...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature...divorce...second chances...
and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2017. Hootie~

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder.

I treated myself to seeing the recent movie, Wonder Woman.  

Before I walked into the theatre, I reflected back on my introduction to comic book heroines.  The mid 70's were a time when young women started to see female comic book heroes come to life.  Heroines in the comics adorned the small screen. That "I can do it" attitude was being laid in my 11 year-old foundation. In my youth, Isis was the first goddess I recall wanting to embrace.  I was transformed by simply saying, "Oh Mighty Isis" as if that's all I had to do to become strong, to become powerful. That's what the female science teacher on the television show said in order for her to change. 

As most youth, I had a wonderful imagination growing up. I enjoyed taking on the personality of many television characters. Isis was followed by The Bionic Woman, and next came Wonder Woman. These shows overlapped one another for a few years. Lynda Carter was the Wonder Woman of my youth.  As a former Miss American, she was a kick-butt brunette, who had brains and curves.  When I was younger, I had darker hair, and my Italian heritage hinted at curves that I would grow into. It would be several more years though before my hour glass shape truly took form. As for brains...well, I was studious, and ended my high school days in the top fifth of my class.  I have always LOVED math and science, too.  I don't recall exactly when my dad gave me a cuff bracelet that had belonged to him as a child, but I suspect it was around that time.  Maybe he sensed that I needed a little help in feeling strong.  Bra burning was popular and in the news during my youth. I would wear that cuff to ward off invisible bullets, or to gain my silent super powers. It didn't leave my wrist, and it was my secret weapon.  I never told anyone how empowered it made me feel.    

I spent time reflecting back on the little girl I was, and the woman I have become. A realization set over me. I have felt that the generation of ladies who preceded me were the ones who set the woman's rights movement in motion.  I am grateful for them, but what have I contributed to help the cause??? Mostly, I followed social norms.  I had children and stayed at home to raise them.  I kept the house, did the cooking, and the cleaning.  I supported the head of our household, as a good wife should. My staying home, meant our family looked to be at a higher status level than others.  As I pause now, I think none of the roles I filled sound very much like I did my part to help the cause. Yet, I know I would do it all again, exactly the same way. Choices, we all make them.  I made the conscious choice to stay home.  No regrets.  I have always been a teacher, I just didn't realize it. The lessons I needed to teacher were to a smaller groups of students.   

Watching the Wonder Woman movie, I realized I am living in an era where women are still gaining power.  Women are still finding out who they are and defining who we, as women, are suppose to become, which is to be an equal to all others.  We are not only defining, for our gender, we are defining for all races what it means to be equal. Equality, that's the cause. Women are doing all this with grace, and with wisdom.

As a mother, I shared my love and compassion with my children.  Those were two of the life lessons I taught.  To see one's child help another, means my role as a mother and caregiver made a difference. Really, I was the strength that cemented the foundation of my household.  I see that now. Power.  

There are moments when I start to feel as if I am not fulfilling my part in society to help build powerful women.  One of my friends sent me a book for my classroom library.  It is a reminder that sometimes, when we feel we need to count on others, we really all ready have the strength we seek inside ourselves.  

In honor or my friend, I made this bracelet.  I know that we, both male and female, are really stronger than we think, or know.  

I want to do my part to make society a better place.  I want to show the world that I am not a slacker, who is riding on the coattails of women who came before me.  

As I pause, I am reminded that I wake up, and live each day, and I inspire girls all around me.  I went back to further my education, after I raised my family.  I embarked on a career that I had always dreamt of holding.  I am surviving, and thriving. I want to inspire my daughter, and my nieces.  They can be and do anything they want in life!  I believe in them, and I will be their biggest supporter.  The other collateral beauty of my inspiration lands on my being able to inspire my sister, my friends, and my peers.  The funny thing about inspiration...it is reciprocal.  My sister, my friends and my peers also inspire me, as do my daughter and my nieces.  Today, just like in my youth, there are many role models of strong, powerful, graceful, compassionate heroines who inspire all.  

See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me...
And no one knows, how far it goes...
If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me...
One day I'll know, how far I'll go...

This summer, I have realized how important my female friendships are to my being. I believe we all need the friendship of many in our lives.  Friendships at this stage in my life seem more meaningful, than they were when I was younger. There is a richness that comes with experiencing life, and I feel it allows me to connect in deeper, more meaningful ways with others.  I find I can appreciate more of what lies beneath the surface in a person, too.  I am cautious who I let close to my heart, but it is with my female friends that I know I can really let down my guard.  We support one another emotionally, and are no longer trying to impress or out do each other.  Maybe we've reached that stage in life where we all really do know how precious is our time left on this Earth. Although my close friends emotionally support me, and I them, I know that the world is still a competitive place and regularly women will knock one another down.  I'm still trying to understand why.  Is it out of fear?  Fear of what though?  Not getting ahead? Being liked more or less than someone else?  I see it where I work, but it happens in all environments. Grown women can become mean girls. There are so many things we do to hurt one another...little digs, unspoken looks down noses, people being left out of the loop. I believe, in order for our society to become the place with which I am most comfortable for our future generations, we need a balanced world.  We need more women in power.  

Ladies, we need to support one another, and in all ways! We need to be kind and compassionate.  We need to help one another.  We need to elect women at the local level and then up through the ranks.  We need to financially support strong, female candidates.  We need to seed the campaigns of those who are comfortable speaking their minds on behalf of all of us; those with voices who will be heard.  I certainly haven't been an example of someone who was comfortable speaking her mind and making waves.  But "still, it calls me...."  Men will not take care of our issues.  They hear us, but they cannot know what it is that we truly need. We need a world that believes in equality, and compassion.  Not equality and compassion just for women, but for all.  During Wonder Woman, who stood up and walked through the battle field because she believed so strongly that what was happening was wrong?  

I am officially now on my summer break.  My camp teaching is over and I can relax. I am looking forward to a little quiet time to myself, and then I plan on filling my days with home improvement tasks and lunches, drinks, dinners, movies, what ever I can...with my friends who are girls!  I need you my friends! Not just during the dog days of summer, but always.  

And the call isn't out there at all...It's inside me...It's like the tide...Always falling and rising...I will carry you here in my heart...You'll remind me...That come what may...I know the way...  

I WONDER where my future path is leading me?     

~Lisa Kroll
     I think I've just awakened the feminist in myself, and I really like it                love warrior, feminist, teacher


Tonight's blogging music:  Moana: Original Movie Soundtrack, with special thanks to my sister who made sure I now own it.   

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Timeless Words....

Did she know?  That's the question that's been on my mind.  Did my mom know just how much I admired, loved and appreciated her before she died?  

She reached out to me this week, from beyond the grave.  I made an impromptu trip to visit my sister because I was starting to feel a tad claustrophobic at my house, and truth be known, lonely.  I needed a little bit of that special love one can only really get from being with their family.  While at my sister's, the two of us shared our time by going through boxes of old family photos.  The boxes we went through contained images of long gone souls; souls we'd grown up knowing only in family tales.  As history detectives, we identified our kin.  This experience was incredibly eye opening, and it touched my soul.

My sister opened an old scrapbook one night.  She perused it's pages, as I was identifying loose photos.  The next day, I peeked inside that scrapbook and was treated to a world of personal stories.

My grandmother, Theresa, went through a period of loss, not unlike others in her time.  She had a baby (my Aunt Carol) in July of 1939.  Carol didn't see her first birthday because she contracted Tuberculosis.  My grandmother would test positive or TB the remainder of her life.  My grandmother was able to get pregnant again, and this baby would grow to be my mother, Patricia, the first of five more babies to enter the family Simonetto.  My mom was a few months old, when my grandmother's brother, Patrick, died.  He was just 21 years old.  He had been at college, but came home for a visit, when he died suddenly of Pneumonia.  In the next year, my grandparents would lose yet another family member: my grandfather's youngest brother, Joeseppe.  He was 20 years old, and died in an air training accident at the Air Force base in Kansas (McConnell AF Base, before it was named as such).  So much loss of youth.  How did the families handle it? That is a rhetorical question, I know they were survivors.  They persevered.  As I continued to leaf through the pages of the scrapbook, old letters, notes written by unknown-to-me relatives, came alive. I was mesmerized.  I was held captive.  

One letter gripped my heart more than the rest.  It was one penned by my own mother.  It certainly wasn't the oldest letter.  The paper hadn't turned yellow yet with age.  There, before my eyes, was my mom's handwriting, on blue, flowered stationary.   I read the letter out loud to my sister.  As I did, tears slowly streamed down my cheeks.  My mom was expressing sentiments that I have been recently feeling.  Mom wrote a letter to Grandma, near Mother's Day in 1989.  Below are the unedited words my mother had to say:
My Grandmother, before children.
I have a picture of my grandfather at this time, too,
so I do suspect they were married in this photo. 

Lake Michigan in the foreground, and my
grandmother with my mom on her right and my Uncle Joe on the left.  

My mom and Grandma

Mom and Grandma,
on my mom's First Holy Communion

My mom and my Grandma at my sister's wedding 

Dear Mom:

I suppose you're wondering why I'm writing this letter since we live only ten miles apart and talk on the phone almost every day.  I don't feel I could express myself verbally as well as I could by writing.  Since Mother's Day will soon be here and I've been shopping for that special gift, I've been thinking about you and what you've meant to me through the years.

As I think back now, I guess I really didn't appreciate you as much as I could of while I was at home. It wasn't until I went to California that I began to get a new perspective on our relationship.  We didn't always agree on everything, of course
but you always took time to listen whenever I had a problem that I wanted to talk about.  After I left home, I missed not being able to confide in you except long distance, by mail or by telephone.

My mom, the bride - March 1962

I think it was when I married Larry that I really began to think of you as a real person rather than as "Just Mom." I began to admire your abilities with cooking, getting everything on the table hot at the same time, sewing which I took for granted, gardening and how crafty you are.  Your ability to make something out of nothing amazed me.  I also discovered that you were generous and always ready to help out a friend, neighbor and me.

You know, you've given me good sound advice over the years and I haven't always taken it.  But I especially remember the morning of my wedding when you and Dad said, it wasn't too late to change my mind about marrying Larry" - your only concern was my happiness and I've often thought of that special moment.  After Lisa was born, I began to see what it meant to be a mother from a new point of


view.  I felt a very special closeness with you as I understood, for the first time, the joys of having a child, of seeing her smile, hearing her say, "mama" and watching her learn to walk and grow up.  Each child has given me more insight to who you really were.  I had a hard time with three and you managed fine all by yourself. 

Holding and rocking a sick child, I've also discovered the long hours of worry and work you put into caring for me.  I found then, as you did years before, that a mother learns to rely on God a great deal.

As the kids have grown I found that I could sound grouchy and irritable just as you sometimes sounded when I was growing up and for some of the same good reasons.

I remember how you use to complain about how sloppy and messy I was. I really


didn't care much about your frustrations then, but I now know exactly how you felt - Sorry.

You've always been there when I needed you the most.  I remember the morning Larry died - you were there to help me when I didn't know what I was going to do - you held me in your arms and I felt so safe and secure.  What magic your arms possess.

My Uncle Joe, Aunt Pam, Grandma and mom -
There were still two babies yet to join the family.
I was so lonely and frightened but you were there to pick up the pieces.  You said I was still young and pretty - I had no faith in myself.  Then I met Art and you were there again.

At Disney World, with my siblings and my mom 
Since I've had children of my own I feel that I know you better.  I understand that a mother tries so hard, makes mistakes, loses her temper when she doesn't mean to, and has normal human


emotions.  Yes, I understand now that mother's don't always know how to settle siblings quarrels fairly or may even run out of patience a lot of times.  But, moms never run out of love - I know because you've shown that through the years.

Thank you
With all my love, 
Your daughter, 

Happy Mother's Day

Did she know?  

I believe she did.  With age comes wisdom, and mother's definitely have wisdom along with their endless supply of love.

Thank you mom, for being there for me.  May you look down and know I embrace all you bestowed upon me in life.  I am who I am, because of you and dad.  I love you, as every daughter, and son, loves their mom.  Sometimes we just need a little time before we truly realize the awesome souls in our lives.

Wonder.  Wisdom.  Grace.  Power.

~Lisa Scubelek-Kroll, 
     story teller, mother, lover of life 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

...umm, hello...is this thing on?

Dear Universe, 

Clearly I don't know what it is that I want.  You pretty much gave me what I asked for and I couldn't embrace it.  Sorry, my bad.  Maybe I'm being too specific in my requests.  Please give me what every it is the I need, because I'm pretty sure you have a better idea than I do of what that might be.  I keep thinking I know what that is, but I've been told what I am requesting is very "vanilla", and not really me.  I have been told I am a younger soul than what my age says; that age is just a number.  I feel I need someone who has life experiences, but realistically can that person be someone younger than I am?  I've been told others are drawn towards me, but I just don't see it.  Help me to take down my blinders.   I've been told I need to have faith, give it time, and just trust in you.  Truly, I am trying.  

I am trying to be a brave, strong person, but I don't want the job of being an inspiration to others.  I don't recall asking for that position in my life.  That is just too much pressure and responsibility!  If I am supposed to be grateful, I am.  I really am.  I was sitting at my dining room table this past Sunday morning when I had a Zen like moment.  I realized I was at peace in my heart.  My body was so calm, and I felt I was in a state of true happiness.  Euphoria.  I felt it, as I breathed in and out.  I was sitting alone, and yet I was at peace and happy.  I went to fill my bird feeders, and as I walked into my carport, I realized I have so much to be for which to be grateful.  I own a wonderful house, and it is my refuge.  I had to pause and actually kiss The Burrow.  I am grateful for the shelter it offers me, and the joys I have from watching the nature that surrounds it.  I am trying to find balance in my life.  I am trying very hard to be a good person, make everyone happy, and be true to myself.  I don't want to ever hurt my children.  I feel they have been hurt enough all ready, and they still have so much more life ahead of them.  I am sure heartache and hurt will be in their lives too, as it is in all our lives, but I do not want to add to their hurt any more.  Maybe my focus needs to be on making myself happy, but that's hard for me to do, because I feel selfish when I think like that.  

Today is the 32nd anniversary of my own dad's death.  In my life, I have experienced loss, and hurt, and sadness, and joy, and jealousy, and anger,  pride, and happiness, and I do not know what other lessons I still have to learn.  I'm really wanting to move forward.  I'm really tired of being lonely.  I don't mind being alone, if that's what I am supposed to be, but please direct me towards my purpose in life.  Most of the time, it's very hard to see my purpose.  Where is it that I am supposed to put all the love I have in my heart? 

Just making sure you are still there, Universe.  

Hope to hear from you soon.

Your biggest admirer, 

Lisa Kroll
     warrior, star gazer, and dreamer

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Gives and Takes....Price Points

Sometimes good things fall apart so even better things can fall together....

I've been weighting the pros and cons to being in a relationship. Nothing is on the horizon, I've just been thinking. I've been wondering why people give up their independence to be in relationships. I'm trying to figure out what the price point might be for whether or not a relationship happens.  I've been told I think too much. Thinking is a gift.    

In a relationship:  

When one enters into a relationship, there are many things gained.  One gains a partner with whom he or she can grow and share life.  Another gain, someone to call or text. There is always someone to come home to; always noise in the house.  Always someone to go do something with, either planned or spontaneous.  There are holidays to share and new traditions just waiting to be created. One always has someone who can do something for them, or the reverse, someone to dote on. One has someone to think out loud with or debate. Chores can be divided.  Money can be pooled.  Kind words can be spoken, and heard.  One can hear "I love you" before they close their eyes at night, and drift off to sleep. There is someone to plan and live dream vacations, or even stay-cations.  Still another gain, one has someone to share a new series on TV, or Netflix, etc. Meals can be prepared and eaten together. Strange noises in the house can be investigated by someone else. One has a partner to cuddle with, and hands are available to be held. 

Being single:  

Windows in the car may be opened and hair may be turned loose to dance freely in the breeze.  One decides what music to listen to and the decibel it should be heard. And if one wants to listen to Ed sing "What do I know", or "Eraser" a hundred times in a row...she can.  One can stay up as late as they'd like, or sleep in, too.  House windows may also be left open at night to enjoy the sounds of owls and tree frogs. No negotiating for what is on the screen. Binge watching for hours is acceptable. Dishes do not need to be used, or even washed daily IF used.  Chips and dip qualify as a complete meal. Proper sleeping posture is sprawled out, in the middle of the bed. Bed making is optional. There is always enough hot water. One can talk to his or her pets, knowing no one else will hear them.    

I'm sure there are many pros I'm missing for both being in a relationship and being single. These lists are by no means complete.   

A little alone time to think is always good for the soul.  
Being alone can be lonely at times, but it's okay.  

~Lisa Kroll

     I choose love.  
     I choose positivity. 
     I choose happiness.  

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Hoping in Tomorrow...

I don't have writer's block.  When there isn't anything posted, it is because I am dumping my thoughts on my private blog, or in my paper journal.  It means I am trying to decide what to share next. My personal goals are to accept how my life has played out.  I need to understand it, and why things happened as they have.  I need to understand my role, my needs, and my desires.  I am moving forward with my life.  If my writings can help someone else along they way, that makes me happy.  Not many truly understand what it is like to live with someone who has a personality disorder.  I didn't even realize that's what I was doing until I started to find my voice and put myself first. Our current political situation in America makes me feel the entire country is living through something very similar to what I have survived. The difference...  I was in the inner circle, and politically we are all at least one step removed.

I have been reflecting on what I have publicly written.  I do not have regrets for writing, but I realize that two posts ago I might have shared more than many people can handle.  As I re-read it, I know it doesn't sound like what happened could have been real.  It was.  I am glad that I documented in the moment exactly what did happen.  What I experienced was something that started long ago, nearly 33 years ago, and gradually built up.  I have been slow to mentally let things go, because I have had a lot to sort out.  It is something that I hadn't realized I had allowed to happen.  What I experienced was intense for someone in the line of fire. I have a little PTSD due to what I lived under, and it sometimes flairs up.  I am learning to recognize my triggers, work through them and not let them set me off.  Experience make us stronger.  There is risk in living, and in relationships.  Friendships are less risky than deeper, personal commitments.  When humans pair up, we trust that other person is on this ride with us, and are not working against us.  We trust they are going to build us up and be proud of our successes, not be jealous, or competitive and try to out do us.  I am a soul who loves deeply. I know people are thinking, "I wish she would move on all ready", etc.  I am, and at the pace I've needed. And I've needed a lot of time! I realize that what I have shared has been incredibly personal.  Sharing has been a necessary step in my healing.  My choice has been to write.

At this moment, I feel as if I have my hand on the door handle to my future.  You know that saying, When one door closes, Another opens up?  I feel like I am just about ready to turn the handle, open the door, AND in walking forward through the door, enter the next chapter of my life.

This is an exciting, yet scary time.  There is nothing standing in my way, except for myself.  Only my own fears are holding me back. I am still a little fearful.

Am I strong enough to speak my voice when I don't agree?
Am I able to let my opinion be known?
Am I ready to let down my guard and really open my heart to another?

Summer is here, and I think I'm ready for another adventure.

~Lisa Kroll
     spreading Love,
               and Understanding,

Sunday, May 14, 2017

To Date or Not To Date...

That isn't really the question.

HOW does one make connections so they can date?  
THAT, is the real question.

Dating sites in my 50's?!  
Not what I expected at this stage of life.  How can I learn to play this game?  I would love to meet someone who is looking for a friend to share his life, for a lover, a confidant, and a partner in crime*.

I have been with a few people since my divorce, but I haven't really dated.  In the Divorce Support Group I attend, it was suggest a divorced person really needs to allow one year to heal for every five they were married.  According to that schedule, I still have a few years to go.  I did have one on-again, off-again relationship over the past year.  I actually still really like that guy, and it doesn't take much for me to tell anyone who will listen about his great qualities.  He's a good person.  Unfortunately, we are just not at the same place in our lives.  I have nothing tying me down, while he still has the responsibility of his children, and I didn't get the feeling I was someone he wanted to go with on adventures.  He's got a lot going on in his life, and I know he will find the perfect person to fit into it.  That person just isn't me.   

What message does this picture send? 
I need someone who is ready to go on adventures.  I am experienced at playing old married couple, but I had anticipated I'd be traveling at this stage in my life.  With my children out of the house, the National Parks are calling me.  I want to check all 50 states off my bucket list as I explore the wonders each has to offer.  My passport is current, in hopes of being whisked away for even grander adventures in Canada, Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Great Britain, Sweden, Brazil..and wherever else needs exploring.  I can do all this alone, but I'd like a partner to share this adventure.  I need someone who has disposable income and feels I'm worth spending that extra money on.  If that sounds harsh, or wrong, it's not meant to. Although nice, I don't need diamonds, but I do need adventure. I don't mind sharing the bill, but I need to feel wanted and just a little spoiled.    

I am told I just need to do those things I love and I'll cross paths with another like soul.  I hope that is true, but I am of little faith.  Will I?  Am I even approachable?  Will I ever really be asked out?  I am not getting any younger!!!

A man who is divorced in his 50's seems to wants someone who is in their 30's, they don't want a woman in her 50's.  Do older men even realize what they are missing out on?  Older women offer stability, and life experience, as well as their own financial independence.  

My experience with dating sites is, one gets what they pay for...

Free dating sites:

They are okay, but it's hard to filter out who talks to you.  Not wanting to be rude, I'm afraid I've spent too much time being kind and sending messages to people I will not date.  Talk is cheap.

Pay dating sites:

Depending on the site, you might be able to filter for location, social habits, education, etc. My experience is that there is a lot of activity for the first few weeks, and then because the pool of "fish" isn't very big, you are paying to look at the same fish.

Does this say, I volunteer?  I am capable?  
Being in my second year of my career, and loving my home and town, I don't really want to move so I can date.  Surely, there are more fish close to home worth looking at, and who want to look at me!?! Ones who just aren't in the pool because they are also intimidated by the nature of on-line dating. 
How do I reach this pool of fish?  

When I do check out the dating sites, I have certain parameters in mind. I assume others do as well.  I wonder, as my profile pictures are looked at, if guys are thinking is this someone I could share my time with, or more? That's what I want them to think, because I dislike feeling like just some fish who the fisherman will filleted and then discard.  It's hard to want spend my money on a site to meet people, when I'll be made to feel like I'm just a notch in some one's belt.  I think, regardless of ones age, dating sites are mostly a place where people turn to find someone to hook-up.  That's not what I am looking for in my life.       

Remaining positive minded and forward thinking, I have a list of what I'm looking for in someone. I trust that the Universe is listening to me.  

I want my someone to be older than me,
kids are fine - but no kids at home,
a non-smoker,
educated, a Masters or PHD is not necessary, but I enjoy smart conversations and so should he, and he will not be intimidated by the fact that I have my Masters. 
He will be someone who enjoys a nice glass of wine from a local winery or craft beer from a local brewery.
Grey hair is fine, in fact, I'd like him to have hair that I can run my fingers through, but this is not a deal breaker.
I'd like him to be taller than me, so I can wear my heels. Heels do make a lady feel sexy.  
He must love cats, and want to own a dog with me because I miss W but I don't want a dog by myself. Not yet anyway.  
And he'll love nature and the outdoors:
stars, sunsets, sun rises, the beach, the mountains, snow, the ocean, wild life and wildflowers,
he will be active and he will need to own hiking shoes/boots.
He will enjoy traveling/adventures and coffee shops.
He will understand my need to write.  
He will enjoy the food I make and will enjoy working with me in the kitchen.
He will be fit, but not too thin.  He will enjoy my curves.
He will play games with me and not mind when I pull Bananagrams out of my purse while we are having a drink at the bar, in fact, he might even suggest we go play trivia, just because. 
He will volunteer and want to give back to his community - more than just attending meetings, he will be a person of actions, putting his money where his mouth is.    
He will love music, museums, concerts, and live theater and want to attend events.
He will love my family and I will love his. 
He will laugh and know that life is short, so he will treasure the time we share together. 
He will have many friends, and share them with me, as I will mine to him, and he will enjoy people. 
He will be romantic and want to spoil me, and he will be healed from his past relationships. 
He will be spiritual, and respectful that I am still finding my way with my faith.  
Mostly, he will be ready for a partner, too.  

I know this is quite a list.  
Am I a dreamer?  Of course!  But, I believe in love and am ready for it to find me. 

          ~Lisa Kroll 
               Eating, Praying and Loving, still.

*figure of speech, this does not mean breaking the law and doing illegal things!!!  

P.S. I could write an entire post on how does one pick out the pictures they will display on a dating site...maybe I will.  Stay tuned!  

Friday, May 12, 2017

Emotional Manipulation...an example

Mother's Day... a day when we honor our mom.

More than likely, mom is the woman who carried us in her womb for nine months.  She protected, nourished and loved us, before we even entered the world.  When a man and a woman have a child, it is possibly the most intimate experience they can share. Not long ago, men weren't allowed into the delivery room, but now they are not only welcomed, but are active participants, being asked to cut the cord that binds their child to his or her mother.  The woman may carried their child, but the man is the witness.  He witnesses the growth of his child as he or she goes from being a home pregnancy test result, to a small bump that grows into the size of a basketball.  He witnesses black and white images on an ultra sound machine.  He is witness to that incredible event of the birth of his child.  He witnesses as the child travels from the safety of the uterus, through the pelvic bones, and out into the world where the first breathe is taken.  A man witnesses the transformation of the amazing body of a woman.  There is no doubt, a woman's body is truly amazing.

I have given birth to two children.  To me they are blessings beyond compare.  I no longer need to protect them as I once did.  The nourishment I offer is mostly emotional, with a side helping of real calories. I love them more than they can every possibly know.  They are two amazing human beings...a product of the childhood they were given.  

Mother's Day 2013

In February of that year, he had started pushing me away.  What was wrong with me?  I didn't seem to be doing anything right. I sought therapy to find answers on what I needed to do to help change myself for him, for us.  We were still sleeping in the same bed on Mother's Day.  When I awoke that morning, I turned to him and confessed that I missed "us", I missed being intimate.  Had I expected the lashing that followed, I would have remained silent, I would have kept my thoughts to myself.  

I didn't expect what followed.

me-What are you thinking?

            him - What are you thinking? 

me - I realize we are probably just going through something, but I miss our intimacy. 

           him - When did you see your therapist last? 

me-Two weeks ago, and I'll see her this week. 

           him - Why aren't you seeing her weekly?  Are you taking your meds?  
            Have you been taking your Xanax? 

me-The Xanax is only for panic attacks and I haven't needed those for some time now.

           him - What do you talk about in your sessions?

me-Well, I did tell her I miss our sex and she told me I need to back off and not push things. 

           him - What else do you talk about?  
            I mean, I know your sessions are private and not my business.  

me - Well, I worry about how much you ride, and you are the one who told me about Over Training Syndrome.  I wasn't even sure that was a real thing, so I googled it and you seem to fit all the symptoms. 

           him - That's part of being a high level, competitive athlete.

me - I know, I don't understand since I'm not an athlete.  

            him - That's absolutely right, you aren't.   

me - I just don't know any other high level athletes to compare my concerns about you to. I also am concerned because you seem more jovial with others than you are with me.  I'm just trying to figure out what I need to do to help this out.  I realize I'm a pleaser and I shouldn't worry.  I just feel like you give 150% of yourself to your cycling, and 150% of yourself to your job and there is nothing left for you to give me.  I feel like there isn't a balance.  I feel like all I get is a peck on the lips.

            him - "That's all I have for you." 
             You suffer from low self-esteem and you need to work on that.  It isn't my place to tell you daily that I love you, or that I find you attractive or that I think what you are doing is good. 

me - Well, do you feel that way about me though?

           him - Not all the time.  
           You are 49 years old.  When are you going to start taking care of yourself? You have a basket of pills under the bed and you are comfortable taking those to manage things rather than to exercise, and walking the dog doesn't count as exercise.  You need to get your heart rate elevated. 

me - I have so much to do around here.  I don't have time to exercise too.  

            him - What do you have to do?  

me - I have to shop, and cook, and clean, and walk the dog, and work. 

             him - Your priorities are off.  You need to find time to work out.  How much are you on the computer during the day?  How much are you on there morning, noon and night?  I challenge you to write down how much you are on either the computer or your iPad. 

me - You know, my mind just races.  I'm worried maybe you are having an affair. 

           him -  Is your goal to keep gaining weight?

me - I've actually lost 10 pounds since December. 

            him - Well, I can't tell. 

me - I don't care if you can't tell.  You can ask my doctor, they have official records. 

            him - "I'm not attracted to someone whose gut sticks out more than their tits.  
             Are you surprised to hear me say this?"

me - no (I was in absolute shock.)

            him - "I mean, come on (and he touched his own chest) have you looked at me?"  
                (exhale and pause) Do you want me to hold you? 
me - no

I took three xanax that day and emailed my therapist.  
Above is from my email.  Every word is true.  
This is what emotional manipulation from a Narcissistic looks like from the inside.  

I walked Winston as my escape after that conversation.  When I returned he asked if I wanted to go to Goose Pond and see what it was like.  He had asked me this once before.  That previous day we were to go after he went riding his bike.  When the time came for us to go, he was too exhausted.  Today I told him no thanks.  He asked if I didn't want to go because the birds were mostly gone.  I told him I really didn't want to spend any time with him.  

At my next therapy session my therapist told me I could believe what he tells me about myself, or I could go out into the real world and see what the rest of the world has to say.  She suggested I take a trip by myself.  You might recall that I went to the Grand Canyon on my walkabout.  Mother's Day 2013 was the catalyst.  

In September of 2013 he moved out of our bedroom.  In April of 2014 he moved out of the house.  On Mother's Day of 2014 he showed up at the house.  He was mad that I had changed the locks.  I told him he was the last person I wanted to see on Mother's Day.  He asked why.  I said don't you remember what you said to me last year?  His response, "I remember.  You're still in shock aren't you?" 

I needed to write this and share it publicly so I can be released.  I have held this in my heart every day.  When I look into the mirror now, I see someone who was hidden and is emerging.  I need the poison he fed into my soul to be out, and completely gone.  

I claim Mother's Day as mine.  

I do not suffer from low self-esteem.  
I am a warrior.  
I am roaring.

                  ~Lisa Kroll
                      Mother, Survivor, Love Warrior