Wednesday, January 3, 2018


I, like you no doubt, have heard the Adele song hundreds of times.  "Someone Like You" emerged when Rosanna was little and I was moved by it.  Her voice was powerful and thick with emotion, she took me along her journey of heartache and longing and I felt as though she were telling my story.  I get emotional like that.  In fact, just last weekend I fought back tears when I overheard a man reminding his wife of her ring size.  He knew it more readily than she did. This is the kind of love I want.  Anyhow- I was listening to that song again today, reminiscing how little RoRo would sing it with me in her lispy 2 year old voice, and it occurred to me that the song is even more sad than it seems.  

Think on it for a tick: she is still so stricken by this love lost that she seeks the man long after the romance has died.  So long, in fact, that he is completely over it and is taken aback that she has shown up again.  Despite this, she croons to us that it is no biggie, not to worry, she'll find another JUST LIKE HIM.  **Girlfriend**: unless we're looking to relive the situation that caused you to write an epic-ly moving and wildly popular love song- I suggest we shift our focus to someone NOT like him.   OR she is making deeper observations about the nature of human beings to choose the same situation over and over again through different people/scenarios while still incurring the same results- thus "finding someone like you" is inevitable.  

That's really not why I sat down to write this evening.  I sat down to give myself a genuine high five.  I heard a piece of the song differently tonight and it gave me a moment of reflection: I have chastised myself for the amount of pain I suffered while my world was disintegrating.  I had, pre-Ethan, built sturdy walls around my vulnerable parts and, as a result of work and love and trust, I had let the man in.  I hated myself a good deal for not being smart enough to stay walled up, while at the same time knowing that "walled up" isn't  a way I want to live.  Ethan, knowing me better than me, insisted that loving is my nature.  He told me I couldn't shut it down even if I wanted to.  He saw in me things that I refused to, he lifted me up (ironically, during the time when his actions were stomping me down) and promised that who I am is amazing.  I am acknowledging some of this now, and this little snippet of the song brought it into new light:

"Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead
Nothing compares, no worries or cares
Regrets and mistakes, they're memories made
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?"

I heard it like this: it's all perfect.  There is no choice but to live through all the moments, without endless second guessing and analyzation, the result isn't promised- so we just live it.  Then! this song comes on, and I was like, "HELL YEAH":

"I hope you fall in love and it hurts so bad- the only way you can know is give it all you have....."

SO -you guys- IT HURT SO BAD.  Just thinking about the hurt is making me cry again.  From this I can discern that I freaking gave my all.  I am so proud that I gave my all.  What a waste if I hadn't.  I am so proud that I hung on to my marriage and made gargantuan attempts to make it right.  I am so stinking proud of myself for the stubborn clinging and no-shit honoring of a commitment.  I'm also proud of the moment I decided that I was worth more than what I was fighting for, so I took out my scissors and, through mind-numbing sobbing, cut loose the life I was promised.  

For record, it still hurts...just not as bad. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


You can all relax now, I've officially identified the most ridiculous part of being a parent: comforting your precious babies through the voluntary absence of the other parent.

I've probably said this in the past, and I used to see my Dad once per year, for a month in the summer.  I'd miss him fiercely all year, then feel trepidacious leaving the comfort zone of my mom.  I'd love being there, a state away, with my Dad.  I was so grown up.  I did things I'd never do in California, mostly that meant being by myself for stretches of time unheard of in my Mom's care.  I could go anywhere, do anything, plan my day and then do something else. No one was there to say no, or yes.  If I rode my bike allllll the way across town, then there I'd be, with the consequence of now needing to pedal all the way back.  When it was time to load me back onto a California bound plane I would be stressed outright.  We'd be late, my luggage barely being tossed into the plane's belly, the front desk person throwing annoyed looks.  I'd be stressed because if I was late my Mom might decide that this was the last unacceptable flaw to my summer visits and I'd not be allowed to see my Dad again.  I'd be stressed because my Dad's roommates and friends would be standing there in the airport in their river shorts and ripped/no shirts, scraggly and tanned, to say goodbye to me too and I didn't want them to see how sad I was.  How near I was to bawling.  I was so very sad to be leaving my Dad for nearly a year and I hated missing him.  That feeling, it's a very specific one, and it's impact hadn't punched me in the face in long while. 

A year and a half ago this very feeling showed up on my child's face when her Daddy told her he'd be no longer living here.  You should know that this feeling is the worst feeling I had as a kid- complete helplessness.  It is wanting something that is vital to your life force, something that you are incomplete without, and having people you love take it away.  It's incomprehensible.  There is a tight squeeze around my heart- it pumps harder, my throat closes up, painfully and I sweat.  My feet chatter on the ground and I can't stop chewing the insides of my cheeks.  I talk about random things.  Nothing makes me feel better.  Suddenly here it was again, this time on the face I love the most.  I was looking at myself, losing my dad and feeling like this couldn't be so.  Then all of the reasonings and thoughts to make the situation be less devastating pour out of her, because there must be a mistake.  We adults must have overlooked the obvious solution, if we could just let her fix/mend/behave these wrenching consequences away.  I'm not sure I've ever been so angry.  Besides knowing that divorce was not going to be a part of her life, I'd never imagined needing to defend my daughter from this old feeling.  I was in a panic, enraged, desperate to get her past the moment where the world changed.  I later wrapped my whole body around her, having coached her into some measured breathing, still feeling the tremors of a meltdown move through her, and I imagined all the yuck of the world trying to get past my cocoon, trying to stain her loving heart.  In my mind I succeeded in all the right ways, but the worst offender wasn't outside, he was in.  And I have no say in that.

She is having these attacks of reality more often lately.  She lays in bed, holding back scathing accusations at the world about not seeing her Daddy enough, and eventually they spit out of her bright red, crumpled face.  Two or three words at a time I get the story.  I agree with all of it: the unfairness, the un-understandables, the inquiry as to why.  She told me last night that she felt like she was going to explode.  She told me tonight that it felt like, "I cracked my head open again, only my heart feels cracked not my head".  I see it in her eyes and in her defensive body language.  She is in it.  She's there, where I was, and she is feeling so helpless and out of control and longing.  I squeeze her and she wraps her legs in knots around mine.  Maybe if I squeeze her just so, it will wring all of this ick out of her tender heart.  I keep her there until she is asleep.  Heavy.  Twitching.  At peace.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

New day, new male cow excrement

Remember those weeks where you just wanted to bury yourself in bed and let the throbbing tragedy be muffled by your heavy, depressed slumber?  Yeah, that.  I just watched my entire paycheck be gulped down by a bill that I spent the previous hour frantically making phone calls to avoid.  The ding of my phone notifying me that my account is now hundreds of dollars overdrawn brought me back into the comforting arms of my bed.  Children still needed through my tears.  So and so looked at me this way.  I can't find my fairy house.  Look at this octopus I made with bendy straws.  Why are you crying.
I lie to my children a lot.  I carefully picked over the real reasons I was crying, an exercise that dove me deeper into the sadness.  The final response- after it was weighed for the possible level of inquiry it would illicit and the amount of life altering thought processes it could set off, was that, "I'm sad about the way I wish things could be." My eldest accepted that answer, responded, "I love you Momma" and left the room.
A friend told me that these challenges are being given to me in this life because I am being called to "level up".  On the path to enlightenment there are obstacles and navigating them is the test.  I don't like it.  I am very, very attached to the way I want things to be. I've let go of the physical manifestations- the house, the yard, the marriage.  Now I just want the peace.  I want a break from defending my children's growing up against the chaos that disguises itself as faithful, truest love.
On that note, I also want to say: faithful truest love doesn't ask you to be someone you're not.  It doesn't fight for you to have angry relationships with other people.  It doesn't leave you in lurches of sadness while it goes off and shares it's body with another before coming back to you.  It doesn't require you to tippy toe about, just in case it is having an insecure moment.

I'm not delusional about what love looks like.  I think it allows for all parts of oneself to be perfectly present, even the yucky parts.  I think the results can't be that you are left questioning and stressed and turned upside down and wondering what essential parts of yourself need to be remedied.  No.  That is not it at all.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Imagined Life (written mid-May)

What makes a particular day hard?  I don't get it.  Why is it that tonight I am sitting here with the tightness in my throat and a burning ebbing in my eyeballs.  Nothing has changed.  And then why do I fire up the Adele Pandora station, letting the musical mood draw my tears to spilling over?

It's a weird thing to think about him as once my partner and lover.  I cannot imagine being naked with him.  Yet I did it all the time, for years.  Where did that feeling disappear to?  Was I really a part of that story?  Maybe it was just a novel that I read voraciously over and over.  I read it so that it became a part of who I was.  But since I wasn't really there, it makes sense that I don't have that specific experience to call on.

He is here sometimes and he hugs me like he is coming home from so far away.  His body feels like a place I want to stay forever.  I feel loved, held, cherished, appreciated.  He smells like home.  He feels like home.  He is still the man who left us.  How can I possibly feel so much peace in his arms.  It makes no logical sense.  And then he leaves again.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Saving Myself a Little

I am trying to be in a relationship.  Ha- "trying" to be, maybe that's the problem. Anyhow, I am noticing things.  Noticing the places where I begin to feel uncomfortable.  Noticing that these places are revealing a pattern.  I often visualize the needing person, pulling, pulling, pulling.  How unattractive that is.  How it leaves no other option but to resist.  This reminder gives me relief for a bit.  Pulling is hard work.  Then I settle back into the pulling.  However, the awareness is growing and I am confident that standing upright will win out the more I practice.

Tonight I was noticing.  I noticed how few texts I received from this new possibility of mine. I noticed how our chance meeting at the grocery store, his sweet interaction with the kids, resulted in no further reaching out tonight.  I sat here and figured out all the reasons why: I was too pushy for sex and now everything's fucked.  The sight of me flopped into a camping chair by the lake all day in my bathing suit was enough to send him packing.  My awkward conversation starters, an attempt to break into him further, were off-putting and lame.  My skin is too damaged, the up close make-out sesh was too gross- I'm better off being seen from a distance.  As you can see, I have all the answers.

Then there's the me that isn't willing to listen to all that bullshit, she's my best girlfriend.  She's the part of me that isn't going to let all that bullying settle in, make itself comfortable and sabotage what could very well be a good thing.  She points out that he has, more than once, mentioned how captivating my eyes are.  He has also made at least three future (we're talking a few months out) dates with me that I now have on my calendar.  He has mentioned that our age difference is something I should think about, because in 20 years it will be much more noticeable.  He has driven me the 30 seconds home to my mom's house every time I've come over, even though I've pointed out how easy it'd be for me to walk.  He has treated me on every outing.  He has defended my honor in a parking lot shenanigan.  He talks to me endlessly.  I mean, really.  It would seem that the guy likes me.

Tonight I decided to explore a meditation that is intended to facilitate healing the parting of soul mates.  My ability to descend into gut crushing sobbing at the loss of my marriage is so raw that I figured it couldn't hurt.  Some of my inner commentary is new since he left, much of it is old, but there is some nasty new stuff.  It has a lot to do with staying safe.  I guess most of that crap is designed to keep a person safe, because at some point it made sense to protect myself using these shields.  But over time they have devolved and become diseased and now just serve to keep me down, keep me quiet, keep me small.  One of these barriers shows up like: offering my physical self while keeping my heart tucked away.  It is DEFINITELY NOT SAFE TO SHARE YOUR HEART.  Big ouchies are on the horizon if you do!  Beware!

Surprisingly enough, keeping my heart out of things leads to those things being devoid of feeling and meaning.  Those things that are not nurtured by the heart are the things that die.  I have littered the past year and a half with hardly felt connections.  A few of those men were certain I was the one.  But they just couldn't quite get to me,  They couldn't name what it was that was just out of reach, while I knew fully that I wasn't available for such grand gestures.  I wasn't playing my full hand.  No sir.  Not gonna.

Anyhow, this meditation.  I sat in my bright blue spinning computer chair with the meditation up on my computer screen.  I reread it.  I closed my eyes.  I got grounded.  I felt the heaviness of my body in the blue cushion, I felt the pressure of my feet on the carpet, I felt the chair against my bare back and I exhaled and sank in further.  Then, I called out for her.  She knows me better than anyone.  She's gorgeous.  She comes like a glowing hippy goddess from the edge of the woods and joins me in the meadow.  This time she has a fawn with her.  She is beaming, so happy to see me.  We settle in the bright, new, soft grass.  She looks to me.  It occurs to me I just want to be held.  For the briefest second I resist this- it's not written in the meditation.  Then I figure if it came to me, I must need it, and so I ask her to just hold me for a moment.  She does.  I get small, curled into her lap, head resting on her chest.  And then I lose it.  I am sobbing.  It's so sudden and so complete that I'm in a bit of awe at the shift.  And so I sob, deep and fully.  I feel like I could vomit from the heaving in my belly.  This goes on for a few minutes before I'm finished.  I had no intention of feeling all of that, and because I did I want to ask, "What in the hell was that?!" but I decide to trust in the process and keep moving forward,  I tell her I want her help with some healing.  I tell her I am open to more than just her help, if there are others then please, come help too.  At that a breeze blows in the sweet smell of sugar pine and warmed grasses, the feeling of the sun becomes apparent on my shoulders and I am certain this is a response to my invitation.  An image of my dad even appears, inviting me to be his daughter again and feel my sadness against him, to let him take my burden, to let him take care of me in ways he probably longs to.  This brings on the tears again, but this time I can keep moving forward.  In her lap still, sweet air in my nostrils and warmness covering my body, we explore the etheric cord that Ethan and I share.  The cord is looking pitiful, to be honest.  There is a weak golden light still moving through, connecting us.  However it is badly damaged.  Most of it is dark and decomposing.  It pulses red and angry occasionally and when I have finally followed it to him, he is sitting on his beach, knees to his chest, looking sadly out onto the kelp littered bay.  And so I begin to push bright, golden light from myself through to him.  The light is powerful and strong.  It heals and heals and heals all the way up to him where it is slowed momentarily from actually filling him because of a black plug just before his heart.  But it gets him.

I don't want to say I know how this will manifest in my life.  I do know I want to do this again and again.  I want to heal and exist in a loving space that isn't cluttered with my past upsets and inability to live peacefully in his choices.  I feel tired now.  Lighter and heavier all at once.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

It's Almost Here Folks!!

I've been through enough inner work to know that when I am feeling judged it is really just me judging myself.  And let's say that I'm wrong, that someone out there really is judging me, well shame on them.  They can go fly a kite (or some such thing).  But here I am feeling the need to justify, or explain some things away.  Really, also, to dump out this Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout-sized pile of feelings onto a blank computer screen.

I do my best to disappear on the weekends.  Emotionally and physically. I want to vacate my week life, set it down and come back in 48 hours.  I wouldn't say single moms are heroes (it's not a dig, I just am not sure that's the right word for it), and I am hardly that 'single mom' anyone ever talks about, but it's f*cking hard and draining to sustain two rambunctious, thriving, needing people through a week without that other person struggling right along side me.  And not just any other 'one'.  The one who made them also.  The actual only other person who can relate to them in the way I can, who can share a sideways glance with me that holds an entire story that we can giggle about without words passing.
And so I go.  I am not around for hanging out.  I am not around for work.  I am not around to experience any parts of my weekday life.  I really, really need to go away.  I need to check out.  It feels imperative to my survival.

And no, I won't be there with my kids at the weekend birthday parties.  He will.  I won't show up for those few hours to be there.  I want to.  I love the community, the family and love that is being with my tribe.  But then I am back in my week.  And my kids are too.  If you knew the heartbreak that happens for my babies when I pop in for a moment of their weekend, you wouldn't question it.  It sends them into a tailspin.  Maybe not right away, or maybe in that moment.  They aren't ready to deal with that.  I am not going to require them to.  They are still too raw.  So am I.

And so I'm not there.

And guess what else?!  Thursday I'm a free woman!!  Divorced!  Have I told how wrecked I am?  How vulnerable, exposed and generally terrified I feel?  I am coming up on a solid week of hovering on a meltdown.  I can't see old baby photos without crying.  I can't see or talk to Ethan without crying.  I can't listen to someone gripe about their husband without crying.  I can't listen to half the music on the radio without crying.  The way that electric guitar hovered on that note a moment longer- crying.  I am afraid if I really give in to the crying that is waiting for me, I'll be sucked into a deep pit and never be seen again.

You know what else is neat?  Some horrid person thinks I should be over it.  She thinks I am being dramatic and invasive.  As if my own personal feelings of failure plus the impending doom I feel is waiting for my children as they grow in a broken home isn't plenty on it's own- no I want to stick myself in the midst of the relationship that f*cks with my brain the most.  What a hilarious assumption.  An entire third of my life was committed to this man.  We created new human beings together with our bodies.  We cried and loved and laughed and struggled and were in awe together.

How sad for her that she hasn't had that experience.  Otherwise she wouldn't accuse me of being a horrible person for not being 'over it'.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Oregonia Lumps

There is a place I covet in my mind that brings serenity and release.  I didn't know this was so until I was led through a sort of meditation and was prompted to rediscover this place behind my closed eyes.  Since then, I return to that place weekly, eyes closed, and feel the feels, touch the touches, smell the smells and hear the sounds.  I shared about this place to my male comrade who simply asserted that we ought to go there.

Well of course.  We ought to go there.  How completely obvious and yet hidden from view this option was.  A few weekends ago was THE weekend, and after a half day's drive, we were practically there.

I was born in Oregon.  I like to fantasize that this gives me some sort of divine right to call myself a native, to say to people that I am from there.  Alas, I can't really pull that off.  Funny thing- as a kid I became quite concerned when the Beach Boys "California Girls" song would come on that perhaps I wasn't a California girl because I was born elsewhere.  I was assured I could be grouped in with the CA girls.  Now, I pine for it.  It sits there above my state, being all gorgeous and lovely, taunting me and calling me like a Siren.  And here I'm stuck.  Now more than ever.  Unwilling to leave family, anchored by my children's needs for stability in this shitty chaos.

Mountain air is not the same as town air.  Have you noticed that warm has a smell?  I want to know
why the smell of warm dirt and Sugar Pine haven't been made into a candle so I can play pretend at home.  The goal: find THAT place, the method: HIKE.  Pounding down the trail together we kicked up red dirt, brushed past the vibrant green soft tips of baby pine trees and listened to the high creaking of towering old trees.  It was occasionally too much, leaving me tearing up more than once with a hard, painful lump in my neck.  It took miles, mis-steps and releasing the idea that my 20 year old memories would serve me directionally, but eventually we made it.  It wasn't obvious at first.  In fact we were there a bit before my breath caught and I smacked my companion on the shoulder exclaiming, "OHMIGOSH, this is IT!".  And it was.  The place from my memory, my serene place of release and calm was right there laid out glistening in the sun rays and bending in the breeze.

Of course, nature could care less if my memory was of a meadow with a bit of a pond/lake in the far reaches.  Nope.  Nature said, "You've been gone twenty years, things change."  The water had expanded and become truly a lake.  It swamped the trail in one spot and completely overtook the cabin that sat in meadow-turned-lake-bottom.  Regardless, it was there.  I tried to lose myself in the shimmering surface of the water and the awe of this vast transformation, but the mosquitoes are thriving there and my collection of welts was becoming a bit unbearable.  So we left.

Our hiking totaled about 14 miles.  My shins and hips complained for a few days afterward.  I hesitated washing the dirt off my body, wearing it like a proud badge of Oregonian honor.  The next day we met up with a man who I haven't seen since I was....5?  Maybe 7?  We got to share stories a bit and I sat in the weird reality of being an adult with kids, the very scenarios that we could remember are happening to our children now and WE are the facilitators.  I was left wanting more, to stay forever.

I felt that way for the whole week after returning home.  I was a bit mopey.  Emotional.  Stuck.  I get a little relief that it is right there, just North.  I can drive there in a day.