It’s been five weeks since I was here. Wow, what a long discouraging CFS relapse. Down over two months. But I’m back. I was struggling, feeling down and hopeless and alone. I gave up almost all writing. I just lay back and enjoyed life as best I could. I gave up trying to accomplish anything beyond my job. I take pride in meeting my responsibilities.
I wonder what helped me come back? Was it the B-complex I started ten days ago? The Chinese herbs for my adrenals or the herbs for my sore throat? Was it simply time and rest? This might be the first day my throat hasn’t ached for for 10 weeks.
I wonder why I’ve started sleeping solidly? I get in these cycles, solid sleep for weeks on end and then horrible sleep for weeks on end. Is it the cooling weather? Is it the herb combo?
I want to do that assignment from the book Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love. It’s the best book I’ve read on love.
OK, I need to list off my every relationship, write out the central problems I had in each relationship, what I did about them, how that worked, and thinking of a secure role model, write out secure responses I could’ve used.
So I had my first girlfriend, R, at Pacific Union College when I was 16. The biggest problem in our relationship (the biggest problem in all of my relationships that were to follow) was my fear that she didn’t love me back nearly as much as I loved her. After the summer of 1982 was over, I went back to live in Auburn, California, a 2.5 hour drive away. I only saw her on the occasional weekend but we exchanged letters regularly. One Sabbath at PUC, she told me she was going to a Journey concert that night with this college guy who liked her. I reacted by cutting her off. I stopped writing to her. When the next summer rolled around, I was almost a Senior, and over the previous six months, in the time I’d saved by not writing her, I had developed some awesome kissing skills. I could even handle that newfangled French stuff.
So what is a secure way I could’ve responded to her telling me about going to a concert with the college guy? I could’ve told her how insecure and jealous it made me feel. How inadequate in that I didn’t have a driver’s license nor a car (most of my peers had both). I had never been to a rock concert.
I can’t imagine having the strength to admit such things to R. I’d have a hard time admitting such vulnerabilities today. But I guess I could’ve written them out to her in a letter. And today? I could put them on a blog.
I usually date avoidants. They’re always doing this stuff to put space between us, like telling me they’re seeing other guys.
I came back to Pacific Union College for the summer of 1983. In September, I would start my Senior year at Placer High School. In June, I went to a five-day high school journalism conference at St. Mary’s College with my News Editor Chris McMaster and my Sports Editor Rob Stutzman. During that week, just before our field trip to San Francisco, I visited a drug store and bought my first pack of condoms.
I came back from the retreat, started seeing R. again, and one day, after we walked across a log over a stream, I took her in my arms and kissed her for the first time. Afterward, she said, “We could’ve done this last summer.”
But I was too scared then. Now I was a confident kisser. I knew my way around a woman. I could go to a newsstand and buy a Penthouse. I could go into a drug store and get my man supplies.
On the downside, I didn’t yet have the confidence to get my driver’s license. That wouldn’t happen until after I turned 18 in May of 1984.
I dropped R. for good in July of 1983 when she wouldn’t have sex with me. She said, “I’m not that kind of girl.” I guess I still carried a burn against her and was looking to either use her or discard her. I was confident about my future. I thought I’d have a ton of success inside and outside the bedroom. I don’t think I was ever again so confident about my prospects as that summer of 1983. My biggest source of insecurity was my lack of a driver’s license.
By the summer of 1984, I was 18. I had a driver’s license. I was living with my brother in Australia, but I didn’t have the same confidence I had a year earlier, because I was in an unfamiliar environment, struggling to find work and to make my way.
I came back to California from Australia in June of 1985 but I didn’t have the confidence of 1983 because I couldn’t find work. I volunteered all summer at KAHI/KHYL radio and eventually got hired for 16 hours a week at minimum wage and I bought a 1968 VW Bug. I had some voice trouble, I couldn’t project, and that undercut my confidence in radio. I decided to go to Sierra Community College in September.
In the summer of 1986, I started working construction but I didn’t have the confidence I had in ’83 because I was working for about $4 an hour, when I had made four times that amount in Australia two years previous. Voice trouble undercut my confidence at the radio station.
The summer of 1987 was probably the closest I had to my confidence of ’83 because I had gotten serious with my schooling, I was earning straight As, I was set to transfer to UCLA in a year to major in Economics, and I was in good health. On the downside, I was only making about $5 an hour at my job, I hadn’t had a girlfriend since the summer of 1983, and I had this nagging suspicion I was once again developmentally behind my peers. Voice trouble led me to decide to quit radio in September and concentrate on my schooling.
In February of 1988, I came down with CFS and never again had my vitality. It’s hard to be confident when you don’t feel good.
I got my second girlfriend in 1989. She was cute and cuddly, but I didn’t intend to be with her long-term. She was the best I could do while I was so sick. That went for my next few girlfriends. Their primary meaning to me was instrumental.
My next relationship with someone I wanted long-term was in the summer of 2000. What was the biggest problem in that relationship for me? I couldn’t connect with her for long. She usually felt out of reach. She said we wanted different things. She didn’t return my calls. I don’t know how she did, but I often felt like a shmuck around her.
Now I realize that I was simply try to date an avoidant. She’s never married.
I had my familiar fear that she would never love me back as much as I loved her. So what did I do? Despite feeling insecure and confused, I kept myself throttled down and didn’t do anything. I just let things run. However awkward things got, my life was better with her in it.
Then she didn’t return my call for three days and that’s when I broke things off. If I had not reacted, we could’ve had a longer run together, but there was never going to be a happy ending.
With my next girlfriend in 2002, it was pleasant but it was never going to last. She wasn’t Jewish and had no interest in converting.
My girlfriend in 2003 was my most beautiful ever. She was ten years younger. She wasn’t Jewish and had no interest in converting. Even though I knew it wasn’t going to last, I went through half a dozen break-ups with her, and then always got back together, until after a year, we lost steam. I knew it was over when I saw her blogging about her frustrations with me. I had told her that I didn’t read her blog so she was upset when I replied in her comments section.
What held us together was passion and a shared interest in reading and writing.
My next few girlfriends were also not Jewish and had no interest in converting to Judaism. Because of this, I saw we had no future and simply tried to enjoy our time together, but normal women can’t relax for long when they understand we have no future together. Neither of us got invested in the other and soon went our separate ways.
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