Archive for May, 2011

May 29, 2011

Relationship Contingent Self-Esteem

by bye2mrwrong

Another blogger just wrote a post wondering why women stay with cheaters. I understand the question and in the past I would have asked the same. But by now I also understand the answer. I am not one of those women. I left. But the choice was not as simple as ABC. It wasn’t easy to leave, and it sure as hell wasn’t my first choice, or my second for that matter.

 There are a few simple and quite obvious answers to the question of staying such as the number of years you’ve been together with someone, the history you shared, the life you built. After 10, 20 or 30 years it’s not easy to just up and leave because of one “little” mistake. There’s also the other blatant reason for staying: the kids. When you’ve got one, two or even more kids together, wrong or right, sometimes people chose to stay for the kids’ sake.

But what if you haven’t been with someone for that long and you don’t have kids together? Why stay then with a cheater who causes only pain? The answer then is harder to explain because it’s one that no one really notices. It’s hidden beneath the surface, only obvious to the experienced eye: Self-esteem! Low self-esteem and even worse relationship contingent self-esteem ensures that we stay because we undervalue ourselves; we think we can’t get anything better, or maybe we don’t deserve anything better. We evaluate our self-worth solely based on the outcomes of our romantic interactions.

 I can’t pin down why some people have a low self-esteem or for how long. But I do know that emotionally abusive relationships only worsen the problem. Those relationships slowly, secretly but surely stomp on our (maybe already low) self-esteem; causing us to devalue our worth, and diminished our confidence.

Even when you’re in a disastrous relationship, the one that everyone can see is spiraling out of control like a train wreck waiting to happen, it’s harder to get out than what others may think. After committing to and investing time and energy into something, anything; your gut reaction is not to throw it away. Ending a relationship is kind of like admitting failure. It’s another thing you attempted to do that didn’t work out. That’s another blow to the self-esteem. And so in an attempt to protect your dignity, (and investment) you grip on to it as tight as you can and you “throw away good money after bad money“.

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May 22, 2011

Blind Love

by bye2mrwrong

“Kissing is a means of getting two people so close together that they can’t see anything wrong with each other.”

Now that my double vision is finally clear, I have come to appreciate that although unintentionally, I like so many others have been a charlatan, and knowing this now means that I realize the hypocrisy of my own words. Just a few months ago it was me who didn’t want to be woken up, me who was living in a dream world. Me who was ignoring the blinding red flags and keeping my eyes wide shut. When it comes to love we’re all just hypocrites. We don’t get to pick who we fall in love with. And most of us see what we want to see when we love someone and sometimes we get taken for a real ride.

As outsiders it’s easy. We see the truth as it is. We are objective and are vision is nowhere near blurry. So we go around telling people what to do and what not to, what to feel and how to love. We all become “accredited” psychologists capable of giving love prescriptions and advice. We analyze the situation, and we hastily give our recommendations out.

And if were not psychologists we’re psychics with a clairvoyance of the future, capable of foreseeing the disasters ahead, and instantly ready to give our word of advice, call attention to the red flags and highlight the “should be obvious” warning signs.

We know the difference between wrong and right. We can see when someone is just no good, and so we rush to expose the truth and tell our friends to move on. Everyone is a big shot when it comes to giving others counsel, or telling others what to do. We are know-it-alls. Quick to judge and criticize, predict and warn. And sometimes when we’re not cautious we accidentally spit out the not necessary “I told you so” card.

But when it happens to you, when you’re the one that’s foolishly in love… it’s different. When it comes to our own lives we’re not only blind to the truth (those signs and signals staring us in the face), but we’re also deaf to the lies. Not only do we not listen to others but we don’t even take our own advice (the one we would have been so quick to give other). Suddenly we do irrational, silly, and uncharacteristic things “in the name of love”. We make excuses, we ignore the negative signs. We only listen to our heart, because if you “win the heart the mind will follow, and the intellect can always find logic to justify what the heart has already decided.” We’re ready to make our own mistakes. We’ll ditch friends, we’ll steal, we’ll fight, we’ll fake and betray ourselves. Some of us cheat. Others turn a blind eye.

“But love is blind and lovers cannot see
the pretty follies that themselves commit.”

Shakespeare

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May 22, 2011

Lowering My Standards: From Hero to Zero

by bye2mrwrong

When I first started writing this post I meant for the title “From Hero to Zero” to be directed at the men I pick and choose. But by the time I finished writing it, dissecting the words on the page and analyzing it in my mind; I felt that the title was more suited to me. Somewhere in my past I was the hero, the courageous girl who could stand up for herself. Once upon a time I had a strong backbone, high standards, and refused to be pushed around. I knew if someone had done me wrong, and I had the audacity to walk away when that happened.

But somehow, without my knowledge, or awareness, something changed and somewhere along the line I faltered.  When did this change happen? I don’t know. When have I started lowering my standards? When was it that I started allowing the men that walked into my life, to walk all over me?

I remember when I was 7 I had a “boyfriend”. He was my first one. We were really cute together. We had play dates, went to each other’s house after school, watched cartoons, did our homework, and when we were done we would go out to play in the park. It was a great relationship, one without too many complications. One day when he saw me crying at school, he came up to me to comfort me and when he asked what had happened, I told him a secret. That secret as secrets go, was supposed to stay between us. But when he broke my trust and told one of the teachers, I immediately wrote him off. With no explanations necessary, from that day on I no longer wanted to call him mine.

When I was 9, I had my second boyfriend. He had given me a hair pin with a cute note asking me for my hand. Finding the gesture absolutely sweet I accepted. Only that when I realized he was doing the same with other girls… I let go of his hand and never gave mine back. He too no longer had a second chance in my book, even years later when we grew up.

At 15 I found myself stuck in an intricate love triangle. The two boys fighting over my attention had decided to make the decision over who would win me, their own. They hadn’t considered my thoughts on the matter. But I wasn’t going to be a prize to be won. I was not going to allow them to make that choice for me. I knew who I liked better regardless of who won. And I stood my ground.

15 years later, the question that needs to be asked is: what happened between then and now? Why is that now I’m willing to forgive and forget so easily? Why do I let the men in my life make me feel weak, control me? Why do I need the false endearments of a man who doesn’t really love?

May 18, 2011

The Love of a Father

by bye2mrwrong

I’ve been pondering lately about why it is that some girls like me have this vision of prince charming on his magnificent white horse? Why are we always on this hunt for Mr. Right? What has led us to believe that we will bump into this perfect stranger and that this stranger might be the “one”? The one, who fits us flawlessly, thinks we’re perfectly wonderful, sexy and smart. He laughs at our jokes, is interested in what we have to say, and completes us in every way. And best of all he wants to be with us till death do us part.

And then it hit me. My whole life I’ve grown around that man. That wonderful person who has been a constant in my life. The first love of my life, my father.  This is a man who has always made me feel good about myself. Told me how beautiful and bright I was, listened to everything I had to say, gave me security when I needed it but also pushed me forward to reach the horizon.

A man who ran behind my bike for the 100th time to prevent me from falling and bruising my knees because this girl had (and still has) no sense of balance.

A man who sang me songs before bedtime with his beautiful voice; songs which till this very day when I hear them make me tear up. And as I grew up  he read me bedtime stories and books. We read the hobbit together when I was only five. Chapter by chapter we would solve the riddles making our way to the end of the adventurous tale.

A man who had pneumonia for a week after jumping into the chilly waters of Lake Michigan in the breezy April air to get my $1 Frisbee which had fallen in, and I couldn’t bear to live without.

A man who broke his arm, as he let go of his daughter’s hand to twirl around on the ice skating rink, trying to impress me. Mission accomplished dad I’m impressed!

A man who sadly accepted his little girl would never be the math whiz he was, but would still sit with me till the early hours of dawn, tears in his eyes and frustration plastered all over his face, helping me study for a mathematics exam, as we sat side by side solving the problems away.

The more I think about it, the more clear it seems to me, that the reason I still believe in love, in relationships and in men; the reason I still believe that one day I’ll find a man who is so wonderful, so caring, so loving, and so worth it…is because I know they exist. I’ve been lucky enough to meet that man and grow up at his side. Or maybe I should say my mother was lucky (and smart) enough to meet him, fall in love with him and marry him.

Happy Birthday Dad! Here’s to many more years spent together.

May 15, 2011

Different Versions of Me

by bye2mrwrong

I read recently that every person has different versions of themselves. A woman for instance can have “the soft feminine version of her, the protective masculine side, the naughty sexy her, the adventurous her, or the fun-loving side”.

 It got me thinking… could it be that different people get to see different versions of me? My friends have all said that when they’ve looked they see me as a confident, intelligent woman. Sarcastic, but sweet. Not shy or reserved.  Talkative and flirtatious; courageous, sexy, a little wild, spontaneous and fun.

But it seems that when in proximity of an object of my infatuation I seem to lose my sense of self. I change for the men I like. I become weak, and let them control me. I organize my life around them.  And thus a new me is defined. Just as I mold myself to fit perfectly into their strong muscular arms, I change just a little to impress them and make sure that they stay for at least a little while. I make myself someone they could love, hiding my imperfections and  concealing my emotional side, trying to fit perfectly into their lives. So it’s no wonder I get the dates, I lure them in with my witty remarks, poise, and charm. But by the time the third date comes around I become someone who tries to please. I am a different version than the woman they encountered the first time.

If each version of me leads to a different outcome, a different future, a different love; I need to figure out which version of me will lead me to Mr. Right, rather than Mr. Right now.

May 12, 2011

Tonight I Want

by bye2mrwrong

May 10, 2011

Karma or Luck

by bye2mrwrong

Karma can be
the wisest teacher
the harshest punisher
and the most beautiful reward

“According to the seed that’s sown,
So is the fruit you reap there from,
Doer of good will gather good,
Doer of evil, evil reaps,
Down is the seed and thou shalt taste
The fruit thereof.”

 

 So many people are telling me to believe in karma. The stars will align and the eventually karma will catch up with him. What goes around comes around”. I’ve been waiting for karma to show its true face and for the universe to balance out, waiting for my good deeds to be rewarded, and for his bad deeds to be punished. But if I am to believe in karma then I have to trust that I must have done something bad in order to deserve this bad karma that has been bestowed upon me. And OK let’s say that is the case, is my bad Karma gone now? Have I paid my dues? Should I expect good Karma now?

Hmmm… I’m not really sure about any of this. I don’t know what to believe in anymore. God, Stars, Astrology, Fate, Destiny, Good Karma, Bad Karma or maybe just plain old Luck

May 7, 2011

Remember Me

by bye2mrwrong

 

  “Don’t ever give up on something or someone who you can’t go a full day without thinking about.”

I still have not gone a day without thinking about you. And somewhere inside I hope I’m not the only one. Promise me that you will never forget me. Tell me I changed you, I touched you, I impacted you somehow. Let me know that my fingerprint will forever be imprinted on your life. That my memory will never fade from your mind. Promise me that you’ll always remember me. Tell me there was I time I meant the world to you, I was your life. Losing you was hard enough. I don’t want to imagine that I meant absolutely nothing, once upon a time.

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May 5, 2011

Forgetting You

by bye2mrwrong

Why am I still so emotional? Oh yeah, first signatures – signed! Will it ever go away all this hurt and pain? I was fine yesterday, but once night-time came I was filled with extreme sadness. I woke up this morning gloomy and depressed. He still controls my every thought. He is still prancing around in the catacombs of my mind. Why didn’t he love me? Why wasn’t I enough? And why did he choose to flight rather than fight?

 Today I saw him and I felt the need to attack. I needed to hurt. I needed to blame. I became even more cynical than I usually am. I intended to sting. And I did. Words are immensely powerful. One cruel remark can wound someone for life. I know that from experience. Cause when we argue we know exactly which words will sting the sharpest, cut the deepest, scar the nastiest, and last the longest.

 It’s been a year and I still can’t let it go. And he, he still can’t take responsibility for what he’s done. He claims that it’s not the affair that caused us to split. It’s my behavior afterward. But what kind of behavior did he expect? Did he want me to just smile and be happy about it? Did he want me to say it’s OK; let’s just forget it and move on?!

 Innocently he asks: What have I ever done to you? Why do you have to be so spiteful so vindictive? Why can’t we just stay friends? I know most of the arguments we had this past year were because of me. I’m not pretending otherwise. And I’m sorry for that. I truly am. Maybe I could have been calmer. Maybe I could have tried harder. Maybe I could have been the bigger person. Maybe that would have changed the way things turned out. But what I couldn’t do was just sweep it under the rug.

He still doesn’t get it. He still doesn’t realize the scope of the damage he’s done. He doesn’t understand the pain. He has left me empty-handed to start all over again from scratch. Does he have remorse? Will he ever? Will he miss me once I’m gone?  When I ask him: Do you feel like you’ve won; he takes the words out of my mouth and my mind and replies “I haven’t won, I’ve lost. We both have. I’ve lost my best friend”.

I retort sarcastically saying: I thought she is still in the picture. But I know what he means. And I feel the same. I lost my partner, my companion,my husband and my best friend.  A friend I had for 10 years. In order to gain an equivalent friend 10 years will have to pass by. I’ll be 40 by then. To me that feels like a life time. I hope I forget him by then.

May 1, 2011

Trapped Inside My Mind

by bye2mrwrong

Emptiness, silence, fear, dread, and longing wash over me like a wave at sea. Instantly, I realize why it took me so long to make up my mind. Why I’ve been so persistent in holding on. Why I couldn’t just let go.

As I stare around this little apartment, the windows, and these walls that have confined me, caged me in, and filled my heart with darkness for so long, suddenly I feel like they are my only source of light. Despite the suffocating feeling that this house has caused me, when I felt the walls caving in, trapping me inside; a bizarre melancholy takes its place, now that I know that soon I’ll be gone. I find myself looking around the room, and a peculiar emptiness overcomes me.

I realize that I will miss everything in this house. The peachy colors that paint the walls, the way the rug feels under my feet, the large windows which in summer provided me with sunlight till the late evening hours, the cold breeze in the bedroom that gave me a breath of fresh air, the small bathtub which I bathed in millions of times, the little kitchen which I’ve spent hours in cooking, the pictures that cover the walls, the tiny balcony with its beautiful view of the city, this home that was mine.

Maybe it’s not the house that I’ll miss, but only the memories I  we made here, as girlfriend and boyfriend, as husband and wife. As I walk away from this house I am severing the ties with my EX-husband, with my old lover and friend, with this life. I am released from my cage, but I am still handcuffed. My soul is not yet free and I have not yet found the key to unlock the door and break down the barriers, the frustration, the memories and the pain.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
“…A bird that stalks down his narrow cage
can seldom see through his bars of rage…
A caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.”

Maya Angelou