Monday, March 7, 2011

The One (Lesbian love affair)

I think it's the most controversial subject EVER: is there The One and only, the love of one's life out there? Or  is it just a myth, a chimera?
A lot of people (both men and women) spend years searching for The One,the soul mate, the extension of themselves,"the other half".
Yet others deny the notion completely,supporting plural partnerships and defeating the idea of monogamy as "unnatural" to human and animal kingdom.
I think The One exists,except it's not always a good thing and not at all pure romantic/sexual bliss,walks on the beach hand-in-hand and candle light dinners.
The older you get, the more valid is your perception of The One,as you have enough experience and romances/affairs/marriages under your belt to compare against and evaluate your feelings objectively.
My One was very much lamentable experience. Quite honestly,if I had a choice, I would much rather not had it, but,of course, there is a plan for all of us, we cannot "shortcut" our paths, nor do we have the power to change the course of destiny. We need to be put through our paces to learn the lessons meant for us.
We,each one of us, have our purpose, but it is not revealed to us (which is frustrating as hell).
I've met my One when I was 41. She was an Executive Chef in a posh winery/restaurant where I worked at the time.
As the town we lived in was quite small, I've heard of her (a lesbian accomplished Head Chef with international reputation), but we've never met.
It was not at all "love from the first sight". I liked her management style-I really like discipline,order,structure and control and she run her kitchen like a well-oiled military machine with witty sarcasm thrown here and there. The food she produced was absolutely divine.
She truly is amazingly talented and gifted.
However, she has some serious unresolved issues and personality flaws that are not immediately apparent.
We became friends pretty quickly, but there was absolutely no physical attraction between us. I can't even say that we spent that much time together socialising. We were definitely not "best mates".
S (we call her that for short) is constantly surrounded by controversy and at the time there was one regarding her dating a married restaurant head-waitress. It gotten a bit ugly with both BOH and FOH divided into camps,some calling her "a wife stealer" and some advocating "two consenting adults" theory..
S and her lover broke up and got back together (quite publicly) 3 times in 8 months with the lover alternatively leaving her husband/moving in with S and going back to the husband/leaving S.
That whole situation was,actually, a basis for our friendship,as I was openly supporting S.
In the end,the lover went back to her husband for the last time and quit the restaurant (or rather the husband made her quit on the spot). Just a side note: those two did NOT stay together. The lover is presently quite happy enjoying the company and partnership of another woman (sorry,couldn't resist..hehehehe..).
S text me to say that she "is not all that busy these days" and is open for dinner/coffee. I didn't take it as an invitation to a relationship. We did have dinner/drinks a couple of times,but that's all it was.
A couple of months went by.
Then one day I gotten a text from S inviting me to dinner. I honestly don't know,even now, what was different that day and why it was different, but suddenly, I was excited. Yes,romantically and sexually excited. Just like that, out of the blue.
I was very much looking forward to that dinner,making plans for at least kissing her and definitely hoping for more,fretting over what to wear....
It appears she had the same idea.
To make a long story short,we couldn't do anything that night,because we were joined for dinner (very unexpectedly) by one of the restaurant managers and her partner, but we did end up in bed a couple of days later :)
For me it was amazing and wonderful and,quite literally,breathtaking. I was absolutely overwhelmed and,within days,was head over heels in love with her.
This is where my earlier comment about previous experience and points of comparison comes into play: I know for a fact that I have never experienced anything of such intensity before. This was all-consuming and extremely powerful. And, no, it wasn't just chemical dependency (oxytocin and dopamine mixed with estrogen-chemicals that brain produces in abundance when people first get together),as I felt exactly the same after she left me and couldn't shake the feeling for over a year.
For her it was just a shag "in-between" the affairs (we've talked about it a year later and she admitted it) and she never loved me. I didn't mean much to her at all.
I wish everything was simple and "cut-and-dry", but,of course,things were very complicated.
Although she didn't love me, she very much liked my presence in her life,as I was very supportive,warm and caring.
Now is the time to mention that S has many,many issues:ongoing problems with her body image and her image in general (years of bulimia), insecurities about herself and others. She's had those for decades and it affected her personality and,in turn, her relationships.
She validates herself through others,thus needing partner/lover at all times. She cannot be happy by herself. She needs,craves someone to validate her feelings. She can barely function without it.
I remember when I told her that I loved her:we were in bed and she just went really,really still. She didn't say anything, but I knew then that my feelings are not reciprocated.
Yet I loved her so much, I thought I can overcome it, that my love is big enough and strong enough for both of us. I wanted to believe that we can make it work. Huge mistake! It never works. Ever,ever.
Relationship went downhill after that: she constantly tried to pick the fights with me,over nothing at all. It was almost as if she wanted me to just leave. In a way, I think she did. S hates confrontation of any kind,especially in personal relationship and tends to just run away (physically change location) instead of sorting things out properly. I know that because she's done it to at least 2 of her previous partners.
Then,very shortly (about 3 weeks) into our unfortunate relationship all hell broke loose in S's professional life.
It's too long of a side story, but she quit on the spot and walked away from her job. I have to point out that it was very much a justified decision under the circumstances and I fully supported her.
As I was working for the same place, I quit in protest. S was absolutely devastated-it was her dream job, but she truly had no choice,as the owners completely cut off her creative freedom and that's just 3 days AFTER she won them the most coveted and prestigious award in the country specifically for her unique style!
She was in tears all the time,hardly slept and was pretty much a mess. That's when I found out that she never managed her money well, had (and still has) a substantial debt and no savings.
I supported her constantly. Lots of conversations,hugs,dealing with her terrible moods. I took a lot of abuse from her during that time. I also made a lot of phone calls and sent a lot of email: I knew business people in that town and had some "pull". I contacted newspapers (which brought a huge wrath from S) telling them what really happen,trying to help S to find a new,better job.
It's true what they say:"It's lonely at the top". What it meant for S with all her accolades and accomplishments after years and years of grueling 80-hour weeks in hot,sweaty kitchens, taking crap from ego-driven male chefs was that she couldn't just take ANY job. It had to be a Head Chef job AND in a restaurant that can carry her menu (this means pretty upscale and boutique).
That kind of job is not easy to come by. Weeks were going past and S was becoming frantic and depressed,as she was simply running out of money.
In the end, I got her a job at a place owned by American woman (absolutely terrible person). I worked there before and swore to never come back, but I've done it for S-I loved her so much, I would've done anything for her. American woman was rich and could pay S the salary she commanded.
The day S actually signed the contract,she promptly dumped me.
I can't even describe how devastated I was. I felt like I couldn't breathe (quite literally). The pain was almost physical (it sure felt like it was). I needed to be in motion all the time (walking,driving) to ease that pain.
I normally don't cry in public or in front of others, but I would just start crying walking down the street. I found it hard to carry a conversation with other people. Throughout all the years of my life a lot of truly terrible things happened to me and none of them broke me. S did break me. I felt that all my strength was drained from me. It felt like I am falling further and further down into the darkness and I can't even see the light any more. I am a trained psychologist, so I tried to help myself: I tried working more,I sought inspiration from my Church, I tried spending time with my friends and keeping myself busy, even tried dating (oh,what a miserable failure that was),but all was failing to get me out of the abyss I was sliding into.
This is the first time in my life I couldn't shake suicidal thoughts. I wanted to be gone because I had absolutely no strength to carry on. I was running on empty.
Every morning when I woke up, S was the first thought on my mind. I thought about her all the time. I missed her every hour of every day.
I am a very organised person, so I went into a law office and made out my will. It actually took them 3 weeks to sort it out and  still my mind was unchanged. I was ready to exit.
Conditioning is a terrible thing. From the very early childhood I was taught to be "tough" and to not show "weakness" or "emotion". So,although I clearly knew I was in trouble, I couldn't talk to anyone about it. I just couldn't. I almost started that conversation with one of my girlfriends, but just couldn't squeeze the words out.
Ultimately, it was my friend Pip who pulled me out. She is very perceptive and has uncanny ability to "sense" what's going on with other people, regardless of how they act on the surface.
Pip spent a lot of time with during those few months: we went for long walks,had a lot of wine at her place after work (she worked with me at that tragic restaurant with American owner) and a lot of conversation.
I know with absolute certainty that I would've been gone for sure without Pip. For that I am eternally grateful to her.
I haven't spoken to S at all for the first 3 weeks after the breakup,as we had a huge email fight. I was making a last-ditch effort to help her, to get her out of her "funk" and depression, but she took it in a really wrong way.
She only lasted at that restaurant 2 weeks before handing in her notice: she couldn't cope with the owner and wasn't willing to work "around" it.
I,on the other hand, promised said owner that I'd stay through holiday season (X-Mas and New Year) if they took S on board, and I always,ALWAYS keep my word, so I was stuck there for 4 months.
In those 3 weeks that S worked there, she managed to back stub and badmouth me ( I found out about that much later).
Still, I loved her so much, I did everything to support her. It absolutely broke my heart when I walked into that kitchen my first day at work and saw how profoundly unhappy she was. All I wanted to do is hold her and tell her that's it's gonna be OK, but,of course, I couldn't.
We had a truly "B Movie" episode, where one day I went looking for her, because I couldn't stand how unhappy she was and I didn't like the way we left things. I found her in a restaurant where the owner was someone she worked for years prior and they were clearly talking "business"-she ended up taking a job there, for a lot less money. She told me later she had to do it to save her "sanity".
I waited for her to finish and followed her outside. It was a miserable afternoon and it was pissing down with rain. Again, long story, but at some point I was standing outside of her car,door open,her sitting behind the wheel. I was soaked through and through,holding her hand and kissing it... Like I said, "B Movie" plot.
We ended up on speaking terms again,although we didn't see much of each other.
S would text me frequently,though,urging me to just "walk away from that awful place" (the restaurant). She is quite vindictive and God help those who done her wrong.
6 weeks went by, and she was telling me that she is unhappy in that other place as well. I suggested it might be time for her to open her own place. I told her I would help with the financing. I actually found an interested investor and put S together with her.
I kept sending her encouraging messages, telling her how great she is at her job,how talented. Yes, I was hoping for a second chance with her.. But,as I said,she never loved me in the first place.
She DID,however, like my support.
At one point I bought her a return ticket to Melbourne ($1200 as it was last minute) so she could attend her ex-partner's 40's Birthday party and visit with her friend (she lived in Melbourne for 6 years).
In the meantime, I went to Fiji (long planned holiday) to try and get some rest from the year that I've had.
S was texting me constantly,telling me how great that trip to Melbourne was for her,how she is totally focused now and ready to start her own place...
Then, 2 days later (I was still in Fiji) she text me to say that she's met someone new and she knows it's going to hurt me, but she wants to be honest and upfront.
I was heartbroken all over again. Needless to say, my vacation was shot to hell. I took a lot of walks on the beach by myself, but it's beauty was completely lost on me. I just cried. And cried. And cried.
As it turned out later, S met that woman online only a day earlier (she sent me that text before she EVER saw her in person).
They decided to move in together 2 weeks later and were engaged 3 weeks later (I have to admit, very typical lesbian behavior...LOL..)
The woman lived in Auckland with her 2 little boys  and couldn't move. So S dropped everything (job,house,friends,family,all thoughts of opening her own place) and moved in with what she endlessly described as "The One" on her FB wall..
Oh, that FB... I promised myself, that if  and when I get a girlfriend, we will NOT be FB friends. The amount of unnecessary anguish I went through reading their mushy gushing about "never felt like that before", "you are the woman of my dreams", "feel like a teenager in love" all over S's FB wall. Yip,they did it very publicly for everyone to read.
I held my tongue,as I knew that their romance wouldn't last (and it didn't) and I loved S so much, I wanted to be there for her when she needed help picking up the pieces.
It wasn't long before THAT happened-altogether 6 months, counting from the original text about "meeting someone" and being in love.
And yes, S was very much in trouble. She couldn't find a job for 3 months after moving to Auckland. She just found one 3 weeks before their big split. That woman just kicked her out.
S had no money,no place to live,no one to go,huge debt and her car was out of warrant/registration.
I was there for her. I still loved her with all my heart,just as strong as a year ago. I was willing to do anything for her.
I put her up in a motel temporarily,paid for the car,put a deposit down on a new rental,paid a contractor to fix it,gave her quite a bit of cash to pay her outstanding bills. I drove to Auckland to show her my support.
Although I told everyone that I was over her, I wasn't. I still hoped against hope,in my heart of hearts,that we will be together.
In the meantime I went to Melbourne for 2 weeks (again,long planned trip). I just wanted to see the place (never been there before) and work a bit, just for some "pocket cash".
While there, I've met someone. I wasn't looking at all. It just happened. That person walked in the room and there was instant attraction,like a switch being flipped on. For various reasons I couldn't get together with that person right then and there, but I did get her number and went home in a totally different frame of mind.
No, I didn't just forget all about S, but I was getting more and more interested in this other girl,texting her and planning a return trip to Melbourne and, finally,miraculously, I got over S.
I wasn't "in love" with her anymore. I loved her,yes-as a friend, but the physical attraction was,thankfully,gone at last.
This other girl is a whole different story,which I am not quite ready to write yet, but the whole thing was DOA: ultimately,we never even got started and the whole affair (about 4 months worth of it) brought my whole ugly and trying year to a very unpleasant end.
But in the meantime I was enjoying being friends, REAL friends (or so I thought) with S. I continued supporting her, both emotionally and financially. In a way, that breakup done her good,as she finally faced some of her problems and the fact that they are connected to her relationships. I paid for her to go to a shrink for a while,she was attending Overeaters Anonymous meetings..
We talked frequently,as she was in a very bad place,emotionally. She'd text me in the middle of the night or from work, saying how lonely she was,how she "didn't want to be in this world anymore"..
7 months passed..
Those of you who are shrewd are going to guess what happened next...LOL.. She met a new woman and the history repeated itself.
She was out of touch (with everyone, not just me), ignoring her friends,family,etc. I really truly wasn't "in love" with her anymore, so it was not the new "love" that bothered me, but the fact that she didn't care about anyone at all.
While that was going on, the major earthquake happened. (See my previous post "Earthquake" to understand what it meant for me).
I was really rattled and emailed S asking her to pay me back some of the cash loan I've given her (it was $11K total and was clearly discussed and stipulated as a loan. This did not include trips,gifts,meals,etc,of course). I only wanted $5K so I can set up a flat in Melbourne and I was going to forgive $6K...
All I got from S were short,uncaring replies,that really didn't say much, but the bottom line was that she doesn't have any money and will pay me "when she can" (which,in her case,means NEVER). Not once did she ask me how I was doing or offered any emotional support and showed any caring whatsoever.
It is crystal clear now that all this time she was only using me. She never cared. She was never there for me. I meant nothing. I was just emotional and financial "cash cow". She milked me until I couldn't be milked anymore. And then she was done.
So that was my "ONE". You can see now what I meant when I said it's not always a good thing. She almost cost me anything, including my life. It was a life-altering experience. I know I probably needed to have it. But I so wish I didn't. It shook me to my core foundation and I really hope that I've paid my dues now and will not have to go through anything like that again. I don't think I can survive another "S".

1 comment:

  1. Personal I think you have many 'Ones'. So of it stems from my personal beliefs, which are some weird mash or popular religions but mostly its from personal experience. As for whether I'm in the poly or mony boat this I'm not sure of. I've been married twice, never actually dated a girl (don't want to find someone complicated like me) but since I believe when it comes to love gender is no issue love is love. In short did I love my first husband? yes! Did I think he was the One? Yes! As for my second husband I just married him 3 weeks ago. I've had at least 4 the 'Ones' that I can count. Of those 1 I left as I could see he was poisonous and I was stagnating because of his lifestyle. The other 2 well 1 left me 'for my own good' as his ex was trying to kill me (nearly ran me over). The other believed the lies of a vindictive tart who wanted my boyfriend for herself (we were together for 18 months yet he chose to believe her as to my fidelity). All these relationships ended with as they now describe as 'Broken Heart Syndrome' I felt the heart was literally breaking in my chest for at least on of these I had to go to doc with and get antidepressants. For each of these it took me ages to pick up the pieces of my heart shattered on the group, it took me years to really move on. I'd told everyone I was over them of course, and there is some residual embers there I think there always will be. We can not control who we love, when or how we love them. As for this experience, you may not understand it's significance currently but one day these hard lessons this heartbreak will provide the opportunity for you to grow and have some wonderful experience (or even person) enter your life.