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Location: Wisconsin, United States

"There is a secret set within each of our hearts...It is simply the desire for life as it was meant to be... Seasons may pass until it surfaces again. And though it seems to taunt us, and may at times cause us great pain, we know when it returns that it is priceless. For if we could recover this desire, unearth it from beneath all other distractions, and embrace it as our deepest treasure, we would discover the secret of our existance." -John Eldredge, The Journey of Desire

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Land Fill

I am dragging my feet this morning. I have to travel through central Wisconsin and the roads are not listed in good condition. I’m turning into a wuss in my old age.

Tonight the last of my children will leave for the weekend.  I am looking forward, in some sense, to having some time to myself, alone, in my own home.  On the other hand, I am not looking forward to dealing with my emotions regarding the Mr. Boyfriend thing. Call me obsessive.  

My pong is out of wack.

I am dreading New Years Eve.  Absolutely dreading it. Yes, I have another invitation – probably could have more than one if I was so inclined. But I really just want to be with Mr. Boyfriend. It ain’t happening, I know this.

I have to admit something about my behavior.  Because of the way things went with the X, I work really hard at not showing the significant male in my life that he matters to me. I try to keep expressions neutral when I’m upset. I don’t jump all over the place, no matter how excited to see him I am. I play things as cool as possible – most of the time in complete contradiction to how I actually feel. And I don’t do this about anyone else. Old male friends, new male friends, it matters not. I can get all excited about them…there is no risk there.

I think this created problems with Mr. Boyfriend, especially if his deal is “not counting”. I made him feel that he didn’t count to protect myself from the sting of feeling unloved…and vice versa. We just destroyed each other because of our deficits.

I have to work on ME. I need to work on my own self-confidence. I am not making excuses for Mr. Boyfriend – he has his own stuff to deal with.  It’s just that I am seriously worried about my confidence level. There are things I should have done within that relationship which I could NOT do, because of the destruction my X wreaked within my psyche. It disturbs me. There were moments where I viewed Mr. Boyfriend from a place filled with my own history – forgetting that he is some one entirely different.

I’ve been standing in a landfill, trying to get clean.  It can’t be done. I need to let him go. He WANTS me to let him go. I need to do this gracefully. I have some sort of problem. I need to face it. I need to just stay out of the relationship arena for a while. The likelihood of me meeting someone who has the patience to stand with me while I work through some of this garbage seems fairly slim. I thought that’s what Mr. Boyfriend would be, because we were friends.

There was never any future with him. The anxiety that gave me, alone, is enough to make me want to throw up. Literally. The X, the last two years…no future. No plans could be made (he had to keep things open for the girlfriend, only I didn’t know it). If we did make plans, it was pretty stressful. I never knew from one day to the next what was happening.

And I must ask myself how that felt. How did it feel when I ended that and moved forward? I allowed myself to have a future? How did that feel? I need to refocus on some of these things, because I seem to have trapped myself in the same stuff. Mr. Boyfriend just isn’t that into me, has not wanted a future with me – or anything else.  Move on, Girl!!!

The Past is Garbage

I am struggling, still, with what I called my “deficit” in an earlier post. This negative message I have heard since I was a child, which I now carry as an adult.  I have been combating it. I have statements written on my mirrors, in my home to remind me that every second is a new beginning. If this second I feel unlovable, I can start over in the next.  

I have regular conversations with my God. Prayer. I have put God in that spot that craves approval. I try, every morning, to put God there. To keep centered. I lost sight of that this last week – which is sad – in the midst of Christmas, to lose sight of God. But there it is.

I must amend something else….is Mr. Boyfriend worthy? Will any man be worthy? Am I demanding perfection that can only be found in one place?

I don’t know. I only know I get on my “high horse” and start pointing fingers…in the end, I must look at myself.

I must admit I am afraid of not being enough. I am afraid of not being lovable. Mr. Boyfriend makes me feel unlovable. He makes me feel as if I am not enough. He would not mind seeing me with another man…perhaps he would be relieved to have me off his hands…and this is where I get neurotic. And I have to admit this is me. And I have to walk away. Whatever he lacks in feeling for me, he is a decent human being and does not deserve to be placed in the garbage of my past…

More prayer, I guess. It’s the only answer.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

New Years and the Dryer

My day has been rather interesting.

First, I accidentally sent a link to this space to Mr. Boyfriend. In all honesty, I don’t really believe he is that interested in what I do out here or anywhere at the moment. I sincerely doubt he even read my email and thus will never follow the included link. I am about 99% safe. Yikes.

The “Y’s” Have It!

In prayer today, Jesus began adding a “Y” to my name.  I cannot, for the life of me, figure out WHY, nor what this means.  There have been relatively few people who have called me that – my brother, for one, but then, I called him “Timmy” so I was fair game. I still call him that. (I miss him horribly some times.) An old friend, Kyle, also regularly added the Y to my name – but he’d known me since grade school so that, too, was allowed. There is no one currently that does. I can’t remember my ex ever calling me that, except as a joke. Why Jesus?

Probably because I am lonely. I spent plenty of time today in prayer. He reminded me of the times he came to me and told me that I was not alone…times when I desperately needed to know that.

I am there, at one of those places.

I filled out my application for school today. I have had responsibilities expanded with my other job, been given a new one…these are things that will work with a school schedule. I am putting this in God’s hands. I do not trust my own judgment when it comes to choosing my life’s work. I have been so “all over the place” in that regard. If God wants me to do this, the door will open easily. Financial aid will be available. I will be granted admission and classes and my work schedule will work with this. In truth, I feel called to become a teacher. My own high school career was so iffy, that to be able to inspire and give back, like the few teachers that impacted me were able to do, really flips my trigger. But it isn’t about me, anymore. It’s about a higher design. God has a plan. I just need to open up my ears to hear it.

If It Happens Again…!!!

My daughter managed to drop a paintbrush down the lint trap of the dryer. Now that I have the dryer torn apart, I am told it won’t hurt anything to leave it there.  Neat. I hate fixing stuff. Absolutely hate it. Build something with wood? ALL RIGHT!! That sounds like fun! But the rest of it….no. Ick.

She Reconciles Him Gone

I’ve not heard from Mr. Boyfriend all day. I suspect that I will not. I think, perhaps, and I’ve said this before (poor pathetic me) that it is over. I feel sad. But really, I don’t think we’re “it” for each other. He would have fallen for me if we were. And if he doesn’t feel for me what I feel for him, then it ain’t true love, is it? Nope.

I think, in regards to my last post, I need time to not hear negative messages about me. I need time to not hear someone tell me the reasons they can’t love me. The reasons I am not lovable. I am so very tired in that area. Tired of fighting. This feels like a double whammy to me…I’m such an idiot. (Here comes the self-recrimination.) I am so incredibly STUPID sometimes…what was I thinking? Getting involved with someone else so quickly? Duh. It was bound to end badly.

Mr. Boyfriend has said to me several times that he doesn’t think that I wanted him.  This is untrue. I like him. Why, you might ask? He’s funny. He’s cute. He’s thoughtful. He can be a jerk. He’s kind of a scatterbrain. He’s deceptively smart. He’s honest. He’s sexy. He’s spiritual. He is all of these things.

He is also unreachable and non-committal.  If he isn’t walking away, then I must.

At the beginning of this month, I gave myself till January to get my sh*t together. Professionally and personally. I have been waiting for the New Year to arrive. I just have to survive one more Holiday. I decided to have patience with myself. To give myself some rope. Three more days. New Years this year will be a lonely one. Part of me wants to stay home, alone and welcome in the New Year on my own. Another part of me says go out with friends …have fun.  The bottom line is that it will be very different than I had hoped.

Here’s my sad saga…Christmas Eve I thought that Mr. Boyfriend and I connected. We sat in Church together and held hands. My father sat on the other side of me. He met my gatekeepers. This was intimacy to me.  And now it is gone. Why? Our tapes. Our deficits.

I will be honest with you all – all of you women, I believe – I love this guy. I always have. I probably always will. I do not have any regrets about things with him. (Other then I went into it too fast.) Sure, I’d change a few things that I’ve done, but in reality, I don’t regret falling in love with him.  What I regret is that he wasn’t worthy.

How’s that grab ya? A man that is worthy of my love will return it. Will value it. Will desire it. Will not take advantage of it. Mr. Boyfriend talked a good line about flower gardens and nurturing a woman’s heart…but when it came down to it, it was judgment about other men and no offerings of his own. He did not put his head on the chopping block as I did. I want someone who can go the distance and step over the line. I want someone worthy. And God, he has made a promise to me, there is someone for everyone. I just need to trust in him. It’ll all be ok.

And off I go to fix the damn dryer, be a hockey mom and deal with the ex…

The Deficit

Once Upon A Time

The last time a woman slept with her now ex-husband, she thought it meant some sort of commitment. This was her husband. The father of her children, and in her mind, that in itself carried weight. The sex was bad. But it was intimacy - something that she thought perhaps might help to propel the situation forward positively.

The next morning, while asking questions of him (she had long since mastered the art of asking questions while not offering any sort of opinion, as if she was strictly collecting data), he told her that his feelings for her were not that of a husband toward a wife. That he figured she knew that. "You're a big girl. You can take care of yourself."

In other words, what had occurred between them meant nothing, regardless of their relationship. What he was telling her was that although from his perspective there was NO RELATIONSHIP, it was ok to sleep with her because she was supposed to know that. Married 15 years, several children, in marriage counseling with this person and she was supposed to KNOW that there was no relationship between them.

The 19 Year Old Speaks

This woman remembers very clearly the week she decided to end this non-existent marital relationship.  She could feel change rolling around in her heart, waiting. The day the denial lifted, she passed by herself in the mirror and caught a glimpse. She turned around and went back to the mirror. She had never seen such rage and despair in her eyes before. Years flashed across her mind, memories tumbled out as if she'd tipped over a basket full of pictures. She glared at herself. "You are not 19. You did not need him THEN. You do NOT need him now. STAND UP." If she could have punched the women in the mirror for doing this to her, she would have. She had allowed herself to be used. To be dragged through mud. She had allowed her children to get hurt. This fury, it was the kind that moved mountains. She apologized to the 19-year-old girl in her, for ever doubting that she was good enough. And she made the choice to move on.

She told no one but her attorney and the ex for a while, not even her children. No one else would believe her anyway. But she felt free. Whatever love and commitment she felt for him was released the day when she looked in the mirror. She decided to love herself instead. To commit to herself and her children, instead.

We’re All Grown Up Now, or Are We

This same woman stands in a doorway after arguing for an hour with a man she has been seeing, a friend she has had for years.  She has done something, which has made him question her, although he has known her for years and knows who she is. She was wrong, but her wrongness was not done with the intent to hurt or even to be simply uncaring. Just the opposite - but the scenario went from bad to worse rather quickly and he got hurt.

He looks at her and explains, "That's how come we can't go beyond "friends with benefits" to something more."

Oh. She does not know what to say. She takes this to mean that somehow it is her fault that his feelings for her have not progressed to something beyond...whatever it is he feels.

She goes home. She is not from the generation that gets into the whole "friends with benefits" deal. Even if she was, she'd have no idea what it meant. She'd been married the whole time her friends were dating and figuring out how the world worked. Instead, she looks it up on the internet.

The minutes pass by quietly as she reads. “Sex without commitment”, “Sex without emotional ties”, “Sex strictly to relieve physical need”. She reads a post by a woman who comments that "friends with benies" is actually not possible...because the very definition of friendship was caring and loyalty - strong emotions already involved in a non-sexual relationship.

"My God," she thinks, "What have I done?"  

In her head she hears her ex say, "You are a big girl. You can take care of yourself. You make your own choices."  Was she choosing that? No. Would she ever? No. Had she made that clear? She was pretty sure she had. Was it insulting to have their relationship reduced to that level? Yes. Did it indicate how he felt about her? Yes. Worse yet, would it indicate how she felt about herself if she continued it? Yes.

She pauses for a minute, devastated. This is another long-standing friendship - a male who has been in her life for many, many years. She had felt a kinship with him because their values were so similar. Had felt that kinship for years. Her brain feels like it's splintering. Accepting what WAS, when it was so opposite what she had BELIEVED for so long was difficult. It was like trying to swim with lead boots on.

She knows she cannot judge him. She cannot blame him.  But she is hurt nonetheless.  Once upon a time he declared his love for her.  She cannot make the leap between then and now but she knows absolutely that she must. She never, ever wants her heart taken lightly again.

A week before she had asked a mutual acquaintance how he had presented his relationship with her to others. "Friends for a long time who spend a lot of time together. He doesn't think it'll ever actually progress to anything more serious, though."

And the Deficit Remains…

Recently, he made a statement about the cost of their relationship being less right now then in a year. She wants to tell him to speak for himself.  She chose to trust him at a point when she was more vulnerable than ever. She didn't know it then. She knows it looking back. It is the only explanation for why this hurts this horribly. There were fragile places exposed when she walked into a relationship with him. Fragile places better left covered. What has occurred, instead, is lengthy explanations as to why she is not lovable. Why she is rejectable.

This is her deficit, which she will battle her entire life. That fragile place. She must battle the belief that she is not lovable the "way she is".  A belief handed to her in her childhood and beat into her in her marriage. Her deficit is not about other women or violence or any "other" centered behavior. It is a belief about self.  She cannot be told she is not lovable because she did something that made him question her. She cannot be told she is only worth "friends with benefits". She cannot be told she is not worth talking to in a bar, or so invaluable that she can be pawned off on some other guy, or for that matter so invaluable that he would not care at all if she were to BE with another man. She has heard these things before, with devastating consequences.

This man, he does not do or say these things with the intent to hurt. He does and says these things with the intent to protect himself. It is her deficit that cannot handle these things, which needs reassurance that will never come. She'd like to believe that she could feed this deficit alone...but she knows that is not entirely true. She has actually had conversations with a counselor about this. "Can I be cured?" And the answer..."No. But you can be aware. It's a handicap. You will always battle this. And someday you will meet someone who will love you just as you are, because you are wonderful, and the battle will not rage so brutally."

Aha. This friend who has known her for years...she thought perhaps the battle could quiet because of him. Long-standing history and mutual care and admiration and all. Instead, the messages are the same. "I cannot love you the way you are. I do not love you."

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Four Months from Divoce and Direction Alights

I have been remiss in writing.  I hope everyone’s Holidays were wonderful and full of warmth and happiness!

There have been a number of new developments over the last couple of weeks.

  • I chose a direction, from the standpoint of a career.

  • My name was passed on to another division of the company I’m working for – and I now have more flexible hours with them.

  • I made a new friend whom I suspect will be a wonderful addition to my life.

  • Mr. Boyfriend completely ignored my attempts to back way, way off.  He managed to do it in a respectful way. And then we went on another Roller Coaster ride.

First, I’ve decided to return to school and work for my teaching certification. The certification I intend to pursue will allow me to teach History, Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science and a couple of other subjects.  As you’ll recall, I was considering returning to school to pursue my Masters. I decided that what my intent was to do with that degree was to TEACH…and the end result, either way is that I teach, but one allows me to have about half the debt when I’m done.  I find it rather amazing that I want to do this – at a High School level, when my own High School career was icky.  But then again, I absolutely love having kids the age I do, and I love my daughter’s friends. I love public speaking and I love school.  I think I finally found where I should be. I relate well to kids and can’t imagine anything more fun and challenging then making History engaging, entertaining and memorable for students.

In addition to some training for the new position I’m assuming (which is not a big deal, but I feel like God is opening doors for me and am very blessed), I have a lunch date with a new friend.
This friend came to me via my youngest daughter.  We have chatted off and on throughout the last couple of years on the phone – and between that and our daughters I knew she’d gone through a divorce and had a new boyfriend. Last weekend I decided to ask some blunt questions – which she answered very honestly and directly. One thing led to another and so I asked her to have lunch today.  After I asked and she agreed, she said the thing that I understood more than anything else, “Do you know, I don’t have any girlfriends?”

An abusive marriage, my dear, is the worst thing in the world.  We end up isolated.  I have questions for her about how she feels about things – like opening her house up to other adults. About making friends. About her relationships with men. About her choice to go back to school. Talking with her soothed my soul, as she understood exactly where I was coming from. I need understanding and I have the ability to return that to her, which perhaps she needs, too.

A friend of mine suggested that my relationship with Mr. Boyfriend was because I was desperate to have someone around. She is incorrect. Mr. Boyfriend represented a friendship which I had hoped would move beyond that to something wonderful. I refuse to live life AFRAID of feeling and loving – which of course, I am.   That’s really what it’s about.   I can’t imagine being desperate. Am I screwed up? You bet. Desperate, no.

And how goes it with Mr. Boyfriend, anyway?

The same. Up and down. Need I say more? I’ve given up, I think, on resisting being in love with him. I told him so.  What, exactly does that mean?  That means I’ve decided to say “Ah, FUCK IT.”   I feel the way I feel. I’m sick of fighting it. I’m more interested in dealing with the other aspects of my recovery. But Mr. Boyfriend, he has not made this same decision. He is still sitting on the fence. I do things that upset him. He reacts strongly.  He does things that upset me – I generally don’t react strongly.  I’ll never be perfect, but there isn’t anything anyone can do that would make me become something I’m not again.  Make me hide.  I’ll never hide again, nor live in denial.

This relationship is not necessarily a good one.  The ups and downs are largely a result of his own choices (how he handles conflict between us). I need peace.  I’ll hang in there a while longer. I suspect that as life moves on, if this is not meant to be, it will fade away. I’ll just be much too busy for anything else.

So here I go – off to train for the new gig, have lunch with a new friend, and apply for a new life at school….

Monday, December 12, 2005

Simplicity Wins

Mr. Boyfriend freaked out over my email. He assumes I am angry with him. I am not. I did not want this to even be a big deal, really. That was, perhaps, silly of me. I realize that there is a chance I will lose my friendship with him because of this. It is probably a pretty solid chance. I feel guilt over having screwed up an eight year or longer friendship. I know that I did not do it all alone.

The funny thing is, I know that if he were to show up with flowers and declare himself to be in love with me, I would reverse my decision in a heart beat. But he is not in love with me. If he is, he certainly isn't going to cut through all the b.s. and tell me...that would make too much sense. I will not wait anymore.

There has to be something less complicated out there. All the reasons why or why not or whereto or wherefore, regarding his emotions toward me. His psychoanalyzing of me...Imagine that, I've had it with thinking, with analyzing...I really just want to LIVE. What I want, versus what is, is really very different. What I want, is simplicity. You know...boy and girl meet, boy and girl like each other, boy and girl make mad passionate love, boy and girl ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. Too simple? Maybe. But it's better then...Boy and girl meet, boy and girl like each other, boy and girl negotiate making mad passionate love, decide against it because the planets are not aligned, proceed to chart, document and pay attention to the planets, realize this may be a lengthy process, decide to simply be friends and try and ignore hormones and pheramones and attraction and instead try and solve the worlds problems while walking backwards.

I promised myself I would not do this relationship thing if it meant that I would be all twisted up like a pretzel. Guess what I found myself doing?

I just can't do it. It makes me crazy. So I quit. I promised I would call him today, for friendships sake. I so do not want to. He's going to be mad, because he's hurt. But I need to do this and live with the result, irregardless.

This is not like losing a limb, as it was when X decided to leave, but I walk through my day feeling as if I've lost something or am forgetting something...as if there is something I am missing or something I need to do. Things just aren't right. Icky. I do love him. But I want something healthy.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Strike One

I ended things with Mr. Boyfriend last night. I am tired of the pseudo relational qualities of our relationship. I’m tired of doing this to myself. Things go along wonderful and then BAM! He wants to just be friends. Meanwhile, I’m gearing up, excited about the possibilities. I’m finally at a point where being part of a “couple” sounds kind of cool to me. I did not end this thing in any sort of fit of emotional hysterics or as a result of any one thing. I’ve not done it as some sort of manipulative move to “make him see what he’s missing”. It was strictly me, finally listening to the facts. Facts do talk, you know.

Lately a number of friends have had relational problems and I have found myself giving advice. Particularly my brother’s wife – I’m giving good advice, based on experience – but I’m not listening to myself.  I refuse to continue avoiding the truth. This man simply does not have feelings for me. I want him to. He’d probably like to. But in reality, I’m just a fill-in girl while he waits for “the one”. I would YELL at any one of my friends for accepting that from a man. And so – I must face the truth. It ain’t going anywhere, but he will continue this until something better comes along.

The Proof Was in the Pudding

Perhaps the biggest give away was his attitude about sex. He went from not wanting to have premarital sex to wanting sex between monogamous friends (me).  I, frankly, could not have been physical with him without my feelings deepening. I think he’s screwed up on this count, but that’s just my opinion. Lots of people have casual sex, but when you are a deeply spiritual man in your 40’s, that attitude doesn’t fit. Course, sex does funny things to the best of humanity.

How do I feel? Sad. Lonely. Angry at myself and at him. I sent him an email regarding this stuff and he has not responded. He won’t. I asked him to respond only if I was incorrect, otherwise to simply give me some time to work through how I felt.  His lack of response says I am on target and I really didn’t want to be. I wanted the real deal because I am half in love with the man. Too bad for me, eh?

Strike One in the post marriage relationship game.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Missing Ingredient

I feel like I just discovered the cure for some big disease.  I have had a multitude of things occur over the last few weeks. My emotional life had hit a stand still for a while there – now it has taken off again.  I have had very satisfying interactions with Mr. Boyfriend – where the end result was that he honored me and my feelings (men do that!) and yesterday I spent a whole 45 minutes in the Department of Motor Vehicles with the X.

I will save my commentary on Mr. Boyfriend till last, since it’s the best and part of the now and the future.

The X, on the other hand…I woke up one day a few weeks ago, and he just didn’t matter anymore. It was some time after his family threw me over. I was free. He’d call to talk about the kids and I was nice to him. He just didn’t matter at all. It didn’t matter if he was an ass, it didn’t matter if he wasn’t. He attempted to start something in the DMV and I cut it off at the pass with a mildly stated “It sounds like you had a bad day that is just getting worse…you sure you want to go there with me?”  He said a definitive “no”, closed whatever folder he was futzing with, and moved on to other, more pleasant topics.

His life doesn’t sound so great though. He didn’t say much about it, I don’t want to know. At one point his phone rang and I could hear the girlfriend yammering at him. His response? “You’re right”…twice. Phone flipped closed, he has tears in his eyes.  I feel bad, sorta, because she’s upset due to the fact that our son has hockey practice this weekend – and it blows their plans out of the water. But really, too bad. My plans get screwed all the time. Except…it’s kinda my fault. I failed to get him the info soon enough. Did I tell him this? No. I, um, told him it was the coach’s fault. (Gee, I hope that doesn’t come up in discussion with the coach.)

Do I feel sorry for him? What do I feel?

I don’t feel anger. I don’t feel vindicated (much). I’m slightly amused – but not in a mean way, more the way I would be about a brother or male friend whom I continually watch screw up.  Am I attracted to him? I envision him touching me and get the heebie jeebies. Nope. Not attracted to him.

The end conclusion is that he just doesn’t matter. He is a check in the mail. A babysitter every other weekend. A means to an end. A pain in the butt that meddles with my life occasionally. But other then that? He’s nothing.

This morning it dawned on me. The difference between what I feel for Mr. Boyfriend and what I ever felt for the X.  Why no matter how irritated or ticked off or confused I get about Mr. Boyfriend, no matter what happens in the future, I will never feel for him what I feel for the X. Respect. I respect Mr. Boyfriend.

Within a week or two of my marriage, there was violence. In year seven there was a huge, damaging affair. I never respected my X. Not from the very beginning. How can a woman spend 15 years with a man she doesn’t respect? Is this why I don’t see him as a man, but forever as a boy?

Mr. Boyfriend.  He’s a man. He has his flaws. He has his problems. But he’s a man. There is such a tremendous difference between what it feels like to love someone who you respect versus someone you don’t.

So from here on out – it really doesn’t matter what happens with Mr. Boyfriend. I have learned something incredible. I hung on to my marriage and family because it was my whole world. I loved the best that I could. Well, guess what? There’s more. There are emotions and love I haven’t even touched yet.

Hope. I have hope again.