Friday, June 10, 2016

Two Lists

Things that Made Me Happy this Week:

1.  I had great rides on Tucker.  He is soft and bendy again.  I need to work on getting him to go forward but that's a much easier task now that he's using himself correctly.  Soft and bendy and not hanging on my left rein is a huge improvement.  He feels a whole lot more comfortable and he's relaxed and quiet.  Amazing what a full set of functional joints will do for a guy!

2.  I love coming home to the cottage.  It's pretty and quiet.  I look outside and all I see are green fields and red barns and cows.  I look around and think about what kind of art I'd like to find for which space and what little additional pieces of furniture I'd like to hunt down.  I love that I can decorate it any way I want to.

3.  Sterling is very happy with our new living situation.  He is following me from room to room. Wherever I go, he goes too.  If I'm making dinner, he hangs in the kitchen.  If I'm watching tv, he curls up on the couch.  When I get out of the shower he's sitting patiently outside the bathroom.  I had a friend over for dinner and he hung out under the dining room table.  He spends the whole night curled up on the bed.  This is all new behavior for him.  He has always come to greet me at the door when I get home, and he's a very friendly cat, but he's never been quite so attached to me.  He either knows I need company or he's just happy the whole place is just ours.

4.  One of my best friends came over and I made us a nice dinner.  I barely saw her when I was with Ethan, I don't really know why.  Was it because I was always taking care of Ethan?  Was it because I always felt like things were strained between them, so we had to make plans without our respective other halves?  I don't know.  But we live close to each other now, so she's back in my life on a more consistent basis and it's going to be good.  Cottage martini nights are a go.

5.  My brother took me out to lunch and we split a bottle of wine on a beautiful day, in the middle of the week.  It was a treat, and a pick me up.  Brothers are so good like that.

6.  In response to my last post, one of my friends offered to give me a TV she isn't using.  The generosity and capacity for giving and caring that my friends (both in person and online) have shown me lately is astounding.  They are lifting me right up out of all this sadness.

7.  I made friends with a baby cow.  She licked my hands.  I'm in love.

8.  I went out and bought myself a really pretty new dress and shoes for a wedding I have this weekend. There was a good sale so I didn't have too much buyer's remorse about spending money on myself (I never buy clothes) and it made me feel good. It's going to be a fun wedding.  At least, I'm going to make sure I have fun.  I'm not going to allow myself to get drunk and sad.  I'll be drunk and happy and dancing instead!

9.  I stayed up until 2:30 in the morning talking to a very old friend.  Someone who understands me better than anyone.  It was very much something I needed.

Things that Have Made Me Sad this Week:

1.  I had this realization that my life story has changed.  I had this story of my life in my head, that I had a bunch of failed relationships up until my early 30s, many of which ended due to how much time/money/attention I spent on my horse, and then I met Ethan, who loved horses, and loved animals, and loved me, and everything changed.  And we bought a house with land, and turned it into a farm, and everyone lived happily ever after.  But that's not the story anymore.  Ethan was just another failed relationship, and I'm back to being single.  It's his house, not our house.  I know that now I have room to create another story, but the disappointment I feel makes me sad.

2.  I dream about Ethan every night.  In the dreams we are happy and in love and I feel so good. They feel completely real. Waking up from that in the middle of the night is soul-crushing.  The mind plays tricks on you, and it sucks.  It's my subconscious giving me what I can't have, or something like that. It will go away with time, but yeah, it sucks.

3.  I'm still having a hard time letting go of all the things he said to me.  I keep telling myself that it wasn't all bad and I don't have to feel like a giant failure and I'm not screwed up even though he said I was.  Sometimes I even have to go back through our old messages to convince myself that I didn't make it all up, that he really did love me (or at least he said he did?) and I did make him happy at some point.  But it's painful to try so hard at something and still have it all fall apart without warning. I really didn't see it coming.  Just days before everything ended I stopped on my way home to pick up his favorite candy as a nice surprise.  And then suddenly he was saying what a horrible relationship we had and how we'd be better off going our separate ways, and I should probably find somewhere else to stay.  I'm still trying to make sense of it, even though it will probably never make sense.

4.  I have this nagging feeling of what other people must be thinking.  (I know, it's never a good idea to focus too much on what other people think of you.)  I'm sure he's repeated to his family some of the things he said to me, that I'm ungrateful and spoiled and I want everything to be my way and I'm always mad at him and nothing he does is ever good enough. I know none of that is true, but they have no way of knowing that.  I did care about these people and it hurts to know that they probably believe these terrible things about me (and I don't blame them for it, my family blindly takes my side too).  I feel like I ruined his siblings' wedding pictures for all eternity because I'm in them.

5.  This past weekend he was at a wedding (which I thought I was going to, but since he waited until dumping me to book his flight, I guess he never planned on bringing me along) with a big group of his friends.  I thought it wouldn't bother me much to see the pictures, but boy, it did.  These people had become my friends, too, they were people I looked forward to seeing, people I cared about. I know that most people have had relationships fail and they understand how these things can go.  But I have these awful thoughts about what kinds of things he's told them about me.  In weak moments, I envision them telling him that they never liked me anyway and he's better off without me.  I don't think that's how they really feel, but again... the mind plays tricks.

6.  I'm mad at myself, because when I met Ethan I was happy.  I had a good life, I was content.  I had learned ways of making sure that loneliness didn't get the better of me.  I had accepted that I was better off as a single person and that love and marriage and being half of a couple isn't for everyone. I even went so far as to say that coupling is just a false construct that society has convinced us we need, that marriage is an antiquated concept, that love is an imaginary thing that industries made up in order to sell more greeting cards and diamond rings and houses.  Then I met him.  And I let myself believe that I could be like everyone else.  I wanted to believe so badly that I let myself become all attached and vulnerable and invested in a guy who would inevitably leave me because that's just how these things seem to go.  And now I have to pay the price, because I'm sad, and I don't want to be sad.

There are lots of things in my life to be happy about. These things have been enough to get me through the last three weeks, to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and even to make me smile and laugh.  You'll notice the first list is longer than the second list, which is awesome. But the other stuff is still in there too, and I want to be honest on the blog and not pretend it's all rosy and baby cows and happiness and sunshine.  But there ARE baby cows and happiness and sunshine too.  So, the short answer is that I'm going to be okay.  It's just... it sucks until it doesn't.  


  1. My past year has been an exercise in "Things that make me happy. Things that make me sad." week by week. The dreams will stop, and the hurt will lessen. The overarching "What do I do now?" and "Where will I go?" has persisted, at least for me.

  2. It seems like your second list is all internal dialog and your first list is all what is happening externally in your life that is positive. Which is great news because I think the second list would happen no matter what as part of your process of healing but now you have all of these wonderful things to soften the blow a bit. Your second list made me a little misty-eyed. I wish you did not have to go through something so painful. :(

  3. I can relate to what you are going thru . . . 30 years before I was blindsided. Now 8 years in and I still feel sad sometimes. . . and I often feel alone in a crowded room . . . but then I remind myself that I am responsible for my own happiness, he is not. I'm not giving him that power over me. So I begin to count my blessings and always, always, always see the glass as half full. It's hard - two years of therapy for me and I still think of how it was supposed to be. I need to force myself not to look back - the windshield is wide and the rear view mirror is small for good reason - what lies ahead is bigger and better. #5 on your happy list is my favorite - embrace it - if I could have either of them back I would choose my brother, no question. Great mantra for #4 on your sad list: "What other people think of me is none of MY business." Who cares? One day at a time, take care of and indulge yourself, and when you are wiping away the tears also wipe away the hurtful things he said that are making you cry. Do not let your mind play tricks so that you begin to believe you are unworthy. Eventually they always tell us it's our fault they are cowards -- do not accept blame. It takes time, but you are surrounded by loving friends and family - you will be fine - sit high in the saddle girl - God has something greater planned for you. (Just my 2 cents.)

  4. I might have to print this out and put it up on my fridge so I can read it every day. Love you!

  5. The cottage sounds wonderful and great place for you to start to heal.

    The second list makes sense. You cannot spend as much time and energy on a relationship as you did and NOT mourn. You need to allow yourself this time. Part of the issue may be that it ended but not honestly- he put all the blame on you without saying what was truthful. He's using his anger to avoid his own internal feelings.

    So he may be slamming you to everyone he knows. What they choose to believe is up to them. If his family knows him at all, then they know how he reacts to personal issues. But either way that is their issue, not yours.

    Another mantra to add to your list: you are not responsible for other people's happiness. Happiness is not a gift you can give- it's a state of being that can only come from inside. (unless you are giving me a pony then happiness is totally a gift).

  6. "I had this realization that my life story has changed."

    For me, that's the hardest part of any goodbye. The loss of the future you saw. And that deserves mourning. Because you're also saying goodbye to a version of yourself that will never be. And you should be said to say goodbye to her and that life. But Golden the Pony Girl has a good point: The good things are all things you can see and touch, while the sad things are mostly your thoughts. And that seems like it's a step in the right direction.

  7. The list of things that make you happy right now sounds like a very good list - happy horse, compassionate and supportive friends, a lovely place to live, and a good cat (who looks just like a former cat of mine!). The other list will diminish in time!

  8. I had the same concerns when I broke up with my last bf. At this point in my life, I'm so comfortable with myself that I don't care if I ever date again. I have more friends than ever, a better social life than I had with a boyfriend, and more time to relax and do me. The biggest thing for me was how I KNEW he was slamming me to all of his friends after I dumped him. I just knew he was telling them I was emotional, over-the-top, and desperately needed to see a therapist to get my shit together....when all the while my therapist told me that I'm completely normal and that he sounds like he has incredible issues (and he totally does - it's amazing what a person can see when they are no longer blinded by love).

    My best friend in the world who always hated my ex told me that it doesn't matter what others think. If they believe him, fine. But I know better. I know who I am. I know how the relationship was. That is all that matters.

    It'll take time, but you have a great new start. The cottage is beautiful. I'm insanely envious~

  9. So much good advice in the comments here! Take it and run with it. There's just no quick fix or fast route through the process other than taking each day as it comes, dealing with each wave of emotion knowing that they lessen over time as you pay them less mind and give them less power over you. You got this! The story I didn't see coming was WAY better than the one I was trying to write myself...your best days are in front of you <3

  10. It sounds silly, but "fake it until you make it" has really helped me in a lot of areas of life. If I'm sad, I find something (ANYTHING) that will make me smile, even for a second <3

  11. I love how animals make us feel when we need them most. I really appreciate you sharing your feelings because a lot of the time I feel blinded by love and I don't want to be. Horses are always #1 for me and always will be


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them! If you have a question, I will make sure to get back to you.