Sunday, December 6, 2015


Shonda Rhimes HRC 2015 speech. Actual speech starts at 00:37. She talks about this in her new book "Year of Yes"...a really good read for those of you who may feel alone.

Death and near death, has been all around me in the past month. It seems like every day I go to work and another client cancels because they have to go to a funeral. Just a couple of weeks ago, my mom died. She was not breathing and unresponsive. My dad and the paramedics brought her back to life. When I heard about it, I was on my way to teach a class. It was just another day until that point. Wake up, go to work, go home etc… Then I got a series of texts like a machine gun going off. A sure sign that it was my dad. He always sends 8-10 texts in a row. It didn’t happen at his normal time. 4:00pm on a Tuesday is not when we chat. The fact that my mom has been very ill recently made me stomach drop when all the texts came in. And my fears were confirmed. Thankfully she made it and is doing well.

I cried for days. Partially because I didn’t want to lose my mom and partially because I didn’t want my dad to lose my mom and be alone. I have seen some pretty poor excuses for what some people call “marriage”, but theirs isn’t one of them. When they said for better or worse, they meant it. They have had some tough times that would have shaken any marriage, but theirs remained strong. Infidelity, not even a remote possibility because they are best friends. When I think about it, I can’t remember a time when he went out with the boys or she with the girls. They were always together because they were always each other’s first choice. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with married people who go out with friends. It’s completely healthy and “normal” It’s fine as long as you surround yourself with good people who have your BEST interest in mind and not their own. Being raised in that environment has been both a blessing and a curse for me.

When I got old enough to be in a relationship, I wanted the same thing and still do. Some of the people I have been in relationships with did not feel the same. Perhaps because I felt like they were enough for me, but I wasn’t enough for them. They needed something more. I know exactly how they feel because I have been in their position as well. I have tried to force myself into believing that I had met my soulmate when the reality was, they weren’t. I needed more.

I work in a gym and I’m a partner in a business that is next door. I was training a client 3 days ago at the gym and a member of the other business ran in and said somebody had gone down next door. I asked “Is she breathing?” and she was very panicked and said “I don’t know!” So I ripped the AED off the wall and ran as fast as I could to get next door. As I was running through the parking lot, I had visions of my dad giving my mom CPR on their bathroom floor. There was nothing but terror and fear pumping through me in that moment, so I can’t imagine what he was feeling as he was trying to bring his wife back to life. I didn’t know the member outside of the gym, but that didn’t matter. It was a life…it was somebody else’s wife, daughter etc. Thankfully when I got there she was alive and conscious, but there was clearly something major wrong. The instructor who was teaching the class is also a nurse and acted quickly and because of that and all the seemingly small, but very important things everybody in the class did, the member will make a full recovery.

I have been in a state of shock ever since. Can’t seem to shake it. So what do I do every time this happens? I write. I write until I get to the bottom of what is really bothering me.

I think part of my funk is due to the harsh reminder that we are all mortal and our lives can be taken away in an instant without warning. There is no guarantee I or somebody I love will wake up tomorrow. It’s easy to forget that. After all, that is something that happens on TV and to other people. That is never something that will happen to me…until it does.

While we were waiting for the ambulance to come, we were trying to get ahold of her husband. It was around 5:50am and he was sleeping. I’m sure when he kissed her goodnight, he never imagined that he would wake up to that call the next day. As I was driving home from work that afternoon thinking about it, it hit me. If that happened to me, there would be nobody to call. I am alone.

Yes I have some really amazing friends in my life that I consider my family that take care of me every day. My parents would do anything for me, but they are 9 hours away.

I could have settled on a relationship long ago that many people might think is good enough….or at least it’s better than being alone. But I refuse to do that. I admit in the past few days, I had a few second thoughts. Maybe I was asking for too much. Maybe my expectations aren’t realistic. But then I remembered my mom laying on the bathroom floor and my dad performing CPR on her. And the reality is that without him by her side all these years, she would not be here today. This isn’t her first brush with death. But I also know, that not every marriage is like theirs.

There are many married couples that lay next to each other in bed every night, but they are horribly alone. Yes, there is another body in the house, but they are mentally and emotionally disengaged. That is a certain kind of pain that is indescribable. But you will know it when you feel it. Man, have I been there. It is the worst feeling in the world when somebody you love looks past you. They are in the room, but they are not present.

You see, my mom woke my dad up to help her to the restroom. What if he was sleeping in another room? What if she didn’t ask him to help her because she knew it would make him mad to be woken up? What if she had too much pride to ask for help? What if he was out with his friends? If any of these things would have happened, she would be in the ground at this very moment.

The reality is that I am not alone. I’m not in a relationship, but I am not alone. I might not wake up tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean I will lower my standards of what I think love is so I won’t be alone today. That doesn’t mean I will use the WRONG one to fill in the blank until the RIGHT one comes along.

I’m 50% sure I will die from choking on something I was eating in bed. They will find my body half eaten by 150 cats 2 weeks later. But I’m also 50% sure I will die next to the love of my life. It could go either way.

Death is a scary thing. When you are faced with it, you really start to reevaluate your life and the people in it. Our time on this earth is so very short. Don’t waste a minute of it. Choose someone because of love, not loneliness.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Shit or get off the pot.

God says so.



I'm sorry if the picture above ruined your morning. Trust me, not the way I wanted to wake up this morning. It was a harsh reminder that we often turn away from things that make us uncomfortable instead of doing something to change it. Just ask all the people freaking out about Marriage Equality. There is a lot of bitching going on, but not a lot of action to change it. These people were so self righteous that they NEVER thought it would happen. Honestly I never thought it would happen. This entire weekend has changed how I will operate in the world. Instead of being a person of words, I'm going to be a person of action. I'm gonna shit or get off the pot.

You don't like cats? You think the picture above is funny or ok? Delete me immediately from your friends list. You don't like marriage equality? Do us both a favor...stop reading this and delete me. I'm only going to piss you off. And if you don't, the next time you post something ignorant or hateful, I'm deleting you. I don't care if you are my best friend. If you are not against animal cruelty and hate, we ain't friends.

My friends and I do not have to agree on everything. In fact I love a good healthy debate. But those 2 things are non-negotiable, so let's not waste time and energy fighting about them. You will never change my mind and I will never change yours. If you hate gay people and animals, then I encourage you to get off your ass and do something about it. While you are posting ignorant rants on Facebook, i'm getting signatures. Complaining is useless without following through. And you better pray that one of your children doesn't turn out to be gay. It is not a choice. People talk big until it happens to them. Will you choose to love them or hate them? Is your love for your child truly unconditional? Many homosexual teenagers commit suicide because their family turns against them. Instead of supporting and helping them through something that will make the rest of their lives more challenging, they add fuel to the fire. Not able to deal with the shame and guilt that is put on them by society and people who claim to love them, it just seems easier to die. I've been there.

So if vets shooting a foster cat in the head doesn't bother you because you are a dog person, then don't think you are safe. It could be your dog next.

I had a 16 yr old Lhasa llapso dog named Shannon for a good part of my childhood. She was blind and deaf and would get lost when we let her outside. She couldn't find her way back when she was 3 ft away from our house. My parents and I came home from a race one day and a neighborhood kid ran up and told us that our neighbor had taken Shannon down to the lake and held her under water until she died. He then proceeded to toss her into his trash can. Later that week me and my friends unloaded about 10 dozen eggs on his house. We drove by the next day and he was re-painting his garage. My parents knew we did it, but said nothing. Thanks mom and dad! Was it the right way to handle the situation? No... It was not. But it was a teenagers gut reaction to a horrible piece of shit cowardly action.

So no matter what side you stand on, don't be the person who complains but is too lazy to take action. Don't be there person that doesn't take action because you are worried what the people around you think. If you embrace hate... Then wave your hate flag proudly and have the balls to stand up for your beliefs! I unfriended some people on Facebook this week for doing just that. They drew a line in the sand and I proudly jumped over that bitch! I may not agree with their views, but I do respect them for stating them... Kinda. I'll have real respect when I see them doing something about it.

Don't be passive about your views and life. While it may not directly effect you at the moment, it may effect your child, animal or someone you love down the road. Shit or get off the pot.

If you are against cruelty to animals which is now a FELONY, please sign this petition to revoke this vets license today!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

You sir...are a douche canoe.

I prefer Zombies.

I would like to enter into evidence: Exhibit A

There are 2 types of people in this world, the type that pull into a parking spot and then there are the people that back in. If you are a back in kinda person, chances are…we ain’t gonna be friends. You sir, are a douche canoe! There are only 3 occasions when I feel that this is acceptable:

1. You are on a stakeout.

2. You are planning to rob the Coinstar machine inside the grocery store and you need to buy yourself some time to rent a Red Box movie with your new loot on the way out. So by all means, back that shit up so you can get out before the copper’s get there and arrest your ass because now not only are you going to jail, but you will also be paying some hefty fines for returning that Redbox movie late. And chances are you will probably never even watch that movie.

3. Ok on this one, backing in is still not acceptable. You are however allowed to pull into a spot and straight through to the other side. Now you can just pull out to make your fast getaway.

It’s midnight and you are in the middle of your Gilmore Girls marathon on Netflix when hunger strikes! You have eaten perfectly all day, but that last episode struck a chord deep in the black hole where your heart used to be. You dry your eyes, and the only thing that is going to fix this is a half gallon of ice cream and a box of macaroni and cheese or a pizza. You won’t know the right answer until you get home, so you buy both because it’s too risky. You will also need a roadie (that little package of Oreo’s in front of the self check-out at Kroger). You will be using the self checkout because :

A. You will do anything to avoid human contact when not working…unless you are on the internet. Texting does not count. If you do feel the need to text this person, please complete all your thoughts before hitting SEND. No need to send one sentence at a time. Thank you. Namaste.

B. There are drunk college students in the lines with the cashiers judging you because:

     a. You are in your pj’s

     b. You have no makeup on and your face is swole from plucking your eyebrows and picking at                your face in that damn magnifying mirror.

     c. You are wearing a hoodie with your hood pulled up and it is 98 degrees out.

     d. You probably have 2 mismatched flip flops on and you look like a homeless uni-bomber.

C. You are a personal trainer and if it’s not a drunk college student in line in front of you, then it’s one of your clients. The first thing they do is lay down over their cart so you can’t see what’s in it. Then their eyes go straight to yours. So there you stand looking like you just rolled out of the dumpster, with a cart full of crap and while you were there, you thought “I think I might bleed in the next few days so I better get a giant box of tampons while here.” So they start to judge you until they see the tampons and then they give you that knowing look like “Shark week eh? I totally get it.”

Ya, so if none of these situations apply to you, then just pull in dickhead. At some point you will have to back up either upon arrival or on departure. So be courteous to others at the grocery store that just worked all day and just want to get home and binge eat in bed. Don’t make them wait on your ass. Chances are they were sitting there with their blinker on waiting to pull into the parking place that you just stole from them anyway…because you are indeed…THAT guy or girl. You are also the person that takes the same road to work every day. They have been doing construction on that road for 8 months. There are 10-12 signs telling you that the lane is going to end and to merge over. So everybody starts to move over…except YOU! You are going to fly up on the shoulder to the front of the line and cut somebody off and sneek in right before you fly over the side of the overpass and plunge to your death. You better pray that that person at the front of the line ain’t me because I am gonna hold my ground and you ain’t getting in and you will DIE and I will get a great sense of satisfaction when you do.

Any questions?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

It's not you, it's us: The final chapter...hopefully.

I had no intentions of writing today, but I’m ready to wrap this thing up. I want to put it in a box and bury it in the yard and finally move on. After this final blog on the subject, my case will be CLOSED! There will be no more blogs about these people or this subject. These people have already gotten more time and attention than they deserve. Unless of course, I have no choice but to publish the dirty details I have left out. My hope is that I don’t have to once again defend myself against a bunch of lies. But I am armed and ready if necessary so we will see what happens. There may or may not be a future amendment to this blog. <holding breath>

The very thing that got me off my ass to write this final letter to myself was a report from somebody on “Team Nikki” about one of my ex’s who loved me less than I loved them hanging out with one of my ex-best friends last night. To hear about them “having the best time ever” together came as no surprise. It is about as predictable as the sun coming up tomorrow. Once you get past the charisma that each of them possess and really see who they are, there are no surprises.

To be honest. it makes me laugh. One of them was the girl who was in a bad marriage, that pursued me and I feel MADLY in love with. Over several years, she treated me like shit, took me for granted, and pushed me right out the door. The moment I finally left, a switched flipped and suddenly, I was the love of her life that broke her heart. As I stated previously, she then went out and recruited anybody that did or did not like me. The majority of the people that did not like me were people that hurt or betrayed me and then tried to be my friend again. When I told them to eat shit and die, they joined forces.

Acknowledgement is the only way to get forgiveness from me. I might forgive a person who has hurt me if they take responsibility for what they did. But I can pretty much guarantee that our relationship will never be what it was. You will never be in my “ride or die” club again. Once you break my trust, I will never make myself vulnerable to you again.

My ex did acknowledge all her mistakes to me. She literally got down on her hands and knees and begged me to forgive her. There were many knocks on my door at 3:00am and I always knew it would be her standing there when I opened it. Given that I had watched her lie to everybody in her life, talk shit about every friend she had at the time when they weren't around, and the hundreds of lies I had caught her in over the years…I wasn't buying it. When I told her, I would only let her back in my life if she made a public apology and told everybody that she lied about me, she refused. She said she would go to each one of them individually and confess :) …hilarious. Maybe if I had not caught her in so many lies, I would have believed her, but the trust ship sailed long ago. Once again, she proved that I was still at the bottom of her list. After all, if she did that, she would have looked like a better human being to me. However that might not be the case when it comes to the hundreds of people she lied to. She is all about the numbers. It will always be quantity over quality when it comes to the people in her life. So when I told her to get the hell out of mine, she went right back to recruiting.

One of the people she recruited was one of my best friends a while back. This is the “friend” who was married with children who made a pass at me and I said “no.” Yes…it’s true. There are several married women that have tried to get on me that I actually said no to. You could chalk it up to the fact that we were drinking…. Right up until the point where she went and brushed her teeth and then proceeded to climb over the back of the couch and eat my face. I pushed her away and got the hell out of there. A few days later she said “I’m glad you pushed me away, because if you hadn't, things would have gone a lot further.” I never felt comfortable around her or her husband who I actually adore, ever again. I wanted to crawl under a rock every time she was near me. She however was not going away any time soon. She specializes in persistence and was not going to go away quietly into the night. I did my best to try to get over it and tread lightly. We still hung out on occasion because she would not take no for an answer and would eventually wear me down. We were getting by…sort of…until she crossed the line once again.

This time it was with the ex I described above. I remember telling my friend that night “I am madly in love with this girl. I have never been so happy in my entire life. I’m going to marry this one.” I practically had tears in my eyes as I gushed about my girlfriend. I go into detail about this in my blog about friendship. So if you want the whole story…read that blog. ### SPOILER ALERT### The night ended with my girlfriend coming back to me with her eyes popping out of her head saying “I was in the kitchen and she asked me to French kiss her and lunged towards me. As she did that, her friend came in and I pushed her towards that girl and told her to kiss her instead!”

My first thought was “Who the hell says French kiss me???” My second thought was “friendship over.” We were out of there seconds later. I don’t need friends that make sexual advances at me and when that doesn't work, go after the person I love. To make it worse, she never acknowledged that she had done anything wrong. She never said she was sorry. She said “I was just having fun. That’s what girls do when they drink together.” Ummmm …in high school yes, possibly college. Not when you are 40 and married with children. And definitely not with a lesbian.

So I cut her out of my life and so did my girlfriend at the time. She also said a lot of nasty things about this “friend” and gossiped about it to everybody that rolled up and asked us why we were no longer friends.

Years later I wrote her a letter and told her that I was over it. I told her I didn't hate her, but I also didn't want to be her friend either. I did want to rid myself of the anger I had towards this person I really did love before she betrayed me. I thought it was somewhat over and we were at a neutral place. I think we were until I left my ex…then she was recruited…and then they joined forces.

So when I heard that the two of them were out partying together last night along with a few other people, one of them being my ex’s current girlfriend, my first reaction was laughter. My second thought was I wonder if her current girlfriend knows why I’m not friends with that girl anymore. I wonder if she knows that I was protecting the girl I loved from a person who claimed to be my friend. My third thought was…”Of course not! Once a liar, always a liar. C’est la vie! Her girlfriend will find out who she is in love with soon enough. All I have to do is sit back and wait.

So ya…this reminded me that I had not yet written a letter to myself.

Dear Nikki…

You FUCKED up! You made some really bad decisions and should be ashamed of yourself! I know you acknowledge this. As usual, you let your heart lead instead of your head. You made a bunch of justifications for what you did, but there was always that faint voice telling you it was wrong. You chose to ignore that voice and karma reached up and bit you in the ass. Your heart got crushed by these women and you deserved it. I hope you have finally learned from your mistakes and will never put yourself in this position again.

I hope you will never settle for being the other woman. I hope you will get out of a bad relationship sooner and not waste time, energy and tears trying to make another woman be something she will never be. I know you stayed because you know relationships are hard and you have to make sacrifices and compromises to make them work. Yes, eventually the honeymoon ends and people start getting real, but when it’s over, there has to be at least a basic level of respect. And the compromises and sacrifices have to come from both sides, not just yours and not just theirs.

Maybe you let them treat you like shit because you had been in their shoes and treated another girl the same way. Maybe your guilt got the best of you. Well I’m here to tell you NOBODY deserves to be treated like that…nobody. It is worst pain imaginable…to be in love with somebody who doesn't love you back. Somebody who essentially thinks you are pathetic for making yourself vulnerable to them. Clearly they have a very low opinion of themselves because they basically hate you for loving them.

Next time you are in a relationship where the love isn't equal, I want you to promise me you will get out ASAP. If you are not in love, then at least give the girl some respect and let her go. She deserves that. If you are in love and it is not returned…YOU BETTER RUN BITCH! It may break your heart, but at least you will leave with your dignity.

You may never find love again. I need you to be OK with that. You have some really great friends that have already talked about you being crotchety old bitches sitting in chairs on the porch yelling at the neighborhood kids to “get off our lawn!” If those kids don’t leave, you would then resort to throwing your dirty diapers at them and laugh as you shit yourselves. Now THAT sounds like a good time! It’s much better than settling on a loveless life with somebody you eventually won’t even like just so you won’t die alone. I’ll tell you this, there is nothing worse than wasting your life and to never take chances at being happy just to play it safe. Nobody lays on their deathbed and says “I’m glad I settled on a half life. I’m glad that I chose to make everybody else happy instead of myself.” According to a hospice nurse’s article, the regrets are really quite the opposite. Check out this link if you ever need a reminder:

Most importantly, don’t give up on love! You are already extremely protective and have very high standards for the people you let in (except when it comes to girlfriends). Nobody is perfect, they will all have flaws. As long as they give you the love and respect you deserve and you give it back to them without effort, then anything is possible. If you don’t make yourself vulnerable again, then you will never experience the feeling of being “in love again” and that would be a shame. Especially since you have experienced it before. I know with vulnerability comes the potential for great pain also. But as you stated above, nobody looks back and is happy that they played it safe.

Don’t die with 156 cats regretting the chances you didn't take.

the end.

Monday, April 13, 2015

It's not you, it's us: Part 3 and 4

Brene Brown defines guilt as "I did something bad, I made a mistake." She defines shame as "I am bad, I am a mistake." Guilt can be a really good thing; shame can ruin your life. If you can recognize guilt, you can say to yourself "I'm not going to do that again, what the hell was I thinking?" If you feel shame then you just think you are a horrible person and you deserve to be punished. It is a downward spiral, and if you don't realize and acknowledge that you are in it, you may never come out. It's a very dangerous place to be.

I have been feeling shame possibly my entire life. I used to be a perfectionist... And still am depending on the day. But I'm fighting against it as much as possible. Nobody is perfect. I will never be perfect. You can only stay on top for so long before you fall. A mountain is a perfect metaphor for perfection. The top is tiny and all around it is a giant slope down. The mountains we are all climbing have different slopes. Some are super steep and you can fall to your death with the slightest misstep. And some are smaller with a more gradual slope. You can still fall to your death, but you will have to work harder to get there. And then there are those mountains that you try with everything you have to climb to the top, and you never get there. Sometimes you run out of steam. Sometimes there is an avalanche and it's a matter of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. And then there is that person that shoots you. The result is the same in all those situations, but the journey to the bottom isn’t.

I think we all are born with certain gifts and flaws. I think we are predisposed to be who we are based on genetics. Our experiences shape how those gifts and flaws will be highlighted or diminished. If we are unlucky and have a lifetime of difficulty and bad shit happen to us, then we will react in one of two ways. We will say, "I deserve that and I'm going to behave the same way because that is what happened to me." It will be a lifetime crutch that we will use to explain our bad behavior. Or we will rebel against it. We will say "I did nothing to deserve this and I will NEVER be that person."

For example, my brother and I were brought up in the exact same household for better or for worse. There were some really bad times and there were some really good ones. My brother has chosen to use the bad times as a crutch his entire life. He blames my parents for everything that is wrong in his life. Now I'm not saying that it's entirely his fault. He was born with some big flaws. It was clear to everyone that even as a toddler, there was going to be trouble. And this was before anything bad happened to him.

Regardless of who you think I am at the moment, I rebelled against the bad shit. Overall, I was a really good kid. Yes, I have had some growing pains throughout my life. I have made a shit ton of mistakes that I regret wholeheartedly. But at the root, I’m happy with who I am in this moment. That is not to say, I haven't gone through big periods of darkness where all I felt was soul sucking shame were all of me believed I was a horrible person and total piece of shit. Today I can say that most of my shame has turned into guilt. I am acknowledging my mistakes to myself in my head and the world in my blog. I know that I have to do this if I ever want to get past them and move on with my life.

Originally this blog was going to be a letter to the women I loved more than they loved me. And the next one was going to be to the women who loved me more than I loved them. As I wrote the first one, I couldn't help but give examples of the second one I planned to write. So I have decided to combine them into one REALLY long blog, so grab a snack and a glass of wine and prepare for that shit. You are going to be here for a while.

Depending on the day, this blog has gone in two directions, the high road and the low one. When there have been long periods of silence from "the other side," I can be calm and rational and more fair to my ex's and not blame them for everything. But when there is chatter coming from them that is just total BULLSHIT and lies, then I want to go for blood and attack. I want to write about every nasty horrible thing they said and did and make them feel the pain I did in that moment. I have said it a thousand times.... It's not the truths they are telling about me, it's the lies that they tell to cover up their own shame that cuts so deep.

Just last week, a friend of mine told me that someone who knows nothing about me, someone who is very educated and respected described me as "troubled" based on what my ex told her. Basically that I'm criminally insane. I have never said more to this woman than "it's nice to meet you." All she knows is what my ex told her, some of it true, but most of it lies. I know this because my ex went out and tried to befriend every ex I had ever had. I'm fairly certain she spoke with my high school boyfriend. It was like she had this list of people she wanted to get to first to recruit people Into the “I hate Nikki fan club." First on the list were our mutual friends...the people that could potentially go either way. She knew she could get to them first because I am an introvert. Especially in times of crisis. I will curl up into the fetal position and hide I my house for months. It's not that I don't want to talk to my friends about what I am going through; it's just that I don't want to bring them down with the ship. A ship that has been on the verge of sinking for months. I will sink alone on my own ship before I drag down someone I love with me. So I'm not going to reach out and she will win that battle every time. The next people on the list were my ex's. That was followed by all mothers’ that resided in my town. She played the kid card a lot to gather people on to her team. Some of these moms were people she had shit talked previously based on their own affairs or rumors of them. To which I said "You can't judge them, you did the same thing. You don't know what their life is like at home. Maybe it's what they needed to do because they weren't strong enough to leave." She would say "Well my reasons are different." I'm here to tell you, they weren't.

Next in line were my friends, my "ride or dies." They are the reason I know most of the lies that were told. It was kind of mind blowing to think that somewhere in her twisted brain, she thought she could sway them with her lies. These are people that were on the entire journey with me. They saw the beginning, middle and high end. They were the one's telling me to jump off that boat long before it finally sank. And the moment the lies left her lips, they came to me and told me.

From there she moved on to my coworkers and bosses. She was going to win that one too, because when I'm at work, I'm there to help my clients and work out. In the almost 10 years I have been there, the only time I will be seen standing around chatting is when a client is late. That happens for a maximum of the 10 minutes. After that, my headphones are on and I'm working out. At that point, I have exactly 20 minutes before my next client and I'm doing my best not to be noticed or have any conversations so that short window can be a productive one. Sometimes I feel really bad about this. My coworkers have to work really hard to get in. Some of them have flat out told me that and essentially beat me into submission where I had no choice but to love them. And for that I am thankful.

The last stop for her was the other girl I loved. The very person she accused me of having an affair with. She knew there was a chemistry between us long before I realized it. The moment she heard we hadn't been hanging out for a while, she contacted her. I have never seen anything like it. For a long time, I sunk deeper into my hole as I watched all of it happen. At some point, it was so crazy, that I had to begin to fight back or I would end up friendless and possibly unemployed.

So I started telling my side, which totally backfired. That just made her lies worse. I was screwed no matter what I did.

A few weeks ago, a relative of the other one told a friend of mine that I "went crazy on her." To say I was pathetically passive in that relationship is an understatement. I let her treat me like absolute dog shit and then welcomed here back every time the moment she showed me the tiniest amount of kindness. She kept me on the line for almost 2 years coming and going as she pleased. She had total control because the moment I got upset about anything, she just disappeared. So if I wanted her to stay around, which I did because I was in love with her, I had to "send the pain below." At one point she had left me and I was devastated. When she came back, a friend asked me why I took her back. And it's hard to believe I said this because it's tragically pathetic, but I said "I'm miserable with or without her. So I might as well get a few good times out of it, but I know it won't last." I was her dirty little secret for almost 2 years. She allowed me no access to her friends, family or life. I would sit in my house and wait for her to show up. She told me that she was never going to tell me in advance if she was coming. That way if she didn't, I wouldn't be disappointed. When she was at my house, she spent a good chunk of her time reading all of my texts, emails and Facebook messages. If I even glanced in the direction of her phone, she'd be out of there. Also....get this....I was not allowed to just drop by. I had to announce that I was coming or she would be PISSED! Yes I know... I'm an idiot. Turns out she had been cheating on me the whole time...shocker.

I did in fact lose my shit when not only did she betray me as her girlfriend but also professionally. My girlfriend and my job are the most important things in my life and she hit me on both of them at the same time. So yes, I lost it. I said the most hurtful hateful things I could drag up. I had been betrayed in love, but never professionally. And it was by the person I had loved above all others. The person I had been most vulnerable to. So when she approached to give me a line of bullshit excuses. I told her EXACTLY where to go.

On a side note, I bought my house a few days after it ended. As I was leaving work, she was coming through the door. I immediately started crying and walked into my closing 5 min later. I don't think I have ever felt so alone as I did in that moment. That should have been one of the best days of my life, instead it was the worst. All I could do was sit there and try to "fake it until I make it". But the only thing I was thinking is "I'm alone." Buying a house is something you do with somebody you love in the process of building a life together, not by yourself. She was with me when I looked at it. As we walked around, I imagined us sitting on the kitchen floor in our underwear eating ice cream at 2:00am like we had in the past. That was never going to happen...and it crushed me.

At the closing, they gave me a painting of my house. They took a picture of me holding it to a friend. My friend sent it to me and said "You sure look happy." There was no doubt from that photo that I was nothing but miserable. A few hours later, I found out she was cheating on me.

The worst day ever.

For a long time, I felt pathetic and ashamed for allowing somebody to treat me that way. Looking back, it was the best decision I have ever made. If it has just ended the first time she had left, I would have always wondered "what if?" I would have justified her behavior and blamed it on her friends, family and church. All of which were against me and our relationship. According to her, not one person in her life supported her. I can't imagine what that is like.

So I would have gone through the rest of my life saying she is a really great person who is trapped between 2 worlds. And her options are me or the rest of her life. Of course she is going to choose them. The price to love me was just too high. Because of this I would have always been in love with her and I would go to my grave thinking "she was the one that got away."

Thankfully I stayed in the battle long enough to see who she truly is, and now I can move forward in my life knowing I did everything I could. I couldn't blame the people around her. The blame rested solely on her...and me. We weren't good for each other and she was not the person I made her out to be.

That is a whole bunch of words to say, after I heard that I was "troubled and crazy" recently, my objectivity flew out the window and the "high road" blog I intended to write, turned to a very "low road" blog that was filled with nothing but the truth....a very ugly bitter truth. My only purpose in writing that was to hurt them the way they hurt me. Revenge. An eye for an eye. A few years ago, I would have published that one without remorse or apology. Today, that is not the person I want to be. I know longer think of them as bad soulless people. I think they are doing the best they could with what they have to work with.... At least some of the time.

The two women that I was madly in love with, on the surface, when you stand them side by side seem completely different. But when you get past the surface, down to their core, the similarities are shocking. They were to me anyway.

On the surface, one of them is very loud. You always hear her enter the room before you see her. She is an extrovert in every way and needs constant stimulation and attention from everybody at all times. The other one is extremely quiet. You always see her before you hear her. Her appearance is what is important to her. I have never met someone so consumed with every microscopic inch of their own surface. Her self-worth lies in her body, hair, clothes etc. They both get there in different ways, but the goal is the same. They both need the approval and attention of the masses. The same reason both of our relationships would fail.

They both had long lists of people they wanted approval from. I was at the very bottom of that list. Right below taking out the trash and doing the laundry. They both knew they HAD me...and they did. So they put zero effort into keeping me and focused on the things and people that were more likely to go away.

One of them pushed me away over and over. And I would say to her "keep it up, one day your efforts are going to work and I will go away. And once I finally go, I will be gone forever. There will be no getting me back. And trust me on this, that is not the Nikki you want."

That situation is mind boggling, because after years of pushing me away, I finally left and guess what happened? I SHOT right to the top of her damn list! And I went from sad, pathetic, codependent Nikki, to child hating heartless cheater in a blink of an eye. And let me tell you, the night I finally left for good was one of the most terrifying nights of my life. I'm not going to go into details, but let's just say, I have every text leading up to that night, from that night and the aftermath. And the texts the day after are nothing but her begging for forgiveness. If anybody would like to challenge me on that, I would be happy to get coffee with you and show you the evidence. You know how to contact me, my door is open.

The crazy thing about that entire relationship is that her friends and her seem to have complete amnesia about the entire first 2 years of the relationship when they all trash talked me for being too needy and pathetic. All the sudden I became this heartless monster when the tides turned and it was me, who was doing the leaving.

We were engaged 2 times. The first time she gave me a ring... I WAS IN. I couldn't wait. We had announced it, had the venue and food donated. A few minutes before we were to meet somebody to pick out the food, she called it off. I was devastated and since it was my friend donating the food, I had to call him a few min later and cancel.

For the next year, people would constantly ask us when we were getting married. I dark cloud filled the room every time and I would just stare at them blankly. Every time there was a wedding on TV, I got sad and she resented me for it.

After, I moved out of her house, we tried to still make it work. A week before Christmas, I caught her in some more lies. I tried to end it then. I said, "that's it, I'm done. I'm calling my parents and telling them not to come." She said, "Please don't, your whole life will change next week, I promise." I said "No it won't, I know you are giving me a ring and I don't want it." Finally she wore me down and I stayed.

Fast forward to Christmas morning. My parents start reaching for their camera as the kids hand me a tiny box. And they say "Miss Nikki, will you stay with us forever???"

She set me up. My options were to say yes or ruin Christmas for them and my parents. I started to put the ring back in the box and my mom was like "Nicole, you are supposed to wear that." So I put it on my finger, went in my closet and sat on the floor and cried. Meanwhile, she was posting it on Facebook.

So that was Christmas Day and we broke up for good on New Year's Eve. Then I got the joy of people congratulating me and asking to see the ring and then telling them, "Ya about that, it's not happening." And then I watched their face go from happy to feeling like shit....awesome.

She then proceeded to run around and tell everybody we knew…and didn't know that all she wanted was for me to love her and I didn't. And the reason I left is because I didn't want kids and I was cheating on her…both lies.

I never made it a secret that I heard no biological clock ticking. I had no desire to reproduce. It had been a problem in some of my past relationships. I now know that it wasn't that I didn't want kids; I just hadn't met the right person yet. When I met her, it was a package deal. I couldn't have her without the kids. And honestly in the beginning, it was a hard transition. I didn't know what to do or how to act. It was completely foreign. I would tell her all the time what a great mother she was and how attractive that was to me. But that fact also made me highly nervous and stressed out when I was alone with them. I was TERRIFIED that something would happen on my watch. Every time I was home alone with them I was STRUNG out! I would hover around covering all corners of tables knowing that my life as I know it would be over if they got hurt. She would never forgive me and I would never forgive myself, because I did love them. I told her this, but she still will tell you and everybody else something different because once again, it takes the blame off her and puts it directly on me.

A couple of months before we broke up, I told her “At this point, I’m only still here because of the kids. If it was just about you and me, I would leave. I need you to know that and decide if that is what you want.” This conversation was conveniently omitted later on. This is the great lie I will never forgive her for. She made me out to be a child hating monster, and it just wasn't true. Our relationship failed because we weren't meant to be together, not because of the kids.

I would say it was about a year later when she tried HARD to be my friend. I found this ironic based on the gigantic pile of shit she made me out to be to the rest of the world. Why would you want to be friends with somebody who hated your kids and cheated on you? That’s easy, because she knew they were both lies and that is not who I was. I told her that I would not be her friend until she posted a public retraction on Facebook. She had no problem airing our dirty laundry, so it was time to clean that shit up or stay the hell out of my life. She said she would talk to everybody and tell them the truth. Based on her past behavior, I wasn't buying that shit. She said “Nikki, I can’t, I have kids.” As if my life and reputation was of a lesser value because I did not. So I was like, “Use it as a teaching experience. Sometimes when we are hurt and angry, we say things that aren't true that can hurt people. And when that happens and you know you made a mistake, you have to fix it.” Let’s just say, that didn’t happen and we ain’t friends. To her what matters most is public opinion, not the truth.

The other girl also asked if I would want kids with her one day. When she asked me that, I paused before I answered. I think she took that as me saying yes, but not meaning it. The real reason for the pause was because the first thing that popped into my head was “Yes, I do want kids with you and for the first time in my life, it was really upsetting that we couldn't make one together. The thought of having something that was half of her and half of me running around was the most amazing thing I could think of. It hurt to know that we could never share that bond. That being said, having a child that was half of her was still exciting to me. But that would never happen, because having me on the Christmas card would ruin the fairy-tale.

Believe it or not, I have left A LOT of dirt out of this blog. I could list example after example of situations and things that happened that would do a lot of damage to them if I chose that path. It is impossible to re-write my narrative and tell my side of the story without backing up what happened with examples.

The reason I tried to take the high road and be as fair as possible, is because I don’t think either one of them are bad people. They just couldn't love me the way I loved them. I even said to one of them, “It’s just not that hard to treat you well and put your first. It’s effortless for me. It’s easy for me because I am IN LOVE with you and it’s hard for you because you only love me. I’m just not the one for you.”

I speak from experience. I have been in their shoes. I have been in several relationships where the love was not equal. In every situation before them, it was the opposite scenario. The girls I was with were madly in love with me and I just couldn't find it in me to return it. I can look back and think about how the girls I was in love with treated me and how much it hurt. It was a pain I had not experienced before. It was brutal. But then I can remember some of the exact same scenarios with the girls before them, except it was me who was the distant selfish asshole. A reoccurring issue in these relationships was sex. Here is the thing, my heart and my brain have complete control over my vagina. If those 2 parts aren't into it, then there is NO way that the other part is going to want any action. They would accuse me of being molested, raped and a variety of other things. I would be like ya you are right…I’m totally fucked up. The reality was, for whatever reason, I just wasn't into it because something they did or said turned me off. It could have been the way that they talked to a waiter or the fact that if somebody called me at home, I knew I would be in trouble if I answered the phone. Whatever the reason was, I just didn't have it in my heart to say, I love you and care about you, but I’m not sexually attracted to you. If one of the girls I was in live with said that to me, I’m not sure I would ever recover. So I let them believe it was all me.

Two of my past girlfriends ended up cheating on me and that is why the relationships finally ended after a long series of break up and make ups. And I hated them for it. I felt betrayed and angry because they asked me to stay and I did hoping something would change and it didn't. And now I had crushed their self esteem because they knew I didn't want to be there, but they were in love with me so they tried to make it work. Given that I just went through that exact same experience recently, I feel awful that I did that to them. So of course, the first chance they got, they jumped ship and I can’t blame them for cheating. I drove them straight to it. They weren't bad people; they just weren't strong enough to leave me without somewhere to go. So to all the girls that loved me more than I loved them, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I made you feel that way. I had no idea what I was doing to you because I couldn't see past myself.

I am sorry for hurting the people that loved me so much. I have a lot of guilt about that. I should have walked away the moment I realized that the love was not equal. I can see that now, but in the moment I thought “Relationships take work…we can fix it.” But sometimes you just can’t make it work because you aren't the right fit. I was right for them, but they weren't right for me. With the last two relationships, they were right for me, but I wasn't right for them.

I think there are a lot of people trying to force round pegs into a square hole. And they are destroying each other in the process. As the great Kenny Rogers said, “You got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.”

I have had sadness and hate towards the two great loves of my life. They showed me a love I have never known and then took it away and it nearly destroyed me. While there are some things I can never forgive them for, it can never be because they didn't love me the way I loved them. We just were never meant to be. I now know that they are not to blame, we are.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


If only...

Click here before you read! Dove Commercial

Yesterday, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I saw a link for a Dove commercial that says “This Might Be The Best Dove Campaign We've Seen Yet”. I have a B.A. in Advertising and the moment I received my diploma, I never really thought about it again as far as my career goes. Getting that degree ended up feeling like a relationship gone bad and I had no interest in it being a part of my life. All told, I have 8 glorious years of college under my belt. It took me 6 years to get a degree in Advertising and one in Art History. I wish I could say it took me 6 yrs because I was out binge drinking, partying and having the “college experience” but that wasn't the case. I changed my major and transferred schools several times. I was also in the Army all 6 years, worked full time, toured with a band and commuted an hour each way for the last 3 years. I was also trying to stay awake long enough to keep a relationship going. I was tired…real tired. So let’s just say the people I dated during that time of my life really got the shaft.

I was a Fine Art major for a while and finally realized that I did not actually need a degree to make art. I was burning the candle at both ends and when it came down to it, I was probably not going to make a living with that degree. Even the best artists can’t live solely on their art, and I knew that as much as I wanted to be a great artist, I was mediocre at best.

So I switched my major to Advertising because I thought I could still be sort of artistic and pay my rent too. I quickly realized that it wasn’t really artistic at all. It was essentially a degree in lying and manipulation with the goal of getting people to buy a product. I hated it. I’m a straight shooter and have never possessed the ability to bullshit or kiss ass to claw my way to the top. Once again, my perception and expectations did not live up to the reality. I was out of money and energy and decided to stick with it just to get a diploma and get out. It was one of the few times in my life that I settled and knew it.

Looking back, I’m glad I did. Like a relationship, at 22, you don’t know who you are or what you want to be. All you know is what you have been told you are supposed to want and be. I think people should not be allowed to go to college or get married until they are at least 30. You need real world experience with people and professions to figure out what it is you truly want. I would probably be still in school and on my 15th major if I waited to figure it out the first time I went to college.

I found my career or actually my career found me when I was 31. I was a tattoo artist, made prosthetic limbs and fried bacon up in a pan for a while until somebody at the gym told me I should consider teaching a class. I thought to myself “Surely this bitch has lost her mind.” But she could not have been more right. And now almost 10 years later, I’m still at that same gym and it’s my world. I truly believe, it’s what I was meant to do. It comes easy for me and work doesn’t feel like work. I come home, binge eat, scoop some cat shit and hop on my computer to prepare for the next day. I’m addicted to my work and I’m on the constant search for knowledge to become a better trainer and I love every minute of it.

And there ya go…once again, the blog is going in a direction I had not intended….shocker. Allow me to redirect :)

Anyways, with my background in Advertising, I’m painfully aware that these companies care about one thing…dolla dolla bill y’all! $$ They don’t give a shit about anything but cash money. After all, the reason most of us work is to make money, so I can’t blame them for that. As much as I love my profession, I wouldn't do it if I found some sweet sugar mama to buy me endless pizzas and cats and live happily ever after…<holding breath>

I know that I’m a big ass sucker for packaging. I will pay $3.00 more for ice cream based purely on the container. My thought is, if they put that much time and energy into the container, surely they spent the same time on the actual product inside. I know that that is pure bullshit and more times than not, my expectations almost always exceed the reality….pretty much sums up my entire life….except for Totino’s Party Pizza. 4 pizzas for $5 and fucking delicious every time! My expectations were low on that shit, and that was the best surprise EVER!

I’m also a sucker for a good story. If a commercial can hit a chord in me that either makes me laugh or cry…I’m buying that shit. No questions asked…even if it’s not the best product. I get this brand loyalty for a good storyteller that is unexplainable.  I don’t feel I need to analyze. I’m just going to take it for what it is. LORD knows, I've got much bigger fish to fry when it comes to fixing the shit that is wrong with me… (SHUT UP! I can hear you all agreeing with that statement. I know :)

So, here comes the point….

I clicked play on that Dove commercial and it sucked me in. Before I knew it, I was sitting at my desk with a cat in my lap crying. And when it was over, I just sat there, and then I watched it again. And then in my usual form, I felt it was my duty to spread the word. I posted it on Facebook and sent out the link to any of my friends that weren't on Facebook and demanded that they watch it and report back to me. They were all like “What is it about?” And I was like “I can’t tell you, It will ruin it. I want you to have the same experience I did.” I know they were all like “This bitch is cray.” But they also know that there will be a quiz later, so no point fighting it. Then I went to work and told all my clients about it and then sent them a link. So clients…take note…there will be a final exam and if you fail, the price will be 100 burpees…try me :)

I’m desperate for my clients who are also my friends to watch it, because every single time I train them, they are beating themselves up in one way or another. I spend a good part of my day saying “You are beautiful” “You are not weak” and most of all “How much of your life are you willing to sacrifice in the quest for the perfect body? Because I got news for ya, the moment you achieve your goal weight, you will find another flaw or something else wrong with your body to obsess about. You are going to spend your entire life working towards something you will never have because for some reason, you can’t see what other’s see.” And I have been there and battle that same issue everyday…it’s fucking exhausting. I want a day off from that shit. A day that I don’t think to myself…you are fat and ugly.

It’s especially hard to watch my clients lose weight after their “friends” and family told them they were fat. They kill themselves dieting and exercising and lose a ton of weight and then they obsess over the loose skin. And once their body fat drops out of their face and wrinkles they never had before suddenly appear. And then those same “friends”start telling them they look “sick” and they’ve “gone too far.”

I speak the truth when I say, not ONE of my clients has gone too far. They look amazing! The BEST part of my day is watching their face light up when somebody compliments them while we are training. THE BEST! Unless they compliment them too much and then they ask me…”Was I really that fat???” It happened again last week. And I said “Don’t take something good and turn it into something bad. Just say thank you and accept the compliment.”

I usually tell them they need new “friends” as well. Good friends build you up and support whatever path you are on. They will try to act like they are degrading you because you are either too fat or too thin and that they are concerned about your health or some other bullshit excuse. Those people are not assholes…they are the WHOLE ASS!

So for those of you that haven’t seen the commercial, I will give you the gist of the message. They went all over the world and put a sign that said “beautiful” over one door and another one that said “average” over a door next to it. So everyday these women had to choose a door based on how they felt about themselves. Almost all of them picked average. Some because they felt average and some because society told them they were. There were some that felt beautiful, but thought they would be viewed as vain in they chose the beautiful door. The one that really got me was the woman that walked up, looked at the signs and then turned around and left. I saw myself in her. THAT is probably what I would have done a month ago when I was feeling like a complete failure at life…unless one of my clients were around. Then I would have walked through the beautiful door and dragged them kicking and screaming behind me.

It’s just sad. The world we live in is hyper focused on the surface. They like me are buying “products” aka people based on the outside package, not the actual product itself. It’s so hard to watch my clients and friends who are beautiful people inside and out struggle for the perfect body and completely forget that they are SO much more than that. What makes them so beautiful to me has nothing to do with the scale.

Do I think Dove gives a shit about building women up? Hell no! They are using our emotions to sell products and I’m all in! Because no matter what their intentions are, the message is beautiful.

I know that getting people to see beyond the surface is a losing battle. But I do believe showing this commercial to your daughters is a step in the right direction. It can start a dialogue that can change the way they treat others and more importantly, how they few themselves. Generation after generation has repeated the same mistake, because that is how they were raised. I think it’s time to break the cycle and skip some generations and start a new cycle. A cycle of kindness.

Friday, April 3, 2015

It's not you, It's us: Part 2.5

Lighten your load.

She's human.

Hot-n-Ready Bitches!

Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again - I have listened to this song on repeat for 3 days.

The universe can be such a crazy place. My last blog happened because of a TED Talk that I bumped into, I didn't look for it, it just found me. And now 2 days later, it has happened again. I stopped by Facebook on my way to Netflix to respond to a message and BAM! another TED Talk appears. The name of the talk is “The Price of Shame” and the presenter is Monica Lewinsky. She talks about how she was patient 0 when it comes to internet scrutiny and public humiliation and she couldn’t have been more right. I remember judging her when the scandal happened. Now I look at her with such empathy for the mistake she made at 22. To know that she almost ended her own life because of the overwhelming cruelty, judgment and shame is heartbreaking. So before you cast your next public stone, look at your own life and remember the mistakes you have made and how you got there. I’m sure even Hillary has a few skeletons of her own. And before you start thinking, "You are a hypocrite Nikki, you just publicly humiliated 4 people!" Read it again.

Monica says the number one question she is getting at the moment is "Why now?" I too have gotten that one a lot in the past few days. Her answer is perfect. She said "Because it's time to re-write my narrative." She is not the whore the world made her out to be. She made the same mistake millions have made before her, unfortunately her mistake was made with the President of the United States and she got caught. At the end of the day, he is just a man and she is just a woman. They are still flawed human beings like the rest of us. When I wrote my last blog, my goal was not to publicly humiliate those people. My goal was to re-write my narrative. The only way to do that is by telling my side of the story. If I wanted to hurt those 4 people, I would not have taken the responsibility for my part. I would have just listed their dirty little secrets and include a few extra lies to add fuel to the fire. But I didn't. I empathized with all of them and made excuses for them as I told my story. I speculated on some things that may have gotten them in some bad situations that resulted in some bad choices. All 4 of those people publicly humiliated me without a second thought. Some of it was true, but a lot of it was lies. If those lies weren't told and the truths weren't taken out of context, I would have no narrative to re-write.

It's funny, in her TED Talk on shame, Brene Brown talks about how she woke up the next day after her vulnerability talk with the worst vulnerability hangover ever. She felt like total shit and just wanted to crawl under a rock and stay there. I completely understand how she felt now. The morning after I posted the first installment of my shame story, I woke up and felt like I had been hit by a bus. The way I have described it to my friends is I feel like I have been up for 3 days cramming for a college exam. I have taken the exam, went out binge drinking and haven't slept yet. And I can't sleep because I have to work and get shit done. I have slept... kinda. But it doesn't feel that way. The moment I hit "publish" on my blog, my phone lit up. I had texts, phone calls, Facebook messages and emails coming at me so fast, that I missed a few. They were from friends, family, acquaintances and much to my surprise, people I thought were my enemy because in one way or another, they were tied to one of the 4 people in that blog. The messages from those people affected me the most. My friends and family always tell me, “You don't have to justify yourself to anyone. The people that really know you know who you are and love you.” So when their support and kind words came in I was so thankful and it brought me to tears, but their opinion was bias before the blog existed. So to have people that were on the other side reach out and support and empathize with me was HUGE. Those people will always have a special place in my heart. Maybe we will even become friends one day. Because THOSE are the kind of friends I want. People that can acknowledge when they are wrong or if they weren't wrong, at least open minded enough to hear the other side and then reach out.

At this very moment I still feel like I’m a rock that got stuck in somebody's tire and they have a lot of errands to run. I know that I will fall out of their tire soon and feel amazing. Hopefully they will hit a pothole driving through the Krispy Kreme and drop me off there. And hopefully the damn light will be ON! It’s kinda like how you feel after you get a massage... sick. All those toxins that had been hiding deep in your muscles are suddenly released and have moved to the surface where you can feel them trying to escape. I guess I need to drink a bunch of water to flush out all this toxic baggage that has been camping out deep in my heart for waaaaaaaaay too long. Or maybe might be good.

Here is a link to Monica's talk. You will see her and the situation differently...hopefully.

Brene Brown is the reason for this whole series of blogs. If I have not harassed you personally and demanded you watch them, well that is exactly what i'm doing to you now. I am not a "self help" seeker and not the type of person that goes to therapy. I'm sure a super-sized dose of that shit would do me a world of good. So if you are like me, then you will never watch these videos. I'm telling you, that decision is a mistake. Over 19 million people have watched the first one on I'm sure they would back me up. I actually like the second one on shame even better. Take a chance, you and the people around you will be glad you did!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It’s not you, It’s us: Part 2

This is Part 2 of 5 blogs that are all connected. I wanted to separate them because they all deserve their own moment. When I write, my ADD kicks in and one thought leads to another and I have a tendency to drift away from my primary focus. Part 1 represents that fact clearly. I was all over the place. So if you are confused and not really sure where I was going with that, I understand. Essentially, this is a blog about 2 relationships I was involved in over about a 5 year span. I’m writing about them specifically because these are two women that for the first time in my life, I made myself completely vulnerable to. They knocked down my very high walls and I fell madly in love with them. I had found love before, and there were some truly amazing times with those women. But this was the first time that I loved someone more than they loved me and more than I loved myself. For me, the definition of being “in love” is putting someone else’s needs before your own happily and without resentment. Like if somebody had to die between the two of you, without hesitation you would volunteer to save the person you love. I think a lot of parents feel that way about their children. There is no question; they would happily take that bullet to protect their child. That is the kind of love I want to give to my partner, and that’s the kind of love I want to receive….still waiting for that to happen. No luck yet. At some point that is exactly the type of love I had for these women, but it was never returned. One of them kept pushing me away until I finally left and fell out of love. The other relationship ended while I was still madly in love, but had to throw in the towel because I knew it was never going to be returned. These two women are responsible for some of the best moments followed by some of the absolute worst soul crushing and devastating moments of my life. Oh and by the way, when I got into a relationship with them, they were both unhappily married.

So this blog is about my vulnerability with them and my shame because of them. This particular part is my letter to their husbands. Had I written this 2 years ago, I would have blamed everything on them. I would have revealed every dark and nasty secret their ex-wives had told me. I would have thrown them DIRECTLY under the bus and I would be the one driving it. That is exactly what they did to me, so eye for an eye right? Part 3 is to the two women I loved more than myself. Had I written this 3 months ago, I would have thrown them under the bus right next to their ex-husbands. Because trust me when I say this, there are 5 people involved in this situation and there is not one of us that shouldn’t share some of the blame. We all played a part and made some bad decisions. Part 4 is to all the women who loved me more than I loved them. They made themselves vulnerable to me, but I wasn’t capable of returning it. Part 5 is a letter to myself. One reason I will write to myself is to remember that vulnerability is not weakness, it’s courage. I will never find true love if I don’t allow myself to be vulnerable again. I decided not too long ago that I was just going to stay single forever and die alone with a house full of cats because it was safer. Mostly because I never wanted to feel pain like that again, but also because I had enormous amount of guilt and shame about what I had done and felt I was no longer worthy of love because of it.

I am also writing to remind myself to learn from my mistakes so I don’t repeat them. I know several of the people involved in this situation, confessed their sins in church. Well as I revealed in my “Closer to God” blog, that is not an option for me. I do feel STRONGLY, that you cannot fix your mistakes, if you do not acknowledge them. This blog is my church and my therapist. And I have been carrying this burden for far too long. I can stand back with clear eyes and accept my role in this big ass mess and stop blaming everybody else. We are ALL to blame. I feel an enormous amount of shame for my part in it. And I want to be clear that when I talk about it being “wrong” or making the statement “I was wrong”, I’m talking about who I am, was and want to be. I know many people involved in similar situations. Some are cheating on their spouse, some are the “other” man or woman and some are the ones being cheated on. I’m not pointing fingers or judging anybody else’s experience. As I will explain below, I know how I got there and how I justified it all to myself, so I can empathize with everybody.

For example, a few years back I had a client who was kinda a friend…well she was my friend when I was in the room and my enemy when I was not. You know the type. Anyways, our entire session for about a year consisted of her telling me what a “piece of shit” her husband was. I mean the things she would say were MIND BLOWING and just nasty. I felt really bad for the poor guy. One day she came in and said “I told my husband this morning that I am buying him training today because he was absolutely disgusting. I mean I walked in while he was showering and he made me want to puke!” And I remember thinking how awful it must be to be married to her. So I was like “Um….ok.” So her husband shows up and it’s clear he has no desire to be there. He looks kind of sad and defeated. There is no doubt in his mind that his wife has been talking trash about him to me and I know he thinks that I am on her side. What he doesn't know is I have seen her Jekyll and Hyde show many times before and I know who she is. She is a spoiled rotten drunk that has never worked a day in her life because daddy cuts her a check. She looks down on everybody around her for not being rich and she will treat you like her best friend to your face and then stab you directly in the back the moment you turn it. She is a sorry excuse for a human being…. So let’s just say, I was not on her side at all. I was simply tolerating her and trying to do my job. So I trained him a few times and tried to be as gentle with his broken soul as I could. One day she came in and said ”Well, that loser served me with divorce papers yesterday. I took them directly to my lawyer and signed them.” The divorce was final EXACTLY 30 days after the papers were presented. They had two kids together and she did not hesitate for a moment to try to fix anything. There was not a drop of sadness or remorse. I remember thinking, he ain't out of the woods yet…he is going to have to put up with her shit forever because of the kids. She could easily buy a team of lawyers with all her precious money and surely would not hesitate to get full custody and he would never see them again. Needless to say, after he served her with those paper’s, I never saw him again. And thankfully she crawled back into her hole and never stepped foot in my workplace again. This is probably because we didn't have any shooter girls on staff. My point is, I don’t know if he ever cheated on her, but if he did….I would understand. I could see how he would fear her and if somebody came along that was kind to him and treated him like a man instead of a dog, he might pursue it. Would it be the right way to handle it? I don’t know. We all respond differently when we are backed into a corner. I think most of us are trying to do the best we can at the time. I did what I thought was right at the time…I now know that for me, it was not right.

This is my shame story.

Dear ex husbands,
You hate me and I get that. I would hate me too. To be honest I hate myself for what I have done. This is not an excuse, but I want to tell you how I justified it at the time. First of all, both of your wives initiated it, both verbally and physically. One of them completely blindsided me. I really had no idea we were on a date when I showed up in my laundry day clothes and she showed up in a new outfit like she was going to the club. I thought we were just two people with a very new friendship grabbing a bite to eat. We told that story and laughed about how clueless I was with all of our friends many times. Hundreds of people could back that up. The other relationship grew out of a friendship. We both were struggling in our relationships and I think that we found the comfort in each other that we didn't have at home. 3 months after I left my relationship, she made it physical. The relationship ended the first time before you were divorced. So when she signed those papers, we had not been on speaking terms for quite some time and as far as I know, she was single. After your divorce was final, she again initiated a physical relationship and then it ended. And then once again, she initiated it for the 3rd time and then it was over forever. Every time it ended, I went away and never once asked her to come back, she did that on her own.

Another way that I justified to myself is because both of them told me that both of you were cheating or had cheated on them in the past. And believe me when I say this, they made some horrific accusations about what you had done. One of them told me that you admitted to these affairs and because you confessed them in church and she agreed to stay with you, that they didn't count anymore. You and your friends called me a "home wrecker", but from what I understand, the affair you had was with a married woman who had children, who is now divorced. I know this to be true because her ex husband and your ex wife had dinner and told each other everything they saw and found. The other husband admitted to some really bad things and justified them by saying, "that's just what men do." And you know, I think that there is a large percentage of people that agree. There are exceptions of course and I'm not saying all men are this way because I know a bunch of men that are not. But I think men are more capable of just having sex without any kind of emotional attachment to it. There are women that do this as well. But I think generally speaking, when a woman has an affair, it's almost worse because chances are there is some sort of emotional connection and it is not just sex. In my personal experience, this is especially true when these couples have children. I think the man in many cases takes on the role of the provider and the woman takes on the role of the mother and things get lost along the way. Maybe the woman is so busy with the kids, she doesn't have time to go to the gym as much or dresses differently and let's her appearance go a little.... And I understand that because in my opinion, being a stay at home mom is the toughest job on the planet! And maybe she resents the fact that you get to go off to work and in a way, get a break. And maybe you don't fully grasp how hard her job is and you belittle her. And when you get home, you expect her to give you the attention you once had before children and you don't get that because she is exhausted and you don't understand that because in your mind, she has been sitting on the couch all day watching tv and eating Doritos. Or maybe you got married REALLY young as both of you did. At that age, nobody knows who they are and who they want to be and be with. All you know is what you have been told by society and your parents at this point. So you do exactly what you think you are supposed to do. Maybe when you took your vows at the altar, you believed every word and were madly in love. But I can tell you, both of your ex wives had doubts as they said theirs. They both told me that. Now I'm not saying that having fears isn't a normal thing. I think most people hear that little voice. For some, it's nerves for others, it's a warning.

Both of them said you became more like a father and less of a husband. They said you would make them feel stupid and would be little them in front of your friends. Now as far as that stuff goes, I don't know what is true and what is not because they both told a lot of lies. They lied to you, their friends, family and me in the beginning of our relationship, during and after. So let's just say that I have my doubts and you may be nothing like the man they made you out to be. Or maybe you are a horrible person. I don't know you, so I have no idea what the truth is. All I know is what they told me. They are both very concerned with what everybody thinks around them, so that is a tough call. Only the four of you know the truth. But let's just say, they made you look like monsters. They did the same thing to me. I was not perfect and I made mistakes which I will discuss in my letter to them. One thing I never did, was lie to them.

What I'm saying is they told me you were lying, cheating bastards that treated them like shit, so when they initiated the physical relationship, I jumped on board. I fell madly in love with them. My heart was YELLING “I love you!” so loudly, that I couldn't hear my head telling me to “STOP!” Again, all of this does not make what I did right, because it doesn't. I was completely wrong. I should have said no.

And FYI, There have been quite a few married women that have either hit on me, or crossed the line. Some made no excuses and some “blamed it on the alcohol.” In every case, it ruined our friendship and we are no longer on speaking terms. So I do have the ability to say no and have done so. I kept wondering to myself, why does this keep happening to me? With the exception of a few small moments, the only people that approached me in the past 10 years are married women. But then I realized, for the most part, those have been the only kind of people around me during that time period. I never once had a relationship with a married woman during the 10 years I was a tattoo artist…I dated people that were in the tattoo world. Before that I dated people I was in school or the Army with. I guess that’s why a lot of men have affairs with their secretary’s or co-workers. It’s impossible to not build relationships with people that you often see more than your spouse. The bottom line is, I’m an introvert. I work, go to the grocery store and go home. I don’t possess the self esteem to pursue anybody. Never have, never will. Anybody I have ever dated has been forced to make the first move. I know you and the people in your world think I’m a predator that seeks out married women and destroys lives, but I assure you, that is not the case. But I completely understand why you would feel that way.

I will also say this. There were 4 people out of 5 that cheated. I was the only one that did not. Both of you had affairs before your ex-wives even knew my name. There were really bad problems in your relationship long before I came into it. It's very easy to make the girl or guy that is on the side the scape goat and I get that. You can all point the finger at me and say everything was great until "Nikki the predator home-wrecker" came on the scene. But we all know, that is just not true. If you were all blissfully happy it would have never happened.And if they had not pursued me, it would have eventually been somebody else. It would have only been a matter of time. Or maybe you eventually would have emotions for one of your affairs and left her. We will never know now. It's a shame though, because I did you all a disservice by accepting their offer and falling in love. Now it will just be too easy to blame me for what happened instead of recognizing the root of the problem that drove them to me in the first place. Every time I make a mistake or go through something painful, I try to find the lesson in it. I can look back and remember times when I pointed the finger at somebody else when I should have been aiming it directly at myself. That is exactly what I did to you. And now even though it may seem as though I'm still justifying myself and blaming all of you, I'm not. I'm explaining how I justified to myself at that time. I honestly believed I was doing all of you all a favor. NOBODY was happy…nobody.

When my friends or clients are discussing the problems in their marriage, I always ask them the same question..."Why do you stay?" And there is only one answer that I am looking for when they ramble off the list. I hear, I took a vow, I made a commitment, for the kids, I don't want to lose my house, I don't want to be alone, I don't want to work and I'd rather go to lunch with my friends every day. One day I was sitting with a table full of people and a woman walked up and boasted proudly "I'm just in it for the paycheck!" And let's not forget about your so called friends that are couples that are telling you both to stay together so you can still tailgate with them next football season. You should DEFINITELY hold on to those people!

The words I'm always waiting to hear are "I love him so much. I stay because I'm madly in love with him." Had your ex wives ever said that, I would have been out of there! I'm not capable of sharing. And I would always wonder when they told me they loved me, if they loved you more. It's kind of crazy because I have only heard someone say “Because I love him” one time and and it happened 2 days ago. My immediate response was "Well then you guys need to figure it out and make it work."

People get married for all sorts of reasons. Some people marry for love, some marry for money, power and status. Then there is that 1% that are lucky enough to have both. We all have our priorities. I'm not saying one way is better than another. I will say that when and if I marry, it will be for love. Yes, all those superficial things would be nice, but that's not what will make me happy. I don't want to wake up in a big house that isn't filled with love, respect and loyalty. I would live in a dumpster with the person I love and be blissfully happy. Again I'm not saying that my way is the right and only way, it's just my way.

Ultimately, I don't know who is to blame for the problems in your marriages. My guess is everybody and nobody. I think different people bring out different behaviors in people. So who they were with me may be completely different than who they were with you. I know one of you has remarried and had a child with her. My guess is that your second marriage is very different than your first one. Maybe it's because you learned from your mistakes or maybe it's because she inspired you to love her differently and better. I truly hope that that is the case for you. Maybe, you first marriage didn’t work because, it just wasn’t meant to be. You were or became too different.

I know this for sure. I am not a bad person. I truly believe that I'm a good person that made some really bad decisions. And maybe that is the case for you and maybe that's the case for your ex wives. Yes, I repeated my mistakes and found myself in the same position several times. And yes, it took me getting my ass handed to me several times to learn from my mistakes. But I promise you and more importantly, myself that I will never EVER be in that position again. Mostly, because it's just wrong, and that is not the person I want to be. But also, I’m Painfully aware that if they weren't strong enough to leave you before I came into the picture, then they certainly weren't strong enough to be in their first lesbian relationship with me. Because I assure you dealing with the consequences of what that means is not for the weak of heart. Not to mention they lied and cheated on you. I was really was cocky to think that they wouldn't do that to me. The fact that one of them went on to be in another long term relationship with another woman may have been part of the problem with your relationship in the first place.

Contrary to what some believe, being homosexual is not a choice. Nobody would choose to make their life incredibly more difficult than it had to be if they could truly be happy with the opposite sex. As far as the other girl goes, I can say with 99.5% certainty that she will never be in another relationship with a woman regardless of her true feelings and sexual preference. I will save the reason for another blog. Let's just say, I think when she is sitting in a chair on a porch somewhere at 80 years old reflecting on her life, I think she will wish she made different choices. Again that is just an outsider’s opinion. I couldn't have been more wrong assessing her character when I got into a relationship with her in the first place, so chances are, I'm totally wrong now. As I told her, THAT is between her and the God she claims to love.

So I will wrap this up with this.... I'm truly sorry and ashamed for my part in all of this. Karma jumped up and beat the shit out of me for it. The price for some of the best moments of my life was incredibly high. I never loved anybody the way I loved them. I made myself completely vulnerable and therefore was completely destroyed when that love and vulnerability wasn't returned. I got what I deserved.

I have been wanting to write this for a very long time. I needed to do this because I needed closure so I could move forward in my life instead of looking back. I am not trying to stir up shit. I'm actually trying to put it away for good. I’m so glad I waited to get to the point I am now in my head and in my heart. A place where I can own my part of it and wish you nothing but happiness and really mean it. I don’t expect that feeling to be returned…and that is ok.