Married but looking for a boyfriend

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He says he’s not interested. “Go make friends that like the same thing.” He says he’s content with how things are. “I’m perfectly happy with my routine.”

I say I’m not happy. “I need more undivided attention.” I say I’m suffocating in the monotony. “I need to be more active and want you to join.”

Our hearts are combined but our souls are strangers. Our hearts know it’s time but our minds can’t let go.

 

The perfect failure

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My search for the perfect job is off to a bad start. First of all I’m not actively looking, more so just thinking about it. Secondly I have no idea what the perfect job for me is. And so there lies the ever troublesome fear that I always succumb to. FEAR stands in my way most every day. And if I had to rate it’s success I would give it an A. See, I’ve come to realize that I could be categorized as a perfectionist. But, like my quest for that perfect job, I’m the type of perfectionist that only talks about the perfect things they want. But never actually tries to obtain them for FEAR of imperfection. Are you following me?

Let’s dig deeper, really tear me apart.

I want to be a free spirit. One might call it a hippie (I do.) I envy those who go with the flow and embrace natures way. They don’t worry about details or outcomes. They live in the moment and fully enjoy the present. At least that is my interpretation. This type of free thinking does not mix well with my need for perfection. How could I let me hair down and enjoy the moment if I’m worried about what is going to happen after the moment? Will it meet my expectations? Will it be perceived by others as a failure?

FAILURE: Now that is the root of my perfectionism. FEAR of FAILURE! I know I am going to fail (by my own standards because I don’t give myself any chance of not failing), the fear is so great, I don’t even try. I lose out on so many life experiences because my FEAR paralyzes me into thinking I cannot do it.

Fortunately I am a functioning FEAR of FAILURE sufferer. What I mean by that is that I realize some individuals suffer far greater than I. I have a full time job, a husband, 3 lovely dogs and a handful of people I can call friends. My appreciation for those things should be more than it is. My negative self image diminishes the idea that I am worthy of any of it. A perfect person deserves to have those things and I am far from perfect.

Let me try to explain how I feel in words.

When someone gives me a compliment, let’s say they told me I am doing a great job at work, I completely freeze up. My face flushes and I get hot and uncomfortable. If I’m already having an emotional day sometimes my eyes well up. And you might think, good, you feel proud. But no, I feel ashamed. I feel unworthy. I feel like I somehow pulled the wool over their eyes and fooled them into thinking I deserved such a compliment. My inner self does not let me forget that I am not good enough. That I am less than everyone else.

My rational side tries hard to fight this ugly monster. Tries it’s hardest to point out the facts and bring me to the other, positive side. But majority of the time that battle is lost. And I might be able to hold myself together for appearances but you better believe that on the inside there are casualties as far as the imagination can reach. Even as I write this post I know how ridiculous it sounds.

I’ve discovered over the years, through many different counselors, that this is only just a bad habit. With practice and self awareness I can retrain my thought process to take a different route. And I do believe that to be true. Because I have made great strides in acknowledging my bad habits and redirecting some of them. But this battle has proven to be harder than I can handle. My struggles are evident to the ones closest to me. They suffer the greatest from my inability to move forward and for that I am very sorry. But I am still optimistic that I will keep improving. That the FEAR of FAILURE perfectionist inside me will lose power and the free spirit that has been trapped inside since childhood will find her voice.

She has to. I need her now more than ever.

“Grandpa, you already told me that.”

I remember as a child, probably around 10 years old, my Grandpa telling me the same stories over and over again. I would say “Grandpa, you already told me that.” And he’d shrug his shoulders and say “Yeah, maybe I did.” And we would go back to playing whatever game we were playing.

My Grandparents on my mother’s side were my whole life back then. My parents were divorced and my mother moved back to her home town to be closer to her family. Being a single mother of two girls I’m sure she needed all the help she could get. Their house became my safe spot. I always felt loved and welcome there.

My Grandma was your typical house wife of the 1950’s. She did everything for just about everybody. My Grandpa spent his days tinkering on projects in the garage. Breakfast, dinner (lunch) and supper were always at the same time. And the food was always the same. Anything from homemade macaroni to goulash, pan fried hamburger patties to pork and beans. Your typical American dishes.

I loved their house, well, because it was a house. Not an apartment or a duplex with scary neighbors. There was a big fenced in backyard with plenty of room for a kid to get into trouble. I would ride my bike around in the dirt and crash into the chain link fence. Stuff kids dreams are made of. Climb the tree, swing on the swing, build forts and play in the mud. It was a magical place.

I sometimes wish I were older. That I knew the importance of the time we spent together. When your 10 years old you’re not cherishing the moments you share with your grandparents. You’re worried about your next adventure in the backyard and if you’re going to get some jello for a snack. It never crosses your mind that you will never get these moments back. That once they’re gone, they’re gone.

My Grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease when I was very young. His disease got the best of him about 10 years later. He suffered a stroke on September 11th, 2001. Yeah, I know, that was just a bad day all around. He passed away exactly two weeks later.

My Grandma did surprisingly well. She was enjoying sleeping in and not cooking dinner. Skipping a cleaning day and watching baseball on the television. My aunt moved in to help her as she got older. Eventually it was clear that she needed constant care. She could no longer walk on her own and my aunt was not physically able to help her anymore. She was moved to a small assisted living home. It wasn’t the fanciest place but the workers were all very nice. I’m confident that she received good care. I wanna say she was in there for a couple of years. My mother and aunts visited her everyday, I went on the weekends because I worked during the week.

At some point it was clear to us all that she was ready to go. In overall good health, there was no reason for alarm except that she started refusing to eat. I knew that her quality of life had suffered greatly after losing her ability to walk. I can only imagine her discomfort. She passed away with all of us by her side.

I can picture them now, dancing together. Roller skating to their favorite song or bowling while sharing a pop. They were great people and I miss them every day.

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease that has plagued our family. My aunt was diagnosed a few years back. And I’m sad to say that today she had to be admitted to a care facility. Her anger is too much for my uncle to handle alone. I dread the road we are about to walk along. Knowing all to well what to expect. It seems harder now that I’m older. I have more empathy than I did as a child.

Death is not something I claim to worry about. But I can’t say that I am not scared of it. The unknown. I worry about never seeing the ones I love again. I worry about being alone. I worry about being a burden on my family. Life has a way of dragging out a lesson and not revealing it’s meaning until the very end. I’m sure I will get to a space where I will feel more comfortable with death. But I can’t see that happening soon.

I’m not ready to deal with this again. I don’t think I ever will be. I don’t understand why Alzheimer’s exist but I wish I could make it disappear.

My feelings have no home

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I want to talk about my feelings. Constantly discuss the ends and outs. But who can I do that with? Therapists, friends, co-workers and family get tired of discussing the same issues over and over again. I wish I had a best friend like in high school where you shared everything. Your thoughts and views and solutions. That one best friend who would never disagree with you. Do you remember those? I had a couple over the years. But as we grow older and have our own opinions it’s hard to find someone you have EVERYTHING in common with. Therefore I am left with these feelings tumbling around in my head.  Causing complete havoc.

Sure I’ve tried a therapist. But I feel even they get bored of covering the same subjects. I get insecure and think of all the awful things they could be thinking about me. Sometimes I wish I had their job. A job where you could talk about other peeps problems and forget your own. That sounds like a genius plan. But getting back to the subject of my feelings. How can a complete stranger understand how deep they are? Even if I’m talking about something as trivial as what socks to wear. If that gives me anxiety than it’s obviously important to me. The therapists must think I’m raging mad. I can only imagine. Others tell me that it’s their job and they would never judge you. But isn’t that just human nature. I judge peeps all the time. It seems I cannot help it. Although I do find myself sticking up for others who are unjustly being judged. Like old peeps. Why has society lost all patience with old peeps? We would not exist without them. Have some respect.

Now to the next option, friends. Let’s just cut straight to it. Most of my friends have way worse problems than me. They suck at life and are constantly over shadowing my problems with their bad decisions. So when I try to discuss my feelings with them they just throw out some sob story that makes me feel bad for worrying about my hair until it made me sick. Who cares about my hair? They can’t pay their mortgage! Friends mean well, and they listen as best they can. But ultimately they are waiting for you to finish so they can discuss their own problems. It’s rare to find a friend who actually cares enough to listen and table their own issues for 15 minutes. If you find one of those I suggest you return the favor once in awhile so not to scare them off with your selfishness. They deserve more respect than that.

On occasion I have related to a co-worker so much that we often discuss our feelings. And while this may seem good in the beginning you quickly realize the black whole you are creating. First of all, you’re letting a co-worker (competitor) know your weaknesses. That should be enough to stop you right there. But it isn’t, because I enjoy talking about my feelings so any outlet usually gets fair play regardless of the consequences (which are immense I must add.) Just think if that co-worker decides your trust is no longer valuable to them and they go around telling others the feelings you have intrusted them with? It would be a complete office disaster. I’ve said some things I am not proud of about some of my co-workers after that third margarita. Nothing terrible or very far from the truth but nonetheless not something I should be saying out loud. And once the boss gets wind of the things you’ve been saying all credibility is lost. No one will trust you, they’ll stop talking when you walk into the break room, you’ll be completely alienated from the cool crowd. Your work life will be ruined. Sure, you’ll still take home a pay check but you will no longer WANT to go to work.

Family as a support system I believe can only go so far. So many of the feelings I wish to discuss are deeply rooted in my past family issues. All ours are. Think about it. How therapeutic or relieving would it be to discuss my daddy issues with my dad? It’s terrible to think about. The confrontation and emotion that would go into it. I’m not looking to have an intervention, I just want to talk about why I don’t have any self esteem (aka Daddy issues). So let’s try a sibling. Sure at first they are supportive and completely focused on what you are saying, because they lived it with you. But that soon changes to annoyance and more concern for the issues they’ve had with you since childhood. So somehow, during your out-poor of feelings, they turn the subject around and start pointing out what you did wrong to begin with. How it’s all your fault anyway. At best, a distant aunt or uncle could work. They know the family dynamic so they can understand where you’re coming from. Yet they are not too emotionally invested because they have their own issues with the family. This territory could be dangerous depending on the relationships in your family so tread lightly.

And where does that leave us? Therapists are ultimately paid to listen, but that’s pretty much it. Friends have worse problems so you’re often left feeling guilty when telling them about yours. If you want to keep somewhat of an enjoyable work environment you better lay off any heavy conversations with co-workers. And family, well that’s where all the issues derived from. So who are you supposed to talk to, confide in? Who really cares about your life and how you are doing more than they care about themselves? That’s a hard question to answer. Some turn to their religion or faith, others keep it all bottled up. I’m not sure what is the right path for me. I’ve never been religious and my empathetic heart finds it hard to share feelings with someone and not get the reaction I would like. I tend to tell myself I am not selfish yet in reality I just want to talk about myself. Use others life stories to help guide me on my path. Ultimately I think timing is everything. I’ve used all of the above as sounding boards, life coaches, venting targets and supporting devices. Maybe the key is to spread it around. Find what works best for you and make the most of it. Yet stay flexible because nothing is forever.

I purposely left out one example; your best friend, spouse or life partner. Sometimes my deep affection and concern for my husband keeps me from sharing all of my feelings because I know he will take them on as his own and feel a terrible responsibility to fix them. Even if it is not at all possible. Sure, the more irrational feelings, the ones he just cannot relate to, are hard for him to comprehend. But that does not mean they do not affect him. Let’s take my low self-esteem as an example. It hurts his heart that I don’t see the beautiful, intelligent, charismatic women that he sees. He just cannot wrap his head around it. His confidence comes from within and is a part of him. So when I share ALL my feelings with him I am ultimately challenging that confidence. Making him question weather he can ever make me completely happy. Which he cannot. But not because of him, because of me. Because I can see the worst in any situation. I can break myself down to a speck of dust on the bottom of a bums shoe. In a breath I can change how I feel and completely ruin a whole day. So needless to say, I don’t want to burden the one person I love more than anything in the world with all my feelings. He deserves much better than that.

It comes in waves

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Suicide makes death harder to accept.

The feelings a person must experience to think death is their only option are too agonizing to understand.

The despair in the air is suffocating my mind.

Empathy is rolling off of me in waves so big I’m drowning in my own compassion.

My heart aches for a way to end the pain the ones I love are suffering.

I hope the search for peace ended in discovery.