I had a date around this time last year. She was a teacher-turned-librarian in her mid-40s with two kids, a pixie-cut, and thrift store style.
Before we formally introduced ourselves, I recognized her from across the room and was immediately struck by the way she carried herself. There was a confidence when moving about; clearing a table to sit at without a moment’s hesitation as to whether anyone would mind; interacting with the staff; bumping into an old acquaintance. Something common among parents and people in the education system, lest they show weakness to a group of children (and the complete opposite of Heather, who’s shy and awkward and always tries to take up as little space as possible).
We both understood how difficult it can be to get to know someone through a screen, and agreed it would be better to meet sooner rather than later. That meant I didn’t know too much about her, aside from the details in her profile. I was comforted by the fact that she mentioned All About Love by bell hooks under “A book everyone should read”, because Tiana happened to recommend it to me earlier that year and it became a big influence on the way I approach my relationships. Also by the fact that one of her needs was “understanding of systems of oppression”; as I drift further to the left on the political spectrum, I’ve learned that I tend to get along better with people who have an awareness of social inequality.
Continue reading “the beginning of me wanting myself”…
I hope I’m not belabouring the point when I say I’ve suffered a lonely existence. For much of my life, I’ve kept those closest to me at arms-length, out of a subconscious fear that they’d hurt me. I could never turn to my parents for any kind of support, cause they were more concerned about how I made them appear than how I felt; I had no siblings with which to form an alliance when they became my greatest enemy. The best friend I carried into adulthood was a person who never truly understood me, and my best friend after that abandoned me at the first sign of difficulty.
Managing my relationship needs has been a lifelong struggle. Much of the growing I’ve done (or been forced to do) is intertwined with the solitude I’ve faced; being able to change myself gives me a small sense of control in what would otherwise be a messy and chaotic existence. An added difficulty is that I keep evolving, and my social needs evolve in turn. It takes years to develop the kinds of relationships that nurture me. I’m in the middle of a transition, and my support network is the smallest it’s ever been.
Living with a partner has helped, but at some point my attachment to Heather grew unhealthy. It’s not fair for me to put so much pressure on her to be my lover, friend, therapist, caretaker, gaming buddy…everything. When I start to resent her for my needs going unmet, I know I’m in a bad place and need to check myself.
Continue reading “semi-poly”…