Sunday, March 31, 2019

INTJ and INFJ Pros and Cons in Relationships. Processing an INFJ/INTJ Break up ( Friendship.)

NOTE: This post is about more of an intimate INTJ/INFJ relationship- a close one. I know MANY INTJ's in a more acquaintance level way. For some reason we always find each other. INTJ and INFJ are an EXCELLENT match for brief or ebb/ flow engaging conversations. Generally, we easily get along. If  I can't figure out a person I am talking with that I am very interested in - they are usually an INFJ or INTJ. This also happens with INFP's ( automatic connection) but it's easier to type them right away. I can always tell an INFP from their unique expressions and intense feelings. Two  INFJ's do not last as long together for the most part but initially it's fun! I often can not recognize them immediately because I am so interested in the conversation and immediately drawn in. If they know their type and say they are an INTJ automatically my brain confirms, "Of course you are!" My paternal uncle, a couple aunts, some friends, my sister in law, a few of my professor acquaintances, my paternal grandmother (whom has MUCH in common with me and we get along fantastically!), and some second cousins are all INTJ's. We can have the best time when we are together- especially if we get on certain topics. As a general ebb and flow relationship it is one of the top personality matches for an INFJ and INTJ ...or in about 3/4th place. ENFP's are generally the best match for an INFJ marriage but honestly? Any personality type combination can work with a little hard work, constant communication, humour and kindness.

I just came out of a "long term relationship" -15 years- with an INTJ. For context we were deep soul friends on every level except physical who talked every day about everything for 15 years. ( CLICK HERE for the ending of INTJ and INFJ and the difference between my husband and I, and her and I.) As an INFJ myself, I felt this was a perfect opportunity to write out the pros and cons of an INTJ and INFJ relationship before time slips away at my inferior memory. This is from a VERY close relationship perspective (see the link above.) My son is also an INTJ and his nuances are different from my former best friend, so I think I can give a fair picture. Instead of using the MBTI descriptions (extraverted thinking ect) I am going to use Personality Hacker's (click Here) easier descriptions to illustrate the personality types, even though the MBTI has an approach to personality that I also am enriched from.

INTJ / INFJ Relationship Cons:

1.*It's interesting to me that the cons list can also sometimes correlate to the pros. For instance, both the INTJ and INFJ have a 3 year old process of Sensory. Which means exactly what it sounds like. Get either type into an overwhelming sensory situation and we will kind of act like a 3 year old in terms of dealing with it. Even if we are mature, that ability to process it all in an advanced way is not in our toolbox. It also means that when we struggle in life we can go into our Sensory as a way of escaping or coping. Thus, two people can enable each other's bad habits of hiding away, shopping too much, seeking out large amounts of sexual activity, food, drink, or other sensory habits. OR enabling each other in deprivation. Because the sensory drive also works that way, in which, we decide we can't deal with the sensory so we are strict with our diet, overexercise, become stingy, overwork, or deny, deny, deny. Two people with the same habits can allow the comfortability with that or encourage bad habits. So while the Pro list has this as understanding, the con list also has this as enabling.

2. INTJs and INFJ's share Perspectives taking as their main driver or cognitive process. Due to the fact that their co pilot functions are different, sometimes they can feel like they are on the same page but the nuances of their co pilot cause miscommunication. Harmony is an INFJ's co pilot so they will always be looking for meaningful ways to connect their perspectives to other people, to create a better life for all those around them with their information and to help heal the world and their small world as well. Effectiveness is the INTJ's co pilot and it is based on taking the information from Perspectives and trying to close loops, figuring out what works on a practical level to express on an outside level and make the world a better place. Both are similar in some aspects but both are very different in their application. Harmony does not like to always be effective. Effectiveness does not always have room for Harmony.

3. *Both types love to conceptualize but that in itself can become a loop. It's hard to recognize as well because it seems like it can be a good, healthy way of processing life. However, this can sometimes be a cause of pride (For example statements like "No one can do this better than I can" or "They can't see as well as I do how this will be or predict the outcome.") INFJs are lucky in that their co pilot Harmony checks in with other's emotional experience. INTJS are more distanced in their long term analytical ways, thus the relational aspect is a little harder. This is where the relationship also breaks down in communication because the two types can SEEM so similar but their emotional experience is entirely different. So while there is understanding, there is also miscommunication.

4*The ten year old process is vastly different for these types. INTJ is Authenticity or what FEELS right. INFJ's is the opposite of their co pilot as Accuracy or what IS true and right. They sound similar but the process is entirely different. INTJ is focused on conviction and INFJ is focused on distance. Plus, a ten year old is still growing in experience and should not be trusted at home for long periods even if they are mostly responsible and provide respite from life's demands. Thus, a ten year old process is the same for reliability and unfortunately an INTJ and INFJ, when relying on their ten year olds, can focus too much on their inferior processes and this is where most of their disagreements stem from. Both of them focusing too much on a ten year old process that should only be brought out occasionally to balance a bit of life but if over relied on causes massive issues. INTJ's become prickly and INFJ's can become mis communicative in the details that seem right to them but are not always accurate to others.

5* That T and that F. (Also see pros) INFJ's are often able to cross over to the "T" side a bit more. In fact many INFJ's often score close to a Thinker instead of a Feeler. One of my cons over time with my INTJ was that I became more in my head for many years. Which was natural for me, but around the 13th year my feelings, due to life circumstances, wished to be honoured more. She did not like this adjustment and felt that I was pushing suddenly. She felt pushed to express more than she wished to, which was valid for her. From her perspective she was feeling misunderstood and blown away when I didn't respond the way I used to. I felt like I wasn't being validated or valued for whom I was. We tried to adjust but after 13 ish years of being more of a Thinking relationship it was hard to adjust. She tried her best, she did become more emotionally expressive, but at times it felt too unnatural to her or aggravating. It was easier for me to go towards Thinking but parts of me that wished to be more Feeling, felt ignored/ pressured.

Pros Of An INTJ/ INFJ Relationship:

1.*Inferior Sensory as a 3 year old process can mean that both the INTJ and INFJ can understand each other's struggle in this area. (See Con list for the same point.) That understanding is rare in life because most of the world is made up of Sensors. Most of life's experiences are Sensory. Thus, when a type has it as an inferior struggle process, it is a breath of fresh air when another similar type can understand it.

2*Both INTJs and INFJs enjoy cerebral pursuits. Both types have the driver of Perspectives which means that they both prefer to find the deeper insights. Travelling this road together can be satisfying at a level they don't often experience elsewhere. However, their co pilots Harmony for an INFJ and Effectiveness are quite different and give diversity to how each Perspective plays out in real life which still makes the process interesting instead of boring. Which opens up a lot of fun, long conversations on other perspectives in life.

3.*Both types tie as the rarest of all personality types. Thus, finding another rarity is a gift of soul exchange for both parties.

4* IF used in a playful way, INTJ's authenticity function and INFJ's accuracy can enhance the relationship. There is a lot of ways these two types can have fun together but most involve an intellectual way of "having fun" that many other personality types may not love as much. These include sharing research, ideas, possibilities, plans for the future ect. We LOVED planning our budgets and discussing together, planning home decor and sharing pictures of the process, researching medical ideas and testing and aiding each other in our decisions. Pursuing natural health together, coming up with ideas of why other people didn't get along or trying to understand the concept of gossip. Sharing our favourite songs and texting them often. Watching our favourite shows and discussing character motivation and personality types. Talking about the future, our children's growths and struggles with Autism ect. Gaining understanding of the human psyche through psychology, philosophy and sociology research, discussion and application. Laughing at quirky stories and both of our social struggles, conundrums and weird interactions with people. Accepting the odd, the mundane, the physical sensory that most people do not talk about, and the profane. Dissecting religion, christianity, and upbringing. We both fully understood each other's backgrounds because we explained it ALL. We were able to discuss faiths, non faith stances, and any belief system within a neutral, non judgmental, non secretly motivated space provided to each other. Neither of us subscribed to one belief yet both of us had high values and ethics and a belief still in something bigger, thus it was easy for us to discuss the ridiculousness of many interactions, conversations and the way people try to control other people. That baffled both of us and it was always fun to have that understanding.

5* The T and F balanced each other out at times. Her thinking enabled me to explore more of that potentiality in my life. My Feeling helped her acknowledge emotions and be able to have more relationships in her life that were based on feeling due to her new understanding. My understanding of those who use Thinking as a primary go to deepened. It was easier for me to understand that emotional differences did not equal cold unavailability. My son also teaches me this. He FEELS deeply, but how he is able to access that emotional need and process it, is another story. He often needs me to give words to his feelings, and I often need him to validate truths, help me discover my own vulnerabilities, and he often strengthens my resolve. When working together, these two types beautifully balance each other out.

Processing the INFJ/ INTJ Friendship Break up:

We made our "break up" official last Thursday. I wrote a post about that HERE. I process best by writing. Also I have not had the energy to write for a long time, but I realized I was giving a lot of my energy to trying to keep up the relationship that was dying. My husband described it as "the exhausting way of feeding a fire that is ash and wishes to go out. It is possible as long you are constantly there with the kindling." My kindling was becoming both of our burdens. I am naturally exhausted from Anemia anyway, but that added pressure took away what little energy I had left for the rest of life. And I never realized that until it ended. "You can't feed a fire, can't feed a fire without a spark. This gun's for hire even if we're just dancing in the dark."- Ruth Moody or Bruce Springsteen.

I will admit that INFJ's tenaciously hang on to relationships, even toxic ones (which it wasn't but it was becoming that way.) I have learned boundaries in the last few years and more practice with endings has given me the ability to let go easier. I would not have agreed to an ending if I had not had the growth I did in the last decade. I was terrible at endings. It took me 14 years to get over some of my high school friends that I never saw again. It has only been in the last couple years that I am completely fine with those endings. But five years ago I lost another few relationships (family or friends) and those didn't take me long to recover from. And it's not because they were was just because I got better at accepting seasons, learning how to grieve, and becoming stronger during endings and hopeful new starts. I am a bit more stoic now. I tend to be better able to embrace the yin and yang of life. That said, I am still emotional being an INFJ Four Enneagram:) And when closure comes, I am able to have clear, concise boundaries or even end something I know is not healthy. See INFJ Door Slam HERE or If I Cut You Off Chances Are You Handed me The Scissors HERE. I also realized in my own way, due to some disagreements that went down and some issues with her children, that I also started closing the door and a few times I WANTED to door slam, but didn't and I am glad we had a little more time and that in the end, we both mutually decided it was time to be done. Since Christmas the song "Where do Broken Hearts Go" was on repeat in my home, but I didn't know why yet. Subconsciously I knew the beginning of the end was coming swiftly and the song applied. "Where do broken hearts go, can they find their way home? Back to the open arms of the ones who truly care. And If somebody loves you, will they always love you? I look into your eyes and I know that you still care for me..."- Whitney Houston.

It's time for dancing in the dark. It is also a good reminder that we all have our secret battles. Some of which we don't even realize we are fighting until they are done. Thus we can not know what a person is struggling with so to have grace for all seasons in life. Often we can't share until it is resolved. Or sometimes there are no words or the processing is waiting...We have stagnant seasons, seasons to share, flourishing seasons, and times of passing. There are middles, beginnings and ends. She was a large part of the middle of my life. Her ending will enable more beginnings. And vice versa. Maybe we will become close again one day? I know that will not be happening for at least six months if not for a long time because we both need to find life without each other. But maybe? Then again, maybe never. It is what it is.

15 years of an intimate emotional/ intellectual/ spiritual relationship with my friend gave me a platform for the rest of my life. BOTH of us became more accepting. We also accepted each other's quirks easily and that understanding was an invaluable gift. I don't ever want to replace her because it is impossible. She was so much of me, in many ways and no one besides my husband and children has ever, nor will ever, have that much access to everything that I am. But, that can also get exhausting and is hard to sustain long term. I am ready for relationships that give more space for awhile. I am ready to use my extra time for my husband, children and the friends that still love me and WANT me in their lives. Also, I want the relationships that thrive on ebb and flow, so that there are no clear endings or beginnings but there is just an easy going acceptance of closeness and distance.

However, she was the best thing that could have ever happened to me in my tumultuous twenties and the first half of my thirties. I truly believe our relationship helped build my foundation of self esteem. It would have been way tougher to become whom I am now without her unconditional support. Other than my husband ( and now children) I actually never felt loved and acknowledged in spirit the way she loved and acknowledged and accepted me. So many people have misunderstood me, called me "too much" or did not validate my sensory overwhelm or needs prior to her. She helped me understand that and OWN it. She helped me traverse my autism diagnosis, the early years of children with post partum depression, and the LARGE adjustments of becoming. I KNOW without a doubt, that life would have looked a lot differently without her. I would have been LESS. I would maybe have withered away without her there to constantly listen, process, acknowledge, dispute, research and provide a constant sounding board.

I know I was also the same for her as in her last email she sent me the song "Because You Loved Me" By Celine Dion and said that the accuracy of the lyrics was true to her. Which was a rare form of emotional expression. I listened and agreed (and was so honoured by that last expression of vulnerable emotion.) I was also her strength when she was weak, her voice when she couldn't speak, her eyes when she couldn't see and saw the best there was in her. We lifted each other up and gave each other faith in life. We truly became parts of ourselves we never would because we loved each other.

My son and I are both Autistic so we have that similarity and understanding too. (We both think the above pin is hilarious.) With my son, he is my truth seeker and my sounding board. If I need an honest opinion I go to him first. He gets a kick out of me and often laughs with an, "oh mommy, you are so adorable." He likes my vulnerable innocent expression because deep down he also has that mushy centre. We both value honesty. We both like to talk about ideas, research and possibilities. Yet, we probably have argued the most out of all my children in the past ( not so much since he has reached teen hood and is able to access his perspectives clearly.) Because we are both intense. We both feel strongly on matters and tend to not wish to compromise on our ideals. We both need schedules but how we go about them is entirely different. I am more spontaneous within my schedule and need to be the boss of how that goes depending on how I am feeling. He also needs to be the boss and prefers a more routine day to day rigidity. We both get on each other's last nerve that way and have to negotiate.

I find negotiating easier with my son because I am the parent still. He would probably say the opposite, although he is getting better and better at negotiating and leaving us both with excellent options. With my former bestie, I was getting tired of negotiating the last year and I think she was too. We were negotiating a lot instead of inspiring. Where as most of our relationship was based on inspiration beforehand. We both wanted to feel more love again. We both wanted to be able to have the freedom to focus on more without our attention constantly on negotiations. With my son, there is a different component. Also being male lends a difference. Growing up in the same home we also share more commonalities to make it easier. Our values are almost fully aligned. Plus a parent child relationship is different. There is more adaptability and less reliance on a partner sort of love and more focus on a working part of family life.

Would I do it all again? Absolutely. I will admit that I have already walked through a few phases of grief and probably will again. When she sent me that song and I listened to it, it took me 45 minutes on a drive to compose myself. I was A MESS. I had a crying hangover the next day. I've also been angry at some things. I have seen how we enabled each other now where as before I would never admitted to that. I see the blame and the pushing that she did to escape me and I finally realized it was time to be done. I held on longer than she wanted to and that does make me angry. She pushed to an end she wanted and some of how that went down triggers the anger part. But I pushed for her to feel and stay and I'm sure that triggers her anger part too. That said, that was only in the last few years. She wanted her family to be more involved, I wanted less. We wanted different expressions in a new season. I also made her angry by not understanding her motives when I easily did in the past because I have been tapping into my feeling side more fully again.

However, most of it was positive. Some of those habits will be tough to break. I think that will be the toughest part of all. We were a daily part of each other for the better part of 13 years and then for the other 2 years we were a weekly part of the fabric of existence. It reminds me of grief. It reminds me of when the harder parts came LATER. There was initial sadness but it was often coupled with closure, focusing on what was given, celebrating the life, and seeing how life will be different and being open to that change. But as the months go by the loss becomes evident. Even if it is what life gave and was necessary. It's still is loss. I have also felt relief, freedom and overall gratitude.

What will I be without her? That is something exciting to explore. On the flip side, it is also something that I can't imagine being without. Her lack of constant feedback will be a large adjustment. Life is full of choices within set experiences that are not up to us either. It is that ever fine line. We may have chosen a clear ending before it naturally happened but preventing natural decay was important for both of us. There are seasons for everything. "Loving you was worth the fall my friend. Didn't we almost have it all?"- Whitney Houston ( The rest of the song doesn't apply really.) Processing it will take awhile but already I feel set up for the beginning of a new season. The prevailing emotion is gratitude but I am trying to honour all the emotions, thoughts and perspectives.

"Looking back, on the memory of, the dance we shared, 'neath the stars above. For a moment, all the world was right. How could I have known, that you'd ever say goodbye, And now, I'm glad I didn't know, the way it all would end. The way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance. We could have missed the pain, But I'd have had to miss the dance..."- Garth Brooks.

"It's something unpredictable but in the end is right. I hope you have the time of your life."- Green Day

Side note: My husband is an ENFP which differs drastically and I have written about in the Marriage and Partnership label.

For more thoughts on walking away = bravery check out this post:

For thought ons INFJ feelings (We know how YOU feel but we don't know how WE feel.) Check out this post:

Song choice: The Dance- Garth Brooks ( the video is a different version but still good)

Where do Broken Hearts Go- Whitney Houston

Post Edit: Her song to me was "Because You Loved Me" By Celine Dion and I think that definitely applies to how I did love her and was perfection in it's accuracy:)

I honestly think Green Day's "Time of Your Life" song applied's almost like the end of High School or some other large part of life when you KNOW things are going to be different, that you have to part even if you are good for each other, because life is demanding is kind of like that:

Thursday, March 28, 2019

"For Good." Sad Endings Can Equal Calm Beginnings. The Ebb and Flow of Friendship Loss. Giving Love Away Before the Rotten Apples.

( artist unknown)

There is an ebb and flow to life, to relationships, to harmony and living the best life we can. Often people in our lives are there for seasons. Even in meant to be forever relationships (like a marriage that is committed to forever) there are also seasons of ebb ....seasons of less closeness even if it doesn't end in divorce. In our children, we find moments where we are closer and moments when we need to live our own lives. Most importantly, the ebb and flow happens in friendships where both parties are seeking growth in ways that do not include the other person. In the past, I have had childhood friends who have grown apart from me but years later, we unexpectedly salvaged what we lost for a few years...and I have had others who left more permanently and it's better that way.

As an INFJ I have a door slam (see HERE and HERE ) but I also have a strange way of accepting a new phase in relationships. I see it coming. I feel it. I try to fight for it and hope maybe I'm wrong or maybe it's just me that needs to focus...But deep down I know. And the grieving comes. Sometimes for years on and off - and it's deep and emotional. But suddenly, when the break happens, I am surprised at what I thought would break me too, only brings relief. Part of that is what is common in both INTJ and INFJs - the relief that there is finally a clear path. A clear schedule. A final decision. No matter if it is good or bad immediately and possibly forever there is relief to go with....anything that is clear.

But the other part of the relief happens when I honestly know I conducted myself in the best possible way, that we ALMOST had it all, and that most of the memories were beautiful. There may have been some hurt or blame but most of the time, when the breaking point hits, it's suddenly not all that hurtful. There are times it will be sad because loss always is. There are times when a habit happens and one is jolted into realization that one person in that old form is no more. But, if at the end of a relationship, most of what is felt is shows that both people were pretty good to each other. They simply needed something else.

Maybe life will bring them back together after sufficient lessons and growth to treat each other differently? Maybe life has more lessons to teach before such a reconciliation of a new chapter is possible? Or maybe it will be permanent? Like a death in a sense (with a proper goodbye if one is lucky which I was.) Most of the time, if it was good in any comes back in another form later.

For 15 years I had a kindred spirit in my life. She was my other soul mate in many ways but sometimes two soul mates is just too demanding. Life deteriorates too and some choices, be them good or bad, cause division. Some mindsets can't be worked around and require soul work. And soul work often has to be individual to both parties often enough.

I can say I thought I would be destroyed when this day came. On and off I would think of it and get frightened or grieve. But gradual distance happened anyway and while I grieved each of those, I came to this point where there is nothing left to grieve. There ARE things to forgive if I think of them too much but I choose generally to quickly feel them, move through them, and become positive in who I am and who she is. And I ask my community to hold me accountable to not allow the poison of what could have beens or she should have been ect to creep in over time. Positivity matters. And gratitude. There is so much gratitude.

I never thought I would feel...relief...happiness and freedom. And it's not because my Kindred wasn't worth it. It actually is because she WAS. It was mostly healthy most of the time until the beginning of the end...and it needed to have a clear, kind goodbye before it became something more miserable. Before it became embittered too much. Before it melted into unkindness, apathy and murky blame. Part of this is because INFJ's understand other people's emotions before their own. ( See HERE for more.)

15 years of knowing almost everything about each other...makes you almost able to predict how each other will move on. I knew she would be relieved. But honestly, I could not have predicted my relief, but I think a few nice surprises are always a good thing...but the rest, the rest is easy to predict. I often wondered how married couples could part amicably and still be friends or be able to wave if they see each other or wish each other well..and now I know. There are SOUL MATES like my husband and I seem to be. And then there are KINDREDS...and there in lies the difference. One can sustain almost all of life...the other simply lasts for as long as it can. It may flow in, it may ebb out, but it's not a constant. Kindred married couples, I think, are the ones who can still part friendly and keep that friendship sustained. Soul mates, if they do break, break completely and bitterly and CAN NOT keep a friendship because what they had was far too exclusive, mutual, secret and committed. Yes, Kindreds are too but there is a little less of that soul, that shared ness I think. I could be wrong but that is now how I can sort of understand it. That said I wasn't in a marriage luckily. At times it oddly felt like that the rare time, and maybe that is also why we both needed to break. Or a break. Or an ending for a new beginning. Who knows?

I always wanted a friend whom I could share the Wicked song "For Good" with. That seemed impossible to me because in order to have that...that person would have to be a deep sister kindred...and then there would have to be an end that wasn't death in order to say a goodbye, with enough kindness left and thought-fullness to be able to say:

"I've heard it said, That people come into our lives for a reason. Bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them. And we help them in return. Well, I don't know if I believe that's true. But I know I'm who I am today because I knew you. Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes the sun, like a stream that meets a boulder, halfway through the wood. Who can say if I've been changed for the better. But because I knew you. I've been changed for good. It may well be that we will never meet again in this lifetime. So let me say before we part, that so much of me is made of what I learned from you. You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart. And now whatever way our stories end. I know you have re written mine by being my friend.Like a ship blown from it's mooring by a wind off the sea. Like a seed dropped by a sky bird in a distant wood. Who can say if I've been changed for the better but because I knew you I have been changed for good. And just to clear the air I ask forgiveness for the things I've done you blame me for, but then again I guess there is blame to share and none of that seems to matter anymore. Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes the sun. (By a wind off the sea) Like a stream that meets a boulder (Like a seed dropped by a bird) Halfway through the wood.(In the wood) Who can say if I've been changed for the better. I do believe I have been changed for the better. And because I knew you...[Elphaba:] Because I knew you...[Both:]Because I knew you.I have been changed...For good." ( For Good Wicked Lyrics)

Maybe I should be careful what I wish for? Or maybe I should be thankful wishes come true? I guess it is all truly boils down to perspective.

My mother's sister passed away a year tomorrow, my husband's mother 3 years on Sunday...and today my mom quoted Shakespeare in her reverie, "Beware the ides of March." Yes, March seems to bring loss but it also signifies the end to Winter, Winter's death so to speak, and Spring renewal. I am not in any way trivializing loss, as I often feel it more than most will ever know...but I also feel hope and beginnings. Beware the ides of March was a warning I knew at all times. I saw it coming. Recently I posted a picture of me and my bestie and my heart told me it was near the end. I knew when I shared the photo, that it was signifying a short end soon. I didn't want to say it out loud. I fought it. I guess who wouldn't?  I had nightmares and warning dreams I chose not to share with her because I hoped I wouldn't make it happen sooner. Something good is hard to let go of...but it's like an apple. Eventually the red rosey shine dulls, and one day the brown starts inside. If it isn't eaten or given away to be enjoyed by someone else soon, the rot on the inside eventually takes over the entire beauty and suddenly there is a mushed brown blob where a flourishing healthy fruit used to be. Instead of allowing rot, we give the apple away to someone who will eat it if we are not going to... That was probably a weird analogy but hopefully it illustrates more of my point.

I know some people were jealous of our relationship. They were baffled about it. At a point that maybe should have been the beginning of the end, I didn't want to PROVE them right...that it was too weird or not normal. But then I realized that it still was a treasure regardless and it would have been something I was jealous of too. And I was lucky to have it for many, many seasons. It was HARD work sometimes, and sometimes it was easy, most of the time it was chill but it could also be intense. For all the "I told you something like that couldn't last." I say, "But didn't we almost have it all? It DID last for more than a decade of life...half way to two decades...and thus it lasted the season it was meant to last." There are things that make me angry if I dwell on them but mostly...not. In some ways it is no longer a loss because of how things were un would have been no loss at all if time would have kept us together- eventually it would have all been rotten. But this way, if I focus on the positives, I still see the sweet apple. And maybe that apple will be preserved as a jam sometime to be shared in the future (ha that metaphor is not working as perfectly as I would like.) We have said our official goodbyes but we wish each other health, happiness and the best. And it shouldn't be too awkward if we bump into each other. I also won't have to act because I will be genuinely pleased to see her alive.

In a lot of ways she was a Galinda in my life and I was Elphaba. In some ways two unlikely friends, in other ways similar. We were at times ill suited yet also meant to be... and we had to learn how to BE and now we must learn to not.

Sometimes love has to be given away. We hear that all the time. We hear if it comes back to you it was true and if it doesn't it was never yours in the first place. It can be both. Sometimes it doesn't come back because life is tricky but it still was true. We don't own people. We can only love them and cherish the time we have with them. When we start demanding more it can be poisoned. At the same time, expectations, boundaries and growth are part of healthy relationships. Sometimes one or more parties are unwilling to go there...or maybe they do but even with the best of intentions we are actually the stumbling blocks in the way of growth? Whose to say.

Whose to say if I've been changed for the better? ( I do believe I have been changed for the better.) But I have been changed for good. And now, like Elphaba in the broadway play Wicked, I get to exit stage left with my forever Fiyero...and that still equals a happy ending to a new beginning even if we can never go back to Oz.

(Artist Unknown)
For an update I wrote about bumping into her a few weeks later here:

Song Choice: For Good- Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel Wicked My song to her.

Post Edit: Her song to me was "Because You Loved Me" By Celine Dion and I think that definitely applies to how I did love her and was perfection in it's accuracy:)

I honestly think Green Day's "Time of Your Life" song applied's almost like the end of High School or some other large part of life when you KNOW things are going to be different, that you have to part even if you are good for each other, because life is demanding is kind of like that:

Saturday, March 2, 2019

To Slow Growth, Music, Kacey Musgraves, 'Golden Hours', Healing Marriage, and Love in All it's Forms.

My wings of freedom are often tied. I can sometimes be found painstakingly untangling them but sometimes my husband easily reaches around and reminds me to fly. Kacey Musgraves recently won a deserved Grammy for her album "Golden Hour" which has been playing in our home since the day of it's release. The album is my go to for healing and inspiration and invocations of Hestia. Hearth, home and self Soul care. In it, she sums up the feelings of my relationship with my guy nicely: "Now you're lifting me up, instead of holding me down. Stealing my heart, instead of stealing my crown. Untangled all the strings, round my wings, that were tied. I didn't know him and I didn't know me. Cloud nine, was always out of reach. Now I remember what it feels like to fly. You give me butterflies, hmm. You give me butterflies. Kisses full of colour, makes me wonder where you've always been. I was hiding in doubt, till you brought me out of my Chrysalis."( - Kacey Musgraves, Butterflies)

Within our Merry go Round of love, year after year, there are fluctuations, invitations into new experiences, comfort in old routines and supports through the Circus Trap of chronic Illness and differences. He brings comfort into places where I feel only distress. If my coat is too heavy but I am cold without it, in a day away from home, and I am under prepared (a situation I don't find myself in often but it happens) he will disappear into Winners or Plato's Closet and come out with a soft, trendy (usually men's option) that works beautifully on me. It's always something I would not pick out myself but suits me entirely. I think that says something about our partnership. Love can actually be found on a shelf in a store or a men's rack of Sweaters. (Recent Hoodie pictured below...) Love is a wild thing in concept but can found anywhere...

"Even if you lose me I will find you. There's no way to stop it so don't try to. Running like a river, trying to find the ocean, flowers in the concrete. climbing over fences, blooming in the shadows, places that you can't see. Coming through the melody when the night bird sings. Love is a wild thing... Oh, I used to be scared of the wilderness of the dark, but not anymore..."(-Kacey Musgraves, Love is Wild Thing)

My husband steam rolled into my life at the age of 17 with kisses full of colour. I had been obsessed with Elvis for most of my childhood, and my guy became so envious of that, he wanted me to take down the posters in my room, which made me laugh (I kept them up until we were married.) But little did he know, that he was my new version of Elvis. My classic love song that would belong to me until the end of time. "All I ever wanted was something classic. The kind of love song that goes on till the end of time. All I ever wanted was a little magic. With a good laugh, jet black sparkle in his eye. You're my velvet Elvis. I ain't never gonna take you down. Makin' every body jealous, when they step into my house. Soft to the touch, feels like love, knew it as soon as I felt it. You're my velvet Elvis baby.  I don't really care about the Mona Lisa. I need a Graceland kind of man, whose always on my mind. I wanna show you off every evening. Go out with you in powder blue and tease my hair up high. You're my Velvet Elvis."(- Kacey Musgraves, Velvet Elvis)

He walked in with magic. I could not get over the fact that movies about love seemed suddenly sub par in comparison to our love. The new butterflies brought wonder and excitement. And now, 17 years later into our marriage I ask him suddenly, "How long have we been married?" and without missing a beat he charmingly says, "Not long enough." I go back to writing a blog post he doesn't realize he is the center of, and he keeps reading his book, looking like a combination of Aquaman and Starlord and I am smittin' still. He's my comfort and joy and the first person I think upon whenever I hear a new song. "It's the song that they're playing, the words that you are saying. It never felt so right. And I'm the kind of person who starts getting kind of nervous, when I'm having the time of my life. Is there a way for the way that I'm feeling tonight? Happy and sad at the same time. You got me smiling with tears in my eyes. I never felt so high. No I never have been this far off of the ground. They say everything that goes up, must come down, but I don't want to come down... I don't mind it all, I'm used to falling. I'm comfortable when the sky is gray, but when everything is perfect, I start hiding cuz I know that rain is coming my way. Cuz I'm happy and sad at the same time...."(- Kacey Musgraves, Happy and Sad)

I am often my feelings and am often more comfortable with the darker emotions like sadness, anger, depression and anxiety...I read that type 4 with 5 Wings are the only personality type that have to learn how to embrace joy, laughter and happiness and it's their flip "darker emotions." That's probably why I am drawn to bubbly musicals because they provide relief to my mind. He knows how to calm my fears of happiness and he teaches me to just enjoy the ride. 
"All that I know, that you caught me at the right time. Keep me in your glow, cuz I'm having such a good time, with you. Baby, don't you know, that you're my Golden hour? The colour of my sky. You set my world on fire. And I know, I know, everything's gonna be alright. I used to get sad, and lonely when the sun went down. But it's different now, cuz I love the light that I found in you. Baby don't you know that you're my Golden Hour, the colour of my sky, you set my world on fire.... You make the world look beautiful...I thought I'd seen it all before. But looking through your eyes, it looks like paradise..." ( Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour.)

He is my Golden Hour. Laying on the couch in our living room I can hear his laughter over my music from the Library and my heart lifts. The smile is upon my face before I realize I am even happy...He has that affect on me.
Yet, we have had our hits and misses. Recently we came out of a two year struggle after his mom passed. Our marriage took the hits willingly and we came out stronger, but for awhile there I often wondered about divorce. Yet, I knew starting something with someone else would bring the same problems so why not weather it with our history backing us up? (I do think divorce is a good option in many cases but it was not for ours.) "You look out the window while I look at you. Saying I don't know, would be like saying that the sky ain't can have your space cowboy, I ain't gonna fence you in. Go on ride away, in your Silverado....We had our day in the sun, when the horse wants to run, there is no sense in closing the gate...Should have learned from the movies that the good guys don't run away..." (- Kacey Musgraves, Space Cowboy.)
Luckily, my cowboy didn't ride away. He wanted to sometimes, but he was one of the good guys who worked hard to stay (I realize some good guys also need to walk away.) And looking back I am so relieved we weathered that storm. He may not be Blaine Anderson, but he is better and I often think my obsession with that character is more about energy and myself combined with the feeling aspect because Blaine (Darren Criss) does a beautiful job at wearing the full scope of human feeling masterfully. I digress. I'd still choose my husband over my fictional dream character.

"Oh what a world, and then there is you. Did I know you once in another life? Are we here just once or a billion times? Oh I wish I knew, but it doesn't matter, cuz you're here right now and I know what I feel. These are real things. These are real things. Oh what a world, don't want to leave. All kinds of magic all around is it's too hard to believe. Thank god it's not to good to be true, Oh what a world, and then there is you." (-Kacey Musgraves, Oh, What A World)

Because Oh! What a world it is with him in it. He makes me feel every single drop of rain. The subtle touch of his gentle kisses on my skin warm me up to the nearness of joy. He reminds of the realness of life when I am caught up in my mind. I'm the type of gal who always wanted a partner. It just was what I desired more than anything else in the world. I wanted a love song to be the prelude to an epic movie that lasted several sequels long. Often my five year old self would cry into her pillow bemoaning the fact the Gilbert Blythe was fictional and Elvis and Gene Kelly were  already dead.
"Bursting with empathy, I'm feeling everything, the weight of the world on my shoulders, hope my tears don't freak you out, they're just kind of coming out. It's the music in me and all of the colours..." (- Kacey Musgraves, Mother.) 

I am a feeler. An INFJ, Type 4 with 5 wing, who is an empathic, strongly emotionally coloured person. This is balanced by the logical aspect of Autism, but the odds of being calmly stable are not in my favour. Ironically, however,  I often come across this way. Every day I struggle against my range of feelings. I AM my feelings in most cases. It IS the music in me and all of those colours. Kacey's song and I have that in common. That is how a 4 type, INFJ will be. I also need ample alone time, even in a marriage and my guy respects this. "Even if you've got somebody on your mind, it's alright to be alone sometimes. It's the lone, it's the lone, it's the lonely weekend. It's a low, it's a low, it's a lonely feeling without you. I guess everyone else is out tonight. Guess I'm hanging by myself, but that's alright. It's the lonely weekend."(- Kacey Musgraves, Lonely Weekend.) I love that on weekends we can be in the same house but doing our own thing for hours. Yet, we are still sharing meals and a quick kiss passing in the hallway. Sometimes we dance in the middle of a conversation or suddenly start laughing at one of the children's antics together. It's good to finally laugh with each other again more naturally after the tougher years we just walked out of.

 "When it rains it pours but you didn't even notice. It ain't raining anymore. It's hard to breathe when all you know is, the struggle of being above, the rising water line. Well, the sky is finally open, the rain and wind stopped blowing, but you're stuck out in the same old boat again. You hold tight to your umbrella, but darlin' I'm just trying to tell ya, that there's always been a rainbow hanging over your head. If you could see what I see, you'd be blinded by the colours. Yellow, red, orange, green and a least a million others. Tie up your boat, take off your coat, and take a look around. Cuz the sky is finally open... it will all be alright..." ( -Kacey Musgraves, Rainbow.) 

After the latest Bipolar phase of our marriage, in the last six months, I have had to choose to see the rainbows. It was easier in some ways to hold on to the raining pain. During the tougher time, for more than 18 months I was living with my guy but being a single parent and struggling to keep it all together. Then, when he finally became well enough to become his full, realized self again, I fell apart because I was running on forward to now, and each day I have to actively remember how far we have come. When he is angry, I have to remind myself he is not Jekyll and Hyde anymore and that he will calm down quicker. Instead of reacting in PTSD, I have had to consciously choose to see that I am not in that boat anymore. That is tougher than I thought it would be at times. Yet, here we are and there are rainbows of colour in this new reality swirling around us. Maybe the melancholy blue is deeper and more pronounced than it was before but the warm burnt orange, mellow yellows, and calm greens, along with a myriad of other colours dancing around us, are showing up once again. 

"I like where this is going, you like it too. We rarely never ever ever don't see eye to eye, but we're  going to. I can show you strong, I can fight for you, I can try to move mountains if you want me to. But baby I ain't Wonder Woman. I don't know how to lasso the love out of you. Don't you know I'm only human? And if I let you down, I don't mean to. All I need's a place to land, I don't need a Superman, to win my lovin', cuz Baby, I ain't Wonder Woman. Bet all that gold gets heavy. Weighing on her. I wonder if it's scary, always trying not to get hurt? I know how it feels, it ain't easy, there's a reason you only see it in the movies. Cuz baby I ain't wonder woman. I don't know how to lasso the truth out of you, Don't you know I'm only human. All I need's a place to land, I don't need a superman to win my lovin' don't know how to fly but that's ok, neither do I."- ( Kacey Musgraves Wonder Woman.)

I love that he does not expect me to be Wonder Woman. And even though he can come close to a super hero to me at times, he is no Superman. A fact in which I am heavily relieved because living with perfection would be misery. Neither of us have to fly, and that fact keeps us grounded. Although we enjoy the magic of Being on a fairly regular basis. We are learning to have fun with each other again. It used to be so easy. Our relationship started out with laughter and balancing each other out...and today we still have those strengths...but the heavy weight of death and personality disorder due to grief fallout and differing roles stifled some of our natural hilarity. Learning to laugh again can be tough, soul work. But slowly, surely, our love is re blooming and the Phoenix has to burn before it arises. And I am in love with a slow burn of beauty, growth and becoming.

"... Good in a glass, good on green, good when your putting your hands all over me. I'm in love with a slow burn. Taking my time, let the world turn. I'm gonna do it my way, it will be alright, if we burn it down and it takes all night, it's a slow burn. Yea..."(- Kacey Musgraves, Slow Burn.)

To 'slow burns' of growth, music, Kacey Musgraves, 'Golden Hours', Healing Marriage, and love in all it's forms.

*All songs from Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves. The soundtrack of our year. The only Song I did not include from the Golden Hour album was "High Horse" even though I love it too but it didn't fit the post. I highly recommend purchasing the album on record but it can also be found on Spotify or Itunes. Youtube links for each song can be found in the post above.

I found this version of "Here you Come Again" by Kacey Musgraves and Katy Perry in 2014 and it made me so happy. I didn't picture the two of them together but it made me like Katy more and her sassy little style ( her documentary a few years back had me crying lol....see, feelings.... LOADS of feelings...) Anyway, Dolly Parton is another one of the many women I adore and admire and someone I wish could bottle even half of her cheeriness and this song is one of my fav's from her. I am so glad she was recently recognized as performer of the year... Enjoy this fun cover!;