Utopia

So yesterday I was feeling a little blue, nothing major. Cause undetermined but I’m near onset of menopause so anything is possible.

Then, my boyfriend was down. He just goes silent, but it makes me sad and wondering if it’s me contributing to it. So I leave him to his own thoughts.

Icing on the cake is when my daughter is on the couch sobbing. Nothing hurts worse than when your kids are hurting and you can’t fix it. Even worse for control freaks like me who want to work it all out.

Of course all this makes me worse and I go to bed sobbing and praying for one day of total happiness for myself, family, and friends all on the same day. Utopia for a day.

This morning I wake still thinking how nice a day of Utopia would be. Then it hits me.

Utopia is heaven and heaven is Utopia…. and it’s forever.

I’m not ready for it yet but it was God’s reminder of the blessings that await.

Music is the language of love….and pain, and anger, and joy, and memories

I was so unaware at the time of how blessed I would be when B started therapeutic riding with me.  I’ve given riding lessons for twenty years, but had really never dealt with the “handicapped” because I didn’t have equipment or training.  B’s mom didn’t care and asked that I work with her anyways about 6 years ago.  And so began a mutual relationship of learning, growth, emotions and MUSIC.  B is relatively non-verbal.  She has been diagnosed with various ailments including autism.  While I could write a book about our experience, my point now is to emphasize the power of music.  For years, I knew she loved music.  Early on, I realized that her amazing brain held the titles and tract numbers of hundreds of songs from multiple artists.  She rarely spoke, but frequently we would sing song verses together.  She can’t share feelings, but her body sometimes shows her emotions.  It was not until last year that I realized that she was using songs to communicate.  We all do really, but for her, it is one of the only ways she can.  When she is feeling a certain way, she goes through the vast jukebox in her mind to a song that represents how she is feeling.  If you are patient enough, she’ll find a way to tell you what that song is.  If you listen to it, you unlock her mind.

All of us have songs that stimulate feelings in us.  I think they fall into two categories.  Ones associated with memories, and ones associated with feelings.  I’m sure we have all experienced the memories music capture.  Like when you are shopping in a department store and there is music in the background and a song that you haven’t heard for years comes on and you are instantly: in a middle school cafeteria for a school dance, or on the beach at a Spring Break party, or praying in church with your grandparents.  Those memories pop up as the songs tied to times that were meaningful, and hopefully allow us to reflect on moments that built us.

The other category, songs associated with emotions, are generally found when the words of a song speak to a strong set of emotions that we are grappling with.  We typically listen to the song over and over again.  Sometimes we share it with people to help them understand our thoughts.

When my ex and I were still married but struggling, I know he shared a song with me that was deeper than I was able to process.  I’ve never been a great literary or lyrical analyst.  It made me sad that I couldn’t understand.  I remember I shared a song with him by Harry Styles, Two Ghosts.  The song still makes me sad.  “we’re not who we used to be, we’re just two ghosts standing in the place of you and me.”  There was not analysis needed.  It was very clear what the song meant.  It was my period of sadness that our marriage had come to that point.

But with divorce comes a full range of emotions, and sadness ended up being replaced by anger.  I was so angry that alcoholism had captured him and wouldn’t let go.  I was so angry that he couldn’t overcome it.  I was angry that the “life plan” completely changed.  And while the song has meaning for many people with various challenges, Fight Song by Rachel Platton became my outlet.  I can’t tell you how many times I put all the windows down in my car and took off driving with that song playing as loud as possible.

“This is my fight song

Take back my life song

Prove I’m alright song”

That song helped me stay focused on a very rough and challenging course of action.  Thanks Rachel.  And it didn’t take me long to realize that the album with Fight Song  actually had several other songs that related to things happening in my life, including Stand By Me and Better Place.

What are your memory songs?  What are your emotion songs?  The blessing for me is that I’ve passed thought the cycle of emotions with divorce, so my current emotion songs are generally happy.  Happy music, and peaceful music promotes serenity.  If you haven’t already tried that, give it a go.

My riding student B, who nearly always listens to country music, introduced me to a new world recently.  We had just finished a GREAT lesson together, and she started saying Bear and Blue House.  I don’t have any young kids these days, so it took me time and patience to realize that she was talking about a kids show called “Bear in the Big Blue House.”  After I figured that out, she said “Goodbye” and “Song”….well here it is…here are her thoughts, captured in the jukebox in her mind:

Hey this was really fun

Hope you liked it too

Seems like we’ve just begun when suddenly we’re through

Goodbye, goodbye, good friends, goodbye

Cause now its time to go

But hey, I say, well that’s ok

Cause we will see you very soon I know

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Am I healed?

When I first started this blog, it seemed as though I had an infinite supply of topics, happenings, stories, etc., related to my marriage and divorce with an alcoholic.

Topics would pop into my head, and I would sit down and quickly produce a decent post.  Those urges come to me much less frequently now..  At first I blamed it on my mood.  Then I blamed it on the weather…then on being too busy.  Then I read a morning reflection, like I do every morning, and God spoke through it to me.  “You’re healed.”

Could it be that my words came easily through the pain?  Could it be that the lessons I learned needed to be shared while I was still learning them?  Did I help anybody else, or did I just help myself?  Perhaps this blog was just what I needed to do to heal me, and now…… I’m good:-).  Should I stop writing?

I know my one post (about parking in the garage) had weighed heavily on my mind for several weeks before I wrote it.  Once I did, a burden lifted.

I definitely needed to get stuff off of my chest (in a confidential way).  In my mind, I figured there would be other people out there in the “reading universe” that could benefit from my experiences, even if it was just to know that they weren’t the only ones going through something similar.  But I wasn’t sure.

Then, I posted a quote on my Instagram that made a difference.  It simply said:

When she brings it up once, you say she’s complaining.  When she brings it up twice, you say she is nagging.  When she cries about it, you say she is being too sensitive.   My good friend, let me ask you this:  when she leaves you, what will she be then?

It got 10 times more likes than what my IG posts usually get.  So, apparently, I hit the magic button of something that appealed to others.  So maybe there is a reason to write.

A reflection I read this morning suggested to readers that we can’t look for results in good deeds that we do.  Instead, we should just keep doing good deeds knowing that it’s the right thing to do.

For now, I will write when the mood strikes, not for myself, since I’m “healed” LOL, but for potentially one person who may catch a moment of peace, love, or support from my words.  And, I’m certain I will continue to heal:-)

Don’t stay for the kids, from the kid

My daughter and I were both in her room one day, doing nothing in particular.  We were chatting about her friends at school.  One particular friend, Dee, had parents who had gotten divorced in the prior six months.

My daughter , “didn’t you say that Dee’s mom only stayed as long as she did for the kids?”

I responded, “yes, she told me that.”

My daughter, “I would never want you and daddy to stay together just because of me.”

Words from a twelve year old that certainly caught me by surprise.  Prior to this, it had never been mentioned as a possibility in our house.  Her dad and I never fought, and I don’t think she knew I had begun to wonder if it was the only answer.

She seemed so wise, and then two minutes later, went ahead and expressed a typical twelve year old reason…….”I mean…..I would get two sets of birthday presents and two sets of Christmas presents….,”  as she smirked.

In hindsight, I still think she was very wise, and she may have seen me start spinning in my mind.  Her emotional intelligence is quite high.  She probably wanted to pull me back off of the road my mind started down.

No kids wants to hear their parents are getting a divorce, but at least mine was able to discuss it in a way that gave me peace.

 

Grateful

Despite the tough road….the uphill climb with lots of thorn bushes along the way, I am grateful.  Our culture tends to hear the D word (divorce) and instantly think “that’s so sad.”  While I never wanted my marriage to end, it is simply a life event.  Nobody died.  Actually, we are finding ways to live in a happier way, and for that, I am grateful.

My ex husband didn’t want the divorce.  He begged and pleaded, and faced many depressed and horribly stressful days.  Even with that, it did not take him to a low enough point to stop drinking for himself.  I am grateful that he made it through the storm of depression.  He continues to be a high functioning alcoholic that wants to quit but doesn’t need to badly enough.

More than anything, I am grateful for how my daughter has blossomed.  Even though we moved and she started a new school, she is happier and healthier than ever.  She has regular visitation with her dad, and she lives with me.  She resides in a home with no underlying stress, concern, or worry.  She doesn’t walk on egg shells.  She is free to express her emotions, including crying when she needs to.  She used to have a tremendous amount of anxiety, and that has reduced significantly.  Thank you God.  This is even more than I hoped for in my decision to end the marriage.

God blessed me with the ability to let go of resentment, and the friends in Al-Anon are great at reminding me how important that is.  I am so fortunate not to have lingering hatred in my heart for my ex husband.  While I still dislike his selfishness, isolation, and immaturity, I can rationalize that as part of the disease.  Being able to do that, and not relive awful moments of the past gives me so much freedom.  I’m happy.  I don’t think I could be happy if God hadn’t let me release resentment.  In addition, I don’t think I could be a good parent to my daughter if I was still carrying anger for her father and my “prior life.”  Thank you God!

I don’t have any sisters by blood, but I have a blessed circle of beautiful women that feel like my sisters.  They have supported me, maintained my confidentiality, listened when I needed to talk, and helped me establish a new home.  I know that they love me and wish only the best for me.  There is no doubt that we will grow closer as we age.  Thank you God!

My family has been all that I could hope for and more, including my ex’s parents.  I’m so fortunate.  They don’t ask questions, but they listen when I need to talk.  They challenge my thoughts, and I need that!

It’s not all rainbows and unicorns.  If the above paragraphs make it sound that way, I didn’t mean it.  But I do like to focus on the positives.  God “winks” at me every so often and lets me know if the path I am on is still going in the right direction.  Sometimes I stray, and I get a swift mental kick from an Al-Anon reflection I read, or from a person saying something that feels like it comes from God through them.

There is like after divorce from an alcoholic.  It’s a good life.

Waiting

Waiting, How Long?

Waiting, Patience is a virtue

Waiting, Anticipation stirs

Waiting, Outcome unknown

Waiting, Requires faith

Waiting, For an answer

Waiting, Builds dreams

Waiting, Eats at you

Waiting, For a sign

Waiting, With a secret

Waiting, While I age

Waiting, Is worth it?

Waiting, Quietly unknown

Waiting., With a hope

Waiting, Without a line

Waiting, Full of fear

Waiting, Happily

Waiting, With a smile

Waiting, Near to tears

Waiting, While I sleep

Waiting, For love

Waiting and waiting and waiting

STOP

One Day…….

One Blessed Day at a time

God is good.

No harm in waiting.

Waiting.