Friday, October 09, 2009

I'm sorry to myself

I owe myself an apology. I said something rather out of order about myself, at the time I believed it to be true but I'd been blind sighted by rumours, gossip and unknowledgeable comments.

I'd never describe myself as a feminist, I'm not sure why?! I guess it's because
a) within my generation it's kind of a dirty word (when I first met my friend Lou, she told me she'd studied feminism at university. I instantly had visions of shapeless dresses, birkenstocks, copious amounts of body hair, etc. I didn't think "oh she stands for women's rights, equal treatment and the right to be a woman, without any pre-conceived ideas applied).
b) I was raised by a strong independent woman and a strong independent man with two older brothers and was constantly told "it's different for you, you're a girl".
& c) In my teen years I spent most of my time being the pretty girl's friend and hanging out with guys, I guess being a guy more than anything. Due to the typical conversations, etc, I've a more male attitude towards relationships and therefore have been more harmful to the ladies of this world with generalised sexiest comments.
But I guess I am a feminist, maybe not the burning bra kind but at heart I am. I believe in equal rights and being able to do anything a man can. I appreciate the fact I've been born in this era and have these opportunities.

Anyway, onwards with my apology. This is all relevant, so bear with me.
Recently I accused myself of having been crazy during one particular break up and compared to my other break ups, I definitely acted out of character. But as my old housemates reminded me, I had just cause.

A few years ago, I started seeing a guy. Nothing too heavy, just something fun. We'd been emailing each other for a few months. We'd befriended each other about 2-3 months before his long term relationship broke up.
For the first month we chatted about everyday stuff, views and interests (it was never really personal information). Most weekends he'd visit the nightclub I worked in and we'd hang out. His relationship broke down and I helped him through it by giving him apt distractions. Slowly over time our friendship grew and some how it developed to be more than just friends. Unfortunately it was only a month or two after his relationship had finalised. It wasn't ideal, far from it, but life presents and you have to make a decision, I chose to go with it and see what happened.
We dated for a short while. It was mildly stressed due to his main social group being his exes' social group, but most of them were polite and understanding towards me, even under the extremely awkward circumstances. I started to feel insecure and started to pressurise him in to labeling what we were. A few months later, He informed his ex and she was upset, which was to be expected. Shortly after, he finished it. I wasn't surprised. That night I went to his local and got drunk with my friends and him, I wanted him to know there were no hard feelings. We remained friendly and shortly afterwards we started sleeping together again. He'd call at 2am after a night out and I'd let him stay the night, he'd then stop all contact for a week or two and then it would repeat. This continued for a few months, I wanted to feel pretty and desired (I had issues from a previous break up of my mine, which made me feel worthless, so I valued myself at 0.00p). He could make me feel beautiful, intelligent and funny within seconds. When he'd stay, he'd tell me everything I wanted to hear, without making any actual promises, I read into everything he said and laced it all with large dollops of hope.
After this had gone on for a while, it stopped abruptly.

I got confused and started acting up, after everything I didn't feel as though I deserved that! I would text him a couple of messages destined for friends, so he'd know what was going on in my life. I'd try to call and text him while drunk and other various stupid acts, like leaving messages on his friends social networking pages, etc.
He started a new relationship with someone else and I moved on (not that, at that time, I was as in to him. It's just similar situations are easier than new ones, or more desirable than nothing).
A couple of months later, I had moved house, and I saw him out at a gig. We'd become amicable again. He came over for a chat, I was mildly drunk, feeling good about myself and having not had much male attention of late, I propositioned him. Stupid I know (isn't hind sight a marvellous thing), at the time I thought "well, if you don't ask, you never know?". He turned me down and I had a great night regardless.
He managed to allow me to be an idiot, without any consequences. I'm pretty sure we stayed distant friends. We'd say hi if we saw each other (I don't really remember), and then I went away to NZ for a month. During which, I'd officially been dumped as a friend, social network deletion, no message, nothing, just blankness, I accepted this and said nothing. Since then, if I see him I generally ignore him as though he's a stranger, in my eyes it's the most respectable way to behave, there is no reason to make a scene. All of the above was so long ago that it's not even relevant, he's changed and so have I, we aren't who we were.

The point is that in context, my actions don't seem that crazy. If you ask me, after everything that happened, they could have been much worse (which isn't an excuse) and were probably within reason after I'd allowed myself subconsciously to be so used.

Why did I claim I had been crazy once after a break up? Maybe because my behaviour was out of character for me? Maybe because after years of listening to my male friends and brothers talk about break ups, I thought all women were mental and unstable, and that was my one claim to it.
Or maybe it's because I'd been led to believe I had acted crazy, off the scale of sane, completely mental. Who had led me to believe this? Well other than the occasional unfair behaviour I've received from him and some of his friends, maybe the unfair reviews I'd heard about myself or maybe it was due to the pressures of the media, where on average the emotional train wrecks of woman are always completely to blame, maybe I made myself the villain?! Maybe some, maybe all? who knows. But I am sorry to myself for accusing myself of being crazy!

Yes, at the time I was acting outside of rational behaviour compared to my normal behavioural pattern, but I was reacting to how I'd felt I'd been treated. We are all welcome to our own opinions on other people's relationships (and I'm talking about all types of relationships), but we don't have the right to express these. Within all relationships, there are good guys and bad guys but on average, these qualities are shared between the two parties. It's wholely unfair to hold one side completely accountable and not the other. And why is it that in these modern times, when women have such an equal footing as men, we women are often accused of being the villains?

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