Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rearview Mirror.....

I seem to look away, wounds in the mirror waved, It wasn't my surface most defiled....
Head at your feet, fool to your crown, fist on my plate, swallowed it down, enmity gauged,
united by fear, supposed to endure, what I could not forgive...

I gather speed, from you fucking with me, once and for all, I'm far way, finally the shades are raised...
Saw things so much clearer, once you were in my rearview mirror.

Because there is nothing humorous about an abusive relationship, I will depart from my typical form of commentary and speak candidly on this topic.

Whether it be mental, emotional or physical abuse, they all have the same effect.  It is hurtful, degrading, impedes your self worth and confidence, is not only detrimental to your relationship, but  mostly to your overall well being.  Those who find themselves in these relationships very seldom know how they got there and very often have no idea how to get out.  Fear and embarrassment are the chains that bind them to what seems to be a hopeless situation.

If you are in the early stages of an abusive relationship, you may recognize some early indicators but you may also be questioning if your suspicions are accurate.  The simple question to ask yourself is if the person you are with ever makes you feel bad about yourself?  If the answer is yes then move on as quickly as you can.  No matter what the circumstance, there is NEVER any acceptable reason anyone
should make you feel this way.  If you are in the depths of an abusive relationship, you have surpassed recognizing the signs, you are living them and have no idea how to get out.  Take a deep breath, and know that you are not alone, making the decision to end the relationship is the first step in the direction of your well being.  Take heed though, just because you have made the decision to end the relationship does not mean the battle is over, unfortunately it has just begun.

A big part of ending an abusive relationship is maintaining your safety, and that of your children if they are part of the equation.  Even if yours was not a physically abusive relationship, this does not diminish the potential for physical danger once your abuser has been rejected. A big part of abuse is control, once lost it may manifest in new ways.  With this said, following these key steps is imperative to moving on and starting anew.....

  • A big part of abuse is isolating you from family and friends, so you feel like you have nobody to turn to.  The people in your life will always be there for you, especially the one's you least expect to be there.  If you truly have no family or friends there are tons of shelters and support groups.  Whatever your support situation, the first step is to tell EVERYONE and ANYONE that is a part of your life what is going on and the decision you have made.  You may feel embarrassed or ashamed, but take some solace in the fact that most people around you have already recognized what is going on and are simply waiting for you to reach out for help.
  • Protect your home-
    • Change your locks and install dead bolts
    • If you have the money install a security system
    • Make sure the outside of your home is well lit
    • Trim bushes and trees around the home diminishing places for hiding
    • Make sure all windows are always kept locked
  • Protect your privacy-
    • Change your phone number, have the phone company block unlisted numbers from calling in also have them block your number when you make calls.
    • If you don't have caller ID, get it
    • Purchase a PO Box.  Use this address on any forms you fill out, to include a restraining order if you need to file one.  If a PO Box is not allowed, list the address of a friend, family member or domestic violence organization.
  • Out in public-
    • Try not to be alone, if you must be make it during the day or make certain you are in well lit areas
    • Change the routes you take to school, work, grocery store, home....basically anywhere you travel to regularly that your ex is familiar with.
    • Carry two cell phones for back up, have 911 set on speed dial on both
    • If confronted while in public yell "FIRE".  People respond to this more often and quicker than any other cry for help
  • Legal assistance-
    • If necessary, file a restraining order, keep a certified copy with you at all times.
    • Alert neighbors, schools, work, family, friends you have filed a restraining order, give them all a copy as well as a picture of your ex if they do not know them.
    • Ask the police department to routinely drive by your residence throughout the evening for a specified period of time, or until you feel safe.
    • If children are involved you will have to go through family court to protect both them and you.  Make certain you have documented proof of the abuse or anything which will support your case.
  • Put yourself back together-
    • Register will a domestic abuse organization.  Take advantage of any assistance, suggestions or group counseling they provide.  Group counseling is essential in your realization that you aren't alone.
    • Seek individual counseling to address your specific issues and needs.
    • Join activities you enjoy such as sports, yoga, art classes etc.  These will assist in relieving the stress of what you are going through, as well as give you back pieces of yourself a little at a time.
Following these steps will protect you and ultimately make you feel good about yourself again.  Remember, it takes a much stronger person to end an abusive relationship and start over than it does to simply endure the situation.  Be proud of yourself for recognizing you deserve better.......

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Let's Not Settle Down Together

You've had what seemed to be a wonderful date, then you don't hear from them for days...they tell you things like they want to take things slow and see what happens....or their dating profile clearly states they are only looking for something casual.  We can see them coming a mile away, either through their subtle hints or complete candidness, yet we continue to pursue the ever illusive commitment phoeb.  Why, you may ask?  Because our over inflated ego's tell us this isn't a condition they possess, they simply haven't met the right person, I AM the right person.  Then we jump through hoops and bend over backwards to prove this.  We allow them to dump all over us and we keep going back for more.  Because we just know that once we cook them that great meal, buy them that perfect gift, perform acts in bed that should only be seen front row at Cirque Du Soleil, they will finally have that epiphany that they can't live without us. WRONG!! Sure, there are exceptions to the rule, and one day these people may find that perfect person and their running days will be over, but chances are, in the interim you will be the rule, not the exception.

One of my all time favorite movies, "He's Just Not That Into You", became my dating Bible shortly after delving into this circus called the dating world for a second time.  It was as if all the obvious things we know about relationships was being exposed for the first time.  One of my favorite scene's in the movie is the following conversation between three women; 

Gigi: I think I've figured it out. Remember when I went out with that notary public and he cheated on me and then Anastasia from upstairs told me about how her boyfriend cheated on her in the beginning then he totally changed and now they're married and crazy in love?

Beth: I thought that guy was a process server.

Gigi: No notary. Anyway my point is, Anastasia is the exception, not the rule. We have to stop listening to these stories because the rule is most guys who cheat on you up front don't really care about you very much.

Janine: Ok.

Gigi: Ok, Ok. Exhibit A. Chad the drummer who lived in a storage space. He only used me for rides and yet I continued to stalk him for most of 1998. Then oh, um, there was Don, that broke up with me every Friday so that he could have his weekends free. I was delusional about that relationship. I used to refer to him as my husband to random people, like my dental hygienist. Anyway, all my friends used to tell me about how things might work out with these dipsticks because they knew someone, who knew someone, who dated a dipstick just like mine. That girl ended up getting married and living happily ever after. That is the exception and we're not the exception we're the rule.

Truer words were never spoken, and this doesn't only apply to to women and the men they date.  I know just as many women not willing to commit.  They claim they refuse to settle, but will anyone ever live up to their expectations? Nah....So, if you've found yourself in a relationship or even on a date with someone you merely suspect falls into this category, and you realize you want more than they are willing to supply, go with your instincts, they rarely lie.  Don't kid yourself into believing you are the one, there were probably 15 other "ones" before you in line. and they didn't get into the club either.
For this particular scenario, the length of the relationship makes no difference in how you end it, the point is you simply end it and save yourself the grief, aggravation and eventual heartache.  Easier said than done you say?  Here's something you should ask yourself then, and repeat to yourself when you are second guessing your decision to move on....."Am I making them a priority when I am only an option?....Do I want to be exceptional or simply a rule?"  Once you've answered this question for yourself, state it to the person your leaving behind and get on with your life!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Do you have the time, to listen to me whine....

About nothing and everything all at once....I am one of those melodramatic fools, neurotic to the bone, no doubt about it....

Pessimists, Debbie/David Downers, Soul Suckers, Life matter what term you use, you know the type.  Those victims of hostile life forces that are beyond their control.  Convinced that everyone is out to get them and the world in general is a miserable place.  We are surrounded by them daily... co-workers, family, the person in line behind you at the supermarket. So why would we willingly choose to spend time with one...especially time that is supposed to be pleasurable?  Initially, because we are unsuspecting, temporarily because we think we can change them, and over long periods of time, because we simply feel sorry for them and believe leaving them we will further validate their negative thoughts.  Fact is, people are who they are, if this is an ingrained personality trait you aren't going to change it and if you stay to prove them wrong they'll eventually find something negative in that as well.  

This may come as a surprise to you, but I've spent some time with negative types.  For the most part the time was short lived, as I can only take so much complaining.  However, one in particular actually intrigued me in some morbidly curious way, that I stuck around for a couple months.  I had experienced pessimism before, but this was the epitome of pessimism, and sticking around was akin to slowly driving by the scene of a horrible accident in order to get a better look, I couldn't help myself.  Besides, he had this sarcastic charm to his pessimism that was somewhat humorous.  He was a day trader who worked from home, and at the end of each day I heard about how much money he lost because of a bad trade, he knew it would be the case, but traded anyway? He couldn't go out into the workforce because he had some debilitating disease that prevented him from doing so, hence he spent a lot of time in doctors offices.  Holistic doctors of course, because medical doctors were incompetent, unable to pinpoint his ailment, and were only practicing for the money.  He only ate organic food, do I really have to list all the reasons?  Ultimately, I determined this wasn't going to go anywhere romantically when he confided in me that he could literally see the future....and his was bleak at best.  This actually turned out to be convenient, because he could see the future, I didn't have to explain why I was no longer answering or returning his calls, it was simply understood.  Believe it or not, I still catch up with him from time to time, and he still amuses me.  

If you've decided you're tired of being drawn into the downward spiral of your partner, and you are ready to start living an optimistic, fun filled life, try these measures for moving on.

New Lovers: You're at the movies and they are complaining about the lines, the prices, the coming attractions....pretty much everything.  Pull out a harmonica and blow a little blues bit at the end of every one of their sentences.  You may get kicked out of the movie, but it should move things along quite quickly.

Short Term Investors:  You've been dating a couple weeks, or maybe even a couple months, and you've heard them use the expression "cautiously optimistic" more than once.  What does this mean anyway?  It means they figured out the trick to temporarily concealing the fact that they are one pessimistic son of a bitch.  Nothing clever here, simply tell them it isn't working.  Their negativity has prepared them for this moment and they will probably tell you just that before you make your departure.

Long Haulers:  You've invested a lot of time in the relationship and a part of you truly does love them but the gloomy life you lead is sucking the air from your lungs.  Before proceeding with any decisions suggest counseling or medication.  Sometimes this personality trait is more than a simple bad attitude, they may truly need help.  If this isn't an option, or you've addressed this step and your mind is made up the key is being honest with compassion.  Do not approach negativity with more negativity, simply state it is time to move on and do just that.  In the end, appreciate yourself, be proud and confident in your actions, others will no longer be able to affect you negatively if you are.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

You're so vain

You're so vain, You probably think this blog is about you, You're so vain, I'll bet you think this blog is about you, Don't you? Don't you?

Who hasn't been involved with a self-absorbed significant other at some point in their lives?  Not to be confused with the self-centered and selfish which will be covered another time.  I'm talking about the men and women who can't pass by a mirror without taking a minute or two to admire themselves. The one's who are so impressed with their accomplishments they feel it necessary to tell anyone with a set of ears about them.  The superficial species that spend the majority of their time at the gym, tanning salons and dermatologist receiving poison injections.

Now, there is nothing wrong with a bit of confidence. Quite honestly, I find I'm generally not attracted to those that don't exude a bit of cockiness , and I'm sure the same applies to many...and this my friends is how we've all been tangled up with an egomaniac at some point in our lives.  They suck you in like a Dyson Animal with that arrogant air about them. However, once you've been sucked in, you quickly realize your simply trapped in a wind tunnel of suffocating debris and you can't wait to be let the hell out.

A few years ago I went on a couple of dates with a slightly older gentleman, who happened to be a plastic surgeon, (Your going to find I've been on more dates, with more types, than I care to recall. When you date in your late 30's you'll find you're a lot less tolerant than you were in your early 20's, hence, it results in many dates).  He was attractive, intelligent, had a career, seemed to have his act together.  That he was 50ish, (he never divulged, I surmised), and had never been married, or even in a lengthy relationship triggered a slight "hmmm?" in the back of my head, but I was in his path and that patented Dyson ball technology had zeroed in on me.  On our first date we went to a nice restaurant and had a nice meal.  All the while I quietly listened as he told me about his booming practice, his million dollar home on the beach and all the upgrades he was currently having done, his convertible Porche 9 something or other, and how everyone turned to look when he drove by and so on and so on.  In a brief moment, as he was taking a breath to reload, I interjected "it sounds like you've done very well for yourself, that's admirable, however, a persons character impresses me more than their accomplishments".  He seemed to briefly take the hint and switched gears long enough that when he called for a second date I accepted.  On the second date, there was much more of the same rhetoric as the first, but when he offered me a free boob job and botox so I could look as good as him when I reached his age I had to put an end to the I said, "I've been considering having my boobs done after my son finishes breast feeding".  He looked at me somewhat puzzled and said, "I thought your son was 6?", to which I tilted my head, raised my eyebrows, and cheerfully replied, "yeah, that's right", (totally untrue for those of you not catching on), and  for the first time all night he was silent...and it was beautiful.  The date ended shortly thereafter and I never had to listen to what a wonderful catch he was again.  

I firmly believe that the only people that would be in a longstanding relationship with someone of this nature are those who are as superficial as them. Hence, there would be no reason for the relationship to end based on this reason.  Therefore, the details typically provided on how to end things in the different stages is irrelevant.  With this said, following are some great ways to cut a date short when you find yourself being sucked into that wind tunnel.....

  • When you feel the date is beginning to head south, start addressing them by any name but theirs.  This will deflate their ego quite a bit.
  • Every time they begin to tell you something about themself, cut them off and tie it into something about your ex.  "Oh yeah, my ex used to drive a Porche", "My ex always told me I had great boobs" as if the thought of your ex makes you happy
  • Ask them about something in their life, then tell them how you are morally opposed to whatever school, job, or experience they tell you about. The stupider your reason for hating it, the better.
  • Start flirting with the waiter.  If the waiter is the same sex even better.  (This may work better for a man than a woman)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Heard it from a friend who....

Heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend who, heard it from another you've been messin around....

Probably the number one reason relationships end...infidelity.  Though we seem to hear more often that it is the man doing the cheating, this isn't to say there aren't women who don't also lack the moral decency which prohibits us from acting on our impulses.  It simply means the times I've heard "he was thinking with his other head", far outweigh the  instances "she was thinking with her vagina" has come up in conversation surrounding this topic.  

I've suffered a bout or two of cheater exposure, thankfully I have come out of them unscathed, as I ultimately had the last laugh....literally.  The first incident couldn't really be classified as "cheating", but it was definitely the tell tale sign that had I made it beyond date two I'd be humming along to "Before He Cheats" before I knew it.  I was on a second date, out for drinks at a small pub, and agreeing to play a game of pool seemed very hip of me.  While waiting for a table to open up I took a quick recess to the ladies room to adjust the girls in order to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions while leaning over to make a shot.  After taking a couple of extra seconds to reapply my lip gloss I returned to literally find him "behind some bleach blonde tramp with a pool stick showing her how to shoot a combo".  Though my instinct was to grab a mic and play along with what was obviously a Carrie Underwood video in the making, I casually strolled over to where they were and said "oh babe, I forgot to tell you, the doctor called your genital cream into the pharmacy today, I picked it up for you, it's in the car, I'll go get it".  I then casually strolled out the front door and didn't return.  Needless to say, I didn't hear from him again.  The second occasion can definitely be categorized as cheating.  Without going into the ridiculous details, I was actually simple enough to date a man for a number of months who was apparently seeing other women at the same time. Had this been agreed upon, no big deal, however he was pretty adamant within the first month that he didn't want to date anyone else....more like he didn't want me to date anyone else.  In any case, karma came knocking on his door when he made a date with a friend of mine through an online dating site.  He didn't know she was a friend at all, and initially she didn't realize he was the guy I had been seeing, until a few details clicked and the light bulb went off for her.  She filled me in on his sleazy behavior and after a few Cosmo's and a lot of swearing we decided she would keep her date with him.  About a half hour into their date I happened to arrive at the same restaurant with my "date" (aka the hot brother of a friend who was happy to play along).  We were "accidentally" spotted walking to our table holding hands and the reaction was priceless.  I had never actually seen a person turn white before...  Needless to say, that was the end of that.

Though these two examples were minor, as I didn't have a lot of time or emotion invested in either, the fact remains that I am clearly not a person who can look past lies, deception or basic scummy behavior. With this said,  it isn't for me to say that how I handle these situations is the way you should, I tend to go for the comic relief, I've actually been told I deflect with humor. Fact is, had this been a factor in my marriage I'm sure I would have handled things differently. Ultimately nobody has to live your life but you.  If you are a person who can forgive and move forward there is a certain admirable quality you possess and more power to you.  However, If you aren't, here are some fail safe measures which will rid you of that unwanted fungus.

Day (way) 4:

New Lovers:  If you've only been out a few times but you find they are looking at and flirting with everyone but you, try this......Put them on the spot, invite whoever it is they are ogling to join you, explain that you noticed the coy glances and don't want a possible opportunity for true love to be passed by.  Then politely excuse yourself and make a graceful exit.  You may get a call or text from them trying to explain, don't respond.

Short term investors:  You've been dating for a short period of time and have agreed on being monogamous.  However, you become aware that their definition of monogamy was taken from the book of Mormons.  The next time you see them, present them with a gift tied up with a pretty bow.  Tell them that the gift is something you no longer want but hope they are happy the box,
is a mirror.  

Long haulers:  You've built a life together and have decided that you can't get past the hurt and will never be able to trust them again.  There will multiple stages you will go through, hurt, anger, disbelief, the need for paybacks...  If you haven't confirmed the infidelity, take this time to do so, there is nothing more counterproductive than suspicions that haven't been confirmed.  Once you've accomplished this make sure you think through anything you plan on doing next, as a knee jerk reaction can create consequences you may regret.  Take a mental break and give yourself some space.  Do not blame yourself, though both parties contribute to highs and lows in relationships, the decision to invite a third party into your relationship was not yours.  Talk to someone, get some unbiased advice on how to proceed, from a counselor, friend, mentor, someone you can trust.  Get checked for STD's, quickly!!  
If you have decided this is irreconcilable do not end the relationship, then take him or her back later.  Finally, if you are married, consult an attorney for further advice on how to proceed.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Don't you want me baby?

Don't, don't you want me?  You know I can't believe it when I hear that you won't see me.
Don't, don't you want me?  You know I don't believe you when you say that you don't need me.
It's much too late to find, you think you've changed your mind, you better change it back or we
will both be sorry.....

Though I would like to say once in a while, it seems more often than not we encounter those disbelievers, the one's who can't imagine you don't want to be with them.  I haven't decided if it is their ego or insecurities that lead them to the disillusions that you need to be a part of their life, I have decided however, they are the most difficult to ditch.

After having been married for over a decade, re-entering the dating world was a scary proposition.  It was an entirely different scene than what I remembered.  There was this thing called the internet where people now met, and speaking on the phone to arrange a date was replaced by texting.  I was a fairly hip person, and figured I could adjust and conform to this new way of dating.  What I didn't consider was this new arena allowed the creepers to easily camouflage themselves, and enabled their "stalkerish" qualities to soar to a new realm all together.  On my very first date after my split, upon arrival at my home, (this was the first date, I had no idea the old fashioned come to your home, walk to the door and ring the bell, was not only "out", but utterly insane), rather than presenting me with flowers, he thrusted a half gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream at me, which he had discovered was my favorite after he googled me and found my Facebook page which contained this juicy tidbit. Eeeewwww, was my first thought, immediately followed by "shit, he knows where I live".  I've learned some good lessons over the last four years, unfortunately, some of them pertained to escaping the ever persistent pursuers.

Day (way) 3:

New Lovers:  They show up for your date with a half gallon of your favorite ice cream (hopefully not at your home); at some point during the middle of your date excuse yourself to powder your nose, or "drain the main vein", and never come back.  I've found even the most persistent creepers get highly insulted by this act  on a first or second date and you generally will only hear from them once, usually via text, to tell you off.  Do not engage or explain!!

Short Term Investors: In month two or three they begin talking about moving in together or start responding to posts from the opposite sex on your Facebook page staking their claim on you to anyone they deem is a potential threat.  This will call for a combination tactic.....abruptly cut off all communication, set any online social platforms to private settings so they don't realize they've been blocked and don't respond to any texts, emails or phone calls.  After a couple of days have a close friend or family member call them and explain that you have been admitted to either a rehab clinic or mental facility out of state.  Make sure they do not elaborate on any details, such as location or how long you will be "away".  Also make sure it is a person they have heard of, but do not personally know and that they have no way to contact them.  Be cautious, as they may not believe and do a drive by or two or three, have your bases covered for these measures and you should be rid of them in about a week or so.

Long Haulers:   When you've been in the relationship a while and you recognize the increasing number of unhealthy attributes your partner possesses in terms of control, there are a number of steps you will need to take to not only end the relationship, but also maintain your safety.

  • Don't beat yourself up for being in this relationship to begin with
  • Get to the point quickly, declare your decision to end the relationship without hostility or cruelty
  • Be decisive and don't fall for promises to change
  • Leave quickly, or if you live together have your belongings removed prior to ending things
  • Remain detached; cease communication, avoid mutual friends
  • If you feel your partner has the potential to be dangerous log a report with your local police department.
  • Wear sneakers when alone in public, much easier to run away in.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Should I stay or should I go?

One day is fine, next is black, so if you want me off your back, well you gotta let me know, should I stay or should I go?

This seems to be the question of the day for many people in relationships today.  Whether it has been a lengthy union, you've only been on a couple of dates, or you're somewhere in the middle, this question is bound to cross your mind.

The length of your romance will have definitely made an impact on the length of your pro vs. con list which was suggested you make.  It will also make a difference in the tactics used to end the relationship if that in fact is what you've decided to do.

Because the approach to ending a relationship will vary based on how long you've been involved, different scenarios will be touched on within each, here we go.

Day (or way) 2:

For the new lovers;  if you've only been on a few dates and you've decided you just don't like the way he or she parts their hair, and you simply can't stand the thought of sitting through a second dinner listening to stories from their youth the easiest way to lose someone quickly.....tell them you love them.  If you're dealing with a reasonably normal person, and you're only on a second date, this will have them scanning the room quickly for the nearest exit sign.  However, be cautious, if there is a remote chance that the person you are uttering these words to is a cling on, this could backfire.

For the short term investors;  it's been a couple of months, you've introduced them to a few friends, but the vibe just isn't what you were hoping for.  You can't place your finger on what it is that isn't holding your attention, as they have quite a few good qualities, in fact, your pro list may even be longer than your con, but again, you just don't see a trip home to meet the family in the cards.....take the "it's not you, it's me approach".  One of my favorite gentle let downs is you've recently realized you're not over a past relationship and it isn't fair to them.  This spares feelings, can't be argued with, and is so much better than "I'm not sure what it is, I just don't have feelings for you in that way".  It provides an answer, when you really don't have one.

For the long haulers;  you've been together for over a year, may even be married, you've made your lists and given them some honest and heartfelt consideration and made the decision your time has come to an end.  There are many steps ahead of you to making the break, the first will be to sit down your partner and be truthful.  Explain why it is the relationship is not fulfilling for you any longer.  Of course, there will be instances where the reasons are like neon signs, such as infidelity.  But even in those cases, have the respect not only for them, but for yourself as well to lay it all on the line.  Speaking out loud your thoughts gives them validity and gives you strength.  The strength you will surely need to follow through on the steps to come in making a clean departure.