self analysis

I am…

an empath

a sexual assault survivor

a victim of severe emotional and mental abuse

anxious

supremely sensitive

living in chronic pain

a person with PTSD

a Taurus

an introvert

melancholic

clinically depressed

a being whose seems to love alcoholics

bat shit crazy

me

For so much time, I have tried to understand Me by putting myself into one of these boxes – I’ve attempted to explain myself to partners, friends, co-workers, children, by using one of these labels.

The problem is, I fit into all of the above categories and quite a few more that I haven’t listed.

And I realize that it doesn’t matter. I am all of the above and none of the above.

What I am is a person who is incredibly sensitive to energetic vibes; I feel a shift in the air. Someone else’s subtle change can hit me like a ton of bricks.

It’s what makes me the ear, the shoulder, the rock.

It’s also what makes me feel sorrow so much of the time.

I have years of heartbreak under my belt. I have been to hell and back more times than I can count. Enough so that I am way more able to roll with the punches.

At least certain ones. The big ones.

My father dies the same day that my uterus falls out.

Just another day in the life.

A global pandemic?

Yeah, whatever.

Unemployment?

I’ve been in this boat for the last year.

It’s old hat by now.

It’s the little things that unravel me.

A weird look. A short response. A change from “normal.”

A cross word can fuck up my entire day.

A bruise on my leg.

A lack of acknowledgment.

An unfair accusation will flatten me for days, months, years.

Being misunderstood.

Being accused of selfish motives.

Fucking up something small and relatively insignificant will completely derail me.

Asking for help and not getting it right away makes me feel like a burden.

Put me near a drunk person and I am in a total panic. Hypervigilant.

Don’t ever say to me “I need to talk to you about something…later.”

I will fester, perseverate, obsess, freak out.

“What have I done wrong?”

Am. I. In Trouble???????????

The slightest hint of dishonesty sends me running for the hills.

And so on, and so on, and so on…

I need to retreat. I need to escape.

I swirl into dark dismal places where all of the past hurts, all of the pain, the abuse, the confusion, the inability to trust my own instincts, and fear, all spin in my brain. My heart cracks open, again.

I feel sorry for myself sometimes. Not in a pitiful way, more in a “Fuck me, it’s been a long haul” kind of way.

I question if I will ever be able to have friendships, and relationships, where I trust. Where I don’t feel like an outsider or a burden, or a fuck-up.

There was an episode of Weeds, the tv show, where a drug cartel leader had his goonies take a palm sander to a snitch’s face.

Yeah, totally gross.

But I so often feel like someone has used that palm sander on my entire body, inside and out. My nerves, my psyche, and my soul feel so utterly, irreparably raw and exposed and damaged.

I feel scraped and frayed.

I grieve. I feel such deep sorrow.

I feel hopeless. Alone.

Afraid of my own feelings. My damage.

I am sad. I am angry. I’m frustrated, confused, and floundering.

And when I get here, I begin to cry. And sometimes I don’t stop for days.

Because I am a person whose feelings come out of her eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My daily disclaimer:

I am new to this and will probably unintentionally say the wrong thing and offend or piss someone off, so I apologize in advance

Today’s issue:

Addressing racism (Covid-19, masks, immigration, LGBTQ, poverty, education, etc., etc., etc.) in a small community.

Since the world imploded, everyone has an opinion. And everyone seems to be airing those opinions publically. Then everyone else feels the need to comment/discuss/criticize, also publically. Anger flares. People are offended. Friendships ended.

“I am more community-minded than you.”

“I am less racist than you.”

“I’m more ‘woke’ than you.”

More.

Less.

Comparisons that divide rather than unite.

It’s all over social media. Everyone’s doing it. But it’s a whole different ball game when those comparisons and judgments are, at least in part, based on already-established biases based on previous personal interactions with the individuals who are speaking.

I know that I am guilty of it. I was in full force judgment mode last night.

A community member posted something recently that I happened to think was ridiculous, but she didn’t. As is her right.

The reactions were firey, critical, and personal.

I kept my mouth shut, mostly because it seemed like the rest of the community had enough to say without me adding my two cents.

If someone I didn’t know had created the post (which, by the way, I had seen before, so someone I don’t know did put it out there first) I would have scrolled right past, dismissing it as worthless, (which is what I did the first time I saw it.)

But, because I knew the post-er, I read the entire thing and each and every comment.

And I judged. I thought, “Really? You? Come on – I expected more.”

But still, trying to avoid adding to the shitstorm, I kept my mouth shut.

In a small town, there is no way to take a person at face value, to hear what they have to say on really, any issue, without incorporating what we already know or think we know about that person.

Well, you send your child to a different school than I do so I can’t agree with you on anything regarding education.

I’ve seen you be brutally selfish and self-serving so how can I believe that you are thinking about anyone’s best interests other than your own.

I saw you in the grocery store without a mask so don’t talk to me about being a caring community member.

Etc.

It can’t be avoided in a town this size.

We have opinions of each other, good or bad, right or wrong, that will color our perception of anything coming out of a person’s mouth to the point of detriment.

How can I listen to what someone has to say when I’m too busy thinking, “You are the most egotistical human being I’ve ever known so you can’t possibly care about this issue as much as I do, and therefore I won’t take seriously anything that you say”?

And suddenly some stupid shit on your wall is that much more laughable.

Or offensive.

And conversely, I like what you said at the School Board meeting last month so I am going to blindly agree with your recent post about Black Lives Matter.

I saw you at the hardware store without your mask so obviously, you’re a bigot.

It’s fucking mayhem out there.

These conversations quickly become chaotic. A discussion about whether or not the CDC has been upfront with the world about Covid-19, leaps from accusations of fascism into “White people should just listen to indigenous people.”

It’s all over the map. Everything is connected; race is, unfortunately, an underlying piece of every issue we address. The coronavirus overshadows all aspects of daily life. I get that it’s hard to keep things separated because it is all intertwined, but I also think that it is easier to mix it all up and make a conversation a muddled mess when we know each other.

We are talking about taking our biases out of The Conversation. The Conversation itself is about removing biases – biases about race or religion or sexual orientation – but that is really challenging when it’s your neighbor against (or with) whom you have a personal preconceived notion.

I know that I am more prone to jump on or off a bandwagon based on my prior interactions with the bandwagon driver.

I’m fired up about members of my community who I “used to respect.” There are certain people who I avoid at the post office or coffee shop because I can’t agree with their stance on masks.

In some ways maybe it’s a good thing – neighbors calling out neighbors on their bullshit.

But on the other hand, are we allowing issues to become more personal and more offensive, based on who is addressing those issues?

Is familiarity breeding contempt?

 

 

I am an ignorant white girl

I am white. I was raised in a very white, very comfortable, privileged world. I knew no people of color until I went to my elite private school – and even there, there were a limited few of my classmates who weren’t raised in the same white world as I.

My mother is from the South. My father’s mother told me not to sit “next to the darkies” on the bus in New York City.

At some point in my life I began to see the world outside of my insulated one, realizing that it is very bigoted and hateful. I became aware that I didn’t want to be part of the problem.

With all that is happening in our country with racism and cruelty and violence and hatred, I understand that I am still a part of the problem.

But my heart is in the right place.

I want to learn more, understand more, change my role in perpetuating this plague.

I don’t want to be shamed. Shaming others does not solve the problem(s).

I hesitate to write because while I don’t know much about being a person of color, I know enough to be aware that my words may offend someone.

Unintentionally.

My heart is in the right place.

So I am going to take a chance here and address something that I’m seeing that feels, to me, pretty fucking racist.

If I offend, piss off, or hurt someone with my words, if whatever I say reeks of entitlement, I apologize. I am a white gal trying to understand.

My heart is in the right place.

If I don’t bring this up, if I don’t try to understand, then I continue to be a part of the problem, so I will risk sounding like an idiot so that maybe next time, I don’t.

What is currently bothering me at the moment feels like an undercurrent of superiority, judgment, and white shaming…

by white people.

I want to learn. I want to be educated. I want to be a part of the solution.

I don’t want to be shamed.

I especially don’t want to be shamed by white folks doing something that I see as “reverse racism.”

Maybe I just coined a new term, but I doubt it.

There are people out there, white ones, being quite vocal on the issues of race; folks who, because they have a connection with a BIPoC, act superior, more “woke.”

Dumbest fucking word in today’s lexicon.

Maybe some are more loved, knowledgable and compassionate, but I am also seeing, feeling, hearing words and actions of superiority that bleed over into what I perceive as cultural appropriation.

If you are white, you are white. Period. And no matter where your heart is, you are not a person of color. No matter who your neighbors are, your partner is, your child’s best friend is, it doesn’t exchange your skin color.

Preaching, speaking out, damning, criticizing, judging…all of it…it often seems to communicate the mis-guided and wrong message of “I was white, but now I’m not anymore.”

Seems pretty damn racist.

And hypocritical.

We must speak out. We must act. We must do everything in our power to bring awareness to and then eradicate this hateful treatment of others.

Is there a way to do this without acting better than, more evolved? Without taking on another’s culture as our own? Without disdain for that white person who married another white person and maybe even gave birth to white kids; a person who fell in love with another’s soul, not their skin color?

Currently in my family – my children, their partners, their roommates – two white boys, a blond-haired blue eyed Mormon gal, an African-American girl, and three Mexicans, one of whom is a DACA kid.

Does this make me “not white”?

Certainly not – it actually makes me feel even more ignorant in understanding the ways in which these members of my family have experienced life.

I am thankful that my family is more diverse than the entire county in which I was raised. I am proud of my children for not letting race differences determine who they love.

The reality is, I love my family – each and every one of them.

But, I am not more evolved, less ignorant, or simply better than because we have a wide-ish range of skin color under my roof. And I am fully aware that I am not black, I am not an undocumented worker from south of the border, I am not a foster kid desperate to connect with his Mexican heritage.

Can you imagine if I tried to “get my Mexican on,” like my son does? I’d be ridiculous. Learning to make my own tamales does not change my upbringing. And having a brown child does not make me brown.

It makes me a white mother who really needs to educate herself.

I am rambling here. I am trying to speak in generalizations (somewhat) so as not to point fingers.

Not to shame.

But I see a level of self-righteousness that offends me because I feel that the idolization of one culture over another, even if it’s a historically oppressed culture, is the SAME FUCKING PROBLEM.

Especially when it has a hint (or more) of cultural appropriation because it’s coming from the WASP’s among us.

(WASP – White Anglo Saxon Protestant.)

It feels like a lack of honest humility and oozes self-importance.

Teach me. I want to learn.

Show me how to help.

Explain to me what I am doing to perpetuate the problem.

Share with me your experiences. I want to hear.

I want to see change.

In the era of systemic racism that has been going on in our country for generations, I am a relative newcomer to understanding the depth and danger of our system.

I have a long way to go.

But, my heart is in the right place.

hurting hearts

A boy from our community took his own life.

He was a teenager, still in high school, with his entire life about to open up for him, and he chose to make it stop.

I’ve never had a conversation with this boy (not from a lack of trying) but I feel as if I knew him.

See, we lived in the same neighborhood, our tiny little mismatched subdivision of cabins and fancy homes. 3 roads in one direction, two in the other; a square with a line through the center, each side about a quarter of a mile long.

I had a deck. This boy had a bike. I sat on my deck and watched this boy ride laps around the neighborhood, around and around, again and again, often for hours. It was so constant that he became part of the backdrop of my world.

I had the neighbor who growls at his dog in his weird aggressive way. And, the Atmos guy who comes home on time for dinner with his family each evening – his truck signaling to me that it was time for my evening meal.

The hundreds of little unidentified birds that crowd the powerlines to watch the sunset. The woman who walks with her umbrella and phone, loudly sharing her conversation with anyone wanting to eavesdrop.

When you camp out on the deck like I did for so many years, you get to know the neighbors by observation. And if you observe closely, you learn a lot.

This boy had something sad about him. Something dark. His monotonous peddling made it obvious that he was trying to work something out in that head and heart of his. I’ve done that; the miles that I have walked in attempts to find some peace would take me all the way back to New Jersey.

I often wondered if I could be friends with him, at least connect with him, break through the shell. I like teenagers, especially the brooding ones. I wasn’t necessarily a brooder, but dark thoughts accompanied me everywhere when I was his age.

I said hi to him whenever I saw him at the mailboxes. He grunted in response, never looking me in the eye. I was determined to get a smile from him.

My friends with whom I shared deck dates knew him, had watched him, wondered about him. My dear friend R and I regularly speculated what the boy’s life must be like – never knowing if we even came close.

My sense was that this boy was loved. That someone’s heart has broken, irreparably, over his senseless death.

I want to call R, to tell him the sad news, but R too is gone. He died last year. The fact that I can’t tell him makes this death that much more poignant.

I had so hoped for some relief for this child. I thought that one of these days I would see him smile, maybe even get a “hello” out of him.

I was unaware of the boy’s name until yesterday when I called my son to ask if I knew him. My son said, “Not to sound insensitive, but it’s not that much of a surprise.” Then he added, “He’s the kid who rode around your neighborhood.”

And as much as I hated to admit it, he was right. This child was lost.

There was a time in our home when one of my children was so angry, so miserable, so unhappy, that I worried about him attempting to end it all. I constantly reminded him that suicide is not an option, that there is always, always, a way out – a way short of death.

I prayed that he heard me.

My child turned to drinking and drugs which led to near death, but he is still alive, the self-destruction seems to be a thing of the past. Most of all, he’s happy.

I am so eternally grateful that I can still wrap my arms around him, get into arguments with him, I can still worry about him like any mom wants to do.

My soul aches for this neighbor boy, for his family, for our community. A child should never feel that there is no other way out than to take his own life.

How could we have possibly let this one slip through the cracks?

 

 

I didn’t want to have to do this but…

You know what?

I am pissed.

And now I’m going to rant.

Two Facebook groups were started on the same day – in the early days of the virus – ostensibly to provide information and support for our community members during this time of sickness and fear and mixed messages coming down from the top.

In one group, seemingly comprised primarily of Christian Conservatives, a post about exercising our constitutional rights by not wearing masks prompted one group member to state that she felt safer sporting face covering and she wished that everyone would wear one.

She was verbally bludgeoned.

The group administrator got really ugly and several others followed suit.

It prompted me to leave the group, with a statement on the page about why. I said, “I am leaving because I wanted to be a part of a group that is helping our community.”

I followed with, “Getting ugly and judgmental isn’t helping anyone in our County.”

I was taunted, called names, and told “good riddance.”

I was holding out hope for the other group to be a little bit more open-minded and compassionate and NEUTRAL.

Well, that went right out the window this morning.

“Asshole”

“Troll”

“Dumbass. Moron. Idiot.”

“Go home to your shithole state.”

“Panty waist liberals have no place here”

what the fuck people?????????

I want one person, one, to tell me what good could possibly come out of any of the above comments. How is this possibly helping our old, our sick, our babies, our HEALTHCARE WORKERS?

Sure, I wear a mask to protect myself. I’m selfish that way.

But more importantly, I wear a mask for you.

My son is asthmatic. He has the potential to run into serious trouble if he catches this virus.

I wear a mask for him.

Another friend, who I like to visit, has cancer. I panic at the thought of infecting her unknowingly.

I wear a mask for her.

My mother is 81, lives alone, is freshly widowed and thanks to a bout with lung cancer has only half of one lung.

I hope that every single person in her town wears a fucking mask because I don’t want my mother to die. Alone. Due to someone else’s need to “not be controlled.”

I wear a mask for everyone’s mother.

TAM and I are quarantining together – we are exposing each other to everything that we encounter. He has children. It’s my responsibility to protect him.

I wear a mask for him. For his children.

I wear a mask for the gal at the market who goes home to a very compromised husband. She has to change her clothes in the garage before she can even enter her own home after a day at work.

I wear a mask for my co-workers who are doing their very best to safely provide food and support for so many who are dependent on this little grocery store. While I have been safely isolated, they are dealing with the public 7 days a week, so that you can eat.

I wear a mask for the pregnant woman who is already terrified of bringing her unborn baby into this upside-down toxic world.

You get the picture.

The picture of me with a mask on my face.

I know that no matter what I say, or anyone else says, that plenty of people give we “fearful and paranoid victims of fake news and conspiracies” the middle finger.

Sure, sometimes I wonder if it is all blown out of proportion. But then I think, “Who am I to say?”

Not a doctor. Not a scientist.

Not a constitutionalist either.

So I am clearly in no position to make this call.

99% of us are in no position to make this call.

Really, anyone who is questioning the veracity of the science, who is neither a scientist nor a medical doctor, is out of their fucking minds.

Seriously, think about it, all of us who barely passed Biology 101, are trying to out-science the scientists.

This is not about your constitutional rights. This is about the health and well being of not only your own community but…

The entire planet.

Can you grasp that?

The health of both the earth itself and every single human being alive is in your hands. Do you get that?

WE can make a difference in what happens to people just like us, mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, nurses, factory workers, teachers.

This is not about “being an American,” this is about being a global citizen.

One of the comments on this morning’s news feed asked about the “ethnicity” of those infected and dying?

The ETHNICITY?

Now we are making this a racism issue. So we don’t care about the Chinese (well they started this so why should we be concerned there?) or the Italians (pronounced eye-talian in this bigoted conversation). Does it matter what the brown people in Africa are experiencing?

And no question, in this border town right on the edge of the Navajo Nation, that a mention of ethnicity is pointed directly at our suffering neighbors who have been hit harder than anywhere else in our four corners.

I had someone tell me in the grocery store that she wishes “they” wouldn’t come here to shop – so that she can go mask-free.

Maybe we could have brown people hours and white people hours.

Makes me want to move to Shiprock.

I want to hurl. I am so angry.

And so disappointed in my community.

This is a community of people who pride themselves on being good neighbors and helping each other in times of need. Not wearing masks probably isn’t helping.

Chance are, wearing one is helping. At least there’s a chance of it being beneficial to self and others, while we know for certain that no face protection helps no one.

Sure, they’re uncomfortable. And annoying.

But if I choose to wear one, that’s my choice. Just like some folks are making the choice to not wear one (based on the constitution and personal preference, not on the scientific information that we all have access to.)

Don’t fucking ride my ass if I err on the side of caution

I want to walk away from this global pandemic knowing that I did everything I could to keep safe my children, my mother, my sick friends, someone else’s grandmother or husband or child. If I needlessly wear a mask for a while, so be it.

It’s none of your business. I am not hurting you. I am not violating your constitutional rights. I am not going to get you sick, that’s for sure.

The maskless can’t say the same thing about not affecting me.

So, if you are making the decision to put me, the compromised husband, a newborn baby, a nurse or grocery store employee, at risk, go ahead and do that.

If your conscience allows.

But do not give me shit about it.

It has taken everything in me to not respond to each and every cruel and immature comment that I have seen on Facebook (including some of those whose words are coming through layers of folded cloth and coffee filters.) But I refuse to get involved in debates with people behaving poorly in inappropriate forums.

I know that trying to convince anyone on either side of the debate is fruitless at this point. Not my purpose here, although it would be nice if my ranting gives at least one bare-faced community member pause for thought. I’m stating my opinion, but I am not holding out hope that I’m going to change anyone’s mind.

My point is this:

Shut. The Fuck. up.

Don’t be ugly.

Be kind.

If you want to be catty and condescending and critical and cruel, go ahead. But I certainly don’t want to hear it.

Do they make masks that cover the ears?

 

 

Residual Pain

There are a few times in my life over which I still carry much grief.

Some events I’ve moved on from, and some, I can’t seem to shake completely.

Things that haunt me. Things that no longer make me feel like I’ve been punched in the gut but hit a tender spot for sure.

I look at the ones from which I can’t unstick and follow the common thread – thinking that if I can figure out why I can’t let go, then maybe I will be able to.

The ones that still won’t heal are the ones in which there was a loss of trust.

Betrayal. A lack of integrity. And misunderstanding of who I am as a person.

I still feel wronged by something I got in trouble for when I was 17.  I don’t even remember what the punishment was but I was innocent of the crime and I still want to say to my mom, “That was unjust. I didn’t deserve that.”

Unjust. That’s another piece of the pieces that I grieve.

Around these incidents, time periods, in each situation, I have felt as if I’m being treated unjustly.

As if my side of the story wasn’t heard, or that it even mattered.

And the result of a couple of these incidences involved loss of community.

And a lack of accountability.

I hate being the victim. It is a very unbecoming trait.

And yet, there are times when I do feel like I deserved better. Does admitting that make me a victim?

The loss of friends has been brutal. The loss of trust even more so.

There two of these pivotal moments in time that have been sort of in my face recently and I woke up this morning feeling sad. I wrote for a while, trying to sift through the layers down to what it is that I need to let go of, what I need to be able to do that, and what, ultimately, do I want as the end result.

I read this thing this morning about regret. Basically, it said that having true, honest regrets is a good thing, a healing thing, a way to move forward and basically, do things differently in your life.

I have regrets, for sure. Amongst other moments in time, I regret that I couldn’t manage to handle these situations better.

I wish that my emotions didn’t run amok when I feel misunderstood.

Being treated unkindly, disrespectfully, and not having a voice…those things cause me to raise my voice.

And those are the same damn things that still cause me to fester.

The biggest thing is that I really don’t know how to interact with certain folks.

There’s a desire to let bygones be bygones, to fall back into ease and comfort and laughter.

Move forward, put the past behind, hang out and just enjoy each other’s company like we used to.

But it’s not possible. You can’t go back to what was because it’s not what was anymore, it’s what is.

And what is feels all kinds of cattywampus.

In other words, I am missing the friendships that I thought we had before I understood what kinds of friendships they actually were.

They were fun, relationships, not bad ones, which is why I really miss them, but they weren’t what I thought, at least not at the level of what I desire in a true friendship.

I have forgiven. I think.

But forgiving doesn’t mean that there is no more sadness or pissiness. It doesn’t mean that all personal interaction from this point forward is jovial and warm.

And, according to Desmond Tutu, forgiving doesn’t mean that you have to have a relationship with the other person.

So forgiveness, yes.

Friendships?

I just don’t know.

It’s awkward.

 

 

 

 

Love

Love a place. Love a friend. Love a child. Love a woman. Love a man.

I love a man.

So very much.

Sometimes I stop and pause and just allow warm gushy feelings to wash over me. I feel it from my scalp all the way down to my pinky toenails.

He is wonderful: kind, caring, nurturing, witty, smartsmartsmart, playful, supportive, and oh so sexy.

Lucky me.

It has (and continues to be) so healing for my delicate wounded heart. I say wounded because my heart, though it has been broken into little bits and has felt delicate, isn’t fragile. My heart is strong, I have the heart of a warrior.

I love fiercely.

Because of the past pain, past experiences, I did not fall into this with reckless abandon. Apparently, he didn’t notice any hesitation on my part – probably because I jumped into bed with him on date #2 and still haven’t crawled out of said bed.

But oh how I did panic behind the scenes. My gals at work can tell you.

I freaked out. I liked this man and he said that he liked me too.

But I’d heard that before. And it didn’t mean all that much.

So when this man, who, one evening, was hanging from the rafters stretching his back, said the word “girlfriend” and looked over at me wondering what I thought, I said “yes,” but inside I thought, “Yeah, we’ll see where this goes – if anywhere.”

Now don’t get me wrong…my reservations, my skepticism had absolutely nothing to do with him – I want to make it clear that all of the turmoil and uncertainty was all in my head; it was due to my past, not anything that this man had done to cause question.

It was me that didn’t trust him because I couldn’t trust at all.

One friend said to me, “I wouldn’t fucking trust anyone after what you’ve been through.”

In the very beginning, if I didn’t hear from him one day, I would start the mental spin out and end up hyperventilating in my kitchen, pursuing the idea of breaking up with him.

I felt that I just couldn’t handle it. I’m not ready. I’m not strong enough.

I can’t possibly go through another heartbreak like the one from which I had just emerged – totally scathed.

So it seemed easier to run than risk that again.

My gals would talk me down, or up, off the floor, as the case often was.

And I would gather the courage for one more date. One more adventure with this glorious, generous, gregarious, all-around great guy. And it would be fun and I would feel so content and fall for him just a little more each time.

And then the freakouts at work, or sitting on my deck with my friends, would double in intensity.

But I didn’t want him to see my crazy because that would, for sure, scare him off and send him running for the hills.

And I knew enough to know that I didn’t want that to happen.

So, for this man, I played it as cool as I possibly could. I only periodically let on that I had “some concerns”. But I kept moving forward because I really liked him and wanted to believe that he was as good as he seemed to be.

And he is and I am so happy that I didn’t run away.

Even happier that he didn’t run away.

It hasn’t been an easy time. US, the two of us together, our relationship – that’s been easy. Our lives, the challenges put to our foundling relationship – overwhelming.

Bruised hearts, children, health issues, money, surgery, (which meant no sex for an extended period of time at that point in a relationship where we were supposed to be having sex ALL OF THE TIME), work, irrigating (which, if you are a farmer or rancher, you understand that irrigation season does not leave time for a relationship, or a life of any kind really.)

Our relationship has been put to the test multiple times – things that could have proven to be too much under any circumstances, much less a brand new romance.

And we pulled through – I think, with flying colors.

We just celebrated a year together – and then he left town for a tropical paradise with his children. I miss him terribly, but not in an angsty, what’s he doing without me, will he call me when he gets back, sort of way.

I miss him in an I can’t wait to hold him sort of way.

I miss him in an I’m a lucky girl sort of way.

And I am lucky.

And so grateful for the friends who scraped me off the floor and encouraged me to keep trusting that he is who he says he is.

I am grateful for him – his kindness, patience, love.

His integrity.

But most of all I am grateful for this strong and loving heart of mine that has been resilient enough to try this, to open up to one more possibility…

this heart that allows me to fiercely love this man in the way that we both deserve.

PS: and now, from this point forward, he will be referred to as TAM (this amazing man)