Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's Not You, It's Me...Really, It IS Me.

You know that old break up yarn, "it's not you, it's me"? Yeah, the one where you hope this little social white lie will cover for the fact that, in reality, you'd rather scoop your eyeballs out with a dull grapefruit spoon, jab sharpened pencils into your eardrums, and happily contemplate homicide just to get away from the object of your derision. Well, in this case, I finally figured out that it really IS me. I'm the one I can't get away from fast enough. Maudlin enough for you? Perhaps a bit on the melodramatic side, but, hey, it caught your attention.

No, I'm not breaking up with anyone, I've just finally made some brutally honest realizations about myself and the close relationships I've had in my life. I think the first time I heard the phrase, "when you point a finger, you'll find three more pointing right back at you" from a Goo Goo Dolls song. I, like many others, am wonderful at pointing the finger at others in blame. As I've gotten older, I like to think that I have become more objective, and can understand my roll in any given situation, good or bad, that I can admit when I'm wrong. However, recently, I stumbled across an old e-mail that I never realized I'd received. It appears that it had gone directly into a folder with the other e-mails from this person, though, it's possible that the only other person to have access to that account moved it before I was aware of it. I have no way of knowing, as I no longer speak with that person, nor does it really have any specific bearing on this particular topic. The point being is that a relationship was adversely impacted because of the fact that I never read or even saw that communication. Because of this, I thought that person no longer wanted to have a relationship with me, and that person felt that I'd blown them off, resulting in both of us thinking that neither of us wanted anything to do with the other. I waited and waited for some kind of reply that I got three years too late. I didn't know exactly what I'd done wrong to cause this rift, but I took responsibility for the lack of response, cause, well, obviously I'd done something wrong, or that person would have remained in contact with me. So, you ask, did I try to get back into contact with said person? The fact of the matter is, I don't remember. My life was going to hell in a hand basket, and I think I did try contacting that person, but I was too busy screwing up the rest of my life to accurately recall.

I was horrified when I found that e-mail and immediately e-mailed this person from that neglected e-mail, explaining what seemed to happen. I received a reply fairly quickly. In it this person explained that they wanted to "take things very slowly". I really don't know what that means. I asked what I'd hoped to be clarifying questions, and addressed an issue that I'd hoped this person might have some insight into. That was nearly two weeks ago. I have yet to receive a reply, and I doubt I will get one, ever.

And that is exactly the point. In the grand scheme of my life, there is nothing but a string of broken relationships, and not just the romantic type. At this point in my life, there is only one person who hasn't given up on me, and frankly, I have no idea why, considering all the other relationships I've destroyed. You may think this is an exaggeration, but it truly isn't. I no longer have a relationship with my adoptive parents, with my biological parents, with two of my three children, or any other extended relatives, adopted or biological. I've been married three times, and have left each of them, whether by conscious decision that I no longer wished to be in that relationship, through poor choices that ruined the relationship or a combination thereof. Though, admittedly, entering into those marriages were also results of exceedingly poor choice making.

I used to point to two primary causes for the wreck my life is; the sexual abuse at the hands of my adoptive brother and just the fact that I'm adopted. Obviously, both of these events have had a significant impact on my life. How could they not? But there comes a point where blaming external forces only goes so far, at some point I need to take responsibility for MY choices and MY life. I guess I've just gotten tired of pointing fingers. As I recently told someone, it's time to take the training wheels off. The problem is, I don't think I'd know a good choice if it came up and smacked me in the face. I've made so many bad choices that I doubt I have the capability to recognize what a good decision is. I think the only few things I can say are good choices are that I've been able to maintain the same employment for over two and a half years; the longest job I've ever held down, (though, Lord knows I've pushed the limits of my employer's patience on more than one occasion for, yet again, more bad choices), that the few bills I have, I've actually managed to keep paying, that, for the first time in my life, I was able to actually support myself without anyone helping me out (the one and only silver lining of not having a relationship with any of my parents) and walking away from someone who was horribly toxic to my entire life (my last marriage).

I've attempted to make amends to those that count the most to me, but it seems all I'm doing is smacking my head against walls that don't wish to be breached. How much patience do I have to have? How long do I have to wait until those I love acknowledge that I'm making significant attempts to make better choices? When do I walk away? Should I? I don't know what else to do to show that I am trying. And I'm so wracked with doubt that I have no clue to the answers to these questions. I've made so many bad, horrible decisions in my life that I don't know what to do anymore.

P.S. I've been bid by my significant other to point out that my life isn't all doom and gloom, regardless of what clearly appears to me to be a pattern here. He points out that there are two sides to every story, and that I'm not to blame for everything. Which, I must admit, is something I'd say to him or to anyone else who wrote this. I say he's biased. He says so what, he's allowed to be. We do have plans, and there is forward progress. Maybe this is a serious case of missing my family. I guess I just can't chalk it all up to coincidence.

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