Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I'll Hang Around as Long as You Will Let Me

I had this post all written, but somehow Blogger ate it. So here's the recreated version, a mere shadow of the original.

This post is an attempt to make sense of my nonsense. As I wrote it the first time I came around to some insights into myself and my relationships with men. These insights are things that I know, and I know that I know these things, but occasionally I need something to hit me upside the head to remind me. Whack! That's what writing this post did for me. Then Blogger ate it, and to tell you the truth maybe that's a good thing. I think the way it was written could have caused me more problems than I need. Hopefully, I can word things better (like not calling myself a sleazy skanky whore) this go round.

What I've been thinking about, and trying to figure out, has to do with my reactions to three men -- W, J, and BJ. The last 2-3 weeks I've been a big pile of emotions, not all of which made me very proud of myself. I have reacted badly to things that all three of these men have said and/or done.

First, I struggled with W being with Q. I've said over and over that it's just all about N and what impact it has on him. Yes, and denial is more than a river in Egypt. Truth be told I felt like I lost W in a way that I hadn't before. Between Q moving in and me finding out about the financial crater W's dug for himself it became crystal clear to me that there is no possibility of turning back now. It is over -- for real and for good. Even though I've said for the longest time that's what I wanted, and I truly believe we are better without each other than with each other, there's this part of me that wanted, and wants, to still hang on to W and can't quite let go.

Second, I think I reacted to J's email like I did because on some level even though I know that when we're around each other a lot he drives me batty I still can't quite shake the "what could have been" thoughts, and I kind of like having him there for me (and it's been that way since my college days) when I want him there for me. Anyway, part of me was just plain ticked that he could move on and marry #3 rather than pine away for me.

Then the third thing is about BJ. I spent a good part of the last two weekends being peeved at BJ for little things, but mostly it all came down to his feline-like independence and aloofness running afoul of my puppy dog-like clinginess. I want more than anything for this man to want me, to want to spend time with me, to share in my life with me and to let me share in his life with him. Too much of the time I feel like there’s a bubble around him, an invisible barrier that I can’t penetrate. I want him to yearn for me the way I yearn for him, to have spending time with me be a priority for him like it is for me. Instead I get time with him when it suits him and his schedule. If we have a weekend available to us, he’ll spend time doing this and that and sundry things while I wait for him to be ready to spend time with me. I feel like I am forever waiting for it to be my turn to have his attention for a while. Is it a philosophy of “always leave them wanting more”? I don’t know, but I indeed do want more. I want to be his priority even sometimes. I want him to be willing to sacrifice sleeping in just every once in a while to do something that I want to do together. I want him to see me as being as important as a good night’s sleep, and right now I feel like I will never achieve that level of importance to him. I will never ever be anything but second to his desire to sleep late, and no matter how hard I try (and believe me I’ve tried and tried) I can’t seem to let go of the hurt I felt when he refused to come hear me preach at church simply because it was too early in the day for him. I will always be the one to compromise my schedule to fit his. This is my fear. Sometimes I wonder if it is his way of getting back at me for me having N as my number one priority.

Okay, so I put all of these things together along with one of the insights I'd had in my "Weight Weight Don't Tell Me" series of posts where I said "It seemed that nobody could ever give me enough comfort, enough love, enough reassurance to make me feel good about myself. It would be a long time before I would come to the understanding that I had to look inside myself for that, not out to the rest of the world, or the next unlucky guy that asked me out on a date." Here's what I get out of all of this: because I don't feel secure enough in my relationship with BJ I feel a need to grasp at the bits and pieces that other men are out there offering me no matter how little or how inadequate they are. I'm trying to somehow piece together a comfort level for myself, and it simply isn't working for me.

If I were a stronger person it would be easier to turn my back on W and on J, and put my energies only into my relationship with BJ knowing that if it didn't work out in the end that I'd be fine on my own. As it is, I don't feel that I'd be fine on my own so rather than risk ending up on my own if somehow things didn't work out with BJ I cling to whatever small pieces are available to me from others. Now, the ironic thing is that by my very act of clinging to those pieces I could very well push BJ away thereby bringing about the very thing that I'm trying to avoid.

And it all boils down to this -- I need to become more secure in myself, to trust that I can take care of myself and don't need to have a man there to shore me up. Only when I can do that am I going to be any good as a partner for anybody.


Serenity said...

"Too much of the time I feel like there’s a bubble around him, an invisible barrier that I can’t penetrate." Yes there is, for whatever reason. I totally got that too. Is it a dealbreaker? Meh, hard to say.
And your last paragraph hit the nail on the head, sweetie. You gotta live alone for a while, to give yourself that sense of your own abilities. Obviously you're a capable woman, you are a mom after all. Give yourself some credit, but also give yourself the space and time to really feel it deep down.
Ok, lecture over.

Fusion said...

You said alot here True, and you said it well.

Hanging on to what you had, I think alot of us tend to do that with our past relationships, I did it with my wife for years, hoping it would get better...and I'm still doing it even now. I understand that.
What you're going through with BJ, sounds alot like what Drama is going through with K. I don't know, some guys don't get it, on one hand it's good to have separate interests and spend time apart, but when you don't get the chance to spend that much time together, you'd think he would want too, instead of being so aloof...

And like Serenity said, you got it right in that last paragraph and that's something I spent the summer working on myself. Once you're comfortable on your own, and realise Hey, I'm pretty good with just me!, then you're going to be ready to have someone else in your life on equal terms.

Keep up the good thinking there!

HA! my word verf: wyfusn. Why? because I can ;)

Serenity said...

At the risk of sounding like the Armchair Analyst, I don't think the way BJ is, is a choice, i think a guy is born with a certain personality and you can either learn to love it or leave it, but you cannot change it. I learned this over a lot of years with my ex, who although he is not a bad person is such an emotionally closed off man that there is no getting past the wall. Eventually one starts to ask, is it worth the work and feeling isolated all the time? In my case, no, it wasn't. Hence the divorce.

Seeker said...

I have been reading your blog for some time now Trueself and, although our lives are worlds apart in many ways, I am often amazed at how similar we are......

Boy, this particular post made me cry some! Then it made me smile too....... I also am an insecure, quite clingy person. I have been married for 34 years to somebody I really love and who I know adores me - but I have never fully appreciated his desire to follow his own pursuits without me! We have learned, with a bit of give and take, to get along fine though. However...... he is due to retire next year and this has created a bit of conflict! I am looking forward to him being at home with me to hopefully support me a bit in the daily stresses of life with our dyfunctional offspring; I am scared though that he will be wanting to go off and play golf and do all kinds of other things instead - without me! I guess once a clingy person, always a clingy person!

What worries me a bit about your story is whether, behind your clinginess, there lurks a fear that BJ might perhaps actually be wanting to spend some of his time away from you with other women. If I am right, I read you as wanting a monogamous relationship now? If so, don't be prepared to put up with anything else!

Karin's Korner said...

Hang on true, it will get better. Although...Shame on BJ for not going to church to hear you preach, he had to know that it was important to you and sleep just isn't an excuse.

Desmond Jones said...

Well, Truey, I've not got a ton to say here, but I will say that our oldest daughter struggles with having a sense of herself, by herself, without having to reference herself to a man, and what he might or might not think of her. Some days, she sees it clearly, but others, her 'inner whatever' is yakking at her pretty loudly. . .

And for what it's worth, I struggled with the same thing when I was younger, with both of my pre-Molly GFs.

But, that sense of yourself, for yourself, really is the key essential ingredient for healthy, adult relationships. And absolutely worth going after.

So, that's my $0.02 worth of encouragement to you (and worth every bit of that, I'm sure. . .)

Trueself said...

Serenity - Thank you. I need to hear that occasionally (the part about being a capable woman) because I don't always believe it.

Fuse - Hopefully the good thinking can lead to good action. We shall see. . .

Serenity - I don't think it's a choice either. I believe him when he says he doesn't know how to be different.

Seeker - Yes, I definitely prefer monogamy. Yes, I worry (a little) that he might hide another relationship behind his independence. No, I won't settle for less that monogamy at this point even if that makes me a total hypocrite given my past.

Karin - Well, that's how I felt about the preaching thing, but he sees it differently.

Des - My "inner whatever" (is that a technical term?) seems to work overtime a lot.

Your input is always welcome and well worth more than 2 cents. However, due to current economic conditions I regret to inform you that you shouldn't wait by the mailbox looking for payment. ;-)

Drama said...

Oh Girlfriend...I could have written this entire post but just change some of the names. I'm right there with you. I know it's happening and I know what I need to do to fix it but how long will it take to get there? I just keep holding on and working towards being a better and stronger me. Fuse hit the nail on the head, your situation in some ways (not all...) is similar to mine with K. It sucks, it's nervewracking. I want to be aloof and independent and semi-uncaring. I try, I really do. Does it work? Nope.

I'm here if you need to talk...


kimba said...

I missed something..? we are talking to serenity like she is normal, now?? And on matters of BJ no less???

Trueself said...

Drama - Thanks girlfriend. I know you understand all too well. {{HUGS}} back atcha.

Kimba - Yeah, BFFs