Monday 21 January 2008

Todays Riddle- Am I SUCH a Bad Person?

It is a strange fact indeed, but it really is true that I am probably the most important person in my grandmother's life.
By her own admission, what keeps her alive every day is some dream that somehow, my life will become everything she wants it to be.

There is a strage in which her dreams for her son got translated to me. It is funny, her memory truly is amazing, but there is a sense in which her memories of my childhood, also include her momories of my fathers. He and I are separate identities now, but in her head, we were the same child.

She cannot see anymore, really, and from the way she speaks, I guess she still sees me as I was at twenty.
She asked me recently if I had intention of getting re-involved in party politics. I smiled.

Otherwise, I go to visit very couple of months. If you knew how near she lived, you would be appalled. It's having time but it's also something more.

It's a mental effort, a vast evasion operation.

Gran: So where is it you work now?
Me: Hagley Road.
Gran: Doing what?
Me: Same old stuff I always do.
Gran: How much does it pay?
Me: Enough. And that's also enough of this topic.
Gran: You should give me your phone number.
Me: You don't need it. I'm sure if there's an emergency Tuba Man (the name me and my brother use for my revered father) will let me know.
Gran: Why won't you give me it?
Me: Because then you'll ring it. I get enough phone calls wasting my evening as it is. It's better as it is. I can ring when I get a chance, but you know, I don't really get much free time.

Then we'll digress onto Irish Politics and the current state of Fianna Fail, all of which I'm quite comfortable talking about with her.

My grandmother is my closest family member, without a doubt, but the thought of personal conversation with her scares me livid. When I visit family members, my barriers are not only up, they are fully reinforced.

I can't handle them. It's the probing, the wanting to know about your life, attempts to show they care, offer advice, when they really have no idea how you see things. In their world settling down, marrying and having children is the normal course of events. How do you explain how much more complicated life is?

Women. They have always been my ruination one way or another. They are just another of my bad habits, bordering on addiction. Only they aren't even an addiction I get much pleasure out of. It's a bit like tobacco, only much stronger. It's partly you enjoy it, but more importantly you REALLY don't like going without it.
I smoke twenty to thirty a day, so see how addicted I can become to something.

Women truly are amazing creatures. They are lovely, soft, smell good, their hair is nice and their breath on your chest whilst they sleeping is perfume from God.

The allure is huge.
It's the price tag.

Somtimes I wonder if maybe I'm just unrealistic.

I always look back to my first (and only) love Joanna. I'm actually wondering if I even loved her. I did, but mainly because there wasn't much reason not to. It was never really put to any huge tests.
OK, I'm nineteen, she's twenty.

The vast majority of the time we spend together is spent in bed. We spend large parts of the weekend in it. So yes, we DO do a lot of talking and all that sort of stuff, but healthily interspersed with other things. Occasionally, we may watch a film together.
But we don't go out together and we don't go to the pub together. We have our own friends to do that with. We hardly see eachother during weekday daytimes. We never even eat together.

And it was perfect. That to me, really was how a relationship should be. Why would you want to see more of them than that?

One thing always stands in my mind as to why she was the perfect girlfriend.

I remember me and my mates were watching an adult video once. I went to change the tape and couldn't find the other one, so we all looked round the floor. When we found it, we noticed that Joanna had just silently crept in, got into the bed, and pulled the cover over her eyes.
She wasn't going to intrude on a lad's occasion. She was just going to lie there and wait for me.
She really didn't care what I did. She didn't need to know, or want to know. She would be there when I wanted her, and not when I didn't.

And it's funny really, because as a result, she's one of the few women I've ever really trusted.

I think I did love her, you know.
Back then, anyway.

I suppose she defined my life. I never got over her, and losing her made me very bitter indeed.
At this point I made the decision that paying money to feel loved up was wiser. You don't get hurt that way.
And so I fell in love with Ecstasy.

I settled down (of a sort) at twenty-two. It was a mistake, I guess. I've worked out I have a bit of a flaw here, which keeps me making the same mistake over and over again. I really cannot help it, and I will continue to make the same mistake, I guess.

The mistake is this. By the time I was twenty-two, I was pretty much the person I stayed.
I have realised that it is true that I just randomly flirt with everybody. Half the time, I'm not really conscious of it. I'm just checking the territory. The problem with this, is that someone isn't the target of my flirting, interprets this as interest.

Now comes the problem. If they then respond in a manner which betrays reciprocal interest, I then direct my attention that way, purely instinctively. I'm still not really thinking. It's just a gut instinct.

It then reaches the point when I start to get flattered and play up to it.

Now. With Claire it is certainly true I had been flirting a bit with her, even gone for a few drinks, but at the time she wasn't my prime focus.

When she hit me with the blunt statement that she thought she was falling in love with me, I didn't really know what to do.

So I thought, hell, it's a good start. If she loves me, I can probably love her. It could work.

So I thought.

Yes, we ended up living together.
Yes, we got engaged.
Yes, we fought a lot.
No, I was too cowardly to end it. I couldn't see how.

She had an abortion.

It was Hell. The whole couple thing. The whole having to spend every minute of your free time watched over by the same person.

'What's this in your jacket pocket?'
'What are you doing in my jacket pocket?'
'I was going to wash it.'

Not much you can say really, but it's awful. The great thing about being an adult was you didn't have to worry about this stuff anymore. You only need answer to yourself.

You are no longer you, you are part of Crushedandclaire.

Is the price for sharing a bed sharing your life?

'They are fags I bought today because I haven't actually given up smoking. I don't want to give up smoking, I only pretended to so as to please you, and I don't keep going out to the shop JUST to get phone vouchers, Mars bars and Quavers.'

No, I never told her that. What excuse I came up with, I'm not sure.

The thing is, there is a pattern.
Claire was needy, I always felt very protective towards her, even in during her rages. But over time I realised, I couldn't give her what she wanted. Over time I think I became very resentful towards her, her continual jealousy, her fear of letting me out of her sight.

And I know she felt I didn't love her.

And I didn't, not in the way she wanted. Two quotes of hers that always stick out, because I guess they are true 'You're a brilliant friend, but the worst boyfriend in the world.' and 'To know what it's like to feel love from you, I'd have to be a dog'.

And I guess that's where I am. Finding women has never been the problem. I just really have no idea what to do with them when I've got them.

I couldn't endure another Claire situation. I just want a Second Joanna. No hassle, no jealousy, no wanting to be able to dictate my life, just there, there to lie with on a Saturday morning as we make love and discuss the children's progammes we remember before Football Focus.

And then I want to go out in the evening with my friends.

Isn't that love?

Well, if it isn't, then I don't much want it.

It's supposed to be a pleasure not a burden.

It should be an extra bonus in my life, not the dominating feature of it.

And yet.

How much trouble it has caused in my life.

Myself and The Chimney Sweep were discussing a while back about leading good lives.
I basically said, I didn't feel I'd ever hurt anybody and had led a good life.
Old Chimney Sweep through a spanner into the works by pointing out that I had hurt a few women on the way.
Not intentionally, I pointed out.

I'm looking for Joannas, but keep turning up Claires.

And I'm really not good at dealing with these situations.

Bottom line is, you either make me feel good, or you don't.
If you start arguing with me, trying to get me to alter my actions, involve yourself in an area of my life which I don't want you near (the majority, in fact), then, by definition, you are NOT making me feel good.

And I will take steps to completely terminate contact.

Easily done in RL. It's never taken more than a five minute telephone call.

And I really don't see what all the fuss is about. Far better it's done cleanly, before emotions become too entrenched, for yourself as much as them. You cannot risk getting emotional, when you have made a decision on rational grounds, that they are endangering the security of your existence.

How often have I had to make this decision? Fortunately, not that often. Twice in the last two years. The first posed no problem at all, and to be honest, I did feel a little sorry for her, but at the time I thought I was in love with someone else (which I probably wasn't, more an obsession). The second did a get a bit nasty. In this instance, the circumstances were a bit different. She had started telling me things about her past, which I felt were highly intimate and created a conflict of interests, in that it made it unethical for me to engage in intercourse with her.

This sexless relationship was not something she could accept, so we decided to call it a day, but she did get pretty abusive about it.

Maybe I'm missing something.

Maybe I really am a complete bastard.

But, there we are.
None of this would really matter, except I'm knocking on thirty and in the last year I did find something I wasn't looking for.


Life, as of last August had every ingredient in it, to be perfect, a life I could be happy in, perhaps, till my dieing day.

The club scene had filled the void Joanna left, now career and blog together, could replace the club scene.

Was it a dream?

I guess I don't know.

But it is the nearest I have ever got.

It really was true. August last year, I had never been so content in all my life.

I look back and wonder what I could have done differently.
I really don't see what I COULD have done differently.

The Problem; You have arranged, due to your stupid ability to get yourself in stupid situations without thinking ahead, to meet another blogger. You two speak regularly. A lot of stuff has been said.

Life changes. There is a revolution in your life. Due to a successful career move, it is hard to cram writing a decent post, talking to this person on the phone AND going to the pub, plus the fact that the other person is interfering with your relationship with other bloggers and doesn't realise you find her public statements degrade you, you must end contact as soon as possible.

Further urgency to this problem arises, when they ring your flatmate whilst you are out, making her boyfriend (your best friend)VERY ANGRY.

Extra problem: The blogger you need to completely end contact with, knows a lot of stuff about you that you don't want anyone to know. Stuff you think could damage your blog.

Your happiness is in the balance here.
Your long term happiness really is in the balance here.

Your long term happiness starts the day you never hear anything from her again, but are also comfortable that she will do nothing to harm your blog.


How would you have set about it?

Remember, I'm not a vindictive person. I wanted no bad feeling. I wanted her to understand, that it just wasn't sense for us to remain in communication. It could serve no positive purpose. It just wasted valuable time.

Because I really don't know how I could have done anything differently.
And it may still have ruined my life.
Trust me, I've wracked my brains over this.

I don't think I've ever invested so much emotion or stress into anything. I know how my Dad felt when he set up his own business.

That was his shot.
That was the moment he'd been waiting for, that was it. And his client base grew, the firm grew. But I guess he worried that first year.
In a way, I know now how he felt.

Mine was, mine is, here and now.
And to have that one shot ruined over something so trivial, is something I really don't get.

Took me a long time to find it.


Anonymous said...

Phew. You are a complicated man, Crushed.

I sometimes am unsure of how to react to these posts. I enjoy reading them. It creates more context for the more (without a better word) intellectual posts that you write so well. But I also don't want to analyze you by reading and responding to them.
Being a (near) psychologist, friends often ask me for my formal opinion on them-- and I refuse, because that is territory I cannot cross. So I am not doing that with you, either. I am not going to start talking in terms of defense mechanism or whatever catch phrase seems to best work. I hope that makes sense and you can appreciate that.

However, I think you will find that very few women are Joanna. Because I wonder if Joanna feels like she is really getting her needs met, or if she lives trying not to step on yours. Not that Claire is the answer. But isn't there room for shades of grey?

Anonymous said...

Do Catholics still do self-flagellation? 50 lashes for you for being a bad boy. Feel better now?

There comes a time in everyone's life when we just have to forgive ourselves and start again. Strip away everything that we don't like about ourselves, our lives and rebuild from scratch. Otherwise, we kill our spirit and that's just not a way to live.

Apologize to yourself, aplogize to those you have hurt. Even if they are not here believe that wherever they are, they will hear your words and they will forgive you. Clear the air from you head, heart and Soul and start from scratch. Leave the past in the past and start now.

We can never go back to the past in our present condition, we have already grown away from it, it no longer fits. We just have to be here now and be loving to those around us.

Anonymous said...

> You are no longer you, you are part of Crushedandclaire.
*bursts out laughing* yes, that’s true ;-) The 2 become one…lol

> Is the price for sharing a bed sharing your life?
Yes it is. Any less would be selling it cheap ;-) While sharing your life; it’s not a price. It’s a gift *imho*

> Bottom line is, you either make me feel good, or you don't. If you start arguing with me, trying to get me to alter my actions, involve yourself in an area of my life which I don't want you near (the majority, in fact), then, by definition, you are NOT making me feel good.
*Nods* Sometimes it’s cos they care, though. I think I’m a Joanna. It's easy to be so if there's nothing wrong with your partner's life. If you think he's throwing it away, though, the least a friend would do would be to tell him so *then I'm not sure if you draw a line between 'friend' and 'girlfriend'.

Poor old granny. She must be so lonely (I know, it's a heaviness to have to sit and talk. sometimes one even doesn't mind the thought of them dying, 'cos it's a responsibility of one's shoulders. and then they don't have to keep caring and waiting...) *and you're not all that much comfort either, although it's all she's got ;-)* It's their curse for loving you ... :-)

Anonymous said...

> We can never go back to the past in our present condition, we have already grown away from it, it no longer fits. We just have to be here now and be loving to those around us.
Ohh... Alexys speaks such true words. Yes, after many mistakes, I always wondered about that. One can never go back. So even if you were to go back, Joanna wouldn't work out either. It's too late; you're a different person now *as are well all, after we go through stuff*

Anonymous said...

Easily done in RL. It's never taken more than a five minute telephone call.

I'm guessing that if they are close enough for you start throwing your barriers up, then they are close enough to at least deserve that conversation in person. You might find it difficult to deal with these conversations but sometimes you've just got to suck it up.

From what you've written here, I find it hard to believe you actually think you've gone through life not hurting anyone. Intentionally or not, our actions all have consequences.

So I thought, hell, it's a good start. If she loves me, I can probably love her. It could work.

That's when you should have ended things. Would have saved both yourself and her a lot of hurt. Doing things because you think it's what the other person wants only leads to pain in the long run, for both parties involved.

I don't think you're a bastard, but I do think you set impossible expectations on the women in your life. Not everyone is going to be a Joanna, not everyone is going to be a Claire. If you want to move forward, you're going to have to let the 22 year old Crushed go, and start being the 30 year old Crushed.

But then, I don't think you want to.

Anonymous said...

I've been away for the weekend and working as well and have some catching up to do on your posts.

Haven't we all had our Joannas ?

It's your memory playing tricks on you - if she was THE ONE you'd still be with her. I'm still in love with my first girlfriend too in a way. She's the only woman to ever have 'chucked' me. 23 years ago. Never forgiven her - bitch ! ;-) I bought her flowers as a parting gift and told her that my door was always open. She came back ... frequently. I let her go because SHE WASN'T THE ONE and she'd shown me that.

If you want love you can't be selfish. You have to be prepared to share ALL areas and become one with that person. Without this you don't have true love. You can't be so precious about yourself if love is what you really want.

Why are you so secretive ? I'm prepared to talk about every humiliation and personal failing on my blog and do so frequently.

Is this mystery blogger really that much of a threat to your 'creation' and to your friendships or are you blaming her wrongly ?

Make peace even if they don't want to, let it go, if necessary let them do their very worst and I'll wager that by 'worst' we don't see very much at all.

They hurt, you hurt ... we all hurt. Pain is good, because that's life and contrast to pain is what we call 'happiness'.

Do you honestly think that I'd think less of you for it if Miss ******** spilled the beans ?

Anonymous said...

Princess P- None of us are simple.

Ultimately, I need to be certain that I have a large network around me without anyone having a hold over me.

Certainly, being solely responsible for meeting a woman's needs is something I am incapable of.

Alexys- Maybe. But I still have to face the fact that one of the few things in life I have ever actually given a damn about has been damaged, and it will surely haunt me to my dieing day whether I could have protected it better.

The past is always with us. It is how we reached the present.

Eve- To me it's a price. I cannot live that way. It feels like being raped, it feels like living in a cage.
I can think of nothing that scares me more.

My Gran is lonely, I guess. It'a hard one. I try make an effort with her, I've told her I'll take her to the centeneray of the Easter Rising.

Oestrebunny- Ran out of time :) I'll reply to your comment this evening.

Anonymous said...

You do beat yourself up a lot - I guess you are a very intense person to know. I would calm down, relax and try not to worry. I have given up any hope of intimacy - in any sense - in my life as I seem unable to find it...

Anonymous said...

*nods* that's good :-) Will be a treat for her :-)

Anonymous said...

I would give anything I own to spend one more hour with my grandmother. You would do well to spend some time with her is my advice. As far as the problem yu have with women it seems that you are not as into them as they are into you. Typical male behavior. Try to figure out what it is you want from women beofre getting into a relationship that will be doomed for the start. I know this sounds trite but age and experience will be valuable to you in the long run.Sorry about the whole abotion thing I am sure that weighs heavy on your catholic guilt.

Anonymous said...

Oestrebunny- Sometimes I've done it by meeting for a drink. BuT I always aim to have left the pub after one drink.
There's no need to prolong these things. Short statement, list of reasons why a decision has been reached, etc.

But to be honest, generally, I just let these things tail off and fizzle out.

As for your second point, I'm hardly likely to fall in love with someone who's not already in love with me.
Many times I have stayed with people long after they have driven me mad, just because I don't want to hurt their feelings.

I suppose the thing is, when a woman looks at you with puppy dog eyes and tells you how much she loves you, when she tells you how she has thought about you all day, of course you love her.

When she's ringing your bloody mobile demanding to know where you are, why you haven't come home yet, she's just become another person presuming to excercise authority over you.

Turning thirty is something I dread. Less than fifty days, it's not good.
If anyone gets me a pipe and slippers, I'll scream.

E-K- I'm not sure what 'The one is'. She was the only girl I ever loved, though past tense it was.
She got in touch years later, to let me know she was engaged and then rung me back a couple of days later to ask if I thought it was possible to love two people.
I must admit I was mindblown. I'd spent years of bitterness about the whole thing.

I guess it freed me in a way, because I realised then that we really had diverged. She'd settled down and was training to be a teacher, I worked in Telecoms at this point and my life really had just become work and clubbing. Most important, I knew that I played the same role in her life as she had in mine, which I guess was all I needed to know.

I cannot become 'one' with anybody. I let different people into different areas.
I write things here, I wouldn't tell RL people.

The 'mystery blogger' has already caused untold damage. They created a stressful situation here in the flat, but worse is the damage done here.
There are no beans she can spill, I've already done that, but her false accusations have certainly harmed my creation, no two ways about that.

They've done their worst, but it was pretty bad. I've certainly lost readers as a result.

And the thing is, I STILL can't see what it is that she is so upset about.

Mutley- I know, but you've got to remember, I am looking back and seeing how this mess could have been prevented. I have a sneaking suspicion that reality has slowly dawned on some people, but it's too late isn't it?
I've had my baby dragged through the mud. And for absolutely no good reason at all.

I am actually quite an intense person in real life. It's often been pointed out that I get very impassioned very easily.

I have the intimacy I want when I need it. But I try to keeps friends and lovers separate :)

Eve- She has seven years to go :)
Seriously, she has a right to be there. she was born nine days before the Treaty was signed in 1922.

Poody- I went the other day actually. It's just that always wants updates on my life. I just try fob her off with, nothing much really. Work, the pub. Then she always wants to know about any women in my life, to which the answer is always 'Oh nothing you need worry about. I may make the clergy yet.'

My own experience is this monogamy business really is hard work. I am not convinced we are actually biologically programmed that way.

I don't know if you have the term f**kbuddies in the US, but I often think that everybody just had a few f**kbuddies of the opposite sex at any one time, friends who are also intimate, but without any of the ball and chain stuff, we'd all be a lot happier.

I received absolution for my own complicity (I accompanied her to the clinic) in Feb (?) 2004, so my conscience is clear on that front.
Though I do sometimes wonder what sort of son he would have been.

A Blues fan, I hope.

Anonymous said...

wow... i seriously have no idea where to start than by agreeing with princess pointful - you sure are one of the most complicated persons I've ever crossed my paths with...

"Layers Donkey, layers"

I suppose all you have been through defines you as a person. To be able to know where you are going, you have to know where you have been...

.. and it seems like you have given this a thought.

Wish you love and serenity, cuz you surely deservs it. we all do...

Anonymous said...

I think if anyone gets you a pipe and slippers, it's because you've kept going on about getting old.

Your thirty! Thirty! :)

Barely even half way through your life.

Anonymous said...

Crashie- It's possible. Or maybe the reverse is true.
PEOPLE are all pretty complex, because wee are all ongoing processes. No thought you have, is in isolation. They are all built on every single thought you HAVE had.

Ultimately, we are all just information processing systems.

Oestrebunny- Do you really think I'll make it to sixty?
Good God, I sincerely hope not!

Anonymous said...

Blimey! I would agree with others here: give a little of yourself to your granny; it is so little that she really wants . Here you are dreading being 30; can't you imagine a little how she must feel, then? And you have the power to give her a little happiness, Crushed.
As for you and women, I'm not going to judge as I have given up on figuring men out.

Anonymous said...

I think it will be impossible for you to love someone wholeheartedly (which they deserve) until you love yourself without reservation.