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I saw this meme on Facebook that said:  She was fragile, but not like a flower, she was fragile like a bomb.

At first I was all “Nah, that’s not me” and then Kyle’s hubby, who is a very sensitive/discerning person told Kyle that he saw “sadness and anger” around me.

What? Anger?  The sadness I understand and am not surprised by at all but anger?  Why anger?

I mention it to my best friend from high school and she says “Oh yes, you’re muuuuuch better but there’s a lot of anger in you, sorry honey.”

Well shit.  She calls it like she sees it and she’s known me way too long to be wrong about this…

So I start to think about it and there are some things, some circumstances, some people who I do have anger towards.

I thought I had eliminated anger from my life, I thought I had matured past it and become this much more enlightened person, full of grace, compassion and understanding for people who act out of their life woundings…

Guess not, ugh.

The  more I thought about it the more I realized that it’s another part of my survival method.  It was never safe to display any emotion other than “everything’s OK, I’m fine” around my mother or my ex-husband.  Around my ex I had to concentrate on suppressing the sadness, the depression, the worry, the weariness… but it was around my mother that I learned at a young age to hide my anger.  I was able to do it so well and so quickly that by the time I reached junior high I stopped even feeling any little wisp of anger before I shut it up in a bottle and hid it somewhere in the depths of my soul.

Good grief, no wonder I’m all messed up inside.

My younger daughter has a lot of anger bottled up inside her too and one night she came to me, crying because she could feel the bottle cracking and she was afraid it would explode and she would hurt people – not so much physically but with her words.  She was afraid she would drive all her friends away and she would be left shattered and completely alone.

If she has a lake of anger buried in her I have an entire ocean bottled up in my depths…

Thinking about it made it worse.  I started thinking about the people who I felt anger towards – my mother, my ex, one of my brothers…  I started dwelling on the situations in my life that were unfair and out of my control…  I began to feel the anger welling up inside of me and I became afraid that my jar was starting to crack as well.

Anger brings with it a great, dark power.  It tries to convince you that if you let it out you will feel better – but it lies.  Releasing such terrible, refined hatred, especially after all those years of distilling it to it’s purest essence in the pressure cooker of the soul’s forgotten cellar under the stairway can do nothing but destroy everyone it touches.

After quite a few tears and a couple of miserable days I reached a few conclusions:
1.  There is a volcano inside of me full of rage and fury.  I decided to accept that fact.  It’s there and it’s there legitimately.  I experienced bad things clear up until I was 40.  In order to survive I had to stuff the feelings away and not deal with them.  I stuffed so many bad feelings away that the jar might pop if I just breathe on it wrong.  I understand and accept that this is a part of my life currently.
2  I don’t know how to deal with it.  Angry people scare me, I tend to freeze up.  Another self-preservation method because if I didn’t freeze I might reflect their anger back to them, magnified with my own, and that might hurt them.  I don’t hurt people so I freeze.  I also don’t know how to release anger in a healthy manner.  I could try to paint it out, to exercise it out, to break things to get it out, to yell and scream to get the anger out… I’m not sure what to do or what would be the most helpful and so I don’t do anything.   I accept this truth as well – along with the knowledge that I’m going to need to learn how to deal with the anger at some point in my life, preferably sooner rather than later.  I realize I need a counselor, and I’ve known that since I moved to Montana.  I did ask my doctor’s office for a referral and they gave me a couple of names of counselors who were not accepting new patients, I called around and couldn’t find anyone with evening appointments after school, and then I moved to a smaller town,.. I need to find a local counselor and if I have to, take time off of school to go to the sessions.  Ugh.
3.  I need to love myself in spite of my anger.  Being angry does not make me evil.  Jesus was angry but he “sinned not”.  I need to remember that anger is a natural part of experiencing life and is sometimes necessary – it can spur us to take action against injustice.

Once I identified these three things and made the decision that yes, I will learn how to deal with the old anger and any new anger in a healthy way just as soon as I am able I was calm again.  Back to my normal self again – back to who my heart tells me I was created to be again.  I am not an angry person, I am a loving person who was wounded for a long time by people who were supposed to be safe.

I still have fragile moments, but they’re mostly fragile like a flower.  I’m

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My younger daughter’s boyfriend moved in with us on July 30th, the day after we moved into our new place.  I’d met him before, briefly, back in our old town when they first started dating and my vague first impression was that he was quiet and shy.  Those have turned out to be true, he is quiet and a bit shy for sure, but getting to know him has been quite a treat!

This young man, he’s 20 and I believe just 3 months or so younger than my daughter (which she teases him about) is one of the finest examples of a man I’ve seen in a long time.  Denny is such a good man and takes such amazing care of my daughter, even when he’s physically in pain (he was in a bad car accident and is almost always in pain) that my mind is blown, here are some examples:

The week before he moved in he friended me on Facebook – after asking my daughter’s permission and if she thought it would be “weird” if he asked to be my friend.  Then he made arrangements with me to come up earlier than he told her so that he could surprise her.

He asked my permission to bring his gun into the house.  Oh please, bring your gun, this is Montana!

He offers to help carry things if I even look like I might need help and he just takes things from my daughter and helps her.

He jumped right in to help my dad kills wasps and try to find the nest and offered to carry things for my mom.

He picks everyone’s dishes up and takes them to the sink – he also does dishes without being asked!

He cooks and very patiently instructs my daughter (who is cooking-impaired) on how to do even the simplest things – like bake the garlic french bread you get pre-made from the store in the foil bags… and applauded her when it came out perfect.

My daughter’s license is suspended from an unpaid ticket and he drives her to and from work, even when he just comes home and goes back to bed in the mornings.

He got a job the third day he was here and even though it was too physically demanding for his body after the car accident he continued going to work until they caught him throwing up from the pain and sent him home.  He has continued to find different jobs to do and does them whole-heartedly despite being in so much pain that nobody can touch his back when he gets home.

He asked if we knew how hard it was to “stay smiley” when it hurt so bad while my daughter was rubbing his back.  We said he didn’t have to, we knew he was hurting and it was OK not to smile and try to be happy.  His response?  “It’s easier on her this way.”  I wanted to cry…

My daughter offered to let him sleep alone in the bed since he was hurting so bad (they were sharing a twin bed at the time).  He smiled, pulled her close and said, “No, I wouldn’t be able to sleep without you.”  And just a FYI – the dog likes to sleep with them too…

He gave ME money out of his first paycheck on top of putting gas in my daughter’s truck.  I tried to refuse but he wasn’t having it.  None of her boyfriends, even the other one who lived with us, ever tried to give me money to help out.

My daughter came home grumpy and he sent her to go take a nap.  He then woke her up two hours later so that she would be able to sleep that night.

He refuses to dish himself up food until after both she and I have served ourselves.

I asked him if she takes as good of care of him as he does of her and he said “No.  She tries.  She’s irritating sometimes but I love her.”  I thanked him for being honest and said I was proud of him, that he’s a good man.  He says “I try”.  I told him that he has succeeded.  I hope he believes that someday soon.

The mountain across the highway from our new place looked like there was smoke coming from behind it.  He prepared to pack up a suitcase for my daughter and evacuate with her dog.  (She and I were at work in the small town nearby).  He and I contacted each other and made plans of which town to go to if they can go north and where to meet if they can only go south and where to be if they can’t go very far at all.  The smoke went away but he said if it came back at all he would get her out of there and was prepared to tell her that she could only take what fits into the suitcase, lol.

He made spaghetti with olives and mushrooms in the sauce for dinner one night.  By the time I got home there weren’t any olives in the sauce (so I didn’t know he had even put them in there) but there were plenty of mushrooms and I love mushrooms!  The next day I had leftover spaghetti at school and found a can of olives that I put in (cold) after I had heated the noodles and sauce.  I posted on Facebook that I realized I like cold olives on top of hot food and not cooked into the food.  When I get home that day he had read my post and apologizes for putting olives in the sauce!  Dear, sweet boy!  That wasn’t the reason I posted that…

He has 5 ulcers and threw up outside the back door one day after dinner, couldn’t keep anything down.  He comes back in and apologizes that we “had to hear that”.

My daughter hasn’t had dental insurance for a while and her teeth are hurting.  She couldn’t sleep one night (it was the first night the had a queen bed) so she went out to the living room and watched a movie.  He woke up and she wasn’t there so he went out and fell asleep with her on the couch.

He tells her no when they can’t afford to do something without being mean about it and he says yes whenever something is possible.  He gives up food, drink, cigarettes and his own clothing for her, anything she wants or needs he denies himself and gives it to her.  He puts her ahead of himself all the time.  He is gentle in everything he says and does.

He is affectionate towards her in public without being lustful or possessive.  I don’t know if I’m describing that right but those are the best words I can come up with.  He hugs her, he kisses her, he holds her hand and pulls her close, he constantly watches her with a little smile on his lips… and I never feel like he’s just waiting for me not to be around so he can pull her into bed.  He loves her.  He really LOVES her.

This young man constantly amazes me.  I’ve never seen anything like their relationship.  My daughter joked once and said he wanted my blessing for them to be together.  I gave it wholeheartedly, but thinking – very quietly – to myself that she might find herself a little harder pressed to get my blessing to be with him…

He loves her just a tad more than she loves him, he deserves better than my daughter but he loves her with every fiber of his being.  He gave up everything from his life back in our old town to move to another state and be with her.

If there’s a man like that out there for me, then I want to try and find him.

Even though we are back to seeing each other face-to-face on school days again Kyle and I still message each other often, especially on weekends, and he frequently starts my day with the words “Good morning beautiful”, which is probably the nicest way to start a day, ever… (especially when it comes with a picture of him smiling at me…) Other times he will say things like “Drive safe, beautiful”, “See you at school, beautiful” or even just simply “Hey beautiful”. 

It makes my day! Every. Single. Time. 

Because I feel like I am only pretty because I am kind. If I wasn’t always so “nice” I feel like most folks wouldn’t take the time to see past my average, short, chubby white-girl exterior.

That isn’t WHY I’m kind to everyone, I’m kind because that’s how God made me. I’m driven to love others, it’s who I am and it makes me happy to do so. It is my purpose in life. 

I’ve realised that Kyle is the only man in my entire life who has EVER told me regularly and without prompting that that I’m beautiful. Brothers, father and ex-husband included.

That’s so sad.

It also made me realize that I didn’t tell my children, my two amazing girls, that they are beautiful hardly at all while they were growing up. 

That’s heartbreaking. 

I can’t do anything about the past, I can only try to change the future and encourage and support them in any way I can, and tell them more often that they’re beautiful…

Knowing Kyle has changed my life in some amazing ways. I try to tell him sometimes what he means to me and how much he’s helped me but I’m not sure he really understands. He says I do a lot for him, which I don’t really understand so I guess that makes founders of an exclusive, two-member mutual admiration society, lol. 

Physically I think he’s one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever met. But his heart, that he hides from most people, is breathtaking. 

Kyle’s husband, who came to school today and I got to spend some time with the two of them together, is a fabulous man as well. Soft-spoken, thoughtful, gentle in his words and attitude, a very kind man. I can see why Kyle loves him. They are both so gracious to me – and to my daughter. 

I am starting to feel beautiful because Kyle tells me, over and over, in random bits of conversation, that I am beautiful. It’s an interesting feeling, to think that your own self really, truly is something you’ve never dared to claim before…

I’m trying to be more like that to the people around me, more complementary, more openly loving. I hope you will try to be that way too, maybe we could all just start our days telling everyone “Good morning beautiful”.