“Love is a many splendored thing, Love lifts us up where we belong.” from Moulin Rouge with Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman in a duet. I love listening to raw music sung by people who are not necessarily singers but are quite good. I love love, I love being in love, I love feeling love in all its glory. And yet, for most of my life it has come to an end. In fact, it has felt like the end from the beginning. I have lived with several men in my life and never once felt like I was in my own home. Passionate, immature, cocky, egotistical, frightened, PTSD love that was once my life. Now, for once in my life, I am in love with a man who I can be uncomfortable with and this allows me to grow. Someone who allows me to be myself so that I am able to come into myself as a woman. I feel safe and secure, being in love. It feels like it took forever to get here. And yet, we have taken things very very slow. Like it should be. And it makes so much more sense!
I grew up in my young 20’s loving Masterpiece Theater. I loved the courtship, the romance, the cerebral exchange, the intellectual snobbery, the rules, and yet, there I was; nothing of the kind. Many words would have been used in my day for my behaviors back then. I was bad but not too bad. Nothing like women today. Though it didn’t take much in my day. I danced, I partied, I had lovers, I had friends, I lived in San Diego and then LA and onto Santa Barbara and finally into the Bay Area. California is filled with very hot men with awesome physiques. There are mountains to climb up and breathtaking views of the ocean. It would be hard for a young woman to not have fun and enjoy the ride. I had the most incredible life.
I also had severe PTSD that kept me from standing still. It kept me afraid, running away, living like a gypsy from town to town. I gathered degrees from three different college/universities. I held many jobs in two careers and wrote to my hearts content. Long before there were blogs. Now, when I hear my clients ask why do they need help “I’ve made it this far,” I know what this sounds like. I also now know, what it feels like to decrease those symptoms and let the walls down. It isn’t easy and takes a lot of work but it is well worth it. Especially if you want to be in love – in really good, honest, and mature love.
When you are afraid, you make too many mistakes. Too many women are in prisons for following men that gave them a lift inside when they laid with them at night. Every nine seconds a woman is abused by a man she thinks she can handle. Women die at the hands of love that they think is love. It is so easy when you are hurting inside, vulnerable, immature, traumatized, to think sex is love. To think sex means love. Yet we crave it when we are in pain because it feels so good to be held, to be touched, to think he is telling us he loves us and really means it. To think he will go back to the guy he once was when we first met him. But he won’t.
Blogs are filled with women telling their hate stories, using F-bombs for emphasis, screaming into the contents with titles that make me blush. I get it, it is a world where no one has boundaries and everyone is a narcissist. It is also a world where we have to be strong and being vulnerable and in pain isn’t the path to survivor. Feel your pain, own your vulnerability, take responsibility and be uncomfortable with yourself through professionals who can help you.
I have finally found the right man for me but it isn’t because the universe just dumped him in my lap as a consolation prize. For forty years, I strived to understand. I took workshops, sought out therapists, went to lectures, studied psychology, met with holistic practitioners, did yoga, swam, and had a spiritual teacher. I read books by all the gurus and just couldn’t seem to get it. I even went on a sabbatical for over a decade, not on purpose timing wise but I was getting older and this makes it harder. I was finally able to heal and have some major breakthroughs.
Part of this had to do with coming to Ohio, full circle, cleaning up the past as best I could. Not fixing them but fixing me. You can’t change anyone but yourself. Blame doesn’t help, I just had to face what happened to me and practice behaving differently – with all I had been taught. I learned to set boundaries and ask for what I wanted. I still made mistakes but little by little I began to get a life – my life. I began to behave differently, much more conservatively but like a grown up. I saw who I needed to be to have what I wanted in life. And, five years ago, the universe put us in on this path, not together but we met. We built a friendship. Two years ago, we slowly built up to a date that was a year in the making. Neither of us knew it was happening until it did. Suddenly there was a breakthrough. We went out and then it was as if majick stirred us up and simmered us to bring us to where we are today. A year later into our actual romance that was amazingly; brought together by the virus. It forced him to not be on the road all the time and gave us a chance to get to know each other more intimately and made us closer and closer with each week that passed by.
As a very impatient woman, I wanted fast and quick as this was what I was used to. While he is an impatient man as well, he wanted slow. I resisted until I began to see the benefits of putting on the breaks. Amazingly, I began to breathe. I let go of my desires to have all the answers right this minute. As I took my time getting them from the relationship, I felt myself being comfortable with this uncomfortableness. I felt the time going by and not worrying so much about the future. We have that mutual respect, love, confidence in each other. We are equal partners and yet, I love allowing him to be the man, the strong arm and I have become much more feminine as I grow into the woman I have always wanted to be. Or, thought I would be. This doesn’t mean I am not strong or wise or in control. When you are comfortable with yourself, you can let down your guard. You don’t have to push so hard when the door is already open.
A partnership, a healthy love is one in which you listen to each other. If you can hear what your partner wants and needs; you can give it to them. If you tell your partner what you want and they listen to you, you will have what you want from them, and thus be happy. If you are too focused on yourself; you serve only you.
Werner Erhard once said (I hope I get this right – no pun intended) When you are right, you get to be right. Not necessarily loved or anything else nice, just Right.
I love this quote and I took the Forum in the 80’s. These words have chased me most of my life, always reminding me in the back of my head. When you are in pain, you want to be “right.” You want to feel that people hear your story, that there is justice, that the perpetrator pays. And rightly so, but this rarely happens. I worked for CPS (Children’s Protective Services) for 8 years and saw victim after victim and very few perps behind bars. Prostitutes are brought in with sting operations and the pimps are not. Who is really creating the crime here? Narcissists wound people all over the place and don’t commit crimes. Yes, justice needs to happen but more importantly – we need to get our lives back. We need to heal and grow. This is taking your power back, more so than any lawyer or judge can.
Being in love, in real love, honest love, is much better than someone to spend the night with. It is worth waiting for and it is worth working hard on yourself for.
This love story, I have right now, is not one I could ever have written. It is one that I had to experience to truly appreciate what it means to take your time to be in love. It can only happen when you are ready and then the universe will send them your way.