I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggonnit…

Texting a friend about therapy:

Me: “We ended up talking about why I don’t consider myself ‘beautiful.’ She showed me a fucking Dove commercial. I’m never going back. (Kidding.)”

Friend: “No one should be forced to watch a Dove commercial.”

And by the way? I don’t consider myself beautiful, and I don’t see a problem with that, so fuck right off, Dove. But I am a middle-age American woman who mostly thinks I’m cute, sometimes pretty, so I do think I’m a goddamn miracle.

Besides, “beautiful” doesn’t even crack the top 100 on my list of issues. When I think about my last pseudo-breakup, my appearance isn’t what keeps my brain spiraling. He once got hard while we were taking a walk because I made a JOKE about wearing high heels during sex — it’s easy enough to believe he found me attractive. So can we focus on this weird haze I get into where I think I’m not smart or interesting enough to keep a dude around AFTER we have sex, even as a friend? That seems to be the dominating self-esteem weirdness here.

Advertisements

Paging Stuart Smalley

This post started one way, but took a wrong exit to a place in my head I visit sometimes. It usually passes within a day, and then I’m back to at least a marginally normal self-image.

I went on vacation in part to get some perspective, maybe achieve sudden clarity via Southwest Airlines party mix.

I did, but not as much as I’d like.

But I did realize I can’t meet this guy I’d been talking to on OkCupid. We’d talked about meeting once I got back, but I realized I’m not feeling a connection, at least not yet. I have pretty good instincts for that, though, so possibly not ever. (This has also happened with two other OKC people.)

I feel bad, but even though That Guy felt nothing for me except my clitoris, that whole debacle helped me remember how I feel when *I* feel a spark with someone, even if it’s not mutual. My ex, too — I felt that in my gut and in my butt, and I’m not feeling it for these OKC people. Whatever the issues, my interactions with That Guy and my ex set a standard for what I need to feel and how I need to be treated.

I know I have to move on eventually. I just don’t think I’ll be able to, or should, until I feel something more compelling — I don’t need to be in love, I just need to feel a chemistry.

I wondered if I should meet that OKC guy just to interact with a man in a potentially romantic capacity, the way I used to go on job interviews for practice. But I don’t want to make anyone my practice. Having BEEN used fairly recently, I can’t do it to someone else. (Though I hear it’s effective.)

I may still be too damaged for this. I can’t tell if I’m really not ready, or just scared.

I already wasn’t feeling the best about myself when my ex and I broke up. I asked him why he was even with me, what I’d contributed to our relationship, and why he’d want to have children with me. He explained the kid thing, but wouldn’t tell me why he’d been with me. He said I should know. I still don’t. I believed he loved me. I believe he still does. I just don’t know why. (The best I can come up with is that I let him have his own space and his own time, and never made him watch “The Notebook.”)

Following that, That Guy made me feel smart, sexy, and funny…buuut then told me he never really thought any of that. Well, I guess the “sexy” part was true — as indicators go, his constant erection in my presence was probably a good one. 

When I thought he cared about me, I spent time with him thinking, “Pfft…I’m amazing.” He said my confidence showed, that I owned my business in the bedroom, that I was funny and a good writer — he was one of the reasons I kept writing this blog. And then he was like, “Ha ha, just kidding, you’re none of those things.”

So I’m not enough to keep one man if I don’t want to have a baby, and not enough to keep the other guy because…I guess maybe I’m NOT the person he made me feel like I was.

Plus there have also been professional aspects where I wasn’t good enough to do one job or another, and a general feeling with my family that I’m just not worth being heard.

So… I don’t know what I’m doing now. I know it’s called SELF-esteem, but mine’s been knocked around a lot the past few years. I don’t know if I’ve ever considered how deep-seated all this is, and I see the therapist partly because I don’t know how to fix it myself. I have friends who, if they’re reading it, would punch me in the neck for thinking any of this. I don’t ALWAYS feel this way, but when I do, people can tell me whatever good things they want, I just can’t see it for myself.

Ahem… Why, what do YOU think about on vacation?

P.S. Next post, I promise, back to OkCupid snark, Valentine’s rage, masturbation, and the feminism of bath sponges.