Thursday, June 28, 2012
I'm obsessively staring at my training schedule. I'm scared. This week I run twenty miles for the first time this round. Woof. The peak of training gives me forty miles in a week. I am lovingly and loathingly (yes I know that isn't a word) noticing that hell week is my birthday week. I turn thirty-one and then immediately have to run forty miles in the five days following. I don't fuck around.
I'm scared and elated. I'm going to do this. It can be done by a human being therefore it is god damn going to be done by me. I will. I won't fuck this up. Perseverance is one of my more admirable attributes. Tenacious as a honey badger. I tell myself while running in my "Badass as a Honey Badger" tshirt. I'm the exact opposite of sexy.
I don't know how to be this person in the world. I don't know how to be open to people and yet not available. I have committed my life and all that I am elsewhere. How do I have time for other people? You just do. You have to. You have to be part of something bigger. At least I do. I need to have friendships. I'm having trouble keeping my panties on. I have a hard time not sitting on peoples laps. That is how I break the ice. But that's ice I don't need to be breaking ever again. Awkward.
There is this reserve developing. Now there are parts of me I will defend with a machete. Off limits. It is scary for me to think about having to say no at some point. I am nervous because I like to stand in places where asking is significantly more friendly than not asking. Most folks go out to hunt. I don't even know what I'm hunting for.
I want people who want to know my kids. Who want to part of my familial dynamic. Who want to have a real space in my life. Most people fill these roles with family. Most people think of friendships as low stakes. I will always be a low stakes relationship. I will always be who they see when people are "avoiding their family".
Part of what I have been thinking about while running lately is how it isn't my fault I don't have a family. It's not like I am less deserving than other people. But you roll the dice and you take what you get. There is no deserving in life. I am not physically capable of keeping the silence my family of origin required of me. That just can't be asked of me. Too late. I'm an evil liar, blah blah, whatever. It doesn't matter what I deserve. It matters what I can create with my hands and my mind. It matters what effect I have on the world.
When I ask former students what I taught them they say that I taught them to like themselves. That's a fuck load more than my family did for me. My family taught me that when the men and boys in my family couldn't find a willing pussy it was my job to lie down and provide.
What can I create? What can I be? What matters? If you can't be a good example be a horrible warning?
I don't know. I'm afraid to take pride in anything. I don't want to develop a weak spot where I can be attacked. I don't want to feel insecure about someone letting me know that I actually really suck at that thing I think I am good at. I am terrified to build myself up.
I'm well into training for a marathon. I don't talk about it much in person. I don't think anyone gives a shit. I think they listen with glazed eyes so I should just shut up and let them tell me what they are doing. That's all they care about anyway. Why don't I brag about this? I'm fucking doing it. I'm out running four days a week and stretching and doing strength training. I'm doing it. I'm not going to win speed records and that's ok! Doing this is a fairly big deal. Why do I minimize this to myself? Why do I act like I'm not doing this good enough? Why do I feel like if I am doing it then it must not be that hard. I'm nothing special. If I can do it then it must not be a big deal. Talking about it is rather fraught, so I don't.
It's kind of weird, this being a writer. I have been blogging fairly consistently for nearly nine years. A number of people have read basically all of it. That's a large body of knowledge about my life. But it was acquired in a room without me in it. There was no shared intimacy. This is very similar to the sexual exhibitionism. I feel like a freak because I can't talk about a period of my life without talking about how and why my sexuality went through a massive change. And for me that has meant a lot of different partners and different approaches to sex. I understand why my former therapist asked me pointed questions about multiple personalities.
If I make sure people only see me in a certain set of circumstances with a certain environment I can tailor my behavior. I can be appropriate with great effort. If I keep people out at arms length. That's kind of awkward with this whole out thing. Now I don't really know what people are thinking about when they look at me. Oh holy fucking shit. For most of my writing life I've known the dozen or so people who seriously followed my writing. We had dinner so that I could fill in the bits on the stories I won't tell in public. I tailor what I share with the world. I feel odd wondering what that actually looks like. How close is it to me?
What is more real, after all? The image that I carefully construct in writing (or rather the image that free form spews out of my brain never to be looked at or thought about again--I couldn't reread the volume I produce; there isn't enough time in the day) or how I behave? I'm never really sure. If you are judging me by how I behave then which group of friends will you judge by? I'm very different in different settings.
Compulsive hypersexuality is kind of a funny thing. If I think back I can see parallel lines between when I started smoking pot and when I stopped sleeping around. I guess I traded addictions. I am a very compulsive person. Right now I'm having a hard time with food. I'm having trouble respecting my body's "full" signal. I'm making myself hurt. And I'm gaining weight... while training for a marathon. I'm eating a lot.
I'm scared because I think I'm getting closer to one of those periods where I feel the need to experience pain. That was how it worked with Tom. That was what our relationship did for me. I stayed with Tom instead of cutting. He was a reliable source of discomfort. He provided the hogties that fueled his masturbatory life and he was willing to play a lot harder to meet my needs. I think I came up with most of our heaviest play. In no way shape or form was I a victim. But I'm very compulsive. And I have a strong disinterest in my continued physical safety. Or had, anyway.
It is weird looking over at Noah. He's biting his finger nail. He's the only person I will ever have sex with again. Well, barring early death. If he kicks the bucket I'm not staying celibate for his memory. I'm not that devoted. He wouldn't either and fair is fair. It's weird looking at him. I get to sit here and have this intense feeling of power and ownership. He is mine. I don't have to check his google calendar so I can schedule a date with my husband. I don't have to know when he is out dating and fill that time carefully in a way I can handle without crying or freaking out. He does go out and do things occasionally, but it is rare. What he is doing with his time is hanging out with his kids and his wife. I feel really special. This really amazing person wants me. He does have kind of a funny hunch back. I guess we truly are perfect for each other. I'm not quite Beauty and he's not quite the Beast. He's not all the way to Quasimodo either so he still works for me. Definitely cute enough to be the hero.
While I'm running I'm playing over the years in my head. What am I going to write about? Which relationships are the most important? How can I show the pivotal times and places and people? How am I going to set the different tones of the different parts of my life? How am I going to make it obvious in text that my behavior radically changes based on where I am standing? How do I make an image of me that is real and true?
The first book was what happened to me. A lot of it I couldn't change. I could have made different decisions, maybe. Whatever. It's over. What happened when I was an adult is different. I had agency. I made choices. I acted. I wanted. I was compulsive. I learned to manage my compulsions in a variety of ways. What did that trial and error process look like? What bridges did I burn and when and how and why in the process? I'm trying to get my head around the whole story arc and it feels so large. So complex. I feel like a freak as I carefully compare the continuing evolution of my behavior in separate, non-adjacent parts of my life. What did I learn? How did I learn it?
I don't know. I can't find an object lesson in my life. I survived. I just did. That was all I did. I can't make a lesson out of it. Maybe it is closer to a horrible warning. I feel bad about that though. I'm not. I have had a fairly decent adulthood. I want to explain why rape is just such a casual part of my life. I want to really work through all the connections between different parts of myself growing up.
Tom gave me a safe space to grow up. He hurt me when I asked nicely so that I could deal with my urge to self mutilate. After Tom I went on to drugs and a rather indecent amount of casual sex. And graduate school. And teaching. And dancing. More travel.
I've done a lot of things. Not all of it has been sex. Yet when I think of myself I see nothing of potential interest outside of sex. That says a lot about my priorities.
I am trying to figure out how to be proud of myself without sounding like I am bragging. I'm not bragging. I'm telling the truth. Sometimes the truth sounds cool and sometimes it sounds fucking embarrassing. Bah humbug. It's time to go to sleep.