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I just realized, I don’t fantasize about having sex with anybody, lol. When I daydream it’s about being held. 

What I long for, ever so wistfully, is to feel safe inside a strong pair of arms. To spoon and be warmed by a man who smells like a wilderness adventure, rugged and wild. I wish for a bottomless pair of eyes to stare into and find myself reflected in their depths just as he finds himself in mine. 

This is my fantasy. To be utterly and completely safe with someone who loves me just the way I am. 

Well then.  In the 14 days since I signed up I have had 169 men view my profile, 30 guys have said they want to “meet me” and 12 guys have sent me a message.  The messages sometimes don’t say anything, ,just “wink wink” but a couple of my favorites were “Well Hello Red” to “Your hot baby”, lol!  The only scary one was the guy who said, after my gracious brush-off, “You’ll like me and I’ll like you with your red hair”…  That’s a little creepy, I “will” like him.  No thanks!

The first few days made me feel really good about myself, I mean who wouldn’t get excited about getting lots of messages and want-to-meet-yous?  But reality set in when you actually start messaging people and talking to them on the phone.  Here are the top contenders:

Chris – the first day we started “talking” we messaged for 12 hours.  The next day it was 4 hours and then the day after that it was another 12 hours.  And then a few more days of 4 hour chats…  We are so very similar that sometimes I felt like I was talking to myself when I was messaging him, we are damaged in a lot of similar places, have a lot of similar likes and dislikes, it was really fascinating.  I felt like we really connected, I could totally see having a long-term relationship with this guy.  He lives 100 miles away and we exchanged phone numbers and started texting.  A day or two later we made arrangements to talk on the phone but when the time came he begged off, saying he didn’t feel good went to bed and then he didn’t seem interested in calling me after that either… We texted for another day or two and then I asked for his honest opinion of me and we ended up deciding to be friends.  The texting has completely stopped, he never responded to a text I sent him so I let him go.  If he ever manages to come to town and wants to meet me I’ll let him take me to dinner and we’ll see what happens but I suspect that he has written me off because my last text to him was a picture of me with my new I’m-in-beauty-school short haircut and fantasy color, knowing that he likes long hair…  Whatever, he won’t even call me on the phone, I’m not going to change a single thing about me for someone like that.

Mark – I responded to this gentleman’s message because it was more than “Hi” and he didn’t say I was hot, lol.  Mark is not much of a talker, has bad spelling and worse grammar but he had a kind face and was interested in coming into town (he also lived 100 miles away) to meet me right away.  But he also got sick, cancelled his trip and hasn’t messaged me since. He may message me again later and I’d go to lunch with him, we’ll see…

Jeff – This guy was fun and only lived 20 miles from time, we had snappy, witty messaging conversations and joked with each other and were getting along really, really well.  But he didn’t ask me any questions about my past and only a few questions about my present.  He answered my questions with brief replies and several times said we should meet but never even tried to set up a time.  When we finally spoke on the phone it was the most awkward 20 minute conversation I may have ever had, lol.  I think we are both more shy in person than we are in written words but he didn’t even give me anything to work with!  He spent the 20 minutes talking about himself, his job, his brother and his parents.  He didn’t ask me any questions and didn’t give me much of a chance to ask him any questions either.  When he was done talking he said goodnight and hung up.  I messaged him that it was nice to talk to him, he messaged back that he was going to bed but it would be nicer if he had someone to snuggle with…  I never responded.

And there it is, the top three contenders in the first two weeks of my latest online dating venture!  It’s not all I was hoping it will be and I have until the beginning of next month to decide if I want to pay another $30 for another month of this.  Maybe I’ll switch services, ha, ha.

In other news my ex-husband remarried last night.  I thought I would feel something, peaceful, happy, upset, sad… but instead I didn’t feel anything at all.  It’s like they’re two strangers who don’t affect my life at all, imagine that!  However, I am happy for both of them and hope that someday we can all be friends in one form or another.  I was worried about my younger daughter who had to attend the wedding even though she didn’t really want to AND her father put her in the center of the front row, causing her a great deal of anxiety on top of what she was already dealing with.  Both of my brothers drove down to attend the wedding and while I do have mixed feelings about that I am so grateful they were there because they ran interference for her.  She told me after she got home that they stood close by, if somebody started talking to her and she looked like she was getting overwhelmed they would come up, ask if they could borrow her for a minute, walk her away from the person, give her a hug and let her go.  I was so grateful and proud of them!  It means they listened to me and actually heard what I said when I talked about her.  It means they really do care about her and I take that as they really do care about me too.  Which, I knew they did before, but this feels like rare proof of it.  Thank you brothers.

 

Today was my first day on the worship team at my folks church in Montana. Well, I’m going to call it what it is. My church. This is my church now. 

Glad we got that settled…

Yesterday I practiced with the team and then again this morning before the service and I though they went well. Is always been hard for me to blend my piano playing with guitars but they were gracious and we worked the logistics of pretty good, I thought. I was a little nervous but not a lot, mostly about getting used to the sound system honestly. My playing isn’t amazing but it is sufficient for what they want me to do. 

Before the service starts every week they have prayer downstairs,  the elders gather around first the worship team and then the children’s workers and then the pastor and pray for them. While they were praying for us they kept saying things about how thankful they were that I was there and that they had been praying for someone to play the keyboard and that I was their answer to prayer… I don’t think anyone in church leadership has ever said I was an answer to their prayers. It blew me away. 
As we were walking upstairs to start the service the worship leader turns to me and says “I hope you stay here forever”.

Wow! These people really like me! I’ve never been accepted so warmly by any church leadership. 

I’m humbled. I’m honored. I’m flabbergasted and I’m a little concerned they’ll change their minds once they get to know me better… 

The actual service went as well as the practices. I hit a few wrong notes and sang at the wrong time once but overall it was good and I felt like I fit right in with the team. After the service several people shook my hand and thanked me for being on the team. I felt so loved today, by an entire church body that I barely know. 

God brought me here. That knowledge shines brighter every day. This is where I am supposed to be and I am home. 

So I’ve decided to brave the wide world of online dating once again and signed up for an app on my phone.  Talk about feeling on top of the world!  I probably had 10 messages and “so and so wants to meet you” notifications in the first 24 hours.  That’s an amazing self-esteem boost right there…  just sayin’.   So the first person to send me a message impressed me with his complete sentences in the initial “chat”.

All the other guys were just like “hi”, “hi”, “hello”, “hey babe, you’re hot”…  Really guys?  Come on, you can do better than that… And seriously men, why are you not smiling in your main profile picture?  I’m fun, you need to look like it’s at least possible for you to have fun too!  Ahem… but back to my story…

It took us about three days to finally get online at the same time but when we did we messaged each other for 12 hours.  Yes, that’s right. Allllll day!  He was funny and then he was serious and then back to funny again.  He asked good questions and gave me real answers in return.  When we finally called it a night I wasn’t all swept up in euphoria or even twitterpated, I felt almost like I had been to one of those all-day informational seminars and was overwhelmed with everything I learned… I actually needed some time to decompress before going to bed.  I had shared something really important – and personal – regarding what I need to feel safe in a relationship and he came back with an excellent answer.  He didn’t make me feel stupid for feeling the way I did and he agreed that what I described should never happen and if he had lived in circumstances like what I shared he would feel like a slave.

That made me sit up straight… When it comes right down to it I did feel like a slave many times…

Later he shared something equally personal about himself and it blew me away.  First that he would share something so big on our first day of getting to know each other and second that it was so important to him that I know about it right away and he said he would understand if I wanted to “run away now”.

Let’s just say that we are both very broken people and many of our breakings are in similar places emotionally.  With the few things he shared that he’s been through it is a near certainty that he is even more broken than I am in those areas…

While he was sharing about his broken places my heart recognized him as if I was looking at my own face in the mirror and my soul sang out exultantly “I found you”.  Which is totally weird and freaked me out a little bit because that’s never happened before.  I kind of looked sideways at my soul and said “Really?  Seriously?”  I’m definitely not “in love” with this person that I have only talked to for two days and I’m still so broken myself is really it a good idea to be in a relationship with another, really broken person?  The answer to that is no.  I know this, everybody knows this…

But everybody is broken some way, somehow.

My ex-husband was just as broken as I was when I married him although our breakings were mostly in very different places.  I knew some of his broken spots before I married him and I foolishly thought to myself that if I loved him through those broken places that he would become whole and would be forever grateful and therefore would never stop loving me.  So I allowed him to push me into having sex before we were married and then I married him out of a combination of being positive that nobody else in the entire world of “good Christian men” would ever want to marry me because I was no longer a virgin, and, I still wanted to help him.

I want to help everybody, what can I say?  That is one thing that even though it was smothered and squashed for years it never went away.  I love helping people and have an incessant desire to “fix” everybody’s problems.  This is probably why all of my younger daughter’s good friends call me “Mom”…

After we were married, whenever I tried to talk about our marriage and specifically our relationship my concerns were turned around and became my fault and all of a sudden he was the victim and I was the mean one – he never did anything wrong.  After 7 or so years of this I quit trying to fix our marriage and focused on surviving it instead, because that was the “right” thing to do.

I can’t be a part of another relationship like that again, I can’t!  I won’t!  I don’t have to be!  Whew… calm down girl, this is the New You.  You are confident and brave in measures that you never had before.  You can walk away any time you want.  This is, well, it’s not even dating, it’s before dating so stop holding your breath and relax.  Just. Breathe.

But I’ve never felt my soul claim anyone like that before.  So this is very strange to me and I’m not sure what to do.  I decided to write a letter, here, that maybe someday I will show to him but most likely I won’t.  I just need to say this for myself.

Dear Broken Man,

I like you very much.  Even though I know I barely know you I like you.  You’re funny, you’re easy to chat with and my gut tells me that you’re honest in what you’ve told me.  All of the things we like that are similar tickle me.  The fact that you so frequently mention helping other people and seem to enjoy helping others like I do astonishes me.  We have intelligent conversations, you use good grammar and punctuation – and I have no idea why that impresses me so much – you’re not afraid to ask me the deep questions or give me deep answers when I turn deep questions (yours or my own) back around to you.  And our answers to those deep questions are very similar even though sometimes you answer first and sometimes I answer first.  All these things make me like you very much.

The multitude of “coincidental” things astounds me and the sheer number of them makes me think that meeting you was much more a “God thing” than any whim of fate.  Just to name a few:  even though we both live in Montana we both have an out-of-state phone number – from the same state.  We both wear a CPAP – which honestly is a huge answer to prayer because I’m so self-conscious and insecure about having to wear mine, how could I ever possibly look sexy to a future partner while sleeping in a CPAP?  But you have to wear one too!  Our emotional issues are extremely similar despite having different causes and I have been through where you are at now.  I understand where you are now, I “get it” and I know how hard it was for me to get from there to where I am now – but I know that you can do it!

I am realizing that your personality, and how do I say this, is “softer” than mine?  And I wasn’t sure that was possible to do…  It is entirely likely that at this point in your life you are even more gentle than I am in relationships – and while I feel like that is in part due to some of your broken places it also has to be a big part of who you are or it wouldn’t be there to come out so strongly now.

Because of this gentleness combined with the brokenness I think I may have overwhelmed you in my excitement to have found you.  Perhaps for the first time in my life I get to play the part of the blossom and you will be the butterfly.  If you want a friendship with me I’d like that.  If you’d like to take me on a date I’d like that too.  If you’re not sure what type of relationship you want to have with me that is also OK.  We live 100 miles apart and while that’s not actually a lot it’s enough to be a good excuse not to meet if only one of us is super excited about it.  I think that whatever happens, right now I am enjoying being your friend and I know that we were supposed to meet.  You proved to me, right off the bat, that you are nothing like my ex-husband and therefore good, single men DO exist!  And once again God has confirmed that He will bring me the right one when it is time.  Maybe it’s you, maybe it is not you.  Maybe I’ll end up adopting you as another one of my big brothers – because everybody needs a little sister, don’tcha know?  <wink>  All I know is that talking with you is very nearly like talking with myself and I really like whatever this is we have right now.

I wish you peace, joy and healing for the road ahead and have hope that it might include me, even if it is just in a friendship.

Sincerely,

Me.

I have come to realize that I Am Home.

I lived here for several years in grade school and hated leaving Montana when my folks split.  When my mother left my dad we went to Spokane and would make the drive back to see my dad several times.  For years I claimed I could tell, by the sheer feeling alone, when we had crossed the boarder back into Montana.  The skies were bluer, the mountains were taller, the air was sweeter…  For years and years Montana was home and I longed to move back there.  Until I had been away so long I couldn’t feel the change as I crossed over that border and then that memory of “Home” faded into distant memory and I began to feel that home wasn’t anywhere.

I caught glimpses of Home here and there, mostly with people like my best friend from high school, but only in one other place – the Oregon Coast.  Sigh.  I still love it there…

In the month since I officially moved here I have made two trips back to the city I came from, once to get a few more things out of mini storage for my  nail business and once to attend my younger daughter’s high school graduation.  This last trip back I was shocked to find that my old town wasn’t “Home” but simply a place I knew my way around.  That both pleased and concerned me slightly.  I had spent just over 10 years there, my kids had spent almost half their lives there.  Heck, my kids still live there!  I have more friends, good friends, there than I can shake a stick at and enough people who have offered me a place to stay on future visits that I will never, ever need to get a hotel or sleep on my sister’s couch. I have a tiny church there that I hold dear to my heart… but it isn’t home and I’m not sure that I want to live there again like I thought I would before I left.

Huh.

What a fascinating revelation.  I will continue to think on this…

But first a quick review of the graduation.  I was smiling so broadly the term “grinning like an idiot” probably applied but I was sooooo proud of my younger daughter!  She did it!  She actually graduated high school with a diploma and not just a GED.  She got to walk across a stage in her cap and gown and get her picture taken with a school official and she is ready to start the rest of her life.  I am so happy for her!

What was less happy was seeing my former in-laws, ex-husband and his fiance.  Actually let me clarify, seeing the fiance and his father was great.  He and his mother were, still, obviously angry with me and while they were kinder to me than they had been in June at my twin nieces graduation they still rattled me bad enough that I skedaddled out of there as quick as I could after hugging my newly-graduated daughter and telling her I would see her the next day.

Yes, that’s right, somehow he still gets to me so much that I ran away from my own daughter’s graduation as soon as I politely could.

I was talking to my best friend from high school and think I may have figured out (part of) what goes on inside of me whenever I have contact with dear old ex-hubby.  My particular personality type is desperate for two things to be accomplished in the people around me, I want you to be happy and I want you to be comfortable.  If I can’t make you happy and/or comfortable then I have failed and this causes me distress.  A lot of distress.  Sometimes even panic-attack type stress.  I will never be able to make my ex happy OR comfortable, he still has too much anger towards me to allow himself to even smile in my presence.

It occurs to me that when you don’t believe you did anything wrong you can’t change anything about yourself that was – and continues to be – part of the problem and therefore you continue to have a problem where there may not actually be one anymore making (mostly) just yourself miserable.

How do I accept the fact that I will never succeed in my driving need to make this particular person happy and comfortable?  That’s hard and I’m working on it.  Maybe it’s less accepting that fact and more acknowledging that I can’t make it happen and That’s Okay.  It’s Okay.  I can’t make everybody in the whole entire world happy and comfortable and it’s okay.

Yeah.  That one’s still going to take some more work… but I’ll get it.

My older daughter was in Thailand on a missions trip and didn’t get home until midnight of the day that her younger sister graduated.  I texted her, welcoming her home and saying I wanted to meet with her in the next two days before I left town again.  She never responded.  I texted again, at 8:30 pm the night before I left saying sorry I didn’t get to meet with her and she finally responded – sorry I didn’t get back to you, have a nice trip home.

It’s disheartening to know she didn’t want to see me but I wasn’t terribly surprised.  Even though she had just come back from overseas after 3 weeks the whole, entire weekend was mostly about her sister and less about her for both her father and grandparents – and me.  It’s very difficult for a narcissist to deal with not being the center of attention when they think they should be and I get that.

In the end I came Home when I had planned to.  I drove the long hours and came home, listening to an audiobook of Eat. Pray. Love. and finally finishing it about an hour and a half away from Home.

I signed up for an online dating app within an hour of arriving at home, I’ve decided I need to stop hiding my head in the sand and pretending that every man out there is as bad as my ex-husband and at least talk to a few guys and see what happens.  I’m not in a hurry to hitch my star to just anyone’s wagon but it would be nice to be friendly with a guy I could  maybe, possibly see a potential future with.

School is going well, just started week three and we learned how to wrap hair for a perm today… I’m really hoping to get myself a perm here soon, either that or cut my hair short again, it’s driving me nuts, lol!

I’m off to bed, I’m not getting anywhere near enough sleep now that I’m a student again, ugh!  If you pray, pray for me for strength to get through long days of standing on my feet and never getting enough sleep because despite everything I’m still a night owl and can’t sleep when I go to bed early.

Hugs to all of you ❤