It’s Just Lunch – Slow Down There Big Fella

Eleventh in a series [gs *]

Days pass and those minor insights listed in the last post keep surfacing – dynamics between lunch-guy and I that for some strange reason I didn’t catch up front. The literal particulars of what I mean by ‘goo’.

Parts of my initial ambivalence about him are now much clearer, but I still don’t understand why it has taken me so long to see what I normally would have been far more on top of. Now, I see seriously confused motivations and emotions screaming out through our whole interaction -what surprises me is that I got pulled into the confusion.

I’m normally so much more astute in general, and scrupulous about not hooking men sexually. Not because I can’t handle their resulting demands and aggression (I once believed I’d raised firing boyfriends and warding off potential suitors to an art form), but because the more certain kinds of men fail with women, the more jaded they become – and men jaded about women are hazards to everyone. I hate contributing to that, however accidentally.

But I seem to have changed the rules completely.

I thought I’d pretty much figured out this ‘how I show up’ business. Except for my secrets, I generally showed up pretty fully, with my erotic perceptions open but not impinging on people, able to hear with very little judgement, able to contribute without fear, defensiveness, or aggression. Most of the time. Depending on context (strong hierarchies and men who take too much unconscious advantage of their male privilege still mess me up, but not nearly as much as they used to). I’d thought I was ready for the next level.

But ‘coming out’ and searing the P-word to my forehead unbalances everything I thought I’d figured out. I didn’t just add a new layer of complexity, I upset all the previously established ones as well. Nothing about me seems to work, in relation to others, the way it used to. I feel lost, confused, and vulnerable,  just beginning to realize how much deeper a change this is than I’d anticipated. 

The weight of the whore archetype, fraught with a maximum of fear and desire and shame and hatred, for both men and women, over at least a couple of millennia, suddenly feels like way too much to carry.

I consciously chose to unravel my secrets. It was a completely thought-out and intentional decision, made because I was tired of affirming the status quo, and leaving deeply ingrained assumptions unchallenged – including my own.

But suddenly it all feels profoundly naïve. I don’t have what it takes. I’m too fucked up. Who the hell do I think I am? My boundaries are too confused, I’m too angry. I suddenly see a whole layer of defects I’d been oblivious to. Because, if you think about it, and I’m guessing you haven’t spent decades obsessing over decrypting the clues to this cosmic riddle, but I have – there are certain angles from which boundaries are an absurd concept, the last thing from an absolute, useful in certain, limited contexts, but not representative of reality. Boundaries – cosmically, atomically, don’t really exist, we just pretend they do.

And just as a birth-mother partakes, bodily, pre-intellectually, fundamentally, in the truth of the creation of new life – and thus knows it – in a way science never can – in that same way, a whore, a whore of any stripe – sacred, profane, high-class or low, knows the myth of the boundary as a bodily truth. Absolute boundaries, no – membrane, yes, skin, yes. Skin, deeper than skin, beyond skin, the wonder and horror of the permeability of skin – these are the whore’s gift or curse, to know better than anyone. And frankly I consider it a chicken and egg question of which comes first – the prostitution, or the bodily knowledge of the unbounded nature of the Universe, which can never quite reconcile itself to our exceptionally-boundaried society. Whether as sacred surrender or as annihilation, the unbordered resonates.

In any case, I’ve always had it wrong, by social norms, someone is always telling me I need to develop healthier boundaries, and the goo is connected to boundary issues and here I am, right out of the gate and I’ve fucked up big-time again. I haven’t ‘healed’ anything, I just tucked it out of awareness. I’m just becoming the hidden repellant raving lunatic I’ve always been, unable to accomplish anything.  There are moments I feel almost paralyzed – I threw away a life for this? So that immature men can jerk off to memories of my ‘loving energy’ whilst giving me spiritual lectures about the kind of love I’m evidently too profane to understand? I spent all those years doggedly becoming more (so much more) and now – I don’t know if you’ll get this, but I feel, on an energy level, his swollen dick pushing at me, slippery, demanding something that can’t be given, needing a degree of compassion and ministry I can’t offer. Is this what I’ve been reduced to, again? Really!?!!!

I don’t think I can do this. Lunch-guy’s reaction to the P-word is inevitable, and I can’t handle it.

To be clear, lunch-guy himself is not threatening. He still feels to me like a hapless innocent. But the goo itself – whatever this is that I’ve either caused or allowed myself too readily to fall into – feels horrifying. Like I’ve lost all my discernment, abdicated all boundaries – thrown away my value.

His confused affection is undermining my entire sense of competence and purpose right now, which makes me feel worthless and ashamed. And what he couldn’t anticipate, and I forgot to, was that when I feel this way, it stirs up a raging, lashing-out survival instinct. I act like a cornered wild animal, become a goddess of destruction.

This unexpected lunch-goo is an indicator of a problem (or more likely, a set of them) that goes far deeper than lunch-guy, but right now, it’s the best evidence I have to work with. So I’m milking it for all I can get. Whatever happened, I don’t want to repeat it, and the only way I know of not repeating my unconscious behavior is to try to understand what it was telling me.

Anyway, I want to learn from the goo, but I don’t want him in it with me while I do. I can’t have his needs and projections mucking things up even further and I need to respond to his email and let him know that. And though I don’t want to dump a load of anger on his head, there’s no way we’re going to be friends, now that I’ve become clearer about what felt wrong to me. Even if he doesn’t deserve my rage (and I’m not saying he doesn’t, I’m just saying his deserving is not a key factor), further engagement just wouldn’t be good.

Too many unconscious undercurrents – too little apparent self-reflection on his part.  From the very beginning, he’s just been throwing himself at me willy-nilly, which I find unappealing, regardless of his intentions.

And speaking of willies – the more astute among you will have noticed, I’m still not ready to consciously deal with his dick thing. I’m irked and put-out by all these other higher level issues, but I’m still trying to accept his overall intentions as he is presenting them. In my mind his betrayals and invasions are all in the ‘spiritual/emotional’ category. My energy-body is feeling the dick, but my mind refuses to go there.  My civilized niceness knows that if I acknowledge that dick consciously and let myself dwell upon the implications, serious lashing out will follow. So my careful brain packaged that dick in bubble-wrap and a box of foam peanuts and set it aside, hoping I’ll continue to ignore his (second) reference to his stiff dick and the (to me sickening) implication that the topic will arise (throbbing) again at a later date:

It made my heart soar (and another body part very stiff, but we won’t talk about that right now! : ))

With a fucking smily even! Shit! Even as I write this several weeks later, I feel a heat rise in my chest. It makes me furious, it feels invasive, even subtly threatening.

Later, when that dick escapes from the safe-room my brain hid it in, it strikes me as wildly and unforgivably ignorant for anyone to not get that personally-directed idle stiff-dick references by barely-known men are, at the very least, unappealing chatter to most women and far worse to an ex-whore. 

In case you were unaware, most whores suffer from PTSD – and dicks (stiff or otherwise) are the implements and driving forces of much of that trauma. I mean, this guy is a serious idiot who has no fucking idea who he is talking to. Now, as I write, it feels, on a energy level, like daddy saying how much he loves his baby, while poking his willy where it will never belong. I know that’s not what he meant, but I don’t really give a fuck. It’s about as stupid as me sneaking up behind a front-line soldier and shooting a gun into the air next to his ear. Stupid fucking move. And even if I didn’t get my face kicked in, no-one would be placated by my proclamations of ignorance.

Today, I could easily stomp that willy to hamburger, sear it over a raging blaze, and bludgeon it, fat still sizzling blistering hot, down his throat.

Yeah – I’m triggered, I see that. Even so, these references indicate that he’s either a seriously sneaky sick-fuck passive-aggressive asshole, or he’s far, far, far more ignorant and oblivious to what my reality might be like than anyone I want to have anything to do with. That’s not love, to be so oblivious to a person’s context. How, again, is it that I got myself into this mess? Why is it I expect myself to remain nice?

Still, don’t get me wrong, it’s the way he’s referencing it, not the fact that he is – I’m not really that delicate. There are no black and whites in my world, acceptable behavior is determined by context – which, if you think about it, is part of how I got here. He’s testing me. People who see in black and white, (which seems to create a giggly need to sneak over to the ‘dark side’) knowing I’ve crossed some lines myself, feel free to test my boundaries. If they succeed in slipping a no-no past me (which they will, because I’m little miss non-judgementalness about these sorts of things), they interpret that to mean that all no-no’s are ok by me. 

Yep, as I think this, it resonates. This is a pattern, a piece of the goo-puzzle that’s missing.

It dawns on me that if I’m going to be this person I intend to be, I have to set the context more clearly and quickly.  I need to make it clear up front that openness is not the safe sexy-mommy-land this guy seems to think it is, but an uncharted adult territory where all yesses and no’s must be individually, thoughtfully, and fully negotiated (see how much I’m learning here – that never dawned on me before). I have to make it clear that this openness is not unconditional, but that we all must discover, together, in each moment, how to interact acceptably with that openness if others want to continue to be near it. I need to make it clear that I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks about ‘pure love’ or one-ness or merging, that no-one walks into my heart and jerks off in there.

And now that I think of it, while it hadn’t dawned on me with these words in this context, that perpetual energetic listening and responsiveness is actually exactly what my husband learned long ago, and our marriage is life-and-death strong (and has moments of breath-taking magic) because of that.  In fact, this is actually what my life has taught me about how a sacred whore helps a cut-off man reconnect – by giving him the opportunity to learn how to inspire openness in a woman – she teaches him with her honest feedback and absolute erotic integrity.

If I look at it that way, my initial approach probably should not be open at all. Or, just barely enough to generate the tiniest forward momentum, not this unconditional boundariless-ness I seem to have mindlessly interpreted some long-ago spiritual platitude to mean. 

However let’s be clear, it’s the level of contextual ignorance, sneakiness, and self-absorption around his dick that infuriates me. I can talk about dicks, stiff or otherwise, (after all, that’s my own bigoted man-lens anyway – a professional hazard that can’t retreat when perpetually surrounded by dick-wavers) that’s not the problem. The problem is that he was behaving like a flasher in a park. He was whipping it out to see how I’d react, then rushing back to pretending it wasn’t there. Very pubescent.

I should have pinned it to the table instead of letting him get away with that game. I should have asked him why it was important for him to tell me that, how did he imagine I would respond, how did he hope I’d feel when hearing that?

I should have pursued an intelligent curious dialog around his stiff dick, gone into the pressures underneath the assumptions, as David Bohm would say. Shown him what a respectful discussion would sound like, a discussion that could encompass his own dick’s stiffness relative to me (or, perhaps just the me in his head), as well as respect me as a separate, sacred other. Now, that could have been a transformational discussion. But I would have had to burst a big bubble that first time the topic came up, and as we’ve established, I was inexplicably trapped in stupid-ville, capable of seeing it all going down with crystal clarity, but incapable of intervening intelligently.

In any case, I’m not acknowledging the dick reference in this period of contemplating his follow-up email and where I went wrong at lunch. But I did register this part: 

“The Divinity in me wants to merge with the Divinity in you (in a spiritual way). If you have any other ideas on how to make that happen, please let me know – the [xxx] store was an awesome start! : )

‘A start’?!?!? I recall carefully avoiding any implication that this was going anywhere, where is he getting this ‘start’ shit? Sounds suspiciously like a sense of entitlement.

Anyway, past experience tells me he neither knows what he means, when he says he wants to merge with me, nor would he mean it if he knew. The divinity in me is not, as he presumes, an isolate-able part with an existence separable from the whole. Not that it’s an option, but he’s asking for a psychic dismemberment so chronic to the civilized mindset that I won’t even bother to begin to pull it apart.

I’m still trying to temper all the higher-level anger he triggered (which I was still pretending had little to do with him – he had just innocently bumbled into it) while remaining true to myself, and once again, I seem to have been setting too high a bar for myself.

Lunch was one thing, unsettling all on its own – but I was ready to take most of the responsibility for that. His day-after follow-up email was another. It really upped the ante on the ook-factor, but I still wanted to manage it with my highly-trained civilized, reasonable self. Then, while I was still waiting for Ms. Reasonable to kick in – four days (including a weekend) after his christ in christine email, I get another email.

This one’s subject line is ‘Pure Love’:

Hope I did not scare you away with my words / behavior.

Concerned that i did not hear back from you….missing you.

Hope all is well.

Grrrrr…..

Add to the list – urgent/impatient/neediness, tugging at me with the ‘missing you’ thing, and most offensive of all – imagining that he is big enough to ‘scare’ me.

He is pathetic and annoying, not frightening. My only fear is that I’m going to smash his fragile little ego with a careless swish of my powerful tail.

My only real fear is that if I’m not careful, I’ll trigger the usual immature-male, fragile-ego corollary – bitter vengeful resentment, and he’ll go around jabbing at my reputation – that he’ll paint me with the castrating bitch brush (my deepest vulnerability, my deepest source of shame, the thing that got me into this mess with him in the first place). That he’ll use men’s most easily-wielded power over women against me – that he’ll tell people I’m not nice.

Because the thing is – I’m feeling a hard-core not-niceness coming on, and I’m still trying to manage it.

To be continued. . .

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3 Responses to It’s Just Lunch – Slow Down There Big Fella

  1. i am so unwilling to give the creep any of the benefits of the doubt that you give him.
    now of course he manifests himself as a jerk, and you are so right about what he will say about you. Cock-teaser, right?

  2. So, I have some thoughts about the healing thing.  I have been pursuing more alternative health approaches over the years, and ran into a concept called a ‘healing crisis’.  As your body starts down the path to real healing, it first has to sort of walk back way it came.  All kinds of unrelated weird problems will crop up, unrelated to the issue you are trying to address, and maybe things you forgot about years ago.  And then it passes, and you make some progress.  I don’t know if this happens in all cases, to everybody, but I see it mentioned often enough that I believe it can happen.  People sometimes get scared and stop treatments, because they think things are getting worse.   I think there is an emotional health equivalent to this process.  I think part of it is tied up with what we envision ‘healing’ to be.  My first general impression is ‘back to the way it was before, invisible, gone’.  We can get to a place where we think we are ‘healed’, before we are really there. It is not necessarily a bad place, and we can get along pretty well, even if we don’t move from there, it might be all we want to, or can, do.  But if we assume too much about it, and go try to run a marathon, we will discover the limits.  That doesn’t mean we can’t run a marathon, we just have to learn a little more about what our healed self is really like, which is different than our image of our old self.  We might be weaker in some spots than we used to be, and maybe stronger in others, and maybe a little crooked – which is only sad if our standard is exactly the way we used to be.  We have won, we are still here.  

    Oh, and if you would rather I not post random, tangential thoughts on your blog, just tell me to stop  ; )  I certainly don’t want to intrude, or hijack anything, I am just responding as it strikes me.

    • Don’t stop – I like your comments!

      You’re absolutely right about the healing crisis business, which I’m very familiar with. You’ve described exactly what much of this story is about. You’re reading through one piece of this long process of healing really old stuff. I didn’t start out planning to write through this little lunch thing, but it kept unraveling more and more of my own stuff, and so – here we are.

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"For a woman to explore and express the fullness of her sexuality, her emotional and intellectual capacities, would entail who knows what risks and who knows what truly revolutionary alteration of the social conditions that demean and constrain her."

-Louise J. Kaplan - Female Perversions