Life, Part 2 – After the marriage

Hello, old friends. Long time! I’ve missed you… while I’ve been busy finding me ; )

As I write this, I’m sitting in the most beautiful room that ever was, feeling the most peaceful I have ever felt, because it is mine – As Virginia Woolf famously called it, ‘A Room of One’s Own,’ – I have my own place, with my daughter. We’ve settled it, and it is absolutely amazing….

J and I separated 8 months ago. It’s strange to think there was a time when I couldn’t imagine life without him, when now all I remember is the abuse.

In June it will be official – and I am so very ok with June coming.

Sometimes I think I’ve found a nice memory – like the special tea he used to make me when I was sick, or the amazing vacations we took to Cuba, Paris, Mexico. But no sooner have I thought about the nice thing and the bad part comes rushing in with it. The way he yelled at me for not appreciating the tea, or the way he treated me during his fits on every one of those vacations….. Horribly. Even on the Honeymoon and ‘babymoon.’

I’ve thought about the many women (and men) who suffer verbal abuse for years and years with no escape and no name for it. I want to do something about it, but not sure what I could do. It’s such a slippery little topic. So hard to define. And the attitudes you face: Did he hit you though? No… So it’s not ‘actual’ abuse then….

Ok.

Patricia Evans’ definition set me free last summer, while I was recovering: Verbal abuse is a lie told to you about you.

Yep. You are not any of those horrible names/descriptors. And how liberating to be free of those lies.

Back then, and for many months before that, I was blogging pretty regularly. I was going through a huge change from not drinking alcohol and kind of rediscovering myself.  But for the past 8 months – barely a word huh?! I hope you are all doing well on your amazing journeys.

I’m quite happy to report that I am dating an old friend turned new flame… somebody who always liked me and I always liked but we were never single at the same time. It’s a total breath of fresh air… and while I am not moving fast I am enjoying it so incredibly much. This delicious new love.

I know that many of the bloggers I read are quite religious. I am not, but am spiritual… and I just have to say… I am so positively sure that God has been watching over me, and I am so grateful for the guiding light that has led me through all this insanity, into the beauty of a healthy new life.

XOX

 

Thou shalt not marry Don Draper (And how to avoid it)

Ladies, you know the type. Charming. Handsome. Intoxicating. Downright magical at times.

His favourite thing about you is less your values and more your assets.

I even called him ‘my perfect prince’ in our wedding vows.

Gahh.

Ohh…. yes. It’s so obvious. Any sensible woman could tell you why marrying Don Draper would be a bad idea. And yet, if you want it, you’re going to do it anyway. Like I did.

I knew it was a bad move, I knew there would be consequences. But I wanted to have fun. And I was flattered that a man like that, liked me……  (damn you, self esteem!)

Unfortunately, I married a Don Draper who’s zest for creative language included calling me every derogatory, demeaning name in the book (from Lazy to Psychopath… and everything in between).

We had a whirlwind tornado of a relationship. It got toxic. It ended. That’s now the past.

I’ve now been separated for about 5 months. And it’s true, as my friend Looking for Chris said, that after the 90 day mark, things move quickly from Phase 1 to Phase 2. I’m happy to report that my phase 1 thoughts of reconciliation (and the miserable feeling these thoughts came with) are now finished. I have no interest in being with him ever again. And I am so very excited about what the future holds!

I’ve come to see that having my whole world hinge on 1 asshole is so much less rewarding than trusting my soul to the great universe and all it has in store for those who are willing to be open to it.

And open to it I am.

So inevitably, my thoughts are beginning to turn to dating – in the future – but to tell you the truth, I would still like more kids…. so I can’t *really* wait that long, although I’m aiming for 1 year. And when it does happen, I don’t want to throw myself into it head first. I want to be cautious, and pay a good deal of attention to the real person I see before me. I don’t want to ignore red flags (again). Or love so much I blind myself (again). And get into situations that aren’t healthy (again). I think you’re getting the picture!

So here’s what I want to know from my next potential human! I’m going to answer them myself as well (I will post) and you are welcome to do the same. I would love to hear your answers to any or all!

These are questions that I think with help me separate true good-human qualities from… shiny distractions and false advertising. In the end, it is what’s inside that counts for everything.

  1. What do you value most highly in an intimate partner (current or past), and why?
  2. What brings you joy?
  3. If you could never do one household chore again which one would it be?
  4. What makes you laugh? (List as many as you like)
  5. Who are your mentors or heroes, and what qualities do they have that you admire?
  6. Under what circumstances do strong negative emotions overtake you (or try to) and how do you handle that?
  7. What do you hide or feel ashamed of vs show and feel proud of?
  8. What do you ‘work on’ about yourself, or what are your weaknesses?
  9. What makes you a great partner?
  10. What brings meaning to your life, generally and specifically (daily or  weekly practices or hobbies, for example)?

An Extraordinary Human Being

In the past three months I have lost my marriage, two very close friends, 15 pounds, my house… and on Sunday, my grandfather.

I don’t want to add ‘my job’ to that list (which is why i haven’t posted in a while).

Through all of this, I have had this idea brewing in my head of an extraordinary human being. Being one, and understanding what it is to be one.

But what does it mean? For me, it means admitting flaws, being generous with your grace, honest with your intentions, invested deeply in your life, focused, and devoted to giving back to the world more than you take from it. Probably lots more. Integrity, rigor, forgiveness to name a few.

I have not always been the human I want to be. Every day I strive.

I’m curious – readers – what do you think makes an extraordinary human? Do you like this idea? Want to be one? Want to partner with one?

I would love your thoughts.

xo,
Georgey

119 days left of 2015; 10 self-improvementy thing-a-mabobbers to work on

Earlier this summer I had some unripe peaches on my counter in a bowl. Within a day or so, at least a few of them became rich orange and yellow and ready to eat. I was so impressed! (It doesn’t take much, apparently!)

Maybe, I thought, it’s only time that leads us humans to ‘ripen’ or bloom too, right? But what takes the peach a day might take us a year. And we must work so much harder than a peach!

In the remaining 119 days of this year I want to work on these 10 things:

  1. Practice Compassion – I am working on the idea of forgiveness – it’s hard for me. But compassion is a slight pivot from empathy that I think is healthier for me. I feel sorrow for the suffering of others. Period.
  2. Practice curiosity – I’m interested in building my curiosity back up and using it to explore things with kindness and wonder – instead of fear and anger.
  3. Respond, not react – I’ve been pretty passive aggressive or reactive in my life. When I didn’t agree or didn’t know what to say, I would hide in non-response. I want to be more careful with that. I want to respond….
  4. Let go – of the people pleasing, the people grasping, and the obsessive fears about what other people are going to say and think about me.
  5. Expand the feel-good comfort zoneIt’s such a simple lesson I’ve learned – doesn’t feel good? Don’t do it. Duh… And yet, my whole life, I thought enduring pain was part of what I was supposed to do. No more.
    Now I want to ski and swim and sail and play guitar! I have shunned and feared so many things like these my whole life because I was too cool, too scared, too busy smoking and drinking. Blech! I want more of these wonderful life-affirming things in my life. NOW!
  6. Prioritize, and prioritize again – what really matters today? What matters next week? What matters in a year?
  7. Embrace loneliness – I’m a little bit lonely, since separating, you know? And worse than lonely – I get that feeling where I just kind of miss the assurance that if ‘if this one person loves me, I’m ok’ – but I’m aware that’s a bit of a crock. And I don’t want to run from my uncomfortableness. I have run from that in the past. It doesn’t work. I will stand on my own two feet until the time comes to stand beside someone else on my own two feet. No more flippin’ rescues.
  8. Give back where it matters – I devoted a crap load of my life’s years and Moving Forwardenergy to an angry man who had no respect for me. In the future, that energy will be given to charitable causes, friends who care and that I care about (including you, my blogger family), my extended family who could use an extra sturdy leg around, and myself. Oh, and my job! Yes, my job… they actually deserve more from me.
  9. FocusI’m so very scattered and disorganized…. Oh Look a SQUIRREL…>!
  10. Have funFun? What’s that? Is it scary? Will it hurt? No? Ok then…. I WILL TRY IT!!!!!!!!!

Xo,

Georgey