Category Archives: relationships

Valentine’s Day has a whole ‘nother meaning.

One year ago today, I packed up everything I owned and left the home Brian and I had too quickly built. I finally tired of his lies, his passive cruelties, his tepid indifference, his weakness. I should have left sooner, but it had taken a long time to let go of the memories of the man he once was and to let myself hate the man he became.

Today, I live alone in a small, cheap apartment of three rooms with an elderly cat that still surprises me everyday that she lives. There are times when I feel unspeakably lonely and incredibly bored. In those times, I miss being in love. But most of the time, I like being free of expectations and obligations. I like having my time be really MY TIME, to do with as I will. To cook, write, paint, draw, watch tv shows that interest ME, or to read books in 3-hour long soaks in my pink bathtub. I like not being obligated to go to family gatherings with people I do not like.

I like being single, most of the time. Most of the time, I think I’d really rather not even bother with thoughts of dating and men and flirting and white veils and white picket fences. But sometimes, those thoughts happen.

Today is not one of those days. Today I cooked. Today I spent time with a black ball of fur and bones purring in my lap. I watched chick flicks on tv. I took a book into the bath tub and I ate a piece of chocolate. I wrote a few blog posts. I don’t miss being in love today. Today, I remember what I left–and in looking back, have absolutely no regrets. And in looking forward, I am in no rush for anything more.

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Lessons from love

When I started this blog, it was with the intention of chronicling my life in terms of the lessons life teaches me. Life is, after all, a never-ending process of learning, and there are many thousands of lessons to learn from life. The Buddhists and Taoists believe that only by opening oneself up to a deeper awareness of experience can one fully savor life and gain enlightenment.

But life can be difficult to bear at times, and in those difficult times of sorrow and depression, of anger and anomie–when you feel overcome by some tsunamic wave pulling you into a maelstrom of chaotic emotion and internal struggle–openness, awareness, and enlightenment are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.  But despite the chaos, you’re still alive and learning still proceeds, even if you’re not aware of it or open to the lessons being taught.

Over the course of the past year; during the dissolution of my relationship and drawn-out break-up, I have learned many things that I was not aware I was learning.  Now,  life has becalmed, and I feel the many changes and can see the many lessons I have somehow absorbed:

I have learned that for some people, love and commitment are not the same thing.

I have learned that if one or both partners is afraid of negativity and avoids arguments, anger, and hurt feelings; or worse, gives the impression that negativity of any sort makes the other an unlovable person, then the relationship is doomed to fail.

I have learned that when I know something, I must speak out, and not hide behind a veil of innocent geniality.

I have learned that my needs and my desires are of no more or less importance to anyone else’s.

I have learned that I can survive any hurt and betrayal and still remain me.

I have learned there is no room for love in the selfish heart.

I have learned that I am loyal and generous to a fault; that I value those aspects of me, and must learn to choose my companions with more care.

I have learned that I have a solid rock of kith and kin who are always there for me if I should need them.

I have learned that I don’t always have to be strong and self-reliant; pain is tolerable but need not be suffered alone.

I have learned that sex is as complex as the emotions behind it.  Sex can banish insecurities and sex can create new ones. Sex can forge emotional attachments, and sex can break them.

I have learned that I have the courage to make a stand, to confront my demons and to demand my due. I have the strength to define my terms, to do what must be done.

I have learned that no matter how limited your resources may be, there is always a way to make a change.

I have learned that every loss is also a gain; that for every door that closes, another opens.

I have learned that if I ask, I shall receive. If I seek, I will find, and if I knock, a door shall open unto me.

But most importantly, I have learned that fear of loss shall no longer prohibit me from asking, from seeking, or knocking.

Jean-Paul Sartre had it only partially right when he said that “Hell is other people”. He forgot that fear is what gives Hell its power.

I have learned to recognize that fear for what it is.

Breaking up to ’90s music

Way back in the early ’90’s, when I had just become a teenager (and good lord, was I ever that young?) I went through a music-video-watching phase, where I would stay up late watching MTV, VH1, and CMT soaking up lyrics and whatever I could of the music.

Every once in a while my mind flashes back to those times and remembers some songs I once loved. The songs always seem to come triggered by some emotion or event or happenstance in my life.

During the past year, while Brian and I went through that long, torturous dissolution of our relationship, I would get the following songs (specifically these parts of the songs) stuck as earworms in my head. Now I am mildly awed at how there is a song for every emotion and circumstance of human experience. Is this what makes the Hearing so addicted to music–the affinity to experience that music holds?

In any case, these following are the songs I remembered at the various stages of my breakup. I admit to feeling a faint embarrassment to share this, but I do wish to share some part of how I was thinking and coping in the past year.

Stage one: Confusion:
Extreme: “More Than Words”

“Saying I love you
Is not the words I want to hear from you
Its not that I want you
Not to say, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel
More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldnt have to say that you love me
Cos I’d already know…”

Stage two: Discovery/Denial
The Police: “Every Breath You Take”

“…Since you’ve gone I been lost without a trace
I dream at night I can only see your face
I look around but its you I cant replace
I feel so cold and I long for your embrace

I keep crying baby, baby, please…

Oh, can’t you see
You belong to me
How my poor heart aches
With every breath you take

Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
Ill be watching you…”

Stage three: Acknowledgment:
Paula Abdul: “Cold Hearted”

“…Girl dont play the fool–now
You’re the one givin up the love
Anytime he needs it
But you turn your back and then he’s off
And runnin with the crowd
You’re the one to sacrifice
Anything to please him
Do you really think he thinks about you
When he’s out?

He’s a cold-hearted snake
Look into his eyes
Oh oh oh
He’s been tellin lies
He’s a lover boy at play
He dont play by rules
Oh oh oh
Girl dont play the fool–now…”

Stage four: Anger:
Tina Turner: “Goldeneye Theme”

“…You’ll never know,
how I watched you from the shadows as a child
You’ll never know,
how it feels to be the one who’s left behind
You’ll never know the days and the nights,
the tears, the tears I’ve cried
But now my time has come
and time, time is not on your side

…You’ll never know,
how I watched you from the shadows as a child
You’ll never know,
how it feels to get so close and be denied

It’s a gold and honey trap,
I’ve got for you tonight
Revenge is a kiss
this time I won’t miss,
now I’ve got you in my sights
With a golden eye…”

Stage five: Resolution:
Faith Hill: “But I will”

“Remember when I said, “The next time would be the last time”
That time came this mornin’ when you came in
You always had a line to change my mind
So I guess you thought I’d just let you break my heart again

I don’t want to stop lovin’ you, ­but I will
I don’t like wakin’ up alone, ­but I will
You’re the only one who can make my heart stand still
I don’t want to let you go, ­but I will…”

Splitsville

Those of you who have access to my facebook account may now noticed that I have listed myself as single.

Brian and I are splitting up.

Its been a long time coming: everything between us is why my blogging has sucked. Maybe I’ll talk about the details of all the shit that I went through, but I dont know that I need to talk about all this quite yet.

But to keep a long story short, he has been cheating on me since the Spring, Ive known since late Summer and never confronted him about it until the other day. Now it is all open, I’m moving out next week, and I’m an emotional ball of grief, anger, and relief. Im actually glad I dont have to keep all this shit bottled up inside me anymore!

But I’m majorly stressed out right now. Events are snowballing very rapidly.
I’ll be blogging when I can.