I have been asking myself lately, “Am I a bad mom?”. The reason I have been asking this question is that my children aren’t speaking to me. As long as my boyfriend is in the picture, they want nothing to do with me.
They have a valid point in their stand against my boyfriend. See, they are aware that my relationship has put me in danger in the past. So they feel, and rightfully so, that forgiving him, getting back together, and moving forward is a bad decision. I can’t say I blame them. I think about how I would feel if it was my mom and I know I would be mad at her, although I wouldn’t refuse to see her over her choice.
Maybe the difference is that they are given the choice of whether to see me or not. I have major mixed feelings about that. On one hand I agree they shouldn’t see me if they don’t want to. On the other hand, if I don’t have my boyfriend around them, which I don’t, then what’s the big deal? They need to spend time with me.
I understand they are worried about me, but I am a big girl. Also, unfortunately, I only get about 12 to 16 hours with my kids in a whole month. The rest of the time, I’m living my life.
I don’t mean to sound insensitive, I’m just being honest about the way things are. Trust me, I wish like hell I had more time with them. I also know they are in a much healthier environment living with their dad and step-mom, and that is a fact that took me years to come to terms with. They have stability with their dad that I am not mentally capable of giving them.
So, other than worrying about me, why do they care who my company is when they aren’t around?
I wrote in an earlier post that I proposed that my family life and personal life be separate things. Why can’t that work?
I imagine 100 women gaping at me right now and wondering how I can be so awful, shaming me, and judging me. Go ahead. You aren’t perfect, and although you love your kids very much, if you had no choice but to have very limited visitation with them, what would you do with your time? If your kids lived an hour away from you, and you saw them 12 hours a month, would their opinion of how you spend your time and who you spend time with matter to you? Or would you tell them to hush, mind their own business and say they are kids and have no idea how life really works, yet alone the complexity of romantic adult relationships.
This situation is a tough one because I see both sides. My kids aren’t just being brats. They are way above average intelligence, compassionate, funny, spiritual, talented, just the whole package. They are outstanding. It would be different if they were simply brats wanting their way. That is not who they are at all. I believe their standing comes from genuine love and concern for my well-being, and although I appreciate that, they are after all, still children, and don’t know the consequences of us being estranged. It could possibly have life-long effects which could include anger, resentment and unhealthy relationship patterns themselves, which science teaches us that fun fact.
If my children had to be around my boyfriend in any capacity, and they were afraid for my safety or their own, the decision would be simple. His ass would be gone. No question.
In this case however, they do not ever have to see him. Ever. We don’t have to talk about him, in fact, we can pretend he doesn’t exist.
If I break up with my boyfriend, in my case, it should be for my own personal reasons being that I am the only one around him. It might happen, believe me, he pisses me off on just about a daily basis. The choice to break up with him should be mine though and I don’t think it’s right for my family to dangle my relationships with them just out of reach unless I make the choices they want. That doesn’t seem right. I would never think of doing that to any of them, whether I agree with their choices or not.
So dear readers, hate me if you want. At least I’m honest enough to admit my humanity rather than hide it. So many women are in shitty marriages and pretending everything is okay while their kids are there every day to witness the horror show.
So judge me if you must, but before you do, I sure hope you know what it’s like to not have regular visitation with your kids that’s out of your control, while you attempt to scramble some sort of life out of the remains of your broken heart. I also hope you are in love with someone who drives you completely insane that your family hates and punishes you for being with. Then and only then, do you have the right to judge me.
It came to my attention recently, some people think that I’m posting spam, and then don’t read my posts or share the information I’m posting on social media. I get it. Those who really know me, don’t see me as a person to promote a cause or be particularly political in any way. That’s changed because I have changed…
I found the picture I added to this post, and it reminded me of my husband Keith. His stomach looked exactly like that after a suicide attempt where he stabbed himself so deep, that he punctured his intestines.
The night he stabbed himself we were at home watching Perry Mason, a part of our nightly ritual. At commercial, he got up from the couch and walked into the kitchen. I assumed he was after his favorite night time snacks, bread and peanut butter, but he returned empty handed and sat back on the couch.
The show continued and I happened to glance over to the couch where Keith was sitting, and to my horror, discovered his white t-shirt soaked in blood. There was so much blood gushing from the wound that it was pooling in the creases of his shirt and jeans.
I didn’t have time to panic. I grabbed a towel, applied pressure to the wound and called 911. I continued applying pressure to his stomach until the ambulance arrived, crying and trying to get Keith to talk to me. He said nothing. He just kept watching Perry Mason. Only after the ambulance left with him, did I notice the long, blood covered knife lying on the kitchen counter, and drops of blood on the tile floor.
After his surgery, his stomach looked just like the featured photo in this post. That incident was his first suicide attempt during our marriage. I did not handle it well. I didn’t know what to do or how to help him. I have issues with mental illness and have had a suicide attempt myself, so you would think I would know exactly what he needed.
The timeline around my suicide attempt is very blurry, and I don’t remember the actual attempt at all, just a fuzzy ambulance ride, and the horrible 2 weeks away from home. I do remember feeling so alone, although the word “alone” doesn’t give the feeling justice.
The “alone” I was feeling, was like a panic rising up inside of me, akin to how I imagine someone might feel if they were awake during a surgical procedure, but paralyzed, unable to talk or tell anyone they were awake. Once the first incision was made, you found not only were you awake, but felt everything. Then you were screaming, yet no sound emerged.
That is the “alone” feeling which makes suicide seem like the only option.
Keith made a second suicide attempt. I came home one evening and found him on the living room floor. He had stabbed himself in the stomach again, only that time, he inserted the knife 5 times.
I handled his second attempt much better than the first, hardly leaving his side unless I had to eat or go to the bathroom.
Following his release from the hospital, he was placed in an inpatient facility for a few weeks. He jumped off a bridge 7 months later…
I have to live with the fact that Keith is gone forever. Living with the loss of a spouse, or anyone really, is so incredibly difficult. Suicide adds something to the loss that doesn’t make the loss worse than others, just very different.
Keith had support, love, understanding, and his family by his side no matter what, and still lost his battle.
I am realistic in knowing suicide, mental illness and addiction can not be eradicated. However, with the most up to date information we have about the effects of trauma during a lifespan, and the reality of mental illness and addiction; I feel it’s incredibly important for those of us who are capable, to speak out about our experiences, to help put an end to the stigma attached to mental illness and addiction. So many people are suffering in silence and dying.
I have been through the unimaginable in my life, and all while battling mental illness and addiction. It’s hard. The way we look at these illnesses as a society is wrong, and people are dying, going to prison unnecessarily, and families are being torn apart.
So, no, this is not spam. This is the reality many of us live and the more that is said out loud about mental illness, addiction, and what these illnesses truly are, the more we evolve in mind and spirit.
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I chose yesterday of all days, to turn off the feature that had me pre-approve all comments on my posts.
I chose to do this because of the way my mind was working at the time. My mind very forcefully said,
“Who cares if someone disagrees or doesn’t like my post, or says something negative about what I choose. I want the criticism, and I feel passionate about everything I publish. If it makes it to the public eye, I put everything in it. So why the hell not?”
Everything happens for a reason and if a certain comment hadn’t been made and gone very public, I wouldn’t be writing this post now.
I don’t know how many of my readers saw the comment before it was removed, but it’s ok. I’m grateful it happened because my silence on the issue further stigmatizes mental illness. That goes against my goal.
Personality disorders often go without being treated due to being widely misdiagnosed.
Personality Disorders are one of the most heavily stigmatized mental health conditions a person can experience. This rampant stigma has both tangible and emotional consequences that can worsen existing difficulties. Stigma shows in the form of judgments, blame, negative assumptions and discrimination.
Stigma can lead a person experiencing a Personality Disorder to feel ashamed and hide their suffering. This leads to further negative emotion (shame, loneliness, fear) and attempts to suppress distress. Suppression of distress and self-invalidation typically results in further emotion dysregulation, dysregulated thinking and out-of-control behavior.
Even if individuals are determined enough to push through the stigma and seek treatment, they may encounter even more stigma. Some mental health professionals are reluctant, or even refuse, to diagnose and/or treat a Personality Disorder, even when a person clearly meets diagnostic criteria. ( Article about Borderline Personality Disorder)
So here we go… I’m divulging personal stuff I never intended on divulging, because my boyfriend has a Personality Disorder with war related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
To be diagnosed with a Personality Disorder, you need to have severe problems functioning in one or both of these areas:
Self-Functioning: A fully functioning person is in touch with his or her deepest and most innermost feelings and desires. This individual has received unconditional positive regard from others, does not place conditions on his or her own worth, is capable of expressing feelings, and is fully open to life’s many experiences.
Communication skills involve both listening and speaking effectively.
Assertiveness skills involve expressing yourself and your rights without violating others’ rights.
ConflictResolution skills help you resolve differences so that you may continue a relationship effectively.
Anger Managementskills involve recognizing and expressing anger appropriately in order to achieve goals, handle emergencies, solve problems and even protect our health.
Jason has problems functioning in both areas, and his PTSD exacerbates everything.
Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D., CGP, says men with Narcissistic Personality Disorder follow a “love pattern” in their romantic relationships that they reproduce over and over again with different women.
The most common “Narcissistic Love Patterns” she has named, “The Romantic, “The Big Game Hunter,” “The White Knight,” “The Novelty Seeker,” “The Hater,” and “The Recycler.” The consistency in all of the patterns, is that he loves you and wants you, then runs.
Jason is kind of all over the place. He can’t be put into one particular pattern, however, he runs. A LOT.
Ok. Are you with me so far? Good. Because now I’m about to throw a giant chink in your chain…
Everything I had researched and studied, mostly made sense and sometimes were spot on. The major factor that set Jason aside, is his ability to love.
I kept studying various publications and I kept studying Jason. A common thread throughout everything I studied, are the misconceptions commonly inherent in Personality Disorders by Behavioral Health professionals themselves.
I read a hundred different articles and various publications stating a narcissist can’t love or have empathy for others.
I’m here to tell you, that is not correct. I know Jason loves me with every ounce of his capability. Finally, I found what I know to be true.
In Rosenbergs book, “The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us,” “garden variety narcissists,” or those with NPD are capable of love and empathy AS LONG AS IT MAKES THEM FEEL GOOD OR THEY GET SOMETHING IN RETURN.
Since they desperately and perpetually seek love, appreciation and affirmation from others, they will consciously and unconsciously (Human Magnet Syndrome) gravitate toward others that can meet this impossible need. Sadly, however, the people who are going to fall in love with them and, consequently, try to take their problems and pain away are deprived of the very same love, respect and care that the narcissists fight so hard to obtain. These unfortunate people are almost always going to be codependents.
(Entering stage left is… Ms. Codependent herself… ME.)
Rosenberg goes on to say that his book also explains why codependents are the only personality type that can actually withstand the narcissist’s selfishness while shaping it (distorting it) into a loving relationship.
He states as a fact, that narcissists and codependents love each other. The feeling is quite real to them.
The narcissist falls deeply in love with the codependent because she provides unconditional love. It’s the one thing the narcissist believed was impossible. She loves him for his true self, so he has found his soul mate.
Rosenberg says the unstable and fleeting nature of their love experience is best explained using a metaphor- a bucket with holes.
Narcissists need a steady stream of unconditional love, respect and care to keep their hole-ridden bucket filled.
No amount of unconditional love or affirmation, kindness, empathy, etc., will ever keep their “buckets” topped off. Hence, their need for affirmation, attention, etc. while desperately self-promoting themselves, gives us an idea why they are motivated, if not addicted, to their narcissistic ways and why they are unable to stop.
But here is the rub: they can only adore and love people who fill their holey bucket. They really do “love” these people – their codependents.
And the codependents selflessly “love” them back.
With Jason’s PTSD combined with a personality disorder, over a period of time, his “holey bucket” empties. He begins to see my flaws and they piss him off. Another scenario is he will try so hard to get my attention and love, ending up feeling slighted. He thinks I’m too busy writing, or playing a game on my phone to notice he needs, “Sarah Time”.
Then, as he watches me make plans with other people, he feels he must not be as important as they are, I don’t appreciate his hard work and effort, and his bucket depletes.
The empty bucket leaves him feeling insecure and afraid, and those feeling manifest themselves through anger. The fear and insecurity also ensures he will develop a fear of me leaving him. Those were the times there were violent outbursts. The scary stuff…
Jason and I are not stupid people, and our love for one another is making us look at ourselves and our relationship from a new perspective. We had to start asking,
“What does our unique relationship need to survive and flourish?”
The first thing I knew I must do, is stop being a victim. Jason isn’t a horrible person. He has fucking issues. So do I.
I wouldn’t ever be happy with a “normal” guy, the kind everyone thinks I deserve. I will get bored with that guy. I will end up breaking his little heart when Jason shows up and says, “Get in the car, I’m gonna beat the breaks off this dude and then we’re getting the hell outta here.”
Yep, that’s the guy I’m ridin’ with.
I’m not Jason’s girl because I’m scared. I’m not scared anymore. I meant it when I said that part is done. We are someplace else in the evolution of our relationship.
I’m Jason’s girl because as fucked up of a dynamic it has been, I see him trying to be a man worthy of me. I watch him listen and give input, trying to understand the mysteries of the mind with me. This shit is going to be hard, but the really scary stuff everyone was worried about, is over.
On to the next hurdle
To the people disowning me for choosing this path, I get it. All I ask is to please open your mind and consider the possibility that what looks like a cut and dry cycle of abuse to you, is in reality, a stepping stone to a new level of understanding and existing.
I know I am on the right path for me.
I feel that some very real discoveries are in the process of being made in the field of mental health and although you are very open-minded and a wonderful advocate for your cause, you are lacking an understanding of some of the very real and very big issues some of us face every minute, of every day.
Mental Health stigma is not as big of an issue as it once was, but it’s still way bigger than I thought. There is so much that is still unknown,and when we are dealing with the unknown, we are limited to our understanding of it.
As mental health patients, we have not been taken seriously in the past. That is changing. Those of us who are able, have a responsibility to ourselves and to others who are suffering to educate everyone about the parts of mental illness you can’t understand from reading a textbook, publication, or observation.
We will never have it all figured out, but my purpose is clear to me.
TALK. WRITE. EDUCATE. VOTE.
I love you, B, more than you know. I hope you can forgive me for the worry and stress my being in your life has caused you. I hope we can come to a compromise where we can still be family that does things together. I hate to think of my life without you in it… You said something to me last week that has stuck with me. You said you were willing to help me if you felt like we were on the same team.
A heartbreaking truth about being mentally ill, is for the most part, you feel extremely misunderstood and very alone in the world.
Advocacy is appreciated and necessary, however, we crave unconditional love and support, regardless of there being a lack of understanding concerning the “whys” of our mentally ill behaviors.
We don’t know why most of the time.
I can promise, I will always do what I believe is right, and I know sometimes I will be so wrong. I’m learning and traveling through time like everyone else.
Recently, I broke up with my boyfriend, many of you know. What I haven’t been talking about is everything he has been doing to get me back.
He has been busting his ass proving himself worthy to be with me. The bad part in all of this, is his standing with my family.
They all hate him. I’m not exaggerating either. They really, truly hate him. In fact, if you mention his name in my mother-in-law’s presence, you see a physical reaction.
My family’s disdain for this man has kept me from telling them about what he’s been up to, which is unfair to him, I think.
Most women bitch to their girlfriends about their man troubles, but I bitch to my family. This was a bad idea. They only know the very worst of our relationship and hardly any of the good stuff.
I didn’t tell them how difficult I was and how I pushed him to the brink when I was irritated. I left out all the months he took care of me night and day when I couldn’t get out of the bed.
I understand everyone’s concerns, but last time I checked, I’m a grown ass woman. Its crazy for me to hide like a kid when I’m 37 years old.
I admit that Jason has his share of faults and has even put me in danger in the past. That no longer occurs.
I have also noticed people are very accepting of my type of mental illness, but not as accepting of his type so much. Jason has PTSD and not just any form, his comes from fighting and unfortunately, killing for this country.
He also has some attachment and abandonment issues. Combine his mental illness, my hard headedness and willingness to push him to the brink of insanity, and it’s been a recipe for disaster in the past.
We have learned how to handle each other in certain situations and the danger factor is no longer present.
An argument I get a lot from my mom and mother-in-law, is how they can’t see his good qualities. To be fair, neither of them are ever around him. Their accounts of his behavior are based solely on me. I am not always a reliable source, especially when my emotions are involved.
I am around him every day. I see his good qualities all the time. Not only is that a fact, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter if they see his good qualities or not. I do. I’m the one in a relationship with him and if I see his good qualities and want to have him near me, that is my choice. Period
Well it’s official. My boyfriend and I have broken up. He thinks I should be happy because I won’t have his controlling ass looming over me constantly but he just doesn’t get it.
In fact, men in general, just don’t get it. Why can’t men realize that all we wanted was you?
All we wanted was to come first to you, be proud to have us, stick up for us no matter what, stop gaslighting us, think that we are the most beautiful women on the planet, etc.
For some reason when men get broken up with, the scared boy in them rears its ugly head, replacing their usual giant egos.
It’s very sad to see a man fall apart at the seams but a part of me thinks they do this on purpose as a last-ditch effort to hold on to us. Oh, so now you appreciate me and can’t live without me? Well, you should have thought about that sooner, buddy.
Where was this sensitive man with feelings when I waited around for the hundredth time, while you were out doing God knows what, and in my car, leaving me stranded for days?
Where was this caring person when you hurt me over and over again by continuing to engage other women on dating websites?
Why didn’t your heart break seeing mine broken by you, over and over after you cheated or lied?
I stayed far too long and taught this man it was ok to treat me like shit because I would still be here. Oh ya? Watch this!
When I first meet people, we inevitably have the same conversation because I must have it. Its the one where I let them know ahead of time that I get taken advantage of and treated badly quite often. I confess I will even put up with it for a while, in hopes that the good of the person will triumph over the evil.
Until I get my fill…
When I reach my filling point, that’s it. I’m done. No backsies. I’m so over it at that point that changing my mind is almost impossible. It would take the grandest of gestures and most men aren’t up for it. Plus, I don’t want to spend my life with someone not willing to make a fool of themselves to show their love.
So I be movin’ on.
The reason I tell everyone this is because once they have used and abused me, my love, my devotion and I get my fill of it, they always seem to think I “flipped the script”.
Asshole, I told you from day 1.
So now I’m being berated by simply doing exactly as I said I would from the very beginning. Go figure.
There were multiple straws breaking this camels back which contributed to the ultimate demise of this relationship. I won’t get too into detail, but it turned out he acted one way to my face and completely disloyal behind my back. Even going so far as to try to convince people that I am not who I appear to be. This is a joke.
Deflection is a good word here. Get the heat off him and point it at the loyal girlfriend. The sucky part is that his stunt worked. I get zero respect from his friends and family because he doesn’t respect me, and I stuck around. When letting people disrespect you, you are telling them it’s ok to treat you like shit. Fuck that.
It’s time for me to love me again. Respect myself.
When my confidence has taken a big blow, it affects everything in my life. It also makes me look incredibly foolish and like a person who doesn’t value myself. Again, I say FUCK THAT.
I know my worth, and I will not accept anything less than what I deserve ever again. Love isn’t enough. The Beatles had it wrong, I’m sorry to say. Love is not all you need.
You need respect, honesty, trust, and damn good listening skills. If my relationship doesn’t have that, then I am wasting precious time. This face could fall any minute leaving me with the need to staple my eyebrows to my ears to resemble my younger self.
This rant needed to happen. Those of you that stuck it out til’ the end, bless you.
My focus is going to be away from men for a long time. I am pointing all focus to my mental health, and my children. It’s way past time…
Yesterday marked two years since my husband left this realm of reality that is our planet, Earth. He is out there now on the ultimate adventure and a part of me is a little jealous.
I’m not suicidal or anything, I just am so curious about what is beyond our limited knowledge and understanding of the afterlife and what happens to us. It’s fascinating.
One thing I know for certain is that we don’t really die. The part of us that is “us”, or the soul is made up of energy. The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another.
I know Keith is still around because I feel him all the time. Sometimes I can even hear him if I’m quiet and still long enough to pay attention. Then there are the dreams.
He hasn’t come to me more than a handful of times in my dreams that I can recall. When he does though, it always seems like a real visit. It’s different from a normal dream. It feels as if we are in a different dimension and we are the only two entities that exist there.
Yesterday, I pretty much stayed in bed. I slept off and on and during one of my naps, Keith came. He picked me up from someplace and said, “Are you ready, dear?”
I ran up to him and threw my arms around him immediately in tears and exclaimed, “Where have you been?? You were gone forever, I thought you were dead!”
He replied, “Now, you know I’m not dead, right?”
I looked up at him incredulously and said, “Yeah, I’m pretty sure I know that, but why can’t I see you anytime I want?”
He said something poignant to me and I remembered the gist of it when I woke up so I looked it up. It was a quote by the poet Emily Dickinson.
Keith smiled at me and said, “Forever is composed of moments.”
Frustrated I asked what he meant and he basically said that I have many things to accomplish while I’m here. Be patient and take nothing for granted. He said he will always be close by, keeping watch, and loving me. He said after my series of moments on this plane of existence, he will come for me and we can be together. Until then I must be satisfied with the lovely invasion into my sleep.
We ended our visit with something we said to each other every day we were together.
Mental illness showed up in me at a young age, beginning with O.C.D. and morphing into full blown depression by my teen years. Although those things were difficult to deal with as a kid, dealing with having a mentally ill parent was just as difficult, if not more.
The thought that I could put my own children through something similar to my own experience, never really occurred to me. I dont know why it didn’t. I believe I sincerely thought that I could raise my children relatively unscathed by my illness. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Not only have my children been affected negatively, they could possibly have a more difficult time than I ever endured; or I might think it’s more difficult for them because they’re my babies, and I loathe the idea of causing them pain. Emotionally damaging my children is something I absolutely would never consciously do.
Being in denial that my children have been affected negatively by my illness wouldn’t help a damn thing. In fact, I would really like to put us in family therapy to help us cope with the past, present, and future.
Hopefully I can convince the rest of their family to be supportive of the therapy. After all, it is mainly for the children’s benefit.
Now that my kids are teenagers, they are beginning to feel resentment toward me and what I don’t think they realize, is I get it! My mama was bat-shit crazy at times, and although she did her best, it wasn’t always easy being her daughter.
I wish my kids could see what’s in my heart. They would see the unconditional love and devotion I feel for them. They aren’t just my babies, they are amazing human beings. They truly are the whole package. Smart, funny, compassionate, the kind of kids women dream about having.
My hope is that my kids and I can have open communication about mental illness and how it has affected them in the past, and how it’s affecting them now. I’m confident with love, patience, and an open mind, we will get through life together.
We will not get through our life together unscathed. It’s not possible. Getting through it and becoming stronger and better ispossible for everyone involved. That’s a challenge I’m willing to accept.
Someone asked me today if I’m ever happy. This question followed a bitch out session by yours truly. I had a good reason to bitch, trust me. I guess everyone usually feels justified when bitching someone out. If you know you’re wrong and keep complaining, then you’re… just a bitch.
I sat in the car and contemplated this thing called happiness and wondered, “What the hell is that?”
This person is right, I’m not happy and am rarely satisfied with anything in my life right now. So what do I do about it?
I figure I have one of two choices. Either accept my life for what it is and shut the hell up, or change it. So, which one do I choose? Hell, I don’t know. If I knew the answer, I would probably be happy.
So there you have it. The answer is very simple. Everyone else has to change their ways to make me happy.
Since that will never happen, I have to do something different. I am just as tired of bitching as everyone is tired of hearing it. My bitching has gotten to the point where I am annoying myself. That’s pretty bad.
So my message to everyone is, I will do my best to stop all the complaining.
Life sucks sometimes. Adulting especially sucks. When my husband was still alive he was stressed about money all the time. I wasn’t. I didn’t have to worry about it because he did all the worrying. Now I have to do it all and damn it, Keith, wherever you are, please know I get it now!
Eventually, no one will want to be around me with all of this negative energy. I need a Snickers and a Disney movie or musical stat! This is an emergency. If I can’t be happy with chocolate and Disney then I need a lobotomy.
Well… I am totally bombing the no complaining thing.
My first positive statement in this ridiculous post, is that thanks to the new medication I’m on, I’m not depressed. Unhappy? Yes. Depressed? No. So that’s a plus, right?
I have to start thinking more on the positive side. This negativity is turning me into a bitter bitch and that’s not me. Plus, I don’t want to be alone my whole life and I definitely don’t want the 100 cats that inevitably goes along with that.
The new me will begin… Tomorrow. Then, I will be a ray of fucking sunshine. Lookout.
There is a lot I can’t say on this platform for various reasons. The most important reason is that my children have access to my blog and I want their innocence to remain intact as long as possible.
I can say though, that I have had a very full and interesting life with so many stages, twists, turns, heartbreak and a lot of love thrown in the mix.
Everyone has been asked at one time or another, if they could live their life over again if they would change anything. I have heard about fifty percent say yes and fifty percent say no.
I am on the fence about that particular question and have gone back and forth on my opinion of it many times over the years.
I have had the same generic answer everyone usually gives when referring to a life of no regrets. It usually goes something like this… “I have no regrets because my mistakes have helped mold me into the person I am today.”
I’m calling bullshit on that whole thing. Okay, it’s not complete bullshit, but come on. Of course we have regret. Of course we wish our lives had been a little easier or we had taken that vacation last summer. Everyone has regret.
Before you argue or dismiss what I’m saying, think about the last time you said, “I wish I had (fill in blank).” Five minutes after I began writing this piece I said, “Man, I wish I had made coffee before I started this.” Regret.
We all regret something, and if we can regret something as small as the route we took to the mall, it’s safe to say we regret some of our past mistakes.
Where I think the “no regrets” speech sort of applies, is within the lessons we learn. I believe we can regret our choices or how some things have played out while still appreciating what we took away from the experience.
I’ve talked about learning and the evolution of the soul in past posts and this regret thing applies. Why can’t we be all of it? Regretful, yet grateful? It’s ok to have regret. It doesn’t make you a bad person or a weak person. What makes you strong is the presence of gratitude.
You might want to smack the hell out of me right now. I get it. However, in times when we reflect on our lives and feel regret, it’s so important to look at where the choices led you and be grateful you made it through without killing everyone.
It’s ok to regret and wish things had gone differently, just don’t beat yourself up about it. Forgive yourself or others involved, be grateful for what you took away from the experience and move forward. Hopefully not making the same mistake multiple times. Even if you do make the same mistakes again, just know you simply haven’t learned what you’re supposed to yet, so look closer at it. Try something different because the old way doesn’t work, you already know that because of regret.
I choose to be grateful for regret. It reminds me that I’m human and imperfect. It also reminds me that I have a conscience telling me, “Girl, that shit ain’t right.” Embrace your regret and then bury it in the backyard next to your ex-husband. (Just kidding).
I’m going to share my favorite quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson I believe fits well here.
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He or she is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.