Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Dog Card

Charlie + Grant.   My loves.

Charlie + Grant.
My loves.

I remember when we got Charlie.  He was playing in a enclosed area (my ex referred to as the “puppy corral”) at the SPCA one Sunday afternoon when we just went to “look”.

I wasn’t a dog person, I grew up around cats and despised the stinky slobbery mess of a dog. However, my ex grew up around dogs and loved them.

That day, when we just went to look, we ended up taking home the most adorable and stubborn beagle-mix puppy I would ever meet.  My girlfriend was overjoyed. I hadn’t seen her happy like that in months.  That night, after adopting Charlie, we finally connected with one another. For the first time in months.

He was our band-aid.

When Charlie became too much with his constant anxiety, barking, and high activity, we decided to get another dog.  Unfortunately, we failed to really work with Charlie; he craved walks, needed the dog park, and we failed to provide these outlets of energy to him.  Our inactive relationship and lifestyle leaked onto our animal.

We thought another dog would help.  We’d bring a new addition into our family to become another band-aid.

Oh, this cycle.

When we saw Grant on Petfinder.com, we fell in love.  He was about to be euthanized at a local pound but [fortunately] got a second chance at a Washington DC rescue so Charlie, my girlfriend, and I toted our way to the Nation’s Capital one beautiful Fall day to follow a dog we might or might not adopt.

The Love.

I’ll always remember the moment I saw Grant.  I wanted my reaction to be authentic as possible so I watched my girlfriend’s face and Charlie’s tail-wagging reaction as the rescue employee carried him down the narrow hall I couldn’t see.  They were both ecstatic.

My girlfriend’s happiness and joy made my world. Unfortunately, this was a trend as I usually pushed my own joy to the side for hers.

When I finally turned and saw Grant, a skinny and fearful chestnut colored dachshund-mutt inch towards us, tears started to well in my eyes.

I knew he was ours.

I tell their adoption stories so you might understand the pain when I said a final goodbye to Charlie and the guilt I felt when my ex met me at the park last Saturday, where she gave me Grant.

She’ll have Charlie. I’ll have Grant.

We’ve split the dogs.

Dividing animals amongst the normal pain of a failed relationship is heart-sickening – for everyone involved.

Last night, I went to an Astrologer.  As we made way through the session, we eventually got to the real stuff; our breakup and what lay ahead. She asked me to draw 7 cards from her spread Tarot deck. Turning each card over, she smiled or said “hmm” while I tried to decipher exactly what they meant.

In a calm tone, she started with the first two cards, which represented I was coming back alive but I also endured heartbreak, which required healing and renewal. I needed to purify myself of the ordeal and also needed to forgive her.

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 12.56.22 PM copyWhen my eyes fixated on the third card, that kind of lump-in-your-throat-stifled-ugly-cry moment occurred. What the card represented was the release of fear and unhappiness.  Yes, very true. However, the picture of two brown dog figures separated by a road, under a beautiful full moon was all I could focus on.

Of all the 78 cards, I picked this one.  And I would.  When we broke up, I asked the universe to show me signs to make me realize I’d made the right decisions.  Although some things I’ve discovered have been incredibly devastating, the signs have not failed me.

Whether you agree with Astrology, religion, spirituality, or none of them, signs will swirl around you.  Of course, it’s all up to you whether to acknowledge, learn, or gain reassurance from them. And yes, sometimes the signs are painful and destructive to your mind but they’re there for good reason.

So, I’m calling this my Grant Adventure … starting a journey with a dog I never thought I wanted (remember, cat lover here), a ex I never thought I’d have, and the mentality I never knew I could own.

p.s. – Although my journey might seem strong and empowering, I’m still struggling. Every day. There are times when I see her picture or think about what she’s doing and it turns my stomach in knots or mashes my brain and heart into a cyclonic mess. Just sayin’ …

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2 – 1 = 1

Sometimes, I can’t believe I’m here.

Now that sadness and anger of my breakup has coursed it’s way through me and flipped my once “safe” world upside down (shit, NOT fun), I’ve started the new and unknown journey on the road to healing.

For the first time, in a long time, I’m connecting back with … me. At the same time, I’m gently healing the parts of myself, damaged by the emotional, physical, and spiritual neglect I experienced in our unstimulating relationship.  It’s no surprise we sometimes lose ourselves in our partner.  Luckily, I during it, I was somewhat conscious so I didn’t forget myself completely.  However, the parts of me that I couldn’t cling to were severely damaged.

I’m starting to come back alive, every day.  The more alive I become, the more see our relationship in a different light. The more I see it this way, more I resent her.  The more I resent her, the more I try to let it all go and forgive her.  This 24/7 cycle is what I call growth, my friends.

Being single is so … interesting. From cooking dinner for one, watching whatever I want, to using my first coin operated washer and dryer at my apartment … this whole “me, myself, and I” thing is settling in.

During this time of self-discovery, I’m not morphing into someone I’m not or distracting myself with people who don’t know the genuine me. I’ve even put some acquaintance-types of friends on pause because they’re not adding support or respect. Their whole “you just need to sleep with someone … that’ll help you get over it” answer is completely … not me. (They should know this, right!?)

The switch from a unit to individual has been spiritual, because I let it be.  By using the word spiritual, I mean a deep, blind dive into a sadness-drenched, physically painful, obsessive self-doubting whirlwind and now, the start of my rebirth. The old and the new, stronger me is starting to collide.

One of my favorite things I’ve read (and re-read) is the concept of “Conscious Uncoupling” from Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, Goop. Although it’s talking about a marriage coming apart, breakups are no different emotionally.

This is some deep stuff and I’ve learned with an open mind, I can understand (of course, not all the time I feel this zen about it all) …

“It seems ironic to say that a marriage coming apart is the cause of something else coming together, but it’s true. Conscious uncoupling brings wholeness to the spirits of both people who choose to recognize each other as their teacher. If they do, the gift they receive from their time together will neutralize their negative internal object that was the real cause of their pain in the relationship. If we can allow ourselves this gift, our exoskeleton of protection and imprisonment will fall away and offer us the opportunity to begin constructing an endoskeleton, an internal cathedral, with spiritual trace minerals like self-love, self-acceptance, and self-forgiveness. This process allows us to begin projecting something different into the world because we’ve regained a missing part of our heart.

My exoskeleton is shedding everyday and my eyes are opening every hour. One day, they’ll be so open that I’ll be thankful our relationship and breakup crushed my heart and spirit … only for this time.

So, while I’m getting used to the quietness, there’s a strong self-revolution on it’s way.  A better me – a little smarter, maybe more cautious but, a mended spirit that’s been broken and beautifully reconstructed.  All on my own.

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