Learning As You Go

Originally Written April 30, 2018

As I try to put to rest the confusing and heartbreaking couple of months I spent or tried to have an illusion of spending with this guy I met, I think my last post on him will deal with how to leave. In all fairness, he may come up in later posts though.
When he decided he was done with me, he just wouldn’t speak to me anymore. I recently read a book about the male dating revolution (which I’ll discuss in another post) and understand that men now of days aren’t looking for what we used to date for, marriage. It used to be two people got together, decided if they wanted a relationship, worked on it, and then it led to marriage. Men now seem to associate this with a woman staying at home raising kids while he works to death and never gets anything in return. I don’t know where they got that idea, but admittedly I am not dating girls so feel free to share your experience. I don’t believe it is right for women to use men. I don’t believe, nor does the Bible indicate, that that is how marriage works. It is a mutual relationship of helping one another or at least it should be. The other interesting thing I’ve noticed is now society is allowing men to have feelings and my personal opinion on the matter is we never taught them that it is ok to have feelings and how to deal with them so now men are so afraid of rejection they don’t want a date. It involves too much stake in the matter. So they want to “hang out” but “nothing serious” but it’s basically dating with no feelings or commitment. I see it on every dating site I joined. It is concerning to me. And if it gets a little serious, then they “ghost” or, for me it wasn’t even serious yet, but they just quit talking because they don’t want to work through any problems. Relationships just don’t work that way, neither do friendships or relationships with colleagues. We were made for community; built to have relationships. It means they are worthwhile, not that they are always easy. For some reason, we’ve decided to do away with relationships and real meaning in those relationships we allow.

The thing is, I think we all actually want to find some kind of relationship. I think it would be fair to say most of those guys out there who just “want to hang out” actually really want a relationship, but are too afraid of the risk of going for that relationship. I’ve seen several men who have said they have been hurt and unless it is just some tactical ploy I am unfamiliar with, it’s sad they have been hurt this way. Girls have also been hurt this way. The thing is if you don’t risk the hurt of putting yourself out there, you deny yourself the ability to find that real love. You can’t date someone and never talk to them or see them, not have a meaningful conversation, not share those things, eventually not right away, that are part of you. It’s sad for me to know that people have hurt each other this way. I wish we all understood our worth and cared more about each other.

I’m two months out from the ending of this. I wish he would have just been honest about his intentions up front. I wish he would have at least been the good guy he claimed he was and talked to me. I wish he hadn’t lied to me to keep me from becoming too involved in his world. I wish that night instead of going off and making up dating profiles with random and contradicting information from what he told me that he would have just talked to me. I was willing to go through whatever was bothering him with him because I believe that’s what real relationships do. I couldn’t deal with hurting so bad and not getting any answer and trying to prove my own worth to him. I stayed up crying all night and something told me to look on the website we met on and there he was. That hurt more than anything. I know I will never have any real understanding of what was wrong. He said he didn’t want me to hate him but told me how worthless he was and then just disappeared. I don’t believe he is worthless although I said things I took back in an email I sent him that was less than Christian and nowhere near nice. I will forever wonder if he was a jerk who was playing me that I was too naive to catch onto, whether he was going through something in his life and felt the need to keep me as distant as possible, or whether I was a victim of his past playing out in his current life. I paint him as a horrible jerk one minute, but I can’t make it fit with the care and concern I saw out of him, so then I relent that he was just a hurt man who didn’t know what to do.

My Bible study and then a book I was reading both had the phrase “hurt people hurt people”. That is so true. If you are hurt, take some time to work on you before you start a relationship. You will only re-traumatize yourself and the person you try to start it with. If you are going to leave, don’t redo the post it note break up scene from “Sex and the City”. Be an adult. Sit down and talk to the person. Let them know what’s wrong. See if you can fix it. If you can’t, it will hurt but it will hurt both of you less than just ghosting or ignoring until you drive someone who liked you away from you. And if you believe no one can ever love and you and will always leave you and you are doing this all you are doing is giving yourself a self-fulfilling prophesy. You are pouring salt in your own wound. I tend to believe most of us have compassion for others so please have enough compassion to not scar someone this way.

I’m trying hard to put this to bed. So many wonderful things are happening in my life. I’m starting graduate school in just a couple of months, I’m back in courses with my writing institute, I’m preparing for surgery I’ve been trying to get approved for a year to improve my health, and I just got my learner’s permit. I want that relationship too, but I want one that I’m wanted in and I apparently wasn’t wanted in this one. He looked like a bright shiny Christmas present, but when I opened it, the box was empty. Of course that is upsetting because I thought I wanted what was in the pretty box. And honestly, if he had wanted and given a relationship a chance maybe I would have wanted what was in that box. But he took the present out and just tried to make it look nice and all it did was hurt. I am a psychology person so it kills me to not know what happened. I want to understand so my brain keeps trying to come up with an answer. Due to that I went through a lot of articles about emotionally unavailable men and narcissists and heaven knows what else. On a good day I can tell myself this guy was an emotionally unavailable hurt guy who was so focused on his hurt that he pulled any bit of energy towards himself to get himself through. But even on a bad day I can’t believe he was a narcissist.

However, I owe him the biggest thank you for making me go through the hurt he did.
We both had bad pasts. My own is full of abuse from my mother, father, and grandmother. I currently live with my elderly grandmother. While I’m not her caretaker I do the work around the house and there’s no way she could live alone anymore. It’s been a very emotional time trying to live with her as I haven’t since I was a child. I’ve never got to have a real relationship with any member of my family aside from my great grandmother and it is something I have longed for. I have been diagnosed with PTSD from the things I went through and I have put myself through rounds of therapy for years since high school when I turned 18 to try to make it make sense. But this guy led me on a researching adventure and I finally realize my mother and grandmother are both narcissists and I lived with the two of them using me as a pawn my entire life and am dealing with that now. I had already realized I was some sort of pawn and that was the only reason I decided to date. I realized I would never turn out the way my mother and grandmother did and that I was capable of being a great partner to a husband and parent to a child and that I did actually want that even though I have never let myself admit it before. I have craved a relationship with someone like my friends at college had with their families; one of love and closeness. And you can’t have that with a narcissist. Thanks to this guy upsetting me enough to make me look for answers my entire childhood and the traits I have carried into adulthood all make so much sense finally. And now I know how to fix them.

I’ve realized I was trying to decide if he was all bad or all good because that is how my grandma judged every friend and neighbor we had. The truth is, I’ve never seen this guy at work but he seems to do a great job for what he does and he really cares about it. He seems to be there for his mother and told me he took care of his grandmother when she was dying. I wish he cared about me that way too and I felt like something was wrong with me that he wouldn’t. It had to be one of our faults.  In the past relationships I’ve had with my family that are narcissists, I’ve learned I am always wrong, but I didn’t feel wrong for this when I went through periods of trying to figure out what I did wrong.  The truth is I think he just doesn’t do personal relationships well. The truth is I am a good girlfriend; I think I just pushed his fears into the light and he ran. The truth is I wish I could fix it, but it’s not even about me; it’s his to fix and I can’t make him chose to fix it. The truth is I wanted to find a relationship where someone cared about me and I got distracted in the pretty paper that I lost myself in an illusion that makes me feel like I lost more than I lost. The truth is I owe him a sincere thank you for hurting me so bad that I looked for answers and found this because it has finally freed me from a lot of crap from own past.

So if he ever finds his way to my blog, I don’t know what happened that your actions never matched your words or what your intentions were leading me through dead ends for months, although I tend to think they weren’t malicious. I wish I had found that loving relationship with you and I certainly wish things had ended better. I thought if you did leave it would at least be a gentle break up. It’s the hardest one I’ve ever been through. I’m usually over it in two weeks and I still cry over you two months out. I wish you could see what I see in you so you wouldn’t talk about yourself the way you do. I pray one day you won’t do that anymore. I also pray that you won’t act the way you acted to me to another person. The behavior was atrocious, yet I believe you are capable of much better and it steamed from some hurt. The few men in my family hurt me so badly and I’ve never really been able to understand that men have just as many insecurities and emotions as us girls. Oddly enough, try as you did to stuff all that down and be emotionless, you taught me that men have that. Maybe that is why I was so drawn to you. I wasn’t used to seeing that. You don’t understand this right now but that vulnerability you tried so hard to hide made you more sweet and more human to me and I understood it because I’ve been so hurt myself. I was so proud of you for overcoming what you did share with me and becoming the guy you are today, so I hope you overcome being emotionally unavailable too. But thank you for from the bottom of my heart for hurting me enough that I found this so I can move on from my past finally. It honestly feels like a horrible curse has been lifted from me and if it’s your past that holds you back I hope one day you find someone to do the same for you. I just wish we could have helped each other and I figured this out in a much better way, and honestly that I had been that person for you, but I will always be grateful to you for being my key.

When we break up with someone we find that we’ve spent a lot of time investing our energy in that person. I know that is true for me. I know I really liked this guy because my friends will tell you I don’t use a phone for anyone and I carried it faithfully for him. I realized I also had spent a lot of time on edge because I was waiting for him to shut down and quit talking to me like he did before. I knew all along where it was heading; I just thought I could alter the course. I played the game of “prove it to me” he was playing out of his own hurts. So when we break up it’s a chance to put energy back on ourselves. That is what I am doing right now. I’ve talked to a lot of other clowns who are going to make some great blogs, and made some firm boundaries to keep me safe yet allow me to be vulnerable with the next guy that looks like a shiny Christmas present. I hope in a couple of weeks I will be invested in doing what I want to do for me that I can forget this pain and need to figure this out and be ready for someone who is ready for a loving and close relationship like I have in my dreams.

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