Moving Tides

Again and again, it seems that men want to find new and interesting ways to bankrupt me.  I never do whatever it is, but they keep on. I’m not rich.  I’m an average person.  I am very frugal and very careful about my budget.  My money has things to do.

I recently did a check-in with myself after months of angst.   Redid my budget.  Planned out some things.  I feel better and more in tune now with my financial needs. However, I can’t help reflecting on the fact that if I wasn’t single, I wouldn’t be okay right now.

My senior prom date asked my parents to pay for his tux.  (which they did.  I think they should have said, “hell no,” but they were very vested in me going with this man whom I did not know very well.)

I have had multiple men try to get me to drop everything and move.  Because apparently I just have money sitting there to do that?  Nope.  No.  My money has things to do.  I am just now getting to a secure-feeling place.  The last time I was at a secure-feeling place, I got downsized.  It took a long time to get back here.  Respect that.

Also, we should review when it is appropriate to expect someone to move near you.  Are you publicly dating?  Have you met his friends?  Were you expected to be present at the last family reunion?  Do you exchange travel to one another’s locations?  THEN you can ask someone to move near you.   That is when it is appropriate.

I have had men ask me to buy them things.

I have had men expect me to take them on vacations with me, with them paying for nothing.

I have had men expect me to pay debts for them – without us living together.

I have had men expect me to just let them move in on the sly, little by little.  Yeah, I don’t like that shit at all.

Some men like the ego-gratifying idea of a woman who will do anything for them, especially to her own downfall, financial or otherwise. I am aware of that.   Just like some men get gratified at the notion of a “good woman” who isn’t quite ” perfect” pining away for them.*

I just wish it would stop.  I wish that men would have both feet on the ground.  I wish they would stop blowing smoke up their own asses in terms of their expectations of people.   I’m happy to move.  Right after I meet granny at the family reunion.

 

 

 

*For an example of this- Lord of the Rings movies.  Eowyn is a “good woman” who is dedicated, pretty and strong, and obviously pines for Aragorn and has plenty in common with him. In contrast, Arwen is portrayed as almost a frothy bit of air that catches the man and gives up her eternal life.  Either option is pretty shitty on the face of it, and both designed to be ego fluffers for a male audience.  We have the tomboy who will never be good enough pining forever because she dies still without her lover- a perfect eternal ego boost for Aragorn.  In contrast, the Princess Sickly Frothnothing who literally glows and gives up eternal life for her man. It pays a bit more to be the rescuee than the woman who doesn’t need to be rescued, but both women are still defined in terms of having their sights set on this one man, and his importance.

 

 

 

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Living in Opposite Land

Men:  I want a girl I can be with just tonight.

Woman:  You can be with me just tonight.  Seriously, I don’t care.

Men:  Why doesn’t she want me anymore?  Why isn’t she fighting to keep me?  Wah wah wah.


High school boy: We should see other people.

High school girl:  Okay.

High school boy:  If anyone else dates her, tell them I’ll kill them! broody broody broody face.


Man:  I don’t want a relationship.  I just want fun.

Woman: okay. sure. Oh um, yeah, I think we should see other people.

Man:  WHAT?  Where are you going!! Stay!!! Then moves in with woman that looks like his mother.


Man:  We should get married.  Let’s talk about how we can move you here to live with me.  We can sign a lease, you can go here to school, etc etc. on and on with serious plans.

Woman:  Okay, but my parents aren’t okay with that, they are very religious.

Man:  I kind of only halfway meant it when I said that.


Female friend:  That guy you used to like is getting married to my friend.

Woman: Excellent!  That is so awesome!  I am delighted!

Man:  *Sulk* Coldhearted bitch.  Must Avert Eyes.

 

I am not your ego boost.

Sorry.  I’m not.  I’m a human being.  I’m not a supporting actress in your story where you are the damn star.  Because real life doesn’t work that way.   I’m not Princess Peach.  I’m not here to be won.  Why can’t I ever just be treated like a person?  Not some something there that is supposed to have a set of nice handy television-ready reactions?

 

 

Drop Everything

“Drop everything and run away,”  they say.

You don’t need retirement, savings or an IRA.

Just live on love and things will all work out.

No promises, no plans.

Just leave everything in my hands.

Drop the mortgage and the car.

You’ll be better off by far.

Just run away into the night,

We might not make it, but then again, we might.

I’m not going to make you any emotional claims,

I figure sexy sex is enough to reach my aims.

If we burn out, I’ll just blame you,

Or I’ll blame life, that’s a good one too.

Pack your bags, who cares about your credit score?

So what if you are still paying off that business trip from before!

Pack your bags, and just run away…

If you don’t, I’ll never treat you the same way.

 

 

 

All the fears

I am a terrified person.

I am afraid of anything I run headlong into.  I do it anyway.  But I am petrified while doing it. I just gave my cat a different flea medication, and I watched him for now 30 min to make sure there are no ill effects.  I’ll keep watching him too.   He’s my best friend and I’m terrified of doing anything to hurt him.  I love him deeply.

I was afraid last week when the outdoor cat came in the house- who isn’t mine really- and was ill.  I was scared he’d get sick and die in my house.  And that someone would come to accuse me.  And then I was scared of letting him back out.  Because what if he died outside and it was my fault?  I couldn’t see a way out of it being my fault, so I let him go and hoped he would be okay.  He was.

My other indoor cat is a female and she wails late at night just for fun.  Attention.  extra treats.  To go outside for no reason. And I fear that I’m going to get reported for violating the pet noise ordinance.  So I cosset her as best I can.

I had a home repair and I had a bad part.  I was terrified it would be my fault (!) again, and that I was going to have to call someone to fix it and look like a damn idiot.  When I realized it wasn’t my fault, it took some time for the relief to really register.  I could feel my father yelling at me about screwing it up without being 100% sure of what I was doing.

I’m always dancing on the edge of not being really sure how to take people’s statements.  If it is positive, should I read something negative into it?  What is behind it?  I would love a world where everyone was perfectly 100% up front about everything.  Because I feel like even if I ask for an explanation, I’ll get an excuse instead of a reason.

My mother does these things- she will say something to make an impression on you about something instead of being upfront with what she wants from you.  She wants to manipulate you by being, what in her mind, is a positive influence.  Even if she is influencing you to do something stupid. Even if she is influencing you to date someone who isn’t right for you.

I’ve made harmless office jokes and wondered five million times how the person on the end would receive them.  If something else would be read into them that I didn’t intend.

I don’t make friends with men that I’m scared might hold a candle for the idea of being with me if I don’t also find them attractive.  I don’t hang out with them at parties or events.  I make a point of staying away so that I am not in any way mistaken.  Because here, too, I have been.  I’ve been the victim of a third party’s desperate desire to have me be involved with their friend.

I find myself having to watch out for people everywhere I go.  And so I learn to watch out for people everywhere I go.  A learned anxiety.  A continuing nervousness.

I hear someone tell me to have a nice day.  I read daggers in their expression.  I hear people that I should be able to love and trust say things to me, and I second guess them.  Some, because I know they will do things to cause harm.

I’m terrified of totally fucking things up.  But somehow I go forward anyway.  And that is the hard part.  No one understands that.   People think I should throw caution to the wind.  Every time I have gotten on an airplane I’ve been certain I’d probably die while I was in it.  I did a bungee fall once at an amusement park.  Super safe.  Super regulated.  I was certain I’d die even as I was waiting to drop.

My mother wanted me to be somewhat dependent.  Because she wanted to keep me in the fold of a certain group of opinions and a certain set of behaviors.  She wanted me to need my parents.  But at the same time, I was often the emotional and intellectual adult in the house.  A twisted mind fuck.  But I keep moving forward and breaking new ground for myself.  Creating new ways to repair things that I can manage on my own.  Doing my best to make the choices others see as easy, and that I see as so damn hard.

I’ve known men who told me one thing and then told me I should have known they mean the opposite.  “Marry me!  What do you want the wedding to look like?”  turning into “I didn’t really mean it 100% when we discussed it.”

And I don’t know how it is now, but I was always expected to keep up with these soap operas inflicted upon me and was judged heavily at the time for not being able to predict such a change.  That’s how people expected life to be at the time.  A tv soap.

Always with the mind fucks.

But I go on.  And I hope there is love behind the words I hear.  I hope for kindness in the world.  I hope that things might indeed work.

And I’m tired and exhausted with carrying this pain and fear around.  The weight of it is killing me.  I’m surprised I haven’t died, knowing some of the stupid things I’ve done.  Thrill-seeking.  Not caring about my own mortality.  When you assume you are going to die young anyway just because, you find little you do matters.

But then you worry about the bills.  That was always the thing that kept me alive.  Knowing I didn’t want to leave anyone with a credit card bill to pay or anything.  Now its my mortgage and disposing of my home and needing someone to care for my cats.  For a few years in a row, my cats kept me alive.

I’m not suicidal.  Not by any means.  I want to die at the age of 134 with a fruity drink in my hand.  I want to eke out every good thing life has.

My fear doesn’t make me stop.  But often, I find that it beats me up.  Hard.  My temples throb and my heart pounds.

I don’t expect people to understand this.  I never have.  Never will.

I reach for endless assurances and reassurances and fear I burden other people.  Scared of being dependent. Just like I am of everything else.

I need to find ways to set down the pain, the worry, the endless fretting.

At work, I did an excel spreadsheet and I was concerned deeply that all the math formulas (which could have been done a couple different ways) read the same on the off chance that someone else looked into the cells and realized that they didn’t precisely match.  Even though the outcome would be the same. Because at my job, honestly, someone might.  And would.

And that doesn’t help me.  Not a person like me.

It isn’t anxiety.   It isn’t paranoia.  Its somewhere in there, between the two.  The reason I used to get stomach pains that my forward-thinking local doctor thought might be stress when I was all of 12.  I had those pains again this past week.  I pushed through it.  I pushed through feeling ill.

I want to lay this burden down.

I’m tired of carrying it.

I just don’t know how.

Why do you do as you do

Why must you do as you do

Running and flying and fleeing and hiding

Why must you do as you do

Dragging so many around

Failing to choose is a failure you know

Why must you do as you do

Dodging and saying the right wrong thing

Why must you do as you do

Living a life you’ll swear you don’t want

Complaining, bartering for sympathy

Why must you do as you do

Tagging me in, tagging me out

Why must you do as you do

Comments that dance on a knife’s edge

The well-crafted non-response

Why must you do as you do

The sad thing is, you think you are winning

Doing the things you do

 

Don’t lie.

Don’t fail to disclose the truth.

Don’t fail to be upfront with facts you know to be crucial.

Don’t play a game where you pretend to be invested.

Don’t steal my ideas.

Don’t borrow my ideas.

Don’t make a pretense of being bold and then chicken out.

Don’t pretend you don’t have control over your own life.

Don’t be a bullshitter.

Don’t bullshit yourself.

If you want respect, live in the truth.

Finding the safety

They can’t hurt me.

The words can’t kill the good things I have any more

The waves may keep me alone,

But at least I can breathe here on this island.

I put love and light around me like a force.

I keep everything from going under.

I keep putting more rocks on the beach.

I will never have to climb from the bottom again.

Because they can’t hurt me now.  Not anymore.

They can’t take things away from me.

I can see it now in my mind.

You trying to explain to a therapist what you have done and why.

What the look on his face would be.

Because I read your reasons.

I’ll always know.

I’ve known it for too long now.

Far too long.

It makes my heart feel ancient.

Like I have lived 10,000 years.

I’ve seen it all before.

But this time you won’t take.

This time the shore stays the same.

This time the words won’t stick and harm me.

This time your demands will be laughed at by all my friends.

And this time you will look the fool in front of everyone.

And this time you will not be respected just because you are an adult.

Because I’m too old for this.

My heart is too old for this.

And you won’t win through this.