The talk tracks we have in our heads and why we use them…

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a friend of mine. We were discussing someone he knew that was going through some similar personal problems as I am – and how every time he would talk to her, he had to remind her to stop replaying the “talk track” that was in her head. He said it was as if she was trying to convince herself of all the transgressions and reasonings why she should be mad or upset with her soon-to-be-ex-partner.

It had me thinking about my own talk tracks – and why we use them. In my friend’s circumstance – he was just tired of hearing the constant nitpicking and wanted her to stop – but he also lumped women in general as being common instigators for this type of behavior. But if we look at the potential reasons behind WHY she was doing that – it becomes a clearer picture – at least to me. When we’re gearing ourselves up to leave a spouse or partner – there is a moment where the pendulum swings back and forth as you argue with yourself over what action to take next. It takes a certain level of courage to be able to clearly say that something isn’t working for you and that you’re going to do something to change it. And sometimes you have to have that talk track running through your brain in order to build up the momentum and courage to tackle those conversations. To be brave enough to say the things that have been causing us pain. Especially when we’re talking about breakups. They are so final. And if you care about the person – whether they hurt you or not – you certainly don’t like to do anything to cause that person pain. But you also potentially want out – so you run this script in your head and it gives you the anger and the energy and the fuel you need to have it out and get on with it.

My friend’s words were wise tho. If you stop playing that script in your head, there’s a chance that you can be present in the moment – and perhaps realize that there’s opportunity for growth and change in ways you hadn’t been considering. The risk of doing this, of course, is that you could have a pendulum swing moment and lose the momentum and courage to seek change. But – you also could find a moment where you can find forgiveness.

It’s a moment where you can switch the focus from blaming someone else to looking deep within and find the areas where you could have done something differently. It’s a moment when you can identify where your own growth opportunities lie.

It’s important to me to call out here: Forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re excusing the other person’s behavior. It doesn’t mean they automatically become pardoned. It also doesn’t mean you have to put away all the feelings you may have about a situation. It doesn’t mean you have to allow the person to stay in your circle. And it doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten what happened. Forgiveness simply means you’ve accepted the reality of the situation and are working on ways to live with it. Forgiveness isn’t about the other person – it’s really about YOU.

In this situation – I thought through my talk tracks that I’ve got going now – in all areas of my life. How I think about my work, how I think about my marriage, how I think about myself. My talk tracks about myself tend to be a lot harsher than what I share out to others. And thinking through this further – it helped me see that it’s time to switch my script a little. To find forgiveness and kindness and openness within myself, for myself.

Hope you all are well here in Neverland. 🙂 Much love.

Love, getting older, and trust

I’ve spent some time with my grandparents within the past month.  Real time.  Where we sat and chat and had no time restraints.  I’m grateful that I’ve been able to take the time to prioritize my family in that way.  I love them with all my heart.

Something that has struck me and left me processing for a bit now, is what I see in their relationship to each other.  They are all they have left, of a life that was rich with friends and loved ones.  They are now at an age, where they watch who’s left of their friends pass away.  Moving on to bigger adventures in the grand circle of life.  It’s a sad, lonely, and quite frankly, a depressing time of one’s life it would seem.  So of course, the love my grandparents share is magnified that much more.  They’ve been through everything together.  They hold hands when they get their hair cut.  They are constantly talking about each other and thinking about each other when they are apart.

It’s left me thinking about my own future a little bit.  For one, I feel this sudden urge to make sure my retirement accounts are healthy – holy moly does that level of care cost a FORTUNE or what?!  But beyond that, I can’t help but wonder what my future as an old lady will be like?  Will I live in a nice assisted living place like my grandparents?  What will I be like when I’m an old lady?  Will I be more cantankerous?  More kooky?  More sweet?  🙂

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Who will be by my side?

Of course, when you start to look ahead, you can’t help but also look behind.  I think about the fact that so much in my life has changed from where I was 10, even 15 years ago.  How young and innocent I was.  Naive to much of what life could, and would throw my way; but I’ve always handled it all.  I’m damn proud of that.  And I don’t think I’d trade anything from it.  EXCEPT one thing.  Well – ok maybe two.  One – I’d love to have my body back from my early twenties.  Uh… yes Please!?!  But two… Somewhere along the lines I’ve lost my ability to trust someone else completely.  And I miss that.

I sat today and tried to pinpoint when I lost it.  Like it was a coin from my pocket that had somehow slipped out and run about loose.  But it wasn’t like that.  I think it was more like how a rocky cliffside will slowly erode away from the ocean waves that pound on it.  The more people I’ve put faith and trust in over the years who’ve let me down, have made it so that I’m a bit leery to be blindly handing out my trust anymore.  And that’s really quite a sad thing.  That’s me changing and adapting due to shitty people.  It’s perfectly normal of course, life experiences teach you, after all.

I’ve been thinking a lot about  weddings and relationships.  I think it’s because of something my grandmother brought up. 70+ years together.  Just Wow.  I was admiring their wedding photo and couldn’t help but think that they both, for sure, upheld their wedding vows.

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I always upheld mine.  That I can say without uncertainty.  When I think about my own future, it’s dawned on me that I’ve never really thought about what I’d want someone to say to me now.  Because of my own experiences – I think I’d want to write them – rather than have someone say them for me.  Because the standard I will love, honor, cherish, obey …. insert the rest of the standard bit here… isn’t quite right for me anymore.

Yes, I would hope to be loved, honored, cherished… i’m pretty sure they cut out obey now… so i won’t get into that one… but I think I’d also want a few other guidelines in there.  Ones I would hope would be a mutually spoken thing of course.

8 Vow additions for a future husband & wife:

I promise to Respect.
I would hope that my future husband would promise to always respect me and our relationship.

I promise to Trust and never do anything to cause that level of trust to falter.

I promise to always put your needs at the same priority level as my own.  If I’m going to be “selfish” it will be for us – not just myself.

I promise to always be stubborn and to never quit trying and putting effort into us and our lives we’re building together.  Even when things get tough or tense.

I promise to always communicate and be transparent. You are the one person I am not allowed to hide anything from.  I will always try and make sure that we are communicating in a healthy manner.

I promise to never judge you.  I will always empathize with you, and try and understand from your perspective.

I promise to always prioritize our sex life.  To be affectionate with you.  To touch you and hug you and love you. Because this is something I will also need and crave.

I also promise to adventure with you, to make you laugh, to sing to you, to lift you up and encourage you to spread your wings.  To be your cheerleader when you need it, and a silent gaming partner when you need that too.

 

Hmm… yea, I suppose that covers quite a bit.  Makes me wonder how people end their vows these days – and yes, I realize I could go search that.  Do they say till death do us part anymore?  Or is it till divorce or death do us part?  LOL.  Ok, ok, I shouldn’t laugh at that – divorce is no laughing matter at all.  As obviously, I speak from personal experience there.  But do people work loopholes into their vows now?

Can you imagine what some of the worst vows out there could be like?  I take you… till death, divorce, sickness, fatness, or a really cute rich guy comes along…

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Ugh.  I would certainly hope that doesn’t happen.  Would seem like a sad state of affairs for the “sanctity of marriage”.

Is it wrong for me to long for this to be a more simple thing?  I suppose there is no such thing.  All you can do is hope for the best.  Hope that the right person will come along and sweep you off your feet.  That they’ll be the one to open your eyes to everything that’s good and wonderful in the world.  And who knows – maybe they’ll even be a master at making grilled cheese.  😉

Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you.

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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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The Jealousy Monster

I was just on the phone with my brother.  🙂  The topic of jealousy came up.  Funny, it’s the second time in a couple of days that I’ve had the chance to witness someone struggling with it.

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My daughter was struggling to contain her jealousy monster in regards to her boyfriend.  Some girl at her school was hugging on her boyfriend and it bothered her.  I sat and talked about it with her for a while.  Told her to really think about things.  Had her boyfriend ever given her a reason to not trust him?  No.  Then perhaps she will be better served by trusting him, and giving him the benefit of the doubt.  It was interesting to watch her go through the various stages as she processed what I’d said.

Jealousy is a strange emotion.  One that can be dangerous to the health of a relationship if not handled appropriately.  If you break it down – it’s a signal from your brain.  A warning signal.  Saying that a valued relationship is possibly in danger and steps need to be taken to make sure things stay on track.  What it DOESN’T need to do is make people crazy monsters.  That’s just counterproductive and ruins any forward progress you may make.  It requires trust tho.  This is why I feel the way I do about liars in general.  I struggle with them because if you can lie to me, then I cannot fully trust you.

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I don’t know, I’ve never been someone who has struggled much with jealousy.  In fact, I can say that I’ve only felt it a few times in my life – and it wasn’t over people or relationships – but over the success someone had achieved.  I wanted that for me.  🙂  So not quite the same thing I suppose.

The way I see it – if you’re feeling jealous…then there’s something off about YOU.. not the other person.  It means you’re likely struggling with an insecurity, fear of abandonment or something else that is pushing you too feel and act out in that way.  And if you’re upset that someone is looking at another person, or even lightly flirting with another person… then that’s an issue with you.   You’re in a relationship – you’re not dead.  It would seem unnatural and confining to expect a partner to walk through the world uncaring or unaware of others in that way.  Why shouldn’t they be allowed to admire a beautiful figure?  I certainly do! To expect a partner to do otherwise would mean missing one of the joys of life.

If you have trust… then you should likely know that your significant other would never disrespect the relationship, you or themself in that way.  So why get your panties twisted in a knot about it?

Look – I deal with anxiety on a regular basis – but the way I see it – why on earth would I purposefully allow an emotion to control me and make me MORE anxious if I don’t have to?  Jealousy just doesn’t have a place in my world.  Never has.

Just some thoughts for the day…

Much Love!

lipstick kiss

 

I Had An Epiphany Today

There’s something to be said about commuting in a car, it leaves for plenty of time to think.  To decompress and review things in my head.  I certainly don’t do it with everything, but I do find that on occasion, something someone will say or do will get stuck in my head.  It leads me with a need to churn it over a bit and mull on it.  I think it’s because, in the moment, my brain will nod and move along in conversation… but later, it will pop back in my mind and I’ll wonder about that moment – why did I react that way?  Do they really feel that way?  Is that really what they meant?  Perhaps I am simply an over thinker and need to learn to control that side of myself a bit better. Regardless, it is how my brain works.

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Friends and people who learn my story often comment to me about how strong I am.  And while it’s nice to hear, it is in no way a reflection of how I see myself.  I have strength when it comes to my brain.  I’m able to figure out a solution, make a sale, or find a way out of a sticky situation on most occasions.  BUT… when it comes to matters of the heart, and when it comes to matters of sex…. I am a total pansy.  Let me repeat that, because I’ve never admitted that before.  I am a pansy. I wasn’t always like this.  This.. is new.  A new Jen.  One who, now that I see her, I’m not too happy with.

Of course, it doesn’t help that the few times I’ve really opened up and trusted in someone, I’ve ended up highly disappointed and heartbroken over it.  A part of me wants to remind myself that “Hey! That’s life! You win some, ya lose some.” But, because those times have been a bit few and far between – what I usually end up doing is just raising my walls further.  Protect myself from the pain just a little bit more, but of course, the side effect from me doing that is that sometimes, people who’ve been trying to get inside my walls – get hurt.  I shut down and close myself off – and it leaves them hurt.  Which ultimately – is not something I’d ever want to do to those who are close to me.

I’d like to change my goals for the year.

I want to learn to bring those walls down a bit more.  To let someone in.  I suppose… this is my very first step.  Admitting that I can see it, recognize it and want to change it.  I also have to understand that it means letting in some pain.  If I bring down my walls, it’s going to hurt.  I’m scared to hurt.  I’ve felt sadness and hurt and pain for long enough over plenty of things.  The idea of facing pain and sadness scares the shit out of me.  But – I want people to know me.  For people to see me for who I am – and if they don’t like me… it’ll hurt a little.  But this is me.  Who I am on this blog… is me.  And if I ever want to feel like I’m not alone anymore, it means I have to let people in.

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