Sunday, January 5, 2014

Life is...

many things, but most importantly, it is not permanent.

That scares me. I feel like I've wasted so much of this fleeting life on sadness over circumstance. Even now, is this not what I'm doing?

There is a lot of regret over past behavior. I can't get those times back, not just for myself, but for those who were once a part of my life. Friends I hurt, pushed away. I drank away so many friendships and relationships. My life gets better every day. I am making myself known to others, opening myself up to the possibillity of new friendships, with the experience to appreciate the friendships that do develop.

I do still have my dark moments of pain and doubt and jealousy of others who seem to just have it so good. I regret my regrets and I'm sad that I sometimes get very sad. Emotions, thoughts, worries and whims definitely do not make sense. But they are a part of life and won't be around forever.

I find myself asking, "What will I leave here with?" I know I want to leave with a noble legacy, I want to be remembered for something, not great but significantly simple. I once thought, "I hope I have time to right my wrongs." But each day I find myself thinking more and more, "I am thankful for the time and grace I've been given to make the mistakes I've made." And, I know that righting a wrong really isn't all that possible, but moving forward toward thoughtfulness and forgiveness is a definite.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Where's God?

In my growing contentment, I find myself asking, "Where's God?"

I do not ask this because I find Him absent; rather, I find myself absent. When I read back on my blog posts, He was my center. These days, I am not doing the Christian reading or writing or journaling I was doing not that long ago. Where am I placing God in my life? Why am I not putting Him first?

I say prayers and give thanks while I pass through my day, but this isn't enough; I know this for sure. I wouldn't want God to wave hello to me in passing and move on with His day. I need His time and love and attention. Isn't this the same for Him? Does He miss me? Has He led me to write this post? Does God ever ask Himself, "Where's Kristin?"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Belonging

It's the grown-up things that scare me the most.

Buying a house, planning a wedding, getting out of bed in the mornings. All are on the same scale of "how the hell am I going to do this today?" I am now engaged -- no longer the damaged person I thought no one would want. He proved me wrong; now I'm just working on believing it.

We are building a house, making a home. Home. I feel at home in our 800 sq. ft. apartment. It's safe and warm and the same place I come home to day after day. We will have triple the living space by next May, a blessing I know I need to appreciate and be thankful for each day. I grew up moving from apartment to apartment, changed schools so many times. I'm moving deeper into stability, still not so sure how all of my baggage will fit.

Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve all this. I don't deserve this ring on my hand and the guy who comes with it. I don't deserve a home and a good job. Shouldn't I be stuck in the same circle as my mother?

So here I am, in a good place but wondering if I belong. When will I feel it? When will my surroundings match the thoughts running through my head? When will I know I belong where I am and I am where I belong?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Rules to be Written

I finished House Rules tonight, underlining and scribbling notes in the margins because I couldn't find my highlighter.

I saw my family members in hers, Rachel the author. My mother was a key player, of course. But I was surprised how she took the role of both the father and the mother. The father was sick, controlling and demeaning. Abusive. The mother was the enabler, making excuses and choosing sickness over her children, a choice she was unaware she was making time and time again.

My mother justified my mother's actions. She was cruel sometimes, but didn't view her actions as anything more than lessons deserving for my bad behavior. I was bad. Selfish, inconsiderate, lazy. A poor example for my younger sisters--how many times I heard her say that! Her words cut deep into my security and sense of self; home was equivalent to a different four letter word.

Rachel was eventually estranged from her parents for her own sanity, to create the ability and opportunity to mold and manage her own life. I am estranged from my mother and my father. I hated that word estranged. But after reading Rachel's story, estranged now means empowerment, the choice to create your own house rules, rules of love and self-acceptance.

She recalls the night she came to terms with being truly done with her parents. Her past replaced with freedom. And I realize I am not yet done. I am not yet free. I have one foot inside grief and guilt with the other foot wading in escape, toying with the idea of letting go of conditions and circumstance and living with both purpose and secure uncertainty.

I am just realizing the rules I must not just write, but that I must live by. Wholeheartedly experience freedom without regret pulling at my heartstrings. I honestly can say, I'm not quite ready to let go of Her.

Hope is something I have written, and as long as I have hope for a mom, my mom, I cannot fully jump in.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cotton and Cough Syrup

Here I am again.

I should be sleeping but I am thinking.Worrying.  Arguably obsessing.

I am failing - my boss, my boyfriend, my sisters. A deep part of me tells me I am not. Oprah says I'm doing the best I can with what I have.

Stability. A nice home. A good job. A closet full of clothes. Stability, I have craved, and now I have it but am not satisfied. I accept it in small doses, like cough syrup. You know it's good for you but no matter what flavor you choose, you can never find the one that doesn't sometimes make you gag.

Maybe this is...normal, balanced. I've always been so up and down. This could be the middle, like the Jimmy Eat World song. My motto. A song I blarred after leaving my first college. Yes, I said first.  (See above "stability" commentary.  No, the one above that.) A move I'm not sure I should have taken, apparent as it's present in my midnight ramblings. But here I am.

I can't see myself anywhere else. But not in the hopeless way of the past. I feel blessed and at the same time uneasy. Unsure,  overly confident, unsure which I am and why and when. Those damn W's get me every time.

Are you awake, too? Rambling, wondering, mind wandering?  Hopefulness among hopelessness?  Here and there? Sometimes nowhere, or at least it seems?

Woven into the scratchy fabric of my past. You know what they say about cotton. It shrinks. As does my past. And my past doesn't fit me today, unless I shrink with it. I don't want to shrink. I'd rather change my shirt.

I want to drink tasty cough syrup in my forever overly-large white cotton tee. Let's just leave it at that.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Don't judge Chris Brown's anger issues...

until you've read my last post.

I don't want to feel such strong anger, hate almost, toward anyone. I've been hurt, and I've hurt others. Am I that much different from my mother? Do others feel about me the way I feel about her, because of my prior actions and behavior which came from a deep, painful place inside? Is pain an excuse to gain understanding and forgiveness today from those I have hurt before?

My counselor once asked me, "When are you going to forgive yourself? When are you going to forgive that little girl?" Which comes first, forgiving others or forgiving yourself?

They both sound pretty damn difficult.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

House Rules by Rachel Sontag

Passages that stop you, keep you from going forward so you can begin to travel inward--inward toward experiences that you thought only you had. A difficult past, the yearning to just get out of your current condition with the current condition being home. Knowing your day-to-day isn't normal as you hear, "There's no such thing as normal. You think you have it so bad?"

Yes, I do in fact. Thank you for asking. 

I am getting real tired of hearing my counselor say, "I think we can all agree that our parents did the best they could." No, lady. We don't agree on that. My mother was a real bitch, obviously, because I'm in here once a week. Who goes to counseling once a week with parents who did the best they could? That was her best? Pity. If anything, she has gained my pity.

Marriage is on the horizon and I have to make a choice whether to invite her, the sorry mother who did the best she could, or the mother I wish I had, the mother who loved me on occasion when she wasn't belittling me or telling me how bad I was, telling my sisters, friends she doesn't even have anymore, her on-and-off-again-drug-addicted boyfriend, how bad and selfish I was. 

Guilt and shame as a child morphs into guilt and shame as an adult. It only must find the point of reference that hurts the most and is easiest to resurrect. From sitting in my room playing with cabbage patch kids wishing I could run away from the fighting and shouting, to deciding if I want my mother as a guest at my wedding.  

House Rules is ridden with highlights and scribbles in the margins (mine, just to be sure we're on the same page). Halfway through the book and I am affected in some kind of way, a way which keeps me highlighting and remembering and getting mad all over again. All I've ever wanted was to get away, to run away from what I knew and who I thought I was because of where I came from. Now I realize it's only through transformation that I can escape. Time-consuming, painful, seemingly neverending transformation.

I'd rather just read.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Boundaries. Say what?

My counselor and I have been talking boundaries the last couple of weeks. This is news to me as much as to you. The handout she gave me today sealed the deal.

The first indication of not setting boundaries is "telling all". Oh, how I do this. I have always done this, and I didn't know why. All or Nothing is a concept I am quite familiar with--in exercising, dieting, prayer and relationships. In conversations, I spill it all and think later. Feel guilt later; worry later; regret later. But isn't this what the receiving party wants?
boundaries
I truly have felt I have no control. The deets come out faster than I can process and weigh consequences and options. I tell you all, everything, every last detail of any story that has any relevance to what we are talking about at the moment. Then I am vulnerable and you are free to comment and judge and gossip.

How clear the lack of boundaries are! At least I realize this, right? Is it this realization that will bring about boundaries? I see the blurry, non-existent boundaries. Where do I go from here?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Trial and Error

This Disembodiment
I've been seeing a psychiatrist who's been managing my medications for close to four months now.  I recently cut out Wellbutrin altogether and began an ADHD medication called Vyvanse.  I went to a specialist to get tested for ADD/ADHD and I scored, for lack of a better word, insanely high for ADHD.

Years ago, months ago, I never would have thought I would not only be referred to an ADHD specialist but would be diagnosed as such. It was a sort of bitter relief. It explains so much -- my erratic, disorganized, impulsive behavior; my inability to complete tasks, engage in conversations and actions...the list goes on.

I feel angry, too. Why didn't my mother think to get me tested for, hell, anything? Instead, she diagnosed and treated me as bad and selfish and lazy and the source of strife and disfunction in our family. That is a heavy cross to bear when you are in kindergarten.

How dare you. The ease in which I could have experienced school and relationships and extracurriculars--you took that away in yet another self-serving attempt at placing the blame on anyone but you. You blamed a child, your own child. You got high and used by men while I drowned in confusion and loneliness.

As a thirty-year-old, I realize I have been my own compass since childhood, and likely past the scope of my memory. But the map has changed. I now have others guiding me, loving me in new directions. Not the mother who cheated me, but counselors and doctors who are putting their life's education and work into helping me heal.

I don't expect miracles; I fully expect thirty more years of appointments and visits and tests to my mind and body. But these efforts mean others are trying, and it's the trying I missed the most.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Lead me, God and man.


Tu me enseƱaste como llorar
My family is coming to visit this weekend. My family. Viewing my life, me, allowing myself to be seen through their eyes. My family.

And Mr. P. He's seen it all and been through it all, beside me, guiding me, hugging me even though I said I don't like hugs.

"When I say you've had enough, you've had enough."

When I get anxious, I drink. Family, an uncomfortable and uncharted togetherness brings upon anxiety. He knows this; he knows me.

I thank him. No defense. No combativeness. Just gratitude. He knows my weaknesses and understands my strengths. I just need to be led.

I have a man who leads me. Lord, strengthen me to be led.