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dating bites

Thinking about dating. I have dated in the past several years. I dated around for awhile and frankly had the goal of dating as many people as possible. Immediately after the divorce, all I cared about was not feeling empty anymore. I had spent time feeling like a desert on the inside. It was a wasteland in there. I had been there before. I tried to drown it with alcohol for decades. It was as if I was trying to pour an oasis into my heart and soul. IT left me more thirsty and more desolate than before. Grace reached down and led me to an actual life. I began to see the sprouts of life and feel the cool breeze. I felt the summer rain on my face. It was difficult to see, I imagine. IT was watching change. As I emerged from the cocoon, I imagine it was difficult to not rush it and also to not fear it. I began to feel the desert encroach on me again. IT was an expectation to be parched. I tried. I had tasted the rain of life and couldn’t do thirst again. That longing and lack of directional honesty led to my divorce. However, if I am going to mess up, I do it with gusto and flourish. I lost my ability to practice, my friends, family, kids, church, and self concept. I was in a whole new desert. Former friends reveled in the idea that I was miserable. They spoke awful things to me. I heard the hearts of my kids break and felt the smelt bellow from their mouths. My soul was pierced as my friend and pastor shoved me away with petty anger. There was no love in the professed Christians I had surrounded myself with.

All that to say, when I was going through the divorce and horrors associated, I needed to feel again. I was looking for a life saver in an ocean of pain. I met some woman looking for the same thing. We clung to each other for warmth and safety. But when push came to shove, Id be released to the depths like Leonardo DeCaprio in the Titanic. It was short lived, and not fulfilling. I don’t regret it and learned incredible lessons. I learned that I didn’t crave the physical intimacy near as much as I thought. I wanted more. I wanted emotional intimacy.

I dated a few women that I really thought I loved. That’s not true, I loved. I felt the bond and closeness. We shared struggles and victories. I laughed again. I felt alive. I felt loved back. IT was such a welcome relief to know that I could be loved despite being a long resident of the desert. I began to crave the sympathetic ear. I hid and changed myself so that I could still feel loved. I had no understanding of how to have a mutual relationship. I became a victim. I needed to be told how to feel, how to love, and what to say. I was afraid of being alone, so I did everything to not be, firmly securing myself in the desert once again. I craved intellectual intimacy.

I dated a few smart choices and a few calculated poor choices. I was trying to find someone that I could discuss things with. I wanted someone who understood my journey. IT was a fools errand. The reality is that no amount of knowledge ever brings full understanding of another individual. As I was trying to understand, I was manipulated and cajoled. It cost me a pricey education to learn that the brain cant love.

I craved spiritual intimacy. I tried to date people touting different spiritualities. I was told that I was an answer to prayers and that the Universe shined on us. The Universe must be fickle, it fell short. Without heart and mind, a spiritual connection is hollow.

I want complete intimacy. I want journey. I want to be cherished, loved, treasured, respected, honored, questioned, delighted. And I want to cherish, love, treasure, respect, honor, question, and delight. I want the good and bad. I want the complete package. From what I can tell, many proclaim they want the same thing, but run away when it becomes real. I have so much to offer, so much to give. I want to grow with someone, three journeys: theirs, mine, and ours, all nurtured.

I ache.

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Posted by on November 5, 2017 in divorce, journey

 

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LET GO

“Dating is like crossing the monkey bars, don’t let go of one until you have grasp on another.” I was told this by another prepubescent boy in 5th grade. It made sense to me. I had just been dumped by Sharla and was feeling crushed. We had “gone out” for almost 3 days, a record in my short dating career. We were meant to be forever, or so said the scrawlings on my notebook. And when I tallied the letters in our names as they added up to the letters in True Love, it was supposed to be inevitable we would be together. Now three days later, I was picking up the broken pieces of my heart.

I was never all that good at dating. I was a bit chubby, had low self esteem, and didn’t like all the things the jocks (who seemed to have all the girls attention) liked. I repeated the “Sharla cycle” frequently through my adolescence. I rarely, if ever, dumped someone, I was always the dumpie. That isn’t meant to be a pity thing, looking back, I would have dumped me too. I was needy and fake. I tried to be whatever the girl seemed to want. I was in love instantly. However, I was so worried about being dumped, I couldn’t talk to them. It is tough to “be going out” and never say hello. I had a chance in 6th grade. In a moment of incredible courage, I asked Kristi to the dance. She was new at the school and was (and still is) one of the most beautiful people I knew. We got to the dance and the macho guys met her and I felt about 2 inches tall. I slunk away.

I continued this trend into college. I started to date and hold back my feelings, or decided beer seemed to be the ticket. It seemed to work. I fell in love still. I got hurt. But I just ignored the feeling or drank them away. I didn’t seem to be able to perfect the aloof. I couldn’t be totally detached. I would want to be, even pretend to be, but it still seemed to result in pain. I used to wish I could just be the Fonz, and drift from woman to woman. But I would get over attached and needy. I believed the lie of someone completing me or needing someone else. So, I kept loosing more of myself and feeling more and more empty and panicky with lost loves. My 5th grade playground profit echoed in my head. I started to serial date. It was rare that I was without someone. I never allowed for healing. I never allowed for growth. I didn’t break up with dates, I just sabotaged the relationship or became less attentive until they broke up with me. It allowed me to not have to be honest and to play the victim role and feel sorry for myself. It was the beginning of my self victimization role play.

In medical school, I met a wonderful woman. I still faked who I was and tried to be what she wanted. I changed my religion, I didn’t have sex with her, I drank less, and changed my friends. I even stopped being so judgmental, well I stopped talking about it out loud. I would marry her. A few days before I proposed, I tried to flirt with my resident. I told myself that if she wanted to date me then it was God telling me this wasn’t the right move for me. She didn’t and so I asked to be married. I was still in the mode of not letting go of the cold steel bar and kept flirting with other women. I even asked one to a movie. I was still wearing my wedding ring when we went out. She figured it out and ended the date early. I had a one night stand in our first year of marriage. I told my wife about it, half thinking and hoping she would ask for a divorce. She didn’t and we did counseling once or twice. I recommitted to the relationship and flirted continuously with other women, explaining that I was just outgoing and nice. I see now it was “coat checking” the next Monkey Bar, just in case. I am disappointed that was me at the time. I have forgiven myself for the craving for intimacy. I wanted it, feared it, and didn’t know how to do it or get it.

As the need resurfaced when I stopped hiding behind alcohol, I was more frustrated at not knowing how to do it. I felt desperate and more lonely than I had ever felt before. I felt lonely and isolated in my marriage even when we were right next to each other. I tried to fix it. I remember the day that my ex wife told me that she didn’t feel intimate to me anymore. We had just returned from a marriage retreat weekend. In hindsight, I panicked like I had done as a 5th grader. I went into full “Sharla mode”. She repeated it a few years later and I reacted by trying to find another monkey bar. It was weak and panicky. I know it was dishonest and creepy. I wish I could take it back, but I cant. All I can do is tell that scared, lonely boy, “Thank You for doing the best you could do.” I tell mid-schooler, “You are good enough and thank you for doing the best you could do.” I tell me as a high schooler and a college student, “Thank you for doing the best you could do with the tools and knowledge you had.” I tell myself that I did the best I could do, I made mistakes and caused pain. But I have addressed myself honestly and compassionately. I accept me. I am intimate with myself. I love me right where I am, but too much to leave me here.

I will learn. I will grow. I will accept. I will communicate I will love. I will be accepted.  I will be loved.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2015 in divorce, journey, life

 

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intimacy burn

I am an intimacy addict, I think. As I trudged through this time in my life, I have been treated to some introspection. I believe we all have a God Spark. I think we are all given a Spark that set the foundation of who we are. IT is warm and attractive. It glows and seeks to unite with other Sparks. Its job and function is to relate to others, ourselves, and God. As soon as we are able, we start to hide it. IT makes us feel vulnerable to have it exposed. People seek to extinguish it. It is fragile, but real and so we protect it. WE hide it under Shame. We bury it under Hurt. We choke it with Fear. WE escape it with addiction.

I had lost my God Spark. It wasn’t ever out, it cant be, but I couldn’t see it. I didn’t think it existed. I had hid it so well, escaped it so thoroughly, lied about it so completely, I didn’t recognize it anymore. And since it didn’t match what I had lied about, I didn’t respect it when I saw it.

However, the Spark was there, clamoring to relate. It wanted interaction with its true self. I lied about what it was and sought interaction. I wanted intimacy and affection, but had no idea how to get it. MY ex-wife had learned to relate to my mask with her own mask. When I tried to take mine off, I broke the rules of our interaction and the rest is history. I texted women outside my marriage. I rationalized hat it wasn’t physical, but it was still cheating. I have no real excuse except for I just wanted my Spark to feel warm again and I hadn’t learned that I was actively trying to snuff it out by holding onto my Shame and Fear. I had been working on my escapism and didn’t have that defense mechanism anymore, and so was left confronting my heart and soul and mind. I found them freezing to death for lack of the Spark.

I pray for connection. I work on intimacy issues. I avoid addictive relationships. I am learning to be intimate with myself and to really love myself completely. I am up to a strong like.

My prayers were answered in a very different way recently.
I saw what it feels like to learn that someone you love is working on affection to another person. I needed to know how that seems to lessen the honesty of my words.
I felt the pain of knowing that I might not be the last good night or the first good morning. I needed to know that connection to a loose wire is difficult and exhausting.
I understood that I am not more wonderful, but just as wonderful. I need to remind myself that I am not too big or too small. I am just me. We all have a God Spark and mine is one just like everyone else, but also wholly different.
I felt the loss of deep intimacy for a lesser version. Not any less real, but less central to my core. I needed to know that connection is a life force. It is who we are and who we are meant to be. The connection is more important to protect and honor and respect. I needed to know to give it away delicately and with purpose.
I learned I am not special and that I am special. I am not the end all be all, but I am uniquely myself. When I uncover that Spark, I connect very well. I delight in me and in the Spark I share space, time, and warmth with.

I hurt and I am lonely. I am growing. Melt me, Mold me sounds painful, but wait until you experience it. I am tired. I am lost. I have learned a multitude of lessons in the last few years. I am being prepared for something wonderful, I hope. I wont let myself get stuck in a mask tete a tete again. I seek intimacy…true intimacy. With me, With God, and with another.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2015 in journey

 

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