All names in this entry have been changed.
In late elementary school there was Sam. We played soccer together at recess. He liked me. I don’t remember my feelings for him, but I didn’t have a problem with him. I gave him my email address, which was also my mom’s email address. I didn’t have my own yet. He sent me something that I gather was in some way sexual. I never read it. My mom got to it first. I wasn’t allowed to talk to him anymore.
In middle school there was Jay. We were friends. He wanted to be more than friends. I kept thinking the boundaries were clear and then he’d break them. I’d not talk to him for awhile, then eventually he’d apologize and we’d be friends again. I’d hear rumors saying that he and I were dating and get upset. It eventually became apparent that he was the one starting them. This dynamic continued into early high school. He invented a cousin who supposedly had a crush on me. Supposedly his cousin had met me a number of times, but for some reason I couldn’t ever remember him. Probably because this cousin didn’t exist. Jay would make sexual advances toward me on AIM and when I’d get mad he’d claim his cousin had hacked his screen name and apologize. Jay also was focused on converting me to Christianity, despite my clear disinterest. He’d say things like “I want you to be Christian so we can be together in heaven forever”. It was pretty creepy. Eventually I stopped putting up with him, but I should have broken off contact much sooner.
My freshman year of high school I had my first, and only, official boyfriend. Matt and I dated for 6 months. He went to a neighboring school and neither of us could drive, so I only saw him about once a week. I believe if we’d gone to the same school the relationship would have been significantly shorter. Everything was drawn out because our interaction was so far apart. I hadn’t yet realized I am gay, because I hadn’t yet realized what it meant to be sexually attracted to someone. I viewed Matt more as an accessory than anything else. He’d always want to talk on AIM between our dates. He was the emotionally needy one, and I the emotionally detached. On our dates we’d usually see a movie, there was minimal talking. He didn’t believe in sex before marriage which worked very well for me since I didn’t want to have sex with him. I did confide things in him. I told him about my self-injury. Years later I learned he’d been sharing things I confided in him with friends at his school, thinking I’d never find out, because I’d never meet them.
At some point he decided he could fix my depression by giving me an orgasm. He presented me with this idea and I shot it down. Eventually I was talked into it, through a bit of deception. He told me he also self-injured. Somehow that made me feel more of a connection and decide to go along with his idea. The whole situation was incredibly awkward. I didn’t know what was going on. I was very naive. Lots of awkward fumbling around in each others pants, never removing our underwear. I later realized that I didn’t have an orgasm that night, but that didn’t stop him at the time from telling me I had. I’m pretty sure he broke my hymen with his finger then, but he doesn’t think he did. Later when pressed for more information he backpedaled his statement about self-injury. He said he’d gotten hurt accidentally and just hadn’t been bothered by the injury. Not the same thing!
There was a period of time where he didn’t get a lot of sleep. He became paranoid. He was worrying that I would run off with a certain Japanese rock star and abandon him. Looking back I realize this was likely a reaction to him realizing he was much more interested in me than I was in him. Around this time we broke up, on AIM. I was fairly unaffected by it and I’m told he moved on not long after.
Years later at a high school graduation party I saw him for the first time since before the breakup. We talked, things were a bit awkward, but civil. He had heard that I’m gay and worried for a time it was his fault. It’s not. We friended each other on facebook. He now lives less than 10 blocks from me. Occasionally we get lunch and/or play video games. There’s always a bit of awkwardness, I don’t feel 100% comfortable being alone with him. He’s been respectful though. I don’t like that when we eat places it’s a battle to split the bill. He always wants to pay. That feels too much like a date. I do like free food though and he tends to take it personally to not accept him paying. I’m never fully clear about if he does this with all his friends, as he claims, or if our history is a factor. He pays with credit card, so I battle him by picking places only accepting cash and then I pay for both of us. He’s a nice guy, despite some issues we had when dating. I can see why of all guys to date I picked him. He’s very meterosexual.
After coming out of the closet I went to a lot of youth pride type events. ‘Youth pride event’ is code for ‘All the queer kids hook up with each other event’. I’d go to a dance, see everyone pairing up and feel left out. So I’d find someone and we’d start kissing. Numbers would be exchanged and then nothing would ever come of it.
I had a friend, Kim, who I went on a couple of dates with. We mostly sat in coffee shops and checked out other girls together. I’m pretty sure that’s not how dating’s supposed to work.
At pre-college there was Molly. It was again one of those situations where I naively wanted just to be friends but she felt differentially. I have a small lag time with processing auditory information. A lot of times pretend I understood information before I really did. I’ll hear sound and know an response is needed and will smile and nod, while still working on understanding the sound. I made the mistake of doing this when she asked me if I wanted to go out on a date sometime in the future. Not wanting to hurt her feelings, since we were friends, I decided to deal with the situation by not backtracking on my earlier response and just making sure the date never happened. Pre-college would end eventually and all would be fine.
One day we went out to lunch, not a date, and she asked me if that could count as our date. Feeling trapped, I decided to go along with it, because then at least the date would be over with. Then she kissed me and next thing I knew, we were making out on her bed. I won’t deny I was enjoying it for a bit, but then I panicked and spent the rest of pre-college hiding from her.
My freshman year of college there was Rachel. I met her via Craigslist. I made a post that started off by saying, I am a self-injurer. I figured I could get that part out of the way while I was anonymous. If someone had a problem with that, they didn’t need to reply. The rest of the post was filled with fun random facts out me to offset the self-injury information. Rachel responded, also referencing a history of self-injury. After googling her email to confirm she wasn’t a serial killer, we went on a date. Then we went on another date. The day of the third date, I was feeling depressed. I considered canceling, but decided going would be better than staying home to mope. We got sushi and were having a good time. She had an errand to do after and I tagged along because I was enjoying her company. She invited me to her apartment to watch a movie. I accepted the offer. I didn’t realize this meant having sex. If I’d been watching this interaction on TV it would have been obvious, but in my real life where I’d not had any physical contact with her besides a hug, it didn’t occur to me. We ‘watched’ a movie in the sense that there was a movie on, but neither of us was watching it. We kissed, a lot. I was enjoying myself. Then she misinterpreted a hand movement as an attempt at trying to remove her shirt. So that came off and well if her shirt was off, then mine should be off too, right? So then there was no clothing. I was feeling out of my comfort zone, but also curious. Things, kept progressing. I’m sure if I’d said I wanted to stop that she would have. I wasn’t pressured. I just never said no.
Post- sex conversation was about Cascading Style Sheets and other areas of web design. I think this is an excellent sort of post-sex conversation. I headed home, trying to process the past few hours. I ruminated excessively on it. Also keep in mind that I’d been feeling depressed prior to the date. I felt overwhelmed and panicked. I wish I could better describe it, but I don’t fully understand my reaction still. A week later I was hospitalized for the first time.
Rachel visited me when I was in the hospital. It was really nice of her. She didn’t know the role having sex played in my being there, I never told her. Her visit helped bring me a bit back to reality. I’d forgotten how nice she is and had been viewing her as threatening. Then I was kicked out of school for the rest of the semester, so I wasn’t living near where she lived.
When I returned she’d left. Then I left to transfer to my new school and she returned. She invited me to visit her. I mentally prepared myself. I knew we would have sex and I wasn’t going to let myself freak out about it. I was going to enjoy it. And I did. It wasn’t the most amazing thing ever, but it was some fun.
She suggested changing our facebook relationship status. I was thinking “It’s complicated”, since we were living far apart. Somehow it became “In a relationship”. Once it’s on facebook it’s official.
We made plans to visit each other. None of them happened. We hardly communicated. I was fine with the minimal communication to an extent. I so easily feel suffocated. I didn’t feel suffocated here. A girlfriend located over 4 hours away with conversation less than once every 3 weeks. 5 months into the ‘relationship’ she sent me a facebook message breaking up with me. She pulled the classic ‘it’s not you it’s me’ and cited the lack of communication. I wasn’t suprised or terribly upset. I adjusted my facebook status and that was it.
I’m not interested in dating anyone at the time being. It doesn’t seem worth the effort.
I relate to chunks of what you write.
I used to be far more open on my blog than I am these days. I guess I am battle weary. Or silenced by my anti-depressants, maybe?
Thanks for reading:)
Maybe you’re just getting enough out in therapy that you don’t need the blog as much?
I feel like I’m using this as a therapy replacement (It’s much cheaper!) and won’t be suprised if my posting decreases in frequency this summer while I’m in therapy.
I was wondering if you would add my blog to your blogroll? It is about my own therapy-related experiences . . . thank you in advance!
Considered not responding to this.
But then I changed my mind.
At this time, I’m not going to add you. Here is why:
I don’t generally like the request being made. Any one who comments on here I’ll look at their blog and consider adding it, but I find being blatantly asked pushy.
I’ve noticed that you posted this exact same comment elsewhere. I consider that very rude. I poured out my soul in a post and you gave me a copy-pasted comment.
Thank you for the feedback, I’m glad you took the time to respond. I am new to blogging and am still learning what behavior is appropriate. It was not my intent to be rude but I can see how my behavior could be classified as such. Thank you for helping me understand the impact of my behavior.
Do you have better suggestions for bringing readers to my site?
I’m a big believer of the idea that if interesting content is put on the internet people will find it and share it with friends. No need for self-promotion.
That said, commenting with intelligent, relevant, non-copy pasted comments on blogs you find interesting and relevant to your topic can’t hurt.
Sorry if my comment came off as harsh, I just get so much of this sort of thing on another social network location of mine (one with much higher traffic than this) that I was sad to see that happening here too.
I am enjoying reading your posts; that is why I am reading.
I am not in therapy now. Maybe I should be, but my life is stable enough with out it.
When I was in therapy I was a prolific writer!
When I first blogged I didnt care so much what I wrote. Now I seem to be more inhibited.
I’m glad you’re doing well then:)
I can understand that feeling more inhibited overtime. When I first started my youtube I did whatever I wanted. Now I set my standards so high I reject most video ideas.
I had a livejournal that I used to use. Same thing happened there.
Don’t know much about dating. I had a couple of boy friends in high school but just after i turned 15 i met my husband and that was that.
It must be strange to go on dates. The only experience of a ‘date’ is the dates we see on Telly. They seem to be an awkward and strange event.
Thank you for your post. Its interesting stuff isn’t it? Tony posted something of this kind on his other blog too.
All the best with everything
Can you link me to Tony’s post? He mentioned it to me too, but I can’t find it.
His blogspot blog can be found just above yours in his “blogs i like” place on his blogspirit blog. Its titled “Graffiti” – found on left of the screen. I can’t seem to make comments on it so i just read the posts instead.
I think this is how we link… i just copy and pasted it here ok?
Hope that works. Cheers…
How strange about the auditory processing- you describe so well something which I’ve had “wrong” with me for years. Got a hearing test and i’m not deaf. Enjoying the truthfulness of your writing.
Yea, my hearing’s fine too (besides a few really minor tone issues). Auditory processing issues are weird, I do a lot of saying ‘what’ and then understanding what was said after saying it. I get a notetaker in classes if I want though which is nice. If a prof doesn’t speak clearly (accent, too quiet etc.) though, I can’t take their class, I won’t understand a thing.
You left out the part where I stole your book and never, ever gave it back.
For real though, I want to send you your book, I just have this problem where small tasks become impossible and mailing your book became one of those things. I feel like I can send it now, though, but I don’t have facebook and your address is probably different anyway so email me and I’ll send it! I found your blog while researching DBT— the internet has such a beautiful way of yielding information.
I hope you’re doing well, in all seriousness, and with love, and with wanting to give you your book back,
Wow the internet is small.
That’s ok. You can keep it if you like.
I do have a new address. You can have the address if sending the book back is important to you.
I feel kinda embarrassed about you seeing this.
I’m basically doing well, very busy though. I hope you’re doing well to.
Interesting post! I can relate a lot, to parts, especially to the panicking and feeling overwhelmed. And to the feeling of not being interested in dating (well, the fact that I almost inadvertently am in a relationship does not change it).
By the way, I’m exploring your blog, and finding it very interesting, so… thank you for sharing.