The day has come when we are going to say good-bye to each other yet another time. We are both heartbroken.... We will miss Olivier a lot here. Yes, last two weeks haven't been my favourite but I understand why he withdrew from me so much. Possibly, I would do the same.

I'm feeling sad. It's going to take me yet another adjustment to life without him and his energy. It will surely take Helena some time to get used to it as well that there won't be her super dad around her any more. And super dad he is and his love for her is unquestionable. I will miss being around this love.

With Olivier going I'm losing a co-parent, a company... I'm losing a friend - thought it's been a difficult friendship.

I want to sit and curl in the corner of the room and cry. I don't even want to know what it'll be like to return to the empty flat tonight after we say goodbyes at the airport...

But that's what is happening. And no matter how much I would like it to be different that facts are like this: he is going and I'm staying. He doesn't love me and I still hope that some day somebody will. I will not stand another time him saying: "I don't love you". And since he is still in my heart, I need time and space to heal. Probably a lot of time.

I believe that he was full of good intentions. I believe that he meant well. It's just not good enough for me... Maybe I would find someone in the States.... but before I would go crazy from being unloved. I don't want Helena to have a sad and bitter mother. I'm already sad... but I don't want to be sadder. I need to work up now for my happiness and rebuild what's left from my self-confidence and joy of life. 

How I wish it was different...
How I wish for a happy end, for a sudden twist in the story... and we would walk into the sunset together with Helena, holding hands. But that's not happening.

Goodbyes are happening and I will have to live through them. Alone. Each of us will have to go through them alone.


A Good Girl

I read this article today about how some women will do everything and anything to please people around them, how in order to be liked they will sacrifice their voice and suppress their needs, how to avoid conflict they will swear that what matters to them is not really such a big deal. 

Sounds familiar?
Oh yes, indeed. 

Starting from my mother... She gave up her life, literally, to be loved by this one man. She put her life on the altar of self-sacrifice and before she was able to turn the tide it was too late and the unhappiness took swiped her away. She wanted to be liked and loved like anybody else in the world and she would compromise. She would compromise to win his approval, she would start believing that what she really wanted deep in her heart didn't matter: perhaps, that she wanted to much or that her expectations were unrealistic, silly... But they were not. They were hers!!! But she wanted to be a good girl. She wanted to be a great mother, a fantastic wife, a reliable friend. She looked after everybody but herself. And it proved to be deadly. Nobody then has to convince me that resigning from oneself is a terrible idea leading to a depressed, unhappy life. 

I think one life sacrificed this way is enough in my family. 

What about me? 
Well, I've also tried to be a good girl for a long time. I'm trying to deserve. It's slowly changing but it's difficult to alter those imprints I have in my brain and emotional memory. I know going to the States with Helena and Olivier is not a good idea for me. Not as a fake wife, not as a flatmate... I would like to be somebody's parenter, a wife possibly. Initially, I had said that the idea might not be bad... We spoke quite a lot about it... The idea of getting married on paper was strange to me from the very beginning but then I thought... oh well, maybe really, there is nothing to make fuss about - marriage is overrated anyway. And I tagged along in the discussion. Maybe living together and not being together wouldn't be bad - after all I would do it for Helena. Maybe thinking that doing all theses things because of love and with someone dear is just a fairytale and I'm big enough of a girl to know that life is not a fairy tale and I should compromise a bit. But deep, deep inside something was telling me that no matter what I would say and how much I would try to convince myself these things like family, partnership and love have a meaning to me. But I knew I would disappoint him. Oh, I already did when i decided to keep Helena and even before that... over a visa application... And how much I didn't want to disappoint him now again. How much I have wanted for all this time to please him and make him think good things about me.  So maybe I should just pack up without too much thinking, leave my job, leave whatever little I have here and go and make him happy. I would make him and Helena happy. Who cares about me! Who cares that I would be heartbroken and depressed. Nagh! Not a big deal - last year I was told I wouldn't have been the first and last person having an abortion, certainly I wouldn't be the first and last person going to the States and struggling there. And so I though and I though... Him on holiday with another woman in Vietnam... but I'm still thinking if I should trust him and  follow him to the Land of Plenty. It's not a big deal that my heart id already broken knowing that he is there (in Vietam) with somebody else. It's not a big deal that I know that he doesn't love me and he doesn't want to be with me. No! That is of no consequence. I'm still thinking and trying to please, I'm thinking how to make him happy. Maybe this way he will love me again (sic!)  I'm thinking, I'm thinking and I'm thinking more: should I stay or should I go? It's such a great opportunity and the family (sic! sic! sic! WTF!!!!) would stay together. Who cares about my life and my needs! Who cares! We will have two separate lives under the same roof: I will go on my dates, he will shag his women and then we will exchange some funny anecdotes overt the dinner. Sounds fun!

I know all these things but I'm still thinking.

Till one day, I can't think any more. I have a picture of my mom that I look at every day. It reminds me of her daily and reminds me how much I miss her. Actually, at different moments of life it reminds me of different things. She looked at me from this picture when I was agonizing over this decision of going to the States. She looked at me and, as usually, said nothing trusting that I have enough maturity and common sense to make a good decision. 

My mom was a wonderful person who wanted everybody to be happy. She forgot about herself. 
I also would like to make everybody happy, especially those people I love. I scared of conflict and preferably would like to avoid it. But mom has left the legacy. And her legacy is this: do not sacrifice anything for anyone, even if you love them - remember about what matters to you and stand up for it. Making everybody around happy can kill.

That I want to have a family is a big deal.
That I want to have partner who loves me is a big deal.
That I want to raise Helena in a house where people love each other and respect each others needs is a big deal.
That I am is a big deal.
That something or somebody hurts me is a big deal.
Things that I want and dream about are big deals. 
I am a big deal.

My mom was as well - she just never allowed herself to recognize this. She wanted to be a good girl.


Silent House

Ever since I broke the news that I'm not ready to drop everything and go to the States, my house turned out into a tomb.

No more laughs.
No more doing stuff together. 
No more talking even apart from a very formal: What would you like to eat. 
No more cooking together.

It's dead here and I don't think I can stand the dead much longer. He will say that he is going away soon but that's not the case. 

Would I like to go? 
But with someone who loves me and who will stand by me when the goings are tough. Do I trust Olivier that much? No. And as much as I would like to, I don't trust that he will look after me when things are rough. Will he look after Helena. Of course! I have no doubts about that. He loves her to death and I know for a fact that he would never leave her in need. 

I've been second guessing myself... Oh, but maybe I am stuck in the past and maybe I should forgive him and just trust that everything will be ok and that because of Helena everything will be good. But I don't want it to be because of Helena! Helena can't be the reason I would to it...  Was it an easy decision? No! Of course not. I love the two of them but I also love myself and right now I'm too scared to trust someone who a year ago didn't want to know my name.

I know he cannot stay here. I know he has to work and make his dreams come true. And that's great. I wish I were a part of his dreams. Helena is, I'm not.

It's sad. Yes, it is. For now we will not share those moments raising Helena together. Oh, yes - that's my choice and now I will see how hard it is to be a single mom. I was given an option. I was given an option last year as well. Not a good one and thank god I listened to myself enough otherwise Helena wouldn't be here today.  Was this option about me? No! I was just a number: not the first and not the last one who would have an abortion. I begged and cried for help. Now I need some time to recover and build trust though I see that I won't be given a chance to build anything. Buy I had an option...

And am I scared? Yes.  I was also scared last year and somehow I managed through nine months of pregnancy. Perhaps I can manage now as well. And perhaps it's time to end being scared.

It's just a pity we will part in silence.


The Pill

I was supposed to take a pill to start shrinking of my uterus at 10 pm. I was alone in my hotel room, the most depressing hotel in the whole city: damp and cold, in a room of a size of a matchbox. The 4th floor. Beneath me - Paris, the city of love. Inside me - emptiness, sadness and despair. How ironic!

The day before I went to the hospital again to take whatever documents they had for me. Asked about my plans, I said that I didn't know. I was assured that it was ok to change their mind. The nurse just asked me to give them a call. I never did. 

The pill was in an envelope. I opened an envelope and put the medicine on my palm, and stared at it. No answers were written on it. Nothing. My head was spinning from tiredness and from being eight weeks pregnant. 10 o'clock was approaching quickly. The next day I was scheduled to go the the doctor, have a quick procedure, stay in Paris for few more days for a follow up visit and then jump the plane and forget about the whole issue. I started at the pill. I couldn't do it. I could not do it. There must have been somebody with me in this room to force this pill down my throat... I could not do it myself. The pill ended up in the toilet. I watched it disappearing down the drain... That was the beginning. That was when Helena was decided to be.  

"Did you take the pill?", he demanded.
"No, I didn't." 

 Seven months later I gave a birth to  little Helena.



On one hand I feel relieved that I finally made up my mind. On the other one, however, it makes me sad that we will have to part. Not the first time, for sure, but maybe this time for a very long time.  I've written many times that Olivier and Helena are great together and I'd love them to be as close to each other as possible. Of course, I'd like to be as close as possible as well. Let's not pretend, I care for him as well and having Olivier as a parent around is great. But it's not meant to last. He has his plans, his dreams and ambitions which cannot be fulfilled in Thailand. I see how it weights on him and I can't ask for more of him. He needs to go out there and do the things he wants to do or he will go crazy and hate both me and Helena. I want to see him successful and happy... Just like I have to do things that I have to achieve here before I make a move from Thailand, Olivier needs to accomplish his goals.

For me it's all quite heartbreaking. Soon, I will really become a single mom... So far, I've been greatly supported by Olivier and we've a very good time looking after Helena. But it's not meant to last... This is where we will soon part...


Self-Pity Party Best Host

Earlier in the day I conceived a long post about how horrible I felt about things. I wrote it and waited to publish it. Then I read it again, and again and I there it was -  a self pity party. I've been moaning and complaining for a while now. I've been drowning in the negative thinking about how horrible life has been to me. I've been having problems with sleeping, waking up in the middle of the night and thinking, and brooding and analyzing... And I haven't been getting any relief really. Instead, I got tired and I know I've been tiring for people around me. How much can you listen to a person who is moaning and complaining? Not a lot. 

And then I found this: " 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do."

I read the first one and bang! There it was, right into my face! A pity party, Baby, and a huge as well. And I've been such a good host for last couple of days with a break for Madonna and Helena. But in the darkness of the night I would not just go to sleep but dwell and brood instead. Till I really got sick and tired of myself today. So, this is enough. I wrote a post last night about how I have to clean up the mess in my life and I will do it starting from today, from realizing that feeling sorry for myself and being so explicit about it served some purpose  - it's been postponing the actions and taking responsibility for my situation. It's been delaying me admitting to what I want and don't want. Actions are much more difficult than words. Saying what I want has always been difficult for me in relationships with men. Saying what I want and don't now with Helena and Olivier is even more difficult but seems inevitable if I want to keep sane. And I do. For my own sake and for everybody else involved. 

And honestly, I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. Who normal wants? I want to be able to face my own challenges and take ownership of the world around me. I want to be in charge and not give power to other people or circumstances. It's me who wants to be able to handle difficulties with courage and determination, and trust that I can handle a situation well and emerge on the other side. After all, I've experienced some tough situations before and managed to get to the other side. I should build my confidence on that and not give in to fears, demons and creations of my own head. And my head has been working very hard for last few days. But I'm tired now and so are people around me.  

And quite honestly, isn't it quite silly that I would sell out all the good things that I have in my life for one aspect that is not the way I would like it to be. (I'm talking about Olivier). Honestly! Girl! I wrote today that I would like to give myself a big hug in this misery but now I feel like I would like to give myself a hug, yes, but also a good talk about appreciating things that I have, feeling grateful, and keeping things in perspective. Yes, I would hold myself till all crying has been done but after that I would say: Ania, it's time to finish it. You have to make a decision of not being like this, self- pittying. It's not you. It's a bad, bad habit that you have learnt in the past. It's time to stop it and I will help you to do it." That's what I'm saying to myself now: it's time to stop. Of course, I need to practice this muscle of not feeling sorry for myself. It's not going to change withing a day but I need to give it a go. It's not worth wasting time on feeling miserable and drained from energy. My days are counted here... Why  can't I remember about this more often? My days are precious: I have Helena, I can watch her grow and smile and I want to be focused on these things and not on the things that are negative or not how I would like them to be. And if I don't like something, shouldn't I have enough guts to end it? "What you allow is what will continue", I read on Facebook the other day. I shared it but do I really understand it? Do I have enough courage to disallow things that I don't want?

Many issues here. But let's me just do a little exercise in changing thoughts encouraging self-pity.
These are the things I am grateful for:
- Helena and that she is healthy and smiley. That she loves me no matter how crazy I go - luckily she doesn't understand yet what sometimes her mother is doing and hopefully I will get better at managing my emotions before she grows older. 

- I'm grateful for my own health.
- I'm grateful for my understanding friends from all over the world who have patience with me. 
- I'm grateful for my job and that I have opportunities to develop.
- I'm grateful for all the people who helped me before Helena was born and all the people who showed up after she came to this world, including Olivier and his family.
 - I'm grateful for being able to get out of my own head sometimes and looking at things from different perspective. Maybe there's hope for me.

So, for the next days, weeks and moths, I will be practicing this attitude and remember about all the good things I've been experiencing in life instead being obsessed with the one that didn't quite work out and I will also DO something about these things that don't work out for me.


One of Those Days

I'm feeling a bit restless today. No, not a bit - I am feeling restless, very restless. I'm still thinking about the offer I got from Olivier of going to the States together. If I agree, I will walk away from all I have built here and straight into financial dependency. I will sign up for life without love, a life that will be one huge compromise without any real payoff for me.  If I stay, though, Helena will loose her dad for many months and who knows really when she will see him again. I will loose Olivier's company in raising this Little Angel. So what do I do? What do I really want?

Not my favourite days, I must say. There was a moment when all I wanted was to climb on the bed and hide under covers and cry.  And why cry? For few reasons. The first one was that today I really felt very little love and as every human being I need to love and feel loved in order to live. Today, in particular, I've been thinking of love between a man and a woman, about intimacy and how I miss it. I'm kind of not interested in one night stands and meaningless guys from nowhere. I miss kisses, I miss warm body next to me, smiles and laughs and all that comes with being close to another human being. I don't have it at the moment and the man who I miss the most is not interested in this kind of relationship with me. And it hurts. We are living together, we are sharing many fun moments with each other but there's no closeness between us... he chooses to be close with someone else. Sure, his life, his choices, his truth - he doesn't want to be committed. But it all hurts me and I'm thinking now how long more I will be able to stand such an arrangement.  I like having him around me, I love to watch Olivier and Helena playing around, laughing and loving each other but... But where am I in this all? What kind of satisfaction is there for me? In this arrangement, I'm just a link to Helena, a link that now cannot be broken because Helena is too young but once she comes of age, my presence will not be welcome any more. We are not a family as much as I would like to believe in it - we are not. A family is a unit of people who love each other and stand by each other. Olivier loves Helena, I love Helena but there is no love between the two of us and this is a huge deal breaker.

I deserve a partner, a man who will be there for me and Helena and who will love me for who I am. I feel like my heart breaks into pieces here and then when it comes home that nothing will ever happen between the two of us. I don't want to be heartbroken any more. I want to live with my heart filled with joy and with my heart ready to open up to another human being. I want to feel that I am important, that I count and that I am worth a while. I'm not getting it now and it is frustrating me a lot. Yes, Helena is happy, Olivier is happy and their needs are fulfilled but I cannot just forget about myself and give in. I have more than half of life to live: I deserve to be happy and Helena deserves to have a happy mom - not the one who wants to hide away and cry under the blanket.

My heart feels heavy today.
I need a hug, a big hug. 

Mother and Daughter Part 2

Mother and Daughter: What You Give Is What You Got
Surely, an adult daughter can try to rebuild a relationship with her mother - says dr Ewa Wodyllo- Osiatynska. But what if the mother doesn't want the same? - asks Joanna Olekszyk.

What's the source of these conflicts then?

Usually it stems from the fact that the mother is immature. It's normal and only natural to be immature for a daughter. Kids will always be younger than their mothers. Being capable of making informed decisions and shaping opinions based on our experiences is a skill that we learn throughout our lives and this skill makes us mature people. We learn from books, movies and from other people. Our maturity consists of practical life skills. But just living life will not equip us with these skills. Oftentimes it even happens that a person experience a maturity block as a result of traumas, hurts, addictions, wrong models. You can be 48 and have a maturity of a teenager. This holds its truth for some mothers as well...

 Is it why they are sometimes overprotective?

This can be caused by their understanding of their role as a mother: they don't want to let go of their control over their child no matter how old the child is. Another reason might be that such an overprotective mother doesn't really have a life of her own. Fulfilling her motherly mission is the only thing she has. Even if she is in a relationship, such a mother doesn't share her bed with the partner, she doesn't plan nights out  or holidays with him. From a partner, a husband turns into a piece of occasionally used  furniture. Though it's not a relationship any more, the spouses can live like this for many years faithfully and in God. But a human is an emotional being that needs close relationships in order to live. To love somebody, to live for somebody - they are our bigger needs. And so it happens that if the relationship doesn't fulfill these needs, a woman will invest herself totally in children. Sons are not as easily dominated as daughters are who become like clay in mother's hands. On top of that, subconsciously, mothers take their daughters on a guilt trip. No mother would think: "Now I will show you and get a panic attack." She gets a panic attack by only thinking that her daughter wants to spend Christmas separately.  This is an addiction and resembles alcoholism, drug addiction and gambling. If you are addicted you can't stop by yourself unless somebody will help you by establishing healthy boundaries and saying: "Mom, don't do it". But like an addicted person a mom will retort: "How dare you talking like this to me?!" This reaction is typical of an alcoholic but in our case we deal with an addiction to a person. Such a toxic, debilitating  relationship becomes a trap for both a mother and her daughter. 

How to deal with such a toxic mother?

You deal with her like exactly like you would deal with an alcoholic. A daughter has to break the cycle of  fear,  guilt and codependency and take control over her own life. In order to do so, the daughter will need help from her support system: a husband,  friend or a colleague who will reassure her and sort of give her permission to live her own life. They should remind the daughter that her mother is an adult capable of living her own life and that the only way of getting out from this toxic predicament is through a consistent reinforcement of boundaries. For example: a daughter can announce to her mother that she is going to come to see her the day before the Christmas Eve but after she is leaving. The daughter needs to be assertive and not give in to somebody's weaknesses or addiction. I understand, however, that the Christmas example may be slightly ambiguous. Some may say: "What are you talking about? Christmas is about the Tradition, Religion and the Family..." My answer is: "Yes, it's all true but on one condition that respecting this tradition leads to something good." If Christmas becomes the time when mom always blames us on something and dad gets drunk, then this occasion becomes only an excuse for sustaining an unhealthy pattern. And that is not good. If that's the case, the only way is to break the cycle, separate and distance oneself and begin to function according to ones own values and believes. 

And so I keep thinking of my role as a mom and how it all will go between me and Helena. There has been a lot of pain and misunderstandings between me and my own mother. I want to have a healthy relationship with Helena - a relationship that will feel good for both of us. I am though aware that I will have to be very aware of what I'm doing - those imprints tend to be really strong. So, I need watch out... I want make sure that I have my own life and that I keep nurturing myself. I don't want to start living Helena's life and forget my own. I will to stay my own person - just so that later, when she grows up and leaves, I don't wake up one day and realize that there is nothing for me any more. 


Mother and Daughter Part 1

I keep thinking about this whole business of bringing up a human child and the more I think and read, the more I realize that I know so little about it and I will have so much to learn AND it will all be learning on the job. As I understand, now it's the easiest time - when she is so small and innocent. 

The real stuff, the challenging moments will begin around the age of two and will never stop from then on. 

As a respond to my maternal concerns, a friend of mine sent me an article from a Polish life-style magazine "Zwierciadlo". I found it interesting and decided to translate it for those who don't speak Polish and read my blog. I hope you will find it as informative and though-provoking as I do.

Below my surely imperfect rendition.

Mother and Daughter: What You Give Is What You Got
Surely, an adult daughter can try to rebuild a relationship with her mother - says dr Ewa Wodyllo- Osiatynska. But what if the mother doesn't want the same? - asks Joanna Olekszyk.

Having read the letters delivered to the"Sens" magazine, it seems that the mother-daughter relationship generates only problems. 

Because it's true.  Surely one has to be careful with generalizations but there are more emotional and relational issues between kids and mothers than between kids and fathers. More often than not, the father keeps a bigger distance with the children, he is more involved with the outside world. With the rare  exceptions of those women who work in business, mothers are usually focused on the family and offspring. Because they are closer with them, the tension and conflicts are more often. It's worth pointing out that because of a very specific relationship between the son and the mother, even the overprotecting one, conflicts between sons and mothers are never as intense as they are between overprotective mothers and their daughters. What is even more interesting, these conflicts usually emerge when the son starts his own family. Even then, though,  it's not him who has issues with the mother but his wife who might not cope well with the in-law.
Are then same sex relations more difficult?

Because of the same sex in the mother-daughter relationship, at a certain point the daughter will identify with the mother.  For the healthy development of the self in the daughter, however, she will have to separate from the mother and become and individual. In other words, at first a daughter merges with the mother but later she opposes her in order to find out who she really is. It's such a strong relationship that the daughter's identity is intertwined with the image of her mother. Very often as well, this identification with the mother leads to subconscious competition between the two. It's not a competition to win but to psychologically dominate the opponent. The mother and daughter may be connected through their sex but they are also divided by the generation gap. What the mother thinks and experiences is rooted in the past as opposed to her daughter who relates to the present. I will use the example of the washing machine: our grandmothers washed in hands, our mothers used wringer washers but we wash our clothes in automatic washing machines. Washing is still washing but we do it differently. Methods don't create as many conflicts though as feelings do.

To be continued....

I'm going to sleep now.
My head is going to explode in a second from the number of questions I have about the topic. I will go and enjoy the still conflictless nature of my relationship with Helena and the fact that she still hasn't got any teeth. Neither will last forever.