Wednesday, October 12, 2011

812 Notes for my future boyfriend.

In lieu of recent events, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on the history of my love life.  I've always considered myself to be a pretty good girlfriend - I've had an excellent and successful history of growing and maintaining long term relationships, and I've generally always been the one to terminate things.  So, I always thought that meant I was happy.

I wasn't.

It's hard, I've always had hindsight bias - I've looked at the past and with one exception, I've considered everyone I've dated to have been a good person, and that the difficulties were merely due to differences in values or goals in life, not in irreconcilable differences in personality.  Now that I've grown a spine and decided to respect myself, I'm seeing how much I never did that before, and the toll it's taken on my spirit, my personality, and my life.

So, this blog is going to be egotistical and selfish and all sorts of things that will make me look like a bitch. And I'm not sorry about that.  I'm going over my weaknesses and mistakes so that I can learn not to repeat them.

1. I'm a mediator.  I grew up in a family of strong opinions and learned at an early age that it is better to be agreeable than to be heard. I'm not knocking my family here, don't get me wrong - but it was more important to me to just let everyone else make their decisions and roll with it.  Upside - I can be very easy going and can make due with whatever.  Downside - I can't make my own decisions about little things like what to wear or where to eat and I'm generally afraid to open my mouth about what I want and what would make me happy because I'm afraid it'll upset or anger whomever I'm with.  So, sometimes I need prodding.

2. I am afraid that everybody wants to hurt me. I've spent so long taking the blame for things - even things that aren't my fault - that sometimes I feel like I'm the repository of everyone's ills. I'm afraid to hold the people around me accountable for their actions, particularly how their actions affect me.  Because I don't want to hurt them or make them feel guilty or dislike me.  This festers until I'm so worn down that I'm dead inside.

3. I fight. Somewhere between keeping my mouth shut so people will like me and slowly dying inside, I fight.  So much so that I'm geared up for it and everything someone says or does makes me react suddenly and angrily and all that hurt I've been holding inside comes gushing out.  I'm terrified to trust anyone but because I don't I still have the insatiable urge to BE close to someone.  So it's like that itch, that terrible, horrible itch, that I can never actually scratch.

4. I secretly crave snuggles.  I didn't have a particularly affectionate family.  Not that we were frosty with each other or anything, but we were never particularly touchy.  Physical affection makes me nervous. Doesn't mean I don't love it though, just means I don't know how to ask for it or make it happen.

5. I give.  I give my money, I give my time, I give my effort, I give my heart.  I do everything in my power to make the people close to me happy. And I let them take, and take, and take, until there is nothing left to give and they're still unhappy and I'm miserable.

That, I think, is what this is really about.  I'm tired of giving.  I'm tired of losing myself piece by painful piece. It always starts off small - pretending to like things I don't, pretending things are okay when they aren't.  I cover it all up with the mask of compromise - I'm compromising because I'm in a relationship and that's what you have to do.  But compromise works both ways - I give and give and give but whenever I ask for something in return I get excuses and avoidance and shot down.

Not anymore.

I know I'm probably going to go through a bossy, demanding bitch phase while I'm adjusting and I'm sorry for whomever chooses to deal with me during this.  But I deserve someone in my life that is at least willing to pretend to be interested in my singing, my homemade jewelry, my awesome kitty cat, and my winemaking.  I want someone that I can have a real conversation with - that isn't just about them, isn't just about me, isn't just about work, and doesn't consist of 1 word answers.

812.  I don't want to be that person anymore.  I don't want to be this transient entity that morphs to match the needs and desires of everyone around me.  I want to listen and I want to be heard.  I want to be half of a whole, not Atlas and not the World.  And I need someone that wants that too - who can will stand up to me when I need it and who will give me the free reign to be myself and not just a mirror of who I think they want me to be.

And, whomever you are, I hope that's a journey you and I can travel together.

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