Saturday, July 11, 2015

Devils and angels

This is such a confusing time in my life.  I feel like everything in my life is an extreme and I can't calm down.  I have always thought that the universe shows you what you need to see when you need to see it.  This is God at work.  If you ask me what I need to feel better, I can't tell you.  So instead of praying to God and asking for what I need, I'm listening.  I'm paying attention to everything going on around me and standing very still.  I know my vices: I am too controlling, I take action too fast, I have no patience, I can't listen to good advice.  Through this disaster of a divorce, all I have to hold onto is myself.  I'm still in there somewhere, aren't?  I don't think a few years of emotional damage and banish me forever.  I've been thinking a lot about who I am and what I stand for and how I can continue to be a better person and have the most positive impact around me.
I forgot that I stand for love.  Do you remember me single?  I used to travel the country and visit men and fall in love.  Is there any better feeling than loving someone?  Have you ever watched a man look at you and just lose his damn mind?  I think your heart is yours to throw away.  Aren't we here to fall in love with the wrong people and ruin our lives over and over again?  Have I watched Moonstruck one too many times?  Why can't I believe it anymore?  It's time to send in the troops to make me believe again.
I've been very surprised that not a single man has come up to me and tried to have a casual affair with me.  Really?  What a departure from the last time my husband left me.  Whatever lesson I was meant to learn that time stuck because I'm not doing it again. To be perfectly honest, I don't think I could have cold, shallow sex with anyone right now. It's not in me.  Whatever ocean of sadness shows in my eyes seems to trigger the protective vibe in men around me.  Men who want to be near me, help me around the house, cheer me up with little drinks, take my trash out, hold my baby, and remind me that I'm worth being around.  I heard myself telling someone that I can't really cook the other day.  I have long regarded myself as a good cook and always been proud of that fact.  What has happened to me that I don't think that anymore? Is this the product of someone refusing to eat my cooking and making me feel bad about myself every day? Maybe having someone only think I'm useful for sex has damaged my ability to just have sex and not care anymore.  Maybe that's what happens when you have sex with someone you do care about and they don't return the sentiment. 
One lesson that I'm leaning the hard way is that you have no control over what other people do or say in their own lives or towards you.  I'm tired of feeling like I'm the victim of someone else's decisions.  I am not subject to only defensive responses.  You can't make someone stay with you if they don't want to.  You can't force someone to care.  You can't make them do the right thing.  People don't have to listen to you, period.  A grown man can make the decision to do anything he wants in his life and that's that, regardless of whether or not you agree.  I only have control over my own actions, decisions, and responses.  I'm learning separation.  I don't need to feel responsible for so much all of the time when not everything is something I can control.
I feel like someone is on a mission to restore my faith in men.  There are so many people in the world.   When someone is in front of me showing me the worst, the best follows them.  Someone makes me feel like I don't even deserve eye contact and then I get the text asking telling me I'm something special.  I feel insecure about being divorced three times with two kids from two different kids, and then someone grabs my hand in public and looks into my eyes and I know it doesn't matter.  I hear the rain falling while I'm in bed and someone lets me know they hear it too.  As I continue to sell all of my things to buy food, my friends continue to take me to dinner, pay for mani/pedis, buy me groceries, and help me watch my babies.  I have never been through such a humbling experience.  I have never felt so much love and support.  I have also never been so scared, had so much anxiety, or been so uncertain.  It is the very worst and the very best, all in front of me at once. So I stand still and take it all in. 
I can't stop you from hurting me.  I can't stop you from falling in love with me.  I don't know how to teach you right from wrong.  I'm not responsible for your decisions.  I am far from perfect.  Where did all of these boundaries drawn in the sand come from in my life?  When are the waves coming to wash them all away and let me return to being me again?  I'm not afraid of anything in this world.  My home is safe because I'm in it.  It's ok to give my heart away, even if I always get it back.  Once upon a time I was happy.  I was free, unafraid, and my world was governed by love.  It will be again one day.  Someday. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Rise of the Siren

I've always liked the idea of an alter ego.  In high school I used to dye a little piece of my hair a different color and I named him George.  He wasn't bad or evil.  It was just a funny idea to imagine that a part of me wasn't like all of the rest.  There was something else brewing.  Soon the persona turned into a super hero.  I called her Panterwoman.  She wore black and was always sure someone was in need of savings.  Those were the college years.  The next one was Hazard.  When I felt like I was being overrun with emotions that I couldn't handle, I would joke that Hazard would come out to play to protect me.  I was so hurt by my daughter's father leaving me that I needed someone to break that physical/emotional bond for me.  I needed someone to push me past my comfort zone and limits and prove I could survive.  Today, after yet another failed relationship, I find myself looking in the mirror at another very different creature. 
At this point in my life, it has become clear to me that if I had to name the great love of my life, it would have to me the marriage to my daughter's father.  That fact makes me very sad.  When he left, I was sure that there was something better out there for me and I was going to find it.  The problem with that situation is that when he left, a part of me died that was never reborn.  It is a very hard thing in this world to find another person that lines up with you: your interests match, food, music, you laugh at each other's jokes, and you also like to see them naked.  I'm of the opinion that this is extremely rare and most people don't experience it their whole lives.  When you find someone like that and you have sex with them, it ends up being this mythical thing called making love.  And it ruins your whole world.  It's like a drug.  You will throw your life away for that person and not give a flying fuck what anyone thinks about it. I lived on that high for years.  Dare I say it was such a powerful experience that we still talk to each other daily because of the aftershock of that bond we once shared.  While there is nothing romantic or sexual between us now (I seriously can't even remember what it was like to kiss/have sex with him), I never hesitate to say how much I love him because my heart remains full.
When he left, he killed my fairytale.  I understood then that happily ever after doesn't exist and people don't die of broken hearts.  But I still believed in marriage, love, relationships, and monogamy.  I thought they were possible.  I became committed to becoming the best version of myself thinking that I would be deserving of being a partner in someone else's life again.  I wanted someone to think I was worth the effort and love me for me and be there for me and my kids.  My mission was getting to know men. I interviewed, dated, and slept with them all, didn't I?  I wanted to know what was out there and I did my very best to pick the best one I could find.  And he left me too.  The foundations of who I am and what I think about relationships is cracking.
I have no desire to talk to 200 men.  I have no desire to sleep with any of them.  Instead of watching men, I've started watching couples.  I've reviewed all of the information I know about all of the couples I know.  How they treat each other, how they treat me, how happy they really are.  At the age of 35, I've been around long enough to see long term relationships in my friends.  I've seen kids, marriages, divorces, affairs, and anything in between.  I'm one of those people who takes things at face value.  I don't project my issues onto you, I don't force you into some labeled box, and I don't make excuses for people's behavior.  You are who you are and I don't judge that or try and change it. I like to think it's what makes me a good friend and listener.  But hindsight is 50/50, and I have something to tell you about Hazard: that bitch was scared.  Even at the height of her wrath, she always operated under the "first do no harm" rule.  You had to get me good and angry to unless anything on your head, and it was still for your own good.  You'd laugh if you knew the hours of my life I wasted trying to talk men into not saying "those things" and not doing "those things" and to please reconsider and go back to their girlfriends/fiances/wives.  They probably just went and had sex with someone else. 
When I take a good look at the relationships around me, the vast majority of them are unhappy, particularly if they have children.  Of all of the men in relationships I know, 90% of them have said or done inappropriate to me.  Thank God I can exclude my sisters' boyfriends and husbands from the 90%.  It's the only thing that has not made me hate all men, I'm pretty sure.  And I'm talking my boyfriend's mom's boyfriend.  My father-in-law.  My good friend's dad.  Men who have no fucking business talking to me, let alone making an inappropriate suggestion.  There are the husbands who get drunk and call me and tell me they wish they met me in college.  The ones who have moments of weakness and admit that they wish it was me they went home to because life would "easier".  Do you want to know what I'm tired of?  Spending so much time worrying about whether or not I'm being nice to these men and helping them back to the correct bed when nobody is worrying about me.  I'm really sorry that you proposed to your fiance a month before you met me, but if you can fall in love with me when you are supposed to that the most in love with her that anyone can be, then something is fucking wrong. And I'm not here to help you fix it.
I do know some happy couples who don't have kids.  In fact, i am under the assumption that if I do not have any more children, I could probably find a man and keep him for quite a few years.  Oh it's just so easy to be happy when life is good, isn't it?  But someone else's kids are someone else's responsibility and that divide protects you.  I'm so sick of women telling me it's sad when a little bit of infidelity ruins a family. I can't stand seeing these "happy" families where I know the husband goes out and cheats on his wife while she's home with their kids.  It's everywhere.  If you want to be grateful for a husband who puts himself first and has abandoned you, go right ahead.  It's not my job to tell you you're kidding yourself. 
So I've decided to stop fighting.  It's not my responsibility to protect you or your family.  I don't want the blood of your failed marriage on my hands because I couldn't convince you to act like a decent human being.  I don't think people are monogamous creatures.  I don't think the inclination is to protect each other.  I think people are selfish and they look out for themselves.  I think they use each other for what they need when it's convenient.  I've been told I'm so easy to fall in love with because I'm genuine and you can get to the core of who I am very quickly.  Because I'm a good person and mother, it makes me appealing.  I'm not being this way to attract your men, in case you were wondering.  And trust me when I tell you that I'm nothing but up front and honest with them about how I feel about their actions around me.  But there will be no more crying.  No more nights of conversation helping them figure out how to make themselves happy and be a better person. 
It's the song of the beautiful siren that lures sailor to their deaths.  This one sings of loneliness.  They say once you see the truth, you can't pretend any longer.  I agree completely.  I can never imagine a situation where another great and powerful love finds me and lasts because I don't think it exists any longer.  I'm not Hazard any longer because I'm not scared.  Whatever hope resided in my heart is now gone.  Everyone comments how calm my eyes are and it's because I've accepted the truth.  Maybe you still believe in love and passion and promises.  You can pray to God to protect you as you come forward to dash your brains out on the rocks at my feet.  He did not protect me.  The eternal rhythm of the salty waves washes your blood from my hands.  The Siren sings on.