Am I in love with you? Yeeeessss?
Do I want to be with you? No.
Do I love you? Yes.
Am I in love with you? Yeeeessss?
Do I want to be with you? No.
Five years ago today I met the woman who would soon become my Step-wife.
I wasn’t planning to meet her that day, but she came to a play my kids were in with Xhusband – and upon the introduction I literally could not breathe. We had been divorced about 10 months.
In true NB fashion, I played it cool. I smiled. I shook hands.
I sat in the front row to get good pictures. They sat on the same row across the isle. My saving grace was that my dad was there that day. Dad and I are not close and he launched the nastiest divorce Houston’s north side had even seen at the time – the stuff of legend. Seriously, people still talk about it. So, he obviously knows how this stuff goes to some degree.
He was cool, too. He smiled. He shook hands.
The play started and I sat in the front row next to Dad. My camera was in my hands and I was facing forward, but I was frozen. Tears streamed quietly down my face. I was struggling to keep that smile. I knew Xhusband would find someone else one day, but I hadn’t thought about what it would be like to meet her.
At this point Dad, still facing forward, stretch his arm around my shoulders and squeezed my right shoulder as if to say “Hey, it’ll be ok. I’m here.” It helped. The tears stopped and I could focus on the kids, the play and taking pictures.
The next year, they got married and I have never been more thankful that I have a step-wife. My life would not be the same without her. She’s fun and funny and they seem to be truly in love. I am so happy they found each other. Most importantly, she loves my kids and they love her. And the most valuable thing she does for me is help Xhusband and I hear each other when we disagree - she moderates fairly and honestly.
We tell people we are one family in two houses and that is truly how we operate. We vacation together. We sit together at the kid’s games and go to school conferences all together. Even my Dad laughs at how well this has worked out. And I think back to his squeezing my shoulder. That’s all he did to tell me “things will be ok” and I was open to it. I mean, that's all one can do is be open to it. Otherwise you'll be miserable.
I saw something come across social media yesterday.
It stuck with me.
“You have to have courage to love somebody. Because you risk everything. Everything.” The quote is attributed to Maya Angelou but these days who knows if she really said that or not.
The words stuck with me because I’m am not courageous, apparently. And I know it.
It implies I can’t love somebody. I want to. But, I don’t think I can – not this way. Not in a way many people describe as “wholly, honestly, completely.”
As bad as it hurts to break up with someone without being so emotionally vulnerable, I can’t begin to think of how it feels to lose them when you’ve completely and totally bought in and turned over your heart to that relationship. It is risky.
Yes, I assume everyone will leave one day because no one has ever proven me wrong on that. No one goes into a relationship intending to leave, but...
I hate it, but I’m not willing to risk everything.
I don't know what it's like to be shy.
I understand the apprehension of going somewhere new and what it feels like to be the only person in the room that didn't walk in with a friend. But I don't understand what it feels like to be truly shy.
My daughter is shy. She is beautiful, talented and smart, but she is genuinely bashful. Many times throughout her life she has cried before getting out of the car when going somewhere new. She is on social media but almost never posts anything or checks to see what others have shared. Her most puzzling behavior is that she often blocks her friends in her phone when she feels they are texting her too much - she tells me she feels obligated to reply to texts and gets overwhelmed by some friends, so instead of asking them to stop or explaining that she doesn't text very much, she simply blocks them. Then her closest few friends call ME and ask ME to ask her questions and tell her things since they know they're on the BLOCKED list. I've explained that her closest friends love her enough to put up with this - but that not many other people will.
As she's turned from a child to a teen I've learned that you're born this way. Shy people don't grow out of it and it isn't a phase. You can offer all the coaching and encouragement in the world but you can't MAKE them unshy - I've tried.
I'm thankful I have a shy child. I've learned many things from her:
1. When you're not talking you're listening.
2. When you're not listening you're not connecting with people.
3. She watches every move every person in a room makes and thinks about why they are doing what they are doing then analyzes what they do next.
4. She's a great judge of character.
With myself and my son being quite outgoing personalities, it can be nice to have someone keep the calm in our house. Spending time with her REQUIRES me to slow down, unplug and focus - which ensures quality time is spent. And for that, I am grateful.
More than any other statement I find I recoil with anxiety, anger and fear when someone says they want, wanted, tried,
plan or planned to “fix” me.
I guess no one else realizes they aren’t perfect and have no business fixing me until they fix themselves.
Also, the past 5 years working on myself and my relationships don’t appear to have made much difference – or I’m just THAT fucked up and 5 years only scratched the surface.
And it makes me feel, more than ever, that I will never find anyone who loves me for who I am… without wanting to fix me to see if they can make me “more loveable.”
Dammit. This completely sucks.
I have recently been reminded that I don't do social media like lots of other people.
I don't think my way is right or better - but I do think my way is less stressful.
I tweet, post pics, update my status and even blog when I want about what I want. For myself.
Sometimes I get writers block and ask for ideas on what to write about here, but if I can't think of anything and I'm not feeling the suggestions I get I just don't write. I don't get paid for this and although I often think of topics I want to expand upon here on the blog, I rarely have the time to sit down and do it. I enjoy writing here, but life comes first.
As for twitter and Instagram, I do those for myself, too.
I can't imagine the stress of trying to be funny, clever or talented "enough" to hang with those who are actually funny, clever and talented. My goal is not to amass a huge following or get RT'ed or Faved or Liked, FF'ed or even star-banged (it's not as fun as it sounds, sadly.)
I figure if you're looking for me you'll find me. And if you like what you see you'll stay. If you really like what you see you'll interact. And if not, that's fine, too.
Chaos is my normal.
“Chaos theory studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions, an effect which is popularly referred to as the butterfly effect. Small differences in initial conditions (such as those due to rounding errors in numerical computation) yield widely diverging outcomes for such dynamical systems, rendering long-term prediction impossible in general. This happens even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future behavior is fully determined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved. In other words, the deterministic nature of these systems does not make them predictable.”
In a nutshell, regardless of the plans I develop, big and small, there will always be tiny – unknown or perhaps imperceptible – primary, secondary or even tertiary events that affect it and drive the plan off course to some degree. The results are that I am late, expectations are not met and sacrifices are usually made in order to accomplish what I can with what can be salvaged of the original plan. This happens to me every day.
One of the pitfalls of understanding that chaos theory is part of my daily life is that when plans go accordingly, I automatically assume something wasn’t accounted for initially. This causes me great stress. My mind starts spinning - I must have forgotten to include something or maybe I didn’t account for such and such! So there is no relief in a plan that goes according to plan.
The most depressing part of this is that my life is so chaotic on a daily basis that when it’s not, I am incapable of relaxing. It’s a physical and mental challenge I can’t meet.
Chaos is my normal.
I’m just going out on a limb here but…
If humans are born with a hard-wired internal drive to get away from things that can hurt us, why can’t we always get away from someone we care about but know can hurt us emotionally?
If someone had a gun or knife or even a spear we would run away as fast as we could.
But when we part with someone we care about either by choice or necessity, we long to be near them once more – even though we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, it will be painful.
It hurts our heart. It sickens our stomach. It jeopardizes other aspects of our lives.
But we’d do almost anything for a glimpse, a note, a sign that they too are feeling the same pain without us and want to be close again.
Everyone has felt this at least once in life - a lost love, a former friend or someone who has passed away.
One would think that for all the harm we instinctively run from, that we would have evolved to simply part ways with someone that does not make us better people.
I suppose “Flight or Fight” is involved in there somewhere. And a large part would be attributed to the differences in physical threats vs. the human condition.
I have to say…I’m a tad disappointed that we aren’t all better at this by now.
Today he texted me the exact moment when he started falling in love with me.
And a girlfriend could tell me the date, last October, we met for the first time.
I’m just not good with dates like that.
And it makes me feel bad.
She will never tell you everything.