Dreaming, a la broken heart

When you’re dreaming with a broken heart
The waking up is the hardest part.
You roll outta bed and down onto your knees
And for a moment you can hardly breathe
Wondering, “Was she really here?
Is she standing in my room?”
No she’s not, ’cause she’s gone, gone, gone, gone, gone…  John Mayer, Continuum.

Weird things, dreams. I have them all the time thanks to a brain-energizing prescription I take. Troublesome, Love Bomb is usually in them. Even more troublesome, everything is generally fine with Love Bomb in these dreams – like nothing ever happened. I wake to find that she’s not there, nothing is fine, I’m all alone, and the sadness returns, “oh, it was just a dream, we aren’t okay, and she doesn’t care”. There has been no intimacy in any of my dreams, just like in real life.

“To dream about your ex … indicates that people currently in your life are reminding you of those same feelings. This dream could be warning you that you are falling into a repeated pattern in relationships. You should consider the harsh lessons you may have learned so you don’t repeat them.” (Dreamforth.com)

“To see an ex usually represents a personality trait in yourself based on whatever quality or memory stands out most about that person. Ex-partners are very open symbols that are based completely on your most honest memories and feelings about them. Ask yourself what’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think about that person.” (Dreambible.com)

Honest feelings and memories of that person: the last several months we shared aside, my most honest recollection of my feelings for Love Bomb were those of friendship, and that makes sense given that in my dreams, we are good friends. The first thing that pops into my head when I think of her is that she was my best friend. And how I lost her.

Repeated patterns: This is trickier. I feel like I’ve restructured everything in my life, and I don’t see anything obvious that I’m repeating, especially since I’m not even in another relationship, or even close. Perhaps it has to do with settling. As I peruse these dating sites I doubt myself, intimidated by the ones I actually find attractive, discouraging myself from really putting myself out there. So, I lower my standards: he’s not particularly cute, but OKC says we’re a “good match”, and he seems nice enough.

I’ve settled for too long. I settled because I was hasty about my decision one stunning fall afternoon in the car with Love Bomb. “If I leave her, will you stay with me?”, she asked as the wind blew through my hair, fingertips out the open window. “Sure!”, I assured her without a second thought. Actually, that’s not true. I pondered for a moment just what I was doing to a 9-year relationship; how I was changing everything with a simple “Sure!”. I doubted myself as soon as I said it, but it was already too late. The words were said. The deed was done. And I wonder, did she ask the same of New Girl, the only difference being the season?

With Matt, while we were together, I settled for someone who used alcohol way more than I appreciated. I settled for someone who would rather go to a raucous party than hang out at home with me on a Saturday night. I settled for someone who played SportsCenter on repeat, and never asked me if there was anything I might like to watch on TV. I settled for someone who couldn’t focus his attention on more than one thing at a time, and often left me feeling like I was talking to myself just because he was slightly distracted. I settled for someone who used me as his dog-walker while he played hockey twice a week.

With Love Bomb, I settled for someone who barely managed to graduate from high school, who never valued education the way I do (noted, this one is least important). I settled by caving in to her “peer pressure” – smoking weed (which I ended up addicted to for a long spell) when I really didn’t want to, not to mention the other drugs I tried with her encouragement (and I’m lucky I don’t have an addiction to now). I settled by letting myself go – not taking care of myself, smoking cigarettes, and gaining an obscene amount of weight, not just once, but multiple times, like a damn roller coaster. I settled for someone who couldn’t support my desires to be healthier, who, despite my clear intentions of trying to lose weight, would bring home cookies and pork rinds, and then suggest that I simply not eat them! I settled for someone who was NoVA born and raised, and never had actual intent to leave, despite the lies she told me. I settled for someone who lacks financial responsibility, refusing to live within her means, who drives herself head-on into bankruptcy over and over again. I settled for someone who doesn’t have the BANDWIDTH to understand or work to resolve her own emotional health issues, and if she can’t do it for herself, she certainly couldn’t do it for the relationship.

And now, I shall acknowledge my own flaws and baggage, from the perspective of my ex’s (I have only two). Maziecakes is an introvert who is prone to depression, anxiety, panic, and even fainting. Maziecakes had a bit of a breakdown a number of years ago and was unable to manage working a steady job, to include her own grooming business. Maziecakes is messy, waiting until she’s out of socks before she tackles the laundry, and until she runs out of silverware before she runs/empties the dishwasher. Maziecakes has a spicy Irish (oxymoron?) temper, Love Bomb would call it “Anger Management Issues”, she’s been known to scream back at an obnoxious parrot or at someone (a person, not a parrot) who’s cut her off in traffic. Maziecakes waits until the last minute to do most everything, requiring only 20 minutes from alarm to out-the-door in the morning, which leads right in to .. Maziecakes is fond of sleep and considers napping to be an acceptable weekend activity.

That’s what it’s like to settle for me: A mentally unstable, angry, sleepy procrastinator, who settles for whatever a partner throws her way.

I realize that no one is perfect and no relationship is perfect – we all carry flaws and baggage, but no longer will I settle. I deserve more than someone who holds me just so that their hands are not empty.

I could wait for someone I don’t have to settle for forever, I suppose. But I will not be waiting. I’ll be living my own life, serving my own purpose, fulfilling my own dreams, all by myself. I’m strong like that.

And even with all the miles in between us, I still wake up expecting your body to be next to mine. @cwpoet

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