I love the poem "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann. The title is Latin, and it means, "desired things". Just like the Serenity Prayer, there are certain parts that jump out to me at certain times, such as...
"Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here."

I need that reminder. It's all too easy to jump down my own throat. I treat myself in a way that I would never treat another person, not even my enemy, and I don't think that's right.

I went to the Domestic Violence group on Tuesday night, and it was very good. I'm beginning to think and/or realize that being molested may not be the thing that had the greatest negative impact on me, but rather growing up in dv households. I think I'm going to begin the search for another counselor, or begin phone sessions with my counselor from up north. I'd really like a local counselor, but I'll take what I can get.

I've been going around and around with this C thing... hating myself for not being strong. Like, seriously? Just say no, right? Riiiiight...
He's been on my brain all week.

E and I talked Tues. about him, about the situation... One of the startling things she said was, "I'm not trying to break you guys up." I stared openmouthed at her, then said, "Well, I want you to!" (Talk about ambivalence- I've got that mastered and in full swing right now.) But seriously. I want someone to tell me, "No. You can't." Why? Maybe so that it's not my decision. Maybe so that I have some impetus to make a decision that I fear so much. Maybe to back up all the voices that have told me throughout the years, "You can't. You are settling. He's not good enough. Don't do it." My question is, when will anyone ever be good enough? I've never dated a guy that was "good enough" by other's standards. That's me- forever settling.  (Maybe I'm just too awesome for my own good.) So, honestly, part of me wants to say, "To the devil with you! It's not your call!"

E encouraged me to make a list of pro's and con's, which I vigorously objected to, because I am not in a relationship with C. She agreed that he needs to be Christian before I could seriously consider him, but she did point out that I am, in fact, in love, and to weigh that factor in my dealings with C. She said, "Many women make the mistake of becoming so analytical that they forget to factor in feelings. You need to think, yes, but don't forget about your feelings, because they're a part of it too."

She also encouraged me about who God is... that he's a god of mercy and forgiveness, and he understands my messed up past and my broken parts and my weaknesses. Not that he condones my actions, but he understands my heart, and he loves me. That's good, because I'm having a hard time understanding my own heart right now.

It's about C, but it's not just about C. I love him, yes, but I also love myself, if that makes sense. (It really doesn't, because I don't have much in the way of self-love, but I'll explain.) You see, when I'm with C... I'm worthwhile. I'm accepted. I'm wanted. When I'm with C, I'm beautiful. I'm intelligent. I am a cherished treasure. I'm exciting and desirable. When I'm with C, I'm a good person. When I'm with C, I am loved for who I am, not for what I do or don't do.

I see all these things, and I know that I should be getting that from God, not C, but I just can't seem to get that from Him. I don't know why. I don't understand it. I want it, to be sure. But it's just not there. There's a mental and emotional block of sorts.

E told me not to be too hard on myself. So did Mom. Because when I am so vicious and cutting, it leads to paralyzing discouragement, which is exactly where the adversary wants me... paralyzed.

I had a sort of talk with C last night, because I realize that I really just want to be loved and feel good about myself, and I don't want to take advantage of him because we are not in a relationship, but I still want to be with him. He thought it was "cute", and assured me that there's no way I could use him or take advantage of him. But he can't say that I didn't warn him...

I did end up staying the night. I only got 3 hours of sleep. *groan* And the worst part is... I don't really feel guilty. I feel awful about not feeling guilty, and I've agonized with God about that. I worry that I've committed the unpardonable sin, or that, because I'm intentionally sinning, God will write me off.

The worst part is, I've been having questions about and issues with God lately, anyway, and now this... this mess that I've made for myself. *sigh* But, no. I will not forsake God. I must remember how he has led me, and that I know him to be real. I have not followed cunningly devised fables. I have questions, yes, but I know they will be answered in time.

I called Mom this morning in tears, and she helped talk me through it a little. She mostly listened lol. But she did share some words of wisdom and encouragement with me, and agreed to call C and talk to him as well. I felt that she had a clarity and perspective that I couldn't get across to C at this point. She called me later and told me what she told him, but he hasn't talked to me about it yet. We've got a date tomorrow to go to the car show, so I expect we'll talk about it then. She did reiterate to him something that I tried, unsuccessfully, to get across, which is that I need him to be the brakes. I am weak when it comes to him, and I have resolve for the first attempt, or the second, or sorta the third... but then I break down, because I really want him, and that's the whole reason behind going over to his house around bedtime 'cause, oh darn, I'm too tired to drive home and I guess I'll have to spend the night... Shucks. (My bedtime is about the time he gets off of work.) So Mom told him that he needs to be the strong one, the brakes, because I'm weak. His response was, "Guess I've got some growing to do." That gratifies me.

Another thing I've been thinking about is C's character. Was there abuse present in the relationship or not? Or is it something that I've rationalized in to make being apart from him easier? A month or two ago, I took a couple of criteria quizzes online, and while there were a few red flags for each type of abuse- physical, emotional/mental, and sexual (but not verbal)- the criteria for actual abuse did not apply to the relationship... which, I must admit, surprised me. Have I spent these last few years demonizing C so that I can be okay with being apart from him? Like, "Oh, yeah, I'm SO glad I left, because that was abusive, and I should never see him again..." Don't get me wrong, I am glad that I left. It's what I needed to do, and I think it's been the best thing for both of us. We've both grown. He's more open-minded now, less stubborn. But I'm on the alert for red flags. Was he really isolating and manipulative? Or were those just suggestions planted in my head by certain people? I wish I could see this all objectively... I don't want to rationalize either the present or the past for any reason. Let me see reality in all its garish glory.

I get so ticked off at myself for being so weak... but maybe this is just what I need. To be weak. So that I can see myself as I really am... and how God relates to me, really. Without all the false conscience garbage, or the superstitions and assumptions that have fossilized my heart and mind for so many years.

I think I'm done for tonight. I have only scratched the surface of what I need to get off my chest, but I lack the words. I could wish for a larger vocabulary... that'd be a nice birthday gift. :)

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