The Joke’s On You…281 Days To Fix This

images-6 ………….. OR NOT

B makes me laugh. More than anyone in the world. Greater than Robin Williams, Margaret Cho or Bob Newhart. He’s wonderfully funny and with his humor he can make a day go from bad to good with just a funny expression. But one of the things he uses his humor for is to combat difficult situations…the kind where oh-so-nasty-honest-to-goodness FEELINGS are involved so he doesn’t have to dig his way into an issue but he can try to laugh his way out of it. He acts kind of like a cat trying to fight his way out of a brown paper bag in that regard.

I do not have a great sense of humor. I mean, I can be funny, but it doesn’t come as natural for me as it does with B. At times my husband has accused me of being humorless. Usually that accusation comes when we are having a disagreement and I am not buying into the humor that he is employing in order not to have to tackle the more difficult problems in our relationship. But here’s the thing…I think knowing when to use humor is every bit as important as having it. Relating a story about how our kid lost his swim trucks in the Polar Bear swim….funny. Cracking a joke when I am asking about how he feels our relationship is going…not funny.

People use humor for all sorts of reasons: calling attention to themselves, telling a story that uses humor to inform and sometimes just to diffuse tension. But when you need to use it to deflect reality and having to dig hard within yourself for tough answers then the joke is on you. Because you are the one who is the ultimate loser whether its insight, opportunity, or eventually the one you love who you later realize needed something more from you than a good one-liner.

There are two times a woman doesn’t understand a man: Before marriage and after marriage

The Process Of I LOVE YOU

Okay, I know that at times, I go places where no married person should venture. I question, I imagine, and I play our various scenarios in my mind that really have no business being there. I am working very hard on replacing negative thoughts with super positive meditations and “canceling” the negative thoughts immediately when they enter that place my brain is suppose to be. So last night took me by surprise.

It was late. B and I were cuddling when he said, “I Love You.” He said it with love in his voice and tenderness in his heart. And I froze like a deer in the headlights. My body went cold and I felt suddenly ill.  And before I knew it I was saying these words: “How do I know that? I mean you said that to me when you were thinking you wanted a divorce. So you were saying it without really feeling it and so how do I know that when you say it now you really mean it?”

Yeah, I know. A real moment killer.

Because here is the thing. I thought he loved me. And he says he always has and always will love me even though there are times he doesn’t like me much. And I get that. And even though he is communicating his feelings more and letting me inside his head a little, I still experience fear that what he is saying isn’t what he means. And given that he is a man that honors his promises and he promised to give our marriage a year, I worry that on day 366 he will walk in saying “I kept my promise but this isn’t what a really want.”

So how do I learn to trust B and our relationship again? Time? Probably. But I think it is more than that. Somehow I have come to believe that this can be accomplished by trying to surrender my desire to control what I cannot control and I have to stop worrying about things I have no control over. Easier said than done. Yet, I am cognizant that  all this controlling/worrying is only serving to steal my energy and it leaves me feeling depleted. It also keeps me feeling lonely and isolated, none of which is helpful nor what I want. So, instead of trying to change what I don’t really have in the first place, I am trying to shift my focus (didn’t work too well last night) to those things I can control because I would rather spend my energy trying to seek joy in my life than trying to force all this negative out. I can choose to work from the positive or the negative. I CHOOSE POSITIVE…at least this minute…give me a break … it’s a process.

19 Days Yell-Free (almost) 346 Days Left

So I have not yelled in 19 days (almost) and it feels good. About the almost…yesterday I came home with a load of groceries in my arms and lugged them onto the kitchen countertop, spilling a glass of red juice all over the cabinets and floor I had just spotlessly cleaned. Without a moments hesitation I yelled out “Oh Fuck!” which immediately put me in the running for ‘Mother of the Year Award.’ So while I did yell I did not yell at any living breathing being in my home I did send that utterance out into the universe. It should be bumping into you just about now!

One of the many ways I have been working on not yelling is by swimming for 30 minutes per day and as I swim I say positive affirmations in my head like “I am calm, I am loving, I am content with things as they are, I no longer yell, I am joyful, etc.” I find this very easy and it keeps me occupied while I swim so that the result is that I swim longer. The biggest bonus is that while underwater I can not hear my children bickering. For when I hear the fighting it  makes me want to grow gills and fins so that I never have to get out of the pool and hear, “Sheeeeee touchedddddd meeeeeeee!”  in stereo sound again.

Everyday is a challenge but thus far I have succeeded when no one thought I could. That said, I have been spending more time in my closet listening to Chel Hamilton meditation podcasts. I figure that is a small price to pay for not yelling and feeling better about life in general though it also means that I need to find another place for my husband’s smelly undershirts. For me, sweat and serenity do not go together and should not inhabit the same place.

My List

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So in writing our lists of what we would like to change about ourselves I realize that I have a lot of work to do. Serious work. Hard work. Uncomfortable work. But I feel ready for the journey that all this work will send me on because my life should be an expression of the gifts I have already received. And it is not. So here goes:

  1. I NEED to find new ways to express my anger or shut it off. New ways that are not hurtful to others but still make me feel like I am being heard as I think a lot of my yelling stems from feeling that I am not being heard or respected. I need to break this destructive habit because it is hurting everyone I love AND it is hurting me because when I lash out, I then feel bad, and then I beat myself up and it is a vicious cycle. I AM HURTING THE PEOPLE I LOVE, I AM INFLUENCING HOW THEY WILL ACT TO OTHERS IN THE FUTURE, AS IT GOES WITH NOT CORRECTION MY ANGER GETS WORSE. It affects my health, my sanity and my sense of self worth. Same with my kids. I don’t want my kids to be afraid of setting their Mom off because that is so wrong on so many levels. I want to teach by good example how to handle things in a calm and loving manner. Yelling breaks my kids and my husband’s sense of trust and comfort in me.
  2. I need to find a way to minimize the daily physical pain I am in.
  3. Some of the time I think when I get yelling it is because I am not hearing things correctly and it causes real problems. Maybe now is the time for hearing aids…but sometimes it is a relief not to hear things like Andre alarming in full stereo sound and I am afraid if I hear EVERYTHING it will increase my stress level. This seems like such a 50-50 thing.
  4. I am lonely. I need to make some friends, belong to a group, do something that is meaningful to me
  5. I am going to try yoga, go to meditation class and I have already signed up for a workout class. The fear for me is that I am afraid that all this movement will increase my pain so I have avoided it.
  6. I need to find a way to really ENJOY my kids again. Maybe more one-on- one time? It just seems like so often it is a battle to do game night, etc and it discourages me to keep trying. Special needs kids can suck the life out of you with their idiosyncracies, demands and high maintainence. It is hard to enjoy them when your normal is anything but.
  7. I need to learn to trust again.
  8. I need to feel like the things I am doing count and that they matter. How do I do this?
  9. I need to decrease feeling defensive when B criticizes me.
  10. I need to regain that sense of hope for myself and my children that I feel I have lost in the past 6 months.
  11. I need to have a sense of adventure and accomplishment in my life. That is why I love ____ because I am challenging myself and discovering new things.
  12. I need to stop living in fear about finishing writing my book and having it rejected so that I don’t even do it.
  13. Maybe I need to be a little less honest  or learn to say things so that they do not seem as harsh. I REALLY need to understand that I don’t have to say or do everything in the minute that it occurs and not let what other people are doing affect me don’t stress about other peoples things.
  14. I need to find out why I am not remembering things. Is it stress, hormones or dementia. It is truly scaring me
  15. I need to be able to put into practice what I believe if B does decide to leave our marriage or if I do. I need to remember that he is a very wonderful man and admirable man who has given me so much and that I am thankful for all he has done and that he does deserve happiness and if he cannot find that with me he needs to find it somewhere. I don’t want to hurt him or our kids by acting in less than an admirable way.
  16. Find my sense of humor in this bizarre life I am living,
  17. To not let my perceived feelings of not measuring up to what B wants/needs make me feel as if I have no worth
  18. Become more positive sounding. I think I am or used to be until very recently upbeat and positive but perhaps B does not see that. L does. N does but not sure B does. I don’t think he sees that for me solving things is very positive even if I voice negative in order to solve it.
  19. I need to find ways to work with Paul better. He and I are very much alike and both feel emotions intensely so we butt heads. How can I change this?
  20. Stop over analyzing things and just let my brain rest. I don’t have to figure out …what this will do to all our kids adult and little, where I am going to live, how will we do holidays, how will this effect Paul’s mental health, how I will support myself, how we will get the kids to school if I have a job, what college I may need to go to, how Gracie can continue to go to gymnastics if there were two households to support, what if I don’t like his new wife, if one of us moves, and what will need to be done… all in the first hour that B tells me he may want a divorce. I need to just try and live in the moment without projecting.
  21. I need to pay attention that I do not sabotage this relationship because I am scared by over analyzing, by not being able to enjoy the good moments because I am worried about the future and if I make a mistake it will all come tumbling down. I have run in the past when things got tough and even though every fiber in my being wants to run I will not do so.
  22. Accept how things are and be happy with how things are. Don’t constantly beat yourself up.