Under a spell

Lighthouse II by ambrits

September 8—I dreamed I had a big beautiful old house and everyone loved me for it and I had to buy a lawnmower for the overgrown grass. I also dreamed I was in India during a war and there were planes flying overhead. I was trying to pack my bags and keep them packed for when the opportunity arose to get out. I think that dream comes from my relationship with P. I’m always ready to leave if need be.

You know, I finally see something I do in my relationships: I decide what’s best for the men because they obviously cannot decide themselves. Like P. He’s too financially insecure to have a girlfriend at this time so, I’ll spare him and leave. I guess that’s a huge form of projection. I can think of a million reasons why he might not want me in his life and so, I try to accommodate. Why do I do this? To protect myself?

I was able to do a great thing though the other day when I bailed out of lunch. I didn’t go running over to his house like a sucker and start crying like a baby. If that were C, I would have run over to his house, desperate, crying, asking for forgiveness. I stand up for myself and reject these men on the one hand, and then, I fall apart and run back after them. God. Why? Well, I didn’t do it this time and it felt empowering.

Anyway, yesterday was lovely. We took the boys to the lighthouse and climbed to the top. We ate at Kelly’s then drove to the amusement park for some arcade games. Angel bought a stop light and Liam bought a Pokémon toy.

The whole day was pretty much spent putting P to sleep under the hypnotic power of Liam. Liam would say, “Fall asleep, P…” and P, despite the fact that he was driving, would fall asleep and start snoring.   Then Liam would say something like, “Your new name is George Washington,” and when P would wake up he’d (pretend to) believe he was George Washington. Of course, he cast other spells on him while he was sleeping, like, “When you wake up you will no longer want to go to the pub.” Sometimes these spells worked and sometimes they didn’t. It really was the cutest thing ever, and I definitely thought of some spells I would have liked to cast on P myself. Love her…stay with her… 

We dropped P off at about five and as I was leaving I found a bag of pot right on top of his TV in the candle with the light bulb in it. After many months of staring at that oddity, I finally picked it up (the light bulb) and there was his little baggy. He said it was old, and I believe him. But, if it’s so old what did he smoke at last month’s big pot fiasco? And maybe he has more stashed away somewhere. Who knows. If you lose awareness of pot in your house you probably have more hidden away somewhere. I’m looking the other way. I took it,  wrapped it up in tinfoil and plan to throw it away in some random trash can.

I went to bed reading my new book: That Which You are Seeking is Causing You to Seek. The jury is out on this one.

 

Creeping Insecurities

September 7—I think the ugliness is almost over but I cannot be sure. I slept horribly but I did sleep right next to P. He slept over with the boys here for the very first time. We went out to Mikado or some Japanese restaurant last night. It poured all day but it wasn’t nearly the kind of storm I thought it would be. It was quieter, less rambling. I almost had lunch with P but it didn’t feel right and I bailed out. He’s teaching me not to expect too much from him, especially when it concerns “time” and so, I felt lunch was too much to ask. Besides, I knew if I saw him I’d completely lose it. Not that it was any better later, but I faked it. Sort of.

I was annoyed by the whole no sex and no real touching matter the night before. Hugs only. With the exception of this: he asked if he could “do” anything for me sexually, kind of like a sacrificial offering. But that idea repulsed me. I don’t even know what that would look like. The thought of a man going down on me when he wasn’t exactly into it didn’t seem very appealing.

Anyway, every insecurity crept into me yesterday… what is it about me that makes men want to stop having sex? I can’t be that repulsive, can I? BD couldn’t get enough of me. And speaking of BD, his mother called yesterday to buy some of our products. Well, buy is the wrong word. She wanted free stuff. Maybe if I were still dating her son. Ugh. What a shameless bunch they are.

P has to work again tonight. It actually turns my stomach when he tells me that. I suppose because I only partly believe him.

As for personal stuff I sent out four short stories. Go me!

Lately I have been comparing P to C. A lot. If P does something that C did, dear Lord, it scares me. When C stopped wanting to have sex with me about eight months into our relationship it would lead to two things: that we would not have sex for a year straight, and that all talk of him sleeping over, living with me or marrying me would cease.

When P doesn’t want to have sex I can’t help but fear the same fate. And yet, they are two different people. Aren’t they? I’m beginning to wonder.

 

History repeats itself

Man without face I by The96th

September 6—As I laid in bed this morning it all kinda came to me, how my life really hasn’t changed very much in the way of the men I choose. I keep repeating dysfunctional patterns.

I replaced one C with another. Same guy, different face.

When I think of the similarities it disturbs me greatly. It’s been months since P slept over. It’s been months since we’ve actually enjoyed sex. It’s been months since we’ve been together with any normalcy. He’s lost his libido. He works incessantly. Then, there are so many roadblocks to him: the midnight shift, Jackie, my kids, P-time, the weather.

Yes, I was told last night edit it rains, he’s staying in all day and catching up on “P-time.” Really? Is that a thing? You would think he’d choose Tracy time. He hasn’t seen me in so long. But instead, he opts for Tracy-Angel-Liam-food-time. Forget alone-time with just me.

One of these days I will offer him nothing but time alone with me. No food. No excitement. It’ll be interesting to see if I am enough. Just me. What is a reasonable amount of time couples spent together anyway? Sleep together? Is it unreasonable that I would want some alone time with him? Gosh, I just don’t know.

A poem of mine was rejected today, but they liked it enough to send me a personal note saying they want to see more of my writing (Ploughshares). I guess that’s cool. But it reopened some wounds. It pains me immensely to be rejected. I take it personally even though I know I shouldn’t.

Seriously though, I have to get certain things through my head: I am only dating this man. I am not married to him. I am not betrothed to him. This is a time to get to know him and for him to get to know me. It’s not a time to be sucked into an addiction. He cannot answer all my prayers. He cannot save me. We are not even living together. I need to back off.

A disturbing confrontation

rain rain, go away by sonbaharhanim

September 4—I nearly lost my mind yesterday dealing with my sons who were so wired and disrespectful and not paying attention. Even P was pissing me off by evading me, and if it weren’t for the fact that he was working so hard with all those crazy genealogists until nine at night, I would have ignored him. But, we were both stressed and both admitted to needing a hug and then later, when we calmed down, he texted and said, “Good night, kitten,” and I said, “Sweet dreams, buttercup.” And that was that.

The truth is, P was playing with Liam the other day and he put him on his shoulders. This disturbed me greatly because P, during one of our more intimate moments, confessed to doing something about a year or so ago that probably would have set any normal healthy woman running in disgust but which didn’t seem to affect me at all. Until the other day. I told P that putting Liam on his shoulders like that was not allowed; it made me very uncomfortable, based our prior conversation. He became hugely embarrassed and said that now he was uncomfortable, and how dare I not trust him.

“I’m not accusing you of anything,” I said, “It just makes me feel uncomfortable.” I floundered. Actually, I am accusing him. Fully warranted too. But, then, all night I felt rotten about bringing it up. And yet, I SHOULD NOT. I am protecting my son. What kind of mother would I be if I ignored this? I feel guilty for not trusting P, and yet, P needs to earn my trust and that apparently is taking longer than expected. God, what is wrong with me?! This shouldn’t even be an issue! Don’t touch my child, but don’t close off to me. Don’t give up on me. Be your perfect self you were on day one. Am I asking too much? Am I simply over-reacting?

My suspicious mind and neediness is working overtime again. I hate this. I suggested he come over for dinner tonight and while it was relatively easy getting him here (he loves food), by the end of the night when I tried to kiss him and fool around, his pushed me away. His heart wasn’t in it. Truthfully, if someone confronted me with what I confronted him with, I wouldn’t be in the mood either. And I guess he was good about it. But then he said he knows he’s not giving me what I deserve. But, he is! It’s just this extra time at the grocery store, these late night shifts, that’s all. It’s causing me to feel so detached, like we’re not in a normal relationship.

Tomorrow will be our seven-month anniversary. Please Lord, let us continue to grow closer and deeper.

We’re supposed to head down to OC with the boys this Saturday night. I have to wait until then to see what happens.

 

First glimpse of D

Warm winter By Ezgi Polat @ezgipolat.photography

September 2—I spent the night down at my brother’s beach house along with my mother, step-father, and a bunch of others. We all went to the Surf Club and met up with other friends of my brothers’. I didn’t stay late because Fran, Greg’s wife, pissed me the hell off. She was trying to tell me that no one knows about D’s break up with his wife except her and one other person, and I said, that’s old news. I heard it all before. So, I gave some details—D’s ex broke up with him because he was too controlling and wanted too much sex—and I added, “all men are alike.”

She snapped at me, “That’s not even true! Where did you get your information?” I wouldn’t divulge my source (it was Marie), but my brother jumped to my defense and said that everyone already knows they are splitting up. Anyway, she was trying to make like she’s super good friends with D and that he wouldn’t in a million years do anything to hurt his wife, that he’s not controlling and that he probably just has a healthy appetite for sex. Moreover, he’s probably really hurting now. The only thing running through my mind was that us girls need to stick together and that I plan to reach out to his ex and let her know I’ve been through a divorce; if she needs anything I’m there for her. Fran told me I was so wrong and making assumptions about D that I shouldn’t. She’s right! I really don’t know D at all, but I do know men, and they are rarely innocent.

Anyway, I slept horribly. Some idiot was out at midnight singing, “Wasn’t Me,” on a karaoke machine, plus, P was texting me from work all night. Every so often I’d hear ping!

Aside from all that, I spent the day on the beach. R and his wife came down and Angel spent the whole day with him. He said, “Papa is really fun when there’s no computer around.” Yeah. I recall. His wife didn’t bother me. But, as usual, she avoids me like the plague. Everywhere I was, she wasn’t. And if I’d walk in to the room, she’d walk out. Then again, I was prancing around all tan in a bikini feeling quite confident for a change, while she was all covered up and hunched over like a fat person. And she’s not even fat.

P didn’t come down until about four but then left by seven to get back to work. Dribs and drabs. But, I was happy to see him if only for a short time. We spent a little time in the water, lying on the beach, and eating crabs and spaghetti. I took a brief nap and dreamed that P and C were the same person.

Gosh, I miss P so much. I mean, I miss spending quality time with P, not stolen moments here and there. The last time we actually did something together where he wasn’t rushed or didn’t have to dash off to work was last Saturday when he took me into the city for breakfast.

Subconscious warnings

self-portrait by ZNZtazmanijusSeptember 1, 2008—I have to write this dream down before I forget. P and I were traveling in parts unknown and ended up on some highway looking for a place to stay for the night.

We crossed the street to what was advertised as a hotel but it looked more like a school. As we walked around we noticed that the décor was almost entirely from the 1970’s, but, we tried to find the lobby anyway to check in.

I looked at the map. We had entered on the fourth floor, which I thought was rather odd. Then someone pointed up towards the women’s bathroom and said check-in is behind the mirror in the women’s bathroom.

So, I checked it out first. I went into the bathroom and there was a black woman sitting by the mirror like a guard and right by her, at the first sink, was another woman vomiting. I peaked in through the glass that moved to one side and I saw that indeed there were people checking in.

I came back and got P and our bags. At the check-in counter there were a group of women in black robes, like judges, sitting in these grandiose chairs, and when P went to sit down one of the women in charge said, “You! Do not sit there.” And so P complied. I sat anywhere.

They began telling P that certain “bad” items of clothing were not allowed—things like ties, belts and other men’s clothing items. Again, he complied and turned them over. It got so creepy though that we suddenly realized we needed to leave and that this place was not safe.

My eyes teared up, and I said to P, “I have to get out of here.” His eyes teared up too and he said the same. Strangely, we came to the same conclusion, and yet we didn’t say “we” have to get out of here. At any rate, we ran out the door and back to the same isolated highway, with really no options to rest. Suddenly, we noticed a hill and it looked as if there might be a place to stay up there, so, we began to climb. Once at the top, we passed a man who looked like a zombie. He had really long hair, tattoos and casual clothes. He told us that he makes himself look ugly and scary for protection, so that the bad people from the hotel at the bottom of the hill don’t get him. I awoke in such a state of agitation. What is my subconscious mind trying to tell me? That I am a man-hating feminist? That P and I cannot find a place to “rest” and be safe? Is this dream a warning of some sort?

Perhaps I was just a little over-stimulated from all the food, wine, coffee, people and sun. At least, I hope.

 

Sneaking off with C

Leaving… by ooOIndreOoo

August 29—I feel bad for not writing yesterday but there was really nothing to write about. Susan, on the boards, made a huge post about tough love and how she supports me. I thought that was so nice. I went to the gym to teach a spin class but no one showed, so I took Kelly’s weight class. I feel it today and I’m quite happy about that. Nothing like a good muscle ache to know you’ve worked hard. My goal is to go every Tuesday and Thursday for weights and Monday and Friday for spin. That should get me back in shape. I also desperately want to pay down my credit card and get it to zero balance.

I had very good dreams of P last night although I only vaguely remember them. In the dream I saw him pick up a little girl with a dress on and hold her up under the arms as if he were about to throw her playfully in the air. I wonder if that little girl was me.

I forgot to mention that I spent the day with C on Wednesday. I guess that’s a good sign that I forgot to mention it. I snuck off to his house to see the work he did. He himself stained the whole house orange cedar along with his deck. It looks fabulous. Plus, he’s getting horses. I’m a little bit jealous. He’s always been where I wanted to be. I curse those four things he couldn’t give me. But, I got him to agree to meet P. If that really happens I’d be surprised. But my god, they are just so damn similar. Do I feel an ounce of guilt spending time with C while I’m dating P? Not really. In fact, I feel like it’s my secret joy. And as long as there is no physical cheating, I feel clean.

 

Stuck in the belly of a whale

belly whale by bellybutton-doodles

August 27—Ahh, back home. And I suppose I’m okay with that. Actually, we got out just in time. There’s a huge hurricane on its way to Nassau today. And, of course, I did miss my little bunnies. It was so nice to see them tonight when we came in.

Our flight was fine. No real airport troubles aside from some asshole security officer not allowing me to take a salami sandwich past a certain point. He says, “You can take chicken but you can’t take salami.” Okay then, my other sandwich is chicken. Of course they were both $20 dollar gourmet salami and St. Andre cheese sandwiches and I was pissed off that they wouldn’t let me eat it in that area either. More non-sensical rules where they treat common people like common cattle. It’s not like I’m importing a whole pig.

We stopped at the old Colony Diner on the way home after Rapid Rover dropped us off and after we saw the dog and unloaded P’s junk. I love the way P said, “Would you like me to drive you home so we can spend a little more time together?” So sweet, but hard to believe because I know he likes to be home. In his own home. And that he’s probably burnt out on me.

Anyway, he seemed OK, so I went with it. We came back to my place and saw the kids. P made up some pretty elaborate stories of him being stuck in the belly of a whale and running for office. This aspect of him reminds me so much of my father. My father always told wild stories like that. He once wrestled a shark. He climbed to the top of the Empire State Building. He swam with dolphins. I never knew what to believe. After “Jonah” was done his wild storytelling, Liam hypnotized him and took his shoes and keys and hid them in the garage.

Now, I’m getting ready to head over to the computer to write out the list of work I did on the house.

Bad Dreams

bad girls have dreams too by fadingsun32

August 26—I missed writing on Monday as I decided to stay in bed with P. I actually want to go back to bed. I was so exhausted running around getting stuff done yesterday. It wasn’t a very relaxing day and yet we still got time to snorkel and lay in the sun on the back patio.

I guess I’ll start with my nightmare about P who looked exactly like that bohemian guy in McDonald’s with the crazy look in his eyes and the dirty clothes. I was with my kids living in a very strange place and making them their lunches for the first day of school. I was rushing and putting together peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. P came into the kitchen to help me and then, when he finished he was so proud of himself and all the work he’d done. I thought that was a little annoying considering that I did most of the work. I then mentioned that I had to make the kids breakfast too (more work), and he flew off the handle, yelling at me. “Those kids are spoiled!” and “You shouldn’t give them anything to teach them a lesson.” It was a very weird dream, because he is usually so calm and peaceful around the kids.

So, we had breakfast over at the Wyndham yesterday and talk to a lovely woman named Tony who taught us so much about the Bahamian government. From there, we went to Nassau Glass and bought wall sconces for the house and had a picture stretched onto canvas so that we could hang it. We came back, and met Zack at the house. I talk to him a lot about what’s been going on with the plumbing, so he’s getting someone out to fix the toilet. The electricians came and took a look at the wiring job. They’re coming out on Wednesday to fix a ton of stuff. Thank God! I guess even in paradise there are plumbing and electrical problems.

Then P cleaned the courtyard and made it look oh so beautiful while I went to the bank. Sigh of relief! The bank experience went smoothly for once. I didn’t think it would. It never does, and I usually have to wait hours to resolve something like a simple withdrawal. I ended up taking out $2000 for all my expenses on the house and for travel. Then P and I snorkeled and lay out by the pool for a while before starting back up again with our chores. We fooled around for a bit, but nothing too intense. We were both really wiped out.

 

Blue water, blue sky

August 24—Here I am more than two years later back at my beautiful beach home in the Caribbean. I’ve done all my domestic duties, changed all those horrible bed sheets, got rid of old curtains, and hung all the new ones. It definitely looks a million times better. Now, I just need to do several more things like go to the bank, paint the bathrooms, visit Penders, and buy two more wall sconces. I wish I could stay down here for a full month to make sure the job gets done properly.

I have to say, it’s been so nice having P here with me and yet he’s no C. C would have been running around tinkering and fixing things. Then again P fixed a couple things here and there and cleaned up the back patio. Mostly, he drove everywhere and helped me shop, despite me yelling at him to take left and right turns and stay on the left side of the road. I do love P but there hasn’t really been any intimacy going on at all.

I’m getting the sense that he’s a bit distant. Last night I sat on his lap and we looked up at the stars. And while that was probably the most romantic moment between us there has still been a lot of tenseness. He’s so defensive and I get a lot of “Yeah, I know,” “That’s not what I meant,” and “I wasn’t going to say that.” Annoying little comments that he makes to justify his thoughts and words. I think the best thing to do is rest and relax today because tomorrow will be more crazy shit, and Tuesday we’ll have no time for anything.

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that we swam in the pool for a bit, as well as right off the back patio in the sea. The water is so blue and so clear and so warm how can you not be horny for love, sex, food, and life all day!?

Dead End

August 20–Gosh! Abuelo and Abuela are gone. It’s kinda sad. The boys won’t be able to see them until next summer. We went over to my sister’s to say our goodbyes. Everyone hugged. Eyes filled with tears. And then we came home, back to the laziness of late summer days, to a quiet house, which I wasn’t fully ready to accept–so we went right back outside, hopped on our bikes and rode down to the Sandbox to get ice cream.

After dinner, after dark, P called later to say goodnight and we chit-chatted a bit. He was on a high and very talkative, rambling on and on about his usual rants: defending blue collar people, wondering if Legman’s grocery store is a Jewish name or John Lennon was actually named John Finkelstein. I don’t get it. I’m not really sure P is racist, but I do think that large groups of people with common cultural attitudes can get on his nerves.

While I slept, I could hear him texting me. I could hear my phone beeping and vibrating throughout the night and it had such a wonderful affect upon me: my lover is thinking of me.

He got all upset last night because I said I was going to go to one of C’s shows October 8th. He was “joking” that I might be seduced back to C, and then he said, “You can’t go back to C because he smokes pot every day!” I said, “I can’t go back to C because I’m in love with someone else.”

He did admit that while 95% of what he said was a joke, there was 5% that was pure jealousy and fear of abandonment. Is it wrong of me to be completely flattered by this? And yet, in all honesty, I can’t go back to C even if there was no P. I’ve come way too far. I’m not willing to destroy all that work on what I know is only a temporary thing. I see a future with P. I see us living together some day. I know that I deeply want that. C would never give it to me. He was a dead end. And yet…oh, how I loved him.

A great influence

August 17: Problem solved. I laid in bed and felt sick all day and then P came and brought me lunch, a huge chocolate chip cookie and Harper’s magazine. We talked some more and played. And then after he left, he called me to tell me something really wonderful, and I returned it with something mean. He said, “I really love the way you interact with Jackie. I think you’re a great influence on her. And I hope that if you ever decide to leave, you’d remain in her life and mine.”

“Well, that wouldn’t happen if we split up.  Those are the casualties of love and breaking up. And, yet, another good reason to keep me in your life,” I added (there I go again, convincing, trying to win).

I don’t think he liked my response. But, oh well! It’s true. I like Jackie a lot, just like he likes my kids. But what if that were reversed? “Hey, can you remain a part of my kids’ lives even though I am dating someone else? It seems to me that avoidants desperately want relationships, just not intimate ones. Well, my heart would not be willing to make that kind of sacrifice.

Anyway,  we were sending loving texts back and forth by the end of the night. I actually feel worlds better this morning. In fact, I think I’ll run over to Target today to do some back to school shopping with the boys.

We watched The Color Purple last night. God, I love that movie. The boys both actually stayed and watched until about 11:30. Liam fell asleep on my lap.

Angel had his first soccer practice yesterday. He said he thinks he did pretty well. He’s got three more of these intense practice drills to go through.

Side story: so, the other night at the Pub,  Jackie confessed that’s she’s no longer a virgin. I already knew. It’s written all over her face. But I keep quiet while P insists she’s still a virgin. Hello!? She’s 18 years old! I mean, c’mon. Part of me feels sorry for P that he’s so naive. At any rate, I thought that was so sweet that she confided in me. I could talk to her for hours on the subject. I really think it’s a natural next step for me to go into psychology. Maybe I can work with teens? Who knows? Maybe I can help people like me?!

Volume 97 of my private journal is up and coming. I am just finishing up with #96. I can’t believe I am almost to 100! Who would have thought I would write every day of my life, since age 11?

So today is my nephew’s birthday party and everyone will be there, including the dreaded R and his girlfriend. Lately he’s taking all of his frustration out on me that he can’t take out on her. Whatever. I wish to God he would just move back to Spain, or something. No, better, Alaska. I’ll never go there.

Unresolved

August 16: I simply do not know how to resolve this issue. The fucking pot issue came up again. And, I feel sick (not to mention the fact that I am sick).

So, there we were again out with Jackie (P’s niece). He was upset with her for not calling, but, we went to the Pub anyway for dinner, that horrible place. We laughed; we had fun despite the fact that I was a little worn out and didn’t particularly like being there. Plus, I didn’t feel good. Anyway, in private, when Jackie went to the ladies room,  he was super cavalier about the idea of smoking pot, as if it were a good thing, and the idea came up that he may want to go back. Well, where does that leave me? I specifically said I don’t date pot smokers. He said he felt guilty about that, that he knows he’d need to make a choice. A choice? What? Are you insane?

When I wanted to continue talking about it when Jackie got back he hushed me up. He doesn’t dare let on to his niece that he was a pot smoker or that he might consider smoking again. Well, if it’s so fucking wonderful, why not tell everyone? Why not light up right here in this dump? Ugh.

Here’s how I am trying to work this thing out. First, these are the topics I need to discuss with P:

  1. How long have you thought about this? How often do you think about it?
  2. Do you think it’s your way of defending yourself when you think no one “gets” you or loves you?
  3. A life of pot smoking and spirituality is not conducive to a married life with children. It seems to me you’d have to let that shit go if you want to be with me. This is a coming of age story if ever there was one, and you are on a quest to discover whether or not you want to grow up (at age 40!)

Second, here are some rules to live by (for me!)

  1. For starters, I don’t want to have to work so damn hard to “win” anybody.
  2. I don’t want to expend all my energy trying to convince someone to marry me, or move in with me, or tell me they love me. It feels like that’s all I do with P. It’s exhausting.
  3. I don’t feel like convincing anyone anymore that I am actually worth MORE than any drug! That my life and my children and my little house are not scary entities but objects and people of peace, love and excitement.
  4. I should not be in a relationship where someone’s decision to stay with me or smoke pot is a difficult one. Choosing me should be a no brainer! By this point in your life, you should know what you want . When you said you felt guilty that you’re having trouble choosing me over pot, I know now that you SHOULD feel guilty. And Jesus, I should walk away. Isn’t that a huge red flag?

There’s a huge imbalance. You certainly don’t feel as though you have to win me or convince me to love you. Well, why do I feel that I have to win you? It’s seems odd and unfair.

I understand that you feel as though you always change for someone else, and maybe that’s why I should leave. So you can stay the same. I’d rather you be happy with your pot and not blame me for taking it away or trying to change you. And yet, if I remember correctly, you made the decision not to smoke pot on your own, before we met. Trouble is, you forgot. And now you’re blaming me. Your choice effected the outcome of this relationship, and now you feel “untrue” to yourself.

Blah, blah, blah…

Read the “Later” section of August 5. That’s how I feel now.

Let’s talk about sex

August 15: I dreamed that P and I took the Audi and drove over to Carmela’s house into the driveway and saw her working and saw her husband with his long hair and John Lennon glasses. We looked around, but didn’t get out of the car to stir anything up. When we left, we realized her husband latched onto the bumper and was riding with us, asking what we were up to. I was quite surprised but I told him, “Your wife cheated on you with someone I was in love with. She threw herself at him.” He said he was aware, but told me not to gossip about it. I said OK and he left. I looked at P afterwards and we said, “That was creepy.”

My other dream was a neurotic mom dream, trying to schedule all Angel’s after-school stuff. Which, in fact, is happening and I am just as neurotic in my waking life as my dreaming life.

So, Delores was over in the morning, then I got the minivan washed and vacuumed, got some food, picked up the Abuelos at my sister in law’s house and took them out to a nice, local restaurant for lunch, and then shopping at the mall. They love the mall. We did all that, and got back to the house around four. I asked Abuela if she wanted to get a pedicure, so we took off in the Audi (she had Abuelo take pictures of her) and we went. We passed C on the way and I waved, and he waved back, and just like the addict I am, I called him to make sure he knew I was with my mother-in-law and that’s why I couldn’t stop and chat. We talked very briefly, and then I had to go.

Came home. Made pork chops and salad and cleaned up. Kids played. They all left at around 8:30. I ended the night chatting with P for a while. Sometimes he’s a pain the ass to communicate with. I say, “Oh, I think you’ll really like this book. It’s about the ‘selfish gene.’” He says, “Genes aren’t selfish. I don’t believe it. Who is this author? Blah, blah, blah…” What a mess. Almost makes me what to crawl back to the dysfunction I know and love so well. Oh, but C gave me headaches and stomach issues.*

I’ll never win.

So, I’m heading over P’s tonight and I want to have sex. But don’t quite know how to go about it. Hmmm. What approach? Ugh. Is it wrong that I have to carefully and skillfully calculate a way to broach having sex with my boyfriend? This isn’t normal. I recognize that. But, I can’t figure out what to do about it. Yet.

*Wasn’t I just complaining about headaches and stomach issues two journal entries back? 

Enabling

Wow! What an amazing night of crazy dreams. I spent the whole day at the shore and laid on the beach from ten till two. At 3ish, we got off the beach and I went over to say hi to Guy Petersen who was setting up to play guitar at the Shell for his weekly gig. Chit chatted with him for a while about C and then left and went out to dinner, then arcade with kids, then shopping. At about that point, I got horrible pains in my stomach. Anyway, we made it home by 7:30pm and I was even able to shower, finish up some work, and write P back some silliness about Che Guevera.

So, the dreams…on the last one I was a bus jacker and wore this chastity belt-looking strap-on thing and my whole house was gothic. Another dream was about my high school friends and I constantly trying to squeeze through this tiny hole to get into a big, beautiful building. I also dreamed of C, who needed a shave and turned crazy.

God. That’s it! The more P complains about his finances the more insane I get that he won’t let me help. I WANT TO HELP! I AM AN ENABLER FOR GOD’S SAKE AND HE WON’T LET ME HELP! So, I just watch him dig his own grave. It’s a horrible feeling.

I don’t want to just hand him over money. I want to help him, and teach him to budget his money. What’s so bad about that? That’s not enabling. Or is it? Maybe it’s controlling. I don’t know. What’s so bad about teaching a man to cook so he won’t starve?

Heck, and speaking of food, P spends about $160 per week on eating out! Hello? If you’re struggling with money, quit eating out.

Anyway, I’ll have to say that as far as boyfriends go, he was so sweet yesterday calling and texting me and getting all concerned about my coffee addiction. Ah, we’re both so concerned with each other’s failures.

Closeness

August 13: I have to say that yesterday was the closest I felt to P in a long while. He touched me all over, and massaged my neck, and took care of me, all because I had an excruciating headache. And I mean excruciating. He called me in the afternoon and asked if I could come down and eat with him since he didn’t have to be at work until 10:30pm. I said sure, but once I got there, the headache turned ugly and I felt horrible. And yet, it felt so nice to have his hands on me like that. He even insisted on driving. We ended up at Applebees eating bad food that we regretted eating. Before that, I took a killer class at the gym: muscle your metabolism. I want to take that at least twice a week to get all this flabbiness gone. I’m in pain today, but my body feels great. Great pain. I baked two zucchini breads—one for me (was someone just complaining about flab?) and one for P, to help him save his money. I also worked. Alice hated my design, so, it’s back to the drawing board.

P called late last night too, to see if I was feeling better and said he was happy I came out, and that he loves me. I love him too.

I dreamed that an old guy friend of mine was hanging out with P and I in P’s VW bus and that some circus truck came by to pick P up and take him to the grocery store where he works. The guy friend and I decided to go too. It was a very carnivalesque moment.

I’ll be down the shore today with my Aunt and my cousin. That aught to be nice. I have to get moving because as tradition has it, we should be on the beach no later than ten, soaking in the sun.

I can’t wait to have TIME with P. I miss him horribly. Did he spoil me so much yesterday that I can’t get my fill now? Ah, love addiction.

 

 

Man-made walls

August 12

God! I have never wanted someone to quit his job more than I wanted P to quit his job at the supermarket. It’s stressing me out as much as it is him. He has actually apologized for taking on this job and the stress it’s caused us both. Even though I said, “no need,” I kinda do feel like I should have an apology. It would be validation. It would mean that at least he realizes what a crummy situation it’s put us both in. Basically, this new part-time job has created a man-made wall between “us.” And I can’t help but wonder if in its dysfunctional appearance, it serves a function by playing into P’s increasing avoidance of this relationship. A protection of sorts, sold to me in the following language: “I really need this job; it’s the only thing I can do to pay my bills,” etc.

Ugh.

My day yesterday was fairly quiet. I got the boys haircuts, went out to lunch, ran errands, opened up a bank account (for P), went to the post office and yelled at the bitch behind the counter who told me my postman doesn’t have to tell me anything if I am obstructing my mailbox. He just won’t deliver my mail. “It’s not his job to tell you,” she says. Fine. I get that. But, “isn’t it a nice fucking thing to do to let someone know why they’re not receiving their mail? Especially when they don’t realize they’re obstructing the mail box?!”

“No,” she says. “Do you want to complain to the postmaster? If so, go file your complaint over there.”

Bitch.

Boys went to R’s at six. And I went to clean up the hermit crabs and then learned the dead one wasn’t dead after all! But, very sick, so, I tried to nurse him back to health by dipping him in the water, which he seemed to need desperately. I’m not sure he’s going to make it, but I’m trying.

I did laundry and finally watched The Darjeeling Limited. Beautiful film. Now, I want to go to India. Me, P and the boys.

I was in bed by 9:30. So tired. I switched back to my brand of coffee and it’s caused a huge problem—head aches, muscle cramps, etc. I really want to get back to going to the gym and taking one of those boot camp classes. Despite having a great bikini photo shoot with Elaine (compared to her who I always think of as thinner and more fit than me, I look pretty damn great) I still have loads of work to do.

 

 

Cranky

August 11

Cool, damp, cloudy. There were thunderstorms all day yesterday except while we were in Brigantine. The sun and sky were beautiful over the ocean and I got some sun. Elaine’s house was beautiful.  Joe really did a lot to it. Nice materials too—stone, granite, tile, etc. And he did it all himself. If only P were so handy. How nice would that be. Well, he’s got his beautiful garden.

Mom and I talked a bit about my relationship to P. She said that my personal emotional issues are probably not as bad as I make them out to be. That I have good reason to be mistrusting and scared in a new relationship (based on what I experienced in my past relationships) and that any man who loves me needs to understand that and have patience with me. She added that it’s also way too soon for me to be so needy of him, and it’s way too unhealthy. Ugh. I hate when I know she’s right.

After coming up from the shore, I showered, dressed and took the kids out with P to Rexi’s this shriveled up, outdated South Jersey restaurant that hasn’t changed its décor or its menu since probably 1953. P and I were both in a blah mood. He had spent the whole day sleeping and I was overtired, sunburnt and depressed by the stale surroundings of the restaurant. But, we still laughed and had a good time. Well, the kids and P did, at least.

 

August 10: quitting C

shutterstock_130886966Ten months no smoking! I can’t believe it’s only been 10 months. It seems like a lot longer. I feel like, on the one hand, I made great strides in the quitting smoking department, but on the other, I relapsed and returned to my other addictive behaviors. Now, I have to start all over. Of course the “C” addiction is not yet (and hopefully will never be) full blown. Yet, I leave P and go back to C and entertain fantasies of marrying C. Dear Lord. What happened to that strong Quit Mentality of 10 months ago? And the genius of applying it to all other addictions? I can’t just say, “Oh well.” I have to reestablish my boundaries and reaffirm my commitment to quit C once and for all.

C IS a cigarette. I think he’s good and fun and I get a great high from smoking him and glamorizing him, but he’s very bad for me. He keeps me from living. Stunts my growth. Meh. You see…I’m not that convinced that he is so bad. I have to be convinced. I have to really turn him into a monster because people are better at fighting monsters than good guys.

OK, well. I will save that fight for later.

Yesterday was very nice. Woke up, wrote, puts around and cleaned. P and I went out for coffee. I saw his more insecure side yesterday. I laid around and didn’t do much, took a nap, went to my mom’s when kids came home and then P came back over. It was so funny in that he asked my mom when he can start making requests for dinner. And he seemed so relaxed over there last night. Him and my brother played whiffle ball and he was comfortable enough to stay and talked to N and meet my in-laws, play with the kids and joke at the table. In fact, everyone joked with him. This is all very good. Good, good, good. I like that he’s so comfortable around my family. No, I LOVE IT.

Come on, P, keep it coming. Get closer. This is good.

As for us—fun, light, flirty, happy. All around really enjoyed each other. What predisposes me to these moods? Why am I so happy lately, instead of my usual mistrusting self? I really need to see an endocrinologist.

Today, it’s off to my cousin’s in Brigantine. Maybe this will inspire me to move or get a shore house?

August 9: Atlantic City


Martha Wainwright was great last night. I was so high on life and P and I both looked so cute. Him in his suit and me in my 1950’s yellow dress. We laughed on the way down to AC, then talked to some woman sitting in the row behind us. Martha was fabulous. I practically cried when she sang BMFA. It has always been such an empowerment song for me. My divorce theme song, actually, you bloody motherfucking asshole

She also did some other great tunes I hadn’t heard. Afterwards, went to Wolfgang Puck’s and had a pretty amazing dinner. P loved his burger so much that now our anniversary will be shared by the Great Burger he had on August 8th.

We tried to gamble a little too. I think I took away his fun when I said, let’s walk away now. I was up $4.75 and P was up $9.75. I know I’m no fun. But hey, $14.50 all total ain’t so bad.

We came home fairly early and made love. I think he came pretty quickly, inside. And I came later, on his lap. Though I really didn’t want it to be about that, it kinda was anyway.

Anyway, we both slept fairly well. Who knows what he’ll want to do today, if anything.

My mom is having spaghetti dinner at her house tonight. The woman just doesn’t stop. This is like seven times in a row. She’s definitely going to want a long break. [Looking back, I now know why. Her brother (my Uncle) was dying. She wanted to spend as much time with him as possible.]

6 month anniversary blues

superman_nqveja8 August

Long day yesterday. Spent the morning on the computer. Got the boys lunch and then my sister-in-law was over by 1:30. We were at the airport by 2:30. We waited two hours until they finally cleared customs at 4:30. We didn’t get home until almost 7 due to traffic. We had a quick dinner while Abuelo and Abuela played with the kids. They left by 7:30!

I talked to P a bit at night. We laughed. I tried to just keep things light. He so resists help though. He’s cutting back on cable and I said, “Well, you can always come here and watch TV.” He said, “Or just go down to the bar and watch.” Dear Lord.

I feel like telling him that he is so out of touch with himself. And almost completely incapable of handling a relationship [Irony?!]. It’s sad. It’s sad when a man holds on to the wrong kinds of control. Like where he goes to watch TV.

I’m giving him the book The Unavailable Man. See if that doesn’t do any good. I, for my part, need to be very patient. I have to tell myself that he does love me. He is trying to change for me. But the reason he is out of touch with “us” is because of abject poverty and not knowing in general how to show emotions. I can’t fix his situation. I can’t get him out of the hole he’s in. I can only help him share the burden. Yet, he seems to want to take on the weight of the world himself. Superman complex? Who knows. Don’t you see the benefits of allocating tasks to lighten your load? Even Superman asked for help. And, I have news for you. Your plan to take over the world will never work because one man cannot do it alone. You need help.

Anyway, I am supposed to be focusing on me, not him. I am supposed to not care anymore. And it’s true! I am not going to win anyone’s love anymore. Fuck that shit. I am this. This is me. I will continue to try and improve my lot in life and not take my relationship so personally.

I think the reason “recovery” fails so many people is because it’s not clearly defined. You don’t fail, and fail, and fail and then one day, after you’ve recovered—if from a sickness—find yourself suddenly healed and normal. Part of the disease of love addiction is this kind of black and white thinking. Recovery, for the most part is amorphous and at times it’s actually darn hard to tell if you’re on the road to recovery. I really believe it’s like blindness where you have to feel your way around through the darkness and make intuitive guesses until you come upon something that feels right and good. And you’re never at the end. Like, OK, you’re recovered. It’s a done deal. It may be that way for the body, but not the mind. I guess the mind never heals.

Anyway, all that being said, Susan Peabody asked if I would share my story of recovery for her new book. That’s fabulous, only, I don’t feel like I have one yet.

[I find my definition of recovery to be part of addict thinking–that there is no real chance of recovery, so I might as well keep doing what I’m doing. As you know from where I stand today, full recovery is possible. And trust me, it’s not complicated. It’s rather simple.]

Crazy

August 7

Maybe I need to stop having fantasy-like expectations of a relationship. I don’t even want to go “there” today—more complaining, more expecting…

How about this:

  • I will not try to “win” anyone’s love today.
  • I will not seek out C as a resource of comfort, or anything for that matter
  • I will not have any expectations of P. I will do exactly as I have been doing, giving my same level of input, and being ME, without any expectations or fantasies. I cannot continue to say and do things and expect certain responses (and then be upset when I do not get the response I want, or that I imagine is best). I just need to be me and allow him to be him.

My man is struggling. He is trying to pay down his debts. It has nothing to do with me. He is not running away from me. Distance is not rejection here. When he’s emotionally distant or unavailable it’s not because of me. It’s something inside him. He’s tired, he’s angry at his financial situation. Whatever it is, he said it’s not me, and I must believe him.

You see, the trouble is, I don’t believe anyone. I have such a hard time trusting people that I feel insane with insecurity. Ugh. I wish it weren’t so.

I was reading “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me” about Borderline Personality Disorder. Impulsive, angry, mood swings, no identity, fear of abandonment, unnatural fear of emptiness and boredom, etc. If my friend Marie is a full blow BPD then I am perhaps a milder version. And yet, I still have the crazy impulse to run back to C, but I don’t. Something holds me back. And I still feel enormous amounts of rage inside me, and yet, I keep it inside because I don’t want to show it. I must have that “accommodating” gene. Another trait of the BPD personality: feeling like a fake. Yup. Sounds like me. I am definitely in a “Fake it till you make it” period of my life.

Anyway, so, I talked to C for about 2 hours in the morning. He called me. At first I just felt like I wanted to get off the phone, but I didn’t have the heart to say so. But then the convo pulled me in and I was enjoying him again. I was hooked.

Then, I felt guilty. Like I am betraying P. But, I thought, hell, I can do whatever I want. Then later, I thought of P doing this to me, and going back to his old girlfriend, and I just felt like I would be devastated. Then I thought I’d write a goodbye C letter, and then I did. And then, once it was written, I didn’t want to give it to him. How could I possibly let him go? Then I CALLED HIM after 5pm! Then, I regretted it and said, “let’s forget about having dinner.” Then, I let it all go and joked with P later about the extra towel incident, bailed out on Amy’s party, and had dinner with my sister-in-law and the kids instead.

See? Crazy.

Truth is, I am VERY ANGRY at P. I feel as though he has abandoned me. Emotionally, mentally, and physically. I feel I have been lied to, and I am especially angry about that. I feel as though I haven’t come far at all in replacing one man with the other. I have virtually the same situation, only P is cleaner than C and doesn’t smoke or wear his underwear in public! P dresses far better than C. But C was the better communicator, the harder worker, helped me more, cooked for me, cleaned for me, and didn’t really have as many severe issues as P seems to have. P seems more willing to change for me (at least verbally), but I haven’t really seen a change at all.

So? Where have I improved? I thought you were supposed to climb up the ladder and always improve? Both men are in my life, and where one is lacking, the other one picks up. The same happened with C and BM. Only, I left BM much quicker than I am willing to leave P. I have HOPE for P.

Is any of what I am doing constructive? Probably not. But, my defenses are kicking in trying to take care of me the only way they know how!!!

Today we picked up Abuelo and Abuela. The boys are so very excited. They have said special prayers for them to come here safe and refused to not be with them at the airport on their arrival. They are so very excited. It almost makes me wonder what will happen next summer.

 

[I would like to add here that, ultimately I came to learn that anyone can have signs and symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder given the right environment or in my case, given a relationship that was, in fact, completely incompatible and thus, driving me crazy. All I had to do (which I didn’t) was:

  1. recognize my values (I don’t like being lied to, I need a person who is available, I need a person who is a good communicator, etc.), 
  2. recognize that P didn’t or couldn’t live up to my values, for whatever reason, 
  3. get out of the relationship

At this point though, I am holding on for dear life. I am unwilling to let go. And when your values and your partner’s values are seriously different, but you stay anyway, YOU FEEL CRAZY. Eventually, I came to my senses and learned this. But, it clearly took a while! That being said, don’t be so hard on yourself. Eventually, you will “get it” too!]

Lies, lies, lies…

shutterstock_339231617
August 6

Drab and humid.

I’m supposed to go down to my sister-in-law’s tonight. I almost want to drive up to Brooklyn to see Marie. It very well might save me from doing something destructive like calling C.  Every time I get pissed off with P and think he’s lied about something, I want to run to C where all my problems were apparently resolved. I don’t believe P worked last night. I think he wanted to make sure I didn’t expect him over. Then again, he’s usually able to voice that and say, “I need my sleep tonight,” or something else. Maybe he wanted his excuse to seem out of his control.

BUT THAT’S ALL I’LL SAY BECAUSE I DON’T CARE ANYMORE.

Maybe instead of accusing him of something, I’ll do this instead:

I want you to help me do something. I am trying to rebuild confidence and trust in men, in particular. Even if it’s the smallest, seemingly inconsequential thing, please don’t lie to me. No matter how much you think I’ll hate you, or get angry, or hurt. Just give it to me anyway. Not after the fact. Before. It’s just a courtesy I prefer when dealing with people. It’s a kind, self-less thing you can do for me.

So, I taught my spin class in the morning and I think they really loved it. I always get asked now, “When do you teach again?” That always makes me feel good. And yet, I simply don’t want that kind of commitment at this time in my life. I need to workout on my own and don’t really have the opportunity to do that when I’m teaching. Anyway, it was fun and inspired me to make more spin playlists.

Now playing: Postcards from Italy, by Beruit.

We all stayed home, other than that. The boys actually played nicely all day. No real fights. The neighbors’ babysitter was out in the backyard yesterday and she was playing with all the kids. I think Angel might have a crush. He came home and said “I want to be a babysitter!” He really would make a great one, and if he took a babysitting class, it’d teach him  stuff like what to do if a stranger knocks at the door, or if there’s an emergency. Pretty cool. Liam was quiet and hung out inside on the PC or with his toys.

I did some company work and played and did laundry. Wrote some pretty good stuff for the LAA website. People really respond to my advice. I don’t know why. I just tell it like it is. On the flip side, I wish I could say the same for myself. I never take my own advice! Perhaps it’s time for therapy. I know all the answers. I just can’t seem to get there.

Breakthrough

August 5, Later: Last night was pitiful and divine. I read my journal from September 2000 when Liam was born up until we moved into this house. It was triggered by Marie and I talking about New Orleans, so I went back to research my 24-hours there and my rather brief affair with Randy the male nurse when I was separated from R. I had met Randy online playing one of those ridiculous roleplay games that R wanted me to get involved in, but then, basically moved out and dumped me. I was left playing alone until I met Randy.

Reading through those days sickens me. I was a loser. I was married to a loser, and I was dating a loser. The only flowers rising up out of that ugly evil bad world of darkness were my two beautiful sons.

After hours of reading through those pages, I realized I’m sick of men. Of trying to please them, of not being treated with dignity and respect. I’m not sure I will ever get over the trauma that R caused. No one should have to put up with that shit, ever. There is no where to turn for consolation from that sad life, and yet, here am. I am still standing.

But am I? The more I thought about it the more I realized there is no reason P should be shutting off emotionally to me, or withdrawing sex, or putting me through the mess of fighting for my right to not live in a world where I am constantly worried about drugs or lies or weirdness. I shouldn’t have to deal with any of that shit, anymore. I should be cared for for the rest of my life because I’ve already paid my fucking dues. It right there in black in white. Written by hand. My receipt of payment for a crappy life.

Dearest P, your love for me should be so obvious that it shoots like a beacon of light from the top of your fucking head. And I know there are women whose husbands need to be beaten off them because these men intensely crave sex with their beautiful wives. I know there are men like that in the world who exist. I know it.

I simply cannot believe that this is all I get.

No. I’m done. I will not chase a man ever again. I don’t even want to be bothered anymore. The same problem repeats itself until you learn, and what have I learned? I learned that I still fear that my new boyfriend is going to turn into C. And that’s not good. That means I haven’t learned all the lessons I was supposed to learn from C.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

I seriously just want to shut myself off from reality. I feel desensitized, apathetic. Yes, here it is. I am finally apathetic. And, you know what? I think this is it—my breakthrough moment. All the obsessing about C and P and R and all those men is over. Please Lord, let it be over. Who the hell cares about them anymore? Any of them. That’s how I feel. I feel like just saying fuck it, who cares what the hell you do. You can all just jump in a lake.

I have my children! They are my world. I have my house! My beautiful wonderful house. I have the beach and the gym and school and my family and work. I don’t need any of this stress anymore. I don’t need or want to obsess and wonder anymore if P will marry me. If he’ll move in. If he loves me. What he thinks of me. Who fucking cares what he thinks. I suddenly don’t care anymore.

I don’t care. I don’t care. I honestly don’t care.

Through the apathy for these men there is an anger, very slight, but present, and it is directed at me. A place where I never thought to put it. How dare I put up with people who treat me like shit and ignore me. How dare I linger so long, wondering I am worthy of their love. I am! I am worthy. Is this narcissistic of me? Hell no. It’s call waking the fuck up.

I feel a release. A letting go. A detached feeling. No walls. No protecting myself. Simply apathy. I don’t want to distrust and worry and wonder why you are so emotionally unavailable, P. I’m sick of this shit. I want normal, healthy Tracy. I want peace. I don’t have the energy to fight for anything anymore. You don’t want to treat me well? That’s fine. Then, I shut you out of my brain. You don’t want to love me well? There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m done. Tonight, after I read all that horrible crap that happened to me in 2000, I wanted to share it with you, but I could sense you didn’t want to hear it. You are always so wrapped up in your own suffering and first-world problem. When do you ever ask me about me? When did R ever ask me how I was doing, or feeling? Never. He could care less. And same goes for C. People are so fucking wrapped up in their own lives. You can all go jump in a lake.

 

Unresolved issues?

ocean curesAugust 5. The ocean cures.

I talked to C in the morning. Then to Kathy. Did more yard work. Tried to get out of seeing P but couldn’t do it. Waited for him at home until he showed up and then went down to the shore together. The water was amazing and clear and calm and I went in past the breakers with P. He stayed out there and road the waves with the boys and aside from a southwest wind that brought a few greenheads the day was beautiful. We laughed the entire time and I called P “Puddin’ Bear as a joke and got in trouble for it and then we ate greasy food at Scooter’s. We flew home late in the afternoon and then P left. I made sure the boys took showers and then went down to Kathy’s where all the kids hung out and watched The Kids Choice Awards. Kathy and I went to Fisher’s and talked and talked and talked and she thinks I need to go back to therapy because of all the unresolved issues with C.

But I know what’s going on with those unresolved issues. When my life with P is making me hurt or doubt or feel unsure, I turned to C. When the romance of P is gone, I conjure up the romance of C. And went P is not there, I find C, who is there. See? Nothing unresolved. Simply replacement.

Last night I had a very significant dream. I dreamed of David and whenever I do, it’s always quite significant as it signals a discomfort with where I am in a relationship. Anyway, this one was quite different than my usual. I went up to Boston to visit David and his girlfriend Ruth, who were apparently moving into their new apartment. I was surprised because I soon learned that David was sick of being with Ruth and wanted to leave her. While Ruth was cleaning the dishes and doing other typical domestic duties (something she normally wouldn’t be doing), David was moving boxes upstairs. And, since Ruth was doing dishes, she couldn’t help move boxes, so I helped instead. When I went upstairs David grabbed me at the hip from behind and started to simulate sex. I was shocked and offended and although I had always wanted him I refused to hurt his girlfriend in this way. I kept saying, “Stop! Please! Or I will scream!” But, he kept after me and finally I screamed, “Help me!” as loud as I could.

Wanting David but not wanting to hurt Ruth is significant of my situation now: wanting to be with C but not wanting to hurt P. Or perhaps, wanting to be healthy, but not wanting to hurt the unhealthy men in my life. David, after all, has always represented “healthy” to me—and it seems he went sour in this dream. Also, I have never rejected him in my dreams until now. Did I reject him for Ruth because I don’t want to hurt myself any longer?

I told Kathy last night, I think what it’s going to come down to is simply saying goodbye to C. I cannot be friends with him and have a relationship with P. And that’s going to be difficult. On the phone C was asking if I’d seen the Wally movie and if I wanted to go. It’s all starting again. The life I lost when I lost him is trying to sneak back in and I cannot let it in.

Period brain caused this mess and now Tracy brain has to get herself out of this mess.

Love hurts

August 4: I so need a life, a career. Something to distract me from my obsessive thoughts. I’m getting my period and I can’t sleep. I’m jittery, and I’m making unhealthy choices like seeing C yesterday morning and calling him back at night after seeing that he called me. Not wanting to see P today either (what’s the point if it’s only for a few hours). I want to push him away. Go! Get out! You are hurting me. So, I’ll go back to someone else who has hurt me a little less.

And how is P hurting me? It’s so subtle but it’s happening. He’ll come all the way out to my mom’s house for dinner but he won’t come back to my place, which is right around the corner. He has to “run.” Or, he’ll offer to come tomorrow while he has a half day at his day job and work at night. That’ll only leave us about two hours. How convenient. And he won’t come today on his day off because he has “doctors” to see??? Nope don’t want it. Tracy say no. I think I need some Tracy time. Definitely. Because right now I am hating a lot of stuff about P. Here’s the list of what bothers me most…

  • It’s all about him.
  • He never really asks me questions.
  • He barely complements me.
  • He barely notices anything about me.
  • He isn’t interested in what I have to say.
  • He’s pulling away through his job, through his sleeping.
  • He doesn’t even want to sleep over.
  • He never sleeps over here because my bed is too uncomfortable.
  • He has lost his libido. Let’s see for how long.
  • He’s become so defensive.
  • He has a perfectionist’s mind.
  • He’s immature. He has an increasing inability to be real and not revert to fantasyland.

We have nothing to talk about anymore. Sometimes we click. Most of the time we don’t. I have never felt completely connected to him. There’s always been some distance, except maybe the very beginning.

The beginning is over.

On my own I am plagued with thoughts that he is just like C so, I’m going to do a comparison:

P: okay communicator, clean, no drugs (that I know of), clean, dresses well, avoidant, does not include me, never sleeps over, low libido, cannot take criticism, makes more effort to see me, not hard working, no money, not smart with money, calls/emails all the time, helps me (undetermined), few shared dreams, few incompatible dreams, great with kids, tries to work on himself and improve himself, listens okay, petrified of change.

C: great communicator, drugs, does not dress well, avoidant, includes me sort of, never slept over, no libido, can take criticism, made little effort to see me, hard-working, no money, but very smart with money, called me all the time, helps me, shared dreams, ambiguous dreams, allusive, good with kids, does not try to improve himself or change, listens well, afraid of change.

I pulled the runes last night that said I was about to have a major breakthrough. I can only hope that my breakthrough isn’t in realizing that he is no good for me. I want to stay with him. But when he starts to reject me and avoid me I feel it’s time to leave. Then I think I am not being patient or that I have a fear of commitment and need to relax and accept his behavior as nothing personal, but as a fear on his part that eventually will go away. I’m trying to rush progress and I cannot. I must let it be and stop obsessing.

I am having preconceived notions of what is perfect and right and I am not being adaptable. I am being needy. I feel nothing inside me at the moment for either man. Not P not C. Even my dreams seem vastly disconnected to these men. I dreamt of a huge, empty parking lot and getting a new job as a writer.

Period brain

August 3--Very sad. Period brain, hurting. I think he loves me but he doesn’t know how. And I think what crops up in its place is egocentricity. I think I give too much like I did to C. I think he now thinks I’m an easy catch. He can do anything or nothing and still feel loved. That must be a great feeling because I don’t feel it. Sometimes when I’m in this mood I can’t see the forest through the trees. I only see the end as being the only way. Why do I always see it that way? Gosh.

I dreamed of C last night as if he’d have the answers. As if life was so much better with him. I so badly want to introduce the two. I want both in my life. C’s communication skills were indisputably the best ever. But P is clean and good-looking and dresses well and has a warm heart. But C was a work workhorse and I loved his pioneering spirit and passion for building, working, hauling, digging and being part of the earth. But P has more time for me. But C was less self-centered and a better listener. But P doesn’t smoke pot. But C… oh, the list goes on.

C hugged me more. So, I dreamed of C hugging me and I so desperately want to call him right now.

But, what will that do? Where will that get me? Especially after last night’s ordeal with P.

I was so happy to see P. I spent the day with my brother and mom, and then P, Jackie and Rick came over at around three. We went out for a walk around the lake and that’s when it started. First off, he looked great and I told him so. All shaved with a beautiful blue shirt and black dress pants. Then, at dinner I complemented his article he thought up, “Man fakes coma to get out of office party.” But added, “We should totally submit that to The Onion. Just let me edit it.”

“I can edit it myself,” he snapped, and then some other obnoxious stuff about journalism and what the editors of The Onion wouldn’t accept. And if they did, they’d change it anyway. And blah, blah, blah. He drove me nuts. I had no patience for that like I usually do. So, I literally clammed up, cried in the bathroom and came back, only to have him feel bad about his behavior. Then, just coldness between us the rest of the night. He barely touched me. And when he did he did so with the tips of his fingers. It was creepy and cold. Later, he brought me flowers because he’s been so cold.

Finally when Jackie and Rick came back, he tucked me in and kissed me on the forehead. He didn’t even invite me over. He basically said, “I am going home and going to bed. Unless you wanted to come over, then, I guess you can.” That’s the most miserable invite I’ve ever received from anyone. Fuck that. C was never that cold. Or was he? Ugh.

So, after he walked away and turned off my light I cried and cried and cried and I did so quietly, but he heard me and came back and just hug me and lay very close and held me tightly and I said, “it’s so cold between us and I don’t like it,” and he said he knows. He doesn’t like it either. I said, what am I doing wrong? And he said, “nothing. It’s something in me.” And he doesn’t know what it is. Maybe he doesn’t know how to be in a relationship. I said I think he needs a break. He said he doesn’t want one. I think even this morning he needed one. I do understand the extra stress from his new job. But I don’t understand the shutting off. The closing up. The avoidant personality disorder. This is the part of him that makes me want to walk away.

I don’t want to see him today. Don’t do me any favors, y’know. I just want to be left alone. There’s period issues at hand. I have to get through this. I have to push him away despite wanting to. I have to learn to defer gratification. I don’t want to make him the be all and end all of my life. It cannot be this way.

July 30: highs and lows

Much calmer yesterday. I bought the kids a new computer that runs superfast. That other one was a dinosaur.

I told P that he should move in with me to save money. He said he’ll definitely think about it, it’s very doable, good idea. But as soon as the email was sent I felt my own pangs of worry. Is P the right one? Is this just another guy I have to take care of? Will he stick to his goal of going back for his teaching certificate? Will he help me out someday? I truly think the drug issue is over. Now, it’s the money issue. Will he always be bad with money? Dear lord. Is he up for being taught a thing or two about money? I hope so.

It is so nice to think of him and his doggie moving in. I could give him control of the guest room, the garage, the shed, the whole outside, and the kitchen – partial control, of course. I would have to finish fencing in the yard, or rather a part of the yard for the dog. If I finish the whole yard that would be cool, but then she’d have to be taught not to poop where the kids play. Ugh.

What else? I might have to clear some space in the attic and garage. Though, I don’t see P moving any of his stuff in. I see him keeping most of his stuff at his parents house. But his clothes! Dear Lord. I’ll have to make space for his clothes. I’ll have to get rid of all those games in the other closet. I definitely have some cleaning up to do. As it stands now, I have total control of this house, and that’s a little intimidating for a guy like P. I said this would all be temporary and we could move soon–find a house of our own, neutral territory. But God, I’d hate to have to leave this beautiful house. It’s the only place in the world that I can truly call my own.

[Ok, are you as frustrated as I am reading this? I sound NUTS. Didn’t I just say I had doubts? A healthy person would have put the breaks on. I’m clearly not there…yet!]

July 29: personal values tested

There is an underlying issue here bigger than the pot, at the moment anyway. And that is, can P take care of himself? I woke at 3:21 in the morning the very moment he was writing me a text message from work, “Let’s go out to dinner with kids on Thursday.” I must be so in tune with him lately; it’s odd. He too said he knew I was going to try to see C. We know each other’s weaknesses. Anyway, after waking up I couldn’t go back to sleep. I kept thinking about P’s money problems and how eerily reminiscent they are of BD’s. I want to help. But I don’t want to enable. I already feel like I said too much about helping. My idea of helping is to take over his budget, help pay his bills, and have him move in to cut back on all household expenses. I know he doesn’t want to leave his house, but the truth is, he can’t afford it. Getting a roommate would be a smart decision and save him a ton of money. Okay, so, it would totally strip him of his dignity (according to him, that is). But, what other choice does he have? He needs to get right with himself. Maybe I should just stop talking. Keep quiet. Quieter than ever.

Anyway, back to yesterday’s pot issue. My suspicions were confirmed. I was right. He did smoke. So, I cried all day thinking this is the end (“no drugs” is, after all, on the top of my Values list). Anyway, he texted, called, sent emails all day long. Finally, he wrote, “I am sorry I hurt you, Tracy. “I then broke down and called him. Earlier, I had said, “I need some time to think because right now I don’t want to say something I will regret.” He said he understands and when I’m ready he wants to talk. Okay, so, we talk and I basically tell him I don’t want that shit in my life. We tested it out and that’s it. It doesn’t work. He agreed. He said even when he did it last night he didn’t feel right. He knew it was hurting him and he believes now is the time in his life to stop and grow up. He also knows he’s been emotionally unavailable again because of the pain of dealing with this new job. But, I’m, quote, “the best thing that has ever happened” to him and he loves me “deeply and truly.” OK well, can you maybe tell me more often, please?

After that was all smoothed out I got one more text from him: “Pleasant dreams, baby. I love you.”

He’s currently talking about going back on Prozac and by next September taking his student teaching class again. Realistic. Better than the sausage business. Not so realistic.

 

July 28: Gut instinct

I had a horrible realization last night. At 11:30 PM I awoke out of a dream that P was drunk and stumbling as I was trying to drag him to the altar. I awoke with an incredibly sick feeling in my stomach and soon realized he was getting stoned last night. He insisted I take my own car back even though I refused. He wouldn’t stay for dinner at my mom’s. He barely kissed me goodbye. He called back and said, “I love you,” but, it was so mumbled I barely heard what he said. He lost his “appetite for sex.” Lately, whenever he talks about the future, I’m not in it. He talks about his house, redoing his house, buying his house, (meanwhile, it’s actually still his parents’ house). He doesn’t talk about having kids anymore, but instead, he talks about me getting a boob job (he’d prefer if I had smaller breasts because my real ones are too intimidating). And the worst, he rarely sleeps over.

Granted, he’s got the pressure of this new job and it’s causing him a lot of suffering. And granted, he’s got huge money issues and probably feels jealous of me and my situation. It’s possible that he could be resentful. Whatever the case may be, I feel a huge distance between us. I feel this vibe like he’s petrified of me and wants out. He doesn’t want to marry me, doesn’t see me in his future. He simply wants to be left alone.

Why do you bother to get involved in a relationship if you just want out five months down the road? Oh, yes, because I’m not the one. You thought I was. But I’m not. You made a mistake. Oops.

I simply do not know what to do. I don’t want to be with someone who cannot express himself. I do not want to be with someone who cannot be honest with me, who moves away, and handles his problems by hiding and running away. I need to hear that I am loved. I need reassurance. I need to know I am safe and can trust you and I need to know that you see me and want me in your future, and that we are working towards some mutual goal. Talk about a fear of entrapment. You’re hanging onto your independence like it has terminal cancer and you’re fighting tooth and nail to keep it alive. I think that pretty much makes it obvious that you’re not exactly ready for a committed relationship.

I think there’s too many things you need to address and I think there are too many wrongs you need to right. You said a lot of beautiful wonderful things to me and I want to believe you, but you are no where near being able to deliver. All this very well may be period-talk. I am a mental mess right now. And yesterday’s rejection was pretty severe. No sex, no kiss, blah, blah, blah. And worse was the knowledge that he ran home to get stoned. That really hurts.

I need to try to see things clearer and if I cannot I need to wait. Wait Tracy, before you say or do something you regret.

The other thing that’s weighing on me is that all our time is gone. He works this new job Monday nights, Tuesday nights, and Friday nights. He usually needs to sleep all Saturday. Sunday he’ll need to do his house chores, and mow his lawn. I’ll never see him again. The other thing is my own questions about myself. Am I a romance addict? The romance is all over and I am depleted, looking for trouble, fantasizing about other men already. I don’t know how to get through this phase. Anyway, in a nutshell, I stayed with P in the morning. We did some errands, went out for breakfast, and by 2 PM he dropped me off at home. He must have realized it was so abrupt because he then called me to say he was thinking of me already. I say he was probably feeling guilty. Whatever. So then, this horrible thunderstorm came and knocked off the power for three hours. I took a nap and read and eventually the boys came home and we went to my mothers for spaghetti. The no-power situation forced me to just zone out for a while and catch my breath.

Overall, it was a very long, sad, emotional day that, strangely, ended in peace and quiet. And yet, there’s a sick feeling in my stomach due to P’s financial issues that need to be resolved. But how? Am I getting involved with someone who cannot take care of himself? Oh please, no. Please. Lord. No. I’m done.

July 27: writing from P’s house

I am up at 9:30 in the morning. I slept pretty well considering my twitching legs and stomach issues and the dog and P snoring, and so on (I keep seeing him go by the window with a wheelbarrow. It’s so cute).

So yesterday, I rode my bike down to the shore. I started at 9:15, and got to the big intersection by 10:15. I took a 15-minute break, and then, by 10:30 I was on the road again. The first hour was hard and long, adapting my body to the ride, and establishing my mindset. But my senses came alive that close to the road and pleasantly distracted me. There was the smell of livestock from Hank’s farm. There was the smell of a dead, rotting deer. Then, the smell of fresh cut grass, then forest. I noticed things like dead butterflies on the road, dragonflies, crickets, who jumped out of your way as you pass. I heard the sound of a rooster crow.

The second hour went by quickly. One pee break in the woods and then on to the main highway that leads to the beach. I conquered two big hills (anomalies for flat Southern New Jersey), made it to Route 72, and passed the old Tiki Bar. It seemed like it took forever to finally get to Stafford. Note to self: DO NOT LINGER TOO LONG DURING LUNCH. I ate a burger and fries (bad idea #1), didn’t even stretch (bad idea #2) and sat for about 40 minutes (and bad idea #3). When I hopped back on my bike the muscles in my legs must have built up too much lactic acid because I was in severe pain and could barely pedal. And I had at least another two hours to go. Those last two hours were painful. Almost as bad as giving birth!

Anyway, I reached the ocean by one, just as predicted, and was rather proud of myself. A nice change from all the gloominess I’ve been feeling. I hadn’t done that ride in almost three years (the years spent with C, smoking). Anyway, aside from the last hour, I didn’t whine or complain. And never once did I want to call it quits.

Once I got down there, I stopped at a rest stop by the bridge. I parked the bike, took my shoes off, and went right in the water (in my bathing suit). I just floated there for a long time and looked up at the blue sky. I cleaned up after that, laid on the beach and then sat for a while under the shade of a small pergola. P was there within an hour. We got coffee and headed back to my place. I showered, dressed and by seven, we were at the racetrack. I don’t believe I appreciated it very much because, by this point, I had heat exhaustion and my ears hurt after all the noise from the traffic on Route 72. So, sitting out on the bleachers in the sun and listening to those INSANE motors on the track really did me in. I just wanted to eat and go to sleep.

We came back to P’s; he ordered seafood; we ate; watched prison documentaries, and by ten, I was dead asleep. I stayed the entire night on the sofa because, like I said, the muscle twitching in my legs.

 

 

 

July 26: tolerance or avoidance?

So, today I am biking all day, down the shore. It’s about a 50 mile ride. I’m crazy, of course, but I need to keep this promise to myself to continue to do this bike ride every year. Only thing I’m nervous about is being slightly out of shape. Though I’m only two weeks behind on exercise not five. I walked a lot in Spain.

P came over last night and he wasn’t the happiest guy ever. I think he’s feeling low because of having to get this second job with a bunch of 17-year-olds. He’s talking about isolation and existentialism. He’s also talking about not wanting a roommate. “Can’t live like that,” he said. It was hard last night to remain intact and not take all that personally. But again, it’s all about allowing the other person who fears closeness to express himself without being judged or made to feel like everything he does and says has to now suddenly include me. It’s about taking what he says with a grain of salt.

My sister-in-law came over in the morning, well the early afternoon for lunch, and I made tuna sandwiches for everyone. She got to sit for a couple hours and chat while the kids ran around. She stayed until about one o’clock and took with her the dog the fish and the kid and then, the house was all mine again. Ahh. I cleaned and did lots of laundry and played online. Obsessed!

I had a dream that P and I were at a reunion of some sort and DS was there. P wanted to fuck me right there, in front of him. I got so angry with him because I knew he had an ulterior motive. He wanted to piss off DS just so he could say, “she’s mine now. ”

He left around 11:30 last night after we laid in bed a while and talked and laughed.

 

[Who’s the Avoidant, here? Him or me? Now do you see why I say love addiction is really self-avoidance (and avoidance of other things, like RED FLAGS).

 

 

July 25: feeling worthless

Thank God it’s Friday! I had another wasted day yesterday where I sat like an addict in front of the computer doing much the same as the past three days. I hate to say it, but it’s almost rejuvenating to be in addict-mode sometimes.

Angel’s friend came over to spend a few hours playing. I took them and Liam out for pancakes at the little diner down the street. They were being so mean to Liam, and even when they were just joking aorund he would become so hurt and sad. It amazes me how sensitive he is. And he’s going to seriously hurt later in life if he doesn’t develop thicker skin. Lots of anger too. So unlike the other one who seems eternally happy.

P and I kept in touch throughout the day by email and then he called at six as he was walking around the city. I love him so much, I can only hope he feels the same. He’s going to pick me up from the shore on Saturday as I’m going to try to ride my bike down there. I’ll leave at around nine-ish and hopefully get down there by one. I haven’t been on a bike in over a month I hope I’m okay.

I finally talked to my cousin last night. She started a new job making $42,000 for only three days per week as a paralegal. Unbelievable! She’s always amazed me at how confident she is when it comes to getting a job and a raise. Talking to her made me search through old journals from 1994, and when I started to read them, I came to the sad conclusion that I was pathetic. Between the ages of 25 and 27 I was really wasting my life. I did nothing as an adult but mooch off my mother and my grandfather and go to school and work part-time. There’s a couple of cute little entries with P in them from way back when we knew each other. I guess I was hoping to interview him at one point and never did. Oh well. That was so us. We couldn’t get our act together back then either.

Ugh. I’m so down on myself. I need to shake this. I need to tell myself that I can be a success today and actually do something, or I can repeat history and be nothing.

What’s it going to be?

July 24: fantasy thinking

I’ve had such a good feeling inside me lately and I’ve been very happy. Especially with P. Okay so, I was a little obsessed over his previous website he used to hang on but that’s over for the most part. At least I hope.

I took him out to lunch yesterday for Moroccan. I had the best tabouli I’ve ever had and they made their salad dressing just like my mom’s. Funny thing was, I kept noticing that P got all worried thinking I wasn’t in a good mood. He’s been a little insecure lately. “Are you angry with me?”, “Are you upset about something?” Etc.

I’m not sure if I’m so happy because he’s been wanting closeness or because I am really getting the gist of this whole don’t take it personally thing. It’s really working wonders. I catch on to his little games and I simply let them go without even addressing them or getting insecure about them. I realized too that he’s such an egocentric person (not completely, but, enough to notice), and that he’s generally thinking of himself unless he has something else to worry about. Through all my reading over the past couple days I’ve concluded that he’s a mild mix of narcissist with Peter Pan syndrome. Ah, Peter Pan! Can I be your Wendy?

Seriously, he has an excuse for everything when it comes to finding a different job. He becomes paralyzed. Not wanting to leave and change. I really felt horrible for him the other night when he had no money on his ATM card. I keep helping him and bailing him out and giving him money but then I feel like I’m doing a bad thing by enabling him instead of helping him. I should know the co-dependent slogan by heart by now: No Enabling!

So, after the city, we went to the bookstore and bought a ton of books. I got a lot of pretty cool titles like The Tao of Physics, Finding Your Inner Fish, The Drunkards Walk, and a couple more things. The boys got their Ranma and Dragonball Z books. And my brother dropped off the dog and his fish. And that was that. The kids went to bed at 11; me, midnight.

One of the nicest feelings I’ve been having about P is that whether he’s here or not he is always with me. It’s so nice.

 

[So basically, I am busy describing my boyfriend as a Narcissist and a Peter Pan (someone who cannot grow up) on the one hand, and on the other, I am dreamily pondering marriage with this guy and feeling the sensation that he is “always with me” even though he’s no where to be found. Talk about La La Land.]

July 21: neediness

I had a dream that my father was going to kill this little bird for food. He was wealthy and owned a record label. He tried to kill this bird, but the bird turned into a family of four, and so, I went around this huge property that we had, and I hid them, fearing for their lives. In the end they were safest in the orphanage where I knew my father would never go.

I also dreamed of C again but I can’t remember in what capacity. My day yesterday, though wrought with obsessive thinking, was a pleasant one. I didn’t push anything. I didn’t go out of my way to see P. I just enjoyed the day with my mom and the kids. I talked a lot with my sister-in-law about…babies. What a surprise! The kids played at the lake and then mom made spaghetti dinner. All good.

Earlier, I took the boys to Home Depot and bought lighting fixtures for the living room. We went out to lunch at Bertucci’s and then food shopping. P called and texted throughout the day and we had a nice long conversation at night. We are planning on taking the boys down to the amusement park at the shore Thursday night. He’ll get out of work a little early.

So, this book I’m reading, A Fine Romance, I can’t seem to put it down. It has helped me in so many ways to just relax about the course of our relationship. Through reading it, I’ve learned how impatient I am, how I need to chill and relax about men’s subconscious or conscious desire to pull away, how necessary space is to a healthy relationship, and that I need to allow this space despite it feeling like rejection or abandonment.

I also learned that I am not only not ready for marriage again, but on the uglier side, I am needy for it. Needy is not good. Needy is a sign of stunted growth. That brings me to wanting to do more core work on myself. So, again, a reminder to self: I have several issues that I desperately want to change:

  • my neediness for a man
  • my obsessive thinking
  • my lack of interest in other things.

When I was with C I still had a great interest in doing stuff to my house. But now, I seem to have let things slip. Projects that I would love to do have all been put on hold. Then again, it could be because of money. I have a huge credit card debt to pay off right now and I want to have that at zero balance before Christmas. Ugh. I need to control my spending. After that, I can start saving for projects. And gosh, if I do marry P, I’d better really get tight with my money. He’s a little too crazy with spending himself.

July 20: maturity

I dreamed of waiting to pick up hors d’oeuvres and take some costume to the dry cleaners all for C. We drove past his house yesterday on the way to the shore and I pointed it out. P jokingly snapped at me, “There you go again with C.” Even though he said it as a joke, I realized right then and there it’s time to stop talking about my ex. But what can I say? He’s there. He’s around me. I can’t just let go of him. Don’t make me do it. Oh, but really. I know it’s not fair or kind.

Anyway, aside from that I had a beautiful time with my baby yesterday. We drove down to OC and walked on the boards and even met up with a couple of P’s friends, Dean and Alice. I was pretty amazed. Finally, he introduced me to friends of his. It’s not that he hasn’t tried. He did invite a few of them to my party back in May, but no one could come.

I read that usually friends tend to be at the same maturity level as each other and that they all tend to get married around the same time. Of my friends, I was the first, then Debi, then my cousin, then my brothers, and finally Marie. Now, let’s look at P’s friends….

Dean (never); Jay (never); Bette (never); Frank (never); Hitch (never). And P (never).

That’s a little scary. Dismal, actually.

Oh, anyway, so we ate gyros and spanakopita, had a few laughs and then we went to some lovely beach and sat close to the water. There was a ton of mist making the beach look mysterious and beautiful. We talked a lot and for the most part it was a nice string of conversations. We got home, we had sex, slept for a bit before the kids came home, showered, and then I had total pain in my stomach and got stuck in the bathroom for a while. I think I lost five pounds! I was very dizzy yesterday too. Especially meeting Dean and Alice. I don’t really remember him from years ago but he’s in the journal.

P and the kids played for a while but the boys were cranky. It was very hot too, and apparently they went to bed very early over R’s. The night before, I let them stay up until 10 o’clock to watch the Avatar movie while I read, then passed out. I put the air conditioner on in my room and set up their beds of blankets on my floor and they’re still sleeping there, nice and cool now in the morning. It’s 7:40.

I am still trying to address the following issues in myself:

  • neediness
  • need for constant reassurance
  • having and appreciating a life of my own
  • continuing to have other interests aside from P
  • being okay with distance and separation
  • staying in the now
  • finding and maintaining a hobby and interest in work

July 19: Distance

I started reading “A Fine Romance” the other day, by Judith Sills. Despite it being a little hard to understand in the beginning, it has some major good points. For one, it describes this woman who considers closeness to equal love, and distance to equal rejection. And any time her partner would become distant, it would trigger her fears of neglect. But the writer says that part of the courtship dance is, in fact, about distance. That just as we move close, we naturally move apart too, for breathing room, to regain our sense of self, to reconsider, to adjust, to think, and to simply revisit who we were prior to being a “couple.” But her biggest message was…don’t take it personally. It’s not about you. It’s about the nature of dating. Wow! I was blown away and very happy to know that I could view my situation with P in this light. I really needed to read this.

And as for P and I, we were very friendly, sexy, warm, and playful with each other for some reason. I guess we both wanted to change the tempo of that other night’s convo. He told me to “wear something blue,” when I came over and so, I did. And the second I walked through his door we went at it. Until we had to get Jackie.

I finally got to re-meet Larry, and his wife Sam, who stood at the door looking angry and suspicious. I sort of remember Larry. The personality more so than the look. I can’t believe P has to deal with a brother who’s loud, bragging, overbearing and obnoxious. Boy, did P’s apple fall far from the tree. It hit the ground and rolled miles away, into a field of flowers and trees. I mean, P’s hot too. Where did those looks come from?

Anyway, Jackie tells me that her dad (Larry) makes fun of P for not doing anything with his life. Well, if you measure a man by a job, a marriage and kids, then yes, P has fallen way behind. But, P has moved himself in a much deeper, spiritual direction that has taken a lifetime to cultivate. I love his spirit and how deep his well of knowledge goes. In my opinion, he’s traveled far and done much with his life.

So, the sex was great—fast as usual—and it made me dizzy and feel good. And then we were very playful with each other the rest of the night. He got a little cranky at one point with Jackie and maybe even me, so I removed myself from the room and went to go read. He remained bickering with Jackie for a while until finally he chilled out and we sat on the sofa and laughed over Family Guy. I fell asleep around 11:30. P put me to bed. And then, woke me up later only to bring me into the living room to sleep on the floor in the air conditioning. Much more comfortable.

 

 

July 18: trouble communicating

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No more heavy duty topics from me to P. We can’t handle it. I can’t handle it. I got really upset after what he wrote but I should have just dropped it, let it go, and I didn’t. We ended up talking about it on the phone for a couple hours and it really got us no where. It was my own fault. I started out dissing “romance,” and then he ended up dissing marriage and love.

Sometimes we cannot communicate so easily. It’s a huge struggle for us. Thing is, I’m just so sick of the whole “fear of intimacy” and “fear of commitment” card that all these men keep playing. Yes! I’m scared too! But for Christ’s sake we’re adults already. You don’t see me disappear for days at a time because I’m scared. I face whatever I need to face. Anyway, I felt really fucked up in the head yesterday. I should have listened to my gut and just dropped it. But I didn’t. I kept going. And I can only hope he has a high tolerance for my fuckedupness.

You see, everything I do or say is to be loved. Believe it or not. And yesterday was no exception. I just have a very careless, sloppy way of going about it sometimes. I take everything personally, and I shouldn’t. Actually, while at the beach yesterday, I brought myself to that point. I thought, He doesn’t really know what he’s talking about. He’s just irritating me and trying to look cool in what he’s saying. I should have kept quiet. But I didn’t. Because he got all concerned and worried and kept texting me that he loved me and so, I thought, “I’ll explain myself.” But, something got lost in translation. And once again, I probably sounded like I was attacking him personally, and so, he got defensive.

I’ll leave it at that. I’ll just say that I hope last night’s convo doesn’t ruin our sex life tonight. God, that would suck. I would want to blame myself for fucking up and that would not go over well in recovery.

Anyway, yesterday I took the boys down to the beach to lie in the sun and jump some waves. They collected loads of stones and shells. Afterward, we went to the boardwalk for dinner and ice cream and we ended up buying hermit crabs. Two little babies in a nice little aquarium that we decorated ourselves. The boys were so happy. We’ll see how long they last. Now that I am staying at home, and have nowhere to go I have the craving to get pets!

I almost fell asleep at the wheel, driving home, so, after getting in I took a nap and fell right asleep. After waking up to P’s call is when all the havoc happened. God. I even yelled at him for teasing me and joking about me. I’m usually not this sensitive. I feel like an alcohol who regrets slipping and drinking the night before. Kinda remember what happened; kinda don’t. Basically made a huge blunder then tried to cover it up with small talk about John Lennon. Don’t think it worked. I feel shame today.

Tracy! Please! Keep busy! Find something positive to do today! Move furniture around! Study for the GMATs! Clean! Do something! Just stop obsessing!

July 17: keeping it light

It’s almost eight in the morning and no one is awake yet except me. And I slept eight hours myself. Woah.

Marie and I hung out until about noon when I took her back to the station. Took the boys to McD’s, and stayed home doing nothing much but trying to figure out a life for myself. Still don’t have any answers. Can’t find any. So…I watched Charlie Wilson’s War, then dropped boys off at my mom’s so she could watch them while I went to the viewing. Poor Mrs. S_____. It felt good being there though. I mean, I wasn’t directly friends with Bill, but because he was so close to my brothers growing up, he was like another brother to me. I wanted to be there for him. And all my brothers friends were there too. I hung out with Marie, Dani, Kathy, Nuria, Mikie and Rich. Tim was drunk and crying the entire time, and Kathy was boiling mad. Definitely a lot of drama. We came back to my mom’s and ate a bit and hung out, and then I took my boys home, called P, and as Angel and Liam fell asleep in my bed I chatted with P until 11:30. Pretty good convo. But, I keep feeling like there’s an intimacy factor missing. Like, he’ll go deep, but only so deep and then the convo ends up being mostly about him. We were very happy though—the both of us—laughing and talking about everything and nothing.

I’m trying to keep things fairly light for him. No talk of marriage or babies or living together. I think it’s just too much for him. He wants all those things, yet he’s petrified. I pretty much experienced that with BD, and God, I hope he doesn’t feel as though our relationship is just sex, and that he has confused love with sex and doesn’t really love me. That would be horrifying. I guess I could handle it. But, who’d want to handle that? Not me. I mean, I was pretty convinced that I loved BD when in reality I was merely thrilled to finally be in the presence of someone who treated me so well and so kindly especially after three years with C. And of course, the sex with BD was off the charts phenomenal. I received his love and did show him a fair amount of affection in return. But relatively quickly, I recognized I did not love him. It’s so hard to know what love is. What the hell is it, if it is not this?

July 16: fear of intimacy

Wow. Slept eight hours straight. Really needed that. Marie slept over last night too. Hadn’t seen her in so long. We sat out on the back porch drinking wine, listening to French music and talking. At one point we laughted so hard watching a video of BD in drag dancing to Man, I Feel Like a Woman, that ridiculous Shaina Twain song. I haven’t laughed that hard in so long. I picked her up from the station, came home, made a tortilla and gazpacho for dinner. She loved it. I even gave some to my neighbor. The kids loved the whole Spanish night. The more I think about it, the more I realize how that trip will stay with them forever.

So, P and I had our big talk Monday night and it was very pleasant. I wasn’t confrontational, or anything like that. I just let him know how I felt. He agreed that he’s been closing up. That he can feel it too. He says it has nothing to do with loving me and that he’s in love with me enough to move forward and live with me and marry me someday. He’s just scared. Fear of intimacy, stunted growth, etc. He learned that we are different, and that he was in a fantasy world in the beginning. Huh? Fantasy world? I’d like to get this point clarified. You were in a fantasy world in the beginning? And now what? Did you think we were perfect for each other in the beginning and now you don’t? Did you think I was great and wonderful in the beginning and now, not so much? Ugh. More questions.

Anyway, he did say he believes I am the best woman for him, and that I allow him to be himself. On the flip side I think he also said he feels blocked, like with the whole pot issue. I reminded him that we resolved that. I said, as long as it doesn’t affect me in any way, I’m OK. I think he feels like a loser if he chooses pot over me. But, I think sometimes that’s how he might feel. I think he’s afraid that if we moved in together his pot would have to go, and he wouldn’t have the freedom he now has to smoke it. If he so chooses. He worried too about disciplining my kids and living as a family. I said, I don’t expect you to be anything different than you are now, nor do I expect you to change once we move in. And I certainly don’t expect you to discipline my kids. They have a father. They have a mother. Period. Truth is, he’s probably given more thought to all this than I have.

Why, just last night as I was telling Marie about leaving this house to find another with P, I almost started to cry. She said, “Don’t leave this house! You can’t! I love this house.”

I love it too. It’s all mine. And I fought for it. And my kids’ friends live all around it. And they can ride their bikes to school and it’s the only house they know. Gosh! I cannot leave just yet. At least until Liam is out of eighth grade and in high school. Seven years. And after that I have four years that I’ll need to at least remain in this town so that he can finish high school here. But then, I’m free.

And then I think of the baby P is “pretty sure” he wants to have. “You’ve got six months to a year to make a baby out of me,” I said to him (with a sense of humor, or course). But I clarified: I’m not the one rushing you. Mother Nature is. Truth is, if he wants to buy himself more time, he’ll have to dump me and find an 18-year-old. Wink. Wink.

We ended the convo listening to some of his psychedelic music and kissing. But no sex. He wasn’t in the mood. I guess that was his leverage. I guess men lose interest in sex when they have to “talk.”

Bottom line: he’s so used to being alone he doesn’t quite know how to be any more intimate than he’s being. But from my point of view, it looks as if his ability for intimacy is extremely low. He’s basically running away. Turning inward where he’s most comfortable. I must stop taking this personally. I must let him go and do his thing. I have to keep telling myself he loves me. He’s not hurting me. He’s just this way. And I must allow him to be this way. When someone pulls away, you must let them, and you must know it has nothing to do with you.

Unrelated story, Bill S______’s mom died and we’re all going to the viewing tonight. So sad.*

 

*Fun fact: I saw D at this viewing after many years of not having seen him. He was in a suit and tie, very thin, and I didn’t know it then, but on the brink of divorce. I thought it was odd that he gave me “the look” with his wife right there, who I had been sitting with. But, it ended up making sense in retrospect. 

July 14

So, what were my complaints about C?

  1. He never wanted to have sex.
  2. He never wanted to sleep over.
  3. He smoked pot.
  4. He didn’t dress nicely.
  5. He sometimes use me for money.
  6. He wasn’t loving or demonstrative.
  7. He was always busy.

And what are my complaints about P?

  1. He doesn’t write me anymore or call me pretty or do spontaneous acts of love.
  2. He’s too self-focused, it’s all about him and his garden and his car and his job, and anything else is a nuisance.
  3. He said he was very giving as a boyfriend and he’s not, well, he does take me out to dinner a lot.
  4. He never got me a birthday gift. Who the heck doesn’t get their girlfriend a birthday gift in the first few months of dating???
  5. He’s possibly too independent and won’t settle down

Mostly, I feel like I’m falling into the Love Addict trap again. Obsessing over his every move and fearing his emotional abandonment of me. I feel like I do not have a life. That my life and all my interests are P-focused. What will P do next? When will he call? Is he thinking of me? And so on. It’s this mentality of mine that drives me to want to run away and get out of the relationship. It makes me want to focus on something else like C because I start to feel dissatisfied and neglected by P.

I cannot healthily determine whether or not I have justifiable reasons to be upset or not. So…another list:

  • does he physically hurt me? No
  • does he mentally hurt me? No
  • does he ignore me when I call? No
  • does he still want to see me as much as before? Yes
  • does he treat me kindly? Yes
  • is the sex normal and good? Yes
  • is he interested in what I say and do? Most of the time.
  • Does he show affection and love in his actions? Yes and no. This is where I have a problem.
  • Does he try to work on a problem or fix it if he knows I am upset? Yes and no. For the most part, yes.

Anyway, according to this inventory he is not causing much of a problem, but rather, I am. So what’s in me that’s causing this rift? Fear? Boredom in my own life? Not having a hobby? Impatience? Wanting to live with him or move the relationship forward? Need for drama and attention? Disappointment in a few things?

He will probably never ask me to marry him. He’ll probably never work towards living together. He’ll probably not want to baby. He won’t do certain things unless pushed into it. I feel as though I’m repeating a pattern and have once again found the same kind of man I always find. I want to share interests with him but that doesn’t seem to be happening either.

Okay, enough of that. Here’s yesterday in a nutshell: I woke up from P’s and left early. He was a little disappointed. Went to my mother’s at noon. Hung out. P came over for dinner at one. Left around 3:30. I fell asleep for two hours on my mom’s sofa. Boys came in from swimming and both fell asleep at around 5 o’clock. I think the whole jetlag thing has finally caught up with us. I put boys to bed at 8 PM. They went willingly. Angel woke up at 6 AM and Liam is still sleeping.