Friday, December 9, 2011
Facing the Fear
My heart was beating out of my chest, my pulse raced and although it was cold, I was perspiring. I fearlessly confronted this moment and was ready to face this unknown threat. Here I stood out on a cold, starry December night armed with nothing but my cajones and anger. I was awakened by a noise outside and ran out to see that someone attempted to break into my car.
You have to know I live in a Mayberry like neighborhood. It’s a quiet subdivision where the biggest controversy is over someone painting their shutters the wrong shade of burgundy.
A few months ago I wrote a piece about emotions, that there are only two emotions, fear and love and that every other emotion we feel is rooted in either fear or love. The more I’ve thought about it the more it makes sense and the more it makes me realize how my fear of love is my strongest fear.
I had to be fearless last week for a work event. I work in media, we were covering a sporting event and inexplicably, a famous actress, Oscar nominated and the whole nine, happened to be there. I walked right up to her, introduced myself and asked her if we could have an interview. No fear.
Yet the thought of going out with someone right now is a fear that I can’t get over. However, the more I think about it maybe I shouldn’t. Let me explain, although I’ve dated for 7 years, getting back up time after time and putting myself back out there without hesitation, I don’t think it was a smart decision and one that only set me up for more pain.
I truly wish I’d taken the advice of many friends to take time after my divorce before dating in the very beginning, but I foolishly didn’t. I was hit by an attraction that I couldn’t fight. I met him completely innocently he worked at my kids favorite restaurant and after a lot of downed chicken wings and flirting it became more. I was vulnerable, feeling like I’d never meet anyone else and I’m convinced he saw that vulnerability.
I literally felt butterflies when I saw him, haven’t felt that before or after him but I can still remember that flutter in my tummy when I’d see him. Now that flutter is a turning of my stomach after what happened. I was so naïve and what started off as a total rush to with him eventually became something very dangerous. Unknown to me, he was an addict and I was just someone he used. It was well over a year of a bad situation that only kept getting worse.
It came to a head when he beat me up for money. It happened so fast yet, I can remember every second, first he threw me to the floor, next he sat on top of me and took turns punching both sides of my jaw like a punching bag. Next, he held me down to the floor by my neck, totally cutting off all air. After he released my neck, I had to cough and gasp for air and could barely talk. My face was bruised, swollen and talking was painful, so much so that I went to the emergency room to be x-rayed. I prayed the swelling went down enough to go back to work in a couple of days.
I never saw it coming, never saw him ever hurting me. I was one person who always had his back through everything he faced, his family had abandoned him and yet I was the one who helped to pick him back up. He was so possessive about me that he started several bar fights if anyone had even looked at me sideways, so to think he’d ever strike me never seemed possible. Yet he did and he had hurt me in so many ways before this that it could be a book in itself. It was like a really bad Lifetime movie that I somehow found myself in and it was a complicated relationship to leave.
The feelings I had for him were so strong and I felt an odd connection with him. So much so, if we were apart we could sense things about the other one, like if one was in danger. It was a weird connection to say the least, and very difficult to walk away from, even after he hurt me physically. Yet, I knew I couldn’t continue like this separated myself and stopped taking his calls. He tried for months to call me and I forced myself to ignore him although I missed him terribly. My friends gave me advice to meet someone else very quickly to move on.
Although I didn’t want to, it happened. I met someone when friends and I grabbed a beer after a PTA meeting. He was a young (very young) good looking, firefighter who caught me in his crosshairs. He pursued me hardcore and I gave into meeting him. Again, this was another unhealthy relationship. I know I wouldn’t have been so vulnerable to fall in love with him if I didn’t feel like I needed to move on from my prior boyfriend. We were on and off for several years in a messy unhealthy, emotional, sexual train wreck. Spoiler alert: it didn’t end well and caused me a lot of pain.
Fast forward through 7 years of one dating pile up after another, I look back thinking most of the reason I keep stepping into the same pile of dog crap is because I didn’t take the time to be ready for someone to be in my life, in the beginning. In some ways I’ve just accepted what scraps came my way. After a lot of pain, physical and emotional I have to realize that it’s taking too much of a toll on me. So for now, that means to stop dating. What I’ve been doing hasn’t been working, thank you very much Captain Obvious.
I’m not that far removed from feeling the pain of the breakup I had this fall, after what I thought was someone I’d be with for a very long time. The pain of that betrayal and loss is still very fresh and keeps me from really getting too close to anyone, friend or lover, sadly.
Through these years, I’ve let so many good guys go and kept so many bad ones. Truth be told, I let some men go who probably would have made me very happy but I was foolish and looking for perfection. I still haven’t found it, only realizing now after kissing toad after toad.
I’m optimistic and hopeful that my future still holds love in it for me, but for now I can’t have that as my focus. I know when I do find someone who is good to me, I will appreciate every moment with him and be good to him, yet maybe this time is going to help me be able to separate the good guys from the bad ones.
The Single Mom
Posted by singlemom at 9:22 AM