Friday, June 14, 2013

The Circle of Love

It's inevitable. It always comes back to relationships for me. This blog...my life...my obsession. 

Relationships. 


I can tinker around with other impersonal topics, but relationships are the center of my being and it always comes back to them.

There is a song by Kelly Clarkson called "You Found Me" that is on my "most played" playlist. It's a romance staple. It's been swirling in my head all day.

You found me
When no one else was lookin'
How did you know just where I would be?
Yeah, you broke through
All of my confusion
The ups and the downs
And you still didn't leave
I guess that you saw what nobody could see

You found me

Had a girlfriend coffee-shop meetup tonight. The men we're in love with, see, kind of pissed us off this week and we had to decompress over Venti decaf Americanos. But instead of "Lamenting Effing Men in General...GRR", the conversation turned to our fathers. With completely different circumstances, we have the same issue: we have spent our lives trying to find a man to fill the void dad left when we were little. And (oh by the way) what in the hell has happened to our generation that so many of us are so fucked up? Was there something in the water in the 60s? 

I'm not really blaming my parents for me having a lousy relationship track record.

(Ummmm...well, ok, sort of. ACK!)

I know it's my job to process and take responsibility for my own growth. Sadly, I am not alone in this; I have too many friends who have been through the goddamned wringer with (ex) spouses (and parents) and here we are, all of us, in our 40s, trying to get a grip on where we're at and what the hell happened and scramble to prepare ourselves for an uncertain future.


Welcome to Cafe de la Midlife Crisis, would you like a table for one, or will you finally be joined by anyone at all?

As my friend and I talked, I commented, "We both test the men in our lives. We want them to prove to us that we are worthy of being loved."

There's an Adele song for that concept. #oneandonly


We get needy and bitchy and demanding and teary by turns because we want someone to say, "do what you want, I'm not abandoning you," and then actually follow through instead of whistling dixie. 


There's a Shakespeare play for that concept. #tamingoftheshrew 


We want to get to a place where our physical defects that terrify us and make us vulnerable, the emotional defects that, well, terrify us and make us vulnerable...all those things will be considered, noted and protected by someone who not only thinks we're worthy of him, but who's worthy of us. 


Even though we don't actually think we're worthy. Because somewhere in our little girl past we came to believe that.  It's very backwards. I get that. Crystal clear. It's psycho is what it is. 


It's what we do. Because we just want that one partner to be, finally, the one who causes us to breathe again. 


Does anyone know what to do if that person is ALSO effed up emotionally? No? Rats. (I'm thinking it might have something to do with loving them as we ask to be loved, protect their fears, and forgive them THEIR foibles. Just a thought.)


So how does someone like me stop sabotaging relationships? Why do I insist on installing buttons and then push them and push them and push them defiantly, like a 5 year old with hot, stinging tears, DARING you to not turn your back on me! And every time a "new him" says, "Forget it!!!", the facade of lonely triumph crutches me up, and I say, "See? I told you. Not. Worthy," while trumpeting the strong, independent woman processional. And on the other other hand feeling a wee bit like a little girl in big girl clothes (and ideas and ideals), trying to prove to the world I am ok. 

There's a lot of proving going on...oh, and some women sure are complicated.


(Oh, and the reason I do it is because someday when it no longer works, when "he" is still standing there waiting for me to chill out (erg), maybe that's my cue to finally give in and allow love to dance to victory.)

Do I even know how to have a healthy relationship? I often berate myself as too clingy, or too bitchy, or too difficult...I sabotage myself long before I start in on him. I try to be cool and end up confused. I don't have a whole lotta trust. I just wait for the shoe to drop. Again. And GOD forbid I believe his I love yous. Even though I secretly, really-really want to find that switch locked away deep inside that I can flip to the "It's True" position.

I so, so, sooooo don't want to be that sad, lonely old woman, with princess fantasies masking the reality of smeared lips, too-rouged cheeks and dyed hair that cannot hide age the deep wrinkles expose to the world. 

And yet, I could be an old, alone (or not) woman, defiant still, wearing purple hats and painting canvases and cussing at passers-by, chortling all the while in my Chuck Taylors. I guess it all just depends on what perspective I choose to live.

My dad left my mom, (us) a long time ago. But he came back. Quickly. Within a year. They worked it out. And they have, in their own way, lived a life of devotion to each other. They need each other. They are meant for each other. It has never been easy for them, but it has endured. What did I miss in my observations growing up? What did I take for granted? What part of their equation did I not understand? My friends who have been married for soooo long and still love one another...it's stranger and more alien to me each year marking my divorce. Yet secretly (well, not anymore), when I say "I'll never get married again," there's that girlish hope...that I actually will someday. And this time it will last. Because he'll find me in my confusion and the ups and downs and still not leave.


(And she awoke the next morning, with an emotional hangover and wondered what she had done. And then thought...crap. Am I pms-ing?) It could be. Almost-45 hormones make life uncertain. Ugh.



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