Monday, April 13, 2009

The Elephant In The Room

To be perfectly honest, I have been goddamned miserable for the last nearly two weeks. On the surface, I have no real reason to be. I should be happy, right? Getting everything I wanted, etc., etc.

It took me awhile to figure out what was actually going on. I don't think I process things like normal people. Most people, something happens, and it makes them upset. With me, I wake up upset, and then I have to wade through the various flotsam and jetsam in my brain to figure out why. So I've been unhappy for a couple of weeks, but I've actually known what the problem was for only a couple of days.

It should go without saying that this is going to be an incredibly long blog. It's also probably going to upset my owners, piss them off, whatever. I wrestled all weekend with the way I feel and have basically hidden myself away the last couple of days, trying to decide if it's worth mentioning or not. I'm not the kind of person who lays things out to people in hopes that they'll fix them for me because I think my emotions are my responsibility. But it's eating me up, and I can't stand it anymore. I figure I might as well go ahead and throw it out there, and they can decide if they even want to bother dealing with it or not.

I have lots of issues in my head. I could go on and on forever about all of them. I'm also quite the master at inventing problems where there are none to cover up the REAL problems that are bothering me. That's why I've been doing so much thinking, to make sure I'm getting to the heart of the thing. And this is what I've come up with.

Everything that concerns me stems from one (or both) of these two things. There are various things that go along with them, but it all boils down to two real problems.

The first one is that I truly feel like I can only show certain sides of myself when I'm around B. and J. Just because I've become really good at compartmentalizing my life does not mean that I enjoy it at all. I can let them see submissive me and my inner seven-year-old. But while these are large parts of me, they aren't the sum of the whole.

The me that my crazy redneck friends love has to be locked away. Maybe it doesn't sound like much, but it kinda is. I feel like I'm being pushed deeper and deeper inside myself, like I have to watch every move I make, because J. and B. think the loud, flashy, hard-drinking, crazy-ass redneck country girl is a total fucking bitch.

I understand that in a lot of ways I don't fit into their lifestyle at all. I grew up much differently than they did. But--and maybe I'm being overly sensitive, as I'm prone to being at times--I feel as if everything about me that doesn't fit is shoved aside or glossed over or ordered to change. And I don't like it.

Yeah, it sounds like little things. But, according to the things I keep hearing, my hair color is wrong. My makeup is wrong. My clothes are wrong. My weight is wrong. The way I keep up myself and my stuff isn't up to their standards. The way I interact with people is wrong. The way I think and process things is wrong.

Soooo...what is it they like about me again?

I'm "unhealthy" because I don't see the point in bothering people with my feelings about something that they can't change, anyway. I'm unfeminine because I'd rather go outside and ride horses or race cars than do girly things, baking excepted. And, God knows, I'm weird because I think drinking Jack & Coke at the white trash bar, where they have a midget, a one-armed hooker, and Santa Claus in a cowboy hat, and watching fights break out on the dance floor is quality entertainment. Especially when the balding guy clocks the security guard in his grill.

I feel like what they want is for me to be a cheap imitation of J. It's not that I don't like what J. is, but...that ain't me. Not at all.

I'm simple and unsophisticated and countrier than hell. Just because I can nix the accent most of the time doesn't mean that I've somehow become feminine and classy. No, I've never owned anything nice, something someone else hadn't already torn up or worn out or both before I got it. Yes, I wash my face with soap because who gives a shit? It's going to get dirty again tomorrow.

I feel like, on one hand, they tell me they want to know everything there is about me, but, on the other, they want to change everything that doesn't fit into their world. I don't doubt that there's a lot about me that needs changing, but why is it that everything I do that somehow differs from the way they do has to be changed? Why am I always the one who's wrong here?

You know, if you want to learn about me, I can talk until I'm blue in the face, but the best way to learn things about me is to come to me in my element. And as much as they want me to think I'm at home at their house, it's definitely not my element. Want to know me, know who I am, what I'm passionate about, what makes me tick? Come to me. Drink with my crazy-ass friends and me. Listen to us talk. Go with us to the places we like to go. Watch the movies we like to watch. Eat the food we like to eat. Go to the dirt track with us or go mud-riding with us or any of a million things we love to do. (And, no, we aren't raging alcoholics. We don't always have to drink to do crazy shit.)

I want J. and B. to be a part of my life, but I want them as a part of my entire life, of everything I am. I don't want to feel like I'm conforming to what they want me to be at the expense of everything else about me.

The second thing is even more serious than the first thing and something I really struggled with, trying to decide if I should even mention it or not. But, the truth is, even the above mentioned insecurities ultimately come back to this as well, so we might as well get to the heart of the matter.

I know we're all trying to move on past the things that happened in the past. I know we're all trying to ignore them in order to move forward. But, at least on my end, it seems like we're all trying not to notice the elephant in the room, hence the title of this blog.

I've done my best not to dwell on the past and look toward the future. But, unfortunately, the last six weeks or so have not and cannot possibly make up for the past three years.

I do not trust either of them not to hurt me again.

There. I said it.

The memories of the innumerable tears I have cried. The gallons of alcohol I have consumed, trying to forget. The many nights I've come home and lain in bed with one foot on the floor to keep the room from spinning (which doesn't work, by the way). The days I couldn't even force myself out of bed. The hundreds of times I've woken up friends in the middle of night because I was having yet another temporary breakdown of sanity. The amount of sleep I and those friends have lost because my heart was in roughly three trillion pieces and bleeding profusely.

All those things are still too close, too painful, to forget right now and to not allow to influence my thinking. I'm far from blameless in the situation, but I AM the only one who went on a nearly two-year drinking binge because of it.

I am one of those truly fucked up submissive women who will literally jump off the Brooklyn Bridge if the one I serve tells me to. I love deeply and truly and unconditionally. I don't know how to do anything halfway, and I'll give my life for those I love.

So to be told the equivalent of "Oh, well, sorry, that's still not good enough" is not something that's easy to get over.

I love B. and J. I do. With all my heart. But I'm so afraid. I know I absolutely cannot go through what I went through before again. I think I aged twenty years in two. And I'm too vain for that shit. So I've been trying to love them and still hold them at arm's length, and that's not something I know how to do. I've been meandering through this whole situation with one foot outside the door, so that I can slip out relatively easily once one of them decides I'm too much trouble and make my disappearance as simple as possible.

You know what, though? It's killing me inside to do it this way.

But I feel as if I don't have much choice. I've basically been well-trained to act this way. As much as I hate digging up the skeletons in the closet, I think it's got to be done here.

B. has always told me I could talk to him about anything. But you know what? The few times I tried to exercise that, he disappeared into thin air, deciding he didn't really want anything to do with me and my various existential crises. I was only something he wanted when I caused as little trouble as possible.

Does anyone have any idea how much it hurts, giving all of yourself that you have to give to someone, only to be discarded like yesterday's garbage and ignored completely when you tried to open up to that person? Is it any wonder I'm afraid to say what I have to say sometimes?

I'm sorry. The years have taken their toll. I spent the better part of three years always waiting for the other shoe to drop, knowing that each time I talked to him could be the last, at least until he decided he needed another pleasant diversion, whereupon I was supposed to just pick everything back up where it left off, as if nothing had ever happened.

After all that time of him playing J. and me off against one another, how hard can it be to understand that I don't trust either one of them right now? What reasons have they ever given me TO trust them? Up until a couple months ago, I was his dirty little secret, and she thought I was something akin to the spawn of Satan.

I knew I was never good enough. I knew I was always secondary. I endured it, anyway, but it's created these huge rifts in my brain, between the way I know I feel and what little common sense I actually possess. Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence, they say.

And after all this, a little tenderness from both of them is supposed to convince me to drop everything in my life and run every time they call? They want me to move to their town, which I'm not necessarily opposed to because I hate where I live now. But what happens if I do decide to move there, and then a couple months into it, J.'s jealousy gets to be too much for her or B. realizes he can't put up with the needy, emotionally high-maintenance me? I'm abandoned by the people I depend on the most, in a town where I have no friends, probably no job, and bills everywhere. They'll lose someone to do their laundry, and I'll lose my reason for getting out of bed in the morning.

It seems a rather lopsided transaction to me.

I don't like knowing it's my ass constantly on the line. I feel like I'm sitting awkwardly out here on the limb by myself, on the outside looking in at the two of them, knowing I'll never really fit in with their life and knowing that I have so much more of my heart and myself invested than they do.

They've been wonderful to me the past couple of months. I will not deny that at all. But it just can't automatically rebuild trust that was broken what seems like a lifetime ago. I love them, but love is not enough, not for what they want from me, and not for what I ultimately want to give them.

Even though I know better in my mind, my heart secretly can't shake the thought that she's keeping me around to try to make him happy, and he's keeping me around because he feels sorry for me and feels obligated to me, the also-ran.

I am incredibly insecure in this situation, and I'm not normally an insecure person. I feel like no matter what I do, it won't ever be good enough, and I hate that feeling. I hate feeling not good enough. I also feel like an asshole for being the one to initiate the whole process and then turn around and be the one saying, "I'm not sure if I can do this." But I know deep inside that I can't go through what I went through before just because one of them or Fate gets to feeling capricious. I need to be met halfway. I need to know I can trust them. And, to me, talk is cheap. You can tell me, "Oh, you can trust me" all day, but I won't believe it. I have to learn that I can from people's actions remaining consistent over time.

They've never seen me at my worst. How do I know they won't leave me when the going gets tough? I don't. I have no way of knowing. I barely know J., honestly, and B.'s track record sucks ass in that regard.

The fact that I even mentioned all this should show them how big of a deal it is to me, how much it hurts, how very close I am to walking away because I'm scared. The fact that I HAVEN'T walked away, in spite of how strong the desire is, should show them how badly I want this to work. That's why I went ahead and threw it out there. Better they know now before it gets any deeper. They can choose how they want to handle it now.

I've been in self-imposed isolation the past few days while I mulled over this. I'll probably curl up tonight with three or four amaretto sours and mull some more. I know this post has probably upset them, so I just want to hide away for a little while, to avoid the inevitable fallout.

In closing, yes, it hurts. A hell of a lot. But I still want this. I just need to know I'm not the only one who does.

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