Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Am Learning To Abandon the World

I am learning to abandon the world
before it can abandon me.
Already I have given up the moon
and snow, closing my shades
against the claims of white.
And the world has taken
my father, my friends.
I have given up melodic lines of hills,
moving to a flat, tuneless landscape.
And every night I give my body up
limb by limb, working upwards
across bone, towards the heart.
But morning comes with small
reprieves of coffee and birdsong.
A tree outside the window
which was simply shadow moments ago
takes back its branches twig
by leafy twig.
And as I take my body back
the sun lays its warm muzzle on my lap
as if to make amends.

by Linda Pastan

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

They Can't Take That Away From Me

I am so upset today and I just can't seem to pull it together.

Anti-depressants are good for one thing. You feel nothing. Not that that is an attribute but I think people prefer it.

I managed much better with j for the months I was on it. And I was able to deal with the death of my first grandma without much fanfare. Even at her funeral and burial, I barely cried.

I am not proud of that.

My other grandma seems to be getting worse day by day and it is completely heartbreaking. I cannot come completely to terms with it. It comes in waves. The hardest part seems to be when I cannot see her.

Monday, when I visited her, I rang the door and no one answered for a long time. Finally my uncle came out and explained that she was too sick to see me. Too sick to see anyone. She had been vomiting nonstop for days. The doctor told her she needed to just completely rest and see no one. Her kids have been fighting. There has been too much stress. I was heartbroken, but I knew my uncle was right and I am so grateful for all he is doing for her.

This afternoon is the first I have spoke to her, and it is not good. The news seems to be worse and worse. She is always so worried about everyone else and no one seems to really see her.

In the midst of this my bankruptcy was finally filed and I got some bad news from my attorney. I had just finished an email to him when she called and was crying about that but I sucked it in and told her that everything here was fine. She is always so concerned with everyone else's problems. It's probably what is killing her. Everyone is troubling her with all their shit and she doesn't need to know mine.

I was here alone with my daughter and wanted to scream at her. NEVER MARRY AN ALCOHOLIC. It will ruin your life. Your body will become rotted with cancer and prior to that they will Fuck you in every way possible.

I just held her and cried. I don't want her to be laden with my problems.

I suppose in 10 years all of this will be off my record and I will move on.

But right now I am so Fucking angry.

I realize how expendable I was to my husband and his family. It makes me physically sick. Everything I endured all that time was for nothing. They would have killed me. They practically did.

Here is a lesson for anyone who has been in my shoes. If you are suffering from the actions of an alcoholic, don't make the mistake of feeling sorry for them. They don't give one tiny good god damn about you. They don't and they never will. They will not change. They will not ever care for anything. When all is said and done, they will still come back and BLAME YOU for everything that has happened - THAT THEY FUCKING DID.

And that's not just my story. That is every Al anon meeting I have ever been to.

How easy it would have been for them to pay all of this. They are so opposed to welfare for single mothers or any "handouts" for the poor.

They are so quick to take any handout they can, so long as someone Else pays the price.

Do they need a $150,000 handout? Hell no. It makes me sick, sick, sick.

It is wrong on every level, every single level. But who helps someone like me? The only people who get help are people who don't need it and don't deserve it - like my ex and his parents.

They are all failures as far as I can see. They leave their own to die alone. They would rather pay for rehab and bailouts for addicts than for education and a way forward for their grandchildren.

My father in law went as far once to burn down the cardboard box a homeless man lived in on "his Property".

So it should be no surprise to me that he and his son would burn down my own house. That they would destroy everything.

My ex-husband has no respect for me taking care of our kids or especially my grandmothers before they die. He told me he was "glad he could support my charity work."

I hate him. I hate all of them. It has just become too much for me to swallow.

I had to take a withdrawal last month from my 401k again so we could live.

It killed me. But I did it.

Previously I had decimated 3 different accounts because he didn't want to work. This boy with every resource in the world at his feet - did not want to break a sweat for his own fucking blood.

This recent withdrawal was my start up from 6 years ago when he got sober.

I feel like I will never catch up.

is going to take care of me when I am old?

I don't even want to burden my children with this. I hope they will not be like their dad's family. That would be my greatest failure as a mother and a human being.

But I also hope that they will not be like me and my mom and end up with nothing.

Today the bankruptcy attorney told me that they would take away the last $1000 from that withdrawal.

I just lost it. Why the fuck for?

I can't begin to say the crazy thoughts that have gone through my head this afternoon, but they amount to


Why should I give up one more god damned thing? That money is for my kids. Lord knows his family or him won't give up one damned cent.

It is just too much. Too god damned much for me today.

I may die with nothing, but I will always be proud that I took care of my family. No one can take that from me.


"The more connections you and your lover make, not just between your bodies, but between your minds, your hearts, and your souls, the more you will strengthen the fabric of your relationship, and the more real moments you will experience together."

- Barbara De Angelis

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


"It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations."

- Khalil Gibran

Monday, September 20, 2010

Built like a House

“A relationship is built similar to a house - foundation is friendship, without it you have no relationship; walls are honesty, communication, love, and trust; the roof is constantly being built by the many years of getting to know each other and growth. Relationships are a constant work in progress, so do not take the...m for granted as they could easily deteriorate and become nothing." - unknown

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Nothing Further to Discuss

I started slowly again with the Kundalini Yoga. It's amazing how stiff my body has become in just this time. It emphasized how important the daily yoga and stretching is for me. I already feel slightly better.

I realized yesterday that I don't have to talk to my ex anymore. He is constantly sending negative texts and I have gotten back into the bad habit of responding, which is pointless, because he will never get it.

I decided yesterday that I will go ahead and get my 7-year-old his own cell phone. I have been going back and forth on it, because it seems excessive, but it will save me a lot of grief.

If my husband wants to call the kids, he can use that number. I do not need to be involved whatsoever. If I am out, and he starts freaking out as usual, there is no reason to contact me. He can contact my son directly and talk to him, since that's what he states his purpose in calling is.

I told him yesterday, all he needs to do is pick up the kids when he is scheduled to and pay what is due - on time. We don't have anything further to discuss.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I am feeling very angry lately, nearly all the time, at my ex.

On one hand, I feel like life keeps getting better and better. I have many relationships that I get a lot of satisfaction from and that I am very grateful for.

I have been able to spend a lot of time with my grandmother - more than I thought I would have several weeks ago. I am trying to stop by there every day.

My grandmother amazes me. She is so damned tough.

I also must say that my uncle has amazed me. He has truly risen to the occasion and given her the best care anyone could ever imagine. I have stereotyped alcoholics a lot lately. And he is certainly an alcoholic. But he has been able to put that aside and really, really care for her the way she needs to be cared for and the way she deserves. I am so grateful that he is there with her at all times. I have not seen anyone give the level of care that he has given her. It is truly heartwarming.

It reminds me that we do all have a choice. He certainly could have dug his head in the sand, drank too much, and ignored my grandma's needs - and in typical alcoholic fashion felt sorry for himself. I always worried when I was married to J, that if anything ever happened to me, he would never have it in him to take care of me. I still feel that very strongly to this day.

I am done with most of my grieving and sadness. Several weeks ago that had completely consumed me. There were days where I spent nearly the entire day crying. Her death seemed so completely unfair to me. It seemed too early.

She did not want that from any of us. And she has told me as much many times. I really had to get a grip on myself. You can't just bury your emotions - I don't believe that is good. But I did need to work through them in order to get where we are now. I feel like now we can just enjoy each other. And even though she is sick and there are things we have discussed that are sad, I always look forward to my time with her.

For the last 6 years she has lived less than 10 minutes away from my house. But I really took that for granted. I felt like she was my young and healthy grandma and I would have at least 20 more years to spend with her.

It occurred to me today that we take life for granted here so much. We assume, like I did, that we are entitled to so much time with our parents or grandparents, and life promises us nothing.

At the same time, we are so flip about our policies in this country, which cause the premature death to millions around the world. It is so hypocritical really.

I have always known this on some level, but today it really hit me. Perhaps because today is the anniversary of the Sabra And Shatila massacres. (If you don't know what this is, and most Americans seem not to, there is a good article at - Remembering Sabra And Shatila by Sonja Karkar).

In any case, this flipness is one of the things that enrages me about my ex.

The fact that he's this spoiled little rich boy who invents problems like drugs and drinking too much while there is an entire world out there that is suffering - and many times they are suffering as a result of our own excesses and fucked up policies.

He made a flip comment the other week about how a lot of people are having financial problems right now.

That just infuriated me.

Yes, this is true. Our economy is really screwed up right now and there are millions and millions of people who are barely hanging on by a thread.

But here he is with every resource in the world - a wealthy family, connections, a good job, an inheritance, and on and on and on....

He chose to stop working - for years - because he didn't fucking feel like it. Work was beneath him. It was more important for him to get high, to get drunk and to fuck random women than to take care of his family. He made a conscious choice to fuck over his family. He will always be fine because his family will always be right there to bail him out. He will always have a huge inheritance to bank on. But I don't have that.

And now, not only does he take zero responsibility, or try to fix it, he tries to put himself in the same category with people who truly did not have a choice or any other options.

It is sickening. He makes me sick.

I have developed a hernia and not been doing my Kundalini Yoga for the last month. I notice a huge difference in my anger level. That seemed to release a lot for me. So I think I will get back to that. I'd rather pop my hernia out than feel this constant anger eating at my soul.

I am really regretting the day we ever had sex, the day we got married, the first day that I ever put up with any of his bullshit.

I should have walked so long ago. I can't get that time back. It is gone. Just like my grandma's time is nearly up. I am glad that I have more choices than she had in her day. I don't have to stay married to an alcoholic for 36 years. But it still burns. It is a bitter poison that I live with every day. How I wish I could be rid of it. How I wish I had made better choices years ago. Perhaps I am most angry at myself. But I still resent him so much, and I don't know if I will ever get past that.


I really like this song and it really speaks to me on so many levels.

I can’t believe what you said to me
Last night when we were alone
You threw your hands up
Baby you gave up, you gave up

I can’t believe how you looked at me
With your James Dean glossy eyes
In your tight jeans with your long hair
And your cigarette stained lies

Could we fix you if you broke?
And is your punch line just a joke?

I’ll never talk again
Oh boy you’ve left me speechless
You’ve left me speechless, so speechless

I can’t believe how you slurred at me
With your half wired broken jaw
You popped my heart seams
On my bubble dreams, bubble dreams

I can’t believe how you looked at me
With your Johnnie Walker eyes
He’s gonna get you and after he’s through
There’s gonna be no love left to rye

And I know that it’s complicated
But I’m a loser in love
So baby raise a glass to mend
All the broken hearts
Of all my wrecked up friends

I’ll never talk again
Oh boy you’ve left me speechless
You’ve left me speechless so speechless

I’ll never love again,
Oh friend you’ve left me speechless
You’ve left me speechless, so speechless


And after all the drinks and bars that we’ve been to
Would you give it all up?
Could I give it all up for you?

And after all the boys and girls that we’ve been through
Would you give it all up?
Could you give it all up?

If I promise to you boy
That I’ll never talk again
And I’ll never love again
I’ll never write a song
Won’t even sing along

I’ll never love again
So speechless
You left me speechless, so speechless
Why you so speechless, so speechless?

Will you ever talk again?
Oh boy, why you so speechless?
You’ve left me speechless

Some men may follow me
But you choose “death and company”
Why you so speechless? Oh oh oh

-Lady Gaga

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I feel a lot of times like I get a lot of shit from my ex for being truthful. And ironically, he is constantly accusing me of lying.

I keep telling him that I don't lie. I do omit at times, and that is for his own benefit.

Some say that omitting is a form of lying, but I don't agree with that. Omitting when you owe someone everything is one thing. But we are not in relationship. We are not committed. We are divorced and I owe him nothing.

My life is none of his business. My counselor told me that so many times, years and years ago, and I continually explained away and tried to be too honest with J.

But it is now hitting me how right she is. My life is no one's business, really.

I am not commited to anyone. No one has a right to "know" every detail of my life.

That is not dishonesty, that is self-preservation.

I could spend my entire life explaining everything to J. He would still never get it. And the more I explained, the more he would blame and accuse me.

There is an Ayn Rand quote I have always loved:

"Honesty is not a social duty, not a sacrifice for the sake of others, but the most profoundly selfish virtue man can practice: his refusal to sacrifice the reality of his own existence to the deluded consciousness of others."
-Ayn Rand

The things I have realized lately is that my honesty is best used with women. When we are honest with each other about our own lives, it gives other women permission to open up and be honest about theirs. In the last year or so I have really opened myself up much more than I ever have. And my relationships have grown deeper than I ever could have imagined.

The other thing that I have really learned from my dear friends B & K is that no one owns you. Love is not about possession or jealousy. Love does not even know these things.

I am really grateful for the friends that I have and the lessons they have taught me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some Lessons We Learn the Hard Way

Some Lessons

Well I'm buckled up inside
It's a miracle that I'm alive
I do not think I can survive
On bread and wine alone
To think that I could have fallen
A centimeter to the left
Would not be here to see the sunset
Or have myself a time

Well why do the hands of time
So easily unwind
Some lessons we learn the hard way
Some lessons don't come easy
That's the price we have to pay
Some lessons we learn the hard way
They don't come right off and right easy
That's why they say some lessons learned we learn the hard way

Remember the sound of the pavement
World turned upside down
City streets unlined and empty
Not a soul around
Life goes away in a flash
Right before your eyes
If I think real hard well I reckon
I've had some real good times

Well why do the hands of time
So easily unwind
Some lessons we learn the hard way
Some lessons don't come easy
That's the price we have to pay
Some lessons we learn the hard way
They don't come right off and right easy
That's why they say some lessons learned we learn the hard way

- Melody Gardot

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Ex Factor

I feel like I have hit a very good spot in my life.

That said, I feel like my ex continually harasses me and fails to take responsibility for his actions, both past and present.

I always liked this song in my 20's and I recently re-discovered it. It seems to encapsulate some of my relationship with my ex.

The Ex Factor

It could all be so simple
But you'd rather make it hard
Loving you is like a battle
And we both end up with scars

Tell me, who I have to be
To get some reciprocity
No one loves you more than me
And no one ever will

Is this just a silly game
That forces you to act this way
Forces you to scream my name
Then pretend that you can't stay
Tell me, who I have to be
To get some reciprocity
No one loves you more than me
And no one ever will

No matter how I think we grow
You always seem to let me know
It ain't workin'
It ain't workin'
And when I try to walk away
You'd hurt yourself to make me stay
This is crazy
This is crazy

I keep letting you back in
How can I explain myself
As painful as this thing has been
I just can't be with no one else
See I know what we got to do
You let go and I'll let go too
'Cause no one's hurt me more than you
And no one ever will

No matter how I think we grow
You always seem to let me know
It ain't workin'
It ain't workin'
And when I try to walk away
You'd hurt yourself to make me stay
This is crazy
This is crazy

Care for me, care for me
I know you care for me

There for me, there for me
Said you'd be there for me

Cry for me, cry for me
You said you'd die for me

Give to me, give to me
Why won't you live for me

Where were you when I needed you?
Where were you?
Where were you?

you you you

Where were you?

- Lauren Hill

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


"The truly faithless one is the one who makes love to only a fraction of you. And denies the rest."

- Anais Nin

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Vent

I have really been struggling lately.

I do not have a problem meeting people. I seem to meet and attract people everywhere I go lately - whether it is new friends or men and/or women who want to date me. I feel very fortunate in many ways. I feel very loved by my friends and family.

And yet, there is a loneliness in me that I can not seem to fill.

Lately, I have been feeling that I really screwed up my life.

I am starting to feel like I am getting old. I am starting to feel the weight of 2 divorces. I am starting to feel the consequences of my actions and the decisions I have made. Primarily, the decision to marry J and then to stay with him for so long when things were so bad.

I am angry at myself for being weak. No one can seem to understand how I got into or stayed in that situation. I suppose that is why I have stayed in familiar territory for so long. I am enjoying meeting new people but I am tired of explaining the whys of my life. That said, I feel that the future in moving forward, not in going back.

It is apparent to me now how much of a mental, physical and emotional drain J has been over the last 8 years - and even now.

I have tried to be a friend to J like I did with H after we divorced. But they are completely different men, and I am starting to realize that things are not remotely the same. Perhaps many other people saw this before me, but I did not.

I have arrived

I took the kids downtown today. We walked for quite some time, between a few different places. Primarily, we were going to see my friend L, who was working at an Art Festival.

I stopped at the most gorgeous exhibit of portraits from around the world and was transfixed by the entire booth. Many of the smaller prints included quotations at the bottom, which were also wonderful. I knew I wanted one but could not make up my mind.

I asked my daughter to pick the one she liked and she pointed to a print of a little black girl sitting on a chair and a quote from Marianne Williamson beneath her. I still could not make up my mind and the kids were getting restless, so I decided we would go find L and come back.

The photographer came up to me with the print and told me it was for my daughter. The quote read, "We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone."

We thanked him and went to get L. I told her about the artist and we went back and looked together. She loved the photographs too.

I lingered for a long time and struggled to pick one. The kids finally went to play next to us at an enclosed park. I finally decided on a beautiful older Turkish woman, wearing no makeup and the hijab.

I went to purchase it and the photographer looked carefully at what I had picked. He said, she's beautiful - is this for you?

I told him it was and he said, you take it. I told him I could not and that he had already given us one. He said, no, you have children - give them everything. I nearly cried and he gave me a big hug.

The picture and the quote are what my hope is for myself, someday.

"I have arrived. I am home in the now. I am solid. I am free. In the ultimate I dwell. What a loving place to be."
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Saturday, September 4, 2010


"Men are very proud of being men. But it is an uneasy pride, not founded on a solid biological fact. If men were and always had been completely contended with being male, they would never have cared what women did or did not do."

- Katharine Burdekin, Proud Man

Friday, September 3, 2010

How To Be Alone

If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were you were not okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find its fine to be alone once you’re embracing it. We can start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library, where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books, your not suppose to talk much anyway so its safe there. There is also the gym, if your shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in. There’s public transportation, we all gotta go places. And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation. Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on avoid being principles. The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by “chow downers”, employees who only have an hour and their spouse work across town, and they, like you, will be alone. Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone. When you are comfortable with “eat lunch and run”, take yourself out to dinner to a restaurant with linen and silver wear. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo desert and cleaning the whip cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were. Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst fleeting community. And then take yourself out dancing, to a club where no one knows you, stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no ones watching because they are probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely move to beats, after-all, is gorgeous and affecting. Dance till you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things. Down your back, like a book of blessings. Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you. Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, they are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches, might of never happened had you not been there by yourself.

Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after awhile no one is dating them. But lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it. You can stand swaffed by groups and mobs and hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company. But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts an essence of them maybe lost or perhaps it is just kept. Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from pre-school over to high school groaning, we’re tokens for holding the lonely at bay. Cause if you’re happy in your head, and solitude is blessed, and alone is okay., Its okay if no one believes like you, all experiences unique, no one has the same synapses can’t think like you, this me/ be ?, keeps things interesting, lifes magic things ?, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, the community is not present, just take back to you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. Take silence and respect it, if you have an art that needs practice stop neglecting it, if your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it. You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it, if your heart is bleeding, make the best of it, there is heat and freezing be a testimate.

~ Tanya Davis

She performs this on youtube so beautifully:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Embracing Womanhood

When one woman honors who she is, all women collectively move closer to becoming what they are capable of being.

There are many ways and myriad reasons for women to honor and embrace all that they are. And when any individual woman chooses to do so, all women collectively move closer to becoming what they are truly capable of being. By honoring her experience and being willing to share it with others--both male and female--she teaches as she learns. When she can trust herself and her inner voice, she teaches those around her to trust her as well. Clasping hands with family members and friends, coworkers and strangers in a shared walk through the journey of life, she allows all to see the self-respect she possesses and accepts their respect, too, that is offered through look, word, and deed.

When a woman can look back into her past, doing so without regret and instead seeing only lessons that brought her to her current strength and wisdom, she embraces the fullness of her experience. She helps those around her to build upon the past as she does. And when she chooses to create her desires, she places her power in the present and moves forward with life into the future.

Seeing her own divinity, a woman learns to recognize the divinity in all women. She then can see her body as a temple, appreciating its feminine form and function, regardless of what age or stage of life she finds herself. She can enjoy all that it brings to her experience and appreciate other women and their experiences as well. Rather than seeing other women as competition, she can look around her to see the cycle of life reflected in the beauty of her sisters, reminding her of her own radiance should she ever forget. She can then celebrate all the many aspects that make her a being worthy of praise, dancing to express the physical, speaking proudly to express her intellect, sharing her emotions, and leading the way with her spiritual guidance. Embracing her womanhood, she reveals the facets that allow her to shine with the beauty and strength of a diamond to illuminate her world.

-Stephanie Renée