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The ONLY sane response is hilarity.  An article about our achingly silly humanity, and the cycles we can't seem to break

"Wait. Wait. I haven't confessed." Dave paused. I waited. I had recently admitted to him that I was back in conversation with my ex, a guy with whom I've been involved to my extreme emotional detriment for going on fifteen years. Okay, okay, he's now four states away, and I am not moving back.

But we are talking again.

A fact about which, when I first told Dave, he was nearly livid. As he has been every single time I took this guy back before, knowing full well what the results would be, and they turned out to be the same results every single time, times twelve.

If you can't find this funny, you will not survive.

I waited.

"Colleen texted me. I called her."

I sucked in my breath, and grinned.

Then I laughed out loud. We both did.

Because his Colleen is just like my ex; let's call him Gary.

He lives six hours from Colleen, and he found himself in savior mode again. She is - or was- a nurse in Denver. He rushed there to help, spent a fortune, got her car ready to return to the lease folks. Meanwhile she was clearly heavily sedated, on too much Xanax, smoking too much weed, wallowing in save me pity party.

She was a mess, worse than he'd ever seen her.

Dave has a savior thing. Apparently I do, too, because my ex is in terrible financial trouble, and I just sent him two gift cards for food and gas.

At the end of his vacay week in Denver, Dave was trying to have a sober, adult conversation with this woman, a woman he once considered marrying. She got angry, told him to fuck off (he can say sayonara to all the money he lent her).

Then  she got fired from her job. And her psychiatrist fired her from their practice. For good reason, both of them. She is a danger to herself and her patients and she's irresponsible about her self care.  

She is in full victim mode. Thrashing and pounding the oceans, in that way that drowning people will kill those who try to save them.

Dave's an uber-competent fireman with a seriously bad need to save people. When it comes to his love life, Colleen is right up his alley.

Every time he's had enough, just like my time with Gary, I would hear him say NEVER AGAIN Dude, I'm done.  A good long while would slip by, then she'd reach out again, using precisely the same techniques to sucker him back in to save her from the brink.

Gary is much the same. He shows up, using the precise language and tone that appeal to me the most, claiming that THIS TIME it will be different, better, just gimme a chance. Then we reconnect, things go toxic because he wants ONE thing: sex, and will do nothing whatsoever in return. Like all the men in my romantic life, he is emotionally stunted, distant, constipated.

Over the course of fifteen years, more than twelve times he's shown back up, hat in hand, lonely and contrite. Then he would brutalize my heart just like he has every time before.

Dave would hear me say precisely the same thing: NEVER AGAIN, Dude, I'm done.

I told Dave that we needed to introduce Gary and Colleen. They'd make one helluva pair.

We collapsed, howling. It really is the only sane response.

I haven't seen Dave for a while but in this regard, we are extremely close. He's 61, I'm 69. We were roomies for two years. He ended up buying that house from me.

I wish Dave and I would make one helluva pair. We have a great time together, laugh our asses off, we like the same things, I could go on and on. But.

I don't need saving.

I've had a wicked crush on the man the entire time I've known him. He isn't the least bit interested for one reason: I don't need saving.

I am drawn to Dave because like Gary, he's unavailable to me. Just like my father, and all the other men in my love life.

Are we stupid? Nope. Pretty normal.

Dave and I are fully aware that these results have nothing to do with Colleen and Gary. It's us, and we are trying to rewire something fundamental, fix something inside us. We know that. Haven't quite found the way forward, but we also don't blame the other person, which is a key step towards evolving.

We laughed, ruefully, because we know this is happening inside us and only us.

Dave really wanted to be married. He'd have made a terrific father, and at 61, this big, brawny, handsome guy with a busy head of white hair is still a helluva catch. And solo. At 69, I'm not a bad catch either. I'd have liked to have found love, but like Dave, the men to whom I am drawn are only drawn to me for sex and money, and when they get what they want, they leave.

I am very aware that I am trying to rewrite family history here.

Why Do We Repeat Negative Patterns in Relationships?
Repeating specific patterns in relationships that are not beneficial to our well-being could be a sign of a troubled past.

From the article:

Some people never recover from the negative things that happened in their past. Nevertheless, those experiences set the stage for where we are now and how we conduct our life.

These experiences might have traumatized us in the past. And if we didn’t process the issue in our mind to put it away and not let it affect us anymore, we could possibly continue trying to resolve it throughout life.

My friend Dr. Rosenna Bakari specializes in this kind of work, and reading her material has been helpful. Being her friend has been even more helpful, albeit I have no hopes of ever having any kind of partner again ever. I would like to heal some of those troubling patterns, and really value the book she just published, The Healing Journey.

We never stop doing this work. For some of us, whatever trauma we experienced so informs our interactions that having what might be perceived as a normal healthy relationship may slip out of our grasp. I have been trying to resolve family issues and subsequent rapes and sexual assaults my entire life, and I am not sure I will this life. Not for lack of trying, nor for lack of sincere interest in making something work.

Dave said to me, and to his closest friends, that if they see him starting to think about helping Colleen again, "Just shoot me." I said the same thing to him about Gary. Gary's four states away, but I actually had that rescuer thought about letting him take my basement. Again.

That nearly killed me the first time. Oh, how quickly we forget. But that's why Dave is my friend, and others in my life with whom I can share these insane thoughts. They remind me. I listen. Gary "stays where he lays," in the mess he's created. He turns 53 today, never married, his awful relationship habits having wrought havoc in more lives than just mine.

And Colleen, now unemployed, without psychiatric support, a twin sister who doesn't want to know, is swimming in a sea of her own shit, too.

Those two people are made for each other.

That's just funny.

In an alternate Universe, Dave and I are made for each other. But I don't need saving, Dave wants to be Superman to Save the Day, and I am too drawn to the lonely, isolated, self-absorbed Batman types who do not have time for more than a blowjob and a pat on the head and they are gone.

I have no clue if anything is going to change this late in the game. I have too many other priorities right now. My work, and organizing new trips, training and prepping for a brand new decade take precedence.

One thing I do know, Gary is not on the menu.

And if you hear me thinking about it,  Just Shoot Me.

Photo by Max Kleinen / Unsplash