We Gave Away Control of Our Happiness-We Can Take It Back

Good Morning to all, it is a beautiful crisp winter morning here. The lake had a thin layer of ice on it for days and I thought I was going to have to buy some ice skates so I could use the ice rink forming in my back yard; but alas temperatures must have gone up because the duck are back to swimming in the lake, maybe in a few weeks I will be tempted to try my long forgotten skills at skating. ( I never did learn how to stop and always skated into the nearest wall when I wanted to stop. This technique may not work as well on a lake and could prove to be motivation for me to learn how to stop on my own).

I suppose I could make an analogy between my lack of skating skills and how people often deal with life’s challenges. So many times we deal with a situation the same way over and over again; not because it is working for us but because it sort of gets us the desired results and we are not motivated to find a more permanent solution, so we keep crashing into walls instead of learning how to stop properly.

Never learning to stop properly held me back from ever really enjoying skating and whenever I went skating I would dread the time I would inevitably have to crash into the side boards and pray the “cool kids” didn’t see me flinch when I bashed my knee into the wall. So many times people tried to teach me how to stop but I was afraid of falling and looking silly, totally dismissing how ridiculous I looked when time after time I skated face first into the wall.

And so it is with most people dealing with a narcissist, psychopath, whatever you want to call them; abusive asshole works for me. We know there is a better way, we see it all around us, people having relationships that don’t require them to skate into walls time after time, continually getting bruised physically and mentally and we wish we could have that kind of relationship but crashing into walls doesn’t give it to us. We “kinda” get the idea and we are participating in the process and even, at times, might look like we know what we are doing and are like everyone else who knows how to skate, to music even! but inevitably we know and they know we are going to skate into that wall again.

There are very few things in life that we have NO control over, we always have some control, we simply aren’t motivated to change what has been getting us by for however long. As with skating I could just continue to never skate again and avoid the whole thing totally, you don’t have to skate into walls if you stop putting the skates on. Or I could keep skating into walls for ever more, every time I go skating knowing that the time will come when I will plaster myself against a wall, or I could keep going skating and blame everyone around me for not finding a way to stop me, or I could keep skating in hopes a man is going to skate up and do it for me; the only problem with that is, if he goes to the bathroom or wants to skate with some friends I am going to be bashing into walls again. Really the logical and realistic solution would be to learn how to stop on my own.

I don’t know if I will be putting on skates this winter but I know if I do there won’t be any walls to rely on to stop me so I had better learn how to stop. I don’t know if I am going to meet a man, I am not looking for a man but I certainly am feeling like I wouldn’t mind a man in my life but I don’t want to bash into any more walls in my relationships.

I think this past 3 years since I left JC have taught me some very important life lessons, being with JC taught me a lot of things and I learned a lot about myself but it has been the three years without him in my life that has taught me the most valuable lessons and taught me so much more about myself and relationships. Not just romantic relationships but all relationships, with my family, my friends, myself and, with my pets. I knew I loved my dog Kato, I knew he was my life preserver at times, I knew I would miss him when he was gone but I had no idea how much I relied on my in my every waking moment, how much I relied on him to cushion all of life’s uncomfortable moments. I thought I didn’t mind being alone, I never felt bored or lonely but I wasn’t alone and I had no need to be bored. If I wanted to lay on the couch and watch TV he laid on the floor beside me, if I cried he comforted me, if I wanted to walk I only had to say the word and he would be at the door waiting, he was my topic of conversation when I was out socially, he was my protection at night (I have become nervous at night and had to make curtains for the window in the door) I would sleep soundly knowing that Kato’s hearing was superior to mine and if he didn’t see a reason to be alarmed there was no danger and if there was danger he would protect me. I recently had to pull out the Christmas decorations and deal with my irrational fear of spiders, for almost ten years any time I suspected there might be spiders some where I called Kato to stand guard and if a spider appeared he would kill and eat it. But this year I had to put on gloves and just do it all by myself and I cried. I opened a box and there on top were the two red and green little elf’s collars I got for him and Laila last year, oh how he hated wearing stuff like that; I knew he thought it was terribly undignified to be forced to wear that elf’s collar with bells on it. I cried.

But Kato was not perfect either, I never truly enjoyed a walk with him because I always had to be aware of other dogs, and he would refuse to come when he was called and I spent any hours calling, begging, threatening, pleading with him to “Come God dammit!”. I have been caring for a friend’s Border Collie for a couple of days. Lady, is a gem, so smart and easy to care for. She comes when she is called, walks beautifully off leash, and is a truly lady in every way. Last night when I went to bed she snuggled up beside me and went to sleep, it was a body in bed but it wasn’t Kato, it wasn’t little Laila rubbing her head against me doing her “Stevie wonder impersonation routine, it wasn’t the same as what I was used to. It didn’t feel “right” it didn’t comfort me like going to bed with my puppies used to comfort me but I wasn’t nervous and if it hadn’t been for the constant need to blow my nose I would have slept soundly. I realized though how much I want, need a dog in my life, not to take the place of Kato, or to replace having a man in my life, not to give me someone to kill spiders but because I need to love some one, something, I won’t find another Kato and to be honest I wouldn’t want another dog like him because I want to be able to go to an off leash park and not worry about him fighting another dog. I know that I could never find a dog like Kato either, he was a one of a kind, partly due to that being just the way Kato was and partly because of the circumstances of our life at the time. I pray that I never need to rely on a dog like that again, that I never again have to sleep in my vehicle or escape an abusive relationship, Kato was what I needed at that time and the next dog will be what I need at this time. Maybe I don’t need a dog right now, I have responded to at least 10 ads for dogs and not heard back from a one so maybe it is not in the cards for me at this time, but I have no doubt that if I keep looking the right dog will come along at the exact right time for both of us.

As I have mentioned previously, I am facing losing my little house and I don’t want that to happen, my brother has offered to help me keep it and that is very sweet of him but I have learned that if something is not meant to be, no amount of money or effort is going to make it happen. IF I can work for him and earn enough money to keep the cabin I will be thrilled but I don’t want to borrow money to stay in it and carry even more debt into the future and continue to struggle and live in fear of losing it. Maybe, just maybe I am not meant to stay here and God has something better planned, who knows? I won’t know if I cling to the cabin thinking I HAVE to live here. I am happy living here, I love it here, but I don’t know that there isn’t a place I would love more and have to remain open to that possibility.

I made this comment on another blog this morning and it kinda relates to what I was just saying.

I try to explain to people who come to my blog feeling broken after escaping an abusive relationship. They want the pain to stop and ask “how do I stop the pain?” and I try to tell them to stop focusing on it, just accept you are going to be in pain for a while, maybe a long while but you will survive, it is normal to feel pain, pain comes from awareness and usually brings the most profound life lessons. Go with the flow, feel the pain, and then let it go, the longer you try to avoid the pain the more it consumes you and the more control you give it over your life.
I have been told I am a strong person and most people could not survive what I have in my past, but the whole time I was going through it I never once thought  I could survive it but every day I woke up in the morning, accepted my day and made it through, every single day for over a year I thought to myself, I can not do this one more day but what was my alternative? and……… with time things got better, and they will get worse again. That is not being a pessimist, it is being realistic; what I have learned from life’s challenges is that they all pass and in their wake they usually leave a golden nugget of knowledge or bring a person into your life that you would not have met otherwise, or an opportunity you never would have had if not for the experience.
I am not saying a person should just accept their lot in life and there is no point in trying to better your life, you do have control to change things that make you unhappy and you should keep striving for a better life as long as you aren’t so focused on what you “think” your life should be like that you miss out on the wonderful things you already have or could have if you opened your mind to the possibilities. A problem is often made so much worse by viewing it has a problem, if you can view it as an opportunity the possibilities are endless.

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