Saturday, January 28, 2012

Oh Yeah, I Chose It.

I have spent a great deal of time pondering many of your comments on my previous post. Thank you very much for all of that great insight. Chris, over at a Deliberate Life, said something that really hit me between the eyes. Truth does that to you sometimes. She addressed my friend becoming a victim. You see, I feared that was where she was headed and was trying to save her. It didn't occur to me that she was already there. That was the first "aha" moment. The second was when I realized that we choose it. Every person who is a victim chooses it at some point. If you don't believe me, read this post. I wrote it. It is an early one. It is my damage. It was tough to write.

I am now going to operate under the assumption that you read it, processed it, and are back with me. I talk about losing my voice in that post. Owning my damage. Sometimes it takes a while to see the extent of the damage. That day I chose to be a victim. I would never have believed that had you asked me that was the choice I was making. However, that was the choice I was making. I let the fear win that day. And the first time the fear wins, it kicks your butt every day after. It rules you. You are its bitch. You are a victim. Let's not dress it up and make it pretty.

I did not like being a victim. My spirit did not embrace this role willingly at all. It literally made me sick. It did everything it could think of to make me choose differently. Had it not been for two little kids that I felt desperately needed me, I would have walked away and not looked back. Eventually, I had to pretty much do that anyway.

However, before I got it, I met yet another Victimizer and went round again. For regular readers of this blog, I have called him Flash. When you are still caught up in the Victim Role, someone will step in to play Victimizer. That is just how it works folks. It is all about learning the lesson. Until you learn to stop being the Victim, there will be a Victimizer. Period. And we did the dance until I was sick to death of it. I had to get out. I didn't know how so I called upon someone smarter than myself and asked for help. And that person told me how to deal with people like these people.

In the process, I learned the lesson that held me in these relationships in the first place: My needs are just as important as yours. I can't allow you superimpose your needs onto mine. That isn't love. And if you are trying to do that, I have to look out for myself and be responsible for my needs and break away from you. Period.

Now, why it took two teachers and five years to learn that one.... I don't know.

Do you see how that revolves around honesty? And speaking out for yourself? Speaking your truth is hard. However, I think people respect people who speak their truth. And love and respect can't flourish without the other.

As for my friend, I now get what she is facing. I lived in an untenable situation for years that drove my friends and family insane for years. They couldn't get me to leave. Of course, I wouldn't leave because I couldn't take the children because they legally weren't mine, and I desperately needed to save them. Her situation is different. However, when you are being brainwashed, and or guilted, by a master your judgment is lousy. I have compassion for this horror because I have lived this nightmare.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Honestly, I wish one of you could smack me. As in Literally. Smack. Me.

Some people never learn. I think I just might be one of those people. Seriously. A dumbass. There really are times that you should keep your opinion to yourself even when it seems like someone wants your opinion. They don't. It only appears that they do. But, they don't. They really don't. Even what you give to them is basically a rehash of what they just said to you. Even if you are affirming what they said... they do not want that. All of the signs point to them wanting that, but they don't.

And I should know this. Because the territory that we are in is marital territory. Worse yet, it is rocky marital territory. And when the signs point to the husband being a real jerk to your friend (even if he is a sick jerk, which only makes it worse, for the record) you should keep your opinions to yourself. Even if those opinions sound supportive, it turns out they are not. Because sick husband has lots of pull and is trying to manipulate friend into life altering decisions. And those decisions are clearly not good for your friend, so you say so.

Bad idea.

Why? Because friend is angry at sick husband, but feels guilty about being angry at sick husband. However, once she thinks about what you have said, she can transfer all of that anger onto you. Even though the only things that you said were repeats, for the most part, of what she said. To be fair, I did come up with a possibly crazy idea that husband might have had that made him look very bad and was completely loco. However, husband is acting loco.

The other thing is that my friend is the nicest person I know. As in 100 times nicer than I am. And I got run over by a master manipulator. Her husband has her tied up in knots. Sounds like he is already doing some manipulating of his own. I know what it is like to get taken down. I just didn't want to see it happen to her. And in the process of trying to protect her... well, I think we really aren't talking anymore.

I sent her an apology email a month ago and told her that I just wanted to support her no matter what. Nothing.

I sent her an email this morning... long and detailed about the death of my aunt. She sent me back one sentence telling me that she was sorry and another that she was praying for me and my mother. Then she said that things were better at her house and included a sentence about her kids. Four sentences. My grief totaled four sentences for her. One I'm sorry. One pray for you and mom. And two more to let me know that her family was carrying on good as new.

I am losing my faith in people. I used to hold that Anne Frank quote close to the chest for dear life, "I still believe that people are good at heart." I am no longer convinced. I feel a lot more like Greg House on House, MD. "Everyone lies." He is a big believer in disappointment. You expect people to lie, cheat, etc. then you will not be disappointed. It is only when you raise the bar and have expectations that you flounder around in disappointment like jelly in a jar.

I am sitting here thinking about how to end this blog and wishing that I had the other point of view, her point of view, to close with, in order to give this all meaning. I pushed all of her concerns back at her so hard because they were valid and she needed to stand up for herself. Instead, she got so angry that she couldn't even stand up to ME. We have been best friends since the seventh grade. She met this man three years ago and got married after knowing him only a couple of months. If she can't stand up to me, who will love her forever and always, no matter what she says, how can she stand up to someone who she feels has no respect for her (her words)?

And why am I the person she is no longer speaking to and things are peachy with him?

image found on someone's facebook page.... hilarious. subject matter of this blog not at all funny.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

If You Mean It, Say It.

This is going to be a quick one. For those of you who want the uplifting post, check out my last one... HERE'S TO YOU MONDAY. It was my old-style HERE'S TO YOU post with dedications. For those of you just wanting the dirt, well there isn't much to tell except the update on my aunt.

She passed away yesterday at 11am. It was a relief. Her organs were shutting down. She was no longer responsive. She had stopped drinking fluids several days before. Her temperature was spiking and she was feverish because her body could no longer control it. The doctors gave her liquid stuff at first and then suppositories, but the latter were painful for her, due to the bone cancer. However, when she stopped being able to swallow there was no other choice.

I knew that she was going when she came to me in a dream the night before and we said our good-byes. I was pretty deeply asleep and don't recall much of the specifics. I do know that she helped work out some of my issues that I was carrying around about my father's death (still). Amazing how we drag that baggage around. I was finally able to let that go and it was a relief. It also gave me some much-needed perspective about what was going on here. There was this part of me that was feeling very left out that I kept missing out on my personal good-bye with her no matter how much time I spent at the hospital. And I was mad about it. It expressed itself as frustration and disappointment, but I was mad.

The times that I did see her she she didn't know me. And that hurt. Every time I felt close to getting my shot at good-bye she didn't know who I was. Everyone else in the family had this big closure and I was walking around feeling extremely left out. You see, we do need closure. As human beings, we crave it. That is the only consolation to a death like this is the getting the chance to say the unsaid things. But I wasn't getting to say them because she never knew who I was. And I was pissed. Other people who hadn't lived here for twenty years and spent near as much time with her had gotten what I missed.

Life just isn't fair. How many times did my dad say that to me when I was a kid? Well, if I a had a nickel I would be a rich woman.

After I had that dream, it all stopped mattering. Life isn't fair. But her spirit knew who she missed her good-byes with and she was making the rounds. I wasn't left out.

Isn't that what we fear the most? Being left out. Not important enough for that last good-bye. You see, I am lucky. I am blessed. God has given me this gift that I remember my dreams. I know who from the Other Side (or almost Other Side) comes to visit me and I remember. And maybe she knew that. Or not. But, I wasn't unimportant. And we had this amazing conversation that I can't quite recall, but I remember enough of to make this huge difference in my life.

Just like all of the conversations with my dad after he has passed have made this huge difference in my life.

My aunt has told me hundreds of times that she loves me. Every single one of those times was just as important as that last time. Yet, it is the last time we remember because it is the LAST time. The lesson here is that we need to start saying it more if we mean it. You never know when the last time will be the last time. Every time is important. Not everyone remembers when their dead relatives visit them in their dreams to give them that closure that they desperately need. So, if they EVER said it and truly meant it, then it counts. You made a difference. You were loved.

image found at

Monday, January 16, 2012


SURPRISE. This is the Thursday post that I referred to over a week ago. Things are still chaos here, but I really need to let off some steam. So, this just felt like a good idea.

If you are wondering what I am blathering on about, let me catch you up to speed. Drum roll please. I present to you HERE'S TO YOU MONDAY. With love.

Here is what is going down: this is a weekly event. (It used to be a weekly event. And I hope it will be a weekly event again soon:-) The best (or worst) part is that I am not going to explain why I chose "whatever" footage for each of you. If, you watch your footage and are scratching your head at the end, well that means I didn't do a very good job. However, all is not lost. You can email me at and ask me what I was thinking when I chose that particular piece of footage off of youtube and connected it to you. And then I will tell you. Then I will start sending up prayers that I haven't offended the crap out of whoever is on the receiving end of that Because, honestly, I will tell you right now... I admire all of you enormously so I really hope that doesn't happen.

Also, this is not an exclusive venture by any means. I hope that you will take the time to watch ALL of the footage because I don't pick bad footage:-) I also hope that you might check out the blog of the person I dedicated the footage to because they are pretty darn awesome. If you haven't figured this out yet... I pick the footage based on something that you've written or something that I've gleaned from your personality. Think on that for a while... If you are having trouble watching the entire video (meaning it is being cut off on one side), click on it a couple of times and it will take you straight over to youtube. If you click on the four squares at the bottom corner of the video, it will enlarge it to fill your screen. The escape key will bring it back to normal size. The back arrow will bring you back to my page.

Now, let's get this PARTY STARTED!!!!

This one is for everyone:

This one is for Mary the Food Floozie:

This one is for Mary F at Go Ahead... Take A Bite:

This one is for Shoes at Red Shoes Chronicles:

This one is for Phoenix at Res ipsa loquitor and Lira The Struggling Actress:

This one is for Leanne at From Chaos Comes Happiness:

This one won't imbed. Sorry!

This one is for me:

I tried to link in everyone's blogs and blogger acted up and wouldn't let me do it. I think you can find everyone in my sidebar if you want to check out the blogs each video "belongs to" so to speak.

And the image was found at

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cancer. The Great Snatch and Grab.

I didn't pick my words for the year lightly. The Art of Allowing. Grace. I kinda sorta knew I was going to need them.

So many people were so happy to kick 2011 to the curb and I was one of them. I barely got in to 2011 and my father was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and it just derailed my life. One of the biggest things that I struggled to come to terms with last year was that I was losing one of two people who loved me unconditionally. Other people might say they do or want to, but your parents do. And they are really the only ones. So, when his six months turned into three and he died in May, well my motivation to do much of anything kinda sorta died with him. My migraines notched up, my chronic fatigue kicked in, my fibro went a little crazy, and I think that maybe I lost my mind a little. I didn't want to blog. I really didn't want to get out of bed. I spent more days than not in my pajamas. My mom was lucky to get me on facebook and play games. I found some games that would help with my memory and I decided that was good for me and fun. Mostly I didn't have to think about anything and that was what I wanted most. As luck would have it, I think it did help improve my memory to a point. I still get stuck sometimes, but it is better.

Then I started having balance issues. Then the inner ear diagnosis. And life just felt really hard again. I really should have seen that as the big build up.

Then my aunt and uncle come over for Christmas and she is not doing well. She is in a wheel chair because she is having trouble with her legs. She whispers to me on the side, "Oh Robin, Don't tell anyone because I don't want to ruin the holiday, but I think the cancer really got me this time." I find out she is going in for a PET scan that week. (And when I say "this time" it is only because this extremely tough woman has beaten cancer over and over again.") Well, she was admitted to the hospital before the results of her scan came in. And various teams kept coming in with conflicting news about what they were going to do.

In the end, there wasn't much to do. Once the PET scan results came in the decision was made. I happened to be there when this news was delivered because I was on my way to my therapy appt downtown. There was cancer in her lungs. Fluid in her lungs. The doctor didn't want to say it. Stage 4. It was like all of the oxygen left the room. It had also traveled to her lymph nodes. And all of the pain she was feeling was because it was in her bones. Pretty much all of her bones. She has holes in her bones.

There is something about hearing Stage 4. For me, that day, I was right back in 2011. It was my dad all over again. And I was drowning in it. I suppose it was a good thing that I couldn't stay due to my therapy appt. It game me the opportunity to go and cry through that appt. And then all evening at home.

By the next day, I had some perspective. As terrible as this is for me, and it is bad. I love my aunt. We moved here in 1997 to be closer to her. So, this is a loss for me. However, this is not the loss of a parent. My mom is experiencing the loss of a sister. My uncle is experiencing the loss of a wife. My cousins are losing their mother. While this reminds me of my dad... this is not my dad. Unfortunately, my aunt doesn't have even close to the amount of time my dad had. Yesterday, the doctors are saying ONE WEEK. All of these people are having to mentally adjust to this loss in less than a week. I wasn't ready in three months.

The truth is that I am still not ready. But cancer doesn't wait until you are ready. It just snatches and grabs and all you are left with is a hole in your heart. Last time I drowned in it. This time I really want to find some Grace.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Art of Allowing and Grace.

It is a little after midnight and I am rethinking my plan for Thursday's post. I was actually going to do a traditional Thursday post later... meaning after I go to bed in a few minutes and wake up on it "tomorrow." However, the response to all of my Here's To You posts wasn't the jump up and down excitement that I was hoping for when I posted them. I think maybe I was Thursday post deprived and threw too many out there all at once. And during the holidays when everyone is soooo busy, no less.

I also didn't account for the fact that people just plain stop reading your blog when you stop writing consistently. So, while I was ready for all of that HERE'S TO YOU love and awesomeness... I think I might have been the only one ready to take on so much at once. Chris hung in for a good bit of it. I am not sure if she watched all of the posts, but she did comment on most of them. (Yay Chris!)

Several bloggers in this ole blogosphere embrace a word or an idea for their New Year's Resolution as opposed to actual resolutions. I did that last year because it made more sense. Of course, mine got blown to bits when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. My whole life just went fizzle. Of course, I have spent days thinking about what I should choose this year and the only thing I can come up with is this: the Art of Allowing. And Grace. They definitely work hand in glove with one another.

The Art of Allowing, as I understand it, is making space for the things you want in your life. There is an art to that. You only have so much space. You do have to allow the good things in. They do not just come. Of course, life is always about lessons, and not all of them are good, and that is when we get to exercise Grace. The Art of Allowing and Grace. These are two things that I will get to use for the rest of my life, but I would like to focus on this year. I would like to become really excellent at Allowing good things into my life, and exercising Grace when a Life Lesson walks through the door instead.

So, in the spirit of Allowing, I will give you time to get caught up on your blog reading and watch my Here's To You Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and New Year Special. Yeah, I think I did four of them. Whew. The New Year One was a departure for me stylistically and I am curious about what you think about it.... If you like it, I will do it again. If not, well I still think you should always try something once! And the Grace part... I think the old me might have taken it personally that people stopped reading my blog, weren't as excited as I was, blah blah blah. Or maybe not. I don't know. I just believe now that we find the things that are meant to touch our lives when we are meant to find them. If we find them too soon, they don't impact us right. There really is a plan. So, perhaps Grace is always at work in its own way and I am just choosing to step outside of myself and see it more clearly.

As for that Thursday post, it is all written down and ready to go. That means dedications and all. So, when you all get back to your regular schedules and are ready for it, be on the lookout. I am thinking maybe next week. Yeah, the news will be old, which will mean you will have to dig a little deeper to figure out what I am referring to, but you can still shoot me an email. I am all about the Grace baby!!!!

image found at

Monday, January 2, 2012


One of the things that I have NEVER done with a Thursday post is intersperse dialogue of explanation into a post. I decided that just once to ring in the New Year just might be the time. I am all about trying new things. And if you guys really like it, I just might do it again. That is how this blog rolls, after all. So we shall see.

So, in a bizarre sort of a way, I am going to tell a story. In my mind, all TV shows (non-reality), books, music, etc. tell stories. And we identify with them because they tell our story at some point in time. When the days comes that it hits us where we live, that is when we have the "aha" moment. Until then, it is just a story. And we all love a great love story, but we find ourselves crying our eyes out over the forgiveness stories, the people who have to work hard to beat the odds, people who keep getting tough life lessons and prevailing... these are the stories we love. These are our stories.

So, let us begin with a short clip from what has become a very inspirational show to me: Friday Night Lights. It is all of a minute and a half and it makes me cry every time.

It will not embed, so you have to click on the link. Sorry.

Now, I hope you didn't cheat and actually watched the clip so that my commentary makes sense. That kid had more crap thrown at him while he was still in high school than most people get. And you have two choices... you can stay stuck in that bathtub or you can get out. That is it. You don't see it in that clip, but he gets it, and mentally gets out of the tub. Not everyone does. They might physically get out of the tub, but mentally be in the tub for the rest of their life blaming everyone else for their failures.

Let's take a look at our next life lesson:

I debated the many ways of putting this one up. This is from Gilmore Girls and showcases the sadness of the Luke/Lorelei breakup. I thought about posting the actual breakup, but there were too many scenes to really get the pain of it. This is way post break up and there is still so much freaking pain there. My point is that if two people really love each other deeply than they should forgive and work harder. These two BOTH made bad choices. Both need to forgive and both need to work at moving back together. I like to think that if the series hadn't been cancelled we would have eventually gotten to see that on film.

Which brings me to something that Chris over at a Deliberate Life (see my sidebar) has been talking about in her blog recently: How Bad Do Want It? This shall be discussed more fully after the clip:

I am just going to assume that you watched the video. The song was by Tim McGraw. Clips from Supernatural. I like the combo. They are literally fighting the supernatural (all manner of demons, etc.) and laying it all out on the line. So, they want it pretty bad. There is no half measures for them. Chris approaches her weight loss the same way. I think that if the rest of us approached our lives like that, the whole world would get spun on its ear. That really is the only question: how bad do you want it???? You want it bad enough and you will make it happen. 'Nuff said.

With that in mind, I love this next clip. It offers some perspective on this here world:

Every town is a Devil Town. Just so you know, my original thought was to put this to a Buffy clip but one doesn't exist. However, that would have been selfish, simply because I have been experiencing Buffy withdrawals here. And it would have been deceptive. I could have used the original music video, but I don't like it. So, I went with the FNL video, which is where I found the song. Plus, it lends itself to it. All of the people in that town are good and bad. They all stand up and they all fall down. The thing is you choose. Every day. Vampires are energy suckers. Every day you choose whether or not you are going to be one. Each day that you choose to give and not suck, it gets easier to make that same choice the next day. Each day you choose to not let someone suck your energy, it gets easier to choose that the next day. Make no mistake. It is a Devil Town, but your CHOICE.

This next clip is absolutely perfect for forgiveness because it goes full circle:

In the beginning, you saw a man that after most of his adult life was still not ready to embrace forgiveness. You also saw that it was eating away at him. It hurt me to watch it. It hurt his family to watch it. In a few brief phrases, the old man (aka God) put an explanation to it that made me feel somewhat better about it. Forgiveness doesn't always happen all at once. And then Adam came along and sat down. He had been angry at Joan for months, pushed her out of his life, and denied the feelings he had for her. Then he SAID OUT LOUD why people do the stupid things they do to each other. Why they don't forgive. They are scared. Scared of being hurt. And he was tired of being scared. He was ready to let that go. Forgiveness did happen that day. Joan wanted her dad to find his missing note, but he wasn't ready. However, Adam was. It is a beautiful thing.

This song always makes me think of JJ, The Disconnected Writer (see the sidebar):

He always likes to throw out big philosophical questions and see how people respond to them. What if history started now, what kind of world would you want if you could have anything? Be careful what you wish for... I am curious to hear your thoughts. Though I hate to end my post on this note because you won't respond to any of the rest of my clips and I have put a lot of thinking into them. So, bring on those thoughts, but tell me what you think about everything else, too.

image found at