Monday, April 4, 2016

"First I Run Zen I Walk"

Ya know, sometimes I feel like no matter what I say or do it's gonna be the dead opposite of "right". There are days I'm surprised I'm not putting my shoes on the wrong feet or I've gotta double and triple check that I'm wearing clothes before I leave the house. 
I've had a lot of those days lately. Probably some byproduct of cutting back on hot wings or something. Whatever it is, it's annoying. It needs to stop or I'm going to end up doing something stupid like forgetting to get my coffee in the morning. Who are we kidding, I'll never forget my beloved coffee. That sweet nectar of life. 

What I have done, instead, is learn to set reminders on my phone. Just little notes to myself to keep things in order. They usually go like "step one: look around. Everything seem clear? Yes? Then you're wearing your contacts. No glasses today. 
Step two: is everything fuzzy? Yes? Are you wearing glasses? Yes? Then you've still got your contacts in. Take your glasses off, idiot. If it's fuzzy and you don't have your glasses on then put them on. No contacts today." I had to set that one when I realized i kept trying to wear glasses while I had my contacts in. Almost panicked thinking my vision got worse overnight. 
Another little note to myself involved making sure my shoes matched. Thought I was limping until I realized I was wearing a running shoe on one foot and a high top on the other. Fortunately I caught it before getting out in public. That would've been embarrassing. Good times. 

I guess I've had a lot on my mind lately. Or nothing at all. Sometimes it's a fine line I reckon. Obviously, I've not been overly bright lately. I thought of getting a pet monkey to help dress me or something. 
So what do I do when I can't focus? I work out. I push myself harder. I run farther. At home that's not a big deal; I've got a stationary running machine. I just get on it and go like I'm on a hamster wheel until I can't move. 

That pet monkey would've come in handy last night. He could've reminded me I'm not at home. Out here on the road running to exhaustion has consequences. Just little ones like "which way did I run when I left the truck stop? How many turns did I make? Where in the blue hell AM I?" 
I thought I was going to have to call a cab to find my way back to the truck stop. My legs felt like I had molten lava running through my veins. Just standing was becoming painful. Walking back God knows how far to the truck stop seemed an impossible task. There was definitely not going to be any jumping rope when I got back. Yes, I jump rope as goofy as that sounds. 

So I google mapped my way back to that good ole trucker haven. 6 miles. Seriously?! I didn't feel like walking 6 blocks much less 6 miles. And I suddenly had a craving for hot wings. 
On the long, long journey back to my truck I reflected on a few things. See, here recently I did something very atypical. I lost my cool on someone. Yes, usually I'm kinda sarcastic and snarky but this time I went off in anger. 

It takes quite a lot to get me to unload on someone like that and it's actually extremely rare that I do. When I do, however, I let loose in epic fashion. Even I was stunned and surprised by how venomous my words were. It's not something I'm proud of but I suppose it was a long time coming. 
The magnitude of my anger was such that I even went to see a therapist to figure out what the hell happened. I was supposed to do phone sessions with her once a week but it's ended up being 2-3 times a week so far. Mostly because I want someone to talk to. Not to feel better. Not even that I need counseling. Just boredom. Hell, the diagnosis was "you got mad. People get mad when they've been mistreated. You're officially 'human'. And it sounds as though SHE'S the one in serious need of counseling." I just call now because it's boring and lonely out here. At $90 a pop it'd be cheaper just to take up drinking I suppose. 

As it turns out the good doctor seems to think the guilt of having lost my temper and hurting someone I care about is normal. Apparently, however, me finally snapping was understandable. (I'll point out here that she did say she was impressed with my patience in waiting a year to actually come undone). But here's the deal, folks, losing my temper gained me nothing. 
Yes, I was in a very emotionally and psychologically abusive relationship for a year. I was on the receiving end of things if you can believe that. It almost sounds absurd even to me. But I learned a few things. 

One of my friends recently told me he knew what a challenge I'd dealt with. My response was that fighting a great white with your bare hands, that's a challenge. Traveling to the moon in a hot air balloon, that's a challenge. This woman wasn't a challenge, she was a life lesson. One that destroys your emotional and psychological equilibrium. 
And there's the lesson, guys. You can't let someone do that to you. You can't let them keep putting you down. Especially not when they're doing it right in front of their family and friends right in front of you. You can't believe someone like that loves you. If they clearly can't respect you then they certainly can't love you. 

I've listened to people talk about their abusive spouses and wondered why they'd stay with someone like that. I've wondered why they'd believe the tears and the "I'm sorry, I'll change". Now I understand. You get used to it. The abuse and misery becomes comfortable. 
In the end of it one of the things she'd said was that she can't be with someone who doesn't respect themselves. Internally I scoffed. Of course I respect myself. But then I thought about it. Allowing her to disrespect, mock and belittle me on a nearly daily basis wasn't very self-respecting either. 

Why am I telling you all this? Do I feel like a victim? No. I'm no victim. I allowed it to happen. Repeatedly I'd mentioned the lack of respect and repeatedly it was talked around. But don't let it build up, guys. Just walk away. 
If you're with someone and you hear them talk badly about all of their friends, think about what they're probably telling them about you. If they're bad mouthing you to their family right in front of you when you're meeting that family for the first time...walk away. 

I've said this in other posts and I'll say it again: none of us is in a position to judge anyone else. None of us. 

Don't let anyone devalue you. Don't let anyone treat you like you're not good enough. As was my case, don't accept it when the person you're with says "I'm out of your league". I call bullshit. When they tell you "you're poor white trash and I deserve better", call bullshit.
We all know that if there's one thing I hate most it's double standards. So how I put up with many of the things I put up with I can only chalk up to the fact I had actually become addicted to the smell of bullshit. Maybe I should trade my trailer again and start hauling livestock. 

If someone you're with tells you they deserve better than you then the odds are you are the one who deserves better. Better treatment. Don't let anyone make you feel inadequate. Oh, I could go on here and do a "compare and contrast" of her life against mine but that's not what this is about. 
Sadly, I do regret losing my temper. I do regret that things ended in a fashion where we can't be friends. Yes, I've tried to make amends and stipulate mea culpa on going off the way I finally did. Yes, I do regret that she hates me now. I do believe that she did care at one point in her own twisted way. And I did care about her. I loved her deeply at one point. But I've gotta care about me more. 

We all do it. Some people get so used to being unhappy that they fear the absence of it. I was the same way. I talked to Molly for 4-6 hours nearly every day for over a year. 
It becomes addictive when it's good. But it's like being a junkie. You enjoy the high so much, no matter how brief it is, that you don't see the damage it's doing to you. 
These people, these drugs of the heart, become a need. Become enablers. They enjoy that they have this control over you. They feed off the love you give them. But it's all false love. It's...it's like the high is what you love. 
Once the lows start to become more frequent, once you start to see the person they are underneath then things start to unravel. The euphoria becomes shorter and the addiction starts to consume you. You take the abuse just so you can have even a hope of the high you used to have.

You can't fix a cycle. A cycle is precisely that...it's an unending loop. The only way to "fix" a cycle is to break it. 

When Molly and I got back together last year she asked me why she does what she does. I told her back then that this has become a pattern of behavior for her and the only way to fix it is to break that pattern. And I thought she'd finally done that. I thought the cycle was over. Then I saw it start again in August. And we started fighting shortly thereafter. 

Neither YOU nor I can break THEIR pattern of behavior. All we can do is determine to break our own. 

If you've been down this road before, like me, and you start to see these same behaviors in your partner, address them. But be prepared to walk away. You've gotta love yourself more than you love that sweet pain.


My Zen Thought for the day is this: don't let ANYONE determine your value. Ever. If someone can't appreciate what they have in you, walk away.