‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’.
That quote has been attributed to Einstein more times than I can count, but nobody really knows if it was him who said it. Maybe someone just thought it up one day and decided no bugger would listen to it unless they claimed it came out of the mouth of someone notably intelligent. Whoever said it, they’re right. It is insanity.
I think I must be insane. I’ve made a very conscious effort of late to not repeat dating and relationship mistakes of the past. I no longer swoon over the tattooed musicians…ok, I swoon, but I don’t let myself get carried away…I’ve turned down every toy boy who has been brave enough to proposition me and I’m focusing on the mature, thinking man instead of the waster party boy. I feel better for it. I feel a sense of self worth and validation that, although I by no means rely on or need, puts a little bit of a spring in my step each morning. I am given a confidence boost in knowing that there are men out there who have shunned the slender, youthful 18 year old and who seem to be quite taken with this old, set in her ways battle axe. I feel attractive. Desired. Feminine.
Then I remember the last time I felt like this. The last time a man came into my life and offered me all the things I didn’t even know I wanted. The last time I contemplated anything more than a casual affair fueled by lust and misadventure. The last time I put faith in the words of a man.
His presence hurts me no longer and his words faded from my memory shortly after that, but I am haunted by my own naivety in that situation. I gave in to the happy, lovely feelings of acceptance and belonging. I let myself believe that I was enough for a man to love, to plan a future with. I allowed myself a glimpse into the dream of happily ever after. It was all a sham. A great big, vicious lie that knocked me off kilter and permitted the harsh world access to all my vulnerabilities. He broke me, Captain Cunt. For a while.
So why am I now finding myself lifted, once again, by the words of a man? Why has he come along, as if out of nowhere, and shown me that there are good and true and honest people wanting to be in my life, to love me as I am, as someone who is good enough? Why am I finding myself believing him? I have tried so hard to be stronger, more resilient, less feeble minded and less trusting when it comes to the empty promises of man because it is so much safer for my heart to be that way. I am protected. There was a time where I believed that if a man betrayed me just once more, it would kill me. The pain would be too much. Not so much the pain of heartbreak, for I self taught the tricks to surviving that somewhere around my teens, but definitely the pain of not being able to trust my own judgement. The pain of being a failure.
I asked him if he was in a relationship. I asked him outright, with clarity. I assured him that if we were going to continue seeing each other and talking in the way that we have been, I needed to know I was not treading on another woman’s toes. More than that, I needed to know I was his priority and not just a back up plan. For my life to continue the way it has been, for my own personal growth and well being, I need to be special to someone. He told me how important loyalty was to him and that, having been hurt in the past, he was not the kind to play games. He said he would have pursued only a friendship with me and nothing more had he another woman in his life already. I come second only to his daughter, a position I am more than willing to accept. I believed every word spoken. Something inside me knew he wasn’t lying.
Then I remembered that I’d believed every word spoken of Captain Cunt too. And The One That Got Away. And The Tattooed One, The Junkie, My Father. I’d believed every word of every man I’d ever put any faith in and, as is the definition of insanity, I’d always expected a different result.
So I can learn from my past, from history, as it attempts to repeat itself. I can believe and I can be broken. I could also run for the hills and allow life to sweep me up without ever having to hear another word from the lips of this man who has turned my head. Indeed, I need never believe the words of any man ever uttered, ever again, but surely in doing that I am closing myself off to the possibility than one day one of these men may actually be telling me the truth? He, may be telling me the truth. Am I foolishly repeating past mistakes or does that genuine connection between two people, that feeling that you are walking on air just because they believe in you, really exist? Are some things worth the risk? And if so, is he one of them?