Placeholder

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.

Advertisements

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. 

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.

What do I value?

After writing this description of what my dreams were for my adult self at age 10, I’m beginning to reevaluate my values.

I don’t know what triggered my thinking about this past painting of hopes for my future. Probably a combination of my brother getting a “real” job and beginning to want to connect with someone on a personal level. It’s a strong image I used to think about a lot; a young women embarking on her life with bubbling confidence and thirst for life. The images are very specific and I recall conjuring them up often. Walking in the rain from the grocery store back to my apartment; meeting friends for coffee and light conversation; excelling in a job; painting and making beautiful things throughout my space.

I have realized that my values have changed drastically in the past almost-decade. I feel I have grown very hardened. I don’t believe in relationships of any kind. I don’t believe people truly care about one another. I think the end result is the only measure of value. I look at society with a very scientific, sociological view point that makes me feel like I have no control over my life.

A big part of this might be that I have still been seeing Steve. It’s been so on-and-off I haven’t bothered to write about the “relationship”. And that’s what it is, isn’t it? Even though we aren’t together in the sense many people associate with the word, our interactions constitute a relationship of shorts. Feeling that I don’t feel much toward him– or maybe feeling that I do feel something toward him –has commenced a rethinking of my views on relationships. It’s making me rethink the mantra in my mind “I don’t want to be in a (any) relationship”.

More than that, maybe kindness is more important than examination. Maybe people are important, and not just in the sense of propagating our species. Or even if they aren’t, isn’t it a better– no, more pleasant way to live life? To live without having to question every pretty idea. We might be insignificant and there might be pretty thoughts that allow for injustice, but that doesn’t mean I have to rain on everyone’s, including my, parade.

I want to believe in happiness. I want to be happy. Does that mean I have to be delusional and believe things I think are perpetuated only because it serves a social function? Is there a balance between analyzing (aka being cynical) and believing “pretty thoughts”?

Balance, balance, balance. Everything in moderation, right?