Tuesday morning retrospection

Still thinking on what Richie and his friends were talking about in the last post’s videos. He’s right that some of us pick up defense mechanisms and strategies that wind up doing more harm than good in the long run, though they served a purpose at one point. I figured that one out a while back, but recognizing it is only half the battle, if that.

Neglect is an important word in this sort of discussion as well. Because when you feel neglected by someone who matters most to you while growing up, it just gets in your psyche and makes you feel unlovable. Plus, it sets fire under you to find ways to garner attention and comfort, even if brought in the wrong way. On the flipside, it also makes it all that much harder to accept when love does someday come your way, because you don’t know how to reciprocate it correctly. You wind up rebelling even against good things sometimes. Why? Well, that’s what I ask myself too.

What am I doing here? At this point, I’m unburdening. That’s the only way I know how to describe this point in the process. I’m laying it down and asking to be seen as human, and all humans have their struggles and their limits.

I learned from an early age to use my sexuality to bring in the attention I craved. But that comes with lots of drawbacks and limits itself, especially once habits get deeply ingrained. I never meant to hurt people, and I’m also sorry that I wound up hurting myself as well. Is it true that the degree of anger you hold toward the other sex is proportional to your capacity to love them? Sounds right. Because I had a lot of love to give, it just got blocked up and twisted over time to where I didn’t express it right.

Anger has propelled me for a long time. Anger toward men. Anger toward my family. Anger toward society as a whole. Anger toward injustices. And anger toward myself. But underneath it all are the emotions that don’t propel but instead bog a person down. Like sadness and overwhelm and bewilderment. The truth is I’m deeply confused and don’t remember ever not being so. Life feels like a game that most can’t win at, so the best you can hope for is to protect yourself. The problem with that is that it gets taken too far to where you can wind up harming others through trying to take care of yourself. And that sets up a vicious cycle of indignation, sorrow, frustration, lamentation, and then back to aggression so as to keep moving on.

The only thing that ever really mattered to me deep down was my loved ones. They’ve always been and always will be my top priority. But…it’s really painful when you feel like you can’t protect them or when you keep getting shit twisted inside and wondering if you can really trust them, wondering if they’ll turn on you and give up on you, and trying to steel yourself to the possibilities. That creates chaos on an emotional and interpersonal level where one oscillates between showing vulnerability and walling off coldly in an effort to brace oneself from being jarred.

I’ve found the most confusing periods to be when I’ve come up against people who want to love me. It’s such a process of trying to let go and opening up to trust, only to be disappointed by charlatans and liars and people who deliberately pretend to be what they are not. And with each relationship that goes foul and shows itself as an illusion, I did lose faith in trusting my intuition, because it became apparent that I didn’t know who to trust or believe in.

One friend I made along the way wound up being caught in a police sting after communicating with someone posing as a 14-year-old girl online and then showing up to meet her, which landed him on the sex offender registry list. He lied to me about it, tried blaming the police for embellishing the details, blamed the Paxil he was prescribed at the time (which I have heard is a hell of a drug), tried explaining that he as a grown man in his 30s went that route because he was so lonely, expecting me of all people to be sympathetic to his plight. I cut off relations after struggling to give him the benefit of a doubt, and now still, 7 years onward, he continues to email from time to time, presumably to check if I’m lonely enough to let him back in my life. The answer remains “no.”

Another friend I made along the way initially met me as a client. He was in his mid-30s and claimed to be a virgin looking for the right woman to experience sexual exploration with. I found it all quite bizarre, but I chose to be patient and compassionate toward him, and he after several visits he chose to be intimate with me. He remained my client for 1.5 years, during which time he told me he was a school teacher. That turned out to be half of the truth. Eventually we ceased our client/provider relationship and became friends who talked on the phone for hours at times, and 4 years rolled by. I came to trust him and confided in him, and then one day he decided to confide in me that he was actually a Catholic priest. We haven’t spoken since January 2009 after our last fight over the matter.

Saw another client for several years and enjoyed his company up until we made the error of growing deeper feelings for one another. So we transitioned into personal dating, which lasted only 6 months and ended with us never speaking to or seeing one another again. Turns out we didn’t know one another at all either, and I found him to be deceptive and excessively shallow. The man and I couldn’t have come from more different worlds, but only his seemed to matter. And it didn’t help that he made the mistake of admitting to me that he would offer up my name if ever he was busted in a police prostitution sting, hoping the cops would go lighter on him since he’s a father and a businessman. Nevermind that he’d only be issued a citation and he’d been seeing escorts for over 15 years. Coward. Basically doesn’t want to deal with any potential consequences to his own actions and choices. Apparently alcohol can be a truth serum sometimes. Didn’t even tell me that in anger, just was being honest during an otherwise playful night out, and he apologized profusely later on for revealing that to me. Many other “hobbyists” looked up to that guy and considered him a man worth following and seeking advice from.

Met someone many years ago who’s now a close friend, but back then I was scared of the guy. I stereotyped him and refused to let him close to me emotionally. But he hung around and remained open and after about 5 years I finally realized he was a true-blue friend who I’d dismissed and ignored in an effort to protect myself, all the while dealing with these men who turned out to be very negative influences. I was ashamed the night it fully dawned on me, and I still am despite us doing well in the years since. Further evidence that my intuition nodule isn’t functioning properly.

Those are just some examples. I could also go into past lovers and speak of my experiences while out picking up men at bars. I could also go into my teenage sexual issues with grown men I came into contact with, all but one of whom I consider scum. I could also speak about those I’ve observed taking advantage of others. But then I’d be writing a book.

So no, I don’t take kindly to this notion that as a female I automatically have it so much easier and so much nicer and am so protected and sheltered. Met my share of idiots and assholes, exploiters and liars, con-artists and manipulators, to where I feel like I paid my dues. And it cost me plenty in not being able to discern who was worth taking up time with and devoting myself to. Hence my current conundrum where I met a good man a few years back and I hurt him, because I’m a ball of anger and frustration who struggles to see what’s right before me. He caught the brunt of my misfortunes because he was naive and sweet, and that made me terrified of losing him to where I wound up ruining everything. And now I get to live with that, as the bad person who lied to and emotionally damaged him when he didn’t deserve it.

That literally felt like my last chance at happiness and genuine connection. Because I’m so tired inside with everything, with trying to keep picking up and moving on, trying to learn to trust again, trying to figure out how to simmer down and not overreact, trying to learn to become what good people need me to be. I apparently failed at that endeavor, and now I’m feeling like I belong on that list of bad dudes who treat life as a game and who aren’t considerate enough of others’ emotions. But I never wanted to be on that list. I never wanted to be like them. Never in a million years. But here I am.

What irks me is how much support I see jerks I’ve known receiving. They have families and bunches of people they call friends. They receive status through their jobs, and outwardly they appear to be normal, decent citizens, whereas I live on feeling like a freak. How they manage to not be wracked with guilt is beyond me.

And now what? Where does one go from here? Take more chances and roll the dice? Risk hurting other people because I hurt inside? Risk trusting the wrong kind of people who wreak havoc when I’m least prepared to deal with it anymore? Can’t seem to smooth over my wounds or those I’ve inflicted on others, and my impact on my lover is all I seem able to focus on anymore.

I’m sure people will laugh at me and my story-telling, but some people are calloused assholes who aren’t worth a damn. Bunch of hyenas who think everything’s a joke. All some folks know how to do is bark, bark, bark — and all for what? What does it accomplish? Who does it help? What does it change? Makes them feel better about themselves undoubtedly, and that’s about it. Society is full of those kinds of people. And maybe we’re all that way on some level. Pretenders wanting to deflect attention of that nature away from ourselves and our own activities. But we’re all human and we all go through whatever it is we go through. Comparing pain doesn’t help or change a thing either.

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