Finally, I have returned with the blog post I promised how many days (or is it weeks by now) ago? Cut me some slack, though….the IRS says I owe them some money ($2200!) and we all know the IRS is ALWAYS right, but my question is where will I find the money?? Even if put on a payment plan, I still have to come with something. AND I am working with a defective computer. My F5 key, End key, an arrow key and my space bar key have all fallen off my laptop keyboard. Seriously, there was NO space bar key and I was touching bare sensors. AND I was STILL trying to use it!! Well, I had to…what choice did I have? I cannot afford a new computer and I have me not stopping anything computer related anytime soon. I did have to get a new keyboard though…it has all the keys and while it has some bumpy moments, it beats bare sensors.
I am going to come clean, I am a little nervous about writing and posting this entry. This is one of my self-help posts and if I were the only self reading it, that would be fine. However, I know that there are others besides myself and select Panel members who read this blog and I am mindful of a saying in the rooms of recovery: you may be the only meeting a person attends…..which means your shit needs to be in order and correct before stepping out there. So, I will state right now that I am not a therapist, and all I state here is based on my own experiences and opinions.
Loving you, losing me. For me, when I hear that phrase my first thought is of something wonderful and unheard of outside of the movies. Loving you, losing me to become one person….filled with love, happiness and all sorts of healthy emotions sure to evoke a happily ever after. Losing yourself in the sex, the passion and the heat only to emerge with both of you more deeply in love than ever before. Whatever. Losing yourself in a person is the worst and most unhealthy thing one can do….and I can think of at least three ways I have done so.
Hiding Who You Are: We all have hidden pieces of ourselves, and for our own reasons. I did so because I did not like myself. As a child/teenager, I wanted to be blonde haired, blue eyed and to live in the projects. Being who I was: tall, gangly with glasses and braces made me a target. Living in a two parent household made me just different enough, bringing lunch from home when everyone else was getting the free, hot lunch made me feel as if I were missing out on something. Of course, I realize now I had a damned decent upbringing and the slights, insults and fights I endured were a result of children unable to express their own insecurities and just maybe, I was living the life others wanted to. Who knows? It was decades ago and all involved are now grown men and women dealing with life on life’s terms, just like me. When I was in active addiction, I hid the fact I was using/abusing drugs from clients. There was a look, a smell…a stigma associated with being a crack addict and I thought if I hid the fact I was one of them, I wouldn’t be one. Even in addiction, I had relationships, and I hid who I was in all three of them. Even though I met all the guys while tricking, I was anything but a crack addict. With one guy, I was a single mom trying to earn a living; I said job opportunities were hard to come by for a single mom with limited skills. Another guy thought I was a physically abused wife who was fleeing her husband (I WAS running from the Physically Abusive Guy, but I had already crossed two state lines to put distance between us) and the third guy thought I was taking care of an ill and elderly aunt. The sad part is all three of the guys really liked me, and I liked two of them more than they knew….and sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had been honest with them. Maybe I could have gotten the help I needed sooner and just maybe, my life would have been completely different. But that was then, and we all know the past is filled with could’ves, would’ves, should’ves. Today, I finally do like myself: I can appreciate who I am and am comfortable with me and my choices. Today, I do not hide who I am but I have learned you cannot lay it all out on the table too quickly and some things…you cannot lay out at all. Today, I keep in mind something I was told in the middle of a get high session with a guy a long time ago: if you have to be ashamed of what you do, don’t do it.
Changing Who You Are (Or Allowing Others To Do So): My biggest question throughout the Him fiasco has been: WHAT does the BTH have that I don’t? And that, dear friends, is the mother of all rhetorical questions because whatever she has and whatever she did to completely turn his head…..I am not doing because that is not who I am. From what I can see, in order to land the man I love(d), one needs to be a single mother of multiple children, be classless/tasteless, wear an abundance of makeup and fake hair, , have insecurities and jealousies out the whazoo, have a hidden agenda and be a gold digger……and I am none of that. I am highly intelligent, classy, and attractive without the aid of cosmetics; I am honest and accommodating (to a fault and to my detriment), outspoken, funny and as much as I love money…with the right man I feel comfortable enough to share myself with freely, I do not want your money or material gifts. Well, sometimes I do, but it is not the cornerstone of our relationship. Honesty, trust and communication are; I would rather be home doing nothing with a man I love than out on the town at a 5 star restaurant with a man I don’t. In the beginning, when all I felt was hurt so painful not even denial could assuage it, I would say maybe if I did this, or what if I had been more like that I would still have him. And pray tell, what good would that have done? He would not be with me….he would be with what he THOUGHT I was, and a phony always reveals themselves sooner or later, which would have been a bigger fiasco. I allowed the Physically Abusive Guy to change me….he swore he loved me and I was perfect….but he controlled what I ate, and beat me stupid. In less than 3 months with this man, I dropped 3 dress sizes and he had me thinking I was sexy. So I am at least 65 pounds lighter which finally makes me HIS ideal, but at what cost? I was beaten and starved and stressed so horribly, my face looked like a death mask. I kept bruises and black eyes and could not sleep. I allowed him to change my attitude towards myself and towards others and even today, he has still altered my outlook towards men: I refuse to date or even talk to men who have dreadlocks as I perceive them all to be abusive and controlling. I try to work on that but my emotional and psychological blocks are firmly in place concerning that. Today, there is no more changing or trying to live up to society’s ideal…I do not need to be the object of every man’s affection. I simply need to be happy and satisfied with me, and the right man for me will recognize I am his ideal without me having to change a thing.
Giving Someone Your All/Everything: I tend to go overboard with a man I care about….and when I love him, I am a complete fool. With Married Man, he got keys to my apartment, I bought him gifts constantly and I was faithful to him. Seriously….he would be at home with his wife, taking her on vacations and being so wonderful with her while I was sitting at home waiting patiently for him to come give me an hour or two a week. With Him, I loved him more than I knew and I gave him so much of myself even I cannot believe that there is someone outside of a Panel member that knows so much about me. My FAMILY does not even know as much about me as Him does, but I can say he reciprocated. Doubtful anyone alive knows as much about the man as I do…..even though I shared with the Panel, I did not share everything. And that is my mistake…..I give too much and look for so little in return, no relationship with me will ever be balanced. No one has had to exert too much effort with me because I am so accommodating, I make everything too easy. I tend to date men who already know me, so I do not have to play the coy game or wonder if I am revealing too much too fast. You already know my story, and I tend to think that simply because you know my history, you accept me. Not necessarily….there is a line between acceptance and taking advantage of and I am just now realizing that. Today, I can say without a doubt that Married Man took full blown advantage of my history and vulnerability. Hell, the man and I started a relationship while I was still in addiction and he was witness to all the turmoil being fresh in recovery brings with it; he baited me and used me and when I finally got wise to his game and bailed, he became all I needed him to be, but not for long. Remember, a phony has to reveal himself sooner or later and he was a lying coward who was using me to boost his own inadequacy issues. The man is a whore, pure and simple; I was simply the conquest who fell in love with the illusion. Him….I will say that Him DID accept me, flaws and all. He accepted me so much, he revealed all he was (or maybe all he used to be) to me and we shared issues, defects and kink. But he also took advantage of what I offered him: understanding, gifts, friendship. He would toss them aside as if they meant nothing and he had issues with me when I demanded to know what did I do to deserve such treatments. He would never tell me, but suggested we hit re-set buttons and start again…only to end in the same way…every time. The last time he totally blindsided me, but I have to ask myself why? As Artsy Craftsy put it during one of our talks…..he has always done the same shit, only difference this time is he did it quicker than ever and there was a woman involved. Same shit, different circumstances. And I will admit my role in not only the Him fiasco but in the Married Man disaster: I had poured so much of my time, energy and emotions into both of these relationships, I overlooked or ignored the warning flags. I had such efforts invested in them, I simply could not bear to walk away from what was an inevitable loss and I tried so hard to make it a viable and worthwhile endeavor when it would have been easier and simpler to walk away. I thought I could not bear the hurt, the loss and being branded a loser, but what happened? I ended up with more hurt and loss than I could ever imagine…..I hurt so deeply over the Him fiasco that death would have been a welcome relief….at least death would have ended the pain; instead, I suffered and existed in a void that I never thought I would escape from. So my advice? Remember that everything starts out great with all these wonderful feelings….and it is best to wait. True, someone has to make the first move, and if it is you to make it, make it a small gesture instead of some huge proclamation. Try to determine if they are accepting you or taking advantage of you. And make sure that your efforts are reciprocated because there is nothing worse than building your world and yourself around the person you are in love with and all they are doing is playing along; when it all falls apart, you are left with broken pieces and shattered illusions and it can take a long, long time to put it all back together.
Well, there you have it…what my experiences have taught me about loving you, losing me. Not sure if it is helpful at all, but it makes me feel better to get it out there. And I am applying the lessons learned so far from the process: I am no longer exerting efforts when the other party isn’t; I no longer want to even talk to a guy who says he has no idea what he is looking for. Seriously, if you don’t know what you want, I damned sure don’t and I am done hanging around to see if I could be your one. I am done making excuses and justifications for inexcusable behaviors and liars, you do not have to bother stopping off. I absolutely hate a liar: I have found you to be people with immature mindsets and afraid to face consequences of your actions, and to top it all off your lies prevent me from making my own choices. If I base my decision off of a lie, that renders my decision invalid. Red flags and warning signs are my friends and I shall treat them as such and if someone cannot meet the most basic of expectations and standards, I will no longer settle. I already choose men who are beneath me in every way simply because I still have self-esteem issues….to settle on top of already settling? Men with a list of musts and demands or use disrespectful terms when speaking of others and men who suggest a meet and greet and expect me to pay my way? No.
You know, with all these lessons I have learned and all the new rules in place, I may NEVER find someone but that is okay….I have wasted too many years on endeavors which have taught me these lessons….I have no more years to waste on someone or something that in the end, still will not satisfy me except in the short term; it is time to learn about happiness without pain and sacrifice, and to learn how easily love comes and flows between two people who can freely express it. Okay, so I will be back really, really soon with an update on issues facing the Panel, we still have to meet Meredith Grey and maybe check in on the Ladies of the Panel and see what is going on with them. See ya soon!