featurebanner_thefool_opedAMBER LOVE 31-MARCH-2014 There’s one thing this past 12 months has reinforced in my self esteem: I’m always The Fool.  I’m primarily talking about friendships and romance. It’s caused frustration and a lot of fatigue, not to mention all the tears. What’s funny is someone who caused a lot of that pain was the person telling me who to cut out of my life for years.

It took me a while to recognize this as one of the signs of abuse. You see, an abuser draws you into their confidence and then separates you from other people important to you. There’s a TED Talk about this (trigger warning) which is about physical abuse but there are so many similarities. Leslie Morgan Steiner explains: first their step is to seduce and charm then the next step is to isolate.

The omniscient “They” say you shouldn’t believe all people are going to hurt you the way the last one did. I try again and again to believe this. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a new person in my life or if I’m evolving a friendship into more. I’m not without fault in all of these circumstances but that doesn’t stop the fact that each person has caused emotional distress from a very simple premise: an inability to be truthful. I find it particularly odd since I think I’m really easy to talk to but maybe I’m wrong.

20140311_180852-1 amber me cryingI’ve taken a lot of the advice that’s out there. I am very slowly trying to get back into an exercise routine but my body is mostly fatigued and has bad days of pain or anxiety. Two weeks ago, I was having a terrible panic attack and crying during my drive. I wiped off my face and went in the gym anyway. After 10 minutes the tears started again. I wiped them off pretending it was sweat. Another 5 minutes and I couldn’t take it anymore. My breath was too shallow. I grabbed my things, cleaned the machine and ran out where I cried more in my car.

I’ve gone out to social events alone. “They” say you should date yourself a while. At this point, “They” can go suck it. It’s not that I’m completely unable to enjoy events without a date; I see friends, catch some live music and try to not be awful company. I’m honestly lonely even around a thousand people. A date is intimate and you can’t replicate that feeling with a thousand people.

RWS_Tarot_00_FoolIn Tarot cards, The Fool was sometimes seen as a poor beggar. Sometimes he was a vibrantly dressed energetic court jester. The meaning is that you are a person who can find the joys in life the way a child does but also in a naive and blissfully unaware ignorance of the real world. Bliss can be the most wonderful feeling but if you aren’t careful, if you don’t watch your step, you’ll fall into an unending void where you can’t grasp anything to pull yourself back up.

“I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Last April Fool’s Day, I tried hard to go along with a practical joke that was supposed to include me but instead turned me into the butt of the jokes. Facebook at its best – I shouldn’t have expected more. When I constantly asked my closest male companion to include me in his posts more so that I’m not invisible, it backfired. I still look at his page (too often) and see exactly what used to bother me then hasn’t changed. He does the commenting and liking on the posts of other women and for whatever reason, he was the type to think that by not interacting with me at all, it was supposed to be more special. (blink, blink, blink, blink, headtilt). I don’t understand this.headtilt

So when I was finally mentioned a post, I thought I’d go along with it for the ride and keep my mouth shut that I was hurt by it. The joke continued to backfire months later when I found out extremely important facts related to the “joke” post. I had been made an even bigger fool of than originally thought. I’m talking epic as far as relationships go. I wasn’t only the butt of the joke to him but all his friends knew the truth.

I hate liars. I tell every person that seems interested in me that honesty is the most important aspect to me yet I have not yet found a person who can communicate honestly. Not one. And trust me, I’ve had intimate relationships for a very long time. It’s also why my years of being single don’t feel productive the way “They” say it’s supposed to be. Self discovery only made me realize that I’m weak. Building self esteem produced even less tolerance for other people’s lying bullshit. That’s not really helpful when you’re lonely.

“I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for the smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ.” ― Anaïs Nin

I forgive just about anything too. The thing is, you need to be sorry and it needs to not become habitual. I find that people are sorry they got caught or genuinely sorry that I got hurt but they aren’t sorry that they kept anything from me. I tried this once with my now ex-husband. You know what happened when I tried to cover something up? I fainted and woke up on the kitchen floor which he managed to keep me from painfully crashing upon. I can’t lie. I think this is why I’m a terrible actor.

Every time I’m devastated by another lie, I swear it’s the last time. “That will absolutely NEVER happen again,” I’ve told myself. I somehow think I’ve gained a super power from the experiences that will detect them as they’re said (or things not said) which will work to protect me. I have an internal bullshit meter. It doesn’t do any good when I ask someone over and over if there’s anything they need to talk about and they say no or if I ask the same question a thousand times and they continue to lie directly to me. It’s rather simple: I want to be loved and liked. That’s my excuse for forgiving so damn much. I feel love for others so I want to forgive them and have their love returned. Forgiveness can be so stupid. It only works for a short time when cycles are present. Liars are liars and I’m their fool.

“I’d rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right.” ― Albert Einstein

I find myself still agreeing with Einstein about opting to be foolish. Being wary of every word spoken or unspoken is truly unsettling. It doesn’t feel comfortable. It feels tragic.