My Freshly-Sewn Stitches: HEALED
It wasn’t long ago that I wrote another blog post entitled, My Freshly-Sewn Stitches. You can read it here: https://alexobedblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/coping-is-doping/
It’s about an unrequited love story between myself and a woman that I had met online.
I ended the post talking about how getting back in touch with her was akin to reliving the past pain of having my organs removed, then being stitched back up, only to have her re-enter my life and watch my wound get re-opened again.
Anyway, I was talking to her–again–tonight. She told me that she was going to hold “tryouts” for potential lovers (Clue #1).
I told her, “I’m not sure I want to be part of a game show.”
That was all on text. She asked me questions about what I was looking for, and I was sick of answering them, so I just called her. She didn’t immediately know that it was me and made it apparent that I wasn’t saved in her phone (Clue #2).
During the phone chat, she corrected herself after saying we had never met, remembering that we had met that one time…
Then, we got into a little disagreement. I was talking about how she disappeared on me years ago; she said that I had said something very rude to her when she had sent over a picture to me in the past.
I didn’t deny saying something rude. That definitely would not be surprising; however, I apologized and said that I must have been frustrated that we had never met (we were supposed to have met on two different occasions, but both times she canceled). One of those times I had even taken the day off from work to spend it with her.
After about twenty minutes of talking, she said she was really tired and needed to go to sleep and that we should “hang out sometime.” I said, “sounds good.”
However, getting off the phone, I still had an uncomfortable feeling. I was still feeling miffed by the “tryouts” comment. Why am I even talking to this woman, I thought.
Her tone and general demeanor on the phone were aloof, and she showed very little interest in me (Clue #3).
So, I decided to send her a text with a link to my blog, telling her to check out the title of the post above. I ended, “it’s about you.” In between us sending (PG) pics to each other (it had been awhile), she told me she didn’t want to read the post. I told her it wasn’t as bad as it sounded.
I also mentioned that the reason I probably said something hurtful to her in the past was because I was hurt–and that it was easier for me to put that into words than to speak it aloud to her.
In fact, I think this is something that a lot of men, in particular, struggle with: sharing that we’re hurt with the person who just hurt us.
We’re not raised to express that we’re hurt. We use it as fuel. Either we’re competitive and turn that energy inward into being more productive to win something (a race, a project deadline, a grant, whatever); or, we turn that hurt outward and hurt back!
Now, using this fuel in our careers is one thing; dealing (or, more accurately, not dealing) with hurt in our relationships is something very different.
My sweet spot was hurting back. I’m not a Scorpio, but if you sting me, prepare to get stung–threefold!
Why? Because it took way more courage than I could muster to say to my partner, what you did just hurt me, etc.
It was like saying, you win–and I wasn’t about to give somebody that satisfaction (even if there truly was no satisfaction to be had).
The reason why it’s so hard is because you’re opening yourself up to even MORE hurt if you say something like that. In a word, you become vulnerable.
Vulnerable to even more hurt. More wounding.
If you think about it from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes no sense! We are wired to avoid pain. Why on EARTH would you do that?!
But the definition of a human being (mine) is someone who evolves past merely responding out of survival mode.
Now, the truth is, no one hurts us.
Yes, we experience hurt–but that’s very different than saying, “she hurt me.”
Our sensitivities and insecurities point to something about ourselves. We can either choose to a) take responsibility and look to see what’s going on there; what it may be covering up, etc.; or b) we can place the blame on someone else and try to hurt back–by either withdrawing our love from them or by attacking them.
Five years ago, I lashed out because I wasn’t able to express that I was hurt that we shared, at least in my eyes, a really meaningful connection, and yet she wasn’t willing or able to meet me.
Tonight was an episode of completion. The past can hold a devil of a stranglehold! In essence, I had to go back into the ring and potentially relive more pain and suffering–in order to complete the lesson.
What’s the lesson, you ask?
I realized that I didn’t really want to be with her. Sure, her pictures were really nice, but they couldn’t compensate for the way she interacted with me.
I texted her, saying, I’m not interested in being part of your ‘tryouts’. Be well.
She texted back, asking, Is it the way I look or something else? I’m curious.
I said, no.
It’s that I love myself too much.