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)?

DAY THREE “redo!!” – Quote Challenge Day 3 of 3

Today is the last day of my 3 Day Quote Challenge. Thank you ever so much for the nomination Ms. Ethel Duck! Ms Ethel and I share a common struggle in life and love, I think, which is recovery from ‘codependence.’ I still think it’s an odd word but it’s the official one for people who (here’s my definition) have allowed themselves (as adults) to be mentally messed with, usually stemming from unclear personal boundaries and bonds created as kids. Long story short – people who are learning that they matter, and they must take care of themselves! And usually there are some alcoholic spouses mixed into this equation! : /

One of the biggest aspects of codependance, and one that I really personally despised – was that I was in a constant state of wanting to prove how bad my situation was, how horrible what was happening to me was. And why couldn’t anybody protect me? And why couldn’t I solve it? And why had all of this happened, anyway? Had it not been for intervention, I would have stayed in this state for way too long. Probably many, many years.

I was also willingly, daily, telling myself that I didn’t matter. I would stay for our daughter, I would put up with everything because he was still a very successful, handsome man…. I would catch up with myself in 20 years, with the remnants of what was left, and it would be fine.

Well, no, it not and was not fine. I do matter. Now and every day.

Last night I had this weird thing happen to me. It was about 8:00 and I was reading my daughter a Dr. Suess story and all of the sudden, out of the blue, I couldn’t swallow! My throat was playing tricks on me and I couldn’t perform that very simple and constant task of swallowing… how horrific … and symbolic. LOL. I panicked a little bit, and tried to explain to my daughter that I needed to lie down for a minute… and I tried to calm myself down and breathe. But as I lay down I had this profound sense that my ‘me’ of the last five years, maybe more – was dying. It was an ego death.

The last few weeks have showed me a lot. I’ve lost friends. I’ve made choices. I’ve felt my own strength coming back. Lastnight I even had a fight with my mom because she was whining about not being able to see my daughter on her regular day because of the situation etc, etc., and fighting with her really broke my heart… and brought back memories of her always putting herself way before me. I tried to set a boundary with her on the phone – I told her right now this isn’t about her feelings, and no I can’t consider her feelings in this whole matter, because I’m working hard just consider my daughter’s and my own. I can be respectful, and I will be, but her ‘feelings’ over the course of my separation, possible house loss, and eventual divorce…. uh, no mom. This is a very old, very ugly issue that dates way back.

I feel like I have a long way to go on this self-discovery road, and a lot of damage to undo. What I want to be sure of though, is that I don’t settle for just being ok. I can be ok soon – probably months from now, I hope. But where is better than ok? When do I reach the stars? When do the hopes and dreams get back on track?

Right now I don’t know where I’m going. I mean, broadly, I want to publish my book, etc, etc, but I feel so far away from that life and that dream. Is it all illusions? Do you know what you want? Do you know where you’re going?

I am a dreamer and believe that we should dream big…. I’m so confused by life right now. I guess I just have to accept that and work with what is, which is… I’m on the road to somewhere…. I just don’t know where yet.

If-you-don't-know-where-your-going

I Nominate:

1. Looking for Chris

2. 333smp

3.1solutionfocusedcoaching

Here are the rules:

  • Post a quote a day that is meaningful to you for 3 days.
  • At the end of your challenge, nominate 3 other bloggers who you think would impart great wisdom to the blogging community.
  • Don’t forget to thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Have fun!

DAY TWO – 3 Day Quote Challenge

rise-and-rise-again-until-the-lambs-become-lions

I saw this quote while looking at tattoo design ideas, and I LOVED it. My degree is in Psychology (and English Literature!), and one of the things we studied in positive psychology was resilience. Resilience research is “focused on studying those who engage in life with hope and humor despite devastating losses” — and includes ‘gritiness’ too – Grit refers to the perseverance and passion for long-term goals

I am blessed with grit and resilience. For whatever reason, I’ve always had it inside me. Always been both a lover and a fighter. I’ve always been driven to succeed and face things (eventually).

That’s my true nature, anyway, I’ve been way off course at times (ahem…)

BUT I always get up again. It’s the willingness to see that there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets inIt’s the willingness to kick at the darkness til it bleeds daylight.

It’s the reason I, and probably many of you, started a blog… because you reached up and out from something that your innermost self knew was darker and muckier than your natural buoyant self. We wanted to rise. I sure did.

I never give up. (And there’s a good chance that I’m moving into the ‘anger’ phase of my grieving…)

There’s a beaten up but grit-fuelled boxer inside of me who is always ready for one more round, one more try, one more sunrise, one more sunset. One more mountain to climb, one more mile to run, one….more…… try. Life’s not going to beat me. 

The closest I’ve come to being beaten has been this marriage. Sad but true. But I’m thankful for it because I feel so fucking strong right now. Like a bow that’s been pulled back SO VERY FAR that the arrow is just going to soar and soar to such great heights.

I have no clue what’s in store for me, but I know it’s going to be great. Because I have me, and I’m rising and rising again, from lamb to lion….. I’m going to publish my book this year… and I’m going to be a better person.

I’m taking care of my daughter, and I’m taking care of me, and I feel damn good about having gotten out alive – not that he (husband) was going to take my life, but I was ready to take my own, pretty much, as I’ve mentioned. I was filled with some sort of disease of the mind… confusion/mind fuckage/wife of an alcoholic….. call it whatever. It sucked. And it sucked the life out of me.

Rise and rise again. We are only weak as long as we’re lying down and taking it.

We are only strong when we are telling the truth, our own truth. Don’t let anyone take your truth from you. If you are in a relationship that sucks, ask yourself some hard questions about how much you value YOU. If the answer is “not much” (that was my answer!) it’s a red flag. I figured it out after 6 or so years. Could easily have been 20.

Love to all you bloggers out there! Much of my bravery started with you, with me, with us, with writing, with blogging.

Life is for the living!!!!!!

XO

Georgey

FOUND! The love that was always missing…

It’s self love, campers! Below is an affirmation I’ve written to remember all the great things I am and will continue to be! These are things that belong to me. These are things that it is my job to honour, embody, and protect – not the job of my spouse, my parents, society, my child, or anyone else but me.

I gratefully embrace the goodness that flows through me and my life.

I am a mountain of white light.  

Strong

Capable

Self Sustaining

I am comfortable in my own skin. 

Purposeful

Decisive

Positive

Generous

I speak up when something makes me uncomfortable. I do not allow mistreatment.   

I am dedicated

I reciprocate kindness

I am valuable

I have a strong sense of self!  

I am wise

I am fun and funny!

I am abundantly positive.

I am imperfect!

I am always safe!

I take care of myself.

I take really good care of myself and I’m not afraid to say so.

#recovery #positivity #selflove #brand-new-me

My fellow friends and bloggers…. If you’ve ever been told you were terrible things, or have that negativity ongoing in your head… I encourage you to do this little exercise. Take every last negative word, thought, phrase, insult… and flip into the opposite, to something positive. You will feel so much better for it. That’s what I did, above, and it feels AWESOME!

100 Followers, 100 Thank Yous!

Dearest YOU,  Blogger Community…. Thank You For Following! 

I never could have imagined that an anonymous blog could be so cathartic… and healing… and rewarding. It means so much to me! (Like, maybe too much? LOL)

100-likes-badge-wordpress

Fellow bloggers – you are AWESOME!!!! 100 Followers strong and every single follow has brought me more strength and more courage. 

Through you I am able to feel confident, where all my confidence had been lost.

Through you I am connected, where before I was feeling so isolated.

Through you I remember who I am and see the beauty of being-true-to-oneself through reading about who you are.

Through you I believe that a ‘better life’ is possible, if I believe.

Because of you I feel even more able to stand on my own two feet for the first time in my whole entire life. As long as I can be me, and you can be you – nothing can really go wrong.

I started this blog because I was quitting drinking in an effort to save my marriage. I was also going through the process of publishing my book (still am). And to top it all off, I was adjusting to a new life in luxury travel marketing at a pretty swanky organization (still adjusting, it’s a pretty intimidating world! We have yacht sized conference room tables! ).

But a few weeks ago, my life changed massively and permanently, and don’t think I would have been able to escape my situation without this blog in the background, and all of you somehow rooting for me? I have felt secure somehow, in this nest of non-judgemental bloggers who all have their own human struggles!

I have not regretted. I have barely cried. I have barely stopped mind you!! But I know I am moving in the direction of becoming a healthier, saner, more balanced person – and mother – who will be better equipped to give something back to the world for having gone through it.

In honour of you all I am going to start sharing some of the strength I have been gathering… tonight I’ve decided that I’m going to start volunteering at a women’s shelter. Through all of this, I have been aware that having a great job is a MAJOR difference between what happens to me next and what happens to women without financial security. I pledge to share this strength with others…. and help empower more people to say no to suffering, say yes to life…. and become the beautiful people they were born be.