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Once upon a time I met a guy who was hanging out with a larger group of people. I thought he was funny when we were talking about ghosts, but as I was soon to learn he was also very remote and emotionally insubstantial which seems to be a characteristic of people I tend to find attractive. Infatuation is a very strange phenomenon. He was charismatic and I shudder to think about how consumed I was by thoughts of him because at the time there were many red flags and warning signs that I ignored. The realm of fantasy has always fascinated me not because I believe that things can happen in real life, I know they can, but that wasn't really the point.

Years went by, he let me know that he was repulsed by me weeks after we met. I tried hanging on, but then I met someone else and went through a similar version of what I had in the past only this time there was a professional consideration at stake. Writing about this is very difficult for me. I can't describe what I went through or how I still feel when I realize what I did to myself in fruitless attempts to be nice to people who couldn't be bothered doing much of anything for me and I suppose that was the hardest part. I couldn't face reality and I didn't want to listen to people who saw these situations much more clearly than I did.

My therapist wants me to keep a feelings journal and at a deeper level I know this will help, but I don't understand why I have this disconnect. I'm horribly selfish when it comes to the people who genuinely deserve my affections and attentions and then lavish unwanted gifts on people who are just as walled off from what they are feeling as I have been in the past. Now I'm embarrassed, shamed, humiliated, furious, outraged, and contemptuous. I like to think I've made tremendous strides in this area, but not long ago something happened that reminded me this was still a problem.

A woman I knew slightly reached out to me after her boyfriend dumped her. At first I was very empathetic as he sounded like a complete shit and I was relieved that he was out of her life, but then she wouldn't let him go. She told me that she wanted him back and she would do anything to see him again. Meanwhile he's going out with other women that were closer to his own age, there was a considerable age gap between this couple, and she's not getting that in his mind their relationship is over. He had moved on, it was obvious to me, and for a while I traded text messages with her as she was going through some medical issues that weren't complicated, but were still painful and unfortunate.

What I wish I would have been able to do is tell my former friend that I was very sorry that her boyfriend had broken up with her while keeping my boundaries intact. I didn't do that probably because I didn't really know how, and partially because I was almost afraid of what she might do if I tried that. I don't have much experience with men who are obsessed with women although I know they exist, but I know many women who have gone through what my friend and I have. It makes me wonder why so many women are willing to accept men into their lives when the signs are immediately pointing to him being a less than admirable character and why we are so willing to make the sacrifices we do for him.


Another thing I want to write about is the guy who still scares me. I don't know why he's occupying my thoughts lately, when we met we had a mutual interest and enjoyed talking to each other about a variety of topics. Sometimes I got a strange vibe from him, but I couldn't define why he made me so uneasy. He had an interesting regular job, and a cool side gig that I found myself not appreciating as his questions became more intrusive. We had a discussion about being attracted to people you work with, he confided that there was a woman he knew that he enjoyed talking to and it was more difficult for him to get along well with his wife who also worked in the field that he did.

This happened years ago, but it's still with me today and I would love to be able to blank those memories from my mind for good. There was a point where he called me out about something I had done, that was completely out of line and I didn't bother arguing with him or trying to get him to see that he had no business in ordering me around like that. When he kept after me about not talking to him I kept ignoring him and now I can see that I probably should have taken stronger measures and told him to bug off in no uncertain terms. Recently this person received some attention of the wrong sort by making a remark that could be construed as racist and I believe that he is very disturbed despite his profession.

I want distance. I need closure. Today I am letting these people go and I'm going to talk to my therapist about these problems so when they crop up again I have better coping strategies. It's not right for me to have such low self esteem that I let people trample me. I've had women in my life who have done worse things to me than the men I've known and thinking about what I've suffered during those times of injustice makes me sad for the battered shell I once was. Today the sky is a flat gray and the roads are slick with thawing ice which I feel is an allegory of these past encounters.

There is always hope that I will be able to keep going and someday realize that everyone makes mistakes and some of us have to keep repeating the same ones until we learn whatever lessons we need to. I think this is one of the reasons I love music so much. Whether it's the lyrics, notes, or the consuming passion, it seems to bridge a gap for me the same way that writing fiction does. I spend too much time thinking and writing and not enough time doing things. Despite the view I'm not depressed. I was upset when I started writing, but I feel less burdened than I did initially. I forgive myself. I can let go. I have healthy relationships with people who are worth my time and those are small steps that will lead me toward greater freedom and tranquility.

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