Dear Catie, the older I get, the less I care.

I’m not talking empathy. That is still high and I will always feel unmeasurable pangs of guilt, sorrow, sympathy, empathy, happiness… etc. That’s part of BPD. I’ll never be ‘mellow yellow’, but you get used to living with that after a while.

What I am talking about is the older I get, the less fucks I give about things like:

  • How someone other than me parents (as long as it doesn’t hurt the kid)
  • How someone other than me loves another person (gays, bisexuals, etc)
  • How someone other than me lives their life (as long as it doesn’t hurt someone)
  • What I eat, what I weight, and have I told you how much I love my body lately?

  • Where someone lives and the pictures of their ‘life’ they allow us to see on social medias
  • Keeping up on my own ‘social media’.

I try to post enough to let my grandmother not freak out, but honestly, I have found the tools on Facebook considering who is allowed to Follow you, See what you post, etc to be very helpful. I can now feel comfortable that I won’t step on any toes and other bullshit like that when I post things about how I feel with friends who are like minded. My family is southern, conservative for the most part, and not as… progressive? And that’s fine. I’ve learned that I don’t want to change them at all. Let them live how they always have, cause it’s not hurting anyone. While they disagree with gay marriage, they aren’t going out of their way to kill, abuse, or otherwise hurt gay people. *shrugs* And I know that I give less effs about what other people think, but Facebook is full of little ways that people can pipe up with their opinions and disagree with mine and make me feel like, in general, using facebook to share my opinions is a waste of time because they will be shit on every fucking time. (Which is why I hide a good majority of it now from those who do that.) (I’m looking at you, Joseph. I hope he reads this with the same humor as me, but damn, that guy is as much of an instigator as ever. AGAIN, THOUGH, WOULDN’T CHANGE ‘EM.)

  • What people think of me.

A good part of social media for me, way back before I left it, was I put way too much stock in to

  1. What people posted and how their lives that they let everyone see must be all there is to it.
  2. What people see of my life must be perfection, just like theirs, and wtf, why isn’t my life perfection like theirs?

A great part of learning people are full of shit and all about The Game of fronts and perceptions is that I don’t give a fuck to play a game I didn’t realize I was playing. Fuck the rules, fuck the ‘my life is perfect #blessed’ bullshit. I don’t care. I’m glad everyone’s so happy, but they got nothing on my life. Sorry ’boutcha.

And I mean that. You ask on the regular how I am doing, and I feel bad and like a parrot when I repeatedly state: “I’m good. We’re good. Everything’s groovy.” — But it’s the truth. Matthew and I are —

Oh wait. The readers have no idea about that. Oops. Summary recap.

Matt and I split up last summer in July 2014.

We were fantastic apart. We were nothing but nice and friendly to each other the entire split.

The worst part was divorcing not only him, but his parents. — And that’s a lesson we learned. We were married, but his parents were a heavy portion of our marriage. While, in their own lives, Matt’s grandparents were a huge part of their marriage, they felt that was the norm for everyone – so they including their lives so heavily on ours. I don’t mean ‘come and visit me once an a while’. I mean, where we live (apartment vs house), how much we pay, the city we live (was 7 minutes from their house), how often Elijah sees them else we hear about it, the things we spent our money on, keeping up appearances and visiting extended family at functions, going to the lake and outdoorsy things all the time when the weather allows.

None of these things are awful traits. They honestly do it because they care and that’s how they know how to care. They have always wanted what is best for Matthew and I, and if it worked for them, it must be ‘best’, right? I used to be so frustrated and angry with them and the way I feel they personally drove more stress and anxiety in to my life – in to Matt’s life – and then, in to our marriage because they ultimately ended up pinning Matt and I against each other on the regular. It was so unhealthy — but they aren’t solely responsible.

Boundaries are important, and if Matt and I never speak up, and never hold up to our end of the fence post, then they would never know where the boundary began.

Anyhow, so they were hard to divorce because they were hurting and I was the one to blame and blah blah. It was pretty ugly there, but I remained trying to be as nice as humanly possible because that’s how I was raised, and I didn’t want Elijah to think Nana and Pops were some horrible people. They’re not, and I don’t want him ever to think they’re anything than super heroes in his eyes.

Matt and I dated other people. Our paperwork wasn’t filed yet, but damn, do you know how expensive that crap is? You do, cause you’ve done it, but we agreed that we were both divorced, that neither would use in court some adultery charge if we were to date before we filed, etc etc. So we agreed to date others. We didn’t live together, we dated, we would occasionally update each other on how that was going, and we became best friends again. It was amazing.

And then, one night we decided to take Elijah out to eat together. And then we took him back to Matt’s place. And then I didn’t leave, and we fell back in love. It went something like this:

The most important thing I took from this separation is: We grew up.

We were not so focused on the other person, and would they still like the other person if we liked this or didn’t like that, or had a preference to this or that. We weren’t able to grow up healthily in our former relationship, between each other and his parents. I wasn’t allowed to feel comfortable, and feel like I wasn’t some freak because I didn’t like fishing like the others did. Or that I preferred to read. Or whatever.

We got to grow up when we were apart, and dating again was complete and total new territory. We were different people, who loved ourselves, and we went in to this relationship like this:

-Do we feel the same religiously? (Because I gained way more faith when I discovered I was Super Mom as a single mother)

-Can we communicate? (A huge problem before, where Matt would rather bottle things up than speak up about them at the risk I would blow up at him — and I would definitely blow up at him at every chance, with tensions so high.)

-Can we be our own people, but also still love each other? (I’m sorry, Matthew, but Grunge was so hard for me to pretend to like. While some is fine, I just can’t get behind Sound Garden. It’s not my jam, mannnn.)

-Can we be us, and not let anyone else intrude on our relationship? (We decided, if this would happen, that this time around we would gently let everyone know that it’s us against the world. Just us.)

Naturally, we came to an agreement. We dated in secret for a while, because while we can forgive each other and fall in love all over again as new people — everyone else that we knew in our family would likely be confused, hurt, and not know what the fuck was going on. I was definitely worried for his side of the family, who had every right to be bitter I feel. I was never worried for my family, though. They’ve always loved him and his family. I half expected a celebration — one that will come.

When we eventually came public, Matthew told his parents and informed them as gently as he could that it was he and I, and that this time, while he knows they love him, he would do his own thing with me. They didn’t quite understand, and he tried to explain, but again. That may be something that never changes, and that’s life. Gotta let it go.

Sooooo. Long story short, we’re happy. Still. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘honeymoon’ phase, because we’re smarter than that. We know there’s hardship, and we struggle – but our struggles are easier now. They seem so easy. Communication has been key. We both make more money, and love our jobs, which is huge. We live in Frisco — which is perfect for our lifestyles. We go on dates, with or without Elijah, weekly and without having to plan it.

I tell you, spontaneously asking the other person if they wanna go see a Movie tonight and knowing you can afford it without having to skimp on some bill is the best feeling in the world.

But, despite how amazing we are, I don’t like to go in to detail anymore. Why? Well..

  • It’s my life. Our life. And that’s between us. It’s a boundary.
  • Life really is great for us, but rather than post all the damn time about it on social medias, I’d rather people witness it if they’re curious if we’re just as happy as we seem.
  • I don’t have time any more to post on the regular about my life when I’m busy trying to write my book and relax on the small amounts of times I have. I work pretty heavily now (which I love), and Matt works opposite schedules, and Elijah is on a schedule, and while there is always time for the three of us – we don’t back burner each other, and that means things like this and gaming are not prioritized and it’s just hard to keep everyone updated.

I know you ask because you care, and because you can’t just ‘come over and chill’ and witness the glorious harmony yourself, but believe me when I tell you.. Things are groovy. We’re so lucky. No one I know has the love story we do, and let me say, just because it worked out for us, doesn’t mean it will work out for everyone going through divorce. I’m not one of those blindingly positive people who thinks people need to try harder. Not at all.

Also, just because he and I ended up never getting an official divorce on paper, we do consider ourselves divorced in our hearts, because we dated other people and truly attempted to live apart.  We fell out, definitely.

Which means as of today, we consider ourselves Boyfriend and Girlfriend, or dating. Someday, when we decide this is forever, and Matthew asks me to marry him again, we will have a ceremony in which we reconfirm our love for one another — but this time, with God involved, and on a personal scale. But that’s the future.

We’re enjoying the now.

Love you, Pot.

Advertisements

Dear Miranda, Page 2 of 365

This year I had a boatload of resolutions and the one’s I listed are just my PERSONAL resolutions. Zac and I are going to make a list for us as a couple as well. And I don’t know about you but for me one of the best parts of making resolutions is the very first steps you take to get going in the right direction. The prep work if you will. It’s fun and exciting. But it can also be stressful ans since one of my resolutions was to get rid of guilt I did not kill myself trying to do EVERYTHING all at once.

Here is a little bit of what I have been working on.

Last week I bought $300 worth of healthy groceries to get ready for my kick start to health. I didn’t stress about eating perfect on New Years Day, instead planning to have my first day be my first day back at work (tomorrow). And tonight I spent a fair amount of time prepping and packing my breakfast lunch and dinner for tomorrow. I set up a myfitnesspal account, though I’m unsure if I will even count calories this time. I probably will, but maybe not right away. I need to get back in the groove and get through the first three days (aka the hanger period).

Also I have been working on ways to kill the anger, frustration, and guilt in my life. It may sound stupid (or actually probably not at all)  but I started with Facebook. As you know there was a member of Zac’s family that has caused me a great deal of stress. Or rather I have caused myself a great deal of stress trying to make them happy, made myself angry by trying to make up for something I feel like was not at all my fault, and made myself frustrated by trying to keep Zac out of it. So Zac and I talked about what it was I wanted (I don’t want him to treat her any differently but I want to know he backs me up and I wanted to be sure that if she ever took things to far he would step in on my behalf. I was very pleasantly surprised by how he responded.) and he told me that I need to stop letting her petty passive aggressiveness get to me and that while he loved me for continuing to be nice, that I needed to stop trying to patch things or thinking that maybe she would stop being spiteful because in the end all it did was irritate us when she continued to act ugly. It’s time to wash my hands of it. So I got on Facebook and to my surprise she had deleted me before I could delete her. Which is such a God send because there is no guilt.

The lesson I learned is this: Being kind is where it’s at, but sometimes it’s easier to be kind when you remember your own feelings and keep yourself away from negativity.

image

Second on my Facebook journey was to block posts from “that mom” and I did. And you know what? It’s a lot easier for me to think clearly about this person when I’m not constantly bombarded with things that I find to be insensitive. The mom really thinks she is helping others and you know what, maybe she really is. Maybe she is reaching someone with a personality totally different from mine and connecting with them in a super helpful way. She really loves her child. And ya know what? No I can regulate my exposure to this woman. She is not a bad person. In fact in person I really enjoy her.

Lesson Learned: If the stuff someone posts rubs you wrong but you like the person, block the posts.

Last I started my “be the love” project. It’s a nice counterbalance when you are trying to deal with things that make you feel negative!

I posted this on my Facebook:

“This world needs as much kindness as it can get. I’m participating in the ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative: The first five people who comment on this status with “I’m in” will receive a surprise from me at some point during calendar year 2015 – anything from a book, a ticket, something homemade, a postcard, absolutely any surprise! There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy. These five people must make the same offer on their Facebook status. Once my first five have commented “I’m in” I will forward this message to you privately, so that you can copy and paste it, and put it on your status, (don’t share it) so that we can form a web of connection of kindness. Let’s do more nice and loving things in 2015, without any reason other than to make each other smile and show that we think of each other. Here’s to a more enjoyable, friendly and love filled year.” 

Another thing I’ve been working on and thinking about in this new year are the things I am thankful for.

1. I am thankful beyond words that I have such a well rounded, flexible, happy child. Emily really is an easy child.

Memer

Helping Zac “kill bad guys” in her pretty pink princess dress.

2. The weather has been ice. Not snow… just ice and it’s scary and I could list a lot of things that are bad about it, but instead today I looked around at how seriously beautiful it was. It’s like everything is covered in decorative glass. It’s beautiful.
image

3. This guy. This one right here. Sometimes it is overwhelming to think about how blessed I am. So badly I wanted someone who gave me their affection freely, without shame, or being forced and Zac does just this. He loves me and he shows it and he’s not ashamed to be affectionate.

image

So far it’s a great new year.

❤ -Catie

Dear Catie, A Happy Self.

When I woke up this morning at 9:00am, I didn’t really have a ‘plan.’ I knew I was off, I knew I wouldn’t have Elijah until tomorrow, and that I had just me, myself, and I for the next 24 hours. It’s a Thursday, but it’s also New Years Day. Is anything open? I bet not, but I bet the movie theater is. For some reason, they’re always open and it kind of makes me feel bad for the workers, but not bad enough that I didn’t get my ass up for the matinee showing of Wild (Starring Reese Witherspoon) at 10:40am.

So in I walk to the theater, having no idea what this movie is about – not even a trailer of it. Someone I loosely know knew of my situation (‘divorced’) and thought to tell me to go see it, with urgency. They were not mistaken in this suggestion. This is my first text after seeing it, to my mother:

It’s about a woman who’s had it all and lost it all and made a lot of mistakes and so she goes on a journey for herself to find the woman her mother always wanted for her (to be her Happy Self). It was just really therapeutic. I thought to myself, “Maybe I should go on a little thing, too.” And then I realized, “I already am.”

It just gives me hope that this isn’t for nothing and I will come out of it all a Happy Self.

It’s true. I really am already on my own adventure. I live by myself (sometimes with Elijah) in a new city I’ve never lived in that is much bigger than the suburbia I grew up in and the small towns I visited. The dynamic of people, their mannerisms, everything is different. At the mall, once the movie was over, I realized that sitting on the bench drinking my smoothie – no one noticed me. No one spoke to me, no one saw me — I wouldn’t even have to go on a hike across the PCT to feel solitude. Life was happening all around me – yet separate from me.

I am not writing this as a depression piece — I actually find this very beautiful. The idea that I can sit in a populated area and simply be beside myself while having the opportunity to reach out and speak to anyone I wanted, it was like a super power.

A lot of my country-living family and relatives have asked me how I can do it, and that all the sirens and noise of the highway must drive me insane. When I began to speak of the ritual at night time when I turn all of the lights out and lay on my bed, stare up at my ceiling and the noise just… enters. Cars on the highway. People in their apartments (speaking softly). The occasional, nightly sirens going off. It’s all a symphony of hyperactive life all around. You will find each of these things – though maybe isolated – in the country. They won’t be as often, and the country leaves a lot of quiet – too much quiet for me. Too much silence for my thoughts to invade where they shouldn’t and cause problems that never were.

But here? Here, it is a symphony. It is music inside of earbuds taped to my head as I drift off to sleep. I am at such peace, yet I am still able to think – and better yet, control where my thoughts linger. I am able to contemplate the last year of my life, where it ‘all went wrong, and then take a deep breath as I release the burden to the sky.

Every day that I am off, I have ventured in to the city – to a location I’ve never been. I’ve been to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant or two, a privately owned pharmacy, a coin-laundromat on the other side of town, and even walked a mall I’ve never taken time to bother with. Every day, I put myself out there without going farther than 10 miles from my new home. There’s people of all walks of life here, and I finally feel like I can belong in such a new place without everyone staring at me like I am the new girl. I’m not the new girl in town anymore. I’m the new girl in the city – and that’s exciting. I can walk around with the utmost confidence because no one knows me, no one can snoop up who my family is off a whim of asking ‘granny down the street who’s kin I belong to’ or any of the more ‘comfortable’ details of living in a small town.

And I know this won’t last forever. I know, someday I will find someone up to my level who will sway me to move elsewhere – whether it’s in Texas or not – and my single-living-apartment-adventure will end..

But it’s not about the start or finish. It’s about the journey. It always has been. I have been so focused, the last half year, on reaching the finish line of my grief. I gave up a life I had – a beautiful life that I had with a beautiful family. You will be hard pressed to find more decent and considerate folks than Mr. Donald Dyer and Mrs. Debbie Dyer, my ex-husband’s parents. I will be hard pressed to find a more compassionate man than Matthew was – and remains to be. I am so blessed to call him co-parent to my child, Elijah. That young boy will want for nothing.

As the holidays came upon us, I look on it now like it was all a blur, though at the time it was very much not. Thanksgiving came like a slap to the face. My birthday arrived a week later with news of needing to pack everything up immediately and find a place to live, my dad having hardship that aided this, and then being single for my birthday for the first time in.. at least a decade. Then three weeks blew by as I packed, searched, found, scavenged for the money, and then moved in three days before Christmas. I didn’t even have a tree, let alone the amount of presents I wanted for Elijah – but we’re doing fine. He made out like a bandit. But I was single, once more, for the third anniversary of celebration in a row within a month. Thanksgiving. My birthday. Christmas.

It was a lot of grief, a lot of pain they don’t tell you about. I remember texting my mother the day of Christmas, prepared to beg that I stay home because it was all too much. But instead, I decided it was time to get out of bed. It was time to go see my family – because that’s what it is about and I lost sight of that. I went and had the best time at my stepfather’s parents’ house with the whole family, eating, laughing, playing games. My sister, her best friend, and I went to the movies for a double feature and I didn’t get home until the early morning next day.

I feel like I was prepared for New Years Ever, and then Day. I had made it through the past month with my head above water, and a strong mind. Crying is alright, and grief is a place I went for the holidays, but the important thing to remember is not to live there. This, too, shall pass.

New Years Eve was a blast. New Years Day was a revelation, not because of the first day of a new year but because of the events that happened on it.

It’s time to stop grieving.

It’s time to let it go.

It’s time to be a Happy Me.

Dear Miranda, Here are some Reflections and a NEW set of Resolutions…

My darling Pot, can you believe that we have been at this for a YEAR now? We have sixty someodd posts and I have to say this has been such a good way for us to keep up and stay close despite the miles between us or our never ending hectic schedules. All the ups and downs and twists and turns of life. And life  has changed so much for us both this past year. I have no doubt this coming year will include just as many ups and downs and crazy changes and shenanigans and I look very much forward to living out my thoughts in feelings in letters once more.

 

We Rock.

 

Now. One of the first posts I did last year was a list of resolutions. Some people think that resolutions are stupid. I think those people can stuff it. lol jk I know you are/used to be in this camp. However I do think its silly to hate resolutions just because many people don’t stick to all of them. If you complete even ONE goal you had for yourself its more than the person that chooses to have no goals. And ANY accomplishment should be celebrated. Also I like doing it here because there is some accountability. I have to tell you when I fail and I get to brag when I do something right!

 

So last year I did not do so well on keeping up with my healthy lifestyle, drinking enough water, and I did only a so/so job on making more time. BUT.

 

This is what I accomplished: I put $500 in an IRA account and $2000 in a growth based stock account for Emily separate from her college account. This account will be used for stuff like when she needs a car/prom dress/big school trip/ect. I took a two week trip to Scotland and Ireland. I lived life more fully, learning how to express myself as ME and have a good time. Just last weekend my coworkers were cracking up because I was blasting music for the kids and dancing around the house like a crazy person. I made new friends at work and I found a balance between my own needs in romantic relationships. Which is a pretty big deal considering at one point I was thinking of swearing off men totally. Dating is tricky. I made some mistakes and there are some things that I wish hadn’t turned out quite the way they did however I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m extremely happy with my progress and with the relationship I have now. I can honestly say I am a more positive person this year then last year.

 

That is a big deal. And I am proud of myself I also spent a fair amount of time exploring my faith so the “make more time” wasn’t a totally lost resolution.

 

And now its a new year and it’s time for new resolutions. Here’s to 2015 and to making good choices.

 

1. Make better health choices.

-This one is obvious considering I did so poorly last year. I’m going to make it a pretty broad goal this year as well so that it includes not just eating right and exercising but also drinking more water, cutting back on caffeine, and taking vitamins.  The good news is that I did so bad last year that it wont be to hard to improve this year!

 

2. Utilize the time I have in the best way possible.

-I feel like this is a little better goal then “make more time” for one thing because when you are working 40 hours a week at weird hours, the time you have available is limited and inconvenient. So this year I’m going to try and just utilize the free time I DO have in an effective way. Maybe I will workout in the weird morning hours between taking Emily to school and work. Maybe I will do a bible study. Maybe I with write on here or bake a healthy snack. And when I have time off with Emily I want to take her to the park and dance around with her, ect. I cant make more time where there is none, but I CAN take advantage of the time I have.

 

3. Pamper myself.

-This one is going to be hard for me. Over the years I have gotten to the point where I don’t care what anyone thinks and as such I hardly ever do my makeup, paint my nails, or do my hair. Heck, lets be real, half the time I forget to shave my legs until they are way past the point of stubble. But this past year I realized something. I like when I do those things and it genuinely has nothing to do with anyone else. I like when my nails are painted because I like it. These little things make me feel good about myself. Like I have my shit together and more importantly like I care about myself! I spend a lot of time caring for others. It’s about damn time I love on myself a little!

 

4. Learn to keep a consistent savings account.

– This past year is the first time in my life I have ever had any significant amount of money in a savings account. And honestly it takes a big weight off your shoulders when you know you have a cushion or something to fall back on. I don’t want that to be an occasional thing. I want it to be a lifelong thing. I like having money in savings.

 

5. Make a Quilt/Keep Stitching

-I picked up on embroidery this year and I made everyone Christmas Ornaments and Wall Hangings. I LOVE this hobby and I REALLY want to make Emily a Quilt. It’s a big goal but I think I can do it.

 

6. Figure out my faith.

– This I think is a lifelong process but what I mean is that I want to continue spending time exploring what my faith means to ME and to become closer to God when I’m not at church. I feel like to strengthen a faith you have found you have to do a lot of it alone. It’s what you have to wrestle with and read about and pray for and meditate on… not JUST what comes easily in a crowd of worshipers. (I’m not down on church at all. I think its a great staple but I want to BUILD on that. I am an individual.)

 

7. Keep a Gratitude log.

– I want to start logging the little things I am thankful for. This doesn’t have to be an every day thing but I also don’t want it to be a once a year thing. I’ve found thinking about it REGULARLY and writing down the things I’m grateful for makes me a more happy individual.

 

8. Get rid of the Guilt and other Nonproductive Negativity.

– I’ve noticed some habits of mine that breed guilt, anger, frustration, and a whole myriad of other negative feelings. For example I constantly read the Facebook posts of one of “those” moms. I know you know which one I’m talking about because I have been bitching about how much she gets under my skin for ages. And you know… I can remedy this so easily. I could list a few other examples off the top of my head but I will save those so that I can tell you what I’ve done to fix it! (I’m starting on this one early)

 

9. Be the Love.

-I want to be the love I want to see. This means doing small acts of kindness, being loving to those around me, and most difficultly… learning to be kind when it’s the opposite of what I want to do.

 

10. Keep Blogging.

– BECAUSE I LOVE YOUR FACE AND OUR BLOG IS AWESOME!

 

Love you and can’t wait to see what you have to say about this new year!

-Kettle