Looking Back

Last year my life saw a very tumultuous summer and fall. I moved, my housemate’s son, T, was taken from our house in a fairly COPS-worthy scene, I met blogger friends at a great party in the Santa Cruz mountains, I lost two men I had met online, both of whom meant a great deal to me, one due to my inability to deal with his mistakes, the other due to his inability to deal with mine. I lost friendships in a very emotional pre-wedding flare, and lost other friendships for reasons I don’t fully understand.
I pulled into myself and away from some of these people, due in large part to my own inability to deal, or to understand what the hell had just happened. I’m not saying it was terribly mature of me, I’m not really saying any of the decisions I made last year were terribly mature, but somehow things have recently come to a head and I am forced to deal with some of them. Not forced by anyone else, but forced by my own need to work through feelings and situations and make them a part of the past, and make the resolution of them, even if only resolution of my own feelings about them, and not always with the other people involved, part of the future I am attempting to create for myself. And since this is supposed to be the place I say the things I need to say- even if sometimes I forget that- I’m going to ramble for a while.
T’s being taken from our house actually doesn’t have a whole lot that needs to be resolved, I mention it now mainly because it scared the hell out of me, and it was just one more thing in a series of highs and low last year. The same with the blogger party where I met Jules for the second time, and Dan and Brad and their respective wives for the first time. Again, the party itself has nothing really to be resolved- it was wonderful and it was great to meet other bloggers whom I admired. I think however, the party had some fallout in the form of my own expectations that does need to be dealt with.
The pre-wedding flare was dealt with about two months later, and I finally got reasons for what happened. And honestly, they were bad reasons. But, the agreement was reached that we would all talk to each other, and not about each other, an action that I have tried to carry into other areas of life, not always with the most successful result, but I try. Sarah and Ida and I aren’t really friends anymore. We’re civil, and even reasonably friendly when we see each other, but there are no more Sunday afternoons sitting around sewing, no more Tuesday night dinners. And almost a year later, it still hurts, but, as I and others predicted, it does not hurt as much as it did.
The Friday that everything went down, I called Jules, and poured everything out to her, and she seemed supportive. I said that Keegan and I had talked about going to Santa Cruz the next day, to be far away from everything, and maybe, if she was up for it, we’d come to Capitola, and she said sure, call her the next day. And I did, quite a few times, but I couldn’t get through to her. Two days later, in a post entitled Monday Mishmash, she wrote the following words: “Anti-social breakdowns had over the weekend: just the one, on Saturday, unexplained and ultra-rude”. I emailed her a few days later, trying to make sense of what happened. She never responded, and that rejection, so freshly on top of Sarah and Ida’s, was far more devastating than it probably should have been. I thought she was mad at me too, though I could not understand why.
I had already pulled into my shell of protection due to what happened with Sarah and Ida, and I put Jules outside that shell as well. I stopped reading her blog because it hurt too much. Somehow, Dan ended up outside that shell as well, I think because the connection between he and I at the blogger party was not the one I had hoped for or expected, and given all the other recent rejection at the time, his blog fell off the daily reads. I’ve recently realized how childish that was. At first, I stayed away becaue it was too hard. Then, I stayed away because I sort of realized that it was silly, but I had been away so long that it would be weird to suddenly pop back up. But there was no real reason for me to go away in the first place. Neither of them had said, “yeah, so, we decided we don’t like you, please go away”.
I posted a couple of weeks back about how I was obsessed with adoption blogs. How I was hooked on reading about these families, whom I had never met, bringing home their children. This morning I clicked on Dan’s blog for the first time in about 11 months. And saw pictures of Zach, the son he and his wife adopted. I IMed Brad like “Holy Crap, when did that happen??” And I realized that I had missed out on the adoption story (I’m not sure how much there was of it, since I haven’t been reading) of two people I have met in real life. And I was really happy for them. And then I started bawling. Mid-IM with Brad, I logged out and left the office to go have a good private cry in the bathroom.
The tears have been brimming behind my lids pretty much since then. I’ve been noticing lately that I feel kind of stupid around my friends. They’re all so much smarter than I am, more well-read, more socially aware. I’ve realized I still have a lot of growing up to do. I long for a relationship more than I’ve longed for just about anything in my life, but I’ve heard it said that you can never love someone fully and completely until you love yourself that way. I never wanted to believe that because it seemed like way too much work and it would take way longer than I wanted to wait.
But in the past few months, I have been trying to make a lot of changes to the way I live my life and the way I interact with the world around me, and have really had to grow as a person. Not being in a relationship, and not depending on my friends for everything, tells me that I am making these changes for me. I’m changing because I see the need to change, not because someone else thinks I should. Sometimes the changes hurt, a lot. I don’t think I expected it. Some of the changes are hard, and suck more than anything, but I know they are healthy and they are the right decisions. I didn’t expect it to be easy breezy, and I know I expected certain things, like OA, to be hard. But I didn’t realize how many of the changes would bring with them other changes. Quite often it is the unexpected revelations that are the painful ones. But, at the end of the day, I know I need this and that the culmination of the results, someday, will be worth it. And I know that while everyone wants people to like tham, what people think of me does not define who I am.