For You Heather – My Past … That Lead To Where I am Today.

I am extremely honored and proud to have someone contact me about my blog, asking for me to write more and for some personal advise.  It makes me even more happy and pleased that there is a change that some of my writings and personal experiences have the potential to help someone else in their own lives.  So i am happy to answer some of the questions that were asked and elaborate on some of my past that lead to where i am right now.  This is going to be a long one, so bear with me and i hope you enjoy.

Maybe I should start by sharing the comment that i received, that prompted me to write the following blog.

Hi Bobbi!
I just came across your blog and it’s gotten a strange hold on me. I haven’t been able to stop reading! You’ve written some of these entries very well and intriguingly 🙂
I was wondering if you’d be willing to write some posts on your marriage and divorce…. I am not trying to be nosy or anything, I am actually interested in how a long term relationship (I think you had said 15 years in one of your articles) ended as I may be heading towards the same situation.
I have been with my boyfriend for 8 years, not as long as yours but long enough to fall in love and think about marriage and head towards that only to one day wonder if he is the one. Maybe we’re drifitng or maybe we’re going through a rough patch. I’m not sure. I just wanted to talk to someone who figured out what was right for her.
I specifically hoped you could shed light on that 15 year relationship had started, how it progressed to marriage – whether you ever doubted that it was the right thing to do, what changed during marriage that made you two realize it was time to go your separate ways… and kids – was that topic ever an issue?
If you don’t want to write a few posts about these things and publicize it, I completely understand. But maybe if instead you could email me back so we could talk that would be great.
I know I’m probably asking for a lot but it’s just that I’ve noticed through your writing that you’ve ended up in a very healthy place. And I desperately want that as well.
Thank you,
Heather

Heather, this is for you!  🙂  And thank you again.  I hope you find some of the answers you are looking for in this.  Please feel free to continue to ask me any questions you may have or ask for me to elaborate on anything.  I am an open book.

I was 16 years old, a Sophomore in high school when i met him.  We went to the movies together on a double date with my best friend.  Our relationship grew from there.  We were together basically since we were kids, we grew up together, we grew together, and eventually we grew apart together.  We finished high school and moved away to college together, stayed in the same dorm together and then got an apartment together.  We were always together.  After we graduated college, he got a job as an aerospace engineer in Wichita, KS.  Halfway across from the country from my family and all that i knew.  But i saw it as an adventure.  That was a step that would either make us or break us, we would either have only each other to rely and grow closer, or we would fall apart.

One thing my mom told me during my divorce – that struck a cord so deeply within (which i will get to a little later in the writing) was that ever since i was a little girl, i had always danced to the beat of my own drum… then when i was with him she said i begun to dance to his beat.  Going through my divorce, she said it was good to see “Bobbi ” again and that i was now dancing to my own beat again.  I had always been a free spirit, a free thinker, and independent person.  Yet, i somehow seemed to have lost myself in the midst of that relationship. What my mom said to me was something i will never forget, and just even more reassurance that i made the right decision.

The first moment i ever remember questioning or asking myself whether this was the right step for me was when we were discussing moving to Kansas.  It was an amazing opportunity for him, careerwise, and i would be just tagging along, there for the adventure…. During our discussions, he said he would go whether i decided to go our not.  That was a huge blow to me and something i never forgot or got over.  Needless to say, i still went along with the plan and moved.

At different points in our relationship we grew together, then would grow apart.  Yet somehow, i always felt like something was missing.  Something that i could not figure out or put my finger on.  But looking back, what it was was that i had lost my sense of self. I had become his girlfriend, his wife, etc. and had lost the true sense of Bobbi and who she was.

When he proposed to me – after being together for seven years… my response to him was “ARE YOU SURE?”  This is not the response of someone in love and excited about marrying and spending our lives together.  Needless too say, i did say yes and we got married on our ten year anniversary from the time we started dating on the beach in Jamaica, barefoot.  The wedding was perfect, just as i hoped it would be.  Yet, we would never make it to our 4th wedding anniversary.  As the years passed i continued to question.  Was this right?  Was this the best thing for me?  Was this where i was suppose to be?  Don’t get me wrong, He was an wonderful man.  He would have done just about anything for me.  We grew to become best friends.  He was kind, understanding, successful, caring and loved me more than the world.  Yet he was calm and safe, neutral, content with the average.  He would attempt to pull me into that lull as well.

One of the most powerful things for me was the saying – When it’s right, you just know.  It took me actually falling in love with someone right to understand that saying and what it truly meant.  I always questioned.  And what i learned was that all of that questioning meant – for me – that it was not the right thing.  It was not the right place for me.  It was not the right thing for me.  Not that i regret it, i would never take it back.  I learned so much from all of that.  So much that made the person i am today.  Your experiences, whether good or bad, experience the person you are to turn into… and i like this Bobbi quite a bit 🙂

I do not believe that there is only one right, perfect person out there for each of us.  I am quite certain that there are more than one “right ones”.  But i also think that there are just as many, if not more “wrong ones”.  And now that i have met and fell in love with one of my “right ones” i know what it means to “JUST KNOW”.  I just knew, and i still know – which is why i fight so hard through any hard or difficult times.  I have never questioned with him like i did with my ex husband.  I was always questioning.  I think that is such a big hint and a big clue.

What it actually took for me – after years on uncertainty, questioning and just that feeling of missing something… was actually stopping and listening to myself.  My body had begun to tell me what my heart and mind was in denial about.  I started to go through a depression.  I lost my appetite and all normal desire in all the everyday things i used to enjoy.  I started losing weight, avoiding intimacy or contact, avoiding any sort of deep or meaningful conversation.  I spent more time alone, in bed, sleeping… in avoidance mode. I started to feel this intense and consistent anxiety, for no particular reason that i could put my finger on (like the sort of anxious feeling before you give a speech or something like that…. all the time, all day long).  Others started to notice my weight loss and expressed their concern to me.  I begun seeing a therapist who helped me to realize all of these things that i was too afraid to admit to myself.  I did a lot of soul searching, a lot of writing, a lot of talking and finally started to listen to myself – to all that my instinct and intuition and body was telling me.  I decided on a trial separation – to get some time away, to myself and to figure out if that was right for me.  I talked to my husband about this and while he was extremely upset about it, he was surprisingly understanding.  He knew i was not happy.  We went over our budgets to see what i could  afford on my own and how to split up our finances.  I rented an apartment that would do a short term 6 month lease.. this was in October 2008.  My depression and anxiety continued and my doctor put me on some medication.  I couldn’t eat or sleep and barely function.  It was one of the hardest decisions i had ever had to make in my entire life.  It took a lot of strength and courage to leave a “comfortable” situation because i knew i needed more.

We continued to talk during this separation.  We would have “dates” and try to work on things and figure it out.  Yet somehow i knew that this was the right decision for me, no matter how depressed i got, or how hard it was  for me… i knew it was the right thing.  And i was honest with him through the whole thing.  I let him knew i wanted to file for divorce.  He was crushed.  He tried all he could think of to get me to come back home.  I broke his heart, and that in turn broke mine all over again.  I loved him and i never meant to or wanted to hurt him.  But for once in my life i had to listen to myself and not do what everyone else wanted me to do.  I have some of the worst memories stuck in my head of things he said to me – memories that i can’t get rid of no matter what of how much i hurt him.  That hurts me.  Yet it had to be done.

We worked together and sold our house, filed for divorce and split up our savings we had together.  I started dating again.  I found my smile again.  I found myself again.  I call that summer my summer of recovery and discovery.  I recovered from my depression, my anxiety, my guilt and my divorce  and discovered who Bobbi was again.  It felt so good to be free and independent.  To be the free spirit i am inherently.  To not feel squashed and kept inside a box, but free to open my wings and soar.  It was what i needed, what my soul needed.

I dated.  I got my heart broken.  I broke hearts.  I had to relearn what i wanted in a relationship.  I had fun. I let it all lose!  That was the summer i met Eric.  The summer i fell in love, truly in love, for the first time in my life.  That was the summer i learned what it meant when someone says “you just know”.  I finally knew and understood.  And knew with even greater confidence that i did the right thing.  When my divorce was final, after all the waiting periods – Eric and i celebrated!

My ex husband and i tried to stay in touch.  He got laid off and moved away.  Before he left, he came over and met Eric, said  good bye to me and the kitties.  It has been over 6 years now and i have not once doubted my decision.  And at one point, he contacted me and thanked me for all i had done, and that all we went through showed him how to be a better person for himself and for his future partners.  I only wish him happiness.  I am so grateful that we worked together through it all and that there were no hard feelings or negativity surrounding it all.

And to answer some of your other questions… We never had children.  We did have two cats though 🙂  I had never wanted children and knew this early on.  I think he would have liked to have them someday but when the topic was brought up and we discussed it he choose to be with me over the possibility of kids in the future.  Now maybe he can have some if he wishes :).

Infidelity – that was never an issue with us either.  I knew he loved me and only me and i never worried he would stray.  While i never did during our relationship, i had thoughts of it – because of my own unhappiness and lack of satisfaction in the relationship.

And Heather – please continue to ask me any other questions you have… and let me know how you are doing and what decisions you make in your own struggle.

My Smile – Part One and Part Two – The Evolution.

This is a writing from a few days ago, that can show you how quickly thoughts, emotions and a state of mind can change, modify, turn into something else.  This was something new for me.  Often times i tend to wallow in my own negative feelings, waiting for them to change or something to happen (externally) to make me feel or think differently.  I saw this as a pretty big stepping stone for me – to have this change of state of mind in a matter of less than 24 hours.

We all have issues we are working on and things we are trying to better for ourselves.  Understanding and controlling my multitude of emotions is one for me.  And not lingering so long in the bad, negative or hurtful ones.  Letting go in a sense, moving on and taking control of my own happiness, my own smile.

smile

My Smile – Part one (Gone) (7/7/15)

My smile is gone
I want it back.  I miss it.
I see pictures, older picture – this girl with the gigantic smile, happiness in her eyes. Heart free and open.
I want to be that girl again.
I find myself envying her.
My smile is gone.  I miss it
I want to figure out how to bring it back.
For myself.  I need to.
This smile i have now is often times forced. I put on a mask, go through the motions.
He tells me to smile.  But its just not there.
Only sometimes, and only for a short period of time.
Forcing is even hard.
My mind is full, heart heavy, stomach in knots, emotions raw.
Never be silent.  What about those times when anything you say only makes things worse… even when you thought it would help?
Thoughts jumbled.
Full of emotions, loss of logic.
Over reaction? I don’t think so…
Effort… gone.
Forgotten or neglected, when it’s needed the most.
Discouraged

Part one was written with tears streaming down my face, in the midst of raw emotions.  Some of my best, most honest writings come from that place.  While they are not always very positive, they are real and honest.  But they also help to maybe open my eyes, to see where change is needed, and how to make that possible.  This is where part two comes from… helping me to recognize I am responsible and have the power over my own happiness.

I often struggle with the thought of happiness, and the perspective that only you can make yourself happy and that you cannot rely on others to do so.  Yes, this is true.  You should never rely on another person for your happiness.  Yet they can greatly contribute to, or take away from it.

My Smile – Part Two (Must Find) (7/8/15)

My Smile

I thought it was gone.

But it was only hidden, from me, from others.

I have to look deep to find it again.  My smile – the true smile, not the forced one sometimes shown

It shouldn’t be about what someone else is doing, isn’t doing

It needs to be about me… Only ME.

Other things can make it bigger – but shouldn’t have the power to take it away.

A smile is more attractive than a frown

My smile… will come back

I will make sure of that.

My soul, my spirit, my nature… is emotion

Emotion that I must control

Sadness takes away from the happiness

Diminishing my smile

Get rid of the sadness

Hope. Confidence. Positive.

Remember the magic and just believe.

Just Love.

Hug.  Even if you don’t feel like you want to.  Do it anyway, you may feel different.

Hugs are like magic

smile2

I Remember You Brother

I remember you brother

Each and every day, I know you are with me

Never far away

Growing up you were my friend, my companion

We fought like brothers and sisters do

Not a picture to be seen, of me

Without a black eye

Sometimes we fought each other

Other times it seemed like we fought the world

I remember our fort, and watching incredible hulk together

I remember drinking milk and laughing until it came out our noses

I remember wearing daddy’s pants, you in one leg and me in the other

I remember the birthdays and the holidays, Christmas and Halloween,

The excitement and the anticipation

I remember, I remember

So many memories, so many experiences

We were always together, whether we liked it or not

Throughout our teens

A part of me lost a part of you

But no matter how far away you were in your own mind

We still had that connections siblings do.

As you grew into an adult, the person that most people saw

Was not the real you

You showed very few the real you

Such a big heart, under all the sorrow

So much love and caring, under all that anger

I wish we could have been closer

I wish I would have tried harder

I remember my amazement, when talking to the people you spent time with

How much you talked about me, even bragged about me

How much you really did look up to me, and the things you would say about me

I had no idea

I wish I had realized

It has been a year since you had to leave us

My heart cries to hear your voice and see your smile one more time

Yet I know, with all of my heart

That you are ok.  That you are happy.

I know that this life had been difficult for you

Now you have no sorrow, no pain,

Never lonely, never unsure or unhappy

Your smile is constant, your heart is free

I love you Brother

I remember you Brother

I miss you

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Journey of the Soul

As I look back on the last five years, I am reminded of how strong a soul can truly be.

Somehow, I got lost somewhere along the way… a realization that made me leave everything I knew and everything that was comfortable, everything I had built my adult life around.  I got a divorce.  After spending fifteen years with someone, I realized I was not myself any longer.  I had to embark on the journey, in search of myself.

During that search, my Mamaw passed away.  A woman so amazing who had touched so many lives.  She was kind, strong, loving, compassionate, open minded and open hearted.  Losing her left its mark on the souls of many, many who would never  be the same without her.  It happened so sudden, with no time for goodbyes or time to prepare.  Complete shock and heartache.

During my journey I reconnected with myself.  My compassion, my confidence and my independence.  I met a man who accepted me, 100%, no matter what.  He liked and appreciated my oddness, my quirks and my differences… and he had some of his own.  I fell in love.  For the first time in my life, at the age of 32, I fell in love.  A year later, we packed up everything we had, left everything we knew and moved halfway across the country to the beach.  A move that will prove to be the worst and the best thing we could have ever done… if that makes any sense.

Ups and downs, and then more ups and downs.  The biggest roller coaster ride I have ever been on.  My life got turned upside down and flipped over itself.

Three years ago, as of yesterday I lost my Tig. Yes he was a cat but he was more than that, he was like a child to me.  My companion, my friend.  He was with me through so many things.. so many ups and downs… and was always there by my side to show me unconditional love, affection and companionship.

Then my Poppy got sick.  I rushed to West Virginia to be by his side.  A year ago, to the day I lost my Poppy.  After spending days by his side, I had to experience the heartache of saying goodbye to one of the most important people in my life, for the second time.  I didn’t leave his side.  I was honored with the unforgettable moment when he awoke, and was conscious and alert.  He talked to us all.  He held my hand and told me he loved me.  He thanked me for being here and told me how much it meant to him.  We got to share those last moments with our Poppy, sharing love, hugs and smiles.  Not many people get that opportunity and I will forever be thankful.  The next day my sister, myself and my cousin sat with him while he left us in this world, to continue his journey of the soul. I had to say good bye to my Poppy.

Then in August, just two short months ago, I lost my little brother.  A shock that none of us will ever quite get over.  Again, our lives are changed forever.  He had such an impact on so many lives around him, he probably never even knew.  Loved by so many, leaving such an emptiness in our hearts and our lives.  I wish i had been a better sister toward him, i wish i had made more of an effort to tell him and to show him how much i love him and how much he meant to me.

I wish, i should have, i could have… things that can’t be changed now.  But what can be changed is the now.  All of this heartache, all of this sorrow and all of this loss has taught me that you have to appreciate the people important to you.  Love them and appreciate them each and every day.  Don’t wait for tomorrow to say how you feel…. because the reality is that tomorrow is fleeting…. none of us know if we will be blessed with a tomorrow, or if our loved ones will.  Losing my little brother hit me with the realization that i had also taken my sister for granted.  I had assumed they would both always be there.  I neglected my family and let the business of everyday hectic life get in the way.  I was mistakenly content with connecting with them on holidays or birthdays, or when i came into town… rather than taking advantage of the opportunity and telling them each and every day how much i love them.  That is a lesson i learned and now i make it a point to not take my family for granted.  To stay connected with them and to appreciate our bond even that much more… because all of this loss and heartache did bring us all together and created a family bond even stronger than ever before.

These last five years…. a lot of loss, a lot of change and a lot of transitioning.  A lot of heartache and a lot of sorrow.  Yet also a lot of growing and strengthening.  A lot of lessons learned and a lot of bonds cemented. I continue to grow and to change.  My experiences make me who I am, good and bad.  Always see every experience as a lesson learned, as an opportunity to grow and strengthen yourself.  Maybe when you work hard to find the positive in each situation, the negative doesn’t hurt as much?  There is always a light.. .don’t get lost in the dark.