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#237168 - 07/10/08 04:56 AM I can't even recognize a kind face
Bewlayb1 Offline

Registered: 08/04/07
Posts: 243
Loc: NYC

I'm sort of self-conscious about writing posts. I want to be a writer, so naturally, I enjoy expressing myself here. But I don't want to seem too dependent on this website. I guess, I keep most things even from my closest friends. I have no one else to turn to.

I've been kind of rattled since one of my best friends committed suicide a week and a half ago. I learned something about it. I don't want to say it, because I promised I wouldn't. Let me keep it vague. A man wasn't honest with him. They slept together. Right afterwards, this man revealed something that made my friend suicidal.

It terrifies me. I'm already very distrustful. I already half-expect a man to destroy me if I sleep with him. It reminded me that there is real evil out there, and not just pedophiles who prey on eight-year-olds.

Am I right, when I look at a man and I'm sure he'll obliterate me, use me, humiliate me? Some men would, and it seems I am drawn to those men. Even if it's not the unstable bad boy I want, it's someone unavailable, who toys with me, unintentionally or not. I can't say I don't encourage it.

There's one man I've liked for years. I flirt with him all the time. He's a very nice man: friendly, compassionate, giving. He's not my usual type. He was in a monogamous relationship. I'm afraid to ask if they broke up. Once, he kissed me on the lips. The next time we met, we held hands. Then, somehow I fumbled it. I was at a loss with how to take it further, and I could just sense his feelings for me fade.

I saw him yesterday. We flirted again. He playfully kissed my cheeks. The guys around me laughed at my awkwardness. "Stop it," he told them, protective of me, and with a note of pity in his voice. I finally understood. I saw what he saw: I don't know what to do when someone is kind to me. I can't even comprehend it. It feels completely alien to me. If I'm thinking anything, it's "huh?"

No one has ever treated me well: my alchoholic mother made fun of me, my father was too wrapped up in his mental problems to care about anyone else. I would have been all right, like my brother and sister, if not for the two years of sexual abuse by a teacher. Now love is an absurdly hard struggle.

It's not only a mental issue. It's physical. When I was with my ex-boyfriend, lying in bed with him, I had this thought so many times: "I wish you were a woman." Specifically, one woman I had a crush on. If it was a woman, I wouldn't have to suffer through sex with a man. I wouldn't feel skittish and sickened. God, what am I doing going to gay bars? I like feeling attractive to men. I like getting drunk, flirting and acting silly. I leave after I've had my fill, always alone.

I think the key, whether I choose a man, or a woman, is trust. I've erected these walls around me. They've been here for many years. But what's beyond them is so frightening. I don't want to be alone my whole life, yet I can't wish my defenses away. How do I accept love, when both my mind and body percieve it as a threat? How do I know who to trust? It's always been safer to trust no one, because I end up trusting the ones I shouldn't.

#237292 - 07/10/08 09:30 PM Re: I can't even recognize a kind face [Re: Bewlayb1]
hogan_dawg Offline

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Bewlayb I'm a straight guy but I have days off and so I'm here and willing to help out but just please know I'm a straight guy with all the baggage that goes with that. Ok.

Yeah I found it, trust, incredibly difficult for so many years I can't count them all. Without trust, my relationships eventually went into the crapper. With trust, my relationship has flourished. I found mine just a couple of years before I came out and stopped denying my abuse.

So here's my answers:

1. How do I accept love, when both my mind and body perceive it as a threat?

Trust. You have to trust the person to give love properly, in my opinion. I think that's true with love just generally. Other people might have a better insight into this than me. But imagine loving someone you don't trust - that would be really putting yourself into a precarious position - I can't see it being healthy.

2. How do I know who to trust?

Lock your partner in the house and keep the key. No seriously, I didn't trust my wife at first to even go away for an afternoon. I'd pester her and nag her and question her. Just awful stuff. I must've been a royal PITA to be around. No fun at all. I needed a lot of therapy and help before I learned to trust her.

Naturally along with this kind of obvious mistrust, I sure wasn't opening up to her very much. So everything suffered.

Once I remember being sick of the mistrust. So I made myself trust her. And I stopped the nagging and the inquiries. Eventually it just got easier and easier. Then I took stock of all the ways she showed her love for me and there was a big assed list. Now I trust her but I backslide occasionally. But it took a lot of effort. And so much pain for both of us.

BTW: Walls make sense sometimes. What therapy did for me was to tear down the walls that didn't make sense, and rebuild some walls where they needed to be built. Like restructuring.

The guy that kissed you - sounds like you would like to open yourself up a bit there and follow up...:)

I dunno Dude - maybe therapy can help you too - are you doing it?

Edited by hogan_dawg (07/10/08 09:37 PM)
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

#237376 - 07/11/08 04:10 AM Re: I can't even recognize a kind face [Re: hogan_dawg]
Bewlayb1 Offline

Registered: 08/04/07
Posts: 243
Loc: NYC
Thanks for that response Hogan. It was pretty insightful. It's such an ugly world, and I have so much to overcome personally, but I can't let myself be daunted.

I've made progress. I can empathize with what you're saying about locking your wife inside the house. I used to be insanely possessive, now I'm only extremely possessive. There's a subtle difference. I would never imprison anyone, but I can definitely picture myself hiring a private eye.

I guess sex is a big part of the problem. It scares me off from men. With women, I feel inadaquate. I think sex is a big motivation for why anyone gets into a relationship. But for me, it's not even a non-issue. It's a source of dread. The one girl I had strong feelings for was a lesbian who I suspected had been sexually abused: someone with as much an aversion to sex as I have. It moved me. It even aroused me in a way I can't really explain.

You were right about that guy who kissed me. I like him a lot. He's a genuinely good, nice, honest person. I don't know if it will lead to anything. We'll see. I haven't put enough effort into it. I'm only twenty-six. Sometimes I feel as defeated as an old man, but I don't want to be so willing to give up.

About therapy...ugh. I don't want to go. I'm tired of being asked about it. I had a couple of bad experiences with some quacks. It helps me to write. I'm constantly writing fiction and doing my own soul-searching.

Thanks again. Your response helped.

#237403 - 07/11/08 08:13 AM Re: I can't even recognize a kind face [Re: Bewlayb1]
Mylifesadream Offline

Registered: 07/11/08
Posts: 12

Edited by Mylifesadream (01/15/10 08:48 PM)
Edit Reason: Privacy, old

#237734 - 07/12/08 11:35 PM Re: I can't even recognize a kind face [Re: Mylifesadream]
Bewlayb1 Offline

Registered: 08/04/07
Posts: 243
Loc: NYC
That's good advice too. I do need to conjure up the nerve to ask if he has a boyfriend. It would be kind of hypocritical, though. When he had a boyfriend, and I knew he was in a long term relationship, I still hit on him. That was a long time ago, years. I've matured since then. I actually admire that he rejected me. I'm hoping that he started showing interest in me because he was available.

I'm glad to hear that sex doesn't even have to be a consideration. And, I do have a tendency to either stifle my feelings, or jump in blindly. A simple date with him would be a wonderful thing for me.

But I don't think I'll be going to a Chiropractor any time soon. Even going to the dentist makes me uncomfortable.

I work at a hospital and one of my friends once said: "Hey, maybe you'll meet a rich doctor." I quipped, "I don't want any man touching me, even if it is a doctor."

Ahhh, I have a lot to overcome.

#238273 - 07/15/08 12:20 PM Re: I can't even recognize a kind face [Re: Bewlayb1]
cbfull Offline

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Just a quick question, does this guy who kissed you seem to be observant or concerned with any personal boudaries you might have or need?

I only ask because he seems a bit aggressive in his initiation of romantic feelings, but they don't seem to involve any input from you. Perhaps he is just feeling frisky and playful?

I could be way off base here but I just don't wanna see you get into a situation that could be damaging to you.



Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

#238374 - 07/15/08 11:13 PM Re: I can't even recognize a kind face [Re: cbfull]
Bewlayb1 Offline

Registered: 08/04/07
Posts: 243
Loc: NYC
I don't think I accurately described our relationship, probably because I'm ashamed to. When I first liked him, I had little experience with men. I was twenty-two and it wasn't long after I had a breakdown at college and completed my bachelor's at a university near home.

We became friends. I didn't really hit on him so much as follow him around like a puppy. Was I wrong for wanting to break up him and his boyfriend? Yes. Was he wrong for encouraging me? Yes. That's all in the past.

I know him pretty well, and he knows me. The kiss was mutual, not really "he kissed me." In fact, I kissed him. I went to kiss him on the cheek. He pursed his lips like he wanted a kiss on the mouth, and I obliged. Afterwards things became kind of awkward, for a month, or two, until we acted like it never happened. It saddened me because it did feel special, and I think I blew the opportunity. I became nervous when he was finally receptive to me. Still, we're playful and frisky every single time we see each other. There's definitely chemistry there.

You were right about one thing. I'm never absolutely certain if he's only being flirtatious, or if he wants something serious. My best guess is that he is ambivalent. So am I, which is why it's continued so long.

But he's trustworthy. He's actually been nicer and more honest than I have been. I'm not obsessing about him. I haven't since I was twenty-two. He's alway been kind of "there," a constant, someone I can rely on to banter with and give me just enough affection to assuage me.

I don't want to sound conceited, but I'm too smart, perceptive and attractive (and arrogant) to be toyed with by someone who feels nothing for me. Alas, I always seem to find the conflicted ones, whose hesitations mirror my own.

Anyway, I'm not afraid of getting hurt. Maybe my past heartbreaks have made stronger, or maybe I'm just numb and jaded. I feel like I can handle any disappointment.

Thanks for writing, Craig.


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