Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Spouse & I

Last night, William decided to dress as Nadine for dinner and after. He went into the back of our house to take a shower and came out dressed in the cutest outfit, a new one. She looked so cute so I mentioned before my shower that maybe she should put on makeup and her wig so I could take a picture for her to put on her blog, Unordinary Style. After my shower, I sat down by Nadine, and it occurred to me that I really wanted a picture of Jules and Nadine to put up here on my blog. So I asked her if she would be willing to do that with me. She asked why.

I paused and then answered from the heart: I am proud to be her wife and proud that she is my wife.

I went and got dressed up. We took some cute pictures in our back yard. I am glad that I asked to do this because I am really proud of my spouse. It has been work for Nadine to look the way she does and feel the way she does about herself and come out so confident and beautiful!

In everyday life, I want William/Nadine to know that I care and that I do love all aspects of the person I married.  He has inspired me to be the best me possible, and I am so grateful to get to experience life with such a fantastic partner!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Reflections on "Really? Again?"

The last blog that I posted left an impression out in the world that I do not like. There was an implication in it that I was forced to do the 30 day posting challenge by my husband, to make him happy, or prove something to him.

That is so far from the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The truth is I have really been struggling in my life for many years, and I have been saying that want to change for a long time now. Yet I often articulate to my husband that I can’t seem to figure out how to make my life better. Being as wonderful and supportive as he is, he is constantly giving me ideas of what I could do to help myself. That is how the 30 day challenge came about. I was begging for help, and he was gracious enough to again try to help me. He suggested that I work on various aspects of my life and keep a blog as record for what I have tried, what worked, what didn't work, what I reflected on, and then modified. This sounded like a wonderful idea, and I full heartedly decided, on my own accord, to embark on this journey.

The post came out the way it did because I  have not  clearly seen how I maneuver in the world, with subtle intentions of getting people to feel sorry for me because I was so hurt as a child and feel I deserve peoples sympathy; basically, I am a sympathy farmer. Not being willing to see this has allowed me to act in ways that constantly and under the radar garner people’s sympathy for me. 

SO let’s be clear. I am never forced to do anything in my life! Thankfully, I have been blessed with a man who is a warrior on my behalf. He so much wants goodness and peace for me and has always stood by me, encouraging me to love me and life, even when I have tried to shove him away with all my might.

I do not know anyone who has what I have had: a person who looks out for my best interest even when (and often especially) I did not care about it myself. 

Thank you William!!!! I am not sure I would be alive right now if you hadn't given me so much support and help.  :) 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Really? Again?

Once again I decided to not do what I said I would do. As a gesture of caring about myself and my marriage, I agreed to write one post per day for 30 days.  This agreement cams about to give me an opportunity to show my partner that I care about change, myself, and the work he has done over the 27 years of our relationship, that I want to be married.  Yet here I am at day 29 with only 19 posts (including this one). I did not write one post per day, and I did not address this fact at all. Instead, I diluted myself into thinking that if I got 30 posts by 30 days then I would have fulfilled the deal. But that is not the deal I made.

Clearly, I am okay with not following through with my word especially if I try to do it. I told myself another lie to make it okay but it is not okay. It shows that even though I said I wanted to be something, I did not really want to do it; I just wanted to make William happy with me in the moment of our discontent.  There was nothing that stopped me from not fulfilling my agreement; I was not in a coma or in any way otherwise incapacitated. I could have done the one post per day. I did not because I did not want to. I wanted to fill my time with other “obligations” that were nowhere near as important as the agreement I made in order to save my marriage. I used the blog posting issue as an example of the many things I have agreed to do yet never fully did, all things that could have moved me forward and built trust with William.

Really I do not like me. Not following through with my word has nothing to do with anyone but me.  It seems to me that I really don’t care about taking care of me, and doing the things I need to do to feel good about myself. So I am in great need of the people to accept me just the way I am because I need to accept myself that way. Sadly, others, like William, get fucked over in my game of hide and seek, hide from the truth and seek approval from others.  

I have written many words so far on this blog yet I do not think I actually believe them. If I did believe everything I had written, I would be in a much better place right now. It is easy to say stuff yet not always as easy to do.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Those Darn Walls

Ever wonder about the walls you have? Don’t think you have any, huh? I think if I were to ask if someone if they thought they had walls up around them, they would be inclined to say no. But after some reflection, it seems to me that most people would discover they do have walls that they use to protect themselves from something.

In a previous post, Barriers to Love, I referred to the walls I have in my life. Today, I wanted to explore that a little more. Here it goes. Let’s see where this leads.  J

I grew up never considering myself a hider. Truly, I thought I was outgoing and friendly. I had a lot of friends, played sports, starred in musicals, did cheer leading, was a Girl Scout, and more.  My mom involved me and encouraged me to be in many activities. Yet looking back, I can see that I hid right out in the open.  Doing all that stuff was me desperately trying to be normal and not let anyone know how messed up I felt inside. I never talked to anyone about what was going on at home.

So what was going on at home? (I didn’t really know this is where this was going but what the hell?) When I was young, as I have mentioned, things were pretty good at home. But when I was about 3 or 4, my mom got pregnant. (BTW I did not find out about this whole story until I was 18.) My parents had tried to get pregnant for years but with no luck, which is why they adopted my brother (2 ½ years older) and me. When my mom got pregnant, they decided that having another baby was not in their plans. The plan was, as best as I can understand, was that my mom would have an abortion and my dad would get a vasectomy.  Well, it seems that they were pretty messed up because neither one could figure out how to make that agreement work.  It seems like my mom was more unreasonable than my dad. But basically, my mom made an appointment for the abortion, and my dad could not make it because of his work. My mom did not reschedule, and he missed it. She was very resentful; sadly, she still is 37 years or so later.  She says he did not get a vasectomy for a year after that and that she would not sleep with him all that time.  I do not think I have the whole story, though.

My dad says they went to counseling, but my mom has no recollection of that. This makes me believe she has distorted the truth with the anger she has towards my dad. Eventually this led my mom to move out of my parent’s room into her own room when I was 8. Shortly after, my brother and I found papers that indicated that she was thinking about divorce.  After finding that, my brother said outright that we will never talk about what we found and I didn't.

The walls had started before then because my parent’s problems pervaded our home, but after that crap, I actively built walls to hide what I knew and what I felt. It is weird to think that I never talked to anyone about what I was going through, but truly, I did not talk to anyone until I met my husband and even then, it took years for me to open up at all.

Walls are crazy because people create them for a purpose which does serve us for a while. I surely did that. Yet eventually, those same walls inhibit us from growing and becoming all that we can be.  I am challenging myself to tear down those walls, one brick at a time or more if I can.

How are your walls doing? Intact or beginning to come down or all the way down?

Monday, May 20, 2013

New Experience

I have these moments when I think I cannot, cannot change something,cannot do something, cannot say something.

William invited me to go with him on a business trip, a rarity in his profession, and at first, I said no. Really I said no because I have never done something like that. When he has gone away before, I just stayed home and did whatever.  What was I going to do in a strange city by myself? Well after thinking about it and realizing I was afraid to be on my own, I decided I had to go. So I did some research and found some things I was interested in doing. and some things that we could choose to do the first day we got there. (We had some free tie the first day.)

This was not something i usually do, research that is. I tell myself I like to just wing it but really that is not the truth. I think I have just been relying on William to plan things for us instead of taking an active role. Yet I wanted to take a new role, so I found 3 places that looked like stuff we like to do, 2 museums and a zoo, and I found a few things I like doing, nail places, shopping, and an old cemetery.

We went on Saturday and chose one of the places I researched on the way there. We went to the Crocker Museum. It was wonderful! We were able to walk there from the hotel and spent almost 3 hours looking at an enormous amount and variety of art from lathed wooden bowls to modern art. We enjoyed a free happy hour with William's conference workers. Then we went out that night with a work friend and the people she was collaborating with at the conference, and had a great time.

The next day, Sunday,William went to work and I went to get a mani/pedi. I got there early and was able to get both at the same time. Wow, that was like being a queen!! Loved it!  I got pizza at a great dive that was a bar/pizza place. Tequila and pizza, a great combo!! Then I visited William and his lunch and was off to the cemetery. I spent almost 2 hours walking around and taking pictures to share with William. It was an older cemetery with plot dating to the middle 1800's. Loved it too!!

Monday William worked for half the day, and I walked around a tourist section of the city. It was silly but enjoyable. I bought an awesome 3000 piece puzzle (we like puzzles, and the biggest one we've done was 2500 pieces so new challenge) and mini-donuts. After visiting William at his lunch and checking out, I found a local burger joint. Loved it!  By that time, William was done and we drove home.

All in all, it was a great self-directed time for me. I was able to spend time with William when he was available and do fun stuff for and by me. I am so glad that I decided to challenge myself and do something that was really new for me. We enjoyed the weekend together instead of being hundreds of miles apart and only getting a few moments on the phone here and there.

I learned that things are not always what I think they will be and good can come from the unexpected and unexplored.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sooo Grateful!!

Right now all I can say is wow!  Life is full of surprises, sometimes really stressful and painful ones and sometimes really fantastic and blessed ones.  The last two days have been full of things to be grateful for.  Let me give you some background to help you see why I feel how I feel. J

Several months ago, Nadine and I went on a vacation to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon.  Unfortunately, we decided to start arguing two days before we left. But we thought we had to go on this trip. We left and argued all the way to Arizona. Not a fun time.  Yet we made it to the hotel outside of the Grand Canyon.   It took some time, but we figured out how to see eye to eye.  

Both of us have a medical marijuana card from California. We carry a very small amount with us, and we smoked a small amount in the hotel room.

William had an issue at work that he needed to write a letter about.  It had been stressing us out and that night, we finally got to a point when William was able to write the letter. We both felt relieved and went outside to have a cigarette.

 As we came back in Nadine saw a police officer and a hotel worker and heard someone say something about the smell of marijuana. We got into the room, and she told me what she heard and said we should put away the pipe.  Momentarily, the officer came to our room and came inside. It ended in me getting a criminal misdemeanor for marijuana possession.

On his prompting, I told the officer I smoked it in order to relieve a migraine. William was dressed as Nadine and there was no way I was going to let her get involved in case this issue led to going to jail.  I showed him my California authorization to use medical marijuana. Then he left saying he needed to talk to someone else about this situation. He came back and told me he was going to cite me. He was an ok guy just doing what he thought was right. Yet he took my medical marijuana and my pipe. He took pictures of my California authorization to use medical marijuana, gave me the citation, and left.

If I were to get a misdemeanor on my record, I could lose my job.  To say the least, this became a real problem. I hired a lawyer because after doing research, we discovered I should have never been given a citation. Arizona has reciprocity with California’s medical marijuana laws. Basically, since I am legal in California, I am legal in Arizona.

Finally after almost two months, my lawyer called yesterday and said the DA was going to dismiss the citation. Two months was a long to wait and be stressed out.  It was intense, and the news we got yesterday lifted a giant boulder off our shoulders!!!!   Ginormous grateful moment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! J

 On top of that great news, William had an awesome resolution to some work changes yesterday. He is feeling very positive about the changes he is about to embark on, and he has the support of the department he is working with. This lifted off some more pressure on his shoulders. Wonderful grateful thing!! J

 Another great thing happened yesterday as well. We heard from an old friend whom we used to be really close with.  Many years ago, we shared many special times with her and were very close friends for about 10 years. After moving away, and life changing for all of us, we lost touch with each other. A few years ago, William became Facebook friends with her, but didn’t hear much from her until yesterday. She wrote a warm email asking if she and her boyfriend could come visit us, which we are looking forward to.  A wonderful surprise! Yet another grateful moment!!! J

Lastly, as I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, we lost a cat. He died when he was about a year old. After talking, we decided to get two new kittens. We live in the country and like having cats to help with the vermin we have, and I am in love with cats.  I was actively looking for the right kittens when our neighbor texted and asked if I wanted the kittie she rescued.  We talked about it, and I decided to go see the cat. It was not a kitten, (she’s maybe 7 months old) and it was a girl. I usually get kittens to help them fit in better with my other cats (right now we have 3 other cats), and I don’t really like female cats. They are kinda nutty. But when I got there, I saw her and knew we had to take her home. So, today, we got a new cat. Another wonderful blessing!! J

That was kind of long, but I really wanted to share why I feel so grateful for the amazing things that happened in the last two days. Thank you for sharing my joy!!  WOOOHOO!!!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What I Want -VS- What I Do

Do you ever look at your actions and see some inconsistencies between what you say you want and your actions?  I see this in myself. I say I want certain things like being in shape yet I do not do the requirements needed to fulfill my real wants.

I really like the weight issue as an example. William has pointed out to me this particular inconsistency to me.  Although I am reluctant to see anything about me that isn’t just “you are wonderful”, I think the weight issue is so great because it has nothing to do with anyone else but me. I love to blame others for my issues, but with the weight thing, there is no one to look to blame so I have to take responsibility for myself.  I say I want to be at a certain weight (or look, doesn’t matter to me) yet I do not want to do the actions it takes to make that happen. How can I blame this on anyone else? No one feeds me except me.  No one can exercise me except me. I’m the only one who puts the food into my mouth and does not exercise like I want to.  Since I know that the Atkins diet works amazingly for me (I lost 40 lbs. doing it and have lost more weight other times with this plan), I am aware of what works yet do not want to commit to just do the plan.
This is a great example of me fighting me. I have a belief that eating certain foods will make me feel better, feel okay , feel right. Yet I know as a 41 year old woman that, for me, eating carbs makes me fat or at the very least, makes me stay the same weight.  There for, my belief is illogical and one clearly connected to a child’s mind, not a grown adult with experience and knowledge. The belief must change from sugary, carby foods make me happy to healthy foods make me happy. It’s a choice.

I might say that a lot here because I have tended over the many years of “doing me” to think it is not a choice. Yet I want to change this point of view to one that sees in every situation that I have a choice.
Humans- we can be so complicated but really without the need to be so.

I wish you all the ability to see things simply.

Thank you, Nadine, William for challenging me to see the world through beautifully simple eyes. I love you!

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Anger- it seems to sit below my surface all the time. Sometimes closer to the surface other times further down but always there. Since I will not accept that I am this angry, I will continue to do things that show how angry I am, like hurting others.

So I am angry. To change this, I will use this anger to motivate me to kick ass.  For so long, I have said I am not really interested in being a person who kicks ass yet deep inside I know that is not true; I want to be that person about which other people say “I want to be like that.”  So what has stopped me?

I would really like to avoid the actions necessary by going into the why of it all but that just is a diversionary tactic I learned long ago. In order to kick ass, I must face the core beliefs I have, challenge, and change them through actions. I am scared that I will fail, I am scared I cannot be the image of me I want to be, YET I must try without bias.  By bias, I mean, without my slant shadowing everything. 

Each day is a gift. Only if I use that gift to the fullest will I be able to look at myself and say, “I kick ass!”  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Barriers to Love

“Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
- Rumi, thirteenth century Sufi poet

Looking back at the majority of life, I see so many barriers in my life that have kept me from love: self-love, love of others, and love from others.

When I was really young, my household felt warm and connected.  I cannot really explain why it felt that way except for a few scattered memories.  This feeling is validated, though, by how I used to act. I was very adventurous and excited to explore the world. I remember hunting for frogs, making mud pies, catching bees with my hands, playing doctor with the neighborhood boys. Overall, I was fearless. Yet when the problems between my parents began to overshadow the whole house, I lost that desire to risk and explore.

My reaction to this shadow was to pull back, to put up barriers against being hurt. I began to perceive that those who were supposed to love me were really out to hurt me.  So I built the walls.

 All in all it was all just bricks in the wall. (Pink Floyd)

My parents never addressed what was going on in their relationship, and I never spoke up about what I felt, neither did my brother. So we all built walls against each other and against the world. All the hurt I felt because of my parents problems I took out on others. I never allowed people in, really in. I had friends, lots of them. I was very popular. Yet I was not real with them. I was guarded and nice.  And I always had my walls up.  

For the past several years, I have been working on taking down my wall. It has not been easy, and I am not sure how far down the wall really is, yet I am aware and trying to let people really know me. It has been awesome and painful and embarrassing and humbling. The walls are still pretty thick, and I still have work to do, will until I die, but I will break them down, for me, not for anyone else.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

To Freedom

I felt persecuted and paralyzed
Pink Floyd

Most of my life, I have had this quote as my motto. I was not really aware of this fact most of the time and even after I became aware of it, I have had a hard time letting go of the self-pity that is wrapped up in living like this. It has become my blanket of comfort regardless of whether or not it’s healthy.

The most stunning part of realizing this is the fact that I have persecuted and paralyzed myself for so long. Yes, it began because of something out of my control but at some point, I became responsible for myself and have chosen to continue the cycle of abuse. Many of my actions, when looked at objectively, are clearly actions of a person who wants to ruin their life, i.e. lying, being irresponsible, smoking, starting fights w/ William, my husband, etc.

I do not want to live like this anymore. It is clear that it is not working out for me. This process will be a challenge because I have not learned and/or practiced the skills needed to be successful at leading an examined life. Yet I will not back down this time. I am tired of backing down. It wears me down a little more each time I give up. Even if I feel _______________, (fill in the blank because it doesn't matter what it is) I will be persistent in reaching my goals. 


Pushing one ’s self- a concept I do not practice very often yet know I need to.  Since I do not practice it very often, I do not really understand the amazing feeling that comes from pushing myself.  But I got a little taste of that this last Saturday.

My husband and I took off last Friday for a much needed mental health day. We got a massage and went home to pack up our stuff to go fishing on Saturday.  On our way home from the massage, we noticed our neighbors were getting ready for the yard sale several neighbors were doing on Saturday.  I had been informed of this and had decided we didn’t have enough stuff for a garage sale. 

Yet I found myself thinking on Friday that maybe I was wrong and that we should have decided to be a part of the garage sale. I was apprehensive to suggest to my husband that we should do the garage sale because we would have had to push fishing off until Sunday and work our butts off to get everything ready for the sale.  There was no good reason for me to feel apprehensive yet I did.

But I decided to just say it. Then at least I said what I thought and did not allow my own insecurities to get in the way, which I so often do. Looking back, I have seen that many problems that have come up in my life have been a result of my own displaced feelings onto someone or something else that were really about me not be good to myself and expressing what I wanted.

So I suggested that we do the garage sale and after a bit, we decided to do. We found quite a few things to sell after cleaning every area of the house we could.  It was took some time and effort, and we made almost $200.

The end result for me internally:  I felt great that I suggested something that took time and effort and that turned out to be beneficial to the both of us.  That night we had sex and my mind was so clear and present it was awesome. I was able to really relax and be myself without the usual preoccupations that invade my mind.  It occurred to me afterward that I was able to let go because I felt great about myself and about the fact that I was the one to push myself and us to do something that helped us, a job usually done by my husband.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Loving Me & Reality

Reality- it kind of sneaks up and bites me on the ass sometimes. Ever feel that way? I do, and over and over, I am surprised. Really,  Jules? Surprised again? I often get into a state of disassociation and just block out the reality of life and the twists and turns that are inevitably coming my way.  

Life never hands me the package I expect in the mail. Yet the packages keep coming. So I have to make the choice with each package. How am I going to receive this?  We are all given a choice on how we decide to react in any given situation. When my cat died last week, I could have allowed myself to wallow in the sorrow of losing him. I loved that cat, and my heart was broken. But I had a choice. Do I mourn and saturate myself in sadness or do I celebrate an amazing creature and the joy I felt for having been able to share his short, vivid life? I chose the latter. Before, I decided to only be sad. But this time I decided not to.  Leo was a wonderful, joyful being and his life was beautiful to watch and be a part of.  Looking at his death like this has helped me to want to live life.  It is uplifting and has inspired to me to do more.

I realize that I am not comfortable putting myself out there in any way, yet it is what is best for me.  If I truly want to learn to love myself, I have to do what  I know is right for me, best for me, regardless of the package life delivers me.  It is and will be hard sometimes because life has a tendency to deliver many packages at once.  But I want to love myself and that requires that I am responsible for myself all the time- all the time, not just when it is convenient. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Getting Rid of Stuff

Our neighbors decided to have a several house garage sale so we decided to join in. As always when we have a garage sale, we went through the house to find everything we could to get rid of. Some things were so easy to say, " yeah, it's gone." But other things, we both found hard to give up because of the emotional attachment we had to that item. Each of us felt attached to different things for different reasons, but we both felt attachment to things.

It's is amazing that we, as humans, feel anything about things, stuff. I know I have items from my childhood that I have kept because they remind me of a time or a person, and it occurs to me that I do not need anything to remind me. Those memories are with me regardless. It's not only those kinds of things. It's clothes, shoes, books, bras, etc. When I was available to look, I was shocked to see how many feelings I attach to stuff. I am not a hoarder by any means but I can see how these sort of feelings lead to hoarding.

It's good to understand that things do not make me happy. And it connects to something deeper as well: the reality that nothing outside of me can make me happy. What I do and how I feel about  myself are the only things that will make me happy. It's a short sentence, but it's packed full of responsibilities.  It means that I am fully responsible for my own happiness. I think some people say they are responsible for their happiness yet don't really see the whole scope of it all. Think about all the different things that go into you really being happy. Just to list a few:

Skin care
Hair care
Internal Health
Yard work
Kids(if you have them; I don't)

That's all I can come up with off the top of my head. There have to be so many more and each of us have things that others do not. It seems like a lot to do yet if I care, it comes so much easier. It's the struggling against it that makes it hard.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Family

On our morning walk this morning, I came upon a topic I wanted to blog about, and then life happened.  We got back to the house and found our youngest cat dead. He looked like he fell asleep and didn’t wake up. Who knows what happened. We live in the country and there are many things that can kill a cat. Of course, I was very sad, a normal response to a pet’s death.

As the day went on, I was able to look at my own reaction and was pleased to find I was having a different response than I had when all of my other pets had died. Before this time, my reaction has been to be really angry at the world and questioned why was this happening to me, as though it was personal.  I have lost 4 other cats in the last 8 years and was feeling like to world was out to get me by killing my cats.

I think I reacted that way for several reasons. Being so hurt as a child made me think I deserve certain things regardless of any logic or effort. Also, as a child, the only close relationship I had was with my cats. They provided me with comfort, and companionship that none of my family members ever did. I slept with them, dressed them up, cuddled with them, and loved them like I wanted to be loved.

I see that losing a cat has been so traumatic for me over the years because they were my family members as a child, not the people in my house. They were there for me whenever I needed someone and there wasn’t anyone around. 

I will really miss my little Leonardo. But this time I am happy for the time I got with him. I am not angry just sad.