I do what I can to keep my personal life out of this journal, which is almost paradoxical, because isn’t EVERYTHING on this site, in one way or another, “personal”? Because isn’t that what sets this all apart from all the thousands of other journals out there in cyberspace, the fact that each one is “personal”?
So I guess what I mean is, I do what I can to keep the grimy personal details of my life out of this journal, such as… well… the grimy things. Like relationships.
But for whatever reason, I’ve had this need for a week or two now to just write everything out that’s been going through my mind regarding relationships, and perhaps because I’m just ever-so-slightly touched by an equally grimy bout of sleep deprivation, I thought I’d post whatever it is I ended up writing out.
And you do realize you’re reading this of your own accord?
Someone asked me the age-old question a while ago: “Why is it that wonderful women always go for men who treat them like crap?” As I have an affinity for falling for men who either don’t consider me a priority or just simply can’t, for whatever reasons, be with me– or in some cases, both– the question bears considerable significance for me. Why DO I go for men who, often unintentionally but all the same do, treat me “like crap”?
I pondered this before, resulting in something that had to do with a subconscious need stemming from my childhood to prove that I am “enough” to make someone stay with me. This time around, I came up with a different theory.
Deeply rooted in my mind is this belief: I will inevitably make my significant other’s life a living hell. I’ll hurt him with betrayal, or he’ll discover one of my flaws and won’t be able to handle it, or he’ll just simply become incapable of putting up with me, with my personality, with my thoughts, and will want out. Will DEMAND out. It’s a belief that’s been etched in me for a good, long while now– that, perhaps, I’m cursed, and whoever chooses to date me, whoever falls in love with me, or even just comes close to falling in love with me, will be “ruined” because of it.
As a result, I date guys who will never get that close to me. I may end up getting close to them– it’s almost a given that I’ll get that close to them– but through their own apathy or whatever it may happen to be, they will keep their distance and never get to know me well enough to discover my secret evils that could suck them into my path of destruction.
The problem is, for a guy to “never get that close to me,” he must: rarely ever see me, rarely ever talk to me, not make me feel comfortable enough to *really* talk to him, and make it clear to me that I’m not a priority. These four qualities just so happen to be four qualities which I despise in a relationship, which means that yes, I’m miserable most of the time, and thus, in a way, I’m being treated “like crap.” But the truth is, I’d rather be the one in the relationship who tolerates the crap than the other way around.
“But isn’t an ideal relationship one in which neither is mistreated?”
Um, yes. But understand my mentality: such a relationship is Impossible. If he treats me wonderfully and as I’ve always wanted to be treated, then he gets close to me and he sees me for everything that I am and that would just break his heart with disappointment and other Negative Emotions. So, he has to stay away from me (and do it naturally, because for me to push him away would be to Hurt Him and again, that ISN’T ALLOWED), so, he has to be utterly distant in every respect, so, I have to be unhappy in order to be in a relationship.
So the next question is, where the hell did this mentality come from? And is it justified?
And this is what I hate the most– that all this came from my first relationship. It shouldn’t be this way, a person shouldn’t be so scarred from one relationship, one why-won’t-it-leave-me-alone relationship– but there it is. Certain things near the end of it, or after the end of it, or actually even somewhere in the middle– certain things were said to me, and maybe they were retracted later, or he said that those things were said in a moment of unchecked rage (which to me only signifies he meant it all the more and doesn’t take away their sting in the least), but god help me, I’ve never been able to forget them. I suppose just the patterns of and the paths traveled during the relationship in whole were enough to teach me that I am, in short, not good enough. That I am weak and naturally, on so many levels, “wrong.” That I can, will, and do hurt the people I love, the people who love me. That I don’t deserve their love because of it, and that I don’t know what love is and therefore never have truly loved, because of it.
Despite all the progress I’ve made in the last 14 or so months to escape that relationship and all its aftermath effects, I’ve found that it really is hard to teach an old dog new tricks– or, more appropriately, it really is hard to unlearn such lessons, especially when they were taught to you while you were at your most vulnerable and impressionable stage. To this day, I still believe I’m less than he is– I still believe that I never will be as good as he is, whatever “good” may mean.
I don’t particularly like talking about my first relationship because it always ends with the listener wanting to kill my ex, even after my plaintive explanations of how he was really very loving, a fact which is nonetheless altered by the phrase, uttered either by myself in my mind or by the listener out loud: “when we weren’t fighting.” I always note, too, that I was far from perfect in the relationship and caused him his own share of grief– but somehow, this, too, does little to cool the flames.
There remains a problem even in my insistence that I was a problem in the relationship, because I’ve yet to understand whether I was as great a problem as he made me out to be, or whether he just considered me to be a much bigger problem than I, in truth, was.
His allegation that I don’t deserve love, I’ve more or less come to convince myself isn’t true. But all the other things– that I’m not enough, that I’m wrong, that I’ll hurt whomever I touch, that I’m not as good as he is (which simply ties back into the first, that I’m therefore not enough)– I still struggle with their truth values. There’s a part of me that hears the voices of all my friends, echoing their insistence that it’s not true, none of it is true, I’m a good person, I’m a wonderful person, and I deserve happiness and so much more– and then there’s another part of me that thinks, well, they’re my friends, OF COURSE they’re going to say that, and believes all the more firmly that said “things” are true.
My second boyfriend rarely ever called me and even more rarely ever kept his word when he said he’d see me, or I’d see him, soon. He also hated hearing the phrase, “I need to talk to you”– hated it with a vehement passion– which pretty much taught me to never utter it, which in turn forced me to keep the majority of my problems and problematic days internal. This was also something enforced by the first boyfriend, who got very tense if I was having a “bad day” and felt that I had too many bad days for him to handle and ended up just avoiding me if it was clear I was upset over something.
The end result is this, a confused and heartbroken girl who can’t stop falling into relationships that aren’t really relationships, who can’t stop falling for men who don’t particularly want her but can, when it’s convenient for them, when the notion passes through them, be overwhelmingly affectionate to her– a girl who is convinced that if she appears anything less than perfect and happy and with-the-program, she will drive her friends and family and significant other(s?) far, far away, and permanently– who honestly believes that it will never, can never, be any other way, and it is all her fault.
And that is why THIS woman chooses to be with men who treat her like crap, with the understanding that they don’t treat me like crap, they’re just of a nature that makes me horribly unhappy.
Understand, I don’t write this for sympathy, and I certainly don’t write this to turn everyone against my ex (either one)– ::sigh:: I don’t know. I wrote to figure things out, but I don’t feel as if I’ve learned anything new. Dissecting a mentality ought to be easier. Isn’t this what therapists get paid to do?
I need to get that Build-a-Boy Factory up-and-running, and soon…