I wrote this years ago but my head came back to this point about twenty minutes ago. Red Velvet is tired and a wee bit disappointed. Read on….
Someone once told me that I did not truly care about him but that I was in love with love. That I had no idea what loving someone meant or how to appreciate what it was when it was given to me. Now at the time I took great offense to that statement. How dare he tell me that I didn’t love him? Just because I assumed he was cheating on me and in my effort to stifle the pain cheated on him. If he loved me then he should understand that was only reacting to the potential hurt his alleged infidelity was going to cause me. The fact that he had not cheated on me did not escape me. And the fact that I had cheated on him would not escape him. Thus began the tempestuous nature of our relationship. What type of relationship it was is left to the philosophers I guess. We were both incredibly young and impulsive and overly intelligent for our ages. For the most part we didn’t act but reacted to each other. It was a bizarre little dance and we learned our parts well. Never negating the actual love that existed but doing everything in our power not to be the weak one. Not to be the one that reached out first and said I give up. I need you more than I need this. You are probably wondering what all this has to do with the original statement. Well let me address that now. I probably didn’t love him. Not the way my childish mind thought I did at the time. I had no concept of love other than him, he was my first love. All I knew for certain was that I wanted him intensely, passionately and with my whole heart. But that did not stop me from hurting him or being hurt by him. And I did not let him go until I realized that saying I love you wouldn’t fix things. It had worked so many times before but it finally dawned on both of us that love was not enough. We were missing whatever that something else was that went with the love that could sustain a normal relationship. It may have been maturity, experience or understanding. What ever it was the fact that we didn’t have it did not come to our attention soon enough and as a result has played itself out throughout my later years.
I thrived on the chaos of that situation. Each day led to some new outrageous experience that would teach me how to do him one better. How to disappear from the fact that I wanted or needed someone other than myself. Never mind that I love said man and it hurt my heart to watch him leave but he had to go before he hurt me. Some might say it’s because I didn’t have my father in the home. I was looking for approval through these men and they might be partially right. But I loved my father and had a wonderful relationship with him so I think that didn’t have much if anything to do with it. What I think it was has to do with my father yes but not by his absence from my home. I never doubted in my mind that my parents loved me. Well I maybe doubted my mom but only when she made me eat liver and onions. I have serious doubts, however, that my parents loved each other. I don’t recall them saying it to each other. I don’t remember them saying it to anyone else. I don’t remember them being affectionate and I don’t remember them ever going off to spend time alone together. I remember them seemingly competing for my brother’s and my attention. I remember the hurt on my mother’s face after an argument with my father when I went to him before I came to her and when I told her I wanted to live with him if they got divorced. Beyond that I remember distance between them and I remember watching them grow farther apart. I can to this day say I never understood the dynamics of my parents’ relationship. What I do understand is somehow that dynamic led me to what happened when I first fell in love and what is happening now.
Sometimes, when I meet a man that I might truly like, I seem to immediately set about torpedoing the relationship. I do things like men do them and that doesn’t actually work apparently, and from what I’ve been told, if you are trying to establish a long term relationship. I’ve never had a problem with casual sex as long as we are both consenting and protected. And I have no problem not being committed to someone in particular for long stretches of time. It usually serves to protect me from the fallout from the drama that inevitably ensues. But every now and then I meet this man that I want to be more than just a casual friend. So I get rid of the others I had when he met me and I start acting like a girl, as my friends have said, and I start letting myself think of wedding dresses and grandchildren and growing old together. We start spending more and more time together. We laugh and joke and share plans for the future and the pages in my “How We Met” diary are just flipping. The only problem is he hasn’t moved onto the same page I’m on. He usually is quite confused that I managed to make such a leap. Because men don’t believe me when I say they are the only ones. I know I’ve been monogamy challenged but for the right man everything is possible. And then I’m left to wonder why he didn’t take me seriously or why it never occurred to him that I might want something more. Now I know what you’re thinking. Stop moving so fast and it will be different. Hey I thought that too. So I did take my time and do the regular girl thing. Until I got tired of the games and it seemed like a good time to move forward. I’m still left wondering where I went wrong and why I’m invited to the wedding instead of planning my own. I’m tired of being the type of girl men would marry if they hadn’t met someone already or if we had met four years ago or if they could give me what I deserved. Some of them may be telling the truth but the fact still remains I’m alone and feeling unloved and unlovable.
Which brings me back to my first love. He adored me. And part of me has to believe on some level I loved him. Not correctly no. Not the way he deserved certainly and not to the point that could have boded well for any future interactions with men but I loved him. I have fallen in love with eight men since him. With few exceptions I managed to hurt him, in some form or fashion, by dealing with other men. Not for any of the reasons I gave with my first love and one wasn’t my fault at all, well at least not mainly my fault. Lately, however, it’s been the other way around. I am seriously believing that this man is going to be my man for here on out. Then I discover the girlfriend, fiancee or baby’s mother. Then I discover I’ve been keeping some other woman’s spot warm for her and I’m left wondering why I didn’t see it coming. You might say it’s pay back for how I treated the others. That’s distinctly possible. It could be that I will never have a healthy happy relationship with anyone again. But that seems so unfair. And maybe it is but then again maybe it isn’t.
I mean I am still confused about the concept of love. The men I love aren’t here for long so what is the point in loving them at all. The men I sleep with I can’t get rid of unless I start acting like I’m falling in love. Experience is supposed to be the best teacher. But my teacher keeps sending me to detention and I am learning things way too slowly. I would love to fall in love again. To finally open up and share all that I have to give with someone else but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Men don’t understand me and I sure as hell don’t understand them. So until we can come to some sort of understanding I guess will be at a standoff. An impasse as it were. I’m out for now.