I got an email from someone I once loved last night. She actually sent it to me a day or two ago, but I didn’t see it until last night. It was vicious. It was cruel. It was lies. Written by someone who thinks she knows things, but doesn’t. Answering her carefully was hard, because there were things I could tell her, information I could hand to her that would break her. And the one thing I don’t want to do right now is to break anyone else more than they’re already broken or more than I have to. I am already broken enough myself, and I am tired of being broken and breaking others. Go live your life, be who you want to be, think the things you want to think, believe the pretty lies you need to believe to make it from one day to the next. But stop hurting me, because I never wanted to hurt you.
But then. We all do things to each other that hurt. Right? Hurt people hurt people…is that how the saying goes? We fall in love, and then when our mind clears we finally see what we’ve really got, and then we have to make some big, hard choices. We start friendships and then realize, somewhere along the way, it’s not a good friendship for various different reasons. And then we have to make some big, hard choices. We choose relationships based on mutual compatability and life goals but never feel an attraction for the other person, and then we start to long to have it all: compatability, life goals, attraction, real and true love not blinded by infatuation.
Love is hard. Love is messy. Love is work. Constant work. Love doesn’t have a straight path, and there are people in the world you will love with all of your heart who you can’t stay with for whatever reason. I find this to be true about some friendships as well. Overwhelming. Too much. I love C with all of my heart, and Miss M cries a lot and wants us to be a family again. When I’m at his house (which he refuses to call his house, it’s THE house, or OUR house, and this is heartbreaking for me), she puts our hands together to make us hold hands. And we both let her, and we both sit holding hands. Me, because his hand is big and warm and safe and comfortable. Him, because…I don’t know why C holds my hand, actually, after all I’ve done to him.
But when we operate as a family, sometimes I can’t breathe. Breathing on my own is more painful, though, too. Lonely. Hard. I guess we all choose our life poisons, the ones we think we can live with.
I’m starting to get how this all really works. Don’t be too honest; people judge you for it. In talking with C about some life leaps I’m considering making, one of his pieces of advice (and C gives really, really good advice for all of his other issues) was: outwardly keep it positive. At all times.
It’s not the first time someone has said this to me. I’ve had men tell me the reason I can’t find a man is because I’m too negative; men want to feel wanted and they want to be around happy, positive women. (And one Twitter racist said it’s because I’ve had an interracial relationship and a biracial child.) Of course the Twitter racist is a crazed liar, but the other men might just be right. Men want to feel wanted. Men like to feel adored. Men like to be the center of attention. Men like to know they are masters of the universe, even if their universe is very small.
And I’m so very good at this, actually, making a man feel like he’s loved and adored. Until I get little back. And then I go into this dark, WTF place and the resentment grows and it builds and it consumes me until it spills over and I’ve had enough. People are lakes; you cannot keep water in a lake without rain to refill it. Right now, I’m a dry lake bed, dear Reader(s). A very, very dry lake bed.
You know where I know absolutely I can go get some rain? From C. I can go over to my old house right now, sit on his uncomfortable, grey couch with Miss M between us making us hold hands and I can leave with about an inch of water in me. But if I go live with him, I’ll be dry again within a year. It’s a hard place to be, because lakes are very serene places but also lonely.
I was also told I value men friendships over women friendships. Maybe. Maybe because men feel safer to me. Even though they very often drain me dry. Women will uplift you and remind you you’re a whole person worthy of love. But a man will hold you and keep you safe and fix your blinds when you can’t and brush your hair from your face and make you feel beautiful. And my priorities have always been a mess. Just like me. So maybe I do.
Going to spend some time offline thinking about that, a lot, while I get my apartment cleaned up and try to reassemble my life. And thank you to that person for reminding me how vicious people can be. (Private note to her: just because someone says: I can’t do this anymore, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all their heart and wish it were different. It just means: I can’t. That’s all it means. We all have our own little childish insecurities that blind us to what’s really going on.)