Labor Day Weekend and I’m still doing MY work

This weekend was important and meaningful for me in multiple ways. I spent time driving with my lovely partner. We had an incredibly deep talk on the way to “up north”. We spent a night around the fire with friends. We had a lovely sleep in a clean, dark, and quiet hotel. We spent the next day with friends, chilling, napping, shopping, and talking…so much talking.

Friends around the fire, at the lake, in the “Up North”

I have never really had couple friends. I have friends but I have felt really disconnected from them. And I don’t believe that I have ever been involved in couple friendships. My past relationships were not conducive to hanging out with other folks.

It was not just one factor that precluded us from hanging out with other couples. First, our relationship was toxic. It was toxic on many levels. But I have to believe that we just weren’t that much fun to hang out with it. We just didn’t get invited to hang out with people. I didn’t get invited to hang out with people.

The only time we hung out with others was at work crews. Those usually ended with me resentful. I was resentful because she paid attention to other people. That hurt my heart. I was so needy and attention-deprived that any scrap of attention she paid to others hurt my heart and I felt alone (even more), betrayed, and undesirable. All of these are my stories that I supported with the actions of not being touched, tickled, or talked to without recriminations and fights. It was a toxic thing. I acted like a crazy, jealous, girlfriend. But I wasn’t. I was jealous for love, attention, and affection. I was not jealous that she was going to cheat on me. I think her cheating would have been a blessing. She would have walked away and I would have walked away and it would have ended but sooner than the extended break up over 3 years. I see this all through the perfect vision of hind vision.

They also ended with her very drunk, repeating the same stories, over and over and over, wanting to spend time with folks hanging out, not paying attention that she was the only one talking and everyone was ready for bed by 1am and the binge lasted until 3-4am. Instead of walking away, I did the toxic thing, hung on, looking for love in spaces that just did not hold it. Meh.

That was then and this is now.

I try not to talk about my ex too much because many of my new friends. I say new friends because they were truly only acquaintances in the past. We exchanged pleasantries but no true intimate conversations. As much as I would like to say I have “taken the higher ground” and that I am healed, recovered, and not resentful towards my ex, I would be a liar. I am still resentful. There were so many discoveries over the summer of ways that I changed my behavior to accommodate her insecurities, her jealousies, and her false beliefs. I spent a lot of time chasing, begging, crying, and (unsuccessfully) trying to convince someone to love me. Shame on me. Anyhoo, all of that to say, I try not to talk about my ex too much but it spills through. Not in a dogging her out fashion, but in an oh my Goddesss, my life is so different now and OH MY GODDESS, i just realized this, and OH MY GODDESS, i have couple friends now that want to hang out with me and realizing that brings me to a lot of processing about my ex and why we didn’t have couple friends.

We have couple friends. I have friends now that I talk with, intimately. I see myself and my stories much clearer. Seeing & processing my stories is not a one and done deal. This weekend, I spent time processing my old experiences and my new reality of having a partner that loves being with me, spends a lot of time with me, pays attention to me when we are alone or with others, loves to laugh, can be goofy, serious, smart, and air-headed, and she laughs at herself. She is wonderful and with her, I am better, softer, sweeter, kinder, and we have couple friends because we are in a space that makes it comfortable to hang out with others. #grateful #wegotfriends

I think that all of the processing caused me to have a nightmare and do some more processing. I dreamed that my ex was around and I kept asking her how to do this and how to do that. In my dream, I still had the belief that I needed her to fix and build things for the festival; even though, our teams were wayyyy qualified to fix, build, and repair all of the things, ALL OF THE THINGS! The nightmare was not true. I can either fix it myself OR ask people that are more qualified to help build, fix, and repair the things AND the festival. #notmyshow #thisisyourfestival

The second part of the dream was about my job. But it was a combination of my current job and my past job. That is upsetting. I hadn’t been to work (in my dream) for over a week, maybe 10 days. It didn’t seem like I had called in and i was frantically trying to call in sick, even though I was in the building and trying to show up for work. The building was tall with several floors, that reminds me of my past employment. But I was trying to contact my current supervisor. I was talking to someone while I was doing the reaching out but they weren’t very reassuring. I was trying to call my supervisor and the phone feature wasn’t working on my phone. I was getting frantic and asked the person who then became a child, to help me dial. The number wasn’t accessible, the keypad wasn’t accessible and then the ex showed up to dial the showers and explain it to me.

It was incredibly stressful and confusing so I came out here to write about it. Why was I processing the ex’s part in festivaL: it wasn’t thoroughly processed, I guess.

Here are the lessons I gleaned from my dream:

  1. I don’t need the ex to explain things. She did it in a very chaotic way that i was unable to receive. Just like in the dream, why explain things now when I am stressed and can’t hear properly? I was not in a position to be helped and I don’t need her help anyways.
  2. I have a great team, and there are people available to help (like the person trying to help me dial the phone) but I have to ask and trust.
  3. Trauma takes a long time to work through and if I need to keep working through it, I will give myself whatever time I need.
  4. Being around friends helps me sleep better. I slept the last two nights without a sleep aid.
  5. Remember to not emotionally dump on folks. Be aware of their space & their needs without plowing through and dumping my shit on them.
“The girl I used to be
was never good for me,
but she taught me how to be
who I am now,
so even though I left her
in the life I once had,
I still need to thank her
for walking me to where I am now.
Thank you for the lessons.
~ Stephanie Bennett-Henry
Art by Sherry Cook Studio

I am ever evolving, just as all of nature changes, grows, evolves, so too, will I continue to process and grow. #chrysalis #becomingabutterfly #dawnsjuicylife

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