Tag Archives: Relationships

The Haunting or “Get Thee Behind Me Satan” Moments

listening to: Les Jumo Selsao – Zoomer

Someone I know went through a break up recently and she mentioned how she cant seem to be able to shake memories of her ex. Its not that she wants the dude back, just that there seem to be reminders of him everywhere. Add that to the fact that they live pretty much in the same neighbourhood and that they have the same friends (after several years of being together, that kind of happens on its own) she has resorted to calling these kind of encounters “The Haunting”. No matter how hard she tried her ex inadvertently keeps popping back into her life and she’s not at the point where it doesn’t annoy her – she cant ignore it and the ghosts of relationships past are not yet hilarious in a “ thank god I know better now” or “what in the world was I thinking?” kind of way.

For me these moments were where I would, in a knee jerk kind of way, go “get thee behind me satan!” (hello religious upbringing :-D).  Usually what brought this rebuke forth was listening to my iPod or turning on the radio or watching music on tv … you get the idea. Thing is, everyone I have known for a certain period of time get two things from me – a nickname (whether you may know of it or not I give you one) and a bunch of songs that remind me of said person. The longer I know someone, the longer the list of musical reminders gets. And after a break up it can become tiring and boring and just plain irritating.

So there I would be with my headphones in my ear walking someplace and Jill Scott would start playing and without even thinking I would blurt out “spineless fucker!” and skip to the next song. Or maybe I would have pressed the shuffle button and then got to doing some housework and Slow Flow comes on and I would turn the air blue with curses about “that controlling bastard”. Raindrops would only give me shudders of revulsion instead of inspiring those impromptu dance parties I keep telling everyone makes a good situation great or make a bad day better.

It was getting to be a problem so I created a ‘do not play” playlist and added to it every time I felt spontaneous outbursts coming on. I got tired of getting strange looks from passers by or anyone who was in my presence when I was trying to exorcise my demons. That was only part of the solution though. There was the gritting of teeth when people would ask you “what happened between you two” and you choose the it-didn’t-work-out-and-we-moved-on route and he took the please, cry for me Argentina because I’m so complicated and damaged road.

Doesn’t it suck when you have a strict no airing of dirty laundry in public/no sharing of sordid details with mutual friends and others don’t? There’s that saying about words swallowed never hurt a person but wow, is that ever hard to put into practice when you so want to put the record straight lakini realise that in doing so you will become petty and immature. It’s always a balance between telling yourself that you must absolutely be all zen and shit and maybe getting an ulcer.

Where was I? Oh right. There is also going to happy hour and having the bar tender repeatedly ask whatever happened to the fun guy who you used bring along (and here I thought they were supposed to be the best at getting casually dropped hints or realizing that some things you don’t want to talk about). Worse still is finding things that belong to him where you live – shirts that still smell of him in the depths of your closet, that something that you spotted online that you knew he would like finally being delivered to your mailbox. The thing with a relationship is that even after it’s over it’s the little things that keep jolting you back even when you are so ready to put it behind you and move on already.

And the one thing no one wants to hear is that it will take time for those moments not to feel like you are being spanked with a cactus and that your heart is breaking a little bit all over again. Mention that to anyone in the throes of being haunted and you will get eyes rolled at you and those little sighs that dismiss you as someone who has been watching too much Oprah and reading too many self help books. But it’s true. Either that or all the little rituals you have acquired to avoid being reminded of your ex will get tiring and a little ridiculous and you will wonder why in the world you are exerting so much energy over someone that you have already written off.

One day, I realized that my “do not play” playlist had a ridiculous amount of music that I actually liked and missed listening to. Probably because there was a time when I started adding entire Maxwell, The Roots and Steel Pulse albums to it along with lots of individual songs that just kept adding up until the list had spun out of control. Clearly I wasn’t going to never listen to this Ledisi song again or this Tony Rich Project one or this one or this other one …. a lot of those songs I liked before I knew any of those people. So I reclaimed my playlist back. And it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Instead of thinking spineless fucker it was now Peter Pan, controlling bastard became Gaston and the dude formally referred to with gagging and dry heaving became Muttley. Clearly a sign that I was mellowing out, especially when “get thee behind me satan” moments became punch lines instead of times that I wanted to crawl into a hole and disappear.

So yes, as much as it sucks being told so, time will help. It’s why everyone keeps saying so over and over again. There will be no magic moment and it won’t be spontaneous. If you feel yourself stuck in limbo distraction is key. Use the time wisely like spur of the moment dance parties in your room, get a hobby or finding new ways to drink vodka or whatever rocks your boat. Just remember to focus on the moving on part.

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Thoughts on Being a Wendy

Well lookie here. I was going through my documents file and I found a post I had started and then totally forgotten about (I blame that on the fact that I have the attention span of a housefly). I actually don’t remember it being this long cos I could swear I spent at most 20 minutes on it. Anyhoo. I’ve added a few things here and there but mostly its being posted as is. I may change my mind on some of the conclusions I have come to later because this was written in the spur of the moment. Also I haven’t read this in a while so some of the details I remember are a bit murky. On to the ramblings!

I was reading a post by the awesome Kaasa (I lurk there a lot but I absolutely love some of the insights that she has) and reading it was interesting but it is the comments that really got me thinking.

Also, Peter Pan existed (it could be argued) largely ’cause Wendy and Tinker Bell indulged him.

and

We attract that which we emanate, period.

Contrary to what a guy friend told me about that post, it had nothing to do with bashing men and everything to do with discussing a certain type of man a lot of women (and men, here I don’t discriminate :-)) have come into contact with, whether having grown up with them, being in a relationship with them or just generally in life. This disclaimer is necessary, cos some of y’all read posts and leave comments in my Facebook inbox or via I.M bitching about random things so this is just me saving you some time. Lakini sign up for an account and/or comment here or something, don’t be shy!

Reading those two statements really made me wonder about a lot of the things that have happened this year and a lot about myself. One, I discovered that all my actions point to the fact that when it comes to relationships I really am a Wendy and/or a Tinkerbell. Probably a combination of both with more of the former being a factor. Two, if I really do attract what I emanate, what in the world am I putting out there? Recent events that read like an episode arc from the Bold and the Beautiful made me step back and really evaluate what exactly is going on.

Here’s the thing about being involved with a Peter Pan – he is one fun dude. Once you help him reattach his shadow (i.e help him get over some hurdle in his life or whatever) it’s a whole new experience with filled with adventure and excitement where you are the focus. See, he needs you and some things just can’t get done without you. For a while at least, you are in a fantasy world and things are perfect. You forget, or don’t see, that he is Peter Pan for a reason – he never grows up and has the emotional maturity of a teenager waay after he is supposed to have evolved.

After a while though, Neverland kinda sucks. It’s all good for him because after all, it is his world and you are supposed to play by his rules. Queries about any state of affairs you think need addressing will be rebuffed with a “it’s just the way things are, I can’t help it”.  

Translation: look, things are fine. I’m cool, I don’t see what you are going on about. You go sort yourself out and then come back when you are ready to fit into my world and play by my rules.

Justification will be given for maltreatment repeatedly and in the most baffling ways. And god forbid you actually want to have serious conversations that are not Neverland related. Somewhere in the course of the conversation it will become all about him and relationship issues are put to the side, let alone times when you need support when you are going through something. Some days you may hear the “it’s because I love you so much and that’s why I hurt you” speech which is just … yeah.There is also the classic response which is just silence that you are meant to interpret and then proceed to fix through the process of osmosis or something.

Translation: What, you want us to talk this out? Really? Cos I sure as hell don’t feel like. Serious conversations where I have to take into consideration the feelings of others are not my thing, sorry.  ME! ME! ME! If it’s not about me then whatever, dude. What do you mean you have feelings too? OMG you mean you actually want me to put some effort into this shit and actually talk to you about … stuff? That’s not about me? You’re ruining EVERYTHING! *spying a new potential Wendy* You seem nice, be with me. That other woman (sucking teeth) with all the questions and demands …. (sighing heavily) … only you can help me. Please? I promise it will be fun and I’ll show you the time of your life. *cue puppy dog eyes*

Hehe. That was one long translation. Lakini anyone who knows me is aware of my tendency to be long winded and lack of ability to summarize. Anyway. On and on it goes.  The Wendy speaks up or gets frustrated and Peter dismisses her. It either goes one of three ways, Wendy leaves and a replacement for her is found, she stays and attempts to evolve herself and their interaction and he just wanders off and finds another playmate or they both stick to the role playing as long as it benefits them both.

Some people reading this would wonder, why would a person stay and put up with all that nonsense? Find a real man, they exist and are not as few as the rumours say they are! Thing is though, as easy as it is to rag on the Peter Pans of this world, something is fundamentally dysfunctional with both him and the woman who hangs around despite the realization that something about their being together disconcerts her. That sometimes is the hardest thing to face up to because as tiresome as being in that relationship is one can always choose to walk away. He tells you and shows you he is unwilling to accommodate you in the slightest and reminds you constantly that you are on a precarious pedestal and one wrong move on your part and the magic will be gone and yet you stay put. If walking away from Neverland is incomprehensible despite the fact that it has lost its luster then something is wrong. At some point you have to admit that yes, that pedestal you are up on appeals to you on some level and not being on it or in on the fun scares you and that’s why you remain. Am I saying its healthy? No. Can I relate on multiple levels? Absolutely.

Most Wendys get sucked in and (sometimes) stay because they are capable of sustaining that symbiotic relationship. For some, that works for them, they are happy to put their significant other first and take on the role of caretaker and fixer upper. Those who find that they aren’t up to the challenge or don’t meet the high standards either have to ‘fess up to themselves about their own role in the entire debacle or risk falling into a cycle of dealing with an endless stream of Peter Pans for the rest of their lives.

Peter Pans do sometimes grow up. At some point most of them just evolve past the navel gazing or find a woman who helps him jump past that final hurdle into emotional adulthood. It’s not all doom and gloom, people do change. As for those who don’t god help the women who sustain their world view or help them along the process because I discovered I don’t have it in me anymore. It’s exhausting and not sustainable at all. Worst of all, it’s always your fault on some level and then you are portrayed as the harpy who just wouldn’t let him be free and wouldn’t accomodate the nice, fun guy. Not. Happening.

So, I parted ways with one Peter Pan earlier this year, almost ended up with another this summer. It was all in fun, this fling and part of my single and loving it tour of ’09. As things got more serious there was an incident and I was like uhm, I think you crossed a line there. Answer? It’s just the way I am, I can’t help it. The déjà vu started kicking in. A few weeks later, same line was crossed and the explanation was its because he cares so much and that’s why he does the things he does. No apology, no acknowledgement of how his actions might affect me or others just a statement. Anyone who was taking a walk through my mind at that moment would have seen whistles blowing, alarm bells ringing, smoke signals being sent, the works. Different situation, different man, same responses. I was dealing with yet another Peter Pan so I slowly backed away and broke into a sprint as soon as I was round the corner. Well, not literally but you get my drift. I guess my Wendyism ran far deeper than I thought. It was back to evaluating what I was emanating.

One thing does give me pause and make me smile though. Wendy left Neverland, never to return.* Here’s hoping I never go back either.

*Lets forget the part of the book where Wendy goes back to Neverland for spring cleaning purposes and her daughter Jane eventually ends up there. It will mess with my moment 🙂

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