Thursday, December 17, 1998

The Joy and Magic of Christmas...Returned

I’ve thought a great deal about the holidays this year. The holidays are such a mixed bag of thoughts and emotions, and I’ve run the gamut over the past several years.

Earlier this week was the anniversary of the day my ex-husband left me. Back in 1995, I went home expecting to find my husband. Instead, I found an apartment empty except for furnishings and Faith (my loyal and faithful cat for the past 8-½ years). I got her when I first got out of the hospital, and her name was chosen carefully. When I left the hospital, I was very scared but determined to do something with my life. I wasn't ready to let my life just fizzle out. I knew I would be alone at first, and so I got a cat to keep me company. I also knew that making it on my own, believing I could make it on my own, would require a lot of faith in some things intangible, myself, a higher power, and the future. And so I named my cat Faith, so that there was something real I could hold onto and see, and I could believe would help carry me through. Somewhat of a metaphor I suppose...but anyway...I digress...

It snowed here on December 14, 1995. It took me hours to get home, and as I said, the apartment was eerily empty. My ex-husband called that night, said he was on his way home, and that was the last time I heard from him for 5 days. Mind you, the holidays with my ex were never a huge hoopla...they were a very, very quiet time between us. He had so many sad anniversaries and memories of the holidays it made holidays, particularly Christmas, rather somber occasions. Growing up, Christmas had always been wonderful and fun and exciting. When I was involved with my ex, Christmas became a quiet, thoughtful (though not necessarily peaceful), loving holiday. I suppose that isn’t really all bad, but it was not something I looked forward to with anticipation. This is my 4th Christmas without him.

Christmas morning has been hard every year since he left me. We had our rituals. I remember waking up, snuggling, exchanging our gifts, and making breakfast together...just spending quiet time together before trekking to his parent’s house. The first 2 years after my ex left, my mom was with me on Christmas day, and that made it better for me. But the last 2 years, well, I've spent Christmas alone. And I don't want to whine, because it really hasn't been all that bad. I've learned to do a lot of things alone that I'd otherwise love to share with someone else. And I have always tried to do my best to make the most of it. I usually succeed with a minimum of tears. The tears fall regardless, and I give them their due. Then I try to remember there are many people I love, and there is goodness and beauty all around me. I take a walk, think, pay attention to the crisp air, the clear blue sky, the white cleanness of freshly fallen snow, or the smell of a fire burning in the distance. And I remember that this is just one day in 365, and that most of the rest of them are really good days. A few, well, they need a little work now and then to get through.

This year is different for me. It's different for me because this year I have someone in my life that I care very deeply for. He has brought light and goodness into my life. He makes me smile and feel very much alive, loved, and wanted...and for who knows what absurd reason, seems to want my love in return. And I give it gladly, willingly, whole-heartedly. He has made a difference in my life. I can see things in myself now that I know I’ve done, but never really recognized in myself. Though sometimes I still struggle, I know, he has helped me to believe that I have value, that I am loved, that someone would miss me in this world should I be gone tomorrow.

This Christmas will be the first for me in at least 8 years that I am really happy inside again, and not so alone because of him. I always hoped to have magic at Christmas again, but I don’t know that I ever really knew it would happen. It’s been a long time coming. This holiday season will be a tough one for him. And although I can’t take away his troubles, I wanted him to know that I love him, and that I am here for him…to love, to hold, to cuddle, to listen, to share whatever magic the season brings. I look forward to waking up beside him Christmas morning, and snuggling, and wishing him a Merry Christmas! Thank you Rob, for loving me and making a difference in my life. I love you Rob! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 18, 1998

Opening Blossom

On the swells of emotion,
Perilously close to exposing the tenderness and love I feel for you.
Nothing intimidates me more than knowing the power I give you when I say I love you.
I try gently to forge forward, unfettered by my fear.
I pray silently that you may treat me gently, and handle me with care.
My heart is delicate when given completely.

At times, I forget that you may share this trepidation.
I want you, and I love you.
It scares me to know how much I feel for you in such a short time.
So many things we have yet to learn about each other.
I have made mistakes before with others.
I hope I have learned from them,
I want not to repeat them with you.
Have patience with me as I learn to be open with you.
You have been kind and open with me,
That encourages me to be the same.

This flower of my heart, squelched before in full bloom, yearns to open to you now.
Its petals are soft and tender, bruised easily.
I want to share it with you.

Tuesday, November 10, 1998

Everything Old Is New Again

It's been a while since I've written here, and today is the one year anniversary of starting my page. So much has happened in this past year. I've watched numerous life cycles go full circle. I started my site for a variety of reasons. I had something to say to anyone willing to listen. I still believe in that message of hope and love. There are a great many people in my life to thank for being a wonderful part of my life. My thanks are still heartfelt in my thoughts daily.

Of course, within the past year I have met so many new people as well. And I've seen the cycles of people getting close, and then watching (unfortunately) that closeness ebb away. I'm not one to approach friendship or any relationship meekly. I am an intense person, and I have fairly high expectations of honesty and directness in all of my relationships, both of myself and of others. Sometimes it's not the best thing in the world, and I am learning to be a bit less rigid in my expectations of both myself and others. There are many people that I have met and grown close to over this amazing means of communication called the internet. I have grown closer to family who are far away...I have shared myself in ways that I was previously too self-conscious to share before, and through that have learned that I can be more open in person as well. I am learning to be silly and have fun, and occasionally be a little childlike...not things that I really had much opportunity to do as a child but qualities I value and admire in others. I'm learning...and so many people are helping me with that and accepting me as I look silly and foolish. But more than accepting me, they encourage me...they help me see what it is to be "normal" and have fun.

Lately, in addition to a newfound sense of spontaneity and adventure, I have found myself experiencing greater calm with myself and the world around me...more self-assurance to be as I am or feel I am in my heart. There are many people who have attributed to this, but one in particular to whom I owe a word of gratitude. I can't explain it, because I don't understand it...but somehow, his quiet acceptance of who I am, well, I can feel it, I can see it when I look into his eyes, I can feel it when he holds me, and I hear it in his voice. I hope he will forgive my foibles as I learn along the way...and I hope we will continue to grow in friendship, because I think he's a very, very amazing and special man. Thank you Rob for being my friend...every day with you I feel better about me. I like the person you are helping me to be. You may not even realize it, but I really like who I am when I am with you.

Thursday, July 30, 1998


Overlooking the warning signs, venturing out on a limb where I should not be.
Each twist and turn creating more doubt, wreaking havoc with my heart.
Reluctant to give in to the panic, although it weighs me down.
Holding my mind and heart hostage.
Etched in my mind is your face, your smell, your touch, your voice, your eyes.
Looking into your eyes I felt connected.
More and more, I realize am I simply overwhelmed, overloaded, and exhausted.
Desperate to let go of these thoughts of you, yet they persist.

Tuesday, June 23, 1998

My Trembling Heart

My eyes yearn to look inside your soul,
To know you, love you, embrace you.
Revealing myself to you is something I contemplate with great trepidation.
My mind goes blank when I try to speak, leaving me helpless, grappling with my fear.
Nothing I tell myself allows me to loosen
The grip of terror in which my heart is captured,
The terror that you will leave me.

How I hope you can understand I love you,
I want to be with you,
Evolve with you,
Grow with you.
In time, open up to you.
I have so many insecurities.
People have abandoned me in their frustration, anger, and disgust.
In my heart I always believe this abandonment inevitable.
And so I push people away, before they can leave.
I fear that inherently I am unlovable and in time, you will leave me.
These are my fears, my heart, my love.
I share them with you now so you may understand me a little better.

Sunday, May 17, 1998

If I Have Not Told You Lately...

If I have not told you lately...

That just the thought of you makes me smile;
That when I am with you I feel safe and loved;
That my heart picks up its pace when I hear your voice;
That my days are brighter because of you;
That my nights are not so lonely, thinking of being with you again.

If I have not told you lately...

That I believe in you, in your kindness and goodness, and strength and devotion;
That I know you are struggling right now;
That I would like to be a source of encouragement and strength to you, if you will simply let me;
That I will be beside you whenever you need me, and stand back when you need to stand alone;
That I will be your friend whenever you need one.

If I have not told you lately...

That my soul is happy to have met yours;
That my heart swells with affection for you;
That I long to be with you and I dream of the time we have to share;
That I have found a place of comfort and joy in your arms;
That your eyes speak volumes when I look into them.

If I have not told you lately...

That I love you.

Friday, February 13, 1998

On Love

"Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love." –Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, February 8, 1998

Practice Random Acts of Kindness?

It seems sometimes that we are all far more affectionate and caring, outwardly so anyway, in chat than in our day to day lives. The reality is, we all need affection and compassion. We all openly recognize this need in chat, and fulfill it in both ourselves and others with great regularity through chat hugs. Why then is it so difficult in our day to day lives to acknowledge these needs and perhaps meet them in those we care about? Do we have trouble admitting our needs to others? Exposing our tenderness, our humanity? Is it that to do so would leave us more vulnerable? It takes far more courage to be kind than it does to be apathetic.

I have seen this bumper sticker on several occasions: Practice random acts of kindness. Sad that it is an admirable concept to practice RANDOM acts of kindness. Wouldn't it be more admirable to treat others with kindness and compassion and concern as a general rule?

Sunday, February 1, 1998

If You Could See Beneath The Surface

If you could see beneath the surface,
Of my cool and subdued countenance,
You would see a love and passion,
Yearning to be shared with you.

My heart beats with trepidation,
Each time you hold me in your arms.
And I long to tell you of my desires,
To know your heart, to share its dreams.

The words I long to tell you,
Have approached my lips so many times.
And the fearful pounding of my heart
Recalls those words before spoken.

Someday I may find the courage,
To tell you how I feel.
For now my passion will only peek through,
Shown in the twinkle of my blue eyes.

I wonder if you see what I feel
When you hold me and touch me.
I wonder if you'll ever read this.
I wonder if it will scare you away.

Saturday, January 10, 1998

Lust, Love, and Loneliness

I realized just a few weeks ago that I have not once mentioned on my pages (except in my poems) the one true and deep love that I have experienced in my life…so far anyway. And through the holidays, I must say that my ex-husband has been on my mind a great deal. I suppose that happened for a variety of reasons, like his calling me just before Thanksgiving (and a couple of times since), and the anniversary of his departure from our marriage (eleven days before Christmas, two years this past Christmas). When I think of him I feel so many things…without him, I wouldn’t be where I am now…he was my best friend for many, many years. And losing him broke my heart and devastated my life for a while there.

I think I spent many years growing up thinking love was lust, or love could be spawned from lust. I also know that I sought love in many, many ways…ways which I am not today particularly proud of, but I have nonetheless learned a great deal from. I have goals for myself, and one of them is not to make those same judgement errors and confuse lust and loneliness for anything other than what they are–fleeting, momentary, repetitive aspects of life. We have all lusted after persons in our lives…sometimes we even act upon that lust…sometimes with great satisfaction followed by nothing, sometimes with great pleasure followed by horrible emptiness, and sometimes for what appears, after the fact, to have been for nothing at all. No pleasure, no emotional connection, no satisfaction whatsoever.

I did not learn a great deal of respect for myself or my body growing up. And sometimes it surprises me that I have not made worse choices for companions in my life. I did not marry a man who beat me, or who verbally abused me…I married a man who was: an addict, incredibly sensitive and often very, very kind, generous to a fault, emotionally immature and unstable, and often emotionally and physically unavailable to me. I knew these things about him when I married him. We had lived together for five and a half years when we married…I knew we would have it rough…we both had difficult backgrounds. But I believed that we were both on a path of self-discovery and personal growth. Our purpose together was to be each other’s greatest protector of the other’s solitude, to unconditionally support the other in whatever needed doing in our lives.

Trust is bestowed upon others by me with great difficulty and pain. It was no different with my ex-husband. I remember that on our wedding night, after making the sweetest love we had ever made, I began to sob…I was terrified of having it all fall apart, of being hurt. I am not sure if somewhere in my heart I already knew he was using drugs again (he had been clean for two years before we married), or if I was just afraid of being hurt as I had been many times before. But I knew that I had given this man the best parts of myself…in fact, had given him all of what I was…my heart, my soul, my love, my joy, my sorrow, my pain. He had accepted and loved it all. Or so I thought.

When he left, he had a choice. He could either get help and we could work through the problems together, or he could continue to get high. The choice he made was to walk away from me, my heart, my soul, my love, my joy, my sorrow, my pain…my essence, everything I had offered to him he essentially said "keep it." There were times I thought I would die…if not from a broken heart than from taking my own life. The pain is less now…and I do not any longer wish to die…but his calls, to say he is sorry, to say how messed up it was to choose drugs over me, well, all of that just complicates my life right now. I have spent the past two years learning to put myself first. To take care of me, my body, my mind. And sometimes I reflect on the past two years and am amazed at how my mind works now, the care I have for myself. I will fight the rest of my life to never lose that perspective again.

Which brings me to the point of loneliness…I am often lonely. I miss having someone to put my arms around, to talk with and hold into the night, to know intimately and have know me. And it is not my priority to "find" someone to complete me. I am complete just as I am. But these days of loneliness creep up on me now and then, and I weep for what I feel I have lost, what I fear I will never have again. I am afraid that I will never allow myself to give of myself that completely ever again to another human being. I did not wish to marry more than once in my life. And I believe in marriage. I also believe that a person should never "settle" for less than what they desire on anything…least of all love. The most loving relationships still encounter struggles, but with some work and love, there is some victory in those struggles.

I have encountered people in my life who remind me I am aging, that finding that perfect mate with whom you feel passion and comfort and concern, happens seldom in life. I place emphasis on the word seldom because it is not an impossibility…just a rarity. I had those things with someone once…I believe I can have it again. But if I resign myself to "settling" for less, the relationship will be doomed. I talk to people and see people who have "settled" and it strikes me as so horribly sad. There are special people we could share our lives with all over the world. And if I never meet that person, or if I am too picky (as some people say), I will be okay on my own. I will encounter my loneliness, share it with friends who help to soften and take the edge off of my sadness. And I will remember that the acuteness of my loneliness will pass…it always does. I can ride this wave out, just as I have before.

Thursday, January 1, 1998

No Bridges Burned

Nothing has made me capable of erasing you from my heart.

Broken as my heart was.
Ripped apart by the insane desire to gather strength,
Endure hardship, suffer through love beside you.

Bolstered now by our separation,
My heart and soul were uplifted to hear your voice,
Resonating in my ears and in my mind.
Nothing could ever change what I feel for you.
Eternally my heart belongs to you.
Destined we are to be connected always, heart, body, and soul.