A man once told me I was “not girlfriend material”.
I was in a relationship with that man at the time and this was just one comment in a tireless string of other deeply offensive shit he laid on me throughout our brief time together. This was a relationship he chose to be in, a relationship he remained in after informing me of how far beneath him I was… A relationship I chose to end soon after that conversation. He was surprised at this decision.
And they say women are complicated.
The post you’re about to read is not my usual style. I try to keep this blog about the little anecdotes and occasional deep and meaningful questions that arise throughout my travels and day to day life; this was never intended to be a Carrie Bradshaw column. But as I mentioned in my Background, sometimes, I just might vent.
The truth is, we are complicated. We have evolved as human beings to be a little bit confused and I say ‘we’, not to speak for all women, but to speak for a selection of people in general, male and female. We were given all of these uncontrollable feelings and no guide book on how to deal with them or manage them, as grown-ups we are all really just having a little try at it. Walking around, adulting, trying to look like we know what we’re doing, Googling how to live and perform simple tasks, some hiding their confusion more successfully than others.
But sometimes I just think, “What if what makes me happy is my own sadness? Is that why I get so down over such unnecessary crap? What if what satisfies me is my total lack of satisfaction? Am I just getting through life bimbling from one little disappointment to the next with the odd pretty sunset, a few gins, some hair dye and the occasional fried breakfast?” because it just seems that if there is the potential for something good on the horizon, I absolutely have to screw it up.
“I can understand how you’d be so confused, I don’t envy you I’m a little bit of everything, all rolled into one”
Some people seem on the surface, to have a better handle on managing their public responses to those feelings, but I’ve yet to meet anybody who can fully control them. But some of us just don’t really know what we want. We are genetically predisposed to feel a certain way about our lives and if I am the kind of person who is just slightly unsatisfied when I’m single then the chances are I’ll be the person who is just slightly unsatisfied in a relationship too. Just slightly unsatisfied at work, just slightly unsatisfied with my health, just slightly unsatisfied with my friends, just slightly unsatisfied with my family, just slightly unsatisfied with my surroundings. People who crave a little more will always crave a little more, it’s just in our nature. Craving, in itself is the addiction.
A few months back, I took part in a 10 day silent retreat, studying a Buddhist meditation technique called Vipassana. An experience which inspired me to write my first ever blog post, which you can find here if it interests you. At that retreat I learned about how human nature works and about why so many people feel so unhappy within themselves, despite having what most people would think is actually a satisfactory (if not truly awesome) life. But despite all of the incredible theory I learned there, the practice – which was intended to rid me of all bitterness, take away excessive craving, teach me to be content with who I am and what I have, blah blah blah – has been a hell of a lot tougher.
It changed me a little bit, it opened my eyes and it taught me be more accepting, to be less demanding, to live slightly more for now and less for the future and it taught me how to forgive the past.
But I am still me.
“So take me as I am, this may mean you’ll have to be a stronger man”
I accept things like having to queue at the supermarket and sit in traffic jams, I’m less judgemental about other people’s life choices than I used to be and in terms of my relationships I don’t think I’m anywhere near as demanding as I know I once was.
But I am definitely still me.
“Tried to tell you but you look at me like maybe I’m an angel underneath, innocent and sweet”
Or am I?
Lately, I’ve noticed changes in my behaviour, I revert back to an old version of myself, a version I didn’t like much the first time around and I’m no fonder of now.
So, some psycho bitch, (looks a lot like me, sounds a bit like me, sometimes shares my phone and responds to messages on my behalf) who used to regularly take over ownership of all my faculties and unfortunately my relationships, reappears, after months of laying quietly under the surface, letting me think I was happy and well-adjusted, she sprung back up to prove to me and people who matter to me that I’m actually still the same emotional screw up I always was.
And then I realised. She’s right!
No, not the screw up bit, right to pop up and influence me!
The things my usually unconscious, inner bitch is unhappy about are not things like queueing at the supermarket, or traffic jams, or about other people’s lives and things that have nothing to do with me. My inner bitch is unhappy with me being such an unbearable pushover! She is pissed that I am suppressing my feelings about something that’s actually genuinely important. I’ve been trying so hard to be accepting of everything, that I started to allow myself to accept somebody treating me as less than my worth. Again. Kudos to the bitch! I guess she learned more from my complicated ex-relationships than I did. She was so unhappy about this, she even wrote a letter!
“Rest assured that when I start to make you nervous, and I’m going to extremes, tomorrow I will change, and today won’t mean a thing”
I am demanding, I expect a certain level of attention and to feel loved and to be appreciated by the people in my life who I treat with importance. The reason I feel that way is because when I go in for a friendship or relationship, I am ALL IN. I actually ‘don’t do’ relationships, on the whole. I’ve always felt that if I can’t commit then I don’t consider it the real thing and vice versa. So I may have developed a bit of a name for myself in my fairly, ahem, active youth. But when I commit, it’s because I’m serious, it’s because I think I’ve met someone who is worth my time and my attention and worth the risk of getting hurt, someone I can honestly look at and not feel I want to change a thing about them. Not somebody who is perfect, but somebody who is perfectly imperfect. I don’t make any kind of commitment to someone unless they meet this minimum criteria and I truly want them to be a part of my life.
“When you hurt, when you suffer, I’m your angel undercover”
But because I’m that way, is it fair to expect them to treat me the same way?
No, it’s not fair to expect to be somebody’s whole life, the fact that I allow myself to be consumed by my feelings occasionally doesn’t mean I should expect my counterpart to be so emotionally unhealthy, when you meet someone who’s not as emotionally open as you are, and choose to be with them, you are surely doing that with full knowledge of who they are and of their possible emotional unavailability. You are accepting them for exactly who they are. And we all know the rules about trying to change people…
So if I expect someone to treat me a certain way in a relationship, is that really asking them to change? Is asking somebody to treat you with a little more respect or courtesy actually asking them to change their personality? Or is it just asking them to improve a set of behaviours and be just a little bit more thoughtful and respectful of how their action (or lack of) can be disappointing and even hurtful for you?
It’s not fair to keep relying on somebody else to make you happy, I shouldn’t do that. I need to fix that within myself, because the reason I’m happy should actually be me and any additional people in my life should just be there because they add some positive value to my experience on this tiny planet. But it’s not wrong to expect that the right person for me will make the effort to try and make me smile a couple of times a week without me feeling like I have to request it.
All it takes to make me happy is a little bit of attention and the occasional Maccas. It’s not financial gain, I don’t need diamonds and breast implants and gold plated shoes with heart shaped engravings of our fucking names intertwined on the sole, I don’t need promises of commitment and 100% of their time and undivided attention. All I ask is that somebody just thinks of me positively, sometimes brings me Chicken Nuggets, and wants to speak to me as much as I want to hear from them. Which, for the record, is not daily, even just once or twice a week would be sufficient.
And if that person doesn’t have anything to say to me, then why the hell should I be wasting my energy chasing anybody around?
Maybe that’s where my inner bitch rightfully steps out of line. Not with them, with me. Maybe my inner bitch is right to give me a slap across the face and tell me to turn my back, for my own good, on the people who aren’t treating me in a way that feels positive for me. To walk away from the people who don’t provide me with the minimal emotional support I require and deserve.
“I’m your hell, I’m your dream, I’m nothing in between, You know you wouldn’t want it any other way”
She’s a good egg really, my inner bitch. If only I knew how to control her when she’s on a mission. It’s only when I blatantly ignore her words of wisdom and try to do things my way, she gets a little frustrated and breaks free to tell the world what she’s really thinking. Maybe if I listened to her (and probably Buddha or something) in the first place and kept myself away from people and situations which are clearly no good for me, then the world outside of myself would never have to meet her, directly, obnoxiously, confrontingly.
Sometimes your heart beats so loudly that you can’t hear your head screaming at you, and you need to silence that desperate, longing, clinging beat to hear the voice of reason, the bitch, telling you what’s perfectly obvious to everybody but your heart. “It’s time to let go now, move on, forget the past, cut ties with the one thing you thought would make you happy but is actually what’s making you feel deeply hurt and confused”.
I don’t think anybody really understands relationships and how we’re supposed to do the adult thing, maybe one day in a few thousand years when everybody’s living on the bare remains of natural gasses left in our atmosphere, there will be some kind of an epiphany for the last few remaining humans, and at the end of our existence here there’ll be some massive cliché twist in the tale of humanity and people will finally learn how the hell to deal, but just that little bit too late. Maybe that’s the best us mere mortals can ever really hope for…
In the meantime, I’m just going to try and trust the bitch a little more, drop the baggage and enjoy my gin, sunsets and fry-ups – all in moderation, of course…
Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird.
We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it. Conversation wasn’t flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn’t say much. I asked him what was wrong; He said, ‘Nothing.’ I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset.
He said he wasn’t upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can’t explain his behavior I don’t know why he didn’t say, love you, too. When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore.
He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep — I cried.
I don’t know what to do. I’m almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else.
My life is a disaster.
Motorcycle won’t start…can’t figure out why.