Around the time The Girl turned 22 months, somebody said to me:
"I'm so glad you put yourself on boyfriend probation."
I thought about this for a minute. It never really occurred to me that I have, but now that I think of it, I guess that's exactly what happened. I must have made the decision somewhat unconsciously, shortly after my latest ex and I broke it off and maybe even before that.
I will admit I haven't had the best track record: druggies (not too hard core, but enough) alcoholics, Lunatics, born-again Christians, the 'I found God' types. Although, those last two happened after we broke up, strangely enough. Let's not forget the one with obsessive control issues.
Yes, I was in a rather strange place myself at the time. There were some decent ones-it wasn't all drugs, sex and religion. God, what a dangerous combination....
Shortly after I became pregnant, I had a wake-up call, a realization (that seems such a mild word-a thunder crack to the skull, maybe) that, looking back on it, seems so obvious-so simple. I cannot live my life as I once did. This became even more apparent once the girl actually squirmed herself into this world and my own.
No more could I stay out all night as I once did. No more could I drink myself stupid (while having obscene amounts of fun, of course). And-no more unbalanced men. Actually, how about just take a break from men altogether? Who has time for them anyway, when you are a single parent with a very young child? I barely have enough energy left to write or think after my daughter goes to bed, let alone enough for a new boyfriend, fling or whatever; one who demands my attentions for far more 'grown-up' things.
There is a whole other life I am responsible for. I came to the conclusion that there wasn't room for these types of men in my life-and my daughter's. I want her to feel safe, loved. I want to be able to respect myself and my daughter enough to not get involved in the sort of chaos I once knew.
And-I do respect both of us enough, so much so that I put myself on Boyfriend Probation. Now, whether that was conscious or some sort of survival mechanism, is another story.
Maybe someday I will meet a nice fellow who's not into drugs or absolutely, legitimately crazy, but for now I am perfectly content with being on self-appointed boyfriend probation.