Just when I think the fizzy lifting drinks have gone flat, they fizz again. It's like they are trying to turn into full blown butterflies, but don't have quite enough kick. I think that's because I won't let them. I have issues . . .
I am NOT good at the dating thing. I have a really, really, really hard time opening up and allowing myself to even consider that I'm "worthy" (for lack of a better word) of a relationship. And I know that's still left-over crap from my marriage and divorce.
That's me. On my wedding day. Shout out to my Uncle Jerry who photo-shopped Harry Potter's head onto my ex-husband.
When I got married in 1997, I was pretty sure it was forever. I learned that forever lasts 2 years, 9 months and 11 days. That's how long it took for me to discover my husband was cheating on me. That's how long it took for him to refuse counseling and walk out. Follow that with six months of near suicidal depression and a year of serious counseling. Counseling that made me realize I had to take responsibility for my part in the failure of that relationship. I spent about 7 years processing the experience of marriage & divorce, and learning to be happy as a single person again. That was the scariest part - learning to be happy as a single person again. Before I got married, I was a happy, single gal. I wasn't desperate to get married, I figured if it was supposed to happen, it would. And it did. And then it fell apart and I couldn't remember that woman I was before marriage. It felt like I had lost a child in the grocery store, and I couldn't remember what aisle I left her in. Hell, I couldn't remember what store I left her in. It was terrifying. And crippling. And humbling. . . . But I did find her again. I slowly, painfully, awkwardly found my way back to the happy me. The joyful me. The laughing me. It was such a difficult path back to that place, that I am legitimately terrified of straying from the path again.
A year after having gastric bypass surgery, I started thinking about dating again. There were a fair number of awkward dates with awkward guys, but there were several I dated for a couple of months. Looking back, I can see a pattern. Start dating, have a good time, feel like I've drank some fizzing lifting drinks, get freaked out by that gassy feeling, decide there was something completely unimportant that bugged me about the guy, and get out before butterflies ever had a chance to land. To continue the analogy - I'm too scared to chase a butterfly off the comfortable path. What if I can't find my way back? What if I forget what path I was on? What if there's a Big Bad Wolf waiting in the woods to eat my heart? Is there enough super-glue in the world to repair it again?
These questions take my breath away. They literally make me hyperventilate if I think about them too much. I have experienced great love, but what my heart immediately remembers is how painful the end of love was. The logical side of my brain knows this is part of my dating problem. But the emotional side of my brain is scared of not being able to recover from another broken heart. I am so scared of becoming emotionally dependent on another person, scared of losing myself to "couple-ness." I am so fucking scared.
But I think this means that Joe is becoming more important to me than I had anticipated. I think I'm going to have to step off the path into the woods. I will have to go slow. One step at a time. And I may leave a trail of breadcrumbs . ..