Friday ended up being a bigger adventure than I expected.
I almost missed therapy again. I think I set my alarm early enough that the mom was still getting ready to go to work and I didn’t want to get in her way so I must have turned my alarm off or something. I woke up a while later to the sound of another alarm outside my bedroom door. Pretty embarrassing to say but since she knew I missed therapy the day before, she set an extra alarm for me. Very nice and thoughtful, but it sounds pretty pathetic and is not the easiest to admit, but I’m really trying to work on not holding back even in the little ways that are really easy to just omit and own everything that is real.
Often times, since I am better at seeing the little things I’m ashamed of instead of the little things that I should be proud of, I know my honesty is probably giving myself and others a lopsided view of more of my bad than my good. I think I’m going to try to revive and change the format of my posts about what I love about myself to be a single running list that I timestamp any time I add to it.
Therapy itself was a lot of updating Leah on my conversations with Carly since we last met. I also told her that I was a little frustrated how much time and energy dealing with all the emotional stuff made me feel like I wasn’t making more progress on practical accomplishments and life-management.
We also talked about how I reacted to some of the conversation with Carly. How I have almost a need to coax her to admit all the worst and hardest thing about myself and our relationship so that I can take as much credit for the bad as possible to make sure that 1) I’m thoroughly beating the lesson into or out of me, I’m not sure which way and 2) I think I have this self punishment complex where it’s only right and just that if I found out I’ve done anyone wrong that I have to learn my lesson in a painful way as some form of payment or penance of fairness.
Leah said that wasn’t really healthy. I wasn’t surprised.
She went on to point that out as a very extreme type of oversimplified black-and-white thinking to always assume and put all the worst on myself and all the best on others. I get that, but I also see others often excusing themselves for things that they played a role in being responsible for and I don’t want to be a person who makes excuses and doesn’t learn from my mistakes and continues to hurt people. In that way I guess it does come back to my deep and powerful core value to “never hurt anyone”, which is impossible but I believe worth trying to minimize and I am very harsh and unforgiving of myself when I fail.
One counter to my assumption that I was the only one who had done anything wrong was talking with Leah about the strange little relief to know that Carly had been holding back a whole lot from me about who she really was and what she really needed. The more that sinks in the more it feels like being constantly lied to. It isn’t about laying any blame, but was a relief to know I wasn’t the ONLY person who had done ANYTHING wrong like I had been telling myself. In comparison to that, the fact that she was consciously in contact with someone else on a daily basis and developing feelings for them while we were still together doesn’t feel like nearly as big of a betrayal as the foundational lying it turns out she had been doing to both of us for so long. Don’t worry, I’m not using this as ANY kind of excuse for myself, I still take plenty of the blame for wrongdoing still, it has just been important for me to really see past some of my black-and-white thinking that EVERYTHING was ALWAYS ALL my fault.
I think the topic of being so harsh on myself is what reminded me and shifted us to talking about my realizations about how for a long time my extreme pressure, and expectations, and withholding, and harshness with myself was in a way abusing myself. She told me about someone she knew or heard about who put a childhood photo on their bathroom mirror and reminded to love themselves and and treat themselves and talk to themselves the way they would to the little little version of them self that was in the photo. That is something I might try doing since my realization was essentially that I was abusing that person inside me.
I told her about some of the frustration and impatience I was having, feeling like I was spending so much time and making most of my progress in this emotional space that I wasn’t getting to see as much practical improvement as I wanted (even thought there definitely has been a fair amount considering how low I was to begin with). She essentially told me that I was making good progress, that the last thing I needed was something else to beat myself up about, and to be patient with myself.
After therapy, I knew that I would be heading to Columbus for happy hour that afternoon so I got through my daily prep and gym time fast and early and was fussing to customize my computer set up customized when it was time to go.
I headed straight to the bar I was meeting the girls at and Mike D. also decided to come hang out even though he didn’t know anyone else. I got to catch up with Jim Christy who Julie now works with. Mike and everyone got introduced, and talked a little bit about work stuff, then also about dogs, I found out that someone I had worked with used to be a Hooters waitress which I was so happy to know, then a bowling lane opened up and I talked to Paige about what she’s thinking about her career. We all took a picture to share with Kaitlin and Stacy who didn’t end up making it out.
We moved on to Local Bar when it seemed the larger group was winding down pretty early. I got to practice talking with girls who I didn’t know at all without trying too hard. Luckily I actually had a genuine question to ask one of their group who they all were. When some of her group came back, I got to talk with them too. One of whom was a cute, single blonde who I had noticed earlier. They were very cool and the conversation was pretty fun for me at least, then someone turned it political and the dynamic started to get weird even though I didn’t think anyone said anything offensive. They said they were going to Union for the rest of the night after I told them I was going to meet other friends at Pint House and we went our separate ways. Maybe I should have been more direct and given special attention to the cute blonde instead of just being friendly. I don’t know, that’s just the stuff I wonder about after I meet cute girls that get my attention and try to be a genuinely friendly person and considerate of the friends they’re with.
Grant and Carson were there when I got to Pint House so I got to catch up and have both dumb and some bits of meaningful conversation with them. It’s crazy think about how I used to volunteer and mentor them in a christian organization and now I go out and party with them, but to be honest it’s not weird because at the heart we just have brotherly relationships and really care about each other and want to have fun together. We did have a lot of fun being stupid but we also talked a little bit about the status of things with Carly.
Carson was sad to hear about it because he knew her and we had been an example to him. He also told me that I was the only man that he ever cried in front of and how much that meant to him, how it changed his life, and I think he even said was one of if not THE best day of his life. I remembered the night he was talking about. He had a girlfriend who he cared about and she was upset about something bad that happened to her, and he was upset for her. He shed some tears and I had met his father who was a pretty hard man, and I knew that Carson put a lot of his identity in football and a lot of other things that often encourage the rejection or suppression of certain emotions that are considered weakness. I told him that I loved him. I told him that I didn’t care if he was great or terrible at football. I told him I didn’t think any less of him as a man for crying, but maybe even more. I told him that anything he succeeded at or failed at wouldn’t change the fact that I just loved him like a brother.
That night he thanked me and got out of the car since I was dropping him off at home, but since then there’s been a couple times he has told me a little bit about how much that conversation meant to him.
Then we got back to doing dumb stuff. I met their other friends there and one of them was a girl with a cute face and dark brown eyes named Rachel who I thought if she was nice that I would like to maybe kiss and cuddle with. We all went to Union next and the girls who said they would be there from Local Bar were nowhere to be found. Shame. At Union the only meaningful conversation we had was briefly about how I’ve never had a one night stand. Part of me now wonders if that conversation could have been misleading because I would still go home with, and kiss, and cuddle, and maybe fool around with someone if they were cute and nice enough.
Then we headed to The Standard for a while an on the way in I somehow was roped into a short conversation with some cute girls, but my innocent non-opportunistic mind didn’t think to try to extend the conversation to see if they or anyone they knew were nice, cute, and single. I was looking and hoping to find someone to kiss and cuddle with, but my own unique desires and standards are pretty abnormal which makes it hard to be understood and find what I’m looking for. I like my innocence in this way and I am too stubborn to change to operate how is normal, instead of doing things my way.
We didn’t stay at The Standard for too long before ubering to some other place that they young 22-year-old boys chose. Turns out it was a very clubby place in the middle of campus filled with 18-year-olds grinding on the dance floor. There were a rare couple nice girls in groups that seemed to have class and would be nice to get to know, but again the safe thing to assume about a guy in a place like that is that he just wants to have meaningless and selfish sex with anyone he finds attractive enough. I pretty felt very discouraged and lonely by the truth of that fact, and how much I didn’t really like the environment I was in. I think that’s when I opened my phone and typed this note as a draft in wordpress:
“Good damn I miss her so much”
I missed having someone who I didn’t have to wonder if they were a kind and caring human being, and if they understood or cared about who I was. I missed knowing there was someone like that who I could go to almost whenever I wanted and that they would also want to be with me. I also am so full of intimate memories with her that whenever I imaging getting close with someone in any capacity, my default is to see it with her.
I lost Grant and Carson while I was exploring the club, and it turned out they had already left so I headed out and crashed at Molly’s house to end a pretty eventful day.