Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Lingering Gamekiller: Baggage

We're going to keep it short and sweet today.

My friend Chad got divorced last year and ever since then he has been Mr. Hit~n~Quit. Yet calls me to tell me there are no "suitable" women in all of Northern California. Um sir, how would you know when you are only spending enough time to learn name and bra size?

He says he not ready to give his "whole heart" to anybody yet. (To which I say okay, but maybe some part of you above the waist?) Moving on...

My last relationship (though hella-trifling) really taught me something - the only things you need to drag forward from your previous relationships are constructive lessons learned. Nothing else. It's best to cut as many of those strings as possible.

Emotional baggage - everyone over the age of 18 has it. It's heavy, it's depressing and it slows you down. Unless you learn how to discard it and let go, the further you get from 18 - the more you have. It just stacks up one on top the other until it all topples down... generally on your head. 

I found this out during my adventures with Dude Formerly Known as New. I kept giving him side-eyes meant for the one before him. Of course, it later turned out that Dude was capable of earning side-eyes all on his own. But that's not the point.

The point is dragging issues, hurts, bad memories and misdeeds from one relationship to the next is a gamekiller. Relax, relate, and release people... It's hard because so many times you don't get closure and memories are a b*tch.

I was talking about this on Twitter the other day. There are some songs it is hard to listen to just because of the sense memory attached. *exhales, shakes it off *

BougieLand, who has trouble letting go of the past? Who has recommnedations for the best way to just move on? How irritating is it to have your new S.O. judge you by what the old one did? I'm interested to hear thoughts and experiences on this one. The floor is yours...

81 comments:

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

THIS.RIGHT.HERE.

Whew, I am actively chucking out baggage. I've gotten rid of 75% of it, and that's saying something because dysfunctional childhood + earlytraumashiggity + bad adult relationships = tons of baggage (as does dating at an HBCU and then ATL, but that's a story for another day). Even still, most of Usher's catalog is off-limits to me because of memories they bring up about The Ex.

You have to choose to get rid of baggage, because closure really doesn't exist in a meaningful way for most people (I mean come on, if one wants to stay, and one wants to go, no amount of kumbaya is going to make anyone feel better except for the one pulling the emergency exit. And that's without a bunch of relationship ratchetry). At some point, you have to decide that what happened can't be undone, and you have to be able to find a way to still be happy, and loving, and open, in spite of. Had to learn this the hard way because there was no way I was going to be stuck on bitter while the @zzhat who broke my heart was living his life like it was golden. No ma'am, I hopped on the good foot, closed the door the past, and kept it moving. Still have to remind myself to leave the past in the past, and to take the wisdom and leave the worst behind, and to judge the new guy on his own merits.

SingLikeSassy said...

"There are some songs it is hard to listen to just because of the sense memory attached." <--*exhales slowly* Mr. SLS is a musician so darn near every song out there has some memory attached to it. We used to spend hours laying in the bed snuggled up listening to various songs with him talking to me about the arrangement or the lyrics or the chord changes. Sigh.

I was at HH last night for a friend and one song that makes me think about when we fell in love came on and I teared up cause all those memories came flooding back. AT HAPPY HOUR. Maybe it was the drink. Yeah, that's it. It was the drink. *exhales again*

So, yeah, I've got a little baggage right now and as a result, I've decided it's best if I keep myself out of the dating pool until further notice.

rozb said...

You are wise to recognize what it is. Too many folks just leap right back into dating without taking the time to heal and fall in love with themselves all over again.

blackprofessor said...

Ah, baggage! I think you said it perfectly that the older you get, the more you have! I love my brothers but I find that you guys are the worst offenders with baggage because you guys don't give yourselves an outlet for dealing with your issues. I can't tell you how many guy friends I know who are still hurt from infractions that happened 10, 15 or 20 years ago! I have given up trying to tell them to LET IT GO!!

Recommendations - 1) Keep in mind that this is a new person who should be evaluated based on who they are, not your ex, 2) Seek out a good therapist. There are a LOT of people who could benefit from sitting on someone's couch or upholstered chair to deal with their issues.

rozb said...

If you slipped on ice and broke your ankle, are you going to go out and put on your highest heels and start dancing? Of course not! You probably shouldn't be dating right after getting your heart broken either. Emotional and psychological wounds may not be readily apparent, but in many cases they are just as severe as glaring physical ones. And folks who tell you to get right back on the horse probably mean well but they don't want to be in on the pain. People who really care about you hurt when you hurt and it is natural for them to get you back out to "walk it off".

How did I do it? I saw each man as his own person, and dealt with him on his own merits. If one is the jack of all asses, it is not fair to paint others with the same bitter brush. I am now happy with a man who is his own person: a Black man, not The Black Man.

Carrying excess baggage will give you a hunched back, swollen ankles, and an overall miserable appearance. Not a good look at all!

GrownAzzMan said...

"How did I do it? I saw each man as his own person, and dealt with him on his own merits. If one is the jack of all asses, it is not fair to paint others with the same bitter brush. I am now happy with a man who is his own person: a Black man, not The Black Man."

'Nuff said...

BlackButterfly said...

"the only things you need to drag forward from your previous relationships are constructive lessons learned. Nothing else. It's best to cut as many of those strings as possible."

This was always my thought process. At least during the time when I cared enough to enter into a new relationship. Entering new relationships to me are already hard enough so I definitely made an effort to make sure that anything that was tingling my senses negatively were from current S.O. and not the past one.

Natasha Hunter said...

BougieLand, who has trouble letting go of the past?
I think anybody with a heart has at one time or another.

Who has recommnedations for the best way to just move on?
I believe that all things have a purpose and I've made the decision not to beat myself up too bad and think that I'm not really healed, because somethings still stir up emotions in me. If a person rubs me the wrong way because of past experiences, I recognize it and hope that it doesn't become a problem. We should be able to talk about it. I've found that with time and being open with an S.O. about my issues, either I'll be wrong or right and life goes on with or without the person. I think if you are aware and admitting of issues the better the chance of dissolving them. ...I'm not sure this really answered the question but...

How irritating is it to have your new S.O. judge you by what the old one did?
It's irritating, but honestly it depends on the severity and willingness of the person to see that we are not the same. We're human so I don't expect him to be without reservations and qualms, but don't be overboard with the isht. It's one thing to have apprehensive and another to be accusatory. I don't do accusatory very well. At all.

Natasha Hunter said...

Some folks also don't understand that healing is an active process.

Mykeia said...

You are on point today!
The big "B"...
It took me years to admit that I had baggage but when I did admit it a heavy weight had been lifted.
I truly believe in the power of prayer, therapy, letting the person who has damaged you know how you feel, and pedicures to get rid of baggage.
At my age I cannot deal with everyone else's baggage except for my son and spouse--I don't say this to sound selfish but teens are a hot loveable mess and you have to give them all of the attention and emotional support that they ask for and mine is a talker.

Great post.

Mykeia said...

Usher...the Confessions album...have to leave that one alone. So I feel you on this.

Mykeia said...

"...it is not fair to paint others with the same bitter brush. I am now happy with a man who is his own person: a Black man, not The Black Man"
EXCELLENT.
The Black Man has so many labels, thank you for pointing this out.
Rozb...always insightful.

William Martin said...

I work really hard at not painting everybody with the same brush in the same color. I wish my sisters would work at doing the same. Whoever that was that did you wrong, it wasn't me. Believe me, I can make my own mistakes, no need to carry someone else's around too.

Grace said...

I know I'm guilty of taking my bruised up self from the ex to the next expecting it to be better magically.
And I can't listen to any Sade for a while.

Lady4Real said...

"Bag lady, you gonna miss ya bus draggin' all that stuff like that" Erykah badu taught me this lesson 11 years ago at the tender age of 17. I realized that life is gonna happen and you gotta learn from it, toss the extra to the curb and keep it trucking. There are some things that I needed to sit in an upholstered chair for as I got older because all bags can't be chucked without a little help (momma wasn't the kindest and kinda made me whacky the older I got) but exes got put into poetry, raps or long phone sessions with my homegirls or homeboys and it helped me to keep it moving. I used to tell my friends all the time 'Jerome ain't Pookie so don't treat him like he is'. and I practice what I preach.

Shoot my girlfriends and sisters make fun of me because I carry a clutch as my primary purse whereas they carry oversized purses but my purse represents me and my lifestyle, keep it simple, carry what you need and leave the rest alone.

JohnKinPDX said...

Yessss - when I started looked at all women sideways, I decided it's time not to look. Let me just sit over here with a little scotch and solitude for a season. This too shall pass.

thinklikeRiley said...

I ont know. Best way to get over one is to get another one under you. Hair of the dog and alladat.

Natasha Hunter said...

Ooooh you brought back some memories, me & my girls used to make the diss/break-up rap song tapes!! "You tried to diss me, now u gonna miss me, lookin' atcha beeper eyes all misty." LOL I know there is some straight clownery on those tapes wherever they are!

Javalicious said...

I can't listen to Floetry's Say Yes any more. That's off the playlist for now.

Cha Keziah said...

I totally agree. And to add on, don't take on your girlfriend/bestfriend/society's baggage and give others the side-eye because of what your friend, etc experienced. This has been THE big lesson for me, as I've just started dating (a late bloomer at 27). A great guy had to call me on it and point out that I don't have the baggage that says "the last one did this to me," so really, I have no reason to say he would. And it was (and is) true. I'm learning to judge each on their own merits and not assume going in that i'm going to get my heartbroken simply because that's what "everyone" says happens when you first start dating.

...but there are certain songs that have become associated with certain people. Like that Anthony Davi cd Chele recommended? Dude took Keep You Around and made it his...

TreyCharles said...

I'm sure I'll get slammed for this but I think men are better at compartmentalizing their feelings. Men can close the door on whatever happened and take the next one at face value. IMHO

OneChele said...

Complete and utter bullshiggity sir. You only think you closed the door on it. What you really did was stack it up in a closet where it all come flying out at a later (not doubt inconvenient) moment. IMHO

OneChele said...

The sooner you learn to keep your friends and relatives out of your relationships (especially until you know what's what) - the better. Folks are quick to project their issues onto you.

rochee said...

I think that is total nonsense. There are a whole lot of men walking around with a carry on and two large suitcases of baggage.

OneChele said...

I feel you. I had cut Raheem DeVaughn's "You" from the rotation for a minute. But it's back. I love that darn song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD9-RnX2gQQ

OneChele said...

Le Sigh, Riley.

OneChele said...

And we, the women of the world, appreciate it.

OneChele said...

Sade has been playing with folks' emotions for years.

OneChele said...

Duly noted.

OneChele said...

Great comment.

OneChele said...

Accusatory and jealous without provocation are two huge no-nos for me.

OneChele said...

Amen. I once heard a guy going IN about something that happened 26 years ago. Sir, that's an entire generation... move on.

OneChele said...

Deep breaths in, deep breaths out. I feel you.

OneChele said...

I need to stand up with applause for THIS RIGHT HERE>>> there was no way I was going to be stuck on bitter while the @zzhat who broke my heart was living his life like it was golden <~~~Yes!

CaliGirlED said...

Just walked away from a potential S.O. who had only been divorced 5 months when I met him. I realized this Ninja is on a mission to get remarried so that he can prove the 1st failed marriage was not his fault. Not with me Playa, you are not putting those bags in my closet!

Pure Choco said...

Shoot - whole nine piece set with trunk!

CaliGirlED said...

It was the memories and the drink! Bad combination, and I know it all too well.

Hold your head up Sassy!

Pure Choco said...

Yes she has - emotional singin' self.

CaliGirlED said...

This needs to be bottled up and sold to men AND women!

Andrea M said...

Um sir, how would you know when you are only spending enough time to learn name and bra size? Okay??!!
If some men would quit using women as plug-n-play peripherals, maybe they could appreciate that we're not all the same.

CaliGirlED said...

"Believe me, I can make my own mistakes, no need to carry someone else's around too. "....I like that! So true!

FreeBlackMan said...

Damn! Shots fired. It takes two - one to plug and one to play...

HerMelness Speaks said...

I have learnt the best way to move on is ... well, just to move on. Ditch the contemplating, the talking the memories. Just do it. (That would make a good slogan. Wonder who I should suggest it to?)

CaliGirlED said...

"Scotch and solitude"...Add some good music to that to help reflect and calm your inner beast. Those are good moments, even though they can be brought on by real shiggity.

William Martin said...

THIS^ is raw unadulterated truth.

CaliGirlED said...

Sidebar: Check out my request that Chele posted to the side. Care to share?

William Martin said...

Without getting my man card pulled, I think men THINK they are better at it. I think we're wired to "man up and move on" when maybe a bad breakup should cause us to press pause and do a little reflecting. I'm not saying that six shots of tequila and a supermodel in town for one night only wouldn't aid the healing reflective process. What was I saying?

CaliGirlED said...

Amen!

Violet Rose said...

You crack me up!

Violet Rose said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this song!!!

CaliGirlED said...

Love the picture!!! You sure know how to find them! LOL

Violet Rose said...

We really do. Please don't bring your wounded, heartbroken self out to play until a scab forms. Like a bear with a thorn in it's paw - dangerous and not at all cuddly.

CaliGirlED said...

"I found this out during my adventures with Dude Formerly Known as New. I kept giving him side-eyes meant for the one before him. Of course, it later turned out that Dude was capable of earning side-eyes all on his own. But that's not the point."...Reflecting back on your stories, I can remember that he did have some good points on this issue. Why did he have to be soooooooo damn attached to DRAMA?!! Just wow!

MonnaPalmer said...

"If some men would quit using women as plug-n-play peripherals, maybe they could appreciate that we're not all the same. *I quit life*

MonnaPalmer said...

I used to think men do not carry baggages around, until my cousin's GF cheated on him and it was on from there on. Now he is a certified PLAYER. Because I know him well, I know he will crush soon.

CaliGirlED said...

LMAO!!! Thanks for that good laugh!

rozb said...

Agreed Chele, agreed! Open the door and HIS luggage falls and hits me in the head. Meanwhile he might say "I'll just pile that back up in here. You alright? Get up and walk it off. Nothing to see here."

rozb said...

Not dealing is not dealing. Just because you say it is gone don't mean it is. Closing the door only makes the extra baggage not visible at that time. It is still there - in the way, heavy as Hell, ready to prevent a smooth move onto the next adventure. Ready to hit me on my feet if I'm in the way and have me hobbled with feet that look like Wendy Williams. What...too soon?

rozb said...

Single malt and a good read on the Kindle.

David Chase said...

What I figured out (the hard way) is ignoring feelings does not make them go away. Better to just acknowledge that ish happens. Relationships implode, people hurt each other - such is life. You turn the corner once you accept it and keep it moving.

blackprofessor said...

Dead at "Get up and walk it off". I love Roz!

blackprofessor said...

Uh no boo boo, you guys are the worst offenders because you think you can compartmentalize! There is a book that my friends keep telling me to read "Men Don't Heal, We Ho" and the premise is that most black men are emotionally unstable because they bounce from relationship to relationship without healing. By the way, this was written by a black man who said he is tired of brothers doing this to themselves.

Kimberly Nicole Foster said...

This is why I'm such a huge proponent of therapy. You've got to get over it, but sometimes you need some help scaling the mountain of BS.

DesertBlack said...

Yes, single malt, an AVO #5(cigar), and Coltrane. Smooths out the rough edges, clears your head and lets you know there is still good in the world.

Leon X said...

Wait. All this time and no one mentioned Erykah Badu's "Bag Lady?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqN0jsSeqPo

Leon X said...

I see this version of "You" and I raise you an alternate version.

http://swft.fm/evWYQE

Steve said...

I prefer a Montecristo and Wes Montgomery but I endorse and cosign.

dasmokingace said...

It is hard to say, some baggage women and men need to just let it go........and walk way (in my Eddie Coles' voice). I did at least take one baggage as an experience and use it for positivity. Other than that. Just let it go and live on.

Penny said...

Sorry, I don't agree with you. Y"all put that stuff in deep cold storage but those feelings are like an iceberg. You can only see a little above the ocean's surface, but underneath....whew!!!Years later (5, 10, etc., etc.) you are wondering how you let more than one good (and good for you) woman slip away from you-often failing to acknowledge your own baggage and the impact it had on your subsequent relationships.

Deb B said...

Had a 40 year old dude still yammering about some mess that went down in high school - WDDDA?

J. Jackson said...

BougieLand, who has trouble letting go of the past?
*raises hand* I do. It's horrible because I really don't let things go. I try to evaluate the bad experiences and learn from them, so I will not repeat (or have them repeated) in the next relationship.

Who has recommnedations for the best way to just move on?
Honestly in my case, it was really out of sight, out of mind. I'll admit, that hearing certain songs will have me going back in time to situations that I rather forget, but hey, that's life.

How irritating is it to have your new S.O. judge you by what the old one did?
VERY frustrating. I'll admit, I have been guilty of this. But it's just so wrong to measure someone from a former S.O. There's a reason why they're your former and not your current S.O. #justsayin

J. Jackson said...

Just why... *dead* at 'You alright? Get up and walk it off. Nothing to see here." I just laughed out loud in my Computer Forensics class, and received a couple of looks from my classmates. LOL

Brneyed1 said...

*shovin' my backpack in the closet*

Huh? What? Baggage? I don't got no stinkin' baggage!

*backpack comes rolling out of the closet*

Damn. Okay, maybe a little. I'm working on it. It used to be a trunk...

Songs no longer allowed to be played within earshot of me?
Next Lifetime - Erykah Badu
The Best is Yet to Come - Patti LaBelle
If I Were Your Woman - Gladys Knight & the Pips
I Wanna Sex You Up - Color Me Bad (don't ask)

Songs in the I'm Emotional/Breakup Drama Rotation:
Can You Stop the Rain - Peabo Bryson
How Can I Ease the Pain - Lisa Fisher
If I Was a Bird - Floetry
Bulletproof Soul - Sade

Le HUGE Sigh.

OneChele said...

I think we need to hear that Color Me Bad story. O__o

Natasha Hunter said...

Since it's late I'll make a confession. Coldplay's "Warning Sign" kills me... "C'mon in, I've gotta tell you what a state I'm in... Well the truth is, I miss you." Yeah. That does it. I love that song, but man oh man it gets in a sista's psyche. Good night.

BrendaKay said...

Being bitter, angry or maybe even hateful over a past relationship that ended badly, is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.

Lady4Real said...

I did. I just didn't post the video

CaliGirlED said...

Great book!

CaliGirlED said...

Love the iceberg reference! So true!

CaliGirlED said...

That's a good pearl!

BrendaKay said...

Being bitter, angry or maybe even hateful over a past relationship that ended badly, is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.

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