Such a struggle

For the last 12 hours, all I have wanted to do is cry.  My sister has been talking to this army guy for about a year who has been deployed, and he came into town last night.  He is staying with us for three days. They met because a guy who I was interested in asked me to go to dinner with him and this guy friend of his one night.  Well, I didn’t want to go by myself, so I made my sister go with me.  So, he and my sister met that night, and they have been talking via Skype for a little over a year since then.  Cute story, right?  Well, the problem is that this is the type of guy I usually go for.  She and I usually never go for the same types of guys, but it’s different this time.  He’s a “good guy” and he seems so perfect.  He’s hilarious and goofy, and not afraid to embarrass himself in public like me.  He is super tall and incredibly attractive.  He seems to have a little bit of a nerdy side, too.  This is such a hard combination to find in a guy… someone who gets along with everyone, makes me really laugh, is hot, nerdy, and super tall… impossible.

So, I finally give up finding someone, and my little sister finds the perfect guy.  It’s so not fair, and I’m very jealous.  I’ve never felt this kind of jealousy before.  I have been through so much more heartache than her, and I’m older than her.  Why the hell have I not found the right person yet?!?!  It would just suck so bad if she got married before me.  I would have a very hard time being happy for her.  Of course I would be happy for her, but I would be so sad, too, and I would have to fake it so that her day was perfect.

I haven’t slept all night, because I like someone I can’t even entertain the thought of.  He came here to see my sister, and I would never get in the way.  That would be wrong.  I was supposed to have a date tonight with that guy I have dreamt about but am afraid of him hurting me.  He cancelled because he has family coming in town.  We were supposed to double date with my sister and her army guy and another couple or two.  I am definitely not going with them, now.  I actually decided to go to a singles mixer thing tonight.  The whole event is for “finding a date for Valentine’s Day.”  I hate that V-day is next week. ugh… so depressing.

99% of me has given up hope, but there’s still that 1% that wants to find someone.  It hurts my heart that I haven’t found him.  It almost feels like he is out there somewhere, and my heart is longing for him and hurting with him because he hasn’t found me, yet, either.  Most of me actually believes that I will never find him.  I’m not the type that looses hope easily.  I’ve always been a fighter, and I don’t give up on things that are important to me.  I just feel like I have lost this battle that I have been fighting for the last 12 years.  How long do you fight until it’s time to give up?  Is it time to just move on and focus on me?

I had another session on Thursday… It was pretty awesome.  I’ll have to update later, because I’m going to go take a Yoga class.  Hopefully I’ll be able to sleep after that.

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Sex

I think the rest of my heart died yesterday. I have given up and have stopped searching. I realized that I really cannot go through this again. I physically cannot take being hurt again. I didn’t think I could handle it before being hurt the last time. He really doesn’t understand how he shattered me. I used to think it was good that I have not found anyone yet. I thought I would find someone after all of my friends rushed their relationships and that my relationship would be the one that lasted. Everyone always tells me that I’m too great of a girl to stay single and that it would be such a waste if I stayed single. Well, I’m done with relationships and closed off to new ones. There was hope for one, but I’m not too sure that we have great compatibility. The chemistry is great, but I don’t know how he feels about me. I’ve blown him off for someone else twice, and he says he likes what we have right now, but I don’t hear from him much, so I don’t know. I have dreams about him, so I know I’m excited about him, but I’m not letting my heart go there. I’m terrified, because I know he could really hurt me.

My best friend and I decided to start sleeping together. He and i have been talking about it for a while now. I You don’t want to fuck me right now unless I missed something asked my therapist before making this decision what she thinks of friends with benefits, and she has no problem with it. This friend of mine is a great guy, but he’s not someone I would want to pursue romantically. He’s four years younger than me and I just don’t feel a romantic connection with him. I actually encouraged him to ask for a waitress’ phone number who always flirts with him when we go to this one restaurant. He has had feelings for me in the past, but I think they are gone now.

So, we made this decision two days ago, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I don’t really have an opinion. I don’t feel any more connected to him. It was fun, but I miss sharing that with someone I love. I had a few reservations about it, like not wanting to add to my number of partners and being afraid of being judged by others if anyone found out. I also don’t like putting chemicals into my body (birth control)… I wonder if this is what catapulted me into feeling that I was completely dead yesterday. I come from a background where sex before marriage is always wrong no matter what. I waited until my late 20s to have sex, and I was in love, so I have no regrets.

I don’t feel emotionally damaged from sex, which is something I used to worry about. In fact I feel a lot more mature and educated about it. I also feel that it has helped me work through the sexual abuse I went through as a child and I can better relate to people. I’m actually turned off by men who are 30 and say they are still virgins. Yeah, I met one of those several months ago. It was just strange for some reason! I also feel like more of an adult, because I have stuff in my life that I don’t care to share with my family. Since I still live at home, feeling independent and like an adult is important to me. My mother still tries to rule my life, so I take control by not telling her every detail. I cannot wait to move out this fall!

Maybe I’ll sign up for one of those television dating shows just for fun. Those are such a joke and I might have the opportunity to travel the world and make some friends for free! I’ll probably end up being the one who quits the show when I realize the guy is a total douche bag. For now, my focus is getting that teaching job and moving out on my own!

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.

I officially hate Facebook

Four of my friends have recently announced to the world that they have stepped out of the dating realm and into what feels like an alternate reality or another dimension that is unreachable for me.  They got engaged, have beautiful rings, and now get to plan for the happiest day of their lives.  I could not care less about a huge flashy ring and ridiculous ceremony.  I have never really cared about those things.  I just want to find the person I am supposed to marry and be happy.  I am so inconceivably SICK of being so f*cking HURT!!!!!!!

I am incredibly hurt by this whole thing I’ve been going through but no longer letting it rule my life.  I still haven’t heard from him, which makes me really angry, but what can I do?  His parents are really upset with him, too.  I went over to his house last night and left a few things he gave me on his bed and computer desk.  I decided against leaving any mean notes, which I think was the right thing to do.  It would have been so nice to say a few nasty things, but I’d rather say them to his face if I ever get the chance.  He obviously can’t handle it when someone is mad at him, which is why he has disappeared.  That’s a pussy for ya.

I talked with his mother for a while.  She initiated the conversation and pretty much told me that I deserve better.  (He recently moved back home.) She let me know that she told him he was letting go of the best thing that has ever happened to him.  But, she also said he hasn’t really talked to her and she is going to try to talk to him in the next few days.  Maybe I will hear from him… kinda doubt it, though.  I really hate not getting closure.  We haven’t even officially broken up.  I told his mom that it’s over for me and if he ever wants to talk to me, he is going to have to reach out to me, because I’m done.  I especially won’t send him any more messages, because I don’t want him to be distracted while he is working and get shot or something.  Too, bad he wouldn’t give me the same courtesy.  He just let me f*cking suffer for a whole week.  His mom was very supportive of my actions and sorry I had to go through the hell that I did.  I could tell she was angry with him for doing that to me, and she said his dad was going to kick his butt.  He never asked his parents about if they have ever gone through this like I suggested, which tells me he was never searching for answers.  That hurts.  He didn’t care.  He just effing gave up.  I hate people who quit so easily.

Each day that goes by where I don’t hear a word from him reduces his chances of me ever considering him again.  I’m not sure if there is anything he could say at this point that would even allow my heart to trust him again.  He has a TON of growing up to do.  I do miss him and still love him.  I will for a while, but I have to be an adult and not a hopeless romantic by taking care of myself.  I’m trying to convince myself that I will find someone better, but I just don’t believe it right now.  I think that’s normal.

I scheduled a session with a therapist on Monday.  I feel I just need to talk to someone about how my dating life has gone the past few years.  I changed things up since doing all the “right things” wasn’t working, and the new way of doing things is not working either.  I know my main issue is allowing my biological clock to scream in my ear, but I really am terrified of that.  I feel like the alarm is going off and I keep hitting snooze.  Part of the reason I am so angry might be that I subconsciously believe HE ruined another great chance for me to get married and settle down.  HE threw me back into the dating world again, and I HATE it here.  HE chose to not protect me from that world, and I really believed he would.  I wanted to do that for him.  I don’t want to be that girl who just makes a relationship work because she just wants to get married, which is why I am letting him go.  I’m sure at some point I will be happy I did.  It’s really hard to be this strong, but it feels good to take care of myself, too.

I feel so bad that I have pushed my family away the past few years.  My sister mentioned to me that she feels my boyfriends are more of a priority over spending time with her.  I think that happens when you wait so late to get married.  You become so focused on finding that person when you feel you are running out of time, so you kinda forget about your family and everything else for that matter.  I didn’t mean for that to happen, but I think it’s actually natural to start separating and becoming independent.  I have been so focused on career and finding my soul mate the past few years.  I should have moved out a long time ago.  It just took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life other than ballet.  I think my family would function better if I was not here.  I think I would actually make time to go to dinner or lunch every now and then, because in my mind, I see them all every day right now so why go do something extra once a week when I could be dating!  I don’t know… Maybe I’m wrong for thinking that way.

I just wish someone would save me from all of these sharks in the huge ocean I feel I am swimming in.  I wish someone would let me save them, too.