful to have him in my life.

I’m scared to rely on anyone.  I’m very much an all or nothing kind of girl, what’s mine is yours kind of thing but it seems that relationships these days don’t work that way.  There seem to be so many rules that I either don’t know, or don’t understand.  it’s an auto reflex for me to treat my relationships as I’ve always done.  Apparently tho, that’s not how these things work.  The person who cares the least, holds the power.  How much is too much to spend time together?  I’d hate to scare someone away when for me, I am just doing what feels right to me.  When do you know to move things forward to the next level?  Or do you?  My answer to that is to let others pave that path so to speak, they can set the pace, but that hurts a little at times too, when the pace isn’t quite what you’d set for yourself.  Sigh.  I’m feeling a bit lost.  It’s an odd learning curve, one that I’m really struggling to master.

I don’t know what the right way forward is for me right now.  I do know that I will figure it out, I always do.  I’m independent, will take care of my own.  I will learn to stop wanting a partnership and just do for myself.  I do anyway – not a stretch to turn the heart off and stop trying to save everyone all the time.  The problem is, I am not convinced that doing that is the right thing either.  Guess we’ll find out.  Much love Neverland.  XXO!