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There are days when the pain accumulates. You watch a movie with a happy ending of love and tranquillity, you feel alienated from the world, you think you are the only cause of all of your problems, because you fell for a guy for no reason and abandoned your loving husband, who one more time tried to connect to you, even if in the wrong way, and you refused, you spend a day seeing your parents fight as usual and being devoured by their paranoia and psychosis, one by one all of your friends give up on your plans, you are tired, mentally and physically, but you can’t seem to get the sleep you need, you keep torturing yourself fantasising about the other guy like a 12-year-old, you think of everything you lost and how little you have gained and how hard it is to be happy just for that tiny crumble of hope. You wish it all could simply cease to exist, but when you wake up the next day, it’s back to square one, and every day becomes harder and harder to bear. Then you start wondering when you’re going to blow up and how it’s going to look like.Being institutionalised doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

Loss and defeat. This is all that remains. You want someone so much, your want becomes need. Your needs keep being unfulfilled long enough, they become pain and deprivation. No wonder I resorted to a painless love, I wonder how I could endure this for nearly all my life.

All my life I have desperately wanted people who weren’t there, I have passionately needed their touch and never had a glimpse of it. I don’t know why I always end up wanting the guy so much, it looks like everybody out there is perfectly in control of their emotions, they can flip a switch and get over people, pretend they don’t exist and move on. Moving on for me is unrealistic. I understand how I am not supposed to see them anymore, accept that nothing is ever going to happen, try to spend as much time as possible with other people and doing things that distract me and possibly find somebody else I like. That could have been worth knowing before, for any other desperate crush of my life, but right now everything looks hard if not impossible. Understanding there’s no way it’s going to happen would be easier if he said so, but it’s not going to happen. Finding somebody else: yeah right, where? How? Doing other stuff: no time. Not seeing him: I’m seriously thinking about it but it makes me so damn angry to give up what used to be my dream – and turned into a nightmare. Spending time with my friends… they are great, but rarely have time for me, stand me up way too often and I always end up being alone and miserable.

My marriage is on the brink of perdition, if it’s not entirely lost already, but I am starting to reconsider the whole situation. When I realised I wanted something else, I was sure that the very same basis on which I had developed my relationship with my husband was wrong. I thought I did it to feel safe and sheltered from all the hurt I had to endure in life and feeling painless and cherished was what I needed to heal. Maybe it was, but maybe it wasn’t enough. I needed the kind of love that can rip your heart out but also make you touch the sky and settling for something in the middle just wasn’t the way. Now I am back in all that ocean of pain and I feel like I am not healed at all but relapsing, and the whole idea of settlement becomes so much more appealing again. I don’t know anymore if I was right in leaving the pain behind and looking for serenity or if I was right in saying I needed more.

What I see around me are people my age settling down, starting families, having children. I have had a hard time deciding if I wanted to marry him, because I never wanted kids and the whole idea of family is something bad more than good in my view. I envy people who want kids, I guess in a way they earn a lot by just giving and caring for their children and need less in life. I need so many things for myself still, and keep feeling so unbalanced at times, I associate the idea of children with constant noise and pain in the ass. It’s not that I don’t want to settle down, I guess it kind of scares me now. I had made my decision, the day you get married for love and no other reason, it’s the day you say “if my life were exactly like this for the rest of my days I would be satisfied”. Maybe I was naive, I had never thought it could end so badly, so soon and all of a sudden. I am trying to talk and listen to myself as much as I can, but some things are difficult to understand and I still can’t wager how much of this mess was created by coach and how much would have been there anyway. I see things I don’t like anymore in my marriage, I know I wish with all my heart I felt another way about him. I see negative sides all over and don’t even know if, let alone how, I may ever change them. Sure it would be much easier to get back what I had with him, but without feeling love now, is it realistic? Is it possible or once it has been torn it can never be mended again? Maybe I would have been a little less of a fundamentalist about things if I had thought I had no other way out, or maybe it helped me somehow seeing things in a more detached way. I guess I’ll never know.

This became very clear the other day while I was considering my toothbrush. I used to use any toothbrush I could find until my dentist several years ago told me to try a very soft one, as I had sensitive gums, and so I did. Then years later another dentist told me I was supposed to use a harder one, as the soft one was too soft. So I started trying harder ones but each one I tried just ended up making my gums bleed and I just wanted to go back to the soft one. So what am I supposed to do, use the soft one so I don’t bleed or keep looking for something in between that may be just perfect or may just as well not exist? And while I keep looking will I continue bleeding the whole time? Fact is, with toothbrushes you can always go back to the soft one, it’s always going to be there, but I can’t assume my husband will always be there for me, I hope he won’t, I’d need to let him go because he deserves better. And I can have no guarantee that I could find another soft toothbrush after him.

In all that, accepting that pain is caused by much more than refusal from my crush may be central, but it’s not helping me one bit right now. It’s scaring me instead. Where I might hope that since I find myself more beautiful I can attract more guys, including any possible future crush, knowing that this pain will be with each one of them because it’s mine it’s just scary, especially in a situation where I feel so broken, I scarcely have the courage to face it all alone. I need physical comfort so much right now it’s killing me and I don’t know how long I am going to be able to cope with it instead of running to the only arms I know are open for me right now. I hate it, I hate myself for even just thinking about it, but it’s becoming too much. It all started out with such a positive rush, I felt great. Feeling like that I would be much surer about my path and my choices, but like this? Like this, I don’t think anybody could even like me. When I feel so desperate, hopeless and frustrated I feel like a broken toy people don’t want to play with. Flirting, playing with guys, dating guys it only works as long as you are at your best, or you are very good at hiding and repressing the blues. Not only I can’t do it, I don’t think I want to. I hate faking it, I can’t fake it and I realise would hate myself for it as well. I would love to let myself go in coach’s arms and just cry like there’s no tomorrow. Maybe guys like to be protective of girls but there is only so much damsel-in-distress they can take, then they justifiably run. I wish there was a blissful blue pill that could make all of this go away. I wish there was also a magic yellow pill that could turn back time, three months, one year, six years I don’t know when, but some of my latest life I’d be glad to do without.

I feel like I have lost everything. I have lost love and that’s painful enough, I have lost hope of changing, I have lost the love for my sport, I am left with nothing I can hold on to. I just feel so alone. Marriage may be about being together through good or bad weather but I can’t help feeling like I am exploiting him. It feels like that’s what I’ve been doing all along, keeping it up is cruel and selfish and indeed pointless.

Maybe it all was to be expected. I’ve always braced myself for bad things to come, I always expected things to go badly because I wanted to avoid some of the hurt of disappointment. I don’t think it ever really worked, either because I was pretending pessimism while I still hoped or because trying to convince myself that it would go wrong hurt me more than the disappointment itself. In my positive outbreak, I was convinced I wanted to abandon this system, I wanted to throw myself body and soul into things regardless of the pain it could bring, but in the end here I am. Hurting, anyway, feeling defeated, hopeless and pessimistic. I should break out of this loop, but I feel like it engulfed me. Maybe the pill I need is neither blue, red or yellow but it only needs a prescription. I hate the idea of going to camp feeling like this, maybe it will go away because seeing him will bring more excitement than spending a whole day dodging bullets from my parents and not getting to spend time with neither my friends nor coach as I had planned yesterday.

I wonder if there is a middle in things, I wish I knew what it takes for me to be happy, I wish I knew what is the best course of my actions to succeed in being free from self-induced pain. More therapy, more love, less love, more freedom, more attachment? I read a few of the questions you’re advised to ask yourself before considering a divorce. One of them was “Can you cope with loneliness?”. If you say yes, great, kudos. But if you say no, what is it you are expected to do? Stay with your spouse forever just because you’re scared, all the while allowing yourself to prevent him and yourself from having a meaningful relationship? I am torn between the two, I admit it, and I know just so many other people who decided exactly on that. But it makes me feel even worse.

It would be easier if we weren’t married perhaps, as we wouldn’t be forced to act on the promises we made. But cowardly I see that at least this excuse buys me time to ponder.

Alpha, Omega and everyone in between

As the day of the camp gets nearer, all of my energy is fading away. I feel so damn tired. I believe physical weariness is partly responsible, but it’s my brain that needs a holiday more than my body. I wish I had a switch, a full blown switchboard, where every thought can be turned on and off as I see fit. I haven’t learnt to do this yet, being able to focus on anything else when there is a precise thought running around in loops in my head. When I was younger I couldn’t study, now I can’t work, while all I would need for my sanity’s sake would be to just let go, not think about it and concentrate on something else, the more practical the better. I just can’t shut it out instead, it keeps haunting me, it feeds on my energy and my tenacity, I succumb to it. Unless I learn how to accomplish this, it will start pushing me away from anything good still left.

I am starting to be weary of training as well. It used to be my refuge, the one sacred ground where I could free my mind from thought and let my muscles dominate time. While this is still true up to a certain point for any time I go practicing alone, I can’t stand training anymore. It just became so heavy, so massive, it’s not about the sport anymore. Concentration is key and a thousand voices keep racing in my head while I try to do things. I can’t do it with all of this noise, worrying about the way others see me, worrying about other eyes on him, worrying about his eyes on me, worrying about my disability to concentrate in order to succeed. I am going to be there on Friday to the social dinner and I am going to camp, but right now, I wish I didn’t. I just find it so useless. The day I called him, it must have been the weather, the talk I had with my husband, the fact that everything seemed ridiculously pointless, but I had the absolute certainty while talking to him that I just invented everything in my own head. There was nothing there, nothing at all. When I got home from training last night I couldn’t bear the idea of being exactly in the same spot in a week with nothing left to hope for. That is how it’s going to pan out, nothing happening, not a hint and a whole lot of time, energy and money down the drain. The top of the irony would actually be if he hooked up with someone else while at camp. I realised this just yesterday, never thought of it before. And again I heard the voice of the 17-year-old me saying “did you seriously think someone like him may like someone like you, given a choice?”.

There is just no way out of this, it doesn’t matter how much time I wasted ever since I became a teenager, this part of me will never change. I will always want the guy much more than I reasonably should, I will always be the one battered and left behind with no boyfriend and a broken heart, the one with the systematic bad luck in love. Grabbing the guy I want will never be my thing, no matter how much Cosmopolitan I read, how much make up I use, how high my heels and how short my skirts are. The only time this ever happened was at Campus, with K. I wanted him before he had even started looking at me and I felt like I had won him over in the end. I may have fallen for other people, but it was always in response to their approach or just a casual encounter. It may be absolutely futile to reason about who started what, if we got together in the end, but it matters to me. I need it not to be an exception. Maybe this does have to do with my confidence more than I care to admit, but so be it. I just need to prove my theory through a practical experiment, theory is not enough.

These are the moments I fear, because I feel the lure of staying exactly where I am, changing nothing and swallowing all as is. I repel at the idea of staying with my husband because of this, because of desperation, distrust and lack of drive. Of course it would be the most convenient way out, but it feels so wrong. It feels like the reason we got together in the first place.

While listening to Muse yesterday I found out that at the end of the CD three additional tracks had been burnt. It was a gift from Second Fred. One of them was “You make me feel brand new” from Simply Red. I remember we talked about this one song one night, I just didn’t recall it was in this CD or never really noticed. it reminded me of him at first, of how nice he always was with me, although he had never been in love with me. But then I just thought of Mick’s words, how beautiful they are and how I am supposed to feel that way about my husband but I just don’t. I can’t. I feel like a monster when I think of all the feelings I have lost, I wonder if getting them back would be good or bad.Would it help me get back on track or would it just push me to guilt?

One question lingers in my head: why do I want to start anew with somebody else instead of transforming the relationship I have had for the past 6 years? I still can’t find a proper answer. I feel the need to break free and I don’t know why, I don’t know why I feel so insulated from the past, why it feels like a gap in history. I can’t understand if it is a step forward or backward. Was I neglecting my past while I was with him or am I reconnecting to the past now to make sense of the part of my life I shared with him? I can’t feel the good of it anymore. I remember it as if through a photograph, not being there, only seeing it from the outside. Somehow I don’t want to reconnect with that part of my life, but I don’t see the reason why. I think I may be afraid of losing what I just gained, more confidence, albeit intermittent, femininity, optimism, carelessness, trust in others.

I hurt when I hear him say he doesn’t want to talk about this with anyone, that he doesn’t really have friends, because it’s like listening to the old me. He probably added to my basic distrust of people, nourished it instead of helping me overcome it, and we just shut the world outside, thinking that we were enough for each other. I don’t believe in this anymore. I am trying to abandon my constant demand for perfection, or maybe I have already left it behind and don’t even remember it (unless I’m training) that shows in every time I mess up and don’t get mad or frustrated over it. He has always been the one I had to hide my imperfection from. This may be a big influence from the circumstances, but I feel like he demands perfection but never teaches anything.When he does, it’s just to show the world how good he is compared to them.

I was reading another stupid forum about marital problems and someone raised the problem of alpha and beta males. I had the impression, and  wrongly told him so, that he needed to grow a pair, since he always looks subdued and puppyish. So I started thinking maybe I needed more of an Alpha male. I am actually starting to believe the exact opposite. He is dedicated to the job, thinks he is better than the vast majority of the world’s population, can’t stand being told what to do, never talks about himself and his emotions. He may be subdued with me, which by the way I can’t stand lately, but other than that I don’t see much beta. Maybe I need only an Omega man: someone who is himself and creates the perfect equilibrium between different qualities that make him unique and perfect for me.

Sybil says a one night stand with coach is exactly what I need. I strongly opposed to this statement. Coming to think of it, giving the wrong reasons. I just argued that I am not into one-nighters, that I don’t really enjoy it and that since he is my coach it may complicate things at the arena. It’s not because I don’t like one night stands though. I can’t say I do, or rather, I can’t say I particularly enjoyed the ones I had and that is true, but I see the point damn well. Indeed, I think she is right up to a certain point. A proper one night stand would do me so much good. I wouldn’t know how to make it happen, that is with zero chances of being discovered, but I would really like that. First off, I am so much more aware of myself, my body and my sexuality compared to the last time I had one. Second, oh the joy of the chase! And third, no strings attached: if I realise I made a bloody mistake, no explanation is needed. Sex with feelings is indisputably better, but also more complicated. So yeah, if I could pick up some nice 25-year-old during a Campus party I’d be more than happy to explore.

But coach? No.

Because he’s the one who is supposed to bring me to my competitions? Yes… and no. People out there may not understand this, but he’s not some personal trainer at a gym, he’s much more. You can change a personal trainer, you can find a new gym, you don’t need to interact any further. I can’t do that. There’s no other course, no other training facility, no other coach. I am stuck there with him. If I had never met him, my sport would be a fundamental part of my life anyway, one I’m completely dedicated to, and to be honest, I don’t like the complications this has brought along. I would prefer to be free from these thoughts when I train. So I wouldn’t want to taint this with random sex, I’m already on thin ice, I don’t need any other mess.

That was the yes part and then there is the no part. All of the above makes sense only because I care about him more than I tend to admit. I wouldn’t have a one night stand with him – even though the Seven know I would want nothing more than to have sex with him – because I like him too much. It’s risky, I may get hurt. Some people you like, some other you are interested in, but simple sex would be an ok outcome too. In this case, not really. My fault probably, for letting it go this far, but I officially have a crush, you don’t do that with your crush. If nothing else, because you might want to do it again and they may not, since you gave them the wrong idea. Would I have wanted Andrew to be my first time? With all my heart. Would I have had random sex with him? Not in a million years. I was half my current age, but that’s not the point. Whether I like it or not, there is too much at stake. The risk here is turning up at training every week and being ignored when I’m even more head over feet for the guy. No, not gonna happen. And in the remote case something may happen at camp, I’m going to have to fight the urge, because I know too damn well how much I would like to give in.

Secondly, I’m actually asking myself to what extent it is true that it’s only physical. I don’t know much about him, but in the end I do know him some. I have spent two nights a week with him for the past two months so I have read him in some ways. Just an instance: I have lost the best part of my heart desperately in love with Andrew back in high school and he never even spoke to me. Like really, EVER. Now, that guy I really didn’t know, plus I was constantly ignored by him, maybe with no malice, but the result was the same. Coach is nice to me, most probably with no malice either, as he is nice to everybody, but that is a part of him I know and see every day. He is nice to me, he jokes with me, he teaches me and wants me to learn. That’s his job, true, but one he probably doesn’t need but wants to do, one he enjoys. That for instance is miles more than I’ve ever known about Andrew. So yeah, the physical part predominates and my very own physical response is proof enough of that, but it’s not all. Truth is I already like him for something more than his ass – as perfect as it is. Getting to know him better is… if not redundant, just a confirmation.

Twelve years ago, on November 22nd, my life in the city officially started. It was the day I bought my very first snowboard and I swore to myself I would use it as often as possible. That’s when I found out about the snowboard club where I met Tony. I spent several years with them, I actually got pretty good. I basically stopped when I moved to the Campus. It was the closest I had ever lived to the club, but I used to go to bed at 2.00 am every night, waking up at 4.00 am to drive to the mountains was out of the question.

Campus was a strange place. It was a non-place in a different dimension, rules of the outer world didn’t apply, the outer world didn’t even enter the doors there. We were all living in a bubble, untouched by time and reality. It was the first place where I had to put myself out there and be someone, become a character and impose my ways. It was hard. At that age, I wasn’t able to present myself to a society. The snowboard club had helped me some, but I kept to myself a lot, tended to be with that one girlfriend I knew a little more and watch in silence what the others did. I was quiet. At Campus, I had to be bold. First of all, I had to prove I was worth it. Everybody can join a snowboard club, when when you are chosen to enter the Campus, you just have to prove you defeated competition. Also, there was no girlfriend-shield there. A lot of people knew each other already, others didn’t but looked perfectly at ease in a new environment. I was left alone struggling to be accepted by the pack, so all I could do was roar. I guess that partly had something to do with my balls growing even bigger and scarier. The fact that all in all I never had any close female friend while I was living there probably didn’t help.

When I think about my famous and loud walk down Elm Grove, what comes to mind is my friend Lucy in a clothes shop urging me to try those wonderful sandals on. She pushed me towards femininity every day. She was just so much wiser than me in that, she was already a woman, even though we were the same age, she knew the secrets and tried to teach me. I am so thankful for that, I’m just sorry it didn’t last. So I guess that’s what I missed most, some sort of guide to chaperon me to womanness.

That’s where the whole engineer syndrome started. I did spend most of my time around engineers and I guess I just wanted to conform to their standard. I know it’s stupid, but hey I did what I could, I felt more like a man than a woman back then. Being with my husband didn’t help much either in this sense.

Now I am out of my chrysalis and I have this insane idea that the sport helped me out of it. No one can deny that it’s a very feminine sport in itself and probably my need to explore it again as an adult did have something to do with my eagerness to become a woman. Whether I like it or not, I will always remember this time and place, this arena and coach as the environment for my transformation. I have no idea how long I’ll keep practicing or if I’ll make new friends there who I’ll keep seeing for years or if I’ll drop out and move to the other side of the world in 6 months, but this will stay with me. My first competition will be proof of the woman I’ve become.

What do these three places have in common? Location, location, location. It’s the south.
Three of the fundamental milestones in my 12 year old residence in this town are clustered within a scarce 3 miles radius over more than 70 square miles of surface. There must be something in the air around here. Funny how in the past 4 years I’ve been living and working in the Northern part of town only…

I’m tired. I’ve gone to bed way later than usual the whole week. I guess my life and my routine are really changed and, as good as that might be, I’m still having a hard time adjusting. I wonder how coach does it. He’s right when he says it’s the only way not to get bored, but my body is officially telling me to fuck off and get some sleep already.

I’m tired of waiting as well. I don’t see the point. Wait for the right moment, wait for your chance, wait for camp. I honestly wish I weren’t going right now, and I don’t even know if I’ll go to the social dinner. It’s one of those days and the thought of going out with the sisters tonight doesn’t offer any significant hope. It must be because my plan to drop at the arena was a gigantic flop, must be because I’m tired of waiting all week and ending up with nothing on every Monday night. I’m tired of checking my mail every 10 seconds, I’m tired of peeking at his online profiles to know what’s up, I’m tired of not making any progress.

I wish I could change this, I wish I could meet somebody else, but this wonderful capital of Opportunity seems to be populated only by women, old people and illegal immigrants. I’ve been dying to find someone to flirt with: on the tube, on the streets, in clubs… nothing. The other day I went to a Campus reunion with my husband (yes, I had to) and all I could think of was how many hot guys were there. Forgiving a little age difference, that would be the perfect battle field, it’s always been. But there you go again: even if I wanted to get engaged in Alumni activity and everything, there’s not a damn thing I could do without my husband knowing it.

I feel caged and I hate that, I feel I have 100-pounds-shackles on my fingers. And yet the idea of liberating myself scares the shit out of me, because I wonder what it is I am going to find out there. I am willing to see the good in people and it’s probably not even there, I am desperate to meet new men but the best ones are most definitely taken. How many eligible guys are really out there for me? I need the top of the top, I don’t settle for leftovers, they are already very few, how many haven’t been taken yet? My timing is all wrong, as per usual. I have conducted the crazy experiment to sign up for a dating site: man, the people there… no way. I don’t have a pack of single friends I can go out and hunt with, I don’t have other resources to meet people. This is all I have: work and training.

My friends have no friends to hook me up with and I couldn’t anyway unless I resolved to blatantly lie and say I am single. No one would want to go out with me otherwise, if not for some easy sex. And I fear the moment, if it will ever come to pass, when I’ll have to hear the proverbial “but” from coach as well. I may be wrong but I don’t think he’s gay, not really, and I do believe there’s a but somewhere: but you’re married, but I’m your coach, but I’m not really interested in dating anyone right now.

I wish I could sleep more and I wish I didn’t fall asleep thinking about camp every damn night. I wish I didn’t feel this way and I wish that feeling beautiful was a little more productive than this. I wish my life had some more action and a little less overthinking and I wish I were doing more and wishing less.

Anxiety is a bitch. I hoped so much this wouldn’t happen again. I had a sense it would, especially after the last few days, but I just hoped… it’s the last thing I need. It’s understandable, it’s normal, but it only adds stress where there’s no room for more. I guess life looks like the chart of a wave, it has its ups and downs and when the rhythm changes, it is to be expected that it’s going to take some major plunges after a rise. It’s just all the more confusing. It’s already hard enough to deal with all this uncertainty, with the doubts of separation, the pressure of a new relationship to develop, the adjustments to change, you could really do without the need to cry 24/7 and the loss of control. I suppose, knowing it can happen and accepting it for what it is can make it easier to deal with, but it feels like such a wrong timing.

I don’t need my subconscious to scream in my ears that there is a problem, I can ear it loud and clear, I don’t need the subliminal message of fear, I am already terrified. May it be just a wake up call to consider I’m making a mistake? That’s what I was trying to find out all along. It was easier in the “up” part of change. I felt just so confident and strong, as I had never been before. Maybe too much, I was almost scared, but it gave me all I needed to see things clearly and consider my options without fear. In the “down” part, I’m afraid I won’t be lucid enough to do exactly that.

I know so well that this crisis could be an opportunity but the fact that husband sees it too, that he too says “better now than in 10 years” puts me under pressure. I understand, I agree but it puts a sort of rush into it. Other people in other relationships experience these phases too but most of the time they tend to settle things and try to work it out. Sometimes, I suppose it can work out, but often history repeats itself and it just comes around again. Other times they only pretend to fix it because acting upon it accordingly is too hard, too uncomfortable, too scary. We both reckon it is the wrong way to approach it, but this condition is not easy.

The only thing I can do to ease the anxiety right now is thinking there is no rush, that I can take all the time I want to get to the end of it and really understand, but the truth is, it’s a deformying mirror. Unbalance can make you want stability so much, you are ready to second guess all of your choices and come to terms with your convictions. If this state lingers how will I ever be sure to make the right choice because I want it instead of because it’s what I need? I know it can happen, I realise it’s already happening and thinking I need to avoid it only puts more stress on me. It’s a bloody vicious circle.

These are the situations where you hate what you become, because your need tramps your reason and you end up being dragged towards the same people you are trying to leave behind and outgrow. It happened 11 years ago with my parents and it’s happening now with him. Because after all they are the only people you can share something this “shameful” with. I guess I am lucky that I am still in therapy and I am not so reluctant at the idea of getting help from chemistry right now, since I really need all the help I can get.

Want and Need. I wonder if there is really so much difference. It’s exactly what I wanted to break free from. I wanted to be free to decide what I want instead of falling prey of need. Now the boundary looks much blurrier. When you want something, you always need it up to a certain point, so I guess the two coincide. What I really want to leave behind is the need that I don’t understand, I guess, the need that is driven by the subconscious, not by want alone. After all, I guess it’s just the control freak that is in me that wants to eliminate this aspect. Maybe just understanding the real reason why I want or need something may help though.

While speaking to Shalma the other day I noticed how divided she is, between want and need. She perfectly knows what she wants and what she needs, she knows the two do not correspond and in the end, so far she has chosen need. I’m not judging, I’m not saying it’s wrong or weak, it’s ok as long as you are still deciding I guess and she is still working on that. I just don’t think it’s the right way to be happy, not when you’re still young, when you still have dreams. I understand very well the value of stability and certainty, I appreciate it and I think it’s a wonderful way to fare, when you’re ready, but it shouldn’t be a way to hide yourself. It should be a goal.

This is the part I appreciated the most about the relationship with my husband, how secure, calm and protected I felt with him. It’s wonderful, because it gives you so much strength to cope with anything the world may throw at you, and it did help me a lot. I just wonder how much of that need for certainty and calm was driven by fear of the rest of the world outside. I remember, way before this reshuffle, how I used to think that he was the only person with whom love didn’t hurt, and I loved that. But given where my heart is right now, as adult, self-loving and reasonable as it sounded, I wonder if something was missing. When love hurts too much it’s dysfunctional, love should be good not bad, but when it never hurts maybe it’s just too shallow.

Now I need love to feel deep and strong, I need it to touch my heart and soul.

I also remember how I was tired and hurt by all of the other relationships I had ever had, where I always ended up hurt; I didn’t want to go back to that pain again and I thought that I would never find calm again in the arms of somebody else anyway. I used to look at the whole dating thing as a curse. It’s true it was a curse for me, but it was so bad because there were needs I tried to fulfil with any guy out there that had nothing to do with dating. Realising this now is what pushes me towards trying again. I may not be ready yet, just because I see something is flawed doesn’t mean I know how to fix it. But it’s a big step towards the right path at least.

I think I know I am not that ready looking at how this thing with coach is evolving. I mix up with love and infatuation a whole set of different emotions that have scarcely anything to do with it. I have always done that and I still do, only now, even though I still can’t protect myself from it, I see it clearly and separate the two. It happened to me Monday night and yesterday as well. The triggering event was basically just the impression that he wasn’t really interested in me, but the reason why I suffered had nothing (or very little) to do with that. It had to do with defeat, with insecurity and self-deprecation. I don’t think I have ever seen this distinction so clearly before, and I understand how I have always perceived these kinds of feeling as loss of love more that what they are.

That is why I have always suffered so much for love. In reality, it has never been about love, if not for love of myself – and lack thereof. I suppose I haven’t been able to work on this aspect in therapy because it has never been there before. With my husband present and stable in my life, it’s been years ever since I felt like this and it just never came up. In some way, I guess I should be happy it did, so I can finally address this too, and I guess my therapist would pat my shoulder and say I should be proud of myself for actually understanding this alone. Well, I am proud of myself anyway. I guess I am opening up like a corolla in the morning sun, to others as well as to myself. I feel like I am learning to navigate myself, as difficult as it may ever be sailing these seas. And this need/want for deeper love is just me issuing visas to anyone who may like to venture in those open waters.

“Have a heart and try me, ’cause without love I won’t survive” B.Boyd
I had a sense I picked the wrong track for my programme…

So anxiety is back, my dear old companion. It comes and goes, as always, at times it looks like I can partly control it, as if I could talk myself out of it leaning on that tiny confidence I had just found under all the messy stuff. At times, talking to myself and looking in is enough to keep it at bay, at times letting it flow and accepting it, listening to what it has to say and answering back may be a better strategy. And it’s scary because it will also make everything much more difficult at the arena as well. And now “camp” evokes the idea of “concentration” more than “fun”. Going away for two days with all the what-do-I-do/what-will-he-do delirium is literally delirious. I wish I knew who’s coming, to count my alliances and blessings. Who knows, maybe some other interesting guy is going to be there… Or maybe the gay percentage is just doomed to increase.

Are gays just great for girls or what? They compliment you all the time, they laugh at your jokes, they call you dear, they invite you to the very special private lessons on Wednesays with coach… Lovely!

No, seriously, I guess I should bring my PC at camp. I am not going to have that much time to think about anything else but training, considering the schedule, which is very good, but there is going to be (almost) alone time and I’m afraid I am going to need to take A LOT out of my system, whether something happens or not. I really wish I had no expectations, but honestly how can I not? It would be so good to just go and know he is not going to be there. No, not exactly, I’ve been waiting for this a long time, but let’s just say I wish I had a similar weekend somewhere else, without him involved, just the rest of the people and I.
I suddenly know precisely what I would need: a weekend on the mountains with a snowboard club.

Some nights I feel stuck. I have worked in these years to change who I am, how I approach life, my relationships with others, everything. Now I thought I was finally reaping, feeling like a different person, a newly blossomed flower, with the best yet to come. I feel different, act different, am different. But some nights the past is clingy and you just can’t shake it from yourself. It’s the nights when no matter how hard you try you don’t see any difference, the nights you start with hope and silly grins only to end up in tears again, it’s the nights when you feel so sure of yourself that you just don’t take loss into account. Those nights it seems like you haven’t moved of a single foot from where you used to stand, the struggle to break the old skin and leave it behind feels like a mockery and you consider yourself but a fool for only trying and believing.

The power of change is so strong that you end up knocked down by the wall of immutability that crosses you. You try to get back up, but efforts never seem to be enough. You have changed yourself, you have changed your life but it was all for naught. You invariably end up getting tangled up in the same dynamics, you can’t step out of the loop, you just succumb to the ways of the past. You start wondering if it’s worth it, if it wouldn’t be better to just leave it alone, face today’s reality and accept it as the best you can ever get and be content. Because really there is no way your life is ever going to be better and you will never be able to steer away from this routine. No matter how much you want it, you are who you are and change is a chimera. Then you get angry, because you have spent all your damn life trying to just be content with what you have and not fighting for what you want and you’re so damn tired of wasting time. Truth is, you don’t even know how to fight and you will never know why all the battles you lost were lost. You are trying as hard as you can but it is never enough, you feel in chains, and in the end it seems like nothing at all.

It doesn’t matter how good change is if you can’t apply it to that one variable that matters most. It is always the most important thing that’s missing and the sole idea of having to put up with all future defeats makes you want to cry and forget. Trying and failing is acceptable but seeing no result whatever the effort is just a bad joke.  

You know how I kept saying I had to check out the arena on a Wednesday night? Turns out it was spot on. But I never did. It seems I just can’t get anything right lately. Or maybe I did.

October was bad. November is worse. Any thoughts on December?

Birds have a funny way of accompanying me lately. I went to my hometown to visit my parents last weekend, mainly because of a bird: my mother’s famous roasted pheasant. I talked to my husband about our situation in the park in front of my parents’ house and all the while birds kept flying over our heads, black spots against the cast-iron grey November sky.

Language is weird too: the same word in different languages can have opposite meanings. While in English, girls are referred to as birds, in Italian I’ve been told that bird is another word for cock, which by the by, is a bird too, and in German there’s a verb that has to do with birds that means fucking. So while in English, my constant talking about birds is a sort of oxymoron, considering the main topic here are men, in other instances it would be just a very vulgar metaphor.

The weekend was poignant. As I increasingly need to spend time with my people, those who would stick with me after a separation, I particularly enjoyed my Saturday night. It’s as if the energy I derived from love now lost needs to be redirected towards other receivers, and since they cannot be partners, that leaves friends and I more than welcome the chance to get close to them again or anew. I was particularly positively impressed by Shalma’s willingness to share her experience with me. I hadn’t seen or heard from her in over 10 years, we did go out sometimes when we were in school but we never got that close. Back then she was really very different from me; even though she is a couple of years younger than me, I felt as if she was ages older, for all the “experience” she had and the way she managed things with boys – that is she did manage some, I didn’t.

I felt profoundly grateful that she wanted to share all her experience with me, I understand how she may have wanted to confront herself and maybe relieve herself with someone in her situation, but I was also very happy to be freely given input. I need emotional interactions of any kind really, anything that may nourish my soul. Yet I was dumbfounded to find her in such a similar situation now. It was so refreshing to hear that I’m not the only one. I can’t say my friends didn’t support me 100% in this, they all have, but knowing I’m not the only bitch having such thoughts feels humanising after all. I may be part of the tiniest percentage of people who actually acts upon them, but that’s just because of my big, heavy, cumbersome balls. I’m pretty sure they are going to crush me sooner or later.

And then Sunday, after I talked to my husband, it started hurting. For the first time, it wasn’t just stress, snorting and mental mumbling, it hurt. I guess I should be happy, it might prove that I’m not a cylon after all, but I’m scared that sorrow may be walking hand in hand with doubts. Of the wrong kind. The point here is that I know that I’m not in love anymore and any other reason not to separate is a surrogate. All the what-am-I-doing frenzy is about fear more than anything; loss is scary, not the lack of what is being lost. I felt bad as I was driving to training, I felt overwhelmed and couldn’t be bothered with the additional stress of playing the game with coach. I just needed a shoulder to cry on, or even just shedding some tears alone would have released some pressure but social events as per usual don’t allow any of that. The next thing I know though is that I’m cheerful and smiling while running around in the arena. It’s amazing how easy it is just to forget the long awaited hurt.

I guess it is all a rebound after all. The guy you focus on in order to forget the void left by the loss of love. I wonder just how careful I should be with this. How much should I worry about consequences at the arena, how much should I worry about not hurting him? I know it’s a litte premature, but I feel some sort of anticipation in the air about this upcoming heaven-sent camp. And when I say in the air, I mean I kind of sense some from him as well. Just a hunch, but still. The fact that I found out it’s not going to be the whole club but little  more than a dozen people puts the whole event in another perspective. I guess I am going to have to share a room with some other girl, just to avoid any temptation. I’m gonna need so much help.

It hit me now. Just now. Yesterday it was just a second and then events dragged me away. It was something Amber said: there is going to be a mock competition in January at our arena.

Are you out of your fucking mind?!

In my city? In front of all the club? IN A MONTH? Forget everything else, forget coach, forget friends, forget flirting, forget husband, I am going to have to train every fucking day. And maybe just maybe, posters and notices are going to pop out, I don’t even want to go there. It is just so clichè but sometimes you really have to be careful what you wish for. I have spent the last 3 years of my life working toward the aim of a competition and now that I actually see one coming I am down right shitting my pants. I have no idea whatsoever what I put myself into. In the words of Dr. Leonard Hofstadter, I am “attached to another plane, wrapped helically around an axis”.

Everybody, welcome Faith aboard.

The precedents notwithstanding, I decided to entrust this address to her.

Please girl, be wiser this time around!

I was reading an article by some womanizer dispensing advices to other boys on how not to fall for a girl too soon and other self-protective measures. As stupid as the whole thing may sound, one point did hit me: he was saying that if you want to establish a deeper connection with a girl you’re supposed to let your inner self show, but cautioned not to do this unless they are absolutely crazy about the girl. Otherwise she would just fall desperately in love while he isn’t really that interested.

Fact is, that is exactly what I was planning to do. It’s the whole idea behind this dating frenzy. I want to play “the game”, because I finally feel eligible and understand the rules, but my only other weapon is being who I am, including this new overflow of feelings that I am experiencing. This is not me wanting to bed half the male population of the city. I’m not looking to collect jars of hearts either though, as I honestly think and hope it takes something more to fall in love that desperately. It’s not just being fascinated by someone, is what you share with them, what they can give you and how they really make you feel.

I saw a photograph today: “In Love” from the new Gap campaign “Love comes in every shade”. It burnt right through me. It represents everything I’d want right now. There is a magic in the way they hold each other, their closeness, the strength and protectiveness of his arms through her hair, the tenderness of her surrendering to him, the calmness of their expression, the perfect duality of their bodies, the way they complete one another as opposites, the passion of two souls trying to merge.

I am not done searching. With different means, with a different awareness, with a different confidence, but I’m still searching for love. I don’t need it to fill a hole inside of me, I don’t need it to make me safe, to feel secure, protected and shielded, I don’t need it to feel beautiful and strong. I need it to share my life, I need a mate.

I am willing to let myself shine through, to expose all that I am because I believe everything I have inside is good and need to find the perfect person to share it with. Not only in the search for a mate, with every person who comes into my life, family, friends. I am ready to present myself to the world like a debutante, it’s as if I had blossomed now for the first time. I do believe that only exposing this side of me I’ll be able to access the same room inside everyone else I want to explore. It’s as if I had lost fear of people and could see their good sides again. I want to taste their nectar kissing them with my long bill.

It sounds like the worst of ideas, since it would leave me defenseless and vulnerable, but I’ve been closed shut all my life and still haven’t found what I need. I have means, knowledge and experience now, I have myself, now I’m ready to open up again. As hard as this road is.