Learn to treat yourself as your treat others

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My latest adventures have made me realise something quite obvious, yet impossible to solve. Why is it, we are so eager, willing and relentless in our quest to treat our friends and family with kindness, shower them in platitudes and protect them from harm.Yet when it comes to ourselves, we seem happy to berate, torture and belittle our own self worth.

I have just spent the week looking out for my friends. one of my nearest and dearest just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, I thought nothing of dropping everything to stay in and accept a delivery of balloons and banners her other half had ordered and arrange them as a surprise. I baked a cottage pie so they wouldn’t have to cook, on valentines day I took my most recent ex some chocolates to cheer him up and sent the other ex a happy valentines message so he felt thought of. I consoled a friend in marital strife and allowed her to freely tell me all about her feelings for another man without passing judgement nor making her feel she could not speak about such forbidden feelings.

However, just this evening, after two weeks of not seeing x-man. And knowing I have now been benched to the friend zone and that he has slept with his ex whom he is still in love with but trying to be ‘friends’ with. After messaging him supportive and caring texts all weekend while this girl largely ignored him or felt happy to chat to him about her own issues…I somehow, still end up on the bottom rung of everyones ladder. But not only that. I actively allow myself to be there!

 

mayonaise jars and beer

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Love this

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full.  They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things–your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions–and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else–the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your  spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first–the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a few beers with a friend.”

Never drink and dial

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So. The tInder date was mediocre. It felt forced, I didn’t fancy him and frankly, I got a tiny bit bored. yet, there as a part of me that put the effort in as I wanted him to like me- don’t we all! 

However, the next day- my glorious drunk and disorderly best friend – we will call her D&D – came over to cheer me. Coffee led to wine, led to cocktails and before we knew it, I had spilt red wine over my cream carpet in my rented flat and was texting X-man to reveal my deepest darkest feelings for him.

All I can say kids, is don’t let friends drink and dial!!!D&D was having her own dramas and bless, her in a sense of united sisterhood, seemed to encourage the truthful revelations. Needless to say- they were not reciprocated by X man and I was shot down in flames.

Not to be disheartened, I decided, clearly, the next best plan was to take myself to bed and phone one of my Tinder contacts. Welsh Boy and I have been chatting for some time. He seems cute, funny and friendly. However, he lives in Wales. So we have never met. In addition to this, we have now shared so many dirty laundry secrets and moments that we have surpassed the romance stage and catapulted ourselves into the friendzone. Regardless, I have never met this man, yet in my merlot induced haze, I decide he clearly would love to hear from me at 1am. I mean who wouldn’t!?? I can’t recall exactly what was said but I am fairly sure it wasn’t on his list of things to do that night , certainly not above sleeping!

So I awoke the next day, head pounding, room spinning, red wine hangover from hell. Only to then remember, the texts to X man, the call to welsh boy and the red wine carpet incident. I wanted to crawl under my duvet and make the world stop. 

I texted X man to try and make it right- he was understanding but clearly this had changed the goal posts. No longer was I the casual fling thing, I had become the psycho love crazed loser who thinks its appropriate to send you tube videos of Kelly Clarkson songs to him at 1am….ARGH!!!

Just as I thought things couldn’t get worse, I received a text from my tinder date. Now I hadn’t heard from him in several days. Welsh boy tried to encourage me by stating the 3 day dating rule (I mean seriously? who makes this stuff up) but what did it matter if he didn’t like me, I didn’t like him. On any other day, this woudl be true- but on the mother of all days, it was another sledgehammer to my already fragile self esteem.

Desperate for some balm for the soul, I took D&D’s advice and decided to venture into the sphere of retail therapy. A happy place where money is no object and necessity is a just a great scrabble word. However, the universe wasn’t done with me yet. On my way to the mall, I encountered a ozzy tourist who seemed to think that her sat navs directions did not require her to pay attention to the actual road markings and she promptly drove straight into me, ramming me off the road.  I got out, it was only a minor fender bender, a dent and a scratch and everyone was unscathed. However, once I continued on my way, I started to realise that I was more shaken than I first thought and my carefree shopping trip was cut short- not before I spent a small fortune on mugs, glasses and flowers to cheer myself up!

So I returned home, bank account lighter, car damaged and my soul, not soothed.

X man called later that night. He had no idea of my accident but wanted to check I was ok following the drunken revelations and to assure me they didn’t matter.Yeah right.Oh and to once again apologise for not loving me nor being able to care for me. Thanks1 Yet somehow, hearing his voice made me happier and I went to bed after a long bath, feeling slightly cheered after what has to be one of the worst days in a while!

we’re all teenagers underneath it all

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As I sit under my blanket on another cold rainy day, absorbing the script of Dawson creek like profound literature and drowning myself with cups of tea and copious amounts of chocolate. I have had a big realisation. Underneath it all, we are all Peter Pan. We never grown up. I suppose thats the meaning of this blog- but today, I suddenly feel catapulted into 1992, I really am 32 going on 13.

So the latest in the saga that is my love life. Well I have now moved into my new flat. Its lovely, great to have my own space and be out from the pitying looks from my folks – those smiles that say ‘we love you’ but behind their eyes the worry that their 32 year old daughter has gone back to square one and hopes for a fairytale wedding and grandchildren have once again been put in a box marked-do not open.

My attempts at Tinder dating have been- well fruitless.I have cancelled more dates than I have been on and seem stuck talking to guys who are geographically not practical- in fact,this week, they have become my agony uncles to my broken heart dilemmas- not really what they signed up for on a dating application!!

X man is up to his old tricks but with a new, crucifying element. The X is back in X mans life. Now I know anyone reading this would be screaming at me to move on, drop it, give up the game and find someone else. But just like a dog with a bone, the more you try to take the bone away, the harder I will grip onto it and fight back. Yes I am the cheerleader in the horror movie , being chased by an axe wielding maniac and rather than run out the front door- she runs upstairs, where there is no escape.

So the x- lets call her toxic girl- contacts x man and he – foolishly replies, therefore letting her back in. Next thing you know she is on the doorstep and they are talking things through as ‘friends’. Well we all know what friends means- if our relationship is anything to go by, so I can only imagine they slept together- I haven’t asked and I don’t want to know.

Either way- she is back on the scene and there is nothing I can do about it. I have been benched to ‘friend’ status but real friends. The good morning gorgeous  and sweetdreams sexy texts have been replaces with ‘night’ if I am lucky. As Elizabeth Gilbert so perfectly puts it

It all begins when the object of your adoration bestows upon you a heady, hallucinogenic dose of something you never dared to admit you wanted-an emotional speedball, perhaps, of thunderous love and roiling excitement. Soon you start craving that intense attention, with a hungry obsession of any junkie. When the drug is witheld, you promptly turn sick, crazy, and depleted (not to mention resentful of the dealer who encouraged this addiction in the first place but now refuses to pony up the good stuff anymore– despite the fact that you know he has it hidden somewhere, goddamn it, because he used to give it to you for free). Next stage finds you skinny and shaking in a corner, certain only that you would sell your soul or rob your neighbors just to have ‘that thing’ even one more time. Meanwhile, the object of your adoration has now become repulsed by you. He looks at you like you’re someone he’s never met before, much less someone he once loved with high passion. The irony is,you can hardly blame him. I mean, check yourself out. You’re a pathetic mess,unrecognizable even to your own eyes. So that’s it. You have now reached infatuation’s final destination– the complete and merciless devaluation of self.”

That woman knows the female psyche inside out. This is where I currently am- the junkie in the corner, begging for scraps of attention- any small hit that gives me a tiny high- a smile, a text, god an actual hug- all these things keep me well and truely hooked on someone who is hooked on someone else.

What is even sadder than this scenario- is his. Because I have been there.

When X man and I met I was in a very unhappy long term relationship and I couldn’t find the strength to leave. On the surface it was fine. He didn’t beat me, we got on as friends, enjoyed spending time together, had a lot in common (and a lot not in common), we didn’t really fight but the fundamental flaw was always the same. I didn’t feel valued, I didn’t feel loved, I gave and gave and he took and took and I never got anything back. I interpreted his lack of consideration and thoughtfulness as the fact he simply didn’t love me- or didn’t love me enough and it spurred me to try harder,, be nicer, and all he did was take more. Because I was failing to see the reality- he is who he is.

What he was giving was all he had to give. Yes we would break up, I would cry, he would cry, we would talk about how we had gone about everything the wrong way and I would beg him to try harder, if he could just try to care a little more, text me when I was away in london and lonely, consider that I might need support in my job too, take the initiative to book holidays or take an interest in what I loved. All these things, in my mind, would show me that he cared, make me feel loved. And for a while it would work but he couldn’t sustain it- because it wasn’t based on him doing it because he cared or was thinking about me. It was because I had asked him to. So it always felt hollow and ultimately he couldn’t keep it up.

I have come to realise that for some people they find it impossible to put others first. It is not who they are. It is not because they are bad people, or even because they do not want to be better people. It just doesn’t come naturally to them to see things from someone else’s perspective or even to  consider they may be hurting someone or not helping someone when they could. What they want is a relationship where someone is willing to devalue themselves and give everything up for them. They would equally be horrified if you suggested that- but its the truth- they want to be looked after. Which is fine, as long as the person doing the looking after isn’t expecting anything in return. They will find those people and will make excellent mothers/fathers/friends but terrible partners/wives/husbands. And I have seen many of them around and several of my friends are in those marriages. I did not want that.

No X man is here, stuck, terrified of letting anyone else in case they break him like toxic girl has. I know the feeling of not being able to bear the idea that it failed. It tears you to the core that you couldn’t make them love you they won’t give themselves to you  the way you do for them. You beat yourself with everytime you remember the good times -why wasn’t I enough? How can we have been so happy but yet it didn’t work out? Why have I walked away from something and someone that I invested so much of my heart and soul into. ..the self beration goes on and on and I used to do it everyday and it drove me back to my ex over and over and over until I was so broken , nothing he did could fix us.

Then X man came into my life and I didn’t have much of an option but to notice him. Lie a wrecking ball he came in and  turned my world upside down. Bombarded me with compliments, texts and affection and beyond I think 2 days , we have spoken every single day since we met. Some of my happiest memories over the past few months have been simply being in his arms on a rainy day.

However, he is in love with toxic girl- he tells me over and over that he can’t be with anyone and now I see why- she has called jump and he has asked how high. He is back at square one- besotted with someone who I fear will only end up disappointing him.

I know where to pick my battles, and that is not one I chose to fight. i can never compete with  her and I refuse to enter into any battle for X mans time.   I think we could be happy, and it kills me to hear him say he hates being alone and just wants to be loved- he is simply looking in the wrong direction.

This is why I feel 13 again. When I was 13 I was forever the best friend in the rom com. The sad and pathetic fat girl who was hopelessly in love with the guy who was in love with someone else. The one who lends an ear to his heartache, is the shoulder for him to cry on- over her. While the whole time you stare at them wishing they would wake up and just fall for you. On the plus side- that guy from school became my best friend and we dated for 7 years. Sadly I don’t have time on my side anymore. Yet I am still here, being the friend, taking the emotional hits and holding out on the hope that I will be catapulted from best friend to leading lady.

Anyway- that is the sad and sorry update of the saga of my life. I am off on a tinder date tomorrow- finally- and he is another cute 28 year old- so who knows, maybe I will find my prince charming elsewhere