Every now and again, I will post something that’s circling around in my mind (the voices can get active and push me to the keyboard). It may or may not have anything to do with writing, but I hope those of you who are following, and those of you new to my posts, will humor me (and the voices). Ultimately, it’s all still examples of my writing – sentence structure, the way I put ideas together, or randomly string them along as the case may be…either way, what it boils down to is I AM A WRITER. I show no other emotion but what comes through my fingertips to the keys. I’d bet a close examination of my blood would show that my blood cells have words floating in them. I write all of that as a means of introduction. The following post (all be it several years old) suits my current mood; it is the prevailing theme of the post that currently has my muse and my NaNoWriMo project simmering on a far back burner. I’m hoping that posting this, and getting some feedback (hint, hint) will move the ideas to a secure location, thus freeing up space for my muse to return and help me break the five digit mark on my word count. Here’s hoping.
And now, ladies and gentleman, my random take on self-esteem, relationships, insecurities, and life.
Random Number 1.
Just how responsible for some one’s interpretation of your behavior are you? Not sure what I’m asking? Let me explain. If I physically cause some one else pain (ex. Stepping on their foot, hitting them in the head with a chair), then I’m responsible for the consequent injuries; if I am going about my daily routine, acting as I’ve always acted (behaved) and some one’s feelings are hurt because they interpreted my behavior as something negative directed toward them, then am I responsible for their hurt feelings? We aren’t always able to choose our feelings / reactions to certain things. Because of experiences and childhood development of our emotions, feelings are quite often triggered and felt and then reacted to way before we’re able to analyze and decide if the feeling / reaction were warranted. A woman feels jealous when her man looks at another woman based on something that happened to her in the past, it has very little to do with the current situation – her man may not have even been looking at the other woman but instead at the sweet sports car that passed by at the same time. But it doesn’t matter, at that point, said woman is in a jealous rage, feels he cannot be trusted and chaos ensues. Is the man responsible for her jealousy? Does he deserve the angry, cold shoulder he is now receiving? Let’s reverse it – a man feels he’s been rejected by his lady friend when she doesn’t accept his offer of a foot rub. He pouts and decides she’s mean and cold and must not care for him at all. The reality is that the woman hates having her feet touched due to some trauma or she hasn’t had a pedicure in a while and doesn’t want him touching the sand paper like surface that exists on the bottom of her feet. He berates her for pushing him away and says she has hurt his feelings. Is it her fault he didn’t get the reason behind her refusal? Does she deserve his perception that she intentionally set out to hurt him?
Therapy and a brief study of Buddhism helped me identify what my triggers were. I stopped blaming others for my hurt feelings, especially in situations where I hadn’t most clearly tried to make my feelings, expectations, needs and wants, crystal clear. I initiated my divorce with a sincere apology to my soon to be ex husband – I apologized for not telling him I expected him to be faithful, attentive, responsible for half the bills and expenses, etc. I apologized for not telling him I had “abandonment” issues and how they came about; I apologized for being insecure within myself and wanting him to “make” me feel better about me (the biggest unspoken expectation that exists in so many people). And so on. He didn’t understand a word of it, but it made him feel better that I was doing all the apologizing. Helped him tell his friends and family that he had done nothing wrong and the break up of the marriage was entirely my fault.
Anyway, having this knowledge about myself has made things a little better for me in terms of how I deal with men. I don’t have those typical, female moments where my feelings are easily hurt by what ultimate are my own insecurities. I don’t argue, I don’t accuse…I do a fairly good job of not jumping to conclusions, at least out loud. Instead, I ask questions. Questions like, “are you interested in that other woman?” “Is it too much when I hug you like this?” “Do you want me to just let you watch the game in silence?” Things like that. I find that doing so, cuts out on the amount of guessing I have to do, which only leads to the wrong conclusion and needlessly hurt feelings.
So few of my relationships work under these conditions though, and my weakness…the kryptonite to my super power of self understanding, is “why”. I am driven to be in a situation way longer than I need to be because I’m waiting to hear, “why”. “Why did he just stop calling me?” “Why would he want her instead of me?” “Why is she mad at me for having a good time?”… My other weakness? I’m nosey. LOL. I want to see how things turn out. At times when I should say “No” and run the other way, there I am, ass deep in drama just to see what happens.
I treat everyone as if they are responsible for their feelings, actions, reactions, etc. I don’t apologize for their interpretations of my feelings, actions, reactions etc. But, folks insist on making me out to be the bad guy in situations where they have not clearly spoken their expectations, needs or wants and then hold me accountable for not meeting, fulfilling, satisfying these things. I can’t make you feel good, so why (ARGH, that word torments me so) do you get mad at me?
Random number 2.
This is sort of related to Random number 1. I’m wondering if I’m far enough outside the box, so to speak, that men just don’t know how to deal with me. I respond well to hand holding, an arm around my shoulders or waist, back rubs (when done in a not so creepy way)…soft kisses that don’t call to mind a St. Bernard (as in WET and SLOPPY, gag), making out…you get the picture. I DO NOT enjoy being treated like I’m some helpless maiden. Feel free to open a door, pay for dinner or the movie, but DO NOT attempt to rub my feet, bathe me, rush to carry anything for me, or any of that other crap. Some women get down like that – a man who caters to them, attempts to fulfill their every girlie need. Sorry, just not me. I’m back to the mantra, “You’ve got to out ‘man’ me.” Men can be sensitive, caring and affectionate without treating me like…well, like a girlie-girl. There’s got to be a middle ground. Somewhere between flat-out ignoring me and treating me like I’ll break if I lift anything. Seriously, is that so weird? So unusual?
Random number 3.
We are all shaped by our past experiences. It is unrealistic to expect some one to treat you differently than they’ve treated others in the past the first few months or so of knowing them. How can you say, “but I’m not the one who hurt (lied to, cheated on…etc) you, so you have to trust me” when you’ve just met that person. Actions speak louder than words, as I’m sure you’ve heard. Act differently and over the course of the relationship, that person will come to trust and treat you differently. I can tell a man all day long that I’m not the jealous type, but until he sees it in action; until I prove over and over that I’m not going to freak each time he looks at or mentions another woman, then he is well within his rights to treat me with kid gloves for the first few months. The time frame to build the trust though will vary with each relationship. Everyone has to set their own time frames and be honest about them. It usually takes me around 3 months to get comfortable and a year to become trusting enough that I start to really let my feelings show. Until then, you can count on me being relatively unemotional and downright withdrawn under stress. Sadly enough, my damage is deep enough that I may never allow myself to be completely vulnerable; I will probably ALWAYS hold back but it wouldn’t stop me from being in a committed, loving relationship. But, if I notice that he’s still treating me with the kid gloves after what I feel is a suitable time then it’s up to me to bow out and move on. I take responsibility for myself in the relationship and it’s not up to me to force him to act or be any different than what he is. If he can’t get past his past, so to speak, then I’m the one who has to decide if I want to live with it.
Random number 3(a)
We are who we are. Do not enter into a relationship hoping for change. That person is who they are and you must decide up front if you want to be with them. I laugh when guys tell me they were surprised that their woman turned out to be crazy, or over protective, or whatever. They want to say she changed. I ask a few questions about their dating life and the behaviors are there, they just chose to ignore them in hopes they’d either go away or change once the relationship got serious. HA! That’s usually when all the bad habits pop out of the closet, LOL. Happens to women too. My marriage is a prime example. My husband was the same player from day one and I married him anyway thinking that marriage meant the same to him as it did to me. Not quite. So, no, it wasn’t his fault I was unhappy. I turned a blind eye and married him anyway. Not cool. Hence the apologies I mentioned in Random number 1.
Random number 3(b) – because you can’t have an ‘a’ without a ‘b’. Look it up, it’s a rule of grammar or outline structure or something having to do with English, lol
Consequently, I honestly believe only two, whole, self knowing, individuals can come together to form happy, healthy, lasting relationships. Now where the hell am I supposed to find one of those, let alone become one myself?