How to Tell You’re in a Bad Relationship, Part I

November 30, 2009

OK, first of all, I’m being kind of flippant about the “bad relationship” description. In many ways, it was a very good relationship. We had tons of fun together and were passionate about many of the same causes, and in many ways were really really good together. But. There were signs that I missed. And that I don’t want to miss again. And should have seen before.

I was reminded of this one tonight.

“If you were the right woman for me, I would be happy. I wouldn’t be depressed any more.”

That should have been a red flag and I should have run away. He really truly believed it. It’s no surprise, either. When he was really young, his dad told him that if his mother were more beautiful, he would be happy with her (and not have to have girlfriends on the side). I may have the story wrong a little, but the basic idea is certainly accurate.

Nope, dating me is not going to make anyone not depressed. And I won’t take responsibility for that ever again.


November 27, 2009

Today was Thanksgiving and it was a very mixed day for me.

It was wonderful to be with friends – a lot of friends – from many different backgrounds and have good food and a lot of time together. It was wonderful that my incredible loving dog is doing much better. I had good conversations with people who I don’t usually talk to or necessarily have much in common with.

At the same time, I was watching people interact with their significant others and feeling that void in my life. I heard people say they were thankful for their spouse, their fiancee, their children, and their new houses. And it was harder for me to feel thankful for anything I had because it felt like God has forgotten me in what I really want. I don’t want to be that way – I want to be able to be excited for other people at the same time as I’m thankful for totally different things in my life. But I don’t feel like that’s a possibility. I just feel forgotten and empty and alone.

I don’t like the holidays.

Left Over

November 9, 2009

I’ve been meaning to write the post for a while but my friend just got engaged while I was on vacation with her (and her boyfriend is not on this vacation which is the funny part). Very cute story, very thoughtful boyfriend, and I feel so bad that I can’t be happy for her without bringing all of my baggage into it. I have another friend who found a man who was unexpected, who dotes on her, and who would do anything for her, and I’m just so jealous. I’m so jealous that I don’t know how to be happy for her or to not make it about me.

I’m tired of feeling left over. I’m 34 and single and it doesn’t seem (to me) like that should be that big of a deal. But at the same time, I’m always self-conscious about it. I feel like I must be less because I’m single – less attractive, less intelligent, less desirable, less deserving – than other people. It makes sense to me. If I were all of those things, there would be a line of suitors outside my door, right?

OK, so I know that sounds silly. If I had a friend who was telling me these things, I would be angry with her for not giving herself enough credit and seeing her worth. If I weren’t me, I would be able to see that I am attractive, intelligent, and wonderful. But I am me. And I can’t stop believing that I’m not enough. That my singleness is proof that I am not enough.

I don’t just stop there. I assume that I will be alone forever. Because I am alone now and other people are happily married, that it must be the way it will stay forever. That I will always be the left over one at holidays. I have a brother-in-law and I am about to have an incredible sister-in-law, and my parents are still married, which is impressive… but that makes me the leftover. I’m the seventh person. I’m the one who drives there alone and drives back alone, without anyone to talk to or debrief with. I’m the one who makes it so there aren’t even teams for games. I’m the one who is sitting alone in the living room with three couples holding hands. And I can’t figure out why.

I’m starting to think that God doesn’t care. That I’m a leftover to God too. It seems like either God doesn’t care about any of us and other people have just been luckier than me or God just doesn’t care about me, personally. Or even that God is malicious or a mean trickster and saying to me “I know what you want more than anything. So watch me give that gift freely to everyone except for you. You can watch and wish it were true.” I used to not think that God’s character was like that but I’m doubting.

This actually is getting worse now that my dog is sick. For the last ten years, he’s been my family. He’s the one who was there through break-ups, moving, job changes, and horrible depression. And, in true dog form, just been loving and protective and loyal. Now he’s sick and I have to make all the decisions about his care alone and deal with it all alone. It feels even more like God’s not interested in me, and that would be the worst thing ever and is absolutely terrifying to me. I’m not sure if any of this would make any sense to me if I were outside of my own head, but I’m not. I’m in it and I’m so sad and so lonely and feel like I’m so much less… than everyone. I think it will get better – and that’s a sign of greater health than before, I think – but I don’t know when.

I have never been good at waiting.