Sunday, July 15, 2007

ready for me

Sophie, Harsen's Island, last weekend.

I have abandonment issues.

I allow men into my life with commitment issues.

See my problem?

I woke up this morning to a gorgeous, sunny mid July day. Sophie was next to me, looking at me with her cute orange face and loving black eyes. My cats were curled up around my feet, purring and stretching when I stirred. A whole Sunday was in front of me, to do whatever I wanted in wonderful weather. And a knife of sadness went through me.

I'm at the point where I'm sick of one failed relationship after the next. I'm tired of going after the wrong men, being disappointed, being hurt, damaging my own self worth. I'm tired of being alone. I hate the choices I've made with men.

I wish I could share this day with my significant other. Tackle the yard work together, watch a movie, grill a feast for dinner and eat outside, haul the garbage to the curb in the evening, get things ready for work for the next day. Just the normal day-to-day things. Is that too much to ask?

I remember one episode of Oprah where she said "you show people how you want to be treated." Meaning you attract people into your life who treat you like you expect to be treated.

I expect to be left. I expect that all things will end. That I'm not good enough, that there is someone better than me out there, and to some extent that I am damaged, incomplete, and unlovable.

I'm sure it all began with my aunt, who ended our mother-daughter type relationship when she found out that her husband had been touching and stalking me for years, from the age of 11. She blamed me. She said it was my fault, that I was unstable, a liar, spoiled, an attention-seeker, lived in a fantasy world, and was a home wrecker. I needed her to believe and support me, and she kicked me in the heart and shut me out of her life. I have never fully gotten over that. She was my second mother, my best friend. So in addition to dealing with the things my uncle did to me, I also had to deal with the emotional scars left by her. Years of therapy in my 20's helped me sort out the truth and lies, but holes remain.

And then the relationships with men - never good enough, always being left for whatever character flaw I seemed to have at the moment. Never being loved for just me, but being loved with an asterisk and fine print at the bottom of the page. Being abandoned by my boyfriend when I got Lyme, not being supported through that at all, when I need him most. Being told I was wallowing and that my sickness was "very hard on him", as I laid on the couch with a 102 degree fever, hallucinations, neurological pain racking my body. No wonder "in sickness and in health" holds so much importance. It can be a real deal-breaker.

Then, the numerous times I've dated people, only to find out that they were also dating someone else, and would rather be with the other person. And finding this out when I had already developed feelings for them and could be hurt. This is a pattern. Why am I never the person people want to be with? Why am I so easily cast aside? Why, at the first sign of trouble, or sickness, am I so desertable? Why am I never chosen? Why do people tell me they can't commit and then immediately run off and marry someone else? Why do I allow this into my life?

I'm tired of it. Just plain tired.

My mom is dropping hints that "people find their soul mate well into their 40's" or "so and so had a baby and she's 39" or "this person had given up and then BOOM, got married for the first time at age 45." Am I so pathetic that I need encouragement and little stories with happy endings from my mother?

I know she's trying to be helpful and supportive, to give me hope. But she's not. She's holding up my flaws in front of me, feeding all my darkest fears that I will be alone forever. I feel like I've disappointed her by not giving her a grandchild from me. Not given my parents a wedding to plan, not given my dad the chance to walk me down the aisle. I haven't measured up to my end of the bargain of what a daughter should be. I shouldn't be this single person who travels all over the place and does everything on her own. I should show up on Christmas morning with my loving husband and three adorable red haired children who run to hug my parents and shower them with love. This is the dream I have taken away from my parents. I have let them down.

Even though I worked hard in college, got a degree, got a good job, bought my own house, pay for everything myself, and maintain my house and yard without the help of a man - it feels like it's not enough. I'm tired of the pitying looks when I meet new people. "Are you seeing someone? No? Why not?" "So when are you going to find your other half?" Like I am not a complete person the way I am.

I need to change the signals I'm sending out. I need to be smarter in the beginning, before I get too attached. I will not hang on, hoping everything works out. I will expect to be treated well. I need to attract men who respect me. I will set boundaries. Above all, I need to attract the person who wants what I want.

He has to be ready for me.


Donna said...

You don't have to tell me darlin' - I know exactly what you mean. Ditto on this end.

PixieDust said...

I've stumbled across your blog, and I have to tell you - you are not "desertable". Now, I know I'm not what you are looking for, but I am hooked. You have a beautiful voice, though I'm saddened your tune is melancholy at the moment, but I'm also happy that you ended your post with all that you really need. He has to be ready for YOU.
A woman who survives a tramatic childhood, a family betrayal (these two I am familiar with), and a relentless illness is not a woman undeserving of happiness.
A woman of your beauty and intellegence is, apparently, already working it out.
For what it is worth I'm cheering you on.

Sarah said...

Absolutely 100% fabulous way to look at things. I've started thinking along similar lines: I know that what I'm putting out there affects so much more than I had originally thought. It's time to start thinking positive rather than fearing the worst. I fear they will leave, and in doing so I very possibly - okay, more than likely - push them away.

I feel so blessed that I've received this second chance with Joshua. We've made some big mistakes with one another, and by all rights we shouldn't have this shot to fix it.

You will find your someone. But you're right, you have to start treating yourself differently and know that you're worth someone who's worth it to you.

I love you, babycakes. Miss you so much. Think positive - for real, not just on the surface - and things will start to get better. You know that saying: Fake laughter and pretty soon, you're not faking? Apply it.

I am.

Onward! Upward!