...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature... and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2015. Hootie~

Saturday, July 23, 2016

When Truman Stepped Through the Door...Everyone Paid the Price

In the movie The Truman Show, there is a point where Truman realizes that all around him has been staged.  He realizes that he has not been allowed to truly be himself. Society has been controlling his life.  With all the flair of the movies, Truman Burbank punches through the side of his fake world and finds a set of stairs with an exit door to the outside world.  He must decide, does he move forward or stay put?  No matter what he decides, from this point forward, life for all who crossed his life path will change... forever. 


*****
Relationships end, and unfortunately that is part of life.  With a divorce, the collateral damage is more than one would expect. 
*****

I was not an idiot in raising my children.  I realized that many more people get divorced now, as compared to when I was a youngster.  I raised my children in an induced Utopian world: to only have friends who were in solid families.  The old me defined "solid families" to mean their friends had two parents, who were together for the long haul.  My thought process was, if I could give my children a good example with my marriage, and fill their lives with other positive role models, they could potentially escape the realities of the really world.  Consequently, my children knew other kids whose parents were divorced, but they didn't grow up with those kids as close companions.  Off the top of my head, I can think of only two of my son's friends whose parents were divorced by the time my kiddos were in high school.  Mostly, my kids had friends who had intact families with parents who were always active in their lives.  Unconsciously I sought out friendships with others who were married only.  I did try to make a point of surrounding my own children with what I considered to be positive role models, as any caring parent might do.  Right or wrong, I grew up in an intact family, and I wanted the same for my children and the future generations of my family who might follow.  

Enter the Big D. 
FACT: Divorce hurts all who were brought together by the bond of marriage.

Collateral Damage in my divorce:  Two young adult children.  My definition of a young adult (YA) is someone who is over the age of 18. There was also my ex's mom (my MIL), various siblings, and extended family. I'm only focusing on my young adults, as they are connected by blood and I have personal experience with them.  

Studies have shown, when children are YAs, and their parents divorce, the YAs are more devastated than had the parents divorced when the children were younger.  I firmly believe this to be true.  As I have struggled with my own grief, my children have had their own problems to solve. I have been unable to focus on them.  I do think about my children and what they might be experiencing, but I cannot help them work through what they need to work through.  

I speculate, these might be a sampling of questions my YAs have asked themselves since May of 2013: 
     Are their memories real?
     Was their youth all a farce? 
     Were they the reason that an unhappy person stayed? 
     As adults, can they trust someone now to stay with them, should they find a soulmate?  
     What do they need to do to have a healthy relationship?  
     What does a healthy relationship look like?
     How do holidays work? 
     Where is home?   
     How can they stay out of the emotional battlefield? 


I know I haven't made it easy on my YAs.  Try as I might to keep my opinions bottled up inside of me, I exploded now and again. Less now then in the past, but I did unload from time to time.  To my children, I truly am sorry.  Please remember, I am human. I am not perfect.  But I DO love you with my whole heart.  

I hope my children never have to know hurt as I have.  My children deserve to have their own relationships with their father, just as they are forming their own relationships with me.  I have never wanted, or expected them to pick sides.  That's not right, nor is it fair.  As I raised my children, I never imagined they'd even think there would be a side to pick. 

*****   

It's been 31 years since my father died...June 20, 1985.  THAT was a devastating time in my life.  I remember emotionally breaking with his death, and wondering if I would ever heal.   I realized he was my father, and not my soul mate.  My parents were married for 23 years when he died.  I watched my mom, one incredibly strong woman, crumble to her knees but eventually rise again.   After dad died, my brother and I were there for one another, and for our mom.  I often discount my sister, but I don't mean to do that.  She was five when our dad died.  I know that she, along with therapy, were the reasons  mom was able to go on living.  Individually, and together, the four of us did heal.  It took a long time, and a lot of outside support, but we did work through that loss.  What helped me the most was that we were able to talk about missing dad, about the life we knew, and about what we had experienced together.  


With a death, the good memories are shared over, and over, and over.  That is not how it is with a divorce.  My children and I do not talk about what happened.  We cannot.  Honestly, the good memories that I have from my 28 year marriage, I question.  How can I not?...I didn't see our end coming initially.


Life has a way of happening the way it needs to though.  A close friend recently told me, as she listened to me spill my thoughts, that surely I knew what I did during my married years was really, really good.  She reminded me of my visible accomplishments...my children, and the adults they have become.  She commented on how much I was able to give them over the years.  She went on to say, something that I really all ready know, my ex wasn't growing with me, and he can't give me what I now need.  

Truman Burbank stepped through the door, putting his feet into an unknown world and said, "In case I don't see you...good afternoon, good evening and good night."  I imagine he had a lot of self discovery to do.   

Unlike Truman, I do not feel society was controlling my life before I stepped through my exit door and entered this new stage. I know I am in a time of self discovery.  I am continuing to learn who I am, what I enjoy, what I need, and what I want in life.    


~Lisa Kroll, student of life, who is starting to possibly enjoy the ride.  





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Research/Interesting Reads:  


    
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Sunday, June 26, 2016

forgiveness

Part of the healing process is forgiveness. 

I am working on forgiving so I can love and respect myself, and then move forward. 

New relationships are not being given a fair chance of working while I am in this stage. I have written so much over the past month, but so little have I posted. 
As I edit my writings I realize the emotions are strong and I am evolving, even a day after I pen my words. I hope that means I am growing. I would like to post recent writings because I do think they have value, but if I do, when I do, my readers need to know I am not the same person. 

~lisa

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Cycles: Grieving...the loss of one dream, but reaching for more....



At least one member of my family doesn't like that I write about my feelings publicly. 

Sorry, not sorry.  

This is a place for me to express the truth as I know it.   My writing is meant to help myself heal.  I hope my words are encouragement for any one else who might also be in my shoes.  I have searched the web for stories to help validate my thinking, and feel I need to add my stories to the mix.  If I can grow through this, I think anyone can. In the end, I know I really am going to be fine. In my heart, I believe I am going to be better than fine.  I all ready see positive differences in how I am feeling and how my life is playing out.  I didn't really know what being happy meant during my married years.  I was always trying to make someone else happy, relieve stress for them, put out fires, make everything perfect. I didn't put myself first.  I have not known what real love looked like between two people.  Positive relationships are where two people enhance, and help the other grow.  I've written about grieving before, but this summer is when I actually need to process my loss, let it go, and move forward.  Physically I lost a relationship, but that relationship was not a healthy one.  I was told again and again that I wasn't doing things, everything, well enough.  I always needed to improve.  I was not enhanced.  Looking back now, I clearly see the flaws in that relationship.  Hindsight is 20/20.  Today, physically I am great, but emotionally I am a work in progress that grows stronger with each passing day.  On the surface, I know I look wonderful.  All the work I need to do is on my inside, and only I can do this work.    

People who have NPD actually target their supplies.  Believe it or not, NPD's have very low self-esteem, which they project onto others, and they need to feel powerful.  They choose a partner/people in their lives, from whom they can benefit.  I was hand picked, and I played my role perfectly.  My own self-esteem has suffered due to my marriage relationship.  I have spent the better part of the past two years feeling I have failed in my marriage.  Actually, I didn't fail.  I am, and was, an amazing partner.  My ex's story is that we drifted apart.  We didn't, and it still annoys me that he said that, and tried to get me to believe it too.  He chose to break our commitment.  Cycles repeat, just like history.  NPD's cheat because they believe they won't get caught.  How do you define cheating?  "Vitamins" from California to enhance a hobby maybe, because one race official suggests supplementing workouts?  I am asked periodically if I have proof of my ex's infidelity.  I do.  I just didn't want to believe the signs.  Little lies...the friend he claimed to be with, who wasn't even in the state, his broken friendship...which he claims was because of me...how ridiculous. Pretty sure there was a female involved in that crossfire, but it wasn't me. The midnight run out of the house to help a "friend" I didn't know, coupled with the anger, at me, for waiting up until 2 a.m. and asking if I could help when he returned.  Others saw the signs too.  I know it's hard to tell someone when you suspect their spouse is not behaving in an appropriate manner.  I don't fault others for remaining silent; it wasn't their place to get involved.  Please friends know this truth: the past few years have shown me how honestly strong I am.  

This summer I am allowing myself to grieve. Teaching has kept me busy for the past 10 months, it's time to heal, and move forward.  Frustrations occur at times, and tears follow.  I need to grieve the loss of my dream to be in the "perfect" marriage. Three years ago I really thought I was living my dream.  Silly me, why did I think I had just one dream to dream?  How limiting!!!  I am told I am an inspiration.  This surviving a divorce was NOT the inspiration I hoped to be for others.  It was not one of my life dreams.  I thought I wanted to be the "perfect" wife.  Now I see my dream should have been, and is, to be the best me I can be, for me.  Independence is not such a bad thing.  However, even the most independent souls need to ask for help now and again.  I don't think I can ask for help just yet!  That might be on next summer's "to-do" list.  My brother told me I have trouble asking for help because I am a Scubelek (my maiden name...pronounced Scoob-a-leck).  He wisely noted that as we grew up, Scubelek's were people who helped others, we didn't need to ask for help.  I cannot help but share my happy spirit.  THAT is just who I am.  I am working on believing I did the best I could in my marriage.  I truly am happier now.  There was a negative aura that resided too close to my soul and it was dragging me down.  It has moved on...far away from me.  Thank you negative aura for giving me all the wisdom you needed to share, but I am done with you, and I now release you.  Goodbye negative aura.  


Two of my dreams have been to be a mom and a teacher.  Both goals I have successfully achieved!  We are complex souls, capable of having multiple dreams to strive towards.  We need to always believe in the potential to reach our dreams.  Positive thinking is powerful.  I do dream of being in a serious relationship with one person again someday, but I don't think I'm healed enough for that yet. I'm scared. What if I get hurt again?  My goal now is to be truly comfortable with speaking my mind and having my voice be heard.  I continue to cherish all my relationships.  Friendships are so important in helping us reach our full potentials in life.  Perfection has many meanings in my book, and I see my life is filled with perfections!

One last thing...I still believe in romance. #hopelessromantic  I thought maybe I've lost this piece of myself.  But, alas, once a dreamer, always a dreamer.  

~Lisa Krollstill eating, praying, loving, grieving, letting go and moving forward

"Loving myself the way I want you to love me" - Katy Perry, Love Me on the Prism album

It's no surprise that tonight's blogging music has been Katy Perry's Prism album.  Some day I dream of thanking Katy in person for sharing herself through her music.  



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Thursday, June 02, 2016

Feeling a little Stevie Wonder-ish....

I'm Trying to think back on what type of music my dad preferred...I'm drawing a blank.  

My brother, who rode to work with my dad during the last summer dad was alive, confirmed there was country music in dad's car, but it was mostly talk radio he listened to - Warren Frieberg and Paul Harvey.  I recall several songs that stuck out. In the Country genre...You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Lucille, by Kenny Rogers.  Most of dad's favorites were NOT country hits...Freddie Fender's, Feliz Navidad.  Dad LOVED that song. Oh, Lord It's Hard to be Humble (When You are Perfect in Every Way), by Mac Davis.  For some odd reason he also really liked Pink Floyd's, Another Brick in the Wall.  Eclectic tastes?  Self discovery noted!  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!  

What a crazy mix of music!  When we were really young, on Sunday after church, we'd go visit one of the grandparent households.  The music of choice on Sunday...Polkas.  I swear, Polkas!  There were Chicago radio stations that we could just barely receive on the car tuner.  Polish victory when The Beer Barrel Polka came on, or I Don't Want Her You Can Have Her (she's too fat for me), and In Heaven There is No Beer (that's why we drink it here). 

The song that makes me recall my dad the most?  Stevie Wonder's, I Just Called to Say I Love You.  When I hear that song, I am sure it's my dad's way of reaching down from the heavens and telling me his spirit is still in my heart.  

I wonder what song/s might trigger that reaction in my own children? 
*****

When I was in my early 20's, my dad died and my brother and I were old enough to be off to college.  Our baby sister was still at home, she was just five years old.  My brother and I lived together for almost two years during college.  We rented a house and had a third roomie; a friend from high school.  It was Three's Company in reverse.  During that time, mom wouldn't call as regularly as I thought she should.  She didn't check in and I was miffed.  Did she NOT care???  My brother and I talked about it.  We compared notes, "Have you heard from mom?" "When did you talk to mom last?" Sometimes we'd wait her out..."I'm NOT calling her!"  Our poor mom, when she did call, we'd give her the third degree topped with a little snotty attitude.  

Today, I finally get it.  I love my kiddos, but I have faith that I have raised them to be independent, capable souls.  Now, is the time for me to worry about me, and not worry about them.  I will always worry, but I'm not worried!  My oldest nephew is heading off to college in a few short months.  I'm sure my brother will go through the same separation that I did, the same separation our mother experienced.  It is how life is supposed to happen.  

When Katy Perry, or Ed Sheeran, or Vampire Weekend or fill in the blank, come on in a grocery store, elevator or the radio...I hope my kids will smile and say, "Our mom...her music choices...and laugh."  

I miss my parents.  I'm glad I have my siblings with whom I can share awesome memories.  

Tonight's blogging music:  Vampire Weekend, Ed, Katy, and my Disney playlist which includes: Baroque Hoedown (Electric Parade Theme Music from Disney World), Tapestry of Nations (Epcot's World Showcase fireworks music), The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Lion King), Let It Go, Reindeer(s) are Better than People (Frozen), Something That I Want (Tangled), Zero to Hero, I Can Go the Distance (Hercules), Two Worlds, You'll Be in My Heart (Tarzan)....and other wonderful, bouncy songs!!!  


















~Lisa Kroll, age 52, 10 weeks and one day...
It's official...I've outlived my dad!  
Woo Hoo for small victories!  Time to really live now.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Exemplars



(noun)  

a person or 
thing serving as a 
typical example 
or excellent model


Tonight I am reflecting back on the love I witnessed growing up with my perspective, colored by age and life experience.  

My parents.  My exemplars.  

Each was a beautiful soul.  They cared so deeply about one another, and about family.  Family gatherings...weddings, funerals, religious celebrations, birthdays, holidays...were BIG events.  It seemed we were always celebrating something, and the only friends I had for a long time, were ones who were related to me. I'm sure my cousins might have had this same feeling! My roots are Italian and Polish, with some of my greats having come directly over from the mother countries.  Although Italian and Polish were spoken by a few of the elders, sadly I did not pick up any of either language.  Great aunts and uncles, regular aunts and uncles, first, second, and third cousins and their spouses attended the weddings and funerals.  It seemed someone was always getting married or dying.  

I literally grew up thinking I was related to everyone who lived in my community until I went to fifth grade.  The summer before I entered the fifth grade, my parents moved to a new community.  The funny thing was, many of our friends and family from my first community moved as well, joining my new community.  

Beyond family, my parents knew everyone and everyone knew them.  

It was common knowledge that if a neighbor needed ANYTHING, they could count on my parents. Thinking about this now, I'm sure the feeling was reciprocated.  My dad was an Electrical Engineer by trade and my mom was an office manager for a doctor's office, but within our community dad was a volunteer fireman and mom was a certified Emergency Medical Technician volunteer.  They were always "on call", and helped whenever needed.  I vividly remember emergencies in the middle of the night where both my parents responded, along with all the other volunteer emergency crew. On top of volunteering, both my parents were involved with my brother and I as were were growing up.  Mom did typical mom stuff: organized summer camps, was a volunteer in my school, served on the PTA, AND had a Ceramic business out of our basement.  As my brother and I aged, both our parents involvement changed as well.  Our parents were chaperones on band trips, and dad even had a chauffeur's license so he could drive the school bus for those trips. I had the coolest parents.    

Visible to others was a couple who truly were a super couple.  

As a child, I witnessed the backside of an amazing love.  

I never noticed if my brother and I lacked material goods.  However, I do recall that once a month, dad would balance the checkbook.  This was code for my brother and I to disappear into our rooms.  We were neither seen, nor heard during the balancing of the checkbook.  Dad was generally an even tempered person.  Mom was a spender.  I guess mom just knew things would be okay.  Dad didn't always agree and when this happened, his even temper became off kilter.  They would argue, but in the end they would assure my brother and I that they loved each other.  And they did.  My parents were not perfect, and they knew that about themselves and one another.  They were willing to overlook imperfections and love with their whole heart anyway.  They laughed together, played together, helped the community together, and loved their family together.  

An Aunt recently sent me the above photograph.  As I looked at it, my eyes teared up.  I miss them both so much.  I hope, and I think their spirit lives within my heart.  I know I longed to be a part of a super couple, but I also know that because of my parents, there isn't anything I can't do all by myself.  Part of my journey now is to learn to forgive myself for not living up to that exemplar I knew.  They were just one example.  

In today's society extended families have drifted apart and with these drifts core values have become diluted.  I feel we live in a society that no longer promotes super couples.  I think we encourage too many selfish behaviors and not enough behaviors of taking care of one another.  Our older generations still get it, but souls my age seem more selfish, and our youth...I am worried for them. Maybe I have become a skeptic.  Maybe, as I continue to age, I'll see the cycle repeat and super couples will again be a thing.  Time will tell.  

Regardless, with my friends I will continue to laugh, play, help my community, and love my family.  In my own way I will be a reflection of the exemplar above, and hopefully encourage others along the way.  Thank you friends, for loving me on this journey.  

~Lisa Kroll
         ponderer of emotions  

Tonight's blogging music...  

from Adele's 25, Remedy, Sweetest Devotion
from Ed Sheehan's X, One, Tenerife Sea, Thinking Out Loud, Shirtsleeves
From Ed Sheehan's 5, Be Like You, Let It Out, Where We Land; 
from Ed Sheehan's +, Kiss Me, Give Me Love
from Dean Martin, You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You, Sway.  












Saturday, March 26, 2016

Decisions....

Each night, I set out my clothes for the next day.  I gather all my things so I am completely ready, down to shoes and jewelry.  I have found that I need the routine to make my mornings run smoothly.  It is one decision that I do not need to make as my day starts.  I get up, get ready, and walk out the door feeling set.  No pressures.  

One Wednesday night, as I set out my outfit I was deciding what to wear around a pair of socks.  Yes, socks. Olaf the snowman from Frozen socks. We were celebrating Dr. Seuss at school this particular week, and each day had a theme.  Thursday would be crazy sock day. I must admit, I spent too much time that night struggling with what I would be wearing the next day.  

Thursday arrived.  I got up and started my routine: shower, dress, hair, make-up, coffee, breakfast, then out the door.  

As the day wore on, I noticed I was in a funk.  Something was off, and I struggled to figure it out.  I was emotionally off.  I felt I needed to get home, and I wasn’t sure why.  When I finally did arrive home, I went straight to my room and changed my clothes.  I literally peeled off my bad mood. I had been wearing clothes from the person whom I used to be.  

Who knew?  The clothes make the person.  True.  They do.  

In a matter of minutes, I realized I have spent a certain amount of my life dressing to be someone else; trying to be the person I felt I was supposed to be instead of being the person I am.  No more.  I am free to embrace myself!  Free to love me and all that I am.  I am no longer someone who shops a certain label.  I still like a classy look, but I am more a flowers-frills-and-flowing-dresses type.  It matches my personality.  I am a can-do, handy, capable, smart person.  I am not someone who needs to march to the beat of someone else's drum.  I am not high and mighty. I would rather help someone else, than have someone help or wait on me.  

In life, stories must end so new stories may begin.  I am happily living the story I am meant to live right now.  I still look at the pages of my old story from time to time, but I know those final chapters have played out.  Stories teach us lessons. Thank you Universe for helping me learn my lessons, realize I have more stories to be a part of and happily be me.

~Lisa Kroll, still Eating to nourish my body, Praying private prayers and Loving myself

Blogging Music tonight:  Jason Mraz, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, 2008.  
What a great album, but particularly love Make it Mine, I'm Yours, Lucky, Butterfly, Live High.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

love...

Love cannot endure indifference. It needs to be wanted. Like a lamp, it needs to be fed out of the oil of an other's heart, or its flame burns low.  
                                             
~ Henry Ward Beecher


In 2013, my second life began.  
Thankfully, I was set free.  

Today, Life is good.  But I do wonder... 


*****

Love.  
What does it have to do with anything?  

Having just lived through Valentine's Day, I'll admit, Love has been on my mind a lot.  I wonder, will I ever be able to love again?  Not be loved, but love again myself.  Can I open myself enough to love another.  As I meet others, I wonder, how guarded am I staying?  How honest and open can I, will I really be?  I worry about hurting someone else.  I do not know what it is I want or am looking for yet.  What if I lead someone on?  That's not fair to them.  

I've been trying to break down exactly what love is.  Is love a state of being?  Is love something tangible?  Is love something dependent on another? and if so, how did I fail at love?  Or did I fail?  Where does love reside in me?  I think love may be a part of my very being.  Can I separate who I am from the love that is inside of me?  Is love a combination of physical and emotional feelings with another? Is the power of love just an illusion within our own mind?  If it is, why can't I just chillax?   

Dear Universe, I have allowed myself to be desired, and to desire.  But I haven't allowed my heart to be opened.  I do not feel safe.  Is it the same old same old?  In order to love, one must give love.  Oh Universe, I give love daily; to my pets, to my students, to my friends.  Maybe I'll never be able to fully open up my heart to any one person.  Maybe a part of me will always remain guarded.  So I can always say, 'see, i knew it!' and thus be validated when I am set free again.   Dearest Universe, can you explain to me why am I so sure I will be set free again???  Isn't that a sad way to live?  Always expecting the other shoe to fall.  Why am I so gun shy?  How do I get over this stage which is filled with apprehension?  How do I move forward with this?  Maybe it's just too soon.  Maybe I haven't taken all I need to from the lessons you're trying to teach me. Guess I'm a work in progress.   

I was talking with a friend and asked, do you think maybe we are only supposed to have certain relationships for so long?  I find this funny because two short years ago I was a person who believed, when one finds love, no matter what, they persevere and work to preserve that love.  You do what you need to in your relationships to make them be successful.  I am not a quitter.  Today I feel like I didn't quit, but maybe I am seeing things in life differently.  Maybe we are meant to have many loves in our life.  Maybe we are meant to learn from each.  As we gather lessons, we become richer souls.  If that is the case, then why has my heart hurt so much?  Shall I blame Disney? ...fairy tales and unrealistic expectations. No, I can't do that.  I am a romantic soul and love fairy tales, unrealistic expectations and happy endings.  I've said before that I don't believe we change, but maybe I need to re-think my comments on that. I do believe that a leopard cannot change his spots, but his prey can adapt to the dangers he puts in their way.    

From the lessons I have learned in life thus far I am taking that I will survive, no matter what.  I am a person who lands on her feet.  I just need to allow myself a little more time.  I need to be patient with me.  I need to allow myself to live in the moment.  To Enjoy.  To only do those things that add to me.  I know that is a tad selfish, but I also know myself.  I know that I am far from a selfish person.  I love life and I need to know that it's okay to be scared.  Putting my trust in someone is a really big deal.  I'm sure I'll do it again, eventually.  


~Lisa Kroll
ponderer on life, 
learning how to pace myself,
and feeling happy 

Online articles I perused while researching LOVE:  
Why am I afraid to love again?  
Five theories of what love is

Blogging music tonight:  music from the group Vampire Weekend, 2010 Contra, 2013 Modern Vampires of the City, and 2008 Vampire Weekend.  Special thanks to my music guru son for listening to Vampire Weekend at the house.