write where it hurts

I read a playwright’s bio because I want a reference for my own. Hers is a page long, spectacular. Award winning. Artistic residency. Mine is a paragraph.

At my most masochistic, I scroll through a theater’s “Past Playwright Fellows” section to see if any of them have blonde hair. They don’t.

Obviously that doesn’t matter. Everything relies on the writing. Regardless of what’s happening or how you feel. Did you write it down? It is a muscle and a meditation practice. It is blissful catharsis and maddening frustration. And you show up for it, always. Look at whatever is felt and write it out.

After work, he comes over and reminds me of my masochism in other ways. It looks scary but is consensual. Pain on my terms.

Then he let me in on darkness from his past. Traumas that bubbled up when he saw a play. Memories that he can only start to process now. None of my words felt helpful so I just listened and wrapped myself tighter around him. Closeness.

Do I write a play about the healing power of getting my hair pulled? Do I want to turn a spotlight on something so raw?

He went home and I fell asleep at 9:30. Woke up feeling clear.

Then this morning my ex revealed that he is also polyamorous. This wasn’t a surprise but it did set off a lot of sparks in my brain. Questions. Curiosity. Anxiety (because of course).

When we were together, I was so scared and jealous at the end. I shoved all of it away because my heart was bruised. I was scared of that pain.

But why did I act like that? If we are the same, then why couldn’t I have let him do what I also wanted to do? Why did it take pandemic loneliness for me to lean into this?

He asked me if I was dating multiple people. I really did not want to know if he was. The old fear bubbles right back up. Dating people does not mean you are not available. But tell that to my primal abandonment terror.

And anyway this ex is now in a completely different state so what’s the point, what are you even feeling?

It’s mostly just the ego not wanting to be hurt again. Especially not by this person who has accidentally hurt it so many times already.

Oops sorry I didn’t know how to communicate and neither did you so we left marks and scars on each other’s hearts.

I grow and make choices. And I still get hurt and skitter off like a frightened animal at times. I guess none of this was meant to make those feelings go away. But at least we’re still in each other’s lives, even after all of that.

he reappeared

My last bad ex texted me yesterday.

He didn’t even say anything. Just “long time no talk” and “I’ve been on a cross-country camping trip.” And “hope you’re doing ok.”

I took a minute to respond. Well. That minute was 3 hours. He *immediately* texted back. It was all very surface level. He didn’t ask me how I was. He just told me stuff he was doing. Very typical Leo I guess.

I wanted to know why. Why are you reaching out after 4 months of being silent to each other. What do you want. But I didn’t ask.

I actually went on a first date last night too. With an Irish guy who happened to have the same name as my ex. I had a very good time, but at the end found out he was a horrible kisser.

So I walked home from what had been a delightful, fun, normal-and-free-feeling date with terrible kissing chemistry, and I thought about how I used to burn for my ex.

I thought I was going to be okay hearing from him. But being reminded of his happiness without me is painful.

Dust had settled and pain had been faced and now he has kicked up that dust back into my face and I have to go back through the pain.

I could go on social media and look him up and pour salt into my wounds and know for sure that she is still around and he is still blissful with her. I could use Instagram like a knife to kill and dismember that hopeful little voice whispering “why are you still thinking about me?” in the back of my head.

But I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to make myself hurt any more than I already do. I have to burn a little bit more. And I can do that while listening to some sad songs and quietly take care of myself while bathing in this weirdly sweet pain. And then I can move forward.

running through feeling

Hello, your friendly neighborhood ghost here. Just dropping in to tell you I still exist and I’m terrified that you’re going to forget me.

^This was the general tone of everything I said to him today. Hoo boy. I said a lot of powerful and angry things, and he said I’m sorry in a lot of different ways.

It was the first time someone I was dating just let me yell at them. I told him he was acting like a victim, that he didn’t have to hurt people to be happy, that he had a choice, that he was breaking someone else’s heart to do this, so it had better fucking be worth it.

It all poured out of me and was as exhilarating as it was painful. He let me yell at him. He said I was special to him and that he wasn’t going to forget me. That of course he cared about me. And the conversation melted back into normalcy, into how it had been when we were dating.

I’d also posted a series of sexy selfies on an Instagram story, just to see if he would look. It was that or text him sad/angry overshares. I told myself if he didn’t look, then I would know it was really over.

He looked at all of them. And it didn’t feel good. It felt gross. It felt like things could get really ugly and complicated. It felt like nothing. Not like myself.

And I want to feel like myself. I want to love myself.

So there you have it. That’s where we are. That’s where I am. I’m still here.

So, fist, here’s my fucking heart and stomach.

Hi yes I’m still dumped.

I have moved pretty quickly from sadness to anger. But the sadness flares up a lot on top of it.

I just posted 40 selfies on Instagram instead of texting him. It felt weird and narcissistic but honestly, it was better than breaking and sending him something sad.

He left things feeling very open ended. Even though the phone call did not start that way. In short he had lunch with his ex and realized he’s still in love with her and that he thinks she feels the same, even though he also knows that getting back with her is a bad idea.

So, fist, here’s my fucking heart and stomach.

By the end of the call he admitted that he thought I was beautiful and fun and smart and that there had been a very obvious strong connection. That he wanted to hear from me still. That he did have feelings for me. That going back to her could make him into a “fucking doormat.”

I don’t know what is going to happen or why it is happening. I don’t know how I’m going to respond to it. But that’s the only thing I’m in control of.

Him: “You can call me anytime, or we can meet and I can answer questions you have.”

Me: “I don’t have questions.”

So now I’m posting selfies. And if he doesn’t see them, then I’ll know that it really is over.

Fuck.

dating panic

Liking a person hurts. Even if there is evidence that the other person likes you too.

Last night he didn’t text me as often as he does. He got engrossed in watching Breaking Bad. The fact that this bothers me feels so stupid now that I’ve written it down, but I have anxiety spinning all around ever since and am trying not to get caught up.

This morning I woke up convinced, terrified he doesn’t like me anymore. I went on a bookstore adventure. I read for a long time. I even texted with him a little before he went to lunch with a friend. He is still at said lunch and I am spinning because I haven’t heard from him since this morning. I haven’t said anything to him about this. I’m writing it down here so I don’t go nuts.

It feels like there are two warring factions in me at the moment. One is easily sparked, yelling in my ear that he is about to leave just like my ex did, that I should be grieving it now and then get over and move on.

Another part is saying that the pain of my last relationship hasn’t fully been resolved in my heart and that I am projecting it onto this new person because I am afraid. That things are fine. That this is okay. That I have had thoughts, panics like this before and he has proven to still be super interested in me.

So both are happening at the same time.

I should write something.

thinking while banging

I was so revved up from not seeing Leo Wolf for two weeks that I could have shot off into space like a sex-starved rocket. The deprivation gave me the idea to withhold my own self-pleasure until I saw him next. To make it, you know, fun and sexy.

In practice, it nearly drove me insane. He got strep throat, took antibiotics, and had a few side effect reactions. So he kept moving the time, which sparked my anxieties from past experiences of being stood up.

A normal human reaction to someone you care about getting sick would be to feel compassion, and to understand that they’ll take the time they need and then come back to you. 

My reaction was to get snippy and frustrated, skirting the edges of panic. “This is not a normal human response,” I realized. So I made the executive decision to give myself an orgasm. And magically, like clouds parting, I could think clearly again. 

Then came the date itself.

With the time away, I had gotten deeply bogged down in my own head. I’d envisioned jumping into his arms at first sight, kissing him without even saying a word as we spun around, pushing him onto his bed, etc. etc. etc.

We met in a fancy furniture storeroom and I had to behave. This made me nervous. Nerves sparked an avalanche of critical thoughts that lasted much longer than I want to admit. 

But in the storeroom he kissed me, and told me I looked pretty, and made cute faces at me, and said it had been a long time.

We went back to his place. We made soup and listened to music and watched TV and had sex 5 times. 

By the third time, the Internal Criticism Avalanche(tm) was starting to slow down. Before that, things were intense. Yelling at me for gaining weight, for not being perfect enough or cool enough or sexy enough or this that and the other thing. 

He’s growling in my ear and in the middle of fucking me. So maybe you could just COOL IT with the insults for a second?

I think the key to getting through the self abuse is to shift from being in my head to being in my body. Feel instead of think. It’s an ongoing process.

several months since my last confession

Hey.

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve been on here.

I’m single again.

As of July. My relationship blew up in one text. I had been sick with a migraine, vomiting, and he did not care. In fact he said we needed to talk. So I said, if you’re really doing this now, then seriously fuck you.

And that was that.

So since then I’ve been attempting to go out of my comfort zone. I went to a super hippie dance class where women were in raptures and men were barking like dogs. That last part was scary. I went to meditation circles and told strangers about how I don’t like the way my dad acts when he drinks. I told them he was drinking even with anti-seizure medicine. I’ve gone speed dating. Sometimes I’ve felt like I live in the loneliest city on earth. I’ve ghosted approximately 20 men and women. I’ve asked for a promotion at work.

I’ve also fallen in love with my boss. This is largely what fuels the excursions to online dating and subsequent ghosting. But I’m getting better at accepting the feelings I have. And the ones he has for me too.

But I can only talk about them here.

he brought me birthday flowers

It was my birthday yesterday!

I celebrated with a fantastic weekend.

Theater and cupcakes and laughing with one of my best friends from high school.

Took the train back to the city while finishing Book 4 of Harry Potter on audiobook. (Oh my god JK kicks you in the stomach/heart every time)

Then had dinner with my boyfriend. He brought flowers. 🙂

My apartment is full of candles and flowers and so many things feel so good. I want more of that.

fear prompts.

What terrifies you? Why? Don’t be afraid to dig deep.

What terrifies me right now:

  • that he will leave the country and go back to hell when his visa expires in June.
  • that, if he gets a job in another part of this country, he won’t ask me to go with him.
  • that this break we just started, the break he requested so he could figure out what he wants out of the next step in his life, that this break will last for a long time.
  • that I’m going to be left alone by someone I love.
  • that someone I love is in pain, is terrified, is so anxious about everything all the time, when really his heart is light, sweet, curious.
  • that I don’t know how to help.
  • that maybe I can’t help.

The morning after my birthday, I told him acting like a victim was not going to fix a single thing. He called me immediately and apologized. Said he hadn’t meant to ignore me on my birthday, but that he hadn’t wanted to ruin the day and hadn’t known what he might say.

It was piercing bright outside. People were walking to work. I was sitting on the foot of my bed, crying into a phone. I heard birds on the other end.

“I’m sorry.” Over and over and over again. “I have so much to say, but I don’t want to speak incorrectly.”

He would text correctly later. After hearing the word victim, he’d realized the need to make a plan. That it had been hard to see the big picture. That he was going to make staying in the country his top priority. And that he needed time and space to figure out exactly what he wanted, and exactly how to do that.

When he sent all this, it was the middle of the work day. It was too sudden to even feel it like a sucker punch.

“Can we please keep in regular contact?” I asked.

“Yes.”

The sucker punch waited until I got home.