Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beautiful You's post: You Can’t Make Everyone Like You

I have started a post on this topic several times. I could never quite figure out how to say what I wanted to say... Then I read Julie's post at Beautiful You.

It's perfect. Exactly what I would have liked to say if I could have said it.
"All you, we and me can do is be our truest and most genuine self.  The people who are then meant to come to us and be with us and like and love us will be. Those who are not will not.

Focus all your love and attention on those people who are your people. Those who easily flow and connect with you and everything you are. Those with whom you can utterly be yourself – all the time.

Let go of those people who are not your people. Those for whatever reason, entirely out of your control, who move towards others. Let them go with love."
Thank you Julie for writing what I wanted to write.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cutting people out of my life doesn't mean I dislike them, it just means I respect me.

Someone just found my blog by googling the phrase, "Cutting people out of my life doesn't mean I dislike them, it just means I respect me."

I don't think I've ever said that... but it's damn good, and I wish I HAD said that.

So I decided I WOULD say it:

Cutting people out of my life doesn't mean I dislike them, it just means I respect me.

Monday, June 25, 2012

If I ever get lost in the mountains, I want a horse with me.

Yesterday, I went on an awesome trail ride. I'd never been riding around Mirror Lake (Uintah Mountains) before. It was beautiful.

The stream that I went fishing in.
Sunny was amazing. He was so willing. The trail was rugged: a lot of deadfall, rocks, steep climbs, etc. We encountered several obstacles that were impossible to go over. Off the trail, there were even more obstacles, so we had to work together to get anywhere. It was just cool. He'd see the tree over the trail, stop, put his ears back (to listen to me), and wait. I looked around for the most clear path, and then I'd ask that he go that way. Most of the time, I had the best view and found the way through, but there were a couple of times that he let me know he could see a better way. The way we worked together was awesome.

I stopped to do some fishing in the stream and realized it could be very easy to get lost there.Ten feet away from the trail, and I couldn't see it. (I could see Sunny standing there, waiting for me to come back.) There were several times, I felt like if I didn't have the trail, I wouldn't know which way was which. It amazed me that Sunny always knew which way would take us back to the trailer.

When the trail started to loop around, I knew the INSTANT that the shortest path back to the trailer was to go forward. He picked up the pace quite a bit. He'd never been on this trail, but he knew.

I've seen horses get lost, because they know which way they want to go, but can't find their way around obstacles (canyons, rivers, fences). Combine his amazing sense of direction and his willingness with my ability to plan ahead and reason, and I think we make a great pair.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

An anniversary that should never and will never be celebrated

Thirteen years ago, I married a man...Looking back now, I can say it was a dumb idea. If I had been older, wiser, more educated, more sure of myself, more aware of what a healthy relationship looked like, or any number of things, I wouldn't have made the same decision.

This week has been hard, probably because it's the anniversary of that marriage. I wish I could just forget it, but someone says the date, June 24, and I feel thrown back, panicked, and sick. I feel a sense of doom, like what happened thirteen years ago is about to happen again. I'm afraid I'll have to go through that hell all over again., which makes things that aren't normally triggering VERY triggering.

The symphony orchestra I am in is playing Sibelius's Finlandia, also known as the hymn "Be Still My Soul". Hearing the melody played out, I had a whole bunch of memories invade my head.

While I was married to him, I believed any anger or negative feelings towards him were MY problem. Those feelings were something I needed to change and fix, so I prayed and prayed and prayed.  I never worded it this way, but what I was really saying in my prayers was, "Please, help me to take his shit. Help me not to care if he rapes me, or ridicules me, or keeps me away from my family. Please make me a good wife who doesn't care about myself. Help me want to take care of him. Make me love him. Help me stop wanting anything. Make my anger go away. Change me into someone who can just take this." Along with prayers, I sang hymns like "Be Still My Soul" in the hopes that it would change my feelings into something more acceptable.

I thought if I was a "good wife", and loved him enough, that would be enough to make our relationship good.
I'd tell him I love him several times a day. I'd look for his good qualities, and write him love notes listing those qualities. He didn't work, so I'd work two jobs. He'd tell me he didn't like me spending time with my family, so I wouldn't. I thought if I just did what he wanted, even if he didn't stop hurting me, at least I was being a "good wife" and a "good person".

All of my prayers, the hymn singing, the efforts to serve and love him helped... sort of... they helped me adapt. They helped me to stay in that horrible situation. I started to think it was good. I started to think that the way he treated me was the way all husbands treat their wives. I started to believe I deserved what he did to me. I stopped feeling angry, and I learned to just take it. There were big parts of me that died in order to spare that relationship. There are things I really should have said to him, but I didn't know I could. Thirteen years later, I think I'll say them here now.


You are an asshole.

I'm leaving you. I know we've only been married for about five hours, but that was long enough. I'm taking the car. Find your own way home - wherever that is - but it won't be with me.

I didn't "make you do that to me". You did that. You used physical force and violence to get sex. That's called rape. It's not my fault you raped me. That's 100% on you. I'm not sorry for fighting you. I'm not sorry at all. I just wish I would have kicked harder.

Touch me again, and I'll call the police.

I work, you sit on your ass. That makes it MY money. Stop spending MY money on stupid shit.
I don't care if you don't want me spending time with my family, fuck you!

Using scriptures or church quotes to justify your abusive behavior is just fucked up.

Leave me alone.
If I'm fat, then WHAT THE HELL do you think you are??

When you say, "No one else could ever love you," you're wrong. I won't let you manipulate or control me with those lies.

Go fuck yourself.
To anyone out there who is still in abusive relationships: Walk away. Just walk away. Life is so much better without the fear and anxiety that comes with trying to keep an abuser happy.

I don't know where he is now, and I don't really care. It took me a LONG time to find my anger again. It has taken me a very long time to shake the beliefs that I formed by taking his abuse for so long.

I feel very VERY grateful that I got out of that relationship. I feel SO lucky! I stayed there for two years, and I still don't know where the courage to get away from him came from. Somehow, even though I thought I loved him and I never thought of the way he treated me as abusive (even thought it most definitely was), I got out.

I feel very grateful for the things I've learned, and now I know how to love and protect myself. I feel very happy for the relationships I can have now. And once that song was over, and I started playing the theme song from Raiders of the Lost Ark, I felt happy that I was at rehearsal; surrounded by people who love and appreciate music enough to give up their Saturday mornings just to play.

I'm also grateful that although this week has been hard - it's nothing like it used to be. I went through all of these emotions and memories in a matter of a few minutes. (It took WAY longer to write about it than it did to go through it.) This is what healing is like. It takes a lot more to trigger the old pain, and the pain is a lot shorter and far less intense.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My baby sister

My sister is going through the temple soon. I have a lot of emotions about it..

Most importantly, I am excited. I know she wants this, and it is something she has been working for and looking forward to. This is something that means a ton to her, and that makes me happy for her.

Secondary are my emotions for myself:
The date she has picked causes me some anxiety... Happens to be the same day I went through thirteen years ago. That was a pretty awful week for me... naturally, that date is triggering. The temple is triggering. Combine the two, and it's hard for me.

I am also afraid I will lose the friendship and the relationship that we have. She has been awesome and supportive of me, and I don't want that to change... And what if going to the temple changes her?? Then what??

As I write, I realize the thing that really gets me... the biggest, most painful emotion...

This is my baby sister. This is the girl that I changed her diapers and got up with in the middle of the night. This is the girl that went everywhere with me.

As a little girl, I'd go stay with my grandma for a week at a time, and I loved my grandma's. (Mostly because my aunt, Carol, was there, and Carol was COOL.) I hated leaving my sister for a whole week. I'd worry about her. I'd miss her like crazy.

I rarely missed a soccer game, a concert, a marching band performance, or anything else that she'd let me come to... I was there. Because I wanted to be. Because being a big sister to her was SO important to me. It was my life.

When I was a teenager, and I knew I needed to go to treatment, I didn't want to go, because I didn't want to leave her for that long. When I moved out, when I moved to Southern Utah, when I got married (both times), I had a hard time leaving her...

And there were SO many times when I wanted to end my life, I wanted to die, but I didn't because I didn't want to hurt her. 

And now, she is doing something that means a lot to her, and I won't be there.
Even though I don't like the temple. Even though I disagree with so much. Even though it drives me crazy, and triggers the hell out of me, and I don't want to be there, I'd go because I want to be there for her.

When I left the church, she was one of the first people I told. She told me she loved me and she wanted me to be happy. Later, she told me she was sad, because she knew one day she was going to go through the temple, and she wanted me there... I was almost willing to keep trying just for her.  (Gratefully, she told me not to do that.)

I'll be at the dinner after. I'll even sit outside the temple and wait if she wants me to. I just want to be there to support her... and it's killing me that I can't support her the way I want to.

An update... I wrote this, then called to tell her I was going to post it. She told me I was funny. According to her, I AM supportive. She doesn't need me to be there, and she told me to stop worrying about it. So, I'll still be at the dinner. I'll still wait outside. And I'll be happy that I can be ME, and she can be her, and we'll all love each other exactly as we are.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A jumble of quotes and wisdoms for the day

I found Katie Byron's website last night. She says a lot of stuff that I could have really used a few years ago. Didn't know she existed back then, so I just had to figure it out for myself...
"To believe the story that someone has left you is to leave yourself. That’s how you divorce yourself. Every time you’re in your partner’s business, dictating whom he should be with, whom he should or shouldn’t leave, you have left yourself, and the effect of that is loneliness and terror. Until you question what you believe, you remain the innocent cause of your own suffering."
Brilliant. I used to be afraid that someone would love me and throw me away... And then one day I realized, I didn't belong to anyone, so they couldn't throw me away. I am not a possession. I am not a thing to be used. I make my own decisions... It doesn't matter who leaves me or loves me, I have ME, and that is enough. I won't leave me ever again.


Who would you be if you didn't believe that you needed him (or it, or them) to complete you?
I found out. By letting go of all the things, people, and beliefs I thought I needed.

I am reminded of something I wrote a little while ago. A quote from myself:
"The more you hold on to something you've already lost, the more you fear losing it, so you hold on even tighter. The fear and the holding on is crippling... but you don't see that it is the fear that is crippling you... And then, one day, you finally realize, you're only holding on to an illusion, so you let go, and you feel free.

I've heard people say, "If you love someone, let them go," but really that's just an illusion. The truth is: loving someone doesn't make them belong to you. And if they were never yours, how can you let them go? "
Which reminds me of this one:

I like this one too:

That makes me think of a line from the musical Wicked.

"Too long I've been afraid of  
Losing love I guess I've lost 
Well, if that's love  
It comes at much too high a cost!"

 Love isn't love if you have to be afraid you are going to lose it. (If I don't do this, he'll stop loving me. If I am honest about what I think, they will hate me.) 

One day, I decided I would be me. If people loved me FOR ME, then awesome. If when I was honest and myself, they didn't love me, that was okay too... I'd rather be hated for who I am, then loved for who I pretended to be. That kind of "love" comes at "much too high a cost".

This is the piece of advice I give whenever anyone asks me for advice.
You know what you need to do. Trust you. (You don't know what anyone else needs to do. Trying to get someone else to do anything, think anything, be anything, will make you nuts. Don't do it.)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hi. (Just a quick update for the people that care, but not for the ones that don't.)

So, here's the thing: Life's too busy good to be a good blogger right now...

I want to write about all these, but if I never get to them, here's a list of things I love at this moment:
Fiddling and Picking contest

Fly fishing from a float tube. (Except that I didn't land the damn fish. Pulled me all over the reservoir, and then broke off. Lame.)

Working with wild horses and wild horse trainers. I also signed up to be a volunteer to regularly work with the wild horses and get them ready for adoption. (It turns out training wild horses is not that different from trauma work. Desensitization. Introducing new things. Feeling fear. Learning to trust. Going slowly, so you don't retraumatize or make things worse. etc.)

Telling my story for the people at Far Between. I haven't seen it yet, but it felt SO good to just talk. To tell MY story. In front of a camera.

Symphony rehearsal now comes with a weather report. The local weather guy is our conductor for this concert. After we played a section, he'd say awesome things like, "Cloudy. Very cloudy today, but with a chance of sunshine soon. I hope." I love playing and being there and being part of the orchestra.

I have awesome friends. Seriously. I have amazing people in my life, and I love them a lot.

So, sorry this post is lame, but the mountains are calling me. It's time to go riding, and throw in some fishing along the way. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Relatives say the darndest things

I went to my Grandma's wedding last night. I may write more about that later...
I just wanted to share this conversation I had with one of my aunts:

"So, are you dating anyone? Getting married soon?"


"Why not? Do you hate men now or something?"

No. I love men. I just don't want to marry one.

"You have to get married so you can have kids."

No. I don't want to get married, and I don't want kids.

"How can you not want kids?"

Easy. Some people want to be mothers. Some people want to be doctors. Some people want to be computer programmers.

"So, what are you going to do? Ride horses and fish for the rest of your life?"

Does that really sound so bad?

"No... Actually. It doesn't."

 And she walked away.

It feels amazing to be able to just answer questions. Honestly. As ME. Instead of trying to say what I think they want to hear... It turns out, it really is MY life. I want what I want for my life, and that's okay.