This one is going to be little more than short and bitter railing, so be warned. I may share a little worth knowing, and hopefully it is more entertaining than not. My lame excuse is that the chronic fatigue is hitting hard. That, and the things I am learning while attempting to write a worthy and informative post about Betsy DeVos brother are frankly sickening my heart. I need to write a post to fulfill my commitment to my readers, and to assuage the pain in my heart.
I wasn’t going to write a Valentine’s post. Last year I had love, and honestly thought maybe this one was “the one.” That fell through, and now I am alone. I don’t wish to write anything about what happened, I just want to share the pain of outliving something we are taught is forever.
I am going to post links to last years Valentines post, and to the post I wrote when my last relationship ended. Those who wish may get some perspective about what I am railing about from those. For bonus points I’ll throw in the one about Modern Romance. You may find some wisdom or foolishness there as well.
In last years Valentine’s post I wrote about how past abuses scar us, make it difficult to be vulnerable with the opposite sex. We feel as though the foibles of our own gender are reasonable and easy to be overcome and forgiven, but the sins of the Other are monstrous, wicked, unforgivable. We demand vulnerability from our partners without reservation, but we insist that we only owe them the tiniest portions of our already empty hearts. Men forgive other men, and women forgive other women, “any cowardly, rude, vindictive, insulting” behavior, but we won’t give the Other even the slightest flaw. She/He had it coming.
I wrote my post about “Modern Romance” during a time of argument with my ex girlfriend. Right or wrong, I felt I was being shamed by my ex. So I attempted to write through those feelings. I think the best thing I had written in that post about the topic was a quote (yeah, not even my writing really) from a feminist author that resonated then, and still does. She wrote about her dislike of the feminine strategy of shaming men. She equated it with 1) simply doing the work of the Hegemony (we have a woman in every home willing to help break down the man, an angry wife who feels cheated by a man who is not good enough will wear him down faster than almost any torture the Shadow governments can devise), and 2) she felt it was hypocritical that women are complaining about having been shamed for thousands of years just for being women, and now they are simply using the same execrable tactics in reverse.
And then it was over. Likely she is still reading these, and I don’t want an angry comment to delete, deserved or not. The pain is gone, but now I endure the ache of wondering if that was my last chance. Am I too old? Was she right to cast me away? Have I learned anything from the mistakes of the past? If I am lucky enough to attract someone again, will I just repeat the same mistakes? And, knowing that very rarely is one side 100% in the right, have I accurately evaluated the mistakes I made?
I know this “op-ed” was not a great piece, but I feel a bit better for railing to my friends here. I will leave you with a couple of quotes for you to do what you wish with.
In Gone With the Wind Rhett and Scarlett have quite a long talk that has burned its way into the annals of romance literary history. The fact that a woman wrote these words amazes me, somehow she captures so well the very struggles of a man wrestling with a doomed love. I won’t quote the whole thing, just some lines that echo what I have thought and felt, and some of which I feel now.
“Scarlett, did it ever occur to you that even the most deathless love could wear out?”
“Mine wore out,” he went on, “against…your insane obstinacy that makes you hold on like a bulldog to anything you think you want. . . . Mine wore out.”
Later he says “I wanted to take care of you, to pet you, to give you everything you wanted. I wanted to marry you and protect you and give you a free rein in anything that would make you happy…You’d had such a struggle, Scarlett. No one knew better than I what you’d gone through and I wanted you to stop fighting and let me fight for you. I wanted you to play, like a child–for you were a child, a brave, frightened, bullheaded child. I think you are still a child. No one but a child could be so headstrong and so insensitive.”
Later still: “I tried everything I knew and nothing worked. And I loved you so, Scarlett. If you had only let me, I could have loved you as gently and as tenderly as ever a man loved a woman. But I couldn’t let you know, for I knew you’d think me weak and try to use my love against me.”
Well, I’m truly tired. I’m going to feed my dog Cassie, maybe eat a snack, and go to bed. I hope to publish a post Saturday about something that I think if one of the worst evils of our time. And it is something I knew nothing about just a few short months ago. Good night all. Happy belated Valentines.
You are correct, abuse causes us to see relationships differently. From both personal history and evidence-based studies this is a real thing.
Be well, and keep writing. And don’t avoid the pain, use it to move forward and grow. Always be growing (learning)
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Thank you. I wonder if everyone is ready for my next series
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In all likelihood the forgiveness of the genders are separated along the lines of friendships. Despite what movies, books and many institutions would have you believe, true “friendships” rarely cross gender lines. Thus the he said/she said remains subjective.
I will say, having conversed with both parties, I made a pretty solid (in my opinion) judgment. I’m sure there’s more to the story, because there always is. But you were solidly in the right at least in the final instance.
Just my two pennies.
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It’s been quite a long time since I had a really close friend who was female. About the same time I started dating, the friendship factor went away. And of course my ex wife scared away as many friends of both sexes as she could. Thank you for the comment, it means a lot!