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Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be able to sustain a long-term relationship again. It’s not about finding someone, strangely enough, I do see the possibility in that. As for finding the perfect someone… Right now I feel like that perfect someone shouldn’t be perfect at all. I realise I am not perfect and I hope that an equally imperfect or flawed person might be the only way to be truly understood.

And this is the wonderful fairytale of every new-begun love. But what of the long run?

Marcel looks like a dreaming poet now, never preoccupied by practical details – he arrived an hour late to one of our dinners because he thought we were going to another restaurant – would I honestly be able to refrain from killing him for this after six months of missed trains and lost keys?

Hector inspired me to try  to explore spirituality with his meditation practices and his interest towards India and ashrams. But what if general optimism and love for the whole world were proved to be plainly incompatible with my tendency towards frustration and irritability?

How can I know who is really compatible with me? How do I know whether someone is incompatible with me or I am incompatible with the idea of accepting someone for who they really are? In other words, how do I know if I am compatible with long-lasting relationships at all?

The fact that my last relationship failed is just proof of my inability to be flexible and make a relationship work? I feel like I will never be able to work at something that has no rules. I feel like I’ll never be able to get things right unless I have an instructions manual at hands.

I read fantasy books, most of the time. I think sometimes it is easier to tell about the world through the words of a dragon or a wolf; as if somehow talking to our inner child would bring a clearer lesson.

When I read other books, I have deeper reasons for it. I read “Eat, pray, love” and it became my mantra, for a while. So much so, I am going to give it to Maddie as a present. I never did that before, giving a book I read to someone else.

Now I’m reading another book, another biography, which is perfectly in line with what I’m doing here on WordPress too: reading about other people’s lives to try to untangle my own.

This book I had never heard of before, but my therapist told me the story, the experience of the author, his problems in life and his literary style, reminded her of me.

Yes, the author is a man. His story is that of a troubled man after the premature loss of his mother, when he was 9. His pain was that of someone in desperate need of love, a love only a mother can give before the void eats at your guts.

A mother is the only being who can teach you love, the only designated figure for this, the essence of femininity. A father can’t, a male can’t, regardless of his sweetness or weakness or open-mindedness. 

I’ve been wondering why our stories are so similar, the reason of his pain was a loss as profound as the death of a parent while still far from a practical or emotional independence. What have I lost?

Towards the end of the book, a letter from another man exposes the devastation brought by the loss of a wonderful mother who taught him how to handle feelings.

And then there’s the author’s wife, who maintains she has met two types of orphans, those whose parents are dead and those whose parents are alive.

There is a void inside of me, it’s undeniable. How to fill it up and why it’s there in the first place are questions I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to provide an answer for. I’m trying, maybe not my best, but I’m doing all of this work alone.

Nobody ever taught me how to love, nobody ever taught me how to be a woman, how to be a mother.

This would hardly be a good influence on a man, on a woman, as Mother Nature decided I should be, is an abomination. I am trying to fight the abomination, but that unfortunately does not keep me from feeling like an abomination.

I laugh about my being a bad boy, I am so used to this version of myself I almost accept it kindly, with the pitying sweetness of someone content with trying the best they can, but alas with inadequate results. It is the only me I was able to create for myself, freakish and out of the box, but still my own creature, the one I managed to let survive.

I am/was/dunno dating this guy, a good guy, nice and kind, normal someone would say. Not stupid or ignorant but simple. There is something missing. The good thing that I liked most about him is that he makes me want to be kinder and more feminine, it’s like he emanates an aura of calm that allows me to hold my  guard down. Still, after three dates and some memorable kisses, there is something missing. I am really convinced that I don’t need a rocket scientist because love is made of feelings, not of neurons. It’s not that. I am/was/dunno waiting for a deeper bond to form, that level of intimacy where you want to share with that person what others outside can’t see about you, and I am/was/dunno expecting this to come somehow from him. But it cannot. It has to come from me, because I am the woman. And I have no idea how to do it, I never have, it scares the bejesus out of me. But I’d like to try. I hope I can still use the present tense.

The fact is, the book is full of hopeless men somehow saved by love and protective women. They get saved by love. God knows I’ve been looking for that saving love all my life, but I am the woman. No man is ever going to give me that love. So who exactly is supposed to save me? How am I supposed to save myself, who can I ask to know the truth and how long will I have to wait before I can stop squandering my life?

How do women handle these crises? All I am left thinking is that even in this I am not woman, because women would probably react in some other way rather than being the slightly more sensitive version of a lost 9-year-old boy. I am not woman enough to save myself.

You are supposed to always know the truth about life, you only more or less consciously decide not to listen to that truth. I understand that, I see myself and my story in that, how for years I have wandered with no destination, blind to everything around me. I’m still doing that. And I understand how one day I may decide to finally lift the blackening veil from my eyes. The when is a source of deep concern for me though and mosty I wonder how you are not supposed to hate yourself for being the primary cause of your blindness and all of your pain.

I’ve taken my decision. A small, but radical one. Because after a full year, I need to remind myself that I am trying change, for a change.

I’m going to start taking anti-depressants.

For two main reasons:

I can’t provide a reason why I shouldn’t.
I used to be adamant about this, no drugs. As of now, I don’t even remember why I was so resolute about this. Probably: I just wanted to suffer. I wanted it the hard way, I was scared of being reaped of my own soul if I had stopped feeling fully. I was scared I might stop working on myself and hold on to the easy way out. It’s not going to happen. I canged my mind when I saw the effects on my ex, it helped take the edge off and if he decided to stop working on himself, it was his decision. I always take things head on, the hard way; I’ve been telling myself to cut myself some slack over and over, but doing it is harder than I expected. So, yes, this helps in cutting some slack. I’ll welcome it.

I’ve never done it before.
It’s not about trying everything once in life. It’s about knowing how the past went and learning from it. Change is about taking everything that is usual and questioning it, so if I know how much I got or did’t get better in the past without drugs, it’s time to give it a try, if nothing else because maybe it really is the kick-start I need. It may be the exact self-help I need to get a different perspective and start learning from my falls without aching for the bruises.

It’s scary because it’s admitting it got that bad. It’s giving it a first name: depression. But just a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, depression by any other name would stink as bad. It doesn’t matter if I call it depression or blues or anything else, the pain is there all the same. It doesn’t matter how I baptise the pain, it’s there. If my head hurts, I get FANS, if my heart hurts, I get chocolate, if my mind hurts, I take anti-depressants.

It doesn’t need to get any worse, to allow myself some relief.
You don’t need to hit rock bottom before you start ascending again.
It’s one step forward, farther away from the me I used to be and I want to leave behind.

Maddie and Coach have been giving me a pretty hard time about my being aggressive. Granted, I know where it’s coming from, it’s not unreasonable, still there are ways and ways to tell people things.

I undoubtedly have problems with the idea of not being liked, especially by men, but I keep it for myself. It’s sad and sounds pathetic, so I just don’t talk about it, not in a serious way, not in a way that would let people understand how much this really hurts me. I complain sometimes that no body ever wants to sex with me or just talk about how I don’t get pursued, approached or chat-up by random guys and Maddie’s answer is that I must somehow repel at people, even unconsciously.

She maintains she used to be like me and nobody ever looked her way either (now, I don’t know how far back this goes, but I don’t find that much evidence of this in what she told me of her past) then she changed her attitude, started smiling to everyone, started acting like a bimbo, playing with guys as if she were constantly amazed by them and everyone magically began buzzing around.

I get it, I do, but I have serious problems with this. I have grown up in a society where everyone dispensed fake smiles just to stab you in the back, where you were only evaluated and rated from your appearance, where values didn’t exist and the facade was the only thing that mattered. I decided I didn’t want anything to do with such a world. I decided I wanted to be true, to be honest, to give truth and substance a value and rejected anything vain, superficial and esthetic. I decided I didn’t want to play the social game of not doing anything that wasn’t proper just because others would have thought it was unbecoming.

The idea of discarding these values that I created for myself is a sin. I accept the idea of trying to be sweeter, I don’t accept the idea of a fake smile, I loathe the pretending, I am disgusted by the idea of diminishing your own intelligence for the sake of… what exactly? One more smile from an imbecile who likes to entertain himself with a brainless doll?

I used to have another problem, which by the way is far from being solved: I am shy. As anyone suffering from more or less severe insecurity issues, I tend not to be confident of my feelings, of my persona in general, I don’t come off strong. And I was taught that this is wrong, that you can’t let your feelings show, that you have to pretend to be immune from any sort of undermining. This idea is so deep-rooted inside of me, that it has become a habit. I built a fortress around me which accurately covers any soft spot. I look like concrete, while my insides are… marshmallow.

So yeah, my being aggressive is a mask, one I have nonetheless chosen for myself, because I am not ashamed of being the girl able to tell it as it is, who cracks dirty jokes and makes everybody laugh. I like this, because it is true, because I do not fall victim of hypocrisy and pseudo-catholic respectability.

And sure, men don’t like it. Because their masculinity feels undermined, because they still expect a girl to be sweet and stupid and vain. Oh I have come a long way. At least now I value the idea of feeling beautiful and indulge in a little vanity instead of dressing up like a hobo just to prove my point.

My point being: I don’t want someone close to me minding only the surface. I like the idea of someone willing to dig the surface to find the marshmallow.

So yes, I have a very thick armor, but that doesn’t mean I do not possess a heart. You wear an armor not because you are a thick-skinned monster but because you are made of tender, weak and delicate tissue. The more sensitive the core, the more defenseless the creature, the harder the shell.

Each and every single time people point out something about me is wrong I am hurt. Because I can’t accept the idea of not being perfect, the idea of being wrong. Because when you are insecure and unconfident, just a single word can throw you in despair, and I’ve been hearing this a lot lately.

And the thing that hurt me more is that after all, after all my insecurity, my doubts, my self-loathing, in the end I like myself and the good qualities I have, because I have shaped them around the values I like and feel mine. It’s just… it looks like so few people in the world adopted the same values that I have no alternative than being alone. I feel like a dinosaur on the brink of extinction. 

I don’t like the fact that I have to change in order to be liked by others, because I can’t help wondering who would like me in the end if I renounced my values. I can’t help wondering who would others like if I put up a mask of someone that I am not; they wouldn’t like me anyway, they would still like only the mask and would run as soon as I decided to drop it. Some special someone may be willing to look behind it, but I guess the kind of people that I like would be much more interested to look behind a monster mask than behind a doll mask.

Then again, I am not sure I could change, even if I wanted to. In the greater picture, the ghosts that hurt me most are not these, eradicating my so-called aggressiveness would not cure my feelings of being rejected. If I need to make an effort to change, I would not address these issues, because real issues lie elsewhere.

And it pains me that coach can’t really see that he is not helping me, as he claims, but he is really just hurting me and reminding me how incompatible we are. It makes me shake my head to see how he’s not even considering that he may hurt my feelings. When you get to meet and know someone you have two options: you can accept them for who they are, with their virtues and flaws or you can decide you want nothing to do with them because their flaws exceed their virtues. I don’t feel accepted by him. I know he appreciated some things about me, may be just my dedication to the sport, but it feels like he wants to change me and not for my own good but because in his mental image of the perfect world, I am an abomination.

I may need to learn how to break the walls, take off the armor and show some of my weaker spots with no shame and a little less fear, I may benefit from smoothing a few edges, I may want to stop turning to aggressiveness to cover up my insecurity, but I won’t trust so lightly someone telling me to change my ways, just because they are uncomfortable around me.

I don’t believe in soul mates. I refuse to believe that there is one person out there who is perfect for me, simply because I hope there are many more, maybe just a little bit less perfect. I want to believe there are a number of people who could give me a lot in at a given moment in my life. I want to believe there are more chances, because just one would be too little for me to find.  Truth is, it seems to me there are so few people out there who would even only consider me ad a viable person, that the idea that more than one person could love me exactly for what I am is ridiculous. But I’m afraid, I wouldn’t settle for anything different anyway.

This is why I need to learn to live my life alone and give myself anything that I need. Because that someone just may not exist.

 

My ways with love and feelings are wrong. I am not trying to find an excuse for that, I see it, I admit it, even though I don’t actually hurt anybody else but myself.

Why do we have to be ashamed and diminished by our feelings?
Why do we have to punish ourselves for having feelings?
Why are we expected to control and suppress them?
Why are we expected to be machines?

Our pride has taken away our right to feel.

Our society expects us to be able to have sex separating completely our hearts from our bodies. Which I understand, is possible. Not only for men. I am grateful for this possibility, because sometimes, it is needed. But it seems it has become a habit, a must. You have to be able to have sex and be completely detached from the other person, because really, 90% of the times it’s all it’s going to be. Physical exercise.

And maybe the situation is crystal clear, people try to sign emotional agreements where they promise they are not going to develop any kind of feeling or affection. As far as I’ve experienced, they get broken all the time. Because we are adamant that we can control our feelings and are miserably proven wrong, because we lie to ourselves and pretend the seed of feelings isn’t there to begin with, because we honestly felt like it wasn’t time, but the time came regardless of our believes.

And we feel so ashamed when it happens, we blame ourselves, our inability to dictate actions to our hearts, our weakness, our social unacceptability.

We can’t admit it, we can’t accept it, we can’t reveal it to the person we love.

Why?

Is it just fear of rejection? Is it fear of the sorrow?Is it because we broke a promise we were never supposed to agree on to begin with?

It’s wrong. The fact that we know that we would be looked upon as fools and be immediately dismissed and distanced by the person we love is sick. We are not sex dolls. We should be allowed to make a mistake, but then again, it shouldn’t even be considered a mistake. It’s what makes us human. And maybe mothers and fathers out there should be careful to teach this to their children.

I get too attached to people way too early and that is my mistake, mine to correct, to spare me the troubles it brings, but when someone is important to me I would like them to be able to appreciate it. The idea of being treated as an infesting disease that would spread uncontrollably if not promptly eradicated is beyond sad. It’s inhumane.

Feelings are not monsters. They can be scary, they can be uncontrollable and irrational and painful, but they mean no harm. It’s our way to say we wish others to be happy. They bring a speck of dust of good in this world. it’s where we come from. If only all of us could remember that and stop pretending to be immune to them…