Some weeks are like this.
The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
I have been informed that my urgency / obsessive work creativity is a drug I use to medicate from feeling. I have also been told that my addiction to men was the same thing. I told her she could have the men — I’ve given them up and that I need the energy to get my shit together for work so that I can take excellent care of myself on my own.
She says the feeling she gets from that is black hole. Finally, we’re getting somewhere!!
My black hole here for me is Prince Harming (not original — can’t take credit) v me. I pick unavailable men, or I find good ones who like me and it freaks me out and I run. And I get bored easily and I’m tired of hurting people. So what I’ve worked out is 1) they will hurt me or 2) I will hurt them, so 3) why bother? I can wrap my head around scenarios less morose than this as I also watch movies, but those people aren’t fundamentally broken like I am. And there are advantages to having it be scripted.
So that leaves work. And this is her black hole. “What is your basic number?” she asks. I tell her. “And what happens when you reach that?” she asks. I want it doubled, naturally. Some breathing room. And then I want to own my house. “And then you’ll want to travel with your kids, and then…” Exactly! Again, we’re getting somewhere. (But it seems like she is thinking this is not a good thing.)
“My concern,” she says, “is that on your deathbed you’ll look back and have regrets about big missing pieces in your life.” She is hinting at meaningful partnership relationship.
“A good life is also looking back and saying, ‘Man I got a lot of shit done.'” She concedes that that would make sense in my construct. “Listen,” I say, “I’ve given up married men and I’m not getting involved with anyone I can hurt, I don’t know what else you want from me.”
“Why are those the only two options?”
The depth of my rage at that point is profound and surprises me. In my head I scream, “Why the fuck don’t you explain that to me? By all means tell me how to find someone who can captivate me with intelligence, character, and humor who will be equally captivated. And then explain to me how I can overcome decades of shutting down to be able to engage.”
My outside voice says, “How does one change decades of default shutdown?”
“The question I always ask with ‘How’ questions is, ‘Do you want to?’ she lobs back.