I Miss You, But I Don’t Know You

It’s an emptiness I can’t quite explain, I used to tell you everything. Spill out all my deepest darkest secrets. I called you to cry because you were the only one I was comfortable enough with to be completely uncased. Ribs cracked open wide, tears streaming from my little heart, that’s what I gave you. All of me in a friendship I can’t even describe. And I was under this impression of a mutual agreement, you and I were one in this fight of life, we had each others backs, we had each others secrets. But how did I get that so wrong?

I ran to you in every scary, new, uncomfortable scenario. I trusted your wisdom and words of advice when it came to relationships, work, friends, you name it! You were my go to. I had your name tattooed on my brain. How did I not see all the lies and deceits?

I cut people out of my life who did you wrong, because in my mind, they did me wrong as well. I ruined relationships with your friendship, because your friendship was more important in the end. I prefaced new relationships with a warning about you, because I almost lost you once. How could I not have noticed that your intentions for me were stained with a selfishness that reeks.

I was able to love you fully because it wasn’t a love I ever had to run from. Your love made me feel endlessly beautiful, because I never had to believe that you would change your mind. There is never a “threat of another” in a friendship like ours. But how could I not realize that this love of ours was unrequited… Unrequited is the worst kind, in a friendship, just as much as in a lover.

Even more swift than your friendship came, you ripped it away. The choices and actions were yours alone. What we built for years was destroyed in a 20 minute phone call. How fitting.

So now I miss you, I miss my best friend. But I don’t even know who you are.

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The Real Family Feud

Death is hard.  But death within your family can be even more difficult.

I lost my mom young, many people know this about me. Strangers that inquire about the tattoo on my shoulder quickly get the story and all of the love pours out of me. I don’t mind talking about my mom anymore, although I used to. Now, it’s more of a blessing to be able to fill the ears of anyone who will listen. I loved her so much, but in a very odd way I feel like I love her even more now.

With love and loss comes a very intense sense of possession. They don’t prepare you for this. (who are “they”? I certainly don’t know them, cause they didn’t prepare me for shit.)

I clung to her life through her stuff; her drivers license, her purses, rings, clothes… and yes even her socks. (Don’t ask… I was 14)

Several very momentous items were left to me. A gift from the grave I call them.

Her wedding dress, which to much dismay does not fit me and never will. I am 4+ inches taller than my mom and in a result also wider (thanks for the hips Mom). I can use the fabric, re-tailor it, completely remake it, but in the end I can’t actually wear her dress (assuming someone marries me someday).

Her rings and jewelry, several pieces I have to have resized, which is a New Years gift to myself… not a cheap one might I add, but I really want to wear her rings. She was a very decorative lady and all of her pieces meant something to her, specifically my grandmothers ring. I have always felt a connection to my grandma, although I never met her (she passed away before I could), but I remember seeing her presence in my dreams the day my mother died. She has always been with me, she was a huge part of my mother, and I want to carry them both with me.

Her Snowbabies collection, a curio cabinet full of snow covered babies in scenarios that are perpetually in winter. I have this in my living room… I hate winter, but I love those weird little figurines. There are plenty of other random little nick knacks in there as well. I don’t when, where, or why she had them, but I put them up as they stood for years (cue the creepy doll in the dark feeling).

I have a multitude of photos, albums, old coats, scarves and random little things that belong to her. Every piece means such an incredible amount to me. It might seem cryptic, but I feel her near me when I touch these things.

With all of these things comes tension between the family though. When mom died my dad had his sisters go through and clean out her closets, almost all of her clothes and shoes were removed and donated while I was gone one day. The few things I have left therefore are quite precious. You can imagine how furious 14 year old hormones can get when things change, let alone when things are gone. I screamed at him for what felt like an hour, hysterical that mom was gone, enraged that he would just “throw her away”… at least that’s how I saw it (I was a moody teen, so sue me).

Years passed, more of her things were purged, all us kids had moved out and started our lives. We figured it all out, right? Wrong… very wrong.

I posted a Facebook status (I get it, I’m a millennial… yada yada) yesterday about my tears at the jewelry store when I dropped off my mothers rings to be sized, it went like this:

“I’m pretty sure the guy that owns the jewelry store thinks I’m insane… I handed him a ring, said I wanted it sized and then started crying. Dropping off moms jewelry to size it to fit me was incredibly and unexpectedly emotional. #crazyringlady‬”

It garnered a multitude of likes and lovely, supportive comments like, “She would be so proud that you want to wear her ring lady”, “Hugs to you, your mom would have cried too”, and “What a complement to your Mom! She would love you to wear her jewels!”. I love what my mom can still do to people, even ones who never met her, she was such a loving lady.

But on the other hand, from my own brother, I received a nasty, hurtful message. “Thanks for reminding me this morning that I have nothing of moms and never will.” When I asked him, what of hers he would like, I get “It’s obvious you are already acting like you always do when this subject comes up about her or Grandpa”. (I have a couple dead animals and a ceramic cheetah from my grandpa… that’s it. I had a car for awhile from his will, but it broke down.)

I get where he is coming from to an extent, I am possessive of these things and I am never willing to part with them. They were left to me, they only make sense to be with me as I am the girl. But I didn’t realize he had “nothing”.

Bring on the real Family Feud!

I can argue till I am blue in the face how much each thing means to me and why I may have it instead of him, but at the end of the day he is still furious at me that he doesn’t have them. How do you battle that? How do you explain to your brother, someone you love dearly, that you will not give him these things. I would give him anything else of moms that I have, but not those things. It is not out of spite, it is not out of selfishness (ok.. maybe a little, but it’s from a good place), it is purely the connection these pieces give me to my mother. She has been gone for 13 years and we are still arguing about her “stuff”.

With a distance from here to Japan, I struggle to find ways to stay close to my brother and his little boy. I try to stay in touch, give him inside information to my life first, update him when family is in the hospital, anything to make him feel closer to us. But, in reality I have always had a feeling that he has tried to run from us since mom passed.

He joined the Marine Corps, an incredibly “holy shit I am proud of my brother!” moment. He lived in California during that time, so I flew to Cali my senior year of High school, Junior year college Spring Break (where he spent the week hitting on my roommate), Senior year Thanksgiving and after I graduated for a job interview (got the job, turned it down). Then he moved to Kentucky for awhile and after he broke his back, off to Japan he went. I sadly have not sprung for my passport, so for the last few years I have been held to seeing him when he comes home. All of this distance, I feel like I have tried, but to my middle brother it is never enough. Maybe I am not realizing that I need to do more. All of it possible.

My oldest brother and I do not have this same issue, he never yells at me about moms things, never brings me down, and we mutually visit each other as often as time permits. He also has a youngin so I try to visit as much as I can considering the closer proximity (couple cities away instead of a couple countries). We argue about scenarios that happened when we were kids and where we should meet for dinner, things that usually end up with us laughing more than actually fighting.

Death is weird in this way… I don’t know if my relationship with my middle brother will always be a fight or if we will someday just simply support each other (cause when he is supportive, he is my biggest fan, hands down). Maybe this is our relationship, hate you today, love you tomorrow, and round and round. Maybe it will get worse, maybe it will get better. I would be surprised if he read this even, cause then maybe we would be one step closer.

If he does read this, as you just have, I hope you all gather the same feeling about me. I love my mother, I love my father. Even when I am burning mad, I will always love my brothers. But at the end of it all, it’s not just stuff to me.

 

 

 

I am sorry bro if what I do hurts you, if what I have pains you to miss, I really do not mean to cause you this. If I could bring her back I would, if I could fill the hole I would. If I could duplicate what remains or detach myself from it, I would. I wish I could be there, I wish you were here.

I’ll Be Seeing You

It’s crazy how one moment you can feel so alive and awestruck by the world. Then in another moment realize how harsh and cruel the reality of life can be. While I have been relishing in my day to day adventure filled life, I have been selfishly unaware of things that are far more important than myself. I have been self-seeking in my happiness, not fulfilling a promise I gave to a dear friend awhile back.

Back in late August of 2014 I went to Nashville for work and had the opportunity to use my night off to catch up with an old friend from back in my early High School days. He was coaching soccer down the road from my hotel, so I walked to go watch. We caught up over dinner and drinks and laughed at each other over how much we had changed over the years. We had always kept in touch, but we hadn’t seen each other in so long, so much was different now. Nevertheless I felt like I was hanging out with a close friend, teasing each other about work, giving out relationship advice… basically him giving me advice ha! It was awesome! Only briefly did he mention this weird pain in his jaw that he was having his dentist look at soon. No big deal, we barely talked about it.

Middle of September I was heckling him on the soccer pictures he was posting to Facebook. As a goalie myself we have always been supportive and critical of each others performances. It was lighthearted and fun, typical soccer banter. This was our friendship.

In October everything changed… He had a biopsy, surgery, and was ultimately diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) or cancer of the muscle. Dr. said that this cancer is very curable and responds well to chemo and radiation. She was very wrong.

Early November the Dr. said that the PET scan showed some spots in his bones (left hip, shoulder blade, mid-back) where the cancer had spread. Team Caleb shirts were made a few days later to raise awareness and money for Caleb’s fight. I bought one immediately. The end of November was the beginning of a long trek through Chemo and Radiation. Words I am all too familiar with. I donated more money to help with the bills. I wore his shirt often.

December 17th was his birthday, he is now only 28 years old. I wish I was there for your birthday… I’m so sorry I wasn’t.

January 5th thru 9th, was pretty brutal. He became weak, feverish and his blood counts dropped a great deal. While at an appointment with his oncologist it was decided he needed to be admitted to the hospital, on January 13th.

On February 11th he had an appointment, follow up with Renal docs from the long stay in the hospital, and  Caleb’s kidneys had fully recovered!  The appointment with the oncologist showed that the spots in Caleb’s hip/shoulder had started to die and scar over. Also, the jaw tumor showed dead tissue within. All of this, positive news.

On March 10th, Caleb and his girlfriend Bethany headed to Vanderbilt university, more chemo.

May 27th, Caleb’s jaw tumor has grown. It’s bigger and closer to the opening of his mouth. It has grown up towards the skull. This means that at some point, the chemo regimen had stopped working. Then his Dr. said she no longer thinks she can cure Caleb’s cancer.

I text Caleb that day. Told him I was praying harder than ever, told him I was there if he needed anything, told him “If my boyfriend and I get a chance we will come visit”. Why didn’t I book a plane ticket then?

June 15th, Caleb’s jaw tumor has gotten bigger still, just in the last week, and he was very uncomfortable. His oncologist was concerned with the growth and they were scheduled for a “debulking” surgery the next afternoon.

July 3rd, Caleb and Bethany head to NYC to visit Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center which resulted in being referred to Provision Proton Therapy Center for treatment on July 23rd.

August 3rd, Caleb proposed. He was going to get married November 1st, 2015! I texted him the next day, congratulating him on the proposal, the ring, and for being a hopeless romantic. I said how excited I was and  how “you deserve all the happiness this life can bring”. I really meant that.

August 18th, almost exactly a year after seeing him and things were looking up!

Then September 24th came. I woke up from a dream of being at his wedding to Bethany, it was beautiful. A very calm, warming feeling to wake up to. Then I saw a post about them needing prayers… it felt urgent and scary. I texted him immediately, “I wish I was around to help, but I want to visit soon and help you and the lady any way I can. Let me know if you’re free the weekend of Nov.6-8th, would love to fly down.”  There was silence. The buzz of a thank you never came. An open armed invitation to visit never arrived. Then I read about it…

Bethany wrote- “Caleb had a bad night last night that led to a 3am trip to the ER. He collapsed after using the bathroom and we had trouble getting his breathing under control. He’s got fluid build up in his abdomen that is just related to the cancer in his body. They are running other tests for now and trying to decide the best way to keep Caleb comfortable and allow him to rest. His body is fighting hard but it’s really getting knocked down over and over again. We were moved from the ER to ICU and he’s stable right now. We don’t know what the future holds for us over the next few days. We do know that becoming a married couple is one thing we wanted. So our beautiful family, friends, and nursing staff set up a sweet and perfect wedding for us. We are now Mr. & Mrs. Hanby!”

I messaged his mother on Facebook. I needed to get down there. I would go this weekend, cancel all my plans, I’m going.

“We would love to have you visit, but truthfully, we don’t think he’ll make it through the night.”

I didn’t know what to say… “I’m so so sorry. Thank you for welcoming me down during such a hard time. I don’t even know what to say, and I’m sorry for that. Caleb is a dear friend, my first real high school boyfriend, I’ll always have a special type of love for him. I hate that I didn’t visit sooner… Please tell him I’m sorry for that.”

Caleb died on Oct.1st 2015. I would not see him alive. I didn’t make it. I would not get to tell him all the things I still needed to say.

Immense feelings of sadness and guilt overcame me. Why didn’t I make the time for you? The time I promised I would make. Why did my excuses make sense when I made them, but now seem so pathetic of me?

Why didn’t I just go…

I only have the option to pray and hope you can hear me now. I don’t get the reassurance of your voice, I don’t get the response of your shy smile. I will always admire that smile though, the way it shot across your face when my brazen honesty made you uncomfortable. The way it stretched through your cheeks every time we saw each other. Your honest grin made everyone feel so welcome in your presence. Making you smile is my first memory of you and it will be my last.

So my prayer to you now is to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry I broke your heart in high school… twice. If I’m honest, I never felt good enough for you. Being your first kiss is something I will never forget, and I will hold it dear, but you were deserving of someone who loved you unbridled, open, on fire. I loved you then, but it was so quiet. At the end of it all, I am glad we stayed friends. I cherish that friendship.

I’m sorry I wasn’t a better friend through the other years. I remember our summer ice cream dates to catch up during college and the chats when you were heartbroken. I can’t tell you now how honored I am to have been a voice of strength for you when your heart was hurting. I should have been around for more every days, and not just the hard moments.

I’m sorry I didn’t come see you when I said I would… I know you wanted me to get to know Bethany . I know you wanted me to see your family. You wanted these things to happen, and sadly they came to be at your funeral. I was able to catch up with Cory, we tried for years to hang out with him, all together again. Although it’s been 8 or so years since I saw him, we were able to comfort each other.

I pray today for your memory to live on and for the comfort of your family when times get hard, because they will. I pray for Bethany and her peace, her heart and her soul moving forward. Her love will be a huge part of your legacy. I pray for the healing and acceptance of every single friend you touched, all of your new and old friends, Cory and even my own.

I beg today for forgiveness, from you and from myself, for letting little things come between me being the friend that I should have been to you. For not being there when I said I would. I know you never held that against me, but I will be a while working on the forgiveness of myself.

Thank you for teaching me so many things that I needed to learn. I’ll be seeing you.

On The Death of a Friend

Elliott

I am so incredibly blessed to have known Elliott Orr as long as I have, although the time is never enough. Growing up in the church together, coaching soccer together. The memories I will cherish forever. There are so many people that have been touched by his laughter, his selfless love, and unwavering faith. Such a beautiful soul through the hardest times. His journey has touched so many lives and inspired me to see beauty in dark hours. I pray for peace and strength and comfort to his family, wife, friends. God bless you and everything you have brought to this world.

May you be at rest with the Lord, Coach. Your memory will forever be in my heart.

Death is not something I have ever been able to process easily. From losing my mother at a young age, to countless relatives and more friends than I would care to see go. Cancer has taken so many from me in such a short span of life. I find myself always struggling to process the emotions that flood me in these times.

I seem to always begin with a selfish regret… “I should have been around more, I said I would visit, I wish I would have held that friendship closer and done more to be a support system.” After the regret I move fiercely in to anger. I don’t think there will ever come a time when I will not feel angry when someone loses their life to cancer. It’s a nasty thing and by God I do not understand it. Maybe it’s a lack of knowledge and understanding, and honestly I should have sat down with Elliott a time or two and simply asked, “You are a young, vibrant, amazing young man who had so much passion for life. How do you not let yourself become angry with God? You praise his name daily and ask for prayers for others before yourself! How do you find the trust in him that this is his will and his plan for you is greater than what we can comprehend?” It takes every fiber of my being not to curse him in this hour. I never preach to be the best Christian by any stretch of the imagination, but my biggest struggle is when he tests me to keep loving him when good people are taken from this world, in my opinion, way too soon.

Following anger is the incredible heartbreak, a sadness from loss that can not be described. You feel so much that it physically hurts. Now if you know me, you’re aware that feelings of sadness are not emotions that I am willing to wear openly. I don’t cry in front of others, I stand strong, hold fast, show no weakness if you will. I’m the tough one in the face of difficult times. But loss is a sadness I can’t conceal. Tears will flood my eyes beyond my control.

But once the tears subside I will come to find a place of acceptance. Acceptance for the  bigger plan. Acceptance of the comfort in Heaven that the suffering can now feel. Through all the anger and regret, I always find solace that the departed have left to be with the Lord.

“On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend’s life also, in our own, to the world.” – Henry Thoreau

It’s a testament to my friend Elliott that over 700 people showed up for his funeral. I can also promise that many were still missing. But the truly miraculous thing to watch is how peaceful and blessed everyone who knew him continues to be. myself included. I find myself laughing at the things that used to infuriate me, “my truck has been recalled?! HAHA of course it has, I’ll call next week”, “I can feel cold air leaking in through the kitchen window now, the door wall can’t get fixed till spring, I definitely need to add insulation to stop all the freezing on my roof, guess I better start saving and planning”. My reactions in the past would have been much more aggressive, angry, full of cussing and confusion on why and how this is all happening. It’s interesting to me how one single human can drastically make you reevaluate your priorities and what you find important enough to fuss over.

So more than anything, through all the processes of emotions I must land my final emotion on a feeling of thanks. A thank you to a kid who was able to bring so much perspective to my world, so much more evaluations of being thankful as opposed to being irritated. Positivity above anything else.

Thank you Elliott, coach, friend. I will forever be grateful for your mark on this world.

Contributions in memory of a wonderful man can be made here:

Elliott Orr Mission and Scholarship Project Fund, c/o Scott Orr, P.O. Box 248, North Branch, MI. 48461

Coward Vs. Asshole

I think there are a lot of misconceptions about the way some men treat women these days. For lack of a stronger, more accurate description we jump to conclusions and label every man that did us wrong an “asshole”. I have been guilty of this very fact, taking a situation where I felt wronged and cried out ‘asshole, how could you’. But the last scenario I can recall where I was wronged by a self proclaimed ass, I realized something very significant. We have given men the power, yes THE POWER, to label themselves an asshole and give them the graces of hiding from the real reason they are acting in the way they do.

Nice guys finish last and women fall for assholes are just a few comments that can be found littered throughout article upon article when it comes to women feeling heartbroken and unable to ‘hook the good guy’. But I would like to take a personal situation, dissect it a bit differently, and shed some light on the reality of the asshole persona that we are glorifying for the opposite sex. Just a heads up, there will be definitions, not to insult your intelligence as readers, but to help me get the point across and show that the people I interact with could use a vocabulary lesson.

DEFINITION: Asshole
noun, Vulgar
1. anus
2. Slang.
a. stupid, mean, or contemptible person.
b. the worst part of a place or thing.

In the literal definition of the word we find the culprit of my reasoning. Stupid, mean, or contemptible person. In this definition, a mans actions to deserve the word would require deliberate mean behavior, apparent stupidity and just being downright awful for no reason.  I find in most cases that this is not actually the case. Let me explain.

The self proclaimed asshole I refer to in the first paragraph will be the object of explanation today because he so elegantly gave me all the material I need to explain this. In the very early stages of us getting to know each other he was attentive, tried, worked for me. He seemed too good to be true, so when asked for faults I was given the proclamation “well, I have been called an asshole a lot” yet he couldn’t really give me exact reasons why… typical. Now if you know me, I had already made up my subconscious mind that this guy was not going to last, so of course, I tried dating him (self preservation if you will). It was almost immediate I began noticing the key actions that most women would classify as “an asshole move”.

I found myself driving to his place 99% of the time, that was of course on the rare occasion I was invited to see him. We rarely had public interaction, and when we did it was great, but he wasn’t exactly affectionate on showing the world “I was his” kind of thing. If you know me, I hate PDA so if I am saying he wasn’t affectionate, I mean the world probably assumed we were related by his actions or lack there of. I was given words, lovely words, about how meeting his friends was a really big deal and his friends were family. He didn’t introduce just any girl to them, I should feel lucky… Except only meeting them once in four months, I wouldn’t exactly call that interaction. He talked about missing me, wished he could see me, but as mentioned I would rarely receive an invitation to visit him and he sure as hell never tried to come see me. I went to his softball game in the cold, but he couldn’t find the time to make it to an indoor volleyball or soccer game of mine. I made future plans for dates, he found ways to break or deny them. I moved from apartment to house, he was too busy to help me move. I found little things to get him that reminded me of him, he was ungrateful in more or less actions. He didn’t want to push me to be physical, but yet an attempt was made every single visit.

Every moment was focused on him and how it could benefit him at the time. When I caught on to this in my conscious mind I made a decision to test this. I didn’t ask to see him. So I went a month without seeing him. Although we talked daily and non stop, his only effort I can reasonably give him credit for is keeping a constant conversation going, he was good at that… and only that, if you know what I mean.

So, upon the last in person interaction I paid very close attention to what exactly was going on with this self proclaimed asshole. And as all information does, it lands in my lap. He stepped away to use the restroom and left his phone sitting on the couch beside me. He probably should have told his ex girlfriend not to message him about missing his cuddles that late at night, but more than anything he probably should turn off message preview. He might of taken the time to mention that to the other girl (no name) who felt compelled to tell him at 11:30pm that she was “sorry for yelling at you the other night, I just like you so much and really wanted this to work out”.

Now my other posts will vividly explain my thoughts on being the other women, but with an undefined relationship I wasn’t THAT mad about it… But I definitely mentally called him an asshole, said goodnight and left before I lost my cool. I could approach this another day. The next day to be precise. “What is it that we are doing exactly?” I asked him, which was so lovingly responded to with “oh, here we go! The beginning of the end.” ASSHOLE right?!? I hadn’t even said anything about being upset with what we had been doing, just wanted to clarify and be on the same page. Needless to say, our relationship fizzled to a passive friendship that eventually fizzled to passive acquaintances to being deleted on Facebook and no longer anything in any way. Let me preface this with… I really didn’t give a shit at this point.

All of his actions and words and lack thereof for both would make it so easy for me to label him an asshole and call it a day. But in reality this guy is simply a coward. Too afraid to tell me how he feels or what he really wants from me. Too afraid to be honest with all the women in his life that he is insecure and needs attention but can’t commit. Too scared to have an adult conversation with me about what he was looking for out of the last four months of our interaction. I would rather you tell me, “hey, I got to know you and didn’t like what I found” or “hey, I was just looking to have a little fun, nothing serious”. At least then I know you are being a man about it. Standing me up, not responding, making excuses, avoiding conflict… all of these traits are common misconceptions for the common asshole, but this is the difference between that and a coward. He was never blatantly mean to me just to be mean. His actions of avoidance and deceit were those of a coward.

DEFINITION: Coward
noun
1. a person who lacks courage in facing danger, difficulty, opposition, pain, etc.  ; a timid or easily intimidated person.

… wuss.

#LikeAGirl

Documentarian Lauren Greenfield and Always have teamed up to fight against the female stereotype, and show the negative effect it can have on a teen’s confidence.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/candacelowry/this-emotional-compaign-aims-revolutionizes-the-phrase-like

Greenfield conducted a social experiment by asking a group of women and men to do various things “like a girl.” Pre-teen girls were asked to do the same, and their reactions were incredibly moving.

We’ve all heard the phrase “like a girl” growing up, so why not change its negative stigma?

 

This documentary hits home, growing up in a house full of boys, losing your mother influence young and not knowing who and what it meant to be acting “like a girl”. This is empowering. We as women, girls, all ages and sizes need to stand up to the negative stigma!!!

10 Easy Ways to Deal With Me When I Am Being a Bitch

*Original Post by Melanie Curtin*

Let me find someone who knows that while I’m totally imperfect and totally impatient, I’m also totally loyal, totally affectionate and willing to go all out for my friends. Let me find someone who sees it all — not who shuts down when I’m not at my best.

 

Women don’t come with a manual. If they did, men wouldn’t need man caves.

The truth is, part of what makes women appealing can also make them terrifying. Their emotional volatility is either fascinating or distressing, depending on how it’s expressed, yes — but also on how it’s taken.

Every woman’s got her moods. Most men are by turns charmed, bewildered and blindsided by them. Here are some hints to help you keep your cool when I’m being a red hot bitch:

10. Don’t resist it

I cannot overemphasize this one. Resistance is the most common reason my being a bitch gets us into all kinds of trouble (and not the fun kind instigated by tequila and a hot tub).

In case you’re wondering what this means, it includes saying things like, “Calm down,” “Would you just relax?” “What’s the big deal?” and, “You’re overreacting.”

This is much like pouring gas on a lit flame.

When I’m pissed, no matter how ridiculous it may seem, it’s happening. Wishing it wasn’t or telling me to stop isn’t going to work. It’s similar to attempting to stop a tsunami. Is you telling the big bitchy wave to stop being a big bitchy wave going to work?

Nope. But if you accept that the wave is happening and grab a surfboard, you’ll get farther and be in for a hell of a ride.

I know how complicated women are — trust me, I’m living proof of this. But if there’s anything I’ve learned about men, it’s that the more I’m accepted for exactly who I’m being in this moment, the more I change and morph and melt into something more accepting myself.

9. Know that it won’t last forever

Have I ever been a bitch forever? Have I? Have you ever known any women who was? (Meryl Streep from Devil Wears Prada doesn’t count).

No. Emotions don’t last forever, no matter what they are. That’s why they’re called e-motions — energy in motion. There is no permanent state, particularly when it comes to women. We can switch from ecstatic to melodramatic in an instant, and be ready for tiramisu right after.

By the way, do you think that’s easy? No. A lot of the time it’s exhausting. You should try being on this roller coaster of emotion, not just being around it.

8. Know that it’s not really about what it’s about

When I’m being a bitch, we’re in Emotion Land. We left Logic Land long ago and as much as you may lament its absence, that ship has sailed (right on over the tsunami). I may be crying hysterically ‘because’ you forgot to call, or sniping at you ‘because’ you forgot to buy the right kind of milk. But it’s not really about that. In other words, it’s not really about what it’s ‘about.’

It’s not that it has nothing to do with the milk; it’s just that it’s more about something else. In fact, I may not even know exactly what’s wrong myself.

The best way for you to deal with this is to stop playing the game of “fixing what this is ‘about,'” and start listening for what it’s really about. The more you can hold off on shaming me for being upset over something ‘illogical,’ the more we can work as a team to figure out what’s really going on.

7. Have fun with it

Are you one of those people who loves watching sh*t go down when there’s something destructive happening? Are you like, daaamn, look at those waves flood over the boardwalk, or those cars floating down the street, or that (empty) house get torn up by that hurricane? Holy Sharknado, this is amazing!

Use that. Pretend my storm is an actual storm, and you get a front row seat (which, incidentally, some people would pay for). Witness it the same way you would a tempest — it swirls and rages, lessens and worsens, and eventually dissipates.

Because the things I’m saying and the way I’m acting isn’t ‘the truth.’ It’s just what’s true for me in that one particular moment. It will change in the next moment, just like the weather. And once you stop taking it to be something to be defended against or resentful of, it can actually be kind of entertaining.

I’m like your own personal hurricane. Besides, wouldn’t it be boring if it were sunny skies all the time?

6. When I act like a child, think of me like a child

Half the time when I’m being a bitch, it is exactly the same as when a 3-year-old is wigging out because s/he’s sleep-deprived. There is no logical reason for the behavior — it’s a physiological reaction. As adults, we assume we’re all capable of being normal, rational beings all the time.

We’re not. Especially not those of us with riotously, spectacularly, outlandishly fluctuating hormones.

Seriously, when I’m whining or bitching or complaining seemingly just for the sake of it, picture me as a tiny little girl in a tiny little dress with a tiny little diaper and a tiny little face red from bawling, who is upset that you just gave her the wrong milk. How seriously do you take that toddler? How much compassion do you have for her?

You always knew I was secretly a 3-year-old. Now make it work for you.

5. Call me out (gently)

For me personally, this works best when you give a nickname to my bitchy side.

My ex used to use “‘tudy,” short for “attitude-y.” This was brilliant, because it named what was happening without making me the bad guy. It also acknowledged that I’m not only that — there are many aspects and facets to me. This just happens to be the one that’s coming out right now.

It usually went a little something like:

Me: [Looking in fridge] “Really?? You forgot that I asked you specifically to get whole milk this week? You know I’m trying out that new Fat Is The New Skinny Diet — you just thought you’d ruin my chances, or what?”
Him: [Glancing over at me; pausing for a moment] “Hey there, ‘tudy! I’ve missed you. What you been up to?”

I’d roll my eyes but no matter how much I wanted to, I couldn’t suppress a smile. He knew me — all of me — and he wasn’t scared of it. Instead of taking my comment as a huge and monumental attack on his manhood that he must defend against, it was more like, ‘let’s acknowledge that bitchy thing Mel just said.’

It’s not that he wasn’t taking me seriously. It’s that he wasn’t taking me too seriously.

4. If you can’t handle it, leave

It’s all well and good to talk about enjoying it, but sometimes, that’s just not possible. In those moments, don’t tell me I shouldn’t be or feel a certain way. If you can’t handle it, get out the way.

Look, I love my sister like, well, a sister. But she can be a real bitch sometimes. And I’ve learned that occasionally, it’s best to just leave the room. Sometimes I can read her moods and know that she’s ready to talk; other times I know it’s about her blood sugar being low; and sometimes it’s just a different type of mood — the untouchable one. It’s that one where no matter what I say or do, she’s just going to be a bitch.

For the most part, I know when to stick around and when to stay away. Then there are the times when I read it wrong and get scratched by her ‘tudy talons. At that point, I retreat into the other room and lick my wounds.

Both are fine, but it’s a whole lot more pleasant when I read it right and beat a hasty retreat. You should feel free to do the same.

3. Take care of yourself

You don’t always have to put up with my crap. Just because I’m in a bad mood doesn’t mean you’re responsible for it — or for fixing it. As my man, I expect you to give me attention and put energy into the relationship, but I don’t expect either 24/7.

You are, in fact, a whole separate being with your own experiences and needs and responsibilities. And your first responsibility is to yourself: If you can’t handle it or don’t have the energy or just don’t want to deal with me in a certain moment, don’t.

DO NOT sacrifice yourself or your truth just to make me ‘happy.’ It doesn’t work, anyway — you usually get resentful that you tried to help and it didn’t fly. I’d much rather you take care of yourself in the moment and have space for me later than overextend yourself now and blame me for it later.

Instead, try just letting me know: “Hey, I get you’re upset and I want you to know I care. At the same time, I need to take care of myself right now so I’m gonna go chill for a while. Cool?”

With this, you’ve solved half of it anyway just by acknowledging that I’m not OK. I at least feel seen, and I’m also primed to get that it’s not all about me all the time.

Sometimes, it’s easy for me to forget that.

2. If you don’t know how to support me, ask

You don’t have it all figured out. You don’t have to know exactly what to do or how to do it or what to say or how to say it beforehand. It’s far better to admit you don’t know than to constantly attempt to figure out the enigma wrapped in a riddle served on a bed of unpredictable with a little dollop of wtf on top that constitutes the psyche of a woman.

If you are really at your wit’s end, but you do have the energy and you do want to know what’s going on or how to help — ask. For example: “I don’t know what to do or how to help right now, but I want to. How can I support you?”

That will bring me up short.

And much of the time, I will tell you. This can flip me right out of my mood and put me into a different one. I might start to bawl; I might ask for chocolate; I might collapse into your arms and say, “I just — *sob* — want – *sob* — a foot rub. Can you — *hiccup* — give me — *searching look* — a foot rub?”

Because usually when I’m being a bitch, there’s some need that’s not being met. I don’t feel heard, or I’m craving connection, or I’m not feeling expressed, or I’m just generally feeling like I don’t matter. Here’s a truthful secret for you: Sometimes I lash out just to make sure that I do matter — that I can at least impact someone.

The point is, usually all that frustrated and angry energy wants to be transmuted into something else, something softer and more accessible and more yielding. If I’m given the genuine space for it, it will.

You can create that space. Sometimes.

1. Love me anyway

Please, God, let me find a man who is capable of this. Let me find someone who doesn’t take me too seriously, isn’t intimidated by mood swings and embraces the fact that I’m pretty judgmental a lot of the time. Let me find someone who knows that while I’m totally imperfect and totally impatient, I’m also totally loyal, totally affectionate and willing to go all out for my friends. Let me find someone who sees it all — not who shuts down when I’m not at my best.

And if it’s in the cards for me, let me find someone who doesn’t just tolerate me, but genuinely finds my quirks endearing. Let me be discovered by someone who doesn’t see me as a problem to be solved or a thing to be handled, but as a woman to be loved.

Even — or maybe even especially – when she’s being a bitch.

*Re-posted*

Follow Melanie Curtin on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/VixenOTL

Trust and The Truth

Trust…  A very large necessary piece to any successful relationship. I am a firm believer that without trust, there is no solid ground to stand on with another and ending will be inevitable. When trust is lost, maintaining any fragment of a relationship becomes a chore and is also exhausting. Always wondering, curious, nosy. “Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? When will you be home? Let me see your phone. Tell me your passwords” I understand the previous sentiments can be in extreme cases, some are so extreme as to start following their significant or showing up unannounced. This is not love. This is no way to be in love. There is no reason to be with someone that makes you feel like this.

Trust… something that I prefer to begin every relationship with. As I mentioned without it there is no point for me to be with you so why would I start without it? I trust full tilt, hands down, all in… unless you break it. Then, as easy as that, I will be gone.

 

Day_2_truth

 

The truth… that lovely little tidbit of information that causes you to lose trust in another (lets not confuse this with those who are truthful all the time and are amazing significants, I’m referring to the liars today). As mentioned above when women get curious and nervous and untrusting they go searching for the truth. Some never find it and ruin great relationships. Some find it and get the information they needed to run.

The truth… the lovely little tidbit of information that has its way of finding me. Maybe because I trust so willingly, it’s Karma saying “Here you go, you really need to know this about your guy, fuck him, you’re welcome”. And sure enough, IT FINDS ME. There is a saying, “Never underestimate a womans ability to find shit out.” As much as I am a firm believer in this concept, I think everyone should be more worried about the information FINDING the other. I am less likely to run from a relationship where a man can admit his wrongdoings and tell me himself. If I find out though… Boy, run.

I have to put this on the same level with a guy playing dumb. (usually occurs after the initial information explosion) Did you really think that I didn’t see it coming? Did you think I wasn’t already aware? Because I am not the searching type and I am not irrational in what I hear, I have already pegged your “explanation and excuses” before you even formulate them.

The truth… it finds me every time.

Is It The End?

I am not going to make any guesses on the outcome of today, I don’t want to believe that there is more than one option just yet.

How do you handle something when you don’t know all of the pieces? You are thinking that you are doing your best, being your best you but then BAM sorry, it’s actually not quite good enough. A simple little fight turns in to a disaster scenario and you are all of a sudden in a whirlwind of confusion and you’re lost and not really sure what the fight is actually about and everyone is avoiding the conversation and being hurtful and hiding and playing games and wondering and hoping and losing hope. You try to step away from your pride to apologize, but that’s not what was wanted? Now I am really confused. I just want to scream WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?! But that won’t do anyone any good.

So now you are sitting here, staring at your computer screen writing this out to try and make sense of it. But you are still just as confused and falling apart inside trying to keep your shit together. You are replaying every moment, trying to recall what may have gone wrong, what was it exactly that  you did that sucked so bad to cause all of this? What did I miss, what sign or signal or comment was made that I just missed?

 

Can I Thank You

sewntogether

“I saw you the other day… you didn’t see me. I am glad for that. I don’t think I could have handled you knowing I was there and watching you choose to ignore me. I fully believe that is what you would have done.

She was there.

I don’t think it would have been good even if you would have noticed and said hello. I can’t promise I would have stayed cordial and silent and not called you out on your bullshit life. She is wrong for you in every way… is it possible I am the only one that would have verbalized this to you? Maybe you had heard it before, but you chose your life now.

Can I thank you? Thank you for making me bitter and cynical on the ideas of romance and love. A smart thing for me to do would be to forgive you and set myself free, but I can’t find the will to do so. I can’t move. Did any part of me ever make you feel this way? So helpless and intoxicated?

Maybe if I could just be selfish for a minute and blame you out loud. Would that help? Maybe screaming it would help me to let it go.”

 

I wrote this for a couple people… there are quite a few who have felt so torn up by another. And some who have yet to heal.