Middles

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This isn’t a beginning, for all that it’s my first post on here. I’ve been writing on and off most of my life. Words are an essential part of my being and not just in a ‘required for life’ oxygen sort of way but in a required for truly LIVING sort of way (unless the endorphins get in the way but more on that later…).

This isn’t an ending, though there will be some postings of past musings as I hope to use this space to gather the scattered writings I’ve done publicly and privately and whatnot.

Besides, the best stories start somewhere in the middle. The middle is an especially comfortable place to be for someone who doesn’t identify strongly with binaries. It isn’t the center – this isn’t a linear spectrum – it is an unspecified location within the vast miasma of between. I relish the fuzzy grey areas, the challenging bits that don’t play nicely with pigeon-holes, the venn diagram overlaps –> the utter rejection of mutual exclusivity when it comes to identity, self-expression, and enjoyment.

Stay tuned for glimpses of my middle 😉

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Cautiously Hopeful

I did it. I opened up and let them in. I needed to do it, especially last night and especially after what happened over the weekend, but I still didn’t expect to do it and I certainly didn’t expect to do it in the way that it happened.

It feels … right. I went with my gut and I took my cues from the universe. That said, I’m worried. I don’t want to focus on all the ways this could suck for me if it goes bad, but after living through the past eight months I don’t know how to tune the anxiety out.

So I’m hopeful. Cautiously, yes, but hopeful.

Risky

Elsewhere

I’ve figured out what I want … that is to say, I’ve admitted it to myself. Phew. It isn’t something I’m super proud of but it feels true and, despite my conflicted feelings about whether or not I *should* want it, it resonates on the deepest level.

I also know that I’m unlikely to get what I want. That’s the joy of wanting things that involve other people … they’re messy and things don’t always, or even often, turn out the way one might hope. That’s part of the feeling behind knowing I ‘shouldn’t’ want this.

I do though. I absolutely do. I’ve spent all weekend sitting with these feelings and processing through them. I’m letting go of the “shoulds” and I’m letting go of worrying about what she is going to say – it won’t be supportive, I know that. That’s one of the hardest things to come to terms with.

She worries for me. She doesn’t want to see me get hurt and going after what I truly want means allowing myself to be vulnerable to you. She understands though and that means so very much to me. She’s been there. She knows.

I’m a bit anxious, more than a bit honestly, about how you will react to this. The processing I’ve done this weekend has centered around letting go of any expectations one way or the other. I can’t control anyone but me. I know what I want. I want it, even if you’re against it now. It would mean so much to me if you supported this and I’ll be ok if you don’t. I know that – whatever feels and judgies this will bring up for you – it was what you wanted before you went tits up and any objections you have at this point are around the discomfort you’re likely to feel and the work we’ll have to do together.

He’s likely to feel a bit blindsided by this. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with him, apart from his own sitting with challenging shit and working through the road bumps of this so-called life. If we’d been together as planned last night, both of us would’ve avoided dealing with this decision for awhile. The avoidance game is so tempting sometimes, especially around the deep feels – especially around owning where things are with you. It’ll be good growth for both of us, though he’s less likely to see it through that lens initially.

She’s going to be MAD. She may cut me off entirely. She’s most of the way there already. I hope that isn’t how this works out. I hope she can hear me.

She’s going to be thrilled. I’m a little annoyed that she’s had any kind of influence – and I’m really annoyed that she might have been right cuz she was SUCH a jerk about it. Grumble.

For those of you following along at home —> there are multiple hes and shes involved here, in case that wasn’t clear. There’s only one you … even if you’re so many different people and things lately.

I love you. I know what I want. Your death doesn’t mean my desires shall go unfulfilled. Oddly enough, even with the worry over how you’ll react, I know that this is what you want for me. When all is said and done – this is what both of us wanted and, now that I’m able to see it, it’s what I still want.

My hand is out to you. I can feel your fingers curling around mine. I can feel the squeeze you give them. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things if those are phantom fingers and squeezes. They’re there. I can see you. I SEE YOU.

Desire

God I want you inside me tonight. In class today we talked about anatomy and sexual technique and I couldn’t stop remembering the last time I had your cock in my mouth… the smug expression on your face as you watched me squirm uncontrollably with your hand in my cunt… the love in your eyes, your voice, your manner as you told me all the things you were feeling as we fucked, the hoarseness as you described how it felt to hear me call out your name as I came…

I miss you. I love you. I’m sorry. I’m holding out my hand. Why are you gone? Where are you?

Succumb

With friends like these …

I’m in a pretty dark place tonight. My anxiety is off the charts, I talked to my therapist about some of the most traumatic events in my past today, and my period started yesterday – knowing those things, I really shouldn’t take anything my brain is saying seriously right now … but how does one do that? How does one completely dissociate from the noise? I know there are those that can pull it off – and, to be clear, I don’t exactly envy them – but I’ve never managed that trick.

I’ve been thinking – and feeling, let’s be honest – a lot about friendship for the past few days. I am very fortunate to have some of the best friends any person could ask for. People who really and truly care, who have held me together during some pretty terrible things over the past twenty years or so, not to mention the shitstorm that has been the past two years. But I’m tired of being mired in the muck and I can only imagine the toll it has taken on them to constantly be propping me up. Still they’re consistently there. They drop what they’re doing to help.

Then there are … others. I’ve had a few friendships implode in my life for various reasons, these moments generally come about once every seven years or so … until this past July. Since the middle of July I’ve lost about fifteen ranging from the friendly acquaintance to the deeply loved. There have been some extreme circumstances, sure, and a crucible is a much better test of character than a field of flowers but I can’t help but wonder what is going on with me. Am I just that bad at picking people? Am I just that bad of a friend?

I had one of the deeply loved ones tell me recently that it’s hard to be my friend because I’m too self-absorbed. Ouch. She gave me some things to work on in order to keep her friendship and, while some are the very real and valid get out of my own head and be better at listening sort of things, some feel like total bullshit. It feels like she doesn’t actually want to be my friend – she wants to mold me into someone I’m not. She doesn’t approve of how I manage my other relationships, she is tired of me grieving something she doesn’t think I should want or be involved in, she doesn’t want to deal with my tears, I’m not queer enough to have a shareable opinion about being queer, I’m not allowed to ask that she not use the word ‘cunt’ as an insulting description of a female-identified person, I’m not experienced enough to provide guidance to other newbies, etc. I don’t even know how to approach a conversation about this cuz how do I express any of this without making it all about me?

Another one, this one somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, has decided that we aren’t friends anymore because I asked for some space and, when she didn’t give it to me – that is to say, when she told me over and over and over again about how she was going to give it to me – I took it for myself. I gave myself a few days off. She’d just given me a diatribe about how the trauma I experienced recently and the resultant fallout have negatively impacted her ability to develop a new partner relationship… even though neither she nor this potential partner (nor that person’s current partner) were in any way involved in what happened to me.

Then again, I’m totally stuck in my head so of course I can come up with all sorts of reasons why they’re the jerks and I’m the victim. God, I’m so fucking sick of feeling like a victim. Of all the aspects of my mother that I NEVER want to claim for myself, that’s got to be at the top of the fucking list. I read over this and that’s the feeling I get though.

I feel like such an impostor in my own skin.

Fraud

Integrity

There are a number of definitions of integrity out there and most of them focus on honesty and a strong moral compass, leading to a sense of wholeness (or sometimes a separate definition of wholeness). Those are useful but they miss a core part of the meaning this word has for me.

I’ve seen memes that say things like “Integrity is doing the right thing when no one’s watching” which adds (or removes?) a layer of performative honesty. That’s nice and all but still misses the mark for me.

To me integrity isn’t just about honesty, having a solid moral compass, or even “acting rightly” regardless of circumstance. All of those terms are too subjective – too easily warped to whatever someone claims to uphold as their truth.

I find that there needs to be a level of consistency and of actions matching words. There needs to be allowance for growth, so consistency shouldn’t be taken to mean always saying and doing things in a certain way regardless of their appropriateness. That said, integrity also incorporates accountability in the change process.

So it isn’t just that someone says and does one thing today and the opposite tomorrow and the rest of us are stuck ferverently hoping the switch is due to some new insight. If I say “x” today and then tomorrow say, “wow – I mean Y, not x” there should be some kind of acknowledgement that I’ve come to realise there are inherent issues with x and y is a better fit for my values for a, b, and c reasons and, as such, will be my adopted philosophy until I learn of something better.

This acknowledgement of the elements behind my shift doesn’t necessarily have to be public. However, if I have made a promise to someone and come to understand that promise was made in error – for whatever reason – I need to be open and upfront with that someone about why I will no longer be able to fulfill that promise.

It isn’t easy, certainly, but that’s part of why integrity isn’t a quality that everyone can lay claim to. If person A is in a relationship with person B that precludes the making of promises to person Q, yet person A makes a promise to person Q and that promise is broken, person A needs to be honest with person Q about what happened. This isn’t an opportunity for the blame game. It is pure cowardice for person A to pretend that the promise to person Q was never made or for person A to hide behind person B’s determination that the promise is invalid.

Do your own emotional labor. It may seem easier to ignore things or to let other people fix them for you but that will only make things worse in the long run. It sucks. It is hard. You likely won’t get it right the first time. No one can force you to do it and trying to manipulate people into doing it ends badly for those involved. Get support in the ways that you need it, gird your loins if that’s your preference, and – whatever this looks like for your personal life situation – fucking do it.

Asshole

God I miss you this morning. I still struggle with wrapping my brain around the fact that you’re gone. Coming to terms with your death hasn’t been easy. Every time I think I’ve gained some solid ground underfoot, something happens and I backslide right down that sheer cliff face. It’s a Sisyphean effort to start again and I’m fucking exhausted. Some days I trudge along, always forward and never straight. Some days I stay hidden in my cave, the light of the sun too bright and cheery to feel good on my skin.

Someone asked about you this week and, as I told them the story, I relived the experience of your death. I hadn’t cried about you in days and there I was, unable to staunch the flow of grief. It was wonderful to have her support and yet I was so angry with her, with myself, and – perhaps most of all – with you. I had thought I was in a better place about this and it was more than a little shocking to feel just how fresh the pain still is.

When I played on Friday night there was a moment when my whole body clenched and tears came spontaneously and it wasn’t until my heart cried your name that I knew what had happened. It was a particularly sensitive hit and I played it off to my top as a purely physical reaction. Thankfully, we’re new to each other and I was able to sell it. He made a solid effort to bring my energy back to where it needed to be and I let him. It made me realise that I still haven’t done that cathartic scene I crave.

I dreamt about you last night. It’s been, wow, over a week since the last time. That’s how I find myself writing at 5am. You’re still one of my muses.

Maybe the dream came because I talked about you last night, a couple of times, and only got a little choked up. I was almost able to pull it off as normal conversation. I sincerely doubt that one person even noticed any pausing for slightly deeper breaths – though the other person was well aware of my struggle and checked in with me around my support mechanisms. I’m so tired of carrying this grief around that my first instinct was to pretend that I don’t need support anymore. He knew though. He was right. Death isn’t pretty or easy or kind. Grief isn’t linear.

I played with someone last week that had energy similar to yours and I couldn’t focus, couldn’t get into headspace, couldn’t drag my mind away from you. I don’t think I can play with her again any time soon which sucks cuz I’d been looking forward to that for MONTHS and I know she had a great time. The funny thing is, I have a new partner and he has a lot of the same sort of energy you had but from a totally different facet of you. I don’t know why her energy was too painful for me to be around and his is ok.

Overall, it is getting better. Slowly but surely I’m acknowledging that your death means you aren’t there when I want you. That your arms aren’t available. That your snuffling laugh won’t be heard again by my ears. Acknowledgement isn’t acceptance though, not by a long shot. My forehead still aches to feel your kiss. My body still tries to curl up against yours as I sleep and I still wake up when I realise you’re not there.

I love you. I miss you. YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE. My hand is out, reaching, ever empty.