Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wise men talk in analogies and puzzles...

I was too tired for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes last night. I wiped out almost immediately after my post, save for a quick detour stopping by my sister's room due to her calling me as I passed by in order to back her argument against her boyfriend about what type of car he should buy.

I act socially dominant. I am socially dominant, when I choose to be social. I work groups when the mood takes me, when I feel like interacting with people. I always end up being the head of the group or, if a single male alpha is already in control, I get his attention and manuever to become his focus, which puts me at the top of the social food chain.

But, in the end, I will always be socially, sexually, and psychologically submissive to the man of my choice, a man worth submitting to, whether if it's for a night, a month, or a year.

My sister, on the other hand, is, and will always be social to her core. And in that core, she will always be dominant. She commands groups, she commands men and women alike and the word "compromise" is this vague, far off thing that she only engages in with our parents.

And, in the end, she rides roughshod over her boyfriends. She pussywhips them like you would not believe. She has no respect for them, for their needs, for their preferences. If she's ambiguous about something, she'll go with what they want, but if she at all has an opinion, they are going to do it Her Way. End of story.

None of her three boyfriends have managed to stand up to her.

So I walk by and she's laying into him about how he's wrongwrongwrong about the car he wants to get and he's going to get this other car because it's safer and she cares about his safety and there is no way in hell that he's going to get this other car. And she drags me into it.

I'm so apathetic about this, I don't even remember the conclusion other than me telling him, "You should get a safe car, not for yourself, but for your son." He has a three year old boy from his ex-wife.

Well, that was fuel to her fire. I just left the room.

The next morning, this morning really, I went to breakfast with my mother. As I have said before, she is a close friend of mine, so we do go out when we can and talk about what's going on in our lives. We also stay up at night and play near violent card games, insulting each other like crazy.

She told me about her experience up in Portland, how she went through her grief cycles with her best friend, through instructions in a book that was recommended to her, and how much she realized about herself and her relationship with her older brother, who has pretty much abandoned her for his crazy born-again wife.

And, as breakfast wound down, I talked to her.

I told her how badly I felt when I was at home. About how whenever I was upset about something as a child, and even to this day, she and my father would both tell me why I should not be upset, and how the other person had their reasons and I just needed to get over it, and how very unacknowledged that made me feel all through my life.

I explained to her about the shirts that upset her so much the night before, and why I wore them, why I was comfortable wearing them. I explained to her how, because of the things that I have done, that have been done to me, I developed in the way I did, became as I am now, and that I wish she was happy for how much I've learned, and how well I can protect myself. I told her of my female friends that come to me for advice, how women online would read my blogs (at one of my other sites) and send me fan mail, questions, queries on issues they've been having with men or with their own sexuality. I tell her about the mini fanclub I had before I disappeared from that site because the attention was too much, and how I am able protect my friends from harm and being taken advantage of by rogue males because of my experiences. I point out girlfriends I've had in the past and situations that have arisen (some she already knew about), and how I had to deal with things. I tell her about going out with friends to clubs and being in the back, watching over the girls I came with, making sure that they're safe.

This is who I've become.

Because of the things that happened.

And she remembers that time in my life so well, the fragments of what I was going through flying her way, cutting her off at the knees while I self-destructed.

We're sitting there, at this little cafe, and she says,

"I remember, V. Since that time, you've grown into something different, and I've had to let go of the girl you used to be."

We talk, and I cry some. I'm not a crier. I'm the nominated family eulogy reader because the only other person who can keep it together at funerals is my father, and he doesn't like public speaking.

But I do cry. I actually cried due to direct emotional stimulus related to something I was going through.

Usually, when I know I need to cry about something, but I can't let go of my control, I watch a movie that always sends me over the edge. Sweet November, Butterfly Effect, Swing Kids, Benjamin Button. God, when I saw Benjamin Button over at the Arclight I fucking lost it hardcore. Twice.

That make-up didn't actually need to be presentable to public view or anything.

So we talk. We talk about how alienated I feel from the rest of the family because of how my life torqued off at this odd angle, about why, at family gatherings, I'm always behind a camera or off in an armchair somewhere, reading. How I feel I will hurt her if I let who I've become leak through, so I just withdraw entirely.

I talk about my fear that I don't have unconditional emotional support from her, that I can't live the life I want to live because she'll disapprove, and because it'll hurt her. I tell her that I'm worried that her love might be the same, that one day I'll go too far and she'll reject me as her daughter.

I don't think anything was truly solved, but now she's aware of it. She has said that she will not give me her emotional support if she disagrees with what I'm doing, and I'm going to have to deal with that in the future should it be occur. And, knowing me, it probably will.

But she also told me that she knows that I'll never live an ordinary life, like average people.

(Then, of course, she said, "Like your sister." And I looked at her with faux shock, "Did you just call my sister average??" "No, I didn't mean that like that. You know what I mean." And I did. I was just messing with her. Yes, I mess with my mom. And then she hits me and I yell for Child Protective Services.)

I did it, though.

I took a step towards integration.

I addressed my fears, my concerns. I let her know where I was, mentally and emotionally.

Which is what I constantly advocate to my female friends.

Which is why, when I'm one-night-standed by someone I was interested in becoming a regular partner, I never feel used or upset.

I communicate honestly and completely. I let my partner for the evening know where I am, know what I would (and would not) like from the encounter, I am completely open about my sexual history, about what I enjoy in bed, and hope for the same respect from them.

If they, before and after our sexual "interlude", speak of the next time, and yet I never hear from them again, I'm fine. Mild disappointment if the sex was good, but that's the extent to which I am affected the vast majority of the time. Their inability to be honest with me, or with themselves and therefore with me, is their own failing. I have not compromised myself, my values. I respected them as another human being, and therefore satisfied my expections of myself.

You cannot choose how someone else will treat you. You can take responsibility for yourself, for your own actions, and know you treated the other person as best you are able, however it is that you define your best.

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