Tuesday, April 19, 2011

regrets and non-regrets

2 big things on my mind lately.  Firstly let me point out that I don't *actually* regret anything.  It may be cliche to say, but the fact is that everything occuring in the past has lead to here and now and even the most minute detail has the opportunity to have changed everything.  So when I say I have a regret it doesn't mean I wish it didn't happen; it means that I'm aware that I could've done something differently and I appreciate having learned that lesson, but wonder what it would've been like had I done it the way I can now view it, in hindsight.

Make sense?  You got my Shannon-definition down?  Good, let's go...

Regret: It has been a month and a half since I returned from ORLANDO(!!!!!)  I had an incredible time there and enjoyed myself immensely.  I'm saving all money found in the washer and dryer as well as picked up from the ground and around the house for next year.  ;-)

So why the regret, you ask?  Like I said, it's been a month and a half since I came back and I have ONE(1, I) person I talk to regularly.  AND...we don't even talk.  We text.

Why's that a big deal?  Well, the "big guys" told us we would form the tightest bonds and make the closest friendships from this trip, because we would bond over the most intimate parts of our home lives.  I'm not demanding a refund, after all I was awarded that scholarship, remember?

Why didn't I make those friendships?  Is it because I smell bad?  Because I'm ugly?  Because I have big ears?  Because I have big front teeth?  Because I'm a big, fat, meanie-head?  Because I burped on everyone?  Because I farted in my sleep?  Because I'm boring and no fun?  Because I'm a judgmental ass?

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, and no.

It's because I didn't let myself.

BAM!  Take that, Shannon!  I didn't stay in my house and chat and share.  I didn't ask other women their stories.  I didn't allow myself to ATTACH to anyone there, because I was nervous and scared and insecure and on and on and on.  This is the reason I escorted drunk women around.  I didn't want to experience the seriousness.  I wanted to escape the seriousness.

Oh isn't that interesting, because, hmmm....  I pointed out, to myself, just how insecure I am in attachment, still.  Lots of you don't actually know me.  I started this "If you really knew me..." thing a while back when prompted by my brilliant sister.  But I didn't keep it up, because I didn't want mass judgment.  ;-) So the big secret is...

I have serious attachment problems.  Now that I parent RAD and have learned what RAD is, I am certain that I did not have RAD when I was young, but that I did, and still do, have a version of attachment disorder. Hence my not being able to attach to Zane while pregnant or early in his life which (in addition to other experiences) lead to our current situation.  See, my mom was not a Mom.  When she was around, she wasn't a Mom and when she abandoned ship (I was 9), she did so with ease.  My Dad was neglectful and I was pretty much raised in and out of friends' homes.  Dad later decided to move elsewhere and didn't force me to go with him and I lived in his girlfriend's basement (age 16).  She bought me pudding sometimes.  For "food".  No joke.

That's the short, simple, and polite story to get to the point...  Which is that as a 20-something I've begun my attachment process with my husband.  He's the best therapeutic spouse a gal could ask for!  And I've made SERIOUS strides over the past 5 years.  It has been EXTREMELY difficult at times and such a blessing at all times.

But I still don't know how to make friends.  Silly, huh?  I just don't know how.  And all you emotionally healthy people out there are thinking, "Is here really a 'way' to do it?"  Yes.  There is.  And I've not figured it out.  I'm getting closer though.  I have many, many people I consider friends.  But no one I consider a "close" friend.  No one that just shows up at my house.  No one that comes over for no good reason but to hang out. There's one friend who is the closest, as I can call her in tears, but there's still a line in the sand.  And a few that I want to become close with, but don't know how.

And so, I have decided that next year, in Orlando, I will attend the big hoo-hah event where everyone is and I will go say "hi" to the ladies I already know.  But I will stay at my house and I will sit in my pjs and I will relish the opportunity to bond with people.  Even if it doesn't happen yet.  Even if I'm not "there" yet.  I'm going to do it and I'm not going to shut myself off from the opportunity like I did last time.

After all, 99% of those women are parenting attachment issues anyway.  As long as I don't pee on their floor, rage at them, or call them names, it'll still be a vacation from what they already deal with.  AND they can see my nervousness for what it is.  Um, yeah.  Sounds like exactly the place to learn to make friends, doesn't it??  Can we just go next month, please and thank you??

Non-regret: Honoring my desires. Examples:

I've already talked a lot about them, I know...  But do you have ANY idea how empowering it is to have dreadlocked my hair!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?  I love it.  I love them.  I am SO.GLAD. I did it.  I can't say it enough.  I look how I feel.  Such a relief.

I went to an improv jam and got offered a spot in the troupe.  Wow.  THEN, I reached out and asked for help from those around me.  I needed to fill an hour-and-a-half time gap between me leaving for rehearsal and Jon getting home from work, every Monday. A big request.  And it happened.  I asked and it happened.  AND I even have someone who's going to take a full rehearsal time for me so I can start earlier than Jon's shift change.  Wahoo!

I wanted to go to church.  I want a spiritual community.  I want my kids to get the "Sunday school" experience.  I want to have fellowship with coffee and snacks.  I want to hear powerful messages about goodness.  But I didn't want the dogmatic hoopla.  We are not Christians and so we'd like to spare ourselves and the kids from the fire-and-brimstone hoo-hah.  We don't want Zane to come home some Sunday and ask if he's going to Hell.  LOL!  Just not into that.  But we finally got the courage to attend a UU church.  And we love it.  Like crazy mad love.  Awesomeness.  Powerful messages about being good.  Powerful messages about reading a book we may not disagree with because we can still find a lot of inspiration and knowledge in it.  Powerful messages about standing for what we seek out to be truth, but doing so respectfully.  Is it weird to say I'm a total fan of our minister?  Like groupie fan?  Cause I am.  She's brilliant.

I have an eating problem.  I gorge on food.  People don't take me seriously when I say that because I am not obese, but my gorging problem is just as much a problem as it is for anyone who gains the weight to go with theirs.  I don't know why I don't weigh more than I do and frankly I don't care.  I've not been healthy for quite some time and even while boot-camping my heart out I gained weight.  Not because their program sucked (it was AMAZING and I'm really sad to not do it anymore), but because I still ate lots and lots and lots of food. And I wasn't sleeping enough, so my body was storing it all up. One night, a couple of weeks ago, I ended up with a terrible migraine and my face felt swollen and I felt so heavy I couldn't lift myself out of my chair.  So I emailed someone I know and I asked for help.  And I've accepted the help.  And it has been glorious!  It is hard to not eat what I crave (brownies, ice cream, and hot fudge anyone??).  And I even had a beautiful dream about a buffet where there was plenty of delicousness -and large sprites- to choose from.  I was thinking about that buffet all day, too.  Oh yum.  BUT, I am honoring the need to find a balanced, healthier relationship with food.  My meals have been delicious.  Yay for macrobiotics and learning a bit at a time!!  And yay to wonderful women in my life!

I think I'll call that a wrap.  Both ends of the spectrum and yet they're one in the same, aren't they?  Such is life...  Everything is a reflection of its equal-opposite.


  1. I just typed a long comment about how I can relate to all of that and why, but it got lost in cyber space! Arg. Childhood trauma? Check. Attachment issues? Check. Lack of 3D friends? Check. Binge eating? Check. Avoidance of church because of Christian judgement? Check. Love UU church? Check. We realy are Soul Sisters! Can't wait to see you next year.

  2. Ok I like you :-) I like your honesty and I like your way with words. I have had no childhood trauma, no attachment issues, none of that but I cannot name one single friend that I feel so close to that I would call up in an instant - not a single one - except my husband - if I desperately needed help I would not call a single person. I would not tell anyone. I would go in my room cry for five minutes and tell myself to pull it together and I would struggle and hate it and probably fail miserably but I would not ask for help. I hate that. Nearly everything you said I relate to and have though myself. Minus the dreadlocks. I have no desire to put dreadlocks in my hair but I think you ROCK the dreadlocks and I love them!!!

  3. I continue to like you more every time I read you.(You know, and see you too, but that does not happen often enough.) You are brave. And honest. You take your shit and tackle it head on. I like that in a chick. No pussy-footing around for you. Plus you are authentic.

    I am glad for several things in this post. 1) You are coming back to Orlando. It is right here, in writing. That means it's happening. 2) You have put it out here, what you need. You will not be able to slip under the radar next year. You will not be able to leave without relationship.

  4. I wish I would have gotten to know you better. For what it's worth, I really liked what I DID get to know! I saw you comment on Christine's that you may not come next year - that would be a great loss for us!! I hope you reconsider!!!