Life on life’s terms

Life is fragile my friends, as is my relationship with my Higher Power. We had a death in the family. My Aunt was 50 years old. She passed suddenly without warning. She was married to my sweet Uncle Troy. This adorable gal was his second wife.

life death love hate

His first wife passed away after battling cancer for years. They had a young teenage son when she left us. Her name was Dee and she was an incredible Mom and Wife. She took great care of these fellas; to a fault I’m afraid. By the grace of God I was sober enough at the time to step in and teach him how to cook, and clean and do laundry. He sold their house and bought a new one. A fresh start for these boys and they were on their way. My Uncle is also in recovery. He got sober in 2002. He stayed sober through losing Dee, barely hanging on by a thread. He has been such an inspiration to me. A pillar in my recovery.

In came his second wife. She came without warning and he worried it was too soon. The rest of us knew he was ready. He was worried what Dee would think from Heaven. He really liked this new gal, but it was unclear if he would ever be able to love again. He did. He loved sweet Jodi deeply and passionately. As love goes, it was a different flavor of love from the first wife, but true love all the same. She took great care of him; made him a happy man once again. I met them at church regularly, and I just saw her a couple weeks ago. She looked great and I am so grateful to say that I actually told her! (most of the time I just think it and it doesn’t occur to me to tell them until later…..duh!)

He came home and found her unresponsive. She had passed and as of now the cause is yet to be determined. I know she is in a better place. I am sad for her Family and her adorable dog Bella. The devastation for me resonates with my Uncle Troy. How does this happen? How does a guy like my Uncle endure such incredible loss in his short life. He’s sober, he goes to church and has a relationship to the God of his understanding. He does the next right thing and would give any of you, the shirt off his back. What lesson has he NOT learned to have to go through this again?

It’s troubling to me how fragile life is. It would seem that this thought eludes me until something like this happens and I’m reminded the hard way. I am committed to be there for my Uncle…back to the drawing board. I’ll make myself available to help him with laundry and cooking and the things the he has the tendency to depend on her for. This time, I’ll make sure he’s paying attention. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This go ’round I’ll do my best to teach instead of coddle. I love this man….he is my Uncle, my friend, and a damn good guy.

I know that God has a plan for all of us….I know that I don’t have to know what that plan is. I will try and put the possibility of loss aside and love hard, passionately and with everything I have….regardless of the outcome. Life is about the path…NOT the destination.

dont lose hope

KB

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Easier said than done….(advice requested)

I write this from a state of confusion. All the while feeling extremely indecisive and trudging or possibly drowning in uncharted waters.

RECAP: My roommate is my former Husband. I use the phrase former Husband because “ex husband” to me, sounds so volatile and negative. He also happens to be my best friend and confidant. I “came out” in October of last year and he has supported me almost 100% from that very moment. We are recently divorced and for the most part, get along pretty well. Several months ago, we both started dating and all of this has been working out as well as can be expected. Our first and foremost priority is our toddler children. We want more than anything to co-parent and make this transition as smooth as possible. So far this plan has worked pretty well. They’re little, so although I’m sure they know more than we think they know, they seem to be adjusting pretty well. There doesn’t seem to have been any behavioral problems or consistent setbacks. I would like to think that in their pure and untainted minds, not much has changed. We have separate rooms and separate bathrooms. We still operate the same as far as chores, our business’ and other surface things. We have a schedule that allows both of us time for ourselves (ie-date night, or time with friends etc). It also includes time together as a unit. I honestly feel that if nothing else, we have done a good job keeping this MAJOR shift in OUR lives, a slow and painless one in theirs…..maybe I’m incredibly na├»ve and in slight denial, who knows.

Today, on my former Husbands birthday, we got to talking about our future living arrangements. It ended in a very uncomfortable day and we are clearly not on the same page about this. He is comfortable with our current situation of being roommates. He believes that it is best for the children. I on the other hand, am not as comfortable. I’m getting to a point that in order to grow and find my path while building my foundation as a lesbian women and single Mom, I need to spread my wings and get a place of my own.

This is where it gets tricky….We own the home we live in. This home (to my standards) has a huge yard and a huge driveway….both of which I would have trouble keeping up with yard work and snow removal. Another problem with this house is it’s bigger than I need. Also, (side note:) I worry that family and/or friends will see this extra space as an opportunity to grace me with their presence on a more permanent basis, (if you know what I mean).

We also have a rental home in which we have a great tenant. This property is a major asset that makes a little bit of profit every month. The trouble with this property; the reason we moved out to begin with is because there are only two bedrooms upstairs. This means that my son and daughter would have to share a room. It also has a yard and driveway, much smaller, but still a bit of upkeep. Maybe these things aren’t a big deal…..enter the indecisiveness.

Look, I realize that these are luxury problems and I know that I am VERY lucky that my former supports me and all the other butterflies and sunshine that goes along with it. However, it doesn’t take away from the fact that I have a decision to make and it needs to involve what’s best for my littles.

The other option would be to get an apartment….something just the right size and no yard work. Sounds simple enough right? This would be another expense on top of the two other properties we own.

Our finances (in general terms)….We own two companies together. Both of which we have 50/50 interest. Therefore in the divorce the only thing we addressed, was split custody of the children. There were no other monies exchanged due to the fact that it would come out of the same bucket it was deposited to. Does that make sense?

I’ll say this…..I would appreciate constructive and helpful advice. Although it’s not required. It has helped me a little to simply get all this ratchet shit out of my head. I realize there is a lot to this story that you do not know…..feel free to just help if and where you can.

A stranger/friend of mine to whom I’ll refer to as “Grasshoppa”, gently reminded me that “nothing changes if nothing changes”. Although she was advising me on a whole other subject, it rings true for this aspect of my life as well. I guess my reluctance is similar to my motivation. FeAr!! I’m scared to go and I’m scared to stay….

Our situation is very unique in that we had a great marriage, we were and are best friends (most of the time). I need this relationship to stay afloat and stay positive for my children and now I am officially rambling…..as if I wasn’t before. HELP!!

Thanks for taking time to read this and hopefully give me some positive insight. I appreciate you ALL!!

XOX KB

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Judgy Judgerton

Judging people. Yuck! People judging me, double yuck.
First I want to tell on myself….yes, let’s get that out of the way. I judge people, I do. However, typically I see someone or something and try and figure out they’re current situation. Once I get to this place I try and bring an open mind to that path that led them there. I hope for them peace and inner happiness.

Let me give you an example. I’ll see another human being standing on the side of the road pan handling, (please excuse me if my verbiage isn’t politically correct). I am instantly sad for them because in my mind, people reach that point through either addiction or mental illness (this is me judging). I do realize that this is not ALWAYS the case, but to me, it is the commonality.

From there, I don’t judge them on their path itself. My next thought is, (“but for the grace of {my} God, there go I”). I don’t know that persons path. I don’t know how or why they became an addict, or how long they have suffered that mental illness or what brought them there to that place with that sign. I am an addict. A recovering addict. I know that I am not above them. We are equals. Two Humans with hearts and tears. The thing that separates us is our choices. I choose recovery and everything that goes along with that. As for them, if I am correct about my “judgment”, I choose to believe they haven’t made it there yet. A lot of times addiction is a symptom of mental illness or mental illness the symptom of the addiction. Lastly, I sent them positive vibes. I smile and wave sincerely, maybe even say a little prayer for them. So there you go, I told on myself. I judge and then retract and do my best to take the high road.

I know how it feels to be judged, I’m sure we all do. It doesn’t feel good. I’m judged because I am a recovering addict (in which I wouldn’t change one iota). I’m judged because I can be a little hard on my littles when they get out of hand (but guess what, they are polite, well behaved and kind children most all of the time). I’m judged on my hair, my clothes, the company I keep and the fact that I ride a motorcycle. All of these things make me who I am today and I a proud of that. I am honest, and kind and polite. I am caring and worry about peoples feelings before my own. I stop and ask the elderly if they need help when the opportunity presents itself. I’m also fun and I love to laugh and be goofy. Just because I don’t drink and party doesn’t mean I don’t have a good time because I do.

People teach their kids to judge, to bully and to be mean. It breaks down the soul of both parties. I’m irritated with people who judge today. I’m a good person. I do my best to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. We all have choices, we all make mistakes. Get to know someone before you think you know them or their story. We are all human. We should all be created equal. We laugh, we cry, we love, we lose. So smile at every one you see today. Look down only if you’re helping someone up. You are not better than me and I’m not better than you. We are equals, we are human.

If someone hasn’t told you they love you today, I do. I love you. You are loveable, no matter what.
KB

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Vulnerability….

Vulnerable [vuhl-ner-uh-buhl]
1. capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as a weapon: a vulnerable part of the body
2. open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.: an argument vulnerable to refutation; H s vulnerable to bribery
3. (of place) open to assault; difficult to defend: a vulnerable bridge.
(courtesy of dictionary.com)

Where do I begin with Vulnerability….I can tell you that this word is frightening to me. It heightens all of my senses. In other words MY definition of Vulnerable is: hurry and throw up all of your noxious walls and retreat!!! This lovely character defect of mine has been haunting me as long as I can remember. I have only recently been able to identify it. With that being said, I am still working to wrap my head around this and find situations in my past where I have let this reaction control my life. The goal moving forward to allow myself to feel vulnerable and not get defensive or retaliate. To be vulnerable is to say “I love you” first, or to have the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees. Vulnerability, I’ve read, is the core of shame and guilt and our struggle for worthiness. So on the flip side of that, let’s say I allow myself to be vulnerable….this would mean that it’s possible to find joy and love and understanding and laughter. What’s standing out in my mind right now is “…with little risk, you get little reward”. I ask myself do I want to stay in my comfortable little bubble or can I conform to a place of putting myself out there and possibly getting rejected or hurt.

Back in the day….while in the grips of my different addictions, vulnerability wasn’t much of an issue. I could easily stay in my regular mood changing, mind altering state or better yet, fight or flight. Thank my higher power and my lucky stars, I don’t have to live like that anymore. Today I get to first, come to the realization that this is an issue for me, and second approach it head on and find ways to conquer this. I am going to make a conscious effort to let my walls down by putting myself in vulnerable positions and accept the outcome one way or another. Whether it ends in laughter or tears, I will own it. Through this I will experience growth and become an even stronger, happier girl.
KB

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To love you, I need to first love me….

In my ongoing discovery of self, I have recently come to a very important realization. I’m consistently busying my mind and soul with other peoples issues. The result of this is that I have forgotten about ME. An analogy was brought to my attention recently, it basically refers to the monkeys we carry on our backs. I have made it a habit of smashing my monkey with the monkeys of others. I’m really good at it. As long as I carry your monkey and try to save you, I am paying no mind to my monkey.

Moving forward my plan of action is to give people their monkeys back. In the week that I have been practicing this principle, I already feel better. I am not perfect at it, I know it will take more practice and I am okay with that. It’s all about progress and not perfection. Yeah buddy!

I have a gal in my life who is amazing. She was my official girlfriend and upon taking all of this into consideration, I decided that I needed to back off that relationship and take time for me. I am an addict. I have an addictive personality. I haven’t had to use mood changing or mind altering substances in quite a while. I’ve learned that using is only a symptom of my problem. With that being said, I have a tendency to use people as instead of using drugs or alcohol. So in this relationship, if I feel icky, I use her to make me feel better. Instead of sitting in my discomfort and getting through it the healthy way, I pick up the phone or go visit her and she takes away the icky. I’m not doing this anymore. I yearn to be comfortable in my skin and I want to make my recovery, my higher power and myself my priority. It’s important to me to enter this relationship as a full person as opposed to a broken girl that needs outward validation. I want to validate myself.

She is taking this news and decision the best she can and I commend her for that. I can only hope that she allows me this time to fill my holes. I plan to do this through, recovery, this blog, God, self love, the steps and time. Time to heal, time to transform and become the person I know I am capable of being.

Coming out in October and getting divorced is a big deal and I need to embrace it and feel my feelings surrounding this.

So here’s to ME!! My #1…..progress not perfection.

Until next time……KB

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A milestone of sorts….

Today is the fourth of July. Today I celebrate not only Independence Day for our magnificent country but also independence from active addiction. It’s another milestone for me and although it’s an incredible accomplishment, I dare not let it boost my ego. Fireworks are my absolute favorite so the irony of watching their captivating colors and shapes on this special day makes me a very happy gal.

Recovery has brought to my life so many amazing things. A different set of eyes if you will. A new way of life and the opportunity to do the next right thing. My program lets me make amends for not only the people I have wronged in my past, but also a daily inventory of my mistakes at which time I can rectify if needed. I get to wake up every morning clean, knowing that I have a higher power that loves me and stands by me through all my actions and emotions. By no means do I pretend to be perfect. I still have a lot to learn about myself and the things that make me tick. This milestone, God willing will be one of many. Through this exploration of self I can become the person I always wanted to be and do my best to be better than I was the day before.

Happy 4th friends!!

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My big sister AJ…

Growing up my big sister (by 20 months), AJ had all the confidence in the world. She didn’t seem to care or notice if she was the prettiest, skinniest, funniest or most adored person in the room. She expressed herself, she was her own person and she owned that. I looked up to her as I was a bit self conscious and worried of what others thought. She was my rock of sorts.

Fast forward to today. She is very sick and very frail. Alcoholism has wrecked her life, her body and her relationships. My love for her has not waivered, yet I am unable to express that to her regularly. I recently wrote her a 6 page letter in which I hand delivered. I refuse to have expectations with her as I have learned that the hard way. I have no clue if she read it, or understood it….I only know that it was therapeutic for me to get those feelings out and let her know that my love runs deep for her. Our sisterhood has been severely impacted and it crushes my soul a little more each day. I pray for her, I mourn for her, I miss her, I need her, I love her. She is my only full blooded sibling. The person I have known the longest. She is my best friend, no matter what. I hope one day she will find recovery and come back to me. I’ll wait patiently, suffer silently and focus on the good times. I love you Andrea. If nothing else, I’ll see you at our rainbow bridge.

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