Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dorothy's Diary: The Date with Mr. Dynamic, Part 2 (In Which All Goes Haywire)

As part of The Gluten Free Health Challenge, Dorothy will be sharing her journal entries with you the first 3 Sundays of every month from now until December. She'll be receiving free health coaching from Drew Parisi of Parisi Nutrition and Iris Higgins of Your Fairy Angel during this period. To learn how to join us from home, click here.

The last time we talked about Mr. Dynamic, we had just had a glorious encounter. What happened next?

Put on your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

Afterward, we were eating dinner, just chit chatting away. In previous conversations, Mr. Dynamic wanted to know what I liked about him. I told him, and so I thought it would be fine to ask the question in return. I casually asked him (had sort of asked a couple of times before but never really got a straight answer). He continued to evade the question.

Me: I don't understand why you aren't actually answering. 

Mr. D: We've already had this discussion 4-5 times. 

I decide to stay quiet at this point. Now I am silently thinking about the last time I asked him what he liked about me. He said it was how I looked at him like he was meat on a platter and something to the effect that I was looking at him and made it happen. Huh? Didn't he drive to my hangar the next day?

Now I am silently remembering another conversation where he said I picked him. And then I remember how many times he asks me what I want, but it's never about what he wants. Okay, I am starting to connect the dots but it's not completely clear yet. Then it hits me hard...he doesn't really like me and he's not that into me.

Now my feelings are hurt. I start getting really quiet, a bit withdrawn. The Disney music has definitely stopped. I remember telling him last night all the reasons I like him and he kept asking me to tell him more. I said it all very casually. I mean, I like him, but I don't LIKE HIM like him. You know, it's only date #2. I have no expectations yet. Right?  

Mr. D: What's wrong? 

Me: Nothing. I think I'll go lie down and have a nap.  

I can close my eyes, just pretend, try to talk myself out of this mood while he is here. I slide into my bed and close my eyes. He tries to hug me and talk to me. Meanwhile, I'm telling myself: Dorothy, come on, don't cry. Pull it together. This is ridiculous. What is going on? Why are my feelings hurt? I'm confused. I'm turned on. I don't understand what is happening to me. I DO NOT WANT TO CRY IN FRONT OF MR. D.

Mr. D: Hey, what's happening over there? I don't understand. Come on, talk to me. 

Me: I'm just shutting down a little, you know, to protect myself. 

Mr. D.: Huh? I don't get it. Tell me what's happening. 

Me: My emotions and my passion are completely connected. I had to open my emotions to open myself to receive passion. And it just made me cry a little. And now I'm shutting down a bit. It's self protection.

He looks at me with a blank stare.

Me: Do you ever get your feelings hurt? 

Mr. D: Yes, I do. 

Me: What do you do when that happens?

Mr. D: I go drink another beer.

Why am I actually shutting down? DON'T CRY. Oh man, do I actually like him? How can I like him already? I cannot LIKE HIM like him. DO NOT CRY. Okay, Dorothy, time to pull back. It's just great sex. I don't really like him that much. It's fine. Don't cry.

Mr. D: You know, I think you like me. (Said with a little chuckle). 

I start crying immediately. Quick as lightning, I jump out of bed. Without a conscious thought, I silently point to the front door. Then I point again for good measure. My heart is pounding. I'm not thinking clearly. It's fight or flight reaction. Then I run out of the room.

After that was an awkward few moments, ending with him leaving and me crying as the door closed behind him. Honestly, I do not know what just happened. All I feel is total confusion and no self-understanding. 

Later that day, Mr. Dynamic called and left me a voicemail, with a short, "Call me."

I called him back.

Me: Hi. 

Mr. D: What's up?

Me: You called me. 

Mr. D: Yeah, so what's up? 

I don't remember exactly what I said. Something about being overwhelmed by feelings of passion and other feelings, and not wanting to cry in front of him, not understanding my emotions. I think he asked if I was mad at him...or maybe I just told him I wasn't.

Mr. D: You're not mad at me?

Me: No, I'm not mad at you. 

The phone call got disconnected just as I was trying to explain further. The reception in my apartment sucks! I tried calling Mr. Dynamic back a few more times but there was no answer. I didn't leave a message. 

Can I please hit the rewind button? Can someone tell me what just happened? Iris!! Help!

The next day:
I talked to my girlfriend, who gave me some good ideas. She asked what I want, and I realized I could go either way. I've already got some emotional distance. I could walk away and be fine. Or I could talk to him. I would like things to at least end in a friendly place. My girlfriend thought if I had any confusion over it, I should try to go back and have another conversation with him.

I went to the grocery store after work. Since it wasn't June 1st yet (the start of the GF Challenge), I was ready to buy anything I wanted. I picked up a package of apple fritters (which I love), looked at it, put it down, picked it up again, then decided no, I didn't want to eat 4 apple fritters. Put them down and walked away. Then I got a small mini apple strudel pie instead, which was the size of one apple fritter. Then I bought a fresh apple for good measure. Ha! Honestly, I ended up getting pretty healthy things. Not bad, Dorothy. I salute you!

Later, rather than calling, I texted Mr. Dynamic:

I'm very sorry. Seriously. You mad?
Want to run over me with your mule vehicle? And then back up and do it again?
Shoot, brought my purse to work and my black underwear is still in there.

No response. Okay, he must be much more angry or hurt than I realized. Sigh. Okay, well that's it. I still love that I got to have great sex and that I had the absolutely liberating experience of being naked and not worrying about it at all. AT ALL. That's what I have to remember. Ironically, now I'm calm. I'm not crying. But I'm a little disappointed. I can admit that much.  

I'm actually thinking about my reaction. I mean, really, why did I have such an extreme reaction? Why did I go into fight or flight mode? I'm trying to be really honest with myself here. I don't think I had any expectations. I knew it was just sex. I liked him but I was still proceeding with caution because I didn't know him. Yes, I was on a sex high. Yes, my emotions were wide open. Was the shock of realizing it was one-sided that big of a shock to my system? It seems odd. I don't know. I've been through so much in the last five years that I have no idea what's happened to me. I mean, who am I really? I feel completely calm right now and so when I re-read my words throughout the experience, it seems like such a crazy, extreme reaction. I literally couldn't think, process or articulate what was happening to me. I need to think about this, explore it further so that it doesn't happen again on a future date.

Hey, you know what I just realized? I had four bites of apple pie last night. I did not eat the entire pie! I did not pig out. That is a good thing.

Okay, leaving for work now.

After work:
Got a text from Mr. Dynamic saying he needed to "re-look at this." I didn't respond. I need time and distance. He does too. I didn't have any kind of emotional reaction to the message. (Or am I lying to myself? Yes, probably.)

Another text from Mr. Dynamic later that night:

Mr. D: I don't know if I will see you. I felt very disrespected when I left. 

Me: I understand. Didn't mean to make you feel that way. I wish the best for you. Take care. 

Don't think, Dorothy, don't think about it. Walk to the fridge and get the mini apple pie. I'm taking a few bites now. Now I'm eating gluten free crackers. I think this is going to be my dinner: apple pie and gluten free crackers.

The next day:
Still thinking about the big reaction on my date. I had such a life-or-death feeling that Mr. Dynamic cannot see me cry. He cannot see that he has any power to hurt me. Oh! That was totally me and dad. Dad used to say, "Don't cry or I'll give you a reason to cry," and he would whip out his belt. And try to beat me down. Mainly I felt that I wanted to show my dad that he would never be the boss of me or have control over me, no matter what he did to me. I WOULD NOT BE BEAT. It was a power struggle. I felt I was better than him too. Now I'm horrified when I recognize signs that I am like my dad. My dad who also had high blood pressure and health problems.

I know logically that it's good to cry and have feelings. Often though, my reaction is to get really mad at myself for "crying again." I hold it in, push down the emotions. And then I still cry. I cry when I'm mad, when I'm sad, when I'm happy, pretty much whenever I experience strong emotions.

A confession about Mr. Dynamic: After the dramatic kick out scene, that evening I stared at my bed. I could see Mr. Dynamic lying there on the left side of the bed. I moved my pillows to the foot of the bed so I was sleeping upside down. And I've been sleeping upside down since that day. For a week now. Reminds me of another break up ten years ago. I dated a guy for a year before I broke it off. I was in love, but he wasn't (or couldn't express it). This is a theme in my past relationships. He had been coming to my house every weekend, spending two nights in my bed, for an entire year. After we broke up, I couldn't sleep in my bed for six months. I would go to my couch and sleep there. Not sure what that means exactly but I see it means something.

A week later: 
I had an e-mail exchange with Iris about what's been happening with Mr. Dynamic. I asked for her thoughts. She asked if I had let go of him. I kept thinking about that. Have I let go? It had been almost two weeks since I'd seen him. He sure was in my mind more than I expected at this point. He'd made a significant impact on my life in those short two dates. No, I had not let go. I decided to be brave and reach out. Just to see. I had no clue how he felt or if he would even respond. I texted Mr. Dynamic:

I am putting myself out there not knowing how you will react. You are still in my head...more than I thought. Have you moved on? All done? It's okay if you are. I won't be upset. But I had to reach out because being silent gets you nowhere. 

No response.

Later, I was on my way home from visiting a friend when I heard my cell ringing. I ignored it, then looked at the missed call. Holy fuck, it was Mr. Dynamic calling! I called him back.

Me: Hello? It's Dorothy. Hello? (Silence)

Mr. D: So? What do you want to say? 

Wow. Okay, so this is going to be hard. I can't remember the exact conversation but it went something like this.

Mr. D: I felt completely disrespected when I left. I've been in million dollar homes and I've never been treated so badly. I can't believe you never even called to apologize. You just sent me a couple of jokey texts. No respect for me at all. AT ALL. (Lots of anger. I can literally feel it going into my body.) 

Me: When you texted me that you were rethinking things and then that you didn't want to see me anymore, I was trying to respect your wishes. I thought you didn't want to hear from me. I texted you how sorry I was. 

Mr. D: Texting, texting! No, you have the decency to pick up the phone and apologize.

Me: I truly am sorry for how I made you feel.

Mr. D: No, it's not about how you made me feel. It's about what you did to me. 

I'm just listening now. I let him pour it out, what the experience was like for him. Then I told him that I was freaking out on the inside, that I was in fight or flight mode, that it felt like life or death for me to get him out of my house. 

Mr. D: Why did you feel like that? What happened to you?

Me: Something you said during lunch confused me. I started going within, thinking about every conversation we ever had. And all of a sudden I had a realization that maybe this was one-sided, that you weren't so into me. I lost my confidence. I told myself I had to step back immediately. I felt very confused. I didn't know what I was thinking but it felt like hurt feelings. I knew it was an over-reaction but I couldn't figure it out. I just knew I could not cry in front of you, but I was about to cry and I didn't know what to do. And then I heard my dad's voice say, "Don't you cry or I'll give you a reason to cry."   

Mr. D: So how was your relationship with your father?

Me: Not good.

Mr. D: Was there abuse?

Me: Yes, physical abuse but not sexual abuse.

Mr. D: Did I ask about sexual abuse?

Me: Well you said abuse. That means all sorts of things.

Mr. D: Abuse is abuse. Do you think you are ready to be in a relationship right now?


Mr. D: Do you think you are ready to be in a relationship right now?

More silence. I can't talk without revealing I'm silently crying.

Mr. D: So have you been to a counselor about your father?

Long silence.

Me: I don't think I want to talk about that.

Mr. D: I see. Look, you're a nice girl but you clearly have unresolved issues.

He said something then about me not being ready to date, asking how I can handle a relationship with those unresolved issues. He mentioned both dates being dramatic and emotional. 

Me: What do you mean, both dates? You thought the first date had issues?

Mr. D: Yeah. I want someone who can enjoy herself, have fun, be open.

More silence.

Mr. D: So why did you text?

Me: You were still in my head a lot. I wanted to be able to apologize. I wondered if you were thinking of me at all. Or how you were feeling at this point. I knew it was taking a chance. That you might not respond? 

Mr. D: That I might say, "Fuck you"?

Me: Yeah, that you might say, fuck you. I put myself in your place. How would I have reacted? I probably would have run for the hills. But I decided to reach out. I knew doing nothing would resolve nothing. I just decided to take a chance. 

Mr. D: Look, you're a nice girl. I thought we could have fun. Spend some time together. I do want to fuck the hell out of you. That would be nice. I wanted to see where things could go. See what could happen.

That's the first time I ever heard that...a small glimmer.  

Me: I wish I could hit the rewind button but I can't.

Mr. D: If you could, what would you do different?

Me: I don't know. Maybe I would just cry in front of you. Would that have worked better for you?

Mr. D: No. No crying. Just an adult conversation.

Me: Well, that was definitely not an option for me. I was in panic mode. Look, I told you before, I am an emotional girl, very sensitive. That's how I'm wired. I cry when I'm happy, sad, mad, any time I feel strong emotions. That's who I am.  

Mr. Dynamic said something then about how I only apologized because he brought it up. That I could have called and explained what happened and then apologized for kicking him out like that. I could have treated him like a human being.

Me: No, that is NOT TRUE. You know that's not true. You know I meant it when I said sorry. I meant it with my whole heart.

Mr. D: Maybe some time we can grab coffee together. Have a talk.

Me: Okay.

Mr. D: Okay, good night.

Me: Take care. 

I probably left some things out, but you get the gist of it. I'm confused by the coffee remark. Does he mean have a friendly coffee sometime in the future but it's over? Or does he mean he wants to have coffee to talk? I don't know what that means. There is probably a crack in the door. It's not shut all the way. He definitely wanted me to feel his wrath. He wanted to punish me, make me feel guilty, make me feel his pain. He also listened to me. At least I think he had a little more understanding. The tears had been rolling for me throughout the phone conversation but I think I hid it from Mr. Dynamic over the phone. Or maybe I didn't. I was listening a lot. I was quiet a lot. I learned a lot about him from this phone call. Boy, was it hard. I feel really sad now. Partly about him, partly about myself. I feel tired and drained. But I'm still glad we had the phone call. I needed to say sorry. He needed to hear it. He needed to be heard. I understand that feeling completely. Maybe we both got a little more understanding. I needed to have this phone call, no matter how it went.

Honestly, I think I'm too much work for him.      



Natalie said...

Hi Dorothy,
I wanted to share what I thought, just in case it helps anything. I think you do need to acknowledge to Mr. D that you hurt him by just making him leave and not giving any reason why. He knows you felt bad about it and confused, etc. but take responsibility for it and really say it. Then you can be done and let go of that part.

Also, I would be up front and honest about exactly what happened in your mind that day. Why you turned off and were hurt. I don't think he gets that yet, and I think there could be good clarity there. Tell him you didn't want him to like you just because you liked him. (Although I think that is how relationships start more often than we think. It doesn't mean they aren't attracted to us. Maybe they just didn't think of it first.)

I think if you are willing to be up front about things and speak honestly that Mr. D or someone else will be open to you and what you have to offer. And you have a lot to offer!! I can see from your posts how warm you are, how funny and clever you are, and you feel things. That's good, not bad! I think men get lost in the confusion and emotion of it and just need the honesty. Tell them what is going on so they know - they like logic and it helps them when you make sense of what you are going through.

I know this is super long, but I feel for your situation. It is hard being single and dating and having issues. (We ALL have issues! I think it is about being able to DEAL with them!) He seemed willing to talk about things then, maybe he still will be. Hang in there, you are doing great.

Carole Ann said...

Dorothy, I think your girlfriend offered you a very meaningful question, "What do you want"? I sense from what you've written that you deeply long for a loving, caring relationship, but your actions say, hey, let's have a good fun romp in bed. Your reaction seems like the part of you that wants something deeper reared up and that's where the tears and throwing him out behavior came from. I'd suggest you try to really listen to what that voice within you wants. I have zero moral qualms about having sex with a willing partner, so that is not where this is coming from. I've learned from my own experience that jumping into bed right away with someone can short circuit the emotional intimacy of getting to know someone and feeling known by them. After all the liberation, I have noticed that for most women, sex is a very different thing than it is for men. (generalization, and for sure there are exceptions.) We take a man's body and energy into ourselves and if it is not aligned with our true self and desires it can cause internal havoc. I think your outward expression of this was probably very confusing to Mr. D. I'd encourage you to keep looking inside and try to get really clear on what you really want. Just sex? great, go for it. Deep caring and intimacy? Don't let anything get in the way of that. (And of course we can have both.) If you don't want to work with someone else, you can still do a Voice Dialog with the different parts of your self. Write as if speaking from one of these parts, then switch and write from the other, as if in dialog, back and forth until you have fully heard both. You can even take different seats at a table when writing to distinguish the two. By the way, I applaud you for making contact with this man, and reaching out to him even when it was difficult. That takes courage. Once you are clear on what you really want, I have no doubt that you will be able to have it. Carole

Elizabeth A. said...

ok. I just have to say that I don't really like the way Mr. D talked to you. Where's his compassion? Clearly you were hurt and confused, and had some old stuff triggering you. If he were a bigger person, he could say, Hey...I see that you are feeling some stuff. We can talk about it if you want to, or I can give you some space......or whatever. But his "I felt disrespected" line makes me mad. And he needs you to apologize in a certain way.....controlling and manipulative. And that he could not say, you are beautiful and smart and funny.....What's up with that??? I have not even met you and I could tell you things I like about you! You deserve to be with someone who can deal with some honest emotions and would want to understand even if it takes some work. You are worth that. Sorry if this is not helpful, but he made me crabby......arrgh. (Glad you had some good sex though.)

Dorothy said...

Dear Natalie, thank you for taking the time to write. I loved your lengthy, detailed comments! That made it more meaningful. I think you are right on and I'm really going to try. Try to be honest and open in relationships. Even if I have to be brave and put myself out there. There is no other way. OK, we will see what happens! Thanks again for writing. Dorothy

Dorothy said...

Hi Carol Ann, Thanks so much for writing. Also such good advice. Ultimately, I want to be loved, yet allowed to be myself and with some independence. But I want to be loved, and I want to be able to express my love back. Honestly, it was lightning bolt city when I met Mr. Dynamic. I really did want to have sex. I didn't know I would LIKE HIM like him so quickly. But I guess that's a chance you take. I have no regrets......we'll see. Thanks for describing how Voice Dialog works. I'm going to try that when I have my quiet time. Thanks again for the nice long comment. I appreciate it so much. Dorothy

Dorothy said...

Elizabeth, I love you for saying all that! I had a similar thought too, but then I realized I learned about him -- that he must have issues about "being respected" and that I triggered something in him. And, of course, he had triggered something in me. More to come, so stay tuned. (And yay to the great sex!)


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