Use Your Voice

The other day Mark and I were talking about something, I don’t even remember what, because the next thing he said was so monumental. What he said was this: Use your voice, girl. Using my voice is the very thing I’ve had trouble with—for my whole life, and my ex-boyfriend capitalized on that. He challenged anything I might say about anything, for example, my belief in organic, non-GMO whole foods. He wanted scientific research for anything I might suggest that he didn’t agree with. When I tell Mark what I think about anything, he responds with something like, “Oh, that’s interesting.” WOW. You mean you’re not going to tell me how wrong I am, or how you believe something different which is the smarter, wiser, “correct” information?

I felt silenced by my ex.

I don’t want this to be about my ex anymore, but it’s hard not to make comparisons. Getting over my ex has been a process, and lately it’s been sinking in just how borderline emotionally abusive he was. He was incapable of loving me, and at the time I couldn’t see it. The actions he took had strings attached.

Use your voice, girl.

That’s what Mark said to me, and it was in relation to something the two of us were talking about, regarding us. It was not about me using my voice with someone else. He wanted me to tell him how I felt.

I was always a dark person. I liked spooky things, loved the color black, enjoyed disturbing stories, devoured psychological thrillers. I loved sad, dark music. Depression hit me in early childhood and it stayed with me until I quit drinking nearly eight years ago. Then some real life stuff happened, but I got help for it and came out on the other side. Then I met Mark.

Mark brings out the lightness in me. For a long time I don’t think I even knew I had any lightness.

A few other amazing things about Mark:

  • Never once has he grabbed any body part as he walked past me, nor has he ever gone on and on about how great my ass is, or any of my other body parts. However, he has told me I’m beautiful and that he loves my body.
  • He loves to do girly things with me. We have spa nights and give each other face masks, we do bath scrubs, etc. It’s fun!
  • He loves pop music, including that terrible song with the line “You don’t know you’re beautiful,” which I translate to mean the singer likes an insecure person, but Mark thinks it means this beautiful person is humble. Regardless, it’s hilarious to listen to Mark sing along to these songs.
  • Did I mention that he respects me and what I have to say? The first time I fought back over something he did, he was glad. He loved
  • He’s had his friends for years, and always makes time for them.
  • He makes time for his family: he goes to his mom’s house once a week, he’s a role model for his nephew, he’s a father figure to his friend’s fatherless daughter. He typed up a list of all of his friends’ and family members’ birthdays and keeps it on his dresser.
  • He really does not like anything dark.

Everything I’ve written about Mark prior to this feels silly when I think about it, especially the sex part. It feels unnecessary to go into detail about it though it has been an eye-opener. And let me tell you ladies, I now know what y’all are talking about. All I can say is that he is amazing and unlike any other guy I’ve ever known in every way. Everyone else seems like such an asshole now, when at the time I thought they were just being guys. I’ll leave it at that.

There are other things about him that I like and dislike, and he’s certainly not perfect, but right now he’s just right for me.

Happy New Year, Peace and Love,

TCH

 

One Day at a Time

Lately I feel like my old self, and I don’t like it. Not my old old self, the one who felt borderline suicidal and drank to drown my feelings, just my regular old self, the one who felt pretty okay most days but not deliriously happy every day like I did when I was taking Prozac. I get that feeling deliriously happy is not natural, but I liked it, gosh darnit.

I’ve been busy even after school let out a couple weeks ago, mostly with my new boyfriend, Mark, who I’ve told y’all about. Our relationship has become more comfortable and familiar, and he’s brought out parts of me that needed to come out, such as the importance of using my voice. He encourages me to speak my mind, and has no problem if I’m unhappy with something, even if that includes something about him or our relationship. It’s so refreshing.

And he’s the only guy I’ve ever met who I feel would be a great dad. The only one. Honestly.

The idea of having kids terrifies me. I’m almost 42 years old. I’ve been tired my whole life—at least until I discovered Rebbl coffee reishi drinks which are AMAZING btw and have NO sugar (you have to get the reishi one). And the thought of having even one kid exhausts me. But do I really want to miss out on that huge part of life? And honestly y’all, the thought of any change in my life terrifies me—especially this upcoming career change.

Right now I won’t go into the details about it all because I’d just be feeding the wolf that wants to spiral out of control down a path of an unknown future that probably won’t even happen. It’s just hard not to project into the future and want to know how this is all going to play out. But I will say this: for me it’s hard to imagine having both a kid and a husband. When I was a kid I imagined a future as a single woman living as a writer in NYC. Now that I’m older and prefer the—well, the suburbs really—I’ve imagined my future with a partner, hopefully a husband but a live-in boyfriend would probably be okay as long as I had faith that he’d stay with me. My fear of abandonment gets triggered easily, and my heart hurts to imagine the reality that there are no guarantees, even if you’re married… Anyway, I’ve also imagined a future in which I have one kid and live as a single parent. And I’ve imagined a future in which I focus on my career—but let’s be real, I’m not that ambitious, so really what I mean is, I imagine a future in which I’m single and focus my free time on me time doing whatever the hell I want with my life (which in reality would be me looking for a boyfriend).

Because the thing is, I don’t know how anyone does it. I honestly do not know how anyone does anything. Personally, I’m juggling a full time job, part time graduate school, a relationship, a social life (which has dwindled down to one or two nights a week), not going to the gym ever lately, and AA (which these days is about one or two meetings a week), and one night a week of going to meditation. How the hell do other people go to AA meetings every night? How do people have children? Actual careers? And what about those people who do all of those things: a job, a spouse, children, and for some, AA. And how do those people keep their house clean?

So I’m doing what I have learned to do, from AA actually, which is to put my faith in a higher power and take it one day at a time. What is it I want to do today? Today I want to see my boyfriend and take care of him because he has a cold. I don’t know if that means I’ll be doing the same thing 10 or 20 years from now, or if I’ll be doing the same for my own child 5 years from now, or if I’ll just get a cat.

I’m off to work. My room is a mess. Maybe it will get cleaned tomorrow, maybe not.

Peace, Love, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, Etc.

TCH