Friday, September 29, 2017

Who Is Responsible For What?


So right after I hit "send" on what I last sent you, I get a notification from Linked In that someone on a writer's group I joined in there posted a post I found interesting. So I go, "OK, I'll go and look," and while there, I decide to check who's viewed me, too.

I'm going, "He won't be there, it's over, I'll never see him again."

There he is. In just the past four days or so, because I checked last week also. Interesting how every time the horoscopes suggest contact, I get this anonymous browser again.

This coincides with a.) his anniversary, and b.) the last time we ever saw each other two years ago.

I don't remember the exact date anymore--because I didn't realize I'd never see him again until two weeks after the fact--but it was right before his anniversary. Right before he (obviously) moved back home. Most likely it was the 7th. I can't be sure which Mondays the club meetings were that year, but I'll never forget those blue eyes following me around the room. He never let me see him watching me before that. 

And I'm betting he DOES remember the date. That's why I'm sure my anonymous browser has to be him, because I only see this anonymous browser on anniversary dates. The day he broke up with me. Valentine's Day (and I know the anonymous browser was him that time, because Linked In inadvertently fingered him, prompting me several times to connect with him as a person I might know, right when it happened.) The holidays, 2015. And now, the last time we ever saw each other.

Instantly, I felt better. 

Not that I think this means anything will happen (witness all the prior visits nothing did).

The reason has to do with, not just the fact that obviously I'm still special in some way to him, no matter what's going on with Rory right now, and not just the fact that one does have to wonder what IS going on that he's going to look me up right before their anniversary. If all is well at home and husband and wife are back in love, ranks should be sealed tight against The Girlfriend, who should be Public Enemy Number One and certainly NOT to be visited right before one's close-to-forty-year wedding anniversary. (Why would anyone even think to do that? Most benign reason: marriage is perfect, knows he's never coming back, hopes I'm okay for that reason. Least benign reason...?)

The reason I felt better had more to do with the fact that I see that what I would do if the visit led to something more now is much, much different than what I would have done two years ago. I've learned A WHOLE LOT. Sure, it seems a waste to learn so much about this particular situation, and then the situation never happens, and I know all this that I'll never need or use.

But, one of the purposes of our relationship was to learn what it means to truly love another person, and I now know what that is.

It's not to use that person to bolster your flagging self-esteem, nor to trade your "love" and companionship for financial caretaking and security from that person. It's not to use that person as a bulwark against being lonely or feeling aimless in your life.

It doesn't matter if he ever came back into my life or not, because the outcome would be the same. It matters what that outcome would be: That I would haul him right back into therapy and insist on his health and well being, even going so far as never to see Chi again if I didn't see that the needed work was being attended to, because I care about his well being and his future, and I see that neither will be good unless he does this.

So what  if I'm all alone? Next to the devastation to Chi that would ensue if the codependency and the zero self-worth weren't addressed, whether I'm lonely or not dwindles to insignificance in my mind. And that's a big change in me.

I don't know, and probably will never know, what changes, if any, occurred in the other two people. But I made a big step forward, and I know that if he showed up on my doorstep again in a tizzy over his marriage or over me, I would never, and will never, back down on that point; and that's what love is. 

Love cares about the other person's welfare, does everything in its power to ensure that, and never ever does anything that will harm that, no matter what. And if the other person gets well and chooses someone not you, love just has to accept that. It's called, Life.


And it's also called, Love. Why would I stomp my baby foot and ask someone to be with me when their heart--their healthy heart--chooses someone else?

The important thing in an affair is that everybody heal. That everybody get well from whatever malaise started the damn thing in the first place. And when that is done, the correct solution for everyone will happen, as naturally as the leaves fall in autumn.

I can't get all the corners in the triangle well...only mine. And, one never knows, the triangle may never reform in the first place.

The other thing that made me happy was, if I turned out to be right about the next two to three weeks, I'd have quite a story to tell. Not a bestselling novel-type story (although that could happen), but a story about how to use various modalities available to us to grow, notice what's truly right for us, and make choices that avoid misery.

If he never came back, the ending would change, but the knowledge wouldn't. Maybe what I did these past two years could save someone else's relationship or head off something horrible for another person, because they happened to stumble onto something I wrote. 

That's valid even if he never comes back, but if he did, and I had to go for the gold (see my previous post)--well, there was maybe a one-in-a-million chance of being right about that outcome. It would have made a real miracle that a person could accurately see all that, and that would certainly lend legitimacy to the telling. If I wrote about that, I'd know it was the truth, real, and valuable. I might still end up alone, but I'd have concrete proof that I have real truth to tell, truth other people could use.

And that would supply the only thing left that could make me happy again. One thing my life hasn't really had since Simon died:


Today I realized one thing: If you have no purpose in your life, loved ones--good, healthy people close to you whom you fit and who fit you--make life just as worth living.

And if you don't have people, then purpose, the sure knowledge that who you are and what you know is valuable, and the ability to do something in the world with it that makes a personal difference to someone else, will more than make up for those you lost. It's the internal certainty that your life and the fact that you are here living it has intrinsic worth. That you know something that matters, and when you share it, it matters.

The happiest life is the one with both people and purpose.

But if you have neither one, you really are lost, and you will just drift through life like a feather on the breeze. And that's what I've been doing since Simon died. I have had neither people nor purpose. And life is nothing with neither one. If I'd been right about everything, that would have made purpose with a capital P.

But no one exists on earth to give you Purpose, and really, they'd better not. That would be codependent. Tonight, I log on, and Rory has posted a photo, obviously from their anniversary dinner or party. They are dressed up, looking happy, and smiling. They seem close.

Sad to say you can tell he is getting older. So am I. With any luck, we're all getting better.

Maybe they got better together.

Maybe the picture really is true. So many in the past, I know, were not, but who knows? Two and a half years of therapy, transits that say, "Now is the time to buckle down." Maybe they actually did. Maybe the photo is honestly the triumph it looks like.

Would that really negate anything I've learned? Or make anything I write about relationships, health, and life less true, because the circumstances most heavily favored did not materialize--and it was their decisions that averted them instead of mine?

Because in the end, the only place Purpose really comes from is you. Not someone else.

I know I was special enough to him that he remembered me, two years later, on the anniversary of the last time we ever saw each other, and right before theirs. That, and whatever purpose I create for myself, will have to be enough.

That is my job.

Friday, September 22, 2017

How to Win a Gold Medal


On a post a while back, I put up a link to a Liz Greene article about relationship triangles. Some of it is a bit esoteric and hard to follow, but one thing she says is definitely the truth: Nobody handles them well.

In my previous post I acknowledged the fact that this triangle is likely over, and no matter what the horoscopes say, I would be crazy to believe I will see this guy again in the next three weeks.

However, there is something anyone in a triangle or considering entering one can benefit from considering: What if I DID?

What if I did see this guy ever again?

Two years ago, the answer to that question would have seemed simple and over-the-moon happy: If he came back, it would mean I WON. That I was the better woman, that Chi finally realized that, and that he would now leave mean old Rory to be with me, and we would of course live happily ever after.

Now, after poking around and doing an awful lot of research, not only in the astrology books, but also reading psychology and books about relationships and childhood wounding, AND having just about all of our relationship on my hard drive to reread, I can see one thing very clearly: two years ago I would have been WRONG.

The fascinating thing about astrology, I have found, taken together with all I know about psychology, relationships, and what Chi has already told me about himself and Rory, is that the three sources are all disparate pieces of a mosaic. And, fit together, they form a whole picture. I’ve found that, looking back over the course of my life, this is the case no matter what aspect of it I’m looking at. What Chi has told me provides specifics of their personal histories and those of their relationship—at least, some salient points, which it would not have had I not read enough psychology beforehand to know what to ask him. Astrology contributes some why and when, but is heavier on the when. Psychology provides a glimpse of when, but is heavy on the why. Put together, the three show you a complete picture of three lives, what’s happening in them, why it’s happening, and the purpose of it all. (Why are we even here?) There's the earthly purpose: This happened because we had bad childhoods; and the metaphysical purpose: Why were we put here to have bad childhoods in the first place? It's all there.

Seeing all that, I can see that some of my attitudes from two years ago were very, very dangerous. It is absolutely true that, in love triangles, there is a lot of jealousy, a lot of demands that one’s own needs be satisfied, a lot of self-aggrandizement, a lot of unrealistic dreaming, and a lot of possessiveness. It stands to reason just from that that of course, no one handles them well.

But I can see now that, if this ever did happen to me again, the fact is that I’d have three sick people on my hands, and that jealousy, demanding my own way, self-aggrandizement, unrealistic dreaming, and possessiveness could really, really hurt all three people. I don’t need to be doing that. I need to be handling this well.

If this ever happened again, I REFUSE to handle this poorly. 

I intend to win a gold medal.

WTF does handling your attraction to someone else WELL, when you are already in a relationship, or attracted to someone already in a relationship, look like? How do you know if you are doing a good job or a poor job?

Basically, the fact that there is mutual attraction outside the existing relationship shows that something within the relationship isn’t being handled well. And we all know that you never meet the guilty party in a divorce. So, understanding EVERYTHING that’s going on becomes crucial.

For instance, me, Chi, and Rory. What I saw in the beginning stages of that relationship told me without a doubt that part of the problem was a desperately ill adult child of an alcoholic, with inhumanly low self-esteem. And something was wrong with Rory, I wasn’t sure what. There’s two pieces of the mosaic. Then part of my piece came into focus: Raised in the twin toxins of critically low confidence in my ability to handle life’s responsibilities, and the idea that if I just love someone hard enough and in the right way, I can be God and make them heal, I was stepping in thinking that I could “save” someone else, and that doing so made me a good enough person to earn what I thought I couldn’t do for myself.

My problems I can fix. I now know that I don’t need help taking care of myself. These past two years, I have been able to afford all of my needs and some pretty expensive wants, with money left over. I’ve been able to do a lot of things I believed I couldn’t do. And I have seen that no person can step over the line into someone else’s head and mature their childhood problems for them. No person can own progress he himself didn’t make. Chi can either progress enough to be himself in relationships or he can’t, and if he can’t, he’s radioactive. No relationship can work when one person refuses to show up the way he really is, and this fault in a person is the worst one you can have. All other difficulties rear their ugly heads where they can be SEEN. With Chi, everything looks fine for DECADES…until you find out that he’s been quietly falling apart inside the entire time, told you nothing, and now nothing about your life together is real and he’s having an affair.

Pernicious, pernicious, pernicious, pernicious.

The one wild card was Rory. And now I think I know enough about her, too. Keeping in mind that I COULD be wrong about some of it, she has four major problems, and possibly a fifth, that are making her toxic to be around, and she needs to fix all of them. If she doesn’t, she is simply going to murder Chi, and it really will be like slaughtering a lamb, because he thinks so poorly of himself he never even questions what she does. “I’m a jerk…it’s all me.” I know what the problems are, and how she got to be the way she is.

Now that I am in receipt of that information, I can see the right way to win a gold medal. (Your situation may be different.)

1.)    Hating Rory is out of court. It may have made sense when I believed she was just using him, but now I see Rory has problems of her own. Sad to say, the only thing she’s really done is the same goddamned thing Chi and I did: Be born to the wrong parents. It’s in everyone’s best interest (except possibly for mine) that she solve her problems. I need to feel compassion for her, and if she demonstrates ability to solve those problems, the only place for me is spelled, GONE. No matter how much I miss Chi or how sad I am.

2.)    Chi needs to recognize he is only half of their problems, and her half is especially pernicious and destructive. He needs to recognize that he does NOT deserve her half, and he does not cause her ugly behavior (no matter what she says). If she does not demonstrate ability to resolve or at least substantially improve  ALL of her half, there is only one place for him: GONE. And that instance is the one and only instance in which I have any business here at all.

3.)    I need to recognize that the faults I have uncovered in myself are only half of Chi’s and my problems, and I CANNOT SOLVE CHI’S HALF. His half is especially pernicious and destructive to me. If he does not demonstrate ability to resolve ALL of his half, there is only one place for me: GONE. No matter how much I miss Chi or how sad I am.

4.)    Not being able to get oneself out of a marriage in which one is being treated very, very poorly is a basic symptom that Chi isn’t resolving his problems. If I grab one arm and pull him out of there anyway, I will be inheriting serious unresolved problems and helping them remain unresolved. And I will get just what I deserve: those symptoms, acted out on myself instead of Rory.

5.)    Tolerating any poor behavior towards me, any dishonesty with me or any therapist, or any apparent mishandling of the situation by any therapist, and saying nothing, is not allowed.

The only way to win a gold medal, therefore, is, if I see him again, first to check to see that what I’ve surmised here is correct. If it isn’t, sharing any of this could do more harm than good. If, in my judgement, Rory is acting much better and Chi is still showing me problems, stealing her husband from her is not gold medal behavior, even if I find that I can. If she isn’t doing better and Chi is back because she’s slowly tearing him apart (again), then it’s time to share this, and gently put Chi back into therapy and back into the marriage, unless and until he can muster the self-esteem to get himself out. If he can get himself out (and I mean divorced, not just moved out of the home), I may resume my relationship with him, with the understanding of what codependency symptoms are, and that I need to run for my life if I’m still seeing them, he won’t work on them, or they aren’t improving.

This is how to win a gold medal in my situation. How could you win a gold medal in yours?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Everything Ends One Day


September 8, 2017

These blogs are usually on a time lapse. I write a pile—more than could ever fit in one post—so I break them up and schedule them one after the other. Chances are, you won’t find out whether the prediction came true or not for a couple of months after I know about it.

In the meantime, every time I have to write the date, I’m reminded that it’s one day closer to the end of the month. I guess it’s within the realm of possibility that, if the prediction comes true, it could be a bit late, especially since Chi’s preponderance of fixed and mutable signs reflects what I already know: a tendency to be afraid of change, and to run from the opposite direction of any kind of pain or upset, therefore letting problems fester in denial until they reach a horrible crisis. (Which is precisely what he did for twenty years the last time.)

But, much past the end of September, and that prediction isn’t coming true. Either they had EXCELLENT help, did lots of terrific work in therapy, both of them--and I’ve seen the transits these past two years reflecting that they’ve had those opportunities--and they’re fine, which is the best and most desirable outcome for them.

Or they didn’t, and he’s either fixated on someone else to avoid his problems with, or is just too ashamed, embarrassed, or scared to ever contact me again.

Even if he did, I'd have to send him back to her for reasons coming up in the next post. Either way, it’s definitely over, and I’m going to be alone for a long, long time. Quite possibly forever.

And besides, who the FUCK would ever look at this situation and think it holds any hope of any kind of future?

(This is, I note, the very same thing I said to myself when I knew I liked him all those years ago and went, There’s no way that can ever happen.)

But really. Sometimes you have to get real.

I am really, really sad, and really, really depressed. I hope that some day, life the way it is will feel like there’s enough meaning in it for me. Because it’s not going to change.

Well…I can’t say there isn’t meaning in it. I have learned an awful lot and grown a lot through this experience. I know things I never knew before, and I have changed some unhealthy perspectives on life and relationships that I have held and believed since I was little. I know that that is the main purpose of life, and in that, I have accomplished a great deal. There’s a school of thought that suffering is good for the soul. In that case, I imagine my soul is in excellent shape.

I just wish it didn’t have to be so joyless. So lonely and so sad. I guess that’s a consequence of having been happy. When you’ve been as happy in a relationship as I have been, nothing else is ever really going to compare. All I’ve really wanted my whole life is to belong with people, solid, healthy people who fit who I was.

I guess that’s just going to include only me from now on. And life is just so much better and happier with other people in it, if they’re healthy people. When your relationships have been horrible, being alone is wonderful and freeing. When your relationships have been happy, being alone is sad.

At least I know that the universe isn’t just being cruel, and that I’m supposed to get some crucial learning out of experiences like these. I know what crucial learning I was supposed to take home from knowing Chi, and from examining those relationships. 

I just don’t know what crucial learning I am supposed to take home from being this alone and this sad. It feels like my whole life is over, nothing much good is going to happen to me anymore, and I’m just waiting to get old, lose my faculties, move into a shitty nursing home, and sit in front of a TV set alone til I die. So what if I ever did become a successful writer? I’d still be all alone. 

Let’s face it, when you’ve had the happiest love in your life, nothing else even comes close, or ever will again. And when special people are gone, nothing ever will replace them.

Even pets feel this way. My friend in writer's group just had to put her dog to sleep a month ago, and woke up in a cold sweat the other night dreaming he was lost and she couldn't find him. Even her remaining dog is overeating, housesoiling, and experiencing symptoms of separation anxiety. There really is no way around it; losing someone special is traumatic.

I just hope I can find some way not to be this sad for the rest of my life.

So, I’m trying to be real here. These are just horoscopes. There’s no way I’ll ever see this guy again. (Although, I will say, they were just horoscopes before, and they predicted the beginning of this relationship perfectly, and right at the end of the transits that were relevant. Just like it’s the end of them again this time.)

One other thing I’ve learned: All that really has to happen for a horoscope transit not to come true is one thing…someone’s decision. If you decide a thing will not happen, you can alter any transit. 

Robert Hand and Liz Greene (famous astrologers, leaders in the field) both say this. In fact, what they write is that astrology is there so that we may peek into the future, see the bad decisions we are about to make, and change them before they happen. Use them to learn our lessons more quickly and efficiently and make ourselves better people, while avoiding some of life’s most painful consequences. Speed up our ability to reach the spiritual milestones we incarnated in order to reach.

Maybe that’s what Chi and Rory have done. If so, more power to them. If they could turn that Titanic around (especially Rory), then they deserve every happiness, and I’m just the chump who goaded them into it. I did my job, and ended up badly, badly hurt, as I was supposed to. As 99.999999% of all of us third-parties-to-the-marriage do.

So what does the chump do next? Finish her novel, I suppose. Complicating that, unfortunately, is the fact that now I’m up to the love affair and I have to reread ours to figure out how to structure that one.

And all I know is how happy I was. I’m happy just rereading it.

And so, so sad that it will never happen again.

Part of knowing that you’ve had good things in your life, and done good things in your life, is the fact that you have happy memories to look back on. And when you can look back and see the good things you did. Because I did do some, even with regard to their marriage, and that much is evident.

But it sure is sad when your present life is dismal by comparison.

I have to remember two things: One, if he ever came back, it should be for HIM, not me. I don't want him back because he feels guilty that he hurt me or that I'm upset. That wouldn't be any better for him than going back to a bad relationship with Rory because he felt guilty about her would be. 

If a relationship does not work for YOU, it's not going to work, period. As bad as I feel, I'm healthier emotionally now than he was when I last saw him. He was in very bad shape, and as such, it's his welfare before mine. If I'm unhappy, handling that is my job, not his job. Healing his codependency and low self worth is his job, not my job.

We can't do these jobs FOR each other. Humans can do these jobs WITH each other, but never FOR each other, Bible stories about Jesus dying on the cross "for" our sins notwithstanding. If we try that in real life, it's codependent and unhealthy.

Second, I need to remember that THIS IS LIFE.

No matter what happens, if you love someone, you're going to lose them ONE day, unless you die first.

That's the way it is. Tough.

Sooner or later, every one of us is going to spend time alone--maybe a  long time--and every one of us needs to learn how to do that.

So it's been almost four years, and I still haven't figured that out.

That's my job.