Something wonderful happened last night, and today I can see that it was meant to happen and not just some coincidence. It may not even seem that major, but for me it is.
My original plan had been to go to a meditation with Spencer, and I’d been looking forward to it. But Spencer cancelled because he had to work late, so I decided to stay in and study. I got home, started studying, then realized I have no speaker for Sunday night. Sunday nights I’m the “speaker-getter” for an AA meeting I attend, which means I find someone in AA to speak on their experience in Alcoholics Anonymous. Usually I try to find speakers far in advance so I don’t have to worry about not having someone. In order to get a speaker I have to go to meetings and find someone who I think has a positive message, but I don’t go to AA meetings every night. Wednesdays I have meditation, Thursday I have open mic spoken word night, Friday I have CODA, Saturday this week I have work, and that leaves Sunday. I’d already texted several people, none of whom could do it. I didn’t want to go to the meeting because I needed to study, and I knew Jay would be there, and I didn’t want him to think I was trying to see him, and I didn’t want to see Yvonne.
I decided to swallow my pride and go anyway, so I asked my friend Kevin to take me for support.
We get there, and a few people are standing outside, so we stop and talk, and sure enough, here comes Jay, and I’m certain he’s surprised to see me standing out there since I only go to that meeting every blue moon. But I see him and I just smile and say hello. He heads straight over for his motorcycle buddy who just noise-polluted his way into the parking lot, and I realize something. I don’t even feel nervous, or care at all. It was so friggin easy! I don’t give a damn that he’s not paying attention to me because I have my own friends, and I’m doing my own thing, and I have a right to be there as much as anyone else. His motorcycle buddy who normally says hi didn’t say anything to me, maybe by chance, and his other buddy who’d asked me out a couple of weeks ago didn’t say anything to me either, maybe by chance, or maybe because I’d turned him down. Either way, who cares?
After the meeting Kayley, one of our mutual friends who’s known Jay longer than she’s known me, talks to me and apologizes for not replying to my earlier text. I’d guessed that she was avoiding me because her loyalties lie with Jay and Yvonne, and had decided it didn’t matter. I just told her that was fine I was sure she was busy with school and work, which she was, and she agreed to speak for me at a later time. She looked at me and said the same thing that Jay’s buddy had told me last week: “How are you doing? You look good.”
Maybe I’m being paranoid, but I’m not sure how to interpret that. I feel like that’s the kind of thing you say to someone who you know has been through a hard time. Likely they knew Jay decided to go back to Yvonne. They already knew I’d had a tough year because everyone in AA knows that. I’ve made no secret about that.
Or maybe they just think I look good. I try to take it that way, instead of the paranoid way.
Jay then came up to us in an awkward way like he wanted to talk to us but not really so he just kind of came near, and I smiled and said, “Hello Jay, good to see you,” and he smiled and said hi and then kind of crab-walked away while Kayley and I continued talking in our conversation that had nothing to do with him. After a bit her body language told me she wanted to get away so I let her go but not without saying, “Hey I’ll let you get to doing your thing,” and she was like, “It’s just too loud and crowded in here; I want to go outside,” so I didn’t follow her because I assumed she was trying to get away from me. Maybe she was just trying to get away from the crowd and it had nothing to do with me, so I pretended that’s what I thought it was, and like I have plenty of other people to talk to anyway, which I did. Most of the time, maybe all the time, it’s best not to take things personally, and just to be polite, because it often turns out there was no reason to take it personally anyway. And if I had taken it personally, it’s not even my problem or issue to worry about. I had a right to be there, and if people don’t want to be my friend because I had a fling with Jay after he and Yvonne broke up, that’s their problem, and I didn’t need to be their friend anyway.
My point is, it was all so easy. I didn’t feel nervous, I didn’t feel upset, I did not feel rejected. If anything, I felt pretty darn good. This may sound incredibly arrogant, but I even kind of had this feeling towards Jay: Aren’t you sorry you didn’t decide to take your chances with me? It’s arrogant because it doesn’t factor in the crucial seven-year relationship he had with Yvonne, the history they’ve shared, the foundation they’ve built. Of course I would love to have that with someone, and thought I was building that with Steven.
Which brings me to the bigger, underlying issue: getting over Steven.
He came across my list of matches on Match.com, or maybe it was the “What If” page—I can’t remember. It was a page in which you can read the person’s summary without clicking on their page, because no way in hell would I click on his profile. And his summary was all about how he’s on a quest for true, lasting love, and something about how if one or both people are in spiritual or emotional disrepair then it can’t last. He used lofty language that my friends said came across as arrogant, and as someone who has to be right all the time. And his user name is steven_phd (not his real name, but you get the gist).
A quick aside about that. I’d noticed someone else who’d emailed me as ER_Doc and had thought, You know, I really don’t care if you’re a doctor. If that’s all you have to bring to the table, and you have to put that in your user name to try and attract someone, you’re using the wrong method, and you’ll be attracting the wrong kind of person. It’s like how I thought Jay was so great just because he had a boat and a motorcycle. Those external things don’t make a relationship.
Steven’s profile description is a loftier version of what mine says. I like to think mine comes from the heart (that’s always my goal in writing, anyway) whereas his sounds like an academic essay a psychologist wrote. One of my friends said he sounds like a narcissist, but I think everyone gets that label these days, and he’s really just bipolar and probably in a manic phase right now. But he did have “phd” in his email address too. I fell for that. I remember he’d told me he wasn’t arrogant, and I didn’t really believe him, but I went along with it, because self-confidence is attractive. But he didn’t have self-confidence. He had what many or all of us have at some point (or forever) in AA, which is this: he’s an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.
When I first read his description, I thought, I sure hope he’s talking about himself there, being in a state of spiritual and emotional disrepair, because my MOM had just fucking DIED, you selfish bastard. I don’t care if it was four months previously—that’s not much time. She was my MOTHER. The one who gave birth to me, who nurtured me, who was my biggest cheerleader, who loved me unconditionally. Can someone tell me who loves you more than your mom? Sadly, I get the feeling he didn’t get that from his mother.
The other thought I had was this: if he expects someone to never be in any state of emotional or spiritual disrepair, then he’ll always be disappointed. If a couple can’t stay together during hard times, they’re not meant to be together. Commitment is about sticking with someone through thick and thin, and growing together during those times. He and I had our time together, and now it’s over. He could not handle my grief, could not stick with me throughout the duration, and he couldn’t deal with my weirdness over my stepbrother. A friend of mine said, There’s no way he broke up with you only because of that. But that is the reason. He felt like I’d accused him of being a child molester, and that was it for him. There was no recovering from that; that was unforgivable to him—and I’d like to add one more time here that I did not accuse him of that, nor have I ever thought he had done that or would do that. And I told him so. Multiple times. There had to be more to it than that, my friend said. And there was: he couldn’t deal with my grief or my issues, and he had to have known somewhere deep down that I wouldn’t stay with him if he continued to shut me out every time he got upset with me. Because I’d finally put my foot down over Thanksgiving and broke up with him after he spent more than a week ignoring me. After a year and a half of allowing him to ignore me every few months I was finally done–almost. Because I took him back at the first hint of reconciliation, and then on New Year’s my higher power did for me what I could not do for myself, and we split for good.
After ruminating over it for a few days, I realized what bullshit his profile is, and how odd that I fell for that person. I thought, How is what we had NOT what he’s describing there in his profile? How was he unable to see that I was willing to commit, to do anything for him? And I thought, if he can’t see that, then he doesn’t deserve my time.
Finally I’m seeing more and more how when life doesn’t go my way, it’s not because there’s a punishing God who wants to see me unhappy. It’s because something better is in store for me. I don’t deserve to be treated that way. I’m worth more than that. I have so much more to offer today than I did in early sobriety, and certainly more than when I was drinking. And I’ll be damned if I just give that away to someone who takes it for granted, or worse, treats it like it was nothing, like it was just not good enough, which is exactly what he did. I could never be perfect enough for him. Welp, hopefully he will find someone one day who is as perfect as he acts like he is. Good luck to him finding that. Because that is why he can’t commit. I’m human, and I make mistakes, and my quest is to find someone who can see that, and love me in spite of it, or maybe, in some cases because of it.
I realize at some point it would be wise for me to exercise forgiveness and compassion, and I realize too that he’s mentally ill and can’t help the way he is. But today’s not that day, and I’ve got to be real with myself, and with y’all. This is a process, and I’m working towards that. In the meantime I’m already starting to see how Jay has helped me get over Steven, even though Jay didn’t stick with me, because it wouldn’t have worked anyway. There’s someone better in store for me. Oh and I have a date with the extra tall guy next Monday, and a date with another guy who seems really sweet (and good-looking) on Sunday. I’ll keep y’all posted!
Love and peace,