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So I went to a new therapist this week.  I wanted to get the perspective from a man’s point of view.  After a few mins, he stopped me and said, “you can’t have what you want.  None of it.  At this point and even in the beginning, she was not going to tell the truth about what happened.  Either she did something she will not own up too–possible, but not probable(a surprise to me)–or worst she doesn’t know why.  Meaning, you’re right she had no objective reason to leave and run away, but emotionally felt she needed too…and women are emotional sooo.”  He continued, “AND you cannot have her back, or rather what you thought you two had.”

“I know that I told him.”

“But you don’t accept it.  I know you’re not pursuing her, but still you don’t accept that this is how it would turn out.  Your mind rejects it. Like an Atheist denying God, as they look upon an angel.”

I shrugged.  They were words I had used at times myself, so hardly a revelation.  And then of course, he hit for real.

“Are you the man you want to be right now.”  Easy answer, “No.”

“Is that her fault?”  My answer was simple. “No. Of course not.  I mean, yeah she is the reason for my depression in the sense of the cause of it, but I can’t say everything I don’t have now is her fault.”

“If she called you right now, are you in the position to get her.  You resent her for leaving, dating a white guy which you see as hypocritical–you’re right by the way but it doesn’t matter, and you resent the gold digging aspect.  BUT, are you the guy that was going to be the best husband she ever had?  If she opened the door, what would you to do attract her to you? How would you woo her?”

I had to think a bit. I knew what he was driving at, it had in some ways been mentioned to me before by one therapist and friends.  I have always felt if I became this HUGE success like, Mark Zuckerberg, people would say, “oh she fucked up,” but they would be saying that because of the huge financial success, but my viewpoint would be like, money or not it was a huge mistake anyway because of who I am, and what I did for her, and my love for her.

“I don’t know how.  I don’t think I could.  I’d have to let go of a lot that I feel justified in not letting go. I can’t even picture it.”

“What I want you to focus on Joe is this.  IF she opened the door, she is not going to pull you in. that only happens in movies and when a former lover gets hurt really bad by a new person, and you don’t want them then.  It may feel good to say I told you so, but once the hurt wears off, they usually leave again.  No you would have to fight for her, show her she is missing out, and could you do that right now?  Let’s look at it

You’re bitter and angry. Even if justified, not conducive to your goal.
You’re at a job way below your skill level and reflect the financial pay as a result.  How often can you travel to see her? How much can you spend just on basic movie or even cheap, but creative dates?

Where’s your direction in life? Are you stuck or are you moving forward?

My point is if you met her brand new, right now, how would you go about it?  Cause right now, I don’t think you could. There’s stuff in your life you would have to hide, conceal right?

I didn’t know what he meant really? I was not really getting what he was saying, and I know that because his next words, made me think about a different direction.

“If she knocked on your door right now, what would she see?”  ….I paused, cause my house is a mess right now.

“I would not let her in, or rather my house is not ready for guests right now.”

“How often is it? Don’t answer I already know.  Its not and  it seldom is because depressed people don’t really care about the little stuff like that.  You let little things slide.  The house, the made and quality of your clothes, eating too much or drinking too much, and it all has a cumulative effect.  You could not get her now. For lots of reasons.  You need to think about how you would get her, and begin doing those things, BUT without the goal of getting her back.”

Easier said, then done of course.  I don’t feel like doing a lot of things.  Or I get a rush of inspiration and the follow through fizzles out.  Truth be told, I knew what I wanted, I had it, and lost it somehow.  And for me it was never about being married, or being a father.  It was being with her, having kids with her, and I think that makes all the difference in the world for me.

I feel like I’m starting from scratch, and in many ways that is true.  My future is nebulous, and unformed.  My present is cluttered, and mostly ignored. Existing rather than living. Perhaps, this new therapist will help me alter that.

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It’s days like today, that I see or rather feel that maybe it is better that I did not get married. Not because of how Tina abandoned me.  No that is another whole reason to feel that she did me a favor early.  I say this because it seems as if the pact of marriage is not respected any longer.  A co-worker of mine, has a woman coming after him and she is married.  He, being a bit of a player, has already slept with another co-worker (his boss) who is also married.  And then all we have to do is listen to the news to see the the frenzy over the nuptials of Kim Kardastian, and is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that she too will be divorced inside of 2 years.

All around I look, marriage seems to be a thing of the past, but not a sacred pact between two people.  Infidelity, divorce, separations–every where you look.  If  I had gotten married I have little doubt now that it would have failed.

And people wonder why I’m jaded.  I say look at the evidence around you and I ask, “Why aren’t you jaded and cynical?”

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Just how long am I going to feel this way?  I mean, jesus, I’m walking around town and can’t stop thinking about what the ex is doing today.  What is her family ding for the weekend?  Will the kids ask where I am again, and what will her answer be.  It’s pathetic I know, but it is what it is.  And what it is,  is that i cannot stop thinking about her, us, and the ridiculous year and future of us not being together.

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This past week has been one full of death and passings. Ed McMahman, Fara Fawcett, and of course Michael Jackson.  But death touched me personally today as I was told a dear friend my mine died.  He died young, at age 38, and ironically from a heart attack.   It seems cliche, but is true that I just spoke with him a fews days ago.  On the phone on my birthday, and a day later on Facebook when Michael passed.  My friend’s last words to me,

“Keep your head up.  And stop having  such a bad attitude.  You keep thinking about what you lost.  No, think about what she lost.  She lost you.  She lost someone her whole family loved, and thought of as family. She lost, not you.  So stop fucking mopping around. And talking about it.  Life is short.  Live it, and find someone that would fight to keep you around, instead of wanting to get away and find what she already had.”

That was on thursday.  On Saturday, he himself was gone.  I’ve been numb all day.  Im trying to process the information, and cannot.  It hurts when we lose anyone.  But at least in situations like MJ, or even my uncle earlier this year, they lived full lives.  My friend was 38, and I cannot help but think about the thigns he wanted to do, and see, and accomplish that he had not.  What was he putting off?  And what am I going to put off, if I keep my focus on the wrong things.

I often thinks things like this, but this has new significance at times like this.  I was in his wedding.  I helped him set of his life insurance and investments.  I’ll be busy focusing on his wife and kids, as we make arrangements this week.  This time is for them.  And will be for quite some time.  I’ve had people relate break-ups to death, but I’m not sure I buy that completely.  I guess it is in abstract.  But in the real world, I cannot imagine how his wife feels.  I cannot and still cannot imagine how my aunt feels after 45 yrs.

And throughout the week, and beyond, I’ll think about his last words to me were–echo many of the things told to me by people here.  I know he was right.  I know many that have commented here are correct.  I guess the only issue is whether or not I’m gonna grab my balls back, and man up.   My boy is looking down on me now, so I guess I better not disappointment him.

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Weddings are more than a promise between two lovers, they are an event.  In fact they are multiple events.  There’s the wedding itself, the engagement party, bachelor party, showers, honeymoon; it is one big mish-mash of stringed events that all take planning and dreaming.  So what do you do when the wedding is off?  Even if you have not sent the invitations or booked the hotels and catering, there is still a good deal planning, and mental visualizing that goes along with thinking about the perfect bachelor party, err, engagement party. 

In my case, I had dreams of how all of that would go.  Now, I won’t be getting married.  But you know what? I’m gonna steal an attitude and clue from the female playbook, and just flip it around.  How do I mean?  Simple, I refuse to be sad on the day and week this coming year that I was supposed to get married.  I’ll have my own personal celebration.  I’m calling it the “Wedding Reversal Plan.”

I’m gonna focus on the following events and items that are usually entailed in preparation for the wedding and on the wedding day itself. 

1.      Invitations

2.      Wedding dinner party

3.      Engagement pictures

4.      Wedding/Honeymoon

5.      Grooming pre-wedding and on the day of wedding.

I had this idea specifically for the weekend of the wedding, but have expanded and here is my plan.

1.      Invitations-I won’t be inviting anyone to an event, but you know what I am moving in a new direction in my professional career.  I’m going to announce it via postcards to all the friends, family, and business associates I was going to invite to the wedding.  Maybe I’ll even send one to Tina.  Just kidding, I’ll be nice.  J

2.      Wedding Dinner Party-This is usually a thank you to all the friends and family that have helped or are participating in the wedding.  But you know, even without the wedding I have a lot to thank my friends for. They’ve been there for me these last few weeks like they always have in my life.  They’ve heard the anger, tears, pain, and screaming.  So I’m taking them all out dinner.  And while I’m at it.  I’m gonna get them some gifts as well—in place of the gifts given to the groomsmen.

3.      Pre-wedding and day of wedding grooming- Every body wants to look good for their wedding day.  Even though women are the ones most often concerned about losing weight to get into the gown, there are number of things men can and should do as well.  I’ll do them all: hit the gym, get the teeth whitened, and get some new clothes. I’ll need this for the next step.

4.      Engagement/Weeding Pictures-Tina and I never got around to taking engagement pictures.  We had the person picked out, but kept postponing.  Well, I’m gonna set up a photo shoot for myself.  I’ll record my newer looks, and this has the bonus of providing me with killer pics for my Face book page and internet dating site.  Score one for me.

5.      Wedding/Honeymoon-my wedding date originally was May 30th, 2009.  Honey moon to start that weekend at Sandals in St. Lucia.  Well, I’m gonna sell the ring, take the proceeds and take myself to Hedonism III in Jamaica.  I doubt the idea of me supposed to be getting married that weekend will enter my mind while at Hedo. 

6.      Lastly, there is the 1st wedding dance as husband and wife.  Tina and I had talked about this and we had decided we were gonna surprise everyone at the wedding.  We would start off slow, and then bust out with a hot Tango dance.  We never started the classes.  Guess what?? No, reason I can’t take the classes anyway.  This gets an added bonus points because I keep hearing dance lessons are a great way to meet fun and single women.  Hmmm, sounds a like a plan to me.

And to put the final stamp on this all.  As a freelance writer I’ll find some magazine or website to write about the whole idea and process for.  So I’ll have fun, gain great memories, and get paid too.  Aaah, isn’t life grand.

 

 

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When a person enters a 12-step program for drug use or alcoholism, they must complete a life clean up if you will.  All vestiges of their former life have to be taken away.  For drug users that means no drug paraphernalia.  For alcoholics that means no beer, wine, or alcohol of any kind in the house.  For relationships a similar task must be done.  All photos, and cards must be burned or put away in storage.  Phone numbers, email accounts, and buddy lists on places like Facebook and Myspace must erased.  The process in all three examples is a hard one, and many resist doing it.  I did, and I started even before the official talk.  I had a feeling about where it was going, and one of the banes and blessings of my life is that I can just know stuff sometimes.  So I did what I’m prescribed to do.

But avoiding associations and mutual friends is another matter.  Particularly, when they do not know what is going on.  I’ve been lucky, and me and my ex did not have  a lot of mutual friends.  Most of hers from college don’t live in town, and my friends, are well, mine.  But we do have a few.  People we both like, but don’t see on a regular basis.  And so it is with God’s own sense of sick humour that I hear from three of the mutual’s we have in the space of two days.

People I have not heard from in like two months, and a couple we spoke to just recently, I run into them all.  One via email with the question of, “did I miss the wedding.”  Umm, yeah that would be a no.  I say nothing about the separation.  I just respond that they have not missed it.  I can’t bring myself to tell them.  And to be honest a part of me says to myself, “if she hasn’t told them, maybe she really is gonna come back.”  Deluded I know, but well, there it is.  Later that same day, a phone call from someone else.  The question this time is the one I got sick of hearing before things went south.  “Have you set a date yet.”  Again, I say nothing.  I just comment that the wedding is not really on her mind right now.  An understatement to say the very least.  And today while getting my brother’s hair cut, I run into a mutual colleague.  His question, “how’s Tina?  You’re still together right?”  I can’t lie this time.  In front of a barbershop full of men, my head hangs low, and my eye’s water.  “No we’re not.  She pulled the I need space line on me two weeks ago.”  Our friend face shows shock, but its quickly replaced with the embarrassed look of someone looking at another’s pain, and wishes they did not need to see it.

Why did God, Fate, or the Universe do this to me right now?  I have no idea.  It’s one of those relationship break-up ironies that happens to everyone I guess.  Maybe the Universe’s way of forcing you to realize that is in fact over.  Either way, I find it personally annoying.  I know its over quite well, when I hit the bed at night with an ache in my heart.  I know its over when I see something funny on the web, and  force myself not to send an email.  I feel the pain of the over-ness very plainly when I see a cute kid, and I cannot send out our ritual “cute baby alert” text.  I don’t need big reminders, God.  I have plenty of the small ones.

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