Beast of Beauty

The beast is back.

I’m disappointed in myself, but it’s back.

Jealousy.

Andrew has been at a bachelor party for the weekend, and I haven’t handled it as well as I would have hoped, considering how far I’ve come from past relationships.

This is the first time in a relationship that I have genuinely been worried for the other person’s safety, which I think is a big step and a progressive sign actually. I never understood why my father could never sleep while I was out of the house, but he oh-so-graciously seems to have given me that anxiety. Granted, my back has been hurting for about a month now, so I haven’t been getting great sleep regardless… but for the first time in any relationship, I was genuinely worried about him making it on an 8-hour drive in the evening, especially when he wasn’t texting me back.

All I can say is, it’s weird and I don’t like it. I apologize to my future children about a potentially overbearing mom.

Andrew has finally been able to text me more than once every few hours, which is great. But I could feel the jealousy creeping up as soon as he started to text me. It’s a part of me that I genuinely dislike. Because I trust this man wholeheartedly. He constantly reassures me that he would never do anything to put our relationship in jeopardy, and he does everything imaginable to prove it — from regular foot rubs, to scratching my head every night before bed to help me fall asleep, to gently rubbing between my eyebrows every morning to try and keep me asleep when his alarm goes off. I even woke up to him putting a thumb over my ear to try and block out the noise from the traffic that’s constantly outside of our window.

(He’s the sweetest)

Which is why I’m so upset that I’ve let any jealousy get to me! Over someone telling him he’s sexy at a bachelor party!

I thought I’d slain that beast years ago, after finally deciding I don’t want to be the victim, I don’t want to be the girl who was cheated on, I don’t want to use that as an excuse for my jealousy. Apparently it’s a tough beast to slay. And it immediately brought up all my insecurities in a relationship. I won’t fan them all out on here, because that’s a conversation I need to have with Andrew first.

But I will blast a few of my exes for helping stir the beast.

To my first, for cheating on me twice, once immediately after I had gotten off the phone with him, with girls that both knew I was his girlfriend.

To the next, for essentially going on a date with a girl I knew wanted him, and then gave him the hickey to prove it.

To the one after that, who ghosted me for a girl he’d been talking to for years.

To the last, who convinced me that casual relationships were fine, that that’s all I wanted from a guy, and still inexplicably broke my heart.

You each stole a piece of me that I will never get back. From my innocence, to my trust, to my thoughts on love, you tore me apart in your own ways. While you may not have created the beast, you did nothing to dismantle it.

To Andrew, the love of my life. Thank you for building me back up. To the person I was before, the person I want to be, and the person I truly am. You have seen the heart of me, and you have kissed every inch of it.

“For I need all the cracks in my shattered heart, ’cause that’s where her love gets in…

Thanks for the moon and the stars up above, forgiveness of sin and your undying love, every twist, every turn for the way you made sure all my roads led to her.”

I still always think of you when I hear that song, because I truly feel whatever greater power is out there led us down the right paths. I never imagined I would meet anyone like you in my life. I thought I would have to settle for someone that would just be good FOR me, not good TO me. You have been all that and more. You are the biggest blessing I have ever received in my life, because you gave me back to who I really am. I am forever grateful to you for loving and supporting me in the way that you do.

Because when our kids look at us and think that we’re soulmates, they’ll know they’re right. They will know what true love looks like.

I know the tone of this blog has changed drastically, but I think it’s just what I needed to get that beast out of my mind. To talk myself out of it.

And in this hour of dying sunlight, I say goodnight from the serenity of our new home.

Love always

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Mom

I am bitter and I am angry.

The wind howling outside reflects the storm inside me, biting, twisting, gnawing to get out. Pure blind fury.

My mom is in the hospital battling Crohn’s disease, as she has been for at least the past 10 years of her life. She is dehydrated. She is pale. She smells of dried vomit. She is weak in body. It pains her to speak or sit upright. She is dying. She is hurting. And all I can think about is how this woman deserves so much more in her life.

She’s a physical therapist, yet all the RNs speak to her as if she is stupid. She’s been through the ringer – she knows what she’s talking about, how she reacts to certain medicines, what she’s comfortable with.

Her parents, my ungrateful grandparents that live with us and mooch off our home, off my mother’s strength. They have not given her the time of day since she was born. Everything is all about THEM. They are the parents, they are the elders, they are the ones that require all the attention because they’re old, they’re falling apart. They are the ones that can kiss my ass with that bullshit. I’ve never heard them say they are proud of my mother. I’ve never heard them say that they love her. I’ve never heard them thank her for every fucking thing she does for them, from trying to help grandma figure out grandpa’s caretakers, to taking them into our fucking home because she thought it was the right thing to do. Honor thy father and mother.

I can’t help but be reminded as to why I turned my back on God. I watched for years as my mom suffered through new restricting diets, new daily routines, horrible doctors, the stress of being lost in a disease that no one with money cares about. I have watched her suffer, in the most inhumane sense of the word. I have watched my mother suffer. For years. Begging God, praying to Him every chance I could that she would be okay, that things would be better for her, that she wouldn’t be in pain, that she would have a good day at work, that she would have a doctor that knew what they hell he was doing. And I have never seen those prayers answered. And it’s so frustrating and hurtful. I just want my mom to be okay, to not be in pain, and to enjoy what she has left in her life.

I want her to walk down the aisle at my and my sister’s weddings. I want her to hold whatever children we may have because she has been waiting for that moment since the day we were born. I want her to enjoy retirement with my dad after working her fingers to the bone for so long. I want her to have ONE easy part of her life. Something she can enjoy. And I can’t help but be angry with God that he hasn’t given that to her, the woman in my life who deserves it most.

I can’t help but be angry with my grandparents for neglecting her, for not loving her the way she needed to be loved. For invading our home and throwing more stress on her plate. For expecting to be taken care of when they never cared for my mother. For not doing anything for her in her childhood, and for not doing anything for her now. Grandma sleeps soundly, having said her nightly prayers, thinking that will do the trick, that she has done all she can do. To hell with her. And my grandfather. The stupid xanax-addicted asshole of a man, who wouldn’t even have put us in this state if he didn’t OD on all the drugs he was prescribing others for years.

Lauren and I hope that we can love our mom the way that she has loved us our entire lives – endlessly. We can only hope that we can show our own children the love that our mom has showed us since the moment we were born. She deserves to be loved, she deserves to be happy, and she deserves to not be in pain.

I do not apologize for this rant, because they are feelings I have bottled for a very long time. I fear losing my mother to this illness. I am terrified. I am crying. I am bitter. I am angry. Nothing could bring out those feelings but family.

End the battle with Crohn’s. Someone find funding for this shit. No one should have to endure that pain.

Tonight is one of those nights you walk around the house with all the lights off, because the light feels too exhausting and the darkness doesn’t scare you anymore.

I love you, Mom.

PSA for All The Brokenhearted

I’m not typically one for country music all year long, but it’s been one of those years. Everything is happy and light and lovely, and I think that’s why I haven’t had the same hankering for alternative music this fall. Can’t complain!

Lately, one of my friends has been going through a rough time. Her boyfriend treats her pretty horribly. Long story short, he is very disrespectful, doesn’t give her any positive attention, just wants to sweep their problems (a lot of which HE has caused) under the rug. And it was just one of those painfully obvious moments of “I’ve been on the other end of this conversation before.”

I think we’ve all been there. We want to try, we want to make things work, we want things to be as simple and picture perfect as they were in the beginning. And unfortunately sometimes that’s just not the case. Sometimes you can’t work out the kinks – especially if the kinks aren’t your fault. But you think anyways that you can change the person, that things will go back to how they were.

I stood there, telling her everything my mom had once told me. “You don’t deserve it” “you’ll find somebody better who treats you right” “do you really want to raise children with a guy who treats you like this?” “trust what your family has to say about him – they’ll see what you don’t” all of that.

And oh my gosh once you’re on the other side of that conversation, you realize how RIGHT they are! And it suddenly blows your mind that anyone would settle for being treated like shit!

So I’m gonna go on a little rant:

YOU are the only person to blame for someone treating you like shit. Because YOU are allowing that person to treat you that way.

You need to know your worth. And no, no one deserves to be ignored, bullied, manipulated, emotionally or physically abused. Just because you think you love someone or vice versa.

I was in the same boat. I dated guys who didn’t want to talk to me, I wouldn’t hear from them for weeks because, rather than having a “I’m not feeling this anymore” conversation, they just figured if they stopped I’d go away. I dated guys who used me, from the bedroom to running errands for them. I tried to make things work for another year with someone who CHEATED on me. I tried convincing myself that I didn’t want a relationship just to appease these guys who couldn’t handle a commitment. I thought it was too much drama. It gave me anxiety to even think about being in a relationship again, because all I knew was heartache, jealousy, and disappointment.

And then I met Andrew, and in the first few months I wanted to cry at how well he treated me. He has never said a bad thing about me, to me or his coworkers. He is always willing to communicate with me if we have any issues. He is a selfless boyfriend and lover, and I’ve never felt closer to anyone in my life. We joke that I am the female version of him. He’s met my entire family and they all love him, I’ve met most of his family and they all love me. He is everything I could’ve ever asked for in a relationship, and he loves every little thing about me, and he tells me that every day. For christ’s sake, I’ve written enough blogs about the man!

Please for the love of God, take my advice: Don’t fucking do it. You are worth more than you think. You will meet someone who will love every goddamn thing about you if you are just patient enough to wait for them. Love yourself, be kind to yourself, and be patient. And maybe then you’ll be on the other side of the conversation, wondering how any of your friends could ever settle for garbage. Learn to let go gracefully. If they don’t fight for you, fuck them, they don’t deserve you anyway. You will be treated like the queen/king you are. And you will forever be grateful to that person for loving you every day and showing you how much you should have loved yourself in the first place.

 

I Will Try

It’s strange when it hits me.

When I roll over in the middle of the night and lay a hand on your chest. When I blow you a kiss as you drive off in the middle of a rainy Sunday evening. When I scroll through my own social media posts. And it happened today.

It’s strange to me just how much I love you sometimes.

I’ve been in relationships before, said “I love you” to people and thought I meant it. In some ways I had to realize what true love really is, what it means. Maybe it’s different for other people.

For me, true love is making goofy faces as you walk past each other at the gym. It’s crying in the car because you’re both laughing so hard at something the other said. It’s driving 4.5 hours to a wedding you couldn’t get into just to make sure they stay awake for the drive, then driving his hungover butt home the next day.

It’s waking up in the morning to a million kisses on my cheeks, nose, mouth, and forehead. It’s waking up in the middle of the night to apologize and cuddle after an argument. It’s knowing you can, without a doubt, trust the other person when he’s on his phone, because he makes sure you know how much you mean to him and how he would never do anything to lose you. It’s hearing the hurt in his own voice when I’m on the phone crying about some work stress. It’s rolling over in the middle of the night just to fall asleep in his arms again. It’s falling asleep as he strokes your hair, because he knows it will put you right to sleep.

It’s feeling safe in his arms, knowing he won’t let go. Knowing that when he says he won’t hurt you, he means it. It’s being respected in every aspect, and it’s feeling saved. It’s feeling whole.

As I scrolled through my instagram today, I was hit with a wave of gratitude and appreciation. In my mind, the difference is night and day between my life before I met you and after. I think back to what I was going through, what I was doing, how I felt. I was numb. I was empty. I was desperate to be loved by someone who was only using me because I thought that I loved him. I was hurt, but I wasn’t even helping myself. I was doing things I knew in my heart I didn’t want to do because I thought those were the sacrifices I had to make to be with someone.

It was all bullshit. And thank god I see that now.

My life changed the day I met you. I’d never really believed in soul mates before, but I know now that you’re mine. We’re too alike, right down to June 20, 1987, the anniversary that both of our parents share.

I didn’t know it yet, but I met my future husband back when I was 19. And when I met him again when I was 22, I was finally ready for him. I was ready to appreciate all that he is, all that he does. His heart of gold just waiting to be loved.

The other day I remembered that, as I flirted with him the night of my sister’s engagement bar crawl, I took a snapchat of the two of us. I jokingly captioned it “my future husband” and put it on my story. Little did I know how right I was.

We’ve been talking since May (officially dating since August), and we’re already talking about moving in together when his lease is up. Some people may think we’re moving too fast, and while I want to enjoy the moments as they come, I’ve never felt surer of a person. I told him I loved him while I was drunk in his car just three weeks after making it official, and I don’t regret it. He later told me he knew he loved me on August 13th – just two days after our first date. It’s right. Even Nana told me that she and my grandfather got married just six months after knowing each other. “When you know, you know.”

And I know. This is the man I want to be with for the rest of my life. Waking up in his arms, his soft breath at my back, on a lazy Sunday morning and not having to say goodbye just a few hours later.

I thought I was whole. I thought I loved myself. He shows me so much more. He completes me. And I’ll never be able to show him how grateful I am to have him, but I will try my hardest. As long as I live, I will try.

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Love

And I Can’t Help

Your arms around me,
security, not a cage.
With your sleepy sigh at my back, I smile.
I know you will wake as soon as I touch my phone.
And you will pull me closer to you,
hot skin warming my everything.

*   *   *

Our mornings and nights we spend wrapped around each other, and our days we spend roaming your city. There are a million places you want to show me, and I can hear the disappointment in your voice every time I say that I’ve been there before with my sister. You want to be my first for everything, to show me why I should love your town as much as I love my own.

The thing is, I don’t always love new surroundings. I love familiarity. So being in this town that boarders both new and familiar, with my hand firmly in yours, or your arm draped around me, it makes me love the place more than I ever did.

You cater to my every need with a playful smile and a happy heart. We hop from place to place, just enjoying each other’s company. The playful flick of my toes against your shin, your goofy grin as you hold my hand in yours on the bar top, the sweet cheek kisses as we make harmless jokes at each other’s expense. It’s the same scene at every bar, champagne bubbles caressing my lips as we remain mentally wrapped up in nothing and no one but each other.

Your love and support astounds me. You haven’t said it yet, but I can feel it. I wiped a lash off your cheek and told you to make a wish, and you looked at me before you blew it away. I asked what you wished for, and you refused to tell me. “I want this one to come true,” you smiled. And I smiled back, my eyes falling to the floor as I blushed. I feel it.

And your support… you’ve never even thought of knocking me down. And every time I say something about myself, you correct me in a loving way. You have no idea how I haven’t been snatched up by someone else before you, why others would pass on such a soul. That’s how I know it’s right. From playing video games in your messy apartment on a Friday night, to teeing it up at a driving range for the first time, you have never laughed at me for trying new things. You have always been on my side. I want you on my team forever.

At the end of the day, after we’ve made a simple dinner, had a few beers, and watched an episode of our favorite show, I’m in your bed again, head on your chest, falling asleep as you stroke my head. And with each sleepy twitch and each deep breath, I realize I’m falling more than just asleep.

First Dates and Second Weddings

It took all of my focus to keep my hands from shaking every time I took a sip from my glass. I sat there, cross-legged, waiting for your arrival.

Nervous shakes grew into playful banter and genuine laughter. I glanced at you and was overcome with this urge to kiss you right then and there, but I knew if I did we wouldn’t even make it out of your apartment.

So I waited. And in the morning I woke up in your arms, to the soft, melodic sound of your breathing, fast asleep. And I smiled.

* * *

The shakes came back as I stood in a wine red dress in a room full of strangers, sipping my cocktail as fast as I could. You disappeared in this sea of strangers, but I found I wasn’t drowning just yet.

A fake proposal and real tears around the room, the buzz finally started to hit me. With your knee touching mine, you made sure I was having fun and I made sure you knew I was, that you would be too, as you grabbed your napkin.

And I grabbed your hand and led you to the dance floor, where I could see in your eyes that you were entirely too nervous about how you would look.

As the night drew on and the collection of stirring straws grew larger and larger, I could see the light in your eyes. You felt comfortable finally, in your own skin as I tugged at your tie, the smile on your face as wide as your heart. You pulled me into a slow dance, prince and princess at our own private ball, your lips sugar against my ear.

Up in arms and hand in hand, the wind toyed with our hair the whole ride home, the fresh air cool against my skin. Your head against the seat, your cool blue eyes finding me when it wasn’t, your sweet words floated in the breeze.

We trudged up to our room, lying against each other as I started to drift off, feeling at home in this foreign room, in this strange town, with nothing and no one but you. Once again, I awoke with your arms around me, a love song in my head, and your sigh at my back. Your soft murmurs became a new song that I love to sing as you traced my back with your fingertips.

***

This time you had the shakes as we drove through the rolling green hills I call home. It was your turn to sink or swim in a sea of strangers. You floated.

Your blue eyes sunk into me, butterflies zooming through my belly, and you smiled when I hadn’t made a joke.

“I’m just happy.”

Me too.

 

 

Past Curiosity

Tonight I came across old pictures and videos, some that had you in them (unsurprisingly since we were together for a while). It was a little odd looking back on that time in our lives, but some part of me just couldn’t stop staring.

Then I looked through old emails, from the good times, the bad times… and the end. I’m surprised with how profound and mature our responses were at the time. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up a little, so I just won’t say anything.

I wonder what it would be like now. The you that I knew in that era is appallingly similar to who I have become now. I think of how much I have grown, of what I expect to give in a relationship. I say give because I’m not sure I have many standards for what I receive in one anymore, which is a sad thing to say, and I know that past you would be disappointed by that information. I wonder how you have matured. You always seemed a few steps ahead of me in maturity, in belief development, and so I wonder if, now that I feel I’ve caught up to you, would you still be a few steps ahead? A few years down the road just waiting for me to catch up when I never will?

As a writer, my mind jumps to the fact that this could be the most inspirational love story ever told. Boy and girl fall in love, go through hell, go their separate ways, find each other again years later once they’ve grown and matured, and come back together for their happily ever after. Such dangerous thoughts, but I blame the idiom that you never forget your first love.

All I know is I wonder, and I wonder if I will ever find out.