Seen

I have been thinking a lot lately about why certain situations/people negatively affect my emotional state. I mean, besides the fact that I am cripplingly insecure and self conscious.  Overall, I have no interest in being noticed or to have attention turned toward me in any situation. I do however,  have a need to be seen. Being seen means that you are important and worthy. When I was a little girl, I remember having a very strong desire to be seen by certain people and still do in some cases. I wanted to be worth their time. My siblings on the other hand could care less whether or not these people were in our lives. My siblings felt that if these people didn’t want to give us the time of day then they were not worth our time. So why do I care so much that they can’t see me? Why do I waste my time even thinking about it? It is not like these people have ever been a big part of my life…… I don’t know.

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Inevitable

You can love someone with every fiber of your being but it is still not enough. I never understood that statement in the past. I would wonder to myself how love could not be enough until recently.

Living with someone that refuses to allow you to move forward from your past failings is hell! I used to think that it was me that could not forgive myself and THAT was keeping me from moving forward. That was part of it.. and I feel like there will always be a part of me that will carry guilt for my transgressions. However, he reminds me that I am a lier on a regular basis and makes me feel like a slut. I did lie and I did cheat. I wish that I could say I didn’t… but I can’t. That was 20 years ago and I am still living it. I can’t stay in this place. I am finally seeing that it is only destroying me and holding me back. It also effects my relationships with the people around me.

I feel that IF he really loved me he would not be able to treat and talk to me the way that he does. He talks down to and over me. There is no respect! I feel like a piece of shit every time he is finished talking to me when we have a disagreement. He immediately goes back to me cheating on him and how I lied about it so well. I know that I hid it and that he never would have known if I wouldn’t have told him. I was a different person 20 years ago. I didn’t know how to deal with the rejection and pain I was feeling in our marriage. If I was still that deplorable person I would have strayed again due to the pain, frustration, rejection, and disrespect I feel currently. I would NOT do that now! But… HE would say “with as well as she lied the first time, for all I know she could be cheating on me.”

I will forever be held in this place. I have more than made up for what I did! I love him and I have supported him through some really difficult times. I don’t know that I will ever be able to make it up in HIS eyes. He will always see me this way.

I don’t understand how he seems to always ignore the events surrounding the time period this took place. He also cheated on me. He may not have hid it but if you ask me it was excruciating to have them flaunt it in front of me. To see a receipt from the expensive Christmas gift he bought her. To see the scratch marks all over his back and then having the constant visions of what they were doing in order for her to put them there. They haunted my dreams or I should say nightmares for years! I had to work in the same place with her and keep my composure so I didn’t loose my job. I had to listen to people talk behind my back and blame me for trapping him because I got pregnant on purpose. So it was my fault that everything  was going to shit. I pushed him to do what he was doing. Yea, I forced him not to wear a condom. I had to walk around with that huge stomach with people talking about what a shame it was that I had thrown away my life by having a baby so young and that I was going to ruin my baby’s life as well. All the while he ran around baby belly free with his friend and then slept with her the first chance he had. Then I got the joy of his mother telling me that I had failed to do the job God had bestowed upon me because I cried and yelled at him due to his terrible treatment to try to get me to grant him a divorce. See, he is right….. He didn’t hide all of it behind my back but even worse he shoved it in my face and left me so god awful alone, pregnant and scared! I have trouble seeing a big difference.

I am beginning to wonder (more then wonder) if there is no use in trying. I can’t continue to live with my head being held underwater. Pieces of me die every time. I never thought that I would really think about separation. Now I am having trouble seeing any other way. I would rather be alone then in this hell. I love him and the thought of not being without him aches in every part of my body. I feel like it would rip my heart out. I can’t imagine a life without him in it. I also can’t imagine an eternity of THIS.

The thing is, he knows that I don’t have a job and the anxiety that surrounds me concerning that. He likes to laugh in my face about the fact that I have nothing apart from him and what he provides. I can make a way for myself. I think he would be surprised. He of course will  immediately accuse me of having a man on the side. I have no desire for any one else. I just want to be free of all this weight. I only have eyes for him, he just can’t see it. I have always felt that my body was made to fit his perfectly:) I have loved him most of my life. The passion runs DEEP for him.

He always thinks I am a conniving bitch. I know he will think I have ulterior motives, he really always will. I don’t think he will ever see me any other way. Thats why I feel  our fate is inevitable.

 

The Cup

cup

When I was growing up, my mother use to spend any and most all of her free time painting plaster craft pieces. This is the cup that she used to clean her paint brushes. When her cancer took a turn for the worse, she decided to give me all of her paints, brushes, various supplies and most importantly…. her cup. I doubt that she saw any significance in this cup, to her it was just a dirty cup that she used to clean her brushes. To me, especially now that she’s gone, it is a warm memory of her. I feel close to her when I use it.  I can envision her sitting at her table with her newest piece trying to decide what colors to choose. I loved watching her in deep concentration and couldn’t wait to see the end result of her master piece. I can almost smell the cup of coffee that she would have setting at her table while working. Painting was the one thing that she had just for her when we were all little and she loved it! When we were older, it was something that I shared with her. It is great to have something in common with my mother. When I paint, I always use it.

Broken but Not Defined

This is a descriptive paper I wrote in my english class in college about overcoming a difficult experience…

Broken but Not Defined

Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward. – Henry Ford

 As an adolescent I struggled throughout school with low self esteem and a learning disability. Along the way I encountered a teacher who changed me, but not for the better. A traumatic incident occurred with this teacher that in the long run made the decision to go back to school emotionally difficult for me. With my husband’s encouragement I was able to move past these impediments. Teachers have a tremendous power to influence; their words can be used to build up or tear down. This is a story of the harmful effects of a teacher who chose to use his words to tear down and the resultant circuitous path to overcome and ultimately find success despite them.

As a child, I struggled a great deal in school academically due to a learning disability, but even more than the disability, I struggled with a lack of confidence and subsequent anxiety. I dreaded school as far back as I can remember; I can still recall the feeling of trepidation building in my stomach each morning and I can still taste the sour stomach acid of the all too familiar indigestion. I was not as studious as the other kids and usually struggled more, and a lot of times stood out for all the wrong reasons as a result.  I had trouble paying attention as well, so when called upon by my teachers, I was usually off course and would then be humiliated in front of my peers (one of my worst nightmares). The fear, anxiety, and academic struggles in school only grew as I approached high school.

In my sophomore year these struggles came to a head. My algebra teacher was a horrible little man that enjoyed torturing his classes with the task of assembling a terribly complicated notebook that was worth a large portion of the class grade. I had trouble understanding algebra in general, much less the setup of this notebook, so inevitably, I was failing the class, seemingly much to this teachers enjoyment. Success for the students was not the goal for this teacher, control was his objective. The severity of my anxiety in this class had become so bad that my special education teacher had authorized a free pass that enabled me to leave in the event that I was driven to tears or became exasperated. Eventually, this stress and anxiety had become almost unmanageable so my mother decided that I should drop out and enroll in a home school program. In the middle of my tenth grade year I walked into the office and signed myself out of my local high school. That act made me feel like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders with all of the anxiety the school and that algebra teacher had caused that year.

A few weeks after beginning home school, my former algebra teacher came into my place of employment (McDonalds) as one of my customers. It was the middle of a Saturday afternoon. The sun streamed in through the windows down onto a crowded dining room filled with people going about their business. He deliberately positioned himself in my line amidst the sea of other customers. The noise of the crowded restaurant was at a dull roar. I spotted him immediately and could feel my anxiety level rise as my heart began to beat out of my chest with each of his steps, one by one, closer to my register. The dreaded feelings in the pit of my stomach from the days of his algebra class came rushing back and the image of his look of enjoyment as I failed once again, was vivid in my mind. Beads of sweat began to form on my brow as he inched toward me. The noise of the crowd around me faded, there was a deafening silence as his approach was pending. He finally reached my register and I tried to smile and then I forced myself to look up at him and say, Hi, May I take your order?He peered back at me to meet my gaze with a smirk on his face and simply said, You will never amount to anything more than this job!upon which he proceeded to walk out.

As he left, the sound of the roaring crowd around me suddenly returned and I was very aware of the large audience that had been present to my very personal floor show – my heart sank. I was embarrassed, angry and most of all his words left a lasting pain in the deepest parts of me.  I carried that pain for a very long time. Even though I knew I was still finishing school through the home school program, the words still cut deep and unfortunately became a part of me. For quite some time afterwards, on each occasion that I thought about furthering my education, I heard those words in my head telling me I would never amount to anythingor I wasnt good enough.

         I heard those words in my head for many years after that. It took a long time to build up the confidence to face education again and have the chance to attain to the dreams that I did not even realize were in me. My husband knew I was not happy where I was professionally but I was scared, in response he gently urged me to seek something more.  As can be imagined, my first semester of classes at the Art Institute (AI) were an emotional struggle. The words from that teacher many years prior had left a gaping wound. Throughout the entire semester, my husband overwhelmingly encouraged and reminded me that I could do it, and continuously provided positive reinforcement. Little by little, those negative words spoken so long ago were replaced with positive ones.  Now, I no longer hear the words from that teacher. I have also come to realize in writing this that I no longer feel anger towards him.

I have freedom from his negative words and I did not let this teacher and his low opinion define me. With the help of those who love me, like my husband, I have been able to move past and not accept his estimation. My husbands constant support and sometimes sickening positivity has encouraged me to seek and want something more. He has been an inspiration and a positive driving force in my life and toward my future goals.  It has driven me to want to learn those things of which I am capable. Through my experience I am bigger, I have developed character, and it is in the endurance of these setbacks and grief, for which I have the perseverance to push on.  

Hindsight…

In hindsight I can see that this teacher probably thought he was doing something good by helping me see that I would be nothing but this job if I did not stay in school. He did not know that I was in homeschool. As far as he knew, I just quit school and decided that McDonald’s was the career for me. I do not agree with his method and I feel it would always lead to pain and cause a negative outlook on ones self. He could have said what he had to say very differently and maybe would have been a positive influence on my future.

Third Person

I was recently asked to try to read my entries as if I am a stranger just coming across them and to try to read them with the perspective of an outsider. I guess, read them from a third person perspective.

I found this difficult for many reasons.

Recently my son started applying for jobs and this particular son has some social issues and we will say quirks. I was talking this over with my husband and I made the comment that it was hard for me to have an unbiased opinion about how he handles himself because I know too much about him and his struggles, it gives me a different perspective. Someone that is interviewing him that knows nothing about him will have a very different perspective and opinion about his ‘quirks’.

This is similar to how I feel when approaching this task. I know too much about myself and the writing. It makes it very difficult if not impossible to seperate myself and my subsequent opinion.

I did try and this is what I took note of…

I feel that this person is sad and the writing is sad overall. There is not much happiness (I had not really noticed this before). I would feel badly for this person. I feel like they have struggled quite a bit.

Just a note, this is one of the most uncomfortable things I have had to do. I find it difficult to have compassion for myself. If I were truly reading this about a different person I would probably feel some compassion for them.  I might think that this is a rather deep thinker with strong emotions. Maybe even too deep a thinker, that they may get in their own way. Life is hard and sometimes you need to just move on and not analyze and continuously think over everything.

What Others See

I can’t control how others see me or how they portray me. Though I spend an infinite amount of time trying to. I want to say, “fuck it”!!!  That is nearly impossible for me to do however. I have a really hard time accepting someone else’s misconception of me. It will literally keep me up at night. I truly just want to not care! I want to say, ” Oh well, that’s their problem” and then move on. Most “normal” people probably do. I will slowly,  little by little change myself based on what others think of me. I have recently stepped back and looked at myself and I really don’t know who I am or what I am about. I have molded myself based on other people’s opinions. I am this fake person. I started out being me and then one person said, “that is stupid” or “no, don’t do that” or “that’s ugly” etc. and I was too afraid to be different and I just followed. I am a shell….

What am I?              Who am I?            ???

I am creative. I like to walk and listen to music. I like to read for long periods of time. I also like to binge watch movies for an entire day sometimes:) and I am ok with that. I like to paint (even though I am not very good at it), I like to go out and find old forgotten pieces of furniture and then find a way to make it beautiful again by either repurposing or refinishing it. I weigh more than I ever really have and I HATE it! I am afraid MOST of the time:( and I hate that too! I am anxious in crowds and while meeting new people. Traffic causes me to panic, which makes driving difficult in most cases. I really want to be “who and what I am” but I hate parts of “who and what I am” so I am not sure how to deal with that?!

Love & Passion /Hope & Regrete

Love and passion…. for me I can’t imagine one without the other.  I think of myself as a fairly passionate person. Love for me comes along with much passion.  My love and passion can be for many things including my children, family, things I like to do, places I like to go or vacation and especially my husband.

From the first moment I saw my husband walking home from his bus stop I have felt a passion for him that made me feel weak. A few weeks later I met him at McDonalds where I was applying for a job (he was already working there). His blue eyes and blonde hair made me feel weak in the knees and every time he would talk to me I would get butterfly’s in my stomach and stumble over my words.

When he finally did call me to ask me out, I put him on hold and screamed out loud because I was SO excited. I would have done absolutely anything he wanted me to do because I was head over heals in love with him, and I did. We dated for about a year and a half. It was not a blissful time. I was terribly insecure and I spent my time trying to make him happy and make sure he stayed with me. Mean while we were both very stupid with birth control (or I should say lack there of) and very sexually active with one another.

I was 17 years old and I had been feeling very ill for quite some time so I made a doctors appointment, Matt ( my husband, then boyfriend) drove me there. The possibility of being pregnant honestly was not even a thought in my mind. It was now a reality!

Matt had enlisted in the Navy the year before and was set to go to boot camp upon graduation that June. We now planned to marry in August when he returned from boot camp. However, as he was entering at what they call the moment of truth, they discovered that he had an unwed dependent and he was discharged and sent to 9th division for several weeks. This experience changed him in a negative way for quite sometime and added to the difficulty of the first few years of our marriage.

The first few years….

Very very hard! Hard to live through and hard to even remember and talk about really.

In part because of what was done to me but in large part because of what I myself did. It is funny…you think that you could never do certain things but it never happens over night. In my case it was little by little, step by step, I made what I was doing ok because it felt good and I told myself that I had not felt good in a long time. It is lies like that, that get you into trouble, BIG trouble!

My husband didn’t really love me at the beginning and to be honest he didn’t like me much either. That was really hard for me. I was young and very insecure and loved him with all my heart and wanted nothing more than a fairy tale marriage( to which there is no such thing). I wanted to be wanted and desired.

We had a tiny little one bedroom apartment and Matt was a manager at McDonalds. I also worked there up until the very end of my pregnancy. I split my time between work and our apartment trying to set up a small area for our baby. Things were not great between the two of us. Matt never seemed to want to be home. He always wanted to be out with his friends and never wanted me to come along. He would come home late and sleep on the couch. At some point he started talking about a divorce. I told him that I would not give him one because I did not believe in divorce so he would have to live apart from me in order to be awarded one by the state. I remember that he would look away when I would get undressed because he said I looked like a bug with a huge body and little arms and legs. I had found out that he was having an affair with a girl at work but it didn’t really hit home until he came home one day and he got undressed to get a shower and I was trying to talk to him and I saw scratch marks all over his back.

I pushed him into the shower and just cried. He just reiterated that he just wanted a divorce and closed  the bathroom door.

Very alone.. Is how I felt!

The night of my baby shower my brothers found out that Matt was cheating on me and they all jumped in a truck and came after him. It was a big blow up and I ended up warning him so he could get away before he got beat up. With all of that commotion, our land lady felt that we would not be a “good fit” any more and asked us to leave.  Matt’s parents then said we could move in with them for a while if Matt agreed to work on the marriage and end the relationship with the girl from work. He agreed but between the two of us he told me he did not love me. We would have sex  at times but it was painfully obvious that there was no passion, I was just a means to an end.

During this time I began a secret affair with someone. This person made me feel wanted and desired. I had rarely ever in my life felt sexy and attractive and it was very hard to resist such a temptation. He also listened and seemed to understand me, so I had an emotional attraction as well, this was a bad combination. I was young and stupid and I will say again terribly insecure. This person was also quite a bit older than me, so I looked up to him.  I had much passion to give and I needed someone to give it to. (No one knew about this affair until at least 15 years later.)

Within a year or so of living at Matt’s parents house I got a very familiar ‘gut’ feeling  and found that he was trying to begin a relationship with another girl at work.

Something broke in me at that point. I feel like apart of me died that day. I became a very angry person for a long time after that. I almost feel like I was determined to make life pay.

I decided I wanted to leave him and I didn’t care about anything anymore. I grabbed ahold of the first guy that paid any attention to me( he was just a kid, I guess so was I really, he was just more so). I had an affair with him and when he asked me to run away with him I realized how crazy I was being and ended the relationship. But to show how very ridiculous this whole thing was, I remember going to my orthodontist (where  I had recently gotten my braces off) and the hygienist that had worked on me for the last 2 years or so started yelling at me and and calling me all sorts of names.  Apparently the ‘boy’ I had been seeing was her nephew and she wanted me to know that she knew I was married and she thought what I was doing was awful. I ran out without finishing my appointment and never went back. I deserved it, I was using this kid and it was not fair to him or her for that matter. I was hurting and handling it in all the wrong ways. I in turn was hurting all of them and my reputation.

Matt and I did end up staying together and continued to work on our marriage but things were very messy between the two of us for a long time. Matt actually came after me when I left him and begged me to come back. I remember that it was one of the first times I had ever felt like he really wanted me. He was actually chasing me rather than me chasing him!

All of these very bad decisions ultimately lead to me hurting many people, primarily my husband! I regret all that I did with all of my heart! I am not proud of any of it!

Where does this leave us, I am not sure.

We have now been married for 23 years. We have shared some really awful, terribly painful years but we have also shared many wonderful years.

In the last few years my husband has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It has definitely not made life any easier. He can be very unpredictable at times and I feel like I spend a lot of time crying and telling myself that he is not quite himself right now. The thing that is absolutely the most difficult is that his medications makes it so that he does not really have any desire for sex anymore and it is impossible to complete the act. For a passionate person such as myself this is rather devastating. I feel like a part of me has died once again.

I think part of what makes this so hard is that I am reminded of a lot of the same rejected feelings from the beginning of our marriage. I feel unwanted! I feel like there has been something severed between us. When we made love I felt such a connection like we were literally one. It was such an emotional thing between us. Now I just feel so empty. I just feel so lonely again. Being intimate now is empty and emotionless. He is awkward.

Passion, Love & Hope

I have channeled my passion into my husband for many years.  I love my husband and he loves me. Love takes many forms and I think that I am learning that I at times had an image of what I thought our love should look like and tried to create that, if that makes sense. I need to find out what our love really looks like. Passion can be much of the same, and I am in the process of finding out where my passions lye. And there is where I find hope.