Of course, I felt guilty for many years, because I didn't exactly have a raging string of successes with women after I broke up with Jeannette. Actually, that's an understatement. I had a string of disastrous attempts to connect with women until my breakdown six years after I broke up with her. I haven't exactly had rip-roaring success since then, either, but I think I've made progress.
Naturally, I second guessed my decision to break up with Jeannette for many years. We went out on a couple of dates a few years after I broke up with her. That ended when I basically told her I didn't love her. After that we were finally on the same page about it, but that didn't stop others from chiming in on their opinion that I'd made a big mistake when I broke up with her.
For years after my recovery, my diagnosis and treatment with medication and then when I quit drugs and alcohol, I still second guessed my decision about her. Should I have loved her more? I seemed to pick the wrong women to love.
Then, in 2012, I realized that all my second guessing became really pronounced as more time passed. That's because the actual nightmare of dating her for a month receded, and all that remained was some imagined world of what could have been. In September of 2012 I realized how crazy she made me and how I couldn't stand it any more back in 1986.
Then I realized why she made me so crazy. When I went out with Jeannette for those couple of times in an attempt to reconcile, she told me something that, looking back, brought it all into perspective. She told me- this was at Christmastime- that her dad had put divorce papers under the tree for her mother to find on Christmas morning.
I asked her about it a week or two later, and she said, "Oh he's manic-depressive, he's always pulling stunts like that. It's blown over." I had not known that her dad was mentally and emotionally unstable when I first dated her in 1986. In 1989, when we had that exchange, I didn't realize that my own instability was due to a mental illness.
So in 2012 I put it together that I must have hit some neurotic nerve in Jeannette that gave her a particular weakness for me. She herself didn't seem to have any acute bipolar issues, but her dad and others in her family did. To her credit, she didn't just wind up with some string of versions of me after I broke up with her. She dated stable guys, I think that was because she really valued men who were nice to her and treated her well, whether or not they did the exact same thing for her that I might have. She had a sister who allowed herself to be mistreated by a boyfriend, and he was probably on a years-long manic jag that manifested itself in legendary, copious womanizing.
Jeannette professed a profound dislike for most women, because at that age she saw so many of them who allowed themselves to be treated shabbily by men. I think that valuing how men treated her so much saved her a lot of grief. Two men I met whom she dated after me seemed fine, and she was a very intelligent, nice woman who was very beautiful as well. so she had a lot to bring to the table for the right person. Maybe she took a wrong turn later on the mental and emotional stability issue in her partners, after I lost touch with her I mean, I don't know. I kind of doubt it, actually.
My point is, I was right to break up with her, but many of my peers didn't see me as capable of making that decision. I have found myself in a similar position at times over the years when I make the decision to reject this or that woman. People look over my shoulder and attempt to second guess me in a very manipulative way, and I don't like it much.
Why am I not allowed to reject anyone I choose to reject, for whatever reason? Whether or not I am right or wrong? What is it that doesn't afford me the same dignity and sovereignty in making such a decision that others are granted? What is it about me that so many others think that they are able to make such a decision about my own life better than I am?
Let's see, I've rejected someone because they lied to our community of peers as well as me about the nature of a consensual sexual encounter with someone we all knew. I'm not talking about "he said, she said," either. She fessed up soon enough to mutual friends, and later to me, that she lied, but for some reason, even given my history with "he said, she said, " I guess that I was just supposed to be a good guy about being bald-faced lied to right to my face by her. This was in early 1995, when I was having so much trouble with my medication. The voices in my head exclaimed, "She lied! She lied!" one afternoon in while I was in my apartment, and that's was when I made my decision to not call her anymore. She called me like a month later and asked me why I wasn't calling her, and I was still sick, but I think my reason to blow her off was strong, no matter my state of mind.
Another time, in early 2009, soon after I quit drinking and drugs, a girl represented herself to me as available and interested when she was neither. A friend of mine, who had her as a side piece, had lied to me about the nature of he and this girl's relationship, and he basically put her up to lying to me about having my friend as a boyfriend, plus another boyfriend as well. He expected me to "take her off his hands." He also didn't believe me when I concluded that this other boyfriend was her other boyfriend. My friend would go on and on about how hurt she was that I had stopped calling her, and he called me a "piece of shit" for blowing her off. All the time this was going on, he was still seeing her, of course.
When I go around in my world and interact with these flirtatious twenty-two year old women at these businesses, no one questions their right to reject me if I were to ask them out. As a matter of fact, even nice, good-looking guys their own age that these types reject for whatever reason are considered acceptable for these young women to reject by others around them for no other reason than that these women see these men as somehow unworthy. That can mean things like; they don't kiss good enough, they don't have a car, they like the wrong kind of music, they are not ambitious enough, they smoke too much pot; whatever reason, it's okay for them to reject any guy they want to reject. I would at least like these kinds of women to give me a chance from time to time, but I don't at all presume to question their judgement.
I think every time I've made a major decision to reject someone, I wasn't one hundred percent sure that I was doing the right thing. It would only shake out later that I absolutely did the right thing. That's why it's so important that people afford me the same right to be wrong about someone as anyone else has.
Why are people so quick to question my judgement on the occasions I do reject women who, granted, might not be a total mess, but why can't I have my own reasons, and everyone just leave it at that? Now, why don't you all, you know, go effing eff yourselves?