Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Can't Touch This

So, despite bleats of abandonment and fits of b-f’s jealousy and work and family and so forth, I managed to chisel out time to work on my latest novel in recent years. Till May.

Then I hit a roadblock. True, a lot of changes occurred in my life then. B-f had another major meltdown and I hit my "I. Have. Had. It." point, which culminated in me getting my own place.

So, I did have a lot on my plate. Work, finding a new place to live, moving into said place to live, furnishing said place. Unpacking almost 30 double-sized plastic crates of books. Nursing horrible backache from carrying said tremendously heavy crates of books up stairs into new apartment. Figuring out how to use new Kindle.

Then I had an Open House and took a family trip to the MidWest and started a website about OCPD and a FaceBook page for the website and this blog, and now a second blog.

So I’ve had to stop and think about it - why am I not working on my book? Why, why? Despite all the reasons excuses above, the fact remains, if I wanted to, I couldda.

Why didn’t I?

Fear, of course.  Fear stops us from doing most of the things we think we want to do. But fear of what?

And I realized I’d stopped writing at the exact spot where I'd planned to use (modified, of course) an anecdote from my personal life. That something in me was screaming, wait, no no, can’t go there!

I miss in Living Color (if not harem pants.)

Maybe it’s acquired Demand Resistance, maybe it’s Teutonic stubbornness from my Kraut ancestors, but whatever it is, when there’s a locked door in my head, nobody is going to tell me I can’t go in there. Like Bluebeard’s wife, I’m going to get in there even if it freakin’ kills me.

In my case, it wasn't even a locked door, but a small blue box with a white ribbon.

What’s so terrible? What’s so awful about this pretty little box?

Power Lunch at Tiffany's!
Photo from The Observer
Okay..... there was this guy (isn’t there always?!) and I was head-over-snatch in love with him. Early on, in the hot-and-passionate thing I thought of as a love affair, he shared with me his obsession with Tiffany’s, how he’d adored the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, how he always wanted to have one of their chic keyrings that said "Return to Tiffany’s," and how he had this other friend who really, really wanted a pen from Tiffany’s. So one year for birthdays or something, he went into Tiffany’s and to buy his friend the pen - and they were on sale, three for the price of one, so he picked up a couple more, as future gifts for... whoever.  And some extra bags, too.

Fast forward a few months - and I can’t remember if it was our first Valentine’s Day, Christmas, but, you guessed it, I gave him the Tiffany’s keyring.  And he gave me one of the leftover pens.  He was so tickled about us both pulling out matching blue Tiffany’s bags for each other that I swallowed my disappointment and pretended to be very happy about the pen, and tried to forget he'd told me the story about it.  As he clearly had forgotten he'd told me.  He thought I'd appreciate the pen, since, after all, I was an aspiring writer then, too, and wasn't it appropriate?

But it burned like fire at the time, and even now, it still really stings. This may be a male/female thing - guys, if you’re reading this, do you "get" why I felt so humiliated? Or are you totally befuddled?

I felt crushed and demeaned and so very, very hurt.

Despite how terrible I felt, I swallowed gallons more tears and disappointment (among other things) in that relationship. He was married - living separately, and had been for over six years, when we began seeing each other, but still. To give him some credit, he rarely spoke, either positively or negatively about the wife, but from what little he did say, he seemed... hurt. Trapped. Beaten down, emotionally - and I was going to Rescue him.

You see, with one whiff of that Wounded Soul perfume, I don't even need an unflattering spandex bodysuit with a big red R across the chest, I'm ready to spring into action.  I can see now, in my life, a whole string of damaged men that I tried to Rescue. Whether they cooperated in their rescue or not, RescueWoman was there for them.   Underappreciated, of course, but surely, someday, if I licked their boots enough (figuratively speaking) and made myself indispensable to them, surely they would come to See My True Worth.

Not that I ever saw signs that was going to happen, but I lived in hope.  Usually I just got the Wounded Souls healthy enough and feeling positive enough about themselves... to move on to another woman.

In fact, I was still seeing (and eating my heart out over) this guy, whom many would dub an Assclown, who had reconciled (somewhat) with his Nasty Wife, when I reconnected to OCPD b-f, whom I'd once had a mad teenage crush on.  He was damaged, too, but at least he wasn’t married. And he fussed over me and appeared to put me and my feelings and needs first, and that felt very, very soothing. No last minute cancellations, no hurried sexual encounters in... well, you don't need to know that part.

I broke it off with Mr. Tiffany, and invested all my energy and time into Rescuing OCPDman.

Yeah. That didn’t work out so well either, did it? 

I realize now, that a teensy little part of me has been fantasizing that Mr. Tiffany would find out through the grapevine I was single again and he would have finally divorced Nasty Wife and he would seek me out and we could be Happy Together again.  (cue Disney birds chirping and fluttering about.)

And if I truly pondered and wrote about the many ways in which he wasn’t always kind or thoughtful to me (not to mention the sleaziness of cheating on his wife, even if she was the total bitch I imagined,) I might begin thinking differently about our relationship.  And that would ruin everything.  Therefore, this was a subject I Could Not Touch.

In reality, there’s nothing to ruin but my fantasies. It’s over. Last month, I did take a peek (only one!) at his website, and he’s still married. Ouch!

I know I need to not go there. I know I need to start taking care of me, to focus on meeting my own needs, and stop picking up wounded souls to Rescue. To hang up my superheroine tights (which were chafing my thighs, anyway) and simply work on my own emotional health.

But it's so easy to know something in your head.  So hard, sometimes, to get that knowledge into your heart and bones, to feel it as well as know it.

Eventually, whenever I get my head screwed on right and my heart much less dysfunctional, then I can think about a relationship. Possibly then I will be ready to be with a man who is not an Assclown, and doesn't have a Personality Disorder.  A healthy relationship, like the one I'm trying to have with my girlfriend.

Wow, what a concept.  A healthy relationship.

This one was really hard for me to write, so, if you read this post -
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