ALL THAT COULD HAVE BEEN
One day, the presence of your past is like a thousand needlespricking you over every inch of your skin; the next, you have become soacquainted with the sting that you hardly notice the needles at all
It is not easy to move on from a relationship. You have to not only leave behind all that it was, the shared experiences and the wonderful moments that you thought would become a part of the lore of your relationship with that person, but you also have to let go of all the things you had hoped for with them. You have to take down the picture that you had in your mind of you and that person at some kitsch shop in Branson, Mo, that you had hoped to see, or the post card that you both signed and sent back home from the Black Hills. For me regarding Nebraska, there was all of that and more.
From such an inauspicious start in my “tweens” of being mostly ridiculed and overlooked by the females of the species, to the sudden and unexpected deluge of attention that I begin to draw from women in my early adulthood, I have managed not to get too banged up emotionally from my relationships. This is not the result of my being reserved and protecting my feelings from risk, but I believe precisely because I do take the risk of being vulnerable to rejection and being humbled, that I have been able to “get around” as I claim.
Whenever I have felt what I needed to feel about a person to let them know that I am interested in them on a personal level, I have been able to find the words to make them aware of my feelings and of my intentions. This has been the way I have basically operated after I was discharged from the Army, beginning with my starter wife. The language may change to suit the individual person and the situational awareness of the relationship, but the approach I use to engage women remains fundamentally the same. In addition to my being able to let and approach a woman that I am interested in, is what I feel is my uncanny ability to recognize and assess how interested someone is in me. Notable incidents in my life have been Delta Girl and Tee Jay, as well as that of my initial meet with my current girlfriend, Princess.
Falling back to my days of sleepless nights and awkward encounters that made up my teenage “Era of Discontent”, I am still to this very day left humbled and slightly disbelieving at the attention that I draw because I am “attractive”. What’s more, it is even more difficult to explain the regularity in which I am sought out or identified by a person, male or female, as someone that they would like to “get to know”. But with my being in balance in my character and having the awareness to separate objectively from what is fair and unfair behavior, I
do not no longer will
take advantage of someone who takes the chance to show their level of interest
in me. And because of my memories of
what it was like from that aforementioned era also has left me with the grace
to leave my would-be suitor with as much of their pride intact as they allow.
Intimation - An indirect way to cast aspersion and doubt on someone’s character, a whisper campaign or as a part of character assassination attempt. Though I don't think it was quite that serious, I do think that Nebraska thinks it unfair that I make her out to be as sketchy as I do. Now, personally I don't think that I paint her as “anything”, but, “to each their own”, I guess. Meanwhile, I do think that if she did not like how I described our interactions, then she could have done things to have made them different.
Our disagreement in my mind centers around fundamental principles of what I think makes for good relationships, as well as basic expectations that as a person who is being considered as “that someone who IS that someone”, is entitled to from the very beginning of the relationship. “There are more than enough to fight and oppose, so why waste good time fighting the people you like and who would fall defending your name?” sings Morrissey in the song “Hold Onto Your Friends”.
Whether or not I am serial relationship character or not, I tend to be a loyal cat to those I care about. From my days in “the provincial town I once jogged ‘round”, as well as heeding the beckoning of an ancient friendship, to even the filling of a blood-bound duty to a unrepentant sibling, I am there for those that matter to me. And I never have asked anything in return for “whatever”, and the only expectation I have is that things work to the benefit of the subject, and that they consider me when they need to be social to another human being, you know, as a friend.
But now you only call me when you’re feeling depressed
When you feel happy I’m—
So far from your mind… my patience is stretched—
My loyalty vexed… Ahh—
You’re losing all of your friends
(Really that is not true… they are only losing me, and they (and there is a “they” as well!) don’t seem to have cared too much about their loss)
Regarding Nebraska and her protests of my “painting” her out to be anything, there is a simple and quite obvious solution – DON’T BE THE PERSON THAT DOES THE THINGS TO MAKE ME FEEL AND THINK OF THEM IN THIS WAY!! It is just that simple. I have been very grateful for her help in managing things once I got here and for her and her daughter’s invaluable assistance in creating my project for my class last spring. But, for the most part… things have been tenuous at best between us, and efforts to communicate has been as challenging as those between Israel and the Palestinians (not really, but you get my drift).
NOT MISSING WHAT I DID NOT HAVE
I could go with a smart-aleck reference but I will forego that and keep to the seriousness of my entry. It has been nearly a month, 4 weeks, since I noticed a disturbance in my attitude and I resumed my medication and visiting my therapist. I still have moments of sadness, but they are becoming fewer and farther between. Maybe one day I will elaborate upon why the advent of this episode has worried me and how I managed my way through it, but that kind of stuff is very proprietary and only is certain to work for me. Myblogger friend Senorita made a great entry about her dealings with depression, and this is a case where knowing that someone else is facing a similar condition really helped ease some of the things that I am dealing with.
The nature of how I engage with the opposite sex, which I used to imagine as Dobie Gillis-like, and how things actually happened between me and Nebraska, me and Princess, me and the SFC, me and pretty much anyone ever, is part of the concept of FRICTION (here is the Clausewitzdefinition but pretty much any definition of friction could be made to fit). This is another major sticking point between Nebraska and me, and it is something that we both have to come to terms with as individuals, if we are going to have a friendship. Since I cannot account for her feelings and emotions in this area, I will go ahead with mine.
As a matter of policy, under what I call the “One-time Learning Rule”, a biological idea I borrowed from a study on birds, I had not ever had any kind of relationship with a person once they had fallen out of my life. Whether it was because I was a sh*thead or because they were an a**hole, it did not matter as long as it was to the mutual benefit of both parties. Do I think that my starter wife is better off without me in her life? Mookie Dee?? Tee Jay??? I have no real idea but that was the intent when those relationships dissolved and it is my hope that the improvements that they felt were necessary in their lives were made. So my assumption is yes, they are better off without me and meanwhile, I am fully engaged in making my life a better one without their involvement.
Because it is policy and while I do have several former partners as Face Book friends, the boundary is clear on both sides of the Internet. Princess is aware of this, and basically until I start flying out of town on a regular basis and/or I start needing more and more “time to myself” that I can’t explain, she has to “deal with it”. It is no different than her Face Book buddies with any of her “unexplained friends” who I have no need or desire to ask her about. But what of Nebraska and how do I explain her? Unlike the others, there is no dimension of space/time that would make our getting together improbable. How, then, do I justify her being in my current retinue of people I am involved with?
This is when the policy kicks in regarding “one-time learning” and is joined by what is “reasonable expectations”. More on both at another time.