Tag Archives: relationships

The Lost Button

I found it under the couch. Perhaps

it was taking a nap there, neglected

among the feral dust beasts. I heard

the metal clink as it was roused,

the vacuum choking on the shell

of plastic like a wounded animal.

I picked it up, felt its pebbled skin

against my fingertips.

I remembered the shirt,

its mate – how it used to fit alongside

its brothers, dutiful and plain,

but in the heat of the moment

torn and tossed aside, your hands

in a clumsy frenzy against my breast.

I imagine the sharp pain of release,

the long, arcing flight across

the living room – it landed on its

flat, sullen face and skittered

under the sofa.

By then we had fallen to our desire,

the bedsprings creaking to echo

our lust. I wonder

if the button watched us, hurt and forgotten,

blamed us, like a child blames his parents

for casting him out of the womb –

a voyeur with empty eyes, broken thread

for nerves, and no voice to cry out:

“Stop, how could you?

You’re making a mistake.”

but it’s powerless to stop us, to detain what is inevitable; like me, we cannot restrain something that meant to be. I cannot stop you from leaving me. I found the lost button, would somebody find me?

~ by sixhours via DevianArt

 

10 Qualities The Most Authentic People Have in Common

What makes you one?

1. They’re self-reflective.
To be authentic, unique and individual you have to know who and what you are, which comes through self-reflection. How can you know who you are if you are following everyone else?

2. They have a healthy ego.
In order to be a successful leader of others, you must do so with courage and empathy. You must be confident enough in yourself and your abilities to consider others’ feelings.

3. They focus on possibilities.
When you live authentically you have no time to waste emotion on temporary and sometimes necessary setbacks.

4. They have good character.
You do not say things you do not mean, promises are not made you cannot keep and you stay in a place of integrity in all of your dealings, in and out of work.

5. They’re visionaries.
Because you are deeply connected to yourself, you are open and more innovative. You have been visionary in the creating of yourself and this allows you to bring that skill into all aspects of your life, especially business. You also help others to realize their goals and their potential, and you push both yourself and others to reach those.

6. They’re listeners.
You are more than willing to consider contradictory ideas with an open mind and change your opinion if the argument makes sense. You are genuinely interested in learning, and you are dedicated to discovering the truth.

7. They’re transparent.
Open communication is woven into the fabric of your authenticity. You never leave anyone guessing or hurting because you’re transparent.

8. They’re open and consistent.
You do not hold judgmental attitudes towards others. As you evaluate the thoughts and opinions others hold, even those you do not agree with, you still place them under an umbrella of respect. You are true to who you are and the principles you hold and do not require another person’s approval to feel good about yourself.

9. They’re team-oriented.
You build successful teams and give credit where it is due, sharing your success and achievements with your entire team.

10. They draw upon experience.
You have learned through your own life and improved yourself in thoughtful ways.

– by Psychologist Sherrie Campbell

 

THE MYTH OF THE GOOD OL BOY AND THE NICE GAL

The good of boy myth and the nice gal are a kind of social conformity myth. They create a real paradox when put together with the “rugged individual” part of the Success Myth. How can I be a rugged individual, be my own man and conform at the same time? Conforming means “Don’t make a wave”, “Don’t rock the boat”. Be a nice gal or a good ol’ boy. This means that we have to pretend a lot. 

“We are taught to be nice and polite. We are taught that these behaviors (most often lies) are better than telling the truth. Our churches, schools, and politics are rampant with teaching dishonesty (saying things we don’t mean and pretending to feel ways we don’t feel). We smile when we feel sad; laugh nervously when dealing with grief; laugh at jokes we don’t think are funny; tell people things to be polite that we surely don’t mean.”

– John Bradshaw On: The Family

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Divorcing A Parent

“Why isn’t there a commandment to “honor thy children” or at least one to “not abuse thy children”? The notion that we must honor our parents causes many people to bury their real feelings and set aside their own needs in order to have a relationship with people they would otherwise not associate with. Parents, like anyone else, need to earn respect and honor, and honoring parents who are negative and abusive is not only impossible but extremely self-abusive. Perhaps, as with anything else, honoring our parents starts with honoring ourselves. For many adult children, honoring themselves means not having anything to do with one or both of their parents.” 

― Beverly Engel

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We Are All Pinocchio

“Pinocchio went out into the world. He went on his road filled with good intentions, with a vision. He went ready to do all the things he dreamed, but he was pulled this way and that. He was distracted. He faltered. He made mistakes. But he kept on. Pinocchio, in the end, became himself — because the little flame inside him, no matter what crap he went through, would not be extinguished.” 

~Patty Smith

Seems to me even before he becomes a real boy, Pinocchio was already experiencing the reality of real life and more real than most of us. Everything that was mentioned above is characteristic of being human. I beg to disagree with this passage ” in the end, he became himself. “ In my eyes, he didn’t become, he was himself all along. He stayed true to himself no matter what without losing his core -the little flame that refused to be extinguished. When he first ventured out into the world, he was naive (recognizable?) and made poor choices and picked the wrong company and tried to get out of tricky situations by lying. We all did these in some points in our lives. If you tell me you hadn’t, then you’re lying. None of us were born aware and equipped with all the knowledge to survive in this world. We learned it as we go along stumbling and falling. In the end, like Pinocchio, we will realize who we are and where we belonged but the foundation of our true selves is already laid from the start. No amount of experience good or bad could alter our genetic makeup. It could alter the shape a bit but not the core. We are who we are and how we deal with things (attitude) shows what lies beneath. No mask and amount of lying and pretending could hide the real character of a person because eventually, it will show through his actions. I rather deal with an obnoxious person with a good heart than a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

How about you?

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Standard

I remember the time our neighbor- the mother of my then best friend– phoned me to say that the brother of my current tenant was the perfect candidate for my future fling come next vacation. She said unlike all of his predecessors, this one is a professional and not a bum which seems to be my preference and would it not be great to have someone exactly the opposite for a change.

I could have told her a lot of things, one of those is_  it’s none of your busines_ I could have defended myself and my reputation against her wrong assumptions but I can recognize a hopeless situation when I see one. People talk judge and prejudice according to their cranial capacity. One can try to be the summum of decency and morality and still, people would talk. You cannot please everybody.

I could explain to her also that the reason I hang out with bums was time. They have plenty and I had a limited amount of it to spend before I go back to reality. Every second count. I have also an unorthodox way of doing everything. For one, I don’t sleep at night. I gallivant to my heart’s desire and often seek dangerous pursuit not suited for a lady. With me, expect the unexpected, anytime anywhere. The life I lead was not convenient for anyone who has a 9 to 5 day job or any job at all, married or committed or worried about what the people might say. I needed someone who was willing to be on standby 24/7, able to defend himself and protect me, streetwise, charming, sportive and daring. Someone who will lay his life for me and my quest, someone who does not ask too many questions, doesn’t expect anything and doesn’t want a title and the rights to go with it. And who is the ideal person to take the job? A bum.

A professional would complicate and expect things I cannot give. Besides, I didn’t need just a bum, I needed a fairly intelligent, innocent bum. Preferably a virgin who will be content with holding hands and doesn’t demand sex from me because contrary to what other people think, I don’t sleep around. That’s why that time I hung around mostly with teenagers. No, I am not a pedophile. I just preferred their no-nonsense approach in life. You would be surprised how more mature they are than their older counterparts. Luckily, because of my good genes, I looked like just one of them. I never encounter any difficulties associating myself with this group aside from what others thought of me that time_a wayward teenager with enough time in her hands and financial back up from mom and dad. I never bother to correct them.

Like my neighbor who was questioning my standard for a company, onlookers didn’t know or understand my motives. And I cannot blame them because actions speak louder than words they say. They made judgment based on what they think they see and process their thoughts accordingly. It is much easier to jump into conclusion than engage with the taxing work of understanding what lies beneath. Nobody does that anymore. Time-consuming. Wrong pursuit. 

As for myself, I hardly care. I know who I am. I knew what I was doing and what I wanted and the rest were sideshows. My standard when choosing a partner is sky high. I will talk about it in another blog post.  The people I have shared my escapades are not chosen for their shining achievements and social status. They were chosen because they served a purpose. Momentarily. They don’t have a place in my reality nor they hold a permanent position in my life. They were just casualties of my ongoing battle with finding my rainbow connection. Nothing more nothing less.

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And Yet

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.

— Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)

And yet people seem to always know you. In fact, in places where people have ample times in their hands, they seem to know more about your life than you do. They create far-fetched stories about faraway places they never been and put you in the middle of their fantasy. The funny thing is others tend to believe them. Great minds think alike indeed.

Reminds me of something I’ve read somewhere that goes like this:

Gossip can have devastating consequences. We tend to have a strong negativity bias: Almost all of us pay more attention to negative information than we do to positive information. Think about the last time you posted something to Facebook, for example, and got a string of enthusiastic comments followed by a single, stinging rebuke. Which comment did you focus on?

It’s true, isn’t it?

We always tend to see the single black dot on a paper and focus on it but we forget the vast whiteness of the paper surrounding the black spot.

People love to believe fat juicy lies than the simple truth especially if it is about someone they are secretly jealous of or envious of the life that someone is leading. They will gladly swallow anything that can damage their perfect perception of you and your life. It makes them feel better about themselves. Justifying somehow their insecurities and personal issues. Often than not those sort of people will happily feed the fire till there is nothing left anymore of whatever the truth might have been. I have fallen victim of this sort of gossips so many times I lost count already the number of times people have spin gory tales about me. Mind you, my unconventional behavior and nonchalant attitude towards rumors didn’t help much with their already wrong impression of me and once upon a time I couldn’t care less.

They can say whatever they want as long as it doesn’t interfere with my agenda. But you cannot be in the middle of someone’s concept and be invisible. Sooner or later hell will break loose and often times the leading character is the only casualty because it is easier to hit a single target than multiple ones. Safety by numbers and the majority always win.  Fortunately, their movies are not my reality. Unfortunately, like one of those sci-fi movies, when you get hurt or die in virtual reality you die in real life too, the consequences can travel through time and dimensions and even if you don’t die the scars are deep it shows.

You know what they say:

It’s difficult to be the subject of a negative rumor, particularly one that has no basis in reality.

And even if:

You can’t always control what other people say about you, but you can control how you respond—and you can be resilient…

You are only human. You are not invincible. Everybody has limits and sooner or later you will reach your saturation point. And once you’re there you can only do a couple of things:

Wage a war against those who are set to harm you  (which in Dutch is equivalent to “dweilen met de kraan open.” Literally translated: Mopping the floor with the tap wide open meaning: ‘Bailing out a sinking ship.’)

Change your ways and conform. (Yeah, follow the heard and be a copy of the majority. Die before you’re dead.)

Or be a Hermit like me.

Which one it is?

Make your choice and let me know.

 

Family

“One of the problems was my belief that family were always there for each other. That was the cause of my pain and my guilt. The fact that I no longer had them in my life meant that I was going against a code I held close to my heart. I had to modify that belief. I had to change my definition of family. It was no longer those to whom I was linked by blood. My family now became the friends who had been there the whole time. People who I knew I could count on when things went wrong… Finding and surrounding yourself with people who truly care for you is your gift to yourself. You deserve that. You will be okay. I no longer believe that I have lost my family. I have only now finally recognized who they truly are.”

~Anonymous

“Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” ~Edna Buchanan

A few years ago I ended all contact with my parents, and I have not seen or spoken to them since then.

The truth is I am actually okay with that. Initially, I thought I was going to lose my mind. I had been brought up to believe that family comes first. Children should respect and take care of their parents. Family should—and will—always be there for each other.

Those beliefs were based on love, and I cherished them.

I wanted so much to feel that connection—that unconditional love those beliefs promised. It was never there.

Our lives were filled with so much fear, pain, hurt, betrayal, and lies. Manipulation and deceit were at the core of our home.

I told myself that all families have degrees of dysfunction, and our family was no different. I could not allow myself to believe that our family was different. I believed that one day my parents would realize what they were doing and change. I desperately wanted their love and approval.

On the night when my husband and I ended up inside a police station explaining why I thought my father was about to come to my home and hurt me, while my two grown sons waited in the car, I realized I had to wake up.

My fantasy was over. I could no longer go on pretending our family was just like everyone else. That night I said my last goodbye to my mother as she lied to protect my father. The next day I spoke the last words to my father as he screamed into the phone repeating the lies from my childhood. It was over.

Giving up the hope that things would get better was the hardest part. I was terrified that I was doing the wrong thing. I thought I was being a bad daughter. I was going against every cherished belief about family.

It broke my heart to know that my life had been based on an illusion. The picture I had created of my parents was shattered. They had never been there for me, and they never would be.

I had lied to myself to protect my fantasy and keep them in my life. Now I could no longer do it.

Over time I began to understand why I had fought so hard to live out the lie, and I began to forgive myself for not being brave enough to stand up earlier.

One of the problems was my belief that family were always there for each other. That was the cause of my pain and my guilt. The fact that I no longer had them in my life meant that I was going against a code I held close to my heart.

I had to modify that belief. I had to change my definition of family. It was no longer those to whom I was linked by blood. My family now became the friends who had been there the whole time. People who I knew I could count on when things went wrong. That was never my parents.

I also realized that I was afraid I was not lovable. In my mind if my own parents could not love me, there had to be something wrong with me.

I did everything I could to minimize disagreements between us, keeping quiet just to keep the peace. I knew that if I spoke up we would argue, they would get mad at me, and they would not love me. I failed to realize that this was something I only experienced with them.

It was hard work just to be around them. I was always on edge, cautious, and scared. That was not a loving relationship. I came to accept that if they could not love me, it didn’t change anything about me. I had created other loving relationships around me, and they were the scaffolding holding me up.

My first Christmas after was hard. I had always gone to my parents’ house to live the fairy tale of being surrounded by love.

It was always hard to ready myself for those days. We would act out the roles of happy family, hoping in some way that was our truth. It wasn’t. I had no idea how tense I was at these interactions until I no longer had to do it.

Part of the hurt was that I now had no tradition, so I decided to start a new one. Christmas is no longer a day of obligation. I now spend it with the people who are my true family.

I’ve come to realize that the love I had for my parents was based on a childhood need for safety and security. I had to see them as the parents who loved me, despite the things they did. I could not accept that the people responsible for my well-being were also responsible for my suffering.

So much of the world I had created around my parents was simply not real. I have had to accept that truth and move on with my life.

One of my fears was that by breaking contact with my parents, I was setting an example that my sons could repeat with me. I’d like to think this won’t happen because of my parents.

The pain of my childhood taught me how important it is for a child to truly feel loved, safe, and cherished. I’ve tried to live that truth with my boys. I don’t know what the future holds for us. I can only hope that the love I’ve shown them will have created a space in their hearts where I will always be thought of with love.

I try to imagine how I’ll feel when I find out that my parents have died. I honestly don’t know. I’m sure that part of me will be sad that we did not have a better ending. However, I know in my heart of hearts that I tried for over forty years to make it work. In the end, it just wasn’t enough.

My parents were never who I thought them to be. I have had to let it all go. The fantasy of the perfect ending with them is over. I am setting out on a new horizon where I have redefined my world.

As abused children, we may feel that it is somehow our responsibility to fix the broken parts of our family. It’s not. Sometimes there is no fairy tale ending where our parents realize how truly wonderful we are.

The hard part is recognizing that and moving on. Sometimes it’s the only way to find real peace. It’s heartbreaking. It’s not easy. Finding and surrounding yourself with people who truly care for you is your gift to yourself. You deserve that. You will be okay.

I no longer believe that I have lost my family. I have only now finally recognized who they truly are.

By Anonymous

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Haters Gonna Hate

“They will hate you if you are beautiful. They will hate you if you are successful. They will hate you if you are right. They will hate you if you are popular. They will hate you when you get attention. They will hate you when people in their life like you. They will hate you if you worship a different version of their God. They will hate you if you are spiritual. They will hate you if you have courage. They will hate you if you have an opinion. They will hate you when people support you. They will hate you when they see you happy. Heck, they will hate you while they post prayers and religious quotes on Pinterest and Facebook. They just hate. However, remember this: They hate you because you represent something they feel they don’t have. It really isn’t about you. It is about the hatred they have for themselves. So smile today because there is something you are doing right that has a lot of people thinking about you.”

― Shannon L. Alder

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A Milestone

Yesterday after not speaking to me since she got married, that was three years ago, my daughter called me to say that she’s pregnant. I’m not surprised. I know from my son that she and her husband were trying to conceive. I’m happy for her. 

She told me that I was the first to know. I’m not surprised with that too. It reminds me of three weeks ago when I was talking to my son after his musical/theater performance and he said that while he was presenting and singing up there he was worried if I was going to like the show or not. He thought I would find it banal. He was happy when I said that what he/they did was memorable. He hopes for the same effect when he finished writing his first book he said.

I know that my relationship with my children is far from ideal and we hardly see each other, but it is touching to know that they still value my opinion the most. Out of thousand of people watching my son’s performance, what he was worried about was what I was thinking. My daughter could let her father or anybody know first but she have chosen to call me instead. That means a lot to me.

In the past, they accused me of being hard to please and economical when it comes to giving compliments, but in my defense, I only give credit where credit is due. I don’t want to give or encourage false hopes when in reality there is none.

I know I will never be the mother they prefer to have and I doubt if I’m going to be the best grandmother but this is me. My grandchildren will know me like my children have known me_ honest straight-forward maybe harsh but fair. I hope they will appreciate the person that I really am because I am not planning to change myself for the sake of acceptance.

Let’s wait and see… 

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My Home Found A New Owner

He was the man I loved for so many years. He held up my universe inside his pocket and picked up the stars so he could light up my night. I wanted to believe that he loved me too. Because he said so, in whispers, in screams, in his sleep, in his songs, in his eyes. For so many years, I let him invade my heart. He let me love him in my own selfish ways. We have so many misunderstandings we took a few days to settle and solve. And we have past mistakes that came up whenever we argue. He barely understood my own language but he studied it so he could see which part of me was vulnerable to hold.

If we are going to talk about endings, then probably that thing has been overused and was scratched too hard I felt numb. We broke up and we got back again. We stopped yet we started again. We paused yet we decided to keep going.

Yet, all endings always had its own severe ending. The one that makes you realize that it won’t come back. The one that makes you ache for silence because you know he won’t reach out. The ending that we all fear.

But I tried to move out and tried new places, without him. Without his shadow. Without his smile and grips and his voice that calms me down. I tried moving out and started collecting scattered dust until I could have my new universe again. I searched for him in someone else’s eyes and voice. I looked for him in someone else’s skin and smell. But I realized he was the only one. He was one of a kind that no matter how many times he hurts me, I could still take it. No matter how many times he forced me to leave, I’d still run as fast as I could in his snap of wave and flash of a smile.

I realized he never holds my universe rather he became my universe. That every time I hear the words love and pain, his face will appear crystallized.

Yet he found his new world.
He found it in you.
Now that you’re with him, you got to understand that he’s unpredictable and changes so often. But as long you could stay, please do.

I might be the girl he had as his dreams form. I might be the girl he got to watch his all-time favorite movies and the first who heard the songs he wrote as he strummed his guitar. I might be his first love as what he called it but you’re with him now.

And you will have him in ways I could never have. I am now a part of the past that will one day be forgotten.

Yet here you are, the one he sees spending the future with and the rest of his life with. The woman he sees growing a family with and pajama cuddles and morning coffees and the hand he’ll hold while traveling the world. The woman he sees sharing the same water bottle and beer-stained kisses, and teases under blankets or the hair he’ll play in his finger and the head that rests upon his chest when you sleep.

And he still has me,
more like a memory,
a past,
a lesson,
a told story,
an ending example.

But he has you,
more like a dream,
a vision of wedding aisle,
a wedding dress,
a mother to his children,
a body he comes home for,
a rocking chair,
a future.

He looks at you
the same way

I see him.

So please,
take care of him.

-Mica Meñez 

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