I’m Not A Witch! I’m Your Wife!

imnotawitchimyourwife

I’ve called my belief system “The Orthodoxy of Christie” – a play on my name and my Christian roots – for decades. I didn’t realize until my thirties that I really do believe in magic and energy. I’m a witch! A little red-haired witch with a black cat, no less!
eclecticHappy Halloween!

Here I am with my friend, heading to an early-evening outdoor festy in our ‘hood. I’m a Mormon. Didn’t you know we have horns?renae-and-me
Later, Jax and I sorta made our couple’s announcement by playing matchy, matchy. We hit 2 friends’ houses and closed the party-crawl like we did last year, at The Guthrie, a funky arthouse in downtown Salt Lake where several of our friends have studios.

hahahalloweenHahaHalloween! Love, Silver Fox and Brown Bear

Why I’m Single

(At a certain age you get asked that. A lot.)

Ugh.

I met this guy right after Element 11. He’s a friend of my campmate, and joined us at Crystal Hot Springs after the festival. He’s great. He lives out of town, but comes to Salt Lake all the time.

All was well. I was excited to see him. Then yesterday, as plain as a voice, I knew I would never love him. And it really bummed me out. This is that guy! This is the keeper.

But not for me.

He will never get my sense of humor. I found myself explaining, “I’m just being silly,” all the time. (To every frivolous thing I said he replied, “It’s okay. Everyone’s unique. Everyone’s perspective is valid … [this, that] ….”)

It was patronizing and weird, like he wanted to be seen as sage, wise, a leader, expansive and accepting of all. When I finally grew annoyed enough to notice the strange rift in communication, I understood that it was a fundamental difference of personality. Simple.

And dead in the water.

Yeah, I like to have deep conversations, too. Our first was wonderful. I was giddy to find a thinker who’s fun. I’m so impressed by him. I have tremendous respect for his integrity, commitment to his work, to fitness, his sense of adventure, his love of nature, art, humanity. I love his curiosity about the world. He asks serious questions.

But sometimes I’m ridiculous for its own sake. I can’t have a partner compelled to force every facet of my person into a compartment he understands completely. Let that piece be mine, if it doesn’t mirror you precisely. Guess what? If my sense of play is sometimes different from yours… “It’s okay!”

We seemed to match, with similar interests and talents. He seemed playful. But why must he turn every trivial thing I say into something profound, an opportunity to support me? Obviously, I’m not serious. Obviously, I’m playing. Obviously, based on other conversations and things I’ve said in this conversation, I think my progress through life is just fine. Every time I teased myself or poked fun at the foibles of humankind, he apologized for me.

Apologizing for a woman is another way of dismissing her. “It’s okay” so often means “shut up.”

I think much more highly of him than that. Nonetheless, I hate it when guys think they have to fix things. Do I act like I need fixing? When I’m laughing over a nice meal?

It’s bad enough when they do it and all a girl needed was to unload. At least then, I appreciate the intention, or the confusion, even. I know there’s a real difference between men and women, inasmuch as men don’t seem to understand or can’t get comfortable with the fact that sometimes the solution is just getting the words out. If a woman wants your help, you’ll know. Not because she’s raging; because she’ll ask. What we mean by “I want to feel heard” is “I want your companionship.” Be there.

And to comfort me when I’m laughing? It made no sense. In fact, I understand a little better now, my irritation. It was the opposite of being heard.

It made me fight for foolishness. Lighten up! It was the most bizarre sense of jovial aggravation. How can you be defensive and silly? I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was all I could do not to scream, “Dude! Just let me play!”

I was so excited to see him. We started the evening with a wonderful embrace, and went to a fantastic restaurant. But I couldn’t say one thing without being smothered by validation. “It’s okay” was the theme of the evening.

I KNOW!!!

Now, based on my murderous feelings yesterday, I have to recognize the likelihood that this is simply a bitchy mood swing, right? (I’m not premenstrual.) But I’m looking back over our previous dates and realizing that I’ve never heard him laugh out loud. A chortle. A chuckle. Pleasant amusement. That’s fine for some people. Some people dislike the snorting guffaw that is my personality. I’m obnoxious. I’m fine with that. But I need to know that my partner and I will laugh so hard some nights that we fall off the couch, lose our voices or bladders, and beg the other to stop being so damned funny, I might die from funny! I need it. I don’t [think I] need my man to think I’m funny so much as I need know he laughs his ass off regularly. And anyway, my man thinks I’m hilarious because he’s so funny I can hardly stand myself, and people tend to match in these things.

We do not.

It’s such an insufferable bummer, and I’m so over it! Everything else checks off on paper. Am I simply determined to not get what I say I want, by finding flaws where none exist? I could have it all with him! Everything I’ve dreamed of, the chance to grow a family, to be a mother, to build a stable home, beautiful and warm, filled with music. To share my life!

I don’t actually find any flaws here. We simply don’t match.

That’s not all. Last night, he crashed at my place. He has before. We don’t have sex yet, both preferring to wait for trust and intimacy (with rare exception). This one is special, the real deal, and I want something lasting, so for now we make out and talk and fall asleep. It’s nice.

But last night, the way he touched me drove me nuts. So respectful. So timid. I begin to understand that the constant reassurance I get from him has been the coping mechanism he’s developed to get through his own challenges, and I honor that. He succeeded! He’s constructed a life he loves. It is okay, and his internal monologue is how it got that way. He’s simply continuing what he’s found to work in his own life.

He’s also a music teacher of young children, who need nurturing and validation, and he has it to spare. He’s such a good man. Kind and gentle. A conscientious and loving man. A real man. And a great musician. He’s one of those teachers, whom dozens upon dozens of people, for the rest of their lives, will talk about. He’s the one who made the difference. It’s beautiful! He’s powerful.

So own that! Be that. Take that! You earned it. And take me, too. I don’t mean be invasive, but desire me! I want to know that when the time comes, raw passion will split the world and when we finally shut the door together, we won’t reemerge for months!

Instead, I wanted him to stop touching me.

Every kiss was tender, each caress polite. That’s nice, too, but we’ve done that several times now. We know sex isn’t happening tonight, so relax and have some fun! Kiss me! Sometimes he’d migrate from my mouth to my neck but it was like he’d seen in movies he’s supposed to kiss me there, not as though he wanted to devour me.

I’m a passionate woman. I believe I can have voracious sexual satisfaction with a deeply good, courageous, honest man. I want a man with an absurd sense of humor and profound respect for life and meaning. Why should the love of philosophical thought preclude adoration of the ridiculous? All women want a man who really cares, but why has experience told me that none of those guys is good in bed? MANhandle me!

*sigh*

Next!

God, what next? Do I give up on family and go for a man set to retire in 10, who wants an attractive, intelligent companion to travel the world with? Could being grandmother to grown step-children’s babies satisfy me? Of course I’ll love and enjoy them, but truly satisfied? It may seem draconian but if the answer is no, I’d rather strike out on my own, forever, roam independently, never worry. There’s real beauty in the freedom I enjoy.

It’s not about babies, necessarily. It’s about being a mother. It’s who I am. I feel it so deeply. I’ve always known. I waited and waited because I knew I had to get myself out of the way – like my mother couldn’t as a teen mom – so that my life was about them at that point, not me. I wanted me resolved. So I got blind drunk for a decade(plus). Give me a break, I was violently abused. I hate to be common, but most of us escape through addiction. I got out of it, entirely on my own. Does it cost me everything?

I want a family.

Has it been that the only reason I ever wanted a man was for my baby?

Perhaps that’s why I’ve never found him. Men are worth more than their donation. There’s karmic irony. I’ve resented my whole life that women, especially in my culture, are seen merely as vessels to produce offspring, to clean and manage everything afterwards. Domestic servants. Keep your mouth shut and let Man exercise the power, little lady. Gross. Now I see a man only for what he can do for me. I don’t think that’s true anymore. If all I wanted was a sperm donor, I’ve met a million. I want a lover, a partner, a husband, a father, a playmate, a friend, a companion. I want my man! I want to LOVE someone! And I can’t love less than what I need.

I am who I am. High demand, I guess. But I’d rather be alone than settle. Someone might die if I settled, and I can’t guarantee it would be me.

Online Dating and Other Misadventures

Here we go again!

I got a love note from OkCupid, telling me how dismal life has been since I deactivated my account a year ago. The wheels started turning again (“Maybe…”) so, sure, hell, why not? I rejoined.

I think online dating is a young person’s game. I simply cannot force a connection with someone I meet there, even if the date is pleasant. Even with dynamic, interesting conversation. Even with a good-looking fellow. I don’t know; some kind of mental block.

And those are the rare finds. Generally, they’re of the trying-too-hard/always-on variety with screen names like “QualityGenes,” and I find myself wanting to remove them from the gene pool. Painfully.

I know it’s hard out there, but no.

I’ll give it another week, and if all I feel is hostility for myself and all others in the gene pool, I’ll get out of the water and back in the shade.

Speaking of young people, I got chatted up (insistently pursued) by a PUPPY of 21 the other day! He was very gracious and charming about not taking no for an answer, bless him, and he finally did. It was a fun flirtation, and a great boost (gorgeous young specimen, this one, looking all of 16, as far as I can tell anymore). The young’ uns asked me out en masse 5 or 6 years ago and then stopped en masse about a year ago, so it was nice to be the sexy older woman again to some young bloke wanting lessons. Ha!

Anyway, let’s be honest. I had a temporary affair in a temporary city and, nearly a month on, I’m still pining for the perfect man! I know he can’t be. He’s perfect because he was gone before either of us could show or find flaws, but… PERFECT, I’m telling you! I wish I could love and let go. I never have festival boyfriends, for this reason. Offers at every event, of course. I love people. Connecting, flirting, kissing, dancing. Beyond that, “I’m just not available. Thank you.” He’s why. I’m so moony for him, I’m willing to join the other desperados online to fill the void he left. I’m aching. PERFECT!

He. was. perfect.

*sigh*gene pool

Smudge

I’ve mentioned that I’m unable to concentrate. I can’t read. I looked forward to literature as an escape, and grieved that I couldn’t have it when I needed it most. I mentioned this to my best friend, who responded that during her most traumatic life experience, the attack on her daughter by the teenager’s boyfriend, she lost the ability to read, as well, and that her mother in-law, who’s currently helping her husband through the final phases of inoperable cancer, can’t sit with a book, either.

My best friend gave me the password to her Netflix account and I’ve been numbing on mindless marathons of movies and series. My favorite has been “Long Island Medium.” While watching Theresa Caputo’s children mock her, yet again, for smudging the house (after seasons of this), it finally came to my mind, Darling Daughter, smudge your home.

I had reverted to invented conversations with people who’ve wronged me. My biological father, for some reason, came back to a place of importance as the first person to tell me I was unworthy. I wanted to tell him, in death, “What difference does it make that you’re gone? You were never here.” (He’s alive.) Spirit told me, Smudge your home.

I have this years-old stick of white sage that I bound when it was fresh, still damp. It came from Dreaming Lizard Ranch, where many times I’ve celebrated with people I love, people with whom I Am Worthy because they are. We bound the sage during a rainstorm at a festival. It was a time of laughter, music, and prayer. It came from family.

I’d saged a time or 2, but stored it in a box and forgot about it. Today, I smudged my ghetto apartment for the first time. Subsequently, I had the best day at work, the best since The Idahoan dumped me 2 weeks ago by unfriending me on Facebook. (He teaches middle schoolers. Acts like them, too, it seems.)

(Keep in mind that on the first date he asked me if I wanted kids. “Yes.” On the second date, he asked me to be his girl and would my stuff “fit in here?” On the third date, when my friend asked, he intimated that I’d be moving in at the end of my lease in December, and on the sixth DAY he told me he loved me. And I went to bed with him. So, yeah, I acted like a kid, too. I remember why I withhold my benefits package for 2 months or more, not because I’m a tease but because I’m not an idiot. Well, not always.)

Of course I’m glad to know, but rejection hurts. And refusing closure or even the dignity of an explanation is cowardice that feels like worthlessness. Mine.

I had another good day today. I feel better. I thank God and Angels and Spirit and Source for whatever connection I feel that gets me to where I need to be. I am comforted. And whadya know? I found a book at work that got me reading again.

wild child

Eve

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

40 has been a hell of a year. Much that I’ve achieved makes me quite proud, really, and it’s a good feeling to be satisfied with your own courage and success. I’ve also been revisited by familiar demons, in new and rather frightening ways. 2013 gave me pause. It alarms me still. I had the standard failure of a new romance. It looked and seemed different in the process of discovery but hindsight shows, of course, that it’s the same problem I always have: me. I chose the wrong person for the wrong reasons – truly not knowing or seeing it – but reflection reveals the same old habits. There’s something I’m missing in my selection process. Once the breakup has begun, I’m all-too-aware of my flaws when responding to things that go wrong. I freak out.

I will give myself credit for leaving my ex-boyfriend quickly. Not working? Don’t linger! I didn’t figure that out in my youth. I guess to have mid-life flashing before my very eyes really does help me to cut ties that hold me back. So that’s hopeful, I suppose. No. The fact is I was in danger. I was running. I wasn’t leaving a bad situation quickly due to any wisdom or self-love (or love of anything). I still marvel that I found a job, started said job, found an apartment, and moved into it in one week. But being impressed with my mad urban survival skills is not the same as behaving better in/out of a relationship.

*sigh*

I haven’t spoken at all about the decline of my body. I’m so afraid of what it means and will the pain just continue to increase? I can’t even begin to voice my discomfort and anxiety for fear of making it “real” and lasting. I’ve finally taken action and made some decisions that I’ll talk about in the coming year as the results show themselves. Or don’t. (Please work! Please let me get better!) It’s a bitter thing when the body betrays.

That said, I’ve had some profound spiritual experiences, “promptings,” the Mormons call them. I’m kind of going through it right now, but I believe that the changes I’m in the middle of are necessary for the next big step. There’s something I’m missing. There’s something in the pattern of self-destructive behavior that I don’t even see. I am in the process of fixing that, right now. I believe that my physical symptoms are an opportunity for me to work on the whole being. Aches that I’ve ignored for years because they don’t plague my every waking moment… now do. It’s the same with my spirit. I’ve been ignoring my intuition my entire life. I want to trust myself to listen to my guides and angels before a misstep onto the wrong path results in danger or cruelty. My angels have to SCREAM at me before I listen, even to the good stuff. I realize later that I heard them all along, but I ignore it. Actually, I dismiss them as delusion or hubris. Mormons call it “the still, small voice,” and I don’t know what the hell to do with it. I grew up screaming in a screaming family. I want different, but I don’t know how to create it. I want to choose the right course and then navigate the difficulties of life thereupon – kindly, gently – rather than jumping from catastrophe to sanctuary to disaster to quivering mass of failure. Again. (I’m not there right now but I have been, like a default setting, for the whole of my life.)

Speaking of blaming my upbringing, haha! Remember when I told you, “My family gets together, decides what my behavior means, then tells me about it during the holidays”? My mom’s Christmas card implied that I am adding to a burden of sorrow on my grandmother’s shoulders because my immediate family has not yet come to an amicable reconciliation. In fact, I have. I gave my cache of free tickets to “How To Succeed” to anyone who wanted them, and hung out with everyone at Thanksgiving, hugs all around and hand-me-down clothes from my wealthy friends, a holiday tradition. I participated in the sibling gift exchange, and sent mom and dad a book for Christmas. https://wildwesterngirl.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/happy-one-year-blogiversary-a-review/

I’ve never spoken a word to my beloved grandparents about the terrifying reality of life in my immediate family. I haven’t said one negative thing. Ever.

I couldn’t believe it. The timing was like a sick joke to prove me right. Dr. Phil would call me a right fighter. When I’m in the chaos of immediate anger and emotion, I don’t care about solving the problem. I care about keeping score and proving myself the more-wronged party. Deep down, though, after a little time in the Cave of Solitude and Recovery, I secretly believe that they’re right. I’m just a horrible b-word (insert “brat” and “bitch” here), who blames a loving family for things they don’t do. But there it was in black and white. Now I get to reconcile myself again to the fact – proof in hand, neatly penned on a Christmas card – that they continue to employ emotional manipulation to bully me.

Perhaps they don’t know how to avoid the truth of their own dysfunction now that their scapegoat has decided to love herself enough to leave toxic people behind, even when they’re her own family. All I know is that cutting them out of my life is the right thing. Even the smallest dealings with them take me weeks of recuperation. I’m fragile, and they are the chink in my armor. I’m capable of personal and interpersonal greatness, I feel it, if I turn my back entirely. Not just on my sister’s racist husband, who physically assaulted me, but on all of them. In the context of my immediate family, I hate myself. I have the right to walk away, no matter how ugly they make it.

I got that card 3 days ago. I’m not going to answer. What could I possibly say?

I was juuust starting to second-guess my decision to maintain distance from them. In a way, I feel like this was what I needed to trust myself. I get to protect myself, even if I’m shamed for doing so. I’m reminded to celebrate and honor my intuition, regardless of what is said about it. The change I seek is to put this into practice somehow, to make it my lifestyle in 2014 and the second half of my life.
survivor
I have survived. I’m a rockstar. Now I thrive.

Open Prayer for an Open Mind

As for the low profile, oh alright, I’d already met someone before Adonis called but I didn’t mention it because, well, I’m embarrassing, addicted to love and loving and longing and god knows what it is. It isn’t really love I’m after, it doesn’t seem, with this 25-year string of stops and starts and fits and giggles.

It’s two-fold, I imagine: I really do like dating. And I’m always running. So there’s that.

This gentleman and I met a week after I moved out of my ex-boyfriend’s place. He thought I was cute and he’s handsome as hell, so Yes! I say to life. I call him a gentleman, because he is. He’s nice to me. He’s very respectful, but also super fun to talk to, interesting, hard-working, fit fit fit, go go go, loves his kids.

Ah yes, kids. Doesn’t want more. Story of my life. But hope springs eternal in my childless world. I suspect that deep down I’ve always hoped/thought I could force whichever him I was on into my narrow definition of a happy outcome, with our baby, our family, cuddly and warm and skipping into bliss, at last. Well, he can’t give me that – snip, snip – so I was going to politely cut ties – snip, snip – when I had the thought to open my mind, for heaven’s sake. I keep thinking if only these guys who think they don’t want one more kid would open their minds, I could have everything I want. It’s not for me to tell anyone what to do! Open your own mind, darling little hypocrite!

So I shall. And I’m going to see The Gentleman again, in spite of how excited I am to finally go out with Adonis tomorrow. I’m just throwing it out to the universe that my heart is open. Jane Seymour promises me every Christmas with her jewelery collection that if I do that, love will always find its way in.

Dear Source,
Whatever love looks like, I accept.
(Oh. That scared me a little.)
Please now help me understand that final piece that keeps me running away, so I can put it safely in place and sit still, at last, in quiet and bliss.
Thank you!

Adonis and I have been on the phone every day since reconnecting and I’m genuinely excited to be his friend. I think there’s no question he’s a keeper in one way or another. We’ve both said so. We’re looking forward to our friendship, and whatever.

And he flirts as much or more than I do, so that’s fun.

What!?

Remember the Adonis from the dealership? https://wildwesterngirl.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/im-like-the-bravest/

Since last week, I’ve been getting texts from an unknown number. I don’t answer anyone I don’t know. Finally, he asked, “Is this still Christie’s number?” Not saying yes, I asked who he was… and it was him, Adonis!

My heart and belly did flip flops that made me so happy to be single! It’s a little embarrassing. I meant to go low-profile after the humiliating and, frankly, sobering experience of choosing my last relationship, the wrongest of my life.

Instead, I celebrate good timing. He called and we picked up as though we saw each other yesterday at work. We decided on dinner Tuesday. I’m pretty stoked about this because even though he’s the sexiest man I have ever seen, in fact I really like him. There’s more to us already than flirting. We laugh and laugh, but have yet to engage in conversation that doesn’t touch on personal truth, values, and integrity. And then we laugh again.

We’re ready to be friends. And I have this funny feeling I’m totally getting kissed by the hottest guy in the WORLD on Tuesday!