So this is me, laying it all out in the open. I screwed up. Big. Time.
I started this blog to vent about an entirely different situation, but as the Romance stuff is what people seem to want to read, I let myself get caught up in the sharing.
Let me explain: I’ve found myself missing my gay men, whom I can tell everything and not feel like I’m being judged. Ever since I left Abilene, TX, when I was barely 21, I’ve been struggling to find the same type of friends I had there. Friends I could share anything with. The internet has taken the place of those friends.
They never judged, no matter how stupid my mistakes were, and I made quite a few back then… more than now. My friend, the Olde Man (who isn’t gay), would listen to my dilemmas and help me go through the psychology of what was wrong with me, helping me to deal with long seated issues, even though I didn’t know that was what was happening. My eccentricities were lauded and loved, and I could go dancing until the bar shut down, safe in the knowledge that I would never be dancing alone, but also never taken advantage of. I was theatrical and created all these personas because I was still trying to find myself.
And I never doubted myself, because I was so naive that I didn’t realize all the mistakes I was making.
Now, more than ten years later, I’ve become this totally different, not as fun person. I don’t go out that often anymore. I only get to express my eccentricities in the classroom, and then I have to hold some of the more colorful parts of my personality at bay. I’ve managed to isolate myself to the point where I have only a handful of friends, and even fewer that I would actually list amongst my closest friends (you know who you are)…
I do not recognize myself.
It’s been a rough journey, and it’s not entirely without reason that I have become this self-conscious, mildly neurotic person who second guesses my every move.
In high school, I didn’t date. I was busy helping take care of my brothers while Mom went back to college, and I didn’t belong there in that little town. I even at one point wore a braid in my hair with each chunk/strand/piece representing something I was looking for: 1) a place where I belonged, 2) someone who loved me for me, 3) and the truth about my heritage. I’m adopted, as some of you know, and I used to want to find my birth mother and/or father and find out where I came from. My grandmother (adoptive grandma) has given me info, but it would be nice to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, as they say.
After high school, it was one horribly unhealthy relationship after another, with huge dry spells in between.
- There was the physically abusive guy.
- The Air Force guy who was just looking to add me to his list of conquests.
- The Guy who proposed on Valentine’s Day, but had unhealthy habits of his own. He’d been bisexual and had an incestuous relationship he finally fessed up about… after he asked me to marry him.
- The Bipolar guy who’d used an amazingly crude line (that worked), but it turned out I was one of 13 other girls.
- The Really Young Guy who ended my 4 year dry spell, but who had no staying power. He fancied himself a player, and so was fond of putting me down when he could.
Then I moved to Houston. The first year, there was nothing but putting myself out there. A few dates here and there, but the damage from the previous really horrible relationships had been done.
The once super confident girl who wasn’t afraid to say/do anything was now a teacher who had to watch over her shoulder lest she accidentally do something that could get her fired. Plus, of all those guys, I’d never been in love. I didn’t know what it felt like. For each and every one of them, I’d played a role trying to figure out how to make them happy, even at the expense of my own happiness. At the expense of my self, for that matter.
Once I started realizing that people did notice me, and not in a bad way, but as in they were trying to get and keep my attention, I didn’t know how to handle it.
- There was the really hot guy at my apartment complex who had been trying to get my attention for nearly a year and successfully wooed me on my birthday. But then he got a close look at me, and started pointing out how I wasn’t in his league.
- There were a few dates after that, but my ego had taken a hit so I didn’t really let anyone in until the Boy. And as the evidence on this blog shows, that wasn’t a healthy relationship… If it ever was truly a relationship. And it messed me up for a while.
- Then there was a handful of really awkward dates and people trying to get my attention, but very few made it past the first date…
- Then the Artist. I’m still a little sore about how he acted towards the end, but when you look like that, you generally think you have a right to treat people poorly. His loss.
So now there’s Superman. And he is the first man who has treated me with absolute respect. He touches me and I melt, but he doesn’t abuse that power. Even when he has the opportunity to do so, he is able to overcome the temptation. He opens doors, and wants to hold my hand in public. Some of the best times we’ve had have been just sitting and talking (and making out like teenagers) in his car. I can talk to him for hours, and not run out of things to say, but also, surprisingly am comfortable being silent with him. That last really amazing date, there was some time of silence in the car while he was driving. Just my hand on the back of his neck, trailing my fingers up and down into his hair. No words necessary. I’ve never been that comfortable with anyone.
Yet, I get nervous. I wonder how long it will last before he gets a good look at me like the guy from my apartment, or before he decides that I want too much of his time like the Artist.
More than that, he had told me that he wasn’t sure what he was ready for, so I’ve been second guessing myself, trying not to come on too strong, and then trying to gauge his level of interest from what he writes in text/chat… where there is no tone, and I don’t think he and I have the same texting style.
I had been walking this fine line, trying to keep myself on the correct side of a line I wasn’t sure where it should be. And then questioning every move, mine and his, to try and make sure I was in my proper place so I didn’t scare him away, or get myself hurt.
My students always ask me about tattoos. I don’t have any, but one was sort of designed for me. A roommate I had once told me that when he looked at me, he saw a rose with sharp, knife-like butterfly wings in the color scheme of a yin yang, with the black oozing down while the white oozed up. This was surrounded by a swirl of bubbles in a heart-shaped jar.
The rose was a symbol of my inner beauty and “royal nature” (his words, not mine). The butterfly wings were again something beautiful, but they were sharp, so they were a layer of protection; he said they were my sharp mind and the black and white was because I walked the path of true grey. These sharp wings are further protected by a shield of bubbles, which are light, but is indicative of my self-destructive nature: the more I try to protect myself the more I expose myself to danger. The heart-shaped jar was because all people’s symbols were hidden in a jar (as he saw them), but mine was heart-shaped because of my caring nature.
If I were to get a tattoo, it would be a simpler version of that, between my shoulder blades. It will never happen, but if it were going to happen, that would be the tat, and the place.
He told me that nearly 12 years ago. I feel like if he saw me now, my bubbles would be almost depleted, or replaced with bricks. The rose is wilted, and the wings tattered. My soul is battered from the hurt I’ve gone through since he saw me last.
And it is because of that hurt that I doubt myself. I have never doubted Superman. I’ve doubted why he likes me, or why he hasn’t seen all the things wrong with me that everyone else sees. But I’ve never doubted him. Never once.
Now the trick is to not doubt myself so I can move forward. He has given me no reason to doubt, and so I have to believe that this is a good thing, and not about to fall apart.
It’s that whole power of the mind thing. Wish me luck…