When There Is No Closure.

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Hello, all.  In the wake of recent events, KP has decided to take a break from social media (for my Facebook friends and followers, I will be back), and focus on her writing and offline life. Very recently, a relationship/friendship ended very abruptly; and in its aftermath I am trying to put some of the pieces back together.  It’s almost like an arm or a leg was cut off, and I’m feeling the effects of phantom-limb-syndrome.  For those who know the feeling all too well (and for those who don’t), it runs along the lines of: They were just there!  We were talking and communicating and suddenly they decided they didn’t want me in their life anymore!  What did I do?  What wasn’t “enough” about me for them?  Was I not kind/considerate/attractive/Christian/insert-adjective-of-choice-here-enough for them?  How are they just gone?  What happened? I have done things in my life I am not proud of; and I can remember just about every major incident where I was a really shitty person.  However, when it has come to really cultivating friendships and relationships were I believed there was potential, I don’t believe I have ever done an emotional 180 on someone, and so I can’t identify with that modus operandi.  

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Back in 2011, I began Kinpatsu Oneesan as a travel blog, but over time it has evolved to include satire, humor, opinions, and personal experiences and observations.  Even if writing only remains a lifelong hobby, I believe that in order to become a better writer, we have to share what we know to be true so we can connect with others.  Part of this is sharing our failures…and part is sharing the journey to healing.  And sometimes, you know, I’ll hear the right voice in my heart, the voice toward the path of healing and growth, but the voices of self-doubt just as readily creep in (especially in the early stages of grief), and I think getting these words down is part of the path.  Kind of like, “Fake it ’til you make it.”  Even if I don’t 100% believe it just yet, I know it’s the truth and the right way and if I just go over it again and again and constantly re-affirm it, I will eventually believe it fully.  And maybe there are some people who are hurting in the same way in this world, and maybe they can identify and/or find solace in these words.

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For my readers who have been left hurt, confused, and damaged by people who were too self-absorbed/thought they were entitled to behave in thoughtless and careless behavior, although maybe now these words can not alleviate the heartache they have dealt, know this: YOU ARE ENOUGH.

I know what it feels like to wait for a phone call that never comes, an apology that is never given.  To desire closure when there is none.

I know what it is like to be ignored; like an annoying itch or some minor nuisance.  To be degraded down to that by another human is awful and perhaps one of the greatest blows to the Ego.  “If I just ignore them, maybe they’ll just get the hint and go away.”  Or, “If I can nitpick them and continue to find as many flaws as I can, I can convince myself they’re all wrong and get the hell out of this.  I can shirk the responsibility of dealing with the realities of this relationship in a healthy, adult manner and just project my own emotional issues and self-loathing onto this person.”  This is cruel and belittling, especially by one who has professed to be a friend and has gained our trust and confidence in that they supposedly care about us and our lives and feelings.  For some people, this can turn into emotional abuse.

None of this is about us, which is so hard to accept, right?  When you hear people say, “Don’t take it personally!” it’s like, “Are you kidding me?  This is a relationship/friendship/family tie–how much more f*%king personal does it get?!”

But it’s still not about us.  How other people treat us is a reflection of who they are.  Ignoring, not communicating, the vanishing act, etc., are actions indicative of people who have respect issues.  Remember, you are a living, breathing, thinking, feeling human being.  Not a novelty toy.  Not something hat gets discarded when its initial shine has worn off. And so, for all of those who have had a friend/significant other/family member just disengage, here is your closure: Selfish people take selfish actions.

*** images Oftentimes, there is no ill-will or malice involved with these flip-floppers, but there’s also no ownership of actions either.  They most likely have issues they are dealing with, but that’s NOT AN EXCUSE to make others emotional collateral.  All actions have consequences.  We must not be afraid to stand behind that truth. -With kindness and healing, KP

Purgatory is only Temporary.

Today I spoke with a very close friend of mine, and we had a long talk about some of the issues we both face.  I am not ready to share with the world some of my deep, dark secrets, because I don’t feel comfortable revealing that side of myself just yet, but some of what we talked about was about relationships.  We talked about how work has had me traveling for months and how it has felt like the echoes of my last relationship have been heard loudly everywhere.

K said to me, “It’s like you were in Purgatory.”

And she was right.

 

Neil Gaiman says it best, “I think hell is something you carry with you.  Not somewhere you go.”  I have never had such a jarring emotional experience of that magnitude before in my life; maybe some people can brush this sort of thing off easily.  But for those unfortunate, overly-introspective types like myself, it’s not that easy.  I still, months later, ask myself what I could have done to have been enough.  I know, rationally, the answer to this question is simple: NOTHING.  People who want you to be part of your life make you a priority.  They don’t push you away, they don’t disrespect you by being dishonest and secretive.  It doesn’t make this any easier to swallow, and we still beat ourselves up because of their betrayal.  Even as time passes, in the words of the late Maya Angelou, “People will never forget how you made them feel.”

 

The pain is still there and I know it will be there for a long time to come, but I also know that Purgatory is only temporary, and now I am here in Hawaii to start a new life, and the ghost of the man from my past can not come to these shores to haunt me.  This is a place of healing, and I concentrate on trying to let go of the hell I have carried within me for so long.

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For anyone out there going through something similar…if you don’t think it will end…I understand.  It’s not over for me, but I can finally see the beginnings of the road to healing.  The pain lasts a long time, but we don’t have to be buried under it forever.  There are still beautiful things to be seen, and we can find an abundance of kindness and goodness in the people who continue to stand by us and support us.  Our worth is not defined by those who have treated us badly, or the poor relationships we once were part of.  

 

Our worth was and always will be determined by ourselves.

 

It is Well with my Soul

I recently finished Dr. Terry Gordon’s book, No Storm Lasts Forever, a diary he kept throughout the first few months following a tragic accident that left his son Tyler paralyzed.  Dr. Gordon is one of those rare individuals who can draw insight and wisdom from life where many see nothing but random occurrence.  Although my storm is very different, and not in any way comparable to Dr. Gordon’s, it is still a loss, and it has caused me to experience the various stages of grief.  When we experience loss, it opens up a void within us that can become susceptible to negative thoughts and emotions.  I myself am a victim of this, and recently have been plagued with my own fears and self-doubts and questioning of my path entirely.  I do know that ultimately it all comes down to this: we must be the heroes of our own stories in order to save ourselves and come to peace.

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In 1873, a man named Horatio Spafford decided to send his wife and their four daughters on a trip to Europe.  They were to sail ahead of him, as he had to deal with the aftermath of real estate investments that had been destroyed in the Chicago fire of 1871.  Tragically, the ocean liner his wife and children were on collided with another vessel and sank.  His wife survived, and from England sent her husband a telegram that said, “Saved alone.”  Spafford then sailed to England to meet her, and as his vessel passed the place where his four daughters had passed, he penned the words:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Loss is so painful to deal with; and as I journey through these days and weeks I can see that although I may be training my physical body to become strong, I have been neglecting my mind.  There is a psychological term called, “rumination,” in which we let our worries overcome us.  We must be strong and not let ourselves be sucked into the vacuum of despair.  In the words of Plato, “For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.”  We either come to terms with our respective lots or we are destroyed by our own sorrows and insecurities.  And in destroying ourselves, we destroy others along with us.  I wonder what sort of world this would be if every man was able to come to terms with his own demons.  I imagine there would be so much less suffering.

Finally, to close with some wise words from Rafiki:

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Finding a Higher Purpose

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Today I started day one of my fitness project, under the training supervision of fitness pro, Kim Oddo.  I was referred by a classmate of mine to him, and after receiving my nutrition and fitness plan, I was expecting some of what he put together, but also surprised at some of the restrictions.  The interesting thing about nutrition is that for each person there are minute details which can be tweaked.  His plan goes down to each meal in detail, calories are overall most important for the day, but it is not as simple as just that.  I am allowed to swap out certain foods for like foods, but sadly, I can not consume 1500 calories of Peanut Butter and Nutella (although how amazing would that be?!) and call it a day.  Although I completed my marathon back in November, I can’t say that I was consuming the right kind of foods.  I think protein rarely made an appearance in my diet while I was living in Japan, which is really not a good thing, considering how important it is for overall health (and muscle growth).  If I had been taking in the right foods, I really have to wonder how much better I would have performed on my training runs and on race day.

Over the past few months it has been difficult dealing with the aftermath of my failed relationship.  I’ve been reading a few different books over the timespan to help me through the grieving process, to understand what went wrong, to recognize the signs of a toxic person, and most importantly, to once again find my higher purpose.   I recently began Richard Bach’s classic, Jonathan Livingston Seagull.  I am still working through the book, but the basic premise is that we need to do what we believe in, regardless of whether it is what everyone else is doing, if we think that it will lead to our purpose in life.  When I was in my relationship, I thought my highest purpose was to love my significant other, but I noticed I began neglecting myself.  When the relationship ended I was left with a massive void where that love once was; it felt like a vacuum.  I thought: What is there for me if this person is now gone from my life?  What other purpose could I possibly have if not to love him?  Although I am still working through these emotions, I truly believe it is the love of oneself.  Author Jo Coudert puts it perfectly in her book, Advice from a Failure:

You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself.  The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the Self.  Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose.  

I think of the Alanis Morissette song, Underneath, where she sings:

There is no difference in what we’re doing in here
That doesn’t show up as bigger symptoms out there

What we do within, for ourselves, how we feel about ourselves, manifests in the world.  And it is so hard to feel good or to feel okay when somebody abandons us, but we must ultimately accept what their choices were, and realize it is not about us. 

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My fitness project, along with the increase in my writing, are ways that I am trying to regain what I felt called toward once before.  Seeing internal strength, willpower, and dedication manifested as physical strength.  BEING MY BEST SELF.  That is what my higher purpose is.

 

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Only Human

It has been quite some time, and much has changed.

My job is transferring me to Hawaii, and I have a few months of training along the way.  It’s going to be a coast-to-coast adventure in America, starting from beautiful Northern Washington and ending up in Florida.  I will look out on to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans before June arrives.

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Although 2014 brings many promises of new beginnings, it unfortunately began on a very sad note for me.  My relationship ended in a very painful manner, and I never imagined I’d be writing an entry like this, but heartbreak feels like the equivalent of being sick with some kind of total body illness, it really does.  Regardless of whether it is you or the other person who ends it (for me, I was the one who ended it), it is horrible.  Ultimately for me, it came down to what I felt was settling in the relationship and accepting behavior that was very much not okay.  It still seeps deep into the core and unfortunately only the passage of time will heal what has been damaged.

It really made me start to think about how different people perceived love; or rather, what they thought was love.  The same man who said “I love you,” to my face was, behind my back, telling someone else how he wished he “could hold her all night.”  For any couple in a healthy monogamous relationship, this is not acceptable.  For people in polyamorous or open relationships, I can not speak, but I would assume that in those relationships, in order for them to be healthy, all parties must agree to whatever stipulations (and I would imagine there would be a good deal of communication involved).  I really do believe that for different people, different types of relationships work.  However, it is WRONG for one person to be covert and hide something from the other person when they are under the impression no such thing is going on.  That is cheating, in one of its many forms.

It saddens me to know that, at the end of my relationship, instead of being sincerely sorry for doing something that was wrong and hurt me a good deal, the man I was with was angry because he felt I had invaded his privacy and did not trust him; however, it was his behavior that prevented me from fully being able to do so.  The spectrum of human behavior is fascinating and terrifying all at once; whereas some of us are staunchly opposed to the idea of such behavior in relationships, others have no qualms engaging in it.  On some level these individuals must have issues with commitment and cannot enter the relationship both feet fully in.  Nevertheless, it does not take away from the hurt we feel when we cross paths with someone of that nature.

I think of Mary Oliver’s quote:

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