I’m Sorry Is Not Enough


 

 

This has been one hell of a week. I screwed up in a big way, unwittingly hurt a wonderful friend and got my ass handed to me. It wasn’t pretty. After studying the whole situation inside and out, I had to own the injury I caused. It didn’t matter if I meant to hurt, what mattered is that I did. It totally sucked that I had to step up and apologize for being an idiot, but it had to happen.

Unfortunately, saying I’m sorry isn’t always enough. Sometimes we have to let them speak. They have a right to tell us what hurt them and how it felt. They have a right for us to hear them and respect their feelings and take the punch to the stomach we feel as their pain drains out of them and onto our ego.

That being said, there are lines that should not be crossed without immediate action. No name-calling. No repetitive cursing or bully beat-down. Redemption is supposed to hurt like a mother but as adults who actually have the power of speech, logic and reason there is no good side to that kind of loss of composure. Now I do imagine that it feels good to rain hell fire down on someone who deserves it. I’d bet the farm that there was a huge sense of relief and release.

Hurting someone you care for on purpose is a severe loss to both parties.

Sorry, but there it is. I wasn’t trying to erase the wrong I’d done, that’s not possible. I wanted to “man up” so to speak and own my shit. I wanted my friend to know that I saw clearly how my behavior resulted in this downward spiral. I don’t think it mattered that I’m the type of person that bleeds for a long time if I find out I’ve hurt someone I love, or maybe they just don’t know that about me yet.

Honestly, sometimes “I’m sorry” isn’t enough. It deserves to be said and heard, but the pain or injury can take some time to fade enough to look a little closer and forgive. If I care for you in any way, knowing my past behavior is still causing pain is hell to me. Take comfort in that if you will. I am my own hair shirt when it comes to penalties for hurting anyone I love.

I have heard a handful of things in my life that I will never forget. There are words that have been said to me on purpose that I will never be able to un-hear. I am trying not to carry them forward with me, but it is hard to let go of my need to protect myself from those who would break my heart if I let them. This is a weakness, a cowardice that I will work to overcome. Otherwise, they win.

This time, something odd happened. I took my hits and understood the ferocity behind them. I heard the hurt and fury behind every word that stabbed me straight in the heart. I sat with all of this afterwards and just let it roll through my head and my heart. I let it sink in and settle. I even got pissed for a day or so because I owned my shit didn’t I? I apologized and copped to screwing up right? I did the right thing and this is what happens? WTF???

I hurt someone I love without thinking. They hurt me on purpose because I deserved it. I learned several things from the fiasco of this week from hell. Get my head out of my ass and listen to those who care for me. Do not insult them by minimizing their feelings of concern. Saying “I’m sorry” isn’t a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Dammit.

I also learned I have limits. I have boundaries I’m laying down to maintain the human dignity in any conversation I have. I’ll listen to every feeling, every sorrow, every injury I’ve created by any action of stupidity I perpetrate upon another. I’ll take every tear and jaw clenching description offered to explain why I am temporarily a low life, scum sucking piece of crap that needs to be lit on fire and put out with an ice pick. I can do that.

Name calling and cursing, over and over…not so much. No. Won’t be happening again.

This is the lesson I’ve learned. I hope, with all my heart, you learn from my mistakes.

Nut up. Take your medicine. Hold the line of decency. That is all.

 

 

A Time To Grieve


I’m in mourning. I’m grieving the loss of so many things it’s overwhelming to me. I can’t begin to heal yet because they’re everywhere; vicious, to the bone slices that render me powerless to do anything but marvel at my ability to function normally.

I’m ashamed at my lack of self-respect and the unwillingness to cry foul when I’m being belittled. I’m filled with sorrow that I’m willing to minimize the showing of my heart and the sharing of my thoughts to make another more comfortable. I watch my words and the way I phrase things instead of freely communicating.

I’ve been a fraud.

I’ve hidden myself for so long, even I don’t know me. I’ve changed to suit those important to me for whatever reason. I’ve put others first when it was ridiculous and harmful to me to do so. I didn’t say “no” so many times when I should have. I didn’t mark the boundaries to protect my heart and the respect I should have carried for myself there. I let myself down and broke my own heart.

I’m not a beautiful chaotic mess, I am a flaming mass of regret for not learning the lessons sooner. I carry them as bruises on my heart and contusions to my soul. Nobody can help me, no one can heal me, there is not a single person out there who can make me rise like a goddamn phoenix from these smoldering ashes.

I’m going to have to do that shit myself.

I mourn my lack of honesty to myself. I’ve got to tell you the truth here while I’m on a roll. I’m so tired. My heart, soul, spirit and mind are weary from rolling the stone from the mouth of the tomb. I’m tired of allowing myself to be manipulated. Just accepting all the agony I brought upon myself is exhausting. It takes a lot of really hard work and focus to totally destroy your own chances to live and breathe freely.  We all keep peering into the tomb to see if anything comes out. No sign of life yet.

It takes a champion in self-destruction to be successful at this for a lifetime, but I’ve been nothing if not committed to the cause. It makes me shudder to realize I’ve carried some of it here with me. That shit clings. I don’t think anything but the shock of actually seeing myself repeating the unacceptable could have made me aware of the necessity to burn every bit of this out of me. I won’t take any more of this. It will be the death of anything worth having in me.

I mourn the part of me that loves you. The heart of me is cracked and aching from restraining itself from going where it’s not treasured. Even the joy in me weeps from its inability to reach into you and give you some sense of its power. I don’t blame you for not loving me, I just wish you’d been courageous enough to be willing to try.

I’ve learned that love gets labels slapped on it and slid into the appropriate slot to make people more comfortable. It apparently requires documents and promises and other meaningless things to make it some kind of goal worth achieving. It’s not a goal, it’s who you are. Or who you’re not. It’s not a tee shirt or a ring. The paper, the ring and the labels are worthless without the courage to love someone and allowing them to love you back.

All the documentation and diamonds I have will not hold a heart. Only love will. That huge, nameless, label-less love that you’re holding back because it’s just way too big and powerful? That love in there that scares the shit out of you because you’d be throwing yourself on the line? That love that you talk about and write about and sing about? You know, the one that you hide from because it will turn you into more than you’re comfortable with?

That’s the kind of love people will work their asses off to keep alive.

I have that. I feel it. I carry it with me. I will not be careless with my heart again.

But I will be fearless when I give it next.

Relationship Apocalypse: The Warning Signs


What are the warning signs of a dying relationship? Why does it seem that only one partner is aware of this impending tragedy? Is this really true, or is it simply that one person chooses to be blind, is comfortable with the way things are for them, and hopes to ride out the discontent of their partner? The equivalent of pulling the sheets up over your head and thinking the monsters can’t see you.

This whole scenario astonishes me.

If someone I love looks at me and says, “It hurts me when you do that.” You can bet your ass I’m not going to be doing whatever that is again. Because that would make me an asshole, which I am not. If my partner looks me in the eye and tells me he needs something from me that I have the power to give him to ease his heart, then that exact thing is what I’ll do. If I learn there is a particular thing I can do that makes my partner feel loved…it’s happening.

It seems simple to me.

But this is not what happens in a lot of relationships, and they are dying by the thousands, even if divorce isn’t mentioned. When one partner prospers at the expense of the other, and has no problem with that..? I have a problem with that. If one has a concern and the other refuses to listen because it is not important to them..? I have a problem with that. If one says quite plainly, “I am unhappy and am telling you this in hopes of repairing us instead of hating what we have”, and the other belittles and dismisses the other…?

I. Have. A. Problem. With. That.

A relationship is a two way street, a collaboration, a joining of two to make a sum greater than. It is not King and servant, Lord and minion, Owner and possession. It is supposed to be two people who mean so much to each other that they both give to the other, building a fortress of unconditional love while doing so. It is the constant pursuit of that ideal for each other, and for themselves.

Do you remember the first time you were in the middle of an argument, and instead of crying and feeling heartbroken you found yourself thinking, “Who the fuck do you think you are?”. I do. Do you recall feeling upset and sorry and ashamed later like you should have had more love to give there, and you didn’t? I do. Do you remember much later actually opening your mouth and saying the words, “Who the fuck do you think you are?”.

I do.

I remember it clearly. Because I felt the first vertebra in my spine solidify in what would eventually become a backbone. I remember it because I shook off the thought of “if I only tried harder”, and decided to burn every single relationship self-help book I’d ever purchased. I decided if I were going to become better, stronger, and more alive, I would do it for me.

Because that’s who deserved my efforts.

This is where I stand. Don’t tell me you don’t know. Don’t be a coward. Just step up and say, “I can’t give you more than two weeks of effort, because it just isn’t important enough to me”. Just admit you want someone to make your life easier without having to do the same in return. Admit that you want to be respected and valued without having to reciprocate. Admit you’re afraid of being alone so whatever you call this is just good enough for you. I say all of this knowing you won’t, because you know if you did…

It would make it easy to leave, and you know it’s hard to do.

This is where we are now. Take a good long look. Frightening to you isn’t it? It should be, because the future that you fear…

I welcome with heart wide open.

A Kingdom Falling: The Flight of She


She walked through her Kingdom smiling, and doing, and caring for others, and making life run smoothly. Everyone thought she was strong, competent, brilliant, funny and kind.

Inside she was just one long silent scream of despair.

She did and said all the right things. She went where she was supposed to, did what everyone else did, and built an entire world with stones of commitment, mortar of guilt, turrets of shame, and surrounded it with a moat guarded by the dragons of WhatEveryBodyElseDoes.

Her burning eyes constantly scanned the horizon for something she could not name.

She had grown tired of the performance and longed for something real, something of value that would give her a reason to wake up in the morning and rise to face the challenges of another day. She didn’t need anyone to come and save her, for God’s sake, she had a King in the castle, and what good had that done her?

She was perfectly capable of saving herself, if she could only believe she was worth the collateral damage.

She knew she could walk across the moat of regret at any time. She could catapult herself over the wall of bullshit. She could tame one of the Dragons and fly him into the sunset. The power was all in her hands.

But she first had to find the belief that she was worth every dream she held closely in her heart.

The hardest thing of all for her to bear, was the knowledge that she herself helped build every wall, reinforced every rule, diminished herself to fit the mold, voluntarily, so that no one would notice she didn’t belong.

She became her own judge, jury, executioner and now held the keys to the dungeon.

After many years of sitting on the ramparts, thinking her thoughts and dreaming her dreams, finally the largest dragon spoke:

“What do you want?”

“Freedom.”

“What do you want?”

“The space and respect to be myself.”

“What do you want?”

“Passion.”

“Even if it’s only your own?”

“Yes. Even then.”

The questions continued long into the night. The questions the dragon asked were horribly hard to hear and painful to answer. He wanted to know why she had stayed so long in a Kingdom that had no room for all that she was. He wanted to know what she was doing to fix her circumstances. He wanted to know why a Queen was behaving like a little mouse skittering out of the way of the brashness, the selfishness, the arrogant anger. He wanted to know why she allowed herself to be manipulated into being a spark when she was in fact a fire of such power she could reduce the entire kingdom to ash if she let herself go.

But the most painful thing he made her see, and admit out loud, was that it all happened with her permission. The hardest thing he made her realize was that she had the power to change her entire life at any time she chose. She had only to make it so.

It made her ashamed…and afraid…and hopeful…and strong.

So she gave it much thought, and pondered it deeply in her heart, and finally stood. She turned to the King, who could not see her, and bid him goodbye. She turned her back on the people who were not hers, and the home she didn’t have, and the dreams that lay in rotted piles.

She turned to the dragon and asked him his name. He bowed his head, slightly, and growled out “Rogue”. She laughed at the appropriateness of that and stroked his face in love and gratitude for the pain he’d caused.

Because she wouldn’t have freed herself without the pain and the harshness of his questions. She would have trudged along in an unutterably defeated life. So she owed him for the pain that set her free.

“How can I repay you?”, she whispered.

“Just ask me.” he answered.

“Ask you what?” she whispered again.

“Ask me to fly you away from the life that is killing you.” He answered, his golden eyes burning.

So she looked him in the eye, and bid him do as she commanded. She hiked her skirts up, and climbed on his back, holding tightly as she leaned over and whispered in his ear…

“Take me where the broken can be beautiful”

And he did.

My Beloved


For the first time in maybe fifteen years, I will have a cleaning lady/person/housekeeper…what ever. She will probably be temporary until she finds her ‘life’ job, but it matters little to me in how I feel about her.

My best friends and I have always said that if WE had wives of our own, we wouldn’t be assholes about it. We would appreciate their hard work, the time given, the effort, the planning, the thoughtfulness, the absolute wonder of having a wonderfully clean home that frees us to enjoy our time off when we are not working. We would not be husbands to our wives per se, we would be grateful wives who had wives.

We would give them their hard earned money with a loving heart. We would show endless and heartfelt appreciation. We would pick up after ourselves and spend time thinking how we could make their efforts easier for them to show our gratitude and respect. We would occasionally leave extra gifts and ‘thank you’s for no apparent reason. We would give them lavish, incomparable presents for their birthdays and Christmas.

We would always speak kindly to and of them. Harsh and inconsiderate words would never pass our lips in regards to them. They would feel so valued and honored by us that they would never consider leaving us to become a ‘wife’ to someone else at our expense.

Yes, I will do my daily duties to not impede her from doing what I ask of her. I will keep up on my personal responsibilities of dishes, laundry, the daily sweeps and wipes that must occur. Her efforts will free me to come home grateful, and enjoy my off time -guilt and aggravation free.

I will no longer spend entire days off and/or weekends cleaning the pit of doom that I had no energy left for after the work day. Therefore, she will be saving me from certain prison time in payment for lighting my spouse on fire and putting him out with an ice pick. Possibly I exaggerate my resentments, but I think not.

OMG, you say? Why not just tell him to pull his weight as a partner, you say? Can you not deal with this like an adult?

Laugh. Out. Loud.

After years of resentment and blame, I spoke as clearly as God spoke to Moses from a burning bush. I spoke like a man-straightforward with no way to be misunderstood. I said I was tired of carrying the whole load, that if he were a roommate I would have evicted him by now, that something was going to change either with his efforts or without. After six weeks of no difference in cleaning/partnership behavior, I was looking for the lighter fluid and realized what I had to do. I texted him immediately as he was out entertaining himself that fine weekend day, to let him know I was going to get estimates and hire a housekeeper to eliminate my anger over this never-ending situation.

So here I am. Anxiously waiting the honeymoon of my first cleaning. I am happy she’s coming, I’m anxious that she not feel overworked. I will guard her with my life-so help me God.

I have to wonder at the ego of a human being expecting these wonderous things from another human being while behaving like  an inconsiderate ass hat. What great thing do you bring to the relationship table, I ask? What is it that you give of yourself that has such value that no real effort or input is required from you at all?

And of myself, I ask this question: why did I decide to marry as opposed to hiring out as a housekeeper?

I misunderstood the path to becoming The Beloved.

My Bad.

Monsters


No matter what you were told as a small child, there are monsters in the closet, under the bed, at work, and sometimes even in your own family. I would guess the one’s that show up as family are the most painful, because your heart is invested there initially.

Monsters are created from misery, unresolved issues, trauma, and a dash of mean-spirited personality thrown in for good measure. Instead of bettering their situation, or resolving their issues, they “balance the scales” in their minds by tearing down (or at) what is good, bright, and inspiring about another so that they don’t look so monstrous in comparison.

When they take on more than they can handle, they curse you for your boundaries. If they don’t care for themselves physically or mentally, and you do~they call you selfish. They pepper you with phone calls and texts of whining and complaining. They stalk you with criticism, and suffocate you with pessimism. They are emotional vampires.

This being said, garlic and crosses blessed with holy water will do you no good at all. Fighting and arguing are fruitless. Monsters cannot hear the voice of reason or logic. There is only one thing to do with a monster…

You reach into the shadows and yank it out into the light. You look that monster in the eye and say. “No more. You are a hot mess and you need to get a grip or serious counselling.” Then you walk away. You ignore those crazy calls, the whiny texts, the rumor drama, the ridiculous drive-by, and you leave them to boil in the soup of their own making.

The only thing that can reign a monster in, and sometimes even transform them into the loving happy people they were created to be is the ability to see clearly what they have turned themselves into. That gives them a choice. We all get to choose whether to be a master or a monster. Sometimes we have a monster moment, and we call it out and move on. Some people latch on, hug it tight, feed it Wheaties and let it run.

Stay away from those people.

In the meantime, remember these helpful points:

1. Don’t play with monsters, you cannot win, you’re wasting time.

2. Don’t explain yourself. They don’t care. You lose.

3. Don’t excuse their behavior, they’ve got it covered.

4. When they say they’re sorry. No they aren’t. It’s a con.

If you’re lucky, and you see sustainable transformation from monster to decency, over a proven period of time (whatever that may be) then feel free to welcome them back with open arms if you so desire. Otherwise, carry on with your happy self, and send positive energy from afar.

Honor yourself, and your space. Hate and discontent are contagious, and not ready to open to love and joy.

You’ve got this~go forth.

 

It’s Not Okay


This is a reality check. Take a moment and look at your closest relationships. It doesn’t matter whether it’s looking at your behavior and treatment of others, or theirs towards you, or both. Just take a good, honest look. I’m referring to your long haul relationships, the ones that have existed for long enough that it seems to be okay to dump hard on them on a daily basis.

A relationship of any kind is meant to be a partnership, an exchange of energies that strengthen both, a motivation for growth and prosperity for both parties, not for one at the expense of the other. My favorite example is marriage, although friendships run a close second. In christian vows, the pledge is that two become one, not one become the other, with the weaker party disappearing into the atmosphere.

This particular event requires growing some self-love, and a spine. It really is easier to let the arrogant, selfish, and demanding turn you into a victim. It’s easier than fighting it constantly. It is also a misery, a mistake, and a piss poor excuse for a life. Tell the truth now, it may be easier, but you don’t like it. If you do, that’s a different blog, for another day.

Yeah, yeah, they’ve got so much potential. They were raised that way, if you just do this, or act that way, well the evil spell would be lifted and you would ride away together on the white horse of…total bullshit. Don’t perpetuate, or enable. Don’t paralyze yourself into a silent, closed-hearted, unforgiving and judgmental way of existing.

The truth is, sometimes we try to stay in relationships that should not have become what we allow them to be. That painful marriage would’ve been a great friendship if left alone, or what was meant as a learning growing dating relationship was forced into something more than both parties were capable of maintaining. Sometimes, by forcing what we think our future should look like, we turn a learning experience into the torture chamber from hell. Truth is, some people shouldn’t get married. They are happy living for themselves, taking care of themselves, making decisions for themselves, and don’t have the makeup to perform as a team, or couple. Nothing wrong with that, until they decide to couple up.

God help us. Then you’ve got a really nice person, not capable of putting someone else first, and causing misery and trauma to another. On the other side of that is the love sick nurturer thinking that if they do enough, or give enough, or try hard enough, the solitary one will magically transform into the sharing, giving, person of their dreams. Wrong on both sides.

What we have here is two wonderful people destroying each other by inches. They should not have paired themselves. Bad match, not bad people. Unfortunately we’ve been raised (most of us) that such relationships are forever, and we lock ourselves into the pain of two people never being what the other wishes they were, or needs them to be. So when somebody has to be the bad guy (or gal) both parties lose~because it’s a lie.

Falling in love is just the doorway. At some point in time, all of us make it to the doorway with someone. A true loving relationship means going in, going deeper, mutual  courtesy, respect, trust and commitment to working out the kinks as they come up. A lot of people don’t have the courage; the spine, to work through problems so they can be released. Some just don’t care enough about another to do so. Both views of thought are a death knell for a growing relationship of future value.

Sadly we also have so many long term relationships that cause a person to say to themselves, “Woe is me, I’ve been crapped on for years, this is all there is, it’s too late to fix, or start fresh, I’m too old now, I don’t want to be alone, who will take care of me…”. Seriously.

I guess I’m aggravated at all of us. Well, okay, the majority of us, since I do know of people who are matched well, or have made themselves be an excellent match for each other. The point is, life is too short to be less than you are, no matter who you are.

It is not okay to use the force of your personality and desires to obliterate another’s ability to be who they are, and it’s not okay to accept a life you were absolutely not created to live. Hello. We are all different expressions of the same creator. What if there were only one song played over and over every day? One food to eat, one painting to look at, and sigh? What if we all looked the same, did the same job, held the same opinion?

That’s hell, right there. So all of us need to honor and respect the unique expression each of us brings to the table. Not mock, or belittle, or try to erase. Sometimes that means you can build something strong with someone, sometimes it means letting go~so both can bloom.

And that is all I have to say about that.