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I was reading a post where a girl or woman was complaining about the difficulties of founding a serious or long-term relationship in our infamous city. It looks like every guy has some kind of impediment to starting a healthy relationship: he is either already engaged, or scared by commitment, or disappears out of no reason after a few dates and so on.

I wouldn’t know. Technically, I’ve been dating or available for a few months only and haven’t had that many experiences. I assume from a general perspective this could well be true and not one of those cases where the girl unconsciously pushes all the guys away – as I do.

But I was wondering… This is in the end a pretty traditional city. It may be a little more open-minded than most, but our culture as a state in general is rather tradition-bound. Tradition and culture here say that if you are a girl you are supposed to be courted. You should let the men do all the work, let them grovel so (and that’s my personal view) they feel much more valuable and valiant because they won the tournament: they won the girl.

In all that, you are supposed to never show any interest. Rise above it and leave them aching. You are supposed to play a game where if they want to get in your pants, they have to sweat it. Yet again, what matters is your virtue.

This is as fine a game as any. I understand its meaning and some of the benefits, although… I also supposed it is strictly connected to a rather chauvinist approach. To men, what it looks like is that the woman has no say in the whole process, it is only thanks to the skills of the man that the prize – the girl – was finally won. The woman has no say in this, she surrenders.

This is the game that has been played since society evolved. Problem: whether we like it or not, feminism has changed the rules in society. Women are not defenseless anymore, they are no longer just damsels in distress and the role of men has been shrunk, with an insane amount of psychological weaknesses for the poor fellows.

Now my question is this: if the general rules in male/female relationships have changed, how has this change affected the rules of attraction and flirting? I know some guys who are mainly interested in the hunt, and they are also the ones who deep inside still don’t think that a woman should do much more than stay at home and raise children. Or if nothing that fundamentalist, at least they still view women as damsels in distress up to some point.

I would like to know whether all of these lads who run away in front of the chance of a serious relationship actually run because they are peter-pans, or pricks, or playboys and how many run because they are too insecure to take a step further, if they were rendered insecure by all the power women have gained and flaunt in front of everyone, at least in this field.

What would happen if us damsels were ready to show that we actually are interested in them? Would they lose interest, as we have been always told, or would it help them to man up a little?

There is good pain and bad pain.

I am reading this book, trying to do something good for myself, which cleverly divides paranoias into two separate categories: beneficial paranoias and harmful paranoias. Harmful paranoias are obviously the ones that in the end bring along negative feelings and a general malaise. Beneficial paranoias are the ones that ultimately save you or make you feel better than you would feel if you didn’t linger on them.

I suppose the same can be said for pain and sorrow. Pain cannot be good, but it can be beneficial. Grieving is the necessary process which takes you through the pain of a mournful event until you are reborn, with new strength and new wisdom. Grieving involves pain, it is pain, pure and simple.

What I mean when I say that maybe this I’m experiencing is nothing more than a broken heart, is exactly this. Maybe this pain is not the evil sorrow brought by mental or personal issues, or at least not entirely, maybe it is the beneficial pain of a grieving which not only shouldn’t be avoided, but is necessary and will be healed only by patience and time.

Any attempt to actively participate in the process by looking for activities which could restore my balance won’t go to waste, since my dear balance in all honesty has never been there and needs some uncovering and restoring of its own.

Maybe every one of us goes through such a phase after a break-up, only some of us recognise the face of their demons better than others. Some call their fears by their first name, other just say they miss their former partner. It’s a matter of emotional intelligence.

And experience.

Maddie is going down too, now that Coach seems to have found new entertainment, but even though she cries every day just like me, she counts on the tranquillity of knowing that it will go away, because that’s exactly what happened in the past. She know that she can survive crying every day for years, and still wake up one day feeling new and cleansed and ready to embrace the world.

This arising-phoenix philosophy unfortunately only goes so far for me. To some extent, I have lived it on my skin with Simon: every time I thought he would disappear I would break down just to be reborn and still after a flood of tears. I know deep inside I can come back from everything that life throws at me, but this is slightly different. I have spent my life getting over boys, more or less successfully, it’s something I’ve always had to come to terms with.

Being able to enjoy life alone and free myself from the very need of having a partner is alien to me. Never have I had the chance to experience such a state, never have I been happy to live my life exactly as it was, without even looking at specimens of the opposite sex.

Maddie is the one who has often had long-term relationships, I haven’t, I have been alone most of my life. I have had just this one. I don’t know what it means to reinvent your life after a break-up, I don’t even know what a break-up is. But in all the time I spent alone, I never really enjoyed that state. I was forced into it, not for my own will, or at least not consciously.

So yes, being alone is scary now because I am not used to being alone anymore and because post-break-up pains are ugly, but I feel like I’m going to have to fight much harder, I feel like my battle is not going to be only against time and tears, but against deeper and older demons, the ones that live inside of you and grow with you and sometimes outgrow you.

It may not be true, it may be just a matter of time, but how do I believe in something I’ve never experienced, while all of my past is pointing at another outcome?

I hate my life right now.

I hate my job, because I can’t be bothered to do it, I don’t like my colleagues and I’m not friends with them, because I can’t concentrate and do anything but my job, because I feel overwhelmed by the things I haven’t done in these past few months, because I can’t find another one and because I need one, because I am not motivated, because it’s cold in the office and because I never talk to anyone and feel alone in here.

I hate my social life, because I never take part to social events, my always so few friends tend too stand me up, because I don’t have any more time to arrange to see them, because I don’t have a group of people with whom I can always go out, because I wish I could take part to hundreds of courses or events where I could make new friends but I have no time nor money to do it.

I hate my love life, because it’s only just mine, because I like too many guys way too soon and too strongly and I never get to be with any one of them, because I thought I had changed and that my love life would have been different while it’s totally not, because just so little time ago I was happy or thought I was and never had to worry about these things, because I seem to have lost a good guy out of no reason.

I can’t hate my sex life just because I don’t have one.

I hate my parents because they’re supposed to be the only people who are always there for me but in truth the relationship we have completely prevents me from relying upon them and being with them only ever ends up being a stressful activity.

I hate myself because I can’t seem to shake off this depressing state I’m in, because I used to be a bomb of life, happyness, carelessness and optimism and now I feel like a restless ghost, because I can’t change as quickly as I would like to, because I can’t find a way to help myself any more than I am doing, and what I’m doing hardly is enough.

In a way I hate my skating too. It’s the only thing that keeps me up, everything that could bring me some joy, some satisfaction and personal fulfillment, everything that fills my days and my prode with the progress I’ve made, but I can’t deny that I don’t like the way I look while I skate. It’s just another thing I would want to improve so much and I don’t know if I ever will be able to, and if so, it’s going to take just so much time.

I hate the fact that I don’t like my life right now and it seems that I just can’t change it in any way. I hate to see the time flying by and me waisting days doing nothing good and feeling like a wreck. I miss a purpose, I feel like when you try to run in your dreams and no matter how hard you try you can’t even move a leg. I feel useless and a loser to spend my days at home baking and watching TV while the world keeps on turning out there, and the worst thing is that I used to feel good about it and I realise I don’t anymore just because I am in a twirl of pessimism and agony. I just want to shake it off, any way I can. But nothing or nobody seems to help.

And in all that, I have also lost the only thing that gave me some hope and strength…

Again, maybe I’m just obsessing while I should just realise I am nothing but heartbroken.

Words are a private thing to me. When I write, I tear down every barrier between my brain, my soul and my hands. When I read, it’s like a private conversation between me and the author, who suddenly becomes my best friend, muse and spiritual guide. I think and meditate much more while I write and read than during any kind of conversation. Talking is more like venting, the magic happens when I’m quiet and thoughtful.

I have read “Eat, pray, love”. Read, because watching the movie wasn’t enough. I thought there was some serendipity in watching the movie, since that happened maybe just a couple of months ago and the reason was just that Renée had told me about Javier Bardem, who I had never seen before and I was curious. I was fascinated because it talks about divorce caused by not so practical reasons, just like my separation, but I didn’t see any other connection. I just hoped I could end up like her and find someone else to love.

Then came Hector with his yoga and his meditation and Sybil with her plan to change our summer destination from Mexico to Indonesia. Then it hit me. So I said to myself: ok fine, you win, I’ll read it.

Read is not the correct verb though, what I’m doing with this book resembles more what a religious person might do with Holy Scriptures: a mix of reading, studying, interiorising, comparing the contents to my own life, learning from it, exploiting it as a guide. Ms. Gilbert has become my teacher, as only someone who has “been there” can be.

I try to spot differences and similarities so that I can evaluate if I can adopt the same strategies or avoid the same mistakes. I don’t know if it’s a useless waste of time or if it may actually help me in the long run, but at least it’s keeping my mind occupied with a potential plan towards healing.

Divorce

It’s not the fact that she tells about her divorce, a divorce can happen for hundreds of reason, the interesting thing is that she wanted to leave her husband for personal reasons, for introspective reasons. He didn’t cheat on her, he didn’t mistreat her, they didn’t fight all the time, she just realised out of the blue that it wasn’t working anymore and she had the courage to step out of an otherwise functional relationship,  an average marriage which may have been completely satisfactory to most wives, basically on a hunch.

And I understand. It’s the exact same choice I’ve made and I understand the doubt, the conflict, the weight of being the one to splinter the glass castle out of what seems to be no reason at all, although we know, with every fiber of our body, that it’s the necessary step to take.

It might be too early to tell, but I am just grateful that he’s not making it so hard; I have no idea if she ever doubted what she was doing, if she ever had second thoughts, but I am led to believe that if she didn’t, it was also because she realised it wasn’t worth giving a second chance to someone who turned out to be an enemy. This door is still open to me, but I haven’t decided if I want to go through it yet. Leaving someone behind is easier once you see their real face is way uglier than you thought. When this doesn’t happen, there will always be the shadow of doubt in the back of your head that the choice you’ve made might be wrong. But you still know it’s not good enough either.

In my case, the problem is the opposite: he is not making it hard, he is making it too easy. He accepted everything passively not trying even once to say no. He is still never making his voice heard. Not only he doesn’t talk about what he thinks and feels, which is perfectly in line with his nature, he doesn’t even try to stop the process, to prevent us from growing apart. He is just not there. And in the back of my mind I can’t help but thinking about all the times I have wondered if he would have fought for me, given the necessity, and how scared I was at the idea that he wouldn’t have. Because somehow I knew he wouldn’t have.

David

The strange thing is that it looks like rebound, but it’s not. I haven’t found my David yet, and I wonder if I ever will, may he be an actual rebound or not. At first, I thought it would be Coach, but obviously it hasn’t turned out that way. Then came Hector, but it didm’t turn out that way either. And the list goes on and the title hasn’t been awarded yet.

She stated she was one of those girls who always had a boyfriend, practicing the famous Tarzan Move: grabbing the next liane right after if not even before dropping the previous one. So it’s perfectly in style that she found another partner right after the former. It’s never been like that to me. My partners were like islands in the Pacific, rari nantes in gurgite vasto. I’ve never had a rebound, or if I did, it was only in my imagination. Just like Coach.

She needed to break the spell and try to be alone because she had never been alone in her life. Do I actually need the same treatment? I realise I have to overcome this ancestral fear of being alone; as I know I do, do I necessarily need to be alone to make it? Of course, I mustn’t make the same mistakes again, I have already dwelled in a relationship too long for fear of being alone. This means, I shouldn’t and won’t move in with the next guy straight away, I am going to need months to think this over. But then again, who knows when the next guy will come…

Will the next guy be a rebound? I guess it depends on when he’s coming around in the first place, if it’s going to take 4 months, it couldn’t be. If it’s now, maybe. Or maybe not, considering all of the thoughts of my awakening. Maybe what I need to find is peace of mind more than peace of body; I need to learn to find balance, interest, enthusiasm and tranquillity even when my heart is completely empty, when I couldn’t name a single guy I am interested in. I need to find focus on projects which have nothing to do with love.

Depression

I am not the only one. I may venture a guess and say that all of this story is so meaningful to me just because my story just like hers was full of mental issues. I am not sure I can say I suffer from depression, I have actually never been clearly diagnosed or rather I have never cared to know the diagnosis, but concentrated much more on what I could do to get better. She had to resort to therapy and antidepressants because of the pain brought by the divorce and the tumultuous relationship with David, so after. I’ve done this before. And I’m still doing it.

I wonder, and deeply hope, that this is going to prevent me from hitting rock bottom. It’s the last thing I need. This is supposed to be the  beginning of a journey and I would very much like to treat it as such, not something I’ll need the next two years to recover from. This is supposed to be me all grown up and aware of myself choosing another path, it’s not supposed to be the monster which is going to eat away all of the progress done in the past 3 years. I wonder if it would be a good idea to consider drugs right now, because I can count on very limited resources and unloading some of the weight might be for the best. Cutting myself some slack, for a change.

Loneliness

Of course, when you’re single you are lonely, or rather, you tend to feel lonely, but in this she has a clear advantage over me. It looks like she has a way with people and everyone ends up liking her. She has friends in every corner of the world, she admits to having a keen proclivity towards making new friends everywhere; even this thing of always being in a relationship is astounding proof of her marvellous social skills (yes, I am severely envious).

Mine suck. Not only most of my anxiety comes from the very idea of being alone, I find it extremely hard to connect with new people, either for friendship or romance. If I were to leave for an unknown country, or rather three, for a whole year, I could well be institutionalised after a couple of weeks of mutism. The first time loneliness crushed me I was in Germany, alone, in a godforsaken village where I knew nobody and had nothing to do all day. Being alone to me is not just boring, it can turn into a nightmare. I’ve always made a point of doing things on my own, the truth is I hate it and end up doing it just because the alternative would be doing nothing alone, instead of at least doing something alone.

I can’t think of bouncing back from all of this if I don’t learn to connect to other people, but it’s against my nature and changing takes a really long time. I try, any way I can, I am thoughtful while conducting my relationships with anyone. I try to absorb from them and try to improve my behaviour, but I don’t suppose I am going to chat up a stranger queuing in front of me anytime soon.

But at the same time, I perfectly understand how the ultimate goal should be to learn how to be alone, instead of how to avoid loneliness. Connecting to others is fundamental, but it will never saw a patch where my own soul is torn.

Pleasure

The whole concept behind the Italy phase is learning to enjoy pleasure. She probably didn’t even know that herself before leaving, but in the end, that’s what emerges: you need to learn to indulge, to act for the mere sake of pleasure. That pleasure is mainly in food, being Italy not only the cradle of one of the best cuisines worldwide, but also because of the typical aggregation that the ritual of eating involves.

I thought of this very specifically a few weeks before I started reading the book. I need to learn to pamper myself, just like a boyfriend would. I obviously and unfortunately will never be able to give myself the sensations that a comforting body next to mine could bring, but much of the rest, I could. Buying myself gifts, cooking myself beautiful dinners, watching my favourite movies, going to the spa every now and then, cuddling my body and soul as best as I can.

Food has always been a very ecstatic experience for me, and I will probably have to come to terms with gaining a few pounds – hopefully just a few – where I haven’t lost any to begin with. In this plan, Cartier’s delicacies – no stones involved, that’s the nickname the local greengrocer won for his prices – should help, with peace of mind of the piggy bank. My fortune is I don’t need to fly to the other side of the world. I can do this at home.

And pampering myself includes gaining some self-realisation and personal satisfaction through the act of preparing food. Not only I am finally challenging myself with recipes for my own dinner, I have taken up baking cakes for anybody. I would have never thought it could be so easy and never thought of the pleasure of letting others enjoy your creations.

The sabbatical

I was actually thinking of doing most of it from home. Liz is lucky, she may have lost all of her possessions due to the divorce, but she also has a job which allows her to leave for a year-round journey and still have a job when she is back. More than that, a job that paid for said journey on a guess: that her book would be a hit.

We all have our personal journey through divorce or separation, close to nobody wrote a book about. Most definitely, none of us went on such a trip. We can’t. We don’t have the money, we don’t have the means, we aren’t allowed. But the journey can still be done without moving too far from home. It’s enough to have a project.

I am not a spiritual person. I don’t believe in God or any other divine entity, I never have, I’ve always been like St. Thomas: if I don’t have evidence – and I mean scientific and tangible evidence – I won’t believe in anything. So the whole idea of praying goes too far for me right now. But situations brought me to evaluate the concept of oriental philosophies and practices and all of a sudden, meditation seems to have a very valid point. It might help in calming me down, in detaching myself from situations, in learning a bit more optimism.
It has worked out for others, I don’t see why it shouldn’t finally help me too.

 

So I admitted that this whole feeling of hurt and loss is not clearly identifiable and that it is composed of a core of heartbreak and a surrounding of older wounds. This mix makes it particularly difficult to identify the precise cause of sorrow and to quantify the dose of circumstantial heartbreak and of general emotional distress.

Maybe the wisest thing to do would be just to accept the pain and let it flow for as long as it needs until it is exhausted, instead of deconstructing it in atoms trying to understand it. But if I can’t understand the source of my pain, its reasons and its implications, how can I hope to overcome it?

Unfortunately, that’s not all. There is one more terrible effect to this fixation of trying to analyse every single drop of pain. When the analysis is extended to other emotional states other than pain, it’s pretty obvious that there is another aspect to it: I just cannot determine the source of my feelings, i.e. I can never know how much I really care for someone, if I have feelings for them, how deep they are.

How do I start and manage a relationship with someone if I can’t understand whether I love them for them or if other impulses lead me to believe what I am feeling is love while it’s really some other kind of need? How do I know if I like someone for how they are or if I like them just because they are available? Was my break-up with my husband really a step forward towards acknowledging what I really want or a step back to major uncertainty?

Once again, I feel like I am deceiving myself. I thought this was gone, I thought I had reached an indissoluble connection to myself, while I still can’t get a damn thing. One could argue why it is so important to understand, why I don’t just take what I feel for what it is without asking too many questions. The reason may probably be because once already I mistook my feelings and hid behind them, lingering in a relationship that wasn’t working and the idea of doing it again is terrifying.

I like Simon. Or do I?
Let me rephrase: Simon is in my life at this time, and has a pretty central position in it and in my daily thoughts.

I look at him objectively and see he is not handsome, definitely not a hottie as coach. Still, I feel attracted to him. Is this true attraction or I feel this way just because I needed attention and he was the only one who seemed to provide it? And if it’s the latter, how bad is it? Can it be reason enough to let it go further or should I just dismiss the whole thing? Should this sense of urgency to be with him be considered real interest or just need of attachment?

How will I ever be able to distinguish between feelings for someone and feelings triggered by someone?

I don’t know him enough to know whether we are really compatible, whether I like every aspect of him and his behaviour, we haven’t shared enough to say I have feelings for him. Then what is the rest? How fascinated am I by what he does and says and how much by his mere presence? Why do I hate so much the idea of losing him, when his absence would not make that much of a difference in my life? Why is the hope of a happy ending so important?

This I suppose is the same feeling that made me miss my husband when he wasn’t there but didn’t make me feel as happy as I expected when he would finally be back. The harsh reality of things is that I am starting to suspect that, although I have been head over heels dozens of times, I have never really loved. I am not sure I can.

Accept your life and you might survive it” Robin Hobb

The first time I read this sentence I was in the middle of my marital crisis. I was riddled by what I should have done, accept that I didn’t love my husband anymore and let go or try to wait the phase out. It made sense, back then, to accept things. Now I can’t accept it anymore.

Now is the time when you evaluate your life and realise there is something that isn’t working. Now it the time when you have to accept that something isn’t working but accepting the way my life is now would mean living no longer.

Change is needed, once again. It’s probably the same exact change that was needed before, only now that the first step is done, it’s manifesting itself in a different way.

I feel the all of the weight of loneliness now, and while I realise life for any single is at times lonely, I also understand my reaction to it is not healthy.

I gave some thought to one thing my therapist said the other day, that I probably tend to get so involved in relationships with men even before the relationship has started because I hold back so much from any other relationship.

What I need now is some balance.
My way of diving head-in in boys is not just unbalanced, it’s basically arrhythmic. My fear of loneliness brings me to have an extremely full life, where no empty minute is allowed, but what I would like to do is reach the point where being with friends is a pleasure, not a necessity, and so are silence and alone time.

I don’t know what I have to do to get to that point. The problem with change is that it takes time, while time is everything I don’t have the patience to wait for. It’s a process, I know that, but surviving with this sorrow every day makes me feel on the edge, it makes me say “I can’t go on like this any longer”, while all I need is time to adjust.

The only way to fight this anxiety is having a plan, knowing that I’m not just waiting with idle hands but that I am actively taking fate in my hands to make my life what I want it to be. The more I don’t like my life, the stronger is the need to steer it clear of everything that isn’t working.

I am in therapy, that is something, but right now I unfortunately don’t have the money to increase the frequency of my sessions and I know anyway how slow and unpredictable that process is. It changed me radically, but it might take years, I need to do something more to get out of this impasse. That’s why I thought to turn to meditation or self help groups. I need a direction and I need to concentrate on that purpose to contain my impatience.

Right now all I want is to be with people who I can talk to about this mess I have inside, but I can’t do it. Even tough friends are supposed to be there through good and bad, I don’t want to become a dead weight, I don’t want to call just because I desperately need help, it doesn’t feel fair.

My problem with meditation and 12-steps groups is God. I understand how believing in God is one of the most powerful weapons to defy anything in life, but it’s not like a t-shirt you can buy, whether you have faith or you don’t. I have always been too rational and material to accept the idea of an entity whose existence cannot be scientifically demonstrated. Moreover any idea of God that I may have interiorised is too strictly connected to Catholic precepts, which for too many reasons I cannot make my own. I have never believed in God and when the reasons are this logical, you can’t just decide you want to believe from tomorrow on.

I believe in a feeling of sublime and peace with the world. I believe in the power of nature, I believe in the power of will, I believe in love. These are my Gods. Are they enough to turn to for help and find serenity?

At times I wonder if I’m making this much more difficult and complicated than it really is. I have been so used to blaming my psyche that maybe I can’t recognise simple sorrow anymore. What if there is really nothing wrong with me but I am only and simply heartbroken? Can I still understand when I am heartbroken? A heartbreak has never been just a heartbreak to me, there has always been some sense of abandonment, some self deprecation, some older wound still hurting. Now it’s just the same, but maybe, just maybe I am blaming it too much on mental issues. Maybe it’s nothing more than the natural grieving process after a break up.

And probably, I have been thinking about myself and my transformation way too much where I have given way too little space to the thought of my husband and the relationship I have left behind. But probably it would have been too early before, it needed time to settle and digest the earthquake, before I could work through the shock.

Now it may be time to do it.

I feel like a PC with too many applications open, I’m going to have to close one by one if I want my RAM to be free.

I feel like marble cake.
Darkness is mixed up in me in shapes I cannot disentangle.

Timing in love is everything. He can be Prince fucking Charming but if his white horse decides to take a crap while he’s smiling at you, it’s not going to work out.
Timing is everything Simon and I are missing. And it’s going to be our disgrace. Timing when I shouldn’t even be considering relationships, since I’m legally not even separated yet, timing when he doesn’t feel ready to have one. Timing that got us together by chance, after so many years when it could have happened and never did, timing that probably got us together in the one and only instance when it could make a difference.

And I am going to end up like the typical bonfire guitar player: serenading the pretty girl, who will inevitably start snogging the other guy sitting next to her.

I wish I knew, or rather, I wish I could realise and grasp on how many levels I am being an idiot.

I am treading on thin ice, because I know how much this situation could hurt me, not only objectively, but stirring up emotions way outside of my control, just as it has always been. I know, this could build expectations and hopes that should never arise given the very uncertain situation. Still, there is something holding me right where I am, unable to walk away and forget it ever happened. I wish I knew if it’s simple lack of guts or something deeper. I even built up a fabulous excuse, which deep inside I think could be true: having him may prevent me from seeking others, who may not be so gentle and respectful, who may hurt me intentionally, who may be just the wrong choice. So be it, I’ll keep it all in my head.

But then I realised it could be a bad idea for him too.

It could be smooth.
He could find another girl in a couple of months and go live happily ever after with her; I could find someone else in a couple of months and go live happily for just about a couple of weeks; we both could realise there is something we don’t like about the other and just give up; we could realise we are just good friends; we could just stop writing and never see each other again.

Or it could be miraculous.
He might lose the fear and the rationality and decide it doesn’t matter what happens later, what matters is what happens today.

What if there and then I understand how not ready I am for a full-blown relationship and feel the urge to run?

Of course, I’ve never seen a miracle happen in my entire life, so I’ll worry about it when the time comes.

There is something about him that makes him special. I can’t see what it is, but I feel it every time we share something. In each word he writes, in things he does, in explanations he gives me. We know so little about each other it’s hard to say I know him, all I could say is that so far he is spotless and I just want with all my heart to go looking for the rest. It’s like uncovering a long gone fresco underneath layers and layers of dull common paint: you wait for the day the image will be complete and every day you scrap a tiny bit of cover with expectation. The curiosity to know more, to share, to exchange, as if our skins were laid out in front of us in a single canvas and they came to adhere millimeter after millimeter until we can touch each other completely.

This lust to touch him is scary. I feel the need for his physical presence and it’s all I’m never going to have and if the need grows, it will crush me.

Giving him this space is something I am inclined to do because I feel it’s worth it. In time, flaws will be unveiled, my balance partly healed if not restored, maybe his too, but the struggle will be keeping the flame alive without letting it burn out. The way I have reacted so far makes me think this is not going to happen. We are going to end up torched.

I don’t want to pressure him and I don’t want to seduce him. The first because I am not sure enough of what I want, the second because it would be only bad for me. It would be easy, but I would hurt him, because that’s not what he wants, and I would hurt myself when he would turn away from me, not trusting me and unable to cope with the rush.

I don’t know when I’ll see him again, if ever. I wanted to go home this weekend, to see him before a whole month goes by from the last time, but this falling out we had… it would feel like pressuring him. I wish it came from him, I wish he asked me about it, then I could arrange plans accordingly, but I don’t want to be the one to drop the bomb.

Every day I get scared that he might change his mind and call himself out, scared that he may say he can’t do it anymore, scared that I may say or do something wrong and push him away. Scared that what scares me might come true.

I cannot know how it’s going to end, but if I have to guess from how it started I know one thing for sure: it’s going to be torture.

It’s been a while since the last time I wrote. Maybe that’s why I feel alwrong – that should be the correct opposite of alright.

Things have been weird and I feel weird and I have broken down in savage tears a couple of times too many for my liking. But that’s ok, it’s probably all a big step forward. Although I actually feel much more stuck than I thought I would ever be.

I spent the day with Simon.

I don’t know how to handle this. It has caused such an unreasonable amount of distress I can’t help thinking that I’m not ready for this yet. When I say “this”, I mean dealing with men in general, dealing on a level that far precedes any relationship, I mean dealing with the commotion and chaos the mere fact of liking someone brings to my soul. With “distress” I mean all of the very different emotions that have defined my days ever since I met him. With “ready” I mean the hardest thing of all, because I don’t know how to get ready, nor if I ever will.
I was in such panic I called Maddie. I talked this over with her and she was right. I take all this matter, boys, in the wrongest way of all: I expect or hope to find love. I can’t really deny it, I do. And it’s been like that forever. And I know I would be so much calmer if I didn’t. Now some hopeless romantic might say it’s the only way to proceed, and as far as I am concerned I would appreciate the answer, but the harsh reality is that it hurts too much to be the right way. For my own sanity’s sake, I should avoid it.

I wish I could find someone who likes me for who I am. Not for my body, not for my presumed easiness, not because of anything else. I tend to like people for how they are, sometimes more than what they look like. I like the possibility of sharing things with them, I like the way they think, the way they make me feel, I admire the way the live, I assume they could teach me something. Sure, I most often like how they look like too, but it’s rarely all.

I wish I could find someone like that, someone who likes my blue eyes just as much as the way I talk, someone who appreciates my body as well as my sense of humor. I thought he could be like that.

Ever since I met him, there has been great turmoil inside of me. It’s been very different from the others before, different from Alex, Hector, even Coach. We’ve texted extensively every day since the day we met, although it was strange, unexpected and probably premature, I liked it so much. It made me feel safe, he made me feel wanted and appreciated. I loved the fact that he liked me and I liked the fact that he is the kind of person who can like someone like me, for the qualities he saw the night we met; the ones that make me too little feminine, too aggressive, too spontaneous and unexpected.

It was safe seeing him not disappear day after day, it was good reading what he liked about me and how sure he seemed of what he wanted and how he pursued it. It was alluring reading his provocations, his allusions to sex, his impersonal propositions. He sounded like a man confident enough to lay it all out there with no fear of being judged.

Still at times I was scared. Scared of how much it could mean if it was true, scared of how I could react to finding someone like him so soon, scared by the possible complications if nothing were to go south.

The first trauma came when I suspected he had invited himself to sleep over. It was basically a misunderstanding, or so it seemed, but it was enough to break the spell. I plunged into panic, because I suddenly thought I had it all wrong. All the qualities he had seen in me might simply equal to someone who lives sex like a man, and the idea of being pursued just as an easy fuck killed me. Not because of the idea as such but because I really didn’t expect it from him. Nor would I have accepted it. But when I proposed a change of plans to accommodate my discomfort he didn’t flinch, acknowledge the misunderstanding and accepted new plans straight away.

Then, several texts and virtual conversations later, the day got closer, when we were supposed to meet and the night before I was newly in panic because I started worrying about the fact that he may not come at all and stand me up. And this was unreasonable and unmotivated but it was enough to make me start sobbing like a crazy person. So I called Maddie and as she tried to calm me down; she started saying how she wouldn’t trust someone who was so keen on writing since the very first start and that he probably just wanted that one thing and quickly. And I just started to believe it too. So again I felt stupid and naive for believing he might like me more than just for that.

And then along came all the past with First Fred. It was just so obvious it all came from there. The fear of being abandoned, the shame of believing a lie, the preemptive worry of erratic and unmotivated behaviour… the fear of realising how much damage that experience has done to me and how much I am going to have to suffer for it in the future, again and again until I can finally break the spell, if ever. I can’t allow myself to be the stupid girl who believes nice words, I cry and I panic because I don’t want to believe I am the same silly girl now at 31 as when I was 17. So I started hoping he wouldn’t even come, I started hoping he would reveal himself for the prick he supposedly was and just disappear before he could perpetrate any damage. I went to bed empty and disillusioned.

So the morning after, when indeed he confirmed again he was coming, my attitude was that of someone who wouldn’t give in for anything in the world. I was ready to play catch, to lure him and deny him, to defend myself from someone who would make a very obvious pass on me for the only reason of wanting some sex. I was ready to fight and win the battle. I expected someone like Anthony to start charming me with the same captivating words used in his messages. I had turned myself into Maddie.

So when I walked him to his train at the end of the day and he didn’t even try to kiss me, I was shocked. Worse, I was hurt. Because that definitively changed everything. Of course my fighting attitude didn’t last long, because it was very obvious there was no battle, but at least one kiss, I did expect that. I longed for that. In light of everything he had written me, of how excited he seemed to see me again and given that the day was good. Or seemed good.

One thing became very clear to me however: he was not at all what Maddie expected and her advice was completely pointless. As stupid and obvious as this may sound, I should have trusted my guts more. Because one thing is sure: I may still make many horrible mistakes, but I can read people and intentions much better now than when I was 17 and if in the end I trusted this person to be different from the others and if I believed what he said, maybe there was a reason. It might be stretching it a little too thin, but maybe he did write to me so much because he just wanted to get to know me while we couldn’t spend time together and maybe he pushed himself in some bold texts because he knows he wouldn’t have the courage to do it face to face. Because he is a nerd, in the end, just like me.

But that missing kiss… All it meant to me was he had changed his mind. That would unfortunately not be a surprise. Every member of the aforementioned trio changed his mind about me, I wouldn’t know why it should be any different with him. And that is probably the very worst thing right now, because with the others I couldn’t actually be sure of how interested in me they were in the first place; in this case, I know. I was suddenly terrified I would never hear from him again.

Unreasonable exaggeration? I still don’t know. But right now I am not only extremely disappointed at the idea of having lost him too, I am deeply scared at the idea that this is no way to deal with the whole dating matter and have no way of overcoming the problem. I am hurting myself way too much with my attitude. And while I could force myself to be celibate, if I wanted to, I can’t refrain from liking men. While I perfectly know I could do without him since I’ve done it so far not even knowing him until last week, I don’t have the faintest idea of how I could ever survive the next crush and the next and the next after that without being crushed myself.