a postscript to previous

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that the way I want to write doesn’t work terribly well with the blogging or social-media-post formats. My brain goes all over the place and needs me to step away from what I’ve produced and then come back later to look at it again and fix it. I have a feeling most writers are like this; I’m not one professionally, but certainly it’s been my one consistent life’s activity. I can’t just bang something out off-the-cuff and have it actually be good and coherent. If you ask me, this explains 90% of the “writing” out there now and why people talk so much shite on the internet, including at mainstream media outlets, but never mind. Disordered minds = disordered writing. Just the way it is.

Accordingly, I had one mucked-up paragraph in the previous post where I admit having been an asshole in some past relationships and by the end of the paragraph I’m going “I really should do things differently.” I mean, no shit I should do things differently if we’re talking about the me-being-an-asshole bit. That wasn’t what I meant, though.

But that’s what I get for not sorting out my brain before I type. And I’m not sure I can sort out my brain properly right now because too much is still up in the air and I feel completely insecure. It’s not like I get paid for this shit. So I can’t spend as much time on it as I’d like.

Okay. What I meant with that clusterfuck of a paragraph is, yes of course I need to not be an asshole in a relationship, but the worst stuff I got up to was more than 20 years ago anyway. What I was thinking about when I said I might need to change my approach is that even though I am not trying to go into a new relationship with unrealistic expectations, I should probably stop being so open and giving from day one. I mean, open and giving for me. I have trust issues, and that’s never going to not get in the way. I find it easier to connect physically than emotionally because y’all, I can’t rely on a man to not hit me where it hurts in my emotional life. It’s like they want to. And if I’m not going to open up right away with that, I probably should keep myself to myself physically too. See where it goes. Especially as I have this bad habit of falling for a guy just because I’ve fucked him. I don’t do it every time, but I do it often enough to be worrisome for me. I don’t need any more setbacks. It’s probably time to make him earn it.

I hate that, because it feels like game-playing, but the cool thing is that any guy who would call it game-playing is a walking red flag anyway so… let him complain. It’ll weed him out early, and then I won’t wind up with another fucking Matt. Everyone wins. Or I do, which in the end is the only bit that matters since I can’t live anyone else’s life.

(If my win means someone else wins too, of course, I am completely fine with that. If the someone else who is winning because I won is someone I fucking hate, I can hold that over them. “See? I let you win. I AM BETTER THAN YOU, MOTHERFUCKER.” Hahahahaha.)

It probably helps that I’m fat, frumpy, and fucked up. I’m going to be prickly and less approachable anyway. Might as well act like I’m doing it on purpose.

I don’t know why I’m getting so bloody fascinated by dogs. I’m basically a two-legged cat.

Okay. Gotta go. Stuff to do.

a bit about relationships

I probably need to spell this out, finally. Or again. I can’t remember if I’ve ever addressed it directly or in great depth, but people have been getting the wrong idea about me on this score for years.

I don’t want a fairy tale and I don’t want Prince Charming.

I want to find my best friend in the whole fucking world and grow old with him.

People watch too much Hollywood. They buy into too many stereotypes about women. They see me be physically demonstrative in a new relationship and suddenly it’s all

“you’re moving too fast”

“love isn’t a fairy tale, it takes work”

“he isn’t perfect, you know”

You know what? Fuck off.

I had people doing the “you’re moving too fast” who had literally married their Won Twoo Wuv within a year of first meeting them. Including climbing into the sack with them almost right away because the chemistry was so strong. But let me do something like that and suddenly the fucking sky’s falling.

I have never, and I mean ever, characterized any man I got involved with as “perfect.” Just because I notice good things about someone doesn’t mean I think they have no flaws. Where I have run into trouble is where people think I should be turned off by, say, random personality quirks but if the guy fucks around on me and lies to me, I’m not supposed to be upset about that at all. Got that a bit backwards, innit? Turn it around the other way and try again. Assholes.

As for the “it takes work.” Learning to get along with one another may take work, yes. Love itself takes no work. It might help if people would stop dismissing what the polyamorists call “new relationship energy,” you know, where you get all excited and passionate and everything’s FUCKING AWESOME for like the first year? And understand that that is the pair-bonding phase, that it’s necessary in order to induce the couple to keep going in their relationship, and that being grossed out by someone else’s schmoopy-poo endearments toward their Won Twoo Wuv harms absolutely fucking no one. Like, sorry your love life’s shit right now, but don’t take it out on me? Okay? Okay.

One side or the other may decide to turn their attention away from the couplehood, maybe for good. Okay, so the relationship failed. Move on. Sometimes that’s hard. Sometimes it’s not. Doesn’t mean love has to be difficult. I think we create our own failures here.

…..

Mind you, that doesn’t mean I can’t find fault with the way I’ve done things. In fact, there have been times I’ve been the liar-and-fuck-arounder. Not recently, and I can look back now and understand that I was like that because I had zero confidence and was fucking spineless. That isn’t such a problem now. I might end it from like fifty miles away because face it, some of y’all dudes out there are dangerous when a woman tells you No, but I can definitely end it. I also think that the people I observed who got into relationships quickly aren’t necessarily in good relationships, they’re just bought into sunk-cost fallacy and/or don’t think they can stand on their own. So there’s wiggle room here. I should probably seriously consider doing things differently if I ever do them, or do a him, again.

I will not apologize for being twitterpated, or for being physically demonstrative, or for being a cuddler, or for liking sex. That’s a fucking non-starter.

Assuming, of course, that I ever feel comfortable being naked around a guy again. Jury’s way the fuck out on that one. But if I did.

…..

Also. All this assuming that I even get into a relationship. Because whatever I want, I recognize that I don’t need it, and I will be perfectly fine without it. It is a life accessory, not a life-support system.

I’ve just been shit at accessorizing, up ’til now.

But we’ll see. Meanwhile, I have boundaries. I am enforcing them. Any dude seeking to navigate them will find out what they are if he bumps into them. I find that announcing this shit ahead of time only gives dudes more space to find loopholes. We’re not doing that anymore.

No more take-backsies, either. If you’re done, you’re done. I don’t honestly anticipate this being a problem, but I’ve had a few attempted repeats and they never go anywhere. Let’s not.

And that’s basically it. Not as complicated as you’d think.

stuff and nonsense

Don’t count on this being here forever, but I’d been thinking about stuff and I wanted to get some of it out here.

I used to know someone who’d print out stuff I wrote. I think she was trying to build a dossier or some shit, maybe to show my son and prove to him that I deserved to lose him? I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve had anyone pay that close attention to my words since. And she didn’t actually pay that close attention. I think she was mainly skimming for certain words and phrases and just sort of filtered the rest out. I have reasons for thinking that. It doesn’t matter now.

Anyway, if any of this looks like “evidence” against me, print it out, I suppose. Only way you’ll see it preserved for sure.

…..

September of 2021 I finally got terminally fed up with Matt’s bullshit. The father of my daughter decided to have a mid-life crisis ten years late. Or that’s how it appeared. I could go in several directions with theory on the subject as far as what might actually have happened unbeknownst to me, point is, things looked like they were going one way and suddenly they did a 180 and while I had never felt completely comfortable with the situation with him, I have to say I did not 100% see this particular thing coming. Certainly he could have held off one more year but if that man has any talent whatsoever, he has a talent for shitty timing and for humiliating me.

Not that I don’t help in the latter department, what with my public tantrums and all. Most of the time I think I am saner than I was 20 years ago, and then I have moments like that to remind me that, no, I do keep repeating the same behavior over and over and expecting different results. In this case I kept hoping that if I ranted about his behavior for long enough, maybe someone would stick up for me and finally hold him accountable. I don’t know why I ever thought that. It’s never happened yet. It’s never going to happen. That man could stand in the middle of High Street and gut my daughter in front of God and everybody and people would say I drove him to it and get him therapy and financial aid. And then he’d probably get probation too.

For the record, I can’t see him ever doing a thing like that. I’m saying, if he did, that’s what would happen.

Meanwhile I put one word out of place in conversation and I have fifteen people fucking screaming at me all at once that I make them feel “unsafe.”

That’s who you all fucking are. I knew that 20 years ago. The intervening time has been me trying to come to terms with it. I think I’m nearly there.

Good thing too, because I think we’ve established that if I keep waiting for people to actually listen to my dreams, fears, beliefs, and concerns, I’ll have been fucking dead thirty years and someone will finally look around and go, “Y’hear something?”

It’s high time I moved on.

If any of you have anything non-douchebaggish to say to me, you know where to find me. [points to contact page]

If I don’t agree with you that your message is non-douchebaggish, you know what I’ll do. Tell you to fuck off again, cut off contact, and then mourn you. Because apparently I have nothing better to do with my life.

I hate you.

Hate does not arise from indifference.

…..

Anyway. So I left Matt’s house, for that and other reasons (I’ll write about all that eventually, though possibly not as a blog post or posts), and went to stay with Dad. That didn’t work out, which is also complicated, but I think I could sum it up as “I am tired of my father pissing and moaning about everything I do, and he has gotten too used to living by himself to see anything but fault in anything I do, so it is best we have nothing to do with one another.” It might have been just a case of me going after a mosquito with a tactical nuke, except he has been like that my entire life. You want to know why I’m an intolerable, judgmental piece of shit, go watch him work at it for a while. I learned from the best.

…..

I had already been preparing to come back to Ohio when I overheard Dad complaining to his sister and niece about me (fun fact: his sister is some 20ish years older than he is, and his niece is roughly his own age) and grumbling about being “about ready” to ask me to leave. Serendipity. I didn’t really think that my daughter would want to see me if I came back because she had already gone radio silent by email and mostly by text. I wanted to be back somewhere familiar, though, and I thought the market would be better here for me to delivery-drive, since I hadn’t worked out any other way to make a regular living yet. There really was no reason to stay, and every reason to go.

It’s been interesting going through all this. It is not like I went from fighting with other people to fighting with myself. I have been fighting with myself my entire life (and it doesn’t help that people kept telling me I was bad and flawed, which just gave me more reasons to beat myself up — that hasn’t changed, I see), and now that I don’t have other people around to fight with every day, the fight with myself is very loud.

It’s work I knew I needed to do but kept putting off. I do that. I don’t like it, either the work or the putting it off, and what it involves is me resisting change in my inertia. An object at rest stays at rest, an object in motion stays in motion, unless in either case acted upon by an outside force — remember physics class or physical science? Works the same in people. And I seem to have more gravitational pull, or whatever you want to call it, than average. When I’m at rest it is extraordinarily difficult to get myself moving. Once I get moving I wonder what the big deal was. I’ve been doing this for forty-eight fucking years and it’s fucking crazymaking. It has also meant that I’ve accomplished exactly fuck-all with my life, to the despair of everyone who ever verbally abused me about all the potential I allegedly have and am wasting. (Or to the delight, since I kept handing them excuses to continue the abuse? Hm.) Well, nowadays resisting change too much will make me homeless. I can’t say I have overcome the tendency, but my relationship with it has changed slightly. I actually get myself going a good deal more often. I haven’t earned this much money in a year ever, and that includes in the Army.

…..

I could go on and on about all the ways Matt has wronged me and I’m sure I will at some point, because apparently I have nothing better to do with my life. Normally when I recite his litany of sins I focus more on his sexual improprieties and his pathological lying and his laziness. Yep, I said laziness: he literally earns more than $100,000 USD a year sitting on his fat ass at a computer. Most of his stress on the job is self-triggered and depends on how he views the situation; he wouldn’t last ten minutes in some of the warehouse environments I’ve dipped my toe into. Let me not even get into all that. We’ll be here all week.

But one way he really fucked me was letting me live off him for twenty years. He certainly could spare the money; I finally sat down and did the math on what he’d be grossing monthly even at $100k, which is what he earned the year I was pregnant with our daughter. At that point it was $8,334 a month (rounded up), his rent was not more than $2000 a month, his car was paid off, he had a roommate, and he only gave me $500 a month, officially, until he raised it to $600 a month six years ago. Since then, his gross monthly has gone up to five digits. More than $10,000 a month. He could spare what he spent on me. So anyone tempted to tell me he’s the real victim, prepare to be laughed at.

P.S. He never had a court judgment for child support. We worked that out between ourselves. Him the victim? Please.

No, the reason me living off him was a problem was, see what I said above about inertia. There were steps I needed to take to grow as a person that I couldn’t take because I got too comfortable and didn’t see an immediate reason to do that work. It wasn’t just the money, it was the entire situation where I’d complain about some problem and he’d immediately jump in to solve it. Men do that; men who work in IT, perhaps even more so and especially the software developers and tech-support desk monkeys. Matt sucks at tech support because he always gets angry, but ask him to tinker with a problem himself and he’ll often do it. I was a gigantic multi-year complicated problem to deal with so if one of my issues interested him, he’d jump right on it. My issues did not always interest him, but often they did. I have no idea why; if love were the motivator, explain his less salutary behaviors toward me. I think he rather made me into an interesting abstraction and just sort of worked from there. I doubt he’s ever seen me as a person.

(One time he announced, as if he’d just discovered the cure for COVID-19, that he’d figured out I needed him to get my attention before he began speaking to me.)

(Yes, I have allowed this man to help me breed. I’m so sorry.)

Anyway, point is, all the psychological “muscles” I needed to cope as an adult? I let them atrophy because I leaned on him so hard. That is at least as much my fault as it is his. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we were really bad for one another, and these are some of the reasons he was bad for me.

I don’t think he or anyone else should have left me to starve in the gutter. Don’t get me wrong. I’m cynical, not suicidal. And actually, this has become a puzzle for me to mull over. How do you help someone who was in the space I was in without enabling their self-destructive tendencies?

Well, one thing I know would have helped me never spiral down into suckitude in the first place is if I’d learned to drive on time (at age 16) and then had a decent car. Most of my major failures have sprung from not having one, or from having mine break down.

I wish the government had a program for that. I honestly feel I wouldn’t be in this mess now.

Anyway. I was spoiled. So a lot of this year has been an unlearning of that. It’s not that simple. I go back and forth. I have my stupid little splurges and end up regretting them less than a week later. But at the beginning of this year I was still extraordinarily stupid about things and now, I’m doing better at planning ahead. It isn’t perfect. But it’s better than it was.

It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve given birth twice. And I’m still in the thick of it and I’m not safe yet.

But weirdly, I feel better than I did before I left him.

I’ll just leave it at that for now. I’ve stayed up way too late. (I’m posting this early in the morning. Sheesh…)