Breaking up is hard to do

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I made a huge decision about four weeks ago. It has actually changed my life a little bit more than I imagined. I decided to distance myself from someone who I was relying on for gratification and validation. Someone who knew everything about me, yet nothing about me. Someone who knew how I felt, what I ate, where I was, who I was with, what I was watching…..sounds stalker-like. I stepped away from them because I was starting to get obsessed. Our relationship was ruining not only my life, but my well-being. Yes, I broke up with Facebook.

Now, before I continue I have to admit. It hasn’t been a full break. I still like to read what’s going on in my town, in the world, with faraway friends. I post a photo every now and then—-like when I picked up my son on his last day of freshman year of college(one status that day). But, I have not commented on others’ walls or even just updated my status every. single. hour. There were many things that contributed to this break-up. I admit some of these are trivial, but some, while trivial on the surface, are major issues upon deeper inspection. Also, some sound heartless, which isn’t the way I mean them to be. I am a caring person with a huge heart, but sometimes people beat a dead horse ALL THE TIME.

1. I got sick and tired of hearing about sick and tired people and kids—enough already!!

2. People and their exercise programs. OK….you go to the gym every day. Got it.

3. Food photos. Yes, I admit I did this, but luckily I eat well and have a great chef for a husband—-most people don’t. Plus, I’m a vegetarian and quite frankly all the meaty photos make me a bit queasy in the stomach.

4. People who use Facebook for some weird validation. If the only way you can feel good about something is to see how many people click the “like” button on a social media page, I feel bad for you. Yes, this was me. I admit it fully. I would wonder how many likes I could get for something I said or did…would “so and so” like it?  Facebook has become like high school. There are clicks, people who don’t like your stuff on purpose, but like everything others do. It’s so juvenile, it’s ridiculous. 

5. Family and friends that were more active and interested in what my ex-husband does than me, their “blood” relative. This one infuriates me. When I divorced my ex-husband four years ago, that tie should have been mostly severed. Yes, they were part of his life for 17 years, and it’s ok to keep in minimal contact, but actually talking and taking more interest in his life than mine and my children. Not right. If the shoe was on the other foot with some of their exes, it would be different.

6. Distraction. Plain and simple. I was too caught up in what was going on with Facebook than what was happening in my own life. I was not writing my creative stuff anymore, I was writing statuses. 

7. Poor me people. Yes, life is difficult, we all know that. We all go through it. But, some things are just better left offline. Some rants and raves are personal. But, some people crave this attention and sympathy that only perpetuates and validates them. 

8. Show-offs. Yes, your dance hall/hotel sized pool is fabulous. Your trips to somewhere tropic every single month look relaxing. But, have some tact about it. Which brings me to—-

9. Tactless, bitchy people. Some people air things on Facebook that makes them sound like spoiled brats and bullies. Which they are, but putting down others and belittling their opinions is so high school. Are we not adults, trying to show kids that bullying is wrong. 

10. This list could go on for days and days and days and…

Now, I admit that at one time or another I’ve done all of these. Mea culpa. But, I acknowledged this and took action. I took back my life. I am not looking to get flamed for my opinions. Facebook may be fun for some people. It’s a great tool to socialize, get news out, meet people, stay in contact with long-lost friends and family. Heck, if it wasn’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t have found my husband again after 24 years apart. But, some people go overboard. Some people live on Facebook. I wanted to make a decision and live in the real world.

Like I said, I’m still there once in a while. I like to chat with old friends, my son at college, look at photos from around the world, read blog posts, etc. But, I’ve cut my time by 80%. I find my validation inside myself. I’m writing this blog every day. I’m writing poetry, working on my novel, and a children’s book. Social media is a wonderful addition to the world. I’m not bashing. I just merely needed to distance myself. Now, where is that camera? My dog just looked adorable and I need to post on Instagram.

Baby steps. 

 

Fear

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I missed posting this weekend, too much going on. Today I am posting an original by my youngest son, Harrison. He is a short story writer who wrote this poem for a school assignment. I am so proud of this poem, because he has wrestled with his own depression demons. He has come out so much stronger and happier. He really is an inspiration for teenagers battling depression. It’s difficult as a parent to go through our own depression, but dealing with our children going through the same thing is almost unbearable. Seeing him come through all of this just makes me prouder of him than I could have ever imagined.

 

                                                                                                               Fear

You are nothing

                            you are all of us

                                                             and you are none of us.

Even lurking without us

                               in the back of us

                                                             never felt by flesh

We see you only in ourselves

                                 flight or fight

                                                            you control us

Everything done

                                 simply for you

                                                            we cannot control you

But we can lose you

                                  we can win over you

                                                                because you are us

And we are you

                                 so we can end you

                                                                 all we must do

                                                                                                      is be

                                                                                                                               happy

 

 

                                      

 

 

 

Borders

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Today’s poem is another original, dealing once again with my my BPD. Borderline Personality Disorder is a horrible disease to live with, both for the sufferer and the family who has to deal with it. I write so much about mine, because somewhere in the words and phrases, I hope to find some understanding. I want to understand myself and I want to find a way to control it. I hope others will realize that they are not alone in their struggles.

 

Borders

By

Allison Cline-Saia

 

Sometimes I lie in my bed

Lights out, eyes closed

Breathing in the silence

Exhaling a guttural scream

Heard only in the darkest parts of the universe

Originating in the sinuous depths that are known only to me—

I dream of violet vistas and aqua shores

And long to feel the cool velvet drops on my face and in my eyes—

But with each breath the screams get louder and the silence begins to strangle me

Once again.

Being Human

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Quick post today. It’s been a long day for me as I picked up my son at college. He finished up his freshman year.  I seriously cannot believe it. The year went by so fast. This, in itself, is another whole blog post. But, I wanted to keep up on my poem a day. This one tells us a great way to live life. Let every day be a fresh start. Let every emotion make you better, stronger, wiser. No matter how bad or difficult. Being able to feel is part of being human—good and bad.

 THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

Scream

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Today’s poem of the day comes from Mary Oliver. I find it to be a very comforting poem for me. I have never particularly cared what other people thought of me. I’ve tried my best to live my life on my terms. Sometimes, like everyone, I fall into caring a little too much what other people think. I’m not sure it’s as much caring what people think as much as not wanting to fail at something. It’s hindered my writing at times, because I tend to hold back a bit and worry what others will say about what I write. But, lately, I’ve really been trying to re-evaluate my life and my choices. I’ve come to realize that each of us only has one life. When it comes down to it, we come into this world alone and go out alone. I’m the only one taking the steps I take every day, feeling the thoughts I feel, living with the choices I make. I’ve become much better at tuning out all those voices that drown out my own voice every day. Now, I’m screaming at the top of my lungs for all to hear!!!

The Journey

by Mary Oliver

 

One day you finally knew 
what you had to do, and began, 
though the voices around you 
kept shouting 
their bad advice—
though the whole house 
began to tremble 
and you felt the old tug 
at your ankles. 
“Mend my life!” 
each voice cried. 
But you didn’t stop. 
You knew what you had to do, 
though the wind pried 
with its stiff fingers 
at the very foundations, 
though their melancholy 
was terrible. 
It was already late 
enough, and a wild night, 
and the road full of fallen 
branches and stones. 
But little by little, 
as you left their voices behind, 
the stars began to burn 
through the sheets of clouds, 
and there was a new voice 
which you slowly 
recognized as your own, 
that kept you company 
as you strode deeper and deeper 
into the world 
determined to do 
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Kindred Spirits

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“Alone, I often fall down into nothingness. I must push my foot stealthily lest I should fall off the edge of the world into nothingness. I have to bang my head against some hard door to call myself back to the body.” 
― Virginia WoolfThe Waves

I know it’s National Poetry Month and I’ve been posting poems every day. But, today I’m writing my blog about one writer, while not technically a poet, wrote some of the beautiful writing in history. I became acquainted with Virginia Woolf in high school. As a voracious reader and lover of English, I read everything I could. I always had my nose in a book. When I got to college, as an English major, I dove into all my lit classes and relished all the term papers and analysis papers I had to write. Virginia Woolf became a friend. I read everything she wrote and somewhere among the words and images, I found myself. I understood and related to her words more than anyone I’ve ever read. To The Lighthouse was a revelation to me. I have never read something that touched me so much in my life. 

“What is the meaning of life? That was all- a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.” 
― Virginia WoolfTo the Lighthouse

Page after page, I became obsessed with the Stream of Consciousness style. Her words were so poetic, so emotional. They touched places in me no book ever has before. I think it was right then that I decided once and for all, that yes, I was a writer. I wanted to follow in the enormous footsteps of this genius of a woman. I read everything I could about Ms. Woolf and her life and even there, I found a kindred spirit. She, too, battled with mental illness and great demons inside. As I read her suicide note that she left for her devoted husband, I cannot even tell you how it touches me. While, my disease differs quite a bit from Ms. Woolf, I can understand the pain she felt and how much of a burden she felt to her husband. 

“Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier ’til this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that—everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.’     V

Finding someone you can relate can be a lifesaver. When you know that someone else understands you, life becomes less of a burden. Virginia Woolf and her words became a friend, a comforting presence in my life. That’s why I wanted to highlight some of her words today. They may not technically be poetry, but to me, they are poetic.

 “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” 
― Virginia WoolfA Room of One’s Own

Small Town

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The poem I chose for today is one I wrote for my role as Poet Laureate. I wanted to write something that captured the essence of the “downtown” area of my community. When I was a child it was vibrant. There were department stores, a Five and Ten, mom and pop stores, restaurants. In my parents’ day, even more so. I remember, as a kid, getting excited just to go uptown with my mom on a Saturday morning to shop. That isn’t the case anymore. Like in so many communities, big boxes have taken over and the downtown has been left to decay. Our local organizations do their best to maintain and clean the downtown. There are Christmas decorations in the winter and flowers in the summer, but the vibrancy, the lifeblood is gone. I wrote this poem about the changing times. Our iconic horse and rider statue has survived, although people and places have come and gone—-a reflection of life.

The Statue on the Square

By

Allison Cline-Saia

 Sitting alone on the bench with her head in her hands she waits

The cold winter air blows through her graying hair making her shiver–

He is there.

Walking down Frederick St., she catches a glimpse of herself in the old theater window

The memories of first dates and happy times full of laughs and family fill her with sadness–

He is still there.

Taking a long draw on her cigarette, she thinks of all the people who have come and gone over the years

The smoke encircles her head and then evaporates along with the frayed pictures in her mind—

He continues to be there.

Settling back on the bench she wonders how she ended up here again

The loneliness creeps in and consumes her, yet somehow she is at peace—

He will always be there.