Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hurricanes of the Heart

September 13th, 2008 changed the lives for many Texans living on the Gulf of Mexico.

And the pain of standing by as Ike devastated my home state, prompting the largest search and rescue operation in U.S. history, was heart-wrenching as I watched, stunned, bawling my eyes out in the American University Tavern, over 1339 miles away.

I heard the horror stories.
I saw the pictures.
I blinked through tears watching videos of my fellow Texans wade through knee deep, then waist deep, then chest deep, then neck deep water struggling for safety, while I sat lifeless not able to help with anything aside from awareness.

After the storm passed, my closet back in Texas was soon emptied of coats and extra blankets for the relief efforts as people huddled in refugee centers across Southeast Texas.

When life altering hurricanes sweep through towns at such a cost to human life and infrastructure, the World Meteorological Organization retires their names, so that future storms bearing that name wont tread on the emotional sensitivities of the people who suffered through the last storm with that name.

Here's where my idea begins.

When I've been in a serious or emotionally deep relationship with someone of a certain name, that name is forever tied to the emotions of that relationship, and when that relationship sweeps by like a hurricane leaving me tossed like driftwood up against the dunes, just hearing that name again mars my romantic feelings towards others with their same descriptor.

These are what I'm calling my Hurricanes of the Heart.

Everyone has certain rules about the people they date - rules like - they have to be tall, they have to be thin, they have to have a sense of humor, and everyone has certain rules about people they wont date - they must exercise, they have to love sports, they can't wear their hair in a pony tail (I wish I made that up).

For example, I have 3 rules which I will never break when meeting a new potential, aka, I wont date you if you meet one of the following...

1. You're a Marine or a former Marine
(I don't hate them, one of my uncles is a Former Marine, but I'm just not going to jump back into that paddy wagon of emotional drama for any reason - I am not a therapist - I do not have a PhD in fixing things - I have been here twice, I don't need to re-experience it).

2. You're only in town every other weekend... or month... or for the night.
(For me, Long Distance is Wrong Distance).

3. Your name is David or a shortened form of that name.

I'm so gung-ho with this list that I once was at a going away party for a good friend of mine, when I saw this really gorgeous guy at the bar. And lo and behold, it was my friggin' lucky day - He stopped me to talk!!!

"Hi, I'm David"
Mental thought - Oh Shit...
"LoRo, what brings ya out tonight?"
"I'm here on leave, just this weekend visiting friends, you see I'm a Marine and..."
I cut him off right there because I couldn't let the poor guy get his hopes up any higher with thoughts that he was going to be macking on me at the end of the night.

I walked away. Done. and. Done.

That's how committed I am to the rules. That's how committed I am to protecting my vulnerability. It takes a lot for me to open up and let someone in - relationship wise, and in a few cases where I have opened up and been burned, it's taken me months if not years to emotionally brace myself up again in order to start something serious with someone new.

I've only broken my rules once, and I wound up with a commitment-train-bound-for-crazy-town-Marine. So, Back to keeping with them.

But now I have a new thought... What if I expand my 3rd Rule to include not just Davids, but any name that has repeatedly screwed me over again and again, because if I'm going to be real with you, people with certain names just keep screwing me over emotionally.

My reasons are as follows:
1. It prevents me from falling into the David themed rabbit hole I find myself in (I have dated and been in relationships with 6 David/Daves in my life, not including hookups etc... with other people bearing the exact same descriptor). You want to know how hard it is to talk about people when you have to remember and keep up with 10 different nicknames given out to all the people with the same name? It's Frickin' Hard!
2. It prevents me from dealing with the emotional fall out from another direct hit of someone with the same name.
3. It makes it easier for friends/family to keep track of the men in my life. No more confusion about what guy I'm talking about because they'll all have different names, easing the transition from person to person, because it's easier to separate people if they have different names.
4. It prevents me from writing down the wrong last name on birthday cards that I mail to them.
5. Allows the next person I date, the ability to be himself without being judged by my anticipated thoughts and reactions to a person with his name.

So here's my Hurricane of the Heart retiring names rule - Due to the level of emotional damage cause by the last Hurricane Heartbreak of _X_ in my life, I refuse to be with someone with that name, ever. again - romantically. This could be due to one epic Hurricane Heartbreak - or - the repeated emotional distress caused by multiple people bearing that name.

So that rule would then extend to the names
Michael (or any version there in)
David (or any version there in)

It's as Kate Miller-Heidke, in her song The Last Day on Earth, put it - so well:

"In my head I replay our conversations
Over and over 'til they feel like hallucinations
You know me, I love to lose my mind
And every time
Anybody speaks your name
I still feel the same
I ache, I ache, I ache inside"

It's not that I'm trying to sit here and be a bitch to everyone with those names. It's that as someone with an over active imagination who does replay conversations over and over again, I can't give a fair go to someone who has one of my Hurricane Heartbreaks' names. It wouldn't be fair to them, because I'd constantly be looking for them to display the same tendencies as the last person with that name, and as soon as I'd see it, I'd go HA! I WAS RIGHT!

This may make me sound crazy, and I realize that, but if I'm going to be honest about how I feel, this is it.

The ache felt by having the shores of my soul crashed into by the surge of emotions from the Hurricane Heartbreaks in my life doesn't go away. It's like your first love, you never completely stop loving them, they're always a part of you. So when A Hurricane of the Heart makes a direct hit on your soul it takes a bit of you with it, and even after the clean-up, the blue roofs, the insurance claims, and the rebuilding - you never quite forget what happened. It's always there at the back of your mind.

And for that reason as naive as it maybe, I have no urge to experience another Hurricane David or Andrew. I have no urge to batten down the hatches waiting for them to tear apart the foundation I've freshly restructured. The house I've freshly redecorated. Or the walls I've freshly repainted.

Some might take this post as disrespectful - it was not meant as such, my heart goes out to anyone who had their lives affected by Hurricanes from this season or any other.

1 comment:

  1. "The ache felt by having the shores of my soul crashed into by the surge of emotions from the Hurricane Heartbreaks in my life doesn't go away."

    LoRo- you have made me realize just how tolerant I am. Very recently, I made it known how vehemently opposed to lists and pigeon holes I am.

    While I will never use a list of credentials, I must say that for the first time, I have read a compelling argument for such list.

    I felt you hurt, your emotional damage.

    Funny thing--- I also won't date a guy named David. But my reasons are different from yours. Like 'other team' different.


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