Something Else Sunday #12 – The Beginning of a Love Affair, Part 2

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Mid-yawn funny face. Still cute.

It’s Sunday again! I’m in the middle of a 24 hour shift at work (which basically involves sitting at a desk, being available, and awake…not a lot of actual work). Still waiting on the new domain to transfer over so I can start blogging over there…I’m sooooo excited and feel like I can’t possibly wait another day but wait I must. ๐Ÿ˜›

This week I’m continuing my story from last week’s Sunday. Like I said: Iโ€™m doing something a little unusual, a departure from my typical Sunday posts. Why? I just felt like something different, and this idea had been knocking around in my head for awhile. Itโ€™sย myย story, one thatโ€™s still growing, but the beginning, at least, I can tell because itโ€™s over and done with. This part sounds kind of like a downer…but it gets better! Also, even if it’s depressing or sad, it’s still MY STORY and deserves to be told. If it can help even one person realize that they are worthy of happiness and fulfillment in life, than it’s worth writing.


(Read part 1 first)

The little girl was growing up very fast, now. Pain has a way of doing that.

People kept asking her what she wanted to do. She was good at writing. Or she had been. She loved books. But she wanted to go places, do things, and help people. She wanted adventure. Some people kept putting pressure on her to be a teacher, be a writer…but she knew in her heart that while she loved those things, she didn’t want to make a career of them. Reading and writing were her joys, her relaxation, her outlet, and to her it just didn’t make sense to make a job of it. Odd as it was, given her other interests – medicine, the science of the human body, and to some extent the biology of the entire world, was her real driving interest.ย 

About her junior year of high school, she started writing again. Non-fiction now, more than before. Her fiction seemed uninspired, and her lack of experience annoyed her. She felt she couldn’t write a good, realistic story – even of the fantasy type – without more experience with people and places than she had, and it frustrated her.ย 

It came time to make decisions about college, and she let certain people push her away from what she wanted to be her life work. She majored in English.ย 

About this time too, there was this guy.ย 

She was angry about a lot of things, and so was he. She was in love. She thought they needed each other. She thought they would make each other happy. So she married him.ย 

Turned out, he was really very bad for her. He cut her down in all kinds of little ways, and told her he was intimidated that she was good at – better than, he thought – he was at a lot of things. Like writing. He was a writer. He was going to be an author. And her writing – that she already thought was rather shoddy and miserable – intimidated him.ย 

She loved him. She didn’t want to make him feel bad. So she stopped writing all together. She wanted to be a supportive wife, so obviously making herself smaller or giving up part of herself for him was the proper course of action.ย 

Little did she know how far down a dark road that way of thinking would lead her, and how long it would take her to come back to the light. But this was still the beginning.

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She finished her degree, and was so tired of picking apart books and essays for hidden meanings that she quit reading almost completely for about two years. During this time she had developed a rather snobbish attitude about popular literature (no Twilight or smutty romances for HER, thankyouverymuch), so the idea of picking up something that might be lighter, easier, more FUN to read, was out of the question.

But she had graduated, and that meant she could go on to other things now. Things that interested her, that set her brain racing, that made her stretch her mind and grow new thought pathways. So she went to phlebotomy school – it was the only medical course she could afford.ย 

She passed with flying colors. Her patients loved her. She loved working with all the different people, learning new things every day, playing with all the different machines and tests. This, THIS was what she was made for.

The books – she still loved books. In a way she still loved writing. But nothing had made her feel alive like this before, even though her job was a very simple one. Funny thing though, working this job – rekindled her love of reading. It was as though working a job so far removed from books, writing, and the literary world in general, made it come back into focus for her.ย 

Slowly, she began to realize that she didn’t necessarily have to make a choice. Even more slowly, she began to realize that it was okay to good at something and be proud of that thing. But she still had a long way to go.

To be continued next week (final part)…

Ghosts

Do you have ghosts from your past that just seem to just pop up out of nowhere, just when you thought they were gone for good? I do. Mine seem to come in the form of words. No surprise there, really, I guess. Considering how much I love words, it’s only fitting that my ghosts should take that form as well.

My husband will be here in a week. I’m way beyond excited. But, as has happened every time we’ve been apart, I’m starting to get nervous little butterflies. Mostly when I look in the mirror.

Does he really find me attractive? With my out-of-control hair, pale skin marred by scars from too many breakouts, ass that’s there but not as firm as it could be, nearly non-existent boobs? Is he really going to want to put up with my books everywhere? My dislike of doing the dishes after dinner or folding the laundry after washing it? My obsessions with making all kinds of things, my stashes of supplies everywhere? How can he roll over and want to kiss me first thing in the morning, when I squint at him and put on thick glasses so I can even see the clock next to the bed?

I call these ghosts because they’re the remnants of a toxic relationship, where I heard things that shredded what self-esteem I started out with and still struggle to get back, on a daily basis.

Put on makeup to go out with me. You’re ugly.
Can’t you wear something other than jeans and t-shirts? You’re ugly.
Go shave your legs before I touch them. You’re disgusting.
You’d be pretty if you tried. You’re ugly.
You could be hot if you worked out. You don’t turn me on.
Don’t knit in front of people, it’s embarrassing. You’re embarrassing.
Why do you do that (quilt, knit, spin, whatever)? Only grandmas do that. You’re weird.
You shouldn’t feel that way, you’re wrong. Your feelings don’t matter.

When we’re together they occasionally pop up, but Matt is incredibly good at silencing them. After we haven’t been together for awhile, they all start swirling around in my head again. Nevermind he’s now been with me both at my thinnest (yikes!) and heaviest weights, he’s seen me lose a third of my hair, and he’s seen me puke more times than I care to remember (still can’t handle my liquor). And he’s still moving all the way to the other side of the world to be with me. Nevermind I’ve never felt wanted the way he shows me in my entire life. I’ve never felt accepted like this. Leg hair, old t-shirts, messy hair, un-made-up face…just normal, plain me. Sure he appreciates it when I dress up, but he’s not embarrassed to be with me when I’m just normal me. He’s not embarrassed to introduce me to his friends. He likes me. Just me.

Trying to convince myself? Maybe. Remind myself? Sure.

It’s kind of not helping right now. Maybe if I turn all my mirrors to the wall. All I see is an ugly, tired-looking woman. Just a ghost.

Sans Makeup

I’m in the middle of something of a personal challenge right now. A very uncomfortable one, at least for me. I’m going without makeup for an entire week.

First, let me explain. The skin of my face is super, super sensitive. It’s a battle to keep it happy, no matter what I do. Makeup – even hypoallergenic, organic, natural makeup – just seems to irritate it. I want to claw and scratch by the time half the day is over. It’s not that my skin is “bad” to begin with, it’s just that every time I get a bump, the redness stays long after the bump itself is gone and so my skin tone is very blotchy due to how pale I am. I look like I’m constantly getting over the measles.

Secondly, I don’t even wear that much. I wear a concealer on the reddest spots, a powder foundation, occasionally some blush, and rarely one color of eyeshadow. I used to wear mascara but it made my eyes itch and didn’t agree with my contacts. Lately I’ve come across a couple ladies with gorgeous skin, just blooming with life and vitality – and they don’t wear makeup. At all.

So I decided to give it a try. For one week, I’m only using my facial wash, toner, and moisturizer – which I admittedly would sometimes skip if I was in a hurry to get ready in the morning, probably compounding the problem. If, after one week, my skin feels significantly better (not going on looks here, since if I was slightly allergic to the products I was using it will probably take longer than a week for the skin to settle again) I will probably continue for another week.

But I’m having a self-esteem crisis. I hate going out in public. I feel like everyone is staring at my blotchy face. I feel ugly and naked. And it shouldn’t be that way. I hadn’t realized how dependent on my makeup I’d become. I’m really hoping this clears up fast, so I can swear off makeup forever. I’d much rather have enough of a natural, healthy glow to not have to worry about it. At the moment, though…I want a paper bag.