the what i want bit
I mentioned earlier that this past week has been a week of learning what I want, professionally. Well, that’s been true of the last six months, too, in terms of my personal life…especially when it comes to love.
I’m at a point where I know what I want–a solid, stable, awesome relationship that leads to marriage and babies…if that’s still a possibility. I feel like I’m ready for it–even the baby thing–though I’d like to not live with roommates when that finally happens.
But I have some dilemmas and thoughts and etc that are making that finding a suitable mate thing difficult. When I was in Denver, it was the fact that I was leaving. Out here–it’s the fact that I’m probably not staying. I really don’t know how long I’ll be here. And I don’t really make a ton of money, so it’s not really a place I want to stay in for long. Raising a family out here isn’t what I want. That’s for damn sure.
But this time in my life has also meant living with a couple for the first time since my parents were alive. Which is odd in SO MANY ways especially because one of the parties is an ex who has basically been my bratty brother for a long time.
I’m an observer. It’s what I do. I see things, note them, then reflect on them. I’ve seen a lot of things that have highlighted for me things I’ve seen in other couples–including my parents during my childhood.
It’s really, really opened my eyes to dysfunctional behaviors–particularly codependency and how toxic it is. I’ve been able to recognize the patterns in myself and reject them wholeheartedly. As a result, I’ve found most of my friendships are much stronger–and the thing I’ve struggled with most of my life? Boundaries. Well, they’re easier.
And it’s made me reflect on love, in general and in particular.
I don’t really have any malice toward any of my exes anymore. Even the one who stole my identity and did other horrible things. I don’t even have malice for the Canadian. I hate what he did and what he continues to do, but he’s a non-starter for me. Some exes, I’ve made relative peace with, despite circumstances I once thought impossible to forgive. None of them–except my roommate–are people I really speak to. And I’m alright with that.
But here’s the thing…I wonder–often–why…HOW…am I so alright with that?
A few things to know about me…I love super hard. Often dysfunctionally. I’m too loyal. Too forgiving. When I let someone in, they’re usually in forever…no matter what shit they’ve done to me. It may be weird. It may be painful. It may be awkward. But I’m always me with them. Even when they’re not them. Even when we’re not us. And those things still exist. Because for each of us, we will always be the person we were–with them–to them–no matter how much they change or we change or it changes. And the relationship evolves too–but remains what it was as well–sort of locked in some time capsule of memory. You either acknowledge that–or you don’t. And it’s harder when one does and the other doesn’t. I used to get frustrated with this. I used to try to drag them to where I was. Force the issue. Poke the Hell out of them to be REAL, for God’s sake. Now, I shrug and accept what it is: not mine.
And witnessing coupledom up-close for the last few months–I’ve figured something out–something I knew when it happened. Something I felt guilty for knowing and saying aloud. Something that I was still angry enough to use as a maiming tool rather than just embrace as the God’s honest truth.
When things end, there are times when it’s easy to admit. Like with the Canadian–I just didn’t love him. I wanted to love him more than I actually did. And while I think he loved me the first time–he definitely didn’t the second time. I was just something to do. And that’s why it was easy for him to lie–to do what he did. And that’s why that boundary I pulled up was easy to enforce. And why I was more angry than hurt by anything he did. Because truthfully–oh, well–onward.
But then there are the relationships that mean more–that never got to really be what they could have been. Those are the ones that stung most for me. The ones where I had hunches about what happened, but those who had the answers iced me out for reasons unknown to me–that took me years to either accept or figure out on my own. In my search for answers–in my hurt–I often discovered this question–was it actually love?
And bitterly, often, I would proclaim it wasn’t. And then later acknowledge it was. Until recently, when I started thinking about how okay I was with not remembering their birthdays. How okay I was with not sharing major news with them.
Because I’m not one to give up on people or let them go, really. But I actually really have. I don’t even really care if they’re having good lives. Not really. And maybe it’s because they pushed me out of theirs and probably don’t care if my life is good either. But even that–which should feel hurtful–fucking isn’t.
They were mistakes. Regrets. Like TFA. Things I thought I was sure about–things I thought were written in my soul–but things that felt bad and abusive. And can something actually be love when it batters you?
That was the thing I always had a hard time with. Reconciling how people who said they loved me could just erase me. I don’t operate like that. And the fact that I can erase them now too says less about healing and more about what we had, I think.
And it honestly makes it hard to date right now. While I know how to love, I think, and am way better at it than I was–and know what I need…I also see all the stuff that isn’t healthy or good. And I wonder: because of how I was taught to love, am I doomed (haha) to never find a love that actually stays? Because last year–I went after it wholeheartedly–and was clean on my end…felt actual things–and still found liars and cheats. And I was strong enough to end it before it mattered.
So is it just not out there for me? Do I need to work on me more? Which hey–sure–probably. But how much more because nothing has changed even though I have changed so much?
I don’t date anymore really because of the reasons I mentioned early on. About here. But even if here was forever–I don’t know that I would either. I can love. Am capable of it. But it doesn’t stay. It’s isn’t honorable or healthy. Even when I am impeccable with both. It’s not a me problem, I don’t think–and I usually blame myself–so that’s something.
As far as the whole have I loved anyone thing goes–I loved them in the ways I could–and vice versa–no shade. But it wasn’t my definition of love now. It was a sad replica of it.
And I guess I’m alright with that, too.
I know that sounds pretty cynical, but it’s true. Anything I actually love has claw marks on it. And that’s none of my exes. No love based in disrespect and being less than truthful is actually real.
So, I guess all of this is just to say–I want the real thing. And I haven’t had it. But I’ve been ready for it–for a long time. But maybe the Universe doesn’t think so. I’m not about to try to prove shit anymore though. That worth thing I talked about before? Well, it seems like I’m finding it.