Sunday, December 01, 2013

Where Have I Been?!?

So much for blogging this year! As we head into the final month of the year, I acknowledge that I haven't been much of a blogger in the past two years. Last year, it was due to my obsession with the 2012 election, as I spent hours of my free time reading article after article after article of anything dealing with the election and the candidates.

This year, it was partially due to my HP mini laptop having a problem that I still haven't had a professional geek to look at it and give me the diagnosis, so I'm here at the library to post an update about my life. But the biggest reason for my lack of blogging is because I got busy falling in love. Now that what had seemed so right and inevitable had turned out to be a complete bust, I'm going to offer my diagnosis on what happened. Normally, I wouldn't do this. When people make my "first tier" of friendship, they can expect privacy and my not writing about our relationship (which is why I hardly ever write about my family and close friends on here). But, if the relationship is over, then the hazards of being friends with a writer and a blogger will come to the fore, because I believe in an honest examination of life and hopefully, my experience won't be someone else's experience. Learn from it and avoid the mistakes I made. The only way the human race can improve / evolve is if we learn from each other's mistakes and avoid making them ourselves. So, I write this as a favor to humanity. You can thank me later.

I'm changing some personal details because its not important who she is but what the situation was that made things "unworkable" for the long haul. So, here it goes...

In March, I met a lady at church named Celine, who is married with young children. Even though I found her attractive, I didn't pursue her because I just don't do adultery. A few weeks later, when she happened to tell me that she was planning to get a divorce because her husband is verbally and emotionally abusive, I thought establishing a friendship would be a worthy goal, to show her that she has options. He's an atheist who hates religion and Celine is an incredibly spiritual woman. For me, that contrast definitely boggles the mind. I have plenty of friends who are atheists but I would never marry one because in a relationship, especially if the couple has children together, the difference will become huge and ultimately incompatible, particularly if one has a hostile view of religion and the other wants to raise the children in the church. I was curious about her relationship with her husband and it sounds like they have very little in common. She won't even tell me why she married him (she actually proposed to him, even though he had told her that he wasn't the marrying type and that no one in her circle of family and friends even liked him), but I suspected that she was too embarrassed to admit that she was attracted to him for shallow reasons (he's supposedly 6'5", 250 pounds of muscle, and gets plenty of attention from other women), so she simply says, "I don't know why I married him."

Things heated up in late April when she admitted that she was attracted to me and wanted a relationship. I was pleased to hear it, but I was planning to just be her friend until the divorce happened. I didn't want to ruin a friendship by rushing into a relationship. In May, June, and July, we pretty much spent 3 of 4 weekends together doing various things around Portland. One of the "red flags" for me was that she said she missed me a mere 3 days after we declared our intentions for one another, when I went out of town for a 36 hour period. I thought it was too soon to say that. She also was quick to drop the "love" word, when I didn't feel it yet. She was confused by that, and I told her how the process works for me: it takes time, more conversations, more activities, but eventually, the "loyalty gene" will kick in and it'll be solid. For me, that moment came in July when she went with me to see a special screening of a documentary about Yogananda.

With Celine, I had the most amazing conversations with her. Deeper than with any other person I've ever known. We talked about everything and anything. There was no censorship and it was through these conversations where I actually felt like I had met the one I am meant to be with, because I didn't have to censor myself with her. She doesn't get offended easily like other women I've known do. She shared my spiritual views and even though she's not political, she said that she likes my political views. She and I had over 25,000 messages between us on Facebook's Instant Message.

Then she started getting distant in September and on the night of the full moon in October, she called me all hysterical about her husband. Instead of being sympathetic, as it was the same old story she told me all summer long, I simply asked her, "So what steps are you taking to free yourself?" She then lashed out at me, saying I don't understand because I have never been in an abusive relationship before. I responded, "Of course I haven't, because I know I could not be in an abusive relationship. I'd rather be alone than be in an abusive relationship." Rather than listen to her drone on and on about the latest drama in her home, I had to cut it short so that I could participate in a "full moon meditation" with my housemates.

In November, her behavior became even more erratic and illogical, until ultimately, she cut me off of Facebook by blocking me. I was stunned and devastated. She did this (and did this on the Monday of Thanksgiving week) when she had told me that blocking someone on Facebook was "bad karma" (we had discussed that sometime during the summer, the reasons one should block or de-friend someone). I was completely shocked by what she did, especially since she had claimed to have never been in a relationship with a man who respected her or treated her as an equal. We were so compatible, or at least I thought so or was led to believe by her. During the summer, I had surprised her by taking her to a movie theater without telling her what we were going to see (she loves surprises like that). I chose Austenland since she loves Jane Austen. Before the movie began, she asked me, "Would you have gone to see this film on your own?" I responded, "Probably not." Her eyes glowed and she said, "No guy I've ever been with has done that for me!" Wow...really? That's the way I roll. I wanted her to be happy and I am definitely more easy going about things. I don't have hang ups about what other guys derisively call "chick flicks".

Since Monday, I've been thinking a lot about what I've learned about my summer with Celine and what I also know about abused women, based on books I've read. There's something psychologically amiss about a woman who only knows love through the intense drama with an abusive male. I knew that she'd probably experience a "freak out" at some point. I thought that I was going to be devastated by her behavior and cutting me off, but a housemate had me go through a technique called "EFT" or "Tapping". After we did that, I was surprised how quickly I felt the effects (a small blissful feeling in my "solar plexus" and a view that it's her issue and not mine, so I am able to let it go). In the days since, I actually feel good about moving on and beginning the search anew.

I will probably use elements from our "summer of sizzle" in a novel I've been wanting to write about courtship and dating. Not sure if I plan to write that next year, but I'll at least develop characters, story, and plot so I can begin writing it as soon as I get my novel about the Boy Scouts completed. I decided to devote 2014 to meeting my writing goals, no matter what. The itch to write again is coming on strong.

What I learned most about my experience with Celine is that the most important personal value I have is my sense of personal freedom. I consider it so vital to my well being that I am unwilling to surrender it to just any lady who comes across. To me, a relationship means a complete commitment that involves my loyalty and the subversion of my own interests for the sake of the other / for the relationship. I can't do that for a woman who is emotional unstable or a control freak or neurotic or whatever dysfunctions people have and bring into relationships. I read a book this summer that describes the kind of relationship I seek. The book is Gary Zukav's Spiritual Partnerships. Direct and honest communication is required. The game playing, cryptic messages, and evasions / non-communication subverts the relationship. Keeping one another honest about one's emotions and actions is not for slouches. Interestingly, Celine's daughter asked me on a few occasions why I'm not married. I told her, "The most important decision you can make in life is the person you marry." I think most people make it for ulterior motives that they might not even be aware of. The casualness of many engagements is likely a factor in many a divorces. A few years ago, I actually overheard a cellphone conversation where a young man in his 20s was telling his buddy on the other end of his phone conversation that some girl was really into him and he'll probably marry her because he's shipping off to Iraq and if the worst happens, it would be nice to have at least one person cry at his funeral. I was horrified when I heard him say that and prayed that the woman would somehow come to a realization that he was not right for her. That's an incredibly selfish reason to make a decision as important as marriage.

As the year ends, I am amazed that it began with my frustrations of living in a household where I witnessed the homeowner / landlord sexually using a variety of Asian women for his sexual pleasure and it ends with personal heartbreak that being the proverbial "nice guy" who treats women as equal and with respect failed with a lady who has a long history dating and marrying only abusive men. But I have the self confidence to say that this is not the life I want for myself and I'm using my personal freedom to move on and hopefully manifest a more suitable partner for myself in 2014. This time, I hope that she is ethnically / racially mixed or African American. Lately, I've been finding that my interests / attraction for someone who is a racial blend like myself is growing. Or maybe it didn't disappear altogether. Most of all, the next lady I date will be single and fully available for a relationship. Until then, you can find me in the gym. Happy December!

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