My therapist asked me today why I am so much stronger than other people. Why I have been able to do things that other people can't. She said she thinks of it as integrity, but it's more than that.
I told her that I did a lot more things before I was 18 than most people do in a lifetime. And I did them in weird bursts with new people. Then I, inevitably, was chased away because people didn't like me. I was too different. Too weird. Too... something. Then I had months or years to sit around and think about what I did and what other people did and look at patterns. I was always a reader, so I knew that other people didn't have lives that looked like mine.
I don't think that most people who are abused as intensely as I was have the same kind of boom and bust cycles. I think that most people stay in one place with one pattern and they live it over and over again. I've had so many patterns I can't name them all. Yeah, yeah, I've always been hyper-sexual. But it's different now. I no longer fall into bed with people who obviously dislike me and are just interested in getting off. I have higher standards than that. My patterns have changed a lot over time.
I don't think most people are given the time and space to do that. To reinvent themselves over and over for more than twenty years. I had a lot of opportunities to try things out and decide they didn't work for me. I would never see these people again, what did it matter?
I'm stronger because the only person I have ever had to look at for a long time is me. And I can't live with myself if I behave any other way. Why in the fuck should I worry about making anyone else feel good about themselves and their shitty behavior? If it makes me feel bad, I'm the only one I have to worry about. You are your problem. That is a mixed thing. But it means that yes, I have a lot of integrity. I am up front about everything I do, everything I am. I wouldn't have it any other way. If it drives other people off... well... that's just business as usual for my life. It's not scary. I know what that means. I will always be able to find new people.
It means that when I look at Shanna and Calli I have to think really hard about what relationship I want to have with them. I'm pre-scripting my permitted behavior over the next twenty years. If I don't write the script now I will ad lib. I'm not a person who can be trusted to ad lib. They are the first people ever in my life where I feel responsible for the effect of my behavior on them. Everyone else is on their own.
This is really intense.