I broke protocol and instead of doing my recap of the previous year, I wanted to finish up some business that was lingering from 2015.
Having completely deleted the Boy from my life (I know I say that and then he comes back, but I don’t see that happening this time), and writing him a final email for closure (which was probably not necessary for him, but was very necessary for me), I can now enter into 2016 with a fresh new outlook.
So, let’s get down to business, shall we?
First up, with a new year brings a new look. You’ll notice a new logo or header photo or whatever WordPress calls that little pic in the upper right hand corner (if you’re on a computer… if you’re on a tablet or other mobile device, it’s the very first thing you see). We have our cup of steaming tea ready to go beneath it, but we also have a photo of a woman drinking tea superimposed with a pic of me, the real me, reading a book.
I’m relatively pleased with the outcome. I like that it’s slightly disturbing and hard to focus on because, well, your brain is trying to see both images separately. If the internet decides it’s too weird, we’ll remove it, but I like it!
And for anyone interested, the book is Bulfinch’s Mythology. It was my first leather bound book that I bought for myself.
With a new look comes some new insights into where we’re headed. Going into year four or five of this blog, I think we’ve finally established exactly what we’re doing here: romantic relationships.
I will still discuss my personal dilemmas, most notably the new confirmed diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, and (if it comes up again) my depression. To be honest, knowing about the Asperger’s has helped me to deal with the depression. I understand some of my triggers better now, and I am working on methods to cope with the overwhelming situations, like surprises and changing plans.
Those changing plans are kind of the biggest cause of a shutdown for me. I don’t cope well with those at all! But I’m working on it, and if I find a definite solution, you better believe I’ll be posting about it in celebration!
But mostly, we’ll be talking about relationships…
This time last year, I was talking about Goals as opposed to Resolutions.
Well, having goals was good in some regards, but this year I may do a mingling of both. I achieved some of my goals, albeit only barely, while completely forgetting others altogether until the very end of the year!
I chose as my Relationship goals of 2015 to:
- Work on my communication
- Have more faith in myself
- Accept the positive
- Let stuff go
I can see, when I reflect on what happened in my year altogether that I obviously was mostly concerned with the Boy, even though I would have told you multiple times and multiple ways that he wasn’t as big a part of my life as he has accused me of making him. I’d probably be lying to you and myself, but I would have said it.
Why did I want to work on my communication? Because the Boy and I had a problem with what our intentions were, and I was convinced it was because I couldn’t accurately explain what it was that I was looking for. In hindsight, what I was really trying to establish was what was it I wanted in a relationship?
The Boy had been so very perfect in the beginning and I wanted that back so badly that I convinced myself that I had to use him as my baseline. Not really that I wanted him back, but that what he had given me was so wonderful that I needed that from whoever was capable of giving it to me. No one could, and so I kept trying to make an awkward, one-sided relationship (even though it was only a friendship) work with the Boy.
Why was I convinced that I needed to have more faith in myself? Because everyone kept telling me that I was worth so very much, but the Boy couldn’t show me that. He made me feel worthless in a hundred different ways all the time. People kept telling me that the issue was that I was convinced that I needed him to validate me. I needed his acceptance the same way I once needed acceptance from my mother. I needed him to reverse his view from before. I wanted that feeling from the beginning and in order to get it, he had to be willing to recognize my value, but people kept telling me I had to see my own worth first.
I still think this is a really odd concept. It’s illogical and backwards, and yet people keep acting like that’s the solution to everything.
Because of the above, I wanted to learn that sometimes a good thing was a good thing, and not a setup to heartbreak or some other horrible thing. One of the things I do is to look at all the possibilities; I’ve talked about it a bit while talking about my Aspie journey. So I almost always see the end of a relationship as strongly as I see the beginning of it. As in, I see all the ways it could go wrong from the very moment that I see it blossoming into something beautiful. Again, one of the things the Boy has continually brought up (mostly very recently) is that I made things awkward because I couldn’t just let things develop naturally…
I find this highly ironic since one of my biggest complaints is that because he felt I was making things awkward, he just shut down any possibilities for certain paths. He actually said to me that if when I told him I wasn’t trying to force him into a relationship, if I had just continued to act like nothing had changed, then things would be different now… Never mind the fact that he changed EVERYTHING about our interactions suddenly.
I really don’t deal well with sudden changes…
The last goal I had last year was to let things go. Again, my reason for choosing this goal, whether I was aware of it or not, was because of the Boy. He has since told me multiple times that I have to let the past go… which would have been easier if he hadn’t been constantly repeating the hurts from the past.
But he’s gone now. I did finally let go, and as I go back and think on exactly how I grew as a person last year, I achieved more of my goals than I thought I had.
I have learned to express myself better, and I will thank the Boy for his help with that. I had to repeat myself numerous times to get the point across, but I have learned to be very clear about saying what I want.
Which also means I’ve figured out what it is that I want.
Well my goal has always been to find a man that I’d be comfortable making a life long commitment to, but I now know that it is more important to me that he be someone I WANT to spend the rest of my life with. I can’t just tick boxes, and I can’t jump into a relationship the way I did when I was younger, and the way that several people have accused me of since (and including) the Boy. I’ve learned that I want to be wooed, and therefor actual dating is really important to me.
Protestations of love and affection are really, really important to me, and I’m not settling for half measures anymore. I am important, I am worthy, and I have been patient enough up to this point that I can wait a little longer if necessary to find a man who is willing to put forth the effort to make me his. I’m not going to be the one doing the chasing anymore.
And if, as the Boy did, he suddenly stops putting forth effort, or makes me feel guilty for wanting the effort, I’m going to kick him to the curb. I deserve better than that, too.
While I was trying to get the Boy to show me that I was worthwhile, I was also playing with and talking to a lot of guys on Tinder! Some made it further than others, but none of them, not a single one ever belittled me in the same way the Boy did, or the Artist, or Superman. One, at least, lied, but they all made me feel beautiful… and WANTED!
Mr. Nice Guy verbally told me I was beautiful and stunning, and would look at me in that way that was oh so close to the Colin Farrell look.
The Married Guy was physically affectionate, grabbing my hand and playing with my fingers while just talking to me. Every time we interacted, he made sure that some part of us was touching.
The Investment Broker told me that he had struggled to keep his hands off of me throughout all of dinner, which had been obvious; he kept slapping my leg to emphasize his point. He definitely didn’t understand personal space… but he also told me that it was because I was “so much more” than what he’d expected, and not in that I was fat, but that I was (again) stunning!
And while I had been holding out hope for the Boy to explain to me why I wasn’t worthy of those things from him, even though I had never been more comfortable with another human being in my life, I had to watch him be that sweet and loving to really ugly people.
I’m sorry, I know that’s not nice. I know it’s superficial and shallow, but these women that he’s chosen over me are not attractive in the slightest! They don’t even look like women, other than they have breasts and wear makeup… usually too heavily in the pictures I’ve seen.
Some of my self doubt has come from that. The fact that he would toss me aside for people that looked like that…
He couldn’t tell me I was pretty without me begging for a single compliment, but he could hold hands and be cuddly with people that didn’t rate even as high as me. I think of myself somewhere between a 5 and an 8, depending on where I’m at in my menstrual/ovulation cycle and whether or not I’m wearing makeup or a good bra. The girl he tossed me aside for the first time, I’d have ranked only a 4 most days, and in her online pictures, I’d elevate her to a 6. But the one from last night… let’s just say she wouldn’t rank as high as the other one.
I know it’s shallow. I’m a horrible person for feeling that way. Then again, I had serious issues with the fact that Mr. Nice Guy’s ears were too small for his head. I am very, very picky!
And I’ve had years of people telling me that I really didn’t deserve to be that picky, but you know what? I really do. I deserve to be with someone I find physically attractive and intellectually stimulating, someone who can make me feel comfortable and at ease, and as if I don’t need to wear my masks, and someone who will woo me and make me feel beautiful, even when I am feeling down on myself.
It was while I was sitting on the floor crying, contemplating why the Boy couldn’t tell me why I didn’t deserve to be treated better by him, that all of these things came to me. I was surrounded by our mutual friends, people who had known him for many many years, as opposed to the couple of years they had known me, and these people were telling me how beautiful and kind and wonderful I was, and how I deserved better than how we was treating me. And it clicked.
Well, first I went through a stage where I thought they were lying and it would be better to wrap my car around a tree, but then I realized that I was getting texts from men I hadn’t even met face to face yet, wishing me a Happy New Year (one of which, turns out is a professional basketball player… the one who wanted me to come to his hotel room). There were people who had only seen my picture reaching out to me and making me feel beautiful and wishing me well.
And I was surrounded by people who knew my personality and were telling me that I was a worthwhile person because of who I was, not just the physical. These were people who valued me for who I am, and who were proud of me for being myself.
And it just clicked!
This whole time I had been trying to prove my worth to the Boy because I wanted that closeness and that connection that we’d had in the beginning, and I thought I had to prove myself to him to get it. But in reality, he isn’t worthy of ME! He should be proving himself to me, and at this point there is no single gesture that he can do that will undo the years of harm he has done by emotionally abusing my kindness and my need for approval.
It only took me a whole year to figure it out.
And my first act of the New Year was to tell him and the world that I felt so.
This year will be different. This year’s goals/resolutions are thus:
I resolve to keep the Boy out of my life until he learns that he has to prove to me that he is worthy of me (which I’m not sure is actually an obtainable goal for him at this point)!
And I aim to keep looking for someone who I am comfortable being myself around, like I was with the Boy, but who treats me with the respect I deserve and shows me the affection that I want. I will accept nothing less out of a relationship.
The occasional boy who comes around just for fun… Well, those are different rules, and that will have to be a post for another day.
Until next time, please leave some comments about what you think of the new layout, or about things with the Boy, or about what you’d like to see from here on out on this blog.