Category Archives: dating

Many Roads, One Journey


ForkintheRoadIt’s been a while, eh? Nearly six months, to be exact. I didn’t think I’d ever come back to this blog, to be honest, and I was planning on starting a new one elsewhere. But if I do start a new blog, it would probably be something that I could use as a “writing sample” if I ever wanted to get a writing job, so it couldn’t be as self-confessional. True, I could write in a journal instead, but I’ve always enjoyed interacting with people online and getting their feedback. Writing is such a solitary activity, and it’s so nice to know that you’re writing for somebody other than yourself.

I don’t have anything much to report about my six-month absence. Nothing particularly exciting has happened. I haven’t been dating although I’ve had a few minor obsessions “from a  distance” with unsuitable men, so, yeah, my issues with men haven’t been completely resolved, that’s for sure. It’s been nearly six months since I got divorced, and I can say confidently that I’m over the divorce, and my ex-husband. I do still think of him from time to time, and feel sad that the shit hit the fan so badly, but, ultimately, I’m incredibly glad we’re no longer together. The relationship was keeping both of us stuck, and miserable. Sometimes it’s hard and lonely being in my mid-thirties and single, but now I have the opportunity to work on myself, and make changes for the better. It’s an exciting time really!

I haven’t been going to SLAA meetings for quite some time. I didn’t feel like I was getting anything out of them really. There were some nice, cool people there but there were also others who were very cliquey, and stand-offish. There are a lot of good things about 12-step groups, but there are also things I don’t like – the rigidity, for one. Nobody ever came out and said directly that not doing things the SLAA way is “bad”, but I distinctly got that vibe. In fact, I had been feeling guilty for not going to meetings anymore, and was worried that “my addict side” had taken over (because that’s what 12-step groups would have you believe if you stop going). It never occurred to me that it’s okay that I don’t like SLAA that much (or perhaps, more accurately, that I don’t like the only women’s group we have here in town). I’m allowed to have an opinion, and not like things, and that doesn’t mean that I’m weak or about to give in to addiction.

Recently I’ve been reading a couple of books by Charlotte Kasl – Women, Sex and Addiction – A Search for Love and Power and Many Roads, One Journey – Moving Beyond the 12 Steps – and I’ve been completely blown away by what she has to say. I would highly recommend that every woman, whether struggling with addiction or not – reads these books. In fact, I would recommend that every man reads her work, too. Contrasted with 12 step programs, Charlotte Kasl’s 16 Steps are life-affirming and empowering. I’ve been so inspired that I’ve even been thinking of starting my own Charlotte Kasl-inspired “Discovery / Un-covery” group because it would be nice to have a support group of women, just not via SLAA.

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When The Spell Is Broken


Caveat: I’m tired, suffering from terrible allergies, have swallowed a couple of antihistamines, and am also a wee bit tipsy. In other words, this might not be the world’s greatest blog post.

So, a wee update on the situation with the Arab. Yesterday I spent the whole day at work chatting with him. I had told myself when I arrived at work at 8:00 a.m. that I would not contact him until 4:00 p.m. because I knew I’d get no work done if I contacted him before that. I lasted until 9:30 a.m., and then I just couldn’t stop myself from responding to the chats he’d sent me while I was gone from work for a couple of days. I can’t believe that there are some psychiatrists out there who argue that Sex and Love Addiction is not a real addiction. Sometimes nothing -absolutely nothing – can stop me from getting my next “love hit”.

I hung on his every word, and could not wait until I received a reply to every chat. I always leave work at 5:00 p.m., and by 4:50 p.m. there was still no mention of the date we were supposed to be having this weekend. I flirtily asked him when we would be getting together (“It’s rude to keep a lady waiting, you know!”) and he told me that he couldn’t see me this weekend since he was going to a music festival. I was furious because we had – so I thought anyway – agreed to see each other this weekend. It turns out that we’d never actually chosen a specific day/time for the date (I looked back over the chat history to confirm this), so I assume I had just fantasized about him so much that a daydream about a Saturday night date became a reality in my head.

Nonetheless, he had told me that the date would be this week – and yet there was not a peep out of him about when this would be. I was off work on Monday and Tuesday, so he couldn’t contact me to arrange a date on those nights, so he has an excuse. But what about all the other nights this week? Apparently he was already busy.

What kind of guy agrees to go on a date with a woman one week, and then doesn’t mention it at all when that week finally comes around? Now, I know that a lot of people are oh so casual and flakey when it comes to keeping engagements these days. I’m guilty of that myself with casual acquaintances – I’ll say “Oh, yeah, let’s get a drink next Thursday maybe” and then next Thursday comes around and nobody mentions it again. But I have never told somebody that we will go on a date, and then never broached the topic again. That is just plain obnoxious.

I don’t know what this guy’s deal is. I assume he’s a bit of a player; that’s he’s probably dating a couple of women casually already and that I’m maybe just an interesting back-up option. His casual attitude betrays the fact that I mean nothing to him. Absolutely nothing.

This is, I hasten to mention, the second time he has blown me off. The first time, a couple of months ago, I told him I wasn’t really ready to date anybody but at some point we decided to grab a drink. This was supposed to be just a “friendly” drink, not a date, but it was pretty obvious that it was more than that, and that we’d be scoping each other out. On this occasion, I actually did suggest a specific night the following week, and he agreed. That Tuesday I asked him “So, are you still up for a drink on Thursday”. He told me “Oh, let me get back to you”. Did he ever get back to me? What do you think?

Right now, the spell has well and truly been broken. I can see clearly that this guy is no good. I deserve to be asked on a date by somebody who is genuinely interested in me – somebody who’s excited about spending time with me, and getting to know me more.

It doesn’t hurt me that the spell has been broken. No major harm has been done. Hell, I haven’t even met the Arab yet. He’s not really a real person – he’s an interesting OKCupid profile with some cute pictures; he’s the guy I iMessage at work; he’s the one I caught a glimpse of when I was out running and said hi to. We never spent hours together in person; we never fucked; he never promised me anything. Sure, I fantasized about him, but over so short a period that there was never a chance for his image to be carved into every one of my thoughts for months on end.

Despite all this, though, I wanted to scream when it became apparent yesterday just how unimportant I am to him.  I can’t begin to describe the feeling of despair and sheer desolation I felt. It’s all a memory now, but it was very real yesterday.  I wasn’t suicidal, but life just felt so fucking empty and pointless.

And that, dear readers, is why I am an addict, and why I need help. A momentary iMessage dalliance with a stupid immature player makes me spiral down into despair and self-loathing.

It’s clear from this little escapade that I still can’t be trusted to stay away from people who are no good for me. So, when I tell you that I won’t be contacting the Arab again, you probably won’t believe me. Send out a little prayer for me, eh? Pray that I’ll finally be able to love myself and only surround myself with people who care for me and want the best for me.

After-Scare!


So, you might remember that I recently did an intensive five-week outpatient Dialectical Behaviour Therapy group therapy class. If you can’t be bothered clicking on the Wikipedia link I provided, which describes what DBT is, let me explain briefly: it’s therapy that teaches life skills to people who have trouble with emotional regulation. Or, as I like to call it, it’s “Anti-Crazy-Ass Bitch Therapy”.

Everybody who “graduates” from the intensive group therapy classes is entitled to free after-care – one session a week every Wednesday night for six weeks. Free health care?! In the US?! Well, hell, I was certainly intending to take advantage of that as was the new friend I met in the DBT class. So, off we both toddled to the after-care classes where I expected to learn how not to smash all the dishes in my kitchen when I’m pissed off to continue to utilize all the wonderful skills I’d learned about before.

The first session was fine. The therapist who led the group must have been approaching sixty, and she was small, cute and rotund. She looked like your favourite elderly aunt. The second session did not go so well at all, and upset me considerably, which was quite a feat on the therapist’s part given that I arrived in a perfectly good mood, as calm and level-headed as could be.

She pissed me off immediately by telling me that I shouldn’t be dating anybody ” for a year”. Now, I agree that I shouldn’t be rushing into a relationship any time soon, but, hell, what did she expect me to do for a whole year? Sit in my room for 365 days swearing off all contact with men, only to launch into the dating world on the 366th day? But, more to the point, why the hell was the woman telling me how to live my life? And in such a rigid way?!

At this point, I was still looking up to her as a sort of cuddly, granny-like figure, so I was only mildly irked, but things took an even worse turn when I started talking about how the most depressing thing about turning thirty-five is that my ovaries are getting old. My therapist – who clearly does not understand the phrase “rubbing salt into a wound” – agreed and said “Yes, they are getting up there”. Um, OK. Way to go to make me feel good about my rapidly declining fertility.

I know that I would be very sad if, ten years from now, I didn’t have a child just because a suitable man never came into my life. When I broke up with MM, my first reaction (well, for all of two minutes) was to think “Shit! I’d better get out there on the dating scene to find a baby daddy”. I soon realized that this would be the act of a desperado. I would like to find love and companionship again but I’m certainly not going to settle down with the first half-decent dude who comes along just so I can pop out a sprog before I’m over the hill. I have therefore decided that if I am still single at the age of thirty-eight that I am going to either (a) hit the sperm back or (2) seduce some handsome dark-skinned young man in, hmmm, say Brazil or Argentina. Please spare me the sanctimonious rants about how I’d be be using my white privilege to exploit somebody from a county where people are less privileged. Quit complaining, and stick a fucking condom on your penis if you don’t me to use your sperm. It’s that easy.

Anyway, I told the therapist all of the above minus the part about the sperm bank/my Latin American cougar dreams . You know what? I might never end up in that sperm bank. I might never get to shag some hot young Latino and shamelessly use his sperm for my nefarious purposes. But the thought that I could do these things to have a child if that’s what I want is a damn sight better than sitting at home every night, knocking back a bottle of red wine and bemoaning childless singledom (and a dearth of potential good mates). Hell, if thinking that gets me through this divorce and makes me feel empowered about the choices I have in life, then so be it.

Grandmother therapist had other ideas, though. In front of the whole class she said that I “should not” be a single mother: I “should not” do that to a child and that “a child needs two parents”. “Aye”, I thought to myself, “it would be nice to have a helpmate so that I could nip out for some cocktails of an evening”. Actually, that’s a huge lie. You all know how it’s easy for me to slip into guilt, and that’s exactly what I did. I thought that I must be a really selfish person to have considered being a single mother. I was totally bewildered and felt awful. Then this huge surge of anger rose up in my throat and I realized the woman was being a patronizing and controlling bitch! Therapy is not supposed to be about “shoulds” and “should nots”. Even if you don’t agree with a client’s life choices, you are supposed to gently (gently, lady, gently!) guide them to look at all angles. You’re not supposed to humiliate them in a room full of people.

So, um, I let the bitch have it. I did, mercifully, refrain from completely cussing her out, but I let her know in no uncertain terms what I thought of her so-called “therapy”. The tension was so high in the room that two men left the room. The women all stayed (we’re used to cat fights, haha). I have since heard from my regular therapist (who used to work in the same place as this woman) that several other group therapy attendees have had a similar experience with this person. This makes me very angry because a lot of people in these classes are extremely fragile. I am actually the only one who wasn’t committed to a psychiatric ward at one point because of a suicide attempt. Thankfully, I have a rapid return to baseline, so, after a wee cry and a cigarette, I had gotten over what she said, but her words really affected me for a few minutes. I’m just glad that I’m not the type to take BS and go home and brood about it later. I dread to think what could happen if she said the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time in their life.

I’m toying with the idea of writing a letter of complaint, but I’m not sure it’s worth it. Thoughts?

Broken


I’m probably not going to have much time to write in here for the next five weeks. Tomorrow I start an intensive outpatient Dialectical Behavior Therapy course. It’s every Monday through Thursday, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Given that I start work at 8:00 a.m. and only finish at 5:00 pm., it’s going to be pretty exhausting. I have self-diagnosed as suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, and DBT is supposed to be really effective for treating that. Even if I don’t have BPD, it would still be good to learn not to, um, smash shit, hit my loved ones and verbally abuse them when I’m stressed or angry. Both my therapist and my psychiatrist think it would be a good idea to do this course. I’m wondering if I’ve made a huge mistake, though, because I have a hard enough time as it is getting through the week without adding twelve-hours of intensive therapy into the mix. Also, I am feeling pretty fine at the moment. But that is always my pattern – I have one huge crisis, where my world feels like it’s ending, and then I coast along just fine until the next crisis. When I’m coasting I never feel like there’s anything wrong with me.

Intensive therapy aside what else have I been up to? Well, I had fun this week with my friends, seeing lots of music. I went out more times this week than I would do in a whole six month period while I was still living with MM. I’m completely sleep-deprived, but it was worth it. I also went out on a date with a cute Chilean-American journalist I met on OKCupid who is very interesting –  tall; handsome; creative; funny; educated; a runner; well-traveled; bi-cultural; bilingual etc etc. He is, in other words, the opposite of RG in most ways and yet…I still long for RG.

Speaking of RG, we have started shagging again. But don’t worry – it’s all good. I’m much calmer this time around. It turns out there actually was something he wanted to invite me to after all. We went to a barbecue last night together, and I was supposed to attend a fashion show he was doing the make-up for today but couldn’t because I had to work. I don’t know what these invitations mean. Honestly, I think I’m done analyzing the shit out of everything. I just don’t have the energy.

I started to look at our “relationship” in a whole new light earlier this week when he responded to one of my booty-call texts by saying “Im a mess dont know if i want you to see me this way”. It wasn’t like I didn’t know he was a raging alcoholic before this text. I knew rationally that he couldn’t be present for me because of his alcoholism but somehow that text brought it all home. I felt quite guilty, to be honest…like I’d been trying to take advantage of a sick person. Because, well, he is a sick person. We stayed up talking all night on Friday (didn’t even shag until much later!) and we didn’t start to go to bed until 8:00 a.m. He actually went off then to buy some cheap and nasty gas station wine so he could get to sleep. At 8:00 a.m! Jesus. What a way to start your day.

I don’t know how it is possible to care for somebody I have only known for a couple of months, but, well, care I do. Of course, there is still a huge part of me that wants him to want me/love me, but I can genuinely say now that I just want him to get better. Not for me, not because I have this fantasy that we’ll fall hopelessly in love if he gets better (although there is a wee bit of that) , but for himself. He’s talking about moving back to Colorado to live with a friend he can start a (legit, non-druggy) business with who’s also a teetotaller. I think this would be a great idea because I don’t know how on earth he can possibly hope to get sober while he sells weed and lives right around the corner from the local bar. When he talks about moving away, there is this little voice inside me that says “No! Don’t leave! No! Not yet!” but I know it’s what he needs to do, and I will encourage him. I just can’t stand to see another human being suffer in front of my eyes. He says he’s hardly ever had sober sex in his life! Wow! I can’t imagine being that cut off from my emotions. He is so broken. He needs to heal.

I feel that something changed in me this week as regards RG. I will continue to long for his attention, his affection, his love, but somehow my lust has changed into something sweeter and more tender…friendship, I guess. I’m not saying that I won’t ever shag him again (hell, I ain’t Jesus) but I just want to treat him well, and not make him the brunt of my love addicted obsession.

This might be weird given how much I’ve bitched about RG in this blog, but send a wee prayer out for him tonight, will you? He’s not an angel, but I hate to see him in this much pain.