Fear

I received a message not too long ago from the recent ex.  He has obviously been following me on Facebook.  Here’s what it said: “It really warms my heart to see how happy you are, and if we have a barrier where I can’t tell you something like that, then you should probably unfriend me because friends can say that kind of thing. That’s it. Oh, and Happy Holidays.”

Really?  I’m sorry, but I just can’t go from lovers to friends like that when the former lover hurt me like he did.  To choose something like comedy over me out of fear of hurting me is letting fear win.  He let his fear win.  In his mind, it was either hurt me now or hurt me later, so he chose now.  I didn’t respond.  I just deleted him.  I’m still bitter about it, because I don’t understand it.  I would choose to face the fear and work through it.  That’s what I do every day.

You see, I have this horrible fear of dying.  It stems from being a religious fanatic growing up and believing that when I died, I would go to heaven.  So, I had nothing to fear.  Death was just a way to pass from this life into eternal life where everything would be better than this life.  Believing that way was a wonderful way to live.  I lived in a fantasy world where God would always forgive me, and I didn’t have to fear anything because God was on my side.  A few years ago, I woke up and saw all of the deceit and manipulation that exists in religion.  I hate lies and am a truth seeker, so I began to seek truth wherever I could find it.

It all started when I began to ask this question, “Other people on the other side of the world think they have the right answers.  They think I’m wrong.  I think I have the right answers and think that they are wrong.  Well, someone has to be right, and someone has to be wrong.  What if that person is me?  What if I am wrong?”  Once I began to look at my belief system and see how flawed it really was, it crushed me.  I was very depressed for a long time, because I could not figure out what the right answers were.  I finally realized that there are none.  We all have a piece of this large puzzle.  No one has it all right.

I do have some peace now, but I still have this incredible fear of death.  I think about it every day.  I look at people and feel sorry for them, because one day, they won’t be here anymore.  Fading into nothingness terrifies me, and if I let it, the fear will cripple me.

That’s what fear does. It cripples people.  It holds them back from being who they really could be and keeps them from living life to the fullest.  It prevents happiness in all aspects…

If you allow it to.

I fight this fear every day.  I face it, and I push myself through it even though it terrifies me.  He chose to let fear win.  I choose to let fear make me stronger.  It drives me to be a better person for myself and others.  I really do feel that I am finally on the right path to change the world.  I’ve always felt like I had a high calling in life, so we shall see.

Here’s to fear.  Fight!

Dignity…

…the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect.

“Our dignity is the one self-concept we humans dread losing and will try to maintain at all costs.”

This is an awesome quote that really stood out to me in my pedagogy class tonight. This is exactly why the relationship with my mom is so strained. I feel that she takes my dignity away all the time.  I had the guts to tell her how I feel about her a couple of weeks ago.  I usually just sit there while she lectures me and tells me how I do everything wrong, how I push everyone away, how I’m self-destructive, and how the whole family agrees with her about me.  I finally told her that she never tells me that she is proud of me.  You know what she said to me?  “Well, you haven’t done much to be proud of lately.”  Wow.  So all of my accomplishments in dance, community service, being the first of my family to get a college degree, my current pageant title, and finally deciding to be a teacher are nothing to be proud of… apparently not.

It’s a good thing I have been learning how to separate myself from her the past few years.  I have been learning how to validate myself without her support, which is hard to do while living with her.  I stay away from home a lot and stay very busy.  Maybe that’s why I decided so late in life to try doing a pageant.  Maybe I subconsciously needed the validation that I could do and be something greater than myself.  I have made so many good friends who build me up and keep me thinking positively about myself.  That, to me, is a very good thing.

I was talking to my sister today and telling her how it feels to be looked so down upon by my family.  It’s like they see me as this little child who is incapable of making any good choices and I have to be guided along with someone holding my hand every step of the way.  They do not trust me to make decisions that are best for me.  They try to run my life and then get angry when I don’t do things their way.  I feel so alienated and misunderstood by my family, and they don’t care.  If I ever tell my mom how I feel, I end up being the selfish one who has pushed everyone away.  What about taking me seriously for once?  Aren’t my feelings valid at some point?  I can’t be that crazy!  Maybe my mom has painted this picture of me to my family that is not true.  Maybe her perception of me is really just that: hers!

I said to my sister, “it really sucks not being trusted by your own family,” and she just told me that I don’t make good decisions.  I said, “well that’s your opinion.”  I dated one really bad person for a year, and that ended about a year ago.  So, because I got so stuck in that relationship, they think I’m self-destructive.  My sister really thinks that if they had not been so vocal about my horrible choices in that relationship, that I would have destroyed my life by staying with him. What she doesn’t realize is that I completely tuned them out after a while and made the choice to get out of the relationship myself.  I MADE THAT DECISION!  THEY DID NOT BREAK UP WITH HIM FOR ME!  I’m the one that had to make those decisions, because I’m the one that had to live with them.  I had to say goodbye to someone I loved dearly, not them!

That period of my life was absolute hell, because everyone in my life was against me.  I had absolutely NO support.  I was madly in love with the wrong person, and instead of my family helping me through it, I was pinned against the wall for it.  I was lectured and told that I was stupid.  I’m sure it is scary to see someone you care about in a bad relationship, but I needed support, not added stress.  I needed for my parents to trust me to make the right decision for me.  What I needed was for someone to say, “I understand you and what you are going through and that you will make the right choice in the end.”  I was dating the wrong person AND my family was angry with me.  I knew I wouldn’t stay with him, but I didn’t know how to get out.  I was very suicidal and felt completely alone.  I did have one friend who was very understanding, and she is probably the sole reason I did not end my life.  Well that, and I knew my family would be devastated.  I didn’t want to prove them right about me being so incredibly selfish.  My friend helped me see light at the end of the tunnel, and that’s just what I needed.

I may have made some very different decisions after that relationship than I would have before it, but I came out of that relationship a completely different person than I was before it.  I had sex for the first time, started to see my mom as not being right all the time, embarked on a very difficult spiritual journey, began to see sex in a more mature and healthy light, and I discovered my own sense of morality that was my own, not one that someone told me to have.  I slept with someone I was not in a relationship with and learned from that how I didn’t want to do that again.  I slept with someone who I was in a relationship with but wasn’t in love with, and I learned that I didn’t want that either.  Then I learned what making love is, and that’s what I want, but I need to spend more time cultivating a relationship before going there.  I need to make sure that he is going to be around for the long haul and not give up because he’s scared of commitment.  It takes time to really get to know someone and truly love them.  I knew all of this, but I really learned it.

I completely understand the concept of how your actions affect everyone around you, especially your family.  I know that if I got pregnant, it would not be a good thing right now.  BUT, they also have to trust me to be smart about that.  They did raise me very well.  I’m not stupid, and waiting until you’re 27 to have sex is quite remarkable.  How about being proud of that?!  Oh, but it’s okay for the little sister to do it, just not me, because I’m retarded.  I try to tell myself that they are just harder on me because they expect greater things of me.  It gets harder and harder to believe that, especially when you are told you are stupid…  I have tried so hard not to be a burden on my parents.  That’s probably one reason why I haven’t moved out yet, because I’m so afraid to fail and have to move back home or ask them to bail me out.  I never ask them for anything. NEVER.

I am very happy that I waited until my late 20s to have sex, because I feel that I am emotionally mature enough to handle it.  I waited until I was in love, so I cannot regret that.  It is not the emotionally scarring thing that I was told it would be if you do it with the wrong person.  I truly do not have regrets about those experiences because I really learned from them.  I think regret comes from not understanding the lesson you are supposed to learn and not being able to forgive yourself for making a mistake.  Mistakes are opportunities to grow.  They are not red marks on your research paper.  I actually did feel regret for a while about sleeping with my last boyfriend, because I was so in love with him.  I think that’s because I was mad at myself for knowing better than to move so fast.  I did know better, but what I learned from that was what the voice of my gut sounds like.  I learned so well that my gut feelings are spot on and that I should NEVER ignore them.  I knew it was too fast when he told me he loved me.  I knew he didn’t know me well enough to say it, but I ignored that feeling and went with it, because I wanted him to be the last person I would ever have to date, and I wanted him to feel validated in being so open with me.  I have ignored those gut feelings a lot in my life in order to make others happy, including my mom.

My mom has been a terrific mom.  She has taught me so many things and shared so much of her wisdom with me.  She really is one of the strongest people I know considering how terrible her life was up until about 15 years ago.  However, she has not allowed me to learn from experience, which is how I learn best.  She hates that I learn best from experience.  It’s so ironic that she is the one who taught me how you can’t raise each of your children exactly the same way, because their personalities demand different parenting methods.  I was always so angry growing up that my youngest sister was treated so differently and got away with so much, but I understand why now.  What my mom needs to see is that she doesn’t really believe that.  If she did, she might not be so hard on me.

I feel that I have learned so much from my mom’s wisdom, and I stayed out of so much trouble compared to my peers in school because of that. However, there is only so much you can learn by just listening to someone’s advice and warnings.  You know, learning from experience may be the hardest way to learn life lessons, but that’s who I am, and that’s okay.

Session 3 and a date

I had my third therapy session yesterday, and we barely talked about him.  I think I’m starting to heal and realize that he really wasn’t the right one for me.  I could have made that relationship work if he was in it, and I wanted to, but ultimately I don’t think it’s exactly what I wanted.  We talked mostly about my mom and the damage done to me from that relationship.  It stems from something deeper than her, though.  It goes all the way back to the abuse my grandfather suffered, and it probably goes further than that, but that’s as far as I know.

My great grandfather was verbally abusive to my grandfather and never told him once that he loved him.  I’m sure the abuse was much worse than I know, because my grandfather abused my mother horrifically both verbally and physically.  There was some sexual abuse there as well, but no rape or anything like that.  This damaged my mom beyond anything I think she could ever recover from, so she married into an abusive situation thinking she was escaping her childhood.  That’s where I was damaged.  My mom had great friends, though, who helped her get out of this marriage before a lot of damage could be done.  I suffered some sexual abuse that I remember, but I my siblings don’t remember anything.

My sense of self and identity were greatly damaged from what I am starting to realize.  I have always had a very hard time trusting in my own decisions or making up my mind about anything.  Everything I do is to appease someone else.  My mom has added to this issue by not completely letting me be my own person.  It has taken me well into my adult years to finally start to trust myself and realize that my goals, dreams, decisions, and mistakes are okay and good.  The only thing I’ve really been able to hang onto is dance.  I know that I am a dancer and that can never be taken from me.  However, my dream to dance professionally in New York never came about because I did not have the support I needed to do it.  My parents never wanted me to go and never supported it.  So I spent some time traveling there and auditioning, but you must live there to land jobs.  It still hurts that this dream of mine was shattered.  I have tried to dance and perform locally, and it’s great, but it is not the same.  I don’t feel that I truly lived to my fullest potential, and now my body is getting too old.

So, I have spent the last ten years trying to find something that I love and that my parents support, too.  Now I am working on my teaching certification to teach middle and high school science.  I am always studying about something science-related.  I find the sciences absolutely fascinating, so I’m sure I will love teaching it.  This career will also support my dancing on the side, but I am so afraid that it will take over and not allow me to dance.  I can’t let that happen.  I am at a point now, though, where I need to get out of my parents’ house at all cost, and this is the quickest way to do it.

I went on a date last night, and it was awesome!  This is a guy that I met several months ago online.  I was crazy about him the moment I saw his picture, and I had to meet him.  He gets better every time I hang out with him, but I have turned him down to date two other guys and he teases me about that.  I told him last night that I am afraid to fall for him because of our differences in religious beliefs.  They aren’t too far off, but for a fanatical religious person, my views are not okay.  My best relationship was destroyed because of this issue, and I am so afraid to be hurt like that again.  I like him so much that I know how bad it would hurt to be hurt by him.  So, for now, we are just taking things slow.  I like that.

Session 2

Today was very interesting.  I briefly talked about my last conversation with my ex, cried a little bit, and then realized that it’s not the end of the world.  It’s hard to see that when your in the midst of feeling the hell that is heartbreak.  It really does “feel like a death,” my therapist said.  She identified with me instead of reaming me for everything I did wrong.  She then helped me see that I am a “caretaker” and that may not be what he wanted.  He doesn’t want another mother.  I’m starting to feel as though he just got bored with me.  I was too available, which didn’t feel right to him, because that’s not what he really wants even though that’s what he said he wanted.  I wanted to be there for him and to help him whenever he had troubles.  I wanted him to do the same for me.  I already knew all of this, but I am admitting it all to myself now.  I’m scared to admit it all, because I don’t want to feel responsible for that relationship failing.  He had absolutely no criticism for me, so maybe it wasn’t my fault.  I do understand now why it is so important to take things slow.  The therapist doesn’t think I was really in love since it takes a lot of time to really love someone.  She could be right, but I really do feel that I loved and cared for him deeply and still do.  I just wish I could understand what happened.

After this short conversation about him, we shifted focus on the relationship with my mother.  That is a source of a lot of pain for me, because nothing I do is ever good enough for her and none of my choices are right in her eyes.  She makes me feel completely incapable of making my own decisions and has my sister to back her up.  Therefore, I don’t trust my decisions and frequently second-guess myself.  This is why it has taken me 10 years since graduating high school to finally figure out what I want to do with my life.  I finally found something that I think I will enjoy that is also okay with her.  I will finally be able to move out on my own this fall and be my own person.  I need that more than anything.

My mom likes to give me a lot of unwarranted advice.  I might actually ask her for advice sometimes if she didn’t always throw it at me like an accusation of me being retarded and unable to think for myself.  I know her intentions are good, and she loves me, but I need space to be an adult and live my own life!  It seems that almost every time she opens her mouth about anything, I automatically throw up my wall and start getting offended.  I fight myself so hard to not feel it, show it, and not say a word.  I just sit there and take it and smile and nod.  On the rare occasion that I do say something I’m thinking, it turns into a huge fight and I end up being the crazy selfish person.  I even find myself wanting to do the exact opposite of everything she tells me to do just in spite of her.  I know that’s horrible, but that’s how sick I am of feeling like a child with no wisdom.  I don’t want her taking credit for my successes anymore and I’m not sure why.  Maybe I just want to feel some ownership over my life for once.  I want my mom to just trust in how she raised me and just f*cking let me go be an adult and learn from my own mistakes.  She does have a lot of wisdom, but she never allows me to ask her.  Instead, she shoves it down my throat.  She has backed off some since realizing I never listen to her anyway, but it still sounds like a broken record when she talks.  She says the same shit over and over again.

My therapist drew a conclusion that my mom has unintentionally put me in “her dark place” through her fear of me making her mistakes and destroying my life like she did.  The therapist asked me what would happen if my mom was ever made to realize that her actions were the cause of so much of my sadness/pain/suffering, and I became speechless and started to cry.  I said that it would destroy her if she ever could see that and own it, because she truly loves me and has been through so much anguish in her life already.  I don’t think she could handle that reality.  The therapist then pointed out that caretaker in me.  How ironic.  She said that I keep myself in this little box of trying to be perfect and please my mom and being afraid to confront her with my experience of her.

Any time I do try to talk to my mom about how I feel, it always turns into me being the selfish one that pushes everyone away.  It always turns into a heated argument.  Oh, and apparently I can’t see or understand the affect I have on people.  I’m a pretty self-aware person and pretty receptive to criticism, so that sends me on this thought process where I wonder if I really do have these major issues I can’t see, and if I can’t see them, I must really be batshit insane.  My therapist has made me feel very validated in how I feel about my mom, but then I hear my mom in the back of my head saying, “she doesn’t know you like I do.”  My mom thinks I manipulate everyone into seeing the world as I see it and making her look bad.  I’m really sick of feeling crazy.  I really don’t do that.  My mom is a wonderful mother.  We’ve just had some big issues that have snowballed in the past several years.  I’m more interested in moving out, career, and finding a husband than I am in being her daughter right now.  Once those things in my life settle down, I’ll gravitate back towards her a little…. maybe.

On a more positive note, I have a lunch date tomorrow, and I’m actually looking forward to it.

My dating philosophy… this is good. READ IT!

I’ve been trying to figure out why my relationships fail and what I have been doing this past year that has caused them to end in similar ways.  I used to have very long and very good relationships that just ended for whatever reason.  That wasn’t working for me, so I began to try something different, which is also not working.  I discovered something this morning after waking up at 4:30am with a massive headache unable to fall back asleep.  It’s amazing the things you come up with when you cannot fall asleep.

I discovered that I have a view that all men are pretty stupid.  This plays out in my relationships in the following way:  I tend to give men all the information they need to successfully chase, date, and keep me.  I figured that if they have all this information up front or pretty soon into the relationship, and they still screw up, then they are just f*cking morons.  I’ve always sucked at playing games like “hard-to-get” and all the other things women do to keep a man’s attention.  I just want to be open, honest, and be in a good healthy relationship.  Well, most people aren’t as straightforward with who they are as I am, so it’s time for me to change the way I approach dating.

Here’s what I realized about my upfront policy…  Let’s take a look at how men operate.  For the most part, they hate asking for directions and hate looking at instructions for anything.  They like to figure things out on their own and successfully build something without anyone, including a piece of paper, telling them how to do it.  They get this sick satisfaction of doing something on their own and being a success without help.  They like to conquer things alone and take all the credit for doing so.  So how does this translate into relationships?  THEY DON’T WANT THE INSTRUCTIONS!!!!  No matter how many times men say they just want a woman to be open and honest and not play games, they really do want that.  Why? Because it’s f*cking exciting to them!  It’s a thrill to chase and conquer.  They don’t want everything upfront, because there’s nothing to conquer and figure out at that point.  It becomes boring to them.

Men are simple.  Give them food, sex, and let them figure things out on their own.  Well, as long as they think they did it on their own, they feel like a superstar… kind of like the two year old that says “NO MOMMY! I CAN DO IT!”  However, you still kinda help the two-year old in a clever way in which they think they did it on their own.  This is why women always get what they want… they raise the kids and understand this psychological complex.  Women are very smart creatures if they allow themselves to be.  I’m not saying that women need to treat men like two-year-olds.  However, there are some striking similarities.

Okay, that was the good part of this post.  I would love to your thoughts, so please comment below. Now, here is a relationship update:

I still have not heard from him.  It has been two weeks, and he has disappeared completely.  I made this mistake with him.  I gave him everything, and he lost feelings for me.  Now, I am not saying that this is entirely my fault.  What I am saying is that I should have done some things differently, because I would not have been as hurt in the end.  He told me that he absolutely HATED games, yet he spent all his time playing computer games.  Relationship games and computer games aren’t exactly the same, but you can draw some good parallels between the two.  Emotional immaturity or instability is rampant in men who game constantly.  That should have been my first red flag.  There are very few exceptions.  He also said he loved me after about three or four dates.  That shows me impulsiveness and immaturity, because you cannot know someone well enough that quickly no matter how many countless hours you have talked.  He made that decision based on an emotion, and that’s a recipe for disaster.  I knew better, but I kept going.

He also told me that he had been in love twice before and did not lose the feelings with them.  Those girls did not make themselves as available as I did.  So that translates to them being more exciting, because he always had to chase them.  He didn’t know what to do with a girl who doesn’t play games.  Eventually, men do get tired of the games and they just want to win. This is the point at which you get engaged and married.  This is the scary part, because there’s no more chasing and they have won.  Well, what happens when a two-year-old finally gets that toy he’s been throwing a fit about?  He plays with it for a few minutes, gets tired of it, and looks for a new interesting toy.  Some men actually grow up and realize they have the best thing in the world and they want to hold onto it.  I’m pretty smart about relationships, but I have no idea what to do if I ever get to that point.  Based on my last few experiences, men run away once they win the game.  I think there are still ways to keep things interesting for him once there’s a ring on your finger, but this still scares me.  I don’t think I could survive emotionally if my husband had an affair.

For now, I am going to approach dating with a whole new perspective.  I don’t know why it took me so long to understand this concept.  Some women just get it, but I feel I have really learned it.  I am first taking time for me before starting a relationship again, but I plan on cultivating some friendships in the meantime.  All good relationships start with a solid friendship.  I need to get back to that principle.  I used to be really good about that one.

Time to try to sleep for an hour before attacking a very long day.

Last night

I have felt lately that I am not living in my body. I’m sitting at Starbucks outside right now, and I heard some sirens behind me. As they got louder, I wondered if they were coming for me and I was actually unconscious thinking I was still continuing to drink my passionfruit tea and write on my blog. It’s a scary place to wonder if you are dreaming or not. I had to ask someone to clarify where I was last night, because I really was not sure if I was physically there.

I had another sleepless night. I can’t keep doing this to myself. I think I figured out what happens when I snap. Maybe I’ll write about that sometime. If I don’t do something about this today, I might just end up hating myself, and that’s not a good place to be. I don’t want to give up on us, but it might be time to look out for myself. I am suffering, and I’m sure he has no idea. He may not even care. He doesn’t love me, or he would be with me. My family is very worried about me. I checked into a hotel last night instead of going home, because I don’t want my family to hurt for me. They don’t deserve that. I really couldn’t afford that hotel. Thank God for credit cards when you need them.

That Jason Mraz song doesn’t apply to my situation. I can’t just sit back and patiently wait for him when I don’t know if he even wants me to or not. I fear that I am going to hate him at the end of all of this, and I do not want that. I just turned my claddagh ring back around to signify that I am single again… preparing for the worst… probably my best bet at this point. It has been almost a week. Who needs a week to decide whether or not you love someone?! That’s just f*cked up to me. I feel that I am being dragged through the mud and I am sick of it. I want to be with him, but I need to take care of me, too. I will never trust someone like that so easily ever again.

I trusted that when he said he loved me, he would stick to it. I trusted that falling for him would not result in my heart being shattered. I trusted him too much, and there’s no way I could trust him again. It’s time to move on. I think I’m done, but then again, I know me and that it will depend on what he says to me. I don’t want to hate him. I wish I could give him three weeks, but I can’t. I’m at my wits end, literally, and I don’t deserve this.

Last night

I have felt lately that I am not living in my body. I’m sitting at Starbucks outside right now, and I heard some sirens behind me. As they got louder, I wondered if they were coming for me and I was actually unconscious thinking I was still continuing to drink my passionfruit tea and write on my blog. It’s a scary place to wonder if you are dreaming or not. I had to ask someone to clarify where I was last night, because I really was not sure if I was physically there.

I had another sleepless night. I can’t keep doing this to myself. I think I figured out what happens when I snap. Maybe I’ll write about that sometime. If I don’t do something about this today, I might just end up hating myself, and that’s not a good place to be. I don’t want to give up on us, but it might be time to look out for myself. I am suffering, and I’m sure he has no idea. He may not even care. He doesn’t love me, or he would be with me. My family is very worried about me. I checked into a hotel last night instead of going home, because I don’t want my family to hurt for me. They don’t deserve that. I really couldn’t afford that hotel. Thank God for credit cards when you need them.

That Jason Mraz song doesn’t apply to my situation. I can’t just sit back and patiently wait for him when I don’t know if he even wants me to or not. I fear that I am going to hate him at the end of all of this, and I do not want that. I just turned my claddagh ring back around to signify that I am single again… preparing for the worst… probably my best bet at this point. It has been almost a week. Who needs a week to decide whether or not you love someone?! That’s just f*cked up to me. I feel that I am being dragged through the mud and I am sick of it. I want to be with him, but I need to take care of me, too. I will never trust someone like that so easily ever again.

I trusted that when he said he loved me, he would stick to it. I trusted that falling for him would not result in my heart being shattered. I trusted him too much, and there’s no way I could trust him again. It’s time to move on. I think I’m done, but then again, I know me and that it will depend on what he says to me. I don’t want to hate him. I wish I could give him three weeks, but I can’t. I’m at my wits end, literally, and I don’t deserve this.