The best thing about living in Philadelphia is the easy access to my parents. (Other positive aspects to Philly residency: proximity to the Jersey shore and NYC, my awesome job, and the amazing friends I have met here).
Somehow spending time with my family keeps me sane. I’m not referring to my extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.). I am not very close to any of those individuals. I’m just a little too liberal and over-dressed for them. But my parents, brother and sister-in-law, and grandparents are really cool.
So I like spending a lot of time at my parents’ house in Central PA. For one, it’s a pleasant escape from the dirty loud city. Trees, birds, and deer abound. There is a flock of wild turkeys residing nearby. Lightning bugs fill the yard at night. I had almost forgotten about crickets until I spent one sunset drinking tea outside with my mom.
More importantly, I just really like talking to my parents. My mom has survived a lot of tragedy and insanity, so she is really wise (and realistic). My step-father is romantic-minded and a lot of his opinions take a bit of a hippie slant. They are a perfect combination when seeking advice.
Today we discussed two key issues at length. The first was my plan to move to West Philly with Janelle. They both loved this idea. Both of them have been secretly concerned about my living alone in a somewhat dangerous neighborhood. I have to give them credit, because they have never mentioned this before. Instead, they have been consistently postive since the first time I drove them up to Port Richmond. My mom has never been the controlling, I-told-you-so type. She prefers to believe that my innate toughness and cleverness will pull me through any situation.
The next issue was my ex-boyfriend.
My mom has always loved this guy. When I mentioned a while back that we had spent some time together, she was thrilled.
(Of course, then she talked to my grandmother about it and they both decided that we would be getting back together. Dylan caught wind of this and gleefully declared, “He will ALWAYS be your boyfriend.”)
The thing is, I just really wanted to be his friend. After nine months of silence–mixed with periodic late-night drunk dials from him–I was so, so happy when he called me and said that he wanted me in his life. I really love him…I cannot deny this. But one thing lead to another, and suddenly we spent the night in bed. And then my head was filled with confusion. I tried to talk about this with him, but I’m really bad at “communication.” And before I could make sense of the first encounter, we spent another night together.
I have a lot of difficulty speaking about my feelings. But I can pour them out onto paper with the greatest of ease. And so, I wrote him a (six page!) letter laying it all out for him. It was completely sincere and heart-felt. Dangerously so! I was frightened by the honesty flowing out of my pen.
I mailed it and crossed my fingers. I’m not sure what I was expecting. Mostly I was just hoping to open an honest dialogue between us. Sleeping with him and pretending that it was no big deal was really killing me. I wanted him to know this. I also had to tell him that I still love him…that, despite my best attempts, I never stopped loving him. And also, I had to admit that I was afraid he might hurt me again.
Days of waiting. Building frustration and anger. No word from him. Rejection was imminent. He called me at 2 am Wednesday night to tell me I am a bad person. An awful individual unworthy of a place in his life. Essentially, he phoned to tell me that he never wanted to speak to me again.
I felt as if I had been stabbed in my chest. I couldn’t breathe. Despite being in a deep sleep moments before, I was fully awake and dying.
My letter–completely honest and filled with purest intentions and emotions–was not happily received. In fact, he interpreted it as some sort of attempt at controlling him. I’m not sure about this. I have to admit that two of my close female friends read it before I mailed it, and neither of them saw it this way.
(Why did my friends read it? I was afraid that I was being too honest about my feelings. I was worried that I was making myself too vulnerable. I wanted to know their opinion.)
I am not a controlling person. Having a solid grip on my own life is frequently overwhelming enough.
I have nothing to gain from manipulating and controlling this guy. And let’s be honest: I’m funny and smart and cute, so I have other options out there. There’s not need to wrangle ex-boyfriends into dating me.
Since that phone call, I have been sad. I can’t deny it. It’s making writing, eating, and sleeping difficult. He ripped all of the scabs off of my heart. And I am bleeding everywhere.
My mom is pretty pissed. Her opinion: “You are too good for all of this. I know that it’s easier said than done, but you need to cut him off. “
I know this. But smokers know that cigarettes cause lung cancer.
I’m tired of being told that I “can do better.” That statement is almost confusing. Better how? Like, a higher quality individual? Someone more attractive and/or wealthy? Because those attributes are not so important. Someone who I can love more? I’m not sure about that. Someone who will treat me better? Maybe that’s the ticket.