I don’t want to call myself pathetic, but…

I was filling out a journal prompt today which asked, if someone really wanted to understand you, what would they watch, read, and listen to? The “watch” part started me off, and it was pretty easy – obviously The West Wing! What other show so perfectly encompasses my ego, my belief in something greater than myself, my hopeless romanticism (Donna, CJ, Josh, Toby…)? Then I immediately thought of Kate Winslet’s character in The Holiday. Okay, she’s a bit of a pushover at the beginning, but by the end, she finds her gumption. At one point she talks about feeling like the sidekick in her own life, rather than the leading lady. I *might* feel like that every now and then. Or more often. Then Norah from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist came up. Yep, definitely resonate with her. Oh wait… isn’t she a bit of a pushover, always going back to the callow ex, finding her happiness only when she gets a boyfriend? I’m sensing a bit of a pattern here.

A couple of weeks ago, I cleaned out all of my journals, wanting to start fresh. As I was skimming through them, checking to see if there was anything I needed to keep, I was absolutely struck dumb by how many times I had written about wanting a relationship, or feeling out of touch with whomever I was dating at the time, or wondering why a relationship had not worked out. Easily 70% of my entries had to do with my love life, or lack of one. And you know what? It pissed me off!! I mean, really f’ing pissed me off! I am successful, financially secure, funny, cute, smart as hell, valued at my job, beloved by my friends and family. Why was I wasting so much time and energy on my love life? As I read through and got angrier with myself, I kept thinking, “What could I have done with all of this wasted time? If I hadn’t been wondering what was wrong with me when my relationships failed, I could have started a business, taught myself to play guitar, learned to make macaroons. This is BS!”

Sure, of course I appreciate the fact that I have learned from my past mistakes and am a better person for the soul-searching that I have done. However, there was WAY too much whining going on there. Because let’s not pretend that I only poured my heart out to my journal. Oh no, I cried to my friends and my mom and my sister. I sought out tarot readings to find my flaws. I worked out and starved myself to appear prettier, and therefore more valuable, to the opposite sex. And I gotta tell you, I’m more than a little disgusted with myself. Instead of celebrating the massive amounts of love that I do have, I cried about guys who I rarely think twice about. Instead of utilizing that time to better myself overall, I punished myself for things which were not my fault.

So yeah, after going through the journals, I felt more than a little pathetic. And I decided that I didn’t like that feeling. I decided that I would rather focus on my mental well-being. I would rather focus on my friendships. I would rather focus on achieving goals.

And so, I will be revisiting that initial journal prompt. Because I want to associate myself with strong women who are saving themselves, who are acting as good friends and good citizens of the world. Not the women who are only happily ever after once they get a boyfriend.

– Finch

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You Don’t Owe Him a Response

I know I never really gave y’all a proper ending to my relationship with Jay. Synopsis – broke up “for good” January, 2016. Slept with him once in April, 2016, while dating Dan. Jay moved to California in May, 2016. In August, 2016, Jay and I have this long talk about maybe getting back together, and he says he wants to move in, at which point I tell him that we need to date for a minimum of 6 months before I will consider letting him move in. Jay says that he’s not coming back to Austin unless he’s moving in with me. I tell him that he’s not coming back to Austin. Flash-forward nine months to May, 2017. Jay starts texting, I ignore him, he tells me really needs to talk to me, I say he can call. He just starts babbling away, until I ask him to get to the point of the conversation. He says just talking is the point. I tell him that he no longer has a place in my life and that I don’t think we need to communicate again. We hang up. He continues to text for 6 more weeks until I finally block his number. Peace and quiet at last, right?

Back to present day. Last Friday, Jay sent me an incredibly long message on Facebook, telling me that he needs to explain his past actions, he *thinks* I might have blocked his texts, and going on about how great and wonderful I was (um, duh). Only, it’s the worst email ever. He starts off by telling me that he was seeing a girl last year, but it didn’t work out. Then he literally says, “I don’t want to make this message about me, though, because it’s about you. I’m way more self-aware than you could ever realize.” Uh, isn’t bragging about your self-awareness about you, and not me?? There were parts of the message which were incredibly manipulative – classic narcissistic lessons here. Telling me that while he has dated a wide variety of very successful women, *I* am the only one who he’s ever wanted to be with permanently. First off, jackass, I am incredibly successful and you know that. Second, so I’m supposed to be grateful that you chose me over everyone else you could be dating? I rejected you. He brought up my dog, saying that he loves her and she loves him, and he really hopes he gets to see her in the future. Dude, my dog is a hoe. She loves anyone who will pet her. He told me that nobody had ever shown me that I was good enough, but that he now could. Then he ended by saying that he had so much more he could tell me, and that he hoped he got the chance to.

So of course I let all of my friends and my mom read it. There were some who felt that I owed him some sort of response. Not necessarily a nice one, but at least one that would give him some closure. Enter my mom – talking to her Saturday morning, she was adamant that NO, I did not owe Jay a response, that this message was all about him and what he wanted, and that I needed delete his Facebook request and walk away. So I did.

Because here’s the thing. With narcissistic people, you can’t explain or argue anything. They hear only what they want to hear, and no matter what you say, you will still end up at fault. And if you open that door even one inch, they will jump in and try with all of their might to  get you to engage. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for protecting yourself and your mental and/or emotional well-being. You do not have to explain why you are breaking up with someone who treats you poorly. You do not have to explain to an ex why you moved on. You DO have to take care of yourself. Truly, the only way to break free from a narcissist is to walk away and don’t look back.

I’ll finish by sharing one of my favorite lines from last year – “If you love someone, let them go. If they come back, it means no one else wanted them. Let them go again.”

– Finch

Ugh

I honestly don’t have the time or energy to fill you in on the backstory of everything that’s been going on, but, suffice it to say, Jay and I were dating last spring, and I ended things because he was completely objectifying me and making me feel like I was nothing more than a pair of legs. A few weeks ago, he reached out to me, and I kind of blew him off. I felt bad for that (what am I, Jewish, with all this guilt??), so I reached out to him yesterday. We texted a bit and made plans for grabbing lunch this weekend.

Tonight, we were texting again when he straight up, out of nowhere asked if I had enjoyed the way we were having sex the last time we were dating (those whole 2 times in 6 weeks of dating). I was completely stunned. Like, unable to coherently think, stunned. Um, I’m sorry, we literally have not had voice to voice contact, nor have we seen each other since we broke up, but you’re already objectifying me and treating me like I am your sexbot??

I had brunch with T last weekend, and during lunch I was bemoaning the idea that I might never be with anyone again, since I didn’t think they would ever find me attractive. She was absolutely shocked. “I can’t even believe that you see yourself as anything less than gorgeous,” she said. “I mean, I just don’t understand how you see yourself as unattractive in any way, shape, or form. It’s as ridiculous as saying that the sun appears black to you all the time.” That was the third such conversation I had had recently with friends about my fears that I am not attractive enough to get a guy. I’ve even said that I absolutely do not fear that I am not smart enough or funny enough – for me, it all hinges on my attractiveness.

So really, why should I be surprised when the only guy I’ve opened up to in the last two years (since my divorce) treats me as purely a physical object, based only off my attractiveness? I’ve placed so much emphasis on wanting to be attractive to guys, so I have clearly attracted what I wanted, right?

I can not even begin to describe how disgusted I felt when Jay made that comment tonight. Like I wasn’t worthy of being wooed or won back or even spoken to appropriately – no, he’s here for my “hot legs and ass” so what more could I expect?

I’ve been trying to accept people as they are, and not project my own expectations and desires onto them. I really thought that I could do that with Jay. Okay, he’s a bit shallow and narcissistic, but we have great sex, so I just need to keep my feelings separate. You know what? When someone is so blatantly disregarding of my feelings, I can’t help but take it personally. I told him off, and ended the conversation, and I don’t plan on honoring our lunch plans.

But I’m not sorry that I reached out. Because this was clearly something I needed to learn, and maybe this was the only way I could learn it. If you continually put out into the Universe that you want to be valued for your body/looks, the Universe will give you that! The Universe will say, “Okay, you have no questions about your intelligence or compassion or humor, so here’s a guy who values you for nothing more than your body. That’s what you wanted, right?? For someone to validate your looks, and only your looks??” I get it now. Like a “Eureka” moment, I get it now.

Yes, I want someone to find me beautiful, but I want them to find ME beautiful – not just my body, or my smile, or my intelligence, or my witty comebacks – ME, the entirety of me. I want someone who wants the entire package of who I am. If someone can’t see past my looks to the greatness of me, than why would I want them in my life? Those are not people that I would be able to talk with until sunrise, debate why the Jedi were not as smart as they liked to think they were, cook new meals with, walk around downtown and rediscover our city, read books to, cheer at football games with. Those are people who only value my shell. And I can no longer tolerate those people.

– Finch