Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fear of Contentment

Where to start....where to start??

Long weekend was good. While I did not accomplish everything I hoped to, it was a nice mix of productive and fun. We went to a family picnic (when I say "family", I mean the family of my long time friend who are basically my "adopted" family) on Friday. DD had a great time playing outside all day. Saturday we stayed home, did stuff at the house. Sunday, I took DD out to breakfast & the park. Confession: I really detest being outside. I hate the heat. I hate the bugs. I hate not being productive. I'm a cave dweller. I like to be inside with little light. I've been really trying to suck that up for DD's sake. Though I'm pretty miserable when I'm outside, I thoroughly enjoy it after it's over! LOL! I know I've done something good for DD, even at a "sacrifice" for me. That's part of parenting that my parents never seemed to embrace.

I watched Intervention last night. I really love that show. This particular episode was close to home as the addict, Charles, was sexually abused by his father. I missed the first 10 minutes (darn TiVo!) but got the jist of the story. He was a heroin addict. One of the things that resounded with me, in terms of my own addiction, was something his counselor at rehab said. He said "Charles doesn't shoot up to feel good. He doesn't shoot up to feel bad. Charles shoots up to feel nothing." Oh, how true. Sometimes when I'm binging, I have this nano-second of clarity when I wonder what the hell I'm doing. It's not enjoyable. I feel disgusting afterwards. And there are times I'm forcing food down while my mind is saying "Oh God, I don't want that.....I wish I didn't have to eat this." It's just an uncontrollable compulsion sometimes. It's just a way to numb out.

The other part of the story that touched me was his brother, Leif. Leif was also abused by their father. Leif went the total opposite direction as Charles. Not an addict....but he was just oozing with rage. I mean, I could feel it through the TV. He was practically militant. So angry. A superior attitude like "I didn't turn into an addict....I have it all under control." He has no idea how it's affecting him. He has no pity for his brother. He kept saying he refused to let his brother bring him down. He attended the pre-intervention and as soon as the interventionist (is that the right term?) said that Leif needed to write a letter about his feelings, he threw down his pad of paper and refused to participate.

I found myself thinking that neither of those boys are in an enviable position. One needing to overcome an addiction. The other absolutely closed off in anger. However....I almost feel like Charles was in a better position of the 2 of them. True, he's a big time heroin addict which I cannot even imagine how hard that is to overcome. But the fact that he started and continued to use tells me that he could not avoid the feelings and the aftermath of abuse. He went to rehab and he did great. According to the show, he's been clean since January. Can you imagine.....being stripped of your defense/coping tool and then being forced to face your past and process all that pain?? It makes my skin crawl thinking about it. I give him so much credit for his accomplishment. Leif has not spoken to Charles since he entered rehab. I wonder if it's too much for Leif to face; if he almost reveled in being the so-called "healthy" one. Or if seeing Charles clean would be too close to home and bring about the possibility of having to face his own feelings. Just my amateur diagnosis!

Moving on......I mentioned a man that I've been talking to for a few months, KC. I was having some issues with his relationship with his children. I was observing that situation and asking questions but I'd not said much about my feelings yet. I was giving him a little time to sort things out which it seemed he was doing. But then he had a backslide with that. Again, I'd made some decisions on my own but I had not yet shared them with KC. We talked on the phone on 6/22 and that was when he informed me of his decision not to visit his DD. He said he'd be sending her a big Bday gift instead. I asked him what for, why a "big" gift? He said "I don't know....guilt, I guess." I pointed out that if he was feeling guilty, then perhaps he should examine if he was making the right decision. He said he was feeling down about it. Two days later, I hadn't heard from him in any form (phone, text, IM, email) which was unlike him. I called and got his voicemail and I left him a message basically just saying I knew he was thinking through some heavy stuff so to take the space he needed and I'd be here to listen when he wanted to talk. He sent me a text the next morning saying he wasn't ignoring me, his son came to town unexpectedly and they were visiting but he'd be leaving in 2 days and KC would call me then. I haven't heard from him since. WTH?? I'm not upset about it per se, as I was getting ready to break things off with him anyway. And I've been very grounded and detached emotionally so that I could evaluate him and our potential compatibility. He told me constantly how much he liked me, that I'd become part of his daily life, that he couldn't wait to come meet me in Sept. And then *poof*

I'm not upset. I'm just confused. I don't understand how you establish a friendship with someone, say all those things and then decide to just stop calling? When T and I discussed my observations of him, she did say that she thought the relationship (or lack thereof) with his daughter said alot about many things, one of which was his conflict resolution skills. I wonder if my comment about rethinking the situation with his daughter was enough to make him not want to deal with me? I don't know. I'm not spending my energy wondering about it b/c I just don't get it and I never will. But I'll tell you what.....I feel an odd sort of relief to have him out of my life and no real desire to talk to anyone new. I have several men who have expressed interest in getting to know me but I just have no desire. It's still very foreign to me to not crave the companionship of a man. But you know....I put DD to bed at night. I do what I need to do. Then I do what I want to do. I sit down in my PJ's with my favorite shows, my crossword puzzles and my knitting. I go to bed, turn on the digital music channel of my choice and I gleefully spread out across my entire queen sized bed and roll from one side to the other whenever I feel like it. I listen to other people talk about married/couple life and honestly.....I just don't miss it right now. I have my baby......I like it just us. I like that she has me to herself. I think I'm really content. Yet for some reason, that scares the hell out of me. It feels "wrong" for me to be content with that??

What is that all about? Old messages? My mother? "Societal expectations"? Fear, is it? Fear of being happy? Fear of accepting that life is good? Oh, oh.....I'm onto something. Shame....the "stamp" of being unlovable,. like a giant scarlet letter....no one wants me....no one wants me. Pressure to have some tangible proof of being lovable, loved. Proof that I'm worthy of love. Proof for who? Who do I think needs to see this? Honestly, I do feel ashamed sometimes at the situation with DD's father. I'm so horrible and beastly that a man can't even stay with me after getting me pregnant? Rejects me and my DD? And then the man who comes in to my life next bails on me. Unlovable, unwanted, unworthy. Horrible, hideous, shameeful, fat and ugly. Frigid, man-hating, old-maid shrew. That is what I'm afraid it says about me. Time to re-work this message. Confident....self sufficient. Independent. Making the choice to be single because I'm happy with it. Because I don't need to be defined by another person or through marital status or relationship. Because I don't need someoone else to approve of me. Because I want to teach DD that you need to be your own person and not settle for less than what you want in life. And that it's not wrong for you to want something different than what others want or expect. How do all these thoughts co-exist?? Because in my conscious brain, I believe all that I wrote in the latter half of the paragraph. I had to close my eyes and tap into the first half....the ingrained messages. That is what is stopping me from enjoying where I'm at....from embracing my contentment. This subconscious message that it says something negative about me to be single. Well, I think I found my topic for T this week.....


Enola said...

I think it does say something about you that you remain single -- but not anything negative. It says that you are a woman capable of raising a child on your own, capable of not sacrificing your and your child's well-being just to be with any men, not willing to settle for less than what is best for you and her. Our parents settled. Sacrificed us just to have a man. You have shown that you are clearly better than that. And you are doing an awesome job at being a single mother.

Angel said...

I agree with Enola. To me it says you are okay being without a man, any man, regardless of his flaws. It's a healthy attitude--whoohoo!

I'm so glad you feel contentment. Enjoy it! And kudos to you for spending icky outdoor time with dd for her benefit. You are an awesome mom!

Mary said...

I agree with enola and angel, you ARE doing a great job raising your daughter as a single mom. It's not about having a man in your life, it's about you, and how are raising your child on your own and doing an awesome job. Way to go...Mary