Home Invasion

A man approached me while shopping in Target, took down my number and text me the very same night. I wasn’t particularly interested in him, but you never know how things can blossom. It’s flattering to be picked up and I do feel like men deserve a reward for having the balls to walk up to a woman and express their feelings right off the bat. The man was 32 years old, which to me, means he’s old enough to know that you can’t carry on a “getting to know you” conversation via text. Furthermore, he asked me to tell him something interesting about myself, to which I responded that it was hardly my duty to entertain him with “interesting” factoids. I mean, if you don’t know me shouldn’t everything I share with you be interesting at first? I also politely told him that if he wants to get to know me better he is welcome to call me at some point later in the week. He called me a “tough cookie” and that’s the last I heard of him. I am aware that I may have come off as a little harsh but I’m just no longer interested in playing the game. Even my favorite dating blog encourages women to appear unavailable, wait to answer text messages, and not to answer on the first ring. I DON’T CARE!!!! If I’m chillin in my house and someone texts me and I read it, why wait to respond? It’s 2013, everyone is glued to their phones it is not realistic that it’s going to take me 2 hours to respond to your text—I’m a single mom but I can fucking multi-task.

Anyway, as much as I detest the “rules” of modern dating, I am also a hypocritical participant. As was revealed not long ago I was on the cusp of an uncommitted but committed relationship, and it is with heaviness in my heart I share that I finally did the right thing and let it go. It is with equal heaviness that I admit I am batshit crazy for doing so. I really don’t have anything bad to say about the guy, and I really can’t even narrow down a major reason for shutting it down. I am highly aware that I resemble stupid bitches in pointless romantic comedies that end things with a great guy over a “bad feeling” or simply to discover themselves. BOOORING….but where there was confusion as to how exactly I felt about this man, there is finally clarity after having made the final decision.

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This may not be a staple in modern dating, but perhaps more of a reflection of laziness on my part, but in most involvements I’ve made the mistake of inviting a man over to my apartment way too soon and eventually having to deal with the “post-up” syndrome. Post-up syndrome is when a man comes to your house, whether invited or uninvited, and for whatever reason kind of doesn’t leave. As a single mom of course I want to get out of the freaking house and go out on dates, but time is not always on my side for that and it’s just easier to have some dude come over and chill. It’s a dangerous practice so early in the game. Things progress way too quickly physically and seemingly emotionally and essentially it feels like playing house. The only thing is: it’s MY house!

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He found me in the shower, sitting on the floor of the bathtub, water running and tears flowing. I resented being found that way and I knew in that moment I wasn’t ready to have someone in my space. I didn’t want him to know so much and I didn’t feel like explaining myself or reassuring him about the things that torment me. I’ve spent hours in the arms of my ex-boyfriend crying and trying to grasp at some sort of normalcy within myself, but that took at least a year of intimacy before we got to that point. Looking back I don’t know if I even consider it a healthy interaction. Anyway, on certain days of the week I was sharing a space with an almost stranger whose moods I never seemed to have the patience to deal with. Things had moved way too fast, and I don’t believe that dialing things back would have even fixed anything. As a woman who struggles, it’s quite easy for me to feel as if the walls are caving in. If only it were possible to co-exist with someone in silence. I think I’ve just become more painfully introverted and strange as the years go by, and that’s why I rely so much on vibing with a person as opposed to actual conversations. When I’m at my most relaxed (with the exception of the presence of a few old friends) I don’t really have much to say, I’m just happy to be where I am. I’ve been on dates where I just kind of smiled faintly and nodded my head as the guy talked and I didn’t mind it at all.

But I digress. This beautiful boy who found me in despair tried to save me, to hold me and do the things in his power to make my tears go away. I couldn’t quite explain to him that sometimes this was my life and that I couldn’t be fixed. He would leave dirty dishes in my room, put his unwashed hands in the potato chips, smoke weed on my balcony, and wake up early in the morning to express all his pent up aggression toward the world in general. It bothers me so that I couldn’t take care of him the way that he needed me—the way that I prefer to take care of anyone that comes into my home—but I have to take care of my children and myself. One hard adult lesson that I feel I continue to learn is that it is definitely possible to find a great guy, it just doesn’t mean that he’s the right guy for you. I wasn’t moved in the same way that he was moved by me and it would have been selfish for me to continue to be indecisive. He showed up at my door asking me to stay, his long lashes hooding his sorrowful eyes. My desire to be loved is not worth sacrificing the heart of another. I had been where he was, pleading with a love to bring life back into something that was already dying, and I wish to God that he would have said no to me.

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Image from: musingsonlifeandlove.com

I stayed strong in my resolve and I made the sober decision to let him go. His presence in my home was an invasion to me; it took me out of my comfort zone because I am just not ready at this time. His presence in my heart will linger and it will bring me comfort to think of him. I am a mess, one moody bitch—but he fell in love with me in this place and he fought for me with a tenacity that the men who have professed more couldn’t even muster. He is the one who deserves better.

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Release

I don’t want to be saved. I had a careful list of everything that I wanted and it was given to me…I can’t find happiness in it. Last night I lay with someone and tried to force it to be real. But he likes me so much, he loves my children, takes me out and holds my hand. I’m not happy. I let him go because I don’t feel enough.

I’m positive I don’t want this anymore. My emotions are in a tailspin, I’m not young and having fun– I’m disturbed and confused. Amateur. I no longer crave intimacy, I just want to be left alone with time. My inner little girl is weeping and holding on tightly to the idea of irresponsible and irrational decisions. Life is pulling her out of her comfort zone and she’s exposed; she’s not ready.

Last night I longed for someone and tried to force it to be real. But I think I love him, and I tried so hard, it will all eventually be returned…I’m not happy. I let him go because I feel too much.

The Invitation….by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

 It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

(Un)COMMITTED

Vocabulary word of the day: UBC (Uncommitted but committed): An uncommitted relationship with no “title”, where the two people involved have sex seemingly exclusively but have the unspoken option of seeing (having sex with) other people

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I have been avoiding covering this topic for the longest time…but it’s been a prominent practice in my life that has been driving me absolutely crazy for the past few years so I probably should address it. I am back and forth between weight loss and dating topics these days, and I know it sucks but let me explain. I never had to worry about these things before and I’m freaking out!! I’ve mentioned that I’ve always been either plus 30 pounds or minus 30 pounds. I simply enjoyed the slim moments and mourned during the fatty fat ones. Now that I’m closing in on death’s door (turning 30) I have to actually take care of myself and get my weight under control. So, now that I’m dating I need to get that under control, as well. I never thought I would have to worry about it because for some lame reason I expected to be MARRIED FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE! Anyway, all that to say that I am a struggling ball of anxiety when it comes to dating and because of the new “uncommitted relationship” trend, I’m fucking things up big time.

What is the UBC relationship? Honestly, it’s a Godsend for people like me who are free spirited and indecisive, but what it really is: a modern dating cop out. Maybe around 20% of single 25 and olders aren’t interested in relationship titles but the remaining 80% are full of shit or trying to play it cool (you can quote me on that statistic). It’s old-fashioned peer pressure! “Oh, he hasn’t really given us a title or called me his girlfriend but we hang out all the time and I’m cool with it because he doesn’t have time for anyone else.” (-_-) I don’t know much, but I do know the culmination of dating books, guy advice and life experience tell me that when a person likes you they want to lock it down. If I want to be with you, your penis is mine and it better not even face the direction of another woman. Why would I be ok with you spending all your time with me but still technically a free agent and able to sleep with other women? No, I’m showing up to the draft, I have a jersey with your name on it and you are on MY team! BUT, most people preach about UBC’s and have opinions on it, warn against it and blah blah blah, but I’ll just tell you how I’ve been on both sides of it and if you can identify with any of these scenarios maybe my experiences will be of some warning to you.

Where There Is A Flame Someone’s Bound to Get Burned

So I think we all know that almost immediately after my separation from my husband, I rekindled a romantic involvement with someone from my past. We spent time together, we fell in love, we came, we saw—he had a girlfriend. As painful a revelation as this was, my desire to make things work with the new father of my second child and my blinding love for him made me try my best to work things out. So you would think walking around pregnant with someone’s child and being madly in love with each other would make up the ingredients for the perfect committed relationship…yeah, not so much. What it was, is that I was in love, I needed someone to be there for me while I was pregnant—and yes, I wanted sex, so who better to give it to me than the one who impregnated me in the first place? My emotions were high after all we’d been through and my self-esteem was at an all-time low. I even had men trying to date me while I was pregnant but I chose to stay in a sucky UBC thing with my child’s father because I was hoping that things would work out and eventually blossom into an actual relationship.

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What it blossomed into was a shameful and oh so stupid part of my life. I allowed someone completely into my soul and body without laying basic groundwork. He came to spend time with me and rub on my pregnant belly, while texting other women he was having romantic relationships with. It tore me apart. No woman should ever have to feel that way—but I take responsibility for my part in it. It was a stupid situation and it wasn’t fun and it wore down my self-worth. We would spend time together but I couldn’t be his friend on any social media, much less tag him in a picture. I lived in fear of visiting where he lived because I knew I would run into some woman he was involved with, or have to face an awkward introduction “This is my friend…mother of my daughter…” It really was just awful. In the beginning, pre-pregnancy, I was a little pleased with the situation. I was just getting over my ex-husband and I wasn’t sure if I should be involving myself with anyone and I just wanted to be free. I wanted a companion and someone to love but I didn’t want the harrowing title of “relationship”. Of course, as circumstances unfolded it was clear the “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” fling was going to come crashing down, hard.

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Years later we eventually did try to be together as boyfriend and girlfriend, but at that point it was mainly because we were sleeping with each other and we didn’t want the other sleeping with someone else. Some men have a thing about possession, and they want to get you into these UBC relationships, but what they really mean is that they don’t want to be committed to YOU, but expect you to be faithful to them. I’ve been a fool for love plenty of times, but I don’t like double standards so while I was in this UBC I always talked to other dudes and kept my options open (except for when I was pregnant). Anyway, needless to say we didn’t last. I think what makes dating so tough nowadays is that temptation is always there because people don’t have boundaries anymore, and even less people have self control. I couldn’t stay in a relationship and build trust with a person who continued to hang around and correspond with ex-girlfriends and women he had previously been involved with. I know there are women that can, and kudos to them, but I needed more security—and apparently without it I fall apart.  There is no security in a UBC situation.

Hello Irony, My Old Friend

Sooooo, I’m trying to think of how to explain how it makes sense for me to be on the cusp of another UBC relationship, but there is no real logical reason. I guess things started off with two things: 1. My realization that I am open to getting married again and I would like to settle down at some point in the future. 2. Falling madly in like with an awesome guy with whom things won’t seem to work out with! This guy and I were maybe lightly involved at the most, and I did my best to leave things open for him, but women often make fools of themselves waiting around for men who turn out to not be that interested in them in the first place. I waited around for the last guy and missed out on some great things because of it. I can’t allow myself to gamble like that again. So, on the scene walks another guy 8 years my junior, a little rough around the edges but comes in a pretty package and is saying all the right things. He’s infatuated with me just the way I am and wants to be my boyfriend. I cannot commit.

This is insane! This beautiful boy so full of life, he thinks I’m strange and he wants more of it, he wants to own it—and I just can’t allow myself to go there with him. I have one million excuses as to why it can’t work but at the end of the day I have to ask myself if I’m just being scared. It absolutely sucks to be the person implementing a UBC relationship. However, I feel the best thing I can do is just remain completely and brutally honest with him about why I’m not ready to take things to the next level. I had an honest conversation with him and let him know that my heart is not completely in it and I don’t know if it will ever be. I’m unemployed right now; I’m focused on taking care of my babies, finding a new career and my writing. I’m introverted and not used to spending so much time with someone and it’s taking me awhile even to adjust having someone in my space. Finally, I am actually interested in marrying again so I have to ask myself if I should be spending time with a 21 year old. For me, it has nothing to do with wanting to have crazy sex with a bunch of different guys but more to do with just being indecisive in general.

I can whisper this to you all: I did not tell him that I have feelings for someone else or that I AM in fact, terrified! My horrible truth is that the twisted and broken part of my heart truly believes that a UBC relationship is the best way to make sure a man never cheats on me. If we are not officially “together” anyway then I can just up and leave if I find out he slept with someone else or found someone else. AND, it’s not considered cheating because it wasn’t locked in in the first place. This is why the blog is called Embrace the Crazy, because clearly my thought processes are not that normal. I know firsthand that an uncommitted but committed relationship does not personally work for me, yet I’m kind of in the middle of one!!! That is the definition of insanity—but I absolutely can’t pretend that I know what I’m doing. The only thing I really have going for me is my honesty. At the end of the day at least I can say that I never led anyone on and I’ve been uncomfortably upfront about where my heart is so that anyone who wants to involve themselves with me will know that they’re dealing with a fairly messed up individual.

I hardly have any constructive advice on this topic, which is another reason why I’ve avoided it so long. However, I do know that as a person that is all over the place in thought and action, the uncommitted but committed relationship definitely works to my advantage at this moment. It doesn’t test me or challenge me to make any final decisions and it’s really just a cop out that helps to perpetuate my fear of something real. The inner me doesn’t like relationship titles, I like to be free in everything I do and if I didn’t have my moral foundation and my children to be an example for I would probably just live with the man I fall in love with and never get married again. But what I’m doing now is not the same thing and it honestly makes me feel a little guilty. My emotions are split. I have to get my life together and I am not sure what I want or even what I should want at this point.

I should be committed…

The Point of It All

Sometimes life is about sitting gingerly perched across a bench at Starbucks and praying to God your zipper doesn’t pop before your job interview. Just as I thought that maybe– JUST MAYBE– I had not gained that much weight, I had gathered all of my “big girl” clothes out of the closet only to find that I can’t fit in them! A year ago this would have been my suicide note but I’m doing better now mentally so I may as well do better physically. To the gym! (Ironically, I think my ass looks great– all big and luscious– but the ass my stomach is creating in the front is not as appealing).

I’m writing this by hand on the back of the overdraft notice from my bank and I’m thinking two things. 1. I’m black, female and overweight, does this make me a triple minority, thus a prime candidate for affirmative action? If so, YES PLEASE! 2. Someone whose opinion inexplicably matters to me checked out a few posts and casually mentioned that I don’t really have a point in any of my entries. Ouch! The point is, ladies and gentleman (probably only one dude reads this anyway) is that there is no point. I’m just a mildly insane girl trying to keep my head together as my world around me falls apart. I’m doing my best to keep you all engaged and entertained along the way– but my main purpose is to bleed all over this thing in a desperate attempt to avoid yet another breakdown. I just want what everyone else wants: to eat what I want and look like a video ho, to have an awesome job that pays a bunch, and a hot guy that can keep his dick in his pants around other women. Pretty simple stuff 😉

Self(ish)

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He raises his voice at me and I turn the radio up, blocking out the immaturity. The casual dating stuff may just be the ruin of me. He’s on the couch now, sleeping, and I’m just glad to be alone. The balance of my world has been thrown off its axis. My mind often wanders, and I feel like I’m biding my time until the next thing comes along. He only thinks about himself…next to me.

The other one mystifies me, does something to my soul but makes me wonder if I’m ready. I have to think about myself, and my kids and who I am. He forces me to introspection and I am no longer a good time girl. I feel like I’m biding my time until he comes along. He only thinks about himself…never me.