Too Emo to Love

February 17, 2015

Signs of fear of intimacy may include: avoiding physical/sexual contact or having an insatiable sexual appetite, difficulty with commitment, history of unstable relationships, low self-esteem, bouts of anger, isolation, difficulty forming close relationships, difficulty sharing feelings, difficulty showing emotion, and difficulty trusting.

This is the best way I know how to describe all the women I’ve loved. To be fair, I can identify with most of the signs listed in the quote above. But if I’m a 7, the women I dated were 11s.

It is too easy and tempting to write them off as psychos or evil incarnate. Because they are much more complicated than that.

If they were simply evil women, I could have easily walked away. But the women I loved were always keeping me guessing. 
At times, they provided ample love and tenderness. There were times when they were nurturing and healthy lovers. They weren’t always cold and heartless. They only showed those signs towards the very end. If anything, they were full of emotion. Too much emotion. Can a woman be too emo to love? 

If she feels emotions with too much intensity, she will not be able to handle love. The women I loved, embraced it. They welcomed it with open-arms. But once it was in their arms, they feared losing it. They tried it on and ultimately didn’t feel worthy. 

My last ex was always reading my emails and texts hoping to catch me cheating on her. She drew absurd conclusions that had no basis in fact. She did that because love made her a nervous wreck. She was too sensitive for her own good or mine.

There is no way for these women  to turn down the emotional dial. Not when it comes to love. This is why only lovers know what family and friends find so hard to believe.
The one I call my ACOA-ex was the most loving of all my exes. But she could also be the most vindictive when she felt like I was not reciprocating her love. But that was her perception, not reality. It was the perception of a woman who never felt deserving of love. Her childhood memories were being triggered by our relationship.

The one I’m currently seeing is not as emo, but she is also not entirely emotionally available. She was kind enough to admit that her capacity to love is limited. It is her surprising honesty that makes her less harmful. Because you never fall in love with someone who is emotionally unavailable and knows it. You take it for what it is. The real harm comes from loving a woman who fools you and herself into believing she is capable of love. But in reality, she is too emo to love.

Getting Older

February 16, 2015

As I get older today, I reflect upon what I’ve learned and what I still need to learn. I’ve said good-bye to a lot of friends in the last few years, which is always a painful process. But it’s gotta be done.

I have fewer friends. But the ones I have are keepers. No more fair-weather friends or self-centered narcissists. No more unnecessary drama. No more dysfunction or passive-aggressive toxicity left over from childhood.

Truth be told, we all had less than perfect childhoods. But I’ve learned that not everyone uses that as an excuse to be a horrible human being. I’ve met some people on this blog whose existence proves that a damaged child can be a decent adult.

It is always sad when you love someone and continue to love someone after the relationship goes to shit. In that instant, their “love” magically evaporates into thin air. You wonder if it was ever genuine. Maybe my standard for love is higher. I require and deserve permanence and consistency. That is how I know my love is real and I expect no less for myself.

I can not trust someone who snaps and pulls a 180 on me every time they feel like its justified. I can not continue to love someone who punishes people because they are feeling insecure and vulnerable. Or punishes me because something dear old dad did to them.

But still there will always be a part of me that loves those women who took their love back so easily. That is why betrayal is so painful to me. Because when their love has already and completely dried up, my love still remains.

The Importance of Dating

February 6, 2015

When I met my ACOA-Ex, I was actually dating someone else. She never lets me forget that. I wasn’t trying to date two girls at one time. I don’t have that much free time. It just happened.

We had only been dating for that summer and then I met my ACOA-Ex. It was a meaningless fling, something to pass the time. And of course, she was crazy as hell. Much much crazier than my ACOA-Ex. So crazy even I had to figure out a polite way of ending the fling. Believe it or not, she was too crazy even for my tastes.

Then my ACOA-Ex came into my life and she seemed… well, relatively normal. So that helped me make up my mind. The transition was not smooth. I had to find some way of gingerly breaking up with a crazy woman. My Ex thinks I’m a player, but that isn’t the case at all.

I was still trying to figure out what I wanted and I was still finding crazy women in my life. If I was non-committal, it was because I was afraid of committing myself to yet another Man-Hater. So I kept things light.
Digging shallow holes, as they say, in hopes of finally finding a healthy relationship.

I had only been dating my Ex for a month. But, like so many of my other exes, she was on the fast track. She actually asked for my phone number when we met, so I was definitely not trying to date multiple women. It just happened.

In retrospect, I should have continued dating. I should not have jumped into a relationship so quickly. People, like me, can’t avoid crazy women. They are everywhere. Maybe it’s because I hang around eccentric circles, creative people who have liberal lifestyles. Or maybe, it’s because I’m a little crazy myself and just attract birds of a feather.

I’m not afraid of being alone. I am, what you call, a friendly introvert. I like going to restaurants, bars and the movies by myself. Or at least, I am comfortable doing that. But I also like being with someone who shares my interests and unique point of view. So when I meet a woman who feels familiar, I date her.

Unfortunately, familiar to me is crazy. And that’s what I don’t need. So maybe I need to start dating women who aren’t familiar. That is why dating is so important. Because it’s practice for the real thing.

Dating crazy women is not the problem. Being in love with a crazy woman is. It’s important for me to date to explore my options. Because my tendency and pattern is to date crazy, I need to date more often. I need to date until I find that one woman who isn’t so crazy. Or maybe just the right amount of crazy.

We all have issues. Myself included. But even I have limits. I like quirky people. I like crazy people who do amazing things, the kind of things only a crazy person can do. What I don’t like is the kind of crazy that translates into women punishing men for the sins of their fathers. That I can do without.

A Letter To My ACOA-Ex

February 5, 2015

I want you to know that despite all the mean and horrible things you said to me, I still love you. There are even times when I miss you. Those fond memories of us still haunt me. Your vindictive rage might have erased your own fond memories, but sadly mine are intact.

There is a side of you who I will always love. There is no one I loved more than you. And that includes my BPD-ex. You were always worried about other women, but it was you who had the special place in my heart. I shared things with you, I have only shared with you. But you betrayed that trust.

I can not separate the woman I love from the woman who said and did all those awful things. You have a darkness inside of you that you have yet to discover. You’re in denial. By now, you know that runs in your family.

I talk about your family, not to insult your family or to degrade you. I do it to trace the origins of your misery. You must come to terms with the fact that your anger towards me is in fact anger towards your childhood. The dysfunction you live with had to come from somewhere. It didn’t come from me.

You have turned on me too many times for me to continue trusting you with my heart. You have betrayed me for the last time. You will not be invited back. I have taken you back too many times to count, often without asking for an apology. Use those sad puppy dog eyes on someone else.

You’ve read my blog. You know the facts. But you choose to ignore them, because you’re afraid to acknowledge your darkside and your dark past. You want to continue playing the victim because that is your nature.

But you are only ruining your life by doing so. Blaming and shaming me for your insecurities is not only wrong, it is misplaced anger. Your insecurities and your rage existed long before you met me. Your friends know that and you know that. It will be there long after I’m gone.

My BPD-ex is proof of all that. Look at her miserable life to know what your life will become if you don’t take a long hard look at yourself. She has lost husband, friends and lovers because she and her family refuse to see that darkside.

I was just a convenient scapegoat for all her misery. I was her punching bag for all that rage she had against her father. You and her are alike in that way. You share a secret hatred for your fathers. But you keep it under wraps because both of you still want your father’s acceptance.

How many more men will you push into the arms of another woman?

You have so much to offer a man. You’re beautiful, smart and funny. I was proud to have you by my side. I loved sharing experiences with you and sharing you with my friends and family. But you ruined all of that. You made it so I can never do that again.

You have great strength inside of you and amazing survival skills. All my exes have that in common. Use that side of you to better yourself. Stop blaming every man you fall in love with. Stop playing your passive-aggressive games and, for everyone’s sake, stop projecting your illness onto others.

My family loved you and my friends did too. But you ruined that as well. Because you have this insatiable need to tear people down so you can free yourself from the fear of abandonment and rejection. Ask yourself why you came back into my life, only to announce you’ve moved on.

You’re a complete mess. You play with people’s minds and hearts. Yet you somehow find a way to play the victim every time. You are completely ignorant of how screwed up you are.

You will lose every time if you do not tame that temper of yours. There is NO justification for it. Every man you love will drift away. No man, in his right mind, would trust his heart with a woman who is this emotionally unstable.

Believe me, I know. There were troubled women before you. They all live lives of quiet misery. They may seem fabulous on the outside, but they are all slowly falling apart on the inside. The illusion of well-being is a lie.

Your therapist doesn’t know what I know, because she hasn’t spent the last 2 years with you. You haven’t subjected her to the mind games that you have played with me. No one knows. Not your friends or your family. Because you abused me behind closed doors. And then you conveniently forgot about it.

To this day, you have offered me no apologies for your treatment of me. It is unfortunate. Because I was hoping we could stay friends. I tried. I tried harder than any man should.

But you didn’t. You never tried. It was always me. I was always the one who reached out with the olive branch. I was always the one who swallowed my pride and took you back.

You couldn’t contain the rage that you keep hidden inside of you.
That is part of your disease. Now that I am gone, you will have no one to blame but yourself.

Please continue going to therapy. Hopefully, your therapist will eventually catch on. I am hoping that, one of these days, you will stop playing the victim. I hope that you will start telling people the truth about yourself and stop spreading the lies about me.

I think I told you this once. But I will tell it again- years ago, I got a call from my college sweetheart. She was my first love. She too had similar issues. She too treated me like shit so she could run away with good conscience. But that too was a lie.

She eventually suffered a breakdown, similar to the one you had. However, she was fortunate enough to marry someone who got her the help she needed. Part of her treatment was to call people she had wronged.

I still carry the pain she caused me. But I forgave her because she had the strength and good will to ask for my forgiveness. And that was enough.

It was enough for me to feel like she had acknowledged the pain she had caused me. It was enough for me to hear her own up to the terrible way she had treated me. In my eyes, she became a better person that day. I hope, some day, you will too.

It didn’t matter to me that she married another man. That wasn’t the point. If you think this is an attempt to get you back… well, you can stop flattering yourself. It’s not. Please let go of the petty grievances that keep you angry.
You have bigger issues in hand.

All that ever mattered to me was the TRUTH. That’s what you could never understand. And why I could never give myself fully to you.

All I ever wanted was to set the record straight. My college sweetheart took years to figure that out. I hope you will figure it out as well.

But to do that, you have to take an honest look at yourself. You have to untwist the tales you have told, the tales that you think will soothe your conscience.

Ask yourself why you blocked me out when so many others have caused you misery. If you say it’s because you loved me, then that is proof you fear intimacy. You fear the truth about yourself.

Find a way to overcome that fear. Figure out why you’re so hyper-sensitive. Break your addiction to melodrama. Then maybe you will find some long-lasting happiness. I wish that for you. I really do.

One Foot Out the Door

February 4, 2015

To all those who advised me to run the other way, thank you for your concern. It is the exact advice I would give to someone else in my situation.

But as I said to MF, I am a man with needs. No, I don’t mean sex.

Contrary to what my paranoid ACOA-ex believes, I don’t sleep around. That’s not who I am. I don’t have notches on my bedpost. I am not about conquests in the bed or self-satisfaction. I look for shared experiences, mutual enjoyment. I am looking for love. I am an oddball like that.

I am actually very choosey about who I sleep with. Because I have tried having sex with randos and it wasn’t enjoyable. It was awkward and strange. I need intimacy and tenderness. Most of all, I need trust. Cold and mechanical sex doesn’t do it for me because it’s cold and mechanical.

My 2 plus years with my ACOA-ex had its ups and downs, but the sex was always amazing. No trauma or triggers in that department (unlike my BPD-ex). Sometimes, we’d have sex multiple times in one day. We were like teenagers in love, if you can call it love.

The sex was amazing because the rapport was amazing. We enjoyed the same things. We were both sensitive to each other’s needs. We supported each other when it came to our respective careers. We listened to each other’s stories. We hugged each other when the other person needed it, even when we thought we didn’t need it.

Sex was the cherry on top. But the ice cream was the relationship. As dysfunctional as it was, it could be (most of the time) fantastic and nuturing. When she wasn’t being insecure and irrational, she was being attentive to my needs. She was sweet and caring. When I fell asleep on the subway, she lovingly pulled my head onto her shoulders.

She was my constant companion because I could think of no one else I would rather spend my time with. I took her everywhere. Most people would have felt suffocated, but I enjoyed having her by my side.

I know, it’s terribly sappy. But these are the needs I speak of- the need to feel loved. There is nothing sexier than someone who can make you feel that way.

Unfortunately, for me, even the loving ones have issues. I don’t waste my time with emotionally unavailable women (and vice versa), which is why I tell people not to worry about me going in that direction. That’s not me.

The danger to me is women who alternate between being emotionally attentive and running away from intimacy. This is the bane of my existence. Sadly, these are the only women who have made themselves available to me.

So what am I to do? Live in isolation? Zip up the plastic bubble? Join the priesthood? Run from the sight of women? Adopt an Avoidance Personality Disorder? Become jaded and angry like everyone else?

I am only human. I am a man with needs. I am also a man who has been through the ringer more than once. Subsequently, I have learned my lessons.

But I also believe avoidance is not the answer. I do believe a healthy woman is waiting for me out there. I have not found her yet. But I want to believe she is out there somewhere.

So for now, I settle for the company of troubled women. I’m not interested in “saving” them or any other kind of delusional relationship. I’m only interested in being a man enjoying the company of a woman. That’s not me being a womanizer. That’s me being human.

If I bounce from one relationship to another, it’s because these relationships never last. They implode despite my intervention or best efforts. I would be more than happy to have wild sex with one woman for the rest of my life. But I have not found that one woman who has the kind of emotional stability that I need and deserve. So I keep one foot out the door.

I keep one foot out the door, because those loving women, who are so good at making me feel loved, always have one foot out the door. Their love has proven, time and time again, to be fleeting. This situation is not ideal or healthy. But it is my reality.

My ACOA-ex hates me because I always had one foot out the door. But she could not provide me with safe sanctuary. She could not adequately prove her undying love. As long as she continued blocking my number, hanging out with swingers, having dinner with “guy friends”, I would always have one foot out the door. That was the deal. That is always the deal.

That doesn’t make me an abusive womanizer who gets sick pleasure from hurting women. That makes me a wounded warrior, protecting his heart from being stomped on with complete disregard by emotionally troubled women.

These are my rules of engagement, because I am an imperfect man living in an imperfect world. If I did live in a perfect world, my choice would be simple- I would run from crazies into the arms of a loving woman who would love me forever. But that is still a fantasy and I am still chasing a unicorn that may or may not exist.

Here We Go Again

February 3, 2015

I recently started dating again. I’ve been pouring myself into work for the last year. So I needed a break and I was longing for female companionship again. The woman I started dating is the kind of woman that walks into a room and every guy literally turns around. So how could I resist asking her out?

I did have some apprehensions though. As beautiful as she is, something about her triggers my “femme fatale” alarm. Maybe because something feels too familiar. Our exchanges are way too comfortable. For normal people, that’s a good thing. But for someone like me, that means I am treading down the same path.

Sure enough, an hour into our conversation, she tells me about her abusive relationships, a pattern that began when she witnessed her father abuse her mother. Here we go again.

She says she has been in therapy, but I can tell the damage has been done. And anybody who has read this blog knows how it ALWAYS ends. I am beginning to think that I am doomed to meet the same woman over and over again.

Like so many of my exes, she ran away to the big city to escape a past she will never escape. She has traveled to the farthest reaches of the world, hoping to find herself. She is smart, sensitive and loves to cuddle. She is likable in so many ways.

But the loose thread is there. I can see it so clearly, because I have learned how to look for it. And I know that all I have to do is pull it and everything will fall apart.

I will be surprised if this lasts. I’m already picking up on the fear of intimacy. I can tell her head is spinning. She has that runaway instinct that I am so familiar with. She does that thing where she acts distant after we exchange tender affection. The push-pull has already begun.