Hello. This is something new I am doing. It’s reminiscent of what I did with some of the 30-Day Write Challenges I was given back in the day.
It’s different in that (1) It’s going to be once a week and (2) I’m going to switch up the focus. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to do any additional switching, as far as days.
For the month of January, the Sundays will focus on confessions. More importantly, confessions about myself. Things I want to talk about. Perhaps I’ll be able to work out the kinks as I type. Maybe it’s just about transferring it out of myself.
Confession: I am lousy with convoluted situations.
Yes, I recognize there’s gray matter when it comes to relationships. Heck, my very disposition has mannerisms that frolic in contradiction.
This doesn’t stop me from being an absolute spazz when, knowing or unknowingly, I get thrust in the thick of them.
One example … I touched on many years ago with one of my challenges. Perhaps it was the Love and Loss one. I still think about this because if things had not gotten convoluted, I sincerely believe that he and I would still be friends to this day.
Let me backtrack without rewriting the whole entry.
He was one of the 1st people I was friends with when I attended college back in 1996. We were in some of the same classes and extracurricular activities. Talking to him was a very easy thing. We both liked wrestling. We both loved reading and adored creative writing. Plus, we were both quirky … do people even use that word anymore?
He was one of the most awesome guys (during that time) I had encountered without actually being my boyfriend. My actual boyfriend was a total asshole and put me through a lot of trauma.
Like Shirley Caesar naming off the bounty of the man’s garden in “Hold My Mule” … yelling, screaming, cussing, threats, assault, rape, suicide attempts … you name it.
When I finally got the strength to leave my boyfriend, he (Special H I call him) was one of the few who stuck around. You see, my crackpot of a boyfriend had scared some of my friends off. The others, not understanding that the back and forth with the boyfriend and I stemmed from fright more so than really wanting to stay, gave up and left me to fend for myself.
I don’t hold any hard feelings for the latter group. I get it. It’s difficult to understand. From the outside looking in, it’s elementary. If someone hurts you, you bail. That was my thought process too, until I was in the thick of it.
When my boyfriend raped me for the 1st time, I was in total shock. Like, how could someone who loved me do this to me? I mean, boyfriend and rape aren't supposed to go together?
Then, when the anger hit, my first instinct was to leave.
But then he did something unexpected.
I don’t know whether the gun play in front of me was a real attempt for him to kill himself or was it masterful manipulation. Whatever the case, I didn’t want to have that on my conscience.
Later, it was more of fear for what he’d do to me. It’s not as black and white, and because of my own experience, I have more empathy as well as sympathy for those who are in the situation or made their way out.
But, back to Special H.
For a while, I had stopped eating. He stopped by every day to check on me. To alert me of homework assignments. Yeah, I was missing classes too. I was in pretty bad shape ... all f'd up. With Special H’s encouragement and just being there to guide me through the ups and downs, I eventually started eating again and attending classes. From looking at how impressively I finished my freshman year, one would have never known I was in crisis … that I was so close to walking away from it all, despite being on multiple scholarships.
The daunting factor was that my ex was still attending the university, although he was two grades ahead of me. That meant I would have to endure one more year of seeing the ex and the repercussions of leaving him.
Even with the harassment and nasty rumors the ex spread about me, Special H stayed by my side through every storm.
Special H started strutting in the gray. Two hours became four hours of hanging out. Glances lingered too long. Holding hands became more common and less weird. Wrapping his arm around me became the usual. We crossed a level of intimacy that got accelerated because of my turmoil.
We should have had a conversation. Perhaps we were both too focused on the beauty of a genuine connection. All I knew was that Special H made me feel safe, smart, and beautiful, which had been eviscerated with my ex’s psychological and emotional tirades. I didn’t want that to go away, even if it meant chartering into dangerous territory.
By the time the gray took over, it was too late. Since a lot of actions mimicked what one would do in a relationship, Special H believed we were in one. The official title was missing as well as the conversation.
I do not recall the lead-in, only Special H saying that he couldn’t do this anymore. That he was in love with me. That he wanted me to be his girlfriend.
I was aware enough to know that I was an emotional mess during this part of my life. I lost the capacity to feel with the immense depth that I used to before all the abuse took its toll. I did the activities one does when in a relationship but it was all disconnected in those days.
Then I thought of Special H. A man who had such wonderful traits and how much damage I would do to him if I didn’t get myself right.
I told him that I couldn’t do it. I asked him if we could just go back to before. We wouldn’t do the spending long amounts of time together. Or the hand holding. Or all of the stuff that caused the confusion. I begged him to forget all of the talk of us being a couple.
He refused. I asked how did he know that he was in love with me anyway, since he’d never been in a relationship before.
He became angry. I’d never seen him so angry. He told me how insensitive and cruel I was being. How could I expect him to just shut off his feelings and pretend not to have them?
We yelled. We cried. No matter how much I protested, his mind was made up. When he left that night, my heart felt ripped from my chest.
I only saw him once after graduation. I apologized to him for everything. He accepted my apology, yet I still think about him. I wonder if he’s doing well with life. Did he find a love who was worthy of him? I just want him to be happy. To have children who are a direct reflection of his ambiance.
I ponder on how few possess that level of genuine kindness: to give, to love, without knowing for certain whether it would be reciprocated. It was a trait I admired most about Special H. The way he fearlessly cared and loved. It possessed a freedom I always wanted for myself.
That freedom, without all of the gray.
The gray arrived again, but it was a contrast to Special H. In this situation, I wanted the gray. Simply because I had just gotten out of an almost six year relationship. I know I wasn't ready for a mate, but I was craving physical intimacy. Unbeknownst to others, the last eighteen months of the six year relationship was a sexless one.
When our first sexual interlude happened, the whole "where do things go" question popped up. This time, there was a discussion, and I willingly entered into the friends with benefits zone. I initially thought it was going to be an every once in a while type scenario.
Maaaan, how about one subtract the "once"?
It's not that I don't like good sex, but I've never been a "gotta have it every day" type of woman. It has nothing to do with libido. It's just how I am. I like building up the hype and anticipation. Plus, I tend to do a lot in a day. Also, I'm getting to that point where sleep is producing more feel good than schlong.
Perhaps it's just me. Moving on.
The more "L" and I had sex, the more indecisive "L" became in our arrangement. Sometimes, "L" wanted to have the exclusivity chat. Other times, and a few moments in the same breath, "L" wanted to shut it down and return to friendship.
I was doing the very rare practice of going with the flow. With the "hey let's go back to just friends", I'd respond with, "Okay. Whatever you want to do". With the "hey, how about we make things official", I'd like, "I'm still healing from my last relationship. I need more time."
It got even more confusing with the amount of jealousy. You see, it wasn't okay for me to say anything to "L" about doing any type of dating, but "L" could not only date but also be sexual with these people. It wasn't that "L" was dating or even sexing others. It was just that (1) the double standard and (2) not being transparent about the sexing and whether any of it was protected.
Things all came to a head when "L" went through my phone while it was charging. I hadn't taken the phone with me. I had gone out to get some food for the two of us. When I returned, all types of questions and accusations.
I don't like being distrusted. I dislike my privacy being violated. I hate being accused of things I'm not doing. Did I mention I don't like hypocrisy?
So ... of course when I pointed out these things, "L" got all in my face. I don't do the whole "Love and Hip Hop" in your face type stuff. There's no one that has been in my life yet that I'm getting scuffed up over.
I dropped off the food, took my phone, and left.
It just goes to show even if you have "the talk", things can still go left if the parties switch up where they want things to go. See, I never wanted "L" in an exclusive relationship capacity, so it bothered me that "L" acted like we were in that space when it was supposed to be just good sex to begin with.
After my divorce in March 2017, I was open to dating. Mainly because the emotional component of my marriage died years before the dotted lines were signed. Yet I keep running into two extremes: (1) Those who cling on so tightly to their independence that to even date them is like an obstacle course and (2) Those who immediately think you're "The One" after one date. I have yet to encounter an in-between.
Currently, I'm leery of a benefits situation. To be in that situation requires a huge level of not only communication but maturity. One can't get in that boat with someone if the person is the insecure, possessive, or jealous type.
I also recognize that I'm extremely cautious of men who have a lot of female friends. I'm not saying that every man that an unequal ratio of male to female friends has had sex with at least two of them ... yet and still, it's rare to find a man that doesn't have one friend in his stable that he's had sexual history with.
So ... even if he wanted to go to that next level with me, I'd be skeptical, especially if he is unwilling to set boundaries with his female squad or putting the stop button on some who want to continue being in the gray once he's in a committed relationship.
I've been on the back of that bronco. You don't have to beat me over the head with that lesson, Universe. I get it.
At least for now, it's better for me to keep to the black and white and work on myself while doing so.
Enjoy your day everyone!