Monday, March 2, 2015

And You Will Know the Truth...

I will never know the truth about Bill or what he was up to last summer. I will never know how long he was with that other woman before he discarded me.

It's OK and it's not OK.

I grapple, still, with the two sides of that man.

And in my journey I have discovered some disconcerting truths. He was not the man I thought he was. He most likely trashed my reputation to others, thankfully people who have little to do with my life.

I am blessed in ways I cannot even begin to imagine, there is a God who loves me just as I am, I have family and friends who love me right where I'm at, I'm loved by my son, I am a gifted, kind person who has a lot to offer this world still.

That is what I believe to be true.

The more I read, the more I realize I was duped, brain washed, abused, lied to. The more I read, the more I begin to believe I was with someone who is truly evil.

I know, sounds bizarre and sketchy and all that. Sounds like I'm paranoid.

Just remember, there are people everywhere, in the sweetest gentlest of towns who murder and kill. Not saying I was with a murderer, but I do truly believe he is capable of doing things that most people would not do because he had no conscience. People without a conscience are sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists.

The above excerpt is from a book called, The Sociopath Next Door by Dr. Martha Stout. It describes my ex-boyfriend 100% and how I viewed him. I grapple now with adding his photo here, expressionless, haunting. But I wont. You can search my blog if you want to see his vacuous face, but I don't think it's helpful to tar and feather him here. 

And let me also say that I know that John 8:22 refers to God. That is how the truth will set me free.

I am not a stupid woman. Each book I have read has helped me to understand that anyone can be duped by a psychopath. Anyone. 

And now I know what to look for. I don't think I will be fooled again. I'm not ready for a new relationship, but when I am, I will know myself better. And by learning how to give myself what I need, I will be better able to walk away from red flags, and to protect myself before I allow anyone to get close to my heart.

If you like to read the bible, this is a great app for women. In addition to a wonderful calming beautiful interface and approach, the app offers these amazingly luminous illustrations by Patrick Laurent. I love each of them! You can also find his shop, Quiet Boy Studio on etsy.

And lest you think I am haunted only by my past ...

My son keeps me busy. I know my life is good, so good. I know that I am gifted and blessed. I know I have so much to offer friends, family, strangers.

In the end, all is well.

And for goodness sake, it's Dr. Seuss's birthday today!

And I'm not too grown up to avoid a selfie, now that my brows have been cleaned up. :P

And this is what I really about that relationship ...

I am finally believing that I am better than what he treated me as. I am worthy of love, of being treated well. I am beginning to value myself and what I bring to life, to others. I am a good woman. I have a lot of love to give. I have a genuinely gorgeous sweet son who loves me unconditionally.

I am worthy of being treated well.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.

It's far from over. But I'm glad I have had your company along the way.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Decorating a Child's Room in 5 Easy Steps

My true love, my sweet son.

May you never lose this innocence, the wisdom you already posses, and the ability to articulate what you believe to be.

How did I get so lucky to have such a wonderful son?

This child still loves me, adores me and wants to be with me. Many a night he flip flops into my room, slithers into my bed and snuggles his way onto the side of my bed that has no room for him. Why? To be close to me I suppose. I still sleep on one side only of my new queen sized bed. There is a vast amount of room for him on the other side, the side we've sometimes referred to as "his". But alas, he choses my side of the bed. I suppose I should consider myself lucky for when he does crawl into the other side, he takes over the bed and I end up clinging to the ends of my sheets so not to fall off.

This is how we roll in the morning.

I've had a lot of time on my hands lately. Work has been thin and I'm fortunate to have saved enough money to live on. With all that spare time on my hands, I finally have been able to get started on Oliver's bedroom.

It's a bit cluttered, but the kid has a lot of shtuff.

Here are the 5 steps to decorating a child's room:

  1. Determine what is really important, get rid of all the rest!!
  2. Find a few centers: play, read, hideout, and whatever... To encourage an activity, make room for it!!
  3. Place things in order of how they can be used; find containers and organize per activity.
  4. Pick a theme and then break out of the theme as much as possible.
  5. Have fun and pretend you're a kid too!

The decorating is almost complete. I found the cutest of things and with limited real estate and funding,  I've been able to provide boy’s room that even I myself, girly-girl that I am, would have given my right arm to have as a child.

I'm not done yet by any means. I am in the middle of painting it; I’ll be getting a bit of design assistance with a particular area rug I am considering. If I had an extra $1500, I’d order a custom light fixture (that’s not likely to happen unless I win the jackpot).

This is not our forever home, but it is going to be our home for a while and I just couldn’t resist making it fun for Oliver while we’re here. He had a few friends over this weekend and all was quiet. I found all three boys reading books and playing video games in the tree house. Glad to know the money has been well-spent.

What you can't see right now is that behind the black bin on the right is a secret tunnel to a secret hideout. Behind the locker, Oliver has a hideout area only accessible from the tunnel! No adults can fit there!

To encourage reading, I placed books everywhere!

I bought these poufs for my living room but realized they would be fun in here as well! The orange run doesn't necessarily match the Pirate bedding, but OH WELL!

The road rug gets used quite a bit! As does this Gorilla. Oliver sits in his lap and reads often. Or plays on his iPad (Friday's only). Blue xmas lights make this area really fun. A Pottery Barn book rack holds more books. An inexpensive reading lamp from IKEA makes reading a breeze. (He has one in his bed too. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of his bed...yet.)

Remember the schoolhouse chairs? I found them at a tag sale for $2 each. I painted and/or refinished them! These shelves are from IKEA.

This is Oliver's desk. He loves to draw and create and write. We separate his markers by color, and he has every color Crayola makes. I think this is important, and it's something I would have loved as a child. He colors a lot, constantly. He cuts and tapes and pastes drawings together, so this is something I don't mind spending money on. There above the markers is a shelf from IKEA. I put all of his fun activity books up there so it's super easy for him to reach for them and start an activity. We often color and doodle together.

He even has task lighting. This is most likely because I am a graphic designer and I have always had task lighting on my own desks. :) Tissue too. He loves modeling clay and often comes home from school and plants himself at his desk. I almost am jealous of his cool room.

As you can see he is really into tree houses and little tree house villages.

His room is a bit cluttered, but it's all we really have right now. This kid had a playroom in our other home. So... I decided to sell his dresser and opt for a smaller IKEA dresser.

It fit just perfectly in his closet. All with his arsenal of Nerf "shooters."

This I found at a library sale in Door County. It's so simple and sweet, I could not donate it to Good Will with most of his other baby things.

A wonderful Target find... this wooden / rubber car.

Two cent army guys.

Oliver has a vast collection of books, all of which he loves to read. Over and over again. He loves the library, but he also loves to have his own book collection. I don't mind supplying him with books that are super cool and unique. Or used. :)

Target has these great bins with navy stripes.

And we are very much into these vintage posters. He has two large ones and one small one framed.

Again, another find at the flea market.

This was the Death Star or something like it I think.

Here are my favorite finds. A $7 clock from Target. And a $5 hook where he hangs his coat and back pack daily.

And my most favorite... a TJ Maxx find. It holds one of Oliver's favorite toys from babyhood: a Plan stacker. Super duper cool A book I gave him. And a vintage car that belonged to my brother when he was a child. Sorry Jim... I'm keeping it. :P

So there you have it. My Sweet Son's room. He's kept it really clean and neat since I did this and he has even offered to pay me $10 each time I make his bed! Since money is tight, I think I'll take him up on the offer! :P

Monday, February 9, 2015

No Internet and Other Privileged Woes

It was a doozey of a day. I had a few things to do, but mostly Monday's as of late I've slacked off. Early morning my internet went down. Then early afternoon, the electricity went out. Luckily the tech was here the same day (unbelievable really) and the 1600 + customers had their electricity back on in a couple of hours.

I realize how spoiled I am (we all are actually). I have been driving a very nice car, I live in a very nice community, I have a really nice apartment, I have money in the bank, I'm healthy, I have a sweet boy, I have an amicable relationship with my son's father, I have family, friends, a church, support in every single area of my life. I truly feel like I am very very fortunate. I see the glass as half full instead of half empty. It's easy lately, and maybe that's because I was nearly destroyed only 5 months ago. I haven't shared all of what happened online. I truly wish I was more anonymous so that I could tell you my story in it's entirety.

It would be depressing to live any other way however. That is, if I were the type of person who saw the glass half empty, I would paint a very sad picture. One of poverty, deceit, despair, tangled human emotions and emptiness. As it is, I still struggle seeing the beauty and strength in me. Others mirror it back to me, but on my own it's not innate for me to see it. My mother told me I was pretty/ugly. She did not want me to have a big ego. I learned early that I was not pretty; other girls were the apple of the boys' eyes. Not me. I dressed funny too. Looking at old photos I think I was adorable! Beautiful! Charming, loving, creative, kind and sweet. I was similar to my son, only it is difficult to see myself in him. Perhaps if I had a girl...

My son is a very blessed, loved and lucky boy. I can't wait to show you what I've done with his room! I spent a lot of time a week earlier cleaning it up. I never did set up his room properly. I did not divest any energy into it. Ah but once I did... most people are wowed by his tree house bed. I am too, but I don't see it anymore when I walk into his room. Now I see a boy's room. Not necessarily what I would have wanted as a little girl, but had I had a room like this I would have been in heaven.

I slept on the couch many years in my childhood. I'm no stranger to a couch these days as well. Often I slept on couches by choice as an adult — an alternate option to my comfortable bed. I found comfort in the compact width of cushions, much like an adult womb, warm, snuggly and not too overly opulent. My parents raised 4 children in a two bedroom home. My brother slept in the dining room., my sisters in the bedroom, and I had the playpen in my parents room. When I grew too large for that, I was moved to the couch. I remember finally shopping with my mom for a sleeping bad. It had a jungle theme with a light yellow inside. I became intimately familiar with that zippered up comforter, so much so that when I finally was in a room by myself, I used it as my comforter.

I think of how much my son has compared to what I had. This town I live in now I was in AWE of when I was in high school. I was on the tennis team and we'd travel here for meets. We'd just peer out the bus window at the mansions on the lake. "This is where the rich people live," my mom would say when we'd come up here together. The homes were mini castles where princes and princesses live. I wondered what those kids' lives were like, those who lived in a gated estate. I never thought our paths would cross. Not once did I think I would ever be good enough or smart enough to live a life like that.

Today I'm only 5 blocks away from those homes. The houses get cheaper by the 100,000's each block further from the lake you go. I rent now. And I like that. This home is modest. We have two bedrooms. A large living room, a dining room and a kitchen. We have access to a vast attic (too cold in the winter and much too hot in the summer). We have a large basement. It's not a finished basement. The yard is small, too small for swings. And today we are sans garage. :)

But I love it here! I'm so happy here. It's sunny and bright and clean! It's warm in the winter. I'm hardly cold here and the cost of heating is less than half of my old place. Less than half! Wow. My bills really sky-rocketed last year. This year is manageable, and I'm home all day which means the heat is set at 68-70 most days.

Every morning I walk into my kitchen and just love fixing my coffee.

And many days I no longer wish Bill could see this place. Occasionally he does come to mind in that way. I was so attached to him. He was so intertwined in my day, my thoughts. He still dominates my thoughts but not in the way he used to.

And so my mornings are now free. Free from wishing I could share my life, our lives, with him. I thank God for that.

I cry sometimes, but only because there is still grief to discharge from my heart and soul.

I get angry and want to seek revenge. I understand that the best revenge is to move on with my life and leave him in the dust (dirt) where he rightfully belongs. If you knew what he did to me, truly could understand it, then you'd understand my devastation. I had no idea that I was at the hands of his abuse, for his torture was cloaked in love making and passion.

Oh it makes me sick to write about it today so I will not.

Instead I will finish my homework this evening. I am working on a vision board and the theme is "taking care of Andrea" ... What does that look like? I know the first thing is to stay away from dating for a bit still. I'm not ready and there is no way I will want to use a man again to get over another man. It might be easy but after the hell I have been thru, I cannot risk feeling that horrific again. No way. And so, I will hold my head up high, take care of me and my son, and give myself all those things that I wish a man would bring to me.

Then at a later date I might do a vision board on a relationship.

But not today.

Thanks for visiting as I ramble on. I can't wait to share photos of my home, especially my son's room with you all. And thanks for walking alongside me on this journey.

xx oo

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