Love-Hate Relationships

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I have heard the phrase “love-hate relationship” often in the past several weeks.  I’ve said the words, written the words, and I’ve had the words said and written to me.  These words have surfaced in my life recently with a frequency that has made me take a step back to ponder their meaning.  I had to take a moment to explore the notion that the frequency with which I was hearing the words  “love-hate relationships” might have a significant meaning at this time in my life. Continue Reading »

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Gettin’ My Hillbilly On

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It started a couple of weeks ago.  T and I were driving to Chicago.  As we drove along, we were enjoying “Willie’s Roadhouse” on a Sirius station.  We’ve never had Sirius before, never even considered it.  A free trial subscription came with my new car.  The subscription was only supposed to last for one month, but we kept receiving signal months after our free trial had expired.  While I don’t listen to it that much during my drive back and forth to work, T and I have enjoyed it on longer car trips.  This particular day was no different.  We were singing along to our favorite classic country tunes.  We were smiling most of the time, but every now and then our eyes would fill with tears and emotion as the lyrics, slide guitar, and pain reached out and touched our hearts.  Neither of us like modern country music, but we have a deep love for the old stuff:  Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Waylon, Willie, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, and so many others.  On this particular day, the station was doing a tribute to the Queen of Country Music, Kitty Wells. Continue Reading »

Touch Me, Please!

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I grew up as an only child, and we were not a touchy-feely family.  My mother rarely hugged me.  Dad was more affectionate, but not necessarily physically affectionate.  Dad used words and gave freely of his time.  He showered me with both praise and attention.  Long conversations and time spent asking about my day, and caring what I had to say, was how my dad showed his love.  I don’t remember ever seeing my parents hug, or kiss, or hold hands.  It just wasn’t part of my family’s repertoire.  When I met T, he wasn’t much of a hugger, either.  We didn’t hold hands a lot, and we certainly weren’t that couple that made people around them uncomfortable with public displays of affection.  The lack of physical affection didn’t bother me.  In fact, it didn’t even cross my mind. Continue Reading »

Imagine My Surprise

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I’ve been silent for a while in the blogging world.  I’ve missed writing, but I’ve been afraid.  I was a little freaked out.  A couple of weeks ago, I took a sick day.  I wasn’t feeling well, was exhausted, and I knew that the rest of my week was going to be full of long days.  Sure, I could have made it through the day, but I was running on empty.  My tank was sucking fumes.  The  morning I stayed home sick, I took things slowly.  Eventually, I ended up on my patio with my iPad and a cup of coffee.  I was going to write.  When I logged into my blog, I was shocked.  Someone from my office had logged on earlier that morning, but I was NOT in the office.  I immediately changed my password and set the blog to private. Continue Reading »

Shun/Un-shun

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I have thought a lot about shunning recently. The definition of shunning is “to avoid deliberately; to keep away from.”  The act of shunning is common in some religions.  It’s also common among middle school girls.  Various forms of shunning are used among family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers.  For shunning to have any meaning, an emotional or social connection needs to be present.  Shunning is a form of bullying.  Shunning is also one of the most  insidious, passive-aggressive forms of abuse. Continue Reading »

Cathartic

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the terrible breakdown I had in my therapist’s office.  In the two years that I have been seeing her, the day of the breakdown was probably the most honest moment I have allowed myself to have during our sessions.  I freaked her out.  Heck, I freaked myself out!  I took her advice (for about four days) and began taking antidepressants again.  I could have continued to numb myself into a state of calm.  I did that before.  I’m not saying that there isn’t a time when medication is necessary and beneficial.  I’m not saying that those who choose to go that route are wrong.  However, at this time and place in my life, antidepressants are not what is needed.  I don’t need to be numbed.  Instead, my breakdown was cathartic.  It made me ultra-aware that the changes that are needed in my life must come from within myself.  Instead of numbness, I need strength.  As painful and as difficult as that day in my therapist’s office was, and the days that followed, I have come out on the other side with a new awareness and sense of self-protection.  The breakdown forced me to face lingering issues.  After all, something caused it.  Something was WRONG.  I could either numb it, and in my opinion, deny the problem, or I could begin to look for causes, answers, and potential solutions. Continue Reading »

What I Choose To Remember

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Recently, a fellow blogger requested access to my previous blog.  Of course, I had no qualms about allowing this person to continue to read my story.  We have walked this same path together, and she has become someone special to me.  I love and admire her strength, a strength I have often drawn on as an example for myself.  Today I finally got around to logging into the old blog.  I hadn’t read a word of that blog since May.  Many, many times, I have considered logging in and writing.  The story in that blog was a major part of my life.  It is a story without a satisfactory ending and a story with thousands of unanswered questions.  Many stones have been left unturned, many angles are left to explore.  Flipping those stones, searching for the answers, and exploring those angles could easily become an obsession.  I know that all too well.  I could spend the rest of my life seeking answers to WHY?  HOW?  WHAT HAPPENED?  I know now that I will never, ever find those answers.  Some things are inexplicable.  There are no answers to some questions.  Sometimes certain situations simply defy all logic. Continue Reading »