Happiness grows when you let go…

Today I thought about my mother. I haven’t spoken to her in over 2 years and the details as to why have already been addressed so there is no need to rehash that pain.

For those who require a refresher, here you go: The back story for newbies

I thought about how wonderful it would be to share a laugh, a kind smile, anything loving at all with the woman who brought me into the world. Just to pick up the phone and talk about how our collective days are going.

That never was and can never be.

To long for something so simple yet so incredibly impossible to obtain crumbles the soul from the inside out. It’s the kind of gut wrenching agony possibly felt by those who have lost a loved one to illness, old age or even a tragic accident.

I say possibly because I don’t know how those in that situation truly feel, I can only guess so I suppose the better descriptive word would be EMPTY. I feel empty when I think about the loss of something I never even truly had.

The unconditional love of a mother.

I never had that. Conditions always applied. I was required to be quiet, obedient, loyal to my abusers, willing to lie and pretend all was well behind the door of the various run-down houses we lived in. A scarred front row guest with exclusive access to view my very own horror story. It was easy to hide in a small town, a place where airing private dirty laundry in public was strongly frowned upon and obvious abuse was routinely ignored. Your kids, your property!

At one time the knowledge that everything about “us” was wrong hurt me deeply. Seeing others with genuine, loving relationships with their mothers and fathers, laughing together, reminiscing about joyful memories and funny stories. I had a tiny bit of that; the “funny” stories we told, the “editing” of the past to make it seem as if we were normal and not horribly broken. In looking back, the tales we told acted as the smeared, greasy make-up clowns wear to hide the utter despair they feel inside.

Over the years I cataloged all of the pain, all of the dirt, all the grime. I held it in my hands and turned it over and over, composing speeches I should have made, declarations of outrage to those guilty of harm. Disdain and growling anger boiled from within to spill out first in writing and then verbally all over the floor of my therapist’s office. It was pronounced, organized, claimed and then bagged up and disposed of.

Letting go has been a long process, one that has taken decades for me to quantify, qualify and then release the rage. It involved being honest about how dark my childhood was, devoid of normalcy and how I no longer owe my family any loyalty. It also involved no longer tolerating the gas-lighting, purposeful “crazy-making” of both parents and siblings invested in continuing the fucked-up family tradition.

The sun will come up tomorrow and I will rise, giving thanks for the life I have. I will express gratitude for those I love and for those who love me. The positive influences I allow within my orbit will be raised up and tearfully proclaimed to be deeply appreciated. I have all of this because I chose to let the negative go.

The happiness I feel in this moment continues to grow and will only increase as I release each bad memory, each hurt, each lie, each nasty letter, email and text out into the universe to float away. My achievements are mine. I earned them and will be proud of how far I have come.

Peace be with you. I release you from my life.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Be like water….

Water, though it may seem soft, gentle and flowing, is a truly powerful force. One that will get to its destination no matter how we try to hold it back. Even the most carefully packed box of family heirlooms, long hidden in a basement back corner can succumb to the determination inherent in this liquid equalizer.

It will find it’s way.

And, so, when asked what I wish to be like in life I say…water.

The ebb and flow of an idyllic stream, languidly lapping against its bank, in no hurry because its destination is already known. Rivers, lakes and oceans patiently rising and lowering with no deadlines, no worry, no stress. They will all do as they will and desire nothing more than freedom to roam wherever they wish.

Boulders stand no chance against the disintegrating pressure swiftly running rapids apply, their supposed obstacle just an illusion. Walls, neither stone, brick, metal or wood can hold back the tide. All will fall away and crumble. It’s only a matter of time.

I will be as water.

I will flow without hesitation and will entertain intended obstacles as mere suggestions. Thank you for the offer to stop moving forward but I shall have to decline. This body of water must grow and travel beyond its banks in order to experience life.

I cannot be stopped.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lunatic fringe…

“I just have to share this video with you!!! It explains everything and contains all the facts you need to hear!!!”

Or…

“Let’s drive all the snowflakes crazy by posting this!!!”

What the hell is it with lunatic whackadoos and excessive exclamation points and typing in all CAPS? Are you so gleeful over insulting the intelligence of those around you or are you just manically obsessed with getting you POINT across?

Both you say?

Okay, Nutty McNutterson, here’s something to consider; if your shit-stirring posts don’t in fact “drive them crazy” and they instead ignore/hide/snooze did you actually achieve your objective or was it all for nothing and now you look ignorant?

My money is on them looking like an ignorant, isolated, narrow-minded twat waffle. And all for what? What is the objective? Online opinion posts mean nothing if you don’t have the guts to say any of that bigoted, isolationist conspiracy theory trash to said “snowflakes” face to face. I have yet to meet anyone willing to verbalize the shit they smear online in real-time.

Cowards feel pretty safe hiding behind their keyboards.

Also, do not…DO NOT…send me unsubstantiated claims, unverified “news” articles or videos from paranoid loons. When I see any of these annoyances in my private messages I know immediately that its either an arrogant attempt at mockery or, a very naive brainwashing attempt.

You obviously do not know me at all. I can tell the difference between fact and fiction. I don’t need you to tell me what to believe thank you very much.

At one time the newness of social media was exhilarating. Being able to talk with anyone you want, catching up with old friends and the prospect of possibly making new friends became a favorite pastime. Now, the saddest part is seeing how out of touch with reality so many people are. I mean, like tinfoil hat wearing, preper-in-training, white hood and burning cross devotee out of touch. Straddling the razor’s edge out of touch.

What happened to you?

Who hurt you? What happened in you life to make you such a scared and suspicious person? I can’t even call people like this “individuals” because there is nothing individualistic about towing the propaganda party line. You’ve been indoctrinated. You have lost your independence. You are controlled by a false narrative and can’t even see it!

Fear is what happened to you.

To be so fearful of change, so terrified of no longer being a majority member of society to the point where attacking anyone different, for no reason at all or a false, made up reason is simply sad.

You are sad.

And, even though I may feel sorry for you I still do not have to tolerate you. No amount of pleading or ridiculous attempts at “educating” those you feel are sheep will make me see things your way. I am not a follower. I am a searcher, a fact finder, a gatherer of information with mounds of empirical studies behind every claim. Hearsay is simply gossip and I don’t have time for gossip.

Just the facts ma’am.

Please keep your prejudices and your bigoted agendas to yourself and hopefully, if you can open your mind long enough to see through the fog of narcissistic bullshit, one day you will recover the humanity you have lost.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Here’s the thing about respect…

I see many memes and rant posts online about how respect SHOULD work.

SHOULD work? Says who? You? Not likely buddy!

“Remember the time when Americans respected the office of President and the flag and the Bible and Jesus and Mama” and on and on?

These posts are touted as coming from a place of nostalgia but, they aren’t. Pride, arrogance and ignorance allow ego to rule better judgement. And, when unbiased, unclouded judgement gets thrown out the window no amount of “I’m not a this or that” statements can act as a logical disclaimer.

None of it makes sense. You sound dumb and stuck in the past not nostalgic. And, I am not trying to be purposely mean here, I’m stating a fact. There is no need for half of the “in my day” posts I see online…other than to purposely stir shit.

Please don’t assume that I long for the same idyllic (highly dramatized) past that you seem to. One filled with parents that taught their children how to be “respectful” and resilient by hitting them with a wooden spoon, washing their mouths out with soap and letting them roam free across the countryside like tetanus riddled, dirt eating hobos.

That doesn’t sound fun at all! Not one bit and I lived through a lot of this except lets add a fist up side the head, getting slapped across the face with a dirty, wet mop and a wild desire to run away for some strange reason. I wonder why I would want to flee such a bucolic life but, please go on about how awful anyone 20+ years younger than you is. Cough…cough…jealous…

“Kids today are entitled, whiny babies!”

https://thehiredguns.com/5-myths-about-millennials-that-boomers-and-gen-xers-need-to-let-go/

Uh, aren’t you whining online about your opinion of kids today? An opinion based on other bullshit you see posted by fellow, crusty Gen Xers and dusty Boomers? Oh, shit! You’ve officially become your parents!!! And, you’re also a fucking hypocrite. Who raised these so-called entitled brats? Hmm? I can’t hear you. Oh, that’s right! Gen X and Boomer complainers did. How soon we forget and get out of here with that shit!

Should have listened to Nancy Reagan and just said no to drugs…because your memory sucks!

Relax, don’t do it…

Okay, so we’ve now established that the “they need to learn respect” and the compulsive posting of remember the good old day bulletins are no more than scabs covering guilt over either being a sometimes shitty child who grew up to have some shitty parenting moments or…you were raised by shitty parents and wanted to encourage your children to speak their minds without hesitation exactly because of how you were raised.

Which is it? I’ll go first. I can claim all of them, without hesitation or shame. That’s how honesty works. It’s a game changer I tell you! Why lie about it?

Now, let’s get to the “I’m not a ________” people. If you have to pronounce what you aren’t online, for all to see, even those who don’t give a shit, then most likely…you ARE whatever belongs in that blank. I don’t pretend to be that which I am not and instead of protesting against what I “think” others are accusing me of being I, instead, live my life in a way that such accusations never happen.

If you don’t give them an opening then they will never make it through the door.

So, in conclusion…stop demanding respect from others when you, yourself show disdain and disrespect towards others you feel aren’t like you or those who don’t live up to your idealized view of some fictionalized grand past.

The past is done. Change helps people evolve for the better. And, standing up for yourself isn’t an example of entitlement, it’s power. Wake the hell up from your daydream and smell the future’s coffee.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What to expect when your only child goes off to college or: The misery of realizing you are old!

I only have one child. An amazing daughter who inherited many of my personality quirks and who also took that shared DNA and molded it into something even better than I could have ever imagined! She’s bursting with potential and I am trying my hardest not to fuck anything up for her as she moves into her second year of college and finally away from the home nest for good.

Today, I walked into her nearly empty bedroom and the instantaneous sensation of tears welling up in my eyes took me by surprise. I felt the tell-tale tightening of the chest, that vise grip around the heart feeling and I wanted to crumple into a ball on the floor and cry. The realization that this was most likely the last summer she would “come home” and from here on out I will only see her on brief visits over the holidays struck me hard.

Where did the time go? How could the years fly so fast? How did I get so damn old?

Well…I can and do sit around and talk about pooping ALL the time. The kid does it too. Kinda our thing much to Manly Man’s utter chagrin but, come on! Everyone poops, everyone gets old and if we can’t talk about it then why are we even here?

So, back to my sadness over no longer being the one getting asked, “Hey Mom? Where is my charger, book, this. that and the other?” No, wait…I just got a text from my daughter asking me where her Airpods are. And…now another asking me where her flatiron is. Mind you, I’m over 400 miles away but damned if I don’t know exactly where those things are! Mom’s know…everything!

I am thankful for the age of constant digital connection, the FaceTime era where you can see loved ones, often just in weird angle, poorly lit shots of their nose, eyes and forehead while they are lying in bed or lounging on the couch. It’s not pretty but its connecting and I’ll take it!

I’ll take any type of communication now because I know the “little girl” days are over and that is painful. So painful I now have a daily slideshow of memories from the past floating around every corner of my mind at any given moment. I see her room, in our new house and I flash back to an image of her crib, in our old house, with its cute bumper pad and mobile attached to the rail. I see the rocking chair I used to sit in, rocking her to sleep each night while listening to lullabies. I see the stack of favorite books and toys and I long for that again, with her.

Now, mind you, those days included some very irritating moments too which involved an ex-spouse and ex-in laws but I am able to freeze frame the good parts, the laughter and joy I shared with her. I know I will have many more opportunities to experience happiness within her current orbit but those sweet, silly and free moments from her childhood were so satisfying to remember! And, also so, so very sad to look back on now!

Damn it Buble!!!!!!

It’s hard knowing you can’t go back, ever. You can’t get a piece of that bliss, just a small sliver to carry with you now as a reminder that you did something right and your life actually had many amazing pockets of success hidden amongst the bitter experiences. I made it out intact and she made it out as well so now…I just want to focus on the amazing things and let go of all the garbage.

Yes, I made many mistakes with her father but in the here and now I want to move forward new and clean. She doesn’t have to worry about me because I am with a devoted partner who loves her as well and is so very proud of her just like I am. I am OKAY! I just need to learn how to remember wonderful moments with her without the twinge of regret or second guessing myself. I SHOULD have done a lot of things differently but the one thing I did right was having her. That will always be my greatest accomplishment in life, hands down.

https://grownandflown.com/empty-nest-kids-leave-me-behind/

And now I sit alone thinking about her and struggling to find my new path in life. No one really tells you that after your children grow into adults and take off to live their own lives you will be left with an aching void. You are left with a feeling of confusion over what to do next. Am I still a parent or has that chapter concluded? Do I get to go back to being a woman, partner, friend, coworker now or have I always been these things all along it’s just that society told me I could only pick one to be at a time? I was never told what to do with myself once that job was done. Is this a mid-life crisis or a no-life reality?

We give up a lot of our former selves to be parents but what happens when we forget where we left the person we used to be before our children came along? I think I remember where she is…but, do I really want to find her again? So many questions and to think our college age offspring are contemplating who they want to be at the very same time we are trying to remember who we once were. It’s a bit freaky right? I literally want to ask her where I left all my shit now! “Hey, newly adult child? Where did I leave my dreams, my ambition and my sanity?” I just need to know what my role is now.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

As much as we’d like…there’s just no blocking out those who try our sanity forever.

Unfollow. Unfriend. Report. Block.

All of the above are temporary actions that fail to access deep into the core of what is truly wrong within any relationship, whether that be online or real time.

Last night I had a dream that I saw my sister sitting at a bar looking at me from across the room. She looked sad and was beckoning me to come and sit by her. My SO moved past me in the dream to talk to her and after a few moments came back and said, “You made the right decision.”

What does that mean? That I was correct in placing her outside my life for a while, like a time-out for unruly toddlers or that I was right to stop letting our angry interactions of the past impact my here and now? There are days and weeks that go by now where I don’t give her or any of my other ousted family members a thought. That once bothered me a lot. It doesn’t anymore.

My sister and I haven’t spoken in almost two years so to have that dream was both a little alarming but also, telling. The telling part is that this was an obvious signal pointing to a tale of misguided jealousy and misinformation spun out of control, nudging my subconscious to either defrag and reboot the experience or delete it all together.

By delete I mean forgive, let it go, move on or any other trite word people use to describe an action they should do and want to do but can’t because they are cowards deep down inside. I don’t consider myself a coward. Stubborn and opinionated? Yes, but when you get down to the brass tax I will weigh in and fight to the death in defense of what I hold to be true. Count on it.

All of this time has gone by and the things I formerly did as a kindness and duty no longer hold the same amount of meaning. You buy a birthday card, sit down and think of just the right words to say that might touch the person receiving it. You try to find out exactly what they might like, love or laugh at and you get it, cost is no concern. Except now, a lot of those steps are taken out of the equation because you know that the receiver doesn’t actually care and just seeing a package or envelope with your name on it will instantly make their eyes roll in derision.

It’s really the ultimate kindness to stop pushing your name or likeness in front of them I suppose. To stop forcing them to think of you when they don’t really want to. Or, is it? Sometimes I think that I could just forget about acknowledging certain milestones because my milestones of late have all gone unacknowledged. But, then I remember I am an Aquarius! We love a solid grudge but we also fight for justice and to fail to extend a thoughtful gesture, even to those who have wronged us, is blasphemy!

Back to this dream. What was it all about? Was it a sign that I should reach out or was it a sign that I’ve done enough and have earned the right to move on down the road, free of bitter entanglements and resentment? I think I might be there, standing at a fork in the road, one sign pointing back to the darkness I came from and the other directing me to go forward without looking back.

https://blog.rescuetime.com/burnout-syndrome-recovery/

I’m just fucking tired and caring takes time, energy and effort. I don’t have it in me anymore. The well filled with this sad saga is finally dry. So, which way would you go? Back to attend to the wounded or forward to protect your hard earned sanity and serenity? Personally, I prefer the light that clarity and release provides because the heavy darkness of strife and drama is unbearable anymore.

And now, to commemorate this epiphany I have unblocked the door to my social observation deck, as it were. Run free upon my fertile fields of pithy prose! I will try to rake up as many offensive thorns as possible but cannot make any guarantees. Tread carefully though, it has always been my experience that offense is only taken if the insult, joke, meme, fault and so on applies to the one taking it personally.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.