So the Wind Blows

The storm pummeling Atlanta today has been described already as “historic.” I’m not sure if that will be the case but the howling wind and pelting ice outside my window certainly sound as though they are harbingers of the winter apocalypse.

I keep having flashbacks to the only other major ice storm I’ve been through. It was in 2000, 6 months after I’d moved to Atlanta and just over a month after I got married. My husband had just had a vasectomy the day before the storm hit. At least he was able to enjoy his Playstation and ice his wound for a day before we lost power! We ended up spending 3 days without power in an all-electric 3rd floor apartment without a working fireplace. We played board games in the living room during the day and slept (with the dog and cat) in the only interior room – the bathroom. I remember clearly the gunshot cracks of the 80 foot tall pine trees as they snapped one by one under the weight of the ice. Within two days, the surrounding woods looked as though a picky tornado had thinned them.

So here I am again, a newlywed awaiting the ice storm. I’m glad that this time I have lower floors to occupy, gas water heater and a working fireplace with plenty of wood ready to go. Oh, and a husband who didn’t just have surgery:) One way I’m less prepared? Books. I don’t have many really ones anymore and Kindle batteries don’t last forever. I may end up reading the backs of everything in the pantry:)

I couldn’t sleep last night. I do that when I’m concerned about something. I don’t know why. It’s not as if I can keep the trees standing simply by being awake. I gave up a little while ago and decided to enjoy coffee and a real breakfast, not knowing what the future may hold (have a feeling it may be a diet of protein bars and faked coffee – thank goodness for camping supplies).

Since I may be out of commission for a while, I pulled three pieces from the vault for you. See if any of them tickle your fancy.

While you’re reading, I’m going to enjoy a hot bath and a good (non-Kindle) book and pretend that the creaking trees are the masts of wooden boat sailing the Caribbean.

Pardon Me, Ego. I Need to Get Through

Ego:

the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought. (from dictionary.com)
Ever since we first begin to see ourselves as separate, sentient beings in childhood, our egos define how we interpret the world around us.  That sense of self may actually be holding you back from healing from your divorce.  Do you see yourself in any of the following patterns?
It’s All About Me
When I first realized the extent of my husband’s betrayals, I kept asking, “How could he do this to me? To the one he was supposed to love?”  I saw his actions directed towards me as an arrow towards a target.  I assumed he was thinking about me as he made these decisions.  He lied to me.  He cheated on me.  He stole from me. That pattern kept me fully anchored in a victim state, the recipient of all the pain and deceptions.
Slowly, I realized that it wasn’t all about me.  He lied and cheated and stole, yes.  But he did those things because of whatever demons had him in their grasp.  He didn’t do those things because of me.  He most likely wasn’t even thinking of me while they occurred.  He did them and I was in the way.
I shifted my thinking. When he hurt me, he was acting to protect his own sense of self rather than trying to wound mine.  I began to let the anger go.
It is not easy to remove the ego from interpreting the actions of one so intimate to you. Try looking at the situation with an open mind, letting go of your own ego, and see how your perspective shifts.

Of Teddy Bears and Security Systems

For most of my married life, I felt secure. I had a husband that I trusted. I owned a home and had been at the same job for many years. I felt comfortable in my life; I trusted that change, if desired, would come from intention. It was predictable and I liked that. If you had asked me where I would have been five years down the road, I would have answered without hesitation.

That feeling of security and blind trust is what allowed me to become complacent. Too comfortable. I was petrified of losing that feeling of security. I was very conservative in my decisions, choosing to avoid risk whenever possible.

I lost all semblance of security when he left. Everything was in question; nothing was sure. I didn’t have time to let it scare me. I simply had to survive. I was operating at the base level of Maslow’s hierarchy: eating, sleeping and breathing were my priorities.

I started tiptoeing back into life. I branched out but much was still unknown. I could not even imagine where I would be five years hence. And I was okay with that.

Read the rest of Of Teddy Bears and Security Systems.

 

Trigger Points

As a runner and weight lifter, I am very familiar with trigger points – painful balls of muscle or fascia caused by acute or repeated trauma. They are  hyperirritable, overresponding to even the slightest pressure or pull. They cause intense pain at their source and can often lead to referred pain in a distant area, frequently occurring along predictable pathways.

As a survivor of a traumatic divorce, I am also very familiar with emotional trigger points – painful memories and associated responses caused by repeated or acute trauma. They are areas of hyperirritability where the response far outweighs the preceding factors. They cause intense pain at the time of their trigger and can cause referred pains in seemingly unrelated areas.

I am consistently amazed at the magnitude and quantity of my emotional triggers. A snippet of a song last night brought me to tears as it reminded me of one of the dogs in my other life. Nothing is safe – smells, sights, words, movies, a date on the calendar. Sixteen years is a long time and it doesn’t leave much untouched. Triggers are like a black hole through space-time, pulling me back to a place of fear and pain.

Read the rest of Trigger Points.

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