during my marriage, I discovered that sharing my innermost thoughts and dreams with my dearly beloved was empowering. sadly, though, not too long into the relationship, there was a new discovery ….after said partner had consumed sufficient alcohol, he would throw a lot of my dreams and desires back at me, sneeringly, laughing them off as fanciful and silly and certainly not worthy of being treasured
can you believe then, that I chose to keep my thoughts to myself? that I all but invalidated them myself. my parents had trained me to play small. and for all that I believed my guy was batting for me, I can see in retrospect how dismissive he was of me. so I learned to shut up. and shut down. more’s the pity – I believe I have always had something to offer to the world and unfortunately I invalidated all those hopes and dreams myself. sigh. so silly
once I had stepped back into being single, and no longer in partnership with those who didnt believe that I had validity, it still took me a very long time to ‘expose’ myself to another in an intimate relationship
I fell in love. deeply, completely, utterly, unconditionally. not with someone I had met, other than on the internet across continents ….but deeply in love nonetheless
when that all went pear-shaped, I was obviously unhappy that the dreams built on shifting sands were washed away. but oh my word, how delighted I was eventually. this lad had stormed into my life, swept me off my feet …not literally, of course …and the gift I got from it was the discovery of my ability to love fully and completely and without reservation. of course, I have unreserved love for my family …I am mostly referring to that risky romantic love …
however, having made some sort of unconscious vow to never trust a man again, I spent the next ten years creating a fairly happy single life. I am inordinately blessed to have superb friends who are there for me in the same way that I am there for them. the sheer bliss of having someone to talk to, who understands you, and holds your information and words as sacred and not to be scorned or laughed at …that is a treasure – and I have a few of those wonderful people in my life.
I have therefore managed to avoid vulnerability for a while.
I recently moved to the other side of the world and had to create a new social life. easy peasy – join the Womens Insitute and within a short while, those ladies begin to become friends. but it is a group for women. the only men I speak to is the pub landlord when we exchange pleasantries, and the handyman who fixes things around the house! not exactly deep and meaningful relationships or conversations
Bold! I got bold and joined an internet dating site – amidst many pieces of advice from all and sundry about staying safe, being careful, blah blah blah …I am in my 60’s goddammit and I have played safe and been careful almost every single fucking day of it all! why am I suddenly going to become a brainless idiot?
however, the warnings come from a place of care and good hearts, so I try my best not too sigh too audibly. I recall that when a friend was going off the rails a bit in her 50’s when her husband died, all the others kept saying we needed to keep her safe. my take on it was that J needed to do whatever she wanted (she is also not an idiot). our task, as friends, was to be there if the wheels fell off …superglue at the ready to put her brokenness together if she needed help. she didnt. it all worked out okay.
back to me ….I am risking vulnerability. what seems like an absolute gem of a man has connected with me. I have no proof that he is who he says he is. I have no proof that his photos are him. I certainly hope they are because he is smokin’ HOT!
despite uncertainty, I am allowing myself to be vulnerable. we have not exchanged phone numbers. we email each other and he has de-activated his profile on the site. I have no idea why. I am not asking. perhaps because he has connected with me and wants to explore this friendship? who knows…..I know that the information will come to me – I have great trust in knowing that what I am meant to know will reveal itself
right now, I am trusting my gut. I have not fallen head over heels … until such time as I make voice contact, that is not going to happen. we are engaged in that old fashioned idea of being pen pals and that is absolutely perfect for me. he lives 100 miles away, hence no coffee meetings or pub lunches yet. I’m loving the situation just as it is. it is a tad un-nerving if I dont hear from him for a day or two – I start wondering why …and then he connects in such a beautiful eloquent way that it puts a smile on my dial
so here I am, braving and embracing a level of vulnerability for the first time in many many many years ….and it feels good