Thursday, January 31, 2013

I really do multitask like a motherfucker

I went back and read the last five entries of my blog the other day after someone told me they started reading it.  I never do that.  I’m the type of writer who puts down thoughts and feelings to work through my own issues and when I do that, I walk away from them.  When I read what I’d written it all felt so long ago, when really it was only a few weeks.  It’s amazing how fast things move in my mind.  I always think it’s strange when someone mentions this blog to me in person.  I don’t know why they’d want to when they have the actual person with them.  Maybe they don’t understand that nothing here is secret.  I think that’s the most amusing part of this process—I don’t hide what I’m thinking or feeling.  Anything I’ve ever written about anyone, including myself, I’m willing to say directly to your face if you’re brave enough to ask me.  I think the difference between me in real life and me in this blog is that there are no social boundaries here.  I commonly refer to this as my journal and try to ignore the fact that other people read it. Sometimes I call it internalized therapy.  I used to say that I’m unfair here, emotional.  To talk to me in person is to get the nice, rational Elitist.  The one who does and say what she should, cries at home, and always stands up straight and keeps a smile on her face.  I feel like that has changed lately.  As the days fall off the calendar, I’ve been welcoming a warmer, more integrated me.  Trust me, nobody is more surprised to see me act emotionally in public.  I’m not always fair.  I don’t always do and say the nice thing.  I gave myself permission to feel what I want, when I feel it.  Not when it’s convenient. 
Now I’m not suggesting that every time someone hurts me, I promptly burst into tears.  In fact, I think I cry less these days when it comes to people I’m dating or whatever it is I do with them.  I’ve been learning to not give people more importance than they deserve (with heavy reminders from my friends) and put them in the proper place in my life.  Easier said than done.  I’ve been able to look at someone, evaluate their place in my life, and walk away when they don’t serve a positive purpose quicker.  I don’t waste 15, 7, or even 3 months on them anymore.  But I feel like the entire system of dating works against me.  Let me explain.  There are so many differences between men and women that it boggles the mind.  I’ve been accused of operating more like a man than a woman on more than one occasion.  I’m never quite sure how to respond.  Usually it’s by being insulted.  Normally it’s the result of a man who is dating me (or trying to) finding out that I’m dating other guys.  Interesting.  So basically the fact that I date multiple guys means that I’m a guy myself?  Gotta love that they’re upset by that.  Wait, you’re not sitting around thinking about ME all the time, wishing you were MINE and only for ME to touch, even though I’m out sleeping w everyone who will let me in their panties? NO!!!  Wait, I was supposed to be waiting for my “turn” to get married and day dreaming about that special someone? As my girlfriend would say…barf.
I had no idea how narcissistic men were.  I love, love, LOVE how I can not talk to a man I’ve gone out with before for a month, two months, four months, or whatever, and he messages me, texts me, calls me out of the blue and offers to take me to dinner, fly me across the country, or come visit like no time has passed.  Like I’m sitting here waiting for him.  Or I missed him.  Or I was ever even just his.  Am I the only one this sounds crazy to?  Women are naturally insecure.  We think that no man will want to be with us and keep us for good.  Men assume they’re God’s gift and every woman they’ve ever touched or talked to is sitting around waiting to be blessed with their presence. It’s fucking unbelievable.  I think the funniest part of this blog is that some of them will read it and think I’m not talking about them.  Like I could only possibly say nice things about my time with them.  This must be someone else.  Of course.  The egos never stop.  In fact, they’re SURE they’ve made a large impact on my life and have made my blog several times.  They say it to me like it’s soooo obvious.  Well you were crazy about me and wanted me all to yourself, so I’m assuming I’ve made quite an appearance in your writing.  Actually, you didn’t.  There are a few men who made a hell of a fucking dent in my life and in my heart.  They know without a shadow of a doubt who they are.  They’re the ones I actually had the conversations with.  I don’t communicate secret messages through my blog.  Who would do that?  Sounds a bit too awkward for someone as straight forward as myself. 
My relationships with men are categorized in a very strange way in my mind.  It takes a lot for me to call you my boyfriend or an ex boyfriend, but not so much for me to call you an ex.  All you had to do was date me a little.  If we went out a few times, then I’ll call you an ex.  I picture something like a yearbook page in my head and I draw a big X over your face once I find out you’re a dbag and you’re taken off my “to do” list.  Sometimes if you catch my attention and I think I might want to date you, but you disappoint me before you actually do, you get a big black X too as a precautionary measure.  I’m sitting here laughing to myself picturing some of these guys thinking “Is she talking about ME?” hahaha.  Forgive me, I have way too much fun thinking about all of the crazy experiences of my life.  I have to laugh at everything I’ve been through and how many, many mistakes I’ve made.  There are so many of you charming “mistakes” that I don’t think I could take a role call if I wanted to anymore.  Maybe that’s a blessing because most days I’d rather forget.  I asked my girlfriend today when it became ok for men to treat women like whores.  She said when most women started acting like them.  Fair point.
I’ll tell you why I have such a hard time giving people too much importance. It’s because I consider everyone’s value as equal. I struggle to understand how one person’s opinion can mean more or less to me when I’m already taking the time to interact with them.  In other words, I don’t care what the majority of the world thinks of me (obviously, look at this crazy fucking public blog), but if I’m dating you, hanging out with you, or talking to you on a daily basis, I may start to think that you’ve gotten to know me and then your opinion will matter in some regard.  What I’ve come to realize is that most people don’t actually get to know me.  They get close to me to use me for something.  Also, I’ve figured out that not everyone’s purpose in my life is permanent and that means their impact on my mind or heart doesn’t get to be permanent either.  So what does that mean? It means my selfish new year’s resolution kicks right the fuck in.  Hey you from my past, you don’t matter anymore.  Please leave me alone and torture someone else.  You were dismissed for a reason.  Hey you who I was dating for a long time, you don’t get to tell me how to lead my life or what I should be doing.  Worry about yourself.  Hey you that I really, really wanted at one time.  That time has passed.  Be graceful enough to not be an ass around me or I will simply ignore you.  Not everyone has a place in my heart.  And for days when I can’t figure out if I’m being fair or allowing myself to feel what I want, there’s my counselor.
Let me talk about my counselor for a minute and how important he is in my life.  Yes, my counselor is a man.  It was intentional.  I needed a male perspective.  I also NEEDED to see a man act professional around me, assure me that not all men were fundamentally selfish, and tell me exactly what the hell is going on with some of the ones in my life, from my father to the most recent idiot I decided to show my panties.  He makes sure that I’m responding correctly to all situations I’m in.  Isn’t it strange that there’s a “correct” and “incorrect” way to respond to things?  That always surprised me.  So when a man tells me that I view men strangely, I smile.  When the kid I’ve been sleeping with tells me I’m so smart and self aware that I don’t need therapy, I wonder what he would’ve thought of me before counseling.  I know exactly where my strengths and weaknesses are.  I’m not ashamed of the fact I see a counselor; I’m proud.  I’ve stuck with it for a long time and I can see the progress I’ve made.  I feel it in my heart and I hear it in my thought processes.  He also gives me a unique perspective on my life and my social interactions that I can’t see from the inside.  It seems like the longer I talk to him, the more I see about myself that I didn’t know was there.
I think his latest observation about how I operate in relationships is my favorite thus far.  I’ve always thought it was strange that men never ask me to be theirs, just theirs.  It would hurt my feelings.  How can you text me all day, see me twice a week, or whatever, and still not come out and say “give me a chance, be my girlfriend, don’t sleep with other guys” or something along those lines.  It doesn’t matter what the duration is—one month to one year or anything in between.  The story is still the same.  Am I not the loving, attentive, fun girlfriend that they wanted?  Do I not give them space, understanding, and crazy sex with no drama.  He finally said something really interesting to me that hadn’t occurred to me and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.  Allow me summarize: He said that the problem is that I already act like their girlfriend.  I give them SO much of what they need that it doesn’t occur to them that I could possibly be seeing anyone else.  No normal woman could carry on 5 complete relationships with separate men that effortlessly.  How do I keep them all separate?  How do they all get me all day, every day, see me regularly, and feel affection from me all at once that is completely genuine?  I gave him my typical smartass answer of “I multitask like a motherfucker” and we both laughed, but I was quiet after.  Do you know what it made me think about?  How much love and energy used to go into my marriage.  How much time do you think I spent thinking about my ex husband’s happiness and well being and making his life the best it could be if I can literally take less than that energy (since half of it goes to my daughter now) and still keep several men happy enough to think that I’m just with them?  A lot.
I’ll be the first to admit this sounds shady as fuck.  How can I carry on with several different men at the same time?  Well, I guess they’re not very demanding compared with what I’m used to.  Second, here is the narcissism at work.  I don’t know why it never occurs to them that I could be seeing other guys.  Even when I tell them there’s no reason to trust me or assume anything, they smile at me like I’m being cute or coy.  Alrighty then.  I’d like to remind you that I don’t hide anything from anyone and I never, ever lie about where I am or who I’m with.  So any of these guys could take two seconds to ask me where I am, who I’m with, where I was, or what I’m doing to tomorrow and I’d tell them. They never do. Ever.  I don’t understand it.  If any of them ever referred to me as “their girl, girl friend, mine” or anything possessive, I would question them and then act on it.  I always said that if anyone wanted to date me exclusively I’d give them a chance. Hilarious that nobody ever asked me for the chance, even after I said to one guy that he was the first one I’d actually wanted to be with.  Yeah, I SAID it and got NO response of the same kind.  Dude, are you really surprised I ended up dating other guys at the same time?  What sort of person just sits around and does nothing when the guy she wants isn’t making a commitment to her?  I don’t indulge assumptions and unspoken agreements.  They’re stupid.  I remember once a guy who was trying to justify not using condoms with me said something along the lines of “but baby, I always use condoms with other girls!” when I finally forced him to confess to sleeping with someone else.  Not like I ever hid it.  Look, I like to have sex 3 times a week.  How often did I see you? Do the math or show up often enough to take up my time yourself if you don’t want a commitment and don’t want me with anyone else either. The stupidity abounds.
So here’s the deal now.  I’ve decided that I don’t need to go out with every man who asks me, whether I’m interested or not, just because the guy I really have an eye on isn’t talking like a boyfriend.  I think a different approach is in order.  I need to understand that there’s no clock ticking.  There’s no rush. I can literally sit still for a week or a month to see what happens with a guy instead of going out with someone else just because I’m free.  I like to think there was or is some sort of golden age of dating where people only date one person at a time.  I know plenty of guys have said it to me, but I don’t actually think it ever occurs.  I need to not be quite so jaded.  I know most of my girlfriends will only date one guy at a time.  I know I’m a juggler.  It’s almost like I prefer to have 5-10 up in the air at all times to make sure I’m not bored until I get into a relationship where I can devote all my time and love to just one. You know what that gets me?  A lot of annoying drama all the time.  I think I’d rather just have one guy annoy me at once, or God forbid make me happy.  Ok, so here we go.  New year, new attitude, new approach. Time to grow up and start being a little more up front.  I shall solemnly swear to utter phrases like “are you dating anyone else?” and “I think we should give this a chance and not see other people.” when I find myself sighing and looking off into space when he pops into my mind or texts me.  I’m so cute sometimes, aren’t I?  I also solemnly swear to quickly give someone the axe as soon as I’m sure they’re not the right one instead of keeping them around to amuse me or keep me warm.  Not that anyone has ever complained, but, well, now I’m complaining.  All together now, repeat after me: “Close enough is not good enough.” I suppose as with most of us, the lessons that stick with us the longest are the ones we learned the hard way.  Now that I’ve had my eyes opened to yet another truth about myself, I think I’m going to let it roll around in my head a bit and see where it takes me.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

White roses

I think we all have moments where we feel unwanted.  Maybe lost, useless, and out of place.  I find myself feeling very alone a lot of the time.  Not lonely, just alone.  It seems like every time I make a connection to someone, I feel it being strained.  I catch myself in moments thinking that maybe there's just something wrong with me and I'm not meant to be a forever type of person.  Maybe I'm only good for 9 months.  A year.  Six months until you come across something better.  I hate feeling that way.  Like the rain I hear falling on my wind chimes outside my bedroom window, I know this too shall pass.  But it's been a really rough week for me.  I found myself sitting in my car outside of Rite Aid eating ice cream and crying with nobody in the world to dry my tears.  Well, until my ex husband called me.  So he listened to me cry and tried to talk me out of being sad.  Eventually he showed up with In n Out and we put on a movie and I wondered once again what had gone terribly wrong in my life.
I want to tell you that this is just a test.  The emergency broadcast system is just seeing if the emergency services notifications are firing, but really, when have I ever had the luxury of a drill?  Even when I was committed to being emotionally unavailable, I still was aware of my world falling apart around me time and time again.  Maybe because I've been hit with such a large tsunami, the flash flooding warnings don't phase me so bad now.  I can handle my boots getting wet, even if it's from tears instead of rain these days.
I feel like it's my own fault for being so hard and callous and logical when it comes to men.  I make so many jokes.  I call them names and I pretend like I don't care.  Aww he's just my self washing sex toy!  He's too young.  He lives too far away, he doesn't want a girlfriend, I don't think of him like that, and blah blah blah.  Let me tell you what I never disputed: He was supposed to be my friend.  When you don't see your friend, you miss them.  When your friend lies to you, it hurts.  When you feel like you can't be friends with someone, you suffer.  So here we are.  The thing about emotions is that they don't respond to logic.  Did I use him for something?  Maybe.  Doesn't mean it didn't hurt when I found out he was lying to me this whole time.  Did I see other guys?  Yep.  Turns out he saw other girls too, which I'm ok with.  There was never talk of being exclusive.  But I can say that I was honest and caring and way too full of feelings in the end.  You want to know the worst part about breaking up with someone?  Not being able to talk to them.  You don't text them anymore or send them that picture you saw.  You feel dirty looking at their fb.  Just writing their name makes you want to cry.  I guess that's how you know someone was important to you.  It also doesn't matter what anyone else thinks because your feelings for them are between you and them. Period.  And now there's no them.  So here I sit, all alone.  What happens next?
I feel like I have a lot to say, but when I try to write it down, it comes out as two words: I'm sad.  If you date the wrong guy, does it make you less attached to them?  If you do something that might hurt their feelings, do yours get hurt any less when they hurt you?  Were all those times you spent together a lie because they lied to you?  I want to say no.  But I guess I wouldn't be sad if I believed that answer.  I think I have a problem with assigning importance to people who don't deserve it and not assigning it to those who do.  There is no reason that anyone should sleep with someone for a year and feel nothing.  That should be a relationship, especially with how consistent it was.  I will never put myself in that situation again.  I have this nasty habit of sleeping with men and dismissing them as people.  I've come to realize that I do it out of insecurity. I still don't believe that anyone will want to date me.  I let him prove that to me.  I just didn't think it was going to hurt so bad when he finally did.  But it's not just him.  It's all of them.  I stop viewing them as people when we have sex.  I'll lay here in their arms and for a brief second I'm calm.  We talk and laugh and the voice in my head tells me to leave and take my memories with me.  It's a short physical release to have sex, but it's the laughing and talking and kissing that's the good part.  When you watch tv in bed or videos on YouTube.  Giggling when you run to the bathroom naked, dodging roommates and other girlfriends.  It's morning breath kisses and being shy with each other in public.  Text messages that are instantly responded to and funny pictures taken just for you.  I even love the stupid icons of hearts and smiley faces.  Fuck the sex.  I don't care about sex.  It's all of the other stuff that I love.  The stuff that you only get from relationships.
I went to Costco the other day to replenish my grocery supply after my fridge died on me.  It was a wholly depressing experience having to buy a new crappy fridge to replace the old one that came with my condo and then repurchase a few hundred dollars worth of groceries that I also couldn't afford.  I walked by the flower stand and stopped to look at all of the different colors.  I have this massive marble diningroom table and a matching vase that used to always sit in the middle.  My ex husband would buy me two dozen roses from Costco every other week (or I'd buy them, whatever) and I was always happy.  I would walk by and smell them and smile to myself each morning and evening.  I decided that I was already broke so another $17 couldn't do that much damage.  I decided on white.  After feeling so used and terrible, I think I needed some purity in my life.  I drove home and promptly put them in the vase and placed them in the center of my diningroom table.  I've been smelling them each morning and night and I can't help but smile.  Such innocence seems out of place in my condo these days.  I feel like I'm the embodiment of everything tainted and wrong, not white and innocent.  But I want to recapture some of that. I do.
I need to figure out how to connect the dots in my heart all the way up to my head.  I know that to fully recover from the mess that is my life, I need to be able to fall in love again.  To do that, I need to trust someone.  I'm not sure what it is about me that makes men hang on for so long.  They know I'm wrong, but they continue to see me.  They know we live too far apart, but they always text.  They know we have no future, but they can't say no.  I guess neither can I.  Is it the romantic side of me that wants to believe that anything can work out? Or the destructive side that welcomes the pain of heartbreak when it's taken away?  I don't know.  Maybe both.  I don't celebrate the pain. In fact, I do my best to push it out of my mind and away from my heart.  I tell myself that he was not important, that I didn't really care, he didn't matter, and I'm better off without him.  Oh secret tears that nobody sees fall, you know the truth.
I'm tired of feeling like a disappointment.  Why am I so easy to leave and use?  Why do I not seem to say or do that magical thing that makes someone think you're worth the effort?  Do you really not have time to go to dinner or do you just not have time for me?  What is it about that other girl that you love so much that I just don't have?  And why does it hurt me so bad when really, you shouldn't matter that much to me anyway?  It feels like a cycle of inappropriateness, but isn't that how it's supposed to be?  Why should it all make sense?  I don't think it should.  I want to believe in the fairytale.  I want to see a man and him see me. We talk and laugh and he thinks I'm something special. I'm always on his mind.  He can't go a day without texting me.  With every free moment, he comes to see me.  We get to know each other. We sleep together. We're inseparable. Then it's love. Marriage. A family.  That's how the story goes, right?  Sometimes I think it's been so long that I don't remember how to spin that tale anymore.  I've forgotten the words and the images are blurry from too many years of tears falling on the pages of my favorite happily ever after.
I think I still have a lot to think about.  I need to decide exactly how much I care and act accordingly.  I'm going to be sad no matter what anyone thinks.  I'm going to be brave enough to fall in love again.  I'm going to give someone a chance only if they deserve it and trust myself to know who that is when he comes into my life.  I promise not to assign importance to anyone before they deserve it and be kind to myself when things don't turn out how I want.  Sometimes things just don't work out and it's not because I deserve to be miserable or am a bad person.  It's all so much easier said than done.  I feel like every day a new man comes into my life, tries to sleep with me, and my heart sinks a little lower.  I'm going to push against that.  People project what they're looking for onto you.  I will throw off that judgement.  I know I'm not every man's dreamgirl.  I'm not the answer for everyone's question of happiness.  But I am someone's, aren't I?  There is someone looking for me and I'm going to keep my white roses in mind.  I'm looking for some innocence in my life.  I want my slate clean.  It's time for me to gather up my broken heart and start over.  I want to be brave enough and strong enough to fight for me.  I'm finally feeling like I really do deserve it and the only person I need to prove that to is me.   

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Crystal hearts and mirrored reflections

Let me tell you what I know about love.  I can tell you I've experienced it.  I know it's something you participate in by choice.  I remember thinking I was in love once and having it not be the real thing in the end.  More than once, to be honest.  I think all events up to my last husband were trial runs.  They didn't come close to the actual feeling of loving someone so much that you'd sacrifice your entire life and well being for them.  I would've done anything for my ex husband.  Anything.  I remember right after we'd gotten married we were standing in the toy aisle at Target looking at Transformers and he told me that if I didn't know which one he really wanted most that he was going to divorce me.  I promptly burst into tears.  He was joking of course, but it illustrates my point.  After almost 10 years of being with someone, I would think a love like that would fade or diminish somehow, but it never did for me.  It grew stronger.  The romantic, optimistic side of my heart believes that love can last forever when it's real because of how I felt when we were together.  For all of those times I thought I was in love with someone and the feelings faded or diminished, well, it wasn't the real thing.  How could it have been?  I remember telling my ex at some point that we could never get divorced.  I said if he left me I'd tie him to the bed and burn the house down before I'd let him go.  I really couldn't imagine not being able to be in his arms, having him kiss me, or having our talk in the shower every night before bed.  My life wouldn't be my life without him.  If you have never really been in love and part of a committed relationship like that, I don't think there's any way I could explain to you what it means.  I hope you feel it one day, though, even if is taken from you the way it was from me.  There are days I hope I never fully recover because I'm afraid that it will mean I will have forgotten and let go of one of the most powerful things that has ever happened to me.
But I have recovered, haven't I? When I first started dating my ex I used to have this dream that I'd catch him cheating on me.  It was always with some little blond girl.  I'd see him kissing her at the food court in the mall and I'd turn and run.  I'd see it over and over.  When we got married the dream changed.  We would be walking in the mall and he'd be ahead of me, walking faster and faster.  No matter how fast I ran after him, I couldn't see anything but the back of his head.  I couldn't catch him.  After a few years it changed again.  Not only was I looking for him, someone else had me by the wrist as I walked along, pushing people out of my way trying to get to him.  Sometimes my ex before him.  Sometimes I'd catch a glimpse of him across the mall or on a different level.  I would be crying hysterically because something had gone wrong and I was married to someone else and not him.  I would be trying to call him on the phone and he'd never answer.  I just remember the panic.  When I was driving to the courthouse to file my paperwork, I remember calling him and telling him it wasn't dream anymore.  We were going to get divorced and it wasn't a joke.  I wasn't going to wake up and it wasn't going away.  He was going to end up with some little blond girl, I was never going to be able to catch him again, and one day I might be married to someone else.  I'm pretty sure through my sobs I told him I hated him for doing this to me and to us.  I don't remember if he said anything back before I hung up.  After the divorce I was the one running in my dream.  There were men everywhere and they were all trying to grab me.  I didn't know any of the faces and there was nothing to run to.  I was just lost and feeling desperate.  After the first year, I'd dream I was walking through that same mall.  The faces were all the men I'd been with. I wouldn't talk to anyone even though they spoke to me.  I was upset, but walking slowly, resigned, and sad.  Over the last few months the dream has changed.  I'm alone.  I walk through a sea of people and I see no faces.  I feel nothing and nobody touches me.  I'm very calm and I'm very alone.  My head is up and I'm constantly looking around, but just observing.  I feel very detached as I watch families in the food court, couples holding hands on the escalator, and little kids eating cookies w chocolate on their faces.  I'm not looking for anything and I don't feel anything but resignation.  I don't know what any of this means except something has been constantly changing inside of myself and I can see the patterns.
I feel like I've been talking to a lot of men lately who tell me they're in love with an unavailable woman.  Someone married to someone else, dating another, pregnant with someone else's baby, I've actually even heard that she's in jail recently.  I think it's interesting that these men all look at me and tell me that I'm making a choice to not be in another relationship, but they seem to feel that they have no power to decide that they shouldn't be in love with these other women.  Now I don't mean to be an asshole here, but one sided relationships really only mean one thing: you're deluded.  Yeah, I said it.  You've constructed your perfect woman in your head and assigned a face and body to her.  I don't care how much you text or call the woman.  If she wanted you, she'd be with you.  Period.  Relationships take TWO people to make them work and if you aren't having the interaction, then you're not in a relationship.  You're not even really in love.  You're just infatuated/obsessed with a mostly fictional person that you once knew or dated.  Certainly if I am able to stand in front of my ex husband today and give him a hug and joke around with him without slitting my wrists of putting a bullet in his head, then they can "recover" from being in love with some unavailable woman.  Am I making sense here?  I was in a very real marriage and I loved someone with all my heart.  When he left me, I thought I was going to die, but I didn't.  Instead, I learned how to not be in love with him and have been trying my hardest to figure out how to live for me instead.  It was not a short process and it hasn't been easy, but I've been doing it.  So for me to hear that someone has been "in love" with a girl they've known for 18 years and never touched, or broke up with 5 years ago that says they can't be in a relationship, or has gone on with her life and is having a baby with their new boyfriend, well excuse me for not having a lot of patience.  You don't have a choice?  No, you don't know how to use your brain.  Pardon me for not having a lot of patience while you make excuses for never experiencing anything real in your life because you can't tell the difference between a relationship and a fantasy.  Guess what, boys, romantic comedies aren't real, life doesn't owe you any favors,  you can't force anyone to love you, and real love hurts like a motherfucker. It also takes two willing participants.
My motto this year is "2013: This is the year we wipe the slate clean" and my two resolutions were to be selfish and stabilize.  This is the year of choice for me.  I'm not reading the signs.  I'm not keeping quiet and hoping answers fall in my lap, and I'm not going to sit by and hope anyone does the right thing out of the goodness of their heart.  I'm asking the questions out loud.  I'm not afraid of the answers anymore. I think I spent a long time being afraid of rejection that I preferred to either not try at all or hide from the truth so that I could live in my fantasy for a few more nights.  It feels so good to have someone want to see you, doesn't it? Think of someone's arms around you, lips against yours, and when they whisper that they just want to hold you close to them.  I could curl up in that warmth forever.  Or at least for a year, as it turns out, until you find out that what was happening in your head is not the reality of the situation at all.  Me? I like to be fair. I like things even.  I also take things at face value.  If you tell me you don't want a girlfriend and you want things casual, I'm more than happy to smile and say ok and date casually and I don't think further than that.  Everyone knows what's going on and nobody is upset.  Find out a year later that it's because he's in love with someone else and you're nothing but a placeholder and it changes the game for me.  It makes me feel used and miserable.  How hurtful to care for someone and enjoy your time with them only to find out later that they were thinking about someone else and wishing you were them instead.  It's an easy way to taint a year of happy, fun memories that should've been kept in a warm place in my heart.  Instead, it moves a pleasant, mutual interaction to one where I'll look back and think that it was just yet another time when someone thought I was good enough for now because the one they really want isn't available.  Even at my most destructive and depressed, that never would've been enough for me.  Nobody wants to be a stand in.  A warm body to occupy you until the person you want magically appears (if they ever do). 
The way I look at it, there are a few options here.  A) Hazard can make her first appearance with the latest man to step on my confidence with her bright red lips and play a little game of "guess if that's blood or lipstick". B) I get involved with the next guy who wants me and stay with him because I want someone, anyone to be there. C) I hide from all men, including the one who hurt me D) I repress my feelings and pretend like nothing's wrong and keep sleeping with him and everyone else as usual and convince myself I don't care because I'm dead inside.  You know what?  Fuck all of those options.  I've done them all before and none of them have ever worked for me.  There needs to be a better answer, a healthier one, and I'm going to find it.  E) None of the above.  I'm going to cry because I got hurt and I deserve to be sad.  I don't care what anyone thought of our relationship because he was special to me and I'll miss him.  I'm entitled to my tears and so, so, so hurt to find out I was being used when I had no idea that's what was going on.  I have no desire to hurt someone that I care about, including him.  While I see the hopelessness in his situation, I will stay out of it.  I will also see that my situation is the complete opposite of his.  First I cried because of the contrast.  He is deeply in love with someone and I feel nothing?  How terrible.  I thought maybe I was dead inside.  But I'm not.  Clearly I'm not.  I just haven't found anyone who deserves that kind of love from me again yet.  It wasn't him.  Then I cried because I felt lied to and used.  How does anyone react when you find out someone you feel like you know has deceived you?  Now I'm not sure how I feel.  Sad.  Tired, maybe.  A little lonely, unwanted, and worthless.  I'll tell you what I'm not feeling--destructive, angry, or vengeful. I hope there is nobody walking around secretly in love with some image of me hurting other girls they are using to fill my shoes.
I know I'm not the most emotionally healthy person on the planet. I know there are plenty of people who have been through things that I haven't experienced.  But I also realize that I've been through more than a lot of people too. I can say with complete honesty that I've never intentionally used anyone in my life.  There is plenty wrong with me.  For starters, I'm still really close to my ex even though everyone hates it.  I love him and I'm lucky I'm not in love with him anymore.  He's still my friend and through all the shit we've been through together the past two years of us being apart, at the end of the day, the dude still makes an effort to cheer me up when I'm sad and help me out when I'm stuck, even if we do take turns hating each other for brief periods of time.  Fuck if I know how to be divorced and raise a kid with someone.  If you want to talk about romantic love, well there's only one person on the planet who has been in my heart more than half my life which will never, ever turn into a real love story for me, even though I can see it has the real potential to be the greatest love story of my life.  If that isn't depressing, nothing is.  Usually I try to forget about it, but I'll have my moments, usually after a beer or two when I look into his eyes and I remember that he's pretty much the perfect counterpart for me.  As a fun side note, he's told me that he's not attracted to me and is in love with an unavailable woman. I have to laugh.  So that means the love of my life is still out there and I just have to be brave enough to let it happen when it tries to find me.  I don't know if I'm happy or sad that people still surprise me.  I guess if I'd have to pick, I'd say happy.  Maybe that means a good surprise is coming around the corner for me.  It's impossible to guess, but I'm ok with that.  Maybe I don't want to know what the future will bring for me, but I do want to be sure that whatever comes my way, I can handle it.  I seem to change so much every few months.  I'm really interested to see where my head and heart are in April when I reach my two year anniversary of going from Mrs. Elitist the happy mommy and homemaker to Ms. Elitist single mom and party animal.  I've certainly come along way, but to where, I'm not sure.  Something tells me I still have a long way to go and I'm packed and ready for the rest of my journey.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Selfish streaks always run black and blue

Everyone keeps asking me what my New Year's resolutions are this year.  I put a lot of thought into them and I admit they weren't ready by Jan 1.  It took me an extra week to understand what I really expected of myself this year.  I have two major goals for myself: to be selfish and to stabilize.  When I really thought about it, these two ideas went hand in hand.  Selfishness is an interesting concept and one that has a lot of negative connotations.  Don't get me wrong, there are bad kinds of selfish.  This year I've been testing the waters of both good and bad to see how I really feel about it.  There is a selfishness of possessions that I've never really understood.  I literally don't know how to not share everything I own with anyone who needs it.  I don't think that part of me needs tweaking so there was no need to deal with that one.   Selfishness of time is a good one for me.  Being determined to not only ignore text messages and phone calls that I don't want to deal with from people who are trying to use me, are from my past, or are just pieces of shit in general, but also not see them has been lovely.  Hey you who broke up with me, fuck off.  Hey girl who says mean things behind my back, I have no desire to even pretend to make small talk with you.  If I pretend you're not in the room, it's because you're not worth the light refracted through my eyes to even see you.  Hey boy who is ignoring me, you're not worth the space in my head that you take up.  Out, out damn spot and be gone for good!  I'm going to think about someone else for a change.  Me.
But I did say there were bad kinds of selfish that I was playing with, didn't I?  Namely romantic selfishness.  Ah, the selfishness of men.  Hey look at him who doesn't belong to me.  How am I supposed to deal with these situations.  In the past, I would try to help.  I'd waste my time, energy, and breath trying to convince cheating men not to cheat.  I would comfort their poor wives, fiances, and girlfriends.  It was ludicrous.  There was no reason for me to be involved at all and I know now that you can't change a man's mind when he's decided it's ok to be unfaithful.  Do you want to know what I do now?  I listen to them.  I watch.  I've never laid a finger on one because it's not my style, but I don't stop them anymore.  Hello charming asshole with a girlfriend.  Do you want to try to talk dirty to me and impress me with what you think you can do?  It's cute how you still bring your girlfriend around me and we pretend you haven't been begging me to rub up against you.  Poor girl.  Mostly it's a fun outlet to demean these guys by telling them that I'm sure they're not good enough and I'm already bored from their "dirty" talk.  Really it's pathetic what most men think is acceptable these days.  Maybe they're fresh out of college, but I'm not.  Sometimes I wonder if they'd still hit on me if they knew I was sleeping with one of their friends.  Loyalty to girls and guys is different sometimes, but I suspect a POS guy is just a POS guy, period.  And they come in all shapes and sizes.  Engaged, out of state, married, down the street, all ages and social statuses.   What would you like to show me?  Am I going to be impressed?  Hmm they're fun to laugh at anyway.  I can tell you that while I indulge my curiosity to see how far they'll go, I'd never actually take it to a physical level.  Well, there was one that I was tempted at one point, but I suppose that's ancient history and not worth rehashing now.  We don't always get our way, selfish or otherwise.
Then there is selfishness of physical beauty.  This one has been fucking with my head.  I think I'm the only person who did not have a health and fitness resolution this year, yet I ended up hiring a personal trainer to kick my ass three times a week and tell me what I can and can't eat.  I don't remember the last time I spent so much time worried about how I look.  I wonder if this path will lead me down a bad road or not.  On one side, I want to be healthy.  It would be amazing to lose the rest of this baby fat and finally get a flat stomach back.  I would like to have a sexy ass for once instead of this small, pathetic thing that attempts to giggle when I dance.  On the other hand, do I want to spend every day agonizing over how I look and what I'm eating?  Because I am.  I carefully consider everything that I put in my mouth and try to maximize the energy I expend each day.  When I work out, I don't half ass it.  I'm dedicated to the program.  But I wonder what my prize will be at the end of the five months I've signed up for.  Modeling jobs?  Do I turn myself into a hot piece of ass for more worthless men to fight over and share?  How about good old fashioned narcissism?  I would like to say that I will find a balance and not turn into a skinny bitch that thinks she's prettier than everyone else.  I guess we'll see.  At this point, I can tell you I'm eating better and working out and we'll see if I can maintain my priorities on what matters and what doesn't.
How about emotional selfishness?  Of all the battles I've fought in 2012, the largest by far was my struggle to learn to make an emotional connection with people around me and accept the feelings I was having.  Now I find myself wanting those connections.  I'll be damned if I don't want a fucking relationship again.  But it's not like I can snap my fingers and make it happen.  No, instead I find myself acting "girlie" without wanting to and having no idea how to respond to the situations that I've gotten myself into.  While I logically understand it's unfair to expect guys I've been seeing to act like a boyfriend all of a sudden after I've let them get away with murder in the past, it's still hurtful to be reminded either outright or subtly that you are not their girlfriend and all they want is something casual and sex.  Sometimes it makes me mad.  It's not a fault situation.  It was all I could handle at one point and now I want more.  What do you do?  Get rid of the person you're attached to because there's no future?  Keep them around until you find a replacement and feel like an asshole?  There's no story here that doesn't end in my own personal heartache and I see the hopelessness of it all.  It weighs heavily on my heart how much I enjoy those "girlfriend" moment wrapped closely in his arms or when he says he wants to hold me close. It makes me feel pathetic.  I'm trying to convince myself that it's a good thing because I've finally gotten to a place where I'm emotionally available and can handle a real relationship.  Now the trick will be having it with the right person.  It's just the american dream and all, I'm sure I'll figure it out shortly...or not.
The final piece of this is stability and it largely comes down to my living situation.  I hate the fact that I rent a condo.  I would greatly like to buy one in the near future.  Seeing as how my name is still on the house that my ex lives in with his new girlfriend, I have my hands bound.  This situation resolves itself by either selling the house or him refinancing it.  I have been waiting for the refi to be completed since October with no progress that I can see on my end.  The frustration of not being able to help or facilitate drives me to distraction on a daily basis.  Every time he doesn't respond to my text messages I want to hurl something across the room.  The only thing I can do is list it on the market and pray that it sells.  And while it will break my heart to have the house my daughter took her first steps in no longer be there for her, I have to stabilize.  I can't take the flux any longer.  I find myself clinging to my work schedule, the days I go line dancing, and now my workout routine.  I want dinnertime.  I want to know my car is registered to an address that will be there next year.  I need to depend on these things.  So the theme of selfishness will force itself into the stabilizing factor.  As much as I want my ex to keep the house that he loves so dearly and that I now despise, it must go.  Whether it goes to him or a stranger, it is out of my hands.  I feel as if I must reach a resolution this month at all costs.  I cannot be stuck in the past any longer.  I will not allow it to hold me captive.  This is the year my life goes on, period.
I have finally figured out what self esteem really means.  I am closely guarding everything dear around me--my time, my sleep, my body, and my mind.  Do you want to know why I spend every weekend driving to my sisters house and doing everything I can to see my nieces and nephew?  It's because they matter most in the world to me.  Do you want to know why I'm completely broke and still flying to South Carolina to see my best friend?  She's good for my heart.  I will never miss a personal training session for a man. I will never ditch my family for a date.  I will not lose sleep over Mr. Right Now and Mr. Good Enough.  I would say "fuck them" but really, someone else can fuck them.  I seem to get bored before they even touch me now.  I'm done denying how I feel about things and presenting a version of reality that I think people want to see for how my life is going to turn out.  Do you want to know who I am?  I'm a 32 year old twice divorced woman with a three year old. I rent a condo in Orange County and my ex husband and his new girlfriend live in my house.  I care desperately about being a good mother and setting a good example for my daughter and everyone in my family.  These days I'm thinking that having another baby might be a possibility.  I cherish my girl friends who have been there for me and hope one day I can replay them for all of the love and support they've given me.  I've been seeing a guy for the past year who doesn't want a girlfriend that I've become attached to and now I know I'm ready for a relationship, although I don't think he'll ever want one with me.  My God.  I want to say I have no idea how I got here, but we all know that's bullshit.  I know exactly how I got here and it's been an intense journey. Well universe, I guess it's time to call your bluff because all my cards are on the table.  I can't wait to see what you're about to lay down.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Poison me with love

I've been avoiding writing lately.  It feels like my moods keep changing so quickly that I'm waiting for them to stabilize before I tried to put some thoughts down in writing, but they won't.  I can't seem to stop my moods from turning over and over so I give up.  I'm just going to write all of the different things that have been going on in my head and see where it goes.  If there was ever a "theme" to my writing, it's that the majority of it is not planned.  I've never written an outline or started with much of an intention--just a thought or a feeling.  These days I've got plenty of both.
I figured out why it felt like I hadn't written in a long time beforehand, but felt that it couldn't be the case.  It's because I wrote a blog about someone and didn't publish it.  And it's not who you think.  I recently signed a spokes modeling contract for a comic book company and the owner had asked me about the man who has my heart and I wrote the story of us down for him and sent it.  It was written like I write this, but not published.  I think the best kept secret about me is that I keep secrets.  The things that belong in my heart stay there.  Prior to that moment, he only lived there and the story of 20 years of history had not been discussed in any great details, especially the events of this past year between us and how I've been seeing his roommate.  Not a week goes by that someone in one of our families doesn't mention that we should be together.  I just sigh.  They call us Barney and Robin from How I Met Your Mother.  When they got engaged on the show recently, I just sighed.  I feel like that is not the way our story will end.  When the comic book guy read the story he said that he felt like the greatest love story of my life was right under my nose and I couldn't see it.  How terrible.  I hope the greatest love story of my life isn't about a man who tells people he thinks I'm unattractive and while he'd be happy to have a blow job, he won't kiss me.  Fuck that.  I deserve better than that.  That's not a love story.
The complication in my love live arises from me dating his roommate for the past year.  Yes, we're at a year now and the words feel heavy in my mind and on my tongue.  I am involved with a man who is interested in preserving a status quo that I'm afraid I can no longer maintain.  Damn emotional growth.  You see, this terrible thing happened when I started dealing with my issues with my mother--my heart opened.  All of a sudden the guy I was perfectly willing to sleep with and keep at a metaphorical arm's length got right up next to me.  Inside my head, among other things.  I got attached.  I'm not sorry I made some sort of emotional connection to him, but I am sorry that I will lose this hand when all my chips are on the table.  So what do you do when you've spent the last year sleeping with a man who tells you repeatedly that he doesn't want a girlfriend, but you're the only one he's with and he spends all his free time with you?  You make the decision to either remain extremely casual or you move onto someone who does want a girlfriend.  That's pretty much the end of the story.  I don't know what happens next, but I'm fairly positive that it will hurt like a motherfucker when it's done.  I'm not bracing for impact.  I'm going to stand very still and let it wash over me.  As always, I earn my tears, even though I was positive for so long that I'd never cry over this one.  When have I ever said I had it all figured out?  Never.  And that's ok.  For all of the good, healing, affectionate memories I have with him, I'll take the pain at the end.  Everything seems to have a finite cycle when it comes to me and men, so I don't see why this should be any different.  I feel like I'm sounding too resigned, but I think I have to be this way.  All I have in front of me is the reality of the situation and I have to accept it.  You can't convince someone to want you, talk them into loving you, or pressure them into a relationship.  It just leads to more hurt and disappointment. 
Here's what I don't understand--how is it that I can meet a woman, we can talk, share secrets, cry together, get to know each other, form a bond, and have a loving, mutual friendship that I KNOW I can count on, but it's impossible with a man?  Seriously.  Over the past two years, I have been beyond blessed to meet some incredible women who gave me a chance to be myself, get to know them, count on each other, and feel genuine love and support.  I honestly think I'd be out of my mind talking to myself in Walmart if it weren't for these people.  Why is it that I can have my friends that I've known forever, meet new women, and build a relationship with them but not men?  Tell me. It's not a rhetorical question (said the woman talking to herself in bed holding her laptop).  Why can't I meet a guy and feel confident that he will want to do the same?  Can we talk, get to know each other, build a bond, spend time together, and see what happens? What the fuck is wrong (with me or men) that it seems like such an impossibility?  Look, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to meet a man and be his girlfriend after two dates or probably even two months.  I want to get to know you first.  I need to feel confident that you'll text me back, care when I'm upset, listen to me when I talk and not just stare at me, and all of the other "reasonable" demands that I think friendship should entail.  No "hi, nice to meet you let's fuck" and then see what happens.  No.
Ok, so I guess there's nothing left to do but say it.  I'm ready for something real.  I've surrounded myself with men in every kind of relationship I can think of in every age, background, and social status.  The only time I'm happy is wrapped in the arms of my guy that I've been with for a year.  The one who doesn't want me in some real way.  Can I say "a year" one more time?  It's so strange to me to sit and think about how I used to perceive relationships compared to how I think about them now.  Every time I see a girl friend of mine meet a guy and immediately become seriously involved, I'm surprised.  I don't know how anyone does that.  I dated a man for a month who tried to do the same thing.  He felt like my boyfriend after a month and it was just too fast.  Maybe it's because he wasn't the right one, I don't know.  But I can tell you that he did and said everything right.  He was even a single dad.  I guess I just felt like all he wanted to do was hump my leg and his leg was not the one I wanted to rub up against.  I think I need to a new that I can officially call my own.
My head is still swimming right now.  I think I'm mostly confused, angry, and disappointed.  I don't know why someone would want to keep you for an extended period of time and not ask you to just be theirs.  I don't know why you can date a guy for a month and he leaves the country and doesn't feel the need to tell you.  I can't think of a reason why someone would do everything right and I still don't feel right about dating them.  It's all a mess, isn't it?  I said this time last year that 2012 was going to be all about my girlfriends, my family, and me.  I didn't want a boyfriend and I accomplished that.  I found a lot of myself this past year and I'm looking forward to what 2013 is going to bring.  My slogan for 2012 was "Everyone who sucks can go to hell".  My slogan for 2013 is "This is the year we wipe the slate clean." and I believe it.  I've done so much soul searching.  I guided myself through so many sessions of introspection.  It's time for me to look outward a bit to the world and see what else it has to offer me.  I've come so far on my path of healing, not only from my divorce, but from wounds left by my mother as well.  I finally feel like I have something real to offer someone and I can't let that feeling go to waste, even if I never find anyone who wants to be with me.  I need to do something about it.  The question now is what.