Thursday, November 8, 2012

30 days to go

I'm so happy!

One month from now, I will be married. :)
Almost everything is set in place. I just have to pay a few more wedding bills and pick a beach. That's IT.

I'm entirely convinced just the two of us in St. Thomas was the way to go. I've had little glimpses into traditional wedding planning, and I don't like it. I COULD do it, but I think I wouldn't be as happy or satisfied. *cough perfectionist! cough*
I'd rather focus on other things!

I'm so ready to get away, relax with my fiancé, and make new memories together.

Pre-marital counseling is going well, too. Chris and I had discussed a lot of things beforehand & went through a book, but a professional always helps. Even if I *know* certain things, hearing a therapist say it just STICKS with me. I don't know why. (That's why they're the expert!)
Found out tonight, though, I will need a couple of individual sessions with her because I have issues. :) Oops.

One month is going to go by so fast. Trying to savor it all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I've been busy!

Long time no blog! Sorry, I've had a lot to do. :)
This isn't going to be a intense post so much as it will be a mini-update on my life.


First of all, I GOT ENGAGED 18 days ago. YAY!

Chris and I are getting married this December in St. Thomas and moving into a new place together right after. AHHHH, I can't wait.

Yes, it's a short engagement and it's going to be a small ceremony (just the two of us), but we did that on purpose. I do not want to be anxious over planning a wedding. My fiancé (!!) says, "I'd rather concentrate on the marriage than the wedding." YES!  (Besides, I do not know one married couple that has NOT said, "I wish we just would have eloped.")

I've already got a coordinator and a photographer; we start pre-marital counseling soon; and I *think* I found a dress, but I'm going shopping again this weekend.
Even this stuff has me pooped & stressed. I can't imagine doing something bigger; I'd be on anti-anxiety medication by the end of day two. (I really would.)


In other news, my Bible study started up again last week while I was on vacation, so tonight will be my first night. I missed my girls!

I have always been blessed by great groups of friends in each stage of my life (high school, college, Arkansas, Dallas...). I'm so thankful I pushed aside my nervousness about doing something new by myself and signed up for Bible study two years ago. :) I love my Table 17!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

dear you

Dear you,

We've been through a lot together.
Sometimes, I think you're great, but most of the time we've known each other, I've been less than cordial to you. I have a lot to apologize for.

I'm sorry for poking you, pinching you, weighing you, cursing you, even wanting you dead.
I'm sorry for starving you because I thought you were too big and too ugly.
I'm sorry for not being able to look at you in the mirror without getting sad, or even angry.
I'm sorry for hiding you under clothes too big or clothes so many because I was embarrassed of you.
I'm sorry I wanted you to look like someone else.
I'm sorry for not listening to you when you SCREAMED for me to change. I heard you, but I didn't listen.

Years ago, I would have even apologized to you for "letting" someone else hurt you, but it's not my fault. And it's not yours, either. Nothing you did made you deserve what happened, no matter what other people might say. Believe me when I tell you this.
In those times, I hugged you, cried for you, tried to comfort you.

It took a long time, but I now see that there is so much more to you.

You are STRONG and healthy. I can see muscles, now. I see strength.
You are beautiful. You are, dare I say, sexy. You have boobs, hips, a waist! They're awesome! They're not things to hide, but things to appreciate.
You are affectionate and a comforter. You give hugs. You give kisses. You hold hands. You pick up babies and cuddle them. You rub the bellies of animals and touch their noses to yours.
You smile and laugh. You make dumb jokes. I can see the beginnings of creases in your face, but that only means you've smiled SO much.
You can make music. You can SING! You can play instruments! With a guitar in-hand or piano keys under your fingertips, you are home. (We'll work on you being more comfortable with a microphone in your face... You can do it!)
You are smart. You get things. You learn easily.
Your hands and feet bring love and the Good News to people who have never known it.

From now on, I will try to enrich you, every part of you.
I want to keep you strong and healthy. I will go to my boxing class and do pilates at home. (Maybe, I will even run more! Maybe...)
I want to keep your mind sharp with books, articles, games, and dialog with friends. I want to keep learning things.
I want to keep your mental health in check and go back to therapy the moment I think I need it again. I need to remember the tools I've learned and put them into practice.
I want to surround you with wonderful, healthy, honest people. They sure do help you to be the same. I also want you to stay away from the people and things that will hurt you.
I want you to be confident. I want you to stand up for the things that aren't right, the things that hurt others.
I want you to keep learning about Jesus. I want you to love like he loves.

So, for now, I will sit alone in my apartment in my underwear, and be okay with it. I will drink my glass of red wine, not thinking about the calories but thinking about the health benefits and the lovely way it tastes. And I will paint a picture with my acrylic paints, because you are so good at that.

I love you.

PS - Read other love letters here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

the subthreshold

I had a mild setback with my workouts.

Last Thursday, we did a lot of upper body stuff: pushups, burpees, bag work, & mitt work. I guess I was a little too hardcore because I was ACHING the next day; everything from the chest up hurt.
A few days later, the pain on my right subsided, but my left felt worse. Upon closer inspection, I noticed a bulge on my ribs under my left armpit; it was painful to the touch. I was so swollen that it was actually messing with the nerves in my arm/hand.

After much freaking out and Googling, I determined it was only a strain (and not a tear).* I had to accept I wouldn't be able to box for a couple weeks.

On top of this workout-reducing injury, I have gained about 4 pounds in the past 2-3 weeks. The rational part of my brain understands this is most likely muscle weight, especially since I've been better about eating protein after my boxing class. The irrational, anxious, eating disordered part of my brain screams, "OMG, IT'S FAT! IT'S FAT! FAT FAT FAT. OMG, YOU'RE GAINING WEIGHT. YOU ARE FAT." Then: "Where is the fat going? Can I see it? Is it here?" *pinch* "Here?!" *pinch pinch* "If I can't work out, it's going to get worse! I HAVE TO WORK OUT. I can't lose what I've gotten out of this so far! I HAVE TO WORK OUT."

I wish that part of me would disappear already. I want to think rationally. I want to do what makes sense.
(I have done some CRAZY things before, but I'll talk about some of those in another post.)

"As a general guideline, it appears that one third of patients fully recover [from an eating disorder], one third retain subthreshold symptoms, and one third maintain a chronic eating disorder." - Cleveland Clinic

I am definitely in the "subthreshold" category. It never goes away.
Maybe I can quiet it, or at least recognize it, but it will always be there, whispering snide remarks, promising mitigation of my anxieties, tempting me to be its only friend...

Even now, when I am HEALTHY – sculpted, thin, eating well – it whispers.
Even when my boyfriend tells me I'm beautiful and he loves my curves, it whispers.
Even in the moments when I think I can appreciate my own body, it whispers.

I have realized therapy for me will be a lifelong process. Not continuously, but continually.
I was talking with my therapist about this, and I named several times I already know will warrant me going back: when I find out I'm pregnant one day (and throughout the pregnancy as my body changes), during significant changes in my children's lives, through moves or job changes, etc.
(My therapist applauded my self-awareness, at least!)

And I say "going back" because my workplace is switching insurance companies and my therapist will no longer be covered come August 1. :( I've decided once that date hits, I'll take a break from therapy to see how I handle things...

Some good news: after my trainers worked with injured me during just one class, my muscle feels better! At the earliest, I'll be boxing again next Monday, but I don't want to push it.

*Y'all, I seriously forgot what a strained muscle felt like. I haven't had one since high school...possibly middle school. Then, I worked out every day and usually didn't get sore/strained. With boxing, I only work out twice a week and I still get sore after EVERY class.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

not really a post

But kind of a post...

I just want to say: let's have a discussion.
I don't want to be the only one yapping here. Yes, it is my blog, but let's talk about things together.

I think it's lovely since starting my blog I've gotten so many emails, facebook messages, and texts about what I write.
That's awesome, but let's share here (or in real life)!

I had an amazing conversation at my book club the previous Friday, after I posted my last blog.
We talked about what I wrote, why I felt the way I did, the dangerous implications in the linked blog's story, etc.
Most people have never been in an abusive relationship (thank goodness), so there is a lot of misunderstanding. It's easy to ask things like, "Why didn't you just leave?" or think you would be "strong enough" to not ever get in a situation like I was. (Sorry, but no one is immune! It's scary, but true.)

I was so excited to discuss. I want that to happen more.

Do you have questions about what I post? Whether personal or hypothetical, I don't mind answering. Did you have the same or a completely different experience when faced with the same things? Let's talk about it!
(This is why I post my blog on facebook and twitter, for crying out loud! I know you read it. This isn't just something I planned on sharing with my BFFs. I want people outside my closest circle of friends to learn something new, to not be afraid, to not feel alone.)

So, my readers, what do you want to know? Ask? Declare?
Let's get educated. Let's talk about it.

PS - This isn't a cry for more comments; I couldn't care less. Your emails and texts mean the world to me BUT, I think it would be helpful for all the other readers if we had our discussions there. :) It's so nice to see when there is another person (or people) besides the blogger that has questions/issues/encouragement.

Friday, June 22, 2012

abuse and the good girl


I probably shouldn't be angry-blogging, but I can't help it. (Excuse the language I use.)
This is gonna be a big one, and you're going to read more about me than you wanted to know.

I am a good girl, a goody-goody. I always have been. So, when I read this blog post, I cried.
That is not a beautiful story about redemption, that is a story about sexual assault, abuse, and victim-blaming.


A couple of weeks after we started dating, my ex and I were laying down, watching TV. He put his hand on my side, and then down inside my pants.
I squirmed. "Don't touch me there."
"Don't touch me there!" he mocked, and kept his hand there, and even slid it in further.

Things escalated.

A little over a month into our relationship, we were kissing and he kept trying to touch my chest. He was on top of me. I pushed him away. I pushed him away again. And again. And again and again and again. He wouldn't stop; he got more aggressive until I gave in.
He later told me it was the best birthday present ever, like I gave it to him freely.
He's on top of the world...and I can't stop crying for 48 straight hours.

He grabbed my hand and shoved it down his pants.

He would whine and pout when I wouldn't do something he wanted.

He "needed" naked pictures or videos, but then I wasn't "naked enough"/"naked for long enough" in them.

He got cranky when I wouldn't dirty talk and when I told him I didn't like the language he was using (vulgar names for female genitalia, etc.).

There were several times that he'd try to get me to drink more than I wanted to because he knew that would make me inebriated; it was harder for me to resist or say no.

Instead of being nice for the sake of just being nice, there were always ulterior motives.
For one Valentine's Day, he did some very sweet things, but it was overshadowed by the fact that he kept repeating throughout the night, "This is gonna make you so horny." (EW!)

There was even a time that I thought I might be raped.
We were laying around, watching TV, and he said out of nowhere, "Lemme put it in your butt."
"NO!" I cried, disgusted.
"Why...?" he whined.
"Because...I don't want any of you inside of me...anywhere."
"But WHY?!" he kept asking me.
I said no a few more times, and then he jumped on top of me and held my arms. I had been laying on my stomach; he was now on my back. I was terrified. I squirmed vigorously to get out from under him. He was laughing...and I was not.
(Nothing happened and he let me go, but it was fucking SCARY. And you know what? The only reason why he never asked about having vaginal intercourse is because that was not a Christian thing to do. HAHAHA! Everything else in his mind was fair game and not "real sex.")

Any time I planned on seeing him, I would literally pray to God that I would have the courage and strength to say "no" to his advances. He would so often whittle me down that I didn't know what else to do. (I have sob-inducing prayer journal entries where I relentlessly scribbled out these requests.)


As Dianna commented on the above linked blog post, "A simple rule of thumb in sexual relationships is this: 'A yes is only a yes if a no is possible.' In the situation, as you’ve painted it, a no wasn’t possible – this guy, whom she presumably liked, whittled down her courage and her ability to stand up for herself until she eventually just said, 'Oh all right.' That’s not active participation in a sexual relationship – that is coercive and abusive. And yet, somehow, the person who needs to ask for forgiveness…is the girl? Because she gave a coerced, unwilling, affirmative answer to a boy who should not have been pressuring her in the first place? That’s really messed up and blames the victim of an abusive relationship for the abuse that took place. [...] Maybe if she’d gone to a church where she could know that what happened to her was actually assault and abuse, and not her fault..."

If you are being abused, YOU LOSE YOUR DAMN MIND.
I didn't know how to be me; I was scared. I acted how I thought my ex wanted me to act, how I was trained. I was trained to give in, trained to be sexy and wanting, trained to act like someone else.

My even ex told me that I was responsible for 40-50% of what happened to me, even though I was ALWAYS the one to say stop or no, always the one to draw the line.

Alleyne commented, "[Ours] is a culture that encourages those abuses, by failing, over and over, to focus on them, while simultaneously blaming victims for not being strong enough to withstand attacks they should never have had to face to begin with. Fallen. Unpure. Loss of innocence. In sin. Backslidden. Out of grace. Far from salvation.
This is the church’s particularly odious and spiritually devastating spin on rape culture. This is how souls are torn to shreds.
'This story wasn’t about the boy.'
No, of course it wasn’t. It never is. And that’s why this story keeps being told over and over and over again.
How many more men will have their sin glazed over as if 'sexual sin' (when it actually exists) doesn’t take two people?" (Emphasis mine.)

I went along for WAY too long thinking that everything that happened to me was my fault because I "gave in." That is faulty thinking. I was manipulated and controlled and coerced and guilted. SUBMISSION is not CONSENT.
You surrender all responsibility as soon as someone lays a hand on you.

SO, if my story is similar to the girl's story on the other blog, do you think she needs to ask for forgiveness or be shamed for her "sins?"
She needs people to love her, give her grace, and help her recover from a travesty placed upon her by someone else.

Let's stop victim-blaming and instead teach people how not to abuse others.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

cutesy cute

I'm going to tell a story about Chris, so if you don't want a puddle in your chest where your heart used to be, you can leave now!

I am* really terrible at making decisions. I wasn't really given the opportunity to make a lot of them in my past relationship, and outside of that, I'm always afraid of making the WRONG one.

Chris figured this out by my constant response of "I don't care!" to his "What do you want for dinner?" "Which one do you like better?" "What do you want to do today?" God forbid he hand me the remote to the TV - TOO MANY OPTIONS AND THEY'RE ALL WRONG.

One day, we were in a grocery store together shopping for dinner, and he asked me if I wanted wine and/or dessert.
(Obligatory.) "I don't care."
"No, really. What would you like? Either one or both?"
"I don't care."
"No, you pick."
"But, I don't care!"
He stared at me.
"Then," he said, as he squatted to sit cross-legged in the middle of the aisle with our basket as other shoppers walked by, "I won't get up until you make a decision."

AHHHH simultaneous swoon and wave of anxiety!

"I don't KNOW!" I exclaimed, leaning my head back to project the last word onto the ceiling.

Writhing with uncertainty, I don't remember how long it took me to make a decision (It felt like forever...), but I finally said no. He rose from the floor upon hearing my choice, and we continued shopping. Normal.

GOOD NEWS: Since I've started my therapy, I have been so much better about making decisions! There are some things that I will deflect to him, but overall, I'm becoming more me. :) I have OPINIONS and they're not bad! They're just...opinions.

*I'm working on WAS instead of AM. I'm more towards the WAS now!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

some good news

Chris and I are back together. :)
(My therapist gave me a high-five when I told her!)

It's been a long, weird, unexpected road, but I'm so thankful for it.
Like I've mentioned, we have both learned a lot about ourselves and we've learned a lot about our relationship - what it is and what we want it to be.

I know I kind of took a detour with this blog when Chris broke up with me - from anxiety/mental health issues to grieving/dealing with a breakup, but it's all part of it, I guess!

This in no way means that my anxiety is alleviated...I will just find something else to freak out about (although now I have tools to battle no matter what anxiety tends to be thrown my way).
When I no longer wanted to focus on my weight and decided to get help for my eating disorder years ago, I found different things about me weren't good enough instead – my hair, my skin, my teeth, my FINGERNAILS. Yep, seriously.

If I listen to anxiety, I will never be good enough.

The things that are already swirling in my head include: conversations Chris and I have to have about engagment/marriage and possibly moving to Knoxville, my dermatologist appointment in a week, a dentist appointment in two weeks, money to pay for extra things I have to do, etc.

(I wonder where I'd be right now if I never went to therapy, even though it's been a mere four months...)

For now, I'm going to enjoy the rain and lightning from my bedroom window as I drift off to sleep. Goodnight!

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm proud of you.

Chris and I are going through a pre-engagment book together. We're almost finished; I actually borrowed it from a friend a long time ago, but it fell victim to Chris & my laziness. :)

I brought the book along when we went to Florida to watch the second-to-last shuttle launch over a year ago. After claiming our spot on the windy dock in the NASA park, I walked back to the rental car to dig the book out of my bag. We had a couple hours before the launch was supposed to start, so Chris had suggested we start reading/discussing.
As soon as I sat down next to him, book in hand, the voice on the raspy intercom told us that the launch had been scrapped. So, I closed the book and instead cried. (I was obviously upset. I love space!)
After arriving back in Texas, I set the book on a shelf, untouched for several months. It then disappeared into a moving box, which was placed, unopened, in a closet.

Lazy, lazy, lazy!

Anyway, we started it again a few weeks ago. (Progress! Change! Un-laziness!)
One of the questions we went over last night was, "In what ways are you proud of your significant other?"

The first thing I thought about was how I was NOT proud of, nor did I respect, my last boyfriend.

I remember, in 2007, sitting in the pew of a beautiful church watching two of my friends get married. Part of the bride's vows included how much she respected her almost-husband. Listening to all the wonderful things she was saying about him, I started to cry.
I did NOT respect my current boyfriend. I was not proud of him. I was not proud to be with him. (That realization was the first of many steps backward away from him.)

Anyway, I told Chris about that, and then how I feel the complete opposite about him; I am proud of him for just about EVERYTHING. I respect him. I want to compliment him. I like to talk about him when I go out to dinner with friends.
When I was with him, I was proud to be his girlfriend. He didn't embarrass me, didn't say I was dressed like a whore (Yep, that happened.), didn't put down my friends, didn't hold me back from pursuing dreams or accomplishing goals...

What a breath of fresh air.

PS - For you nosy people, Chris and I are not back together (yet); we're still working through some stuff, and it's been good!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I care what you think

...and I shouldn't.

Well, I should care what you think to a point. I should be considerate, but I need to stop putting my needs & happiness on hold to "keep the peace." ("Keeping the peace" being my personal perception about what peace should be...which is a little distorted.)

I am not responsible for other people's emotions or reactions. (My therapist keeps reminding me of this.) I should not alter what I need to say or do for the mere possibility not everyone will react positively.
I'm incredibly empathetic. I get sad when you are sad. I hurt when you hurt. I want so badly for you to be happy, to have good things happen to you, to feel joy...but to the extreme that I will put my own needs aside to make that happen.
That is NOT healthy.
It's the reason I stayed in an abusive relationship when I should have left immediately, but I didn't want to "hurt his feelings." (Ugh.)

Chris and I have had several talks over the past 3-4 weeks. They have been good. Great, in fact. I am happy.
There is change. There is growth.


I'm battling this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach because what will people think?

Will they think it's stupid of me to get back together with someone who has broken up with me twice? Will they think we're making decisions too fast? Do they think we're not thinking (or praying) about it at all?
I've cast judgement on the couple I thought moved too fast towards marriage. I've made fun of the couple that has broken up and gotten back together 5 times. I don't want to be the one on the other side.*

The funny thing is, no one has been anything but loving and supportive of me and of us, so why would I have anxiety about these things? Why should I care how people may (or may not!) react?
I shouldn't.

*Now, I do not condone breaking up and getting back together if there is no change in either person or in the relationship as a whole. Obviously, you broke up for a reason! But, if there is change, that's a different story. Not every couple is the same. This is not a Disney movie, people!

Monday, April 23, 2012


Um, I started going to boxing fitness classes.
Not tae-bo, not kickboxing...ACTUAL boxing. Gloves, wraps, bags.

Me? Boxing? Hahaha.
I didn't think it would be my cup of tea, but since the first session is complimentary, I decided why not?

Wow, it kicked my butt and I could barely move for three days, but it was so, so good. I have never been sweatier or stinkier in my life, I'm fairly certain.

My friend has a membership and goes often, which I think is great, but I was a little apprehensive about paying to work out (I have a NICE gym at my apartment complex) and driving 20 minutes to get there a couple times a week.

But, another one of my friends who lives near me decided to start going regularly. Hello, carpooling!
So, I bought my 10-session punchcard today.

It's been fun getting to hang out with my girls, and I feel better about myself. Even if I don't lose weight or change shape, I will still feel like I LOOK better, and that's always a plus. :)
And, according to the Journal of Mental Heath and Physical Activity, just two workouts a week has been proven to ease the affects of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. YES!

This will be a fun adventure.

Friday, April 13, 2012

this is my Saturday

I read this amazing, AMAZING blog post on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

I know what to reflect on and how to feel on the day of Jesus' death and subsequent resurrection, but what about the day in-between?
RefineUs' blog post nailed it (oh, no pun intended):

My favorite parts? "Sometimes my dream has to die before God can give birth to His vision," and " are not in a season of defeat but a season of preparation."

I'm definitely living in my Saturday right now. Friday came and it SUCKED; I can't see the Sunday that is coming. I know it's out there somewhere...but what/when is it?!

In other news, I'm trying to decide if I want to get some wispy side bangs at my next hair cut (a little over a week from now) and/or if I finally want to get my wrist tattoo.
I wanted to do both of them in the past, but was worried about what I would look like/what others would think.
But, even now, I've been going back and forth from excitement to unsureness. Maybe I don't really want either?

It's weird trying to figure out what I want, for once.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I feel better.

Our talk on Sunday evening had the best possible outcome, I think.
(Thank you all who prayed for me and him and us!)

I feel better. I don't feel GOOD (because we're not together), but I was expecting exactly that.
I got answers, and that was what I wanted most...not a feeling afterwards.

I can't believe how much I've learned about myself in the past 3 weeks.
I started going to therapy for anxiety, but I've now gotten relationship advice AND counseling for grief management. I definitely wasn't planning on all that, but it's been incredibly helpful.

New things I've learned:
• I'm poor at communicating. (I think a lot of people are, though. One reason why I think everyone needs a therapist!)
• I like to stay "safe" in my relationships. Safe is boring!
• I stop doing things I love when I'm scared/fearful of abandonment.
• I need to talk about my feelings! I already learned it's okay to feel my feelings, but I also need to share them with those it affects.
• I need to be more intentional about working on relationships (and friendships!). I can be...lazy? I don't know if that is the best word, because I love my friends and loved my relationship with Chris...but I don't do very well at reaching out all the time, I guess.
• There are three intimacies I should always work on in a relationship with a significant other: physical, emotional (including romance and spiritual), and intellectual. (Just a great piece of advice from my therapist.)
• I need to trust my gut more.
• I shouldn't minimize my needs and desires. I need to tell people (especially a significant other) when I need something from them.

I could probably go on for days, but I won't do that.

In the end, I realize that I can't be with someone who has doubts, who is not for me 100%; I need to be with someone who ONLY sees me in their future. Period.
And I'm okay with that. I am enough. :)

Note: Chris did not break up with me because of my anxiety. He actually felt really terrible about ending things with me because he knew breaking up with me has always been a really big worry for me. He didn't want to set me back with my therapy.

Friday, March 30, 2012

head vs heart

I do better when I am talking with friends or with my therapist.
I get to verbalize my situation, and in return I hear my friend's stories, or stories from friends of friends, and I am comforted. Other people have loved so hard and lost it, too. But they're ok. They made it. They're making it.

I go back to the head stuff, the stuff I KNOW: Jesus loves me. God wants His very best for me. I will be taken care of. I will love and will be loved again. I'm exactly where I need to be at this moment. It will all work out in the end.
And I have more peace.

The issue is when my heart takes over, drowning in the things I'm unsure of.
I wonder what I'm going to do for Thanksgiving this year? (I will miss hanging out with his grandparents so badly.)
I wonder what he is feeling? (Is he happy without me?)
I wonder when I will be legitimately happy for him when he finds someone new? (Currently, this idea makes me nauseous.)
I wonder how I'll ever be able to one day trust the same words he told me when they come from the mouth of another? (I can't handle my heart being broken like this again.)
I wonder if I will ever find someone who will love me as much as I love them? (I love a LOT. Can it be returned?)

I almost wish we had stayed very best friends – instead of boyfriend/girlfriend & best friends - this entire time so I wouldn't have to stifle the memories we have.

The only photo of us I left sitting out is at work. We are posing in front of a giant NASA logo during our tour of their facilities. We saw the last space shuttle launch only the day before. Some of the best several days I've ever got to experience, and he was with me.
It hurts that eventually I'll have to take that photo down, not because I want to forget, but because you shouldn't have a photo of an ex-boyfriend up in your apartment or office...especially if there is a new boy one day.
It's not fair.

If you think about it, will you say a little prayer for me? UPDATED: Sunday evening, I see Chris for the first time since the breakup. Pray for closure, and possibly even comfort. I need it so badly.
I have to start finding my new normal. I have to stick with the head stuff.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

the problem with shame is

Let's face it: I'm a perfectionist. I always have been.
If I did something wrong when I was little, I would go into the bathroom and cry, thinking, "WHY AM I SO BAD?!" over and over.
And by I was little, I mean I was like, six. SIX! And I would think these things.

“Perfectionism is addictive because when we invariably do experience shame, judgment, and blame, we often believe it’s because we weren’t perfect enough so rather than questioning the faulty logic of perfectionism, we become even more entrenched in our quest to live, look, and do everything just right.” - Brené Brown

When my therapist told me that I have a big issue with shame and a fear of abandonment, I only agreed with the latter. Shame? Ha. Shame about what?
Only after I read the psychological definition did I admit that I carry that burden as well.

shame: thinking there is something about you that makes you unworthy of connection with other people
Yes, oh yes. The reason WHY I have a fear of abandonment is shame. "I wasn't perfect! They hate me!" "Someone is going to get to know me JUST enough that they'll get scared and leave me!"

The problem with shame (like Brené alluded to) is that it sometimes gets validated.

A friend no longer keeps in touch.
You trust someone enough to share a secret, only to be rejected by them.
Your boyfriend breaks up with you.
You are never good enough for your parents.
You still can't get a job.

I know shame is going to try to take this breakup for a long ride.
It will keep whispering in my ear: "You thought you were safe after 2.5 years but you were wrong." "You're boring." "You're too fat." "You're weird." "You're not good enough."

These are thoughts I have to fight EVERY DAY. It's exhausting, but I have to do better or else they'll keep winning. They've won most of my life.
Thank goodness I'm learning the tools I need to fight back.

I am enough. :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

so many tissues

This has been my worst day since the night he broke up with me. I even left work a little early because I was about to burst. (I had to have my trusty tissue - okay, tissues - with me during my walk to my car.)

Using my cognitive behavioral techniques, I tried to "squash" my anxious thoughts right away...but I wasn't very good at it today. Everything is making me cry.

A man on a TV show telling his wife how beautiful she is.
That stupid Fancy Feast commercial with a kitten wearing a "Will you marry us?" charm on its collar.
Seeing my own cat and thinking about how well Chris loves her.
Making a two-person meal and having leftovers.
Filling up my dishwasher half as fast.
(And ugh, now they're dancing to "Marry You" on Dancing with the Stars.)


"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" - Matthew 6:26 & 27

I understand that I will be taken care of, that everything will work out in the end. I know this. But...I'm impatient. And anxious.
Just thinking about someone new makes me sick to my stomach.
(I actually had a couple dreams that boys were hitting on me, and I got upset...because they weren't Chris.)

At this moment, I just wish I was married. I just wish I felt safe.

Friday, March 23, 2012

that evening

Chris came over because he was about to leave for a work trip for a couple weeks. Totally normal.
He seemed a little tired and/or sad when he arrived. I never know how to take those kinds of emotions. I feel like I can't tell if something is actually wrong with someone, or if my anxiety is just telling me something is wrong.

I sat down on the couch next to him, and held him.
"I had a stinky day. I...knocked the side mirror off of my car." I admitted, and started to get a little teary, because I felt so dumb for doing that. I had been thinking all day of a good lie to make it not my fault, but I knew that wasn't what I should do. (I just hate being bad at stuff he's really good at - like driving - because I don't want him to think I'm stupid. He wouldn't ever think that, anxiety brain!)

I don't really remember what he said in response, but he was quiet for a while. I kissed his cheek.

"Are you okay?"
"What's wrong?" I leaned back. I already had a bubble in my throat.
"I have to move to Knoxville."
"Oh..." I started to cry. Not hard, just a little.
"Sorry," I apologized for getting tears on him. "I know we've talked about you maybe being transferred to Seattle [or New York City] before, but this is...a surprise. When did you find out?"
"When I was there [these past two weeks]."
"They told me it would always be a possibility..." he started, and then was silent for a bit again.

I was scared of the answer because of the way he was acting, but I had to ask anyway: " you want me to come up there with you eventually?"
"That's what we need to talk about..."

Okay, so there went my REAL tears.
Oh God, I'm awful. I'm gasping and screaming and whining and barely breathing. (I'm sure the neighbors thought someone was getting tortured inside my apartment. It was bad.)

"I still feel the same as I did a couple months ago..." he began to get upset, too.
(Note: when he broke up with me about the spark two months ago, he came back two days later and said he'd made a mistake. We had a great talk and I felt good about everything.)

I went into the bathroom to wash off all my makeup, only because it was becoming a runny mess on my face. I could cry easier now.

He got me tissues and a trash can, and stayed for a while.
When I could talk, we talked. When I needed to cry, he held me. When I got tired and rested my forehead on his, he wiped the single tear from my cheek.

"Everything's going to be different," I said, my voice muffled by how deep my face was now buried in his chest.
"I know, babe," he said, and started to cry.

I didn't want him to leave, ever. I had plans with him.
We had looked at houses, balanced our budgets together, discussed future travel plans...
Now everything in front of me has been erased.

I'm my own person. I have wonderful friends and a career and hobbies and my own place. But, what do I DO now...?

Everything hurts.
Walking to my empty apartment: "He's not here..."
Sitting at work: "I can't text him..."
Trying to make plans: "I can't make them with him..."
Driving to meet friends: "That's where he lives..."
Watching TV: "Chris was supposed to finish this show with me..."

I just wish I felt like he felt. I want to understand.
And maybe it wouldn't hurt so bad.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I watched (mostly listened to) a couple of Brené Brown TED talks yesterday morning, found on this blog post from Emerging MummyThe title, "In which vulnerability is true courage," caught my eye.
(If you have the time, I would HIGHLY recommend watching these two talks, especially if you have issues with anxiety, depression, shame, or being vulnerable. Or, if you are human.)

I'm so glad I clicked.

It made me feel...powerful, almost. Something inside me fell into place.
Yesterday was the first day that I didn't have to use a tissue either walking to my car or on my drive home...during lunch OR after work. Instead of crying over my lost love, I was beaming in the courageousness of my vulnerability.

I'm NOT better. I'm still hurting. I still cry. I still feel sick to my stomach. I still haven't told my parents. (I don't care to have the "I'm never getting grandchildren!" talk again, yet.)
I felt stronger yesterday. I feel stronger today.
Because I was vulnerable.

Yes, it's still hard for me to say the words, to tell some of my stories out loud...but I'm writing about it, and I'm letting everyone read it.
Am I a little upset that I didn't start therapy years ago instead of now? Of course. Do I wish I would have been more vulnerable with Chris than I was? Absolutely.
Baby steps.

Brené Brown said, "When we reach out and are vulnerable, we get the shit beat out of us."

That is true.
But you risk that because someone will also call you brave, or inspirational, or beautiful, or strong.
And you are all those things.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

one week

My therapist tells me that I need to sit and deal with my feelings
It's okay for me to want to be surrounded by my friends and be distracted sometimes, but at some point...I have to feel things.
It's awful.

There are so many things I want to tell him.

I finally got to stop for the duck crossing sign in front of my apartment complex to let a pair of mallards walk by!
I was stopped at a light next to a white C63...and it took off like a rocket when the light turned green.
I had coffee with Stephanie and Bushra, and it was the first time in over two years we all three sat at Starbucks without sending you silly texts...and the first time I didn't get to brag about you.
I passed by your apartment on Thursday, and I cried.
When I visited Rockwall, I found 4 more of my juice glasses that I haven't been able to find anywhere else. Now I have my matching set!
I got a keyboard and I'm so excited! I want to play you some music.

Some of the stuff is serious, some of it is silly...but they're all things I wish I could text/tell him while he is away.
But I can't.

And every time that I hear my phone alert me to a text message, my heart still jumps because it might be him...
But it won't be.
(It just dinged, and it wasn't him. I started to cry.) :(

There are tissues in my purse, tissues in my car, tissues sitting next to me right now. I carry a tissue out with me to my car after I leave work. Just in case.

I miss my best friend.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

waiting for a spark

Basically, what Chris told me was that we shouldn't be together because he didn't feel a "spark." (He told me the same things two months ago, and that he'd been thinking about it for 2-3 months.)
Also, he has to move to Knoxville now...

What is the damn spark?!
Am I not attractive to him anymore? Do I not excite him or am I dull*? Am I too shy? Am I weird because I like cats and sometimes I coupon?

He said we are best friends and that you're supposed to marry your best friend. ("Our personalities are perfect [together]!") But you also need the "spark." So, it wasn't going to work because we didn't have that second part.

I shouldn't be doing this, but because of who I am, I just NEED TO KNOW what went wrong so I can FIX IT. I don't want to unknowingly have some flaw that pushes away every guy that's out there.


Because I'm so anxious and kind of hate myself most of the time, I try to keep a collection of compliments people have given me. I will periodically go back and read over them, to help myself feel better.
I have a running text document with everything nice Chris has ever said to me. (Well, not EVERYTHING, but the things that I appreciated him say the most.)

I started re-reading.
And I cried because...I don't understand.


"I guess what I'm trying to say is that I like you as more than friends. I think you're really pretty. You're a nerd...and I like that. You just really impress me. I think the world of you."

"I don't want a girl that's just like all the others. You're unlike anyone I've ever met. I can't compare you to anyone... It's unfair."

"Someone like you comes along...never."

"I think you're gorgeous."

"[You being here with me,] it just boggles my mind; it really does."

"I can't put it into words [how much I like you]."

"You're the 'one in a million'...and I'm not saying that you're 'THE one,' but you're definitely in the running."

"You're someone that I can see in my future."

"There was one time I was talking to [mutual friend] - I think it was when you were still with [ex] - and I don't know if I actually told [friend] this, but we were talking about girls and I said, 'I wish I could find someone like Kristin.'"

"I don't want to scare you... You're someone who'd be easy to fall in love with."

"I'm not going anywhere."

C: "You really scare me."
me: "Why?"
"Because you could really break my heart."
"I don't ever want to do that."
"If it's up to me, that will never happen to you again. I can't believe someone couldn't see how wonderful you are and treated you the way they did.  You never deserved that.  I know what you're worth."

"You have so much of what I want [in a significant other]."

"I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I was talking to my grandmother...last week...and she was asking about you.  I told her you were probably the last person I was ever going to date.'"

C: "I don't want to scare you, but...could you see yourself marrying me?"
me: "Yes."



What happened?! And can I fix it?

*The first date I ever went on was in high school. The guy took me out, and then told all my friends the next day that I was dull. Obviously, that has stuck with me. (It turned out that he only went on a date with me because his ex-girlfriend said I was pretty...but still. That sucked.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

step one, step one...

Okay, so I said I'd be transparent, right?
I think I'm regretting that now...

Chris broke up with me on Sunday night.
I don't really want to talk details yet. I wasn't ready for this at all, so if you wouldn't mind saying a few prayers for me: for sleep, for the minimal amount of tissues to be used, for productivity at work, and for good times with friends.
I'm trying to stay so busy, because when I'm not, it gets bad. Ugly, red, puffy, makeup-smeared crying face.
(I'm all about sleepovers, too. I've had friends over but then end up breaking down after they leave. Just stay with me forever and I'll never be sad!)

This seems very...cheesy, but this song was stuck in my head this morning, and I think it's perfect for me right now. I can't listen to it unless I'm by myself though, because I will cry. A lot.

reborn and shivering
spat out on new terrain
unsure, unconvincing
this faint and shaky hour

day one, day one, start over again
step one, step one
I'm barely making sense for now
I'm faking it 'till I'm pseudo making it
from scratch begin again, but this time I as I
and not as we

gun shy and quivering
timid without a hand
feign brave with steel intent
little and hardly here

day one, day one, start over again
step one, step one
with not much making sense just yet
I'm faking it 'till I'm pseudo making it
from scratch begin again, but this time I as I
and not as we

eyes wet toward
wide open frayed
if God's taking bets
I pray He wants to lose

day one, day one, start over again
step one, step one
I'm barely making sense just yet
I'm faking it 'till I'm pseudo making it
from scratch begin again, but this time I as I
and not as we

-Alanis Morissette's "Not As We"

PS - Thank you, friends, who have already reached out and kept me busy & positive. I wish I could rewind or fast forward a few months so I'd just feel better, but that's not how this works. Friends are the next best thing.

PPS - Please do not call me or come to me to talk about it at work...I will just cry at you. Sorry. Texts and emails are ok. :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

red flags

These are probably posted all over the internet as warning signs or red flags for potential abusive partners, but it needs repeating.
This is just what I have encountered, some of which I didn't understand as abuse behavior until later.

• Is he isolating you from family and friends, and are you not able to make new friends?
• Does he criticize potential friends or caution you to stay away from certain people? ("She's rude; you don't want to hang out with her.")
• Does he dissuade you from activities because it would take you away from him? ("You can't do that because I need you here doing this.")
• Does he talk you out of leaving him or put undue pressure on you to stay with him? ("I would have never met you if my dad didn't die!" – ACTUALLY SAID TO ME)

• Does he "jokingly" make fun of you? (For me, it was mostly in front of other people and not when we were alone. Ugh.)
• Do other people mention that he is mean to you?
• Does he huff and puff or give you the "silent treatment" when you try to discuss something/when you have an argument?
• Does he tell you that all guys (or girls!) are the same? (Basically, "You'll never be able to do better than me because all guys are the same. We all think and do the exact same things.")
• Does he try to undermine the validity of truthful things you said? ("You never said that," or "You said x instead of y.")
• Have you made decisions you never would have made if not for his intensive pleading?

• Does he pout or whine when you say no?
• Does he do something even after you say no?
• Does he mock you or belittle you for saying no? ("You're just being weird!")
• Does he try to make you drink more because it's easier to take advantage of you/you're less likely to resist?
• Does he give examples of other people who have done it so "it's ok?"
• Does he apologize profusely, but keep doing the same thing? (Like a domestic abuser sending flowers after a beating, only to repeat the cycle.)
• Does he pressure, coerce, or guilt you into giving in?
• Does he complain when he doesn't get exactly what he wants?

Do any of these describe your significant other? (I'm sure many of these behaviors transcend the different types of abuse.)
Be aware that all of the "he's" can be replaced with "she's." Women aren't always the victims.

It took me a year before I felt comfortable enough to leave for good; I wish it hadn't been that long. You do not have to stay because you are scared or because you think no one can help. There is always someone who will be there for you. :)

Friday, March 9, 2012


How did I know Chris was different?

One night before I drove home, he was giving me a hug. He innocently touched the side of my thigh as we pulled away, and I froze. I don't know if I got a flash back or not, but I felt sick to my stomach.

"Can you please not do that?"
"Won't happen again," he said.
And it didn't.

He didn't know my past. He didn't need an explanation. He didn't whine or pout.
Respect is an awesome thing.