When exactly did being sensitive become the emotional equivalent of having herpes? What kind of world would it be if everyone was frigid and pragmatic? That’d be like if everyone in the world exclusively wore earth tones. I’m going to try not to bore you with my self-indulgent love woes re: CM. CM was just my first sober relationship, so CM could really have been any adorable ice cube. My emotional vulnerability has very little to do with him. CM and I simply wanted different things. He just wanted what he wanted when he wanted it without having to deal with the “tiresome” regard for my feelings. I just wanted a boyfriend with a soul. Totally incompatible. Anyway, my sensitive nature is organic and seasoned – people have been complaining about it since forever, and 20 years of substance abuse likely didn’t help. So, it is not entirely CM’s fault that things didn’t work out. (Well well! Would you look at who’s taking some responsibility!!!).
My relationship with CM (that could have been with anyone really) was not born under a bad star – it was born under an entire rotten galaxy, a galaxy not far far away, but close close clooooooooooose up, threatening my sometimes slippery grip on sobriety. From the very beginning, I was on pins and needles just being across the room from him. I wanted to be pressed up against him, wrapped around him, in a Kung Fu death grip of hugs. I wanted to curl up inside him and nap there forever (my fair blond angel.. sigh…). Maybe it was that I didn’t want him to see me, literally and figuratively see me, from a little distance. He might be able to see how awkward I was – not knowing even basic stuff like when a dreamy gaze becomes a creepy stare, or at roughly what time during that first date should ask for the keys to his apartment. I didn’t want him to be able to sense my exposed nerves, or to be able to see how uncomfortable and anxious I was at the thought of letting him (or anyone) maybe get to know this sober me [and here’s where I start descending the self-defeatist spiral: and therefore opening up the possibility of him (or anyone) rejecting me or just not finding this sober me attractive, this sincere me who really is trying to appear normal. If sincere, sober me got rejected, then what? It’s all I have. If that is not enough, why bother go on living in this cruel cruel world? But really, would it ever be enough for anyone? They say yes, of course, in time, when you’re ready. I want to know when and I want to know when now]. But then again, maybe I wanted to always be glued to him so that I wouldn’t be able to see him. Oh, CM, CM, how perfect you were! I would hold my breath before you would speak because I didn’t want you to ruin everything. I would hold my breath and not speak at all because I didn’t want to ruin everything (until I spoke and ruined everything). I didn’t want you (or us) to smudge. You (and we) smudged, oh yeah, baby. You (and we, but mostly you) smudged to the tune and birth of 23 (and counting!) resentments – 23 resentments with their deafening screams of “DANGER!!! DANGER!!!” that were so deafening, that I was, in fact, deaf to them.
Despite sounding lovelorn, I’m not really that sad – 1% homicidal, 9% sad, 15% angry, 20% disappointed, and 55% discouraged. One of a handful of absolute impossibilities that miraculously was realized as very possible in sobriety was the shattering of my certainty that, without a partner and children, life would be meaningless. I had absolutely gone and done it this time, ruined my life for sure. Why bother getting sober when there’s no chance of happiness ahead. Being drunk had never equaled happiness, but being sober and therefore keenly aware of how badly polluted my past was, as well as the assumption that I’d pollute my future, too, would surely be too painful to bare sober. It may have been that time that the small human on the T with it’s huge intrusive transportation vehicle opened it’s face and made this horrible, horrible shrill that made my skin crawl, and ruined the rest of my afternoon – I don’t know. But seemingly out of the blue, I thought, “Maybe I don’t even want children? Could this be??”. I felt like a boulder was lifted off my arm, like that movie with my boyfriend James Franco. Tears streaming down my face, kissing strangers on the Red Line, I wanted to praise God, and scream from the mountaintops, “I DON’T WANT KIDS! I DON’T WANT KIDS!”. Cut to: a few weeks later, in bed with CM (could have been anyone really), I was daydreaming about how our kids would look – my curls but his color hair, his lips, his is kind of weird, so my , it’s a toss-up on the eyes. I asked him how many vacation days he had because I had a few weeks (amazing what being sober does to one’s vacation and sick days – so many!!) and we should spend them in bed, just like this, two peas in a pod, two pieces of a puzzle. He said he was allergic to cats, and I said, “You can get allergy shots for that”, but what I was thinking was, “You’ll need to get allergy shots for that”. Cut to: a couple months later, CVS. I’m buying tampons and randomly on the shelf was a book of baby names, Roberta Flack singing our romantic love joke song, I started crying and had to leave the store. So much for having a fulfilling and happy life without a partner and children. Back to Square One.
Everyone told me, or “suggested”, that it was a really bad and risky idea getting into a relationship in early sobriety. I did anyway, and I can live with that. I thought maybe it was because the focus would become the relationship and not my sobriety, so my program would not get my attention, which I agree, it really needs. What’s the big deal? I’m in this for forever, and you know how I feel about being rushed. Maybe someone in the distance was yack yack yacking about how it is like pouring Miracle Grow on your character defects, exposing all your insecurities, uncovering yet more insecurities you didn’t even know you had (Oh, God, are you kidding me? There are more??? Possible?). I didn’t listen, and I can live with that, but it makes me 100% not want to leave the house. I might look at another boy, well, I can practically guarantee that I will look at another boy (it could be anyone really), and ask him about those vacation days…