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!
- I didn’t think I can fix everybody.
- I didn’t think I can help everybody.
- I could accept things instead of trying to control them.
- I didn’t fear that no one will ever find me worthy of romantic love again.
- I wasn’t terrified to grow old alone.
- I hadn’t been inculcated with the promise of finding a magical romance at the holidays.
- I didn’t feel like I’ve failed at something competitive when I can’t make someone fall in love with me.
- I would stop trying to get involved with men who aren’t available.
- I wouldn’t feel so disappointed and angry when people let me down.
- people could be depended on to do what they say they’ll do.
- I could let people go when I’m doing lots of giving and not getting anything back.
- I didn’t feel like I have to chase men if I want to find love.
- someone would chase me.
- I didn’t give too much and too desperately.
- I didn’t feel so needy.
- I didn’t keep thinking that a man can finally make me feel complete.
- I wasn’t afraid to stop pursuing someone for fear they might be my last and only chance.
- I wasn’t afraid of other people and other possibilities.
- it were easier to figure out exactly why I’m sad when I’m sad.
- I knew what would soothe me and comfort me when I’m feeling empty or sad or needy or whatever this is.
- everything weren’t so complicated.
- I could be stronger.
- I could afford to be weaker.
- I wish I had the courage to give up.
Relationships continue to vex me. There never seems to be the right man at the right time with the right desire and the right commitment. And a weird thing has been happening lately where people I have loved in the past are starting to come back around again.
One man reappeared out of the blue after 10 years. He just popped up in the comments of one of these blog posts one day. He sent me a dozen roses. What the hell is that all about?
Then another ex sent me a text a few weeks ago reporting how many months it had been since we talked, since we’d seen each other, and since we’d had sex. What the fuck is THAT all about?
It’s like they’ve completed an orbit of me or something. (Wait! That simile makes me sound really fat!) How about, they’ve come full circle in realizing my incomparable womanly awesomeness!
It’s as if my exes are women who’ve had babies. After a suitable amount of time, they seem to forget the pain and think they want to do it all over again.
But the problem is, they’re exes for a reason. In the meantime, I’ve been chasing my Boo for two years now with varying degrees of success. Lots of face time. Only a tiny bit of SUCKING face time.
Why can’t I seem to get on the same page with a man and us love each other and be available at the same time? (I mean. I did it once before!)
Boo, my “not-boyfriend” as he’s come to be known in Sunday School class, drives me absolutely nuts. But despite that fact, we’ve actually become good friends.
I’ve kept no secrets from Boo about the feelings I have for him. Most men would run screaming from a woman who’s pursued them as mercilessly as I have pursued him for the last two years. He doesn’t. But what he does do is take tiny little baby steps closer to me and then take off running in the opposite direction like a scalded dog.
It’s funny how things have evolved between Boo and me. I used to just want to claw my heart out of my chest when I couldn’t convince him to love me. It hurt me so much. (And know that I still believe completely and delusionally that if I love him hard enough and show him and tell him that enough, he’ll fall in love with me. I am a MO-RON!)
He and I used to have some kind of messy conversation about this stuff every three or four months and then get cold to each other for a while.
Now we have this same messy conversation and then just go on with each other the way it was and nobody seems to be torn up about it. (My prescription for Lamictal helped me a lot with the pain too. Lows are not as low. Highs are not as high.)
Somehow, in the midst of all this complication, we’ve become good friends. Our friendship has become one I cherish. Boo is an awesome person. He makes me laugh my ass off. (He’s totally inappropriate and sarcastic. I love that. It actually turns me on a little…) He pushes me to try harder and do my best. And I love being with him even when he’s in a bad place where he can’t open his mouth and manage to say two words out loud.
So I suppose I just put this all out there to say that, DAMMIT, when you’re a little girl, nobody ever tells you love is going to be so complicated!
Men. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.
Can’t stop thinking about their muscular forearms, and their big, strong hands, and their mischievousness, and their handsome faces, and their smart-assedness, and those hugs and kisses, and that stubble….
Jesus, be an intercessor and maybe a bottle of Mermaid Spirit Magick Voodoo Houdou Oil for Seduction Sensuality Femininity Acceptance! I can’t do this down here without some help!
(What’s an incomparably awesome woman to do?)
I had a dentist’s appointment this morning. She pulled out a sliver of bone that had sloughed off my jaw bone and was erupting from my gum. Then she immediately sent me to the oral surgeon to check on the possibility of oral cancer. As I sat in his waiting room, I thought, “Who would I call first if I found out I was sick?” And I couldn’t think of anybody. Oh, sure. I’d tell my family, but I’d want to talk about it with someone else first. I have plenty of friends I could call, but I couldn’t think of who I’d want to call. Who I wouldn’t be embarrased to call. Who I trusted enough to call. (Sorry, y’all.)
I have a meeting with my contentious boss in the morning that I’m sweating, and I’m still feeling anxious and scared about going to Savannah next week and running my marathon.
One of the problems with anxiety (at least with mine) is that when I’m nervous or unhappy, I want somebody to be there for me. But the anxiety and depression make me want to isolate myself and not see or talk to anybody. So I lay here feeling anxious and depressed and lonely, and at the same time, wish I wasn’t dealing with it all alone. Then I feel bad, which makes me anxious and depressed, which makes me lonely, which makes me sad, which makes me want to isolate, which makes me anxious and depressed…
I got home this afternoon and just wished I had a guy to listen to me and hold me and comfort me and fix everything – make it all better. And I realized again that’s the unrealistic expectation I always have, particularly in romantic relationships – the expectation that somebody else can fix what’s wrong with me. When they don’t, I’m disappointed.
I know I can’t make everything better. I’ve been an abject failure at that.
It’s just so confusing to hate feeling alone and wanting to talk with somebody, but at the same time, not wanting to deal with people at all.
I’m so tired.
Thought this was probably aimed right at me and my stupid head and my crazy heart…
The title of this article is a quote by Maya Angelou. A quote that most of us probably think back on situations in our past and say “I should have listened to Maya.”
It is so difficult to find someone in today’s society that I think many of us get a little wide-eyed when somebody shows interest in us. Wow, this person makes me laugh! Wow, this person compliments me! Wow, this person is this or that, or maybe both this and that.
Naturally, our attention may be grabbed and we could start spending time with this person. Maybe a date or two goes by and we are ignoring that thing they do with their mouth that is a little bit annoying, because whatever.
Then we are sort of brushing aside the fact that they have kind of a shady past with relationships, but clearly they are interested in you…
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The Facebook hiatus continues. The month-long break from Boo lasted a week.
Deactivating my Facebook account is still proving to be an incredibly positive move. My mind seems much less restless. I don’t feel like I constantly have to check in to see what I’m missing in other people’s lives. I don’t feel like I have to make every feeling I have public. And the blue message notification light on my phone isn’t constantly blinking at me anymore.
I’ve discovered that calming my mind has helped me start thinking more clearly about myself. I’ve started making some lists like the one in my last post about anxiety. My hope is that getting these things down on paper in one place will help me see the patterns in my thoughts and behaviors, and find the places I need to make changes in my life.
I DVR Andy Stanley’s program “Your Move” every Saturday night. He has great messages that always make me think about myself and my behavior and attitudes. I don’t always agree with him 100%, but it’s good, Biblically based, not too conservative, food for thought. I’ve gotten behind by several episodes and finally watched the first one in a new series about decision making yesterday. Stanley talks about how good we are at deceiving ourselves and selling ourselves on bad ideas. He said that the most important thing to do in your decision-making process is to be brutally honest with yourself about your reasoning and intentions. “Are you being honest with yourself – really?”
That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do these past several days. Andy just reinforced it a couple of days later. I’ve had some great insights already just by having greater mental focus and calmness and getting my thoughts organized in one place. I’ve realized how many things there are that make me happy. I’ve seen how much my control-issues contribute to my anxiety and unhappiness. I’ve seen there are things I enjoy that I can’t free myself to or allow myself to enjoy because of fear.
Already, I feel more free and, ironically, in control of myself after this honest self-examination. I even feel less bunged up about all the stuff with Boo. I want to keep working on this self-awareness effort and see where it takes me – how it changes how I think about myself and what it teaches me about what I need to be doing with my life.
As far as my “month-long” discovery period without Boo, it didn’t take me long to realize how much I enjoy his friendship. I’ve been focused so much on the ways I can make him care for me romantically, that I didn’t realize how much I like talking to him, hanging out with him and just knowing he’s “there” in general. I missed him so much as a friend that I broke down and texted him on Friday. And he didn’t even give me a hard time about it.
I’ve had some epiphanies about the Boo thing too. I’m not going to go into it here. In the spirit of trying to learn that I don’t have to spew everything I know all over the internet, I’m just going to keep that to myself. But trust that no matter what happens, he’s always my Boo, he’s always my friend, I believe in him, and I’ve always got his back. I think that’s a great place to start.