The Lost Child

For some reason I cannot fully comprehend yet, and which is partly the purpose of this post, is that I am obsessing over some dude. Why? It proves just how qualified I am for CODA (Codependents Anonymous). Clearly this is a learning experience. I’m doing all I can not to obsess, which almost makes it worse. I hesitated even to write this post, because this is a form of obsession. But I want to get to the bottom of this. What is it about this situation that has gotten my attention, and can I apply it to previous relationships and learn from them too? Is it even healthy to have the reaction I’m having right now? Luckily I’m seeing my therapist this afternoon. I haven’t seen her in a month and that’s part of the problem. Everything in my life was going well, so I drifted away into my land of self-absorption and instant gratitude and busy-ness, and that usually gets me into trouble, eventually. I must turn it around and focus on living a more spiritual way of life, looking at how I can help others, and getting outside of myself… But I don’t wanna!

Here’s what’s happening: I cannot stand to not receive daily communication, preferably initiated by him, from the guy I’m seeing. No communication equals lack of interest in my mind, and lack of interest to me means what the hell am I doing with you? If you don’t want this, move along, buddy, and let me move on too. I can’t deal with the lack of enthusiasm. Let’s have some fun and passion for life! Together, please.

On the other hand, codependents crave excitement. That’s probably why I was so crazy about my ex. But for most of us, life is just not that exciting most of the time. It could be exciting with my ex because his moods were extreme and I jumped right on that roller coaster with him. The highs were incredibly fun and beautiful but the lows became so devastating and destructive. I kept thinking that if I could just stop joining him, if I could learn to “detach with love,” as they say, then I could do it. But he never gave me that opportunity, and I can choose to appreciate that as a blessing from the Universe that this just wasn’t for me, no matter how much it felt like it was.

Am I being needy? Expecting too much? Insecure? Does it even matter in the grand scheme of things? If so, why?

My ex and I communicated every day just about all day long. I often didn’t hear from him in the mornings, because he often was rushing to work and he didn’t have great access at work. And I knew that but I still felt annoyed, lol. How hard could it be? To do voice-to-text a simple “good morning, have a good day”? But by evening we were texting if I wasn’t at his house. Maybe that was just too much. Just because everyone around my age and younger texts and checks social media all day long does not mean it’s a good idea. It’s hard to get things done when you’re constantly texting with someone. I have homework to do. And a job. When I was in college, I didn’t even own a cell phone. I don’t even remember if they were invented yet.

Here’s the problem, which proves no one can win with me: When a guy gives me constant attention, eventually I lose interest. I am that person. I can’t stand others who are like this. Yet here I am, doing the same thing. That’s probably one reason why I thought my ex was the king of the universe. He was so into me, until he was completely absent, which made me want him even more. If all he ever did was shower me with attention, eventually I’d feel suffocated. There has to be a middle ground.

But isn’t that how relationships just are? In the beginning it’s exciting, then everything slows down, there’s some kind of disagreement, you either get over it, you get into a steady rhythm, a comfortable friendship. You don’t have to be up each other’s asses all the time but it’s nice to feel special to someone, to know that you’re on their mind. I believe you can eventually find that middle ground and at the same time work together to keep the passion alive.

In my family growing up I was the “lost child,” meaning I made myself invisible so as not to add to any current drama, and it worked so well that I have become the most easy-going person around–well, I like to think so anyway—that is, until I blow up, which happened a lot when I was drinking and not nearly to the same level nowadays (nowadays I just get irritable like a “normal” person, lol). Usually I’m easygoing to a fault, in that everything’s always okay, even when it’s absolutely crazy. My chaotic household seemed totally normal to me, because that’s all I knew, and today I continue to adapt to whatever comes my way. What is it that you like? I can do that. What do you hate? I will file it away in my head as something to never do. It’s maddening. I can no longer afford to live this way.

What I really want is for my ex to show up at my doorstep and say I want to work this out, I’m in this with you, I’m taking care of myself, I won’t abandon you. Or possibly for the current guy to say, I’m here now and I’ll be available for you in the future. Let’s do this. At the same time I expect us to have friends together and share the same interests–oh and you have to be emotionally available too. Let’s talk about our feelings. Because most guys just love talking about those things. Perfection, that’s all I ask. Hahahaha! God help us all.

Probably I am overanalyzing the whole thing. This is just the beginning of our relationship, or whatever this thing is that we’re in, but already I’m on the verge of running. As fast as I can. Except. I can’t. I don’t wanna!

We’ve only been seeing each other for about four to six weeks. It’s not the whirlwind romance I had with my ex, but something more independent, or possibly more slow-growing, or possibly nothing at all. Because if it’s going to be that last option, let’s just rip this band-aid off right now. It’s too early to know or talk about it but I want to know now how it will all play out and when and how I can be in control–which by the way is not what healthy relationships or life is all about. My own actions (and to an extent my thoughts and feelings because I believe in the law of attraction) are the only thing within my control, and nothing and no one else around me. I just want to feel secure, but I’m forgetting that true security comes from within.

The early stages are the ones I should be enjoying, but it’s absolutely agonizing. I’m torn between breaking it off right now, doing online dating, or just staying single and avoiding dating for a long, long time while I get my shit together. I already know how online dating works out. It sucks, and I never want to do it again. The only reason I’d do that is for attention, and I will never find self-love by giving away my power to dudes on the internet, or anywhere else.

self-worth

Probably the best thing to do right now is just wait it out. Ugh! I don’t want to wait anything out.

Constantly I’m reminding myself just to focus on what’s in front of me. Here’s what I need to do: study, work, learn, spend time in nature, meditate, ride my bike, visit friends, call my sisters, call Daddy G (my new nickname for my stepdad), find out where I can be helpful to someone else. Pray. Take care of the things I’ve been procrastinating.

The thing about being ignored though is that it’s really about self-absorption, as a good friend reminded me this morning. If someone doesn’t respond to my text, or if I’m standing in a group of people and the talker makes zero eye contact with me, I make a false assumption that they don’t like me, or worse, are indifferent to me. When in reality, a lot of people just don’t text a lot. We all get busy. I forget to respond to others’ texts all the time, and it doesn’t mean I don’t like them. And I thought of several other friends of mine who don’t respond that much, and unless they’re really good liars, I’m pretty sure they all like me a lot. They just don’t text much or talk on the phone. In other words, someone else’s lack of response is not about me.

When I get an idea in my head about what I think someone else thinks of me, I’ll go ahead and start behaving in response to that false notion in my head, and that is what creates distance between me and others. It’s not because they’re deliberately setting out to avoid me. I realized this a while back, and started to behave as though everyone liked me, and you know what? It works. It sure feels like people like me when I do that. It’s called being friendly, warm, open. I noticed that when people addressed me by name, I felt special, so I started doing that to others, and I could see that it made their day.  And that’s a good feeling.

It’s like what Don Ruiz writes about in the The Four Agreements: Don’t make assumptions and don’t take things personally.

And with that I just spent at least half this time not obsessing over the dude, and I can start my day focusing on what’s important. But first, nap time. I’ve been up since 6am and it’s my day off, so I will allow myself that.

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Peace, hugs, and love,

TCH

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