Stalled in dreamland

So, it’s been a long time since I posted on this blog.  My father passed on in 2014, the same weekend my cat got run over.  Hmmm.  The protagonist in these writings (other than myself) has shown up less frequently as the years have moved along but he’s still out there.

Since moving to my mothers house, with the intention of free rent and looking after her (I’m an only child after all, and she is getting on), he had also kept his own mothers abode as his permanent, at least on paper, address.  We have kept a semi friendly connection but he finally took about 90% of the hint that it wasn’t a great idea to see much of me.  He would text or call the odd time and want to have tea and a visit but when I did concede to a visit, it was always a little hard to get him to go home (like the last few years of our coupling).  This would actually force me to be a little rude and he knew that made me uncomfortable but what else do you do when someone just refuses to read the room?

Fast forward October 2019.  My girlfriend was in town for a visit from England and was staying with his mother.  This girlfriend, Debbie, was the person who actually introduced me to him (Mark) in the first place.  In 1981, when her and I lived together, she met Mark and they became a couple. She moved in with him at his mother’s acreage and his mother became like Debbie’s second mother.  This relationship still stands, and through the years and the miles, Debbie and Bea (Marks mother) have remained close, like mother and daughter.  Debbie and Mark remained friends as well, but mostly because of her relationship with his mother, so it wasn’t a close friendship.  Long story short, she thought she would surprise Mark, so she invited me over and then called him to invite him (without him knowing I was there of course).  He was pretty much over the moon to be with his “favourite girls” again, even though the visit was very casual and drama free.  We caught up and it was ok.  Talking with Deb over the phone a couple of days later, she told me that after I left he expressed how unfair it was that I got to walk around all “unburdened” about kicking him to the curb essentially, while he was still in pain over the breakup.  In another post, I may go back and give you the sad details of his narcissism and abuse, along with my failure to see through my complete liberation of this relationship.  It wasn’t all bad though, you know.  It had to have good parts; enough to keep me seeing it through (plus fear of ending it altogether of course).  That was the last time I saw him until…

He called me up in June to stop by for a visit and to collect something of his that was still at my house.  Perhaps a couple of weeks prior to this, I had texted him with the news of the death of one of our mutual friends.  During this text conversation, he let slip that he was only living at his mothers part time and the other time at his girlfriends farm.  What?  Oh hallelujah I thought, yaaaay someone else has him now and I don’t have to think about him still holding on to me!!!!

So, I got to meet the new gal in June when he brought her with him.  A nice enough visit and, even though it did feel kind of weird seeing him with someone else after years of him clinging to ME, I felt quite good that it didn’t spark any feelings of jealousy or sadness of any kind within me.  Plus, it was a bonus that he was living on a farm a good 3 hours away.

Of course, my unconscious mind was apparently still playing things out and letting me know that somewhere he still lived inside me, or parts of him did, or parts of me and him together.  Not that I have renewed feelings for him, no.  But I did have some dreams.  I did have more thoughts of him.  Not necessarily fantasy thoughts, more just like I felt his presence again.  I thought about our life together, those 15 or more years.  This has subsided, but his ghost IS still occupying a room or two.  And he shows up in my dreams from time to time.

I am still single, and I feel good to be!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water

Ok, so i managed to get rid of the boyfriend I was playing all my issues out with.  Not that I became free of issues, but I knew I needed space to get enough distance to be alone and get to know myself.  I couldn’t get enough balance with him hanging about all the time.  I had no time to just be with me and grow that relationship.  I wasn’t interested in another man, I figured it was too soon in my new single life and I wasn’t ready; probably would attract the same old type anyway at this stage in the game.  But then, the friends with benefits situation pops up….ok, confusing!!!  Depressing and disheartening even.

Without the intimacy of love and romance you just feel used and uncherished. And the easy going friendship with “friend” gets weird and awkward. And then there’s the perception of being a cougar – oh please spare me that! Is there anything more cheesy and cliche than “cougar”; a woman past her prime just ever so proud of herself that she’s hunted down and is found attractive by some young stud? YUK.
The things that come to you after spending time apart; not so much revelations but feelings you did not expect or thought were over that resurface. I found that I was still in love with him. Not the present day him, but the him of courtship and a little past that. I realized I WAS IN LOVE WITH A GHOST! This is perhaps why I was disinterested in every other prospect that came along. They could just not live up to THE GHOST.

Attracting an Unhealthy Relationship

Have you ever had the experience where you’re in a relationship that is destructive and your friends ask you why you’re with him? And you shoot straight from the hip with the usual answer of “I don’t know” or “I love him”. LAME! First off, “I don’t know” is not an answer and secondly you know damn well that what you’re feeling is not really love. It may be obsession, or fear, or need or even affection for the most part, but it’s not LOVE – not in the true sense.
There is no way in hell you can answer this question with one statement and when you start to think of why you really are with him, it’s so confusing and convoluted you don’t even know where to start. It’s a mess and a mass of entangled webs. Insights may come in spurts but when you try to follow the thread, it shoots off in many directions like being on YouTube and never being able to stop clicking on the next link. They seem to go on forever. STOP. KISS (keep it simple stupid) and begin at the beginning. Like starting the massive clean in your huge shitted up house, one room at a time.
I would say to you women out there, what was the relationship like with your father? Or perhaps your mother, but usually it’s the opposite sex parent. Was he emotionally unavailable? Was he abusive? Were you his little princess or his dashed dream of a linebacker? Did he even know you existed? I have found that, in my case, the relationship with my father was key to why I was so damned attracted to the boyfriend who made my life a roller coaster of thrills and spills, mostly spills.
God (or whatever) really is ironic and paradoxical and the answers you seek are never easy to find. They’re not apparent. If they were, you would have run for the hills the first time you laid your eyes on your future ex. He won’t come as an angel of darkness (unless this floats your boat) but rather an angel of light come to make it all alright, to “complete” you (YUCK). He’ll fix all your little nasties and heal all your little hurties.
They say circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him. After the honeymoon, time will bear this out.
For the first 3 months, you NEVER argued then as time passes, all you DO is argue. In the highly dysfunctional relationship, these arguments are never resolved; it’s always a Mexican standoff. Come on, it’s like a couple of 7 year olds. All the things you once found so charming (isn’t it cute how he refuses to give in to me? Just what I need, I LIKE that) are now his worst attributes. It goes from “Isn’t he sexy playing that guitar? It’s like having my very own rock star.” to “Will you put that fucking thing down and pay some attention to me???”
You are the one you have to look at. You are the one you need to love first. I remember hearing that statement, you know the one….”No-one will love you if you don’t love yourself first”. I’d like to amend it to, “Someone will love you just the way you love yourself.” If that love is mixed up with fear and self loathing, then you’ll get that too. You’ll get it all. I know I did, for almost 15 years. He was my father, lover and child all in one. It’s hard to unhook from such important persona’s.
It was a very long road to the final break. If I wasn’t pissed off at him, I was feeling sorry for him. I did realize at some point that I wasn’t going to change him. The change had to happen with me. I made enough adjustments within myself to make the break but that was just the beginning. I have not completely healed, far from it. I realized this with much disappointment and discouragement a few weeks later.

I’m 60, I’m single….YIKES, now what?

I’m single because it took me 15 years to wake up to the fact that my relationship was NOT ever going to be “healthy” and I was never going to CHANGE him.  I knew that, I’m not stupid but I was willing to believe the illusion.  Yes, I am apparently a slow learner.  Yes, I was lazy and comfortable enough; I didn’t have to do a lot to nourish it myself.  I see now that Madonna (or was it Ghandi?) who was right and said “we must be the change we want to see in the world.”

I knew that “intellectually” but didn’t apply it to myself.  I just coasted and put it off to the default future that would happen all on it’s own. I was afraid to be truly proactive.  I just thought that if I nagged and whined and complained and was hell to live with enough, then he would leave on his own accord.  No chancee.  Because HE had it just good enough, he ALSO stayed.  It was easier than changing his life.  It was easier than changing my life, so I let him stay….and stay…and stay.  It was like what Kylie Minogue (or was it Erasmus?) said, “Better to live with the devil you know, than the angel you don’t know.”  At least it’s familiar, feels terra firma….enough.

So what changed?  What was the tipping point?  I can let you in on a little secret, no matter if you’re 18, 20, or older like me.  It’s simple but not EASY (unless you decide).  Take it from me, more to follow, you follow?