Mindful Self-Compassion

I’ve been emailing a man named Martin for about 3 weeks now.

No, it’s not a romantic exchange. I’m pretty sure that the guy is married and I have a boyfriend, although lately, things have been…eh, complicated. (Story of my life with men.)

There’s this place called Rivers Edge and it hosts a ton of wellness classes and courses for women. Mostly it’s yoga, meditation and things of that nature. I’ve seen their upcoming events on my Facebook feed and then I’ll click the “interested button.” But I’ve yet to actually attend one of them, mostly because of the cost.

Mid-January one of the courses really caught my eye:

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported training program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on research by Kristin Neff and the clinical work of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care, and understanding.

Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression, and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you think.

The goal is for participants to experience self-compassion directly and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life.

The course includes 8 weekly sessions of 2-1⁄2 hours each and a 4-hour retreat. It is compatible with a wide range of religious and spiritual orientations, and with having no religious or spiritual orientation. No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required.

Well then. This looked like something that could really be a great thing for me, so I filled out the background info form and that’s when Martin emailed me back.

The problem was the price, a whopping $350. To me, that is a lot of cash to come up with, especially since I have moving expenses to worry about and I will just be breaking even on the house sale. So, back and forth we’ve gone, trying to sort out what kind of discount I can get based on the fact that I’m as poor as a church mouse.

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Money is evil.

I think we’ve finally hit on an amount that I can swing. Dr. Martin (he’s the one who’s teaching the class) truly wants me to attend because, after everything that I’ve gone through the last few years, it would be beneficial to my healing process.

He’s such a nice man.

Kind…and I’ve been in short supply of that since my dad died.

It starts on St. Patricks Day and I’m looking forward to it. Now I just need to anty up the class fee that we’ve settled on and to look at it as a gift to myself.

All Of That Garbage

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After telling my new therapist the entire asshat story (the condensed version due to our 50 minute session time) she simply said one sentence.

“Aren’t you glad that you’re not underneath all of that garbage anymore?”

“Hell yes,” I replied, noticing that my shoulders felt a little less heavy than when I had walked into her office. “I did, in fact, love him once upon a time.”

But that love has now dissipated and a combination of indifference, mingled with intense disgust has taken its place.

She asked me when I started to realize that my marriage was a sham, abusive, hard to focus on exactly what the problem was, a dark, shadowy union.

“When I started getting sick in 2011. But of course, I was in denial. Just two years after we got married. He told me at the end that he felt entitled to do whatever he pleased because I got sick.”

An angry, sickened looked flashed across her face. If I hadn’t been paying such close attention, I would’ve missed it entirely.

“How long were you two together before you got married?”

“Around 7 years. We’d lived with each other for just over 5 years.”

She nodded, writing something down in her notebook. I always wonder what it is that therapists are penning next to my name. Is it something profound or just a random doodle?

Just like the secret of how long it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop, the world may never know.

“I thought I knew what abuse was from my daughter’s father.”

“But there are many kinds of abuse,” she said sagely.

“Yes! Insidious, secretive…shady and manipulative.”

“Those are some big words.”

We smile at each other and I’m filled with gratitude.

I genuinely like this woman and she’s damn good at her job.

It’s always a wonderful feeling when you meet someone who understands you, even if they’re getting paid to do so. She’s in the same office that my doctor is in and once I move in early March, they’ll both be quite a bit of an ass haul away.

But if you ask me, the gas, distance and extra travel time are worth it.

Left in the Dark

I’ve had poor self-esteem since I was a kid. It hasn’t really gotten much better over the years. My new therapist pointed it out the first time we met back in December.

“That’s something we need to work on.”

Yes, just one of many things to take a closer look at. But if the many therapists I’ve had (and I mean, many) haven’t been able to plump up my self-worth, then I truly wonder if she’ll be able to fix this chronic problem of mine.

“You need to get your power back.”

When she says shit like this, I nod in agreement but deep down I’m shrugging and rolling my eyes.

What the almighty fuck is my power?

I’m always questioning myself and wondering if I’m doing this right (“this” meaning life in general.)

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I think I’ve mentioned that I recently put my condo up for sale and last week we snagged us a buyer. Sadly, my once-beloved home turned hateful prison isn’t worth what I had hoped for.

The proposed deal has us needing to find a new house and moved in by March 4th.

My daughter and I excitedly went house hunting this past Monday. The first two were absolutely gross and unlivable. (We have like $47-$48k to work with.)

The 3rd house that we lovingly nicknamed “yellow house” was perfect and my realtor said that he’d put an offer in but it was a longshot.

The 4th house was a no-go although he seemed a bit put off by the fact that we disliked it. We needed an “option B.”

Well, this one ain’t an option, dude.

Monday evening he emailed me a bunch of papers to virtually sign. Because we’re not fluent in legalese and he’s not the best communicator, my daughter and I thought that we got the house. I went on Facebook to share the great news with everyone.

But the following morning, when I realized that I hadn’t received a call from him, I found out that I had only signed the offer.

Now here’s where my shitty self-esteem comes in to play.

Aha, there is a method to my madness!

I instantly decided that I’m an idiot and that my mom was correct; I am stupid.

Stupid for even thinking that I could sell this place and get a redo.

I felt (still do) like a damn fool for sharing the good news that wasn’t yet mine to share.

This morning there is still no word from my realtor, my daughter and I are about to give it up, plus I’m just fucking exhausted.

Deep down in my soul tired.

It doesn’t seem to matter what I try to do. Even when I decide that I’m gonna get my power back, the electricity always starts to spark.

And yet again I am left in the dark.


Sorry about not replying back to comments. I’m not doing so hot right now.