Monday, March 14, 2016

Falling off the pedestal

One of the wonderful things that happen for most borderlines re:relationships are cycles of elevation and devaluation. Basically, just like your emotions are always dialed up higher than most people's and your thoughts are very black or white,  how you feel about a person is at one extreme or another. This is especially true in romantic and/or very close relationships. When you first get together you put them on a pedestal and they are the best thing since sliced bread. Then at some point they become the most horrible person ever.

As this can be especially problematic in power exchange relationships, I really tried to guard against this with the Professor. Between the things that Ginger would warn me about and the fact that he didn't work very hard to hide his flaws, i had early and ample evidence of why he shouldn't be on any pedestal, no matter how hard I fell for him or how much I became devoted to him.

I didn't do the same thing with Ginger, however.  Sure, i saw flaws and idiosyncrasies. I saw ways we were different. But at the time many of those things were features, not bugs. But i thought she was amazing for being able to have put her shit back together by herself and that in the past she was able to keep employment while deep in her crazy. She provided for both of them on a regular basis. She was able to work really hard. I felt like she was so far ahead of me in her mental health journey. She was able to handle all sorts of situations in a calm and seemingly compassionate manner. I admired her ability to accept and trust people and to have faith that things would turn out well even when she didn't know how yet, both things i have a hard time doing. I hoped that someday I'd be as far along as she was.

Many of the issues we're facing right now are ones i couldn't have forseen until we were in them and they just didn't present themselves until now. In many ways, they are the flip side of many of those coins. She is able to handle things calmly because she isn't as aware of her feelings in the moment and thus doesn't have to deal with them. Because she can trust the way she does, she feels untrusted and unloved when I ask for the security and reassurances that I want because trust doesn't work that way for me. She tries to bring people you love in to the fold automatically,  before evaluating whether or not she likes them or wants to have contact with them and expects others to do the same. She ran many households with her authority and the money she made and hasn't had to compromise as much, or lived with people who didn't have different needs or wants or expectations, so it's now a much bigger deal when we hit an issue where we are diametrically opposed to what the other wants.

With all the things that happened this weekend, the Professor has said several times that he doesn't know why any of this bothers me if she and i aren't even together romantically. I think maybe the things bother me more because we aren't. Usually with exes, I take a period of time where I have little contact, where I can reorient to the new reality, and then it is often still difficult to meet their new significant others. I've had little of that and it hurts to be around, especially when this relationship in particular has made me feel like a tool and a prop, not like a person. Because it isn't as if I don't want to be with her like that. But I want someone who enthusiastically wants to be with me in those ways, who is receptive when I try to be romantic or sexual, and that's never been her and I's situation. All the ways I felt like I tried feel like they never mattered because I met her when her only real female ex died and I didn't live up to it, because I got knocked up at the wrong time so she retreated, because he can be dominant and he has a penis, because she can be romantic in public with him, because my crazy is hard to deal with in person 24:7 and she doesn't have to deal with his like that. And i realize that I'm not owed anything for anything I did or tried to do and I'm sure that there are other reasons as well, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't still hurt. I think if i felt like we had a strong loving relationship, it might not bother me as much because I wouldn't feel like a loss. Maybe I've been spoiled because I didn't have to learn to divide my time with a new person until now since I came into an established couple, so that divide always existed. But she disappeared when I had the baby. I just didn't notice because I was disappearing into the baby so it was too late when I saw it and she was gone. She's made more efforts to be here, especially in recent months but it has still been a loss, the grieving process of which is all the more complicated bybthe fact that we are still partners, are still living together, are still interacting on a daily basis.

But even as I'm stuck in all the negative things I feel, I am still sometimes hit by the ways she is amazing. I was listening to a podcast last night about Dorothy Parker and the Hollywood blacklist. It talked about how Parker's life and writing in the 1920s and 1930s really pushed how women were starting to be able to live on their own,  not have to follow a traditional marriage/motherhood path, could drink and work and have relationships like men, could navigate all of those complications on their own terms  and in their own ways. It made me think about how much of this issues in recent months between us has been about how much she wants to live her life on her own terms without answering to anyone while I want more security and more open discussion and open combined decision-making at an earlier point, especially when we're supposed to be running a household together and raising a family together. I am constantly amazed at how she's been able to live her life, taking chances and doing things that I never did, but that doesn't mean I have to feel like that works with what we're trying to do or with the wants of her partners.

Don't get me wrong here. I do not see her as an evil monster, even if I don't agree with things. Also, i realize that I do not deal with things in the best way either. Being more in touch with my emotions also means they are right there and can overtake me and the situation at a moments notice. I want more answers and more framework and feel very insecure without it. While I try to make it easier for people to go if they've changed their minds about being with me, I'm also constantly questioning whether they do which leaves them feeling like they can never prove it enough. Because I'm always looking for something new to keep me interested in life, even when it's in a positive way, it feels like I always have an issue, like I can't just sit back and relax. Because I want to solve problems to move on, it also means I can't just let something be for awhile and I escalate things. Yeah, I could go on all day with how much bullshit I do which has made this situation the clusterfuck it became this weekend. I am more than willing to take on a good bit of blame. I also realize that we are both right and both wrong and just stuck in a place that doesn't feel like it has a satisfactory solution.

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