Dear Local Radio Personality,

I have been a steady listener of your morning program for quite some time now. I admit to looking forward to your commentary while driving forty-five minutes to work. However, I must admit that I was rather shocked and appalled by your commentary this morning regarding that twit in Michigan who dressed up as a Boston Marathon bombing victim for Halloween. Since you didn’t like her written apology, you felt the need to disparage her possible status as a rape victim since she posted nude photos on the Internet.

Congratulations! You’re part of rape culture!

Contrary to both your belief and popular belief, rape victims internalize that trauma and react to it in different ways. Some revert into themselves, as I think you believe is the “usual case,” and some do not. There is no right or wrong way to react to something like that. There is only an outsider’s perceptions, in this case yours, of what is and is not “appropriate” behavior. And frankly, your view on the matter is immaterial. Your preconceived notions are based on outdated and incorrect assumptions.

You, also, stated that since “no allegations” had been made, then you did not believe it. I hate to barrage you with statistics for unreported rapes in this country, but according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Quite often, a victim won’t know she has been raped because the media has informed us what rape “is or isn’t.” Date rapes and rapes by family members don’t fall in line with the country’s beliefs of what rape is, many times, so these cases go unreported.

However, in some cases, the police officers who take the report talk the victim out of doing anything. They will use such comments as “boys will be boys” or “you dressed provocatively.” Sometimes, they will ask the victim how much they had to drink because, apparently, “no” doesn’t have the same force behind it if someone has had a drink or 10.

And of course, there’s always the possibility that her reported rape happened when both she and her assaulter were minors. The records would be sealed by 22.

I hope you enjoy the land of the high and mighty where making broad statements like this can and will impact not only this particular rape victims views on you but on your radio network as well. I do not agree with that moron’s choice in Halloween costume, but I think dragging her dirty laundry, whether true or otherwise, onto the air to explain to your listeners why she deserves death threats is, just like her costume, in poor taste.

Next time you want to defame someone based on a rumor or possibility, perhaps you should stick to the matter at hand and not your preconceived bias.

Sincerely,

A Former Listener

Self Worth.

I recently got a new laptop. One of the first things I was sure to do was transfer over all of the writing from my old laptop to my new laptop. While I don’t do much actual writing anymore, I do still go through a lot of my older stories. I do this to keep my fingers frosty for future edits if I ever decide to make time for the novel I had been working on. But, I also do this because it’s almost like a learning experience. I get to re-learn what I thought, what I felt, and how I wrote so many years ago. And with each passing story that I go through and make changes to, I see the same things over and over again when I write out the part of the lead character: poor self-esteem, poor body image, negative feelings regarding the self. And each one of those characters is based off of who I am or a specific aspect of my personality I wish to bring into focus. However, the basics remain the same: looks are based on what I would like to look like or what I actually do look like. And no matter how the story is written or what it is about, I always end up with the same very bad, negative self-esteem and body issues.

While noticing this prevailing oddity in everything I write, in the background, a horde of people on Tumblr have begun posting selfies in the tags I follow. It started off, I think, as a way to pass a day. And now, it seems to have taken on deeper and more meaningful connotations. We are all – yes, I am included here – posting pictures because we are uncertain of ourselves and we want to share our bad body images and poor self-esteem with others. Not because we want to hear those compliments, though that is a nice bonus, but because we want others to see that we all have our problems. For example, I will not post a picture of anything below my breasts. From the boobs on up, everyone can see what I look like. But, nothing else will get posted because, as far as I am concerned, I am fat (and the BMI does not lie). As I re-read the stories I wrote all those years ago and as I post those pictures in those tags, I’m starting to see how much self-worth I think I have, which is precisely none.

As an exercise the other day, I stared at a selfie I took the other day. It was blurry and not the best lighting, but it wasn’t horrific. However, as my eyes traveled up from the outfit I was wearing to my face, I couldn’t see my face. I couldn’t see this rounded face that people always discuss about being pretty and nice-looking. I don’t really know what all of these people see, honestly, because I don’t see that at all. I see every blemish I have currently and every single one I had as a teenager. I see every imperfection highlighted with the purple bags beneath my eyes, the thinner lower lip, the slight upturn to my nose, the rounded jowls from my pregnancy, the limp hair, the buck teeth, the rotting teeth, and any other aspect of my face that makes me want to cry with how ugly I am. Every day, I look at myself in the mirror with this intense desire to give myself a pep talk: “You’re pretty. You can do anything you set your sights on. You’re awesome. You’re beautiful.” And every day, I just shake my head, refuse to meet my own eyes, and skulk away from the hideousness that greets my face.

My self-worth shouldn’t be contained in what the mirror shows me every day, but it appears that as logical as that is it is not the case here. And that this has been an ongoing issue for many years. How do you fix yourself when you don’t even know what caused you to become broken in the first place?

Interpersonal Work Relationships.

I will, quite often, remark that the reason I must have lost my job from Greed, Inc was probably due to my being a bad manager. Whether or not this is true, I’ve decided that this is the best way to look at the situation. This allots for whatever mistakes I may or may not have made (that were never pointed out to me, after the fact or prior to the fact) that could be lumped into the “why” category. But this also gives me the ability to at least assume that I really did have some responsibility for what ended up happening. I’ve since learned that this is probably not the case and chances are, I’m a decent manager. Until such a time where I can test that ability out again, I have to assume that I screwed the pooch in some arena or another and I just haven’t quite figured out where that particular “arena” is.

The reason I mention this is because it’s possible that I don’t know what quite makes a “good boss” because I, myself, was not what would be considered a “good boss.” Let’s keep that in mind as we continue…

I have a fairly decent relationship with my direct supervisor. She’s not actually a supervisor in the traditional capacity. She’s the lead on two of the largest portfolios that our consulting firm handles. She’s fairly busy a lot of the time because one portfolio has nearly 600 properties associated with it and the other, while only at 46 properties, needs a lot of hand holding. I support her on both of these portfolios, extensively, as well as have lead over my own sets of portfolios. (None of which require as much time and effort as the two she is lead over.) We talk regularly. We joke regularly. We complain about the same items on both portfolios regularly. All in all, I wouldn’t say that we were friends, per se, but I would say that we have a decent communication line between us. I have no problem telling her that my plate is too full for more items to add to it – since she turns to me first for delegating tasks – and she respects the boundaries that I set. I will admit that I don’t set as many boundaries as I probably should but, honestly, she doesn’t have many people to choose from. There are two other leads, of other portfolios, in the office and three support roles. I’m the quickest to respond when she needs something and, aside from one other person in the office, am probably the most capable for some of the stranger items that she needs me to work on.

All in all, I’m awesome.

But in all seriousness, I know what my job entails, I know how to do it, and I can do efficiently.

However, in the last week, she’s had some personal issues popping up. Frankly, I’m not going to discuss what the items are because they are numerous and convoluted. I know about her personal life because she feels like sharing, though I do not reciprocate because I’m a private person. (Not to mention, being a pagan in an Evangelical Christian’s office setting leaves me feeling that I need to keep most items private in case I misstep or misspeak and end up without a job.) I feel her pain and I commiserate with her over the issues she’s face. They are large. They are very important. And they are mentally and emotionally consuming. As I’ve mentioned to her before, she needs to get better about her spoon management when it comes to both work and personal life items. However, we are all different and how we go about working things out are entirely different from one person to another. As these personal issues have cropped up, I’ve noticed a marked difference in her personality, her habits, and her remarks concerning work.

Honestly, the job isn’t the best one to have. It pays the bills, but it takes a lot out of you most days. On days like that, you’re lucky if you can clock out ten minutes after the close of business. On days like that, you’re often day-dreaming about the really horrible things you can do to your customers and their needs because they are stupid, foolish, or a mix therein. On days like that, you are staring moodily at the clock, hoping for it to move faster so that the end of the day comes quicker. On days like that, you’re probably surfing Facebook or Tumblr to keep your mind off of how bad your day is going.

The rest of the time, you’re patting yourself on the back for a job well done.

Whatever is going on inside of her head, she’s been taking it out on everyone directly beneath her lately and it’s starting to grate on my damn nerves. At first, I was exempt from these peevish remarks. She made them in regards, mostly, to the new girl. “What does she do all day,” she’d snap at me. I’d have to explain that she was either doing side work for me or any of the other leads in the office. The girl has been there for not quite a month and is still learning. I hate to break it to my supervisor but she was pretty babied when it came to me. I came to her previously trained by someone else and I am a fast study. The two new hires haven’t been as quick studies as I was and so, it’s taking the full three months of training to get them up to snuff. Not only that, but they are all being inundated with requests from every lead in the office (of which there are four) for assistance with minor items like getting contract information, getting pricing information, and things of that nature. We all forget how time consuming that can be, but it really can take a while to get any of the carriers to give us the information we want. Sometimes, it means we have to call back 6 times before we get a rep that isn’t going to ask us stupid questions.

I think I really started getting snotty when she asked me, “Do you think she’ll ever grow up?”

The girl is young. She is very, very immature in the ways of the world. She is also very, very blonde. And I mean that in the nicest way possible, but she can be incredibly ditzy. It happens, though. We all make mistakes; that’s how you learn what you need to do. What makes all these snarky remarks about the new girl that much worse is the fact that (A) I don’t have to monitor her every movement or E-mail like I did with the other new person and (B) my supervisor is the person who made me like the new girl! When I found out how old she was and how little telecommunications experience she had, I immediately wasn’t to black ball her. But, now I have to defend her youth and inexperience to the very person who did this to me? I understand that my supervisor’s previous remarks were before she was tried and tested, but frankly, if you don’t watch her, help her, or even remotely look over her shoulder in regards to what projects she’s working on, you really shouldn’t bitch about it. And considering that the owner of the company has point-blank said to all of us that mistakes are healthy because they teach us lessons, I don’t really think getting pissy over the fact that she forgot to attach a document to an E-mail is really necessary.

Maybe I’m just feeling a little weird because I don’t see it from my supervisor’s perspective? I saw the very same things as she did when it came to the guy who entered our office. He’s really just not worth it and they should have removed him before now. However, with all of us working on HUGE PROJECTS, we need someone to do the little things like get pricing, create documents, and call for contract information. But we were both in total agreement about how he is not cut out for this job and any work besides the basics. All of a sudden, we’re at odds over a new person because she’s doing her job but making mistakes (as I did and do) during the learning process. It just smacks as… well, it sounds like a pretty shitty way to go about being a boss.

And if there are legitimate worries and issues she has with the girl, then she should probably have those discussions with the person in question instead of making snarky comments to me about it.

Today, however, I got kind of slammed into the “snark zone” with her commentary. And now, I’m kind of angry.

As a quick remark: I only work 30 hours a week instead of the 40 like everyone else. And in those 30 hours, I have to do the same amount of work as everyone else in the office. Since I am as quick and efficient as I am, I can do this. However, if you start inundating me with requests to do things before I even walk in, then things are going to slide.

I walked in this morning to an E-mail request to reach out to a site that was having computer issues. We don’t actually treat any computer related issues, but we do deal with Internet items. So, I was tasked to reach out to this site. Then, it was asked that I very carefully and personally handle a billing discrepancy for a site that has been having issues since they went from standard phone lines to a hosted phone system (voice over Internet). It took me an hour and a half, amid meeting with various people in the office to discuss the issues at hand that were a little out of my relatively new-to-hosted viewpoint, creating the documents that the site would need to understand my investigative findings, as well as working on my own projects. I had repairs to complete and check the status on today. I had my own portfolios to follow-up with, ongoing projects to work on, and billing disputes to file. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to drop my stuff to come running to fix an issue that wasn’t caused by me and I’m sorry if I don’t give a shit if some guy needs computer help.

“Have you called them yet?” She asked me about 2PM.

“I’ve been working on the billing issue you needed me to work on,” I explained. “It’s taken me a while to figure everything out to report back to the site.”

“Ugh.” And if that response wasn’t bad enough, the stomping out of the office to take her lunch, the angrily punching out, and the slamming of the door behind her was kind of an indicator that she was in a pissy mood.

Well, you know, I’m sorry that things don’t move as quickly as you want them to, but if you really wanted that dealt with before the sensitive billing issue, then you probably should have said something.

What really aggravates me about this is that she knows, clearly, how busy I am. I know she goes into my task tracking document and sees how many projects I’ve been working on. Many of the open tickets in our repair/project ticket program are mine. I update each one of those tickets at least once a day. It’s not like I’m sitting around with my fingers up my butt and singing the National Anthem off-key to myself. I am legitimately busy. I am legitimately doing things. I am legitimately stopping those things and teaching the new girl when she has a new question or needs assistance. I am legitimately doing my fucking job and if it was that fucking important then maybe speaking up was in your best interest.

And what makes this all worse is that I know this is because of her personal issues. She was fine up until last Monday when she told me about her myriad of personal issues. I know that the change in behavior is specifically related to her personal life and that drives me insane. As much as your life, at home or with your family, may absolutely suck, you still have to go to work. There is no one else who is going to pay your bills if you get suspended for bad behavior or fired because of bad behavior. You need to keep your personal things at home where they belong. It’s one thing to joke around about how you got a sunburn on a cloudy while at a craft fair and entirely another to take out shitty fucking personal things on your employees because your personal life is really shitty.

So, while it’s possible I don’t know how to be a lead and direct underlings, I have to say that not taking out your personal life on your underlings is probably top of the fucking list.

Am I Sacrificing?

I am such a jerk that when it comes to my friends and family, I will sacrifice everything to maintain a certain level. I think this is because I’ve seen a lot of crap in my life and I think that I can’t do anything on my own. Or, maybe the reason is so ineffable and buried so deeply that I will never, ever figure it out. In any event, I will sacrifice every aspect of my life and myself to maintain an even keel. The problem with this, however, is the fact that when things start breaking down within me, I don’t necessarily know what the cause is. I don’t take as much time for introspection as I really should and so, when it comes to why I’m doing X, Y, or Z, I may not always know until I take a time out to think about it.

After my last post, TH and I have been working on things. We’ve been communicating more and more with each passing day. It’s very much like a honeymoon stage, which worries me. I know that’s how things work out between two people when they have a huge fight and are establishing their relationship anew. All of my divination attempts have reminded me that we’re starting over, that this is a time to take the relationship to its proper place, etc. So, I know that this honeymoon phase will last for only so long before we start actually having to live and prosper. And I have to admit that I’m a little worried about what will happen when we’re both living under the same roof again.

But, the thing is that this post isn’t about my worries for the future; this is about my worries for the now.

All week, we’ve been having sex. I’m not overly worried about it since I do have a tendency to want sex once in a blue moon. My only problem is that I’m wondering if I’m sacrificing myself and my thoughts on my sexuality in order to make him feel better? It’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot in the last day or two. I’ve wondered if my sexuality really is what I think it is or if it’s actually something a little different. The problem with defining your own sexuality is that it’s fluid and shades of gray; it’s not easy. However, it’s easiest to define myself as asexual at this time until I figure out more of what’s going on in my head.

And at this time, I wonder if my definition isn’t quite incorrect, but if I’m doing this in order to maintain a sort of pleasant buoyancy in our relationship. Obviously, this is a conversation that I need to have with TH, but it’s only something that came to me yesterday and I’m not ready to voice my worries as of yet. The thing is, if I am willing to sacrifice something I feel is accurate in describing myself, what does that mean for our future? And another thing, how the hell do I figure that out?

“And You Always Knew It Wouldn’t Be Easy.”

Somehow I found
A way to get lost in you
Let me inside
Let me get close to you

- Lost In you by Three Days Grace

I spent a good portion of yesterday, holed up underneath one of my altars while I listened to really sad music. Since TH had taken R to a family barbecue, I was left to sit and wallow in a way that I haven’t been able to do since TH told me he was going to move into his mother’s house on Friday. I found out a lot of things about myself yesterday that were frightening. I realized that while the horror of my life with my ex-husband was terrible, it wasn’t nearly as horrible as an honest broken heart. I realized that no matter what TH says about us or thinks about us, I’ll probably never be what he needs me to be. I realized that no matter how old I am, cutting is still an issue with me (though I didn’t). I realized that wallowing really hurts but is the only way a person can get past the broken heart. And I realized that no matter what, I felt like I was forever going to be unloved and unwanted for who I am.

When TH brought R back, I was hiding underneath my table. The only thing that was missing from that particular picture was me sucking my thumb with Professor wrapped in my arms. (Professor is a bunny my mom had when she was a kid that got passed down to me. He’s living in a hermetically sealed box right not because of the bed bug infestation we had last year.) I turned the music off and said something. I don’t know what, but it caused us to start talking. And I told him that I couldn’t do this anymore. I hurt so badly and the ache is so painful that I would much rather not continue to feel this way. I told him that I couldn’t live in stasis until he had his head screwed back on right. And I did something that is stupid and you’re not supposed to do in a relationship – I delivered an ultimatum. I said, “I can’t keep hurting anymore because you ran way because of troubles and heartaches. Either you move back in or you don’t, but you need to decide now.”

And he looked at me, with hardly a blink, and said, “Let me get my bag of stuff from my mom’s. I’m coming home.”

It’s weird when you get what you want from someone because it scares you. It scared me so much to hear him say that he would come home because I had delivered that ultimatum. You would think that I would have been happy to get something I wanted, but not really. It’s only after you deliver an ultimatum that you realize the person may only be agreeing to it out of their own selfish demands and wants. So, I took it back. And I said, “No, no. I take it back. I just can’t do this. You need to go and find yourself and figure things out and I’m left mending the pieces,” or something. And I told him that this wasn’t fair to me, to R, to him, or to anyone really. I reminded him what our core problem was here: a lack of communication. And I said, “Does it matter? Are things really going to change because you suddenly start communicating with me? Or is this going to be a two-week change and we go back to the way it was?”

So, we started talking.

We talked about the asexual issue because I accused him of this being the actual issue. I told him that everything else all a cover, but it’s this possible indefinite lack of sex thing that scares him the most and that’s the issue. And finally, finally he agreed with me. I knew that, subconsciously, that things were going to be difficult when I said, “Yes, I am asexual.” I just never really anticipated how difficult it would be.

But, it is difficult. I’m ace; he’s not.

Our discussions went around and around the issue, stabbing at it, and then backing away. I told him that I don’t want to have a relationship with someone who is scared and not sure if they could be celibate – maybe – for the rest of their lives. I can’t just assume that my sexual desire will come back in the future. I have to assume this is a permanent fix for me. If I say even remotely what I think – that sexuality is fluid and changes over the years – then that could give him hope. And I don’t want him to hope that things will work out, be better, because what if they aren’t? And I admitted that to him. I told him that I don’t want to even cuddle with him anymore because I’m worried he’ll hope that it will lead to sex because, you know, he’s twenty-five and in the prime and blah, blah, blah. It sucks when you pull yourself back so much because you are scared of hurting the person you love so very much, but sometimes, it’s something you have to do.

Though, I don’t really recommend it.

He explained that it didn’t really matter to me about the asexual stuff and the scary future he may have in which he never has sex again. He said the point was that he loved me, he wanted me, he didn’t want to watch everything fall apart because he was scared and worried. He said he wanted to try. He wanted to find out if we could find a way to make things work around this. He told me that our life together – the one we forged with our son – is something that he wants to make work because, as he said throwing a sappy card I got him for his birthday, “I want this.” I looked over the card, a fairy tale story about knights and dragons, and the ending was “happily ever after.” And he said to me, “I want this and I want this with you.”

I want that, too, but I’m so scared that he’s going to take two, four, seven years and then say, “I’m done. I can’t handle this ace thing anymore,” and leave me. And I’ll be back where we started. I told him last night that my hope button is broken. I told him that I don’t have any faith in what he wants because I just can’t hope and have faith and then get torn down asunder again.

And he reminded me. He reminded me of all the things he’s done for and with me over the years in regards to this sex stuff. He’s never coerced me. He’s never forced me. He’s never yelled at me for not giving him sex. He’s stopped in the middle because he accidentally triggered me (after months of celibacy). He’s stopped because I’ve asked him to. He’s comforted me, after the fact, when I started freaking out about not being normal and being a horrible human being because we don’t have normal, societal sexual relations. And he said, “I’ve done all these things in the last six years. You can’t assume I’ll do a complete 180 and start forcing you against your ace thing.” And he’s right, of course, but I’m still scared.

The pain of it all
The rise and the fall
I see it all in you
Now everyday
I find myself sayin’
I want to get lost in you
I’m nothing without you

“Remember How We Were, We Really Were, Before This Disaster Came and Tore Us All Apart.”

I should have known these walls would cave in
I should have never left my heart there on the line

- Hurricane by Theory of a Deadman

I think one of the worst things that we do when our lives blow up is all of the remonstrating we have with ourselves after the fact. You’re practically writhing on a roasting spit from hell, turned over and over again by no one but yourself. And in that moment, while you’re torturing yourself with all of the things you could have done to prevent the flaming destruction of your life, you are very, very busy forgetting a key factor. And that key factor is that hindsight is 20/20. So, it’s easy to go back through and see where you screwed up, inventorying all of the wrongs you committed in an effort to figure out where it all went wrong. The problem is that you may not actually be at fault for that destruction, but a bystander as your life goes down in flames. Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t really matter because you’re still too busy, categorizing your fuck-ups while watching girly romantic movies (for women, anyway), ugly sobbing into your pint of Coffee Coffee, Buzz Buzz Buzz.

I’ve thought long and hard over the course of the last few days. In my more rational and clear-thinking moments, of which there are precious few, I know that I am not the cause of this. I know that there is nothing I could have said, nothing I could have done that would prevent TH from needing to “run away.” And in effect, that is precisely what he has done. As he has made it clear to me, he never said he wanted to end things. He never said he didn’t want to be a part of my life or our son’s life. He just needed to put everything on hold while he sorted out his thoughts and emotions (an indefinite hold). While I can understand that desire on the most basic of levels, it doesn’t mean that the facts aren’t the same. He still walked out of the house and is living in his parents’ basement. He has still made both my life and my son’s life harder because he is not here. And he has broken my trust at the most fundamental levels because now, if we do get back together and attempt to live happily ever after, I will always worry that he will “run away” again when things get too difficult.

I completely understand the whole needing to “run away” thing. I most people do. I honestly believe that every person gets to a point where they are entirely fed up with everything and need to take some time for themselves. However, the problem I have with how he went about it is that most peoples’ ideas of running away do not mean walking out on your family. It means that you go to another room. It means you ask your spouse for time alone while you mull things over. It means that you go for a Sunday drive and admire the scenery for a while. It means you walk around the mall. It means you go out to lunch by yourself. It means a lot of different things, none of which equate to actually moving out of your homestead and leaving your family members in the lurch.

In those rational, logical moments, I remind myself that he is very young. While only five years actually separate us on the physical age level, in the realm of emotional maturity, we are vastly beyond each other. I am only his second relationship in his entire life. And in the course of that relationship, we have had a lot more downs than we have had ups. We have had a lot of pain filled changes in the last six years, not all of them horrible, and it’s a lot for someone who has never been in a long-term relationship prior to me to handle. In those moments, I can compassionately understand where he is coming from and in a way, I can forgive him for what he has done to us. I don’t like it. I don’t agree with it. In fact, I still want to punch him in the face because of this. However, I can understand and even sympathize because he is young and he doesn’t know any better.

Even though I can see where he is coming from, even though I can kind of understand it, I still end up feeling like my heart has been broken. I still end up listening to really depressing music, like I was when I was 16 and my then-boyfriend broke up with me for no apparent reason. I remember that week of our being broken up like it was yesterday. I was depressed. I didn’t shower. I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t do anything but lie blankly in my bed or my mother’s bed and just stare at the walls. Sometimes, to take my mind off of the pain, I would read a book or twenty. And then we got back together and the heart-break subsided until months later. I literally feel like I need to be doing the same thing all over again, only instead, I have to be a mom and do all the things moms do so I can’t really wallow.

And that kind of pisses me off a little because it shows that I’m the more responsible person here.

When I’m done being rational and being angry, then I end up wallowing in the mire of guilt that continues to plague me. As I said above, there is nothing worse in an emotional upheaval of this level than the recriminations you pass on yourself. I’ve sat around for hours, just mulling over how I could have prevented this from happening to myself and to my son. I will do the laundry and there I am, wallowing in guilt. I will cook some dinner and there I am, wallowing in guilt. I’ve been wallowing in the guilt, trying to figure out where I went wrong. I must have screwed up somewhere, right?

I’m not very demonstrative in my affections. I used to be, but as the years past, I haven’t been. I find it easier to keep people at arm’s length because then it won’t hurt so badly when they fuck you over. (Ha. Ha. Ha.) The thing is that I’ve been trying to be a lot nicer to TH lately (the last six months or so). I haven’t been demonstrative of my feefees or anything, but I’ve been saying kinder things to him. It’s a physical prod a lot of the times and stuff just spews out of my mouth that is nicer than I normally am. About a month ago, I told everyone he was a very good father and a good boyfriend. A while back, I told everyone that he is awesome. These are some things, but I wonder if my failure was in not telling him that, specifically? He was there when I said those things, but they weren’t to his face, so perhaps there is my failing?

However, TH suffers from excessively awful bad self-esteem. I honestly don’t know what caused it or why it started. It really doesn’t matter what the cause of his bad self-image is because I can’t fix it. No matter what I say, who I say it to, and when I say it, he will always feel like he is a poor substitute or that he doesn’t measure up to anyone else in his life. I have extremely poor self-esteem, myself. I understand how it is, but either you contend with the negative feelings about yourself and deal with them as they come, or you ignore them completely. No matter what I say, how I say it, when I say it, where I say, or what I’m saying, if he doesn’t deal with his self-esteem issues, then it’s going to continue to cause a problem for him. I could metaphorically make him to be the walking on water type of guy – not that I would – and it really wouldn’t matter. Whatever lies at the core of his poor self-image is a monster he has to fight on his own.

I can’t fight it for him.

Another ongoing issue is that he has a very hard time of letting things go. In all the instances he provided where he felt that I didn’t care about him, they were all very old occurrences. I’ve thought about this some and while those instances could have helped to feed the self-esteem beast eating apart his insides, However, I honestly wonder if those items he mentioned were his attempt at grasping at straws. I honestly worry that this self-esteem thing, this feeling like I don’t need him or want him thing, is all just a very big cover.

I’ve thought about this for a while and it doesn’t necessarily track. I don’t deny that TH has bad self-esteem or that I am not overly demonstrative in how I feel about him. I do not deny that I could have done better, though I know that I wouldn’t have done any better if given the chance. I wonder, honestly, if the core issue is the asexuality thing. It’s a big bite to swallow for any man, whether they are a normal hormonally charged twenty-five year old or not. The prospect of possible never having sex ever again is something that most people, most normal people, would find impossible to fathom, much less to live with. And I can’t help but wonder if the lack of sex is why he feels like he’s not an integral part of my life. Apparently, emotional connections are all fine and dandy, but it is the physical connection that means the most.

Obviously, I’ve had sex with TH. We have a child together. However, the fact remains that sex holds little to no interest to me at present and I honestly do not know how long this will last. I have to assume it’s a forever thing just to be on the safe side. I can’t get someone’s hopes up with an indefinite unknown hanging in the balance. And I can’t help but think that societal norms regarding sex are being played out here. Someone – not me – equates sex with love and tenderness and happiness. Someone else – definitely me – equates sex with a biological need to reproduce and equates love, tenderness and happiness with the emotional connection two people can have. Society, however, has this ridiculous need to obsess over sex and how it is part and parcel to a relationship.

In some cases, that is the case.

However, when it comes to an asexual, that is definitely not the case.

I just worry that the actual reason for all of this heartbreak is that I can love someone, unconditionally, without sex complicating matters. I don’t need to feel someone in a physical way in order to know that I love them, cherish them, and enjoy their company. I don’t need that in any context to make me feel better about myself. Sure, when I am interested, the sex is pretty darn awesome. But that doesn’t mean I need it in order to feel like a human being. I don’t need it to complete me. And maybe TH does because that’s who he is as a person. And if that’s the case then, you know, things will either be completely over, as I think will be the case, or he’ll realize that an emotional connection is more important than a physical one. And things might work out for the better.

I would like to hope, but my hope button is broken.

I’m caught in a hurricane
I’m leaving here dead or alive
And I know that I’d be willing to feel the pain
If it got me to the other side
Cause I only hurt
Oh, hurricane
Yeah I can feel it hurt
Oh, hurricane

“All Those Fairy Tales Are Full of Shit.”

You can’t expect me to be fine,
I don’t expect you to care
I know I’ve said it before
But all of our bridges burned down.

- Payphone by Maroon 5

One of the things that I hate most about being human is running the long gamut of emotions that any one person can. I really despise having to feel things outside of the positive emotions. However, I know that humans are one of those complex creatures, so we kind of have to run the gamut now and again. I would much prefer to not bother with some of the other emotional responses humans can go through, but again, I know that I have no choice. That doesn’t mean I have to particularly like it.

Last night, before I went to bed, I was blissfully numb. I say blissfully because it didn’t matter what I thought of because it didn’t impact me on an emotional level. I went to sleep completely numb to everything that was going on around me. I think this is probably how humans start to deal with the emotional gamut. When we’re shocked out of the status quo of our lives, we go into this sort of numbing embrace. And that numbing embrace is one of those things that I particularly like. I’ve been numb a lot lately, trying to process everything that’s been going on in my personal life, and I find it much easier to handle whatever it is going on in my life when I’m in that particular stage.

I find it easier to look at things logically. I also find it easier to decide what the correct emotional response will be. Chances are, if I’m blowing up at someone, it’s not because I just enjoy flying off the handle. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t actually enjoy making other people feel like shit. Honestly, if I’m flying off the handle, it’s probably because I went through a long or short period of “numbness,” looked over the entirety of the situation, and chose the appropriate [in my eyes] emotional response. If there’s something I got from the horror fest that was my married life to my ex-husband, it was the ability to go into a numbing time-out and pick what appropriate emotional response would come out next. (And that was actually kind of important when married to a control freak.)

However, in this situation, I’m not able to stay in that numb phase. I can’t just plunk myself down and remain there. I can do so – prepare myself, so to speak – if and when I’m discussing the situation with the people I care to share it with. However, I can’t stay there. I keep waffling between being emotional numb inside, in an effort to choose the correct emotional response, to heartbroken to furious. And no matter how much I try to tell myself that the heartbroken and the furious are not emotional responses that I have chosen for myself, I still feel them anyway.

At about four thirty this morning, I woke up irrationally angry. And by “irrational,” I mean that I seriously considered throwing things out on the front of the house and see how quickly TH’s video game collection disappears. And by “irrational,” I mean that I seriously considered the idea of breaking his Xbox (all of them). And by “irrational,” I mean that I seriously considered walking over there and punching him in the face. I was not at my best. I had been having dreams about work in a definite effort to escape from the other dreams that could have manifested, which pisses me off because I’m at work all the time anyway. And it pisses me off because I was doing the great art of escapism in my dreams. The worst part about being irrationally angry is that it sets your adrenaline pumping with all of the angry, nasty things you want to say and then you can’t fall asleep again… even though you really should because you have a five-year-old who is a practiced steamroller and may not let you nap later.

I was up for two fucking hours being irrationally angry. I thought about all of the fun things I need to get going for this weekend. The absolute most fun part will be the disseminating of our lives together between the two of us, which is what originally made me so irrationally angry. I get to go through all the things we bought together, for each other, and put them all in a place together so that he can pick his shit up at some point. And do you know how much shit you accumulate when you’ve been together for nearly seven years? Yeah, that’s a lot of shit.

Gee, I wonder why I got so angry.

After a while, even irrational anger, fury, and rage have to take a break. And I was able to fall back to sleep after a while.

And when I woke up to my beautiful little man’s face, I felt nothing but heartbreak. I felt nothing but sorrow at the fact that I have to walk alone now. I felt nothing but sorrow at the fact that I am truly and honestly following in my mother’s footsteps. (Could going back to Texas be too far behind?) I didn’t even have the energy to get angry again. I just felt nothing but anguish. I felt anguish as I bundle up my son to go get milk for his breakfast. I felt nothing but anguish as we raced up the steps and out of the rain with our gallon of milk. I felt nothing but anguish at the thought of all the cleaning I need to do today. I felt nothing more than crying, but I won’t because I don’t know how to handle my son’s questions when he finds me crying.

I’ve thought about my sadness. I’ve thought about it and why I feel that way. My friends have all told me that it was for the best. And in a way, yes that’s true. I don’t hold with TH’s little brother’s fucked up decisions to stay with his crazy girlfriend because they have a kid together. I think my sorrow stems from the fact that I get to be another asexual statistic. I get to be yet another asexual person who loved someone who couldn’t love them back.

And now I have to agree with Maroon 5.

If “Happy Ever After” did exist,
I would still be holding you like this
All those fairy tales are full of shit
One more fucking love song, I’ll be sick.