Archive for August, 2015
I said, “I love you”, “that’s a good class you’re taking”, I heard in return.
Pain seared through my chest and lungs, unable to breathe and positive this was the same sensation as a branding iron being applied to the hide of any beast.
Later, by many years, as I approached the walkway of the ex boyfriend, my legs became numb and arms hung alongside my body like dead weight. Unable to lift them, I waited outside the barred up entrance without ringing the bell. Eventually the swelling in my chest-the rapid successions of my heartbeat grew unbearable and just as I felt my legs begin to collapse the door opened as by “open sesame”. Turns out I was being watched. The neighbor upon seeing me intermittently over the last several months recognized me-maybe even took pity and released the gate. I knew it wasn’t my most recent love that let me in, as he never would, which ultimately was the problem. Yet I clung as I did, past the expiration date hoping that what was left, what had turned sour, could still be salvaged and enjoyed like the white creamy sauce I so often used way too much of on top of my mashed potatoes or tostada salad.
This was my cross…unreturned sentiment. The choice seems to remain, aloof or alone. Which would you prefer? Of course this is a trick question, as aloof ultimately leaves one feeling alone, so in picking door number one, I always wind up with the grand prize I get to take both showcases home- because I am lucky. At least that’s what my mother said.
Anytime something good occurred her response would be, “you always were lucky”. It was said, and once it was, I was left standing there alone with my prize. No glory, no pat on the back and certainly without a hug. I don’t remember once being told the very basic and most simple response: good job. Thusly I fight everyday for that response but even now, once it given, it falls flat. Flat as a board…which I was for most of my adolescence-which was great fodder for teasing but now that flatness within my chest means all praise all compliments all acknowledgement doesn’t give rise-the proverbial coin drops, but as it does, it rolls silently beyond my chest, slipping right down-to the cement floor without ever entering my heart. I want the love to come but only from that elusive one. As I stand, there remains an invisible pot of gold beneath my feet and ultimately beyond my grasp.
Now, instead of feeling lucky, I felt scared. I wanted to weep with fright and then scream with painful rage, WHY CAN’T YOU…..just…. love…. me? Why won’t you show your care for me? I know it’s there, I know it’s there. How can you be so cold …”cold sonofabitch”, were his words exactly.
My mother never believed herself to be cold. Nope. She was instead (and this is the best-please catch the sarcasm here) a realist. Maybe you’ve heard that word when you too were trying to grasp for some sense of understanding but instead were only slapped with non-available, non-feeling, lack luster “logic”. Her reality was that I was bad and along with that, the reason her existence was in fact, paltry. “If it weren’t for you…” Victimhood never felt so good as when she was blaming a seven year old for her life’s circumstances and being that I hid myself within her womb for 5 months without her realizing of my existence, I now realize, there could be some truth to this faux logic…. the morning sickness masked as a hangover, I was sure to be birthed vs. aborted at this point in the pregnancy and therefore choice wasn’t playing in the same park it once was, now it became child or an adoption? Maybe that was a tougher decision than child or no child?
At the beginning, it was asked. What would I do? I of course gave the correct answer….and I meant it, until I didn’t and when I didn’t know if I could follow through with that original response, when I began to wonder what life would be like, he spoke in way that I wanted to hear but knew he didn’t mean beyond this moment. He said it….”if you were… I would want you to keep it”. I retaliated by scolding him. It was a gentle tap- a swift, “don’t say that” due to the silent heartbreak unfolding quickly within me-a panic really, another form of collapse taking place within my chest. Knowing that he would quickly denounce any such sentiment with a break up of the relationship….a short 3 days later, I tried to protect myself, feigned indifference when the only thing that mattered were those few small words. So much so I bring them with me now.
Perhaps many who have been adopted do thank their mothers for the strength it takes to perform such an act. Those 9 months of pregnancy would be the closest my mother would ever come to holding me again. And because of this training, I seek more of those who cannot hold me. As for him, the adoption saved his life, but would he ever allow for his emotional life to be fully birthed or was that aspect of his life-the ability to connect with a woman- forever cut with the snip of the umbilical cord? Was the vulnerability of birth itself the most naked he would ever become? Would he ever be willing to be held?
I didn’t agree with him. I wanted to take a stand on his behalf, demonstrate understanding. Coolness of heart wasn’t the true cause his reactions, it was his tenderness that leapt forward, which without thought was squashed into a wadded paper ball and splayed itself out again as anger, indifference or as a marble statue.
I wanted to create a connection-to be what he has not yet experienced-a seer of his soul-it was fear that spoke-that caused him to push others aside, but now that I have become completely enmeshed-now that I love him-the unreturned texts, the ignored emails, the broken promises…the non responsive stare in the other direction….rip open all wounds, all flesh burning with salt and lemon, the fire searing my heart- demanding at a pitch sure to crack glass- when only a brief time ago the fire was used to ignite candles and sustain romance till dawn.
A few different men have accused me of being an idealist throughout my life, like there is something wrong with this, let’s read this again, but this time in a Jewish mothers voice…Like there’s something wrong with this? Now the personality stakes have grown in fact- more personal- as a most recent conversation with a man caused him to double down. Now, I’ve become a pathetic idealist. Oy Vey is all I can say…that or slit my wrist…now does that sound like the talk of an idealist to you? How little these men understand me. What they need to be saying is, you’re an idealist in your ideal world aren’t you? Well, yes…yes, I am thank you but in this life, I am merely someone struggling to survive. Someone who is constantly battling the wound of loneliness and thinking that maybe you’d like to help solve this? No…I didn’t suspect as much. Not to say that I blame you, as its been a fairly daunting task for me and I have plenty at stake here whereas you have zero to gain from helping me release this nuisance called pain. This is definitely a one-woman job.
The village approach to raising me could have been an ideal situation. Where one can’t be, another can take over, but when people are playing the game hot potato, the goal is to rid yourself of the potato because its going to burn your hand lest you toss immediately…Ole! Needless to say…I was the unwanted type of carb…like a stale loaf of bread…and not the delicious cherry pie crust that while not necessarily good for you, tasty and worth the decadent indulgence nonetheless. From neighbor, to babysitter, to aunties, to grannies, back to babysitter, home briefly and off I went again to whoever was caught answering the telephone.
I am learning that if someone doesn’t take time for me, doesn’t actually want to make room for me, it’s okay. It’s not a mandate of unworthiness. As my old friend used to say (maybe upwards of twenty times a day) “It is what it is” but that’s logical and being a person who lives with emotion too, logic has little ability to temper emotional hotspots.
Being lucky was something I thought would continue throughout my entire existence. I thought that the universe thought “me special” and I did in fact have many random acts of kindness imbued upon me in my twenties. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize at the time it had little to do with luck as much as young female beauty and the probable hopes that, that beauty was surrounded by loads of naivety. To which it was and it wasn’t. I was always told I was “very smart” and that I was “mature”. Now upon looking back, I see where so much of that wasn’t true but for them, those who claimed it, actually believe it so and I can only say from the inside out how little of it was true. I can see the mistakes, the absurdity of it all but that’s from my damaged lens of little self -forgiveness.
And now he’s reduced me to “needy”, and of course the always popular, “crazy”. I think every man I have ever spoken with has used that goddamn phrase, which is lazy and filled with ignorance. Their inability to understand, they’re lack of desire to learn and understand has in fact been what’s coined the term, “crazy bitch”, same thing for needy. I can’t give…so you are needy and in fact the problem. The real problem isn’t me or isn’t him, it’s the lack of desire to go beyond the top layer into real understanding-depth, connection. It’s the porn addicted-surface image-media driven sell, sell, sell mentality that has taught all of us that feeling is useless and connection not necessary when all you have to do is buy something new or jerk off to someone you never have to touch or in fact get to know, someone who will never cause you the emotional discomfort of spiritual growth and mental maturity. Yet, we know it doesn’t work. We get a blip of a high but those become shorter and shorter and sooner or later and maybe it’s another lifetime later-that we have to realize, I am unfulfilled.
I have often chastised myself for being unhappy, for having less than playful reactions to others but then I just sat in truth-most people are unhappy. Not that saying that has given me relief because of the comparing but simply because I am not longer believing that I am a bad person for this fact. I am learning to transfer my thoughts of how awful I am as a person into how average I am and how it’s okay to accept myself as this person who is unhappy and then decide if there are steps I want to take to bring myself a bit more joy or self acceptance. That’s all and honestly as things have been this last month, I am not sure if I am capable. I am not making choices that bring me any real relief. I am working for a man who is lovely but I can’t do it anymore He hasn’t any respect for me and doesn’t value what I bring, which has been the theme of my life. Then I wonder, how much of that is programmed thinking and how much of it is true due to “law of attraction”. Am I drawing in those who have no clue how to value me or am I merely creating it through my habitual thought response patterns? I see it happening with Matt. How he thinks something-the same thing he has thought many times before-no matter who it is that has said the offending thing to him, he hears me and responds to me the same as to his mother, he still says I am being sarcastic no matter how many times I tell him, that’s not who I am, thats your thinking. So he hears in ways that don’t serve him and I know that I am doing that too. That each of us does that too.