Purveyor of Pleasure

Delving into my humanity and the joys and pitfalls of an overanalytical nature.

Tag: choices

On the Love of Self and Selfies

August-September 2015.

August-September 2015.

Selfies are the self-portraits of this current technological age. They tell you a lot about how the person sees themselves; how they want to be seen by others. The angle, the tilt of their head, if the smile is candid or staged, forced or relaxed, or even there at all.

In this age of social media we can (to some degree) control our image: how we are seen, what info about us and our lives is shared, and what is not. Sometimes. Sort of. We can try to tailor our image to fit into what we want to look like, who we want to be, or we can bare it all, our prides and our failings, letting the viewer or reader decide what to keep and what not to.

At the same time, we can only control so much. Other people will post about us, post pictures of us. Other people will see what they want to see, what they can see. What people see will always be filtered, not just through their screens, but through their own perceptions and life experiences, their own projections and assumptions. Do they have context for your words, your hair, your clothes, your all of you? Do they have to fight against their own or your own illusions to see you, or are you real and genuine? Are they real and genuine enough to see you?

How much are any of us related to reality?

I love posed professional-looking glamour shots, candid photos when no one knows a photograph is being taken, group action shots capturing an experience, and everything beyond and in between.

Sixteen. December, 2002.

December, 2002.

I used to hate photos of myself or having my picture taken, a reminder of this body I also hated. This Self I kept hidden and locked up from the world, buried beneath flesh and blood and muscle. Buried deep in some hidden corner of my heart. I tried, often desperately, to stay alive in a world that does not want my kind, which in a world that desperately needs us.

I was praised for emulating others and discouraged from expressing what I genuinely thought or wanted or needed. So I locked myself up so tight I often forgot to breathe. I forgot to move. I forgot to dance. I made a small space inside of myself where I could be free, and I called it paradise. It was a cage. Bits of me leaked out, because I could not help it, but inside I was frozen. Lonely.

I learned to adopt others’ ideas, others’ perspectives, others’ personae just to keep me alive. Though there were plenty of times I did not want to be. I thought for many years of the ways I could end what felt like the torture of living. I never really had access to knives sharp enough in the hardest moments, never a hand steady enough to apply the necessary pressure in the right places with knife in hand. Some kind of self-preservation sabotage, or cowardice.

Just one more day, I would tell myself. One more moment. One more breath. One at a time until the numbness takes over again.

Feeling nothing was often preferred to feeling everything.

The suffocating overwhelm of hopelessness was always more than I could handle.

Sixteen. December, 2002.

December, 2002.

Paradoxically, perhaps (in that way that life is), I found my outlet on stage acting larger than life and speaking four hundred year old lines about love, longing, pain, death, betrayal, revenge, cunning, magic.

I identified with longing: longing for love, longing for belonging. I identified with the uncertainty of desire for life, search for a sense of self, and mistrust of others. I identified with fighting to stay alive against seemingly insurmountable turmoil.

I let other stories, other characters, other personae infuse my being. They lead me back to some depth of myself where I had been hiding. Slowly. Only ever slowly. I got little glimpses of life then through these, glimpses of what life could be, though I never felt like I was part of it. Always a little removed, always a little numb, always a little (or a lot) the outsider. Always terrified of ridicule and mostly indifferent to praise, unable to really believe just about anything as real.

Although acting brought me back to myself, it was still more for others than it was for me.

I woke up one day and realized I was terrified of the world, of the other people in it, and, most importantly, of myself. I had designed a life around this fear, attempting to keep myself safe through hiding, locked away from the world in hopes that would mean I would no longer be hurt.

Determined to understand and integrate the fear, I began to investigate it. Where did it come from? What is real and what isn’t? Why do I act the way that I do? I had already been asking myself some of these questions, but did not realize just how numb I was. Just how locked inside. Just how broken.

June 2014

June 2014

I began to crack open the shell I had built up around myself over so many years, letting the outside in and the inside out. I embraced vulnerability, connection, change. I began feeling again. Deeply. Not just when I was having sex, but all the time. Sometimes more than I could bear.

Somewhere along the way I realized I was missing love for myself and trust in the world. The more I love myself the more I am able to take up space in the world, to be comfortable with who I am and what I am doing. It’s cliche, I suppose, but cliches are cliche for a reason. As I began to love myself more, I began to take selfies and revel in them. Or maybe it was the other way around.

A selfie, for me, is not just about finding the right pose, the right angle, though sometimes it is. It’s about sharing a moment in time, even if my smile often looks the same. It’s allowing myself to open up to myself, open up to the camera, open up to the viewer in a way I used to abhor. It’s showing myself off to the world. It’s taking my place in the world through allowing myself to be in it and take up (digital) space.

January 2016

January 2016

Blind Spots

I’m not sure if I’m doing a wise thing here, and the fact that I’ve not really shared it with Onyx is probably an indication of how not smart it is. I just have a blind spot when it comes to him. I’m not sure what to call him on here, though he might not mind his real name since it’s a pretty common one. I’m not sure he knows about this blog anyway. I am so torn.

He contacted me on Facebook after not speaking for two and a half years. He knew the date, I didn’t. We give great back and forth. There hasn’t been any fighting yet, or bickering. We used to bicker all the time, like old marrieds who had gotten into a rut and just pushed each other the wrong way. We did that.

I loved him once. I met him around the same time I met Onyx, also online. We would call each other up and make sweet dirty music together, and it was good. I just called him for the first time in two and a half years.

It’s strange, though we used to talk on the phone all the time, I was nervous. I remembered his voice and my breath did that cliche thing of catching in my throat before I could speak. He has far too much power over me. He knows how to play my heartstrings just right, whether intentionally or not.

The ball was and has been in my court. There is no promise for anything except talking. I don’t intend to start anything sexual with him, but I want to see how he has changed and grown. My curiosity is getting the better of me, because he seems less severe in some ways. I wonder how he and I will get along now. I wonder if there is more between us than the memory of what we used to have. I know that I still have love for him inside me, and it is more powerful than I was anticipating.

Am I loving him or what he represents? I’ve always had an idealized version of him in my head, the person he could be if he could only stop being so caustic. The person he was when he was with me when we weren’t bickering. This isn’t something I can just leave alone, I have to see what happens, and I’m trying to be as cautious as I possibly can.

Protected: Choices

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Home Sweet Heartache

juneau
Taken by me winter of 2007

Everything is worse in the single digit hours when she should be sleeping but her brain won’t turn off. She instead reminds herself of how frost crystals can look like diamonds shining in streetlights and marvels at how many stars she can see when there are no lights. She watches as the sun rises in the crisp Alaskan mornings and the light floods the room that was never hers but she calls home for now.

Sometimes she wakes up sobbing, her pillow already damp from her tears, her body curling into itself. Sometimes she can only remember the good times and curses herself even though she knows she did everything she could. When you don’t have much to work with it’s difficult to hold on for long.

She wonders what the point of it all is if good love can turn so sour.

Her heart buckled from the force of being torn in two directions for too long and eventually shattered when she realized she wasn’t getting what she needed and probably never would. She hadn’t been getting what she needed for a long time. The weight of her decision makes the single digit hours drag on when all she really wants is to be held and told everything will be okay.

She wonders how she can live without being touched.

The chemical dependency she cultivated over the many months and years (respectively) has left her hollow and yearning. Unfortunately the only sources are hundreds and thousands of miles away. Her need translates itself easily into skin hunger, but she doesn’t have a way to sate it.

She doubts she will sate her skin hunger soon, but will go on as she did before in the town she couldn’t wait to escape from. She would be happy to turn everything into a distant memory, but her thoughts won’t allow her to do that. She doesn’t know when she will be able to let herself love or trust again as she works on picking up the bloody pieces of her heart, finding the self she locked away.

She wonders what the future will bring.

Life is less complicated here. It would be peaceful if she could sleep, but instead she fills her time with meaningless things to distract her from the emptyness she feels without them. The more she stares at the sky and mountains she is amazed at the beauty found where she grew up but never felt at home.

She looks forward to summer, rediscovering the trails of her youth and trying to learn to love the city she once knew. She hopes her despair will melt with winter and her new scenery and potential for a life here will grow and blossom in spring.

Unfortunately spring is still far away, and for now she has to wait for the single digit hours to tick on until she is tired enough to fall asleep. In the meantime she takes all she can from the beauty of winter, from the frost crystals and clean Alaskan air, from the darkness that envelops her and caresses her while she waits.

In the Middle

I started the draft of this post with this title months ago and had the intention to write about the juxtaposition of how wonderful it was to lay between the two of them and how horrible it was to be between them when something was going wrong. Of course the title takes on even more meaning now that they have severed all ties to each other but they both still want to be with me.

I was constantly in the middle when we were all living together, not just physically. At first I would play messenger between them when things weren’t going well, they wouldn’t talk to each other like they would to me. Some point after I stopped playing messenger our communication simply got worse, we all felt trapped and simply shut down. We all agreed something needed to change, but didn’t have the means or the drive to change it.

I can see both sides now. I still love them both very much and I still want to be with them both, just as they both want to be with me. I do not do well with making decisions when I have to choose between two things I want. Anyone who knows me knows that I prefer “all” to “one.” I’m torn and do not know how to make a choice like this.

My entire life is crumbling around me and the two people who have been central to my life are at odds and I am unable to confide in either of them fully or find the support in them that I am used to. This is difficult on all of us for different reasons, and it seems we each think we have it the worst when in reality there is no “worse” in this situation.

I have been asked many times why can’t I just continue to be with both of them, why must I make a choice. While I was told by one of them that me being with both of them might be okay as long as I don’t live with the other person I was told by the other that due to everything that happened it would be extremely difficult. I don’t want to make the same mistake twice: thinking I can have both of them and having that end with none of us happy or getting what we need.

This evening Marla mentioned fearing that no matter who I chose I would end up resenting them for making me choose. I am trying to prevent this by taking the time to figure out what I need above all else. I love them both, I want them both, I don’t know how to choose but I know that rushing into a decision will end up with me and/or everyone unhappy.

At the same time I know that taking too long or indecision is a decision all in and of itself. I’m trying to find the balance there, but maybe I’ve already taken too long. By trying to avoid hurting one of them I will probably end up hurting both of them.

The other option, of course, is to choose neither. One of the things I fear the most is hurting someone that I love, and in this situation I would be hurting both of the people who I desperately want to spend my life with, this seems like the worst solution because of that. This isn’t to say this option isn’t tempting, it bypasses me having to favor one over the other, but it guarantees that we all will be hurting more than we already are. On the flip side, if I make a choice two of us will be hurting over a choice and the other will still be hurting over the rest of the situation.

All I can do is try to figure out what is best for me, and that’s what I’m trying to encourage them both to do as well. I am not used to putting myself first in any situation, but I am working on how to do that. I’m trying not to take too long as to drive both of them away but to take long enough that I know I am making the right decision, or at least as much as I am able to know that.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén