Acceptance Or I Need More Gray

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This week I walked into my therapists office and told her that for this session I wanted her to pick a topic I needed to address and that I had been avoiding. A topic that would help me look at things from a different perspective and encourage personal growth.  Being that my therapist and I have been in contact with each other almost every week since “I Think I Might Want A Divorce Day” two years ago; I figured whatever she said would be something that I could easily wrap my brain around. I should have known better. What she chose was the notion of acceptance and opening my door wider to welcome it into my life. That BITCH (I say that with all the love in the world directed to her)

She began by stating that I needed to accept the distance that I feel with B so that I can create my own stability. It doesn’t mean I have to like it but that I need to acknowledge that it is what is true right now, and while my expectations of two years ago did not pan out, there is value in seeing what is in front of you and not trying to challenge or change it all the time. And what I discovered throughout this talk is this:  I truly have difficulty with the concept of acceptance, let alone the actions, that must accompany it.

Unfortunately, for me, I realized that acceptance means defeat. It means surrender and laying down. It means something “bad” vs. something “good.” And therein lies the problem said therapist tells me.  Acceptance is just a thing and I don’t need to assign value to it, like “good” vs. “bad.”  It is just what is. Nothing less and nothing more. According to her this either/or thinking complicates my life and does not allow for the possibility of acceptance. In fact, according to her I need more gray areas in my life and not as many absolutes and right vs. wrongs. Furthermore, this lack of acceptance on my part effects my relationships and I need to question whether this is where I want my resources to go. Is fighting acceptance worth it? she asks.

UGHHHH

So my assignment is to work on acceptance by just seeing all that is around me and not assigning meaning to it. She challenges me to acknowledge that by labeling these past two years as an exceedingly crappy set of circumstances (something “bad”) it means that I am giving up on seeing further possibility through letting go and experiencing all the gifts that acceptance brings with it. So I am giving this acceptance thing a try, while secretly hoping, that one of those gifts turns out to be a vintage VW bus.

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13 And Counting

I remember the first time I saw Gracie. She was sitting on her foster mother’s lap, so tiny and delicate, that she looked like a doll. She was a preemie so everything about her seemed fragile and small. I fell in love with her right then and there as I stared at the tiny 3×4 inch photo in my computer screen; engraving her sweet face on my heart forever. Truly, it was love at first sight and I was bound and determined that she would become our daughter. I thank my lucky stars that my dream came true because everyday with Gracie has been a delightful dream with a mixture of happiness, joy, and a pinch of awe thrown in for good measure. She truly is amazing!

Today Gracie turns thirteen. It is hard to believe that I will never again be raising a mere child. Instead, I am guiding young adults towards the time when they leave the nest…hopefully for good.

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Since Gracie is a now an official teenager, it means I have four teens living in my house. Maybe I should say co-existing, as war could erupt any minute when you are stepping through emotional teenage land mines which are scattered, undetected, here and there. Gracie assures me that she will not act like a teen but she is already rolling her eyes and using THAT tone of voice which indicates that somehow I have become the absolute dumbest person ever to live on this planet. Forget the 55+ years of experience, the college degrees and my affable personality…I am soon to be regulated to the status of something below pond scum.

While I am excited about someday becoming an empty nester (finger crossed) I do have to admit I miss those times when my children thought I could do no wrong, when they believed I was smarter than G*D, and when the little things I did brought them such pleasure. Those were simpler times though I didn’t recognize them as such. I often viewed them as chaotic with all the meltdowns that two children with autism could bring. But now… well, even the meltdowns don’t seem quite as bad as when I was in the midst of them and I can look back and be proud of how I handled some situations that would tax the patience of a saint. Not to say I handled them all well but I did GOOD ENOUGH and that is just fine with me at this point in the game.

Today is one of those momentous days. Time and perceptions will shift for both Gracie and I as the label of TEEN is applied like a gooey sticker to her soul. May we each grant the other grace and dignity in the coming years as she grows wiser and my brain cells shrink in number. May we create memories that sustain us and may we see the best in each other instead of the worst. For the teenage years are upon us…may we both survive them with patience and our sense of humor intact! And may Gracie happily survive the impact that autism has on a family and a sibling..she has done a remarkable job thus far.

Happy Birthday My Sweet, Talented, Gracious, Fun-Loving And Hard-Working Baby Girl! You are my Superhero!

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A Knight’s Myth

 

You are no longer mine

Even though you are still here

In this castle you don’t want to be in

With a woman you don’t want to be with

With children who, well,…. who knows what they realize

But soon their lives will change

Their innocence forever gone

Wiped away by male menopause

That dreams of lusty new love

Perpetual hard-ons

And fireworks that light the night sky

With love’s first kiss

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You insist you are not angry

“Look how quite I am”

“Look how composed”

Head down, eyes masked

Yet the words you CHOOSE sting

The heat charring them before they leave your mouth

I know that you will not admit the anger

Because it would make you appear

Flawed to yourself

And you cannot have anyone think you are

Anything less than

Perfect

Gallant

Charming

Noble

A Hard working

Self-Sacrificing

Christian Man

With all the Qualities

That a knight is supposed to possess

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And you have to see yourself in this way

To like who you are

Because if you really looked deep inside

You would be devastated

By the little boy inside of you

Who cries out from pain of

An abusive mother

And an absent father

And a self that has been lost for so many years

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You think you have found yourself

Now that you have found your voice

But you have only skimmed the surface

Of your deep lake of hurt and anger

That drives you to change

EVERYTHING

But your deepest self

Because you are afraid if you really had to examine

The truth of who you are

And where you came from

Your tears would flood this earth

And there would be

No one there to dry your tears

And stop the carnage that you are creating

Maybe someday you will become like

That Knight you so desperately try to emulate

By being brave, true, and loyal to yourself alone

And by slaying that ancient dragon

That lives within your soul

But you will have to cross deep rivers

High Mountains

And Low Valleys

To get to the place

Which brings you peace

But by then

The castle will be empty

The princess gone

And you will have fought the battle

But lost the war

Everything you once loved

And everyone who loved you

GONE

And you will be

But a mere man seated at

The Roundtable all alone

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A Nasty “Pornographic” Post

So here’s one for you. A nasty pornographic post by nasty-gram Grandma.

So last week I took my daughter and her two adorable but somewhat whiney kids to the airport. We stayed at a very nice hotel by LAX. It was the Marriott Residence Inn. It was there that my very pornographic thought began to take shape and a few days later it morphed into something quite disturbing. By then the grandkids had been gone for four days and it felt “safe” and not so unseemly to be having thoughts that consisted of anything less that coloring books, reading fairy tales and giving my arms a workout by pushing the little squirts high into the sky as they chorused “Higher, Grandma” at the local playground. Seems I needed a little down time from Doc McStuffins to get my mind back in the gutter.

It was at the check-in at said hotel that I first noticed Wally. He was one of those slick and shiny kind of dudes. You know, the kind who you pay just a little bit of attention to and he is at your beck and call for life. The kind your mother always warned you about, yet, I couldn’t help myself… I found him fascinating at first glance. We got to “talking” which was a little difficult because of his accent but his manners were impeccable and he was easy to talk with…straightforward while saying all the right “feel good” words. I fantasized inviting him to my room but unfortunately I was not alone. I had my daughter and the grandkids sharing my room. And so I reluctantly bid him goodbye knowing that had the circumstances been different I might have taken him out for a little test drive. Frankly, I have rarely felt that kind of electrical current with anyone and never with someone like him before.

I went downstairs a little while later with my granddaughter just to see if I could get a glimpse of him. Sure enough, he was standing by the elevator. While perfectly polite he seemed a little nervous around “the little one” acting like he was afraid she might just push his buttons. I didn’t know what to make of it. That and the fact, he kept waiting for the elevator and if anyone came to use it he wouldn’t get on and would wait for another. Strange. I began to doubt my initial impression. Maybe it was my punishment for being a little too friendly with Wally when I am, in fact, still married to B. Come to think of it, it did feel kind of like cheating but he was so cute and the flirting was harmless. Frankly, what is good for the goose is good for the gander and B would never know any better. I began to fantasize about letting Wally park his boots under my bed for a night of fun.

“This is how affairs begin! Shame…shame…shame,”  giving my conscious a bit of a flogging while saying ten “Hail Marys” for good measure. Sure it seems all sweet and innocent now, I reminded myself, but we know how these things go…broken hearts and tears. Buckets of them. Families ripped apart by lust. It just wasn’t worth it. But still….

Fast forward two hours and I was parched. I decided to call down and order room service. After I placed my order I heard some background noise and the clerk replied, “Wally will be bringing your order up shortly.”

Wally! My Wally? Oh crap I thought. How am I going to explain this to my daughter. I was mortified. I tried to get her to take the kids down to the pool but she wouldn’t. I offered her $50 bucks to take the kids to dinner but she wasn’t biting.

“Geez, mom. Are you trying to get rid of us?” she said with a laugh.

If she only knew.

Ten minutes later the phone rang and Wally told me he was outside of my door with my order. I suddenly felt weak at the knees and a little faint yet my body began to feel slightly tingly all over. Wally wanted me! I mean, what sort of creature did this sort of thing? It was something straight out of a Hollywood Movie.

So after a slight hesitation, I opened the door, and there he was in all his glory.

“I have your order, Madame”

I wanted to die right then and there.

“Who is it, Mom.?”

“It’s Wally the Butler”

” I didn’t know this place had butlers,” she called out from her bedroom suite.

“Yeah, its a new feature,” I replied nervously as I grinned at the man of my dreams.

I reached for my order and as I did my arm brushed against him. Suddenly I felt him go cold as he turned to me and said:

And just like that he was gone.

It’s been a week since I last saw Wally and my heart aches. The things he could have done for me (that’s where things get a little x-rated). The things I could have programed him to do!

“That’s right, Wally, a little more to the left. Ohhhhhhhh….yes. Right there. That is perfect.”

Yep, welcome to the 21st Century, Grandma! If this is what the future holds then I am all in!

A Sad Day In America

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No matter who wins today… it is a sad day in America. It’s a day in which our citizens were forced to pick between two bad actors. A day in which our differences are magnified and our tolerance reduced to rubble. It’s a day everyone wishes had happened months ago so we would have been spared an election in which ugliness triumphed over decency and the worst in bad behavior was seen by our young.

When I was a kid growing up, I was excited about the possibility of someday having the privilege and honor of voting for president. It was taught that it was my duty to vote and I felt lucky to be able to exercise my right to determine which way I wanted our country to go. No more. Today as a fifty-five-year-old, I feel defeated and pessimistic by this system I once felt so comfortable in.Even worse, I feel scared and vulnerable that this experiment in Democracy is failing before my eyes and there are few alternatives available to replace it with.

These days, I no longer believe that my single vote can make a difference in which direction our country moves. And if I, an indoctrinated child of the 60’s can feel this way, why would any young adult, who now sees the world through the eyes of social media, believe that their vote would make a difference? In these days of declining voter participation in the electoral process, how can we expect our children to want to vote, much less hold the process sacred, when they hear so many people dissatisfied with the candidates and the deadlock we have been enduring? Why would they want to participate in any election when they have been told that it has been rigged? Why would they have faith in the system when so many of their elders no longer do?

Today, when I went to vote, I realized I was stooped over like an old lady, the weight of this election bearing down on my body, crushing my spirit and soul. Instead of being joyful I felt sorrow that our country had come to this…so many words without substance, so many promises that will never be fulfilled and so much hatred that neighbor has turned against neighbor. And I wonder whatever happened to the enthusiasm I once felt and I question if I can ever get it back?

Yes, today is a sad day because the possibility of new beginnings and the excitement about exercising our right to vote has vanished; replaced instead by an obligation to vote for the lesser of two evils. This election and these two candidates have brought this country to new lows we never should have reached and today I wonder if it is even possible to dig us out of the hole we find ourselves in. The promise of America has been compromised and it is a sad day indeed.

B’s List Of What He Wants

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Yesterday I posted what I wanted/needed in my second half of life. Today I am posting B’s.

First of all, just so you know, I asked B if it was okay to post this. To my surprise he said yes. This is his list of what he wants in the second part of his life with me. It won’t come as a surprise to those who know us that his list is very different than mine. Much more compact. Remember, I’m the one with the words. Yet, what he wrote touched me deeply because I knew it was from his heart and soul. All of it.

The morning we were to go to breakfast to discuss our relationship; I got into the car and our wedding picture was there along with some flowers. B said that before we went to breakfast he wanted to read what he had written and so with tears in his eyes and a catch in his throat this is what he read:

“Perfect” Words

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I have been working hard to use the “perfect” words and phrases in my everyday interactions in order to minimize conflict and optimize understanding. Our therapists say to try to increase our usage of them everyday. Here they are:

  1. I love it when______
  2. Help me understand
  3. What would make it easier for you?
  4. I just got triggered and I feel ______
  5. Can I have a re-do? (Meaning you screwed up and would like to try again)
  6. I am not comfortable with______. Perhaps we can try ______ instead. How do you feel about that?
  7. I have a concern about_____
  8. I heard you say _____ and I am wondering what you mean by that.
  9. I am trying to understand please tell me more.

 

I have to say some of them work better than others. It seems like the “I like it when…” phrase often brings about the desired results and by saying “What would make it easier for you?” I get to know exactly what would be the most beneficial thing I could for B at that moment in time.

Last night I tried the “I have a concern about…” and it bombed…BIG TIME. Not only did  I feel like my words had exploded in my face and I had been cut by shrapnel; I ended up feeling like a fire work that just wanted to explode…light the fuse…I dare you. Let me explain.

The kids started school two weeks ago and it has been absolute chaos. Between each kid being at a different school,  two carpools, and one kid also taking a college class in addition to normal high school work; the hectic threshold has increased 20 fold in his house. Already I have gotten two phone calls and two emails from Andre’s school, one from Gracie’s and have had to contact Paul’s school three times for various things in addition to talking to the counselor. Add to that book marking each kids classes(12 total) so we can check on homework every night finding/loading emails for teachers and two IEP teams…well let’s just say that it has been a challenge.

So last night when I got home late after being voted in as secretary of a school organization (more about that some other time) I found B watching the Olympics which then proceeded to his playing of the bagpipes. Meanwhile, I went upstairs to ensure that Andre was doing his homework and spent 30 minutes going through all his class websites with him after getting a call from school earlier in the day. I spent another 20 minutes re-organizing his notebooks for what I hope is greater understanding of where papers/homework are and where handouts should go. I did the same  last night with Paul who seems to not be getting any homework… hmmm. Had to check on that too.

As I climbed into bed, after thinking long and hard about how I wanted to approach the issue, I said to B:

“I have a concern about ______ (“using “perfect” word phrase) how we are going to get the boys through school this year.(Two boys who have autism and face many challenges when in school) So far I have received several emails and phone calls from the schools and since the boys are both in high school now, where even more is expected of them; I think we need to come up with a plan on how we are going to handle this because I can’t do it all. If you have any ideas about this I would be glad to hear them. This is what I was thinking. I was thinking that perhaps I could be responsible for Andre and checking his classes and that you could do the same for Paul. If there was math homework that help was needed on you could do that (I don’t do math) and English would be my responsibility. What do you think? Or do you have something else in mind?”

“I work from 7 am to 6 pm. I can’t do it.”

CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL  (To find out what this means ) Read Sitting In the Silence

“Well, honey, I work too. I drive two carpools, answer calls and emails from the school, pay bills, clean house. I work too. I’m sorry, you don’t get to just hang up all the responsibilities of this household when you walk in the door.”

And so it went.

Later I told him, “You know I worked very hard thinking about how to say what needed to be said in a way that was non-confrontational using the words/phrases our therapists taught us and I feel like you just shot me down. I am very disappointed about how this went.”

“You are entitled to your feelings. Feelings are neither right nor wrong,” which is B’s new catch phrase.

Yeah, well, buddy… my feelings are now ones of being pissed and angry at your feelings of entitlement and your lack of sensitivity that I am trying my best to have a calm discussion with you to get what we both want/need for our boys. I am also thinking that if we had divorced you would be getting half of these calls, doing half these carpools and that you would need to hire and pay for wife that you now have for free. An expensive proposition to say the least. Frankly, I would like to kick you in the ass for being such a blockhead.

And so I went downstairs and listened to THREE meditation podcasts in an effort to bring myself back down to earth and re-locate my place of serenity. Afterwards, as I reflected on the day I wondered it there really is such a thing as “perfect words.”

I guess the answer is no…but I will keep trying to use them anyway.

And now I will:

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Change Is Going To Do You Good

So, you might have noticed that I changed the name of my blog. Or maybe not. But I did.

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Why?

Well, when I started writing it was right after my husband said that he might want a divorce.  My state of mind was such that I named my blog myhusbandwantsadivorce. It has been 375 days since that morning and after much hard work, tears and counseling; I believe we love each other enough to stay together. We are not out of the woods totally but at least we are holding the picnic basket as we walk towards the edge of the forest together.

Since this past year has been so painful and because we have worked so hard to reclaim our marriage and each other; I have decided I no longer want to be reminded of that day every time I write my blog. I no longer want a “possible” divorce to define who I am or how my husband is thinking. I want to stop all aspects of negativity towards my husband and my marriage; hence the name change.

To celebrate my writing in a playful way I am in the process of changing the name of the blog to Gardy Loo Pismire.  The words gardy loo were shouted in Edinburgh as a warning cry when slops were thrown from the windows into the streets. Pismire is basically a piss ant.  I guess you might say that I am letting readers know “The S*** Is Coming…Watch Out Below!”

At this point I am leaving the myhusbandwantsadivorce up for a month or so and adding Gardy Loo Pismire to the front. It currently looks like this: Gardy Loo Pismire formerly myhusbandwantsadivorce. Soon it will look like this:277e28d379ac17bdb47bfe96061fb1f5

Gardy Loo Pismire…Watch Out Below!

So there you have it.The blog will remain the same except for the name.

Thanks For Reading!

 

 

What Love Requires

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There are times throughout my life that I have forgotten just how fragile love is. And as I look back upon this painful “possible divorce” I have to ask myself the question…did you forget this fact? And in turn, I realize that I must have for it to have gotten to this point. Obviously, our relationship has not had enough of the right kind of soil (genuine caring,spending happy times together), not enough water (kind words, kind deeds) and not enough sunshine (joy, laughter) or else it would have flourished and not died. While it would be easy to write about B’s failings in this area because of the place I am at in our relationship; the fact is that I MUST look at my own culpability in order to go forward either in this relationship or to be at peace with myself. So these are some of the things I have been considering lately in regards to our relationship and my part in its possible demise.

Love requires attention. Lots of it. With all the chaos in our lives and the fact that B and I enjoy different things did I forget the attention that love needs to blossom and grow rather than wither and die? Those golden moments of laughter, a slight touch or a kind voice. Did my missing the bagpiping weekends make B think I didn’t care because I wasn’t showing the kind of attention to something he cared deeply about? Was the chaos of two boys with autism taking over my life making me exhausted and leaving my husband behind?

Love requires trust. I struggle with trust. Always have probably always will but did my lack of trust make me see things that sometimes aren’t there but I acted as if they were? Did it make me question instead of believe? How have my own personal issues that have nothing to do with B contributed to this lack of trust? Have I forgotten how to trust B with my heart and have I stopped believing that he cares what is in it? Have I stopped believing that what he shares with me is the truth because since he hardly ever speaks out, so I then question why when he does?

Love requires honesty. Sometimes I think I am too honest for B. Sometimes I think honesty when it is sharing more bad feelings when good is hurtful and discouraging. I may be guilty of that. Is there such a thing as too much honesty? If I am asking the question then perhaps I already know the answer.

Love requires sacrifice. If I look back on our 30+ years of marriage I believe I did sacrifice certain things BUT the real question is did I sacrifice gladly, willingly and without guilt? That question may be harder to answer honestly because I can think of many times I did not. And did I sacrifice quietly? Did I sacrifice in a manner that B thought better of me as a person or in ways that warmed his heart?

Love requires acceptance. Have I accepted all that has come my way? Have I accepted B’s inability to stand up to his family knowing that there are other qualities that make up for that inability that he has? Have I accepted my sons disabilities in a way that makes love easy for them and everyone else in the family? Have I accepted what B has had to say without always having to have my opinion heard? Have I just listened and accepted upon occasion without making him have to justify his wants or needs?

Love requires courage. Early in our marriage when B would get upset I would say to him “Okay well I will just leave” It is a horrible thing to do to anyone all because I did not not have the courage to sit, listen and look at my own flaws. It takes courage to be married and courage to stay when you want to leave. I lacked courage which I think leads to disillusionment and distrust.

Love requires persistence. That means being willing to look at the areas in your marriage that need work and then take the steps to correct them. This may take weeks, months or even years. Often, over the course of our relationship I have recognized things that I could do to improve things (like not yell so much) yet I did not keep up with the follow-through that was needed to get these things to become good habits. I didn’t have the time. I didn’t have the patience. I didn’t have the desire and because of this lack of persistence it has contributed to our relationship floundering.

Love requires change. As our relationships mature and as times passes changes occur. As my relationship with B has hit this rocky road, I look back and see with regret those things I needed to change but did not. We are not meant to be stationary beings and relationships are suppose to be fluid too. I think that I have fought change at times and our relationship has suffered for it and my own growth has suffered too. Reluctance to change in my case has come from focusing too much on the pain on has to endure to make change come about or focusing on what I would have to give up rather than on what I would have to gain if I would just change.

As we have gone through this difficult time in our marriage sometimes I look back with regret because I know that I had forgotten how fragile love is without the proper nurturing and care. Marriage is like a delicate rose and it needs attention if it is to survive. I wish I had spent more time pruning, watering and ensuring plenty of light reached its leaves. Perhaps adding a little less crap would have helped too.

Copyright CLD 4/3/16