…But only if you sit around on your duff feeling sorry for yourself while the rest of the world passes you 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 have decided that I’ve 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. I’ve disabled my online dating account, and I am accepting my reality. Being alone is my reality.
It’s what I asked for afterall, 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. In my line of work, with people who have disabilities, there is what is referred to as a “dignity of risk”. What this means is that we, as support staff, must allow people to make mistakes, as much as we want to try to prevent anything bad from happening to them (and thus creating more work for ourselves). Furthermore, we must grant people the right to change their minds. 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 himself 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. I guess I’m not as perfect as everyone’s always expected me to be. 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 and shouting profanities at my son who was throwing a hissy fit because he didn’t like the way any of his shirts “felt”. He was being ridiculous, but then so was I. I felt rotten, of course, after I dropped my kids off at school, knowing how upset I had made them. And so I planned, as I always do, to make my apologies once I saw them again. In the meantime, I was feeling horrible about myself, beating myself up inside and then it hit me: Arguing and yelling and getting on each other’s nerves is sometimes what families do. Right? I mean, in some families it happens all the time and sometimes, unfortunately, it’s accompanied by violence. That certainly doesn’t make for a happy, healthy, loving environment. But we are all human. And humans are emotional beings. So 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 yourself feel superior). Sometimes we just need to explode and get all of that pent up, negative energy out where we feel it’s safe to do so. And even though my son’s outburst yesterday morning was probably nothing personal, I turned it into something personal because of how it affected the way I feel. I was becoming increasingly frustrated due to the fact that I was trying to get us out the door and to their schools on time. So there we were, both yelling.
But I’ve decided not to hold it against him or me. Because I remember feeling like I could never express myself as a kid. 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 men who refuse to accept that I can become emotional and don’t care to try to understand where my emotions are really 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 eachother 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.