So, recently someone referred to me as "one of the best diarists out there" which kind of blew my mind, and not a little bit because I've neglected that aspect of my writing for a significant time. You know, the part where I expose myself emotionally (but somewhat anonymously) through trifling words and shaky metaphors, right here where anyone can see it?
It's a little bit different now, you see. People know me now. People whose actions might have inspired my writing will read these words and possibly want to talk about them. Or will want to "fix" whatever it is they think they've done. And I don't want that. I want to be able to write here, completely free of self-consciousness, the way I used to, and hopefully still give insights into things that might help someone else at the same time.
So, today we're going to talk about what it's like to have lived as an emotional (and actual) hermit for years, then get involved with a group of wonderful people who are all interested in many of the same things I am; what it feels like to forge friendships within that community, and how it feels to suddenly be wrestling with emotions like envy, jealousy, and my personal favorite, feeling inadequate.
It all stems, weirdly, from having friends that tell me how great I am. How smart, how creative, how talented, how beautiful (more on that insanity in just a little bit), how sexy (and this insanity as well). I know my strengths. I will give you smart, just not as smart as I'd like to be. I will give you creative, albeit in a fairly non-earth-shaking way. I will give you talented; I am fully aware that I am a little bit good at a lot of different things within the creative spectrum. And I promise to address "beautiful" and "sexy" before the end of this post.
But for now, we're going to talk about how my first reaction to having people tell me how great I am is to say "yes, but." Yes, but if I were really that fantastic, why have most of the people with whom I've tried to be friends in my life turned out to be such asshats? And then I remember that it's only the people whom I've really let myself get close to emotionally that have been horrible. It's only the people who convinced me that they were actually sincere that I trusted enough to be hurt by. I've had lots of people in my life that I can charitably call "friend" who think they know me, who throw the word "friend" around as if they know what it means to me; those people have never done anything to hurt me, are always happy to see me around, and are quite fun to hang out with from time to time, although I suspect that if I ever had a serious need they'd disappear.
Did I just describe the human race? I'm really not sure.
My pattern my entire life has been to have one close friend - a BFF if you will, although that term certainly didn't exist in 1981 when Kate F----- and I spent the summer playing "girl detective" - she was the detective and I was the sidekick. I had a different friend every year; for a long time I remembered which year was which by which friend I'd had. First grade was Emily, second grade was Karen, third grade was Irene, fourth grade was Kate, fifth grade was Kerry...the one thing they all had in common was that they moved away after a year. And I was not good at keeping in touch. If there'd been email, and facebook, and skype, and all the wonders of living in the future, then who knows, but in those days it was far easier for me, the kid with major abandonment issues, to just let them slip away.
But I am digressing.
I had one friend through all of jr high (and she's a whole 'nother kind of story), one friend through high school, one friend in college. I am a person who always longed for a loving community (see lack of affection from my family) but never found more than one person at a time in whom I could trust.
Then, somewhat miraculously (well it felt like a miracle), I fell in with an extremely close-knit group of people who (bonus!) were all part of the same family, and they sucked me right in. For the first time I was part of an emotionally demonstrative group that seemed to really really like me, one of whom seemed to be really really attracted to me, (which was convenient, since I was really really attracted to him), and I let them have my heart.
And they crushed it.
This is the pre-hypnosis me. A lifetime loner, a woman with fears of rejection and abandonment that were off the scale, who'd thought she'd found some sort of community (not realizing that someone wanting you around is not the same as them being good to be around), whose defining emotional characteristic (to her eyes anyway) was life-sucking, bone-breaking, heart-killing loneliness.
I've written enough about my early experiences with erotic hypnosis that I don't feel like I need to go into it again. Suffice it to say that I had a bad experience emotionally that kept me from feeling like I could trust anyone for a year and a half, then slowly re-emerged into the community and have been getting more and more active and more and more passionate about it ever since.
I have friends again. I have a community again. I have people who are worth being hurt for.
Which brings us to WEEHU.
You might recall from previous posts (and if you haven't read them, that's okay too) that I have previously attended the first WEEHU, then skipped a year. In that year I actually attended MEEHU (in Chicago) which was a genuine life-altering experience for me, and where I really started creating some of the friendships that have come to mean so much to me.
And WEEHU this year was so incredibly fantastic! You don't really know how invigorating being able to walk with confidence into a room and know in your bones that you aren't going to be judged and rejected is until you've had the experience. That is what all of the hypno-centric events have become for me - the places I can go and know without any doubt that I am accepted as I am.
I will write actual posts about what I did at WEEHU. This is not that kind of post. This is the post where I talk about how I felt, and specifically talk about some of the negative feelings that I had to overcome while I was there (and to be honest am still working through) - which in a weird way tie back into the insanity of anyone thinking I am beautiful and/or sexy. Desirable even. What nonsense is this?
I am so grateful for the things I got to do! I have never felt more cared for than I did over this weekend. People made such an effort to do wonderful, compassionate things for me that I feel like an ass being upset over the things that didn't get done.
Things that didn't get done in large part due to a lack of assertiveness on my part. Because even now, in a setting where I feel completely safe and accepted, there is still that part of me that knows that if I remind people of things they committed to I'll be nagging, if I ask for what has been promised I'll be whining, if I suggest that these things are more important than those that are actually being done I'll be called ungrateful and worse, be told that there'd never been a real intention of doing them in the first place.
Two of the three things that didn't happen have been discussed and hopefully replanned and will happen at some other meet-up in some other city, and all parties involved, while still sad that things went awry, are at least now content to await the future.
The third thing has never been discussed. Mostly because I am too insecure to do it face to face, and have resolved to write about it here, where, even though it's an illusion, I can pretend that I have anonymity.
So, let's talk about sex, baby. (And now you'll have that stuck in your head for awhile.) Let's talk about you and me. (Just cementing it.) Let's talk about how easy it is when you're being pulled in so many different directions by so many wonderful people, to just go with the flow and not think about the people who aren't around. If I were confident and assertive I would have just marched across the hall (as other people were wont to do) and say "Hey, are we doing this or not? Time's a'wastin'." Yes, I do actually say "time's a'wastin'" in actual conversation. But that's neither here nor there. But I'm not that girl.
I Am Not That Woman. I know in my core, to my bones, through every bit of every molecule that makes up my being that I am not attractive, that I am not desirable, that I am not sexy; that what I have to offer is my mind and my voice and my pen, and while those are all fine things they do not inspire someone to say to the svelte and sexy woman in front of them "Hey you know, you're smoking hot and all, but I promised this kind of time to someone else already and I'm going to go find her now." I get it. I really do. But it never stops hurting, knowing that the person that I am (the only kind of person I know how to be) will never be the woman that is thought of without nagging, without reminding, without prompting.
I also am completely aware that I am being ridiculous. That without communication no one ever accomplishes anything and that it was fully within my power to nag, to prompt, to remind - and no one would have taken it negatively.
But I want to be WANTED. I want to be wanted without having to do that. And I'm pretty sure at this point that I never will be. But I can live with it. I've had a lot of practice.
If you've read this far, you've the fortitude of an atomic blast and you should give yourself a huge pat on the back. But carefully, atomic blasts can be volatile. There will be actual "what I did at WEEHU" posts forthcoming...eventually.
And I'll try to remember to update this particular blog more often than every 4 months.