More thinking has created the need for more blogging. Because God forbid I should have a thought without having to share it with the whole world.
First off, some clarifications. I realized that from my description of my high school self that it sounded like I might be playing the “poor me – I was a nerdy girl who didn’t know how to boy” stereotype. I need to make sure that I make it clear that I’m not doing that. It wasn’t that I was shy or mildly insecure or even misinterpreting clues. I was utterly adrift. It is 100% possible that there were boys other than the one that I obsessed over who were interested in me, but I never would have realized it. I did not know what it was like to have a male person in my life who 1) stayed around and 2) expressed overt interest in me as a human being. The only 2 regular males that were in life were my dad – who left when I was four. After that, we only saw him once a year for two weeks and he didn’t really have an interest in formulating & growing relationships with us. From him I learned that men leave. The other was my brother. As messed up as my dad left me, he left my brother even more so. He had no male influence, no example, no support. After being bullied in our neighborhood, he began weightlifting and, later, abusing substances which created a very volatile, unstable, frightening presence for me. From him I learned that guys are crazy, only want one thing, and might actually physically hurt you. Oh, and that I was fat & ugly.
So not only did this make it nearly impossible to navigate the waters of adolescence, it created within me a need. It was as if I HAD to be attracted to the worst possible people for me. I routinely chose guys who were utterly unable to really commit to me. I dreamed of a boyfriend who was overcome by me – who really cared about me, wanted to be with me, actually wanted to TOUCH me. (Not inappropriately, like gross PDA in the hall, but normal stuff like hugging and holding hands) Someone who was honored to be my boyfriend. Someone who wanted to show me off, was glad to see me and, let’s be honest, had a difficult time behaving properly. Instead, I chose guys who seemed to be indifferent to my presence. Guys who were more excited to see other girls in the class than they were to see me, their girlfriend. Guys who seemed to be able to take or leave touching me. After much introspection, I realized that I was choosing guys who were never going to be able to give me what I needed. It was as if I thought “if I can make him stay, if I can make him really need/want me, I’ll show my dad he was wrong. I’ll show my brother I’m not fat and ugly”.
It was a totally losing proposal. I gave way too much of myself, trying to prove that my love was so amazing that it would change them. It would make them into what I needed. Which was insane BS. I simply set myself up to be hurt over and over again. So for quite a while, rather than put myself out there with real, human men, I turned to what I later called my “pretend celebrity boyfriends”. You see, they were safe. I could make them be whatever I needed – a particular character I fancied, the deeply masculine man that had to possess me, or just someone kind & caring. They never left. They never rejected me. They never showed me that my company was less desirable than that of others. They couldn’t hurt me. But they also weren’t real.
But they showed me a lot about myself. What I wanted, what I was attracted to, how I wanted someone to be with me, even a little bit of what I thought was quite hot. Through these “relationships,” I was able to grow. I was able to ask myself what I wanted and then see if I really wanted that (if it hit me in the guts) without ever risking being hurt. None of them would cheat on me or be anything other than what *I* wanted. Yes, I know. It’s not a healthy way to have an adult relationship at all, but if you need to learn in order to be able to HAVE an adult relationship, you do what you have to.
And, yes. I haven’t let go. I still get some emotional needs met through my fangirling. I’m not delusional – I know I’ll never meet these men or have any sort of chance with them if I did. I mean, PLEASE. But they help me feel. When you’ve spent so much of your life NOT feeling, pushing things down, not admitting hurt or desire or lust or really much of anything controversial, sometimes you have to get your “feels” met in atypical ways. Allowing myself to be attracted to and “fangirl” over these men has allowed me to have feelings that I don’t have to push down or be embarrassed by (even though I still often am). There’s no threat with them. There’s no risk. And for someone who’s spent a hell of a lot of time feeling rejected, that feeling is worth seeking out.
I hope that explains a little better. *I* know I’m not insane, but convincing y’all??? Might take some effort.Tweet