Relationships: was it that bad?

 

chalk break up

I recently broke it off with an ex and kicked him out of my apartment and I was/am asking myself that question. Other people are asking me this question. What about all the good? Remember how he cleaned the apartment top to bottom because he knew he fucked up? Remember all the nice things he said? Remember how good it was in the beginning?

My amazing, wise, caring, best friend Siobhan asked me the question I needed to hear: do you really want a relationship where you’re asking, was it really that bad? Or do you want a relationship where it’s really that good?

This was an ex from 6 years ago.  We tried multiple times over the years to make it work.  We were addicted to each other. I knew this, I knew I didn’t trust him.  He shattered that the first time we dated when he cheated on me. But still, he said all the right things. He loved me, he would spend the rest of our lives making it up to me, he would do anything for me.

I was on my celibacy game and going strong.  Never had I felt more at peace with who I was as a person, never had I been happier in my life with my life.  I didn’t have the best job, or even a job.  I had gig work and unemployment.  I didn’t have my parents, but I had amazing parental figures in my family and my support groups.  But most importantly, I had amazing friends that loved me and I loved.  And I had my independence in my dependence upon God.  I was living the fucking dream as far as this previously suicidal, anti social depressive was concerned.

And then, this person came back into my life when I was not looking for it.  And all the signs were there: he was kind, loving, attentive, spiritual, fucked up just enough so I could save him (a gold mine to someone who grew up in an abusive household) and he was funny.  Everything I wanted.

So I quick moved him in so we could just be happy forever all the time.

We made big purchases, (well, I did and he, truthfully, hopefully, said he would pay me back) we had incredible sex, and we laughed.  He asked me to marry him, and I thought I was going to.

The honeymoon stage did not last long.

 

Pretty soon, I was skipping my regular self care, my therapy appointments, my nights with my girls. I was blissfully happy, what did I need to do all that extra stuff for anymore? Here’s where I always fuck up.

The person, let’s call him person x, he becomes my reason for living, for waking up each day, for happiness. And if person x does not deliver, I’m fucking screwed.

Well, person x began not to deliver.  We would get into little stupid disagreements and x would never be wrong, about anything.  Person x would start to raise their voice at me.  Person x would be a little shit. And I would hope it would be better tomorrow.

falselove

Well, I kicked person X out.  I told him, “First things first, you don’t live here anymore.”

He tried for days, non stop texting, Facebook, you tube, drew me a picture with a crazy note on the back. Every attempted interaction was difficult to see.  I saw him being pathetic and crazy and I saw me being pathetic and crazy.

We were both looking so hard for the promise of the first few weeks, but it just wasn’t there anymore.

 

I went out to Coco with friends when he was doing dishes and trying to figure out the right combination of words to make me make him stay.  There weren’t any.

I wanted to drink, just in a wouldn’t it be nice if I could drink this pain away way.
But I got to see a whole other world of normies just talking.  

A young women, 23, who has never had a boyfriend because she knows she needs to be picky because she’d give the guy the world.
There are other options, other than intense passionate crazy false love.
And I’m choosing that.

Fake_Love_Quotes5

I chose that when I sat at Siobhan’s kitchen table and told her I was scared of him.
I chose that when I talked it through with Shikha and chanted for the right answer for me.
I chose that when I went, livid pissed, to the meeting with the publisher instead of screaming and fighting after he stole my car.

I am choosing me. Because while the crazy, passionate false love is fun, it is not sustainable.

I want to grow up today. Into the person with dignity and real love through boundaries that my higher power has laid out a path for me to become.

I still have to get my money back. Then I will allow him to get his things.

I am very proud of myself for standing my ground when my caretaker part of me wants to tell him to come back, that he can just stay with me for awhile.

I got my keys and my car keys from him and I didn’t listen to the bullshit coming through the phone.


And I am becoming the woman I want to be.
I’m also grieving the promise of love.  

 

The promise of connection and togetherness.  The promise of someone who will always be there for me no matter what.  The promise of understanding and comfort.

It is painful when those promises are lies. It is why people stay when there is so much evidence to the contrary. When they do not support, love or respect you, because at one time, they did. Maybe they can again, if I just… fill in the blank.

I’m hopefully over that wishful thinking. At least, every relationship I get better and quicker at figuring it out. I’m here to break away from my past and stop repeating the codependent bullshit I grew up with. My mother was a saint, a martyr, but she was never happy with herself. I’m doing work to change that, to change my karma and to do the thing I was put on this earth to do, to love rightly.

Love,
Rebecca A. Dombrowksi

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Ten things I don’t hate about PTSD either.

Fuck. After Brian employed Siobhan to find 10 good things about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, she told me about it, and then employed me to do the same.

While she had put time, thought and effort into coming up with her list, I am unable to do that.

My PTSD has me always in the present.

So when people are getting ready to leave a place, I can’t think that I should start my car with the remote I finally have for it to warm it up because I’m too focused on if we are going to hug goodbye and that I have to be ready for it if we are, because I have to make sure you like me and I’m doing this socializing thing correctly.
That literally just happened to me.

Like in my last post, I said it is really hard for me to think ahead because I’m so caught up in that silly old fight or flight nonsense every waking moment of the day. It’s also difficult for me to think back to anything (say, like thinking about Siobhan asking me to think of ways PTSD is good). I wouldn’t dream that was possible, until I read her post.

choose to become

So, I’m giving it a shot. Here goes:

  1. I am always present for my kitties. I know exactly how they are feeling (and if they are about to strike, like my older cat constantly does), and how many dots are on their nose at all times.
  2. I know what is wrong with me at all times. This one’s handy for building up my ability to get my needs met. I always know when I am uncomfortable and should ask for something to be different. Whether I do or not is completely up to me.
  3. I always know that there is not a person hiding in my backseat. I check pretty much every time I get in my vehicle. You know, whenever someone could be hiding back there.
  4. I have a severe empathy for other people. I know what it feels like to be broken, to be lost, to be scared and to feel alone. I can make that space for you and tell you I understand.
  5. am a caretaker to the hurt. I am the friend that will support you, that will cheer you up when you are sad, mad, upset, whatever. I am always aware of every little change in energy, and now, I know that that energy is not always being sent my way, and I can help people out of it.
  6. I have been a survivor for a really long time. I can show you how I got out of that when everything seemed insurmountable and every emotion seemed too hard to feel.
  7. I know who to watch out for. I can tell a change in tone in an instant. I know when someone is about to get loud and aggressive. I do not play that shit, and I do not allow my friends to deal with it either.
  8. I love the shit out of fun. I went through so many years being depressed and laying in bed watching TV. Now, I will go pretty much anywhere for a good time, and I bring the good time with me. It will not be dull around me. As you can see from our first blog post, #nofilter.
  9. I have suffered almost all there is to suffer. I have seen jails, mental institutions and rehabs, and I’ve never been in them. I’ve experienced the loss of both my parents. I have had crippling anxiety and depression and alcoholism and sex addiction and, and, and. My worst circumstances were as a child. There is no stopping me. It is only up from here.
  10. I go to great lengths and have big dreams. I have seen the depths of human emotion. I will stop at nothing to see the brightest of them. I will be a traveling editor. Watch me.
  11. I even have a bonus one! I go hardcore at my spirituality. I never stop growing, learning about myself and how I can become a better human to myself and the people around me. And this might be the best gift I have ever gotten!

healing

Ten things I don’t hate about PTSD

I was officially diagnosed with PTSD a year and a half ago, but for the better part of the last decade that four letter word has been mentioned to me by more than a handful of mental health professionals. Like most people who receive this news I spent a while in denial, after that I was ashamed, and now I split my time between neutral and pissed off. Pissed off at the symptoms that keep me feeling broken.

A few weeks back I was enjoying one of those bad days. It was the first one for some time so this one in particular was kicking my ass. In an attempt to find some solace I spoke to a friend, one of those mentor types, and he had a peculiar suggestion. He empathized with the self-pity cycle surrounding all the downright shitty attributes to my specific mental quirks, going as far as to comment how easy it would be to come up with ten things I HATE about PTSD right off the cuff. Then he inquired if I had ever thought about the positive side to it. Clearly seeing the mixture of confusion and anger growing on my face he elaborated. See he believes, as do I that everything that exists in the material world has a sense of duality to it. Under that logic if there is a negative to something there must be a positive as well. Therein lied my challenge, to come up with ten good things about my PTSD… so here goes.

Ten good things about PTSD…shit:

  1. I always know how many exits there are in any given room and I have probably already visualized multiple different disasters or violent events and which escape route would be the best for each.
  2. I have an incredibly fine tuned gut when it comes to people. I can tell without even having a conversation with someone but by hearing them speak, watching them move across a space, and their facial features as they express different emotions whether or not they are likely to be safe.
  3. That ability to read people has given me a talent in picking out the best people, the gems amongst the coal. With very little difficulty I am able to find these remarkable humans that possess a level of genuine sincerity that is to be admired.
  4. I have about the same information and working knowledge about grounding exercises as most clinical physicians.
  5. This gives me a unique ability for helping people who may be too scared to go to one yet.
  6. It grants me quite a transparent and raw approach to parenthood, I have conversations with my kids that I think most moms would probably be intimidated having. Because my life in run on extremes. When it comes to communicating with other humans it’s either absolute surface or let me show you my soul and see if you understand. There’s not much in between. It allows me a very beautiful relationship with those kids.
  7. I have incredibly fast reflexes. Whether it comes to avoiding car accidents or catching a child moments before their cute little face meets sidewalk; unfortunately the racing heartbeat afterwards is less than enjoyable, but se la vie.
  8. Due to the gratuitous amount of trauma therapy I am painfully aware of the importance of self-care, I have a very in tune relationship with myself. I guess that’s always the upside to being crazy if you’re actually attempting to take care of it, or work on it, or just survive you tend to pay attention to things that other people probably don’t have to. Like actively altering your self-talk to make sure that it’s positive or ensuring that you don’t go longer than a week without taking a shower even if you don’t want to. Like making yourself bubble baths even when the idea of sitting in one sounds awful, but so does everything else. So you draw the bath and you light the candles and you turn on whatever music seems enjoyable or at least the most tolerable and you just sit there trying your best just to sit, even if it’s just for ten minutes.
  9. You are never bored even when you want to be. Your brain is always going, always thinking. Upside of that is with practice and focus you can turn the ever racing thoughts into creative things. Which means even as an adult you have an incredibly powerful imagination.
  10. You’re not alone. Even though you feel that way. When I was diagnosed I was in denial for a really long time. I kept repeating over and over in my head that I didn’t have that traumatic of a life. I didn’t really tell anyone for a while, not even those in my immediate support network. And it wasn’t until I just happened to be driving in the car with this woman I knew, not that well but we were friendly. Out of nowhere she mentions that she has PTSD and like a kid almost giddy I responded with “So do I!” There is something really beautiful about finally being able to talk to some other person about the shadow people who you see on occasion when things get bad. And to not have them look at you with this twisted face of confusion and want to be compassion, but the truth is if you don’t live it, if you haven’t felt it and you don’t know it; you have no idea what it’s like. But when you open yourself up, you realize that you’re not alone. When you finally find other people that do get it, your brain doesn’t have to feel like a cage anymore. All those strange quirks that you have, the ones that you would never want to admit in public just become simple jokes between friends.

Diwali 2017!!

We could not be more humbled than we were last night taking part in our friends Diwali celebration. My friend Julia and I were blown away by their kindness, their welcoming attitude, and the amazing food they made (less spicy just for us)!

It was a truly beautiful experience to be a part of. Everyone their was calm, peaceful, joyful and delightful. There was no alcohol, just vitality and fun. We sang songs, we danced, we ate and we talked. What more could you ask for?

Thank you to: Komal, Shika, Tejal, Purbarag, Vaibhav, Richa, Neha, Susan, Rimjhim, Bheeshma and all the others that made last night so incredible and special! We love you!!

sand artMeLightsKomalDiwali boardmenall of usdessert

A Story I have to tell.

If you like the creepy coincidental, read this.

I am an SGI Buddhist member. This stands for Soka Gakkai International (Value Creation Soceity for those that don’t read Japanese ;)). My friend Julia received her Gohonzon recently. (I will have a glossary at the end). A few woman’s division members, and my friend Gerry, went over to her house to enshrine her Gohonzon on Monday, October 2nd.

Julia Enshrinement

It was a glorious moment, everyone brought her gifts, books to read, a sentimental bell for her to ring while she is chanting, and she was so welcomed into our glorious practice.

When we were finished and everyone else left, Julia and I were talking and she was asking me plenty of great questions about her new journey. I felt incredibly moved to tell her a story from when I had only been practicing a few months.

This will show you proof that there are no coincidences, only tiny miracles 🙂

My mother was passing away from cancer. If anyone knows cancer, they know it could take years. She was in her last few months of being on this earth. I had been helping her, taking care of her, and it really gave our relationship a whole new depth. All I wanted at that time, since I wasn’t working, was to help people, in any way I could.

The day before this extraordinary incident, my boyfriend-at-the-time and I  went to Buffalo State’s Anne Frank Project and saw a survivor’s panel of Bhutanese people who were in refugee camps for 17 years.. They all came together from around America to be there that day. They were showing off their beautiful artwork, and one of the men lead a guided meditation. It was absolutely harmonious, and I had been thinking I wanted to help refugees in Buffalo, since we have such a high population.

The day after this beautiful experience, I chanted strongly that I wanted to help someone that day. My boyfriend and I went on our usual bike ride. We were heading to Canalside, which is a straight shot down Niagara St from Black Rock. While on the ride, something inside me told me to go left. So, we took a left; then a right; then another left, just following my intuition without knowing why.

We passed a police car, and a tree, and then we saw a woman, barely coherent, on the ground. We rushed over to her and asked if she was okay. The police man in the vehicle couldn’t see her because the tree was in the way. I called him over and he called for back-up immediately.

While we were talking with her, I was trying to calm her down, but she was crying hysterically; she was very distraught. I asked her name, then I asked her last name, and she began to laugh.
Bhutanese people DON’T HAVE LAST NAMES.
It was a great way to bring levity to a scary situation, because she spoke little to no English, but apparently she understood it!

A few moments later, while the ambulance arrived, a woman walked over and announced that she had treated this woman at her clinic on the lower west side previously. That her husband had been driving by and told her one of her patients may have been on the ground!

It was then that the firefighters and EMTs were asking us if the Bhutanese woman was drunk. The woman’s doctor came at the perfect time to tell them, and us, that she has epilepsy, and that is why she was disoriented.

I had shivers in my bones and entire body telling Julia this story, and so did she.

Today, I was looking through facebook and realized that this event happened exactly one year ago on the day I was telling her about it!

I texted Julia immediately and she told me that she was just grabbing her phone to tell me that the George Harrison song, My Sweet Lord, that she played me last week that has spiritual and sentimental value in her life was playing on the radio at work.

There are no coincidences my loves.

Coincidence Stars