Reclaiming my baggage.

About a week ago I started this post, and then I got the phone call from Mr. Nice Guy that proved that I had been jumping to conclusions based on my past experiences. I’ve learned a bit since then about myself, but some of the main things I was going to write about are the same, so here I am, when I should be posting about the tragedy in Paris and other various European countries, posting this post instead… with a few modifications.

So, I was chit chatting with one of my new roommates over breakfast one morning, and she told me about this site that she thought would be beneficial, and oh how she was right! Just the first two blog posts were directly the main issues with the two most recent men in my life: the Boy (though he’s mostly not an issue anymore) and Mr. Nice Guy (who keeps surprising me).

And I love the name of the site, as it is something I tried to discuss once before, only I suppose somewhat in reverse; whereas I was unpacking my baggage, she writes about Baggage Reclaiming.

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For those of you who don’t believe in God or faith or spirituality, I’d like to point out that there are sometimes way too many coincidences for me not to believe in something. This would be one of those situations.

I’d been feeling down about the situation with Mr. Nice Guy because, as I said, this was just before he called to set up our third date (which was quite, quite nice). Since the change in our very quickly established routine mirrored the actions of previous douchey boys, it made me question my own self worth.

Does the fact that they are so willing to completely shove me aside so soon mean that I’m unworthy of being loved? Do I not deserve to be treated with respect?

After all, I keep running into the same type of guy: the ones who say all the right things, but they’re purely motivated by the physical.

1497766 young couple have good time in their bedroom

I even told Mr. Nice Guy about this fear, and he laughed at it! Giving me what (when I originally wrote this post) I thought was a false sense of hope that he wouldn’t behave in such a way…

We know now that he didn’t.

But, when I was writing this post initially, I was curious how I kept repeating this mistake. I like to think that I’m pretty picky… although, if I’m honest with myself, my need to be desired has, more often than I care to admit, caused me to lower my expectations. And then when I get hurt… Again… I get convinced that somehow the problem is with me, and not with the guys.

Well, according to that site, both are true.

To a point.

It has everything to do with the walls I put up. Walls that I don’t see so much anymore, and that I try really hard not to have, but that are there nonetheless. Walls of emotional baggage that keep me from interacting legitimately with the outside world.

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Natalie, the author of the Baggage Reclaim site, and Blog, and Podcast (which I’ve started listening to on my daily elliptical workouts), explains how walls do the opposite of what we want them to do. They make us more vulnerable instead of protecting us. And why? Because they act almost like a beacon to those who are likely to hurt us. The person wants to be a good person, someone worthy of trust, so they go out of their way to allay our fears and gain our trust. Once we trust them, they tend to flake on us for a couple of reasons.

Some may flake because they don’t know if they’re worthy of your trust. It’s a burden that they don’t want, or that they can’t handle. It’s a big deal to have someone’s trust. I think Superman was one of this type. He was too young to really be ready for the level of trust I wanted to place in him, and so he flaked quite regularly, even going so far as lying to me while he was dating someone else.

Some flake because they were trying to gain your trust for the wrong reasons. It’s not that they wanted the relationship that gaining your trust would bring, but only that they wanted to prove that they were worthy of being trusted. I believe the Artist was one of these, and I was afraid that Mr. Nice Guy was one of these, though I’m glad to say, in his case, I was wrong.

Some, like the Boy (I think) suffer from both.

The Boy believes himself to be like Bojack Horseman, of the Netflix show by the same name. Bojack is someone who wants to be a good person, but he doesn’t really know how, and the show follows him as he tries to figure out how to be a good person, or how to accept himself. The Boy identifies with this, and has brought up the following clip a time or three in our conversations.

And it’s because of this very thing that I think he keeps me around. Keeping me around allows him to prove that he’s a good person because I am the charity case that he keeps trying to use to prove he’s a good person. It’s like no matter how much we fight, or how mean we are together, whenever I would try to leave, he would say something about I could leave if I wanted to but he tried. He tried to make our friendship work.

Never mind the fact that the friendship was never what I wanted from him. Never mind the fact that he did a lot of work to make me fall for him, showing me a false person for me to love, and then once I fell for him absolutely, completely, he pulled the rug out from under me and told me that it was my fault for wanting something he didn’t want…

None of that mattered because he was a good person for putting up with me being mean (as he puts it) when I got my feelings hurt, and for trying to make the friendship function. He was someone who should be worthy of my trust.

He needed me to prove that to him. And no matter how many times I had tried to tell him I trusted him and I liked him as he was, it was never enough. He never believed himself to be worthy of that trust, and so he would kamikaze our relationship just to prove he wasn’t worthy, and then make me feel like it was all my fault so that he could be the good guy.

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Which brings us to the second post that really spoke to me. I sent it to the Boy, though I don’t think the point will make any sense to him… The second post from Baggage Reclaim was about the “Reset button.”

Some people make it difficult for any healing to happen because they want to push the reset button and just start over without resolving what the hurt was. They don’t want to hear about it, about what they did, or how you feel. The Boy is one of those… Probably because he was trying to prove to himself and to me that he was a good guy, worthy of trust, of getting through my walls.

Like the fight over the cup of tea, the Boy would assume that things that hurt but were in the past were just in the past and there was no reason not to bring them up again, but that idea, that view, always hurt me. He was not dealing with what the problem was, and instead was just trying to sweep it under the carpet, which meant that it was going to come up again and again and again, but because he was the “good guy” who could move past it, I was at fault for not being able to hit the reset button.

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That’s just not how it works. And it’s because he will never be able to understand my way of looking at it that I have to distance myself from him.

Admittedly, we’re talking again, though much less frequently, and not with the same level of candor. Or comfort.

But I’m okay with it now.

A really interesting thing has happened the last few days: I allowed myself to let the Boy go. I’ve said it before, but I meant it this time. I know I did because I caught myself calling Mr. Nice Guy “the Boy” in my head.

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The reason I ever called the Boy by that moniker was in reference to “the one,” the guy who was going to be the last one. I was sure. More sure than I’ve ever been of anything. And I was wrong. He let me go, replaced me, and then was himself replaced. Then he came back, but it wasn’t the same. He didn’t want me the way I had wanted him before, and I realize now, I didn’t want him either. I just wanted him to want me. I wanted him to understand how I felt, to see how he’d hurt me, and to be sorry for it.

He can’t feel that because he really doesn’t think he did anything wrong. That hurts more than any of the rest…

And it’s going to take some time to really heal from that, as is seen by the ridiculously long amount of time (which is only 2 years, and not the 3 years I claimed in a few previous posts) I’ve been holding out hope. And the fact that, even though I see the difference, I’m still afraid to hope too much where Mr. Nice Guy is concerned.

But I found myself telling my roommates that I would probably be out with the Boy tonight… meaning Mr. Nice Guy.

I’ve healed enough to let the Boy go, truly go. It’s been a wild ride where he’s concerned, but I can’t hold on to him anymore.

2321101 little boy traveling on the top of the car

And I’m ready to let go of him, pack away the baggage that he caused, and start fresh with someone who deserves my trust and feelings.

I’m trying to go slow, and just enjoy how Mr. Nice Guy makes me feel, but he does the cutest things, and it makes it hard for me not to fall a little faster than I want… Like he called me “Hun” this evening when he let me know he was so swamped at work that he might not be able to get away to come have dinner with me. I’m sad he’ll miss dinner, but the little nickname (like when he called me “Boo”) made me all warm and tingly all over!

Yeah, I’m a wee bit smitten.

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