Bonnie’s Beach 🏖

My Life. My Experiences. My Love. My Words.

The Choices We Choose…

…all come with a price. The cost of doing business so to speak. The consequences of our inactions are just as consequential as the action itself. Everything comes in threes, right? You’ve heard it before. Celebrity deaths seem to happen in threes even if it’s more like five. Good things come in threes. Bad things come in threes. The Holy Trinity. Three strikes you’re out. Third time’s the charm. So why three? Fuck if I know, but I have a theory.

We may think the smallest number of things we could possibly choose from is two, right? Yes or no. Stay or go. Good or bad. Point A to point B. Left or right. Night or day. The list goes on.

If you are a lover of psychology you know it is all logical. A lover of philosophy understands that not everything can be solved by logic. Assume logically you have to choose A or B. You have to make a choice. You can only choose one or the other. This has always bothered me, and in turn I didn’t do very well in my college psychology class. Philosophy I aced. Go figure. I had been told do just that a good many years ago, and because I chose neither, or refused to choose one of the given options, I was removed from the question group and put to the side. I refused to believe that I had to pick one of two options I didn’t want anything to do with, nor did I think either one was correct. But in doing so and choosing not to choose, I created option C. Option C was not even an option, but I stood my ground. Once I chose not to choose, I opened up a door that in turn created additional “non-choosers.” So at least I had some friends in my refusal group. Woohoo!! We didn’t get to participate with the two groups, but we got to enjoy hanging out and discussing why we ended up in our own little club of outcasts.

And so it seems to go in life with other things. Life is not black and white. Those who truly see that life is full of inexplicable wonders, understand this third option. The trifecta. Life or death. Choose to live, or choose to die. We all know we will never make it out of this life that we know alive, and we also know that just because someone is alive doesn’t mean they are truly living. Even with the dead, do they not still go on living in our hearts, minds, and the energies around us? I’m not just talking about ghosts or things that catch your eye in the mirror as you walk past. If you have ever been still in a place of death, you can sense it. The air is heavy, the hairs on the back of your neck stand at attention, overwhelming sadness seeps into your skin. It’s the same with places of happiness and joy, where the living come together in order to feel good or smile or laugh. I don’t know many people who would choose to go to a comedy show to cry. Just like people who visit cemeteries don’t typically go there to laugh. Even day and night has an option three: an eclipse.

In all honesty I have no idea why this popped into my head to write about. I am obviously procrastinating from doing something else that needs to be done, but I guess it’s better than doing absolutely nothing. Maybe? There are times when I want to write but can’t. There are times I don’t want to write but have to. And there are times when I don’t plan to write but need to and do it while I’m able.

I guess to tie this in with my current life situation, I can choose to move on and live my life to the fullest, or I can choose to live in the past while not being fully present. But neither of those choices sound fulfilling to me in either way. Are we not told to learn from the past? Reflect on the past? Remember the good times? Are we not told to plan for the future? Set life goals? Look ahead? And while doing both of those things we are reminded to be in the now, be present, enjoy today as if there won’t be a tomorrow, because we truly do not know when our time has come to an end. When life makes the decision for us. Even when we are given choices, there’s that third option that comes into play. Sometimes the third option isn’t even ours to choose.

For example, why do we hear about the people who work hard their entire lives but always seam to be beaten down by life? The ones who give everything without question but never seem to get anything back? The strugglers? The givers? The weary? Aren’t we taught that if we work hard, are kind, good people, it will come back to us? Are we missing something? Look at people who seem to have it easy. It’s as if some can dance through life without a care, haven’t worked a hard day in their life, and things are given to them without being asked or even needed. What third option has come into play with these? Seriously though, if you know the secrets to this I’d really like to not have to work until I die. I sorta have a thought on this as well.

Growing up a good Christian girl, I went to private schools, read the Bible, accepted Jesus, went to church, and I asked for forgiveness of my sins. And though I don’t pray as often as others say I should, or go to church even for Easter or Christmas Eve. I swear more than the typical sailor, have a dirtier mind than most would care to admit, and seem to come off as someone who worships trees, and yet I can’t seem to forget all the things I had been brought up to believe. Yes. I believe in God (in a slightly different way). Do I believe the only way to connect with God is through church or being with others of the same belief? No. Does that mean I want to hang out with a bunch of assholes who murder kittens? Absolutely not! But that doesn’t mean I have denounced all the teachings and parables and songs and lessons. The wisdom passed from generation to generation is a guide, a gift, and a warning.

So why the hell am I talking about my spirituality? Because it is my influential third option. Because growing up I was taught that my entire life is already known. My plans have already been laid out. That somehow I still have a choice baffles the shit out of me. That even if I choose either A or B, it doesn’t fucking matter, because C was already chosen for me. I may want to spend the rest of my life with a partner rather than without, but obviously that doesn’t always work out. I don’t know, maybe my plan is to die surrounded by my cats who will eventually get hungry and realize that eyeballs are a delicacy? Maybe I will spend my life with someone only to have them die first? Maybe I will be involved in a head-on collision tomorrow, because someone wasn’t paying attention and had to answer a text and didn’t react in time when they drifted into my lane? I don’t know! The third option is a killer! Or it could be. Yikes!

Call it fate. Call it destiny. Perhaps it’s option C through option infinity? All I know for sure is that I won’t always be given a choice between one thing and another thing. Even the black and white becomes gray. The day can be dark. The night can be bright. I can choose to work until I die in order to continue living my life comfortably. I can choose to be happy or sad, but I gotta tell ya, it’s hard enough choosing to be ok. Being sad is exhausting. Being happy is exhausting. Being present can also be exhausting, but it’s a choice. Look, Yoda may have said do or do not, there is no try, but is that really all there is? I mean, if you don’t try something how do you know you’ll like it or even want to do it? What about practice makes perfect? Isn’t that just a better way of saying you’re trying to be better at what you are doing?

And again we see why I did not do well at all in psychology. I question everything. I learn something about everything I can. I start hundreds of projects and never seem to finish most if any of them. I am trying my best to live my life and pretend believing I am actually trying to live my life. I feel disillusioned. The more I learn, the more I see, the more I know I am not in control of anything. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make it more difficult to live life as though I haven’t peeked behind its curtain. There’s no wizard there. There’s no control center where I can push a button and continue dreaming. There’s nothing there but another curtain. And once you peaked through the next curtain, you find another curtain. So you stand there and try to look up and see if maybe there are some curtain rods to count how many more curtains you have to go through, but you can only see the one you’re facing. You look down, believing the light and shadow from beneath the curtain gives a brief hope that there is something behind this one, only to realize the curtains beyond are moving to an eternal breeze, shifting light and shadow, and reinforcing an illusion you so desperately want to believe.

Options A or B or C are all inherently illusions, and life is filled with choices, as we all know. Do you choose to see the magic trick never wanting to know how it’s accomplished, or do you want to know how the magic trick works? Or, for your third option, do you choose to learn how it works but continue living as if you never saw it? That you continue to believe in the wonder and excitement even knowing it isn’t what it seems? The disillusioned are seen as being negative. That knowing how something works or why it works takes the fun and joy out of seeing it work. And all I can think is why wouldn’t you want to learn more? I don’t want to spend my life only learning about one, single thing. How disappointing that would be when there’s nothing else to know. And even though the more I learn the more I see comes into play, it doesn’t make me want to stop learning. It doesn’t make me not want to start yet another project I will most likely never complete. It doesn’t prevent me from adding more and more to my bucket list even when I know I have less and less time to do any of those things.

So I’ll continue living my life neither the good way nor the easy way, but more like whatever option three decides to throw at me. In reality, it isn’t even my choice to begin with, but I can still choose to see what it has in store. Bring it, option three! Let’s see what you got!

-Bonnie

No matter what my option three may end up being, I still stop to smell flowers and to watch butterflies flutter by. I smile at others and open and hold doors. I make my PB&J in two folded-over halves. I pause for those fleeting moments when a deep breath of the air around me and the view before me yearn for me to take them in and enjoy the present, and I am reminded that my choices are all part of how I ended up in that place, regardless that I did not opt for a flat tire to stop me in the middle of nowhere forcing me to stop for a damn second and let go of what I can’t control. Thank you Option C. I am forever grateful for your interference. Good or bad. And whatever is in the middle.

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It’s Not Me…

It’s you.

A poison.

A victim to your own false bravado. Pretending to be something more than you truly are. Believing you are owed respect while simultaneously disrespecting those who truly love you. You only show respect to those you fear. But those who love you, who truly want to help you, who want to be there for you, are easy targets. You claim everyone who loves you eventually fucks you over, while knowingly taking advantage of their kindness and willingness to open their hearts to you as you manipulate them, use them, lie to them, steal from them, and discard them when your facade falls away. You give them no choice but to protect themselves from you and your abuse.

Don’t you see the pattern yet? Are you in such denial that you refuse to admit your true faults? That your actions speak louder than words ever could? That all the love in the universe will eventually run out when you waste it? When you blame it? Bully it? Degrade it? Shun it? Spite it? Abuse it? Deny it?

Claiming to not give a fuck about others and their feelings, only shows how you refuse to love yourself. Your desire to be the good and kindhearted man so many of us know exists, is overshadowed by your pride, your ego, and your anger. You are a coward who claims to know who he is while hiding behind his silver grin. Running away from everyone and everything when paranoia turns the world against you.

You have been told before, you get what you give. You only give what you want to but disregard what is needed. You twist words and emotions to forge daggers to pierce the hearts of anyone within arms reach. Your attempts to force blood from stones blinds you to the fact that the blood is your own, from your own hands. The harder you squeeze the deeper the cuts become, as you tighten your grip on the sharp edges you created.

You push away.

You run away.

You hide from the truth you claim to know and preach.

The frustration caused by your inability to control others is a reflection of how you are unable to control yourself. Your anger. The nature you up learned from various teachers while growing in such a dark, cold world, and there is little doubt you learned from the best.

You’re so blind.

But you choose to be that way.

You’re tortured by choice.

You’re alone by choice.

How can you bend and grow and love when your rigidity breaks in a strong wind?

You have shattered the hearts of those around you, forcing them to put up walls which only proves your own point: the truth you want to believe is true, is just the lie that you created.

You wound everyone so deeply that they become dangerous. Like injured animals they lash out and defend themselves from you. So they can survive. Because choosing to be complicit while slowly bleeding out, means certain death.

And what good is a heart after it’s stopped beating?

How do you expect to receive love when you have singlehandedly destroyed it?

How do you ever expect yourself to love anyone, including yourself, when you choose to suffocate it before it can take its first breath?

You are loved more than you know.

We all see through you now, and yet we still choose to love you. Yes. We have protected ourselves from the you you show to the world. We may be naive in our hopes that the goodness, battling deep inside you for air and sunlight, will once again break the surface and win the war.

It’s ultimately your choice, and who gives a fuck what we think?

We are not you.

I am not you.

And now I have to learn to live with these new walls that have been erected to save myself.

But those walls are not me.

They are you.

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The Dumbest F*cking Person On The Planet…

…was one of my favorites, and I had started to believe it was true even though I knew, deep within the darkest depths of my soul, it was as far from the truth as one could get.

So what would make me even remotely believe that I was stupid, ugly, fat, worthless, frumpy, you name it (those are just the g-rated ones), over beautiful, intelligent, sexy, amazing, talented, and worth someone’s love? After some self-analysis over the past few months, my eyes opened more and more as I was able to answer that question honestly: me. I’m not at all saying everything was my fault, although that had been the stance I had adopted nearly two years ago, but I am just as much to blame as the person who gave me the poisonous words that I’d ingest willingly over and over again. Rather than building a tolerance, I mentally and emotionally cracked until I was so broken, I couldn’t see past the pieces scattered on the floor, creating a circular void in the center where I once stood. For every compliment there was a polar opposite, and the bad far outweighed the good to the point where my brain refused to believe the compliments held any truth whatsoever.

But here’s the kicker: I allowed it, and I had become someone else. Someone who cowered. Someone who triple guessed every decision. Someone who lived with an anxiety that was never there before. Someone I hated. Someone who wasn’t worth a damn thing. Someone who didn’t deserve to waste the precious ozone we all depend on. Someone who thought that changing who they were in order to make someone else happy would actually work. I mean, who would think that altering one’s behavior in order to please someone else would completely backfire? When the things someone loved about you had become annoying and irritating, you assume that action or behavior should be altered so they’re no longer annoying, right? Right??? Those small acts of love, like kissing someone goodbye as they slept when you were leaving for work or calling just to say hi, became sudden outbursts of anger. So those small gestures disappeared one by one as they only garnered a negative and frightening response. The anger turned into yelling. The yelling turned into some of the harshest things you could hear from someone who was supposed to be your life partner. This was the man I was determined to spend the rest of my life with, and I was determined to a fault. We both were. My tunnel vision hid the truth: that I had changed.

Not that there’s anything wrong with change! We change and adapt and grow as we continue our journey through life. But this wasn’t growth. It was adaptation to survive. It was an alteration made to what made me me, and what someone had loved about me, and I was no longer a priority. My schedule was planned around his. Normal things I had been doing for years now seemed to be in the way of what he wanted and what was expected. My gym schedule had to be altered so I would be home immediately after work to start fixing dinner, and soon my gym time disappeared altogether as work became a priority over my health. Hair appointments had to be scheduled by 2pm to meet the same mandate. The same went with doctors appointments. Meeting my girlfriends once or twice a month to grab some food and margaritas happened less and less, until I would make excuses in order to not go at all. Seeing friends and family became a rare occurrence, as they kept me away from the person who wanted my time, and in order to avoid any backlash at home, I became a coward and found excuse after excuse to not see them much at all. Even when I made plans to go out, because he had plans to go out, I would be guilt tripped, called or texted every hour, informed he would be home at a certain time so we would be able to spend the evening together, only to find that I cut my plans short to go home, and his plans had changed to keep him out later. So there I’d be, at home alone, just me and my cats. This was all gradual. It didn’t happen overnight. In the beginning they were small sacrifices for the man I loved, but over time they began to break me down. I was isolated from the people who loved me and would hermit at home to avoid any conflict. I had become weak and fearful of any fights that might stem from his claim that I was disrespecting him. When I did make the rare plans to venture out my phone was glued to my hip so as not to miss a call or text, because if I didn’t answer or respond fast enough, there would be another tongue lashing over the phone and when I got back home.

It wasn’t just verbal abuse, it became mental abuse. I would be shunned and ignored. The silent treatment with a seething side of anger. It was always about respect, and I seemed to be the one doing all the disrespecting. Never mind the name calling and being hung up on. He believed he was justified, because according to him it was all my fault. I didn’t listen. I didn’t follow directions. I ordered the wrong thing at the drive-thru. I didn’t text a response within five minutes. I didn’t answer my phone. These things would “make him think” is how he put it. I was now a liar and couldn’t be trusted. So my phone had to be with me at all times.

As time went on I no longer found joy in anything I used to do. Hiking and going for walks were out of the question, because what if I lost my phone signal? Having my friends and family stop by the house became uncomfortable for everyone as his irritation that they were there was clearly visible, and I began to make excuses for why they couldn’t come over anymore. I became “busy” and unavailable and always had something else I had to do. He and I would make plans to do something together, but we never seemed to do anything at all. Covid definitely helped in this area, because now there was a valid excuse to not do a damn thing. He would spend his time in the garage while I cleaned the house, and then he’d leave to see his friends only to tell me he’d be back for dinner. Then he would let me know he would be late, but we’d still have dinner. Then that would turn into his just picking up something, because he wasn’t sure when he’d be home, and I would just need to fend for myself. This happened more and more, and I was trained to not expect much in the ways of plans. I isolated myself to the confines of a house I cannot wait to move out of. If the house wasn’t clean, he would make some snide comment to me that I was slacking. If I spent too much time cleaning I’d be told the house was fine, and that he didn’t care if it was clean. If he took out the trash, and I failed to put a new bag in the trash can right away, he would accuse me of playing games and being spiteful. All over a trash bag! Dishes in the sink? Obviously my spiteful way to get him to finally do them. When I’d tell him I just hadn’t gotten to them yet, he would wash half of them, pissed off that he had to do any sort of womanly chore, and then retreat to the garage to shun me for the rest of the evening. More and more, the things I said or did or the misread facial expressions became disrespectful to him, and his mood would 180° in the blink of an eye. So the shunning would again commence. Entire days and weekends where he would avoid me at home and wouldn’t speak to me. I was a prisoner in my own house, always worried, always anxious, always knowing there would be a scolding when he would decide to break his silence. What names would he call me this time? How loud was he going to yell? How hard did he plan on slamming a door? How long was he not going to talk to me again? Who was I going to wake up next to in the morning? Was it going to be Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? I was no longer allowed to contact his family and friends. He no longer accompanied me to family events. We no longer went on dates, and when he said we would, he’d turn it into a couples date with his friends, but then he would end up cancelling. So staying at home doing nothing became our date nights. We used to watch movies together on the weekends. That turned into watching ten minutes of something together until he finished eating what was on his plate to leave me there alone as he went back out to his garage. And these are just some of the small, more pleasant discomforts that became the norm. One time I was yelled at after we went through a drive-thru to get breakfast, and I had asked him if he wanted his sandwich or his hash brown first. I was yelled at and accused of being stupid and not knowing who he was at all. How could I not know he wanted his hash brown first?! I was an idiot. I was dumb. I was useless. I never made that mistake again.

Over the course of a year it became worse. The yelling was louder. The cut downs became cruel and even more hurtful. The more I tried to change who I was to avoid those moments, the more pathetic I became. I was too easy a target, and I took it, and I cried. I would have anxiety attacks at home, while grocery shopping, even picking up dinner, because what if I forgot something? What if I ordered the wrong thing? What if I messed something up or did something wrong? I would try not to cry in public as these thoughts rushed to the forefront of my mind, and the anxiety would build and build. I learned to swallow it down, put on a fake face, and get whatever I needed to get done quickly. I was a coward. I didn’t have the strength to stand up for myself or fight back. I always just let it happen. I let him speak to me as if I was a piece of trash, and he would be sure to tell me I was. I allowed it. So when I finally did begin to fight back and return his words, the intensity increased, but I was tired of just taking it. I was tired of being the bigger person and not stooping to name calling or potentially saying things that can never be taken back. That was a lesson I had learned years before, and I had become very good at keeping my mouth shut, and I absolutely hate fighting, because it doesn’t solve a fucking thing. Words spoken in anger are not words of truth, but if repeated enough they become a lie you believe. They are meant to cut and slice and stab and draw blood, and boy could they. But I was tired of being the one bleeding out every time, and I let my words fly. Saying cruel words even in defense didn’t make me feel better. They made me feel even weaker, because now I was becoming angry. If I wasn’t allowed to cry or be sad anymore I concluded that the only logically, acceptable response was to be angry and mad. That was the response I was always receiving, so why couldn’t I do the same? But I learned anger is very difficult to control. No matter how loud I yelled back or how many cruel things I could shoot back in defense, it would only build and build until I wanted to throw things. I wanted to break things. I want to put my fists through walls. I wanted to scream. I wanted to explode. But I’m not that type of person. I would think of the consequences and keep the anger inside. I became salty and unhappy with everything. My sarcasm and cynicism became relentless. This in turn made him even more angry, and it became a vicious cycle of fights and cut downs and being apart. I turned my anger onto myself in the form of not giving a shit. I would relentlessly pick at my face and body. I stopped giving a shit about what I ate. I would avoid calls from friends or family. I hated my job. I hated my house. I hated my life. Worst of all, I hated me. I believed it was all my fault. If I could just fix me everything would be better, but I didn’t love or even like myself enough to fix anything. I was angry and hurt, and it showed. I looked at photos from two years earlier, and I could no longer recognize the face I saw in the mirror everyday. I had aged. I looked tired, sad, and ugly. The poison was doing its work, and I kept drinking it. Vial after vial, I would drink it all and feel even more empty. Even my not giving a shit was a lie I’d tell myself, because I knew I cared too much. I knew what I was doing to myself. I knew! My self-destructive behavior had more control than I wanted to admit, so I would cry and be angry. I was an absolute mess. If I didn’t love myself, how on earth could I love anyone else? What sort of example was I to my daughter? How could I possibly teach her to love herself and be strong when I was so weak?

The past four months have been extremely difficult. This was supposed to be a time of joy and celebration. Instead it was ripped apart by all this anger, and my anger had become resentment. Once you hit that stage, it’s hard to go back to what was before in order to forgive and trust and love and heal. It is the final boss at the end of the game, and I had come to meet it face to face, and I was destined to lose. The extreme lows were followed by extreme highs. I was exhausted and confused and lost. Any positives were quickly washed out by negatives, to the point that was all I heard and believed anymore. I was trash. I was a stupid bitch, a dumb cow, fat and ugly, a sexual turnoff, a crack whore, frumpy, a dumbass, and I was told to shut the fuck up repeatedly and hung up on. I believed it all at this point. I would try not to cry as this poison was shoved down my throat and into my heart. I was broken. I had no fight left to give, and the poison had me believing that life would be better for everyone if I just wasn’t around anymore. Not that I’d ever actually go through with that at all, but those dark thoughts crept within the shadows of my mind, whispering sweet, sour nothings in my ear, inviting me to play along. As I mentioned in the very beginning, the darkest depths of my soul had something deep within. It was keeping something safe and hidden until I was ready to acknowledge it.

I was ready…

-Bonnie

If you have read all the way to this point, I’m sure you have grasped the situation I am writing about. Only my closest family and friends have been kept in the know of what my life has become over the past couple years, and believe me, they don’t even know the half of it. I only write about it now, because this is a type of therapy for me. It is a form of release and a way to help me reflect and heal myself moving forward. I will not share everything. The moments I do share are lite versions of the worst of it all, but they are enough, and I can only hope that my writing about my own experiences might help someone else. As natural as it is to pick a side, this is not meant to bash my now ex boyfriend. We still love each other. We had hurt each other immensely, and we knew we were toxic for one another, and we would have continued hurting each other if it wasn’t put to a dead stop. Things have been said that will never be forgotten, but now I have the ability to truly grow and find myself again. There’s a girl I knew four years ago. She was in love and happy and radiant, and I am determined to find her again. She may not shine as brightly as she once did, but I’ll pull her back into the light, and I will continue writing about my journey of self-healing and discovery as I learn to love myself again. If you want to leave a comment, all I ask is that it’s a positive one. Please do not bash someone else. This space is mine to share with you, and I need it to be a healing one. 💙

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