Friday, August 21, 2015

Turning 40: Marriage

It was early October when a tornado entered my life. 20 years in the same constant relationship and then poof, gone. I had no clue who he was or what was happening at that precise moment. Literally, my husband's head was spinning so fast it snapped from his neck and took off somewhere. I don't dare to look for it. It seems that the domestic life was not for him. He wanted to be alone. Midlife crisis? Male menopause? PTSD (USMC combat veteran)?
I had no clue; but it was BAD. All I could think of was our son and using all of my strength to wrap him up in a force field. I was going to use a hurricane as metaphor but there was no eye of the storm. Not one bit. It was chaos all over the place...strewn to pieces.
Thank God for friends, neighbors, and psychotropic drugs.
Being in my 40s, I realized you can't control what people choose to do but you can make choices. You want to be alone? Fine. Before he could blink, we were divorced. Snap.
Now what?
Out of curiosity, I signed up for Ugh. In less than five minutes I had 27 hits! Notifications about winking and emails....OMG. STOP! I terminated the account. Maybe I need to be alone as well.
When I had to break the news to our son, well, I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I didn't expect him to yell at me...he wouldn't let me finish what I was about to say. His face convulsed and he screamed "I don't want to hear words like change or new!!!" I can hear myself apologizing to him over and over again while he stormed upstairs into his room. I was a mess. I called my neighbor across the street and he came running to take our son over to his house. Needless to say, I enrolled him in therapy. I had "graduated" from mine and thought it would be great for him too. It was.
On my own, I learned to caulk my bathroom tub, install plumbing under my sink, patch ceilings and walls, redo stairs, and it felt GREAT! I was moving forward and I had this new book, no not a chapter, but a book with blank pages that needed to be filled.
One day, Vincent, who also graduated from therapy, said to me. "Mom, they are raising tuition at school again!" "Why are we giving the school that money when you can teach me. You're a teacher!"
He was right. Dead right. My brain raced with the opportunities that it would entail. Freedom from time constraints, social politics, homework, the list goes on and on. We can travel! Anywhere!!
I even started looking into traveling in a camper all over the US homeschooling (big movement if you didn't know).
My ex and I struggled a bit with the weekend child custody thing. There were times he would invite me to join them, but I stuck to my guns and said no. I have a new life now, go and enjoy yours.

Then, he had a lobotomy. He wanted me back. We attended couples counseling and I began to realize that I was part of the problem too. I was not treating him like a husband but as a child and in return I didn't feel like a woman but a mom to two kids. We had strayed...disconnected...lost our paths. We were fighting a lot and not listening. When we tried to begin a conversation that was genuine and nice, it was construed the wrong way because of so many years of bickering. The therapist guided us and we saw the potential of making this work. And for the first time, when he looked at me, he saw me. My worth. It caught my breath. Is this really happening? Sometimes things just need to crumble into so many pieces so that you can't fix it, but start over with a new set of eyes. That love you have when you first get married is so cliche. This is real. This is much deeper, much more mature.
Will we remarry? Not right now. I like the way things are in this chapter. It's kind of fun!

I can't believe it. He SEES me and I'm happy.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Turning 40: Relationships

This was a kicker for me. In the world of family dynamics, I'm the one that bends over backwards to help out. Mind you, I love helping others...whether its cooking a meal, cleaning up, helping to run errands, needing favors, it's a bit of a high for me to help someone in need. However, it took me a long time to realize that I was being sucked dry with no recourse. I mean, I would be told that I was a spoiled brat, selfish, overreacting....what?? I just cleaned up your kitchen and picked up your kids from school?? I was the only one with you at the hospital?
A friend of mine introduced me to Narcissistic Personality Disorder and later another friend introduced me to Empaths and I was transported to reality. I was surrounded by it! Holy cow!! Enough is enough. I started cutting off ties with family members as their greediness came to light. I think their retaliatory behavior validated my decision to sever ties. When I had a miscarriage, I would get passive aggressive remarks about why that happened to me? Meaning because I had cut them off I was being punished by some higher forces. When my dad past, that was the hardest on me, my confidante, my advisor was gone and I had to take everything I learned from him and really put it into practice. I started caring less about what people thought of me, and I started to say "no". That was a big one. Just grow some balls and say NO. It's ok. People are adults and can figure out their own problems, you need to focus on yourself and your family!! That's what I started doing for the first time in my life and I was in my 40s. In the course of that time, I became stronger, much more self-confident, and much more relaxed.
I wasn't running around trying to figure out Thanksgiving, Christmas, and whatever other holidays but doing what I wanted to do. F*ck it. I felt great!!
I am much more careful now when I meet new people. I guess I am more reserved in a friendly and social matter. My efforts now have a limit and that's ok. My eyes are wide open and seeing and living the moment before me. I am mindful.
Regardless, I am grateful for my life because it has shaped me for who I am today and I love me.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Turning 40: the sh*t has hit the fan!

This is a subject I keep trying to figure out how to write about it but there are so many aspects to it, I didn't know where to begin. I may attempt different stages in different blogs because one would be WAY TOO LONG.
When a friend told me that turning 40 is no big deal, that we were like a bottle of wine, the older the year the better. Now I know about wine, and there are various kinds that the older they become, the more rancid the flavor. Ugh.
Generally, I am a positive person (half full) but this 40 crap took me on a tail spin. It's either an epiphany or drowning in the ninth circle of Dante's inferno.
First and foremost, you wake up. I mean really wake up. For me, I knew exactly what I wanted, who I was, and my self confidence was sound. There was no wishy washy anything. If you offer me grapefruit in the morning, I will tell you I can't eat it. That's it. Stop telling me how organic the fruit it and that it hails from the soils of central Florida. I'm NOT GOING TO EAT IT.
Clearly I know what I like and dislike. You also see others as being relatively ignorant aka stupid. However, you are more tolerant and realize that they haven't lived that many lives and need to continue to learn. On the contrary, I'm prehistoric when it comes to that so I'm not going to sit and hang with you. Maybe pre-40 I may have attempted to explain things to you OVER and OVER again thinking you would have insight but that's over now. NEXT.

Here you are, 40, you know who you are and guess what you find out about yourself? No, not that you are surrounding infinitesimally by ignorant people, but that you will not lose the weight you gained! That's right. You can't just go take your dog on a brisk walk or skip that pizza slice. OH NO. Whatever weight you gain it sticks.

If you want to look good in a bathing suit, well you have to change your diet and exercise routine. COMPLETELY. Diet has to change because you will become bloated like a puffer fish when you eat carbs and certain foods. Then certain foods like fried delicious chicken or bacon will give you a horrible upset acid running down your intestinal tract. Dairy..ha! Forget about heavy creamed soups or dips, because you will have to buy stock on antacids. Everyone is a bit different but not by much. You are screwed. Best diet....honestly, a vegan one (lots of fruits, vegetables) and the occasional animal protein. Sorry. I'm not lying. [Sigh]

Workout! I'm at the point that I walk my dog briskly almost every day (maybe about 20 min). I swim 25 laps at the gym pool twice a week and I do yoga once a week. I thought that would be enough but it only maintains your weight, health and firmness. But weight loss? Enter Shawn T. Yep, I started the T25 workout. 25 minutes of uncontrollable sweat dripping down from unknown places. Sadly, its working. Cardio is a must after 40. You can't get away with not doing it, if you do, weight gain is ominous.

I'll stop now...there's more later-- relationships, family, sex, drugs, etc.