Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Strange Dream

I need to write this out just to see if I can make sense of it.

I had a dream that I was getting married to DD's bio father, "A". I remember feeling very stressed during the wedding. A and I were not speaking. We clearly did not even like each other, letalone love! It was a very chaotic affair with people everywhere, a huge banquet facility filled with ornate columns, man made ponds and fountains. I was surrounded by a doting group of women, presumably my bridesmaids, but I don't know who any of them were. There was a point that I needed to make an entrance into the reception. It was to be an introduced entrance, the way a bride & groom would come into the reception together, but it was just me. I was stressed out b/c I had DD with me and I needed someone to stay with her so I could do this. I went to A and asked him to stay with her and he was completely dismissive, too busy talking with his group of friends. I'm not sure if he did end up taking her but someone must have because I was able to compose myself and make my grand entrance. I remember "putting on the happy face", kindof standing behind closed doors alone, smoothing my wedding dress, fluffing my hair, generally primping. I took a deep breath and put on a huge happy-bride smile as the doors opened. I came out grinning, waving and greeting my guests.

I recall being very preoccupied with the wedding gifts and keeping an eye on them because I suspected that A was going to try to take them. As the reception was winding down, I stuffed all the gifts into a black garbage bag (Oh....Lightbulb.....There is "garbage" again in my dream....4th time now) and I thought they were hidden. Then I was trying to escape from the wedding. I had a man and a woman with me. Actually, I think the man was not "with" me, but rather leading me out to a secret exit from the facility. And the woman....I *think* it was my mother but I'm not sure. I recall going down into something like a service kitchen and the man was showing me the way out through a small tunnel that had a conveyor belt in it. I was trying to take pieces of wedding cake with me and my mother was putting them on the conveyor wrong so that they were being squashed and I got mad at her. I remember being exasperated that she couldn't follow simple instructions on how to get out.

I got to the other side and I was in a parking garage by myself. Then I was back inside the reception hall looking for my bag of gifts. When I found them, the bag was half empty and I realized that A had taken a bunch. I was very disheartened but I took what was left and I got in my car. I began to pull out and I ended up stopped behind A in his car. I confronted him about the missing gifts and I realized what a huge mistake we'd made by getting married. He and I went together back into the reception hall where there was a room with a long table. Sitting at the table was this panel of like judges or something and I began sobbing and asked for an annulment. I felt like I'd been in a huge amount of denial just trying to get through this wedding and, only once it was over, was I able to see clearly that it was the wrong thing to do. I felt ashamed for making such a monumental error but relieved that we were able to annul it. And, again, I was very preoccupied with the gifts. I wanted to get them all back so I could be in charge of returning them to everyone.

Okay.....I open this up for interpretation, I'm usually the one who is all over dreams but I can't make sense of this one. My dream dictionary isn't really helping me because I am sure this all goes together in one big story, not as much images & symbolism as other dreams. This is the first dream that I've remembered the bulk of in a long time. I did notice, like I "lightbulb"ed, that there was another garbage reference in this dream. And this is my second wedding dream; the first was about 3 weeks ago. A wedding dream symbolizes a new beginning or transition in your current life. Dreams involving weddings are often negative and highlight some anxiety or fear. It often refers to feelings of bitterness, sorrow, or death. Alternatively, wedding dreams reflect your issues about commitment and independence.

I'm not sure if it's about the situation with A which has been very present in my mind. I don't know if maybe it's about XBF. Maybe it's about both of them? Last night, DD mentioned XBF as her Daddy again and I had my first of what I'm sure will be MANY talks with her about the significance of the Daddy title and explaining that XBF really didn't behave like a Daddy should have so it's okay if we stop calling him Daddy now and only refer to him by his name.

I don't know if the dream is about fathers in general and this process I've been completing of letting go of my own father expectations. I don't know what significance the appearance of my mother in the dream has, and my exasperation with her. And I really don't understand why the gifts were such a big deal. I'm at a loss.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Taking Out The Trash

I wish that I could remember more about my dreams but I can't. I do know that I've been riddled with them lately. But as soon as I wake up they begin to immediately disappear from my memory. I'm left with only a handful of scattered images.

This morning as I was thinking about the few glimpses of a seemingly complex dream I had last night, I realized that I have some recurring themes in the past 10 days or so. Naturally.....I need to delve into this a bit more!

I've dreamt of taking out the trash three times.
I've had two dreams of being chased. One time, the chase was by a bear, the other time by a person.
I've had two dreams that involved packing and moving.

Trash: To dream that you are throwing away your garbage, suggests that you are kicking your old negative habits and throwing away your bad characteristics and unwanted traits.

Chase: To dream that you are being chased, signifies that you are avoiding a situation that you do not think is conquerable. It is often a metaphor for some form of insecurity. In particular, to dream that you are chased by an animal, represents your own unexpressed and unacknowledged anger which is being projected onto that animal. Alternatively, you may be running away from a primal urge or fear.

To dream that you are being pursued or attacked by a bear, denotes aggression, overwhelming obstacles and competition. You may find yourself in a threatening situation. Alternatively, bears symbolize the cycle of life and death and renewal. It may signal of period of introspection and thinking. The dream may also be a pun on "bare". Perhaps you need to bare your soul and let everything out into the open.

**A note about the "chased by a bear" dream. My father was in it also and I can't recall in what capacity but I'm 100% certain he was there. Mt first thought was that I have anger work surrounding my father to do. And then I read the second half of the "bear" entry. Cycle of life, death & renewal. I wonder if this goes along with my creation of my "dream father" and then saying goodbye to him, followed by saying goodbye to my expectations for my real father. Which makes more sense considering the following two definitions:

Packing: To dream that you are packing, signifies big changes ahead for you. You are putting past issues and/or relationships to rest and behind you. Alternatively, it represents the burdens that you carry.

Moving: To dream that you are moving away, signifies your desire or need for change. It may also mean an end to a situation or relationship and your are moving on. Alternatively, it indicates your determination and issues regarding dependence/independence.

Not a repeating theme but part of last nights dream was that I was cheating on a boyfriend and he walked in on us having sex. (Specifically, I dreamt I was Carrie from Sex & the City and that Aidan walked in on me having sex with Aleksandr [Mikhail Baryshnikov]....not exactly a bad dream, lol!) Anywaaaaay....To dream that you are cheating on your mate suggests feelings of self-guilt and self-betrayal. It may also indicate anxieties of changing your identity. And, well....the sex part of the dream apparently was a simple indication that I'm craving physical &/or emotional intimacy. Duh!! I didn't need a dream interpretor to tell me that one!! LOL!

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's the day over yet?

I feel like I've been beaten down already this morning. Really it started yesterday. I had/have so much to get done at home and I didn't get even a fraction of it done yesterday. That frustrates me to start off with. But DD was really clingy. Potty training has gone really well and she hasn't had any accidents in over 2 weeks but she's still holding "#2" for days at a time. She was really whiney yesterday. I know she had to go badly but every time she got on the potty, she would cry that she didn't want to go. I gave her prunes, I pumped her up with water, I started her back on the laxative the Pedi RXed for her, I let her soak in the bath for well over an hour. No avail. She was crying and just generally miserable. She didn't nap and I tried to put her to bed early but she kept wanting to try the potty. I know it was a ploy but I knew she also had to go.
I'm really not a patient person, by nature, so it's really tough for me to wait this all out and continue to be pleasant and supportive. I just SO want to believe that logic can work on this 3 year old!! Anyway, I finally put her to bed and she was whining in her sleep. She woke up several times in the night crying. Wanted me to carry her to the potty. She kept saying she only had to pee. I was starting to worry that her time in the bath gave her a UTI. She wanted me to hold her in bed (oh yeah, she came to my bed around 11:30pm) which I did even though I was running later for work by the second. Finally I got in the shower and then I could hear her sobbing from my bed. I called her into the bathroom and she said she wanted to try potty again. There I am naked & soapy trying to help her. She says she wants to go, gets on the potty and then cries that she doesn't want to go. I had to rinse off & finish my shower with her crying hysterically. Relaxing! (I should mention that my morning showers, while she sleeps, are one of my "essentials"'s where I breathe, meditate, mentally prepare for my day, etc.) And so it continued.....she crying, me trying to get us ready, she saying she doesn't want to go to school, on & on & on. She kept hiding under her bed with her binky. When we went downstairs to get our stuff together & go, she turned into Question Girl. Under my feet & touching everything. "What's this? Why is it that? What does it do? How does it work? Can you show me? But why is it called this? Why is it this color? Can I play with it? Why not? Can I bring it in the car? Is that coffee? Do you like coffee? But I don't like coffee. Why do you like coffee? Is that enough? Why not? Do you want to make more? Why are you putting ice in it? Can I see? Can I put ice in it? Can you put ice in my cup? Why are you opening the freezer? I want to open the freezer. What is that? Can I play with that?....." With eyes glazed over and blood pressure somewhere in the stroke-level stratosphere, I'm sure, we're finally ready to go. So I set the alarm, at which point we have 60 seconds to get out the door. And naturally as soon as I open the door to run out, she sees something inside that she wants, runs to get it then stands at the door not wanting to go outside and starts to cry. So I open the door and then she starts screaming that she wanted to open the door and tries to pull it shut so that she can open it and I have to grab her arm and basically shove her out the door as she's screaming so that the alarm doesn't go off. And then she's outside in the rain screaching at me and refusing to get in the car or in her seat as I get drenched trying to keep my cool with her, reminding myself she doesn't feel good.
She fell asleep in the car 3/4 of the way to school and so I had to wake her up, juggle carrying her with all her stuff and trying to keep an umbrella over us to get inside where she is uber clingy and doesn't want me to go. Finally I manage to talk her into sitting with one of her teachers for a story and as I'm leaving, I see her sad little face crying and saying "Don't go!" And so naturally, I cried all the way to work. Once I got here, I called daycare to make sure she was alright. Well, that was a mistake. They tell me she is in the corner crying for me and won't let anyone near her. It is the worst feeling in the world knowing my baby doesn't feel well and wants nothing more than to be at home with me and I'm not there for her.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The "V" Word, Part 2

Starting with 2 quick updates:
#1 ~ (from the 2:20am post) I had my glass door replaced the following morning. Thought alot about it and I really believe it was something unintentional; perhaps some kids playing baseball in the yard or something. I'm feeling mostly okay...just *slightly* on edge.
#2 ~ As of yesterday, I've completed 45 days binge free. I don't know why I'm not feeling very excited about it. I know it's good news. But I'm just kindof "eh".

Alrightee.....getting back to the "V" word. Vulnerability, Part Two.

More from what I found online:
What are some benefits of vulnerable behavior?
The following vulnerable behavioral traits can be beneficial:

Being open to new possibilities in life enables you to explore your options more freely and to gain insight into the healthiest and most productive, growth-enhancing alternatives for yourself.

Being helped through a support group or counseling situation enables you to gain assistance, helping you cope with your life and circumstances that have had some emotional impact on your mental health adjustment.

Opening yourself up to new social circumstances enables you to meet new people who have the potential of becoming true emotional supports.

Not always pleasing or placating others, letting them see your negative side, enables you to feel less responsible for everyone elses' welfare and takes the sense of burden out of your life.

Not always being a "do for" person, letting others accept the responsibility to do for themselves, enables you to lift the weight of obligation out of your life. You can enjoy being with people, not feeling burdened or tied down by them.

Using healthy communication, with good give and take, enables you to clarify areas in which you need to grow, to change, improve, and strengthen your relationships.

Being open to deal with emotional issues gives you a chance to identify the blocked feelings and beliefs that have prevented you from enjoying full health and well-being.

Letting others into your "emotional life space" enables you the opportunity to experience an authentic, supportive, growth-enhancing relationship.

Tuning into your own feelings enables you to recognize your personal humanity and gives you a healthy perspective of yourself, your problems, and your place in life. It enables you to be focused realistically as you face your problems and concerns.

Being open to change and altering your behavior patterns gives you the chance to rid yourself of unproductive and maladaptive habits that impede your emotional health and personal growth.

What behavior traits will help you open yourself to vulnerability?
Trying new behaviors *Done this!
Taking a risk *Done this!
Initiating contact with strangers *Done this!
Tuning into feelings of others and yourself *Doing this
Willingness to get help for yourself *Done this
Being open to receiving help and support from others *Ehhh....I'm trying
Being honest with others and yourself when it would be easier to lie in order to avoid conflict *I've been trying it
Accepting change when it comes your way *Who said the "C" word???
Looking for deeper reasons or motives for your own behavior *Possibly a little too much!
Self-disclosure of your weaknesses to others *ACK!! I think I need to breathe into a paper bag just reading this one!!!!
Being direct and precise about your feelings, beliefs, and attitudes when discussing them
Willingness to listen to honest feedback *Sure, when it's positive & from the right person! Other than that, not so much. LOL.
Dealing with anger in a productive, non-offensive manner (Insert laughter here)
Letting go of fears that impede your movement toward others
Letting go of guilt or remorse over the past *Think I'm okay on this one
Letting go of hostility, bitterness, and resentment toward others for past hurts *Still working on this one.
Development of trust in others' good will *
Willingness to be seen as weak or emotional *I'm going to pretend I didn't see this one! La-la-la-la!!
Accepting your humanness, failures, and mistakes as OK *Go back & read the intro to my blog.......not bloody likely!!
Understanding the reasons you are risking vulnerability *I do
Feeling secure enough to admit your failings, mistakes, and losses

Steps to increase your ability to be vulnerable and grow
Step 1: Read the material in this section, then answer the following questions in your journal:
a. Do you believe that being vulnerable makes you a candidate for personal growth? What are your reasons for this belief? Yes, I do. For me, I know that I restrict my vulnerability out of fear. Living in fear is certainly not parallel with personal growth. It would take a tremendous leap of faith for me to show my vulnerability and that will certainly prove growth on my part.

b. Do you resist or avoid being in a growth situation in which you feel vulnerable? What are some of your reasons for avoiding being vulnerable? I don't know that it's a "growth" situation that I avoid. It tends to be personal relationships which are most affected. I avoid being vulnerable for a variety of reasons. As I've already stated, fear is one. Another is my unrealistic desire to maintain an illusion of perfection. Another is self-preservation. If no one can get close to me, no one can hurt me. If I don't depend on anyone, no one can disappoint me.

c. What behavior traits illustrate your avoidance of vulnerability? Unwillingness to reach out to my friends when I'm hurting. Quick dismissal of possible romantic relationships. Extreme difficulty accepting advice from others. Unwillingness to be seen as weak or needy.

d. What beliefs lead you to avoid vulnerability and growth? Past experiences had taught me to believe that vulnerability = pain. There have been many times in my life I've made myself vulnerable and it's ended disastrously. What I need to remember are that those experiences began when I was unable to decipher even what vulnerability was. And I've made poor, uninformed choices in later life of who to open up to. I think, of late, I've considered the risk:reward ratio and decided that no amount of reward was worth the slightest risk. This thinking needs to be reprogrammed.

e. What behavior traits need to be developed in order to be vulnerable and grow? I need to be "the turtle"....Slow & Steady Wins The Race. I think I need to develop more confidence in myself, first of all. Reprogam my thinking. As I quoted before "Fear & discomfort do not kill you". I have to evaluate who is deserving of my trust and vulnerability, then dole it out in gradual amounts to see how it goes. It's okay if it feels scary at first. There is no reward without the risk. I have to be willing to take the risk in order to enrich my relationships. I've done it in took me years but I've done it. I go in there open and vulnerable. And you's been more rewarding by far since I began approaching it that way.

Steps 2 - 5 to follow.

A summary for myself about what I've written here. My problem areas with vulnerability seem to be:
1. Reaching out to others for help
2. Admitting my own weaknesses, humanness, failures & mistakes
3. Accepting feedback from others
4. Dealing with anger
5. Trusting other people

Tick Tock

After much consideration, and consulting with two friends, I decided to write back to "A". (See back story here.)

The last thing he'd written to me was that the discontinuation of child support payments was due to a payroll error & would be straightened out by end of month.

When DD was first born, A had excuse after excuse for me why he wasn't sending money. Car accident, travelling for work, medical bills, trying to get a personal loan, waiting for money taken on early pension withdrawal, payroll issues. On & on & on & on. It was all lies to keep me at bay. So his latest excuse doesn't sit well with me at all.

It's incredibly hard for me to keep it to business with him. There is SO much emotion behind it. Every letter I began to write turned into a diatribe of my grievances with him. It reeked of statements intended to provoke guilt on his part. It made ME vulnerable to him by laying my emotions out on the table. It gave HIM the power. Yet it's the approach I still was compelled to use. Why? Why do I think if I keep trying the same thing that I will somehow end up with a different result? Because for some reason, I take the responsibility for this on myself. I've got to tell you that I gave a great deal of pause to the situation after I posted about the fact that he told me he didn't want to be involved, well before DD was even born. I really am still thinking that one over. I knew what I was getting myself theory. It was my own dismissive thinking that told me not to worry about that fact. More on that in a minute.

After many drafts and tears, this is what I wrote back to him yesterday:
This answer doesn't really cut it for me. It's been nearly 7 weeks since (DD) has received any support. What does this mean that it will "be resolved by the end of the month"? Will the missed payments be made up at that point? If you were aware of this "payroll issue" then why didn't you notify me of the potential problem? It's your responsibility to keep on top of this.....again, not mine to be chasing after you.

This vague answer is entirely too reminiscent of conversations we had in the past when you were being less than straightforward. I've called support enforcement who has sent a delinquency notice to your employer. If this is not resolved, we're going to have to go back to court and I'm sure neither of us want to go that route again.

I'd like a more concrete date and I'd like to know about the missed payments. If they are not coming through direct deposit with the resolution of this "issue", then I expect you to send a check. I have expenses for (DD) that cannot wait for weeks on end.

After I hit the "send" button, I felt on the verge of a panic attack. Had I not been so tired & at work, I would have taken a Xanax. I had to reach out to my IM buddy (Thanks, friend!) for support and perhaps even so she would remind me to breathe!! I felt like I was going to pass out. By the end of the day, I was entirely drained and I ended up going to bed the same time as my DD, when I usually stay up til midnight!

I know this was the "right" way to engage with him. But it goes against everything in my nature to be cold and demanding. I also believe that there is a certain part of me that relates my own father issues to the circumstance with A. So maybe some of my extreme emotion was due to the fact that I felt I was "confronting" my own father in some way?? I'm not sure (mental note---topic for next T session!) So....tick tock, tick tock....I'm waiting to see if he will write back to me.

Back to what I was pondering before....I have trouble distinguishing the fuzzy lines on this whole thing. He lied to me. I told him I could not get pregnant. It was not a lie but it turned out to be untrue. He told me he didn't want to be involved. Do I have the right to demand child support and to have anger at his denial of my DD? I know whenever you make the choice to become intimate with someone, it carries this risk. And I know that an adult takes responsibility for their actions, even when it's difficult. I don't know. I'm trying to intellectualize it so no wonder I can't figure it out. I think it's just something I need to feel and grieve.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Numerology: A light hearted post

So on the radio yesterday, the morning show I listen to featured a Numerologist. She was doing sample readings and people were saying how accurate she was. So I went to a Numerology website where they give a free sample reading with your name and date of birth.

It is so completely inaccurate, I am cracking up!! I'm only including a very small amount of the reading because it's quite long.

Your life path number is number 1, and so you are probably also blessed with a great drive and burning desire to be "number one" at whatever you do. A little bit, I think that plays into the desire to appear "Perfect". This is pretty much the end of anything remotely true.

Unfortunately, your competitive spirit sometimes gets you into trouble with friends and family, as work and ambition take precedence over emotional relationships. Ummm, no....definitely not.

You have been born into wealth and privilege and coddled by lucky circumstances into becoming "great" in some way. The number 1 is the number of the hero. HA!! Coddled by lucky circumstances?!?!?!? Yeah...hooray for my privileged upbringing!

You are also usually blessed with good health, vitality and endless inspiration. Yes, because panic attacks, depression and addictions go hand in hand with "good health"

Your number is very connected with the divine and you often feel especially connected to God. All I can say to this one is.......BWAAAAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

(Okay, this part is true....) Many number 1's spend their early years learning not to be dependent on others as fate throws difficult relationships and situations their way. That is very characteristic of number ones whose life lessons are usually about "letting go", "releasing control" and "overcoming great odds."

As a number 1 you may also need to watch a tendency towards arrogance or over confidence. arrogance is a real problem. I'm downright cocky. (eyeroll)

Being a number 1, you are also likely to achieve some measure of fame in your life. This is because you are destined to be "the one that is loved by all" as opposed to "the one that is loved by one other." It sometimes takes number ones a lifetime to realize that being adored by many is not such a bad thing. "I'd like to thank my fans, without whom none of this would be possible......."

Your Potential Natural Talents and Abilities
You are at the height of your self-expression when you feel that others are experiencing "being high on life" like you are. One of your personal goals may be to uplift humanity or spread joy or enthusiasm wherever you go. And I make sure to carry my spankies & pom poms with me all the time!! Gimme a "A"!!

As you are a great innovator your career choice may be unorthodox in some way. Presently, I am barricaded in my workshop with my lightbulb hat on, hunched over vials of potions. "I think today, I will reverse Global Warming......"

You consider the accumulation of experiences to be your greatest wealth so you may choose a career in which you travel a lot so you can meet as many people and encounter as many different kinds of situations as possible. If, by this, you mean that I would prefer to become a hermit in my own home and have as little contact with the outside world as possible, then hit it on the head!

You also have a natural dexterity that makes it easy for you to learn and play music. Threes are often blessed with a natural sense of comic timing as well as rhythm. This makes you an excellent dancer. I took ONE piano lesson and never went back because it was a nightmare. As for the rhythm & dancing.....I'm pretty sure the term "White Girl Overbite" came to be while someone was watching me attempt to dance. Really, my 3 year old is embarassed by me.

You rarely take anything that happens to you in life personally, a trait that frustrates your enemies to no end. This ability to let stuff "roll off your back" serves you well in the many complex emotional situations that threes often get into. Riiiiight. Because that's what I've been saying for the past 100, I don't worry about any of this crap. Let it roll right off my back.

You relate better to large groups of people then you do one on one. Those large groups DO tend to congregate around the wall flower huddled in the corner most of the time.....

As threes are often no shows in their family lives and rarely have time to pay attention to their lovers they are likely to show their affection by giving lavish gifts. Was it wrong to buy my boyfriends spaceships and private islands because I was busy inventing sunshine and dogs??

As you adore being in the spotlight you probably dress to impress. Either you dress in the latest trendy fashions or in an eccentric fashion that makes it impossible for others not to notice you. And my millions of adoring fans will be able to see me on the runway at New York fashion week setting the trends with my "Frugal Single Mom" line......complete with authentic wear & tear, plunging necklines held together with safety pins.

The ultimate achievement of your life expression is to change the consciousness of others so that they aspire to their highest ideals. One way that you do this by continually reminding them through your actions that these ideals can be manifested through kind and wise action on earth. Ummm...well, I recycle....

What You Desire To Be, To Have, and To Do In Your Life
Your soul urge is to be the best at everything that you do. You play to win and when you don't win you suffer a serious crisis of faith. It makes you think that there is no God. I was SURE it was Mrs. Peacock in the Library with the Revolver. Why oh why has God forsaken me???!?!?!?

Most ones are born into lives that encourage their personal development and in particular the expression of their free will. Uhhhhhhhh......

In ancient cultures flaunting your talents and wealth was thought to attract "the evil eye." In your case the evil eye is often others desire to see your pride crushed or watch you take a big fall off your pedestal. You on the other hand don't understand why others can't see that you are special. Oh, I'm fairly sure there are MANY others who see me as "special".....

In your universe you are the sun and everything and everybody else rotates around you. Damn little puppets, dance for me!!!!!

Your eagerness to be recognized for your talents sometimes turns you into a braggart. This often incurs the wrath of others, as it seems that you really are concerned with taking care of number one and nobody else. The only "number one" I've been dealing with was potty training my DD. If that incites anyone's wrath, they can feel free to come change diapers for me.

If you feel you are a failure you also risk the temptation of escaping into addiction or fantasy. You may get involved in troubling situations with emotionally disturbed people so that you can feel like the hero by rescuing them. THAT pretty accurately describes my love life.

The conflict that you face is the age-old battle between your will and what fate has to offer. When bad things happen to number ones they tend to give up entirely. This is part of a damaging all or nothing mentality. This type of attitude often puts you in situations that are humiliating as you often persist out of pure stubbornness even though all signs point to eventual failure. What are we saying here? I should give up my plans for world domination?? Blast!!!!

In honor of my 100th post...

I changed my blog template. This is a little more "me" than the previous! Since there was nothing pink, swirly and flowery.....I suppose this will do for now!! :o)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I am "someone"?

I'm still reeling over this a bit. I suppose I brought it on myself by choosing to contact DD's bio-father, who I will refer to as "A". I mentioned in a past post that I stopped receiving child support payments in the beginning of March. Although I did call the enforcement case worker and she's looking into it, it can take several weeks for more information. Never really being one to sit still and wait, I decided to reach out to "A".

On 4/3, I sent him a quick email that simply said "I'd like to talk to you. Will you reply to me?"
I really did not expect him to respond.

On 4/18, I got this from him: "I dont check this email that often anymore so I do apologize for the delayed response. what would you like to discuss.... or when/how can we get in touch with each other?"

I thought it actually seemed like a very civil response and so.....I wrote back on the same day: "Is there a better email to reach you? Or phone? What would you prefer?"

On 4/20, he responded: "This will suffice now that I know someone is trying to contact me"
I had to shut my laptop and walk away from the computer. I was so angry at this response and I didn't want to reply emotionally.

So the next day, I decided to keep it to the business at hand and ask him what I wanted to know. I asked him "I noticed that support payments stopped coming in and was wondering what the situation is?"

He replied the same day by saying: "there was an issue with the payroll dept, they state that everything should be back to normal by end of month."

I have such issues with all of this. What was I expecting when I reached out to him? True, the only thing I intended to ask him was why the support payments stopped. I actually managed to forget how emotionally charged any conversation with "A" can be. There is so much behind it.

He has never met our daughter. He saw her once when I had to bring her to court with me. She was 15 months old. But he's never met her. He has 2 other children that I know of. I don't understand how a parent chooses to love some of his children but not all of them. I don't understand how you know what it's like to be a parent and consciously decide to deny one of your kids.

He doesn't have any pictures of her. He doesn't ask about her. We haven't spoken since our final court hearing which was in May of 2006. How do you think of the mother of your child as just a "someone"??? I understand that he's got feelings of anger with me. I imagine he blames me for alot of things that are wrong in his life. But the fact of the matter is that he brought this on himself when he misrepresented who he was to me. If he'd been up front from Day 1 and told me he was MARRIED with kids, I would have never met him. Sure, he would have never gotten what he wanted, which was to get me into bed. Well, he got it alright. And he got me pregnant.

It was a joint decision not to use protection. I did tell him that I could not get pregnant which was a bonafide fact, as far as I was concerned. One year prior, I gave up hope on becoming a mother after many months of unsuccessful fertility treatments and IUI with my XDH. I had no reason to believe it would ever happen naturally!! So I have to believe that he thinks I lied to him and got pregnant on purpose. Nevermind the fact that he was the one who initiated our get together on that day of fate and it was last minute plans, at that. So if I were really "trying", I would have been pushing for certain days to see him. I digress....

After I got pregnant, he told me that he would help pay for a termination but that he had nothing else to offer. I made the decision to have the baby....obviously. :0) I made that choice knowing that he didn't want to be involved so why do I still feel so much betrayal that he's staying true to his word? Did I think he would change his mind once she was born? Yeah...I guess maybe I did. Man, I'm sitting here with a brick in my stomach since I wrote that last statement. All of a sudden, I'm having trouble keeping this in perspective and wondering if I'm justified in my anger with him.

Okay, no.....wait a sec here.....back to clarity. As the pregnancy progressed, his story changed and he did tell me that he would want to meet her. He told me he would pay child support. He did say he wasn't sure at what level he would be involved. But he did lead me to believe that he would be there in a limited capacity. Does it matter? I don't even know. The fact is that every word out of his mouth was a lie. He said what he said to try to manipulate me at every turn. He wanted me to terminate the pregnancy so he said what he could to sway me in that direction. He didn't want me to file legal papers for child support so he said he would pay and that he'd visit her. After she was born, he was still trying to hold me off from filing papers and so he continued to tell me he was sending or had sent money. He told me lie after lie after lie. I could fill an entire blog carnival with tales of the lies he told. When my DD was 7 months old, I discovered he was married. I called his home and had quite a conversation with his wife. So yeah....he's angry with me. But he did it to himself.

Here's where I'm at today..... My own father issues get tied up in the situation with A. Last night, I was reading some new comments on my blog and I looked at my Dear Father post. I realize it's the same theme again.... Certain people in my life are always going to disappoint me as long as I continue to believe that they are able to give me more than what they are giving me. When I get stuck thinking it's something that is wrong with ME and that I can't have what I want from them because I'm not good enough, I will continue to struggle. When I learn to accept that the problem lies with THEM, I will release myself from this dance of trying to say or do the right thing to somehow magically transform them into who I need them to be. I keep thinking if I'm honest with him, it will break him down and he'll just HAVE to be honest with me, too. It works that way, right??? Not so much.

So I sit here bemoaning the fact that I created a life with this man and now I can't even communicate with him. It frustrates me to no end that I can't speak my mind to him. Or, more to the point, that it does me no good to speak my mind to him. He is someone I can consider one of those BAD choices of men I allowed myself to be vulnerable to without merit. He was the first man I started talking to when I left XDH and I had all this "stuff" inside me. He was such a charmer (ie: player) that I felt "safe" letting it all out to him. In reality, it just gave him a better position to play me from. I wish that I had some sort of civil, communicative relationship with my daughter's father. But I don't. There are so many things I want to say to him. So many things I want to know. It's killing me to not be able to let it out and have my questions answered. The "not knowing" drives me wild. I am a "why" person by nature so to have to accept the unanswered is incredibly challenging for me. I want to write back to him because I want to try (a futile wish, I know) to get an answer from him. I don't know what to do with this angst. I sense some more grieving work in my future. Ah, crap.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Update After Counseling

I went in with an agenda tonight.

With all that's been happening in my mind re: XBF, I wanted to get T's take on what kind of man he is so that I could better understand how I ended up falling for him. There has clearly been something in the way of my moving on and I do feel like I have now hit on it with the vulnerability realization.

I told T the latest that I found out about XBF. I mentioned this cryptically the other day on my blog, saying I found out some "unpleasantries." Well, what I found out through peeking into his email is that he has been soliciting prostitution. And now he has taken up as a regular with one and seems to be "falling" for this woman he's paying to have sex with. Unbelievable. I mentioned my observation that he seems to crave physical intimacy and the "high" of a new relationship. But when real emotional intimacy starts to evolve, he runs for cover.

T said XBF is immature, an avoidant personality, stunted emotional growth. Hmmm....all of these just like my father!! In addition, he has massive mother issues. He is the youngest of 4 boys. His mother and father did not have a close relationship and started sleeping in separate bedrooms when XBF was still fairly young. His mother basically made him her equal, like a little husband. From a very early age, he was the "go-to" person to clean up the messes of the whole family. He is the center of her world. She is totally dependent on him for everything. In essense now, he is "married" to his mother. The girlfriend relationships he has are tantamount to affairs. He enjoys the short term high and then, when it gets too serious or threatens the need to go up to the next level, he runs back to his "wife" (mother).

There are some real Inner Child issues because he was not allowed to develop as a child. I'm not sure if he was attracted to the caretaker in me, since it met his need for nurturing, or he was attracted to the "damsel in distress" side of me because it allowed him to assume his familiar caretaking role. For some reason, I believe it's the latter. The part of me that was attracted to him was the part that was caught up in a fantasy, not grounded in reality, wanting to rush the process and find my (barf) happily-ever-after. The good news is that T said I've done this work now and she doesn't believe I'm in any danger of approaching another relationship so blindly. T said this is about setting boundaries, healthy boundaries, around my vulnerability. Because to not be vulnerable at all means being closed off altogether. Life requires moments of vulnerability. There is a risk:reward ratio but trust needs to be established first. Baby steps!

Yes, I was extremely vulnerable to XBF but I did it without merit; without taking time to figure out if he was worthy. T said it's as if I was ready to take the step of being vulnerable but I was not prepared for a different outcome yet. I had more to learn. I ignored the red flags on purpose to bring the same result...pain, betrayal. I was unconsciously willing to be manipulated by making myself vulnerable right away. I was looking for the reward without measuring the risk.

We talked about my dream of my car being stolen. I had already deciphered that one as being about a loss of my identity. I wondered why I felt that way after the father work I'd done. T said it was actually a very good sign that I'd really "felt" my work because the dream then suggests I was reorienting to the world, resolving my sense of loss & grief; who I am without holding onto that father angst.

Re: DD & the Daddy comment (the other day when she said "I want someone to be my Daddy because my Daddy left") T said that DD is obviously maturing in her thought process and this would be a good time to start expanding on talk of fathers and XBF specifically. Tell her it's okay for her to call him by his first name instead of calling him Daddy anymore. Tell her that we allowed her to call him Daddy but we made a mistake in that; we should not have given him that name because he did not behave like a Daddy. I need to find a way to help her take back that word (Daddy) because it's identified only with him in her mind. So, in her world now.....Daddy's leave. :o( Gosh that just pains me. I feel such remorse that I did not use better judgment.

Friday, April 11, 2008

So it's 2:20AM....

and I'm reluctantly but fully awake. Why, you ask? Well.....let me tell you about my night. I left work early and was happy to learn DD (who is potty training) had NO accidents today! Yeah! I took her to the playground and we had such fun! Then home, where we played outside with the neighbors daughter. They invited us to her Bday party on Saturday. Nice! Went in, did bath, dinner, bedtime. After DD went to bed, I spent some time doing things in the house, talked on the phone and watched a little TV. I came upstairs to my bedroom around 11:45pm. I was getting ready for bed. I have double sliding glass doors in my bedroom that lead out to a deck. I kept hearing at the window this little "tap tap, clack clack". After a few times, I must be a bug or something, maybe a beetle, trapped behind the blinds. I'm never going to be able to sleep with that noise so let me free the little sucker (and probably kill it.....) So I pull back the blinds and........

Holy Crap. The entire glass door is SHATTERED. It's actually quite a miracle it's still standing because it is shattered top to bottom left to right into tiny pieces, with an obvious impact point about 18 inches off the ground. Appears to be a kick at first sight. So I start to flip out a little. Mind you, I've had incidents with coming home to find my doors unlocked and I had an alarm system installed not long ago. But the alarm is for doors opening, not being broken.

I called a friend of mine who is cop. He told me to call the local police. An officer came out and looked around. He said he'e never seen anything like it. He wanted to secure it for me but the smallest amount of pressure will collapse it. In fact, I'm fairly sure it will crumble on it's own before morning. He asked me questions about who could have done this. It's clear I'm being targeted and I can't figure out why. I don't know anyone here. DD's bio father would have the biggest gripe against me but he doesn't know where I live. XBF....XBF??? I can't imagine it but .... He lives 2 miles away. He knows where I live. He even wears steel toed boots for work. Well, the police officer took all the info on both bio-father & XBF. Just as "people of interest". He said he'll have my unit patrolled tonight until I can get the glass replaced.

It's clear I'm being targeted. I'm one of 70-ish units and the only one being broken into? I'm flipping out. I'm scared and I hate feeling unsafe in this place that is the first real home I've ever known. I'm so tired...I need to lay down.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


This is who I seem to expect my friends to be. Not just my friends....everyone, really. I expect no one to ever let me down. I want them to read my mind, get it right on the first try. Always be available when I need them and to know how to meet my needs without my spelling it out. As I think more about my posts from the past few days, I think I hoard all these bad memories and keep a mental list of times I've been "let down" as evidence that I can't depend on anyone. I think this is my brain trying to maintain the status quo? Trying to stop me from letting the wall down? And then, when I need someone, I dredge up those memories as a reminder of what can happen and how bad it can feel when I allow myself to be vulnerable.

I feel so horribly worthless when I want to talk to someone and they don't have time for me. When in reality, I know that everyone has times that they are busy. I have a real tough time with my male "J" friend. As a man, he likes his "space" when he has something going on. So there have been times I've wanted his ear and he's nowhere to be found for days on end. And, on the one hand, I think "good for him" for putting his own needs first. But, on the other, I feel unimportant because in my backwards & codependent life, I've been groomed to ignore my own needs. So I sit here remembering times I've put others first and that they don't do the same for me. When in fact, I have it quite backwards and mixed up in my head. Actually, clarify....I have it backwards and mixed up in my HEART. My head gets it. My head realizes that these expectations I seem to hold out are totally unrealistic. They are designed to keep me isolated and not to allow me to grow. My head is ready to make a conscious change. It's my heart that is desperately clinging to the old patterns. I keep saying "I feel isolated" and, in fact, I am isolating myself. It's no ones fault but my own.

I think I said in my "V Word" post that XBF was the first person I'd made myself vulnerable to. Not true, in retrospect. He is the first romantic relationship in which I'd made myself emotionally vulnerable in the correct way. But I realize I've made myself vulnerable to many people in my past.

My mother. When I sent her the letter detailing what had happened in my past, I made myself vulnerable to her. And she disappointed me BIG time.

My father. When I reached out to him in effort to heal our relationship and to open communication about the abuse, that was vulnerable. And he denied it all and told me to let it go.

Those are 2 biggies, of course. But as I look back at big and small relationships through my life, I see a pattern of being disappointed. In fact, pretty much every guy I dated or had sex with...I made myself vulnerable to them. I was looking to them to "fix" me; to fulfill me. When in fact my interaction with them took another piece away from me. I make frequent bad decisions about who to open up to. And I take it way too personally when I don't get the reaction I want. But I've also made no effort to speak up and make my needs known. That's a key point. No risk, no reward. So I think my challenge now is to speak up for myself with a select group of people who have "earned" the right for me to put my faith in them. And I have to remember this does not mean they have not, or will not, ever let me down. What it does mean is that I know they love me and want to do what they can to help me. I know they are people who have my best interest at heart and will never purposely hurt me.

I had a great talk with my friend "J" last night and I opened up to her about all that had been on my mind. I found this in my email this morning:

I'm just getting ready to go to sleep and I wanted to write you a quick note. I love you very, very much. You are one of the most important people in my life. Don't forget I am saying this - I want you to call me or email me whenever you need to talk or to vent. I will do my best to always be there for you. I know it is hard for you. I nor anyone else in this world is perfect; I cannot say that I will never again in my life disappoint you or have an argument with you. But you are my sister and I honestly and truly love you with all my heart. You have always, always - even in detriment to yourself - been there for me in all my craziness and wrong decisions in my life. I will be there for you in whatever way you need me - even if it is in ways that I might not understand. I know it is hard for you to trust people - I see (but do not understand necessarily) how much you have been hurt in your life. Like I said before; I am not perfect, but you need to know that I do and will always love you.

Well a girl can't really ask for a better "superfriend" than that, can she??

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Inner Child #3

"Inner Child"
Afraid as a child.
Still I am afraid.
On edge as a child.
Still I am on edge.
Emotionally neglected.
I grew.
To scold and neglect myself.
No other example to follow.
But slowly I wake up to take responsibility.
I give myself now the nurturing that I have always deserved.
It is not the lack of nurturing from the past that
makes me suffer now,
but the self nurturing I deny myself of in the present.
by Rita Loyd

More from my research (in black). My comments in red. This is my continued effort to accept that I really do have a wounded inner child and an attempt to reach out (reach in??) and help "her" to heal.

What is the unfinished business of the "Inner Child"?
From growing up in a dysfunctional family, emotional maturity was stunted. This failure to mature left the "Inner Child" unfinished because we:
Grew up too fast.
Became small adults; little ``moms'' and ``dads.''
Were either over responsible or overachievers.
Were emotionally vulnerable. For some reason, this phrase makes me angry. And it sparked yesterdays post about "The V Word"
Were not given a chance to grow and mature in a normal sequence of events.
Put on a public mask or image to stifle our child-like needs.
Repressed joy, vision, and feelings.
Still have an inner child waiting to grow up and take its proper place.

I can agree with all of the above until that last one. Why is it SO hard for me to accept the idea that this exists? I go back to the supposition of the Catch-22. I can't believe in it because I can't connect with "her". I can't connect with "her" because I don't believe in it.

I think the one I identify with the most is "Were not given a chance to grown and mature in a normal sequence of events." I feel like my entire childhood was disconnected, discombobulated, agitated. I feel like I walked on eggshells, maneuvering my way through the mine field of my family. What would set brother off is not the same thing that would set that father off and then I have to put on the happy mask and pretend nothing is wrong in front of my mother. Not to mention that we never knew how to act in front of my father so it was like waiting to get a read from him to see how the mood was before making a move. I have to imagine this was exhausting for a child.

How does the "Inner Child" come into being?
The "Inner Child" comes into being by:
A denial of true feelings.
A denial of the person we are.
Trying hard to live up to others' expectations.
Holding back our child-like responses, while we provide adult like responses to stress.
The fear of being found out about how we really feel.
Insecurity in the midst of chaos, confusion, or the vacuum of repressed feelings.
A sense of obligation to always look good and be good.
Inexperience at being loved for who you are rather than for what you do.
Not being given the role model of how to enjoy life and to have fun. Always having to be serious about life.
A lack of encouragement to broaden our scope of vision about the potentials' in life.
*1* The stress of staying vigilantly in the here and now' so that we stay in control and the walls didn't come tumbling down around us.
Never being given or taking the freedom to play and act childish.
Not being given role models of how to take pleasure out of the little things in life.
*2* A compulsive drive to fulfill our role in our family. Not recognizing that we can make choices in our lives to make it what we want it to be.
Continuing even now to follow our compulsive role(s) rather than choosing to change and be free from the restraints this compulsion creates for us.
*3* Silencing our "inner child'' and guarding ourselves, retreating behind masked barriers.
*4* Feeling that it is not safe to grow up, to accept love, or to share feelings.

Well, there are a few in here that strike me. Actually they are all something I can associate with on some level. But the ones I want to comment on:

#1: "The stress of staying vigilantly in the here and now...." Really? I thought that was what we avoided. Isn't that what dissociation is all about? Avoiding the here and now? Going anywhere else in our minds? This one confuses me.

Jumping ahead to #4: "Feeling that it is not safe to grow up...." I think I felt more like it was not safe to stay a child. That I HAD to grow up in order to deal with the situations at hand.

#3: "...retreating behind masked barriers" Oh how I can equate to that one. Masks were my life. Virtually a chameleon, I was. While I could make myself fit in with anyone, anywhere....I never ever felt like I belonged anywhere.

And finally, #2: I wish I could remember when this conversation took place as I'd love to find my notes about it. "A compulsive drive to fulfill our role in the family" I had a T appointment that addressed this once upon a time; those are the notes I'm referring to. I remember T telling me how my role varied from person to person in the family but that, with my father, one of my roles was basically to perpetuate the chaos and the anger. This is something that carried over into my life until not that long ago....the need to exist in crisis mode.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The "V" Word, Part 1

Vulnerable. Vulnerability.
Definition: Capable of being wounded. Open to attack or damage.

I was working on my Inner Child #3 post as it struck me. Another one of those "duh" moments. Holy Crap.....THIS is why what happened with XBF messed me up so badly. He is the only man to whom I made myself emotionally vulnerable. Well....since my father and brother, which was simply inherent in the familial structure. Being vulnerable to XBF was by choice. I look back at the long list of men in my past and there is not one who I opened up to like this. Not one who I invested in in the same way. Not even the man I married.

In my experience, Vulnerability = uncomfortable, unsafe & PAIN.

All of a sudden, it's making sense and it's become completely obvious why I don't like to open up to my IRL friends. Or why I'm having such a hard time returning to dating now. And why I never did before. Sheesh....when I was preparing to leave my XDH, I actually went on a date before I'd even moved out of the house!! Now I see why I seem to "coincidentally" be most "compatible" with men who live thousands of miles away. No risk.
You know, I'm suddenly seeing this XBF situation in a different light. I did it right. I took the risk. I opened up and I gave myself freely and willingly. I loved him with all my heart. And OH yeah, it hurt like hell when we broke up. Because I did it right and I loved without inhibition. Maybe this also tells me why I can still think of him somewhat fondly despite all that has transpired since. Because my love for him was real. Now that I've gotten that part down, I need to find the courage to do that again but to allow the vulnerability with someone who is worthy; someone capable of the same thing. Because XBF was not. He was all talk. He has massive intimacy issues. I guess the thing for me to figure out now is how I latched onto him. What was it about him that attracted me?
From the Internet:
Vulnerability is:
Feeling of being exposed to emotional hurt, being taken advantage of, or abused.
Feeling of being fragile, weak, or susceptible to emotional pain and suffering.
Feeling of being trapped or imprisoned in a situation where your feelings and rights are ignored.
Opening of oneself to the possibility of being taken advantage of by another person in a relationship.
Relating of your innermost feelings and fears to others with the possibility that they might use such feelings and fears against you.
(Ouch. Ouch. Wince. Shudder.)

Reasons people avoid being vulnerable include:
Basic self-survival
Basic insecurity and lack of self-confidence
Lack of trust in self and others
Fear of the unknown or of uncharted waters
Lack of forgiveness and inability to forget past hurts, injustices, and pain
An overwhelming need for personal privacy and confidentiality, (illustrating insecurity)
Denial, unresolved grief, self-deceit, lack of personal awareness, or refusal to face life the way it is.
Discomfort with change, lack of acceptance of change, and unwillingness to change
Unwillingness to unmask one's true emotions or reactions to life
Lack of acceptance of self for who I am, what I am able to do, and who I am able to be

How does the avoidance of vulnerability manifest itself?
Constantly being on the offensive, attacking, blaming, or correcting others; keeping the spotlight on others and off themselves.
Avoiding participation in any form of "helping'' situation, such as an emotional support group, individual, or counseling.
"Looking good'' and wearing a mask of "strength'' and "togetherness.''
Pleasing or placating others to keep their true moods, feelings, or pain from being probed.
Closing others out or shutting down themselves to put emotions on the rocks, freezing themselves.
Silence, a lack of feedback to others, non-communicativeness, keeping true feelings hidden.
Lacking emotional language, lacking the ability to tune into their own feelings of discomfort in emotionally laden conversations.
Shyness, a hesitancy to meet new people, being a ``wall flower'' in social gatherings due to fear of rejection or fear of disapproval.
Resistance to change, to altering habitual patterns of behavior, or to looking at things in life from a different perspective.
Playing games that involve knowing the rules of body language in every form of social interaction, with the resultant performance of routines and scripts that fit the ``game.''

What are some beliefs of people who avoid being vulnerable?
Never let anyone know how you feel!
Always be strong in your interactions with others!
Men never cry!
Being over-emotional is a feminine trait that leads to becoming an hysteric!
I am never going to let my guard down again!
I may be down, but I'll never let them know it.!
I have been hurt by others in the past, and I'll never let others hurt me again!
Spilling the beans (of my emotions) is always risky business!
You are bound to get hurt if you open yourself up to another person.
Dragging up the past serves no purpose.
It is nobody's business how I feel!
No one should have the right to probe into my emotions or feelings!
Nothing can help me overcome the pain I feel!
I mind my own business and expect others to mind their own business!
The old way of doing things is the best way!
Maintain the status quo!
Trust no one!
I have no problems and even if I did, I'd never tell anyone!
There is nothing to be gained by my breaking down emotionally!
No one respects a weak person!
I don't care how you live your life and I expect you to not care how I live mine.

**Funny that I really don't believe or feel any of the above statements**

Vulnerability is to intimacy as water is to fish. You can’t have one without the other. Vulnerability equals risk. Risk is scary because there is no guarantee that relationships will last or turn out to be what we imagine. Matters of the heart are highly emotional and can produce quite a bit of pain and discomfort. Risk is what is necessary to push through the fear rather than letting it paralyze your designs for a successful life. Therefore, one must push oneself to be vulnerable (risk) in order to gain ever-increasing levels of intimacy. Vulnerability is what feeds relationships so they continue to grow rather than wither and die.

Many of us find fault within ourselves. In actuality, many of us are almost brutal with the negative self-talk in which we engage. Our negative self-perceptions, often far worse in thought than actuality, are not exactly something that we are particularly eager to divulge to someone with whom we are romantically attracted. Why, because this requires “opening up” and exposing ourselves to another. The fear and anxiety that this exposure produces can at times feel overwhelming and we tend to retreat in order to protect ourselves. This is fairly normal for individuals to feel this way. It only becomes problematic if one does not consciously make an effort to push through the fear and remain present.

Fear and discomfort do not kill you. They are simply unpleasant feelings. The absence of fear is never the goal. The goal is to tolerate the fear, eventually accept its presence in your life, and push on despite. Do not make the mistake of designing a life void of fear and uncomfortable situations. If you do you will cease to grow and will miss out on the bountiful rewards on the other side of that fear. Fear accompanies the unknown. If you have not had any unknown for a while then you could be guilty of complete and total stagnation. All success in life involves coping with fear and pushing through its grip. That is called growth. Growth can seem painful at times, but there is often something very rewarding at the other end of the struggle.


It was a very busy weekend. I'm exhausted!! Friday, I left work and picked up DD. We stopped at the grocery store. After we went home & spent some time together, I was up baking until midnight! (Oh shoot, that reminds me I left cookies in my car....going to get them & bring them back to the office!!) Okay....they are now being devoured in the kitchen. I work with a bunch of animals, I swear (AKA: Men)!

Saturday was a full day. We left the house at 9am and went to a hair appointment for me. Getting rid of those nasty grays takes a good 2 hours! From there, I took DD to a nearby duck pond. I'd brought a loaf of bread for the occasion. We fed ducks for a while and DD was so funny with them, quacking back and all. It was a beautiful day here and we quite enjoyed ourselves. From there, a couple errands and a touch more retail therapy, lol! DD has grown so much and, at 3 1/2 years old, she's the size of a 5 year old. I have mostly size 4 clothes for her for summer and so I jumped on some sales to pick up a few 5's for her.

Had a little time to kill after that so I grabbed some lunch and we came to my office to eat. It's nearby to our afternoon/evening plans and it worked out great. At 4pm, we went to a playdate/dinner thing with some friends from daycare. Ended up being 8 couples (plus me all by my lonesome....) and about 15 kids. They played outside until they were drained and freezing. By the time we sat down for dinner, all the kiddo's were fading and cranky. We left around 8:45; DD was asleep before the end of the block! It was an hour drive home and my girl slept straight through til 9:30 Sunday morning!!

I woke up before her and took the opportunity to do some cleaning. I'd left the kitchen a disaster on Friday night and not had time to clean on Sat. I had 2 people coming over for a visit on Sunday so I needed to clean up! In addition, I was doing laundry & potty training DD, which has been a source of much contention. After hours and hours and I'm talking HOURS of her stubbornly holding it in.....she finally peed on the potty. I was sooo excited! And so was she. We sang pee-pee songs, called our friends, danced around the living room. She went again one more time before bed and we did it all over again. She said she wanted to go to daycare in undies today so I let her. I'm scared to call and see how it's going!!! Okay, I just called...shes 1/1. One success & one accident. I'm okay with that! Although this now means we have to bake cupcakes tonight! I told her if she went 3 times, we'd have a "Potty Party" at school! Dear heavens....more baking!!! Agh!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Rainbows and Butterflies

Isn't it funny how you never really put something together in your head and then, when you finally do, you're amazed that such a simple and evident concept escaped you for so long??

I've had a rough and emotional week as I've posted about previously. After my DD said what she did about wanting someone to be her Daddy, I wanted an ear. I wanted to talk to someone about it. I looked at my phone, scrolling through the Contact List....

Don't want to bother her

Not someone I'd share this with

Too personal to discuss with him

Not close enough to her to call up crying

Haven't talked to him in too long to call in crisis

Yeah....I could call her but.....I don't want to

Nah....not in the right frame of mind for his practical advice

Don't feel like warding off his flirtations

Yeah....I could call him but he's got his own problems

She's probably busy with her own child right now, don't want to interfere

I have an appalling lack of people who I will confide in. Yet, I look at the list and, when I step back from the situation, I know that the vast majority of these people would be happy to listen to me and/or offer advice. But I manage to come up with an excuse not to call any of them. And I fester, feeling isolated. Feeling unloved and lonely.

I think about my LONGtime friend, J. She is the "Yeah, I could call her but I don't want to" on the list. J is very open with her problems. She reaches out for support openly and undaunted. She cries in front of anyone when she's upset. She and I have talked often about this "imbalance" in our friendship where she so often comes running to me with her problems and I never seem to confide in her with mine. So I was considering calling her and thinking it would be good if I could display some of the same trust in her that she puts in me. And immediately, I began to discount the seriousness of my issue. And question what someone else could really tell me that I didn't already know. I told myself "You can solve this yourself, you don't need anyone else." I wondered why J is so open and I find it so difficult to be.

And then it struck me.

J grew up in the most functional family I know. Granted, they have some issues. But there is soooo much love and respect. Family is a true priority in word as well as in action. She was always able to go to her parents and, at 37 years old, still does. She lived a safe childhood and she knew her fears would always be taken seriously.

Where I grew up, two-thirds of my family would hit, slap, abuse, degrade or beat me for daring to have a problem. And the other one-third would simply ignore the fact that it existed or try to smooth it over with rainbows and butterflies or whatever other innocuous fairy tales came to her little cotton-candy brain. This was my "duh" moment. Like how could it not have hit me before why I hesitate to share my problems with anyone? Why I hold them so tightly and figure I can just solve them myself? OLD messages. OLD fears.

Going a step deeper.....J and I were supposed to see each other this weekend. While part of me wanted some alone time, part of me was also really looking forward to seeing her and catching her up on some things, problems of the week included. When she cancelled, I was kindof disappointed and I thought "maybe I should tell her that I really needed the ear of a friend this weekend" After all, she's the one who says she wishes I would reach out to her more. But then my brain starts in.....

What good will it do to tell her that? You already know she has obligations. It's not like she can or will change her plans because you can't handle the week you've had. And then what? She feels guilty for not being available to you. You've made yourself vulnerable by suggesting that you need another person. You've been disappointed, again, and now look like a weak, pathetic fool. Where is the good in any of that???
There is NO good in that because I am judging the crap out of myself and my needs. I said before I feel unlovable and lonely. Well....I must still believe I'm unlovable. And I think I keep myself lonely on purpose. Because being consistently lonely is alot better than being vulnerable to yet another person who ends up hurting me. At least I know what to expect. I guess I'm in this uncomfortable conundrum right now because I've been alone for so long and there is a certain comfort to the predictability of it. But I deeply miss having a significant other and I long for it. But I'm not willing to let down my guard for anyone right now. Hence the reason why I find fault immediately with any potential dates. And when I don't find fault with them, I just ignore their calls. Yeah, good plan.

I don't even know how to go about fixing this. I don't know what work there is to do here other than to take the leap and make a conscious choice to be vulnerable. God that terrifies me. My last relationship really scarred me, I think, more than I have admitted or even realized. I found out some more unpleasantries about my XBF today that just make me realize that so many people are not who they portray themselves to be. Sometimes they are purposely deceptive (as in DD's bio-father) and sometimes they are just SO completely out of touch with themselves that they believe their own lies. And so do I.
I loved XBF. I truly did love him and trust him. I built the idea of my future around him. Twice. He broke my heart. Twice. And his disappearance leaves my DD saying things like she did the other day "I want someone to be my Daddy because my Daddy left." I've never told her that he left. I would not use those words with her. But, at 3 years old, she figured out that she's been abandoned by someone of importance. She hasn't seen him in well over a year and she still talks about him almost daily. I am so terrified to have to go through all of this again. I'm so scared that I can't recognize a good, honest man. Hell, I'm scared that they don't even exist. And I'm even more scared to bring another man around my DD. Naturally, I will be much more careful in the future with her exposure to anyone I choose to date. And there will no calling anyone Daddy unless I remarry. The thought of going through all of this again just exhausts me. Yet the thought of continuing to live without it breaks my heart. Maybe THIS is why I'm so extra angry at XBF. I feel like he robbed me/us of all the things he promised. I hate that I have to face all of this. And I wonder if I will ever fully recover and so freely give my heart to another human being again.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Crappy Mood

I'm in a really crappy mood and I'm not entirely sure why. I know I would like to pretty much devour about 15 pounds of junk food right now. I'm vascillating between irate and numb. I get the impression I keep numbing out b/c the emotions are a little too much to handle right now. I know this is the perfect opportunity to "feel my feelings" but I'm at work and don't really feel like having a cry fest in my office. I am tense. My head and neck ache. I've been having chest pains on & off for 2 days. I've been really battling VOMA (my addiction) this week. REALLY struggling with it.

So let me think about my week. Had counseling on Sat. Did some grieving work around my father issues. Had the dream about losing my identity. Sunday was the phone call to my mother that resulted in her email on Monday which sent me into a tirade (here). Started on some serious Inner Child work. Finally got caught up on my bills but am having a slightly tough time financially at this moment. And then.....

Last night on the way home, DD says to me: "I want someone to be my Daddy because my Daddy left." (insert tears here) I tried to explain it to her as best I could but it's been replaying in my mind ever since. Today I was rearranging money in my bank accounts and I noticed that my last child support payment was short and it was a month ago. I usually get deposits on the 7th & 25th. But I've not seen anything since 3/7 and that one was less than it should have been. I called his case worker and she is going to do some checking for me. Anything is possible at this point. My fear is that he's not working or is working under the table and I won't see the $ anymore. I need that money. I knew this issue would rear it's head again at some point. It's been smooth for a year and a half now. I didn't think it would be this soon. a nutshell my week has consisted of: Father issues, identity issues, inner child work, mother issues, financial worries followed by more father issues and more financial worries.

To top it off, my work day went to hell and I'm in a foul mood. And my T is away until next Weds, unable to be reached. I'm going shopping. I need retail therapy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Inner Child Work #2

Is it "normal" that I really don't enjoy playing? Even now, with my 3 year old DD. I find I have a very short tolerance for play and for not being "productive". I'm just wondering how much, in any at all, of that is my issues with supressing my Inner Child and how much of it could just be my personality. Do they HAVE to be related to one another??

I'm going at the IC work with trepidation. I know when I force through something, I am very persuasive. So much so that I manage to fool everyone, myself included, into thinking I've done the work. This is where being a writer is NOT a good thing. I can become so immersed in the fantasy I want to create that I live it in my head. The point of IC work this time is to feel it in my heart. Can't trust that pesky head.

So I'm looking at a bunch of research I did some time ago and a long list of "Who is the Inner Child" responses. These are the ones I make a connection with:
The "Inner Child" is the:
~Hurt, pained, neglected, frustrated, abused, and ignored you whom you have masked, hidden from view, and denied the existence of. This child is always just below the surface, causing you to be anxious, worried, and fearful of mistreatment.
~Fun loving, happy, frivolous, joyful, humorous you when you were young and unsophisticated; that person you have replaced with a sophisticated, mature, serious, task oriented demeanor.
~Person who knows how to have fun and play for play's sake; who can help you prevent burnout and manage the stress in your life.
~Person you could be as an adult if you lightened up, let go of your seriousness, overcame your fears, and accepted flexibility and change in your life. I can deal with some of those answers. I guess I always picture my IC as this little girl cowering in the dark corner of my heart and it never sits right with me. But if I think of it in terms of cause & effect, then maybe I can connect to it better. Okay...weird that I said I want to make a heart connection and I start with an intellectual analysis. Typical, actually. LOL.

Moving on:
How did the "Inner Child" get there?
The "Inner Child":
Resides in every adult person.
Lives in every adult because it is captured in the brain's memory bank.
Exists in the memory or subconscious because each one of us has poignant memories of our past that shape our present motivation and future drive.
Exists because when we adopted specific behavior characteristics and behavior scripts to cope in our dysfunctional environment we masked, covered up, or forgot the "real'' inner child we had been.
Comes back to many of us in our dreams or daydreams. We can clearly picture what the little child looks like and how the child is feeling and acting.
Is the person we controlled, repressed, and hid in order to survive in the world of stress. Since it was repressed we held onto it in our subconscious.
Is the link we have to our spiritual being because it is in the spirit realm rather than in the realm of conscious behavior.
Is a component of our current value and belief system; however, we are unaware of its influence on our decisions.
Exists because when we were overcome by guilt as children, we climbed inside of ourselves to avoid the feelings of not being "good enough.''
Exists because when we were little our family rules required that we present an image of a happy, healthy family, even if we weren't. So we repressed our little child to appear more responsible, serious, and achievement oriented.

I need to stop here for tonight. It's rare that I regard some part of therapy with such skepticism and I'm sure it's noteworthy that it's shrouded this one particular topic for so SO long. For as long as I've been in therapy, in fact. So I'm going to go slowly. And when there are parts I don't connect to, I will take a break and see what I can do to progress slowly. And productively.

What, exactly, do mothers know???

I think I'm pissed off. No wait....let me try that again. I'm pissed off. Yesterday, DD said she wanted to call Gramma (my mother) on the phone. DD has a bad habit of wandering away from the phone, playing games with it, hiding it in drawers, etc while my mother is on the phone. So when she said she wanted to call Gramma, I questioned her to be sure she really felt like talking. I called my mother at work and DD is stone silent, grabs the phone and starts using it like a battering ram against her cup of milk. Thanks to quick reflexes, I was able to catch it and stop it from spilling. But I took the phone away from DD who proceeded to throw a screaming fit. My mother was her usual over-sympathetic, cooing, unhelpful self. She said "I didn't realize DD did that with you." She is 3, Mom. And I'm her parent. Of COURSE she throws tantrums with me. Criminy. It's her job in life right now to test me and push the boundaries. I'm sure it makes you more comfortable to believe she's a super-human, always pleasant Stepford Baby. Get over it because it ain't the case.

So today, I have an email from her that says:
Hi there,
How are you? How is Miss (DD)? What was happening? The joys of motherhood do outweigh the fussy days just not in ''the moment''. You are a wonderful Mom, mother's know. Love you both,

I'm sorry.....did I look to you for encouragement about being a mother?? Did I even give off the slightest exasperation when DD was pitching the fit? Well, not at DD. I was cool as a cuke with her. I'm used to this game. Perhaps I did give off anger at my mother and she misread it as being about DD. I don't need YOUR 2 cents, TYVM. And...more importantly...."mothers know"??? I want to say what the F**K do "mothers" know? Do they know when their sons are incestuous rapists?? Do they know that? Do they know that their husband is beating and humiliating their young daughter? Do mothers know that their teen daughters have eating disorders, depression, are promiscuous to the point of danger, are cutting themselves daily and crying themselves to sleep at night, every night, with an empty pit in their stomachs?? Do mothers know that? Yeah, I didn't think so.

If all you've got to offer me is that mothers know when other mothers are good ones, just keep it to yourself. Spare me your maternal pep talk. I'm all set with that.