Right now I’m lying in bed and sorry to say, not in my usual sexy PJs, but rather in a Princeton hoody, massive socks…and well, satin PJ bottoms and swept up in black satin and peach Egyptian cotton sheets, but I assure you, even with those sexy elements, I look and feel like an absolute moron: my head is hurting, I’m shaking like a leaf and my face and most of the rest of my body have the color…red. I feel like…like I’ve had one of the worst and best days of my life. It’s one of those rainy days you need to make the soil fertile. There was a cloud for a while and it finally rained (stormed) away, but the rain storm wasn’t pleasant, if dramatically pleasant to a drama Queen storyteller…ahem…
It’s now a few days since I was lying in bed writing that and sufficient to say: I wasn’t feeling great. It was nothing I wanted to put on a postcard and tell the world about. In fact, I felt rather ashamed when it happened – it didn’t sit well with my ego that wants to be invincible.
Do you know why men wanna prove all the time that they are so strong and great at sports, not to mention make the big bucks and have extraordinary skills in bed? Because they are sissies at heart of course! (Mention the word “emotions” and they will run to mommy…no, I mean, to the gym…all metal, no soft, lovey dovey women in sight!) Women on the other hand shove their boobs or ass in certain directions, walk confidently in their high-heeled shoes and show off their legs to the nation, or if they despise sexuality being used to gain attention, they shove their brains all over the place and hide their faces between school teacher glasses. Why? Because they have to prove that they don’t need men of course! (Mention that they “need a man” and they will run to get daddy to throw an axe after you…no, sorry: they know martial arts and would kick your sweet ass…they don’t even need someone else’s muscles: they are complete on their own). Just kidding, just kidding…sorta.
I do believe we are all flexing our muscles ever so often in various ways and various directions, so as to prove how strong, independent and invincible we are, just because we are afraid that the world will see that there are other areas that we are not so confident about (it may not have to do with emotions or relationships though!!!). We then choose to live within these areas where we are successful and we feel free because there are no obstacles blocking our path, no emotional disturbances, nothing to prove our ego wrong.
Of course that kind of freedom is an illusion – it’s like walking on a tightrope, mistaking that for being the whole world (“don’t mistake the map for being the territory,” don’t mistake what you see for being reality and don’t mistake your backyard for being the whole Universe). We move within the limited field where we feel comfortable and safe, which gives the illusion of freedom, as there is no resistance. On this rope we can keep some sort of equilibrium, where our mental and physical boundaries aren’t crossed. To expand our field of vision, to grow, we need to live outside of our comfort zone. The sad thing is that most people mistake a bit of emotional, or other, discomfort as failure and go running straight back into their comfort zone, secretly living with fear for the rest of their lives because somewhere in their hearts they know that the line they walk on is very, very thin and they can easily fall off if there’s a small change.
Recently I have worked a lot on opening up and just loving. For me this has not been my natural state of being since…well, since my mom died 21 years ago. My mom dying wouldn’t have been a terrible thing, just sad, if I had understood it all back then, but I didn’t. I didn’t know what to make of the fact that my mom was dying. For a month or so I just knew that she was in hospital and she was never coming back – I had the realization one morning by the breakfast table and asked my dad straight out and he gave me a straight answer and I jumped up into his lap, crying.
She never sat down to explain it to me. I wasn’t left any “I love you notes” or told by her that I would be OK if she died (I believe because she thought she was going to live, as my dad said). I forgot to give her the painting I made the last time I saw her and she refused hugging me as she was in pain and utterly high on morphine. That night I slept alone, with my grandma sleeping in my sister’s room and my dad at the hospital, only I was awake. And I was frightened. The next day she was gone.
I had trusted that my mom would be with me forever, as any kid does. Then she just suddenly got sick and three or four months later she was dead. It literally felt like I had leaned on someone who suddenly moved and I fell to the ground with a big bang and inside my heart was this massive, terribly aching emptiness that I knew couldn’t be filled by her, ever again. It made me not want to lean on people. And it left me feeling rejected too. Then I ended up being rejected by friends and boys for many years to follow.
I reacted like a clam: all systems close. With the years, being the fighter my dad trained me to be, I fought the closure and tried to force myself to open up – I read every book I came across on the topic of personal development, took drama classes, did coaching courses and in the end I did all the things I was scared of, said all the things I was scared of. Intellectually I opened up. I’m probably one of the most open people I know because I really do spell out what I think a lot of the time. Of course I censor though, as there are things I feel inappropriate to say, but I always challenge myself to say the things I feel uncomfortable saying.
With the years my heart opened up a little bit, especially with friendships as friends are people I lean a little bit on, but my whole world doesn’t depend on one person. It took me some time to freely give to friends though, as I was scared they didn’t want my love and care and when you don’t praise yourself, it’s hard to praise others. Strangers in big groups still scared me because they hadn’t accepted me yet so I just spent all my time fearing rejection and it reminded me of going to parties as a kid (standing with the geeks in a corner), or big cool gangs in school (if you can believe it I still get scared walking past groups of men on the street, because I know they are likely to throw comments after me and it reminds me of being bullied…of all strange things…). Basically, I had to get to know someone to trust that they wouldn’t gossip behind my back, but with the years I even came to enjoy parties and the friendships I slowly built up were genuine and wonderful. I know great people.
With closer relationships with men it was much harder, because a) I always had friends, even when I was teased in school, so I knew I had the ability to make friends, but after the age of five, no guy that I liked took an interest in me until I was like seventeen b) the guys I liked that knew of it rejected me in imaginative ways that felt rather brutal c) the emotional attachment was so different.
When I started dating guys I always chose guys that I felt I couldn’t really lean on – they weren’t quite into me enough for me to be able to relax. That was, of course, a nice way for me to keep the thoughts I had gotten from my mom’s death intact (if you lean on someone and trust that they will be there, they will suddenly be gone and you will fall to the ground with a bang and have a gaping, aching, hole in your heart), as well as the idea that no guys liked me. Every time I got rejected, I kept reliving the trauma of my mother’s death really, as well as rejections from bullies and men in my past, on an unconscious level. This meant that every rejection felt about twenty times bigger than it was. It was like having a bleeding wound and when someone poked it, it hurt.
I fought very hard to become so “strong” that these things wouldn’t matter to me. I worked on my self-confidence like a maniac and God knows it was needed. Somewhere I knew though, that things weren’t right, because I felt I needed to prove something to the men I met and although I became great at flirting and had all the confidence in the world that men wanted to shag me, and that I could entertain them on a date, I had no confidence that a man would actually love me and treat me right. I always just felt ridiculous confessing to caring for someone, or having an interest in someone. Plus, any little friction with a guy made me feel so shit (triggering all past rejections/bullying/abandonment sum total and the thoughts they left me with about myself, such as I am shit, I am worthless, no one can love someone like me, etc. Of course I didn’t see those thoughts, I just felt the emotions.) that it was painful to the extent where love just wasn’t pleasurable anymore. There will always be slight friction in relationships and clearly I couldn’t handle it. It made me emotionally needy as my discomfort only had two painkillers: get praise from man or leave man and be happy on my own. I don’t like being needy – I consider it a great character flaw and way out from my comfort zone of independence and confidence. So no matter how much I wanted a great relationship with a wonderful man, the pain I perceived such to be made me not want it. It doesn’t make it any better that I’m extremely sensitive to people’s emotions – I can sense someone having a bad day from two miles away.
Because my heart had been so closed since my childhood and because I thought one had to be perfect to accept love (I only accepted praise in the form of: that’s good, but… If they told me it was plain simple good I knew they were lying because one can always get better) I was desperate for love. So I accepted what little I could get from men that were never quite sure about me and that I knew I couldn’t fully lean on, hence not get fully screwed over by, and then I was always relieved when it was over so I didn’t have to keep feeling second best to the rest of the world’s women and my confidence could recover so I could be gorgeous flirty me, instead of needy frightened me (even if I didn’t show that I was).
Of course, when someone did try to love me fully I got claustrophobia.
I never gave up on relationships, because I’m a fighter and I kept fighting. That was just the problem though. You can’t force a heart to open. You can’t force someone to love you by being great at everything. When you push something, it moves away from you. When you hit something, it closes its gates. Maybe you can break into a safe, but you can’t force a heart to open unless the force is love. It’s like thinking you’re gonna light a fire with ice.
So what made me crumble the other day then? Well, for weeks I have felt on top of the world so to speak – I really have tried to conquer love with love and become much more grounded and less of an ego maniac. I have opened up. Last week I had a couple of dreams about men from my past, I was trying to sort out my idea of men in the present, I wrote that blog that I posted under the Naked tab about a guy I dated last year and just about every event that made me see life in tones of gray rather than colors of the rainbow, I found out my granddad had fainted the other day (and I had had a dream about him dying before that) and then my family called me from my gran’s home (she is in a ward for senile people as she can’t be left alone even for a minute) and they had me talk to her. She became my closest adopted mom after mom died. Hearing her voice, that I have longed to hear for so long, and knowing that I still couldn’t reach her as she is in a world of her own, made me burst out crying. All these things going round my head made my mood rather bad that day, which made me angry as of course I blamed myself. Then I went to work, worked non-stop for six hours, sat down for my 15 minute break, ate and stood up again, only I became bright red all over, trembled like a leaf, felt cold and got a headache. Last time I felt like that was when I found out that my ex had cheated on me, basically, my body had gone into shock. I sat there, totally calm, breathing normally and thinking it was just bizarre because I was so relaxed at the same time I felt like I was reliving my mom’s death, every other rejection I had ever felt and what happened with my ex. That for me was a trust issue much more so than anything else – I trusted someone who suddenly decided to totally smash our friendship into smithereens in more ways than one. So yes, I leaned against someone, that maybe I didn’t trust as a boyfriend because things were rocky and he did right in ending it, but definitively as a friend, and the wall suddenly moved away. And you can say that he did it to himself, or that I deserve better, or whatever the fuck, but I was the one that was stupid enough to trust him and I was needy enough to try and save a dying relationship, instead of believing that I could find better. (For the record we have reconciled after he apologized and I have always been bad at disliking people, because…you know we all screw up, but we are so much more than that one fuck up, aren’t we?!)
To say that I felt silly, is an understatement. How do you explain that because you relaxed a lot and became more open and loving, your body went into shock and spat out a whole bunch of emotional garbage to your Manager? I felt absolutely ridiculous and frightened as I wasn’t sure what was going on with my body. I didn’t feel like I had it all together and was a highly evolved being….let’s just put it that way.
I took a cab home and I told the driver I had a headache and I said it was because of stress. He offered me some painkiller as he had a headache too due to stress – his wife had just left him a few months back and he had two kids with her. I felt even more ridiculous.
Then I came home and had a nurse on the line as I had to call NHS to double-check I didn’t have some weird thing and she forced me to get my flat mate to examine me (it was in the middle of the night), whilst talking to her on the phone. I felt even more ridiculous.
I felt small. I felt tiny. I felt…I felt like what I wanted more than anything else was to curl up in someone’s arms and just be held for the night as all these traumas from my past washed out. I hated to confessing that though. Because I am strong and independent and I don’t need some guy to hold me. I do though. And when I stop feeling ridiculous will be the day that it will actually happen, not with a guy that is sort of right, but with a guy that’s truly right.
It’s OK to be confident even if you sometimes feel small. It’s OK to let some steam out instead of pretending that everything is OK. It’s not like I’d show these sides to people. I’d always pretend that I am fine. Well, you know what, there was a six year old in me that wasn’t fine. And all that fighting to keep the lid in place, the heart closed, it only hurt me. Now I feel GREAT: I let it go.
It’s not really sexy with people who strut around showing their assets…or maybe it’s sexy, but it’s not about love. You will get laid if you stick your butt in the air, but why not find someone who loves you and then stick it in the air? It’s one thing to be sexy every day, I believe one should flaunt what one has, when appropriate, but it’s another to invite attention mentally.
It’s OK to be you, on your journey, wherever you are. Accept that life shaped you and gave you a few bruises. Don’t be ashamed of them (she says and thinks the whole world will label her insane after this blog post). Sure you want to heal your wounds. Sure you want to stop acting defensively, bitchy, egotistical, needy…whatever. Just…please accept yourself. You don’t have to blame yourself because some events happened to form you. You can just move forward as best as you can. Give yourself love. Move forward with love. It’s like this: you need to get from A to B, so you eat a balanced meal to give you the energy you need. You don’t decide to starve yourself to get there, it would be illogical, right? So don’t beat yourself up if you want to get from A to B in other areas of your life either – rather feed yourself the love you need to get there. And hey, let me tell you a secret…really grounded, loving people are really super yummy…they are capable of giving what people appreciate much more so than those that offer….well….let’s face it…some ego and a bit of sex…
Love is sexy.