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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

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Another Monday

Monday morning. I am on the road later this morning but am in the mean time enjoying peace and quiet.

I began reading the Bible this morning. There was a suggestion made this morning that one read the Bible like a book - for the stories. So I started. It's interesting. Thus far I am not liking the treatment of women, but I suppose culture dicated much of that. But it is making me angry. Go figure. I find it hard to read because of that one fact.

I began with Genesis and am about half way through. I have studied the Bible based on themes - seeking out verses, etc, but have never read it in its entirety. I would like to do this so I have a better understanding of how things relate within the book itself. So I begin.

Mr. Boyfriend

This morning I am feeling sad about Mr. Boyfriend. I am feeling hurt. Disapointed. Angry. Looking backwards on my blog, it is not hard to understand why things ended the way that they did - or even predict that they WOULD end the way they did. But an eleven year friendship is gone.

How is it that I feel about Mr. Boyfriend? I love him. I think he is a wonderful man with some serious self-asteem issues. Co-dependency issues. It is hard for me to point a finger at him as I realize I am the same way.

But I am feeling hurt about large moments in my life where he was completely consumed with himself, when the focus should have been caring about me. Valentines day two years ago - nasty flashback. I ended up taking care of him. When my oldest was in the hospital a few months ago- I could NOT take care of him and he was horrid and mean. A few weeks ago - another flashback, set off by his own words - and he hasn't stopped yet. He only cares about himself. I do not believe asking one to care under these circumstances is asking too much.

In the last two weeks he has requested that I meet him out twice and rekindle things. I refuse. I feel bad about refusing because I hate to hurt him. But I simply cannot put myself in harms way anymore. He is a bulldozer. I guess I am angry because I had hopes and dreams surrounding him, but because he would not address his own garbage, my dreams went up in smoke. I'm mad because he had my fidelity and never recognized it. It was wasted on him. I'm mad because we were never able to move into true intimacy because he has so many walls up that he'd create problems anytime there was the slightest closeness. I'm hurt and I'm angry.

I realize that it is my own dependency issues that created a situation where I fed into his behavior. I had no boundaries from the beginning. I would accept his emotions as accurate and try to fix things, even if inside I was extremely uncomfortable.

A year and a half ago I met a gentleman named Mr. Friend. Mr. Friend was dating my then soon to be divorced sister-in-law who lives about an hour and a half from me. That was my then connection to Mr. Friend. Mr. Friend is seven or eight years younger than my father. He's a lot of fun, down to earth, compassionate, out going and extremely energetic. Some say he is very good-looking. I have always viewed him as family because of how I came to be connected to him so I have never looked at him in that way. He's simply my friend.

Well, as Mr. Boyfriend went on his ups and downs and I began the roller coaster rides of break-ups, I hung out with Mr. Friend and his friends - all of whom were a lot older than me. I had only a couple female friends - all of whom were married and had other things going on during the weekends I had free. I am an extrovert. I wanted to go out and be around people. Mr. Boyfriend would pitch a fit about whatever it was he felt like pitching a fit about at the time - to create, drama, chaos, intensity...whatever, and off I'd go with Mr. Friend. Mr. Boyfriend was jealous.

To be honest, I was in a no win situation. Mr. Boyfriend had a way of making whatever I did wrong. I am angry about this. If I went out with Mr. Friend, it was wrong. If I went out by myself, I was lying. Later as I developed female friends, if I went out with THEM, I was out trolling for men. I literally could not win. The only way I was in good stead with Mr. Boyfrined was if I was with HIM, and he would cause problems so that I could not be. And then HE would go out by himself, tell me he only talked to men, and be all self-rightous.

I realize now what a crock of shit this is. But I got caught in it anyway. And as time moved on and our break-ups lasted longer, my co-dependency/self-asteem issues seriously reared their ugly head. And I began to talk to other men in a way which was not strictly friendship. Mr. Friend was never one of these people. I collected a few cards.

Through therapy I realized that by doing this I was accepting Mr. Boyfriends rejection of myself, of my feelings, as gospel. I would pass judgement on my own feelings for him based on what he said they were worth. I was not valuing myself. I would call my feelings junk - BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT HE SAID- and try to throw them out and move on. I could never do so, not really.

But I tried. Once I realized what I was doing - and this was through therapy - I quit. This change was wasted on Mr. Boyfriend. He continued to break-up, accuse me of cheating, be obsessed with other men. So afraid of getting hurt that he hurt himself continually. I endured this, believing somehow that I was a better person because I was waiting for him to "get better".

Until one day I realized that it isn't my responsibility to wait for him. And I asked myself what I was getting out of waiting for him - self worth? Self asteem? What? And it was. I believed it showed integrity. Then I realized what bull-shit that was. I am to waste my life waiting for someone who so obviously does not want to get healthy because of my integrity? At some point, I need to be important to me. I obviously wasn't important to HIM, What the hell was I doing? Why was I again sacrificing myself for my "integrity"? What was integrity anyway? Isn't there integrity in taking care of yourself?

Why, yes. Yes, there is. And off I went. I began to let go. One of the counselors asked me what my life was going to look like now that Mr. Boyfriend wasn't in it. I said that it was pretty much going to look the same. I developed numerous friends despite him. I could renew my friendship with Mr. Friend - as it had bothered Mr. Boyfriend so much that I had stayed away from him. I'm not doing that anymore. Mr. Friend is in for keeps. Period. Because Mr. Friend has always been my friend and Mr. Boyfriend quite obviously is NOT. He does not even behave as if I'm human.

I am angry at him. He played games. Messed with my head. And yes, damnit. I allowed it. And no, I don't think he knows how to do anything different - and YES, his thought process and behavior are very BIZARRE. But when we began he was my friend. When we switched from friendship to dating he changed. Women are evil, you know. They cheat and lie and can't be trusted. Weird and strange. But real for him. Constantly compared to some imaginary perfect woman, I failed to measure up. I ALLOWED THIS. My need for validation from him was so strong that I allowed this and stayed waiting for the crumbs of external validation he might hand me now and again.

And then I began to validate myself. I learned, through my friendships with my female friends what true friendship is. That it can be work. That it is a two way street. That it isn't attacking and ripping and tearing apart each other - instead it is nurturing and loving and supporting and communicating. Being respectful.

And Mr. Boyfriends crap became more ridiculous - less tolerable.

Until one day, his horrid words sent me into a flashback from the ex - it lasted four hours and was absolutely horrible. And I realized that he was not going to care for me. He was incapable of being my friend. I realized that I had better damn well be my own friend and protect myself. And I put up walls between he and I. I have seen him one time since, where he was nice, but within an hour of leaving me he was all turned around again. It's impossible to keep up with his emotional hysteria and I completely quit trying. And I do not want to be on the receiving end of it anymore.

And so I enjoy my children, my job, my friends. I enjoy all that God has given me. I move forward. I have learned a great deal and I will continue with therapy and hope for a better relationship next time - because I will LEARN what my role is in all of this. I will learn to treat myself better, with more repect. To think of myelf as valuable in and of myself - not strictly based on what others think.

My faith, again, has played a role in this. God doesn't make junk. Someone treating me like junk is an insult to God. It makes him angry. He doesn't like it. He expects me to respect that and make sure that those around me care for me in a way in which he would approve. He understands that we are human and screw up. But overall, we must care for each other - and that is not simply that I should care for others, but that I should accept no less than that from other people.

And so it goes. These things have been heavy on my mind today. Now I am off to work.


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