Sweet Emotions…Or Not…305 Days To Fix This

images-1

This is REAL music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfTa8QhbB_M&list=RDDfTa8QhbB_M#t=0

The other day B and I were talking when he said, “When you express your emotions you are not thinking about others you are only thinking of yourself. It is selfish.”

I was dumbstruck. Stopped dead in my tracks. Bowled over and stone cold. After twenty-nine years of marriage I finally found this out. Well, that explains a lot…especially about our relationship and about B himself.

You see, I thought my wearing my heart on my sleeve and being totally transparent was what attracted people to me. You know what kind of person I am within five minutes of meeting me. Yes, I have deep layers, but people who know me understand that for the most part what you see is what you get. All these years I believed my openness and honesty were a few of the qualities that make me irresistible to B. Obviously, I was wrong.

Where do I go with this information? I honestly do not know. For if sharing your emotions makes you selfish then what he is saying is that I am one of the most selfish people he knows because I don’t believe in hiding who you are from anyone. Never have, never will. I think it stems from situations I encountered as a child. Whatever it is, I don’t like trying to guess other’s emotions or being less than candid about my own.

At the same time, I do recognize that the uninterrupted emotions of a Drama Queen can be overwhelming for those dealing with her. Constant emotional chaos is draining  and having to live within a cloud of emotional debris is life defeating not life affirming.  But I am not one of those women. I’m just your normal run of the mill woman who near her period gets a little more emotional than the other 25 days of the month. Nothing extreme.

If being a normal person with normal emotions whose expression of them makes B uncomfortable than he has a HUGE problem and it is one that I cannot fix for it is his issue alone. I can hand him the shovel but ultimately it is B who has to dig down to find the treasure chest of emotions that makes life rich, full, and complete. I hope for his sake that he will dig fast.

Mrs. Hot Pants…304 Days To Fix This

If there is one thing that makes me quiver in fear it is costumes. The kind of sexy-for- your-eyes-only, see-through, leave-nothing-to-the-imagination…oops my nipples are showing type of ensemble meant to be worn in the bedroom and not in public unless you are seriously, seriously drunk. I hate them. My thighs are too fat, my legs too short and my head too big. They are meant for 25-year-old girls who eat a piece of lettuce for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and that’s only when they are indulging. When I was 20 years younger and untold pounds thinner I could do this. At this age, I just think I look like Winnie The Pooh Stuck In the Honey Tree with a dash of Miss Piggy in a wetsuit thrown in. (Yes, we woman are too hard on ourselves but we will save that discussion for another day!)

Unfortunately, my husband recently told me that he misses seeing me in this type of attire. He’s a visual kind of man he tells me. He’s a I wanna’ see before I touch kinda’ guy and so I began to peruse the “can’t-touch-this-sexy-momma” online store and did I ever get some ideas.

Unfortunately, I could not find the “this-is-the-one-to save-your-marriage” type of look though with the mid-life crisis component of the “let-me-marry-my-younger-than-my-daughter-aged secretary” being all the rage in men these days; the innocent school girl look just might do. Unfortunately, I suspect on a 55-year-old woman it might be more reminiscent of a Catholic priest in drag than anyone B used to date in high school. Yep, this one is definitely a five drink minimum proposition before I would even consider reliving my teen years again.

I considered the sexy santa suit/wear but with the twelve animals that would have to imported and the fees associated with the mandatory quarantine… well… it began to feel a somewhat sacrilegious to me. And in truth, making that “bowl-full-of-jelly” scene appear in real life would probably make B swear off Christmas for the rest of his life. Besides, red isn’t my color.

The policewoman outfits were kind of attractive but it is doubtful that I could get B into a pair of handcuffs because he knows that with the mood I am in I might be charged with “unlawful entry” when I got done with him. He’s smart enough not to take the chance.

The French maid was adorable in the photo. And the genuine feather duster, I must confessed turned me on. In fact, that whole maid idea got me so excited I decided to hire one next week to clean my house. But I’m willing to bet she won’t be French and won’t have cleavage that enters the door one minute before the rest of her.

Many afternoons I spent in search of the perfect “look-I’m-trying-to-make-an-effort-to-turn-you-on”clothing. Finally, after I had just about given up, I came upon the obvious choice. What with my skills used for fighting for truth, justice and the American way, leaping over a minefield of toys in a single bound, and having perfected my mind reading abilities in order to determine which child is the culprit;  I realized there was only one costume that would do…

The one…

The only…

Superhero…

For mom’s everywhere…

Wonder Woman.

And it works because I AM the original wonder woman creator of the “perfect” family and even more a “no yell” kind of world. Even better, the costume fits me perfectly too…but unfortunately for B I don’t look like her in it!

Untitled 3

Lust vs. Romantic Love…304 Days To Fix This

images

I just read another fascinating study out of the University of Chicago. Seems that within seconds, just by watching the gaze pattern of participants; researchers could determine whether romantic love or lust was in play. Incredibly, for both male and female subjects, eye-tracking of the face signaled that romantic love was in the air whereas those who fixated on the rest of the body were in it for the lust factor. Good information if you are looking for a mate but what about those who are already married?

On this week-end’s date with my hubby I decided to conduct my own research. The first hours of our date were spent in a movie theater so there was no information gathered there except that except that actor Josh Brolin seemed to want to get it on with Elizabeth Debicki who played Dr. Caroline Mackenzie in Everest. (Spoiler alert-they didn’t get it on nor did anyone else in this desperately sad and A-sexual movie)

Next we went to a local micro-brewery. There we spent time gazing into each other’s eyes and talking about mundane and inconsequential things. About half the time B spent looking at my face, another 1/4 of the time looking at this very shear new top that I was wearing and about 1/4 of the time he spent looking at a gravely sounding 65-year-old man who sang sad songs about drought and crops drying up which were what my panties were doing as I listened to the woes of farmers in the area. I couldn’t tell what part of the singers anatomy B was gazing at….should I be worried is my big question for the researchers?

What I also noticed was that from the bar I received five glances at my face before moving down to the new shirt, two gentlemen staring at my boobs, one woman who licked her lips at me and one man who kept looking at me as if to determine if I was a long-lost relative. I don’t have any idea what this all means except that just the thought of dating at my age scares the crap out of me and I don’t want to do it. EVER AGAIN. I also suspect that if this whole body/face gazing is what dating is about then I am doomed unless I skip the formalities and just blatantly stare at a man’s crotch….I wonder what researchers could determine from that?  And maybe, just maybe,  if I find myself single I might decide to become a research subject. Of course, I would only volunteer for the human sexuality studies…all for the sake of science.

Pregnancy and Divorce

images-15

I am finding out that a “maybe-divorce” feels somewhat like ” being a little pregnant.” I feel like I just pee’d on the stick and now have 308 days that I have to wait to find out if a positive or negative sign appears. And just like pregnancy it is nerve-wracking waiting for the time to pass. Other similarities include:

  1. Both involve heart burn
  2. It becomes increasingly apparent that you have been f*****
  3. You are nervous and scared
  4. Even if you were taught about” it” in your 5th grade Sex Ed Class you still wonder … how the heck did this happen?
  5. You feel nauseous
  6. Have to buy a new clothes

I am hoping that as time passes I will receive some clarity about who and what I want to be when this year is over. What do I want to do with the 23 years I have left on earth if I live to the median age of 77? What is important to me? What can I contribute to my community that is meaningful? Where do I want to live? How do I shield my family from feeling pain? Do I want to write another book? But most of all I want to figure out what makes me totally, completely and wonderfully happy and then… just go for it 100% in. Discovery is a wonderful thing, I am embracing it this time. And just like being pregnant I suspect there will be another person delivered at the end of all of this and she will be everything I have dreamed of because she will be exactly who she is suppose to be in the right here and now!

Do You Still Love Me?

imgres-6

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwIwwbNaFTU

Do you still love me?

Am I still your girl…?

And the woman of your dreams…?

The first person you think of when you wake up…?

And the last person you remember when you lay your head down to sleep…?

Do you still love me?

Does the thought of me bring a smile to your face…?

Do you still chuckle about the time I was knocked over

By that humongous wave on the beach…?

Can I still turn you on with just “the look”…?

Is mine the hand you want to be holding when you pass

From this earth when leave your dreams behind…?

Do you still love me?

Do you still enjoy sipping wine by the vine, just the two of us…?

Or listening to me play the piano…?

Do you still like the way I touch you “down there”…?

As you slip hot and slick out of the shower…?

Or do you love me because I am the mother?

Of your children

Their chauffeur to school and back

The one who runs everyone to the doctor

The cook, shopper, bill payer, gardener, collector of all things important

To this family now and for future generations

And the person whose name is listed as

Joint Tenant along with yours

Do you still love me?

Because it is easier than trying to untangle

All that is us…?

All that we have created together…?

Because, ultimately, I make your life in many ways easier

In ways you would rather not be bothered with

And you don’t have to leave work because autism has reared its ugly head

Making life difficult for our son at school…and then at home…without you here

Is the thought of me staying scarier than

The thought of me going my own way…?

All I know with certainty is that

You loved me once

Madly

Passionately

Completely

To the very depth of my soul

Will you ever love me like that again?

Or will we live on past memories

That carry us slowly to our graves

Missing the vitality of a new/ sweet love

Like the love we once had

Do you still love me?

Or is our time limited until

You figure out what you want to do

Without me…?

Shut Down…307 Days To Fix This

imgres-5
The other night you accused me of shutting down after discussing the “Gwenniferr” incident. You asked me why I shut down. I have been thinking about it and I think I have some answers for the two of us.
I feel crazy when I talk to you and you deny saying things like “I never said I didn’t talk to Gwenniferr or that she never comes to the gym.”
And yet when I talked to my friend she said,  “Yes, that is absolutely what you told me he said the last time we discussed this months ago.”
And then you change your story so that NEVER means every two to three weeks.
And I wonder if Webster would agree with that definition?
I feel your anger or your disgust/disappointment at me and in me for bringing up things that make you uncomfortable. And I feel those feelings you carry so deep inside you and they touch me, strangle me at times, without you even being aware that they are doing so. I am slowly realizing that it is not my job to carry around your feelings but I have been doing it for so many years that I am not quite sure how one just stops. Is it like walking the dog and letting go of the leash? Is it like giving you a lit match and walking away? Is it like pulling up the anchor so I can sail away?
And tonight
I felt your anger in your footsteps that suddenly hit the pavement harder
and I watch as you move out ahead of me, moving faster, as if trying to get away.
I felt it in your physical avoidance of me. I feel your disappointment/disbelief in me and later the words come that I have felt going around in your head all along:
“What’s it going to be next time?”
Accusingly…as if I should not have had these feelings or thoughts
Regarding a woman that you obviously have admired
And that I should not talk about these emotions when I have them
Because I brought up the two most painful things for me in our marriage
On consecutive days
One intentional, one not
And you can’t deal with the feelings of one
Let alone two
I knew you felt the “what’s it going to be next time” long before you said it
I shut down because I feel the heat your words even though you don’t always say them
And I don’t know what to do with your feelings
That I shouldn’t be carrying around at all
And I don’t know what to do with my reactions
To all those unspoken feelings and words
So heavy on my shoulders
The ones that I have lugged around for so long
So you can be free
And I can be burdened
Guessing what these emotions mean
Confused in their context
Trying to put together a picture
With pieces gone
Missing, lost and fuzzy in our memories
Knowing that someone has done something hurtful
But not really sure what it was anymore
Just knowing that the pain has not ended
And I need to stop
Shutting down
(Alternative ending)
And I need to stop
And just kick your ass!

Limitations We Place On Ourselves…309 Days To Fix This

images-13 images-14

I’m not a half-full or half-empty glass kind of girl. I go flowing between the two like water washing over coarse sand as my moods dictate. In stormy weather my glass tends to be half-empty while a walk on the beach on a sunny day makes that half-full glass appear to be the size of a champagne magnum. In this vein, I recently saw a video on Facebook that showed a grandson talking about visiting his grandfather who had just lost his wife of 65+ years. As the old man relates to his grandson the changes he is going through with this wife’s passing, his grandson replies, “Grandpa you always make me see the glass as half-full.” And his grandfather replied, “It is a beautiful glass.”

It was in that moment that I realized that I want to be the person who sees the beauty of the glass itself and not the person who sees the limitations of the vessel and what it can hold. As I reflect over my life a see a person who thought she had to choose between the half-full half-empty scenario and I grew up believing those two ideas (half-full and half-empty) were the only choices available to me. Now I see that there are more options than I ever dreamed possible.

I want to wake up everyday seeing possibilities not possible problems, sunshine not clouds but mostly I want to appreciate the beauty of the glass as it reflects my life within it, including the good the bad and the ugly. I think it is important to realize that there is value in all that makes up this reflection of myself even if the glass sometimes distorts and twists what I see.

The beauty of the glass is really what is important so make it be the glass you want to see with your favorite colors, phrases and shapes. Enjoying the beauty of the glass is what we should strive for while we try to put away the notion that we have to determine whether it is half-full or half-empty. In the end, it doesn’t matter anyway because the glass was always beautiful and what it was holding was irrelevant… unless it was a superb 40-year-old Tawny Port….in which case I would need to empty the glass to see it’s true beauty.

(somehow this post has gone from a life affirming one to a narrative about booze. The hell with the glass…let’s contemplate the bottle!)

https://www.facebook.com/humanthemovie/videos/468301476675049/?pnref=story

The Lonely Study…I Have No Idea How Many Days I Have to Fix This Nor Do I Care

images-12

  • This may be a boring post for some of you but I thought it was amazing in its implications

Recently a new research paper came out that was absolutely fascinating to me. Psychologists at the University of Chicago did a study on people who were labeled “lonely” based on a specific set of scientific measurements/criteria. The study determined that people who are lonely have brains that operate differently from those not considered to be lonely. In fact, the electrical impulses of the brains of lonely people were faster and more severe when shown negative social cues.  Researchers interpret this to mean that lonely people are guarding, both consciously and subconsciously, against social threats. This encourages the brain to be hypervigilant against perceived threatening social situations as well as go into a type of self-preservation mode. This can then often lead to social situations in which the lonely person interprets the actions of others incorrectly.

Fascinating…right!?

So what does this mean, I wondered, for persons in marriages that are breaking down as well as individuals with autism or other social anxiety issues?

I have no idea and the study didn’t examine these issues but I wish they would.

In the case of the married couple usually by the time you reach the divorce stage both parties are lonely because things are not going well and they are no longer each other’s best friend. In fact, the therapist we are going to said that we no longer have a strong friendship. (That is a statement for another post at another time) So does this mean that as our relationship deteriorated and as our friendship with one another decreased that we begin to interpret that actions of each other incorrectly leading to further disintegration? And does it mean that in exchanges with one another we are primed to guard against our spouse once again leading to a greater marital discord and demise?

Same with individuals on the autism spectrum. As they already have issues reading social cues and are often left out and lonely does this mean that their ability to read social cues diminishes even further the lonelier they become? Could this explain why children on the spectrum tend to become more rigid and less outgoing as they age?

If all this does indeed apply to both marital and spectrum issues then one of the questions that needs to be asked is at what point in the relationship does this inaccurate interpretation begin? Is it after the first disappointment or after the 131st? And what are the preliminary warning signs that signal to a person that their loneliness is having detrimental effects on themselves and those around them?

Yep, I’m a science geek and love this kind of stuff

For more information on this interesting study visit the radio program Here & Now

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/09/22/lonely-social

Sitting In the Silence

images-11

I don’t do silence well. I do limbo even worse. I don’t like surprises, boys who wear their pants to their knees and men who cheat. I don’t like bologna, sweat pants and gossip. But lately, most of all, I don’t like silence. And lately I have found that within two seconds of quiet I usually fall asleep. Silence also hurts my ears, my sonar, pinging off distant objects trying to track where the stillness is going and what it might lead to.

Recently my therapist, Pema Chodron, and Chel Hamilton have convinced me that I have lots to learn about myself and that sitting with silence may be a key component in my thirst for self awareness and knowledge. I have struggled as I have realized that quietness has brought with it anxiety and fear as I travel this journey called a M.A.Y.B.E. D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

One of the things that I have been trying to learn while sitting in silence is to stop pushing for my desired outcome. I am realizing that I need to let what happens do so in a natural way without undo interference.

Another thing I am working on is to learn to observe rather than act. Acting is fraught with incorrect assumptions and interpretations which often come back to bite me in the butt. But observing when undisturbed gives me a chance for clarity as there is nothing to muck things up.

But perhaps the most important thing I have to do is to train myself to do is to sit in the silence and just be comfortable with it.

Why?

I am told that sitting in/with the silence will teach me to say the things that are important to say rather than chattering away to fill up empty space. The problem with idle chatter is that it is not thought through in a way that provides clarity and offers truth. Rather it often causes more problems due to misunderstanding of what has been said in a haphazard manner.

They also tell me that by sitting in silence it will reduce negative thoughts and shape my thinking in a way that brings greater understanding and peace. By noticing my thoughts and the immediate reaction that occurs upon feeling them; I am told I can let go of those ideas that no longer serve me well. Hypnotist Chel Hamilton has me repeating “Cancel, cancel, cancel” every time a negative thought pops into my head and then replacing that negative with non-emotional observations and it is working. While I was originally “cancel, cancel, canceling” so many times a day I lost count; in the past three days the numbers have come down and I am actually feeling more positive overall.

Sitting with silence is a new concept for me and its a difficult one for someone who likes to put everything under the microscope and examine it in fine detail. But with a soft butt pillow and some duck tape I think I may just be able to pull it off…if I don’t fall asleep first.

images-10

Hollow Victory…311 Days to Fix This

We talk all day

We talk all night

Maybe that’s good

Maybe not right

Seems I am trying to force

An outcome

Instead of sitting in the silence of what isimages

And letting what happens…happen

On its own

Without my input

Or any artificial colors, preservatives or (l)dyes

But there is a major problem…

I don’t do limbo well

THEN

In the morning you come to me

Phone held tightly in your right hand

You show me your password

I turn my head

I don’t want to see

A hollow victory

For the sadness that lives in the lines around your eyes

The numbers mean nothing to me anymore

Why I ask? Why are you doing this?

It really doesn’t mean anything to me, he replies

But it means the world to you

It’s a small thing to do

When it is such a big hurt to you

And when he smiles

Some of the sorrow leaves the lines around his eyes

And I feel guilty for putting it there

For fighting for our marriage

Causing lines, scars, tears, misery

Refusing to give in to our marriage’s premature death

Refusing to pick out a casket

For today I see life and love

And I know we are okay for this moment

And that’s enough for me

Right now