I have a tendency to go back and re-read my most recent posts. I sometimes wonder if after at time I might sound brainless, without a clue as to what is going on, or even contradict myself. I’m sure at times I do the latter without realizing it because as I told someone one time, I have the capacity to see all sides of a situation which can make it difficult to make the right choices. Often I have to sit back and either let my instincts lead me in the right direction or I use my logic as to what I feel is best for me. But even so I can get caught up in the various contradictions and end up going around in circles.
Today I have been wondering why it is a man with the intent of meeting someone new, to develop a relationship, who said he wants to be there to support me through the challenges I face, cannot take a step back when he finds out I am not ready or have had a very difficult time in life and needs to take things slow, why he cannot just offer up support and friendship and a helping hand.
The conclusion I have come to is what we call ‘selfishness’. I cannot blame him. We are all quite focused on our own needs and at times can be very selfish. Just as I am focused on my own needs, I probably appear selfish to him. He obviously has a priority which consists of jumping right into a Dom/sub relationship at a speed he wishes to direct and is not willing to start out as just friends. I on the other hand have a need to take baby steps just as in the movie “What About Bob” where the main character is instructed to take baby steps in order to learn how to be able to walk out his front door and eventually get to a place he wants to go which mainly has him stocking his psychiatrist.. hmm.. that’s a thought…
This is how I feel. It would have been nice if he had made queries as to what he could do to help me or offered to be patient and understanding and just learn to converse together in email as friends without demands. But this did not happen even when I told him I wasn’t sure how much I could give. I had explained it further to say the following which is a quote from my email: “The reason I put forth those statements of not being sure how much I have to give, is because I felt it important for you to understand if you or any man or person stepping into my life creates more stress and demands upon me or creates an environment that is not nurturing, loving and respectful, then my ability to give will be crushed.” I don’t know how much clearer I could be and yet without asking if I was ready, he assumed and pushed for a meeting in the very next email. No wonder I felt like running. I must admit, when the topic came up I did not shut it down but this is the submissive in me who wishes to please. At first I thought it was just a general discussion about what we might do when we meet but then the following email he made it clear he was expecting to meet the next week. This is not taking baby steps. This, if not a full out run, at least is a hefty jog and definitely not considerate of my feelings.
A friend of mine who also went through cancer suggested I take time to take in all that has happened and not try to build a relationship with anyone. I agree with her which is why I made it clear my focus was just on being friends and even then it had to be without any stress and had to be respectful of my feelings and situation.
There was a time when I lived in Montreal, where the stress of my life was so severe I couldn’t walk out my front door to go to an appointment without having my body functions get in the way of being able to leave on time. I won’t go into those details. I will say though, moving out of that environment removed the stress and restored my ability to walk out my front door without fear.
In some ways the fear I feel now in regards to meeting someone new, going out where I know I will need to interact with people in more of a social setting than just running for errands or grocery shopping, is no different than the fear I felt in Montreal. It consumes me and leaves me unable to fully function properly. My body is scarred. (see the pictures that are posted), and will be no matter what I do for the rest of my life. If I reconstruct my right breast there will still be scars and my breast will always look and feel differently. My hair is extremely short, shorter than any women I know except those going through and recovering from chemo and will most likely remain unusually short as a preference on my part. These things only account for part of the fear and reminder of what I have been through. They are things I will always have to explain to any one who becomes an intimate partner and with it carries the insecurity of wondering if it will make a difference to that person in the relationship.
What I’m about to say may sound odd and possibly insane and I don’t expect anyone to understand it. I just know how I feel. The rest of my fear has to do with just living. I’m not sure why. I don’t know why I feel afraid to enjoy my life. Maybe it is because I think it would devastate me if I found my cancer had spread and I was living and enjoying my life all while it was growing and spreading without my knowledge. To have to return to the mental state I have been in and in some ways am still in would most likely kill me. Maybe in other ways I feel I deserve this and I need to suffer during the rest of my life. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t feel this way all the time but I do feel it. It does surface into my thoughts on occasion.
There are moments like this one right now, which just occurred, they give me flashes of insight into my insanity. Our neighbor boys came into the backyard we share to play on the trampoline. One of those boys doesn’t like our little dog and yet our dog loves him unconditionally. Every time our dog sees the boy he wants to go out and play with him, and so he sits at our window looking at the boys, wagging his tail, and crying to go out and play with him. My daughter said he is crying, talking about our dog. I said, “I know. It is sad because the boys could have so much fun with him if they only tried.” Then I felt that moment of clarity hit me where I knew this was a message for me. I could have so much fun in my life if I only tried. Breaking through those walls is not easy, especially in regards to what I said above. But it is easier than me trying to change the way a boy feels about our dog when he doesn’t want to change. So why not try to change my situation? It doesn’t mean though that I will let any man barrel his way into my life without paying attention to my fears, my instincts and the warning signs. I will however make an effort to take those simple steps outside my door and I will accept all offers of support to do so which come from an unselfish heart. Just as I will offer support in return.
Why can we not just say “Hello. What’s your name? How was your day? Would you like a tea or coffee or hot chocolate or soda and sit down and talk and slowly get to know each other?” Why do we have to go barreling through life as though tomorrow carries with it a cloud which will obliterate everything in its path if we don’t jump through the hoops and take it by storm? Why can’t we just enjoy the moment and not try to manipulate it into something selfishly sought by one person, even if both want the same thing in the end just on a different schedule? As time progresses, talking about feelings and where things could go can be done calmly as the moments grow without pressure, without manipulation, without pushing someone to take steps they are not ready to take. Why can life not be spontaneous without preconceived ideas, letting the moment inform us of who the person is sitting there before us who had agreed to spend a few moments of their time with us and celebrate it? To ask a simple question and have them answer it without feeling as though our lives will disintegrate if the answer isn’t exactly what we want to hear or they need to take things slower and more cautiously than maybe we had hoped?
Would it matter if I receive an email from someone half way around the world who wishes to comment or possibly discuss anything I wrote about or just life in general? Yes of course it matters. If he or she has a need to discuss things to get my opinion on things then it matters to me and I am happy to help to be there as a friend to help in whatever way I can. If some such person wants to contact me and offer support even if it can only be in an electronic email format then why not, I do need support and such support would be a balm to my soul. If however, such contact is made and a person shows no respect, tries to push me or manipulate me, would that also matter? Yes, but in a completely different way. It matters to me if someone is trying to manipulate me to get what they want regardless of my feelings. In that case, they do not deserve my respect nor my time and so I would and do break such contact.
This is not selfish. This is about protecting who and what I am. I am about knowing my true self and not having that person manipulated, used, or suffering condescension or any other type of tom foolery in order for someone to feel good about themselves or manly or dominant.
It isn’t the first time someone tried to manipulate me into meeting them in person before I was ready and each time they seemed to not like the idea of communicating through written form (email) for any length of time. I know their aversion to it is because eventually they will be discovered as not being who they present themselves to be. It is why I insist on communicating through emails and emails only and I give them no timeline as to how long that will be. I find it interesting how quickly they succumb to the assumption that because I open up so deeply about myself in my emails that I am now ready to meet in person and do not bother to ask me how I feel about it.
So here, in my blog I write about it. I work things out in writing because as I have learned, journaling about my life helps me to process what has happened and why. It helps me to get in touch internally with my feelings, to know what triggered them and why. Sometimes that process can take a while, which is why at the beginning of this post I said I sometimes go back and read my most recent posts. I will do so sometimes right after they are written and posted and sometimes I’ll do it a few days later, especially if a subject is still giving me difficulty. It is never easy to discover someone isn’t who they say they are. What is even harder is when it appears that person doesn’t even realize it. Then there are times it is hard to tell either way whether they know it or not or if it is just part of their personality to deceive.
So tonight, I want to say thank you to those people who are honest, caring individuals. Who are true in their communication and are not afraid to admit their mistakes or take the time to admit they don’t understand and will take the time to try.
I know right now my focus is selfishly upon myself. However, what I have not told people is during this time since I was diagnosed and my friend L has been around to help, she has had her own issues. For a year she is a single mother of three boys while her husband works overseas. She also suffers from RA and is having to work full time. Because I work from home I am able to help her by keeping an eye out for her boys while she is away from home, picking them up or taking them places when she cannot. And at times helping her when she is not up to doing things when she is in pain. And I have done these things even when I was receiving chemo treatments or shortly after my surgeries.
I don’t say this to elicit any sympathy or any words of praise. I say it so people will understand. In everything I ask from people, it is always with the willingness to give the same in return. L has been here for me and I for her and we don’t measure who does what or how much. In my worst state, yes, I might think I have given more than I received but that is the demon of selfishness sitting upon my shoulder rubbing his hands together in happy greed, smiling his evil smile and when I come to my senses I flick him off my shoulder into a pile of dog do-do to put him in his place.
I could continue to write and expound upon this because it was a hard lesson I learned a long time ago which I can’t seem to shake each time I run into it. Not all people are like L and me and the amount of people I have run into that aren’t, astounds me.
I’ll end with that otherwise I may go into an insane rampage of non-decipherable non-intelligent ranting that will appear as a long lost language which no one can translate any more.