Tag Archives: Relationships

The Liars, the Broken, and the Cheaters

Last night, I was cleaning the kitchen up a bit before cooking dinner.
I’d decided to try listening to music, despite the fact that earbuds hate me, and turned on my John Denver album. It’s surprising to many people that I love John Denver but, much like Bastian from ‘The Black Swan Company,’ I like almost anything, as long as it’s good.

‘Annie’s Song’ eventually came through the headphones, as I was washing the counter, and it brought tears to my eyes, or more…the memory attached to that song did.

I had a roommate my first year of college, and only year in the dorms.
I never knew that I could get along so well with anybody. When I left for winter break, I remember her running after my boyfriend’s truck in the rearview mirror, dramatic like we were in a movie. We both cried and laughed at the same time, as we knew how much we’d miss one another.

At the end of the year, I downloaded a whole bunch of songs that had her name in it, and we sat there and listened to them together. I’d never heard the song that bore her name by John Denver before, and as we listened, we both burst into stunned yet touched tears…the lyrics were so beautiful, that they acted as a catalyst…an avenue, an excuse to let out the pain that inevitably comes at the end of an era.

Annie was my last friend as a ‘child.’ Yes, I was 18/19 when I met her, but age doesn’t always determine what constitutes adulthood…not in the real world. That was the last year of my life that I was coddled, fed, and taken care of by people. The most difficult thing that we give up, in my oh-so humble opinion, when we become adults is the purity in our relationships.

When we are children, anger, sadness, happiness…they all come through with an honesty most people check at the door of adulthood. We feel love and trust and loss with such intensity, and feel compelled to chase what we want without scruple. When we pass through the veil of adulthood, it contaminates us; money, status, others’ opinions, jealousy, pain, responsibility…they function as the metal bars between us and our happiness…us and our sense of loyality…us and reality, the real yearning for what we want.

Being a child wasn’t easy for me, but my God…I miss the friendships that I had.
I miss the raw honesty between people.
I miss the undying loyalty we had as friends.
I miss the way people would stop at nothing to feel happiness.

When I passed through the veil, I stuffed all of those things under my shirt so that it would never be tarnished…and sometimes, it feels as if I was the only one who did.

When things aren’t correct, it bothers me.
If I’m not happy, I can’t just pretend that I am; I just can’t pull it together, or step up, or drown myself in responsibilities, then refocus on trying to swim to oxygen, the way most people do it.

When you’re young, people impress upon you the American standard: Go to school, obtain employment, marry, reproduce. They swear it’s the path to happiness and security.

I’d like to tell all of you young people, right here and now, that it’s all bullshit.

Being one to heed the warnings and advice of others, to watch those who’ve gone before me so as to avoid their mistakes, I’m telling you now, most people in their 40s are fucking miserable; they PRETEND to be happy, but they’re not. From what I’ve observed, every person in their 40s either doesn’t sleep, is in an unhappy marriage, is unsatisfied in general, or all three. Being either sleep-deprived, in a terrible relationship, or unsatisfied makes them lash out…they’re angry, they’re vengeful, they’re backstabbers, they relish in others’ misery…they’re bored, they make problems out of nothing so that they’re entertained…they’re judgemental, they’re hypocritical, they gossip, they compete with each other, and most of all…they LIE.

And since THEY lie, they think everybody else lies.
And since THEY cheat, they think everybody else cheats.
And since everybody else lies and cheats, they think it’s ok.

The worst thing one can do is lie to oneself.
Let me show you why.

The man who endeavors to cheat on his wife, trying to make it so that she’ll never know, is trying to fulfill a need or solve a problem…only, he hasn’t the tools to solve it.
Maybe he’s not in a sexually active marriage.
Maybe he’s not really in love anymore.
Maybe he’s isolated.
Maybe he’s an addict to sex.
Maybe he just wants to screw around on his wife.

So, he cheats, but he is caught.
He and his wife go to counseling together; the counselor advises him to no longer be in contact with ‘the other woman,’ and he abides.
They try to make things better, but the trust is gone.
The wife stops sleeping with him; she can’t move past the betrayal…maybe she wants to, or maybe she just doesn’t want to be on her own…maybe she doesn’t want their children to have to endure a divorce, and neither does he. Maybe their families are pressuring them to keep their marriage together, or maybe they don’t want their families to know.
They stay together and, damn it, they put on a happy facade, but they’re more miserable than ever.
She’s more afraid of him leaving or hurting her than before, and he’s more isolated than he’s ever been.
Since she’s not wanting to connect physically or emotionally anymore, anyway, he wants to cheat again, but this time…it’ll STAY a secret. And if it doesn’t, who cares? They’re already in absolute misery…he just needs to make SURE it stays a secret and that he doesn’t leave her because it’ll destroy both her and her family.

So, what’s the answer?
It’s simple:

Stop lying to yourself.
Your marriage is over, American Dreamers. Get divorced.

I can keep this going; I can find a woman who will go along with it, and we’d both know exactly what we were getting into.
You mean, a woman who is broken, has no self-respect or foresight, no self-preservation instincts, and doesn’t realize (or doesn’t mind) being thought of as a walking vagina to you? It will end eventually, and when it does, somebody’s going to be hurt. But hey, as long as it’s not YOU who gets hurt, it’s ok, right?
Step up. Stop being a candyass, and divorce your wife.

But I don’t want to desert her.
Tough titties. You should’ve thought of that before you CHOSE to sleep with somebody else instead of coming to her when you had a problem in your relationship.

I still love her, though…and I took a vow.
Sticking around for her is the worst thing you could do. If you’re at this point, all that you’re doing is stealing her time by keeping her from finding somebody who’ll love her better than you are able to.

She’s afraid of being alone, though, and it wouldn’t be right to leave her.
Interesting assessment, but try this one: Maybe she’s codependent. Maybe she hates herself. If you honestly love her, you should be the one pushing her to be happy, even if it’s not with you. She’s fooling herself into believing that she’ll never be better than this, and you’re enabling that notion. Shove her out of the nest and set her free; she’ll learn what real happiness is once you stop chaining her down.

But what about our children? They need us to stay together.
Oh? How so? They NEED to learn what a(n unhealthy) relationship looks like so they can go out and have one just like yours? You want your own children to be just as miserable as you are?

If you think you won’t get caught, that nobody will be hurt, that you’re not using your mistress as a sex toy, that anybody who would be a mistress isn’t a broken fucking person, you feel honor-bound not to desert your wife, that you are being nobel and wonderful by sticking to your vows, that you’re a hero because you’re obliging your wife’s fear of being alone, that your families will think better of you for staying together, or that your children will benefit from your broken relationship staying together…
…if you believe that having a successful marriage is the only way to be happy…
And you’re bringing everybody involved down with you, you selfish bastard.

If you’d caught this before the damage had been done, if you were honest with yourself, if you could’ve admitted you were unhappy and had done something to fix the situation, it’d be ok…and if you are in that position, do the right thing now instead of falling onto the quick and easy path.
You can sit there and rationalize your lies all day long, but rationale doesn’t equate to the truth. Until you WAKE UP and realize that you’re not only fucking yourself, but others, as well, you will continue doing harm to everybody around you.

A child may really hurt your feelings when they spit their food into their hand and yell ‘NEH!’
A child may annoy their parents when they throw themselves on their backs, cry, and scream ‘I DON’T WANT TO!’
But FUCK, at the very least, they’re being HONEST.

Sometimes, we need to oblige the child inside of us, no matter how harsh we perceive the impact could damage our lives, because two to one, doing all sorts of sneaky, dishonest shit to make ourselves feel better will fuck everything MUCH worse.

I may be a lonely person who shuts out the liars, the broken, and the cheats because without them, it’s a smalllllllllllll fucking world, buddy.
But I’m ok with that.
My tears from the night before serve as a reminder of what did exist in this world, and I believe, in ALL honesty, what can exist again.

The truth will set you free; don’t let anybody take that away from you…especially yourself.

Full Reversal

One of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced is alienation.

Being alienated is one of those feelings that just packs a punch…and that punch is not only stronger than a double shot of Everclear; it’s complex. For me, it’s akin to one of those whack-job drinks at chain restaurants with five different types of alcohol and a sidecar of another: It’s pain and insult and degradation and condescension and rejection with a hint of loneliness that only gets stronger and stronger until it becomes the most prominent.

But worst of all, if it catches the victim in the appropriate climate, it can make one question themself…be ashamed of oneself…feel like everything they are is wrong.
It can make one want to crawl out of their skin.

If you’ve read through my blog, you already know that self-esteem used to be a very prominent issue for me; being without confidence and struggling with self-loathing made alienation something that was equal parts devastating and terrifying…it’s just one of those situations over which one cannot exert control, no matter how much one tries. If a person or a group wants to alienate you, there’s not much you can do.

Alienation, though, was the worst when it came from somebody for whom I had strong feelings…such as romance or brotherhood.
A group of bastards who I don’t know, wanting to exclude me from eating lunch with them? Phfft. Go fuck yourself.
Somebody who I had forged a friendship with or I’m attracted to or whatever is a different story.

I grew up in a divorced family, and my father just completely checked-out when my mother left him; he treated both my brother and I not unlike a monster from a German fairy story, and I could never understand why. Things only became worse for me once he had his new wife move into the house with him. I was very comforted when he’d told me that we were NOT guests in his house, but that soon became a bit far-fetched once his adult  stepchildren moved in, usurping our rooms. It took me years to figure out that he hated me because he couldn’t bear the pain of being reminded of my mother every time he saw me, when all he wanted to do was forget about it.

The behavior became worse and worse: My brother made the decision to no longer use his visitation after he and my father had a fight, so I, having a pronounced sense of empathy and prone to gut-wrenching Catholic guilt, had to endure the brunt of my father’s unpredictable wrath.

The toxicity didn’t manifest primarily in physical abuse (even though there was the occasional instance of being hit with a belt); mental or emotional abuse was his poison. I could give examples and go on and on about this shit, but I won’t. I’ll tell you, instead, of one instance, and put it in the form of a question:

Have you ever been left out of a family picture…while you sat there and watched it happen?

Look there: Didn’t even need a metaphor. No wonder I had self-esteem issues, right?

The example is somewhat extreme, but no matter what kind of relationship one is alienated from, it still hurts. When you’re shut out, or it’s very obvious that you aren’t wanted in somebody’s ‘super special club,’ or you watch as others are welcomed into the same position you are banned from…you feel like a child again…a child being put in the naughty chair or stuck with the babysitter or banished from the swingset by their friends.

This feeling’s been kind of rearing its degrading head again lately and, strangely, I’ve decided to challenge this fucker instead of curling into a ball and hiding from it.

As I’ve been going through my ‘personal revolution,’ I’ve come to understand the importance of personal strength, confidence, and self-respect. The answer to the pain that comes with interacting with others usually leads back to having love for oneself, and this issue was no different.

So, please do allow me to tell you what I told myself:

Listen, bitch: Pull yourself together.
They want to play ‘clubhouse?’
They want to behave as if you aren’t ‘important enough’ to let you in?
They want to not take the responsibility to acknowledge the things that they should be acknowledging?
They want to make you the scapegoat, and hand you the short end of the stick?
They want to keep you out because it makes others ‘uncomfortable?’

Well, fuck them.
And that’s not in an angry way, it’s just putting your foot down: Fuck them.

There are people who will make room for you in their lives, and there are people who won’t: You know who they are, and you know what they’re doing. Acknowledge that. Embrace that. You’ve refused to make room for people before, and you know what that means.
So, stop with the pity party you want to throw, stop making excuses for them, and don’t even think about feeling ashamed of the way you run things.

Do you have everything that you’ve ever dreamed of?
No. But this is YOURS, and it’s special and unique and you try to do right and be a moral, honest person, no matter what.
And most importantly, YOU don’t need to toss anybody out of your life to make sure it stays on the straight and narrow, or to please anybody, because you bow to nobody, and you try as hard as you can to work through every issue you may encounter with people who you love because YOU value them.

Do you really want somebody close to you who wouldn’t do the same?
No. You don’t.

They think their lives are so wonderful, but they can’t negotiate themselves because of your presence; they want to shut you out because you can’t step to them? That’s cool. Maybe they can’t step to yours, either, but hey; at least YOU’RE not being a bitch about it.

But most of all, if they won’t make room in their lives for you, they simply aren’t worth it, no matter how much room you’ve made for them. Use a full reversal, and take yourself back from them, because somebody who is careless with you doesn’t care if you break.

Use the effort for somebody who will reciprocate.

The Things I’ve Never Done: Part 1

There’s something I haven’t revealed about myself on this blog before. I really want to come out with it now, but I’m not quite sure how to word it…

I guess I could say that I’ve suffered from severe agoraphobia.

Let me set the record straight on what agoraphobia actually is, because it’s a very misunderstood mental illness. Most of the time, people believe agoraphobia is a condition where a person cannot exit their house. Even I, before I had it, always thought of the heroine of the movie ‘Copy Cat’ whenever I thought of agoraphobia, but it really isn’t like that all of the time.

The literal meaning of the word is ‘fear of open spaces,’ but it translates into the actual mental illness a bit differently. It’s like this: People who are agoraphobic TYPICALLY (and I say that quite generously because there are some people who ARE literally just scared of open spaces) have a ‘safe spot,’ which is very often their home. If the person should attempt to vacate their safe spot, there is generally a radius outside of it in which they are free to travel without panic, and that’s IT. The safety radius could be up to the threshold of their front door, or it could be 30 miles from their house. Go past the oh-so-holy safe spot, and it’s pure panic, unending.

When I first became agoraphobic, I didn’t HAVE a safe spot. I had a SEMI-safe spot, but I didn’t have a true safe spot.
I panicked in my living room, bedroom, kitchen…and I had to take baths because I panicked in the shower. Hell, I panicked in my sleep; I woke up night after night, gasping for air. I almost did a sleep study to find out why I would stop breathing while I was sleeping, but soon realized that it wasn’t the case. This was in the Spring of 2008, and it all started with a stupid fucking vaccine.

Don’t freak out: I had had a panic disorder long before I got the vaccine, so I was predisposed to panic…it had just morphed into OCD while I was in college, which made it tolerable.

What had happened was I got a letter from my insurance company saying that all women who were younger than 26 were eligible for a free HPV vaccination. I remembered this one very tragic story I had heard about a woman my ex-roommate had known. If I remember correctly, the woman had just gone shopping at the grocery store in the middle of the day, and as she was walking to her car, she got pulled into the back of a van and got raped…and sadly, this horrible story doesn’t end there: It turns out that the rapist was infected with HPV, and passed it on to this woman. Well, it was one of the strains of HPV which causes cervical cancer, and she ended up dying from the cancer.

That put the fear of God into me, and I decided that I should probably take this free vaccine.

So, I went to the doctor’s office after making an appointment. You only visit a nurse or MA when you JUST need a vaccine (most of the time), and that’s what happened: I got my shot, and they sent me on my way.

Well, apparently, the protocol for administering vaccinations wasn’t being followed at my doctor’s office that day. I try my best not to be bitter about things I cannot change, but it’s exceedingly difficult in this situation, because if that mother fucking bitch had JUST FOLLOWED PROTOCOL, my life may’ve been COMPLETELY different.

The protocol for any kind of shot (for those of you who aren’t familiar with it) is to make a person wait 15-30 minutes after it is administered, because the person MIGHT BE ALLERGIC to what has been injected.

And SUPRISE! I fucking was.

The allergic reaction happened about three minutes after I went through the office door. I was driving home, when suddenly, it felt as if the world was closing in on me. It’s very difficult to explain the sensation, but it’s like you’re in an invisible box that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller…and I HAD to get out. Panicking, which I hadn’t done in YEARS, I called my mother, who is a nurse, and told her what had happened between the desperate gasps for air I was swallowing and saying ‘I have to get out of here! I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE!’

Calmly, she explained that this was an allergic reaction, and that I needed to get Benedryl immediately. As we were speaking, I pulled into a left turn lane, which was packed with people in front of and behind me, with the lane to my right completely filled, and cars whizzing by in the left lane. If the previous sentence doesn’t sound like a reason to panic to you, imagine feeling like you are in an invisible box you need to get out of WHILE being in that situation. It was one of the single most terrifying experiences of my life.

I eventually made it to a store, and, paranoid as FUCK, found the Benedryl, ripped the package open, popped a pill or two, then paid for it. After making my way to the car, I sat there and smoked a cigarette (ahh, back when I used to smoke), and waited for this horrible feeling to subside.

And wa-la…it did. I drove back to my house and fell asleep on the couch with the cat, and when I woke up, I felt almost completely back to normal.

…So I thought.

Suddenly, I was panicking in stores, panicking while driving…panicking in my sleep, in my house…and the panic feeling was so scary, I would panic when I believed that there may be a situation I was entering that could cause me to panic. I became agoraphobic, and had to move in with somebody else because I couldn’t be alone…I was too scared.

…Hmm. I wonder if I could sue that doctor’s office.
But, then again, what’s the point? Even if I were to win, no amount of money could compensate for how much time I’ve lost.


I think the worst of it came in the summer of 2009, when I completely avoided anything that could trigger panic attacks, yet I still had them. 2010 was in no way fun, either.

I’m vehemently against being on anti-anxiety medication, as I am a staunch believer in cognitive behavioral therapy (I do have a degree in psychology), so I did try to get some help in 2010, but the therapist began to waste my time. He actually yelled at my once when he revisited the idea of medication, and I said something along the lines of feeling like he was violating my wishes in regards to that issue. I’m from New York; I’m used to people yelling, but it was relatively scary to get yelled at in the way he did it. It drove a rift between us on my end, and I no longer felt like I could maintain a good rapport with him, which was actually a very good thing. Having a rift allowed me to be more critical of his technique, and I soon realized that he had no idea how to implement CBT, and he was too lazy to actually go to the store or drive with me to teach me coping skills. The two last sessions I attended, he played movie trailers on Youtube and talked about nonsense for a half an hour before we discussed anything related to panic. I was officially done after that.

In the beginning of 2011, I moved to the town in which I currently reside, and I did a lot of research and found an anxiety specialist. This woman allowed me to do Skype sessions with her at first because I couldn’t drive to where she was; once she taught me the coping skills I needed to do so, she made me drive to her house, and stayed on the phone with me the whole time. She’s even driven with me. I also researched the herbs that are effective in treating anxiety, and I wound up on St. John’s Wort and Passion Flower, which are amazing. Should I find myself having depersonalization (which is FUUUCKING scary), I take two Passion Flower on the spot and I’m typically good within five minutes. There have been no side effects, and I’ve been on St. John’s Wort for about three years, Passion Flower for around two.

[By the way… Depersonalization: Feeling as if one is having an out-of-body experience or in a dream-like state. It can be a form of panic, and it feels like nothing is real or makes sense.]

Like I said, I do try not to be bitter. This whole ordeal has afforded me the opportunity to work out a lot of the issues I should have worked out in my early 20s, but I was so focused on school that I never made time for myself. Plus, being able to find the strength to complete my master’s while having severe panic is something I wasn’t sure I could do…but I did it. I had a lot of my freedom ripped away from me, and I’ve been trying to reclaim it. I’ve missed out on a lot of experiences because of my own fear, experiences that I feel like I really should have.

To be continued.

The Strangest Kind of Blessing

At the very end of last month, I wrote an email to a stranger.

It was a really emotionally trying thing to do, and to be honest, I put off writing it around a year and a half because I was terrified.

What were you terrified of, Luna?

I was terrified that I would pour my heart out to this person, and he would read my words and ignore me, maybe not even read what I had written, or think that there was some motive behind my email that simply wasn’t there.

What had happened was somebody had inspired me with his passion for his career, and it was at a moment when I was in dire need of motivation. The whole situation was so profound to me that I needed to share it with him.

So, when I tried to find this particular man’s email address, I found out that, well…he…umm…how do I put this? In his…field of work, he is kind of a big deal. Well-known. Bumps a lot of important elbows. He’s in such a high position, he could be easily used by fake people if he were to not be suspicious, and many people would want nothing more than to dialogue with him for their own gain.

Me being me, I had no clue as to who he was, and to be perfectly honest, I was so disappointed.
…Scratch that: Depressed. I was so depressed.

I figured that this man was just a ‘normal Joe’ who just loved his job.
That would’ve been a good thing…a very good thing.

If I’m honest, the idea of trying to talk to or form a relationship of any kind with a socially ‘important’ person makes me tired.
I don’t use people: Period. I don’t look at anybody and think:
Hmm…I’d better try to get into their life. Just think of what they could do for me…muwahaha…
But, I know others do, and without scruple. And because of them, there’d be an unspoken rule that I would need to prove that I’m not like that. Besides that, when a person is socially ‘important,’ it seems as if they can only make time for people who are like them; they don’t have time for ‘normies’ like me.

Here’s my take: If I’m not rich enough, important enough, or trustworthy enough to talk to, well…you can fuck right off. I don’t care who you are. I don’t treat people like that, and I sure as hell won’t tolerate being treated like that. The creatures who are important in MY world are important because they’re kind, genuine, and good. There is absolutely no sum of money or anything else that can serve as a substitution for a place in my heart, ever.

Wow. I think I really needed to get that out.

Once I realized who he was, I immediately figured any email I sent him would go unread, deleted, and/or ignored.

Why even bother? It would be a complete waste of time to put the effort and emotion into something he won’t even read or care about.

So…I dismissed the situation altogether.
The Universe, however, wouldn’t let the situation go.

I told somebody about what had happened (somebody who I knew WOULD care), just to get it out of me when I was on the way to work. I trotted in as I normally did, grabbed a box of unsorted historical records, and put on my white gloves to start working. The first thing that I grabbed that morning was an antique booklet, and when I opened it to a random page to figure out what the booklet was about, the man’s name was written in cursive on the top of the page.
“REALLY?” I screeched. “Fucking really?”

That’s just one example. I dealt with a freaking year and a half long case of the Baader Meinhof effect until I was forced to confront the situation. TO MY CHAGRIN.

So, I wrote the damn email. It took me about, oh, two or three hours to do, and it took quite a bit out of me, but at the same time…it felt good. And what do you know? His name and the name of his company stopped popping up everywhere. It was like being told that I did what I needed to do; I had a certain role to play, a wheel to set in motion, and I did it.

Oh, yeah; I don’t mean to be suspenseful. I DID receive a reply…an auto-reply saying that he was somewhere else and would get to answering emails later that day.

There was an unsettled feeling in me, despite the strong intuition that I’d done what I needed to do. So, I explored it:

Why are you unsettled?
Because I knew this would happen…I knew I would be doing something for nothing at all.
So, you’re unsettled because he didn’t reply?
Of course I am! Why wouldn’t I be? It feels terrible to share something important to you with somebody who doesn’t give a shit.
Why does it feel terrible? You’ve unburdened yourself, haven’t you? You told somebody about something they’ve done that touched you…how is any of that bad?
Because I feel rejected, ok? I stayed away from this whole thing because I KNEW he wouldn’t answer and I would feel rejected, and that’s exactly what happened!

That’s what this was all about.

I thought of the previous times I had experienced rejection from others: How did it play out, who did it to me, why did I feel the need to put myself into those situations?
And the more I thought about it…I realized that the people who had rejected me…the people I had worried over and put up on a pedestal…they had turned out to be some majorly unhealthy people to be around. I would’ve landed myself in some very bad situations if they HAD accepted me.

It was as if my sense of logic had grown a hand and smacked me in the face: It was suddenly so obvious. This thing that I feared so much and tried so hard to avoid was actually my friend. This monster under my bed was helping me my entire life; it actually gets me away from the people and situations I’d be better off without. I should never be afraid of rejection; it’s an unlikely kindness….it’s the strangest kind of blessing.

It’s been nearly a full 19 days. I haven’t received a reply from him and I’m not going to. And you know what? I’m ok with that. As a matter of fact, I’m better than ok. I wrote one damn beautiful email that I’m genuinely proud of…I followed my intuition and did what I believed was right. I ran at my fears, knowing the consequences. But the most important thing that I can take away from this situation is that I’ve had a friend who I’ve been neglecting for far too long for all of the wrong reasons.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a plate of cookies to push under my dust ruffle.

Oddly Neutral

Even though I have come to accept my oddities and my unique-bordering-on-strange interpretation of the world and of people, I can’t help but sometimes feel like some kind of alien when it comes to interacting with people.

There are times when I’m with a friend, and we are walking around in a store, and my friend will whisper to me, “Oh my God, isn’t he HOT?”
I’ll usually lie and say something non-commital about the person.

He’s alright.
Not my type.
I guess.

In reality, though, I have absolutely no fucking CLUE as to whether or not the man in question is ‘hot.’ I just find it easier to placate my friends instead of going into the lengthy explanation of how my mind works when it comes to aesthetics and attraction. When I do explain it, my friends usually say that it couldn’t possibly be true…that nobody’s mind works like mine; either that, or they just don’t understand.


Let me preface this all with an exception to the rule before I even begin explaining it.
I HAVE had certain experiences where I have felt a strange holy-shit-where-have-you-been-all-of-my-life connection with people I have never met before (at least, not in this incarnation). I have had another woman come up to me, and when we looked into each other’s eyes, we both began to cry, and I jumped over a table to hug her. As a matter of fact, I would even like to discuss a similar experience at length another time, but for now, I’m just talking about people who I don’t feel a bordering on supernatural connection with.

To me, all people are neutral at first.
This includes looks, age, clothing, and anything else that could be superficially judged.
…Let me repeat that one more time: NEUTRAL.
If I pass by you in the supermarket or walk by you on the street, I probably won’t notice you, no matter how much you peacock or how ‘hot’ you are. You’re just neutral.

Now, when I start getting to know a person, their faces and bodies begin to slowly shift and move, and depending upon the sweetness or sourness of the personality, they either become increasingly attractive or increasingly yuck to me.

This is especially interesting when a person is very nice at first, and then they do something absolutely horrible; they go from beautiful to puke within seconds.

Conversely, I remember one day in high school, I turned to one of my friends and said, “I think you get prettier every time I look at you.” And I meant it; she gave me the biggest, happiest smile when I said that, and all I did was tell the truth.

If I fall in love with a person, they are literally the most beautiful person in the entire world to me (well…next to my Momma because I don’t give a shit who you are, NOBODY steps to an Italian girl’s Momma…NOBODY).

I guess I’m not expecting everybody to be able to empathize with me on this. I’m painfully aware of how strange I am. It’s just interesting to me that something so simple and private can make a person feel so out of place.

The Fine Line: Part 2

What do I mean by being ‘unfairly placed?’ I’ve got examples.

About three weekends ago, there was a monthly social event I attended, dealing primarily with spirituality topics. It’s a very casual group, and I usually adore attending because all of the annoying pretense of ‘oh-lordy-are-these-people-going-to-think-I’m-strange?’ feeling is next to non-existent, and one is typically able to just relax and be oneself.

I was chit-chatting primarily with two men, so let’s call them A and B, for the sake of anonymity. I have a lot in common with A, and B is close to A, hanging around him quite a bit inside and outside the confines of the group. I followed them outside of the restaurant so they could smoke, and we were all talking, laughing, telling jokes, etc.

As it turns out, I noticed that B was kind of touchy with me (putting his arm around my shoulders, patting me on the back, etc.), and to be perfectly honest, I’m quite used to this. I come from an Italian family, and we Italians tend to be touchy, hugging, kissing types of people, and as a girl who has had lots of male friends in the past, it seems to go with the territory of socializing with them for me. They pick me up, swing me around, I laugh…no big deal. Needless to say, it didn’t seem out of place and wasn’t sexual or anything of the sort.

Later that night, A provided me with conveyance home, and when he pulled into my driveway, the topic of conversation changed drastically before I left the car, and it went something like this:

A: Luna, I want you to know that B really likes you.
Me: He does?
A: Oh, yeah. And I guarantee he’s going to start texting you and trying to talk to you more often.
Me: Oh, God. This is the last thing I need…I don’t know how to deal with people who like me when I don’t like them back, and I don’t like him…AT ALL.
A: You can’t be nice to him, because if you’re nice, and I know it’s just in your nature to be that way with people, he’s going to claim that you’re leading him on. I’ve seen this so many times, it’s happened so many times with him, and he’ll make it look like you’re the bad guy.
Me: Oh fuck. What do I do? Just tell him to fuck off or ignore him? It’s really difficult for me to be mean to people when they’re being nice to me…it’s like I have to match their level-
A: If you match his level, it’s going to be bad. Just be honest or flat-out ignore him, but whatever you do, don’t be nice.

A good night went to a stressful one really quickly; sure enough, the moment I got into the bathroom to get ready for sleep, I received a text message from B, and groaned. I didn’t answer right away, and received another one.
Soon, though, the text messages stopped, to my relief, and I met with A for coffee the following weekend, where I got to discuss it further. It went something to the tune of:

A: I’m assuming you haven’t heard from B?
Me: No, I haven’t! Thank God!
A: (His smile was half satisfied, half knowing.) Good.
Me: (I looked at him suspiciously.) …What did you do?
A: I told him to back off because you were taken.
Me: (I burst into laughter.) Thank you! That must’ve really done the trick!
A: It did!
Me: A, how did you even know he liked me? I didn’t know, so how could you have known?
A: Because of the way he acted around you. If he put his arm around you and you didn’t move away, that was like confirmation to him…like he was saying ‘Hey, I like you,’ and you not moving away was you saying ‘I like you, too.’
Me: (My eyes went wide.) WHAT? I was just trying to not be a bitch! How obscure is THAT? God, I must be fucktarded if I’m the only one who couldn’t read his signals!
A: Well, there was also the text message.
Me: What text message?
A: I got a text message from him after I walked you to the door that said ‘I really think it could work between Luna and I; I really like her.’
Me: (I scoffed in disbelief.) BASED ON WHAT? I’ve only talked to the man twice, ever! On what basis does he conclude that-
A: Based on the fact that he likes you! (He laughed.)
Me: Oh my God… (I shook my head and closed my eyes in frustration.)
(We both went quiet.)
Me: You know what’s sad, though?
A: What?
Me: I just realized that since I am no longer an object of potential romantic conquest for him, he just totally stopped bothering with me altogether, like I’m not worth talking to anymore.
A: (He let out a sigh.) That’s the way a lot of people work.

Oh, A; how right you are.

The second example is a product of something that happened about a year or so ago.

I’m friends with somebody who I’ll refer to as C. C has a job in the public sector (in a way),  and he is ‘frenemies’ (his word, not mine!) with a guy who I’ll call D. These two basically compete with each other on a career level, as they are employed by two separate institutions that have the same function, and they run into each other a lot. For some reason that I can’t remember, C mentioned me to D, who had no idea who I was, and for some reason, it piqued D’s curiosity.

One day, D was close by C’s workplace and dropped in, and asked about me. A few days later, D sent C a text or email and asked some questions about me:
Is she single?
Is she our age?
Is she cute?
C said ‘Yes,’ and I guess it just fanned the flames of D’s curiosity even more than before.

I was at the laundromat one day because my washer and dryer are too small for my comforter, and C sent me a text. The conversation went something like this:

C: He’s asking about you…again.
Me: Ok, this is getting so stupid. Tell him that I’m at the laundromat at (such-and-such intersection), and if he wants to see me, he can come over and ask me whatever he wants. Tell him I’m in a red and black shirt and black skirt. Can’t miss me.
C: Whoa. Seriously? You honestly want me to tell him that?
Me: YES. Dude, I feel like this is bordering on interfering with your work, and I’m uncomfortable with you being stuck as the middle man. I’ll just make it easier on the both of you. Just tell him that I’ll answer all of his questions if he comes and finds me, and I’m not going anywhere for a while. As a matter of fact, I’m bored.
C: …Are you SURE you want me to say this?
Me: Why? Do you think he’s a closeted rapist, or something?
C: No, I think that he might think it’s weird that you’d offer that.
Me: C, I know what it’s like to be that curious about somebody you feel like you can’t approach…to feel a draw to somebody, but the context to talk just isn’t there. I don’t want anybody to have to feel that with me. What’s so weird about that?
C: That’s a good point. Ok, I’ll tell him.

D got all weirded out and didn’t show. I LOLed.
C then got bombarded with even more questions, so I took it upon myself to email D.

We spoke a bit, but I found him very difficult to talk to…we had different email styles.

Meanwhile, C and his wife were having a house warming party a few days after D and I started emailing each other. D asked me if I planned on attending, and I told him the truth: I have driving panic, and where C lives was just not an option for me. I told him that I’d try to get a ride, but I wasn’t sure if I could procure one. [If you’d like to know why, please refer to my post ‘The Trouble With Tulips.’] D, graciously, offered me a ride.

I cried. I thought that that was one of the kindest, sweetest things that anybody had done for me in a long time. I mean, this guy didn’t know me from Adam, and he agreed to pick me up and drive me for 10 to 15 minutes, being totally alone with me. I actually still admire that leap of faith.

And, well…we met.
He was actually really nice and funny. There was never an uncomfortable lull in the conversation, and as a matter of fact, he and I hung around each other the entire party, just non-stop talking.
I was SO excited…I thought I had made a new friend!

THOUGHT being the most important word in that sentence.

After that, we didn’t really talk. I’d send him an email, or he’d send me one, but whenever I tried to hint at hanging out, he’d avoid me.

C and I soon discovered that D was kind-sorta seeing somebody, but apparently, I wasn’t somebody who he’d switch to pursuing (not that I was trying to be because, again, I hardly knew the man), and C told me that D ‘didn’t make friends with girls.’

Pwoo-cha! Thwarted. Not from making friends or getting a boyfriend, just…making a connection with another human being that seemed quite interesting.

Like I said before, I follow the natural rhythms. Obviously, these rhythms faded and went off-key, quickly. There’s a reason for it…that, I know, and I trust the universe and its reasons. But, it’s frustrating. Really, really frustrating. Watching somebody throw your sheet music to the floor when you’ve just settled in to play and have barely emitted a sound because they don’t know what to do with your instrument isn’t fun.

It makes me really think, though, and I believe that there’s a fine line that I’m simply not capable of sensing or seeing with some people. And if I can’t see or feel this line, I’ll never be able to cross it.
It also makes me smile, though, because if a person has this ‘fine line,’ I’m not the kind of person who should cross it, anyway.

The Fine Line: Part 1

When we examine others, we tend to categorize them in a plethora of ways. It just happens. As a matter of fact, it’s probably instinctual. However, I’ve noticed a dramatic change in this categorization behavior through the years, and it is brutal and vicious.

I admit, this ‘dramatic change’ could be totally perceived from my own world view…maybe it’s the people I meet or where I have been deposited in the social realm or maybe I just never noticed it before.

My personal theory is that people have become nothing more than a commodity with the rise of technology.
Think about it:
Want to talk to random people? Try Facebook!
Need a friend? Girlfriendsocial.com will help you with that.
Need a romance? Take your pick! Match.com, eHarmony.com, pof.com, etc.
Need to just get laid? OkCupid.com OR, for that extra scary experience, try Craigslist!
Oh, what’s that? You just want to see a random guy masturbating? Then allow me to introduce you to Chat Roulette, my friend!

Come on up! Don’t be scared! Just fill in these neat blanks here, enter your credit card information (if applicable), and we’ll provide you with more people than you can shake a stick at! And you haven’t even heard the best part: You can be totally shallow and set your standards accordingly. You can pass up on a person because their eyebrows are too thin, or they look paunchy in an outfit, or they aren’t vegan…WITHOUT SAYING A FUCKING WORD to them, EVER! And since you’re at home on your computer as opposed to any normal social situation, your friends can’t tell you just how shallow you are!

People and relationships are being sold on a daily basis online, and whether or not you are alright with this or participate in this, that is your choice. I respect that because I don’t believe in oppression. You can do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t directly involve me.
That being said, I am postulating that this whole buy-sell attitude that is running rampant on these websites is harmful to human relationships.
Why? Because this attitude seems to have generalized across nearly all platforms, and has leaked into the physical world, and is influencing the way many people operate in interpersonal communications and categorization.

Just in case you’ve missed the ‘subtle’ hints I’ve made, I should spell out my feelings for you:

I hate it because I feel it being acted out on me…ALL THE TIME.

I don’t want to be seen by my relationship status or lack thereof; I don’t want to be seen as a woman; I don’t want to be seen as a fucking category!

I want to be seen as a person.
A WHOLE person.
And I’m not.

I would like to shift the focus to the dating aspect of this topic.
Whenever I speak to people, especially men, it’s so obvious to me that they’re making checks on their mental checklist with every sentence that comes out of me; it’s in their eyes, their twitches, their entire faces…but there’s nothing I can do about it.
Then, granted I meet their checklist requirements, if I hold a deep, cathartic, and enjoyable conversation and they know or assume I’m not in a relationship, they tend to shift into the romance gear and begin pursuing me…AGGRESSIVELY.

If the man I’m speaking with is attached, he’ll talk to me again.
And again.
And again.
Until I get the inevitable phone call where he reveals that he’s having an emotional crisis because he doesn’t know how to be friends with a woman.

It’s enough to make me want to slam my head on a wall.

These conversations…they aren’t romantic or sexual or even sexually charged. They’re about life and our own personal journeys. Jesus, if I hopped into bed with every person I’ve had a truly awesome conversation with, I…
Hmm…I don’t even know how to finish that sentence. I guess I would’ve sexed a LOT of people.

Why is listening to somebody or being listened to tantamount to flirting?
Why is making a girl laugh the equivalent to her communicating that she wants to be more than friends?
Why is it that we can hardly ever make somebody feel a bit less lonely without trying to ‘get together’ with them?

Maybe it’s because it’s not the norm to just sit down and talk with people anymore. Maybe…maybe we feel so painfully normal that acting painfully normal is the only way to make ourselves feel safe and loved and accepted, and therefore, we just don’t talk about the deeper feelings…and when you don’t talk about them, you begin not to think about them anymore.
Maybe we don’t even try to look at people as they are, and more try to figure out what they can do for us.

It could be that this isn’t even a discussion about categorization at all; maybe, it’s about assessing and managing intent. And if the subject actually is intent, well…I’m completely fucked.
I’m fucked because I don’t have any intentions for strangers. I don’t see a stranger from across the room and intend to have sex with him or date him or trip him in the parking lot, and (as I understand it) most people do have intent toward everybody they approach. I typically don’t try to pursue anything or anybody (except animals, so I can pet them), relying mainly on the natural rhythm of things, and if I hear a good spot to jump in for a solo or a duet, I do so.

It’s kind of a big problem, though, as the people I tend to meet can’t comprehend the idea, let alone the reality, of a person with no intentions. At the same time, it is equally confounded in my perspective to have my intentions assessed (usually inaccurately) or to be assessed by another, then unfairly placed.

Quiet Because You Care?

I was lying in bed this morning after I had woken up, just having a few quiet moments to myself. These quiet moments bring about thoughts, and these thoughts are typically painful memories that I haven’t quite reconciled with my emotions, and I wind up pining over missed opportunities to speak up or regret having played a part in the situation at all.

The particular memory which came to mind this morning was a phone conversation with a friend from college that happened about 5 years ago.

I was looking through my phone, and realized that I hadn’t spoken to this friend since I had graduated college, and I wanted to reach out and see how she was doing. After I had asked her about her life, we spoke about mine; I updated her on the status of my relationship, and she asked if I was still with the boy I had been dating when I graduated, and I told her I wasn’t.

A quick aside: The boy in question was an abusive person who suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which went beautifully with my now former codependency issues, and our relationship was a 2 year long tornado of dysfunction.

This friend then went on to say some rather harsh and insulting things about the way that I had behaved while I was participating in the relationship.
“You were obsessed with him,” she said.
I was speechless…at first.
“What do you mean, I was obsessed with him? I wasn’t obsessed with him.”
“All you did was talk about him and your issues with him, and how you just wanted it to work when you should’ve just walked away.”
No shit… I thought to myself, rolling my eyes.
I went on to tell her that it was an unhealthy relationship (the most unhealthy relationship I had ever had with anybody), and what she perceived as ‘obsession’ was constant fear of the relationship falling apart.
Yes, the relationship should have fallen apart; I wish it would have FAR earlier than it actually had. But what this girl had failed to understand was that my anxiety about the relationship had very little to do with the boy or the relationship, itself: It was about my self-esteem, which was completely wrapped up in the outcome of the relationship. In my mind, if the relationship failed, it meant my failure as a worthy human being.

When you see it this way, it makes it a pretty damn valid situation on which to fixate, but only if you choose not to view it as what it is…which, I did.
Why would I make a choice like that, though?
Did I enjoy the idea of being miserable forever?
Was it fun for me?

No. It was because I just didn’t know.
I didn’t know my behavior was due to codependency.
I didn’t know that my self-esteem was wrapped up in my relationship.
I didn’t know that there was the option of looking at my behavior for what it actually was.

I honestly can’t blame this girl for being critical of my behavior; I can’t blame her for being honest. I’m not angry with her for that.
That being said, though, I am a bit perturbed.

We had grown apart as friends…it happens. She was living in a different state, and had a career and a life, and I understand that. It was painfully obvious as we were speaking that she didn’t feel the need to step tactfully around her words because we had already grown apart and we were living about 5 hours away from each other, so we probably weren’t going to completely rekindle our relationship or run into each other at the gas station. I, again,  can’t blame her, because it was an accurate appraisal of the situation. The way she probably saw our interaction was a situation in which she had nothing to lose, so she felt it was fine to openly share what she felt about my behavior in the most direct way (even a bit negatively, in the form of vague insult).

But, where was this direct-speech when I was actually involved in the situation? Why would you tell me when I was recovering from the situation, when you no longer actually care about me?
I could have really used somebody to say:
Fuck being polite! I’m sorry if this hurts you, but you need to know the truth! You’re being a MORON! Can’t you see that you’re hurting yourself? You know he’s an asshole, you say it all of the time! You’re constantly miserable…have you ever even really sat down and asked yourself WHY you’re still with him?

I was upset because she didn’t care to say these things when they were actually relevant…because not once did she say these things to me when I actually needed to hear them.

I can’t say with any authority that her words would’ve changed my life and I would’ve seen the light and broken up with that boy; I have no freaking clue what would’ve happened if she had confronted me about it. I take responsibility for my own actions, so I’m not blaming her for my involvement in the relationship.
But, since she chose to say these things to me in the way she did, and when she did, I remember her as ‘the girl I wish I wouldn’t have called that day’ as opposed to remembering her as ‘the friend who cared enough to open her mouth.’ Her view on the matter became the equivalent of kicking an already broken leg.

The point I’m trying to make is that sometimes, you need to risk rocking the boat or even losing someone if you see them being self-destructive. It’s just an unavoidable fact of life, no matter how unpleasant it may be. It may not further your reputation, it may cause conflict, but if you honestly love that person in any capacity, it’s the right thing to do. People may be insulted, they may not listen to you, they may even walk away from you…but at least you cared enough to say it.

The Trouble with Tulips

I’d say that most people I know maintain their friendships the way a gardener maintains pansies or roses:

If a pansy should begin to wilt, stick it in the sun and throw some water on it, and it will perk right back up.
Roses, though…they’re different. They need constant attention, lots of sunlight, pruning, et cetra, but if the gardener is consistently paying mind, the payoff is fantastic.

Lately, my friendships, seem to be the most comparable to the gardener and the tulip:

The gardener plants a bulb, spring comes around, and the plant grows extremely fast. The petals look strong and vibrant, and the colors are bright and happy.
Just when the gardener has gotten used to seeing these beautiful flowers everyday, the petals fall off and they’re left with nothing but the green stems. No matter what the gardener does, that tulip has a shelf-life of a couple of days and there’s no way to extend it. They pop up very quickly, and just as quickly, they disappear.

What a bitch.

My ‘tulip’ friendships began around the time I was 26 or so.
I never really had much trouble making friends in the past, but as I got older, it got increasingly difficult for me to find new friendships with staying power. The friends we make in college move away, people have babies, priorities change, and then we’re left in this late-20s rut. Gone are the days of striking up a conversation with the person smoking outside of a building at school between classes or lab partners. Co-workers are sometimes far too different to form a real relationship with outside of the workplace. So, how does one make friends with people in this semi-isolated state?

I was able to find that ‘rare gem,’ that wonderful stranger I found by happenstance a few times, and form a friendship with them over the last four years. About 90% of the relationships have died, and one is currently dying on the table, seemingly unresponsive to any attempt at resuscitation by my hand, or mouth, in this case.

When this first started happening, it really hurt me. To be blunt, it sucks to think of how nonchalant people are when it comes to dropping another person out of their lives. I’ve always seen every person I’ve ever known as a one-of-a-kind original…something that simply cannot be replaced. It’s always been a damn near inconceivable notion for me to just drop a relationship, as I believe there are ways of working our issues out. And there will be issues, as almost no two individuals will never have a misunderstanding or fight of some kind during their relationship. Nevertheless, people will loosen their grips on those with whom they have even the smallest of conflict.
The other issue I have are people who I get along very well with, who are too busy to include me in their lives. This usually happens with people who have children, and I have yet to find a way to break through this barrier.
Either way, I felt like the others were to blame.

After some reflection, I was able to break out of blaming and ‘victim mode,’ and tried to think critically about my role in these tulip friendships. Could I honestly be completely innocent? Could it really be that everybody else in the world is a perpetrator, just waiting to hurt me?
Cue panic:
It IS me! It MUST be! If it were just one or two people who this happened with, then maybe I just found a few bad eggs, but it just keeps on happening! What if this is it? What if I never make any friends ever again? Is this my life? Oh my God…I’m a completely dysfunctional person! I’m too stand-offish! My standards are WAY too high! Nobody will ever care about me the way I care about them!

Once I calmed down, I thought about the last few friendships that the petals had fallen off of, one of them being a girl who lived a few minutes away from me.
Before she had a job, we spent lots of time together, but after she found full-time employment, every time I asked her if she wanted to get together (like on my birthday), she’d be busy, but she’d call me every two weeks or so at around 9:00 pm, on a weeknight, drunk, telling me to come over. She’d somehow make time for other people, was constantly throwing parties for her other friends…hell, I even helped her make Jell-o shots for a party to which I wasn’t invited, but I couldn’t manage to plan anything with her. She would do these things, then proceed to call me her best friend. I just couldn’t take the mind-fuck of it all, and I had to walk away from it. But, I tried, oh lord, did I try to make it work with this woman because I cared so much about her. Even now, I’m worried about whether or not she’s eating right or drinking too much or if her marriage is alright.
I had a choice to make: Hurt myself and endure, or hurt myself and stop more pain from happening?
I chose the latter.

Pain like that makes you want to go outside and dig up every single fucking tulip bulb in your yard. I swear, sometimes, I just want to hide, to run away, to stop trying anymore: To be frank, there are times I actually do.
Why even bother anymore? What’s the point? Everything turns to shit, nothing lasts, and people don’t genuinely care about each other. All they care about are people who can provide them with money or sex, and no matter how much of yourself you give to them, you will always be second fiddle to them. A throw away…do you want to be a throw away? No; you’d rather be alone.

So, what does it all mean to somebody like me?
What IS the point?

The point is that these people have taught me so many valuable lessons. Sometimes, they were to blame for the deterioration of the relationship, and sometimes, I was. Sometimes, the petals just fell off, naturally. Either way, there were always lessons for me.

Even though I was hurt by my friend, we had some really good and meaningful conversations and provided each other with the intimacy of a close friendship (for at least part of the relationship, anyway). She was there for me for a particularly trying time in my life, and if she hadn’t been, it would’ve been even harder. Most of all, though, she taught me that I do have the strength to walk away from a relationship when it’s hurting more than enriching me, and that is something I didn’t know I was capable of before.

I still want roses, though.
Hell, I’ll even take pansies. I think they’re both a lot prettier than tulips (and smell better, too).
However, the tulip isn’t all bad. The sight of the tulip signals the ending of the cold, lonely winter, and inspires the hope of warmer weather to come…the kind of weather in which roses thrive.