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Category Archives: relationships

Doing the Best I Can


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“You did the best you could with what you had at the given time.

That’s all any of us can do.”

Queensryche – Best I Can [Lyrics]

Don’t worry, dear he’ll never find the gun

A child alone in daddy’s room
The gun was hidden here
No one home to catch me when I fall

A young man now in a private chair
I’ve seen the world through a bitter stare
But my dream is still alive
I’m going to be the best I can

I want to be a busy man
I want to see a change in the future
I’m gonna make the best of what I have
I want to write for a magazine
I’m gonna be the best they’ve ever seen
I know I’ll win if I give it all I can

I won’t let go
Gotta make the grade, no I won’t let go
To be the best man, the best man that I can

Back street hoop star you’ve got it good
You were the wonder of the crumbling neighborhood
Now taking bids on the next six digit plan
Showed me that my will survived
The tragedy that came into my life
Giving me hope and the new start that I have

And I won’t let go
Gotta make the grae no, I won’t let go
To be the best man, the best man that I can

Step by step I dream the plan
From my chair to walking man
This constant dream is on my mind
Chase the light I see ahead
Luminate the path I tread
I live to be the best I can

Now I’m moving forward and I’m never looking back
Straight ahead, focused on the big attack
On a roll and I’m never slowing down
I won’t be torn between
The man in the chair and the man that’s in my dream
I’m going to melt the two men into one

And I won’t let go
Gotta make the grade I set no, I won’t let it go
To be the best man,
The best man that I can
The best man that I can
The best man that I can

 
1 Comment

Posted by on 08/21/2016 in relationships

 

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The Hardest Thing…


My girlfriend and I of three years broke up a couple weeks ago. And it’s been the hardest thing to do to remain steadfast. I didn’t want to part ways but I did because I couldn’t endure her anxiety that came at the most unexpected of times – out of the blue; out of left field. Like a brick to the back of my head. It pushed me away. It made me not want to engage. And it made me stonewall.

Maybe it was her anxiety. Maybe they were trust issue outbursts. But they always seemed like personal attacks. I always felt so small and subhuman when she was “done with me”.

I tried and I tried to continue the relationship, but it was harder and harder each time. I didn’t want the relationship to end because somehow, I found what I wanted in a partner…for the most part. Each time the outbursts happened I felt myself pushed farther away, becoming more distant. I always felt insulted and indignant. I felt subhuman, tiny, and shamed.

I know she suffered from multiple forms of abuse in her past relationships and so I always thought it was my fault. My depression. My Specter. I always accounted for her anxiety and PTSD. But looking back, I felt I didn’t do anything wrong. The shituations all felt like I was being personally attacked. I know there are always two sides to any story, but there are some times when reality “is what it is”.

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I remember one time when my university sent me a text alert that school was closed because of inclement weather. Then the standard followup prerecorded phone call came to let me know the same. We were watching a movie and I picked up to listen to the message and look at the text. I remember being accosted because I didn’t show her my phone. I don’t know if that was anxiety but I felt violated and like my trust in her plummeted.

Yes, I am sad. I also feel bad that I wasn’t courageous enough to continue to be strong for her if in fact these outbursts were part of her anxiety. She was a good woman. She was what I wanted in a partner…for the most part. I just couldn’t do it when my own Specter was digging his nails into my back at the same time and with the valley I’ve been in for the past year. I need to work on myself…bad.

I’m lonely even with my family, friends, and my daughter.

What to do.

 

 

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Toxicity | [Poetry]


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Toxicity

My soul has left and with it,

The Albums and the Tags.

The memories put in boxes,

And thrown out in the trash.

Windows boarded,

curtains down,

paint chips fall onto the ground.

A weathered waste, at the end of town.

I pack up and I leave.

 

 

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Ending of a Relationship


For survivors of mental illness, they say journaling is a way to help you heal.

Here’s my effort at catharsis…

My girlfriend of nearly three years, and I, just parted ways. We’ve broken up several times before, and each time have gotten back together. This time is permanent though <<insert audience laughter here>> because of how things have progressed. Here are my thoughts through the process:

Moving On-

  • Remember why the breakup happened in the first place. There was a breaking point for me. A straw. A tipping point that once reached, ensured that things were not going to continue from that point on. It was a recurring theme that (I felt) I didn’t deserve to endure, and I couldn’t endure in the future and for the rest of the relationship. Remembering this tipping point became my first anchor point.

  • Make a list of anchor points. This was the first thing I did. I made a list. I know that there are going to be days when I’m sad and want the relationship back. I also realize that that is not a healthy choice, so to help me remain resolute, I wrote a list of things that would keep me steadfast. Especially on the weekend. Out of respect to her I won’t list them here, but these are largely negative things that have pushed me away over time. When you’re sad your mind wanders back to the good times you both had, or all the things you miss about that person. Keeping a list of anchor points helps me keep things in perspective. Don’t fume over the bad things and don’t forget the good things, just be real with yourself.

  • Disconnect from their social media world. I find that when I have a break with someone, I need to cut ALL ties. Cold turkey. I don’t want them coming up in my news feed. I don’t want to see that they’ve liked my posts. I don’t want to see their Pins or comments come up on my wall. It makes me anxious and makes my adrenaline race. It makes me start to miss those things I mentioned above. My ex blocked my texts and blocked me on Fb so she won’t even come up in searches. There are also apps that block their texts from coming in, and you can delete their numbers from your Contacts list, but I haven’t done. I’m the type of person that can’t “just be friends”. To me, that’s a crock of she-ite. Maybe we can in the future, but not at this time. It’s too painful. It’s too real. And it’s too raw to be your friend. It’s too tempting to want to go back to something that is so raw, familiar, even if it was largely toxic. To resist the temptation, I don’t put myself in the situation in the first place, and have done what I could to avoid it.

  • Get out. I’m an introvert and like my alone time. This can become unhealthy since I also live with major depression. I have to be careful that alone time doesn’t turn into isolation. I know that I need to step out of my comfort zone and start doing things, especially on the weekends when I don’t have my daughter. Those are the worst. Make plans – in fact make a Plan B in case Plan A falls through. All too many times I’ve found myself sitting at home crying with the lights off and the shades dropped because I didn’t have a backup plan. It just turns into a deep dark pit from there. Make sure you weekends are chock full of being around your friends. Tell them what you’re going through if you have to, but make sure there are no cracks in your time or if you’re anything like me, you’ll be sitting around and that’s when the loneliness will hit. We don’t like loneliness. It is the enemy right now. One of the things I am going to try to do is join a gym down the street and get back into shape. Being out of shape has brought me down mentally and exercising again and losing some weight will be good for both my mental and physical health. Another great way to get out is to join a Meetup singles group, though I’m not sure if this applies to readers outside the US.

  • Go on a date when you’re ready. Get to know other people. Spread your wings. You don’t have to jump right into another relationship (in fact you shouldn’t) but there’s nothing wrong with getting back out there and getting to know people, and building relationships. Go on dating sights and meet people. At this point it’s about survival and staying busy, not finding your soul mate.

Red Flags-

I’m not going to go into much detail here, again, out of respect.

  1. We both live with mental illness. Maybe a relationship where both partners survive with mental illnesses can work out. On the other hand, maybe it’s not a wise choice in the first place. I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that we both have demons we live with. I also know that we both needed LOTS of patience and empathy to date each other – we didn’t necessarily have those two things all the time. WE can’t rely on others to fix quell those demons, we have to do that on our own. The other person isn’t going to fix us. We have to be able to manage who we are within the relationship.

  2. Trust issues.  You shouldn’t have to suffer for someone’s (trust) issues from a prior relationship. If that person feels the need to go through your texts and social media IMs and you haven’t done something deserving of that (let’s be honest here), then there are trust issues that need to be resolved outside of the relationship. If a person sits outside a friend’s house of the opposite sex because they think there is a secret affair going on, then there are trust issues that need to be resolved outside the relationship. If a person calls a neighbor to see whose cars are at their partner’s apartment, then there are trust issues that need to be resolved outside the relationship. To project past trust issues onto your partner is emotional abuse and unfair.

  3. Others. In hind sight, there are many signs that you can probably now see that should have been red flags: multiple marriages, anger issues, physical and emotional and verbal abuse…the list could go on for each of us. It’s important in our closure that we notice these things (and write them down if necessary) and try our best to avoid them in our future.

Do you have any suggestions on how best to move on, or red flags that you’ve experienced in your relationships? Would you be willing to share them with the rest of us?

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on 08/12/2016 in relationships

 

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Writing a Wrong


A couple months ago I published a blog post called “Brok3n & Betray3d”. It was about how my girlfriend told me she cheated on me and how that affected my emotional state over the next few days.

It is not there anymore because I took it down.

I believe it was published “wrongly”. Or at least before I knew the whole story.

I am here today to ask for a chance to rectify that event.

*    *     *

After the situation had passed and things were cleared up, we got back together for a short while only to fall apart again. Not because she told me she cheated on me. Just because that is how life goes.

After we talked about the situation, she informed me of the details that I wish I had known prior to my posting what I did, and reacting the way I did. I wish I had handled things more calmly. More maturely.

We were apart for the day. I had my daughter for the weekend and she had gone to our local St. Patrick’s Day parade. During that time, she had gone to the bar where the parade ended. Her ex-boyfriend was there and he kissed her. She didn’t return the advance and ended up pushing him away and told him to stop. Another girl who was there kissed her and she did the same thing.

I believe her.

She said she felt like she cheated on me because she was out without me.

I believe her.

As a result of my actions, she was shunned by those closest to us, both offline and in real life. For this I am dreadfully sorry. I cannot imagine being in her place.

Though we are not together today, I would appreciate it you would remember what she was to me by reading the series of poems I wrote about her PTSD and anxiety, as well as the short story I wrote in her honor, Love and the Maiden.

Thank you friends.

X

 
 

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Sometimes | [POETRY]


Just a quick poem that came to mind tonight.

To my friends who will call because they’re worried, I am fine. I promise. Mom, Chelise, Mistaken…I really am.

…Just a little bout with Specter.

But he ain’t gonna win. 

I know other people needed to hear this so they know they are not alone.

Thank you for sharing.

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Sometimes I miss my daughter

Sometimes I miss her bad

Sometimes I hate the loneliness

I wish I never had

Sometimes I like to be alone

Sometimes I wish I weren’t

Sometimes I wish someone would hold me

And take away the hurt

Sometimes I’m fine and focused

Sometimes I rarely am

Sometimes I shut the windows

And cry as loud I can

Sometimes I’m grey, the Specter

Sometimes I can’t bear the ill

Sometimes I think I’ll make it

Sometimes I doubt I will

 

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Today, Let Us Spread Compassion. | [IMAGE]


Let us remember to spread compassion this month for Suicide Prevention/Awareness. Thank you for sharing this with someone you know needs to feel important, heard, or acknowledged.

Image with the word Compassion in the middle and surrounded with post it notes with messages of compassion on them.

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Real. Talk. – Supporting Each Other.


encourage each other daily, Hebrews 3: 13

 

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The Horseman Named Stonewall | [SHORT STORY]


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On the hinterlands of the dismal grey wasteland of Relationship, at the base of Cold Mountain, loomed a dark grey fortress known as Desolation.

Its colossal walls were miles high and meters thick.

The top of the wall was a foreboding omen to those who dared approach from across the tundra. Craggy stalagmites protruded at odd angles like dragons teeth and witches claws. Bones littered the parapet where vultures had dropped the leftover carcasses of their prey.

Vigilant gargoyles with ripped wings gazed out onto the horizon. They perched themselves every 100 yards, digging their talons into the chipped rock of the facade. The commander of the citadel called on their allegiance by name – Defensiveness, Frustration, Exasperation, and Malice. With glowing white eyes, they penetrated the darkness, letting out shrieks of alarm should life approach out of the black.

The commander himself was the sole inhabitant of the fortress. A horseman who sat deep within the cold, grey rock of Cold Mountain.

His name was Stonewall.

He had built the fortress himself after subduing and slaying his enemies – both innocent and those wretches accused of treason against the crown. He displayed their crucified and impaled bodies outside the wall as a warning to his enemies. They flooded the plain as far as the eye could see until the tundra faded into the fog of war. He hung their decapitated heads and tortured bodies from the walls. Signs of failed attempts to gain entrance into his realm.

Sitting in his murky throne room, Isolation – a place of slate and rock, he slumped on his throne of dark cracked granite and twisted oak. The cold iron crown of Pride, atop his swarthy, creased brow.

Over the course of the hundreds of relationships throughout his time as a foot soldier and knight, he strategically and tactically built this place stone upon stone.

An impregnable keep from his witching enemy, Hurt.

He built it to protect him from Hurt and the outside world. A sanctuary where he would be safe and not have to fear about facing his nemesis, along with his chieftains, Regret and Resentment.

It was his last bastion of safety.

His refuge.

He never left. And he never had visitors…the last visitor he had was years ago. It was easier this way.

Less chaos.

Less struggle.

He remained in isolation without friends. Yet unimpeded by with burden of the outside wasteland of Relationship. Unprovoked by Hurt, the horseman maintained a rigid perimeter to be traversed in order to gain access to the outside world.

It both prevented entry and exit.

One moonless night, the harpies atop the walls wailed and shrieked. 

The horseman rose to his feet and stepped to the parapet of his throne room. Gripping his lance and torch, he glanced out into the wasteland.

Hurt was approaching on his steed and along with his chieftains.

Stonewall made his way to the rampart and silenced the guardians atop the wall.

“What is it you want my nemesis?” he shouted.

“I only wish to have a moment of your time my brother,” Hurt volleyed back.

“You have no business here, fool! Turn back and come this way no more! Before I command my beasts to lurch down from these walls and tear your skin off and feast on your bones and entrails.”

“YOU FOOL!” Hurt roared. “Do you think you can withstand my forces? I shall return with legions of my hordes and we shall gain entrance, tear down your walls, and feast at your table as you die.”

“These walls are impregnable and you would be fool to think you can circumvent them and cause harm. If you advance you shall receive no quarter.”

Suddenly, Defensiveness spread its torn wings and dove towards the invaders. Hurt raised his lance and caught the harpy in the throat, instantly dropping it to the ground as it choked on its own blood.

Upon seeing his guardian die, the horseman raised his fist and plunged it towards the ground, signalling Frustration to awaken from its stone shell and harass the invaders. With lances pointed at it, Frustration circled and when spotting his victim, he swooped down and ensnared Regret in his dagger-like claws. Sweeping back to the top of the wall, the harpy dropped his victim, impaling him along the rows of fierce spikes.

Frustration dove again.

Hurt threw out the net and caught the gargoyle in mid-flight, dragging it to the ground. And in one slash, decapitated the beast with his war cleaver.

The horseman summoned Exasperation and the beast dove to the ground below. In one movement, the seasoned guardian grabbed Resentment by his throat and soared back to his nest. By the time he had reached his perch, his victim’s life had been drained. Dropping the carcass, it lunged again towards its victims.

Hurt pulled his bow and an arrow from his quiver and drew on the advancing harpy. And at the precise moment, let his arrow fly, embedding it straight between the beast’s eyes.

No sooner had the guardian’s lifeless body crashed to the ground, then Malice gained flight and pursued Hurt.

As Hurt turned to reach for his sword, the harpy sank its claws into the enemy’s back and tore out his vertebrae, leaving his body collapsed on the ground.

As the raptor rose into the air Stonewall followed it with his eyes. He watched it until it landed on its pedestal and took its original stone form.

The war hardened horseman shifted his gaze to the plain below, pike still clutched in his fist. He had fought off Hurt and his commanders another day.

But at what expense he wondered.

 

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Food for Thought


Act relationaly, instead of religiously.

 

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Relationship Problems | [QUOTE]


Yup. I’m guilty.

image showing a wooden footbridge in the woods

Many relationship problems

come from one of these two errors:

being loving without truth and limits,

or being truthful without being loving.

– Dr. Henry Cloud

 

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What is Stonewalling?


image showing a sign that says

Danger! Obstruction!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a length of time, you’ve certainly read the posts dedicated to my girlfriend and her PTSD.

I have a problem in our relationship which I haven’t talked about.

It’s a problem with me.

It’s not a mental illness, though it can be much more toxic.

It’s not cheating.

It’s not drugs.

And she’s taken care of the alcohol part when she dumped a newly bought fifth of 80 proof vodka into my kitchen sink.

My issue is stonewalling. And it’s a dangerous obstruction to a healthy relationship.

If you’re familiar with the writing of John Gottman, you know that this is one of the Four Horsemen that destroys relationships.

The Four Horsemen being the riders named Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling.

image showing Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The Four Horsemen – Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling

I actually have another that I struggle with, and that is defensiveness. But for now I’ll just focus on the Fourth Horseman.

What is Stonewalling? 

Gottman explains stonewalling as

disengaging…not just refusing to give forms of acknowledgement, but flat out looking away or down without uttering a sound. The stonewaller acts as though he couldn’t care less about what you’re saying, if he even hears it.

Thought it has a place in politics, the definition of stonewalling is a verb that means to “delay or block (a request, process, or person) by refusing to answer questions or by giving evasive replies”.

Gottman’s definition is a little more extreme because he insinuates that the stonewaller doesn’t even give verbal or visual cues that they are paying attention.

When Do I Stonewall?

I am usually a good listener until I feel that I am being attacked or unjustly accused. This is one of the hardest things for my Type 1 personality to hear because my own inner critic (the superego) berates me incessantly all day.

It is then that I switch to a self-righteous mode of defensiveness, choosing not to listen to the other person’s words, but defending my innocence while shooting down the other person’s misconstrued version of a laughable reality.

What that means is that if I feel I am being attacked unjustly, or I feel my girlfriend’s voice is a couple clicks harsher, I get defensive.

Because I don’t feel like I deserve it.

Harsh tone = accusations. That’s the way my brain thinks-

“I can control my tone of voice and maintain my composure when I talk to her, she should be able to do the same with me. It’s common sense.Why don’t people understand that my way is the right way?!?!?!?!”

This is not good.

It is not healthy.

It is bigotry.

It is detrimental because it is a step short of shutting down and stonewalling.

Once I am exasperated with hearing the repeated “accusations” like I’m a little child I reach a point where I just shut down.

If I were to make a breadcrumb of this cycle it might look like this-

My girlfriend and I are talking about a problem > I feel her tone of voice change > A panic alarm is triggered in my brain > I get defensive and start to become aggravated > I hear repeated “attacks” and become more defensive > I reach a point where I feel I can no longer keep my composure and talk calmly > I disengage > I stonewall

If this were an actual computer breadcrumb, I would be able to go back to any of the previous “links” easy peasy. No problemo.

Not so in reality.

Not happenin’.

In fact I find that once I go to the next “crumb” in the trail, the door to the previous one closes.

And the handle is on the other side of the door.

Why Do I Stonewall?

I stonewall because it’s safe, I guess.

If I’m really being honest, I do it out of lack of emotional control. Or rather, not being able to command my emotions and put them in their place.

I know that once I reach the point of defensiveness, that’s my Rubicon – my point of no return, and at that point I realize stonewalling is next.

It’s the hardest thing in the world for me to pull back and gain control of my emotions and feelings, and I know I need to master this in my growth as a man.

It only happens with the Spirit’s help.

I need to call on Him more to get me through these times.

Do you have a particular “horseman” in YOUR relationship? Would you care to share in the Comments section? Thank you for taking your time to read this post.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on 08/03/2015 in relationships

 

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I Don’t Love You | [POETRY]


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I Don’t Love You

Of all the cruelest, hurtful things,

that cut me to the bone.

The harshest are these, “I don’t love you.”

Those are the worst I’ve ever known.

-Surviving the Specter

 
 

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My Angel, Oh My Angel | [POETRY]


Image of an angel weeping on a gravestone.

My Angel, oh my Angel.

My Angel, Oh My Angel

I spoke with my angel as she cried today.

Her heart was ripped in half.

Her relationship with her mom had tumbled.

And hope was at best a laugh.

“My mom made me, feel like a fool.”

I can’t take this anymore.

It hurts too much, it pains my soul.

It breaks me to the floor.

“And when hope comes back to fill my mind,

I want to run away.

She’s broke my trust, that’s it, I’m done.

I quit, that’s what I say.”

And to my friend I listened, her heart was ripped in half.

Her gentle, fragile soul was spent, hope was but a laugh.

I hugged her through the mobile line, as kindly as I could.

And loved her, held her, heard her,

standing by her through bad and good.

If you could reach out to this angel, what words of comfort and insight would you be able to share?

 

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“The Power of Vulnerability”, Brene Brown [TED Talk]



I watched this 20″ video in my singles group at church. In it, Brene Brown talks about what it takes to live wholeheartedly.

What do we need to experience joy and the other positive aspects of life?

How do we lose ourselves to shame?

And why is vulnerability significant?

This is one of my favorite talks on relationships and the ideas I’ve listed below are the words of Brene Brown, which are taken from the video.

Connection 

Why are we here? We are wired to be connected.

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Shame (and Fear)

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What is the source of our shame?

“Shame unravels connection.”

“I’m not good enough.”

Shame is the fear of disconnection. “If someone knows this about me I won’t be worthy of connection.”

It’s universal. Everyone has shame.

People who don’t have shame are incapable of human empathy and connection.

No one wants to talk about it. The more you have it the less you want to talk about it.

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Excruciating Vulnerability (“Lean into the pain and discomfort”)

Vulnerability underpins shame.

In order for ourselves to be really seen, we have to be vulnerable.

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Worthiness

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Am I worthy enough?

Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging. The inverse is also true.

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Courage, Compassion, Connection, Vulnerability (or “the way the wholehearted live”)

♦  Courage – telling the story of who you are with your whole heart. Courageous people have the courage to be imperfect. Courage is different from bravery.

♦  Compassion – They have the compassion to be kind to themselves first and others second – we can’t be compassionate and kind to others if we can’t be the same way with ourselves first.

♦  Connection – the result of authenticity. They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be, in order to be who they are. The fear that we’re not worthy of connection prevents us from being connected.

♦  Vulnerability – they believe that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. Vulnerability is not comfortable but it is necessary. e.g., the willingness to say “I love you” first. “The willingness to do something when there are no guarantees.” “The willingness to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out.”

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On Vulnerability-

We struggle with vulnerability.

♦  Numb – We numb vulnerability because being vulnerable is hard. e.g., initiating sex, admitting you’re wrong, saying I’m sorry… We can’t selectively numb emotions. When we numb vulnerability (or one of many emotions) we numb joy, gratitude, and happiness, etc.

♦  Why and how we numb – not just through addiction.

– “We make everything that is uncertain, certain.”

– “We perfect”.

– “We pretend”

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Closing

To be kinder and gentler to others, we must be kinder and gentler to ourselves. We can do this by…

“Let ourselves be deeply and vulnerably seen.”

“To love with our whole hearts…even though there is no guarantee.”

“Practice gratitude and joy.”

“Believe that we are enough.”


 

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Guest blogger teaser for Friday night.


Guest blogger, Chelise and the author of Surviving the Specter.

Chelise and I, at her birthday party,

I have a VERY special guest blogger tomorrow night!

Her name is Chelise (pronounced shuh-lease) and as of tonight, she is new to blogging. She is building her site but stop by and drop her a line to welcome her – https://caterpillarandthebutterfly.wordpress.com/about/

Chelise will be blogging on topics such as boundaries, codependence, and relationships.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow night to find out why she is so special to me. You’ll be shocked by her story.

 

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Three Reasons You Need To Prune Your Life Right Now!


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What do you have in your life that is preventing you from achieving your potential? What in your life RIGHT NOW is preventing positive growth?

Maybe it’s a job that is pushing against a glass ceiling? Or perhaps a marriage that has turned neglectful and abusive? How about a friendship that has become toxic? Maybe you need to reexamine your spending habits and cut costs somewhere? Whatever it is, you won’t be able to achieve your full potential because you’re investing your energy, time, and resources into these areas that are hurting you in the long run.

Perhaps it’s time to cut some things out. In chapter 2 of Necessary Endings, Henry Cloud compares this to the necessity of pruning for the gardener. When gardeners prune, they do so for three reasons-

1.   There is too much growth.

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Sometimes the gardener has to prune perfectly fine flowers. Maybe these blooms have achieved all they are capable of and will soon start to whither and die, depleting nutrients that could otherwise be used for the growing, thriving part of the bush. If these fully bloomed flowers continue with the bush, they will prevent the growth of the younger buds and blooms, causing them to be blocked out and suffocate.

♦   Implication #1 –  Are you juggling too many things at once? Involved in too many relationships or clubs with no time left for yourself or the things you really want to do? Do you feel overwhelmed and disoriented. I used to be a social media fiend…totally addicted and consumed. When I was in the mental institution for a week I was cut off from all social media and electronics. What a freeing feeling – I could concentrate on ME and work my way back towards stability.

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Primal Rage [POETRY]


poetry_game over _001

 
 

How Do I Tell If I Need To Make A Necessary Ending? [BOOK REVIEW]


Necessary-Endings
In a previous post, I mentioned chapter 5 of Dr. Henry Cloud’s, Necessary Endings. This post discusses chapter 6 of his book.

Where chapter 5 introduced me to the concept of hopelessness, chapter 6 forced me to answer some poignant questions that crystallized my decision to move forward with ending my marriage. By answering these questions I was able to determine if I should have hope that the situation would get better, or if I was just wishing it would.

Ready? Let’s go!

Based On The Past, How Much Hope Do You Have In Your Current Situation?

So should you have hope that things will improve? How do you know if you should make a necessary ending and if a relationship needs to be pruned? How do you know if you should continue with the current relationship and have hope that it will work out?

If we’ve been in a similar situation before, we can relate. But what about if we’ve never been there before? How do we know whether we should have hope or hopelessness?

ASK YOURSELF: What has it been like so far? What is my current reality? How long am I willing to continue living my current reality?

You have to ask yourself if you are really happy with your current reality, or would something make it better? We must ask ourselves how long we’re willing to continue to live with things considering the way they have been going. Do you want your current reality, frustration, or problem six months from now? Are you willing to continue living the way things have been for another year? Another two years? Do you want to continue having the same conversations in the future? The same feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, rejection, and more?

If you are in an abusive relationship are you willing to continue living with that abuse in the hopes that things will improve? Are you willing to be beaten for another two months in the hopes that things will get better? Are you willing to live with being talked down to for two more weeks?

I asked myself if I could take my current reality a month and even two weeks from now and the answer was always, no.

“When you ask yourself if you should have hope for this person or business to get better, the first diagnostic is to see what has been happening up to this point. Unless something changes, that is exactly what you can expect to happen in the future. The best predictor of the future…is the past.” (94)

So What Is Worth Fighting For? Other Factors That Determine When You Should Salvage The Relationship.

The previous section really spoke to me because I had reached a point of hopelessness but couldn’t put it into words. Dr. Cloud’s words really made sense to me and validated everything that I felt.

I WASN’T CRAYYYYYYYZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE AFTER ALLLL!

But what if you and I were not in the same situations and you want to keep going? What if you don’t want things to end but you’re at an impasse and not sure what to think? From the main points he makes in this chapter, the following ideas may help you define the answer to those questions as to when the relationship is worth keeping-

♦   Admission of a need to change (105). If there is to be hope, there needs to be a sincere acknowledgment that change is needed. A repentance of the harm and hurt that actions (or inaction) have caused. A heart-driven cry for help. A statement that change is needed immediately. The first step for an abuser or addict to move forward is the admission that there is a problem. An abuser or alcoholic will probably never make strides towards improvement if they don’t see that a problem exists. If they don’t see that a problem exists, there probably is little hope for the relationship to continue.

♦   Investment in a change process (102). In addition to admitting the need for change there should be active participation in a change process. If your marriage is suffering and you are going to counseling but your spouse is not, there is probably little reason for hope. However if you are both attending counseling together or on your own, there is more hope for the future of the marriage.

On the other hand, if your abusive, alcoholic boyfriend has started going to AA meetings there may be hope for the future of the relationship. When there is investment in a change process over time, hopelessness can be suspended. Do you want the rest of your relationship to be about making the change happen? How long are you willing to let the change process last before hopelessness takes over?

♦   You’re not driving the change…entirely. When my marriage was suffering, it seemed like I was driving the change for positive improvement. Did I have my share in causing the hurt? Absolutely. Was I perfect? No way. But I felt I was the one driving the wagon for forward movement. I didn’t feel it was mutual. It made me feel alone and I realized that we were not on the same page with where we wanted to be. Not only should there be movement, but there should be some signs of success early on.

“If you are having to nag them into doing the work , chances are that if you quit nagging, then the work is going to stop as well. And if the work is not sustained, the the change is less likely to occur.” (104, 105)

 These are not the only points made in the chapter, just the ones that impacted my life the most.

Conclusion

Whether or not we have hope, there are some things we can look at to help us decide that for ourselves. Do you have a relationship where this fits the bill? Are you confused whether you should have hope or hopelessness?

Thank you for taking your time to read, comment, and share this post with others. I’m looking forward to having a dialogue and reading your comments!

What are your thoughts?

  1. Are you experiencing hope or hopelessness in a current relationship?

  2. If you are unsure whether to have hope, what things are holding you back?

  3. Have you read this chapter? What are your thoughts if you have?

NOTE: The ideas contained in this post are either directly or indirectly the intellectual property of Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, Necessary Endings. Quotations and page citations were used when the material was quoted directly.

 

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Real Talk.



Hahaha, yup.

askhole_001


 
 
Image

Thoughts on important relationships.

Thoughts on important relationships.

I do honestly believe…

Befi_time

SOURCE: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABefi_time.jpg

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