Thoughts I harbour when I am at my worst:
When I sleep with people, they are pretending to enjoy it. They are playing a role, and not in a sexy way, but role-playing being “normal.” They are faking intimacy.
I suspect this to be true with sexual encounters that fall under the umbrella of one-night stand and mistake, but at my worst, my most cynical, or maybe just deep down, all the way down, I believe that even the sex I have with men I date or actually like are like this.
I think sex is terrifying and absurd. In terms of unwinding and escaping from your own skin it is the worst.
The worst distraction, the worst way to lose yourself, the hardest way you can disconnect from everyone and everything. It makes no sense. You’re meant to be at your raw-est, ready to disappear, forget your name but you still have a duty to perform and someone to impress. Eye contact during sex is ridiculous. Eye contact in everyday life is a tad awkward, especially the moment you become aware of it, but during sex it loses all its naturalism and suddenly you’re aware of every single one of your pre-programmed functions. How did you ever breathe without thinking? If you’re prone to panic attacks, as I once was, this is hell. But during sex. Oh God. You want to be alone in the moment so you can actually enjoy the moment but someone else is there, (how inconsiderate of them!) and you just can’t. You can’t.
Well you can, but in tiny little bursts, a peak here and there and then you have to squeeze your eyes shut and forget what is actually taking place, so you can truly “lose yourself.”
All this. And you’re naked.
Your most vulnerable with varicose veins and breasts that failed the pencil test when you were 15, and whatever face your pulling is undoubtedly horrific. It is all far too personal to be shared with anyone you haven’t known for twenty-five years. At least. But you are meant to be look past the logistics of the act straight to the carnal nature of it? I can’t focus. I can’t get out of myself, and sometimes I find myself thinking that we are both robots and are just ticking boxes so we appear human.
I am paranoid that people are always role playing, pretending to be business people, dressing up as office workers and teachers but they are just kids pushing fake tins of beans on you from a shop counter they’re mother bought them or listening to your heart with a plastic stethoscope. Proving something to the elusive person they still have to prove things too.
I realise this is all self-reflective. You see people the way you see yourself or how you feel you should be operating. But I think that’s the problem. I have a hard time distinguishing between what I should be doing and what I want to be doing and I am still learning who I am. I know 52% of what makes me tick.
I guess that’s the reason for experimentation, for attending things deemed “cultural” and functioning and engaging but my should’s and my wants frequently blur into one, and I often don’t know what’s a should and what’s a want. How can I have free will when I make myself a prisoner?
Without boundaries I can be the laziest person who ever existed. If I don’t put strict boundaries on myself I will just lie in bed all the livelong day. I am a pro-active lazy person who is doing everything a million miles an hour so I won’t think. I haven’t laid down in a while, but the fear of laying down and not being able to get back up terrifies me. I would drown. I would no longer wash my clothes, because it never ends. You never get to finish. You never get to do that last run. That last hair wash. You have to run four times a week, wash your clothes all the time, wash your hair every other day (thank you dry shampoo) and it’s exhausting. I hate routine.
Routine is going to kill us all.
Routine keeps me sane, but every fibre in my being fights against it, it doesn’t understand why you do the same things over and over and over again. It is not the definition of insanity, because it is an essential part of existing, but I sometimes wish things had an ending. Do you not (imagine me on at speakers corner, I’m wearing the green hoody I spilt my dinner on) find it exhausting to think about the patterns in your life and how they will carry on again and again and again? That we will repeat ourselves again and again until our hearts stop, and nothing will change other then the fact we have nice smelling clothes, clean hair and a lower resting heart rate then someone who doesn’t run four times a week? Repeating so nothing changes.
But back to role-playing.
When I am at my most anxious I rehearse conversations with friends so I come across as… less anxious. I think issues lose their power when you talk about them. If you explain your feelings then nothing is an issue. Which is bullshit. Talking about anxieties and bleak feelings is just a means to control how other people see you. I talk in safe terms about what is going on in my head, get comfort from the kind eyes but it is so I appear to have a handle on it (whatever it may be.)
I finish the conversation with a bookend about how it is going to be okay because… sometimes it has to be.
It seems like positive thinking, believing in the power of narrative, that fate will find a way. That I am not a bad person, I hope, so everything has to work out. But it’s all bullshit. I fear they, my friends, will find me out; know something is wrong, or that I don’t know how to be with people, or even like it at times. Have you ever really disliked a friend for caring about you? Really resented another human being for wanting to spend time with you? How dare they make you carry on this façade? The five minutes before I meet people I have the most aggressive dark dissections of their personality.
I think every meeting or contact with humans is a test to show your normal, successful, or on the right path. It should be easier then that. It’s getting easier. I am learning that other people feel the same, that anxiety is all around us (which is weirdly reassuring), and sometimes fear of being alone is worse then fear of company. But I calm panic by ticking boxes, with routine, by role-playing. I have seen friends, I have gone to the gym, I didn’t enjoy some of the things I did. I didn’t want to do them, but at least it felt normal, it felt soothing to prove to this elusive person I am trying to prove myself to that I am popular and healthy. It was the thing to do.
I look at people who make decisions based on instinct or laziness, or just their own god dam thoughts and opinions and I feel this envy. I have my own thoughts and opinions but I only share them with people I feel safe with. People I have known for years who won’t tell me why I am wrong, wrong, wrong.
I am aware this makes me a pussy.
I just wish I could make eye contact with people who are nice to me. I want that as a bumper sticker. My therapist use to make us hold hands and stare at each other. It made me feel a little bit sick. I associated contact with sex, you don’t touch people you aren’t sleeping with and we were NOT sleeping with each other. I couldn’t stand it. But it felt like an obvious defect within me that I then had to counter, I had to stare into her eyes, because that would make me “normal”.
Didn’t mean I accepted the process, or didn’t rebel against it, or wasn’t actually taking it seriously. You set the boundaries and I will follow you where I am not comfortable, because I want you to tell me what is wrong and what is right. In relationships I will match your intensity, your nonchalance, beyond my comfort zone because I assume you know best.
Saying goodbye is not normal.
I hate saying goodbye or hello to people. I hate leaving. I was told I didn’t know to leave places before. I couldn’t exit properly. I came off as rude. I hate the fakeness of the goodbye with the mild acquaintance. You person you barely spoke to, I don’t want to waste their time or mine by making false promises and pronouncing how sad it is we never spoke. I would rather just disappear. And if we did speak, and we did connect, I don’t want to acknowledge that with eye contact and a hand shake. I would rather just disappear. And if we barely connected then why do we have to touch? I would always rather just disappear, because the conversation is so small.
I hate the smallest of small talk.