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Entry date: 6-12-2022 - Couple of Thoughts about Messy Stuff - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Reflection is so important, isn’t it? As I told you about the tumultuous years, relationship-wise, prior to meeting Rhondi, I realized how much that time taught me about life, people, and me. I need to share some of that today.

When I came out of the relationship to the nameless one, I had the realization that I had just been pretending to be the person I wanted to be. I’ve mentioned before that working for Casa in the early 2000s showed me that I could teach students about what a healthy relationship is, but I had no clue about building one in my personal life.

This was a struggle I had. When the nameless one and I got together, we had talked about this a lot and had made all kinds of proclamations to each other that our relationship was going to be healthy, and it was anything but that. We communicated, sure, and communicated really well when it was about things that didn’t have to do with the reality of our relationship, but when it came to being honest, establishing boundaries, and being respectful, we failed.

This was painfully obvious to me during those last months of living together and I resolved myself to just putting it all out there if I got back into the dating pool. This was harder than I thought, looking back, but I did learn a lot about how people are often not what they seem to be.

I had several significant relationships prior to and including my first marriage that we are also learning experiences, but those women were rank amateurs (and in retrospect, “good” people compared to the evil, and I don’t use that term lightly, nameless one) when it came to disguising who they actually are/were. In those situations, I knew what I was dealing with from early in the relationship and chose to stay because I didn’t know any better or know my own worth.

The nameless one helped me realize I really did deserve a healthy relationship. I talked about them all week at work, and I got to the point where I really wanted one. When Rhondi and I met, I wanted so badly to do everything right. I wish I could say that I accomplished that right away, but to be honest, it took me about seven years.

I learned, though, a valuable lesson about cutting people completely out of your life.

If you haven’t ever done this, it can be incredibly freeing and liberating. I was never one to cut people out completely prior to the nameless one. I tend to be very forgiving, which allows me to walk through life without holding grudges, but it has also been a way for people who don’t add any quality to my life or the life of people I love to hang around longer than they should.

Letting go of the nameless one showed me that it is okay to let go of others who were not adding anything of value to my life and it began a purge that continues to this day, but that’s another story. I’m glad she taught me this lesson, though. It took the sting out of future goodbyes, for sure.

I also learned that no matter what you do, some people are just motivated by drama. There was a whole contingent of people that were involved in the same organization that I was involved with who I thought were good people, yet they were not at all. They just wanted to be part of some catty high school clique thing they were missing out on as an adult. It’s funny how hypocritical people who do good things for kids can be. I suppose I have to include myself in that, as I was preaching healthy relationships and still navigating multiple minefields in my personal life on a daily or, hell, hourly basis.

I suppose I learned to more genuine, too, through those difficult years of 2003 and 2004. When you are smacked in the face with someone who is so fake they can’t even admit to you, supposedly their one true love, they had a whole other family prior to meeting their current (supposedly ex) husband, that will teach you a few things. This is a person that any of you reading this might think was pretty darn wonderful, too, based on how they present themselves.

The value of dealing with someone who is being themselves is hard to quantify. We all prefer to deal with others who are showing us who they really are, and I probably should have had a better sense of bullshit back in 2003. One would think, especially with a decade or more of dealing with musicians, that I would have been farther along on that learning curve, but I wasn’t. Rhondi was a wonderful breath of fresh air in that department when I met her.

I’m still learning lessons from this experience as I write about it. One is that I’ve mercifully been able to block a lot of this stuff out. I had forgotten how much fear I lived with for about six months straight. It took a huge toll on my body. For some time, for example, thanks to stress, I was experiencing a lot of very strange physical symptoms.

The two middle fingers on my left hand were numb for quite a while. I think I had some low-level panic attacks as well. I went through a battery of tests and was concerned that I was beginning to show signs of multiple sclerosis. Everything I read about what was going on with my body pointed in that direction, but luckily, I was okay. I was just super stressed. Fear is truly a killer. Going through that helped me put a lot of things in perspective. Somewhere I have my brain scans. They are pretty trippy to look at and I do check them out when I stumble across them. I figured I should keep them as I spent a little bit of money on them at the time.

See you tomorrow.

This is not my beautiful brain. I stole this from the interwebs.

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