Falling Upwards

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ch..ch..ch..changes! August 26, 2009

Filed under: infidelity — frannymarie @ 5:13 pm
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This afternoon the BF and I will have our “talk,” when he’s gonna tell me what he decides. Yup… I put the ball, the racquet and everything else, in his court. He gets to decides whether he wants this relationship to continue.

Ok.. so you may think I’m naive or stupid or both. Why should he get to decide when he’s the one who cheated? Well, pretty simple really..

I have already decided. I decided what I can and cannot live with. I have decided on what my guiding principles are.. first and foremost, complete and total honesty. I have always been an honest person, even when it’s to my detriment. I can’t live with lies because, frankly, they’re confusing, and I don’t have the patience to deal with that shit. not very insightful, just… lazy, I guess.

Through this process, so far, I have also come to realize the person that I am. I AM made of a very strong moral fiber, but I am also very open-minded. I CAN be very flexible, but not when it compromises my principles. I believe in truth, equality and the American way, which I think is mostly independent thought. I am one of the nicest, most supportive people you will ever meet. And, though I haven’t gotten there yet with Him, I can be forgiving. But, I am not stupid nor will I stand for anyone abusing me or mine in any way. And, no.. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up yet because I am only now beginning to remember how to dream and aspire and be inspired again.

So, back to the beginning. This afternoon, He will tell me what he has decided: what kind of person he is, what his guiding principles are. And, he will tell me if he thinks what he has decided about himself will mesh with I have decided about myself, and if we can then begin to build a really good life together or if we will now say “good-bye” as significant others and “see ya later” as friends.

Whatever his decision, whatever the outcome, there will be Changes. And, as we all know from reading self-help books, Change is good. I could be gripped by fear right now because change is frightening, or I could be giddy with expectation if I knew there was going to be a positive outcome.

I am neither. I am.. here.. waiting, wondering. at times, scared, at times, hopeful. Until that moment he walks through my door, I will keep telling myself, “Change is Good.”

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lemon tree, oh so pretty… August 23, 2009

… and the lemon flower is sweet”

After 3 or 4 years of hemming and hawing and thinking about it, this summer, I bought a lemon tree to put in a container on my patio. I thought long and hard because I wasn’t sure that a tree could grow in a container and because my patio doesn’t get much sun. I decided I’d thought about it long enough and I’d never know ’til I went ahead and did it. You can read a life lesson from that alone.

But, here’s the story of my lemon tree —
At first, I paid a lot of attention to the tree. The container is on wheels, so I’d move it from sunny spot to sunny spot to make sure it got its 8 hrs of sun a day – or close to it. I watered it daily and even sang my little song to it. The tree budded and flowered like crazy, then many little baby lemons began to grow, even as it continued to flower.

I was ecstatic, envisioning dozens of lemons for my autumn meals. Sadly, many of the little lemons never made it — dying and falling off the tree as fast as they grew in. Was I watering it too much? not enough? Was it getting enough sun or not enough? I didn’t know, and the more attention and care I gave it, the worse it got.

Then, July came around and I found out about the BF’s affair. Well.. I could barely take care of myself and my kid, much less a lemon tree. It was sadly neglected. It stopped flowering, all but three lemons died and dropped off, and the leaves began to turn yellow and drop off, too.

I felt a little guilty, but mostly, I decided that this was not the lemon tree owner I wanted to be, damnit! I was not gonna let this tree die because of either too much attention or too little. So, I bought some plant food (gotta love that MiracleGro!) and watered it to its roots one day and which I now do about weekly, with light waterings in between. I left it alone, no more moving around, and just let it… be.

Gosh darned if the little tree didn’t start sprouting a new set of leaves. I didn’t even notice at first. And, one hardy flower — just one, but as sweet smelling as a dozen would’ve been. The three fruit are still there and growing. There is new life to my little lemon tree — new, vibrant, hardy life.

That lovely, little lemon tree is a nice metaphor for my relationship with my Guy. You see, we have what the books call a “pursue-distance” relationship. The more I tried to get close to him and pay him attention, the more crowded in he felt, so the more he distanced himself away from me. In fact, he distanced to the point that he had an affair and added a “triangled relationship” into ours. And, given that our relationship was also one of “conflict,” having the affair only served to really blow our existing issues out of proportion.

In order to recover from this affair, he and I have been doing a lot of reading. Those terms, above, come from the book Extraordinary Relationships by Roberta M. Gilbert. It was recommended to us by the therapist, even before our first session, and is based on the Bowen theory of family systems.

The BF has read it four times; I’m almost through my second time. With the therapy, I think it’s helped us a lot. And, I do mean… a lot! He and I are now taking steps to detach ourselves from each other (the therapist said that we are hyper-fused) and become more self-actualized — more emotionally responsible (for ourselves) and independent. This is not an easy process and will be years long. Who knows if he and I will still be together. Heck… we haven’t decided if we’re together now. But, we’ve learned that we’ll not make that decision while we (either he or I) are emotional. Those decisions will be based on principles, both his and mine, separately.

I’m learning that I need to take care of myself and not hyper-focus on that lemon tree. Too much attention, and it can’t handle it. But, I do need to feed it enough water and food to grow. And… it definitely needs the space (to be left alone, I mean) to mature. I guess I should say, to be allowed to mature.

The lovely fruit we get from all this is that, no matter what the outcome of our relationship, we will each, as individuals, be happy. And, unlike the song, I think that is one sweet treat!

 

My morning mirror August 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — frannymarie @ 11:12 pm
Tags: , , , ,

This blog’s original purpose was to share my journey with you as I work through and heal from my BF’s infidelity. I’ve told a few close friends about this blog as a way of “breaking the news” to them. It was just easier than saying it out loud or even through IM or email.

I know that the past couple of posts or so are about my fall. I’m still falling (even as I type this) because He and I haven’t talked about our “decision” (his or mine) and we aren’t “scheduled” to do so until tomorrow afternoon.

This morning, though, I did write him a long email telling him what I feel, have decided, I can live with. That, for me, is the first step. And, it’s possible this step leads right off the cliff so I may fall even farther. Whatever happens, no matter how long the climb I’ll then need to take, I know now that I have many friends who are throwing me lifelines.

And, more importantly, I saw a woman in the mirror this morning who is a survivor. I’ll share with you, here, what I wrote about her this morning because, though it may be just one small step up, it is still UP!

“In my morning mirror, I am beautiful. My hair is wild and pouffy. My eyes are big, round and bright. My lips, unopened for the day, are full and pouty. And, there is just a gentle flush on my cheeks from my soft pillow.

In my morning mirror, I see promise of unexpected things to come. I see hope that those things will be good and kind. I see anticipation of the excitement of a new day.

In my morning mirror, the world is new and fresh, and I feel empty and open as I step out of my bathroom to greet the new day and the challenges and wonders it will bring me.”

So, whatever tomorrow’s “appointment” will bring, I now begin my climb.

 

separation anxiety August 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — frannymarie @ 9:53 pm
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Yesterday I was full of resolve. I awoke with a burden lifted, feeling calm and free. Today, I am destroyed… crying for three straight hours, just beside myself with I-don’t-know-what; perhaps sadness, maybe fright, definitely doubt.

I started the day off crying and didn’t stop for three straight hours. A good friend talked me through one of those hours. I love my friends.

Funny thing is, before I told them what had happened and opened myself up to their help, the BF and I mused that I had no good friends. He has several good friends he can talk to, and did before I “found out,” yet my “oldest and dearest” friend pretty much snubbed me when I told her what I was going through and asked for her help. Needless to say, I no longer count her as a dear, close friend.

Well, he and I were both wrong. This morning, I heard from all the wonderful women I told, through IM, email, text and phone calls. They all said, “I am here and I am available if you need me.” I’m tearing up just typing this.

Anyway, I guess it hit me this morning because He was supposed to come in to collect a few things. The anxiety from the thought of seeing him, and what had I done? to change our lives and break up our little family? what have I done? It was too much, overwhelming.

He’s now come and gone. We texted the whole time. He left me a note saying it felt strange but good to be here and that just being here made him less anxious.

I wonder if, some time in the future, he’ll realize that this is his home. That his choices (though he doesn’t know it yet) have lost him his home, and his family. He texted “Your house is cozy.” I wonder if he’ll come to realize that it’s cozy here because his stuff his here, we are here, he has had good memories here and love and laughter here and….
and, when, if he leaves (I still hope), I wonder if he’ll also feel what I feel — separation anxiety.

 

slightly panicked August 13, 2009

Filed under: poem — frannymarie @ 10:45 pm
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I’m slightly panicked.. very anxious.. I’ve had to make some tough decisions in the past day and a half, and well… any decision is a gamble, right? It could be right, or wrong. 50 -50 and, frankly, I’m not a gambling gal.

So, I wrote this the other day, on the 10th… not exactly a poem, just thoughts:

<u>heartbeats</u>

my heart is beating really fast.
I’m waiting
just waiting
for him to call
to text
to …
drop another shoe.

Each new piece of information
feeding my obsession
does little to comfort me.

I feel my heart
stuck in my throat
pounding in my chest
sinking in my stomach.
It’s beating so fast
and I’m waiting
just waiting
for it to stop
to end
to …
turn to dust.

So now, the other shoe dropped. Yesterday he told me he met the gal in NYC. He doesn’t wanna “boink” her even though she’s cute, etc., but they are now better friends than ever.

So, I made a decision.
I decided I respect and love myself too much to allow myself to be with a man who must have his “friends” because, honestly, this is an emotional affair, whatever he wants to call it. If he’s gonna spend his energy getting to know some other woman better, even though he’d never met her before (and so what if she’s a “fan”) rather than try to work things out with me….
and if he’s gonna go ahead and develop that friendship despite the fact I told him how I felt about it, that it was giving me an anxiety attack to think about it and how I don’t like it…
then, he made his choice, and it wasn’t me.

So, now I’ve made the decision I think he was hoping I’d make, because he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

And now I’ve gotta run to take my son to the doctor. Life goes on.

 

lies, lies, lies…. yeah… August 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — frannymarie @ 1:34 pm
Tags: , , , ,

What is a lie? Is it simply an untruth? Must a lie be only words that are said with the intent to mislead? What about what my sister and I call “Catholic lies?” It’s when you allow a person to be misled without having said anything at all. A lie by omission, if you will.

I found out last night that the BF has what he calls a “friend” out in NYC, who he may meet tonight for the first time. He had never told me about this “penpal” before. I told him I thought he is having an emotional affair (yet another affair that I’m gonna spend another week of sleepless nights trying to wrap my head around). He says she’s just a female friend, who he happened to share his thoughts about our relationship with. He says she’s just one of his music fans. I say, if she’s just a fan, shouldn’t your conversation/emails have stopped at music… why would you ever get into discussions about your relationships with other people and how miserable you are in them? And, btw, isn’t that how your affair with the ex-tress started? by comisserating about your relationship difficulties?

See, I guess I’m super old-fashioned that way. All I’ve ever told me friends about him is what a great guy he is, what a wonderful musician he is and a good dad to my kid….they don’t need to know that we have issues we’ve been trying to work out for years. It’s nobody’s business but ours. And, only he and I can work them out, so why bring other people into it?

He didn’t see my point of view. He considers them “friendships” (I don’t know how many of these friendships exist). So, we decided to leave it up to the therapist to decide.

One step forward, two steps back.

But, for each step backwards, my heart breaks more and more. And, I do not know how much stress and heartache it can withstand. You see, my love for him is deep. But, he tells me he’s not sure if he knows what love is. So, I ask him, how can he tell me that he loves me if he doesn’t know the meaning of “Love?”
Can a relationship so one-sided survive?

 

poem 3 August 8, 2009

Filed under: poem — frannymarie @ 5:38 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I mentioned before that I had the BF write me poems, and for each one, I had a response. Well, here’s one that was my “response poem” to his “poem 3.” He only sent me three total.

Anyway, I’m posting this poem tonight because, earlier today, I had a mild anxiety attack. His affair had many repercussions; among them, my self-image is totally wrecked.

I think my self-esteem wasn’t great to begin with, but I never had a problem with how I look. Anyway, so I was trying on clothes today. And, nothing looked good, nothing fit, and I didn’t look good, and …
well, all sorts of thoughts were going through my head.
And, I realized I was having an anxiety attack. I was able to see it and stop myself, but… it’s just sucky that now I have to deal weird anxiety on top of everything else. So, here it is.

poem 3

i’ve wandered the forest
mostly alone
but catching glimpses
of you
between the trees

the knowledge of a fellow traveler
comforts me
your unseen presence
protects me
from the shadows

i see we walk
on separate paths
divergent now
but with the hope
they meet up ahead

sunlight breaks through
the forest trees
some times warming me
some times warming you

i become afraid
as i hear the wolves stalk me
i think i see
the convergence ahead

and with joy i run
to meet you
for we can fight
this battle together

and with horror i come
to the fork in the road
to see your path
has been deserted

no sunshine i find
only shadows creep closer
the forest is still
i’m alone
and i scream