Abuelita: The Sorry is Sometimes Silent

I received this card yesterday for my birthday. It is a watercolor painting done by my grandmother Carmen Maria “Millie” Paradiso.

She was always an artist but I never saw her work until she retired and participated in some classes. At first I thought it was a hobby. But her work is amazing! I have several paintings framed on my wall.

What could sadden me is that I didn’t know the artistic women in my family. Her brother was an Engineer by trade but an innate artist. Much like my brother, both were naturally talented and were encouraged to harness those skills. Their paintings are also framed and hanging on the walls of our homes.

Still, the most special part of this card is the message my mother wrote inside. And that’s for me. There is forgiveness and love and respect housed in the paper of a painting from her mother who died almost 5 year ago. There could be no better time for this message.

There is distance in time and space but not in our hearts. 💕

Chronic: Health & Relationships

When you’re sick, sometimes you feel like a burden. Even if you’re not “in the way” you may believe because you are not actively contributing that you are hindering. The only way to avoid piling this part of the suffering on to the rest of the suffering is to have compassionate, patient people around. It’s imperative to have support that openly tells you that you are loved right where you are as you are.

I am often inclined to apologize for how I feel. From a young age, it was made clear that becoming ill or sustaining an injury was a problem. Not something to solve, but something to bear. Something to anticipate happening again.

People will offer ways in which you could “better express yourself” as if the discomfort you experience is a reflection of your soul. Change your mood. Change your attitude. Change the way you feel. But the reality is you are sick and have to sit with the feelings. They just have to sit and wonder.

This is where guilt plays a role in how we take care of ourselves and those around us. If we’ve been neglectful then we may overcompensate. In this extra exertion we turn the compassionate act of caring for others into a sort of debt that can only be paid if the persons disposition improves. If they don’t get better on any level, we take it as a personal affront, a type of rejection.

This obviously creates a nasty cycle for the caregiver and cared-for, a co-dependent relationship hinged on a kind of success that will never come. Life is an adjustment few want to adhere. It’s truly uncomfortable to constantly transition or be aware or these timely changes throughout the years.

Romance and intimacy have to adjust as well. The fantasy people create to live up to must be altered into a fantasy you can live. Why does happiness and pleasure have to be just out of reach to be valued? There’s always more to have. Build a perception of your life that includes more tangible successes rather than unattainable goals. It might not seem sexy but reality rarely is as sexy as our fantasies.

My wish is to be loved. I see how we engage in relationships that do not seem compatible or balanced. I see how we also make up for these areas of lack as we discover how to build a life. Some understand this as growth and others inevitably feel they have over compensated for social training that neither serves them or their intended partners. Wondering, why is it that I can’t find someone to talk to me and treat me exactly as I need them to? They gray area can be huge and daunting.

This gray area is where I live now with my health. I do not suffer as others do, but I understand clearly what I am experiencing. The feat is contending with those around that ultimately believe I can will myself to feel better by wanting to feel better. Of course I want that. But birth, sickness, aging, death. These things we can’t escape.

I hope to re-enter relationships that serve the heart and soul. I hope to find compassionate people who may operate from guilt but don’t live there. I hope to be embraced.

The Spiral 💔🌪

img_1423.jpgIt fluctuates between the confessions of love and the demand for performance. The success of laughter and the failure of words. The thought of familiarity and the knowledge that it remains superficial.

It’s easy to fall back into the Spiral. You’ve talked yourself out of the manipulation and into new possibilities. Then, They, turn your desire for new possibilities into an expression of selfishness and opposition. I mean, it must be understood that you can’t expect Them to take news positively if They view it as bad. There is no changing their mind to accept the set of criteria you are presenting as reasonable practices for breaking up fair. Some people are used to extremely destructive behaviors being the cause of their separation. Some realize they’re just growing apart. Sometimes it’s a matter of perspective.

Speaking of perspective…the Spiral requires that you have a keen awareness of problematic habits brought out or performed by Them and are still open enough to listen to the pain of their suffering. Even if it’s the suffering they bring on themselves.

We can’t expect them to perfect the relationship hustle any time soon. So the question is whether or not the length of the process is worth the wait? People are always worth our time. BUT, they are not entitled to take from us what they never intend to replenish. The sad part is when they recognize there is nothing left.

However the saddest part, is that the Spiral stems from childhood and adolescence when we learn how to respond to the emotional needs of others. If we are given limited img_1422opportunities to express ourselves and feel our feelings, we may repeat these behaviors into adulthood because they’ve never been corrected. It is difficult to reserve our corrections, the learning from our lessons for the experience of intimate partnerships. Will we have enough experience to draw from…or perhaps too much? If we put this work off, then we risk learning far too late how to improve ourselves and be a person who is capable of being in a long term relationship.