How do I possibly break a pattern that I’ve grown to know so well since… well, the only thing I actually know as a model for relationships?? It’s like giving up a part of me, even though this part is not helpful in my life anymore. I know the reasons I have this “addiction” and I guess admitting that you have a problem is the 1st step. HI, I am an unavailable-aholic?
My mom lives in a bubble void of any real connection protecting herself from feeling too deeply for the fear that fear will set in. I’ve pushed and kicked and screamed and poked at my mom all growing up and still do. Last New Years she revealed to me that an ex-friend of hers told her that she was “impenetrable”. That was told to her over 30 years ago and nothing’s changed. And growing up, my dad would mentally, emotionally and physically check out for 3 days at a time when he was upset or uncertain of how to communicate, pushing me as far away as possible when the only thing I wanted was to be close. Being shut out is my comfort.
I am attracted to those who do not give me the attention I deserve ad shut out those that want to for my own feelings, fears of people, mainly men, getting too close and finding out that I am not as wonderful as others perceive me to be or tell me I am. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a pity party… I’m a pretty wonderful person.. AMAZING. On my own. You put someone else in the mix and don’t know how to be myself anymore. And when I finally do feel comfortable either they or I am not attracted anymore for the most part.
I had a crush on a guy from 2nd to 9th grade. We went out in 3rd and 4th grade. I cornered him in a bedroom at a party and asked him why he didn’t like me anymore. He said “You can’t just (snap) snap your finger and you like somebody and (snap) snap and you don’t. I just don’t.” Even though I understood it intellectually.. the “challenge” or unavailability of him made him more interesting somehow.
The first guy I really fell in love with lived in Australia. We met while traveling. I was 26. We fell in love in a day and a half driving in the outback. And it was the best it could ever be because we had a definite end date. We had no time to waste being anything else. And we just loved! It was the first time that I ever felt 100% me 100% of the time. He’s married with 3 kids now, still living in Australia.
I “didn’t date” a guy that was born without feelings, weird condition. He’d spend 4 nights a week at my place torturing me with his unavailability since he was a boss of mine and his lack of feelings didn’t allow him to cross the line. We didn’t have sex but we would lie on top of each other fully clothed, mouths touching and have hours long conversations, but we were never dating. Intimate, yes but only kissing and a lot of dry humping that lasted about a year. I stressed myself out so bad that I had stomach pangs so severe I thought they were ulcers. About 6 years later he admitted he did have feelings and that we really did sort of date.. News to me, but nice to know. Thanks!
My longest boyfriend was with an addict that got sober 1 year into our 3 year relationship. So the first year was his last year of fun. We were soooo in love. It was a struggle because of the uncertainty, revelations and demons. The next was his first year of sobriety which has as many pushes and pulls, the more he pushed the more I wanted to pull; a pattern I’m too familiar with, thanks dad. My needs were not met but it was OK, I understood. Our last year was filled with distance and frustration and though we still love each other 5 years later, we broke up so he could be a better person for himself. How could I not be supportive of that? Instead the stress of trying my hardest to not be a burden the last few months since everything made me feel like I was a burden, including breathing… I gave myself vertigo so debilitating that I was nothing but a burden. It was ok.. We broke up 3 weeks into it and I laid on my couch unable to move my head for 3 months. I did work up to standing for 20 seconds at a time without feeling nauseous and faint. I still get it from time to time.. oh goody!
I dated a pro ball player for a while… a guy that plays games for a living. Talk about unavailable!! I gave myself eczema. When I asked him years later why he didn’t ever try again with me or any of the other guys that felt like they made a mistake breaking it off and he said ” we could never do it. We know we’ve hurt you and even though we went off to work on ourselves and may be ready for a relationship we could never try again with you because we know we would just end up hurting you again, because we know what you deserve and we don’t think we have the ability to give that to you.” Pretty fucked up, that fear shit, huh?
My 96 year old grandmother told me a couple years ago that we were a lot alike. ‘How so, Grandma?” “We don’t really NEED anyone in our lives”. And that made me sad. Because Unfortunately that’s true, to some degree. My mom apologized to me, also about a year ago for raising me “too independent”. I can DO anything myself and if I can’t I’ll figure out a way to do it with the most efficiency. but that doesn’t leave room for anyone else to swoop in and help or be a part of. So I don’t ask for help. And IF I do.. It’s because I really need it but most of the time, unfortunately I don’t get it so again, I don’t ask. Why take the constant disappointment? Isolation is waaaaay better. Though I have a need to be acknowledged and included… I rarely include others. Crazy! I’m better one to one than in groups because I want to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and gets along… that I’ll rather be the odd man out so no one else feels that way. And one to one.. I get more attention? Can you say “control issues?”
Guys didn’t ask me out growing up because they thought I wouldn’t like them or I was already with someone so I spent most of my time alone or pushing people away for fear that they only liked me because I had big boobs, or for what I could give them or do for them.
I compartmentalize. When I’m dating or meet someone new they get a title, Straps, Angry Neighbor, Baggage Claim guy, Lawyer-kid guy, Tongue-guy, Shakespeare guy, Rambles guy, Jewelry Lawyer guy, Car guy, Football guy etc.. and when or if it goes anywhere.. they I use their name and then when it ends, they get a new title.. usually a different one from the one they began with.
Someone told me that it’s like I put things or people in a box… which is interesting because i developed a “Box Theory” when my brother died, now 16 years ago. My parents wanted me to write down a speech to say for this funeral so I wouldn’t forget what I wanted to say and I told them I didn’t know what I wanted to write because I wasn’t standing up there yet. I asked my dad on the was to the cemetery if we could name my brother’s Foundation “Brett’s Heart?” And my dad said it was his lungs that were the problem and I said, “ya, but it was his heart that made him so special.” He was born without pulmonary arteries. Ya, I know. After the funeral and copious amounts of drugs that friends and family shoved in my pockets to numb me, which I didn’t take. I wrote down the speech that tripped out of my mouth, burned into my brain, word for word and I thought of this “box theory”. My brother was buried in a wall in his Star Trek uniform, the red one, the formal one.. he had 2 that my grandmother made for him for the conventions. In here was also John Williams music; a taco, rice and beans from taco bell, star wars action figures, a picture of the family and a penthouse magazine. He was 25. And at the end of your life and you’re put in your box or cremated and spread around or wherever you go.. you’re in there by yourself. You can’t take anything with you. It’s just you in your box, no one to answer to, to judge you, compliment you, smile at you… so you have to happy, content, ok with YOU, the life you lived because in the end…it’s all you got. And last January when celebrating my Grandma’s 95th and my other one’s 89th I stood up and in my speech commented on the fact that women in my family don’t die. Truly. We have some special genes, I guess… so whatever I do in this world… I sure as hell better be happy about it because I’m gonna be here a long long time.
So why when knowing this do I still continue to seek what does not fulfill me and allow me my happiness? Habit? I’m too good for that. Why do I still allow my fears to over-run me? Fears of not being good enough, or smart enough, or there’s not enough time to address or the ability to sit in uncertainty? If it’s not done now… if I don’t have control or do it myself then giving space seems to mean a negative outcome even pushing it so fast that I push people or situations over the edge without allowing the space to grow. In due time? What’s that? why not do it on MY time? I have all the answers, am most always right, which is true, by the way…
Why do I not believe that I am worthy of happiness?
Why do I fear when I let someone in to my inner circle, uncovering my flaws, seeing my mistakes…? Everyone’s got them, right?
Boundaries were not my strong suit. They were a foreign concept since my mother didn’t have any. When my parents split as I turned 15 I chose to live with my dad because he HAD rules and structure.
I’ve been screamed at for the fact that I don’t like milk, almost thrown from a moving car for a sandwich that had “smelly cheese” on it and both of these guys… I couldn’t wait to lie next to these “boys” and have them call me their own.
I guess going to New York and dating in a new city was to wear new hats? Take new chances? Establish new boundaries that I’ve not been able to implement in my home town. I could be anything I wanted to be, live without the fears and insecurities that have plagued me for so long. But what I found was more dates, less personal boundaries and less judgement for myself or any of the bozos I met. I attached myself to ones that had absolutely no interest in me whatsoever.. even making up stories of coincidence and chance meetings being fate. I’ve stalked in the past. It’s true. Now its sooo easy with all the accessibility to people’s lives through Facebook, Google, texting. and I’ve never felt so lonely at times as I do with all the “connectivity”.
I had sex with 2 different guys in high school because that’s what they said they wanted for their birthdays and since the balloon I brought to one wasn’t apparently enough and the other one drove me home after school… I guess I had to say OK, right? One guy came to my house undressed, went down on me, stuck it in and was dressed and out the door before the clocked changed a minute. He wrote in my yearbook… “you were easy.. I mean to talk to.” I think he was a virgin. I pretended I had to leave too so I got in my car, drove down the block and cried. I got pregnant and had to count back a few since I didn’t know who’s it was.
What did sex =? love, acceptance, borders, vessel?
A friend pointed out that the one person that was vacant or unavailable for me is now showing up! A man that was going to miss a milestone birthday that he insisted I had to spend with the family and not go out of town or off with some friends, then decided he was going to miss it himself so he could attend a seminar. a seminar on family values, mind you… is showing up for me. My dad! Mentally, physically and emotionally. This could be a turning point?
My latest is a guy that I met at baggage claim as he travels for a living.. literally has been in his own bed about 10 days in the last 2 months. We communicate mainly through brief texts which I get so excited to receive as I feel I’m thought of?? Im not sure about this one. He’s in town as of yesterday and though wants to see me but “there’s a lot of football to watch”. NOW, his job is sport’s related so I get it but… if you only have the chance to see me for a few days a month or every 2 months… then… I don’t know… wouldn’t you feel a bit more interest in actually looking at each other face to face? Or did I meet someone as unavailable as I am? Hell, I think that he travels is a GREAT thing!! I have a job where I can be flown out of frequent flyer miles from time to time and I’ll be in New York again, which is where he pays rent. AND to make things better… he may become a host of a travel show and be traveling MORE than ever!! WHY??? Do I repeat the patterns that do not serve me in a productive way??
A couple days ago I contacted a guy that I went out a few years back that bailed on me after noticing that he was more interested in his job than a relationship at that time. “Im no good at relationships”, he says.. I hear something about “beating the challenge”. He was the first guy that ever got me to think about having a children WITH someone. He had plans of being in congress and flying to Sacramento a couple days a week and how would I handle the kids? What our Saturdays would like, Jewish traditional foods, etc… And this was the first date.. I just wanted dinner! Still heartbroken when he bailed. He takes my calls for Lawyer stuff ’cause he knows he fucked up. But at least he was honest AND I heard him. Heartbroken but listening. I am learning.. SLOWLY.
I kept myself from being too happy as a kid because my brother couldn’t do everything I could because of his challenges.