wanna hear a story? miss m is at her dad’s this week, i’m eating shrimp and drinking chardonnay, and so i have some time. also, i got my last 30 minute observation of the year today. for reasons i can’t/won’t go into publicly, i do not think i did well at all. my confidence has been completely shaken at the school i’m at now. i will say that. i know i’m a good teacher, but i’m tired and insecure y’all. real tired, and for various reasons professional and personal, just have not brought my A-game to the table this year at all (and i DO have A-game). and just…bleh. so i’ll take what i got and just roll with the punches at this point.
i also want to quickly vent about something that happened last month that really ticked me off: hey, yo, don’t email someone a happy birthday wish after telling them you want to stay friendly with them and then ignore them when they tell you good news about themselves. you look like an ass and confirm for that person they were right to be a big ole jerkface to you – you look like you were using them and just wanted to test the waters to see if they still think you were a butthead. well, no…until you didn’t even respond to their good news. NOW you’re truly a butthead.
i’m real sweet, but some of you MFers out there make me question whether or not that’s a good thing to be some days.
okay. that’s done. story time.
did i ever tell you guys that c and i separated in 2007? we got married in 2006, and i guess we both got married to each other because we did and do love each other, but also he wanted to make sure i didn’t go anywhere (i kind of sort of let him know: hey, yo, you are not the only man in the world who may want this piece o’ vanilla cake) and i married him because i mean, i wanted a party…and security (for insurance purposes)…and if anything happened to either of us, nobody could swoop in and lay legal claims and stuff. other than that, marriage is really pretty worthless. just live together – seriously, it’s the same thing.
after being married from july 2006-to about february 2007, i realized: marriage doesn’t change a damn thing. seriously, it’s just like living together only now it’s legal and you can have power of attorney i guess. and you can put each other on your insurances, whoever has the best one. if the person is still a butthead or a basket case or a jerk face or lazy or psycho or refuses to fold laundry and just basically has their entire closet strewn across the bedroom floor? none of that changes after a wedding and/or a party. it just doesn’t.
so we separated. i actually moved into the same apartment complex miss m and i currently live in. and i can look out of my living room window and see the building i lived in, for 7 months, right across from us. it’s a good, solid reminder of how the more we try to avoid fixing our issues, the more they keep repeating themselves as learning-growth opportunities. i think that’s a jungian concept.
so c and i were apart, and i was mad. i mean i was FURIOUS. i spent a lot of time stewing about how i am a goddamned CATCH (i’d say to myself, often). i am cute and nice and i have a master’s degree and doggone people like me!!! (sound familiar? i am living proof of 9/10 of carl jung’s theories about psyche growth and management are probably true.)
i met a man from australia. he was here for 6 weeks, on a work project. married. three boys. all little, under the age of 8. his wife sent a video of his youngest boy turning 1. even helped him shop for toys and presents to take back to australia.
i’m not proud of what i did. do i feel like a floozie? kinda. but at the time i was in the situation, i was getting a long sob story about how he was treated horribly at home; he was rarely loved and rarely paid attention to…read between those lines, this is going to be a PG-rated entry. and, me, being a codependent pisces girl, of course went: oooh! PROJECT! i can fix THIS. and so i justified what i was doing…this chick didn’t appreciate her man? i would. (that’s how codependent pisces girls think…we also think that way while standing in line at grocery stores to check out: that woman in front of me doesn’t have her crap together? watch THIS supermarket! I’M your most awesome customer!…no joke, it’s really important to us to make other people’s lives happier and easier.)
by the time he went back to australia, i thought i loved him. (i did not love him – i loved the idea of him…there’s a difference.) and i was just beside myself in grief. i would never ever see him again. woe is me. but lo! behold! what was this? why romeo did NOT want to lose his vixen juliet! we had skype, and email, and myspace (oh, the days of myspace). we constantly talked, because he worked from home. and so as i was getting ready for bed, he was starting his day and we’d skype or email. still having a “relationship” but from afar. quite romantic. i’m sure shakespeare would approve.
only problem: i didn’t get it. i didn’t get my aussie romeo wanted his vanilla cake AND his chocolate cake at home. at home, he was a family man and loved his kids with all of him. wife worked, helped pay the bills. occasionally loved on him, but mostly took care of the kids, the house, the bills, etc and so forth. meanwhile, he had an american juliet who was convinced he was UH-mazing, and his chocolate cake was so selfish and dumb not to see that he was her cherry on top.
he cast me in several compartmentalized roles: sometimes i was his sweet, tall tart vixen, there for his personal candy shop pleasures. other times i was his really cool mate, which is aussie for friend, which is like how they call shrimps “prawns,” but friendlier because they don’t put you on a barbie and grill you (theoretically). and occasionally his guilt and sadness would get to him and i’d be his psychotherapist, there to heal his psychic wounds. (pisces girls…y’all. we eat that shit UP, man.)
meanwhile, i was desperate to see him again. but how does one do that when you are juliet and your romeo is literally on the other side of the world? not even in the same season? or even the same date for like 2-3 hours every day? but then! plot twist! suddenly, his company sent him back to america! for 3 weeks! but to kansas city. alas. no worries! there are planes! i could take one! i started scheming how to pay for a ticket, how to surprise him, how to see him in person one more time. our destiny would be fulfilled.
and then his guilt complex got to him. he emailed me, drunk, one night to cry on my inbox shoulder about a sports bar waitress he’d met and had gotten physical with. wasn’t he an awful person? shouldn’t he just throw himself off a kansas city building and end his pain?
and you know what i told him?
YES. yes, you are an awful person, and yes. please go find the tallest building in kansas city right this very second and hurl yourself to the concrete. have a nice life, asshole.
he was infuriated! offended! i was NOT. On. Script.
then i dated two more men, one potentially abusive but i didn’t let him in far enough or long enough to find out if that theory was correct or not, and one with men’s rights entitlement issues that made my future stalker’s behavior oh so very familiar to me. at which point i went: oh, screw THIS crazy…and went back to c, promptly getting pregnant with miss m. but those problems, guys. problems between couples are real hard to fix. even when you get married. even when you reconcile. even after you have a baby. problems are called problems because, well, they’re PROBLEMS. i’d always tell people: i can’t believe he took me back; i wouldn’t have taken me back...but then, this is one of c’s problems he maybe needs to explore. maybe. he may be like, eh, screw it i am what i am. i know i’m kinda getting to that point myself some days.
you know why i went off script with the aussie guy, internet? because i’d had it. i was tired of being someone else’s convenience, someone else’s chew toy, someone else’s comfy and sure go-to strategy. that is just no way to live, i assure you…particularly any ladies who may be reading this.
i’m telling you all this story because i’m about to take a big leap of faith and do something not totally different with my life yet something very very new that’s scary to me. and so i’m starting to comb through the areas where i feel the least fulfilled, places i’m starting to ask myself questions like: “does this serve me?” and “is this good to have or hold on to?” and “where is this leading me, eventually?” i’ve asked these questions periodically in the time period c and i have been separated, since june of 2015, and most of the time you know what the answer has been to the first two questions? NO. and to the last question, where is this leading me? NOWHERE AWESOME.
one of the things i’ve been thinking about (and god, pleeeeeease don’t tell him and let’s all pray he’s dead or moved on finally) is the man who stalked me: married. unhappy. on the hunt for the perfect woman to fill all his massive voids. not willing to give up his family life. had a typical sob story: claimed his wife would hurt herself (so what? let her…why is another adult’s choices YOUR responsibility?) and there i was, feeding into it again. what was it/is it about me that causes this to happen? is it boundaries? is it self-confidence? self-hatred? why, as soon as i found out his living/home situation, did i not say: bye, felipe…don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya. (and the rest is history…drug addicts – they don’t like their supplies yanked away.)
i don’t have answers for why i embarked down that F-ed up road again. maybe it was my sad home life too. maybe it was fear about the leap i was taking at that point in my life. maybe it was just me repeating jungian subconscious patterns, meeting past versions of myself over and over again, my inner being trying, desperately, to make at least a B- or high C on this quiz.
here’s what i can tell you (ladies) about married/taken men: it’s sad. you know why? because they get all their needs met, and you get very little of yours met. particularly single women, i think they look at us as golden opportunities; we’re coming out of divorces or whatever, and so we don’t want a family. we don’t want marriage….marriage?! ew!! we love our alone time. but guess what, chick? while you’re enjoying your alone time – paying bills, cleaning, doing laundry, fixing your own damn broken household whatever, raising a child by yourself…they’re off enjoying family time or date night at the movies with the woman they REALLY want. you’re just the side piece of ass, a convenient place for their egos to feel better.
it’s just no way to live.
because they always go home. they go home to someone else. they will never choose YOU. they don’t want YOU. they want what you offer them. and they’ll take and take what you offer, and then you get to sit back and watch them choose someone else over and over. they’ll take that person out to dinner, buy them birthday presents, tell the world how deeply in love with them they are. it makes your self-respect plummet like a 5,000 lb steel anvil dropped from the heavens into the Grand Canyon. just plummet. and guess what? it’s 2017. social media just makes it worse.
i’m at a point in my life i’ve been invalidated, controlled, let down, and stepped on juuuuust enough that i’m finally ready to love ME. i got a lotta love for many many people in my life, sometimes even coworkers who don’t necessarily deserve it (no coworkers who are reading this, i assure you…i know who you are). but i haven’t always really loved – or believed in – ME. and after today, after i got observed today and felt like: wow, that was crap, what i did there…hope she found something decent to say about that mess, i thought: why don’t i believe in me? why don’t i love ME? why do i give my love to people who are broken and damaged beyond repair? why do i accept less than what *I* deserve? why can’t i get up at 5 AM and just get on with my day and not even THINK about people and things that aren’t serving me?
just some things that have kept me awake over the last few nights. thoughts i’m thinking. realizations i’m realizing. people don’t really change; messy people stay messy. i will always, always, ALWAYS be a mess. but i am MY mess, and my mess is pretty freaking a-okay compared to other people’s. i don’t intentionally hurt other people. i don’t stalk and harass people to get them to love me or do what i want. i don’t tweet out crazy things that might make other countries want to blow us up. i give, over-give, to people i put in my heart.
what i’m trying to do these days is build boundaries. traditionally, i’m an expert wall-builder. daughter of a mason, you know. we’re excellent at it. but walls are bad, because they keep the good people out. boundaries are flexible…force shields of love, i’m starting to think of them: no, you may not do this to me anymore…but yes, i will accept you as is and love you nonetheless. that kind of thinking.
i’m working on it. i’ll get there. 2018. i’m setting my sights on 2018 as THE year carl jung’s ghost comes to me holding Obe Wan Kenobe’s and Yoda’s hands going, “You were never a committee.” (That’s a take on a Princess Leia quote…go look it up.)