Thursday, June 5, 2008

Perspective

I wouldn't say I'm moping, though I'm decidedly unhappy about the situation with Nene for several reasons.

But I'm very understanding. The thing is, I'm all about fighting to the death for something I believe in, but as far as relationships go I have learned that it takes two. Two people fighting to the death to save or start a relationship is "love overcoming all"; one person fighting to the death to save or start a relationship is tantamount to stalking. Or being foolish. Or whatever, but the bottom line is it doesn't work.

The thing is, there is and has been "something there" and it took me a minute to put it into perspective and to become comfortable in my mind with the thought of an 18-year age difference, cultural backgrounds, religious differences, educational status, economic status. But I'm 43, and have had a multitude of experiences with folks in all of the above-named categories and like a chameleon, am very comfortable slipping back and forth. I never feel like I belong anywhere, so being in a particular group just feels like putting on a outfit... I can put on the uber-corporate suit and a scarf and pantyhose and walk into a corporate office building speaking standard English, but I can be just as (un)comfortable in jeans and sneakers walking along Southern Boulevard in the Bronx even though I don't speak Spanish. Or walking along 'Two-Five speaking the local slang. Where I'm most comfortable in is my own home, surrounded by friends and family. But I know that most people aren't that way... their surroundings define them as much as they define their surroundings.

I know there's something there because I got a phone call at 7 in the morning yesterday, while I was in the shower. The Sun answered the phone and was instructed to have me return the call when I could. And when I called back about a half hour later, the reason for the phone call was ridiculous... it wasn't something that even remotely needed to be discussed at 7 in the morning.

But while I know there's something there, and while I know I can overcome all the differences I'm not sure he can. I'm not even sure he wants to. And that's not something you can force someone into.

I also know that having a child with someone ties you to them for life--in some form or fashion... and it can tie you that person tighter than marriage, tighter than love. Blood always calls to blood, and the blood of two people running through a child is like a conduit. There's no escaping it... and I've seen that call to blood transcend time, adoption, people's intense dislike of each other. There's a power there that needs to be respected.

And love notwithstanding, I ain't blind to Nene's faults, and one of them is that he is more of a taker than a giver. And as I wrote a while back... I don't think that you should give expecting anything back. I think that you should give, and give freely, as long as it doesn't cost you. When it begins to cost you, you need to rethink. But even so, the person taking... there is a responsibility to pay back, or to pay forward.

After a day and a half of being intensely miserable, I called him last night after things had clicked into place for me.

I told him that what bothered me the most was that he was getting back into a situation with someone who had a fundamental lack of respect for him. Who gave ridiculous ultimatums at a time when he needed support and encouragement, who ridiculed him and belittled him, threatened him with his kid and then put him out of his home. And then, rather than grow up herself and advance herself and prove that she herself could live on her own, ran back to her own mother to save her. And now that he's in a job that he doesn't like, doesn't have anything to do with his passion but still has enabled him to very slowly, a dollar at a time, pay off small time bills, living a small life that she's comfortable in, now she wants to be with him, and is willing to accept "his" terms. Moving back from her mother's home, into his. Letting him be the man.

I told him I accepted his decision, in fact, I had no right to do anything else. I understood that he was compelled to try again for the sake of his kid, and that I knew he wouldn't listen to me or anyone else telling him that it's not going to work. (He also admitted that at this point I'm the only person in his family who knows this is happening.) Because when it was me, I didn't listen either. I knew in my heart that I had to exhaust every possibility so that when I walked away, I could still look my grown kid in the eye and say "I tried". It was odd, too, because he echoed the same sentiment back to me. He said he didn't want to hear me tell him "I told you so" when it didn't... and I said I never would because I didn't need to hear anyone say that to me, either. And truthfully, while I know that people say about me and TF that they think I was crazy for trying for so long, I know why I tried. And I don't have any regrets about trying... I just regret it was TF.

I told him too, that I know that being in love with him is crazy. It makes no sense but that I love him regardless. And I told him why; because he has a good heart, because he's honest and loyal, has a passion for what he does and is good at it, and is great with small children. But I said I wasn't going to stick around to watch him become ordinary, wasn't going to stick around to watch him be with her. I told him too that I wasn't mad at him... I was mad at me. Mad because I allowed myself to fall, mad because I let him in. Mad because I got involved with someone a little too close to home. You don't "shit where you eat" and I knew that going in.

What I didn't tell him (because it doesn't concern him) is that ultimately I'm mad at myself for falling for someone who was unavailable--something I do repeatedly. And I know I do it. But that's my issue...

The worst part about it all is that he listened--how many people really listen? And because he listens... I talk. Traditionally in these situations, spoken words fail me which is why I write so well. Writing gives me time to think... to put things in order. But when I'm trying to tell someone how I really feel I get flustered and sidetracked. So I guess I have to come away with the things he gave me out of this love for him... my heart, being able to face my deepest feelings, being able to actually tell someone how I feel. That's actually a pretty big deal.

It's going to suck though, and I'm not sure how I'm going to extricate myself, but I know I must. I can't sit and watch him be with her... and more importantly I'm not going to subject myself to her triumph. I told him she may not be fully aware of who I am and what's there, but in her heart she knows... and I know this because when the three of us are in same space she watches my every move. And I told him that regardless of what she tells you and what you think, the minute she's back in your life full time there will be no place for me because she'll make sure I won't be close. A chick always knows...

...And she knows because a chick knows in her heart that we only "do" for those we love. We don't "do" just to be nice. He had asked me yesterday, after I chewed him out, couldn't I just be kind. Couldn't I still be a friend. I told him no... the fact that I was giving and loyal to him was because I loved him, and had been waiting for him to make a decision. I told him he should know this for the next time--that chicks don't "do" just to be kind... and I told him you get "friend" or you get "business" from me but you're not getting both. I can't...

And so the project that we have needs to be pulled together by the end of August. It needs to be in motion by then, so that when I step out his dream can take off on it's own. I told him between now and then I'll do everything I can, pull in everyone I know to help him, but then I'm out...

Today I put things in motion. And I know that when they get rolling they'll roll fast; I told him today that in the future it'll be up to him to monitor progress because I don't want it. It' s not my dream. There were only two things I really wanted out of the project, and one of them I'm not going to get. And so I need to concentrate on me, on my own dream, my own kid, my own life. Nobody's looking out for me... nobody has my back... except family of course but there's only so much they can do.

Yesterday, I wasn't sure how I could extricate myself without affecting a lot of people. Today, it was almost easy to go back to normal, to have things be the way they've been the last year... but the thing is I know what I'm worth. I know what I deserve. I know what I'm missing now and that hurts, but I've lived without it for so long another year or three won't make a whole lot of difference. It's obvious God has some kind of plan for me and it's not what I thought it would be, but to keep fighting it is tiring. I just have to have faith that God's plan will manifest itself pretty soon, cuz I'm tired now.

Today I think I figured out how to leave, and it'll suck and be different but I'll be alright.

..but my secret heart still hopes ....

2 comments:

DrDonna said...

Even though things haven't gone the way you hoped, this was still a 'good thing'... a relationship where you could air grievances without fear, where you are treated like a person... and where you feel you could trust someone with your true feelings. Especially after the TF thing and the immediately following bounceback (yes I have a loooong memory from the PM/EPM list), I'm impressed that you've been able to love someone other than family, I know I'd have an impossible time.
hugs from the midwest,
DrDonna

The Bear Maiden said...

Thanks, Dr. D.