Love is the conundrum

Love is the enigma, and love is also the desire.

You lost the love of your father, and never really had the love of your mother. That set the stage for the eternal quest for love.

You married your high school sweetheart, you wanted to be sure to scoop up someone who loved you right away, waste no time. Alas, love was not enough for the two of you. Then, you met a lovely man who would do anything for you, and you broke his heart with what you thought was love with another woman. You did not love yourself enough to leave that relationship when you needed to do so.

Ten years later you wake up, and realize that your love, the love inside of you, deserves to be given to someone more deserving. And therein starts a journey to find love that may never conclude. You’ve realized that you are not only learning how to love others, you are learning how to love yourself. No wonder you struggle with family, friendships, and relationships. There’s not just finding a boyfriend. Gosh, finding a boyfriend seemed like the ultimate solution long ago in 1991. You find a boyfriend, never leave him, marry him, and stay together forever. You thought that was the recipe to life and life-long love.

But, no, love is so much more than that. It’s much more than just staying with someone. It’s acceptance and kindness and tenderness and so much more because you are still learning, and you may always be in the remedial class for love.

These days when you struggle in your lessons on love you have to remember this: Do not go back to the Well of Love That Did Not Work.

Do.Not.Do.That. Easier said than done. You are lonely, and want to love. But do not go back. There was a good reason for the end of all of those relationships. Go forward … forward! It’s scary because forward is the unknown, whereas the Well of Love That Did Not Work has some inherent comfort in that you know what to expect from that well.

Do not text the ex-husband. He is married, unhappy, but married, nonetheless.

Do not flirt with the ex-boyfriend down the street. He loved you, but did not see you as his equal.

Do not Facebook message the hotel concierge from Dublin. He was homophobic and cheap, fun for a vacation date, and that was it.

Go forward into the unknown. It’s the only way you’ll have a chance of cracking the lifelong love lesson.

Reread this post when you forget everything you just read here.

Whiteout

It’s just like any other road trip that is expected to be uneventful. You get in the car, and all is calm without a hitch. Ten miles into your trip the snow starts falling in such innocuous flakes at first that they could almost be dandruff. Not to disappoint though, the snow picks up, and before you know it, it’s a big deal. It happened so incrementally that you initially did not panic, but you are now in that place where you know you cannot go back, you cannot pull over, you can only go forward ever so slowly. It’s that kind of situation where you know in your heart that at the end of this trip you will either reach your destination with the feeling of a victor finishing a grueling marathon, or you will meet your demise in your some horrible car accident that is the stuff of nightmares.

And that is the current state of affairs with DID integration.

Once I accepted the diagnosis it was a bit interesting at first, learning more about myself, figuring things out, etc. Discovering Letty was even a joy once I got passed the scared stage. Up until recently I had the idea that her purpose was to “keep a look out” for danger. The “keep a lookout” part was only half the story. The person she’s looking out for, apparently, is the other piece of the puzzle …

“He be comin’ back!”

“Who’s coming back, sweetie?”

“My Dad is comin’ back! He’s comin’ back! I wish everyone would stop sayin’ he’s not comin’ back! It’s mean!”

“Honey, no one is trying to be mean. It’s just that he’s very sick, and that is why he cannot come back to us. I know he wishes he could. We wish he could, but he can’t. Remember when I told you that he is addicted? That is a kind of sick.”

“But … but shouldn’t we go see him to tell him that we love him so he knows?”

“Oh honey, I wish we could. But it wouldn’t be good for us to try to do that.”

“You be like everybody else that tries to tell me to stop. I’m not gonna stop lookin’ for him. I not gonna stop …”

And she cries, and cries ,and cries. I am beyond exhausted.

Unrelated, or maybe it’s related, who knows … I’m taking an introduction to chemical dependency class for my own knowledge, and even reading the textbook gets Letty going.

Alcohol dependence is a progressive and fatal disease for those unable to exercise abstinence from alcohol.

“He be comin’ back!”

“Cirrhosis of the liver for those unable to stop drinking is an inevitable …”

“He comin’ back! You’ll see!”

Yep, I’m definitely in the midst of the whiteout.

Oh, yes, the parents

I received a mysterious text from my mother, though when I read it my assessment is that my stepfather likely typed it. It just doesn’t “sound” like her, and I’m pretty good at assessing things such as this.

Apparently they are going to be within 200 miles of me the first week of August for a memorial service for a family member whom I never met. I think it’s a great uncle. It looks like they want me to come see them when they are in the vicinity. I guess 200 miles is considered the vicinity when they are usually over 2,200 miles away.

For some reason I felt bad looking at that text, like I’m cruelly rejecting them. I consulted with my sister, Cate, and she advised not to go. She pointed out that they were never there for me when I needed them. She doesn’t have to worry about this as she lives clear across the country, nowhere near me. I know she’s right. Annoyingly, she is always right. It’s not that I want to see them, not at all. The guilt just sometimes haunts me, and I wish I could shake it.

In writing this post I’ve also realized that this text may be the reason I had such a hard time Sunday and parts of Monday. I received the text on Sunday, but promptly forgot about it. But I think others did not forget about it.

I take no pleasure in ignoring my mother and stepfather. But that’s how it has to be.