All posts by Jami Carder

I’m a nurse, a mom, a new writer, a former business owner, formerly married, um…. and whatever else comes along with someone on a journey to inner peace.

Thinking ink

I’m thinking my last post was kind of heavy. Well, I suppose most of them are, aren’t they? Anyway, I’m changing it up tonight, people! Tonight’s topic: ink.

I have three tattoos, and they all suck. I got them when I was immature and impulsive and I regret all three of them.  At least they are tiny and easy to hide. One of them, I am thinking about getting covered up. I actually have been researching tattoo artists in the New England area for the past couple of years, because I don’t want to rush into it like I did the first time. I’ve been searching for someone who style I like. I finally came across someone last year and made an appointment for an evaluation and really decided what I wanted to get.  I had been focusing on this tattoo that my brother had for several years now. I figured, if I liked it for this long, I wouldn’t regret it. His children have the same tattoo and I thought it would be awesome for all of us to have a “family tattoo”. I was so sure!  And then I changed my mind, ha ha. That’s the thing about tattoos, permanent is more permanent than you think. It’s a lot longer than having the same idea for three years and thinking that it will never change.

So,  what made me change my mind was the connection to nature I discovered while going through this crazy journey of mine.  This tattoo artist that I found asked me to describe what I wanted and why I wanted it and all that, and I told her that if I could have the perfect tattoo, it would consist of a deer, a hawk, a butterfly, and a buffalo skull.  Doesn’t that sound like a horrible tattoo?!  I would have to devote my entire back to a nature scene like that, and there is no way that’s happening. Each one of those animals symbolize something important to me though.  Everyone is telling me that a butterfly is the obvious choice. I think they are right.  Maybe I can condense it down to a butterfly with a hawk feather and maybe a deer footprint. Just like editing my article… “Trim that shit down, girl!” This artist is pretty amazing and can design some spectacular nature scenes,  so I’m sure we will figure out something together.  I was actually supposed to have the meeting with her in April, but it just so happened to coincide with the date of my Reiki certification class, and I felt like that was more important at the time, so I postponed her. Unfortunately, she’s super busy and in DEMAND and I have to wait until next spring. I guess that will give me plenty of time to decide on such a permanent decision. Any thoughts?

 

 

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 25/17

 

This post was written in response to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday….which is pretty much the only thing that seems to get me to write lately. Thanks, Linda.

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Open letter to the man who groped me last night

Hey.
You came to my birthday party last night with my friend. She didn’t know anyone on the guest list, so I told her to bring a friend. She chose you.
You seemed harmless enough. Confident, talkative, easygoing. You jumped right in when we were drinking shots and having cocktails. You shook all the men’s hands and chatted with all the women.  You were generous with the smiles and cracked a few jokes. You blended right in. It was a great party, wasn’t it?
When my friend and I were dancing in my living room, you were sort of dancing next to us. I say “sort of”, because at this point, you were pretty drunk, so to just say “dancing” would be an exaggeration. You were swaying, holding your drink, staring at both of us. Not in to our eyes, but watching our bodies. As soon as I noticed it, you went into the kitchen for something, probably another drink.  As you walked past me to get back to your spot in the living room, you sort of squeezed behind me, between me and the coffee table. As you did that, you brought your hand around my waist in front of me…and rubbed your palm across my crotch. I didn’t say anything. I’m still wondering why I didn’t, which I suppose is the reason I’m writing to you now. You know how after someone does something to you, like way after, you think of all the things you should’ve said? Well, that’s exactly what I did, so I’m saying them now. I didn’t say anything because it was easier not to. It was easier for me to hope it was just an accident. That because you were drunk, you maybe stumbled behind me and I just didn’t see you stumble and your hand just so happened to fall down on my crotch. God, that sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? I told my friend, right there as we were dancing, that you touched me inappropriately but I wasn’t sure if it was intentional or not, and if it happened again, I was going to have to say something. She was mortified. She brought you there as a guest, because she didn’t know anyone at the party. You were there in a supportive role to her, you know. I felt bad for telling her. Can you believe that? I felt bad.  I didn’t feel comfortable dancing in front of you anymore, so I walked into the kitchen and told the story to a few of my friends, saying how maybe it was an accident and how you might have stumbled behind me and I just didn’t see it. Because that would be so much easier to deal with than admitting a man I didn’t know touched my privates in my own living room in front of all my friends and I didn’t say anything to him…on my birthday.  One of my friends cut me off and said, “No way…I saw everything from in here. He touched you down there and it was completely intentional and completely inappropriate.”  She looked serious. Her eyes were saying “This is not OK“.  The women I was talking to all stared at me. God, that left me feeling like an idiot for even trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. And still…I said nothing. I didn’t want to embarrass my friend who brought you here, as it’s not her fault. I’m sure she didn’t know you liked to touch women inappropriately in a sexual way without their consent. So, I minimized it. I said, “Well, I’ve had a lot worse happen to me in my life”, laughing it off. They still stared at me. I just wanted the party to go back to being the fun celebration it was, before it turned into this. I didn’t want to ruin the good time by making a big deal out of it. I didn’t want everyone else at the party to think I was looking for attention, or blowing things out of proportion. I didn’t want my friend, the one who brought you here, to feel badly about me talking about you groping me, so I laughed it off . That’s right… you groped me, and I’m the one feeling like I’m ruining my birthday party. That’s how sexual assault goes,  you know.  But no, you probably don’t know that. Because most women don’t do anything about it, so you think your actions are OK.
Not too long after, my friend comes over to me and tells me it’s time for her to get you out of there. I’m not sure what you did to make her feel this was urgent, but I can imagine. After you leave, TWO other friends tell their story of being groped by you at my birthday party. You reached out and touched one of my friend’s breasts. Another one, you stared at her body for several minutes, making her very uncomfortable, before reaching out and grabbing her ass. The other two women didn’t feel comfortable saying anything about it until after you left. After you left. Are you starting to see how men keep getting away with this bullshit? Needless to say, once the men here heard about it, they were fuming. They were angry that they weren’t paying enough attention so they could have seen it happening, because they would have taken you outside and taken care of you. These are military men, so I think you can be assured you would probably not be walking today. Later on, when you came stumbling back to get your coat, I left it on the porch, because I knew if you came in, my party would become violent and I didn’t want that.  This was supposed to be a night of friendship and love.  And I also think that part of me felt bad for you. Part of me didn’t think it would be fair for you to be punished for touching me, when I didn’t say anything to you about it in the first place.  Like it would be my fault for you getting hurt because I didn’t speak up.  Did you read that? I didn’t think it would be fair to you.  Even as my mortified friend waited for you in the car, and you put your coat on, you tried to come back in my house. You reached for the door to come in, smiling at me. Swaying in your drunkenness. Leering. I can only imagine what you thought you were going to do. I shut the door tightly on you, and you stumbled to her car. I was glad you were gone, but also worried about my poor friend, having to be that close to you. 
Jesus, you sexually assaulted three women last night, and none of us said a word to you. I was so worried about looking like I was making a big deal out of nothing, or ruining the party, or making my friend feel badly about bringing you into my home, or anything except what I should have been worried about. Isn’t that crazy? I was worried about me ruining my party by reporting being groped. I would have blamed me for my friend feeling bad. I would have blamed me for you getting beat up.  This is how men like you keep doing what you do. It becomes normalized. We become conditioned not to say anything, so you think doing things like that is harmless. That it’s OK. That it’s no big deal. You know, because no one ever says otherwise to you. Well, I’m saying something now. It’s not harmless. It’s not OK. It’s a HUGE deal. There were over 25 people here last night, all local people, and they all know about what you did. Not just because I said something, but because the other women did, too. The entire party talked about you being a “groper”, and not one person had ever met you. I felt ashamed for not saying something to you, for not doing something to stop you. My friends were surprised to hear about how I froze. They were surprised, because I’ve just spent the past 2 years in therapy, overcoming a very long and varied history of sexual abuse. I am now an empowered woman who speaks up on behalf of other women. I verbally challenge people who minimize sexual assault. I knew better than to stay quiet…yet I did. Because discussing this type of thing and experiencing this type of thing are most definitely two separate things.  I was ashamed. Me, of all people, should have said something. But I didn’t, and that’s OK. I’m still learning. I’m still healing. I’m still traveling my journey. So no, I didn’t say anything at the time, but I sure as hell am saying something now: “Hey....This. Is. Not. OK.”
This post was written in response to Linda G Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday

 

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Cut short the funk

Id like to thank the universe for cutting short the funk I’ve been in these past few months. I knew something was about to happen. I could feel it building up over the past few weeks. Amid all the inner turmoil, I would catch glimpses of whatever “it” was…little glimmers of hope, of putting puzzle pieces together in my brain. I kept up with my “work”…meditating my ass off, writing in my journal, researching attachment types, abandonment issues and emotionally unavailable men. The other night, I tearfully sat in my friend’s driveway, telling her how desperate I was to change my attachment type, knowing full well the only way I was ever going to stop the pattern of only being drawn to emotionally unavailable men was to believe in my own self worth, and to make peace with the first emotionally unavailable relationship in my life… the one with my dad. Easier said than done, people. Easier said than done.

I spent another day soul-searching. Reading. Listening to podcasts. I knew I had all the answers in my possession, I just had to figure out how to make them work. I could feel an impending shift inside me. I went to dinner that night with my friends, still tearfully talking about the same thing, but telling them “something big is about to happen to me…I can feel it.” And wouldn’t you know it… I woke up the very next day, and the angst was gone. Just like that. It lifted. I exhaled. I smiled.  I thought about trying to figure just what it was that made it go away, but I stopped… No need to. I just wanted to enjoy it.

I felt like a damn rock star.  I kicked ass at work that day. I ended up finishing early because everything seem to line up just right. I noticed a lot of synchronicity throughout the day, and knew it was the universe falling into place for me.  I ended up completing a lot of tasks I had put  off for months. Every interaction I had was joyful and purposeful. I was mindful of everything. I was walking on air and felt unstoppable.

Are you waiting for me to tell you about when the other shoe fell? Well, I’m not going to. The synchronicity is still happening. I still feel no inner turmoil. It’s been days now, and I’m still a rock star.  Carry on.

 

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 4/17

 

 

 

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Sad Season

We had another unseasonably warm day today in New England. At least, that’s what they say. I don’t really think we should be calling it that anymore, because I can remember being out on my boat the last two Octobers. I would have been  out on it today for sure, if the marina hadn’t closed last week.  Everyone’s been asking me if I’ve put the boat away yet. Each time they ask, my smile disappears and my shoulder a slump a little bit as I nod my head. It’s almost like I’m slightly in mourning. Then most of them end up feeling bad for bringing it up. I know, I know…it’s a first world problem.  I don’t really mind having first world problems. I mean, if the worst thing I have to worry about is boating season being over, I’m doing pretty well then. Of course, I always have bigger  things to worry about than that, but I’m making a conscious effort to try to not worry about those ones. This one’s easier because I know it’s temporary. Summer WILL return!

So, what’s a single woman to do on a sunny, warm Saturday in October? Well, seeing how I live on Cape Cod, the possibilities are ENDLESS! I’m sure your mind is racing with various exciting scenarios. Well, whatever it is you’re imagining, just stop. I went to the dump. I mowed the lawn. I did three loads of laundry INCLUDING all our sheets. I took my mom to two yard sales. I pulled weeds from the walkway. I helped the boys clean their rooms.  I’m sure I did some other things that are  apparently not even worth remembering.  However, I find all of this to be somewhat satisfying, as I neglect ALL these things during boating season.  With me working this new job and trying to squeeze in time on the water on my days off, there just isn’t time to keep up with the house and the yard.  There were many days over the past few months where our house looked like one of those houses on Cops…trash littered everywhere, hungry dirty children wandering around without adult supervision.

Not to mention, I’m still getting used to the yard being my responsibility. So, I’m sorry to my neighbors who had to watch things get kind of out of control over here the past few months, but a single working mom just has to prioritize things sometimes. Besides, my crappy yard just makes yours look nicer, so… you’re welcome.

 

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 21/17

 

 

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Well, finally

Well, I finally received the print copy of my article. I started this whole “getting something published” journey back in the spring, and it’s kind of like waiting for a baby to be born. No, not really. Bad example. It’s more like waiting for a vacation you planned well in advance. Yes, that’s a better comparison. You plan the trip, and once you book it, you’re PUMPED. You tell everyone you know about it, you are so freaking excited to go there, and then you kind of have a let down, as you realize you have to spend the next several months just living your ordinary life until the day rolls around. Kind of like the trip I just took to San Diego. I bought it LAST November on cyber Monday (BEST day to purchase online trips, FYI….$600 for round trip airfare and 4 nights in a hotel ON the ocean). We were so excited when we bought it, then had to face the reality of a New England winter and spring (basically just one long cold shitty season), go through the summer and then get excited again as the date finally neared. We just went last week, and it was amazing. And the day I returned home, the paper copy of the American Journal of Nursing was waiting for me. Perfect homecoming after a perfect vacation.

And, I read a book on attachment relationship types on the plane, and it allowed me to let go of the angst which had been building up inside me regarding yet another failed relationship. Sometimes, just having the answer to “why” is good enough.

Well, I am happy again…finally. Feeling at peace and ready to conquer the world again. Thank God….


 

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 14/17

 

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Tender moments

Last night my ex husband came over to celebrate our son’s birthday. We have an amicable relationship, but really haven’t spent too much time together this year. He moved out a year ago, after a tense and difficult summer. I think we’ve learned how to co-parent without pressing each other’s buttons by keeping our distance and creating boundaries. Not too shabby for someone I cringed at the thought of last summer.

Our son opens his gift and soon disappears to his room, in his typical teenage boy fashion. My ex and I are left sitting at my dining room table alone. I can’t even remember what we were talking about initially, but the subject changed to my father. I haven’t really shared much about my problems with my dad on here, and I’m not so sure I want to start tonight, but we’ll see…

Jeez, I can’t really go on with the rest of the story without giving you some sort of background on my dad. Hmm…

OK, so in brief… my dad loves me. I know this to be true. I can feel it when I’m with him. He loves me in the best way he can. The only way he knows how. It is difficult for me to accept this way, because I crave so much more. Intellectually speaking, I understand why he is distant. Emotionally, it kills me. Hey, that summary REEKS of someone in therapy, doesn’t it??

So, my ex tells me my dad reached out to him to see the boys. Another long story about why he needs to go through my ex, but I’ll sit on that one for a while. I’m pleased he’s making an effort to see them, but the conversation leads from one thing to another to another and the next thing you know, I’m crying…pouring out a few raw pieces of my soul…to my ex husband. I just couldn’t help it. The tears were down my cheeks before I even realized what was happening. And I just kept talking. Sharing the pain of my unmet emotional needs regarding my father, with the man who also left my emotional needs unmet for the past 20 years. Crazy, huh? The weird thing is, it didn’t feel crazy. He appeared to be listening sincerely, and appeared to feel bad for me. For all I know, I could be wrong about the sincerity, but I really don’t think so. He validated a few of the things I’ve done…things other members of my family have criticized me for. As much negative shit he and I have been through with each other this past year, he still understands what it’s like to have a dysfunctional childhood. At least that’s something we can connect on.

I spent a good half hour there, talking to him about my family, my childhood, the pain, the abuse…and for those moments, it felt like we weren’t in the middle of a sometimes tense divorce. It wasn’t like we were best friends, either. It was like we were two people who understood familial pain, and he was listening to me without judging me. Kind of a big deal, now that I’m looking back on it. We had some moments of tenderness last night.

I stopped crying and we went upstairs so he could say goodnight to the boys. He checked out my drum set and listened to me play a song, and he didn’t laugh at me at all. I’m actually getting kind of decent at Creep….for a 45-year-old brand new drummer mom. We walked downstairs, while he gave me advice on fall lawn care and getting things ready for the winter season around here. It came time to say good-bye and he hugged me. Not a quick, meaningless fake hug…but a long, sincere, probably sympathy hug. Normally, that is the exact OPPOSITE of something I would want to do with him, but I accepted it. And thanked him. And meant it. While I in NO means would even consider reconciling with the man, or even want to spend another evening with him like that, it did prompt me to think of how I don’t have a man in my life to support me during all this, and that left me feeling kind of empty…

You know, even though he’s not apologizing for all his stuff over the years, I forgive him. I forgave him well before last night. That’s the reward of processing your shit. That’s how you know you’re healing…when you can forgive someone who’s not sorry and feel good about doing it. I had told him about forgiving one of my family members, one who had treated me so badly as a child and still can be quite toxic to me. I told him how even though I can’t have this person in my life, because it would just cause me more pain, I’m still loving this person, from a human standpoint, from a distance. I’m wishing this person peace, as I know it can’t be easy being so miserable and agitated all the time. I asked him if he thought that sounded crazy, and he said yes. He and I…simply not on the same energy level. He’ll never “get” me, and that’s ok. That’s why we don’t live together anymore. But, he got me enough last night to create sincere, tender moments between us. And I’m smart enough to know that when those unexpected tender moments arise with someone, I don’t ignore them.  I will heal.

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Do you know about Someone’s Son?

Do you know what happened today? I became a published author! Granted, it’s just an essay in a nursing journal, but it’s kind of exciting to me. Not only because it’s validating, in regards to my writing, but because it’s a story that changed my life and I’m just full of joy it’s being shared.  Maybe, just maybe… it will change someone’s perception. That’s how we change the world…one person at a time, one story at a time, right?

I find I do my best writing when I’m being honest. Not necessarily honest about other things and other people, but about myself. When I strip down to the raw details, exposing my flaws, owning my deficits… being real… it doesn’t matter if anyone else likes it, or praises it, or praises me. All that matters is I’m being true. And I think everyone can relate to someone being honest and vulnerable, whether they agree with them or not.

My essay tells the story of a difficult nursing experience I had with an alcoholic.  Spoiler alert: I’m the asshole in the story.  If you want to check it out, you can read it in the American Journal of Nursing by clicking here.

This shameless plug of my newly published essay was written in response to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS September 30-17

 

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Mr. Tin Man

I cried at the gas station today. Just a little. It came out of nowhere, I think. Well, I’m sure all the country music I’m listening to isn’t helping. All in all, I think I’m doing pretty damn well. I’m continuing to make impacts with my patients at work. I’m loving having routines again with the boys being back at school. Family dinners are the best! I’m keeping social with my good friends, the one’s who love me and check in on me and value me. I’m meditating, and attending my meditation class every week. I’m going to therapy, working on getting back to being happy just being me. I’m getting there. But today, as I’m driving around to see my last few patients, I became sad. For some reason, I started thinking those stupid unlovable thoughts again. I hate them. Why can’t they just stay away? I’m doing EVERYTHING I’m supposed to be doing to rid myself of them. Fake it till you make it, then fake it some more, I guess.

I’m standing there, pumping gas, with one more patient to see. The sun is shining warmly. There’s hardly any wind. A perfect afternoon to sneak a few hours in on the boat. But work is work and you just can’t predict how long it’s going to take, and today took longer. That’s probably another thing contributing to my sadness…putting the boat away soon. For all I know, I could’ve had my last day out there already. So anyway, I’m standing there, pumping the gas, and I see a man across the way, finishing fueling up. I look at him. He glances at me and carries on. Nothing special about it. Just an average guy who happened to be pumping gas at the same time as me. Next thing you know, I’m crying. Flooded with the thoughts of my inner critic, or inner child, or whoever the hell it is that knows I’m never going to find the love I’ve been craving my entire life. Boom, back in an instant. I’m swallowing hard, blinking away the tears, wondering why the fuck I’m crying at the gas pump over love. God, what is going on with me? Last year, I was perfectly fine to never have even a conversation with another man again, and now I’m aching with emptiness at the knowing of it’s not ever happening for me.

I think my problem is that I finally opened my heart enough to admit I wanted it to be loved. Yeah, I think that’s it. It’s easier to not want love when you seal that sucker up. Safer. You’re protected that way.

But no, I had to go and open the damn thing up, exposing its vulnerability. And when you open it up, and nothing happens, it’s a weird kind of fragility. It kind of starts to close and harden, like it’s going to heal,  but not like the old shell. Just a light scabbing occurs, and as soon as you move, it cracks open again. And it bleeds…right out your eyes and down your cheeks at the gas station. So yeah, I suppose if I just stay home, lying around, doing nothing with anyone, just being still, stuffing it all down, numbing myself with TV or Facebook or nothing…it might harden enough to last. Harden, mind you. Not heal. Big difference. Because I don’t want to harden my heart. That’s armor. Protects you enough, but doesn’t let anything in at all. I also don’t want it to be raw and hurting, either. Because then, when nothing comes in at all, it burns. Neither one is significant of good living. What I truly want is for this heart to be loved and nurtured and adored and held gently. I want it to be needed. I want it to be healed. God, that’s vulnerable just to admit, isn’t it? To acknowledge I want my heart to be loved, yet admit it isn’t? Admit it hasn’t ever? Admit it most likely never will be? Not the way I need it to be. I’ve learned that lesson. Excessively. Doesn’t mean I won’t still try, even though I know the lesson. I just don’t like the alternative. Which I guess is why I cried today. I don’t like this alternative at all, and apparently, I’m totally onto the fact that I’m faking it. Damn.

I’m getting better, though. I kind of love myself enough to know what I deserve and not to take less, just because that’s all that’s offered. Kind of.

I’m turning 46 this year. I think that’s kind of a long time to go without being loved. Or loved in the right way. I know some people never find love. Never have children. Never got to grow up having family. So many of us never find what we yearn for. I’ve been told by just about every man I’ve been with that I want too much. I always felt so ashamed for that, trying to figure out how to stop being so needy and how to just be happy for what’s offered to me. I’m trying to not do that anymore. Though there’s not really any men in my life to try it on, so I guess the “trying” part will have to wait. However, I’ve just recently discovered the concept of “attachment types” and let me tell you, it’s opened my eyes. (Thank you, Deborah!) You can read about them here. I’ve got to figure out how to stop being attracted to these “avoidance” types. Or, figure out how to change myself to a “secure” type. Not happening any time soon, I’m sure. In the meantime, I’m filling my days  with work, my kids and my friends. (I’ve got my drum lessons in an hour…working on a Metallica song!) Trying to fill up as much of the day as I can so I don’t notice what’s lurking. But I notice, anyway. Funny how you can be surrounded by people and still feel lonely. I know I won’t be able to stay this way forever. It will either harden back up, or it will just break. So for now, I’m just protecting it and loving it the best I can, and hoping someday, my love for myself will be enough.

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Inner Voices


I keep using the phrase, “ebb and flow” lately, when referring to my life…my healing…my whatever. I’m over a year and a half into this “work” I’ve been doing, and lately… I have more days than not where I feel I haven’t made much progress at all. I can’t even bring myself to read my posts from last year, back when I was badass. Back when I was fixing appliances and taking names. Back when I spoke my truth and became empowered. Back when I learned what brought me joy and I did it.  Back when I knew my worth.

OK, I suppose that last sentence is a bit misleading. It’s not that I don’t know my worth. I know it. I’m just having a hard time feeling it. Yes, there’s a difference. Feeling it, (or not feeling it, in this case), is that inner voice. My inner critic. My superego. The one who laughs at my intellectual self, who is the one who tells me I’m worthy. My intellectual self uses all the new language I’ve learned, all the research and knowledge I’ve gained, and says it to my inner self. Over and over and over. But my inner self is ebbing….or is it flowing? I’m never sure which is which, when talking about life’s highs and lows. Anyway, my inner voice isn’t matching up to my intellectual voice anymore. And I hate it.

God, I was so freaking strong when they matched up. I was powerful. Even I wouldn’t have messed with me back then. Hell hath no fury like an empowered woman who knows her worth! I became that way by removing all of my triggers. Easy! Live in a bubble and all is well…tra, la la….

My bubble was so perfect, so believable…I didn’t think I needed it anymore. That’s a core dilemma, isn’t it? Stay in the bubble so you don’t get hurt, or go out of the bubble so you can attempt to live a real life? TOUGH decision! In the words of my future boyfriend, Garth Brooks,

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance”.  

I swear, sometimes I think Garth is the male country version of Oprah…speaks to my heart. Anyway,  I’ll save you the details, but right now…I’m outside the bubble. I can’t even get back in, because the only way out is to pop it and hope for the best. And well, the best didn’t happen. I know, I know…that’s how life goes. Trust me, my intellectual self has been telling me that for weeks now. That’s what’s interesting about being outside the bubble this time. The first time, which just so happened to be right after I realized I had been living in a cocoon my entire life, well that first time was so raw and eye opening, I didn’t really mind it. I liked it. For the first time in my life, as painful as it was, I felt like I was living.  I saw life and felt experiences, painful or not, with a new clarity…from a new perspective. My inner self and my intellectual self matched up quickly. The puzzle pieces started falling into place and my year of “work” paid off.

Of course, I didn’t completely realize that in order to stay in that place, I had to live in the bubble. Bubbles are transparent, and you don’t even notice them if you stay busy enough. But I’m not so busy anymore. I sold my company. I have a much less stressful job. I’ve been separated long enough that it feels normal now. The kids are busy and off conquering the world, now that one of them has a car. I don’t need to journal 10 times a day anymore. I have time. And when you’ve got time on your hands, and your inner voice is telling you you’re not worthy, life gets difficult.

So, I’m spending my time flip flopping between the two voices. One saying, “Other people get those things, Jami. You don’t. That’s just how it is.” And the other is saying, “You are worthy and things will come when they are supposed to. Trust the process.” They say a lot of other things, but I’m trying to make a long story a little less long (sorry). I spent my entire life listening to that first inner voice, the one who knew I wasn’t supposed to have the things I long for in life. I never even asked for them, because I knew. That’s toxic shame for ya…it’s a bitch. I had no clue that another voice even existed, let alone knew the things it would say to be true. And I feel blessed to have been able to figure out a way to listen to that second voice last year. Not only listen to it, but believe it. I believed it right up until about two months ago. That’s when I hit the ebb, (or flow?)  and started to realize that I had been wrong all along. “Other people get those things, Jami. You don’t. That’s just how it is.” Right now, most of me feels like maybe I was just faking it all last year, because this is what feels real right now. My empowered self feels like an act. Fooled you, suckers! And guess what? Even admitting that makes me feel ashamed. Gosh! (read that like Napoleon Dynamite). Staying miserable is easier…

My saving grace in all of this is that the difference between this time…the difference between hearing that voice now and when I heard it my entire life before, is that I have that intellectual voice now. My tool box is at least over halfway full.  I never had a counter voice before. I never flip flopped. I was just unworthy, plain and simple. No argument to be made, as the opposing side did not exist to me. At least now, I have an argument. And even though my inner voice is kicking ass right now, I am holding on to a thin thread of hope that if I focus on the process, my intellectual voice will prevail.

That’s what faith is, right?

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