Tag Archives: connections

A New Year and a Look Back

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A lot can change in a year. And for me, 2014 was a really big year for change.

I started 2014 with many conflicting emotions and a rather high level of anxiety. I didn’t trust myself and I felt trapped by many of my own thoughts. I was thinking about buying a house or trying to decide on continuing to rent, and I had all of the stress that went with those decisions. I was getting ready to start my 12-week group which was one of the scariest things I have ever faced. I was at the end of a divorce that I agonized over for way too many years. I was helping my teenage daughter cope with the change of living in two homes and helping us both deal with the fact that my now adult son was living out on his own and not in our daily lives.

That’s a lot of stuff. And really those things were just daily life from January to April, which left a lot of year left to live.

Thankfully, 2014 started out a bit full of stress, but became a year of fabulous positive change as well.

I bought my house on May 27 and they only considered my income and credit.  ONLY ME.  I did it all on my own and that felt awesome.  Moving is always stressful, but this was a lot more fun because as I moved in all the decisions were up to me.  I could put colorful things and things that mean the world to me everywhere I wanted and that makes me feel comfy and good.  One of my greatest friends got to visit this summer and helped me settle in even more and decorate my sunroom, which is a really awesome space.

Spring and early summer was also a time for a lot of excitement, a bit of giggling, and a dash of anxiety as I began a positive new relationship and experienced a first date for the first time since 1995!  Scott and I went to high school together and reconnecting with him all these years later has been really, really great.  He and I reconnected at a time when I least expected to be taking any time for dating, especially any dates that would lead to an actual relationship.  I was in the middle of my therapy group, just a week divorced, and kind of a mess of feelings.  But from our first messages to each other, we have never stopped talking and he has very quickly become the best friend a girl could hope to have by her side through whatever comes our way.  In just 8 months together we have had many of the best times I could imagine ever having and we have also faced a lot of challenges…and whenever I feel like my “stuff” is just going to be too much for him, he is right there to tell me that I’m worth it.  He has listened to me scream, yell, doubt myself, doubt him, be stubborn as a mule, and cry my eyes out.  Scott is thoughtful, understanding, spontaneous, dedicated to who and what he loves, smart, respectful, a great listener, charming, trustworthy, a great father, a fabulous dancer, and makes me laugh each and every day.  I love you, Scott.  Thanks for being you and being in my life.

Going through summer was fun not only because of my new love, but because I got to become more and more settled in my home and finished up the first and most difficult therapy group after 12 long weeks.  Being a part of that group with the other terrific women I met and grew to care about so much was more rewarding than I imagined it would be when it started.  Disclosing my sexual assault experience was liberating and began a healing process that I had buried and ignored for a very long time.  I feel very fortunate to have met the people who helped me go through that process.

I have continued my individual therapy and it has brought with it some new challenges that I can now manage with better coping skills.  And I love that. Fall brought some personal challenges, some a surprise and some things that were just buried under the more obvious things I have faced that are now ready to come out.  I like that therapy place where I can say anything and get an unbiased opinion on how to handle it, when I could have done something differently, and when I really did a great job of communicating and maintaining my personal boundaries.

I also love that no matter what happens to me each day, the first person I think of to tell is Scott.  I always sold myself short on that part of my relationships.  I always felt my girlfriends were the people who should be there for that stuff.  I love that Scott has become my best friend.  I still value the love and friendship of my best gals, but I adore knowing that my partner in love has my back and loves me no matter what ridiculous thing I do or say.

This fall, I wrote a post about Thanksgiving being difficult for me.  And I love that I could get to Alaska for Thanksgiving.  Spending time with my friend there is like a reset button for me, she and I have known each other for so long there is a complete relaxation to being together.  I love her family, and being around her just makes the crazy in my head easier to bear.

Looking at December and the end of 2014 seemed SO far away just a minute ago.  But all of a sudden, there it was right in front of me.  And as years go, it was a really great one even though it started out a little tough.  Letting go of my marriage was difficult, but we have maintained a relationship that allows us to continue to love and parent our kids the best way possible and I am proud of that.  Celebrating the holidays with my kids has always been a favorite thing for me and this year was no different.  The way our family looks has changed, but the love we share is still the thing that puts a spring in my step and can bring a smile to my face anytime I think of it.

2015 has started off better than any year for quite a long time.  I look forward to the new and exciting things ahead and the continued healing I will explore in my therapy and in a new group I will be starting soon.

I hope your year will be great too.  You deserve it!

KK

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New old friend

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You know what’s really cool about social media? Connections.

Strangers becoming friends…I have met people all over the world who have offered laughter, wisdom, encouragement, condolences, and support. People I wouldn’t have met under any other circumstances because our paths would not have crossed. These people are the reason I never feel I have to defend my very frequent use of social media.

Shared activism friends…I have met some ridiculously brave and awesome people who see my history and share their own story with me. This warms my soul and fuels my desire for true healing and rediscovering me. It feels fantastic to know that stepping out and claiming my past as my own has made a difference for people who have shared their stories. Know that all of you are a part of my heart and my journey. I believe in each one of you.

New old friends…A third connection I find so cool is new old friends. People I knew once, just a tiny bit or all the way to knowing them really well, but then we lost touch over time and life changes.

New old friends offer an additional coolness over brand new friends. That coolness is memories. Memories that one or both of us remember. Memories that we may share, but remember differently from each other, which can be really cool when it causes me to remember something awesome.

Now, I must admit, sometimes connections from the past are just too scary for me because they bring up parts of me and my past that are filled with or tarnished by shame. And sometimes what I find hard to face about my past is funny or interesting to people and they want to talk about it. And that can feel too icky.

But sometimes, the connection is just perfect. Like when someone remembers some good and some bad, but wants to enjoy the good reminiscing and doesn’t mind that I had some less than wonderful moments because they did too. Sometimes the reconnection is just someone who “gets” me. I love that. Someone who understands my sense of humor and my crazy anxiety, even my love for Sinead O’Connor, and loves that those things are still present in me today. A person who appreciates the snappy and the snarky.

Someone who renews my faith in people and my desire to trust.

Someone who will challenge who I am now and make me think about things from the perspective of the former me. This is especially cool lately because this IS a journey about rediscovering me. And some of that girl is difficult to find.

I thank you (you know who you are) for coming back into my life and taking an opportunity to grab my attention. To be a friend. For challenging me, excusing me, validating me, and making me laugh. For making me take a look at the past and remember that I didn’t always have shame.

I know I can’t see the future any clearer than anyone else can, but you’re here to stay. I honestly believe that. Some people are just good.

I have good guts. And my guts say you’re going to be a new old friend forever.

KK