Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Well, I'm heading back east again soon to see my son. And to stay with friends for the last time before they move to a whole new part of the country. (He lost his job, they have no savings, etc.) So it's going to be a bittersweet visit. No doubt I'll run into my ex-husband as well.

The first thing I want to say is a plea to everyone to find some way to save money. Savings give you options you wouldn't otherwise have. And I know it's hard! It's even harder to have to walk away from a home you've loved for over 20 years because you suddenly lose your job and can't pay the mortgage and have zero money in the bank as back up until can you find a new job. My friends made the choices with their money that they emotionally needed to make at the time, but now it leaves them with very few options and my heart hurts for them.

Oddly enough I'm more comfortable at the thought of seeing my ex again than I have been in previous visits—a direct result of setting those boundaries with him last month. I know that I can wish him well without being drawn back into chaos. I can speak from strength not fear.

Seeing my son is always bittersweet. I've made choices that were best for him—given the full sum of the situations. And yet there are always regrets that things worked out as they did. Still, I know he's safe, I know he's finally having boundaries set that will help him grow, I know he's learning to be more independent in his group home. And when I ask—because I always do, in various oblique ways—his main complaint is that he must follow rules and I know in my heart that's a good thing. So I encourage him to explore this new phase of his life and encourage him to find new ways to grow and know that I love him.

The unabashedly joyful news is that my daughter is choosing to come see me on her spring break and that we have a closeness now, a mutual respect, that was lacking for so long. It is wonderful to see the young woman she has become and to be able to share time with her. And that visit will be on the other side of my visit to see my son. March is going to be quite a month!

Here's hoping all of you have reasons to look forward to March as well. Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs)))))),

Sunday, February 07, 2010


It is an interesting thing setting boundaries—especially with someone who doesn't like them.

I realized, after my last post, that I was getting flashbacks not only to the sense of helplessness and inadequacy I so often felt when I was married, but that those emotions were actually echoes of what I felt as a child. I realized that was the origin of the fear of setting boundaries with my ex. Interacting with him was taking me back to my married days and even worse, to my childhood sense of helplessness and inability to handle life but NONE OF THAT IS WHO I AM NOW.

Once I realized that, I could set aside the emotions, reminding myself that as a small child I WAS helpless and couldn't have managed on my own. Went through my list of reasons to believe in myself NOW. Asked myself what the disagreement with my ex was really about—and realized it was about boundaries. So that's how I handled the discussion with him.

I simply set the boundaries that mattered to me—knowing full well the consequences and accepting them because the alternative would be worse.

And so I took back part of myself. I moved from emotional flashback to the calm, competent adult I am. Without having to attack my ex to do so. I could be me, holding onto the values I have about how to treat others and at the same time not allow myself to get caught up in his plans

The victory isn't just in handling the situation as I did, it's in realizing how rarely I feel this way—so thrown by things—these days. It was another step forward in my life getting better and better. And for the future, I have another set of tools for handling anything that might come up.

Here's hoping you are moving forward and claiming your power, too.

Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),