I will never forget these words.

“I do not make you feel bad Gina, you make yourself feel bad, work on your self esteem and make up is not going to cover your insecurity, work on the inside

Gina, find the love deep in your heart, love for self, love for humanity, love for all that is. That is being the center of Universe Gina, not where you enjoy the compliments and attention, rather work on finding your Universe inside your heart and soul, then you won’t need to point fingers at me or blame me for making you feel bad. Truth hurts I know, but get over it.

I can say all this now because I know the truth and I know what is going on, I don’t worry about you not writing to me again, you know why? I have no fear, I have done nothing wrong, I have put down what I believe to be truth and if you are mature enough, if you have self confidence in yourself then you will just take it with a grain of salt and say “Yeah, my mom has strange opinions, but I still love her and she’s not responsible for my feelings. “

7!

Today one of my step-daughters is 7. I don’t know why I feel like this is such a momentous occasion, but it is for me. I met her when she was 10 months old. I feel very connected to her in ways that I can’t explain. When I am with her, I feel very maternal, protective and loved in a way that only a child can love a person.

I think she’s an old soul deep down inside of that 7 year old mind/body of hers. She’s very intuitive and knows when you’re feeling down or happy. She makes me fill out a sheet every day in regards to my moods. She even calls weekly to make sure I’ve filled it out!

So today is dedicated to her. She’s special and kind and also drives me crazy because she never wants to leave my side (which I should be grateful for!) She likes to cuddle and have quiet time with me in my bed while we both watch Netflix on our respective devices. She loves to help me bake, wash dishes, fold laundry and even fetches me glasses of water if I need one. So, I bought her an apron so that she can continue the love of being in the kitchen…

Happy Birthday, Veronica!

 

 

Resonation.

I tend to compare my last relationship (which was my 9.5 year long marriage) to my current relationship (almost 7 years). I was always trying to find out how I could express how the 2 relationships were very different.

Today I read an article about Love and Power and it resonated something within me. I am a monogamous woman. My values aren’t too old fashioned, and I think that I can be happy with one person for the rest of my life. Yes, I have experimented in the past with women, dating a couple men at a time, etc. I prefer to have a long lasting relationship with a man. Sure, I’ll kiss a girlfriend here and there, grab boobs & butts (women are sexy, and should be appreciated goddamnit!)

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201312/love-and-power

That is the article I will be referencing.

I realized that in my marriage there was no sense of equality. I felt like a lesser-than. I cooked, I cleaned, I did all the things ‘that a woman is supposed to do’ *barf* and after many years I resented it. Heavily. I resented not only this man that I felt like I was a slave to, but he repulsed me physically after a while because of all of this. (side note: we are friends, he is not repulsive, but at the time, I found him to be so. Though I don’t think he has changed much in his expectations for a woman.)

Anyhow, I think focusing on the Elements of Equality is the most important part of the article.

The Elements of Equality

  • Attention. Both partners are emotionally attuned to and supportive of each other. They listen to each other. And both feel invested in the relationship, responsible for attending to and maintaining the relationship itself.
  • Influence. Partners are responsive to each other’s needs and each other’s bids for attention, conversation, and connection. Each has the ability to engage and emotionally affect the other.
  • Accommodation. Although life may present short periods when one partner’s needs take precedence, it occurs by mutual agreement; over the long haul, both partners influence the relationship and make decisions jointly.
  • Respect. Each partner has positive regard for the humanity of the other and sees the other as admirable, worthy of kindness in a considerate and collaborative relationship.
  • Selfhood. Each partner retains a viable self, capable of functioning without the relationship if necessary, able to be his or her own person with inviolable boundaries that reflect core values.
  • Status. Both partners enjoy the same freedom to directly define and assert what is important and to put forth what is the agenda of the relationship. Both feel entitled to have and express their needs and goals and bring their full self into the relationship.
  • Vulnerability. Each partner is willing to admit weakness, uncertainty, and mistakes.
  • Fairness. In perception—determined by flexibility and responsiveness—and behavior, both partners feel that chores and responsibilities are divided in ways that support individual and collective well-being.
  • Repair. Conflicts may occur and negativity may escalate quickly, but partners make deliberate efforts to de-escalate such discussions and calm each other down by taking time-outs and apologizing for harshness. They follow up by replacing defensiveness with listening to the other’s position.
  • Well-being. Both partners foster the well-being of the other physically, emotionally, and financially.

After I read all of that I had a EUREKA moment. This is why I’m happier. This is why I feel like an equal in our relationship rather than a lesser-than. This is why I love him so much, still to this day. These are such elementary reasons to feel how you should in a loving and equal relationship, yet we don’t even think about them at all.

 

Ain’t that funny.

First of all I was listening to Jimmy Justice and he was the inspiration for the title of this post!

3 years ago I decided that I was going to write my life story. A memoir. I thought that my life was exciting enough that I would be able to put it in writing. People would laugh and write reviews about this amazing book about this amazing woman who survived all this shit!

Then I decided that most of us have survived shit. And what would be so different about my shit and other people’s shit? I don’t mean to call it shit in a bad way, but a lot of it was bad and it was shit.

I wrote Chapter 1. I haven’t looked at it in 3 years, because there was a barrier.  That barrier was my brain. It made me stop writing because I would have to recollect all the memories that I have saved up inside of it. I would have to write out all the things about all the stories that I have told multiple times to friends, to family, to anyone who could relate.

So today, I was having tea with a man who I work with and we never sat down to chat before. We admire each other very much, but we never sat down to chat or get to know each other. Today we did, and it tortured my little hamster wheel in my brain, and made it move very very very fast…

I always think that I’m always alone in the way I have lived, or the relationships I have kept (or not), the troubles that I go through and all of things that make me special.

Both of us have a very challenging relationship with our parents.  We’re not the only ones. The challenge IS the relationship.  I know a lot of others who have challenges too. All so different, yet so similar.

Coming to terms with the fact that my relationship with my Mother is so far gone hurts very much inside, but it also helps to know that I am not the only one in this world that is in this situation.

So this brings me back to my book. Originally, the book was supposed to focus on a very different story of my life, and my challenge today is getting past that barrier. Though I think I may have moved it over to the right a little bit…

My goal for the next few months is to open up that chapter and continue the story. Even if I don’t ever have it published in a book, I will share it with anyone who will read it as we all have our own story to tell. Stay Tuned…

Yes, No, Maybe so.

In the past 5 years I have been trying to alter the way I think.

Clearly, it’s taken me a long time to come to terms with my thoughts/actions/feelings/behaviour.

When I was going to therapy, I learned a lot about this cycle. So much that my therapist had to leave a permanent diagram on the whiteboard so that I could remember every time I came to sit in my chair.

CBT Chart

It’s a cycle, it’s a circle, things happen & things don’t happen, depends on which mode you’re on.

I’ve learned to be more assertive, to expect the worse at times, and to not get too excited about things. Though, I naturally get excited about things, this does mean that I get easily disappointed easier than most (or so I think.) I still take things personally (but not as bad as I used to).

The one thing that I get now that I didn’t get before is that the one thing you may think is the worst at the time, IS NOT. It’s amazing how far positive thinking can take you.

ie: the thing I wanted to happen so badly that one time.. did not –> you can choose to be sad, angry or mad. You can choose to chalk it up as an experience that you can learn from and smile, knowing that there is nothing to be upset about. You move on.

I really don’t think life is that bad unless you are stuck in a crisis that may be life or death. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that you can’t just force things to happen as you wish. Too much debt? Pay it off. Dislike your job? Find a new one.  Miserable in your relationship? Leave. Not as easy as one may think, right? There is no sense in wallowing in things that you CAN change, and sometimes even the things you cannot.

When I was a teenager I was diagnosed as being a manic depressive, and I feel that while I still may have a little bit of that inside of me, it’s how I choose to deal with it when it surfaces. I don’t let it get the best of me or take over.

I sound like I’ve been reading way too many Psychology Today articles, which maybe I have…

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A day in the life. Of my brain.

It’s Saturday morning. I wake up at 8:30 am, which is sleeping in for me on a weekend day.

I wake up, I wash the dishes, I play with Ralphie. Coffee gets pressed and I catch up on all my usual social media and instagram(s). I refuel with a second cup and am hoping to have the courage to call Rogers about my iphone bill because I’ve been with them for 13 years and I still can’t believe how much they can get away with.

What did we do without smart phones? It makes me so angry how much we all depend on an electronic device. It makes me sad that I depend on it so much too.

Ralphie goes under the table and wipes his wet nose on the glass. I laugh and pet him.

I think about all the things that I have to do today.

The Brain. Perhaps Mine.

Get winter jackets from storage. Get a haircut. Make a huge pot of chili that has to start cooking very soon so it tastes really good. Pack up most of my summer clothes, except the few I’ll take with me to California. Go to the Vancouver Burlesque Centre for my class and get nervous about how I am going to remember all those steps again. Get mad at myself because it’s not a class where you’re getting graded, but putting yourself down is a hard thing to defeat. Remind myself why I am even doing this at all. Because I want to. I quit the gym so I could take classes that make me feel good inside and outside.

Look at the mountain of laundry that has accumulated from mostly 2 people and some part time step children. Think about what I’m going to do tonight with the 6 year old because we’re on our own.

Think about all the things that I have to do this week and that we have to get up at 4am next Saturday morning to catch an early flight to Calgary for his brother’s wedding that weekend. Think about how nervous/excited I get about flying and how many imodiums I need to take.

Think about taking up meditation and just calming the fuck down.

It’s only  10am, and this is all that has occurred in my mind and the only thing I’ve actually done so far is the dishes and drink coffee.

 

 

 

A shake and A shimmy.

I’ve been trying to write this for 2 weeks!

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I had the pleasure of performing in my first public show for What’s New Pussycat? at the Biltmore. Hosted by the fabulous Burgundy Brixx and the PURRRRRRRRRRRFESSOR! What a lovely couple they are.

The nervousness and excitement that I felt before the show was like no other. I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t stay still either. The anticipation of going on that stage to show an audience what I’m all about was one of the most amazing feelings that I could have ever experienced. Having the other girls with me performing that night was good energy – we were all feeling the same way.

I am so lucky.

For years, I have been trying to find something that can help celebrate my body and others..and do it in such a way that it is not only an art form, but an outlet. I have had my share of weight loss, weight gains, health issues, etc. Today I am learning to love my body the way it is, and to celebrate it. To be confident.

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