Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Win Some, Lose Some

There are words inside my head, struggling to get out. I’ve been trying, but they just don’t seem to want to come. I have demons inside me too that are battling each other. They seem to have no problem slipping past from time to time. But the darker ones, the deeper rooted ones; those are the ones that are the worst. They fight and control me. They are the ones keeping the words inside because they don’t want the truth to come out.


We’re all battling something, hiding something, running from something. Most of the times, it’s from our own selves, from our past, our present, our future. We run from the things that scare us and from the things that bring us joy. We hide the person we used to be from the person we want everyone to think that we’ve become. We battle the guilt we feel over doing things, or not doing things, or not doing things the way we wish we had done them, or over the way we did something that did not lead to lifting this guilt.
I’m an Asshole. I’m selfish, egotistical, a sociopath; self-obsessed and un-remorseful. I’m opportunistic.  I do things without thinking of the consequences. I hurt other people without thinking of their feelings. And then I feel guilty about the pain I’ve caused, about the ways I’ve fucked up, about the people I’ve forced out of my life. 

I’ve left a wake of boys and men in my path for 10 years and I have nothing to show for it. 

But why?

I don’t have daddy issues, but I am an only child. I was never given everything and anything I wanted though. My parents made me work for everything I’ve ever had. I could blame the one person who ruined my entire life for me, but it didn’t just start there. I was doing this long before that – this erratic behavior - sometimes manipulation of their feelings, sometimes manipulation of my own. Shutting myself off and acting like I don’t give a fuck one second, then crying and pleading because I realized that I’m ruining, have ruined, a good thing. 

At first, maybe it was just boredom. The first boy I ever dated had an obsession with video games and became more interested in them than with me. So what did I do? I went out and found someone to be obsessed with me instead, while still dating the video game lover; an entire summer spent sneaking around behind his back. And then, when my new paramour ‘cheated’ on me with another girl, I was appalled and cut off contact with him; even though he was doing precisely the same thing I was doing to someone else. Then, he told me he loved me and I threw it back in his face. “You don’t love me. You don’t even know what love is.” And went back to vie for the video game lover’s attention.

I used them both to make myself feel better about myself, and in the end, I was just alone and felt miserable. Several years later, I even found myself with my paramour again, repeating the same cycle. I was obsessed over another boy who wouldn’t give me the time of day – and once again, he was there. So I led him on and baited him, and then dropped him like a bad habit once I had the attention of object of my desires. What a vicious cycle.

I want things my way, on my terms. Seems like a simple request, no? But I guess it borders on selfishness, wanting someone only when you want them, and the way you want them. Pushing them away when they’re too close, then struggling to draw them to you to get the attention you crave when it’s lacking. Pointing out all their flaws, the things that disgust you, finding reasons to leave or to not get close – then grasping at straws for the things you liked and loved, all the good points and great moments you shared while you’re watching them walk away. 

I thought maybe my destructive, abusive relationship may have been the root of this – and ok, maybe it can take the credit for some of it. He had played the game right back to me and he was better at it and he won. He could be blamed for the trust issues, for the not wanting to let anyone get close, to see the real you, for fear that they’ll realize you’re a disappointment and leave. That they’ll see those demons peeking out of your closet, find out who the real you really is, and despise it. Because everyone you let get close to you once at one point in time all turned on you and left you cold. Men who you’ve dragged through the mud, who would have gone to the ends of the Earth and back for you, but you never even bothered to give them the chance that they didn’t even know they never had. You played with their heart strings while playing apathetic.

And then finally, he came along. A person who you didn’t have to play games with, someone who finally understood you as you are and called you out on all your bullshit when you tried to play the game with him once and he wasn’t having it. And you didn’t have to fake it this time, the feeling was real. But he left – but not because of you – but he was still gone. And you reunited a few times and got closer, feelings grew deeper, and you thought to yourself – this is it, the thing people talk about all the time: 

Real Love. Soul mates. A partner for life. 

And you told him you loved him so because you swear you’d see it sparkling in his eyes whenever he looked at you, whenever he smiled that smile he only smiled for you. He did the things that no one else ever did, paying attention to all the tiniest details, and listening, really and truly listening to you. Caring for you, taking everything into consideration that made it worth it and you wanted to reciprocate all those things in the greatest way you knew how. 

And so you said those Three Little Words – words that you had uttered as a teenager without knowing the meaning, as a love sick college girl in the heat of the moment, on a dark winter night with someone you had once thought could have been the one, over the window of a car door while coerced by someone who had played the game back and won, and that one other time where you didn’t even mean it at all - and this time, you really, really meant those words this time. 

But he didn’t say them back. And then, the walls caved in all around you. You’d been waiting so long. It felt so right – how could this not be right!? 

It was time to play the game again. 

You hoped maybe if you played the game long enough, you’d find another him one day. Maybe you’ll find another one of him one day. I mean, you will right? You have to, right? 

So it was back to a string of dates with boys who didn’t make your heart skip a beat the same way, who didn’t send a charge through your body with a single kiss, whose eyes showed you something deeper when you looked into them. Try one on, see if it fits. Don’t like it, but buy it anyway. Regret it later but you’ve already cut off the tags so you can’t take it back now. You wanted to try and like them, to give them a chance instead of always holding them up to him for comparison. You really were trying. You were.

And then you found two pairs that you thought both looked great. One fit one way, and the other fit the other way. You would never be able to wear them to the same things; they both served different purposes and would have been great for different occasions. The first pair was newer, fit tighter, were the kind you wouldn’t want to take out of the closet unless it was important. So you left the first pair in the closet and bought the second pair. The second was more comfortable, an everyday kind of wear; reliable but you over wore them and took them for granted. You kept trying to find problems with the second pair that would give you a reason to wear the first pair, secretly lusting over the first pair, wondering what it would be like to wear those all the time instead. So, you wanted to see if you could try the first pair on for size and the second pair caught you. And then, you were left with none. 

You tried to go double or nothing and came up empty handed. You were greedy and selfish and now, you were alone again. And now you feel guilty. The second pair was great and was really starting to be your favorite. You had fun together. They complimented you and made you feel confident, alive, amazing, like you could have done anything. You could have taken on the world with the second pair by your side. They almost made your forget all about him. As much as you tried to fool yourself into thinking that you would never love them as much as you loved him, you were warming up to the idea. It wasn’t quite the same but it was a different kind of comfort, a different kind of fit. Like switching from a boot cut to a straight leg: They both looked great on you and hugged your curves in all the right places; they just gave you two totally different looks. They could have been your favorite.

I know I can’t make amends for the hurt that I’ve caused in the past, but if I could apologize knowing that my voice would be heard, and that they would accept my apologies, I would. I don’t want it to feel forced or feel like it’s falling on deaf ears. I want it to be genuine and real and honest. I want the other person to accept that I am trying to change here and give me that chance. But I think I’m past the point of repair.
You can’t make someone love you, but you sure as hell can make someone stop. And you can’t make someone stop hating you, but you sure know how to make them start.

I don’t know how to change the past but I think I know how to change my future. I don’t want to play the game anymore. I want to actively change my behavior to avoid this kind of destruction. I want to live without fear of being hurt because I can’t get past my past. I want to give you a chance and I want you to give me one too. Because we all deserve second chances in life – and I think it’s time I got mine.

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