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Anonyst Man

Bold Honesty

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innocence

Journal: 01/28/17

Reiterating her need to get things done today, but not seeming to really want to do much about it, Rori and I got up and moving around 10ish. She had her leftover Gomez for breakfast and I made myself a kind of breakfast burrito from fried eggs, salsa, black beans, and a tortilla.

After we’d eaten she finally got to show me the poem she wanted to the night before but couldn’t because we had to leave for our date. The poem was very powerful and covered a lot of what is really important and meaningful in a human life. I highly recommend anyone reading give it a look. It’s called The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

We talked about which lines of the poem we felt like apply to us more than others right now, listened to music, and sat in her big sunny windows while she kept asking herself what she really needed to get done today and how.

This went on for probably a couple hours while she went in circles rehashing the same handful of to-dos in her mental list of things to get done but then conceded that some of it just couldn’t be scheduled and done during the weekend but would have to wait till the week. During this time we also did some rolling around on her living room floor and she challenged me to benchpress her so I did a handful of times and then tried to hold her up like an airplane with my legs. I was able to do it, but not with much control or any grace.

We kept getting side tracked by fun little distractions with each other and would keep coming around to what she was going to decide to get done. At one point I was going to drive her to get her car worked on and then we’d go to a place nearby to play laser tag but it wasn’t in walking distance. Eventually she gave up on almost everything and we had gotten hungry so we went to grab lunch.

When we got to my car we saw that I had a parking ticket from misinterpreting the street sign. Since I had to move my car anyways I drove and she directed me to a lunch place that didn’t exist anymore so we turned around and went somewhere close to where we started.

After a big lunch that filled me up I think I was feeling a food coma coming on and said I needed some coffee. She guided me to a nice unique coffee shop she liked and we almost got in a couple accidents on the way. Once we had my drink and her cookie we sat on a couch and discussed our feelings about the different love languages. I accidentally crossed the line and pulled back a couple times from being too affectionate with her in public since she was concerned about being a distraction to people working.

went somewhere else before getting her grocery shopping done together. She was fast, didn’t get much, and bought some stuff for her kids that she didn’t have to which I admired.

This time when we got to her place I parked at the cheap 24 hour library lot a couple blocks away.

We put the groceries away, then almost immediately took some back out when we decided what to make for dinner. Some kind of burrito bowl thing I think. Good though.

Rori decided to send her friend Michelle a photo of both of our bowls to see if she put together that she was on a date. Rori makes it seem like she’s very reluctant to let almost anyone know when she is seeing anyone, and I’ve heard her say more times than I can remember that “I don’t date.” She seemed to me making some kind of exception for me, but I don’t know what that means or really what to think of it.

We moved to the couch and watched a pretty good movie after dinner. I’m sure we were talking about other things now and then throughout the movie but I don’t remember what exactly. She kept checking her phone waiting for her friend Michelle’s reaction and eventually decided to take another photo where just my hand wrapping around her arm was visible. Michelle finally put it together and I think sent a few messages and then called. Rori gave me the phone to answer and I said hi to Michelle and there was just a confused and maybe stunned silence on the other end. Rori snatched the phone back, told Michelle she’d talk to her later, and hung up. It all felt reminiscent of the kind of ‘reveal’ moment that I haven’t had for a very, very long time.

I forget exactly how we got to this topic exactly, but shortly after the movie was over she mentioned her crazier college days. I wasn’t really able to share similar stories, but could only talk about how I was able to retain so much of my innocence through undergrad and how I actually like my innocence but how I think it can cause confusion with women specifically. Though I’m very honest and straightforward about my interest in them, I think they assume that comes with more expectations than I actually have. When they might think that I’m trying to stick it in, in reality I am trying to just cuddle and kiss them all night.

She’s very smart and insightful so she asked some good questions and I ended up telling her about my current feelings about sex and partner selection. How the only person I’d been with since was someone who I met at a  philanthropic event, who I found out volunteered and I could tell was a good person, but, kinda like Rori, had some walls up. We laughed about that a little. I talked about how thoroughly I tried to explain my situation to this girl out of fear of hurting her and she told me to shush, that she knew my situation, and to let it be. That was a gift. I also had a lot of meaning and personal conversations with her that I later found out meant enough for her to write me a letter thanking me for showing her it’s ok for her to be herself and how grateful she was for having met me. That has kind of set the standard for how meaningful, if temporary, I would want any future sexual relationships to be.

We headed to bed right after that conversation because she was wanting to go to church in the morning. I really couldn’t say exactly what I picked up on, whether her body language or verbal responses were distant or short, but once we got into bed I had to ask her why she felt distant.

It took some encouraging and questioning, and for a while her responses were too vague and evasive that I couldn’t understand what was happening. It became clear that our conversation about my innocence and commitment to holding onto it had brought something up. At first I thought maybe she was remembering and feeling the loss of innocence for mistakes she felt she’s made. I tried to tell her that I thought as long as mistakes were learned from that she didn’t have to lose anything, but could gain it back. Her response was that the mistakes she’s thinking of were someone else’s, not hers, and that she had any choice in the matter taken away from her.

I told her I was sorry and that I understood now. Knowing that there was really nothing I could say to her, the only thing I could think that made any sense to say was to tell her about the ways I had been taken advantage of as a kid and how it has been a source of guilt and confusion for me.

Her response was pretty funny and typical of her, giving her professional social worker opinion on how textbook my case was and that any guilt or shame on myself was misplaced. Regarding her own traumas, she shared a little more of how they happened. I didn’t show any reaction but let her know it made me want to kill someone and cry at the same time. She told me that she doesn’t like telling people because then they feel a need to protect her, even from themselves, and she doesn’t need to be treated differently like that.

Not long after that, in part to prove to both of us that I wasn’t going to treat her any differently, and mostly because I just wanted to, I climbed on top of her and started thoroughly kissing her. She weakly tried pushing me off her with a smile on her face so I didn’t let her move me. She’d previously told me that I do a good job of knowing when she’s wanting to play-fight, and when she really wants me to stop something. She does a good job of flatly using her words if I’m accidentally doing something she doesn’t like.

I kept kissing her and let my hands roam all over her. Again, I knew that I wanted, and was ready, for something, and that she could easily stop me if she wanted to. I led my hands around her hips and steadily between her legs, paying close attention for any indication to stop. She gave me none that I could tell, and instead gave signals of acceptance and encouragement, so I kept going. As much as I’ve fantasized about meaningless sex, I don’t know if, in reality, I could enjoy it very much or in the same way. To me, the trust, gentleness, and acceptance that is required for physical intimacy makes it just as much, if not more, emotional than anything else I can think of. Being let into knowledge of someone’s body is an incredibly personal and irreversible thing. That is even still the case in “meaningless” sex.

Once it seemed she was satisfied, I stopped and she almost went right to sleep, but she fought it and started kissing my chest. Working her way down my stomach, she had a lot of fun playing with how I would involuntarily twitch if she kissed me in the right places. She kissed her way down my stomach and kept kissing as she passed it. The knowledge that someone is choosing to take care of you in a way that doesn’t give back to them except for the knowledge that you are putting your trust in them is pretty emotional and beautiful too when you think about it.

Maybe I’m putting too much into all this, but when you’ve been in one relationship for the entire nine years of your adult life, it’s easy to take those things for granted unless they are violated, until they become fresh again, or both.

After a while, she said she was ready and would rather have me somewhere else. I told her I’d been thinking the same thing. This wasn’t the first time I’d been with someone since my relationship ended. There had been one person before, but this was the first time since I had made major steps in  grieving and fully moving on from it. It felt a little different; more real, since I’d gotten to know Rori better in a way that I have a great amount of respect for her personal values, honesty, integrity, toughness, and kindness.

I did my best to pay attention and do right by her, and from her non-verbal cues, I think I did an acceptable job, but her inability to verbally express anything positive that insinuates someone else has any power over her keeps me from really knowing for sure.

I went to sleep happy and content.

Journal:01/13/17

Friday ended up being a bigger adventure than I expected.

I almost missed therapy again. I think I set my alarm early enough that the mom was still getting ready to go to work and I didn’t want to get in her way so I must have turned my alarm off or something.  I woke up a while later to the sound of another alarm outside my bedroom door. Pretty embarrassing to say but since she knew I missed therapy the day before, she set an extra alarm for me. Very nice and thoughtful, but it sounds pretty pathetic and is not the easiest to admit, but I’m really trying to work on not holding back even in the little ways that are really easy to just omit and own everything that is real.

Often times, since I am better at seeing the little things I’m ashamed of instead of the little things that I should be proud of, I know my honesty is probably giving myself and others a lopsided view of more of my bad than my good. I think I’m going to try to revive and change the format of my posts about what I love about myself to be a single running list that I timestamp any time I add to it.

Therapy itself was a lot of updating Leah on my conversations with Carly since we last met. I also told her that I was a little frustrated how much time and energy dealing with all the emotional stuff made me feel like I wasn’t making more progress on practical accomplishments and life-management.

We also talked about how I reacted to some of the conversation with Carly. How I have almost a need to coax her to admit all the worst and hardest thing about myself and our relationship so that I can take as much credit for the bad as possible to make sure that 1) I’m thoroughly beating the lesson into or out of me, I’m not sure which way and 2) I think I have this self punishment complex where it’s only right and just that if I found out I’ve done anyone wrong that I have to learn my lesson in a painful way as some form of payment or penance of fairness.

Leah said that wasn’t really healthy. I wasn’t surprised.

She went on to point that out as a very extreme type of oversimplified black-and-white thinking to always assume and put all the worst on myself and all the best on others. I get that, but I also see others often excusing themselves for things that they played a role in being responsible for and I don’t want to be a person who makes excuses and doesn’t learn from my mistakes and continues to hurt people. In that way I guess it does come back to my deep and powerful core value to “never hurt anyone”, which is impossible but I believe worth trying to minimize and I am very harsh and unforgiving of myself when I fail.

One counter to my assumption that I was the only one who had done anything wrong was talking with Leah about the strange little relief to know that Carly had been holding back a whole lot from me about who she really was and what she really needed. The more that sinks in the more it feels like being constantly lied to.  It isn’t about laying any blame, but was a relief to know I wasn’t the ONLY person who had done ANYTHING wrong  like I had been telling myself. In comparison to that, the fact that she was consciously in contact with someone else on a daily basis and developing feelings for them while we were still together doesn’t feel like nearly as big of a betrayal as the foundational lying it turns out she had been doing to both of us for so long. Don’t worry, I’m not using this as ANY kind of excuse for myself, I still take plenty of the blame for wrongdoing still, it has just been important for me to really see past some of my black-and-white thinking that EVERYTHING was ALWAYS ALL my fault.

I think the topic of being so harsh on myself is what reminded me and shifted us to talking about my realizations about how for a long time my extreme pressure, and expectations, and withholding, and harshness with myself was in a way abusing myself. She told me about someone she knew or heard about who put a childhood photo on their bathroom mirror and reminded to love themselves and and treat themselves and talk to themselves the way they would to the little little version of them self that was in the photo. That is something I might try doing since my realization was essentially that I was abusing that person inside me.

I told her about some of the frustration and impatience I was having, feeling like I was spending so much time and making most of my progress in this emotional space that I wasn’t getting to see as much practical improvement as I wanted (even thought there definitely has been a fair amount considering how low I was to begin with). She essentially told me that I was making good progress, that the last thing I needed was something else to beat myself up about, and to be patient with myself.

After therapy, I knew that I would be heading to Columbus for happy hour that afternoon so I got through my daily prep and gym time fast and early and was fussing to customize my computer set up customized when it was time to go.

I headed straight to the bar I was meeting the girls at and Mike D. also decided to come hang out even though he didn’t know anyone else. I got to catch up with Jim Christy who Julie now works with. Mike and everyone got introduced, and talked a little bit about work stuff, then also about dogs, I found out that someone I had worked with used to be a Hooters waitress which I was so happy to know, then a bowling lane opened up and I talked to Paige about what she’s thinking about her career. We all took a picture to share with Kaitlin and Stacy who didn’t end up making it out.

We moved on to Local Bar when it seemed the larger group was winding down pretty early. I got to practice talking with girls who I didn’t know at all without trying too hard. Luckily I actually had a genuine question to ask one of their group who they all were. When some of her group came back, I got to talk with them too. One of whom was a cute, single blonde who I had noticed earlier. They were very cool and the conversation was pretty fun for me at least, then someone turned it political and the dynamic started to get weird even though I didn’t think anyone said anything offensive. They said they were going to Union for the rest of the night after I told them I was going to meet other friends at Pint House and we went our separate ways. Maybe I should have been more direct and given special attention to the cute blonde instead of just being friendly. I don’t know, that’s just the stuff I wonder about after I meet cute girls that get my attention and try to be a genuinely friendly person and considerate of the friends they’re with.

Grant and Carson were there when I got to Pint House so I got to catch up and have both dumb and some bits of meaningful conversation with them. It’s crazy think about how I used to volunteer and mentor them in a christian organization and now I go out and party with them, but to be honest it’s not weird because at the heart we just have brotherly relationships and really care about each other and want to have fun together. We did have a lot of fun being stupid but we also talked a little bit about the status of things with Carly.

Carson was sad to hear about it because he knew her and we had been an example to him. He also told me that I was the only man that he ever cried in front of and how much that meant to him, how it changed his life, and I think he even said was one of if not THE best day of his life. I remembered the night he was talking about. He had a girlfriend who he cared about and she was upset about something bad that happened to her, and he was upset for her. He shed some tears and I had met his father who was a pretty hard man, and I knew that Carson put a lot of his identity in football and a lot of other things that often encourage the rejection or suppression of certain emotions that are considered weakness. I told him that I loved him. I told him that I didn’t care if he was great or terrible at football. I told him I didn’t think any less of him as a man for crying, but maybe even more. I told him that anything he succeeded at or failed at wouldn’t change the fact that I just loved him like a brother.

That night he thanked me and got out of the car since I was dropping him off at home, but since then there’s been a couple times he has told me a little bit about how much that conversation meant to him.

Then we got back to doing dumb stuff. I met their other friends there and one of them was a girl with a cute face and dark brown eyes named Rachel who I thought if she was nice that I would like to maybe kiss and cuddle with. We all went to Union next and the girls who said they would be there from Local Bar were nowhere to be found. Shame. At Union the only meaningful conversation we had was briefly about how I’ve never had a one night stand. Part of me now wonders if that conversation could have been misleading because I would still go home with, and kiss, and cuddle, and maybe fool around with someone if they were cute and nice enough.

Then we headed to The Standard for a while an on the way in I somehow was roped into a short conversation with some cute girls, but my innocent non-opportunistic mind didn’t think to try to extend the conversation to see if they or anyone they knew were nice, cute, and single. I was looking and hoping to find someone to kiss and cuddle with, but my own unique desires and standards are pretty abnormal which makes it hard to be understood and find what I’m looking for. I like my innocence in this way and I am too stubborn to change to operate how is normal, instead of doing things my way.

We didn’t stay at The Standard for too long before ubering to some other place that they young 22-year-old boys chose. Turns out it was a very clubby place in the middle of campus filled with 18-year-olds grinding on the dance floor. There were a rare couple nice girls in groups that seemed to have class and would be nice to get to know, but again the safe thing to assume about a guy in a place like that is that he just wants to have meaningless and selfish sex with anyone he finds attractive enough. I pretty felt very discouraged and lonely by the truth of that fact, and how much I didn’t really like the environment I was in. I think that’s when I opened my phone and typed this note as a draft in wordpress:

“Good damn I miss her so much”

I missed having someone who I didn’t have to wonder if they were a kind and caring human being, and if they understood or cared about who I was. I missed knowing there was someone like that who I could go to almost whenever I wanted and that they would also want to be with me. I also am so full of intimate memories with her that whenever I imaging getting close with someone in any capacity, my default is to see it with her.

I lost Grant and Carson while I was exploring the club, and it turned out they had already left so I headed out and crashed at Molly’s house to end a pretty eventful day.

 

 

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