Clearly the time has come to work through all the issues surrounding my “relationship” with Boo. No one should absolutely lose their shit because somebody they work with is moving to a job across town. But my shit I did lose. The very real, desperate pain I felt over the weekend was incredibly out of proportion to the actual event.
I have to figure out why this has such a hold of me – why I can’t let it go. I can’t allow this delusion to continue to control my life, obsess me, and craze me. I think the easiest way to work through it is with some lists with occasional narrative thrown in for explanation.
Who Is Real Boo? – The Good
*Best first date EVER!
*Never completely lets me go (no matter what dumb shit I do)
Who Is Real Boo? – The Bad
*Wrapped up in his work
*Not there when I need him
*Never completely lets me go
*Coming out of a BAD divorce
*Mean streak disguised as humor
Why I Deserve Better
Clearly, the real Boo and the Boo I make myself sick over are not really the same person. That’s not fair to him. That’s not fair to me.
So why do I continue to cling so desperately to my delusion of “SuperBoo” and to my efforts to forge a romantic relationship with him?
Why Do I Continue To Fight To Keep It Alive?
*I’m desperate for male approval.
*I need to know that I am desirable and lovable.
*I don’t want to be alone.
*He’s my only option. He’s the only straight, single man in my life.
*I need to win, not fail.
*I can’t stop believing I can make him love me if I say and do the right things.
*I need to prove that I can “do anything I put my mind to.”
*I can’t accept that I can’t control him or the relationship.
*I want to fix him and heal his emotionally broken places.
*I want him to cherish me for fixing him and showing him how to love again.
*Letting my hopes for SuperBoo go means giving up on the hope for love, acceptance and companionship.
*If I stop looking at him, I have to look at me.
*I have no intrinsic identity.
*If I stop chasing this, I don’t have anything else to concentrate on.
*I have no other goals or dreams or desires for my life. (Sadly, I’m serious.)
The self-identity piece of this fascinates me. Boo is not the first man who I’ve gotten super-crazy about like this. First of all, I didn’t date growing up. I had a boyfriend for two weeks in 9th grade and then a couple of short term boyfriends in college. And then I got married when I was 25. So I never practiced relationships. I’ve always been so desperate for them that I clamp on like a bear trap as soon as a possibility arises, and my hopes shoot through the roof. That’s the biggest problem. I can NOT control my expectations. And inevitably the disappointment CRUSHES me. I can’t just brush it off and let it go.
But none of this started happening until I started graduate school. I got there and it turned out I WASN’T the smartest person who ever lived. I was out of identities. So I started looking for a man to define me – to put the socially-acceptable stamp of approval on me. I didn’t know how or who to be without an extrinsic label. I still don’t
So Who Am I Now?
*Not an athlete
*Not a scholar
*Not a runner
So Who Am I Inside?
So What Does That Mean I WANT To Be?
*Someone’s girlfriend so I can prove to the world that I’m straight, loveable, and OK being me.
*Someone’s girlfriend so I can be protected and appreciated and loved.
What I Probably Need To Be
*Alone until I learn to define myself without a man, and learn to know who I actually am inside and not just as defined by the things on the outside – the things I do or wear or how I cut my hair. (I don’t wanna! *sniff!*)
*A woman learning who she is and why she’s OK.
*A woman who likes herself without needing any external approval to do so.
*A student (literally) of casual dating who doesn’t lose her emotional shit over one dinner.
And so here is the stupid postscript to all this. How do I deal with my ongoing relationship with real Boo in light of these admissions and realizations? Is there a way I can step back and start over again looking at him with new eyes? Can I unravel these emotional ties I’ve woven? Will any kind of relationship with him continue to bring me grief and disappointment? Can I ever get to a place where we can just be friends without me wanting him and feeling jealousy and hurt? I’m just not sure what to do. I don’t want to cut ties with him. But is that just a symptom of the problem at hand?
Hahahahaha! I can’t believe this is a song!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…
And one day your vision will have narrowed to a pinhole. Your heart will weep. There will be fire in your brain and a roar in your ears.
You will lean far over the balcony rail. You will fashion a noose.
But you will wait. And you will hate yourself for it.
The next day you will wake and eat a cinnamon roll. And for no reason, life will make sense again.
You will vacuum. You will take a shower.
Then, unexpectedly, a tractor trailer will pull up outside and carry you out of town. And you will love yourself for it.
Wait for it.
I often fantasize that when I die, my spirit will stay here long enough and be omniscient enough to know how people react and feel. I’d like to see my own funeral like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
First one and then another pair of eyes followed the minister’s, and then almost with one impulse the congregation rose and stared while the three dead boys came marching up the aisle, Tom in the lead, Joe next, and Huck, a ruin of drooping rags, sneaking sheepishly in the rear! They had been hid in the unused gallery listening to their own funeral sermon!
– The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
Don’t worry. This isn’t a cry for help.
But I wonder about particular people. Would he be sorry? Would he miss me? What would he think? (It’s him I think about and wonder about the most. It’s a sickness.)
Would she come all these miles for my funeral? Would she be able to go on?
What would my funeral be like? I know where I want it to be and who I want to do it. I know what I want done with my body. Would those things happen?
What would people say at my funeral? Who would stand up and tell stories about me? How many people would be there? (Who would run sound? 😀 )
How long would people remember me?
Who would remember me?
Why would they remember me?
I wonder if hair is sort of like the rings of cut trees. Does it hold the memories of its days? Can it retain the residue of warm, cozy diner breakfasts and awkward sleepovers, of disappointments and poor choices, of hurt feelings and unrequited desires?
Every time I grow my hair long it’s to try to prove to a man I’m feminine enough to be desirable. Love me! Love me! Love me! My desire for him overwhelms and obsesses me, but his desire for me is fleeting at best. Why do I even think that my hair will make a difference. I’m always me either way.
Every time I cut my hair off it’s because I’m done trying, because I’m just tired of fighting the fight, with my hair and for a man. Those other memories need to just go away.
This is for me.
Reposted from a message board comment I made elsewhere today…
Van Gogh, Sorrow
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the meaning of “forgiveness.” We talk about this as something we give to the person who has “harmed” us. “I forgive YOU.” But really I think we need to find another word to use because we’ve twisted the word “forgiveness” so badly.
The forgiveness and letting go we need as professional resenters and progressing healers isn’t really about letting the person off the hook and telling them it was OK. In some cases, it absolutely is NOT OK. (As in the case of my molestation throughout my childhood. I did NOT have a role to play in that. You didn’t have a role to play in your trauma either.)
But we need a word besides “forgiveness” that implies wiping the slate of your own heart clean of the pain and sadness and anger that memory still causes you.
Forgiveness isn’t really about the other person. Forgiveness is about freeing YOURSELF so you can live without the shackles that incident has placed on your life, on your ability to be proud and self-confident, on your ability to live your life without something you can’t control playing over and over in your mind and making your stomach and heart and brain grieve and ache and rage all the time.
That’s totally why I drank. It feels so much better to feel nothing than to feel all that sadness and pain.
But if you can find a way to let that shit go and also stop drinking, think of how light your brain and stomach and heart would be! That’s what we need.
(So let me know when you figure out how to do it!)
*Now we all join hands and perform our inspirational, synchronized dance routine to “Let It Go!”*