Babababaaaaddddboy to the Bone

Yesterday, I wrote about how I suffered through my first heartbreak. Looking back on the experience, I can see things from a learning perspective. Back then, I was just a young girl, beginning my journey into life. I was new. Pure. Untouched. Unspoiled. But living life does something to one’s persona. When you get cheated on, or betrayed or lied to, it takes away the happy–it takes away the innocense, and leaves hard-core cynics who live in mistrust and fear. Life has a way of working its lessons, doesn’t it? One day we’re wearing shit-eating grins, and the next day we’re crying over some guy who didn’t call.

But here’s the thing: why do we let ourselves get hurt, over and over again? I know we’re not stupid people. We have it going on, don’t we? We’re hip to it, clever, too old for the chomp, and yet, we still make the same freakin’ mistakes; as if we’re robots stuck on STUPID mode. But, why?

Why do we go with the wrong men? What is it about the badboy that attracts us?

Now, before you say that you’re not attracted to the badboy, let me define what badboy means to me. To me, a badboy is a guy who we can’t stay away from. He’s cute, funny, smart, you know, he has the whole package. The reason I call him a badboy isn’t because he’s out in the world committing crimes or riding a Harley with the Angels, wreaking havoc everywhere he goes. Nope. He’s a badboy because there’s something about him that hits an emotional trigger within us; a trigger that could bring us to our knees, if we let it. What’s the trigger? It’s our fathers.

Please don’t say, eeeww, because I’m not talking about sex here. I’m talking about a trait that mimics something we equate with love and security–even in father-daughter relationships that weren’t good. We somehow make an emotional link to the badboy if there’s something about him that subconsciously reminds us of our fathers. So this guy is good to go, right? Wrong.

Wrong? Yes, wrong. Why? Because these traits are only mimics of the man who raised you. The badboy is just a guy who has his own values and beliefs. He’s not your father; he’s only a trigger. He’s got his own agenda which may be good or not so good. He may look like dad, walk like dad, talk like dad, but he ain’t dad. He’s a badboy who reminds you of dad, and this, all by itself, keeps you attracted to him.

Now this guy may come off like the greatest catch, and because of it, you find yourself hopelessly in love—to the point where he can do no wrong, until he does something wrong. You find out he cheated. Can’t be. He was perfect in every way. But the truth is, you wanted to believe he was perfect because he reminded you of dad. What now? How do you get past his betrayal? You want to believe he’s innocent. You’re even willing to give him another chance, if his story seems credible. But the story doesn’t hold water. He tricked you. Eventually, he’s gone.

What do you do now? If you don’t understand what attracted you to this guy you’ll end up going after another guy just like him. You’ll find another daddy-badboy and repeat the process all over again. So how do you break the pattern of going after the badboy?

You have to sit down and examine the attraction. Examine his traits. Think them through. Then ask yourself this: am I equating this guy with my father? It’ll be tough to answer because you may not want to admit it, but trust me, if you do this, you won’t make the same mistake again.

Girls. I hate to say this, but it’s horrible when big girls cry. Isn’t it time to put an end to it?

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What Do You Do When Love Don’t Love You

What I’m about to tell you is a true story. It’s something that I believe deserves mentioning. It’s a situation that so many of us face everyday, yet we somehow blow if off and tell ourselves that it’s not true. I was 23 years old when this happened. I was young, vulnerable, and a soul who needed to feel loved. It was also a very confusing time for me, as I had only been married one year and wondered if I had made the biggest mistake of my life. You see, my ex-husband was a big-time player back then, and he didn’t want the responsibility of being tied-down. He thought that he could come and go as he pleased, despite my efforts in trying to keep him at bay.

Well one day, I received a phone call from a friend who happened to mention that a group of mutual friends, from the bar where we hung out, were going to Atlantic City that afternoon. The plan was for everyone to meet up at the bar at 4:00 in the afternoon to take a chartered bus. As she continued talking, my mind was playing back the conversation I had with my husband before I had left the house for work that morning. He had told me that he had to do something for his father, and it would take him most of the night. I didn’t think to question him so I let the conversation drop from my mind and headed out the door. But as my friend continued to talk, I began to suspect that I had been lied to and that he would be joining the group who were going out that night.
When I hung up the  phone, I found that my instincts couldn’t be ignored, and I did what I felt was necessary to catch him: I left work early.

He had no idea that I was on my way home, so when I got there, I quickly changed my clothes, grabbed my car keys, and headed over to the local pub. As I was driving, my heart was pounding through my chest. I was so determined to catch him that I was weaving in and out of traffic–I even went through red lights. As I approached the block of the bar, I could see in the distance the silver bus parked in front, and next to it, the large crowd waiting to board. I knew this was going to be it.  I was going to catch him.

I pulled my car over and quickly jumped out; and as I ran towards the group I could plainly see my husband chatting away with one of the girls. The line was moving quickly onto the bus, and he and the girl were almost near the door when I yelled out to him.

“Don’t even try it!”

He spun around, and upon noticing me, displayed a dropped jaw and bulging eyes. He was cold-busted.

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” I yelled.

He stepped off the line and walked towards me. “What?” he said, playing dumb.

“You heard me. Where do you think you’re going?”

“I’m going to hang out for a while,” he stammered.

I was now in front of his face. “You said you were helping your father tonight. So you lied?”

He turned to look at the line getting onto the bus and then turned to look at me. “I didn’t lie. My father said that he didn’t need any help, so I figured I would go with my friends. What’s the big deal?”

“What’s the big deal?” I shrieked.

He didn’t answer me. He just kept turning to look at his friends, who were heckling him.

“You must really wanna get on that bus? Don’t ya?” I said.

He rolled his eyes.

Right there I had my answer. He wanted to be with his friends, and had planned on being on the bus and long gone before I got home from work. It was like–play now, deal with it later. The betrayal was almost crushing. To think that my husband was lying right to my face and didn’t even care that I was hurt. I turned around and began walking back to my car.

“So you’re mad?” he called out.

I stopped walking to look back to him.

“You get on that bus, and I’m calling a lawyer.” 

I started to walk away.

He took a step toward me. “Oh, great. Okay, fine. I won’t go. Bitch.” 

I just kept walking.

“What? No snappy comeback?” he called out.

I wouldn’t turn around. I opened my car door and got in. As I put my key in the ignition, I looked into my rearview mirror. He was getting into his car which was parked on the corner behind me. For some reason, I had a feeling that he wasn’t going home so I did what any girl would do.  

 As he pulled out of his spot, I pulled out of mine and banged a U-turn. He went down one street, I went down the street which was parallel and cut him off. We met up on the adjoining avenue. When he saw me, he stepped on the gas and made a hard left down the next street. Oh yeah, I yelled out loud. Can’t lose me!

And as the chase continued, him trying to get away from me and me cutting him off at every turn, it suddenly occurred to me that I was running after someone who didn’t want to be caught. I was trying to catch up to someone who didn’t want me around. The revelation was mind-blowing. It was huge! I was married to someone who I loved, but who didn’t love me back. As this truth unfolded, I began to feel stupid. I felt the harshness of the realization creep into my stomach and into my head. Suddenly I felt like I didn’t belong–didn’t fit in–wasn’t wanted– and that perhaps I never was wanted. I pulled my car over to the nearest empty spot and turned it off, and just stared out the window. The only thing I could hear was the bare whisper of my own stupidity leaving my lips, Val, he doesn’t want you. Stop chasing him.

I must have sat there for fifteen minutes before I could even move. The truth was hardcore. It was devastating, but most of all, it was real. I turned on the ignition and pulled out of the spot and went home.

Sometimes the truth is the most terrifying of fears that we must face. It can break our spirits. It can be so painful. It can make us curl into fetal positions wishing we had never been born. It was that day when I learned that you can’t make someone love you when they just don’t.
Looking back, I can say that my ex-husband didn’t love me. And maybe it was all for the best. Life has a way of delivering the truth. But it’s up to us to recognize it, and to face it–to learn from it and to move on. When someone doesn’t love you, they just don’t, and nothing you could do can change it.

When is ‘enough is enough’?

Your heart’s been broken more times than you want to admit . . . by the same person. They’ve lied to you, cheated on you, not been there when you needed them, and yet, you’re still with them. You know you should have left a long time ago but something deep-down, something that you don’t understand keeps you where you are. Is it the fear of being alone? Is it the fear of never finding love again? What keeps you rooted in a relationship that’s dead—one sided—going nowhere? When is ‘enough is enough’?

Enough is enough came for me a few times in my life, but if I had to pinpoint the most significant time it was when I left my husband. Back then, I was a young girl, naïve to the world and short on cash. My husband was a classic case of momma’s-boy-gone-wild. He went out with his friends, partied like a frat-bro, and the best part; he hardly worked. Yet, I stayed with him for ten years, always threatening him with divorce—always trying to scare him into caring. It didn’t work. He came and went as he pleased, ignoring all my threats and scoffing at my ultimatums. Nothing mattered.
While it was happening, I comforted myself with the belief that when I got that raise, I’d go. I told myself that when I’d find someone else, I’d leave. Yet, ten years later, I was still there. So what pushed me over the edge to finally saying, I had enough?

After ten years of being in a one-sided, loveless marriage, my day in court came, literally. He was in the middle of a big lawsuit; one where he was awarded a large sum of money. I’ll never forget that day. As we walked into our apartment across from Kings Plaza, in Brooklyn, we plopped ourselves down at the kitchen table and just stared at each other. Two people with nothing in common, were both wondering what’s next. And then it happened. He said the most frightening words that I had ever heard. He said, I think it’s time for you to get pregnant.

Ten years of living with a selfish, non-caring, party animal had taught me one thing: babies will never be a part of our marital equation. There wasn’t any way that I was going to have a baby; especially with a person who had hurt me the way he had hurt me. He had pushed me over the edge. Yes, enough was enough. I was out the door.
Sometimes, it can be just a few words that will finally push you over the edge; that will make you jump off your chair and say adios amigo. Sometimes, it happens when you’ve hit rock bottom; when you’re finally able to admit that his infidelities are too much to bear; that his selfishness can no longer be tolerated; that you’re better off being by yourself because being with him is like being alone anyway. Enough is enough is when you know, and can openly admit, that it simply will not work. You understand that you can’t change him or the situation. You’ve done your best—given it your all—now you’re done. Depleted. Empty. You throw the key on the table and walk out.

Have you ever reached that point, where you wake up one morning realizing that you can’t do it—you just can’t stay . . . that enough is enough?

Kicks keep getting harder to find

You were sad the other day, remember?
She had left a note, she had gone away
And when I didn’t see you at our usual place
I thought it strange,
since you never missed our dates

You used to talk about her and how she would never smile
I used to tell you about him and that he was never around
She ignored your funny jokes, your innuendos, your little pokes
He never had a kind word, or understood my loneliness

Remember when you told me that you spent your whole check on a ring
I reached across the table to hug you, and started to sing
Here comes the groom, all dressed in gloom
Then you threw a French fry at me, missed, and hit the man behind me
We laughed and laughed,
oh the fun we had
Kicks they were

Kicks

So what happened, where’d she go
Do you know ?
What about me, you ask?
let me see
not a hard task
I’ll tell you that he and I are through,
He didn’t love me, and you?
You going to call her, beg her to come back?
Does she really care
was she ever there
did she give you kicks ?

I didn’t think so
same here