Archive | May, 2010

Warning Signs

28 May

I recently read that when someone new seems “familiar” this may be a sign that things are amiss.  Particularly with intimate relationships – you may be replaying the same dynamic over and over again with a succession of persons each time hoping for a different outcome without even knowing it.

In the past, if a guy that I met seemed “familiar” – it instantly put me at ease, and I would pretty much automatically fall for him (at least to some degree).  I never stopped to question, “what feels familiar?  Is it something good?  Something unnerving?”

Having grown up in a home where lots was left unsaid – I learned to use perception and instinct to pick up on unspoken communication.  This does not necessarily translate well into the dating arena – as you can’t really apply the “communication or lack-there-of” skills you learned over the course of a lifetime to someone you just met.  What I mean to say is that just because someone feels familiar it does not mean that they are somehow right for you.  In fact, quite the opposite.

This is a theory that I am still developing, so my apologies if it is still messy.  I have reviewed in my mind some of the men that I have been involved with in the past few years and am thinking about the ones that felt familiar.

There was H – he felt “familiar”.  Like someone I could have gone to high-school with.  And that made me feel instantly comfy, cozy, and altogether unnecessarily vulnerable and available to him.  Now I look at it and think – “yeah, someone who makes me feel like I did when I was a teenager – over 20 years ago!!! – may not be a good match for me as an adult woman.”  When I met X, he reminded me of a good friend from college, someone who I no longer was really friends with because we grew apart, and in all honesty, he was just a very tough nut to crack.  I could never really get close to him, there was always a barrier.  But I have always been quite fond of that friend, and so – upon meeting X and feeling that familiarity – I almost instantaneously transferred the fondness without stopping to think – “Hmm. Reminds me of someone I know who is complicated, that I could never really become intimate with, and is slightly selfish and self-involved.”

Catch my drift?  A feeling of familiarity does not necessarily signify a green-light to become involved.

Thrival versus Survival

26 May

I think the fundamental discordance in my recent relationship, and why in the end, it just was not functioning in a healthy manner, is that my X wanted to survive in life.  I want to thrive, and blossom.  I already know I am a survivor.  I want more.

Sorry if these are hazy thoughts – I have been walloped with a nasty cold, my head aches, my ears ache, the bridge of my nose and my eyelashes ache.  It is 90-something degrees here in NYC, but I am wearing sweats, shivering under the covers.

I finished Amy Cohen’s The Late Bloomer’s Revolution all in one afternoon (intermittently taking naps, of course).  I feel better having read it.  I also learned (well re-learned) to ride a bicycle at 37 (after having learned at 27, with another boyfriend.  It was a traumatic experience, and I developed a phobia about riding). But with X, I started riding again, and I thank him for that.  Although he had this terrible habit of yapping a mile a minute while I was busy trying to concentrate on staying on top of the bike!  But that is for another post.

X berated me incessantly while I read Eat. Pray. Love. For no other reason than he found it threatening.  I assured him that EPL was all about someone setting out to find herself.  I actually know who I am.  I just want improvement, enhancement.  To continue to flourish for as long as I have breath.

Maybe I should have passed the book on to him.  Who knows.  It may have helped.

How DOES this stay up?

this is a test – take two

25 May

I read over my very first blog post.  Less than two weeks away from ending the relationship,  I was still so caught up in thinking that the problem was me, that I was at fault somehow.  I guess I was invested in that logic because it allowed me to avoid facing the real issue.  In a way, I was hoping it could turn around. 

I have never had a truly unhealthy relationship before.  Catty and petty, sure.  Dysfunctional, absolutely.  Toxic, nope.   I hope to have learned (and continue learning) from the lessons provided to me by this experience, because I NEVER want to have it again.  This was  not about control.  I was just absolutely, miserably, unhappy in my relationship – not because I missed being single, or because I was fearful of losing my identity and comfort in the “known”.  I was purely and simply longing for sanity and peace, nothing more than that.  You cannot control someone else’s emotional upheavals by creating some for yourself!  What was I thinking?   

I will never again question my own mental health, physical health, or sense of well-being for anyone else, ever again.  I am not damaged, unhealthy, or a control freak.  I am not fearful of love, or of being in a true partnership.  I am not even fearful of my own past episodes of anxiety/depression anymore.  That is one of the many things I can thank my X for, actually.  If anxiety and depression come knocking again, for whatever reason, I know I will be ok with two solid feet on the ground.  No more walking on pins, needles, hot coals, or eggshells, or making a bed out of rusty nails for me!

Gossip Girl Philosophy

25 May

Soooo pretty!

Yes.  I am 38 and I watch Gossip Girl and love every delicious guilty-pleasure second of it.  Because it takes me far, far away from my life.  However, on my train ride in to work this morning, as I was crossing over the Brooklyn Bridge on this glorious spring day, feeling hung over (yes, that feeling that signals “your brain did not receive enough oxygen”) from smoking too many cigarettes yesterday and having a sore throat from said too many cigarettes, and feeling overwhelmingly down about everything, including my being 38 and watching Gossip Girl, I realized – GG does apply to me!  See, when I was younger I would have fallen for Dan – except, a wee bit too late.  

Smart. Confusing. Too little, too late.

 Dan would have been my quirky guy friend that has a crush on me.  When I realize that he has the crush, I feel stunned and a bit icky.  But then, I start to fall for him.  Much too late, as Dan has moved on.  Me, sad.  And scene.

Now as an adult (HA!) I have repeatedly fallen for the Chuck B-asses (pun intended) of the world.  Yes, the bad boy with the heart of gold.  X is the KING of Chuck Basses, but without the money.  I, like Blair, think – he will get it together, for me.  And, oh!  How they really, really want to get it together for the women that they love and adore.  But, like CB with BW, can never really get over their own issues regarding Daddy, and work, and making money, and being  a worthy provider, and blah blah blah I need to prove that I am GREAT…to just enjoy having someone love them, and enjoy loving someone in return without drama, trauma, and tragedy.  Oh, I feel for the Chuck Basses of the world.    Such heart, such potential. 

Serious NPD going on here.

Not enough. And poor Blair.  She thought that he would never sell her out, but he did, literally.  The Chuck Basses of this world will continually try to have you jump through hoops of fire for them, to prove how strong your love is, that it is otherworldly, etc.  But for every hoop you jump through, there is another one, and another, and another, each time with flames brighter and brighter, hotter and hotter.  It is only a matter of time before you are burned to a crisp loving this sort of individual.

But then, and if you are still with me, there is a point to all this – there are the Nate Archibald’s of the world.  Now, I have never given the NAs in my life the time of day – probably because I thought they would never be interested in me.  So I never even stopped to look twice.  I mean, I have so ridiculously thought that an NA would not be into me, that I have never even been relatively heart-splintered by one, forget about heartbroken.  With Nate, I think – “nah, he is too pretty, too dumb, too nice, wears his heart on his sleeve…”

Do you hear that?  That is the sound of my hand smacking up against my own forehead.  What the FREAKING F**K is wrong with me?  I am not even giving a guy a chance ON TV because I think he is too good-looking, too nice, actually is in touch with his feelings, wants to communicate with his partner and share the fun things in life with her, AND maybe is not the smartest guy on the planet, but is very intelligent in that he knows what accounts for real beauty in relationships (romantic, platonic, and with family) and life?  Caring about and for someone sometimes at his own expense is Nate’s only downfall.

I am switching it up in my late 30s.  I am all about giving the Nate Archibald’s of this world a chance.  I am all about giving ME a chance with a Nate Archibald. And I have Gossip Girl to thank.

You know you love me.

X NO X NO

Sage advice

25 May

The last couple of days have been pretty brutal.  I feel dead inside, if you all want to know the truth.  I spent most of yesterday smoking cigarettes and feeling – nothing.  I think that is the problem.  By smoking, I do not allow myself to feel anything, or remember anything, really.  It is a distraction.  Is feeling nothing one of the stages in grieving?

Speaking of distractions, that is exactly what I thought I wanted with my crush. But I realize it is just a game I am playing with myself.  I do not want a rebound, or to be a rebound, or to be distracted.  I want to FEEL.  Because I miss X dearly, I will always love him dearly, I am still very very sad, and very very scared about my future.  I am afraid of winding up all alone at an old age – never having had true, warm, healthy, fulfilling, love.

This morning, I put out my last cigarette and said goodbye. I let X go, I let cigarettes go, I forgive X, and forgive myself for all the times I was hurt regardless of intention.  I apologized to him, to me, and to our dream future family that will never be.

I know what I need to do.  Stop smoking.  Burn sage all over this apartment. Move furniture. Repaint walls.  Repeat as necessary.

This is my new mantra.  Be good to yourself.  Don’t play games. Pay homage.

Crushed

21 May

Yes, even 38 y.o.s develop crushes. Yes, even in the midst of overwhelming heartbreak, I was crushed to hear that a dashing gentleman (also recently heartbroken by an ex) I have been feeling a bit swoony over was seeing someone new. Nine years my junior, to boot.  But apparently, I look much younger than her.

Oh well…there go my hopes for any  summer rebound romancing with a certain dashing gentleman (cdg)!

TALKING dne COMMUNICATION

20 May

Talking does not equal communication.  Especially when the talking mostly revolves around the subject of oneself. In the recent letter that I received from X, he questions why we, such “great communicators” could not work out our issues, leading me to make the decision to end it.  Or as he sees it – burning the whole house down while trying to light a fire under his ass.

Well, the thing is that my X was a great TALKER.  But not a good communicator.  He rarely remembered the things that I would say to him, about how I was feeling, about how I was unhappy, about how I was worried about him, how I was worried about me.  And then, when I would finally burst and explode because I couldn’t take it anymore, he would actually look bewildered, like “where is all this coming from?”  The thing is, I actually believe he could not remember the things that I was trying so desperately to communicate with him, because he was so self-involved that when he was not talking about himself, and his business deals and plans, he was turning them over and over in his brain, and smoldering in anger and bitterness because things were not going his way, and he felt quite entitled to have things pay off for him. So sad.

In his letter he was very gracious, and thanked me for all these wonderful things, but then, he went into how he just did not understand. I know he does not.  That’s why I know deep down, even when I am missing him terribly, that I did the right thing.

I just do not know if I should contact him, write him a letter in return, or what…I mean this is the man I was going to marry and start a family with, and now I am cutting him out COMPLETELY from my life, even though he is living maybe 20 minutes away from the apartment we shared.  Again, it is like a death, the absence of the person.  But I am the killer.  How depressing.

Thankfully, today is Thursday and I am meeting a friend after work for a drink, and tomorrow is Friday and I get to celebrate the end of my semester and the beginning of a new chapter in the life of ME with my lovely, fabulous friends that ARE great communicators, often remember the things that I say because they actually LISTEN, and often remind me of harmful things that I do not want to evaluate closely because I cannot deal at times.