A little about everything.

I realized something as I listened to Kenny Chesney belt out one of his famous tunes “Me and You” this morning, I realized that I never shared any of my true feelings with you. I did things and I wrote messages that eluded to how I felt, I even said I love you, but I never sat you down and spoke all of my feelings aloud. I kept all of it to myself because I didn’t feel like it was fair to put you in that impossible situation where you couldn’t say anything back or even accept the information. Maybe I was keeping it from you so I wouldn’t have to face the rejection that I was certain would come if you knew how deeply I felt for you. See, the love I have for you is about who you are and who I am when we are together. It is based on nothing but the purest form of true love. It’s not about the things we did, places we went, stuff we bought for each other, no… it was more than that. People who have only had conventional relationships can’t comprehend this. They don’t understand that what we shared was more than expensive, lavish dinners out on the town and it was more than any amount of money in the bank. It was how you held me and made me feel beautiful, it was the caramel brown of your eyes peering back at me with love, the strength of your hand in mine, the stretch of your body along my back, the whisper of your voice in my ear and your warm breath tickling my neck, it was the excitement of seeing your truck pull in to your parking space at work or my driveway, it was the anticipation of your good morning text messages and love notes throughout the day. All this and more is what made the love in my soul abound from places unknown.

Some people think I fell in love with you because you were convenient but I couldn’t disagree more. Our relationship wasn’t convenient. It was complex. It was difficult to make this work yet we figured out how to manage a beautiful, full, intense, romantic, kind, loving, fulfilling, exciting relationship for nearly five years despite all obstacles. It wasn’t convenient for either of us yet we had something more precious than I’ve ever known. I fathom you feel the same. We overcame a lot to be together and we worked together better than two people ever could.

My friends feel sad for me because they think I should have this love in my life and I should be allowed to live happily ever after with you. I dunno. Maybe your feelings for me aren’t the same, or maybe they are but you can’t do anything about them for whatever reasons you have. See, the joy in feeling this deeply is that I am free to feel…if I allow myself to anyway. You, however, have to hide your feelings and tuck them away for private moments. I don’t know how you’re doing and I wish I did. I feel like I can feel your sadness about us; maybe it’s just my wishful thinking. I feel like there’s this part of you that misses us and you wish you could feel it all again just one more time. Just one more kiss, hug, or even a long gaze into each other’s eyes. I hunger for it too. For me, happily ever after is a strange thing, because I will forever be happy that you were this love for me and I will relish every moment we shared, yet I know I will have to move on and put these emotions away. I don’t really look forward to that day, but maybe the process will just take time and I will come to terms with it as life moves forward. I will always carry a bit of wonder and sadness about what might’ve been for us because I just know we would’ve been powerful and forever.

You know this morning as I woke up I felt this gloomy shadow come over me. I’ve been feeling it for some time but haven’t given it much voice yet. I have happy moments and I have sad moments but I am not happy. In fact I am sad and I’m angry that I’m sad and I can’t do shit about it. There’s this constant underlying darkness in all that I say and do. The more connected I feel the deeper that darkness goes and I feel the expanse of my happiness swell and I am free to feel, give, process, manage, etc. I am so disconnected right now that I feel like the darkness is just creeping in over the topsoil of my life. So as I laid in my bed, I thought of how I could describe what is happening in my mind. It is like the flowers in my garden are droopy and wilted. They need sun and rain but the clouds only move in, block the sun, and it never rains. The flowers in my garden are wilted. The darkness is consuming the flowers of my life. Then I realized I didn’t feel like this when we were together. My garden was full, blooming, well watered and nourished. They were the happiest flowers in any garden anywhere. But now, they are dying. They are hungry and thirsty. They aren’t getting what they need at all. For some reason I feel powerless to move the clouds out of the way and nourish my own garden and cause my clouds to rain. I feel powerless to move the darkness back to where it belongs. There are so many sayings about how happiness is cultivated within and you can’t make others happy if you’re not happy on your own and others that say you can’t allow your happiness to rest in others, but for me I’m not happy without you. I don’t care what self-help books say, or what a therapist would say, I don’t care what any religious teachings tell me… I miss you and I’m sad without you in my life. That’s it. Bottom line. That is my position about all of this. I’m fucking sad and I’m fucking lonely without you. So for now, the flowers in my garden will wilt and die and eventually I will plant new ones and a new season will arrive. I guess the question I have to ask myself is if I’m gonna sit back and watch the flowers die or if I’m gonna till them under now and start fresh already. If there are no flowers there’s no need for sun or rain, right?

Thoughtfully,

The Repressed Peach

Scars

Few people know the details of my upbringing and all that I had to watch, suffer through, and recover from. The horrors of life were ever present in my life from the time I was a small infant to my older teenage years. This included trauma and chaos at school too. Few people realize how badly I was tormented as a child in school. I had several factors stacked against me. First, I have a unique first name that rhymes with colorful, nasty words (think: “Nicky likes _____.”); I have red hair, and my maiden name was Crisp. To add to the fun, I was also miserably poor. My mom was a single mom of three kids and we had a horrible life full of drugs, neglect, abuse (every kind you can define), and homelessness. We moved from house to house, often lived with my grandparents, worked in their restaurant, and struggled to find any sense of stability. It was awful to say the least. Nobody should have to live like that. In the midst of it all, I found a love for school. I loved school and the teachers. I thrived in school at every opportunity. I loved my teachers and clung to them for safety and security. They were my beacons of hope for a different life.  A life that I deserved. A life that I could make for myself if I just tried hard enough and made good decisions toward. The sad part about this is that school was not safe for me either. I was tormented for all the things that made me unique. I was called names, teased mercilessly, rumors spread about me, and ridiculed at every turn. I remember it was in 4th grade that things started to get really ugly. I was manipulated into thinking I was doing things wrong, that I wasn’t a good friend, and that I was not worthy of friendship, love, or life. I remember walking home from the bus stop crying my eyes out every single day of 4th, 5th, and most of 6th grade. Nobody helped me. Nobody stood up for me. My mom did nothing. The school did nothing. The teachers did nothing. The bus drivers did nothing. My friends cowered behind the bullies thankful they weren’t the targets of such pain. I cried in humiliation, fear, sadness and thought that maybe I didn’t deserve to live. I never attempted to take my life, but if it weren’t for the grace of God, and His divine intervention, I could have lost all hope for better days. Some of the people I am connected to today on social media were my bullies. They’ve never apologized. We’ve never been close. But they are part of why I am who I am today. I don’t see myself as a victim of anything in life, I see myself as a survivor and I am thriving. However, I do not aim to minimize my experiences. In fact, I aim to highlight that life is hard and kids can be cruel, but with time, healing, and good guidance even the worst of the worst can be made good.

I have to remember this in the season I am in right now.

See, my son has become the target of bullying. He has been hit in the face on several occasions, his books and band instrument taken away from him and thrown on the ground, he’s been called names and ridiculed in front of his peers. All while at school, with teachers, cameras, and a wonderful thing called “David’s Law” are in place. And despite all of these things, here we are, 30 years later, and I am replaying the trauma I experienced as a young girl. My trauma does not equal his trauma, but it has prepared me to face this issue head on and with a fierceness that only a parent can muster when their child is being mistreated. The scars of my past have been opened a bit and my unspent tears are being shed in love for my son, the sweetest, most gentle, kind-hearted person the world has known. He is a smart, kind, talented, warm, friendly, inquisitive, joyful, God-loving, encouraging, funny 12 year old. He is all of this and so much more. Thankfully, he doesn’t have any “flaws” stacked against him that makes him an easy target, but here he is being tormented and assaulted at school. I can’t figure out what has caused this other child to lash out against my son. To add fuel to the already volatile situation, the perpetrator in this case is the principal’s son. Lovely.

Ironically, before the first days of 7th grade, my son’s school held what was called “Prep Days” where you get your school ID, class schedule, and find the classrooms on your schedule. While we were there, I spoke with the principal and the assistant principals about a series of inappropriate activities that occurred on the school bus that ran through my neighborhood the year before. Several students had shared that inappropriate sexual activities were taking place between kids on the bus and several fights broke out, too. Well, when I addressed these concerns all of the principals were baffled at the information as though they had never heard of anything like that. They claimed nobody had reported any of this misbehavior and had no knowledge of any parental concerns about what was happening on the bus. The principal even had a dismissive tone as I spoke with him. Red flags went up all over my brain. Not a good impression. And definitely not a good sign of things to come in the given situation.

Nobody deserves to go through this experience. Yet we know that so many kids are victims of bullying and so many suffer in silence. So many kids don’t have anyone to tell. They don’t have anyone to fight for them. They have no voice to be heard and nobody advocates for the mistreatment to stop. Thankfully there are societal changes taking shape, but the abuse happens faster than laws can be passed or lives saved. I will ensure that I use every single resource at my disposal to ensure my son’s safety and that of others. I will not stand idle by and watch my son or any other child abused like this. I know the depth at which these experiences affect you and the pain that stays with you most of your life. I know the helplessness one feels when faced with bullying and mistreatment. Know this: I will advocate for the safety of all children at this school. I will go to any length necessary to achieve the desired results. I will spare no expense in my endeavors.

I may have scars from my childhood, but I am going to use them as badges of honor in my fight. My bullies had their day, but I will have mine in the demand for this to cease for my child.

Expressly,

The Repressed Peach

Retaliate?

What do you say to someone who is trying to hurt you? At what point do you draw the line and not take their abuse any longer? How much understanding does one have to afford someone before they stand up for themselves?

I’ve endured six months of repeated verbal attacks by my lover’s wife. *(How do I even talk about this? How do I share this without welcoming more abusive attacks?)* Anyway… she is obviously deeply angry with me and is lashing out any which way she can and again I have not responded to her. I’ve let her spew her anger and I have exuded understanding as best as possible. But today, I feel like she crossed the line. She sent me a message telling me that I was not worthy of lasting relationships, nor marriage, because I did not respect her marriage. She said that I was like a snake slithering on my belly waiting for weakness in a man and then I would strike. She said that all marriages experience times of weakness and that her husband’s moment of weakness with me was my fault and that I should have shooed him away and respected their marriage. She said my curse now is that I will never enjoy a marriage of my own in light of my behavior.

This is the thing: I know that falling in love with a married man was not the “right” thing to do. I did not go out looking for him. I did not seek him out and plan this. I did struggle with the ethics of it time and time again. I cried. I prayed. I fought to find love elsewhere. I planned everything I could to NOT have this happen. And yet, it did. I am still at fault for my decisions. I accept responsibility in this. I even accept the consequences, for the most part. I struggle with accepting full and total responsibility for my relationship with him though. We were two equals throughout the five years we were together who kept deciding again and again to choose each other. Which means HE CHOSE ME, TOO!! He is not a victim in this situation. He actively participated in the entire relationship the entire time. So, I don’t really want to hear how I “struck him like a snake” and did some evil thing to him to make him stray from his marriage. I am no magician. I have no spells to cast. I am a woman, flesh, blood, human, and in love with a beautiful man. Send me to hell if you must. Cast spells upon my soul. Wish evil upon me at every turn. Do whatever makes you feel better to ensure that I get my due punishment, I suppose. But, when I have had enough of the abuse, which I am nearing, I will hold my ground and stand up for myself. And dammit, I am worthy of just as much grace and forgiveness as he does. In fact, if we’re being brutally honest, maybe I deserve a little more considering that I am indeed single. Last I checked, I didn’t take any vows to ensure the sanctity of their marriage. He did, though. And he stepped outside of it. He’s no more to blame than I am, but maybe there’s some transference of anger happening here.

I guess that’s where I have been operating from actually. He told me that he loves his wife and that she’s hurt right now. I respect that. I can imagine how she’s feeling which is why I have refrained from responding to her attacks. He loves her and if I hurt her further (or in return), I am hurting someone he loves. I have never wanted to hurt anyone. I know that I did and I can’t take it back, but I don’t want to hurt her further. He cares about her and to hurt her means I hurt him as well.

There’s no one standing up for me though and I don’t think I can take many more of her rants. As soon as I think this though, I have the distinct thought in my mind, “What would Jesus do?” or “How did Jesus endure the hate he received before the crucifixion?” I am trying very hard to be on the right side of this situation as much as I can. I am still wholly in love with him and want only all of the best for him regardless of who he spends his life with. At the same time, I have to live in peace at some point too. So all of this drama must come to an end. And soon. Therefore the question remains, do I retaliate or just leave it all be?

Sadly,

The Repressed Peach

Fucking frustration. 

After a time of ignoring your truths while being the best person you can be, frustration comes creeping in and it’s not so easy to be gracious and patient. I fucking want my soul mate. I don’t want anyone else. I don’t wanna give others a try. I don’t want to keep shopping for a soul who isn’t to be found within anyone else. I don’t wanna even look another person in the face. They aren’t him. They won’t love me like he did. They won’t touch me like he did. They won’t move my soul like he did. They aren’t him and they just won’t do. It pisses me off that that’s my truth but fuck it. Don’t touch me. Don’t try and make a fucking difference in my life. Just don’t. You’re not him and you’re not gonna work for me. Plain and simple.

I miss his vibe. I miss our energy. I miss his touch. I miss our bodies colliding in a cosmic love. I miss the conversations we shared. I miss how safe he made me feel. I miss his words in my ear bringing peace and security to my soul. I miss his fingers weaving between mine. I miss the earthshaking power couple we were when we were together. He wasn’t afraid of my strength. He didn’t cower in face of my dreams. He didn’t shrink away from my sadness. He praised me. He celebrated me. He encouraged me. He fueled my soul. He touched me and my skin flickered to life. He spoke and my soul turned it’s ear to him eager to hear his every utterance. He looked at me and his caramel brown eyes pierced my heart and cauterized the wound at the same time. He entered me and made me whole. My body would quake with the waves of pleasure I would feel from a depth he never physically touched. With his essence he touched me deeper than anyone has ever neared. Never has anyone in my entire life ever given me such fulfillment. 

I don’t know how to make this frustration go away. I can’t talk to him. I can’t sit across the table from him and ask all the zillion questions I have. I can’t walk into the house and crawl into bed with him. I can’t fix this and it’s fucking killing me. Today it’s killing me anyway. Today I have zero patience and zero grace. Today I’m completely raw, unadulterated pissed off and needing.

I’m dangerous when I feel like this. Dangerous in unconventional ways. Dangerously close to epiphany. And I don’t fucking care. Not today anyway.

The Repressed Peach