Today a butterfly landed on my forearm. I moved my arm down to inspect it, and it didn’t move. It turned and just looked at me. After about a minute, it flew away.
On June 28, 2015, my ex boyfriend died of a drug overdose. He was 25 and an amazing person. Heroin stole him from the people who loved him.
But since I don’t feel like I’m drowning today, that’s all I will say about that.
I had a wonderful dream last night. I was back in college for a race that was running and swimming. My friends were all there, and all of a sudden, he walked up to me and said hello.
Everyone around me kept whispering that they thought he was dead. He told me that he was there to be my partner and helps me through the race. I jumped into his arms (he was 6’4″ to my 5’4″) and hugged him. I wasn’t sad. I was just so happy he was there.
As the race went on, I realized how healthy he looked. And further, I realized that he never left my side. When we were together and he relapsed, I would lose him often for 30 minutes at a time. He would make an excuse, but I knew what he was doing. There were no needle marks either. I kept touching his arms and noticed they were clear. His scar on his forearm (he put his arm through a glass door when he was a kid) was even gone. I even told him I was sorry to be so clingy to him, but I missed him so much and he looked so happy and healthy.
He smiled at me and said “I’m happy and healthy where I am now, babe.” And then I woke up.
I’ve struggled so badly with his passing. Contrary to what you may think, I’ve never been a drug user. I just loved him so much it didn’t matter. I still love him. I can’t understand the addiction that overtook his life, nor can I understand why God took him.
But I am so thankful for the time I spent with him. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am even more thankful for God and him coming into my dreams and telling me that he’s okay; he’s clean, sober, happy, and God’s got him.
If he can’t be on earth with us, I couldn’t ask for much else.
I miss you, babe; always.
It really sucks when people let you down..family, friends, coworkers, etc. But it sucks even more when it’s a significant other.
I don’t know about you, but I think one of the best parts about being in a relationship is having that person there for you. They celebrate triumphs, they commiserate failures, and they squelch fears. They take our hand and tell us to relax. They sit by when you need to just unload about the stressful day you have. They laugh when you tell a funny story or something humorous that happened to you. They’re just…there to live life with you.
My on-again, off-again ex and I had been on-again here lately. We were talking daily, he visited me, among other things. We had talked about getting back together, but he had some personal issues to deal with before. I was fine with that. I understand and can respect waiting until you give your all in the relationship.
Until a few days ago.
I despise requalifying with my firearm for work. I just get so nervous and work myself up for no reason. It’s fair to say I dread it.
I had discussed this with him and he had said some kind words to me. However, the day of, I heard nothing from him. No words of encouragement. No words asking how it went. And a full 36 hours later, still nothing.
I was upset, but then it hit me. I am not his girlfriend. He has gone out of his way to make sure that I’m not. He doesn’t have to listen to my fears or be there for me or help my anxiety. He doesn’t owe me jack shit.
And that made my heart break again…just a tiny bit.
(By the way….I rocked the fuck out of it).
That quote is from my all time favorite book, “You Remind Me of You” by Eireann Corrigan. Whenever I have a question about why I’m doing something, that always pops in my head.
It’s also easy to confuse being comfortable with being in love.
It’s also easy to confuse being nostalgic with being in love.
When someone returns to my life that I feel I didn’t get the right amount of closure on (or when I feel that it just wasn’t over), I seem to forget the bad times and just remember the good. I forget the 6 months it took me to get over him. I forgot how often we argued (once a day). I forgot that he would purposely push my buttons to try and get me to crack, like it was humorous.
Love stories also glamorize the idea that if someone returns to your life after leaving it, it’s “meant to be.” What that fairytale fails to mention is that that door they strolled through should have been dead bolted, double locked, and sealed with concrete. Instead, we decide that it’s a sign (which it is- a sign that they don’t have boundaries, can bend your feelings to suit them, and have little respect for you) that we should try again with thoughts of rainbows and puppies and marriage in our heads.
And then I act surprised when he plays with my feelings to bait me, and then stomps on them again. And I’m shocked when he can’t make time to see me because he’s too “busy.” And I’m floored when he tells me he’s just not sure he’d want to get back together (but hey, we can still sleep together, right?).
Insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. It’s time for me to get off the roller coaster ride.
Do you ever look at a situation that’s effecting your life and wonder how you would’ve handled it 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years ago?
I’ve noticed a change in myself recently in the way I handle a failed relationship. For instance, I went on a date last Friday, and there was no spark. It was fine, nothing bad happened, but there was nothing there. A year ago, I’m sure I would’ve thought that I should force it or else I’d be alone for the rest of my life. I’ve grown enough that I know I should just let it go.
Turns out I was right, too. He spent last night staring at my roommate and I from across the bar and shit talking the “girls in the gray sweatshirts.”
I also noticed it for the month and a half that my ex was trying to come back into my life (and my vagina. Is that crass?). He said some really mean shit to me (Ie: he couldn’t treat me like a decent human being, he was just incapable of it), which would have sent me over the edge when I dated him over a year ago. But instead, I changed his name to Satan in Snapchat and my phone, told him good luck with his sad little life, and rolled on.
Life is all about perspective, right? We can allow someone’s actions to ruin our day and our attitude, which, in turn, allows us to become someone the people who truly love and care about us have no desire to be around. Or, we can decide to not drink the miserable Kool Aid of the person who is trying to drag us to their level, laugh, and move on.
Every day is a chance to be a better, happier person. Every day we have the chance to give something to the world and be kind to those around us. You can’t do that if you’re busy playing into other people’s bullshit. You can’t do that if you check your phone every 5 minutes for a Snapchat from Satan. Instead, we need to put the phone down, smile more, and hush that demon voice in your head that tells you that you can’t do something or you’re fat or you’ll never be married or that you can’t accomplish your goals.
Plus, who wants to have a Snapchat argument with Satan anyway?
I actually made time to write this blog post today! I don’t go in until 2 today, and there was no way I was going to go to the gym with the way I’ve been feeling; it’s like I have a cold that won’t figure out what the hell it wants to be, except to suck the life out of me. I also have limited myself to 1 hour of social media a day (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for Lent, so it’s amazing how much extra time I have!
- Mini Lip Gloss by Cargo Cosmetics in Anguilla ($10) – I enjoyed the color of this gloss, and it goes on well. It’s not too sticky either.
- Up All Night Volumizing Spray by Eva NYC ($24 full price)- This product smells amazing. I love that it protects against heat while giving volume, and it doesn’t leave my hair feeling weighed down and greasy.
- Large Angled Face Brush 504 by Luxie Beauty ($16, price cut to $8)- This brush is so soft and is also vegan friendly, something I really appreciate in a beauty product. This will be going into rotation for blush and bronzer application.
- Blush Cheek Powder by ModelCo in Peach Bellini ($22)- I just about fell off my bed when I noticed that this blush is $22. Does it give me Tyra Banks’ cheekbones?
- Natural Eye Liner Pencil by “Pencil Me In” in Amethyst ($6.99)- I love this color. It will especially pop with my brown eyes. However, the reviewers on Ipsy say that it doesn’t go on very smoothly and can take some swipes for a clean application.
The theme for this box is appropriately…Mardi Gras!!
- Lemon Wafer Bites by Dolcetto
- Traditional Hot Chocolate by Monbana (Vegan)
- Olive Oil Potato Chips by Boulder Canyon (Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Vegan)
- Baked Mac N’ Cheese Puffs by Snikiddy (Non-GMO, Gluten Free)
- Milk Chocolate Mini Pieces by Divine Chocolate
- Original Creole Seasoning by Tony Chachere’s (Vegan)
- Protein Almond Honey Bar by Rise Bar (Non-GMO, Gluten Free, 3 ingredients only!)
If you’re interested in trying Love with Food, click the link below:
I’ve been struggling with a few things here lately. I just turned 25 Saturday, and a part of me is wondering if I’m “behind” for this age group. Sure, I have a job I love making decent money, and I have an apartment at the beach (something I’ve always wanted), but I am very much single. What’s more, I’ve allowed the ex that broke my heart back into my life.
I know. Please don’t yell at me. But I loved him so much, the kind of love that doesn’t go away, even if you hate that person to the nth degree. We’re not getting back together. He swears that he can’t (homeboy has more issues than a Times subscription), and I don’t think my pride would allow it. But that hasn’t stopped him from fucking with me.
So today, I’m promising myself a few things.
Today, I will…
- Be the keeper of my own happiness.
- Fake it until I feel happy.
- Not allow someone talking to me (or not speaking to me) effect how my day will go.
- Not talk to my ex.
- Forgive myself for what happened yesterday or last month or last year.
I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I don’t know if I will ever see him again, or if we’ll ever speak again. I can’t control what he does. I can only control myself, and I have to allow that to be enough for today.
I’ve been debating writing this post since the Ray Rice scandal (quite literally) exploded on the front pages of every social media page and news source in the US.
I’ve seen the memes. I’ve seen the video. I’ve seen the apology videos (both of them, a term I use loosely). I’ve seen the “jokes” about taking the stairs instead of elevators and others that are equally asinine. Don’t get me wrong, I have to use humor at work so I don’t lose my goddamn mind or get burnt out by the time I’m 30 years old.
However, as someone who has gone through domestic violence and come out on the other side, there is nothing even remotely funny about victims and their stories of survival.
There is nothing funny about the fact that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. It’s 2014. Why do we still need to discuss this? Why does the term “domestic violence” even exist? Domestic violence isn’t always physical. It is verbal. It’s control. It’s calling someone a slut, ugly, fat, worthless, and instilling in their mind that NO ONE will ever love them the way their abuser does. What the victim doesn’t realize at the time, however, is that no one will ever love them like that, and that’s a damn good thing.
There is nothing funny about the fact that 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men are stalked in their lifetime. Remember when you wanted your parents to get off your back? Imagine your exboyfriend calling and texting you so much that you have to turn your phone off, since it’s useless to try to contact anyone else. You can’t get through. Imagine your exboyfriend just appearing at the restaurant you’re at. My ex showed up at a dinner after 12 hours of drinking and chased me around town in his BMW. He also once showed up at a party I was at and locked me in a bedroom when I wouldn’t talk to him. He held me down until I fought back enough to get away from him. It was terrifying.
There is nothing funny about the fact that 1/3 of female homicides (femicide) are killed by an intimate partner. Personally, I am positive that my ex would have killed me if I would’ve “stuck it out.” I stuck with him for 3 hellish years, something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
It breaks my heart to watch that Ray Rice video and to watch the “apology” videos that have come in the aftermath. Rice’s now wife has been with him since they were teens; do you think that’s the first time he’s laid hands on her? The violence always escalates. Always. And the “honeymoon” phase gets shorter every time. I have been her. You are convinced it’s as good as it gets; that you deserve to be treated that way. When you love someone for that long, you forget how to have a normal, loving, healthy, AMAZING relationship. This is your new “normal.”
If you watch the apology videos, not once does Rice apologize to his wife, but she certainly apologizes enough to him. And let me tell you from experience, reporting domestic violence against a man who has prestige in the community is so difficult. My ex was a cop. I didn’t report the stalking, abusive behavior because I knew he’d lose his job, and nothing would be holding him back from making my life a complete, living, hell. It was easier to take it, to be unable to move on with someone else, to sneak around and meet him because I thought it wouldn’t get worse.
What got me out? My ex cheated on me and got someone else pregnant. I thank God for that woman every day, because without her, I don’t know what my breaking point would’ve been. For someone you know (or yourself) that is experiencing domestic violence, I don’t know what his or her breaking point is either. I do know that the worst thing you can do is turn away. If one of my friends would have sat me down and explained that they were concerned, that this isn’t right, I’m not sure if it would’ve changed things. I do know it would have helped me somewhat. Abusers make their victims feel alone, isolated; like they have no one to help them. Do not inadvertently help the abuser isolate the victim.
And if you are reading this and are being subjected to domestic violence, here this; I love you. We are forever tied. You are beautiful, smart, funny, charismatic, and worthy of safe love. Love that you don’t have to fear. Love that you know won’t break into your home and terrify you. There is help.
And please, I don’t want anyone to feel bad for me. I am thankful for this experience so that I may help others in this process. I just want the world to know that domestic violence has a face, and one of them is mine.
One of my favorite things to do is torture myself with “what ifs” and “maybes.”
Just kidding. I actually like sleep and not having anxiety.
Why is it that you can put someone out of your mind for an extended period of time and then all of a sudden, BOOM. There they are. In the forefront of your brain. On your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram feed. Taunting your big feelings. And you can’t shake them! You’re engrossed in a task at work and there’s a tiny voice in the back of your mind repeating their name. You’re laughing, and all of a sudden you’re taken over by a memory you’ve had with that person and it just changes your mood totally.
I have recently ended a dating saga with this guy I thought was super cool, but am now realizing we are just way too different to mesh. When presented with that fact, he fucking ghosted. Poof, gone. Which is cool, and I’m glad that it happened after 3 dates rather than 30.
However, I guess with him out of my bubble, I am stuck with memories of a previous “relationship.” If that’s what you would call it. It’s more like an on again, off again, tit for tat, I am obsessed with you but I fucking hate you so much, let’s pretend we don’t know each other, I miss you so much, all out civil war. And it is so frustrating. And it hurts the feelings I like to pretend I don’t have. And it makes me emotionally unavailable for the guys who don’t want to fuck with my head. And it sucks you guys. It SUCKS.
I guess it’s partially my fault. I let this person back into my life when it took about a year to get him out of my heart in the first place. That was a long time ago. And I guess I was just hoping we had both grown up enough to quit playing games and be legitimate and act right. But that was not the case.
It started out awesome. I mean, seriously great. Like Cloud 9 type shit. And out of nowhere, it got ugly. Like call your best-friend-at-3-am-after-being-iced-out-for-no-reason-hysterical type ugly. I have no idea what happened. I still don’t. When asked, I got fed a crock of bullshit, which is nothing new. The fact that I don’t know what the fuck happened eats at me hard.
I tried so hard to let the past be in the past, but it didn’t stay there. It reared it’s ugly head and put a giant lump in my throat I couldn’t swallow. So I shut down and decided to play games twice as seriously. I don’t deal well with hurt, so I fight back. Which doesn’t work for anyone, mostly me. And it didn’t. So I pushed it out of my head and focused on other things and pretended I couldn’t give a shit less.
But here I am. Caring. And wishing that if I was patient, he would grow the hell up and it would fix itself.
Apparently that is not in the plan.
I wish I knew who you were now, ’cause this whole dating thing is a real son of a bitch.
Anywho, you are one brave soul. Do you have any idea what you just got yourself into?! If there is time (aka no ring/we don’t have children/you don’t rely on me for nourishment and shelter (more for the cat who’s reading this)), RUN. I’m serious. You just opened and jumped into a can of crazy with no swimmies. Are you nuts?
I’m totally kidding.
As I’m sure you know by now, I am really good at deflecting my feelings with sarcasm and humor. I am sorry. I’m sure there have been multiple times you’ve wanted to either strangle me or tell me to be serious for a fucking second. I hope you chose the latter. It’s just my defense mechanism, and at some point, I will decide that you are worthy of the sometime serious me, and will drop the act. I promise. Just be patient with me. I just have a hard time letting people in. Usually, when that happens, I get taken advantage of and lied to. But I know I’ve started picking better, so I know you won’t do that to me. Right?
Have I told you yet about my relationship history? My track record isn’t that great. Unfortunately, I can trace that back to the 17 year old me, when I was in a real domestic violence relationship. Yup, you heard that right. Strong willed, loud mouth me is a survivor of domestic violence. The type where someone you love (and believe loves you) tells you every day how awful, fat, slutty, stupid, worthless, and unlovable you are. It really wears on a girl. Luckily, I got out before he killed me (which my mama was 100% sure he was going to do), but it took a while for me to shake it off. I guess that’s why I work so well with offenders and victims in domestic violence cases at work; I’ve been there.
How does it feel to be with someone who works in law enforcement? Being a probation officer is hard work, and I’m sorry if I bring it home sometimes. I appreciate the fact that you don’t mind being with a woman who can whip ass and take care of herself if need be, and give me the space to do so. But thanks also for allowing me to be a soft woman when I want to be.
Thank you for giving me the space to be independent. Thanks for understanding that my mom is my best friend, and that will never change. Thanks for fueling my addiction for Michael’s and all things pumpkin spice. Thanks for laughing at my not-so-funny jokes and for not being embarrassed that I say “fuck” a whole lot more than I should.
But mostly, thanks for loving the good, bad, happy, weird, fucked up parts of me. The woman who used to think she was unloveable.
All my love,
Erin (your girlfriend/wife/cat mommy)