When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

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My brother is staying with me for a month.  It’s fun to see him every day.  We didn’t grow up together, and only met when he was 10.  So we’re still getting to know one another.  He’s a punk, but I love him.  My kid brother.  But one of the challenging things I’m learning about having him here, is that it exposes me to some of my family that I’d rather not be exposed to.  Thru him, I get to see and experience what he goes through with my father.  Usually – it doesn’t get to me, but last night, he shared an experience he had this weekend and I just about lost my shit.  I’m still upset.  But I think what upsets me the most, is that, at least for the next month, it will be a “norm” in the house.  It bothers me.

My father is … well… abusive.  Physically sometimes, emotionally others.  And not all the time…. but still.  A spade is a spade.  It takes a lot to write that.  It took me a while to get my brother to even admit it out loud.  Now look – there’s something to be said for getting physical – sometimes a well timed shove can wake someone up – That is not the type of physical altercation that I am talking about here.  There is no excuse that I can logically come up with to make it ok.  I know that man loves his kids… in his own truly messed up way, but he is toxic.  It’s why I’ve put up walls and boundaries – to keep me and the kids safe and worry-free.

So here I sit.  Knowing that over the next month or so, I’ll likely be (at the very least) hearing more stories, learning more things, and overall, likely cementing why I made the choices I’ve made to step away from toxic people in my life.  I try and remember that there are two sides to every story… and somewhere in between lies the truth.  But so far, the stories I hear align with everything I know from my past… and I’m not convinced that leopards change their spots.  When someone shows you who you are, believe them.

It’s sadly, nice to know that I’m not the only one of us kids who struggled with Dad.  But at the same time, I wish with all my heart that I could take that away from him – let him be spared.  I’m protective.  I don’t want to see my family hurt.  I’d do just about anything to keep them all safe and loved.  Ugh.  It’s rough being a sister sometimes.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Much love neverland.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Some late night rambles…

throwaway2 I missed a counseling appointment today.  I haven’t given it much thought.  I think it’s a sign that perhaps I need to keep looking for a different counselor.  This last guy was ok, just extremely young.  He admitted to his inexperience with a lot of what I was bringing to him.  Didn’t give me the greatest desire to return. But I need to find someone to talk to.  I’m not using my blog much these days.  It’s not because I don’t love it…. I do.  It’s simply because lately, it doesn’t seem like a safe place to come and rant to.  It’s an odd feeling.

Something kind of interesting dawned on me tonight as I was playing cards with T and R.  I’m missing something in my life, and I couldn’t put my finger on it.  Until tonight.  Music.  I’ve always been the one who had music playing in my house; mostly in my kitchen.  I’ve always been the one who’ll bust a move with the kids and dance and sing my heart out.

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I’ll admit something here.  When I would be home alone, I used to love belting out Italian and French arias in different rooms of the house.  It was always kind of fun to find spots in the house where the acoustics change in different ways.  I haven’t done that in this house.  I’ve thought about it; even contemplated it in the shower and yet I can’t seem to get comfortable enough to do it.  It’s strange.  The moment I start to sing here, I feel self-conscious.  I don’t like that feeling, but at the same time… I miss it.  I miss the effect that music has on me.  It makes me feel understood, it makes me feel calm, reflective, and empowered.

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Tomorrow, I think I might just set up some speakers and see what can be done to rectify this situation.  It won’t help with me not feeling comfortable enough to really sing my heart out here, but it might at least make me feel good enough to dance around and bring that music back to my kids.  They haven’t said anything, but I bet that if I am missing it, they are too.

Much love Neverland.  I hope you are all well.  Goodnight.

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A bane to humanity

Have you ever seen a potential red flag in a relationship with someone and just felt an overwhelming sense of annoyance and frustration at having seen it?  That was me tonight.  I’m not frustrated with the person, but I’m frustrated at the sight of a potential problem in the future.  Although – the concept of “red flags” in people doesn’t work well when you actively try not to future trip.

Today I had a session with my counselor.  We’re dropping down to once a week and that makes me feel immensely better.  🙂  Today’s topics included my mother, we touched a little on nana, and we talked about gifts and generosity and money.  I’m glad I get to type instead of talk because I think if I had to speak those words, they’d taste a little bitter on the tongue right now.

Money.  Such a bane to humanity.  I’ve been dirt poor, I’ve been middle of the road, and I’ve been comfortable.  Certainly never been rich, but I feel like I at least have a grasp on understanding the reality of a wide spectrum of financial security (or lack of it) with in social economics.  When you’re poor, you think having money will fix a lot of problems, and when you’re no longer poor, you realize there may be other new problems to face. I remember feeling like people would look down on us if they knew how poor we were.  That somehow, other people would judge because of my finances.  What I didn’t know was that when you’re on the flip side of the coin, there’s still judgment.    Only it’s a new, different kind.  Either people assume that you just buy everything without putting a thought into it, or they think that everything is easy and was handed to you; or they resent that you have it and they don’t.

As a woman, there have been many times, where I’ve been pressured to stay at home, be a mom to my kids and play that role.  Heck, I WAS a stay at home for 6 years.  And then I went back to work and became the bread winner, the guilt in subtle comments I’d get from others was often obnoxious.

I have been the “bread winner” now for 6 years.  I made more than my spouse could so it just made sense.  And men, they have this pressure to provide.  To shoulder the financial stress.  You’d think we could let go of some of the old 50’s ideals – it has been 60+ years. A partnership or team shouldn’t be in competition.  You are a team.  Together as a couple, you should be thinking as one.

Hmm is that old fashioned?

I don’t think so, it just seems like logic to me.  If you’ve pledged to spend your life as a team with someone, then it seems as if showing your appreciation for your mate is that much more important…not just your appreciation for the team you’ve created and what you are working towards, but for them, personally.

But how do you do that without the other person feeling off about it.  What is considered small and thoughtful, vs extravagant and on who’s budget? When I was dating, the fact that I made what I do was often seen as  threat.  It intimidated a lot of men.  I’ve read that a woman making more than a man emasculates them.

What I wish I could help men realize is that if it doesn’t bother us, it shouldn’t bother you.  It means we are big girls who can take care of ourselves and if we chose you – then you can feel safe and comforted knowing we chose you for you – not for what you have or what you could provide.  But for YOU.  That silly dude that we chose who’s grumbly in the morning, who makes faces and silly dances and puddle jumps in the rain with us.  Our best friend.

Goodnight Neverland. Sleep well.