Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Learning to Love

In my early teens, like a lot of girls, I really wanted was a boyfriend.

Boyfriends proved to be elusive. I was skinny and awkward and angry. I was sporting and still sport my glorious ALMOST "A's".  I had a tiny waist but that didn't help matters because my hips were only about an inch bigger than my waist, hence my frequent comparison of my figure to that of a 12 year old boy. I was a speedy and competitive tomboy that guys considered their buddy if they considered me at all.

Once, at a friend’s house, there were a group of kids hanging out. Somehow, because my memory is very foggy, everyone broke off in pairs. How I ended up with a kid that I didn't know and cannot come up with a name or face, is beyond me. What I do know is that we kissed but very little and I was utterly uncomfortable. SAVED by my girlfriends’ mother who came out to bring sodas, I was able to extricate myself from the situation and felt I had dodged a bullet. Relieved about the whole thing until the next day, I found out that the guy was going around bragging to his friends that he and I engaged in a sexual act that I, being rather naive, had not even heard of let alone participated in. A few days home "sick" helped alleviate some of the embarrassment but a excellent case of hepatitis A very soon after cured what ailed me. I missed the last two months of 8th grade and started at a new high school, never seeing any of the kids that I had grown up with again.

Now a days, I am learning to love the idea of myself with or without a man in my life. I know now that I have been looking for someone (even way back in JR high school) to tell me I'm ok and that they will never leave me. People can't promise that, but I can! I can promise to be true to myself, to do things that make me healthy, to do for others out of love and not for some sad reason of hoping I will be loved or accepted more. 

It's good to know why I made the mistakes; now it's time to change the behavior. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What Language Do You Speak?

  1. 1.
    firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

    "relations have to be built on trust"

    "good relationships are built on trust"
  2. 2.
    confidence placed in a person by making that person the nominal owner of property to be held or used for the benefit of one or more others.

Trust is the foundation of every healthy relationship. For those of us who have been damaged by betrayal in our distant or recent pasts, trust has to be a deliberate choice. It doesn't come natural; it requires vulnerability and a transparency that can be hard to give to others. It can be even harder for some to expose themselves to themselves. Nobody wants to view themselves as lacking honesty, integrity and dependability.

Based on the above description of trust, we see that trust is much more than a gut feeling or a blind faith in someone. It’s merit-based. Trust is utterly different than love and forgiveness. You do not EARN love and forgiveness (they are given freely), but trust can’t be given freely; it is the only vital part of a relationship that must be earned. Giving a person, with whom we no longer trust, our love and forgiveness results in a richer, fuller life and a greater sense of peace as long as healthy boundaries are put in place. Giving trust blindly to a person who does not deserve it causes pain and suffering.
Love and forgiveness are vital to allowing trust to have the opportunity to be rebuilt when it’s been broken. This is important for me to remember when I am moving forward. I need to be aware that the damaged soul I have inside of me may not react in a healthy way when confronted with pain or betrayal. I need to call on my program and remember the empathy I have tried to develop and listen to what is being said, I need to pause, and mostly, I need to call on my Higher Power for guidance on what is right or wrong, honorable or dishonorable, integrity or deception. 
What I do know is that actions speak far louder than any words ever spoken in any language ever uttered. I want to be a trustworthy person. I would like for my scars to soften so that I have the ability to see myself clearly. I am grateful for the forgiveness that has been lavished on me by so many people in my life.
Based on the description above, who do you trust? And for more importantly, are you trustworthy?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Pants on Fire

Do you lie? If you do, do you know why you do it? 

Do you know someone that does?

Everyone lies, at least a little, whether to themselves or others. I've got a ton of work to go but, thankfully, refraining from lying is not one of the things in which I have to put a ton of effort. Unfortunately, I find myself skint on trust which can make lying a real problem for me. 

It's good to remember that I am only responsible to how I react to the lies. I cannot fix the liar....thank plate is full working on me.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I have a favorite restaurant. Luckily my man, who introduced me to it, likes it a lot too, so we go there quite frequently.

The restaurant name is Taqueria Tepatitlan but everyone just calls it Juan's. Juan has got to one be the sweetest men ever. I am not sure of his age but I am sure he is older than he looks. His round smiling face is without a line, his big dimples are ever present. He knows most everyone that enters the doors and greets me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek each time we see him. I come away from each hug with the lingering scent of Juan's cologne. In addition to his ever present smile, Juan is a pretty good golfer and a great sport. As the Boy Scout likes to say, you learn a lot about a man after 4 hours on the golf course and I ended up liking Juan even more after the game was over.

His restaurant is fairly small, divided into two sections and has 6 good size televisions which never cease playing one sport or another. Juan is a die-hard San Diego Padres fan (I am shocked that I even know that fact) and I am not quite sure if he is a loyal San Diego football fan or not. I'll have to find that out next time we go.

Juan has 4 waitresses. They know our names and greet us warmly whenever we come in. Tanya is a sweetie, with a big smile and a ready, "What can I get you my dears?". She has a Rottweiler that she loves dearly and a boyfriend :)   Evana (sp?) is Tanya sister and is not as outgoing but she smiles sweetly and interacts even if she is not our waitress for the day. She's a little awkward and I love that about her. Kendra, who happens to be Juan's  daughter, was a bit of a hard nut to crack. She is lovely to look at but kind of aloof. I decided to make a concerted effort, so even though the waitresses there keep pretty busy, I would take a moment to inquire, always using her name and showing interest in what was going on with her. I found out about her tattoos and her mother (who lives in Arizona) and her recent graduation from CSUCI with a degree in business. I introduced her to my son and let her know the next time I came in how beautiful he thought she was. It's taken time but finally she has warmed up. She is not uber cheery like Tanya, it's not her nature, but she knows our names and she smiles and inquires about our health or day. 

If you are ever the the Ventura area it's worth the visit. The food is wonderful. There is beer on tap for the Boy Scout and......On a bad day, it's is comforting to go where everybody knows our name.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Every Day is Mothers Day

Memories I cherish.

Middle and high school was not especially happy for me. We were dealing with the abandonment by our father, were fairly poor, had to leave the only home I had ever known and found ourselves a family of 3 that had once been 8. We did not have a driver until I turned 16 (my mom did not learned to drive until she was 52) and were at the mercy of family members to get us to wherever the bus would not. For quite awhile, my poor mother would take 3 buses to work at a fire restoration company. She would get a group of workers together, go to a home that had had a fire, then she and her team would pack the house from top to bottom. She basically moved every single day and then took 3 buses home again. Lordy my heart ached for her.

She often came home, blackened with ash and soot, then head straight for the bathroom. Once she got settled in the tub, I would come and sit on the pot and we would chat; sometimes a lot and sometimes a little, depending on how tired she was. I would paint my nails or complain about school. She would have a small towel that she would dip in the water and then lay it over the front of her to keep warm. By the time she finished the water was a muddy gray.

How alone she must have felt...the weight of a family on the shoulders of a woman that had not been educated and had never had a job until my father left. I have worked since I was 16. I know fully well that I can support myself and, even so, there are times when I wish there was someone who just take care of me. It must have been so overwhelming for her.

I loved those times. I was a teenager filled with an angst that would rear its ugly head during those conversations but, for the most part, it was just comforting. We were both damaged and hurting people, she betrayed by the man that she loved so much and me, a little girl whose father didn't care enough to even make sure she had food in the cupboard or fridge. Nevertheless, we were a family that could count on each other and we still are.

I miss those lovely conversations with a person who loved me completely unconditionally. I miss having a person in this world that loves me like that now. I miss being able to express the darker side of me without worry that I will be judged or rejected.

I miss that wonderful woman every single day but some days more than others because I am still that self absorbed teenager at times. Not often, thank goodness, but once in awhile.

Rain, Rain Don't Go Away

Nothing to say, bruised and battered (figuratively)

So I will be grateful:
  1. for the desire to change.
  2. for the knowledge that I am not crazy.
  3. for this incredible rain.
  4. for my conscience that tells me right from wrong.
  5. for the hard work I've done to get where I am.
  6. when the knot in my stomach eases.
  7. for remembering I have the ability to take care of myself. 
  8. for my body that encapsulates my soul and keeps me moving
  9. for a silly dog that can make me smile in bad times.
  10. for Mexican Food!!!
  11. the rain again.
  12. loving and wonderful kids.
  13. for Jacuzzis
  14. for a flawed man.
  15. for a good counselor.
  16. for the reminder that "GRATEFUL"  can change the day.
  17. did I mention rain?
So the knot is smaller, more manageable. Have yourself a great day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Angels in America

Do you ever feel like there are angels that walk among us?

I do...sometimes.

I can remember being tiny and encountering a woman in a store that helped me find my mom. I was scared but being quiet; I wasn't crying but, somehow, she knew. I was afraid of strangers in general, never being an overly trusting soul, but not of her.  I spotted my mom, oblivious that I was missing, and walked up to her side. When I looked back for my angel, she was gone.

There was a guy that struck up a conversation while I ate alone one night 5 or 6 years ago. Lonely and wondering if things would ever change, he started chatting in a casual and innocuous way. He asked a few questions and was very positive; he connected well. We talked for 20 or 30 minutes. He reminded me that it was a beautiful day and that we lived in a gorgeous city. He shared and met me where I was. I walked away from that restaurant with a lighter heart.

My girl was telling me how recently, when she sat at the hospital with her sedated and non-communicative father, a nurse came in the room. She was sweet, pleasant and had a lovely Caribbean type accent. She did her job and then she stopped and talked to my girl. She told her to go to school and get something from it that nobody, no person, could take away from her. She told her to find herself a good man to be with. She knew why my girls dad was in the hospital...she cared enough to comfort, soothe and lift up my girl as she sat there weighted down with the decisions she had to make and the care she chose to lavish on her addict/mentally ill father.

The next one is someone I know. A neighbor girl who has grown into a lovely woman. She didn't have to stop by that hospital room. It was not part of her job, but she did. She stepped in and reached out in what could be uncomfortable or shame-filled or embarrassing. She bridged the gap that kept my girl on an island alone. She could relate in some way....not perfectly but enough to create commonality. What a beautiful thing.

Maybe there aren't angels. Maybe it just us when we pull ourselves out of our brains, our lives, our struggles and reach out to someone that might need just ONE KIND WORD. 

I'm trying for my wings.