“Look for the Invisible Ones, like Poppie”
That’s what my mom told me tonight after I told her the man I’ve been dating . . . and dating to a place of seriousness where our families were slowly starting to merge together, was with another woman.
When I caught him, he said, “Oh…I’m watching football”
Me: “Really? With someone who drives a white Mercedes parked in your drive way? With the downstairs of your house dark? With a candle burning in the hallway? And candle glow from the master suite? With a woman’s running shoes and sports bag on the stair well? That’s interesting. My calls go right to voicemail? You aren’t answering your texts? Right. That’s it. Football. You realize that is ME downstairs, right now…right?”
Last night I knew something was off. After his happy hour drinks with his friends, I never heard from him again.
I knew something was wrong. But, I don’t like to meddle. I like to think I can trust.
And in the morning a half-assed text.
The first weekend he was in town when we were both “kid free” since we met and he was oddly unavailable.
Nothing at all.
And I knew.
So, I went to his house.
I almost vomited on my own heart beating in my throat, but I walked up to the door.
And I wasn’t surprised by what I found.
But, it made me sad.
My mom said, “Well, he was maybe just too good to be true”
My best friend said, “That motherfucking asshole, I’m gonna slash his tires”
They both agreed that he’d realize he fucked up as soon as I wasn’t in his life.
And, you know, the important men in my life, that is the truth.
Navy Boy: Regret
The God Father: Regret
Blue Eyes: Won’t let it go even through we long let it go.
The Burkster: Regret
Newt: Time will tell.
Interestingly, they all leave for greener grass. And they all learn the grass isn’t greener.
For the most part, I move on.
I’m done being married. The divorce and in fact, the marriage was so devastating that I don’t think I could survive that again. I think, now that I look back, I was so cracked and frail by the time he left, I shattered immediately because I wasn’t enough of anything to hold myself together.
Navy Boy? The best friend ever. He is someone I love so deeply and fully that somehow our lives are inextricably combined and I can’t imagine, and do not want to imagine, life without any semblance of him. He breathes an air of life into me every time I deflate. He is far. I am tied here. We are an impossibility. He has been with me from the worst days of my life to the best. He has seen me fall, get punched, cry, crumble and has cheered me on as I climbed mountains and conquered worldly goals. He is a pillar when I need one and a pillow to cuddle with when I need him. He made me look at myself as a strong, intelligent, beautiful force to be reckoned with when I met him. He made me believe I had a place in the world. He made me believe I was more than just a divorced and broken mother of three. He taught me I wasn’t an failure. Maybe it is the impossibility that keeps us longing for the other person to create stability and constancy in the other’s life. Regardless. He met someone. I found out because I have mad skills of intuition. It made me sad. On the other hand, the God Father made him sad, too.
The God Father was a pipedream and a life vest. I loved him. I love him now. I love him because his dysfunction made my fucked up life seem so normal. His drama and his over the top way of living was so NOT normal. He drove a Ferrari to pick his son up from school and would tip baristas at Starbucks $200 at the drive through and was probably the smartest, quickest thinking bullshitter on the planet. He kept me on my toes and he kept grounded. He was my balance. We lived a beautifully secret life together for nearly 2 years. My friends all HATED HIM. And I know, deeply, that he was trouble. And not just mischievous…but, trouble where suburban mothers shouldn’t stick their noses or ask too many questions. And that worked for me. We had this ideal little bubble together where the only thing that existed was this fantasy we created that held no strings to real world we would have to return to. He was the most constant thing in my life for a long time. It was a dysfunctional constant…but constant and I need constant. I knew what to expect…even when I didn’t like it…I could trust it would happen. But, I think there was a lot of narcissistic, sociopathic tendencies that were not healthy. But, I loved past that. I loved him from a comfortable distance. And then he moved. Without me. And he hasn’t been able to lure me back into his world. But, I hear from him regularly. He wants us back. Unfortunately…it just doesn’t work that way.
Blue Eyes was fun. We laughed and laughed and laughed and could sit and drink tequila and solve world problems, flip properties, plan vacations and laugh and laugh and laugh. We’d make soup and bread and binge watch TV. We were normal. Like, a real-life, normal relationship. Except for the fact he was seeing someone else. Kinda. Ish. Enough for him to start questioning if he could handle us both. I answered it for him. NO. No he couldn’t. I wasn’t interested in being Second Best. I was always second best. With my husband. With the God Father. And Navy Boy and I couldn’t create a reality….for him I just wasn’t enough. Blue Eyes and I didn’t speak for months. Yet, we saw each other everyday and then his texts started and the conversations and the little remarks and the hinting. Now, we still laugh and smile and pass secret looks everyday. I think out of habit. And sometimes when you share a special connection with someone that connection just doesn’t go away. But, he doesn’t get me back, either. It just doesn’t work that way.
Google was a good catch. Wait. Let me rephrase that. I WANTED Google to be a good catch. Google was so damn smart and so freaking wealthy, he didn’t know how to exist normally. Like, his reality was different. Did I mention he was from Europe, too? He was too much for me. Too different. He overwhelmed me. I couldn’t live in his world…even when all the money in the world was at my fingertips. How’s that for NOT being a gold digger?
The Burkster. He was big and strong and blond and had these amazing muscles. And he was smart. And worked hard. And was so passionate about his life. And generous. We basically met on his birthday and interestingly, we met in line at a grocery store and he was buying tequila and I was buying a cake and we decided because it was his birthday and he had booze and I had a cake, we should just bail on our plans and drink tequila and eat cake together. And we did. And we spent many weekends drinking tequila and exploring the world. Hikes, day trips, baseball games, strip clubs (where, let me tell you, I am apparently highly employable and can make some fast cash! Who knew?!). It was easy. We were an adventure. But. He wasn’t honest. Unlike the God Father who was honest, but shady, The Burkster was, is, a Good Guy. But, he is a liar and I don’t trust him. He drinks too much and makes bad choices. Oh. Did I mention he’s married? I learned that the hard way. After a long night which entailed my best friend picking me up from a seedy ass neighborhood at like 2 in the morning. I’ve learned that a white girl who speaks fluidly in Spanish and has an ass like JoLo is a plus on nights like those. But, he kept calling and texting and leaving apology notes anywhere and everywhere he could. Like EVERY OTHER man before him, I heard the words, “I really fucked up. I’m sorry. Can we try again” tumble out of his mouth over and over again.
It just doesn’t work that way.
And that brings us to Newt. Newt is an interesting one. Mind you. I keep men at a safe arms distance away. I trust slowly…like molasses on a cold day in Alaska. Men have repeatedly shown me that they aren’t to be trusted. They lie. They manipulate. The twist the truth. So, I liked him. But, I liked him cautiously.
But. Something was a bit too intense about him. In fact, EVERYTHING was intense about him. And when he wanted something, he wanted it NOW. Which, in all honesty, made me freak out. People who pressure you that much have something to hide or are running from something they don’t want you to find out about. Admittedly, he overwhelmed me. I liked him, but I think I felt like I needed to like him more than I did or something bad would happen. I started to deal with really debilitating anxiety again. I started to feel fat and insecure about my physicality. I started to question my job and my career and pretty much everything in my life and the decisions I’ve made. He lives by this slogan “I don’t do mediocre” — which, is fine. But, I think medicore is OK. We all can’t be brilliant and perfect. And sometimes we don’t like to shove our strengths in people’s faces. Sometimes we like to live in gratitude instead of gloating in existence. But, he was a warm body and supportive and protective. Like, I felt safe with him. Like, life was going to be OK. I started to feel like I really could trust him…because he was consistent and persistent. And because he ‘adored’ me. He told me constantly how much he adored me. He was in love and over the top within hours of meeting. And it only got more intense. And I couldn’t figure out why, WHY didn’t I immediately want him fully to myself? He ADORED me. He LOVED me. Maybe I should have run to the wedding chapel and called it another marriage.
But, the pieces didn’t add up and I caught him in a lie and…again, with another woman. Maybe had I thrown caution to the wind, the other woman never would have made her way into his bed.
“She was nice. And I was bored out of my mind being alone all the time!” Well..that is what he said anyway. Not to mention he worked, and I worked, and he travels every other weekend and shared custody of his son. Yeah….bored. Alone. I think he is just an asshole.
Newt is a recent case of ‘the grass is greener’ – so we will see what happens.
Everyone comes back.
I am trying to understand this whole phenomenon of men. They say they want a strong, intelligent, fit, sexy woman who is independent and loving and warm.
Not because I’m tooting my own horn…but, I AM that woman.
The biggest flaw?
To BE that woman, it means you dedicate a lot of your time to being strong, fit, sexy, independent, loving and warm.
And that means you can’t center your life on the man.
Men want someone who is this globally amazing woman…yet, don’t get that to GET that woman, they have to sacrifice something too.
They don’t get that.
And they walk. Looking for a better life with someone else. And perhaps they may find it. In most cases, I HOPE they find it.
But, I am tired of hearing how spectacular I am and then find out spectacular isn’t enough for them.
Who the FUCK do they think they are?
Not one of the men I listed above has everything. You embrace people for their imperfections and you celebrate their contributions. You celebrate them.
My best friend and I have commonly had the conversation that I am the woman men like to fuck but are afraid to commit to because I overwhelm them because I am smart and educated and kinda have my shit together.
That might be the case.
I think that men who are out and looking for women are just asshole liars. My experiences tell me that men who claim they care about me and want to be a part of my life and make me life easier/happier/whatever are all lying motherfuckers.
Lying motherfuckers who come back with their tails between their legs because I’m pretty fucking awesome.
But, dealing with the deception and the trust thing is hard for me.
I’m human. Words hurt.
Newt told me every night he loved me.
The GodFather tells me he loves me.
I think Navy Boy does love me.
But, he might be the exception to the case.
Google told me I would fall in love with him.
And maybe I would.
But the life lesson is that no matter how amazing you are, you aren’t going to be enough for someone.
You aren’t going to be enough for a LOT of someones.
After I told my mom about Newt and his adventurous penis, she told me, like any good mom would, that he would regret it because I’m awesome.
I told her I was done with men and that I was closing off the whole dating bullshit and returning to the world of arm candy because then dating meant all I had to be was a pretty face and an intelligent conversation from 7pm until midnight, and then much like Cinderella, my gown would turn to tatters and I’d be swept from the sparkling streets of the city to my humdrum suburban life. Then dating was an arrangement. A job. No emotions. Just smiles. Correct nods, smiles and air-kisses. A pretty dress and a fancy car to ride in. But no expectations of tomorrow or next week. No charade of being a couple and negotiating a shared reality. No strings attached. Just safe relationships I could trust. A contract.
Real men in real life hurt me. I’ve been hurt physically. I’ve been hurt mentally. I’ve been hurt emotionally.
And it is draining.
And I fear I am going to get caught up in the negative spiral of self-hate and unworthiness because of the way I am treated.
I don’t want to be that broken girl anymore.
Yet, the only time I am faced with this overwhelming sense of ‘not enough’ is when people who I meet and create these great bonds with lie. Trust is obliterated.
I don’t want to pick up the pieces.
And as I told my mom this, I think her heart broke a little bit.
Just yesterday she told me I FINALLY was back. She said I looked healthier. I was happier. I was normal again.
I think she was happy I finally met someone who was a Good Guy.
I think she was happy I was finally turning the corner into living a very ‘normal’ life.
No shady men. No shady jobs. No shade.
Just me and the sunshine.
And I think she liked that.
Tonight she told me, “There are still good men out there. Look for the invisible ones. You will meet him. And tell Newt he is uninvited to Thanksgiving.”
And she is right.
But, I’m invisible.
I tried to be invisible for years because it was safer.
Every time I peak out of my invisible cloak, I get hurt.
And I bleed.
And it gets really hard to breathe.
So, I disappear.
Trying to find peace again.
Trying to find breath again.
Perhaps grasping for hope that maybe one day I’ll get to be Someone.
I hope that one day I can exist fully without fear.
Being invisible is where I belong.
Maybe the problem isn’t that I’m looking for the obvious. I haven’t been looking for any of these men…they all found me.
Maybe the men who should be seeking me aren’t looking for the invisible.
And maybe I only become visible to them after they walk away and leave me broken. Perhaps I sparkle and call their attention as the shards of me glint and glimmer in the sun.
Maybe I am my brokenness.
Maybe being broken is what would make men stay.
So they had something to fix.
And maybe, just maybe, that is BULLSHIT.
There is a saying that claims, “If you don’t love me at my lowest, you don’t deserve me at my best”
Perhaps, in my case, it should read, “If you don’t love me at my strongest, you don’t deserve me at my lowest”
I don’t get it.
I don’t understand the lies.
I don’t understand the lack of respect.
I don’t understand.
What I do know is that regardless of the motherfuckers that only make me stronger, more invisible yes…but stronger absolutely, is that I have a pretty amazing family I should focus my energy on.
Yea. A boy is nice to have around.
But, what matters is my kids and my parents and my bestest friends. There is so much love and support in my life that being sad about another liar just shouldn’t faze me. I have a mother that would move mountains for me. I have a best friend that would build bombs and throw them through candlelit bedroom windows for me. I have kids that deserve to be raised in a home that is full of all this love.
I’m really starting to feel better about being invisible.
For years I hid because it was safe.
Now, I think I hide because I can be whole.
I like being whole.
I am complete.
And if a man can’t handle a woman who is complete, they might as well go and water someone else’s grass.
They’ll eventually learn they can’t water it and keep it greener than mine is without them.
I think I’ll jump up onto my pedestal now and bow into a place of solitude.
Cover myself in a sparkling shroud of invisibility.
Out of reach.