Twentieth in a series [gs *]
Let’s recap the outline of where we’re at. So far, we’ve had: lunch & hand-holding; his christ-in-christine/boner email; my polite-but-firm go-away email; his boy-noise self-justifying email, my drop-dead, you-small-humping-dog email, his ‘ouch-I’ll-process email, and finally his flat apology.
That last item blew off the lid of the Chthonios and I finally gave myself permission to process in the way I process best, by writing as if someone will read it, and proceeded to strip every string of meat from the bones of this story.
I wrote blog posts and laid the groundwork – how we got there, what happened, etc.. I filled in the outlines and fought with myself and my imaginary readers about how to manage my initial flare-ups of rage, about sounding like a bimbo without losing the reader’s interest. I fumed at the internal editor who wanted it all to be more approachable, accessible – that’s just what everyone demands from a whore, and exactly what a sacred whore does not indulge. I grappled with the various voices and the structure problems and finally decided I didn’t really give that much of a shit, internal over-achiever be damned! Just let it come out, and fuck them if they can’t take a joke – that’s my motto (Hah! I wish! More like an ideal I’ll never reach – but I can try).
Somewhere in all that, I get another email. (I can’t believe he is so incompetent at hearing ‘no’!)
Now he says:
A few more reflections:
There were a convergence of things happening in my life when we met the other week. And the way in which you “met” me set off a lot of feelings and emotions. While at the time it seemed appropriate to share and express those feelings, in retrospect they were not. You were kind enough to “go with the flow” as much as you could and I appreciate you drawing attention to what is truly important when it comes to a relationship between a man and a woman.
Furthermore, I didn’t own up to my mistakes (and I have made plenty of them) when I had the chance, so I understand your frustration and anger.
It leaves things in a sour state and simply does not feel good inside. If we can discuss and reconcile what happened (whenever you are ready) perhaps we can “part ways” on a higher / happier note.
Is that something you would be open to?
Well, I’m done caretaking and done enabling.
I’ve long since quit pretending this has anything to do with either of us personally, except as we are each trapped in and perpetuate some stupid civilized-paradigm male/female patterns. I’ve been working diligently to unearth the roots of those patterns in my own psyche, and there is no way I can go back to anything resembling where he seems to have left off.
I don’t have any idea how or if I want to spend another moment dealing with him one on one, face to face, but I do know that until I’ve fully articulated my reality in the situation, copped to my own patterns, triggers & bullshit, written it all out as honestly as I can, and have proof that he has read it and is willing to engage honestly with where I’m at now, there is nothing for us to say to one another.
Because here is a significant part of my truth – no-one knows my reality. Or, those who do rarely admit to it, and no-one else wants to hear.
Prostitutes and ex-prostitutes are everywhere – they are a hidden part of every reality. Mr. Lunch-man was not the only man in that room where we first met who has purchased sex in some form, nor was I the only woman who has sold it in one way or another. Prostitution is the shadow of marriage, and the shadow of the repressed active feminine. Just as war makes our current reality possible, so does prostitution. And our current reality makes prostitution necessary as well.
And prostitutes stories are so terribly relevant. If you don’t know prostitution, you don’t know the civilized system. If you can’t see prostitution, you can’t see the system well enough to alter it at it’s depths.
But we are all, as a culture, so ashamed of that, so un-willing and un-able to look that fact in the face, that no-one knows my truths. But I know theirs.
I know his story. I don’t mean this cynically. I mean – I’ve had to learn mens reality. Make a living off of men’s secrets, shame and the needs they can’t get met voluntarily and you know the underbelly of civilized men. Work closely with them in corporate power structures, and you know the whole iceberg. I’ve been drenched in male patterns (and the underlying stresses that cause their bullshit) for over 30 years. I don’t need to hear his specifics.
Just as the story of history goes to the victors, he is like Chris Columbus asking the 15 million Native Americans who were ethnic-cleansed from this country in the 1500’s to listen to the story of how his marital problems contributed to his atrocities so he can be relieved of his sour stomach. Leave that job for the academics – I don’t fucking give a shit.
All making space for his story would do at this point is enable him to believe he’s made adequate excuses for his behavior and tell me the contributing details of general dynamics I was already fully cognizant of. There will be nothing of value for me in it, just expatiation for him. And I’m not expatiating anything for him until he sees that my reality is part of the story as well.
Here’s the part that all my civilized brain-washing that demands politeness overlooks – I am not the perpetrator here. I do get outrageously angry – that’s true. I scare the shit out of people. But all I ever do in my rage is say my truths, and I only get rageful when the dominant paradigm refuses to acknowledge it’s bullshit (like with lunch-guy’s boy noise).
The fact is – my story is where the secrets lie, where the untold truths can be found. My story (mine and those of my sisters), is part of what needs to be made space for. My story is the story of intimacy with civilization’s shadow, my story contains the elephant in the room, the hidden assumptions, the third rail few can approach without shutting out their conscience, silencing the fullness of their humanity, resorting to mental cliches. We’re not frightened of all that. We’ve chosen to live with it – we have things to teach. But we can’t teach them to people who refuse to listen very carefully – and I don’t see enough listening in that email. Just a request to dump more of himself into me, without making space in him for the parts of me that don’t fit his cliches.
I’m the one who knows how to touch with love, through the power and privilege differentials – who maybe has something new to offer, who has lived through so much rage and knows how to neutralize it, no matter how many times it gets re-triggered. I’m the survivor with the story of resurrection and resilience. I’m the one who has spent decades absorbing other paradigms and listening to other people’s milquetoast stories. I’m the one whose story has not had a place at the table. I’m the one whose insights are missing. I’m the one who has been trying and trying to be heard, and keeps getting shut down. I’m the one who quit a job where my true voice didn’t have a place. I’m the one who decided to stake my whole future on writing this story out of my conviction that it is relevant. And I’m the one who still, in spite of all of that, allows her needed insights to get swept into the corner so as to protect the fragile ego of one little boy.
I don’t see any way of making it interesting, or redemptive or lovely – but my story demands to be told, and that’s all I have energy for right now. There is none left for alkalizing the poor boy’s sour state. He can sit in the pickle he helped create.
I’m proceeding with my work here, and at some point I’ll give him access to it. If I ever feel complete and he ever convinces me he’s understood my perspective (I don’t care whether he agrees with it or not, but there is no going further if he can’t even understand it), I’ll decide then if there is any point in meeting in person. Right now, that would be dangerously premature.
Anyway, this apology is pathetically too little, too late. And he still doesn’t seem to understand all that much. He may have finally unearthed a tidbit or two of his own confusion (I told him in my very first email that he’d gotten swept away by the way I ‘met’ him. I had to kick him in the balls to get him to examine that concept, and that’s his big take-away, the part he thinks I may want to know more about??), but there’s nothing about my perspective he seems to have learned. Where do privileged boys get that boundless confidence that everyone is so fucking fascinated by their minor woes? I mean really!?!
Does he think he’s the only person with convergences of stuff going on in his life? Does he think that knowing why he got dick-wad-y is going to placate me somehow at this late date? I’m certain I already guessed during lunch all the general dynamics. No. He just wants to say his piece and be heard, as did I – and I’ve felt so unheard and ‘sour inside’ I’ve resorted to writing a goddamn book’s worth of blog-posts. He can sit with it. I don’t care. I know that even when I’m all done with this, he still won’t understand what happened for me. Even if he reads it five times, which he won’t.
For instance, it’s not that sharing was inappropriate, it’s more about how he shared. I mean, I love a good juicy story, of any kind. Now he’s going to make me into some prudish matron who can’t hear someone’s truths? (first he projects whore, now he projects Madonna?) No, it wasn’t the content. It was that the content created needs which he projected at me unexamined, and when told those needs would not be met and why, he responded with a flurry of bullshit insulting boy-noise. But all that seems too much to expect him to grasp.
I hate when people jump to drawing arbitrary lines before they understand why those lines are necessary (I consider it the purest evidence of mental laziness – it’s too much work to try to be sensitive and perceptive in every context, so let’s just make absolute dictums – so what if those dictums destroy people, so what if they make the obedient incapable of independent thought, in fact, that’s best). It was never ‘don’t share’, it’s ‘share consciously’ – sharing has to be a two-way street. And I don’t mean ‘you share, then I share’ – I mean ‘you let stuff out, then you let stuff in’/’I let stuff out, I let stuff in’. You have to listen as well as reveal. It’s not sharing if you are unaware of how what you share impacts the other person. It’s the difference between jacking off on someone and making love.
I still maintain that we could have had that same, originally intended, discussion perfectly wonderfully – if we’d both been more aware of me in the moment instead of both twistedly fixated on his needs & perspective, and unwilling or unable to look at or express mine. But anyway – that’s no longer relevant. The moment when that was still possible, standing at the counter before ordering lunch, when the subtle erotic-energetic dynamics of our interaction were being negotiated, when no boundaries had yet been violated – when there was no damage yet to fix – that moment was wasted, turned away from, when I sensed (pre-mentally), that something was not right, and chose, in the gap between logic and instinct, to over-ride my most sensitive instruments. In that moment when I should have established living boundaries, I abdicated my authority over my own depths, handed some part of myself over to this neophyte, and counted on him to be guided by a nuanced sensitivity in place of conventional rules. From that moment forward, what could have been was no longer possible. What we could have had required more from me than I was able to give in that moment – more maturity, deeper and more instantaneous trust in my instincts, more willingness to risk not conforming to another’s expectations. It was just a moment, like the moment you pull a trigger, that can change everything. So, what could have been is no longer relevant.
What is relevant is that I’m perfectly happy to let him stew in his own sour juices and not feel good inside for as long as that takes. What’s relevant is that, even if I, in that moment, feel responsible for failing to negotiate a better deal for us both in that moment – he’s really not dealing with his side of the equation well enough now. It still takes two, he did play his part, and he’s not impressing me with his efforts at repair. I still feel nothing but grabbing.
What’s relevant is that I don’t give a shit about the nature of our parting – he should have thought of that a lot earlier. What’s relevant is that the mere reference to ‘on a higher/happier note’ reminds me of the whole transcendent mentality that I get sick of wading through to some real meaning anyway.
I get that compassion requires something of me here, but it does not require me to talk to him unless and until I feel like it. I also get that I’m still seeing utterly from my own belligerent perspective – like I said, once the storm begins, I just have to sit through it till it passes. Until it winds down, there is no point in our talking. It would just perpetuate the violence. And, based on my word choices in thinking this through, I’d say the storm hasn’t finished winding down yet.
He had his chance, and I warned him. I don’t ‘feel better’ yet so he can go fuck himself.
I respond with:
Acknowledging that I got this. I’m still processing, so it’s premature for me to give a definitive response to your suggestion below. I’ll let you know when I’m clearer about what I need to say to you and don’t need to say to you, and when I am clearer about what I am willing to hear from you.
(Man am I polite, when what I’m really inclined to do is slice his dick off in slivers like a pepperoni!)
I proceed, as you can see, to pick the flesh off every syllable of the bones of this missive also. The locusts are not yet complete.
Then, slowly, things begin to shift again. The violence of my imagination, at times, grows boring. I move on to other things. I write, but it’s more fun than infuriating. The storm seems, almost, to be spent.