Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Miscommunication of Emails, texts, and IMs when Dating

Oy, can I say Oy even if I'm not Jewish? It seems appropriate for this situation. I was communicating via email with the guy who just wants to be friends. He messaged me that I shouldn't be using courts and lawyers because in the future I'll want to get back together with my ex and I won't be able to if things get messy.


I've tried to explain to him that my marriage is over due to abuse without divulging too much about my marriage. In response to his email I sent one telling him that once my ex finds out about the lien on our house and is served with child support papers he's going to lose it because he is prone to temper tantrums. I also mentioned talking to my daughter about the abuse that day and how the conversation went better than I'd hoped. OK maybe I wasn't as succinct as that, but that is about all I said. Maybe if I'd been more succinct and used less emotional words, he wouldn't have assumed things about me.

His email back told me that my life is a mess and why would I want to purposely make my ex mad by filing papers with the courts. He accused me of talking smack about my ex in front of my kids and if this is how I treated people I didn't hate he'd hate to see how I treated people I did. How could I tell a virtual stranger these things about my ex husband?


My next email divulged more about my marriage and how I am not allowing the abuse, the mess, or the issues in my life dictate my day to day. I am not feeling sorry for myself or looking for pity, it just is the situation I am in and I am dealing with it on a day by day basis. I have decisions to make and for reason A, B, and C, these are the decisions I've decided to make.

I wasn't emotional about it, although I wanted to tell him what I really thought of his last message.

My response was unemotional, to the point, with reasons to back up my choices and an explanation about why I was divulging so much information to a 'virtual stranger,' as he called himself. The reason was to explain why I made the choice to file paperwork with the courts, talk to lawyers, and have a plan in place in case he became violent. I also told him the purpose of telling him so much now was to get him to understand that not all marriages are good or salvageable. Plus, to make it very clear that my ex was abusive in front of his children and that although I talked to my daughter it was still done with positive reinforcement and a clear message that her father loves her. I also wanted to make it very clear that I am not an emotional train wreck and still the confident, together woman he met.

In the email I admitted that while my ex may have been controlling and abusive, he was not the only one at fault and I was very aware of my role in the downward spiral of our marriage. I also said good things about my ex and how I wanted him to find someone who would make him happy.

Why didn't I freak out on this 'virtual stranger' and tell him exactly what I thought of his opinion of me?

Well, because he doesn't know me. He assumed that since I am a victim of an abusive marriage who lives with the threat of his anger landing on my door step that I must be a mess. I am a mess in many ways, however, I am not an emotional wreck. I do my best to keep irrational thoughts out of my decision making process and I do not want to make my ex pay via revenge. I just want to live my life and move on. Life is too short for anger, hatred, and revenge.

Email is not the medium to use when having an emotional charged discussion. All that one has is words to interpret what you mean and what you are feeling. People will use their own points of view, lives, experiences, etc, to interpret your meaning in a negative way for the most part. I have yet to come across one person who didn't jump to conclusions, negative assumptions, and hurt feelings when they received an emotionally charged email.

For all I know his ex wife dragged him over the coals with lawyers and courts. She might have poisoned their children against him and ruined his reputation with their friends. I don't know why he reacted the way he did or accused me of being such a hateful, petty, woman. Sure I'm hurt, I'm upset, and I'm pissed, but why escalate things by being overly emotional in my response? It would only lead to another knee jerk reaction from him and more negative emotions for me.

I do not expect to ever hear back from this man again. Nor do I really want to, his issues are more than I want in my life right now. His uncanny ability to only see what he wants and use his experiences to interpret other people's situations only leaves me wondering if he is capable of empathy. I need friends who listen, can offer solid advice, and be there without accusing me of drama.

I have too much empathy and see so little of it in others. I'm not looking for a man to feel sorry for me, or even to fix my situation. I am looking for a man who can understand me through empathy but knows I am capable of handling things with his support as a friend, a confident, and a lover.

Monday, 28 April 2014

I Feel I Don't Deserve to be Loved - How I'm Fixing That

At my core I believe I don't deserve to be loved and those words eat at me when I'm tired, depressed, alone, and hurting. Those words ring so true to my soul I cry out in actual pain from it raking at my nerves, my heart, and my mind. I rarely cry, I rarely feel such pain, but when this lie screams out at me I almost buckle over from the physical agony tormenting my being. My head knows this statement is a lie, but that doesn't matter, I still hurt. 

It is this lie that abusers, manipulators, and predators are able to easily uncover and use against me to reel me into their toxic world. If I am ever to find true happiness and love I have to stop believing it and start loving myself enough to put up walls between me and the toxic men who I am drawn to. 

Here is a podcast that I find helpful, and one that you may also find key truths to help you as you heal:

I have been working on this with my therapist. She gave me a few exercises and one of them is to write out a list that I read over and over until I start believing it to the point it drowns out the lie. I've started the list and wanted to share it here. If you're like me, it's time you start calling out the lie and embarrass it back into the depths of hell...

Here's my list, I hope it will help you start writing yours.

Each item has the words I deserve to be loved in front of them, but since it was so hard on the eyes to have that phrase repeat over and over on the screen I removed it... when you write your list make sure you write I deserve to be loved before each reason you give.

I deserve to be loved because:

 God created me to be loved. 
 I am intelligent
 I am knowledgeable
 I am nonjudgemental 
 I get along with most people
 I have an open caring heart
 I have lots of empathy
 I am pretty
 I am kind
 I am a sweetheart
 I am a good friend
 I am an excellent mother
 I am a great writer
 I am a good marketer
 I am a decent salesperson
 I have marketable skills
 I can solve problems
 I am a quick learner
 I am resilient 
 I am resourceful
 I am independent 
 I am supportive
 I am wonderful
 I have a giving heart
 I have a positive outlook
 I love coffee
 I am a good cook
 I have a lot of love to give

This list will grow as I look at myself and all the positive strengths God has given me. Don't get me wrong I have plenty of weaknesses, my inability to keep a clean organized house is at the top of that list. I spend enough time feeling bad about my negatives and the next step will be to start seeing those traits not as negatives but either with a positive twist or as weaknesses that someone else can support with their strengths. 

Friday, 25 April 2014

Date with a Great Guy ... Why did it go South?

I met an older man for coffee the other day, no expectations, didn't think I'd like him. He was late and there was nothing overly attractive about him, he was average in looks, but not average in intelligence. He dominated the conversation, which was fine with me, with stories about his life, his points of view, his beliefs, and passions. He was very interesting and that made him sexier to me as time went on. We had some good philosophical discussions, we talked about our kids, our lives, and our work. Coffee lasted four hours... Time just flew...

As he left, he told me he'd come my way next time for fish & chips by the dock and he was looking forward to it. Later that night, he sent me an email thanking me for a great time and he was looking forward to meeting with me again. I waited until the next day to return his email with compliments about how interesting I found him and that I too wanted to meet again. Then he emailed again, saying he wanted to meet up again soon. I waited another day and then sent him a note saying I was coming his way on Saturday, would he want to meet up for coffee again? I received a response that night saying that would be great and that he was free all day! Perfect right? 

Soon after that email, I receive another one from him stating that although he really enjoyed coffee with me, he wanted to make it clear that this was not a date, as he didn't want to come between me and my husband getting back together. 

Ah... What? 

I thought hard about what I said about my marriage and separation... I never once said we were working things out, or I ever had any intention of working things out. I never said it was an abusive marriage, however I did say we were finished and both moving on. I'd even mentioned I helped my ex with his online dating profile hoping he'd find someone new quickly. I purposely did not say anything bad about Chris, but I sure as h e double hockey sticks did not say anything nice about our marriage either. I barely talked about it. 

I don't get it. 

I emailed him back saying that I was up for a just friends coffee and needed the mental stimulus of smart people in my life. I also mentioned that there was no chance of me going back into my abusive marriage and that I'd stayed so long it had actually harmed my children, not helped them. I also mentioned that my situation was my problem and not one I was looking for another person to solve for me.... Just in case he thought that... 

My feelings are raw right now... I am hurting ... Plus in therapy I am working on the whole why do I feel like I don't deserve to be loved, respected, valued, cared about, etc thing. That's probably why my first reaction was, what is wrong with me? Why don't men want to date me? 

Rationally, I know there is nothing wrong with me. I did everything right. This is his hang up, not mine.  Still it stings that he wouldn't want to date me. I know I need friends more than dates, I need to build a support system not a string of affairs. Still, a huge part of me is desperate to feel desired, wanted, needed.


Turns out that it's not my marriage he's worried about getting in the way of. He's worried I'll get in the way of him getting his wife back. He's still in love with his wife four year later and isn't ready to date, but is open to friendship with me to help stave off the loneliness. Insert eye roll here... Next time buddy, just be honest. I'm still open to be friends... Always good to have friends, you never know who he knows.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Nice Guys - Why Don't I Want One?

We've all heard the adage, nice guys finish last. I feel for these guys because they really are trying hard and recently I tried to meet 'nice guys' online and find some kind of chemistry with them. Each time it turned into a disaster. They shower me with their attention and I leave the coffee shop asking myself, why don't I deserve to be loved, cared about, cherished?

I do deserve to be loved, cared about, cherished, treated like a queen. Yet, after these socially awkward dates with nice guys, I feel like I don't, but what I'm really asking is ... Why don't I deserve to be loved, cared about, and cherished by Marc (or men like him.)? I'm not saying Marc is a bad boy type, he just chooses to be unavailable, so he keeps me at arms length, but within easy reach in case I decide I want to wonder off and shut a door between us.

It's not that I don't have access to men willing to give me the attention and the love I crave, it's that I don't want them to. It has nothing to do with how they look, as some of them are quite cute.  I sit through coffee while they keep telling me how beautiful I am, how smart, how special, how wonderful. I keep trying to talk about other things and they bring the conversation back to complimenting me and making grandiose promises about how they'll treat me or what they'll give me. If they aren't talking about me, they are giving me their sob story about how lonely they are, how much they want to have someone like me to love them. Either way I feel nervous and self-conscious. 

Their promises to give me things or take care of me make me uncomfortable. If they buy me something it makes me feel obligated. I haven't done anything to deserve a gift. I don't feel right letting them pay because we aren't dating, going forward, and if they constantly tell me how good looking they think I am, it isn't going any further than coffee. 

Their compliments make me feel bad about myself because I don't believe them. I'm used to being criticized and put down. I am used to being told I'm only so good and will never amount to anything more than a wife. My whole life has been limited by people who control me and keep me under their control using hurtful words and limitations. So when a stranger is telling me how beautiful I am or how much they want to take care of me, it makes my skin crawl. I don't believe they mean it or that I deserve  it. I start thinking there must be something wrong with me and start to question why I don't deserve love.  

A man like Marc may say I look nice when they meet me, once, but that's it, they don't beat me over the head with it. The compliments they give me are few, well placed, and sincere, they are like crumbs that I lap up and keep looking for more. I want more, so I obsess trying to figure out how to please them to get more. It is a game and it works. 

I was talking to a nice guy, a down on his luck type, trying to explain to him why women brushed off nice guys. How being constantly complimented only made me anxious and did not inspire affection for him. How it would have been better to say nothing about how I look, how great I am, or how much I deserved. How it would be better to talk about life, work, global news, anything but what he thought of me. He wasn't impressed with my assessment of how he should interact and ended the coffee meet. 

It's not that I'm looking for some jerk who will, disrespect me, tear me down, or abuse me. I'm not. I am looking for a confident man who knows what he wants, is very busy with work and can handle independence from his woman. A man who is secure enough in himself that he can support me in my weaknesses and allow me to support him in his. A man who will help me when I need it and will give me space to solve my own problems when I want to. A man who won't constantly judge me and will want to see me succeed in life as a writer.

I have a lot of healing and strength building to get to a point where I will deserve such a man. When I've done the work to rebuild myself, I will not settle for anything less though. By then, not only will I deserve the love of such a man, but I will believe that I do.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

He's Not That into Me - How I Changed That - Briefly.

Marc is an ideal, an obsession, a man who flits in and out of my email to keep me on his hook, each time keeping me obsessing over him, but last week I changed that. How? Simple, I stopped caring and put on my kiss ass Bitch hat. -- Yeah I made that sound easier than it is. However, it is a mind switch - thinking instead of feeling. Ah huh? Let me explain...

When I was obsessing about Marc, constantly searching for his emails, stalking him on the dating site, I was motivated by my feelings. Loneliness, hurt, abandonment, and self loathing. Yes, self loathing. I did not feel worthy of being treated better than he was treating me. The other men I've met who are making grand gestures, saying wonderful things about me, and promising to treat me right make me uncomfortable and I hated myself even more.

That statement may not make a lot of sense, I mean how do 'nice' compliments from 'nice guys' make me hate myself more? They do because I don't believe them, compliments are foreign to me, and they make me nervous. I leave the conversation asking myself what is wrong with me? Why can't I just like someone who sees me as an amazing woman? Why don't I deserve to be cherished, loved, cared for? Why do I feel more comfortable being treated like a Whore by Marc? Why do I feel more comfortable being constantly criticized? Why do I feel more comfortable feeling worthless, unloveable, unworthy, and invaluable? The answer - I am a survivor of life long abuse.

The first thing I did was to write on post it notes stating I am worthy, valuable, loveable, and deserving of love, success, and respect. Next, I did not email Marc, until he finally emailed me and during that time I wrote and rewrote an email stating how wonderful I am and exactly what I wanted, where my boundary was. His response was positive. More positive than I would have imagined and lastly, I wasn't there to respond every time he emailed me back.... which resulted in him emailing me again and chasing me again.

I use my mind to tell myself over and over I do not care if he disappears, I do not care if he is talking with other women, I do not care if he is sleeping with other women. I do not care if he contacts me or if he doesn't. I keep telling myself this over and over and over..... One day I'll believe it. Right now though I am acting like I believe it and it's producing more communication from him. He is stepping closer. He likes me more as a confident woman instead of the insecure school girl.

The full email I wrote and his full response will be in one of the future Game of 51 books.

Here is some of what I wrote him:

I have a choice.... I can accept what you are offering or I can walk away.... I know what you want... sex... no strings attached.... no icky romantic feelings...  I've always known this... and I chose you.... 

So what if I'm not a priority to you? I can't do anything about how you feel about me. I have no control over you. You will either take me or leave me.... I am who I am, I don't play games, I tell it like I see it and I can rationalize my feelings -- eventually, once I understood the boundaries and expectations.

Once I comprehended that you were serious about me. Once I felt secure in my role with you, I could manage my reaction to not being a priority. 

If you don't want me - nothing I can do about it. No use getting all upset.... I was stupid to get upset before. I'm a very passionate, smart, giving, submissive woman -- take it or leave it -- that's me. I can't be anything else or anyone else.... You'll contact me or you won't. You'll show up or you won't. Either way -- I'll survive. 

His initial response:

Your previous letter was quite insightful of you, and of yourself and how you are viewing your life. I see you progressing above my expectations of you. You are becoming more confident, more sure of yourself, more positive. That pleases me. 

Yes he contacted me more, chased me a bit, but then went silent again. I can't do anything about that. I can only control myself and how I react. Do I want to chase a man who only wants sex and nothing else? No. Do I want to chase a man who only sees me as a whore to use? No. Do I want to chase Marc? No. Am I still obsessed with him? Yes.

I need a life. I need to meet other people in the real world and work on my own self image. I have to get busy and as I get busier and meet friends who are healthy for me and supportive of me, I will eventually learn how to love myself and men like Marc will not be able to get a hold on me.

I still feel blessed for knowing Marc, he was there when I needed him. God has used him to help bring me out of an abusive marriage, to help me understand control, dominance, and submission. The nice compliments Marc has given me have rung true to my heart and helped me to like myself more. The amazing supportive words he has provided me have helped me to stand up to those who are controlling in my life and have helped me to create boundaries. He has helped me figure out what I want and has opened me up to sexuality where just four months ago I couldn't even admit I had sex with my husband.

He has been a blessing. I hope he will continue to be in my life, however, it's up to me if he is, I must see him for who he is, what he wants from me, and expect no more from him. I have a choice, take what he is offering me or walk away. I chose him. Now it's up to me to find ways to not obsess, to have a life, and maybe one day I'll find the man I really want to have a life with.

Monday, 7 April 2014

When the Kids Are at their Dad's

It's hard not to feel abandoned, alone, and left on the outside when the kids go to their dad's place. My daughter's birthday just passed and she went to her dad's to celebrate and spent more time there then she has since I left the house a month ago. He kept buying time with her by making plans to do things with her.

I feel so alone. I know I have to find a life for myself, but it's not as easy at it sounds to do that. I went to a couple meetup meetings and it was alright. I have to force myself to leave my house and spend time in the world. Whether its sitting in Starbucks, which feels just as lonely considering I'm still alone, just in a crowd, or going to a church group.

I should start looking for a job outside the home, even if it's a part time job. It'll force me to leave the house and give me energy. Maybe I'll meet some interesting people to spend time with.

My ex invited me to come along with him and my daughter, but I refused. I know it was nice of him to offer to include me, but I need to establish boundaries or else he'll continue to try to control my life. He already came over once and tried to get me into bed... I turned him down. He's lonely too, but turning to me isn't a healthy way to move forward.... for either of us.

Thankfully, Marc emailed me the night my ex came over and spent hours with me helping me through the situation. He has impeccable timing, it's like he knows when I need him to show up. Although it would be nice if he'd show up when I want his attention.

Anyway, back to the kids.... I do want them to have a relationship with their dad. I do. My son though has not been to my house in almost a month and it's hurtful. I saw him yesterday because he needed a ride to church. We had a fight, of course, because he sounds like his dad.

My ex has been brainwashing my son. Telling him that if I ask for child support or force him to pay it through the courts I am in the wrong. I don't need the money, I'd only be doing it to stick it to him. That's just one example of what I heard come out his mouth.... I love my son and want to spend time with him, but not if all we do is fight.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

He's just NOT into Me.... Too Bad....

I've been reading a lot about dating, relationships, and how men think.... Yes ladies they do think and not just with the little head, although that one seems to be the dominant thinker sometimes.

I remember way back in my University days when John Grey made a big splash with his Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars book, learning about how men like to pull back, go into their cave. I agree with this statement, but at some point they have to come out and if they don't, I think there might be a problem.

Marc's disappeared again... Yes I know, big red flashing lights telling me to bail out.

I read a blog post online about the signs that he just might not be that into you... Guess what, According to this dating coach, Marc's behaviour tells me he's just not that into me. However, every time I call him on it, ask him if he wants to end our arrangement or walk away myself, he comes back and gets closer to me. Damn the man.

This time I'm taking control of myself back. I am not going to tell him I want closure. I've just stopped emailing him first. Trust me this is hard, very hard. I so want to tell him about my day, how things are going with the divorce, especially since I'm so proud of myself for doing so much.

Well, to satisfy myself I write the email and leave it in the drafts folder. If he ever contacts me I'll have an email already to go. If he doesn't email me... I didn't make a fool of myself, yet again.

Every time I say I'm done with him, ask him to release me, he comes back opening himself a bit more to me and I fall for it. Why? Because he scores high on some arbitrary checklist I have about what the perfect man looks like? No. Because I'm a stupid girl with no self respect? Although it feels that way, No. Because he's got magic powers? Definitely not.

I keep going back because I can't have him and I'm in love with the IDEA of him. He is my main character in my Game of 51 Series, he's mysterious, intelligent, interesting, powerful, and has a hold on me - hook line and sinker. I want him because I'm not in control of him. I want him because he is unattainable. It's a game, a contest, a competition. It's not the man I want, but the prize of winning.

It's manipulation 101 - I can see every manipulation he's made, every word, every technique, every string he pulled. I intentionally ignored every one. Why? For a book? Maybe, but doubtful. I ignored the red flags for the attention, the experience, the feelings he stirred inside me.

I have to remember, he's just words on a screen. He's not real. He's only a manipulator who can type a good game.

I've stopped looking to see if he's on the dating site talking to other women. I've updated my own profile and started talking to other men again. At some point I will meet someone who is real, who will think I am special, and who will want me as much as I will want them. At that point, Marc's words on a screen will only be a memory.

Don't get me wrong. I am grateful for his words. They have given me so much during a very difficult time in my life. He has offered me support, been there when I needed him to be, and he made me feel sexy again. He gave me confidence and helped me to feel after years of emotional numbness.

He may not be into me. Our run may or may not be over. But his appearance in my life meant something to me. It helped me. No matter how hurt I'll be if this is it, I'll always be thankful for the attention he did give to me.