Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Other Woman



As you might imagine, I spent years in psychotherapy trying to understand how it was that I ended up in so many love triangles. I believe I engaged a bit more often than the statistical norm, though maybe it seems like that because I felt bad about it. My therapist and I spoke endlessly, it seemed, about the original triangle of mom, pop and baby, about recreating that situation later in life in love triangles. It makes sense that I replayed the original triangle repeatedly, tried to get it right, since neither my mother nor father liked me very much.

But these sacred dramas in which we humans engage are never simple. In addition to the psychological levels, there were other energies at play. Oh the hormones! Oh. I was driven by my hormones back in the day. I loved sex, came of age in the late 60s at which time I dove straightaway into the sex-drugs-rock-n-roll lifestyle. Though I admit that "free love" (whatever that means) never actually worked that well for me, I tilted hard into it. Oh the hormones!

A medium said, once upon a time, "Reya, you have come into this life with a tremendous number of karmic contracts to fulfill. You will complete many of these agreements through love and sex." She also said, "Just remember: YOU DON'T HAVE TO MARRY THEM!"

If only I had listened! I was married twice and lived with a number of other partners with whom I believe I was karmically engaged. There is something very potent about a romantic relationship that trumps pretty much every other kind of connection with the possible exception of parent-child. I see the logic of monogamy. There are only 24 hours in a day; to participate in a love relationship takes a lot of time and energy.

A friend asked yesterday, is it a betrayal to get overly involved in work, with a hobby or activity? Are the people who get obsessed with sports or arts or activities creating a love triangle? Good question! I don't think so, because these activities are out in the open. Obsession with work or whatever can create imbalance that unfairly syphons energy away from the primary relationship, but these situations are not in the same league as love triangles. Not even close, at least in my mind.

It was the necessity for lying and sneaking around that got to me in every love triangle situation, no matter the particulars. It wore me out and squashed my self esteem like a cigarette butt under the heel of an army boot. Ouch. One of my great teachers explained that every time we lie (everyone lies) we are telling ourselves that we can't be trusted. Yeah. The fact that my lovers also lied and snuck around felt to me as if they were ashamed of our connection. Rationally I know they were doing the same thing I was, protecting the people around us from hurt while we explored the situation. Emotionally it didn't feel protective, just dishonest.

We humans are intense beings, driven by instinct but with a yearning to be rational and behave well, according to the rules. We come into this world with stacks of karma to contend with on every level, physically, mentally, emotionally. And of course we want to connect, to be loved, to feel love. We long for the magic of synchronicity, understanding (so rare, isn't it?) No wonder we flop around so often. Mistakes are made! Good lord.

At the conclusion of every love triangle in which I was involved, all three people were hurt, albeit in different ways. You would think I might have learned, over time. Maybe I'm learning now; I still hang out with couples, but it has been many years since I engaged romantically and/or sexually. Thank god. Onwards and upwards.

Happy Sunday. Shalom.

15 comments:

Elizabeth said...

My darling, you are honest indeed.
And you do have so much karmic energy --energy in spades. Gosh. Do hope one day you get to a very calm place (don't mean dead --just tranquil!) You are a very questing person which is a good thing.
So thrilling be POSTeverything.....

Reya Mellicker said...

I love being post everything!

Reya Mellicker said...

I love being post everything!

I need orange said...

Sneaking around and lying IS dishonest.

If protecting people from hurt were the goal, the way to do that would be to refrain from behavior that would hurt them, rather than doing it anyway and then sneaking around and lying and hoping they don't find out.

It feels dishonest because it IS dishonest.........



Also grateful to be POST all that!

Val said...

we humans are fallible and curious, and here to work it all out. seems you are well ahead on that one. love your blog Reya, thanks x

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks Val.

You too Orange. Thanks! We humans are dishonest in so many ways. I am not about radical honesty by any means. I've seen those people wield their philosophy only in order to hurt others.

Denial is a very potent type of dishonesty that can be protective - to a point. My mother used to say, "When you're unhappy, just pretend you are happy. Pretty soon you will be happy.

Whoa. She died of a broken heart. No surprise there!

To me honesty is not black and white, not ever.

Cheryl Cato said...

What a post!!! I can identify on oh so many levels... I just want to forget about all my mistakes.

C.M. Jackson said...

it is a journey--sounds like you have had quite the adventure...I love your honesty and outlook...

Reya Mellicker said...

What I'm interested in, at age 59, is letting go of shame. When I can do it sincerely its such a relief. Should I be ashamed of my mistakes and failures? I think I've had enough of that. Yeah.

ellen abbott said...

I did the same Reya, well, jumping in with both feet into the sex, drugs and rock and roll. I usually tried to stay away from guys who were 'attached'. I thought it was unfair to the other woman. my way of protecting my sisters I guess. and besides, there were so many unattached men out there. I wonder if my own promiscuity was karmic based.

I need orange said...

I actually am about radical honesty.

Like many important things (thinking of very sharp knives, and hammers), honesty is easy to abuse.

My intent is to never say anything that isn't true, to not lie about anything important by omission, and to try to say important things I know will be hard to hear in a way that can be heard.....

Not that I always succeed. I have a hard time softening my truth when I am angry at drivers for nearly mashing me, in the crosswalk, when it is MY right of way.............. And I suppose I don't know for SURE that they are morons, despite the evidence............




I, too, wrestle with shame.

Many bad things I've done can't be fixed. Is anything gained by being ashamed of them? Beyond being reminded not to do those things ever again? I don't know. But maybe that's enough reason to feel the shame? I'm still working on this.................

I might feel better if I wasn't ashamed, but would that be right? Would that make the world better? I don't know.......... But I kind of doubt it.

Reya Mellicker said...

I think the world all around and within you would improve by letting go of shame. My goal: when I make a mistake, I must make amends and learn from the experience. To continue to punish myself emotionally serves no purpose. What a waste of time. Life is short!

I need orange said...

I believe I might feel better, if I let go of shame, but if it is reminding me to behave better, now, I'm not sure the world would be better if I let it go.....

It's my understanding that some people feel shame for things they cannot help. Being too tall?

That shame should go, I totally agree.

But remembering something we chose to do, that we probably knew at the time was bad behavior, and being ashamed of that behavior?

I'm not sure it's good to let that go.

Whitney Lee said...

I've got enough in my past to feel ashamed of, but I love where I am. I even love (most days) WHO I am. I wouldn't be who I am now if I hadn't made those choices then. Do I wish that I had done some things differently (or not at all)? Sure. But that wish is in retrospect because it's coming from the current me, the one who gained wisdom from those very choices/mistakes. I couldn't do things any differently then because I wasn't who I would be. And I wouldn't be who I am now if I had done things any differently then. Shame is such a heavy load. Let's face it, I'm too lazy to carry more than I have to.
As for truth, I think you're right. It does change. It's really all about perception. I'm hesitant to speak a knowingly hurtful truth because I know that it may not be long before I change my mind. Or maybe it's just that I really dislike conflict. I also think that truth is too easily twisted and dishonesty easily justified. And I am so happy I don't drink anymore. At least now if I lie I can remember it! Of course, now that I don't drink I don't have anything very exciting to lie about...

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