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Fantasies

30 Jul

stretch
I used to not have fantasies, or if I did, they were very PG. I’d get really embarrassed even just thinking about sex. My relationship with BD began when I was 19, newly secular, with religious residue that made me very much a prude. So our relationship was a kind, caring, loving one, and sex was missionary and respectable. That did change some with time, but I was never entirely free that way.

As for being attracted to others, thinking about other men – that was completely taboo. For years, I’d never even notice if a hot guy passed me by. All my girlfriends would be drooling, and I’d be like – hey, what did I miss? I was a one-man-woman, in life, in my thoughts, even in my dreams – honestly, I’d never even had a dream about another man. In 13 years, I’d say that’s weird.

But in the past two years, since becoming single again, I fantasize quite a lot, and I love it. Anytime, anywhere, my mind can wander and just think about – whatever… It’s liberating. Actually, what’s liberating is the fact that for the first time in my life, I feel totally free of guilty or otherwise negative emotions surrounding sexual thoughts. It’s my mind, it’s my right to think whatever I want with it, to imagine whatever I want with it, whoever I want, wearing whatever I decide, doing whatever I please. That might seem trivial to some of you, but it’s a novelty to me.

And there’s more to it that just liberation, although that is a big part of it. Fantasizing makes me feel alive. Let’s face it, adult day to day life can wear you out. It’s getting up every morning, coffee, breakfast, putting the boy at daycare, work, lunch, more work, more coffee, picking up the boy, snack, play, dinner, shower, bed time, clean up, sacred time for me, sleep, coffee, breakfast etc… Obviously, there are many pleasures in this routine. And yet, the fact that I can just be sitting at my desk, and suddenly be somewhere else in my mind, somewhere exciting… That’s just amazing to me.

My fantasies aren’t always sexual. It’s really about daydreaming. Lately I’ve found myself having full on conversations in my head with people, playing them out like I’m writing a script, and enjoying them immensely. A talk with my boss turns into a huge promotion and shitloads of money and vacation time. In a talk with an ex who broke my heart, he ends up confessing he still loves me, and I get to say that I’m over it. It can be anything I’ve been wanting to happen, or dreaming about, as far fetched from reality as can be. And there it is materialized before me, for a few minutes of pure uncensored pleasure.

There I am, at the gym, I just finished my run and am high on adrenaline, laying down on a mat to stretch. That hot instructor that I am always staring at is suddenly approaching me. He wants to see if I need help, which I obviously do. As he leans over me, helping me stretch my legs, one hand securing my shoulder, I can feel the heat from his body, as his biceps gleam with sweat. We now realize we are alone at the gym (somehow – in fantasies it doesn’t really matter how), and our eyes lock as we sink into a…

Shit. Green light. I guess I should save this one for later 🙂

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Loved

31 Jan

snoopy

When I was a kid it meant everything to me that my sisters would feel loved. I played out every perfect-mother-cliché that I saw in a movie or read in a book, said every right word, did every right thing, well, the young adult interpretation of the right thing at least.

Overbearing father, busy mother, blah blah blah, and my perfect baby sisters, two little dolls to dress up, and brush their hair, and cook for, and help out with homework, and teach them how to tell time, and build up my ego knowing that I was necessary to them, to make up for my feeling unnecessary where I should have felt paramount.

This post is not supposed to be a parent-rant, although I can see that’s where it’s heading. I just suddenly remembered today, strongly, vividly, how much I loved my sisters when we were little. And I love them truly today, as an adult. But when we were younger it was different. It was like I was their mother. Parents usually say that until you have kids, you don’t know how much love you’re capable of feeling, how protective you’ll be of your little ones. But that wasn’t true in my case. I knew, because that’s how I felt about my sisters. I wanted to protect them. I wanted to teach them. I would have done anything in the world for them and they knew it. And it made all the difference to me knowing that they had someone in their lives that they knew would do anything in the world for them. Not just in a life and death situation, but even if they just had a cold and needed to be spoiled.

So I got a lot out of our childhood relationship, for sure. They helped me fill a void that slowly grew in me, to shut up that voice that always told me that I was unworthy. I proved myself worthy to them. And then they grew up, and I needed to take care of someone more helpless than they were, so I got all these male friends at school that had issues and I mothered them, secretly falling for most of them, embracing the pain of unrequited love as if it were a trophy.

When I met BD, one of the first things I loved about him was how he took care of me. He was the first person in my life to do that in the totality that I had fantasized about my whole life. I’m sure you’re imagining me as this neglected kid with overgrown fingernails, but I was really well taken care of. And I knew that I was loved, too. And if something really horrible had happened, my parents would be there without any doubt, I’m sure of that. It’s just that totality that I was craving. The worrying about whether I would be cold without a jacket, or what time I would get back home. Whose house I was sleeping over at, if I had a sandwich for school, or it I woke up on time in the morning. It’s not that they didn’t care, they had their hands full and I was very self-contained.

The first time I ever got sick and BD took care of me, I was elated. In pain, but elated. He was all over the place, making me tea and soup, and getting me those extra soft tissues with the aloe in them, and bringing me the remote and checking in with me every twenty minutes. And there were other things too, like he hated it if I wore shear clothes, because he didn’t want anyone else having a look at what belonged to him. And he’d threaten to beat up anyone who messed with me, and though he was the geeky type and didn’t mean it seriously, it was romantic and his intentions were what counted.

Now I understand, BD showed me what it was to be loved in totality, to be taken care of, the way I had only taken care of others in the past but had rarely been on the receiving end. It was OK to cry with him, crying didn’t make me a wuss, and he never expected me to ‘just get over it’. He’d just hug me and tell me it would be OK. Sometimes that’s all a girl needs.

Even this week, as I told him I didn’t want to live together anymore, through tears, he still found it in him to console me. And I thought to myself – am I making a huge mistake? What am I giving this up for? I have a man who loves me incredibly, who wants to spend his whole life making up for his mistakes.

But the thing is, that I don’t need BD in order to be on the receiving end anymore. I am already on the receiving end of so much love and care and warmth. My gorgeous son, who blows me a kiss in the morning when I say goodbye to him at daycare, and hugs my legs when I come back to pick him up. I mother him, and I’m supposed to mother him! Isn’t that awesome? I have my friends whom I can tell things about my life, pretty or not, and they’ll accept anything without a hint of judgment. I have two beautiful sisters whose future kids will one day be my Boy’s baby cousins, and whom I fantasize about us raising together, with the ideals of parenthood that we all share.

I tend to get emotional and needy when I’m sick. I start thinking about how I can’t really handle things on my own. Thank god, after I stop throwing up, and I did eventually yesterday, I sober up and remember what’s real. Sitting on a park bench with my friend R and telling him about my aspirations, and hearing that he loves me and receiving his embrace. He believes that I’ll get there, and so do I, and if my son could speak, he’d tell me that he believes in me too.

The Many Many “Me”s in Me

15 May

Many "Me"s

My friend R has a theory that we are basically managed by many different “Me”s, who have different needs, different interests, and don’t always get along. There’s the Emotional Me – in my case, she just wants to be loved. She wants to be accepted for who she is, by a man, I’m sorry to say, because she needs that validation, she needs it to know that she’s good enough. She’s like a little girl, seeking warmth, wishing to be taken care of. She’s been pretty dominant in my life in the past couple of months. There’s the Independent Me – She says fuck it. I can do it on my own. I HAVE to do it on my own to prove to myself that I can. If I always depend on others, I’m always going to be let down and hurt. There’s no way I’m letting anyone let me down again, ever. I have to protect myself and all the other “Me”s. And the only way to protect us all from having our hearts broken is not to let anyone in. I guess Independent Me is also Protective Me. There’s Logical Me – She’s very level headed and target oriented. She has an excel file filled with lists and numbers for every single aspect of life, including love. She wants me to get a vibrator BTW because she thinks I’m too horny to make decisions these days.

There are other “Me”s too. I don’t even think I’m aware of them all: There’s Mother Me, there’s Sexy Me, there’s Career Woman Me, and Fun Me, and Over-analyzing Blogger Me. All of them want to be heard and given a place in my life, and ignoring any of them is not an option.

My friend R says that our psyche is like a tree. When given suitable conditions it grows wildly, in every direction. But build a wall on its side and it will become deformed, growing in all directions except one. All the needs of all the “Me”s have to be met eventually, even though they often contradict each other. It’s like being a mother of ten kids. You have to take care of them all, you can’t just groom the eldest and let the others die of deprivation.

Luckily, there’s one Me, who steps in at times of contradiction, at times of crisis – Super Me. Super Me isn’t always around, but she’s summoned when things get out of hand. She steps in and says, Jesus, what a mess you’ve made here. When are you ever going to learn to get along? Then she sighs, rolls her eyes, and starts delivering orders: You, Emotional Me, step aside. I know what you want, and you’re going to get it, but not now. Sit down and wait patiently. And you, Sexy Me! Give everyone a break and just buy a freaken vibrator, will you? Where the hell is Logical Me when I need her? Hey, where have you been for the last two months, what were you taking a nap? Get back to work, can’t you see we’re in the middle of a crisis here?

Well, just wanted to let you all know that Super Me is back. And while Emotional Me is pouting on the side, most of us are relieved and eager to see how she gets us out of this one.

All That She Wants

15 Apr

Nature's Embrace by Josephine Wall

He’d be kind. He’d listen when I spoke, and even when I didn’t. He’d hold me when I needed to be held. He’d love my son but understand his place as a significant adult in his life, yes, but not his father. He wouldn’t make promises he couldn’t keep. He’d be warm. He’d be generally happy and often smile or laugh. He’d enjoy a homey evening together of cooking dinner, chatting, washing dishes, watching a movie. He’d have time for us. He’d have time for himself. He wouldn’t be rich, he’d make just enough money so that between the two of us we could manage a comfortable life. He’d want to look after me. Sometimes he might even worry about me, just a little. He’d help me out with things without being asked to. He’d love me. I’d love him.

Our relationship would start casually and gradually intensify. We’d be passionate and physical, and wouldn’t be able to take our hands off each other at first. As time went by, there wouldn’t be as many sparks, but we’d still enjoy one another physically. It would start becoming serious. We’d use the L word. We might be scared. Maybe we’d both been hurt before. But that too would pass and in its place a calmness and sense of security would slowly grow. After some time, keys would be exchanged. Sleepovers would multiply. Eventually boxes would be packed and moved. Closet space would be cleared. A new life would be built and shared.

A little boy would grow up in a safe and loving environment. He’d go to school and play sports, or do arts or read books, whatever made him happy. And we’d be proud as hell. We’d all have a good relationship with his father, who might also have found a new love, built a new home.

We’d grow older. Things would change. Challenges would appear. But we’d cope with them. We’d argue from time to time. We’d be mad at one another. But at night our bodies would meet under the covers and a forgiving warmth would envelope us both.

He’d always remember how I liked my coffee, and I’d remember he preferred tepid water to cold. He’d keep the light on in the kitchen at night because he’d know I hated sleeping in pitch dark. I’d invest in organic tomatoes, because I’d know how much he liked them. Sometimes, when the Boy didn’t think he was too cool for it, we’d order in and play board games or have a movie night. Maybe there would even be another boy in the picture. Or a girl. Maybe.

I’d get a second chance at happily ever after.

But…

But if I didn’t, if things didn’t work out, I’d be strong enough to handle it. Wouldn’t I..? I’d pick up the pieces of my shattered heart and glue them back together. I’d have to find a way to protect my son from having his heart shattered too.

When I think about the risks… It almost seems too dangerous. Sometimes it makes me want to give up hope of ever having a Chapter 2.  But I remember a line that I heard in a song: There are no victories in all our histories without love. And I put on that song that I used to love as a teenager. And it makes me feel a little more hopeful, and little more brave.

Birthdays

14 Apr

birth of venus

I’m only 32 and I already have three separate friends who hate birthdays. B doesn’t like to be reminded of her age. R and N simply think birthdays are meaningless, since age doesn’t mean anything. R says it’s just another way for people to compare themselves to their peers. He’s 38, when’s he going to settle down already? You know, she should start thinking about children already, at her age. When I was 30 I had a career and two children, not that there’s anything wrong with waiting tables, but you know, there is. N criticizes how people wait for their birthday to do things they love. He thinks every day should be a celebration of us living the life we want to live.

All this is fine, and true. The competition thing, the living each day to its fullest. But let me just say this – I love my birthday! And I think my friends are sort of missing the point.

1. Birthdays are a very good excuse to be completely narcissistic, not give a shit about anyone else, and do stuff that you love and never find time for.

2. You get presents on your birthday, and presents are awesome! I fucking love presents.

3. Birthdays are not a celebration of how old you are, but a celebration that you ARE. If it weren’t for that crazy morning, 32 years ago, when my mom gave birth to me in a hospital room with five other women, and my dad rode his bike all around town shouting at strangers, I have a girl! I’m a dad! If it weren’t for that, I would not exist. I would not think, or believe, or love, or create, or become a parent myself. I would not ache, or break, or pick up the pieces of my life and start over. I would not be. And that’s what my birthday is to me, it’s a celebration of my life, with its peeks and its slopes, with its joy and its misery.

Many years ago, before I met BD, before I became, well, me, I had a really bad year. It was the year my heart was broken, my trust violated, my body taken advantage of. It was the year I stopped believing in god, and love, and happiness, and became an existentialist without really knowing what that meant. And most significantly, it was the year that I became I comfortably numb. So much shit was going on in my life, that it was too much to handle. So I didn’t. I just shut everything and everyone out. I went through the motions of life without laughing or crying, without feeling. Today, looking back at those days of numbness, I realize that there is yet another thing I celebrate every year on my birthday. I celebrate feeling! I embrace the pain and pleasures of life and I know that as long as I can feel, I exist.

And as long as I exist, I intend to celebrate my life. I feel lucky – to have loved, to have married, to have become a mother, to have been betrayed, to have recovered. I know that my heart may be broken in the future, but I still choose to love. I know that my trust may be violated in the future, but I still choose to trust.

Happy birthday, me. You’re doing great.

You live, you learn, you love you learn, you cry, you learn, you lose, you learn…

Hit Me.

27 Feb

I’m not arguing with life anymore, I said to my therapist yesterday. I feel like I used to argue with life a lot. If something, even petty and insignificant didn’t go according to plan, I’d lose my inner peace and balance, I’d be genuinely upset. But I’m not arguing anymore. Life is full of twists and turns, it’s unpredictable as hell. But I have a sort of confidence that I can take it. So it’s not with anger, but with a sense of capability that I find myself telling life, OK, hit me.

Some unsettling news entirely unrelated to my boy-drama has kind of smacked me on the head, and made me remember, once again, that life has its own plans for us, like an overbearing mother who thinks she knows best, and we’re left sitting there, wide eyed, screaming our heads off in a fit, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! But life, just stares you down, doesn’t it? And I think we all know who’s going to blink first. Crying out, protesting, denying, throwing a fit, these will get me nowhere. So I’m not playing that game anymore. There will be no more NOOOOOOOs. If life wants to smack me on the head, maybe I need a good smacking.

INTERPRETATION. Like a recovering alcoholic, I’m beginning to learn to accept the things I cannot change, and summon the courage to change the things I can. The dry facts cannot be changed. The narrative can. And we do not live for dry facts, we live for narrative. What we’re not always aware of is how much capacity we have to write and rewrite, and rewrite our narratives again and again. This was mine, only a few months ago: Surviving betrayal. Or Ah ah ah ah staying alive. It’s the story of a single mom, who’s been abandoned by a man she loved and trusted, but managed to survive the flood, to function as a mother, and discovered she had a stronger backbone than she ever imagined, and an amazing support system.

Then, when it became clear that I was going to survive, the narrative became useless. I didn’t need it anymore as a way of explaining to myself what had happened to me. So I wrote a new narrative, and it was called: A New Me Or Take these broken wings and learn to fly. This was the story of a woman, who’s not just a mother, but an entire person, who discovered that she was more than a caretaker. She had wants and needs and they deserved to be met. But, lo and behold. This too soon became irrelevant. Lesson learned.

Finally, a third narrative is being constructed as I write these lines. This one takes the dry facts of my separation, my boy-drama, and the difficulties of a close friend and tells a completely different story. It’s called: Hit Me. It’s called: I don’t know why the fuck this has to happen, but as long as it’s happening, let me see if I can achieve something along the way. 

I think I’ve quoted Einstein in this blog before, saying that crisis is sometimes a necessity for growth. So here’s a brand new narrative, and M, if you’re reading, I’m sharing this one with you. There was once a girl who had some bad shit happen to her, and it wasn’t fair. She was able to overcome a lot of it, and she reached a better place in life, but some of that shit was still troubling her, it was holding her back. Then, one day, this completely bullshit, cock-sucking, donkey-fucking piece of crap happened to her and smacked her hard on the head, in a way that only such dramatic events can. She took a moment to breathe and recover from the shock, and then she quoted Dürrenmatt’s old lady from that play and said: “If the world turned me into a whore, I shall turn the world into a brothel.” Or some other less vulgar way of saying I’m ready to fight back.

Now, just in case this girl isn’t able to see that far yet, I want to make sure she knows how this story ends. Not far down this road this whole mess is behind her. Except now, she is stronger and more capable than she’s ever been before. She feels like she can face anything, do anything, and live a life that fulfills her and makes her truly happy. And when she gets there she celebrates her rebirth with her closest friends eating waffles with sour cream and apple sauce and a dash of cinnamon.

Push the Button

10 Feb

button

We’re all a bunch of buttons and triggers, waiting to be pressed and pulled. It doesn’t always make sense. It doesn’t always mean anything. In fact, more often it doesn’t than it does. But buttons are buttons and triggers are triggers. And once in  a while – BAM.

One: The Divorce Lawyer

BD’s recently made quite a bit of money selling a company that he’d started a few years back. At our divorce meeting he insinuated that I wasn’t entitled to half of it because he’d started the company before we were married. BAM. Is he telling me that all the years of support I’ve provided, putting my career on hold to go abroad with him, washing his underwear, cooking the food he likes, cleaning up his mess after him, coaching him towards meetings, being understanding and considerate of all his needs, being his loving significant other, don’t count because TECHNICALLY we weren’t married yet? UNFAIR.

Two: The Rash

Baby’s been having some allergic reactions. Recently he got a bad rash, probably because I let him eat some soup that had a bit of cumin in it. And all of a sudden, a huge rash all over his face. BAM. Stupid stupid stupid. What kind of mother gives her baby cumin? I must have been nuts. BAD MOTHER.

Three: The Sandwich

Skating guy was over. We were sitting around, chatting and relaxing, when he had to go to work and asked me to make him a sandwich. Smearing avocado on whole wheat bread, slicing a tomato, adding a dash of salt. BAM. Perfect little wife making a perfect little sandwich for a man she has to mother. My marriage, all over again. No way. NEVER AGAIN.

We’re all a bunch of buttons, and triggers, waiting to be pressed and pulled. What do we do when they are? Is it possible NOT to shut down, fade away, crawl into a corner and cry? Is it possible for us to tell ourselves – damn, that hit a nerve, but we’re stronger than that, we’re not going to fall apart over a button, over a trigger?