Friday, March 28, 2014

like clockwork?

being a grown-up is full of a lot of great, amazing and wonderful stuff.

consequently, growing up brings with it some of life's biggest pains and disappointments.

you learn what it is to be jaded, because you learn what it is to be wrong about someone. friend, lover, family member, coworker, somebody you used to know....they pack the same brand of punch in varying degrees. you think you know somebody, that you can depend on them maybe, and then you learn that they're nothing like what you thought they were.

the truth is, this happens to everybody and we all do it to somebody. in some way, shape or form, i have let somebody down or disappointed somebody when their expectations of me were not met. i might not even be as big of a jerk as somebody pegged me as, and in its own way that's disappointing. it could be ANYTHING. we're human. maybe somebody is only the somebody you thought they might be when they're having a good day or they're drunk or whatever. but you're always met with the same sad reality.

i personally think this is worst when it involves family members and friends. they're both supposed to be people you can trust, usually more than anyone else, so being disappointed by them stings the most sharply. and instead of being just a little sting that hurts at the time, these disappointment stings are laced with venom that gets under your skin and stays awhile. it might cause you pain and anger for awhile after the actual disappointment first sets in. disillusionment can build when you've had enough of these venomous stings. you might have tiny expectations for someone, they don't meet them, and instead of being sad you just find yourself thinking, "seriously? that was NOTHING. pull it the eff together!"

and just like that, you're jaded.

well, not just like that. over years and years of your soft and tender emotional flesh being stung repeatedly, you build a tougher, thicker and less forgiving skin. and then you're walking around, an emotional and mental leatherface ;) stings become more annoying than painful. you learn to expect them from almost everybody and save your actual personality and feelings for those who DON'T disappoint you, after enough time.

so as i was saying, you end up jaded a little. just like that. like....clockwork.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

about love

i'm about to say something that maybe i shouldn't say. but lately, i've realized that i can't ignore this anymore, or hide from it, or even run away.

i don't love the way i should.

there, i said it. i'm admitting that, other people come in about tenth place following me, me, me, me me. i'm not exaggerating. i'm not trying to be cool by saying this. in fact, i'm terrified of it and it's made me feel like a horrible person for about as long as i can remember.

why don't i love people the way that everybody else seems to? why is it so easy for me to cast people aside, to forget them, to hurt them or push them away? my self-destruction in this area knows no bounds. it's hurt my family, it's hurt my ex-husband, and it's hurt my friends. the only people it HASN'T hurt are the kids i've worked with over the years. and i guess here is where i make my admission, that those kids have sometimes been the only thing i've loved. that when people find out where i work, and start going, "ohhh, you must be such a good person!" i always shrink because i feel like, i hold to that love i have for my kids because sometimes it's the only thing that makes me feel human. once i started working as a para and realized how much it took me out of my own completely self-centered head, i decided i would never have any other kind of job again.

i really do love every kid i've ever worked with. for some reason, kids with autism and me, we just connect. they burrow into my heart and stay there even when it freezes over.

but...other relationships i have- budding friendships or friendships i've had for YEARS...i go into destructive mode. i do things i KNOW will push the other person away. i wait for them to leave. and if they don't, i leave. and it's always just a matter of time one way or the other. i can count on one hand the number of friends that have lasted through this. and hey, i don't blame people. when someone pushes you away, annoys you as much as possible, acts like a robot...whatever- then who wants to stay? pretty much nobody. and that's why i'm here, writing about it. because i recently read a book about a character who was so selfish and horrible that she destroyed everyone around her. and she kept it up, until the last few pages, when she makes this huge sacrifice to prove to herself that she can love someone. and all i could do was go back to the bookstore night after night and read that book over and over again. i didn't want to identify with the main character because she was so despicable. but shirking reality hasn't done me any good so far, so i'm not going to keep doing it.

it's hard because in some ways, getting sick and having surgeries that i hated made this worse. it was even more acceptable for me to be self-centered than ever, so i thrived doing so. i let it be an excuse to shove everybody away from me in every way i could. and it's just....damage that can't simply be undone, most of it. but i'm writing this blog because i want to try.

i have a couple of good friends left in my life. they are people i love and care for, in differing degrees. they have stuck around even though i pushed them away. they deserve more from me. so, this blog is me saying that i'm going to change this. i'm going to try. that blog i wrote awhile back about being isolated...was the beginning of admitting this to myself. this is my follow-up, my pledge.

working with the kids and loving them completely, without limits, THINKING about them when i leave work and caring for them no matter what else is going on, has shown me that i DO have the capacity to love. i just need to learn how.

so, here's where i start.

please be patient with me.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

things you learn when bad things come in 3's.

might as well "skip the foreplay" so to speak. things are about to get really deep and mature up in here so i figured i'd crack a lame, immature joke as an appetizer. now that THAT'S out of the way.....

i had one of the worst and most difficult weeks i've had in a LONG time, this past week. EVERYTHING seemed to go completely wrong every which way i turned. things that had seemed steady and constant in my life were getting messy, and miscommunication abounded. the sheer amount of miscommunication made me realize i might seriously need to look into therapy to address how i communicate with people. i felt so completely mis-taken and misunderstood in situations that i thought i was totally alright in.

needless to say, it was disheartening and surprising and a little painful all at once. like getting one of those big birthday cakes that you expect a trio of singing showgirls to pop out of, but instead it's ronald mcdonald with a machete....or something. think about that for a moment. NOT a pretty picture.

anyway....when things like this happened in the past (usually one at a time, but they do say bad things come in 3's....) i used to do the following:

get really inordinately angry and take it out on everyone around me


self-destruct until the situation was so bad, it was out of my life.

yeah....i never claimed to be very sane.

anyway, that's what i USED to do. this week, i certainly got angry. it was my first impulse, like it always is. i let myself get wound up a little....and then something strange happened....

i went to the bookstore and/or drove for hours at a time....and i calmed down.

i know, i know. to normal human beings this might be really anticlimactic and not sound like a very big deal. but probably if you think that, you've never seen me in "angry whirlwind of self-destruction" mode. instead of letting myself get more and more wound up, angrier and angrier, i got in my car and drove. and kept driving. and when i got tired of driving, i went to the bookstore and read for hours. novels i've never picked up before, by authors i'm not familiar with. and the more i read and drove, the more clearly i was able to see my situations. and when i could see them clearly, i began to formulate solutions in my head for each issue.

there was a lot in the things that had gone wrong that i had no control over. normally the idea of that drives me absolutely nuts. but this time around, almost immediately i recalled just a short year ago when i continually had to re-schedule my second surgery because of a bad case of pneumonia. that was easily one of the most trying things i have ever experienced and it taught me a HUGEGIANT lesson: that there is always going to be a lot that you cannot control, but you can ALWAYS choose to control your own reaction to things. it took months of misery and anger with that surgery situation for me to REALLY learn that lesson but....i realized this week that i really had learned it. i hadn't just learned it for that single situation. it's something that really hit me and dug in deep. and when i realized that, everything didn't seem so bad anymore. right away i went to work on the things i knew i could do to solve the issues that were plaguing me and resolved to accept whatever came of the aspects i couldn't control.

and you know what? it was almost easy when i reached that point. i woke up this morning and got right to work on my action plans. for the most part, everything turned out alright. and for what didn't....i felt a real sense of serenity and inner peace. i had done what i could, and i'd resolved to be an adult and a decent human being and that was all i could do. and knowing that i'd done that, that i felt good about how i had handled MY business, was enough to turn my week around. my goal was to end the week in a happy place and guess what?

i have.

maybe my communication skills could use a little work but seriously.....i'm starting to feel like a real live grown-up, and a pretty kickass one at that.