Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Truth

The truth is...I am sad.  And it hasn't gotten easier.  And I am afraid it will never get easier. 

The truth is...I no longer believe them when they say "you will get through this and you will be stronger".  I am afraid the best parts of me are lost and I won't get them back.

The truth is...I barely hold it together most days...and even the "barely" part is getting hard to manage.

The truth is...memories are like ghosts with a death grip on my heart.  And it's easier to let the good memories wash over you until you are drowning.

The truth is...even when someone rips you apart, you don't stop loving them.

The truth can read a million quotes or self help books about how "you are enough", but at the end of the day you are left searching for the why's and how's...and when you can't find logical answers you start to blame yourself.  You find comfort in the old belief that logically all signs point to "you were NOT enough".

The truth is...I have no idea what I believe anymore.  I find no respite in the idea of karma anymore, because if people get what they deserve...than I did something to deserve this?  Do I still believe in love?  In the human heart? 

The truth is...I am scared there is "no other side" of this.  That this IS what life will be like now.  Just getting through the day.   Until the next day.  And the next.  And that makes me so tired. 

The truth is...I cry myself to sleep at night just wishing that this was a nightmare and I would wake up from it...and not find the pillow next to me empty.

The truth is...I feel selfish and ungrateful for all the amazing people in my life that I DO have, that DO love me, that DO care about me, and who have not left me or betrayed me.  I hate that I give so much energy to the one who broke me, instead of the ones who try to hold me together.

And the truth won't see this Amy.  Not in person or on social media.  You will see the smiling Amy.  Lifting weights.  Laughing. Telling jokes.  Loving the pups, pig, ducks, and kitties.  You will see the Amy that looks like she is strong and making it.  I don't think that Amy is real.  They say time heals. 

The truth is...

I am afraid they are wrong.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Chapter 38: This one is for me

I turn 38 years old today.  And I hope that is just a drop in the bucket of the years I have to come.  But I turn 38 years old today.

Today is a new chapter.  As I turned the page on 37, I realized that this last year has been the most painful and challenging year of my life...but I also have begun to realize that this last year was such an education for me.  I have grown more over the last 12 months more than any year of my life (I mean...THEY say your 4th year is also important but who can remember being 4 in exact detail).

Things I have learned this year:

1.You can't save anyone but yourself. You can't love someone enough in the hopes that your love will save them or fix them.   If someone doesn't want to change, there is nothing you can do to make them want it.  This has been my greatest lesson, and one of the hardest to accept.

2.  You will never be enough for someone that is not enough for themselves. I have spent the last 7 years of my life convinced I was "not enough".  This shaped every action and every minute of my life.  I spent all of my time, my energy...all of me...trying to prove my worth.  But one thing I know now...I AM ENOUGH.  I am Amy Irene Workman and there is a shitload of wonderful things about me.  I will never be the girl again that sacrifices everything for nothing...or very return.

3.  It's the hardest times in your life that you will find the truest of friends.  I mean...I can't even type this paragraph without crying.  My friends, MY PEOPLE, are some of the most amazing human beings in the world.  I don't know what I did to deserve them, but I am thankful for their love and support everyday.  From showing up at my front door just to hug me, to care baskets, drinks, slumber parties, paint parties, yard name it.  My tribe has been with me over this last year.  They saved me from myself.

4.  Sometimes you don't get a choice when things end...but you do get to choose when you begin again.  It took me longer than I thought to be ready to make that choice.  But I have made it.  It takes courage to let go of the people and things you built your forever on.  Sometimes it seems easier to dance with the devil you know, rather than dance alone.  Loving someone is a privilege, but so is letting go.  Both will teach you a thing or two about life.

5.  Trust your gut.  Seriously.  Trust it.  I realize now that not only did I ignore what I "knew" when it came to the affair, I chose to ignore my gut from the beginning.  I don't believe in regret and think that everything from our past shapes the person we become...but I knew from the beginning things I chose to ignore.  "We ignore truths for temporary happiness".  I found that quote the other day.  And THAT is true.

6.  Not everyone has a good heart or good intentions.  Not everyone is a good person. As a believer in love and people, this is one of the hardest things for me to believe, accept, or understand.  Of course I am not naive enough to think that everyone in this world is "good"...but I was naive enough to think the person I loved was.   I have learned so much about Cluster B personality disorders...Sociopaths, Narcissists, Psychopaths, etc.  You know they say that 1 in 15 people have a Cluster B Disorder? So next time you are in a room of 30, 60, 90 people...look around and do the math (I am not going to do it for you bc math it unpleasant...much like smelling seafood) and know they exist.

7.  Closure may never come in the way you think you need it or want it to.  Sometimes you have to "close it" yourself.  Not just in heartbreak, but in life...things don't always end with a clear cut.  You may not ever understand WHY or just have to find solace in knowing that you gave it everything you had and hope that when you come out on the other side you will be able to say "I don't know why you did it, but thank God you did...because look at me now".

8.  Integrity gives you real freedom because you have nothing to fear since you have nothing to hide. that is Zig Ziglar and not Amy Workman, but through all of this, I find peace in knowing I still have my integrity.  That I have been honest.  That my spirit is still one of hope and generosity.  I am who I said I was. That I am kind.  And optimistic.  And true.  Not just to myself, but to the people I call friends and the family I love.  Not everyone can say that.  Or they can say it...but their track record proves otherwise. If what you put out into the universe comes back to you, I've got some good things coming.

9.  The farther away you get away from negative people, the more positive you feel. I mean...Pinterest told me this but I think it might be true.  You also make room for more positive PEOPLE.  As an empath, I am greatly effected by people's emotions and energy.  As I begin to feel the realm of positive opening up, I can't wait to FEEL how it feels as I truly move farther and farther away from the negative.

10.  You will hear lots of good advice...but until you are ready to hear will choose to ignore it.  You can read books, every quote under the sun, you can have friends tell you what you should do, you can have Therapist offer advice...but until YOU are won't be ready to hear it.  And I think that is okay. Put all the words in your think box and pull them out when you ARE ready.  The grieving process is different for everyone...and yours is YOURS.  Give yourself grace (in the words of my friend Brou Boo).  Hang out in the hurt once in awhile.  Feel all of the feelings.  But sometimes you have to say "fuck that shit" when the tears want to come or you want to take a turn to sad sack town.  Decide to make it through an hour.  Then maybe a couple of hours.  Then maybe a day.  You get my point.

11.  Do good and be good...but know that life may not always feel good.  I have asked myself over and over again WHY did this happen to ME?  I feel like I am a good person.  I save animals.  I read with 4 year olds. I try to smile at strangers, leave a place or person better than when I found it/them, and I like tacos.  If karma is real...then why?  If loving someone with truth, honesty, and loyalty was supposed to be the "right way" to love someone...then why?  So many why's.  I think the answer is that you just have to have faith.  You have to believe that things, the Universe, God...are leading you where you need to go.  My sister told me very early on in this process that instead of looking at it like the Universe was shitting all over me, maybe she said, the Universe is pushing you in the direction you need to go.  I think she was right.  Don't tell her.  Big sisters don't need to know they are right all the time.

12.  You can love someone with every part of you...but if they can not love you in return...if they hurt you more than they make you happy...if holding on to them is killing all of the good things inside of matter how much you love have to let them go.  This will take tremendous courage because you will have to believe in yourself.  You will have to have faith in the uncertainty of tomorrow.  You will have to believe that in uncertainty, anything is possible.

And finally...the last and most important thing that I have learned...and it took awhile to believe it but...

13.  I am going to make it.  When I would go over to my grandparents house, Grandpa would always be watching either golf or an old Western.  One of the lessons I learned from those Westerns was the guy in the white hat always wins. Always.  And guess what?  I'm the guy in the white hat.  Love conquers hate.  Good prevails.  And I am going to make it.

I love y'all.

Amy Irene Workman

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Today Is A Hard Day

Today is a hard day.  Today I am a shell with a smile on my face but eyes puffy and swollen from crying.  I woke up around 230 this morning and started crying.  I cried so hard I eventually got sick.  That lasted about an hour and I fell back to sleep at some point.  I woke up at 450 and went to the gym.  I cried in my car until I convinced myself to suck it up for at least 60 minutes.  I cried on my way to work.  I cried in the bathroom stall.

Today I don't believe in psychopaths or narcissists.  Today I blame myself.  Today I am a failure.  Today I am riddled with "Why wasn't I good enough?", "Why didn't she love me enough?", "How could she lie to me?"

Today when I start to tell myself "It's because she is broken and does not feel"...I quickly shut that down with "Well if you had been enough..."

It crushes my already broken heart to think about how I gave her all of me...everything...I worshiped her and trusted her and spent all of my money and time and energy on her...

And she threw me away.

Today I replay everything. From their text messages to Gina looking me in the face and pretending to be my friend while sleeping with my wife behind my back.  Today I wonder how she lives with herself.  Today I think about the mornings when I would be crumpled on the kitchen floor crying and Heather would be leaving for work and would say to me, "I can't deal with this right now...can't we just have a couple of days where we don't have to do THIS?'...and she would walk out and I would try to be a better wife by not talking about "this".

It was like she just flipped a switch and that was it.

I can't make sense of it.

My heart doesn't understand.

Today my heart feels heavy.  It feels full of sadness. It feels full of broken promises and lies.  I wish I could wring it a towel that is soaked with water...and then hang it out to dry.

But life goes on.  So I got out of bed and worked out, planted a tree in the front yard, fed the ducks, played with the dogs, did some laundry, took a shower, and went to work. And tonight my sister comes in town, and my parents and brother and Lisa get in tomorrow...

And life goes on.

But today life is hard.

Today is a hard day.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hot As A Firecracker, Here Comes July

Good afternoon to all my little snuggle bunnies and cupcakes.  You keeping your chin up?  If not, fuck it.  You don't have to today.  But maybe tomorrow.  And if you are...come here and let me get a piggie backride.  That's not a metaphor.  I just really like piggie backrides.

Last week I promised Ramona (fellow/former bandster) that I would update the old blog that day...

I lied.

I didn't KNOW it was a lie.  And I don't like to lie...but before I knew it, it was a million days later and here we are.

So here we are.

So where am I?

I am okay this week.  Two weeks ago though, I was curled up in my empty bathtub holding a towel and sobbing.  That was a hard week.

It's a rollercoaster.  This healing.

But I do feel like I am healing...I just need to stop touching the scab.

I hate the word scab.

And look...I just typed it twice.

And I feel like I am learning about myself.  I feel like one day I will be okay.  And that's a vast improvement from 10 days ago when I asked my friend Miriam, what if my heart never heals?  What if I cry every day for the rest of my life?  What if I am the "happy" girl on the outside with the broken heart on the inside...

and she said...

And every time I read that...I cry. Because I hope with all of my hopes...that she is right.  I asked Therapist last week..."What if everyone is wrong?  How do you know, or everyone else who tells me the same thing, that I WILL be okay?" She said, "Amy, you have A LOT of indicators that you are going to be okay.  A LOT".

I do a lot of reading about narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths.  It helps.  Even though it's hard to make sense of it in my brain.  It's hard to understand that their can be human beings that don't feel remorse.  It's hard to believe that there are people that actually plot and plan on how to control and manipulate the people in their lives...that do nothing but give.

It is the opposite of who I am.

And so once of the things I have stopped thinking is the line of thought that "I am so did I let this happen?  How did I not know?"

I wasn't stupid.  Heather exploited the best parts of me.  She chose me for all the wonderful things I am.  Kind, trusting, empathic, loving, giving...I was the perfect target.  It was all the good in me that made me the "perfect choice"...

I find myself struggling this week not with "How could she" or "Why"...but coming to terms with the fact that the person I loved never really existed.  For seven love was real...yes.  Hers...what I thought was love...was not.

That's a hard pill to swallow.

And that's one of the things that makes coming out of a breakup with a narcissist different than a "normal" breakup (which are terrible and painful and hurtful as well)...most normal human beings feel something.  People cheat and fall out of love all the time.  People leave people and hurt people.  And none of that is "right", but most people don't thrive off of the pain involved.  They haven't plotted and manufactured an identity.  I kissed Heather before I told Tracey I was leaving him.  It took me four days to tell him.  I hurt him.  It hurt me to watch that.  I felt bad for my behavior and choices for a long time.  I still think of him fondly and while I don't believe in regret...I know that I caused him pain.

People with Cluster B personality's just so different.

I started reading this book yesterday...
Holy tits it's eerie.  Eerie because it's like someone has been following me around documenting my life.  I am underlining things as I read...which is rather pointless since I've basically underlined the entire book.

But it's helped to open my eyes. I mean, one eye is open and the other is kinda opened...but still.  AND, after I stop reading it for a few hours I start to make excuses for her...but I will just reread if necessary.

It's funny, and sad I suppose, that while I was IN the relationship, I didn't realize how terrible some things were.

Example.  Miriam asked me the other day why it took me 10 years to go back to Kansas.  I told her I guess because Heather never wanted to go.  And I told her how once when I asked Heather to go back to Kansas with me she said, "I have no interest in seeing where you came from.  I don't want to drive around while you show me your house, or school, or favorite places."

And while I know it hurt me at the time, I quickly taught myself to believe "Maybe she is right.  Maybe people don't want to do that.  And just bc it's a big deal for me, doesn't mean it's important."

I actually asked Heather about that conversation recently...and she said "NO ONE WANTS TO SEE SOMEONE'S HOME...if they tell you that, it's bullshit."

And she believes that.

I love seeing and knowing where people came from.  It's important.

But not to her.

So I learn.  I learn what I need and want and deserve now and in the future.

And believe me, I will never settle for less than I deserve again.  If I do, please come to my home and kidnap me.

So that's where I am emotionally.

Let's look at some pictures now.
 Listen.  This was after a lonnnnnng day of drinking and my lips were sunburnt and the ice cream cake was reallllly frozen and my utensil didnt I used my face.
 We had an amazing float party on my lake on the 4th.  This was Boobies shit emoji.  I had a taco float...duh.
 Wild blue and some of the crew.  We took the paddle boat out, anchored it, and then floated on our rafts!
 I have a chair under my stairs that I like to sit in and look out at the backyard and water.
 Oooh.  PowPow and I went out...AFTER dark to a ccountry concert at the beach.  We thought it started at 7pm, which was already late for us.  He came on around 11:30 PM!  We almost died.  But there were so many hot guys including one I was rubbing on for an hour or so...I think he name was Daniel?  Dylan?  I don't know.  He was beautiful and we were in love for about 60 minutes.
 Bowling.  MadDog and the Big Booty Bowlers.
Miriam and I on the 3rd.  We were supposed to go tubing but the damn river was too we all went to the beach instead.

 My suit for the 4th.  It took me 20 minutes to strap myself in bc I got frustrated and completly undid it.  That's why I started drinking at 930 am and was eating cake with my face 14 hour later.
 Me and Timmy (we also call him Yummy...for obvious reasons)
I bought a damn weed eater and figured that sucker out myself.  I was pretty proud of myself man.

And that's it.  I am alive and making it.  I love y'all.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Your Online Dating Profile

For those of you who are single and ready to mingle, or for those of you who like to play the mental game "IF I was single and ready to mingle" you ever think about how you would write your dating profile...That is assuming you don't already have one?

I do.

Because let me tell y'all sumpin...

This new Amy...

She is going be who she is (which, let's be honest...CAN be fabulous most of the time).  So if I ever had to actually create a dating profile...the following would be included.

I wrote that several months ago...before 'The End' and my 'New Beginning'.  It sounds easy enough.  Simple right?  I mean yes...I want MAGIC...but what makes it magical is a touch and a thought and intention.

The funny thing about being on the market and having a public blog that is as open as mine is that any potential suitor could read it and know things about me that one usually waits until the 3rd, or 17th date to share.  Yesterday I found out that I had a reading audience of "real life" guys the ol blog from time to time.  I panicked for about 4 seconds, quickly running through the list of posts in my mind that are included in the last 8 years (including but not limited to posts about pooping on the side of the road and my labia)...but then I shrugged and thought, "Well, if you read this and STILL want to date me...then you know what you are getting!"

So let me add to my list of wants shall I?

Here we go:

  • You don't need to be a great dancer, but from time to time I would like you to sway back and forth with me.  It might be in the kitchen, it might be in the backyard.  But I want you to hold me and move with me...and seal the deal with a kiss.
  • Speaking of have to be a good one.
  • You have to celebrate special days or occasions.  You don't have to buy me expensive gifts, but thoughtfulness on my birthday or Christmas, or...just on a Monday is important to me.  Write me a love note.  Buy me a flower.  Please don't just hand me your credit card and let me do all the work. 
  • You have to be sweet to my mother even when she is driving ME crazy and you have to pretend to understand my father when he is speaking "Al".
  • You have to be kind to my friends.  They are amazing.  Many of them are crazy.  But they are worth it.
  • Must love, or tolerate with love like qualities...animals.  Sorry.  The fur children are my for real children.
And what do you get in return?  Me.  I can be cute and charming.  I am kind and generous.  I am funny and have a heart with a tremendous capacity to love.  I will have your back, support your dreams, and listen with intention.  I never fight dirty.  I believe in communication and honesty and openness. last thing.

I trust.

I live with an open heart and mind.

I'll tell you my weaknesses long before I probably should.

And my heart is still in pieces.

I believe in love...even are my darkest of days, because I know it exists inside of me.  I believe in passion and loyalty.  I believe in people that mean what they say and do what they promise.  I know those things are real because I am those things.

But it might take a little while for me to believe in you.

Because believing in Heather almost shattered me.  I didn't know if I would come back from it.  Some moments I still don't.  But those are just moments now...they used to be days in a row.  And so when I give you my hand, please be patient.

I am worth it.

I promise.

(and p.s.  It would also be helpful if you loved Mexican food, working out, and sex.  Great).

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Attack of the Cockies

Listen to me people.

I believe in karma.  And once I read a book by the Dalai Lama and he said everything has a purpose and we aren't supposed to kill things.

So I don't kill spiders.

Or snakes.

I will only kill two creatures by choice.  Fireants...because they come directly from the pits of hell and are hateful...



See that big sucker on the far left?  Welcome to Florida.  Some people down here call them Palmetto Bugs...but make no mistake...they Cockies.

So when I moved into my new house (built in the 70's and recently flipped), I saw a couple of these.

Some were dead.  Some were not.  I knew I had to take action but would need to wait until payday, when I would take a little trip to our local pest control place and load up on whatever they told me to buy.

I should pause here to backtrack for you.  I closed on the house on a Wednesday, but didn't spend the night there until Friday.  Well, upon my arrival Friday I thought the house felt might warm so I padded across my new shag carpet to the thermostat and low and read 79 degrees inside, even though it was set to 74.  Hmmm...


So exploring I go.  The AC wont turn on.  Checked breakers and fuses.  All good.  Posted on Facebook.  Still not working after I try a few things suggested by all my friends who are experts in the field of AC.  Finally my wonderful realtor comes over and tells me what's wrong and to call my home warranty and get someone to come out.  I call.  It's gonna be 4 day.  Four days in the Florida heat while you house is full of people with good hearts working their asses off is a long time...but what's a girl to do?

So I wait.

Well on night 3 of no air, I wake up to find my bedroom ceiling leaking.  Sweet mother.  I panic.  Who do I call?  I know I am going to have to go upstairs and go into the attic.  And I know what awaits me.


I end up strapping on my flashlight headlamp, called my dad who is visiting my sister in Colorado, and traipse upstairs in my underwear and tank top.
My attic.

These suckers make the best gifts.

I needed to document.

Upon entering the attic, which you can see needs plywood, I see a cockroach perched on the ac unit...staring at me and twitching its twitchers.  I say to it "do not jump on my motherfucker.  DO NOT"...and although I cannot PROVE it...I am pretty sure it lunged at me a little.  Anyways, talking to my dad and tip-toeing through the death attic we basically figure out that the valve thingie is clogged and whatever.  

BUT, my dad did have me go outside to look at the AC unit.  I exited through the sliding glass door, still in just my tanktop and unders and wearing my headlamp.  It was probably around 330am.  When I tried to get back IN the house, the arm that secures the sliding glass door had fallen down and I was locked out of the house.
And of COURSE that was the same night I had locked every damn door for security purposes.  My dad actually started laughing at me over the phone.

Not helpful father.

Well luckily my bedroom window was unlocked, but it's pretty high off the ground so I had to drag a patio chair over and crawl through that sucker...ass to the world.

I made it back in, slightly defeated.

Well the next day I left work early to get the roach spray and doused the outside of the house, attic, and garage.

I am happy to report that the AC man came out and fixed it all up, and now the only cockies are see are dead ones.

Being a homeowner is fabulous.

I have also learned some valuable life lessons....LIKE....there is a little thing that holds that bar so it doesn't just fall down on you while you are half naked outside in the middle of the night.  Also, one should bury a spare key just in case.  ALSO, one should keep her bedroom window locked because it's easy for an idiot to crawl through it.

The end.

Putting Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again

Good morning nut muffins.  Well, let me change that as I do not really enjoy nuts on my muffins.  I enjoy a good moist

Good morning moist muffins.

It's been two and a half months since everything changed.  Two and a half months.  It feels like I have been going through this much longer than that...but I guess if you figure in the ENTIRE stretch of discourse, it has been closer to a year.

A year is a long time.

Two and a half month is an eternity in moments measured in heartbreak.

There are some amazing things happening in my life.  I am officially a homeowner!  I am in love with my house.  It's much like me.  A little older, needs some work and curb appeal, full of character and perfect for entertaining.  And as you may have seen on social media, I have the most AMAZING group of friends that have helped me accomplish more in the last 3 weeks with the house than most people do in three months.
 There were multiple slumber parties to paint.
 Moving day and putting contact paper down in the kitchen.
 More painting.
 Fixing things I broke.
 Getting rid of cockroaches
Made time for a little Dirty Dancing.
 Got a fence installed in the backyard.
 Pressure washing.

Amazing things. Amazing people. And I am so grateful.  Please don't think for a minute I am not appreciative of these humans that are here under the guise of helping with the house...but I know good and well that they are really here to help me pick up the pieces of my heart.  When I picture them in my head, they are standing under my heart, hands reaching up, holding the pieces together for me.

Because I am shattered.  And I am so tired.  So tired.  The nightmares had stopped for a few weeks and I was sleeping a little again.  But ever since I moved into the house, the nightmares have returned.  I dream about them together and wake up confused.  Sometimes I wake up unable to catch my breath.  And once I do I just lay there...trying to make sense of what is real.  Trying to make sense of their actions or choices.  But I can't.  I have given up on going to bed at a reasonable time.  What's the point?  So I just try and stay up being productive.  Painting or cleaning or organizing.

I spent a lot of last week angry.  Angry at both of them.  For Heather lying to me and not being the person she promised.  For not having enough balls to end us before starting them.  For deceiving me months and months while making me feel like I was crazy.  Mad at Gina for all of her deceit.  How can someone do that to their friend?  How does she sleep at night?  How does she justify what she has done?  How do people live with themselves knowing that have broken good people?

I don't understand any of it.

I cry a lot.  It can come out of nowhere.  On the way home from the grocery store.  On the way to work.  Walking in my house.

Heartbreak is like a rollercoaster.  One moment I will be full of hope...the next moment...I don't know how I am going to make it.

When does it get better?  Why did they do it? How is this real?  Why can't I just be "over it"?

These are the questions that just.won't.stop.

I do a lot of reading and have started journaling again.  My heart still wants to believe that there is hope for her.  One of my friends text me the other night and said, "Do you realize when people talk ill of Heather you cringe? Which makes you a good person.  And the fact that she won't leave you alone makes her a bad one."

Friday, May 5, 2017

April Showers, Bring May Flowers

I'm not sure "showers" is an accurate term to describe the month of April for me...but for poetic purposes...we will roll with it.  And I DID get flowers recently...the first time anyone but my father has bought me flowers.  But I digress.

First, I want to thank all of you who have commented either here, privately, on Facebook or Instagram, or in person.  Each time you reach out to me I swear it matters.  It makes me tear up a little as I type this.  Heather has blasted me for sharing things on social media...the most recent being...
This photo that is from our marriage license.  I am buying a house (the post is coming) and had to provide a copy.  I failed to remember the person that notarized our marriage, making it legal...was also the person that would play a part in ending it.  It didn't make me angry.  It made me sad and a little sick.  But it was so ironic that of COURSE I had to post it.  Have you met me?  Do I overshare on social media?  Yes.  

And do I care if it gets back to Gina or makes her look bad?

Uh.  No.

Is it childish?


Does it help me?

I think so.  

I'm just making it through this the best way I know how.  And protecting or caring about people who not just lied to me, but sought me out and actively deceived me for months...sorry, not sorry.  You made your bed.  With my wife.  You may now curl up in it.

But back to what I WAS saying...everything y'all do and say matters and helps.  

That I know.

On Monday, at 10:00 am we will go to court and our divorce will be final.  I filed the week after I found out.  Heather didn't know why we just couldn't stay get more back on taxes and all.  It will be tremendously hard for me.  Hopefully I won't have to say much.  We did a "simplified dissolution of marriage", so it should take under 15 minutes.

And then I will no longer be a wife.

We will be nothing again.

And part of that is heartbreaking.

I assume that those 15 minutes will be some of the hardest minutes of my life.  

But I will make it.

I thought I would do a little Q & A style session for y'all since I get a lot of questions these days.  So here we go.

Q: Are "they" still together?
A: I don't ask.  I would assume so.  They are still working together, although Gina was demoted (apparently being the HR manager and having an affair with a married coworker is not totally okay).  I know they still talk and see each other as "because of your facebook post, Gina is the only friend I have left".  But again, I would assume they are.  Heather doesn't do "alone" and needs someone to worship her. Heather is living with her ex (the one she owned our house with).  Last I heard Gina was with her mom, sharing their 12 year old sons time with Harry.  They are getting a divorce as well.

Q:  Do you still see/talk to Heather?
A: Yes.  Here's the deal.  I do A LOT of reading about people who are narcissists.  It's super depressing. Before all of this I thought if someone was a narcissist that just meant they had a big ego.  It's so beyond that.  Sometimes when I read things it's scary because it describes her, or our relationship, EXACTLY.  And if she truly a narcissist, then I should realize she is toxic and there is no room in my life for toxic.  BUT IT'S HARD to admit that the person I loved...was not real.  Monday was our 7 year anniversary.  She came over.  I cooked.  Sigh.  It was my idea so blame me. And I asked her..."How could you lie to me for all those months?  How could you be with Gina and come home to me?  How could you live with yourself when you saw me trying to save us and hating myself".

She shrugged her shoulders and said, "I didn't feel like I was lying".

I didn't have anything to say to that.  There is nothing to say to that.  Although Therapist said I need to "use my voice" and tell her her that's bullshit.

So I AM making progress, and although my mind knows what I need to do, my heart is slower to catch up.

Q:  Where are you living?
A: In my sister's house, which is now where my nephew and fiance now live.  They have been lifesavers.  I have my own room with it's own entrance and bathroom.  And the biggest part, they let the three dogs and crazy cat come with.  All of my stuff is in storage, with the exception of some clothes and an air mattress.  BUT...I should close on my HOUSE in 5 days.  I have been holding off sharing too much about the house until it was for sure.  I am beyond excited and it will get it's own post.

Q: Would you take Heather back?
A: That's not an option for us.  She doesn't want to come back and besides that...she is not the person I thought I loved.  She cannot give me what I need and deserve. Do I love the person I thought she was.  YES.  Does the person she is today bring me happiness?  No.  And I deserve happiness.

You should know I am not alone.  I have so many friends.  I am still working out.  I'm only gonna get better as I try to get rid of the bitter.  I'm open to some potential bids from potential suitors :) Although I want to focus on me and spend time being alone and finding what makes me happy.  I realized yesterday that for the last 7 years, my happiness has revolved around making Heather happy.  I have kinda lost what brings me joy.  I'm finding it again.

 This was my moving truck park job at the gas station.  That's the truck...about 3 inches away from hitting the red thingie.
 A wild night in our temporary digs.  
 My moving part enjoying a much deserved Mexican post moving lunch.
 Me and "my natalie" enjoying the beach (There is "my natalie" and Boobie seen above in the pink USA jacket...who is also Natalie and used to be Heather's best friend...she is technically my natalie now as well but I only call her natalie when she is in trouble)
 Bowling.  Toga night above.  90's night below.

 Pensacola Beach.  Where you will find us most Sundays.
 And the Wahoos with Higgie and her daughter and Miriam.

All of these people and things keep me afloat. xoxo And I couldn't be more lucky in that regard.

Amy Finds Therapist

I have so many things to tell all my little rosebuds. So we will start HERE...with...THERAPIST.

As you may or may not recall, sometime in November I started seeing a counselor to help me "fix myself" because Heather did a miraculous job of making me feel crazy and unjustified in doubting her "friendship" with Gina and so I wanted to go to therapy to learn what was wrong with me to be a better wife.


I know.

It was my first stab at counseling/therapy and it was kinda poo poo.  My counselor was very nice but really just "listened".  I do remember who saying, after I had laid out all of my concerns about Heather and Gina...

"'ve basically just chosen to believe she is not having an affair"?


What I was looking for from therapy was a more "involved" way of counseling.  I needed action items. Things to work on.

So I stopped going.

All of this happened...

And at the suggestion of Boobie, I booked an appointment with another friend who is a therapist...and henceforth shall be referred to as...






I love Therapist as a friend and I love her as a therapist.  She is exactly what I wanted.  She doesn't just listen, she gives me "homework".  She doesn't TELL me what to do, but instead says things like..."You can CHOOSE to stay with Heather, and that's okay.  But know if you choose to stay with her you will stay stuck and you are telling her "What you did to me was okay...and you can do it again.  But the CHOICE is yours".

I see what you are doing there Therapist.  And I dig it.

First session was of course lots of me crying about Heather.

But second session was more about Amy.  And it's scary and confusing and makes me think.  And I think it's going to be wonderful.

SO we spent a lot of that second session talking about my worth.  Or how I don't believe I have any.  Where does that come from?  Why did I think all along that Heather was too good for me and that I should allow her to treat me the way she did?  Why don't I deserve love and happiness?  Why do I not think I will ever find someone attractive AND kind and real?  Why can't I let Heather go even though she cheated on me and broke me into a million pieces.



You ready for it?

It all ties to my body and my image of my body.

While I think I am kinda cute in clothes, and can wear a size 8...

(This is kinda hard to type...)

I would describe myself as disgusting.  I hate my body naked.  I feel like I am often the fattest and most broken person in the room.  And because I am disgusting, I am not deserving of love and kindness.  I deserve exactly what Heather gave me for years.  I felt like I SHOULD be grateful that she decided to love me and that no...I didn't deserve or need birthday presents or Christmas presents or to celebrate anniversarys...because "You get to love me...I am your present" is what she told me...and I believed it.  Because I don't deserve more than that.  And while I know there are people out there that could treat me better emotionally, I felt like I would never find anyone as fit as Heather to love me...

because I am not fit.

I am broken.

And no amount of working out will ever unbreak my body.  There will be scars and stretchmarks and skin and dimples...

And in my mind...those things define my worth.

Not my heart (which is amazing I think).
Not my mind (I describe myself as "middle smart".
Not my ability to give or love or think of others.

None of that matters as much as my body and how it looks.

Of course Therapist stopped and said at one point, "Amy, I need you to listen to me okay?  Reallly hear me.  THAT'S BULLSHIT".

And I hear her, and I know what she is saying.  But I don't believe her.

We talk about how this has been my "script" from the first time my brother told me I was fat.  And how he made sure to reinforce that over and over again as I grew up.  Hot girls are liked.  Hot girls have sex.  Hot girls get the boys (or girls).  Hot girls Hot girl.  Hot.  Fit.  Skinny.

Fat girls are gross.  They are "less than"...

And that is one of the dominate scripts of my life.

So my assignment after that session was to go home and right IMAGE at the top of a piece of paper and write down everything that came to censoring.  Free association style.  Two legal sized pages full is what came out and BOY...that was depressing.  Over and over you could see the words 'worthless' 'disgusting' 'broken'.  But I did't redo it to make it sound more "positive".

I turned that sucker in.

Do you know was I crossed the street after that session a truck drove by with 2 men in it...and my FIRST thought as they looked at me was...I bet they are thinking "She's fat".

Anyways.  Next session we talked about how when I around straight guys or lesbians or people who could potentially have sex with me...I am worried the entire time about what they are thinking about my body.

Again, Therapist says "Amy, you realize people have better things to do than think about your body all the time right?  It's not ALWAYS ABOUT YOU?'

um...what? lol

We also talked about how hard it is for me to accept the kindness people have been showing me.  My friend, more of an acquaintance, from when we worked at our old job, had some moving boxes for me and she then gave me a gift, a beautiful mermaid mug that said "Although she was tossed in the waves, she was not broken".  I cried all the way back to work after she gave me that because I didn't know what I had done to EARN her kindness.  Why was Becky being nice to me?  What had I done for Becky?  I didn't deserve that mug.

Therapist said Heather did a good job of "programming" me.  And I realized this idea of having to EARN kindness or reward or attention was the base of how our relationship worked.  If I wanted her to love me I better cook and clean and buy her a Yeti or Apple Watch.  If I wanted to have sex I better make sure the house was spotless and the dogs were occupied.  If I wanted her to love me and never leave me I better be the perfect wife (ooops...that didn't hold true).

So I had four things to focus on as my assignment that week.

1.  Accept kindness
2. Replace negative thoughts I have when people are looking at my body (i.e. she is fat) with a neutral thought (i.e. they probably arent even THINKING about my body).
3.  Be authentic at least 3 times a day.  This is because I wear a mask a lot and it's hard for me to allow others to see me sad or angry or hurting.
4.  When I feel "lonely", ask myself what that really means.  I told her that even though I am often surrounded by a lot of people, I can feel very alone.  She thinks I may be labeling that wrong.

It was hard.  When people compliment on my body, I quickly want to make a fat or food joke.  Like at the gym if a guy says "You are a beast" I want to say "I really like tacos".  (this happened)  If a friend says "look at your leg muscles" I want to say "They are there...under a layer of protection".

But I've been more aware of all of those things.

And I am working on it!

This weeks session we circled back to my  inability to have complete "no contact" with Heather.  Which is an important and final step when dealing with a narcissist.  And out of that came the reoccurring theme that I want to still save her and help her...classic co-dependent behavior.  But it's not just Heather I want to save.  It's the damn world.

Amy's narrative is:

Everyone needs saving.  Everyone is broken.  They need someone to hold their broken pieces. There is not enough kindness in the world SO I have to be the kindness...which is why I can't be sad or or needed because if I am sad or needy, who will give everyone what they need.  If I don't provide it I will find it somewhere else and I WILL BE ALONE.

I feel these behaviors (mine) are mandatory to control the perception and feelings that others have about they don't realize I am unnecessary, average, and replaceable.

What do you think about them apples?

It's a lot for me to process sometimes.  But I DO feel like part of me coming out of all of this a better person is me really looking at why I do what I do.  If I keep repeating the same thoughts and behaviors, most likely...nothing will change.

And I am ready for change.

It's slightly scary putting this out there for everyone (and anyone as I am sure CERTAIN people are stalking my blog) to read.  But part of me being authentic is that I am trying to be okay with feeling everything I do.  And it's okay if people know it.  Because it's who I am.

And who I am is good enough :)

hugs and kisses-


Friday, April 7, 2017

Everything Can Change...

Twenty one days ago, almost to the hour, everything fell apart.

I know so many of  you follow me on social media...either on Facebook or Instagram.  So many of you are in my "real" life...and for so many of you, you have been with me these past three weeks.  I have thought about how to write this post....and the time never seems right.

Do I write it when I am angry?  Do I write it when I am sad?  Do I only share information about me? Do I share information about them?  What is right?  What is wrong?

But I am just going to give it a shot.

So here goes.

Last year, about six months into our marriage...Heather began to change.  One day, and I literally mean one day, she told me she wanted "space".  I don't know if space was the exact word, but she wanted independence, freedom...she wanted to be able to go out without me, have friends we didn't share.  She, and these are her words "didn't want to have to report to me".  It threw me.  Because for over 6 years, she was overly verbal about how much she loved our life.  We had friends who would regularly do things without their spouse or significant other and Heather would talk about how "we will never be like those people"...and she would say things like, "all I need is you."

And so for me, it was a sudden, and confusing shift.

She started to blame me for "stealing all of her friends".  She came home one night from drinking and told me that "I had ruined her only two friendships (our friend we call Boobie, and ironically Gina)"...because I "stole them from her".

"Everyone likes you better".

This continued for a couple of months...this want of hers for "space".  I was in a panic.  I blamed myself.  Today I actually went and reread some of my journal entries from that time...I was blaming myself. Hating myself.  Telling myself "you are insecure and smothering.  You should trust Heather".

It was all my fault.

That's what I thought.

Well then she started wanting to hang out with Gina more.  They started hiking.  All day on the weekends.  She started taking her to Defuniak (where Heather is from).  Well, in October, October 4th to be exact, Heather got a text message around 5:00am. She told me to check it bc she thought it was someone she was getting up to train.  It was...but under that text was a text between her and Gina.  I still have it saved...but Gina said:

Gina: You can dream about me
Heather:  I will I am sure.  Just being in that bed today knowing you had been there...made me feel better.

Heather had went home that day with a migraine.

I walked into our bedroom.  Sick.  World spinning.  And I asked her...


She said it wasn't what it sounded like.  Over the next couple of hours and days, both her and Gina tried to talk their way out of it.  What she MEANT was that just laying in that bed knowing Gina and the girls from work were "There for her" made her feel better.  Gina swore to me that she loved Harry...her husband of 16 years.  Heather admitted to deleting parts of the text but promised me she loved me and our life was the most important thing to her and she would quit her job (she works with Gina) and do whatever I wanted. She swore on her nephew's life that she had never crossed the line with Gina.

I guess I forgot to tell you that Gina was her bridesmaid in our wedding.  And my friend.  That's an important detail.

After 3 days...I just chose to believe her.  And them.

Gina continued to seek my friendship.  She made me a mermaid tank.  She wanted to go to a strip aerobic class with me.  We went to the beach with her.

It all makes me sick thinking about it.

Well Gina LOVES LSU and Heather loves the Florida Gators (football for y'all not in the know).  And Heather had decided prior to me finding the texts that she was going to buy her and Gina tickets to the game for Gina's birthday.  You know, just a $400 birthday present for Gina.  When I didn't even get a card.

I didn't like it.  But Heather made me feel guilty by saying "She's never been allowed to have a girl's weekend with a friend", and "You don't want me to have a friend"...

so I said okay.

Well then a hurricane came and cancelled the game.  This happened the week I found the texts.

I thought...if there is a God, surely this is a sign.  And thank goodness I don't have to worry about that anymore.

Well then the SEC moved the game to LSU, and Heather bought the tickets again.  They were going down on a Friday night, spending the night at Gina's sisters, going to the game Saturday and spending the night again at Gina's sisters.

Before they left I actually text Gina "take care of my wife".

Turns out she did.

Sunday morning I woke up and something didnt feel right.  And for the first time in my life, I logged into Heather's icloud and looked at the location of her phone.

She was at a hotel.

I called the hotel and asked for Heather Gainey's room.  They transferred me.  No answer.  I started calling and texting Heather.  I could see she was reading them.  She finally called me back about 15 minutes later.

Me: Where are you right now?
Her: Why are you acting crazy?
Me:  Where are you right now?
Her:  Why?

She finally said she was at a hotel and that she bought one because Gina's sisters trailer bus was "so disgusting and had dog shit all over and no shower" she got the room so she could sleep and shower and didn't tell me because she knew I wouldn't like it.

We argued a little and she said she would be home soon.

This was at 6:00am.

The got home around 4pm that afternoon.

The conversation that followed I will never forget.

We were on the back porch.  I asked her if she slept in the same bed as Gina?


I asked her if she was having an affair with Gina.


For hours we talked.  She said things like "I love you and want to take care of you but I don't want to report to you."  I asked her why she married me?  She said she thought when she married me all of MY insecurities would go away.

After hours of talking, I felt bad for doubting her.  I felt worthless.  I hated myself.  I vowed to be a better wife.

Well now I know, thanks to Gina, that they slept together that night.  That night, when I was laying four hours away in our bed alone crying and hating myself, they slept together.  And then Heather came home to me and looked me in the eyes and lied.
Gina posted this picture when they were at the game.

The next day she changed her password so I could never look at her location again.

We again talked for HOURS.  I asked her about Gina.  She swore they were just friends.  I told her we needed to separate.  She said no.  That she wasn't giving up on us.  She broke down crying.  I held her.  I agreed I wasn't ready.  She promised me she loved me and loved our life.

But things didn't get better.  She spent more time with Gina.  I started therapy to "fix myself".  I thought there must be something wrong with me.  How can I do better and be better.  I found a letter I wrote her after one of my therapy session and in it I actually said,

I am beyond sorry about doubting your loyalty to me.  This applies to my insecurities over the entire relationship but also recently with Gina.  I was trying to make sense of things and went to that because it was easier than looking at my own behaviors that may have contributed to us getting to this point.  I don't know how you put up with all of that from me, but I am grateful you fought through it until I realized I was wrong.

I apologized for so many things in that email.  And all that time they were fucking around behind my back.

I can list other things over the next several months that happened that would make your stomach turn. But you get the point. Please note that I am leaving out many fights, conversations, letters...

But three weeks ago today I got a text from a close friend that said "I need to tell you something in person.  And you probably need to be done with work for the day".

This friend is not "dramatic".  So I was terrified.

I left work and met her and she got in my car to tell me a story.

Apparently about a week before, Gina went and got a tattoo.

The tattoo artist was a friend from high school and asked Gina how her and her husband were doing.  Gina then said "not good...I've been having an affair with a married woman for years (it was relayed to me as years...I hope this was wrong) and I was actually in her wedding and I am in love with her."

She then showed the tattoo artist a picture of Heather,

WHY IN THE WORLD she would give up that information is beyond me.  But this is how the Universe works.

The tattoo artist was telling this story to one of their friends, who happens to be on my Facebook.  We will call this person A.  Well, person and A and I worked together years ago, but aren't really close.  When the tattoo artist was telling person A this story, person A was like...uh...this sounds familiar (and I had been posting posts on Facebook that were a little un-Amy like so she already thought something might be up), so person A showed tattoo artist my facebook with a picture of heather and the tattoo artist was like...yup.  That's her.  Well then person A a close friend of hers, who is also on my Facebook.  That's person B.  Person B and I worked together for years but again, not really close.  Well person B then told my friend...who was sitting in my car with me.

So many people for it to get back to me.

The Universe wanted me to know.

So when I pulled away from my friend, I called Heather and told her I needed her to come home after work.

I waited for two hours.

When she walked in and sat down on the couch I said..

" I am going to ask you again.  Are you having an affair with Gina?"

She sighed and said "Gina and I have feelings for each other so I don't know how to answer that."

I said "have you slept with her?"


I said "Have you kissed her".

She said yes.

Over the next couple of hours I went from crying to numb to screaming.  I wanted to know how and why and HOW and when and how many times and HOW!

I sent Gina's husband a text and him and Gina showed up in our driveway.  They were still sticking to their "just kissing story".  Happened when they were hunting together (another thing I had caught Heather lying about in December)...

Well later that night Gina told her husband that she they had sex the night of the football game.  She gave details.  He called me.  Heather was sleeping in the front room and continued to deny it.  She said "If we are going to keep doing this...I am leaving."  I told her she needed to leave.

Saturday morning I talked to her and asked her for the truth.  And I said, "tell me the truth or else I am posting this shit on facebook".



But what I will say to that is unless you have been in my shoes...unless you have had your entire life ripped apart by the person you loved more than any other human being ever...pause before you judge.  I live my life out loud.  This blog is proof.  And I just wanted her to tell me the truth.  I knew that her image is the most important thing to her...I thought she would tell me.

She didn't.

So I put it on Facebook.

I posted a picture of these pictures from our wedding and all I said was..."I wish I could tag them".

I don't know how to describe the last three weeks.  Week one was like I was watching my life outside of myself.  There were moments where I would be on the kitchen floor or the bedroom closet or bent over my bed...wailing.  Not crying.  It's different.  Many of you know the pain...because you have reached out and shared your story...but it's a physical pain that I have never felt.  It's oppressive and hurts down from your fingertips to  your heart.  It's a feeling...of hopelessness.  I guess it's heartbreak. As I am typing this my hands are starting to shake.

Week one was full of questions that I will never have answer to.  The main one is, how could Heather do this to me for MONTHS and MONTHS?  How could she come home to me every day and make me feel crazy and watch me struggling to save could she see me in so much pain...?  It truly is mourning the loss of someone who is alive.  I thought I knew her heart.  I would have never NEVER thought she could be this person...TO ME.  I was a good wife.  I am a good person.  And I know you are saying "Amy...this is NOT about you..." I am saving all of that for the next post.

Week one I heard from friends all over the world.  I heard from people that have never really sent me a message but "know" me from this blog.  I heard from some of my most private friends.  While some people, Heather included, think my Facebook post was has helped me.  And I posted it for several reasons...some of them selfish.  Absolutely.  I DID want everyone to know what they had done.  But I also knew that so many people are invested in me and us.  So many people care about me.  So many people would need and want closure of their own.  And also...just like sharing everything on this hope is that one day when I do "come out stronger and better" like everyone is promising me...I hope that because I shared my heartbreak and pain...that it might help someone someday when they feel like there is no hope.

Week one, two, and three have been full of people in my life taking are of me.  Friends show up at my house.  Friends text me and call me.  Friends drag me to the beach where I have a breakdown because there is wedding.  Friends listen to me say the same shit over and over again and patiently explain to me why it's not my fault.  I am surrounded by amazing and caring people.  And it's so hard to let them take care of me.  And it's hard for me to take my mask off and let people see a side of me that I don't often show.  It's hard.  

But I am alive.

So where is Heather living?  Do I see her?  Do I talk to her?

She is living with her ex.  I see her.  I talk to her.  I probably shouldn't.  But the crazy and sad thing is...when someone does something bad to don't just stop loving them.  I thought she was my forever.  And a part of me wants to believe that inside of her is the person I fell in love with.  But it rips me apart.  I want to be close to her but being close to her makes me physically ill...because all I think about is her and Gina.

I can't sleep really.  I fall asleep but wake up in a panic...crying.  And then just lay in bed...with horrible visions of them in my mind.  If I do sleep.  I dream about them.

Other questions:  Would you forgive her?  

She is not asking for forgiveness.  She hasn't said what she or they did was wrong.  So that's not even an option.

Gina did post something on facebook about "Mistakes".

No.  A mistake is not something you do over and over again.  This was calculated and planned. And is still going on.  Their lives are a mess right now.  Not because of my facebook post.  But because of their choices. 

I will do another post about my feelings and how I am coping.  This one has been long enough.  It's not very deep and it's not very insightful.  It's messy and confusing.  But it's my truth.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Most Difficult Relationship... the one I have with myself.

2017 will be one of the years that define me.  Some years pass...and they are a mixture of laughter and tears and highs and lows...and of course, all of those moments shape you.  But then there are some years that CHANGE you.

This will be that year for me.

I have been waiting to write "the blog post"...the one I know so many of you are waiting for.  The post  will shed light on my vague status updates on Facebook, or more direct posts (although still "illusive") on Instagram.

And that post will come.  In due time.  But not yet.  One thing I would like to think I have always been over these last 8 years is transparent with you.  It's one of the things that you probably like about me.  I will talk about pretty much anything.  We don't have very many secrets between us.  So that post will come.  But not  yet.

So until get this.

I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately.  Have you ever tried it?  It's fucking scary.  Because when you search for might just find it.  And the "it" is usually hard to find for a reason.  We bury the "it".  Once you start to pull the blanket back though, once you start to peep into places you usually try to skim right over...things start to happen.

And it's happening to me.

I'm going to tell you a secret.  And I hesitate, literally, to type it, because I don't want it to change the way you think about me.

But the secret is...I am full of self-doubt, insecurities, and feelings of inadequacies.  I believe I have a way with words.  I can tell a story, I can tell a joke, I can write a love letter, I can pen this blog. Well you should just HEAR the words I say to myself, sometimes inside my head.  Sometimes aloud when I am alone.  They can be terrible and cruel.

Recently, some of the wonderful people in my life (that I am thankfully surrounded by) have heard me say the things I think about myself.  I have said them out loud to actual people for the first time in...well..for the first time ever.  I don't/didn't want people to know that the Amy that they love...the funny, charming, outgoing, happy, upbeat Amy...isn't really that person on the inside.  I mean...I AM...but there is another Amy.  And I suppose that is true for many people.  But here I am, this person always shouting LOVE YOURSELF...

and I don't love myself.

And here is a distinction I want to make.  I am not talking about my external self.  I still will shout LOVE YOUR BODY...WEAR THE BIKINI...because I am really at a place with my body these days that is relatively wonderful.  I am at peace (98%) of the time with all of me.  The muscles and the fluff.  The curves and the cellulite.  My body is strong and I AM confident in that.  And what will be will be.  Some things will never change.  My biceps can get bigger, my butt can grow in wonderful ways...but I will always have loose skin.  I will always have scars.  And that is just fine.

It's difficult to explain.

People say "But Amy...when I look at always seem so confident".

Well yes.  Because confidence is attractive and I want people to like me and no one likes a sad sack who mopes around and complains.  So I stand up straight, look people in the eyes, make them laugh and try to win them over with my charm.  I am confident in my wit, my heart, my kindness, my mind, my ability to squat you.

But self-worth is a different animal.

And when it comes to matters of the heart, and more specifically, Heather...I've never been enough.   Not in my mind.  My fear from day one was that at any moment, Heather would realize that I was not good enough for her.  And what you think, you become.  This feeling is what has shaped every action and decision in our relationship..  This feeling is why I have allowed things to happen...things that have hurt me and have almost broken me.  How could I stand up for myself?  She is amazing.  And self-disciplined.  And attractive.  And has abs.  Who am I?  Nothing compared to her.  So I have though I should be happy to have something....rather than not have her at all.  We teach people how to treat us.  And we let people treat us the way we do based on how we value our own worth.

Some of you are going to tell me I am crazy.  Some of you are going to tell me Heather is the lucky one.  That I am beautiful and smart.  WELL OF COURSE you are going to tell me that.  Because you are nice and like me.

But several months ago, two of my closest friends did tell me I was crazy.  And for some reason...a little seed was planted.

And it's growing.

And I am nurturing it.

But it's not easy.

Learning to love myself has been, thus far, the most difficult thing I have ever had to do.

Standing up for myself is hard.  I want to please and be loved.  I want to make people happy.  I am a giver.  Giving and doing brings me joy.  I want to be that person for my friends, and certainly for the person I thought I would spend forever with.  Standing up for myself makes me feel...selfish.  Wanting things that make my heart happy...makes me feel selfish.  And it can be confusing.

I started going to therapy for the first time in my life.  I wanted to "fix" whatever was wrong with me.  Maybe if I could fix whatever was broken, maybe Heather would love me more.

Do you know what I have discovered (not in therapy...but just over the last couple of months)?

I do not need to be fixed.

I am not broken.

I am actually kind of amazing.


I might actually like me.

I am 37 years old, and my father will tell you that I have always sold myself short.  He is usually referring to my career and why I don't believe in myself enough to push...but he is right.  This isn't just related to Heather...but my entire life.

And you know what?  I had a great childhood.  My parents always, and still, support me and believe in me.  My mom was THAT mom at graduation, holding the Carpe Diem sign in the crowd.  My lack of self worth didn't come from lack of love and encouragement.  I suppose it came from a mixture of the relationship with my brother (who I love and am not blaming), and my relationship with my weight.  Feeling fat from a super early age (even though I was NOT fat until later) shaped my life.  I had to be the clown that made people love her, so I wouldn't be the fat girl that people made fun of.  I had do and overdo.

And that has never stopped.

I am a size 8-10 now.  Below "average".  And yet I still feel like everyone's first impression of me is "look at that fat girl".

Sure, I have muscle.  But I feel like people think "Wow, that fat girl has a lot of muscle".

Sure I have a sexy walk and can fill out a pencil skirt...but I feel like people are thinking "Wow, that fat girl sure has a sexy walk and can fill out a pencil skirt".

When people see Heather and I together...I feel like they are thinking "Wow, that super fit girl with abs is in love with a fat girl".

As I type this my hands are trembling.  It's easier to pose naked in front of strangers than it is to be honest with people that care about you.  I don't really want you to know all of my secrets.

On this journey, as my little seed of self love is growing (it's like the science experiment with the seed and Styrofoam cup that most of us did in elementary school)...I am trying some new things.

1.  The negative hateful self talk...I stop it almost as soon as it begins.  And it's with pride that I doesn't happen as often as it used to.  It likes to come up when I am drinking (hmmm...perhaps I should not drink then)...but I literally have said to myself "STOP"...and I do.

2.  I am surrounding myself with people that love me.  I am SO lucky to have people in my life that want to pick me up.  People that will listen to me when I am sad.  And that means being honest and not always being "happy Amy".  And you know what I have discovered?  They STILL love me.  Even when I am unable to get out of bed or I am crying so hard I can't breathe or speak.  They still want to be my friends.

3.  I am trying to make choices FOR ME.  This is so so hard. And I am not there yet.  But I have resolved myself to stop trying to fix everything at once.  I don't need to think about next week or next month or next year.  Today is what I am given and I can make a choice today.  One day at a time.  One little step at a time.

4.  I want to do things that will make me the best version of myself.  And if something hurts me or makes me a lesser version...or is something or someone makes the sad Amy want to come out...then I need to look at that as a sign.  I don't want to be bitter.  I want to be better.

5. I'm reading self-help books.  Lord.  I don't like to type that.  But sometimes there are helpful tidbits in those suckers!  And while those authors may not be any more mentally sound than I am...if their words can cause me to THINK...well then it was worth it.

6.  If what we think, we become...I am trying to live mindfully.  I am trying to be present.  I am trying to focus on what I WANT.  What I want to happen.  Where I want to be.  This is hard as well...because it means I have to think about what I WANT (see number 3).

7.  I believe that we are meant to share our lives with other people.  For most of that, that is an intimate partner.  And I have long thought I needed someone to complete me.  Don't get me wrong.  I have been single and am not one of those people who "needs" someone because they don't want to be alone.  But I am a romantic and have long bought into "you complete me".  But I have realized, I can't expect someone else to complete me.  I must be complete on my own.  I CAN expect someone to compliment, support me, love me, encourage me, challenge me, spoil me.  But the voids I feel cannot be filled by another.  That's work for me to do.

8.  Things that I have wanted to change about myself for a long time...I am learning that those are the things that the good people love about me.  I AM super sensitive.  But you know what? My emotions and my empathy is why I can relate to people.  It's why I can make you feel better.  It's why I can love with my whole heart. I've been told that I am "too sensitive".  But I love my heart and it's capacity to hope and believe.  So I am going to keep "overly sensitive" Amy around.

I've been told that I live in an "imaginary world"...where love never fades and people don't hurt you.  For a few months I actually began to think maybe "they" were right.  But I realized on my way to bowling one night...I KNOW love is real.  I know it because I feel it.  I know it because I possess it.

It's a really really weird place for me to be.  It's sad and scary and also...exciting.   We have all heard things like "You can't really love someone until you love yourself". Well I can love, and do love, and have loved.  But I think the truth is...if you don't love yourself, how can you expect someone else to love you in the way you need and deserve.

One of the quotes that sticks with me is...

"You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other people".

And for the first time in my life...I am starting to believe that.