Advocacy

I have a severe issue with self-advocacy.

It seems that I can stick up for other people really well. I can help them with their own issues. I can support them by being a great listener and even offering sound bits of advice as appropriate. With my child I am a staunch advocate for him that he is taken care of and respected well by adults and children alike. However, when it comes to me and what I need, I have a hard time asking for it. I have a hard time drawing the proverbial line in the sand about what I will allow to happen to me in my life. I have decent boundaries though, which is a good first step, but past that when looking at how I allow people to treat me is very poor. I know on a cognitive level that I don’t deserve the treatment. I don’t deserve the snide remarks. I don’t deserve being dis-invited to weddings or being left out of special ceremonies. I can think of no specific thing that I have done that would warrant such actions against me. Even asking why I was dis-invited or being left out causes me a ton of anxiety. I feel as though I am asking things that I don’t deserve to ask or that I am out of line for thinking I deserve to be treated differently than what I am. As a counselor I know that this line of thinking is absurd. I cognitively know something different than what I believe yet I feel powerless to change my thinking.

I want to be able to say to someone, “Hey, you know when you said/did/asked _______? I wonder where that was coming from because I was hurt/angry/confused/sad, etc. Can you give me some more insight about that situation.” I just don’t have the confidence in myself right now to do that and I’m not sure why. Strange how I can teach others to do just that and ask themselves to believe in their truths, trust their feelings, go with their heart, make no apologies for themselves, and yet here I sit writing this post wondering why I cannot take my own advice. Why can’t I ask the hard questions? Why can’t I face the truth head on? Why can’t I ask someone to treat me better/different because I am worthy?

As I have thought through all of this I think it is all rooted in fear. I fear rejection. I fear the unequivocal truths that will result. I fear people thinking I am better than I am. I fear being disappointed by my own actions. I fear overstepping boundaries or some social rule that I am not aware of. And I know that I shouldn’t be so afraid. Surely, so much of this is miscommunication and misunderstanding or even lack of information. Conversely, when someone has an issue with me or I have committed some perceived grave injustice then I am quick to hop on the issue at hand and address it. I don’t want others to harbor any ill will toward me about an unfortunate issue and I want to address it head on. Not all things that come up warrant a reaction though so I choose my battles. I am constantly aware of how my behavior and words affect others and I go to great pains to ensure that I cause them no unrest. Am I perfect? Read any other post in this blog and you will find evidence to the contrary.  So I am not perfect, not by any stretch. However, I know I work to prevent issues and I work to resolve the ones I cause.

My inability to advocate for myself is causing me unhappiness. I am internalizing the misperceptions and miscommunications and harboring them as evidence that I am unacceptable, unloved, disregarded, inconvenient, and unworthy. I am allowing my inability to speak up for myself to turn into some sour attitude which then seeps out at the most inopportune times. Maybe I’m feeling a little too vulnerable and I say something out of character. Or maybe I’m feeling overwhelmed with a sense of ineptitude and I lash out in frustration. I feel the sticky ugliness of these pent up feelings residing within my heart and soul and they’re making me ill. I feel the well rising and it’s about to crest. I have to change this behavior and my thinking around it so that I can be well and feel free to express myself appropriately. This is just one of many things that I wish to improve upon. Any sage advice or tips are welcome.

Expressly,

The Repressed Peach

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Therapy.

There’s a lot of stigma around therapy. Some people hate it, other people judge it, other people think it’s a novel idea but isn’t very effective and others even yet think it’s all just hocus-pocus, but for me, for me it was my life blood for 2 1/2 years. Every week I spent one hour with my therapist and in those minutes just 60 short minutes I solved problems in my head and in my heart and my soul that had been festering for years and years and years. Lots of abuse. Lots of doubt. Lots of self loathing. Troubled relationships. You name it I was going through it. So when I started therapy I didn’t really know what to expect from it and I didn’t know what I was going to get but in more ways than one it saved my life. It is the best investment in myself that I’ve ever made. 2 1/2 years, one hour a week and I never missed a session. I did better in therapy than I do in the gym but I was dedicated to my wellness at that time. I knew that if my mind was right my body would follow and that it did.

I bumped into my therapist tonight at a celebration party for my new counseling position at a local high school. I haven’t seen my therapist since my last session in December 2010 and so it was a very happy reunion. She was out celebrating and enjoying time with friends and family while I was celebrating with my friends and colleagues for my new position. I happened to look across the pavilion and there she sat so of course I got up and I walked over and I gently touched her arm and I said hi, she immediately got up and just embraced me of the greatest hug and she exclaimed my name and told me how she was so happy to see me, how often she thought of me and the 2 1/2 years we spent in therapy together. I gave her a brief rundown of all my successes recently and many accomplishments since our time together and she was just overjoyed. I could see in her face that she was happy for me and she told me she was proud of me. Out of all the people in the world who know me and proclaim their love for me or affection for me or even that they like me, I feel like my therapist, even though 10 years have passed since we sat across the room from each other and had a conversation she knows me, the true me, better than anybody. I would love to have that type of trusting relationship in my day-to-day life that doesn’t have to happen behind closed doors and doesn’t have to be relegated to just an hour a week of undivided attention and dedicated time to listen to what I have to say and really hear me. I look forward to a day when I have a partner in my life who I can talk to at any given moment, someone I can share my dreams with, someone I can share my passion with, someone I can wonder about all the wonders of the world with, and they’ll just listen and hopefully talk to me too but listen with a smile on their face and not be irritated or put off or annoyed by my brain. I have a lot of ideas and sometimes writing them down in this blog only goes so far. Yeah I have the international readers that are joining me from places like Turkey and Bangladesh and Scandinavia but really I need faces and I want dialogue and I want relationship between people. I miss that deeply and I feel like the further and further away I get from true relationships with other people the more isolated I become and the harder it is to bridge that gap.

So maybe I’m at a point where I might be facing time in therapy again. I might need to go and some kinks out in my character and sort out some misconceptions that maybe I have about myself or what my strengths are and where my weaknesses are. Maybe it’s time for the proverbial “tuneup”, if you will. That might actually be a really good idea. Maybe while I’m at it, maybe I’ll put just as much effort into my physical health as what I’m willing to put in for my mental health.

Therapy is powerful. Therapy is effective. And as Dr. Ray Wooten, one of my professors said, “all counselors are wounded healers.” Maybe I’m a little wounded right now so maybe I need to go get some healing of my own.

What a serendipitous meeting of two kindred souls tonight. I thank God for this encounter. And I thank God for all the many blessings I have in my life. As well as all of the many opportunities I’ve been given at every stage of my life and every person who has helped me grow and become a better version of who I am today. My therapist was a critical contributor in helping to shape who I am today and I will forever be grateful for that time and for her insights to help me be the best version of myself that I can be.

Expressly yours,

The Repressed Peach

Missing you. 

My soul aches so deeply. I’m sad. I’m depressed. I dream of you every night but it brings me little happiness because I know we will never be. I watch movies with people who speak their love for each other and I let the wall fall just a bit and tears roll down my cheeks. I wonder how long it will take until all the tears have spilled. I wonder if I would’ve given voice to my feelings earlier if I would feel better. But now, I wonder if I’ll ever know how you feel about us. I have dammed up all my sadness and it hides behind tired, hurt eyes. My soul is tired. I need respite to recover from all the hurt I feel. I’ve tried ignoring it and dismissing it with cliches and optimism but there’s no mistaking the distress I’m in. I either sleep all the time or I don’t sleep at all. I can’t make myself go do anything more than necessary because I just can’t spend the energy. I need to go to the gym but I fear that I’m gonna get there and really fall apart. I fear that I won’t be able to pull my shit together when the reality hits. I may have to live my life without you in it entirely and it kills me. Just know this: I would choose you every day, every week, every month, every year for the rest of my life. I would choose us. I would choose the hilarious banter during our most intimate times. I would choose the earth shaking passion we share. I would choose the quiet, honest, intimate moments when I felt like the luckiest woman alive. I would choose us when you’d tell me all that you appreciated about me in your sweet, sexy voice resonating in my ear speaking directly to my soul. I would choose all the adventures we spoke of so often and pray for time to do them all together. I would choose us when things were difficult and we were kind and understanding of each other. I would choose us on rainy days when we could stay inside and make love, on sick days when you wouldn’t kiss me, on sunny days when my skin would burn, on foggy days when we could stay inside and watch movies, on windy days when our souls could rest and relax. I would choose us. Over and over again. Despite everything that’s happened, all I want is us. I want you.

I don’t know what more to say. The words don’t do much justice to all that I think and feel. I wish I could write down every memory and store it here for safekeeping but some things are better left to the memory of the heart. We know what we have. We know our truth. It is soul crushing to ignore and push aside. I can’t ignore how incredible I feel when we are together. I can’t ignore the sense of relief I feel when you’re around me. I can’t deny how deeply in love with you I am. I can’t do anything about any of it but hope that you read this just so you know how I feel.

I worry about you, too. I worry about your heart and soul. I pray you’re being honest with yourself and giving yourself what you need. If so, then I can only sit back and thank god that you are and pray that he  remove this love from my heart. I can’t keep loving you like this with nothing in return. I deserve what we have and so much more.

Achingly,

The Repressed Peach 

Lonely

I don’t know how many people in my life really understand how alone I really am in this world. I don’t talk about it much. I don’t complain about the fact that I am alone. In fact, I often times dismiss the concept because it sucks to face it head on. Who really wants to acknowledge that they are rolling solo in life? Who wants to feel as though people just tolerate your presence out of pity? I don’t, so I don’t talk about it. I think it’s time that I talk about it though. I think it’s time that I acknowledge that there is a vital piece of my existence that is being neglected. See, I like to be with people. I like to interact, make memories, laugh, fuss over the important parts of life and twiddle around with the less important. I like to have get togethers and have fun. Somewhere amidst my survival mode after my divorce, I stopped getting invited places, I stopped going out, I just stopped. I withdrew into my bunker of life and tried my hardest to keep my shit together. Well, I’m seven years post separation/divorce and the invites haven’t started again.

So instead of always expecting to be invited, I’ve started making my own plans and inviting people to come over or go with me. Oddly enough, few people have accepted my invites. Thanksgiving…I was alone. Christmas… I was alone. New Year’s Eve party planned…only two RSVPs out of nearly 40 people invited. Maybe I’m at an age where others have established friend groups or family traditions for these holidays. Me… well, I’m still starting over in many ways. I don’t have many friends in the area and all of my family lives out of state. Few people even travel to see me; I always have to travel to see them. When my parents come to see us they always have another agenda too (no offense, mom…I know you read this). I bought a new house last year, in fact, I closed on my home on New Year’s Eve 2015, so I thought it would be super cool to celebrate both occasions this year: a New Year and the one year anniversary of being in my new home. Only two people have said they can come and more haven’t even taken the time to say no. But worse yet, two of my dearest friends haven’t even come down to see my house much less come celebrate with me. And it hurts my soul deeply.

Bottom line: I’m alone and it sucks.

I’m tired of buying myself dinner on my birthday. I’m tired of pretending like it doesn’t hurt my feelings when people don’t come to visit. I’m tired of acting as though it doesn’t irritate the shit out of me to have to travel to see anyone. I’m tired of being alone and doing all of this life shit on my own all the time. It’s heartbreaking and sad now where it used to be liberating and inspiring. Let me tell you…everything gets old over time. Even the best of situations get irritating and hum-drum.

I know, I know… Some people would kill to be alone and get to call all their own shots all the time. And isn’t the grass so fucking green? Well, I would kill to not have such green grass for just a month or two. Let me come home to talk to an adult who can hug me and help me make dinner. Let me come home to a man who cares about the stupid bugs crawling in my grass and the ant hill next to the house and will get up and go do something about it. Sure I can do all this shit on my own, but I’m tired. I don’t want to do it all by myself anymore. And dammit, I wanna be celebrated like I deserve to be on my birthday, Mother’s Day, and Christmas. I want friends and family to come hang out and watch stupid movies with me. I want to have long nights by the fire pit outside drinking adult beverages until we’re all stupid. I just want to have people in my life who care and can spend time enjoying life. I don’t need fancy vacations or weekend getaways. I just need friends who can sit back and relax.

While, I’m at it though…I also need people to recognize that I am alone. I need people to step the hell up and be present in my life. Maybe I haven’t demanded that before, and maybe I shouldn’t have to, but I am asking now for people to be available. I want my clan, my crew, my “ride or die” people to share life with me. I’m kind of dying inside. I’m losing my human touch. I’m losing myself somewhere in this bubble of crap that only seems to have me in it. I don’t wanna lose myself or lose my connection with others. I fear I know where people get so many psychological disorders from…isolation. A person’s mind can go bat-shit crazy without human interaction.

I don’t want to be lonely anymore. I want friends to enjoy life with and I would love a significant other to share life with. I want my table full, my heart running out of space, and my life rich with good people.

And I definitely don’t want to write anymore posts like this.

Expressly,

The Repressed Peach

Wounds. 

I love social media for all the good that it brings to my life. I stay connected with friends and family regardless of how far away they may be or length of time since we’ve seen each other. I love the inspiration. I love the collaboration. I love the whimsy and humor. I love the heartbreak amidst miracles and all that the human experience is during those times. I love the wealth of perspective I gain about the world around me and the exposure to lives other than my own. Social media has so much power and has proven its effectiveness various times in a multitude of situations.

But there’s a dark side.

Passive aggressive attempts at connecting, confronting, and criticizing people. Watching who is posting, commenting, sharing, liking/reacting to posts, coming and going, messaging, and everything else is for all to see. People get their feelings hurt over a missed post, not enough likes/reactions to pictures, few comments to heartbreaking information shared. It’s alarming to me to think that critical information shared via facebook or some other social media platform should garner any specified amount of attention. We should connect more personally when those situations arise. Call me. Text me and ask me to call you. Call me crying. Knock on my front door with a tear-stained face and let me make you a cup of tea and cut you a slice of cake while we talk it out. Knock on my front door and yell at me for being a jerk so I can wrap you up in a big hug after you’re finished reading me the riot act and then tell you I’m sorry. But today we just post stuff and act as though that’s official notice for wrong-doings, life’s tragedies, and our feelings. It’s passive aggressive behavior that is truly emotionally abusive. It’s not fair to anyone involved to handle business that way. If you’ve got something to say to someone, handle it directly. Or don’t handle it at all. Sometimes situations need time to resolve on their own; sometimes time is one’s best friend. We aren’t a patient, or thoughtful, society right now. We want to hurt quickly and painfully. Cut to the quick and make your point faster but the damage done to relationships can be irreparable. It’s awful, really. 

Social media is powerful. It is powerfully moving and can fuel social justice, promote awareness, inform, and expand one’s outlook on life. As quickly as it can bring good to the world, it can shatter relationships, bruise hearts, and propagate evil. We need to temper our passive aggressive attitudes and re-learn communication skills without the filter/safety behind our screens. We aren’t connecting at all when we do that. We are just fighting with sharp swords behind a very strong sheild. We cut deeper than we realize because we can’t see the effect we have on others. We wound each other more than necessary and damage much in the process. It’s time for a shift in how we connect and how we handle our relationships.

And it starts with you and me.

In sorrow,

The Repressed Peach  

Over. 

It’s sad when you learn where you truly stand with someone. People who call you friend but aren’t there for you when you need them. People who have a big temper tantrum if you don’t call or drop everything when they need you yet have no consideration for what life may be handing you in your own court. So, you know shit happens, right? Friendships ebb and flow. Relationships change. But after quite a few years of the same steady stream of drama and unrealistic expectations you just have to call bullshit. This isn’t friendship. This is not even a relationship. It’s a phone-a-friend hotline. Calls aren’t returned. Text messages are ignored entirely. Plans are cancelled on a regular basis. Sudden shifts in conversation as though anything you have to share is annoying and inconsequential. I feel like I’ve been understanding and supportive. I have always thought that one day my day would come and my friends would be available to me for whatever I needed in that moment. But that’s not true. I’m a burden. I’m annoying and my problems aren’t tolerable. This does not match my definition of friendship. 

I feel like so many people these days are spending so much time caught up in their own sagas to consider someone else’s situation. It should all be mutual over time. Give and take. Support and be supported. There comes a time though when no matter the excuses or the rationale, the relationship has to end. It doesn’t need to be any big deal. No break up messages needed. No confrontation necessary. Just let it be what it is. And what it is is over. 

Expressly,

The Repressed Peach

Lessons in life

At times in life we have an upswing in the amount of lessons we get to learn. Some people would call it trials and tragedy but I take the opportunity to call it growth. I’m in an upswing. Lessons are coming at me faster than I care to recount and I don’t have a lot of time to process one growth opportunity before I am flung into the next. Writing is my therapy and my stability. I need my fix.

Death sucks.

People die. Death is not prejudice; it will take four month old babies and it will consume the elderly. Death is no longer just for the old of age person who has lived a long, full, lovely life. No. Death can, and will, take anyone at any age for any reason. We are not immune. It’s a terrifying feeling really. It’s unnerving in so many ways because I truly hate death. It makes me angry. But, I can do little to control it. All I can do is love my friends and family as much as I possibly can without the neuroticism of fearing their untimely death, or my own. I am not immune to death.

Life isn’t fair.

Life has its unfair share of upheavals. Some are dramatic, some are annoying, others are blessings in disguise. But at the end of the day, the disruption causes us to lose our proverbial shit for some time. It sucks. Life isn’t fair. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or how good of a person you are, shit will happen to you that makes you question “WHY ME??!!” You will scream, utter, sigh, type, or pray those words into existence at some point in time in your life. You won’t have answers. You won’t know why. You will just live through it. Or you won’t. And in which case, refer to my previous point about “Death sucks.” Cars get keyed for some unknown reason. You will eat bad food and have the shits for hours while throwing up in a five gallon bucket. You will have strep throat on a day when you have to give your big speech. It will rain on your wedding day. Plans will be scratched and friends will fall short of your expectations. Par for the course? Well, maybe, but not fun any way you slice it. Regardless of any redeeming characteristics you think you might have, life will strike you between your eyes and leave you spinning. And you won’t even see it coming.

Adults are asses.

I don’t care who you are, we all know someone who is an “adult” who is the biggest wimp you ever did see and they want the world to forgive them for being an ass all the time. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. Grow the hell up and behave. You’re an adult now. You don’t get to cry in your Wheaties for some stupid bullshit that you have no control over. You don’t get to skip out on work because you’re being too big of a wuss to put your big girl panties on. You don’t get to treat kids badly because you can’t control your mouth. You don’t get to get away with being an asshole just because your mom and dad aren’t around to ground your ass or put a bar of soap in your mouth for being disrespectful to your elders or cursing around children. Nope. Not around me. Just don’t do it. We are all grown. I am now 36 years old and I refuse to be put in the same category as some of my peers because they are the biggest assholes the adult world ever encountered. Refer to points above and then: Stop being asses!

Being real is dope.

I cannot say enough about the person who is real beyond real and asks no apologies. I strive to be this person. I fall short all the time because I care too much but I truly work on being as real as possible without being an ass. I haven’t perfected my craft yet, but I am edging closer and closer!! There is so much liberty in honesty. You don’t have to second guess yourself or worry about how another person feels in relation to your thought/opinion. You get to just own your own feelings and reactions and defend them in the face of question when you’re blissfully authentic. I’m not a fan of fake. I’m not a fan of telling you what you want to hear because you’re too much of an ass as an adult to handle the God’s honest truth about your piss poor decision making skills because you haven’t matured past the age of 13! Grow the hell up! And brace yourself for the damn truth. You may not want to hear it, but someone has to tell you when you’re making shitty decisions if you haven’t figured it out for yourself. And I’m guessing that if you’re bellyaching about the truth being told then you’re one who would bitch about your friends not being there for you when you need them the most. Honestly, they are there for you because they are holding you to a higher standard than you set for yourself. So man up…woman up…person up…adult up…whatever pronoun you prefer to go by! Just get up! Do better. Be more. Stop being a wuss. Be real.

I have so much more I could say, but nearly everything else falls into one of the four main points above. Who wants a blabber mouth or enjoys redundancy? Me neither. So…our takeaway from the evening: death sucks and sometimes life isn’t much better but if we’re adults about it and we are authentic, then we might be able to salvage some precious time together. Maybe, it will all be worthwhile if we can find the right balance.

Namaste.

The Repressed Peach