There is an ocean of silence between us and I am drowning in it.

The sad part is, that I will probably end up loving you without you for much longer than I loved you when I knew you. Some people might find that strange. But the truth of it is that the amount of love you feel for someone and the impact they have on you as a person is in no way relative to the amount of time you have known them. ― Ranata Suzuki

I didn’t Break my Marriage—I Healed Myself.

“Healing is less about ‘saving’ or ‘fixing’ and more about ‘allowing’ ourselves to ease into the remembering that there’s a wholeness that has been there all along.” ~ Emmanuel Dagher

Sometimes healing can look a lot like breaking.

I have always despised the terms broken home or broken marriage because if something is broken there is the expectation that it is able to be fixed—yet sometimes the sad reality is that it’s just not meant to be.

The decision to leave my marriage was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, and it would be futile and dishonest to pretend otherwise. I never set out in this life to be divorced, I never wanted this to be my life, or to have these stereotypes surround me that I feel I constantly have to break—yet that doesn’t mean that this isn’t the life I am meant to live.

I’m a forever person—I always have been and I always will be.

So the decision to leave my marriage not only became about that but about who I was because of those choices. And perhaps most of all, who was I, now that a relationship I had used to define myself, had to come to an end.

It was never about breaking my marriage, but about healing me.

It wasn’t about an ending—but about a beginning.

There might have been one moment, but the reality is there were several, where I suddenly realized that this just wasn’t where I was meant to be. But knowing that and actually deciding to leave are two very different things. Once we have had those moments though, we become faced with a choice; do we choose ourselves, or do we choose someone else? In the end, we will either make a choice for ourselves, or we will make it for our children, family, or even our spouse.

But for me, the longer time went on, the more difficult it became to just simply not choose myself.

Perhaps there are those instances or times when we don’t need to completely undo our entire lives in order to get back to who we really are, but for me, there was no other way.

It wasn’t just my marriage that was over, it was me. I was done with not being happy, with not being the woman I truly am, and with not living a life that felt connected to my soul.

In truth, it was me that broke long before my marriage did—and so I had no other choice but to break it so that I could find myself again—and perhaps really for the first time.

There’s no easy manual for getting divorced and building a life following it. There is no one right way, so that means there isn’t any real wrong way of doing this for any of us. We just have to be willing to try, to explore and to fail all the while hopefully getting closer to ourselves. We have to open ourselves up to life again and this means all of it—the joy, the confusion, the love, and even the pain.

In order to heal our deepest wounds, we actually need to expand rather than try to shut down and close ourselves off.

So, I made the choice to take in everything and make as many mistakes as I could along the way. I made the choice to end my marriage and not look back at this time. I was done wondering if it was the right decision, or questioning if I really didn’t love my husband anymore.

I was done. Period.  I never looked back.

Instead of spending time thinking about all of the hurt and mistakes, I focused my energy on what kind of life I was building now, and what type of woman I was becoming in this process.

More importantly—I often stopped to wonder—do I like this new woman? Was I becoming someone that I wanted to spend my time with, someone that I valued and respected? Was I becoming myself or just another version of someone else?

There were check-points to see if I felt authentic in this new life and if I felt connected to it.

Those who haven’t had to start their lives over don’t always understand what it means to have to redefine ourselves but for me for the first time in my adult life I wasn’t someone’s wife, wasn’t part of a family unit, and therefore I had nothing to define or heal me but myself and my own choices.

When we venture out on a new path in this life, we don’t really know what lies ahead and sometimes our only choice is to continue on even when we can’t see or don’t know all the answers. It becomes the choice to follow our hearts; our inner compass on what feels right—even if it doesn’t make sense to everyone else.

Ultimately, my healing began when I made the choice to put myself first—not selfishly, or carelessly, but with a knowing that if I wasn’t truly happy then no one else in my life would be either—including my children. I had to first figure out what I was all about before I could even know what would make me happy, and the only way that was done was by trying it all on for size.

I experimented, I played, I forgot to follow the rules, and in between the moments of breaking down, I realized that I was truly just breaking up with life as I had known it. I was leaving behind the pain because I wanted to become the healing.

I made the choice to find out what this life could be when no one was holding me back—not even myself.

There have been many nights where I have cried myself to sleep, and I still don’t profess to have it all figured out but the one thing that I do know is that I am headed in the right direction because for once, I am undoubtedly following my heart.

No matter where it leads me.

“You have the right to change your story.” ~ The Goddess Rebellion 

~ Author: Kate Rose

Pushing The Limits

If you lose someone you can’t live without your heart will be badly broken. You will never completely get over the loss but they will live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”  ― Anne Lamott

Let’s Get (Re)acquainted

The picture above is D. I am married to him for about 16 years now. He’s my second husband and partner in crime. He’s a chocolate (and everything sweet) loving engineer who doesn’t smoke and only drink alcohol occasionally. His hobby is taking care of me and listening to my outrageous ideas. He is patient, sweet and very, very understanding. I’d like to see him as a blessing in disguise because as docile as he is, he could drive me up the wall sometimes believe you me. Oh, I almost forgot… He is 11 years younger than I am.

The one below is yours truly anno 2020. No need for description. You read my blogs. That says enough.
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Missing You

I still think of you every day.
But I’m trying not to let it hurt me with the same intensity that it used to.

And as painful as it is, it still kind of warms me to know I will always carry a part of you inside of me.

Everybody wants their own little place in the world. And maybe mine is here… Loving you from a distance…

To me, you will always be the one that got away.

When you experience loss, people say you’ll move through the five stages of grief…
Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. What they don’t tell you is that you’ll cycle through them all every day.

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Emptiness

This is me since I decided to stay away. Your absence created a giant hole inside of me that can never be replaced. I tried to patch the gap but nothing fits. Only you can fill this special place. I think of you every single second I breathe and it hurts! It hurts not seeing you grow up. It hurts not being part of your life but I’m helpless. The price I have to pay to see you is something I can’t afford. What can I teach you if being with you means I have to give up my self-respect and dignity? How can I be any use to you if holding you in my arms means I have to forget the person that I am and abandon everything I believe in? No, I can’t do that. Not even for you. I cannot compromise my self-respect for love. I have to keep my integrity right down to the end or otherwise what is the use of living? My pride is all I’ve got. I will not surrender my self-worth. Never. So, I will love you from a distance and hope you will have the freedom to grow up to be your true self, not the one society and your upbringing dictates. You will never know how much I long for you but it doesn’t matter because I know. It’s for me enough. Be happy always. Be safe.

You will always be a part of me.


I hope someday you will have a chance to read this and know that I care. In my mind, we share a lot of happy moments. In my dream I watch you grow up to be a beautiful person I know you will one day become. On your first Christmas, I imagined I gave you a little box, a present, and watched how you’ve tried to open it and kissed the smile on your innocent face when you succeeded. I would love to take you everywhere with me and teach you the importance of little things and share with you my love for nature and freedom. I realized it is far-fetched but I imagine we are kindred-spirit. Perhaps you will not even know me but I love you just the same. Fly free and soar high my Oona. You will always be loved.

~ from your eccentric but loving Glam-Ma

Just A Story

Cancer… My best friend has cancer. She told me via a Christmas card, which she dutifully sends every year even though I don’t answer most of them. Seven years ago since I saw her. We just moved into our current abode and there was no furniture yet inside aside from a couple of kitchen chairs.

No, we didn’t have a fallout or something. I am just like that. I am not adept at keeping connections. I burn bridges with or without reasons. She was actually my boss who decided it is better to keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Something with the husband. There was nothing there but it’s the thoughts that count. From there a genuine friendship has blossomed and since then I could do no wrong in her eyes. She fired a few employees including her own sister because they could not get along with me. She has forgiven me for all the trespasses I did against her person without me asking for it. The foolishness of the youth… Water under the bridge now.

She was a chain smoker. Now she has lung cancer. I called her immediately the minute I received the card and told her I was coming the day after. I bought a big bouquet of flowers I know she likes and rung her doorbell. Because I got a heads up, seeing her with a nasal cannula didn’t shock me but the color of her skin did. I thought those snow dwellers from the north in GOT were just the products of makeup techniques from efficient production artists but she looks exactly like them_ gray with a bluish tint as if she has been buried under the snow and been dug up just recently. Shocking!

She doesn’t have cancer. I misread the card. She has COPD instead and needs to have a lung transplant very soon. (what’s the difference) but there is no donor. She’s not even on the list. And even then, her kidney is not functioning properly to have an operation. Her face is swollen from too much cortisol. She said she had an open heart surgery a while back and has to take legions of medicines. I gave her a summary of my own woes, she told me I look good despite… The husband said I barely changed.

They are not the kind of people who will lie or flatter you for whatever reasons. No, they belonged to the near-extinct group of honest people who will tell you how things exactly are without offending. That’s why probably we get along just fine. They told me they encountered my ex and his girlfriend in the supermarket. I said it’s the wife, not the girlfriend. They gave me a look that said: whatever. And then the husband said when it comes to a wife matter, my ex did a few steps back instead of forward and my best friend said the new wife is a far cry from me and very, very different when it comes to appearance. That was a shock. I find the woman ten times more beautiful than I am, taller too, whiter and with miles-long legs. My best friend said if I find long legs (she has) an asset then so be it but not in any way it would help the appearance of the new wife. Then she ran out of words to describe her and I supplied them by directly quoting the mother of D. when she described the same woman: grey mouse, she said. My best friend jumped on that and added a few more of her own.

They would go on and on if I didn’t change the subject. It happened that I don’t agree with them. D. said it is because I have very low self-esteem. That when it comes to comparing myself to others, I always sell myself short. Maybe, maybe not.

Anyway, it was getting dark and I could see that our visit tired my best friend so I grabbed my coat and said goodbye. I will not want to exhaust our welcome. They complimented our fine carriage and we drove off.

I’m not sure if I am going to see her alive again. I am afraid that the next time we meet, she will be inside a casket. Sad but it’s the truth.

Another era about to disappear.

Getting old sucks.

10 Ways to Cope With Toxic Family Members

by Grace Furman

We all have family members we butt heads with over our taste in music, life choices, or politics. Typically we choose to put in the required effort to work through the problem or, depending on the issue, just smile politely and let it go.

A toxic relationship, however, is a relationship in which one person is emotionally and possibly physically damaging the other on a consistent basis.

Just because someone is a part of your family does not make this behavior acceptable.

Your top priority must be your own health and emotional well-being. If someone else is jeopardizing those, then you need to make changes to remedy the situation.

So how can you determine whether someone is toxic?

Here are some examples of things that toxic family members might do:

  • Constantly make demeaning comments
  • Be unsupportive of you if it doesn’t benefit them
  • Have an unpredictable and bad temper
  • Take advantage of your time, skills, or money
  • Emotionally manipulate you in order to control your behavior
  • Refuse to take responsibly for their actions
  • Make decisions for you
  • Display a lack of empathy toward others
  • Blame you and others for their own problems
  • Use violence or aggression to get what they want

Clearly, these behaviors create an unhealthy environment and can have many negative effects on your health and well-being.

If your relationship with a family member is toxic, the only thing you can control is your response. You must decide what to do in order to take care of yourself.

Here are 10 ways to cope with toxic family members:

1. Set Boundaries.

Determine what are acceptable and unacceptable ways for you to be treated.

Everyone is worthy of respectful treatment, yourself included. You deserve to be happy, healthy, loved, and safe.

Decide what your specific needs are and how others can or cannot treat you in order to meet those needs. You can then ensure that they will be met by implementing number two below.

2. Stand Up For Yourself.

When toxic family members cross the lines of the boundaries you set, you must stand up for yourself.

This can be scary and challenging, but it is important to be upfront and honest with them about your needs and expectations.

You can take charge of your life and the way you are treated by letting them know when they have done something unacceptable.

3. Stop Making Excuses.

Do not make excuses for someone else’s unacceptable behavior.

While they may try to blame you or others, the truth is that they alone are responsible for their choices and resulting actions.

When you make excuses for someone’s behavior, you are supporting it and allowing it to continue. If you have set reasonable expectations and been upfront with the family member, then it is their responsibility to act accordingly.

4. Experience Your Emotions.

Dealing with a toxic family member will bring on uncomfortable feelings and difficult emotions.

It is normal to feel anger, sadness, fear, confusion, and more. Instead of trying to push these emotions away, allow yourself the time and space to sit with them and experience them.

This way your body and mind can work through the feelings instead of having them build up inside. It can also prevent unhealthy coping mechanisms from forming.

5. Don’t Take It Personally.

This can be difficult, but try not to take a toxic family member’s words or actions personally. They clearly have their own wellness issues, and that is where this hurtful behavior is stemming from. It is a reflection on them, not on you. Believe in yourself and your worth regardless of anyone else’s opinions or comments.

7. Seek Help.

Dealing with a toxic family member is mentally difficult and emotionally draining, so it will be important for you to have sufficient outside support.

Share your struggles with close, trusted friends or family. Read books about coping with toxic family members to hear other people’s stories and gain further insights and strategies.

8. Practice Self-Care.

Practicing self-care is vital to mental health, and it becomes particularly important while going through an emotionally challenging situation.

Take time away from everything else to spend meditating, journaling, soaking in a hot bath, or whatever you enjoy most. It is helpful to implement daily affirmations.

Speak to yourself with encouragement and self-kindness. Focus on the positive by listing things you are thankful for each day.

Remember that your worth is not lessened just because someone else cannot see it.

9. Be Compassionate.

While challenging, it can be helpful to have compassion toward the toxic family member.

This does not mean you excuse their behavior though. It is simply a recognition that they are not inherently a bad person. Every human being is imperfect.

Their own difficult life circumstances or lack of skills have gotten them to this dark place. We all have our own pain that we are trying to deal with, and we all make mistakes sometimes. This is a part of our common humanity.

10. Cut Them Out.

If the above strategies have not helped to remedy the situation, you will have to decide whether or not you want this toxic family member in your life at all.

Ask yourself if you are getting more pain than joy out of the relationship. If the answer is yes, you may want to cut this person out of your life until they have shown the ability to consistently treat you with respect.

It could be for a couple of weeks or it may be much longer. If nothing changes, it could be permanent.


Relationships are built on respect, trust, and honesty. Everyone deserves these things. Just because a person is related to you, does not mean you owe them anything or that they can treat you however they like. This is especially true when the relationship comes at the expense of your own health and well-being.

Use the above strategies to build up your self-esteem and make the changes you need to ensure you can be happy and healthy. People can change which means that the two of you may be able to repair this relationship.

It will be hard and take a lot of time, but it can be done. However, notice that it is “the two of you.” Both parties must be willing to work together.

Unfortunately, in some cases, it is best to let the relationship go. After you’ve put in as much effort as you can, you will have to decide what’s best for you and your well-being.


Grace Furman is a writer and blogger at Heartful Habits. Heartful Habits is a place of inspiration for what Grace calls living mindfully and heartfully. She loves learning and sharing about wellness tips, natural remedies, beauty DIYs, green cleaners, healthy recipes, social issues, and more. Grace will be regularly contributing to Live Bold and Bloom.

Saying Goodbye

The amount of love you feel for someone and the impact they have on you as a person is in no way relative to the amount of time you have known them.

It’s painful, loving someone from afar.
Watching them – from the outside.
The once familiar elements of their life reduced to nothing more than occasional mentions in conversations and faces changing in photographs…..
They exist to you now as nothing more than living proof that something can still hurt you … with no contact at all.

― quotes from Ranata Suzuki

 

Puppet Master

Let me be clear, my love is unconditional, but your presence in my life is not. The moment that you prove that your value of me does not measure up to my sense of self-worth, I’ll have no problem unconditionally loving the memory of you and moving on.

It’s called self-Respect.

Setting boundaries and refusing to be a victim.

It takes courage to say no.

No, I will not be your puppet.

No, I will not be blackmailed. Emotionally or otherwise.

No, you cannot use me.

No, you cannot manipulate me.

I am responsible for saying yes to what feels good and no to what doesn’t.

You don’t own me.

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How Starved You Must Have Been That My Heart Became A Meal For Your Ego

When a narcissist says “I love you,” they mean that they love the way they feel when you work hard to make them happy.

They love how easy it is to take advantage of your generosity, compassion and kindness. They derive pleasure when they make themselves feel superior to you, and make you feel insignificant and small.

They love the feeling it gives them seeing you as emotionally crazy, weak, and vulnerable, as, in their view, your gullibility, innocence and childlike desires prove your inferiority and weakness.

They love how easy it is to use gaslighting or other manipulation techniques to make you do what they want. They love the feeling it gives them making you doubt yourself or question your own sanity. They also love the feeling it gives them making you feel “crazy” for asking and bringing up issues that they are not interested in.

They only care about themselves, and they love the way they feel when you carry all the load of the relationship. They also care about you in the sense that you give them something, so they love you for that.

They love the fact that your life is all about them. You solve their issues, fix their problems, and relieve their pain.

They love how easy it is to keep your primary focus on relieving their pain (and not yours!), and that, no matter what you do, you will never make them feel good enough, appreciated enough, loved enough, etc.

They love the way they feel when you are with them, seeing you as their possession, as a piece of property they own. They love the extent to which you improve their status in the eyes of other people.

They love the way they feel when you feed their ego, their sense of self-worth, and give your full attention to them. They love the power they have to make you work hard to prove your devotion, loyalty and love.

They love the way they feel when they are with you. As they tend to look down on and hate other people, the mirror neurons in their brain cause them to experience feelings of self-loathing; so they love that they can love themselves through you.

They love how easy it is to criticize you; criticize what is important to you, such as your religion, your family and your friends; and make you believe that you are worth nothing and that you have to stay with them.

“Since narcissists deep down feel themselves to be faultless, it is inevitable that when they are in conflict with the world they will invariably perceive the conflict as the world’s fault.”
— M. Scott Peck

“Narcissism is a grave condition of insecurity and desperately feeling unloved and unacceptable. An individual with Narcissistic Personality Disorder inherently believes they are ‘damaged goods’ and fears other individuals will discover the truth: that they feel powerless. Thus the narcissist invests a great deal of energy into ‘gaining the upper hand’, to hide feeling vulnerable, insecure and broken. When they are getting what they want, the charm is flowing and plentiful. When the charm doesn’t work the intimidation begins. Narcissism is categorized as an unhealthy level of self-absorption and a lack of empathy regarding how their insecure, aggressive and damaging behavior affects the world around them.”
— Melanie Tonia Evans

“Relationships with narcissists are held in place by hope of a ‘someday better,’ with little evidence to support it will ever arrive.”
— Ramani Durvasula

“Sadly, when many individuals realize that the narcissist is insecure and isn’t reassured, they try harder to love this person. Additionally, the narcissist blames his her behavior on something that you are or aren’t doing, and a hooked person we may try to ‘do it better’ or ‘get it right.’ Your increased efforts to love and fix the narcissist only lines you up for more abuse.”
— Melanie Tonia Evans

“When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.”
— Brené Brown

Often the narcissist believes that other people are “faking it”, leveraging emotional displays to achieve a goal. He is convinced that their ostensible “feelings” are grounded in ulterior, non-emotional motives. Faced with other people’s genuine emotions, the narcissist becomes suspicious and embarrassed. He feels compelled to avoid emotion-tinged situations, or worse, experiences surges of almost uncontrollable aggression in the presence of expressed sentiments. They remind him how imperfect he is and how poorly equipped. ― Sam Vaknin

Narcissists will never tell you the truth. They live with the fear of abandonment and can’t deal with facing their own shame. Therefore, they will twist the truth, downplay their behavior, blame others and say whatever it takes to remain the victim. They are master manipulators and con-artists that don’t believe you are smart enough to figure out the depth of their disloyalty. Their needs will always be more important than telling you any truth that isn’t in their favor..” ― Shannon L. Alder

“People with NPD have a strong need, in every area of their life, to be treated as if they’re special. To those with NPD, other people are simply mirrors, useful only insofar as they reflect back the special view of themselves they so desperately long to see. If that means making others look bad by comparison—say, by ruining their reputation at work—so be it. Because life is a constant competition, they’re also usually riddled with envy over what other people seem to have. And they’ll let you know” ― >Bandy X Lee

“Playing the victim role: Manipulator portrays him- or herself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else’s behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.”
― George K. Simon

“There’s a reason narcissists don’t learn from mistakes and that’s because they never get past the first step which is admitting that they made one. It’s always somebody else’s fault, a lawyer’s fault. Ask them to account for a mistake any other way and they’ll say, ‘what mistake?”― Jeffrey Kluger

You get discarded as a supply for one of two reasons: They find you too outspoken about their abuse. They prefer someone that will keep stroking their ego and remain their silent doormat. Or, they found a new narcissistic supply. Either way, you can count on the fact that they planned your devaluation phase and the smear campaign in advance, so they could get one more ego stroke with your reaction. Narcissists are angry, spiteful takers that don’t have empathy, remorse or conscience. They are incapable of unconditional love. Love to them is giving only when it serves them. They gaslight their victims by minimizing the trauma they have caused by blaming others or stating you are too sensitive. They never feel responsible or will admit to what they did to you. They have disordered thinking that is concerned with their needs and ego. It is not uncommon for them to hack their targets, in order to gain information about them. They enjoy mind games and control. This is their dopamine high. The sooner you distance yourself the healthier you will become. Narcissism can’t be cured or prayed away. It is a mental disorder that turns the victims of its abuse into mental patients because it causes so much psychological manipulation.”
― Shannon L. Alder

Narcissistic entitlement has nothing to do with genuine self-esteem, which comes from real accomplishment and being true to one’s own ideals. Individuals who feel entitled to respect without giving it in return, or who expect rewards without effort, or a life free of discomfort, are forfeiting any power they might have to shape their own destiny. They assume an essentially passive role and count on outside forces to make them happy. When what they expect doesn’t happen, they feel impotent. By claiming entitlement, they demand to live in the fantasy world of the one-year-old child. No wonder they’re enraged. ― Sandy Hotchkiss

“I found peace of mind when I walked away from small fights not worth fighting. I stopped fighting for people who gossiped about me. I stopped fighting for those who didn’t respect me. I quit worrying about those who wouldn’t value me for being me.”
― Dana Arcuri

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