Fear Getting In The Way

We both get upset about things because we are worried about losing each other in some way. I love you more than I ever even imagined was possible and the thought of losing you is terrifying. It doesn’t make sense to push you away because I’m afraid of losing you but that’s what we, I, seem to be doing.  

Holding on to that fear is getting in the way. Fear, the root of everything negative, prevents me, us, from being truly honest, which I have come to understand as the heart of intimacy. If we are afraid of losing each other, our words are filtered through that fear and our actions are coated in it. If we act through fear, we will be laying a false framework between us, distancing us instead of building a true understanding.  

The solution isn’t to cling on tighter. It’s not to try to control everything and know what’s going to happen. Instead it’s to loosen our grip. It’s to stand in front of each other and say “this is all of me. I’m not sure if you’ll still love me, but these are my fears, these are my secrets, these are the dark corners of my soul, and I need you to know me, all of me.” There is no guarantee that feelings won’t change, but they will be true.  

I know that I don’t always react with empathy to your fears. I respond to them as judgements or a pointing out of my soildedness. And maybe on some level that’s what they are. But I don’t mean to hurt you and I don’t like pushing you away because of them. I can understand and accept them both ways: as judgments and as a fear. My task is to not let them scare me and make me recoil and to be more understanding of the fear behind them. 

A Fuck Toy’s Life

Low-cut tops, tight pants, dark makeup, long hair, butt out, bikini posted, giggle, smile, and act like you don’t know they’re looking at the play you put on for them. And for what? For some dick? For attention? Don’t they know that standing pretty, being desired, might make you feel important… but making yourself an object of desire gets you no respect, no stability. Not now, not later, not ever.

Just enough to get by, then find a man to fill the gaps. You have no other value, so you better give him children. Now you’ve lost it and he’s looking for other pretty things. Feeling used? No, you made this yourself.

A dramatized reflection on how I see my life going… how my mother sees her life… how too many girls live. 

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When You Say I Love You

If I think logically, this won’t last. It’s not meant to at our age. So when you say “I love you”, I look at you and see a man. A man on the other side of the country with a good job, a beautiful wife, and happy children. He’s the best father in the world: silly and kind and loving. And his wife is giving and secure in herself. They love each other in a way I never could love you. In a way I don’t even think is real.

But that’s what I see. Even though I love you more than I knew was possible- heck, I didn’t even believe in love -I pull myself back when you say those words. Because I know that woman is out there and she isn’t, and I don’t desire her to be, me. It may not be intentional, but I am a placeholder. And a hollow placeholder I will be. Clinging onto you until you scrape me off.

I don’t think I can handle this

I don’t think I can handle this. You’re making me feel like I’m crazy. I know there’s nothing there. And given this situation, her being gay, I’m not concerned about anything happening. I actually do trust you though. Something I never thought I’d believe. But still my stomach twists up. Even if nothing happens, you probably like her hips; even if- you probably like her sharp humor; even if- you probably like her confidence & talent; even if- you probably like her listening ear. And the way you look at her sometimes when you talk, it makes me feel something I can’t explain. Not anger, not jealousy, but something unsettling. Something that makes me want to up and hide. Shuts me down and sobers me.  

Longing

I can text you. I can call you. But it’s not the same.  

It’s not the same as laughing with you  

It’s not the same as being near you 

Feeling your hands squeeze mine 

Stretching the webbing of my fingers. 

Feeling your voice vibrate your chest 

Petting your bear hair. Arm hair. Chest hair. 

It’s not the same as kissing your lips.  

Feeling your sizable hands on my leg 

My stomach. My chest. Wrapped all around me. 

Feeling like I can melt into you 

Into certainty and tenderness. 

a drunken “i love you”

“Let’s go on the balcony, it’s cool out there.” He took my hand as we walked toward the shuttered door, but I still had to pat the couch so that I didn’t stumble in my drunken state. The base was muted and the flashing lights ceased as I shut the door behind us. The air felt lighter than the denseness of partiers’ breath that filled the not-so-well air-conditioned apartment. It was Nathan’s roommate’s twenty-first birthday and everyone was drinking like there was no tomorrow.

Six months ago I’d been standing on this same balcony while another party went on inside, only that time I was sober wondering what the heck I was doing. I had walked into an unfamiliar and, at the time, unpleasant world that night. All the young drunk men looked threatening to me. The alcohol looked immoral and the whole gathering unprincipled. But I came anyways to wish Nathan a happy twenty-first birthday and, moreover, to get a better idea of who he was.

Moments ago, or maybe an hour ago, a friend from school had introduced me to his new girlfriend he’d been raving about for a week. She looked a little scared, and stood stalk still next to him. I tried to make a good impression, but I could hear that I was talking too loudly and apologized at least once for touching her arm too much. It wouldn’t matter how many times I said, “Don’t let this freak you out, Taylor is a really good guy”, the party was still going to change the way she looked at him just as it had with Nathan back in May.

Even through my drunkenness, I was stingingly aware that I had become one of those people I had been scared of, I realized as I looked out over the balcony. I smiled because it was amusing and disheartening at the same time and nothing was to be done about it. If the balcony railing was shorter, just by a few feet, with the way I was swaying, I would probably fall over. Another deeply despondent thought that was somehow amusing now. The balcony door creaked open, the shutters clanging as it shut.

“Hey, what’s up man?” Or something to that effect was said. Jack appeared on the other side of Nathan as if by teleportation. He was a skinny, average height guy with blonde hair. When I first met Jack , he had seemed confrontational. Now I understood, or maybe just rationalized, his blunt and crass behavior as a defense to the world.

“You know that guy Juan brought with him?” Nathan indicated he was unsure. “The monkey looking guy,” a typical crass comment from Jack. “Well he was hitting on Kelley,” Jack’s girlfriend, “but I told him to fuck off and we’re good now”. I think that’s how the conversation went. At that point I was feeling dizzy and sick.

“Why didn’t he hit on me?” I blurted out. Jack leaned forward, his dilated pupils framed by a furrowed brow, though only after leaning forward with a straight face for several seconds; again the type of odd, somewhat obnoxiously intimidating thing Jack did. “Do you want him to hit on you?” Although I didn’t look at Nathan, I could tell he was angry by his not speaking.

Alcohol makes your inhibitions fade. You say things and do things you would normally only think about doing. I did not believe this before that night, the second time I’d ever been drunk. Nathan had told me it would happen the first time, but I assumed it was more of a social clearance rather than a real effect of alcohol. I didn’t want the Monkey Guy to hit on me, I just wondered why he hadn’t. Was there something about Kelley guys liked that I didn’t have? Was I not short enough? Were my boobs not big enough? Was she just all around cuter than me?

Jack left and I could tell Nathan was annoyed. “Why do you want him to flirt with you?”

“I didn’t! I just want to know why he didn’t.” I was bent over, looking at the concrete balcony under my Nike’s at that point. I think he asked again and I gave the same explanation. He remained miffed. I couldn’t care much right then though because I was starting to feel really sick. “Nathan, I feel sick,” I said a few times. “You need to throw up”.

At Nathan’s birthday party in May, while I was still bewildered by the flashing lights and loud drunk men, he’d introduced me to his friends. I didn’t remember any of them or their names because I was still taking in the whole thing, thinking about what it said about Nathan. I did remember one guy, Mike. As he reached out to shake my hand, he had diverted, throwing up all over the couch next to me. What a bum. How irresponsible could you be? Why would you drink to that extent? Is what I had thought. Now, ironically, I was that person at Mike’s twenty-first birthday party.

I felt the burning at the back of my throat and leaned over the balcony. It was all liquid, pinkish I think. “There you go. Keep going,” Nathan said. Why was he being nice to me, even now, while I was sick and ugly and he was still annoyed with me for what he was always bothered by, my looseness. A string of spit hung from my mouth, but I couldn’t take my hands off the railing to get it off, so I just tried to spit harder. I was disgusted and disappointment in myself.

We talked for a minute, but I can’t remember about what. Throwing up maybe. Then about the Monkey Guy again. “But you don’t even like me,” is all I really remember from that conversation, something Nathan had said many times. “No, I love you.” He didn’t say anything. My drunk self wasn’t concerned. I did. I really did. He was so accepting and open and steady. I’d never felt so strongly for someone.

It was only midnight or so, but we decided to go to bed. I walked past the beer pong table, into the kitchen, loosing Nathan somewhere along the way. Jack and Mike were bantering next to the kitchen table. “Jessica!” one of them shouted. They were both standing very close to me, yelling something. I tried to step away toward Nathan’s room, but a chair blocked my way and the table was at my back. I could feel myself starting to cry, so I squished up my face and forced my way through.

After stumbling down the hall, I entered Nathan’s room. It was quieter and calmer, but he wasn’t there. I turned around and started crying. Mike walked in, “Hey, it’s okay.” How obviously had I been upset in the kitchen for him to have followed me? He started hugging me loosely. I tucked my arms into my sides, “Why are you hugging me? Where’s Nathan?” I could hear how childish I sounded, but it was all just spilling out.

“What’s going on here?” Nathan’s tall frame was blocking the light of his doorway.

“Nothing, man. I just saw she was upset.” He put his hands up as if he was a teenager, proving to the store clerk he hadn’t stolen anything, and backed out of the room.

“No, Nathan, I was looking for you and you weren’t here.” He looked furious. Shit. He’s never going to trust me. He’s going to think I’m some kind of whore forever. Nathan still looked mad. I think I tried to hug him. We got in bed and he took my socks off.

Kindness. Jesus. Altruism…. On Not being Selfish

I don’t like it, but I believe in equity and conflict theory, which are essentially the same thing, but that’s a different post. I believe every interaction with another person is motivated by the desire to get something out of the situation; every interaction is an exchange of goods. This belief has lead me to push away invitations, dates, as well as looking very skeptically at friendly gestures. Not an enjoyable way to live.

Taken to a more long term scale, a relationship depend on whether each party perceives their benefits to be at least qual to or more desirably greater than what they put in. The term “exchange of goods” might bring to mind physical goods like money or food. Or, if you have a more perverse mind like mine, you may think about a very physical exchange: sex. That is something that throws me into a foaming at the mouth, stinging at the eyes, puddle of a headache, which I’ve written about here.

In my eyes it goes something like this…

Friendship- I’ll listen to you if you’ll listen to me

Relationship- I’ll give you sex and listen to you if you’ll give me sex and listen to me OR I’ll listen to you if you give me sex

Fuck buddy- I’ll give you sex if you give me sex

This bothers me. It bothers me because we don’t often talk about it. We move through these social niceties and politeness. It would be crass to talk plainly about what each party wants. By not talking about it though, it creates a situation where everyone is a businessman for him or her self. Everyone is trying to close the best deal for themselves or cheat on their taxes to get more.

Although addressing this directly does help, I’m still distraught by this perceived situation of the world. More than other people trying to get something out of me, I’m disturbed by the way I can trace my own actions back to their motivation. I’ve been searching for a few months now to find what I’ve termed “true caring” or “true kindness”- actions that are motivated for solely selfless reasons – but I have yet to find any.

It can always be argued that the acting individual gained some social reward of praise or positive regard. It’s so engrained in us that we must be accepted in the group for survival that simply being accepted can be explanation for almost any action. This creates a post hoc loop that allows for the argument to be applied to every situation. If it is always true, the statement becomes somewhat null. Either my definitions need to change or I need to find a falsifying situation.

Death seems to eliminate most rewards. If someone died for something or someone, would they be acting solving out of selfless motivation? Even then, they may have been compelled to act in that way by social forces making them believe it was the correct thing to do. The idea that their name would live on and therefore they may continue to live in some way also means that they might still have sense of social acceptance.

Jesus. Jesus, this sounds like the story of Jesus. But that’s not the answer, I don’t believe. The answer to resolving this abhorrent situation is in myself. I need to find what true kindness is; what selflessness is. Or, find a way to accept that this is the way the world is. I keep asking myself “Is it that bad?” Maybe that’s just justification for my own selfish acts. And then the larger question “Why is it good to be selfless?”

 

Dainty & Strong

My mind paints two conflicting imagines in my desired identity as a women. It is starkly visible on two of my private pinterest boards: “delicate” & “fuck off”. One has photos of beautiful, slim women with small wrists and visible collarbones. The other, women with six-packs doing pull ups and boxing. This is the root of my dissatisfaction, or maybe more accurately undecidedness, with my body, my identity, my social roles.

The girl I long for a man to see is sweet. She is physically delicate and perfect in every way; pliant and graceful. She is a little frightened of the world. Her innocent ambitions consist of only to be safe and cared for. To be alone is frightening.

The girl I want the world to see is capable. She is physically strong. No one could take advantage of her, physical or otherwise. Her ambitions are clear and straightforward. But there is no sexuality to her. To be near someone is to be vulnerable. She can’t be sexual because she cannot be weak. To be alone is necessary.

When I met women or men I’m not attracted to, I strive to show them the strong women. When I met men I am attracted to, I strive to show them the delicate girl. Maybe it is purely out of fear, but I do not want to be weak. I have to be strong to avoid being taken advantage of. Being a women makes me inherently weak, which results in most of my frustration.

Being strong erases all sexuality for me. I don’t like it, but I have a very strong connection between being vulnerable and weak and sex. There is a very strong attraction to being used; ideally by someone attractive and caring, but still used, overpowered. Even if it annoys the heck out of me, I think this is a fundamental part of sexuality for most women.

Lacking physical strength is the root of feeling vulnerable which is something I strongly do not desire in my daily life on any level. However, this otherwise undesirable situation is an essential element for physical attraction.

I don’t have a solution right now. I don’t know that these opposing roles can be reconciled fully. Maybe they can be kept separated. That is still frustrating because it prohibits a cohesive person. For now, I am just working on being being physically strong. It’s a better solution than hurting myself, but it doesn’t solve the conflict.