This isn’t going to be my typical “Oh why can’t I just be a lesbian?” rant – mostly because I like independent motion during sex and the male genitalia is where it’s at for me. Also, women are also people. Possibly the preponderance of those rants are only written in my head – or written and posted for about 37 minutes until I realize that the person I am at-that-point bashing might be reading my blog. It’s not like I want my blog to be known as the post boyfriend trash site, although there is an undeniable allure to the power of “ink.” That given, I’m not a staunch fan of men right now.
Lately I’ve been finding that a lot of women in my demographic (intelligent, post 40, independent, strong, and funny) have been emotionally bludgeoned by men. Bludgeoned as in used, manipulated, lied to, led on, and discarded. What is most heart-breaking about this is that as a group, we don’t want to become bitter. We are in the phase of life where we want to explore vulnerability, partnership, and open-heartedness. We just can’t find partners who will be present, adult, and compelling, and this leads most of us to assume that we are too something or not quite something else enough.
In the interest of being progressively self-aware, I hereby insert a paragraph about some vague sense of taking responsibility for personal power and manifesting our true desires in relationship. Until the rest of me catches up with that, I offer a few thoughts to other women who are struggling with making sense out of the conflicting emotions that come when we care for people who are destructive to us. I got this from my paid for friend when I was trying to figure out if I had quit my marriage.
How do we let go of men we still feel for? We realize that there are different parts of our feelings, and here they are: 1) We love the man. 2) We understand why he is the way he is. 3) But we neither trust the man nor feel emotionally safe around him. 4) And we don’t want to keep being in relationship where we don’t feel safe no matter how well we understand the man. Sometimes we don’t know that we don’t feel safe around the man until the man leaves. Being left feels really unsafe. Sometimes we recognize a much higher wisdom in this – almost like a get out of jail free card, but that doesn’t subtract that we have feelings or that we understand why he is the way he is. And that he chose (an)other place(s) to get his itches scratched. The bottom line is to ask if we feel more safe, secure, tended OR more insecure, unsure, and tentative when we are with him.
I write this from my official role of opinionated woman and general experiencer of much emotional disappointment. When these feelings of tenderness and understanding get cojangled with hurt and rejection, it makes extricating and uncoupling difficult. I don’t like taking pleasure knowing that the next person in line will also be heartbroken when the guy gets bored / tired of her jealousy / wants more intellectual stimulation / thinks he deserves a broader audience of ego strokers – because it makes me feel small. It reminds me that I replaced someone else and scarcely batted an eye at that. I don’t like remembering the feeling of privileged recipient of attention for the brief moment I spent on the front burner. My willingness to settle for just-almost-but-not-quite-and-mostly-second-except-for-those-few-really-special-moments scares me a little bit. I want to think I believe in myself more than that.
Talking to these strong, gorgeous, intelligent, engaging, independent women who have been thrashed uncovers various levels of angst. We wonder if we will be alone. We wonder if the fractions of emotional connections we’ve experienced are the best LIFE has to offer. We (I – maybe there’s some projection in this paragraph) wonder that we are built to be social creatures, we work really hard to own our own piles of shit and be whole, and then there are no partners to play with. We wonder if there is room to be wholly us because it seems like the men we meet kind of need us to be wrapped around them. But if we are wrapped around them, then who is tending us? Do we have to choose between us and our creativity and us and love? Mix in kids and jobs, school and health… and just what the hell?
Some of us settle. Some of us self-medicate. Some of us distract ourselves with work and other creative pursuits, but one thing most of us seem to be getting really good at is figuring out that in the overall scheme of men who come and go, the one thing that remains constant is the support of our girlfriends and our families of choice.
It is 23 minutes until the final super moon of the year. I am going to go burn some sage, make a list of the dross I am ready to burn, and listen to some Annie Lennox to bring in the new.
Cheers to all!