Nice Guys Finish Last

…But only when they sit around on their duff feeling sorry for themselves while the rest of the world passes them by.  To be true, no positive change has been brought about, no dream has ever been realized without gumption, sweat and moxie.  Yes, the world needs more moxie.  Certainly, I could use a bit more moxie.  But while my dream is to find love, I’ve decided that I have put enough effort into that lately.  I’m calling it quits for a while until, well, I find it or it finds me.  I am adopting the mentality that only when you stop looking for something can it be discovered.  I’m through thinking I can force love to happen.    

Being alone is my reality. It’s what I asked for after all, so I have no one to blame but myself.  Except that, when you love someone, really love someone, you allow them to make mistakes.  You allow yourself to make mistakes.  Through my work with individuals with disabilities I have learned the importance of granting each person the “dignity of risk”.  What this means is that everyone is allowed to make mistakes, as much as we want to try to prevent anything bad from happening to someone we are there to support.  Furthermore, each individual has the right to change their mind.  Don’t we all make mistakes?  Haven’t we all changed our minds at times?

In a loving relationship, why should it be any different?  I’m done feeling like I have to prove myself to somebody who either a) could care less or b) pretends to care less just to protect themselves from any hurt feelings.  I’ve been surrounded by and attracted to these types of men my entire life.  I’m over it.  Yeah, I fucked up.  News flash: I’m not perfect.  Mark my word, Mr. Wonderful, I will say and do things that are hurtful and misguided (and so will you).  But if you really know me, you will recognize that these are most likely fear responses rather than true expressions of my personality.  And if you are capable of loving me–all of me–you’ll believe in my ability to learn from my mistakes and allow me the right to make mistakes, to find my place in the human race.

Yesterday morning I found myself yelling at my child as I was trying to hurry us all out the door so we could be to our respective places on time. Afterwards, I felt really rotten and I made sure to apologize once I had calmed my frazzled ass down. But until then I had been feeling horrible and spent a lot of time beating myself up inside before it hit me: Arguing and yelling and getting on each other’s nerves is what families do.  Right?  Not that it’s healthy for this to go on all of the time because that would just breed dis-ease and dysfunction.  But we are all human.  And humans are emotional beings.  To know that you can express whatever you’re feeling, even anger and frustration, in the presence of people you love and know that they’ll continue to love you is such a comfort and a relief (so long as it’s not one sided and only serves to make one feel superior).  Sometimes we just need to explode to get all of that pent up, negative energy out where we feel it’s safe to do so.  

I remember as a child feeling like it was not okay to express myself.  The only person allowed to raise their voice in my family was my dad.  When he was really angry his voice would become so shrill, no one dared to talk back because we couldn’t match his pitch.  And there were no apologies.  The slightest faux pas any of us made was sure to be criticized.  He didn’t believe one had to learn from their mistakes, just that a person shouldn’t have made one to begin with.  Afraid to face his own shortcomings, my father expected perfection at all times. Though, of course, there is no such thing, and so I was destined to feel myself a failure at every turn.

I can recall only one temper tantrum I had as a child in which I demolished my room, throwing toys and creating a huge mess that I later had to clean up.  I haven’t the slightest recollection of why I was so angry, but I do remember the shame and fear I felt anticipating what my mother would say.  I’m not sure she really tried to understand why I was so upset, just that I was wrong for the way I chose to express it.  That was enough to deter me from expressing any emotions in front of family, certainly, which made it harder to communicate effectively with others, as well.  What do you do with your feelings when, no matter what they are, you feel wrong for having them because you haven’t been taught that it’s natural to feel things like anger.. or even love.. without hurting and disappointing the people around you?

So I’m through falling for partners who vilify me for being emotional and don’t ever try to understand where my emotions might really be coming from (lately I blame hormones).  I’m tired of lovers who set a limit to their love and don’t allow me the dignity of risk that I’m entitled to as a fucking human being.  If you want to be a part of our lives (mine and my children’s), you better be fucking ready to love and be loved endlessly.  That doesn’t mean ‘until the day you hurt me’.  That means, ‘until the end of time’.  And if time doesn’t really exist and things just kinda go on and on while the universe continues to expand, then that is exactly how far my love will go, on and on.  I’ll make mistakes and so will you; I’ll test the limits of your love from time to time (but maybe not forever); we’ll disagree and argue and piss each other off.  And it’ll be great.  Because we’ll have the gumption, sweat and moxie to work through it and come out even stronger and even crazier about each other than we were before.  I’m saying this to my fictional future lover, whoever you may be.  I trust you’re out there.  I also trust you’re a nice guy who doesn’t sit on the side lines begging for pity because someone broke your heart.  And if I do break yours, please know that it’s not a reflection of my love for you.  It is simply a reflection of my inability to be loved and to communicate how badly I want to be loved by you.  But I’m trying.  And if all of this isn’t enough to prove that, then there really is no use getting off your duff because you can’t see past it anyway.

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