Logic v. Feels

We are cuddle-puddling through this crazy world together, with all our thoughts and feels: Audrey, Ava, Curie, Laurel, Lola, Pippin, and Von

My favorite lovesongs playlist, circa 2011.

(Source: Spotify)

— 7 months ago
#music  #spotify 
Von - One person who makes your life better (catching up)

Hello my LvF crew.

It’s been awhile.  There are lots of things to blame - I just started graduate school, I’m getting married in a week, adjusting to new works schedules for both me & my partner - mainly, the past couple of months have been a master class in time and change management.

The jury is still out on how I’m doing with all that.

That said, every week I mean to come back to these prompts, and this evening I finally made time to do so.

It’s hard to pin down just a single person who makes my life better.  I’m intensely aware of how fortunate that makes me.  Just four years ago, I would have had a very difficult time answering this question for the opposite reason.

Today, I’m focusing on my future father-in-law, likely because our interactions today annoyed the crap out of me & I could use a reminder of how grateful I am (most of the time) that my life has taken an extremely unexpected turn and found me as his primary caretaker.

I was supposed to be working a part-time job after leaving my full-time position for graduate school.  That is on hold for now, as I currently spend 20-25 hours a week taking care of my F-I-L.  We had to take away his car this summer and it just made sense for me to become his caretaker, since I was no longer working.

It has brought a lot of tough spots into our lives.  It’s become clear that his memory and mental faculties are on the decline - but he tells remarkably consistent stories, making it difficult to tell that they are all wrong if you aren’t actually with him every day.

But it has also brought a lot of gratitude.  While we knew before that we probably didn’t have much time left with F-I-L, our increased contact has made that knowledge present in a way it wasn’t before - which then cycles into even more gratitude that a crappy situation (having to take away his car) led to an unexpected gift (more time - real time).

And it turned my partnership into family.  While my partner was my best friend and frequent confidant before this, we come from very different family backgrounds - my close relationships with my family feel entirely foreign to him.

I think now he finally gets it.  And knowing that not only can we build a family together, but what family actually feels like (for us) has been one of the greatest gifts I could imagine before our marriage.

— 10 months ago
A letter to someone you have issue with - Ava

Four months ago, one of my closest friends told me he was in love with me. I am married. So is he & he has three kids. The wife knew & was cool with it. I was told that if I wanted to join their family, it would be desirable. When I told my husband, he laughed…a few days later, he wasn’t laughing anymore, as they came to dinner then a clusterfuck began. The day after, my husband was accused of being a controlling psychological abuser. We cut ties.

It sucks.There are so many facets. The man was a leader in a conservative Christian denomination & was already planning on quitting. He told me that he was going to quit on the day of DOMA, claiming his feelings on gay marriage as a platform. I halfheartedly said that was good timing. He sent me the meme he was going to use, which included a line about apologizing to the gay community he had not helped over the years & to the woman he loved but never told. I felt justified. Then he said he was going to edit it before posting it. He left that part out. I felt betrayed yet again. He can’t own up to it. 

They moved away, which made life considerably easier. They’re moving back. I started therapy today, partially to process how the hell to cope with this.

I realize they may see this, even though I have a different name. If they are reading it:

Please know that this sucks. It’s hard blocking you out of our lives. I think about you every day. But the fact that I never felt comfortable giving critical feedback is alarming. On my part, that facet of our relationship was false, as I never gave you the criticism that I feel. If I were to say it now, it would likely be taken as hostile because of the situation. Things will never go back to ‘normal’ whatever the fuck that would mean. I dread the day I see you again, only for the fact that I don’t know if you’ll keep children from running up & hugging me. Some days I don’t remember any of the bad, fewer days I don’t remember any of the bad, but that’s because my brain lies. I re-read messages (& the meme, because I have it saved…I haven’t used it yet to bring the issue to light, I might not ever, though it is a temptation) to remind myself. Even now, I don’t feel angry. It’s empty without you, though I’m not sure that’s necessarily a bad thing. We’re doing better than ever. But I miss you. A lot. I won’t get to see your new baby. You won’t get to see our hypothetical future children. A lifetime was erased. And we still all disagree on what actually happened. Sigh.

[This was for me, sorry if it was cumbersome, but if you made it through & relate to any of it, I’m so fucking sorry because it’s such a mess]

— 11 months ago
#open letter  #dispute  #breakup  #friendship 
The signs that I am getting older… - Ava

It would be really easy to say ‘oh, I’ve got some grey hairs’ or ‘the working world is different.’ 

But seriously…I know I’m getting older because my first impulse isn’t to run.

When shit gets hard in school, I think about how to manage my time better.

When shit gets hard in marriage, I think about how my husband is a complex human being with shortcomings much like my own.

A circumstance this week would’ve ignited RUN in bold, bright letters in my, say 22 year old brain. But now, that wasn’t even a consideration. It may sound minor, but knowing that running isn’t the best option is huge, especially when you think about the other person. At all. Running is typically selfish…how would that help the other person?

I don’t have the answers, but all I know is that I didn’t run when things were scary, so that’s gotta mean something.

— 1 year ago
#growing up  #getting older  #marriage  #life 

I, too, am writing a post before I really give an introduction. Because this is on the forefront of my mind today, and because due to current life circumstances, I may not get many chances to chime in for a while. 

I’m sure there are several instances I could write about where I’ve felt beautiful (despite a majority of a lifetime of not feeling beautiful), because I have try to be a generally positive person. On a good day, I can say “Hell yes, I feel beautiful,” without pangs of worry that I am coming across as proud. On most of these, I am still saying it as a mantra to myself that I will eventually believe if I repeat it enough. And still on many other days, I feel far from beautiful. I’ve been having a string of those days recently.

My mother (who lives by herself 5 hours away from me) has been struggling with the onset of a sudden, dementia-like illness brought on by kidney failure, poor medication management, and a UTI. I, being the only child, have been frantically immersed in making long-distance medical decisions, calling doctor upon doctor, and multiple late-night drives to my hometown. I’ve nearly been fired from my own hospital job in order to stay with her in one. And I’m drowning in a sea of worry and anxiety that when all is said and done, her long road to a hopeful recovery may indeed be merely the beginning of the dreaded decline into Alzheimer’s or some other condition which will put her in need of a nursing home at the all-too-young age of her early 60’s. 

I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. I feel unchecked, uneducated, uncapable of doing anything correctly. When I interact with my friends and boyfriend, I feel needy at best, and red-faced, covered in snot and ugly tears at worst. I feel so far from myself and the mantras of positivity and beauty that I worked years to develop. They just aren’t a priority when you’re sleeping on a hospital couch in yesterday’s clothes and make-up, stumbling bleary-eyed into the hallway at 4:30 am to ask a nurse to unhook your mom’s IV so that you can help wipe the ass of the woman who gave birth to you while secretly feeling sorry for yourself.

Nope. Not a lot of time to feel beautiful over the last month. 

Not until the following moment.

I posted this picture on my Instagram last weekend:

A friend whom I haven’t really seen in a year, and whom I don’t have much contact with outside of sporadic social media “likes” and commentary, made the comment underneath. It definitely stopped me in my tracks, and nearly brought me to tears.

I wanted to share this as my story because it brought me to a whole different level of understanding about myself, and about how others recognize both inner and outer beauty at times we feel so far from it. Also to encourage those who make that brief decision to double tap versus take a few extra seconds to leave what they feel might be idle commentary…it’s not idle. It’s not pointless. It’s just what someone might need to feel beautiful.  

:::Audrey:::

— 1 year ago
#beauty  #beautiful  #you are beautiful  #alzheimer's  #caregiving  #daughter  #mother  #audrey  #lvf  #feels  #hospital  #loved ones  #from the heart  #instagram 
Daily Reminder:there are more important things in your life than your eating disorder.
Daily Reminder:there is an entire world of relationships, goals, events, and activities which have nothing to do with calories, hipbones, protein, scale numbers, or thigh gaps.
Daily Reminder:those goals are fruitless and you are really looking for wholeness, serenity, satisfaction, love, and identity.
Daily Reminder:millions of people are participating in real life.
Daily Reminder:you can join them.
<3 Ava
— 1 year ago with 2281 notes
#eating disorder  #healthy  #bopo  #body positive 
A time I felt beautiful - Ava
A little bit of information, yes, that is my left hip/leg. In college, I lost a lot of weight due to changes in diet, increase of exercise &amp; eating disorder tendencies. I have more than a few stretch marks &amp; they will be there forever. On my journey of self-acceptance &amp; body positivity, I have to be extra gentile with myself, as I have felt physically undesirable for years.
Fast forward to my wedding night. My husband was a virgin &amp; I was the only naked woman he&#8217;d ever seen in person. That night, as he ceremoniously [without prompt!] carried me over the threshold of our somewhat-isolated cabin, he looked at me lovingly &amp; said I was beautiful. It was pouring down rain &amp; we were wet to the bone from bringing in our luggage. The movies are truly based on real life.
He is neither classically &#8220;romantic&#8221; nor one to give compliments often, especially about physical appearance, as he fights against vanity [which has made me so much stronger.] But through our time together, he has taught me so much by not being hung up on appearances. 
Before you start thinking he&#8217;s a god among men, when I mentioned this moment to him a couple of days ago &amp; how significant it was to me, he had no recollection of it whatsoever. But that doesn&#8217;t send me into a whirlwind of self-doubt. I just calmly accept that he is such a stabilizing, healthy force in my life &amp; he does, indeed, find me beautiful.

A time I felt beautiful - Ava

A little bit of information, yes, that is my left hip/leg. In college, I lost a lot of weight due to changes in diet, increase of exercise & eating disorder tendencies. I have more than a few stretch marks & they will be there forever. On my journey of self-acceptance & body positivity, I have to be extra gentile with myself, as I have felt physically undesirable for years.

Fast forward to my wedding night. My husband was a virgin & I was the only naked woman he’d ever seen in person. That night, as he ceremoniously [without prompt!] carried me over the threshold of our somewhat-isolated cabin, he looked at me lovingly & said I was beautiful. It was pouring down rain & we were wet to the bone from bringing in our luggage. The movies are truly based on real life.

He is neither classically “romantic” nor one to give compliments often, especially about physical appearance, as he fights against vanity [which has made me so much stronger.] But through our time together, he has taught me so much by not being hung up on appearances. 

Before you start thinking he’s a god among men, when I mentioned this moment to him a couple of days ago & how significant it was to me, he had no recollection of it whatsoever. But that doesn’t send me into a whirlwind of self-doubt. I just calmly accept that he is such a stabilizing, healthy force in my life & he does, indeed, find me beautiful.

— 1 year ago with 35 notes
#self-acceptance  #wedding night  #stretch marks  #body positive  #bopo  #body+positive  #love  #weight 

starsuponhispalms:

myqueertestimony:

NATIVE YOUTH SEXUAL HEALTH NETWORK, North America (www.nativeyouthsexualhealth.com)

Campaign Titled: Healthy Sexuality and Fighting Homophobia: Native Youth Photography Project

About the Project:

This is the first national campaign for First Nations youth across Canada to fight homophobia and normalize healthy sexuality!

First Nations youth from across Canada came together in March 2010 to create a national campaign about sexuality and fighting homophobia. These are the images created from the campaign which can be utilized as posters, postcards, as well as community newspaper inserts for articles and awareness.

About the Organization:

The Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN) is a North-America wide organization working on issues of healthy sexuality, cultural competency, youth empowerment, reproductive justice, and sex positivity by and for Native youth.

The reclamation and revitalization of traditional knowledge about people’s fundamental human rights over their bodies and spaces, intersected with present-day realities is fundamental to our work.

We work within the full spectrum of reproductive and sexual health for Indigenous peoples.

THIS IS AWESOME

This is so fantastic. 
Things like this make me feel so much better, like progress is actually happening, that my next two years in grad school aren’t going to be 100% fighting upstream.

-Ava

(via gtfothinspo)

— 1 year ago with 7687 notes
omfg. Thank you so much because I&#8217;ve eaten half my weight in delicious homemade brownies &amp; I really needed to see this. 
&lt;3 Ava

omfg. Thank you so much because I’ve eaten half my weight in delicious homemade brownies & I really needed to see this. 

<3 Ava

(Source: menotgivingup, via gtfothinspo)

— 1 year ago with 1299 notes