Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Expert Waiter

No. Not the kind of waiter you would expect to find in a restaurant.

But rather a person who waits. My shrink was pointing out to me yesterday that this seems to be one of my own personal brand of expert skills. Learned and shaped through a lifetime of waiting. Waiting for my mom. Waiting for my dad. Waiting for my alcoholic ex-husband to come home after long nights of drinking and debauchery. Waiting for my current husband to finish off all of his other priorities and find some time for me. Waiting for my ex-lover Narc to come back to me after every blow up fight where he would disappear to 'regroup', (now to be understood as going off to fuck other women).

Waiting is probably most about waiting for my dad to emerge from his cave. His artist's studio where he would paint for hours at a time, cleverly escaping my mom's bullying in there. It was a no-go area for us kids. He wanted to paint alone. And we were never allowed to see his magnificent oil paintings until they were finished. That often took months.  I used to sneak into that studio when he wasn't around. And dip one of his paintbrushes into the paint, and dot a few colours onto each and every painting. Don't know why I did that. He never said anything if he actually noticed. But I would look at those paintings in their prohibited unfinished state and long for my dad.

This longing, waiting feeling is such an old familiar one. I didn't realise that not everyone feels it. It seems to be a creation of my own particular circumstance. To love seems to be 'to long' for me. I am unable to remove the object of my longing from my mind and heart so I can wholeheartedly focus on my other commitments. Instead I carry it like a heavy stone that sits between my heart and my throat all the time. And it feels like a barrel of unshed tears just travelling inside me.

So here I am, waiting again. For Red. Shrink says she doesn't want to see me waiting again for anyone. That the danger in my waiting is the red flag that I'm going there again - once again attracted into a dynamic that is so destructive for me. Where my needs and desires need to be put on hold while the man I desire gets the time and space to do whatever he thinks he needs to make his life work.

I know that a lot of this waiting phase is of my own making. I could have just taken Red's first assertion that he needs to be alone to deal his separation and letting me go on WhatsApp as the final word. I didn't. I fought for the connection. I asked for a conversation, even if it's just going to be a conversation of closure. So I have managed myself into this painful and old, familiar place while I wait it out. Familiar, sore, dangerous place for me.

Shrink says I have always fought for the connection. Always had to sit patiently while the person I need love from does their own thing, oblivious to the internal pain I experience while I wait.. She wants me to stop fighting. To be able to find it in myself to walk away if the other person does not see fit to fight.

So I'm going to practice that with Red. While I wait I'm playing with my other AM boys, connecting with girlfriends, setting up things that will soothe and nurture me. Berlin has asked me out for drinks on Friday night. And instead of me making it tentative in case Red wants to see me then, I've just said ├Łes'. And another AM guy is coming to Joburg today and I may meet him for drinks. And yet another wants to see me when I get to Cape Town on Sunday. I'm just going to say 'Yes' to them all. See them. Enjoy connecting with them. Not cheat on Red in any way with them, and be clear with them that I'm not ready to go 'further' with them. But leave my options open. Red has until Sunday to do something properly to fight for us. He needs to call like he promised. He needs to try and see me.

If he doesn't, I'm walking away.

Because I need to get bad at waiting.

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