Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Coco's Story

Today I want to tell you the story of a beautiful person called Coco. She was a person, but her form was that of a cat.

It was a gorgeous sunny day in December 1996 when I first met Coco. While out shopping, I wandered into the local pet store (I know, I know, but back in those days I didn't know about puppy mills and the like). I desperately wanted a baby, but I knew my relationship with Peter (my then boyfriend with whom I was living at the time) wasn't in the right place for that, so I had told him that I really wanted a pet, a dog specifically. Where we were living really wasn't a great space for a dog, not even a little one, and I wasn't fond of yap-yap dogs. No if I wanted a dog I wanted it to be medium to large sized. So I was day-dreaming really when I wandered into that pet store. I really didn't think I was going to buy any species of those cute little furry things…

I walked over to the perspex cages where they kept the cute little balls of fur, and sadly there were no puppies, and I was just looking at the gorgeous little kittens all sleeping soundly when one of them awakened… She looked up with her groggy little eyes and mewed at me. Just a little, and it was so sweet. I talked to her for a moment or two and then browsed around at the birds and the fish and was lost in day-dream land, wondering how I could ever find just the right pet for us. I walked back past the kittens and the little groggy one was now fully awake. She saw me passing and let out the loudest meow I have ever heard from such a small body. I thought "aren't you cute?" and stopped. We had a little chat, and she was insistent that I take her home… Now you must understand, I had grave reservations about this. She was after all, a cat. At this point in my life, cats weren't pets. They were something of an aloof creature with whom I had spent a great deal of time on my farm up until the age of 7, but they were feral cats, wild creatures…. nothing like you'd call a pet.  No I wasn't fond of cats, in fact I used to like to tell very nasty jokes about them. The idea of taking a cat home to be my pet was unthinkable… or … was it?

hmm… maybe if I just held her, goodness knows she's not shutting up… and her insistence that I be the one to take her home was clear as her eyes were firmly planted on me, as she shouted her continuing Meows.

So I asked the shop assistant if I could hold this kitten - and was it a boy or a girl? A girl… a Chocolate Point Siamese and she has breeding papers should I want them. What are the papers for? "In case you want to show her…" I didn't want to show her, none of that mattered to me, and I held her in my hands and cuddled her close and she licked me and nudged me and then looked at me and said "Take. Me. Home. You. Are Mine! Make me yours!!" BAM! That came from nowhere… Of course she didn't say that outloud, but her meowing and the look in her eyes and her body language told me completely what she was thinking… communication between species is not rocket science you know, it just takes some empathy, and I have that in bucket loads.

So I buy this kitten, with NO idea of what I need, I pull out my credit card and pile a ton of purchases on it, including the cutest little bell collar I ever saw, kitty litter and tray some food, and toys…

Then I make the phone call, "hey, darling, how would you feel about a cat as a pet?"  his reply was along the lines of "yeh that might be ok" so I tell him "Oh good, because I just bought one". He laughs. I'm impulsive sometimes, and he knows this about me.

I take this beautiful girl home and I have no idea how to care for her, Peter was at golf, and I had bought prawns for dinner… So "the kitten" had prawns with us for dinner. It was to be a favourite meal of hers for the rest of her life. She was a super easy, no fuss Cat you could feed her anything and she would eat enough for two cats!!

This precocious animal had to have a name and I had just finished reading a biography about Coco Chanel. "the kitten" seemed to have some real "spunk" about her that I really liked, she was soft and loving in her quiet moments a real cuddle muffin, always snuggling into you for cuddles, but she was cheeky, energetic, naughty and tenacious for most of the time, and these qualities made me think of Coco. It was also fitting that she was a Chocolate Point Siamese and the play on words appealed to me. She looked like she had had her ears and nose feet and tip of her tail dipped in Cocoa. Peter thought she was "ugly" for a kitten, but all I saw was the beauty of her character. So we named her Coco, and she seemed to like that. Unlike most cats she came when I called her.

So the people in my life at the time thought I was mad, but I bathed her every Saturday, she got used to it, and I in the long term she would cope with baths all of her life - she just hated being dried off.

Coco was ever the escape artist. We wanted her to be an inside cat, but she kept getting out, and we couldn't work out how… and often the garage door was up when one of us got home. We would blame each other - have you cottoned on yet? Well if not, let me tell you… We waited in hiding one day and watched her. The funniest thing I ever did see. Coco  would make her way into the garage (it was where her litter tray was). She would jump into the car, through the open window, and walk on top of the remote control until she heard the garage door, then woosh - out she ran to try and kill the rats living in our neighbour's shed.  He wasn't the nicest of men and said he didn't care if she was killed or harmed he wasn't going to look for a cat if it was missing and by the way he was going to be using poison to kill the rats, so if she ate any of the rats then she would be poisoned too (remember this cat would eat almost anything). So we knew we had to keep the windows closed on the car from now on.

Days, months and years went by, 2 years in fact, and I felt the desire for another animal. I have always been maternal and let's face it at this point I was 29 and my body clock had been ticking for as long as I could remember. So I brought home Sabrina - in a similar fashion to Coco, she had demanded I take her home with me. Have you ever had that happen? Really, I cannot tell you just how hard it is to deny such a little thing having such a strong will.

When I brought Sabrina home, Coco was not happy with me. Not one bit. Not at all. For a whole year she didn't speak to me. Sabrina would snuggle up to me in bed and Coco wouldn't even cuddle up to Peter, she slept at the bottom of the bed, absolutely fuming - you could feel her energy - she was not happy.

When I was pregnant with Matthew we moved house and we kept "the girls" inside for a couple of weeks and all went well.


Coco and Sabrina would sit at the front glass windows and the very noisy Grey Australian Minor Birds would come and perch right on the other side of the windows and taunt the cats. It was always funny to watch how clever the birds were and how frustrated my poor cats were. One day I was out gardening, and Coco and Sabrina were out enjoying the late winter Sun with me, but they moved into an area that  and the minor birds decided that they didn't want these birds in their territory. So down they swooped chasing the cats away, it was very funny until I saw one of them hit Coco on the head so hard I heard the impact. To the very last day Coco was missing a tuft of skin and had a scar on her face from that bird. She was smart cat, although she loved to make all the noises and movements, she never chased another bird after that.


One day while I was heavily pregnant with Matthew, I heard a cat fight on the front steps (which are Sabrina was cornered by the large red-furred male cat, and he was interested in her in a manner that the male species often is when the mood strikes them. Sabrina had been desexed very young and never seemed fully developed. As I pregnantly waddled and opened the door to go shoo the beast away Coco bolted in front of me and jumped straight down 4 steps landed squarely between the two cats and chased the Big Red Male down the stairs, across the neighbours yard, and across the road. She wasn't having any of him around. She came back so proud of herself - we cuddled most of the afternoon.

Not too long before Matthew was born, Coco decided to stay out all night. She had not ever done this before, and I was terrified for her safety. I cannot tell you what kinds of mischief she must have got up to, but she came home very tired, and we slept all the next day, her and I. I was to learn over the next few years that she was going to do this sometimes, so I learned to make sure they both were closed indoors before 6pm as the road we live on is notorious for people speeding after going around all the turns that lead up to the straight stretch of road right in front of our house.

Towards the end of 1999, I gave birth to Matthew. It was a really tough delivery, and it's a miracle I am here today, but that story is for another day. It is relevant however, because when I brought Matthew home Coco had an amazing change of mind about me. Suddenly I think she though "you are just going to keep doing this aren't you, bringing home things, creatures that I don't want". When Matthew would cry in his cradle, she would sit underneath it and stare at me as if to say "Well, what are you doing, get over here and see to this poor creature". I often had long conversations with her about what motherhood was about. You see, at that point Peter was working hard at the shop, and I was at home full time, in a place where I really didn't know anyone, my family lived 1000km away, as were my best friends. I knew my husband, I knew his friends, but I hadn't made any of my own as yet. Due to complications post delivery, I had lost a lot of blood, and was isolated and Post Natal Depression set in. I had Coco and Matthew, Sabrina, well she wasn't too fond of this new addition and had taken to not talking to me, much the same way that Coco had done previously.

As Matthew grew, Coco kept a close eye on him, she was so patient and good with him. He was a caring little boy, and curious, so he would want to try and catch her and pat her, how he loved her. When he learned to crawl he would chase her around the house - she would walk away from him and then wait for him to get close then move again. I was often entertained by this. Sometimes she would allow him to get up close or he would lure her in by playing with her stick that had the string attached… he would crawl over to her and lift himself up on his knees and land his whole body on hers. The first time he did this I was horrified, I though Coco was hurt and justifiably would want to maul him to death, I rushed over, but she just lay there, and clawed the carpet and pulled herself from underneath him. She was fine, and he was too! She was young enough that if she wanted to, she could always escape him if she wanted to, and often did, but she seemed to understand his age, and would just as often let him "slam dunk crash wallop" her as I called it. He patted her very nicely and learned with her how to be gentle with another creature. As he got older she would "bite" him without piercing his skin to let him know when he had gone too far. I never had to intervene. Not once, not ever.

Between having Matthew and having Alyssa, I had 2 miscarriages. Coco, seemed to know about both of them, before I did. She became fretful and would be around me all day. I wasn't well, and the emotional blow out - well she was just there, my constant companion, with Sabrina nearby her.

When I was hurt emotionally, I enjoyed watching movies, and often laid on my side with my knees drawn up on the couch. Coco's favourite position was alway between my knees and the couch, so she had her own little fortress made by my legs and bottom. If I moved from that position she wasn't very happy with me.

Coco had a way of knowing if you liked cats or not. I could tell instantly upon you sitting down on our lounge just how comfortable you were with cats. If you loved them, she would take her time to check you out, and if she were inclined you'd get cuddles. The more you didn't like them, the sooner she would be on your lap and refusing to move. Such  funny, spiteful behaviour used to amuse me no end, and I would happily move her, though with some guest I actually had to put her outside as they would be made so uncomfortable about her insistence to stay on them.

One day we had an electrician doing work at the house, and he was about to leave, I was looking for Coco as I hadn't seen her for quite some time… as he was just taking off in the car he found her there. She was funny, and easy to feed, we think the car was lovely and warm, or she was after his tuna sandwiches, either way, just a funny story - she would end up in cars going places all the time!!

Much later, only a few years ago now, we had a visitor cat come and stay with us, her name was Ed. She was a character, and didn't really get along with our two. She was much younger. Consequently, some bad habits were formed by our two girls and thus began the beginning of their demise. There were at this point about 16 and 14 - so quite an old age for cats anyway. Their toiling habits changed and for the next few years it was always a battle to know just where you might find a surprise in the middle of the night - Yew - but it's the price you pay for having old cats with years of love attached to them.

When our marriage failed, Coco and Sabrina often slept with one of the kids. I think she would choose which one needed her most. I couldn't fact sleeping with her, it just hurt all a bit too much to be reminded of having her, Sabrina, and us in the bed together. Coco seemed to know this, and didn't put up a fuss, or hassle me, she gave me the space I needed and just went and looked after the kids showering them in the love that they needed, and keeping them awake all night demanding to be let out to the toilet of course, but this was something that had become "par for the course" by this stage.

Then Easter 2016 the kids and I went up to Queensland to visit with my family. It was also my father's 80th birthday party, so I asked Peter to take the cats. He did, and they stayed with him and his family until we received a message to say she really wasn't doing well, and it might be a good idea to go visit her. Then I received another message from my sister-in-law Nia saying the same thing… It must be time. So I packed up the kids and took them over to visit with Coco. She must have heard my car pull up because she was out of the lounge room and more than halfway across the kitchen nearly at the back door to greet us as we walked up to the back door. She looked at me and meowed. I picked her up and my heart caught in my throat. I could just tell, that my girl had come to me to say goodbye. I believe she had been holding on for us to visit her.

I had a cuddle, and passed her to Alyssa, and then Matthew. Once she had her fill of cuddles she wanted to go onto the grass, then she wobble-walked like a drunk over to a shady spot in the garden and lay down.

I made an appointment to take her to the vet the next day at noon. I couldn't see her in pain like this anymore. I think she knew it too.

My mother-in-law Elly stayed up most of the night, trying to make Coco feel safe and comfortable, and not alone. I will always be grateful to her for that. In the end we all need someone to sit with us through the hard times, and Coco was having difficulty breathing but made it through the dark hours.

Peter tells me that the next morning he said a lovely farewell to her. Then at some point after he left for work and my niece Elly (Jr) awoke. Elly (Jr) discovered Coco's body.  Coco had given me yet another gift. I no long had to take her to the vet and be strong for her. Coco always seemed to know what was right for each one of us and gave to us the gift of giving it to us.

I collected my precious girl, and brought her home. I spent time with her grieving and preparing her for burial. It was a cathartic time and all the most awful feelings of loss, sadness, anger, despair, washed over me, but at the bottom of all those feelings was this overwhelming Love. Coco was always Love, and I will always be grateful for what she taught me in that moment. That underneath all the pain and anguish of life, remains love.

Friday, June 24, 2016

A new bend in the road... Holding space for myself...

Last night I embarked on a new adventure. I attended a workshop for people who want to improve their health and wellness, and live their best life.

I will not discuss anyone else's journey here but I will discuss my own.

When I first heard about this short course, this phrase  jumped out of the conversation "learning what your obstacles are and how to overcome them". It was like a beacon calling me to join the course.

Can I do this every week for 7 weeks? Can I afford it? Can I afford not to do it? There were many thought that tried to prevent me from saying yes, but I just felt so drawn to it. At the time I thought my health was pretty top notch and improving, so I knew it wasn't going to be about my health. 

Last night when I attended we went through some basics of plotting where certain things in our life are at, then we distilled it down to an area that needed to be and could be improved in the next 7 weeks.

When I realised what the one area I had to work on was me, there was a physical clunk inside of me, like something unlocked and turned me slightly... So I now had a new perspective and I could see just how much I have been putting myself on the back burner, just how much I have put everyone and everything ahead of me first, and how destructive and cruel I had been to do this to myself.

It hurt me to realise that I would never in my wildest dreams have imagined I could be so cruel to a person. That my husband had been right all along, but that our filters were different. He was right, I had not been taking care of myself... But not completely right... He meant physical beauty, I meant care of my spirit, should, and my poor heart. 

Many friends over the years have told me what a big heart I have, how generous I am with my love and time... I could never see it. How precious my love was for people and how deeply I cared... I knew something about how deeply I cared, mostly because I could feel the effect of the pain that I would feel when my feelings were hurt.

Last night, for the first time, I became aware, just a small glimpse at what my friends have been telling me... I do in fact have a big heart, and I love so deeply, and I don't mean just the type of love that we speak about between life partners. No, I mean I genuinely love people, my dearest friends know how much I love them, but most people in my life might not know, because if they did, they would run for the hills thinking me strange to express such deep affection. This is not some weirdo love, this is a deep feeling inside of me that says "we are all connected, when you hurt I hurt, when you are happy I am happy". 

In life, in spirit, there is only love, or the absence of love... 

How do I honour that? How do I honour who and what I am?...and do so Adequately? How do I undo all the bullshit I have done to myself? How do I stop feeling like I am not worth it? That I am not good enough to take on the task? How do I undo the habitual thinking that I am damaged goods? How do I mend my broken heart... Not broken because of the marriage breakdown, but broken because of all the suffering I have been party too, and not said "no" to. All the times I went into agreement with someone else's idea of how it should be instead of following my own inner voice? All the times I ignored my feelings about "this doesn't seem right or OK, or even legal?" All the times is just wanted to say "enough, that might be ok for you, but it is NOT ok for me, and I'm not doing it" and most importantly all the times I said "oh that's ok I guess I can try and go another time, I will do this for you now instead".  These are just some statements that pop into my mind...

 I let myself down in the most important areas of my life, and now I have to learn from it. I held myself responsible for things that had nothing to do with me, and were completely out of my control. All of this came up and to the fore, all in one foul moment that bare lasted a second, I just knew it. It all leaked out of my eyes. I wasn't actually crying, not like with large amounts of emotions attached, not yet anyway, it was just a physical reaction to what was taking place inside of me... 

So I learned that inside of me is this small girl who is lost and broken, and I need to be "big hands" for her. I need to hold space for her, I need to love her like she has never been loved before. I need to care for her, and teach her she is safe, and it is okay to not harden her heart, in fact it's critical she learns how to keep her soft heart and love as deeply as she was made to love. Someone, somewhere out there is a wonderful career, life partner, and lifestyle made just for her, waiting for her to grow enough to be able to live an amazing life... I just have to help her get there... If I can treat my inner child as my own daughter, I should be ok, in fact considering how amazing my own daughter has turned out, I suspect that my inner child is going to be more than ok...

So I hope to check in from time to time to touch base about this... I'm looking forward to this journey, a new bend in the road has begun, and I can't wait to see what lies ahead.... 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

New Thinking


Wednesday 23 June 2016

So I am looking at moving forward… not my trying to move away from what has been, or was, or even away from the lost potential of what might have been. But genuinely moving forward with my eyes fixed ahead…

What is it that I want for myself, and my kids, and what will that look like?
How can I make it happen?
I am on a journey and I have some amazing, insightful, helpful women with which to share the journey. I am so grateful for their help and support, and for trusting me with helping and supporting them, this is a very real privilege and I am enjoying myself a lot.

Sure I have tears - but what is change if you can't say goodbye to the old? And, somehow it seems fitting that change should hurt a little bit… pain is significant, and so is our journey - so let the tears flow, let the pain come, and let it go again. For the sun will shine in the morning and I will be ready anew with 



Tuesday 22 June 2016

So, while out on my run/walk this morning I discovered I *really* am like an onion ...
I have found the physical energy, when I challenge my body in exercise, pushes the energy into my spirit and I feel so uplifted. 
As the layers of physical baggage peel away from my body it helps me lose the emotional layers - making me lighter, stronger, fitter, shinier, newer and most of all energised and happy. Quietly confident.
Like an onion each new layer is shinier and newer and a little smaller.
I am packed with flavour.😀
I am deliciously when heated up. 😉
I compliment and contrast in dishes with other things in wonderful ways... In both my raw or cooked states…


Thursday, May 26, 2016

A New Day

"...When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love in the spring becomes the rose."

This is my favourite verse from one of my favourite songs. "The Rose" by Bette Middler.

Sometimes the night has been too lonely, and road has been too long. I have wonders if love is only for the lucky and the strong. Then I remember that love does come again, it will come again. When the time, and the season, and all the conditions are right.

But I can feel a quiet confidence inside of me. It was a tiny ember that seemed to glow a little at first and I barely recognised it. It grew a little more each time I did something that made me feel like I was learning about who I am - and actually liking what it was I was learning about myself. 

I have recently read through some old letters that I sent to my exhusband when we were first going out, coupled with my diaries of the time. What I have learned is that I was a very interesting person. I was the sort of person I would have liked to be friends with, not only back them but even now.

I was highly social. I had a variety of things I did to fill in my spare time. I danced in nightclubs, I wrote poetry and took bush walks, I rode horses regularly, attended a gym, did volunteer work for the ambulance, and was often having friends to dinner or going to their place. This is the life of a person who is single and who is outgoing, and enjoys life. I found my personality in these letters. I have a good imagination, a sense of fun and wonder, and great sense of humour, I am sensitive, and caring, compassionate and loving, loyal, dependable, honourable and I have integrity. I can be tenacious/stubborn, which can be good and not so good, I hold opinions on things, and I am passionate. I defend the underdog, and I argue if I disagree. 

So fast forward 24 years and how has this changed. Patience has grow from next to none, to quite a lot. I'm still impulsive, so I need to learn to use my head in conjunction with my heart (being a parent has helped this improve). I have maintained a relatively poor social life, and my volunteer days fell by the wayside, as did my physical activity. There are lots of reasons why, but i don't want to dwell on that. What I want to look to is what can I do, right now to improve my life.

So I have taken up with the idea of being able to run 5km. I am using an app to go from couch to 5km - it's supposed to be in 8weeks... I'm laughing right now because I don't think that is likely at all, but I cannot tell you just how much I am enjoying moving my body again. How wonderful it feels to get your muscles warmed up and use them to power your body along a road. The strength I feel throughout the day aftewards astounds me and encourages me to do it all again tomorrow. I find myself grinning from ear to ear, and I even play my favourite running sons during the day so I can inspire myself to want to do it again tomorrow.

At this point a lot of women would still be bitter. I have been put through the wringer. But I don't feel bitter anymore. I feel grateful. Yes I do. I am grateful that I am no free to make decisions about me - for myself. I am grateful that my time is more or less my own, except for the time my kids need me. 

Oh what interesting souls I have been bless to raised. They are delightful to know. I love getting to know my kiss as they grow and learn. They are now 16 & 14. They are discovering relationships and how to navigate them, they are discovering how to manage their time and the consequences of that not happening... Their world is opening up for them, I don't know that they see their potential, but I sure do, and the world is their oyster. They are blessed with good health, great looks, and wonderful personalities and great characters.  I am incredibly proud of both of them.

So the ember is a small flame, I'm owning my life more and more, I'm owning who I am more and more, I'm standing and succeeding in knowing who I am and what I am worth and it feels very good.

So I look forward to the sentiments in this song (Feeling Good Michael Buble) playing out in my life:
"It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good
I'm feeling good" 

Take care 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

When you can't sleep.

Awakened.

It was 1am. What to think about? Going back to sleep.

Ahhhh, but there is so much to do, so much to process, and so much to consider. 

I wonder how many people it has happened to - You wake up from a very clear dream and just know the answers. Your life is suddenly so clearly available to you. 

Most of all I try and focus on what a lovely time I had talking on the phone with a friend half the night...

But...
Also, I'm remember the night before last I had awakened at 4am I knew my marriage had ended, it had been over for much longer than either of us were willing to admit to ourselves let alone to each other. I think for the past 3 years. It is sad, but only because any marriage that ends is sad.

New facts came to light under this new found confidence of knowledge from my dream. One of which is positive. I should trust my instincts, and I have a sound mind.

So I have new beginnings to look forward to. These will be scary, but also so very exciting. Life is an adventure, and if you can fill your thoughts with positive thoughts you just never know where they will lead you.

I am already grateful, though it's a bit wobbly from time to time, for the learning that will come from this experience. I wonder how many people are out in the world right now feeling what I am feeling, wondering at what I wonder at... Many would tell me I think too much, but I believe I seek to understand. From understanding, knowledge and wisdom grow. I sooooo do not want to get to the need of my life and find that I have gained little knowledge and wisdom. They are two different things...

Short-term there is just so much I want to get done, and there seems only the shortest amount of time to get it done, as I am also processing complex emotions. Loving my kids, and protecting them, helping them in what ever way I can to heal, though it would appear that the best way to help them would be to help myself become strong again. All the while battling, fear, mistrust, anxiety, and the greatest of these self-doubt, but also, there is much relief, relaxation, comfort, joy and love of good friends. I have even laughed throughout it all with my best friends. Oh how wonderful it is to know support. I have not had it before quite like this, and it feels so uplifting. Here's to not knowing... Scary and exciting all at the same time, but I truly believe the best is yet to come. xo


Monday, April 4, 2016

Silence


The pain of an uncomfortable silence, and the bliss of a comfortable one.

The discomfort came from disconnect. It was deliberate and the rejection was enormous. It was overwhelming, and troubling. 


Simon and Garfunkel sing:
"fools, said I, you do not know, 
Silence like a cancer grows"

And 
A Great Big World sin:


"Say Something"

Say something, I'm giving up on you
I'll be the one if you want me to
Anywhere I would've followed you
Say something, I'm giving up on you

And I... am feeling so small
It was over my head
I know nothing at all
And I... will stumble and fall
I'm still learning to love
Just starting to crawl

Say something, I'm giving up on you
I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you
Anywhere I would've followed you
Say something, I'm giving up on you

And I... will swallow my pride
You're the one that I love
And I'm saying goodbye

Say something, I'm giving up on you
And I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you
And anywhere I would've followed you (Oh-Ooh)
Say something, I'm giving up on you

Say something, I'm giving up on you
Say something..." 




Friday, March 4, 2016

Rejection

In life, we travel this road.

Sometimes, we are so lucky to find friends and someone special that will travel it with us, and sometimes they are the love of our lives.

That love can be permanent in you, but can change for the other person, and when this happens one of two things usually happens. They leave you, or they treat you with rejection.

Rejection hurts, it hurts eveyone that has ever felt it. It is the basis of school yard hardship, it is the basis of teenage angst, and it is why some young men find it too hard to cope when a pretty girl says to a boy that he is not the one for her , right now, AND it is the basis for all separation and divorces.

That ache inside your heart that says "why don't they love me anymore?" "what is wrong with me?" And "how did this all go so WRONG?" There's are many many reasons why it went wrong, but ultimately rejection is at the core of the feelings. And it is excruciating to face.

Any mother who has held their child who is sobbing from the name calling they took at school will tell you how cruel rejection is, and look into her child's eyes and you will know how it feels.

It's a dull ache, that just doesn't pass away easily. When it's rejection from a marriage, it's insidious, cruel, malignant, and relentless. 

For those that are going through it, you know, that it is behind every distracted conversation you have, trying oh so hard to find a happy topic to find a brief moment of respite, you know it is a ruse. It is raw and it steals your smile. You look know that your whole world is upside down, and the places, and ways, that used to make you happy are not open to you anymore, and you have to find new ways, new places and new people to create your happiness again. It is so hard, and it hurts so much. 

You want to cry out "I am sorry" and you do, when you're alone. "I am so very sorry, for what I did and didn't do. I have lost my way and I cannot find my way back..

Rejection is insidious. It permeates every part of your day. It makes you feel lonely within a relationship, if you stay... How can one be rejected but also in a relationship? Ask any domestic violence victim. They felt the cold hard sting of emotional and or physical rejection, yet they stayed. They loved, they forgave, they did everything they could and somehow kept trying to do more. They know rejection. It is so incredibly difficult to have your significant other walk in at the end of the day and grunt at you by way of hello, or worse, to feel their bad mood as they open the door permeate throughout the house. You just KNOW, tonight is NOT going to be a good one. No matter how nice the dinner you made is, no matter how clean the house is or how well behaved the kids are... You KNOW tonight is not going to go well. You KNOW that the past few months/weeks/days of respite is coming to an end, and you will do ANYthing to stop that from happening... All the while KNOWing that you cannot possibly be perfect enough.

It doesn't matter, they HATE themselves, they hate everything they are, and you are "just" part of them, and extension of them. So they get to hate you too. They don't ask about your day, they just don't care. So caught up in their own hatred for themselves and their own life they are seeking to reject something in a tangible ay. So they reject YOU. They do it in so many ways, they are cold and don't talk, they might take themselves away from the dinner table and sit away from the family, or you might sleep in until 8am on a Sunday morning or because every Sunday for the past 3 weeks dinner has been a left overs night. Heaven for bid that they do one thing, just one thing that they don't want to. 

Yes, you learn to do anything it takes to stop them from getting upset. It is toxic. You are so afraid that they will reject you - you forget that you can reject them. You forget what it is like to feel free to do what you want to do. You forget how love is supposed feel supported, nurtured, and care FOR. You also forget that they need you, because you are their release of self-rejection. Then one day, they say or do something usually something big, something obvious that makes you wake up from your nightmare and you run. 

 You turn up on someone's doorstep and you are an emotional mess. In today's day and age, you are required to make the split as friendly as possible "for the kids" or to "keep the peace". What a cruel twist it is that you now HAVE to be nice, when before you didn't have to, but you were nice anyway...