Renewal Forty : It’s Hard To Hold Another’s Heart If You Don’t Know Your Own

Okay, I don’t have problems like a lot of people, though they’re still problems to me. I have trouble with the power plays and leverage and favoritism at work. But, as a friend of mine wrote me about a book she had been reading, imagine being Victor Klemperer, a Jewish professor in Germany during Hitler’s reign. Yep, that’s trouble.

And I read in the paper recently about a Pakistani woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery after she was raped by her brother-in-law. One hopes that this was not true, and maybe it wasn’t, but, unfortunately, we all know too well that if that particular story isn’t true, something like it is, and that’s trouble (later it was reported that she was not being punished). And it is not about Pakistan, or Muslims, or males, or females, this kind of injustice knows no political, religious, or gender boundaries. Males can be jerks, females can be jerks, people can be incredible jerks. And they’ll do it in the name of anything that they can get away with.

So, my little tale of woe is just that, little. But it’s mine and it is about finding the energy to get out of any kind of pit, big or small. In that way, it’s relevant.

Well, here we go again.

My second love called me yesterday because she had some management books to give back to me. She had given them to me a couple of years ago and had asked for them back when she returned to school, which was now completed. I said that I didn’t know when I’d be around and made the suggestion that my daughter could get them at some point. My second love told me that since she’d be gone out of town today and since her son would be around, I could instead pick the books up from him after a meeting that I was attending in town.

She left me another message about the time I was to call her son (he and I had arranged everything) to ask whether I was coming or not as they were at home. At that point I should have bailed out, but I’m terminally polite (maybe gullible). She seems to have a habit of this bait and switch technique, especially when she wants something and is not getting it. So I’m thinking I’ll make a quick stop and leave. Someday I’ll have to get over this propensity.

She wasn’t dressed for any meeting anywhere (perhaps things had changed). And she was very friendly, which is her style, especially after an encounter which she would assess didn’t go well (I had run into her a couple of weeks back and did not much engage her).

She had made me tea from her herb garden, and she had some herbs for me, and she had some CDs that she knew I’d like. And, besides, she informed me, my former lady friend would be coming by soon and would like to see me (as I previously said, they had begun visiting together since the breakup).

Now this is more than I can take. She is really up to it now and her hand is revealed. She knows that my former lady friend and I will not be getting back together, she knows that I can sometimes recognize a pattern of manipulation, yet she still knows which buttons to push to mess with my balance, and she knows she likes to do it from time to time.

So there was another point at which I should have bailed out, but I’m also a terminal fixer (is that gullible again?). What was going on here (apparently I’m terminally stupid as well)?

She says, in her best innocent demeanor, that it is nothing. She cares about me and wants me to know that she loves me from a pure heart, as does my ex-lady friend.

I look at this as blatant manipulation, love or not.

I won’t do this, I’m not going to interact like this anymore. Egos aren’t good for intimate relationships and this smacks of a spectator sport.

“Do you have a relationship?,” she inquires.

Good grief. Just blatant. But I answer no anyway.

She doesn’t have one anymore either. She wanted to be friends with her latest after their breakup, but he wanted love.

I asked her if she thought paying him to help her around the house (he has a good paying job) would ease her heart and act as a talisman so that she had a built-in excuse to keep him at arm’s length while keeping him around when she felt like it?

Yes, was the coy response, she supposed that was true.

My response was this idea of loving somebody and holding their heart when it is from a distance, as opposed to when it’s up close and personal, is nothing more than pseudo-intimacy. As for me, I won’t be toyed with in that regard, that’s over.

But she’s not toying with me, she’s just gathering herbs, she says, and being remarkably slow at it, stalling, I’m guessing, in the hope that my former lady friend will arrive.

She says I look good, clear and strong.

I am.

She says she heard that critical people are remarkably sensitive people.

“As opposed to the asshole I was when we were together,” I wondered aloud?

I can’t believe this.

She’s still not toying with me, she claims, she wants me to be well, as do the other women in my life (they’re all visiting together). They all want me to be well—I am loved.

Great. There’s nothing so soothing as being loved.

Now this lady is a good-looking woman, and smart. But, as I said recently, I think she is possessed by a philosophical and behavioral disconnect. And that is exactly the disconnect she was exhibiting this evening, that all my loves seemed to do.

Well, there’s a pattern here somewhere and it’s not just about these three women.

I am utterly angry and guess with whom?

I’m terminal all right. The plane I’ve been operating on has more potholes than a pothole factory. Dante’s Inferno comes again to mind, only I’m not as smart as Dante (well, not many are). What is it with this pattern? Where in the world did we learn this? And why are Bozos like me trying to help? I wouldn’t do it for another man.

Now look out ladies, I’m guessing that most of you are not likely to appreciate what follows:

I’m amazed at the number of women who haven’t a clue about who they are because they are too busy trying to flytrap a man by giving him what they think he wants, which allows them to bitch about it later (“I didn’t know it wasn’t really me, I was trying to please you”).

I guess this pseudo-innocence is some sort of mea culpa. It is the cancellation on Sunday of all the inattention the rest of the week. I mean, one can just go on like this forever because there’s always Sunday and the admonishment they didn’t know, they didn’t mean anything. It was the male who was confused. After all, the male is just a male, all angry and testosterone-poisoned and that’s just plain dangerous, I mean who can trust being around that?

Apparently only women understand this and that’s why they gather to talk and to support each other because navigating through a male world is fraught with misunderstandings and dangers (on the part of the males) and that’s just no good for a woman’s sensitive skin (though women tend to annoy each other and can be quite vicious in their own accord).

As my oldest daughter told me some time back, I’ve got issues.

Well, I bought this pattern hook, line, and sinker and I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore (okay, part of that line I ripped off from the movie Network).

By-the-way, that’s emotions and not testosterone, it’s my sensitive skin shuttering back.

All right ladies, listen up if you will, though I can’t do much about it.

The problem in relationships is not just males. Females are just as fearful of intimacy as they claim males are. Find a male who wants intimacy and equity and you just may find how difficult it is. In the meantime, complaining has been a major preoccupation. Here, let me help (I’m cracking myself up here).

Get out of the way, get a spine, get clear. For one thing, figure out what’s in your heart. How do you expect to hold someone else’s heart in an intimate relationship if you don’t know your own heart? You are not honest at all when you mostly try to do what a man wants. You can’t be a chameleon as a way of life—leave that to chameleons.

If you want to have sex, say so, make a commitment, then we can play. And don’t cop-out later and pretend that you only had a modicum of responsibility.

If you want to be coy, say so, and then we’ve got truth in advertising, otherwise shut up and quit acting so smug when no one else gets it and you’ve conveniently given yourself an excuse to be better and sweeter than everyone else. Perhaps the one that doesn’t get it, or wants to get it, could also be you.

If you want to have an illusion, fine, we’ll do some role playing—that can be fun. If you want to live an illusion, go away, real away, far away (maybe that one is up to me). Most of you are not that sweet, you’re at least as treacherous, you’re at least as phony, and you’re at least as ignorant as the males you deride. And males don’t need to be your scapegoat for your own inability to have a committed, passionate, and intimate relationship, or for your lack of ability to know the difference between the “I,” the “you,” and the “we,” and to keep the filing straight.

So, knock off this pseudo-innocence and pseudo-intimacy. We’ll all be better off. In lieu of that, then get a dog and quit trying to get males to be your personal pet.

All right—I realize that this tirade might have a limited target, at least I hope so. But, despite that, it certainly applies in my case, though I also believe that people don’t come together by chance. I may never get sex again (not that it ever stopped me from speaking my mind before), but if what I’ve gotten is the pay-off for sex, I’ll stick with something else.

And, if I can have the courage and intelligence to see my own patterns and learn to be the right person myself instead of trying to find the right person, then let the woman-person, if she is out there somewhere, if she has a spine, the guts to be a co-creator, the smarts to really want equity, and if she possesses the self-esteem and the self-efficacy to manifest something honest and real, and if she isn’t already in a relationship, and if she and I will fit together, for the rest of our lives, dancing, changing, learning, playing, growing, loving, fighting, snarling, caustic, sarcastic, sparring, laughing at each other and ourselves, and we’re lucky enough to find each other, then bring it all on. And if there are other couples and/or other people who know much of the same stuff and move on the same plane, let’s all get together and learn even more.

As for where I’ve been, I need to go. And for those that stay in that arena, well have fun. You have the right to be you and you have the right to live the life you want, whether you know it or not. However, do not attempt to foist it upon me. And I’ll be glad to leave you alone as well.

Hmmm—sometimes getting ticked off is better than being depressed. It can certainly put all of the cards on the table in full view. Then we’re in a position to discuss some stuff rather than to dance around issues trying to keep our foolishness from showing.

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