Today I woke up in my apartment, something that never happens on the weekends. I had a good night’s sleep and prepared myself to embrace a day for myself.
I hugged my dog and we went for a morning walk. The summer rain has made all the dryness disappear, the trees look higher and stronger in green. I cooked oatmeal for my sixteen year old Australian Shepherd. He can barely see and hear but the smell of oatmeal always makes him happy. We struggled a little with his daily dosage of medications but afterwards he enjoyed his breakfast and I enjoyed his gratitude.
I put my bikini on and packed a book, sunscreen and water. I drove to the beach -a four minute drive-, rented a paddle board and spend three hours paddling, swimming and suntanning. I saw a giant turtle making its way through the ocean and then it hit me: I was recovering the ability to appreciate the things I love.
Afterwards I went to the grocery store and bought healthy food for the coming week. I took a nice shower, ate sushi and read until I fell asleep.
I woke up, walked my dog and cooked him a broccoli omelette for dinner. I wasn’t hungry but I ate a banana.
The thoughts of him came and went during the day. I tried not to engage with them. Sometimes I failed and sometimes I succeded. It’s going to take time.
A few minutes ago I felt worried and scared. I went through my Pinterest “Letting Go” Pins and I started to feel better…
“Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from the negative.”
It’s Saturday, 8:30 pm, and I just came in from work. I could be with him, but I chose to stay with myself. It feels strange but it also feels good.
I needed space. It’s been too long.
I didn’t want his company today. And being quite honest, I didn’t want it yesterday, or the day before yesterday either. I just wanted peace and quiet.
I am fed up with his anger and his lack of gratitude. I am tired of pretending all is well. It is not. I’m exhausted of being vigilant whenever he’s around. I need a constant barricade against the gaslighting, the guilt trips and the never ending monologues.
I’ve been investing my time in a relationship that does’t work. I am tired of watering a plant that’s already dead.
I don’t even remember the date when I left our home. It was a Saturday, that’s for sure. I took off with our dog who’s lying right beside me while I write this letter.
I was talking with a friend earlier today about my laundry machine and the mystery of the missing socks. As the conversation went on, I started talking about my laundry days while I was married and all the things you left behind in your pockets.
For eleven years, I chose Mondays to do our laundry. It was my way to start a fresh and clean new week. I sorted the clothes in different piles and patiently seeked for the forgotten objects.
I remember the used Kleenex tissues. The image took me back in time and I heard your repeated sneezing and your runny nose. That’s when my voice started to crack.
I kept on talking about the other objects I found in your pockets. The Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment you used on a daily basis to relieve your dry lips. I also remembered the pocket size Neutrogena Fragance Free Cream you carried everyday for your chapped hands. Both images struck harshly and made me cry. Suddenly I felt the compelling need to touch your hands and your lips.
My friend hugged me tight and I surrendered to the sadness. I kept talking about the lighters, the ones you used when anxiety hitted you hard and kept you smoking outside your office.
Today I wanted to hear your voice, to be held in your arms and to relive the amazing moments we had together. I wanted to say I’m sorry and also thank you for all the wonderful things you brought to my life.
Writing has become very important for for my recovery. The burden I’ve carried for so many years gets lighter with every text I write. It feels like opening the windows of an old uninhabited house. Word by word, the fresh air dissipates the stench of the confined and extended sorrow
I’ve been running away from unsolved issues for my whole life. I moved to another state, but the issues followed me there too.
I have a bipolar mother. She’s been sick for as long as I can remember. I was a frightened little girl who couldn’t explain herself why her mom was always angry or asleep. I tried everything to make her happy but nothing worked. Her absence and her hate turned me into a responsible adult at a very young age.
I’m about to see her again. I feel startled sitting in this bus. I flew down because she is having a manic episode. She has been losing contact with reality and I don’t know what awaits me.
If she would only take her medications things could be so much better for her and for ourselves. That’s the cruel reality. I have a sick mother and I have to justify all the awful things she does, because she is sick.
My kundalini yoga teacher taught me that meditating in a soothing and quiet environment is easy; the trick is to meditate surrounded by uncomfortable situations.
This weekend I’ll try to be that type of guru. I will breathe in and breathe out calmly. I will not engage at any moment with her willingness to hurt me.
I am about to visit my boyfriend’s family.
I am excited to meet for the first time with his niece, the one that lives in Alaska. She grows her own food, meditates, loves the earth and fights for peace. She married years ago to an Alaskan Native and has two kids.
I will also be seeing again his other niece, the one that lives in Colorado. She’s a business woman that grows pot and sells it to distributors. She has an eight year old son who has won several national snow skiing championships.
I hope they also bring their teenage niece. She’s a only child who just lost her mom after battling cancer for several years. She is a little shy and a great horseback rider.
I will also see my boyfriend’s step sister. She is single now. She was married and had a son. She got divorced and her son left her, or she left him, I can’t remember. He was in prison many times and died young. She remarried and has a daughter with whom she fights most of the time. I think they’re in good terms right now because both of them will be there.
Today I’ll be surrounded by women who have completely different stories and lifestyles. I am excited to see the ones that make me laugh and nurture my brain and my soul. I am also annoyed to see the haters, the ones that stab me in the back whenever they can.
I’ll try to avoid the toxicity of the haters and spend a nice dinner with the women that already belong to my tribe.
For quite sometime I’ve been lowering the dosage of your presence in my life. I was afraid of the side effects that decison would bring, but crossing straight through them has made me strong.
Subtracting you from my life has been adding up in many other areas. I’ve been sleeping better. I’ve been eating healthier and drinking lots of water. I feel leaner and have already lost nine pounds. I’ve returned to my yoga classes which I love and I’ve been catching up with my reading and writing. I’ve reconnected with friends and family, and most importantly, I’ve recovered my laughter.
The most outstanding achivement is I am no longer carrying your overloaded bagage. I finally understood the handwriting in your name tag had your name on it.
Handing back your responsabilities has given me breathing space. I no longer care about your spoiled adult kids or their free rider mother. I don’t waste my time trying to help you increase your income and your savings while you do exactly the opposite. I am letting go of your manipulation tactics. I am done with your anger, your revenge and your greed. Your narcissistic behavior doesn’t scare me anymore.
Distance is keeping me safe and I will defeat the toxicity you brought into my life. One day at a time.
I am facing the exit door. It’s wide open, waiting for me to take the step.
Once I take the step, everything will change. There are no guarantees and there are no short cuts to get in one piece to the other side of this toxic realtionship.
I’ll have to deal with the consequences of my decision on my own. A decision that I’ve been delaying for such a long time.
I’ve heard you can break a bad habit in twenty eight days or in sixty, who knows how much time it’ll take for me to get over this charade.
I haven’t cried for such a long time. Today I disguised my tears with sweat while I was playing paddle tennis. I lost three sets and didn’t care about the defeat. I only wanted to get back home and be with myself.
I need to flee from him. I need to change my house locks. I need to rescue myself.
It happended again. I was breathing air and suddenly I started choking with dirt. Some experts call it Mirror Neurons others call it Empathy Syndrome.
The fact is I am very sensitive to the emotions and the energy that surrounds me. The nice thing about it is I feel very happy when I am around certain people. The disadvantage is I feel very uncomfortable around people who are bouncing around with negativity.
Dealing with my scheme of emotions is somehow difficult, imagine how weary it can be to also absorb external fear, joy, anger, love, sadness, shame, courage, calmness, pity, gratitude, trust, envy, kindness, guilt, cruelty, and so on.
To ease the confusion I try to deal with my own crayons first. I take one moment at a time and squeeze all my favorite colors in every breathe I take.
I can walk my dog early in the morning and enjoy the sunrise, the owls and the woodpeckers. I can also go for a quick swim in the ocean before work, or just lay in bed for a few more minutes and feel the pleasure of my body stretching out after a good night’s sleep.
Today I was drawing with several of my favorite colors when he appeared. He was in a bad mood. I sensed it and kept silent. I wasn’t carrying my patience crayon with me and his irritability and over talkative behavior caught me. I lost my balance and felt angry the rest of the day.
I need to hand him back his crayon and get back to my own.