Not Funny

Sometimes, many times, I have made fun of myself and my relationship situation. I’ve flippantly remarked, “oh, it’s ten a.m.and only two of my boyfriends have messaged me.” I’ve reveled in a certain amount of restlessness and  have taken on a strong woman stance of, “it’s my choice” and people close to me know that I have no trouble getting dates and getting taken OUT…to really nice restaurants, for $18 cocktails, on trips, etc. I have also been gifted with some really sweet things…flowers, chocolate, dulse and yerba mate from a hip farmer’s market. But most of my relationships have been some riff on the theme, “he’s just not that into you”, with the last relationship I thought I had being devastating in the way awareness and awakening came crashing down on me. It doesn’t matter how pretty, clever, charming, opinionated, or vapid I make myself.

So now I am left with two conflicting states: I have a need, a very valid, very real need, for a partner, a friend, a kick-ass exciting lover; someone who is genuinely interested in me. I’ve had people like this but not really. One who professed his love for me was not interested in any sort of partnership. I know myself. As unconventional as I am, I would get incredibly bored being an eternal date or affair. Relationships deepen with the sharing of LIFE. I don’t want a surface affair.

Parts of me judges that for being too needy, or picky, or demanding, or not being able to accept men in their 40’s who tend to be even more unsettled than I am, and really, don’t believe in themselves so how can they believe in an “us”?

I want some measure of security…I want to be assured of a man’s interest and I don’t trust that it will happen, and that I am somehow defective for not capturing it the proper way. The truth is closer to the middle. Yes, I am not choosing wisely, and there are also a lot of wounded men out there who don’t have anything figured out.

What conflicts with that need is my feeling completely inept when it comes to relationships. Relationships are often a dance, and a scary one. When I feel my partner pulling away, I have little tolerance for that and want to run, run, run far away so I do not have to face yet another rejection. I don’t know how to be or what to do in relationship and I second guess myself. Rather than hazard revealing my true wishes or vulnerability, I will seek attention elsewhere or do my own running away. And I know that even when one has experienced deep trauma, healing comes when we are connected and loved. Sometimes I wonder if I am asking too much to have someone WANT me, just want me. I can want myself, I can give that to myself, but I still want to be wanted and loved.

I don’t know how to do this, or what is too much or too little in mitigating the flow of emotions and needs and desires…I have learned that men are fragile, flighty, undependable, and even abusive and rejecting. Any whiff of the “wrong” emotion could send them fleeing or raging. So I do my own fleeing, into that immature realm of the attentions of men….it is so easy to get…..but I am the queen of nothing but 3-month “relationships.”

Maybe it is time to take all this sadness, and grief, and loneliness, and pain and pull back from men and just work on my own healing, and really question what kind of man I am attracting.

On Fuck-It Mountain, which is where I flee: to dating sites, to old lovers, to ancient messages that whisper: not good enough, not worthy, inept….on fuck-it mountain there is a tomb. Fuck-It Mountain isn’t just a party place where you act up. It has a graveyard right next to the dance floor. While I’m drinking and flirting and living it up, there is a whole graveyard I can see. These tombstones glow in deepest moonlight and draw me irresistably to them. They rise up in the lonely, introspective songs I listen to and in the words that grip my heart. It is the lonely wail of someone who is isolated by trauma and grief, who can’t seem to touch or be touched, who bows in surrender to these tombs. Here lies what I thought would happen. Here lies where it really was all wrong and where I am still being targeted for hurtful behavior. .Here lies my powerlessness. Here lies all the fucked-up things I learned about men, taught to me by those men. Here lies the string of “He’s just not that into you” lovers.

Always, always, there is a spirit behind what it is we think, say, do, or feel. Behind the anger I profess is a sense of righteousness, but also there are spirits of great grief. Today, those ghosts haunt me so heavily. I am learning to surrender and move through without trying to anesthetize. I have nothing to prove but my grief. How can I deal with someone’s constant hatred and open myself to love at the same time?

Part of me, the gloomy part of me, says maybe I should accept my lonely station in life…the unloved, the unpartnered. I had my chance. I have my four beautiful children. Just be satisfied and leave it at that.

But I’m not satisfied, and after I gaze at these fucking tombstones, I’m going to muster up my hope.


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