Tag Archives: Relationships

Letting Go

Women are irrational. That’s all there is to that. Their heads are full of cotton, hay and rags. They’re nothing but exasperating, irritating, vacillating, calculating, agitating, maddening and infuriating hags! ~ Professor Henry Higgins

I came across some items last night that I really wish I hadn’t. They set my mind off in a direction it shouldn’t go – down the road of “what ifs” and “I should have done this instead.” What a fucking incomprehensible jumble the female mind becomes when it winds itself up in such a fashion. It’s really one of the worst things about women – this mental nitpicking.

Sleep didn’t help. I had dreams that could best be described as, “This is what you get for thinking like that!”

Today I’m angry with myself. In fact, I’d like to punch myself in the face except I have errands to run and places to be and don’t want to show up with a bloody nose. Just know, I’m seriously disappointed.

There is a point to letting go. I’m horrible at that. I keep things either in my head or around the house. The Husband is well aware of this fact. “Denise, you can go ahead and let go of some of the baby clothes now.” Um. No. When I’m old, I’d like to look at those. “Denise, get rid of the baby toys – the kids are teens now.” Stop. I need that rattle. Go away.

I’ve always been this way. It’s why I still have toys from my childhood. I’d like to blame my Mom and her moving me from New York as what set me off down the road of not being able to let go of things. You see, Mom got rid of my collection of Dr. Seuss books. I had all of them. Every single Seuss book. I adored them. They were my 3rd favorite items – outside of my Snoopy doll and my precious Fisher Price doll house (complete with people and Tootsie Toy metal cars, thank you).

I don’t like letting go of things. I most certainly don’t like letting go of people. But today I find myself thinking back on the times I hugged loved ones and knew it would be the last time I’d ever see them. They didn’t know. But I knew. I let go. I walked away.

I fucking hate letting go. Did I say that yet?

Sometimes to move forward, we have to scrape the past off the bottom of our shoes just so we can walk on with a cleaner and lighter load. My dreams last night tell me I’ve not done a very good job of that.

Around my house are photos of my children as babies and toddlers, which isn’t to say I don’t also have ones of them as adolescents and teenagers. I have a nice selection of memories framed. And that’s it, isn’t it? Framing memories. Capturing a little moment in time where something was so perfectly beautiful and blissful, you wanted to keep it forever. Relationships are like that. I looked back on those items last night with sadness in my heart that I let something go. That I walked away just so I could move on. But clinging to something that wasn’t working wasn’t healthy for anyone involved.

When my boy comes home from college, I cling to him for the first hour or so. There he is! He’s right here! Look, isn’t he the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen? He tolerates it with remarkable patience. Such a good boy. When he’s packing up to leave, however, he is terse and brisk. He doesn’t like tears. He doesn’t like to see me completely dissolve into a puddle of misery. He can’t cope with that. He gives me a quick goodbye hug, tells me when he’ll return, and that he loves me, and then he speeds away. I’d say he’s better at letting go than I am, but he knows he can always come back. That things, as I’ve mentioned before, are kept under glass, just as he’s left them.

It’s that part – leaving things preserved under glass, I guess, which has me so upset today. I’ve preserved memories I no longer want. I don’t want to come across something that fills me with pain. Life is painful enough. Life throws shit on us and if we’re strong, we thrive anyhow. Thanks for the fertilizer, life. Screw you. I’m still here.

Bitterness on the Vine

You are a blip in my life. A bit of flotsam that floated by. Someone wholly unconnected to me in the universe. Or are you there with me for decades now – a part of my inner circle? It doesn’t matter. I feel the need to help you. To pull you up from the wreckage of your life and send you on your way a better and wiser person.

Your envy is indeed a wreckage. You’ve tarnished a good part of your soul living in twisted bitterness for years. No one deserves a life of sadness, and I shall never understand those who gratefully choose one. It does not make you look strong, but sad, weak, sour and vexatious. Your anger is unjustified at those you lash out at. You should scream at the universe for its perverse audacity in not granting you your every wish. Then you should grow the fuck up.

The time has come for you to move on. To pick up the pieces of your smashed fairy tale. Someday your dream may come true. Someday that may be your town/house/car/job/child. And, most importantly, someday your prince may come but he may not be the one you’ve pined for.

Love is not a guarantee. Nor is REAL LOVE always joyful. It can be a vine that twists and curls, destroying with impunity. It has the power to overcome and poison those it touches by weakening them and taking their light. Leaving walking corpses behind. Walking corpses who won’t play dead.

For some, love floats in like Glenda the Good Witch in her pleasing bubble – there as a gift, as the other soul surrenders itself into your hands. When this happens, you will know. Love is not vague. When they love you, they will TELL YOU – and that “I love you” will be the sweetest sound you’ll ever hear until it is whispered in your ear by your warm and cozy toddler.

If love was not the case for you – this time- there’s no reason to believe it won’t be the next time. You should be giving your affections to someone ready and willing to accept them, someone who will tend to your love and watch it grow, not leave it alone to waste and wither.

We have all been walking corpses. We have all not played dead. Love hurts – it is no Disneyesque tableau. It is real, harsh. Love makes you hold the hand of a friend as they gasp their last breath. It makes you cry yourself to sleep at night when you walk away from a relationship that ended too soon (or too late). But you should always do what’s best for your mental and emotional health. Not cling to the hope of a dying vine. You didn’t get what you wanted this time. But love, when coursing through your soul, should not cause you to throw your toys from the cot or blame anyone else. You cannot make love out of nothing. Love will never blossom in toxic soil. You cannot wave Glenda’s wand and have the house/town/job/car/child you’ve dreamed of. No one promised you any of these things. And, sadly, you cannot make them your lover if they are not interested. Life never guaranteed you that.

When accepting advice, you should always consider the source. I’ve been married over 20 years and have friends still from 4th grade to new ones I’ll meet for cocktails just to be girlie. Healthy relationships, therefore, are something I can conduct successfully in my sleep. So you with the bitterness in your soul, rise up, make yourself a cup of tea, go for a leisurely stroll through a botanical garden or museum, and realize that life, love and beauty are all around you. Let go of the hatred and jealousy that’s entrapped your heart because life isn’t going to wait while you pine. Life marches on, stoically and, at times, with much abandon. Fling yourself into the mix joyously and see what develops.

Forever Friends

Years ago, when my friend was still alive and on a Left Ventricular Assist Device, a study came out saying women need to have regular time with their friends. That it’s healthier for them. This is nothing against spending time with their significant other, just that they need their friends. To laugh with. To share with. The study showed that women who regularly spent time with their friends had lower blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol. Therefore, she and I needed to go out more often!

After her 2nd big stroke, when she was learning things all over again, I would go to her house and bring DVDs. It didn’t count as “going out” anymore but it was still girl time and, it mattered. Her husband knew it did. He’d bring us food and beer and then he’d wander off to care for the kids while we sat, giggled, and yammered about how horrible the movie was. I have a book she gave me a few years earlier of quotes of friendship. We’d been friends since 10th grade. On the opening page she wrote, “For my forever friend. Thank you.” Four years on I’d be the only one in the room as they unplugged her life support.

Women are emotional creatures. I tell that to my sons all the time. This is usually after I’ve burst into tears about something they consider so slight that they’re now staring at me as if I’ve gone mad. Women need other women if just to have them tell us, “That’s what I do!” Our friendships mean much more than just someone to go shopping with. For many of us, your friends were there with you through grade school (think roller skates, clip-on bears, and Dittos for you aging ladies like me), middle school (wooden clogs!), high school (Madonna…), and college (finally getting to drink – legally!). Your friendships last from school crushes to divorces. Your friends are your friends, no matter what. No matter how much she hates your significant other, she’ll still be your friend, and she’ll be there to help you put your life back together again when your relationships, finances, or physical health crumbles.

Time with your friends gets more precious as you get older. You get married, you have kids, you move away. But one things remains the same, your friends are there for you. Whether via text, telephone, email, Skype! They’re there. No matter how crappy things are. Women need other women to socialize with – particularly during times of stress. According to the study (seen here ), our brains react to stress differently than our male counterparts. “It seems that when the hormone oxytocin is release as part of the stress responses in a woman, it buffers the fight or flight response and encourages her to tend children and gather with other women instead. When she actually engages in this tending or befriending, studies suggest that more oxytocin is released, which further counters stress and produces a calming effect. This calming response does not occur in men, says Dr. Klein, because testosterone—which men produce in high levels when they’re under stress—seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen, she adds, seems to enhance it.

So, pick up that phone and schedule some time with your friends this weekend. Tell your significant other it’s for your own health. If they don’t like it, have them drop me a line…

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” ~ Aristotle