Sunday, March 23, 2008

Single White Female Seeks Wounded Puppy/Man-Boy:
Directionless, Mother Issues, In Love With Dysfunctional Ex-Girlfriend a Plus

This weekend, I found myself doing the most important of pre-preparation tasks for my mother's visit. That is, bundle up all personal journals, place in box, double duct tape, mark with sharpie "TOXIC: DO NOT OPEN, place down in garage under a filthy drop cloth and place something very heavy in front of it, say an old non-working air conditioner.
(This is why I keep old non-working air conditioners, because of nosey mothers.)

But before I boxed my them up, I stacked them up by the bed and decided the take a break from "The Other Boleyn Girl" and read my journals, the writings of my past. Only, instead of curling with what I thought was the equivalent of "Bridget Jones' Diary," I found I was reading some kind of horrifying Stephen King novel.

In all my years of dating, I dated THE SAME MAN. Their names may be different, but their pasts were interchangeable. Emotionally distant, lost, difficult relationships with parents (one that was almost always an alcoholic), usually still in love with an ex-girlfriend (my specialty) who, herself was "special needs."

"Special needs" is these cases meant: a cheater, anorexic, mother who committed suicide, brother who died of a heroin overdose, heroin addict herself. Yeah, I know how to pick 'em.

The more they love someone else, the less they could love me. The less the could love me, the more comfortable I felt. Maybe I didn't feel lovable enough. Maybe I thought if the spotlight was on me instead of their exes, they'd find all my flaws and surely, we'd be done.

There was one love, in particular, who I especially lived in the shadow of his ex-girlfriend. She was blond and very thin (heroin will do that). There was some sort of... elegant mystery to her. Beautiful pictures and his warped sense of reality in the stories he'd tell me about her, did that.
Years later, I saw her on a documentary on "Bravo."

She said she believed in time travel and extraterrestrials.

That's who I was intimidated by, haunted by. All those years, that's who made me feel unworthy and less than. Extraterrestrials... AND time travel.

The last BF, though, he was a good one. A man. No visible or invisible signs of scaring. Had we not started dating just before my cousin died, it might have worked. There were carefree months of bliss when I thought, "I finally broke the pattern."

And then David died and I retreated into the inner regions of myself. Somehow I excelled at work but I blew chunks at "relationship." Days on the sitcom I worked on were filled with laughter, the best story ideas, incredible joke pitches; the evenings I drove home were filled with tears and the nights, Ambien.

There was no time to connect. And that led to, well, the disconnect, the downfall, the end.

And now I am here. Shockingly, unbelievably grateful for my mother's visit. Without her, I wouldn't see -- is it how far I've come? Or how far I don't ever want to go back? Either way... either way.

The last one, before the good one, I did make the declaration, "Never again." No more men with mother issues, ex issues, drinking/emotional withholding/lost in the head light issues. I just don't have time. Not because I want to get married or have a baby or that I am on any kind of time clock.

Just because I don't have time. For suffering. For crumbs when I want the whole cake. For picking myself and dusting myself off. And there's fear in that, the decision to only want to give time to the good ones. Because from now on, I can't build men into something they are not. I can't give everything when there is nothing for me. I can't lose myself in someone and be secretly grateful that I will have to show nothing of myself.
But there's some sort of exciting challenge in that. And I like that, in an oddly terrifying sort of way.

This blog is dedicated to champagne & "Peeps" on Easter.