Author Archives: Rebuilding Amy

About Rebuilding Amy

I am a newly single mother of 2 amazing children. I am processing through divorce, trauma, codependency, and trying to navigate my emotional sphere of shit. I believe in vulnerability, openness, real life, honesty, rawness, and swearing - a lot. This is my story, I hope it may resonate with you and as a result, maybe help you feel less alone.


Sometimes I feel as though my emotions are compounded. They take shapes like oil bubbles rippling in water. They find each other and glob together to make what began as a manageable gentle sadness, turn into deep despair. Heartache turns into grief; raw and unfiltered. I am so done with grief. DONE.

My chest feels tight. My throat feels raw.

The tears keep coming like an onslaught; a surprise attack of buried emotions. Shit that resurfaces and takes control of my mind, my body, and my entire being. I hurt so deeply that my sobs become these primal sounds that scare the dog.

Sometimes I feel filled to the brim with these emotions. Tiny moments break me. Little things that I can normally handle turn into devastating apocalyptic shitshows. Everything beautiful, that is right in front of me, seems impossible to see. All my brain wants to process is the hurt, the pain, the despair. It filters out the good and latches onto the bad. It won’t let go. Sometimes it is absolutely easier to just give in and ride that rollercoaster of grief. It takes too much energy to try to make it stop.

It feels downright scary to know that this is my ‘right now’, my foreseeable future. Grief is a landslide of feelings, all tangled up together, causing my brain to send out chaotic sparks of panicky, nonsensical thoughts.

For now, all I can do is breathe, cry, curl into a ball, and remember that this too shall pass.

I have to hope this doesn’t last too much longer. Because every time it happens I feel like a little piece of me is dying.

Again and again and again.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – (314)

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.


I have been meditating. FOR FOUR DAYS.

Laugh all you want, but it feels like a miracle that I have been able to keep it up for that long. I have tried meditation before, but it always seemed to make me more anxious. I attributed it to a couple of things; the main ones being I just wasn’t ready and my mind really didn’t want to be turned off. When your mind is used to racing at a million miles an hour, and it isn’t attuned to the present moment, it can be very difficult to quiet it down – let alone turn it off.

When I am able to sit peacefully and sink into my body, it creates a calm and peace within me. I believe that when I meditate I am creating a connection to the core of who I am. I have noticed that as I am learning to become more present in my physical self, I am able to recognize that I am not my thoughts, I am simply the awareness of my thoughts. Being able to recognize this is so hugely important. Especially when I tend to attach so much weight to my emotions and my thoughts.

I am trying to get to the essence of who I am by being in tune with the present moment and making every single moment matter. I am training my mind to focus on what is literally right in front of me (right now it is the weight of my dog sleeping on my legs). I believe that when I am able to do this, only the here and now matter. I am trying to break free of the past and the future.

We all have the bad habit of worrying about the future and perhaps lamenting the past. My tendency to project myself years into the future never get me anywhere emotionally healthy. My tendency to get all nostalgic or relive the past does me no good.

I have this awful scenario that I invent in my mind when I am feeling anxious and my thoughts are slamming around in my brain; out of control. It goes something like this: The year is 2024 and I am turning 50. I have 2 children who are almost 18 and nearing the time when they leave the house and I am an empty-nester; all by myself. I have only recently begun my own business in counseling, and the income isn’t what I had hoped it would be. I am wrinkled, gray-haired and have no partner in my life. My future is bleak, dreary, and downright terrifying.

I cry every single time my brain goes there (right now too); to a future that does not exist. I try to distract myself with being busy and trying to focus on the positive; empowering myself for a future of success and happiness. But I don’t think that is the answer either. Of course positive thoughts and being gentle with myself are important, but even more so is pulling myself back to this moment and letting go of my addiction to time. When I am right here, solidly in my physical self, there is no time but the present. And the future and the past simply do not exist. I don’t even need those positive thoughts to help me feel safe and secure in an imaginary future filled with success and happiness. They don’t matter.

I can’t predict the future, nor can I change the past. My perceived future with my husband and my children, living and loving under the same roof, are gone. Futures have a way of falling down in mid flight. Relationships and financial success are not recipes for happiness or security. My INFJ brain wants to analyze, dissect, and plan, plan, plan. It loves puzzles and working through life-problems with the goal of finding the answers; solving the puzzles. Retraining my mind to settle down and learning to pull it back to the here and now, are two of the most difficult challenges I have faced (and I have faced more than my fair share of challenges).

I think that meditation is the answer to much of what ails me in life. I am an emotional creature. I am continually driven by my emotions. Getting out of my head, and into my body, and freeing myself from the addiction to time, has become my number one priority. Putting down my phone and focusing on my children when they are right in front of me, babbling away about something or other, is all that matters. When I am doing the dishes by hand, and accepting that is the only thing that I am doing; nothing else matters.

When I strip myself of my wandering and obsessive thoughts, and ground myself in my body, I dissolve into the present moment at hand.

I am free.

As I sit outside

I feel peace within me

Radiating from me

I feel a blade of grass tickling my leg

I watch as an ant ascends my boot

I hear the wind wrapping itself around leaves just beginning to bud on the trees

A distant chime from someone’s backyard

The warm spring air moves around me

My hair floats in wild strands around my head

Yet I am still

No cars

No children

No voices or laughter

A magpie cackles behind me

I have found what soothes my introverted soul in the middle of my hectic day




I am ready to go back inside



Meaningful connection. I am coming to understand that it is the life force that sustains me. I believe, with my whole self, that the moments where someone sees me for who I am, when someone completely ‘gets’ me, are the moments when I feel the safest in my life; grounded. I seek connection with people every time I am out and about. I seek connection in my daily interactions with co-workers, with the person I am dating, with friends, and with my children. When I cannot find it, or it does not satisfy or live up to my expectations, I am left feeling a bit panicky and, yes, disconnected.

If I am at a party or out with friends, and the conversation is trite and surface-level, I feel more alone. If I go a whole day without a check-in from the people in my life who really understand me and accept me for who I am, I feel scared and invisible. Connection is a need for me; it might be the most important and meaningful one in my life. Without it, I feel adrift. Without connection, I feel as if I am floating away, completely alone; with my intense thoughts and emotions. The most terrifying part of this is when I believe someone close to me sees me for who I am, intimately and deeply, and it turns out they don’t. That realization is like a fast and painful punch to the gut and it can leave me reeling for weeks and make me very wary of future interactions with that person. It hurts.

I don’t know how to sustain a conversation about work or the weather or hobbies. I don’t understand how to engage with people who don’t want to talk about relationships, life, love, hurt, pain, death, and the universe. Yes, I know I’m intense. I know I struggle with casual.

I have come to accept that part of the reason my marriage failed was because we forgot how to connect with each other. We stopped seeing each other as a couple and instead operated as a family. We stopped connecting as two people in love and in life. Our sex life suffered, our marriage suffered, our entire lives fell apart as we grew more and more distant. I know it was having children that broke us and, of course, it wasn’t their fault. It was our fault for not working hard enough to balance the family-life and our relationship outside of that unit. We broke; and the result was that our family broke too. I remember bringing our first child home from the hospital and sobbing. I was heaving with tears as I turned to my husband and said, “You and I will never be the same. It won’t ever be just you and I again.” I was scared. I sensed the immense shift; the permanent change in our relationship.

I was right. Nothing was ever the same for us again.

I think much of my need for connection is an INFJ thing. From a post by Koty Neelis on Thought Catalog:

INFJs get frustrated when they make an attempt to connect with someone and the person fails to share their enthusiasm. INFJs can read people extremely well, so when they make an attempt to connect with someone on a deeper level or discuss something that means a lot to them, they can instantly tell when the other person isn’t on the same wavelength as them. This leads them to wonder why they even bothered at all and makes them more hesitant to reveal other things about themselves in the future.

That blurb makes SO much sense to me. It helps me to find forgiveness for myself with something that worries and troubles me. It helps me to feel less alone. Why can’t I function without meaningful connection in my life? Does that mean I am frightened to be alone? That somehow I am not secure in who I am? This is something I am still puzzling through. I am trying to understand if this is an insecurity or completely valid and okay (I am trying to understand why I want to understand at all); I can never just let myself be. Sometimes I detest being an INFJ. I feel like a mistfit, a weirdo, and an outsider and none of those things feels good.

I long for connection. I am constantly searching for people who see the gaps between the cracks. Individuals who looks at the world from a different angle; a different lens. I want people who reflect back to me the version of myself that I know to be real; that I know to be true. I do this for people nearly everyday and it is rare that it is reciprocal in nature. I am looking for people I can let into my private, inner universe. That space that fills my heart and my soul. I long for these qualities in my friendships but more importantly in my intimate relationships. I deserve and want someone who chooses me every single damn day.

And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.


A Gentle Sadness

*First of all, I would like to apologize to my readers for having been gone so long. It wasn’t my intention; I have been healing and processing so much, I didn’t have the energy to write.*


I have come to accept that there is an undercurrent of sadness that gently flows beneath everything that I do. It is there, every morning when I wake up. It is there, every night when I crawl into bed. It’s no longer a rage or maelstrom of emotion that feels like it will swallow me whole. It is a ripple, a gentle sadness that I have begun to make peace with, accept, and make room for in my heart.

In the beginning, I had no control over my rage, hurt, and sadness. The emotions would hit me so hard that sometimes, I would fall to the floor, completely debilitated and unable to function. It wasn’t healthy or reasonable to let my feelings take control like they were. I was missing work, crying in the bathroom, staying in bed until three in the afternoon. I wasn’t functioning; by any means. After a time, I began to block the intensity of the emotions simply as a means of survival. I moved into a state of self-preservation and put up walls made of steel. And all of these things were happening subconsciously; it amazes me that my brain knew what to do in order to help protect me and keep me going.

And now, it would seem that I am stronger than I ever have been. The emotions are back, but they are manageable, and I am in control. I no longer have to block them. I have opened up a door to my heart and I am welcoming them in. What I have noticed is that the emotions are no longer a tidal wave sweeping me off of my feet. They are calm and somehow soothing; like a deep and loving hug. I used to be terrified of feeling anything at all; happiness, sadness, despair, it didn’t matter (I have never feared anger. Anger has always been easy for me). I have come to accept this gentle sadness like an old friend. Something that will be by my side, accompany me, and hold my hand.

As I continue to navigate this path in front of me called grief.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


You Are Not Invisible

The New Year can be tough for many people for many different reasons. For those of us that suffer from mental illness, we fight a battle every single day of the year. The New Year doesn’t feel any different because we carry our wounds with us no matter what day of the year it is. When you wake up feeling hopeful and determined to make changes in your life in the upcoming year, those of us that hurt wake up not knowing if today will be a good day or a really, really bad day.

This is for everyone who struggles with mental illness. This is for those of us that wear a mask when we venture out into the world. This is for the ones that hurt so deeply it feels like a chore to smile and pretend they are okay. This is for the people who suffer and feel a fear and a sadness so deep it feels as though it will eat them alive. This is for the people that feel separate and isolated for whatever reason. This is for the people that feel invisible.

I am one of those people.

You are not invisible.

You are solid.

You are here and we see you.

You are enough.

You are safe and worthy of being loved.

You are power and resilience.

You are strength and determination.

You are not alone (this I promise).

You matter.

You will prevail.

You are a survivor.



Loving Without Expectation

I have been reading loads of articles on letting go of expectations in regards to relationships. And I have come to the conclusion that I am not capable of this.


Logically, I believe in everything I have read. Letting go of the need to box up a relationship and give it a name. Letting go of trying to label something and put a pretty bow on it to give oneself the illusion of safety and stability. I understand the concept and I believe that it is a very powerful one; the end game being to love freely and completely with your entire self without the expectation that someone ‘needs’ to love you back in the same way that you might love them.

Loving without the expectation that a so-called ‘relationship’ means a promise of forever.

Maybe loving without expectation is something that some people can do right out of the dating gate. Maybe some people learn how to do this with years of practice. I have tried, a few times now, and with absolute frustration I have realized that I cannot do this at this point in my life. I have been through so much trauma this past year, that I crave that perceived guarantee. Which, let’s be honest, is total bullshit because I know (better than most) that futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight and labels aren’t guarantees and pretty little relationship packages are not promises.

Love feels pretty terrifying right now.

I think that loving without expectation is one of the main tenants of polyamory. Being free to love whomever you love in whatever way that might be. Trusting yourself to give love and accept love. Trusting your partner (or partners) to treat you with respect and kindness as you navigate the ups and downs of multiple relationships. Understanding that there is no permanence in relationships just as there is no permanence in life.

A friend who is poly once told me that in a new poly relationship, everyone involved should go as slowly and mindfully as the slowest person involved. I was so completely traumatized by my one and only experience with polyamory that I am absolutely terrified of having any kind of relationship with anyone. I was literally bulldozed by two people who fell madly in love with each other and then kicked me to the curb.

The maddening thing is, being in a relationship is all that my aching heart wants. But, at least for now, I simply cannot do this without a fear and a terror that I will open up my heart (and it opens in a BIG way), and someone will look at me and say, “Hey, you just aren’t what I want. I do not choose you, I choose this other person. See ya!” I don’t want to be treated that way ever again.

I am currently completely frustrated with myself. I had to let go and say goodbye to a great guy this week. We were doing beautifully for about a month. I was letting go of the expectation that he needed to love me in the way that I loved him. I was learning to trust and believe that I could finally do it, let my heart free, let it out of its terrified space of hurt and fear. He was kind, supportive, nurturing, and SAFE. He was a safe person to love because he would never hurt me. He would never bail on me. I could feel my heart slowly healing.

But then we had this conversation during which he told me he wanted to “keep his options open” and if he wanted to have sex with someone else he wanted to be able to do that without hurting my feelings.

I reacted like a deer in headlights, I nearly disassociated due to my trauma and PTSD. But I breathed through it and in that moment I realized that I simply could not give him that; even though I wanted to, SO MUCH. My heart cracked and broke again and I said goodbye to someone who didn’t want the same thing I did. I could not go through the horror of being left by someone again. I retreated to my space of hurt, longing, rejection, abandonment, and anxiety. I am still living there to some degree. I am trying to feel my feelings without letting them run rampant and seize control. I am getting better at this but it can still feel pretty scary.

But what is it that I really want? A lie? A false sense of security and a sense of safety that isn’t even real? My brain wants that. My heart has a completely different idea. I know now that I can love someone without an expectation that they will love me back. I can be with someone and open up my heart to them without that need for their love to match my own. But here is the catch: I cannot do this in a so-called ‘open relationship’. The minute he dropped that bomb, I knew I was incapable of doing what I had slowly begun to do. Love without expectation. Because, in my limited experience with open relationships, people leave you. They smash your heart and walk away without a backward glance. Maybe someday I will have healed enough to handle something like that if it happened again. But for now, it is just not possible. And the worst part?

I feel like a failure.

I think it is okay to expect certain things. I expect not to be treated like shit. I expect to be treated with care and compassion and kindness. I expect someone to be gentle with my heart and not stomp all over it. These things are non negotiable needs for me, and at this point in my healing, I have to create boundaries that protect them. Which meant saying goodbye to someone I love very, very much. And isn’t that a brave thing to do? To stay within my own integrity and know my own limits and set my own boundaries? I am hurting a lot right now, but that hurt will fade with time. I won’t feel this way forever. Because forever is an illusion and labeling something as ‘exclusive’ or ‘non-exclusive’ means absolutely nothing.

But for now, until the parts of me that fear abandonment heal, I am trying to accept that I need to feel safe within the context of a lie.


Beauty in Breakdown

I am giving you permission to fall apart.

To crumble and drop to your knees.

To cry so hard you can’t catch your breath and your whole body trembles.

I want you to know that it is okay to break and feel like you are losing your mind.

It is okay to feel hopeless.

To hit rock bottom.

To go places so dark and so desperate you feel terrified;

of getting lost there forever.

But forever isn’t a place you can inhabit.

Forever is an illusion.

Forever does not exist.

And even when you feel like you can’t go on and there is no hope,

I promise you that there is.

You are going to pick yourself up off of that floor.

You will find your strength, your hope, your resilience.

Never forget that tomorrow is another day.

But today, you are allowed to break.

There is beauty in breakdown.