Do you like me for ME, or what!
** This is a continuation of a response to Kerry's "Narcissistic behavior in the adoptee's relationships" post. **
Relationships and Clichés
I think the pattern to keeping and maintaining an unsatisfying relationship has more to do with guilt and the common pattern that exists in adoption itself, but I'd like feedback from others outside my immediate circle, as I know when it comes to myself, I can turn every bump in life into an adoption issue.
Part of my own warped approach to relationships does stem from being Queer, I know that. Since we're already not bound by traditional relationship norms, anyway -- it's illegal to try and be in most states :D -- we've come up with our own relationship standards, and thus our own ways of doing crappy/shitty relationships. Some are improvements over conventional opposite sex relationship misery. But most just really end up being crappy-shit alternatives to crappy shit!
With me, the issue is always that I just don't conceive of relationships and commitment like anyone's norm, homo or hetero. For me it is always person-based, not even body-parts or gender based. I find that every time I get in some situation such as the one I'm in now, the conventional wisdom advice is, well,what do you want from "a relationship"?
E.g., why haven't you figured out what you want yet, then go find some hapless dupe to hammer and saw into that ideal, what is wrong with you. I know that from my particular adoption experience, this is one of my number one red hot buttons.
APs:we want a baby! So we should get a baby! Baby X from Anywhere, Planet Earth, will do; God FUCKING dammit we just want that bassinet and stroller filled with an object. Congratulations, you dumb bastard, you're that object, whether you like it or not! Now do as we say!
My BFF asked me that, recently, and I had to stop and think. I told her, don't get mad at me or laugh at me but this is really the answer:singledom!
It's really true. I can go for years without being involved with anyone. I can do serial monogamy. My last so-called "relationship" was LD and we met a total of four times, with the person starting to demand after time number three that I move to their small midwestern city, or otherwise cohabitate, as she put it. Eventually, it turned into that old cliché, "if you really loved me, you would...", classic bullshit. The person also ended up being quite delusional about relationships in general, as many lesbians/bi women can. There's even a cliché for that, too: the Uhaul Lesbian.
Wikipedia actually has a somewhat accurate article on the phenomenon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U-Haul_lesbian
Psychologists note that the U-Haul joke epitomizes the perceived phenomenon of lesbians to form intense emotional connections, referred to in gay slang as an urge to merge. Critics of this alleged tendency suggest that it is used by lesbians to avoid the risks involved with dating. In their view, an aversion to the risks of dating is linked to a stunted development of intimate relationships during the teenage years when most gays and lesbians are in the closet. With the freedom of adulthood, lesbians become drawn to the "U-Haul" relationships, appreciating their intensity and intimacy.
Despite the U-haul concept's positive suggestion that lesbians do not have difficulties committing to relationships, some psychologists also believe that this behavior can be unhealthy. They argue that the short dating span bypasses serious discussion on many relationship issues prior to moving in (such as sexual compatibility or future expectations) and this can manifest itself in various problems later on.
A common criticism of the "U-Haul" joke is the negative impression that it gives of lesbians' coupling on literally the second date, when for the majority of relationships, that step normally happens several months or years after meeting, if ever.
Statement of the obvious: that old cliché/stereotype is another reason I personally end up single most of the time, because I've seen a lot of it. My tolerance for that kind of behavior is nil -- last time I did that was some time 22 years ago, and even that was mostly for economic reasons. I avoid it at all costs. That means avoiding a lot of people.
With men, I can often treat them horribly and just use them physically then dump them, not all that different from the way many of them use women. So that's no good, and I've always despised that behavior in myself. Again, I do know this is how I get with them, so I often tend to just avoid relationships with them at all.
So yes, I suppose I am bi because I end up saying to both genders: go urge to mergewith someone else.
I'm not against the idea of LTRs, but my longest relationship, one from about 16-17 years ago, has lasted about 3 years, and even that one had a few breakups within it. In those periods, I was fine being (left) alone. I often don't want to demandanything
from relationships. Relationships seem to make everyone in them miserable.
This particular person who has caught my fancy has admitted to seducing me. Made a bee-line for me, and I was so out of it, complete with horse blinders on, that it took me a couple months to catch on, and even then I was in denial until like the DAY we were embarking on, uh, moving beyond friends.
We started getting to know each other over the general issue of relationships and, ironically, she started to kind of take my happy singledom as something of a role model. It made me safe and as is so often the case, a challenge, I suppose.
I told her, oh dearie, lol. I am afraid that in your seduction agenda you have bitten off more than you can chew, because MC is a big, walking mess, and the bulk of it indeed stems from being adopted and being beaten up and thrown out of the house. No, do not use that cliché "abandonment issues"; in my case, that I "have abandonment issues" is a truism. But yes, that history is what determines whether I stay or leave a relationship, and when things start to feel like that, I'll just remove myself from the situation, period. I've noticed, though, that the vast majority of my relationships end because I'm the breakup-ee, not the other way around.
Yeah, what happens to you makes you stop and think about just what abysmal level of horrid treatment you have the tolerance to endure. When you've taken a bunch of crap, it gets hard to redraw those lines so that they're below your nose, not over your head.
I've discovered with my new friend the high degree of awful treatment I've become accustomed to, in part because Ihaven't
gotten a lot of the crappy treatment I've come to expect. So it's kind of an eye opener. I didn't realize, for instance, that I expect something as simple as an email to be ignored, or for her to not recall or not listen to something I've said. I've been floored when she's said she'd call and lo and behold, he actually calls. Things that basic. Stuff I thought I knew about myself years ago, I find myself relearning.
___________"Why are you always picking 'unavailable' people!!"
Well? Why is everyone who picksme
"unavailable"? :/ :)
Does anyone else fall into this trap? I'm no stranger to playing "the other woman", a role that is actually fine by me unless I go and fall for the person; then it sucks major rocks. Aside from the occasional fingerwagging about morality, people will tell you things like:
"You do this because you have [cliché alert] low self esteem."
"You're [cliché alert] afraid of commitment, so you choose people committed to others."
"You [cliché alert] don't feel like you are worthy of love."
"You [cliché alert] have rejection issues. Your parents rejected you, so you assume every significant relationship will end the same way."
"You have [cliché alert] 'boundaries issues' because your parents had no boundaries with you, so you are fearful of losing yourself to another person."
All euphemisms for "you are damaged goods." The funny thing about that is, I readily cop to being damaged goods and don't even see it as an epithet -- it's just an objective fact. One cannot endure what rejected, abused adoptees go through and not end up damaged. So then the accusation becomes, "you are embracing/clinging to being damaged goods; this is because you have low self esteem and do not feel you are worthy of love", blah blabbity blah, the cycle starts again.
Thing is, it's not true. I feel I'm perfectly "worthy", if we must speak in terms of economic value. I just feel like people in general do not put the time or effort into loving each other, so why would I be anything different or special?
This, of course I am told, is cynicism, defeatism, nihilism, all stemming from the fact that I don't write down on paper a list of what I want in a relationship, and then go find that person, or whatever. Oh cripes does the labeling ever end.