Just Gravy

Where are you and where are you going?
Kriegsspiel
Posts: 929
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:05 pm

Re: Just Gravy

Post by Kriegsspiel »

I still love getting drunk, but your wholesomeness is refreshing. Good luck with the hurricane, get some floaties!

Biscuits and Gravy
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:38 pm

Re: Just Gravy

Post by Biscuits and Gravy »

@ertyu and Alice Thanks! Like I said, I'm actually feeling quite happy. I hope this doesn't come off as some TED-talk bullshit, but it turns out living in alignment (i.e., aligning your actions/choices with your values/beliefs) makes participating in this existence much more palatable.

@Kriegsspiel "Wholesome"?! How dare you, sir. ;) But thanks, I got my pirogue a-ready and a-waiting. Looks like it's mostly gonna hit our Cajun friends, anyway. Bonne chance, chers, laissez les bons temps rouler!

ZAFCorrection
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:49 pm

Re: Just Gravy

Post by ZAFCorrection »

@gravy

Nice to see you back. You have an interesting voice, and your evolution in perspective from (last year?) is pretty amazing.

Biscuits and Gravy
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:38 pm

Re: Just Gravy

Post by Biscuits and Gravy »

@ZAF Thanks. The evolution stems from a couple of things:

1) Finding my self-worth. Sounds cliche, but that’s really what happened. I think everyone’s journey there is different, and mine was jumpstarted by re-examining what it means to be “strong.” Skipping all of the hows and whys, strength was the attribute most valued in my family and I was taught that feelings = weakness. As far as messages to raise your children with, “be strong or else the world will eat you alive” isn’t the worst, but what my parents were unintentionally teaching me was the power of defensiveness and withdrawal, when real strength lies in the ability to be vulnerable. The book Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett helped me navigate this particular minefield. Constantly ignoring and failing to articulate my very real feelings for fear of being perceived as weak led to some serious erosion of my self-worth.

2) I’ve admitted to myself and my husband that I’ve been a coward. I’ve lacked the courage to stand up and say This is what I want, because making a choice, especially an inconvenient and destructive choice, is perhaps one of the most vulnerable things one can do and I was, fairly recently, unwilling to even accept my feelings, let alone act on them. This admission of cowardice is a recent development and a very difficult one for me (because I’m all about being strong and brave... in the worst ways possible). It was nice, though, to have a moment where my husband and I actually “clicked” on this admission. It was a soft spot of intimacy in basically a decade of me stonewalling (as exhausting as it sounds) and it made me realize just how much I want real intimate moments like that, and how few and far between they’ve been in my life, mostly because of my own shortcomings.

3) Taking responsibility for my life. It was easy to play the victim and say, “but for [X], I would not have done [Y]”, but I’ve made the choices I’ve made and ultimately this is my life. People only have as much power over me as I give them.

Anyway. Long way to say “Man, I ain't changed, but I know I ain't the same.”

Biscuits and Gravy
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:38 pm

Re: Just Gravy

Post by Biscuits and Gravy »

The lease on the garage apartment I rented is up tomorrow so I’m scrubbing the place down while listening to “Starboy” by the Weeknd on repeat (I don’t have what you—or anyone—would call “good taste” in music). ERE-wise the apartment was a stupid move, as I was paying for two living spaces. Life-wise, and I don’t mean to get all unbearably gooey on you, it... meant a lot to me. It’s been the only personal space I’ve had since I left home at 18. What a luxury, to go for a run, come ‘home’ to quiet, to take an uninterrupted bath, and to draw or read or think in silence. I even got to keep half-finished puzzles on the table.

My wrist is still janked-up from aforementioned surgery, but I’m scrubbing, not because the place is dirty, but because I really like my neighbor that rented it to me and I’d *really* like that $1000 deposit back. My neighbor had this rented as an air bnb and she left all of the furniture and decorations for me—it’s probably the nicest living space I’ve ever had. (I don’t have what you would call “real good” decorating abilities. My mom can go to Home Goods with $20 and come back and remake an entire room into magazine-level crazy and I’m like, uh... I bought a rug?).

Moving fully back into the family home tonight. We’re going to sell it and split profits 50/50. You know, erasing all joint debts (unless you count the 16 1/2 remaining years of the joint debt of raising children). I’m not, apparently, what you would call “good” at marriage. But I’m damn good at mothering and I’m damn good at being Gravy and, finally, I’m damn good at letting myself fail.

mooretrees
Posts: 457
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: Just Gravy

Post by mooretrees »

Wow. Must feel good to have a plan now. And it's so true what someone wrote above, you're so clearly in a better space than months ago. Glad you've got a direction, even though there must be some grief to a marriage ending.

Jin+Guice
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Just Gravy

Post by Jin+Guice »

Hey Gravy, nice to see you back on the forum! Your post about your own personal evolution really resonated with me, I've been going through something similar over the past year. Mostly "Wait, you can just ask people for what you want? Nah, no way. Wait? Can you?" and "Wait? Feelings are something you can just have? Nah, no way. Wait? Can you?"

AxelHeyst
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Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Just Gravy

Post by AxelHeyst »

mooretrees wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:14 am
If there was a subscribe button, I'd be hitting it.
Go to the top of the page on a thread, look for the button of a wrench. Click the arrow next to it > subscribe. 8-)

Following your journal with interest Gravy, thank you for sharing.
Gravy wrote:...I’ve lacked the courage to stand up and say This is what I want, because making a choice, especially an inconvenient and destructive choice, is perhaps one of the most vulnerable things one can do and I was, fairly recently, unwilling to even accept my feelings, let alone act on them.


Oof, yeah. Thanks for the book recommendation. I'm working my way through Honoring the Self, by Nathanial Branden, which seems in a similar vein.

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fiby41
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Re: Just Gravy

Post by fiby41 »

You've been auto-subscribed by virtue of replying to a thread and so have I.
To reply to a thread without subscribing to it click on 'Full editor & preview' and uncheck the default 'Notify me when a reply is posted.'

Biscuits and Gravy
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:38 pm

Re: Just Gravy

Post by Biscuits and Gravy »

On Friday my hand surgeon gave me the green light to bike again, so I went mountain biking Saturday morning and promptly broke my other wrist. Maybe this is the universe telling me, “slow down, ya idjit.” Or maybe it was just wet pine needles. Either way, I fractured my left distal radius and have intense bruising up and down my right leg. My appearance makes me think of something Reepicheep wrote off-site: “I didn’t look like I felt—like a badass.” (May not be exact). In honor of Reepicheep and her very real badass-ery, I wore my shortest shorts to the grocery store this morning to show off every inch of bruising. Not that I think falling off a monster truck of a bike makes me a badass. The real badass thing would’ve been actually finishing the course, but, regardless, I’m a badass for other reasons and I certainly look like one today.

But I guess biking is off the table for six weeks or so now. Sigh. I had gotten my weight down to 138, but with the next few weeks devoted to recovery I’ll probably lose ground. I also have to restart my sobriety counter; I didn’t drink, but they gave me hydrocodone for the pain and wow, what a high.

Other than that, things are kinda on hold. Our neighbor was going to buy our house (thus avoiding the hassle of listing and real estate agent fees), but they changed their mind. Now we’ll have to list the house, but considering I’m down a wrist and can’t help with the move, we may put it off. I dunno. Seems like a flimsy reason when I write it out.

Thanks for the comments above. In my head, I’m writing a review of Permission to Feel, because I think some of the ideas in it might be of interest/useful to some of y’all. .....gonna write and post it when I’m not on pain meds, though. Whee!

ertyu
Posts: 1680
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Just Gravy

Post by ertyu »

Yay for the book review you'll write, and yay for being a badass. Speedy recovery!

classical_Liberal
Posts: 2147
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Just Gravy

Post by classical_Liberal »

Jesus! You're a mess Gravy. Well, if I was working, I'd thank you for your contributions to the US healthcare system to pay my salary. Since I'm an unemployed loser you've done nothing for me. So please be careful!

On another note, I think your sobriety holds. As long as you use the pain meds for actual pain and not "getting high", then it counts even in the hardest core circles.

Biscuits and Gravy
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:38 pm

Re: Just Gravy

Post by Biscuits and Gravy »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:44 pm
You're a mess Gravy.
Yeah, but at least I’m a hot mess. A hot, employed mess, ya bum. ;)

Dunno ‘bout the sobriety. I am in an intense amount of pain, but I also am enjoying these pills waaaaay too much. Responsibly, of course.

@ertyu Thanks! Nice to have you in my corner!

Biscuits and Gravy
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:38 pm

Re: Just Gravy

Post by Biscuits and Gravy »

Why don't we talk about three year-old's birthday parties more often on this forum? Seems real relevant. So, DD turned three. She picked out this dope Little Mermaid Duplo set (secretly I'm just a bot programmed to hype up Lego sets) so that was her present from her dad and me. She received 15 other presents from family/friends, 12 of which were barbies (wtf). We did throw her a "party", which was really just the family, a homemade cake, and balloons (no helium, I'm not a monster, people, c'mon). My mother was upset there was no formal invitation and that she wasn't involved in the "planning", but her pissed at me and passive-aggressively letting me know she's pissed during a three year-old's birthday party is par for the course. I ran out of the good pain killers days ago and my wrist was killing me from tying off balloons (baby girl asked for balloons; even with a broken wrist I'ma make that happen), so I turned to a pretty effective and very available pain-killer: alcohol. So, restart the clock.

Days Sober: 1 (in my mind this is transposed over the Majora's Mask moon. You know the one.)

In other news, Oct. 1 is the move-in date for the apartment and then we list the house. I had a surprising flutter of status anxiety when I realized this was actually going to happen. Go from owning to renting?! Crazy. But it really is a better and cheaper fit, at least in my situation. The apt has a great ERE-housing score: right behind a grocery store, 15-minute bike commute to my work, playgrounds right there for the kids. It'll be just a couple bucks cheaper than my mortgage, but I'm getting a third bedroom and a second bathroom, plus I won't be tempted to pour tens of thousands of dollars into "updating" it, as I have in the house. Also won't have tree-trimming fees, pest control fees, AC-suddenly-dying fees, and so on. Not to mention I'll have liquid cash for when the crash comes. I picked up some fire-sale TSLA last week (bought in at $350 keh keh!) and wish I had had more cash to throw at it. Anyway, I've never owned TSLA and it makes me nervous, so I'm going to take my profits soon and use them to cover some moving expenses I guess. We're in sell everything mode at the house--all of the stupid one-function kitchen gadgets we received as gifts were the first to go. Next is yard maintenance tools since I won't need them where I'm going (hell, guys, it's hell, if I don't change my ways, amiright?).

P.S. Buy Legos.

Hristo Botev
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Just Gravy

Post by Hristo Botev »

Biscuits and Gravy wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:10 pm
Next is yard maintenance tools since I won't need them where I'm going . . . .
Participated in a group work project this past weekend where everyone was supposed to bring their yard tools from home. I laughed. I'm in a townhome with an HOA, as opposed to an apartment; but it still boils down to: I am free from the need to possess yard tools, and it's bliss.

I DON'T miss little kids' birthday parties, AT ALL. I hated throwing them, and I REALLY hated going to the parties of my kids' friends. I thought I was finally done with them, forever, and then a few months ago a mom who is a bit clueless threw a party for her 8 year old boy that was: (a) NOT drop off; (b) inside a relatively small echo chamber of an event room; and (c) populated by almost the entirety of the kid's first grade class, PLUS some legacy friends left over from his daycare/preschool days. And the planned activity? A full on nerf gun firefight. It was 2.5 hours of screaming 8-year old boys, crying 8-year old girls, and adults who were actually trying to talk over the commotion to engage in chit-chat. My head was throbbing. AND THERE WAS NO ALCOHOL!

Biscuits and Gravy
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:38 pm

Re: Just Gravy

Post by Biscuits and Gravy »

@Hristo You are cordially invited to all of my children's future birthday parties, up until age 18. I'm only three years into this and "kid's birthday party" is already in the top 5 of my "this sucks I hate it" list. We didn't do parties when I was a kid. We got a present, had some cake, the end. My sisters would wrap up my own underwear or socks as a joke. It was great. The "party" you described sounds truly awful, especially the chit-chat part. How did you survive... how does anyone survive these gratuitous, Instagram-y, suburbanite rituals?

Hristo Botev
Posts: 1278
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Just Gravy

Post by Hristo Botev »

Biscuits and Gravy wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:46 pm
how does anyone survive these gratuitous, Instagram-y, suburbanite rituals?
Personally, beer; which is what made this last one so bad. Also, lots of bartering between DW and me, as to who is going, and what the person who gets to not to go has to do for the other.

Biscuits and Gravy
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:38 pm

Re: Just Gravy

Post by Biscuits and Gravy »

Ah, alcohol, the great crutch. I’m trying to redesign my life so that I don’t feel the need for such crutches, however.

Hristo Botev
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Just Gravy

Post by Hristo Botev »

Biscuits and Gravy wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:58 pm
I’m trying to redesign my life so that I don’t feel the need for such crutches, however
Good call

Biscuits and Gravy
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Re: Just Gravy

Post by Biscuits and Gravy »

DD woke up crying for her dad. He didn’t wake up, so I went to go get her. When I got to her bed, she squeaked at me, “No. I want daddy. I love him so much. I want to sleep in his arms.” So I roused him, he took her to bed, and I took the couch. Lying there, the draw to go slip into bed and wrap an arm around them was too great, so I went for a run.

I got a couple blocks in and then let myself feel. I stopped swallowing down and fighting back all of it: the hurt, the grief, the frustration, the self-hatred, the guilt about letting everyone down, the anxiety about the future. So there I was at 4 a.m., walking my neighborhood and silently sobbing, like a fucking crazy person. Why can’t I just fake this, like I fake other aspects of my life? I’m fine putting on a mask for work or social gatherings, or, hell, even for my family. And the answer is that this, this relationship of husband/wife, actually means something to me, when very little else does. I’m fine with a mask at work because it’s finite, meaningless, a tool for survival. That’s not how I feel about marriage/partnership. It’s meaningful to me that that livewire connection crackles between our two souls; that we’re a safe space to drop the act and just be who we are, and while we don’t have to like everything about the other person, we accept the other person as they are. No “you should be this” or “why don’t you [X].”

And while it would be far, far easier and socially acceptable to reconcile and bury this truth of mine in alcohol or media or other escapes, I have experienced the benefits of aligning myself and I just don’t see how I can go back. Depression was a constant companion since my early teens—that’s all but evaporated. I was diagnosed with OCD in 2015—most every day is a “good” day for me now. No drugs required. Just acceptance. Just alignment. And I’m not saying that leaving a marriage is the answer to everything, especially my everything. That would be far too facile and I already think I’ve oversimplified my representation of my journey for the sake of brevity and privacy. What I am saying is that if something doesn’t feel right to you, if it’s in constant friction with who you are at your core, you have the power and right to change your situation, and, while difficult and usually frowned upon, the return you receive is well, well worth it, and there even exist benefits yet unknown to you.

I related the anecdote above about my daughter to highlight that this is the area with which I struggle the most: the kids. How am I changing the trajectory of their lives by leaving? What damage am I doing if, when they wake up crying for daddy, he’s not there, or vice versa? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I am a much, much better mother when I am happy and healthy. I feel like I’m battling the expectation that mothers are martyrs—that once we have children we cease to be individuals with our own dreams and desires. I even feel the need to be defensive here, to add some wording about my undying and selfless love for my children. Rest assured, I have that. That shit comes part and parcel. But how to go about designing a life for my children where they grow up happy and healthy? How else, other than to lead by example?

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