Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Terrifying and Beautiful; That Which Is Love

Love. It's a word that you can embrace with your entire being or it can cause you to run away scared and numb. Do any of us really know what love is? Just when I think I know, I realize that it is an emotion that has somehow eluded me my entire life. I know I love my children. I would give my life for either of them. Protect them with all of the inner and outer strength that I have. Yet, loving another human being that is not one of my daughters? This confuses me and frankly seems to lead me to unknown territory

Every self help book and therapy session surrounding this emotion has told me that I can't love another person until I love myself. Well, that sucks. I know I like who I am and there are even moments I love the woman I'm becoming. Although, those moments may be when I'm manic so I don't even know if I can say that is true. What I do know is that I feel like I've come close. I feel like I must have brushed the surface because I absolutely know what heartache is when I lose someone I love. Can you have heartache without loss? Or is the process of being heartbroken, just the terrifying thought of being alone.

Also, do any of us really love ourselves? Like really, truly, without a doubt love ourselves? I don't know anyone who isn't insecure about something. The job they can't leave. The image they see when they look in the mirror. Their inability to socialize or to socialize too much in order to hide some kind of trauma deep inside. Which leads me to the question, is insecurity a lack of self love? The definition of insecurity is: uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence. Synonym: self doubt. This would lead me to believe that if you have self doubt, you must lack self love, right?

When I look back at the moments I've been "in love", I've definitely had self doubt. I never felt I was good enough for them. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've chosen men that would support my self doubt throughout the relationship. Critical, insecure men. The kind of glass is half empty man who always had trouble finding the good in every bad situation. Meaning, the kind of man who would hold anything "bad" or wrong that I did against me forever. They probably still do.  In fact, I know they still do.

I can only assume this lack of confidence came from the fact that I have a mom who didn't know how to love. When you're constantly searching for approval and never get it, where do you turn? I learned very young that male attention equaled "love", sex equaled "love" and physical chemistry somehow replaced the butterflies in your stomach moments when I thought I was falling in "love".

Physical chemistry. I definitely know what that is. I know what it's like to be next to someone and that spark between you is like a magnet. Nothing can keep you apart. Nothing. But that can't sustain a relationship. Eventually the building blocks that were created by whatever was ignited between the two of you, begin to break down. I have had 4 great loves in my lifetime besides my children. All 4 were sparked by physical attraction. However, the first one, meant more. He was older and stimulated me in so many different ways. He taught me about philosophy, history, the beauty of the world around us. He inspired my creativity and never let me tell myself I wasn't beautiful. However, I was too young for the maturity of the relationship and I cheated on him. Broke HIS heart. Since then the next 3 loves broke mine. Karma? Probably. But what if I finally had an "adult" showing me true self love and I just took it for granted. Once it was gone, I went back to what I knew. Self doubt.

So here I am trying to figure out my next steps after this huge debacle, I call my love life. After dealing with the ex situation and seeing first hand how affection, chemistry or whatever else one might be feeling can be misconstrued as love, I can see that true love does have to start within yourself first. True love does not lie. It does not cheat. It does not seek revenge. It does not wish to hurt or cause pain for another.

So, while I am still confused on what "love" is, I think I might have the most beautiful love affair of all. I'm going to try and fall in love with me. I'm sure it will be full of heartache, doubt and fear of the unknown, but at some point, I know there will be butterflies and unexplainable joy. Most importantly, I know it will be the most honest relationship I've ever had. After I've fallen completely in love with me, with she, I look forward to finding the second greatest love of my life with a man who will never let me feel as if I am nothing short of beautiful inside and out. And if for whatever reason, he isn't out there, the love of my life will remain with me "'til death do us part'".


Here's to the next chapter.





Monday, May 30, 2016

RED

Open letter to ....... that man:

I see red. It is not enough that you want to deny my voice in the wake of the devastation you left behind, but now you want me to protect this woman, that woman, from the one thing that could save her from a lifetime of heartache. You. 

I won't be silent because you don't want me to tell the truth about your infidelities. I won't save you from any pain when you have torn out my heart and used it as your personal weapon. I will no longer be the doormat where you wipe your feet after using me and leaving me there to burn. I will not allow you to open old wounds, watch me bleed and walk away unscathed while I shed the tears of all the years I wasted loving you.  

You will not threaten me to be silent. I am no longer scared of you or fearful of what it is you think you can do to me. I can not be intimidated or bullied to do your bidding because you say it is so. You call yourself a man, but you are the one that is insecure. You are the one that is a scared little boy. You are the one who will live the rest of your life holding on to a lie that can and will destroy you eventually. You are the one that is continually hurting those that you say you love because you believe that not telling the entire truth somehow supports your integrity. Isn't that what you told me when I "withheld the entire truth"? Wasn't it you who told me to "just quit lying", after finding out more and more about the destruction I was leaving behind. I came clean to you. I told you everything. Yet you are the hypocrite that believes that what is mandatory for me somehow doesn't apply to you. 

Most importantly, I will not allow our last night together to be something ugly. I will not allow you to deny that just 6 weeks ago, you were "on the fence", but it is my behavior that turned you away from me. My behavior as the one who knew the truth the entire time. My behavior as the one who cried herself to sleep every time you spent time with her and didn't make the time to let me show you how much has changed. The texts, the calls, the middle of the night moments of seething emotional pain that could not be stopped without watching the blood drip from my soul. My behavior. The behavior any woman would have shown had she begun to discover that she was losing the one thing she declared she was fighting for. 

You sat there with that charming smile on your face and allowed me to bend over backward for you. With those steel blue eyes begging me to forgive you without asking for the forgiveness you don't deserve. You allowed me to fight for us knowing that in 6 short weeks your feelings would change. You used my honesty and my emotions as something you could hold against me. 

2 weeks ago, you sat and watched me cry when you let me know that you chose her. You chose her. I felt my world falling apart. Yet, you pulled me in. You couldn't let me go. Like so many months before. You. Couldn't. Let. Me. Go. You asked for "one last time". In the aftermath, you say you "had a moment of weakness". Your weakness left me alone, angry, heartbroken. All of this knowing that the woman you "chose" doesn't deserve the truth from you, yet she is the one that you love with all that you have?

Now, you want me to stop talking about 2 weeks ago. 2 weeks ago. The one moment between us that I am trying to turn into something "special" in my head while my heart screams at you. SCREAMS at you. You said you wanted one last time with me. So, I say, thank you for that one last time. It was raw, emotional and passionate. It was a moment that perfectly describes the you and me that is us. Explosive. The love we shared was beautiful when good and chaotic when bad, but always tempestuous. Always a fury of emotion that neither one of us could control or ignore. 

I am ready for you to move on because you don't deserve the beauty that is me, that is I. You will know one day what you have lost, but until then, "love" the woman that you "chose". Build your life on a lie. I will remember our last time as what and who we are. I will remember it as red. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

I'm Crazy about Fried Pickles and Unstable in 6 inch Heels

Two posts in one day! It's a record. I'm compelled to write again because my head is a whirlwind of emotions and I need to get it out in order to process. I was emotionally held hostage today by my ex in order to promise that I would no longer send messages, or as he says, slander him, online and that I accept that the only reason he is now threatening me is because I started all of this. Ultimately, I learned that it's my fault for any of the consequences that might come my way because I told the truth. Although, I'm not sure why he is all that concerned as she thinks I'm lying about everything anyway! It's interesting how I spent so much of my life actually lying to people and causing a hellacious amount of chaos, but now that I am telling the truth, the one person who should believe me has her head so far up in the clouds, all she hears is "crazy ex-wife". I feel sorry for her really. How much must she devalue herself by accepting his word as gospel when the truth could literally set her free from embarking on a lifetime built on nothing but a lie. I tried to help. I really did. Some may not see it that way, but then those are the ones that probably prefer to live in denial than in reality. I used to be one of those someones. No more!

It's out of my hands now. Karma will find them both one day. Today, however, something did finally happen that I do feel good about. Today, he was honest with me. Some of it was hard to hear, but it was the truth and it is what I needed to hear all along, no matter how painful. He denies that I mean anything to him, yet I mean enough for him to spend 6 hours with me today blurting all of his truth, while still keeping her in the dark. See why I lived in a state of confusion with him for so long??? I am this double standard that he can control, use and twist to fit all of his purposes. Why did he have to stay here all day? He wouldn't leave. I begged him. I cried. I called in reinforcements. Why not go to her and continue his "crazy" charade? Why spend all day with me watching me process through all of the emotions that come with "breaking up" or "letting go"? I seem to be important enough to hurt, to open wounds for, to stand in the fire with. But the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with? He is never going to admit his wrongs to her. He will let her walk hand and hand into the future with him all the time knowing we all feel sorry for her. All the time knowing he has already starting building the wall that will one day crumble down around her.

I'm ready to begin the process of letting go, timidly and with great fear, but I will continue to stand in my own truth. The question he wanted answered so badly? Why did I tell her what happened? Why was I so hurt? Because, through his actions he continues to show me, even in pain, even in anger, that I mean more to him than she does because when all the cards have been played, I'm the one who finally gets the truth. I'm the one he feels safe being broken in front of.  And when you are in love with someone, wouldn't your first instinct be to hang on to that one line that might keep you connected? What wouldn't any woman do when the actions of one man have done nothing but reel her in and string her along, even during the break up song?




Breaking Free is Not a Free Ride


Wow! My life has taken a drastic turn in a different direction. For quite some time now, I have maintained an intimate relationship with my ex-husband. Intimacy, beyond sex, also involves a unique way of communication and comfort that someone only finds in one other person. He and I have this connection that is at times the most amazing thing I've ever felt, and at other times the most toxic damaging relationship that anyone should have to live through. I've known for the past 7 months that he has a girlfriend, but our relationship is so convoluted that we both unconsciously accepted that I am the exception to any moral rules. Neither of us spent too much time thinking about how our actions might affect those that are also involved in this triad. If you read my post in March, I came to the conclusion that I couldn't continue to devalue myself and accept this 2nd place rung, plus I really was beginning to feel bad for this other woman. With my distancing myself, he became closer to her and ultimately fell in love. I use the term "fell in love" loosely, as can you really fall in love with someone when you've been cheating on them from the beginning? Unfortunately for all of us, he and I still couldn't maintain a respectable distance and as any bad love story ends, he proposed to her, I came clean about our relationship and now everyone is in hell. 

I could have sat on the sidelines and dealt with the punch in the gut on my own. I could have stayed quiet and watched them live happily ever after. But then it hit me. That is what I do. I protect him. Throughout  our entire relationship I put his feelings above my own. He likes to point out the lies that I told during our marriage and how I am the one who thinks only of myself. However, he has never been able to understand that my dysfunction and the mental illness that was raging inside of me, unmanaged and wild, was fueled by my desire to please him. Every lie I told, every failed money management scheme, every illegal act, and every series of reckless behavior was my irrational attempt to protect him from knowing how the life we had hoped for was not working. Neither of us were stepping up as we should to take responsibility for the things we needed to be responsible for. He worked so hard, but we would never have been able to move forward unless he was willing to take a drastic leap of faith by going back to school or finding some other career. His fear of the unknown and his own fear of failure has kept him stuck in an unhappy work environment his entire life. He knows how to use every excuse imaginable to keep from finding success. Of course, I am the reason to blame for all and any of his decisions that have kept him from moving forward. It's an old record that he has managed to spin for a very long time. On the other side of things, I was stuck in this emotional hell that I was too afraid to tell him about because my fear of losing him was so internally painful that I literally felt I would die. I tried to create a life where he wouldn't have to do anything uncomfortable and where I could go on pretending that I wasn't slowly dying inside. Ultimately this pretend bubble I created blew up in the worst way possible. 

So here I am. Finding out that he had used me. Lied to me. Used my past and my mental illness as an excuse for him to avoid the truth. Telling me he couldn't say how he really felt out of fear of what I might do to myself. Using me for sex was somehow all on me because he was so torn by his feelings and he didn't want to make me mad. My fault. Always my fault. My instability is the reason he could never tell me definitively that it was over. I asked him 100 times if he had stopped loving me and he never could answer that. I finally told him he needed to make a choice and he did. However, he continued to lead me on to the point that even on the day of the "disaster" he still maintained that there was a chance we would get back together again even when he was married. All I needed to do was prove trustworthy because that was the one thing keeping him from not being with me. (oh and my ability to be vindictive i.e. honest) Me. Untrustworthy. Not him? Here I am, held hostage by the idea of breaking free from him but losing him forever or protecting him and continuing to be the second hand piece of "nothing" that he can call on when he needs me or dismiss me when he doesn't. 


So I broke free. I told the truth. And I lost him "forever". I don't know if she will forgive him or where he or they will go in the future. If she does, it only speaks to her own insecurity. What kind of woman marries a man that has been with another woman emotionally and physically throughout their entire courtship? But, then what kind of woman hangs on to a man that refuses to let her go. I go back to something he has always said to me. "I can't be with you but I don't want you to be with anyone else". Control. He has always had ultimate control of me. Yet now, I'm on a train, I wasn't looking for, headed somewhere without the only rock I've ever known. I've become an unwilling passenger putting love for myself above my love for someone else. 


I still have the broken heart. I feel gut punched by what he did to me. Heart stabbed by his insensitivity and arrogance. Broken by letting go of that connection that has been holding us together for so long. The irony of it all is that deep down I know he will forgive me. Deep down I know that somewhere in the future we will end up right back where we started. There is something beyond either of our control that holds us together constantly churning black to white, to white to black. I don't know if we'll ever be in the same place at the same time, but I know that breaking free now is just a reprieve from his grasp on my heart. A clutch from which there is no escape. I am burnt into his soul and he into mine. We both will find happiness in someone else and we both may move forward in what looks like a "happily, ever, after" postcard. But we know the truth. No matter what he does to convince her (or anyone) of his commitment, we both know where this story will eventually end.