YES MEANS NO

I had sex with Tommy last night. Ugh. Why did I do that? I am not even physically attracted to him!

For weeks we had plans to meet Saturday night in Ojai for dinner at The Ojai Valley Inn. A very luxurious resort that I have always heard about, but never been. Did I mention Tommy is a trust fund kid? We both come from Laguna Beach, one of the wealthiest communities in Southern California and although I do not come from wealth such as his, I know what that kind of wealth does to people, and it is not pretty. But I never knew Tommy was a trust fund kid until he told me on the phone the other night. That basically he does not have to work. At all. Ever. I have never met a species such as this. And yet, he lives almost like a hobo. He bought 13 acres of raw land to farm in Goleta, just outside of Santa Barbara, and built, BY HIMSELF, a dome on the property that has a bed, a dresser, a hammock, and a futon in it. He also has a pottery studio in town that has a community shower where he bathes. He and his 11-year-old son have been living like this for the past six months. Homeless. When he has his son, he sleeps in the hammock. He has no running water or electricity. He chooses this lifestyle. He drives a beat up old Volvo station wagon. He certainly does not look the part of a millionaire. And I hate to admit, that knowing this fact about him, his inherited wealth, made me forgive many things I might have not forgiven.

The Friday night before our date my daughter has a surprise sleep-over with a friend, so I hesitate briefly before telling Tommy at 6 pm that night. He immediately says he is driving down, to my house. I don’t say no. Intrigued. Excited. Nervous. I wait the 2.5 hours it takes him, filled with anticipation after weeks of talking and incessant texting, a lot is riding on this first visit and my nerves are high.

He pulls up and I walk out to meet him. I am not sure what to expect. I have not seen this person in over 25 years and did feel close to him briefly in High School. He reminds me of a time when things were still good. Still innocent, in a way. Before the heroine and the darkness engulfed me. He represents something sweet, in a way, and I am curious if he can offer that sweetness now, again, when things feel so hard.

He drives a beat up old Volvo station wagon. I poke my head inside, to show him where to park, and am hit with my first impression, cigarettes. Yuck. He smokes. Slightly repulsed, my sense of smell is one of my strongest, I direct him to a spot across the street. He is smiling. His face is not what I expected. He does not look like his photos. He looks old and weathered. Feelings and warnings started swirling through my body as I waited for him to park. I did not know how to manage them. So I froze.

He got out of the car and walked towards me. His style reminded me of the guys from Laguna. The surfers that I detested so much. A lazy beach style. Not my style at all. He sauntered up lazily and in a compulsive act that still defies all reasoning I walked up to him and kissed him, right there in the middle of the street. Maybe I had some poetic notion about this, about how the only other time we kissed was in the middle of the street 25 years ago in front of my house in Laguna and if this was going to be a love story, wouldn’t it be best written this way?

He tasted like cigarettes and had hard, chapped lips and I pulled him into my house regardless. It was robotic. I felt completely disconnected and uncomfortable as he entered my home and sat on my couch. My mind was swirling rapidly as I sat next to him. I did not want him there. I was not attracted to him. Yet, he drove so far and I felt so guilty and did not know how to ask him to leave. There was so much history. So much expectation and anticipation built into this moment and the fear of disappointing him, not pleasing him, overrode my alarms going off that this was NOT the man for me. Without a doubt. And yet… and yet…

We had sex. Almost immediately. I was completely dissociated through the entire thing. I could barely look at him. When I felt the carpet of hair on his back and giant mole, I almost gagged. But I did not stop. Too many years of giving this body away unconsciously. It was like rote. I went through the motions. I know the script. I play my part. They play theirs. It’s always the same.

He stayed the night although I did not want him to. But he had no idea. I am such a good actress. I could win an Oscar for these performances. He thought I wanted him. Desired him. Found him attractive. Inside I was dying. I did not sleep.

The next morning I got him up and out of my house as fast as possible.

Then he started the texting. Incessantly. I asked for a break. He didn’t take it well. He said he loved me. I told him I adored him. Makes no sense.

My daughter is sick tonight and wants to be home with me. I felt relieved. I do not have to drive to Ojai to have dinner with him.

He asked me if I would come to Santa Barbara next weekend instead.

I said yes.

 

 

QUAKING ASPENS

I was plagued by anxiety spasms throughout the night brought on by a text from Tommy at 10 pm last night asking if I was awake or asleep. I did not want to speak to him, I was too tired and craving autonomy and was merely going to ignore the text but then realized he could see that I read it and then I wanted to change the setting on my iPhone so no one could see if I had read their text or not and then ended up sending him a text that I was too tired and going to bed and then I felt the anxiety engulf me like a tsunami. WTF. I went to bed convinced that I need to end this. It’s too much. He lives too far away. It is going too fast, just like every other failed relationship in my life. I don’t know how to slow down. I don’t know how. Woke up, breathed and meditated and ended up in the fetal position crying on the couch. I do not like thinking I have hurt someone’s feelings or let them down, in any way. And at the same time, a few things he texted me yesterday brought some shit up. First off, he felt the need to tell me about his celebrity crush on whatsherface from that John Hughes movie I can’t remember right now. I knee-jerked responded with, “Hell, I would leave you for her too!”. Which felt fine at the moment, a little weird, but whatever. The second thing was how he joked about wanting to marry me because of how I responded and then kept reminding me it was a joke, and lastly told me he was the jealous type and would not share me with any other man. I do not like the “jealous” type. Fuck that. It was a strange series of events. I am still making sense about it all and feeling icky and should most likely speak to him about it. Or do I? Or do I just get the hell out of dodge while I can?

I spoke to Tommy about it. I told him I had a “reflection, ” and I didn’t want to “project” but I knew what I was feeling had to do more with my childhood than him. He listened. To it all. And then calmly talked me through it. It was kind of awesome and amazing. Then later he said he knew I was short with my daughter because I was sexually frustrated and he called me out on it. No idea how he knew that but dude has some serious telekinesis powers that span space and time.

NEXT DAY:

I was all hot and heavy for Tommy today, even talking about him to my therapist, my meditation teacher, my ex-husband and his new girlfriend- texting talking and then suddenly- nade. Zip. Zilch. It’s moving way too fast. Want it to slow down. Don’t even really want to go to Santa Barbara this weekend to see him in person for the first time. What am I thinking? What the hell am I doing?

I don’t think I am as physically attracted to him as I thought I was. So how do I backpedal out of this mess? I feel like, once again, I get the teeniest tiniest bit of attention from a guy and I go ape shit. Like a starving war criminal. So hungry for anything. Desperate. Playing with his feelings. I do not feel like a good person right now. I feel like I have been doing what I thought I should be doing not what feels authentic.

Where is my voice?

Maybe it is too much, too soon. Today I told him about my day, the insights, the incredible insights, and he knows so much. But then he told me he was a little tired from processing and that he wasn’t really present for Allister and bam- I went cold. Done. I wanted off the phone. I wanted to end the whole thing. Shut. Her. Down.

I rewrote some memories today. I found my anger too- she is a caged Bengal tiger with a piercing scream. I let her out of her cage. She lunged at me, pushing me up against a tree, screamed in my face before running into the jungle.

It was intense.

During my meditation session with my teacher, I became a tree. A tree trunk with roots coming out of my root chakra between my legs. My long branches overhead were those of the Quaking Aspens. Integration of my tree trunk self with the rest of me.

Living from the base. Not from the top.

aspen

CHEMISTRY

Tommy lives in Santa Barbara. I live in Los Angeles. That is almost 2.5 hours away. I hate driving. I am not a commuter. This will never work.

Still….I am:

Curious. Interested. Attracted. Excited. Intrigued.

We’ll see.

I have only spoken to him on the phone. I have yet to see him. We have plans for Saturday.

He just told me he may not be able to see me this Saturday. That was a bummer. But not the end of the world.

I love me. I choose me.

AND interesting fact; today I felt the urge to drop, refine, simplify and stick with what is happening right now in front of me, to actually live in today instead of keep searching for the next thing that is going to fix it; me.

ALTHOUGH

Today was tough for me. I was riding such a high yesterday after seeing my therapist and spending 3.5 hours strategizing my business. Then yoga, meditation, and talking to Tommy for 1.5 hours. I resented the last 30 mins. Why is it so fucking hard for me to ask for what I want? I wanted to get off the phone. I hate talking on the phone. He wouldn’t let me go. He just kept talking.

THEN

Tonight, at dinner with my daughter’s best friend and her parents, I did not want dessert. Her Dad even asked me if it was okay to stay for dessert and I internally screamed NO but said it was okay when it clearly was not. My daughter ended up going to bed super late, and although I still did my breathing practice and meditated, I was clearly agitated.

THEN

During the ridiculously long conversation with Tommy over the phone, he told me that talking about boundaries was stupid. I took offense. He handled it well. He texted a photo of himself fishing on his boat earlier that day. He looked alright. I forgave him.

AND LASTLY

The divorce papers arrived. It’s final. It’s official. We are officially divorced. Marriage dissolved. Like sugar in water. Or a body in some form of acid. Pure chemistry.

My ex called me and asked me if I wanted to talk about the papers. I said no. I hung up and started meditating. I felt myself disassociating and I willed myself to stay in my body, most notably my lower three chakras. It was painful being there but the pain shifted and I felt grounded instead. I cried. But then I stopped. I wanted to replace the pain with Tommy, but I didn’t. I meditated on loving myself instead. So good.

I am exhausted.

 

 

RED FLAG RUN

A prison in central California.

My co-lead, Ray, and I led a council 1 training with 23 men this weekend. We spent 16 hours over two days teaching the inmates, mostly lifers, the “way of council.” It was my first time co-leading in a prison. It was amazing. This work allows people to open up and be vulnerable in ways that seem impossible; especially in such a short time and with this kind of population. But it happens, every single time. And I am always blown away by the beauty of humanity. It is where I find God, in people sharing their stories with one another and seeing that yes, I am like you and I cry and laugh too. This is my church.

A dear friend from High School contacted me before I left.

Which is exactly what the Shaman said would happen, that someone from my past would contact me and I could decide what to do with it.

Well oh shit- here is that person and what am I going to do with it?

Tommy. He had a huge crush on me when I was a senior and he was a junior. He and his best friend Collie used to follow me around like two little puppy dogs. I loved it. I made them kiss once in front of me just because I could. Collie made me dinner on the beach one night, so I devirginized him. I thought it was the nice thing to do. I never slept with Tommy. He wasn’t  my type. Too blonde. Too surfer. Too rich.

He friended me on Facebook and then messaged me right away, which rarely happens. So I messaged back and we started talking. He looked okay in his photos. Weathered, but okay. Not fat and bald like most guys from High School on Facebook.

Seems he lives in Santa Barbara with his eleven-year-old son and is an organic farmer, Reiki healer, and surfer. Some things never change.

We went deep fast. Too fast. Should have been a red flag. But I rarely heed those anyway. We spoke on the phone the next day as I was leaving for the prison. I remembered something about Lancelot and Guinevere. He said he thinks we played that out when we were shrooming but he wasn’t sure. I told him to polish his sword and the honest-to-god unintended innuendo made us both laugh till crying. I thought that was hopeful. Plus I liked his voice. I remembered it. Felt comforting in a way.

I had not spoken to him in over twenty-five years but in my hotel room after my first day in the prison, we spoke for over an hour. We shared a lot. Too much. Did I already mention that? I have anathema to flags, it seems.

He was molested too, when he was 13, although I never knew it. He never knew about me being raped either. Lots of secrets in Laguna Beach. Lots of using to cover up the sadness about those secrets. Lots of pain in those rich white kids.

He said something at the end of the conversation that was very hard ot hear. He told me that he sensed some sexual disfunction from me, because he had it too. He was worried we would do what we always do or was it more about me? I can’t remember. All I know is that I hung up and cried for fifteen minutes doing H’oponopopo. I feel shame. Regret. Exhuastion.

I want to sleep now.

I disassociated talking to him. My head got light and fuzzy. I could feel it happening. And all I wanted to do was get off the phone and be alone so I could process what I was hearing.

I think I am back in my body now as I write this.

I think.

I was not going to text him on my way home the next night, even though I wanted to, but was more curious about working through the sensations in the body when he texted me, sending a sexual innuendo, which I found confusing. So that is something to think about and look at. Why have that whole conversation about me being hypersexualized and then sending that? Kind of confusing.

I should just back off and be friendly.

Something doens’t feel right about this one.

Little Tiny

Today was a trip.

I started the Presence Process this morning and the first interesting thing was what it did to my brain- area. I felt an earache on my right side. I suffered chronic earaches as a child. Then I was dyslexic for a minute afterward. I could not get my brain to work for a bit.

Then I went for a walk with Fredd, my little old healer buddy who yells at me.  He told me I am the type of person who runs away from things and keeps trying new things when they get too hard or I don’t see immediate results. Ouch. He was right. He says that I keep running away from my lower three chakras and until I can stick there- nothing in my life will work. Success will always elude me. Double Ouch. I don’t understand why he has to raise his voice when he tells me these things. It is like he is super frustrated with me and he has a southern accent so in a weird way I kind of like it.

My new mantra- with hand over my heart- is- “I will to connect to my lower three chakras; family, little arrowyn, and the adult in me.”

Then I spoke with my Ex-Husband, and he told me he wasn’t going to have his ex-girlfriend Sara pick the colors for his new house this time, because it would be like she had her mark all over his house and he didn’t want Julie, his new girlfriend to feel bad.

Sara picked the colors to all of our homes. And I let him. And I resented him for it.

I could not stop crying after that.

I called Michael Kass, my dear friend and breathwork coach extraordinaire, and he reminded me that there is an alternate story to the “I am worthless, why will he do for her what he could never do for me???” to “It is just his time to grow and change, and it has NOTHING to do with me.”

I like the latter interpretation of events.

And I still can’t stop crying.

I called Marie, one of my best friends who happens to also be a therapist and she said it was all true, AND I was fully validated in having big feelings about it all.

I meditated for 30 minutes on “the pool of sadness” – connected to my three lower chakras and waited for Tim, My Ex, to bring Pony and Addy, his girlfriend’s daughter over. They played at the house before Julie got off of work and met up with us at my house. They asked me if I wanted to join them for pizza and ice-cream. Everything in me screamed “Hell No!!” but the look on my daughter’s face made me say YES. We piled into Tim’s car, Julie in the passenger seat, the two girls in their car seats in the back, and me squeezed uncomfortably between the two. What a trip that was. The date was fine. I still came home and cried some more. I am not even sure it is because I am sad.

I just feel a lot today.

Oh, I forgot about Daniel, my friend I had sex with and who told me he didn’t have time for me.  I stopped following him on instagram because I felt hurt, embarrassed, and ashamed and he called me out on it today, accusing me of not wanting to be his friend. I guess he noticed I had stopped following him and said it hurt his feelings. I didn’t want to be his friend but I cowed and said I would. Be his friend. And start following him again on social media. I am sensing a theme here. Like, I have no balls or voice.

 

I feel mute. Invisible. Small.

Fourth of July 2016

I wanted to be with my daughter. I had no invitations for the fourth. My ex-husband was invited to his ex-girlfriend’s party and he was planning on going with his new girlfriend Julie, her daughter Addy, and our daughter Pony. So I chose to tag along. I chose to. I chose it.

His ex-girlfriend, Sara, is my nemesis, in a lot of ways. The first wife, I called her, in my head. I, feeling constantly, like the second. A role I did not choose. It chose me. At least, that was what I told myself when feeling like a victim. She has a “bigger than life” personality and needs A LOT of attention. I tried to be her friend for the five years that he and I were together, but it never worked. I found her effusiveness to be phony and could never establish a conversational rhythm with her. If the conversation was not about her, there was no conversation. He was “best friends” with her. He told me so when I met him. I knew that going in. I knew it. I chose it.

Sara has a lot of friends. She holds them close. Especially her ex-boyfriends. There are always a few of them hanging around at these things. And all of her friends were my ex-husband’s friends and thus became my friends. Or so I thought. At least, until the divorce. Then they vanished. Or I vanished. I probably vanished.

And although I like his new girlfriend Julie, I am not so sure about going to a party at Sara’s, but I want to be with my daughter, so I am going. I am going.

I went.

I was sober. I did not drink. Even though I have not decided entirely to be sober. I knew it was a good idea to not drink. Even I knew that much.

I felt awkward and uncomfortable for most of it- spending the majority of my time with my daughter and any other children that arrived. It was the first time I saw my Ex be affectionate with another woman. I will say, that was hard. And weird. And surreal.

I avoided Sara. I am pretty good at that by now.

It was time to go and see the actual fireworks but I did not have a better plan than the five of us going to my Ex’s apartment downtown;  him, Julie, Addy, Pony, and me.

We went. Like one happy little poly family. Although we are not poly. I am just really nice to Julie and she is really nice to me and our girls get along and I am good at hiding resentments towards my ex. So I repressed and expressed and digressed. I am sure.

It was fine. The whole thing was fine. I felt a little bit of pride, leaving, that I made it through. That I did it and that it was possible. Even if I was not sure what the possibilities were.

But Julie and I hung out while our children played and my Ex did his thing and fireworks went off across the city. But none during our night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHITE PEOPLE CAN’T BE SHAMANS

 

Not so sure I want the job, but I applied anyways. It’s full time. Less time with my daughter. Don’t like that very much.

Ideally, I could keep growing my business organically. But a consistent paycheck would also be nice.

I am leaving it up to the universe.

Whatever is best for me and her.

Speaking of, today, had a very intense and disturbing yet enlightening experience at my daughter’s school. Apparently she has been playfully “hitting” her BFF and not stopping when said BFF tells her to. The BFF told her Mother who got extremely upset and possibly “overreacted” in my opinion, but she is a good friend, and like me, a highly intelligent, extremely sensitive, very emotional, and complicated woman. Which are all qualities I admire and yet, make a situation like this potentially volatile. I handled it, initially, very well. I thought. When she and I and the girls addressed it together. But today we sat down with the director of our daughters’ preschool and I did not fair as well. It felt like the director favored this woman and her child over mine. Which may or may not be true, but triggered me in a BIG BAD way. I had to listen to her tell my friend what an amazing mother she is and how brave her daughter was for bringing this up and how if she (the director of the school) could come back (to this planet, I assume) she would want my friend as her mother, she is so stellar.

I watched as my daughter struggled in excruciating pain trying to make sense of her feelings no matter how many times the director told her she was not wrong or bad for hitting her friend, she just needed to stop it, and then the director went on to tell me that in her meditation that morning, she had come upon the insight that she thought my daughter was hitting her friend because she didn’t feel “seen” by me. She then asked my daughter if she did not feel “seen” by me. My daughter nodded and said quietly, “yes.” My daughter is FIVE-FUCKING-YEARS-OLD! She does not know what that means! I nearly lost my shit, internally and externally.

This woman knows that I have told her how I never felt “seen” by my mother.

This felt cruel and unusual.

I had an appointment with a shaman so I had to leave and could not process in the moment.I cried with the shaman about it all.

Instead, I cried first thing with the shaman. Who I had never met before. He was a white man who used to be a family medicine doctor and was apparently very successful by the look of his house in La Canada- but who seemed kind and warm and empathetic. First of all, white people can’t be shamans. I know this now. I did not know that then.

He used crystals, sang songs, four directions, blew sage smoke on me, and spit rose water on me. It was all very entertaining, but to be honest, I did not take it too seriously.

Saying this now, I sound at best like a mad-woman and at worst, like an idiot.

But it all made sense in the moment. I assure you.

And I felt so present and in my body afterwards. No picking ripping chewing. I sat and looked him in the eyes and felt a peace never before.

That was worth it, for what it is worth.

When I was leaving he told me I might hear from someone in my past that day, it usually happened, and if it did, I could choose how I wanted to respond.

When I got home, Tommy, from High School, not only friended me on Facebook, but sent a message.

How weird is that?

And what am I going to do with it?